Anatomy of Foreclosure Fraud

Here is the simple anatomy of foreclosure fraud.

An individual would take out a loan in order to purchase a home. Unknown to the individual at the time, the bank would have already lined up a purchaser to buy the loan along with a bunch of other loans from the same time period.

The purchaser would enter into a "Pooling and Servicing Agreement" with a couple of other purchasers, which called for the creation of a Trust. One of the other purchasers in the Agreement would become the "trustee." The original lender was supposedly to deposit the mortgages into the trust. Often MERS was designated as the virtual warehouse for the mortgages.

This was where the problems began. At the time that the purchaser bought the mortgages from the original lender, it did not know where that particular loan was going to end up. So, although it paid money for the mortgage, often times the lender did not sign it over to the purchaser right away. Instead, they would wait to find out where the loan was going to go with the intent of signing it over later. This was because the mortgages often changed hands many times before the attempt to deposit it into the trust was made. So at the time the purchaser paid the money, they never actually got any loans. All they got was a spreadsheet with a list of mortgages on it.

This claimed in nothing actually being deposited into the trust. Ideally, they were to go back after the deposit was done and have the lender assign the loans to the Trustee for the benefit of the trust. The problem was, for various reasons, the assignments never got made, so the trusts were empty

If the trusts were empty, it means that the servicer collecting mortgage payments on behalf of the trust, had no right to collect.

It also means that the securities Mortgage Backed Securities backed by these trusts were useless as well, and that the people offering to sell them may face liability to the investors in those securities.

To cover up the failure to properly convey the mortgages, MERS and the Banks got a document mill to forge a backdated assignment or allonge, or produce a false affidavit claiming that a proper chain of title exists and that the foreclosing entity has the right to foreclose , even though they do not. This is where the foreclosure fraud comes in.
Many people feel that they have no options other than to go along with what the bank tells them to do. It is important to realize that in most cases, the bank is NOT on your side. There are far too many instances of people being led to believe the bank was "working with them" only to find that the foreclosure was proceeding anyway.
If you have received a Notice of Trustee's Sale, you must act quickly to protect your rights. You DO have rights, but what good are rights if you are not aware of them or how to protect them?

Source by Bob Jung

Source of Pool Problems – Biofilms

If you think your pool water is clean and sanitary just because it looks clear, think again. Yes, you may have shocked the water and added algaecide and even maintained a good chlorine, bromine biguanide (Soft Swim or Baquacil) level, but you’ve only controlled about 1% of the bacteria in your swimming pool! Yes, just 1%. Where’s the other 99%? On every pool surface that you can or can not see. And most of those places are virtually impossible to reach. What now?

The more we deal with swimming pools and pool problems, the more we realize that we’re dealing with or treating symptoms rather than the root cause of the cloudy water, algae, scale build up, etc. As I’ve noted in other articles, there are a plethora of reasons for cloudy water from poor water chemistry to poor circulation to improper cleaning habits to environmental causes. And typically, these causes combine to create the problem.

As we look for the root cause, we see more and more that there are real “problems” that are often undetected. What do we mean? Have you noticed that there is a regular build up of film on the pool liner, up and down the walls or in the corners? If you are a regular brusher, the problem may not be as noticeable. How about when you take the filter apart for normal maintenance or cleaning and you see a whitish film on the inside of the tank or on the skimmer weir or skimmer body?

All of those films or slimes are what we call biofilms. In biofilms live the other roughly 99% of all pool bacteria. The 1% that is in the water is classified as “planktonic”. Like plankton or algae, planktonic bacteria free-floats in the water. That is the bacteria that your chlorine, bromine or other sanitizer can “easily” kill. The 99% in the biofilm can be quite another story and long-term headache. There is much information about biofilm from institutions around the world to back up my information to you. Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering is one of our key sources.

Biofilms in swimming pools can and often do lead to cloudy water, algae blooms, scale build-up on the heater (prevents efficient heating), and even corrosion (certain biofilms can have a pH of about 1.0 – very acidic) of any metal surface of the pool system including heaters, filter parts, ladders, rails, etc.

First, what is a biofilm? A biofilm is a film or large quantity of bacteria that is living in and as a vast colony in the microscopic world. In the “big” world, you could call a coral reef a “biofilm.” A biofilm is self-perpetuating and difficult to remove. Worst of all, biofilm love virtually any surface, especially wet or damp. But beware, even after drying out, the biofilm will not necessarily be dead but simply dormant. Did we mention that biofilms are relatively resistant to chlorine, bromine or other sanitizers?

