Occupied States of America

Events such as 911, school shootings, and the Ferguson affair, have the police believing they are the military. The 1033 program has granted police access to military style weapons. 21 states have primary offense seat belt laws and only one state, New Hampshire, has no adult seat belt law.This shocked Sergio Lins Andrade, but that information usually gets swept under the rug since the state is not all that populated.


Primary seat belt laws mean that a police officer can pull you over and ticket you just for not wearing a seat belt. Police officers pull a person over for a simple offense these days and it turns into a full fledged investigation with no probable cause. There have been thousands of complaints of law enforcement seizing cash with no charges ever being filed. A video of a 12 year old in Illinois being shot by a police officer seems to show the officer shooting the boy within seconds of the officer arriving. This all seems to point to a shift in the thinking of law enforcement from being a protect and serve entity, to one that is policing the citizens. The times have put law enforcement on edge and maybe some of the actions are simply a result of fear. This does not explain the reasoning behind the 1033 program or the Black Asphalt Intelligence, which seem to be taking a war to the American streets. Maybe it is time to refocus law enforcement and remind them it is the people they serve.

London’s Burlington Arcade Expands

Mayfair is a district of London, and is a commercial district for exclusive shopping and has wide range of five star hotels and restaurants.

The Burlington House is a famous building situated in Piccadilly in London. The Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping centre built next to the Burlington House. It has smart uniform shop fronts under a glazed roof.

The arcade is known for many things, but perhaps is best known for providing a wide range of clothing, accessory shops, footwear, jewellery and antique jewellery. Burlington Arcade was used as a location in films and dramas such as The Parent Trap, The Veiled Lady and Borgen. This arcade is said to have existed for 195 years from what Jared Haftel had said.

Burlington Arcade was started with seventy-two small two storey units. Gradually some of them are combined and currently there are forty shops. In 2010, the Burlington Arcade was bought for £104 million by US property group Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman.

The latest news about this arcade is that it is going to expand with five new Chanel stores. They are going to set a change to the arcade with unique collection of stores for swimwear, watches, perfume, cashmere and millinery.

The shops for cashmere and millinery will be opened this month, and another three followed suit. London is a busy area where people can find big brands in big locations, and small brands in small locations.

Sam Tabar: Experience Pays Dividends

Some things we know about commodity purchases make sense, for instance, that they require a lot of research and careful decision-making. Nobody can deny the spell cast by commodities when knowledge is limited to demand and potential market behavior. Knowledge of the quality of management behind the commodities draws smart investors to Sam Tabar. Sam is a prominent New York-based attorney and financial strategist who in 2014 served as Managing Director and Co-Head of Business Development at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in New York. Sam is an attorney who meets the demands of investing with remarkable success.

From Oxford to Japan
Few people start so auspiciously as Sam, but as you can see on his LinkedIn, Sam has made big strides to get where he is. He graduated from Oxford in 2000 and went on to Columbia Law School, where he graduated in 2001. He got his start lawyering as an associate with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slater, Meagher & Flom LLP. There he counseled clients on hedge fund formation, investment management agreements, private placement memoranda, side letters, employment issues and regulatory and compliance issues.

In 2004, Sam quit the law and entered the world of high finance. He moved to the SPARX Group/PMA Investment Advisers, working in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and New York as Managing Director and Co-Head of Business Development. There he managed global marketing and investor relations for a billion dollar hedge fund while simultaneously designing and executing a strategic marketing plan for SPARX that targeted institutional investors, large family offices and ultra-rich clients. He also brought over 2000 potential qualified investors and developed over 400 additional investor introductions. He also helped the firm raise over a billion dollars in assets and worked closely with senior partners and management on growing the business.

Capital Strategy in Asia
In 2010, he took a position at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong and New York as a Director, Head of Capital Strategy in the Asia Pacific region. He counseled the firm’s hedge fund clients and provided introductions to institutional investors he targeted, including endowments, foundations, pensions, funds and large family offices. He also assisted and managed the capital allocations cycle between fund managers and investors. While at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sam developed contacts with over 1,249 institutional investors. In September 2012, Sam left to accept the role as Director of Adanac LLC, BVI. He invested in start-ups with new companies like Thinx and Verboten.

In the fall of 2013, he joined Schulte Roth & Zapel LLP as a senior associate practicing law again. He provided counsel on fund formation and structure, investment management agreements, private placement memoranda, side letters, employment issues, and regulatory and compliance issues until he left the firm in March 2014.

