Saturday, August 31, 2019
Eddard Eddard Stark rode through the towering bronze doors of the Red Keep sore, tired, hungry, and irritable. He was still ahorse, dreaming of a long hot soak, a roast fowl, and a featherbed, when the king's steward told him that Grand Maester Pycelle had convened an urgent meeting of the small council. The honor of the Hand's presence was requested as soon as it was convenient. Ã¢â¬Å"It will be convenient on the morrow,Ã¢â¬ Ned snapped as he dismounted. The steward bowed very low. Ã¢â¬Å"I shall give the councillors your regrets, my lord.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No, damn it,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. It would not do to offend the council before he had even begun. Ã¢â¬Å"I will see them. Pray give me a few moments to change into something more presentable.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yes, my lord,Ã¢â¬ the steward said. Ã¢â¬Å"We have given you Lord Arryn's former chambers in the Tower of the Hand, if it please you. I shall have your things taken there.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"My thanks,Ã¢â¬ Ned said as he ripped off his riding gloves and tucked them into his belt. The rest of his household was coming through the gate behind him. Ned saw Vayon Poole, his own steward, and called out. Ã¢â¬Å"It seems the council has urgent need of me. See that my daughters find their bedchambers, and tell Jory to keep them there. Arya is not to go exploring.Ã¢â¬ Poole bowed. Ned turned back to the royal steward. Ã¢â¬Å"My wagons are still straggling through the city. I shall need appropriate garments.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"It will be my great pleasure,Ã¢â¬ the steward said. And so Ned had come striding into the council chambers, bone-tired and dressed in borrowed clothing, to find four members of the small council waiting for him. The chamber was richly furnished. Myrish carpets covered the floor instead of rushes, and in one corner a hundred fabulous beasts cavorted in bright paints on a carved screen from the Summer Isles. The walls were hung with tapestries from Norvos and Qohor and Lys, and a pair of Valyrian sphinxes flanked the door, eyes of polished garnet smoldering in black marble faces. The councillor Ned liked least, the eunuch Varys, accosted him the moment he entered. Ã¢â¬Å"Lord Stark, I was grievous sad to hear about your troubles on the kingsroad. We have all been visiting the sept to light candles for Prince Joffrey. I pray for his recovery.Ã¢â¬ His hand left powder stains on Ned's sleeve, and he smelled as foul and sweet as flowers on a grave. Ã¢â¬Å"Your gods have heard you,Ã¢â¬ Ned replied, cool yet polite. Ã¢â¬Å"The prince grows stronger every day.Ã¢â¬ He disentangled himself from the eunuch's grip and crossed the room to where Lord Renly stood by the screen, talking quietly with a short man who could only be Littlefinger. Renly had been a boy of eight when Robert won the throne, but he had grown into a man so like his brother that Ned found it disconcerting. Whenever he saw him, it was as if the years had slipped away and Robert stood before him, fresh from his victory on the Trident. Ã¢â¬Å"I see you have arrived safely, Lord Stark,Ã¢â¬ Renly said. Ã¢â¬Å"And you as well,Ã¢â¬ Ned replied. Ã¢â¬Å"You must forgive me, but sometimes you look the very image of your brother Robert.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"A poor copy,Ã¢â¬ Renly said with a shrug. Ã¢â¬Å"Though much better dressed,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger quipped. Ã¢â¬Å"Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.Ã¢â¬ It was true enough. Lord Renly was in dark green velvet, with a dozen golden stags embroidered on his doublet. A cloth-of-gold half cape was draped casually across one shoulder, fastened with an emerald brooch. Ã¢â¬Å"There are worse crimes,Ã¢â¬ Renly said with a laugh. Ã¢â¬Å"The way you dress, for one.Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger ignored the jibe. He eyed Ned with a smile on his lips that bordered on insolence. Ã¢â¬Å"I have hoped to meet you for some years, Lord Stark. No doubt Lady Catelyn has mentioned me to you.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"She has,Ã¢â¬ Ned replied with a chill in his voice. The sly arrogance of the comment rankled him. Ã¢â¬Å"I understand you knew my brother Brandon as well.Ã¢â¬ Renly Baratheon laughed. Varys shuffled over to listen. Ã¢â¬Å"Rather too well,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said. Ã¢â¬Å"I still carry a token of his esteem. Did Brandon speak of me too?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Often, and with some heat,Ã¢â¬ Ned said, hoping that would end it. He had no patience with this game they played, this dueling with words. Ã¢â¬Å"I should have thought that heat ill suits you Starks,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said. Ã¢â¬Å"Here in the south, they say you are all made of ice, and melt when you ride below the Neck.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I do not plan on melting soon, Lord Baelish. You may count on it.Ã¢â¬ Ned moved to the council table and said, Ã¢â¬Å"Maester Pycelle, I trust you are well.Ã¢â¬ The Grand Maester smiled gently from his tall chair at the foot of the table. Ã¢â¬Å"Well enough for a man of my years, my lord,Ã¢â¬ he replied, Ã¢â¬Å"yet I do tire easily, I fear.Ã¢â¬ Wispy strands of white hair fringed the broad bald dome of his forehead above a kindly face. His maester's collar was no simple metal choker such as Luwin wore, but two dozen heavy chains wound together into a ponderous metal necklace that covered him from throat to breast. The links were forged of every metal known to man: black iron and red gold, bright copper and dull lead, steel and tin and pale silver, brass and bronze and platinum. Garnets and amethysts and black pearls adorned the metalwork, and here and there an emerald or ruby. Ã¢â¬Å"Perhaps we might begin soon,Ã¢â¬ the Grand Maester said, hands knitting together atop his broad stomach. Ã¢â¬Å"I fear I shall fall asleep if we wait much longer.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"As you will.Ã¢â¬ The king's seat sat empty at the head of the table, the crowned stag of Baratheon embroidered in gold thread on its pillows. Ned took the chair beside it, as the right hand of his king. Ã¢â¬Å"My lords,Ã¢â¬ he said formally, Ã¢â¬Å"I am sorry to have kept you waiting.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You are the King's Hand,Ã¢â¬ Varys said. Ã¢â¬Å"We serve at your pleasure, Lord Stark.Ã¢â¬ As the others took their accustomed seats, it struck Eddard Stark forcefully that he did not belong here, in this room, with these men. He remembered what Robert had told him in the crypts below Winterfell. I am surrounded by flatterers and fools, the king had insisted. Ned looked down the council table and wondered which were the flatterers and which the fools. He thought he knew already. Ã¢â¬Å"We are but five,Ã¢â¬ he pointed out. Ã¢â¬Å"Lord Stannis took himself to Dragonstone not long after the king went north,Ã¢â¬ Varys said, Ã¢â¬Å"and our gallant Ser Barristan no doubt rides beside the king as he makes his way through the city, as befits the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Perhaps we had best wait for Ser Barristan and the king to join us,Ã¢â¬ Ned suggested. Renly Baratheon laughed aloud. Ã¢â¬Å"If we wait for my brother to grace us with his royal presence, it could be a long sit.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Our good King Robert has many cares,Ã¢â¬ Varys said. Ã¢â¬Å"He entrusts some small matters to us, to lighten his load.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What Lord Varys means is that all this business of coin and crops and justice bores my royal brother to tears,Ã¢â¬ Lord Renly said, Ã¢â¬Å"so it falls to us to govern the realm. He does send us a command from time to time.Ã¢â¬ He drew a tightly rolled paper from his sleeve and laid it on the table. Ã¢â¬Å"This morning he commanded me to ride ahead with all haste and ask Grand Maester Pycelle to convene this council at once. He has an urgent task for us.Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger smiled and handed the paper to Ned. It bore the royal seal. Ned broke the wax with his thumb and flattened the letter to consider the king's urgent command, reading the words with mounting disbelief. Was there no end to Robert's folly? And to do this in his name, that was salt in the wound. Ã¢â¬Å"Gods be good,Ã¢â¬ he swore. Ã¢â¬Å"What Lord Eddard means to say,Ã¢â¬ Lord Renly announced, Ã¢â¬Å"is that His Grace instructs us to stage a great tournament in honor of his appointment as the Hand of the King.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"How much?Ã¢â¬ asked Littlefinger, mildly. Ned read the answer off the letter. Ã¢â¬Å"Forty thousand golden dragons to the champion. Twenty thousand to the man who comes second, another twenty to the winner of the melee, and ten thousand to the victor of the archery competition.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Ninety thousand gold pieces,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"And we must not neglect the other costs. Robert will want a prodigious feast. That means cooks, carpenters, serving girls, singers, jugglers, fools . . . Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Fools we have in plenty,Ã¢â¬ Lord Renly said. Grand Maester Pycelle looked to Littlefinger and asked, Ã¢â¬Å"Will the treasury bear the expense?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What treasury is that?Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger replied with a twist of his mouth. Ã¢â¬Å"Spare me the foolishness, Maester. You know as well as I that the treasury has been empty for years. I shall have to borrow the money. No doubt the Lannisters will be accommodating. We owe Lord Tywin some three million dragons at present, what matter another hundred thousand?Ã¢â¬ Ned was stunned. Ã¢â¬Å"Are you claiming that the Crown is three million gold pieces in debt?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"The Crown is more than six million gold pieces in debt, Lord Stark. The Lannisters are the biggest part of it, but we have also borrowed from Lord Tyrell, the Iron Bank of Braavos, and several Tyroshi trading cartels. Of late I've had to turn to the Faith. The High Septon haggles worse than a Dornish fishmonger.Ã¢â¬ Ned was aghast. Ã¢â¬Å"Aerys Targaryen left a treasury flowing with gold. How could you let this happen?Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger gave a shrug. Ã¢â¬Å"The master of coin finds the money. The king and the Hand spend it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I will not believe that Jon Arryn allowed Robert to beggar the realm,Ã¢â¬ Ned said hotly. Grand Maester Pycelle shook his great bald head, his chains clinking softly. Ã¢â¬Å"Lord Arryn was a prudent man, but I fear that His Grace does not always listen to wise counsel.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"My royal brother loves tournaments and feasts,Ã¢â¬ Renly Baratheon said, Ã¢â¬Å"and he loathes what he calls Ã¢â¬Ëcounting coppers.' Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"I will speak with His Grace,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. Ã¢â¬Å"This tourney is an extravagance the realm cannot afford.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Speak to him as you will,Ã¢â¬ Lord Renly said, Ã¢â¬Å"we had still best make our plans.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Another day,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. Perhaps too sharply, from the looks they gave him. He would have to remember that he was no longer in Winterfell, where only the king stood higher; here, he was but first among equals. Ã¢â¬Å"Forgive me, my lords,Ã¢â¬ he said in a softer tone. Ã¢â¬Å"I am tired. Let us call a halt for today and resume when we are fresher.