If You Don’t Vote, Shush Up!

I am getting more emails from Floridians and folks I know are stopping me in stores to declare what they think about the way the country is being run more than ever before this election season. It’s almost like candidates came up with this new idea to hire their voters and send them around to be their interactive political signs. However, they are not always easy to spot because the screaming and shoving has extended beyond those wearing colonial clothes. No longer can a three-point hat act like a warning beacon.

Here is where it is different in this election. There was a time when someone would give you their opinion and IF you did not like it, you could say, “Hey, I don’t agree with you,” and both people would stop talking about that subject; they could agree to disagree. This is why there has been a standing rule among friends … don’t talk politics and religion, unless you know you share the same views, or you can remain civil. However, “No means No” works in this kind of situation, or so it should.

Note Even Registered?

Here’s an additional rub. Most of the time when I have a conversation with folks about politics where they have strong opinions, they are NOT even registered to VOTE and in most cases they won’t even vote. I’m not going to go into the reasons I have heard for this countrywide disease. I don’t like to harbor excuses, as Americans we just like action.

Of course the media circus doesn’t help. I read the stories written by the reporters for the facts they want us to know. Then I read the blogs to see what the truth of the matter is about what the people think. Because that is the key to the solution, what people outside the media think.

Sometimes it makes me sad when I read what folks write back to other folks. Four letter words that have nothing to do with solving anything. The only 4 letter word we want right now is VOTE.

Remember, YOU wanted to stand behind that party the day you decided to register that way. The definition of why you are the party you are is based on the fact that you believe in what the PARTY stands for, through thick and thin, that’s why you bought the T-shirt, bummer sticker, etc… You have to believe that the person picked to represent that party holds the same values, beliefs, and goals for our country than you do. If you are not happy with either party, start your own, but then you run the risk of becoming what you loath, a politician.

Will Rogers On Politics

Will Rogers used to say, (Paraphrasing) “If politics was honest, it would not be politics.” History has shown how effective starting your own party has been, unless it is a tailgating party. Maybe the politicians would have been better off throwing Town hall Tailgating parties instead of campaign rallies. We would get fed, pumped up and in the end we could leave the politicians to clean up all the litter.

But all kidding aside, if our country’s government does not work for you, then you can move to a country where they hold your beliefs and will allow you to live in the same freedom we have here in the USA. But good luck on that one.

Things Are Bad, But You’re Not Voting?

I hear a lot of folks talk about how bad things are and in the same breath they say they will not vote based on who the 2 candidates are. I can only assume this must mean you already have your bags packed and your plane ticket in hand to move to that other country you think works better than the USA. I will tell you though that they might ask you to vote as well. Only they might not barrage you with Campaign ads to get your vote, more a barrage of bullets and bullying. NOT voting is not a protest, but it is simply ignorant, and selfish.

PLEASE don’t take what I am saying wrong, take it as a challenge to look deep inside your RED, white (Not as in the race of people) and BLUE heart and figure what you benefit by not voting. Is it … The right to object at a later date and say “I told you so,” and then not have a way of changing things because you just don’t participate when folks don’t agree with you.

Our country is made up of standing behind somebody, otherwise we stand-alone. Trust me, this trickles over to your personal life. PLEASE take a look and see what you can find in the candidate that is finally picked, that moves even ONE thing in the direction we all want … FORWARD.

Get Out And Vote!

I have spent the last few days telling folks that they must get out and vote. However, I don’t know how folks could forget. I have had 20 robo calls in the last 4 hours. I feel like a pizza parlor. I tried to talk to some of these robo people, but they are … robo … people. It is very frustrating when some of the same people (Robots) call you over and over and you can’t talk to them. They say that in advertising it takes 9 times to drive home the point and I say it only takes 3 to drive you crazy.

Election Day is a great day to be American, so proudly show it off… Oh, if you want to pick these Fine Americans out of a crowd, it’s easy. They are the ones with a sticker proudly displayed on their chest that says… I VOTED! The others that didn’t VOTE will be sitting quietly on the sidelines with their mouths closed for the next 4 years, right? Right?

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This story was first published at NewsBlaze “VOTE Or Sush Up!

Do You Have the Resources for Your Child’s Education

In this day and age there are many companies, not to mention people, having an extremely difficult time keeping their heads above water.  The financial issues we are all facing on a daily basis have become somewhat ‘suffocating.’  Every day we are attempting to figure out the next steps to solidify our industries, businesses, employment and – most importantly – how to save money for our children’s future, so that the next generation can be ‘placed’ into a world with the knowledge necessary to have a bright and financially stable life.  There are few businesses that are still offering their employees great healthcare plans, stock, 529 plans, and IRAs – and the ‘worry’ has taken over in more than one household.

