Hard Working, Left Leaning

Bob & Ronna Group Joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

Howard County, Md. (PRWEB) February 19, 2015

It was announced today that Bob Chew and Ronna Corman-Chew have joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty. The Bob & Ronna Group is one of the Maryland area’s top producing real estate groups and a top 1% REALTORS® group nationwide; with home sales in excess of half a billion dollars in the past 12 years.

“We are excited to expand Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty’s market presence in Howard County with the affiliation of the industry leading Bob & Ronna Group,” said Terri Bracciale, senior vice president for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty’s Mid-Atlantic Region. “Bob & Ronna’s commitment to service is beyond excellence and their proven track record of success is perfectly aligned with PenFed Realty’s growth model.”

“We are so delighted that we have affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty because of the strength, trust, and commitment of the brand. We feel very much at home,” said Bob Chew and Ronna Corman-Chew, team leaders of The Bob and Ronna Group.

“Although other brokers have been long-standing institutions in our area, it is very refreshing that a mega-star brand like Berkshire Hathaway will now be positioned to be the new powerhouse brokerage in the country with their brand recognition and their financial strength,” continued Bob and Ronna.

“We are ecstatic to welcome The Bob & Ronna Group to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty family, as they demonstrate the epitome of excellence. They bring a passion for providing unparalleled education to every buyer and seller who hire them as well as remaining a respected resource throughout the communities they serve,” said Chris Constantine, branch manager with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty’s Howard County office.

Bob Chew is originally from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and is a Naval Academy graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Ronna Corman-Chew hails from Rockville, Md., and graduated in 1986 with a BFA from George Mason University.

About The Bob and Ronna Group

The Bob and Ronna Group’s philosophy for selling Real Estate is to educate clients about the current market, and provide the best information possible so that homeowners and shoppers can make an informed decision. The Group has an extremely comprehensive Internet and Print Marketing program, and leaves absolutely no stone unturned when it comes to selling homes. It is important that every buyer and seller receives first class service and that The Bob & Ronna Group exceeds client’s expectations on many different levels. The Groups strategy is not just about showing homes that are currently on the market; it’s about creating a home client’s want—even if it may not be on the market.

The Group’s response time is very unique; working exceptionally hard and smart to make sure that clients are well taken care of and do not miss any opportunities to get the home the buyer desires. The Group is dedicated and committed to doing the very best job each and every day. The entire Bob & Ronna Group shares the same commitment, and strives to make each detail of a client’s real estate transaction as smooth and calm a journey as possible.

The Bob & Ronna Group is quickly expanding. The Group is looking for exceptional agents to help service the team’s rapidly growing client base. For more information about The Bob & Ronna Group, please visit http://www.bobandronna.com/. To contact The Bob & Ronna Group direct, call 410-300-9500 or email BobandRonna(at)BobandRonna(dot)com.

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

PenFed Realty, wholly owned by PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union), is a full-service real estate company with an annual sales volume over $ 2.8 billion. Over 1,700 top-notch sales professionals work out of PenFed Realty’s 50+ offices to provide complete real estate services nationwide.

PenFed Realty is an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in early 2014 was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” by consumers in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study of the largest real estate networks. Visit http://www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the Nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. To find out more about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, please visit http://www.PenFedRealty.com.

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Black History Month and a Gullah Celebration

Charleston, SC (PRWEB) February 06, 2015

Black History Month is celebrated by many of us because honoring the achievements of the extraordinary people who have contributed so much to America’s diversity is a noble and meaningful undertaking. Last year marked the 50TH anniversary since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; a fight for equality that took centuries to achieve. And while some studies of slavery in America relegate the “Gullah” culture to a historical footnote, it is estimated that as many as 75% of African Americans entered the country via the “Lowcountry” of South Carolina; the home of the Gullah.

Hundreds of years of blending West African, European and Native American ethnicities have resulted in a culture that is rich in tradition and boasts amazing crafts, art, music and even a distinctive language. Gullah.TV’s mission is to educate the public about the Gullah culture and create an appreciation of the extraordinary history and traditions of the Gullah people. This is accomplished by producing exclusive Gullah music CD’s and DVD videos that entertain and enlighten people of all ages.

The latest DVD, “Circle Unbroken”, tells of the Gullah Journey from Africa to America. It is an inspiring celebration of the Gullah people in words and music, narrated by one of America’s preeminent cultural historians, Anita Singleton-Prather, “the First Lady of Gullah™ and The Gullah Kinfolk. The soundtrack from this television special is also available as an audio CD.

To celebrate Black History Month, Gullah.TV is offering an exclusive promotion to introduce the Gullah story to the entire family. Every purchase of the “Circle Unbroken” DVD will include a free DVD, “Tales from the Land of Gullah for Kids”; a $ 14.98 value.

