A Speedreading Excercise to Try

August 26, 2007

 

To find your reading rate-read for three minutes.

a) Find average words per line.b) Count total of lines read in 3 minutes.c) Multiply “A” by “B” for total amount of read in 3 minutes.

d) Divide “C” by number of minutes read.

Words Per Minute

Retention

120-180 Below Average. Don’t read enough, read more 30 min more, practice retention skills
180-240 Average for a 16 yr old. Practice comprehension skills.
240-350 Reading on average collegiate level. Practice more comprehension skills, slow down for comprehension matters when you are reading.
350-500 Above Average. Slow down for comprehension matters when you are reading. Organize you strategies more

Make progress chart to evaluate words per minute. Try reading faster than the first time and do 3 times on the same day with the same material.

DATE

WORDS PER MINUTE

9/17 160 WORDS

- Use your hand as the best following device.- Jump words, Read more words at a time to eliminate regressions.-Go faster than you can say all the words to yourself to drill yourself to get better.

-Sometimes,it doesn’t matter if you read all the words,just look at them this will increase comprehension.

 

 

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Legal Business Entities in the U.S.

August 26, 2007

Business Entities in the US Part 1

When it comes to business solutions in America, the solution is as wide as a life span. Workers that appear to be for you are just out for themselves or maybe they are more educated than you in their own mind. We as a people must survive, so we must know and grow with business. We start with entities, which the goverment gives power, to help us in the long run. All that US capitalism is built on is enshrined here in small form for the young and wise.

Sole Proprietorships – A business formed by a single person. Liability is all on the individual;. you are responsible for acting.

To apply: Need an ss4 – federal employment index number, same as a tax id number Then go to city or town clerk and get business certificate. Ex (Jon Glatt DBA as A+ pizza) Sole Proprietor ships are easy to start: need to have an owner’s equity statement, balance sheet and a profit and loss sheet. You fill out a Schedule C -1040 Tax Form. (One form) 15.3 % is the sole proprietor tax from government.

Partnerships and Joint Ventures – is the meeting of two to make money. Everybody is responsible for everyone acting in the business.

To apply: get partnership certification from county clerk, fill out and get business certificate, apply for ss4- tax number then take both to bank, bank cashes checks legitimately, then run business Partnership does not pay tax; it is split halfway between the partners. Get K1 form: Partner’s Share of Income, Credits, and Deductions. Then send to accountant 1040 form. There is a problem with partnerships: you are always liable for everyone… even if you are going in to the partnership. Check out individual person at county clerks office (LLC protects you from other person) (a pc- professional corp. changes liability for professionals)

Partnership Law – You can create scenarios to for any which way you want for profit and loss. It will always be 50/50 or 33/33/33. Contributions to assets are really considered a priority. General business decisions – are a unanimous decision. All kinds of decisions: Adding new partner, buying something for the company. Goodwill – it is the amount of money set for your worth of a company if you were to sell it now. (Just the name) No sales tax involved. If you are selling inventory and value it, you will have to pay sales tax on it.

Fiduciary Duty – Highest legal standard of care/ always be truthful and honest and straight forward in a partnership. If you are not you breach the fiduciary duty of a contract.

A Limited Partnership is a quasi corporation; (quasi- somewhat created and accepted) it is like an investment device. A Limited Partner puts in 25k and he can’t be in control of anything and also can’t be sued. No liability for him.

To apply: go to county clerk and ask where you send the Limited Partnership Agreement . What is on the agreement is as follows :

1) Name of LLP 2) Statement that explains business 3) Total number of partners in partnership 4) Statement which expresses intent to register as a LLP 5) The address of business, for service of process 6) Has to be filed by all partners with a majority of interest in the business. A partnership at will – can dissolve at anytime.