Ã¢â¬ He did not ask for their consent, but stood abruptly, nodded at them all, and made for the door. Outside, wagons and riders were still pouring through the castle gates, and the yard was a chaos of mud and horseflesh and shouting men. The king had not yet arrived, he was told. Since the ugliness on the Trident, the Starks and their household had ridden well ahead of the main column, the better to separate themselves from the Lannisters and the growing tension. Robert had hardly been seen; the talk was he was traveling in the huge wheelhouse, drunk as often as not. If so, he might be hours behind, but he would still be here too soon for Ned's liking. He had only to look at Sansa's face to feel the rage twisting inside him once again. The last fortnight of their journey had been a misery. Sansa blamed Arya and told her that it should have been Nymeria who died. And Arya was lost after she heard what had happened to her butcher's boy. Sansa cried herself to sleep, Arya brooded silently all day long, and Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell. He crossed the outer yard, passed under a portcullis into the inner bailey, and was walking toward what he thought was the Tower of the Hand when Littlefinger appeared in front of him. Ã¢â¬Å"You're going the wrong way, Stark. Come with me.Ã¢â¬ Hesitantly, Ned followed. Littlefinger led him into a tower, down a stair, across a small sunken courtyard, and along a deserted corridor where empty suits of armor stood sentinel along the walls. They were relics of the Targaryens, black steel with dragon scales cresting their helms, now dusty and forgotten. Ã¢â¬Å"This is not the way to my chambers,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. Ã¢â¬Å"Did I say it was? I'm leading you to the dungeons to slit your throat and seal your corpse up behind a wall,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Ã¢â¬Å"We have no time for this, Stark. Your wife awaits.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What game are you playing, Littlefinger? Catelyn is at Winterfell, hundreds of leagues from here.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Oh?Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger's grey-green eyes glittered with amusement. Ã¢â¬Å"Then it appears someone has managed an astonishing impersonation. For the last time, come. Or don't come, and I'll keep her for myself.Ã¢â¬ He hurried down the steps. Ned followed him warily, wondering if this day would ever end. He had no taste for these intrigues, but he was beginning to realize that they were meat and mead to a man like Littlefinger. At the foot of the steps was a heavy door of oak and iron. Petyr Baelish lifted the crossbar and gestured Ned through. They stepped out into the ruddy glow of dusk, on a rocky bluff high above the river. Ã¢â¬Å"We're outside the castle,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. Ã¢â¬Å"You are a hard man to fool, Stark,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said with a smirk. Ã¢â¬Å"Was it the sun that gave it away, or the sky? Follow me. There are niches cut in the rock. Try not to fall to your death, Catelyn would never understand.Ã¢â¬ With that, he was over the side of the cliff, descending as quick as a monkey. Ned studied the rocky face of the bluff for a moment, then followed more slowly. The niches were there, as Littlefinger had promised, shallow cuts that would be invisible from below, unless you knew just where to look for them. The river was a long, dizzying distance below. Ned kept his face pressed to the rock and tried not to look down any more often than he had to. When at last he reached the bottom, a narrow, muddy trail along the water's edge, Littlefinger was lazing against a rock and eating an apple. He was almost down to the core. Ã¢â¬Å"You are growing old and slow, Stark,Ã¢â¬ he said, flipping the apple casually into the rushing water. Ã¢â¬Å"No matter, we ride the rest of the way.Ã¢â¬ He had two horses waiting. Ned mounted up and trotted behind him, down the trail and into the city. Finally Baelish drew rein in front of a ramshackle building, three stories, timbered, its windows bright with lamplight in the gathering dusk. The sounds of music and raucous laughter drifted out and floated over the water. Beside the door swung an ornate oil lamp on a heavy chain, with a globe of leaded red glass. Ned Stark dismounted in a fury. Ã¢â¬Å"A brothel,Ã¢â¬ he said as he seized Littlefinger by the shoulder and spun him around. Ã¢â¬Å"You've brought me all this way to take me to a brothel.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Your wife is inside,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said. It was the final insult. Ã¢â¬Å"Brandon was too kind to you,Ã¢â¬ Ned said as he slammed the small man back against a wall and shoved his dagger up under the little pointed chin beard. Ã¢â¬Å"My lord, no,Ã¢â¬ an urgent voice called out. Ã¢â¬Å"He speaks the truth.Ã¢â¬ There were footsteps behind him. Ned spun, knife in hand, as an old white-haired man hurried toward them. He was dressed in brown roughspun, and the soft flesh under his chin wobbled as he ran. Ã¢â¬Å"This is no business of yours,Ã¢â¬ Ned began; then, suddenly, the recognition came. He lowered the dagger, astonished. Ã¢â¬Å"Ser Rodrik?Ã¢â¬ Rodrik Cassel nodded. Ã¢â¬Å"Your lady awaits you upstairs.Ã¢â¬ Ned was lost. Ã¢â¬Å"Catelyn is truly here? This is not some strange jape of Littlefinger's?Ã¢â¬ He sheathed his blade. Ã¢â¬Å"Would that it were, Stark,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said. Ã¢â¬Å"Follow me, and try to look a shade more lecherous and a shade less like the King's Hand. It would not do to have you recognized. Perhaps you could fondle a breast or two, just in passing.Ã¢â¬ They went inside, through a crowded common room where a fat woman was singing bawdy songs while pretty young girls in linen shifts and wisps of colored silk pressed themselves against their lovers and dandled on their laps. No one paid Ned the least bit of attention. Ser Rodrik waited below while Littlefinger led him up to the third floor, along a corridor, and through a door. Inside, Catelyn was waiting. She cried out when she saw him, ran to him, and embraced him fiercely. Ã¢â¬Å"My lady,Ã¢â¬ Ned whispered in wonderment. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, very good,Ã¢â¬ said Littlefinger, closing the door. Ã¢â¬Å"You recognized her.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I feared you'd never come, my lord,Ã¢â¬ she whispered against his chest. Ã¢â¬Å"Petyr has been bringing me reports. He told me of your troubles with Arya and the young prince. How are my girls?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Both in mourning, and full of anger,Ã¢â¬ he told her. Ã¢â¬Å"Cat, I do not understand. What are you doing in King's Landing? What's happened?Ã¢â¬ Ned asked his wife. Ã¢â¬Å"Is it Bran? Is he . . . Ã¢â¬Å"Dead was the word that came to his lips, but he could not say it. Ã¢â¬Å"It is Bran, but not as you think,Ã¢â¬ Catelyn said. Ned was lost. Ã¢â¬Å"Then how? Why are you here, my love? What is this place?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Just what it appears,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said, easing himself onto a window seat. Ã¢â¬Å"A brothel. Can you think of a less likely place to find a Catelyn Tully?Ã¢â¬ He smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"As it chances, I own this particular establishment, so arrangements were easily made. I am most anxious to keep the Lannisters from learning that Cat is here in King's Landing.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Why?Ã¢â¬ Ned asked. He saw her hands then, the awkward way she held them, the raw red scars, the stiffness of the last two fingers on her left. Ã¢â¬Å"You've been hurt.Ã¢â¬ He took her hands in his own, turned them over. Ã¢â¬Å"Gods. Those are deep cuts . . . a gash from a sword or . . . how did this happen, my lady?Ã¢â¬ Catelyn slid a dagger out from under her cloak and placed it in his hand. Ã¢â¬Å"This blade was sent to open Bran's throat and spill his life's blood.Ã¢â¬ Ned's head jerked up. Ã¢â¬Å"But . . . who . . . why would . . . Ã¢â¬Å" She put a finger to his lips. Ã¢â¬Å"Let me tell it all, my love. It will go faster that way. Listen.Ã¢â¬ So he listened, and she told it all, from the fire in the library tower to Varys and the guardsmen and Littlefinger. And when she was done, Eddard Stark sat dazed beside the table, the dagger in his hand. Bran's wolf had saved the boy's life, he thought dully. What was it that Jon had said when they found the pups in the snow? Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord. And he had killed Sansa's, and for what? Was it guilt he was feeling? Or fear? If the gods had sent these wolves, what folly had he done? Painfully, Ned forced his thoughts back to the dagger and what it meant. Ã¢â¬Å"The Imp's dagger,Ã¢â¬ he repeated. It made no sense. His hand curled around the smooth dragonbone hilt, and he slammed the blade into the table, felt it bite into the wood. It stood mocking him. Ã¢â¬Å"Why should Tyrion Lannister want Bran dead? The boy has never done him harm.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Do you Starks have nought but snow between your ears?Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger asked. Ã¢â¬Å"The Imp would never have acted alone.Ã¢â¬ Ned rose and paced the length of the room. Ã¢â¬Å"If the queen had a role in this or, gods forbid, the king himself . . . no, I will not believe that.Ã¢â¬ Yet even as he said the words, he remembered that chill morning on the barrowlands, and Robert's talk of sending hired knives after the Targaryen princess. He remembered Rhaegar's infant son, the red ruin of his skull, and the way the king had turned away, as he had turned away in Darry's audience hall not so long ago. He could still hear Sansa pleading, as Lyanna had pleaded once. Ã¢â¬Å"Most likely the king did not know,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said. Ã¢â¬Å"It would not be the first time. Our good Robert is practiced at closing his eyes to things he would rather not see.Ã¢â¬ Ned had no reply for that. The face of the butcher's boy swam up before his eyes, cloven almost in two, and afterward the king had said not a word. His head was pounding. Littlefinger sauntered over to the table, wrenched the knife from the wood. Ã¢â¬Å"The accusation is treason either way. Accuse the king and you will dance with Ilyn Payne before the words are out of your mouth. The queen . . . if you can find proof, and if you can make Robert listen, then perhaps . . . Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"We have proof,Ã¢â¬ Ned said. Ã¢â¬Å"We have the dagger.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"This?Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger flipped the knife casually end over end. Ã¢â¬Å"A sweet piece of steel, but it cuts two ways, my lord. The Imp will no doubt swear the blade was lost or stolen while he was at Winterfell, and with his hireling dead, who is there to give him the lie?Ã¢â¬ He tossed the knife lightly to Ned. Ã¢â¬Å"My counsel is to drop that in the river and forget that it was ever forged.Ã¢â¬ Ned regarded him coldly. Ã¢â¬Å"Lord Baelish, I am a Stark of Winterfell. My son lies crippled, perhaps dying. He would be dead, and Catelyn with him, but for a wolf pup we found in the snow. If you truly believe I could forget that, you are as big a fool now as when you took up sword against my brother.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"A fool I may be, Stark . . . yet I'm still here, while your brother has been moldering in his frozen grave for some fourteen years now. If you are so eager to molder beside him, far be it from me to dissuade you, but I would rather not be included in the party, thank you very much.