What Is the Most Profitable Options Strategy?

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Out of all the many option trading strategies available, how do you decide which one is the most profitable? When you read through investing forums, you will find so many different opinions that it is pretty hard to sort out the facts from all noise. Some writers take a rigid academic approach and analyse risk and profitability from that point of view, while other hands-on traders take a more flexible view. However, one fact remains – the main reason investors consider using options is because they want to achieve better returns than can be achieved through any ordinary stock trading strategy. With the wild gyrations of the stock market in the last few years, most investors have started to realise the folly of strategies such as 'buy-and-hold' or 'dollar-cost-averaging', and have been looking for more sustainable, reliably profitable trading tactics.

Is Options Trading Profitable?

Some forum contributors will have you believe that options trading is dangerous and highly risky. The truth is that for sheer magnitude of profit, options trading can not be beaten. The potential for gain provided by the leverage employed in options is enormous. For relatively small amounts of money, you can control large blocks of stock, and can reap the profits from a move in the right direction. The flipside is that this same leverage also has the ability to wipe out your portfolio, if you are using a trading plan that does not address the risk issues of the particular strategy that you are using. So, the simple answer to the question is: yes, options trading can be profitable, but it can also be very risky in some circumstances.

Is there a consistently profitable options trading strategy ?

Most new derivatives traders are introduced to the simple concepts of buying calls or puts. While these are easy to understand and all too easy to implement, the reality is that to be successful in this strategy, you must have exceptional technical analysis skills which allow you to predict both the magnitude and direction of any market moves. This strategy certainly offers the greatest potential for profit, but the reality is that this potential is not often achieved. It often takes several good trades to recover from one single large loss. So while the 'buying calls and puts' method has the largest potential for profit, it is quite hard to achieve that potential on a consistent basis.

Options Selling Strategies

Two academic studies (in 2006 and 2012) have shown that the most profitable options strategy on a consistent basis involve not buying options, but selling them. Selling puts, or for those with lower margin limits, selling credit spreads, was shown to be more profitable over the long term than any other approach. The absolute magnitude of the profit is less than that from other strategies, but the consistency of this profit makes it the best method available. The huge advantage is that the technical analysis requirements for selling puts or credit spreads is not nearly as stringent as that required for other strategies, and the risk profile is significantly lower at every level. In fact, with sturdy trading plan, which includes a well tested exit strategy, selling options can be more profitable and less risky that almost any stock trading strategy.

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Source by Rob Forbes

Rape – Understanding the Five Rules

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Women often find themselves in precarious conditions because they are unaware of or oblivious to the rules of conduct and situation from the male perspective. Women even in the most positive sense take up the role of the victim too readily, easily and far too often. It seems that women are often not ready to make the commitment to changing their thinking, habits, self destructive lifestyles, and ideas about modesty. All men are potential rapists therefore women must be able to distinguish men according to fact and circumstances rather than feelings and delusions. This is where the "Five Rules" come in to protect women not just from men but from their own misconceptions and fears. Rapes just do not happen as a rule there is premeditation involved from the male point of view and often considerable logical thought. Being a man the natural inclination is to treat other men (especially those unknown) with a definite degree of mutual caution if not suspicion, although commonly men share the threat of mutual destruction if violence ensues. Women do not have the protection of mutual aggression, strength and the assured possibly devastating retaliation. Men do not have fear of women and males of other species from chimpanzees to dogs can identify women as female, rank them as dominate or non dominate and threaten them accordingly. However with human males they are much more cautious because they know they can never be sure of the outcome. With this in mind, I have developed Five Rules that if followed could serve any woman in any society quite well if taken seriously.

1. Wild Kingdom Rules
Men consciously or unconsciously are able view women in a way women do not perceive. For rough example a panther, leopard or any big cat watches the landscape from a high place or the shadows and learns the habits routine and movements of its prey. It logically uses this information to stalk, herd, ambush, and ultimately attack its prey, while the prey almost always stays in reactive mode rather that a proactive one. The prey's defense is to be alert, panic and to flee but even this has a predictable pattern and the big cats count on this because they are often fed by it. Women must assume they are being watched especially when they have no apparent male companion or relatives that are frequently visible. Profiles on serial rapist bear out the fact that the most dangerous men are not men of other social economic, racial, or cultural groups, but rather the men that seem to fit in from the victims own race, economic strata and cultural settings. These are the men women look at but do not see (hiding in plain sight using the best camouflage of all) because society has trained them not to. Nice upscale gated community may not just be locking the undesirables out but locking potential victims in with the real sex criminals. Assume the men in the neighborhood, on the street, at the job, clubs, sports events etc. know a lot more about local women than they think. Today's new casual male friend, sports partner, or associate could be tomorrows date rapist or nighttime intruder. The clean cut very socially acceptable men can be the ones with the most skeletons in their dark mental closets, and the criminal animal mind can be shockingly logical. Do not jog or walk alone especially in deserted or semi deserted places like wooded areas, roads, parks, alley ways, bike paths etc. and never at dawn, dusk or after dark. There have been instances of mountain lions attacking or even killing women in secluded locations and they do not have the advantages of a human brain as men evidently do.

2. Prison Sex Rules
An office, a hotel, a park, a mall parking lot, a parking garage or entire city can be a prison because men are nearby and women know nothing of their true intent. Women must mentally function the way a man would if incarcerated, be aware, be cautious, be armed if possible (a key, a pen or pencil, a magazine, etc. are all weapons of opportunity if used correctly) "soap on a rope "can do a lot of damage to a human being in or out of the showers and they will not see it coming. The point is not to have sex with anyone because sex and violence have no distinction in a confined environment and men recognize the predatory nature and tendency of man. Do not assume anyone is a friend and never smile. Do not do favors for anyone. Do not accept gifts even small ones from any man (candy, cigarettes, money etc). Remember yes means "yes" maybe means "yes" and most important "no" means "yes" to "sex" in any conversation no matter what the weaker parties intent or the conversational context. Never show fear rather be stoic or show aggression stay as quiet and detached as possible, quiet people are hard to fathom and unpredictable when under attack. Know your escape routes, never turn your back; if you have to flee use your head stay lucid and a fighting retreat can spoil the plans and aggression of an attacker. Last of all prepare yourself to mentally deal with the possibility of gang rape. If men use violence against men in the form of rape in prison then certainly it will be used against weaker and often less savvy women.

3. Cover-up Rules

A woman's best preventative defense is to recover from her mis-education and indoctrination that presents women as sex objects to sell everything from cars to toothpaste. Women put more clothes on for protection to mask the female shape which prevents men from imprinting. When a man sees a woman in a state of undress (and this does not mean she is naked but dressed too scantly) men make assumptions the woman is loose or less worthy of respect. Nuns, Muslim women that cover, and modestly dressed women are treated differently, with more respect and are much less likely to be molested verbally or otherwise by men. Many men control their desires and curiosity when it comes to women but this is not necessarily the rule. A woman displayed in public can incite lust and bad behavior in men the same way a gun brandished in public incites fear and uncertainty. It is not hard to see women that are wearing garments that are too tight, see through, too shear, too small or too short chafe at unwanted male attentions that range from hard stares, cat calls, whistles, to blocking her path and touching. Not to mention men that are seen with women dressed like this do not exactly garner the respect of other men. Men in authority from bosses to policemen are men too and certainly capable of committing heinous crimes against women, so do not be fooled. There are many beautiful types of apparel available for women to look smart while being covered. Men that see women covered are more likely to offer a modicum of respect and keep their distance if nothing else and those with bad intentions are more likely to choose another female victim less dressed. There is no death penalty for rape in most western countries and the burden of proof is on the woman so if nothing else, more clothes will make it at least more difficult for any attacker. How conservative a woman dresses can make her a much smaller target of opportunity.

