Iran Targeting Internet Before Elections

February 14th, 2012

Cited: MSNBC

How do you know it’s election time in Iran? Easy, you won’t have any Internet service. The government of Iran has put a lid on Internet service and access to social networking Web sites of late in a move that is seen as an attempt by the government to keep public dissent and discourse, under wraps prior to Parliamentary elections slated for later this month. The leaders of the Iranian government are concerned that the same protests and riots that followed the 2009 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could happen again, especially given that social networking and the Internet were the main conduit for the protesters last time.

Iranian officials have denied any foul play with the interruption of Internet service, which some say has been restored but that it is much slower and some Web sites are still not accessible. Experts say that the Iranian government is probably testing several types of tools that they plan to use as the elections draw near in order to censor all activity on the Internet or to simply remove access to certain Web sites for a great many users. Iranian citizens fear that the government is reading its plan to take over Internet service in Iran completely and thereby will have complete control over what every Iranian citizen is able to view on the Internet. Government officials scoff at the notion that they are preparing to take over the cyber waves and claim that their intention is to ramp up Internet service and to filter out Web sites that are considered to be unclean. So much for freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and a few others that are precious in the West but not so much in Iran.

In fact, one member of Iran’s Internet filtering committee, Mohammad Reza Aghamiri, says that the Internet is an uninvited guest in Iran and because of the numerous problems that it has caused it needs to be filtered and supervised. Iranian dissident groups say that the government shut down access to the Internet in response to a rumored rally and protest that was being planned to force the government to release political prisoners being held since 2009, most of whom belong to the opposition Green movement.

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My take:

Iranians are a lot more sensible than given credit for and they are not mere robotic followers of the theocracy ruling their country. If the mullahs think that they can silence the voices and concerns of their citizens they best turn to their history books, and recent history in the Middle East to see that they may very well be the next ones to be ousted from power in the Arab Spring…though they aren’t really Arabs. So, let’s keep hoping for a Persian Spring.

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Other Resources

Increases in Job Incentives

One of the interesting things about modern job searches is the fact that many people who are now looking for jobs are doing so in the later years of their life because remaining occupied by getting a job through a hiring service is more entertaining than retirement options. Most people don’t have the money to do anything of note during their retirement and it gets fairly boring for the average person who might not want to sit around all day during their golden years. Many older workers are choosing to work rather than be sedate and not otherwise occupied.

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Closing the Post Office Hurts Many Americans

February 14th, 2012

Cited: MSNBC

Budget cutting is the most popular fiscal measure being taken in every corner of American society and nowhere is its impact being more felt than by the besieged U.S. Postal Service. In order to close gaps in revenue, some of which has been created by the Internet and other means by which people no longer rely on the services of the post office, the U.S. mail provider is considering closing more than 3800 post offices around the country and nearly 80% of them are in rural areas and areas that serve the poorest Americans.

Officials say that closing these offices would impact these areas more than  most because in almost 33% of the regions being targeted for closure there is no Internet broadband service. The postal service is mandated to provide an effective degree of regular postal service throughout the United States and with over 32,000 locations in the U.S. they do indeed cover a lot of territory. However, with more and more people using email to correspond with one and other as well as other delivery services such as FedEx and UPS now making serious inroads into the postal service’s territory, their ability to do their job effectively everywhere and at a profit is being severely challenged and to some extent being made nearly impossible. Those that stand the most to lose are those Americans in areas where they still use the mail service to send letters and cards and where email is not an option for them. Estimates range up to three million people that could be affected by the proposed post office closings.

For its part the Post Office says that it chose the offices to be closed purely on revenue and not any other considerations. It is no surprise then that the offices slated for the chopping block are in some of the poorest rural communities in the United States. The Post Office is trying to close a budge gap of $20 billion by 2015 and some of the measure being proposed to do so include closing many locations, reworking salary and benefit packages of postal workers, eliminating jobs, and hikes in postage.