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You would be the last man I would willingly include in any party, Lord Baelish.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You wound me deeply.Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger placed a hand over his heart. Ã¢â¬Å"For my part, I always found you Starks a tiresome lot, but Cat seems to have become attached to you, for reasons I cannot comprehend. I shall try to keep you alive for her sake. A fool's task, admittedly, but I could never refuse your wife anything.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I told Petyr our suspicions about Jon Arryn's death,Ã¢â¬ Catelyn said. Ã¢â¬Å"He has promised to help you find the truth.Ã¢â¬ That was not news that Eddard Stark welcomed, but it was true enough that they needed help, and Littlefinger had been almost a brother to Cat once. It would not be the first time that Ned had been forced to make common cause with a man he despised. Ã¢â¬Å"Very well,Ã¢â¬ he said, thrusting the dagger into his belt. Ã¢â¬Å"You spoke of Varys. Does the eunuch know all of it?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Not from my lips,Ã¢â¬ Catelyn said. Ã¢â¬Å"You did not wed a fool, Eddard Stark. But Varys has ways of learning things that no man could know. He has some dark art, Ned, I swear it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"He has spies, that is well known,Ã¢â¬ Ned said, dismissive. Ã¢â¬Å"It is more than that,Ã¢â¬ Catelyn insisted. Ã¢â¬Å"Ser Rodrik spoke to Ser Aron Santagar in all secrecy, yet somehow the Spider knew of their conversation. I fear that man.Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"Leave Lord Varys to me, sweet lady. If you will permit me a small obscenityÃ¢â¬âand where better for itÃ¢â¬âI hold the man's balls in the palm of my hand.Ã¢â¬ He cupped his fingers, smiling. Ã¢â¬Å"Or would, if he were a man, or had any balls. You see, if the pie is opened, the birds begin to sing, and Varys would not like that. Were I you, I would worry more about the Lannisters and less about the eunuch.Ã¢â¬ Ned did not need Littlefinger to tell him that. He was thinking back to the day Arya had been found, to the look on the queen's face when she said, We have a wolf, so soft and quiet. He was thinking of the boy Mycah, of Jon Arryn's sudden death, of Bran's fall, of old mad Aerys Targaryen dying on the floor of his throne room while his life's blood dried on a golden blade. Ã¢â¬Å"My lady,Ã¢â¬ he said, turning to Catelyn, Ã¢â¬Å"there is nothing more you can do here. I want you to return to Winterfell at once. If there was one assassin, there could be others. Whoever ordered Bran's death will learn soon enough that the boy still lives.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I had hoped to see the girls . . . Ã¢â¬ Catelyn said. Ã¢â¬Å"That would be most unwise,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger put in. Ã¢â¬Å"The Red Keep is full of curious eyes, and children talk.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"He speaks truly, my love,Ã¢â¬ Ned told her. He embraced her. Ã¢â¬Å"Take Ser Rodrik and ride for Winterfell. I will watch over the girls. Go home to our sons and keep them safe.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"As you say, my lord.Ã¢â¬ Catelyn lifted her face, and Ned kissed her. Her maimed fingers clutched against his back with a desperate strength, as if to hold him safe forever in the shelter of her arms. Ã¢â¬Å"Would the lord and lady like the use of a bedchamber?Ã¢â¬ asked Littlefinger. Ã¢â¬Å"I should warn you, Stark, we usually charge for that sort of thing around here.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"A moment alone, that's all I ask,Ã¢â¬ Catelyn said. Ã¢â¬Å"Very well.Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger strolled to the door. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't be too long. It is past time the Hand and I returned to the castle, before our absence is noted.Ã¢â¬ Catelyn went to him and took his hands in her own. Ã¢â¬Å"I will not forget the help you gave me, Petyr. When your men came for me, I did not know whether they were taking me to a friend or an enemy. I have found you more than a friend. I have found a brother I'd thought lost.Ã¢â¬ Petyr Baelish smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"I am desperately sentimental, sweet lady. Best not tell anyone. I have spent years convincing the court that I am wicked and cruel, and I should hate to see all that hard work go for naught.Ã¢â¬ Ned believed not a word of that, but he kept his voice polite as he said, Ã¢â¬Å"You have my thanks as well, Lord Baelish.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, now there's a treasure,Ã¢â¬ Littlefinger said, exiting. When the door had closed behind him, Ned turned back to his wife. Ã¢â¬Å"Once you are home, send word to Helman Tallhart and Galbart Glover under my seal. They are to raise a hundred bowmen each and fortify Moat Cailin. Two hundred determined archers can hold the Neck against an army. Instruct Lord Manderly that he is to strengthen and repair all his defenses at WhiteHarbor, and see that they are well manned. And from this day on, I want a careful watch kept over Theon Greyjoy. If there is war, we shall have sore need of his father's fleet.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"War?Ã¢â¬ The fear was plain on Catelyn's face. Ã¢â¬Å"It will not come to that,Ã¢â¬ Ned promised her, praying it was true. He took her in his arms again. Ã¢â¬Å"The Lannisters are merciless in the face of weakness, as Aerys Targaryen learned to his sorrow, but they would not dare attack the north without all the power of the realm behind them, and that they shall not have. I must play out this fool's masquerade as if nothing is amiss. Remember why I came here, my love. If I find proof that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn . . . Ã¢â¬Å" He felt Catelyn tremble in his arms. Her scarred hands clung to him. Ã¢â¬Å"If,Ã¢â¬ she said, Ã¢â¬Å"what then, my love?Ã¢â¬ That was the most dangerous part, Ned knew. Ã¢â¬Å"All justice flows from the king,Ã¢â¬ he told her. Ã¢â¬Å"When I know the truth, I must go to Robert.Ã¢â¬ And pray that he is the man I think he is, he finished silently, and not the man I fear he has become.
Posted by J at 4:34 PM
Friday, August 30, 2019
Morality and Ethics Morality and ethics are terms often used as if they have the same meaning. At other times, they are used as if they have no relationship to one another. I think most people realize ethics and morality have something to do with the concepts of good and bad. However, English is not like French, which has the Academic Fantasies acting as its linguistic jury Ã¢â¬â establishing what proper French is. English changes at the impulse of the crowded. One can bomb, and that's bad, but if one is the bomb, and that's good.The word Ã¢â¬Å"moralityÃ¢â¬ has been co-opted by groups, such as the Moral Majority, making us think morality only deals with acts these religious groups think aren't proper, or are therefore immoral. The meanings of the terms Ã¢â¬Å"ethicsÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"moralityÃ¢â¬ can be differentiated based on their origins in ancient Greek and Latin, respectively. As a result, words that come into the English language from the Greeks often have meanings th at are primarily philosophical study, while the Latin-derived words imply Ã¢â¬Å"doing the thing. Ethics comes from the Greek word ethos Ã¢â¬â moral character or custom. Morality comes from the Latin word moralist Ã¢â¬â custom or manner. The words both deal with the customs or the manner in which people do things. Their modern meanings relate to the way people act Ã¢â¬â either good or bad. Morality, strictly speaking, is used to refer to what we would call moral conduct or standards. Morality is looking at how good or bad our conduct is, and our standards about conduct. Ethics is used to refer to the formal study of those standards or conduct.Sometimes, one refers to the study of conduct as moral philosophy, but that is less common than just saying Ã¢â¬Å"ethics. Ã¢â¬ One might say that morality is ethics in action, but in the end, the two terms can be used interchangeably. The study of ethics or moral philosophy can be divided into three broad areas: descriptive, normat ive and analytical or met ethics. Ethics deals with such questions at all levels. Its subject consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision making, and its major concerns include the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong.The terms ethics and morality are closely related. We now often refer to ethical judgments or ethical principles where it once would have been more common to speak of moral judgments or moral principles. These applications are an extension of the meaning of ethics. Strictly speaking, however, the term refers not to morality itself but to the field of study, or branch of inquiry, that has morality as its subject matter. In this sense, ethics is equivalent to moral philosophy.Although ethics has always been viewed as a branch of philosophy, its all-embracing practical nature links it with many other areas of study, including anthropology, biology, economics, history, politics, sociology, and theology. Yet, ethics remains distinct from such disciplines because it is not a matter of factual knowledge in the way that the sciences and other branches of inquiry are. Rather, it has to do with determining the nature of normative theories and applying these sets of principles to practical moral problems.Virtually every human society has some form of myth to explain the origin of morality. In the Louvre in Paris there is a black Babylonian column with a relief showing the sun god Shamash presenting the code of laws to Hammurabi. The Old Testament account of God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai might be considered another example. In Plato's Protagoras there is an avowedly mythical account of how Zeus took pity on the wretched humans, who, living in small groups and with insufficient teeth, weak claws, and lack of speed, were no match for the other beasts.To make up for these deficiencies, Zeus gave humans a moral sense and the capacity for law and justice, so that they c ould live in larger communities and cooperate with one another. There is some difficulty, already known to Plato, with the view that morality was created by a divine power. In his dialogue Euthyphro, Plato considered the suggestion that it is divine approval that makes an action good. Plato pointed out that if this were the case, we could not say that the gods approve of the actions because the actions are good. Why then do the gods approve of these actions rather than others?Is their approval entirely capricious? Plato considered this impossible and so held that there must be some standards of right or wrong that are independent of the likes and dislikes of the gods. Modern philosophers have generally accepted Plato's argument because the alternative implies that if the gods had happened to approve of torturing children and to disapprove of helping one's neighbors, then torture would have been good and neighborliness bad. That morality should be invested with all the mystery and po wer of divine origin s not surprising. Nothing else could provide such strong reasons for accepting the moral law. By attributing a divine origin to morality, the priesthood became its interpreter and guardian, and thereby secured for itself a power that it would not readily abandon. This link between morality and religion has been so firmly forged that it is still sometimes asserted that there can be no morality without religion. According to this view, ethics ceases to be an independent field of study. It becomes, instead, moral theology.
