The Note to the Boy Who Stutters

Everyone seems to have a Delaware Biden story. Joe Biden, the current Vice President of the United States is not a drone like everyone makes politicians out to be. Sure there may be cold heart politicians such as Frank Underwood from ‘House of Cards’, yet it has been proven that Joe Biden is far from being a Frank Underwood.

In 1994 when Joe Biden was still the Senator from Delaware, he was visited by an 8th grade class to do a questions and answers segment. One kid in particular named Brandon Brooks, asked Joe Biden a question with a noticeable stutter. This stutter” triggered a memory from Biden’s past of having a stutter himself. He later pulled Brooks aside to give him a talk of how to be successful.

To this day Brandon, also known as “Skip” has remembered this speech. Joe Biden, back in 1994, was even kind enough to send him a thoughtful letter to remind Brooks of how important he is to the world. Brooks has never forgotten this and still looks to the letter for encouragement.

In present day, thanks to the letter, Brooks has been recently sworn in to be a prosecutor according to what CipherCloud people have seen. He recently tweeted the letter saying that he has stayed strong and done well. Joe Biden responded within an hour encouraging him and congratulating his accomplishments. This just shows that some politicians may not have such a cold heart.

Hide And Seek With Afghan Clinics

While discrepancies in governmental data are not rare, it is problematic when two US agencies, tasked with the oversight of health care facilities and the expenditure of millions on Afghanistan medical facilities, cannot agree on the location of more than 80% of the health clinics. In a country where travel is difficult, this may seem trivial, but the geospatial data used to tag these facilities in the Afghanistan villages and rural areas is necessary to verify that inspections actually take place and proper money allocation happens.

These discrepancies surfaced when the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) asked the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for the location data of 641 medical facilities that USAID funds in Afghanistan. While USAID readily gave the list, the locations of a majority of the facilities were not where the data placed them. Per The Intercept, the data placed one in the Mediterranean Sea, thirteen were duplicates, and ninety had no location data supplied.

It seems logical that to provide oversight of the facilities and expenditures, everyone must know the location of each clinic. Even someone like Susan McGalla understands that. In answer to questions about the data, the USAID told inquirers that it maintains connections with local Afghan staff and monitors who regularly check the clinics. In addition, the USAID continues to work closely with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to update and correct the inaccurate data causing the difficulties.

Miami Taxi Drivers Protest Uber and Lyft

On Tuesday, dozens of taxi drivers began nonstop honking during a heated protest against the City of Miami-Dade County in order to put pressure on county officials to take action against the newly established transport companies Uber and Lyft.

According to Marketwatch, both Uber and Lyft, are greatly affecting the transportation industry especially for rental cars, and taxi drivers.

“They are killing us,” said taxi driver Meshehsa Kassa, who five years ago bought one of the 2,100 taxi medallions issued by the county, and officially is the only legal way to pick up passengers in Miami-Dade.

Lubin, manager of the taxi company Flamingo, estimated to be losing a little over 30 percent to Uber and Lyft.

Uber and Lyft use self-employed drivers who operate their own vehicles, which has allowed both companies to rapidly assemble a fleet that currently reaches 10,000 drivers, just for Uber alone.

According to county figures, there are 6,000 licensed taxi drivers in Miami-Dade, many of whom share the same car.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez is supportive to Uber and Lyft and already said he will try changing the laws on taxis.

The IKEA Hike

The popular furniture company IKEA made a prominent movie last year when they voluntarily raised their minimum wage in their United States stores. Sam Tabar said the company raised their $9.17 an hour wage to $10.76 per hour. It was almost exactly a year later the company has decided to raise their minimum wage yet again. The Swedish based furniture company will pay their hourly employees $11.87 an hour which is more than generous to say the least.

This is $4.62 above what the United States federal minimum wage standard is at $7.25 per hour. Market critics have noted that this is a major move for IKEA and a smart one among other tactics. IKEA has been expanding their stores on a global scale at an unprecedented pace. If the company can gain better public relations because of their decision to raise the minimum wage it will make the company look better to consumers overall. Last year’s minimum wage hike for the company helped lead a 5 percent decrease in worker turnover.