“This month Gullah.TV celebrates the history of all African Americans and specifically the Gullah people as we recognize the contributions they have made to America. Our DVD’s tell their inspirational story in a way that captivates and educates”, says Ron Small, Senior Partner at Anchor Media Group and the producer of “Circle Unbroken.” “We have a passion for all things Gullah!”

About Anchor Media Group:

Anchor Media Group, LLC is a worldwide content producer and distributor for home entertainment and broadcast programming with its headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. For further information please contact Ron Small of Anchor Media Group, LLC AT rsmall(at)anchormediagroup(dot)tv or (843) 576-3246

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Fundamental Journey Begins for new Ramtha School Students

YELM, Washington (PRWEB) January 14, 2015

Students in the U.S.A., Mexico, and South Korea can learn the basics of the teachings of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment during the Class 101 and Class 201 courses in January and February.

The Age of Philosophers is coming to an end. Truth does not come from words written in a book. Truth comes when you apply the words in your life to produce a wonder, a profound result. At RSE you will learn grand knowledge and experience it so that the truth is awakened in you. The most marvelous knowledge — the greatest teaching of all — is Behold God.

RSE’s Beginning Events offer participants the environment of a true ancient school of wisdom affording each student the opportunity to participate in a transformative experience away from normal activities. Lessons include a deeper understanding of the brain’s mechanics. Students will learn how to use their brain more skillfully to consciously create reality.

The training at Ramtha’s School starts with Class 101: Remarkable Mind. Students can participate online via streaming or at the Yelm campus and select international venues. The second step is Class 201: Genetics of the Future. The two courses can be taken individually or as a Combo event.

The dates and locations are as follows:

    South Korea: January 16-20, Class 101: Remarkable Mind. Seohae Youth Hostel 288 Beongil, Changhu-ri, Hajeom-myeon, Ganghwa-gun Incheon. Class 201: Genetics of the Future, January 21-25.
    Mexico: January 30 – February 3, Class 101: Hotel Primavera Guadalajara. Class 201: February 4-8.
    USA: January 30-February 3, Class 101: Main RSE campus in Yelm, Washington. Class 201: February 4-8. Both of these courses will also be live streamed via http://www.ramtha.tv.

The first step in the journey is “Class 101: Remarkable Mind” which is facilitated by Ramtha’s appointed teachers who will introduce the audience to Ramtha’s disciplines for creating personal reality. Students will learn Ramtha’s model of reality, his vocabulary, and techniques that initiate each student into a direct experience of personal truth to “Become a Remarkable Life®.”

Students will study the introduction of RSE’s philosophical principles including:

The Greatest Mystery — Self
Who are we really
What is our purpose
How did we get here
Where are we going
Redefining God as the Observer
Understanding our addiction to the past
The seven levels of consciousness and energy

“What is the job of the Master Teacher? To give extraordinary knowledge, enough to make the human mind query questions that are no longer mundane but venture into the outrageous and the unfathomable, because when asking such questions, we awaken the Spirit and we awaken the true spiritual nature of ourself.”

— Ramtha

Step two at RSE is “Class 201: Genetics of the Future,” which explores the science that supports your greatness, deepens the training of the disciplines, and build upon the wisdom you gained in the Class 101 about who you really are. Once students have completed both the Class 101 and 201, they are eligible for progressive training in either Live or On-Demand events.

For information on pricing, discounts, travel and lodgings options, please visit http://www.ramtha.com/events/current.aspx.

For more information about the Beginning Event and to view Video clips of Ramtha, JZ, and Students Stories, please visit: http://www.ramtha.com/events/BegIntro.aspx.

To register for the event, students can email registration@ramtha.com, visit the website, http://www.ramtha.com, or call 360.458.5201 ext. 110.

About Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment

Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) was established in 1988 by Ramtha the Enlightened One as an academy of the mind that offers retreats and workshops to participants from all over the world and from all walks of life. Using ancient wisdom and the latest discoveries in neuroscience and quantum physics, RSE teaches students how to access the extraordinary abilities of the brain to “Become a Remarkable Life®.” For more information, please visit http://www.ramtha.com.

Media Advisory: Communities In Schools to Ring Opening Bell at NYSE, Mon. Jan 5

Arlington, Va. (PRWEB) January 02, 2015

What:     Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization in the country will ring the Opening Bell at the NYSE to raise awareness of efforts to change the picture of education in the U.S. by helping more kids stay in school and achieve in life.

Where: New York Stock Exchange

When:    Monday, Jan. 5 – 9:30 a.m.

Who:     Lenny Stern – Board Member, CIS National

             Jim Purcell – State Director, CIS Delaware

             Ryan Riley – State Director, CIS Pennsylvania

             CIS Site Coordinators and students

Quotes: “Next week as kids come back from the holiday break, we know that many of them will be coming to class unable to focus on learning because they don’t have food at home, someone to help them with homework or even a safe place to stay,” said Stern. “That places them at greater risk for dropping out. We hope our presence at the NYSE signals that business leaders, policy makers and elected officials need to invest in solutions that give these kids the resources they need to succeed in school and achieve in life.”