Many of the communities that would feel the impact most are in rural areas where the nearest town of any consequence is over 50 miles away and the residence of these areas depend on the postal service for vital deliveries such as vaccinations for livestock, medicine, and other news and communication necessary for the personal and professional lives.

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My take:

There has to be some way to provide a safety net of some sort to these communities. Simply cutting them off and letting them fend for themselves insofar as communicating and corresponding with the rest of the world just doesn’t seem like a good option. I would at least like to hear that there are plans to provide vital services for these communities and that cutting, cutting, cutting isn’t the only solution.

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Other Resources

Some Industries Lacking Employees

Although the economy does indeed seem to be suffering from high unemployment numbers, it’s surprising to see that there are a number of companies out there in certain industries who seem to have all but drained their local staffing agency of potential candidates and have come up short regarding how many employees have needed to be hired. The recession certainly took its toll on some industries, but overall certain industries have actually grown despite economic retractions. Such industries have included those of health care where experts have suggested that many more professionals will be needed for a variety of positions in the near future.

Electronic Sunglasses

There is an interesting style of sunglasses that are starting to go on sale in certain areas which actually combine electronics with the sunglasses and are designed to fuel the desire for people to experience technology that they can wear because apparently a functional pair of cheap sunglasses is no longer cool. For the most part these sunglasses are something that might be attractive mainly to people who are interested in items that don’t have any particular use and simply look cool right now and are something that they can show off since not many people will have them.

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Sending Gifts to the Office?

February 14th, 2012

Cited: MSNBC

You’re sitting in your cube in the office when all of sudden you hear a shriek from the cube next to yours. It’s Mary and she’s just received a beautiful bouquet of red roses from her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. A few moments later more thrilled laughter from the cube next door when a box of chocolates arrive. After lunch the girl across the hall is getting a singing telegram complete with a Teddy Bear and a chorus of “This Love of Mine,” and this straw breaks the camel’s back as you go storming off into the bosses office to complain.

When is sending gifts to the office a little too much? Some say that it is perfectly fine and that it is a wonderful way to surprise your lovely and to show her, in full public display, how much you do indeed lover her. Others say that it is a distraction and that the office is no place for such ostentatious affection conventions and that it is rude to the people around you. Now of course 1-800 Flowers, the chocolate makers of America, and Hallmark will disagree but more more pertinent to your future with the company is what your boss thinks.

Experts on the subject (yes, there are experts on the subject of sending gifts to the office) say that a modest show of affection is fine, like a small vase of flowers, while a huge bouquet and singing cards or multiple deliveries, is completely out of the question. However, by all accounts, a great many Valentine’s Day enthusiasts do not heed this advice and figure that bigger is better and more likely to win the favor of your wife or girlfriend, especially because you might make her more special than the other gals in the office, who at some point probably go home and give their other halves a good tongue lashing for not being quite as extravagant as their colleague’s male suitors.

The other no-no that experts caution about is dating at work and lavishing your lover with gifts in the workplace and thereby completely crashing the wall that should exist between your professional life and your personal life. So there it is. You have been forewarned now proceed at your own risk.

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My take:

I really don’t think that it is such a big deal to send flowers to work, for Valentine’s Day or for any other occasion. It can really add a special dimension to your gift while at no time being meant to show-up anyone at work. I think that it is important to be sensitive to the work environment where the gift is being sent to know if it is the right thing to do or not. Some work places can be rather stuffy and stiff so perhaps sending a gift isn’t the right thing to do while others might be quite appropriate for that sort of thing. I guess you need to use your best judgement.

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Other Resources

Installation of Heating Options

At a certain point most items within a house will require upgrading, updating or replacement and one of the systems that should be considered is that of the heating elements in play. Often it’s a good idea to consider radiant floor heating as an alternative to forced air heating as this option can be a lot less expensive when it is used in certain areas of the home. Depending on the size of the space and how much area the heating must cover, it’s a good idea to consider general heating options that are related to radiant heating if installation of such an option is possible.

