Big Business and Customer Experience Attitudes – Google

Google is one of top three companies in the world and the customer experience is unreliable.
Sundar Pichai CEO, Google Inc
Sundar Pichai CEO, Google Inc.

Today’s news clip from 360 Law:

“The U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of whether Google Inc.’s so-called cy pres settlement of a privacy class action was fair, under which $2 million went to class counsel, $5 million went to third parties chosen by class counsel and the company, and zilch went to the 129 million Google users who made up the class

Google’s earnings more than doubled over the last 5 years, their  share Price went from $513.52 to  $1,090 this morning.

I use google as a customer.  I like their email program services for business and at home, not for mass mailings mind you.  That services is very overpriced and doesn’t come with core features.  I have a separate service provider for that.  I also use google analytics, its pretty ok. It should be considering they make their money by tracking web traffic. It could be quite better from my point of view. Google’s big issue is that their instructions are horrible.

I like to be treated well, by knowledgeable, well-trained people who have a humane attitude.  I am not alone.  Customer Service  or more precisely our Customer Experience is now so bad that it is quickly becoming the  New Frontier in generating or negatively affecting ROI.

Google at its absolute worst. 

I rent cloud space.  I guess because  one of my drives  is linked to a free Gmail account the young man displayed an attitude problem.  He assumed it was free even thought it was not. Maybe he didn’t have access to my account details? Or was too lazy to look?  He claimed that when Google Drive lost much of my data, that was:

a) because I only use the  consumer version.  Never mind that I pay twice than what I pay for the business version that I also use.
b) I could not have lost data from before 2012 because they didn’t even offer google drive before then.

Customer service should not drive up your blood pressure, nor should it make you angry.

The young man’s attitude was horrible. He was rude, arrogant and clearly not very bright. The idea that you may back up other storage that included data from prior years entirely escaped his universe of thoughts.

For the business drive I got a young man on the phone – after looking forever to find a phone number – who was clearly able to read his script and while he was not the brightest person I have ever encountered, he was diligent,  thorough and polite.  He got the job done, eventually, after studying the manual and talking to his boss a few times. Due to his positive attitude I was able to remain patient and polite more easily.  Attitude matters!

Google has its shares of problems.  Every large international company has problems.  Google apparently has hired horrible Ku Klux Klan loving men who created havoc for the company.  More here.

The above mentioned lawsuit very much reflects the conversation I had with the Google Drive young customer experience man – he was rude, intellectually challenged, and despite the fact that I am a paying customer, his attitude was inhumane.  The young man for the business account which costs less was diligent and polite.  On the big business side people are down right courteous.

What I glean from this is that Google does not believe that we are all created equal.

I am the same person with three different level of services and I am treated entirely different in each scenario.  This should not be!  Does it really  matter whether I call as an individual or as a business client?  Please, Google hire better people and  train them better.  By having more than one type experience with a large company I can’t trust you in any area of your business.

Google  has  a hierarchy of value systems  or let it fester and they don’t promote women through the glass ceiling.  You  should, you would do better.

Mr. Pichai, trust is build on a relationship that allows each person to count on the other person to do the right thing.  The Supreme Court of this land ruled that “Corporations are People.”  So Google, why can I only rely on you if your employees consider me worthy, and why does it change from scenario to scenario?

How about just one link with help to get to the right person? I want a better customer experience.

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VigilintsHeart™ Launches “Shop, Save, Donate” helping parents save money while donating to schools and non-profits.

Vigilints Newsletter
Vigilints Newsletter
Working together to create a better world for our kids.
VigilintsHeart™ Launches “Shop, Save, Donate” helping parents save money while donating to schools and non-profits.

RioVida Networks is happy to announce the creation of the new VigilintsHeart program that will allow parents to shop online in over 1200 stores that offer special savings.  The portal which can be reached via a link on the VigilintsHeart tab or direct by visiting the store directly.

The customer signs up and receives the sales prizing from the overall stores directly, but because the shopping is done through the portal the customer an additional small savings.  And, more importantly this customer “VigilintsHeart” savings is matched and collected from the purchase of all the participants.   This collective affiliate fee is then donated to various school programs through Micro Donations addressing teachers concerns.

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” community outreach program will provide micro donations to individual school teachers. Often these dedicated professionals reach into their own pocket to purchase school supplies for our kids.  The average teacher spends over $400 out of pocket each year and they really need pencils, paper, books, computer programs, chalk, rulers, glue, and many other items that they use during their instructions.  Many parents are either unable to financially assist the teacher or they “assume” that these supplies are provided by the schools. Unfortunately, school administrators often are burdened with safety needs, building maintenance, and salaries.

There are many wonderful people at the PTA that diligently raise money to help with the bigger issues, school trip, music lessons, art classes and new recess areas.  Often the “little things” – what the teacher actually needs to liven up their class room for the kids on a daily basis rescinds to the background.

Together we can help!   Just move your online shopping to the portal, get your friends and family to do it, and Vigilints will donate their portion of the  affiliate fee to teachers and non-profits.

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” program is simple. Parents join the program FREE by signing up to shop online through the VigilintsHeart™ portal, they receive the discounts offered by the affiliates. The participating list of major stores includes nearly everyone’s favorite store, including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Old Navy, Disney’ and many other popular stores. Participants shop and save. The Loyalty Superstore receives 25% for licensing of the software platform, program managers, customer experience center, and maintenance team, and the rest of the affiliate commission will be donated to the VigilintsHeart™ program who will provide funds to the organizations.

Shop Save Donate

Click on picture to sign up for the shop, save and donate program

This program does not alter the other VigilintsHeart™ Educational Programs which provide product and donations to teacher’s class rooms and programs. We invite classrooms and teachers to submit their donation requests.

“We are excited to help schools, children and non-profits through VigilintsHeart™,” said Martin Berns, CEO of Loyalty Superstore. Mr. Berns continued, “Loyalty Superstore is dedicated to serving the needs of its affiliates, customers, and the community, and are proud to be a part of the VigilintsHeart.”

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” program is reaching out to other companies who wish to participate or add funds through sponsorship. To sponsor or learn more about the American classroom’ needs and the donations VigilintsHeart™ make  by contacting Edie Okamoto to discuss how you may wish to participate as a co-sponsor.

About VigilintsHeart™

Vigilint Biosensors strives to provide fun and safe solutions to families with children: communications and learning for children and peace of mind for parents. The combination of the best location technologies (GPS, GNSS, A-GPS and sensors) will easily locate your child, anytime and anywhere. Vigilint Biosensors is dedicated to improving the quality of care that parents and senior caregivers provide through a complete 360º intelligent family care assistant, that connects family members together via smartwatches. Vigilint Biosensors provides the family/caregivers with a cloud infrastructure bringing devices and software services together, which strives to improve time management and reduce stress by improved non-intrusive care for kids, seniors, and other loved ones in need. This is achieved through the most modern application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to life data that provide alerts, if and when needed. “When those we care about are well, we can relax and focus on our day.” www.vigilint.store

Vigilint Biosensors

For introductions and appointments with the appropriate contact persons or to receive further Viglint Biosensors press materials, whitepaper links, or investor packages please contact Edie Okamoto at +1 510 693 0166 or edie.okamoto@riovida.net

Loyalty Superstore

The Loyalty Superstore Officers and Board have 50 years of successfully experience in the Loyalty and Rewards space. We have extensive experience in launching and operating public companies. Loyalty Superstore, Inc. (“LSS” or “the company”) began developing proprietary loyalty and rewards solutions in early 2013. The company has been servicing a niche market for mid-large brands that wanted a private branded, Value Add customizable online loyalty rewards platform, both nationally and locally. To learn more about the www.loyaltysuperstore.com

We love to learn more about your ideas on how we can grow this program. You may reach Edie Okamoto with your request or to learn how we could set up a school specific program for you.

And don’t forget to join our growing community of professionals and parents atTwitter & Facebook.

Attention writers and parents:  Please feel free to share your accomplishments, advice for other parents on the Vigilint Biosensor   blog

Feel free to reach out for an interview and for consideration of recommended products or services for review. We will be glad to consider featuring highly recommended products or services in our advice columns, as long as, we deem them to match well with our desire to support only high quality products that represent our core values and that we may consider reselling through our app(s) or store(s).

 

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Brandi Carlile echoes Joan Baez in more ways than one

When you are depressed, get help. People care! Many more people than you may realize, care about you.

Brandi Carlile has a most amazing voice with perfect elocution. Her voice is beautiful and haunting. It stays with you after you heard it. A bit of a siren call like Joan Baez. You can’t unhear their voices. Once you did you know that voice.

Another way that Brandi is impactful like Joan Baez use to be is that she sings ballads that actually talk about things that we care about. Feelings and issues. Relationships gone wrong and the feelings we may experience as we work them out.

When you are depressed, get help. People care! Many more people than you may realize, care about you.
When you are depressed, get help. People care! Many more people than you may realize, care about you. (Official version… click on photo to play)

“By the way, I forgive you.” is related to a friend of Brandi’s who committed suicide when they were in High School. “Hold out your hand” is about gun violence. Brandi supports the effort by Seattle school children who don’t want to get shot. The students behind “March For Our Lives” in Seattle made a video and Brandi decided to support their effort with her song “Hold out your Hand.”

On facebook Brandi exclaims:

“These young people are asking for a change – are you listening?

