Do Not Remove This Disclaimer

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In my neverending quest for clarity in our great society I have found that everyone has some form of disclaimer and/or copyright notification. I suppose I’m no different, I like people who visit The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog to be well advised to the conditions of their visit. This all got me thinking about all the information one can find in regards to products and/or services and I soon realized that there is something to state about just about anything one can lay their hands on. In a moment you will read what was readily available on products around my house, in mail I have received, in email I have received, and different agreements or contracts I have entered. I’m positive that I have only scratched the surface and I invite all of y’all to comment with some of your own. Without further delay, I give to y’all my study of common disclaimers.

Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. For optimum performance, clarity, and safety, please read these instructions carefully.

Void where prohibited. No representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the completeness, accuracy, fitness for a particular purpose, or utility of these materials or any information or opinion contained herein. Actual mileage may vary. Prices slightly higher west of the Mississippi. All models over 18 years of age. No animals were harmed during the production of this product. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or events, past, present or future, is purely coincidental. This product not to be construed as an endorsement of any product or company, nor as the adoption or promulgation of any guidelines, standards or recommendations. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent. This product is meant for educational purposes only. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Package sold by weight, not volume. Contents may settle during shipment. No user-serviceable parts inside. Use only as directed.  Do not eat. Not a toy.

Postage will be paid by addressee. If condition persists, consult your physician. Subject to change without notice. Times approximate. One size fits all. Colors may, in time, fade. For office use only. Edited for television. List was current at time of printing. At participating locations only. Keep away from fire or flame. Avoid contact with skin. Sanitised for your protection. Employees and their families are not eligible. Beware of the dog. Limited time offer. No purchase necessary. Not recommended for children under 12. Prerecorded for this time zone. Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product appear for identification purposes only. Freshest if eaten before date on carton. Subject to change without notice. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. Slippery when wet. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal. For recreational use only. No Canadian coins. List each check separately by bank number. This is not an offer to sell securities. WiFi for hotel guests only, not visitors or guests of guests.

Read at your own risk. Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Parental guidance advised. Always read the label. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Do not stamp. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. Contains non-milk fat. Date as postmark. Lost ticket pays maximum rate. Use only in well-ventilated area. Price does not include taxes. Not for resale. Hand wash only. Keep away from sunlight. For a limited time only. No preservatives or additives. Keep away from pets and small children. Safety goggles required during use. If rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue use. Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. Please remain seated until the web page has come to a complete stop. Refrigerate after opening. Flammable. Must be 18 years or older. Seat backs and tray tables must be in the upright position. Repeat as necessary. Do not look directly into light. Avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool dry place. No salt, MSG, artificial colouring or flavoring added. Reproduction strictly prohibited. Pregnant women, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exposure to this product. If ingested, do not induce vomiting. May contain nuts. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. Do not use if safety seal is broken.

Apply only to affected area. Do not use this product if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, asthma, glaucoma, or difficulty in urination. May be too intense for some viewers. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately. Many suitcases look alike. Post office will not deliver without postage. Not the Beatles. Products are not authorized for use as critical components in life support devices or systems. Driver does not carry cash. Do not puncture or incinerate. Do not play your headset at high volume. Discontinue use of this product if any of the following occurs: itching, aching, vertigo, dizziness, ringing in your ears, vomiting, giddiness, aural or visual hallucinations, tingling in extremities, loss of balance or coordination, slurred speech, temporary blindness, drowsiness, insomnia, profuse sweating, shivering, or heart palpitations. Video+ and Video- are at ECL voltage levels, HSYNC and VSYNC are at TTL voltage levels. It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. This product has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats. Do not use the AC adaptor provided with this player for other products.

DO NOT DELETE THIS LINE — Your health depends on it.

Warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, misuse, accident, lightning, flood, hail storm, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, avalanche, earthquake or tremor, hurricane, solar activity, meteorite strike, nearby supernova and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper or unauthorised use, incorrect line voltage, unauthorised use, unauthorised repair, improper installation, typographical errors, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, microwave ovens or mobile phones, sonic boom vibrations, ionising radiation, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, disk failure, accidental file deletions, mud slides, forest fire, riots or other civil unrest, acts of terrorism or war, whether declared or not, explosive devices or projectiles (which can include, but may not be limited to, arrows, crossbow bolts, air gun pellets, bullets, shot, cannon balls, BBs, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, ICBMs, or emissions of electromagnetic radiation such as radio waves, microwaves, infra-red radiation, visible light, UV, X-rays, alpha, beta and gamma rays, neutrons, neutrinos, positrons, N-rays, knives, stones, bricks, spit-wads, spears, javelins etc.).

Other restrictions may apply. Breach of these conditions is likely to cause unquantifiable loss that may not be capable of remedy by the payment of damages.

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This supersedes all previous disclaimers

This entire disclaimer message is protected by copyright and its use, copying, distribution and decompilation is restricted. All rights reserved. No part of this disclaimer or any attachments may be copied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, optical, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, telepathic, or otherwise, without the express witnessed and notarised prior written consent of the all holders of the relevant copyrights.

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information is implied. No liability is accepted for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

The information in this document and any attached files is strictly private and confidential and may also be privileged. It is intended solely for and should be read only by the individual(s) or organisation(s) to whom or which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, or a person responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, notify the sender by return, delete the message, and destroy all copies of the email and associated files in your possession; you are not authorised to and must not disclose, copy, distribute, or retain this message or any part of it. It may contain information that is confidential and/or covered by legal professional or other privilege (or other rules or laws with similar effect in jurisdictions outside England and Wales).

We have an anti-virus system installed on all our PCs and therefore any files leaving us via email will have been checked for known viruses, but are not guaranteed to be virus free. We accept no responsibility once an email transmission and any attachments have left us.

No part of this message is intended to form any part of any contract. The views expressed in this message are not necessarily the views of my employer, and the company, its directors, officers or employees make no representation or accept any liability for its accuracy or completeness, unless expressly stated to the contrary. This message is not intended to be relied upon without subsequent written confirmation of its contents. This company therefore shall not accept any liability of any kind which may arise from any person acting upon the contents of this message without having had written confirmation.

This document originates from the Internet, and therefore may not be from a reliable source. If you have any doubts about the origin or content of this document please contact our support desk where you may, or may not, remain on hold indefinitely. Consider yourself warned and advised.

This post could have come from absolutely anybody masquerading as the poster, could have been read quite legally by the State under the RIP legislation, by the security services of any other state through which the data passes, by the sender’s or receiver’s employer on the pretext of protection of business interests, and read or altered by anybody working at any of the infrastructure services involved in its transmission. Given that internet routing is complex and adaptive, you don’t even know who most of these parties are.

Still Looking For A Job, Found This

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Okay, I will be the first one to say being unemployed really hugs a root. As well, the job hunting process blows pretty hard to say the very least, especially because I’m seeking federal employment so I can apply my years of military service towards retirement. I’m beginning to wonder if having a bachelors degree, the disabled veterans preference, top secret clearance, fast and accurate typing skills, and other qualifications is enough. Where I suffer the most is lack of management skills, sales skills, and customer service skills. Because one or more of these skills is what has been biting me in the ass as I seek federal employment. Yesterday, I received my 14th letter of declination. But, this morning, I had an email giving a link to the following job announcement which I applied for. This one took 72 minutes to complete with all of the questionnaires, surveys, and background information. Anyway, just wanted to share how these official announcements look, because sometimes they are quite complicated. I think my wife and I have had quite enough background checks, I assure everyone we are legal US citizens with no international ties to ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

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Job Title: IMMIGRATION MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (OA)

Department: Department Of Homeland Security

Agency: Citizenship and Immigration Services

Job Announcement Number: CIS-PJN-1229419-HOU

SALARY RANGE:

$35,659.00 to $57,424.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Monday, October 6, 2014 to Friday, October 10, 2014

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0303-05/07

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time – Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

07

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
Houston, TX View Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

SECURITY CLEARANCE:

Public Trust – Background Investigation

SUPERVISORY STATUS:

No

JOB SUMMARY:

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. Visit us at http://www.uscis.gov/.

