The Truth About Credit Repair...

Have you ever wondered what companies send you when they claim you can erase bad credit overnight? How about those ads that say you can get any major credit card without a deposit or a credit check? Ads abound almost everywhere these days (online and off) selling books, systems and secrets to help you fix your credit. Many of these programs have claims, which read like the covers of supermarket tabloids:

"In 3hrs my credit score jumped from 580 to 676!"...

"Erase bad credit and smash your debts with just 2 Magic Letters!".

Are these types of claims ALWAYS too good to be true? The answer is "Yes and... no".

While many people would love for you to believe the only thing that can fix bad credit is time; in reality... nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, time is only one factor, which can fix a credit report, but it is a far cry from being the only factor. How can I back this up? Easy.

Under a consumer, protection law knew as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (a.k.a. the FCRA) the only negative information, which can remain, on your credit report is not what is accurate... but what can be proved as accurate under the FCRA. What is this mean to you?

It means any negative item on your credit report can only remain there if it is accurate and can be proved as such under the guidelines of the FCRA. This undisputable fact presents consumers with both good news and bad news.

The good news is that through the FCRA your credit score can most likely be improved dramatically in a very short period with only a modest amount of effort on your part.

The bad news is that while the actual "work" will take very little of your time, it is vital that you have good information on "how" to go about it. This is the bad news; 9 out of 10 courses on restoring your credit will do nothing more than lead you into snake pits because they will provide you with what the industry refer to as "Boiler Plate" dispute letters. These are nothing more than form letters and... Frankly (more bad news) the Credit Bureaus and Creditors will laugh at you if you try to use them.

While I agree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that "Anything a Credit Repair Clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or not cost"... the key element you need for success is the latest inside techniques and procedures to get the results you want. This involves strategies such as "Proof of Contract", "Constructive Notice", "Challenge of Procedure" or "Restrictive Endorsement" and many others.

All these terms may "sound" impressive but they are really quite simple. In the end, it is nothing more than a method of communication, which exercises your consumer protection rights, gets the results you want and raises your credit score. Even more impressive, once you learn how simple it can be by doing it for yourself, you will find there is a fortune to be made doing it for others!

Slow Economy, Slow Job Gains

Job growth will probably rebound from April's meager gain, but not by much. Employment will track the economy's tepid growth rate.

April's ho-hum job figures reflect an economy in low gear as well as attempts by companies to preserve profit margins by limiting new hiring. But the less-than-expected gain of 88,000 jobs -- the lowest monthly tally in about two and a half years -- doesn't mean the economy is heading into a tailspin. In fact, more than half a million jobs were added in the first four months of this year -- not as strong a pace as last year, but by no means indicative of a slump.

Some of the slowdown in Friday's Labor Department report is a bit deceptive. It arises from complex seasonal adjustment estimates each spring relating to the construction sector, which officially shed 11,000 jobs in April. In effect, these adjustments probably made the decline in construction seem worse than it actually was. The employment report also featured a surprising loss of 26,000 jobs in the retail sector, which is likely to pick up again this month as stores start to sell summer merchandise.

There is also good reason to believe that manufacturing, which lost 19,000 jobs last month, could soon post a better performance. March factory orders -- a harbinger of the future pace of business -- posted a solid gain, while a recent survey of purchasing managers in manufacturing showed them to be upbeat about the orders outlook and about future hiring.

That said, don't expect a significant upswing in job creation. Although the economy is likely to steer clear of a recession, the pace of economic growth will remain tepid -- in the 2% to 2.5% range this year. For all of 2007, we expect a total of 1.3 million jobs to be added on a net basis, or an average of about 110,000 a month.

The job report includes some good news on the inflation front: Growth in average hourly earnings slowed a bit, rising a relatively modest 0.2% in April and 3.7% for the past 12 months. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 4.5% from 4.4% a month ago.

The Federal Reserve is counting on slower economic growth to loosen up the labor market a bit and hence reduce inflation pressures. This would allow the Fed to avoid raising interest rates and exacerbating the economic slowdown.

We think job trends are on the Fed's preferred path. The unemployment rate is likely to continue to creep higher, reaching about 5% by year end. However, the Fed probably won't feel comfortable about cutting rates until the central bank sees solid evidence that inflation is on a sustainable downward path. So we stick with our outlook for steady rates through this year.

How Save Money On International Calls?

I think that if you are emigrant, tourist, hard truck driver or student, you often need to call to your family and friends. And what will you do if your home located on other continent and you have no enough money to call from hotel? Yes, right way is internet! This article will help you to find ease way to make domestic and international calls at lowest rates.

