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That Elusive Turn Signal

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The route I normally take to work includes if you’ve left turns cross busy roads. Depending on the route only one of these includes a traffic light, so I have the opportunity to wait for a hole in the flow of traffic to cross the traffic and continue to make my way to work.

This morning on my first of such turns as I was waiting one of the oncoming cars had his turn signal on about half a block ahead of where he was going to turn directly on the road I was leaving. His turn signal well in advance allowed me time to survey traffic coming to the other direction and make my cross safely. So why do I bring this up? The reason I take such special note of this guys turns signal is that it was so unusual to have him provide me with advance notice!

Why is it that so many people have such a hard time remembering to use a turn signal?! Granted there are many people that do remember to use a turn signal, but typically they turn it on at the last minute, practically hitting that stick as they’re turning the wheel to make the turn. At the moment I’m just talking about making actual turns. If we talk about lane changes the percentage of people using their turn signal goes way down. Not only is it law to use your turn signal, but it’s also just common courtesy.That Elusive Turn Signal The other day I heard a bit of a morning radio show where they were complaining about this very topic. One of the funniest quotes I heard them say was that “It’s not a sign of weakness to use your turn signal folks!” Isn’t that the truth? Do we think were bolder drivers and for not giving away our intentions and just aggressively taking that lane or making that turn? No, not bolder, just a bit more stupid.

I have a very short commute to work, on a bad day it’s all of 10 minutes. Even a short distance I travel I see on average probably one accident a week. 90% of those accidents I see are due to one car hitting another that was making a turn. Now I can’t categorically say that a turn signal is to blame in these situations, but I would guess it is a factor more often than not.

Several years ago I remember receiving a funny e-mail that listed out “rules of driving in Utah.” Now I knew this list had been modified to include Utah as a state name because most of the rules would be funny with whatever state name included. I try to do a quick search online and came up with only a version for New Jersey, so I thought I would post a list here with the state name replaced with an “insert here” statement to show how it applies to anyone. Note that the very first jokingly included rule has to do with the turn signal. I rest my case.

That Elusive Turn Signal

  1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real {Your State} driver never uses them.
  2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or space will be filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
  3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is considered going with the flow.
  4. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.
  5. Never, ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will inevitably result in you being rear-ended. If you want your insurance company to pay for a new rear bumper, come to a complete stop at all stop signs.
  6. A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you sit in the left lane waiting for the same jerks to squeeze their way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.
  7. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. {Your State} is a no-fault insurance state and the other guy doesn’t have anything to lose.
  8. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it’s a chance to stretch your legs.
  9. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It’s a good way to scare people entering the highway.
  10. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and are apparently not enforceable in {Your State} during rush hour.
  11. Just because you’re in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn’t mean that a {Your State} driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn’t think he can go faster in your spot.
  12. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic in {Your State}.
  13. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire.
  14. Learn to swerve abruptly. {Your State} is the home of high-speed slalom driving thanks to the State Highway Department, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers’ reflexes and keep them on their toes.
  15. It is traditional in {Your State} to honk your horn at cars that don’t move the instant the light changes.
  16. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
  17. Remember that the goal of every {Your State} driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
  18. Real {Your State} women drivers can put on panty hose and apply eye makeup at seventy-five miles per hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  19. Real {Your State} men drivers can remove their girlfriend’s panties and bra at seventy-five miles per hour or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  20. In the {Your State} area ‘flipping someone the bird’ is considered a polite {Your State} salute. This gesture should always be returned.

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Hook ten baggers. Little else matters.

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A junior explorer’s chances of making you money in the past decade were about as good as a wild salmon egg’s chances of surviving to hatch.

The score here: 15% for the egg – according to Canada’s Department of Fisheries stats on wild Coho – and 22% for junior explorers listed on the ASX.

These latter junior stats come out of a recent random sample on returns of 100 ASX exploration juniors between July 4, 2004 and July 4, 2014 made by MinEx Consulting’s Richard Schodde.

You might take the sobering level of death, the sheer pervasiveness and magnitude of losses, as reason to avoid fishing at all – for salmon or microcap explorer as it were.

Hook ten baggers. Little else matters.

So few make it. Why bother trying to catch a living one, let alone a good one?

But don’t retire your fishing gear to the attic quite so hastily. There’s still reason to hang onto your cork and tie a fly.

Schodde did a historical test as a hypothetical investor. He wondered: what if you invested $100 000 into 100 randomly-selected junior explorers – $1 000 each – on the ASX back in 2004 and held, stubbornly with no regard for market timing or stock picking, for ten years or until forced to take profits/losses by a takeover or otherwise.

How would you fare?

The answer was that while eight out of ten companies lost you money, most by a huge margin, the hypothetical portfolio worth $100 000 in 2004 still gained 60% to $160 000 in 2014.