In 1913 UPA (Uniform Partnership Act) was created to make sure the business is legitimate. In 1996, the (revised UPA) called RUPA came into effect. It governs partnerships, makes sure a partnership business is an entity of one. (RUPA) made it a law that dissolution of a partnership will not occur if one decides to stay in the partnership.

Corporation – a legal entity authorizing operations to operate as an enterprise. You have very limited responsibility acting in business. To apply: Start with articles of incorporation. Requirements to be Incorporated is as follows :

1) Your company name INC. (there will be a name search so choose wisely.)- 2) The number of shares for you company would be 200 NPV (no par value.)- 3) Have to have a legal street address –so if you get sued sheriff can serve you.- 4) Your county of business 5) Your Business Clause – what is your trade? What do you do? Precisely and descriptive.

Get a lawyer to review and sign and send it away to state. Call to find out where to send. Pay a fee to state usually $150-$250 to get incorporated. You will want to get a corporate seal so you can get a business account with the bank. You will receive that with your welcome packet from the state along with a (ss4) form which is your incorporation number.

Take these to bank get Corporate Resolution- means that you did this and that and now you can accept funds. This is what the state wants you to get. You are now a Corporation – you can have 13 people in your corporation that makes up a full corporation or you can have 1 which is you to make up that corporation.

LLC – Limited Liability Company – Protects partner from partner, avoids double taxation in corporation. Have to follow a strict way of business to make it work. The articles of organization are permission to form a LLC and what is required on the agrrement is as follows:

1) Name of LLC, must include LLC in full words after company name, followed by a LTD or limited. 2) The duration of a LLC 3) Address of the operating agreement and where the bylaws are kept. 4) The operating agreement – To establish bylaws of an LLC. Include formation provisions, operating provisions, the nature of business, Distribution of profits and losses, power of the managers- what they can do, Voting rights of the members, admission and withdrawal from the LLC requirements. Other info about transferring a member’s interest in the LLC and Provisions for termination of the LLC.

Taxation for the LLC – LLC’s majority decides whether it should be taxed as an association (corporation) or as a partnership. For a single individual, they may elect to being taxed as an association (corporation) or hold the owner and entity identical.

Management of an LLC – If the LLC is managed as an internal company, then it is run as a partnership. Being responsible for one’s actions. If the LLC hires outside managers, then the LLC is run like a corporation. They are held to a minimal degree of responsibility. Many other laws occur.

In the end ladies and gentlemen, if we follow what the  government lays out for us, we have more of a chance than not. That is strictly interpreted.

Fahrenheit 451 and A Brave New World – An Analysis

August 26, 2007

 

 

 

 

              History plays a big part in how the future comes to be. Some authors claim that their novels are the definitive source of how the world will come to be, and sadly it will become a certain way because the author is warning us. While some authors write about the perfect utopian society, some warn us of it. This is a Dystopian warning in the form of fiction. The fiction is then expressed through the media and the student in a person becomes informed. Two great authors that created Dystopian fiction are Ray Bradbury who wrote Fahrenheit 451 and Aldous Huxley who wrote A Brave New World. Their books were honed by teachers and made into study as theories and used in such studies as the study of Communication.

These authors differ much in their views of how communication media affect people’s lives. Firstly, their own communication was two completely books that created statements trying to accomplish a goal. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, he is warning us about becoming too technological advanced and hedonistic. Instant gratification is a moderately occurring theme as well and constantly being poked at by Huxley. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was warning us about being too drug medicated while surrounded by an excess of advertising images while forgetting about what is important. He is warning about a rapid decline of relationships between married couples and their families. Morals and values seem to not be heavily manifested in the lives of characters such as Clarisse and Mildred.

Communication media is mainly comprised of video, governmental propaganda, radio, internet and newspapers. Some forms of communication make take all of these altogether. In these Dystopian books, many characteristics such as brainwashing, technology, a powerful government and rigid social classes help share these communication mediums to the mass audience and effect people’s lives. The governments exert a tremendous amount of power either coercively or hedgemonically. Often, they control people’s thoughts and what they do in daily life. They do this with use of brainwashing and technology. As well the people are divided among the rich or poor in an apparent or hidden caste system and fall prey to communication either way. In a Brave New World and in Fahrenheit 451 all these characteristics are recurring including a distorted view of relationships between each other.

