Saturday, 12 December 2015

Top Tips And Advice From The Retirement Experts

Top Tips And Advice From The Retirement Experts

Do you want to know more about retirement? What can you reasonably expect from this important part of life? Do you know how to deal with the savings for it? Here, you will find this information and far more. Keep reading for some useful information regarding retirement.

Figure out exactly what your retirement needs and costs will be. Most people need around seventy percent of their current income just to cover basic necessities during their retirement years. Lower-income earners may need as much as 90 percent.

Begin saving now and keep on doing so. Even small contributions will help. When you make more money, you can increase the amount you save. Keeping funds in interest bearing accounts helps grow the balances.

Consider partial retirement. If you wish to retire but aren't able to pay for it then a partial retirement should be considered. This could take the form of keeping your current career, but only part-time. You'll be able to relax some and can still make money until you're ready to switch to a full retirement later on.

Make sure that you make a contribution from every one of your paychecks to your 401(k) plan. If your employer matches your contributions, pay as much as you can into it. This lets you sock away pre-tax money, so they take less out from your paycheck. If the employer matches your contributions, they are basically giving you free money.

Retirement can be a great time to become more active physically. Healthy muscles and bones are crucial now, and your cardiovascular health could use the benefits of exercising. Work out often and you will soon fall into an enjoyable routine.

With retirement coming up, are you getting nervous because you haven't done what's necessary to get started with planning for it? It's not too late, even now. Check your finances and decide how much you can afford to save each month. It might not be much; that's okay. Even a small amount, if you stick to it, will yield more than if you don't put away anything at all.

While you know you should save quite a bit of money to retire with, you also should be sure that you consider the kinds of investments that need to be made. This will keep you from putting all of your money in one investment. That minimizes your risk.

Think about holding off on drawing against Social Security. This will help you get more monthly. It is easiest to do this if you are still able to work or can pull from other retirement income sources.

Get your retirement portfolio rebalanced every quarter of a year. Doing so more often can make you emotionally vulnerable to market swings. Rebalancing less often means that you could miss out on good opportunities. Consider hiring an investment professional. They can help you figure out how your money will be best allocated.

Work on downsizing while approaching retirement, as the money saved will come in handy. The best laid plans can often be interrupted by life's surprises. Large expenses such as unexpected medical bill can throw your plans into disarray.

Most workers believe that their retirement will have enough free time to do everything they want. However time seems to slip away faster and faster as years pass. When you plan in advance, you are able to use your time better.

Learn about the pension plans that you have available. If you find one, research how the plan works and if you qualify for it. Check how the funds will be dispersed if you switch employers. See if your prior employer can provide you with benefits. You might also be able to get benefits from a spousal employer pension.

Make sure you set both short-term goals as well as long-term goals. Goals are as important for retirement as they are at any other time of life. When you sit down and think about the amount of money that will be necessary later, then you will have better control over how to save it now. Doing some math will allow you to come up with monthly or weekly goals for saving.

If you have always wanted to start a home business, retirement is the ideal time to do it. Many people have success during later years by operating a business from home. It is a low stress opportunity as your livelihood won't depend on the business succeeding.

When calculating the amount of money you need to retire, consider how you currently live. Since you will not be working any longer, it is safe to say you will need around 80 percent of your current income. Therefore, you will need to have some extra cash available.

Don't rely on Social Security to cover your living expenses. While SS benefits will pay approximately 40 percent of your current income after retirement, that doesn't match the cost to live. Many people need 70-90 percent of your working income to comfortably retire.

You will have more time for family after you retire. Your grown children may appreciate some assistance with watching their babies. Make this time special by planning activities that both you and the grandchildren will enjoy. But it really isn't wise to turn your retirement into a full-time childcare effort.

Do not touch your retirement savings. If you do this then you're going to lose out of principal and interest. Additionally, you may suffer early withdrawal penalties. Hold off on using retirement money until you're really in retirement.

Have fun! Many people find growing older to be a tough time. And that's a good reason to do things that will fill you with a sense of purpose and make you happy during that time. Enjoy your hobbies and make the most of your life.

Consider a reverse mortgage. This allows you to take out money if you need it while living in your home. You will not have to pay it back, rather the money is due from your estate after you die. This method is a safe and reliable way for you to get extra income if and when it's needed.

As you have seen, learning about retirement is easy with the right resources. Consider what you've read here to succeed with everything. Use this knowledge to successfully plan your retirement.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Neat Tricks To Improve Your Search Rankings

Neat Tricks To Improve Your Search Rankings

There are lots of people who are in the know when it comes to SEO, but it's time for you to become the expert. It takes some time, but it gives great results. These tips will help you.