However, there is one brilliant spot in the economy at this moment in time, and it is a company that has been able to put together a way for all families – no matter what their financial status – to be able to save funds for their children’s education.  529 plans are savings accounts that can be opened when your child arrives in the world.  From day one, you can begin to plan for the high prices that will be in place when your child heads off to college.

Mission Tuition is a brand new company that was formed so that all children would be given the resources to further their education by building just such an account.  All children deserve the chance to go to college, and parents and families are truly doing their best to learn and research the various ways of saving money for the next generation.  Mission Tuition was put together in order for parents, without putting a strain on their income, to save those much-needed funds far in advance, so that when college-age approaches the money will be there.

Mission Tuition is a truly amazing company that has taken 529 plans one step further, by providing a simple and FREE way for parents to begin saving. A truly easy savings plan is offered, where family members sign up with Mission Tuition who manage an “educational savings account” that is located at Wells Fargo bank, and you use the benefits of Mission Tuition to not only save money but also to help coordinate a fantastic 529 plan for your child’s future.  After becoming a part of Mission Tuition, everyday spending can and will help YOU save for college. They offer one of the largest merchant coalition in America to provide parents and families with the widest array of savings opportunities possible. Simply put, when you shop for your everyday needs, you save for your child’s education.

The Mission Tuition program is simple to use:  sign up for the program (FREE), do your shopping at the top retailers in all areas of industry – from groceries to clothing – and save.  The everyday shopping you do already with retailers across the country will finally help pay for college expenses.

From companies such as Petco to Walgreens, Nordstrom to SEARS, Old Navy to Bass Pro Shops.  From food and wine companies to groceries and toys, computers to appliances, with Mission Tuition you can save! By shopping at your favorite retailers, you can pick up brands you know and trust, while at the same time getting money back to place into an account that will be unbelievably necessary for your child’s future.

Readers, I cannot stress enough that this process is absolutely free. The reason why?  Because nothing is free anymore that is THIS beneficial to our lives. Mission Tuition offers easy enrollment.  Then, you simply shop for products you already need, and the advertised rebates that show on Mission Tuition’s website go directly into the educational savings account. You can use any of your existing debit or credit cards to make purchases, too!  And if your favorite card happens to earn miles or points, you receive them as well, in addition to Mission Tuition’s cash rebates – doubling your benefits with every purchase.  And all of this is “on top of” the in-store discounts you already receive!

Not only will the “educational savings account” reside at Wells Fargo as you research what the best avenues of education are for your child, but Mission Tuition is also there to give instruction and information about 529 tax deferred college savings accounts for your child. When you’re ready to access your savings, you simply let Mission Tuition know and they take care of the rest. You can request a check to withdraw funds, or speak to the incredibly knowledgeable staff at Mission Tuition regarding the transferring of the money.  Only YOU have access to your money for the funding of your child‘s education. If you already have an active state 529 tax deferred college savings plan in place, you simply notify Mission Tuition and they will send a check immediately for deposit into your plan.

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Once you’ve become a member, savings is easy. Mission Tuition also offers valuable coupons for in-store discounts on dining, groceries, shopping and entertainment. Simply log in, select from YOUR favorite stores and start the savings. For even greater savings, you also have the option of applying for a new “Mission Tuition MasterCard” that will earn you additional cash rewards on all your purchases.


Over the next few weeks we are going to give you an in-depth look at this truly fantastic company that’s SO needed in this recession-wary day and age.  Everything is offered at Mission Tuition, from being able to inform customers and give them the ability to set goals, as well as information on how much you need to save for your child’s education.

They offer a calculator that can help you to better understand what the actual cost of tuition will be when your child is ready for college.  They teach you about saving early and the college tuition rates that increase every year. They talk about dedicating a small amount of your monthly budget to college savings and how THEY can help to offset the rising costs. And, most of all, Mission Tuition will help YOU to better understand and open that much-needed 529 College Savings Plan.

You can use the money you save in your 529 at any college or university, anywhere in the country. The plans differ from state to state, but all are free from federal tax. You might also consider a “Prepaid College Tuition Plan” to help lock in tuition rates now and avoid rising costs. Mission Tuition offers many links to show you how to plan for college and the responsibility that each member of your family shares. In fact, by including your children in the discussion, the whole family can understand the full cost of education and the value of planning for the future. Links are even available at the Mission Tuition site that contain information about paying for college in a format meant for your children to learn and understand.