The perspectives of how these authors came to their conclusions are different and their stories are told in a different way.

In Huxley’s novel, the governing body decides what skill or occupation they will have, what they will do for fun and what social class they will belong to and what social class they will have sex with. The problem with Huxley’s book is in the individuals he writes about. We see no hope for the individual to go about his/her day and question authority. He/she will be dead and that is the bottom line. I find it hard to believe that a rebel or just someone that will question authority has no mighty power to control his own mind or break free. In Brave New World, the rebel would not be able to gain followers, because it just isn’t possible in this world and makes this world Huxley created less convincing.

Bradbury’s world is much different. The survival of the individual prevails at the end of the book. The character of Montag breaks free from the world he lives in and makes for a more realistic ending to a story. Effective communication media moguls would dictate that a person is more likely to become less ignorant if he/she learns of the reasons why communication is used. This is what happens to the character of Montag, and he survives. This story is unlike that of Huxley’s because in the end of A Brave New World, the book ending with total victory of the state as Lenina jumps into a crowd. John attacks Lenina and later commits suicide for fear of what he is done. Communications experts from newspapers to television would not end any message to the masses so dispassionately and in Bradbury’s end, the ending is more concrete. Montag meets rebels near the end and helps them memorize the words in the books. This seems more like a story that the media and communicators and would like us as a people to logically follow, be more educated and learn or ignorance is bliss.

The idea of book burning or censorship definitely is a powerful communication tool for theorists, the government and or the media. A great deal of censorship may seem taboo in America, but who’s to know if what Bradbury’s world is more than hinting at is happening right now. The government bombards us with messages in a form of censorship, telling us what to believe and what not to believe through politicians and the media. Censorship can also be protecting people from their own good; however it seems to be abused more than some ideals. Censorship is a key ethical issue for politicians but not talked about so much in the media from what I read about.

Yet another distinct and more realistic ideal in communication media in Bradbury’s book is brainwashing. This does currently happen in contemporary life today. It happened to me in the military. You get cut of from normal life and some memories of brainwashing still are readily apparent in my life, one particularly is learning how not to take something for granted through intense exhaustion and pressure from the boot camp environment. I like, all citizens of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 world willingly submit myself to the government, without questioning it much at first. I just might as well be brainwashed as a young teenager and as impressionable as these citizens. However, the citizens were free to choose if they wanted to be brainwashed and could unplug this government control at any time. On comparing this ideal to Huxley, the citizens are biologically coerced to follow the government control and have no choice in the matter. When Huxley’s characters seem to want to revolt, they get scared and decide not to.

However, Ray Bradbury’s ideas of control in Brave New World are not as efficient as the biological ways that Huxley wrote about. Bradbury’s ideas sometimes seem weak and unbelievable, like when Montag’s wife forgot about the place they met because she is so caught up in her TV world and how to get her husband to put a fourth television set in their house. Many of Bradbury’s ideas apply to contemporary and topical America. For a government to function smoothly, it would need more control than it did in Bradbury’s world. For example, the government does not control a person’s assets i.e. a house or what kind of job they do. The government does not make an individual rich or poor in mind or in wealth like they do in Huxley’s world. So, governmental control of United States citizens or the citizens living in Fahrenheit 451 is not so effective.

Most governments would love a perfect economy and a perfect utopian society. In Fahrenheit 451, the reason for the control is to hide an international war and to not question the acts of the government. For A Brave New World, It is to cover up ideas in books so people cannot think and therefore not question the acts of the government as well.

