May 5, 2018 By Michael Leppertwww.MichaelLeppert.comI started paying attention to the Greg Pence for Congress campaign a little this week. It didn’t take me long. There isn’t much there.Let’s not get too far into this without stating the obvious. There is no reason to believe that Greg Pence would even be running for Congress if Vice President Mike Pence was not his younger brother.Pretend for a moment his name was John Smith. He would be struggling to introduce himself to voters just like any other candidate. What he is doing would not be working. At all.Seth Slabaugh, of the Star Press, did an in-depth piece on the lesser known Pence’s campaign last weekend. This is an important article detailing a campaign that seems to be avoiding the tedious nature of actual campaigning.So what is Greg Pence’s personal brand?He served honorably for four years in the United States Marine Corps. As far as I can tell, we should express nothing but gratitude for this service. This is the type of experience that has historically proven invaluable in politics. U.S. Senator Todd Young’s successful 2016 campaign comes to mind. Sen. Young started most sentences with “as a Marine,” two years ago. It worked.In Pence’s case, he is using the tagline of “ready to serve again.”He now owns a couple of antique malls. This part of his business background is detailed by Simone Pathe in an April 18 article in Roll Call. There is nothing impressive or out of the ordinary about it really.In between the military and the antique malls though, he worked for Marathon Oil and Unocal Corporation, and then became the president of Kiel Brothers Oil Company. This was the family’s gas station and convenience store business that filed for bankruptcy in 2004, which immediately preceded Pence’s resignation.The following year, he worked for two and half months at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. That job experience is clouded by his oddly brief stay and by the $8.4 million in penalties that the family business owed IDEM primarily for leaking underground storage tanks.Michael Tacket expands on the IDEM issue in the New York Times on April 22. Like the Star Press and Roll Call stories, all primary voters in the Sixth Congressional district should read it. Tacket, an Anderson native and Indiana University graduate, reports on the trouble Pence had at the family business and as a member of local bank board as well.The stories by these three reporters are connected to one another by at least one common theme: that Pence is strategically not available to the media. Admittedly, not showing up for an opportunity to meet with a reporter from Roll Call, even when that reporter is at the candidate’s place of business, will not likely have any impact on the primary election. Likewise, neither will turning down an interview with what campaign spokesperson Kyle Robertson refers to as “the failing New York Times.”I seriously doubt there is a critical mass of voters in the district who read either publication.But not talking to the Star Press, based in Muncie, Indiana, in this context seems like a big deal to me. Do voters in Indiana’s Sixth read that one?This is evidence of far more than a “front runner strategy” taken to the extreme. Some of this tells a tale of what kind of congressman these voters should expect if he wins.Robertson points to a series of weekly videos that Pence has been sharing. He describes these videos as “interviews” with award winning radio broadcaster Greg Garrison. Garrison is a conservative talk radio host, and the videos are all about a minute in length and seem more like ads than interviews.Greg Pence is running as Mike Pence’s brother. He is a 61-year-old first time candidate who would not be running otherwise.Like the three GOP candidates for Indiana’s U.S. Senate nomination, Pence wants the people who voted for his brother’s ticket in 2016 just to vote the same way. In his case, he doesn’t have to work at showing voters he is part of the Trump-Pence team. For this candidate, it really is in his blood.His campaign is almost entirely based on name ID. Whatever energy is leftover, he uses on avoiding saying the wrong thing. He does this by trying not to say anything at all.There are other candidates running in the district on Tuesday, most notably Jonathan Lamb. I hope I am surprised on Tuesday by an electorate that can see through Pence’s charade of a campaign. The district, the state and country can all do better.FOOTNOTE-THE CITY COUNTY OBSERVER POSTED THIS ARTICLE WITHOUT OPINON,BIAS OR EDITING.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Square Pie has announced that its Pie World Cup is to return to coincide with the Football World Cup this summer.Special World Cup pies, for all seven of the previous Football World Cup-winning nations, will be played-off against each other during the first three weeks of the competition, with the two best-sellers to be pitted against each other in the final in week four.Week one (14-20 June) will see Argentina’s Corned Beef Hash pie versus France’s Beef Bourguignon; week two (21-27 June) will see England’s Rabbit pie, up against Germay’s Goulash; and week three (28 June-4 July) will see which triumphs between Italy’s Bolognese contender, Uruguay’s Pascualina pie (a vegetarian pie containing pinto beans, spinach, red pepper, onion, hard cheese and cayenne pepper), and Brazil’s Beef Esfihas. “We’ve always had some great fun with our previous Pie World Cups and with these new recipes, we are sure it’s going to be a much closer contest than previous years,” commented managing director Martin Dewey. “Will England pull a rabbit out of the hat and win their third Pie World Cup in a row?”The pies will be available in Square Pie’s outlets in Selfridges, Spitalfields Market, Westfield (Shepherds Bush), and Canary Wharf.
