Canada Post Door to Door Delivery Analysis

Author Note: The charts and graphs, and additionally part 4 are unavailable. Unfortunately, the copy and paste from my word document that I submitted for my class assignment did not copy and paste properly into this post. Hopefully it still make sense for anyone who takes the time to read. Thank you.

Part One: Executive Summary:

The Canadian Government announced prior to the 42nd election, that their crown corporation Canada Post would end door to door mail delivery. The Conservative government planned to replace door to door delivery service with community mailboxes. Newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would stop the plan to end door to door service.

My research will investigate the financial records of Canada Post, and determine if it makes financial sense for Canada Post to continue with door to door service. Or if Canada Post needs to end door to door service and go ahead with the prior government’s plan to end the service and replace it with community mailboxes. I will also offer a third option that attempts to balance the concerns of the government, public and union in an attempt to provide the best alternative for each stakeholder. I will review the publically released financial statements for the past several years, reviewing changes in revenue and net income. By looking at those numbers, I will be able to make a determination at what the best course of action is for the Canadian Government.

The story will continue to be newsworthy until a final decision is made by the Canadian Government. As traditional mail becomes a less popular method of communicating, Canada Post will have to find alternative ways to remain profitable.

Part Two: Contextual Research:

Large portions of this section is from the contextual research assignment submitted earlier. However changes have been made to include more context and the information I was missing as I did not see the second sheet on my learning space for the assignment.

Section One: Issue within the News:

  1. Geographical Context:

Article from The Times Colonist discusses how some communities were put on hold following the statements of Trudeau. However, it also talks about how Sidney, British Colombia had community mailboxes fully installed in the city and will not be getting door to door service anymore, regardless of the liberal’s decision.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/canada-post-s-halt-on-community-mailboxes-too-late-for-sidney-1.2096373

  1. Contextual Relationships:

Local postal workers union pleased with the decision to continue door to door delivery. This provides context by showing what large stakeholders the union are in any decision made by the Canadian Government.

http://www.ngnews.ca/News/Local/2015-11-01/article-4329345/One-battle-down,-more-to-go%3A-Canada-Post-union-representative%26nbsp%3B%26nbsp%3B/1

  1. Political Context:

The follow article looks at the idea that tax payers are the only reason Canada Post exists. The article states that eliminating door to door service would eliminate 8,000 jobs. The context added is the stances taken by both Harper and Trudeau and also brings to light the amount of people who would be out of a job.

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/11/01/taxpayers-on-hook-to-save-canada-post

Section Two:

  1. Canada Post 2014 Financial Statement. This adds context to show that Canada Post is turning a rather sizable profit in its most recent year ending statement.

https://www.canadapost.ca/assets/pdf/aboutus/financialreports/2014_ar_complete_en.pdf

  1. Business Context:

Quarter 1 and 2 reports from Canada Post. The quarterly reports add context by being the most update financial information. By using this reports I can see if past years financial trends are continuing. Or if they differ largely from the past few years. This is one of the main areas of research.

https://www.canadapost.ca/assets/pdf/aboutus/financialreports/2015_Q1_report_en.pdf

https://www.canadapost.ca/assets/pdf/aboutus/financialreports/2015_Q2_report_en.pdf

  1. A series of blogs from the Canada Post Union that follows their coast to coast campaign that protests cuts to Canada Post. This provides context, as it shows the Union fighting for the potential job loss should the government move to the community mailbox delivery system. Further areas of research are looking into the number of employees that Canada Post employees. Second, would be to attempt to find out how many jobs would be loss if the Canada Post moved to Community mailboxes which would eliminate many delivery jobs.

http://www.savecanadapost.ca/en/node/5287

Canada Post 5 Point Action Plan:

The pdf provides a lot of context to how many Canadians are effected. Only 32% of the 15.7 million addresses are effected by the proposed change to community mailboxes. Plan to spend $25M yearly to ensure these mailboxes are safe during the winter months. Saving more than 2 million work hours per year.

https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/assets/pdf/aboutus/5_en.pdf

Part Three: Data Analysis:

The following 6 graphs will be used to illustrated revenue, net income and volume over several years and quarters. From the graphs, people will be able to gain a better understanding of the operational success of Canada Post. This graph illustrates how Canada Post revenues have increased nearly every year.

The second graph looks at the net income of Canada Post over the past decade. Unlike revenue which was rather consistent on a year by year basis, net income was highly variable. Canada Post turned a profit in eight of ten years, but are trending negatively. Interestingly the first year and tenth year are the two closest years in net income, separated by only one million dollars.

The third graph illustrates the decline in the total volume of mail over the past decade. As people may have suspected, total volume of mail has seen a large decline over the past decade.

The third chart combines all three of the graphs previously used to see if there are any relationships. Unfortunately, due to the wide range of between pieces of mail in total volume and net income, the line graph is rather poor. Although the early years between 2005 and 2008 there appears to be a relationship between revenue and volume that trend does not continue as revenues grew despite the decline in mail volume. 2011 saw a sharp drop in mail volume and that is reflected in the net income.

The following charts are from quarterly reports. Quarters generally follow this dates, however exact date changes on a yearly basis. Quarter one runs from January to April 4th. Quarter two runs from April to July 4th. Quarter three runs from July to October 4th. Quarter four runs from the beginning of October until the following January 4th.

The first graph compares revenue and net profit. There is a much greater correlation on a quarterly comparison than a year by year comparison. The second and third graphs look at the lineal relationship of consolidated revenue and net income respectively. Both quarterly numbers have a large amount of variance. Especially net income which goes from peak to valley only a quarterly frequence.

Part Four: Freedom of Information (Access to Information):

Please see attached printed copy for my submission of the Freedom of Information request. For the online submission, please see attached file.

Part Five: Story Ideas:

Since the government has made a decision to continue door to door service, story ideas are mostly opinion pieces. In the coming years, further articles will need to be written reviewing how financially stable Canada Post is and if they should again reconsider the decision, as mail continues to decline.