So, you use search engine and find many sites, that selling prepaid phone cards. How make a choice? One way is to ask your friends; maybe they have used prepaid phone cards yet. Another way is find site with simple tool that can help you find best rates to your direction! For example you want to call from US to Europe: choose countries and push button find. It’s all! Program finds best rates for your destination and shows you large quantity of calling cards. One of shops looks interesting and have hundreds of calling cards and rates!

If you have international business and often call to overseas countries you can buy refillable phone card and add funds where your balance is low. It’s very convenient because you need to remember one address of online shop where you buy card and one pin. You can call from your mobile phone from anywhere and any time, because phone services work 24 hour a day and 7 days a week. There are pin less phone cards: you register one phone number (for example your cell phone number) and add funds to your number where balance is low. I think that it’s most simple and convenient method.

In some shops you can find online phone cards on sale. So you can save on certain cards from 1$ up to 10$! Always check news of telephony. Prices on international calling cards continuously drop and now 1 minute from US continental to Netherlands (for example) costs 1 cent. It’s very cheap! Also you can find plastic phone cards on shops, railway stations, airports and etc., but they are very expensive! Do you now why phone cards online much cheaper then plastic cards? Because in case online cards you pay only for talking time; you get pin on email and you at once can call. In second case you pay to couriers, shops for their work and phone companies fore producing “real” plastic cards! Calling cards is really best answer!

In conclusion I want to say that times when you paid 10$ for 10 minutes of talking send away. Living alone in foreign country is not easy, so it is important to you to keep in touch with your family and friends.

Role of the World Bank's International Development Association

The Monterrey Consensus, in addition to framing commitments for increased ODA, “codified” the call for development effectiveness. This call was reinforced in July 2002, when donors to the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)—the world’s primary source of confessional (near-zero-interest) finance for development in the low-income countries—made replenishment contingent on the establishment of a results-based measurement system for IDA programs. IDA provides assistance to the world’s 82 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. It is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in the poorest countries.

Donors agreed in March 2005 to a 14th replenishment of IDA worth $33 million in new resources over three years. Now the 15th replenishment of IDA is on the horizon, with donors expected to decide on contributions for the next three-year cycle by December 2007. IDA is at a watershed, in part because of debt relief contributions-- IDA is providing $54 billion in debt relief to poor countries: $18 billion under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and $36 billion under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).This represents one third of IDA’s total resources and it lowers available credit reflows. Without additional resources, IDA would need to cut its financial support for poor countries currently benefiting from debt relief. For this reason, a generous replenishment of IDA is crucial.

Through its leadership on harmonization and alignment, IDA also leverages the assistance of other donors in support of country-owned programs and projects. These efforts are forging stronger partnerships between aid providers and recipient countries.

Given its unique capabilities and its track-record, IDA serves as a cornerstone of the international aid system in many poor countries. IDA’s platform ensures that aid is less fragmented, more predictable, and increasingly results-focused, which is fundamental to countries seeking to achieve the MDGs.

Harmonization, the Results Agenda and the Bank’s role

Central to the international community’s more unified approach is a concerted focus on development results.

The Third Roundtable on Managing for Development, held in Hanoi in February 2007 and involving the World Bank and a range of other donors, built on the findings of the 2004 Marrakech Second Roundtable on Better Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing for Development Results. The Hanoi meeting enabled delegations from selected developing countries to compare their experiences and to initiate a country action planning process, with targets for steps to be completed in advance of the Ghana High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in September 2008. The Hanoi Roundtable provided compelling evidence that country partners are eager to improve the effectiveness of development assistance and domestic resources by strengthening systems to enable information on expected and actual results to be used in decision-making.

The inter-agency Common Performance Assessment System, or COMPAS initiative is developing common systems that all multilateral development banks can use to monitor their results orientation. Its 2006 report found that: efforts to implement country strategies are still weak in some cases; that performance-based grants are on the rise; that efforts to apply operational lessons of experience are not systematic enough and that multilateral development banks are starting to link salary increases of staff to the accomplishment of agreed objectives.

Emmanuel Ayomide Praise is a world leading internet entrepreneur and investor. Some of his areas of interest include sport management, merchandise, ownership, internet entrepreneurship, investments, media and writing amongst others. Business URL:,

Civil Society

Civil society has grown exponentially over the past decades and today is recognized as an important development actor throughout the world; monitoring public policies, providing technical expertise, and partnering with governments to provide community services.

The Bank has greatly increased its cooperation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) over the past 20 years, and today it is estimated that CSOs are involved in 72 percent of new Bank-financed projects each year.