To save enough money for your child’s college education you need to make a plan and start early – Mission Tuition can help you with both. When you sign up, they give you the flexibility to open a new 529 College Savings Account, deposit funds in an existing 529 account, or simply hold your savings in your Mission Tuition/Wells Fargo account as you continue to decide.  That way you are losing no time, and getting the refunds and benefits immediately.

Over the next few weeks we will be ‘opening up’ the educational landscape, and going over the many positives regarding 529 plans.  For a brief introduction to these particular savings routes: the 529 is a tax-advantaged investment plan that’s designed to encourage saving for a designated beneficiary’s future higher education expenses. The plans are administered by state agencies and organizations.  We will go over all aspects of the 529 savings plan and you will see that they are far better than a typical savings account.  One large reason for this is the fact that when you withdraw money for qualified education expenses from a 529, it is free from federal income tax.  Even better, many states also follow this rule, so you may not have to pay any state taxes either. But remember, as you learn and discover which 529 plan you would like to invest in, you can STILL utilize the Mission Tuition account to gather your rebates – you don’t miss a single day of reaping the benefits of this incredible system.

When this writer speaks about the fact that Mission Tuition has built up a coalition of thousands of merchants nationwide, this is no understatement. When you shop with the Mission Tuition merchants you SAVE, and your cash rebates are deposited into your educational savings account – no muss, no fuss. Several of these merchants offer savings opportunities of up to 15% of your total purchase. Also, when you shop in-person, you receive their advertised discount right there on the spot. So every time you shop – whether online or in-person – you can be sure that you’re preparing for your child’s future.

This is a truly outstanding company that offers the one thing that all parents need – a way to provide for their child’s future.

Until Next Time, Everybody.

For more information, go to:

http://www.missiontuition.com

Questions regarding Mission Tuition:

General Inquiries: info@missiontuition.com
Suggestions: suggestions@missiontuition.com
Member Support: support@missiontuition.com
Partnership Inquiries: partner@missiontuition.com

Company Information:

16255 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 525
Encino, CA 91436

(818) 783-2100

VillaDirect is Delighted to be Included With Select Companies in Central Florida as a Part of the New Disney Affiliation

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — This new program seeks to encourage consistent quality standards in property care and customer service for vacation rental companies around the Walt Disney WorldZ Resort area, as well as defining requirements for property standards that guests expect and benefit from. With this logo, visitors to Central Florida can quickly identify companies that offer quality service and standards as well as consistently reliable accommodations, along with providing an authorized source for information about the Walt Disney WorldZ Theme Parks and Tickets.

Over the last year, Disney worked with key property management companies, including VillaDirect, to develop clear standards for vacation rental homes, and guidelines for promoting the Walt Disney WorldZ Theme Parks.

Steve Hardman, CEO of VillaDirect Vacation Homes said, “We’ve worked as an Authorized Disney Ticket Seller for some time, and the Vacation Rental Home Connection, part of the Disney Ticket Network has been carefully designed to help our guests, by giving them a quality standard that they can rely upon. Whenever guests book with a company which carries the Vacation Rental Home Connection logo – they can be confident in receiving great service and quality in a vacation rental home. We’re absolutely thrilled to be recognized through this program.

To find out more about the Walt Disney WorldZ Vacation Rental Home Connection or to look at the homes offered by VillaDirect Vacation Homes under the program, visit www.villadirect.com.

About VillaDirect Vacation Homes

VillaDirect Vacation Homes is the most popular vacation home rental company in central Florida, welcoming over 50,000 guests each year and an affiliate of the Vacation Rental Home Connection, part of the Disney Ticket Network. The company was established in 1998 and offers the widest choice of quality accommodations to guests from more than 350 privately owned family pool homes, condos and townhouses – all within easy distance of Walt Disney WorldZ Resort and other area attractions. VillaDirect offers properties to fit every family’s needs and budget, from 2 bedroom condos to 7 bedroom estate homes on fabulous vacation rental resort locations in Orlando – as well as being an authorized Disney attraction ticket reseller, where you can buy Disney Theme Park Tickets for your visits to the theme parks of Orlando. For more information, visit the VillaDirect website or call 1-877-259-9908 (toll free USA & Canada).

Steve Hardman, 407-973-0575, steve@villadirect.com

SOURCE VillaDirect Vacation Homes

See the full story at NewsBlaze.com Current News – Florida

Jeff Ashton Blows His Cool – Is the Prosecution a Sinking Ship?