4. Lifestyle Rules
Drugs, alcohol, questionable locations and late hours open up so many opportunities for rape one hardly knows where to begin. Women seen in this frame work are in serious trouble no matter how many times they have lived through it without incident it only has to go wrong once. Women that have decided to be drug addicts alcoholics prostitutes, or just happen to live on the streets tend to instinctively know rape is a definite part in their world. Rape leaves them with survival skills, STD's, PTSD, and another filthy memory awash in a sea of ​​substance abuse, poverty and fear. However no one prepares or warns the new female recruit fresh from home about the military services which are more dangerous rape and sexual assault wise than any dark street corner or alleyway. The news contains a litany of articles and stories about females being sexually mis-treated while in the military but the general public only seems to turn a blind eye when confronted with this disturbing truth. Media sources remain relatively mute when the subject of rape is mentioned in conjunction with the military. Instead the focus is on "do not ask do not tell" when in reality the spotlight needs to be on female rights and safety in the military and the phase should be "do not tell do not ask" because this is the real "defacto" policy of the military. Male soldiers are directly or indirectly responsible for more female enlisted deaths injuries and attacks than the Taliban or the so called Al Qaeda combined. The families of the female enlisted victims can not seem to get true and correct information from the military let alone consistent actual arrests and convictions. Therefore the military is a very hazardous lifestyle choice for any woman, in fact more dangerous than being on the streets doing drugs and alcohol. Choose a lifestyle after careful consideration but never assumed that even lifestyles of the norm are safe.

5. Combat Rules
Violence is something to be avoided at all cost, unless the cost is your right to your own personal physical and mental well being. For a woman facing a serious threat from a man or men bent on the violence of rape the play book of human kindness immediately goes out the window. In fact she will find that her best savior is herself and this will require conviction and commitment. Even the most fearful woman must dig down deep to find the where with all to do what she must, "survive"! The women of Bosnia, Chechnya, Darfur, Kashmir, Rwanda, Uganda, and thousands of rape victims in the USA can tell about the horrors of being in a rape situation and how they wish they could have avoided being a victim if only they could have defended themselves. Women often first respond to an impending attack with fear and indecision this conveniently paralyzes them at the most crucial moment. At that moment a woman must react by doing what the attacker least expects commit to combat "hit harder faster more often and hit him first"! Of course sharp contact with vital sensitive areas of the male anatomy can have the added beneficial effect of making any male attacker unable to perform or perpetuate an attack. This is something that is not hard to do regardless of height weight or strength but women are almost never taught this. I urge all women take a few hours learn some form of self defense get use to the feeling of combat and how to keep yourself calm and thinking during it, because attackers tend to be careless, arrogant and make a lot of mistakes. A little preparation and a lot of conviction to self preservation are better than a million hours of post rape counseling; counsel yourself to "win" before it ever happens!

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Source by Habib Thompson

Candle Making Molds – What to Buy?

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PVC molds

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) molds can easily be bought at candle supply stores at plenty of craft stores and of course online. You can buy one piece molds in several standard shapes – cylinder, rectangular prism, square based pyramid etc. There are also two piece molds these clip together to cut leakage. Once the wax sets, you just undo the clips, gently pull apart the mold pieces and you have a candle.

PVC is a good material for molds when making in your own home since it is strong, durable, resistant against heat and simple to wash. I find PVC a very hardy mold and I prefer it when working with children because even if they drop the mold it is unlikely to break. The smooth PVC offers an unblemished finish on the molded candle. Really, the only disadvantage I've noticed with PVC would be that the mold is opaque which means you can not view your candle before you take it out of the mold.

I especially love the way I can easily create some basic pillar molds from just a quick trip to my home improvement store. When creating candles in your own home saving cash is very important, continue reading for more information about this topic later.

Polycarbonate molds

Polycarbonate molds are extremely popular. They also are available in one piece for common shaped candles and two pieces for more intricate detailed candles. You will notice that sometimes the intricate two piece molds have a gasket to cut leaks. You can also find some good polycarbonate trays for producing sets of shaped floating candles. In general I've discovered a wider variety of molds in Polycarbonate than PVC but Polycarbonate is often a little more expensive.

Polycarbonate is an excellent mold material for producing candles at home since it is strong and resistant to heat and simple to clean just like PVC. I actually do find I'm more careful with my polycarbonate molds though since they're not as strong as my basic one piece PVC molds. The smooth Polycarbonate offers a fantastic finish on a molded candle. An excellent bonus when working with Polycarbonate is you can view your candle because the mold is transparent.

Aluminum molds

Aluminum molds are one piece, seamless and create a fantastic pillar candle. Using a single piece means there are not any seams to trim after removing the candle from the mold and aluminum has a perfect mold release. You'll find aluminum molds at candle supply stores, online and at many craft stores. They're probably most suitable to the candle maker who plan to run a business, more than the casual hobbyist making the occasional candle in their home. I've discovered aluminum molds retail at a higher price than polycarbonate molds. Again, the aluminum is opaque so you can not actually view your candle before you release it from your mold. Having said that, I do not consider this to be a problem whatsoever.

Polyurethane molds

Polyurethane molds are tough and easy to use. You can buy standard taper molds in polyurethane as well as quite decorative pillars and shaped candles. The creators of the molds are able to include great detail in these molds. They are extremely durable and will definitely work for countless pours. Generally, polyurethane molds are one piece with a side slit, however some are two piece with minimum seams due to their excellent design. You insert the wick through the hole in the base of the mold.

While there are lots of good things about polyurethane, if you're only starting out making candles, or are simply just a hobbyist making candles in the home, polyurethane candles are a costly investment. Prior to buying one you should make certain you will make use of that mold many times to get enough value from your outlay.

Silicone molds

Silicone is a little like the new kid in the street in the candle making arena. Silicone molds made from high-quality silicone rubber will last through countless pourings, if looked after properly. Silicone molds are fantastic and are available in a wide array of wondrous shapes. You can find molds to create a candle the same shape as a cupcake, a banana split, a cinnamon bun, a flower, a dog – you get the idea! Silicone molds allow you to make candles with incredibly fine detail. However, before getting too excited, they also are quite costly. For the hobbyist making candles at home you should make sure you will make use of the mold many times to receive enough value from your financial outlay. Having said that, I can not resist them since the range is extensive and the candles created seem so realistic!

Besides cost, the one problem with silicone would be the need to handle it more carefully. Silicone can last for countless candles, however, you need to take great care not to tear it and you also need to make sure you take care of it correctly. Silicone molds must be kept out of sunlight, washed and dried thoroughly after use, and they need care when storing them for extended lengths of time.

If you are making candles in the home as a hobbyist what do you need to buy?

I suppose that will depend on where you're in your candle making enterprise. If you're only starting out making candles at home you actually can not fail using a PVC, Polycarbonate or Aluminum mold in a basic standard shape such as a cylinder, cube, or hexagonal prism. Which one you chose will be determined by availability and your budget. I'd recommend you begin by using a basic one piece mold and as your experience develops move on to two piece and more decorative molds.

Suppose you do not have the means to buy any molds? You will find loads of Do-it-Yourself options, the fact is I've made ​​use of milk cartons, silicone cupcake trays, ice-cube trays, cardboard to make nets of prisms and I have made my own basic pillar PVC mold from a trip to the home improvement store. You can make PVC molds quickly and easily from a piece of PVC pipe and an end cap. Simply glue the end cap on the length of PVC pipe and drill a wick hole in the centre of the end cap. You can make a candle mold out of any material that is able to withstand the heat of the wax and will not leak when you pour hot wax into it.

Overall, have fun making candles and use your creativity to experiment with possible mold materials if purchasing a mold is out of your budget at the moment.