The Bank funds thousands of civil society initiatives each year in areas such as: post-conflict reconstruction, HIV/AIDS prevention, environmental protection, and poverty reduction.

More than 120 civil society specialists work at the World Bank to ensure the views of CSOs are considered and to encourage CSO involvement in Bank-financed projects. The Growth of Civil Society

The Civil Society sector – composed of non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, trade unions, indigenous people’s groups, charitable organizations, community groups, and foundations among others – has emerged as a major force in international development in the past 20 years. There has been a dramatic expansion in the size, scope, and capacity of civil society which has come in the wake of growing democratic governance throughout the world. The number of international NGOs was reported to have increased from 6,000 in 1990 to 26,000 in 1999. CSOs have also become significant players in global development assistance, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reporting that as of 2003 at least $12 billion in international assistance flows through CSOs.

CSOs’ have demonstrated an increased influence and ability to shape global public policy over the past two decades. This dynamism is exemplified by successful advocacy campaign movements which have mobilized thousands of supporters around the world on issues such as: the banning of land mines, debt cancellation, and environmental protection. The most recent example of the vibrancy and importance of civil society was the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), which was organized by a coalition of international CSOs to influence the discussions on debt and trade at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland in July 2005. The campaign was estimated to have mobilized over 100 million citizens around the world to demonstrate their concern for global poverty by wearing white wristbands, attending concerts, and lobbying their government officials.

"KINSEY" -- a smart movie on sexuality

I was pleasantly surprised by the movie Kinsey. I had expected a hagiography, but instead found a remarkable, relatively balanced portrait of the famed sex researcher, a movie which lends itself well to good conversation. And, I believe, an important movie for gay men and lesbians.

WARNING--this post contains spoilers, so if you have not seen the movie and don't want to know how it turns out, read no further.

The movie shows Kinsey emerging from his own sexual inhibitions to become almost a crusader for sex without inhibitions, but shows, through the drama of his story, the consequences of unrestrained sex. A virgin when he married, Liam Neeson's Kinsey takes up (after he has been married) with a fetching research assistant, played by the always-brilliant Peter Sarsgaard while on a research trip to Chicago. He tells his wife, played by the ever-amazing Laura Linney. While he inveighs against sexual restraint -- seeking a society free of all his inhibitions, she notes that "those restraints are there to keep us from hurting one another." As she has been hurt by his dalliance -- and will he be hurt by her dalliance with the same man.

Kinsey defends his research in the name of science, but his wife wonders if he is using science to justify infidelity. Linney's words (well, actually the words are those of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Bill Condon, but she speaks them) and Neeson's acting really help show the tension between the ideology of uninhibited sex and our emotional make-up. Waiting on the stairs for his wife to finish up with the sexy Sarsgaard, Neeson's Kinsey is trying to pretend that he is not affected by her infidelity, but his face (and the tone of his voice) shows that he is. Each spouse is hurt by the other's infidelity.

This sequence alone prevents the movie from being a hagiography and shows that no matter how much scientists and philosophers try to rationalize uninhibited sex, the human heart has impulses which science cannot measure. Indeed, writer/director Condon addresses this in the concluding sequence, where, in a mock interview with Kinsey, one of his researchers asks him why he doesn't deal with love. Neeson's Kinsey replies that he is a man of science and science involves measurement, but you can't measure love.

While acknowledging the accusations of Kinsey's flawed methodology, the movie does not delve into their specifics. His biographers, including James H. Jones in Alfred C. Kinsey: A Life and Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy in Kinsey: Sex The Measure Of All Things note how Kinsey oversampled prison inmates and single people while attempting to exclude those with strong religious views. In his chapter ("Science!") in Intellectual Morons, despite some overheated rhetoric, Daniel J. Flynn addresses some of flaws in Kinsey's research (as well as some unusual aspects of the scientist's private life).

Despite the flaws in his research, the movie makes the case that Kinsey did some good in moving us away from that limited view of sexuality that dominated American society (indeed, dominated most societies) up until the middle of the last century. In a touching monologue by the brilliant Lynn Redgrave (playing a lesbian), the film shows the meaning of our move away from the narrow view of sexuality. After reading his book, this woman realized that her feelings for a female co-worker were not unusual. That book helped give her the courage to approach that co-worker -- and learn that the feelings were reciprocated. A loving relationship resulted.

It is that story which helps make the movie worthwhile even as it undermines one aspect of the real ideology of Alfred C. Kinsey--his zeal to root out all sexual inhibitions. The story of Lynn Redgrave's character is not of a woman seeking wanton sexual relationships with a great variety of women, but of a woman finding an intimate relationship with one particular woman.