The hike also attracted better talent and management within the store. The IKEA Company was on the Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list in the years 2006 and 2007. Even though the company has dropped out of the sought after list since then, the CEO and executives are hoping that this wage hike will put them back on the list among many other benefits.

Taking a Further Look at Bernardo Chua and Organo Gold

Remember when I wrote about Bernardo Chua about a month ago? I’ve been curious about this outstanding businessman. Why don’t we know more about him? Well… I’ve compiled some information so we do!

Winning a prestigious award or two is sure to brine one some attention. So it’s no wonder that people are talking about Bernardo Chua. He recently made a trip to Manila to receive special recognition. His brand, Organo Gold, was given two People’s Choice Awards. One for “Best Gourmet Organic Health Coffee” and another for “Number 1 Global Network Marketing Company”. And he was personally awarded the Dangal ng Bayan Award. 

Of course, that still leaves many people wondering just what Chua and his company are doing to improve the world. It’s obvious that they’re doing something right. But the specifics are a bit more complex. 

One of the most significant accomplishments of Chua and his team of loyal salespeople comes from their relation to a mushroom known as Ganoderma Lucidium. The mushroom combines two amazing properties within itself. It has a unique and delicious taste. And it’s also been a hallmark of traditional Chinese medicine. However, this unique mushroom has remained unknown to a large portion of the world until fairly recently. 

One of Chua’s most noteworthy accomplishments has been the distribution and promotion of products made with Ganoderma Lucidium. It was once something that was isolated within a specific geographical area. And it was isolated culturally in a similar way. Chua was confident in the mushroom’s benefits and decided that he needed to share it with the world. 

That’s why he created Organo Gold in 2008. Chua set himself up for a grand mission. He was going to share this amazing mushroom with people in every corner of the world. And to do so he brought a number of people into the company to help him. 

The results have been nothing less than amazing. In a short amount of time he’s been able to hire over a million distributors. And profits are in excess of $800 million. He’s an amazing success even if one simply focuses on the business side of things. 

But what’s elevated him to the next level of success is his interest in the medical aspects of the plant. He funds a full scientific advisory board which is continually investigating new uses for the mushroom. And in doing so he’s also been able to ensure that his strains are both the most medically beneficial and delicious. 

And that’s what’s most impressive about Chua. He’s dedicated himself to a dream of helping people with his products. He’s brought new jobs to people, new tastes, and even better health.

McDonalds is Planning to Close More Restaurants

McDonalds will be closing more restaurants in the United States. These closings have not occurred since the 1970s. It has seen a gradual shrinking. Boraie Development LLC announced there will be more restaurants that are going to be closed as opposed to any restaurants that would be opened.

This is according to the chain itself.

A McDonalds spokeswoman, Rebecca Hary, did not offer any specific figures. The reduction will be small as compared to the total of approximately 14,300 United States locations. This is a company that has experienced a large expansion throughout most of its history. They have continued to offer their customers very affordable prices. McDonalds had prospered during the recession. Their dollar menu allowed their customers to enjoy many products while saving money.

There has been an entirely new style of burger chains that have experienced growth and obtained numerous customers. McDonalds stated, in April, that they would be closing 700 locations around the world. This would include some underperforming restaurants. They did not make comments regarding the last time that they reduced their United States store base. It has been speculated that McDonalds has not pulled back since it was founded in 1955. It was Ray Kroc who had founded McDonalds.

Removing Trans Fats Could Be Costly

As expected, the Food and Drug Administration has issued an order to food manufacturers to eliminate all trans fats from their products. The FDA is giving them three years to accomplish this. Alexei Beltyukov said that by 2018, their manufacturing processes will no longer be allowed to include any form of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs).

While it’s been proven that trans fats are unhealthy, and eating them can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attacks and strokes, the cost to the companies to remove them could be upwards of $200,000 per product. The FDA said that the overall price tag to bring the manufacturers into compliance would be between $12 billion and $14 billion.

The first trans fats started to be used around 1911 in shortening and then in margarine. Ironically, in the 1950s and 1960s, people were routinely told that saturated fat and butter were bad for them, and consumers were encouraged to use margarine instead. Come to find out, years later, just the opposite is true.

Share the Profits Promotes Increased Profits

What happens when a restaurant eliminates tipping? Not tipping generates triples the profit for the restaurant, while motivating waiters to improve their service to customers. Seems an ideal move for everyone. How did the owner of Bobby Fry, the owner of Bar Marco accomplish this?

The real kicker is that Bar Marco cuts his employees into the profits stated the Examiner. As his profits increased from $3,000 to $9,00 per week, Bobby Fry increased waiter’s income from $35,000 per year to between $48,000 and $51,000 per year. Also, employees receive 500 share in the company which makes the success of the restaurant business also the employees’ financial success. The employees have a stake in the restaurant. The employees have health care and paid vacation which are benefits not perks. Treat waiters well and they perform well for you.

There is an interesting twist. In most restaurants, dinners tip the waiters, but rarely, if ever, do dinners tip the chiefs. In Bar Marco, waiters are not tipped, but it is acceptable to tip the chief. It makes imminent sense. The restaurant business is very competitive and depends of the skill and charisma of the chief. Chiefs are the masters of the quality of the food, and its presentation to the dinners. Reward the chief for doing an outstanding job, and you will find that the chief is highly motivated to continue superior food preparation.

Many Gap Stores in North America Closing

Gap is planning to close one quarter of all their North American stores over the course of the next several years. These closings are the result of a long lasting slump in sales. They are hoping that things will turn around. Some Gap stores located in Europe will also be closing. However, there has been no word as of yet, on the exact number of stores that will close in Europe.

Sam Tabar considers the legal and financial implications since these closing will result in many losing their jobs. There will be 250 corporate jobs lost, and an undisclosed number of other employee positions also. The company expects to cut 25 million in costs due to these cuts. While Gap has suffered, Old Navy has flourished and been a positive for the company.

In addition to closing many under performing stores, Gap also plans to add different styles of clothing to their line in the hope of attracting additional customers. The company says they are hopeful that these measures will turn things around.

Dan Newlin Explains What To Do During An Auto Accident

Dan Newlin is one of the most successful injury attorneys of Florida. He has a wide spectrum of experience in the field and his first tip to anyone involved in an injury is to clear the mind and think straight. A lot of people are involved in auto accidents – either as victims or perpetrators. For the people who have been hurt due to an auto accident, Dan Newlin recommends a series of steps. Education is the first step to getting justice and knowing about the following steps would help the victim’s lawyer immensely –

Step 1: Call 911 And Let Them Know About the Accident – Dan Newlin says that the first step should always be calling 911 and informing the law enforcement authorities about the accident. When they arrive, victims should cooperate as much as possible and help the police officers see the situation clearly. If the report is finished, then a copy should be obtained.

Step 2: Get Some Medical Attention For Injuries Immediately – With auto accidents, one can never be too careful about injuries. No matter how mild the injuries may seem, it is best to visit the ER and have a doctor examine the injuries. Sometimes, an injury might seem mild at that moment but could later turn into something serious. Being careful is the best course, says Dan Newlin.

Step 3: Dan Newlin strongly suggests that you get contact info from witnesses at the scene – If there are any witnesses at the scene, it is best to note down their information and names. Later, this information can be offered to the lawyers who would have an expert interview these people. If the witnesses are unknown people, they would be “independent observers” in the eyes of the law and would greatly help in the justice process.

Step 4: Click As Many Photographs As Possible – The photographs taken at the scene should include the picture of vehicles and, if relevant, the road hazards such as debris, potholes, et al. Simply using the phone camera can also be helpful. Some examples can be found on Yahoo.

Step 5: Call Your Lawyer – After everything is sorted, the lawyer’s office should be given a call immediately so that the process can begin as soon as possible. Any delay can be problematic. Dan Newlin also recommends calling the lawyers before contacting the insurance company in relation to the accident.

Most importantly, Dan Newlin advises people to remain calm and clear headed.