By far, the most intriguing form of control in both books is Huxley’s social classes and how they ultimately control all people and their interests through this dynamic rigid caste system. They are all born through test tubes in what Huxley calls the Bokanovsky process. There are five classes and they are all “engineered” to either have a high level of intelligence “Alphas” or they are deprived of oxygen to become menial workers, “Epsilons” so they may be created in retardation. These five social classes do not converse with each other so no rebellion or questioning happens, because there is no brain power manufactured in these “Epsilons” to ponder or philosophize. These Epsilons are used a manual laborers and there is never a shortage of them and Huxley’s government runs just about perfectly stabile this way. The classes make the society and economy run in almost perfect homeostasis.

In a struggle for the government to maintain a communication medium in both books, one author succeeded in letting the government keep their one medium of communication that affected people’s lives in Huxley’s Brave New World. While Bradbury succeeded in having the individual break free and help establish a new medium for when society may need the wisdom of literature again. While both books bring about many ground breaking theories, both books dismissed the fact that the governments may need more inspiration than parody and ridicule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Movie Review on The Age of Innocence by Martin Scorcese

August 26, 2007

“Age of Innocence” by Martin Scorcese is a powerful film that shows high society at it’s best and the rules that must be followed along as social norms. In this movie, Scorcese shows us powerful imagery in scenes that transport us into the realm of the lives of rich citizens in the 1870’s. The characters in this movie are similar to gang and their rules are often unwritten like in the mob. Rules like “don’t rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut” from Goodfellas are similarly known in Age of Innocence like what time to come to party, a time limit of a conversational period between a woman and other men or the time span of an engagement period. These rules are known, and are taught at an early age, no one should have a reason to not follow them in adulthood. The rules of this gang surround the characters of Newland Archer, May Wellland, Ellen Olensha and Julius Beauford. These individuals all live in wealth by some form or another that many people will never feel or live in.

Ellen and Newland can be sort of related to Henry Hill, from Goodfellas. He believes that the rules don’t apply to him and so does Ellen and Newland; however they lack more power than Henry Hill to change their life. Most characters, such as May and Julius, have no reason to question their society’s rules because they are comfortable and secure in them. People in the mob are also comfortable and secure in the rules of their society. Newland is very aware of this conformity but doesn’t challenge this ideal until he counsels and meets Ellen who he is helping with her divorce from Julius, the Polish Prince. Newland speaks to Ellen more and more and discovers he has a lot in common with her and wants to break the vicious cycle of life they live in that is similar to mob life.

The theme of this movie is very similar to that of Scorcese’s mob movies. It is that we make choices in a rigid class structure and there is a big price to pay to oppose a rule. We must from then on live with this choice and grow or live without the choice without growing.

The social order of Newland and Ellen is forever changed like in all of Scorcese’s movies. The lesson is to break free from a mob or a societies’ ideals but watch your step because the same people you see on the way up is the same people you will see on the way down or vice versa.

A Book Review of Who Rules America – Domhoff’s Primer to the Upper Class in America

August 26, 2007

 

 

Who Rules America by G. William Domhoff, is a largely objective study claiming through statistics that there is an upper class in the U.S that dominates both political and economic policy. The class is the class of the Power Elite, made up of the Rockefellers, the Carnegies and others as well as many massive large corporation shareholders. Domhoff presents his argument and his first chapter about the Power Elite, “Class and Power in America” and further researches how they as a great power control the U.S in Chapter 7 titled “How the Power Elite Dominate the Government.” We will be able to agree the Power Elite dominates political and economic policy from the arguments and statistics presented herein.

Domhoff first set out to prove that there was an American Upper Class and came up with four studies to establish the existence of this American Upper Class.