Second, how do biofilms form? As just mentioned, biofilms form on any surface. In your pool that means the liner or the pool walls, bottom, ladder rails, skimmer baskets, ladder treads, filter tank bodies, pump bodies and impellers, directional returns (eyeballs), heater plumbing, and especially the piping. There is a 5 steps process as to the formation of biofilms: Attachment, Colonization, Protection, Growth, and finally what I call Distribution.

Attachment is just that; the bacteria attaches to the surface. It wants a place to call home and grow. Bacteria want to be in relationships, so that find a nice surface to settle down and join up with a few of their closest friends.

After attaching to the pool surface with their friends, colonization takes place as bacteria multiply and divide, growing in number. According to studies, it is at this crucial point that this attachment is “irreversible.” The bacteria colony is there to stay unless purposefully removed. This stage is typically accomplished in a matter of minutes or hours at most.

In the Protection stage, the bacteria colony or biofilm begins protecting itself against invasion. Invasion from environmental factors, “lethal” chemicals (such as chlorine or bromine), predators, anything that want to destroy it. In technical terms, the bacteria begins to excrete a protective coating called an “exopolysaccharide” film. The film is sticky or slimy and very hearty. Now the biofilm is ready to experience explosive growth.

Like a coral reef, the biofilm gets bigger and tougher. Super colonies of biofilm are actually absorbing certain chemicals that were meant to destroy them. The chlorine or bromine may kill the out layers of the colony that are more susceptible to chlorine or bromine, but as the chlorine or bromine is exhausted, the lower, stronger, better protected layers are still living and multiplying. The good news is that as the biofilm colony increases in size, it gets more “unwieldy” and begins to break apart. That’s also the bad news.

Now we come full circle and come to Distribution where these broken parts begin to attach to other surfaces or different parts of the same surface. And the cycle begins anew.

By the way, biofilms are everywhere. Pools, spas, bathrooms, kitchens, the funky look to your patio furniture, on your teeth (plaque is a biofilm), wherever there is a surface that can be damp. You can view a video on swimming pool biofilms at our blog by clicking on the link below.

Keep in mind that all biofilms are not bad. How? Some are being used in industrial situations to plug microfissures. But in pools ans spas, we don’t want them.

Source by Ronald Parrs

Debt Consolidation Can Be Essential to Your Credit Repair

Each on us has a particular financial position, and most of us have some kind of debt to return. It can mean both, the big home loan or a small credit card bills. It actually means that all of us depend on being approved for some kind of credit, without it our lives would be much harder and we would have to give up on lots of things we take for granted.

The real key to our credit status lies in our credit reports which are maintained and updated by credit bureaus. In case that you fall in to a default, or maybe miss on some payments, the credit bureau will be notified of this and it will go on your credit report. If thing like that happens your credit rating will drop and you’ll have much harder time getting a loan of any kind.

Even if you get it, the interest rates will be much higher then for good credit applicants. Successful credit repair includes lots of different steps, and is different for each of us. An excellent answer in terms of credit repair for most of us is debt consolidation.

When you begin your credit repair one thing is essential to your success and that is speed.

You have to move quickly. The first damage to your credit rating will be the first time you miss payments, but it will continue to worsen if you continue to do it. Huge number of people believes that ones credit is either good or bad and there is nothing you can do about it. Because of that most of them don’t even attempt to repair their credit.

However the truth is quite the opposite, no matter how bad your credit is you can begin to repair it by returning some of the debt you owe to your creditors. The more you return and faster, the better your situation is going to improve.

The usual problem with credit repair lies in lack of money which you could return to your creditors, The problem again, is that you probably don’t have the money you need to pay off the debts, after all, lack of money is probably the reason for your financial troubles.

Because of that debt consolidation can be essential in your credit repair efforts. Debt consolidation works by consolidating all of your debts in to just one loan. What this means is that if you have numerous debts with one company or many companies, you apply for just one loan which will cover all the others.

By doing so you’ll have only one loan to payback and that one loan will have significantly lower interest rates then the previous ones. Debt consolidation is going to provide you with financial breathing room, when your debt becomes unmanageable.

You should know that your debt will not be reduced in any way, but it will be stretched over a much longer time period and will result in drop of your monthly payments.

What is also very important is that debt consolidation will place you in much better standing with creditors. Your financial situation will not be perfect right away but immediately the creditors will notice that you have returned all your debts, and will report that to the credit bureaus. With that your credit repair will truly begin.