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Source by Ruth L Denton

Ancient Remedies For Premature Ejaculation

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It may come as a surprise to some to discover that Premature Ejaculation is not a newly discovered disease, and in fact, has been known about for many centuries, as can be seen when exploring some of the ancient remedies spoken of, about this issue. In the following article, I will introduce some of the concepts behind the Ancient Indian beliefs on how to remedy Premature Ejaculation.

In the days of the Ancient Indians, it was a common occurrence for the Maharajas to have had many wives, even to numbers as high as 100 wives, in some cases. Although this fact sheds a degree of danger when thinking about sexually transmitted diseases, it also sheds a light on the habits of the male. For example, even with only 10 wives, a Maharaja would have to satisfy more than one wife per day, as an average. To do this, they must have known some kind of technique or lifestyle, that has since been lost in time, which allowed them to perform at their best.

Although the amount of sufferers of Premature Ejaculation have risen in modern times, even in the time of the Ancient Maharajas, this was a problem that men had to face. For this reason, and the reason stated above, being that the husband was required to be in peak condition to satisfy many wives, the ancient doctors of the time, who studied a form of medicine known as Ayurvedic Healing, took it upon themselves to learn and discover as much as they could about Premature Ejaculation and it's effective remedies. Another reason for the development of effective remedies of this problem, was the extremely lucrative reward that was paid for successful techniques and herbal remedies.

After much study and researching of the problem, the Ancient Ayurvedic Doctors had finally agreed on the most prominent cause of Premature Ejaculation. In the Ancient Ayurvedic view, the problem arises when an imbalance of a vital energy in the body has occurred or is occurring. The problem would remain until balance was restored. The vital energy that was found to be in imbalance by the Ancient Indian Doctors was what is called the Vata.

Further research made by the Ancient Indians, lead to the discovery of different herbal treatments, that when applied correctly to the body, would help to restore and sustain balance in the Vata. Below are a few of the more common herbal applications that are believed to aide in the restoration of the Vata and to remedy Premature Ejaculation.

The first of these herbal remedies takes little preparation and uses ingredients readily available at the supermarket or health food store, however, for the best effects, if these products can be gathered from organic, and unprocessed, sources, the effects will be more potent. For this remedy, one should take an Almond nut and crush it in a mortar and pestle until it is crumbled. The crumbled Almond is then placed into a glass of milk, and consumed. This drink is taken twice a day. The effect should be noticeable within a week.

The next remedy we will look at involves a very similar procedure as the Almond remedy listed above. This time, one would take a teaspoon of Ginseng and then add this to a glass of warm to hot milk. This remedy is also drunk twice daily and is usually taken upon waking in the morning and on going to bed of a night time.

The effect of both this remedy, using Ginseng, and also the remedy mentioned above, using Almond, are said to help prolong the time it takes to reach ejaculation. Both of these remedies are taken orally as a herbal supplement and may be taken with other such herbal remedies also. The Ayurvedic Doctors of Ancient India put great emphasis on the importance of keeping a diet that complements the Vata. The common element shared between most Vata balancing foods, is that they seem to be very low in cholesterol.

As well as herbal remedies that were to be eaten or drunk, the Ayurvedic Doctors of Ancient India, also came up with other herbal remedies that were to be used externally, such as this next one, which involves an oil named Taila Oil.

This oil is used by being massaged into the penis until erection is reached and the oil has been well massaged in. The benefits gained from Taila Oil are said to be helpful in strengthening the penis and muscles as well as helping to sustain erection longer and prolong the effects of premature ejaculation. This oil is a little less commonly found as the two previous ingredients, however, can usually be found at most good health food shops.

Next the Ayurvedic Healers found two other techniques, which did not require any ingredients and could be practiced at almost any time in almost any place, without disturbing others. These techniques are common to many different healing systems and have many more benefits than simply helping to remedy Premature Ejaculation, however, we shall focus on the benefits for Premature Ejaculation sufferers.

The first of these techniques is a very common practice, that many people have attempted, or still practice now, and that can benefit all of the systems of the body and help promote stronger health. It is Meditation. One of the main benefits that can be gained from regular meditation is shown where Meditation seems to help us avoid negative mentality and attitude, and also seems to allow us to center and compose ourselves. The immediate advantage here is that, by avoiding these negative states and freeing ourselves of negative emotions, we are much less likely to suffer Premature Ejaculation that is brought on by anxiety in one form or another. And lastly, Meditation can help us by helping to strengthen our mental abilities, thus making it easier to control our ejaculation a little more effectively by mind alone.

The last technique that we will look at now is very similar to the Meditation technique that is mentioned above, however this technique goes one step further again by introducing body or muscular control as well as mind control. The technique is known as Yoga. As mentioned above, the major benefit that Yoga brings, that was not present simply through meditation, is that this more complex technique involves not only meditation, and control of the mind, but also the benefits of teaching you to control your body as well , to be control your breathing, and at the same time to strengthen your constitution and mental and physical health.

All of these techniques and remedies were used in ancient times to combat the problem of Premature Ejaculation, which as the records show, even the Ancient Maharajas were prone to. However thanks to the wisdom and determination of those wise Ancient Healers known as the Ayurvedics, we now have some very good leads to follow and techniques to try.

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Source by Allan Street

Homeless Tips: Surviving the Streets – What To Know And What Not To Do

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Homeless tip 1: Know the difference between being a bum and being homeless! I'm homeless but not a bum! I have drive, ambition, dreams, and determination! A bum has none of these things. A bum has settled into his life on the street and is fine with it. A bum is the same guy you see every morning sleeping in the same bus stop day after day …… because he does not move far. A bum might even have a house and job! Anyway you slice it … if you are on the street know what you are. Are you homeless? Or are you a flat out bum? Knowing that difference is important.

Homeless tip 2: Do not buddy up! Very bad idea. And stay away from other homeless people. Do not look for skid-rows, homeless camps or any other place where homeless people "squat"! The only time you should ever be around anyone homeless is when you are in line at the soup-kitchen. THAT'S IT! The reasons are simple …… Its a quick way to get hurt or stolen from. Not to mention that these people will do nothing but hold you down and pull you back. They do not want to see you make it and will do anything to hold you back and slow you down. You are on your own and you MUST stay that way. Do not let anyone get in your way. Its never fun being homeless and lonely but this is not time in your life to be trying to make friends. And simply put a friendship of this mature will never work for you. Just stay away from them. you are better off!

Homeless tip 3: Travel light! You would not believe how many homeless people I've seen with everything they own it seems. Having lots of stuff is not worth it on the streets when you have no home. I once meet a couple. A husband and wife team. The story they has was that he was a truck driver and she lived in the truck with him. They lived like that for some time over a full year. The whole time they spent money on crap they did not really need in the first place ( "what-nots" I call them). So they had no money. One day after a truck run that ended in Santa Anna, California the husband was fired and told to leave the truck where it was. I do not know how that's legal but they where stuck. And they had everything from that truck with then. Makeup, cloths, books, and a whole bunch of other stuff. These two seemed to have bag after bag of stuff. When you are on the streets you need as little as possible. Think 50 pounds in weight. This is what you absolutely need: – clean clothing -hygiene products -a phone (even if it is shut off) -a resume (because you never know) -2 or 3 garbage bags -and if you like to read …. … the Bible!

Homeless tip 4: If you are caught in the rain and have one one garbage bag do not but holes in it and where it like a rain coat. Instead, cover your shoes and feet! If you can keep your shoes and feet dry when use it as a rain coat. Any homeless person will tell you this: when you are homeless the most important part of your body is your feet. Wet shoes and feet do not mix. If your walking around with wet shoes you will get blisters and sores. It will be the worst pain you feet have ever felt do to rain. Every step you take will be a nightmare waiting for you. Besides, rain will rot your shoes faster. And the last thing you need is to be homeless, with blistered feet, and no shoes. If you do get cough with wet shoes get them off ASAP and dry them out. Like I said …. any homeless person will tell you this, that I promise!