To get the best results when optimizing your site for search engines, you will need to learn how to write in SEO style. To do this, simply use your keywords throughout your writing, as much as you can, and still make it flow. Since search engines evaluate the density of keywords, your site's search engine rankings should improve dramatically.

Use header tags within your webpages. The headers might be too big. If they are, change the size with CSS. Headers are great in that search engines use them to develop site rankings. The H1&2 tags, in particular, are used to decide the main points of each page on your site.

Buy a domain name that is easy for people to remember and relates to your product. This can make it much easier for visitors who have seen your content on a video sharing site find your website, as it is easier to pronounce and recall.

Consider asking a website with trusted content to link with your site. Non-profits and educational websites are perfect for this. Being linked up to reliable sources can help raise your search rankings. In order to get reliable websites to feature your website, make sure to always provide accurate information. Write useful articles that these types of organizations don't have on their own sites.

After deciding on your keywords, be sure to place them in the title of your web page. Your title should be intelligent and relevant, because it is what search engine users will first see of your site. People are more likely to click on a link that they think will bring them to exactly what they are looking for.

Even though a link exchange is possible, it is a better idea to exchange articles with other webmasters to boost rankings. By posting another website owner's article and crediting them for the article, you will increase traffic to both sites. This works better than link exchanges and both websites get new content.

Before starting, research your keywords. Knowing which keywords to use will help you get the attention you want for your articles. Knowing how people search for your business will help you find appropriate keywords. You should highlight these keywords so you can become higher in rankings.

Keep your content fresh by writing and posting new content as quickly and as often as possible. Decide on a realistic goal for posting new content, whether it be once a day or once a week, and hold yourself to that goal. If you are constantly updating your site with new content, it will be looked upon favorably by search engines. Websites that have a steady stream of new content generally rank higher in search results.

Use adwords and adbrite as a form of online advertising. Advertisers can help increase your rankings significantly. This will increase the amount of visitors on your site daily. Using Google's product can bring in massive numbers.

To optimize your website wisely, use captions. For instance, if photos or newspaper articles are abundant on your site, add captions that are relevant to your keyword; you will soon see more traffic.

One of your main goals when trying to reach a high search engine ranking should be improving the quality of your content. Interesting, original content ranks higher on search engines because it attracts more traffic. If your site's content is intriguing and informative, people will return frequently to read your newest updates.

In conclusion, you now have been provided with many helpful tips regarding search engine optimization. We hope you've learned a thing or two. Apply these pointers and seize control of your destiny.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Becoming More Environmentally Conscious: The Ins And Outs Of Solar Power

Becoming More Environmentally Conscious: The Ins And Outs Of Solar Power

Are you familiar with solar energy? Solar energy makes use of the sun to give you electricity for your home. It is also safe for the environment. If you plan on getting solar energy, these tips can help you.

There are two types of photo-voltaic panels. If you want efficiency, mono-crystalline panels are optimal, while poly-crystalline panels are the cheaper alternative. It is often best to invest in the most efficient product you can afford if you need a solar energy system that can power your home.

You should start out taking small steps when implementing solar energy in your home or business. Pick up some inexpensive outdoor lights to get your feet wet. You can find them at your local hardware store or mass market retailer. Just insert them into the ground, and you're good to go.

Solar Power

Your solar panels' density will impact their efficiency. Panels that have higher densities tend to cost more, but they can generate more power. Look at the density of various panels before deciding on one.

Using any type of solar energy unit can help the environment significantly. For example, consider a solar water heater. Either of these water heaters can be installed on your rooftop or other sunny location.

You do not need to live in a very sunny area to reap the benefits of solar energy. Direct sunlight or specific temperatures are not necessary for solar energy to still be of benefit. In fact, some say they receive the most energy on cool, clear days.

Solar energy is an excellent way to reduce energy costs in the long term. Solar panels are pricey and could take you years to pay off. It is a good idea to wait until you are a homeowner and intend to stay put before investing is solar energy.

Have you started to think about using solar energy to fuel your home? Consider these factors before deciding. For example, anyone already off-grid will hugely benefit from solar energy. Choose this option to lower your project's environmental impact and can afford the greater initial cost.

Search for grants and rebates to assist with solar panel costs. The installation costs of solar power are overwhelming. Verify whether state or federal rebates and grants are available to assist you. They can bring down the cost considerably. You might even be eligible to claim a tax deduction.

