Monday, September 30, 2019
Advantages/Disadvantages Advantages of bonds Bonds as an investment instrument bring a lot of advantages to the bond holders. Firstly, bonds are more stable than stocks. Investing in bonds involve lower risks compared to stocks. Normally, bond holders are more likely to receive the coupon rate (interest) from bond issuers. So, there is very less chances that bond holders will lost out on their investment. Also, they can feel relieved when they invest in the reliable investment and taking less risk to loss all their money they invest. Besides, bonds are predictable.On the maturity date, bonds are returned to bond issuers in the form of fixed periodic interest and principal amount of the bonds . Bond holders can know how much coupon rate (interest) , how often will receive it and when the value will be repaid (matures) when they purchase the bonds . The interest rate given by bonds are typically higher than the interest rate paid by banks on saving account. Basically, bond holders rece ive more interest than account holders . This means bonds will give the greatest return without posing too much risk. Moreover, certain bonds can be exempted from the income tax such as municipal bonds.So, the interest earn from the municipal bonds can be the investorsÃ¢â¬â¢ profit without any tax on it. Investors who pay high taxes can take advantage of tax exempt bonds. Many municipal bonds are free of state taxes. Some of are also exempt from federal taxes. This is an additional incentive to invest in bonds since lower taxes result in larger gains. Other than that, bonds do not need constant monitoring like some investment instruments. Unlike margin, the investors need to check the price, status, news from time to time and this make a tension life to them.Therefore, it is an advantage for bond holders because they no need spend their time to check the status of their bonds. Disadvantages of bonds Investing in bonds also has it disadvantages. Bonds also take risk . If the compan ies and municipalities canÃ¢â¬â¢t solve their financial problem and go bankrupt, the bonds will then loss value or become worthless. This may happen on those who buy long term bonds which may take twelve years to mature. Investor would not know what will happen on the duration, especially for those who buy from corporate bonds. The interest rate of bond is higher han savings account but much lower than share, gold or real estate. This is the reason why people do not invest in bonds. Also, they want to double or triple the money they invest with good investment which can make a higher profit than bonds. The gold, share and real estate are some of the high return capital in the market, while the bonds are not constant in long term. The other disadvantage of bonds is the bond issuers may not able to pay back what they agreed or promised to. If the bonds are repaid in early month before the maturity date, the bond holders will loss the interest from bonds as a part of their income.The bond fund managers who were expecting continued income from those bonds may suddenly be forced to buy other bonds that don't pay as well. Besides that, long-term bonds can fall in value with fluctuating interest rates. This lowers the value of bonds and tied money of bondholders. If an investor's money is tied up in some low yielding long term bonds and suddenly the interest rates of banks or other bonds go up, there is nothing much the investor can do about the situation. In such case, an investor will end up making much lesser money as he could have, if he had invested in other instruments.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
The beginning would feel like the end. I'd been warned. But this time the end was a greater surprise than it had ever been. Greater than any end I'd remembered in nine lives. Greater than jumping down an elevator shaft. I had expected no more memories, no more thoughts. What end was this? The sun is setting-the colors are all rosy, and they make me think of my friendÃ¢â¬ ¦ what would her name be here? Something aboutÃ¢â¬ ¦ ruffles? Ruffles and more ruffles. She was a beautiful Flower. The flowers here are so lifeless and boring. They smell wonderful, though. Smells are the best part of this place. Footsteps behind me. Has Cloud Spinner followed me again? I don't need a jacket. It's warm here-finally!-and I want to feel the air on my skin. I won't look at her. Maybe she'll think I can't hear and she'll go home. She is so careful with me, but I'm almost grown now. She can't mother me forever. Ã¢â¬Å"Excuse me?Ã¢â¬ someone says, and I don't know the voice. I turn to look at her, and I don't know the face, either. She's pretty. The face in the memory jerked me back to myself. That was my face! But I didn't remember thisÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬Å"Hi,Ã¢â¬ I say. Ã¢â¬Å"Hello. My name is Melanie.Ã¢â¬ She smiles at me. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm new in town andÃ¢â¬ ¦ I think I'm lost.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Oh! Where are you trying to go? I'll take you. Our car is just back -Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"No, it's not far. I was going for a walk, but now I can't find my way back to Becker Street.Ã¢â¬ She's a new neighbor-how nice. I love new friends. Ã¢â¬Å"You're very close,Ã¢â¬ I tell her. Ã¢â¬Å"It's just around the second corner up that way, but you can cut right through this little alley here. It takes you straight there.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Could you show me? I'm sorry, what's your name?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Of course! Come with me. I'm Petals Open to the Moon, but my family mostly calls me Pet. Where are you from, Melanie?Ã¢â¬ She laughs. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you mean San Diego or the Singing World, Pet?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Either one.Ã¢â¬ I laugh, too. I like her smile. Ã¢â¬Å"There are two Bats on this street. They live in that yellow house with the pine trees.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'll have to say hello,Ã¢â¬ she murmurs, but her voice has changed, tensed. She's looking into the dusky alley as though she's expecting to see something. And there is something there. Two people, a man and a boy. The boy drags his hand through his long black hair like he's nervous. Maybe he is worried because he's lost, too. His pretty eyes are wide and excited. The man is very still. Jamie. Jared. My heart thumped, but the feeling was peculiar, wrong. Too small andÃ¢â¬ ¦ fluttery. Ã¢â¬Å"These are my friends, Pet,Ã¢â¬ Melanie tells me. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh! Oh, hello.Ã¢â¬ I stretch my hand out to the man-he's the closest. He reaches for my hand, and his grip is so strong. He yanks me forward, right up to his body. I don't understand. This feels wrong. I don't like it. My heart beats faster, and I'm afraid. I've never been scared like this before. I don't understand. His hand swings toward my face, and I gasp. I suck in the mist that comes from his hand. A silver cloud that tastes like raspberries. Ã¢â¬Å"Wha -Ã¢â¬ I want to ask, but I can't see them anymore. I can't see anythingÃ¢â¬ ¦ There was no more. Ã¢â¬Å"Wanda? Can you hear me, Wanda?Ã¢â¬ a familiar voice asked. That wasn't the right nameÃ¢â¬ ¦ was it? My ears didn't react to it, but something did. Wasn't I Petals Open to the Moon? Pet? Was that it? That didn't feel right, either. My heart beat faster, an echo of the fear in my memory. A vision of a woman with white-and-red-streaked hair and kind green eyes filled my head. Where was my mother? ButÃ¢â¬ ¦ she wasn't my mother, was she? A sound, a low voice that echoed around me. Ã¢â¬Å"Wanda. Come back. We aren't letting you go.Ã¢â¬ The voice was familiar, and it was also not. It sounded likeÃ¢â¬ ¦ me? Where was Petals Open to the Moon? I couldn't find her. Just a thousand empty memories. A house full of pictures but no inhabitants. Ã¢â¬Å"Use the Awake,Ã¢â¬ a voice said. I didn't recognize this one. Something brushed my face, light as the touch of fog. I knew that scent. It was the smell of grapefruit. I took a deeper breath, and my mind suddenly cleared. I could feel that I was lying downÃ¢â¬ ¦ but this felt wrong, too. There wasn'tÃ¢â¬ ¦ enough of me. I felt shrunken. My hands were warmer than the rest of me, and that was because they were being held. Held in big hands, hands that swallowed them right up. It smelled odd-stuffy and a little moldy. I remembered the smellÃ¢â¬ ¦ but surely I'd never smelled it before in my life. I saw nothing but dull red-the insides of my eyelids. I wanted to open them, so I went searching for the right muscles to do that. Ã¢â¬Å"Wanderer? We're all waiting for you, honey. Open your eyes.Ã¢â¬ This voice, this warm breath against my ear, was even more familiar. A strange feeling tickled through my veins at the sound. A feeling I'd never, ever felt before. The sound made my breath catch and my fingers tremble. I wanted to see the face that went with that voice. A color washed through my mind-a color that called to me from a faraway life-a brilliant, glowing blue. The whole universe was bright blueÃ¢â¬ ¦ And finally I knew my name. Yes, that was right. Wanderer. I was Wanderer. Wanda, too. I remembered that now. A light touch on my face-a warm pressure on my lips, on my eyelids. Ah, that's where they were. I could make them blink now that I'd found them. Ã¢â¬Å"She's waking up!Ã¢â¬ someone crowed excitedly. Jamie. Jamie was here. My heart gave another fluttery little thump. It took a moment for my eyes to focus. The blue that stabbed my eyes was all wrong-too pale, too washed out. It wasn't the blue I wanted. A hand touched my face. Ã¢â¬Å"Wanderer?Ã¢â¬ I looked to the sound. The movement of my head on my neck felt so odd. It didn't feel like it used to, but at the same time it felt the way it had always felt. My searching eyes found the blue I'd been looking for. Sapphire, snow, and midnight. Ã¢â¬Å"Ian? Ian, where am I?Ã¢â¬ The sound of the voice coming out of my throat frightened me. So high and trilling. Familiar, but not mine. Ã¢â¬Å"Who am I?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You're you,Ã¢â¬ Ian told me. Ã¢â¬Å"And you're right where you belong.Ã¢â¬ I pulled one of my hands free from the giant's hand that held it. I meant to touch my face, but someone's hand reached toward me, and I froze. The reaching hand also froze above me. I tried to move my hand again, to protect myself, but that moved the hand above me. I started shaking, and the hand trembled. Oh. I opened and closed the hand, looking at it carefully. Was this my hand, this tiny thing? It was a child's hand, except for the long pink-and-white nails, filed into perfect, smooth curves. The skin was fair, with a strange silvery cast to it and, entirely incongruous, a scattering of golden freckles. It was the odd combination of silver and gold that brought the image back: I could see a face in my head, reflected in a mirror. The setting of the memory threw me off for a moment because I wasn't used to so much civilization-at the same time, I knew nothing but civilization. A pretty dresser with all kinds of frilly and delicate things on top of it. A profusion of dainty glass bottles containing the scents I loved-I loved? Or she loved?-so much. A potted orchid. A set of silver combs. The big round mirror was framed in a wreath of metal roses. The face in the mirror was roundish, too, not quite oval. Small. The skin on the face had the same silver undertone-silver like moonlight-as the hand did, with another handful of the golden freckles across the bridge of the nose. Wide gray eyes, the silver of the soul shimmering faintly behind the soft color, framed by tangled golden lashes. Pale pink lips, full and almost round, like a baby's. Small, even white teeth behind them. A dimple in the chin. And everywhere, everywhere, golden, waving hair that stood away from my face in a bright halo and fell below where the mirror showed. My face or her face? It was the perfect face for a Night Flower. Like an exact translation from Flower to human. Ã¢â¬Å"Where is she?Ã¢â¬ my high, reedy voice demanded. Ã¢â¬Å"Where is Pet?Ã¢â¬ Her absence frightened me. I'd never seen a more defenseless creature than this half-child with her moonlight face and sunlight hair. Ã¢â¬Å"She's right here,Ã¢â¬ Doc assured me. Ã¢â¬Å"Tanked and ready to go. We thought you could tell us the best place to send her.Ã¢â¬ I looked toward his voice. When I saw him standing in the sunlight, a lit cryotank in his hands, a rush of memories from my former life came back to me. Ã¢â¬Å"Doc!Ã¢â¬ I gasped in the tiny, fragile voice. Ã¢â¬Å"Doc, you promised! You gave me your oath, Eustace! Why? Why did you break your word?Ã¢â¬ A dim recollection of misery and pain touched me. This body had never felt such agony before. It shied away from the sting. Ã¢â¬Å"Even an honest man sometimes caves to duress, Wanda.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Duress,Ã¢â¬ another terribly familiar voice scoffed. Ã¢â¬Å"I'd say a knife to the throat counts as duress, Jared.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You knew I wouldn't really use it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That I did not. You were quite persuasive.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"A knife?