By John Kays

“Well, she’s fashionably lean, and she’s fashionably late. She’ll never wreck a scene, she’ll never break a date. But she’s no drag, Just watch the way she walks. She’s a twentieth century fox, she’s a twentieth century fox. No tears, no fears, no ruined years, no clocks. She’s a twentieth century fox, oh yeah.” Twentieth Century Fox – The Doors

The atmosphere in Courtroom 23A on Thursday was brittle, explosive; tense is a word that better resembles a euphemism, especially with regards to the veteran prosecuting attorney, Jeff Ashton. Ashton was ‘tense’ the entire time, but at two points Jeff obviously blew up!

One juncture of volatility was when Jeff questioned the relevance of DNA on the shovel, the other sparking moment was when Jose Baez asked FBI DNA expert, Heather Seubert, why she was conducting a DNA paternity test (at the request of Orange County detective, Nick Savage) for Lee Anthony.

My suspicions were that Jeff’s behavior could be explained away by the fact that he sees his case melting like The Wicked Witch of the West (when Dorothy douses her with baptismal water), right before his very eyes. I took meticulous notes on Thursday’s smokin’ testimonies, and I recognized it as a sterling day for the defense.

Every witness plowed down to the ground the prosecution’s case, systematically bit by bit. Let’s see here, there was Gerardo Bloise (again), Heather Seubert, Lorie Gottesman, Jennifer Welch, and Robin Maynard. All of these witnesses jabbed some black holes in the prosecution’s fragile fabric of circumstantial evidence.

So I’ll tell you briefly what each witness did to suggest the possibility of reasonable doubt (as to Casey’s guilt) to the jury, but I urge you to experience for yourself the entire sizzling day uncut.

Gerardo Bloise, a CSI for Orange County, helped to eliminate the possibility of any crime occurring in Tony Lazzaro’s car. Bloise also inspected Casey’s clothes in her closet, and didn’t detect any blood on her clothes, including the all important brown pants that Casey was wearing on June 16, 2008.

Heather Seubert gives a wealth of information that negates the culpability of Casey. A spare tire cover (Q13) tested negative for blood when the phenolphthalein test was applied. Q23 (another spare tire swab), Q24 (carpet lining in trunk) and Q25 (right side of trunk liner) also tested negative for blood.

Nor did Heather find any DNA traces in the now infamous trunk. This is odd, why wasn’t any DNA of Caylee deposited in the trunk, if her body was left there for three or four days? Decomposition fluid is highly pungent, yet none was found. The Sunfire was confiscated in July of 2008. Not enough time (one month) for DNA to evaporate.

Q33-Q43 are evidence items, mainly some clothes in Casey’s closet. Pants, blouses, shirts, skirts, that sort of thing. While many of these clothing items had stains or remnants of stains, each and every one tested negative for blood (when the phenolphthalein test was applied). Q44 was a spare tire carpet that had a dingy brown stain on it, that tested negative for blood also. Moreover, no DNA was present on the carpet. Then what was the dingy brown stain comprised of? The FBI never tells us.

Q46 is a shovel, and also provides us with an emotional crescendo, when Jeff Ashton blows up and requires a reprimand from Judge Perry. “Mr. Ashton, calm down!” Ms. Seubert thought she noticed female DNA on the shovel, but couldn’t confirm this, since the sample, using Touch DNA, was below the threshold of 50 RFU (if I absorbed my nuclear DNA lecture sufficiently).

The peak of Heather Seubert’s biting testimony (to the prosecution), if it’s possible to surpass the ‘Shovel Incident,’ was the revealing duct tape (Q62-Q64) exposition. To summarize (ever a deadly game), Heather couldn’t come up with any DNA (tied to either Caylee or Casey) on the sticky side of the Henkel duct tape.

Disturbingly enough, she did detect some DNA on the tape. This ended up belonging to FBI agent Lorie Gottesman. Lorie said she never took the sample out of the plastic evidence wrapper.

So how did her chromosomes get on the most important evidence in the entire case? I’m not calling her a liar, but she must be mistaken, Gottesman had to have removed the duct tape from the protective covering!

Am I wrong? This is another major mistake made by an FBI professional. Jose Baez made a good point. If the duct tape was applied violently to Caylee’s mouth, a good amount of DNA should have been left on the sticky side of the duct tape. But since the strip of tape was contaminated by a FBI expert, it’s impossible to ever know.

Robin Maynard was the CSI who actually collected 313 (the crimson heart sticker with cardboard). What is clear, however, is that this object (which grows in importance to the attorneys, jurors and even we the audience) was originally discovered a full 30 feet away from the skull (Area A).

Ron Murdock, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Forensics’ supervisor, reaffirmed the considerable distance of the heart-shaped sticker from the original deposit location of the body.

