Sep 4, 2017

Miranda warning or Miranda rights

«You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no cost. During any questioning, you may decide at any time to exercise these rights, not answer any questions or make any statements. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? »

Miranda Warning rights
     The Miranda warning or Miranda rights, is a right to silence warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.
     The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement are required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from a violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.
     In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the Supreme Court held that the admission of an elicited incriminating statement by a suspect not informed of these rights violates the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, through the incorporation of these rights into state law. Thus, if law enforcement officials decline to offer a Miranda warning to an individual in their custody, they may interrogate that person and act upon the knowledge gained, but may not use that person's statements as evidence against him or her in a criminal trial.
Miranda Rights Must Be Read when Suspect Is In Custody
     The concept of "Miranda rights" was enshrined in U.S. law following the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision, which found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated during his arrest and trial for armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape of a mentally handicapped young woman (Miranda was subsequently retried and convicted, based primarily on his estranged ex-partner, who had been tracked down by the original arresting officer via Ernesto's own parents, suddenly claiming that Ernesto had confessed to her when she had visited him in jail; Ernesto's lawyer later confessed that he 'goofed' the trial).
     The circumstances triggering the Miranda safeguards, i.e. Miranda rights, are "custody" and "interrogation". Custody means formal arrest or the deprivation of freedom to an extent associated with formal arrest. Interrogation means explicit questioning or actions that are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. The Supreme Court did not specify the exact wording to use when informing a suspect of his/her rights. However, the Court did create a set of guidelines that must be followed. The ruling states:
Miranda Warning     The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.
     Every U.S. jurisdiction has its own regulations regarding what, precisely, must be said to a person arrested or placed in a custodial situation. The typical warning states:
·            You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
·            Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
·            You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
·            If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
·            If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
·            Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
Ernesto Miranda
     The courts have since ruled that the warning must be "meaningful", so it is usually required that the suspect be asked if he/she understands their rights.
     Ernesto Arturo Miranda (March 9, 1941 – January 31, 1976) was a laborer whose conviction on kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery charges based on his confession under police interrogation was set aside in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which ruled that criminal suspects must be informed of their right against self-incrimination and their right to consult with an attorney before being questioned by police. This warning is known as a Miranda warning. 
     After the Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda's initial conviction, the state of Arizona retried him. At the second trial, with his confession excluded from evidence, he was again convicted.

Aug 6, 2017

Usa - Oath of office for the President

     In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1). 
     With the right hand up and the left on the open Holy Bible:

     “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

oath of office Bill Clinton
     An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations. Such oaths are often required by the laws of the state, religious body, or other organization before the person may actually exercise the powers of the office or any religious body. It may be administered at an inauguration, coronation, enthronement, or other ceremony connected with the taking up of office itself, or it may be administered privately. In some cases it may be administered privately and then repeated during a public ceremony.
     Some oaths of office are a statement of loyalty to a constitution or other legal text or to a person or other office-holder (an oath to support the constitution of the state, or of loyalty to the king). Under the laws of a state it may be considered treason or a high crime to betray a sworn oath of office.
oath of office George W. Bush
     The word 'oath' and the phrase 'I swear' refer to a solemn vow. For those who choose not to, the alternative terms 'solemn promise' and 'I promise' are sometimes used.

History of the Oath
     While the oath-taking dates back to the First Congress in 1789, the current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.
oath of office Barack Obama
     The Judiciary Act of 1789 established an additional oath taken by federal judges:

     I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States. [So help me God.]