Debt consolidation can be one of the most important tools in your credit repair efforts. Reason for that is that it allows for a very fast change in your credit rank. You will replace bad relations with many creditors for good relations with just one.

If you act fast it can allow you to control the damage done to your credit status before it gets beyond repair and maybe pushes you in to bankruptcy. Because of that a debt consolidation can be one of the most important tools for your credit repair.

Source by William S Bailey

Benefits Of Computer Antivirus Software

Installing computer antivirus software on your computer is important. It can be the life saver of your PC and the savior of your important files and data. Therefore you must make antivirus a priority when it comes to the things installed in your computer.

The most important reason behind having computer antivirus software is for the protection of your gadget. Viruses are invaders that can breakdown your computer’s operation. It could destroy all vital data and disturb the operating system making your computer worthless. Viruses cannot easily access the central processing unit of your PC when you have protection software against these viruses. CPU is the brain and heart of your computer that is why it is imperative to have a protection gear against unwanted attackers.

Second reason in having computer antivirus software is to protect you from hackers. Hackers are people or group of people who illegally penetrate personal information such as bank accounts, credit cards and other related data. They use this personal info to gain access in someone’s financial activities, lend some money using others account and illicitly transact for someone’s behalf. Hackers are living viruses that you must avoid. Antivirus program prevents these people from making connections through your internet and even blocking unwarranted messages from coming in your emails.

Next benefit that you will gain from having this software is the cost efficiency of your unit. Although some antivirus is relatively costly, there are also wide arrays of free and downloadable software in the internet. Antivirus software can extend the life and usage of your computer by protecting the hardware and the operational software from harmful viruses. Even if you pay a higher rate in purchasing these commercial softwares, the benefit of having to enjoy your computer longer can go beyond the price that you spend. The efficiency is measured not on the price but on the quality of service you will have.

Convenience is the last benefit on this list. Computers that do not have an antivirus welcome hackers and viruses into the system, hence it will start to slow down. Invaded computers also have the difficulty in performing simple arithmetic operation and other logical function. With the help of computer antivirus software, your PC will retain its speed and accuracy. It is also easier to detect the presence of viruses by scanning the files, data or attachments before preceding other operations. User will be notified when the antivirus detects uncertain security on the files.

Source by Tony Pescatore

Traditonal Vs. Neo-Traditional Tattooing

Some say that there’s no difference between traditional tattoos and neo-traditional tattoos; though the differences are slight, they are still there. Traditional tattoos consist of dark heavy line strokes and solid colors. They are intentionally kept simple in design and use a limited color palette that consists of red, green, yellow, brown, and blue with little to no shading.

Tattoo culture at the time was very much fringe and on the outskirts of society, unlike the mainstream appeal and fine art credibility it has today. These sailors would get iconic images stamped on their body as a celebration of their service; only accomplished sailors that have been to far away lands and traveled a certain number of miles were able to get swallows, for example. Traditional tattoos were not customly created, rather they were just flash picked off walls.

“Traditional” adheres to specific imagery: patriotic symbols like eagles, ships, anchors, the American flag, daggers, pin ups, swallows and nautical stars. All of these symbols stemmed from classic sailor and Navy icons that were prevalent in the early 20th century when servicemen would return stateside and get tattooed.

Neo-traditional tattoos pay homage to the classic, timeless art form through the same techniques; bold lines and heavy color saturation with minimal shading and detail. However, the imagery and designs used are generally more diverse and the color palette used is more diverse. A purely “American” tattoo style, neo traditional has included candles, lighthouses, diamonds, coffins and other concepts and rendered them in a “traditional” fashion.

Not to be confused with “New-School”, a more cartoonish, exaggerated and colorful style of tattooing, Neo-traditional is a revival of the “Old-School”, a celebration of roots and origins.

The innate beauty that the traditional tattoo style offers appeals across all generations of enthusiasts; bold lines and solid colors tend to fade less, offering the longevity and long lasting quality that so many desire.

Aside from black and grey, traditional has proven to be the one of the only tattoo styles that stand the test of time, and will always have an audience to wear them. The beauty of traditional tattooing is just that; there will always be artists looking to recreate the classic tattoos and culture that helped pave the way and make the tattoo industry what it is today.

Today, artists like Myke Chambers are paving the new generation of professional traditional tattooers, elevating the art to a new frontier and keep tradition alive.

