WEEK ONE NFL PICKS


 kc chiefs

 KANSAS CITY at NEW ENGLAND (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET) Edge KC.  KC to upset Patriots.
Tech Edge: KC cover based on trends

  

SUNDAY, SEP. 10                                                                                                                                           N.Y. JETS at BUFFALO (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)

McDermott Bills debut! Jets won and covered both vs. Bills LY but had dropped previous five in series. Jets “under” 5-2 last 7 away LY. Bills were “over” 12-4 in 2016, though series “under” 4-1 last five.                                                                                                                                  Buffalo

Tech Edge: Bills slight edge to cover due to QB woes with Jets   

 

ATLANTA at CHICAGO (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)                                                                              Falcons 7-1 vs. line away LY also “over” 16-3 in 2016.                                                                     FALCONS                                                          Tech Edge: “Over” and slight to Falcons, based on “totals” and team trends.

 

JACKSONVILLE at HOUSTON (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)  Texans has won last 6 SU in series (4-2 vs. line in those games). O’Brien 9-2-1 as home chalk past two seasons. “Over’s” 4-1 last five in series, and Jags “over” 15-7 last 22 since late 2015. It’s done or dies at QB position for Jacksonville …                                                                                                                                   jACKSONVILLE                                                                                                     Tech Edge: “Over” and Jaguars cover.

 

PHILADELPHIA at WASHINGTON (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)  Skins won the last five and covered last six in series. ““ `                                                                                                           redskins

Tech Edge: “Over” and Redskins to cover.

arizona vs detriot ARIZONA at DETROIT (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Cards have won SU last seven vs. Lions since 2007, covering six of those. Arians 3-0 SU and vs. line against Detroit. detriot lions
Tech Edge: Detroit decent home team. Arizona is getting older and little slower. Detroit gets the upset win.  

 

OAKLAND at TENNESSEE (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Raiders 6-2 vs. line on the road in reg season LY, now 9-2 last 11 in the role. Oakland won and covered at Titans last 2 years. Raiders “over” 27-13-1 last 41 since mid-2014                        Raiders

Over” and Raiders, based on “totals” and team trends.

 

 

TAMPA BAY at MIAMI (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)                                                                            Bucs 6-2 vs. line away LY, though Dolphins 2-1 as a home dog.                                                      TB        Tech Edge: Under and Tampa win

B

  

BALTIMORE at CINCINNATI (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)                                                                            . Marvin Lewis 5-2 SU and vs. line last seven vs. Harbaugh. Ravens only 2-6 vs. points away LY.                                                                                                                                                         bALTIMORE TAVENS     `Tech Edge: to Bengals as how the series as gone. Throw out trends I call for Ravens cover possible upset.  

cleveland-browns-vs-pittsburgh-steelers-d54e7e1d38f2ae3f

  PITTSBURGH at CLEVELAND (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET) Steel has won SU last four meetings and is 6-3 vs. spread last nine vs. Browns. Hue Jackson just 1-7 as home dog in Brownies debut LY, and Cleveland 9-22-1 vs. spread last two seasons. Steel 12-6 vs. spread last 18 on reg season road. “Under” 10-2 last 12 in series. Browns “under” 9-2 last 11 at home.   Tech Edge: Over Steelers slight edge to cover but it won’t be easy. Browns improved team

la rams        INDIANAPOLIS at L.A. RAMS (CBS, 4:05 p.m. ET)McVay LA debut! Colts “over” 9-2 last 11 away. Rams only 1-5-1 vs. line at Coliseum LY, 1-10-1 last 12 vs. line to close season. Tech Edge: Rams tend to start season good and struggle from week 3. Indy Qb woes injured starter try rams and cover.

Seatle      SEATTLE at GREEN BAY (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET)  Home team 4-0 SU and vs. line in series since 2012. But Carroll 10-3-2 as reg.-season dog since 2013. Pack “over” 13-6 in 2016, and 14-7-2 as regular season home chalk since 2014.Tech Edge: Seattle running game is key and placing GB in 3rd down passing situations. My call Seattle upset. Big win double digits  

carolina

Carolina at SAN FRANCISCO (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET) Shanahan SF debut! Panthers 0-7-1 last eight as chalk away from Charlotte.
CP     Tech Edge: 49ers, based on team trends. I’m calling a big game from Carolina O line…take pints and Carolina   

DALLAS VS GIANTS

 N.Y. GIANTS at DALLAS (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET) Eli won and covered both vs. Dallas LY, and 5-2-1 vs. line last eight at Arlington. Eli has now covered last five vs. Dallas as well. NYG 8-3 vs. spread last 11 regular season LY.  Dallas “under” 15-8-1 last 24 New York Giants   Tech Edge: Giants and “under,” based on series and “totals” trends. Giants need Beckham the game was a good call for upset right now sticking to Giants cover                                                                                                                          

MNF

 

 NEW ORLEANS at MINNESOTA (ESPN, 7:10 p.m. ET) Saints is 15-6 last 21 on board and 10-1 last 11 as a dog. Also 9-1 vs. points last ten on road. Vikings dropped 7 of last 11 vs. number in 2016.                                                                                                                                               New Orleans Saints   Tech Edge: Saints, based on team trends. Saints were down recent years due to injuries and poor D play. I like them to win this game and cover. Saints win.  

 

SD VS DENVER

 L.A. CHARGERS at DENVER (ESPN, 10:20 p.m. ET)  Lynn and Joseph debuts! Bolts dropped last five vs. line LY as they were about to bolt SD. LAC 18-8-1 as road dog from 2012-15 but only 3-3 LY                                                                                                                          SD CHARGERS        Tech Edge: LA Chargers is a team with potential playoff aspirations.  They can make a big splash this year if they can stay away from injuries and get running game going. I like them here Denver done nothing to improve the team.

12295232_10153177885800825_5500882656423907521_n  COURTNEY D PRO GAMBLER

 

My upset picks Kansas City, Detroit, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and SD

Top 3 cover picks Kansas City Thursday night, Chargers cover Denver, Carolina cover and New Orleans and NYG pending on Beckham

Advertisements

College Football Picks Week 2


AA9i1JB.img

 12341308_10153184390540825_6576509195751453998_n  Upset of week straight wins Stanford, Western Michigan, Oklahoma if they get running game,  UL-LAFAYETTE and Houston Cougars 
NAVY 5 TULANE at NAVY…Ugh! Mids 12-3 vs. spread last 15 at Annapolis, 4-2 laying DD since 2015. nAVY HOT TEAM TO START SEASON Navy, based on team trends.
ILLI WESTERN KENTUCKY at ILLINOIS…Ugh! Illini just 3-7 vs. spread last 10 at home, 4-8 vs. spread last 12 vs. non-Big Ten. Tops entered 2017 on 12-5-1 spread uptick. Western Kentucky, WIN Illinois COVER
UTSA UTSA at BAYLOR…Roadrunners covered 5 of last 6 in 2016 and were 4-2 as road dog. Also 5-2 vs. line last 7 vs. non-CUSA BCS-level foes. Rhule was 7-2 as chalk LY for Temple, but just 7-8 in role prior. Baylor only 9-9 as Waco chalk past three seasons. Slight to UTSA, based on team trends.
12540894_10153250528340825_4244165829006448530_n HAWAII at UCLA…Mora 5-13 as home chalk since 2014, 2-10 last 12 laying DD. Also 2-11-1 last 14 vs. non-Pac 12. Rainbow Warriors 5-2 as away dog since last season. UCLA covers 21 anything close to 24.5 try Hawaii
ucm CENTRAL MICHIGAN at KANSAS…After scare in opener, CMU now on 2-9 spread skid since early 2016. Also 1-5 vs. line last six away from Mt. Pleasant. If KU a home dog note 3-0-1 mark in role for Beaty LY. Central Mich lose game but cover
nebraska NEBRASKA at OREGON…Riley faced Ducks many times at Eugene while at OSU. Riley 10-7-1 vs. line since late 2015  Oregon is improving should get win not cover close game possible upset

