Fire hits Egyptian national theatre

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A fire on Saturday destroyed the main hall of the Egyptian National Theatre in Cairo. Six people have been injured including three firefighters. No one was in the theatre at the time as it was closed for the weekend.

Egyptian state culture minister Faruq Hosni, said “The fire broke out in the main hall of the theatre. It was probably caused by an electrical short circuit.”

Ataba Square was filled with thick white smoke just after sunset as a total of 22 fire engines responded. Egyptian riot police were also deployed to keep crowds of people back while the firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze.

A civil defence officer described the fire as being almost contained, following a brief burst of high winds which blew the flames towards neighbouring shops and other buildings. The three firefighters were admitted to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Brig. Gen. Nasr Zakaria, a senior officer of the Civil Defence Service, later confirmed Minister Hosni’s earlier statement, telling MENA (Middle East News Agency) that an electrical short had indeed caused the fire, by triggering an explosion in the theatres air conditioning system.

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Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic assistant coach David Gould

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wikinews caught up with Australian wheelchair basketball coach David Gould in Canberra, where the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team — the Gliders — were having a training camp.

Gould told Wikinews he retired from playing after the 2002 World Championships. He said he began coaching able bodied basketball at schools and clubs in South Australia. He was awarded a scholarship by Basketball Australia and the Australian Sports Commission, and became assistant coach of the Under 23 Men’s team in November 2011. He is now national wheelchair skills coach, assistant coach of the men’s and women’s national teams, and coach of the Under 23 Men’s and Under 25 Women’s teams.

He noted the Gliders have another training camp coming up in Brisbane in August. This is to be an open development camp any player can attend. Twelve players are to be selected for the Asia Oceania Zone (AOZ) Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Bangkok in November. The top three teams then qualify for the World Championships, to be held in Canada next year.

He is acutely aware the Gliders have never won a World Championship or a Paralympics. But he has won a gold medal, with the men’s team, the Rollers, in Atlanta in 1996. “We went on a tour of the United States beforehand”, he recalled. Facing the United States in the United States was daunting. There was a huge crowd. So how did they do it? “We had confidence in ourselves, and stuck to our plan,” he recalled.

This, he said, is what he and Glider’s head coach Tom Kyle are trying to teach the Gliders. To believe in the process. They take them out of their comfort zone, show them the right techniques, the right way to do things. The idea is to get the principles right.

Gould told Wikinews they have to look not just to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio in 2016, but further ahead to 2020. They have to recruit new players and develop them. He said he took a Gliders team to the Osaka Cup with only four members of the 2012 team, in order to give members of the development team experience with international competition. He set up a mentor system whereby the six newcomers were each paired with one of the old hands.

Wikinews was shown how the games are videoed and critiqued by the coaches. Special software allows the videos to be edited. Effects such as circling players can be added, along with captions and audio from the coaches. The edited video can then be downloaded by the players. Gould said there is a weekly video conference with the players.

He considered video of other teams is an important training tool. He noted the Gliders had to play Brazil in the first match of the Paralympics in London, which was very tough, because so little was known about them. As it turned out, Brazil has a great program, and he thinks it could be a contender in front of a home crowd in Rio in 2016.

Wikinews noted one of the Gliders, Amber Merritt, had her arm in a sling. Gould said her arm had been scanned, and the doctors will make their evaluation. Like most elite athletes, he knows about injury first hand. He told Wikinews he had injured his shoulder during the 2000 Olympics, and had to have it operated on afterwards. He said he did not want players playing injured, and sometimes it was better just to lose a week if you have the flu. He expected his players to be honest and up front with themselves, their coaches and their team. “We need everyone on the same page”, he told Wikinews.

Gould told Wikinews the Asia Oceania Zone championships will feature Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea, and perhaps Hong Kong. The venue in Bangkok is well known to him, as the U23 Men’s team have already played there. His plan is to arrive early, to allow the players to acclimatise to the high humidity and the food. Some of the U23 men got sick. He does not expect difficulty qualifying, but it is “one of the I’s that have to be dotted and T’s that have to be crossed.”

He said Australians intend to apply full pressure, but one of their objectives is also to help the competition. One of the problems in Australia is that it takes a long time to go anywhere, he told Wikinews. By building up the teams in the Asia Oceania Zone, he hopes Australian teams will not have to travel so much or so far to meet first class competition.

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Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science officially deemed a charity

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science was recently approved as a charitable foundation in the United States. Started by biologist Richard Dawkins in April 2006, the IRS has approved the foundation’s effective date of the tax-exemption as 20 April 2006. As a result, the donors who gave money before the 2007 IRS decision can deduct their donations when they file taxes in 2008.

Dawkins started the foundation to combat pseudoscience and attacks on the Enlightenment through educating the British and American publics via research, humanitarian efforts, and lectures. It intends to finance research into the psychology of belief and religion, finance scientific education programs and materials, and publicize and support secular charitable organizations. In addition, the foundation has helped sponsor the “Out Campaign,” which encourages atheists to come “out of the closet.”

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Wheelchairs And The Sports Lover

Submitted by: Robert Michael

Just because you are in a wheelchair doesn t mean you can t enjoy the competitiveness and just all around fun that playing sports offers you. More and more wheelchair users are playing sports every day some even on a professional level. There are several wheelchair sports associations and gaming opportunities for your wheelchair and you all you have to do is educate yourself regarding playing the game safely andfind out what options you have. The following information is just a few examples of what gaming opportunities you have.

Wheelchair basketball is a very common wheelchair sport. It was started over forty years ago by the Veteran s Association as a rehabilitation program, and over the years has grown in leaps and bounds. Today wheelchair basketball is a professional sport that offers more than 180 teams across the United States. Different versions of wheelchair basketball have spawned off of wheelchair basketball, and are very fun to play. Some even have lower, netted basketball rims that return the ball back to the players without having to chase it down.

In order to play wheelchair basketball, it is essential to have a lightweight wheelchair. Several sports wheelchairs are on the market today just for sports enthusiasts. And if you are an amputee, several prosthetic devices have been created to enjoy the sport even more. The most common upper body prosthetic the Super Sport, which is manufactured by TRS, Inc. comes in different sizes and was specifically designed for playing various sports including ball sports.

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The Special Olympics added Boccia ball to its itinerary years ago, and it is game that can be enjoyed by all wheelchair users. You can play it either indoors or outdoors, and set up is a breeze. You need a target ball and six balls for each player. All you have to do is try and get your ball closest to the target ball thrown at the beginning of the game. Points are awarded based on the proximity of balls to that of the target ball.