     The outbreak of the Civil War quickly transformed the routine act of oath-taking into one of enormous significance.
     In April 1861, a time of uncertain and shifting loyalties, President Abraham Lincoln ordered all federal civilian employees within the executive branch to take an expanded oath. When Congress convened for a brief emergency session in July, members echoed the president’s action by enacting legislation requiring employees to take the expanded oath in support of the Union. This oath is the earliest direct predecessor of the modern version of the oath.
     When Congress returned for its regular session in December 1861, members who believed that the Union had as much to fear from northern traitors as southern soldiers again revised the oath, adding a new first section known as the “Ironclad Test Oath.” The war-inspired Test Oath, signed into law on July 2, 1862, required “every person elected or appointed to any office ... under the Government of the United States ... excepting the President of the United States” to swear or affirm that they had never previously engaged in criminal or disloyal conduct.
Oath of office Donald Trump
     Those government employees who failed to take the 1862 Test Oath would not receive a salary; those who swore falsely would be prosecuted for perjury and forever denied federal employment.
     The 1862 oath’s second section incorporated a different rendering of the hastily drafted 1861 oath. Although Congress did not extend coverage of the Ironclad Test Oath to its own members, many took it voluntarily. Angered by those who refused this symbolic act during a wartime crisis, and determined to prevent the eventual return of prewar southern leaders to positions of power in the national government, congressional hard-liners eventually succeeded by 1864 in making the Test Oath mandatory for all members.
     The Senate then revised its rules to require that members not only take the Test Oath orally, but also that they “subscribe” to it by signing a printed copy. This condition reflected a wartime practice in which military and civilian authorities required anyone wishing to do business with the federal government to sign a copy of the Test Oath.
     The current practice of newly sworn senators signing individual pages in an oath book dates from this period. 
     As tensions cooled during the decade following the Civil War, Congress enacted private legislation permitting particular former Confederates to take only the second section of the 1862 oath. An 1868 public law prescribed this alternative oath for “any person who has participated in the late rebellion, and from whom all legal disabilities arising therefrom have been removed by act of Congress.” Northerners immediately pointed to the new law’s unfair double standard that required loyal Unionists to take the Test Oath’s harsh first section while permitting ex-Confederates to ignore it. In 1884, a new generation of lawmakers quietly repealed the first section of the Test Oath, leaving intact the current affirmation of constitutional allegiance.

Aug 3, 2017

Usa - Oath of Allegiance - Naturalization ceremony

oath of allegiance
usa flag tie

     United States Oath of Allegiance is an oath that must be taken by all immigrants who wish to become United States citizens (Citizenship ceremony).

I hereby declare on oath,
that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure
all allegiance and fidelity
to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty
of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws
of the United States of America
against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God.

     The principles embodied in the Oath are codified in Section 337(a) in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which provides that all applicants shall take an oath that incorporates the substance of the following:
usa bow tie america
     - Support the Constitution;
     - Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
     - Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
     - Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
     - A. Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or
       B. Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or
       C. Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.

usa pride
     The Oath of Allegiance for prospective citizens originated with the Naturalization Act of 1790, which required applicants to take an oath or affirmation "to support the constitution of the United States", but did not provide a text. The Naturalization Act of 1795 added renunciation of the new citizen's former sovereign to the oath. The Naturalization Act of 1906 added the section of the oath requiring new citizens to defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
     The Oath acquired a standard text in 1929. Prior to then, spoken oaths were adapted from naturalization law, and each court could develop its own procedures for administering the oath.

     The Internal Security Act of 1950 added the text about bearing arms and performing noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States. The section about performing work of national importance under civilian direction was added by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.
usa bow tie with strassamerican star

Jul 31, 2017

Insects and animals. The top new species of 2016

     Humans have made their way to the moon, landed rovers on Mars and sent spacecraft to the outer reaches of the solar system. But the Earth remains a little-known planet. That becomes clear when naturalists look for creatures closer to home and find unknown gems. Here are our favorite new species of 2016.
     Tumbleweeds are synonymous with the American West. At some point, two of them interbred to form a new species, Salsola ryanii, which is about 5 feet in height and nearly as wide. Usually, such hybrids are sterile, but in this case, the plant underwent an unusual genetic event that led to a duplication of its entire genome. That allowed it to reproduce and also made it incompatible with either of its parents. It has been found at 15 sites throughout California. "It's extremely rare to catch a new species in the act of appearing and expanding," says Norm Ellstrand, a professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside, "and very exciting."
Illacme Tobini     HOW MANY PENISES?
     When biologist Jean Krejca unearthed an extremely leggy millipede in a remote cave in California's Sequoia National Park, she knew it was special, so she sent it to the millipede experts Bill Shear and Paul Marek. They determined it was a new species and gave it the name Illacme Tobini. With 414 legs, it's one of Earth's leggiest creatures. It is closely related to Illacme plenipes, which lives about 150 miles away and has 750 legs—the most of any animal. The millipede also has four gonopods, the millipede equivalents of penises, and boasts zoo poison glands.