 

Slight to Nebraska cover
miami u MIAMI-FL. at ARKANSAS STATE…Richt 5-1 as chalk away from home with Canes LY. Miami also Miami, based on team trends.
texas SAN JOSE STATE at TEXAS…Note that Tom Herman teams just 1-7-1 vs. spread last nine on board, and 3-9-1 as home chalk. SJSU on 3-13 slump as road dog since 2014 but covered first two TY. Texas will need a win coach job on line very soon. maybe a Texas cover 28 alot to ask
ARK TCU at ARKANSAS…Frogs 3-10 vs. line LY, Kenny Hill now on 4-14 spread skid in last 18 games. Arkansas cover TCU may win take cover Arkansas, based on recent TCU woes.
UL-LAFAYETTE UL-LAFAYETTE at TULSA…Golden Hurricane 4-2 vs. line at home LY. Tulsa also 3-0 vs. line at home under Montgomery vs. non-AAC foes. UL-LAFAYETTE, based on team trends.
ncstate MARSHALL at NC STATE…Doeren has been a pretty good bully the past two seasons, with a 7-2 mark as DD chalk. Pack now 13-5 last 18 as chalk overall. Herd slipped to 4-8 spread mark LY. N.C. State, based on team trends.
TOLEDO TOLEDO at NEVADA…Jay Norvell home debut! If getting double digits, note Wolf Pack 10-3 vs. number its last 13 in that role. Aside from 3-0 mark in 2015 in Campbell’s LY, Rockets 3-6 as visiting chalk since 2012. Rockets also covered just 2 of last 9 in 2016. Toledo
ULM ULM at FLORIDA STATE… With Jimbo off of a SU loss, note 4-1 spread mark last five in role. But Jimbo only 5-5 laying DD the past two seasons. Matt Viator now 6-3 as DD dog for ULM after cover in opener. Slight to ULM, based on team trends.
13043290_10153458304345825_3467199338817853401_n SOUTH CAROLINA at MISSOURI…Muschamp 2-4 vs. line as visitor LY, Cocks just 5-10 in role Carolina improved played a tough game last week. They could upset.if spread goes to 3.5 try Carolina Mizzou, based on team trends. watch line +4.0 try South Carolina
smu NORTH TEXAS at SMU…SMU has won and covered the last two years since the UNT 43-6 rout in 2014 that ended June Jones’ Mustang era. Littrell 3-2 as road dog in Mean Geen debut LY, though dropped last three vs. line as visitor after covering first three. Chad Morris 5-1 as chalk with SMU since 2015. SMU, based on recent series trends.
tigers AUBURN at CLEMSON…Malzahn has dropped last six vs. line LY and is 2-5 as visiting dog the past three seasons. Auburn now on 12-26 spread downturn (though 7-6 LY). Malzahn 4-8 last 12 as dog. Dabo only 15-13-1 vs. line since 2015 but has covered last eight vs. BCS-level non-ACC foes. Clemson win no wager on spread slight to Auburn
bulldogs GEORGIA at NOTRE DAME…Brian Kelly just 3-5 last eight vs. spread at South Bend. Also 2-5 vs.

 

Irish win Georgia covers.
LT MISSISSIPPI STATE at LA TECH…La Tech 9-3 last 12 as dog for Skip Holtz, while Dan Mullen just 4-8 last 12 as chalk. State wins game but Tech covers Louisiana Tech, based on team trends.
08 OKLAHOMA at OHIO STATE…Sooners only 4-4 in rare road dog role since 2011, including a beating absorbed at home as short dog LY vs. Buckeyes. Though OU 11-4 vs. spread last 15 as visitor (all Stoops). Revenge factor Sooners look sharper early in season Slight to Oklahoma cover based on team trends.
UCF MEMPHIS at UCF…Memphis on 3-8 spread tumble since early LY. Mike Norvell 1-3 as dog in 2016. It seems UCF always beat up on Memphis some things never change UCF, based on team trends.
stanford STANFORD at SOUTHERN CAL…David Shaw 8-2-1 as the dog with Tree. Stanford 14-2-1 vs. spread last 17 away from Farm.  Stanford comes in under radar wins a close game. Stanford, based on series trends. it go either way
VANDALS UNLV at IDAHO… Idaho,

 

GOPHERS MINNESOTA at OREGON STATE…

 

Minnesota
ASU SAN DIEGO STATE at ARIZONA STATE. Arizona State, based on team trends.
byu UTAH at BYU…Utes entered this season 12-4 vs. spread as visitor since 2014. Utes have now beaten BYU SU last six meetings dating to 2010. Cougs only 7-10 as home chalk since 2014. BYU HOME COVER. and losing streak ends
cougars HOUSTON at ARIZONA…Now the Cougs’ opener. UH was just 1-7-1 vs. Slight to houston based on team trends.
Boise state BOISE STATE at WASHINGTON STATE… State wins Boise slight to cover .

 

WEEK ONE NCAAF PICKS


 

B

 

Remember to be smart and leave your heart on the floor.  Washington is travelling across the country to play Rutgers. Washington is the better team but the time zone and lack of a power game will play a disadvantage. Wager on Rutgers to cover the spread and small amount possible upset.  Last year Rutgers finished 2-12 and Washington finished 12-2 with a final four appearance.  Last year Washington prevailed 48-13 however, this is the reason why you come to the crystal cave. Rutgers to obviously cover 28 points at least takes the points  12341308_10153184390540825_6576509195751453998_n

The Navy Midshipmen and the Florida Atlantic Owls will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at FAU Stadium. Odds makers opened the Midshipmen as -18-point favourites versus the Owls, while the game’s total opened at 68. Florida Atlantic was a 77-56 loser in its last match on the road against Blue Raiders. They failed to cover the +17-point spread as underdogs, while the total score of 133 sent OVER bettors to the payout window. Navy was a 48-45 loser in their most recent outing at home against Bulldogs. They covered the +7.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (93) made winners of OVER bettors. Lane Kiffin, the new coach and he, brought some talent from the transfer, junior college or recruiting. Last year Navy finished 9-5 and FAU 3-8. I feel FAU new coach has enough in the tank to solve a wishbone. Stop the run and keep the wishbone on the bench and you win the game. 38-28…..FAU another upset based on FAU being able to sustain long drives. Take the cover points FAU +10 Wager 20 on FAU win

19482_10152670122835825_7956400194262909229_n

Boston College Eagles and the NIU Huskies will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Huskies Stadium. Odds makers opened the Eagles as -2-point favourites versus the Huskies, while the game’s total opened at 10. NIU was a 31-21 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Golden Flashes. BC beat NIU 17-14 ……I expect similar game and close score BC 24-20

89

The Wyoming Cowboys and the Iowa Hawkeyes will both be looking to go 1-0 on the season when they meet at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Odds makers opened the Hawkeyes as -13-point favourites versus the Cowboys, while the game’s total opened at 53.5. Iowa was a 30-3 loser in its last match at home against Gators. They failed to cover the +1-point spread as underdogs, while the total score of 33 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Last time out for Wyoming, they were a 24-21 loser as they battled Cougars at home. Wyoming covered in the match as a +9.5-point underdog; I believe Wyoming got too much imagination on 0 and Iowa is a very much a team who wants to bruise out a win. I like Wyoming in this game. Take all those points on Wyoming.  Wyoming +12/5 A possible upset, however, I cannot pull the trigger on a win 24-23 either way.

