Advantages of Federalism Federalism is a legal and political concept suggesting that law is best made in a twofold relationship: centrally and locally. Operative in many nations around the world under many different guises, federalism is centred on the principle that locality is key to effective governance. It holds that by making laws at a local level, the legislators can take advantage of local knowledge and opinion, whilst also lightening the load centrally for governance on the wider ranging issues. This is not only bureaucratically significant, but also politically in the sense that those in power through the majority of local areas will surely assume power overall, thus creating fairer representation. Ultimately, in theory, federalism satisfies the will of the people more accurately than a purely central system of governance, which is one of the many reasons it has become so popular in recent years. In this article, we will discuss the main advantages of federalism as a legal order, and look at the main reasons for its growing popularity and strength across the world. The first argument put forward for a federalist legal order is that a central government is too cumbersome when it comes to legislating over region specific matters. Take the United Kingdom, for an example. The UK government in London was often required to legislate on agricultural and fisheries matters that related to issues over 1,000 miles away in the North of Scotland. In this scenario, it would be unrealistic to expect the central government to have the requisite local knowledge and understanding required to make an effective decision for the prosperity of the region. In this sense, it is argued that a federalist legal order is more desirable, on the basis of making 'small time' decisions that affect specific localities with which it is acquainted. This has proven to be one of the strongest features of the federalist system, which largely relates to local people and their specific needs, and engages in political and legal decision making 'closer to home'. Another very strong argument in favour of federalism is the fairer representation afforded by local and regional government. Again, the UK provides a fine example of how this would work in practice. Broadly speaking, the UK is divided into a left wing political party (Labour) and a right wing political party (Conservative). The Conservative party have a strong hold over the South East of England, which makes up a sizeable proportion of the population although covers limited geography. Labour have a traditional stronghold in Scotland which accounts for one third of the land mass but only one tenth of the population. In this sense, federalism would provide a fairer system of representation by allowing regional governance that could account more easily for local tastes and opinions and provide an altogether more representative picture of the nations political favour. On top of these reasons, federalism lightens the load as respects central parliamentary time, freeing up national level politicians to consider more strategic rather than operational matters. This frees up resources and streamlines the process overall, although it does bring with it the complexities of an additional layer of authority. However, provided the legal system is well structured and defined in a codified form, federalism can make for more efficient governance and an overall fairer political and legal system, as well as bringing a host of other governmental and internal benefits to the table. Federalism has grown in popularity over the last century or so, and this is largely down to its particular successes throughout the world. Much the creation of academic thinking and commentary, federalism brings about a system of governance that keeps the people happy, promotes local affairs, and leads to significantly more favourable governance nationwide. For these reasons, it is quickly becoming the favoured method of government worldwide, and has been adopted in centralist countries and larger regions alike to promote and maintain the diversity necessary for effective regulation at a national level. Word Count 659
Alienation of Assets In commercial terms, the world revolves around insolvency. Insolvency is the process whereby one's entire patrimony (i. e. the totality of one's assets) is liquidated in order to satisfy his total debts that have grown beyond his means. Insolvency procedures are problematic in that they mean liquidation of personal assets such as one's home and one's car. Unfortunately there are few ways to avoid insolvency, which most normally occurs through poor judgement or 'bad luck'. Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which the potential implications of insolvency procedures can be minimised to prevent loss of assets. For the lay-man, this can involve certain minor legal procedures which could ultimately save a fortune. For creditors, this can be particularly bad news. In this article we will look at entirely legal ways in which you can potentially avoid losing assets in insolvency procedures. If you are running a small business, or likely to do so in the next decade, you must act on the following immediately to protect your assets. Alternatively, if you foresee yourself amassing significant unsecured debt in the coming years, you should also act similarly. Allowing a ten year margin, which might seem a lot, will prevent any challenges on sequestration and ensure that the assets you have 'alienated' no longer form part of your estate. The alienation ensures that the assets from which you will still benefit cannot be received by your creditors in consideration for any debts you accrue. The first thing to consider is incorporating a limited liability company, or indeed several, within which to house your business operations. Conducting your business through a company may mean more paperwork, but it also removes you personally from any liability. Of course, your company can still be liquidated, but we will look at ways to avoid losing your business assets shortly. If you choose not to run through a corporate body, there are still ways in which you can minimise the potential for losing your assets. The biggest and most valuable asset most of us will own is our home. It shouldn't come as any surprise that this is the number one target for many creditors. If you are married or living with a partner, there is no way you should ever lose your house in insolvency proceedings. Provided you allow sufficient time (i. e. 10 years), you can transfer ownership to your partner, thus the asset no longer belongs to you. You can then by agreement negotiate with your partner to continue living in the house, which for most will be a mere formality. At the end of the day, you no longer legally own the house, but functionally nothing has changed. Alternatively, you could assign your property by creating a trust in which you and your partner are the beneficiaries. All you need is to involve a third party (potentially even your partner) as trustee, before you will have alienated the asset. Again, functionally, you still live in the house, and it is still your home. The only difference is creditors can't touch it should the worst happen. If you choose to run a through a limited company, your first step should be to establish at least one other company, which will act as a holding company. The holding company should then be made owner of all business assets, before effectively leasing back to the other company. The effect of this is theoretical. You own both companies, you own the assets, but should creditors attempt to attack your primary trading company, there will be no chance of losing your business assets. The leasing agreement between the two companies will also be theoretical, and will only require minor accounting procedures to grant legal validity. Provided you ensure your holding company avoids debt, there should be no problem in alienating your entire business patrimony. There are a number of ways in which you can avoid potentially losing your assets in insolvency. Why not consult a specialist legal adviser for further information specific to your jurisdiction to help ensure total protection of your entire means. Word Count 677