Responsible gun laws are on a spectrum and as much as we’d like it to be, it isn’t black and white. Some of these kids hunt with their parents, some of them are enlisting into service and will carry a weapon in defense of your way of life. Don’t make the mistake of broad brushing what they’re asking for.

We can’t allow ourselves to be divided and conquered any longer by organizations that profit from our division. There can be and there IS a way that we can create change from the center of the debate.”

A singer songwriter activist who is also amazingly talented like Brandi, doesn’t come along very often.  Let’s support her by purchasing her new album.

http://bytheway.brandicarlile.com/

Or, even better go see her live.  It surely will be an experience that stays with you. You can catch her at the Mondavi Winery in Napa, CA on July 14th, and at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA on August 22nd, 2018.   She is actively touring the entire country.  Check her website for dates near you.

You may also enjoy her YouTube channel.  Or say hello to her on facebook.

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Vigilint Biosensors and School Districts in California work together to increase school safety.

San Jose, California –  May 1, 2018 – Vigilint Biosensors, leading supplier of Family Assistant Parental Services through smartwatches, is extending its Educational Support Programs which increases school safety, helps child learning and raises money for Educational Foundations, Schools, PTAs, and Booster ClubsAfter successful pilot programs in San Ramon and Sacramento California school districts, Viglint Biosensors is offering the program to qualified organizations in all fifty states.

“Vigilint Family Assistant Services provide parents with life-altering insights collected from the kid’s smart watch that can inform parents of a child’s location and allows them to speak when needed,” said Kris Narayan, Chairman of Vigilint™ Biosensors. Mr. Narayan continued, “I am grateful Vigilint Biosensors can get our smart watches to the children, parents and schools that want the help kids with deal with stress and adversity to improve our children’s emotional resilience.”

Vigilint Biosensors Education Programs allow school districts to raise money while they provide kids smart watch phones and software to parents and their children which increase school safety. Modern tools like Vigilint Family Assistant help working parents stay in touch with their kids via calls, chat and the ability to guide the kids 24/7.  Kids have access to parents each time they need their parents’ input and feedback.  Hawkeye kid’s smart watches and the Vigilint Family Assistant app allow parents to create custom SafeZones™. School safety is increased when at the moment the child moves out of the SafeZone™, parents are alerted.

Knowing exactly where and how our children are is a major comfort for parents and kids.  Each kids smart watch holds up to 20 parent-selected numbers that children can call. Kids are able to speak to their siblings and close friends through a direct kid-to-kid “walkie-talkie” connection. The more parents and kids communicate the less stress they have due to wondering and worrying. Relaxed parents enjoy happier and more confident kids that have a better, healthier and smarter life thanks to increase emotional resilience as recent studies by the Harvard Child Development show. For more information regarding kids smart watches and child learning, please click here.

Tonja Jarrell, Principal of Paso Verde School, in California’s capital city: “Partnering with Vigilint Biosensors provides a valuable resource to our school community. We work with families and the community to offer solutions that increase school safety, allows our staff and scholars to focus on teaching and make our students feel safe enough to learn thereby increasing their outcomes.”

Th improved communications via kids smart watches help teachers deal with children’s and faculties’ anxieties about the fears regarding school safety related to the recent increase of shootings at schools:  “My experiences in the educational community, have shown that these tragedies affect all of us, not just the families involved,” said Nancy Phelps, President Coyote Creek Learning Fund. “Vigilint Biosensors software and smartwatches help protect our kids while providing parents peace of mind.”

Every school, school program, non-profit or educational program manager is invited to join the Vigilint Biosensors Education Program, thereby increasing funding for vital programs, raising awareness of how to help children learn better and increase school safety.

About Vigilint Biosensors

Hawkeye kids smart watches from Vigilint Biosensors provide fun and safe solutions to families and younger children: communications and learning for children and peace of mind for parents. The combination of the best location technologies (GPS, GNSS, A-GPS and sensors) will easily locate your child, anytime and anywhere. Visit http://www.vigilint.store/ for complete product details.

Vigilint Biosensors is dedicated to improving the quality of care that parents and senior caregivers provide through a complete 360o intelligent family care assistant, that connects family members together via wearable devices like Hawkeye. Vigilint Biosensors provides the family/caregivers with a cloud infrastructure of devices and software services, which strives to improve time management and reduce stress by improved non-intrusive care for kids, seniors, and other loved ones in need. This is achieved through the most modern application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to life data that provide alerts, if and when needed.  “When those we care about are well, we can relax and focus on our day.” www.vigilintbiosensors.com

Learn more about our dedicated team:  Vigilint Biosensors 

Learn more about our products and services:  Vigilint Store

Vigilint Biosensors
20315 McKean Rd
San Jose, CA 95120

bizdev@vigilintbio.com

 

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Vigilint Biosensors and Coyote Creek Elementary School partner to achieve Peace Of Mind for Parents

Artificial Intelligence & Wearables to Transform Parenting

“The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.”
-Benjamin Spock

Vigilint Biosensors launches School Programs across California

SAN JOSE, Calif., Apr. 23, 2018 – You drop your child off at school and relax. With an Hawkeye Smartwatch on your child’s wrist, you can breathe a little easier again. Hawkeye will let you know where your child is all day and connects you to them at any time. Vigilint Biosensors, a leading supplier of Parental Assistant Service through smartwatches, has launched a joint program with the Coyote Creek Elementary School to help parents provide Hawkeye smartwatches to children through their school and donate to STEM programs. Nancy Phelps, President of Coyote Creek Learning Fund, stated, “Vigilint software and its Hawkeye smartwatches help protect our kids while providing parents peace of mind.

Hawkeye smartwatches inform, protect and reassure parents/caregivers. The watches allow parents to create custom SafeZones™. The moment the child moves out of the SafeZone™, parents are alerted. The watches also offer a step tracker which kids love, as they compare their physical activities with other kids during recess. Parents can check on their physical fitness via a convenient app.  Each watch holds up to 20 parent-selected numbers that children can call. Kids can also speak to their siblings and close friends through a direct kid-to-kid connection. You can even add two other trusted family members to be contacted in an emergency.  No more scrambling for phone numbers when it is least convenient—like when you are stuck in traffic somewhere or a meeting runs overtime. Simply call your child and activate your back-up plan. Problem solved. Relaxed parents enjoy happier and more confident kids.

Vigilint Biosensors Non-Profit Support Programs generously offers Hawkeye smartwatches for $99 plus a $10 monthly Parental Assistant Service subscription, and Vigilint Biosensors will donate 20 dollars to their child’s school for each watch purchased. Win-Win. Vigilint is also providing Hawkeye smartwatches to schools for auction with proceeds going to support STEM and safety programs. Vigilint Biosensors is currently expanding this program throughout the United States. “I realize parents need a lot of support for the care of their kids during these hectic times,” said Vigilint Biosensor Co-Founder, Kris Narayan. Vigilint Biosensors was founded specifically with that goal in mind, by Kris Narayan and his long-time colleague Jodie Hughes. They joined forces to help bring fun and communications to kids and feeling of safety parents via Hawkeye Smartwatches.

About Vigilint Biosensors

Hawkeyes Smart Watches from Vigilint Biosensors provide fun and safe solutions to families with younger children: communications and learning for children and peace of mind for parents. The combination of the best location technologies (GPS, GNSS, A-GPS and sensors) will easily locate your child, anytime and anywhere. Visit www.vigilintbiosensors.com

Vigilint Biosensors is dedicated to improving the quality of care that parents and senior caregivers provide through a complete 360o intelligent family care assistant, that connects family members together via wearable devices like hawkeye. Vigilint Biosensors provides the family/caregivers with a cloud infrastructure of devices and software services, which strives to improve time management and reduce stress by improved non-intrusive care for kids, seniors, and other loved ones in need. This is achieved through the most modern application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to life data that provide alerts, if and when needed.  “When those we care about are well, we can relax and focus on our day.” www.vigilintbiosensors.com

Learn more about us and our dedicated team: Vigilint Biosensors or contact as us at:

Vigilint Biosensors
20315 McKean Rd
San Jose, CA 95120

to get an introductions and appointments with the appropriate contact persons or press materials and white paper links.

edie.okamoto@meet3chords.com

Call Edie Okamoto at +1 510 693-0166 or contact the company directly at +1 408 497 1197

Learn about how your school can join our program.

Vigilint BioSensors

To learn more about Vigilint BioSensorsVigilint STEM School Program and how to join our school program School Program or our Non-profit Program
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Comcast NBCUniversal donates $300,000 and volunteers to beautify Santa Rosa on April 21, 2018.

Fountain Grove Parkway, Santa Rosa, CA, U.S.A. January 5, 2016 by Timothy Allen
Fountain Grove Parkway, Santa Rosa, CA, U.S.A. January 5, 2016 by Timothy Allen

Comcast Cares Day – Comcast NBCUniversal will donate $300,000 to the Santa Rosa City Schools district (SRCS) for the development of a facility to serve communities impacted by the North Bay wildfires. Called the Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center, the new facility will serve the more than 1,000 families and children within Santa Rosa who lost their homes or suffered in other ways during the fires.

Comcast will also partner with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees nearby Fountaingrove Parkway where more than 90% of the landscape was damaged by the fires. Together they will plan 400 trees in the area.

Each year Comcast has a single day during which 100,000 Comcast employees, their families and friends  help make a difference in their communities.  This year in Santa Rosa Comcast executives and volunteers gather for the groundbreaking ceremony, painting, landscaping, freshening up the surrounding areas at Santa Rosa High School.