Another wheelchair sport, quad rugby, was specifically designed for quadriplegics unable to play wheelchair basketball. It is a mixture of wheelchair basketball and ice hockey. In 1988 quad rugby players officially started the United States Quad Rugby Association, and has over 40 teams on its membership roster.

To play the game you must have two teams of four players each. Each player is classified based on impairment – .5 being the greatest impairment and 3.5 being the least impairment, and teams cannot not exceed an 8.

The players then have four 8-minute quarters in which the offense must carry the ball to their goal (on the other team s side of the court). The defense is constantly trying to prevent the other team from scoring. The team who reaches the other person s goal line most frequently wins.

Power soccer is another fun wheelchair sport that can rev the sport enthusiast s engine. Players in power soccer must have an electric wheelchair.

Two teams have two 30-minute halves to push the soccer ball over the other team s goal line. The team to reach the other person s goal most frequently wins.

So, just because you are in a wheelchair doesn t mean that you cannot enjoy sports activities. And based on the sport you choose to participate in, there are several wheelchair sports accessories available for you, including belts and harnesses, gloves, bags for carrying items, drink holders and specialty back supports.

About the Author: Robert Michael is a writer for

Wheelchairs Net

which is an excellent place to find wheelchairs links, resources and articles. For more information go to:

wheelchairsnet.com

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=87332&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet

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Chula Vista, California becomes model for blight control laws in the US

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The San Diego, California suburb of Chula Vista has responded to the recent housing crisis with an aggressive blight control ordinance that compels lenders to maintain the appearance of vacant homes. As foreclosures increase both locally and throughout the United States, the one year old ordinance has become a model for other cities overwhelmed by the problem of abandoned homes that decay into neighborhood eyesores.

Chula Vista city code enforcement manager Doug Leeper told the San Diego Union Tribune that over 300 jurisdictions have contacted his office during the past year with inquiries about the city’s tough local ordinance. Coral Springs, Florida, and California towns Stockton, Santee, Riverside County, and Murietta have all modeled recently enacted anti-blight measures after Chula Vista’s. On Wednesday, 8 October, the Escondido City Council also voted to tighten local measures making lenders more accountable for maintenance of empty homes.

Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.

Under the Chula Vista ordinance lenders become legally responsible for upkeep as soon as a notice of mortgage default gets filed on a vacant dwelling, before actual ownership of the dwelling returns to the lender. Leeper regards that as “the cutting-edge part of our ordinance”. Chula Vista also requires prompt registration of vacant homes and applies stiff fines as high as US$1000 per day for failure to maintain a property. Since foreclosed properties are subject to frequent resale between mortgage brokers, city officials enforce the fines by sending notices to every name on title documents and placing a lien on the property, which prevents further resale until outstanding fines have been paid. In the year since the ordinance went into effect the city has applied $850,000 in fines and penalties, of which it has collected $200,000 to date. The city has collected an additional $77,000 in registration fees on vacant homes.

Jolie Houston, an attorney in San Jose, believes “Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.” Traditionally, local governments have resorted to addressing blight problems on abandoned properties with public funds, mowing overgrown lawns and performing other vital functions, then seeking repayment afterward. Chula Vista has moved that responsibility to an upfront obligation upon lenders.

That kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States during recent years, Chula Vista saw 22.6% growth between 2000 and 2006, which brought the city’s population from 173,556 in the 2000 census to an estimated 212,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Chula Vista placed among the nation’s 20 fastest growing cities in 2004. A large proportion of local homes were purchased during the recent housing boom using creative financing options that purchasers did not understand were beyond their means. Average home prices in San Diego County declined by 25% in the last year, which is the steepest drop on record. Many homeowners in the region currently owe more than their homes are worth and confront rising balloon payment mortgages that they had expected to afford by refinancing new equity that either vanished or never materialized. In August 2008, Chula Vista’s eastern 91913 zip code had the highest home mortgage default rate in the county with 154 filings and 94 foreclosures, an increase of 154% over one year previously. Regionally, the county saw 1,979 foreclosures in August.

Professionals from the real estate and mortgage industries object to Chula Vista’s response to the crisis for the additional burdens it places on their struggling finances. Said San Diego real estate agent Marc Carpenter, “that kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.” Yet city councils in many communities have been under pressure to do something about increasing numbers of vacant properties. Concentrations of abandoned and neglected homes can attract vandals who hasten the decline of struggling neighborhoods. Jolie Houston explained that city officials “can’t fix the lending problem, but they can try to prevent neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

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CEO Robert Klein of Safeguard, a property management firm, told the Union Tribune that his industry is having difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing local ordinances. “Every day we discover a new ordinance coming out of somewhere”, he complained. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman from the California Association of Mortgage Bankers agreed that uneven local ordinances are likely to increase the costs of lending. Hobbs advised that local legislation is unnecessary due to California State Senate Bill 1137, which was recently approved to address blight. Yet according to Houston, the statewide measure falls short because it fails to address upkeep needs during the months between the time when foreclosure begins and when the lender takes title.

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Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law/Interview archive

What is the current situation in the NWFP?

The Pashtun people are or were renowned for their hospitality. Many westerners commented on it. Some with suspicion NOT willing to believe some people so poor could be so generous. It was almost a character flaw. One could travel with out fear of personal danger as long as you followed local protocols. (I would urge you to read Kiplings “East is East & West is West.” one more time, know this time that it is written about the Pashtun people.)

That was the sort of mind set among the people. An ageless paradigm of self satisfaction: This is enshrined in the code of the Pashtuns way of life (see James Spain “The Way of the Pathans”) – called Pashtunwali- in Pashto hospitality is referred to as “maelmastiya”.

The Islamic radicalism is in reality nothing but the Taliban movement. As I said earlier not all Pashtuns are Taliban (obviously) but most Taliban are Pashtun. Of these most belong to the FATA. Of these, most were affected by their cousins from Afghanistan coming over. Mingled with them were Arab-Afghans. Uzbeks and some Tajiks and even Chechens. Some of these married within the tribes and formed a bond with the locals. Marriage bonds go back in history. Again remember the mindset of the people here. Always keep that in mind. To them the scripture in the written word of God, and that includes the Old Testament (called Torat (Torah) and (Injeel = Bible less St. Pauls contributions).