Allowing Decorations to Take Over

Many people adore the holidays because they get to dress up their residence with all sorts of fun decorative objects, but it’s important to note that sometimes a person can go completely overboard and miss the opportunity they might have to showcase some beautiful holiday figurines such as the yearly Jim Shore collections that come out that so many people adore. It’s definitely a better option to consider choosing just a basic selection of different holiday decorations since this will allow someone to showcase their most prized decorative objects much more easily than if a huge, crowded number of items was in the way.

Enjoying the RV Lifestyle

One of the elements of great American vacations is the opportunity to take an RV out into the back country of the United States and for anyone who isn’t able to upgrade to the newest and most advanced vehicles, there are actually several opportunities within Pennsylvania RV sales to pick up a vehicle that is going to be slightly used, but just as comfortable as it needs to be. The great thing about RVs is that there are many different types out there and so making a decision on which to purchase is only as hard as picking the features.

Size of the Party

When a family has a nice large circle of friends it can be a difficult thing to create a party that’s not going to have people stacked closely from one end of the yard to the other and this is where choosing just a few people for each party can make for some more personal gatherings. And the implements used for the smaller parties don’t even have to change. Someone can still use their china box and the items that are used for a larger party in a style that’s perfect for a smaller gathering and is on a smaller scale.

Gathering Materials for Taxes

One thing that people tend to forget about when they’re attempting to get their taxes done each year is the fact that the overall process is made much easier if all of the items that might come into play during a tax session are kept in a single area. This means that a person will want to keep all the receipts, purchase statements and other tax documents in a single file so at the end of the year the taxes can be begun easily. This also makes it easier for a tax attorney to assist if legal assistance is required.

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Two Gunman In RFK Assassination?

February 14th, 2012

Cited: CNN

Conspiracy theories abound about the assassination of President Kennedy and to this day you will still hear emphatic arguments for and against the notion that Lee Harvey Oswald was a the sole assassin. Even evidence such as the famous Zapruder film of the shooting is inconclusive and has done little more than fuel rather than settle the debate. Less discussed is the possibility that Sirhan Sirhan, the killer of Robert F. Kennedy, did not act alone and that there was a second gunman involved in the assassination of the President’t brother, who at the time was one of the leading candidates for a run at the White House.

New evidence presented in court today, actually old evidence that has been brushed off by prosecutors and the legal counsel for Sirhan Sirhan, has led some to believe that another gunman was in the room when Robert Kennedy was killed. An audio tape made by freelance reporter Stanislaw Pruszynski, who was standing near Kennedy at the time of the shooting, reveals that 13 shots were fired at Kennedy that night and that Sirhan Sirhan’s gun only held eight bullets. Lawyers for the convicted assassin say that their client had no time to reload his gun so there must have been another gunman that night and therefore they have asked a California court to reopen the case.

The lead attorney for Sirhan Sirhan, NY attorney William F. Pepper believes that his client was simply a diversionary shooter, a hypnotized prop to divert attention away from the real gunman that shot and killed RFK. Others involved in the case say that they evidence on the audio tape is not nearly as conclusive as is being portrayed and others have cited various reasons why the acoustics on the tape could have distorted the sounds being heard as additional gunshots. Further, many legal experts say that even if there was another gunman this does not relieve Sirhan Sirhan from his responsibility for his part in the assassination and that should the evidence be found to be correct, his conviction would still hold up in an appeal process.

Pepper contends that Sirhan Sirhan was under the mind control of other conspirators, who knew extensive hypnotic and drug treatments developed by the CIA, to control his behavior and therefore he is not guilty of the assassination.

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My take:

Conspiracy theories have always be associated with the JFK assassination but not so much with RFK. However, considering that RFK was hated by the mafia and Castro as well as others that did not want to see him become President it is not all that far-fetched that his shooting could have been a much more well-developed plot than a simple crazy man named Sirhan Sirhan.