Posted by J at 6:57 PM
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Most People have experienced, at one time or another, the frustration of simply not being able to escape a thought. If it is merely a song that keeps going through our mind, or a positive or neutral image, the problem is just that: frustration. But when it is an evil idea, our inability to throw it off, no matter what a person do, may drive into great inner need. For some people, it is a question of envy or jealousy; others are tormented by mistrust and spiteful thoughts; still others seem to struggle unendingly with lustful images and ideas. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Two things are very important in our life. First, we should remember that we are not alone in our struggle. It is easy to forget this, especially when our inner struggle is long or intense. The struggle is a universal one, and may be overcome at least in part by sharing it with someone the afflicted person trusts, whether a pastor or priest, a spouse, a mentor, or a close friend. Second, people must remain reassured that there is a way out. Once people give in to the demons of self doubt and fear, the battle has already been lost. It is a general belief that the feeling of paralysis or powerlessness in the face of evil lies, close to being possessed. It may even be possession. One needs to exercise caution in using the wordÃ¢â¬âthere is a state in which people might feel besieged by evil spirits, yet do not let them take full possession of us. What the New Testament calls possession comes about when a person is completely dominated by the power of evil. But one must recognize that there are people today in such a condition. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In a world where everything is explained away by psychology and psychiatry, it seems tempting to dismiss the idea of possession. People have a medical label for every ill and, it seems, a cure. Yet there are so many people for whom psychiatry is ultimately of no help! One has often wondered that would happen if Jesus were to visit our overflowing mental hospitals. Suppression Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Though some evil thoughts can be easily dismissed (or overcome by a short prayer), others are much harder to expel. In the case of such Ã¢â¬Å"besettingÃ¢â¬ evil thoughts, our natural reaction is often suppression: to push the offending idea back down, deep into our subconscious, in order to rid ourselves of it quickly. But that never works. As Freud and countless others have shown, a suppressed thought will always resurface, just like a corked bottle that is pushed below the water but bobs up again as soon as it is released. The only alternativeÃ¢â¬âto continue with the picture of bottleÃ¢â¬âis to grasp it and throw it out of the water altogether. In other words, the most effective way to truly rid our mind of a suppressed thought is to face it squarely and reject it. God the Creator and Creation Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã As a weak, despised, persecuted community who followed a crucified Messiah, the first Christians knew all too well in their own experience that after Easter Sunday the powers of darkness were still at work in and around them. But because they remembered the power of God that raised Jesus form the dead and made him to be not only their Lord but the Lord of the whole world, they were sure that however powerful the forces of evil may be, however much damage they may still do, they are doomed to failure in their attempt to take a throne that does not belong to them. These Christians, therefore, looked forward to the future with the absolute certainty that the justice and love of God that had been victorious would finally be victorious both in their own lives and in the world around them. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The early ChristiansÃ¢â¬â¢ memory of JesusÃ¢â¬â¢ resurrection also led them to remember the cross of Christ in a new way. It became for them a sign not only of JesusÃ¢â¬â¢ (and GodÃ¢â¬â¢s) powerlessness in the in the face of evil but also a sign of love of Jesus (and God), which was so great that he (and the God who sent him) was willing to suffer and even die for needy, suffering, sinful people. If the memory of JesusÃ¢â¬â¢ resurrection meant confidence in GodÃ¢â¬â¢s liberating power over the powers of evil, the memory of JesusÃ¢â¬â¢ cross meant confidence in the self-giving, suffering love of a Christ (and God) that was present with them even in the depths of their suffering and dying. It meant that nothing could separate us from the Ã¢â¬Å"love of God in Christ Jesus our LordÃ¢â¬ Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã James Charlesworth, with many others, sees apocalypticism as resulting from a collapse in the world of meaning. The apocalyptic texts are a lament over the failure of ordinary historical process to resolve human problems. They are a eulogy over an exhausted, worn-out earth and the present age of suffering, and they culminate in a vision of a new age in which Ã¢â¬Å"the wolf shall live with the lambÃ¢â¬ and peace will prevail throughout the world. One side of Hebraic apocalypticism is irenic and conciliatoryÃ¢â¬âthe nations will finally be at peace with one anotherÃ¢â¬âwhile the other side is warlike and vengefulÃ¢â¬âthe enemies of godÃ¢â¬â¢s people (either all Gentiles or some of them) will suffer ultimate defeat and receive punishment for their sins. Reactions to apocalypticism have varied, but a common modern repose is to see it as escapist. It tells that though the present world is filled with incredible evil, there is a realm beyond where God triumphs, the righteous flourish, and the wicked suffer. Once again, the lines are somewhat blurry in as much as the classical Hebrew prophets all announced that ultimate salvation was GodÃ¢â¬â¢s work and not a human accomplishment. Apocalypticism is in effect an intensification of the sense of human powerlessness in the face of evil. Discerning the Divine Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The first Christians remembered Jesus, the tragic and innocent victim of evil who cried, Ã¢â¬Å"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Ã¢â¬ only to remember also that Jesus later had been raised by GodÃ¢â¬â¢s power, victorious over the worst that evil could do. Christ is risen! From the beginning there were signs among believers that the Spirit of Jesus was inaugurating the kingdom of life in the face of the still present kingdom of death. The reality if resurrection provided a new way of viewing the cross of Jesus. More than a sign of GodÃ¢â¬â¢s powerlessness in the face of evil, the cross became a sign of GodÃ¢â¬â¢s amazing love that transforms the worst of evil into the fullness of life. Faith in a just and loving God is not based on good or bad experience in the immediate present. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã One helpful answer to the troubling question Why is there evil if God is good and all-powerful? It is called the Ã¢â¬Å"logic of loveÃ¢â¬ theodicy. This logic presumes that God originally created for the sake of enabling loving relationships, a purpose requiring the granting of real freedom to the created. God will love, but in the process open the door to the potentially wrong use of freedom, which is evil (Ã¢â¬Å"liveÃ¢â¬ spelled backward). Thus, Ã¢â¬Å"though God does not protect us from ourselves, God is there redeeming every situation, though exactly how, we may not yet always know. Works cited Arnold, Heini. Arnold, Heinrich, J. Freedom from Sinful Thoughts. Plough Publishing House1997. pg. 33-35 Callen, L, Barry. Discerning the Divine: God in Christian Theology.Ã Geneva: Westminster John Knox Press 2004. pg. 134 Guthrie, C, Shirley. Christian Doctrine. Geneva: Westminster John Knox Press pg. 186 McClymond, James, Michael. Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth. WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing 2004. pg. 70
Posted by J at 9:20 PM
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
A Closer Look to Higher Educational Learning in the United States - Essay Example Higher learning in its truest sense symbolizes the appreciation, interpretation, and understanding of knowledge beyond what is discernible and distinguishable by the human senses. Its forms vary in functions and have different effects in shaping the society we are budging and living right in. Also, besides those stated above, higher education allows the feeding off of utmost desire, imagination, and compassion toward the peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s psyche in order to conquer the realms of ignorance, lack of knowledge and unawareness regarding relevant issues which continuously affect present circumstances. As stated in an article by Peirce (1993) entitled What Does Society Need from Higher Education? educational learning has been considered as a primary resource which mainly supports other institutions, such as the government and the business sector, in various vital ways. Having said these facts, it could be assumed that higher form of learning addresses the necessity of providing a holistic ap proach in order to influence the mindset of the people, especially the working adult populace, and eventually exert efforts for the common good of the majority. But how could these be all possible, given that there are too many problems and conflicts involved in the formation of the correct curriculum so as to implement effective adult learning schemes and practices? If perfected, does finishing a degree program following any of these designed curricula would mean being truly educated in the end?... If perfected, does finishing a degree program following any of these designed curricula would mean being truly educated in the end? Do the universities and colleges which offer various programs and other basic courses really know what their exact functions are? Or, are they missing these functions entirely all these years? In all fairness, I believe that it is very essential to answer and tackle these questions before we could completely discuss and expound the intricate details concerning higher formal education among adult citizens. For they serve as bases of what education and being educated should be about. According to Ritt (2008), a college degree is considered by most people as a prerequisite towards a better living condition in the future. Generally, a college diploma promises and grants the bearer greener pasture, a secured career and an improved quality of existence. That is why, many dream of obtaining one; but, few have the means to get through. Meanwhile, in the same art icle wrote by Ritt (2008), U.S. only ranks tenth among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries when it comes to the percentage of young adults , aging from 25-34, having postsecondary credentials and education --- that is about 34 million people in summary having no college experience. This information is quite alarming in a way, since fast growing technologies and jobs in the market require at least postsecondary certifications. Moreover, it has been considered as apprehensive by most experts, since there have been cases of severe decrease in work productivity and professional discipline around the nation. The facts stated above constitute a big fraction of the pie which shows the meaning and the present situation of educated adult
Posted by J at 11:33 PM
Antarctic sea ice melt and its implications - Essay Example mosphere and polar oceans; and changes the force of ocean buoyancy by redistributing fresh water through transportation and subsequent melting of comparatively fresh sea ice. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this essay is to investigate Antarctica sea ice melt, examine the ocean-atmosphere interaction, and evaluate the environmental and societal impact of rising sea levels and other impacts of the sea ice melt. Globally, there is a decline of snow and ice over the past several years, particularly since 1980, with an increasing downturn during the last decade. In the South Pole, the east and west Antarctic Ice Sheets are Ã¢â¬Å"two unequal parts, with different histories and characteristicsÃ¢â¬ (Mercer 1978: 323), Figure 1 below. Unlike the vast, older and mostly land-based ice sheet in East Antarctica, the Western Antarctic ice sheet is younger, much smaller and marine-based, anchored to a distance of 2,500 meters below sea level. Further, West Antarctica is not a single continent, but is a series of islands covered by ice, touching the ocean floor, and not based on land (NASA 2010). Two-thirds of the continent is East Antarctica, a high, frozen desert. If all the ice melted, it would increase the global sea level by about 60 meters or 197 feet. The results from a recent National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/ German Aerospace CenterÃ¢â¬â¢s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) study, indicate that since 2006 there has been greater ice loss from interior East Antarctica than earlier believed (Chen et al 2009). In the Southern Ocean, sea ice forms a fringe around the entire Antarctic continent (Figure 2. below) which is surrounded by the waters of different seas. The Antarctica is subdivided into 5 sectors by researchers, each impacted by diverse geography and weather conditions. This results in greater yearly variations in Antarctic sea ice, as compared to Arctic sea ice (Nasa.Gov 2010). Ã¢â¬Å"Across the Antarctic Peninsula lies one of the