Animal Control In America today, there are states that are actively pushing pet owners to be controlled by law. States such as California are enacting laws in which pet owners are forced to spay or neuter their pets. This is something that many are talking about as the answer to the pet over population problems. Is this truly the answer? Many prominent breeders are upset by this attempt to control the rights of individual pet lovers. What is the correct answer? Should the states be allowed to force individual pet owners to do this? What about the puppy mills that are operated in states all across the country, why is something not done to shut them down, rather than force individual breeders to have their breeding stock spayed and neutered. Many do not realize that the sport of dog showing requires a dog in the show ring to still be intact; any sexually altered dogs are immediately disqualified from competition This essentially means, the sport of dog showing in California and other states following in their path is stopped. The dogs in the state would be required to be fixed, with residents in the state either fixing their dogs, or a flux of residents would be moving from California and other cities with the same philosophy. Is this really the solution to the over population problem? Most cities have many unwanted animals in the pet shelters, yet there is always a fresh batch of animals coming in daily, therefore it is evident that some remedial action is required to solve the problem. However, as a nation of animal lovers, this seems hard to reconcile with the general opinion of society. How do we solve this problem? Perhaps the answer is more low cost spay and neuter programs, offer this at a greatly reduced rate, or even free to residents of towns so that animals can be easily fixed that are not intended for breeding. While this would be an expensive venture, it could easily cost less and do more good for the over population problem than requiring all pets be neutered and spayed. Some states are even looking to limit the number of pets that are allowed to be housed. The limit is typically two dogs, with all other dogs forced to be rehomed to other homes. This leaves the problem of owners being forced to give away dogs to homes that may not be able to handle, care, or ensure proper medical care. Is this too far for the states to interfere in the rights of pet owners? To what extent should the government intervene in the way in which we treat our animals? When did the issue of pets become the business of the government and states? While there are leash laws, they are intended for the safety of the pets, as well as the protection of society in general. This is a law that was enacted by the states, which while it does limit the movements of pets it has good intentions that are actually plausible and rectifiable. The required neuter and spay is something that can cause harm to a person's livelihood, as well as disqualify a dog from the show ring that could have otherwise been a champion dog. Is this the state's place to do so? How far is too far before determining that the states have no right to tamper and meddle with the animals that are owned and properly cared for. Should individuals who seek proper medical care for their pets be penalized? Is this something that should have ever been brought up in the states as a requirement for all pet owners? The issue of pet control is certainly hot at the moment, and it will be interesting to see the development of these issues in the coming months, years and decades as implemented measures are observed and their results monitored. Word Count 650
Children and Violence How far does violence extend, how do we determine exactly who is responsible for the violence that children are seeing on television and in music. What about video games, who is taking the responsibility for the violence and awful things that, are occurring right before the eyes of the youth today. Many politicians are looking to eagerly blame the media and entertainment industry. Is that the correct place to lay the blame? Perhaps parents are the people ultimately to blame. More parents today than ever before are working longer hours just to stay afloat financially. This alone results in phenomenal numbers of children being left with a television as the babysitter in charge of teaching right from wrong. How does a child learn the difference between right and wrong, when their parents are nowhere to be found? Where does the parents' responsibility to parent a child and the governments' right to parent a child merge? Does the government even have a right to parent children? Should the government be allowed to determine what is appropriate for all children to watch, or should that be ultimately left up to the parents to decide on their own? There have been television shows, movies, musical artists, and even books banned because the government does not approve. Where is the line drawn in who controls what the children are watching? Is it really up to the parents, or is it left to the children to decide on their own? When did parents lose the ability to control what their child watches, and when did the parent become subject to the child's own opinion? While some advances in technology have been wonderful, there is also much effort by the government to control what a parent does with their own child, and it is this more than anything that has caused controversy on a civil liberties basis. There have been several inventions and developments that are able to help parents monitor their children; from the v-chip to programs that log instant messenger programs. These developments are great for the parents looking to monitor their child themselves, but what about the music industry. Most parents are constantly told that the violence their child is exposed to is the fault of the music industry. The blame is placed on the singers and producers for releasing the music. Much blame is placed everywhere but the parents for taking responsibility for their own children and determining what is best for them. With politicians attempting to punish some area of the entertainment industry each time a national tragedy occurs, it puts a major crimp on the ability of parents to decide for themselves what is acceptable for their child and what is not. Many are left to allow their child to choose from the options that are left, once the government has omitted the choices that are bad. Is this censorship, or helping raise children? Many seem to think it leans heavily towards censorship, a place the governments should not be treading. Many others tend to feel that it should be a high priority of the government to protect everyone from something that can potentially be bad, without even giving people the option to make their own decisions. The issue as to what extent the government should intervene with the way in which we live our lives is hotly contested, and it works in a much larger circle than just the control of our children. Should the government take a step back, and allow society to use its freedoms and powers for self regulation, or is there a need for intervention to ensure the greater good and justice for the welfare of society as a whole? For the time being, it seems as though the most pragmatic approach relates somewhere in the middle, although it will be interesting to see developments in this area over the coming years. Word Count 650
