It Pays to Combine Search Engine and Social Media Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM) are two of the most commonly used and cost-effective forms of Internet marketing. A system that brings you greater return on investment should never be ignored and so the companies that aim to reach the sky and make it big in the industry must combine search engine marketing and social media marketing strategies.

The mixture of these two forms of online marketing is a perfect recipe for online business success. Now a days, search engines and social media networks are two of the most widely used platforms from where you can garner as much information as you want. While search engines lead you to the most well-optimised and useful websites for your respective searches, social media networks allow you to connect with the people and businesses that you find interesting. Thus, if you want your business to become visible and reachable to your existing and potential customers, establishing a strong online presence is mandatory; and this can be achieved by merging SEM and SMM strategies together.

The cost of getting listed on the search engine result pages (SERPs) and signing up on social media networks is nominal in front of the traditional marketing costs. Moreover, the end result of online marketing is far more immediate and encouraging than the other forms. Thus, there are no two ways about the many benefits of search engine and social media marketing.

While larger organisations have been exploiting these platforms to their full potential, SMEs and freelancers are also taking this advantage of this highly beneficial opportunity. Search engine marketing strategies include search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. In SEO, on-page and off-page optimisation is conducted for organic searches. PPC is paid advertising with a difference as in this form of advertising you pay when your ad is clicked and the user is directed towards your website. The primary purpose of SEM is to increase the traffic towards your website and to spread awareness about your brand so that more visitors convert into customers. SMM focuses more on building relationships and spreading awareness about your brand. By targeting and networking with the right kind of people on social media websites, companies can enhance their customer relationship management and engage users with their brands.

Some of the benefits enjoyed by business enterprises and professionals from properly integrated search engine marketing and social media marketing strategies are discussed below:

Prevents the scenario of €out of sight, out of mind’- The more people see of you online, the better it is for you, your company and your brand. Intense marketing efforts through traditional methods can have significant benefits for your business, but search engine and social media marketing can take your business’ marketing efforts to new heights. Search engine marketing and social media marketing leverage your corporate reputation and make it easy for people to know about you and contact you.

Saves significant amount of money and time- Online marketing is a relatively cheaper way of marketing your brand in front of a massive audience. A planned approach towards SEM and SMM can save you a lot of time and money that can be invested in other crucial areas that facilitate the company’s productivity and quality.

Best platform for word-of-mouth advertising- While SEM alone aims at popularising your website on the Internet, merging of SMM strategies can facilitate word-of-mouth advertising of your brand. If your brand is popular on the social media, more people will talk about you and reach your website to know more about you and your services.

Establishes business’ credibility and professionalism- These days it is a status symbol as well as a necessity for businesses to mark their strong presence on the Web. This is so because Internet is the number one source of information about businesses across the globe and having a search engine-friendly website and well-established social media profiles can add credibility and professional appeal to your business.

Doing Business During a Recession

It has be a few years since we went through a recession. According to some economist it has been since 2001 that we have enjoyed a recession. It might be a good time for a refresher course in how to do business during a recession.

There are a few key points to consider during tough economic times. Some have to do with common sense, which is always in short supply during a crisis. Others have to do with things that slip our minds and things we simply forget about until they come up again.

Customers, Shoppers and Buyers become more Cautious

The squeeze of every economic slowdown and recession is first felt by the consumer. They will know of a problem long before any government economist will admit that there is a problem.

Energy prices rise, food prices rise and pay days don’t. In the case where there is a commission based job in the household the paycheck may even take a dip during slow economic times. Combined with the rise in energy and food prices this puts a terrible squeeze on the household budget.

Therefore, your customer is going to spend less simply because they have less to spend. Be aware of this in your marketing and you can still garner your share of their spendable income.

Know your Strengths and Capitalize on them

If you are a casual dining restaurant that has a menu with items priced under $10 now is not the time to introduce your new, higher priced menu. Save that for when your customers have more spendable income and can afford to pay more to eat out.

Your mission during tough times is to survive like anyone else. Take a look at your menu. Find the high profit items on your menu and feature them in your advertising. Also know what your most popular items are and help people to know that you have them. Do you have a sign board outside of your restaurant? If so, use these items as your daily specials and price them right for your customers.

Be Smart with your Purchases

A very wise businessman taught me that there are 2 ways to make money when you sell something. Obviously, you make money on the difference between your cost and the selling price. However, what most people don’t realize is that you made money when you bought the item if you paid less for it.

Now is the time to comparison shop. Now is the time that you might pick up a new vendor or 2 through comparing what you are doing now and the other options that are available to you.

You have to understand that tough economic times reach way up the food chain. Your vendors are also having to scramble to do business. They too will be looking at how to continue selling during a recession. Being competitively priced is going to be one way that they survive. It is not wrong to competitively shop and force your vendors to cut prices in order to keep your business.

You should also take a look at what you can do yourself that you once hired out. For instance, there are probably maintenance items that you might have hired out that you could do yourself if you put your mind to it. Washing windows, plunging a toilet or maintaining equipment are all examples of things you might once have hired out that you now must do for yourself. Don’t hire an electrician to change a light bulb and don’t call a technician to replace a printer on your poit of sale system.

