The Pendulum Effect in American Politics: 1974-2010

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Back to the Future when Christopher Lloyd, as Doc Brown, challenges Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in 1955 to prove his preposterous time-travel story by naming the president in 1985. When Marty replies, "Ronald Reagan, "Doc Brown hoots and says, incredulous," Ronald Reagan, the actor? Hah! "

Before the 1980 presidential election, there were many Americans of the same opinion as the good doctor. Jimmy Carter's presidence may have been weakened by the Iran host crisis, a stubborn recession and the second energy crisis of the decade, but the conventional wisdom after the primaries was that GOP candidate Ronald Reagan did not have a prayer. What he did have, however, was devout support from the defiantly religious, rapidly rising and well-funded "New Right." When this movement helped steer Reagan into the White House, their influence went on to shape American politics and policy for a dozen years. The pendulum had swung dramatically to the right. Progressives and moderates were stunned. Back to the Future, indeed.

But those who were shocked either had short memories or were too young to remember another dramatic swing – to the left – in the wake of the Watergate scandal. The resignation of President Nixon on August 8, 1974, preceded by two years of a "national nightmare" and the birth of unabashed investigative journalism, wave rise to a deep and enduring distrust of government by the press and the public. This collective rejection of presidential arrogance, coupled with outrage at Ford's pardon of Nixon, propelled a bevy of freshly minted Democrats (including Jimmy Carter) into Washington.

Let's return to the much-touted Reagan Revolution. Characterized by trickle-down economics who terminus mysteriously eluded its promised benefiaries, it started to dim under the presidency of George HW Bush. While his prosecution of the Gulf War met with generally high marks, Bush's tin ear toward the recession of the early 90s became his downfall. The clever and charismatic Bill Clinton sustained the presidency away from the Republicans for the first time in twelve years. While Clinton ushered in the era of the "New Democracy" that rejected some of the more liberal policies of the party's past, the pendulum had undeniably swung back to the left.

Two short years later, Newsweek ran an article with a beleaguered Clinton on its cover accompanied by the title, "The Incredible Shrinking President." Hobbled out of the gate by embracing the worthy but narrow issue of gays in the military, the resulting "Do not Ask, Do not Tell" policy proved unpopular with all sides. Most critically, it was a dangerous distraction from the average voter's primary issue: in the immortal words of James Carville, "it's the economy, stupid." Enter (stage right) firebrand Newt Gingrich, The Contract with America and the GOP takeover of both houses in the mid-term election of 1994. The future looked bleak for the New Democrats.

Reports of their demise, of course, were greatly exaggerated. Two years later, Clinton's serendipity was personified by …

Reasons Why Farc Group Was Formed in Colombia

Why did Farc start? Farc is a guerrilla group that was started by Jacobo Arenas in the fifties when General Rojas and his party ruled Colombia in the forties. It was a group that resisted their rule and since then it has been considered as a group seeking terror in the country. Many people though wonder about the answer to the question, why did Farc start?

1. The first answer to the question why did Farc start was because it was connected with the Colombian Communist Party. The forties decade was called as the La Violencia period. Two hundred thousand people died during those years. The Liberal Party was toppled by a man named Gustavo Rojas. It controlled Colombia in the fifties. Rojas became the ruler and he offered peace to the groups including Farc that did not like his governance however resistance still continued. Rojas then created guerrilla groups so they can always control the whole state.

2. The second answer to the question why did Farc start was because Jacobo Arenas want to fight the General Roja’s group so they can gain the power of ruling over Colombia.

3. The third answer to the question why did Farc start was because of the restoration of Liberal group’s rule in Colombia in the latter years of the fifties decade. There were still Communist groups that gained power in several towns in Colombia. Some of the groups were headed by Marquetalla and Sumapaz. In the sixties the Colombian government wanted to stop the guerrilla groups and they launched a massive assault against them. The communist groups were forced to fight back and Sumapaz and Marquetalla became the rulers of those groups.

4. The fourth answer to the question why did Farc start was because of the ideologies they wanted to fight for. One of those ideologies was resisting the government’s abusive control over the country. However in the eighties this ideology was no longer the commitment of the group. Many people discovered that Farc became involved in the business of selling drugs. It was involved in a massive trade of illegal drugs. The group used the money they gained from it as a the capital for all their activities.