Conservative vs. Liberal Many people do not really understand the difference between a conservative and a liberal. How do you really know which side of the spectrum you fall on? In this article, we are going to explain some of the differences, so that as political figures are discussing conservative and liberal ideals you know exactly what is going on. The first side of the issue is the conservative side. The conservatives tends to want to preserve things they way they are, for example they dislike change, and do not want things to change in the way the country is run, how people come into power, and how civil rights are handed out. Conservatives appreciate in real terms the importance of building and maintaining the economy to the benefit of society as a whole. Many conservatives are also considered to appreciate having an exclusive inner circle that controls the entire country, although in mainstream politics this is rarely a salient feature. Many conservatives also live by the ideals that institutions that have been successful rather than dwelling on mistakes. This has the effect of working towards improvement in efficiency, which is another key factor of Conservative thought. Many conservatives do not think technology is our friend; they feel that technology should not be a part of government standards and ideas based on the inefficiency it brings. Many conservatives are also very cautious people, which is reflected in the opinions and decisions of their politics. Liberals on the other hand are very much different. Most liberals are very open to change, almost to a fault; they do not mind the ideas of change as long as it is for a perceived good cause, even where there is no practical utilitarian upshot. Liberals tend to be willing to take more risks than most conservatives are in the whimsical pursuit of change. Most liberals are also very tolerant of behavior different from their own, as well as they are willing to open their minds to new ideas and concepts easier than the conservative counterparts. Liberals also like to push for change without necessarily having a justification for their actions. Liberals tend to be very progressively thinking people, whom are quite open to the new ideas of technology in terms of normal daily life, as well as in the role of assisting the government in managing the country to the best of our ability. However, their emphasis on extreme individual freedom means a more distant form of governance that leaves society to regulate itself without much intervention. This has led to numerous political and social problems for liberal governments across the world. While there are some major differences in the two sides, there are also many people who fall somewhere in the middle. Many people are able to pull their comfort zone from taking pieces of each side. While some people are hesitant of change, they are able to accept change in order to make things better for everyone. For example, women's rights were the result of change. Many conservatives were against the ideals of women being allowed to vote. On the flip side, some liberals are in favor of the legalization of drugs, and are wholeheartedly against government regulation in the way we live our lives. While there are many differences in the ideals of the two groups, there is also a bond that forges from each side being determined to make life the best possible for the people in the areas with which they are concerned. Neither side sets out to hurt the other side, nor the people they are responsible for helping. There are times when the goals of both sides do come together nicely and result in wonderful progress for our cities, nation, and country as a whole. Looking to the future, we can expect both sides to continue to change and progress as things change and the future becomes reality. Word Count 651
Contract Formation Contract law is one of the most important area of the law that affects us all in our daily lives. Although we seldom sign a written document, we go into shops daily, we travel on public transport, we park in parking lots - these are largely all contracts into which we bind ourselves to terms and conditions. We may not be strictly aware of it, but we all participate in contractual obligations on both sides of the fence every single day. It is therefore no surprise that the issue of when exactly a contract is formed is of the utmost importance in regulating commerce and life as a consumer. Furthermore, how can we enforce our contracts, and what rights do we have under these contracts that we agree to almost subliminally day in day out. In this article, we will look at some of the key issues surrounding contract formation, and general principles of the law on contract, which govern transactions we experience in our daily lives. In general laymen's terms, we think of a contract as a detailed written document, and we understand that when we sign that dotted line, there's no turning back. Actually, that's a myth. Of course, there is definitely the possibility of receiving a written contract to sign, and indeed this would be legally binding. However there is a very real possibility of being legally bound to a contract that you don't even realise exists. A contract can be formed by way of simply verbally saying you agree to buy some item. That is sufficient to bind you in law for most transactions, and on that basis it would be perfectly feasible to found a claim for breach. Of course, the difficulty then arises in proving what was said, which is why in practical terms more often than not a written document is used for transactions of a substantial nature. This avoids the problem of frivolous claims as to who said what and when such and such a term was agreed, which can lead to complications and lead to lengthy litigation Contracts are generally formed at the concurrence of offer and acceptance. That means when you make an offer to buy something, and it is accepted by the seller, that then forms a contract between the two respective parties to the effect of ownership will be transferred upon receipt of payment in consideration. Usually all the vital terms of a contract will be stipulated previously, although many are implied in everyday situations, such as buying a newspaper or train ticket. These terms would also be given practical effect by the court where it would be necessary to found a legal action, which is why they largely