Be certain the solar panels you choose are installed in the most advantageous way for sun exposure year round. To figure out where to place your panels, you may need to keep an eye on the sun's path each day, and think about if this will change in a different season.

Install solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof of your home or just add a solar water heater to save lots of money on the power you use. You should have five hours of good sunlight a day in order to use photovoltaic solar panels most efficiently. If you have a swimming pool, you can use a solar water heater to reduce the costs of heating your pool.

It's better to get a solar system when you own a home. Solar panels are a pretty hefty financial obligation, especially considering how often people move. You don't want to lose your home or still be paying on solar panels if you decide to move.

Consider pathway lighting if you are interested in getting your feet wet with solar energy. Solar pathway lighting absorb energy from the sun during the day, then use that to light your way through the dark at night. Installation is simple, and they create a unique atmosphere as well.

Change the angle of your solar panels with the seasons; ideally, this would mean four times a year. When seasons change, the direction and amount of sunlight will change. When you change these angles, you can capture more energy and save more on your investment.

You should consider installing solar panels as an important home improvement project. Therefore, it is important to check out a company thoroughly. Be sure to review any contracts carefully, and if necessary, have them looked over by a legal professional.

Use a line to dry your clothes. It may be an old concept, but it is a valid one. Rather than using electricity to both wash and dry your clothes, just put your clothing on the clothesline to dry. This will save energy, which in turn will save money.

Now that you've learned more regarding solar energy, you need to take it a step further. Knowing everything about solar power won't help you unless you harness that energy for your own. Use the advice described in this article and make the most out of solar energy. Share what you have learned with family and friends and start making the world and your future better today.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Work For Yourself And Find Success With These Home Business Tips

Work For Yourself And Find Success With These Home Business Tips

Many people are interested in starting a home-based business, but they do not know what the process is to get started. Thankfully, you've found this article. This article is here to help you operate and manage your home business.
Form a contingency plan if your home business does not work out. Have a backup plan in case your website crashes or your product shipment does not come on time. When you plan ahead for these types of things, it helps to ensure that your business stays open for good and income continues to come in.
You must keep a separate phone lines for business phone. A business that has a separate phone line will always appear more professional, not to mention you are taking a risk of a child or someone else in the home answering the phone in a less than professional manner.
TIP! You should set up your home office and a lot of supplies to get started. It may appear trivial, but people often find that they can't work properly or comfortably if they don't have things set up in a suitable way when they try to work.
If you are selling a product that you make, be absolutely sure that you know how much it is costing you to create, because you do not want to be losing money. You can typically mark up your wholesale price to be two times your product cost. Retail pricing mark-up is twice the wholesale price. Set the prices for your products so that you can make a profit and still keep your customer happy at the same time.
If you aren't sure what you would like to do, look online for home business ideas. Be aware, though, of the many scams dealing with home businesses online. There are many sites selling information that you can get on your own online. There are more complicated scams also which try to have you pay some fee to have access to high income work that doesn't exist, or pay for online classes which are useless. If an offer sounds unbelievable, it's probably a scam.
Have a clear understanding of what the objective is for your business. It should only be a few sentences, and it should provide a description of what your company does. This way you have a ready response when someone asks what your business does. Customers will be more interested in your products if you are able to give them a clear description of your business.
You should be on top of your game even when working from home.Working at home can be really great at first, but it can also be depressing if you don't approach it well. Keep yourself clean and well dressed, eat sensibly, and work out daily. These tips can boost your best.
TIP! Many places that operate locally enjoy using independent designers rather than larger companies because they get more flexibility and can also personalize their services. This gives you a leg up on the larger companies.
Make sure that you make timely deposits in your bank account, shortly after you are paid. Don't wait around until the end of the week or month to deposit checks. Not depositing a check right away, leaves a good chance that it may get misplaced or lost. Use a teller to deposit your money through, instead of an ATM, to make sure the money goes into your account.
You might want to be nice and a bit lenient when it comes to your customers while you begin to build relationships, yet this just jeopardizes your profits. Make sure you have strict rules about payments and late fees from the start, or people may take advantage of you.
Try to think of something that will fill a need you might have when trying to determine a product to use in your home business. Customers are interested in things that can address a need or problem that they are facing. By coming up with an answer for a dilemma you have personally experienced, it is likely that your idea will be easily marketable to others as well.
Write a comprehensive business plan for your home business. You have the ability to change this plan if you need to. You should occasionally review your business plan from time to time and make adjustments as necessary.
TIP! Begin a business only if you know will profit. Check out your market and see how much competition you'll have.
Reach out to your customers by finding out where they are. You can attract a lot of people online, but you can also find a lot of new customers in the real world. You can attract new business by creating a physical presence at different markets.
Set up a regular schedule for your home business that you can stick to. Failure to do so can lead to you working around the clock, blurring the lines between work and family life. Working constantly can cause burnout very quickly if you do not watch yourself. Staying with a schedule can be difficult, but it tells family the times you will be busy.
Make sure the business you establish is aligned with your interests and talents. You will be passionate about a topic that interests you, and customers will pick up on that. This is very helpful when it comes to finding and keeping customers.
Make a description of what your home business does. It needs to be short and concise but should thoroughly describe what your business does in a few sentences.
TIP! Get a DBA (Doing Business As) license when you can. This can probably be done with the local bank in your area.
Base your home business around a field you have prior experience in. Lots of people make the mistake of thinking they can just learn on the fly. Though this can happen, success is more likely if you are already knowledgeable. What are you good at? What do you know a lot about?
Because your home-based business really only requires a simple web presence, save the money you'd spend on building a fancy site and use it for beta testing. You want to be sure that no matter what browser someone uses they can access your website, and find the content in the same presentation no matter what they use. Ensuring the same user experience will mean that everyone can read all the information about your company that they need to, and be able to choose your services.
After having read this article, you hopefully have some ideas for strategies to jump start your business. This article will only help you when you decide to use the information in it. Use this advice and you will soon succeed in your home business.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