This Talibanization shows itself in the content of the Friday sermons at the mosque. Now it shows in the popularity of growing beards, especially since the MMA – the coalition of religious political party’s – won power. More recently in their showdown with the Pakistan army in N and S Waziristan – where according to my sources, people prefer going to the Taliban for justice rather than the older system of Maliks and Political Agents. The latter are known as corrupt. In Pakistan in general people are sick of the amount of corruption.

And now in Bannu, from where hails the Chief Minister of the NWFP, Mr Durrani, is in Taliban control in the sense that there is a parallel government that they have established and which is functioning quite well and is popular among the people.

Justice in tribal areas of Pakistan has been handled by elders, following a mixture of tribal tradition and Islamic law. Would you say that Taliban influence has caused a stricter intrepretation of Islamic law in the NWFP?

Yes. The Maliks, or tribal elders who consider themselves quite conservatively religious, even so had a laid back attitude towards enforcement of religious doctrine. That is where the difference comes. My opinion is that this is the reason that the Maliks supported the government of Pakistan in South Waziristan, which has recently been in the news having kicked out the militant Uzbek who came as guests in the post-soviet era and started mischief of their own but am not sure what their agenda was to begin with, and I myself have questions about their presence as to why they were not reported earlier, since reporting the presence of any foreigner(s) in the FATA is job one of the Pakistani Political Agents (PA). Why is the presence of the Uzbeks and the Chechen in the area just coming to light? Remember there are seven of these PA’s – one for each FATA. The Taliban emulated the Saudi system of having a department concerned with citizens’ morals, even the name is the same, the department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, and this department has – as in Saudi Arabia, an enforcement police, called mutawwa’in, a morals law-enforcement agency.

Has there been a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law?

Yes there has been a movement in that direction but it has started a power struggle between the clerics who traditionally have been at the lowest strata of the social structure, to now when they have seen a bigger role for themselves first from the Taliban in Afghanistan – but also the government of the MMA in the NWFP who are nothing more than glorified clerics themselves, only a little smarter in exploiting religion politically, and the MMA is largely non-Pashtun which is a source of discontent in that they stand in the way of Pashtun nationalism, such as it is, because it only rears its head when non-Pashtuns start to usurp power over what the Pashtun consider their turf.

The deal made between Pakistani central government and the North and South Waziristan provinces, where tribal leadership was given the pivotal role in dealing with militants and the Taliban, has been criticized as a failure. What caused an initiative by tribal authority to fail?

First off, I don’t agree with the premise of the question, that the “deal” is a “failure” – for the following reasons:

  1. In the first place the Pakistan army (govt – same difference) did not have many options. This was the least worst option they had.
  2. And most importantly, I have said this before, this area is literally in a time warp – which means they proceed at (what seems to us in the west) a glacial pace. I will give an example from the folklore:

    The story goes that a Pashtun had to repay (badal) an enemy for a crime against his family and he waited patiently for 20 years (some say 50 years), after this time, he exacted his revenge – but soon after was depressed because he wondered “Did I act too hastily?”

    So one part of Pashtunwali is to “pay back” – (Badal: literally to exchange) which most people translate as revenge. Yes that is the form that is most visible, but badal is also played out in the exchange of gifts at wedding and other celebrations, and in the exchange of favors like in politics. The rules can be arcane, unwritten and hard to follow — who did what to whom, when, and so on, and what is the proper recompense — this same give and take would occur in a peace process pursued by the Tribal Maliks, who rule by consensus (see Olaf Caroe) and there is no actual leader in the western sense, because all the Maliks, in fact all the others are de facto, so many co-equals (The Way of the Pathans/ People of the Khyber – James Spain pp 129 on.) – it is a mind set, a paradigm foreign to the uninitiated, as is the concept of consensual gay sex to the Wazir in Waziristan.

  3. I wish someone would read the history of this area, it would help in dealing with our expectations and possibly much more. For instance there are two major tribe in N and S Waziristan, the Wazir, and the Mahsud – in the news you hear about the sub tribes; The most famour character of North Waziristan, the equivalent of a Jesse James, was leader called the “Faqir of Ippi” – he died in 1960, the Pakistan govt never was able to capture him, even though he set up a govt of Independent Pashtunistan in cahoots with Kabul. The great uprising of India of 1897 had its roots in Waziristan, as did the Treaty of Razmak. Of all the Pashtun, the Wazir are the most independent minded and the least to be cowed by military action.
  4. So what options did Pakistan have, more military action? It had already lost hundred of their “privates” in action. Allow the US forces to come in, as a matter of fact the ISAF do cross into the Pakistani territory, we just don’t know how deep they go — the rules of engagement, as I understand them are, that if they (the US Army of Marines) are in “hot pursuit” then they cross into Pakistan. In reality they do it more often then that, just that there is no proof of it, who will report it, the Wazir? Or the Pakistan army?
  5. The last part of your question, there are many assumptions, all wrong. The initiative was not from the tribals. There is no single authority amongst the tribal, they would convene a Jirga and decide on a course of action, such as this, to my knowledge no such jirga was called. To save face the Pakistan government might claim it was a tribal initiative, but it seems highly unlikely. The Pak troop’s casualties were so high, and there was talk of hostages being held as well — I tend to believe, that the Governor of the NWFP initiated the talks and the agreement, because he sure as hell is taking all the heat for its “failure”.
  6. That brings me to the last issue, the agreement has not failed, because it has not been given enough time, in Wazir time reference, not American time presidential election cycle controlled. I do not have a crystal ball, but if I did, I would see NATO troops in Afghanistan long after Iraq is over. Afghanistan can be a success ONLY if we accept one thing, the time warp these people live in — by my reckoning its still 1700 CE over there.

If the Talibanization of Pakistan is partly due to a perception of corruption among the older system of Maliks and Political Agents, and Musharraf has critics lining up, who can the U.S. turn to in dispensing with $10 billion in aid monies?

Talibanization has nothing to do with your premise there. Zilch. Nada. The corruption is in the ISI, the Pak army and the Pak system of Political Agents (PA) assigned to these tribal zones (FATA & PATA). These PA have budgets that are much like the CIA in that they are a single line item in the national budget, there is no accountability of where or how the PA spends the money. If one followed the IRS rules and looked at the lifestyles of the PA and compared them with their income, you would soon understand what was going on. Musharraf critics are a larger issue. For eons, Republicans have coddled Pakistan with the belief that “as long as they are pro America” – democracy in Pakistan will come in due course. Democrats have, I think, insisted Democracy first, and then we can discuss the other issues later. For example, pre 9/11, compare how Carter’s administration treated Gen Zia and how Reagan’s administration treated him.