go unstipulated. Additionally, the fact that very little litigation arises from these scenarios is another good reason for the lack of clarity necessary in small time contracts. However, when it comes to more complex agreements, best practice dictates that writing is always essential to avoid problematic legal action. Contract formation is critical, perhaps not so much on a small scale but almost certainly on a large scale with commercial property transactions and the like forming a fundamental part of commerce. It is therefore pivotal that each jurisdiction develops its own considerations of precisely when a contract is made, in order to establish a pragmatic way to resolve disputes. Naturally it is also important to maintain a cohesive structure to the law to ensure legal certainty, particularly in an area such as contract which is so vital to the success and growth of the economy, and which regulates such a large quantity of money. By ensuing standard and structure, internally at least, it is possible to give the economy a fighting chance. It is also in the best interests of everyone to harmonise laws with those of their trading partners, to ensure smoother transactions for the benefit of the economy on a wider scale. Word Count 665
Criminalizing Attempted Crimes The criminal law is designed with a view to protecting the individual rights of the citizen and the health and well being of society as a cohesive unit. In this regard, it is responsible for setting the parameters of social conduct, and for ensuring consistent application of principle and doctrine across the board. One of the most controversial areas of the criminal law is undoubtedly its role in penalising criminal attempts. When one attempts criminal behaviour but does not complete it, should that person still be liable as a matter of public policy? What if a prospective criminal stops a second from shooting their victim, deciding not to follow through their criminal intent? Furthermore, should a criminal be penalised for trying to commit a crime that is factually impossible? In this article, we will consider each of these arguments and look at possible ways in which they could be more effective treated. Criminal law usually concerns itself with punishing those who have committed wrongs against the person or against society, and this is generally very effective in ensuring a sense of lawful community and deterring the bulk of criminals in their actions. However, one of the most pertinent questions most legal systems face is when, if at all, to intervene in perfectly legal behaviour in aid to stop a crime from happening? Consider the example of a gunman looking to murder a close friend. He buys a firearm. Is he arrested at this point for attempted murder? He goes to a hill near his friend's house with the gun. Here? He takes aim and begins to squeeze the trigger? How about now? It is very tough to interpret the most advantageous point to intervene in potentially criminal behaviour. On one hand there is the threat of encroaching on civil liberties, whilst on the other there is an obvious threat to life and life, as well as property. Drawing the line has been particularly hard in recent times, and has caused government draftsmen a number of headaches in interpreting what the law should be. Consider next the scenario of the thief stealing from an empty pocket. Mentally and physically he has committed sufficient acts to be convicted of the crime, but simply because there was no wallet to be stolen, should he walk free? Because there was no wallet, he could never be convicted of theft, but should he be liable in attempt? The answer in most jurisdictions is yes, but again this presents further complications. Say for example, you have a would-be drug dealer who buys a quantity of paracetamol. He sells these in the mistaken belief they are illegal - he could never be convicted of supplying controlled drugs, but could he be convicted on the grounds of his attempts? Most jurisdictions again say yes, with the rationale that dangerous people should be stopped in their tracks. Although a fair point, this kind of argument does not sit well in a modern context, particularly where civil liberties and human rights play such a big role in law internationally. Additionally, the concept of abandonment is somewhat of a mixed bag, with some countries swinging one way and others another. Should the accused be allowed to drop his gun at the last minute and decide not to kill on this occasion? Alternatively, is the fact that he considered and made steps towards perpetrating a serious crime sufficient to attract liability and attribute blame? Courts across the world are intensely divided over this issue, even internally, given its particular conundrum in context. What is certain is that the criminal law may feel obliged to intervene in certain circumstances to prevent harm to their citizen, which would surely be a significant consideration in mitigation for wrongful arrest. The concept of the law of attempts is highly interesting, and of particular note is the specific treatment across the world of both abandonment and illegality. Perhaps in an era of greater harmonisation, we will see more international authority on the application of these principles. Word Count 671
Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign Who knew that the 2008 election would have the Democrats swinging two mighty powerful punches in such a short time frame? As a woman poised to run for the ascending Democrats, Hillary stands a chance of actually winning. Is that the scary part, or is the scary part that she is running against the first black man to actually stand a chance of winning? Clinton has hit the campaign trail hot and heavy working on building up her bank account for primary expenses and is busily planning her campaign. People are left to wonder is Hillary Rodham Clinton going to be the first female president of the United States? She has already lived in the White House before, and is fairly familiar with the job, but is the sting of having two members of the Bush family so close together going to be a bit too much for voters to tolerate with the Clinton family? As a freshman, Senator Clinton made a very powerful impression and has performed particularly well for the state of New York. Will Hillary be able to maintain this momentum through the election? Moreover, will she garner enough support from within her own party to take the victory she so truly desires? How well she can really perform as a President is the bigger question, and one which surely only time could answer. While being a Senator and the President are both high profile jobs, is the nation ready to open their hearts, and minds, to a female President? The country being led by a woman could be a huge step forward in women's rights, yet that is a gigantic step that this country may not be quite ready for. With women pulling more jobs of power each year, females are rising to the top of their game, proving they are just as capable and competent as their male counterparts. Stop and think, while the nation is poised to see a female running for President, how many other candidates names truly come to mind? Very few, for the typical American. Hillary is a household name, who made a name for herself after stepping up to the plate to be a very involved First Lady who held