A Global Perspective On Human Rights Education

A Global Perspective On Human Rights Education

Human Rights Day (December 10, 1998) marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted this document. It is not legally binding on the signatories, but it has moral force that commands worldwide respect. Thus, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a standard by which many people throughout the world judge the conditions of citizenship and government internationally and within their own countries. This document, which includes 30 articles pertaining to various human rights, is also a focal point of education about human rights in schools throughout the world.

“Human rights are the claims that all human beings are justly entitled to make merely by virtue of their being human” (Plattner 1995, 573). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when this idea became prominent in Western Europe and North America, it carried the label “natural rights” to denote derivation of these rights from the nature of every human being. Each person, according to the natural rights concept, possesses equally certain immutable rights by virtue of her or his membership in the human species; it is the duty of a just government to protect these rights.

The United States Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776, expresses the “natural rights” idea in these memorable words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or Abolish it and to institute new Government . . . ”
This Declaration of Independence by and for the people of a new American nation still has global implications. The same can be said about the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen issued by France’s National Assembly in 1789, which proclaimed: “The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression.”
The 1787 Constitution and the 1791 Bill of Rights of the United States of America were designed and adopted to address the civic values of the 1776 Declaration of Independence. This Constitution reflects the understanding among America’s founders that the individual’s rights are at risk if a government is either too strong or too weak. A good government simultaneously is empowered and limited. It is empowered sufficiently by the people to secure their rights against domestic or foreign predators. And this government’s power is also limited sufficiently by the supreme law of its constitution to protect the people’s rights against abuses by their own governors.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the concept of natural rights was transformed into the idea of human rights. This change reflected an expansion of the scope or range of rights to include two types of claims.
The first and older type is negative; it would limit the power of a government to protect peoples’ rights against its power. The second and newer type of claim is positive; it would enhance the power of the government to do something for the person to enable her or him in some way. Thus, the late twentieth century idea of human rights, which incorporates both the positive and negative types, means that “certain things ought not to be done to any human being and certain other things ought to be done for every human being” (Perry 1998, 13).
The older negative claims on rights are exemplified by Articles 1-21 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These Articles imply that no government or society should act against individuals in certain ways that would deprive them of inherent political or personal rights, such as freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion. The newer positive claims on rights are exemplified by Articles 22-28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They imply that every government and society should act for individual members to enable them to enjoy certain social and economic rights or benefits pertaining to social security, employment, housing, education, health care, and general standard of living.
There is general or global agreement among advocates of human rights that both types of rights, the negative and positive, must be included in a worthy constitutional government. However, there is worldwide conflict or disagreement about which type of rights is primary and most important in a constitutional democracy.
Advocates for the primacy and predominance of positive rights claim that “bread is more important than freedom of speech.” They argue that the duties of government to provide social and economic welfare benefits for all the people require enhancement of public power and authority to enter all areas of economic and social life to promote the common good (Patrick 1991, 622).
By contrast, proponents of the negative rights tradition worry about the enormous increase of centralized government power required to provide positive rights through large-scale public programs. This could lead to a government so powerful and insufficiently limited that it could arbitrarily deprive particular persons (those out of favor with authorities) of their traditional personal and political rights. Thus, they maintain that human rights generally depend upon the primacy of guaranteed negative rights. They assert: a constitutional democracy that would only recognize negative rights is incomplete; one that would only or primarily recognize positive rights is impossible (Patrick 1991, 623).

