Monday, September 30, 2019
Aristotelian philosophy, some two thousand three hundred years old, is perhaps one of the most influential philosophies in history. After being preserved by Arab scholars during the fall of Rome, the teachings of Aristotle were found by Christians during the dark ages. His works, including Nichomachean Ethics, were of great influence to many Christian philosophers during medieval times, but soon philosophies began to shift, marking the conception of the Enlightenment. Philosophy took a drastic shift from predominantly substantive reason to procedural views, markedly seen in works by philosophers St. Augustine, Rene Descartes, and quite notably Immanuel Kant. By comparing the views shared by Aristotle in Nichomachean Ethics, and KantÃ¢â¬â¢s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals it is possible to better understand the shift from substantive to procedural reasoning. Although Aristotelian philosophy and logic shares some common ground with the writings of Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals marks a shift from society and substantive thinking toward the self and procedural reason. Kant believes that each living organism serves a purpose. For example, the highest purpose of a honey bee is undoubtedly to produce honey. Much in the same sense, Kant feels that because humans alone are given the ability to reason that the highest purpose of humanity is to use reason. (Groundwork, Ch. 1, Ln. 50-80) Aristotle would agree with this statement but uses a different logic. Aristotle sees an intrinsic good within every action, as well a hierarchy of goods and actions. Using the logic that any action partaken for the purpose of some greater cause is secondary to the greater cause, Aristotle reasons that for humans, the act of reasoning is of the greatest Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ because all other actions exist only to maintain the ability to reason. (NE, Bk.1 Pg. 1-2) Between these two philosophies, the purpose of human reason differs based on what each philosopher believes to be the function of humanity within society. Aristotle states that because happiness is the ultimate goal of nearly all human actions (especially within what he considers one of the most important realms of humanity: political science) the purpose ofÃ humanity, and thus human reason, is to find happiness. (NE, Bk.1 Pg. 4) Kant, on the other hand, feeling that to succumb to the needs of the body and desires (what he calls heteronomy) is selfish, feels that it is the responsibility of humanity to use its reason to act out of Ã¢â¬Å"good will.Ã¢â¬ (Groundwork, Ch. 1, Ln. 3-5) Exemplifying the procedural nature of KantÃ¢â¬â¢s logic, Kant feels that it is the duty of humanity to act only out of good will by using reason to determine what Kant calls the categorical imperative. Kant defines the categorical imperative as an act of good will which is preformed with no considera tion to the ends, or consequences of an action. (Groundwork, Ch. 2, Ln. 280-300) In the world of Aristotelian philosophy, the only way to truly attain the end goal of happiness is to be virtuous. (NE, Bk.1 Pg. 4) To define virtue Aristotle looks to societyÃ¢â¬â¢s views of an individual. People praise a brave man for being brave and strong man for his ability to run quickly or lift great objects. (NE, Bk.1 Pg. 4) Because of the importance of society within AristotleÃ¢â¬â¢s thinking, he feels that for a person to truly be virtuous, society must perceive desirable characteristics within that person and recognize those characteristics through praise. To illustrate and explain his organization of virtues and what is required of them, Aristotle uses the final paragraph of book one in Nicomachean Ethics: Ã¢â¬Å"Virtue too is distinguished into kinds in accordance with this difference; for we say that some of the virtues are intellectual and others moral, philosophic wisdom and understanding and practical wisdom being intellectual, liberality and temperance moral. For in speaking about a manÃ¢â¬â¢s character we do not say that he is wise or has understanding but that he is good-tempered or temperate; yet we praise the wise man also with respect to his state of mind; and of states of mind we call those which merit praise virtues.Ã¢â¬ -Aristotle, (NE, Book 1, Final Paragraph) Unlike Aristotle, Kant finds goodness not in the views of society, but instead finds goodness by turning inward and looking individual within oneÃ¢â¬â¢s self and their exertion of good will. Kant feels that to express good will, an individual must use what he calls a priori reason. (Groundwork, Ch. 2,Ã Ln. 280-300) A priori reason requires that the individual ignores subjective influences like consequences and circumstances. By focusing on objective means like morality and reason Kant suggests that the individual attempting to exert good will should act in a way that he or she would consider a moral maxim (categorical imperative). Kant thinks we must ignore the norms of society and the way society functions and act only using a priori reason because society inherently cannot function in an a priori fashion. This is because society takes into account its own needs, desires, and calculates the consequences of its own actions while placing all of these things over pure reason and good will. By taking into consideration circumstances and consequences society fails to create universal moral law and thus contradicts its own reasoning because the actions of society are not appropriate in all situations and circumstances. (Groundwork, Ch. 2, Ln. 580-590) Should a man in need of money to buy food borrow money from a lending institution knowing that he will not be able to pay that institution back? Kant argues that that man should not, for if his decision were to become universal law and every man or woman were to borrow money without the intention of paying it back than lending institutions would fail. (Groundwork, Ch. 2, Ln. 590-605) Aristotle, believing that society can teach its citizens to be virtuous (and thus happy), finds that virtues are not found intrinsically within each individual. For a person to be virtuous he must be born to a respectable family, for he were not born into respect then he would never be viewed by society with the same esteem as others. He must also not have any major disfigurations, for these too would lead to a lower value within society. Assuming these conditions are met, the individual may then begin to practice virtuous actions, because through habituation virtuous actions can become the nature of that individual, and that through practice an individual may grow to perform virtuous acts not out of desire to be virtuous, but because he simply enjoys the virtuous acts. Only if the individual finds pleasure in performing virtuous actions may that person be seen as virtuous within the eyes of society, for if pleasure is the end goal of humanity, then surely the enjoyment of virtuous a cts is worthy of praise from society. After outlining and discussing both Kant and AristotleÃ¢â¬â¢s views on the purpose of humanity, its role within society and the moral and ethical consequences to those roles it is clear that KantÃ¢â¬â¢s thinking is representative of enlightenment thinking. Before the Enlightenment AristotleÃ¢â¬â¢s views were widely accepted. During this time it was customary that each person function in a manner accepted by society. Ethics and morality were dictated by social norms. The purpose of reason was seen as the pursuit of pleasure, and through virtue and the practice of virtuous actions reason could allow the individual to attain the end goal of life: happiness. In response to AristotleÃ¢â¬â¢s logic, a shift in thought occurs. This shift, called the Enlightenment, is represented by the belief that only pure reason can lead to true morality. The consequences of this belief is that individuals no longer focused on the norms within society to dictate morality, but to look within themselves to use their own reasoning to dictate what should and should not be done. An example of this thinking can be found in KantÃ¢â¬â¢s beliefs about a priori reason and the categorical imperative. By ignoring consequences within society, as well as the ends attained by each possible action Kant feels each individual can find true moral goodness through pure reason. This type of procedural logic is representative of the moral and ethical Ã¢â¬Å"turn inwardÃ¢â¬ which exemplifies KantÃ¢â¬â¢s philosophy as well as the revolutionary shift thinking that became the basis of the Enlightenment.
Posted by Unknown at 1:03 PM
Sunday, September 29, 2019
In the life of every nation there are certain days which are considered as red-letter days. The Republic Day celebration held on 26th January every year in our country is one of those days. It is perhaps the most important day of our country. It marks the birth of our nation as a republic. Therefore this day is celebrated all over the country with great pomp and show. The origin of Republic day goes back to pre- independence days of 1929, when the Indian National Congress during its Lahore session under the President ship of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru passed a resolution declaring Ã¢â¬ËComplete IndependenceÃ¢â¬â¢ as the goal of the nation and decided to celebrate 26th January every year as the Independence day throughout the length and breadth of the country. From then on till the dawn of independence on Aug. 1947, the nation celebrated 26th Jan. as Independence Day. Later, when India wanted a day to mark its official birth 26th January, the independence day of the pre-independence days was chosen. On this day, 26th Jan. 1950 Indian constitution came into force and India was proclaimed to be a sovereign, democratic and a republicÃ¢â¬â¢ Soldiers from different wings of the armed forces, units of paramilitary and police forces march to the tune of the military band. The President takes the salute. A colourful %-past by helicopters and aeroplanes makes the ceremony most spectacular. Folk dances by cultural troupes and various performances are put up by school children to keep the audience spellbound. The tableaux of states depicting the cultural wonders of the states follow the school children. The procession lasts for several hours and finally ends up at Red Fort. Hundreds of people from far off places come to watch the charming show of military might and national glory. It is a great day for all of us. It is a day of remembrance, thanksgiving, and rejoicing. It is also a day of national pledge when we decided to make our country, sovereign, democratic, and republic. A great deal more remains to be done, to achieve this pledge. It is up to you and me to redeem this pledge and make our nation truly democratic and republic.