This position of IMMIGRATION MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (OA) starts at a salary of $35,659.00(GS-05 step 1), to $57,424.00 (GS-07 step 10).  Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the Field Operations Directorate, Office of Field Operations, District 17, Houston TX Field Office, Houston, TX, within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

This position is in the bargaining unit.
This position is not considered “essential” for purposes of reporting to work when the facility might otherwise be closed.

Relocation expenses are authorized if you are assigned to the RAIO program and have been approved for rotation from an overseas assignment. Relocation expenses for employees assigned to an OCONUS location will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.

TRAVEL REQUIRED

Not Required

RELOCATION AUTHORIZED

No

KEY REQUIREMENTS

You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this positionSuccessfully pass a Background Investigation including financial disclosureYou must pass a drug screeningMeet relevant experience and/or education requirementsYou must submit resume and supporting documentationMales born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service

DUTIES:

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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence, and limited complexity.

As an Immigration Management Assistant, you will support the administrative and operational aspects of USCIS management and program operations, by performing a variety of clerical andtechnical work in support of management and program analysis functions and processes. Other duties may include the following duties:

Update systems with current information required for reports and data analysis and administers management information systems. Complete limited, uncomplicated management and program analysis projects and segments of larger analytical projects and studies under the direction of higher level employees.Prepare reports, spreadsheets, and provides program and administrative information based on findings.Complete a variety of physical, database and system file checks to prepare cases for adjudication and coordinates with other units to resolve non-routine issues and cases.

 QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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GS-5: You qualify at the GS-5 level if you possess one of the following:

(1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level in the Federal government collecting data, organizing data into a usable format, and using personal computers and software to enter and retrieve data from an automation information system and various types of software; answering routine questions from other employees and distributing information to appropriate personnel; receiving, assigning, monitoring, reviewing and verifying documents through an automated information system; searching office records to respond to inquiriesORSuccessful completion of a full four-year course of study above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite can be substituted for specialized experience. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45-quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school.  Equivalent combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total experience requirements at the GS-5 level.

GS-6:  You qualify at the GS-6 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal government such as:

Update data systems with current information required for reports and data analysis;Create and update electronic profiles for employees to access tracking systems;Prepare files for expedited adjudication requests;Communicate with other offices to request records and update data systems.

GS-7:  You qualify at the GS-7 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level in the Federal government such as:

Complete a variety of physical database and system file checks to prepare cases for adjudication;Respond to information requests from external sources;Provide weekly statistical analysis of pending files;Recommend corrective action for procedural errors and issues.

COMBINING QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:  If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. For more information on combining education and experience, visit the following website:  http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=List-by-Occupational-Series

Probationary Period: You may be required to serve a probationary period of 1 year.

The qualifications for this position must be met by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement (Friday, October 10, 2014).

Residency Requirement:  There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  This residency requirement states that candidates must have, for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position; (1) resided in the United States; OR (2) worked for the United States Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or Military capacity, OR (3) been a dependent of a U.S. Federal or Military employee serving overseas.

Typing Certification: You must be able to type at least 40 words per minute. You can self certify by submitting a statement that you can type this speed.

General Office Skills: Applicants must possess knowledge of general office automation software, practices, and procedures. Physical Demands: Applicants must be able to lift moderately heavy items such as file tubs and record boxes or bins weighting up to 50 lbs

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

We will review your résumé and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will place you in one of three categories based on your responses to the on-line questionnaire regarding experience, education and training.

Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:

Technical ProficiencyData ManagementCustomer ServiceCommunication

NOTE: Your resume and supporting documentation will be verified. If you rated yourself higher than what is supported by your application material, you may be excluded from consideration for this job. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment

Supervisory references must be provided and will be contacted as part of the hiring process.