Today Farc has twelve thousand members. The group has remained in the southeastern part of Colombia specifically in the forests there. There are some members who have decided to reside near the Andes Mountain. The Cuban and the Venezuelan government do not consider Farc as a terrorist party. The group is also involved in kidnapping activities.…

The Origins of Blues and How Blues Music Is Still Relevant Today

Blues is the name given to a form and a genre of music that originated from the African-American communities of the “Deep South” of the United States at the end of the 19th century. It consisted of spiritual numbers, hollas and chants as well as working songs and was characterized by simple rhyming narratives.

The pioneers of this new style at the time were members of the first black generation in the US after slavery was abolished in 1808. Although now technically free, it was to be a long time before the social and economic boundaries that existed as a hangover from the slave period were finally to be adjusted.

As a result the black workers were more often than not poor and without access to education. This was a crucial point in the birth of the blues. Blues musicians would use melodies that would sound good on the ear. They were unlikely to have had any training in western music and so would not have known about key signatures or indeed any western music theory. In the notation of blues music it is often not known whether to attribute it to be minor or major. It is more practicable to simply say a blues in A or a blues in C. From its inception this lead to new forms of melody being born, that incorporated elements that have now spread into an enormous number of cross genres. They worked well on the ear and didn’t have to conform to the fundamental imposed by western musical structures and devices. Instead blues was making its own fundamentals.

For example, blues music often uses a minor to major third, something almost unheard of in western music up until this point. That in turn has spread into rock n roll and surf music in the 60s. Imagine that Chuck Berry may never have written ‘Johnny B Goode’ if it hadn’t have been for that major to minor shift.

Not only that, but the dissonant sound of 7th chords have been made so familiar to us by the blues that now they have become staple elements in songs on their own, whereas previously they were used solely as devices by composers to make suggestions to the melody. Jazz music uses a complex mixture of 7ths, majors and minors and altered scales and owes everything to blues music not only in terms of melodies and harmonies but also in the African rhythms that characterize a great deal of jazz drumming. Lest we forget the ‘Jazz 1/8th note’ and the problems of how to write it in notation! I read once that Blues is to Jazz music what the Sonnet is to poetry.

The use of pentatonics in blues is so widespread that they have also become so pleasant on the ear that songwriters and guitarist use them in abundance. As is the 12 bar form, which continued into Rock n’ Roll and Jazz music as well as evolving into more complex melodies and chord structures.…

Animal Farm By George Orwell – A Novella Of Didactic Language And Political Ideology

Animal Farm, a masterpiece novella by George Orwell was written in 1945. It falls under novella as it is shorter and contains a less complex plot unlike a novel. The crux matter of Animal Farm is about how Czarist Russia evolved into communist Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Orwell used the animal farm as the backdrop representing Russia and the animals that dwelled in the farm as the who's who in the Russian Revolution. The Animal Farm is an allegory-a narrative that uses literal devices to reveal understood meanings and messages.

The Oxford Dictionary defines allegory as a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. Not only that, Animal farm is also a satire. The same Oxford Dictionary defines a satire as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to mock, expose and criticizeize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other social issues. Animal farm fits into both these categories aptly.

At the time when the book was published, it was not that popular, did not command a vast reading because Russia was an ally of the West in their fight against German aggression under Hitler in World War II. In a clear indication of belittling the Russians and its communist leaders, the western world saw it as an act of non-goodwill if they popularized the book in droves.

The author himself was not an anti-communist. In fact George Orwell is said to be a socialist who supported the belief that industries should be under the control of the working class (workers) for the good of everyone, not just benefitting the elites, who controlled these industries. However, he witnessed the corrupt revolution of the communist in Russia, eventually leading to a change of perception.

Orwell was perplexed on how the communist had diverted, departed from their initial noble goals of seeking a classless society. Orwell's conviction was that he owes the world a warning of how destructive unchecked authority was.