Posted by J at 2:02 AM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Event Study for Efficient Market Hypothesis- Ex dividend Data - Dissertation Example Anomalies in the expression of the standard, tax centric theory of stock performances have been noted and described. While a tax centric hypothesis has explanatory power, this study examines evidence that there are additional forces of corporate governance, ownership concentration, and market capitalization that can adjust the performance of dividends independent of taxation. This study is a meta-analysis describing the Western standard for market forces pertaining to dividend taxation, on the assumption that stock prices must be adjusted to less than the amount of the dividend in order to compensate for taxation. Yet comparison with Asian markets introduces exceptions to that premise. Ultimately, more data is needed in order to falsify the tax centric hypothesis, however this principle is a subject to modification and interference by other market forces that influence the behaviors of investors and the performance of stocks. EVENT STUDY FOR EFFICIENT MARKET HYPOTHESIS Ã¢â¬â EX DI VIDEND DATA Table of Contents Abstract Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦.. p. 2 Introduction Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦.. p. 4 Methodology Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦.. p. 7 Chapter 1: Literature Review Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦.. p. 8 Chapter 2: Korean Markets Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦.. p. ... 31 Introduction Since the advent of tradable stocks on the national and international markets there has been a great deal of calculation and speculation in regards to the relationship between stock returns and dividend yields, both in the informal imagination of financial advisors, as well as in the formalized literature therein. Decades ago, popularize models of tax effects created the presumption that higher risk investments were necessary to compensate for returns that incurred greater taxes. Returns on investments should be risk adjusted with respect to stocks. This would compensate the investor for higher rates of taxation through higher dividend yields. This is necessary due to higher levels of taxation of dividend income as compared with capital gains income. (Brennan, 1970 p.417-427) To be specific, dividend income refers to profits yielded by a publicly traded corporation. In which case of course, the profits can be turned back into the business, to invest in facility enhanc ements, or possibly salaries Ã¢â¬â in which case they qualify as retained earnings. Or they can be distributed to shareholders who provided initial investments that contributed to the company's initial success. All in respect to the initial contribution based upon the value and number of shares purchased by a particular investor. (Sullivan and Sheffrin, 2003) these may take a variety of forms, such as currency cash dividends, Stock/scrip dividends that constitute additional shares of the Corporation, or property dividends, which can take a variety of forms including shares of another corporation or other assets or services. (Sullivan and Sheffrin, 2003) In many cases, taxation rates are higher for dividend income compared with capital gains. To be specific, we are referring to capital
Posted by J at 4:33 AM
Monday, August 26, 2019
Roland Barthe - Essay Example difference is this: the work is a fragment of substance, occupying a part of the space of books, the Text is a methodological fieldÃ¢â¬ (From Work to Text Ã¢â¬â 156-7). Known for his many thought-provoking contributions to literary criticism, French semiotic Roland BarthesÃ¢â¬â¢ discourse on the difference of the Ã¢â¬ËtextÃ¢â¬â¢ and the Ã¢â¬ËworkÃ¢â¬â¢ is something that has been a subject of many deliberations. In deduction, Ã¢â¬ËtextÃ¢â¬â¢ is often placed secondary to Ã¢â¬ËworkÃ¢â¬â¢ in terms of implication. The primary notion is to not construe that all familiar works that have been around for ages can be classified as Ã¢â¬ËworksÃ¢â¬â¢ while all that are modern should be compartmentalized as Ã¢â¬Ëtexts.Ã¢â¬â¢ Critics and general readers are also bent upon the difference of the two, consciously or unconsciously. It polarizes between the strict rules and adherence to fundamentals and the openness for interpretation and difference in association to what is good literature and bad literature, thus what the classics offer and what the moderns present. It is supposed therefore that a general predisposition incumbent upon the arbitrator, whether it is a Ã¢â¬ËtextÃ¢â¬â¢ or a Ã¢â¬Ëwork,Ã¢â¬â¢ consolidates the classification primarily based on their subjectivity. What Barthes has opened and has continued to pursue us is in essence the core foundations of how literary pieces are perceived, distinctly elaborating on the divergence of our acuities. But the convergence of the fragmented substance of the work and the methodology of the text would incorporate a consensus for an auspicious
Posted by J at 7:06 AM
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Bdm - Essay Example 8.56135 7.77005 Inter-quartile range (IQR): The median happens to be in the middle of the sorted data. Similarly the first quartile can be defined as 1/4 of the way through the sorted data, and the third quartile to be 3/4 of the way through the sorted data. Second quartile is also known as the median. The range between the first and third quartiles includes half of the data. The size of the range (i.e., the difference between the third quartile and the first quartile) is another measurement of variability called the inter-quartile range or IQR. For normally distributed data: IQR = 1.35 From the above calculations it appears the reorganization exercise has not been a grand success. Though it appears to have tightened some loose ends but still the average output remains the same. Task-3: Table-2: Annual record of sales revenue & advertising expenditure for SarnesCo (000's) Period 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Sales Revenue 100 130 160 175 180 190 190 180 220 250 255 260 Advertising expenditure 10 12 12 12 13 13 13 14 15 15 16 16 3 period moving averages for sales A3 = (160+130+100)/3 = 390/3 = 130 A4 = (175+160+130)/3 = 465/3 = 155 A5 = (180+175+160)/3 = 515/3 = 171.67 A6 = (190+180+175)/3 = 545/3 = 181.67 A7 = (190+190+180)/3 = 560/3 = 186.67 A8 = (180+190+190)/3 = 560/3 = 186.67 A9 = (220+180+190)/3 = 590/3 = 196.67 A10 = (250+220+180)/3 = 650/3 = 216.67 A11 = (255+250+220)/3 = 725/3 = 241.67 A12 = (260+255+250)/3 = 765/3 = 255 4 period moving averages for sales (it can be calculated similarly as above) A4 = Task-4: Task- 5: Business Presentation Material for the presentation SarnesCo, the manufacturer of machinery for the textile industry, wants to improve its assembly line SarnesCo appoints consultant, who in turn study the assembly...The range between the first and third quartiles includes half of the data. The size of the range (i.e., the difference between the third quartile and the first quartile) is another measurement of variability called the inter-quartile range or IQR. For normally distributed data: Taking a look at the mean, median figures of the production efficiency 'before' and 'after' the implementation of these steps, it is quite apparent that the consultants have not been able to improve the assembly line as much as desired by the company.
Posted by J at 9:39 AM
Saturday, August 24, 2019
The End of Euro Disneys as a White-knuckle Ride - Essay Example It is not expected for growth in the European sector to be experienced until 2010 or 2011, which will require Disneyland Europe to find innovative methods to draw higher crowd volumes and ensure profit success. Additionally, rising commodity prices which will be felt in 2009 will seriously erode the potential for profitability in this year, with the business forced to cut costs where necessary and appropriate. One publicity expert identifies that theme park industries are highly competitive and strategic success involves the volume of guests which pass through the entrance turnstile every day (Kohl, 2000: 48). Further, the author identifies that attendance is so widely important that many executive leaders have hourly tourist counts pumped into their mobile devices for the sake of tracking customer numbers (Kohl). This is especially true at Disneyland Europe which relies on customer volumes to generate annual profit. Getting higher sales volumes, however, in the midst of the current credit crunch requires understanding competitive behaviors whilst redesigning Disneyland Europe with a new, modernized logo to attract the contemporary consumer. Readjustments to marketing will be the proverbial saving grace for Disneyland Europe in the next five years. In 2009, Disneyland Europe must make a stronger effort to understand its customers. Since over 40 percent of all customers are French, repositioning the EuroDisney brand to focus on French lifestyle can ensure a higher revenue stream during the current economic crisis. This will be increasingly difficult beyond 2008 and will require research into existing consumer behaviors in French markets. Snyder (2002) offers that the French tend to link Disneyland Europe with American culture, giving them a negative perception of Ã¢â¬Å"cultural imperialismÃ¢â¬ in which the theme park isÃ attempting to force American lifestyle into a proud, French culture. Negative cultural perceptions must be eliminated whenever possible in the new marketing model.Ã
Posted by J at 12:12 PM
Friday, August 23, 2019
E-Procurement - Assignment Example This will lead to a reduction in the cost of procurement. This would lead to less time being used for this process. The manager would have more time to spend on other company business rather than being tied up with immaterial purchases. No orders may be lost because it would result in less paper being used in the process. This system would also help to reduce the number of late deliveries. Qatar Petroleum would computerize its procedures so that there will not have to be too many manual interventions. In this way the company may be able to deal with many suppliers instead of a few. The system could compare prices and determine which is best. The company may also be able to benefit from quantity discounts in this way The procurement system could be so set up that orders are triggered from the inventory system as soon as the re-order level is reached. This system would notify someone that an order needs to be made urgently. Transactions are automatically approved based on business rules and so there is no detailed approval process. The order will be transmitted through a central hub. Everything stage of the process would be done online. An e-procurement system is a must for a company that is seeking to reduce the cost of purchasing. Companies are on an ongoing drive to reduce cost and this is one sure way to do so. Qatar Petroleum can benefit from implementing this
Posted by J at 2:45 PM
