France to Offer Government Subsidies for Music Purchased Online

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Government Subsidized Music?

There are very few things this writer loves about France, but here are two: government-subsidized healthcare, and, now, government-subsidized music. That’s right, the country of Debussy and Gainsbourg will now (partially) pay for its young citizens’ digital music.

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Rich Political Candidates Who Invest In Themselves Rarely Meet with Success

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Millionaires and billionaires  are spending their fortunes in hopes of winning elected office.

Even as the public’s disdain for politics and politicians rises to historic levels, a new crop of millionaires — and billionaires — is spending freely from their fortunes in hopes of winning elected office.

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Denmark Debates Lowering Minimum Wage for Immigrants

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A street scene in Copenhagen.

A Danish politician has suggested paying immigrants half the current minimum wage. The idea has gone down well with center-right parties, but it’s opposed by the left — and the far right. Right-wing populists fear low wages for immigrants could take jobs away from “regular Danes.”

 

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Rapid Growth of Militia Fueled by Politics

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Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia member looks through the scope of his rifle during a militia “survival in the wilderness” training event

Three times a week, Mike Lackomar climbs into his truck and drives the same delivery route through the suburbs of Detroit.  Lackomar is an independent contractor for a private parcel company. If you live northwest of this battered city and you recently purchased something from a home shopping network, there’s a good chance the 36-year-old handled your package.

 

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47 Doctors Pursue House, Senate Seats

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“Send a doctor to the House”

In an election year dominated by health care, dozens of candidates for Congress have a catchy campaign slogan at their disposal: Send a doctor to the House. Forty-seven physicians — 41 Republicans and six Democrats— are running for the House or Senate this year, three times the number of doctors serving in Congress today, according to a USA Today review.

 

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28% of Americans are Tea Party Supporters

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Both political parties are concerned with the strength of this movement

A hefty 28 percent of all Americans identify themselves as supporters of the grass-roots Tea Party movement, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.
The poll results suggest that along several demographic planes –including age, employment status and race– Tea Party supporters resemble the population at large. 79 percent of Tea Partiers, for example, are “non-Hispanic white”, as compared with 75 percent of the entire country.
The poll confirms, however, that Tea Party supporters overwhelmingly skew Republican and conservative. 49 percent of all self-identified Tea Party supporters classified themselves as Republican; a total of 92 percent were either Republican or Independent, with a mere 8 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.
The Gallup results diverge from those released last week by the Winston Group, a polling and strategy firm with conservative leanings. The Winston study indicates that only 17 percent of the population identifies itself with the Tea Party, suggesting a smaller base of support for the movement.
The Gallup results were based on telephone interviews with 1033 adults, age 18 and above, conducted from March 26-28. The poll results have a margin of error of four percentage points.

A hefty 28 percent of all Americans identify themselves as supporters of the grass-roots Tea Party movement, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.

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Could the U.S. Suddenly Collapse?

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U.S. economic collapse

For centuries, historians, political theorists, anthropologists and the public have tended to think about the political process in seasonal, cyclical terms. From Polybius to Paul Kennedy, from ancient Rome to imperial Britain, we discern a rhythm to history. Great powers, like great men, are born, rise, reign and then gradually wane. No matter whether civilizations decline culturally, economically or ecologically, their downfalls are protracted.

 

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Will China Have A $123 Trillion Economy By 2040?

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China will have a $123 trillion economy by 2040. By then, the country will account for 40% of the world’s gross domestic product and be “superrich.” The American economy, by way of contrast, will produce only 14% of global output. And Europe? The E.U. will claim just 5%. So says Robert Fogel, and he has a Nobel prize in economics to prove he knows a lot.

 

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China’s ‘Netizens’ Hold Authorities To A New Measure Of Public Accountability

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Sun Zhongjie, 19, chopped off his own finger as a protest against police entrapment

A severed finger sparked an online uproar that went viral. And very quickly, rattled authorities here took note.  The story of Sun Zhongjie, a 19-year-old driver who chopped off his finger to decry police entrapment, shows how the Internet has become an effective tool of public protest in this tightly controlled country.

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Lifestyle Disparities Of American Elites From Mainstream America

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The social elite have a distinctly different view of the world ahead

There’s always been lots of talk in this country about income inequality, but very little about lifestyle disparities, differences which are pulling American elites farther and farther away from mainstream America.

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Absurd ideas create success – But first, you may have to retrain your brain

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“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” — Albert Einstein

I think we can all agree that Albert Einstein was a pretty smart guy and came up with some great ideas and concepts, but his quote above is also great advice to all of us in business. It’s a quote that I have printed on my business card and something I embrace in creating new companies and products.

 

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New Zealand Named World’s Most Peaceful Nation

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Holy Crap! That looks peaceful.

The South Pacific nation of four million people and 40 million sheep has knocked Iceland off its perch after violent demonstrations followed the collapse of Reykjavik’s banking system.

The Global Peace Index, a report prepared for the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks 144 countries in a league table of peacefulness.

The index defines peace as “the absence of violence”.

Twenty-three criteria on which the league table is compiled include political stability, risk of terrorism, murder rate, likelihood of violent demonstrations, respect for human rights, internal conflicts, arms imports and involvement in foreign wars.

Here’s a list of the 10 most peaceful nations on the planet…

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