Homeless tip 5: Stay clean !!!! As much as possible! Its not easy but you must! Staying clean gives you access to things you will need and trust me when I say …. you will need! I know its not easy tho! My advise is to take full advantage of every public bathroom you can, to the fullest. Use the sinks and soap. brush your teeth and wash your hair. The trick here is to be fast and unnoticed (so you can use it again). Try not to make a lot of noise. Wash the parts of your body that need it the most first (armpits, feet, private parts) and wash everything else after if you have the time. Do this as often as possible. A clean pan-handler with make more then a dirty one (I'm not down for panning, that's just a good way to make my point on this). And remember the more private the bathroom the better, look for locks and cracks on the door. A solid door, one person bathroom, with a lock is the bast. Just be fast about it.

Homeless tip 6: Outlets …… find them! Remember I said you need your phone with you? You need it rather it has minuets or not. Your phone is very handy. It has all your friends numbers in it, you can also store new number if you need to, its an alarm clock (which you will need), its your calender, and your clock is always handy. Your phone is a must have, dead or alive! But you must keep it charged. Find outlets! They are everywhere, just look for them. You can find a lot of them in front of stores, around phone booth, and other random places. When possible use then in fast food restaurants like McDs or Burger King. If you have the money bye one item off the dollar menu and spend a long time eating as you charge your phone. Try no to just go into a place just to do it. And avoid sitting right in front of the workers. Usually they wont bother you anyways, but no need to draw attention. If you are using an outside outlet just try not to get cough. Sit in front of it and do your best to make like you actually have a reasion to be there. Do what ever you can to keep powered up. My I power my phone and computer mostly at McDs. They know people are gonna use the free WiFi here. I buy one double cheese burger and a drink and spend a few hours charging my phone while I blog and do other things that I hope will get me off the streets. Stay charged any way possible !!!

Homeless tip 7: Reorganize often! Once every 3 days or so I take 30minuts out to go through all my stuff and reorganize. It helps keep me sharp, fast, and feeling better about my living condition's. Even homeless people collect garbage over time. Get rid of it! You do not need it! I have about mmmmmmmmm 12 pockets on my backpack. I know whats in every single one. If I need my chap stick ….. there it is. You never want to have to shuffle around and take out your stuff to get what you need, ever! Its embarrassing and it lets everyone know what you have and how you are (someone living out of a bag). So, keep it clear and keep it light.

Homeless tip 8: "The homeless credit card"! What? LOL, let me tell you1 One night a few years ago I was scoping out a "spot to squat" (that also is another tip). It was kinda dark out and I was very tired. I keep noticing this woman watching the same spot. After some time she came over. She know I was homeless …. because she was to. And she know we where both doing the same thing. We got talking a little and decided to share the same spot for the night. Usually I would not do this but I gave in this time, we where both in need and she seemed nice. We did not have sex or do anything like that. We just both needed the same place for the night. We shacked up for the night! Inside the spot she told me her story. She was a bum! She had been on the street for about 20 years or so and had no drive or ambition to to leave. She was kind of a hippie I remember thinking to. NOT that being a hippie had anything to do with it. Well, being a bum and surviving 20 years on the streets you can believe she was a wealth of knowledge. After she told me a story about how she once ran into Will Smith and his son she told me about "The homeless credit card". "The homeless credit card" consist of two things. A black sharpy, and I piece of cardboard. I know what your thinking "I've seen this several times". I'm sure you have. But I doughty you have seen as many as the kind she had. She had an approach. What she would do was write on the cardboard EXACTLY what she needed. She NNNNNNNEEEEVVVVVEEERRRR asked for money. Post why? because she did not need it. What she did need …. toothpaste. A sleeping bag, a hair brush, shampoo, even a cheeseburger. And she always got what she asked for. Every time! People are feed up with the homeless asking for money all the time. With this recession things are ever worse and people are even tighter with money. But, people are kind hearted (I believe that very much) and are willing to help someone in need out. They just do not want to toss away there money. As a homeless person you just have to understand that, understand that quickly, and move on. No one is going to hand you a woad of cash (unless you get very lucky, do not hold your breath).

My friend for the night understood that. And on every card she made she was very specific about what she needed. If your in need you should be to. People will help!

I never saw her again. Through out the night I seemed to grow on her and I think she was starting to like me a little. The next morning she asked me to wait for her while she want across the street to a hotel and got us some free coffee. Me, following one of my major rules ……. left!

Homeless tip 9: Know your surroundings. When you are homeless and on the move it is very easy to wind up in the wrong neighborhood. Always be aware. If someplace you just walked into makes you feel unsafe …. get out! trust your gut and avoid the risks. I did not always follow this tip myself. And I had to learn to trust my gut a little bit. But now I know. I once had a friend that lived in a very bad neighborhood. She was new there herself and told me several times it was bad. However she was helping me. I wound up going through this place about 5 times. Three of those times was in the day. During the day it was not so bad but I still had a bad feeling about it. But the two times at night I was scared out of my mind. People where everywhere. And by "people" I mean drug dealers and gang bangers. I'm a white, and I was clearly in a place where white people were not living. I'm not resist by the way but safe is safe …. and I was not safe! Now, the last time I want through I got stopped ….. by about 5 cops! They where just standing around on the side of the road. They stopped me when I walked bast them. They patted me down (with my hands behind my head), got my id and other info, want through my stuff, and let me go! They where asking me questions like what I was doing there and had I been "taxed". I had to ask him what that meant because I told him "yes", "I get taxed every day", LOL! These cops where the only ones that gave me any hard time at all. Now, I never want back there because they told me not to (at least not at night) and after I left and had a second to think about it all I figured they where right and I should not. Not because of the gangs on the street, but because those cops exposed me. You see, when I was walking through this place no one messed with me. The reason was because they did not know me and did not know what I was doing there. I just walked straight through and got to where I needed to go. Without relieving what I was doing ….. I tricked them. I did not act scared. I did not "eyeball" anyone. I simply want about my business. And that's what you should do in this situation. If you find yourself in a bad spot do NOT panic. Do not talk to anyone, that will expose you. Simple walk out! The cops exposed me. Had me standing on the corner, in front of everyone, and let me go. What that told the people of those streets was that I was a guy that was not into trouble, had nothing to hide, and did not belong there. I asked myself what I would have done if I had been stopped by someone out there. What I would do is this: quickly ask him (or her) where I could get 300 $ worth of crack, and ask him (or her) if they could meet me there in 30 minuets while I ran home (around the corner and down the street I do not know because I'm new there) and got some money together. I would then ask for a phone number (in case I get lost on the way back) and walk away like I'm on a new mission in life.

Homeless tip 10: Scope out your spots. Do this from a distance and make sure no one knows what you are doing. Watch for people going in or around the spot. Watch for cops. Watch for anything that gives you any idea about how early you need to be up in the morning. Look for resources that you might be able to use around the spot (sink, charger, things of that nature). Find security in the spot. How well lit is it? Will anyone see me? Is there any kind of lock? Will I be safe? will I be worm? Ask yourself these questions. Sometimes you might get a good spot. Sometimes you might have a bad spot. Safety should always be your first concern. Scope it out and ask yourself these questions then make a decision. And remember, have more then one spot! Intel you actually win the fight you will need as many spots as you can! Homelessness is not an easy life!