A Global Perspective On Human Rights Education

Computer Games Can Offer Good Education

Computer Games Can Offer Good Education

Computer Games Can Offer Good Education Viewing our children trying to learn or understand particular notions, tells us the days we were in school, facing the same problems, and it is a bit frustrating. Back then, we only had the basic books, and that’s about all. Fortunately, we now have a few extra choices when

Secret Deal to Get Saudi Arabia on UN Human Rights Council

Two years after the controversial appointment of Saudi Arabia to the UN Human Rights Council, leaked diplomatic cables have revealed the UK was a key player in the election of the Gulf State ─ despite the Saudis’ appalling human rights record.

Secret Deal to Get Saudi Arabia on UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) is tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world. What’s remarkably under-reported (yet unsurprising) is the claim that notorious human rights abuser, Saudi Arabia, pledged $1 million to UNHRC prior to winning the blood-stained seat.
What is surprising is the next chapter in the farcical saga.
In a classic case of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, the leaked cables ─ translated by UN Watch ─  allege that a secret vote trading deal was made by Britain and Saudi Arabia to ensure both countries were elected to the council.
Passed to Wikileaks in June, the classified files refer to Saudi talks with British diplomats prior to the November 2013 vote in New York.
One read: “The delegation is honoured to send to the ministry the enclosed memorandum, which the delegation has received from the permanent mission of the United Kingdom asking it for the support and backing of the candidacy of their country to the membership of the human rights council (HRC) for the period 2014-2016, in the elections that will take place in 2013 in the city of New York.”
The leaked files then elaborate on the trading of “support” between the two countries:
The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would support the candidacy of the United Kingdom to the membership of the council for the period 2014-2015 in exchange for the support of the United Kingdom to the candidacy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said, “Based on the evidence, we remain deeply concerned that the UK may have contracted to elect the world’s most misogynistic regime as a world judge of human rights.” The latest glimpse into Britain’s shoulder-rubbing with prolific human rights violators was revealed as the Saudi kingdom pummels Yemen for the sixth month and Saudi blogger Raif Badawi languishes behind bars for writing about democracy.
As the kingdom that has beheaded over 100 people this year prepares to crucify a 17-year-old for taking part in demonstrations, Britain’s insincere boasting about being a strong promoter of human rights sounds more hollow than ever.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Automated Police Tracking System Will Notify Your Wife if You Drive Past a Prostitute | The Daily Sheeple

police car
The Los Angeles City Council is considering a controversial plan that would involve tracking license plates and automatically issuing letters to the homes of ‘Johns’ suspected of visiting sex workers. While privacy advocates are criticizing the plan as an unconstitutional breach of civil liberties, others say such measures are necessary to reduce street prostitution.
Council member Nury Martinez of the San Fernando Valley district says many of the prostitutes are exploited children and women.
“If you aren’t soliciting, you have no reason to worry about finding one of these letters in your mailbox,” Martinez said in a statement whose logic sounded curiously similar to arguments in support of ubiquitous surveillance. “But if you are, these letters will discourage you from returning. Soliciting for sex in our neighborhoods is not OK.”
Denounced by both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU, the plan would allow automated license plate readers to generate letters informing households that the specific car was observed habituating certain areas known for prostitution.
Both the EFF and the ACLU have launched lawsuits against the LAPD that demand a week’s worth of license plate data be released under the the California Public Records Act. They want to know exactly how much information is being collected, how it’s being used, and who has access to it.
Law enforcement technologist Nick Selby of condemned the proposal. He asked:
“Have Ms. Martinez and the Los Angeles City Council taken leave of their senses? This scheme makes, literally, a state issue out of legal travel to arbitrary places deemed by some — but not by a court, and without due process — to be ‘related’ to crime in general, not to any specific crime.
 There isn’t ‘potential’ for abuse here, this is a legislated abuse of technology that is already controversial when it’s used by police for the purpose of seeking stolen vehicles, tracking down fugitives and solving specific crimes.”
Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation points to even more unsettling ramifications of such a program, saying the technology could be used to aggregate an enormous amount of citizen information into a centralized database. Such a database would allow law enforcement agencies to essentially track motorists’ every move, ascertaining driver visits to hospitals, airports, political meetings, and locations of friends, colleagues, and associates.
In her petition to the California Supreme Court, Lynch outlined potential compromising effects on civil liberties from the continued use of automated license plate readers:
“This sets the stage for a dangerous new standard, where police can use automated license plate cameras to collect data on millions of law-abiding individuals—but those same individuals can’t access the very information collected on them. And the implications spread beyond cars and license plate cameras. The lower court ruling could apply to data collected by other forms of surveillance systems, like body cameras and dash cameras and drones—information the public needs to see to assure police accountability.”
Los Angeles isn’t the first city to dabble with such technology. Police departments in Minneapolis, Des Moines, and Oakland have deployed similar types of automated readers. Each of these cities has also sent letters to the alleged ‘Johns,’ informing them, their wives, or whoever happens to open the mail that the city knows where they’ve been and that there may be cause for alarm.
Some analysts following this case have invoked the term ‘pre-crime,’ from Philip K. Dick’s novel, Minority Report. In this story, police use psychic humans connected to advanced computers to predict a person’s future actions. For example, a man is arrested for killing his adulterous wife in a jealous rage — even though he hasn’t done it yet.
While the use of automated readers to track cars in ostensibly seedy areas of town is a ways off from the ‘pre-crime’ police state Dick envisioned, the comparison is worth noting. Certainly, issuing warnings based on the perceived intent of someone doing nothing more than legally driving a car must strike even the most flippant civil liberty observer as draconian, at best.