Personally I would write an article that argues that Canada Post should continue with the plan to switch to community mailboxes, however they should also offer citizens the option to continue with door to door service for any citizens willing to pay a yearly fee to have their mail delivered directly to their home. I believe this is the best option, as Canadians would have the option to pay for the level of service they want. For many they want to have mail delivered to their door, so why shouldn’t they pay more for that service. This would save jobs, but would still cost thousands of people their job. It’s a proactive approach that accounts for a continual decline in the use of mail services.

Another alternative option would be to eliminate mail delivery on an every weekday basis. Switching to a twice a week or weekly basis would be financially more viable and would save the government money. Questions to answer, would be how many hours would mail delivery people lose on a yearly basis. Would they be able to find other part-time jobs to make up for the loss in hours? The real question this brings up is if we need daily mail delivery. Is there any piece of mail that we need daily? With improved shipping with Crown Company Purolator, next day shipping is a reality and we do not need to use the postal service.

A fact based story would be monitoring the decline of mail volume. If this continues, what is the future of Canada Post? At what point does the company need to undergo a major restructuring to deal with the lower volume.

 

 

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FanDuel Public Relations Analysis

Over the past 18 months, the daily fantasy industry has exploded and become a business worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The two many companies at the forefront of the industry are FanDuel and Draft Kings. The two companies launched aggressive advertising campaigns that have costed more than $100 million for the start of the NFL season in hopes of creating new business for the biggest sport in the fantasy industry.

Daily fantasy operates in a fashion similar to online poker, a craze that took over the internet in the mid-2000s. To play daily fantasy, people pay entry fee into contests against other people. The daily fantasy sites take a percentage of the fee as a vigorous fee of playing. From there players select their lineup using a salary cap system that forces players to assembly the best roster on a budget. After the days games have been played, the players selected statistics are calculated for points. From there a winner is determined, and they walk away with a large sum of money.

Despite the financial success of the daily fantasy industry, questions have been raised by the media and government about the legality of daily fantasy. In 2006, the United States Government launched the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. The act was targeted at regulating the internet poker craze, but ruled that fantasy sports are a game of skill and not luck. The distinction or loophole as media members have called it, have allowed for the creation and exploitation of daily fantasy sports industry. Many people within the media and government are calling for further government regulation of the daily fantasy industry that has been referred to as legalized gambling.

In early October, media outlets reported a story where an employee from Draft Kings used the information and knowledge gained from the site’s database to enter a FanDuel contest and win a six figure purse. On October 7th, FanDuel released a page and a half public relations statement about the incident. I will be reviewing the press release for its objectives, techniques used and overall effectiveness.

FanDuel opens its release by addressing the reports previously outlined in its first sentence. In the second sentence of the opening paragraph, FanDuel articulates the importance the site places on trust between the site and its users. FanDuel continues by stating that any potential game integrity issue is a serious issue. FanDuel’s object is simply, regain trust by honestly stating how important trust is to their business. If the people believe FanDuel is untrustworthy they will take their business and money elsewhere, which will hurt any FanDuel stakeholders. Through this paragraph, Fan Fuel is attempting to manage its relationship between their users.

In the second paragraph, FanDuel uses weak language to convey the sense that an unfair advantage was not gained by the winner. FanDuel maintains that the game’s integrity was not compromised and the winner won fairly. The language, “Based on everything we know thus far, there is no evidence indicating that the integrity of FanDuel’s contest was in any way compromised,” is not very convincing. The statement appears to be intentionally left open enough so that they can change their stance if further evidence is found. The problem with this statement is that the information that the Draft Kings employee used has never been made public. The public does not know what the information was and if it had indeed been made public by NFL teams and media. By not releasing what information may have been used, the public has to trust FanDuel without any evidence, that the information did not provide any unfair advantage. FanDuel’s objective was to ensure the public that the integrity of its games has not been compromised. It is fair to say, that FanDuel did unsatisfactory job of accomplishing its goal.

In the second sentence of the second paragraph, FanDuel reiterates the importance of trust with its users. The sentence introduces the third phase of the conflict management life cycle by introducing a reactive plan. FanDuel then outlines three bullet points that address how they will ensure their games integrity and maintain trust with their users.

The first bullet point, bans any employee from FanDuel from playing any daily fantasy games for money. FanDuel announces it will ban any employees of any other daily fantasy site from playing at FanDuel. The plan outlined by FanDuel addresses the problem that has been reported by the media. However, they do not state how or when they plan to execute this plan. As good as it sounds on paper, I am sure people are skeptical of how FanDuel will accomplish this.

The second bullet point’s objective is to rebuild trust with its users. FanDuel announces it has hired Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge and attorney general to review its internal controls, practices and standards with his law firm. Mukasey was given freedom and authority to review any other of the organization and will provide recommendations to strengthen FanDuel. The objective of this paragraph is achieved as the actions of FanDuel match the interest of the public. Through taking action, FanDuel helps build trust with its users, managing the relationship and has now developed a strategy to benefit its stakeholders.

The third bullet functions in the same matter of the second. FanDuel announces it has hired a law firm to provide on-going advice in attempt to ensure the integrity of the game. Provided both law firms do what they have been hired to do and are not used by FanDuel as names to improve public relations, they achieve their objective of introducing a trustworthy reactive plan.

However FanDuel raises a lot of questions with the last sentence in the third bullet point. “We look forward to speaking with regulators across the nation about how to define the right set of rules for our industry as it continues to grow.” The big problem with this statement is that daily fantasy does not have a regulatory body within the government. FanDuel uses this sentence to build trust, however the wording of the sentence makes them appear untrustworthy because there is no regulatory body. Had FanDuel said they want to go to the government to set up an independent regulatory body, people would have a much greater level of trust. Especially if the daily fantasy industry would be under constant monitoring by a regulatory government body.

The press release concludes with three sentences. The first outline how fast FanDuel is growing as a company. The second indirectly thanks fans for embracing fantasy sports and being the base for its business. The final sentence again reiterates the goal of the stakeholders to continually grow and the importance trust in their clientele base is when dealing with the integrity of their daily fantasy games.