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Product Mix and New Product Development Strategies Essay The Coca-Cola versus Pepsi competition is perhaps the most well known rivalry in the history of marketing. Coke has long enjoyed the home field advantage, having become entrenched as the most popular and identifiable cola throughout the world. Although it has carved itself a substantial portion of the market, Pepsi has struggled to match the sales revenue of Coca-Cola; until recently. Although Pepsi has never come close to equaling Coke cola market share, they have become more aggressive and adept than Coke in cornering the non-carbonated beverage market. It is in this market that Pepsi is seeking to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage over Coke. It their quest to acquire and develop new products, will the use of the PTSTP method help Pepsi develop new products in order to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage?A product is defined in three levels; core, actual, and augmented. The core of the product is the benefit it offers the consumer. For the example of colas, it could be refreshment, energy (sugar and caffeine), alertness, or just pleasure. The soda itself is the actual product. The augmented product for a cola could be the recognition and status gains perceived by drinking that particular brand. Or it could even be the weight loss from sticking to diet colas. For the development of new products, we first need to identify what consists of a new product. There are six categories of new products:1.New-To-The-World. This is a product that has no like product offered elsewhere. For example, when the first personal computer was offered to the public, this would be a new product. 2.New Product Lines. This is when similar products exist, possibly even under the same brand, but a new line of the product offers some tangible difference to those products already offered. For example, offering diet colas in addition to regular colas under the same brand. 3.Product Line Additions. This is the addition of a product that is directly related to one offered. For example, offering Vanilla Coke for sale alongside Coke. 4.Improvements/Revisions. This is a product which has already been offered,Ã but some change or revision has been made to the products properties. For example: New Coke, or anything labeled new and improved.5.Repositioned Products. The same product offered in a new market or directed towards a new target market. For example Pepsi bringing Sabritas chips into the US to target the Hispanic market. 6.Lower-Priced Products. This is simply reducing the price of an existing product to stimulate sales. New products affect the product mix of a company. Product mix is generally defined as the total composite of products offered by a particular organization. The product mix includes both individual products and product lines. A product line is a group of products which are closely related by function, customer base, distribution, or price range. To use Pepsi as an example, Pepsis product mix includes beverages and potato chips. The beverage product line consists of carbonated, non-carbonated, and water. Pepsi, Gatorade, and Aquafina all are individual products. PTSTP is a mnemonic for the five step process underlying Target Marketing and Positioning. The five steps are as follows:1.Identify competitive Products. 2.Define the Target market. 3.Determine the basis for Segmentation. 4.Determine if any Target markets are underserved. 5.Develop a Product for the underserved market. By using this method, a company can identify a gap in a particular market segment. This gap may be present because there is no product to fill it, or because the current product is reaching the end of its life-cycle, thus creating an opportunity for new growth. To answer the previous question, we will contrast the PTSTP method to Coca-Cola and Pespis development of the non-carbonated beverage market. Pepsi has continually struggled to match Cokes market share in colas and other carbonated beverages. Coke enjoys a 44% slice of the market compared to Pepsis 32%. During their 108 year rivalry, Pepsi has never come close to selling as much soda as Coke. Much of this is due to Cokes brand recognition. Although in 2006 Pepsi, for the first time, beat Coke in beverages sold. This was due to Pepsis embracement of the non-carbonated beverage market, where it led the market with a 24% share over Cokes 16%. Pepsi was able to recognize and take advantage of the growing non-carbonized market much earlier than Coca-Cola. Although cola sales have recently stagnated to less than 1% growth, non-carbonated beverages grew 8% in 2004. Much of the failure of Coke to expand into this market can be traced back to the stubbornness of Coke executives to expand beyond the soda market. Coke had an opportunity to acquire Quaker Oats in the 1990s, but passed on the opportunity. Instead, Pepsi acquired Quaker Oats in 2001. Among Quaker Oats assets were Gatorade and Snapple, both leaders in their markets. Although these product lines were already established, they represented new products to Pepsi, as they represented Pepsis introduction into the non-carbonated beverage market. As a result, Pepsi owns a commanding lead in the sports drink market, with Gatorade holding an 80% share to Cokes Powerade at 15%. Until 2001, Coca-Cola had been reluctant to embrace new products. They were not willing to extend their company and take the chance in the non-carbonated market, until they saw the success Pepsi was having. In addition to passing up on Quaker Oats, Coke lost a bidding war for the Sobe line of enhanced juices, and their bid for the Planet Java line of coffees and teas was not embraced by their independent bottlers. However, since 2000 Coke has been actively seeking new products in this market, including the acquisition of the successful Minute Maid juice line. The difference in philosophy has made the difference for Pepsi. In fact, losing the cola wars may have been the best thing for Pepsi. This forced Pepsi to look outside the soda realm in order to increase profits. As Pepsis CEO, Steven Reinemund believes that his companys growth is due to their constant quest for change, that Innovation is what consumers areÃ looking for, particularly in the small, routine things of their life. Pepsis willingness to embrace new product lines has given them the edge over Coke for the first time in history. Their offerings of Quaker Oats beverages, Sobe, and Aquafina have all been firsts for a soda company. As a result, they have gained the brand recognition over Cokes subsequent offerings, leading to an increased market share. In order for Pepsi to maintain their competitive advantage over Coke, they need to follow the advice of Reinemund, by remaining innovative. PTSTP can help them sustain this advantage. By identifying potential markets, and developing products for these markets, they can continue to capture new market shares. The beverage market is saturated with options for the consumer, with new products appearing everyday. Many of these products are variations on existing products. For example, energy drinks have become very popular in the past few years. As a result the market has become flooded with options. It will become increasingly difficult to introduce new products in this category. By using PTSTP, Pepsi can identify a new niche in this market, or a different market to exploit. Using the energy drinks as an example, the competitors range from Fuze, Red Bull, and many others. By defining the target market, they can identify that the same demographics both tend to buy sodas and energy drinks. Pepsi can then segment the market into young males (18-30). They then determine that the target market of combined soda energy drinks is underserved. They then develop a product to serve this market. Thus Pepsi Max is born. By using PTSTP, Pepsi has created a new product in soda energy drinks, Pepsi Max. It is this type of creativity and innovation that is embraced by Reinemund, and will serve to keep Pepsi with a sustained competitive advantage over Coke. Only by using a method such as PTSTP, can underserved markets be identified and exploited. References 1. http://business.enotes.com/business-finance-encyclopedia/product-mix2. Brady, Diane (). A Thousand and One Noshes: How Pepsi deftly adapts products to changing consumer tastes. Business Week. 14 Jun 20043. Foust, Dean. Things Go Better With Juice: Cokes new CEO will have to move quickly to catch up in noncarbonated drinks. Business Week. 17 May 20044. Brooker, Katrina. How Pepsi outgunned Coke: Losing the cola wars was the best thing that ever happened to Pepsi while Coke was celebrating, PEP took over a much larger market. FORTUNE 1 Feb 2006http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/01/news/companies/pepsi_fortune/index.htm5. http://www.marketingteacher.com/Lessons/lesson_three_levels_of_a_product.htm
Posted by J at 6:26 PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Negative Effects of Problem Gambling Essay Gambling is an ever-increasing problem which presently affects around 5% of the population, over one per cent of whom will suffer a lifetime of extreme problem gambling1. Despite the profound and detrimental way in which gambling affects society and individuals, it fails to be recognised as a severe psychological illness. It is constantly devalued by the government who are captivated by the capital generated by forms of gambling such as the lottery and, since 1962, have lessened regulations which insured gambling, and therefore the difficulties it incurs, escalate. Gambling as an addiction can be as destructive and have as many adverse effects as excessive drug use or alcohol intake. However, the telltale signs of a gambling addiction are comparatively non-existent, unlike the noticeable physical changes which occur when someone has consumed immoderate amounts of alcohol or drugs. Thus, gambling is often referred to as the hidden addiction. As well as outlining the characteristics of someone who may be labeled a problem gambler, the following essay will detail the often catastrophic effects this behaviour can have on the individual and the entire community. A problem gambler is characterised as someone whose incessant gambling has resulted in psychological, financial, emotional, marital, legal or other difficulties for themselves and those around them. The impact of this addiction is unquestionably greater than the obvious financial losses that can result from repeated gambling and as the addiction progresses, the consequences can be devastating. Unlike alcoholism or substance abuse, problem gambling is not easily detected, yet for the victim, is just as uncontrollable. For these people, gambling is no longer a recreational activity, or even an attempt to rationally balance risk and reward, but a serious problem. There are several warning signs illustrated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders2 which are indicative of a gambling problem. Secretive behaviour such as hiding lottery tickets and betting slips, lying to family members and therapists as a means of hiding the extent of gambling involvement. Evidently, damage, dependence and loss of control, all of which are to be expected as gambling involvement prevails, dominate the life of a problem gambler. For centuries, the impacts of problem gambling have been known and none have described the negative effects as aptly as Jean Barbeyrac in his 1737 works Traite du Jeu: I do not know if there is any other passion which allows less of repose and which one has so much difficulty in reducing the passion of gambling gives no time for breathing The more one plays the more one wishes to play; it seems that gambling had acquired the right to occupy all [the gamblers] thoughts The most famous of all problem gamblers was Russian novelist Dostoevsky who was described as being, Powerless in the clutches of his terrific gambling mania, which blunted his sense of moral responsibility as effectively as extreme alcohol addiction could,3 effectively illustrating how gambling can override every aspect of the victims existence. For the individual, the negative impacts of gambling far outweigh the few advantages; the pleasure evoked by the infrequent win, for example, is eradicated by the more significant loss which often follows. A gambling fixation can affect every area of the victims life. If the addiction goes unnoticed, it is common for the isolated gambler to avoid external resources, choosing to deal with problems alone or denying their existence, thus provoking feelings of guilt, anxiety, fear and ultimately, severe depression, withdrawing from society completely and severely lacking in self-esteem. Gambling often goes hand-in-hand with other addictions; a gambler may turn to drugs or alcohol for solace, unaware these will contribute to and aggravate existing problems4. Unsurprisingly, problem gamblers frequently suffer from gastro-intestinal disturbances and insomnia, problems which are likely to intensify as the victim spirals further into debt. Excessive gambling has drastic effects on employment and finances as participants gamble their lives away. Those at the height of their addiction repeatedly borrow and steal, often from family and friends, in an attempt reverse their losses. Convincing themselves that theft will allow them to win back their money and thus, their livelihood, they are ignorant to the fact this can never be achieved and is more likely to cause further problems in their work and familial relationships. A Canadian survey carried out in 19945 confirmed how destructive the effects of excessive gambling could be. Over half of the 400 participants admitted to spending over $100 monthly on gambling, with around 23% spending from 80 to 200% of their annual salary on their obsession. An astonishing 55% had obtained money through illegal means while 62% admitted to acquiring money from relatives. A great number of gamblers were found to let their habit interfere with their work. Absence was a regular occurrence, while most problem gamblers behaviour and concentration at work was gravely affected by their preoccupation, leading a third of those surveyed to lose their jobs, whether through theft, lack of productivity or continued absence due to entire days spent at casinos. While those surrounding the problem gambler are susceptible to the effects of gambling, the victim himself is most vulnerable and in extreme cases, will attempt suicide. With the success rate alarmingly high, there is no doubt that in serious cases, problem gambling can prove fatal.