Kinsey has helped moved our society away from a narrow view of sexuality where we only condoned sexual relations in married couples. But, his zeal to create a society free of sexual inhibitions created the kind of emotional entanglements he and his wife experienced when each had an affair with the same man. In short, Kinsey attempted to throw out the baby with the bath water. We see the results of his ideology throughout the gay community where too many of us seek sex without strings. Where it is all too easy to get laid, but much more difficult to find love. Where we attempt to explain away the emotional emptiness that often follows a "hook up."

While we, as gay people, should be grateful (as is Ms. Redgrave's character), for Kinsey's research showing how normal our sexuality is, we need to be wary of his ideology. Sex cannot be reduced to mere science, as Kinsey would have liked. I believe our sex drive an aspect of the true erotic (and by erotic, I refer to the Greek Eros, the son of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love), that human longing for connection.

We all need to find a balance between our sexual drives and our emotional needs. This movie does a good job of showing the limitations of Kinsey's reliance on science as a tool to understand sexuality. Other authors have wisely quoted poetry in their studies of sexuality. It is one thing to throw off the inhibitions of the past. It is quite another to deny their meaning altogether. We, as gay people, need to understand that acceptance of our sexual difference does not mean abandonment of all sexual mores. We need to find a way to keep our sexuality attached to its emotional roots. To discover that our sexuality does not merely mean physical attraction to those of our gender, but also involves an emotional longing for a real human connection.

Top 7 Tips to Beat High Gas Prices

Do you cringe every time you pull up to the pumps to fuel up your car? I know that I do, and it seems like the gas prices just keep rising and rising. You may think that there isn't anything that you can do to curb those prices, but in fact there are ways for you to effectively shave money off of your gas bill by adding efficiency to the way that you burn it. Here are the top ways that you can start to smile a little at the pumps again.

1. Drive with Style - There are several ways that you can improve your fuel burning by driving with some style. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops and stay within the posted speed limits.

2. Check under the hood - Keep you engine tuned and the oil changed. This will help you to burn fuel at a slower rate.

3. Check the Tires - Did you know that you could improve your gas mileage by up to 3% just by making sure the tires are properly inflated? This also will save you money by not having to buy new tires prematurely.

4. Get Gas - Don't get gas that is too expensive. Most cars only need regular gasoline. The way to tell that you need a higher octane gasoline is if your engine is knocking.

5. Haul Less - Do you have junk in your trunk? Get rid of it. Hauling around extra weight wastes gas.

6. Drive Smart - Plan your route before you leave the house, try combining errands or carpooling.

7. Buy Cheap Gas - Go a little out of your way to get gas at a lower price. You can also save some money sometimes by using a gas card.

Enter for a chance to win a $1,500 Gas Card at

Tim has been leading people to free stuff online for 10 years, and owned one of the first freebie sites on the Internet.

Fun Facts About US Legal System

Humor can come from anywhere. We have tried to gather humor from US legal system this time. Here are some of the few fun facts about US legal system. Hope you will love it.

Only one case out of seven burglaries is solved in US.

Thirteen percent of all US citizens have passed at least one night in jail.

The shoplifting ratio of women is higher than men.

Most of the cases in the US courts are automobile cases.

Every 30 second, a court case if filed in US.

In north California, you are not allowed to plow your field with an elephant.

It is necessary for every Kentucky citizen to take a bath. At least one must take a bath once a year or he can go to jail.

No store can sell a toothbrush on Sabbath in Rhode Island.

18th amendment could never be followed by two states, Connecticut and Rhode.

Shooting a rabbit from a moving trolley is banned in New York.

According to riverside California, a funny rules is found in the old books, and that is no two people can kiss unless they clean their lips with rose water.

In San Diego, Public schools have banned hypnotism.

No building in DC is allowed to be higher than 13 floor. The reason behind this is, that you can always see the monument of the former president Washington, no matter where you are in the city.

Once, it was banned to serve cherry pie with ice cream on it, in Kansas.

Wal-Mart - Good vs. Bad

The giant retailer store Wal-Mart has a history of over forty years of successful business. Its first store opened in 1962 in Arkansas and in 1979 it already switches to a computerized inventory system that tracked individual items. This innovation was a success at that time, when such technologies were not widely implemented. They were beginners in this sphere, putting a lot of money into development of IT improvements in their supply chain. Year1983 the bar codes are printed on most goods, Wal-Mart introduces checkout scanners in all its stores. This enables them to track inventory numbers for individual items at the point of sale which in turn allowed headquarters to more easily sum up sales and inventory data at its centralized IT department. In five years Mal-Mart has another innovative option in mind in order to improve the inventory data collection and processing, they are installing satellite communications network. They have been very successful in managing their inventory supply system running smoothly, as they have been investing heavily and what is more important earlier then their rivals in cutting edge technology. This way of conducting business led Wal-Mart in being a number one supplier not only to customers but in a business-to-business environment.