 

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium has a Week 1 contest on tap for Saturday as the Maryland Terrapins, and the Texas Longhorns play their season openers. Odds makers opened the Longhorns as -17.5-point favourites versus the Terrapins, while the game’s total opened at 55.5. Texas lost its last outing, a 31-9 result against Horned Frogs on November 25. Texas failed to cover in that game as a -3-point favourite; while the 40 combined points took the game UNDER the total. Maryland was a 36-30 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Eagles. They failed to cover the -1.5-point spread as favourites, while the total score (66) made winners of OVER bettors. I want those points. Take Maryland to cover. The fans at AT&T Stadium will be treated to a game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Florida Gators when they take their seats on Saturday. Odds makers opened the Wolverines as -3-point favourites versus the Gators, while the game’s total opened at 48. Florida was a 30-3 winner in its last match on the road against Hawkeyes. They covered the -1-point spread as favourites, while the total score of 33 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Michigan was a 33-32 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Seminoles. They failed to cover the -6.5-point spread as favourites, while the total scores (65) made winners of OVER bettors Florida missing a few key player s due to suspension. Michigan got a coaching edge and toughness. That said SEC is a stronger conference. Take the points Florida + 5 I liked them to win outright 24-20 until I heard starting RB suspended. Take the points and SEC …..

 

The South Carolina Gamecocks and the NC State Wolf pack will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at Bank of America Stadium. Odds makers opened the Gamecocks as -4-point favourites versus the Wolf pack, while the game’s total opened at 47. In their last action, NC State was a 41-17 winner on the road against Commodores. They covered the -5.5-point spread as favourites, while the combined score (58) was profitable news for OVER bettors. South Carolina was a 46-39 loser in their most recent outing at home against Bulls. They covered the +10.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (85) made winners of OVER bettors. NC State is favoured tonight by 5.5. They have trouble with SEC …Give my South Carolina and +5.5 points.  South Carolina to cover I won’t bet the game due to NC state big play potential and heroics against top flight talent. (you’re looking some value take South Carolina). My prediction NC State 34-30

 

I like UTEP to cover Oklahoma who as to break in new receivers and running backs.  UTEP keeps it close for half and Sooners pull away to 24 point victory final score 43-17 Another scenario Oklahoma fans shit bricks as the team pulls out a 24-17 victory. That said take the points +43 and UTEP.

Big Boy Picks Week 6

 

Let’s finish this off with no song and dance. Temple covers +19.0, BYU covers +16.0, West Virginia might upset Virginia Tech take my points +4.0 Texas AM as a chance against UCLA. UCLA QB is superior, but it’s the SEC macho spirit take the points Texas AM + 4 Tennessee to beat GT and cover -3 Colorado State as a game under the belt and home field. I wager 30 on the upset. And 50 on the cover, Marshall for win and cover over Miami Ohio. I’m going to box Coastal Carolina game with Mass. Vanderbilt should beat up on Middle Tennessee. I don’t see why odds maker has this close game -3.5 take Vanderbilt to cover -3.5, BYU to cover LSU +13.5 as an underdog.  The big game between Alabama and FSU……..???  I favour Tide on offence and the QB edge, RB and receiver edge to the TIDE.  FSU has a solid D.  No call edge to Alabama and FSU cover. Utah State to cover 28 points against Wisconsin and a possible upset 34-23

08Remember the website, my face and my name.

The study of women and their contributions to the political economy is a diverse topic


 

12341308_10153184390540825_6576509195751453998_nWriter Courtney Duncan

Political economy refers to different, but related approaches to studying economic and political behaviours in reference to other fields such as law, education, health, social environment and gender. The fundamental driving force of political economy is economic progress in relation to the division of labour and the development of science. Labour within our society is a fascinating and diverse theme because of the role of women as changed so much since the early 1600s. Themes such as scientific evolution, politics, religion, indigenous cultures and European cultures have all influenced the political economy on a global scale.

The study of women and their contributions to the political economy is a diverse topic, in that much has changed since the 1600s  “In the 1600s, there were two cultures in Ontario: hunter gatherer bands in the north, and horticultural, tribally organized Native people in the south.”[i] The hunter gatherer society was influenced by the fur-trading of New France, whereas the tribal horticultural bands were influenced by the British who colonized their territory by building large cities and farms.

Britain and France believed in the theory of mercantilism. Mercantilism is an economic theory that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world and that a nation’s prosperity depends on its success in accumulating its wealth by exporting more than it imports. “From the 1500s to the 1700s in Canada, mostly European men and Native people engaged in fur trading, hunting and gathering, horticulture and agriculture.”[ii] The Europeans were bewildered by the less than a hierarchical order of the indigenous people, which included easy divorces, sexual freedom, polygamy and equal work status. It was the native women who played a vital role in the fur trade. Without the Indian women, the Europeans would not have survived the harsh winters of the north.

“For most of the 1700s, Native people were treated with the cautious respect accorded allies in war and partners in trade.”[iii] This changed when the colony of New France was ceded to Britain in 1763. The system switched from mercantilism to an industrial society. This was a period where villages were established and most of the people married someone forms their village or community. In this period there were Catholic villages and Protestant villages, farming and trading villages.

European society had always subjugated women. Women were not given equal opportunities and equal pay when working with men. A woman’s contribution on the farm was considered important to the economic survival of the family; however, women were subjected to sexual harassment and brutal beatings. As the century progressed, two major economic changes occurred. “Small scale subsistence farming was gradually replaced with large-scale, high-volume commercial agriculture and employment based at or near the home was replaced by work in large factories. With the advent of commercial expansion in the nineteenth century, work and family life became increasingly separate.”[iv] This was the start of an urban and industrialised workforce that witnessed the influx of new immigrants.

Industrialization created controversy because it reiterated a caste system that is still practised around the globe today. Industrialization limited the opportunities for women in the work sector. In this period, it became demeaning for married women to labour for wages. Working class women would save every penny for their future wedding. Upon marriage, women were considered to be inferior to men and women became the property of their husbands. Women could not hold a job nor was she allowed to vote.