Ã¢â¬ My body trembled. Ã¢â¬Å"Shh, it's all okay,Ã¢â¬ Ian murmured. His breath blew strands of golden hair across my face, and I brushed them away-a routine gesture. Ã¢â¬Å"Did you really think you could leave us that way? Wanda!Ã¢â¬ He sighed, but the sigh was joyful. Ian was happy. This insight made my worry suddenly much lighter, easier to bear. Ã¢â¬Å"I told you I didn't want to be a parasite,Ã¢â¬ I whispered. Ã¢â¬Å"Let me through,Ã¢â¬ my old voice ordered. And then I could see my face, the strong one, with the sun-brown skin, the straight black line of the eyebrows over the almond-shaped, hazel eyes, the high, sharp cheekbonesÃ¢â¬ ¦ See it backward, not as a reflection, the way I'd always seen it before. Ã¢â¬Å"Listen up, Wanda. I know exactly what you don't want to be. But we're human, and we're selfish, and we don't always do the right thing. We aren't going to let you go. Deal with it.Ã¢â¬ The way she spoke, the cadence and the tone, not the voice, brought back all the silent conversations, the voice in my head, my sister. Ã¢â¬Å"Mel? Mel, you're okay!Ã¢â¬ She smiled then and leaned over to hug my shoulders. She was bigger than I remembered being. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course I am. Wasn't that the point of all the drama? And you're going to be fine, too. We weren't stupid about it. We didn't just grab the first body we saw.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Let me tell her, let me!Ã¢â¬ Jamie shoved in beside Mel. It was getting very crowded around the cot. It rocked, unstable. I took his hand and squeezed it. My hands felt so feeble. Could he even feel the pressure? Ã¢â¬Å"Jamie!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Hey, Wanda! This is cool, isn't it? You're smaller than me now!Ã¢â¬ He grinned, triumphant. Ã¢â¬Å"But still older. I'm almost -Ã¢â¬ And then I stopped, changing my sentence abruptly. Ã¢â¬Å"My birthday is in two weeks.Ã¢â¬ I might have been disoriented and confused, but I wasn't stupid. Melanie's experiences had not gone to waste; I had learned from them. Ian was every bit as honorable as Jared, and I was not going to go through the frustration Melanie had. So I lied, giving myself an extra year. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll be eighteen.Ã¢â¬ From the corner of my eye, I saw Melanie and Ian stiffen in surprise. This body looked much younger than her true age, hovering on the edge of seventeen. It was this little deception, this preemptive claiming of my partner, that made me realize I was staying here. That I would be with Ian and the rest of my family. My throat thickened, felt oddly swollen. Jamie patted my face, calling my attention back. I was surprised at how big his hand felt on my cheek. Ã¢â¬Å"They let me come on the raid to get you.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I know,Ã¢â¬ I muttered. Ã¢â¬Å"I rememberÃ¢â¬ ¦ Well, Pet remembers seeing you there.Ã¢â¬ I glared at Mel, who shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"We tried not to scare her,Ã¢â¬ Jamie said. Ã¢â¬Å"She's soÃ¢â¬ ¦ kind of fragile-looking, you know? And nice, too. We picked her out together, but I got to decide! See, Mel said we had to get someone young-someone who had a bigger percentage of life as a soul or something. But not too young, because she knew you wouldn't want to be a child. And then Jared liked this face, because he said no one could ever disÃ¢â¬ ¦ distrust it. You don't look dangerous at all. You look the opposite of dangerous. Jared said anyone who sees you would just naturally want to protect you, right, Jared? But then I got the final say, because I was looking for someone who looked like you. And I thought this looked like you. Because she sort of looks like an angel, and you're good like that. And real pretty. I knew you would be pretty.Ã¢â¬ Jamie smiled hugely. Ã¢â¬Å"Ian didn't come. He just sat here with you-he said he didn't care what you looked like. He wouldn't let anyone else put a finger on your tank at all, not even me or Mel. But Doc let me watch this time. It was way cool, Wanda. I don't know why you wouldn't let me watch before. They wouldn't let me help, though. Ian wouldn't let anyone touch you but him.Ã¢â¬ Ian squeezed my hand and leaned in to whisper through all the hair. His voice was so low that I was the only one who could hear. Ã¢â¬Å"I held you in my hand, Wanderer. And you were so beautiful.Ã¢â¬ My eyes got all wet, and I had to sniff. Ã¢â¬Å"You like it, don't you?Ã¢â¬ Jamie asked, his voice worried now. Ã¢â¬Å"You're not mad? There's nobody in there with you, is there?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not mad, exactly,Ã¢â¬ I whispered. Ã¢â¬Å"And I-I can't find anybody else. Just Pet's memories. Pet's been in here sinceÃ¢â¬ ¦ I can't remember when she wasn't here. I can't remember any other name.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You're not a parasite,Ã¢â¬ Melanie said firmly, touching my hair, pulling up a strand and letting the gold slide between her fingers. Ã¢â¬Å"This body didn't belong to Pet, but there's nobody else to claim it. We waited to make sure, Wanda. We tried to wake her up almost as long as we tried with Jodi.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Jodi? What happened to Jodi?Ã¢â¬ I chirped, my little voice going higher, like a bird's, with anxiety. I struggled to get up, and Ian pulled me-it took no effort, no strength to move my tiny new body-into a sitting position with his arm supporting me. I could see all the faces then. Doc, no more tears in his eyes. Jeb, peeking around Doc, his expression satisfied and burning with curiosity at the same time. Next, a woman I didn't recognize for a second because her face was more animated than I'd ever seen it, and I hadn't seen it much anyway-Mandy, the former Healer. Closer to me, Jamie, with his bright, excited smile, Melanie beside him, and Jared behind her, his hands around her waist. I knew that his hands would never feel right unless they were touching her body-my body!-now. That he would keep her as close as he could forever, hating any inch that came between them. This caused me a fierce, aching pain. The delicate heart in my thin chest shuddered. It had never been broken before, and it didn't understand this memory. It made me sorry to realize that I still loved Jared. I wasn't free of that, wasn't free of jealousy for the body he loved. My glance flickered back to Mel. I saw the rueful twist of the mouth that used to be mine, and knew she understood. I continued quickly around the cluster of faces circling my bed, while Doc, after a pause, answered my question. Trudy and Geoffrey, Heath, Paige and Andy. Brandt, evenÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬Å"Jodi didn't respond. We kept trying as long as we could.Ã¢â¬ Was Jodi gone, then? I wondered, my inexperienced heart throbbing. I was giving the poor frail thing such a rough awakening. Heidi and Lily, Lily smiling a pained little smile-none the less sincere for the painÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬Å"We were able to keep her hydrated, but we had no way to feed her. We were worried about atrophy-her muscles, her brainÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ While my new heart ached harder than it had ever ached-ached for a woman I'd never known-my eyes continued around the circle and then froze. Jodi, clinging to Kyle's side, stared back at me. She smiled tentatively, and suddenly I recognized her. Ã¢â¬Å"Sunny!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I got to stay,Ã¢â¬ she said, not quite smug but almost. Ã¢â¬Å"Just like you.Ã¢â¬ She glanced at Kyle's face-which was more stoic than I was used to seeing it-and her voice turned sad. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm trying, though. I am looking for her. I will keep looking.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Kyle had us put Sunny back when it looked like we would lose Jodi,Ã¢â¬ Doc continued quietly. I stared at Sunny and Kyle for a moment, stunned, and then finished the circle. Ian was watching me with a strange combination of joy and nervousness. His face was higher than it should have been, bigger than it used to be. But his eyes were still the blue I remembered. The anchor that held me to this planet. Ã¢â¬Å"You okay in there?Ã¢â¬ he asked. Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ ¦ I don't know,Ã¢â¬ I admitted. Ã¢â¬Å"This feels veryÃ¢â¬ ¦ weird. Every bit as weird as switching species. So much weirder than I would have thought. IÃ¢â¬ ¦ I don't know.Ã¢â¬ My heart fluttered again, looking into those eyes, and this was no memory of another lifetime's love. My mouth felt dry, and my stomach quivered. The place where his arm touched my back felt more alive than the rest of my body. Ã¢â¬Å"You don't mind staying here too much, do you, Wanda? Do you think that maybe you could tolerate it?Ã¢â¬ he murmured. Jamie squeezed my hand. Melanie put hers on top of his, then smiled when Jared added his to the pile. Trudy patted my foot. Geoffrey, Heath, Heidi, Andy, Paige, Brandt, and even Lily were beaming at me. Kyle had shuffled closer, a grin spreading across his face. Sunny's smile was the smile of a coconspirator. How much No Pain had Doc given me? Everything was glowing. Ian brushed the cloud of golden hair back from my face and laid his hand on my cheek. His hand was so big just the palm covered from my jaw to my forehead; the contact sent a jolt of electricity through my silvery skin. It tingled after that first jolt, and the pit of my stomach tingled along with it. I could feel a warm flush pinking my cheeks. My heart had never been broken before, but it had also never flown. It made me shy; I had a hard time finding my voice. Ã¢â¬Å"I suppose I could do that,Ã¢â¬ I whispered. Ã¢â¬Å"If it makes you happy.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That's not good enough, actually,Ã¢â¬ Ian disagreed. Ã¢â¬Å"It has to make you happy, too.Ã¢â¬ I could only meet his gaze for a few seconds at a time; the shyness, so new and confusing to me, had my eyes dropping to my lap again and again. Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ ¦ think it might,Ã¢â¬ I agreed. Ã¢â¬Å"I think it might make me very, very happy.Ã¢â¬ Happy and sad, elated and miserable, secure and afraid, loved and denied, patient and angry, peaceful and wild, complete and emptyÃ¢â¬ ¦ all of it. I would feel everything. It would all be mine. Ian coaxed my face up until I looked him in the eyes, my cheeks flushing darker. Ã¢â¬Å"Then you will stay.Ã¢â¬ He kissed me, right in front of everyone, but I forgot the audience quickly. This was easy and right, no division, no confusion, no objection, just Ian and me, the molten rock moving through this new body, melding it into the pact. Ã¢â¬Å"I will stay,Ã¢â¬ I agreed. And my tenth life began.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
My Perception of an Addict - Essay Example Addicts like any other group of people have their own stereotypes and these are what most people think of when they are presented with the concept. In most movies, drug addicts are often portrayed as disheveled, unruly, disoriented, aloof, and of course, snorting cocaine, or smoking marijuana and goes unmindful of the world or worse making trouble. Chain smokers are also similar to drug addicts in terms of portrayal as well as with alcoholics. The latter, aside from being disheveled and disoriented, are also portrayed to pass out. Of course, these presentations in movies and other texts have shaped my perception of addicts and that is they are out of control. As defined, addicts of substances like drugs are characterized by these three things: loss of control, compulsive preoccupation and continued use despite negative consequences. These characterizations in the movies are of course with specific basis. However, not all stereotypes are true to every single occurrence of the conditio n. The TV series Monk has shown a different side of addiction, that of compulsion. Adrian MonkÃ¢â¬â¢s character shows an investigator with obsessive-compulsive disorder. At first, he cracks me up like when he couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t just leave three flower vases with unevenly distributed flowers, he tries his best to distribute the flowers just to make it even. He also constantly avoids lines in the pavement and this is how his compulsion is being manifested. Another episode also showed him trying to perfectly position the frame hanging in the wall even if it was just a few degrees skewed. Harmless as it may seem but in some cases, addiction is not. Most of the cases featured in Criminal Minds all involve a certain degree of addiction or as termed in the episodes obsession or compulsion. One episode I canÃ¢â¬â¢t forget during their earlier seasons was where the unsub or the suspect was obsessed with the number 3. She murders in threeÃ¢â¬â¢s using three bottles of chemicals and either done on the third floor or with three people, as with the case of her last victims. What have I learned from these portrayals? It shows that addiction can be in varying degrees. It shows that addiction even when it is a synonym of obsession and compulsion is different from the other two terms with respect to the degree of addiction. Addiction can also be toward other things like computer games or even bonsai or other things. People who are addicted to computer games are almost always seen in front of their computer consoles playing day and night. For those who are addicted to other things may find themselves collecting these and storing these things. Some episodes in Pawn Stars and American Pickers showcase people in America who collect these things and not really do anything about them. In one episode of American Pickers, it shows several hectares full of cars just sitting there and deteriorating. When these guys from American Pickers asked if he wanted to sell, he declined not bec ause of their asking price but because of his attachment to these things. This gives another aspect to addiction in my definition is an attachment to material things. Addiction is not just toward material things. David Duchovny was actually into rehab for sex addiction (Serjeant).Ã Ã