Be sure to use the Internet and search engines to help locate better pricing and help maintaining equipment. There are thousands of resources on the Internet that can help with better prices on inventory items, do-it-yourself help sites and even sites to buy equipment at drastically reduced prices.

Be smart in all aspects of your business and you will survive this recession.

5 Tips for Surviving Your First Day on the Job

5 Tips for Surviving Your First Day on the Job

After you have updated your resume, gone through the long interview process, and the finally landed the job, the next important step in making a lasting positive impression on your new company is nailing your first day on the job. There are five tips that everyone should know when preparing and experiencing your first day at your new company.

1. Making it to work on time.
Before you start your first day on the job you have to know how long it is going to take to get to your new workplace to start your first day. Before starting, every new employee should take a practice drive to their new work place in order to gauge how long it will take them to get there. You should conduct this drive around the same time you plan on leaving for your first day on the job in order to see what the traffic flow is like. Make sure you arrive at your new workplace at least fifteen minutes early and do not be the first person to leave at the end of the workday.

2.Treat your first day like the interview.
This is the first day you will meet the other team members and so once again you must make sure you make a good first impression. These people you meet in your new company will more than likely be the people you will work on projects with. Stay confident throughout the day and display the skills that landed you the job during the interview process.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
When you go to start your first day at your new job, be assertive. Your new peers know that you are new to the team and will be sure to help you. If you have questions you have to ask someone for help. Do not go through the whole workday sitting at your desk with nothing to do. Be assertive and ask someone in charge or one of your peers what they need you to do. By displaying your assertiveness, you are showing other members of your company that you are eager to begin working there and are comfortable taking initiative.

4. Pay attention to your surroundings.
This may sound like a simple task but it is one of the most important things any new person on the job must do. It is very important to get to know your work place. Watch and pay attention to the people all around you. Pay attention to when people get in to work and what time they are leaving so you can get a gauge of when you should arrive and when you should leave. Try to break down the dynamics within the workplace and how your new co-workers interact with each other and your boss. The faster you get to new your environment, the faster you’ll be able to thrive in that environment.

5. Meet your co-workers.
It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to the people you’ll more than likely be working with in the future. You don’t have to become best friends with your co-workers but it’s much easier to work on team projects with people your comfortable around. A good tip is to write down the names and titles of the people you meet. This will help your understanding of how the workplace is structured and will help you to integrate yourself into the workplace structure. Knowing the titles of everyone you will be working with will let you know who to go to when you have questions or concerns.

Finding The Greatest Paying Affiliate Applications

Even when they eventually locate these companies, they fail to market their products in the right way thus failing even before commencing the marketing of such businesses. You can market your associate business effectively through:

websites tailored to such products

blogs filled with content relevant to the programs being marketed

writing relevant and keyword rich articles and distributing them to articles directories

contributing to forums

preparing a marketing plan and following it

Believing in yourself and your ability to succeed.

The list above is not exhaustive. You may choose to use paid options to market your highest paying affiliate programs. These options include ppc, banner ads, etc. The choice is yours.

There are only a few companies offering lucrative affiliate programs that can sustain affiliates with their commissions. Many of such programs simply provide their affiliates with the least level of help required to start them off. On the flip side, there are some of these companies offering tremendous amount of help to their affiliates.

Look for such companies and when you find them, your monthly commission income will sustain you for a long time to come. Make use of the search engines to discover these companies with world-class products and affiliate programs you can promote for your online success and sustainability.

People who are on the hunt for earning sizable amounts of money via the internet over a short time span can look into top paying affiliate marketing programs. Yes, earning big in any business venture is no mean feat and there will be tons of hurdles that will come your way. To earn big in affiliate marketing, you will need to encompass outstanding affiliate programs along with top quality traffic in order to reap in success. With loads of affiliate programs shoving for the same break, your affiliate programs need to be competent in order to stand any chance of withstanding opposition.

There are certain top paying programs that are lucrative to the root cause of profit generation and image building. To profit in large amounts, traffic generation is key and by promoting or selling free software you can do precisely that. The software market is quiet rewarding in many ways as anyone who uses a computer has to use software in one way or another. This aspect more or less guarantees software sales. With software sales, the commission is significantly superior besides you can gain a sizable reputation among techies.

Web hosting can be easily considered among the top paying affiliate programs as it can pull immense traffic. Although garnering initial success as a web hosting establishment is demanding to say the least, but when traffic does come your way, the profit can be very lucrative.

The next on the list are travel websites. With tourism being promoted by most countries, travel websites is yet another lucrative option and can be counted within the domain of top paying affiliate programs. Commission over here is in small amounts, but one can enhance their profit margins by simply selling services in volumes. Services work here on a referral basis. As and when services are sold by referral, the website or individual who refers, stands to gain a certain commission.

Other than these few programs, there are tons of other programs that can equally earn you massive profits. With the online market evolving endlessly, choosing the right affiliate programs is crucial.

How Do You Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer and How Much Should You Pay For One?

If you find yourself in trouble with the law, the first thing the police will usually do is read you your “rights” which means your Miranda Rights which start out with “You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; you have the right to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you free of charge.”