Homeless tip 11: I tell you all the time the image is everything when you are homeless. And I also tell you all the time to stay away from other homeless people (unless you are pumping them for info, homeless people are a wealth of information about resources). But somethings you just plain run into homeless people that know you are homeless. DO NOT BEFRIEND THEM. But its OK to be cool with them for a minute or two in passing. Its kind of good for you. It keeps you on a train of thought that says "hey, your not the only one". Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. Its easy to stand on a street corner watching the cars go by and say to yourself "why me". That will bring you down and as a homeless person you cant afford to think like that. And besides "who cares" "why you"? It happened and that's all there is to it. Just remember that you are not the only one out there on the streets. I still stay stick to yourself. I'm heavy about that. That's for survival reasons. But there is no shame in lifting someone else's spirits and saying "ya man, I'm like you! Just trying to get bye. You are not alone".

Homeless tip 12: Do not take what you do not need! This woman in the blazer was not gonna give me money. But she know I was not going to take it as well. This whole thing was about a minute long. Inside that one minute I earned her respect and possible changed her view on homeless people. "How could a homeless person not except what he and I both know he wants, rather he needs it or not"? Truth be told, I did want money! But I had some and know that nothing she gave me was gonna make my night better. That's why I was not going to take it if offered. The respect I earned from her was priceless anyways! Respect will probably not get you off the streets. But the affects of being respected by others is worth wild.

I do not talk about being homeless. Ive gone long periods of time being homeless with large groups of friend that never know. I hide it very well. I'd rather do things the hard way. How can I maintain something that was given to me when I could not maintain the same thing when I earned it before by myself?

So, Do not take what you do not need just because you can. And earn respect! This will help you feel better about being homeless. Homeless people often feel they are being looked down on. I do not feel that way. I will be respected! I will stay focused!

Homeless tip 13: Never invite another homeless person into your spot. As much as I'd love to say "hey man, I know a better place! Come check this out" I know that will only lead to trouble. Every time I leave a spot I clean up my stuff. I do this because I do not want anyone to know I was there. I check and check and check to make sure that my time there is erased completely. I leave nothing behind. When you invite another homeless person into your spot basically have to tell him (her) the house rules. And watch over them. Now you have to double check they did not leave anything behind. I "d set some rules like this:

1) Do not go there before 10:00 pm!
2) Do not smoke!
3) Do not tell anyone!
4) Be gone by 5:20 am!
5) pick up your stuff

Simple, however I can promise you that within two week you have this: You show up at 10:00 pm on the dot and there is already 3 other people there. They are all drinking and smoking. Its like a little homeless party. The place is trashed with spilt beer and ash. You friend you told first does not know what to say to you. No one is listening to you. It smell, and you knows that not just a cigarette they are smoking. Now you see flashing lights. Now you are all arrested and going to jail. You lost the spot. Never invite anyone into your spot. Its one thing for you to get into trouble on your own. But its another for you to get into trouble because of a bunch of other homeless people!

Homeless tip 14: Have fun in your down time. I know this sounds funny but I do believe it is something you must do. Time for homeless people is a little different then the time of an average person. However, homeless people to wind up with free time (usually on the weekends). And I say there is no harm in doing something for you as long as its not going to make your situation worse. Read a book! Go to church! Maybe see a friend or family member if you can! Make a phone call to a loved one! Hit the beach if possible! What ever it take to free your mind from the stresses of being homeless and makes your free time go faster for you.

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Source by Robert J Rashford

American Mobsters – The Bowery Boy Street Gang

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The Bowery Boys were an anti-Catholic, anti Irish Gang of the 1840's through 1860's, that fought tooth and nail with the other gangs, most notably the Dead Rabbits from the Five Points Area. Unlike the other gangs of its era, who were just plain thugs, crooks, robbers and murderers, the Bowery Boys, who ruled the Bowery area just north of the Five Points, were mostly butchers and mechanics, bar bouncers, or small businessman. They wore a uniform of sorts, with red shirts and black trousers, the pants of which were shoved inside calf-skin boots. Most of the men had oil slicked hair covered by black stove-pipe hats.

The Bowery Boys were ardent volunteer firemen, who aligned themselves with the Know-Nothing, or American political party, which lasted from 1849 to 1856, and later the Democratic Party. All of the big politicians of the time, including Boss Tweed and future first President George Washington, were at one time volunteer firemen in Lower Manhattan. The Bowery Boys were attached to various firehouses, with names like the White Ghost, Black Joke, Dry Bones and Red Rover. Each of the other downtown gangs, like the Dead Rabbits, Roach Guards and the Plug Uglies, were also affiliated with various fire houses too, and the completion over who would arrive first at a fire was fierce and sometimes bloody. The Bowery Boys were said to love their fire engines almost as much as the loved their women, and the worse thing that could happen, was to arrive at a fire and find that all the fire hydrants had already been taken by other firehouses.

The Bowery Boys had a trick to prevent this embarrassment from happening. As soon as a fire alarm sounded, the biggest Bowery Boy around would grab an empty barrel from a grocery store and run to the fire plug closest to the burning building. He would turn the barrel over, cover the fire hydrant with the barrel, sit on it and defend his position, by fighting men from other firehouses, who were trying to remove him and the barrel from the fire hydrant. It was said that sometimes the fights for the fire hydrants were so ferocious, the Bowery Boys did not have time to actually extinguish the fires.

The most famous Bowery Boy of his time was "Butcher" Bill Poole, a butcher by trade and a volunteer at Red Rover Fire Engine Company # 34, at Hudson and Christopher Streets. Poole was a bear-knuckle fighter of much renown. His arch-enemy was John Morrissey, an Irish immigrant and strong-arm-man for Tammany Hall. Morrissey fancied himself a fighter too and he challenged Poole to a bare-knuckles fight. Poole hated the Irish and Catholics with a passion (Morrissey was both), and he gladly accepted accepted the challenge.

The two men squared off on July 26, 1854, at the Amos Street Dock near Christopher Street. As Morrissey extended his hand to fight, Poole feinted him, and instead grabbed Morrissey is a frontal bear hug. He lifted Morrissey up into the air and squeezed the breath out of him for a full five minutes. Wiser heads jumped in and separated the men, before Poole crushed Morrissey to death. Morrissey was hurt so bad, he could not walk the streets of New York for a full six months, but when he did, it was curtains for Poole. On February 25, 1855, Lew Baker, a friend of Morrissey, shot Poole at Stanwix Hall, a bar on Broadway near Prince Street. Poole lingered on for a little more than a week, but he finally died on March 8, 1855.

The downfall of the Bowery Boys started during the savage three-day New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Incensed at the imminent possibility being drafted into the war down south they wanted to do nothing with, thousands of gang members took to the streets of New york City on July 13, looting and burning down stores and houses, and violently killing Negroes, whom they blamed as the cause of their predicament. The Bowery Boys, in actions normally adverse to their nature, were an integral part of these deadly riots, where hundred of people were killed and thousands more injured. The New York State militia was called in to quell the riots, and when the dust settled three days later, the drafting of New York City men into the armed forces continued.

Many Bowery Boys were drafted into the war. Some died, some returned badly injured, or missing arms and legs, and others joined rival gangs. By the end of the 1860's, the Bowery Boys ceased to exist, but other gangs rose from their ashes to take their place.

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Source by Joseph Bruno

A Short Guide About Alicante Gay Life

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Alicante, a lively city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, is a popular holiday destination for many gay travelers. Although much smaller than Madrid or Barcelona, ​​Alicante offers numerous opportunities for enjoying an unforgettable summer vacation.

Most of the tourists are attracted by its fascinating beaches. With endless kilometers of golden sand and sunny summer weather, Alicante is the perfect place for getting in touch with the Mediterranean. The most popular beaches among gays and lesbians are definitely Alicante nudist beaches: Urbanova and Cabo de las Huertas. Urbanova beach is situated in the south part of Alicante coast, several kilometers away from the city center. It is quite close to the Alicante airport and you can often see airplanes flying above the beach. You can access it by car following the road N-332, direction Elche. Another option is to take a bus number 27 in front of the main Alicante train station RENFE, which communicates once per hour. Urbanova is a long sandy beach, offering a lot of space and an impressive view towards Alicante harbor. Another choice is the rocky Beach of Cabo de las Huertas. It is a place with the wildness of untouched nature and a lot of flat rocky plates. You can reach it either by bus number 22 or simply walking back from the San Juan beach along the rocky seashore, passing by the lighthouse.