Source by Leo Gomon

Burial Rituals Among the Luos in Kenya

There are more than thirty tribal ethnics in Kenya. The two major ones are Luos and Kikuyus. The Luos are generally known in Kenya as a people who are seriously concerned with their burial place, far more than any other ethnic group. Growing up, I witnessed many burials including my own father. Details of the rituals differ for all the deceased, depending on the deceased sex and status in the society. A ritual is performed in certain, fixed ways to reflect how a particular death occurred, the good and bad deeds of the deceased, and the way the deceased and the ancestors performed the same rituals. There are some differences that reflect different areas.

For example, a young unmarried woman cannot be buried in her fathers’ homestead. The Luos believe that her unmarried spirit will follow other living girls in the village and make them not to be married also. This is changing with people who believe or practice Christianity. The Luos attitude towards their burial place evidently shows how they fear and respect the deceased ancestors. They perform more than ten kinds of different rituals for the deceased, largely held in their rural homeland in the face of ongoing modernization and urbanization in overall Kenya. People are still buried in the homestead. Graveyard are for people who do not have families or sojourners.

There was a long court struggle in 1986 of a prominent lawyer S.M. Otieno who was married to a Kikuyu lady and resided in the city center. Upon his death, his clan insisted that his body be transported to Nyanza his birth place for burial. His widow fought for several months for the body to be buried in Nairobi where they had lived most of their lives. The clan won and the Judge ruled on their favor after six months. S.M. Otieno was transported to the village for burial. His widow did not attend the burial because of some Luo rituals which she was not prepared to go through. It was largely through this court case that many Kenyans came to recognize and realize how deeply Luo people were preoccupied with their burial place. This is not a myth but a reality among the Luo tribe in Kenya.

Source by Betty Odak

Silly String – How to Easily Eliminate the Stress and Mess

Virtually everyone loves silly string and practically everyone enjoys using a can or ten when it comes to parties, pranks, and wars. Though it is one of the most popular and widely used party supplies, it can also become an instant mess and hassle to clean up. Sure it’s fun while it’s happening, but when cleanup time comes and guests go home, you are stuck with hours of picking silly string out of carpet, upholstery and other hard to clean areas.

Because of the fun there really isn’t much of an option to not use it. The brightly colored stuff usually makes the whole party just take off into action. The best option is to learn how to make the can of fun easy and fast to clean up and avoid any damage it may cause. Because the bright colors have a small potential to cause damage, I have also created a list of items and area’s to avoid when using it.

Places it is safe to use: Silly string is generally easy to pull off clothing and other articles, though it can be more difficult to get it out of tight knit sweaters, as compared to 100% percent cotton items. So be sure that your clothing isn’t your best dress. It also helps to use it out doors. Yes it does come out of almost everything and isn’t as hard to cleanup as it may appear when it’s all around the room, but trying to clean up after several cans can add up to a lot of time, and can become very tedious work. Enjoy using silly string by simply avoiding any unpleasant cleanups. The best option is to use it outdoors where a water hose can easily be reached to the area. Silly string will dissolve by simply wetting it down, eliminating the long and boring cleanup after the entertainment.

Places to avoid using it: Most areas are safe and quite fun to use silly string, but there are some precautions that can prevent unwanted messes, injuries, or other problems. Keep in mind that if you are going to be using the brightly colored stuff at a public place, such as a park, you will need to make sure that such a location will allow you to use the string. Some parks ban any kind of party confetti and any other small particles that can get left behind, and this can of fun may be on their list. So be sure to check with the land lord or caretaker before bringing it. Never spray toward or directly into the face. Though silly string is generally safe it can cause damage if sprayed directly into any part of the face. The last but not least is to avoid areas where there may be vehicles present. Silly string is known to take off the surface of some auto body paints.

Taking these few precautions before using a can of bright string can make your experience enjoyable and a lot less stressful when it comes to cleanup.

Source by Mary Setter

7 Exit Strategies For Virtual Business & Small Business Owners

So you decided to start a business… now what? Before you get caught up in the daily routine of growing your company, take a step back and think what you will do with your business AFTER you spent all those thousands of hours building it. Or, if a tragedy strikes, ask yourself, what will happen to your business then?

Don’t have a clue?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most virtual business or small business owners do not plan that far out, they are just trying to make it through the day. So I thought I’d give you a few ideas on the best way to transfer or sell a virtual business when the times comes, this way you will have a clearer idea of where you are heading even before you start.