With the creation of its first e-commerce Web store Wal-Mart gained even larger share of their market. It used to use a dial-up internet line in order to process orders from their suppliers; the same process had to be done from suppliers’ side as well. Starting 2002 Wal-Mart again changes the way of communicating with its suppliers and requires them to install a new electronic data interchange system. This EDI system is provided Isoft Corp., Dallas, and offers business to use AS2 software package. Needless to say that this software gives a lot of advantages, otherwise Wal-Mart would not even consider using it. This new installed system allows businesses to have faster, cheaper and more accurate transactions between suppliers and retailers. A lot more could be said about Wal-Mart’s successful strategic implementations and love of the customers. Their philosophy can be summed up by the Wal-Mart’s father Sam Walton: "The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want." It is a very appealing statement for the customers, who want their favorite "low prices everyday ". There is also the other side of the coin which explains the Wal-Mart phenomenon better than the simple concept of law prices. The major problem associated with Wal-Mart that has been roaring throughout America is the employee issue. A simple example of unfairness toward the potential workers is a hiring process. Many workers admitted they have had to sign forms agreeing that they would not support any effort to unionize the store, which is a definite violation of federal law. In case if someone refuses to sign the paper he/she will not be employed, taking into consideration that most of those who are trying to get a job are not very skilled or educated and most probably have agree to the rules.

Although Wal-Mart has a huge assortment of goods, recently it has expanded its sales in the grocery sector. This strategic move caused a lot of problems with the workers of this division as most of them are unionized, thus protected in many instances. On the other hand Wal-Mart being the biggest private employer in the US and refusing its workers to enter unions has more advantages than any existent union. Taking for instance California, where Wal-Mart Corporation built a number of famous Supercenters, union members of grocery sector were on strikes for months trying to defend their rights for a decent wage and health plan. The result however was disappointing, as their employers had to give in to the new conditions of business brought in by Wal-Mart. For the grocers all over the States not only in California, the wages have been cut down and health plans annihilated. The issue of Mal-Mart affecting so much the whole retail and grocery industry in America, and other countries where it operates, is a problem that has to be solved in the nearest future. Despite that the crisis of Wal-Mart employees is a huge concern. In his recent speech H. Lee Scott Jr., the chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, argued that Wal-Mart is a force for good in the economy. He claimed that the company is good to its employees paying high wages. He gave a number average 10$ per hour, which is double of a federal minimum wage. He also mentioned that their wages are compatible with most of the retailers throughout the country, with only one exception of those in rural areas. The real picture however looks “a bit” different. Those 10$ have little to do with ordinary workers, because they were derived from the sum of all wages, which means that million dollar salaries of the executives were considered as well. In reality an average sales clerk at Wal-Mart gets $8.50 an hour, or about $14,000 a year, which is about a $1,000 under the government's definition of the poverty level for a family of three. April Hotchkiss, for instance who interviewed by the Nation magazine, makes $8.33 an hour as a clerk in a Pueblo, Colorado, Supercenter. She had to have her healthcare costs paid for by the state's program for the needy. She says that she dreams of the day she can stop working and shopping at Wal-Mart. April confided: "Whenever I'm able to quit this place, and find something better, I'm never going to set foot in another such store again". This is a look from the inside of the "low prices" candy. It is painful to realize that we, who shop in Wal-Mart, are depriving others of being treated decently. Or is it a problem of greediness of those in charge of the corporation?

Another point being argued by the Chairman was the claim that Wal-Mart is just like everybody else. Certainly they are, after they have made everyone near them turn down the wages and lower overall working conditions. Wal-Mart has been the cause of many supermarkets closing down and consequently people losing their jobs, because they are building Supercenters which display appealing prices. It follows that those who have lost jobs have to find them some place else and often they end up as a Wal-Mart employee. The logic behind their moves is apparent however labor unions and other social organizations have been helpless protesting against the giant.