Members of the community are invited to participate, but must register at: www.comcastinthecommunity.com.

STP is sponsoring a Green Up Day (Campus Clean-up) scheduled for Saturday, April 21st @ 8am (breakfast at 7:30). Meet at Nevers Field. For questions, contact Lynn Valentine lvalentine@sonic.net

For details about how to support the Santa Rosa City school system  and the families that were affected by the fires get in touch with Beth Berk, Santa Rosa City Schools. Beth Berk, 707-528-5072, bberk@srcs.k12.ca.us

For more photos by Timothy Allen visit
https://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com/tag/fountaingrove-pkwy/

 

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Bautista performs at the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival in San Rafael this Saturday, 4:45 pm

Hello Bautista Fans,

To help bring cheer back BAUTISTA band members and I invite you to a wonderful event in my hometown of San Rafael his Saturday, October 14th on the Marin side of the   San Rafael / Richmond Bridge for the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival at the Marin Rod and Gun Club 2675 East Francisco Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901.

Bautista, leader of Bautista Band
Bautista, leader of Bautista Band

You know my brother Frank is hurting right now after losing every valuable possession he has to the Santa Rosa fire last Monday night from his Mobile Home, 3 vehicles, and his beloved work shed that all burned down to the ground. My family is in the midst of developing a plan to help get him and his wonderful Lady Linda back on their feet. Like my brother, I hope those who have had any level of loss has a very close circle of family and friends to be there for mental and financial support.

Hopefully by this coming weekend the dust, or more like the ashes and particles, will settle and life will begin to come back better and stronger than before for all of those who have suffered any degree of loss, sad or emptiness. Although fires are devastating, the charred remains somehow turn into a means of refresh.
Join Bautista Band at 5pm this Saturday
Join Bautista Band at 5pm this Saturday, cheer up families who lost everything in Fire.
Come join us to bring cheer back BAUTISTA band members and I invite you to a wonderful event in my hometown of San Rafael his Saturday, October 14th on the Marin side of the SanRafael-Richmond Bridge for the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival at the Marin Rod and Gun Club 2675 East Francisco Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901. This is an all day event with BAUTISTA closing this water side festival starting at 4:45pm. Weather looks like a sunny 75 degrees so come be in the sun with BAUTISTA!
See you soon!
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Now Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed…

Rosie on Fire, business attire
Rosie on Fire, business attire

Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed.  It reminds Baby Boomer ladies of the days, back when they were young, confident and beautiful, during the late 1980s.  It meets their current wish to tend to their wonderful gardens with stylish garden clothing, hats, and garden tools.  Lovely.

In 1925 baby Laura Ashley was born in Dowley, Wales.  She was an enterprising woman and started designing home furnishings. Later on in life, in the 1960s she also expanded her business into clothing.

Laura Ashley RIP September 17, 1985
Laura Ashley RIP September 17, 1985

She was inspired by the Roman Holiday.  Audrey Hepburn looked so pretty and her clothes were feminine and romantic, unlike the psychedelic fashion that took over the UK at that time. Think the Mike Myers movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”

The fashion brand was a huge success and in the 1980s it expanded into the US.  After Laura Ashley’s death in September 1985 the company had been taken public.

Today the company is owned by Malayan United Industries Berhad (MUI) which is listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. The corporate philosophy of the Group  for over 50 years is guided by three key attributes – strength, efficiency and trustworthiness.   In their advertisements here in the US, in which older ladies are sold gardening tools and chic outfits by one of the top retailers in the US, Orchard Hardware Supplies, this sentiment certainly comes across.  But few people realize that the company merely sells to the US consumer, than transports the earnings to Malaysia, where undoubted lot of very young people are employed.

One of their important non-executive directors has been educated in the US. Tan Sri Dato’ Paduka Dr. bin Ahmad attended Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School, Executive Development Program at Philippines Executive Academy and holds Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from University of Malaya, Master of Public Administration from University of Pittsburgh and PhD in Public Administration from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

The trading company, one of the most successful company’s in Malaysia, is managed by Khoo Kay Peng.  In his personal life Mr. Khoo Kay Peng does not espouse the values he sells to the women in the US.  He is divorced from the former Ms. Malaysia Pauline Chai who now lives in the UK.  Their daughter Angeline Francis Khoo revealed in  2014  that domestic violence was the cause of their parents divorce.  Bravo to Ms. Pauline Chai for no longer putting up with maltreatment.  The UK courts awarded her $112 Million in their divorce settlement, clearly a very tiny fraction of the overall personal value their 40 years marriage has produced.  However, the price for freedom of maltreatment is worth it. It is always a very brave step to leave your abuser.

Khoo Kay Peng’s daughter, also a Ms. Malaysia, met a young Caribbean Scientist at Oxford and in order to be permitted to marry him, she chose to be disowned by her imperialistic father. She was slated to run the Laura Ashley empire and had spent every University Holiday learning about the business. After the split with her father, she decided that she could not be stopped by his controlling behavior and she started “Rosie on Fire.” Lovely fashion indeed.

Malaysia has joined the United Nations, which is disconcerting since their influence on the world seems to be quite horrible.  Here are some details of recent human rights offenses within Malaysia.

Now back to Orchard Hardware Supplies.   Orchard Hardware Supplies initially benefitted greatly from the real estate boom in Northern California.  Despite the fact that their loyal customers left the individual retail outlets with solid sales, the debt piled on by Sears turned out to be unbearable. Sears spun out the company as an empty shell and unloaded it to Lowe’s after it had filed for Chapter 11 for $205 Million dollars.  More

Now Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed.  It reminds Baby Boomer ladies of the days, back when they were young, confident and beautiful.  It meets their current wish to tend to their wonderful gardens with stylish garden clothing, hats, and garden tools.  Lovely.

It is marketed truly in line with the corporate manifesto of their Malaysian owners.  It is undoubtedly very profitable, which will please the owners of Lowe’s primarily illustrious institutional investors.  76% of all shares are held by Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street, Wellington Management Group, and Price T. Rowe Associates, according to the Nasdaq.

Personally I genuinely believe that we influence the way the world works each and every day.  You can spend your hard earned money on lovely phantasies created by brilliant marketers.  Enjoyable and practical.  Or, you can buy from small business owners, thereby actually changing and improving women’s lives.   www.fikuros.com is now available on Etsy.   Amazing Bespoke Accessories created one at a time by Niina Karlsson in Finland. Or the many fabulous designers well-known and brand new, available on www.dreslyn.com a company recently started by three millennials, a couple and the lady founder’s brother and her husband’s best friend.  They are genuinely lovely and very smart.  Or, you can check out up and coming designers on Nineteenth Amendment

Fortunately, since we live in a genuine democracy the choice is genuinely yours.  We each get to choose everyday where and with whom we will spend our money.

PS:  If you feel that you or someone you know may be abused, know that there are a lot of people who care.  You can get legal assistance.  You can get physical protection. There is a lot of help. Accepting help from good people is the first step out of domestic violence misery. Elderly who are abused by “care takers” also can get help through the same links.

 

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Dreams can come true. We can learn a lot from Finland’s Space Nation Program.

A few years ago this was just a dream. Now with Space Nation that trip to the moon will become reality for more and more kids.

Space Nation’s space project for schoolchildren Space Nation offers thousands of Finnish schoolchildren the opportunity to participate in a fun SpaceSeeds science project. A teacher / school can order a research package containing locally grown radish seeds and ordinary radish seeds.

The seeds of space have been exposed to space conditions for nearly six months when they were sent to the International Space Station in October last year. Teachers guide children sowing seeds, and the science pack material enables students to track and compare how the growth and characteristics of ordinary and sparkling seed differ from each other. The first moment of excitement is to look at which seed germs faster.

Space Nation will open up their US Immersive Experience division in the US in June 2017, by Kasimir Lehto, an accomplished Finnish immersive experience AR and VR film maker.

The CEO of Space Nation Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola is excited to start the many collaborations necessary to with all companies, space programs, educators and countries who are interested in joining Space Nation’s preparing all of humanity for life in space.

The space media company Space Nation (Cohu Experience Ltd.) rose to the forefront of the global space boom by announcing the launch of the Space Nation Astronaut Program accessible to all.  headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland, but our team spans from Helsinki to Madrid, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Houston, Denver and San Francisco.

Cohu Experience has built a strong network of leading space industry corporations as well as compiled an impressive advisory board including Michael Suffredini (former ISS director), John Barbera (formerly Turner Broadcasting), Michael D.Johnsson (Nanoracks, LLC.) and Peter Vesterbacka (Rovio Entertainment: Angry Birds).

The Space Nation Astronaut Program starts worldwide in 2017.

Learn more by visiting:  www.spacenation.org

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High School Nation donates more than $1.5 Million to improve the arts and music at High Schools in the US

High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation Donating Millions to Arts and Music Budgets as Schools See Huge Shortfall

Recording Studios to be Built in Every School

CAMARILLO, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 12, 2017) – High School Nation, the country’s largest secondary school touring music festival, will top the $1.5 million mark in donations to high school arts and music programs this year when it kicks off its 2017 60-city Festival Tour. The goal of High School Nation is to promote the arts and music programs in high schools across the country, and this year the Festival will expand its donation program to include the establishment of recording studios in each of the schools where it appears.