He was adamant to show the other side of communism when it was taken too far without a check and balance and how the leaders of this cause succumbed to worldly pleasures, the same class bound pleasures that they despised on other ideologies; Hence the world got to witness the birth of Animal Farm. Orwell had used allegory to the best of effect, to criticize the hypocrisy of communism, especially its overzealous leaders, their actions and their thirst for merciless murderers and mass killings to maintain their status quo.

The use of pigs, of all animals, was the acme of this novella. In the thought of a layman, pigs are lazy animals, non-productive and glevely end as meat in most taste buds. However, Orwell was way ahead of his time. He used pigs as his protagonists and antagonists in Animal Farm for the same reasons of how modern science had revealed quite shockingly though, about these creatures. Scientists want …

Critique of Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance

Alexandra Cook’s and Noble Cook’s text, Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance, traced the lives of an early settler of the New World and his two wives. The authors’ purpose in writing this book was to provide modern readers with a “mirror of a segment of Spanish society in the sixteenth century, the middle class and minor nobility” (Cook xii). The authors explored all facets of this society: their values and customs, legal structure, their economy, and their home life.

The authors wove together the story of this man’s life with other historical background information, legal procedures, and the social mores of the time so skillfully that the reader did not become bogged down in mundane details. The writing was lively and interesting; it kept the reader in suspense as the court case unfolded. Although the trial for bigamy was the main theme of the book, the authors inserted other instances of Spanish laws into the text, such as the family of a murdered man may make claims against the estate of the person who murdered him (Cook 2).

In unraveling the trial of Francisco Noguerol, the authors related many aspects of Spanish society, such as the power and control widowed women were allowed to exhibit in this patriarchal society (seen through Nougerol’s mother and Dona Catalina). The text also provided examples of the life in Spanish convents through Nougerol’s sisters. It was very interesting that the nuns who lied to Noguerol were not made to accept responsibility for what their actions caused, except by their brother. This shows, I believe, how the Catholic Church tried to protect their religious orders from scandal.

The Spanish court system was seen to have attempted to protect the rights of women in their society, as seen in the experience of Dona Beatriz and Dona Catalina. For Beatriz, she was protected from being left destitute from her husband’s remarriage, and Catalina was protected from losing the husband that she had made a life and home with.

The authors offered to the reader logical motivations for the actions of people during this time. One example was the reasons why Noguerol left his native land to come to Peru. The authors indicated his primary motivation was to escape from an unwanted marriage, and this seemed very plausible since he stayed away from her for a long time and returned to Spain only when he believed she had died. Another example was why Dona Beatriz waited until after Noguerol’s death to claim that the marriage was consummated; with him not being able to deny it, she would had more success at winning the trial. That she was bitter of being cast aside in favor of Dona Catalina was made very explicit by her actions.

Noguerol also remained bitter towards his family over deceiving him. This bitterness was seen by the fact that he deliberately disinherited his family in his last will and testament, preferring to enact a line of succession for his estate in his wife’s descendants …

Do Mass Media Influence the Political Behavior of Citizens

Outside of the academic environment, a harsh and seemingly ever-growing debate has appeared, concerning how mass media distorts the political agenda. Few would argue with the notion that the institutions of the mass media are important to contemporary politics. In the transition to liberal democratic politics in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe the media was a key battleground. In the West, elections increasingly focus around television, with the emphasis on spin and marketing. Democratic politics places emphasis on the mass media as a site for democratic demand and the formation of “public opinion”. The media are seen to empower citizens, and subject government to restraint and redress. Yet the media are not just neutral observers but are political actors themselves. The interaction of mass communication and political actors — politicians, interest groups, strategists, and others who play important roles — in the political process is apparent. Under this framework, the American political arena can be characterized as a dynamic environment in which communication, particularly journalism in all its forms, substantially influences and is influenced by it.

According to the theory of democracy, people rule. The pluralism of different political parties provides the people with “alternatives,” and if and when one party loses their confidence, they can support another. The democratic principle of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” would be nice if it were all so simple. But in a medium-to-large modern state things are not quite like that. Today, several elements contribute to the shaping of the public’s political discourse, including the goals and success of public relations and advertising strategies used by politically engaged individuals and the rising influence of new media technologies such as the Internet.

