Sunday, June 8, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
With corrupt politics, just like everywhere else, this small town is feeling the sting of its political corruption all the way down to this once powerhouse high school. There was a time when the "Lumberjacks Ruled" in both the education and sports fields. Now they rank at the bottom of a state that is already below average across America.
What happened to this once wonderful school? My opinion is that there has been a trickle down effect within the leadership of the school system and the bogalusa school board.
But we can not just blame them, since they are just a product of their enjoyment. I mean, with rumors of the Bogalusa P.D. covering up crimes for the politicaly connected . What do you expect the other leaders in the community to do?
When you have a Mayor (no longer in office) that thought that it was "OK" to take peoples property for private companies to move in and build on (yes, the video is on this blog).
If the people of Bogalusa want's to again have a high school that put's out a good education, and good teams, and great people, then you need to clean up the mess you allowed to happen by taking control of your town from the corruption from the TOP down, not the bottom up. This will never work.
Most of the people who break traffic rules and regulations are youth. They fail to understand that these rules and regulations are made only to ensure the safety and security of everyone who travels on the road.
It is noted that most teenagers never stop on red lights, jump over road dividers and always park in no-parking zone. Though they get caught with the police, they still try to bend the rules again and again. Thus, it is very dangerous to travel in a case driven by a teenage driver.
The points given below will help you to understand this better:
1. If your teenage friend or relative offers to give you a lift, politely refuse.
2. If you are forced to have a teen driver, cheek his license and driving history before getting on the vehicle.
3. In case you are in a vehicle driven by a teenager and he is speeding too much or is involved in DWI, order him to stop, get off the vehicle and walk off or take a cab.
If you follow the above safety measures, you can have a safe ride. If you are a parent, advise and encourage your teenage daughters and sons to fellow road rules and drive safely.
Archana Sarat is a freelance writer, who breezed through her Chartered Accountancy sometime back in history. Visit http://www.aboutdwi.com
Trasylol is an anti-bleeding drug that is given to approximately 1/3 of patients undergoing heart surgery. Trasylol was heavily marketed by Bayer and was projected to be the next billion-dollar drug in 2008. Fortunately, Dr. Mangano's efforts set into motion a chain of events that would eventually put a stop to Bayer's ability to profit (and profit a lot) from other's misfortunes.
After following 5,065 patients in 17 countries, Dr. Mangano found that patients given Trasylol were more likely to experience death and kidney failure after heart surgery.
This study was then published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which prompted other doctors to speak out regarding the deadly drug. According to Dr. Juergen Fischer, director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine at the University of Cologne, Bayer was not interested in his results from studies conducted in the 1980's that showed severe kidney damage in animals given Trasylol. Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos also received the cold shoulder from the pharmaceutical company for his human study in 1992 that showed that patients given Trasylol were more likely to experience kidney failure after surgery.
Kouchoukos called this study a "red flag", but explained that safety studies are generally not taken seriously until they involve thousands of participants. Since Bayer did not conduct a large-scale investigation of the drug following these complaints, the proof was not available to pull the drug from the market. Consequently the FDA approved Trasylol in 1993--noting kidney problems as a potential side effect from the drug.
Thankfully, Dr. Mangano's 5,065 patient study in 2005 was sufficient to finally catch the FDA's attention. The FDA scheduled a meeting with Bayer executives to discuss the issue eight months after the report was issued. As a result, Bayer went on the defense and set out to conduct a study of it's own to dispute Dr. Mangano's study. Their plan backfired. Bayer's study confirmed Dr. Mangano's findings that Trasylol may have been responsible for thousands of deaths and serious injuries in the United States.
What Bayer decided to do with this information next, in my opinion, proves the company's clear disregard for patient safety. Bayer hid their study from the FDA. They acted as though it never took place. It wasn't until a whistleblower from Bayer contacted the FDA regarding the proven dangers of Trasylol that the true findings from the report were made public. Following this disclosure, Canadian researchers attempted to perform their own Trasylol study, but had to stop because too many people were dying.
So what are the consequences of Bayer's lack of scientific testing and honesty regarding Trasylol? According to Dr. Mangano, "Between my study and November 5, when it was taken off the market, there were approximately 431,000 patients who received the drug. As I calculated, 22,000 lives could have been saved. It's about a 1,000 lives saved per month delay in taking that drug off the market."
Sad. And while the story reads like a bad novel, real people's lives have been ruined by this drug. Loved ones have died or were forced to go on dialysis after otherwise routine procedures. Livelihoods were stolen as injured patients struggle just to pay the bills with their meager disability check. Ironically, Bayer walks away with millions of dollars and no consequences from the FDA. And I can almost guarantee that the politicians in Washington will turn a blind eye as well. After all, they need a paycheck too and who do you think funds the campaign that allows them to stay in office? The pharmaceutical companies of course. What politician in his right mind would bite the hand that feeds him?
Clearly, the only remedy for patients that have experienced side effects from Trasylol is to file a lawsuit against Bayer. It's more than just money-it's the only way to change the system. Complaints to the FDA do not work. Letters to Washington do not work. Pharmaceutical sales are big business driven by the desire for profit at any cost. To change the system, the American people have to take what matters the most from these companies-their profit. When they finally realize that they will have to pay for hurting people, maybe they will invest some of their billions into better scientific testing and personnel to handle investigations before drugs like Trasylol, Vioxx and now Heparin take the lives of trusting people who depend on this medicine to make them better, not worse.