Posted by Unknown at 12:30 PM
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Why does the trade union movement, overall, in Australia, support the Labor Party - Essay Example Explaining the reasons behind the dwindling trade union membership, the paper scrutinises changes in the labour market composition, differences in the unionisation rate of certain groups of workers, along with the effects of conservative legislation, anti-union employer activity, relationships with federal government, etc. Finally, the paper details the trade union responses to membership decline, accessing whether those responses have been a success story. Introduction Ellem and Franks (2008), and Griffin (2002) write that trade unionism in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) has not unexpectedly been shaped by their membersÃ¢â¬â¢ prior trade union experience in Britain, given the numerous British migrants who had brought with them the values of their mother country; with the first formal unions having emerged amongst the most skilled employees, such as the Amalgamated Society of Engineers established as overseas branches of the Ã¢â¬ËparentÃ¢â¬â¢ union in Great Britain (Sh eridan, 1975, as cited in Griffin, 2002). ItÃ¢â¬â¢s also noteworthy that the first unions had been town-based; having experienced rapid growth during the roaring twenties and the post-war decade, as well as being on the wane during the Great Depression and the Ã¢â¬ËswingingÃ¢â¬â¢ sixties, the trade unions flourished in Australia over most of the twentieth century Ã¢â¬â with at least two out of every five workers being members of a union. The then trade unionsÃ¢â¬â¢ status and power are considered to have been derived from the centralised conciliation and arbitration system first introduced in 1904 with the Conciliation and Arbitration Act (Svensen, Small, Griffin, n.d.). Due to the significant benefits promised, and consequently delivered by the new industrial relations system, like employerÃ¢â¬â¢s recognition, legally enforceable minimum wages, working conditions, etc., the Australian trade unions enjoyed remarkable ease in achieving their goals, following a descending hierarchy of arbitral, political, and industrial strategies, in contrast to other countries. Thus, in many cases, Australian unions are considered to have won their battles on bureaucratic battleground, rather than on the industrial one, to a degree that made some commentators to argue whether the title Ã¢â¬ËunionÃ¢â¬â¢ is being used correctly with regard to them (Howard, 1977, as cited in Svensen, Small, Griffin, n.d.). It should be mentioned that the then Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, nowadays the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), has adopted the traditional horizontal occupational structure of trade unionism as the basis for its own segmentation (Griffin, 2002). Starting with about 200 unions in 1901 with over 97Ã 000 members which represented 6.1 per cent of the working force, the number of unions significantly jumped, following the 1904 legislation Ã¢â¬â 573 in 1911, with more than 360Ã 000 members representing about 28 per cen t of the total number of employees. The post-World War One rationalisation had reduced that number to less than 400, followed by a slow decrease within the next decades Ã¢â¬â to finally drop below 300 until 1989. Overall, trade unionism in Australia until 1990 is characterised by three main features as follows: a skewed distribution of membership, multi-unionism at both industry and enterprise levels, and well-developed inter-union structures at national and stateÃ¢â¬â¢s level but not at the enterprise one (Griffin, 2002). In other words, in 1990, 57 per cent of all unions (170 out
Posted by Unknown at 11:20 AM
Friday, September 27, 2019
World Map of CO2 Emissions - Essay Example United States of America ranked first then with average emissions of 19.54 metric tones/capita followed by Canada, Russia, and the UK. Developing countries like India and China lagged at the tail end then. Ã The Fourth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded among other things that Ã¢â¬Å"warming of the climate system is unequivocalÃ¢â¬ and that Ã¢â¬Å"anthropogenic warming over the last three decades has likely had discernible influence at the global scale on observed changes in many physical and biological systems.Ã¢â¬ The report also stated that human activities have a significant impact on climate change. Ã The Gross Domestic Product is one of the primary indicators calculated to assess the health of a countryÃ¢â¬â¢s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. According to the Environment Kuznets hypothesis, environmental pressure increases faster than the income in the early stages of development and slows down relative to GDP growth as higher income levels are reached. The EKC proposes that indicators of environmental degradation first rise, and then fall with increasing income per capita. Ã There are views supporting and criticizing this theory. Those views supporting it emphasize that the curve exists through it is becoming smaller in nature and shifting to the left(revised EKC) whereas those criticizing it argues that even if certain pollutants are reduced as income increases, industrial society continuously creates new, unregulated and potentially toxic pollutants.
Posted by Unknown at 10:11 AM
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Business Continuity and Disaster Management for Aviation - Essay Example A significant event or crisis refers to such events, where there is a pressing need for an immediate and novice response, with the aim of lessening the adverse effects taking place in the reputation, profitability and the operations of the airport. This paper will examine the particular problems that affected Heathrow airport frequently and the effects felt by the airport, British airways and the UK aviation industry as a whole. Additionally, the paper will examine the steps that could be taken to minimize the effects of adverse weather and the outcomes that the new strategy would yield, for the wide array of industry stakeholders. Airports are highly intricate systems and are very essential to the effective transit of people and goods across the globe. In addition, airports are significant employment hubs, which allow them to work as economic drivers for surrounding regions; support businesses by facilitating the transit of goods and people, foster trade and support tourism. Despite the fact that airports have remained a critical link to the stability of natural infrastructural models, they have also been identified as highly vulnerable to a variety of external and internal disturbances. All of the internal and the external disturbances affecting the performance of airports impact or even limit the normality of airport operations. One of the recent events that gave evidence about the adverse effects of airport disturbances was the failure of the systems and the performance of London HeathrowÃ¢â¬â¢s Terminal 5, after it was launched. The newly opened airport building suffered from significant failures in the performance of operational and passenger-specific functions (Brady & Davies, 2010). The failures led to the cancelation of more than 34 flights in a day, after the start of the launch of operations and the cancelation of flights left
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Abdurrahman Zeitoun and The Hero with a Thousand Faces - Essay Example The object of this paper is to depict the journey of a real life hero seen through CampbellÃ¢â¬â¢s version of heroic adventure and dilemma. Campbell has put forward three main criteria as features of a HeroÃ¢â¬â¢s journey. The actions and adventures of a real life personality, Abdulrahman Zeitoun are assessed on the basis of the criteria mentioned by Campbell. The altruistic deeds of Zeitoun has placed him on the altar of a modern day Hero and can be a guiding light for the young generation to be strong and fearless in all difficult situations. The mythological set up of Joseph CampbellÃ¢â¬â¢s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces has expressed the adventures of an emerging Hero. With many mythological examples the book explains how different people can display courage in the face of adversities and achieve the status of a Hero by fulfilling the call of their missions. The journey of the Hero starts when he gets a call for a mission and on basis of the call he steps in a hitherto unknown and supernatural world from the comforts of his ordinary world. In this journey he faces many hurdles which he overcomes with great display of courage and determination. Eventually, he returns to his homeland equipped with all the powers of a superhero and from then on he uses his power for the welfare of his people. There are three different stages of the journey to heroism and they are Departure, Initiation and Return. The journey that one has to make in his life indicates moving forward without any hesitation and. The journey is full of challenges that one has to overtake with sheer integrity and willpower. Only by overcoming the fear of the unknown, one can emerge victorious as a true hero. The mythological journey of the Hero depicted in this book can act as an inspiration for generations to come. (Campbell, xxiv) Campbell depicts in his book the three stages through the story of a mythological characterÃ¢â¬â¢s journey and his adventures. He uses various appropriate examples from mythology and religious history to describe the journey of his hero. He embarks on the journey when he gets a call from the supernatural and the first stage of the journey begins when he faces Separation from his own ordinary world. (Campbell, 45-53) Ã¢â¬Å"A sharpened edge of a razor, hard to traverse, A difficult path is thisÃ¢â¬âpoets declare!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â (Campbell, 21) Every man who dares to respond to the call of the unknown knows very well the dangers lurking ahead and he alone has to face them with courage and determination. (Campbell, 21). Initially he refuses to respond to the call but then he is assured of supernatural assistance. This gives him the courage to embark on his journey and face the challenges ahead. The second stage is about the heroÃ¢â¬â¢s Initiation to the supernatural world. In his journey to this mystic world he faces many tough challenges and tribulations but every time he overtook them and achieved victory with his extraordinary po wers. His bravery won him the good fortune of meeting the Goddess. Ã¢â¬Å"At their word, the word which tortures the spirit, The sick woman was turned into a corpse, The corpse was hung from a stakeÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â (Campbell, 99) The hero of every era at one time or the other in his life has to confront his other self either by being absorbed by it or by absorbing it. Life will throw at him challenges which will require him to let go of his pride and inhibitions and he must surrender himself to the flow to rediscover himself. In this journey the Hero was provoked towards temptations and like any ordinary man he surrendered his will power to such provocations. Still, the Holy Father gave him the chance to atone for his weakness and thus he received the chance to cleanse himself of his sins. Gradually he gets elevated to divine status and he is bestowed with powers
Posted by Unknown at 12:31 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Book Report - Assignment Example These were evident in ClintonÃ¢â¬â¢s reign where its continual change extended to the current ObamaÃ¢â¬â¢s regime. Clinton disputed the former policies that yielded to severe stress to the middle class. Hence, contending that, most Americans are working hard for less (p. 324). Therefore, the only way to recover your security and to broaden your horizons is to adapt the change Ã¢â¬â to embrace, to move forward. Additionally, he argued that Reaganomics then flourished due to the low innovation of other states and AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s economic power, which was then declining. Since the tactics were becoming obsolete (p. 324). ClintonÃ¢â¬â¢s call for the Americans to adapt to change entailed in all classes besides extending it to the future generations. He argued that, the only way we can recover the fortunes of the middle class in this country so that people who work harder and smarter can, at least, prosper more, the only way we can pass on the American dream of the 40 years to ou r children and there children for the next 40, is to adapt to the changes which are occurring (p. 324). ClintonÃ¢â¬â¢s exemplary action towards advocating change was via accepting to sign the NAFTA document meant to export boom to Mexico by tearing down tariff walls, which implied from then onwards there will be no job loss (p. 324). The main purpose was to support and even uplift the middle classÃ¢â¬â¢ status, if the America was to uphold globeÃ¢â¬â¢s reputation as the champion of freedom and equality. CommunistÃ¢â¬â¢s collapse between 1989 and 1991 saw the dawn of the Ã¢â¬Å"Global civilizationÃ¢â¬ where American leaders of both parties spoke of an American mission to create a global free market as the path to greater worldwide freedom, which was divergent to Reaganism (p. 325). This prompted the state to embark on the idea of WTO, but to the delegatesÃ¢â¬â¢ astonishment, the meeting came to a complete halt owing to various key equality demands from the outside protes ting crowds. They demanded the review of the pressing concerns where the meeting ought to establish the relationship between globalization, economic justice, democracy, and freedom. (p. 325). According to the protesters, the key demand was the citizenÃ¢â¬â¢s welfare in all matters regarding economic empowerment coupled with equality and democracy. Therefore, World Trade Organization must be replaced by a dramatic and transparent body accountable to citizens not to corporations thus, No Globalization without representation! (p.326). Clinton while giving his speech during ushering the millennium advised the Americans to celebrate the change that has already occurred and willingly embrace it. Primarily, the change encompassed equality and freedom where while making his speech he noticed how the evening that houseÃ¢â¬â¢s meeting comprised of audience emanating from diverse American representing diverse races. He contended that I cannot help but think how different America is, how di fferent history is, and how much better, because those of you in this room and those you represent were able to imagine, to invent, to inspire (p. 338-339). Therefore, B. Clinton stated that America ought to live together as brothers and sisters, celebrating our common humanity and our shared destinyÃ¢â¬ ¦
Posted by Unknown at 12:19 AM
Monday, September 23, 2019
Causes of the Mexican-American War - Essay Example In addition, if one is to point the finger of blame at someone, at least a basic examination of who that person was, should be done first - as, even if the situation was that person's fault, an understanding of that person's motivation will surely give a greater understanding of the conflict itself. That is where this examination of the causes of the Mexican-American War will start - with a brief look at American's eleventh president himself. We will then deal with the westward expansion of the American population and the concept of Manifest Destiny. Only then will enough information be avalible to make a preliminary determination of how much each cause (including Mr. Polk) actually contributed to the start and continuation of the Mexican-American War. James K. Polk was born in North Carolina in 17951. His father was of Scottish and Irish background, and his mother was Scots as well. Hi father was a Democrat who supported Jefferson, thus Polk was brought up as a Jefferson Democrat.2 One of ten children in a successful farming and slave owning family, James was often ill, which delayed his formal schooling3. In 1806, his family followed its relatives in a move to Tennessee, where they became quite well to do plantation owners, and, in addition, his father became a county judge. Growing up in a successful slave owning family quite probably affected Polk's presidential policies, especially those concerning slavery and territories that strongly supported slave-holding. Through family connections, James Polk was accepted and attended the University of North Carolina. It was there that he first developed the skills that he would use in his political career - as both a speech maker in the Dialectic Society, and as the Society's first two term president. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Polk moved to Tennessee to study law, and to be a the Clerk with the state Senate simultaneously from 1819-18224. In 1822, Polk left his position as Senate Clerk to run for office. His strong speech making skills won him the seat, and soon the reputation of one of the senate's great orators.5Polk was a very strong leader who, by the time he became president in dominated the American government of the day. It was the seven years that Polk spent in congress starting in 1828, as the speaker of the house and as Tennessee's governor that developed the strong leadership skills he employed as America's eleventh president6. It was these skills that Polk employed when war broke out after the annexation of Texas, which forced him to adapt his peacetime leadership skills to those of Commander in chief of the American Forces7. A similarly volatile situation with Great Britain over the Oregon Territory, was resolved by Polk though diplomacy alone. Thus, James K. Polk was able to employ both military and diplomatic means to solve conflicts and international disagreements. 2.1 Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny is an expansionist view where one country or people expands by pushing the other out of the way - "elbowing owners of property rudely to one side" while "making away with their possessions."8 It was "a policy of imperialism rationalized as inevitable (as if granted by God)"9.