Canada gained its independence in 1867 and motherhood was still regarded as women’s main profession. “New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote.”[v] By the 20th century, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their education and job opportunities. The famous five were five Alberta women, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, and Louise McKinney. Nellie McClung is best remembered in Manitoba for her achievements in getting Manitoba to become the first province to allow women the right to vote and achieve provincial office in Canada. “Nellie McClung was one of the Famous Five—five Alberta women who petitioned the government of Canada to expand the legal definition of the word person to include women. Ottawa refused, but the five persevered, appealing to London. Eventually, they won their case; in 1929.”[vi]

We need to understand the key explanations of women, work and family within the political and economic sphere. Originally, native women were equal to their partners in the economic and political system. The migration of Europeans to North America changed the social and economic structure of the state. Mercantilism soon gave way to an agrarian system that evolved into an industrialized society. British North America was formed after 1793 and British laws dominated society. For the next 124 years, women were servile to men in Canada. It was women such as Nellie McClung who earned political, social and economic freedom for the women of Canada.

“The simplest and least threatening version of feminism is to ask for what is seen in North America as simple fairness. Even lots of Americans who would never, ever think of themselves as actually being feminists nonetheless expect fairness for women”[vii] Women have achieved many equality rights in the workplace. “For example, employers have to accommodate women who are pregnant. It is also illegal for an employer to ask a woman if she is pregnant.”[vii] Society has come a long way, from a century ago, and we have made many positive changes. Today more men can handle the position of nurturing a baby. Finally, the economic position of women can only improve because they are now more educated and preconditioned to survive the world that is based on many social laws.

An important factor in analysing the social laws implemented between men and women is gender analysis. Gender analysis identifies the inequality between men and women. Gender analysis is based on the premise that women and men should be treated in the same way. Gender analysis is based on two key components-gender equity and gender equality. “Gender equity takes into consideration the differences in women’s and men’s lives and recognises that different approaches may be needed to produce outcomes that are equitable.”[ix] Gender equality is based on the human rights code which declare equality for all people regardless of race, sex and religion.

By using the Gender Analysis article as an analytical guide, there will be a comparison between the article titled, “Baby Bust: Declining birth rates in Canada to Toronto Star article titled, “Opinion Babies make comeback – except in Canada. These two articles are closely related because they try to find a solution to the problem of declining birth rates in Canada. More importantly one can get a better understanding of why some regions have a higher or normal birth rate compared to others.

The article Baby Bust by Ginette Petipas-Taylor shows concern for the declining birth rates in Canada. The author uses government statistics to depict the situation in Eastern Canada. Eastern Canada has the lowest birth rate in Canada. “The average age for a woman to give birth in Canada is 30 years old. This is a significant increase from a generation ago in the 1970s when the average age to give birth was 24 years of age.”[x] By using the gender analysis article as a guide one realizes that women in Canada are taking advantage of all the equality that life as to offer. Women are marrying at a later age because they would like to start a career. This is the major reason for a lower birth rate in the bigger cities.

Within the rural areas of the eastern region, the decline in birth involves unemployment and young people migrating to bigger cities across the country in search of career opportunities. The writer is under the assumption that women would like to have more children, however high taxes and inadequate maternal leave programs in provinces such as Ontario, makes the prospect of having large families difficult. Women also fear the repercussion of taking too much time off work to have a child.

In the Toronto star article titled, Babies make comeback – except in Canada, the writer Carol Goar, praises the plan implemented by Premiere Jean Charest.  The province of Quebec spends upwards of 45% more than other provinces to support families. “Critics call Quebec’s approach costly social engineering. But the majority of citizens support their government’s family policies because they make life easier for parents and safeguard the province’s francophone identify.”[xi]  Carol Goar believes that women across Canada would opt for large families, but the benefits in provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia are not equal to the top countries of the world. Carol Goar believes that the Gender analysis law has many flaws. Goar suggests that the system used in Quebec should be the system used across the province of Canada.

Gender Analysis is understood as giving the female sex an equal opportunity to compete in every sector of life. Both articles indicate that certain regions do have a higher birth rate. However, both writers fail to identify that in the indigenous regions of the Northwest Territories and on reservations, high birth rates continue because of drug dependency, rape, alcohol and low self esteem. Both writers fail to explain that the native population and to smaller extent provinces such as Newfoundland, New Brunswick and PEI. These regions are not considered desired regions for economic growth. A more accurate analysis would be to chart the pregnancy rate in relation to ethnic groups, religious faith and social background.

All the articles defined equality. Equality is, at the very least, freedom from adverse discrimination. Gender analysis is a process of constant and flexible examination. In the 1950s, the role for women was almost exclusively housewife after marriage. Women today have more opportunities to rise in the financial world. This means that women are getting married at a much older age and some women are choosing not to have children. This is a tough task for our government, because the problem of declining birthrates is more than economics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] Deborah Davidson,  SOCI 3860 6.0 A&B Women, Work and Family “Family Histories” (Toronto, Ontario: 2009),pg12

[ii] Ibid….pg13

[iii] Ibid….pg14

 

[iv] Ibid….pg18

[v] http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/suffrage.htm (accessed November 28th 2009)

[vii] Deborah Davidson,  SOCI 3860 6.0 A&B Women, Work and Family “Family Histories” (Toronto, Ontario: 2009),pg7

 

[xi] http://www.thestar.com/article/681030 (accessed November 30th 2009)

 

AFC WEST PREVIEW


 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The AFC West is a division of the National Football League (NFL)’s American Football Conference (AFC) The division represented the AFC sixteen times beginning with  Super Bowl where  Kansas City Chiefs lost to  Green Bay 35-10.  The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders lead the conference with three super bowl victories.  The Chiefs won one in 1970 defeating Minnesota Vikings 23-7. The Chargers lost in Super Bowl XXIX, their lone Super Bowl appearance. The division formed in 1960. The original AFL West had four members –the Dallas Texans (who moved to KC and became the Chiefs in 1963), Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers (who moved to San Diego in 1961) and Oakland Raiders. In 1970 as part of the new NFL’s two-conference, six-division alignment, the AFL West entered the merged league more or less intact as the AFC West. For example, the Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961 only to move back in 2017–until stadium ready in Vegas. Seattle Seahawks moved into AFC West from the NFC West division (1977 Season). In 2002 they moved back to the NFC West.  The Kansas City Chief and Oakland Raiders are co favourites to win the division.  I give the edge to Oakland barring injury to QB.

temp2017_PC_Day_4_001--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

The Oakland Raiders is my pick to finish first. Oakland e teams as youth and experience. Last year is the first time since 2002 that the team finished above 500.  However, the season is a disappointment in that they could not go to war in the playoffs with starting QB. Derek Carr broke his leg on December 24th during a 33-25 win against the Colts. They lost final two games of the season and an AFC wild card playoff to Houston.  I pick the Raiders because to win the division and challenge Pittsburgh and New England for AFC supremacy due to top rated offence and improving D.  They coaxed Marshawn Lynch out of 1-year retirement. They have a massive O-line with such powerhouses as left tackle Donald Penn, guard Kelechi Osemele, and pro bowl centre Rodney Hudson.  I must not forget guard Rodney Hudson an alternate for pro bowl team. The Raiders did well in the draft, they took 6’6”, 343 pound OT David Sharpe out of Florida.  The Raiders will improve on 26th rank D which had not played that bad.  Surprisingly D coordinator Ken Norton kept his job, but not all the control in that San Diego D guru got lured to the Raiders. Yes, the Raiders will use Pagano experience.  On special teams, they signed Cordelle Patterson from Minnesota.  My final analysis is the Raiders finishing 12-4 to 13-3.  Good enough for first place. However, the D will have to improve if they hope to reach the super bowl finals.

