Reasons to Care Where Your Diamond Comes From provided by Brilliant Earth.
Category Archives: Politics
Law enforcement officials in Boston tell reporters that they have arrested a suspect thought responsible for Monday’s deadly bombing.
CNN confirmed the news at 1:45 p.m. local time when journalist John King said both a federal source and a Boston law enforcement source confirmed the news. Reporter Fran Townsend then added over the phone that “there is an arrest that has been made in the Boston bombing case based off of two independent videos.”
The suspect is now expected to arrive at a federal courthouse in Boston.
Earlier in the day, CNN reported shortly after 1 p.m. that a suspect has apparently been identified. The suspect’s name has not been made public as of this time, but he is reportedly a dark-skinned male, according to police.
According to CNN’s sources, surveillance video from a Lord and Taylor department store and a local television station are believed to have helped authorities identify the person sought responsible for Monday’s incident, which US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday is being investigated as an act of terror.
CNN’s King reports from Boston that the video footage helped police narrow in on a person being considered a suspect in the attack “to such detail, I’m told, that they believe they have a clear identification, including a facial image of a suspect.”
The footage, sources say, show the suspect carrying and perhaps placing down a black bag that is thought to have contained a bomb that was detonated at the second of two crime scenes near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon just before 3 p.m. on Monday.
The mayor of Boston, Massachusetts has confirmed that a suspect was ID’d, and officials are expected to speak to the press at 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. According to sources speaking to the Boston Globe, authorities may publicize their findings at that briefing.
Yeah, talk to me about rights. What rights do we really have?
You have the right to remain silent, unless doing so pisses me off and I slap you upside of the head with my pistol.
You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? I’ll go with the last one, but as far as the first two I think that is kind of up to God.
Did the victims of baby Doc, or Hitler have the same rights? I’m not necessarily saying it’s not correct for protecting our own shores, but what rights do they have at Gitmo?
You have the right to work your ass off, be the best you can be, and hope to heck somebody doesn’t shoot you in the face. That is all.
Rights are like entitlements. They do not exist in the real world.
Have we gotten so fat and freeking Arrogant that we think the world owes us a living, and somehow is obligated to take care of us?
Let’s face it, baby boomers. We have no right to anything but to work our asses off.
There are so many of us, there is nobody left to bail us out. The days of peace love and dope in the Haight-Ashbury are over.
Face it, you are not going to be guaranteed healthcare, a sweet old peoples home with chirping birds and basket weavers, or a nurse name Consuela to come and wipe your ass when you poop your pants. Some of us are going to starve, some of us are going to croak on the streets from heart attacks, and some of us are going to stroke out.
What you have the right to do, is your best. Work your freaking ass off as hard as you can for as long as you can, treat the people you love with love, and be thankful for every breath you have the “right” to take.
And you do have the right to thank your God, however you envision that, for every good minute you’ve had.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO
When Isaac Lamb decided to propose to his girlfriend, Amy, he knew he wanted to do something over-the-top. but not even Amy was prepared for the elaborate proposal he staged with 60 of their closet friends and family members. The video went viral – and has already amassed almost 6 million views on YouTube at last count.
The video even got Bruno Mars’ stamp of approval!
Has your company’s overhead suddenly become a problem? Have your sales declined so much that your current cost structure simply isn’t sustainable? More importantly, have you decided to reduce costs, but are unsure of how to proceed, or where to focus your efforts? Well, you’re not alone. In what many economists now call the “Great Recession,” companies everywhere are scrambling to reduce expenditures. It’s a reality of today’s business environment; companies must reduce costs or suffer the consequences. It really is that simple. However, what can companies do when they’ve exhausted all options? What can they do when they simply can’t squeeze anymore? In a world where enterprises are touting the benefits of being lean, what can companies do when they just can’t get any leaner?
Given this most recent recession, most companies have done their best to reduce expenses. However, at some point, these companies face the ultimate decision: should they pursue layoffs, reduce salaries, or both? Unfortunately, there really isn’t a definitive answer as to which strategy is best. Some argue that companies should focus on making deep cuts to their workforce, deep enough that they can immediately return to profitability. Others argue that companies should instead focus on across the board salary cuts. Yet, others claim that a combination of layoffs and salary cuts works best. Unfortunately, all of these actions inevitably lead to a substantial decrease in service capabilities. So what can companies do when they must reduce costs but are reluctant to go with these aforementioned options?