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Other Resources

Disagreements during Divorces

It’s likely not a surprise to anyone who is otherwise becoming involved in a divorce that there will be problems and disagreements during the process, but it’s usually a good idea to work with a Williamson County divorce law attorney as much as possible to reduce the severity of such disagreements and come to a solution within the divorce proceedings that won’t force an unfortunate extension of fighting and court time upon the participants. Fights within the courtroom for divorces can be rather difficult to endure and sometimes it is best for a person to know when to give in.

Getting a Fair Trial

For trials where there is a significant amount of press surrounding the reporting of the initial crime and the eventual arrests for a person, it’s often proposed by the defense in such a case that the location of the trial is moved so as to provide a person with the potential for a fair trial as what the public reads from the transcripts from the Los Angeles court reporter before the actual trial begins could color the eventual outcome of a full trial if it is otherwise held inside a city where most of the populace has already formed an opinion about the crime.

Avoiding a Criminal Charge

Although it might not seem that way in the movies, there are actually some ways that a person can assist in their own defense as far as avoiding actual charges being brought against them for a particular crime and usually conversing with a Brockville Ontario criminal lawyer is a great way to get such a plan underway. Just because a person is being investigated by the police doesn’t necessarily mean that any charges would eventually be brought against that person and so it’s usually a good idea to start early with conversing with a legal representative.

Medical Issues and Divorce

One of the unfortunate side effects impacting people who are going through a divorce is the increase in sickness that is often experienced by such individuals and while a Wyckoff NJ divorce attorney can generally offer a lot of assistance regarding what needs to be done during a divorce and how best to proceed during different facets of the process, sometimes the stress and strain can weigh heavily on people who are having to go through something like a custody battle. It’s often a good idea to consider extra doctor visits during the period of a divorce.

Understanding Attorney Client

One of the biggest things that tends to be a part of movies that have lawyers in them is the idea of attorney client privilege and the fact that it’s not possible for San Francisco CA criminal attorneys to actually help someone understand the legal ramifications of a crime that has yet to be committed and might be in the planning stages as a lawyer would need to go to the authorities if someone came to him and started talking about a potential crime and how it might be committed. Even if a lawyer has been retained by someone, they must report crimes.

 

 

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Overeating Tied To Memory

February 14th, 2012

Cited: CNN

Overeating is not a good thing, everyone knows that. With a huge percentage of the American public classified as obese and an alarming number of children also obese the campaign to get everyone back in shape has been raging in every corner of American society. Now a recent study claims that in addition to stretching out your waistline, overeating can also effect your memory, especially in the elderly and that it might also lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently conducted a study on 1200 people between the ages of 70 and 80 and found that those patients that consumed more than 2140 calories per day had more than twice the risk of reduced mental function than those that consumed a more modest diet of approximately 1500 calories per day. While the study does not make a conclusive link between high calorie diets and loss of mental function and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease, it does present enough evidence for researchers to conduct much more in-depth research to see if there is indeed a causal relationship here.

One of the shortcomings of the study is that they calorie intake for each patient was established while taking into account weight, height, and body mass but not necessarily for physical activity. Also, there was no attention paid to whether or no any of the patients might be susceptible to Alzheimer’s in the first place. Studies that will be conducted in the future need to take into account a variety of other factors before concluding a link between calorie intake and a loss of mental function.

The extent of mental function loss or MCI, goes beyond simple temporary memory loss involved with forgetting people’s names and misplacing personal items. The memory loss associated with MCI is more like that where the elderly actually forget vital appointments, memory of loved ones, and other more relevant information.

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My take:

The experts have always maintained that one of the secrets to longevity is in a reduced calorie diet. Now there might be more reasons to believe that overeating is not good for your mental health. This will be an interesting study to follow as it goes forward and more research is conducted on the subject.