Notes:    A live webcast of the Opening Bell can be viewed at http://www.nyse.com/bell

Live broadcast video of the NYSE trading floor is available five minutes prior to the Opening Bell via Encompass loop #4009.

Media seeking live video should contact NYSE Broadcast at 212.656.5483.

Photos of the Opening Bell are available via Associated Press/New York, Reuters America, Getty Images and Bloomberg Photo

Shaw Festival Announces Principal Casting for 2015 Season

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (PRWEB) October 29, 2014

The Shaw Festival today announced principal casting and creative team details for its 54th season.

“I am very happy with our casting for the 2015 season,” said Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell. “It’s a vital and engaging combination of fresh faces, younger ensemble members stepping up and taking on leading roles, well-loved actors returning to The Shaw and core ensemble members taking on surprising new challenges.”


Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields

Based on the original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano

Produced for the Broadway stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris

Originally conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse

Previews – April 17 Opens – May 16 Closes – October 31

Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Julie Martell returns as Sweet Charity

Julie Martell returns to the Shaw Festival to play dance hall hostess Charity Hope Valentine, joining Kyle Blair as Oscar Lindquist and Elodie Gillett as Helene, Charity’s friend and fellow Fandango Ballroom dancer. Newcomer Kimberley Rampersad makes her Shaw debut as Nickie, the third of the dance hall’s chief trio. This show also features company member Jeremy Carver-James stepping into the featured role of Daddy Brubeck, along with Jacqueline Thair as Ursula March, Jay Turvey as Herman and returning Festival favourite Mark Uhre as Vittorio Vidal.

Directed by Morris Panych, musical direction by Paul Sportelli, choreographed by Parker Esse, set designed by Ken MacDonald, costumes designed by Charlotte Dean, lighting designed by Bonnie Beecher, projections designed by Cameron Davis and sound designed by John Lott.


By Bernard Shaw

Previews – May 31 Opens – June 27 Closes – October 24

Sponsored by BMO Financial Group

Patrick McManus and Harveen Sandhu star as the latest incarnations of Pygmalion duo

Harveen Sandhu is Eliza Doolittle, opposite Patrick McManus’s linguistics professor Henry Higgins and Jeff Meadows’s Colonel Pickering, in a Pygmalion set in modern day London. This new take on Shaw’s popular “anti-romantic” comedy also features Donna Belleville as Mrs. Higgins and Mary Haney as Mrs. Pearce.

Directed by Peter Hinton, set designed by Eo Sharp, costume designed by Christina Poddubiuk and lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte.

Light Up the Sky

By Moss Hart

Previews – June 25 Opens – July 25 Closes – October 11

Claire Jullien, Steven Sutcliffe, Kelli Fox, Laurie Paton and Thom Marriott lead Moss Hart backstage comedy

The Shaw is pleased to welcome back Steven Sutcliffe as neurotic director Carleton Fitzgerald and Kelli Fox as former ice skating star and first time producer, Frances Black. They join Claire Jullien as diva Irene Livingston, Laurie Paton as her stage mother Stella Livingston and Thom Marriott as producer Sidney Black in Moss Hart’s glorious ensemble comedy. Fiona Byrne, Charlie Gallant, Graeme Somerville, Kelly Wong and returning company member Shawn Wright join in the theatrical antics.

Directed by Blair Williams, designed by William Schmuck, lighting designed by Louise Guinand and original music by Marek Norman.


Peter and the Starcatcher

A play by Rick Elice

Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Music by Wayne Barker

Originally produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes and Disney Theatrical Productions

Previews – April 8 Opens – May 16 Closes – November 1

Sponsored by Scotiabank

Charlie Gallant and Kate Besworth lead company on a magical journey in Peter Pan prequel

Young Shaw ensemble members Charlie Gallant and Kate Besworth play the title roles in this delightful adventure. Martin Happer brings his derring–do to the role of pirate Blackstache and Patrick Galligan joins the exploits as Lord Astor. Billy Lake, Graeme Somerville, Jonathan Tan, Kelly Wong, Jenny L. Wright and Shawn Wright complete the cast for this rollicking tale.

Directed by Jackie Maxwell, movement by Valerie Moore, musical direction by Ryan deSouza, designed by Judith Bowden, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte.

You Never Can Tell

By Bernard Shaw

Previews – April 26 Opens – May 14 Closes – October 25

Gray Powell, Tara Rosling, Julia Course, Patrick McManus and Peter Millard in Shaw’s seaside comedy

Gray Powell is Valentine, the dentist; Julia Course is Gloria, the object of his affection; Tara Rosling is Mrs. Clandon, Patrick McManus plays her once lost husband Fergus Crampton, along with Peter Millard as the wise waiter William in Shaw’s most light-hearted play. The production also features Jennifer Dzialoszynski as Dolly and Stephen Jackman-Torkoff as Philip.