Overall, the press release is moderately successful. The reactive plan is a smart and well designed to address the previous flaw in their system. However trying to sneak government regulation past any reader is not trust and helps damage the relationship between stakeholder and clientele.

Author’s note: No citation information was given or required for this assignment. All supplement research came from the Sports Illustrated Vault podcast from Friday November 13, 2015 entitled “The Vault Presents: Inside the DFS debate”

Frederick The Great

Today, the word great gets attached frequently to people for their various accomplishments in their chosen fields. Athletes, politicians, artists and other types of professionals are labelled as great for one reason or another, even if they are undeserving of being called great. However, there is a significant difference between when a person is called great, and when they are referred to as “The Great.” It is very rare for a person to receive the honour of being called “The Great.” Alexander the Great, has deservingly received the title, after he nearly succeeded in his attempt to conquer the entire world. In the 18th century, Prussian King Frederick II received the honour of being referred to as Frederick the Great. Frederick the Great received the title because of his forty-six year reign as King, in which he transformed Prussia internally and on the large scale of central Europe. Frederick successfully made Prussia a more powerful state within central Europe due to his various reforms and military conquests. In addition to his military conquests, Frederick II also invested state money into Prussian academies for the arts, philosophy and the sciences. When Frederick II died in 1786, he had deservingly earned himself the title of Frederick the Great.

Frederick the Great was born in Berlin on January 24th 1712,[1][2] to Prussian Prince Frederick William I. Frederick William I would take the throne as King in 1713. During his father’s reign as King from 1713 to 1740,[3] Frederick William raised Frederick II in a harsh, but very well organized and structured fashion. Frederick William wanted to ensure his son Frederick would be worthy of being King when the time eventually came for him to take the throne. Frederick was taught as a child to speak both French and German. Frederick William ordered the teachers he provided to Frederick II infuse him with a strong appreciation for world history and a love and an excitement for the military.[4] Frederick was also raised to have a greater appreciation of enlightening thinking, government, culture, and the sciences.[5] The knowledge gained by Frederick II as a child would follow him throughout his reign as King. Frederick would apply his knowledge to improve life for the people within Prussia. Frederick II was raised with the personal belief, that it was his duty as the King to make the Prussian people he ruled as happy as possible.[6]

Frederick II ascended to the throne and became King in 1740, after his father Frederick William died. Immediately upon becoming King, Frederick launched many initiatives to improve life within Prussia. Frederick began his reign as King with legal and bureaucratic reforms to improve industry and the economy within Prussia.[7] In 1740, Frederick launched a military campaign without warning against Austrian territory Silesia.[8] Frederick’s campaign in Silesia would be the first of three Silesian wars (1740-42, 1744-45 and 1756-63) he fought as King.[9] In the first Silesian War of 1740, Frederick the Great successfully lead his 28,000 man army into battle against the Austrians.[10] Frederick would show his superior military generalship by using what would go on to be known as the blitzkrieg technique.[11]

Following the Prussian victory in Silesia, Frederick II annexed the territory and incorporated it into the Prussia Kingdom. By adding Silesia, Frederick doubled the size of his territory.[12][13] The victory in Silesia provided Prussia with economic growth and stability due to the revenue generated by Silesia.[14] By adding Silesia, Frederick extended the borders of Prussia by 13,800 square miles. The province of Silesia added more than 1.5 million citizens to the total population of Prussia. Industries within Silesia added new revenue of $3.5 million to the Prussian economy.[15] The infusion of money into the Prussian economy allowed for Frederick II to reinvest Prussia’s newfound wealth into other aspects of the Prussian Kingdom. The investments within Prussia created many improvements in the daily lives of Prussian citizens. The victory also accomplished Frederick the Great’s initial goal of making an initial splash as King and expanding the borders of Prussia.[16]

In addition to being a strong military leader, Frederick II made many advances in the arts within Prussia early in his reign. Frederick the Great led the cultural uprising in Prussia by contributing his own musical compositions. Frederick’s own love of music lead to the growth of music within his kingdom. As a young child, Frederick II was trained to play the flute by famed German musician Johann Joachim Quantz.[17] By the time of his death, Frederick had composed more than 200 flute concertos,[18] 121 flute sonatas, and his flute compositions have formed the basis for all flute recordings.[19]

To further the growth of music in Prussia, Frederick invested his money into multiple areas to ensure growth. Frederick spent state money to bring some of the top German musicians and composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach to Prussia to perform and teach. In 1740, Frederick made a large financial investment by building one of Europe’s largest opera houses in Berlin. The opera house was a status symbol across Europe. The opera house showed the importance Frederick placed upon music and allowed Prussia to attract the top European musicians. With the new opera house built, Frederick was able to return the Prussian orchestra to Berlin. By 1745, Frederick had expanded both the size of the orchestra and the reach of music within the Prussian Kingdom.[20]

Under his father Frederick William I, the Berlin Academy of Science had been neglected and had declined to the point where it no longer functioned as intended when it first opened in 1700.[21] Frederick II invested heavily financially into the academy to revitalize the study and teaching of philosophy, mathematics and the sciences within Prussia.[22] Under Frederick II, the Berlin Academy became an effective institution that taught young Prussian men.[23] The academy served as part of Frederick II ambitious plan to construct a modern Prussia. Frederick the Great envisioned educating Prussian men with the latest scientific knowledge and the best philosophy available.[24] Frederick the Great viewed science as a servant of the state that had the ability to advance Prussia’s position within Europe through technological advancements.[25] In addition to educating his citizens, Frederick viewed education as a method to strengthen his army and increase his land and wealth.[26] The investment proved wise, as Frederick successfully raised the level of education and enlightenment within the Prussian Kingdom. To Frederick, his reinvented version of the Berlin Academy represented his era of Prussia during his reign as King.[27]