A new report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on acrylamide levels in food reveals that although soft bread and biscuits were identified as major contributors, a longer-term approach needs to be taken to assess trends.Soft bread was identified as a major contributor of acrylamide in the diets of adults, while biscuits were identified as major contributors in adolescents and children. Acrylamide, a chemical compound that forms during baking, has been linked to cancer.Based solely on the information provided by Member States, and Norway, from 2007 to 2009, EFSA identified that acrylamide levels had decreased in crackers, infant biscuits and gingerbread over the three years, increased in crispbread, and showed no significant changes in a number of food groups, including “bread not specified”. But it said that, to detect clear statistical trends, the number of years covered should be extended.As in previous reports, it was noted that voluntary measures developed by industry to reduce acrylamide levels, the so-called “toolbox” approach, has had limited success, adding that “it would be desirable to further reduce acrylamide levels in food groups that contribute the most to acrylamide exposure”.The report also referenced earlier research (Claus et al 2008), which demonstrated that the surface application of cysteine to the dough of wheat bread and bread rolls prior to baking showed acrylamide lowering potential, and that the mixing of cysteine into the dough led to remarkably lower acrylamide levels in the finished product.Stan Cauvain, director of bakery consultancy BakeTran, said that, in general, the trend for soft bread, as opposed to crispbread, products remained unclear. “Bakers should remain aware of the issues around acrylamide and as a general principle seek to limit levels of acrylamide in their products where possible, but should not at this stage be overly concerned about the report findings,” said Cauvain.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Vulfpeck just announced their 2016 studio release The Beautiful Game. The suave funk quartet has set up a Kickstarter for the album, which will be the band’s 6th studio release and perhaps their most anticipated record yet. The band’s success has totally sky-rocketed over the past year since their Thrill of the Arts LP, so for new fans of Vulf, the October 17th release can’t come soon enough.The Vulf Records release will feature a ton of new guests, including debuts from Laura Mace, Bethanni Grecynski, Jamire Williams, Michael Winogrand, Pegasus Warning, Adam Levy, and Rich Hinman. “This album’s ‘Billy Preston’,” they add, is guitarist Cory Wong. The Beautiful Game will also feature some of our favorite returning guests: keyboardist Joey Dosik from “Game Winner”, “Back Pocket” vocal contributor Christine Hucal, and of course, the “Funky Duck” himself, Antwaun Stanley.In the below video, the band occupies their studio space with Stanley with a never-before-heard song about baseball high school teams. We can’t wait to find out more about this album!
At the start of next year, the 12th annual Gem & Jam Festival will take over the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona. The festival—which falls across January 25th through 28th, 2018—is moving into its second year at this new venue and is quickly rising the ranks of must-attend winter festivals. Located on 640 acres and just 20 miles south of downtown Tucson, the Pima County Fairgrounds is surrounded by nature and resides in a desert, creating an expansive setting perfect for Gem & Jam free of noise ordinances that allows on-site late night sets to run until 5 am. Despite its desert terrain, the festival also boasts grass fields and fully functional bathrooms in addition to port-a-potties. This year, the multi-stage music and arts festival will be offering increased capacity and camping options—including onsite RV camping with hookups, boutique camping, and car and walk-in camping—and expanding its festival experience with world-class visuals, unique stage designs, artist galleries, live paintings, experiential installations, daytime workshops, gem and mineral vendors, and much more.20 Photos That Convey The Magic Of Gem And Jam Festival 2016Today, Gem & Jam Festival announced its phase two additions to its 2018 lineup, including Big Wild, Papadosio, SunSquabi, Head For The Hills, Earthcry (of Papadosio), Dynohunter, Templo, Lapa (of Emancipator), Smash & Grab, Little John, Minions of the Moon, Bird Foot, Tony Inorbit, The Party People, Soul Catalyst, and Dead Set. These acts will join Gem & Jam’s first wave of artists that were announced back in August, which included two nights of STS9 and two nights of Lettuce in addition to sets by Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Emancipator, and [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits, which features members of the Disco Biscuits and Break Science. At the time, Gem & Jam also announced performances by Thriftworks, Masego, Random Rab, Michael Menert, John Kadlecik’s Fellowship of the Wing, Govinda, Jade Cicada, Maddy O’Neal, and more. You can head over to the festival’s website for the complete lineup and to snag tickets.[Photo: Patrick Hughes]See the complete lineup below:
Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death among men in Georgia, accounting for 34 percent of all male deaths. In 1997, hospital charges related to CVD were $1.8 billion. Unfortunately, the risk of dying from CVD is 25 percent higher for African American males than white males.Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Georgia’s men. The five leading causes of cancer death are lung, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic and leukemia. Lung and prostate cancer death rates in Georgia are both 19 percent higher than the national average. The colorectal cancer rate, though, is 12 percent lower.Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among Georgia men. It also contributes to deaths from other causes like CVD and kidney failure. For every death in which diabetes is the primary cause, there are two and a half deaths in which diabetes is a contributing factor.Even though only half of the drivers’ licenses in Georgia are issued to males, men are involved in nearly 60 percent of all motor vehicle accidents and 72 percent of all fatal crashes. Of the men who died in these accidents, 62 percent were between the ages of 15 and 44, and 70 percent were white. Fortunately, the rate of seat belt use is increasing in males. But it is still lower than in females.Related to these disturbing motor vehicle statistics is the alarming incidence of binge drinking in young men. Almost 37 percent of young men ages 18-24 report that they binge drink.While more young white males commit suicide, more African American males are likely to be homicide victims.The percentage of men who are overweight or obese increased from 47 percent in 1984 to 62 percent in 1998. More than half of Georgia’s males are inactive. Men in Georgia are living longer, but not necessarily better. Just take a look at the “2000 Report on the Status of Men’s Health in Georgia: A Picture of Men’s Health and Well-Being,” from the Georgia Department of Human Resources. The comprehensive report details the health status of men in Georgia.The report shows that overall life expectancy increased during the past century from 48 years in 1900 to 74 years in 1997. But some serious health issues remain that affect the well-being of men in Georgia. Those health concerns vary, depending on a man’s age.Major Causes of DeathAmong adolescent males and young men, motor vehicle injuries, homicides, suicides and infectious diseases, like tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus, are the major causes of death and disability.For older men, the main causes of injury and death are chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, as well as infectious diseases such as pneumonia and flu and accidental injuries.Here are just a few of the disturbing statistics: Clearly, some serious public health issues affect men in Georgia. This report not only details these disturbing facts. It also offers solutions to the problems that individuals and the community can try to reduce risk and improve health outcomes.A Valuable ToolThe report is a valuable tool for health and government officials, voluntary organizations and the public to use to focus on male health issues in the community.To read more about the “2000 Report on the Status of Men’s Health in Georgia” visit the Web site of the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health.
The Live Outside and Play road team are back! And we’re ready to embark on a road trip of epic proportions from Colorado to the East Coast and back to the Centennial State again. And the 2018 festival tour is set to be bigger and better than ever. With 20 festivals on the docket, we’ll be making stops in tiny towns and metropolises — all while spreading the love adventure outdoors and representing Elevation Outdoors Magazine, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and this season’s awesome sponsors along the way. We met so many people last year that became an integral part of our experience, and we want to see you again! Or meet you for the first time!Check out this current list of events we’ll be attending over the next seven months, and mark your calendars to come out and hang with us this year!Tom Tom Founders FestivalApril 9th through 15th | Charlottesville, VirginiaThe 7th annual Tom Tom Founders Festival is a week-long celebration with tunes, food, speakers and overall cheer. Catch us at the fest Friday through Sunday.BONUS: Join us for a group bike ride on April 14th to see a little more of CharlottesvilleTuck FestApril 19th through 22 | Charlotte, North CarolinaCome hoot and holler with us while cruising some waves at the National White Water Center. Good music and plenty of demos included.BONUS: Join us on Sunday, April 22nd for some Plogging (Picking up trash while Jogging!)Cheat River FestivalMay 4th through 5th | Albright, West VirginiaIf you like rapids, rowdy company, and mud, this is your festival! It couldn’t be more of a party, but also family friendly! A real paradox.BONUS: We will be leading a Backpacking 101 workshop on May 4th. Come ask questions, or share your own knowledge.Appalachian Trail DaysMay 18th through 20th | Damascus, VirginiaWhether you have hiked the trail, plan on hiking it, or just love being outdoors, this festival is a wonderful gathering of the tribe.BONUS: We will be sharing some trail magic on May 17th with those headed into the city. Join us to celebrate the white blaze with snacks.WE’RE ROAD TRIPPIN’ TO COLORADO May 21st THROUGH May 24th. Catch us on the Road!CKS PaddlefestMay 25th through 28th | Buena Vista, ColoradoSunny Buena Vista welcomes you with a wonderful festival featuring whitewater, flat white and land events.BONUS: Join us for a river clean up after the festival to restore it to its pristine condition.Lyons Outdoor GamesJune 2 | Lyons, ColoradoLast year a member of the Live Outside and Play road team did yoga with goats at this festival. For quirky fun and a plethora of beer tastings, come hang out with us in