Coming back from one of your favourite Alicante beaches, you can start socializing already in the afternoon or early in the evening. Just visit one of gay coffee bars. Or i Ferro (Gold and Iron) is an old bar with a friendly atmosphere, placed in Belando street close to Plaza Luceros. Another one is Pikadura, situated in Rafael Altamira street close to Rambla avenue and Explanada promenade. These two bars are the best places for getting more information about Alicante gay nightlife. Take a drink, have a snack and read newspaper and gay reviews.

After midnight, you can start partying in several pubs and night clubs. They offer diverse ambient, always full of people during hot summer nights. You can start with Canibal Pub – definitely the most popular gay bar among younger people. It is situated on the Plaza Nueva square (there is an interesting Aquarium on the square with large Mediterranean fish, so you can not miss it). Canibal pub regularly organizes special events, such as Halloween parties, featured music nights or New Year celebrations. You can take a drink, have a good time for half an hour and then go to the next bar – all of them are just a walking distance away from each other.

Crossing Rambla Avenue, we enter El Barrio – Old Town of Alicante. El Barrio is a large pedestrian zone with numerous clubs with good music for all tastes. You will meet thousands of young people having fun on the streets. If you like Europop music, visit Divina bar. You can find it in Montengon street, close to the Cathedral. It is quite small and always crowded. Turning around the corner, we come to Santa Faz, a beautiful historic town square behind the city hall. Here you can find El Forat bar. It is the oldest gay bar in Alicante and one of the veterans of El Barrio, attracting a large number of gay-friendly visitors. Passing the main square and entering Gravina street, you can finish your walk in Missing. This night club is placed close to MUBAG museum and Explanada promenade. Its darker mood and special night events mix a pub atmosphere with the aspect of a nightclub.

Once you close the circle, you can start another round, visiting the club you like most. Alicante Old Town is quite small, everything is easily reached by foot and there is a lot of fun both indoors and on the streets. Finally, once the bars in El Barrio are closed, you can continue partying in one of Alicante discos. The usual choice of gays and lesbians is Byblos discoteca, placed in San Francisco street parallel to the Explanada promenade. Enjoy dancing, drinking and having fun until the sunrise.

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Source by Igor Vragovic

A "Missing" Missing Adult – The Search For Ashley Phillips

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This is the story of a family living with the disappearance of their 24 year old daughter, Ashley Phillips, from the streets of Tampa, FL in March of 1999, and the limitations placed on their agonizing search for her. The family of Ashley Phillips has not seen or heard from their daughter in four years. Ashley's family has continually been denied the right to file a Missing Person Report, or to have it recorded by local authorities, with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

The Missing Person File is the only database that can be cross-matched with the Unidentified Person File, also maintained by NCIC, which hosts a comprehensive listing of crucial forensic records that can be used to identify the deceased, whose families have obtained an official filing with NCIC. It's a closed loop system and if you are not in, you belong to a different unofficial missing category – the * "missing" missing adult. In other words, you are really, really lost.

In 2001, NCIC reported that 840,279 Missing Person Reports were recorded in the United States. Some career law enforcement authorities speculate, off the record, that the ratio of unofficial missing to official missing is anywhere from 2 to 10 times that number. Ashley Phillips' family is certain that this policy of denial, is affecting other families with unofficial missing loved ones, who are the most vulnerable victims of violent crimes, particularly the subgroup of women in this category.

The reasons for being denied the right to file a Missing Person Report on an adult will vary from state to state because every jurisdiction has its own legal interpretation for the guidelines distributed by the FBI. There are states where, Ashley's family would have had immediate permission to file such a report. In California, for example, she would have, immediately been considered a "high risk" endangered adult.

In the days following Ashley's disappearance from her home in March 1999, her mother, Michelle, immediately requested that the local police department file a Missing Person Report. The authorities considered Ashley an adult who left of her own free will and was exercising her right to privacy, so they refused to file the report.

It was true that Ashley was only days out a drug rehab center when she went missing. She had most likely relapsed, so the family was at a loss about how to persuade anyone to act on their fears for her safety. Her family knew that her compulsive behavior could quite literally put her into an environment of serious personal danger.

The social stigma, resulting from Ashley's history of drug use, attached itself to her case for years. Her record shows that she had one drug offense for which she served some months in Cobb County Georgia. At the time of her disappearance she was in violation of her probation, which resulted in an automatic warrant with extradition to Georgia, if she were arrested for any offense in the future. Her mother hoped that she would be picked up on some minor offense that would activate the warrant. She felt this might in fact save her daughter's life by placing Ashley in a mandatory treatment program.

Ashley was labeled a drug addict and a prostitute, even though she was not arrested for these activities during this time. In fact, she was never arrested for prostitution, although the Tampa Police Department (TPD) claimed to have definite knowledge of her illegal activities. It seemed she had somehow ceased being a person worthy of protection because of the stigma associated with drug addiction and living as a woman on the streets.

Ashley's mother, Michelle, was not successful in persuading the Tampa Police Department to reconsider their initial assessment of Ashley's case for four years. Michelle met some dedicated police officers that were sympathetic but this did not translate into a formal declaration of her daughter's obvious endangerment. They were following a policy and they were steadfast in their refusal to file this vital report.

Every few months, Michelle would attempt to file a missing person report and Ashley's case was always denied this status. Michelle felt after a point that nobody was really listening. This was particularly true after discovering during such a visit in November 2001 that the police department had picked up Ashley twice for open container violations; once in August 1999 and again in April 2000, her only known arrests in four years. The last time was 19 months prior to Michelle's knowledge of the event. At this point, when she pointed out the time lapse, since that last official sighting, and the fact that there had still been no documented evidence of Ashley's existence, she was again denied the right to file the report.

So why was Ashley not arrested and extradited to Georgia on her outstanding warrant while she was being held overnight on both of these occasions? Her mother was told that the time lapse for notifying local authorities on an outstanding warrant is 48 hours. Ashley was released in 24 hours.

In 2002, NCIC processed a daily average of 2.8 million transactions with an average response time of 16 hundredths of a second (the time required for answering requests by law enforcement on routine criminal background checks, including pertinent warrant data) 24 hours a day over 365 days. So was there some unexplained delay by TPD's system check? Does this happen with other more dangerous offenders apprehended for minor offenses? This was just another variation of the cracks through which, Ashley kept falling and the growing list of questions in the wake of her disappearance.

It did not matter, to the authorities, that Ashley was suffering from clinical depression complicated by drug addiction or that Ashley's trail was getting colder and colder. She was not considered an endangered adult by any interpretation of Florida law, as long as she was addicted to drugs and surviving by whatever means on the street. In their view, she was choosing not to contact her family, and was not a high-risk adult, by definition.

During these most difficult years, Ashley's older sister, Libba Phillips, was learning as much as possible on the subject of the undocumented missing adult population. She started an educational nonprofit resource to bring attention to her sister Ashley and to become a voice for families sharing the same difficult search for answers on their missing loved ones. During this time she regularly reviewed coroner websites to track information on unidentified remains of women for clues on Ashley, who might have become another statistic somewhere. Very early on, she called and wrote to state and federal officials to find out what they might know about the undocumented missing population or at least gain some insight into the actual number of this population but it was not a category that could be defined by anyone or any agency. This was a frightening fact, once she comprehended the implications of it and what this unknown statistic might mean, for her sister's chances of survival and rehabilitation. It meant that no one was trying to define the problem, let alone create solutions for resolving these difficult scenarios. Her non-profit organization is the only organization addressing the needs of the undocumented missing population, surviving on the will of a woman desperately seeking her little sister and helping others in the process.