Friday, September 27, 2019
Introdution to business and economy of China - Essay Example The purpose of this paper is to identify the financial and banking reforms in China. Furthermore, the essay will also analyze whether or not these reforms have enhanced and transformed the economic sustainability and the overall economic performance of China. According to Ash et al., (2013), China has remained for many years as one of the fastest growing economies in the world (cia.gov, 2014). However, the background to the economy of China is totally conflicting. The financial sector of China was completely dependent of its banking sector while the banking sector was under serious threats as it was under debts and was facing challenges (Garnaut, 2013; Liao et al., 2013). If the speed and scale of the transformation that China has gone through is observed, then it certainly has no historical match. According to a survey conducted in 1978, China was among one of the poorest countries in the world as its per capita GDP was 1/40th compared to the United States (Das, 2012; Naughton, 2007). Zhu (2012) stated that since China was not doing very well economically and was left far behind in the economic world, therefore, it had to come up with strategies and reforms that may enable its entire economic system to enhance the overall operations. By 1976, many Chinese leaders agreed to the idea that reforms in the field of finance and banking are essential as they will boost up the economy (Lin, 2012). The Chinese leaders were looking for ideas and solution to counter the serious issue of economic instability and challenges that were faced by the country. To counter these issues, the financial and banking reforms were introduced in 1978 (Das, 2012; Cai, 2010). Naughton (2007) has discussed that, before the introduction of the financial and banking reforms, Chinese economy went through major issues and faced numerous obstacles. It was only during the 1930Ã¢â¬â¢s that the economy of
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Conflict management in organizations - Research Paper Example Attorneys attempt to reach an agreement on a lawsuit. An association of gasoline stations may attempt to reach an agreement on the price of gasoline. Negotiation is part of life (Fisher, 2011). A. Statement of Issue There are a variety of conflict management strategies which may be applied. One may try to force an individual or a group. This entails the application of authority or power to unilaterally satisfy the concerns of one of the parties involved. Accommodation is another option, completely satisfying the other party involved without fulfilling the needs of the opposing party. Avoidance tactics which are not acknowledging the conflict or the other parties involved. Compromising which entails finding a solution which is pleasing to both parties. Collaborating which is agreeing with the other party and trying to find a way for both parties to win (Wright.edu). Conflicts are usually the result of the following elements: Deficiency in communication. The direction or the quantity o f resources is not considered satisfactory. Personality clashes. Administrative problems (managementhelp.org). Conflicts may result in negative perceptions of the other party (mindtools.com). Frictions between groups or teams is natural and part of industrial relationships (Murray, 1974). In applying the Five factor Matrix of personality and the demand control matrix of the work environment as a reference point, those with more demanding employment positions were more prone to conflicts with those with less demanding employment positions (Sutin & Costa, 2010). Conflicts may occur in modern day work environments due to chronic fatigue syndrome. There is a relationship with regards... This research will begin with the statement that conflicts may be described as a disagreement or test of will between two individuals or groups with differing desires, concepts, perceptions, values, and objectives. The conflict may increase and lead to a non desired outcome or it may be peacefully resolved and lead to the desired outcome. Learning to administrate conflicts is of tantamount significance to a team or group which produces a high output. No one really looks for conflict; conflict may be an outcome of lack of communication or faulty communication between individuals or groups. With regards to desires, concepts, perceptions, values, and objectives. Conflict management is the concept which all conflicts may not come to a resolution without mediation. Administration of the conflict and the desires, concepts, and perceptions of those involved may maximize the risk of an undesired outcome. Whether we like it or not, negotiation is an everyday occurrence. One may plead with man agers for improved conditions in the workplace. One may attempt to bargain with an individual or group, for anything from a newspaper to a newspaper advertisement selling a vehicle or a home. Attorneys attempt to reach an agreement on a lawsuit. An association of gasoline stations may attempt to reach an agreement on the price of gasoline. Negotiation is part of life.Ã Conflicts are natural and inevitable. When teams are composed, the variations in individual power, values, perceptions, desires, and attitudes will increase the possibility of conflict.Ã
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
How effective has the IMF been in helping countries in financial difficulty - Essay Example On issuing loans to nations, the IMF makes the loan conditional on the execution of specific economic policies. The policies enacted may involve allowing failing companies to go bankrupt, putting higher interest rates in stabilizing the currency, reducing borrowing from the government and structural adjustment (Rogoff, 25). The big issue is that the structural adjustment policies make the situation to be worse. For instance, in the Asian crisis that happened in 1997, nations such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia were instructed by IMF to follow tight monetary policy and tight financial policies in reducing the budget deficit and strengthening exchange rates. Argentina was forced in the same financial restraint policy in 2001. This led to the damage of economy as there was a decline in public services investment. It is also seen that when IMF intruded in Kenya in the 1990s, it made the Central bank abolish controls over capital flows. The consent was that the decision made it easier for dishonest politicians to transfer money out of the nationÃ¢â¬â¢s economy. This reveals how IMF did not understand the dynamics of the nation it dealt with. In conclusion, in responding to the public demands in addressing the debt crisis of poor nations and offering debt reliefs, IMF introduced the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Inventiveness in 1996 (Feldstein, 18). This was a big disappointment because of the insufficient debt relief supplied and its SAP requirements. Before a nation became eligible for debt relief under the Highly Indebted poor nations, it was supposed to successfully complete six years of structural amendments. The objectives of Highly Indebted Poor Countries were not to sustain debts in the poor countries, but to minimize losses incurred by the rich
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
British Airways - Research Paper Example In short, rather than merely changing the organization, the changes that occurred to British Airways between the years 1981 Ã¢â¬â 1983 can be referred to as a change in culture. As such, the preceding analysis will analyze the means by which the culture of British airways prior to this re-emergence was fundamentally different from the new culture that developed between the years 1981 Ã¢â¬â 1983 and has definitively succeeded in defining and differentiating British Airways as a premier global airline. In seeking to define the culture that existed prior to the turnaround which will be discussed, it is necessary to understand that low levels of customer service, bad experiences, a self-perpetuating image of low quality and poor service, bloated payrolls, and ineffective governmental regulation/management were partly to blame for many of the cultural breakdowns which ultimately led to the loss of profitability which was experienced during the 1970s. As stated by Lord King, British Airways was faced with the position of losing 250,000,000 pounds over two years; in effect, the airline was hemorrhaging money (Miller, 1995). Ultimately, part of the degeneracy of the previous culture can be blamed upon the government control and bureaucratic oversight that was exhibited since the conclusion of the Second World War. As the case study defines, to unique entities came to oversee and direct British Airways after the war; these were the BEA and the BOAC. These operated in such a way to create a de facto state run airline that was not focused upon profitability or long-term sustainability. Moreover, the split board of oversight made decision making difficult if not impossible; leading to a situation in which two distinct leadership operations controlled the development of the airline. For instance, the BEA was set up shortly after the close of the Second World War to develop the infrastructure of the European air service route. As such, it had little interest in operati ons control with regards to the development of profitability and sustainment for an airline carrier. Likewise, the BOAC, as the author of the case study indicates, was more interested in flying the British flag and it was in developing business and satisfying consumers. This of course ultimately led to a situation in which not only was money being perennially lost but more row was poor and the overall productivity level never exceeded 59% during the 2 decades since the conclusion of the war (Leahey & Cotter, 1990). Yes, nearly all of these cultural issues began to fade into obscurity nearly as soon as Lord King came to be appointed chairman of British Airways. Coming from a background of business entrepreneurship and business development, King approached situation from a no-nonsense point of view. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, King identified that a culture of development must necessarily be put into place in order for British Airways to experience any type of rebirth. As a function of this, King immediately froze wages, reduced staff by 20%, closed eight engineering bases, closed 16 routes that were deemed extraneous and ultimately a profitable, and stated that the worst was not yet behind the airline (Tushman & OÃ¢â¬â¢Reilly, 1996). At face value, each of these decisions may be
Monday, September 23, 2019
Reflective Analysis - Essay Example d, highlight and report similarities of results and methods of research that is done in a particular subject matter over the specified number of years. Following are the analyses of works which I have done in the recent years. Finally, this report is intended for my parents and will be used as a means of communicating my educational progress to them. The first assignment was written to highlight the development of electronic and digital means by which humans can now take notes. The work also noted the adverse influences of the abovementioned technological interventions as people are not being to write manually when they have to while they also fail to remember spellings and commit lots of grammatical mistakes and errors in punctuation. On the positive side, the fashion of digital noting helped the students in the learning process because they can accumulate obscene amount of information both effectively and efficiently (Wang, 2). The work also had quite a few grammatical errors of its own but I am trying to overcome my weaknesses in regard to grammar by writing on a more frequent basis. The second assignment was nothing new but a refined form of the first one in which I duly attempted to control and manage quality of the content whereas I also put significant level of effort in terms of studying the subject in more detailed manner. I added that digital note taking is better as it allows the audience to record information with less effort. And there is nothing wrong in adopting new sand improved methods of taking notes as conventional ones are going to become obsolete in a few years from now (Wang, 2). Finally, the work suggested all people to master both traditional and modern techniques of note taking (Wang, 3) so that they will become capable of doing that despite of having technological difficulties that may render their modern devices inoperable. This review and analytical paper was developed in order to put my thinking ability to test and I put my best