“We believe that building recording studios will be a major step forward in high school music programs,” says Jimmy Cantillon, CEO and co-founder of High School Nation. “High school teachers and principals are very excited about this addition to our program. It’s a huge undertaking but we have companies in the industry who see the value and want to participate in any way they can.”

During the Festival Tour, High School Nation will take over football stadiums on each of the campuses and present a two-hour concert and events that will celebrate the arts in public schools. In addition to music programs, the Festival supports journalism, film, fine and performing arts, fashion, photography, and stage production.

Corporate sponsorships for the Festivals are being provided by over a dozen companies including Sparkling Ice, Guitar Center, Crayola, and Mars. PepsiCo, Microsoft, and Sony have all participated in the tours. As part of the Festival, students will visit interactive zones to interact with products and educational programs including the truth Zone, the Full Sail University Media Zone, the Hollister Style Zone, Guitar Center Music Zone, and the Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Zone.

The Festival Tour kicks off next week and will feature platinum selling rock band Plain White T’s. “We’re stoked to be headlining the High School Nation 2017 spring tour,” said band member Tom Higgenson. “We love the idea of playing our music and at the same time being able to help High School Nation donate to public school music programs. We believe it is a very important time to be assisting music programs as much as possible.” The band originally formed in 1997 by high school friends Higgenson and Dave Tirio.

“We are excited to be joining the High School Nation tour for the second year,” say Nina Morrison, vice president PR and community relations, of Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of Sparkling Ice. “The arts are a very important pillar of the high school experience and we’re honored to be able to help support the various programs.”

In addition to the above, one of this year’s leading sponsors is Truth Initiative, a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco through the proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign. “Young people are using their creativity, through arts and music, to change the world and that’s why being part of High School Nation is so important to truth. The teen smoking rate is down to a historic low of 6 percent and this tour is an opportunity for us to give teens the tools they need join us in getting the rate to zero, because we believe they are the generation that can end smoking for good,” says Eric Ashe, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative.

“We are extremely thrilled to partner with High School Nation with its mission to make the musical instruments easily accessible to students,” says Brian Berman, Vice President of Marketing at Guitar Center. “Ensuring people have a creative outlet to express themselves in the form of music is very important to us at Guitar Center. High School Nation is doing a great job of providing opportunities for children across the U.S. to experience the invaluable gift of learning and playing a musical instrument.”

“Consumers naturally associate Crayola tools with coloring; it made sense for us to embrace that association essentially with kids of all ages, including teens and tweens, and be there for them,” says Kimberly Rompilla, Director of Platform Marketing at Crayola. “We have been involved in new product introductions and new initiatives with High School Nation and this Spring, we are excited to provide a colorful twist to teen outdoor activities, helping kids to express themselves throughout the season.”

The tours also feature a number of young, emerging performers brought in by record labels that see the benefits in being a part of this movement. RCA, Capital, Warner Bros. Records, and DreamWorks, are among the half dozen labels that have participated in the success of the Festival Tours.

“At the center of our Festivals are performances by some of the music industry’s hottest young rising stars,” Cantillon adds. “It’s one of the only opportunities for record labels and consumer products companies to come together to entertain, engage, and give back.” High school students, who spend over $260 billion per year on consumer products, are a significant audience for both the music industry and corporate sponsors.

About High School Nation:

High School Nation keeps music and arts programs alive for students across the country with donations, equipment and facilities.

Our Festival and Concert Tours are the largest events in the nation donating recording studios, musical equipment and funding for schools through on-campus sponsored live music concerts, and hands on activities. To date we have provided nearly $2 million to more than 200 schools and 600,000 students across the country.

Our culture is built around the development of innovative activities with significant and lifelong impact on teens. Through HSN, teens gain the chance to make music and the arts a significant part of their personal and, in some cases, future professional lives. Schools receive much needed funding to continue their educational programs, recording artists gain exposure to their biggest fans and brands make favorable and trusted impressions on a huge, underserved group of young consumers.

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Get tested! You need to ask for this test, since it is hardly ever done.

Courtesy https://www.heartmath.org/
Courtesy https://www.heartmath.org/

Meditation and Mindfulness works to improve health. Our attitudes affect our sleep, hormones and blood pressure.

A study by the Endocrine Society shows that losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep over the course of 12 months can increase obesity risk by 17% and insulin resistance by 39%. “Sleep deprivation impairs good metabolic balance,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Without effective screening, common hormonal causes of high blood pressure, such as the disorder termed “primary aldosteronism”, often go undiagnosed and untreated. This can leave individuals with these conditions at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, renal disease leading to dialysis or even dying.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects one in four American adults, according to the Scientific Statement. In about 15 percent of these cases, high blood pressure is caused by hormone, kidney or other disorders. The rate can be as high as 50 percent among children and 30 percent among young adults.

“Without appropriate lab tests, some common endocrine disorders are nearly indistinguishable from a routine case of hypertension,” said Endocrine Society Past President William F. Young, Jr., M.D., M.Sc., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the chair of the task force that authored the Society’s Scientific Statement. “Screening for underlying causes of high blood pressure can save lives. This new resource offers healthcare providers valuable guidance on when to suspect a hormone disorder and how to test for it.”

Hypertension can be the first sign of any of 15 endocrine disorders. The endocrine system produces and controls hormones—the chemical messengers that govern growth, reproduction, metabolism, breathing and other essential bodily functions. Potential causes of high blood pressure can include tumors that produce adrenal hormones such as aldosterone and adrenaline, thyroid disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, or acromegaly, a rare condition where excess growth hormone builds up in the bloodstream. The Scientific Statement delves into the number of people affected by the 15 endocrine disorders and the screening process for these disorders.

The most common endocrine cause of high blood pressure is primary aldosteronism. Primary aldosteronism occurs when the adrenal glands—the small glands located on the top of each kidney—produce too much of the hormone aldosterone. This causes a build-up of aldosterone, which normally balances blood levels of sodium and potassium. The resulting excess sodium can raise blood pressure levels.

“Healthcare providers should consider primary aldosteronism screening for most people who have hypertension,” Young said. “The condition can be easily treated and often cured when it is diagnosed. Early detection also reverses the elevated risk of cardiovascular events and kidney failure in this population.”

Other authors of the statement include: David A. Calhoun of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.; Jacques W.M. Lenders of Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität in Dresden, Germany; Michael Stowasser of the University of Queensland School of Medicine, Greenslopes Private Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland, Australia; and Stephen C. Textor of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The statement, “Screening for Endocrine Hypertension: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement,” was published online in the Society’s journal Endocrine Reviews at https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/38/2/103/3104343/Screening-for-Endocrine-Hypertension-An-Endocrine. The statement was published in the April issue of Endocrine Reviews.

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Stop! in the name of love…

Sea of Roses
Sea of Roses
Valentine’s Day makes us contemplate the meaning of love

Some people wonder how to stay with a war hero husband. Of course when your spouse is on the front you are afraid of loosing him or her.  It is easy to feel the potential loss as ever deeper and growing true love.  The fear of loosing him or her, may actually grow your commitment to be there for your spouse, and to love your spouse with all your heart and soul.  You care for and love your spouse so very, very, very much.

Later you are so glad that they survived, so thrilled that they came home with out loosing life or limb.  You are so happy when they come home to you and your kids.

Veterans returning home.
Veterans returning home.

Trouble is that if he or she is suffering from a severe case of PTSD, your life will change as well.  PTSD when expressed in a volatile and dangerous way is contagious.

Here is a true story:

A man, a vet came home from the war.  He was such a lovely, intelligent and charming man.  When he was conscious, that is.

When he wasn’t conscious, he turned into a hurtful, brutal and dangerous man.

In fact, because he was from a very good family, he was raised with the believe that a woman should be protected and cherished.  He had many sisters and was raised to be protective of them as well.  When he fell in love a deep calling rose up in him and he knew that he could be good for something, he could be a hero caring for his little woman.  Even after all the atrocities he had witnessed during his service.  He could protect that this lovely and shy girl who would be his bride.

The lady was raised in a Christian home and as a proper women who would love and cherish her husband. She was raised to believe that a husband and wife were bonded in the commitment to make marriage not just a holy sacrament, but also to obey and honor her spouse and support him in every possible way, in sickness and in health.  And she was raised to support her husband’s growth in his career and standing in the community.  In short a lovely and very proper woman.

And, OMG, it really worked. They started life together and enjoyed it fully, they worked hard, and bought a little home.  They planted a garden and had common hobbies. He took her to romantic dinners, and was very proud of his “little woman.”  They were very much in love and looked forward to a bright future with a lovely family.

What she had not realizes when they had this whirlwind romance, was that somehow during their romance, he didn’t experience any of the symptoms of the PTSD he had sustained in the war.  His parents and siblings thought the young woman was a blessing in all their lives.

Then after they married he experienced some stress at work and the PTSD that the woman knew nothing about returned. The trouble is, when you are married to a man who has PTSD, no matter how many flowers you receive, no matter how many declarations of love you received, no matter how sincere these declarations actually are, the man may turn on a dime.

With a nightmare, with some trigger you were unfamiliar with, you might get hurt, beaten, strangled and severely physically compromised.  The emotional pain is insufferable. A proper women may try coping mechanisms that they are taught. This woman tried to cope with the danger and pain by praying.  She forgave him, she loved him, and she was determined to stand by her man.

The praying really did help her to keep her calm, but it didn’t keep her safe.  Eventually she ended up in the hospital with a severe cut in her head, bruises all over her body, and she needed to get stitches so quickly to stop the severe bleeding, that she ended up with 27 stitches on her shaved skull without anesthesia.