Frederick II also invested Prussian money into French philosopher Voltaire. Frederick was large supporter of French philosophy. However, the investment in Voltaire, left Frederick somewhat neglecting an investment in German writers and philosophers. Despite a lack of financial investment in German literature, the cultural strides made in other art forms during the Frederick II era, helped German literature evolve.[28] For German writers, Frederick II represented the political and social identity of German people. A talented writer himself, Frederick II[29] provided inspiration for German writers to write about German national identity.[30]

Investing in philosophers was an immediate change that Frederick II introduced as soon as he became King in 1740. In addition to investing in French philosophers such as Voltaire, Frederick II welcomed back Christian Wolff. Under Frederick William, Wolff had been exiled from the Prussian Kingdom.[31] Although, Frederick’s attempts to have Wolff run the Berlin Academy were met with a large amount of resistance.[32] The reintroduction of philosophers and enlightened thinking into Prussia was a calculated move by Frederick to signal to the rest of Europe that the era of Frederick William’s anti-intellectualism and provincialism was over.[33]

As culture and enlightenment developed through the Berlin Academy, the Prussian government improved under Frederick II. Frederick the Great believed in philosophical analysis of the government. Through self-assessment of the government, Frederick led the government on an economic reform platform for Prussia. The government worked to stabilize and grow the economy as well as acquire new territories and strengthen defenses.[34] Frederick the Great put together a mechanically organized government that proved to be a strong ruling body.[35]

The academy served more than just one purpose. In addition to educating young Prussian men, the academy existed to provide Frederick II with credibility for his various forms of self-promotion and reform platforms.[36] The academy was vital to various reforms proposed by Frederick. The academy offered expertise and technical knowledge to Frederick that he did not possess. The academy was directly related to the political philosophy of Frederick and showed that state and academy could operate on an ideology, practical and philosophical levels.[37]

Following the three Silesian Wars (1740-42, 1744-45 and 1756-63), Frederick II showed his military genius. Fighting against overwhelming odds, Frederick II used his knowledge gained through his childhood education and applied it as a general to fight off multiple Austrian attempts to regain Silesian. Following the second Silesian War, Frederick II wrote “Principles Generaux de la Guerre,” about his experiences and techniques used during the first two Silesian wars and distributed them to his generals.[38] During the Seven Year War (1756-1763), Frederick II used his military techniques to occupy Saxony and contemplated annexing the territory into Prussia.[39] By 1768, Frederick II had finished fighting his wars and returned his focus to writing. Frederick II wrote “Testament Militaire” about military campaigns and strategy. The piece was paired with his 1752 piece, “Testament Politique” as informative pieces to pass down his knowledge to his successors. In 1771, Frederick II penned the piece “Elements de Castrametrie et de tactiques” which was given to his generals to ensure Prussian military strength would continue, as Frederick believed in sharing his knowledge with others.[40]

Frederick II is deserving of being called Frederick the Great because his forty-six year reign as the Prussian King. Frederick greatly improved the life of the Prussian citizens and the state’s standing within Europe. When Frederick the Great ascended to the throne in 1740, he set out with one goal and duty to fulfill. Frederick believed the role of the King was to ensure the happiness of their citizens. When Frederick the Great’s reign as King ended in 1786, he had succeeded in best serving the people of his Kingdom. Frederick raised Prussia from a middle power within central Europe, to being one of central Europe’s elite powers by the end of his reign in 1786. Through several successful military campaigns, most notably Silesia, Frederick has able to take what he gained territorially and financially and reinvested the money into Prussia so that the people could benefit directly or indirectly. By investing in culture and education, the Berlin Academy helped promote knowledge and education across the state. By bringing in educated people to teach the people of Prussia, the education level raised allowing for greater benefits to the people, as well as help Frederick be the best possible leader for the people. The addition education and the academies, allowed for greater reforms to occur inside the Prussian Kingdom. The legacy of Frederick the Great continued in the years after his death as he left writings to share with his successor. In addition Frederick left valuable capital assets such as the Academy and Army that would continue to exist long after his death.

 

 

 

Bibliography:

Hans Aarsleff, “The Berlin Academy Under Frederick the Great,” History of the Human

Sciences, 2, 2. 193-206.

 

John Breuilly, Austria, Prussia and the Making of Germany 1806-1871. Second Edition. United

Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2011.

 

Ronald S. Calinger M.A, “Frederick the Great and the Berlin Academy

of Sciences (1740–1766)” Annals of Science, 24, 3. (1968), 239-249.

 

Katrin Kohl, “Hero or Villain? The Response of German Authors to Frederick the Great,”

Publications of the English Goethe Society, Vol. LXXXI, 1. (2012), 51-72.

 

Harmonia Mundi, “Court of Frederick the Great,” American Record Guide, 261.

 

Mary Oleskiewicz, “The Flutist of Sanssouci: King Frederick ‘the Great’ as performer and

composer,” The Flutist Quarterly Fall, (2012). 18-26.

 

R.R. Palmer, “Chapter 3. Frederick the Great, Guibert, Bulow: From Dynastic to National War,”

Origins of Modern War, 49-74.

 

Mary Terrall, “The Culture of Science in Frederick the Great’s Berlin,” History of Science,

December 1990; 28, 4, 333-364.

 

Thomas J. Watson Library, “Frederick the Great,” The Illustrated Magazine of Art, 3, 18.

(1854), 377-379.

[1] Harmonia Mundi, “Court of Frederick the Great,” American Record Guide, 261.

[2] Thomas J. Watson Library, “Frederick the Great,” The Illustrated Magazine of Art, 3, 18. (1854), 378.

[3] Mary Terrall, “The Culture of Science in Frederick the Great’s Berlin,” History of Science, December 1990; 28, 4, 335.

[4] Thomas J. Watson Library, 378.

[5] Katrin Kohl, “Hero or Villain? The Response of German Authors to Frederick the Great,”

Publications of the English Goethe Society, Vol. LXXXI, 1. (2012), 52.

[6] Thomas J. Watson Library, 377.