That is a very important admonition because it sets the stage for everything that is to follow in the criminal justice proceedings. The very first thing to do is remain silent and ask to speak to a lawyer. But then the question arises “Who do I call?” and “How much will it cost me?” That’s the purpose of this article – to answer those questions and give you some practical advice.

First, as for requesting a lawyer, it’s important to remember that just by saying those words you set into motion the requirement that the police should stop their questioning as soon as you demand a lawyer. Please note that you must remain silent for that to work, so remain silent until you speak to your attorney and afterward too.

Second, who do you call? Well, it is be a good idea to do a little research beforehand so you’re prepared in the off chance you may need a criminal defense attorney in the future. I suggest you take a look at the legal sites, such as, Lawline,, etc. or look up lawyers on any good search engine. The important things to look for are the length of time practicing, whether they primarily practice criminal defense law, any distinctions like awards, etc. and any publications or higher offices they’ve held. (I happen to like because it actually gives you a rating for each lawyer between 1-10 and prior clients’ comments and other attorneys’ endorsements which are a helpful way to make a preliminary decision.) Of course, if you’ve already been charged and are sitting in a police station, call home and ask for help in getting a lawyer and do the best you can in the moment. You can always change attorneys later if the first one doesn’t work out. The following advice is for those who have the time and energy to really look for the best lawyer available for themselves at the best price.

Since each person is going to be unique, you must look at all of their characteristics before settling on a group of no less than three or more than six attorneys to interview. Of course, make sure that the attorneys you choose to interview all practice in the jurisdiction where your case is pending or likely to be pending. This is important because it always helps to have an attorney who knows the local Judges and prosecutors. Its also important that the attorney’s reputation is known by the prosecutor and Judge because they are the very people that will decide much of your case and it can make a big difference.

When interviewing each attorney, do your best to meet them in person so you can see if you have rapport with them and whether you feel respected by them as you speak with them. This is important because you may one day have to put your future in their hands if they are chosen to represent you. Look into their eyes and make sure they look you back in your eyes rather than looking away. If they won’t look you in the eye, they may not look the prosecutor or Judge in the eye either and that would not go over well once your case is underway.

You should also ask each one you interview how much they charge for various types of cases, from the lowliest traffic ticket to murder. Get some idea of how they charge, whether on an hourly or flat fee or a combination of the two. If the attorney is uneasy with setting out his or her fees, you should note that since it may become a problem down the road if they cannot communicate with you about fees up front.

Many attorneys in the criminal defense area offer flat fees for the entire case in order for the client to feel comfortable with their financial exposure. While this may feel pretty good up front for you because you get to know exactly what it will cost you, remember there are more ways to “skin a cat” than one. Often if an attorney sets a flat fee, he or she may want to spend as little time as possible to complete your case. It stands to reason because if they are only going to earn just so much on your case, they want to finalize it as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if you want to fight the case as hard as possible, that attorney could be thinking to him or herself that “this person wants to fight this case with MY blood” and may be resistant to pursuing your case beyond trying to get you to accept the very earliest plea reduction offered to you by the prosecutor. This doesn’t always work as well in reality as it seemed at the outset.

On the other extreme, if an attorney is charging an hourly fee, there is always the chance that he/she will want to spend an inordinate amount of time on your case in order to build up their bill as much as possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a better defense, but it does mean you have the potential of an unlimited bill for the defense of your case. That may mean you get a better defense, but not necessarily. So what’s the answer.

Perhaps the best approach is a combination of the two ways of charging for criminal matters. To do that, the attorney may charge a flat fee for a set number of court appearances (3-5 times) and then set another amount for more than the initial amount of appearances. By doing this, the attorney will use his/her expertise to give you a fair fee schedule for the number of court appearances it usually takes to conclude a case of that nature and then, in the event the case requires more court appearances, then the client will pay a set amount of each additional appearance. That way, if the client is being unreasonable in their demands, they must pay for the additional court appearances it will take to pursue their defense. In other words, both parties compromise a little and that usually is the best arrangement for both.

As far as exactly how much you should pay for a defense attorney, that varies a lot from place to place and from attorney to attorney. In the metropolitan areas where competition is keen, fees can vary widely, however, in the field of criminal law you usually must pay a premium for an experienced attorney who has a well known reputation and who brings more knowledge and personal experiences along the way than a less experienced attorney might. Of course, if you want a less expensive attorney, you may have to settle for one with less experience who is looking to gain more experience. This will also depend upon the type of case you have pending against you.

If it’s a simple Driving While Intoxicated case and you really don’t want to argue about whether you did it, but want to get it over with as little discomfort as possible, then you might want to go to a less experienced lawyer and get reasonably good representation at a more reasonable fee. However, if you want to fight the case to the very end, then you will have to “pay up” for a much more experienced attorney who will take every part of the case apart and attack it with a vengeance.

Of course, that will cost you dearly, but it may make all the difference in the end, which often makes it well worth it. This is especially so if suffering a conviction could have a negative impact upon your employment or any licenses you may hold. This usually applies to those who have been charged with Felonies, however, it can also hold true with Misdemeanors.

One more factor can be the area in which you live which may have fewer attorneys. That can often lead to higher fees because there is less competition and often none of the attorneys want to break the lower limits of fee schedules to garner more business, so they all keep their fees high and clients have no choice but to retain one of them at the higher fees.

Last, but not least, if you find yourself charged with a very serious matter and you absolutely must be acquitted by a judge or jury after a trial, then all bets are off. In such a situation, you must pay up for the best trial lawyer you can find in your immediate vicinity who has vast trial experience. If none of the attorneys in your area meet that standard, then you may have to reach out to those who do meet that criteria in other areas of your state or elsewhere. There is no way to adequately advise you about how much to pay for such representation, but when it comes down to it, if you are innocent and must be found not guilty, then the sky could be the limit and all that’s left is to figure out how you’re going to pay for it because there’s no choice.

Most important of all considerations is whether you trust the lawyer you finally choose. Remember, you are about to enter into a “War” with the authorities. Both the police force as well as the Prosecutor’s office generally have unlimited resources and usually have the intent to convict you once they have their eyes set on you. It’s up to your attorney to thwart them at every turn and attack everything they do through legal means. It often feels like the odds are overwhelmingly against you, but luck tends to favor those who are prepared and that is the hallmark of a great criminal defense attorney.

Of course, they must also be expert at cross-examination and that’s rather difficult to determine on your own. Perhaps the best way to determine who is the best cross-examiner in the local courthouse where your case is or may be pending is to visit it on a quiet day and watch a few trials to see who is most impressive to you. If there aren’t any trials or you’re not quite settled yet, then quietly ask as many Court Officers as you can find who they think is the best defense lawyer at cross-examination. You might also ask Court Clerks or Court stenographers if you can strike up a conversation with them. Remember, they are the people who actually get to see the majority of the lawyers do their work and they usually form their own opinions about them. Of course, don’t rely solely upon them, but ask enough people to get a feel for who they think is the best and then add that name to your list of lawyers you intend upon interviewing.

There are probably many more ways to choose a lawyer and get an idea about how much to pay them for their services, but these are perhaps the most salient and practical and I trust they assist you in this important decision.

How to Outsmart Competition in Online Marketing Services

Making it easy for prospective customers to locate your website, inviting them to visit it, and persuading them to buy your products/services are a few objectives that can be fulfilled by leveraging search engine marketing. Crafting and executing an online marketing plan demands time and money; and it is therefore imperative to monitor the campaign efficiently to garner maximum benefit. Pertinent to add that every website is unique and mandates a tailored made online strategy.

Search engine marketing is varied but the endeavor needs to start somewhere, depending on what needs to be accomplished via online marketing. Search engine optimization (SEO), though a long term process has its own superseding advantages. Pay per click (PPC) on the other hand provides instant search engine visibility and prompt gratification in terms of visitors. Keyword research is crucial and forms the backbone of SEO as well as PPC. A well carried out keyword research would not only guarantee more visitors but also ensure quality visitors.

Many people tend to use SEM and SEO interchangeably. People define it in their own ways, sometimes mixing both and sometimes seeing one as a part of another. However, SEM includes SEO as a subset. The other notable subsets of SEM are paid inclusion, link building, keyword research, affiliate marketing, and banner ads. Combine them together (a blend with the right balance) and you would have an inherent powerful technique to overcome cut throat competition. SEO and PPC are the most preferred tools of SEM because they are better equipped to boast online sales and help achieve higher ROI.

The two main networks of PPC ads are run by Google and Overture. PPC is one of the rated SEM services and enjoys some edge over organic promotion. PPC will give your website search engine visibility at the click of a mouse which otherwise would have taken a couple of months to achieve, that too without any guarantees. It will however cost you, sometimes dearly, whenever someone decides to click at your listing to land on your website or custom made landing page. It is therefore imperative to manage and execute the campaign with laser precision to garner maximum ROI.

SEO, on the contrary, is characterized by a gestation period equivalent to a couple of months. However, SEO is known to deliver robust and long lasting results and is not a constant drain on your financial resources. It is also important to note that achieving top rankings is not the end of SEO as it requires constant work to maintain those rankings, maybe better them.

While all the SEM services are important in promoting a website, it’s important to define your goals before blindly following one, or ignoring the other. A right mix of SEM services is any day better than a mix of all SEM Services.

Lawless Government – The Great Non-Sequitur of the Last Days

The idea of lawless government seems like a non sequitur but through the eyes of Biblical prophecy it is not. Indeed it is a promise of scripture and a description of a time when government will be at a peak but the laws governing personal moral behavior will have reached all new lows beyond anything in past history.

It is interesting that the call to this non sequitur will be much like the slogan of the Obama campaign catch phrase used in the 2008 election. Put simply it is the call for change: the definition, final outcome or stated purpose of the change does not have to be clarified. It is akin to the exasperated cry of the weary worker who says to his wife “We just need to get out of here for a while and maybe take a little vacation.” The feeling that a change is desired comes long before it is actualized or planned. The call for change is seeking only agreement not necessarily a definition or any specifics.