Remember though, the key to building a business ready to be sold at any time, is to remove yourself from the daily operations. This is the reason why, it is imperative to build a process driven, instead of an owner driven company. If you eventually do not make this transition, your business will be worth less and you will most likely receive less for your company!
Here is an overview of the best 7 virtual business (or small business) exit strategies:

  1. Employees: A few methods to selling a virtual business to your employees are the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), an MBO (Management Buyouts) and MBI (Management Buyins)
  2. Charitable Trusts: This is a great strategy for those virtual business owners who want to benefit from charitable giving. A few methods are CRTs (Charitable Reminder Trust) and CLT (Charitable Load Trust)
  3. Family: This is when you want to transfer your virtual business to your children or a family member. A few methods are gifting stock, GRATs (grantor retained annuity trust), FLPs (Family Limited Partnerships), SCINs (self-canceling installment notes), IDGTs (intentionally defective grantor trusts) and private annuities.
  4. Co-owners: When buying out a partner the co-owner transfer channel is a good method. It includes buy/sell agreements, rights of first refusal provisions and other transfer techniques.
  5. Retire and Sell to an Outsider: When retiring, numerous of the previous mentioned methods can be used. Such as charitable trusts, private annuities or grantor retained annuity trusts.
  6. Continue in the Business but Sell to an Outsider: This strategy is usually implemented when an owner needs growth funds but does not want to invest personal assets. It can be sold to a private entity or to a public one.
  7. Going Public: This is the process of offering securities (common or preferred stock) of a private company for sale to the general public.

Source by Jacqueline Burgoa

Health Care Reform – Why Are People So Worked Up?

Why are Americans so worked up about health care reform? Statements such as "do not touch my Medicare" or "everyone should have access to state of the art health care irrespective of cost" are in my opinion uninformed and visceral responses that indicate a poor understanding of our health care system's history, its current and future resources and the fund challenges that America faces going forward. While we all wonder how the health care system has reached what some refer to as a crisis stage. Let's try to take some of the emotion out of the debate by briefly examining how health care in this country emerged and how that has formed our thinking and culture about health care. With that as a foundation let's look at the pros and cons of the Obama administration health care reform proposals and let's look at the concepts put forth by the Republicans?

Access to state of the art health care services is something we can all agree would be a good thing for this country. Experiencing a serious illness is one of life's major challenges and to face it without the means to pay for it is positively frightening. But as we shall see, once we know the facts, we will find that achieving this goal will not be easy without our individual contribution.

These are the themes I will touch on to try to make some sense out of what is happening to American health care and the steps we can personally take to make things better.

  • A recent history of American health care – what has driven the costs so high?
  • Key elements of the Obama health care plan
  • The Republican view of health care – free market competition
  • Universal access to state of the art health care – a worthy goal but not easy to achieve
  • what can we do?

First, let's get a little historical perspective on American health care. This is not intended to be an exhausted look into that history but it will give us an appreciation of how the health care system and our expectations for it developed. What drve costs higher and higher?

To begin, let's turn to the American civil war. In that war, dated tactics and the carnage inflicated by modern weapons of the era combined to cause ghastly results. Not generally known is that most of the deaths on both sides of that war were not the result of actual combat but to what happened after a battlefield wound was inflected. To begin with, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail's pace and this caused severe delays in treating the wounded. Secondly, many wounds were subjected to wound care, related surgeries and / or amputations of the affected limbs and this often resulted in the injury of massive infection. So you might survive a battle wound only to die at the hands of medical care providers who despite well-intentioned, their interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can also be attributed to everyday sicknesses and diseases in a time when no antibiotics achieved. In total something like 600,000 deaths occurred from all causes, over 2% of the US population at the time!

Let's skip to the first half of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to more modern times. After the civil war there were steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical techniques and in physician education and training. But for the most part the best that doctors could offer their patients was a "wait and see" approach. Medicine could handle bone fractures and increasingly attempt risky surgeries (now largely performed in sterile surgical environments) but medicines were not yet available to handle serious illnesses. The majority of deaths remains the result of untreated conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measures and / or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had almost nothing with which to treat these conditions.

This very basic review of American medical history helps us to understand that until quite recently (around the 1950's) we had virtually no technologies with which to treat serious or even minor ailments. Here is a critical point we need to understand; "nothing to treat you with means that visits to the doctor if at all were relegated to emergencies so in such a scenario costs are curtailed. A second factor holding down costs was that medical treatments that were provided were paid for out-of-pocket, meaning by way of an individuals personal resources. for the very destitute who were lucky to find their way into a charity hospital, health care costs were the responsibility of the individual.