[7] Terrall, 335.

[8] R.R. Palmer, “Chapter 3. Frederick the Great, Guibert, Bulow: From Dynastic to National War,” Origins of Modern War, 53.

[9] Kohl, 52.

[10] Thomas J. Watson Library, 378.

[11] Palmer, 53.

[12] Palmer, 53.

[13] John Breuilly, Austria, Prussia and the Making of Germany 1806-1871. Second Edition. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2011, 79.

[14] Thomas J. Watson Library, 377.

[15] Thomas J. Watson Library, 378.

[16] Terrall, 335.

[17] Mary Oleskiewicz, “The Flutist of Sanssouci: King Frederick ‘the Great’ as performer and composer,” The Flutist Quarterly Fall, (2012). 19.

[18] Harmonia Mundi, “Court of Frederick the Great,” American Record Guide, 261.

[19] Oleskiewicz, 19.

[20] Oleskiewicz, 21.

[21] Hans Aarsleff, “The Berlin Academy Under Frederick the Great,” History of the Human

Sciences, 2, 2. 193.

[22] Terrall, 335.

[23] Ronald S. Calinger M.A, “Frederick the Great and the Berlin Academy

of Sciences (1740–1766)” Annals of Science, 24, 3. (1968), 242.

[24] Terrall, 334-335.

[25] Calinger, 239.

[26] Calinger, 239.

[27] Terrall, 337.

[28] Kohl, 52-55.

[29] Palmer, 53.

[30] Kohl, 52-55.

[31] Terrall, 337-338.

[32] Terrall, 337-338.

[33] Terrall, 337-338.

[34] Terrall, 335.

[35] Palmer, 53.

[36] Terrall, 336.

[37] Terrall, 336.

[38] Palmer, 53.

[39] Breuilly, 79.

[40] Palmer, 53.

Peter H. Wilson Article Summary: German History 1648 – 1871

Today, people can easily answer the questions of who is German and where is Germany. However, during the period between the 15th and 19th centuries answering both questions with a compelling argument was a very difficult task because modern day Germany was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Since modern Germany was part of the Holy Roman Empire, no borders could be used to identify the country and its people. Historians have attempted to make the argument of what German was during this period. Peter H. Wilson attempts to analyze the works of other historians to provide clarity to answer the questions of Germany. Wilson analyzes if Germany as part of the Holy Roman Empire was a failed nation state, a federation, an empire-state or a central Europe of the Regions.[1]

Wilson’s article “Still a Monstrosity? Some Reflections on Early German Statehood,” attempts to answer both by reviewing previous theological answers to the questions. Wilson’s article references the term “monstrosity” which had been used by German Samuel von Pufendorf to describe the Holy Roman Empire because the empire does not fit into any of the four recognized definitions (failed nation state, a federation, empire-state or central Europe of the regions) of a state from that period.[2] Wilson argues von Pufendorf’s use of monstrosity is misinterpreted as a criticism, but in reality is a reference to the irregular shape of the Holy Roman Empire political system.[3] The four definitions each operate as arguments to define both Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. Wilson reviews each of the definitions based on its own merit and uses it as a way to craft his only argument on the development of Germany during this time period as a central Europe of the regions state. Wilson’s argument is based on the political organization and development of the Holy Roman Empire and the territories within the empire. Wilson looks at the political framework and development within the Empire and its effects on the relationships internally and externally as an attempt to provide clarity to the questions of who is German and what is Germany.

Wilson divides his article into four sections following his introduction. The first section focuses on the Bodinian concept of indivisible sovereignty within the Holy Roman Empire. The concept operates on the basis that the Emperor acts as the secular leader for the entire empire.[4] However, Wilson goes on to describe the lack of political organization that German speakers within the empire. The poor political organization is because the empire does not have formal institutions of government. The empire suffered because there was no consensus between the Emperor, Princes, imperial cities and other subjects.[5]

The fractured relationship stemmed from the various forms of rule throughout the empire over people, land and kingdom government.[6] This divided within the Empire leads to external conflicts with the French and Ottomon Empires. The poor relationship between the Emperor and Princes forced the Emperor to make concessions granting Princes more power. Since the Emperor shared powers and responsibilities, people had no consensus within the empire over the acceptation of authority and institutions. The relationship between the Emperor and Princes created a power struggle between the two groups. The struggle resulted in the Princes gaining more power the Empire shifted toward a federal structure. With the empire shifting towards a federal structure and the empire operating using various forms of rule the Bodinian concept that the Emperor operated as a secular, indivisible sovereign does not fit the definition of the Holy Roman Empire.

Wilson articulates in his second section how the Habsburg dynasty failed to develop as a centralized Imperial State within Austria.[7] The Habsburgs had the opportunity to create a centralized government but failed to do so, when they continually made concessions to the Princes. This allowed the Princes and their territories to emerge as powers within the empire. At the same time, further weakening the Habsburg dynasty’s own attempts to control the entire Empire.

The Prince controlled territories emerged as progressive forces that built institutions and military power. Wilson continues by looking at the works of Otto von Gierke and Hermann Wellenreuher that the empire’s shifted into a “loose confederation.”[8] The confederation allowed each territory to make their own alliances and allowed flexibility between the unions of integrated states within the Empire.[9] That allowed for the territories to operate with a national constitution and allowed for regional individualism. With the territories operating freely, it allowed territories to keep distinct qualities and allowed for cultural and political diversity throughout the Empire.[10]

In his third section, Wilson seemingly jumps backwards to look at the Empire’s sovereign reign. Wilson describes the role of the Emperor within the empire as the final and highest level of authority. Despite the Princes gaining power, they still operated as lesser powers to the Emperor. The territories within the empire were in constant states of evolution and change.[11] Wilson again articulates the lack of consensus and open interpretation of laws within territories.[12] The lack of consensus within the empire allowed for variations and an uneven political structure that left the empire again with no definition.[13]

In his final section, Wilson concedes that there is no framework and single definition that the Holy Roman Empire can fit into. Wilson attempts to create a framework that best fits the empire for a given time.[14] Wilson focuses his attention to the political development of the Empire and divides it into three separate spheres.[15] The first is monarchy, which focuses on the Habsburg dynasty and the Emperor. The second sphere is dedicated to federalism. Wilson looks at the relationship between Princes, knights and Imperial cities and the effect of alliances and confederation within the Empire. The third and final sphere Wilson describes for the political development is hierarchy. Wilson describes hierarchy as the implied equality among territories and the privileged elite that have unmediated ties to the emperor and benefit from the power shift from the Emperor.[16] Wilson concludes that the three are not mutually exclusive and require each to operate. Wilson does concede that the Empire is not a timeless entity and was constantly changing and his theory or framework will not always perfectly fit that of the Empire.