If you fall into best qualified category, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.  To preview the job questionnaire, click here View Assessment Questions

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found by clicking here to access OPM’s Career Transition Resources website.  To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be placed in the Well-Qualified   category for this position, as described above.   In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

Veterans:   Veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific, professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher.  This position is not considered scientific/professional.   For information on veterans’ preference, please click here.

BENEFITS:

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DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including:  health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include:  flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities.  For more information, go to www.dhs.gov/careers and select “benefits.”

OTHER INFORMATION:

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, this position requires completion and adjudication of a background investigation. This may include a review of financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.  The background investigation process is initiated after a selection is made.

If a SECRET or TOP SECRET clearance is needed, all selected candidates must meet the requirements for these clearances prior to placement AND maintain that level of clearance while encumbering the position.

Individuals with Disabilities, VeteransPeace Corps/VISTA volunteers: You possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility and to understand the documentation that would be required with your application, click on the links above and contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement. We encourage you to apply to USCIS vacancies using these special hiring authorities.

USCIS uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.  To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.

HOW TO APPLY:

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Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Friday, October 10, 2014.  To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents.  See Required Documentssection for more detail.

 We strongly encourage you to apply online.  If you cannot apply online, you may FAX your resume, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478)757-3144. You must print a copy of OPM Form 1203-FX, document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire, and use the official FAX cover sheet found here.

If you do not have access to a computer or fax, you must contact the Human Resource office listed below at least one day prior to the closing date for instructions.  Applications will not be accepted by mail.

To Fax a Resume or Supporting Documents:

If you previously uploaded documents to this vacancy, please do not FAX the same documents. If you need to fax a part of your documentation:

Use the official FAX coversheet found here.Make sure that you include the 7-character vacancy identification number: 1229419”. Provide your SSN, name, and address in the blocks provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.Print your SSN and Name neatly using the exact name as the one used when you filled out the assessment questionnaire.The fax number is 1-478-757-3144.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

Your resumé

Are you qualifying based on education?  You must submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable).  For verification purposes, the transcript submitted must include your name. Those with foreign education, click this link. 

Are you a veteran?  Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty).  Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form.  If applying as a disabled veteran, submit a copy of the letter from the Veterans Administration, or other formal documentation, that clearly identifies overall rating of disability.  If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the armed forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the date on the certification.  This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions.  Click here for more veterans’ information.

Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)?  Submit:

·  a copy of your agency notice,

· a copy of your most recent performance rating, and

· a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

HR OPERATIONS CENTER-TEAM ONE
Phone: (802)660-1145
Email: HROCTEAM1@DHS.GOV

Agency Information:
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
70 Kimball Avenue
South Burlington, VT
05403
USA

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the selecting official for further consideration and a possible interview. We will notify you by email at various stages in the process (learn more). Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on “Application Status,” and then click “More Information.” We expect to make a final job offer within 90 days after the deadline for applications. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

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Neither A Fan Or Foe Of Cannabis

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To tell y’all the truth I don’t care either way. Cannabis (marijuana) just doesn’t happen to be in or around my life personally. As a personal note, just because I don’t agree with social drug use doesn’t mean I am an advocate against it. But, the business of drugs in the United States is huge and there is no shortage of people ready to part with their money. OK, where am I going with all of this? I’m looking for opinions, not anger, not justifications, nor the legalities, just opinions from everyday people. If your life involves the recreational use of drugs so be it, if your life doesn’t involve the use of drugs so be it, I personally don’t care, it doesn’t change my opinion of anyone. Are we clear?

Now we, in the United States, are at the dawn of something new, the age where states are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Many feel this is a great triumph and many see it as the further downwards spiral of the USA. Either way, its here today, it is happening today, and we are seeing a shift in the politics of pot. Its just where we are as s country. As a parent, I have my own concerns. Living in Texas, however, if you want to buy weed you must do it the old fashioned way, illegally. I was reading some news late last night about a company who is or has unveiled a vending machine to dispense marijuana in states where it has been legalized but so far has been restricted to the dispensing of medical marijuana. The printed facts out on the internet rage in every direction possible so it is hard to say what is what while being fair to everyone.

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Would a vending machine for weed be a welcome site in your neighborhood if it was legal to place it there? What concerns, if any, would you have about a vending machine to dispense weed in public places alongside soft drink machines, candy machines, and so forth? Do you think the weed dispensing vending machine will start out as s fad, a novelty, and then fade away? Not that my personal opinions matter, but I see it as a new tool for the criminal element to use. Wait, y’all thought just because weed is being legalized in a fee states that this was going to eliminate any and all criminal elements from the equation? It would be nice but I think we would be wrong in that assumption because drugs (legal and illegal) are big business and I don’t see anyone making money willing to back down and forego their profits for the collective ides of progress.

As more states have legalized medical marijuana and the first inroads are made into full weed legalization in the United States, a new crop of businessmen have positioned themselves to surf the rising market tide for marijuana and marijuana-related products, an economy that could grow to be as large as that of tobacco or alcohol. Is this going to be the next big American industry? I remind everyone, since 1970, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration. This lumps cannabis in with LSD, heroin, and MDMA as a drug that has a high potential for abuse in the United States.

marijuana2_infographic_USA

Nationwide, the classification is widely viewed as unreasonable and outdated. Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states (as well as the District of Columbia), a growing minority that, along with the passage of the recreational weed laws in Colorado and Washington, could signal the coming end of marijuana prohibition in the United States. The day may soon arrive when any citizen in any state, as long as they’re over 21, can purchase weed from an accredited place and smoke til their hearts content.

Overall, in my little opinion on this matter, I don’t care for the idea of the vending machine. I have my reasons, some are even listed here. I just wanted to share this with y’all to see what y’all might be thinking. I do not wish to debate it as a right or wrong type discussion, I was just looking for the different opinions and why we have them.

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Our Jobs As Teenagers

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My 17 y/o daughter and I had an interesting conversation over the holiday break which sparked my daughter’s interest into looking at what other teens make per hour at their part-time jobs. I tried to explain to her that she was very lucky making $10 per hour as well as only having to work 20 hours a week. She is actually pretty damn lucky because her part-time job is working at the church daycare as a teacher’s aide. She has had this job for a little over a year and half. She has never had to work at a fast food place or a place of retail so she knows nothing about how it actually is in a real marketplace for employment. She is lucky in other ways as well, like every bit of the money she earns is only earmarked for things she wishes to spend it on. She has no bills with the exception of putting fuel in her truck. In my opinion, knowing how I grew up, she is extremely lucky she can spend her paychecks as she pleases. She is smart with her money to a degree, she always puts some away in her saving account. She has a hard time comprehending that “most” teens her age with a part-time job are only making $7.25 per hour and work in less than ideal conditions sometimes.

She says I was lucky as I explained to her what I did for money when I was a teen. I made what I thought was decent money at the time back in 1983 because that is when I really started getting paid. I worked with my dad who was a concrete contractor for many years before for basically spending money but never anything to save. I learned many skills working with him that I still value to this day. I was never afraid to bust my ass working in the Houston heat & humidity and not see a dime for my efforts. When I needed money all I had to do is ask, well, most of the time. As the summer between 8th and 9th grade approached I had already obtained my driver’s license, I already had a truck (rebuilt from parts from the junkyard where I found it), I was dating, and all I needed was a part-time job to pay for all the things I wanted to do. Back in 1983 the state minimum wage was $3.35 or something like that per hour. Where I lived teens had a limited choice to part-time employment like working at a fast food place, the theatre (an old singleplex), the car wash, a grocery store, or out on the farms and ranches. My dad offered up $700.00 per month cash (over the summer) to keep working with him and when school started back up it was going to be $350.00 a month cash. Doesn’t seem like much by todays prices, but back then the money would last me a long time. So, no, I never had to go get a minimum wage job while in high school.