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Analysis of Advert - Essay Example 3). Marketing strategy is a plan to which the firms should adhere to so to have an upper hand over its competitors and plans to achieve the desired objectives. In formulation of the marketing strategy and to sell the product effectively, analysis of cost benefit should be undertaken. Nike: Ad Appeal Nike is the leading innovator in footwear for the athletic including apparels, accessories and equipment. Mission of Nike is to bring inspiration along with innovation to each and every athlete across the globe. NikeÃ¢â¬â¢s consumer affairs mission aims to provide the customers with the highest standard of service building loyal consumer relationship across the globe (Nike, 2011). The above prints advertisement describes the advertising strategy along with the aim and motive of the company. Nike mission is to provide innovative and comfortable footwear, apparel and other accessories to the athletic around the world and this is depicted truly through the above given prints advertisements . ... Nike with its Ã¢â¬Å"Just Do ItÃ¢â¬ campaign was able to increase the domestic share and worldwide sales. The campaign had captured the corporate philosophy of determination, grit and of course passion. Nike is known for determination, detachment and unsentimental attitude. However with its campaign of Ã¢â¬Å"Just Do ItÃ¢â¬ it was able to reassure the consumers that Nike was a quality brand. Celebrity endorsement has also appealed to consumers and it became a self fulfilling image (CFAR, 1998). Marketing Concept The marketing concept will take into consideration the following which help to determine the marketing strategy of Nike and further implementation on the same. Segmentation Segmentation is necessary for business to perform as it helps the firm to differ its product from its competitors which gives rise to healthy competition. All consumers are not alike and thus different consumers have different types of needs and thus by segmentation the market place and by choosing t he target market, companies will be able t provide all the benefits to its desired market segment. Once the target market has been identified along with the segment the company will be able to decide on the mode of advertising. The prints ads of Nike clearly have indicated the segment that Nike caters to. In all the prints ads of Nike along with the two print ads shown in this section determine the segment of Nike. Nike has segmented its product for the young and for the middle aged people within the age group of 20 to 50 years. Based on economic segmentation Nike has segmented its product accordingly to the lifestyles of high, medium and also for the low end customers. Geographically Nike has segmented the market into various segments
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Defining the Visual Arts Essay Visual art defined Visual arts can be defined in many ways. The textbook answer was unobtainable for this class. Visual literacy seems to be the focus of the textbook. Online research has yielded slightly better insight: Ã¢â¬Å"The visual arts are art forms that create works that are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video,filmmaking and architecture. These definitions should not be taken too strictly as many artistic disciplines (performing arts, conceptual art, textile arts) involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.Ã¢â¬  Basically, visual art would be any type of art that can be appreciated visually. Differentiation from other creative expression The visual arts set themselves apart from other art forms due to their very name and meaning. Literally, it refers to art work which can be appreciated visually, not audibly, or theoretically, but tangibly visible. Visual arts are very expansive and do not only include unique or fine art, but also practical things such as standard building design and practical objects like Aboriginal tools or other artifacts. In some peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s eyes, something as plain as a school bus could be considered visual art. Visual arts media types The Visual arts have many different media types with which visual artists can Ã¢â¬Å"paint.Ã¢â¬ Some of the types are: Dry Media Liquid Media Ã¢â¬â Encaustic painting is one example of a type of liquid media, Drawing media, Mixed media, Printed Media, and many more. Virtually any way one can create visual art is derived from a type of Visual arts media. Meaning of visual arts values Just as society and individual people have their values, so does the artist. The values behind visual arts can be compared to understanding the meaning behind the lyrics of a song. If one does not understand the artists views and/or values, they will not understand the true value of a particular work of art. This is not true in every piece of art, however. In some cases, an artist intends for his viewers to ascertain the values of the artwork on their own. Factors of interpretation In factoring interpretation, there are different ways to interpret anything, whether itÃ¢â¬â¢s music, dance, or static visual art displays. If an artist wants their artwork to be interpreted in a certain way, they would have to take into account the overall public opinion on a topic. The values of a piece of artwork play a major role in how a piece is interpreted. As mentioned in the text, Westerners look at the picture of the Arabic woman with a gun, and can only think of one thing, when in reality, the photographer had other intentions for the interpretation of that photo-art. References 1. Brown, George http://www.georgebrown.ca/centers/ad/index.aspx Center for Arts and Design in Toronto, Canada. Georgebrown.ca. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 2. Sayre, Henry M., A World of Art, Sixth Edition, Copyright 2010 by Pearson Education
Friday, September 20, 2019
Public Relation Tactics in the Hotel Industry Introduction The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. According to an American educator and writer Peter F. Drucker. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. According to Al Ries Strategy and timing are Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is Catskills Marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be centered on the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal The tourism consumer is the critical judge of successful marketing and public relations activities. In todays increasingly competitive marketing environment there has been a shift from traditional marketing techniques towards more aggressive and varied approaches to marketing and communication. The change from transactional to relationship management in marketing over the past fifty years has been marked by improvements in consumer satisfaction and client recommendation of repeat purchase of products and services. Brands today are often built with effective PR campaigns and then maintained through a blend of marketing and PR tactics. The impact of the Internet is having profound impact upon PR and Marketing practices enabling PR practitioners to conduct two way communications in order to maintain and enhance customer relationships. MARKETING The Oberoi Group Oberoi Hotels Resorts is famous the world over with providing the right blend of service and luxury. Internationally acclaimed for all-round excellence and unparalleled levels of service, Oberoi hotels and resorts have received innumerable awards and accolades. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore has been ranked the worlds best hotel by Travel and Leisure Readers Poll for 2010, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra has been ranked the fifth best in the world, The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur is ranked the thirteenth best and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur has been ranked the fifteenth best hotel in the world. . Trident hotels are five-star hotels that have established a reputation for excellence and are acknowledged for offering quality and value. At present there are nine Trident hotels in India. These are located in Mumbai at Bandra Kurla and Nariman Point, Gurgaon (Delhi National Capital Region), Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Cochin, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur. The Oberoi Group also operates a Trident hotel in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The Groups commitment to excellence, attention to detail and personalized service has ensured a loyal list of guests and accolades in the worldwide hospitality industry. THE OBEROI The Oberoi, Mumbai (Location) Located in the citys prime business and shopping district of Nariman Point, The Oberoi, Mumbai has been completely redesigned to be the ultimate destination for contemporary style and luxury in the city. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the hotel is full of space and serenity. Luxuriously appointed guestrooms have been meticulously planned with a host of innovative features using the latest technology. The Oberoi, Mumbai is located on Marine Drive, the famed boulevard along the coast in South Mumbai. An hours drive from the airport and only minutes away from the business, financial and entertainment districts, the hotel is also well located to visit the citys tourist attractions. The hotel offers a rich variety of dining experiences ranging from an all day dining restaurant serving global cuisine, to an Italian Restaurant and a signature Indian restaurant under the direction of a Michelin starred chef. An ideal location for business meetings and conferences in Mumbai, venues range from private meeting rooms at the 24-hours Business Centre to the conference rooms on the top floor of the hotel offering sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. The Oberoi, Mumbai is the ideal hotel for discerning business and leisure travelers. Porters fives forces model is an excellent model to use to analyse a particular environment of an industry . So for example . if we were entering the hotel industry, we would use porters model to help us find out about: Marketing Strategy of Oberoi Hotels Marketing strategy is a method of focusing an organizations energies and resources on a course of action which can lead to increased sales and dominance of a targeted market niche. A marketing strategy combines product development, promotion, distribution, pricing, relationship management and other elements; identifies the firms marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved, ideally within a stated timeframe. Marketing strategy determines the choice of target market segments, positioning, marketing mix, and allocation of resources. It is most effective when it is an integral component of overall firm strategy, defining how the organization will successfully engage customers, prospects, and competitors in the market arena, corporate strategies, corporate missions, and corporate goals. As the customer constitutes the source of a companys revenue, marketing strategy is closely linked with sales. A key component of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing in line with a co mpanys overarching mission statement. The Oberoi Group, founded in 1934, operates 28 hotels and three cruisers in five countries under the luxury Oberoi and five-star Trident brands. The Group is also engaged in flight catering, airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters. Oberoi Hotels Resorts is synonymous the world over with providing the right blend of service, luxury and quiet efficiency. Internationally acclaimed for all-round excellence and unparalleled levels of service, Oberoi hotels and resorts have received innumerable awards and accolades. The Oberoi group has tradition of pioneering in the hospitality industry, striving for unsurpassed excellence in high-potential locations all the way from the Middle East to Asia-Pacific. The basic strategies of the Oberoi hotels are: They provide reservation facilities through toll free numbers and online registrations Oberoi hotels and Resorts has partnered with Indias certified airlines to make consumers satisfied. They promote their service through mileage point which provides customers and travelers some offers depending on their points. Providing special offers such as Himalayan Adventure, exotic honeymoon, exotic vacations, Business travel plus etc. Creating and developing customer loyalty Customer service is important for small businesses of any industry, and developing customer loyalty can increase overall engagement and satisfaction with a company. The concept of Marketing emerged in the mid 1950s when the scope shifted from a make-and-sell-attitude to a more customer focused sense-and-respond attitude. In other words the businesses started to find products for their customers rather than finding customers for their products2. Direct marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other relationship marketing concepts have been a topic of discussion for practitioners and academics for the later part of the 20th century and is widely claimed to be the future of marketing. Some academics have stated that the concept of relationship marketing is the biggest change in 50 years of marketing and is bringing marketing back to the preindustrial era when the producers and consumers dealt directly with each other3. Relationship marketing is an umbrella term with many subfields and is in general more connected with high-level strategic thinking. CRM has in contrast a stronger connection to marketing strategies over the customer lifetime and understanding the customers needs, attitudes, life stage, profitability and lifetime value. Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Virgin Atlantic, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranked number one in hotel, airline, and rental car industry customer satisfaction, respectively in 2009. In 2009 Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, an Indian brand associated with ultra luxury hotels, earned the highest customer satisfaction score among all hotels (93.7). Midscale without food and beverage (+0.5 to 84.0) improved more than any other segment in 2009. The customer wants value for money and is generally getting discerning. Modern day research being conducted reveals that customer loyalty is taking a back seat. It is now about being innovative, and it is about fulfilling a need not saying, Youre my customer for the last 20 years, and therefore you should be my customer over the next 20. The Oberoi is an organisation that is training oriented, and which has built its brand over the last 30 years. The Oberoi has also exported its brand to some extent internationally. 2Kotler et al., 2009 3Sheth Parvatiyar, 2000 The system therefore that is being put into place is Learn, Perform, Deliver, Reward. A lot of structures are being put into place which are transparent and they created an entire communication drive in order to let people understand how these transparent structures would help them on an ongoing basis. Their vision is to develop their company to achieve world-class standards consistently. The company strategy is based on five important criteria. Job functions have been made more meaningful with new designations and responsibility levels. Rewards will no longer be based on a ten-year system but on performance. With increased responsibility will come greater authority. For greater efforts and increased productivity our people will be rewarded, and Finally, their people shall have more career opportunities in our rapidly growing organisation. They do both internal external customer surveys. When these come in, they have small teams that work towards improvement. Their focus is on Strong People, Product and Processes. Communication has played a tremendous role in getting people to believe them. Oberoi Hotel is synonymous the world over for providing the right blend of service, luxury and quiet efficiency. Internationally recognized for all-round excellence and unparalleled levels of service, Oberoi Hotel has received innumerable awards and accolades. A distinctive feature of The Groups hotel is their highly motivated and well trained staff that provides the kind of attentive, personalized and warm service that is rare today. The hotel provides best facilities like: Combining the finest of all that is contemporary and the best in latest technology with the timeless traditions of Oberoi Hotels Resorts, The Oberoi, Mumbai is the leading choice of business and leisure travelers. The meetings and conference facilities at The Oberoi, Mumbai are designed to accommodate exclusive and intimate business meetings and social gatherings. The well appointed Business Centre features nine meeting rooms that accommodate up to 20 guests. Network and relationship marketing Relationship Marketing was first defined as a form of marketing developed from direct response marketing campaigns which emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on sales transactions. As a practice, Relationship Marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that it recognizes the long term value of customer relationships and extends communication beyond intrusive advertising and sales promotional messages. With the growth of the internet and mobile platforms, Relationship Marketing has continued to evolve and move forward as technology opens more collaborative and social communication channels. This includes tools for managing relationships with a customer that goes beyond simple demographic and customer service data. Relationship Marketing extends to include Inbound Marketing efforts, PR, Social Media and Application Development. Just like customer relationship management, (CRM), Relationship Marketing is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a companys interactions with clients and sales prospects. It also involves using technology to organize, synchronize business processes, (principally sales and marketing activities), and most importantly, automate those marketing and communication activities on concrete marketing sequences that could run in autopilot, (also known as marketing sequences). The overall goals are to find, attract and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. Once simply a label for a category of software tools, today, it generally denotes a company-wide business strategy embracing all client-facing departments and even beyond. When an implementation is effective, people, processes, and technology work in synergy to increase profitabil ity, and reduce operational costs. Relationship marketing also stresses what it calls internal marketing. This refers to using a marketing orientation within the organization itself. It is claimed that many of the relationship marketing attributes like collaboration, loyalty and trust determine what internal customers say and do. According to this theory, every employee, team, or department in the company is simultaneously a supplier and a customer of services and products. Brand identity and strategy Developing a brand strategy can be one of the most difficult steps in the marketing plan process. Its often the element that causes most businesses the biggest challenge, but its a vital step in creating the company identity. A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. Its important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. A brand is the source of a promise to the consumers. Its a foundational piece in the marketing communication. Defining a Brand This is the first step in the process of developing brand strategy. By defining what the brand is one can create the foundation for all other components to build on. The brand definition will serve as measuring stick in evaluating any and all marketing materials and strategies. Determining The Brands Objectives Critical to effective brand management is the clear definition of the brands audience and the objectives that the brand needs to achieve. The objectives have to be defined and a plan has to be put into place that would help to succeed in meeting them. Focusing on Target Audience The power of brand relies on the ability to focus. That is why defining target market will help to strengthen the brands effectiveness. Discovering and Crushing Brand Barriers When creating the brand strategy for a product or service it is important to perform a careful analysis to determine principal barriers. These barriers are also known as market conditions that can keep the product or service from achieving success. Brand Packaging and Identity Branding is someones identity in the marketplace and the Oberoi brand says what it should. The company image is all about the appearance of the packaging. Successfully out-branding ones competitors is a continuous battle for the hearts and minds of the customers. The proposition the brand strategy makes must be very compelling, attractive and unique among competitive offerings. The proposition must also be consistently reinforced throughout all phases of an organization, from senior executives to customer service, research and development, business development and even any business partners. The brand statement, often called the brand promise or proposition, is a derivative of branding research. It states the benefit of buying and using the companys products or services. For Oberoi industry the brand statement is Our commitment is that every guest leaves satisfied. Oberoi Hotels which is an Indian brand associated with ultra luxury hotels. Founded in 1934, Oberoi manages 30 hotels and 5 luxury cruises under the Oberoi and Trident brands. All the hotels owned by the company across the many segments in India operate under the Oberoi brand name. The usual trend in the international hospitality industry is to have distinct brands for each segment that a hotel group operates in. This strategy ensures that the brand equity is not diluted when the brand enters the business segment or economy hotels segment. But the Oberoi brand has not treaded this path till now. The Oberoi Group has removed the Oberoi brand names from six of its hotels which are not luxury hotels. Simultaneously, it has brought all the luxury palace-hotels previously called villas under the Oberoi brand to convey the brand spirit and strengthen the brand equity. This strategy ensures that Oberoi preserve their brand equity and also facilitates the expansion to other segments by endorsing the sub-brands with their parent brand names. With the Indian travel and tourism industry expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.8% to US$90.4 billion in 2015, these brand maneuvers become very important to ensure the famous Indian hospitality brands are up to the global challenges. Viral and guerilla marketing Guerilla Marketing: Unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. Viral marketing: Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message. The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, potentially interactive, and consumers are targeted in unexpected places. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, or any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize cutting edge mobile digital technologies to engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience Guerrilla marketers use all of their contacts, both professional and personal, and examine their company and its products, looking for sources of publicity. Many forms of publicity can be very inexpensive, or even free. Levinson says that when implementing guerrilla marketing tactics, small size is actually an advantage. In The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, he states: In order to sell a product or a service, a company must establish a relationship with the customer. It must build trust and support. It must understand the customers needs, and it must provide a product that delivers the promised benefits. The Oberoi group has actually implemented this strategy in providing their services and maintaining good relationship with their customers. Strategic Customer Relations For larger-scale enterprises like The Oberoi group, a complete and detailed plan is required to obtain the funding, resources, and company-wide support that can make the initiative of choosing and implementing a system successfully. Benefits must be defined, risks assessed, and cost quantified in three general areas: Processes: Though these systems have many technological components, business processes lie at its core. It can be seen as a more client-centric way of doing business, enabled by technology that consolidates and intelligently distributes pertinent information about clients, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness, and market trends. Therefore, a company must analyze its business workflows and processes before choosing a technology platform; some will likely need re-engineering to better serve the overall goal of winning and satisfying clients. Moreover, planners need to determine the types of client information that are most relevant, and how best to employ them.4 People: For an initiative to be effective, an organization must convince its staff that the new technology and workflows will benefit employees as well as clients. Senior executives need to be strong and visible advocates who can clearly state and support the case for change. Collaboration, teamwork, and two-way communication should be encouraged across hierarchical boundaries, especially with respect to process improvement.5 Technology: In evaluating technology, key factors include alignment with the companys business process strategy and goals, including the ability to deliver the right data to the right employees and sufficient ease of adoption and use. Platform selection is best undertaken by a carefully chosen group of executives who understand the business processes to be automated as well as the software issues. Depending upon the size of the company and the breadth of data, choosing an application can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more. 4DestinationCRM.com (2002) 5TechTarget (2009) Strategy Checklist: Planning for CRM and Customer Service Success The three phases in which strategic consumer relations support the relationship between a business and its customers are to: Acquire: Strategic consumer relations can help a business acquire new customers through contact management, selling, and fulfillment.6 Enhance: web-enabled CRM combined with customer service tools offers customers service from a team of sales and service specialists, which offers customers the convenience of one-stop shopping.6 Retain: CRM software and databases enable a business to identify and reward its loyal customers and further develop its targeted marketing and relationship marketing initiatives. Over the last decade, too many organizations have assumed that their products or services were so superior that customers would automatically keep coming back for more. But in order to compete effectively in todays marketplace, organizations must change their strategy to become more customer focused, not product focused. Strategic consumer relation is the best way to integrate this customer-facing approach throughout an organization. 