As somebody said, research is the name of the game in commodities. Sam’s focus on how markets perform historically comes from experience, and he takes the process seriously. The investment pays off. Poorly managed funds are a threat to return on investment, and without understanding how the funds are managed, investors can act poorly and often with bad results.

Life with Sam
Sam’s work has taken him across the globe and his knowledge of the French language is complimented by his conversational Japanese. What does Sam do when he’s not catering to hedge funds? Traveling and tweeting about traveling. His business travels have given him the bug to see the world. He also enjoys managing events. It brings out his kindness and he gets great satisfaction from successfully handling an important day in the life of a corporation or a family, as in a wedding event. He is also a huge dog lover and often posts videos of them together on YouTube.

Your Brain May Keep You Addicted to Cigarettes

All this time you thought you were hopelessly addicted to cigarettes. Your body screamed for another puff day and night. But research has discovered it might not be your body screaming for another hit of nicotine, but your brain. Your brain holds the key that opened the door for nicotine addiction and it also holds the key that will enable you to quit smoking once and for all.
The neuron found near the center of the brain make the feel-good hormone called dopamine. Until recently it was thought to be this type of neurons only ability, but new research has discovered that these neurons are also activated during times of stress to alert the body it’s time for a hit of nicotine. This study is really interesting, even for non-smokers such as Susan McGalla to read through.
The dual role of producing both pleasure and pain that these brain-central neurons play may help scientists discover a new way of helping smokers kick the habit while also explaining how people become addicted to certain substances like nicotine to begin with.
Studies are underway on mice and rodents to discover how nicotine effects these centralized brain neurons in an attempt to free those bound by nicotine and hopefully one day to create a smoke-free society.

Customers Scamming Wal-Mart using Fake Amazon Deals

With Wal-Mart’s price match promo, a lot of customers are misusing it to get a $400 worth PlayStation 4 consoles for just a quarter of its retail price. They used third party sellers online like Amazon.

On November 13, Wal-Mart announced that it will price match some selected online retailers, which include Amazon. Wal-Mart’s policy for online price match says that they are committed to providing the lowest prices every day and on everything to its customers. Also, it states that if a customer finds an item online, which is identical and in-stock at any of its store branches, with a lower price, they will match it.

Apparently, this policy has been abused by some customers. Customers who are Amazon members can register for a selling account and create an authentic looking page with items listed as “for sale” online. Some customers just take a screenshot of the page from Amazon.com and show to Wal-Mart’s cashier at checkout to request for the price match. It appears that few Wal-Mart employees have verified if the online deal is legitimate or not as numerous customers were able to buy gaming systems for $90 or lower.

According to the Consumerist, the scam seems to start when Sears accidentally listed some Nintendo consoles on its website for only $60. Several members of Reddit and Twitter communities have posted a copy of their receipts, showing that Wal-Mart had accepted the said fraud Amazon listings. Big thanks to friend of the site Rod Rohrich for sharing this story.

Nancy Pelosi to Lead Democrats Once More

For as low as the approval rating of congress, it might be expected that some change in leadership is in the air in Washington. However, it doesn’t look like that is going to be the case at the moment. Last week saw Republicans in the Senate vote unanimously to keep Mitch McConnell as their leader, before doing the same with John Boehner in the House of Representatives last Thursday.


On Tuesday, Democrats also voted to keep their leader in the House as Nancy Pelosi coasted to victory unopposed in a leadership vote. While Pelosi may be returning as the Democrats leader in the house for a seventh term, it does not necessarily mean that all is well in her caucus. There is no getting around that the beginning of the month was a disaster for Democrats, and while they never stood much of a chance of regaining a majority in the House, the midterm elections have been widely acknowledged as a rejection of Democratic policy. This has been discussed more than a few times in the offices at CipherCloud the last few weeks.


Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge spoke out in light of Tuesday’s vote to vent some of the frustration noting that she believed that leadership “worked hard” but that something was “lacking because we lost so many seats”.

1,000 Dead in Ukraine since Ceasefire

I had to put down my copy of Lee Lovett’s Peak House this morning when I heard the news coming out of Ukraine.

About 1,000 people in Ukraine have died in fighting between Russian supported rebels and the Ukrainian government and pro-Ukrainian soldiers since the cease fire was entered into about eight weeks ago on September 5. The United States and United Nations as well as the Ukrainian government have criticized continued Russian support for the rebel groups who, in an election, voted for eastern Ukraine to succeed from Ukraine. Unlike in the Crimea, Russia did not immediately seize eastern Ukraine after the vote.