The article is not very effective because if an average person with minimal to no knowledge of German history was to pick up the article and attempt to understand what happened during the time period they would be incredibly confused. The confusion that the reader would encounter would suggest that monstrosity would be an accurate term to describe the reality that was Germany and the Holy Roman Empire because of its unclear nature and constantly shifting political structure. This is in large part because Wilson does not articulate the differences between a (failed) nation state, federation, Empire-state and a central Europe of the Region. Wilson expects the reader to have an understanding of the four distinctions prior to reading the article. The lack of clarity from Wilson instantly downgrades any argument he makes, as any argument should allow a reader with no knowledge of the topic to begin reading, understanding and agree with the points the author is making.

Wilson’s thesis is acceptable but not necessarily strong. Wilson argues that Germany was a Central Europe of the Regions. The strength of Wilson’s article is significantly weakened due to the confusion Wilson creates during the first three sections of his article. Wilson fails to articulate a clear definition of each of the four state concepts as he bounces from one idea to the other within each section causing confusion about the concepts he is writing about. The confusion created by Wilson leads the reader to believe that von Pfufendorf’s statement that the Holy Roman Empire is a monstrosity is the single most accurate term that can be used to describe the empire. If not for the concessions made by Wilson in his fourth section, where he argues his thesis the article would simply be a monstrosity. However, since Wilson concedes that the Empire needed all three of his suggested spheres to operate, and that his concept cannot always be applied to any timeframe and perspective his argument on German statehood is the strongest of the four.

 

 

Bibliography

Peter H. Wilson, “Still a Monstrosity? Some Reflections on Early Modern German Statehood,” The Historical Journal, 49, 2. (2006), 565-576.

[1] Peter H. Wilson, “Still a Monstrosity? Some Reflections on Early Modern German Statehood,” The Historical Journal, 49, 2. (2006), 565.

[2] Peter H. Wilson, “Still a Monstrosity? Some Reflections on Early Modern German Statehood,” The Historical Journal, 49, 2. (2006), 565.

[3] Wilson, 567.

[4] Wilson, 566.

[5] Wilson, 566-567.

[6] Wilson, 566.

[7] Wilson, 568.

[8] Wilson, 569.

[9] Wilson, 569.

[10] Wilson, 571.

[11] Wilson, 573-574.

[12] Wilson, 574.

[13] Wilson, 574.

[14] Wilson, 574.

[15] Wilson, 575.

[16] Wilson, 575-576.

A Thank You Letter To Charles Woodson

Thank you Charles Woodson, is all I can say in this letter  to you, after you announced your retirement Monday December 21st.

Usually when athletes retire, there is a sense of happiness and joy in watching an athlete in their final games. People are happy that Kobe Bryant is retiring, as his game has declined.
But for you Charles, I feel a sense of sadness, as if Raiders fans are missing out ‎on what could be a special 2016 as the team continues to grow and improve.
 As a fan I was looking forward to 2016, a young Raiders team that could contend for the playoffs and a division title with the young core of Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper among others.
 But in 2016 I was hoping to see you manning safety. Seeing you comeback fully healthy after a week one shoulder injury this season has had you playing in pain this entire season. The ability to see you continue your hall of fame level of play for one last season. Going out with a bang as you help the Raiders return to prominence.
 No season than your last better represents the type of player you are. 2015 marks your last ‎season in the silver and black. But also one of your best and most memorable.
 After injuring your shoulder in week one, you continued to play with an injury that would leave many players out for weeks. But week after week number 24 took his position on defense. And not just playing at a pedestrian level most would expect from a 39 year old man. But at a pro bowl level.
 Despite your injuries, you are still making plays. Seemingly you are every where on the field.  Intercepting 5 passes prior to your final home game. Maybe more impressively is your ability to always around the football, recovering three fumbles, and strip ball carries several times.
 Further sadness comes from watching you bite down in pain, your face clearly showing the toll injuries have taken on you this season. Despite your injuries you continually put your body on the line each play and every time you attempt to make a tackle. Every time we can see you calculate in your mind the best way to bring down the opposing player because of how your shoulder limits your ability to wrap up opposing ball carries.
 Several times this year, you have gotten up at the end of a player in serve pain. Rarely do you stay down and have to trainers come run onto the field to see you. Instead it is you who runs off the field to see them. In your face we continue to see your pain. You know something is wrong.
 As I sit watching, thinking “Oh no, not Charles. Please don’t let this be the end. We need him.”
 Yet time after time, you go to the sidelines, trainers surrounding you. Off come your pads and we can see how your shoulder is being kept in place with a brace and tape. We see the look on your face, you are in pain but you do not want to come out. After a few snaps and adjustments made by trainers to your shoulder, you are back out there. Seeing you out there, playing out your childhood dream with the passion that everyone has come to appreciate and love.
 We now know why it was so important for you to play out this season despite your injuries. You knew that this was your last season, prior to your announcement. You could have taken the easy way out and let your body heal. But that has never been your style. You only know one way to play, and that is to give everything you have to give. For that I thank you. For that is what has made you so special. From a triple threat Heisman trophy winner at Michigan. To a multiple time all-pro, rookie of the year and defensive player of the year, thank you.
 Although it took me some time, I have come to a place of happiness with your decision. Knowing that you will be able to be with your family, your wife and two sons. Knowing that this was your decision and not forced upon you. That you were able to make the decision and not be one of the players who is constantly waiting for the phone to ring for that last opportunity.  I now knowing why it was more important to you than everyone else that you keep coming back snap after snap despite your injuries. It was what you wanted to give to everyone. You have known of your decision to retire long before your announcement, but you wanted to make sure every teammate, coach and fan knew you were always there for them.
 Thank you Charles, you will be missed and always remembered as one of the greatest defensive backs to ever play football. Canton is waiting, with a spot reserved for you.
Adam Stocker

Declining Canadian Dollar Shutting the Blue Jays Window

With the Canadian dollar continues to decline, the Toronto Blue Jays window of opportunity inches that much closer to closing.