Lee Scott mentioned that Wal-Mart is doing great at offering their workers to have a full time job, while other retailers mainly supply hourly positions. Now, it has to come clear that for Wal-Mart the term "full time job" means different number of hours than for the rest of the world. In Wal-Mart they define it as a 34 hour week, instead of common 40. Clearly the company incurs lesser spending, for the employee it means that they will hardly get any premiums for health insurance that they are offered. According to Simon Head, director of the Project on Technology and the Workplace at the Century Foundation less than half of Wal-Mart's employees can afford even the company's least-expensive health plan. This depressing information can only mean that millions of people live below poverty line and can hardly make enough money to ever get out of this catch 22. It is true that Sam Walton once figured out how to make money out of poverty of others and how to make more poverty to grow even more. Although Wal-Mart claims that absolutely everybody shops at their stores even people with more then $100,000 a year, the research conducted by Andrew Franklin, an economist at the University of Connecticut, proves different. A 2003 study showed that 23 percent of Wal-Mart Supercenter customers live on incomes of less than $25,000 a year. More than 20 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers have no bank account, long considered a sign of dire poverty and almost half of Wal-Mart Supercenter customers are blue-collar workers and their families, 20 percent are unemployed or elderly.

With all the technological virtues brought by Wal-Mart corporation into modern business world one cannot but agree that it’s presence on the market has pushed many economies to a higher levels. Their innovative ideas and creative solutions have proved that customers can be satisfied by the goods offered at lower prices. We have to ask ourselves though, what is this "lower" price that somebody else has to pay? The multiplicity of this issue cannot be solved easily, rather many forces have to come together to protect those who are in need.

Jeff Stats is an expert at Our essay service...

A World Of Tobaccos, Flavors And Aromas To Be Enjoyed

Fortunately, today we are blessed with improvements in transportation and communications that were simply impossible in the past. However, along the way some of the very forces that have made all of this possible have sometimes led to a level of homogeneity in which quality is sometimes secondary to the facilitation of manufacturing and distribution at the most competitive cost. This is at once a good news/bad news scenario. For example during one recent trip to Europe, where I basked in the history and diverse cultures, I also saw the rapidity with which plasticized American food and other franchises were cropping up even in the most historic of villages. Whatever the market will bear can sometimes lead to whatever the market will tolerate. As a prime counterpoint, witness the explosive growth of micro-breweries now offering alternatives. Fortunately, there are many other examples all around us, lending testimony to one of the most fundamental principles of marketing, namely that the will of the customer will drive the market.

I truly believe that this is now beginning to happen in the field of custom made cigarettes. We haven't seen anything yet, and I will dare to say that in the future there will be incredibly fine varietals of tobaccos with names and recognition that are just as well recognized as for instance a Merlot. It wasn't that long ago that wines meant red or white jug wines for many. However, the recognition of the delicious tastes of the varietals soon followed, as the appreciation of blending. This required public exposure to better wines as well as some degree of public education. Even in that industry there were years of domination by the prohibitionists which was inevitably overthrown by the will of the marketplace.

It may seem a stretch to some, but I can well envision a common growth curve fueled by the desire for something better in the realm of fine tobaccos. Trouble is, today most don't even know there is a choice and for the few who have tried to roll their own, they have all too soon be met with the over-the-counter jug wines of tobaccodom. If with Roll Your Own one ends up with a harsh and hot smoke, why bother? These producers of inferior blends are shooting themselves in their own feet, when anyone with any marketing savvy could consider the new paradigm of becoming industry and marketing leaders with GREAT tobaccos for a HUGE new market!

As regards the education function, this will require making the public aware of the differences between sub-par tobaccos and good tobaccos. All Virginias are NOT the same, nor are all Burleys, Balkans, Turkish, Periques or other varieties. Even in this I recognize that I myself am mixing varieties with processing methodologies. Just as with a Bordeaux from Bordeaux, versus a generic Bordeaux, there IS a difference. As regards tobaccos, a Virginia Bright grown in one country may be totally different from a Virginia grown in another. I have yet to see anyone really break down all of the families/varietals of tobacco, much less clearly delineate the countries of origin and how they impact the flavors, or how the curing even further defines them. When one gets into the Periques, Latakias and many other tobaccos defined by their curing or other processing, things become even more interesting.

To even further exacerbate the newcomer, most now offer blends with proprietary names and cased (sugared or otherwise flavored)tobaccos with names that tel the buyer little about what they are actually getting. Truth be told, it is in the recognition and understanding of what to expect from a good Virginia, Burley, or Turkish tobacco that serves as the basis of truly experiencing the taste, flavor and aroma experience. More reputable blenders recognize this and readily supply information regarding what is in a blend.

