Politics & Government

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Robert's Rules: Using an Agenda to Produce Better Meetings

It's 7 p.m. on Tuesday night. You're attending the regular monthly meeting of your neighborhood association. Your president, Prissy Gardner (who was elected because nobody else wanted the job), is ready [more…]

Building a Bill in Congress

As soon as you start working with the United States Congress, you begin hearing about this bill or that bill. It's as if someone named Bill is everywhere in Washington. In the congressional context, a [more…]

Passing Your Naturalization Interview for U.S. Citizenship

No other part of the immigration process fills as many potential citizens with fear as the interview. They fret and worry about what kind of questions they'll be asked, how they'll be judged, and if they [more…]

Gaining Permanent Resident Status (or a Green Card) in the United States

Most people gain lawful permanent residence in the United States through a family connection or through employment. In the following sections, these categories are explored in more detail, as well as other [more…]

Freemason Lodge Officers

Officers are elected by the members of the lodge, although a few are appointed by the Worshipful Master. In most lodges, the officers serve in their positions for one year. The names and duties of the [more…]

Robert's Rules: Getting Comfortable with Parliamentary Procedure

Parliamentary procedure refers to the practices used in meetings to keep things orderly and give everybody a fair chance to be heard for at least as long as it takes for everybody to realize that nothing [more…]

Supreme Court Case Study: Bush v. Gore

Perhaps no event better illustrates the power of the United States Supreme Court than the resolution of the 2000 presidential election. Just when you thought the separation of powers issue had been settled [more…]

Examining the Presidency of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was the first president born in the 20th century. He was also the youngest president, at 43 years of age, to be elected to office. (Theodore Roosevelt assumed the office at age 42, after [more…]

Debunking Common Myths about Freemasonry

Modern Freemasonry has been around since 1717. The first concocted untruths about the Order appeared in print at almost the same time. The United States was consumed by anti-Masonic hysteria in the late [more…]

Getting to Know the U.S. Court Systems

The United States court system is actually many court systems: a federal system and 50 state systems. Each has its own structures and procedures. All are multi-tiered. Legal cases begin in a lower court [more…]

Understanding the Role of Polls in Politics

Most campaigns for high-profile offices employ professional pollsters. Many of the prominent polling firms that specialize in political campaigns are located in Washington, D.C., and New York City, but [more…]

Securing the Right to Vote for African Americans

Although the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott made Martin Luther King, Jr., a national figure, the deaths of four Birmingham girls in a 1963 church bombing, as well as countless others, had been tough [more…]

Looking Back at the Impact of Rosa Parks

One day, a simple act by one young woman helped set the wheels of the civil rights movement in motion. Although blacks have worked for their freedom and equality since they arrived in the United States [more…]

Alien Secrets: The Vril Society

The Vril Society is a troublesome topic because there's no authentic proof that this secret society really existed, even though there's no shortage of people who claim that it did. What makes the Vril [more…]

Robert's Rules: Participating in Meetings as a Member

Fundamental to effective meeting participation is knowing how to get the attention of your presiding officer so you can be recognized and permitted to speak. Just as important is understanding the way [more…]

Determining Whether You Really Want to Become a U.S. Citizen

Becoming a U.S. citizen carries important duties and responsibilities, as well as rights, rewards, and privileges. Before you make the decision to pursue U.S. citizenship, you need to be aware of what [more…]

Evaluating U.S. Presidents

U.S. presidents are evaluated in many ways. The major characteristics that academic and public polls use to evaluate the 44 U.S. presidents vary from survey to survey, but the main standards remain consistent [more…]

Debunking Dan Brown: The Real Knights Templar

The Knights Templar are almost as fictional in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code as the Jedi Knights are in Star Wars. Although hero Robert Langdon at first hesitates to bring up the Templars in his lectures [more…]

Getting the President's Signature on a Congressional Bill

After Congress passes a bill, it doesn't become law without the president's signature, and if he vetoes it, it may not be enacted at all (although Congress has the option of overriding the veto). Thus, [more…]

How the Enlightenment Affected Politics and Government

The Enlightenment, or Age of Enlightenment, rearranged politics and government in earthshaking ways. This cultural movement embraced several types of philosophies, or approaches to thinking and exploring [more…]

Understanding Elected Offices

Elected officials come in three levels: federal, state, and local. You have a role in determining who gets elected to all three. You can think of these officials as three tiers of a wedding cake: As you [more…]

The Law and Your Job: Dealing with Employment-Related Discrimination

At some point in your working career, you may believe that you have been the victim of employment-related discrimination. In most cases, your first response should be an informal one — bring the problem [more…]

What Is a Freemason Lodge?

The word lodge really has two meanings to a Freemason. It is both a place where Masonic meetings are held, and a collective term for the members who meet there. So, as weird as it sounds, you could say [more…]

Figuring Out What Freemasons Believe In

There is no international administrative or controlling authority over Freemasonry. There's no office anyone can call to get the official, worldwide policy position of Freemasons, because there is no such [more…]

Meeting the Third Branch of U.S. Government: The Supreme Court

The judiciary is often called the third branch of government. Why, you might ask, if it's so important, does the Court come in last in the American tri-partite system? In part, this designation is the [more…]

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