Myloplus Zorror

     Piranhas are famous for their fearsome teeth and ability to quickly devour flesh. But not all creatures in this biological family are so brashly carnivorous. Researchers from Brazil's Federal University of Para have discovered a new species of piranha-like fish with chompers specialized for grinding seeds and other vegetable debris that falls into the tributaries of the western Amazon, where it lives. It grows to a length of i8 inches and has reddish coloration, with yellow on its fins and belly, and it is sought after by fishermen for its meat. The biologists named it Myloplus Zorroi, after the fictional character Zorro, a hero in Latin America.

Whip Scorpions
     Whip spiders, also known as tailless Whip Scorpions, display more variety than scientists knew. Brazilian researchers uncovered eight new species of these animals in the Amazon rain forest of northern Brazil. They aren't true spiders—they lack silk and venom glands—but they do possess fearsome-looking appendages called pedipalps that look like arms with claws and are used to grab prey. These spiny freaks hang out in caves or leaf litter. To tell the species apart, researchers Gustavo Miranda and Alessandro Giupponi counted the hairs on their pedipalps.


     When is a leaf not a leaf? When it's a spider. Max Kuntner, an arachnologist at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, and colleagues discovered the creature on a night-time walk through a rain forest in southern China. They placed it in the genus Poltys with orb-weaving spiders that live in China and produce distinctive circular webs. It's the first arachnid known to mimic foliage, a survival strategy that helps it avoid predation by wasps and other insects.

Chilabothrus Argentumr
     The Bahamas are hardly an unexplored place. It came as quite a shock, then, to herpetologist Graham Reynolds when he found a handsome, undescribed silver serpent on a small uninhabited Bahaman island. Reynolds, who works at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, called it the Conception Bank silver boa (Chilabothrus Argentum), and it's already listed as critically endangered: Reynolds and his colleagues found only 33 of them on the island.

Monacoa Griseus

     These fish don't need a light—they carry their own, thanks. In August, scientists reported that they had found two new species of deep sea fish with this unusual arrangement. They have light-producing bacteria in a pouch within their gut that makes them appear to glow. They can change the size of this pouch, contracting it to hide the light and expanding it to reveal the light, which then passes through transparent scales on their underside. The scientists dubbed these new species the gray mirrorbelly and black mirrorbelly—Monacoa Griseus and Monacoa niger.
     While most plants rely on the sun for energy and food, some pursue an alternative stratagem: thievery. Japanese scientists have found a bizarre new plant they call Sciaphila yakushimensis (after Yakushima, the lush Japanese island where it was found). This species, like its relatives, makes its way aboveground only when it flowers—in this case with a purple blossom. It gets its sustenance by stealing nutrients from the roots and root-bound fungi of other plants.
     How many kinds of tarantulas exist in the United States? Until evolutionary biologist Chris Hamilton investigated, nobody knew. He and his colleagues spent nearly a decade looking for tarantulas and sorting through contradictory past studies. The team turned up 14 new tarantula species, mostly in the Southwest. An all-black species found near California's Folsom Prison—where Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, recorded a live album—was dubbed Aphonopelma johnnycashi.
Peacock Spider
     Australian biologist Jurgen Otto has spent the past decade cataloguing Peacock Spiders, the males of which engage in adorably strange jigs to woo females, extending their furry legs and flashy abdomens. He's discovered dozens of new varieties, and in May, he co-authored a paper in the journal Peckhamia identifying seven more. The spiders range in length from 0.1 to 0.2 inches, and they are often brightly and brilliantly colored. 

     Source: Newsweek, 6.01.2017 – 13.01.2017, by Douglas Main, pp. 52–53.  

Jul 28, 2017

Old MacDonald had a farm

Old macdonald had a farm
     “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” is a children’s song and nursery rhyme about a farmer named MacDonald (or McDonald, Macdonald) and the various animals he keeps on his farm. Each verse of the song changes the name of the animal and its respective noise. In many versions, the song is cumulative, with the animal sounds from all the earlier verses added to each subsequent verse. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 745. For example, the verse uses a cow as an animal and “moo” as the animal’s sound.
     It has been translated in many languages.