About John R. Mininno, Esquire
Attorney John R. Mininno is a licensed New Jersey and Pennsylvania attorney who represents clients in medical malpractice and other serious injury claims. His offices are in Collingswood, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. He also writes on patient safety issues and encourages patients to be their own "patient advocate." If you or a loved one has experienced heart or kidney failure from Trasylol, click here for further information on how to file a trasylol lawsuit
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Mininno
During the investigation, health authorities discovered that staff at the two clinics were commonly reusing medical equipment, including syringes, single-use medicine vials, biopsy forceps and the bite blocks used to hold open a patient's mouth during a colonoscopy.
Several staff members who were interview said that they were told to reuse medical equipment by the doctors who owned the Las Vegas clinics. These practices created a risk that an infection could be spread from one patient to another if any of these items became contaminated with the blood of an infected patient.
In addition, investigators discovered that doctors were sometimes performing two colonoscopy exams at the same time, and sometime completing the procedure in as little as two minutes. Experts say that a colonoscopy should take between 15 and 30 minutes, including six minutes alone just to withdraw the endoscope used to perform the exam from a patient's colon. When a colonoscopy is performed this quickly, doctors can miss the signs of serious conditions such as colon cancer which the exam is designed to catch.
Former co-workers say that Dr. Dipak Desai, the main owner of the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada, which oversaw the two clinics, frequently bragged about his "two-minute colonoscopy skills." Staff members say that he and other doctors at the Las Vegas clinics were responsible for the practice of re-using single use medical equipment.
In addition staff members say that they routinely over-billed patients for anesthesia times or ordered unnecessary biopsies in order to drive-up patient costs. Dr. Desai is currently being investigated on possible criminal charges for medical malpractice and insurance fraud.
Health officials have informed the public that anyone treated at either the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada or the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center between March 2004 and January 11, 2008 should visit their doctor in order to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. However, since several patients treated before these dates have already tested positive for hepatitis C, other patients who underwent a procedure may also wish to undergo blood tests in order to check for these diseases.
Several former patients of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center have filed lawsuits against Dr. Desai and the two Las Vegas clinics. These patients have alleged that in an attempt to boost profits at the facilities, Dr. Desai and other staff members engaged in unsafe medical practices which may have caused hundreds of patients to become infected with hepatitis C, and thousands more to be exposed to the disease.
Several patients who have not yet become ill but who may have been exposed to hepatitis C or another illness have also filed lawsuits alleging that they suffered emotional strain as a result of potentially becoming infected with a serious blood-borne illness.
Hissey Kientz, LLP is currently accepting cases involving people affected by mesothelioma and asbestos, AMO Complete, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Medtronic defibrillator lead wires, the Las Vegas hepatitis scare, Fosamax, Zelnorm, heparin, heart devices, the Kugel hernia patch, hormone replacement therapy and other defective drugs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Hissey_Kientz
Intentions are to provide a temporary cost reduction in gas prices as was accomplished in the 1980's under a similar release of strategic reserves, With between 50 and 75 million barrels of oil in US strategic oil reserves, price relief would be short lived but would send a message to OPEC and others that the US is not happy with current high prices in the market.
Unfortunately, with the extreme demand for oil from developing nations including China and India, US influence over oil production and pricing continues to erode. Will Bush and his Big Oil cronies allow this measure to impact short term oil company profits? Most can predict the way the wind will blow on this decision.
Interestingly enough, Biofuels, long considered to be on the fringe of US energy supply are increasingly accepted in calculations of energy resources we are in fact depending upon more and more. This hearing, once again, banged the gong of our energy emergency, the need for more energy independence and the hope for a miracle in the short future through technology, drilling in US territory such as Anwar or rapid deployment of other energy alternatives.
Bart Allen Berry is the Founder of MyEnergyPlanet web portal all about energy efficiency, energy savings and the new energy economy.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bart_Berry
Washington DC April 2008
Dragged or volunteered, the heads of the big 5 American Oil companies appeared before the House Select Energy Committee to answer questions about everything from windfall profits and executive salaries to alternative fuels research. Republicans sweet talked their honored guests by sympathizing with their development and exploration cost burdens, excessive taxes and over-regulation by an environmentally sensitive government. Democrats meanwhile, unleashed a more critical barrage of probing questions while banging the gong for everything ethanol and alternative.
It was true theater as weathered executives from Shell, Exxon, BP, Conoco Phillips, and Chevron danced around questions from various legislators, gave short advocacy speeches, threw in their own share of manure and fell into more than one bear trap. It was amusing to observe the sudden camaraderie this 'group of five' seemed to emulate when faced with their common governmental oversight enemy. What are usually fierce competitors, now seemed to be telepathically connected with one another as they avoided tough answers and jumped on one another's band wagons when a few positive points were scored by big oil.
Although too short and not very deep, with questioners only allowed five minutes each, the hearing revealed a lot about our 'hate to be dependent' relationship with Big Oil.
1) Although Big Oil experienced record profits with what some would call opportunist price gouging and others might term extremely strategic and well executed larceny, they are still in a tough racket. Oil companies don't have too many friends these days and although they are everyone's favorite target during these tough economic times, they are the only companies we've got. Amercian Oil (counting BP America which bought ARCO) only manage something like 15% of all the oil being pumped on the planet, and they are competing hard for America's share. Like them or not, we are going to need what they produce for some time to come yet. You're driving to work tomorrow right?