Lyons.GoPro Mountain GamesJune 7th through 10th, Vail, ColoradoThis festival spans two separate villages in Vail and has a packed schedule. Families, athletes, and spectators gather for four days of excitement.FIBarkJune 14th through 17th | Salida, ColoradoIf you want to watch handmade floats battle their way down the Arkansas River from a ferris wheel, we know a festival.Gunnison River FestivalJune 22nd through 23rd | Gunnison, ColoradoLocated at the headwaters of the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers, with regional creeks flowing off the Continental Divide, Gunnison River Festival celebrates clean waterways and fun ways to use them.Ridgeway RiverFestJune 30th | Ridgeway, ColoradoCelebrating rivers and families, this day centers around the “Junk of the Unc” event where participants race unconventional rafts down the Uncompahgre River.Copper Mountain Music FestivalJuly 6th through 8th | Copper Mountain, ColoradoWith free music and plenty of activities, this festival celebrates Americana and Bluegrass music, set against a background of mountain biking and beautiful views.Après Day with Upslope BrewingJuly 28th | Boulder, ColoradoUnlike previous van life rallies we’ve put on with Upslope, this one will take place on a larger scale with Apres all day in the back parking lot (think their anniversary party). We’ll be celebrating the outdoor lifestyle and bringing in experts from the road and their vans for touring – and let’s be honest, showing off a bit.ARISE Music FestivalAugust 3rd through 5th | Loveland, ColoradoA meeting of the hippies. Complete with a star-filled music line up, downward dog, and workshops to enlighten the soul. Carve out this weekend in your summer for the perfect combo of zen and party.Mountain Town Music FestivalAugust 17th through 18th | Keystone, ColoradoA fitting festival for our final hurrah in Colorado, the Mountain Town Music Festival celebrates vistas, seasonal treats, and sweet tunes. Make sure to stay for the signature fireworks show.WE’RE ROAD TRIPPIN’ BACK TO THE EAST COAST August 19th THROUGH 22nd. Catch us on the Road.Photo: Camden LittletonLock’nAugust 23rd through 26th | Arrington, VirginiaDo you like to JAM? Do you LOVE to JAM? Then head on over to Lock’n for an incredible line-up and even better company. This full-service festival offers everything you’re looking for in a weekend adventure.Gauley FestSeptember 13th through 16th | Summersville, West VirginiaThe weather may be turning, but there’s still time to get on the water at Gauley Fest. Come hang with the river people and celebrate rivers together.The Festy ExperienceOctober 5th through 7th | Nelson County, VirginiaIf you love listening to tunes with your friends, bring them all with you to the Festy and get ready for some jammin’. The yoga flows like the beer and the music floats into the crisp fall sky.GO Outside FestivalOctober 12th through 14th | Roanoke, VirginiaWe’ve never been to a festival with as many events as the GO Outside Fest. We suggest you join for the whole weekend, but if you come for one day, make sure it’s the day with the superhero race.Bridge DayOctober 20th | New River Gorge, West VirginiaWhat’s more thrilling than watching hundreds of BASE jumpers throw themselves off the New River Gorge Bridge? Jumping yourself. This festival celebrates the iconic bridge and allows jumpers to hurdle themselves off it for one day a year.We will also lead and attend 20 ‘meet-up’ style community events. So if the festival scene isn’t your thing, get some LOAP time in with us riding bikes, cleaning up trails and building new ones.There is one way for us to get to all these great events, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel.
By Dialogo July 25, 2013 Armed men attacked elements of the Mexican Federal Police in six villages of Michoacan – western Mexico – and blocked four roads, which resulted in 22 deaths from confrontations, the Ministry of Interior reported on July 23. “At this time, we know of two fallen members of the Federal Force Division” and 15 others injured; “in addition to an estimated 20 alleged criminals killed,” the Ministry of Interior’s National Security Commission said in a statement. According to the institution, the attacks were planned and started when four men armed with powerful rifles hidden in the hills attacked Federal Police members in the villages of Arteaga, Infiernillo and El Carrizo, located in the conflicted area of Tierra Caliente, where thousands of soldiers and federal agents were deployed in May. The men, armed with rifles and fragmentation grenades, blocked roads with trucks that were set on fire in four road segments. One of these pathways was Siglo XXI, leading to the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, one of the busiest in the Mexican Pacific. Government sent security reinforcements to the area in May, after a so-called “self defense force,” comprised of armed locals from Michoacan, one of the poorest states in the country, spread, saying they were tired of being harassed by Los Caballeros Templarios cartel, who extorts, kidnaps, and kills the population. A wave of violence affected the region in recent days with a series of incidents, including the death of three police officers in Michoacan and five ambushed in the same Siglo XXI road, while four others were hanged in other villages. Violence in Michoacan started eight days ago after the capture of Miguel Ángel Treviño, aka “Z-40”, leader of Los Zetas cartel –a bitter enemy of Los Caballeros Templarios–, a criminal organization that preaches a particular religious doctrine and whose main stronghold is Michoacan.