The conversation evolved back to today and the struggles over the minimum wages at fast food places. This is where I was told my asshole side came out to play. My daughter wanted to agree with the fight, the fight to change paying employees at least $15.00 to flip burgers, get my order wrong, and waste my damn time. Oh, wait, the money paid isn’t supposed to reflect the quality of service you receive now is it. More money does not mean the skill level and caring just went up. I think it’s a joke. And, no, I don’t know the struggles of the people working in that industry or any other for that matter. Plus, I’m not a fast food eater, mostly because I hate paying for shitty service, shitty attitude, and shitty food. No, you may not argue that everything would be better if these poor mistreated people made more money. You’ll never be able to convince me that paying $15.00 per hour will make the fast food experience better for the customer, and if you believe that bullshit it might be time to re-evaluate your past dining experiences. People, in general, want everything handed to them while they provide little or no effort. Why no, right? Society has been moving in this direction for many years, right? We are victims of our own bullshit, right? Wrong! Get a job, work your ass off, work your way up, try harder than the next person, and stamp out your place in this fucking society as a person that has something to offer back besides an open hand waiting for something to dropped into it. What ever happened to “earning a living” or “working hard” or “getting a job”? They don’t exist, people just sit on the couch and wait for the government check.

I sound a little bitter don’t I? Or do I? Don’t mistake my honesty about all of this for being bitter, just consider that I’m real tired of all the people who complain but are not willing to get a damn job and when they get a job for unskilled labor they complain that they are not paid enough. I can speak for where I live locally and the teens don’t want to work. The ones that do are not doing it for weekend cash they are doing it to help support their household. Those who aren’t teens, what should they be paid? Good question since working at a fast food place is still considered being unskilled labor. I don’t know anymore, it seems, at least on the surface, that the debate will continue about minimum wage, especially in the fast food industry. I guess people are no longer happy with the opportunity to merely have a job and unfortunately in our society there is an actual need for an unskilled labor force. If people want better for themselves then they need to better prepare themselves to be in a different job market that earns more money, not ask it to be handed to them like it is today in the here and now.

So, what should be the wages, the limitations, and the requirements? Hell, I’m in my mid-40s and had to have a second full-time job to make ends meet, and that is with a wife who is employed full-time. I didn’t know all I needed to do was whine a little and it would all be handed to me with no effort on my part. This is the world we live in, everything isn’t equal and nor should it be equal because we all don’t offer equal qualifications and/or work ethics. Be assured that the government will be forced to increase the minimum wage because of all the political pressure that is currently being applied. And, sadly, when the enablers get their way, we as a society, will once again take a few steps backwards. Where does the extra money come from? The consumer will be having the wage increase passed on to him/her through everything they purchase which is soon going to mean that what I make an hour won’t be enough, according to the same standards. Yea, I know, I can speak until I’m blue in the face and still get told I have absolutely no argument. Well, this has been my opinion and I think it will be a giant mistake and the people being served at the local fast food restaurant and at other places which use unskilled labor will soon be seeing a cost increase because the labor still has to be paid for by employers.

Where do we go from here? In my personal opinion, I think that this will just be another nail in the coffin for any business, large or small, here in the United States. Many places already operate on a shoestring budget just to keep the doors open and make some profit after paying the bills. Your right, fuck ’em. Why should I care what people are getting paid. Part of me thinks about the amount of blood, sweat, and tears it took me to get where I am at today. Part of me dislikes it when anything is just handed over to those who are not willing to earn it. I was raised different from that, I was raised in a manner that made me realize I needed to be able to provide something in exchange for compensation. I raise my own children the same way and not look for the free ride. Hopefully I’m alone in the way I raise my kids because if so then this next generation of people entering the workforce are truly fucked. I wonder what would be dropped in my open hand being a white male, 45, skilled, educated, and currently employed. Anything extra for me? I didn’t think so. But I already knew this fact. Anyway, as a society in the United States, we keep throwing money into the burning caldron, before long the people like myself that actually have to earn a living will be out of money and there will be no help, there will be only dust in the bankrupt coffers. Too melodramatic?