2) Are the Oil Companies really trying to make progress in alternative fuels and energy? It seems like we've gotten so used to the influence of big oil companies on our energy future that we forget they are in business to make money. Alternative energy is not really their problem, they are in the Oil and Gasoline and Natural Gas business. In fact, perhaps for PR value, perhaps because they want to be in the energy business fifty years from now, big oil is experimenting with all manner of alternatives. While all agree that they are dedicated to spreading the conservation message, the use of corn based Ethanol-gasoline mixes and biodiesel seemed to be the most well developed prototyping the big 5 are engaged in now. These options make sense as they make use of the same equipment and distribution systems that Exxon, Shell, Chevron and the like are already using.
3) We need to look elsewhere for additional answers and help to get alternative fuels on line. Although the big five executives appeared sympathetic and have spent real r&d dollars and even fielded as may as 30 service stations, in the case of E85, they are not moving anywhere fast enough to bring alternative fuels on line for the average consumer. When pressed on questions of new bio-diesel pumps at stations or wider spread marketing of E-85 (ethanol gas) the executives were sure that they wouldn't stand in the way of an individual franchisee who wanted to buy his own pump for these alternatives- as long as it didn't "get in the way of the brand" according to one executive. Another said that his brand wouldn't be allowing that. The party line seemed to emphasize that customers hadn't accepted the new fuels yet and that they weren't that popular. There was no comment about whether new fuels were being offered at a cheaper price.. None of the big five seemed to know anything about fuel from coal and weren't interested in talking about it.
4) There was a further peeling back of the onion as one of the Big Oil companies revealed that while complaining about new drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska not being opened up, that they were not in fact, actively drilling at each of the lease locations they had now. Another expressed concern about taking too much of America's food supply by using so much corn to make Ethanol- which seemed a lame attempt at trying to keep the ethanol content of their gas mixes low so people won't figure out that they could be using much higher amounts of Ethanol in their cars.
To their credit, Big Oil seemed to be leaning towards application of better technology for extracting more oil from old wells, now that the price warrants it, as well as plans to develop oil sands and oil shales, long thought to be economically infeasible. And you can forget a windfall profit tax on oil companies. They were pretty clear in letting the legislators know that in such a case, less money would be available for investment and it would have a dollar for dollar, negative effect on consumers.
It would seem that the oil companies 'control the juice' and the means to distribute it, and whether or not we agree with their pricing, we have few options. For progress to happen fast, grass roots development of fuels and alternative low cost refining methods might be the only solution. The Federal government seems hamstrung with too much debt to throw the billions into r&d that it might take to come up with a true breakthrough. Right now it may be best to hope for smaller increases in efficiency, rube goldberg backyard alternatives and a combination of bailing wire and chewing gum to try and control our spiraling fuel costs. Oil companies can't be faulted for being successful at their core mission- making money, and one could certainly argue strongly that they provide a valuable service. We just can't look to them to develop the answers that are ultimately, not in their own best interest.
Can we trade drilling in Alaska for guarantees of lower fuel prices? Will corn farmers become the new energy billionaires of the next decade? Will re-chargeable electric cars allow us to side-step these issues completely? Maybe all or none of these things will happen...
Bart Allen Berry is the Founder of MyEnergyPlanet web portal all about energy efficiency, energy savings and the new energy economy.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bart_Berry
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I was sitting in the lobby, right out in public, and the person at the computer was on the cellular phone also. He kind of laughed and then said in a stern voice, Dead men don't talk! Was his laughter to lighten the words or was it to emphasize the words? Or was the laughter to get away with the threat? Or was he just talking about a movie? Ahh, but you should have heard the voice, the inflection, the tone; it surely did not sound as if this was about a movie. The gentlemen who uttered those words was not whispering, and was not speaking in a confidential tone of voice. You have probably seen people on cellular phones when they speak. They go either one way or the other. They either speak very quietly to have a personal conversation (rarely) or they are speaking loudly into the phone,knowing that anyone and everyone around them can hear their conversation. That one single phrasesounded so much like a threat , but to whom? There wasn't anyone around except me, and at a great distance there was the security guard.
(Note to you cellular users: You might want to find some privacy when you speak like that. You just never know how your conversation will be taken or heard).
React in Your Own Way: It is funny how different people react to different circumstances. Probably the average person might have overheard that loud conversation with those same words and thought it was a threat. My thinking is quite different. I heard it as a debate. Since it is an untrue statement, I heard it as a real debating issue. My first immediate thought, when I heard what that person said, was to respond, just as loudly, with the retort , yes they do, surely they do! Even though that was my first reaction, it was a silent reaction; it was all in my thoughts and I did not express my opinion. I knew that it wasn't necessary to express my opinion right then. Why? Because I knew that more importantly there has to be an article on this. The circumstance was so important. And you sit there wondering why this short conversation was important.
The words of those killed roar like thunder for years after the murders. And sometimes the words of the deceased are so bold and so loud that they can be heard around the country and then around the world. Dead men exclaim, scream, shout and their words are plastered throughout the land until the ends of eternity.