What does health care insurance have to do with health care costs? Its impact on health care costs has been, and remains to this day, absolutely intense. When health insurance for individuals and families emerged as a means for corporations to escape wage freezes and to attract and retain employees after World War II, almost overnight a great pool of money became available to pay for health care. Money, as a result of the availability of billions of dollars from health insurance pools, encouraged an innovative America to increase medical research efforts. More Americans became insured not only through private, employer sponsored health insurance but through increased government funding that created Medicare and Medicaid (1965). In addition fund became available for expanded veterans health care benefits. Finding a cure for almost anything has inevitably become very lucrative. This is also the primary reason for the vast array of treatments we have available today.

I do not wish to convey that medical innovations are a bad thing. Think of the tens of millions of lives that have been saved, extended, enhanced and made more productive as a result. But with a funding source grown to its current magnitude (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) upward pressure on health care costs are inevitable. Doctor's offer and most of us demand and get access to the latest available health care technology in the form of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic tools and surgical procedures. So the result is that there is more health care to spend our money on and until very recently most of us were insured and the costs were largely covered by a third-party (government, employers). Add an insatiable and unrealistic public demand for access and treatment and we have the "perfect storm" for higher and higher health care costs. And by and large the storm is only intensifying.

At this point, let's turn the key questions that will lead us into a review and hopefully a better understanding of the health care reform proposals in the news today. Is the current trajectory of US health care spending sustainable? Can America maintain its world competitiveness when 16%, heading for 20% of our gross national product is being spent on health care? What are the other industrialized countries spending on health care and is it even close to these numbers? When we add politics and an election year to the debate, information to help us answer these questions become critical. We need to spend some effort in understanding health care and sorting out how we think about it. Properly armed we can more intelligently determine whether certain health care proposals may solve or worsen some of these problems. What can be done about the challenges? How can we as individuals contribute to the solutions?

The Obama health care plan is complex for sure – I have never seen a health care plan that is not. But through a variety of programs his plan attempts to deal with a) increasing the number of American that are covered by adequate insurance (almost 50 million are not), and b) managing costs in such a manner that quality and our access to health care is not adversely affected. Republicans seek to achieve these same basic and broad goals, but their approach is proposed as being more market driven than government driven. Let's look at what the Obama plan does to accomplish the two objectives above. Remember, by the way, that his plan was passed by congress, and begins to seriously kick-in starting in 2014. So this is the direction we are currently taking as we attempt to reform health care.

  1. Through insurance changes and an expansion of Medicaid, the Obama plan dramatically expands the number of Americans that will be covered by health insurance.
  2. To cover the cost of this expansion the plan requires everyone to have health insurance with a penalty to be paid if we do not complain. It will purportedly send money to the states to cover those individuals added to state-based Medicaid programs.
  3. To cover the added costs there were a number of new taxes introduced, one being a 2.5% tax on new medical technologies and another increases taxes on interest and dividend income for wealthier Americans.
  4. The Obama plan also uses concepts such as evidence-based medicine, accounting care organizations, comparative effectiveness research and reduced reimbursements to health care providers (doctors and hospitals) to control costs.

The insurance mandate covered by points 1 and 2 above is a worthy goal and most industrialized countries outside of the US provide "free" (paid for by rather high individual and corporate taxes) health care to most if not all of their citizens. It is important to note, however, that there are a number of restrictions for which many Americans would be culturally unprepared. Here is the primary controversial aspect of the Obama plan, the insurance mandate. The US Supreme Court recently ruled to hear arguments as to the constitutionality of the health insurance mandate as a result of a petition by 26 states attorney's general that congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause of the US constitution by passing this element of the plan. The problem is that if the Supreme Court should rule against the mandate, it is generally believed that the Obama plan as we know it is doomed. This is because its major goal of providing health insurance to all would be strictly limited if not terminated altogether by such a decision.

As you would guess, the taxes covered by point 3 above are rather unpopular with those entities and individuals that have to pay them. Medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies all had to "give up" something that would either create new revenue or would reduce costs within their spheres of control. As an example, Stryker Corporation, a large medical device company, recently informed at least a 1,000 employee reduction in part to cover these new fees. This is being experienced by other medical device companies and pharmaceutical companies as well. The reduction in good paying jobs in these sectors and in the hospital sector may rise as previously cost structures will have to be deal with in order to accommodate the reduced rate of reimbursements to hospitals. Over the next ten years some estimates put the cost reductions to hospitals and doctors at half a trillion dollars and this will flow directly to and affect the companies that supply hospitals and doctors with the latest medical technologies. None of this is to say that efficiencies will not be realized by these changes or that other jobs will in turn be created but this will represent painful change for a while. It helps us to understand that health care reform does have an effect both positive and negative.