I never wanted to be a millionaire, I still don’t want to be a millionaire, and I doubt I will ever want to be a millionaire. Why? I like my life and the people in it. We work hard for what we earn and live a lifestyle which has been great for all of us, all too much money will do is corrupt what we consider to be perfect. Y’all may think one’s life revolves around money, I used to think the same way, but when you have nothing it always brings a smile to your face when you can put a little aside for a rainy day. I’m not saying the minimum wage is accurate, but I’m not the judge of that either, and it is called “minimum” for a reason. The only place people can go when they are on the bottom is up, many people acknowledge that the journey will be long and hard, others prefer to demand something without offering anything more in return. As much as we would all like to think we are worth our weight in gold, the reality is that if we were then we would no longer have value. I’ll leave it up to y’all because y’all should make your own decisions based on your individual opinions. The minimum wage is out of the hands of the “people” and will always be decided by politicians who take only their status into consideration. Fuck it, roll the dice. I hope everyone gets what they are expecting.

holdingMoney

Speaking Of Googling It……….

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One federal agency is charging other offices and taxpayers to provide government reports that are largely available free of charge on the Internet. It is essentially the “let me Google that for you” office of the federal government. Home to more than three million records, the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) collects “government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information” and reports and sells them to other federal agencies. Only it turns out most of what it sells can also be found for free on the Internet with little effort. Established more than 60 years ago, NTIS is a vestige of the pre-Internet era when a lot of the reports the agency collects were not widely available; however, as times have changed agency has not.

Required by law to be largely self-sustaining, NTIS charges other federal agencies to access its collection of reports. However, a November 2012 review of the office by GAO uncovered that about three-quarters of the reports in the NTIS archives were available from other public sources. Specifically, GAO estimated that approximately 621,917, or about 74 percent, of the 841,502 reports were readily available from one of the other four publicly available sources GAO searched. The GAO explains, that the source that most often had the reports GAO was searching for was located at Google. In addition, reports could be found on the website of the issuing federal department, the Government Printing Office’s website, or USA.gov.

Yet, federal departments continue to send taxpayer dollars to NTIS for reports they could get for free with a simple web search. NTIS notes that one of its best-sellers is the Armed Forces Recipe Service, available on CD-ROM for $79. However, the Armed Forces Recipe Service recipe index is also available online and can be downloaded for free directly from the Quartermaster Corps Website. Further, a recipe index that offers 1,700 convenient recipes for groups of 100 that can be easily adjusted up or down, likely falls outside the scope of technical, scientific, and engineering reports the office should be collecting.

Another report sold by NTIS is the 2009 Public Health Service Food Code produced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is available for $69. Alternatively, the report is available for free on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. Moreover, GAO found much of the work outdated because NTIS has focused largely on growing its repertoire of older reports. Specifically, NTIS added approximately 841,500 reports to its repository during fiscal years 1990 through 2011, and approximately 62 percent of these had publication dates of 2000 or earlier. While the office worked to accumulate reports older than those dated 2000, GAO reports that only 21 percent of the reports distributed from 2001 to 2011 were dated older than 1989. Meanwhile, nearly 100 percent of the reports from 2009-2011 were distributed. However, these are also the most likely to be available online elsewhere.

More than 12 years ago, GAO issued two different reports explaining NTIS would need to soon reconsider its function and fee-based model, as the Internet made of the reports it sold available for free. Shuttering the NTIS entirely was first suggested in 1999, by the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Commerce William Daley, who contended declining sales revenues soon would not be sufficient to recover all of NTIS’ operating costs. The Secretary attributed this decline to other agencies’ practice of making their research results available to the public for free through the Web.

According to GAO, the decline in revenue for its products continues to call into question whether NTIS’s basic statutory function of acting as a self-financing repository and disseminator of scientific and technical information is still viable. As the actual “let me Google that for you” website explains, this is for all of those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question than Google it for themselves. But when NTIS is doing the Googling, the search response comes with a price tag for taxpayers. Federal agencies pay NTIS millions of dollars each year to provide government reports that are available for free online and can be found with a simple Google search. They need to start paying me because I Google everything!

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Information found for this “Your Tax Dollars @ Work” post was done by using a Google search. Information compiled from multiple public websites & media outlets.