The promised rise of the world’s last and worst dictator says that he too will be a man that calls for change. He will think to change the very way we perceive time and history. Not possible you say? Consider Adolph Hitler’s call for a thousand year rule of the Third Reich. He pulled that one out of the little hat that housed his very large megalomaniacal head and actually got thousands of Germans on board with his idea of Nazi supremacy.

The Antichrist will do pretty much the same thing but rather than waiting for a new millennial period to begin he will simply propose that we rearrange the history preceding him and all the events that follow. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Dan 7:25)

It could be said that one of the chief reasons Hitler failed and Antichrist does not is because Hitler came before his time. The Antichrist however comes at exactly the right time. The world will have been well prepped in his time. Religion will be apostate having replaced the call to salvation with ceremonial and traditional beliefs that leave out accountability to the creator God and his singular Savior who rather than being a great teacher or leader is the very incarnation of the living God, in the form of a man, namely, Jesus Christ.

The world banded together to defeat Hitler but due to moral conditions in the last day the world will join with the Antichrist to bring in their own all new version of the thousand year reign. It will not look as militant and aggressive as the schemes of Hitler but will be a seemingly homogeneous meld of political correctness, global cooperation, environmentalism and happy days of worldwide brotherhood. John Lennon would be delighted.

The antichrist’s rise will be predicated on the need to solve worldwide problems such as war and economic instability. He will be a man who knows full well the meaning of yet another slogan that came into vogue during the 2008 election year, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The world is mesmerized by pop figures that seem larger than life in our culture and problem solvers who are larger than life in our leadership and government. Antichrist happens to fit the profile for both. He will, for a time at least, find a way to cut back warfare in various parts of the world and stabilize a teetering worldwide economy. It might be said that; to the world he looks just too good to pass up.

Lawless government is hard to understand apart from a clear understanding that law has different levels and administrations. The best example to explain these levels is in the ancient Law of Moses. Comprised of three basic divisions the Mosaic Law is the perfect example of how nations can split the hairs just as ancient Israel has done, by picking the part of the law they found easiest to enforce, they brought their nationhood to an end.

Mosaic Law is comprised of the ceremonial law, the hygienic law and the moral law. Ceremonial law spoke to the methods and practice of religious ceremonies and concerned itself with proper procedures in the practice of the ancient temple system of worship. Hygienic law had to do with washing of hands, temple vessels and what meats were clean or unclean.

The third and most important aspect of the Mosaic Law was the moral law but this is where Israel failed the most. At the top of the moral law were the Ten Commandments.

The moral law was fully incorporated by Christ into a singular and final law sometimes referred to as “The Royal Law of the Scriptures.” That law is defined by a single verse of New Testament scripture, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)

The Royal law held God as the main focus of our love and our neighbors as well. No one goes after his neighbor’s wife if he loves his neighbor. No one steals from someone they love. No one murders anyone, if they love them.

In the hands of secularists, the deviant and the generally disobedient this law has been twisted to mean that if you love people you will not charge anyone with immoral behavior because that would be overtly un-loving and thus not in keeping with the Royal Law of Scriptures.

It is the Royal Law that comes under serious attack as the last days approach. Speaking of conditions that will prevail near the end of the age Christ said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mt 24:12)

To proclaim that God’s pronouncements against homosexuality are binding moral laws will be detested, challenged and rejected as un-loving. Following those objections many will conclude that such proclamations are contrary to civil rights, first amendment freedoms, or injurious and defamatory to the homosexual.

To reiterate, preach, or attest to God’s proclamations will be seen as un-loving and defamatory yet all the while the real reasons for proclaiming his laws are exactly the opposite. To the Christian, not telling someone of a behavioral choice that will cost someone their eternal destiny is extremely irresponsible and anything but loving. Proclaiming the moral laws that are intrinsic to the Royal Law is an ultimate act of love.

The ultimate master of lawlessness and anarchy in the last days is called the “man of lawlessness.” (2 Thess 2: 3 NAS) The height of perversion will have been reached and surpassed because he will actually be ruling the world from one end of the globe to the other. (Rev 13: 7) Here is where the incongruity reaches critical mass. How can a lawless individual propose, legislate or enforce any laws if he is “lawless?”

The kinds of laws that are loosened, changed or disregarded are all those that have to do with our personal behavior and matters of choice. We are now accustomed to abortion on a world wide scale (150 million to date) and nationally (50 million) and now it is no longer considered a hot button topic but is often covered with a simple; “It’s the law of the land.” I’m not sure where the word originated but someone of late has referred to abortion clinics as “abortuaries,” a term that should invoke national shame.

Stretching the credulity of the humblest minds today’s stop academics and scientists send probes across our solar system looking for the source or beginnings of life but don’t seem to know when life begins in a mother’s womb. Most children know that life begins at the beginning (conception) without studying Hegel’s Science of Logic. Today’s top minds say the God who can’t lie (2 Tim 1: 2) must have been mistaken when he referred to himself as the creator of everything well over forty times in the scripture. The convulsions of the modern mind do not end here but the final chapter is yet to come.