Old MacDonald had a farm
And on his farm he had a cow
With a moo-moo here
And a moo-moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo-moo
Old MacDonald had a farm 
Old macdonald had a farm

Jul 22, 2017

Being Erica Soundtrack All I Ever Wanted To Be - Lily Frost

being erica cbc
It's clearer inside of me
Who I will always be
Here at the core of my heart
Mystics & cynics & crystals & memories
Beginning to line up the stars
Shining the light in the night
     [Shining the light in the night]
Raising the veil from my eye
     [Raising the veil from my eye]
Waking me up to the light in our life
Cause of my strength
Some of my dreams
being erica loving san francisco& everything I ever wanted to be...
Here I am this is me where I’ll be
In the dark
[&] in the light
[&] in the wrong in the right...

being erica dr tomKarma is energy
Give me my destiny
Everything happens for a reason
Every choice that I make
Changes the course I take
Won't be afraid when I make mistakes
Open my arms & give in
     [Open my arms & give in]
Do it all over again
     [Do it all over again]
Do it all over
Again & again,
To get to the end
Of who I am now.
I'm gonna find the answers &
Yes I know how
I know I can win
Some of my dream
& everything I ever wanted
& everything I ever wanted
To be

Here I am
This is me
Who am I? 

Wait & see...
being erica soundtrack
being erica erin karpluk

Jul 16, 2017

1830 Abraham Lincoln: letter to his son’s teacher

Abraham Lincoln Memorial statue
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true, but teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know, but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found… Teach him to learn to lose… and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of a book… But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat…
Mount Rushmore Abraham Lincoln
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong…
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough. 
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon…
Teach him to listen to all men… but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
one cent coin Abraham Lincoln
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.
Treat him gently, but do not coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. 
Let him have the courage to be impatient… let him have the patience to be brave. 
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow, my son! 

     Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States. He abolished slavery. He was recalled in many ways. Some American cities bear his name, as the Lincoln the capital of Nebraska. USA dedicated to him the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and is depicted on the five dollar bill and the one cent coin. His face was carved in the monument of Mount Rushmore (the first right).
Abraham Lincoln Five Dollar Bill

Jul 12, 2017

Focus on the USA

The USA is not the same thing as America! America refers to the whole continent and includes North, South and Central America. It stretches from Canada to Argentina.
The USA’s national symbol is the bald eagle. It is a symbol of freedom, strength and victory.
The USA has more than six million kilometres of road – more than any other country – and Los Angeles has the greatest density of traffic.
The first inhabitants of the USA were the Native Americans.
The USA’s flag is called the Stars and Stripes. There are 50 stars on it, one for each state in the union, and 13 stripes which symbolize the original 13 states.
The USA’s national motto is In God We Trust. But every state has a motto that reflects some of its history and ethnic heritage.
The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the USA, but most of the states have at least one state song.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are the favourite food in the USA. On average, every American eats more than 200 hamburgers each year.
Usa region country

Alaska is separated from the other states by Canada. Situated north of Canada, it is huge, with fewer people than any other state. Part of it is covered with snow, ice and glaciers. But it also has vast forests, and modern cities. It is an important oil producing region. Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, is in Alaska. The Inuit (Eskimo) people live here.
The Pacific West
States: California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada.
It is a rich region with rocky coasts, high mountains, fertile valleys and thick rain forests with tall trees. Many people visit California for its mild climate, and Hollywood is the home of many movie stars, despite the risk of earthquakes.
The Southwest
States: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma.
An area of contrasts, with dry, hostile desert areas, and wide open plains. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the most magnificent sights in the world. Texas, famous for its cowboys and rodeos, is also an important oil- and gas- producing region and has many big cattle ranches.
Hawaii is about 3,700 km from the coast of California.
People live on seven of These 130 beautiful, sub-tropical islands in the Pacific. Volcanoes formed these islands millions of years ago and some are still active. It is a popular tourist destination.
The South
States: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky.
The states of the South once formed a separate union and fought a war with the northern states in the 19th century. One reason for the war was that the South wanted to keep slavery. Many black people live and work here — their ancestors were brought from Africa as slaves to work on the tobacco and cotton plantations. New Orleans was originally a French city, and it is still famous for its Mardi Gras carnival and jazz music.
The Rocky Mountain region
States: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado.
This spectacular region with its high peaks, deserts and river canyons, is visited by millions of tourists, particularly for winter sports. There are several national parks, which are famous for their dramatic scenery and wildlife.
The Midwest
States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio.
This is the USA’s, most important agricultural region with large farms, cattle and sheep ranches and massive fields of corn, oats, wheat and soya beans. But it is also the heart of industrial production, particularly around the Great Lakes. Detroit is the main centre for the automobile industry.
New England
States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
There are six New England states. Many of the original settlers came here from England, including the Pilgrim Fathers, who first settled in Massachusetts. This region is well known for its beautiful scenery and the colour of its leaves in the fall.
Mid Atlantic region
States: West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia.
It is a very heavily populated and industrialized area with a lot of big titles, although Virginia is famous for its scenery. Washington DC is the capital of the USA where the American president lives and works. New York, the biggest city in the USA, is known as the 'melting pot' for its incredible mix of different nationalities.
Sunny weather, sandy beaches and interesting places like the Everglades National Park with its alligators, the Kennedy Space Center and Disneyworld attract millions of tourists to the peninsula of Florida — the Sunshine State. Many Americans choose to retire here. 
Source: Excursion, an old Italian book. 