2014 Kansas City Chiefs

My pick to finish second the Kansas City Chiefs is a team who will need to develop more explosions on offence and less methodical ball control play. The team’s centres around Alex Smith who has led them to a 41-20 record the past four years. Travis Kelce is the leading receiver and goes to the guy at clutch times. The running game is decent but lacks explosion. The receiver position is something of concern due to the style of O the Chiefs run. If the coaches develop deep ball plays for wideouts, it is going to present new problems for teams around the league. The Chiefs got some speed in back up Tyreek Hill, and Jeremey Maclin hopes to return to his dominant self. On D Kansas City is always stacked the strong point of Reid team. The strong point is the cornerbacks Berry and Peters. My final analysis is a 2nd place finish possibly with an 11-5 or 12-4 record. Kansas City is a well-coached team that could repeat as the division champs.

la chargers

San Diego is my call for 3rd place because of the offence. I hope they can stay healthy to show the league the potential. QB Philip Rivers, the old man, leads the show. Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams’ is a nice addition and RB Melvin Gordon, Kenyon Barner and Walt Derek provides stability. Mike Williams will start at wide out with Keenan Allen who has returned from injury. The D showed signs of taking a step forward. Joey Bosa is going to be a force to deal with for the next 5 or more years. Bosa is the defensive rookie of the year who received honours after recording 10.5 sacks in 12 games. Bosa held out of training camp last season, so we expect big things in a full season. The Chargers return to LA after 50 odd years. It’s going to be tough due to a top 5 schedule rated in toughness. To open the season, they have a winnable game in Denver. I see the Chargers going 3-5 during the first half of season.  These Chargers are capable of 7-9 or 8—8. It’s going to an upset or two for a 10-6 wild card season. It’s possible, but more likely the team will finish at 500.

Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers , NFL Week 6

 

The Denver Broncos is my pick to finish in the basement. Von Miller is the best player on the team year in year out. Not so long ago this team was a super bowl champion and contender every year.  Denver should be worried about the starting QB.  The battle is between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. The RB tandem is getting old. Davontae Booker is the man of the future whose future is now. C.J Anderson is a four-year starter with adequate numbers at RB.  My final analysis is the Broncos will be a competitive team that is tough to beat. However, the lack of fire power at QB and wide out is a major concern.  Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders may be too old to produce big numbers at wide out. The Broncos drafted undersized, unproven wideouts. Most sports books rate the draft an A.  I rate their draft a D or lower. Don’t be surprised to see Denver starting the season 0-4 or 1-3 I see them at 1-7 at the halfway y point. A rebuilding year I hope the Broncos realise. I surprised they never sought help at QB.  Denver will end up 5-11 or 6-10. It will take a miracle to win ten games.

AFC NORTH


 

PITTSBURGH 100

The AFC North is a division of the National Football League‘s (NFL) American Football Conference. It was created as the AFC Central in 1970 following the completion of the AFL–NFL merger when two of the NFL teams—the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers—moved from the “old” NFL to join the former American Football League teams in the AFC. Upon realignment, the conference received a new name the AFC North. The AFC is relatively the same members since 1970 except Houston Oilers who relocated to Tennessee, the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars who competed in the division from 95-2000 and the Baltimore Ravens who first competed in the division in 1997 after Art Modell moved his Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. In 1999 Cleveland re-launched a new team joining the AFC North.

PITTSBURGH 67

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the current champions of the division. Since the 1970s the Steelers have won the division 22 times, 29 playoff berths, 8 AFC titles and six wins against one loss in Super Bowls.  The standard for greatness is high. The Steelers have two old times from the last victory in Super Bowl QB Big Ben and ultimate warrior at linebacker James Harrison. On offence, the Steelers has a top three RB in Le’ Veon Bell and the best wide receiver combo in the AFC.  Moreover, Juju Smith-Schuster the second pick should make an immediate impact. On defence, the day of destruction and havoc caused by the Steel Curtain is a thing of the past. The Steelers D  improved from a unit that at times struggled with the run game. In the draft, they acquired with the first pick T.J. Watt the younger brother of J.J Watt is expected to have immediate reps as an outside cover linebacker and run stopper and sack machine from DE position. Watt mainly would be lined up as OLB.  My final analysis is the first place finish in the division and the excellent chance of usurping New England as AFC champions. The guys will want to win another NFL championship for Big Ben whose career is coming to an end. Pittsburgh could finish as high as 15-1 to 12-4. They would need a 15-1 or 14-2 to host AFC championship game. I expect them to be in the hunt to host throughout the playoffs with no worse than a 13-3 record.  Everything is set up for another Super Bowl run barring injuries in the backfield and improvement in stopping teams who depend on the run to set up passes such as Baltimore, KC, Minnesota, and Tennessee. The big game is in Baltimore on October 1st, at KC two weeks later, hosting GB on November 26th and hosting Baltimore and New England December 10th and 17th. If they go 5-1 or 4-2 in those games, they have a good chance for a number one seed because the other games should be favoured to win.

Baltimore

 

The Baltimore Ravens plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium. Since 1996 the Ravens have qualified ten times with two Super Bowl victories. The Ravens has been led by general manager Ozzie Newsome since 1996 and has had three head coaches: Ted MarchibrodaBrian Billick, and John Harbaugh. In the  2000 season, the team established a reputation for relying on strong defensive play, led by players like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who, until his retirement, was considered the “face of the franchise. The owner of team Steve Bisciotti and valued at $1.5 billion, making the Ravens the 24th-most valuable sports franchise in the world. Once again the Ravens will put a strong D on the field. The Raven’s special teams rated in the top three years in year out, and 2017 will be no exception. Justin Tucker is the kicker, Sam Koch punter and Morgan Cox the long snapper. The Ravens have no weakness on D with the acquisition of Brandon Carr from Dallas and Jimmy Smothe being the top cover man-along with a DB corps that goes eight deep the Ravens should be in the top 5 D in NFL.  The Ravens will stop the run even though they lost Elvis Dumervil to free agency and Lawrence Guy to New England. Wormley, Brent Urban and Bronson Kaufusi will do just fine. The Raven’s weak point is offence, but they should be improved with Rice incident dead and buried. I believe the league and team are better with him not being in the league. Danny Woodhead and Terrence West sit in the backfield, with the speedy Mike Wallace and physical Perriman at wideout.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

The line is not improved, and they are thin at wideout. The only thing keeping Ravens from serious contention is an all-star lie to block for Flacco and capable receivers to back up the starters. I see Baltimore being a run and possession team with touches to the tight ends with occasional long balls to Wallace. We have a problem although improved opposing D will see the same Baltimore team on O with no real changes in philosophy. That said Joe Flacco is a well deserved all star and the teams coached by a future Hall of Famer in Harbaugh.  The Ravens won’t win many games scoring 40 + then again few teams will score 24+ on the Ravens. My final analysis is a 2nd place finish in a division that once boasted 3 top teams and a cellar dweller on the cusp of improvement. I see an improvement from 8—8 record the team is capable of a 9-7 to a 10-6 record. The most important game on the schedule is October 26th hosting Miami, split the games with Bengals and Steelers and sweeping the Browns. Miami is key in that they will be vying for a wildcard or division championship. I expect 2nd place finish with the assumption Cincinnati continues to take a step backwards.