A naive assumption of liberal democracy is that citizens have adequate knowledge of political events. But how do citizens acquire the information and knowledge necessary for them to use their votes other than by blind guesswork? They cannot possibly witness everything that is happening on the national scene, still less at the level of world events. The vast majority are not students of politics. They don’t really know what is happening, and even if they did they would need guidance as to how to interpret what they knew. Since the early twentieth century this has been fulfilled through the mass media. Few today in United States can say that they do not have access to at least one form of the mass media, yet political knowledge is remarkably low. Although political information is available through the proliferation of mass media, different critics support that events are shaped and packaged, frames are constructed by politicians and news casters, and ownership influences between political actors and the media provide important short hand cues to how to interpret and understand the news.

One must not forget another interesting fact about the media. Their political influence extends far beyond newspaper reports and articles of a direct political nature, or television programs connected with current affairs that bear upon politics. …

4 Common Causes of Office Politics

“Office Politics” can be defined as using real OR perceived power and control to get what you want – be it tangible (a raise, corner office, etc.) or intangible (a promotion, visibility, influence over others) sometimes at the expense of others. This definition brings home the fact that office politics is inevitable.

What organization doesn’t have a hierarchy of some type? What company does not have managers, supervisors, presidents, CEOs, etc. that exert some authority? 90 percent of our newsletter recipients and other respondents to a survey about the subject admitted to being aware of office politics in their organization. Many of them also admitted that they knew of conflicts in the organization caused by office politics.

4 Common Causes of Negative Office Politics

1. Scarcity of Resources – Not enough resources to go around and everyone wants to get “their share”. This often causes back-stabbing and manipulation at varying degrees.

2. Extremely Competitive Work Environment – Performance not only based on production, skill or ability but mainly on “winning” from an individual perspective not an organizational one. Often work relationships are sabotaged and rampent burnout occurs due to the high level of competition.

3. An inordinate desire to advance in an organization – Wanting to advance not solely on merit but due to a need to have a “title” or certain position.

4. Abuse of power to manipulate others – Using a position of authority to manipulate others by any means.

Navigating the terrain of negative office politics can be daunting, but knowing exactly what they are truly all about at their root can give you some insight on how to respond.…

Factors Affecting the Labor Market – Determination of Wages and The Activities of Trade Unions

Determination of wages

Wages can be determined through the following: the forces of demand and supply in a market economy; government activities and policies and the activities of trade union. A very comprehensive understanding about these factors gives a clear picture on how determination of wages greatly influences the labor market.

The forces of demand and supply in a market economy: The wages of labor in a market economy can be determined through the forces of demand and supply. In a competitive labor market, there are so many employers and unorganized employees resulting in a situation where a single employer or employee cannot influence the wage rate either by refusing to be employed or to employ. Wage rate in a competitive labor market can be determined in the following manner:

1. When the supply of labor exceeds the demand, wage rate will fall.

2. When the demand for labor exceeds the supply, wage rate will rise.

When the demand, for labor equals the supply, wage rate will be favorable to both employer and the employee.

Government activities and policies: Government institutions and wage commissions set up by government help in determining wages, especially in the public services. In fixing wages, the government agency or wage commission takes the following factors into consideration.

1. Cost of living: The higher the cost of living, the higher wages are likely to be. If workers spend so much to get the essentials of life, then there is need to pay workers higher wages to enable them meet up. Imagine when you do the opposite-how would the labor market be affected?

2. Level of productivity: The greater the level of production in the country, the higher the wage rate. Definitely, you do not expect staff of an industry to play cool with you when they work an average of 8 hours for 6 days of the week bringing an annual returns of billion of US dollars and yet you pay them a ‘summer-job’ wages.

3. Type of occupation: The wage structure varies from one occupation to another. The wage structure for each category of labor is based on degree of scarcity of labor, the risks involved, etc. So various salary grade levels are fixed for different categories of labor in the civil service.