The Talibanization of Pakistan has more to do with graduates of “Raiwind” a place near Lahore where the “Tablighi Jamaat” conducts brainwashing camps. It was graduates of this place, in my opinion, that are responsible for Britain’s 7/7 attacks as an example. For the Talibanization of the FATA, see Ahmed Rashid’s classic study on the subject wrt to Afghanistan but applicable to Pashtuns in the NWFP equally, in a sense.

Corruption amongst the Maliks is self limiting because of the egalitarian society they live & because of Pashtunwali (see Charles Lindholm, Oxford press).

Who can the US turn to? This is a tough one. The Pakistani national psyche has not progressed the way the Indians have. There are still very much remnants of the Raj visible and present and invisible but Pakistani behavior gives it away – in the way they treat household help, in the way company bosses treat their employees, in the way the government officers often act above the law. For example the NWFP is supposed to be dry – yet the governemt employees consume copious amounts of liquor. There are some that even moonshine at home. (I have pictures I could share taken at “dance” party, more like a stag party.)

I think this last question is best answered in who has been reliable in the past, and assume the past to be an indicator of future behavior.

We know the Pak army will siphon large amounts towards its Nuclear program and the upkeep of its generals.

We know that Nawaz Sharif left the national treasury almost bankrupt when Musharraf took over.

We know that Benazir husband took 10% of all government deals. I believe he has an Interpol warrant for his arrest, although I can’t vouch for it, it does come out in the news, even though it’s puzzling why Interpol has trouble executing the warrant. Now I hear they are withdrawn.

So who does that leave?

The next generation of Politicians who are not beholden to anyone.

In my opinion, the US should insist on the scheduled elections but accede to some genuine Pakistani concerns:

Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto ought to be ineligible to run, BUT other members of the respective party PML (N) and PPP (B) can do so.

Prohibit allocation of emblems to the religious party which they can & have misused.

For example in the last election they asked for and got the symbol of a book, they then went on to advertise the symbol represented the Qur’an and a vote for the book was a vote for the Qur’an – not the candidate but the Qur’an. Well the ploy worked only too well. Imagine a similar vote here where a vote is asked for as a vote for the Bible! You can imagine the results.

What is your take on the Musharraf suspending the judge Iftikhar Chaudhry?

My take:

I believe, and this is widely held belief, that Musharraf has no constituency of his own for his power base. He wanted legitimization from the Supreme Court, and from Mr Choudhry as Chief Justice (their system is not like ours) would not give it.

So Musharraf has had to hang on to his Army Chief of Staff position to get his power from the Army. If some one else were Chief of Staff, that person could refuse to support Musharraf.

The Justice favorable to the general is Justice Iqbal, who was not the next in line for Chief Justice. The next in line is a Hindu. That presented problems of its own for Musharraf. So when the Hindu judge went for a trip to India, Iqbal became the “available” senior most Supreme Court judge, and hence the haste and lack of decorum with which Justice Chaudhry was removed.

Now we have to wait for the other shoe to fall — will Iqbal issue a Judicial ruling which would make it easy for Musharraf to stay on as Chief of Staff – in the meantime, the US has asked him to relinquish this army position.

Needless to say, it was very badly handled, high handed, and the TV was present — the country saw what was being done to the highest member of the court of law, and in their mind, as in mine, the law in Pakistan was being manhandled, handcuffed and sent off packing to jail, so to speak. Something we long suspected, but was confirmed on TV and in the Newspapers. Overseas organizations taking up Chaudhry’s cause, might lead one to belive that Musharraf’s days are numbered, and they would be wrong, because America needs Musharraf – for the time being, anyway – because Iraq has scared America, just as in the post Vietnam era, there is now a fear regarding Muslim countries – the fear of the alternative, will democracy in Muslim country give us more of Ahmedinejad or Al-Maliki, or can we find some Hamid Karzais’? We just don’t know.

Can you tell us what the prevailing sentiment in the region regarding the Pakistani government effort in the provinces and the international effort in Afghanistan to combat Taliban and affiliated militants?

In my dealings and inquires, one thing stood out like a sore thumb – the conspiracy theories vis-à-vis anything having to do with America. I mentioned to one of my close friends that events that were previously ascribed as acts of God were now considered acts of the CIA. Some even believed that the Earthquake in the northern areas was because of some sort of underground secret “bomb” used by the CIA. Lack of evidence is further proof that the CIA did it. I was flabbergasted, and started to give this kind of thinking as an example in speaking to “educated” Pakistani’s – and among these, those that did agree that the earthquake was NOT the work of the CIA, they would start giving other examples, notably the Blow up of the plane carrying Zia ul Haq an ex President of Pakistan, in which the US Ambassador also perished. When I would point this out, the response would be that that is the sort of thing they do to take away suspicion from themselves.

In a nutshell, the impression I came away with is, there is NO war of civilizations going on, what is going on is a war between literacy and illiteracy. I use the latter term in the widest connotation.

Pakistan government efforts: While on the one hand people would decry that the government is not doing enough, in the same breath they would state the government is a puppet of the US and only does what the US tells it to do. In this sense there is very little awareness among the people about what the Pakistani army is doing in the FATA or for that matter in Balochistan. The local newspapers are censored, and if not censored they do not allocate much space to the topics. “Dawn,” which is the highest circulation English language paper, carries more stories about the US than about the local stories, that might appear say in “Newsweek.”

The international effort in Afghanistan is not considered international at all, only American. You could speak till you are blue in the face, and you would not change anyone’s mind. In my case they would simply turn quiet, not wishing to offend a “guest” (see Pashtunwali).

It is commonly agreed that some thing has to be done to curb the religious extremism that has taken root here, while historically these people (Pashtun) are a moderate people (see Olaf Caroe “The Pathans”). In fact some of the reasons the extremism has crept in is that many of the cultural practices were not in accordance with Saudi based “Salafiism” more popularly known as Wahabism. But Mr Wahab dates to the period of Lawrence of Arabia – Salafism dates further back, and is one of the six or seven schools of “Fiqh” or jurisprudence, but the latter fiqh has morphed into a cult like sect.

Taliban are not visible in the areas I visited, but the militants handiwork clearly is – as elsewhere, the common criminals are taking advantage of this situation, and crime is up significantly. One new crime is Cell phone “snatching” – it’s easy and nobody wants to pursue it. If some one is using a Razr phone, he can expect to be hit soon, if he uses it in public. So people have two cell phone (Called mobiles here) one fancy to show off, one for use in public places.