Love alone is not enough.  So if you have a good reason, a wonderful reason to love a man, a mighty and wonderful man. and he hurts you.  Stop, in the name of love!  Stop.  Stop pretending it will get better, stop thinking that it is your fault. Stop. Stop the lies that keep you bonded to such an unhealthy situation.

Get help!!! Help is out there, and you can be free of an abuser. Even if you know that it is not his fault that he experienced such terrible hardships and pain. It is not your fault either and you don’t have to deal with it on your own.

PTSD is recently acknowledged as a potential result of war engagement. But if you are just a kind woman who loves your man, you may need some serious help to keep you and the children safe.  Love alone will not heal this potentially dangerous condition. And, as many people found out, the constant stress and danger of living with an unpredictable, hurtful, disrespectful man, causes the spouse PTSD as well.  Unfortunately  it is contagious.

So get help.  He needs therapy.  There are some forms of therapy that are promising.  But while he is in therapy, you and the kids may have to watch out for your own safely.  The lady in the story eventually knew that she had to leave him, so he would not turn into her murderer.  She did this after he held her at knife point of a long kitchen knife for 1 and 1/2 hours talking like a crazy man, wondering aloud if his pain would stop, if he killed her. She finally realized that it was her god given duty not to help him ruin his life entirely.  She realized that she could best help him by being away from him.

The shock of loosing her helped him.  He got therapy for PTSD and after 10 more painful years, he slowly got better.  He told her that he was glad for both of them that she had left when she did.  By leaving him she helped him to stop the negative spiral he was on.  The loss of her and her love woke him up to the fact that he had a serious problem. Before she left him, he thought “she was the problem.”  He thought if she was kinder, or more strong willed, or funnier or not as afraid of him, or not as angry, he would not have had to punish her all the time.

He told her that he strongly believed he may actually have killed her eventually, if she didn’t leave him.   A study in 2015 showed that 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.  More

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is get away from someone you love.   For the rest of us, who are in a wonderful and happy relationships that works or can be nurtured into working, we may wish to support those who are not so lucky.  Support the National Coalition Against Family Violence

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Good Guy Billionaire: Who is Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg?

Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg
Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg

Ms. Priscilla Chan is a former grade school teacher and a recent medical school graduate training to become a pediatrician.  She has a strong commitment to health and put’s her wealth toward the common good. Her parents came as refugees to seek a better life.  Now she is one of the top Billionaires who is committed to make life better for everyone.

In an interview with Today, Priscilla Chan recalled: “If you’re the first generation to go to college, sometimes you don’t realize your potential until others point it out.”  For her, those individuals were her public school teachers, whom she credits for “getting me excited about learning.”   Priscilla spoke Cantonese growing up, learned English in school and life, and studied Spanish to server her patients better.

Her commitment to health is genuine and unsurpassed.  She met her husband Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard where they were first class mates and later they dated.  They dated for 10 years before deciding to get married to form their family.

She and her husband donated $600 Million dollars through her charity organization CZI to create a Biohub together with University of California at San Francisco, Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley, which will be headquartered next to UCSF’s Mission Bay
campus in San Francisco.

She is an amazing woman who is one of the best examples of what America genuinely stands for.  Immigrants who seek a better life and in turn make life for the rest of Americans a better place.  Thank you Ms. Chan Zuckerberg for sharing your big heart, brilliant mind, and wealth for the greater good.

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Cyber Warfare attacks by Russians are happening all over the US

Down the Rabbit Hole we go.
Down the Rabbit Hole we go.
The US Government released a report and recommends that all citizens and companies take pre-cautions.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends that network administrators review the IP addresses, file hashes, and Yara signature provided and add the IPs to their watchlist to determine whether malicious activity has been observed within their organizations. The review of network perimeter net flow or firewall logs will assist in determining whether your network has experienced suspicious activity. When reviewing network perimeter logs for the IP addresses, organizations may find numerous instances of these IPs attempting to connect to their systems. Upon reviewing the traffic from these IPs, some traffic may correspond to malicious activity, and some may correspond to legitimate activity. Some traffic that may appear legitimate is actually malicious, such as vulnerability scanning or browsing of legitimate public facing services (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS, FTP). Connections from these IPs may be performing vulnerability scans attempting to identify websites that are vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) or Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks. If scanning identified vulnerable sites, attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities may be experienced.

Commit to Cybersecurity Best Practices

A commitment to good cybersecurity and best practices is critical to protecting networks and systems.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your organization to help prevent and mitigate against attacks.

1. Backups: Do we backup all critical information? Are the backups stored offline? Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident?

2. Risk Analysis: Have we conducted a cybersecurity risk analysis of the organization?

3. Staff Training: Have we trained staff on cybersecurity best practices? 4. Vulnerability Scanning & Patching: Have we implemented regular scans of our network and systems and appropriate patching of known system vulnerabilities?

5. Application Whitelisting: Do we allow only approved programs to run on our networks? 6. Incident Response: Do we have an incident response plan and have we practiced it?

7. Business Continuity: Are we able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Have we tested this?

8. Penetration Testing: Have we attempted to hack into our own systems to test the security of our systems and our ability to defend against attacks?

For the full document with more valuable advice:  Click

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Death of our Democracy: The Carolinas show us how right wing tendencies will ruin us unless we stop their March toward a Dictatorship.

The Picture of a Racist
The Picture of a Racist

“Somebody had to do it,” Roof said of the slayings. He added that “black people are killing white people everyday… What I did is so minuscule compared to what they do to white people every day.”  He researched Charleston, scouted the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and then acted alone. Yes this time there is a guilty verdict by the jury of the avowed white supremacist, Dylann Roof, on his federal hate crimes on 33 charges of federal hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, Pat McCrory, a renowned right-wing GOP governor rolls back laws and passes laws that will prevent his democratic follower from ruling the state.  The Right Wing agenda is to wall in and to fortify their absolute power legally.  He and his fellow lawmakers, who control the General Assembly, introduced measures to end the governor’s control over election board’s requiring State Senate approval of any new governor’s cabinet members and to strip his power to appoint University of North Carolina trustees.  This is right-wing agenda in action to ease their white supremacist agenda.  If you can’t strip the people of their right to vote, we all know they tried.

A press release in November 2016 states:

"NCGOP leaders will discuss final Get Out The Vote efforts and encouraging Republican gains in final Early Voting numbers when compared to 2012. Republicans historically vote in far greater numbers on Election Day itself, these great strides in Early Voting when compared to 2012 show evidence of underestimated statewide ground game and deep volunteer base. Chairman Robin Hayes: “I am encouraged by the excitement and work ethic of our volunteers and the numbers don't lie—the Republican ground game is showing that motivated statewide volunteers and extensive ground game are better indicators of electoral success than the number of candidate-specific offices one has.

Despite this effort and one before to change local laws that the federal court deemed illegal, North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the 2013 voter-ID law which a federal court rolled back this year for illegally suppressing African-American votes, claimed in November 2016 that massive voter fraud in his state swung the 2016 election against him, as McCrory’s campaign continues to challenge Democrat Roy Cooper’s thin lead two weeks after Election Day.

The example of voter suppression is right here.  Despite that it is perfectly legal to vote if you are temporarily absent.  If a piece of mail with an out-of-state address is not returned before the vote that vote does not qualify.  If there is another person with the same or similar name at an out-of-state address on Facebook, your vote no longer counts in North Carolina.  If you put your vote into the voting box, instead of giving it to a racist woman who deems you as rude, your vote no longer counts.  If there is a dead person of the same name in another county, your vote no longer counts. Check out this real document with these types of feeble attempts to change the voting results.

Now despite this arduous effort to control and influence the North Carolina voting results, the Democrat Roy Cooper won the election as governor.  Now the White Supremacist Offensive goes on the full on offensive.  The current General Assembly held an emergency meeting and stripped Governor Rye Copper of the powers to govern.  It affects and takes away his ability to govern the State Board of Elections, State Ethics Commission, State Board of Education and the regulation functions of the Secretary of State, and the choice to appoint the head of the Industrial Commission.  It is a well-known fact that the Koch Brothers aim to make North Carolina a model state of the private takeover of a government.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican from Cary, disputed the portrayal by opponents of the GOP strategy to cut the governor’s authority as a “coup.”  It is a coup and it is only the first of many in States that have a strong element of white supremacists.

We can learn a lot from North Carolina about how a Democracy can be demolished with a few strokes of the pen by white supremacist lawmakers.  Perhaps it is high time to read  For Whom the Bell Tolls again.

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Several right-wing investment bankers who hope to take over America will find it doesn’t work

Car Manufacturing Plan in 1939
Car Manufacturing Plan in 1939

The Investment Bankers, Energy Industry Execs and Politicians have always marched in lock step.  These days the “old guard” is fighting the “new guard” and while it is obvious to many that the “new guard” is winning, the old guard is going through a “fight to the death” thingy.  In a recent interview between Ezra Klein the CEO of Stripes, Patrick Collison, stated that the US Election was kind of a Primal Scream for the old guard.

It is unfortunate the older infrastructure companies are fighting innovation so much, despite the fact that it and always has been the best way to strengthen a society.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  But old men, especially old men who grew up wealthy and thought they would always be in charge, be the captain of their ship, their city, their country and yes, the world, they just have a hard time understanding that the Industrial Era is over.  Kaputt. Finished.  So to say. The factories and the financiers that brought their grandfathers such amazing wealth, so much wealth that they are still spending that money today, have been moved to countries that have a more affordable life style to allow people to “live off” menial labor.