14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James Hawk Jim Hawk is President and CEO of IWS, a national provider of vehicle protection products to credit unions, headquartered in Boca Raton, FL. For more information, visit www.iwsgroup.com Web: www.iwsgroup.com Details Good credit union executives are hyper-focused on member value and providing better options and choices for members than the competition. Good lending officers are hyper-focused on facilitating the right loan for members … and, as a result, keeping the competition at bay.To balance member value, to keep the right loan equation for interest income, and to stay competitive in today’s high-tech world, credit unions strive to ensure that their product offerings are both convenient and simple for members to access and use. As such, providing easy-to-use, “sticky” Internet tools like online quote engines may seem like a strategic way to keep members satisfied and engaged with your credit union (and thereby, hopefully, keeping the competition at bay).But this is not as simple as it sounds, and credit unions should remain wary of commoditizing your member relationship.“I just want a quick quote-I don’t want to have to be on the phone for an hour.”How many times have your loan officers heard that comment? In this instance, the operative word is “quick.” And while every service organization strives to provide the quickest service possible, fast doesn’t necessarily mean “good” or “cheap.”Credit unions pride themselves on a commitment to the mission, as evidenced by deep, personalized relationships with members. Other financial institutions? Perhaps not so much. So, while some programs are clearly made to order for online applications – think seven-minute auto insurance e-quotes or three-question, no-underwriting life insurance e-quotes – such products have become commodities.And in the world of commodity sales, it can be suggested that quick-quote engine tools are designed to hook and upsell at a higher price. In our world, however, it’s a proven fact that credit unions’ deep commitment to products which provide personalized, consultative member service is something that can help to optimize both interest and non-interest income, while still providing a better value than options from external sources.What can go wrong?For members’ largest investments, many credit unions provide mortgage teaser rates and/or basic e-calculators. As the mortgage product is not a commodity, rarely do credit unions deliver a full online application-to-quote-to-funded loan online engine. This should also be the case for auto loans and the associated non-interest income products like Vehicle Service Agreements/Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (VSA/MBI).Some of the inputs necessary to provide a proper quote include:– Auto. Truck. Motorcycle. RV. Snowmobile.– Year. Make. Model.– Manufacturer’s warranty (years and miles remaining). Powertrain warranty (years and miles remaining).– Total odometer miles. Annual miles. How many years the member expects to keep the vehicle.– Modifications. After-market parts.– Platinum coverage. Gold coverage. Bronze coverage. Powertrain-only coverage.– Loan term. Member’s budget. Member’s appetite for risk.The online quote parameters can be endless, and, with the time taken to understand the specific situation for each member, the quote generated would ultimately provide an arbitrary or average price, which fails to communicate the true value of the product and service. Further, some product distinctions are subtle, yet critical; and many times it’s hard to differentiate one provider’s – or dealer’s – coverage from another.Instead of providing an online quote engine, for practically the same amount of member time investment, credit unions and loan officers are better served by facilitating a five-minute, consultative and highly-personalized conversation with members. This can put price into context for members’ specific needs as to the value and benefits of a VSA/MBI. In addition, it can address the specific type of coverage each member may need in their unique situation, to prevent unexpected and costly repairs caused by a mechanical breakdown.Don’t commoditize the member relationshipCredit union websites are intended to offer quick, easy-to-access answers. Ideally, they also facilitate decision-making. In lieu of impersonal online quote engines, ensure information on your website is clear and concise regarding the process and value of more complex products, like VSA/MBI. Doing so can save members time, effort and sometimes a very bad experience. For credit unions, it can make the difference between word-of-mouth member endorsements and those that damage reputations.
by: Nicholas BallasyThe U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Mortgage Choice Act and the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act next week.Both bills are supported by CUNA and NAFCU.According to CUNA Media Manager Vicki Christner, the exact day of the vote has not been determined. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr