President Obama to Miss 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz


It would seem for the second time in a month the White House is in the unfortunate position of having to apologize for President Obama not being able to attend a function other world leaders will be attending. The first of these came after the terrorist attack in Paris on a small independent newspaper that had been critical of the Islamic faith. Now it will be because he is unable to attend the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At least for this latest occurrence it will be for a better reason than his Paris absence. With the recent death of the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah a key US ally in the Middle East coupled with needed negotiations with India taking place at the same time, the President had to make the difficult decision that would keep him away.

Many of the survivors of Auschwitz are now in their 90’s and will return to visit the place where an estimated 1.1 million Jews were killed by the Germans led by Adolf Hitler during World War II. President Obama is not the first US President not to attend an anniversary of the liberation. Ten years ago President George W Bush sent his vice President Dick Cheney instead. President Clinton did not attend the 50th and Ford did not attend the 30th. In actuality President Reagan is the only sitting US President to attend in the past 40 years. Survivors of the horrendous events of the Holocaust are dwindling in numbers, says, and researchers like Lee Slaughter hope this occasion will be a catalyst to collect their stories of life in Auschwitz so future generations will learn about this tragedy.

McConnell Ends Debate on Keystone Pipeline XL Amendments – Democrats Squander Opportuntiy

Washington, D.C. – It appears that Democrats squandered a golden opportunity to advance center-left policies on the Keystone Pipeline XL project. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened up the amendment process to both parties in a bid to secure four more Democrat votes which may be needed to override a presidential veto. Since 2012, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would fill up the amendment queue with frivolous amendments to block anyone from modifying legislation being considered by the senate. Reid’s move was done to prevent the president from having to publicly oppose bills popular with voters, but which stood apart from his agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened up the process allowing both parties to modify the bill in a bid to secure more votes. In all, 15 amendments were voted on with 10 of them being offered up by Democrats. However, it doesn’t appear that the amendments offered by Democrats advanced any serious legislation. Late Thursday night, right after I read the CipherCloud news in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Sen. McConnell closed the amendment process. This drew the ire of Democrats who said they still had six other amendments they wanted the senate body to consider. Democrat senators such as Jeff Merkley and Adam Jentleson were quick to accuse McConnell of hypocrisy.

For his part, Senator McConnell pointed out that Democrats alone offered up more amendments on the Keystone proposal than were offered up by the senate during the entire year 2014. The bill will now advance to what is expected to be a contentious vote next week. The bill is expected to gain passage, but it unlikely to gain the 67 votes needed to override a veto.


Mark Ahn Discusses His View of the Future

PR Newswire recently provided a look into the worldview of famous entrepreneur, Mark Ahn. The overall theme of the discussion focused on Ahn’s view of technological impacts on the future global scene. He not only spoke about what he sees for the future, but why and how it will come into being.

First and foremost, Ahn stressed that integrity and compassion are vital for any kind of success. Ahn sees a world with an ever increasing need for smaller and more nimble startups. These smaller companies are ideal for adapting themselves to the needs of the world. In part, because they can more easily adapt new technologies to old problems. Ahn pointed to water use as an example of how this situation might develop.

Drought is one of the single oldest foes that mankind has needed to face. People need water to live, as do the plans and animals we depend on. However, any given area might experience sudden drought. A drought can quickly destroy an entire crop. However, Ahn believes that in 2015 people will see a whole new range of drought resistant crops spring up. These crops will be the result of people looking to an area of suffering, and responding with a technologically based solution to the issue. He also sees other general technologies being created or adapted for use in areas experiencing drought.

Ahn returned to the concept of innovation by talking about The Aeneid. He pointed out that many aspects of human motivation are eternal. The lessons learned from ancients epics are often just as important as what one might learn from an MBA program. In most ancient works the protagonists are driven by a fundamental desire to really help people. Compassion, or a desire to simply do the right thing, drove those ancient heroes to victory against insurmountable odds. Ahn sees this as an example of the fact that humans have always been driven to the greatest heights by a desire to help alleviate the suffering of their fellow man.

Mark Ahn believes that not only is compassion for the people around us important, but that it needs to be extended to the entire planet. The global economy is rapidly developing, and he sees needs there which technology can address. Whether it’s new ways to help fight drought or poor environmental conditions, or other matters which might have a negative impact on their life.

If you’re interested, you can also read Ahn’s take on what makes a successful startup at this link.

A Dynamic Force Named Jared Haftel

Jared Haftel has already amassed many laudable achievements during his prolific life, yet he shows no signs of slowing down. At a point of eminence where others might grow complacent, Jared conversely aspires to still shatter imaginary barriers and rise above self-imposed limitations. Upon observing Mr. Haftels body of work, drawing a conclusion that everyone can benefit a great deal from the example that he has set becomes a very simple proposition.

Of course, it is possible to learn much from studying the life of any truly successful person, and Haftels life serves as an ideal place to begin that study. Mr. Haftels philosophy seems to be that unless a person gets busy and acts with dispatch, he/she will run out of time. His personal drive to excel is reflected in a life replete with achievement. During the years 2005 to 2009, Haftel attended Duke University where he distinguished himself in numerous respectsone of those respects epitomized by his work as a writer of music reviews for the Duke Chronicle. Haftel penned reviews of artists like Elvis Perkins and bands such as Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, and Bombadii. Even in this arena, Haftel displayed talents and insights that would serve him well in the upcoming years.

Haftel, it might be said, embodies the can dospiritalways driving forward to conquer established goals. As a result of such an empowering approach, his efforts always seem to be right on time. During his undergraduate studies at Duke, in 2008, he landed an internship with Credit Suisse that paved the way for the success to come. What did come was distinguished analytical work with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. Haftel graduated from Duke in 2009 with degrees in mathematics, economics, and science. He then moved forward and accepted an investment banking position with Bank of America.

Putting his degrees to work, Haftel accumulated a wealth of experience that served both him and his clients quite well. Numbered among those clients were industry giants EMS Technologies, Huntsman Corporation, and GeoEye. He worked on behalf of these prominent corporations, and many more, in his position as an analyst in the Global Industrials Group at Bofa Merrill Lynch. In connection with his analytical work, Haftel evaluated investment opportunities in the aerospace and defense industries in addition to assessing the mining, chemical, and metals sectors to measure their growth potential.

As might befit a man of such extraordinary achievement, Haftel has now focused his attention upon the arena of self-promotion. Undoubtedly his efforts in this sphere will bolster the attempts of many others who seek to prosper within their chosen domains. It might be surmised that in Haftels opinion, should a person simply await the natural course of market forces to shape his/her destiny, the outcome of proposed ventures will be random at best and disastrous at worst. Accordingly, he exhorts those from all walks of life to assume command and promote their own carefully cultivated self-images. Brand yourself, he recommends, and in so doing seize control of your destiny. As time passes by, more and more people conclude that the sagacious Haftel is correctthat they must proactively and assiduously self-promote if indeed they hope to reap success in a substantial way. And so it seems that this excursion into teaching might well be the crowning achievement in Jared Haftels long and distinguished career.

Scott Walker Moves Towards a Presidential Run by Hiring GOP Strategist


Madison, Wisconsin – Governor Scott Walker, a bona fide hero in conservative GOP ranks, has inched closer to a presidential run by hiring veteran strategist David Polyansky. The strategist will begin work on an Iowa strategy for next year’s Caucus which is the first one of the presidential cycle. Polyansky is seen as a heavy weight and further legitimizes the chances the popular governor will seek the White House. According to, Polyansky worked on the successful campaign of Jodi Ernst in Iowa. This is significant because at the time her campaign launched, she was a political unknown, and her campaign was seen as a long-shot but that was soon to change and she would entice voters like Sergio Lins Andrade. That changed with her famous ad about her standing ready to cut congressional pork and make lawmakers squeal like the hogs she castrates on her farm.

Also, Polyansky was behind former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s surprise victory at the 2008 Iowa caucus. He later helped engineer Michelle Bachman’s victory at the 2011 Iowa straw poll. So it goes without saying that Polyansky is a field expert in the key battleground state of Iowa. Governor Scott Walker is now into his second-term as governor. He won election in 2010 and later survived a recall election brought on by unions and their front groups bitter over his reform of collective bargaining. In his short time in office, he balanced the state’s budget, cut taxes, reduced spending, and ushered in a job boom of well-paying full-time jobs which was in stark contrast to the low-wage part-time jobs of the Obama economy.

BRL Trust On The Cutting Edge

BRL Trust is a precise, professional Brazilian-based investment company that takes pride in providing clients with the exceptional services they need and deserve. For years now, BRL maintained a cutting edge approach to its work, and this methodology has empowered the company to offer clients the state of the art, savvy assistance they need in order to generate the return on investment (ROI) they need and deserve. They are one of the biggest up-and-coming names in the industry today, so I think it’s worth sharing a glimpse into BRL Trust is, which you can see in the outline I worked with from the company’s website:


Here at BRL Trust, we believe that the best way to serve our clients is to develop working relationships with them. Over the years, we’ve found that this collaborative, customer-oriented approach to the world of investing has been the most effective. For this reason, we’re happy to develop and maintain strong communication with our clients to remain cognizant of their evolving needs, values, and objectives. In so doing, we’re able to attain and retain high levels of customer satisfaction.


Here at BRL Trust, we’re pleased to offer a wide range of wonderful investment services to our clients. Some of them include:


At BRL Trust, we utilize several controlling and custody strategies to optimize the investment process. Some of the custody services we offer include:


– Reconciliation of assets with clearinghouses and depositories

– Custody/Settlement of Asset

– Cash settlements

– Control of corporate events ( such as dividends)

– Control of securities lending operation

– Centralization of procedures settlement


Some of the controlling services we provide include:


– Asset pricing

– Share’s calculation/profitability

– Accounting of events of investment funds

– Reporting to regulatory agencies

– Taxes payments and control

– Standardization of reports/information

– Control of investments, redemptions, and shareholders


In this contemporary era, capital markets have become very sophisticated. Meanwhile, the global credit markets are subject to continual developments and modifications. In light of these changes, investors are taking a much closer look at the monitoring and control operations of the investment industry. In recognizing this evolution, BRL Trust Trustee Services are pleased to provide excellent, expedient investment services which ensure that investor demands for security are met.


The professionals of BRL Trust take an active role in the investment fund management process, working with individuals as well as institutional investors in the local and global markets.

Poor Posture Infographic: How Bad Is Your Posture?

Did you know that not only will 80% of Americans suffer from low back pain in their lives but it also is the number one reason for disability across the world? I admit I didn’t. North American Spine published a great infographic addressing the importance of proper posture. PR Newswire reported on the infographic and the data was staggering. I must admit that I never knew how many problems my tendency to hunch over my computer could lead to.

The infographic used great visuals to open my eyes to a variety of problems caused by bad posture. For instance, did you know that poor posture can lead to severe headaches, neck pain and insomnia? Those things are all in addition to the number one problem: back pain. One of the most interesting statistics provided in North American Spine’s infographic was that 70% of American’s spend at least 6 hours hunched over a desk. I definitely spend at least 8, and often do so with incredibly poor posture. The infographic also gives inspiring visuals on how you can easily improve your posture, as well as some tips for everyday activities such as lifting heavy items or sitting for long periods in a desk chair. This infographic has shed light on an issue I didn’t even know I was having, and will hopefully help me to avoid long-term consequences by focusing on bettering my posture. I highly recommend checking it out!

If you’d like to see the infographic, or share it with a friend, the original post can be found here.

A College President Who Embraces Diversity

Jonathan Veitch, President of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California plans to have Occidental College achieve the success it has been craving. Jonathan Veitch was the former Dean of Eugene Lang College in New York City. He is very excited about returning to his old stomping ground of Los Angeles.