Car Manufacturing Plant in 2016
Car Manufacturing Plant in 2016
Neither Change nor Letting Go is easy

All the posturing will not change the fact that this change from manual labor to robots guided by computers with fabulous microchips and brilliant software has happened.  Anger about it will not roll back time.  The old men who used their daddy’s and granddaddy’s money, which sometimes was earned by bankrolling energy deals to fund the enemy during wars, like the Scaife Mellon Money, or building Factories for Hitler like the Koch Brothers are not willing to bend their will to meet the needs of the middle classes nor the environment. Full Article

Despite dubious histories, some people adapted and learned, like young Ford.  His granddad helped Hitler set up car manufacturing in Germany, but he decided to work with the American people and for the people.  Ford was the only America Automaker firm that didn’t really need to be bailed out by the Obama administration.  Full Article

Corporate Social Responsibility is in and it is good for business

Apple, Google and Microsoft are part of the top 10 global firms and they are in the top 15 of Corporate Social Responsibility ranking as per Forbes.  Why is it that companies that have a higher level of Corporate Social Responsibility grow faster and better than companies in older industries where they lost the entrepreneurial spirit decline?

Psychological Mindset of the Wealthy

Why are the children of these very wealthy people so intent on damaging society by pushing their personal philosophies on them? The Scaife, DeVos, Koch Brothers?  Is it because they have low self-esteem?  Do they not feel loved by their fathers or mothers?   Most likely that is indeed the cause according to a detailed article written by Suniya Luthar, of Columbia University, published in the PMC :

Children of affluence are generally presumed to be at low risk. However, recent studies have suggested problems in several domains—notably, substance use, anxiety, and depression—and 2 sets of potential causes: pressures to achieve and isolation from parents. Recognizing the limited awareness of these issues, the objectives in this paper are to collate evidence on the nature of problems among the wealthy and their likely causes. The first half of the paper is focused on disturbances among affluent children and the second half is focused on characteristics of their families and neighborhoods. Widespread negative sentiments toward the rich are then discussed, and the paper concludes with suggestions for future work with families at the upper end of the socioeconomic spectrum. PMC

Maybe they are trying to make up for their guilt on how their parents obtain their staggering wealth and are trying to make it okay by vehemently agreeing that they are inspired by god, thinking that only they are meant to have access to the tree of knowledge, and only they have a right to decide who lives or dies. Just like their grand parents.

Superpowers need Bankers, Oil Barons and Industrialists

Christopher Higham, a British Author of History book, explained in Trading with the Enemy:

"Here is the extraordinary true story of the American businessmen and government officials who dealt with the Nazis for profit or through conviction throughout the Second World War: Ford. Standard Oil, Chase Bank and members of the State Department were among those who shared in the spoils. Meticulously documented and dispassionately told, this is an alarming story. At its centre is 'The Fraternity', an influential international group associated with the Rockefeller or Morgan banks and linked by the ideology of Business as Usual.

Higham starts with an account of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland - a Nazi-controlled bank presided over by an American, Thomas H. McKittrick, even in 1944. While Americans were dying in the war, McKittrick sat down with his German, Japanese, Italian, British and American executive staff to discuss the gold bars that had been sent to the Bank earlier that year by the Nazi government for use by its leaders after the war. This was gold that had been looted from the banks of Austria, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia or melted down from teeth fillings, eyeglass frames, and wedding rings of millions of murdered Jews.
In the Past Oil-based fuels determined who ruled the sky and who could be a Superpower
As a highly developed industrial state, Germany was dependent even in peacetime on external sources for an adequate supply of oil. Even though Germany’s 1938 oil consumption of little more than 44 million barrels was considerably less than Great Britain’s 76 million barrels, Russia’s 183 million barrels, and the one billion barrels used by the United States, in wartime Germany’s needs for an adequate supply of liquid fuel would be absolutely essential for successful military operations on the ground and, even more so, in the air. For Germany, it was precisely the outbreak of the war in 1939 and the concurrent termination of overseas imports that most endangered its ability to conduct mobile warfare. Full Article
The Koch Empire

In the past old industrialists who ruled with wealth and provided access to large amount of money were in charge.  The onset of the digital age changed that power and clearly infuriated the old guard.

In 2004 the Koch Brothers founded and funded Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing political advocacy group and by 2009 it become a political powerhouse which funded and launched the Tea Party.  The brothers have a very strong and ideological commitment to world domination.  Their father was in construction and built a major oil refinery in Nazi Germany which was approved by directly Adolf Hitler in person.  While the Koch Brothers make a half-hearted attempt to deny this, there is a rather detailed book by Jane Meyer Dark Money.  And Hitler himself wanted to try Mellon Bank for Treason for going back on some of their promises toward the end of the war. Ironically it was one of the Mellons who negotiated a deal with the Allies that American Companies should not loose all their assets in Germany, but instead Germany should be bailed out.  Clearly this banker had a lot of pull with the US, UK and French governments.

Their new effort to “take over the world” perhaps rooted in the principles with which they were raised by their successful and highly disciplined father have prepared them.  According to the Center for Public Integrity, Americans for Prosperity spent a $122 million as it unsuccessfully attempted to defeat President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats in 2012.  $83 million was spent on communications, ads, and media.  Clearly the Koch Brothers commitment to spend money to influence Americans has rapidly increased since their humble beginnings in 2004.

In a Mother Jones article we find that the Koch Brothers’ meddling with the US Government, Education, the Election, Health Care has grown to an over $400 Million dollar endeavor.

While bankers, corporations and politicians are necessarily tied with each other, it will be a good idea for us to watch carefully, regularly and attentively who is meddling in unison.   Trump’s appointment of the CEO of Exxon, Betsy DeVos, the wife of Eric Prince, to the Department of Education, the appointment of an admitted Neo Nazi, Steve Bannon, combined with Michael Flynn’s relationship with Putin is of grave concern.

In the end this effort to overthrow the democracy will not work since the new economy and the American people are going to deal with this challenge successfully. No one will succeed in selling America out to the Russians, Chinese or any other aspiring super power.

 

 

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First Republic Bank Acquires Gradifi to refinance Student Loans

First Republic Bank's Motto is that it is a privilege to serve their customers.
First Republic Bank’s Motto is that it is a privilege to serve their customers.

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), today announced it has acquired Gradifi Inc., a Boston-based student loan repayment technology platform to assist the nation’s 44 million student loan borrowers.

Gradifi pioneered the SLP PlanTM (Student Loan Paydown), a technology and service platform used by employers to make direct contributions to employees’ student loans, reducing their overall repayment time and lowering the total cost of the loan. This employee benefit is becoming increasingly popular among employers to help attract and retain key talent, particularly Millennials who are now the largest generation in the workforce and are uniquely burdened by student debt. Gradifi operates a very user-friendly and secure online platform to handle such benefit programs.

Gradifi serves many employer clients from small businesses to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Natixis Global Asset Management, and Penguin Random House.

“We completely support Gradifi’s mission in assisting with the country’s student loan challenge,” said Jim Herbert, Chairman and CEO of First Republic Bank.  “They have become a market leader with their outstanding team, innovative repayment programs, and state-of-the-art technology.  As education costs and student loan debt continue to rise, offering a student loan repayment benefit for employees is increasingly valuable. Companies are realizing the power of a student loan repayment assistance benefit for both recruiting and retaining employees. As such, Gradifi has a terrific opportunity to assist companies and their employees.”

First Republic is committed to helping individuals and families manage student debt through both innovative refinance and repayment solutions. Earlier this year, First Republic implemented a student loan repayment assistance benefit for its employees, utilizing the Gradifi platform. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from employees, and First Republic has since increased the value of the benefit even further.

“First Republic is the perfect partner to help Gradifi meet the growing demand for our student loan repayment solutions,” said Gradifi Founder and CEO Tim DeMello.  “In addition to its commitment to help manage student debt, First Republic’s focus on extraordinary client service aligns with our approach.  With client satisfaction ratings that are on par with the world’s most respected brands, First Republic has the commitment to service and entrepreneurial culture, plus the financial resources, to power our growth strategy.”

Gradifi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Republic Bank, will continue to operate under the Gradifi brand.  Founder Tim DeMello will remain the company’s Chief Executive Officer, with extended employment contracts in place for him and several other senior management members.  As part of this acquisition, Gradifi will remain headquartered in Boston and have employees based in New York, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

The transaction was funded by First Republic Bank with cash on hand.  Impact to earnings or capital is currently not material, and further terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.  Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to First Republic on the transaction.

First Republic Honored for Addressing Income Inequality

“NAAC is pleased to honor First Republic and Rosana Han for thinking outside the box in addressing income and wealth inequality,” said NAAC Executive Director Faith Bautista. “First Republic cares for the underserved community. Working in partnership with the NAAC and National Diversity Coalition, First Republic has helped expand home ownership in areas where no bank will make loans.  First Republic has also been instrumental in supporting micro businesses and nonprofits, such as NAAC.”

First Republic is different than most banks

The business model at First Republic is distinctly different from most other companies. While they certainly want to grow and make a profit, they also realize that the best way to do that is through hard work and exceptional client service. Because of this operating philosophy, they are driven by a core set of values that define what they must do every day to best serve th clients.