Cincinati 4

 

The Cincinnati Bengals founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL) by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the Bengals’ head coach from their inception to 1975. After being dismissed as the Browns’ head coach by Art Modell (who had purchased a majority interest in the team in 1961) in January 1963, Brown had shown interest in establishing another NFL franchise in Ohio and looked at both Cincinnati and Columbus. He ultimately chose the former when a deal between the city, Hamilton County, and Major League Baseball‘s Cincinnati Reds (who were seeking a replacement for the obsolete Crosley Field) was struck that resulted in an agreement to build a multipurpose stadium which could host both baseball and football games. The Bengals have won nine divisional championships in the AFC Central which changed the name to AFC North in 2002.  The Bengals are one of the 13 NFL teams not to have won a Super Bowl as of the 2016 season; however, they are also one of 9 NFL teams that have been to at least one Super Bowl but have not won the game. The Bengals recent struggles in the post season over shadow the fact that they were one of the most consistent franchises in the  NFL from 2011-15. The team won at least ten games, four teams, reaching the playoffs in each of those seasons. In 2016 the run ended and the Bengals suffered their first losing season since Andy Dalton arrived at the helm.  The strength of the team is its offence with Andy Dalton who threw for 4,206 yards and 64.7 completion percentage. A.J. Green missed six games due to injury, and that would be one of the causes of decline.The Bengals added much maligned Oklahoma back Joe Mixon in the draft a capable running back who can catch the ball. The Bengals would need to have Tyler Eifert healthy and veteran RB Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill as a key part of the rotation. On D the Bengals group surprised in a down season.  They finished third against in the second half of the season. The Bengals run D is a beat but the pass rush needs to make more sacks a stat they rank in the bottom 4 in the league. My final analysis points to the Bengals drafting good players despite a first round draft choice. Joe Mixon as more than a good chance to become a starter in rookie season. The team is loaded on O and improved on D. The key factor is the Bengals have never gotten past first round playoffs. Moreover, the fans don’t seem to give QB Andy Dalton credit. If the Bengals continue to free fall, you might hear the name A.J  Mc.Carron a third-year star out of Alabama who played well when Dalton injured. On December 13, 2015, starting quarterback Andy Dalton fractured the thumb on his throwing hand while trying to make a tackle in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the Steelers won 33–20, McCarron came in and completed 22 of 32 passes for 280 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The following week he beat the San Francisco 49ers 24–14. On January 9, in the AFC Wild Card round, McCarron completed 23 of 41 passes for 212 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, but the Bengals lost to the Steelers, 18–16, ending their season. The Bengals took three steps back last season. To continue, they have lost many players to free agency. The team once built to win right away as cleared its way for next generation players to step in and make plays. I see a quarterback controversy either Mc. Carron is leaving at the end of contract or Dalton wanting out if he gets injured and back up as a good season. One thing in Dalton favour is he’s rarely injured missing only three games in six seasons. That said everyone in the Bengals organisation from coaches to starters is on the hot seat if they produce a sub par season. It is sad too because of the team’s consistency. My final analysis is the Bengals finishing tied for 2nd at best with a 10-5 record but third in the conference due to weaker division record than Baltimore. The Bengals could be 9-7 or 8-8. If they play Bengal football, I don’t see why they cannot be a wildcard and 2nd seed in the division. At the moment I rate them third best in the division.

cleveland 1

The Cleveland Browns have been competing in the NFL for 71 years. We spoke early in the article of Art Modell moving the franchise to Baltimore. Since resuming operations in Cleveland 1999, the Browns have struggled to find success. They have had only two winning seasons- in 2002 and 2007, along with One playoff appearance (2002) and no playoff wins. The Browns’ overall win-loss record since 1999 is 88–200. They are noted for lack of leadership, discipline and poor draft choices. The most notable being TD Johnny Manziel. Cleveland only direction is up from being so far down. The draft is a nice surprise I give them an A in that they drafted Jabrill Peppers out of Michigan in the first round. David Njoku at tight end and DeShone Kizer is a kool pick that should pay dividends in the future. The Browns invested in an O line signing Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter in free agency. They have pro bowler left tackle Joe Thomas at anchor. The QB position improved with Kessler, Osweiler and the rookie Kizer. The top RB is Isaiah Crowell, but they have the young guy Duke Johnson.

cleveland 999

 

I’m surprised they let Terrelle Pryor walk in free agency. The converted wide out from QB had more than 1000 yds receiving. The Browns D is Ok they need to improve, and they have addressed the problem of DB through free agency with the acquisitions of Marcus Martin, Tyvis Powell and JC Tretter. My final analysis is Cleveland, the most improved team in the league, and I hope the changes equate wins. They will be playing for the future. Expect a 4-12 season wins hosting the Jets, at Chicago possible upset, possible upset of Indy and split with Cincinnati.Another winnable game is Washington who seems to be on the decline. Cleveland is playing for future, but it’s a good future. One more point if the Browns get good QB play and cut down on penalties and nullify the big plays this team is capable of  6-10 to the 7-9 season but the schedule is tough, and 4-12 is the best to expect from Cleveland.  I’m Courtney Duncan this weekend AFC West prediction and preview up next.

 

 

BLACK DEATH AND MEDIEVAL EUROPE


BLACK DEATH 8

 

When I was a younger man, I remembered the panic and understood the threat of the epidemic known as AIDS. Initially, the virus only threatened the lives of same sex men, but it soon spread to the heterosexual community. The world witnessed a cultural change that epitomised a more traditional lifestyle when AIDS moved into the heterosexual community. The disease blamed on LGBTQ community and many other groups such as people from Haiti and Africa. Historians and other scholars are now writing the devastation of AIDS. These scholars are now comparing the epidemic to another disease known as the Black Death which occurred in the fourteenth century.

          “The Black Death” is familiar terminology for a disease that appeared in a century of calamity. “Within this period we can research, war, famine, disease, economic decay, political chaos and spiritual crisis and resulting social unrest which dogged the whole century.”{Backman, 2003; pg.369} The Black Death in thirteen-forty-eight is arguably the greatest catastrophe that had triggered events to end the dark ages. “The great plague arrived in Latin Europe-first appearing in Messina, Sicily-in November of thirteen-forty-eight, struck Marseilles, in southern France, early in thirteen-forty-eight and from there, it spread throughout the continent.”{ibid…pg. 375} Historians will tell you that it is difficult to calculate the precise number of casualties, but most agree that approximately one-third of the population in Europe succumbed to this disease. The number is staggering, but you as a scholar have to imagine a malnourished population living in squalid conditions without the sanitation practices of our present era. The bubonic plague of thirteen-forty-seven created dramatic structural changes in European society. These changes are evident in the economy, politics, church and culture.  This paper is written to analyse and determine if the bubonic plague had an over all impact on European society. I will prove that changes occurred due to feudalism and the secular power structure. I will not be investigating all of Europe. The research on the bubonic plague narrows its focus upon the state of England. 