The first was a study of the wealthy families of Philadelphia were traced over 200 years to find out they created their own neighborhoods, schools, clubs, and debutante balls and how their activities outside the city were organized by a Social Register, which was full of over 60,000 rich families in thirteen cities. It was valuable proof of upper class standing.(p.7) The second was a study of the patterns of memberships and affiliations among dozens of prep schools and clubs which had much to do with the Social Register.(P.7) The Third proof of an upper middle class was journalists who cover high society and surveying the schools, clubs and social directories and asking them.(P.7) The fourth proof was interviews with a certain number of citizens and what the overwhelming majority of the people’s perceptions of the social ladder as a whole. (pg.7)

With this proof in mind, Domhoff then tried to find out how these Power Elite had wealth and where the distribution of this wealth had come from and how this ties in with power and control of the U.S. Domhoff discussed that wealth comes from the ownership of marketable assets, and defines this as real estate and financial assets from stocks, bonds, insurance and bank accounts. (p.9) In terms of types of wealth Domhoff explains, the top 1 percent of households had 39.7% of financial wealth, including nearly half, 44.1% of all private stock as well as 58% percent of financial securities and 57.3% of business equity.(p9-10) Also Domhoff also finds that the top 10 percent of stock, bonds and trusts and business equity. (p.10)

We can agree by now that Domhoff is seeing a pattern, so he uses the same 10% and sees how they score on figures of inheritance for example. Only 1.1 percent receives $50,000 to $100,000. On the other hand 91.9% receive nothing. It seems that it is a very hard struggle for the bottom 90 percent or so to have any power whatsoever. We compare the wealth distribution to power by defining what Domhoff says on power. Domhoff says there are two dimensions of power, one is available resources, common spirit and or charisma and the population size to achieve the goals.(p.11) In this case this power has been strengthened by assimilating immigrants of different economic and educational levels to function as productive citizens and no doubt this is woks by the social class of the Power Elite. The second dimension of power is the distributive power, as this power is successful in conflicts.(p.11,12) This means a powerful group such as the Power Elite can prevail and reach it’s goals for example the social upper class and the Christian Right can institute the policies even in opposition. (p.12)

Domhoff finds that with these powers and wealth distribution, a class can prevail with four major networks, economic, political, military and religious groups which only support the strong power of a social group.

Since the American Upper Class is the dominant class inequality will happen and this is because of the disproportionate share of stocks, bonds and real estate described earlier that many Americans consider worth having but don’t have because the upper class of Power Elite has the valuables.(p.14)

Domhoff, in effort to find out how is a group that has power and wealth disproportionately tries to measure this.

He comes up with the power indicators of “Who Benefits”, “Who Governs” and “Who Wins” as a basis for measuring power. In the measurement of “Who Benefits” Domhoff explains that “those who have the most of what people want are, by inference, the powerful. He explains further that wealth and well being are the values and the basis for this power indicator. (p.13) The second power indicator “Who Governs” discusses that if a group is highly promoted or not in proportion to the population, it can infer that a group is powerful or powerless. In this example he explains that if 1 percent of the population has 30 positions in government – you’d think they are powerful. The third power indicator is Who Wins? This, Domhoff explains has to do with the issues of taxation, unionization, business regulation, etc. depending on who successfully is able to modify, initiate or veto policy alternatives.(p.18)

This is the framework for Domhoff’s thesis and now it can be put to practical work in the four power networks Domhoff explains. They are the ways the Power Elite with all it’s power and wealth influence the government and population in a planned manner, thereby making it possible to asses it’s degree of success very directly. (p.16) The first power network is the special interest process deals with policy concerns of the Power Elite. Lobbyists from corporations and law firms and trade associations play a key role in shaping the government on narrow issues of concern to specific corporations or businesses and find top level governmental appointees to implement those policies.(p.161) For example, The Magazine Publishers of America paid a lobbyist firm $520,000 to oppose a possible 15 percent increase in magazine postal rates.(p.174) Special interests groups also work through congress to stop regulatory agencies, for example, when the FDA tried to regulate tobacco, Congress refused authorization in 2000 in deference to the tobacco industry. The FDA is now very lax with it’s policies, there is almost a lack of monitoring safety of the drugs on the market today.(p.175)