General Wesley Clark: ISIS Serves Interests Of US Allies Turkey And Saudi Arabia

General Wesley Clark: ISIS Serves Interests Of US Allies Turkey And Saudi Arabia

"Let’s be very clear: ISIS is not just a terrorist organization; it is a Sunni terrorist organization. That means it blocks and targets Shi’a. And that means it’s serving the interests of Turkey and Saudi Arabia - even as it poses a threat to them." - Retired Gen. Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General and retired U.S. General Wesley Clark revealed in an interview with CNN that the Islamic State (Daesh, ISIS) remains geostrategically imperative to Sunni nations, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as they clamor for strategic power over Shi’a nations, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. He explained that “neither Turkey nor Saudi Arabia want an Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon ‘bridge’ that isolates Turkey, and cuts Saudi Arabia off.”
When asked by the CNN host if Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that Turkey was “aiding ISIS” had any validity, he responded:
 “All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way. We know they’ve funneled people going through Turkey to ISIS. Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling; it’s going through somewhere - it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey - but the Turks haven’t acknowledged that.”
After explaining this virtual gateway for the Islamic State’s oil, Clark was quick to emphasize that Putin’s allegations about Turkey’s support for terrorist organization, ISIS, aren’t without their own hypocrisy. Russia, of course, has been upholding President Bashar al-Assad’s administration in Syria against rebel groups backed by the U.S. — despite continuing denials by U.S. officials that that particular theater is its primary interest in the region.
He said, “Putin would like to dirty Turkey by saying it’s supporting terrorists, but the truth is that he’s supporting terrorists. I mean, the tactics used by the Assad regime have been terror tactics. They’re dropping barrel bombs on innocent civilians.”
Clark concludes the interview with a statement that encapsulates growing sentiment of many Westerners who’ve grown war-weary with such geopolitical wrangling overseas:
“There’s no good guy in this - this is a power struggle for the future of the Middle East.”

Whistleblower: “Every Time There Is a Terrorist Attack, What We Really Need to Do Is Demand that They CUT the Budgets of All the Intelligence Agencies”

The highest-level NSA whistleblower in history – William Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, and managed thousands of NSA employees – has a great suggestion for motivating U.S. intelligence agencies to prevent terrorism.
Binney tells Washington’s Blog:
If you want to get into the real reason politicians, companies and agencies are hard over advocates for mass/bulk surveillance, then you need to look at all the money involved. It’s about 100 Billion (that’s with a B) per year.
When NSA Director Alexander said their objective is to “collect it all”, then that simply exposed the underlying reason for all this spying. That committed the government to collecting an ever increasing year-by-year amount of data which takes an ever increasing year-by-year amount of money to do. And to achieve that, they use fear mongering and lies to mislead and bamboozle us into letting them take more and more of our money to achieve very little. [Background.]
So, every time there is a terrorist attack, what we really need to do is demand that they cut the budgets of all the intelligence agencies. And, if they still keep failing, then we need to get rid of them and start the process again with new agencies and new managers. It could be as simple are removing the top 4 layers of management at an agency and replacing them with external people drawn from professional ranks not related to politics or government.
Mass collection on everybody, of course, makes government (including FBI, DEA, DHS, IRS, CIA …) all knowing like a J. Edger Hoover on super steroids or an all knowing Stasi with more complete, accurate, timely, mineable/interrogateable, stored electronic files. This does make the government all knowing and in a position to manipulate and control people just like the KGB or the Stasi did.  [Background.]
Also, it represents a total flip of the founding principles of our country. We were supposed to know what the government was doing in our name; the government was not supposed to know what we were doing unless they had probable cause to look at us. [Background herehere and here.]
But, that takes a mainstream media that wants to do their job and keep the public informed.
Postscript: In ancient China, traditional Chinese doctors only got paid as long as their patients remained healthy. If the patients got sick, they stopped paying their doctors.