Jul 8, 2017

The Political Capital… Washington

     The business of Washington is government. Unlike other great capitals of the world, Washington isn’t the financial nor the cultural, nor the commercial centre of its nation. It was designed and built for the sole purpose of being the seat of the Federal Government.
     George Washington himself chose the site, and both Maryland and Virginia gave land to establish the District of Columbia.
     Washington D.C., in fact, doesn’t belong to any particular state, but to all of them.
     The Capitol is the centre of the city. It’s in this building that the Congress of the United States meets to make the laws that govern the country.
Capitol Washington

     Each of the United States is self-governing in local matters and has its own constitution and governor, but gives the Federal Government of Washington the control of foreign affairs and if the military forces.
     The Congress is composed of two Houses: the Senate with two members for each state of the Union, and the House of Representatives. The Representatives are members of the two big political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, and are proportional to the population of the respective states.
     The White House has been the home of the President of the United States for more than a century and a half. It’s in the offices of the White House that the President discharges his duty of Chief Executive, meets with his Cabinet, and signs or vetoes the legislation passed by Congress.  
     Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 

Jul 4, 2017

The Financial and Cultural Capital… New York

New York was the first capital of the United States and since 1790 it has had the largest population with some 11 million inhabitants. The city is made up of 5 districts: Manhattan, lying between the Hudson and the East River, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Richmond.
New York Brooklyn Bridge
New York is the financial and cultural capital of the nation and, being the seat of the United Nations, it can be considered a world capital.
To foreigners New York symbolizes America because it testifies the American people’s reverence for bigness and money. New York has the greatest port in the world, the highest building (the Empire State), the biggest cars and the most expensive shops. It has more than 600 large hotels and about 12,000 restaurants (from the expensive ones to the cheap cafeterias and automats).
There are cinemas in Broadway that are larger than many European squares (such as Radio City Music Hall), others which have never been closed, day and night, for years. There are more people working in Rockfeller Centre than in many cities in Europe, and there are more banks in Wall Street than pizzerias in Naples.
Broadway, the most famous street in Manhattan, is America’s greatest theatrical centre. Here, at the Metropolitan or at Carnagie Hall, you can hear the best musicians and opera singers, and at over 50 theatres you can see world famous actors presenting everything from musical comedies (a typically American art from) to the classic, from the works of Arthur Miller to the informal plays of the Living Theatre, at night the street is so full of giant advertising signs that it’s as bright as day.
The main shopping centre of Manhattan and of the whole nation is Fifth Avenue, whose shops supply the largest selection of goods: priceless jewels, latest-fashion clothes, fabulous fur-coats, chinaware, yachts, antiques and so on. At the end of the street, providing a striking contrast with its luxurious atmosphere, are the Bowery, the street of slums, cheap bars and dormitories for vagabonds and drunkards, and Harlem, where Negroes live their miserable lives in segregation.
Much of New York’s flavour comes from the variety of people who inhabit it. The Statue of Liberty, standing at the entrance to the port, has seen the arrival of millions of immigrants, who make a great contribution to the city’s colour. You can hear dozen of languages spoken in New York, and in the streets of the city you can see Chinese wearing blue-jeans, Italians eating hot-dogs, Puerto Ricans going out for pizza and Slavs and Poles spending Sunday in Chinatown. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 
Empire State Building