Illustration of Victims of Bubonic Plague from the Toggenberg Bible

        The Black Death reached England in the summer of thirteen forty-eight. In this period England had experienced heavy rains. The harvest destroyed and England’s population was dealt a blow of enormous force with the loss of life on a scale that has not occurred. {Ormond & Backman, 1996. Pg 28}  The consequence of the plague had a lasting impact on the economy of England. The plague attacked anyone and anything. The rich man died from the plague, peasant girl, tavern hoar, priest and noble. The plague even killed draught-animals used to till the fields and dairy cows. As dairy was a staple in the peasant diet, its importance is valuable. The economic disaster was felt most in the production of wheat used for bread and barley which produced ale. Ale is the most common drink amongst the poor people because it was cheap and it could be kept for awhile before it went bad.

BLACK DEATH 4

                   The production of wool declined when the disease attacked the sheep. “The emptying of villages and district meant the ruin of vineyards.” {Backman, 2003. Pg 377} Wine was considered the drink of the rich and the noblest.  It was also one of the most productive trades of the Southern European countries and the region of Southern France. With the decline in the serf and peasant population, the liege lords and rich merchants could not find anyone to make them huge profits. The only solution was to increase the wages of the working class which increased the standard of living for the peasant folk. BLACK DEATH 5.gif

        The bubonic plague also changed the physical structure of the economy in that the farm lands were now given over to pasture, which was less (sic) labour intensive. The business of pasturing supplemented the lost income from agricultural products such as wheat and vegetables. The landowners turned these pastures into sheep runs which did boost the cloth and wool industries. In the future, these and became a crisis for poor tenants in the early eighteen-hundreds that faced eviction from land owners who wanted higher profit from the sheep runs. The physical structure of the economy was affected by the increased mobility people begun to have. Long gone were the days of a peasant or serf who was tied to the land by contractual or hereditary duties to a feudal lord. Because of the plague, many of these indentured serfs would just run away in fear of catching the disease. Moreover, it would sometimes take the lives of an entire farming community, so they had nobody to enforce these manorial laws when they left the fief.

BLACK DEATH 12

           The greatest change to the economy was the loss of skilled artisans and capable men who could read or write. The plague took the lives of many of these skilled and educated people. The immediate change was the regression of architectural structures. The buildings became very simple, and the expansion of new monuments and castles came to a stand still until the period of the Renaissance. Furthermore, the church suffered the highest losses because they always took in sick people to save the souls. When the bishops and various ecclesiastical members died, many universities were closed or became extinct. Thie result a loss of revenue for the church and university towns that provided high rents and other fees. The solution for the loss of skilled labourers and scholars was to advertise all across Europe. These skilled men included butchers, University professors, tanners, horseshoe fitters, bishops and paid soldiers. I believe that the great loss in the plague increased the number of mercenaries and paid soldiers across Europe. With the loss of lives, the Kings of Europe had to recruit outside of the country. The plague also brought many foreigners into new territories looking for work. Wherever the skill was needed the opportunity was available for this labourer. Moreover, some areas may have seen a decline in the wool production and some may have seen an increase because the disease may not have attacked certain animals in various areas. Therefore northern England may have needed one-thousand shear croppers, and Southern France may have only needed one-hundred. The final analysis is that urban workers profited from the plague (while rural farmers farmer’s remained stuck in poverty. {Backman, 2003, pg 378}

           Another change is the shift of workers from rural farms to migrate to the city in search of work. With the coming of unskilled workers to the city, the skilled artisans then demanded more money. For example, a man training as a carpenter is elevated to architect with the death of the designers. This increase in wages also developed new trade unions and it also indirectly created other avenues besides the church for political leadership or education.

                The political entity or makeup of many European states was The Crown, Nobility and the church. By the ending of the “Bubonic Plague,” the governments had inherited an intricate problem. The economy ruined and the peasant could now demand or control the rent they paid. The royal governments had tried to increase the tax because of the higher wages of the urban workers. The poor and the urban workers had now believed they were singled out to finance recovery. Moreover many governments tried to issue wage controls and freezing prices for manufactured goods. What we must remember is that manufacturing of goods was always controlled by the bourgeoisie and with the loss of draught animals and labourers to harvest the crops. The nobility very quickly realised that this rising middle class would become much wealthier than they had planned. The only solution was to impose their traditional privileges over the rural classes. In England, the landlords joined with the merchants. They created the statute of labourer’s in thirteen-fifty-one; this statute froze rents and wages. Later on, Parliament ordered a series of poll taxes in the thirteen seventies, which hurt the peasants again. The tax took more than ten percent of annual wage of each person living and working in a household. Because of these taxes caused by the burden of the plague. The peasant revolts, war and wage freeze, became a normal thing in the mid thirteen-fifties and onwards. To continue in the peasant of revolt thirteen sixty-one Simon Sudbury was murdered. More important he was the arch bishop of Canterbury, and a King did not kill him, a peasant mob murdered him. It is a political crisis. Because if the mob could kill the arch bishop, they could kill the King in the name of political change.      

           The cause of these political uprisings in England and across Europe linked to the depopulation of Europe, which had now created opportunities for the poor to rise and nurture stronger political doctrines. In later years the peasants and working artisans aligned themselves with a political group that took the name or title of ministers of the common people or the House of Commons. This new connection with politics and the peasants had diminished the value of the church to influence or control the peasant folk.   

         The Church in the earlier medieval period had ruled the continent with the anointed lords.  With the coming of the plague, the church put into a position where they needed to provide spiritual answers and miracles. They could not provide cures; they could only blame other religious groups. The most common religious groups to blame was the Muslims and more important to this manuscripts the Jewish community. The Jewish people had migrated to areas like Spain, France and England beginning in the sixth century.  In the period of the plague according to the Church, the Black Death was God’s punishment for the sinfulness of humanity. They also believed that the Jewish people with the help of the rabbi’s had somehow put this curse on Europe. However, the Jewish community was more hygienic they did not suffer a greater loss as the Christian population.  The result was a widespread prosecution, theft of properties and murder of the Jewish people in the name of religion. The church had promised cures, but more people died. Many of the clergies fled for their lives because the villagers began to start revolts against the church when they realised that it was a deeper problem than the Jewish nation cursing Europe. In England, more than forty percent of the clergy died in the period from thirteen-forty-eight to thirteen-fifty-one.  The mortality rate results in the decline of church power and the breeding ground for new religious heresies in the name of God.