Posted by J at 10:08 PM
Punishment In Islamic Law Introduction In every society, security and stability are basic needs no less important than other needs like food and clothing. Travis Hirschi propounded a theory of social control that emphasizes on the role of society in the control of criminal behaviourÃ Ã . It specifies the fact that no society can afford to denounce criminal activity without duly accepting its responsibility towards the same. In other words the theory of social control elaborates on the onus that is shared by society and devised control mechanisms to ensure a safe social arena, one that is devoid of any type of delinquency. Man have been conscious of the need for security since the beginning of life and with the formation and evolution of society, we now have what is known as the establishment of the state or government and the formation of laws. The development of these man-made laws did not come to completion except in the last few centuries after a long experience of trial and errorÃ Ã . On the other hand, the Law of Islam that was sent down to Muhammad in Allahs (SWT) final message to mankind has paid careful attention to this matter and has come with a complete legal system. Taking into consideration the changing circumstances of society as well as the consistency and permanence of human nature, it contains comprehensive principles and general rules suitable for dealing with all the problems and circumstances that life may bring in any time or place. Likewise it has set down punishments for certain crimes that are not affected by changing conditions and circumstances. In this way Islamic Law combines between stability, flexibility and firmnessÃ Ã . Punishment in general Punishment is defined as the act of punishing or the process of being punishedÃ Ã . Theories of punishment can be divided into two general philosophies, the utilitarian theory and the retributive theory. The utilitarian theory of punishment aims at punishing offenders to discourage or deter future wrongdoing. The purpose of punishment is to act as an example to the rest of society and put others on notice that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and will be punished. The retributive theory on the other hand seeks to punish offenders because they deserve to be punished. Punishments under Islamic Law As with all penal systems, the Islamic law system prescribes punishments when someone is found guilty of a wrongdoing. The philosophy of punishments in Islam indicates that Islam provides punishment only as a last resort and the purpose behind it is reform brought about through a blending of human values and justice tempered with mercy. Punishments in Islam reflects its values where it puts the interest of the society before the interest of an individualÃ Ã . The punishment can be severe depending on the crime but have to abide with strict rules and have prominent featuresÃ Ã . Some of the features of punishment are as followsÃ Ã :- Punishments are meant to be a last resort; Punishments are made to be examples to the public; Punishment are to reform an offender; Punishments are a form of retribution for the victim. The punishment system in Islam is aimed towards the three dimension of any crime being the criminal, society and the victim. To criminals punishment is kaffara (purification) and reforming for the re-acceptance into society. To society on the other hand, punishment is a preventive method to save society from crimes and finally to victims, punishment is a means of retribution. Punishments in Islamic Law were set down to protect and secure the ultimate five elements of peoples interests: al-dharuriyat (necessities). These are deen (belief), an-Nafis (life), al-aqil (intellect), al-mal (wealth) and an-nasil (family and lineage). The types of punishment There are four categories of punishment that criminals may be subjected to, namely, Hadd (literally meaning boundaries), Qisas (retribution) and Diyat (blood money), Tazir (chastisement) and Mukhalafat (which covers areas of the rights of the state). Hadd Hadd (plural hudud) literally means boundaries or prohibitionÃ Ã . It is considered to be the most severe of crimes as they go against Gods will and punishments for these crimes are fixed as they have been prescribed by Allah (SWT) in the Holy QuranÃ Ã . The seven offences prescribed are zina (illicit sexual relations), qazaf (false accusation of zina), sariqah (theft), hirabah (highway robbery), shrub al-khamr (consumption of alcohol), riddah (apostasy), and baghy (rebellion against the government). These offences appear to have been selected to indicate that life, family institution, property, honour and social order have to be protected. Evidence for these crimes have to be provided by abiding to stringent rules thus, making conviction difficultÃ Ã . If the crime is proven, offenders for these crimes are punished in public as a measure of deterrenceÃ Ã . However it is only carried out as a last resort after a thorough effort at reforming the person ha s totally failed. For example, riddah, where a Muslim renounces his or her faith, it is treated as treason. A mandatory punishment has been set for this offense. Males face beheading, while females face imprisonment until the time where they renounce their new belief and revert to the teachings of Islam. However, every effort is made to allow the male offender to revert to Islam including receiving visits of religious officials before the punishment is inflicted.Ã Ã The punishments that have been set and have to be carried out if all criteria for evidence have been satisfactorily met for the rest of the offences prescribed above areÃ Ã : Zina A married individual would face death by stoning while an unmarried person would face 100 lashes. Qazaf 80 lashes are mandatory for a free person while slaves face 40 lashes Sariqah A first time offender faces amputation of one hand at the wrist, a second time offender faces amputation of the second hand while a third time offender face either amputation at the ankle or imprisonment until the individual repents. Hirabah If death is caused, the offender faces death by beheading. If no death occurs, the offender faces cross-limb amputation. If the offender is arrested before commission, he is imprisoned until repentance. Shrub al-khamr 80 lashes are mandatory for a free person while 40 lashes are mandatory for slaves or those in the Shafii school Baghy Death is imposed for those who fight and are captured. However, tazir punishments are for those who are arrested or surrender. Looking at the punishments set out above, it appears as very severe and harsh but the main purpose of hudud punishments is to deter the commission of crime in the very first place. Taking the example of sariqa (theft), Allah SWT proclaims, As to the thief, male or female cut off his or her hands, a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is Exalted in powerÃ Ã . Islam does not tolerate theft as it deprives a person of their hard earned money and belongings. Looking at the above verse, it is clear that the intention to punish the offender is to set an example for the rest of society that an act of stealing will not be condoned or accepted by God. What hudud seeks to bring is peace and order and disciplined behaviour as people would seriously consider their actions to do an evil deed as they know the punishment that awaits them is severe. This is the wisdom of hudud. But this is not to say that under Islamic Law, at the slightest chance available, punishment will be imposed. On the contrary, punishments would only be imposed as a last resort where all the conditions and elements of the crime have been satisfied. Qisas Diyat Another feature of Islamic Law is the right of retribution (Qisas). The concept of retribution is explained in the Holy Quran as follows: The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree), but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for (God) loveth not those who do wrong.Ã Ã In simple terms, Qisas follows the doctrine of an eye for an eye, where the punishment is similar to the crime. As Qisas is usually reserved for crimes that involve homicide or bodily harm, for a crime of homicide, the punishment would be death while a crime involving bodily harm, the punishment would be to inflict an injury comparable to the harm caused. A unique feature of the punishment of these crimes is that the victim is able to request for punishment or to forgive the offenderÃ Ã . The victim may also request for diyat (blood money), a form of compensation paid by the offender to the victim, the amount of which has to be equal to the loss incurred and not more. In a hadith narrated by Imam Nissai it mentions that every part of the body has blood money, for example the blood money for the eyes is the equivalent of 50 camels, etcÃ Ã . Tazir Tazir punishments are discretionary punishments that do not fall under the jurisdiction of hudud or qisas and cannot be used as an alternative to these punishments. Tazir can, however, be used if a crime has been committed but has not met the standards of hudud or if the offender has been pardoned by the victim. They are the most flexible type of punishment because they take into account the needs of society and changing social conditions. It is also flexible enough to realize the maximum general benefit to society, effectively reform the criminal and reduce the harm that was caused. The punishments may range from anywhere between a warning to death. One famous example happened in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra), where he punished a scholar who gave false testimony. He ordered that the scholar should have his head shaved, his face painted black, and he paraded semi-clothed in front of people while sitting backwards on a donkeyÃ Ã . But the punishment can be just as severe as the punishments under hudud. The power to punish is given to the judge or to the legal authorities. The purpose of tazir is to prevent an offender from repeating the offence or to incline a person to fulfil his or her duty. A number of factors go into choosing the appropriate punishment under tazir one of which is the situation of the offender where aspects such as the social status of the offender as it is believed those from the commoners require harsher punishment to reform than those in higher classes. It has to also be determined if the offender has committed similar crimes in the past, making the punishment individualized.Ã Ã Mukhalafat This covers the areas of the rights of the state. A person or group contravenes a law which the state has enacted such as exceeding the speed limit or parking in no parking areas. The punishment imposed is at the discretion of the judge or the legal authorities. Kaffarah If a person who has not fulfilled their duty (such as not fasting or performing prayers), the individual is required to pay kaffarah or penance. It is not meant to be a punishment rather it is a reminder of their obligations. There are three forms of kaffarah which are offering a sacrifice, feeding six orphans or the poor and performing fast for three days.Ã Ã The kaffarah that needs to be performed depends on the violation that had occurred.Ã Ã It is interesting to note that the crime here is not one which is against the state or another individual but is a failure to fulfil ones duty or obligations under Islam of which there are also punishments prescribed. Punishment as a last resort Severity of punishments as a form of prevention and deterrence The ultimate aim for a Muslim society is that its citizens do not commit crimes at all and so there should be no occasion to resort to extreme punishments like the amputation of the hand in cases of theft or flogging or being stoned to death in cases of zina. The very thought of watching someone lose a hand for committing theft is definitely unpleasant and considered harsh which is why it is not surprising that hudud punishments often make the headlines in the media due to its severity. However the severity of the punishment is to serve as a prevention and deterrence from committing these crimes in the first place. It is better to be severe to one and save a thousand than to be indulgent to all and ruin many. Allah SWT is certainly a good surgeon who does not hesitate to amputate a rotten limb to save the whole bodyÃ Ã . Just imagine if you see someone walking around with only one hand because he was punished under hudud for stealing, you would keep away from such person. Thi s indirectly causes stigmatization for the offender as society would not want to be associated with an offender. This is another motivating factor to desist from committing the crime. Further, just because punishments under Islamic Law are seen to be harsh, it does not necessarily make them unjust. According to Abdur-Rahman.DoiÃ Ã , incidences of cutting off the hands are rare in an Islamic society for two reasons. Firstly, statistically speaking, the simple enforcement of hudud punishment itself has a significant deterring effect on potential offenders which inadvertently reduces the crime rate in a society administered by Shariah. He cites the example of Saudi Arabia (in spite of the distorted ideology of its government) in recent times and the era of the first generation of Muslims more than fourteen hundred years agoÃ Ã . Secondly, the procedure in seeking conviction of an alleged offender is so elaborate and strict and involves a host of exceptions and conditions, as a result of which in most cases the offenders punishment is reduced from the level of Hadd to Tazir, where the judgement is left to the discretion of the judge. Fear of Allah (SWT) and accountability in the Hereafter According to Muslim jurists, punishments are designed to keep the sense of justice alive in the community by a public repudiation of the acts violating the limits set by God. They are expected to build up in the society a deep feeling of abhorrence for transgression against fellow human beings and therefore against God, a transgression which according to the Quran is the root cause of all disorders and corruption in human lifeÃ Ã . Hence severe punishments are imposed for purposes of dissuading most people from committing crimes. For this purpose it imbues the Muslims with the fear of Allah (SWT) and inculcates the sense of accountability in the Hereafter, as it is believed that punishment should be prevented as far as possible. When it is said to him, Fear God, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell;- and evil bed indeed (to lie on)!- Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 206 And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly- Surah Al-Baqarah 2:281 Punishment is a necessary evil Abdur-Rahman Doi, in his encyclopaedic work Shariah: The Islamic Law makes an insightful observation that the Quran generally adopts the same word for punishment (retribution) as for the original crimeÃ Ã . Therefore, both crime and punishment are known as Sayyiah (evil). By using the same word for both crime and punishment, it implies that punishment although justified by circumstances is truly speaking nothing but a necessary evilÃ Ã . This being the case, at the first instance where a crime has been committed, Islam seeks to forgive and reform the offender wherever possible. However, where it is clear that it is unlikely for the offender to reform or to mend his or her ways punishment would then be imposed as a last resort. Waiver of punishments in the presence of doubt Any shred of evidence that is doubtful or circumstantial will prevent punishment. It is narrated in the Seerah (life) of Muhammad (saw) how he would exert himself to avert the punishment when individuals asked for punishment to be implemented upon themÃ Ã . It is narrated that Muhammad (saw) said, To free someone criminal mistakenly is better than to punish someone innocent mistakenlyÃ Ã Aisha narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said : Ward off punishment as much as you can. If you find any way out for a Muslim then set him free. If the Imam makes a mistake in granting forgiveness, it is better for him than that he should commit a mistake in imposing punishment. Hence should there be even a single iota of doubt on the evidence, hudud punishment in such circumstances should not be imposed. An example of this is in the case of adultery (zina) where the testimonies of four eye witnesses are required to prove the crime. Allah SWT says, If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or God ordain for them some (other) wayÃ Ã . If there is a little doubt, no Hudud penalty is given at all, instead they will then be subject to the punishment of qadhf (false accusation). Hence, Hudud punishments are waived in the presence of doubt, and that benefit of the doubt is always given to the accused. The Right of Retribution Under Islamic law, it offers the aggrieved party the right of retribution. This right of retribution belongs to the individual, and not to the society or state. This simple shift in the responsibility brings about a profound change in the whole system of implementing justice. Instead of starting an irreversible process of trial and punishment which would involve a great deal of time and costs, Islamic law leaves the ground open for settlement between individuals, without the interference by impersonal bureaucratic machinery, though under no circumstances can the individual take the law into his or her own handsÃ Ã . If we compare this with a country like Malaysia which has its own Criminal Laws enshrined under the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, where a person is a victim of theft or robbery for example, the action against the accused is brought by the state and not the victim. Also where all the elements of the crime are satisfied, the accused would be either imprisoned for a period which may extend to seven years, fined or in some cases to both imprisonment and fine. Under this criminal law system, the tax payer who may include the victim themselves would be burdened with taking care of the welfare of the accused whilst in prison. Fines paid are paid to the state and not to the victim who is actually the aggrieved party. It was only recently that Malaysia introduced the concept of victim impact statements in courts. This is an avenue provided to the victims of crimes to voice their feelings in relation to the offence committed against them of which the victim impact statements will be considered when imposing sentencing or punishment. Hence what is certain from the Malaysian Criminal Law system is that unlike the Islamic legal system upon the establishment of guilt and where the accused is found guilty of the crime, the imposition of punishment is definite and as a matter of first choice. The Concept of Forgiveness The concept of forgiveness is one of the main elements under the concept of punishment under Islamic law. In Islamic Law the wishes of the victim or his family is given an important role in deciding whether or not the punishment should be carried out. The victim is allowed to pardon the perpetrator because the punishment in crimes under Qisas is considered the right of the victim and is avoidable because whoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is due from AllahÃ ¢Ã¢â ¬Ã ¦Ã Ã . The ideal way is not to seek revenge at all but reconciliation and to make the offender realize the gravity of his or her offence. The Concept of Tawbah The concept of tawbah is also another element of interest. If an individual does commit crime, Islam allows the individual to repent (tawbah) as Islam believes in awarding its believers a second chance. Tawbah brings the meaning of return from sin.Ã Ã The concept of tawbah can be clearly seen to be encouraged in the Holy Quran through the verse, But if the thief repents after his crime, and amends his conduct, God turneth to him in forgiveness: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most MercifulÃ Ã ; and Except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the Truth): to them I turn for I am Oft-returning, Most Merciful- Surah Al Baqarah 2:160. One is said to have repented if there is a feeling of genuine remorse, shame and resolve to not repeat the crime.Ã Ã Where a person has repented before being caught or arrested, the effect of this is that it can remit the hadd punishment. Islams approach towards crime prevention Islam has looked towards crime prevention more than punishing the criminal. This is akin to the English saying Prevention is better than cure. For this purpose Islam has prescribed preventative measures that are to be taken in order to curb crime in the society. Some of the key measures that are thought to help members of the society to resist the urge to commit crimesÃ Ã are as follows:- Moral Development and pre-crime reform Self purification is one of the main goals of the Prophets (peace be upon him) missionÃ Ã . In Surah Al- Baqarah 2: 112 it says, Nay,- whoever submits his whole self to God and is a doer of good,- he will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. The teachings of Allah aim towards performing what is good and abstaining from harm. When the individuals heart is with the Almighty God, he does not allow for his ego to control his mind and its animal demands, so indirectly one abstains from committing crimes. It is also for this reason that Muslims are required to pray five times a day so as they are constantly reminded that there is an Almighty who created them and they should bow their head in total humbleness towards God. It is a collective mindful meditation that helps you not to forget who you are and where you belong. In a Muslim society Khurram Murad argued that every institution is value oriented and owes a responsibility towards the moral development of every person. Reform is therefore a pre-crime responsibility and not a post-crime syndromeÃ Ã . Islamic Law makes an effort to ensure that the inducement to commit crime is minimal. This is for instance the reason behind the complete prohibition of consuming intoxicants and intense free-mixing of unrelated members of the opposite genders. Part of pre-crime reform involves development of an environment where preventive measures are already in place. Once the crime is committed however, the best place for reform is in the family and in society where a criminal is to live after the punishment and not in a prison where every inmate is a criminalÃ Ã . While Shariah protects society by legislating punishments and preventative measures against crimes, it does not resort to punishment without first preparing for the individual a situation conducive to a virtuous life. It would be considered unjust from the standpoint of Shariah to allow a hazardous act, such as drinking alcohol and then punish a person for drinking while driving. Family Family is considered as the pillar of society. Children look up to their parents as the teachers of customs, practices and morality. Hence stable relationships between parents , spouses and children reduces the need for engaging in criminal activities. Research has shown that children from single parent homes, dysfunctional families, etc are usually involved in crime as a means to stay away from the problems at home or for purposes of seeking attention. Therefore a strong family bond coupled with religious and moral beliefs and teachings would not create a need for people to commit crimes. The fight against poverty This refers to the societys duty to help the poor (in the way of zakat) as poverty is said to be one of the reasons behind the occurrence of crime. The Holy Quran has introduced zakat as one of the good deeds which leads to the purification and development. In Surah Al-Baqarah 2 :110, it provides, And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: and whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with God: for God sees well all that ye do. In a Muslim state, every individual is entitled to social security through the public treasury where funds are collected from various sources including the obligatory annual payment of zakat. Where a citizen is driven by force of circumstances since he could not earn his living for himself or his family due to lack of employment opportunities or was not taken care of by the central treasury, the society and government will be considered at fault and no hudud punishment will be imposed on the accused. It is keeping with this principle that Umar bin-al-Khattab the second Caliph or ruler of Muslims after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not apply the hudud punishment to those accused of theft during the period of famine in the state of MadinahÃ Ã . Similarly, if a person is found stealing out of hunger or to fulfil his basic needs, then no punishment is meted out to him as it is deemed that the fault lies with society and government because it is their duty to see that no person is without means to support himself or his family with dignity. And in their wealth and possessions (was remembered) the right of the (needy), him who asked, and him who (for some reason) was prevented (from asking). Surah Al Dhariyat (51:19) In Malaysia for example, a mother who stole a tin of milk for purposes of feeding her child was sentenced to a days jail and imposed a RM500 fine in default of one months jailÃ Ã . One tends to wonder looking at the sentence passed if the sentence imposed was compassionate and justified considering the circumstances that drove the mother to steal in the first place. Also if the mother had RM500, she would not need to resort to stealing in the very first place. Further being the sole breadwinner, in the event she is unable to pay the fine, then she would need to serve her one month prison sentence and risk being separated from her child. This is the implication of the stringent criminal laws in Malaysia. Conclusion To live in constant fear of being attacked or robbed is surely unacceptable state of affairs. The thoughts and ideas that are prevalent in the society around us affect the way people behave and in this society people are constantly motivated to increase their wealth and become prosperous. But when this is combined with the notion of freedom, people then put no limits for themselves on how to achieve these aims, and crime is a
Posted by J at 1:49 AM
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Literature Based Instruction This article is part of a series drawn from work in the Handbook of Reading Research: Volume III (Kamil, Mosenthal, Pearson, & Barr, 2000). My reasoning for choosing this article is simple; I like to read to children and to tell them stories. I think we can make reading much more interesting if we get away from the Basal Readers and introduce children to all forms of literary works. *Literature-Based Instruction: A Rationale Definitions of literature-based instruction emphasize the use of high-quality literary works as the core instructional materials used to support literacy development A guiding principle of the literature-based perspective is that literacy acquisition occurs in a book-rich context where there is an abundance of purposeful communication and meaning is socially constructed. Literary works in such contexts include a wide range of materials: picture books, big books, predictable books, folk tales, fables, myths, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction informational books, and biographies. *Reading to young children has always been the most common practice for implementing literature-based instruction in preschool and primary classrooms. Anecdotes and observations drawn from case studies of children who have been read to frequently have described behaviors associated with early literacy development These cases demonstrate that young children who have been read to frequently know how to handle books and can identify the front of a book, the print to be read, and the appropriate direction for reading the print. How many times do we see older students with books that have not been taken care? How many times do we see young people sitting in a quiet spot just reading a book for enjoyment? If you could go back and check, you would probably find out that they were not read to as young children. Reading stories is not a magical activity for literacy development; it is the quality of the interaction that occurs during reading that results in positive effects, rather than just the storybook reading itself. The article states Ã¢â¬Å"that storybook reading sessions in classrooms are often not of sufficient quality to engage students fully and to maximize literacy growth. Reading stories as an act in itself does not necessarily promote literacy; attitudes and interaction enhance the potential of the read-aloud event for promoting literacy development.
Posted by J at 5:30 AM