On December 18, the dollar closed under 71 cents for the first time since spring 2004. For Canadian baseball fans, that could spell disappointment as the Blue Jays looked to build upon last season’s run to the American League Championship Series.

In 2004, the Blue Jays were in year three of the J.P. Ricciardi era. Four years early Ted Rogers purchased the Blue Jays for $160M. A year later Ricciardi was hired following the “Moneyball” success of the Oakland Athletics. Unfortunately for Montreal Expos fans, 2004 would mark the last year for the team before moving to Washington. The team struggled due in large part to a poor dollar, weak attendance and owner instability.

Ricciardi ‘s first order on the job from Rogers was to cut payroll. The decision to cut payroll was made large part because of the state of the Canadian, which sat in a similar position to today. Ricciardi proceeded to trade off nearly every good player on the roster not named Carlos Delgado. Delgado would eventually left as a free agent following the 2004 season. However, in the eyes of Rogers, Ricciardi had succeeded and was granted an extension after cutting payroll to $50 million (USD). For several years the Blue Jays sat comfortably in the lowest third of major league payrolls.

The low Canadian dollar has already presented itself early on this off-season as the Blue Jays were unable to match the contract free agent pitcher David Price received from division rival Boston. Price left the Blue Jays for $217M USD for the next 7 years. Given the current state of the dollar, it would have costed the Jays roughly $300M Canadian to resign the former Cy Young winner.

Even with the massive increase in baseball revenues over the past decade, Rogers was unwilling to commit that much money to one player. In addition to the state of the Canadian dollar, the problem of being corporately owned has presented its ugly head again. Unlike other teams whose owners freely spend their money with no one to answer too. The Blue Jays are not that fortunate. Every single dollar must be accounted for and is budgeted each season as Rogers must answer to its corporate stockholders.

‎What does the state of the dollar mean for the rest of the Jays’ off-season, shopping at bargain prices. Interim General Manager Tony LaCava first move was bringing back pitcher J.A. Happ. Happ is best suited for the National League where he can face a pitcher every nine batters. In the American League East, he is a fourth starter at best and is a significant drop off from Price. With the state of the dollar, new General Manager Ross Atkins is unlikely to be spending the money necessary to improve the roster.

For fans of star sluggers of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, both could be playing their last season in Toronto. Both Bautista and Encarnacion enter the last year of their contracts and are in line for a raise and long-term contract. If the dollar continues to drop, an extension could be made even more difficult. If the team gets off to a slow start, it could be the Blue Jays for are sellers at the trade deadline this season.

For the first year this decade, every Blue Jays move is being made with the Canadian dollar in mind, as the deep pockets of Rogers may have reached their limits. The financial limitations have all but ended the Blue Jays chances of winning their elusive third World Series.

 

Mayweather Rousey, More Similar Than Either Will Ever Admit

Prior to losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193, Ronda Rousey was a seemingly undefeated champion who would never get a fight with her biggest rival, recently retired undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Rousey and Mayweather had both be engaged in a verbal feud, that begin more than a year ago, when Mayweather answered in an interview that he had never heard of Rousey. Mayweather’s comment seemed meaningless at the time, because it is entirely possible that the boxer may not have heard of Rousey.

However, the comment offended Rousey, who after hearing Mayweather’s immediately lashed back at the boxing champion.  The two athletes battled back and forth, with Rousey taking every opportunity to mention Mayweather’s history of violence. The argument between the two continued to play out in the public as Rousey took a shot at Mayweather at the ESPYs. Mayweather threw a verbal counter punch at Rousey, saying that he would like to see her make as much money as him and sell as many pay-per views. Rousey quickly responded by saying she makes more money per second than Mayweather does.

As much as these two people appear to dislike each other, they could not be more similar. From their sizes, Olympic medals and family, the similarities between the two, are reminiscent to the romantic comedy where the man and women refuse to admit how similar they are until they finally hook up in the last 30 minutes of the movie.

Rousey was born into a judo family. Her mother AnnMaria De Mars was the first American women to win a gold medal at the World Championships. Mayweather was born a decade earlier into a family of boxers. Mayweather’s father and two of his uncles both had careers as boxer and later trainers. At a young age Rousey and Mayweather both started training in their family’s respective sport. Both Rousey and Mayweather received training from their parents, as Rousey trained with her mother and Mayweather trained with his father. Mayweather would also be trained by his Uncle Roger, following his father’s incarceration from 1992 until 1998.  For Rousey it was much harder to deal with the loss of her father. When she was just eight years old, Rousey’s father committed suicide upon learning that he would eventually become a paraplegic following a sleighing accident.

Rousey and Mayweather continued to rise through the amateur rankings, both qualifying for the Olympics as teenagers. At 19, Mayweather qualified for the Atlanta Olympics controversially winning a bronze medal, after he lost a questionable decision in the semi-finals. While training for the Olympics, teammates gave Mayweather his first nickname of “pretty boy” for his exception defensive style that kept his face from being seriously damaged. Rousey first qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics, and then again in 2008’s Beijing Olympics, where she like Mayweather would come home with a bronze medal.