Too, there are other factors in making one's own custom cigarettes that directly impact the enjoyment and understanding. For example, when enjoying a good Cognac one doesn't pour a huge glass, but pours a smaller amount into a snifter to enjoy the color, bouquet and many nuances of flavor. If one puts a full rich tobacco into a huge tube as with an injector machine, they may well get too much of a good thing. This is true with several tobaccos. Sometimes, as in the cognac analogy, less is more and a thinner smoke made with a roller may enable the smoker to better enjoy the subtleties. One side benefit that I have enjoyed with custom made smokes is that I no longer smoke nearly as many cigarettes as there is so much more satisfaction realized when I do smoke.

Another side benefit has been the enjoyment of a broad range of my own blends based upon the time of day, mood, or desire for a different experience, such as my dessert blends, some of which might have more Cavendish and others that might have more burley, more Latakia, or more Turkish. In all, I no longer have the congestion, am no longer subjecting myself to countless additives, and the house no longer has that omnipresent stale reek.

Ultimately, the benefits of custom made cigarettes will make themselves known and the general public will recognize and appreciate the differences. My hope is that those in the industry will continue to make the whole process easier and more understandable. With today's incredibly simple rollers and just a few "user-friendly" blends suggested by vendors with an interest in developing longer term repeat clientele rather than over-selling and confusing buyers with today's plethora of machines, rolling papers, and inferior tobaccos all will be better served.

Ultimately custom made cigarettes are to be enjoyed and the simpler this process can be made the better for all.

Clarence W. Walker is the author of five books and an internationally recognized photographer

Join us for discussion and information at: Customcigs on Yahoogroups

Low Inflation in the UK

Since the Bank of England was given independence in 1997 UK inflation has been close to the government’s target of 2% +/-1. This is a remarkable improvement for the UK economy. Previously the UK economy suffered from consistently high inflation. Eg in 1979 inflation reached 25%. In 1992 inflation reached 11%. Reasons for low inflation are a matter of debate. The chancellor Gordon Brown likes to take credit for giving the Bank of England independence in 1992. However although this partly explains low inflation, it is only a small % of the reason.

Reasons for Low Inflation in the UK

1. Economic growth has been more stable and predictable. The MPC have avoided a boom and Bust economic cycle. At the first sign of inflationary pressures increasing they have increased interest rates to reduce inflation before it occurs (policy is known as preemptive monetary policy.) This has avoided a repeat of the late 80s inflationary boom.

2. Inflation expectations are lower. Partly as a result of the MPC’s greater credibility. People expect inflation to be low, therefore wage demands have been correspondingly lower. This has made it easier to keep inflation low.

3. The process of globalisation has helped to reduce costs and increase competitiveness in global markets. The UK has benefited from falling prices of manufactured goods that have been made in countries like China and Korea.

4. Improvements in technology. The internet and micro chip computers have helped to increase efficiency and lower costs.

5. Increase in the labour supply. Increased immigration has created a new supply of cheap labour which has helped keep wage pressures low.

6. Appreciation of £. This has helped reduce inflation, because imports are cheaper and quantity of exports lower

However inflation may increase in the future. The Governor of the Bank of England recently said there is no reason why the past period of stability and low real interest rates will continue. Several reasons may cause inflation to rise in the future including:

Why Inflation May Rise

1. Economic growth in China and India is causing high demand for commodities and therefore prices are rising. This will feed through into cost push inflation.

2. The UK has a large current account deficit. To reduce this deficit it will be necessary to have a devaluation in the value of £, at some point.

3. The supply of labour is unlikely to increase by too much in the future. Therefore wage inflation may become a problem as the labour market nears full employment.

4. UK House prices continue to rise. This creates additional consumer wealth and therefore increases consumer spending.

The effect of this is that in the future interest rates may have to rise in order to keep inflation low. This will have the effect of keeping mortgage payments high.

Population Migrations: A Boon or a Bane

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There has always been a continuous trend of people migrating from rural dwellings to urban areas in search of an earning more money, a better education or maybe due to environmental degradation in rural areas. Even, political conflicts, wars, and income disparities among and within regions may also be a motivating factor which results in migration whether international or national. Whatever may be the reason, migration is a very common phenomenon nowadays in most of the cities.

Recent studies reveal that the urban population is increasing day by day. Roughly over 125 million people live outside their countries of origin and reside in developing countries. This data includes the 12 million refugees of 1997, permanent migrants and so called environmental migrants and undocumented migrants. As far as the studies in 2005 reveal, out of total population, about 73% in Europe, 74% in Latin America and Carribean, 75% in Australia and New Zealand comprises of urban population. In Africa and Asia population movements still conform to the old patterns . It is also analysed and found that by the turn of the century 261 cities in developing countries will have a population of over one million. There are about 14 so called mega-cities with 10 million people which are expected to double by 2015. The problem in China is even more grave. It is expected that the urban population will increase from 35%to 45% by 2010.