Is there proof? Yes, there is proof. Every day there is proof! Have you heard Gandhi's words in your lifetime? The assassin stopped his physical body but could not silence his spirit or his followers. This leader's words, philosophies, biography and stories are heard around the world. The stories do not stop at the shores of India but they travel on throughout every school in our city and we are not even in India. Indeed dead men talk.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Martin's words are plastered throughout the whole entire United States and throughout our city. We see his name on our schools, on our street signs, in the annual memorial celebrations and at those ceremonies we celebrate his life and the work for peace that he did. Yes, indeed, dead men talk. The healing and intelligent, warm words of Dr. King live on and on and on,even though he died so very many years ago. His name graces street corners, high schools, community buildings and community projects throughout the entire United States of America. And when certain men and women die, their words are long, bold, lasting and strong enough to wake up the rest of the dead in our land.
Dr. Cook: Listen carefully and you will hear all the words of the dead men in our land and listen more carefully and you will hear the voices, of the men who are no longer with us, throughout our entire world. Dr. Cook was a reverend man who spoke on radio about the Holy Bible. He had a morning show on WFME 94.7 on FM radio, quite some time ago. And then, he died. But Dr. Cook's messages and his speaking and his voice live on and on,even though he is no longer here, his words can still be heard on radio. They continued his show after he died.
Dying Man's Confession: Look at the importance of a dying man's confession. These words are held with greatest importance, a dying man's last words are good evidence in court, simply because the man is dying -not because of whom the man is. Each and every day we see the importance of the words of men and women who died, and our nation and our world upholds the messages that these men uttered while they lived and these messages are ushered around the world, in booming voices, in triumphant voices, proving indeed, that bullets, guns, knives and other weapons stop the physical body but have no effect whatsoever on the positive, good spirit of man. You cannot stab integrity, you cannot slay good character, and you cannot murder trustworthiness. Their memories and spirits live on, indefinitely, as their history talks up a storm.
Just A Biological Statement: Never be fooled into thinking that dead men don't talk because that statement is simply not true. If t here is any truth to it this is merely a biological statement but not a social statement , not a statement of defeat. Know that all men and women have a voice, a strong voice after they die. Just listen to the news to be reminded of that. Most of our famous artists were poor and basically unknown while they were alive, and they achieved great fame after they died. Their paintings, usually sold for practically nothing, but after they died, their paintings became so alive, so important and so loud that their messages are and can be and always will be heard and seen throughout this entire world. Who has not seen Picasso's painting of the flowers? Who has not heard of Rembrandt? And what about Chagall? The values and experiences of those who have died centuries ago, are expressed to modern man as he views their work in practically every state in the United States of America. These artists expressed their feelings in full color, oils and watercolors. So not only do they talk but they talk in living color.
Celebrity Death: Let a celebrity die, a celebrity that we haven't heard of in months and you will see tv show after tribute, after movie re-run constantly all week, all month and even longer if the celebrity has been around for a long time. In our land and in our world, some of the most powerful, most lasting, most life-changing voices come from humans who are no longer on this earth. And how does this happen? Simply, yes, there is a very simple answer to that.
Elie Wiesel lives, and yet he brings the words of dead men and women to life in his book, NIGHT , as he tells what happened in the concentration camps. Hitler killed millions of jewish people, and other people too, but he could not kill the spirit of the Jewish people. Hitler could not tame the human spirit that fought with every breath, to live despite all odds against them. Elie speaks to thousands of people each and every year about what he saw, what he lived through and what was told to him. Elie is the living witness to some of the millions who died. Memorials and ceremonies are held throughout this entire world every year, for the victims who died. And every single year, someone's words reach out of the darkness, to prove the power of human life and strength. Every year, we listen and hear the the true stories of the survivors, and the survivors tell the true stories of those who did not make it out of the camps. And though their bodies did not make it out of the barbed wire fences, their hearts, minds, spirits and stories flew with angels wings over the boundaries to our ears.
Death of A Pope and others:Once the Pope died, there were books circulated, audio cassettes with his words, there were newspaper articles in every country of the world, speaking of the what happened to the Pope. And all over, they reprinted his words, his sermons, his thoughts and his ideas. Even today, on some radio stations you can still hear the Pope's voice. No one stopped the Pope from getting his message out to his people. Rosa Parks, Gordon Parks, Harriet Tubman, they are all dead, yet they all talk.
Family Dies: When your family member passes away, that is not the end of them or their thoughts, words, deeds or life. That person lives on in your memory over and over and will be there until the end of time. No one just vanishes simply because their time on this earth was up. You can get on a bus and remember them. You pass a grocery store and see their favorite fruit and you remember them as if they were right there with you. You remember their words. You remember the things they tried to share with you, the things they told you or things they asked you. No one is dead forever. The actual moment of death lasts for just a few short minutes or moments and then they are living in Heaven or Hell forever, depending on their choices that they made in their lifetimes. We listen to memorials, obituaries, ceremonies, and religious rituals, even from their funerals, they talk. They talk through the tears in the eyes of their families and friends.
I write this article today to encourage people, to bring people hope, to help dry the tears of you if you were ever among those who claimed that dead men don't talk. You know better than that and you are smarter than that than to believe those false words. Dead men bellow! Martyrs watch us from Heaven as we remember them. Dead men's voices, sayings, quotes, philosophies and words sprout out through the cracks of every brick building in the nation, the words creep along train tracks in the South and plunge through the muddy waters of dirty rivers in our land. The words of our ancestors grace the outside walls of our greatest library in Brooklyn, New York, not the words of living people but the words of dead men.
Dead men's words travel faster than the speed of light sometimes, if we just stop, pause and listen very carefully, we will hear Moses say, Thou Shalt Not Kill! The words that were given to us so long ago grace the walls of our courtroom buildings. And what about those that we do not wish to hear from ? There are some dead criminals, who in their last moments just before they were executed, uttered their sorrow, their repentance, their regret for their disgusting crimes. Why do I even mention those? Well, this country is one of equal opportunity so I mention dead criminals because even they speak their mind before they leave this earth and the newspapers will print their words for days if not weeks.
Even dead criminals talk: And more than that, most of the dead men that talk are not criminals. Even those dead men that we do not wish to hear, they talk also. You have all seen the executions of murderers and what newspaper did not print their last words? What victim's family was not haunted by the words of those dead men who spoke right from the electric chair? Dead men talk. What saves our society is that MOST of the dead men in our world that talk are gallant men, wonderful men, creative men, gentlemen, men of wisdom, grace, power and generosity, men who made good positive lasting changes in our land, in our world. Those are the voices that save society.
If anyone is scratching their head and being confused still,if you are still saying, dead men don't talk! Let me be clear that the talking that I am writing about is their words, their biographies, their stories, their memorials, their urns and the words on their tombstones, the street signs with their names on them, this kind of talking, dead men talk!
A Young Boy: And finally, but not least of all, ask the murderers of Ari Halberstam if dead men don't talk. Take an automobile ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. As you come to that stretch of land that the van travelled over, that small area of ramp on the Brooklyn Bridge where Ari was killed, see if you dare say that dead men don't talk. When Ari was killed on the Brooklyn Bridge, when he died, his voice was heard all over our city. The voices of his people, his community and voices throughout our city made sure that his name would remain on that ramp for eternity, and it does. As I ride over that bridge, I see his name, over and over. When they murdered him, they thought that this was the last they would see or hear from him. Little did they know that his name, his story and his memory would shout out from the grave to every person that rides over the Brooklyn Bridge - forever. And, I smile, in relief that these assassins did not silence Ari. Dead men do talk! Spirits live on forever. And their voices will come back to haunt those who committed those crimes against them. That is what assassins and murderers will never understand. That in murdering innocent people, you raise their voices to the loudest that they have ever been. That in murdering innocent people, you lift them up to heights they had not achieved in life, and you permit their voice, their message to circulate all over again, everywhere. Wherever the printed word can go, wherever there can be a street sign or the name of a school, you can hear the voices of dead men.
We strive: What makes our city and our country so great is that we yearn to hear those voices, the voices of the soldiers who were silenced by bullets and knives. Never let anyone convince you that a person's spirit, a human's message ends when their heart stops beating. You know so much better than that.
Go to this site for the story of Ari and go to this site for story of the opening of the museum -the ceremony . And come away from there knowing without a doubt that dead men speak.
As I overhead that loud conversation where that one person declared that dead men don't talk, I know the truth in my heart, so I did not respond to it. However, when I am silent, I am not silent for long. Eventually, my thoughts, my words, my opinions and my ideas do surface. Guess it is my style, my silence surfaces in the printed word. And sometimes my silence surfaces on video tapes that are my television shows. I am glad to live in a country where the words of truth prevail, no matter what.
So now that we have re-established the fact that dead men do talk, what will you say after you die? What will your legacy be to your friends and to your family? What will your lasting words be? You are the one in charge of that. You are the one who is making the memories. What kind of memories will you make. What kind of memories are you living, right now? What do you have to say for yourself? If you have a message, make a video and place that video on youtube.com . You can put your message there for free, no obligation. So post your message and let your voice and your message be heard even after you are gone. But think of this before you post your parting message; Are proud of the story that you bring to your followers? Can you stand tall, confident, and look people in the eye and say, this is my message! This is the story that I bring to the world. ?
Are you proud to show that message to your mom, your dad, your children and to all of the rest of your heirs-to-be? Is your message worthy of God's ears? Though dead men talk, the real challenge in this life is to do your best work while you are alive and breathing. That is the ultimate challenge.
Do your best work now. Present something to the world that you are proud of. Because after you are gone, your message stays somewhere, and you have no time, nor any way to change your mind.
For myself, I do not write to try and change anyone, nor do I write to judge someone. I write to learn. From every article that I write, I am educated, again. Most times when we say things to others, usually the message that we are giving outward, is the education that we need to hear for ourselves. Today, and every day, I am educating myself, and if one other person gets anything at all from my writing, that makes me happy too. So, I remind myself again, that today and tomorrow and for every day thereafter, I must present a message to the world that I can be proud of. May I never resort to people pleasing, and always strive to make my God smile.
Published author, creator of genuine, unique television shows that air on Time Warner and on Cablevision in New York City. A warm-hearted individual who gives a voice to those who have been silent all along. This author produces television shows about almost all topics that help people in their lives. Many of the shows are entertainment; some are information and resources and still others are festivals, fiestas, and community events that bring all people together in one place in the city or in the country.
Your first stop in the mall that day is to buy a new coffee maker. You decide that Wal-Mart is the retail establishment to shop at first. Through the RFID scanner and that hidden tag sewn into the label in your jacket, the information concerning your visit and your length of time in Wal-Mart will be captured by the readers located in the mall.
However, RFID technology is also used at Wal-Mart and the tracking of your every move will continue even after you leave the mall through Wal-Mart's in-store scanners. Upon entering the store, Wal-Mart knows you are there. A screen brings up your identity, transaction history, and profile. Soon, a store employee whom you have never met or seen before approaches you and welcomes you. He addresses you by your first name as though he has known you as a friend for years. He asks if he can help you today.
This store "greeter" has already seen through the (RFID) transactional database that you bought a Norah Jones CD the last time you were at Wal-Mart. He mentions that the store has just received her newest CD. He also knows, through a database analysis of millions of people with a buying history similar to yours, that a large percentage of people that listen to Norah Jones also enjoy music from Diana Krall and drink white wine. He suggests both items to you as good buys in the store today. He also offers to sign you up for the store credit card since he knows that you usually purchase items using cash.
As you move through Wal-Mart, every aisle that you visit continues to be monitored due to the communication between the in-store scanners and that hidden tag sewn into your jacket. Finally, you decide that you want to buy the Braun coffee maker that is on sale and that newly released Norah Jones CD. Since you have never had a drink of white table wine, you buy a bottle to try something new.
The store rings up the sale by scanning the RFID tags on the coffeemaker, wine, and CD. All of the data concerning these new purchases immediately becomes stored with all your prior purchases in the RFID transactional database. The database knows everything about these new purchases; the fact that you bought a Braun coffeemaker at Wal-Mart, how much you were willing to pay, and that you like to purchase products when they are on sale. It also captures the purchase of the new CD of Norah Jones as well as the bottle of white table wine. It knows that you paid for everything in cash.
After these purchases, you leave the store and the RFID readers in the mall resume tracking and recording your every retail browsing movement. In fact, the tracking of your retail experiences and purchases continues to go on in the same manner, day after day, week after week, store after store. Soon, the RFID transaction database can tell anyone who would like to know about all your buying preferences and shopping habits.
Your retail profile from that transaction database will capture what you like to eat, what brands of clothes,cologne, perfume, and shoes you prefer. It will know about the magazines and books you read, the stores you visit, and the length of your shopping time in each. It will also show how many items you bought that were on sale. In fact, an analysis of your buying habits compared with millions of other similar people in the database, could even be able to predict other things that you may like to buy.
Then, that retail information profile on you in the database can be used as a solicitation source. It could be used for target advertisements to your cell phone, landline telephone, email address, mailing address, or even after entering a store, through the personal solicitation from a store employee.
Of course many readers may by now be thinking that this is all too far fetched. Maybe someday in the distant future, but certainly not today. I will tell you that this future may be a lot closer than you think. This fact becomes clear when you look at the RFID patent requests of several large U.S. corporations that include IBM, NCR, American Express, and Proctor and Gamble. Based on their patent requests, it is clear that a future based on RFID tags may indeed become our reality very soon.
Consider the abstract of the RFID pending patent request ( 20020165758 ) from International Business Machines called, "Identification and tracking of persons using RFID-tagged items" as an example. The IBM abstract description reads: "A method and system for identifying and tracking persons using RFID-tagged items carried on the persons. Previous purchase records for each person who shops at a retail store are collected by POS terminals and stored in a transaction database. When a person carrying or wearing items having RFID tags enters the store or other designated area, a RFID tag scanner located therein scans the RFID tags on that person and reads the RFID tag information. The RFID tag information collected from the person is correlated with transaction records stored in the transaction database according to known correlation algorithms. Based on the results of the correlation, the exact identity of the person or certain characteristics about the person can be determined. This information is used to monitor the movement of the person through the store or other areas".
RFID technology is not new and has been used in the United States for many years in various business and military operations. RFID technology has been especially invaluable when utilized as barcodes in inventory control and management. Today, by using RFID tags (also known as microchips), you can even store your health records as an implanted chip inside your own body. In addition, government has proposed a future use of RFID tags in drivers licenses, passports, and even border crossing identification cards. These future applications of RFID tags could well compromise our personal security and be an invasion of our privacy in many aspects of our lives.
Indeed, it is the potential use of this next generation of RFID technology that is a concern from a security and privacy perspective. In the retail world, the intention is to place these enhanced RFID tags in all items including clothing. As a result, in the future, even the tags in our clothes could become a source of an invasion of our personal privacy.
For the retail industry, RFID tags would be an advertising and solicitation dream come true. However, for the consumer, it would fast become a security and invasion of privacy nightmare.
James William Smith has worked in Senior management positions for some of the largest Financial Services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. He has always been interested in writing and listening to different viewpoints on interesting topics.
Visit his website at http://www.eworldvu.com
We are increasingly headed in the direction of 1984, with the blessing of our own population, which loves to relinquish personal responsibility for our lives and hand it over to the government, in the naive belief that our government knows best and can take care of us better than we can take care of ourselves. Our latest Big Brother word is Accountability. What a great idea! Just make people accountable for their actions, and then they will do all the right things. All the ills of society will disappear when people are held accountable.
But people can't be held accountable for things that are not in their control. "No Child Left Behind" holds schools accountable for lack of students' academic success. But how can they be held accountable for this? Education experts have been endlessly trying to find ways to improve student achievement and the controversies over how to accomplish this never end. Is a law going to force learning to increase? What the law will do is encourage schools to figure out how to avoid getting in trouble with the law. So they creatively manipulate test scores to show educational improvement that isn't really happening.
Anti-bullying laws are holding schools accountable for the bullying that goes on between students. But how can schools be held responsible for making kids stop bullying each other when adults, even mental health professionals, don't know how to be free of bullying in their own lives, don't know how to get their own couple of kids at home to stop bullying each other? "Accountability" is not going to bring our society closer to Utopia. It will bring only bring it closer to Oceania.
Signs suggest, unfortunately, that Australia is nearly there: A company there is now marketing a video recording system called Bully Buttons. When kids feel they are being bullied, they press the nearest Bully Button and cameras start filming. (Australia is taking bullying increasingly seriously, which is not surprising in light of a recent lawsuit in which a school was ordered to pay over a million dollars for failing to stop a child from being bullied.)
Of course everyone thinks this is a wonderful idea. That is the beautiful thing about Big Brother. It sounds so good that no one can see any reason to object to it. How nice to have a Big Brother always available to watch over us and protect us from each other. The company, of course, doesn't want to be seen as Big Brother, but the fact that the company feels the need to defend itself in advance from such accusations speaks for itself: "We don't want it to be too pervasive or Big Brotherish," the company manager is quoted as saying. I guess they only want it to be adequately "pervasive and Big Brotherish."
But what does it do to our freedom...to our moral development... to our social relationships? You are no longer free to learn from experience in treating people different ways. Even if you can't stand someone, you had better make believe you like the person because if you show any hostility, it's on tape and you get punished. Mainstream society upholds honesty as a major value, but its Big Brother anti-bullying policies are promoting forced phoniness. Anti-bullying policies are meant to get kids to treat each other morally. But is where is the morality when the purpose of your behavior is avoidance of punishment?
As an adult, would you like to have all of your interpersonal interactions under the scrutiny and control of government officials? Why start kids on a course in childhood that we detest as adults? What kind of a world are we preparing them for with these Bully Buttons?
In many ways voters are in information overload during an election season due to constant news coverage of the candidates as well as political advertising during commercial breaks and on the Internet. This information overload is only made worse by the fact that candidates are turning towards more direct ways of targeting voters then they have been in the past. In previous political cycles most people were accustomed to receiving large amounts of paper advertisements in their mailbox during an election season as well as occasional phone calls.
At the beginning of the recent political season it became apparent that candidates were looking to raise the bar on traditional advertisements by focusing more of their strategy on direct contact methods like the telephone instead of indirect methods like paper mailings. The political telemarketing that many voters have witnessed thus far has been nothing short of astounding. It seems that overzealous campaigns are renting out telemarketing services that are willing to call at all hours of the day at a rate that has never before been seen.
Political telemarketing has also shifted in the fact that these telemarketers will now call cell phones and people on do not call lists. Although there will likely never be any protection from political telemarketers calling a cell phone directly, there is a independent movements to create a political do not call list that is gaining support across the country. Unfortunately this movement lacks legal backing therefore it is nothing more than a gesture of goodwill if candidates choose to observe the preferences of people who place their phone numbers on the list.
Surprisingly a good deal of political telemarketing does not even come from the candidates themselves. Much of it comes from special interest groups that operate independently of the candidate, or at least from a distance. In fact there have even been cases in some of the primary states of political telemarketing being used in a way to discourage people from taking part in the political process by placing pre-recorded political calls to registered voters at all hours of the night. A
Unfortunately the only real way to block political telemarketing on your cell phone or home phone is to use a caller ID device and then block any troublesome political telemarketing phone numbers that pop up. Although this is definitely not an ideal strategy, it is the only strategy as candidates and special-interest groups have no qualms about calling your cell phone or even your home phone if you placed the number on a do not call list.
Gerry loves to compile consumer information and present it to those who will benefit. You can check out his latest website, which enables you to trace the owner to a phone number free.
Frankie White, Prison Re-Entry Coordinator at Westside Health Authority addresses the challenges on a daily basis. As a counselor to ex-incarcerated people, she does her best to help them transition positively to the community, but the toughest problem continues to be housing. White points out the irony of spending money on rehabilitation, while not supporting the need for housing upon re-entry into the community.
"If we continue punishing formerly incarcerated individuals by preventing them from joining their families in subsidized housing, we're setting ourselves up for failure," contends White. "If we continue to strip our men of their purpose as role models, then how can they ever feel a sense of self-esteem? I feel this is one of the biggest reasons why youth in adult prisons have doubled in the past decade."
The CHA and Section 8 rules prohibit formerly incarcerated individuals from living with their families in subsidized housing under the following situations:• Sex offenders who are required for a lifetime registration program.• Those involved in the sale or production of methamphetamines in federally assisted housing
"Those are the only two absolute bans," says John Fallon, Program Manager of Prisoner Re-Entry at the Corporation for Supportive Housing. "Everything else can be at the discretion of the Housing Authority in the design of their Tenant Selection Plan."
According to Fallon, the tenant selection law gives individual public housing authorities the "right to discriminate." The result of this discrimination impacts both the formerly incarcerated people and their families. Typically, housing officials elect to enforce the ban which may relate to the spiraling rate of recidivism.