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A wonderful Holiday Gift Idea. Health, the gift that keeps on giving.

Fitness and Health by TenReps.com expert James Griffin
Fitness and Health by TenReps.com expert James Griffing
The gift of virtual and online coaching by Mr. Kansas himself, now known as Mr. Ten Reps.

As the holiday approach instead of staring in the mirror wondering how to keep off the 6 pounds we usually gain, consider this.  Train and consult with Coach Griffing who is known as the most qualified fitness expert in the Bay Area. He now offers his training over skype or facebook messenger phone to you no matter where you live. Or, if you live in the East Bay (Walnut Creek) you can visit the gyms in which his offers his training in person.

He prescribes the most effective program for specific goals and current level of fitness. James avoids gimmicky workouts or unnecessarily painful and ineffective exercises.  He creates a custom program of proven exercises designed to specific training goals.  As we progress he redesigns the program to meet new needs based on the new capabilities. Everything is scaled to the level of conditioning and evolved at the rate of progress achieved. James is well known for his compassion and supportive attitude.

Choose a personal coach who is highly qualified

Griffing earned both a bachelors degree in Exercise Science and a Masters degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State University. At Kansas State University, he instructed ‘Practicum In Fitness Settings’ (KIN520) for 3.5 years (7 semesters); training, and supervising Exercise Science Students in both community and corporate fitness settings.

Griffing is also the author and founder of ExRx.net, a free web resource for exercise professionals and fitness enthusiasts since 1999. Many professional organizations have endorsed ExRx.net including leading certifying organization, medical groups, and universities. Wyle Laboratories consulted with Griffing when they were contracted to upgrade the NASA Astronaut Fitness Manual. His resources have also been used by NYPD, US Dept. of Defense, and The Army Physical Fitness Research Institute and many ladies and men here in the Bay Area.

Why not check out www.tenreps.com and give a subscription of consulting session to yourself or to someone you love.

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Are Trump and Pence “Making America Great Again” with Carrier Corporation?

Clean Recycled CO2 Refrigeration sold in Europe
Clean Recycled CO2 Refrigeration sold in Europe

Built on Willis Carrier’s invention of modern air conditioning in 1902, Carrier is the world leader in heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Their corporate websites informs us:  “We create comfortable and productive environments, regardless of the climate. We safeguard the global food supply by preserving the quality and freshness of food and beverages. We ensure health and well-being by enabling the proper transport and delivery of vital medical supplies under exacting conditions. We provide solutions, services and education to lead the green building movement.”   Carriers Corporation is one of the United Technologies companies which employs 197,200 Employees, brings in an adjusted net sales volume of $56.5B*, pays out $6.3* an adjusted diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations $3.9B. UTC’s Total R&D investment includes company- and customer-funded around the world. The US government and other governments around the world are included in these pre-sales earnings.

From what we can tell the company is doing great work in India for instance.  They are working hard on assisting companies reduce their food waste, which is a worldwide issue indeed.  Food Waste is a major issue in a world where so many people go hungry every day, and it is also known to be a major contributor to Green House Gases.  Pence and Trump who don’t believe in protecting the environment, are planning to donate even more money to United Technologies, Carriers Corporation.

Let’s celebrate the positive when we can.

We know that United Technologies has “supported” to create a study that will allow Carriers Corporation sell their products in India.  BIO Intelligence Service for the Global Food Cold Chain Council (“GFCCC”) with support from United Technologies (“UTC”). This Report presents an assessment of the potential of the cold chain sector to reduce GHG emissions through food loss and waste reduction.  The report educates:

"In monetary terms, the most recent global food loss estimate is a staggering $1 trillion in retail value, or about twice the gross domestic product of Norway 2 , equivalent to the Gross Domestic Product of Switzerland. Further, such loss aggravates food insecurity and malnutrition in a context of growing population and increasing food demand3 . And finally, this food wastage represents a missed opportunity to mitigate environmental impacts and use of resources from food chains. The carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten is estimated to be 3.3 Gtonnes of CO2 equivalent: food loss and waste would rank as the third top GHG emitter after USA and China if it were a country. This amount is more than twice the total GHG emissions of all USA road transportation in 2010."

United Technologies, and by extension Carrier, seemingly is doing a great job reducing food waste in India.  Full Report

How is support of this international conglomerate “Making America Great Again?

Every day at United Technologies, nearly 200,000 people across the globe help move the world forward.  In Europe they are quite competitive in the aerospace industry and in environmentally refrigeration units.

United Technologies and their brands Otis, Pratt & Whitney, UTC Aerospace Systems and UTC Climate, Controls & Security have recently initiated a $1.5 billion multiyear restructuring plan to improve our competitiveness in the global market.  In 2015 they returned approximately $12 billion to shareholders in dividends and share buyback, including a $6 billion accelerated share repurchase program. In February 2016, Carrier announced it would close its Indianapolis factory due to ongoing cost and pricing pressures and to take advantage of and Carrier’s existing infrastructure and a strong supplier base in Mexico. They also initiated a $1.5 billion multiyear restructuring plan to improve competitiveness in the global market.  They already operate out of Belgium, Canada, China, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, UK aside of their seven corporate offices in the US.  The UTC companies conduct operations in more than 160 locations in 26 countries. Most of the manufacturing and parts businesses are outside the US already. Location

In the letter to the shareholders UTC President and CEO elaborates on his commitment to partake in the Middle Class growth in China, India and the Middle East.  He is particularly interested in aviation as the middle class in Asia will nearly double the air travel industry in terms of carriers. Letter  Aside of making air travel in Asia great again, UTC is a major supplier and repair contractor for the US Military.  The company has enthusiastically agreed to a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and is in the process of moving their core business to the aviation industry. Otis is still and will stay involved with elevators and escalators.

Announcement of Carriers plant shut down in February 2016.

In July Carrier and the United Steelworkers (USW) came to a generous agreement that the any of the 1,400 people who may be loosing their jobs, as they closed down old technology manufacturing lines.  They would get a severance package and support with a scholarship fund to get retrained.   It seems the company is planning to get out of the HVAC business as they have had lot’s of trouble with leaky freon. The CDC explains that the colorless, odorless gases released when freon leaks cause problems to skin, heart, central nervous system, cardiovascular system.  The symptoms include: irritation skin, throat, drowsiness, dermatitis; central nervous system depression; In Animals: cardiac arrhythmias, narcosis.

Consumer Affairs is full of costumer reviews who are not at all pleased with the damage caused by Carrier products, i.e.:  “I have two top of the line Carrier Furnaces. Both have been serviced annually. Both crapped out requiring major repairs after 6 years. Both were sold with 10 year parts warranties as they were high-end models. Now however, Carrier refuses to honor the warranty – even for parts. They claim a legal technicality buried in tiny fine print. Customer service was not responsive in any way. Both for reliability reasons and because of their unwillingness to honor their warranty, I would join the chorus of voices suggesting to avoid Carrier.”  And another: “I replaced 13 year old Trane units that performed flawlessly for two Carrier Inverter units top of the line for top efficiency with the promise of quiet and reliable and an overall install cost of 50K. In year two one unit’s outdoor inverter caught fire and was backorder for nearly a month. While they paid for the part I had to pay $1200 of labor not covered and was without AC for a month. Then the second unit failed who was installed a year later with some freeze thermostat malfunction and a bill of 1400. Again labor not covered and a month delay on getting parts. So all the energy savings and huge investment barely pay for the repair bills. Clearly Carrier does not stand behind its products and I would never buy their units again. Additionally seeing the pictures of how the unit was burned to a crisp was very troubling and when the dealer said it happens sometimes, I lost faith in Carrier. The people who invented air conditioning forgot that customers have choices. Our family will never buy Carrier again.”

According to a July 2016 article Carrier was planning to eliminate 2,378 jobs as well as 1,400 jobs during a plant closure. “The decision to cut 2,100 manufacturing jobs across the state was financial, according to a statement from Carrier, which will begin eliminating its Indianapolis workforce in 2017 and continue the layoffs through 2019.”  Full Article

According the recent reports there will be 1,000 jobs “saved” in 2017. What exactly does that mean?  Does they mean they will be laid off in 2018 and 2019 as was already planned anyway.  Or, will the jobs be saved for good and the long term? Neither the Trump/Pence team, nor Carrier have been very precise in their reports.  If indeed manufacturing jobs would be saved for good at the current payment level that would be a major win for the Trump team.  Service sector jobs pay an average of $39,338 a year, compared with $59,029 in manufacturing.  Or it may be a misinformation campaign. The provide millions of free dollars to a multi-billion dollar company that moves forward anyway with the lay-offs as negotiated with the Steel Workers Union in July 2016.  And, unless the quality of the furnaces improves and/or they are redesigned, it may just be a PR stunt for both the company and the new governmental administration, who are counting on the short memory of the public and the media alike.  Perhaps the company may be doing it primarily to hold on to those Boing contracts. This is an exciting story to watch unfold. So far it sounds more like a PR stunt.