Posted by Unknown at 11:10 PM
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Bombardier Inc. Railway System Project Report - Essay Example The project is bound to increase economic growth by limiting the time a nationÃ¢â¬â¢s population spends on transit, the financial expenses incurred in fuel and provided its innovations of higher speeds and varieties of rail vehicle specialties. This project qualifies into the global category also owing to it necessitating inter-boundary mobility across countries, which is bound to improve international relations, while at the same time complementing other means of heavy load transportation at higher speeds with increased safety. It also meets increasing demand for decent travel, at the maximum securities through its signaling system. Resource savings will be experienced in automobile operating costs, relieved highway congestion, reduced exhaust emissions and energy consumption. More benefits include enhancement of the regionÃ¢â¬â¢s current transportation system, its practicability as a private and public investment, job creation, community development as well as freight and commu ter rail improvements. The future of this project and many others will depend on the way its implementation will affect the business. If the business would be realized to have grown, then such projects will be given a go ahead without hesitation. However if that is not the case, then there will be no further projects after the end of this one. The project director will summarize the security products produced and installed against the initial objectives and aims of the company with regards to cost and time taken.
Posted by Unknown at 10:02 PM
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Rebuilt Marketing Machine Essay Per the article The Rebuilt Marketing Machine by Victoria L. Crittenden, the additional 4CÃ¢â¬â¢s of strategic marketing are customer centrality, competitive capabilities, company collaborations and cynical connections. Starting with customer centrality, studying what the customer needs and wants are. Creating solutions for all of the different customers wants instead of forcing the customer into a product. Consumers are all about the customer and the customer experience, ensuring the best service. Competitive capabilities open the door with worldwide web allowing most business to have an opportunity to portray themselves as worldwide leaders. Competition leads many businesses to strive for success and beyond. Therefore competitive capabilities allow business to think of ways to improve their businesses. The third C, company collaboration, is an advantage to companies where you can take superior business and combine business to provide customers the best of both worlds. Company collaboration allows marketing to interfere with other departments to ensure high quality of services. The last C in strategic marketing, cyclical connections are vital to the business world through its strategic planning, great marketing skills will be proved through the outcome of business. In order for a company to succeed, a strong formula must be implemented. Although the 4Ps still remain popular in marketing, the matrix needs to be rebuilt due to it no longer being successful for businesses. Business men all know the 4Ps marketing mix framework, due to its common sense there are no longer any advantages. In todayÃ¢â¬â¢s world, marketing is the key to success and finding ways to better concepts for business success all around the world since marketing is always changing. The gist to marketing is impleme nting new ideas for business success, using the aged idea of the 4Ps is no longer comparative to the advancement of the business world today. Comparing the 4Cs to 3Cs, Porters 5 Forces, SWOT analysis, BCG Matrix is important since they all support different ideas. Starting with SWOT analysis, finding out what the strength and weaknesses for business allows better strategy for business growth. SWOT analysis defines the pros and cons of the business where as the 4Cs finds ways to improve the weaknesses. SWOT analysis bring consistency to a business, however if combined with 4Cs it would allow great marketing strategy. Porters 5 forces focus on competition and striving for the top name in leading business. This strategic plan uses the strength and weaknesses of other companies through their own annual reports, financial statements, and mysterious shoppers, etc, to find ways to better business. Whereas company collaboration in the 4Cs, focuses on marketing function in conjunction with other areas in the organization. This allows companies to make decisions on ideas as a whole and not just one team making a decision. The BCG Matrix only focuses on two items the SBU market growth rate and the SBU relative market share, this matrix is based on assumptions and is biased. Due to this the 4Cs implements greater ideas since the BCG focuses on profitability and market share and does not support other marketing ideas. The 3Cs is somewhat similar to the 4Cs however the 4Cs are more thorough in the idea of marketing. The 3Cs provides types of questions to ask yourself when opening a business which are common sense. However, the 4Cs are in depth details of important marketing strategies for building a successful business. In my opinion the marketing mix framework is consumers oriented and fits better in the movement for mass marketing to niche marketing. However, it is out dated and needs to be revised with careful consideration of what the customer wants and needs are. Adding new elements to the framework to ensure better marketing techniques, such as adding another Ã¢â¬Å"PÃ¢â¬ for customers (people) because without business from the customers, companies will not grow. Also, finding ways to better the customer experience so that customer will be a returning customer and not only focus on making money. The customer will be using social media to rate businesses, speak to family and friends about that customer service experience and are the key for business success.
Posted by Unknown at 8:50 PM
Friday, September 20, 2019
Decline of Security Values in Immigration Department An investigation of the decline of security values in the Malawi Immigration Department 1.0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND According to Taylor (2013), security value is defined as a psychological catch expression that is perceived to be the last argument to determine action or reaction by the majority. Security values are qualities and standards that have a certain weight in the choice of actions that prescribes the proper conduct in general as well as certain situations Burges (2002). It is the fundamental principle on which the social, political and physical existence of the state is based Simonie L. (2002). Security institutions are greatly aware of the need for security values in public environment in this century hence the emergence of a consensus that good governance and sound public administration underpin sustainable development of the state. Therefore, security values are extensively learned and trained in detail, in different security specialized institutions in order to provide the services and help keep the nation safe and prosperous Steven (2011). They bear a true reliance and allegiance of the nationÃ¢â¬â¢s constitution, the fulfilment of obligations and directs officers to avoid shortcuts that would undermine the desired integrity of service output of the nation. It is through securing such values that a country can attain vibrant development and economic wellbeing. These security values are expressed in officers through treating the public as they should be treated, with dignity and respect, serving or conducting the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s service without thought of recognition or gains and also delivering public services in the required constituted manner (Ross 2011). The Malawi Immigration Department is one of the few security specialised institutions in Malawi, established to carrying out, acting, and living up to such values in order to achieve a better conducive secured environment of the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s security objectives. It is a specialised security institution in Malawi, with security values speculated in the RepublicÃ¢â¬â¢s constitution, Immigration Acts and also Citizenship Act and even the operating principles, vision and mission, to help the officers perform accordingly Immigration Strategic Plan(2011). In the department, security values encompasses reliability, obligation, respect, selfless service, reputation, integrity and allegiance in serving the state and the general public from internal as well as external threats Immigration Department Service Charter (2008). These values acts as a compass that guides the department and officers in each and everything they do and represent what the government believe and care about. Securit y values as stipulated clearly show that they cannot be considered in isolation from each other as they often overlap Chapunga (2012). Security values are expected to integrate into both the institution and officerÃ¢â¬â¢s decisions, actions policies, processes, systems and also in the way different stakeholders of different kind and the common public are dealt with. The paper seconds the fact that sustainability of security values is the only cornerstone of good governance and democracy which can boost the wellbeing of the country. This research therefore, intends to study the security values of the Malawi immigration department officers and analyse whether they are sustained as to the required standard expectation of both the general public and the nation. The Malawi Immigration Department exists under the Ministry of Home affairs and Internal Security to carry on some of the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s security duties while recognising and adhering to security values. The institution has a fundamental role to play in serving the country while observing that security values are not violated in any way. The Malawi Immigration roles are guided by the laws of Malawi as well as the Republic of Malawi constitution under Section 47 and also governed by two acts which are; the Citizenship Act (CAP 15:01) and the Immigration Act (CAP 15:03). The department has a huge security responsibility to control of people entering and leaving the country, process and issue travel documents to eligible people in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, process and issue Citizenships, Residence, Work Permits and Visas in accordance with the existing policies, monitor, track and apprehend the immigrants, and repatriate illegal immigr ants in order to promote and safeguard the security of the state. However, the department demands much integrity and allegiance of officers to safeguard the nationÃ¢â¬â¢s purpose of existence and security objectives with the trained security values they contain. Hence expected to have good reputation in conducting their duties in order to build trust and confidence in the people it serves as well as to the sustainability of the whole nation security values. In other word, the more the department makes choices made on integrity, the more value will affect the general public as well as the nation. Therefore, the department quality and standard of their duties rely on its trained officers to demonstrate such values in their choice of action that should prescribe the proper conduct of the values NgÃ¢â¬â¢oma (2011). Recently, there has been an outcry from the general public concerning the ill deliverance of immigration different duties. This has attracted the researcher to question the integrity of the department. Many people including different organisations, such as media, the civil society organizations, the Ant-Corruption Bureau and other Non-governmental organization, have written much about the ill delivering of different services of the department. According to the Nation Newspaper April (2013) reported the cases where three immigration officers processed and issued Malawian passports to two Burundians and one Nigerian to enable them travel to United kingdom as well as Italy. As it is well known that MalawiÃ¢â¬â¢s passport does not require visa to enter in most developed countries hence countries whose reputation is negatively affected with crime would want to use to easy their migration to such states. Therefore most officers are bribed to allow such malpractice take place. The recent data has shown the rapid increase of the increase reports concerning the illegal immigrants, immigration officers mistreating the general public as not expected Mwakasungula (2012). The Immigration strategic plan (2008) stipulated the period within which the new passport system was going to deliver and stressed the processing of the normal passport to take place within 21 days. This has not been the case since from the day of its implementation, only a few rich individuals have been able to acquire the service in due promised period. The department has failed to fulfil its obligations and also their morals as security institution has been lost Chibwana (November Sunday Daily Times, 2014). Therefore the latter clearly portrays the decline in security values of the officers and tarnishing the departmentÃ¢â¬â¢s integrity as well as of the national security management. This advance attracts the researcher to investigate the contributing factor to such negative development since as sec urity officers who are well trained with different value expertise and skills to help achieve the nationÃ¢â¬â¢s security intended objectives no longer seem to be trusted by the people whom they supposed to serve. The whole performance of the officers is measured according to the operating value principles which are put in place within the department. 