Directed by Jim Mezon, designed by Leslie Frankish, lighting designed by Kimberly Purtell, projections designed by Cameron Davis and original music and sound designed by John Gzowski.

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt

By Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau

Previews – July 5 Opens – July 24 Closes – October 11

Fiona Reid is the “Divine Sarah” in the world premiere of a Michel Marc Bouchard commissioned work

Fiona Reid plays Sarah Bernhardt, the legendary actress and theatrical superstar, alongside Ben Sanders and Wade Bogert-O’Brien as the young seminarians Michaud and Talbot, whose lives become intertwined with hers. The production also features Darcy Gerhart as Madeleine Courteline, Mary Haney as Madame Talbot and Martin Happer as Brother Casgrain.

Directed by Jackie Maxwell, designed by Michael Gianfrancesco, lighting designed by Bonnie Beecher and original music and sound designed by John Gzowski.


The Lady from the Sea

By Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Erin Shields

Previews – April 30 Opens – May 15 Closes – September 13

Moya O’Connell revisits Ibsen as Ellida, the lady from the sea

After playing the iconic title role in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Moya O’Connell takes on another Ibsen heroine – the mysterious and elusive Ellida in The Lady from the Sea. Ric Reid is Doctor Wangel, her kindly provincial husband. They are joined by ensemble members Neil Barclay, Kyle Blair, Darcy Gerhart, Jacqueline Thair and Mark Uhre as the Stranger.

Directed by Meg Roe, designed by Camellia Koo, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte and original music and sound designed by Alessandro Juliani.

Top Girls

By Caryl Churchill

Previews – May 23 Opens – June 26 Closes – September 12

Top female talents assembled to present powerful contemporary classic

Fiona Byrne leads a brilliant cross-generational ensemble of Shaw women as Marlene, the ultimate “Top Girl”. A warm welcome back to Tara Rosling, who plays her sister Joyce. They join the cast of Catherine McGregor, Claire Jullien, Laurie Paton, Julia Course and Tess Benger in one of contemporary theatre’s most celebrated works.

Directed by Vikki Anderson, designed by Sue LePage and lighting designed by Louise Guinand.

The Twelve-Pound Look

By J.M. Barrie

Previews – June 11 Opens – June 27 Closes – September 12

Sponsored by Vintage Hotels

Patrick Galligan, Moya O’Connell and Kate Besworth in one-act J.M. Barrie Lunchtime

As Sir Harry Sims, Patrick Galligan discovers what twelve pounds and an ounce of freedom can do for a woman. Moya O’Connell is Kate, his former wife, and Kate Besworth is Lady Sims, his current wife, in one of Barrie’s most witty and inventive one-act plays. The production also features Neil Barclay and Harveen Sandhu.

Directed by Lezlie Wade and designed by William Schmuck.


The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures

By Tony Kushner

Previews – July 11 Opens – July 26 Closes – October 10

Tony Kushner’s iHO features dream cast of Jim Mezon, Kelli Fox, Steven Sutcliffe, Gray Powell and Fiona Reid

Some of the Shaw Festival’s heaviest hitters have been assembled for this production of Kushner’s masterpiece – Jim Mezon as family patriarch Gus; Kelli Fox as Empty, Steven Sutcliffe as Pill, Gray Powell as Vic, his three children; and Fiona Reid as his sister Clio; with Diana Donnelly as Maeve, Thom Marriott as Adam and Ben Sanders as Eli.

Directed by Eda Holmes, designed by Peter Hartwell, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte and original music by Paul Sportelli.


The Next Whisky Bar – A Kurt Weill Cabaret

Created by Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey

Opens – August 21 Closes – September 5

Sponsored by James F. Brown

For six nights only, in the Studio Underground, a 1920s dockside bar in Germany will materialise populated by lost souls presenting their hopes, dreams and hurts to the beguiling music of composer Kurt Weill. Grab a drink and listen to David Ball, Tess Benger, Jeremy-Carver James, Elodie Gillett, Patrick McManus, Peter Millard and Julain Molnar sing a combination of known and not-so-known songs by Kurt Weill accompanied by a six-piece band.

Directed by Jay Turvey, designed by William Schmuck, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte and sound designed by John Lott.

The Shaw also welcomes back current Shaw Ensemble members Kristi Frank, Aaron Hastelow, Peter Krantz, Kiera Sangster, Travis Seetoo, as well as new members Ayinde Blake, Jasmine Chen, Colton Curtis, James Daly, Howard J. Davis, Starr Dominque, Lindsey Frazier, Kelly Grainger and Genny Sermonia who will be making their Shaw Festival debuts this season.

2015 season ticket on-sale dates to note:

    Governor’s Council and Premier Members: Saturday, November 1, 2014
    Peter and the Starcatcher Gift Pack (2 adults, 2 children, $ 220): November 1, 2014
    Sustaining, Contributing and Business Members: Monday, November 3, 2014
    Supporting Members: Thursday, November 6, 2014
    Annual Members: Saturday, November 8, 2014
    Special Starcatcher Family Package: Saturday, November 29, 2014
    General Public: Wednesday, January 7, 2015
         Fax, mail and online beginning Wednesday, January 7
         By phone and in-person beginning Saturday, January 10.