The second type of power network controls the public agenda with the general interests of only the corporate community.(p.16) It operates though policy planning networks of foundations, think-tanks and policy discussion

groups. As one may believe that a think-tank or a foundation may come from a educational institution, 83 percent of 12 think tanks and policy planning groups, and 72 percent of the 100 largest corporations, had members on the federal advisory committees, far more than of foundations, universities and charities in the database.(p.177) This means that the Power Elite is in control of the policies set forth in this country. Domhoff also says that secondly they are respected upon the presidential and congressional commissions since WWII. Thirdly, they have more personal contact with the officials, Fourth, they serve as informal advisers to the president in foreign policy crises and fifthly, some of these corporate officials are appointed as part of the cabinet in the White House.(p.177)

The third power network is concerned with the election of candidates who are sympathetic to the issues put forth in the last two power networks. This is called the candidate selection process. It operates through large campaign donations and hired political consultants.(p.16)

The sad point made is that these corporate executives become politicians with little or no training. Corporate executives are four times as likely to serve in federal government advisory position because of their clout, wealth acclamation than smaller company executives because they are not the power elite and do not have the connections.(p.165) For example, President Clinton’s first Secretary of State was a director of Lockheed Martin and Southern Californian Edison and First Interstate Bancorp, a trustee of the Carnegie foundation.(p.166)

The last and fourth process is the opinion shaping process. This attempts to keep some issues off the public agenda. They are made up of the second process, the Policy planning networks. Large public relations firms and public affairs departments of the major corporations make up this process. The Power Elite do not enter in a public persona, instead they set up leaders to make special committees to work for changes in public opinion.(p.111) They work hard to influence public schools, churches and voluntary associations to work with the power elite supportfully so the Power Elite can justify their own means when at all possible.

The Power Elite exert an extreme amount of power with their ownership of most of the U.S. businesses, stocks and commercial real estate in the country. Their influence with power, income distribution and their ability to work with each other to accomplish a goal that meets their needs makes them respectable but unnerving. While the Power Elite and top executives of corporations dominate political and economical ends and means, the ends must justify the means as the great philosopher Emmanuel Kant once put it. The positive ethical question is burning, is the Power Elite ready to put the United States needs before their own?

Works Cited

 

Domhoff, William G. Who Rules America: Power, Politics and Social Change. New York : McGraw Hill, 2005

On Emile Durkeim

August 26, 2007

     Emile Durkheim, author of Suicide is well known for his objective and scientific studies in suicide.

Durkheim did not see suicide as good or bad but rather an event that is just on a scale of equilibrium. This meaning that when good things happen, bad things even them out and vice-versa. Durkheim is a great contributor to modern sociology and is well educated in using scientific methodology.     

Durkeim studied suicide and formed his conclusions in scientific method. He formed his conclusion through studying statistics from the census of many countries from America to Europe. He then narrowed his correlations down to religion, marital status, military occupation and the economic conditions between these.  He explains his scientific method through first defining the problem for a specific answer. The main theme of the problem is a dependent variable and this was clearly suicide rates. When Durkheim first formed his independent variable, he believed social solidarity groups would affect suicide rate. Social Solidarity is defined as how close a group is together to each other. Depending on how close they are to their groups, defined as social integration depends on if they commit suicide. Durkheim looked for relationships in his variables to see increases and decreases between government data and relationships in society. He then interprets and compares social groups to see what group is at higher risk for suicide.      

 Durkheim then starts the second part of his research by reviewing the literature and collecting information. He collects information from his sources. He sees that Jews have the lowest form of suicide and Protestants have the highest rate of suicide. Suicide was higher for volunteers than regular workers. It was higher among single people than married people. The suicide rate was higher in times of recessions and depressions in the economy than when the economy was doing very well. For married people with children, suicide was very low. To Be continued….    

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August 26, 2007

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