• Outsource Payroll
Today’s companies save a tremendous amount of money by outsourcing their payroll to corporate payroll services firms. For instance, UK employers must meet stringent PAYE requirements. In Canada, there are a different set of rules pertaining to the Canada Revenue Agency, and how employers should be compliant when withholding taxes. In the United States, it’s the IRS. Each agency has a different set of rules governing how employees are paid. Each has a different set of rules on how corporations pay taxes. Finally, each has different criteria concerning withholding amounts. It can become a recipe for disaster. However, it’s less of a concern when using an outside payroll firm. In addition, outsourcing can save a considerable amount of capital.
• Work Share Models
Most countries have provisions that allow employers to benefit from work share models. Employees work a reduced number of days. On those days where the employee doesn’t work, he or she receives unemployment insurance. The company is able to reduce its costs, while employees are able to retain their jobs. Work share models allow companies to retain high value employees without fear or concern that those employees will leave. This practice is often welcomed by both employer and employee. The impact in lost revenue is often made up by the unemployment benefits the employee receives. Work share programs are also ideal for companies who operate in cyclical and seasonal markets. These programs allow companies to match their workforce levels to their market’s business volumes. Meanwhile, employees are confident that their workload will increase once the market rebounds.
This recession has certainly taken its toll. Companies are understandably apprehensive about the future. As such, they have downgraded their forecasts and have adjusted expectations to coincide with this new reality. Outsourcing payroll management is one option that reduces costs without resorting to salary reductions and layoffs. Work share programs are also a proactive means of reducing costs. Both are solid options for today’s enterprises.
This guest post was written by independent journalist Patrica H. Hugley who frequently blogs about company finances and payroll services.
by Dave Williams
The Center for Health Transformation , which has offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and St. Louis, plans to liquidate its assets, according to a filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta. Download the filing here.
The think tank listed estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million dollars and 50 to 90 creditors.
Political observers said the negative publicity surrounding the bankruptcy spells the end of the former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman’s campaign.
“Much like his presidential campaign, even the receipt of millions of dollars could not keep Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank afloat,” said Charles S. Bullock III, political science professor at The University of Georgia . “While health-care costs have bankrupted many without insurance, Gingrich may be the first to go broke studying health-care delivery.”
But Stefan Passantino, national counsel for the Gingrich campaign, said the bankruptcy didn’t happen on Gingrich’s watch.
As part of his preparations to run for president, Gingrich divested himself of any involvement in the think tank’s operations last May, Passantino said.
“I don’t think this hurts his ability to run for president,” Passantino said. “If anything, it shows the importance of his leadership while he was there.”
Publishers Note: It also shows how much the center could have used the millions he spent on his ego,
oops I meant campaign.
The opinion and story of a Colorado Attorney: Robert Corry
It is 5:00 a.m. on a cold dark Colorado morning. Twenty-five SWAT team officers, clad in black helmets, body armor, wielding assault weapons, large clear shields, and heavy iron battering rams, surround a quiet residential home, shatter the front door, and throw flash-bang grenades and tear gas inside.
The team of 25 militarized cops stream into the house, screaming obscenities, shattering the terrified childrens’ sleep and jarring the scared parents awake. The SWAT team then literally destroys the home and the furniture within, slashing couches, overturning bookcases, throwing possessions all over the floor, carting the crying children off to Social Services or foster care, and throwing the parents to the ground at gunpoint, handcuffing them painfully before carting them off to the police station.
The SWAT team then locates its target: a couple dozen three-foot high cannabis plants in a modest indoor basement garden, and a pound or so of dried plant matter, some lights, some fertilizer, and a few books on how to grow marijuana.
This is not an extreme example. This scene literally happens every day in America, a nation that loudly professes that it is a “free” country, but that leads the globe in per capita incarceration of its own people, a rate that exceeds those of human rights leaders such as North Korea, China, and Iran, due mostly to the war on drugs.