6 James A. OBrien George M. Marakas (2009). Enterprise Business Systems. Management Information Systems. McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Effectiveness of e-marketing An e-marketing strategy is needed to provide consistent direction for an organizations e-marketing activities that integrates with its other marketing activities and supports the overall objectives of the business. For many companies, the first forays into e-marketing or Internet marketing are not the result of a well-defined, integrated Internet strategy; rather, they are a response to competitors activities or customers demand. There is no evidence to suggest that the approach to developing and implementing a strategy should be significantly different for e-marketing. Established frameworks for corporate strategy development or strategic marketing planning should still be followed. These frameworks provided a logical sequence to follow which ensures inclusion of all key activities of strategy development. However, with e-marketing there is an even greater need for a highly responsive strategy process model where rapid reaction can occur to events in the marketplace. The use of Soviet-style 5 year planning does not seem appropriate; a preferable approach is an emergent e-marketing strategy process that is part of a continuous improvement. E-business or e-marketing strategy process models tend to share the following characteristics: Continuous internal and external environment scanning or analysis are required. Clear statement of vision and objectives is required. Strategy development can be broken down into formulation and selection. After strategy development, enactment of the strategy occurs as strategy implementation. Control is required to detect problems and adjust the strategy accordingly. They must be responsive to changes in the marketplace. There is four stage models for e-marketing strategy development: 1. Strategic analysis. Continuous scanning of the micro and macro-environment of an organization are required with particular emphasis on the changing needs of customers, actions and business models of competitor and opportunities afforded by new technologies. Techniques include resource analysis, demand analysis and competitor analysis, applications portfolio analysis, SWOT analysis and competitive environment analysis. 2. Strategic objectives. Organizations must have a clear vision on whether digital media will complement or replace other media and their capacity for change. Clear objectives must be defined and in particular goals for the online revenue contribution should be set. 3. Strategy definition. Strategy definition may be denoted by eight factors: Target market strategies. Positioning and differentiation strategies. Resourcing Internet marketing priorities significance to organization. CRM focus and financial control Market and product development strategies. Business and revenue models including product development and pricing strategies. Organizational restructuring required. Channel structure modifications. 4. Strategy implementation It includes devising and executing the tactics needed to achieve strategic objectives. This includes relaunching a web site, campaigns associated with promoting the site and monitoring the effectiveness of the site. The travel industry survives as one of the better performing sectors in e-commerce. With no fulfillment and no need for online payments, the hotel industry is well positioned to capture the full potential of ecommerce while avoiding many of its risks. Despite the burst of the Internet bubble, the promise of the Internet for hoteliers is still real: Online distribution can reduce costs, attract affluent customers and lessen dependency on more traditional and expensive distribution channels. The Oberoi group is providing effective e-marketing services to their customers. Conclusion: Through this assignment I have found that the main purpose of hospitality and tourism industry is to entertain a guest with goodwill. Oberoi hotel is using all the marketing strategies and has developed good customer relationships, which is the reason for their increasing and worldwide growth. Oberoi hotel is always offering a range of facilities and business services like as internet, fax machine. I have found that Oberoi Hotels Resorts are synonymous the world over for providing the right blend of service, luxury and quiet efficiency. Internationally recognized for all-round excellence and unparalleled levels of service, Oberoi Hotels Resorts have received innumerable awards and accolades. A distinctive feature of The Groups hotels is their highly motivated and well trained staff that provides the kind of attentive, personalized and warm service that is rare today. The Groups new luxury hotels have established a reputation for redefining the paradigm of luxury and excellence in s ervice amongst leisure hotels around the world. Recommendation: With the completion of this assignment I know much about how to run a business smoothly and what is required to become a good and successful business man and get good profit. One should be very much clear about what the needs of the customers are and how to satisfy them. Every businessman should give focus on the customer needs because this is first and foremost thing in business. If we make strategies before starting any business then we wont have to face many problems. Organizations should be arranging and delegating work for accomplishment of their goals. Relationship Marketing refers to a long-term and mutually beneficial arrangement where both the buyer and seller have an interest in providing a more satisfying exchange and is essential for any industry to reach high status. A key principle of relationship marketing is the retention of customers through varying means and practices to ensure repeated trade from preexisting customers by satisfying requirements above those of compe ting companies through a mutually beneficial relationship.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
DoesnÃ¢â¬â¢t it always seem as though rich and famous people are larger- than-life and virtually impossible to touch, almost as if they were a fantasy? In The Great Gatsby, set in two wealthy communities, East Egg and West Egg, Fitzgerald describes Gatsby as a Romantic, larger- than-life, figure by setting him apart from the common person. Fitzgerald sets Gatsby in a fantasy world that, based on illusion, is of his own making. GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s possessions start to this illusion. He lives in an extremely lavish mansion. Ã¢â¬Å"It is a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden.Ã¢â¬ It models an extravagant castle with a European style. Indoors it has Ã¢â¬Å"Marie Antoinette music- rooms and restoration salons.Ã¢â¬ There is even a Ã¢â¬Å"Merton College Library, paneled with imported carved English oak and thousands of volumes of books.Ã¢â¬ There is even a private beach on his property. He also has his own personal hydroplane. Gatsby also drives a highly imaginative, Ã¢â¬Å"circus wagonÃ¢â¬ , car that Ã¢â¬Å"everybody had seen. It is a rich cream color with nickel and has a three-noted horn.Ã¢â¬ It has a Ã¢â¬Å"monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes, supper-boxes, tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields and a green leather conservatory.Ã¢â¬ Other than GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s possessions, he develops his personal self. His physical self appearance sets him apart form the other characters. His smile is the type Ã¢â¬Å"that comes across four or five times in life. One of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it.Ã¢â¬ He has a collection of tailored shirts from England. They are described as Ã¢â¬Å"shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel.Ã¢â¬ He has shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and la- vender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue.Ã¢â¬ Gatsby wears a unique Ã¢â¬Å"gorgeous pink rag of a suitÃ¢â¬ that sets him apart as a Ã¢â¬Å"bright spot.Ã¢â¬ GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s mannerisms are different too. He gives the Ã¢â¬Å"strong im- pression that he picks his words with care.Ã¢â¬ Gatsby is an Ã¢â¬Å"elegant young roughneck whose elaborate formality of speech just misses being absurd.Ã¢â¬ Gatsby also has a particularly distinct phrase which is Ã¢â¬Å"old sport.Ã¢â¬ Further, at his parties he stands apart from the other people. Unlike everyone else, he does not drink any alcohol. Also, there are no
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The manager interviewed for this assignment was Chief Warrant 3 Linwood Bowers, the Chief of the Personnel Support Directorate of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). Chief Bowers has held his present position for four years. The focus of the interview was the unique challenges of good communication. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã One of the unique challenges Chief Bowers has had to face is the different language that permeates throughout the organizational culture of the Agency. WHCA is a joint command with individuals of all DOD services present. This joint environment is fraught with communication stumbling blocks like learning service unique terms. The importance of common terminology has been highlighted most recently in the AgencyÃ¢â¬â¢s manpower review. Terms used to describe job functions are not clearly understood across service lines. The example given was one service uses executive officer to describe a junior officer assigned administrative duties in support of the unit commander and another uses the same term to mean the second person in the chain of command. In addition, the operational focus of the Agency tends to create an environment of we/they. Where Ã¢â¬Å"weÃ¢â¬ is associated with the personnel in the agency that travel in support of the President, Vice President and First Lady. And Ã¢â¬Å"theyÃ¢â¬ is associated with the support functions. The operational focus was used as a re-organizational decision point and consciously divided the Agen...
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Understanding modern culture can be very difficult. There are so many parts and variables that make up modern culture, and on top of that, these parts are always changing. In that sense, identifying and analyzing a specific trait in modern culture can be extremely challenging. Pinpointing a trait that is so frequently overused it is often taken for granted. Then being able to explain it so well that people will be able to understand and see this trait as if they had never used, or been a part of it before. This is the case with an essay by Charles Gordon, When Irony Becomes Cynicism. Through his essay, one learns where ironyÃ¢â¬â¢s roots started to grow into todayÃ¢â¬â¢s monster that it is, and how irony is overused in television, radio and conversation. Gordon has skillfully and honestly shown how irony is perceived and used in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s society. He fully shows that people use irony incorrectly, and it is to their disadvantage. Gordon has a particularly negative view on how much irony is used today. The thesis in his essay is not clearly stated, but his implied argument is that the overuse of irony has made society cynical. This negative view comes across to the reader through sentences such as the following, after Gordon has explained the technical meaning of irony, "In todayÃ¢â¬â¢s context, irony is a sensibility that values cleverness and style above passion and commitment. It attacks bad taste by seeming to celebrate it. It mocks devotion to important causes by feigning devotion to trivial causesÃ¢â¬ ¦ Which makes it sound pretty awful, and it can be." After the first few paragraphs in his essay, it becomes clear which side Gordon is on. However, he does show that he is not totally putting down irony, just the people using it incorrectly, "Ã¢â¬ ¦ there is a line between irony and cheap cynicism that not everyone finds easily. The skillful ironist, one who uses the form as a weapon rather than an instrument of self-amusement, does society a service." His argument towards societyÃ¢â¬â¢s use of irony is well presented through his strong sentences. Gordon also provides an example of a popular show that is almost based totally around this cynical-irony he is discussing. "Take almost any episode of the much-celebrated Seinfeld television show and try to find anything more important than the lineup at a bagel store being discussed." Gordon then begins to hint at the source of this type of overused irony, a part of society he rests some of the blame on: pop-culture.