Finally, the Obama plan seeks to change the way medical decisions are made. While clinical and basic research underpins almost everything done in medicine today, doctors are creatures of habit like the rest of us and their training and day-to-day experiences dictate to a great extent how they go about diagnosing and treating our conditions. Enter the concept of evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research. Both of these seek to develop and utilize data bases from electronic health records and other sources to give better and more timely information and feedback to physicians as to the results and costs of the treatments they are providing. There is great waste in health care today, estimated athaps a third of an over 2 trillion dollar health care spend annually. Imagine the savings that are possible from a reduction in unnecessary test and procedures that do not compare favorably with health care interventions that are better documented as effective. Now the Republicans and others do not generally like these ideas as they tend to characterize them as "big government control" of your and my health care. But to be fair, regardless of their political persuasions, most people who understand health care at all, know that better data for the purposes described above will be crucial to getting health care efficiencies, patient safety and costs headed in the right direction.

A brief review of how Republicans and more conservative individuals think about health care reform. I believe they would agree that costs must come under control and that more, not fewer Americans should have access to health care regardless of their ability to pay. But the main difference is that these folks see market forces and competition as the way to creating the cost reductions and efficiencies we need. There are a number of ideas with regard to driving more competition among health insurance companies and health care providers (doctors and hospitals) so that the consumer would begin to drive cost down by the choices we make. This works in many sectors of our economy but this formula has shown that improvements are illusive when applied to health care. Primarily the problem is that health care choices are difficult even for those who understand it and are connected. The general population, however, is not so informed and along we have all been brought up to "go to the doctor" when we feel it is necessary and we also have a cultural heritage that has engendered within most of us the feeling that health care is something that is just there and there really is not any reason not to access it for whatever the reason and worse we feel that there is nothing we can do to affect its costs to insure its availability to those with serious problems.

OK, this article was not intended to be an exhaustive study as I needed to keep it short in an attempt to hold my audience's attention and to leave some room for discussing what we can do contribute mightily to solving some of the problems. First we must understand that the dollars available for health care are not limitless. Any changes that are put in place to provide better insurance coverage and access to care will cost more. And somehow we have to find the revenues to pay for these changes. At the same time we have to pay less for medical treatments and procedures and do something to restrict the availability of unproven or poorly documented treatments as we are the highest cost health care system in the world and do not necessarily have the best results in terms of longevity or avoiding chronic diseases much earlier than necessary.

I believe that we need a revolutionary change in the way we think about health care, its availability, its costs and who pays for it. And if you think I am about to say we should arbitrarily and drastically reduce spending on health care you would be wrong. Here it is fellow citizens – health care spending needs to be preserved and protected for those who need it. And to free up these dollars those of us who do not need it or can delay it or avoid it need to act. First, we need to convince our politicians that this country needs sustained public education with regard to the value of preventive health strategies. This should be a top priority and it has worked to reduce the number of US smokers for example. If prevention were to take hold, it is reasonable to assume that those needing health care for the myriad of life style engendered chronic diseases would decrease dramatically. Millions of Americans are experiencing these diseases far earlier than in decades past and much of this is due to poor life style choices. This change alone would free up plenty of money to handle the health care costs of those in dire need of treatment, whether due to an acute emergency or chronic condition.

Let's go deeper on the first issue. Most of us refuse doing something about implementing basic wellness strategies into our daily lives. We do not exercise but we offer a lot of excuses. We do not eat right but we offer a lot of excuses. We smoke and / or we drink alcohol to excess and we offer a lot of excuses as to why we can not do anything about managing these known to be destructive personal health habits. We do not take advantage of preventive health check-ups that look at blood pressure, cholesterol readings and body weight but we offer a lot of excuses. In short we neglect these things and the result is that we succumb much earlier than necessary to chronic diseases like heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. We wind up access doctors for these and more routine matters because "health care is there" and somehow we think we have no responsibility for reducing our demand on it.

It is difficult for us to listen to these truths but easy to blame the sick. Maybe they should take better care of themselves! Well, that might be true or maybe they have a genetic condition and they have become among the inconvenient through absolutely no fault of their own. But the point is that you and I can implement personalized preventive disease measures as a way of dramatically improving health care access for others while reducing its costs. It is far better to be productive by doing something we can control then shifting the blame.