In so far as “foreign” militants are captured and identified, that is to say non-Pashtun (including non Afghan Pashtun or Pak Pashtun) – then the people are obviously in agreement with the government that these people don’t belong here and need to go.

The problem is this:

The foreigners are usually in the FATA and have been there since the Soviet war times. Many of them have taken local wives and now have a family. The local have accepted them into their family. Now for the Pak govt to ask them to kick them out, the locals are thinking what am I doing to my grandchildren’s father, etc. Again the edicts of Pashtunwali also play a role.

What kind of support is there in the area for the positions advocated by the Taliban on matters such as Sharia law, women’s education, role in public affairs, its proscriptions on entertainment such as movies, music ..etc?

In the areas that I visited and the people that I spoke to, which by definition is a very non-random sample, the people are TOTALLY opposed to the Taliban. I do have one nephew who seems to have come under the influence of the Salafi’s but that is a different story. I can address that separately and you can decide if it belongs with this story – not my nephew’s story but the way the Salafi’s have woven themselves into this area — which is historically a “Hanafi” fiqh area, which is much more moderate. Like I said this may be tangential to the main story.

In general, people will say Yes we are Muslim and we are for the Sharia, but in general most people do not know what that entails.

In their mind it entails a more just system, a less corrupt government.

But if you ask them if they want a system like the Taliban the answer is an unequivocal NO.

Women’s education is quite the norm in the non FATA parts of the NWFP. When I visited the earthquake area which is also mostly in the NWFP, (I have photo’s and video) the girl schools were some of the first to spring up. I remember being pleasantly surprised by this at the time.

As far as a role in Public, it gets complicated. Women are in general expected to be docile and compliant, and the same expectation foloows through into Public affairs. But this point of view is not limited to the NWFP – it is the same all over Pakistan, excluding the large cities of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad etc. yet still applicable to Peshawar.

In Peshawar you do get to see more girls getting jobs as tellers in a bank and some other non traditional jobs, whereas previously the only jobs were either teachers to young kids, teachers to older girls, nurses and doctors – for the most part.

Movies in the NWFP in the Theaters are for the lower socio economic men only. The reason is other than Talibanization. The easy availability of pirated, good quality DVD’s of Indian and Hollywood movies (From China thru the land route over the Karakorum Highway) – it cost Rs120 ($2/-) for the whole family to watch a movie in the comfort of their home. Travelling to a theater might cost that much in gas. The inconvience. The crowds. The men gawking at the women and last but definitely not least, some bombs exploding in the theater some years back, put a comllete stop to the middle class from going out to see movies.

Paashtuns love music. So even though I hear that some bus drivers have been fined for playing their cassettes, I doubt this is going to stop them from playing their music. Some thing far worse has to happen – I think the drivers may start carrying guns and having it out with who ever is tring to stop them from their favorite music.

What is not being reported and what the Taliban could do effectively is to cut up cable tv cables. Most cable companies string their cable ABOVE ground to save cost and take it along the electric poles, below the electricity wires. Since these are exposed there have been many (several) instances of the cables being cut up. Luckiliy there is no market for coaxial cable, or more cable would be lost to druggies doing the cutting. The latter is a serious problem that you don’t hear about. One person that I knew told me that he was building his house and had poured conrete and reinforcements for the pillars. The next day he found the reinforcement bars to have been cut up flush with the ground slab leaving him to figure out how to do the rebar of the rest of the pillar.

To what degree does this support stem from fear and intimidation?

The Taliban are Pashtun, and the populace is Pashtun. The Pashtun do not scare easy. They are not intimidated easily. They might comply for the moment and then come back with a vengeance, so to speak. The women folk are more susceptible to intimidation, as was evidenced by the closure of the schools, because the mothers decided that they were not going to take a chance that their kids might get injured.

How about the “political positions” of the insurgent movement – resistance to foreign troops, and the Karzai government? Is there a separatist or nationalist component to the movement?

Karzai is not popular among the Pashtun’s who are loyal to Pakistan in the NWFP, those are the one I met mostly. They think that Karzai is opportunistic in that he is fleecing the government of the US whereas he himself is little more than the mayor of Kabul. They point to his American bodyguards as proof that he is disliked by his own people, that the moment the American leave Karzai is a dead man.

I can not speak to the separatist movement. I have seen no evidence of it. There is widespread resentment that the Federal government refuses to give a name to the province, a name of the people’s liking – there have been recently articles in Dawn about this, I will try and find them for you.

Nationalism is alive and well on the other hand, all over Pakistan – in all its four provinces. Everybody hates the Punjabi’s – almost to the man.

It is my opinion that were it not for US aid, Pakistan will go the route of Yugoslavia. With lots of bloodshed.

Resistance to foreign troops is like the national pastime among the Pashtun. Even today they collect in the evenings and will tell tales, vastly glorified of the way their grandfather fought against the British.

In other parts of the NWFP, like Charsadda and Mardan where Abdul Ghaffar Khan (the frontier Gandhi) was popular you have old “khudai khidmatgars” telling their stories of how they kicked out the British.

The only thing that Unites the Pashtun, are foreign troops on their soil. Other than that “Pashtun Unity” is almost an oxymoron.

What do you think the U.S., the international community and Pakistan should do to ease the problems in the region?

In my opinion, based on my conversations with individuals in positions to know these things, plus a little bit of plain common sense, plus knowing the history of the people and of the area: The ONE thing that will NOT work is direct military action. We know this from history. We know that the Pashtuns love to fight. We know that the Talibanization has brought the Jihadi’s into the picture, who like nothing better than to be martyred. So we need to keep this in mind, of what NOT to do. Having said that, what I am going to say next may appear like a paradox.

Because the Pashtun do not like to deal with what they believe are wus or weak people, we do need to have a strong PRESENCE there, and a strong “show of force” – invite a “Jirga” to like a demonstration of what the US air force is capable of doing – just to show them, – the reason is that their paradigm is the 14th century, if you simply told them that we can do this to you, they will simply think you are lying, because that is what they do, they lie to show off.

But if you drop a daisy cutter and tell them before hand what it is capable of, or a stealth bomber, these technologies are outsides their mind-set; we have to get them to believe that we have these capabilities, like the Drone. Or spy satellites.