her head high even with her personal life in chaos. Many Americans understand and appreciate how well she managed to pull herself together and still set a stellar example for this country. Her composure and rational approach has won her the utmost respect nationwide, which will undoubtedly contribute towards her performance next time around. From the women previously in the White House, Hillary is truly one of the more rememorable. Barbara Bush and Hillary both made a point of going out into the public, while the current Mrs. Bush, Laura tends to hide more from the public eye. The number of times Laura has been out in public is minimal compared to the two former First Ladies who have graced the White House. If we stop and look, America tends to be a much happier country when the First Lady is actively involved and makes herself well known. Both politically and economically, the presence of a solid First Lady has a very positive impact on American society. Consider as well, Hillary is the first First Lady of the United States who has run for a public office and been elected. Consider this a major feat for the women of the country, add to that the fact that Mrs. Clinton has managed to be the first female Senator to be elected in New York and you have a very busy woman who loves the spotlight. Should America be running scared, or standing tall as the events unfold? Only time can tell for sure, but when dealing with the first Former First Lady to make a political name for herself, it is sure to be a very interesting election. Word Count 651
Human Rights vs Civil Liberties in Europe One of the most defining legal motions of the last hundred years on a worldwide scale is the European Convention on Human Rights, which imposed for the first time a codified standard of behaviour that all signatories must meet. Although the document is referred to in a specifically European context, it is truly important throughout the world as a clear guideline for reference to matters on human rights. But what about before the Convention - what were the protections for the citizen against encroachment from the authorities, and what recourse was there for grievances? In this article we will look at the position of many European countries prior to the Convention and after, to highlight the change in legal position for the average citizen. The European Convention of Human Rights codified a number of key human rights principles which were required to be satisfied by those that ratified it at law. For monitoring the behaviour of the signatories, a European Court was established to hear grievances against member states, with the ability to air problems and effectively embarrass nations into compliance. Since its inception, the court has been exceptionally successful in enforcing the provisions within the convention. No one member state wants the embarrassment of a public trial, and therefore they bend over backwards to accommodate for the needs of the Convention. Has it worked? Well it has certainly massively overhauled the nature of private, criminal and public in almost every regard and this has lead to widespread disruption. However, it looks almost undoubted that the European Convention on Human Rights is having a positive effect on the rights of the citizens across Europe, including in the wealthier nations. Take the United Kingdom for example. Prior to the European Convention on Human Rights, it was quite possible to detain a suspected criminal without judicial involvement - i. e. people could be deprived of their liberty almost indefinitely with no possible legal intervention. This meant people didn't have to be told why they were being detained, and had no right to put forward a case to an impartial justice, reserved until the prosecutors decided to step in, and had enough evidence to do so. For a country that boasts one of the world's strongest economies, and with a very high GDP, this is a shocking proposition, and one which has been remedied since the introduction in law of the European Convention. The Convention has been loved and reviled in equal measures, and although it's had some tough challenges throughout its life span, it is slowly but surely changing the position for the citizen. For the prospect European Union member state, it is an essential minimum, meaning those on the fringes of European recognition are striving with great result to meet the targets. The larger, more developed nations are keeping on their toes and learning that they can't do as they please, and the European Court is making sure of that. Prior to the Convention, it was up to the people to rely on the provisions within their constitution for the protection of their rights, and this was very much a 'luck of the draw' scenario. Some countries had excellent provisions, like Germany, where as others like the UK had abysmal records, mainly down to their lack of fundamental freedoms for the citizen. Since the introduction and ratification of the Convention, these countries have all levelled upwards to create an environment that is ideal for the citizen, and aims to protect his rights whilst also protecting the interests of the state and the public at large. The European Convention on Human Rights has certainly come along way, and it has brought the entirety of Europe, even those on the margins, together in a bid to improve living conditions and basic human rights for the ordinary citizen in the street. As the decades come and go, only time will tell how effective it will end up, although from initial projections it is looking to have a positive impact for the people of Europe. Word Count 674
Hybrid Cars Earth Day occurs each year, and is the one day that everyone across the country tries his or her best to help save the planet. Although it's only one day in the year, that one day can and does go some way towards changing attitudes and opinions to the environment and to the way in which we can minimize our impact and our carbon footprint. Each year, several stores give away "green" products that help conserve energy and almost every major corporation around decides to air commercials urging the residents of the world to reduce the amount of energy consumed. While these celebrations are occurring all around the world, people are looking for more ways to make a permanent impact for the good to save the planet. Each year, millions of cars are manufactured. These additional cars add more smog to the air, as they continue to use outdated petrol engines and burn fossil fuels. With all of the additional cars that are produced each year, there is also a surge in the number of hybrid vehicles, which is leading to a revolution in the car market as more and more buyers turn to more environmentally appropriate methods of getting from A to B. Each year this surge in hybrid vehicles provides more drivers with the opportunity to do their part at cleaning up the environment. While the ability to help reduce the amount of smog in the atmosphere is always a great incentive, the cost of the vehicles is also quite prohibitive for the average car purchaser. The government is already well know for dabbling into the mortgage industry by offering home mortgages that are insured by the government at special reduced rates to help families qualify to own their own homes. If the government branched this idea of thinking to the automotive