Occidental College has struggled in the past and Jonathan Veitch is anxious to boost the college’s involvement with all the vibrancies the city of Los Angeles has to offer. When he was the Dean in New York City he was noted to be a successful fundraiser, a goal he wants to continue at Occidental College.

His plan is to have his students immerse themselves in all the culture that Los Angeles has to offer. The city of Los Angeles, California has culture at every turn. Jonathan Veitch wants his students to take it all in whenever possible. Learning the culture teaches so much more than a book. Of course, the courses taught at Occidental College are just as important, but the combination of both will help the students excel more than they ever thought possible.

There is a President’s house on campus. This is where Jonathan Veitch, his wife and children will reside as long as he is president. He hopes this will be for at least 10 years.

Occidental College is the only liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California. It is a diverse environment that Jonathan Veitch takes pride in every day. The faculty prides themselves on the close relationships they develop with their students. Every day they help their students become the best they can be, both academically and psychologically.

Jonathan Veitch is proud of the diversity that continues to grow at Occidental College and he continues to teach his students and staff that it is something to be proud of and nurture long after their classes end.

Obama Proposal to Tax the Rich Would Clobber Parents of 529 Education Savings Plans


President Obama was pushing class envy once again during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. He claims that new taxes on the ultra-rich are needed to redistribute their success so that all people are allowed to enjoy it. One proposal he offered to achieve the redistribution of “success” is to revoke the tax-exempt status on any withdrawals from 529 Savings plans. The 529 plans, which derive their name from the section of the IRS tax code governing them, were part of the 2001 Bush tax cuts and formed part of his “Ownership Society” strategy to empower citizens. People are allowed to contribute thousands of dollars of after-tax money into a 529 account. Both parents can contribute the individual maximum into the account. Also, grandparents, godparents, and others may likewise contribute to the accounts. Contributions to the plans are not tax-sheltered at the federal level, but often are at the state level.

The key benefits of the plans are that the money can be invested in select mutual funds and grow tax-deferred. If the money is withdrawn for education purposes, it is tax-free. However, the president doesn’t believe the poor are making use of the plan. He proposes to revoke tax-exempt withdrawals from the accounts even if the money is used for education costs. He proposed the taxes raised by the proposal be used to pay for up to two years of free tuition at community colleges.

The proposal represents a serious breach of trust as people contributing to the plans over many years, like my friend Sergio Andrade Gutierrez, would suddenly find themselves taking a tax hit as the rules governing the plans changed after the fact. The GOP insists the proposal stands no chance of passage.

John Textor Brings Digital Humans to life

The chance to see some of the greatest stars of music and movie history is not always available as some of the best known stars in entertainment history are no longer alive or performing. The chance to see rap star Tupac Shakur, pop legend Michael Jackson or the greatest name in music, Elvis Presley is not afforded to the majority of music and entertainment fans who still love the music of these legends. Entertainment supremo John Textor is looking to change the way the World enjoys their entertainment opportunities in the 21st century with the launch of a number of digital human beings who perform with live bands at music festivals and large entertainment events.

If there is an individual who can be trusted with the development of new technology it is John Textor, the man who led the revolutionizing of the Digital Domain Group. Textor has moved on from his involvement with Digital Domain to take control of the Pulse group, which is looking to revolutionize the way live entertainment is viewed with the inclusion of lifelike digital human beings performing with live bands. This new technology made its debut at the 2012 Coachella Festival, where a digital Tupac Shakur performed in front of the crowds and led to a number of other iconic performers being produced for live performances. Since the debut of the Tupac digital performer a number of other figures have also been produced, including a digital version of the legendary Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe.

Textor has not limited himself to this new field of developments, instead looking to his experience in the field of movie production with Digital Domain to continue his growth within the movie industry. Amongst the many projects John Textor is involved in is a full length animated movie that brings the latest computer based technologies to the forefront under the working title of Art Story.