Ashley's mother, Michelle was raising her two teenage daughters and working a full time job during this time. She managed, with the support of her husband and children, to visit morgues, missions and churches in her area, armed with missing flyers on Ashley. She tried to keep her expectations realistic and at the same time dared to hope of saving Ashley from the dangers of the streets.

Sadly, Ashley's disappearance is a not so unusual reality of our American life. In fact, her disappearance is a consequence of our American freedoms, apparently, as some authorities use this to define the circumstances of some missing adults, as acts of freedom protected by the right to privacy.

This family's story is also a consequence of our eroding sense of community and compassion for our fellow human beings. Ashley's four-year disappearance is a result of a system that does not value the lives of women who are mentally ill with a drug addiction. They fall below the radar of community care and attention.

This indifference can be tallied in the number of nameless female homicide victims that abound in this country and the countless families who never find closure for their missing loved ones. It is frightening to think that Ashley's case may represent the "average" case of a missing adult.

In November 2002, I composed a letter to Columba Bush (Florida's First Lady) and Florida's Governor, Jeb Bush explaining the tragedy of Ashley Phillips and her family's frustrating search. The letter was referred to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for official review. They passed it on to the Tampa Police Department for review by Chief of Police, Bernie Holder. The Tampa Police Department (TPD) was the legal jurisdiction, for matters concerning how to categorize Ashley's missing status, because as her luck would have it, this was the city where she was last seen.

I wrote a personal letter to the Chief two weeks later, finally prompting a phone call from an assistant to the Chief who reiterated the categorical denial for filing a missing person report, on Ashley's case, to my disbelieving ears.

The official denial was to protect Ashley's right to privacy and this denial was prefaced with the unsolicited information that Ashley was a drug addicted prostitute. (So ​​much talk for so little privacy.) I addressed the stigma that kept being repeated to me regarding Ashley's drug addiction and presumed lifestyle as a prostitute. I carefully reminded the Sergeant that she did not have any documented arrests for these activities in the past four years. Additionally, the last documented sighting of her was in April 2000, close to three years ago. I asked the Sergeant to honor my request for a formal response, regarding the reasons for denying the family a right to file a Missing Person Report – in writing. He advised me, after pausing for a time, that he would call me back in two days, after he had a chance to talk to "legal".

The Sergeant called two days later, as promised, to inform me that TPD would file a the report with Ashley's mother the following morning, one month following my first letter. I was told this was totally against policy and that someone was really sticking his neck out to authorize this action. Ashley's own family could not raise an ounce of official acknowledgment for four years.

It is an outrage that the Tampa authorities would listen to my argument supporting the filing of the vital Missing Person Report on Ashley's case and completely ignore the pleas of her own mother for four years. If they could file a report based on my fifteen minute phone conversation, then they could have done the same for Ashley's family at the beginning of her disappearance. Any good detective will tell you that the colder a trail becomes, the less likely it will be resolved, particularly if the investigation begins four years after the event. There is no excuse for policy that results in irreversible harm to an endangered woman and her family, who were simply doing everything possible to protect their daughter's life.

Unidentified remains are discovered every day in this country. If Ashley is not alive and her unidentified remains are discovered somewhere, the likelihood of a successful match being drawn at NCIC depends on many separate factors being in place. Of tremendous importance, are the quality and accuracy of information recorded by the Tampa Police Department in her official Missing Person Report.

The thoroughness of a physical description, tattoos, surgical history and dental records are crucial for any match to be made and without this information the record is of little value to law enforcement or the family. The accuracy of this record is also important if she is alive somewhere but for whatever reason, may be suffering from amnesia or in an unconscious state, not just for the purposes of identifying a Jane Doe.

It is not uncommon for medical examiners to have little with which to establish an identification, namely the absence of tissue from which to make a set of fingerprints or other physical marks for matching in the database. From there the next level of clues are dental records. Less than 4% of the total numbers of Missing Person records at NCIC have supplemental dental records attached to their files. This means that when an Unidentified Deceased record is entered into the system with dental information attached, it is only matched against 4% of the total possible Missing Person records.

In 2002, Florida had approximately 2,000 unidentified deceased, and approximately 30 percent of those had actually been entered in the Unidentified Person file at NCIC. It is not a reflection of the many dedicated coroners and medical examiners in Florida who do their jobs with integrity.

Ashley Phillips' case punctuates and reveals why it is time to change our ideas on what "missing" actually means, in a way that is equal to every person in every state. Is it possible that many of the thousands of Unidentified Persons in this country are buried without names because their families are not permitted to file Missing Person Reports? One thing is certain, unless we wrap our arms around this nameless population both figuratively and literally, we will see the children of the nameless undocumented missing population become what life long victims become-tragic faces of neglect with shortened life spans. This is not a sustainable outcome for us as a thriving society, unless thriving on the suffering of others is part of that definition.

If we continue to keep our current flawed policy, which demonstrates how stigma affects the interpretation of rational and compassionate guidelines for documenting all missing adults, we will result in building bigger morgues as the solution. A family should have the right to file a Missing Person Report which triggers an official investigation, without question or harassment by any state or local authority. Issues of personal privacy rights can be protected with a little creative programming.

As of December 13, 2002, Ashley was finally listed as a "missing and endangered person" under Florida law. The family confirmed that she is also listed with NCIC's Missing Person File. The physical investigation led by the detective appointed to her case, began December 18, 2002, Ashley's 28th birthday. It is possible that someone will come forward with information but unlikely after all this time. The family is unsure what this new missing status may mean. However they are expecting a thorough and exhaustive investigation into the whereabouts of their daughter, dead or alive.

The official filing of the missing person report, by the Tampa Police Department, is an acknowledgment on some level that Ashley Phillips is a human being who deserves to be counted along with the rest of us and that she is a cherished daughter and sister to her family. She is a young woman, who is now considered officially missing, who is no less lost today than she was four years ago. The difference now, is that she is finally counted, and with this and a few more miracles, she may finally be found.

Authors note: Ashley Phillips surfaced in Charlotte, NC on Feb. 7, 2003 after placing a phone call to her mother and then to her sister, Libba, on the same date, four years previous to their last conversation – Libba's birthday. Ashley had little memory of her four-year experience and because of her state of mind and physical health and for reasons concerning her personal safety and security, the family requested this story not be published six years ago. Today, she is missing again and the details of her tragic life continue to be told by her family for the purpose of creating awareness and change for the undocumented population of "missing" missing adults. The courage to put Ashley's story out there is a testament to the personal will it has taken for this family to push through this tragedy in the hope of finding a solution for Ashley's missing predicament and her ongoing well-being.

If the reader the * is interested in learning more on the subject of the "missing" missing adult, a term Coined by vBulletin® Libba Phillips, visit Http://www.outpostforhope.org and become an advocate in your community for this Vulnerable Population. Donations may be made online as well.

Article By Marquita Plomer 12/31/02 (c) 2002- 10

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Source by Marquita Plomer

Differences Between Engineer Grade, High Intensity Prismatic, and Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting

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Question: What is the difference between Standard Reflective (Engineer Grade or Type I), and High Intensity (Type III) and Diamond Grade (Type XI) reflective sign material?

Answer: Engineer Grade Reflective Sheeting typically meets ASTM D4956 Type 1 standards and is an enclosed film or lens using glass beads or prismatic optical technology.

This material is specified for use on non-critical street and road signs such as parking signs or way-finding signs. It has less reflectivity than the other types mentioned in the original question. Standard colors are white, yellow, red, blue, green, and brown.