industry imaging the results that could be realized in a few short years, with increased production capacities of these greener vehicles ultimately leading to less pollution and less damage to our environment. For example, the way the government mortgages work now, the home purchased must be within a certain price range, and meet certain guidelines. If a similar program was developed that offered special discounts in financing charges for those consumers looking to purchase a hybrid vehicle, it would inevitably make the purchase more affordable and more desirable for families on tight budgets and looking to improve the environment at the same time. The government would be able to insure the vehicle loans, which would reduce the expenses, associated with purchasing the vehicle, and make it much more affordable for a larger majority of drivers. With programs looking to assist those in purchasing more environmentally friendly vehicles, it would make the dream of car ownership more affordable for many. By helping consumers purchase more energy efficient vehicles, there is a reduction in the amount of gasoline and oil consumed, as well as a decrease in the number of vehicles that are adding to the pollution problem. To assist the program in starting it would be possible for the government to decide upon one specific day when the government subsidized loans for hybrid vehicles. Assuming the program is successful, which there is no reason to suggest wouldn't be the case, then the government could expand the program to help more consumers purchase environmentally friendly vehicles, as well as help preserve the planet one car at a time. Many people do not realize how long it takes to make up the difference in the expenses between a hybrid car, and the price of gas. If often takes driving a hybrid car for 5 years or more in order to be able to break-even on the expense of the hybrid car, but by using subsidies we can help what is already a dire situation and start to actually improve the environment in which we live. By using government-sponsored programs to help reduce interest rates, it would be possible to realize savings sooner. Word Count 665
Internet and Politics In the past, political figures relied upon the news in the form of television stations and even newspapers to release information to the public, i. e. direct to the electorate. Now with the invention of the internet, more political figures are releasing their own information. How does this affect the release of information? Does this add to the impact of law and government on society, or is this merely a direct root to brainwashing the public. Furthermore, is it good to use political figures time releasing information when they should be enacting change? In this article we will look at the relationship between the internet and politics, and whether the move towards more accessibility and greater personal accounting is beneficial to democracy and government. The correct answers are never easy to find, however with some work, analysis and thought it is possible to come up with the right answer. The right answer is there is no answer - isn't that horrific. Each politician has different means of how comfortable they are on the internet. Using the internet has allowed some to maintain a closer proximity to the people they represent, while others have used it as a means to avoid personal contact with the people. Either way, the Internet is obviously a powerful campaigning tool, and most politicians seemed to have realized and utilized this within their own campaigns. Many politicians are taking the internet and using it as a means of keeping a continuous stream of contact with the media, the people they represent, and everyone else. The internet has allowed the political figures who use it the ability to quickly communicate with everyone whenever important information is available. This makes them more accessible to the ordinary man in the street, which has never been possible through any other medium in the past. Using the internet to communicate directly with people has improved the accuracy of the information that comes down in the political reigns. Being assured of accurate information is why many prefer to receive the information directly from the lawmakers whom they elected. Many times, it is possible to find the information in more detail online, and with less hassle and false facts. Couple the increased communication with the fact that each day, millions log onto the internet and it makes it the perfect place for candidates to hone their campaign skills to help increase their visual image in the public eye. Most voters want a political figure they can find easily so they are able to do research to find the candidate that they truly believe in without spending hours doing research. Furthermore, the internet allows politicians to point their campaigns directly at a completely new demographic that had never before been tapped into. This is unleashing a whole new generation of voters eager to make the difference, which is working wonders for the politicians involved, and of course their savvy communications managers. Many voters have embraced the idea of being able to show support for their political parties from the comforts of their home over the internet. Politicians are also enjoying the ability to quickly communicate and using various social websites as well as the websites for their offices to keep a good flow of communication open with voters. With everything compiled it is a wonderful age, where the internet is able to bring politicians and voters much closer together, while still allowing the politicians to be in Washington, or where their office is performing their job. With the ease of the internet, politicians are able to communicate with the public from anywhere, giving them more time to communicate greater amounts of information to the public, as well as be able to gather feedback from the public in regards to the wishes of the majority. Overall, it is a wonderful time and a wonderful addition to the political world since the invent of the internet. Word Count 652
National Budget When the Senators, Congress people, and President all gather around to start discussing issues of the budget, many people get worried. One of the biggest worries is that taxes will rise, and there will still be a deficit. This worry is fueled each year, because as the inflation rate rises, the money must come from somewhere to fund everything that is necessary for the government to function. Some are questioning how rational some of the spending is however. Many departments could use a serious slim down, while other departments desperately need more money. While the defense of the nation is very important, many question why schools and education are not given a larger portion of the budget so that proper job training can be administered. This would enable students to graduate with a better understanding of the career world into more graduate-centric employment opportunities, such as those within the services sector. Funding the budget is obviously never easy, but with taxes getting higher each year, there is nothing being done to increase the minimum wage at the national level. Many citizens are left to stress over how they can possibly continue to pay their tax bill each year, still have enough money to live, and be