The activities of trade Unions

A trade union is association of workers formed to enable the members to take collective, rather than individual, action against their employers in matters relating to their welfare and conditions of work. They are formed by workers who seek protection and promotion of their interests. Examples of trade unions are

1. Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

2. Associated Actors and Artistes of America (4As)

3. American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

4. American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM)

5. California Nurses Association/ National Nurses Organizing Committee (CAN/NNOC)

6. Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)

7. nternational Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

8. International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)…

Feminism and Spiritualism – Changing Humanity Together

The religion now known as ‘Modern Spiritualism’ officially and literally burst through to the world in the small village of Hydesville, New York, late in March of 1848. The phenomena that began when young sisters Maggie and Kate Fox reported ‘rappings’ on the walls of their home, has grown into a religion that currently, according to the International Spiritualist Federation, has both individual and group members in over 35 countries worldwide. The National Spiritualist Association of Churches, (NSAC) describes the religion on their website as follows, “Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy, and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World. Spiritualism is founded upon a Declaration of Principles, nine in number, received from the Spirit World by means of mediumship. They provide a firm and tangible foundation on which to base the knowledge of Spiritualism.” Although not listed as one of the top ten religions of the world, there are many who have a belief in spirit communication, even though they are not a registered member of the Spiritualist religion. The number of believers, understandably because of the fraud found in this particular discipline, is difficult to ascertain.

Now back in 1848, and not twenty five miles away from the initial rappings heard in Hydesville, the feminist movement had their First Women’s Rights Convention at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19 and 20 – just a few short months after spirit began communicating with women in that same geographic area. From the handful of women who began to stand up for themselves, grew a cohesive network of individuals who were committed to changing society in the United States by demanding rights that were equal to those of their male counterparts in all areas. A group of strong and outspoken women who this paper will show, were regular attendees at séances given by the many mediums in the area, and were pivotal to the beginnings of a movement that ultimately led to a woman’s right to vote in this country.

Is it coincidental that these two major events in the history of the United States occurred at the very same time? Did women finally find their voices and the strength to use them only after counsel with spirit? Did the readings from the Fox sisters, and readings from other women who found that they also had mediumship qualities give the women of that era the strength to finally stand up for equality in that Victorian male dominated world? Although the women’s uprising in most circles is attributed to ‘Renegade Quakers’, a deeper look reveals that it was indeed spirit communication that played a key role in the unprecedented social change events taking place in the mid to late 1800’s in Upstate New York, and throughout the world.

The United States in the mid to late 1800’s was in cultural and spiritual upheaval after the Second Great Awakening in the early part …

How To Attract Women Using Law Of Attraction – Become A Magnet For Beautiful Women

If you’re looking for the best way on how to attract women using law of attraction then it’s simply aligning your unconscious mind with what you want. In this case it’s to attract beautiful women.

You see our conscious mind is our goal setter but it’s our unconscious mind that is the goal getter.

No matter how much conscious effort you make, it will all be in vain if you are not unconsciously congruent in your desire to attract women.

So what we need to do is have the right mindset to attract and pickup women. Our confidence and self-esteem need to be at the right amount necessary to take action when required and any self-limiting beliefs and fears need to be vanquished from our unconscious mind.

You see the law of attraction is always working. It is always sending out a constant frequency into the universe based on our habitual thought patterns. It doesn’t matter whether they are positive or negative, ultimately we will reap what we sow.

If you believe that attracting women is hard then that is the frequency you are sending out to the universe and the universe will respond by validating your belief by presenting you with a reality where attracting women is hard for you.

When you understand how to attract women using the law of attraction you’ll be able to effortlessly attract an abundance of women into your life. Picking up girls, approaching women you don’t know and creating sexual tension will all become easier for you if you have the right mindset.

Just imagine if you had the belief that women find you irresistibly sexy. What do you think would be your reality then?

As anything the law of attraction would manifest the reality for you to validate your belief. You will find that women indeed find you irresistibly sexy.

Not only that but because of that belief you would also behave differently around women. You would have more confidence around them and maybe even some cheeky arrogance. You’re fears if you had any would also start to diminish, all because of changing just one unconscious belief.

Beliefs are constant filters of our reality that work an unconscious level to dictate what we will and won’t do. If you believe you can approach a girl and get her number you’ll be ready to take action where as if you don’t believe you can do it you’ll hesitate and be paralyzed by approach anxiety.

In order to install a new empowering belief to harness the law of attract to attract women, you need to clear the old self-limiting belief first.…