Every choice regarding gender, trans-gender, sexual preferences or the promotion and promulgation of sexually deviant materials will have almost no limits. Prurient interests will fly on every level from Hollywood to the classroom. The sense of the big party will create euphoria for a while, until people are forced to pause long enough to see that while they were reveling, the biggest political farce in world history is forming like a giant tsunami and is about to break out just behind them.

The pursuit of riches will take up the slack for the rest and out of that mindless hot pursuit will come a come a worldwide economic system that will enter and meddle with the details of virtually everyone’s personal finances. It will be a mandatory system without which no one will be able to buy or sell so much as a postage stamp unless they are included in it. George Orwell’s 1984 will come into its own and then we will see the only thing he may have had wrong in his un-nerving prognostication was the date.

Those with a gut sense that things are about to burst open have begun to take measures to avert the worst, howbeit, they have sought the wrong path. Today there is a flurry of gold sellers selling the public the idea that buying gold will assure their future financial security. I cannot help but make them angry by saying that gold will be worthless when these events are in full swing.

We hear the repeated claim that gold has never gone down in value. This is a complete lie because those who stocked up on gold when it hovered around $400.00 per ounce in the eighties saw it plunge rather than rise to the expected $800.00 per ounce that was predicted. But let’s go further back than the eighties. From 1933 to 1975 Americans were not permitted to own or hoard gold, gold coins, gold bullion or gold certificates under the executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 5, 1933. The Antichrist’s complete control of our personal finances will also be subject to executive orders of the same kind.

If all of this sounds dastardly we must remember that no one ever said that prophecy was meant to titillate. Of the 167 Messianic prophecies that are found in the Old Testament all were fulfilled completely during the life of Christ but none of the less attractive aspects of them was left out. The brutal slaying of Christ on a cross was the worst death the ancient Romans could conger and every detail of that death was both prophesied and fulfilled in the last twenty four hours of Christ’s life.

There are about one hundred times more pre-millennial (Second coming of Christ) prophecies than Messianic prophecies and every one of them will be largely fulfilled in the last seven years of human history as we now know it. So why doesn’t everyone just tune in to these dire warnings and turn it all around?

Nothing new here; the first reason that we don’t pay heed to the warnings is because we will not take them into account. Science, academics, the media, apostate churches and the general attitudes of most people is one of skepticism and doubt. The second prevailing reason they are not heeded is that age old matter of unbelief. The “seeing is believing” crowd will get what they want but, it will be a moment too late.

I usually appendage my work with an appropriate scripture passage to complete or embellish the points and drive home a sense of urgency to my readers. This time I will use a message garnered from the annals of American southern gospel music. In 1917 the song “Life’s Railway to Heaven was copyrighted and later was printed and popularized in Chicago in 1933. The words came from the pen of M.E. Abbey and the music was written by Charlie D. Tillman.

Abbey says that all of life is like a mountain railroad a metaphor few people find hard to understand.

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels; never falter, never quail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

The question that is posed by Abbey’s prose is, just how could anyone keep a powerful fast moving train from de-railing in times that are roaring louder than the old train whistle itself? As with so many of life’s best solutions for problems the answer is simple yet profound. In the next verse Tillman explains.

You will often find obstructions; look for storms of wind and rain;
On a fill, or curve, or trestle, they will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Your weight is found on what or whom you trust. If you trust government, your riches, gold, the Antichrist, the new liberalism or apostate churches the result will always be; a ditched train.

Remember When – Dick Allen’s $250K Highest in MLB, $15K Minimum Pay

Baseball Library records The 25th and 27th of February, 35 years ago, marked two groundbreaking events which have served to shape fiscal and economic reality in contemporary baseball. The former date being the root for the evolution of MLB salary arbitration and free agency.

Baseball Library records on February 25, 1973;

A new 3-year Basic Agreement is reached between players and owners… Among the provisions of the agreement are a $15’000 minimum salary’ salary arbitration’ and the “10 and 53 trade rule’ which permits a player with 10 years in the ML’ the last 5 of which are with his current team’ to veto any trade involving him.

The latter date in 1973 made Dick Allen baseball’s highest paid player having received a 3 year, $250,000 per year deal from the Chicago White Sox.

Allen burst onto the Phillies scene at the beginning of the 1964 season, a season memorable for Jim Bunnings’ Fathers Day perfect game against the Mets, rightfielder Johnny Callison’s All Star game 3 run walk-off homer and the club’s late-season collapse blowing a 6 game NL first place lead in the final 12 games of the season.

Allen’s rookie season reflected the same sort of promise of a great career as Ryan Howard’s rookie season did in 2005. But Howard hit his 22 homers with a .286 BA in 88 games where Allen’s 29 homers, 104 RBIs, 201 hits and .318 BA were full season stats. Although he committed 41 errors at 3rd base, having never played there previous to arriving in the big leagues, Allen wooed the baseball writers with his stats and was voted 1964’s NL Rookie of the Year.

While Howard also won rookie of the year honors in 2005 season, he also went on to garner a wall full of awards for his 58 homer, 149 RBI, .313 BA 2006 season which, by comparison, blew away Allen’s second season. Further, it took Allen 4 1/2 seasons to duplicate Howard’s 129 homers accomplished in less than 3 full seasons.