However, migration leads to urbanization which usually accompanies social and economic developments. In some developing countries like Africa the growth reflects rural crisis than urban based development. But conversely, migration to cities may affect the host place, place of origin and the population as a whole. No doubt people can easily find ample avenues of employment in cities, which have lots of industrial set-ups in contrast to the only avenue—agriculture in villages. But as the inflow of workers increased these avenues become scarce as it happened in Vietnam where waves of workers arrive from countryside and start ending up jobless. In trying to meet their needs they start to live in cramped apartments with lack of water supply and health services and engage themselves in low-wage jobs. Many a time, the host societies, countries or governments does not have proper laws or plannings to provide better standards of living to these peoples. As the cities become over populated, the living places become congested. Thus they start living in squatter settlements and slums. People start encroaching public properties. For example, millions of people cling to hills of Rio De Janeiro and even the tombs of Cairo are used as homes by these people. Thus very often the tombs which are occupied by the migrant population are referred as ‘city of dead’.

The lives of the people in the slums become increasingly pathetic day by day. These areas lack proper drainage and garbage disposal system that other way affects the environment and the health of the people. These places even lack proper health care facilities. Thus they lead a very unhygienic life.

Reversibly migration leads to crisis in manpower in the villages, which are the primary producers of raw materials. This affects the economy and the social life of the people. But sometimes international migration proves to be a good source of foreign exchange as the remittances from migrants are a significant source of foreign income. In some countries educated employees migrating to the developed places contributes to the economy of the place of origin. Their income used for consumer goods, building homes, education and health in general contributes to the standard of living to the remittance- dependent families. Moreover young educated migrants from developing countries fill the gaps in work forces of industrialized countries. In many countries the infrastructure built for industries are maintained by the migrant population. Thus migration has both merits and demerits that affect the host and migrant population together.

But is the city life able to give a real better living to all the migrants? The question is hard to answer in a one go. In trying to adapt to the conditions of the city environment the people engage in mean jobs which are sometimes unsocial and even fall victims of abuses. Recent studies in China reveals that now more population faces abuses, lack of health services, old age support and are also denied employment. As a consequence the criminal activities rose to 30% in Beijing, 70% in Sanghai and 80% in Gungdong.

Even though urbanization which is an outcome of migration indirectly, accompanies social and economic development but the rapid inflow of people to the cities today is straining the local and national governments. Most of the host governments facing problems as they does not have any strategic planning to provide the most basic needs like water, electricity and health service to this rapidly growing population. Many countries do not have any proper planning regarding the migrant population. Policy makers look these things as a negative force that creates necessities to be fulfilled and problems to be solved.

Thus in trying to adjust with the city life, the life of this people degrades and they end up in a pathetic living condition, which affects the humanity as a whole. Their dream for a better life shatters and life becomes more mechanical as necessities make people pay least attention to the basic human values. The environment degrade, health of the people deteriorates and indirectly affects the socio-economic state of the people. Though the problem of migration has not attained an epidemic state till now, if initiatives are not taken to check urban-rural migration, it would surely turn up to be a severe problem in the near future. outdoors

Chinese Immigration

Motives for Chinese population to immigrate to United States have been same as for most other immigrants. Many immigrants shifted to United States to for the gold rush, while others came to seek better economic opportunities. Many others were forced to leave China as either refugees or contract workers.

Chinese immigration began decades ago and was divided into three periods: 1849-1882, 1882-1965, and 1965 to the present. The first period started very shortly after the California Gold Rush and ended unexpectedly with Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Through this period, many young male peasants left their villages and became laborers in the western part of America.

These peasants were recruited to extract metals and minerals, retrieve swamplands, construct railway networks, develop the fishing industry, and work for extremely competitive manufacturing industries. Chinese population at the end of the first period was approximately 110,000 in United States.

Economic development and racial prohibition characterized the pattern of settlement for Chinese Americans. Manner of settlement was influenced by the pattern of economic development in the western states that took place before the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinese immigrants resided in most parts of California while others settled in the states west of Rocky Mountains.

Though most Chinese immigrants faced many hardships in the late nineteenth century, they had an immense effect on America. Language, culture, social institutions, and customs came along with these Chinese immigrants. These immigrants tried to become a vibrant part of the population of United States and contributed a lot towards their adopted country.

Chinese workers have played an important role in supplying the labor force for the growing industry of America. They converted most of the land they lived in into rich green farmland. Chinese methods of cultivation were applied on most farms. Approximately eighty percent of Chinese population was found in Chinatowns, which were situated in all major cities in United States in the early twentieth century.

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