From this position of strength, and always reminding them that we are raring to use our forces in that like them we also love to shoot our guns at every opportunity, but then not actually do it ( in this sense we had achieved all out objectives with Saddam prior to invading Iraq IMHO invading Iraq was redundant) – so the next step would be:

  1. Education
  2. Development meaning providing a means of livelihood so they do not have to become military mercenaries to make a living.
  3. Gradually replacing their madrassas with our own madrassas, except in the latter, the Mullah is an educated individual who knows comparative religion, and they teach other subjects including Biology, anthropology, measuring the age of the earth by carbon dating etc. and astronomy to learn the age of the Universe, black holes, quasars Relativity concepts, quantum mechanic concepts (not the mathematics, the simple concepts behind them, and how these ideas are behind some of today’s everyday electronic devices)
  4. Leisure activity, starting with traditional leisure activity, i.e. not TV and cable and Internet, but ultimately making these available
  5. Introduce these “NEW” technologies through a religious mode. Transmit a Qur’anic recital competition to begin with, as an example instead of beginning with MTV.
  6. Making water available. Drinking water is an everyday necessity, for cooking etc, and not available in most of the FATA.
  7. Food grain. Wheat flour etc, keep the prices the same as in Peshawar – these people are not traders, they are easily exploited, and like porn they couldn’t tell you what exploitation is, but they can tell you when they see it.

What makes the North-West Frontier Province competent to administer any monies?

This is the central question. Much like California has taken a separate initiative on stem cell research – as an analogy – the NWFP is central to the war on terror, not Pakistan.

The NWFP was central to the fight and aid to the Afghans during the Soviet occupation, not Pakistan.

This small distinction is lost on Washington, and it is the main reason, in my opinion, why so much of the Aid was “lost in transit was because the Punjabi army officers could not bring themselves to dispense such large sums to an ethnic group which it considers anti-Pakistani (You would have to read the history of the Indian partition, in particular that the NWFP was a “Indian Congress Party” controlled province where as the “Muslim League” of Jinnah was trying to show the Brits that all the area was FOR the creation of Pakistan).

All the FATA is contiguous to the NWFP. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are holed up somewhere either in the FATA, or across the Durand Line in Afghanistan, the Durand Line has never been recognized by the locals as an international boundary. Even today, the Pashtun travel from Peshawar to Kabul by road with out a passport or visa, and it has been like that for eons.

(Especially for the nomadic Pashtun tribe of Ghilzai’s who travel by caravan and conduct trade.)

The present governor of the NWFP belongs to the Orakzai tribe (he spells his name Aorakzai) and it is my opinion that that he was picked partly because he belongs to one of the FATA as well as he is a retired General of the Pak Army.

The Frontier Constabulary (FC) is a force which primarily recruits from the FATA. All or most of its forces are from the various tribes. In the eyes of the tribes this is a bona fide force and service with the FC is considered an honorable thing. The US has already allocated some funds for increasing recruitment, but far less than what it would take to counter the Taliban and far less than what the economic need is. [The US] spends a thousand times more on a battalions sent to monitor activity over there. Plus why endanger the lives of our troops and spread our forces thin when a more effective job can be done by the FC. The FC has over history shown that they will attack and use force against the tribes that create trouble. There have been no instances of insubordination or mutiny.

Even the US Embassy is protected by a contingent of the FC! That goes to show their trustworthiness & discipline.

My second proposal is that there is a common phenomenon for Pashtun men to go to the Gulf States for jobs.

The “tribal” Pashtuns ( All Pashtuns are tribal, in that Pashtun form the largest tribal society in the world in terms of numbers) wrt the FATA are not educated or trained and hence not employable right now. I propose that we fund directly the Director of Emigrants (Mr Azhar Arbab) in Islamabad to set up training facilities in Concrete laying, iron work, pipe work, welding etc, which would then qualify these tribesmen to obtain jobs in the Gulf. As such we would remove them from the scene altogether. They would not be available in the labor pool to the Taliban or anyone else. I might add here, that a number of these individuals have very high innate intelligence, which is one reason they make formidable foes.

Now the central reason why the NWFP ought to do this is because they are themselves most affected by the scourge of Talibanization. They are highly motivated in carrying out these policies because it is to their own benefit.

One has to be convinced on this last point, and for that I urge you research the sentiments amongst the people of the province, such as I am willing to provide, and which you can corroborate from other sources as well.

For instance, after Malik Saad was murdered, there were people, whom I heard myself, that expressed the feeling (admittedly stunned with grief) “If this is Islam then fuck such Islam” (I paraphrase, obviously, the Pashto is not directly translatable) – moreover, Mr Saad’s posters are competing with Osama’s in the Bazaar’s as a spontaneous gesture from the public. We can’t afford to let this good-will to be lost.

An Associated Press report on MSNBC dated March 15, 2007 and headlined “Arrest of al-Qaida’s ‘best’ reflects changing role” stated, “A senior Western diplomat in Islamabad, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the Taliban resurgence had not necessarily led to the re-emergence of al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan – a key U.S. ally in the war on terror – but had “created the environment for whatever is left of al-Qaida to feel more comfortable.” What does that mean?

A senior western diplomat usually means a Political Officer in the US Embassy, which most people know is a CIA agent, OR it could be some other Embassy official –

First there is a big difference between Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Al Qaeda is mostly composed of Arabs, they do not trust any one else. While they might use others as couriers or in lowly position as servants, for second rate Al Qaeda officials, the Top guys ONLY deal with Arabs and are served by Arabs.

The Taliban are mostly Pashtun tribesmen. Mostly they are graduates of madrassa’s.

Mostly illiterate by any world standards. The better educated among them will know how to speak a few words of English, such as their Information minister. There might be one or two notable exception of which I am not aware, I had heard Yale had admitted a Taliban, but never followed up on the story.

However while Al Qaeda does not trust the Taliban, the Taliban look up to Al Qaeda top leadership. We saw this situation in Iraq where initially Al Zarqawi had no direct link with Qaeda but was keen to form one. It would be conjecture on my part to state that in the end he did indeed succeed in forming that connection. In the press at least that impression was prevalent.

So the lines of interest proceed ONE way, like one way traffic. Extremist want to be affiliated with Qaeda, IMHO, while the latter does not, again, in my opinion want to – so as to maintain its hideout.

Now we come to the statement below:

The Taliban resurgence is not connected directly to the Qaeda.


(al in Arabic = the; Qaeda means the base, or the foundation e.g. in kg school here you are asked “did you learn your “abc’s” – in the Muslim world one is asked in an equivalent kg “did you learn your qaeda”?)


The Qaeda supply lines are hampered, new recruits would have to be Arabs, and they would have to travel a long way through tight Pakistani security to reach here, or suffer hardship over a long and arduous land route through Balochistan and the Tribal area’s – NOT all of which are accommodating.

So as is becoming clear, Qaeda is having trouble replacing people they loose meaning those that were captured or died. They only trust Arabs, and that also a certain type of Arabs, (not all Arabs are the same, not all Arabic is the same – for example they would never trust a Syrian, in fact Qaeda folks consider Syrian brand of Islam an apostasy – but that is another story).

Okay so now we can understand the statement, that whatever remains of the Qaeda, are not in a position to set up training camps, since they are in a survival mode. The Taliban resurgence helps them get a little warm and fuzzy in this survival mode, since they feel a little bit more secure with their partners-in-arms doing some evil stuff, blowing up people and causing mayhem.

How many men does the FC field currently?

The FC currently has about 23000 men in total.

How much do they get paid?

They are paid the equivalent of $60 per month per person -Pak Rupees 3665, where Rs61= $1. They do have some fringe benefits but life is very spartan for these soldiers.

What the US could get in return is a huge bang for a buck, no pun intended.

I think we ought to double the number of these soldiers with one proviso that the FC maintains its high standards of recruits.

Compare this with our costs in the War against Terror; just Halliburton’s bills will have you reeling. I think that it would be foolish, NOT to do this.

Again to reinforce the reasons:

The Frontier Constabulary is an Institution with a long and glorious history within the Frontier Province.

The recruits come strictly from the tribes of the various FATA and so they are very familiar with the people, the bad guys the terrain etc.

They speak the Pashto dialect of the locals. The Pashto language has many dialects, and you can tell where someone is from based on which dialect he speaks. So if you do not speak the correct dialect, you are immediately identified as an outsider. This is one reason why these tribes are impossible to penetrate, there are other reasons as well, that are beyond the scope of the current discussion.

How can the FC help prevent attacks like the suicide bombing attempt on Sherpao in Charsadda last weekend?

In essence your question is how can anyone prevent a suicide attack? And frankly if I knew the answer to that I think the US military – and several other groups – would be knocking on my door. I think the Israeli Army has had the most experience with this sort of thing. The suicide bombing as a tactical weapon was invented by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and even today in terms of statistics they use it in far greater numbers.

So to summarize neither the FC nor anyone else can prevent a suicide bombing. We could attempt to improve our intelligence to find out about an imminent attack, but so far these have not been very successful in Pakistan. In the Lal Masjid Case the government avoided a suicide killing by negotiating with those two Mullah brothers – but I don’t know if that counts. But it does make for an interesting story. Both Washington, DC and Islamabad now have Madams threatening to publish the list of their clients unless they are given protection. Who would have thunk?Going back to your question:In my opinion what ought to be done is to make a Policy change, and address the issues that are producing these suicide bombers, that is the only way to stop this phenomenon.In this part of the world this is relatively new because prior to 9/11, suicide bombing was unheard of. Moreover it is not the FC’s job to provide security to the Minister of the Interior, that is the job of the Police force, because this Ministry is equivalent to the Department of Homeland Security.You don’t expect Border patrol to provide body guard duty to the Secretary of the department of Homeland Security. I am making these analogies so the American readers would relate to what is happening, and understand the difference in nomenclature.–RHakeem 20:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

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Legal Marketing: How To Work With A Copywriter

When it comes to legal marketing (and marketing in general) the power is in the message. Once you’ve established your personal or firm brand, and have a clear view on your points of differentiation and core audience, it’s time to start writing. Lawyers are great at legal writing—but to truly connect with readers is a different form of the art. And let’s be honest, not everyone has the time, the skill or the desire to delve into copywriting. Enter the copywriter. More and more, firms are choosing to employ the talents of professional copywriters to help them craft their message for brochures, websites and even presentations. But it’s not as easy as just handing off the assignment. Here are a few tips to working with your copywriter.

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Be picky.

Not all copywriters work the same. Look closely at candidates to be sure their vision gels with yours. View examples of past work and see if it draws you in. Though they’ll be writing from your perspective, every writer has their own style.

Be open-minded.

Don’t get stuck looking exclusively at writers with law experience. Sometimes working with a copywriter who has experience in other industries can bring new ideas and a breath of fresh air to stale copy. By taking cues from previous work they can often tweak dull legal copy and incorporate new language and ideas. Added plus: If they’ve worked in industries that reflect your client roster chances are they’ll have a good insight into how those clients think, work and communicate.

Be consistent.

From the beginning figure out how much writing will need to be done (at least at first glance) and how it will flow together. For instance: it’s easier to write copy for a brochure and website at the same time, rather than go back a year later and try to adapt. All materials should reflect the same voice, so keeping the same writer on all projects only makes sense to attain the best results.

Be available.

You can’t hand over a copywriting project without input. From the beginning, understand what your copywriter will need from you—whether it be company information, access to employees for interviews and quotes, photos, history, bios… and then be sure to follow through. It only benefits you to give writers as much information as you can.

Be honest.

Don’t like a certain word? Tell them! Don’t love the way they phrased something? Tell them! You must be honest with your copywriter if you want the best results. Once they get to know your preferences they can better create content that makes both of you happy.

Be respectful.

Sometimes you just have to defer to an expert. Where lawyers tend to want to write like well…a lawyer, copywriters know what draws readers in and engages them in the copy. While they will most likely always be grateful for your input, there will be times when you will have to just trust their experience.

In the end, working with a copywriter can be a great benefit to your firm. They can bring a new perspective and new voice to firm materials and have the added advantage of being not only NOT a lawyerArticle Submission, but a potential client as well. They know what people want to read and can craft your message to resonate in the most powerful way.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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Family Dentistry Titusville Fl

It is just as important to take care of your teeth as it is to take care of any other part of your body. When you care for your teeth properly, you not only will have a great smile, but you will prevent problems that occur from poor dental care. This article will share valuable tips to make sure your teeth always look their best.

Do not skimp on the quality of your toothbrush, and make sure you buy a new one on a regular basis. It should be soft enough not to hurt your gums. Get a softer toothbrush if your gums bleed while brushing your teeth. Try to replace your toothbrush once a month to avoid bacteria from growing on it.

Visit dentist north bondi for more information specifically

Try to limit the amount of sugary or acidic foods you eat. These types of foods can cause damage to your teeth. If you do eat these foods, have them with a meal and plenty of water. Also, brush your teeth immediately after eating to help protect your teeth.