About the Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. We produce plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.

For more information, or to acquire images, members of the media may contact the Shaw Festival media contacts.

Visit our website at http://www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases or subscribe to The Shaw’s Newsroom RSS feed at news.shawfest.com/feed/ and receive notification when new content is uploaded to The Shaw Newsroom.

Connect with us:

Facebook: facebook.com/shawfestival

Twitter: @Shawtheatre

YouTube: youtube.com/theshawfestival

Instagram: instagram.com/shawfestival

Pinterest: pinterest.com/shawfestival

Shaw Festival app: shawfest.com/get-your-free-shaw-app/

TripAdvisor: tripadvisor.ca/Shaw_Festival_Theatre

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Change the Mascot Campaign Praises Oklahoma City School Board Decision to Remove Racist R-Word Mascot from Capitol Hill High

Oneida Nation Homelands (NY) (PRWEB) December 09, 2014

The Change the Mascot Campaign today congratulated the Oklahoma City school board for its stand against the use of the R-word as a sports mascot. The board voted 8-0 yesterday to end the use of the dictionary-defined slur by Capitol Hill High School after hearing impassioned pleas from students and community members.

After the vote, District administrators said they will immediately begin eliminating the R-word mascot and will create a committee of students, alumni and community members to identify a new mascot for Capitol Hill High School before the end of the spring semester.

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata, leaders of the Change the Mascot campaign, have issued a joint statement today along with Brian Patterson, President of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET). Halbritter, Pata and Patterson stated:

“On behalf of the Change the Mascot movement we would like to express our admiration for the Oklahoma City school board and the broader community for their courageous actions this week. Capitol Hill High School had used this offensive term for their mascot for nearly 90 years. Washington’s NFL team and its owner Dan Snyder, who insist upon continuing to slur people of color with the R-word, could certainly learn a lot from the conscientious community in Oklahoma City. Their actions demonstrate to Snyder that clinging to outdated and offensive epithets out of tradition and a desire to profit from the continued marketing of a slur are not nearly as important as doing the right thing and choosing to stand on the right side of history.”

The Change the Mascot campaign has rallied supporters all across America and internationally to urge Washington’s NFL team to end its use of the R-word as a team name and mascot. The grassroots movement has garnered support from Native American tribes, sports icons, political leaders from both sides of the aisle, and the President of the United States.

In a seminal moment in 2013, students at Cooperstown High School in New York voted to drop the R-word slur as their school’s mascot.* Several of the leading student advocates later joined a Change the Mascot educational symposium in Washington, D.C. last fall to talk about their efforts.

Meanwhile, Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania has made headlines in recent months when the editors and the advisor to the student newspaper banned the R-word, even in the face of punishment.** Earlier this year, the Houston Independent School District also announced plans to replace all “inflammatory” mascots including “R*dskins.”***

As communities throughout the nation make the choice to end the use of this epithet, national headlines continue to question the use of the insensitive and racist slur in the NFL.

Learn more at http://www.changethemascot.org.

*New York school drops ‘Redskins’ team name, 2/15/13, washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/15/n-y-school-drops-redskins-team-name/

**Neshaminy High School Students Ban ‘Redskins’ From Newspaper, Get Sent To Principal, 11/16/13, usatoday.com/story/sports/2013/11/16/neshaminy-redskins-banned-name-school-newspaper/3613377/

***Houston school district bans ‘inflammatory’ nicknames, including Redskins, 4/16/14, sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/houston-school-district-bans–inflammatory–nicknames–including-redskins-170840794.html

Future Foundation Spots 2014 Holiday Shopping Trends: Price-conscious shoppers want VIP treatment from retailers. High on wish lists are gift cards, peace, jobs

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 26, 2014

Those on the receiving end primarily want gift cards, a source of immediate gratification and a means to finance gifts for others. Next on wish lists are, in order, peace, health and happiness; debt relief; tablets; a new job; and clothes.

“Despite economic gains, personal finance remains top-of-mind among a majority of the US population. As such, holiday shoppers will take advantage of all means possible to locate the best deal at the best possible price—according to the level of quality they want,” says Meabh Quoirin, managing director of trend-spotting company Future Foundation and co-author of The Big Lie: . . . or Interpreting Your Global Customer’s Inner Life for Profit. “At the same time, Americans seem to be withdrawing a bit from our tech-centric society, asking for more soulful and abstract things like peace and happiness. Or, perhaps they acquaint financial wellbeing with emotional wellbeing.”

Future Foundation surveyed 5,000 of Americans to arrive at key holiday trends and statistics, while identifying companies that exemplify how best to cater to shoppers.