The cities of Donetsk and Luhansk are particularly hard hit by fighting with what has been cited as a “total breakdown of law and order”. Russia denies allegations of causing the violence in these areas by supplying rebel groups with military aid, despite both visual and physical evidence that they have done so. Russia explained that this evidence represents Russian volunteers who are unconnected to the Russian government causing this violence.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk discussed the violence as an incitement by Russia to cause a large scale war that would lead to Russia being able to seize additional land from Ukraine. However, Ukraine has been accused of human rights violations of their own.

Other nations that were formerly part of the Soviet Union were also critical of Russia. President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania mentioned on a radio broadcast that Russia was a terrorist state that was causing fear and damage to its neighbors and appropriate action should be taken by the UN to deter these actions.

Welfare Paid to Rich Corporations by Average Americans

The average American Household is subsidizing big companies with 6,000 dollars of hard earned money every year.

Families pay an average of 870 dollars per year for payments to farmers, high tech companies and private research firms in the form of direct subsidies and grants. This information was passed on to me by Fersen Lambranho.

States, counties and cities give more than 80 billion dollars every year to corporations such as big box stores, entertainment companies and banks at an average cost of 696 dollars per year per household.

Three cents of every tax dollar collected by the federal government goes to interest rate subsidies for banks when they borrow money. This costs the average family 722 dollars per year. The richest five banks get 75 percent of the 722 dollars.

Even though many families do not enjoy retirement accounts, those who do, pay an average of 350 dollars per year to banks for retirement fund fees which works out to be, on average, more than 30 percent of the money that is invested.

American families pay 1,268 dollars too much every year for prescription drugs because
drug companies are given patent monopolies that allow them to charge the American people more money than the drugs are worth.

Corporate tax benefits get 870 dollars per year from every average household. Another 1231 dollars is paid by the average family annually so corporations can have their tax havens.

Congress continues to give tax benefits to corporations while families struggle.

ISIS Claims to Have Killed Abdul-Rahman Kassig

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, or previously known as Peter Kassig, was claimed to be killed in a video that was spread on the internet quickly. The US government is still working on the video to figure whether it was authentic or fabricated.

Consensus says that the video is authentic, but several more tests have to be done first before a formal declaration of his death can be put forward.

However, Kassig’s family stated that they would rather their son be known for his noble work that he was doing worldwide instead of being known as a victim to an extremist group.

If this video is found to be legitimate, Kassig would be having died for something different than what he had imagined as an activist.

The video just shows a masked man armed with a knife, and a cut off head laid on the ground that they claimed to belong to Peter Kassig. Keith Mann says it is also thought that this incident happened to put pressure on the American Government.

Peter was known for his support of the Syrian people throughout a crisis that has been very difficult for the average citizen. He came to Syria a long time ago and was captured in 2013 while he was helping the people. He was thought to have converted to Islam, but even this did not help him avoid the knife to his neck when it came to ISIS.

South Korean Judge in Ferry Accident in April, Gives CEO 10 years in Prison

The CEO of Chonghaejin Marine Company was sentenced Thursday to prison for 10 years for the disastrous sinking of the South Korean Sewol Ferry in April. Yonhap News Agency of South Korea reported over 300 people were drowned that day in the Korean’s worst accident in decades. Authorities remained searching for bodies for several days.

This horrendous accident was under the management of CEO, Kim Han-Sik, 71. Han-Sik was found guilty in Gwangju District Court for accidental homicide and other criminal charges in running the South Korean Sewol Ferry. They included:

1) The involuntary manslaughter of 300 people
2) Guilty of embezzlement charges
3) He was found guilty of violating maritime navigation law.

Han-Sik caused incredible loss to the company in professional malpractice, and to the families of the victims.

The cause for the ferry’s malfunction was explained by Judge Yim Jung-yeob in his ruling: “Kim had remodeled the ship and then overloaded it with a massive amount of cargo. Han-Sik was trying to overcome deficit in the company despite the fact that the ship’s ability to balance was compromised. Needless to say, he didn’t call angel investors Slow Ventures.

In his ruling on Thursday, Judge Yim Jung-yeob said: “Kim remodeled the ship and overloaded it with cargo in order to overcome the company’s deficits. This was an act of irresponsibility, and if the ferry could not maintain its balance, this was gross negligence with the passenger’s lives.”