Mayweather started his professional career in the October following the Atlanta Olympics. Within the first 20 months of turning professional Mayweather won his first 17 fights, with 13 knockouts before receiving his first title shot.

Rousey earned her first title fight after winning her first four fights by submitting her opponents with an arm bar within 50 seconds of the fight starting. Rousey claimed her first title at 25, submitting rival Miesha Tate with an arm bar in the final minute of the first round. Rousey would defend her title for seven consecutive fights, winning all by submission or knockout, with only one fight advancing past the first round.

Mayweather would win his first of four lineal titles at 22, stopping Genaro Hernandez in the 8th round to win the lineal super featherweight title. For the next 17 years, Mayweather emerged as the sport’s biggest pay-per view. Inside the ring, there many have never been a better defensive fighter, who excelled in not getting hit and responding with quick counter punches. In the late stages of Mayweather’s career, he was able to win easy decision after decision, as his opponents routinely had their lowest punch connection of their career. When Mayweather retired, he had 49 victories and zero defeats, winning the lineal title in four weight classes.

As Rousey emerged as the UFC’s biggest pay-per view star, it’s hard not to compare the outgoing personas that she and Mayweather used to sell themselves as the bad guy in order to sell their opponents as credible foes with the chance of beating them.

Prior to fighting Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather left his previous promoter and emerged with a new persona and nickname. Gone was the “pretty boy,” title that Mayweather had used since the Olympics. Mayweather began introducing the world to Floyd “money” Mayweather, a brash cocky and confident fighter, whose only concerns were money, winning and showing everyone how much money he had. Mayweather would enter the ring against De La Hoya, wearing the colours of the Mexican flag and sporting a sombrero. Mayweather had successfully turned heel and people were willing to pay in the hopes of seeing someone beat Mayweather.

Mayweather would tone his approach down slightly for his next 11 fights, but the fight was already lit by the media who did the promotions for him. After taking a 21 month retirement, Mayweather returned, replaced by Manny Pacquiao as the sport’s biggest star.

For five years, the media was wet at the mouth for a fight between the two men. But for five years, the two men would not fight, as neither side could agree on the purse split, drug testing and location. Mayweather took most of the media’s blame for the fight continually falling through as the media painted the picture of Mayweather being scared and ducking Pacquiao. The five years of media attention helped make Mayweather’s star even bigger as the sport’s biggest bad guy.

During the prime of his career, Mayweather was sentenced to serve an 87 day jail term for domestic violence. Feminist media members continued to talk about Mayweather. The media continued criticizing him for the domestically violence history and questioned how he could be allowed to fight. The media was seemingly unaware that they were making him even more money to fuel his “money” persona.

All the negative press Mayweather garnered only made the public thirst for him to lose even greater. Mayweather continued to promote himself as an undefeated champion who would not and could not be beat. Signing a $30 million per fight deal with Showtime, Mayweather continued to live in the “money” persona. Before his last few fights, Mayweather started promoting himself, as “TBE,” an acronym for the best ever. With media attention at a fever pitch, and domestic violence a hot topic following the Ray Rice video, Mayweather’s celebrity was never bigger.

After five years of negotiations, a title fight was finally agreed to win Pacquiao. The media whirlwind took over. The public bought into the fight of the century as casual sports fans were unsure who would win in a fight with the sport’s two pound for pound kings. The public bought into the hype believing Pacquiao could finally end Mayweather’s winning streak. A record 4.4 million pay-per view buys, shattering the previous world record for 2.6 million for Mayweather’s fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.  Mayweather would walk away from the fight, with an easy decision victory and an over $200 million paycheck.

Rousey’s career arc was similar to Mayweather’s. However, Rousey’s shift to the “money” persona of Mayweather was when she joined the UFC. When Rousey joined the UFC, the promotion machine took over. People loved to love Rousey as much as they loved to hate her for her brash cocky attitude. Rousey declared that she would win all of her fights and retired undefeated as the greatest of all-time.

The media wanted to portray Rousey as a trailblazer, a women leading the feminist movement, breaking ground in what had traditionally been a man’s world. However, Rousey would not play the role the media wanted her to play. Rousey starred as one of the coaches on the Ultimate Fighter again against her rival Tate. Rousey can off poorly and very unlikable for her approach and coaching techniques with her team.

Tate and Rousey would have their rematch at UFC 168 in the co-main event. As expected, Rousey won by arm bar, but was pushed in the third round, the deepest she has ever gone in a fight. As Tate rose from the mat, she looked to shake the hand of Rousey, who blew her off, refusing to shake hands. Despite the lack of sportsmanship, Rousey’s star continued to rise, and would receive a boost by taking shots at Mayweather for his history of domestic violence. Again, Rousey would be pushed as a feminist hero. Rousey began to cross over into the mainstream media, and began her transition into acting.

Rousey was everywhere in the media. However, the attention and fame had caught up to Rousey. She was overexposed, she was exhausted. At the weight-in for her title fight against Holm, the traditional stare down got a little too close for Rousey’s liking. The media exploded, wanting to see what Rousey would do next. Holm who seemingly did nothing wrong, was the target of scathing Instagram posts by Rousey who called her out despite her over reaction. Holm remained calm and confident.

With Etihad Stadium filled in Australia, and 1.1 million pay-per view buys, all watching were witnesses to the biggest upset in UFC history. Rousey was thoroughly dominated. Interestingly, Rousey predicted how exactly Holm would defeat her on Jimmy Fallon. Holm frustrated Rousey with his boxing combinations, badly damaging the face of Rousey.  Rousey had no answers for Holm who countered all of her moves. Seconds into the second round, it was all over for Rousey, who was knocked out with a vicious head kick.

The loss ended any further comparison of Rousey’s record to Mayweather’s. However, it was Mayweather who seemingly ended the feud. In a rather unexpected turn of events, it was Mayweather who took to social media offering to help coach Rousey in boxing to defeat Holm in a rematch. Tentatively, the Holm Rousey rematch is scheduled for UFC 200 in July 2016. With Rousey stating if she loses again to Holm, she will retire.