Price Sensitivity Among American Shoppers

    Of those surveyed, 45% shop at the last minute to get the best deals.
    22% do so because they are “still saving/don’t have the money yet.”
    15% do so because they plan to use their last paycheck before Christmas to buy gifts.
    20% take advantage of post-holiday sales to buy gifts for next year.

Mass Authenticity

“Americans are increasingly focused on where and how products are made. Increasingly, shoppers want artisanal products. We call this mass authenticity, which has great selling power around the holiday season,” Quoirin said. “Millennials, known for their quest for control in nearly every aspect of their lives, are most particular when choosing gifts.”

     60% of Americans like to know about the sources and origins of the products they buy.
     33% of Americans, and 40% of millennials, read reviews of products online at least once per week.
     33% of millennials say the often look for products that accurately reflect a culture, tradition or place—especially when buying food.

The VIP Shopper

“We call American consumers ‘maximizers’ in the sense that they want personalized service and all-inclusive shopping experiences,” Quoirin said. “This trait explains why they consider themselves ‘VIP’ and will increasingly demand concierge perks from retail outlets, but usually at minimal to no cost. This sentiment will be especially apparent in the busiest holiday shopping season of the year.”

    Of those surveyed 60% want products purchased online to be delivered in a specific one-hour time frame. The breakdown: 38% wouldn’t want to pay for it while 22% would pay fees ranging from 50 cents to $ 19.99 – depending on the service.
    40% said they agree with the idea of spending money to save time, whith 10% saying they strongly agree. Those most likely to strongly agree or agree are shoppers between 25 and 34, and those with a household income of $ 40,000 or more.

What Shoppers Want from Retailers

“Consumers this holiday season expect seamless, omnichannel shopping experiences. For retailers, this means first and foremost a mobile strategy. People want to be able to browse, order and pay via mobile while also demanding digital services in-store,” Quoirin said.

Future Foundation recommends that retailers provide:

    mobile content tied to all other channels
    digital kiosks in stores to complement conversations with salespeople
    product selection via social media channels, tied to digital shopping
    cashless/mobile payment options
    instant delivery services

About Future Foundation

Future Foundation—an independent global consumer trends and insight firm—works with corporations around the world to help them transform strategy, innovation, marketing, consumer research and analysis, and customer service. Future Foundation consultants likewise help their clients to not only withstand the changing world around them, but also to thrive in it. The company prides itself on highlighting the real truth behind the changes happening, empowering individuals and companies to move forward with confidence. The company has offices in London, New York and Stockholm. Download a sample of The Big Lie…Or Interpreting Your Global Customer’s Inner Life for Profit here and buy the book on Amazon here.

Find Future Foundation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Comfort Women and Japan's War on Truth

The Comfort Women and Japan's War on Truth
WASHINGTON — In 1942, a lieutenant paymaster in Japan's Imperial Navy named Yasuhiro Nakasone was stationed at Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, assigned to oversee the construction of an airfield. But he found that sexual misconduct, gambling …
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Inflation Truth, Really
I'm in Argentina for the day — literally (stuff came up, forcing me to make this a very quick visit; sorry, no time for media interviews or anything not already booked). And I thought it might be worth telling people something they may not know about …
Read more on New York Times (blog)

The low-down, dirty truth about Grubergate
No, the reason I'm writing about this is that what got Gruber into trouble is the same thing that would get any social scientist into trouble: He spoke a truth that is obvious in the social sciences but is taboo to admit in the political arena. The …
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Country Star Trace Adkins Honors Fort Hood Military Community with Concert Sponsored by the USO, Fort Hood MWR and PenFed

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) November 03, 2014

Twitter Pitch: @the_USO and @PenFed treat @FortHood to concert feat @TraceAdkins and @CaseyJames

What opened with a blistering performance by country music newcomer Casey James, ended with a show-stopping concert by country star Trace Adkins as the stars united to support the Fort Hood community and perform a concert there Nov. 1. The event was sponsored by the USO, Fort Hood MWR and Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed), which generously donated $ 100,000 to help fund nearly three-hours of star-studded entertainment for troops and their families. The morale-boosting show took place at Fort Hood Stadium and helped bring camaraderie, fun and good times to Fort Hood – home to more than 41,292 soldiers and more than 69,487 family members. ***USO photo link below***


    The USO/Fort Hood MWR/PenFed show was attended by 2,500 soldiers and their families stationed at Fort Hood.

    The concert ran from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and included an array of food vendors including Baskin Robbins, who gave away free scoops of Independence-flavored ice cream to military families. In honor of troops, they also named their newest flavor, First Class Camouflage, as November’s flavor of the month and will donate $ 0.10 to the USO for every scoop sold on Veterans Day, 11/11.