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Other Resources

Gaining Options for Precision

Surgeons work for decades on becoming the best they can regarding stability and safe incision techniques for their surgeries and it would appear that many surgeons are starting to extol the virtues of Long Island robotic kidney surgery since it is offering such a high level of precision for various surgical techniques. Surgeons are often such that they will attempt for years to perfect their ability to offer an incredibly safe and smooth surgical experience for their patients. The impressive stability offered by robotic surgery techniques has opened up a significantly higher level of safety for individuals seeking such surgeries.

Understanding Psychotherapy Options

One of the reasons why a person might seek out time spent with a psychotherapist would be due to the need for assistance with a mental disorder or even a concern that a mental disorder could be impacting someone’s life even if they have not been diagnosed professionally and speaking with a Port Washington NY therapist is likely something that would be regarded as an effective option as it is important to obtain external help regarding mental health when a person is otherwise unable to determine the source of their mental affliction, which could be something enhanced through therapeutic visits.

Talking to the Groom about the Party

The planning of a bachelor party by a best man for his buddy the groom can take a fair bit of time if a man has never planned such a party before, but Henderson NV bachelor parties don’t have to be overly complex and can often include a simple conversation with the groom as to what he might like to see. One mistake that some friends of the groom make is the idea that nothing about the party can be discussed with the groom ahead of time and this is generally not the case as it’s fine to discuss potential options ahead of time.

 

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Obama Budget Assumes Better Economy

February 14th, 2012

Cited: MSNBC

The President’s proposed budget is not likely to be anything more than another item for both the Democrats and Republicans to draw a line in the sand over. The budget has little if any chance of even being voted on, much less passed into law. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be the source of much discussion, debate, and downright brawling between the two parties as both seek to extract political favor from the document with their respective constituents. For its part, the Obama Administration is looking at economic growth going forward with a rosy shade of red sunglasses, as is almost always the case with the sitting president and the assumptions made by any administration. On the other hand, the impartial Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and independent economists don’t see things quite the same as President Obama and thus begins the debate.

The President’s budget calls for $3.8 trillion dollars in total spending and assumes GDP growth for 2012 at 3.6% and for 2013 4.4%. The president’s economic team is also forecasting unemployment to drop to 7.5% and for inflation to remain steady at approximately 2% annually.  The difference in the economic outlook by the White House versus that of the CBO and private economists is that the Administration assumes that the budget will be passed as written, while everyone else knows that we have a better chance of landing a man on Mars within the next fiscal year than the President’s budget has of passing Congressional approval.

The President’s budget lays out its forecast for deficits, which they expect to fall to $901 billion in 2013 and to $575 billion by 2018 while at the same time the White House is also proposing increased spending, or as they call it, investment, in education, infrastructure, and other programs to help the economy get rolling while restoring vital spending to rebuild the roads, bridges, and transportation systems in the U.S. The budget is the perfect foil for the ideological debate that is raging and will continue to rage between the Democrats and Republicans long after the 2012 election is over. The Republicans see the President’s budget plan as yet another spending bill that will add to the deficit and thereby further undermine the U.S. economy while the President and his Democratic supporters contend that the economy is still fragile and some spending by the government is necessary to revive it and to stimulate growth overall. They argue that trying to trim deficits at a time when economic activity is still fledgling is a recipe for economic disaster.

The President’ budget also calls for the supposed Buffet Rule, which would seek to make the wealthiest Americans foot their fair share of the tax burden and to restore U.S. tax rates on the top 1% to levels which in the past helped to bridge the budget gap while at the same time did nothing to hurt economic growth. Overall however, the President’s budget does not address any sweeping overhaul of the tax code.

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My take:

The President could propose that every Republican in Congress gets a bouquet of roses and they would vote it down and then go on a tirade about how the President was killing flowers. There is nothing here but more reason for fighting and bickering and none of it will end until after the election and Obama wins re-election, or the Republican candidate wins, after which they will continue to press for the same legislation that got us into this mess, and two wars, in the first place.

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Other Resources

Enhancing Current Infrastructures

The requirements of today’s computer infrastructures are significant as far as technology knowledge, power consumption and general space and in considering colocation providers, a company might be able to reduce the network load it is enduring at its home location and allow such stresses to be endured by the facility instead. Most of the time a company can indeed start out with its computing power located on site at its own facility, but when the company grows and expands, it’s usually a good idea to start considering third party suppliers, especially when it comes to servers and colocation.

Obtaining a Fair Divorce

The worst thing that someone can do when attempting to get through a divorce, is try and make things worse for the other person by not working with a Brooklyn NY divorce lawyer in a way that is constructive and appropriate with things like court appearances, trial preparation and information sharing. A divorce is hard on everyone and is usually something that is made somewhat easier if someone is willing to be absolutely open about all of the sharing required of the process. Being secretive and trying to undermine the overall process will only lead to problems.

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Brown U Asked to Pay Fair Share

February 14th, 2012

Cited: MSNBC

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is a private, Ivy League University and as a non-profit institution it enjoys a tax-exempt status in the city; meaning that it doesn’t pay any property taxes. However, with the city budget facing a $22.5 million shortfall this year and the prospects for even larger deficits going forward, the mayor of Providence, Angel Taveras, is asking Brown to pay a little more to shoulder some of the burden in the city where they enjoy premier status.

Every year Brown makes voluntary payments to the city, last year up to $4 million, but city officials say that Brown owns real estate worth upwards of $1 billion, which if taxed at the going rate in Providence would mean a tax bill of some $38 million annually. The mayor said that it is time for Brown, like the rest of the citizens of Providence, to pay its fair share. Last year city residents were hit with a 13% hike in their property taxes while the mayor took a pay cut of 10%. More and more cities fighting to make ends meet and to get their budgets back in the black are turning to the non-profit businesses and institutions and requesting that they pony up and pay a much greater amount of taxes to the city where they enjoy all the benefits of the services provided but pay very little in return.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is a Brown alum and therefore in a good position to try to negotiate a deal between the university and the city. He called together the mayor, Brown president Ruth Simmons, and Chancellor Thomas Tisch to try to reach a settlement to what has become something of a public relations mess for the Ivy League institution. Some Brown student seem to agree with the city and held a protest outside of the meeting with one student saying that the university cannot simply ignore the fiscal woes of the city and that to continue to do so would lead to bigger problems for everyone in the near future.

The city of Providence operates on a $614 million budget, and is struggling to revive a city devastated by the loss of its manufacturing base. Meanwhile, Brown’s operating budget is some $840 million annually and their endowment of $2.5 billion earned nearly 18.5% last year. The requests by the city of Providence for Brown to pay more in property taxes follows other cities that have asked their non-profits to do the same. City officials cite Yale University’s deal with the city of New Haven, the city of Boston increasing the tax bill for non-profits by some 25%, as well as a deal with Princeton and two local governments, though that deal is still being worked out and is said to be somewhat contentious.

The state of Rhode Island, like other states, pays subsidies to cities to bridge the gap created by their non-profits not paying property taxes. Last year the city of Providence received $23.1 million from the state, but it is not nearly enough to close the gap and not even close to the tax bill that Brown would pay if they were paying their fair share.

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My take:

Brown University can easily afford to pay its fair share of taxes and to set an example for others to do the same. They simply cannot turn a blind eye to the very real fiscal problems in the city where they are located or just sit back and count the interest on their endowment while watching the city go down the tubes. At some point it will undermine the university so they must see that their future and that of the city are intertwined.

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Other Resources

Reporting Problems Quickly

Some jobs are located in what might be considered rather dangerous circumstances and it’s important to maintain a strong sense of safety for such locations since the impact of a fire or something related to an electrical danger could catch employees without proper flame resistant clothing off-guard, especially if the area wasn’t otherwise one in which fire danger was especially considered. Reporting things like faulty electrical switches and issues with the overall electrical system are important as continued use of faulty systems can result in a fire rather easily if the problem is not located and fixed swiftly.