1.1 STATEMENT PROBLEM In the immigration department there is a decline of security values shown through the officersÃ¢â¬â¢ conduct in the way they carry out their services. As expected by the country, it is the duty of the officers to carry out their responsibilities with much integrity in order to safeguard the security values of the department in line with their trained code of conduct manners to meet the national security intended objectives Immigration Manual Book (1999). While there are many security institutions with rumours of corruptions and other security moral decay in security sector, immigration department seems to be ranking with more negative incidents and cases Ant-Corruption Assessment (2010). Corruption, late delivery of services, negligence, failure to control the influx of illegal immigrants, issuance of the Malawi passport to ineligible people are characterising and labelling the department. This is defeating the intended trained security values of the department as outlined in the d epartment of immigration rules of conduct and laws. Where the operating security values have been well articulated such as accountability, transparency, high degree of integrity and honesty, corrupt free, responsiveness and resourcefulness, respect and lastly public relations. This is a challenge not only to the department of immigration as an institution but also, affects the integrity of the government as well as the whole national security management in Malawi (Immigration Service Charter, 2008). Therefore, this is problem worthy investigating the influencing factors. CHAPTER TWO 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW Baldwin (2002) defines security values and norms as morals which are embedded and trained within security specialised organisations. Baldwin researched that security values can be changed any time to suit the globalisation norms where there is international policing and cross-border policing to accommodate the reform values. Because of such changes, many factors and variables mutually influence one another to fit in the new security cultures. BaldwinÃ¢â¬â¢s research findings was connected with the changing nature of tradition security beliefs to the new security beliefs due to the nature of the world. The researcher acknowledges BaldwinÃ¢â¬â¢s work which is based on appreciating the change in security values and norms as the result of suiting into the new security cultures. However, this research intends to investigate the causes of the decline of security values of the officers in the Malawi Immigration Department. Isaiah Emboli, (2004) wrote about Ã¢â¬Å"The elites Controlling Security Institutions in Malawi. Security values in Malawi have been at stake since most of the work is guided by the ruling elites. Security machinery of government, such as Police, Immigration are primarily to secure elites own interests and continuation of their rule rather than the protection of the state and the people. EmboliÃ¢â¬â¢s findings indicates that the concept of national security is inapplicable if the security values are not recognised or respected. This has been anchored by Undule (2011) who critically researched about the causes of long queues in most public service offices especially immigration offices, road traffic authority and the police. He found out that only those who are able to pay extra amount of money are quickly attended than those who cannot afford to pay extra amount. While security values is the matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless s ervice, integrity and personal courage in everything a security officer do. Most researcherÃ¢â¬â¢s findings show that there is great value deficiency in most trained officers. However, this is the gap for this research to investigate and establish the extent of the decline of security values in the Malawi Immigration Department. Takawira Musavengana (2010) has done a research on Security Sector Governance. The research is about the national and regional security value architectures that facilitate democratic governance of the security sector in Zimbabwe. MusavenganaÃ¢â¬â¢s research findings was on how important it is to losing some of security values in order to support democratic ideals such as accountability, transparency and rule of law. He articulated much on the need for the creation of an environment in the security sector, where human security should be paramount and the need to sifter some of the old security traditional values which seem abusive to the general public. The researcher acknowledges MusavenganaÃ¢â¬â¢s findings especially on how he recommends the need of applying democratic ideals in the security specialised institutions. However, it is the duty of this research to assess the effects of the decline of security values and how can this implicate national security management in the coun try within the democratic environment.
Posted by Unknown at 7:37 PM
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Code of Chivalry in The Once and Future King Ã Ã Ã Ã T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King presents a code of chivalry that outlines the expected knightly behavior of the time. This particular code stresses loyalty to one's liege, love and respect toward women, and absolute devotion to justice. At the height of Arthur's kingdom, this code was widely accepted by all. However, as Arthur's kingdom begins to decline, the code of chivalry begins to hold less importance among the people. The fall of Arthur's kingdom is directly related to the absence of the code of chivalry in the behavior of the Knights of the Round Table. Sir Lancelot betrays Arthur when he has an adulteress affair with Guenever. Sir Lancelot also disrespects women when he leaves Elaine to be with Guenever in Camelot. King Arthur himself is disloyal to justice when he allows Guenever to be rescued by Lancelot. Ã The love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guenever is a constant theme throughout every account of the Arthurian legend. Geoffrey Ashe's The Arthurian Handbook states that "We may say that these knights are expected to serve their King..."(81). The revelation of the affair finally comes when Sir Agravaine shouts, "'Traitor Knight! Sir Lancelot, now art thou taken'"(White 569). Lancelot was summoned to Queen Guenever's bedroom, and Sir Agravaine is finally exposing the affair and gaining revenge on Lancelot for unhorsing him many times in the past. The two people that Arthur trusts most are Guenever and Lancelot. Arthur is well aware of the affair between the two, but chooses to pretend that nothing is going on. Due to this naivety, Arthur earns the disrespect (and even hatred) of Agravaine and Mordred, who eventual... ...misuse of justice make way for Mordred and his ideas to take root in Camelot. All of these actions eventually lead to Arthur chasing Lancelot and waging war upon him, while Mordred takes over in Camelot. This symbolizes that there is no middle ground between good (Arthur) and evil (Mordred). As good dissipates, evil always grows stronger. However, the same goes for evil dissipating and good rising to power. Given the time period in which T.H. White wrote (post World War II), White is speaking of the downfall of Hitler and the rise of a new order in Europe. Ã Works Cited Ashe, Geoffrey. The Arthurian Handbook. New York, USA: Garland Publishing, 1988 Morris, Rosemary. The Character of King Arthur in Medieval Literature. Cambridge: Brewer Publishing Co., 1982 White, T.H.. The Once and Future King. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1987 Ã
Posted by Unknown at 8:16 PM
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Scratching the Surface, Not Driving in Bullets or: Why White People are Such Morons A great number of people know who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was. My generation has had the opportunity to learn about his work in the civil rights movement and his Ã¢â¬Å"I have a DreamÃ¢â¬ speech as early as elementary school. IÃ¢â¬â¢d venture to say that a fewer amount of people know that this icon was assassinated and James Earl Ray, a white man, was arrested as his killer. Unfortunately, an even smaller number of people have heard of, or have read about a remarkable civil rights writer named James Baldwin. Determining whom killed Martin Luther King seems to still be an issue because of the guilt of the white man. If white men were properly educated, there would be no reason for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. If white people would analyze their past, like Baldwin suggests, in a truthful manner, the guilt should dissipate. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader during the middle part of the twentieth century. He gave many speeches and led peace marches to gain equal rights for African Americans. I chose to research the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I guess I knew that he was assassinated but I didnÃ¢â¬â¢t know the details. I wanted to know who killed him, when, where, and how King died. The Purpose of this paper is not to determine if James Earl Ray did in fact kill Martin Luther King. Rather, it is a dissection of characters and events utilizing the ideas of the illustrious James Baldwin. In the early part of 1968 he was interested in producing another civil rights march for the poor. Before that could happen, the sanitation workers of the city of Memphis, Tennessee, summoned him. He arrived in March in ord... ...ca, 1998. 63-84. ---. Ã¢â¬Å"Down at the Cross.Ã¢â¬ 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84. Harrison, Eric. Ã¢â¬Å"The Killing of Dr. King Revisited.Ã¢â¬ NewsBank NewsFile Collection 4 (1994): A-15 McKinley, James. Assassination in America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1975. Pepper, William F. Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King. New York: Caroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1995. Ray, James Earl. Who Killed Martin Luther King? The True Story By the Alleged Assassin. Washington, D.C.: National Press Books, 1992. Seigenthaler, John. A Search For Justice. Nashville, TN: Aurora Publishers, inc., 1971. Wexler, Sanford. An Eyewitness History of The Civil Rights Movement. New York: Checkmark Books an imprint of Facts on File, Inc., 1993.
Posted by Unknown at 9:37 PM
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
I. IntroductionLast fall, 700,000 men gathered at our nation's Capital to focus on mending relationships. Their goals were to help men end adulterous behavior, quit abusing and neglecting the women and children in their lives, and renew their promises to their families. Knowing this, it is hard to understand why this rally would be seen as a threat rather than honorable. Imagine 700,000 men acknowledging the areas in which they've failed and wanting to take responsibility for their actions. My father was one of these men. Knowing him in the capacity that I do, anything or anyone that can make him acknowledge his imperfections is to be admired! Now why am I telling you this? Why does it matter? People perceived these men as a threat. They were neither welcomed nor respected for taking a stand in what they felt was important. This matters because Conservative Christian thinkers are forced to face this type of discriminating judgement daily.II. One article that I read pertaining to the Promise Keeper gathering was titled "Invasion of the Promise Keepers." (a) I found this rather ironic. Why would men eager to finally take responsibility be seen as "invading?" As a woman, I would rather be with a man who openly admitted that he wasn't always right and who respected and honored me, than to be with a man who did not.(b) Evidently, however, not all women want to be appreciated. Many openly condemned them for their attempts. Protestors of both genders greeted these men with the phrase "racist, sexist, homophobe, go home."III. In an issue of Time, one reporter addresses this type of religious discrimination. He states that "the fight is not so much over what people ought to believe; it is over what they can say, and where, and to whom." He then goes on to give the following examples:(a) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the sentence of a murderer who killed a 70-year-old woman with an ax because the prosecuting attorney cited Biblical law in requesting the death penalty.(b) In Decateur, IL, an elementary, public school teacher demanded that her seven-year-old students mark out the word "God" printed in their phonics book.(c) In Oak Park, IL, a private Catholic hospital was not allowed to erect a cross because it could potentially offend some the town's residents.IV. As one who has experienced this particular type of discrimination, I have often wondered why someone would form a general opinion of disgust with such a large, diverse group of people.