Although Allen would put together impressive numbers in 1965 before really blossoming for the Phils with a 40 homer, 110 RBI, .317 BA season in 1966, his off-field turmoil eventually spilled over onto the field.

A glimpse at the future disruptiveness which would dog Allen throughout his career was seen a year later in 1965 in his run-ins with veteran journeyman utility player Frank Thomas who was near the end of a 16 year career. Thomas, who packed some thump in his bat throughout his career, provided some clutch pinch homers for the Phils after his acquisition late in the 1964 season. But perhaps the turbulence that marked Allen’s career was rooted in his minor league experiences with the Phillies affiliate club in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Wikipedia records this regarding Allen’s minor league experiences;

His career got off to a turbulent start as he faced racial harassment while playing for the Phillies’ minor league affiliate in Little Rock; residents staged protest parades against Allen, the local team’s first black player. Nevertheless, he led the league in total bases.

My recollection is that the run-ins occurred when Allen took issue with alleged “racist” comments made by Thomas.

Wikipedia goes on to record some of Allen’s scrapes through his years with the Phillies;

He quickly wore out his welcome due to erratic behavior. He got in a fistfight with the popular Phillie Frank Thomas in July 1965, gashed his throwing hand by pushing it through a car headlight on August 24, 1967, and earned a 26-game suspension in June 1969 after being stopped by police for erratic driving, and showing up late to a doubleheader; he also began drinking heavily.

Even Allen’s name was a source of controversy: he had been known since his youth as “Dick” to family and friends, but for reasons which are somewhat obscure at this late date, the media referred to him upon his arrival in Philadelphia as “Richie,” possibly a conflation with the longtime Phillies star Richie Ashburn. After several years, he asked to be called “Dick,” saying Richie was a little boy’s name.

The Phillies’ Boo Bird fans, known for being tough on hometown players even in the best of times, exacerbated Allen’s problems. Initially the abuse was verbal, with obscenities and racial epithets. Eventually Allen was greeted with showers of fruit, ice, refuse, and even flashlight batteries as he took the field. He began wearing his batting helmet even while playing his defensive position in the field, which gave rise to another nickname, “Crash Helmet”, shortened to “Crash”.

One of Dick Allen’s most infuriating moments to fans was on June 24, 1969. Allen was fined $2,500 and suspended indefinitely when he failed to appear for the Phillies twi-night doubleheader game with the Mets. Allen had gone to New Jersey in the morning to see a horse race and got caught in traffic trying to return.

When the Phillies had finally had enough of Allen’s antics, they traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1970 season. But even that deal was wrapped in controversy, although not of Allen’s doing.

The Phillies had traded him to St. Louis in exchange for outfielder Curt Flood who wanted no part of playing in Philadelphia.

Wikipedia notes;

Flood refused to report to the Phillies as part of the trade. (Flood then sued baseball in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the reserve clause and to be declared a free agent.)

Flood, it turned out, sat out the 1970 season before signing with the Washington Senators where he played 13 games before retiring. The Phillies, who sought Flood, were given young outfielder Willie Montanez instead.

Meanwhile Allen had a productive 1970 season of 34 HRs, 101 RBIs and .279 with the Cardinals. But in 1971, he was traded to the Dodgers and then to the White Sox where he played from 1972 through 1974.

In 1972, after Allen clubbed a White Sox club record and league-leading 34 HRs with a .316 BA, he reached the pinnacle of his career, winning the AL MVP award. In 1973 after receiving the 3 year deal from the White Sox, Allen broke his leg in a base-running collision at the end of June and missed the rest of the season. In 1974, he came back with 32 HRs and a .301 BA but quit the team, without giving a reason, in mid-September.

Former Phillies great centerfielder, Richie Ashburn, now doing play-by-play announcing for the team, coaxed Allen out of retirement to rejoin the Phils. But Allen had 2 disappointing seasons with the club.

Allen’s career came to an end in Philadelphia at the conclusion of the 1976 regular season in which the Phillies won the NL East championship. He jumped the club over their decision not to include veteran 2nd baseman Tony Taylor on their post-season roster for the upcoming NLCS with the Cincinnati Reds. Taylor had been a 2nd base fixture and a rock of consistency in the Phillies infield throughout all of the lean last-place finishes of the 1960s.

Allen may have had a point regarding loyalty to a player, but the Phils had to do what was best for the club and Taylor was an aging player visibly at the end of his career. And after the litany of all of his previous tumult, this was just the topping on a very tasteless cake.

Leading Payroll Company Counting on LifeLock Identity Theft Protection

Nothing puts a damper on a pay-day celebration like finding out that the dollars on your pay stub have been stolen along with your identity. Although tiny in size, your pay stub is can be pretty valuable in the hands of a criminal. Personal information printed on your check, such as your full name, address and Social Security Number, are key pieces that a thief needs to steal your identity.