Combining Recycling with Cleaning

It’s always a great option to make things more efficient at a work site and for a company that’s located in a standard office environment which has a janitorial services Weston FL come around every few weeks or even every few days, it’s often a good idea to combine such visits with efforts at recycling because this is simply an efficient way to work. Often, speaking with the cleaning crew about various recycling efforts will ensure that all of their cleaning efforts are handled in such a way that recycling is a number one effort.

Technology in Storage

One of the nice things about having a classic car that’s been fixed up is that it’s fun to take it out in the summer for rides, but in the winter it’s usually best housed in Long Island classic car storage if someone doesn’t otherwise have an extra garage that they can use. And there are some great technology upgrades that have become available to such storage units such as enhanced security and highly advanced security options such as motion sensors and different types of detectors that allow a person to feel that their car is safe while it’s stored.

Ensuring Locks are Active

When changing out the skid steer attachments on a skid steer loader, it’s important to make sure that any locks that need to be engaged during the change out are solid as maintaining locking of the machine during a switch is vital to ensure that the machine doesn’t otherwise start to move when it’s not supposed to, especially if it is sitting on an uneven grade and there are bystanders nearby. It is very important to maintain the proper locking of the mechanisms associated with the loader’s attachments and a user should always know how to do this before operating the machine.

Looking at Discounted Offers

There are an increasing number of individuals who are choosing to ride via private jet and whether those rides are accomplished through fractional ownership or whether they are handled through the outright purchase of a plane, there are some newer ways to obtain a Las Vegas private jet charter that are opening up the possibility for private jet travel to additional travelers. For example, sometimes a jet with a few passengers on it will sell one of the empty seats for a greatly discounted price so that they can ensure a full flight to a particular destination.

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Volker Defends Volker Rule

February 13th, 2012

Cited: CNN

Paul Volker, former iconic head of the Federal Reserve Bank, sent a letter to the central bank today and defended the “Volker Rule” saying that Wall Street firms should stop lobbying against the regulations and embrace a rule that makes sense for everyone,  especially in light of how the lax regulatory environment in the financial markets helped to almost destroy the entire financial system. Today was the deadline set by the regulatory agencies for comments about the rules before a draft of the regulations can be put together for lawmakers to consider. Volker, in his letter said that the Volker Rule is necessary to make sure that future bailouts of the banks and financial companies will not be necessary in the future.

The Volker Rule is aimed at risky practices by banks, insurance companies, and investment banking firms and seeks to resurrect  the fire wall that used to exist under the Glass-Stegal Act, which prohibited banks from engaging in certain business transactions because of the risk involved with many of them. If a banking entity was going to provide vital financial services to the public and therefore be an intricate part of the U.S. economic fabric, then they needed to make sure that they were not engaging in high risk investments. Insurance companies and investment banks on the other hand were free to engage in whatever legal financial gambling they wanted to do but not with any assurance that the U.S. government would be there to bail them out should these investments go sour.

The problem over the years is that during the good times, the Glass-Stegal Act was slowly gutted and the line between what is a bank, investment bank, and insurance company became blurred and their business dealings were so interwoven that it was impossible to separate their transactions when the market turned south. So, a bailout of all was necessary. The Volker Rule seeks to make a much more clear distinction of those financial activities that are essential financial services, and those that are pure speculation.

Of course the Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the rule saying that it would put U.S. banks at a disadvantage in competing globally.

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My take:

Same old story. When times are good they are all fat and happy but when their bets head south they come crying to the taxpayers for a loan. Its one of the biggest scams in the history of the U.S. and it continues full force. Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest, richest Wall Street firms and yet they even went so far as to change their status to qualify for a fed bailout during the collapse. Now they are taking that money to pay off politicians so that they won’t vote for greater regulation over this den of thieves.

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