"Studies have shown that individuals with a stable place to live upon release from correctional settings are less likely to be re-incarcerated," continued Fallon. "About 10% of those released have severe mental illness, and 16% have mental health difficulties." Corrections have become the primary national mental health system, and the rate of recidivism for this group is extremely high. Thousands of people with chronic health problems cycle in and out of jail. Fallon explained that long-term intensive outreach services are needed in the home to break the cycle.
The repercussions of our current correctional system are alarming. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. At the start of 2008, one of out 99.1 adults in the United States were in prison. A report by the City of Chicago cites that over the last thirty years, the Illinois prison population has increased 300 percent.
Racial disparity for both men and women of African-American descent is also evident. About three times the number of African-American people is imprisoned compared with their Caucasian counterparts. That equals about one out of every ten African-American men. Nationally, there will be 672,000 releases from state and national prisons this year. Where will those people go who are denied access to subsidized housing?
Malcolm Young, Executive Director of the John Howard Association of Illinois, relates that thousands of people have been displaced since the tearing down of subsidized housing. According to the CHA Annual Plan for 2008, the family waiting list for CHA housing is 25,000 families, totaling 72,000 people. The senior waiting list is over 34,000 households, totaling 38,000. Unable to accommodate any more displaced people, CHA closed the waiting list for new applicants. Young acknowledges that when a formerly incarcerated man or women returns to society with no job, little money, and a family to support, the housing challenge presents a major hurdle towards establishing oneself into the community.
Paula Wolff, Co-chair of the Mayor's Policy Caucus On Prison Re-Entry explained the reasoning for the subsidized housing barriers.
"We're very supportive of prisoners going back to live with their families in public housing... as long as they're not a threat to public safety...The Department of Corrections, social service providers and the CHA have to work together to craft solutions for successful reentry from the day prisoners walk into prison. We need to equip them with skills to be able to get jobs or access to programs, and to deal with substance abuse or mental health issues as appropriate."
Frankie White commented on the psychological impact behind the discriminatory housing situation. "Being prevented from living with their family emasculates a man. The system is breaking apart the family. How will a man pay for two rents, support children, and take care of himself with a minimum wage job - if he gets a job?" White added that women are also traumatized by not being able to return to their children.
The benefits in removing housing barriers would extend to society and government. With mandated employment and accountability to parole, the ex-offender's potential to be a responsible contributor to society would be greater. The government could then collect 30% of two incomes rather than one, which saves money for taxpayers. The biggest benefit is restoring the foundation of a family, which could reduce recidivism.
"According to a Criminal Justice report," said White, "there will be about one million people released from prison by the year 2010. Are we ready for that?"
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Monday, January 14, 2008
You can buy coin jewelry in jewelry stores and there are lots of them on the internet as well. Older coins salvaged from archeological sites and ship wrecks are popular choices for coin jewelry. Governments from older countries such as Rome, Italy, England, Africa and so many more are popular choices as well.
Here in the United States there are lots of opportunities to collect special limited edition coins and coins with a great significance in history such as the bicentennial quarters that were every where in 1976. This coin was to celebrate our countries 200 year anniversary. There was much jewelry made with this coin. The panda coin jewelry saw a lot of popularity in the 80’s and 90’, especially with girls, women, and animal lovers alike.
Gold pieces, silver dollars, silver dimes, and Indian head pennies are commonly seen on jewelry. They are made into pendants, rings, earrings, belt buckles, key chains, money clips and bracelet charms. The style of settings for the coins can be found in a wide range of choices. The most common is probably when the edge of the coin is encircled with braided gold wrapping.
It can be yellow gold, white gold, or a combination of both. Silver and platinum can also be used. Most people use the whole coin and do not alter it, but sometimes the background can be removed by a jeweler to leave only the outer ring of the coin and an image of a particular part, like a head or an eagle.
If you have and old coin that you cherish for whatever reason, having it made into jewelry might be a good idea. Unless it is extremely valuable, there is no real reason to just let it lie around in a drawer when you can wear it and enjoy it all the time.
Almost any custom jewelry designer will be able to do this. You can pick out whichever piece you would like to have it made into and the style the piece will have. A piece of coin jewelry will be special to you and be a great representation of whatever the reason that you cherish the coin.
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This might be a great thing for manufacturers having to deal with a lot of returns by consumers dropping their phones in the pool and claiming the phone was never wet, but unfortunately for honest consumers, these stickers are so sensitive that they often trip when the humidity is just too high wherever you might be. There is a powdered dye underneath the sticker and when moisture builds up inside the phone, the sticker and dye both get wet and the dye disperses on the sticker, changing it. One of these is typically located on the battery compartment, but another (usually more difficult to access) is located on the circuit board of the phone.
So, how do you get around this? Well, if you want to make both stickers ineffective, you will have to break into your phone quite skillfully, but it can be done. The first sticker is not difficult to reach. Take a piece of scotch tape with a satin finish and cover the sticker with it. If your phone suddenly stops working for no apparent reason, remove the tape and take it back to the manufacturer.
I doubt this will help you much if you drop your phone in the bath tub, because it is not likely that a piece of scotch tape will keep the sticker from getting wet, but it will help protect it from moisture due to high humidity. As for the location of the other sticker, you will probably have a hard time getting to it because it is located on your circuit board.
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