Binney’s proposal is arguably analogous … pay the intelligence agencies so long as they are bolstering our defenses and keeping our national security “healthy”;  stop paying them if we get attacked.  


Homosexuality or bisexuality are not Normal or are they ?

Homosexuality Is Natural

It is often argued that homosexuality or bisexuality are not normal, or not natural, and that they have no place on this Earth. This, however, is just a misconception based on insufficient information or indoctrination.
In some ways we could argue that since it happens at all, that it is natural. Unless we assume there is some unnatural external force teaching or manipulating some of us, seemingly at random, that could change what we were sexually attracted to. Of course some people claim this to be the case; claiming the cause is the media or the devil, and unfortunately some naturally homosexual people believe that too, living a life in denial, or attending some conversion therapy in an attempt to ‘be normal’.

However, the truth is that homosexuality is, and has been for a very long time, natural, while the definition of normal varies from person to person, being normal does not suggest being special or unique, and could even be used as a derogatory description.
Being gay or bisexual should not be considered as immoral or criminal by itself, especially when considering the statistics of hate crimes, often violent, due to sexual-orientation bias.
The FBI 2011 hate crime statistics reports that there were 1,572 victims targetted due to sexual-orientation bias. According to the US Department of Justice a quarter of a million Americans are victims of hate crimes each year and over half are not reported to law enforcement. Based on the FBI hate crime statistics showing that 20.8% of hate crimes are of a sexual-orientation bias, we could then estimate the true number of sexual-orientation hate crimes to be 52,000 each year, and these crimes are rising annually.
Gary Gates of the Williams Institute reported in 2011 that an estimated 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as being gay, lesbian or bisexual, he also states that nearly 25.6 million Americans (11% of the population) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction. At what level does it become accepted as being normal?
A study at Boise State University found that in a group of heterosexual women, 60% were physically interested in other women, 45% made out with a woman in the past, and 50% had fantasies about the same sex. LiveScience reports that women may be more “hetero-flexible” or be primarily attracted to men with some same-sex attraction. The hypothesis, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, theorises that this allows women to raise their children with other women, for various reasons. Some people are claiming this shows that most women are largely bisexual, with a preference.
Let’s compare this to the estimated 10% that are left-handed, or the 10% of people with dyslexia, and ask ourselves again, “what is normal?”
More than 1,500 different animal species, including chimpanzees, dolphins and apes engage in homosexual and bisexual acts.
“We’re talking about everything from mammals to crabs and worms. The actual number is of course much higher. Among some animals homosexual behaviour is rare, some having sex with the same gender only a part of their life, while other animals, such as the dwarf chimpanzee, homosexuality is practiced throughout their lives.” – Petter Boeckman
If we were also to argue that the sole natural purpose of sex is to reproduce, then are masturbation and oral sex also unnatural? Should we demonize condom use just as much? We could also argue, using another theory, that homosexuality and asexuality are natural methods of population control.
Interestingly, in June, Exodus International, one of the U.S.’s foremost “gay conversion therapy” groups publicly announced they are quitting the gay conversion business, calling the practice “harmful”.
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite — or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know.” – Exodus president Alan Chambers
Gay_Pheleps[1]If you really feel strongly that god will judge them, while you’re entitled to your beliefs, I’m sure we (of all sexualities) would all appreciate you leaving that judgement to god.
And if you’re really going to complain about not being natural, perhaps you should stop watching TV, driving cars and go back to making fire with wood, if you can find any.
After all, you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for the genius mathematician, Alan Turing, who created one of the first computers and helped us to win World War II. For engaging in homosexual acts he was made to take female hormones (chemical castration), which resulted in him growing breasts as a side effect. He committed suicide at the age of 42.
While I understand there is a natural fear of that which is different, it’s the 21st century, so instead of complaining about how others live, let’s focus on how we live and what we can change to make our lives better.