Monday, September 16, 2019
The U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, has been one of the oldest Constitution in the world.Ã It is also regarded as one of the most stable because up to date there are only twenty-seven amendments done.Ã Of these twenty-seven, ten were ratified simultaneously while the others were ratified on different dates.Ã For more than two centuries, only these changes were made.Ã One reason for this is the rigid procedure of amendments.Ã The framers of the Constitution saw it fit that it would be better to have a strict and stiff procedure to amend the Constitution so that it will not be used as a tool for politics but rather a guide to a more civilized society. Due to the strict procedure of amendments, certain provisions in the Constitution constitute an impediment especially to those who aspire on becoming the President of the United States.Ã Article II provides for the qualification those eligible to run for presidency.Ã It provides that only natural born citizens are eligible for the presidency.Ã Due to this provision, many aspiring individuals who are qualified educationally, physically, emotionally are being barred to run for the main reason that they are not natural born citizens of the United States of America. As such, the natural born clause constitutes as an undue discrimination to citizens who seeks and aspire to be President of the United States of America. Ã There are some moves that seek to amend the discriminatory provision but such actions prove to be futile due to the strict procedure of amendment.Ã The natural born clause amounts to a discrimination among the citizens of the country.Ã This provision should then be amended to accommodate a wide variety of aspirants who are equipped with adequate knowledge and experience to run the government. The United States of America is undeniably composed of citizens from different culture, race, and ethnicity.Ã It has a diverse range of people.Ã From private institutions to government offices, there are different kinds of people that one would encounter.Ã There is no distinct race in a particular working environment.Ã Politics did not escape this diversity.Ã Different personalities hold even critical positions in government.Ã Although different in race or culture, this does not impair the effective and efficient discharge of their duties.Ã It does not constitute as a hindrance to interact with other people. Whether natural born citizen or not is beyond the issue.Ã Due to this, the natural born clause should not discriminate others.Ã As written in an article by John Dean, he mentioned that Ã¢â¬Å"The Ã¢â¬Å"natural bornÃ¢â¬ clause is an inappropriate boundary on a nation built by immigrants, a purposeless limit on the American dreamÃ¢â¬ .Ã He also added that the natural born clause is totally unnecessary and constitute Ã¢â¬Å"political wastageÃ¢â¬ . The Constitution should then be amended to realize the principle of political equality. Until the provision on natural born clause is amended, discrimination against non-natural born citizens will continue.Ã Political equality is one of the best ways to minimize, if not eradicate discrimination.Ã It could also be used as a tool to unite the differences among races and cultures.Ã It is a good indication that neither of the races and cultures are superior to the others. In drafting the Constitution, the framers thought that it would be better for them that the leader that will govern should be a bona fide American, meaning a person who is not only a citizen but should also be natural born.Ã This is to ensure his or her loyalty to the country and not just being an instrument by a foreign country.Ã They also do not want any foreign influence on the politics. This is what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they drafted the provision.Ã However, they are not really aware about the bigger picture.Ã Ever since, the history of the United States cannot be separated with foreign elements.Ã The drafting of the Constitution is even influenced by European ideas and beliefs.Ã This disproves the mindset of the framers of the Constitution.Ã We cannot, however, blame them for that idea.Ã It is the nature of man to preserve the power within the race and culture.Ã Nevertheless, this creates certain drawbacks especially nowadays when most of the citizens are not natural born. Another point why the framers put the natural born clause is for the reason to prevent corruption from foreign government.Ã At first glance, it might seem to be a good point.Ã However, if we take a look into a deeper analysis, corruption from foreign government play a minor role.Ã Corruption in the government by foreign government cannot be dissolve, it can only be minimized.Ã This is the nature of politics.Ã Different elements come into play and one of which is influence by foreign elements.Ã As such, the natural born clause only seeks to minimize, if not eliminate the influence by foreign governments. Considering the abovementioned points, it is submitted that the Constitution, especially the natural born clause, be amended so as to allow other aspiring citizens to become the President of the United States of America.Ã As long as the aspirant possesses the other qualifications, there should be no other hindrance as to his candidacy in which he does not have any control.Ã As posited by Jefferson Morley, Ã¢â¬Å"eliminating the natural-born clause might expand the presidential talent pool and improve the contest. It would almost certainly foster a more ethnically diverse field of contendersÃ¢â¬ . Gathering from that line, it would create more choices to the voters on whom they would want to govern them.Ã It would also create a more competitive playing field among politicians to show that they truly deserve to be the President.Ã Being a citizen is a choice, but the place of birth cannot be chosen.Ã So to eradicate the political inequality, the Constitution should be amended to allow non-natural born citizens a chance to seek candidacy.Ã As mentioned by Dean, Ã¢â¬Å"[t]hese are not accidental Americans; rather, they are people who have chosen this country and its system because they love it and want to be part of it. Foreign-born Americans are often better citizens than those who take it all for granted, and they bring to the body politic the diversity that is our strengthÃ¢â¬ . Works Cited Dean, John W., Ã¢â¬Å"The Pernicious Ã¢â¬Å"Natural BornÃ¢â¬ Clause of the Constitution: Why Immigrants Like Governors Schwarzenegger and Granholm Ought to be Able to Become PresidentsÃ¢â¬ , http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20041008.html, October 8, 2004, April 3, 2008. Morley, Jefferson, Ã¢â¬Å"Natural-BornÃ¢â¬ Killer: Abolish the idiotic constitutional clause barring immigrants from the presidencyÃ¢â¬ , http://www.slate.com/id/2079204/, February 25, 2003, April 3, 2008 Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã
Sunday, September 15, 2019
The use of light and dark shading during the Baroque artistic movement during the seventeenth century was how the artist caught the eye of the observer and brought emphasis to certain areas of the painting.Ã The technique was used by many of the artists of the day and their influence can even be seen in modern times.Ã Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer are two examples of artist that used the elements of light and dark shading. RembrandtÃ¢â¬â¢s famous Self Portrait is a perfect example of how he used the technique.Ã In the portrait, the aged Rembrandt seriously looks out with a far away look.Ã Most of the picture is dark and the clothing and upper torso of the body is so dark that only a muted outline can be seen of his clothing.Ã There is a burst of light on his hands.Ã The eye is drawn upward to the dark red behind the artistÃ¢â¬â¢s head.Ã Even though it is dark, the red brings color to the portrait.Ã The only true light is centered on RembrandtÃ¢â¬â¢s face.Ã That is where the emphasis of the whole painting lies.Ã He does this so that only the actual parts of the real man draw the attention. Vermeer, on the other hand, uses shading differently.Ã There is a dark tapestry on the wall behind the subject in Woman Holding Balance.Ã The area to the bottom left is also dark.Ã An extremely dark blue cloth is draped on the table in front of her and hangs off the side.Ã The underneath portion of the table is too dark to discern anything.Ã There is a beam of light that flows from a high window and it illuminates the womanÃ¢â¬â¢s face and upper torso so that it is obvious that she is holding a balance. Her skirt and cape are dark, but the edging of her cape and headdress is white, thus outlining her face and hands as she stares intently at her balance.Ã The light in the portrait bring the focus the womanÃ¢â¬â¢s expression, and brings her to the center of the painting. Both Rembrandt and Vermeer did an excellent job of creating emphasis by using light and dark shading.Ã They were examples of an artistic period that is still admired today. References History of Art: A Brief Survey.Ã Baroque and Rocco Art. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.ou.edu/class/ahi1113/html/ch-13-2.htm http://www.ou.edu/class/ahi1113/slides/13-24.jpg http://www.ou.edu/class/ahi1113/slides/13-26-2.jpg Portrait History. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.family-portrait.net/portraithistory.php Ã Ã
An armed Sunni Islamist organization that has the objective and intention to eliminate and eradicate foreign influences from the Muslim countries is Al-Qaeda, which is nowadays is the hot topic in every country and state. Who should be eradicated it depends upon them, whom they deem and consider being infidels. One of the main purposes of this militant organization is to reestablish the caliphate, which is the title given to an Islamic leader in the community of Islam. The philosophy of Al-Qaeda is based on Wahabism, an orthodox conventional Islamic movement started by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab in the 18th century.Salafism is another orthodox Islamic fundamentalist movement and it followers are the prominent members and militants of this armed group. These two movements of Islam are very dominant in Saudi Arabia, the Western Iraq, and Qatar. The group is generally recognized by its leader, Osama bin Laden, whereas, Ayman al-Zawahiri had also influenced the practice and theory of thi s organization. A common cause of it is linking many collaborative and independent working cells, which may exist in more than one country, resulting in its operations to be un-centralized or not at one place.The September 11 attacks on New YorkÃ¢â¬â¢s World Trade Center, and the Pentagon were the result of the planning and execution of this group, who has committed multiple terrorism acts in the name of Islam. In response, various series of legal and military operations were launched against Al-Qaeda by United States, which were supported by many other countries, including the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Ã¢â¬â only Islamic country that posses declared nuclear weapons.The United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, NATO, and the United Nations, have officially designated this group as harmful and terrorist organization due to its continuous radical acts in the different parts of the world. In late October 2001, al Jazeera, a Middle-east television netwo rkÃ¢â¬â¢s journalist, Tayseer Alouni, videotaped Osama bin LadenÃ¢â¬â¢s interview, while he was explaining the origin of his group. In his interview, Osama said, Ã¢â¬Å"The name Ã¢â¬Ëal Qaeda' was established a long time ago by mere chance.The late Abu Ebeida El-Banashiri established the training camps for our mujahedeen against Russia's terrorism. We used to call the training camp al Qaeda [meaning Ã¢â¬Å"the baseÃ¢â¬ in English]. And the name stayedÃ¢â¬ . In this interview of 2001, he used the world mujahedeen, which is used to describe the Muslims, who are ready to sacrifice their lives in any war or a meaning of struggle, in the name of Allah, often taken in the words, Jihad. In true Islamic context, it is an Islamic term that was derived from an Arabic root, which means to struggle or to strive.In religious terms, an inner effort and struggle for the mobilization of energies, in order to make one, a pious Muslim spiritually is called Jihad. Secondly, it is an attempt to serve the Islamic community and ummah through the capabilities. In extreme circumstances, it is regarded in military terms through the conquest of enemyÃ¢â¬â¢s territory or power. After knowing the true definition of Jihad in its Islamic terminology, a nonprofessional person can articulate that the ideology of Islam, which is being presented by these militant groups are fake and ridiculous.Islam is a religion of peace that requires Muslims to submit their wills to the Almighty Allah, one God. Whereas, no Islamic context or AllahÃ¢â¬â¢s words have ordered to kill innocent people and frighten them with the bombings and suicide attacks. Historically, if we investigate into the origin of Al-Qaeda, we come to know that it was originally established in the premises where training was given to thousands of mujahedeen, and they were recruited in Russia by the CIA. In January 2001, the U. S.Department of Justice used the term Al-Qaeda for the first time, when four men were accused in the case of the United States embassy bombings in East Africa, during the year 1998. Again, if we analyze the concept of Al-Qaeda for these militant acts, we can take the example of another part of the previously mentioned interview of October 2001. During the interview, the Al-Qaeda leader was asked regarding his economic sources as it was assumed that it was a fight between the United States and them. In reply, Osama bin Laden said, Ã¢â¬Å"This battle