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Politics & Government

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Examining Presidential Influence on the U.S. Presidency

Just as the president is a living, breathing person, the presidency is a living, breathing institution. The men who have so far filled the office have put their own unique stamp on the office, for better [more…]

Looking Into the Sun King: Louis XIV

Louis XIV was a mere 5 years old when he became King of France in 1643. And because he lived to the ripe old age of 77, he had plenty of time to establish his place in French history. [more…]

Categorizing Congressional Lobbyists

Usually when people refer lobbyists, they're talking about professionals, people who hire themselves out to clients to work on their behalf. Frequently, lobbyists started their careers either as members [more…]

Understanding Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression, as Justice Felix Frankfurter said, "is the well-spring of our civilization." Like other rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, free expression has two branches — freedom of speech [more…]

Organizing the Knights Templar

Every organization has to have its hierarchy, but the Templars' was unique. The following list reveals some of their principal officers — these guys come into play in any discussion of the Templars in [more…]

Examining Some Key Thinkers of the Enlightenment

Historians often date modern history from the 18th century, not just because this period saw the American and French Revolutions, but because at this time a fundamental change took place in the way people [more…]

Robert's Rules: Interpreting Bylaws

Your bylaws belong to your group, and only your group can decide what they mean. Sure, a parliamentarian can help you understand the technical meaning of a phrase or a section here and there. But when [more…]

Showing Gay Pride

Gays and lesbians have had an unhappy history of persecution in Western society. At best, homosexuals were tolerated, as long as they didn't overtly show that they were gay. The 1960s witnessed an increased [more…]

Discovering What Freemasonry Is

Freemasons don't always do such a good job of defining just what they are or what they do, but that's often because the answers non-Masons are looking for are really too complicated. [more…]

Building Your Vocabulary for U.S. Citizenship

Living in the U.S., you'll find opportunities to practice English everywhere — you'll encounter native English speakers in your job or daily activities, and wherever you look you'll see signs in English [more…]

Speaking Out Against the Vietnam War

Because the scope of U.S. involvement in Vietnam was limited in the late 1950s and early '60s, public opposition was also limited. Yet with the 1964 presidential elections, a large-scale antiwar movement [more…]

King Phillip IV, Pope Clement V, and the Fall of the Knights Templar — Part II

King Phillip IV of France set his sights on the fabled riches of the Knights Templar. His aim was to destroy the Templar Order and confiscate all their treasuries and properties in France, but he had to [more…]

What It Means to Be an American Indian (Legally Speaking)

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) came into existence on March 11, 1824, but was then known as the Office of Indian Affairs. The general purpose of the BIA is to manage Indian affairs throughout the United [more…]

Your Civil Rights and the Law: Looking at the Patriot Act

Since the tragedies of September 11, 2001, the privacy of every American citizen is in greater jeopardy than ever. The reason for this vulnerability is that, in a rush to prevent future acts of terrorism [more…]

King Phillip IV, Pope Clement V, and the Fall of the Knights Templar — Part I

The Crusades of the Knights Templar were failures, but their ultimate doom came from outside the Order — from the manipulation of church and state by a greedy French king. [more…]

Thomas Jefferson and the Mediterranean Pirates

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson was elected president of the United States. As a Democratic-Republican, he was deeply suspicious of a regular military establishment. He worried that professional officers might [more…]

Should You Register to Vote?

Many of us — more than 50 million citizens in this country — are eligible to vote, but do not bother to register. Every citizen of the U. S. over the age of 18 is eligible to register and vote. [more…]

Understanding Congressional Relationships

As part of a balanced, three-branch system, with the American people serving as the big boss who hires them and can fire them at election time, Congress has to maintain working relationships with various [more…]

Statesmanship: When a Supreme Court Chief Justice Is More Than a Chief Justice

Justices of the Supreme Court are by definition both politicians and public servants. Chief justices share these characteristics but are also imbued with a special aura of authority. Their special position [more…]

What Is Conspiracism?

In the past two centuries, and particularly in the last 50 years or so, people the world over have embraced conspiracism. When we refer to a conspiracy, [more…]

Major Recent Acts of Congress Concerning Native Americans

The period of Native American self-determination began in 1968 with the Indian Civil Rights Act, which, in a nutshell, guaranteed Bill of Rights protections — freedom of speech, religion, the press, the [more…]

Whose Side Is the Media On in Politics?

When you're trying to figure out what's going on and which candidate to support, you may wonder whether the media reporting on candidates and issues is reliable. Does the media choose sides in elections [more…]

Exposing the Feminine Mystique

Although the beginning of the'60s showcased women in frilly white aprons, spatula in hand and crying child on hip, females hadn't been in such a role forever. During World War II [more…]

Helpful Legal Organizations and Government Agencies

If paying your bills is becoming difficult and you want help negotiating lower monthly debt payments, contact a nonprofit credit counseling office (most are known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service) [more…]

Sources of Free (or Almost Free) Legal Information

If you need legal advice but have financial concerns and cannot afford an attorney, look to these resources for free, or almost free, legal advice: [more…]

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