Baez was able to show this sleazy little park on Suburban Drive in Orlando, Florida was nothing more than a dumping ground. Beer bottles, pop bottles, Mazda blue signs; in short, every type of trash imaginable was tossed there.

Is it too much of a leap of faith to suspect the little heart was just another chunk of trash? Not for me. Couple this with the fact that Lorie Gottesman couldn’t see any trace of a heart-shaped residue on the duct tape (which the prosecution claims is the murder weapon), after conducting a Video Spectral Comparatore (VSC) on said duct tape.

Jennifer Welch (who we’ve seen three times previously) just reminds us that tons of trash was collected from the crime scene. I’m providing you with a photo of some of the trash collected. Linda Burdick was right, this sight was a veritable, TRASH DUMP! So how did the CSI know what was trash and what was evidence, other than bones?

Why wasn’t there any decomposition fluid (that would deposit good DNA) on the trunk carpet of the Pontiac Firebird? And why did Jeff Ashton blow up like the Hindenburg on Thursday?

And is the prosecution’s case a sinking boat (like the Titanic) on stormy seas? Heather Seubert gave em nothin’. And Lorie Gottesman embarrassed none other than the FBI. Believe it or not, now Judge Perry is acting nicer to Mr. Baez. There’s a telling harbinger for you!

“She’s the queen of cool, and she’s the lady who waits. Since her mind left school, It never hesitates. She won’t waste time on elementary talk. ‘Cause she’s a twentieth century fox, She’s a twentieth century fox. Got the world locked up inside a plastic box.”

John Kays follows interesting current legal events that often have unusual twists and turns.

The Holocaust as Seen Through the Eyes of Students at Park Vista High School

The Holocaust and other tragedies in history may seem unimaginable to today’s youth. But Park Vista High School came up with an innovative and stimulating program to bring awareness of these atrocities to students that also translated into relevant issues facing teens today. For three months, they have studied the White Rose resistance movement, when a group of courageous college students almost their own age from Munich were the first to stir up the ranks of Hitler’s Nazis during l942-3. Students honored those who lived and died during that time on Holocaust Remembrance Day last month when they wore white roses, most probably a symbol of peace and purity. Donations from the effort were sent to the Save Darfur Coalition.

Mr. Moskovic from Hobe Sound was l3 years old when he was taken by the Nazis and when he was released in l945, was the only surviving member of his family. He escaped death three times from nothing short of miracles. His goal in sharing with students is “to keep the memory alive and to help our youth carry the truth in the future so people don’t forget.”  Students also shared how they have grown from the project, similar to PSAs, and posters which are part of a large quilt that covers a wall in the main cafeteria.

The White Rose program at Park Vista was made possible through a grant provided by LEAH, the League for Educational Awareness for the Holocaust based in Boca Raton, an organization that educates and advocates about the Holocaust and other genocides. It seeks to engage teachers in inspiring and motivating students to actively contribute to a kinder, more compassionate world.  To date, LEAH has funded more than 300 education grant awards which have touched the lives of 36,000 students in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

The White Rose group are most well-known for their leafleting and a secret organization started by Sophie and Hans Scholl of which several award-winning movies, documentaries, books and plays have been made. All seven members were convicted of treason and beheaded at a very young age.

Media Specialist and coordinator of the school-wide program, Brigitta McTigue, spent her early years growing up in Munich, Germany where Sophie and her brother Hans Scholl and the White Rose students were considered heroes.

“Our l6 and l7 year olds need to know this, so that they learn how to deal with prejudice, bigotry, bullying, and other human rights issues they face today. We hope this program has given them some tools to become more tolerant in their daily lives and to find healthy ways to stand up to hurtful and cruel actions done to other people merely because of differences.”

Also collaborating and working together on the project was Sue Mehok, English teacher, as well as reading and social studies classes. Activities included reading chapters or books about the White Rose movement and watching the film “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.”

“As we teach students about the Holocaust, and other examples of genocide such as Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia we are in a very real way repairing the world,” said Amanda McGee, executive director of LEAH. “They are taking the lessons that happened in the Holocaust of these very brave young people in the White Rose movement so that they can hopefully become better human beings.”

Educational programs such as these are designed to help children learn about time periods and events that may seem incomprehensible to them.

“They have no concept of what freedom is, because they have it,” said Ms. Mehok.

While many schools offer only a few paragraphs in their history books about the Holocaust, Park Vista High School has a dedicated program, under the leadership of Eileen Shapiro who heads up Holocaust Studies for the school district of Palm Beach County. It was at her suggestion that McTigue applied for the grant from LEAH.

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