CALM law keeps the volume down during commercials

-+*The baby is asleep. You have the volume down on your favorite show. Then a commercial comes on and the volume is screaming. Within seconds, of course, so is the baby. Excessive volume on radio and TV commercials has been the largest source of complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission since 2002, when it

US broadband in a world of hurt

-+*Is America a first-world nation when it comes to broadband Internet penetration? Numerous studies suggest that the U.S. has a long way to go. Despite talk of free flow of and access to information, millions of Americans still don’t have access or can’t afford high-speed Internet. The consumer cost for high-speed Internet in the U.S.

Your digital privacy is a casualty of archaic privacy laws

-+*Your digital privacy is less safe than you realize, suggests professor Neil Richards of Washington University School of Law. So much so that you have “no idea” how much of your personal information is out there, available to governments or parties prepared to bid for your sensitive personal information. And digital privacy laws have done

First same sex marriage licenses issued in Wash. state

-+*Same sex marriage became legal in Washington State today, Thursday, November 6. More than 200 couples lined up outside the King County downtown Seattle administration building, to be among the first to receive a legal marriage license. Lining up for same sex marriage The couples began lining up 8 hours earlier, enjoying an atmosphere of

BP agrees to pay $4.5 billion for Gulf oil spill

-+*Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the federal government $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest such settlement in history. BP still faces civil suits, but don’t worry. It is still making enormous profits. BP pleads guilty to 12 felonies The

Legal pot not jackpot for potheads

-+*Marijuana aficionados may be rejoicing in Colorado and Washington, now that voters have passed state laws for legal pot. But experts say, tread with caution. For now, there is no guarantee that federal prosecutors still won’t crack down on users, growers and sellers. Legal pot laws pass Tuesday, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64. A similar

California Prop 37 fails to pass, GMO labeling still not required

-+*The labeling of genetically modified food (aka genetically modified organisms, or GMOs) was a hot-button issue during the recent election. California Proposition 37, which would have required that food products containing GMOs be clearly labeled for public information, failed to pass. Critics of the legislation believe that the result of passing Prop 37 would have

Charities and transparency – How not to get taken for a ride

-+*New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants the act of giving to charity in his state to come with some assurances that the money is going to the intended causes. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – along with its ubiquitous pink ribbon brigade – has authorities wondering whether charitable donations are being used more

Zumba prostitution ring, and how not to money launder (Pt. 3)

-+*Money laundering is illegal, as is prostitution in the U.S., save for at the Bunny Ranch in Reno, Nevada. If you can hide both behind a thriving Zumba studio business, then you’re doing better than Alexis Wright, the allegedy Zumba prostitution queen of Kennebunk, Me. Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of

Zumba prostitution ring, and how not to money launder (Pt. 2)

-+*Zumba prostitution rings aren’t commonplace in Kennebunk, Me. However, the impulse to hide illegal activity behind legitimate business is quite common, as is associated money laundering. CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article. Kennebunk residents had their suspicions of Zumba instructor While many Kennebunk residents claimed to be in the dark as

Zumba prostitution ring, and how not to money launder (Pt. 1)

-+*All was quiet in the small seaside town of Kennebunk, Me., at least until Alexis Wright’s alleged Zumba prostitution ring was uncovered. Now the community is caught in an uproar. Of all the possible legal fronts for illegal activities, running a prostitution ring behind a legitimate Zumba exercise dance studio is creative. Most creative businesspeople

Social Security Administration orders 174K hollow point bullets

-+*Most people think of the social welfare program called the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an agency that provides retirees and near-retirees with a small measure of financial security via paid monthly payroll tax-funded benefits. Lately, however, those predisposed toward conspiracy theories are worried that SSA’s recent purchase of 174,000 hollow point bullets is something

Three-way civil union challenges definition of marriage, family

-+*A recent ruling in Brazil is once again bringing the political theater of definition of marriage to the forefront – and conservatives in the South American nation are up in arms. BBC News reports that a notary in Sao Paulo has accepted a civil union between three people – two women and one man. According

Revenge of robo-signing: the credit card lenders

-+*Robo-signing, the practice of approving large amounts of loans without properly verifying them, is back in the news after having been a major player in the mortgage melt-down a few years back. This time, however, credit card companies seem to be playing fast and loose with loan verification. Different lenders, same robo-signing Major mortgage lenders

Study: Junk food laws help curb child obesity

-+*For all the potential criticisms one can levy against the nanny state mentality, sometimes, facts sometimes support Big Brother’s method. In the case of a recently released study on the impact junk food laws have had on child obesity, there is compelling evidence that suggests that when such regulation is applied to school cafeteria food

Support grows for marriage equality, opposing arguments lose steam – Pt. 2

-+*Support for marriage equality has been rapidly growing among American voters, according to many polls in recent years. And yet, many still vehemently try to block others from having the same rights they enjoy, based merely on their sexual orientation. Arguments against marriage equality Opposition arguments are often based on doomsday scenarios of “where it

Support grows for marriage equality, opposing arguments lose steam – Pt. 1

-+*According to a U.S. General Accounting Office report from 2004, there are at least 1,138 rights, benefits and protections afforded to married couples and their children at the federal level alone. Not all of those rights, benefits and protections are financial in nature, but a great many of them are. All of them, however, are