Posted by Unknown at 10:58 PM
Activision was established in 1979 as a third party video game developer-publisher. Formation of Activision has been one of the most significant events for gaming industry. Activision is publisher of one of the most famous game publisher today. Games like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Pitfall series are published by Activision. Currently Activision is merged with Blizzard (creator of worldÃ¢â¬â¢s most played subscription based game) to form Activision Blizzard WorldÃ¢â¬â¢s largest gaming company in a deal worth ? 9. 15 billion. Around the time of formation of Activision, companies used to dominate market place. Gaming industry was not stable. But the things have changed today itÃ¢â¬â¢s a global multibillion dollar business. In the starting days of Activision, they had to compete with Atari in games. But later both companies came to understanding that availability of more game for Atari platforms meant more sales of hardware. And both companies kept building games for Atari platforms competing with one another and being benefited from competition. Creating games is a long and expensive process as normal games take about 2 year and $20 million while MMOGÃ¢â¬â¢s may take from $50 to $100 million in five years. What Activision and Atari started as co-operative competition still prevails in gaming industry and has helped a huge deal in development of gaming industries. In 2010 there was 8% loss of packaged goods sales of consoles game but online revenue was booming. Activision was able to predict this change in gaming industry market and locate itself in front of customers. In 2010, around 50% of total revenue made by Activision came from digital sources. Since its merger with Blizzard, Activision is becoming more and more console independent. Starting as publisher for console games, today Activision publishes games for anything that can play games like ipad, iphone, phone social gaming (facebook), etc. And the ability to adapt to changing market has kept Activision in top of the gaming industry for so long. There is an argument that more than half of MicrosoftÃ¢â¬â¢s xbox live subscribers are there for ActivisionÃ¢â¬â¢s Call of Duty. This raise an issue should Microsoft be the only one being benefited from this while Activision only gets paid once during sale of game disc. This makes console gaming dull in compared to World of WarcraftÃ¢â¬â¢s online subscription payment (Activision Blizzard charges fees for playing World of Warcraft online in PC). ActivisionÃ¢â¬â¢s competitor EA games seems to have found a simple solution, In order for online multiplayer, gamer have to either buy new disc or buy online registration code that allows them to go online using old disc whose online code is already used. Activision could use this strategy restricting people who bought used games and people who borrowed games to get online hence focusing only on customers who paid for online. For first time ever, in 2008 Activision was the number one US console and handheld game publisher in dollar. In 2008 it published two games: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock which were number second and first best selling game in US and Europe in dollars during fiscal year. Net revenue earned by Activision in 2008 was $2. 9 billion. ActivisionÃ¢â¬â¢s stage gate model Ã¢â¬Å"Greenlight ProcessÃ¢â¬ has helped in development in its product a lot. This process includes analysis of new products in development stage before entering market in four stages as concept, prototype, first playable and alpha. Making sure that product functions properly and is as demanded by current market customers is a very important step in product development which is carried out by high-level cross functional team. Keeping your product polished and problem free is very important. Gaming industry is product based market. Even though there will be customer grouping making your product fit and well is the most. If the product is good customer from another group can be attracted by this (RPG players are different than first person shooter players). In July 9 2008, Activision finally merged with Blizzard entertainment. Blizzard is owned by French conglomerate Vivendi and is the owner of World of Warcraft, worldÃ¢â¬â¢s largest subscription based MMORPG. This merging helped Activision expand its reach in the industry. Instead of diversifying product Activision move toward merging has proven rather useful. Gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries. Changes occur daily in market place. Gaming industry started with text games then moved to cartridge based platforms to todayÃ¢â¬â¢s next gen consoles. And research shows that any gaming device staying in market for more than 10 years is considered to be outdated. So the change is obvious and Activision has to be aware of these changes. Transition period between one generation of console to another generation of console hugely effects gaming industry. ActivisionÃ¢â¬â¢s performance record shows that gaming industry faces a huge halt at these times. During recession Activision was able to maintain its sales and profit curve but in 2005 when all console developers like Sony and Microsoft were preparing for launch of their new consoles gaming companies like Activision and its rival EA has to face depreciation in their business as customers are waiting for newer version of game and gaming consoles.
Posted by Unknown at 1:17 AM
Monday, September 16, 2019
I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE who had come to that startling conclusion. When the Moroi Court woke up several hours into our road trip, Lissa was also putting all the pieces together in her room as she prepared herself to give her pre-election speech. She'd thought of all the arguments I had, plus a few moreÃ¢â¬âlike how frantic Daniella had been that Adrian might be implicated with me, which would undoubtedly unravel a carefully laid out plan. There was also Daniella's offer of having her lawyer cousin, Damon Tarus, defend me. Would that have actually helped? Or would Damon have subtly worked to weaken my defense? Abe's uncouth involvement might have been a blessing. Lissa's heart pounded rapidly as she twisted her hair into a chignon. She preferred it down but thought for the coming event, she should put on a more dignified look. Her dress was matte ivory silk, long-sleeved and ruched, about knee length. Some might have thought wearing that color would make her look bridal, but when I saw her in the mirror, I knew no one would make that mistake. She looked luminous. Radiant. Queenly. Ã¢â¬Å"It can't be true,' she said, completing the look with pearl earrings that had belonged to her mother. She had shared her theory with Christian and Janine, who were with her now, and had half hoped they'd tell her she was crazy. They hadn't. Ã¢â¬Å"It makes sense,' said Christian, with none of his usual snark. Ã¢â¬Å"There's just no proof quite yet,' my mother said, ever practical. Ã¢â¬Å"Lots of circumstantial stuff.' Ã¢â¬Å"Aunt Tasha's checking with Ethan to see if Daniella was there the night of the murder,' said Christian. He made a slight face, still not happy about his aunt having a boyfriend. Ã¢â¬Å"Daniella wasn't on the official lists, but Aunt Tasha's worried some things might have been altered.' Ã¢â¬Å"That wouldn't surprise me. Even so, putting Daniella there at the right time builds the case but still isn't hard proof.' My mother should have been an attorney. She and Abe could have opened a law firm together. Ã¢â¬Å"It's as much proof as they've got for Rose!' exclaimed Lissa. Ã¢â¬Å"Aside from the stake,' Janine reminded her. Ã¢â¬Å"And people are more willing to believe sketchy evidence about Rose than Lady Daniella Ivashkov.' Lissa sighed, knowing it was all true. Ã¢â¬Å"If only Abe could talk to the Alchemists. We need what they know.' Ã¢â¬Å"He'll do it,' said my mother confidently. Ã¢â¬Å"It'll just take time.' Ã¢â¬Å"We don't have time!' The dramatic turn of events was giving spirit a nice chance to raise its ugly head, and like always, I tried to pull the darkness from Lissa. You'd think I would have learned my lesson after Victor, but well Ã¢â¬ ¦ old habits died hard. They come first. Ã¢â¬ËMarie Conta and Rufus Tarus are the only candidates left! If he wins, Daniella's going to have a lot of influence. We'll never prove Rose is innocent then.' Ariana failing the last test had come as a huge blow to everyone, smashing a future Lissa had thought was set in stone. Without Ariana, the outcome didn't look good. Marie Conta wasn't Lissa's favorite person, but Lissa felt she'd make a much better ruler than Rufus. Unfortunately, the Conta family had been quiet in politics in recent years, giving them fewer allies and friends. The numbers were leaning dangerously toward Rufus. It was frustrating. If we could get Jill there, Lissa could vote, and on a Council of twelve, even one vote would be powerful. Ã¢â¬Å"We have time,' my mom said calmly. Ã¢â¬Å"There'll be no vote today, not with the controversy you'll cause. And for every day the election is delayed, we have another chance to build our case. We're close. We can do it.' Ã¢â¬Å"We can't tell Adrian about this,' warned Lissa, moving toward the door. It was time to go. Christian's trademark smirk returned. Ã¢â¬Å"That,' he said, Ã¢â¬Å"is something we can all agree on.' The elaborate ballroomÃ¢â¬âyet again made a Council room for size reasonsÃ¢â¬âlooked like a rock concert. People were fighting for spots inside. Some, realizing that was futile, had camped outside the building, picnic style. Someone had thankfully had the brilliant idea to hook up a sound system with outdoor speakers so that those who didn't make it in could still hear the proceedings. Guardians moved through the crowds, trying to contain the chaosÃ¢â¬âparticularly as the candidates arrived. Marie Conta had shown up just before Lissa, and even if she was the least-likely candidate, there were still roars and surges of excitement in the crowd. Guardians hastilyÃ¢â¬âand roughly, if necessaryÃ¢â¬âheld the mob back so she could pass. That attention had to be scary, but Marie didn't show it. She walked proudly, smiling at supporters and non-supporters alike. Both Lissa and I recalled Christian's words: You're a queenly nominee. Act like it. You deserve this. You're the last Dragomir. A daughter of royalty. And that was exactly how she behaved. It was more than Christian's urging, too. Now that she'd passed all three tests, the gravity of the ancient procedure she was entering continued to grow. Lissa walked in, her head held high. I couldn't see her whole body, but I recognized the feel of her walk: graceful, stately. The crowd loved it, and it occurred to me that this group was particularly vocal because most weren't royal. Those gathered outside were ordinary Moroi, the ones who had come to truly love her. Ã¢â¬Å"Alexandra's heir!' Ã¢â¬Å"Bring back the dragon!' For some, it was simply enough to shout her name, adding on the titles of an old Russian folktale heroine who shared the same name: Ã¢â¬Å"Vasilisa the brave! Vasilisa the beautiful!' I knew no one would guess the fear she felt inside. She was that good. Christian and my mother, who had initially flanked her, fell back as one, letting Lissa walk a couple steps ahead. There was no question of Lissa's position and authority. She took each step with confidence, remembering that her grandfather had also