Friday, February 7, 2014

U.S. Delegation to Mandela Funeral: Five Hotels, Transportation Cost $19M!

weeklystandard.com ^ | 2/7/14 | JERYL BIER

Documents recently released by the government show that the value of hotels and local transportation contracts for the U.S. delegation to Nelson Mandela's funeral in December were considerably higher than previous estimates. On December 19, we first reported the cost at about $11 million. However, rather than two hotels and one vehicle contractor, additional contracts have been disclosed bringing the total to five hotels and two vehicle contractors. The transportation contracts include passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, buses, pickup trucks, box trucks, and "larger capacity vehicles," but do not include the cost of travelling from the U.S. to South Africa and back. The combined total estimated cost of the two contracts is $12,521,851.

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...

IRS hearings: ‘This scandal is not over. The lying has not stopped.’!

Human Events ^ | 2/7/2014 | John Hayward

Cleta Mitchell, attorney for an assortment of Tea Party groups that received very special attention from Barack Obama’s politicized Internal Revenue Service, lowered the boom on what she described as a “sham, non-existent” Justice Department investigation of the scandal during House Ways and Means Committee hearings on Thursday: “I want to make three primary points here today,” said Mitchell. ”First, the IRS scandal is real. It’s not pretend, it’s real. Number two, the IRS scandal is not just a bone-headed bunch of bureaucrats in some remote office contrary to what the President of the United States told the American People on Sunday. And, number 3, the IRS scandal is not over. It is continuing to this day. And the Department of Justice Investigation is a sham. It is a nonexistent investigation.” Her one-sentence summary of the scandal was powerful stuff: “The IRS, at the direction of some political elites in Washington - not in Cincinnati, but Washington – took what had been, for decades, a process of reviewing applications for exempt status that, for 501(c)(4) organizations, could be expected to take three to four weeks, and they converted that process into one that took three to four years, and in some cases is still not over.”

(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...

Can you read this?

If you like your teeth...

See...grandma's fine!

Fatal Car Crashes Involving Marijuana Have Tripled (Harmless?)

seattle.cbslocal.com ^

Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia, and co-author of the study told HealthDay News.
The researchers found that drugs played an increasing role in fatal traffic accidents. Drugged driving accounted for more than 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010, which is 16 percent more than it was in 1999. The researchers also found that marijuana was the main drug involved in the increase. It contributed to 12 percent of fatal crashes, compared to only 4 percent in 1999 If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, their risk of a fatal crash is 13 times higher than the risk of the driver who is not under the influence of alcohol,” Li said. But if the driver is under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana, their risk increased to 24 times that of a sober person.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattle.cbslocal.com ...

Vein Scan Payment System Launched

Fox 9 NJ ^ | 2/6/2014

We live in a world where the security of our finances is just as important of a concern as the security of our homes.
Identity theft, fraudulent payments, and accidental misuse of funds are all realities in our fast paced economy. In recent years however, technology has played a huge role in securing financial assets. PINs and security codes have been the status quo for basic financial security, but two friends in New Jersey are taking that concept a step further by using vein scans to confirm a person's identity to secure financial transactions. It’s called Pulse Wallet and it is a point-of-sale register and biometric payment terminal. PulseWallet lets customers link their credit cards and other payment methods to their palms so they can leave their wallets at home. The co-founders are Matt Saricicek and Aimann Rasheed. They say there are benefits to this new technology in all sorts of marketplaces. “We were thinking about a convenient way to make a payment like using yourself, because you’re more unique than anything out there, said Saricicek. “Its part of you and you can’t lose it and you don’t even know what it is. It’s a password that you don’t know you have as soon as you place it your good to go, so it’s something no one can steal, said Rasheed. Pulse Wallet says it airlines want to use it as a new type of boarding pass. Select retailers in New Jersey are in a beta program for the next three to six months. Mass production of the devices is set to roll out in the spring. The technology actually scans palm vein patterns underneath the skin. The company claims it is more secure than fingerprints because there are no traces for someone to replicate and the scanning requires blood flow for a proper read. The company actually addresses the issue of the security involving a severed hand. The company states in its frequently asked questions: "Firstly we hope that this will never happen. However, even if someone, somehow, got away with sneaking a chopped off hand into any store, they wouldn’t be able to use it at check-out due to a lack of blood flow in the severed hand. " Pulse Wallet says it can also function like a normal credit swiping system if users or merchants choose to opt-out on registering a their biometric profile.