able to take care of their families. The budget crunch that many families face every day is very similar to the task of the politicians in dealing with the national budget, except it is the people on the front line facing the toughest decisions and fighting their daily battle. Each year the department heads all gather together to bring their budget requests in. They come with ideas of improving their departments and asking for more money. The idea is that other departments can have some items cut from their expenses. This is a decent concept, however dollar for dollar the government really does not do a good job of managing money very well. Given that there are so many conflicting interests and political pressures, it is difficult to understand the logic behind some of the decisions made in relation to the budget. If a business managed money the same way the government does, they would have gone bankrupt many years ago and been forced out of business, with the directors prosecuted for wrongful trading. This is directly the result of much wasted spending that is sliding into the budget each year. NASA, for example has spent thousands, upon thousands of dollars developing a pen that will write in space. The idea of a pencil never crossed their minds. The money spent developing a pen that is rarely used could have been better spent in training teachers so that students were receiving the education and materials they need. Arguably, the idea of funding space exploration at a time when there is a budget deficit is also irrational; surely this money would be better spent elsewhere until we manage to pull ourselves from the red? There are numerous cases and examples of money wasted throughout our public sector. There are also just as many examples of departments forced to cut corners and skip necessary tasks, needs and maintenance, or putting essential work back until the next budget is announced, because it is not in the budget at a price they can afford. There is always a hope that at some point in the near future that the United States will manage to pull out from under the deficit that it has created and restore itself to having a surplus budget. It will take time, effort and a great deal of belt tightening to get there. Nevertheless, it will happen at some point. Frivolous spending can only last so long before coming to a halt, at which point we can start to increase our surplus to the benefit of our national and local public services, before finally seeing the lowering of taxes that we s disparately need. Word Count 652
Online Legality The Internet is the most important social and economic change since the development of currency and the organisation of civilisation as we know it, and it has certainly has a profound effect on our everyday lives. The Internet is the home of many of our businesses, a vital channel for communication with loved ones, and one of the most important knowledge resources the world has ever known. If you're doing business online, just like the offline environment, it is imperative that you operate within and understand the law in your area. Not only does this avoid potential problems, but it also ensures the smooth running of business and trade. In this article we will look at certain fundamental issues when doing business online, and how they can be effective in determining how we run our online operations with a view to profit. Online businesses almost always operate through websites of their own, which brings in a number of pertinent legal issues. Primarily, the consideration of what is allowed to be published should be forefront in the mind of the webmaster. As a general rule, only very 'inappropriate' material would be considered invalid online, such as certain categories of pornography and terrorist information. Of course, the Internet is heralded as the one true bastion of free speech, which is somewhat of an exaggeration. It is, however, important to remember that by and large the majority of content on the internet isn't policed which is a good thing and a negative thing in equal measure. Secondly the issue of copyright will obviously play a big part. How can I protect my website from information theft? This is proving to be an extreme problem for the music industry, currently losing billions of dollars in lost sales through P2P file sharing programmes. At present there is very little that can be done at large to protect online content, other than pursuing a course of legal action against every violator. It is suggested that a move towards internet copyright policing would be very welcomed. Next, there is the issue of online business, at the very heart of which is the issue of getting paid for the work you do. How can one ensure he will get paid for the goods, or indeed receive the goods he has paid for? Services like Escrow have proven to be very successful in helping this situation although there is no real measure in place to avoid scammers and rip-off merchants from plying their trade. As such, this has become a major plague on the internet, and has resulted in numerous small businesses going under and private individuals losing money. This is primarily as a consequence of unscrupulous traders, although there are also those plain fraudsters that simply pursue fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, at present, it can be very hard to distinguish between the two, which is frankly giving the Internet a bad name Furthermore the issue of online litigation comes into play when issues of contract and copyright violation are raised. Unfortunately again there is seldom much that can be done cross border, which makes this type of transacting all the more risky. In spite of this, the Internet is still one of the most invaluable sources we have, and still an essential for modern business. Businesses that aren't online simply fade away to competition that is more technology savvy, as customers become more and more virtual. Likewise, those that market online are seeing greater returns on advertising spend through targeted marketing, which is boosting business offline as well as on. The law of the internet is without a doubt one of the most important issues facing the net at this time, and one which looks set to dominate the agenda in the coming years. With the development of more comprehensive controls and regulations, the Internet looks set to only grow from strength to strength in the B2B and B2C markets. Word Count 653
Parole - Should it be Used? For those who do not know, parole is a program that is used to allow criminal offenders early release from the prison system. It is designed to reflect prolonged periods of 'good behavior' and reform and rehabilitation, although it has come under a great deal of criticism at many different levels for allowing criminals to roam free before serving their time. Parolee's are not given a free pass into public however; a parole officer monitors them at all times during their free time to ensure their behavior is appropriate and to ensure no further criminal activity is being undertaken. The parole officer is essence acts as the guards did in prison monitoring the behavior and movements of the offenders, with the difference being that the offender is allowed to integrate back into society on a graduated basis to avoid the chance of reoffending and any potential danger to the public.