Jun 30, 2017

System of Government

System of Government
The United States is a federal union of 50 States. Its system of government is based on the principle that governing power is divided between state and central authority.
The Federal Government, that is the central authority, has the power to regulate the relations between the states and to engage in activities — such as declaring war: or conducting foreign policy — that are beyond the competency of any single state or group of states.
Each one of the 50 states, however, is fully independent within its boundaries and the Federal Government cannot interfere with a State’s decision in the conduct of its internal affairs.
Each state has its own constitution and makes its own laws. In each state the executive power is represented by a Governor, elected by popular vote.
The Constitution
The Constitution of the United States was signed in Philadelphia in 1787, shortly after the 13 original states had won their independence from Britain.
It is a document in which it is clearly stated what powers belong to the Federal Government and what powers belong to the States.
In 1791 the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. All individual rights and freedom are assured in the Bill of Rights: the freedom of speech, of the press and of religion; the right of citizens to meet peacefully: right to be secure in one’s home against any form of violation of one’s privacy; the right to possess arms: the right of any person who is accused of breaking the law to have a speedy trial by a jury of fellow citizens.
The Constitution divides the power of the Government into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial.
The three branches of the Federal Government

The Legislative
The legislative branch, or Congress, consists of two Houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The two Houses are made up of representatives elected by the people.
In the Senate each state has equal voice with two senators each. In the House of Representatives each state has a variable number of representatives which depends on how populous the state is.
Any member of the two Houses may propose a Bill. The Bill is discussed and, if it is approved by the majority, it goes to the other House for discussion and approval. If the majority of the members of this House is in favour of it, the Bill is brought to the President.
The President may accept the Bill, and in this case the Bill becomes law. But if the President does not approve of it, the Bill goes back to the House of origin with suggestions for amendments.
If the House decides to leave the Bill unchanged, a two-thirds majority in both Houses is needed to pass the Bill without the President’s approval.
The Executive
The executive branch is headed by the President, who is chosen in a national election for a four-year term.
The U.S. President is the central figure of the American system of government: he has enormous powers and responsibilities, and can be considered the most powerful elected official in the world.
He is the Head of one of the two major political parties.
As Head of the executive branch, his duty is to carry out government programs and to put laws into effect. He presides over an enormous network of departments — among which the Treasury Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labour, the Department of Justice.
Upon his shoulders rests the responsibility for conducting foreign affairs, and in this task he is advised by the Secretary of State, the Head of the Department of State. With the approval of the majority of the Senate, he appoints federal judges, ambassadors and hundreds of government officials.
He is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and he may, under certain circum-stances, open hostilities without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
He also has control on Congress and legislation: it is the President who must prepare the year's legislative program for the economic and social welfare of the country. The program is then submitted to the Houses for approval. He can also recommend laws to Congress, and he can put his veto on any law passed by Congress. The Presidential veto can be annulled only by a two-thirds vote of both Houses.
The Judiciary
The judicial branch of the Government consists of the Federal Courts in the states and the Supreme Court in Washington.
The Federal Courts deal with all the cases for which the Federal Government is competent.
The Supreme Court has the power to test the constitutionality of all the laws passed by Congress as well as of those state laws which seem to be in conflict with the principles of the Constitution.
In case of conflict between state law and federal law, state law must yeld to federal law.
The Balance of Powers
The Constitution of 1787 also created a system of checks, that is of controls, so that none of the three branches of government could prevail upon the others.
The laws passes by Congress must be examined by the supreme Court, which decides whether or not they conform to the principles of the Constitution. Moreover, the President may put his veto on any Bill passed by Congress.
On the other hand, the President’s decrees can be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Under particular circumstances, the House of Representatives can incriminate the charge pf crimes committed against the State, and the Senate can suspend him from his office with a two-thirds majority.
As to the supreme Court, its composition can be modified by the President and by Congress.
Political Parties
There are two major political parties in the United States: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The symbol of the former is the Elephant, the symbol of the latter is the Donkey. There are no substantial differences between the two parties. The Democrats are supposed to be a little more progressive than the Republicans. 
Source: Colle – Meloni, News. For Juniors, Lattes, an old Italian book 1979.