Make sure you drastically reduce or eliminate sugary and acidic foods and drinks from your diet. Sugary and acidic food can damage your teeth. If you do consume foods like these, eat them with your meal and a lot of water. You also need to get your teeth brushed right after eating so you don’t damage your teeth.

It is important that you get professional cleanings done every six months. Only through regular care will you be able to prevent serious problems from developing. Not only that, but you get more comfortable with your dentist and the entire experience. That will come in handy if you have to have serious work completed one day.

When it comes to brushing your teeth, even your grip on the toothbrush can affect the end result. You need to hold your brush at an angle to your teeth to effectively brush. Use small, gentle, circular strokes. Avoid using too much force, which can cause your gums to bleed.

While brushing your teeth is important, it is just as important to brush your tongue. Food also collects on your tongue, and bacteria forms there just as it does on your teeth. This isn’t very healthy and may give you bad breath too.

Visit a dentist whenever you have chipping, pain, or any other tooth problems. If you delay, your teeth may suffer even greater damage. It’s cheaper to see a dentist when an issue first starts than it is when the damage has gotten worse.

Buy flossing pics so you can always floss. These handy devices have a short piece of dental floss mounted on a plastic toothpick. Put some in your purse or pocket to be able to floss anytime you choose. These can be easier to carry if your handbag is small. Kids who have trouble with regular floss find it easier too.

Are you mulling over the possibility of having someone pierce your tongue? If so, maybe you should reconsider. Your mouth offers the perfect place for germs to multiply. Furthermore, oral piercings of any kind can chip the enamel on your teeth and make you more vulnerable to infection. If an infection goes unchecked, you may lose your tongue.

If you do not like the flavor of mint, do not fear. There are a variety of toothpaste flavors available. Pick a flavor that you like. Ask a dentist or check a health food store if you need help.

Consume plenty of calcium for healthy teeth. Many foods such as cheese, yogurt and milk are loaded with calcium. You can use a calcium supplement if you feel your diet is lacking in this nutrient.

Try using a straw whenever drinking beverages. This will make sure the beverages don’t come into contact with your teeth as much. Your teeth won’t be stained because of this. You can get a lot of straws cheaply at a local store.

If you’re thinking about choosing the dentist you need, you may want to talk to them beforehand. Ask about their sterilization procedures. While a lot of patients neglect to ask this, it is something you should inquire about since it can affect your health.

It’s not really hard taking care of your teeth, but you just need the right information and the desire to get the job done. You will save a lot on dental work if you develop a good hygiene and go see your dentist often. You should have a big smile after using these tips.

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Finding the Perfect Home Builder

When researching potential new home builders to hire, you need to rely on quality, professionalism, customer service and relevance to your wants and budget. The customer usually secures the construction loan and land. The building process is always lengthy and requires a lot of focus on the builder’s part to assure quality and coordination. Bad contractor stories spread faster than a forest fire. You would surely warn all your friends if a builder went thousands of dollars over budget and you had to acquire a second mortgage.

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Your mortgage lender may have some great insight on local builders. Run the builders’ names by the loan officer and see what response you get. One of the easiest ways to go about finding a new home builder in Florida is by using the internet. Online, there are a number of different approaches that you can take. Once you’ve identified one or more possible home builders, prepare a short list of questions to ask when you call. Some things can be researched online, depending on the size of the company. My experience and travels in the real estate field have led me to a few incredible, skilled, talented and very very honest luxury home builders and contractors.

When you buy a typical home in the suburbs, you do not get a choice in how it looks, how many rooms are in it, nor the features that you get. A production builder will build land on property that they own. This land is bought by the builder, the home is built and then you buy the home and the plot of land from the home builder. It is important to have communication that is truthful and open with your builder, especially when dealing with problems. There are a few things to consider when choosing the right home builder for your dream house. Look for a builder that is both knowledgeable in classic house designs, and open to new home designs.

As with the builder interviews, use open-ended questions that encourage the builder’s former client to give expansive answers. Let the person talk until they’re through. Remember, this person isn’t trying to gain your business. The Internet truly lives up to its nickname, “The Information Super Highway.” Many custom home builders have their own websites that will include pictures of their work. It is also advised that you ask yourself whether or not you can even afford to use the services of a Melbourne new home builder.

When you have your new home builders and/or contractors ready, be sure you are also ready to negotiate a contract with them. Custom home builders are accommodating the desires of their buyers by offering personalized options in new homes. Outdoor living options are a high priority in the minds of many buyers and designers. Be sure when touring the property to get acquainted with the site crew. They will be working on your home too. Plus, see where they are keeping the building material. It should all be stored away to avoid any weather damage.

Read About House and Land Packages, Also Read About Home Builders Melbourne and Home Builders Perth.

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http://www.articlebiz.com/article/1051441910-1-finding-the-perfect-home-builder/

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Where To Find Video Editing In Columbia

byAlma Abell

Almost every video that is shot can benefit from editing. Professional editing can turn even the most boring video into something eye catching and memorable. In fact, post-production is considered a vital part of the process of filming. In Columbia, Maryland, videos are created for a variety of reasons. Many videos are used for television commercials or infomercials. A number of artists like to shoot their own music videos to promote concerts or albums. Videos are utilized with great effect online in webcasts or webinars. With quality video editing in Columbia, you will have a production that sends the right message.

Making your own video is sometimes the right way to go, especially if you have a limited budget and cannot afford to hire a videographer. Renting video equipment is a good option, but decent production values will demand a bare minimum that you simply should not do without. Thanks to high definition flat screen televisions and stunning video game graphics, people are now more discerning when it comes to the visual medium. This means that you will need a good video camera with high resolution or your video might not attract the attention you want. A good microphone is also necessary for producing a quality video. If you are filming outdoors, you can make use of natural lighting, but lighting equipment is almost unavoidable for indoor shooting. If the job seems like too much for you to handle, then it is best to leave it to a professional videography companies like Infinite resolution. A company like this one will not only take care of the concept and filming, they will be able to provide all the post-production work you need.

Even if you have no idea how to go about shooting a video, you will be able to explain why you need it. A professional videographer will use this information to create a video that aligns with your ideas. A company that does video editing in Columbia should have current software and hardware. You should also have the option of adding post -production features like sounds or special effects if necessary. Whether or not you are shooting your own video, you should discuss the options available to you with the videographer before the filming starts.

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