    Far from a stranger in supporting troops and military families, Adkins volunteered with the USO in 2002 and was among the first group of USO entertainers to travel to the Middle East. Over the past 12 years, the star has participated in eight USO tours and traveled to seven countries – lifting the spirits and creating moments for more than 39,700 troops and military families. Among the countries he has visited with the USO are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait and the U.S. Just last month, Adkins performed a free, USO show for troops and military families Arts in San Antonio, Texas as part of the grand opening of the Tobin Center.

    Adkins’ trademark baritone has powered countless hits to the top of the charts and turned albums into Platinum plaques, selling over 10 million albums, cumulatively. The Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry is currently out on tour performing with his six-piece band the Sarepta Gentleman’s Club. The tour kicked off on June 5th and will continue into Fall 2014. Earlier this month the megastar announced he will be embarking on a 25-city Christmas Show Tour starting Nov. 14 and performing holiday classics and songs from his 2013 album of Celtic carols, ‘The King’s Gift.’

    Going from American Idol finalist in 2010 to Top 15 on the country music charts in 2012 with his hit song “Crying on a Suitcase,” country newcomer Casey James is back with his new hit single “Falling Apart.” A native of Fort Worth, Texas, the singer began playing guitar at just 13-years of age and is an avid supporter of America’s Armed Forces. Casey traveled to Bahrain and Djibouti in 2013, where he visited and entertained countless troops and military families.

    Nicknamed “The Great Place,” Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services and is home to USO Fort Hood and USO Fort Hood North – two USO centers which offer the everyday comforts of home, programs and services to troops and military families stationed locally.

    Established in 1935, PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the country serving nearly 1.3 million members. Its longstanding mission has been to provide superior financial services in a cost effective manner, while responding to members’ needs. The connectedness to those who serve is a significant part of PenFed’s culture. The credit union plays an active role in events like this concert and other initiatives designed to meet the needs of the troops, their families, and veterans.

    The “Every Moment Counts” campaign invites Americans to join the USO and PenFed in honoring and creating moments that matter for our nation’s troops and their families – like this Trace Adkins USO/Fort Hood MWR/PenFed concert at Fort Hood. For more information please visit USOmoments.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter using #USOMoments.


Attributed to Major General Kendall P. Cox of Fort Hood:

“USO and PenFed doing this, they understand… This concert is intended for our service members and their families. It’s truly an opportunity for them to just relax, sit back and in truth, be given thanks for what they do every day. That’s what this is all about. And having it here right on Fort Hood is significant because it pays recognition of the long days (and) the times away from home… It’s all about taking care of the soldiers and their families.”

Attributed to Trace Adkins:

“I’ve had a wonderful relationship with the USO for many years now. I’ve never done a show with them that I didn’t walk away from feeling like I was better for it. And I just continue to. Whenever they call and we’re able to do it, we do it…”

Attributed to Casey James:

“I hope I can brighten somebody’s day with being here (at Fort Hood) playing music. I mean that’s my job as a musician, as an artist, but specifically that they can kind of get out of their head for a minute and maybe escape reality for an hour, you know.”

Attributed to PenFed President and CEO James R. Schenck:

“Since 2002, Fort Hood has deployed over 630,000 men and women to go into harm’s way to protect our nation. This was PenFed’s way of saying thank you to the service members who served and the families who support them, and to the extended community… There’s been way too many deployments this last decade. And for them to spend time with their kids and with each other, we feel it’s very important.”

Attributed to USO Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff John Pray:

“The USO was thrilled to partner with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union team and the Fort Hood MWR to bring Trace and Casey back to Texas to say “thank you” to an absolutely amazing group of Americans – the troops and their families at Ft Hood. They have endured many challenging deployments to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily and this concert was a way to show our gratitude and let them know that we are always by their side.”


USO Photos: http://bit.ly/1tPeSD2

USO Video: Coming soon…


About the USO

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

About PenFed

Established in 1935 as the War Department Credit Union, PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the country, serving 1.3 million members worldwide; with more than $ 19 billion in assets. Its long-standing mission has been to provide superior financial services in a cost effective manner, while being responsive to members’ needs. PenFed offers market-leading mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, checking, and a wide range of other financial services with its members’ interests always in mind. Serving a diverse population, PenFed offers many ways to become a member; including numerous association affiliations and employee groups. PenFed is federally insured by the NCUA and is an equal housing lender. PenFed does business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and is a member of NAFCU. To learn more about PenFed, visit PenFed.org.

About Fort Hood

Fort Hood is currently home to more than 41,292 soldiers and more than 69,487 family members (16,108 on post and 53,379 off post). We have approximately 5,000 DA Civilians and more than 14,600 contractors. When you include retirees who use the post for support, the total population supported by Fort Hood is more than 388,300. Fort Hood’s Land Area equals 218,823 acres or 342 square miles. It stretches as far north as Waco, Texas; east to Temple, Texas; west to Copperas Cove, Texas; and south to Georgetown, Texas.

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How to Fight Against Citizens United Without a Constitutional Amendment

Reblogged from MEAN democracy:

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We are approaching the three year anniversary of the Supreme Court's January 2010 decision, Citizens United. Recall that Citizens United allows unlimited spending on political campaigns by outside groups, including corporations.