In this article, we will look at some of the key arguments for and against parole as a method of rehabilitating and reintegrating prisoners back into society. Some argue that releasing inmates early is a hazard to the safety of society. Others argue that there should be stricter guidelines in place to determine, who is eligible for parole.
This has been a very touchy issue with several states in setting up specific guidelines that determine parole eligibility. Many victims are upset to find out that their attacker is eligible for parole; this causes great stress to the victims who were already attacked once and now feels as if they are being attacked again. Although this is clearly an understandable situation, it is also naturally important to consider the rights of the prisoner, and to reflect true reform and rehabilitation in a steady and progressive manner, thus ensuring they manage to find their way back into society after serving time without facing too many problems.
Many states toss the responsibility of the parole board between the District Attorney's office, the Corrections Department, and the Judicial Department. Each department handles the topic of parole quite differently. They each tend to have different standards of what is acceptable eligibility, and what is not. What happens is many times someone is released onto parole that should have never been permitted release.
How does the release off offenders who are not parole material affect society? It tends to affect society by being directly responsible for rises in crime rates. Many of those who are released onto parole are people who society as a whole should be protected from. Many wonder, how do dangerous people actually manage to be granted parole. Many do not realize that sometimes there is no specific criterion for determining parole eligibility.
Some states determine parole eligibility once the prisons are over filled. They start looking to release inmates on parole once they have too many inmates, which means it is not a very careful selection process to select the inmates released. There are some good benefits to parole; such as being able to release inmates who have served the majority of their sentence and show no signs of being repeat offenders. There are many who learned their lessons and emerge from the prisons with a goal of integrating into society and making themselves good standing members of society. Not all parolee's aim to commit crime again, there are some who use the early release as an opportunity to rebuild their lives, and those inmates have learned from their mistakes.
While the ideals of parole are seated in good intentions, there must be better standards of determining eligibility across the country to ensure the safety of society. Society and the inmates must both benefit from the decision to release inmates into the parole programs. With the correct supervision, many inmates make wonderful parole candidates, and the program should continue, but with good supervision, careful screening and a dedicated staff of parole officers. Word Count 655
Prison Reform Many states are faced with a daunting number of inmates who are incarcerated currently for a variety of crimes. Each state is given the responsibility for ensuring the prisons meet federal guidelines in accordance to housing requirements. There are prisons around the country that are housing more inmates than they have the capacity to handle. Who is looking out for the inmates to ensure they are treated humanely in accordance with the constitution? In this article, we will look at some of the key suggestions put forward for reform of the penal system at federal and state level, in addition to analyzing the arguments for both sides in attempting to reach a conclusion that is fair and just for both the victim and the offender, as well as society. There are prisons across the nation that are putting 3 and sometimes as many as 4 inmates into cells that were designed to house only 2. This is a serious danger for health reasons, as well as the safety of the inmates. While inmate safety is a concern, it should be a major cause of concern for guard safety. Guards are monitoring more inmates than they can handle, which cause quickly create very dangerous situations. The guards have a job to do, they are unable to do so if they are watching more inmates than they can handle. States are forced to build more prisons to accommodate the incoming prisoners, which is a wonderful short-term solution. However, longer solutions must be found. With the numbers of inmates in prisons all across the country rising each year, there must be standards put into place to avoid future problems. There are programs, which handle parole, as well as probation, attempting to reintegrate reformed offenders back into society with minimal hassle and fuss, as well as ensuring there is no or as close to no chance of reoffending as is possible. Probation and parole are two alternatives to incarceration. One the one side of the spectrum, there is probation, which defers prisoners away from the prison system and enables them to serve time by reporting to a probation officer. On the other end of the spectrum, is parole. This program is reserved for those offenders who are no longer considered a danger to society. They are given an early release from the prison system, into society. While the addition of programs such as parole and probation are great for the ability to add more jobs in the states, they do require some very careful and precise screening in order to ensure that society is safe. Yet, even with these programs in place, the numbers entering the prison system are steadily rising. The prisons are still overcrowded, and guards are still overworked. Solutions for the long term must be worked out; inmates have a right to be safe, as do the guards in the prisons, whilst the general public at large has a right to know that prisoners are being kept within secure locations for relevant time periods. Each year, with the numbers in prison rising, the problem grows larger. Add to this, that on average 1 prison is issued a closure warning and the problem grows worse. You may wonder, why some prisons are issued closure warnings, these warnings are issued once a prison has been over capacitated for a certain period of time. The federal government's solution to this problem is to close the prison, instead of helping the states solve the problem. This is a wonderful example of why prison reform is necessary to help protect the residents of society, and indeed to protect the offenders housed within for the longer term. As we look towards the future, we can hope to start to see some progress in the way of discussions about the problem, but solutions cannot be seen on the horizon, given the immense financial commitment necessary to build more prisons and investigate alternatives. Word Count 656