Customers and employees of Phoenix-based AmCheck, a leading payroll processing company, can now take advantage of an identity theft protection offering as a result of a partnership announced today between the company and LifeLock®. With more than 1,500 clients that service more than 200,000 employees, AmCheck has added LifeLock’s services to its list of human resource benefits, giving clients and employees the opportunity to take advantage of LifeLock’s proactive identity theft protection package at a discounted rate.

“Identity theft criminals will take advantage of any avenue they can find to take over a person’s identity,” says LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. “A few weeks ago I was in the park with my family and found a piece of paper on the ground. It was someone’s pay stub that included all the information I would have needed to cause great harm to that individual. Though it may have been in trash or just lost to the wind, this important information was lost for anyone to use. It’s because this simple mistake could have cost someone dearly, that we stress the importance of placing layers of protection. This should be a tremendous partnership to spread that vital message.”

As the industry leader in identity theft protection, LifeLock requests on behalf of its clients that the national credit bureaus place fraud alerts on its members’ credit files, and requests that members’ names be removed from pre-approved credit card offer and junk mail lists. Members are also entitled to LifeLock’s WalletLock, eRecon and TrueAddress services. WalletLock works to cancel and replace all documents and personal identifying information inside a wallet if it is lost or stolen. eRecon is a regular patrol of the Internet in search of social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers and email addresses of LifeLock members to protect against the information being illegally traded or sold online. LifeLock’s TrueAddress service searches to see if members have had a change of address form filed and alert them to ensure they are aware of the change. The company’s services are backed by a $1 million total service guarantee.

“Working in the payroll industry, we understand how crucial it is to devote the utmost attention to people’s personal information, and that’s why we are thrilled to partner with LifeLock,” says AmCheck CEO Dean Lucente. “We strive to offer our customers the best service, and by helping our employers and their employees to protect their identities, we are further setting AmCheck apart from its competitors in the payroll industry.”

Identity theft has become the number-one crime in the nation, passing up drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2007, the fast growing crime costs residents of Arizona $31.2 million and also giving the state the number one title in the nation as the worst in identity theft reported cases, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

About LifeLock

Founded in 2005, LifeLock works to close many of the doors identity thieves go through to misuse personal information. Closing in on 1.5 million members, LifeLock has earned multiple awards, including the Red Herring 100 Global Award as one of the Top 100 start-ups in the world. LifeLock was the recipient of two American Business Awards for advertising in 2008, and most recently, garnered an additional award honor for advertising from the International Business Awards. LifeLock representatives are available to assist members 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the company’s secure facility in Tempe, Ariz. LifeLock is a private company backed by Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, as well as Bessemer Venture Partners.

About AmCheck

AmCheck is a national provider of Payroll Services, ASO Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services. Launched in Phoenix in 1996, the company is one of the country’s largest independent Payroll Service Bureaus, serving thousands of clients, and managing every aspect of payroll, taxes, employee benefits, pension plans and worker’s compensation. In 2001, the company expanded its reach nationally by opening offices in other states. Today, AmCheck is a leader in Web-based payroll technology, and is recognized for its skill in harnessing and applying the latest technologies in order to improve clients’ internal and external processes.

Phishing – The “Catch” of the Day

It is the beginning of the “Phishing” season with taxes just months ahead of us. Catching and releasing financial information may garner some very big trophy money in the end. The Phish market stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars. We have seen world events such as Haiti’s Earthquake spawn many malware sites top ranking on Google that were designed to capture donations and personal information. These fake websites are almost identical to the legitimate ones and are becoming increasingly more difficult to detect.

The most common phishing bait can be found embedded in email messages or instant messages. General salutations, such as Dear Valued Customer or Dear Client should be immediately flagged. All banking institutions have your exact name as shown on your account in their database. When misspelled words appear in the email they should be another indicator that the email is a scam. Once a recipient takes the bait by clicking on the link embedded in the email or IM to the fake website the phishing expedition begins.

Phishers’ use several “catch and release” techniques by disguising fake URLs. It has become increasingly difficult to detect the bait because the security certificate on a trusted website can be hidden in a multimedia object on a flash-based website. Other techniques to disguise malicious URLs include URL redirectors on the websites of trusted organizations. Fake URL redirectors can be “miss-spelled” domains or by merging a (.com) and a (.net) website to a convincingly reproduced website. Capturing log in and personal details bring in big prize money.

Some phishing expeditions include hooks, lines and sinkers. “Sinking” and embedding a corrupted (.reg) entry or file into the Windows Registry File will replace the legitimate (.reg) file. “Hooking” the corrupted file with a malicious application will ultimately reroute the “lines” of personal information and consumers’ credentials to the Phishers’ website.

To combat phishing attempts is to pay attention and to simply modify browsing habits. If an account needs to be “verified”, contact the company from which the email originates to see if it is legitimate and rather than trusting the links in the email, type the company’s genuine website into the browser’s address bar. Finally, your computer should always have up to date anti-virus software that includes spam filters.

The damage caused by world-wide phishing can be estimated in the billions per year. This lucrative phishing industry will evolve with more attractive lures and mouthwatering baits disguised as information from your financial institutions, your planned events and unforeseen cataclysms. Remember to be diligent no matter how enticing an email, IM, or website can be. Don’t take the bait.