Despite two federal elections and 1,000 or so days passing since Citizens United was decided, the coalition determined to roll back the Court's decision has thus far failed to stop corporate spending from poisoning our democracy.

Read more… 2,086 more words

This is a great solution to the question of how to take on Citizen's United

It’s simple, we kick the money out of politics

My thoughts are to make all elections from dog catcher to president 100% publicly funded, and when you burn through your war chest IT’S GONE! And you’re not going to get anymore. Equal funding. Equal time. Equal voice.

Wal-Mart Black Friday and Protests

Reblogged from San Diego News - Bowler's Desk:


Wal-Mart sent out a press release.

They say they had more than 10,000,000 transactions between 8PM and midnight yesterday.

Bill Simon CEO also tries to down play protest.

For more on these and other stories check bowlersdesk.com

And as always please feel free to post, re-post, and share.


I think is a testament to the cause of the workers that all the Wal-Mart brass can do is play down the size but cant refute the workers claims

Local police disperse, arrest Black Friday protesters on behalf of Walmart

Reblogged from Dispatches from the Underclass:

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The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn't be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

Read more… 974 more words

Thank you much for writing about this.

Black Friday, Black Heart

These are human beings goddamnit, their lives have value!

I’m most likely preaching to the choir and hope the my voice can add to the thousands literally starving for change here in the first world of the United States, and push the issue of labor rights just a bit further. Lets take a look at today’s Huffington Post Black Friday reports. Seriously go take a look I’ll wait… … … … So are you mad or disgusted yet? I hope so. There is a time for anger, righteous anger. That time is now.

Personally I have seen both sides. I worked those way before pre-dawn hours at a big box store for many years. And been a witness to appalling customer behavior, intentional stock shortages and staff pushed beyond levels of decency by management. It would easy to point the blame at retailers like Wal-Mart and say. “You’re an evil corporation that is ruining people’s lives and depriving your employees of a decent standard of living.” And why this is generally true. It’s much harder to stand in front of that dressing room mirror and say “My unconscious consumption is ruining people’s lives and depriving people around the world including Americans a decent standard of living.”

If Americans were more conscious about where and how their money was spent the tide of violence and aggression that has become the day after Thanksgiving could then and only then be stemmed. Private corporations are more democratic than we give them credit for. Your wallet casts a vote every time you exchange currency for goods and the cash register is the ballot box. Every time you purchase a product from a retailer or manufacturer that mistreats its employees you are showing your explicit approval of that companies practices and give them the incentive and capital to not only continue but to expand their immoral practices.

I know its hard not to do this. Most of us work shit jobs that pay shit wages so in return the only places we can shop are places that treat people like shit. It’s a circle that is quickly destroying our nations middle class. I don’t have all the answers on how to break this cycle but I know where we can start. Buy less things for a start. By doing this you can save money. So when it is time to make that purchase of something you need you can spend the extra money to buy something of quality and if possible buy something made in America. We didnt get to this sorry state overnight so it’s going to take time to get us out of it. The only ones with the power to fix this is us, the consumer. The American worker and our very way of life is depending on us.

Look, I’m no hermit. To quote the Dennis Leary song Asshole “I like football and porno and books about war” I like fatty foods and I don’t drive a hybrid and I don’t buy organic. Everyone has their cross to bear. Mine is video games. It’s hard for me to not pull the trigger on the newest murder simulator released every other week. But I have gotten to the point that before I buy that new game I’ll take a look at my shelf and on my computer hard drive and see all the games that have that have gone unfinished and come to the realization that whatever new virtual world that a company is pushing on me at the time is not going to enhance my experience in my actual physical reality. I imagine it’s like kicking an addiction. I still have the trigger to buy new games but I don’t follow through. Your burden might be shoes, clothes or electronics. But make no mistake by consuming these cheap poorly made goods you are consuming the very heart and soul of America.

Before you buy slow down. Think, “Do I need this?” and “what is the real cost of this item in human capital. Am I contributing to suffering or contributing to a living for another human being or a fellow American?”If you do what you know is right with your hard-earned dollars then you will change your life and others for the better.

The Church of Stop Shopping

Reblogged from The Brenner Brief:

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"Reverend Billy" wants you to stop shopping. Especially today. Your buying products that have been shipped from sweat shops in Asia caused Hurricane Sandy. Why do you continue to hurt the earth?

The Church Of Stop Shopping believes we are the problem, and that the 99% is somehow related to their overall message. Maybe it's just an attention getter.

Billy even has a choir:

Read more… 55 more words, 2 more videos

I re-blogged this because I really like this blog. But this post is a prime example of how you can hear the sermon but miss the teaching completely. Push past the surface not only on a word press blog but with people in general find out who people are and why they think and act the way they do and they might shock you. Like Rev Billy.

Contains adult language and universal logic

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