     The most famous of these was the Flagellants and the Lollards. The Lollards stated that temporal matters had corrupted the Catholic Church and that its heredity did not justify its claim to be the true church.  Moreover the Lollards and other common believed it was time for a change because the Catholic religion was not the true house of God. In the fourteenth century, so many people wanted religious change, and these new radical groups provided the change. The monastic orders had promised to send the disease back to hell, and this was not happening. In the revolts against the Holy Roman Empire, new heresy like Lollardy paved the way. WycliffeYeamesLollards_01.jpg

           The Flagellants were not in England but they travelled throughout Europe, and initially, they were in favour with the church. The Flagellants would inflict pain on the body and some other form of torture. The Flagellants gave penance to God believing that by divine intervention, the disease dies. In the fourteenth century, the Flagellants were blamed for the plague in some towns because it seemed when they arrived the plague arrived too. The Catholic Church soon banned them. The plague had thus influenced church society. The one thing which is obvious from these figures is that the initial impact of the Black Death did not cause a crisis of faith or deter men from entering the priesthood. {Ormond, 1996 pg 89}  What it does suggest is that where the door was closed for men to enter into Catholicism. These new religious groups or fathers of Protestantism were now strong and ready to battle the old monastic orders for freedom and religion. This fight is religious warfare and a wider scope of a cultural revolution of society in England and the rest of Europe. The_flagellants_at_Doornik_in_1349

        The vigorous culture of European Civilization was dependent on art, music and new manuscripts. During the period of the bubonic plague and after Europe witnessed a complete turn around in the culture, which fought for artistic and humanistic freedoms.  However, it also showed the character and nature of the darkness of the plague within its art and new theology. “It put Europeans into a state of shock – shock from watching thousands of corpses pile up in the streets, shock at the complete failure of their religion to save them. Europeans began to question their old values {http://www.luc.edu/faculty/losses/bubonicanov6.htm} To continue so much of the artistic and literary expression of fourteenth century Europe was a direct result of what people saw of the plague. Imagine dead bodies piled as high as a mountain. Moreover, imagine a poor peasant receiving hundreds of gold coins just to pile these bodies and burn them to ashes. The medieval art of the twelfth century owes its style to romance, passion and chivalric warfare. ‘Gone were the days of beautiful maidens depicted in pictures with handsome knights willing to preserve the (sic) honour of the  lady

BLACK DEATH 5

 

 

This artwork of vibrancy colour and beauty changed dramatically after the bubonic plague had run its course. The paintings depicted death, rape and gloom. The physical nature of the work was stoic. The only analysis is the artist and thinkers were expressing feelings of hatred towards the church and nobility. The majority of the population had believed that the world was coming to an end. They had envisioned the coming of this day as the wicked day or the end of the world. Much of the blame placed on the church and the nobility. So much of the artwork depicts the end of the world or doomsday. The chains of the poor melted away from the hot fires of hell, and the Norman nobility who had first enslaved them in ten sixty-six were now feeling the wrath of God. Many of these people believed it was the end of the world and they took part in massive sexual rituals and some even denounced God. Evidence of 13th century Europeans believes that the world had ended founded in the pictures and the writings of art in Sicily and other parts of Europe. A prime example of this plague art shown in the pictures below.

 

 Illustration of Victims of Bubonic Plague from the Toggenberg Bible

 

 

 

In the picture, we have skeleton horses, orgies and murder. The culture of the people who had not necessary denounced God but the power of the church and the nobility.

                This culture shock was not only noticeable in the areas of art. In marriage, the average person age changed. In the previous centuries, urban and rural males married rather late, to inherit land or capital to support a family. After the plague, however, rural men began to marry earlier at an age closer to that of their wives. The reason for this was the generation of this period now wanted to achieve everything before they died. This included marriage, children and sexual pleasures. In the decades of plague millions of men and women died without experiencing marriage. The era produced people who needed to experience life pleasures. Also before the plague, the music and costumes were brilliantly decorated. In the decades after the plague music was none existent. Even the poetry changed. For example, the English nursery rhyme titled “Ring around the Rosy”. They say that it started in the “Middle Ages when the Plague was rampant. The ‘ring around the rosy’ referred to the marks that showed up on people’s bodies, and the ‘pocket full of posies’ means the nosegays people would hold up to their noses to block out the stench of the dead. As we all know, the next line is ‘Ashes, ashes, we all fall’, meaning that so many died, it seemed as if everyone would ‘fall dead’.((anwers.com). Another story is the Pied Piper. The story is an account of hundreds of rats crawling out of the city sewers and hideaways to die. Many historians believed the date of the Pied Piper, was changed to a century before as not to bring a curse back to the world.”(Encyclopedia).

         The effects of the plague are finally identified culturally in the words of Petrarch. To continue Petrarch talks about art, he said that “though its beauty is a source of wonder to the masters of the art, the ignorant do not understand it. (Wilkins, 1959 pg 182-3) What Petrarch is saying is the families welcome a less worldly and less humanistic art than that of the earlier years.  A further study of Italy and early humanism shows you that the movement had started in Florence. Boccaccio, in the Decameron, writes of Florence, that ‘they’ dug for each graveyard a huge trench, in which they had laid the corpses. They arrived by the hundreds at a time, piling them up to tier upon tier as merchandise stored on a ship, each covered with a little earth until the trench would hold no more. (Boccaccio, pg.6-7) This suffering influenced and strengthened the minds of the free thinkers to be acutely aware of the church. It seems these humanists also relished in the idea that the church and nobility shall feel the wrath of Hades. The era of Boccaccio and Petrarch exuded deep emotions, but this was not feelings of chivalry or romance, it was pain suffering and fear. It was a fear of death and survival, but more important it was a fight to keep the new freedom inherited by the vagabond working class. The most significant works of art look like deep melancholy and emotional pain, suffering and death. However, whether this loss of artistic colour and vibrancy resulted directly from the plague is hard to say, because the scholars of art will tell you that art is always changing naturally. What I see though is the impact of the change and how it changed physically. What I mean is the talented churchmen and Kings had all their favourites. When this artist who did work like painting or wrote manuscripts for the nobility, when they succumbed to the plague, this opened the door for the artist of a lower middle class or peasant line to achieve personal expressions. What I believe is the plague indirectly freed many people to express themselves artistically and politically. This new expression owes much of its freedom to the events of the bubonic plague.

BLACK DEATH 9

          In conclusion, a bubonic plague is an event of an epic and devastating catastrophe, but it was not the only tumultuous event of the thirteen hundreds. We scholars analyse, the hundred year wars and the expulsion of the Plantagenet’s dynasty from France, along with the Great Famine, and the inquisitions of the church to expel the ‘Cathars and the Templar Knights as events that engineered great changes.  What is remarkable about the plague is some people who died in Europe. In fact, more people died in a three year period than in the two world wars.  To continue these changes could easily are the natural evolution of man in the society.  A more important element that evoked major changes in the middles ages was the humanist movement. In studying the circumstance in how humanism was born you learn of ‘flesh and blood and the struggles of people. A passion and political freedom that England and the rest of Europe achieved from the monastic orders and the liege lords.  Finally, the plague has been around before the bible, and it is still with us today. The symbolization is the grey or skeleton horse of death which in revelations brought great, war and famine. Symbolically speaking the grey horse of death did make me realise that we are not gods and we should look upon our eyes. But as scholars can we ignore the natural evolution of man and put so much, on us, on the plague being the most important reason for economic political and social changes. The ethical solution to this problem is to study the evolution of the German and English language in relations with the printing press and its freedom from the ruling Latin nobility across Europe.

Courtney Duncan