walked this path. She tried to give the crowd a smile that was both dignified but genuine. It must have worked because they went even wilder. And when she paused to comment on a dragon banner a man had painted in support, the artist nearly passed out that someone like her would notice and compliment him. Ã¢â¬Å"This is unprecedented,' remarked my mom, once they'd safely made it inside. Ã¢â¬Å"There's never been this sort of turnout. There certainly wasn't during the last election.' Ã¢â¬Å"Why so great this time?' asked Lissa, who was trying to get her breathing under control. Ã¢â¬Å"Because there's so much sensation, between the murder and you muddling the law. That and Ã¢â¬ ¦ well, the way you're winning the hearts of every non-royal out there. The dhampirs too. There's a dragon sign in one of our coffee rooms, you know. I even think some of the royals love you, though maybe it's just to spite whatever family they're feuding with. But seriously? If this were up to all of the people and not just the CouncilÃ¢â¬â and well, if it was a vote you were eligible forÃ¢â¬âI think you'd win.' Lissa grimaced but then reluctantly added, Ã¢â¬Å"Honestly? I think we should have popular votes for our leaders. Every Moroi should cast a vote, not just a handful of elite families.' Ã¢â¬Å"Careful there, princess,' teased Christian, putting his arm through hers. Ã¢â¬Å"That's the kind of talk that'll start another revolution. One at a time, okay?' The ballroom's crowd wasn't as crazy as the outside one had beenÃ¢â¬âbut was pretty close. The guardians were ready for the numbers this time and had made sure to keep strict control from the very beginning. They kept a tight count of how many were allowed in the room and stopped royal and non-royal squabbles. It was still intimidating, and Lissa reminded herself over and over that playing this role was helping me. For me, she would endure anything, even the fanfare. This time, fortunately, Lissa was swept up pretty quickly to the room's front, to where three chairs facing the crowd had been set up for the candidates. Rufus and Marie were already seated, speaking in low voices to a few select family members. Guardians stood around them. Lissa sat alone, of course, but nodded to nearby guards when Tasha approached. Tasha crouched beside Lissa, speaking low and keeping a wary eye on Rufus as he talked to someone. Ã¢â¬Å"Bad news. Well, depending on how you look at it. Ethan says Daniella was there that night. She and Tatiana met alone. He didn't realize it hadn't been put on the records. Someone else wrote those up on behalf of all the guards on duty, but he swears he saw Daniella himself.' Lissa winced. Secretly, she'd been hopingÃ¢â¬âpraying, evenÃ¢â¬âthat she'd made a mistake, that surely Adrian's mother couldn't have done this. She gave a swift nod to show she understood. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm sorry,' said Tasha. Ã¢â¬Å"I know you liked her.' Ã¢â¬Å"I think I'm more worried about Adrian. I don't know how he'll take it.' Ã¢â¬Å"Hard,' said Tasha bluntly. After what she'd faced with Christian's parents, she knew better than anyone else what it was like to have family betray you. Ã¢â¬Å"But he'll make it through. And as soon as we can put all this evidence forward, we'll have Dimitri and Rose back.' Those words filled Lissa with hope, strengthening her. Ã¢â¬Å"I miss her so much,' she said. Ã¢â¬Å"I wish she was here already.' Tasha gave her a sympathetic smile and patted her shoulder. Ã¢â¬Å"Soon. They'll be back soon. Just get through this for now. You can do this. You can change everything.' Lissa wasn't so sure about that, but Tasha hurried off to join her Ã¢â¬Å"activist friends' and was replaced byÃ¢â¬âDaniella. She'd come to talk to Rufus, offering support and family love. Lissa couldn't bear to look at the older woman and felt even worse when Daniella spoke to her. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not sure how you got involved with this, dear, but good luck.' Daniella's smile seemed sincere, but there was no question which candidate she supported. Her kindly expression turned to concern. Ã¢â¬Å"Have you seen Adrian? I thought for sure he'd be here. I know the guardians would let him in.' Excellent question. Lissa hadn't seen him in the last day or so. Ã¢â¬Å"I haven't. Maybe he's just running late. Doing his hair or something.' Hopefully not passed out somewhere. Daniella sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"I hope so.' She left, taking a seat in the audience. Once again, Adrian's father was running the session, and after several false starts, the room quieted. Ã¢â¬Å"In the last week,' Nathan began, speaking into a microphone, Ã¢â¬Å"many worthy candidates have taken the tests required to rule our people. Before us sit the final three: Rufus Tarus, Marie Conta, and Vasilisa Dragomir.' Nathan's tone sounded displeased over that last one, but thus far, the law would let her give her speech. After that, the law's inconsistency kicked in, and all hell would break loose. Ã¢â¬Å"These three have shown they have the ability to rule, and as their last act, before we vote, each will speak about their plans for our people.' Rufus was up first, delivering exactly the kind of speech I'd expected. He played on Moroi fears, promising extreme forms of protectionÃ¢â¬âmost of which involved dhampirs but didn't get into much detail. Ã¢â¬Å"Our safety must be our top priority,' he proclaimed. Ã¢â¬Å"At all costs. Will it be difficult? Yes. Will there be sacrifices? Yes. But aren't our children worth it? Don't we care about them?' Bringing children into it was just low, I decided. At least he'd left puppies out. He also used dirty politician tricks, slandering his rivals. Marie was mostly slammed for her family's lack of activity. Lissa, however, was a great target. He pushed her age, the danger of spirit, and the fact that her being there in the first place was a violation of the law. Marie's speech was much more thoughtful and detailed. She laid out very explicit plans on all sorts of issues, most of which were reasonable. I didn't agree with all she said, but she was clearly competent and didn't lower herself to mocking her competition. Unfortunately, she wasn't nearly as charismatic as Rufus, and it was a sad truth that that could make a big difference. Her monotone closing summed up not only her speech but also her personality. Ã¢â¬Å"Those are the reasons why I should be queen. I hope you enjoyed this talk and will vote for me when the time comes. Thank you.' She abruptly sat down. Lissa's turn came at last. Standing before her microphone, she suddenly saw the chalice's dream, where she'd faltered in front of the Council. But no, this was reality. She wouldn't fail. She would go forward. Ã¢â¬Å"We're a people at war,' she began, voice loud and clear. Ã¢â¬Å"We're constantly attackedÃ¢â¬âbut not just by Strigoi. By one another. We're divided. We fight with one another. Family against family. Royal against non-royal. Moroi against dhampir. Of course the Strigoi are picking us off. They're at least united behind a goal: killing.' If I had been sitting there in that audience, I would have been leaning forward, mouth open. As it was, there were plenty of people there to do it for me. Her words were volatile. Shocking. And utterly captivating. Ã¢â¬Å"We are one people,' she continued. Ã¢â¬Å"Moroi and dhampir alike.' Yeah, that got some gasps too. Ã¢â¬Å"And while it's impossible for every single person to get their way, no one will get anything done if we don't come together and find ways to meet in the middleÃ¢â¬âeven if it means making hard choices.' Then, extraordinarily, she explained how it could be done. True, she didn't have the time to give fine details on every single issue in our world, but she hit a lot of the big ones. And she managed to do it in a way that didn't offend anyone too badly. After all, she was right in saying not everyone could get their way. Still, she spoke about how the dhampirs were our best warriorsÃ¢â¬âand would be better with a stronger voice. She spoke about how non-royals needed a greater voice tooÃ¢â¬âbut not at the cost of losing the exalted royal lines that defined our people. Finally, in addressing the issue of training Moroi to defend themselves, she did emphasize its importanceÃ¢â¬âbut not as something mandatory and not as the only method needing to be explored. Yes, she gave something to everyone and did it beautifully and charismatically. It was the kind of speech that could make people follow her anywhere. She concluded with, Ã¢â¬Å"We have always mixed the old with the new. We've kept magic alongside technology. We conduct these sessions with scrolls andÃ¢â¬âwith these.' She smiled and tapped her microphone. Ã¢â¬Å"That's how we have survived. We hold onto our pasts and embrace our present. We take the best of it all and grow stronger. That's how we have survived. That's how we will survive.' Silence met her conclusionÃ¢â¬âand then the cheers began. I actually heard the roar from outside on the lawn before it started within. People I would have sworn supported others were practically in tears, and I hadn't forgotten that most of the people I had visuals on in this room were royal. Lissa herself wanted to burst into tears but instead took her due bravely. When she finely sat down, and the crowd quieted, Nathan resumed his role. Ã¢â¬Å"Well,' he said. Ã¢â¬Å"That was a very pretty speech, one we all enjoyed. But now, the time has come for the Council to vote on our next leader, andÃ¢â¬âby lawÃ¢â¬âonly two candidates stand ready for that position: Rufus Tarus and Marie Conta.' Two Moroi, one each from the Tarus and Conta families, came forward to join their respective candidates. Nathan's gaze fell on Lissa who had risen like the others but stood alone. Ã¢â¬Å"According to the election lawsÃ¢â¬âlaws set down since the beginning of timeÃ¢â¬âeach candidate must approach the Council, escorted by someone of their bloodline in order to show family strength and unity. Do you have any such person?' Lissa met his eyes unflinchingly. Ã¢â¬Å"No, Lord Ivashkov.' Ã¢â¬Å"Then I'm afraid your part in this game is over, Princess Dragomir.' He smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"You may sit down now.' Yup. That's when all hell broke loose. I'd always heard the expression, Ã¢â¬Å"And the crowd goes wild!' Now, I saw it in the flesh. Half the time, I couldn't even keep track of who was shouting or supporting what. People argued in clusters and one-on-one. A couple of Moroi in jeans challenged every well-dressed person they could find, operating under the irrational assumptions that anyone in nice clothes must be royal and that all royals hated Lissa. Their devotion to her was admirable. Creepy, but admirable. One group from the Tarus family stood face to face with a Conta group, looking prepared for either a gang fight or a dance-off. That was one of the most bizarre pairings of all since those two families were the only ones who should be in complete agreement on anything. On and on it went. People fought about whether Lissa should be eligible for the vote. They fought about having a session to change the law books right at that moment. Some fought over things I'd never even heard of before. A rush of guardians to the door made me think the outside crowd was trying to break in. My mother was among that defense, and I knew she'd been right: there'd be no vote today, not with this anarchy. They'd have to close the session and try again tomorrow. Lissa stared at the crowd, feeling numb and unable to keep up with all the activity. Her stomach twisted as something dawned on her. All this time, she'd sworn that she'd respect the dignity of the election tradition. Yet, it was because of her that things were now anything but dignified. It was all her fault. Then, her eyes fell on someone sitting in a back corner, far from the pandemonium. Ekaterina Zeklos. The old former queen caught Lissa's eyeÃ¢â¬âand winked. I faded out of that room, not needing to see any more of the arguing. I returned to the car ride, a new thought in my head. Lissa's words burned in my soul. They had stirred my heart. And even if she'd given her speech as a decoy, there had been passion in themÃ¢â¬âardent belief. If she had been eligible to be queen, she would have stood behind those words. And that's when I knew. She would be queen. I decided then and there that I would make it happen. We wouldn't bring Jill simply to give Lissa her Council vote. Jill would give Lissa the status that would allow Moroi to vote for her. And Lissa would win. Naturally, I kept these thoughts to myself. Ã¢â¬Å"That's a dangerous look,' said Dimitri, giving me a brief glance before returning his eyes to the road. Ã¢â¬Å"What look?' I asked innocently. Ã¢â¬Å"The one that says you just got some idea.' Ã¢â¬Å"I didn't just get an idea. I got a great idea.' Jokes like that used to make Jill laugh, but turning to look at her in the backseat showed me she didn't find much funny at all. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey, you okay?' I asked. Those jade eyes focused on me. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not sure. A lot's kind of happened. And I don't really get what's going to happen next. I feel like Ã¢â¬ ¦ like some kind of object that's going to be used in someone's master plan. Like a pawn.' A bit of guilt tugged at me. Victor had always used people as part of a game. Was I any different? No. I cared about Jill. Ã¢â¬Å"You're not an object or a pawn,' I told her. Ã¢â¬Å"But you're very, very important, and because of you, a lot of good things are going to happen.' Ã¢â¬Å"It won't be that simple though, will it?' She sounded wise beyond her years. Ã¢â¬Å"Things are going to get worse before they get better, aren't they?' I couldn't lie to her. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah. But then you'll get to contact your mom Ã¢â¬ ¦ and well, like I said, good things will happen. Guardians always say Ã¢â¬Å"They come first' when we're talking about Moroi. It's not exactly the same for you, but in doing this Ã¢â¬ ¦ well Ã¢â¬ ¦' She gave me a smile that didn't seem very happy. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, I get it. It's for the greater good, right?' Sonya had spent a lot of the ride working on a charm for me, using a silver bracelet we'd bought at a roadside gift shop. It was tacky-looking but made of real silver, which was what counted. When we were about a half hour from Greenston, she deemed it finished and handed it over. I slipped it on and looked at the others. Ã¢â¬Å"Well?' Ã¢â¬Å"I don't see anything,' said Sonya, Ã¢â¬Å"but then, I wouldn't.' Jill squinted. Ã¢â¬Å"You seem a little blurry Ã¢â¬ ¦ like I just need to blink a few times.' Ã¢â¬Å"Same here,' said Dimitri. Sonya was pleased. Ã¢â¬Å"That's how it should look to people who know she's got a charm on. Hopefully, to the other guardians, she'll be wearing a different face.' It was a variation of what Lissa had made when we'd busted Victor out of prison. Only, this required less magic because Sonya only had to slightly alter my features and didn't need to obscure my race. She was also more practiced than Lissa. The restaurant I'd chosen in Greenston had long since closed when we rolled in at eleven thirty. The parking lot was nearly black, but I could make out a car in the back corner. Hopefully, it was Mikhail having gotten there earlyÃ¢â¬âand not a guardian hit squad. But when we parked nearby, I saw that it was indeed Mikhail who got out of the carÃ¢â¬â along with Adrian. He grinned when he saw me, pleased at the surprise. Really, I should have seen this coming when I'd told him to pass the message on to Mikhail. Adrian would have found a way to come along. My stomach rolled. No, no. Not this. I had no time to deal with my love life. Not now. I didn't even know what to say to Adrian. Fortunately, I wasn't given the chance to speak. Mikhail had come striding toward us with guardian efficiency, ready to find out what task I had in mind. He came to a screeching halt when he saw Sonya get out of our car. So did she. They both stood frozen, eyes wider than seemed physically possible. I knew then that the rest of us had ceased to exist, as had all our intrigue, missions, and Ã¢â¬ ¦ well, the world. In that moment, only the two of them existed. Sonya gave a strangled cry and then ran forward. This jolted him awake, in time to wrap her in his arms as she threw herself against him. She started crying, and I could see tears on his face too. He brushed her hair back and cupped her cheeks, staring down at her and repeating over and over, Ã¢â¬Å"It's you Ã¢â¬ ¦ it's you Ã¢â¬ ¦ it's you Ã¢â¬ ¦' Sonya tried to wipe her eyes, but it didn't do much good. Ã¢â¬Å"MikhailÃ¢â¬âI'm sorryÃ¢â¬âI'm so sorryÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬Ë Ã¢â¬Å"It doesn't matter.' He kissed her and pulled back only enough to look into her eyes. Ã¢â¬Å"It doesn't matter. Nothing matters except that we're together again.' This made her cry harder. She buried her face against his chest, and his arms tightened more fiercely around her. The rest of us stood as frozen as the lovers had been earlier. It felt wrong witnessing this. It was too private; we shouldn't have been there. Yet Ã¢â¬ ¦ at the same time, I just kept thinking that this was how I'd imagined my reunion with Dimitri would be when Lissa had restored him. Love. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Dimitri and I briefly locked eyes, and an uncanny sense told me he was recalling my words: You have to forgive yourself. If you can't, then you can't go on either. We can't. I glanced away from him, looking back at the happy couple so that he wouldn't see me tear up. God, I wanted what Mikhail and Sonya had. A happy ending. Forgiveness of the past. A bright future ahead. Jill sniffled beside me, and I put an arm around her. That small sound seemed to draw Mikhail back to our world. Still holding Sonya, he looked over at me. Ã¢â¬Å"Thank you. Thank you for this. Anything you need. Anything at allÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬Ë Ã¢â¬Å"Stop, stop,' I said, afraid I might choke up. I'd only just managed to blink away traitorous tears. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm glad Ã¢â¬ ¦ glad to have done it, and well Ã¢â¬ ¦ it wasn't really me at all.' Ã¢â¬Å"Still Ã¢â¬ ¦' Mikhail looked down at Sonya who was smiling at him through her tears. Ã¢â¬Å"You've given me my world back.' Ã¢â¬Å"I'm so happy for you Ã¢â¬ ¦ and I want you to have this, to just enjoy this right now. But I have a favor. One more favor.' Sonya and Mikhail exchanged glances in a knowing way. You never would have guessed they'd been apart for three years. She nodded, and he returned his gaze to me. Ã¢â¬Å"I figured that's why he brought me here.' He inclined his head toward Adrian. Ã¢â¬Å"I need you to get me into the hotel where the Alchemists are staying.' The small smile on Mikhail's face dropped. Ã¢â¬Å"Rose Ã¢â¬ ¦ I can't get you into any place. You being this close to Court is dangerous enough.' I pulled the bracelet from my pocket. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll have a disguise. They won't know it's me. Is there a reason you'd have to see the Alchemists?' Sonya stayed in his arms, but his eyes were dark with thought. Ã¢â¬Å"They'll have guardians near their rooms. We could probably pass ourselves off as relief.' Dimitri nodded in agreement. Ã¢â¬Å"If it's too different from their scheduled shift change, it'll raise eyebrows Ã¢â¬ ¦ but hopefully you'll have long enough to get in and find out what you need. The guardians are probably more worried about the Alchemists getting out than other guardians getting in.' Ã¢â¬Å"Absolutely,' said Mikhail. Ã¢â¬Å"So it's you and me, Rose?' Ã¢â¬Å"Yup,' I said. Ã¢â¬Å"The fewer, the better. Just enough to question Sydney and Ian. I guess everyone else waits here.' Sonya kissed his cheek. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not going anywhere.' Adrian had strolled over by now and given Jill a light, brotherly punch in the arm. Ã¢â¬Å"And I'm going to stay and hear how on earth you got involved with this, Jailbait.' Jill mustered a smile for him. She had a pretty hardcore crush on him, and it was a sign of her stress that she didn't blush and go all weak-kneed. They started a conversation, and Dimitri gestured for me to follow him around the car, out of sight. Ã¢â¬Å"This is dangerous,' he said quietly. Ã¢â¬Å"If that charm fails, you probably aren't going to get out of that hotel.' There was an unspoken alive at the end of his words. Ã¢â¬Å"It won't fail. Sonya's good. Besides, if we're caught, maybe they'll bring me back to Court instead of killing me. Imagine how much that will slow the elections.' Ã¢â¬Å"Rose, I'm serious.' I caught hold of his hand. Ã¢â¬Å"I know, I know. This'll be easy. We should be in and out in under an hour, but if we aren't Ã¢â¬ ¦' Man, I hated grim contingencies. Ã¢â¬Å"If we aren't, then send Adrian to Court with Jill, and you and Sonya hide out somewhere until Ã¢â¬ ¦ I don't know.' Ã¢â¬Å"Don't worry about us,' he said. Ã¢â¬Å"You just be careful.' He leaned down and pressed a kiss to my forehead. Ã¢â¬Å"Little dhampir, are youÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬Ë Adrian came strolling around the car, just in time to see that small kiss. I dropped my hand from Dimitri's. None of us said anything, but in that moment, Adrian's eyes Ã¢â¬ ¦ well, I saw his whole world come crashing apart. I felt sicker than if a fleet of Strigoi were around. I felt worse than a Strigoi. Honor, I thought. For real: the guardians should have taught it. Because I hadn't learned it. Ã¢â¬Å"Let's hurry,' said Mikhail, walking over, oblivious to the drama that had just exploded beside him. Ã¢â¬Å"Sonya says you guys have a ticking clock at Court too.' I swallowed, dragging my eyes from Adrian. My heart twisted within my chest. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah Ã¢â¬ ¦' Ã¢â¬Å"Go,' said Dimitri. Ã¢â¬Å"Remember,' I murmured to him. Ã¢â¬Å"Talking to him is my responsibility. Not yours.' I followed Mikhail to his car, slipping on the charmed bracelet. Before getting inside, I cast a quick glance back. Jill and Sonya were speaking together, Dimitri stood alone, and Adrian was taking out a cigarette, his back to them all. Ã¢â¬Å"I suck,' I said dismally, as Mikhail started the car. It was ineloquent but pretty much summed up my feelings. He didn't respond, probably because it wasn't relevant to our task. Either that, or he was still too wrapped up in the renewal of his own love life. Lucky bastard. It didn't take long to reach the hotel. There were guardians around, covertly placed so as not to draw human attention. None of them stopped us as we walked inside. One even gave Mikhail a nod of recognition. They all looked at me like Ã¢â¬ ¦ well, like they didn't recognize me. Which was good. With so many guardians helping at Court, new faces were to be expected, and mine didn't look like Rose Hathaway's. No one was concerned. Ã¢â¬Å"Which rooms are they in?' Mikhail asked a guardian who was standing in the lobby. Ã¢â¬Å"We're supposed to relieve that shift.' Mikhail's manner was perfectly self-assured, enough that the guardianÃ¢â¬âwhile a little surprisedÃ¢â¬âseemed to think this must be okay. Ã¢â¬Å"Only two of you? There are four up there.' I saved us on that one. Ã¢â¬Å"They want more back at Court. Things are getting out of hand, so just two are being assigned here now.' Ã¢â¬Å"Probably all we need up there,' agreed the guardian. Ã¢â¬Å"Third floor.' Ã¢â¬Å"Quick thinking,' Mikhail told me in the elevator. Ã¢â¬Å"That was nothing. I've talked myself out of much worse.' The rooms were easy to spot because a guardian stood outside them. The rest are inside, I realized, wondering if that would be a problem. But, with that same authoritative attitude, Mikhail told the guy that he and the others had been recalled to Court. The guardian summoned his colleaguesÃ¢â¬âone from each Alchemist's rooms, though we couldn't tell whose was whoseÃ¢â¬âand they gave us a brief status report before leaving, including who was in which room. When they were gone, Mikhail looked to me. Ã¢â¬Å"Sydney,' I said. We'd been given key cards and walked right into Sydney's room. She sat cross- legged on her bed, reading a book and looking miserable. She sighed when she saw us. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, what is it now?' I took off the bracelet, letting my illusion vanish. There was no jaw dropping or raised eyebrows from Sydney. Just a knowing look. Ã¢â¬Å"I should have guessed. Are you here to free me?' There was a hopeful note in her voice. Ã¢â¬Å"Um, not exactly.' I hated that Sydney was going to get punished, but smuggling her out wasn't part of the plan now. Ã¢â¬Å"We need to talk to Ian, and it's probably best if you're there. He knows something important. Something we need.' That got the raised eyebrow. She pointed at the door. Ã¢â¬Å"They won't let us talk to each other.' Ã¢â¬Å"They aren't out there,' I said smugly. Sydney shook her head ruefully. Ã¢â¬Å"Rose, you really do scare me sometimes. Just not for the reasons I originally thought you would. Come on. He's next door, but you'll have a hard time getting him to talk.' Ã¢â¬Å"That's where you'll help,' I said, as we walked into the hall. I slipped the bracelet back on. Ã¢â¬Å"He's totally into you. He'll help if you ask.' As I'd guessed, Sydney was completely oblivious to Ian's crush. Ã¢â¬Å"What! He does notÃ¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Ë She shut her mouth as we entered Ian's room. He was watching TV but jumped up when he saw us. Ã¢â¬Å"Sydney! Are you okay?' I shot her a meaningful look. She gave me a pained one in return and then turned her attention back to Ian. Ã¢â¬Å"They need your help with something. Some information.' He turned his gaze on us, and it immediately went colder. Ã¢â¬Å"We answered your questions a hundred times.' Ã¢â¬Å"Not all of them,' I said. Ã¢â¬Å"When you were at Court, you saw a picture on the table. Of a dead man. Who was it?' Ian's lips went into a straight line. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know.' Ã¢â¬Å"I sawÃ¢â¬âer, that is, we know you recognized him,' I argued. Ã¢â¬Å"You reacted.' Ã¢â¬Å"I actually saw that too,' admitted Sydney. His tone turned pleading. Ã¢â¬Å"Come on, we don't need to help them anymore. This whole hotel-prison thing is bad enough. I'm sick of their games.' I didn't blame him, really, but we needed him too much. I glanced at Sydney beseechingly, telling her that only she could get us through this. She turned back to Ian. Ã¢â¬Å"What's the deal with the guy in the picture? Is it Ã¢â¬ ¦ is it really horrible? Something secret?' He shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"No. I just don't want to help them anymore. It's irrelevant.' Ã¢â¬Å"Will you do it for me?' she asked sweetly. Ã¢â¬Å"Please? It might help me get out of trouble.' Sydney was no master of flirting, but I think just the fact she came close to it astonished him. He hesitated for several moments, glanced at us and then back to her. She smiled at him. Ian caved. Ã¢â¬Å"I meant what I said. I don't know who he is. He was with a Moroi woman over in the St. Louis facility one day.' Ã¢â¬Å"Wait,' I said, derailed. Ã¢â¬Å"Moroi come to your places?' Ã¢â¬Å"Sometimes,' said Sydney. Ã¢â¬Å"Just like we came to yours. Some meetings happen in person. We don't usually hold your people prisoner, though.' Ã¢â¬Å"I think this guy was like her bodyguard or something,' Ian said. Ã¢â¬Å"She was the one there on business. He just followed and stayed quiet.' Ã¢â¬Å"A Moroi bodyguard?' Ã¢â¬Å"Not uncommon for those that can't get guardians,' said Mikhail. Ã¢â¬Å"Abe Mazur is proof of that. He's got his own army.' Ã¢â¬Å"I think of them more as a mafia.' My joke aside, I was getting confused. Despite the widespread disdain about learning to fight, sometimes Moroi did have to hire Moroi security because they just couldn't obtain a guardian. Someone like Daniella Ivashkov wouldn't have that problem. In fact, I was pretty sure she'd be entitled to two guardians if she stepped outside protective bordersÃ¢â¬âand she'd made it clear she didn't think Moroi should fight. Why would she travel with Moroi protection when she could have better trained guardians? It made no sense. Still Ã¢â¬ ¦ if you'd killed a queen, you probably did all sorts of unorthodox things. They didn't have to make sense. Ã¢â¬Å"Who was she?' I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"The woman?' Ã¢â¬Å"I didn't know her either,' said Ian. Ã¢â¬Å"I just passed them while they were on their way to something. A meeting, maybe.' Ã¢â¬Å"Do you remember what she looked like?' Something. We needed something. This was on the verge of falling apart, but if Ian could identify Daniella, we might just be set. Ã¢â¬Å"Sure,' he said. Ã¢â¬Å"She's easy to remember.' The ensuing silence irritated me. Ã¢â¬Å"So?' I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"What did she look like?' He told me. The description was not what I had expected.
Posted by Unknown at 3:36 AM
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Every piece of literature which alludes to the foolishness, audacity, and perhaps, sheer naivety of the age-old play that is love, in its passions, pursuit, and myriad complex jubilations and devastations, is bound to appeal to at least one individual or the other. Humanity is inherently blessed or plagued by this encompassing sentiment, however fraught with woes and literary tremors it may appear to be, which is why poems, short stories, novels, and other literary works of fiction, in the flamboyant manner by which it recounts aspects of humanity, serve as fitting stages or platforms for the overplayed drama that is love. The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe plays the aforementioned persuasion well, particularly in what many regard as a semi-autobiographical novel entitled, Ã¢â¬Å"The Sorrows of Young WertherÃ¢â¬ (1774). While the novel can be easily and automatically categorized as a Ã¢â¬ËromanticÃ¢â¬â¢ piece of literary fiction based on the instance that it was published during the height of the Romantic period that is 18th century western Europe, it is also identified as such because it encompasses and reflects the spirit of the said era. Ã¢â¬Å"The Sorrows of Young WertherÃ¢â¬ constitutes, much like the title already aptly connotes, the pains of a young man named Werther, as he personally recounts the perennial tragedy of unrequited love, through a series of letters addressed to his friend Wilhelm. Werther is impassioned and consumed by attraction to a woman who doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t reciprocate his affections, much less pay attention to him, and who happens to be engaged to one of his friends. Werther culminates his long drawn poetic divulgings, outcries, and Ã¢â¬Å"sorrowsÃ¢â¬ in the act of suicide. For most people, the concluding drama and tragedy which exists in GoetheÃ¢â¬â¢s novel is entirely plausible, or Ã¢â¬Å"realistic,Ã¢â¬ given that it was fueled by the obsessive nature of attraction. Goethe affords readers a perspective of an attraction, of a sentiment, of a proclaimed Ã¢â¬ËloveÃ¢â¬â¢ that may be juvenile and naive, but is far from healthy or harmless. It affirms and encompasses every romanticized idea or cliche of love as an immense force far greater than any individual; all-consuming and agonizing, especially Ã¢â¬â as in young WertherÃ¢â¬â¢s case Ã¢â¬â when it isnÃ¢â¬â¢t reciprocated. It also highlights the great lengths people rise or turn to for the sake of love, however convoluted, or different, and maybe even delusional, the form it takes may appear to be. These aforementioned Ã¢â¬Å"great lengthsÃ¢â¬ arenÃ¢â¬â¢t always necessarily a good thing, in WertherÃ¢â¬â¢s case for instance, it meant death. It meant killing the pain, meant dying in flesh and bones in the same manner he already had inside. It meant consummating the proverbial death which he was only able to hold on to for so long. It may be achingly juvenile, and infinitely naive, but it is the German writer Johann Wolfgang von GoetheÃ¢â¬â¢s take and translation of love, in its purest and unabashedly raw form; devoid of necessary standards, strictures and responsibilities of Ã¢â¬Å"reasonable love. Ã¢â¬ One which lives, and as already apparent, dies for the sole purpose of the said circus or charade of an emotion; so much so that it ascribes the instance of death, and particularly of suicide, as a course of action or undertaking which is suddenly deemed romantic, noble, or at the very least acceptable, where the passions of attraction and the agony of love is concerned. While this may appear utterly heartbreaking and romantic on the leaves of a paperback book, I have reason to believe that it should be limited to the said confines, and not translate to Ã¢â¬Å"the real world. Ã¢â¬ While most readers, and myself, may sympathize with WertherÃ¢â¬â¢s plight, agony, and his aptly titled Ã¢â¬Ësorrows,Ã¢â¬â¢ I have reason to believe that love can also manifest in less explosive and immensely imposing ways. I believe that it exists and abounds throughout the greater part of humanity and the world we live in, despite what hideousness and ugliness which surrounds the current state of our country and the rest of the world may connote. It exists in something as mundane as an e-mail or phone call, a free car ride, to seeming hallmark or kodak moments as the flying of kites, a little league team at play, a shared sandwich; and to the familiar trivialities but authentic and wholly heart-warming dependability of broad shoulders, thin lips, welcoming cheeks, and the warmth of an embrace. Love exists in more than one definition and translates in varying degrees and circumstances, an individual shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t decide to end his or her life because of a romanticized version of it. People should live through and for love, not die for it. As for sorrow, people should endure and keep every exquisite agony, because ultimately and essentially, sorrows affirm our humanity, and our capacity to love. Works Cited Von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. (2006) The Sorrows Of Young Werther. Mondial.
Posted by Unknown at 5:55 AM