Engineer grade reflective sheeting is also used often for reflective stickers and decals, as it is printable both with digital and screen printing methods. It is also cut-table using a die cutter or a vinyl plotter, which makes it useful for creating reflective decals that are cut to a specified shape.

Engineer grade reflective vinyl utilizes and aggressive acrylic adhesive which makes it difficult to remove. Use of heat from a heat gun or hair dryer will aid in the removal of EG reflective sheeting, but often the vinyl will separated from the adhesive, and it becomes necessary to use a glue remover to soften and remove the adhesive.

Most EG reflective films have a 5-7 year outdoor durability warranty, and are not considered a "long-term use" material.

High Intensity Prismatic (HIP) Sheeting meets ASTM requirement standards for D4956-09 Type III and Type IV, as well as ASTM 4956-07 Type X. It is a non-metallized micro prismatic lens reflective sheeting that is used mainly for reflective traffic and road signs, barricades or other road construction zone devices, and traffic delineators such as cones or barrels.

HIP sheeting is highly reflective, and it's durable topcoat protects signs and other traffic control devices against scratches and abrasion. Not only is it highly reflective at night, it also commands attention during the day as well.

HIP Reflective Sheeting is used for more permanent traffic signs, work zone devices, etc., and comes in white, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, and brown.

The manufacturing process for HIP sheeting is also considered to be more "green" as it produces 97% fewer VOC emissions than engineer grade reflective sheeting, and 72% less energy to manufacture. However, the reflectivity value stands alone as a better reason to use HIP.

Finally, HIP reflective sign materials will last longer than its EG reflective film counterpart. This material is considered to be mid to long-range durability, and typically will last about 10 years.

Finally, Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting (DG3 ) is a full cube prismatic reflective sheeting that returns almost 60% of the available light to vehicle drivers which is about double what HIP reflective sheeting reflects. DG3 reflective sheeting meets the specifications of ASTM Type XI standard.

It is likely with pending legislation in the US, that this material will be required to replace many existing signs. Currently all new "critical" traffic control signs (such as Stop signs, speed limit signs, etc.) are required to utilize this sheeting.

Similar to the other two sheetings aforementioned, diamond grade reflective sheeting has a pressure sensitive adhesive and is applied to (typically) alodized or anodized aluminum sheeting either with a hand roller or a mechanical squeeze roll laminator / applicator.

This material can be decorated either using screen printing or by using transparent film that comes in various highway sign colors.

DG3 sheeting was engineered to reflect the newer headlights in late-model automobiles, as well as to help older drivers (like me) with greater luminescence, as well as truck drivers whose lights are able to pick up signs that utilize DG3 better and at greater distances.

Available stock colors include white, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and brown. Another color, fluorescent yellow-green, is also available and is used primarily in school zones, and has superior luminescence both during the daytime and night

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Source by Barry K. Brown

American Mobsters – The Whyos Street Gang

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The Whyos were a vicious Irish street gang that ruled Lower Manhattan, starting right after the Civil War and running through the 1890's. The gang started out as the offshoot of a pre-Civil War gang called the Chichesters. Their headquarters was in the 6th Ward on Baxter Street, formerly Orange Street, and named after Mexican War hero Lt. Col. Charles Baxter.

The Whyos got their name from the bird calls they made to each other, to identify themselves as members of the gang. When they first appeared on the streets of Lower Manhattan, the Whyos cruised the area called Mulberry Bend, robbing, beating and killing with ungodly gusto. Soon they extended their domain to the Lower West Side, into Greenwich Village, then further north. The Whyos favorite hangout was a dive on the corner of Mulberry and Worth called "The Morgue." An apt name, since it was estimated that over a hundred murders took place on the premises. The bar owner boasted his booze was powerful and quite tasty, but could also be used an an excellent embalming fluid.

Myth had it, that in order to become a member of the Whyos, a aspiring member had to kill, or at least made an attempt to kill someone. One of their early leaders was Mike McCoin, who was hanged in the Tombs on March, 8, 1883, for the slingshot murder of a saloon owner on West Twenty-Sixth Street, named Louis Hanier. The day after he killed Hanier, McCoin announced to his gang, "A guy is not tough until he's knocked his man out (killed)." Some hard men took McCoin's remark to heart, and a string of murders followed, precipitating new members being inducted into the gang.

The Whyos reached the height of their power in the 1880's, when such miscreants such as Big Jim Hines terrorized the city. Hines was the first person to hold up struss games, which were the run by the Italian and Jewish gangs, and a great source of revenue to boot. The struss games were played nightly in numerous locations, from east of the Bowery, up to Fourteenth Street, then west to Broadway. And almost every night, Hines bounced from one game to another, a huge gun in each hand. Using impending force, Hines extracted a percentage of each game, gracefully, always leaving a nice cut for the house.

Once, after he was arrested, he told a detective, "Them guys must be nuts. Do not I always leave 'em somethin'? All I want is me share."

In 1884, Whyos member Piker Ryan was arrested for one of his many crimes. The police found a book on him, with prices for a laundry list of crimes the Whyos performed for monetary profit. The list read:

Punching – $ 2,
Both eyes blacked – $ 4
Nose and jaw broke – $ 10
Jacked out – $ 15
Ear chewed off – $ 15
Leg or arm broke – $ 19
Shot in the leg – $ 25
Stab – $ 25
Doing the big job (murder) – $ 100 and up

Another prominent Whyos member was Dandy Johnny Dolan, who was fastidious in dress, with oiled and plastered hair, and a penchant for wearing only the finest shoe apparel available. Dolan was also the inventor of two gruesome weapons. The first was sections of ax blade embedded in the sole of his "Fighting Shoes," which he used to stomp and stab a fallen foe. The other was an "eye gouger" made of brass and worn on his thumb.

On August 22, 1875, Dolan decided to rob a brush manufacturer at 275 Greenwich Street. On the premises, he confronted James H. Noe and bashed him over the head with an iron crowbar. Then he proceeded to rob him of money, a gold watch and chain, and Mr. Noe's walking stick, which had a metal handle formed in the shape of a monkey. But before Dolan left, he gouged out both of Mr Noe's eyes with his "eye gouger," then proudly showed the eyeballs to his pals. Mr. Noe died a few days later, and when Dolan was soon arrested, he was walking with Mr. Noe's distinctive cane and carrying Mr. Noe's eyeballs in his pocket. As a result, Dolan was tried and convicted of murder, and hung in the courtyard of the Tombs Prison on April 21, 1876.

The most famous of the Whyos leaders were a couple of Dannys; Messers Driscoll and Lyons, who co-ran the Whyos in the 1880's. In 1888, Driscoll became involved in a gunfight with Five Points gang member John McCarthy, over the affections of a prostitute named Beezy Garrity. Not being the greatest gunslinger, Driscoll accidentally shot and killed, Ms. Garrity instead, and he was hanged for his mistake on January 22, 1888.

Lyons was considered the most vicious gangster of the 1880's. And his downfall was an argument over a young lady too. It seemed Lyons snatched Pretty Kitty McGown from her paramour Joseph Quinn. Quinn vowed revenge and on July 4th, 1887, the two men squared off with guns at Paradise Square in the Five Points area. Lyons was a better with a gun than his pal Driscoll had been, and he shot Quinn right through the heart, killing him on the spot. Lyons took it on the lam for a few months, but was finally captured and hung at the Tombs Prison on August, 21, 1888, just seven months after Driscoll had met the same fate.

After the deaths of Lyons and Driscoll, the Whyos fell into disarray. In the late 1890's, Monk Eastman defeated what was left of the Whyos, and with Paul Kelly, leader of the Five Points Gang, they fought for control of all the rackets in Lower Manhattan for years to come.

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Source by Joseph Bruno