How long-term Marijuana use effects the human brain

Marijuana’s Long Term Effects On The Brain Finally Revealed

With a drug war against marijuana still raging in more countries than not, the question of how long-term marijuana use effects the human brain is a pivotal question in its legalization.  Although alcohol remains legal despite heaps of evidence to the dangers of long-term use, the fight to make marijuana available both with regard to its medical properties (especially in selectively killing cancer cells) and non-medical uses has frequently hinged on the various claims made about marijuana’s effects on the recreational user.
Luckily, the debate can finally move out from the realm of opinion into scientific evidence as researchers from the University of Texas just published their research into the long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
The researcher helped dispel the dying myth that marijuana use lowers IQ, and actually provides more evidence to marijuana’s potential role in fighting Alzheimer’s. The research revealed that earlier onset of regular marijuana use leads to greater structural and functional connectivity in the brain. The most significant increases in connectivity appear as an individual begins using marijuana, with results showing that the severity of use is directly correlated to greater connectivity.
Although these results will need to be confirmed with a larger sample (this was based on roughly 100 participants), the preliminary results seemed promising. More research needed to be done in order to see if these differences are caused by, or simply associated with, long term marijuana use. The UT study also foundreduced gray matter in the OFC (orbitofrontalcortex) in long-term users (which is a brain region associated with addiction). It was unclear whether this region is simply smaller in regular users (explaining their regular use) or if the use actually contributed to structural brain changes.

A more recent follow-up study (yes, we edit articles with new information) published in the Journal of Neuroscience, also with 100 people (50 adolescents and 50 adults) found no significant differences in brain structure relating to daily or non-daily cannabis consumption. Which pokes holes in the interpretation that cannabis consumption was the driver in the gray matter differences seen in University of Texas study.
These results will also need to be viewed in light of other researcher showing that cannabinoids actually promote brain cell growth/regrowth (neurogenesis) even in adults. Why this could possibly remain illegal anywhere, is an important question, and hopefully people will continue to inform themselves and others on the topic.

Police Are Aiming Way to LOW

Are Police Departments Aiming Low?

Is it true that police departments aim to hire those individuals with lower test and IQ scores, and that those of higher intelligence are discriminated against? Well, Robert Jordan claims that he was denied the opportunity to interview for the New London police force because his test scores were too high. In his lawsuit, judge Peter C. Dorsey ruled that the police department was authorized to bar high IQ scores, and he defended the actions, asserting that in doing so it was not discrimination toward Mr. Jordan, because the same standards were applied to everyone. Further, anyone who scored too high on their tests could be rejected.
Later on, in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, the decision was upheld, it was re-affirmed that since the same standards were applied to everyone, rejecting someone on the basis of high test scores did not constitute discrimination. Mr. Jordan lost his appeal. He took the exam, scoring 33 which is equivalent to a IQ of 125. New London police allegedly only interview candidates who score between 20 and 27.
Although, some police departments require a prerequisite of graduation from a post-secondary education (college), most students who are interested in policing obtain their 2 year criminology degree. However, whether this stipulation is followed firmly and accurately throughout the training process is unknown. The theory, worthy of some debate, for hiring individuals to fill policing occupations, who have a lower IQ, is that those with lower scores are less likely to leave the occupation after going through costly training.  Perhaps those individuals of lesser intelligence, are more likely to be obedient, to accept and act on orders from authority figures, without critically thinking and considering the ramifications of their actions.
meanMore frequently police officers are being investigated for using illegal prescriptions in order to obtain anabolic steroids, those using the steroids commonly refer to the act as ‘juicing’. The usage has been linked to several police brutality cases. As well, anabolic steroids are listed as a Schedule III substance, along with opium and morphine, and they can also be psychologically addictive. Common side effects include violent and aggressive behavior. The mix of steroids, low intelligence, and a shiny badge, doesn’t seem to be the makings for a peaceful and safe community.
Cases of alleged police brutality have risen sharply as of late. One report from the New York Civil Liberties Union, recently revealed that in New York alone, 60 percent of the incidents where police used a taser stun gun, the incident failed to meet the recommended criteria for the use of such a weapon. The report analyzes 851 taser incidents, from eight police departments across the state, as well as 10 departments’ policies and guidelines for using the weapons, which have been the cause of dozens of deaths.
It’s no wonder that we are seeing such an increase in aggressive and abusive police actions, alongside the increase in militarized policing methods. One could only hope that the men wearing the badges and uniforms, who enforce our laws, have developed social and decision making skills. Thus, enabling them to interact more effectively with community members, so that they can effectively assist them in deescalating stressful situations, instead of jumping to use chemical weapons, taser stun guns, or other means.