And this scene embodies America’s war on marijuana. A government this large, this powerful, this intrusive, this belligerent, is necessary to fight this modern-day prohibition against a simple herb that approximately half of the American adult population has consumed at some point in their lives. There are so many reasons this must change:
The war on marijuana costs us money. The direct costs to local, state, and federal governments are staggering and exceed a trillion dollars. Police, prosecutors, probation officers, judges, courts, jailers, prison guards, and defense lawyers form a massive prison-industrial complex that distracts limited resources away from our failing economy and other more important priorities. The indirect costs to the economy, though more difficult to quantify, are probably higher in the form of people removed from their families and their jobs, the opportunity costs of distracted police and jammed courts too busy to adjudicate important criminal and civil cases. We also lose out on the benefits of industrial hemp, which has no recreational effect but which could be an extremely useful crop for American farmers and industry.
And all of this money has been wasted — accomplishing, like so many other heavy-handed government programs, the precise opposite result of that which was intended. Even the U.S. government’s drug czar (it is appropriate that this government position is named after an imperial Russian tyrant), Gil Kerlikowski, admits that the 40-year experiment with drug prohibition has been an abject failure.
Decades of drug prohibition has not accomplished a single of its goals. Albert Einstein’s definitionof insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As our governments at all levels pour more lawyers, guns, and money into this militarized marijuana prohibition, people still obtain it — easily — and supply and demand is totally uninterrupted on a macro scale; one dealer falls, another pops up. Under Einstein’s definition, our government is literally insane.
The war on marijuana is alien to the principles of a free nation founded on the principles of limited government and personal responsibility. The negative impact of marijuana prohibition laws far outstrip the negative impact of the substance itself, which is one of the few things on Earth that has no practical lethal dose, it is basically harmless.
Humans in all cultures have used the cannabis plant since the dawn of history for medicinal, spiritual, industrial, and recreational purposes; only in the 20th century did it occur to any government to prohibit it. Thomas Jefferson and other founders grew cannabis on their plantations. The Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper. Even Genesis 1:29confirms that God gave man every seed-bearing plant on the Earth. God giveth, government taketh.
The history of American marijuana prohibition and “reefer madness” shows that its practical and legal basis is a house of cards. An outgrowth of alcohol prohibition which arose in roughly the same era, marijuana prohibition was born out of racially-charged fears of Mexicans and blacks.
For the American government to prohibit the cannabis plant, that government must declare war on its own principles. Such a prohibition then contributes to overall erosion in the general population’s respect for the rule of law, because the aggressive enforcement of this law touches so many people and makes the law itself — not just marijuana laws, but all laws and law enforcement officials — a joke.
The body armor-clad government stormtroopers are necessary to prosecute the war on marijuana. That level of expensive and intrusive force is necessary if cannabis, widely used and widely accepted, is to be prohibited from our private homes and lives. But perhaps the best brief against prohibition is the fact that marijuana is widely available to prisoners in America’s prisons and jails. Prisons and jails are the most tightly regulated, highly government-controlled locations in the world. If the government cannot keep marijuana outside of these places, can anyone seriously argue prohibition is enforceable in the general population?
The war on marijuana, like alcohol prohibition before it, creates and fuels the criminal underclass, organized crime, and domestic and foreign drug cartels. It is basic Economics 101: where there is a demand, a supply will be created to meet it, period. Human demand for marijuana, like alcohol, has lasted thousands of years, and will never go away. Leading economists like Milton Friedman have long seen the drug war as an economically-bankrupt policy.
If marijuana were legalized and taxed, violent drug cartels would lose the principal source of their income. Marijuana ought to be treated like a more dangerous substance: alcohol, available at the corner liquor store, and taxed and regulated. How many Mexican drug cartels smuggle beer over the border? Ban it, and you would see many. Create a regulated legal market for it, and the drug cartels are not involved.
It is literally easier for American schoolchildren to obtain marijuana than beer.
That is because the government has created the black market in marijuana, making it more accessible to children. There is no black market in beer. It is relatively cheap and easy to obtain, for adults, but difficult for children. Prohibition increases childrens’ attraction to marijuana; the “forbidden fruit” is always sweeter.
For all of these reasons and many more, Americans have now passed the critical 50 percentthreshold in support for legalization of marijuana. (These polls typically understate support, as many Americans are understandably reluctant to admit to using or supporting marijuana to an anonymous telephone surveyor.) Even conservative televangelist Pat Robertson recentlyacknowledged that marijuana ought to be legal.
It is long past time for politicians at all levels to end this bankrupt policy of Prohibition, and stop breaking down the doors of Americans who only want to possess a harmless plant in the comfort of their own homes.