KTLA reported: “United Technologies collects about $5.6 billion in annual revenue from U.S. government contracts, according to company filings, which is equal to about 10 percent of its overall revenue. The government also pays for nearly $1.5 billion of the company’s annual research and development spending.” full story

All that said, the retraining programs that United Technologies offers their ex-employees are exemplary.  Carrier offers their own private HVAC “University.”  They donate money to their ex-employees (tax write-off) who are able to sign up online with their non profit company (low to no taxes) for a fee and instead of having the multi-billion dollar company pay for training, they charge the soon to be or already laid-off employees. Now if they could update the curricula to more modern and usable jobs that would be great. A well managed multi-billion dollar operation now receives even more money for keeping out-dated jobs that create unpopular products that leak toxic gases.  (Consumer Affairs)

Their government sponsored (see paragraph above) commitment to move into new technologies that are environmentally friendly should not go unnoticed.  Even though they help Europe, Singapore, India and China more than the US.  We are going to stay tuned and report on how the Trump / Pence team will “Make America Great Again.”  They get an A for media relations so far.  Hope real jobs will follow in a verifiable way soon.

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Colorado voted to keep the Slavery Act in the Colorado Constitution in the 2016 Election

Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice

Stephen Bannon and the people he promotes in Breitbart want to bring the Nazi Era back

Slave labor was celebrated by the Nazi’s and the US prison system is already overloaded.  The Colorado support for Slavery, literally and legally, is a bad omen.

To simply assume that “Labor Prison Camps” can’t happen in the US is the easy way out, since there are already exist today and have since forever.  For instance, in a CNN Money report we found that Barrett, 36, sued the Florida Department of Corrections for negligence after an mentally ill prison mate gouged out one of his eyes.  The department responded with a “cost of incarceration lien” of $54,750 — the total cost of Barrett’s 1,095 day stay in the prison at $50 a day.  “They charged me for me being in prison,” Barrett said. “Yeah I was surprised.”  Dee Taylor, was released after serving a three-year bid in various Florida prisons, he also got a bill for around $55,000 from the Florida Department of Corrections.  A recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found that these types of fees, where inmates can be charged for room and board, have been authorized in at least 43 states. In 2014, for example, an appellate court in Illinois ruled that a Chicago inmate named Johnnie Melton would have to pay nearly $20,000 to the Illinois Department of Corrections for the cost of his incarceration.

In Arizona, an inmate’s friends and family can be charged $25 just to visit them. In 35 states, facilities can charge inmates for medical services. Some of these charges can be taken directly out of a prisoner’s commissary account while the person is still incarcerated. In some cases, the commissary account itself is subject to fees. CNN

Why should we care?

Currently prisoners in Colorado work for 60 cents a day, clearly way below the minimum wage.  This is legal in Colorado, in fact they could work for no pay, since slavery inside a prison is still legal in Colorado, and confirmed in the November 2016 election.

This is breaking families apart because some children have to pay $1/minute to talk to an incarcerated parent. Why? Because prisons and jails profit by granting monopoly telephone contracts to the company that will charge families the most. In Colorado for $55 a night, the wives, mothers and children of Prison Valley inmates often stay at the Riviera motel in Florence. Dabrowska is a gentle house mother to families in need — for women like one named Joy, who for years came to visit Kaczynski until she died of cancer.  Prisons are big business for instance in a security advertisement by Securus it is stated that investing in Prison Services is great business.  Echelon was founded in 1996 started in the first year with $0.1 profit and when public in 2006 with a profit of $41 Million.  This telephone company that overcharged the poorest of the poor – namely the families that are left behind by prisoners was sold in 2007 for $708 Million dollars. Not bad for 10 years of work. Now Robert E. Pickens is expanding his reach as president of Securus.   Securus has 2,600 customers (prisons) in 46 states.  They recruit investors by explaining that they are in a recession proof $78 Billion dollar industry.  They explain that their EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grew by 274% from 2007 to 20014.  Amazing growth or earnings indeed!  They promise that they will experience organic growth through numerous initiatives that are already underway.

From a press release from Securus from April 30, 2014 we learn:

“Richard A. (“Rick”) Smith, current President and Chief Executive Officer announced today the promotion of Robert E. Pickens, Chief Operating Officer to President of Securus Technologies effective May 1, 2014.  Mr. Smith will retain the Chief Executive Officer title.  “I have worked with Mr. Pickens for over 15 years – in the telecommunications, telecom systems, and high tech government services sectors and he possesses the positive attributes of commitment to the firm, a high level of business integrity, business intellect, and the ability to get results over long periods of time,” said Smith. Mr. Smith continued, “At Securus, Mr. Pickens held the positions of Vice President of Marketing and Chief Operating Officer, and also held these same positions at the previous company Eschelon Telecom, Inc. – a Minneapolis, Minnesota competitive local exchange carrier where he and I worked together for approximately nine (9) years.  Because of our tenure working together, I am sure that Mr. Pickens will continue to deliver good results as a higher level executive.  “We have completed nine (9) strategic acquisitions of assets, patents, technologies, and companies over the last twenty-four (24) months – and Mr. Pickens represents a perfect match for effectively managing this expanded set of entities and assets along with his classic Securus responsibilities.”  Securus Technologies, Inc. is one of the largest providers of detainee communications, parolee tracking, and government information management solutions, serving approximately 2,600 correctional facilities in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico, and more than 1,000,000 inmates. A recognized leader in providing comprehensive, innovative technical solutions and responsive customer service, Securus’ sole focus is the specialized needs of the corrections and law enforcement communities. Securus is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, including four regional offices in the Dallas metro area as well as one in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information please visit the Securus website at www.securustech.net.

Peter Wagner an expert on the prison system tells us:  “There are 3,283 jails in America, yet jails receive scant attention. The legislative, judicial and executive decisions that have fueled the explosion of our state prison populations are becoming well-known; but the myriad of subtle policy decisions that have sent our jail populations upwards are off the public’s radar.

For instance do you know that capturing innocent people, keeping them in jail for a while before giving them a hearing, after which they are released is BIG, BIG business?  In the U.S., which has the largest pretrial detention population in the world, 20 percent of detainees eventually had their case dismissed or were acquitted. According to American Quarterly.  Being imprisoned often comes with a very high price.  The U.S. has estimated that at least 13 percent of inmates have been sexually assaulted.  Too often, jails and prisons across the Americas have become warehouses for individuals who are undereducated, unemployed, addicted to controlled substances, and/or have medical or mental health needs.

Racial Bias in the Prison System is now computerized

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 was introduced in the United States Congress and both Republican and Democratic senators backed the ambitious bill.  A proposed program instructs the U.S. attorney general to establish what the bill calls a “post-sentencing risk- and needs-assessment system” for federal prisoners, which would assign inmates a low, moderate, or high score based on their likelihood of recidivism. “Dynamic risk factors”—including “indicators of progress and improvement, and of regression, including newly acquired skills, attitude, and behavior changes over time”—would determine the ratings.  The language of the bill indicates that an inmate’s score will affect housing assignments, telephone and visitation privileges, and be consulted in making assignments to anti-recidivism programs like vocational training, faith-based programming, and drug- and alcohol-recovery classes.  Those who are considered low-risk inmates are eligible for reduced sentences would receive 10-days credit for every 30 days of successful participation, while other “high-risk” inmates receive only 5 days credit.

The very concept of predicting crime challenges the presumption of innocence, a central tenet of the American criminal-justice system.

Police still patrol streets and knock on doors, but computers, rather than humans, decide which streets and which doors. Essentially, this is crime forecasting: Police are trying to stay ahead of potential criminals, who may or may not be about to violate the law.

The trouble with this bill is that it has racial bias built into a system that is sure to create the proof of this racial bias. “The categorical exclusion of over half the prison population is unwarranted, and would have a disparate impact on African American and Native American inmates. Risk factors correlate with socioeconomic class and race, and studies show that African Americans are more likely to be misclassified as high risk than White or Hispanic offenders. The exclusion is also contrary to the goal of increasing public safety. Many of the excluded inmates have the greatest need to participate in programming, but would have no meaningful incentive to do so. With or without time credits, they will serve lengthy sentences and then be released. By failing to encourage them to participate in programs shown to reduce recidivism before releasing them to the community, S. 467 fails to promote the stated goal of enhancing public safety. ” Federal Defender Analysis Report   Source: Atlantic Monthly

If you can’t afford bail you will be rated worse than if you can, even if you are innocent.

Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice
Incarceration Front Door Statistics, Vera Institute for Justice
Prisoners who are let go due to the fact that they are innocent still get charged the cost of incarceration fee.

Currently 3 out of every 5 people in jail are unconvicted and are presumed innocent, they are there because they are too poor to post bail while they await their trial.

The Prison and Labor Camp Industry is thriving

The LA Times reported in 2015 that in the place known as Prison Valley, Colorado is home to 11 state and federal lockups, more than 7,500 inmates do time near two communities that have the feel of college towns — an odd coupling that can create tension and conflict perhaps found nowhere else in America.  Fremont County (population 46,000) has Colorado’s biggest per capita population of prison inmates, a rate that’s also one of the nation’s highest.

The United States Holocaust Museum tells us:

From its rise to power in 1933, the Nazi regime built a series of detention facilities to imprison and eliminate so-called “enemies of the state.” Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of “asocial” or socially deviant behavior. These facilities were called “concentration camps” because those imprisoned there were physically “concentrated” in one location.

Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 40,000 camps and other incarceration sites. The perpetrators used these sites for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people thought to be enemies of the state, and mass murder. The total number of sites is based upon ongoing research in the perpetrators’ own records.

Millions of people were imprisoned and abused in the various types of Nazi camps. Under SS management, the Germans and their collaborators murdered more than three million Jews in the killing centers alone. Only a small fraction of those imprisoned in Nazi camps survived.

Isn’t it time that we start paying attention?

 

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