There are a huge number of free web sites available that can steer us to a more healthy life style. A soon as you can, "Google" "preventive health care strategies", look up your local hospital's web site and you will find more than enough help to get you started. Finally, there is a lot to think about here and I have tried to outline the challenges but also the very powerful effect we could have on preserving the best of America's health care system now and into the future. I am anxious to hear from you and until then – take charge and increase your chances for good health while making sure that health care is there when we need it.

Source by Jack L Ross

The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Persuasion Techniques

The power of persuasion can open doors for you and make the path to success much smoother. After reading this article, you will have an array of persuasive techniques at your disposal.

The most persuasive techniques have their roots in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). These persuasion techniques are based on empathy – in order to persuade someone – you must understand them.

Empathy-Based Persuasive Techniques

The first and most important thing you must understand about the person you are trying to influence is what their mind best responds to – feel, visual, or audit stimulation. Knowing this will allow you to be more persuasive by plugging into and feeding this specific desire.

Females usually respond best to feelings, but not always. Men often respond well to visuals, and some people are affected by audio. To learn which is the best stimulation to focus your persuasion, look at how they talk. Do they say "I see", or "I feel that …"? These are obvious examples of course, the correct answer could be more subtle and possibly a mixture of two types of stimulation.

Adjust your persuasion techniques based on the kind of mind you are dealing with; for example, when persuading someone who is "feel" orientated, focus on how they will feel if they do what you are trying to convince them to. Do not try and tell them what it will be like – you have to make them actually feel it.

The more you're aware of the person you're dealing with, the more effectively you will be able to focus your persuasive techniques.

Mirror-Based Persuasive Techniques

Matching your body language and even your pose / position is a minority but surprisingly strong persuasive technique. You need to be subtle and it may feel awkward at first, but with some practice you will see how effective this technique, known as "mirroring", can be at developing a rapport and easing persuasion.As well as focusing the content of your persuasion in a way that interfaces well with their specific personality type, you can also adjust your language and the way you speak to put yourself on their level. People respond better to persuasive techniques that are in their own "language". Pick up on specific words that they use and use them back on them, especially adjectives. Pay attention to their speed, pitch and volume, and respond as similarly as possible.

Other Persuasive Techniques

There are many other persuasive techniques that you can work on and build up. We recommend that you master the empathy / mirror persuasive techniques most importantly as these are the most effective. However, the following techniques can be valuable additions to your persuasion armory.

There are many subconscious persuasive words that one can use. Often these will be a call to action: for example "Do that" or "Be this". Positive words and adjectives such as "Definitely", "Most" and "Effective" are very persuasive all on their own.

Use "now" words such as "today" or "at the moment" often to subliminally suggest urgency.

Getting the person to think for themselves is highly stimulating and can there before be extremely persuasive. Ask questions that engage them and they automatically become more receptive. This will also help you learn more about them. Often this will even convince them that they are making the decision when in fact you have simply steered them to this persuasion.

It is highly important to develop a good rapport with the person you are trying to persuade. Without eye contact this is actually impossible. With consistent and non-threatening eye contact, you can develop trust. Add a genuine smile and persuasion will be much easier.

Anyone in politics will tell you – people simply do not respond rationally. They respond based on emotions. To persuade someone, you must connect with them emotionally.

Aristotle identified the three basic elements of every persuasive argument:

Ethos: the credibility, knowledge, expertise, stature and authority of the person trying to persuade.

Logos: the appeal of logic, reason, cognitive thinking, data and facts.

Pathos: the appeal to the emotions; the non-cognitive, non-thinking motivations that affect decisions and actions.

All layers are of course important, but it is despite the emotional layer that holds the most power of persuasion. We are emotional animals and are much more likely to be persuaded by the promise of feeling good than the promise of "something being correct".

Are Persuasion Techniques Moral?
Of course you may be thinking that using persuasion techniques is immoral, underhand. Indeed, you may find yourself with the dilemma of whether to use them on someone you love. It's really up to you how you feel about using persuasive techniques, but remember the following.

People should be aware of the techniques, and know when others are trying to manipulate them. If you successfully persuade someone, you have simply out-competed them.

Persuasion is always optional. Yet, after much practice, you may find that these persuasive techniques simply embed into the nature of your being. Would you feel guilty for using any other aspects of your personality such as speaking confidently?

Much of the time, you will be trying to do what is best for them anyway. The purpose of connecting with someone emotionally is to learn what they want. When you know this, you are only persuading them to do something that they will want to do anyway. So, by its definition, persuasion is not manipulation – it is just bringing your point across.

People should be aware enough to make their own decisions. Ideally, you should be confident that you can use these persuasive techniques to do what is right for all concerned.

Source by Stuart Dobson