is not between al Qaeda and the U.S. This is a battle of Muslims against the global crusaders. In the past when al Qaeda fought with the mujahedeen, we were told, Ã¢â¬Å"Wow, can you defeat the Soviet Union? Ã¢â¬ The Soviet Union scared the whole world then. NATO used to tremble of fear of the Soviet Union. Where is that power now? We barely remember it. It broke down into many small states and Russia remained. God, who provided us with his support and kept us steadfast until the Soviet Union was defeated, is able to provide us o nce more with his support to defeat America on the same land and with the same people.We believe that the defeat of America is possible, with the help of God, and is even easier for us, God permitting, than the defeat of the Soviet Union was beforeÃ¢â¬ . According to this statement of Osama, this war is not with the United States, which is often assumed by the media, but with the global crusaders. Even if we accept this statement of this militant chief, do innocent people of New York or the students of the United Kingdom are regarded as crusaders in their opinions.This would have really made anybody feel ridiculous of the statement, or of the terrorist actions that are happening nowadays in the world. To take things more theoretically, we should try to gather around more facts. According to Diaa Rashwan, a senior researcher at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, in mid 1990s, a merger between the Bin Laden groups and the ZawahiriÃ¢â¬â¢s Al-Jihad groups was t he result of a new name of this group, QaÃ¢â¬â¢edat al-Jihad that means a base provided for the Jihad (the struggle).Once again, the word Jihad was taken as the primary objective and purpose of this militant group, which was totally against the teachings of Islam. The young Muslims were brought into Afghanistan for the training purpose were being brainwashed by these militants, also they were turned into new the Afghani Mujahedeens. In August 1988, according to a document of the Defense Department of the United States, the organization was defined as the establishment of an organization for the recruitment of young Muslims, and turning them into the Afghani Mujahedeen as mentioned previously in our discussion.It was also stated in this document that the main objective of this group was instituting the Islamist states throughout the world, while overthrowing the un-Islamic regimes, which were taken as the enemies of the God. The expulsion of the US soldiers from the Gulf was their one of the targets, and in the end, it was their mission to capture the city of Jerusalem as a Muslim city. If we look into the past, wars have been fought in the name of religion. However, no religion and even in the history of Islamic wars, we have never seen a war, in which innocent people, women and children were killed.From the historical facts and the teachings of Islam given by Allah, a last option was given to the Muslims to fight in the name of their religion, if and only if, there was no other option remained in their hands. We can decide through these statements and discussions that it is a wrong thing to call this militant group as an Islamic militant group. The political and social reasons can be behind the establishment of this group. Personal benefits and leisure have been the cause and motive of this organization. However, it would be very ludicrous to relate it with Islam.The statements and writings of these groups may give a perception of a religion that gives the teaching of spreading blood and hatred in the world. However, their statements are very philosophical and illiterate in nature, if properly investigated and studied. In 1998, the Al-Qaeda leader was interviewed and the tape was shown to the whole world. If we analyze his statements during that interview, Allah was praised by him for the help, by which, AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s greatest buildings were destroyed. He was seen thanking God for His blessings on them, and causing humiliation that was tasted by Muslims since more than 80 years.According to him, Muslims children were being killed in Iraq, Israeli tanks were infesting Palestine, and the blood, honor, and sanctuaries of Islam were being abused by the infidels. Even then, nobody was seen moving a single limb against these infidels. In one of his statements, he said, Ã¢â¬Å"These events have divided the whole world into two sides. The side of believers and the side of infidels, may God keep you away from them. Every Muslim has to rush to make his religion victorious. The winds of faith have come. The winds of change have come to eradicate oppression from the island of Muhammad, peace be upon himÃ¢â¬ .If we look into this statement, according to him, his world was at the peak of division of the believers and the infidels. Secondly, he had asked every Muslim to wake up and rush out for the victory of his religion. Even if we accept it, the injustices caused to the Muslims, and the injuries borne by them, no Islamic teachings guided to response in this manner, even with the enemies. If we go back in the history, Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last prophet of Allah (as per Muslims believe), and who spread Islam in the Arabia had also fought many wars during his life.We can see the examples of forgiveness which he used to do with the enemies, and even used to forgive those persons who had abused him on the face. From these examples, it can be analyzed that the militant and terrorist acts of this Al-Qaeda g roup is not more than acts of the political wars. The statements of Al-Qaeda group may be primary religious, but in some parts. More fractions were used to humiliate the enemy and disgrace the religion of Islam Ã¢â¬â this is the reason that makes the Islamic countries to support the war of terrorism.Injustices were also done during this war of terrorism and innocent people became the victims during this period. However, there is no difference between a person who slaps someone and the person who has just slapped him. Every religion that came in this world taught and guided to speak the truth, help the people, and serve the humanity. Therefore, if a group of extremists that arm themselves and kill innocent people and children of the so-called enemies, and call themselves as the true believers is completely wrong.Only radical and illiterate ideology of a religion is represented by these groups and once again, one may not deem them as the representative of Islam. In order to underst and their philosophy in more detail, we should examine their other statements too. A fatwa (binding religious proclamation) was issued and co-signed by Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sumedh Gawai, and three of the other Islamist leaders on February 23, 1998. This edict was made under the banner of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders.Once again, it was very wrong step by them to use the world Islamic, as it only disgraced this religion, rather than giving it honor. In this declaration, it was announced that Ã¢â¬Å"[t]he ruling to kill the Americans and their allies civilians and militaryÃ¢â¬âis an individual duty for every Muslim, who can do it in any country, in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Makka) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.This is in accordance with the words of Alm ighty Allah, Ã¢â¬Ëand fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and Ã¢â¬Ëfight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in AllahÃ¢â¬ . In the light of this pronouncement, it was compulsory for every Muslim to come out of his home and start fighting with any Jew that comes in front of him. IsnÃ¢â¬â¢t that a preposterous proclamation, or should it be taken as a dangerous edict?The most interesting thing that takes your attention is the traditional Islamic scholarly qualifications were possessed by neither Osama bin Laden or al-Zawahiri. However, the contemporary ulema (true interpretators of Islamic teachings) were rejected by these radical extremists and this responsibility was taken upon them by themselves. The September 11, 2001 attacks at New YorkÃ¢â¬â¢s World Trade Center and the Pentagon was the deadliest and the extreme ones in the American history. Almost 3000 people were killed, which include Christia ns, Jews, and Muslims.This act was an elevated operation of terrorism, and it changed the lives of thousand of Americans. In October 2004, a videotape was released by Al-Jazeera in which Osama bin Laden claimed his responsibility of these attacks and stated his inspiration to be the 1982 Israeli attacks at the high-rises in the Lebanon. Once more, he performed this act of repetition oneÃ¢â¬â¢s wrong doing reciprocally. Even if Israel had done a devilish act, Islam had taught to forgive and pray for the blessings, even for the enemies. However, what happened was totally different and diverse from the Islamic teachings.In this videotape, Osama bin Laden said, Ã¢â¬Å"As I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and childrenÃ¢â¬ . It seems from these terrorism acts and the ir statements that this would not stop in the near future, and a war may not be the solution of this issue. Their philosophy, ideology, and psychology are related to their hearts that tends them to react in this state of terrorism.One more example of their statements is the incident of July 13, 2006. In the Srinagar region of Kashmir, a man claimed to be the representative of Al-Qaeda and announced the Kashmiris and the people worldwide of their arrival in this region. The spokesperson also attributed the recent blasts to his group calling them a consequence of the Indian oppression, which was suppressed by the Muslim minorities. These series of different statements showed the image of Muslims and particularly, Islam as a religion of war rather than the peace.These acts can only be the motives of political benefits and advantages as no Islamic teachings guide the Muslims to do the struggle in this manner even against their enemies. Therefore, once again it would be better to declare that these statements and writings can only be a reflection of motives behind personal promotion rather than the religious beliefs and teachings. However, it is still confusing to decide the final decision, because the Al-QaedaÃ¢â¬â¢s nature and extent of its working and operations throughout the world remains a topic of dispute.From the understanding of their statements, we can say that these acts and thoughts are the result of hatred against the United States, Israel, and the other western countries rather than an effort of struggling as per the teachings of Islam. According to their Islamic ideology, these abovementioned countries are taken as the infidels and enemies of Islam. They take it as these countries are trying to abuse the social, economic, cultural, and traditional values of their religion.Many of the Saudi scholars, which were the result of the previously mentioned Wahabism wrote about the United States as the country of corruption, despotism, evil, and aggression. It was considered as a state of spreading abomination and corruption in the world. The resources being used on wines, cigarettes, and sex channels were the cause of their hatred against these western countries. In order to dominate their desire of revenge against these states, they portrayed themselves as the true representatives, scholars, and believers of Islam.Young Muslims were brainwashed and persuaded to sacrifice their lives for the motive of Islam. However, the main objective was to humiliate the enemy rather than to honor the religion. The different proclamations of these extremists, such as, the future conquest of Rome and all of Europe; the state of confrontation with the west; civilians in the infidel states deserve to die; democracy as the religion of the infidels; and seeing the West as GodÃ¢â¬â¢s enemy are some of the many and various statements given by these extremists.These statements only portray their personal motives behind these acts and not the Islamic ideo logy in any sense. Many experts, writers, investigators and analysts have tried their best to analyze the Al-QaedaÃ¢â¬â¢s position, in the light of their statements and writings, but it is still a topic of argument due to its anonymity. In this discussion, we tried to examine and scrutinize the testimonials of this militant group to decide whether they are playing a role as an Islamic group spreading true religious teachings and beliefs or it is an extremist group that is trying to cope up its problems radically.Conclusively, according to the investigations done by different experts and facts available for the analysis, the Al-Qaeda network does not display or seems to be trying to portray an original picture and ideology, which was given by the Holy Quran and the Messenger of Allah, to the Muslims of the world. References Jason Burke. (2004). Al-Qaeda: a True Story of Radical Islam. I. B. Tauris. Daurius Figueira. (2004). the Al Qaeda Discourse of the Greater Kufr. iUniverse. Bra d K. Berner. (2005). the World According to Al-Qaeda. Booksurge Llc. Olivier Roy. (2004). Globalised Islam: the search for a new Ummah. C. Hurst & Co.Publishers. Robert O. Marlin. (2005). What Does Al Qaeda Want? : Unedited Communiques. North Atlantic Books. Paul J. Murphy. (2004). The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror. Brassey's. Dele Ajaja. (2006). The Return of Al-Qaeda: When a Dreaded Terrorist Reaches the Turning Point. iUniverse. David Malone (2005). Bin Laden's Plan: The Project for the New Al Qaeda Century. Trafford Publishing. Phillip Margulies. (2003). Al Qaeda: Osama Bin Laden's Army of Terrorists. The Rosen Publishing Group. Al-Qaeda from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Al-Qaeda Retrieved November 30, 2006