Schodde gives a powerful bird’s eye view in a recent presentation slide, reproduced below (for more of his research, check out his website here.)

Schodde, speaking in a phone interview last Friday, put the results of his test this way.

“Basically what it says is eight out of ten companies lose money,” he said. “One out of ten makes you a modest amount of money. One out of ten makes you a lot of money. And really it’s that one of ten that pays for the other nine.”

Indeed, in his lot of 100 there were four ten-baggers and the top ten companies in terms of returns spoke for near 80% of the value made in the full portfolio over the decade.

Otherwise the junior explorers – pursuing an endeavour of discovery with slim odds of success – did what many would expect: lost most of your money. Out of the 100, 41 companies ended up at 10% their original value after a decade, Schodde notes, and almost one in five came out near worthless under 1% their starting value.

But let’s not treat these numbers as Gospel.

Even though, overall, 100 randomly selected juniors on the ASX appreciated 60% in value over a decade doesn’t mean they always will.

And while the portfolio didn’t exactly take its profits at the best of times – the junior explorers have been in a bear market for at least a couple of years and thus, admirably, the portfolio duration is not handpicked to coincide with tops and bottoms – it still coincides with a boom in the important driver of resource stock: metal prices. In a decade of Chinese growth these still climbed hugely even taking into consideration the recent retrenchment in metal prices and demand.

Hook ten baggers. Little else matters.

For the big picture, here’s the metal charts over the same period as Schodde’s portfolio test (below). One is the IMF metal prices index, weighted to base metals, and the other is the gold price. Metal prices aren’t exactly at max pain in the ten-year view and their appreciation certainly didn’t hurt the portfolio’s value.

Yet Schodde’s research drives home an important principle that diehard investors in junior explorers must live by. Accept huge failures in a sector where few prospects become deposits and focus on catching the outsized returns.

The ten baggers, the five baggers, the double-ups, are all that really matter if you want to make money.

Schodde’s view is this: “If you’re going to invest in the junior (exploration) sector it’s a good idea to have a portfolio of companies. You can’t pick winners. Or, it’s very hard to pick winners. So you’ve got to have at least ten or 20 companies in your portfolio to have a reasonable chance of catching one of those ten baggers.”

Note that Schodde is not advocating a random approach. Just that in choosing (in doing your homework and managing your portfolio) there’s some safety and necessity in numbers.

Success will mean losing a lot of fish from the hook or never getting a bite in first and yet still showing up at the favoured fish hole to cast your line anyway. As the junior investing mantra goes: high risk, high reward.

“You can make good money at this,” Schodde opined. “But I wouldn’t put my mother’s money into this, okay?”

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Unified Communications, Divided Messaging: Good Communication Strategy Goes beyond Technology

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Unified communications. It’s a technological concept that is changing the way businesses connect with employees, customers and leads. But the concept of “unified” communications can’t just stop with the technology. Sure, phone calls, instant messaging and video conferencing are all great ways to reach your audience, but the message you send when you communicate needs to be as unified as the system you’re communicating from.Unified Communications

Technology can be a great equalizer within a company. Communication technology doesn’t just give every department a voice, it gives them a megaphone. Customer service and support can now interact on social media, online forums, email, over the phone, through instant messaging, etc. Same goes for sales and marketing departments, and (maybe to a lesser degree) other client-facing functional areas of the company. The problem many companies are experiencing, whether they realize it or not, is there are a lot of voices speaking for the organization, but they aren’t speaking with one voice.

This, of course, can lead to problems. It presents an image of inconsistency that can leave prospective customers confused and current customers frustrated, ultimately hurting your brand as a whole. This means your overall communication strategy has to go beyond the technology. Technology, after all, is just a means of communicating. It’s the people behind it that add (or subtract, in some cases) value, and that’s what businesses need to keep in mind.

Unified Communications

Taking all of these factors into account, it underscores the importance of establishing strong internal communication habits before you can really start communicating effectively externally. Managers and leaders across the organization need to work together to build a communication plan that aligns the goals of each department with those of the company and ensure that all customer-facing employees are pushing the same message.

In an age of technology, it’s never been more critical to make sure the right message is getting out (think of some of the horror stories of businesses arguing with customers on social media). Communications technologies are powerful tools, but are only as effective as the people using them. Specifically, unified communications systems are a great means of building internal and external relationships, and, if properly implemented, can lead to a more unified company message.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Network Security

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Your first line of defense against hackers is usually your firewall. A user’s firewall protects them against unwanted access into your systems. A traditional firewall works by allowing or denying certain IP addresses, ports or a combination of the two into internal systems.

So, why is allowing certain IP addresses and ports important? Unfortunately, many well-known systems have vulnerabilities in them that allow hackers to bypass built-in security and gain access to the device. Many of these vulnerabilities can be reduced by installing a firewall in front of publically facing devices.A Beginner's Guide to Network Security

Here are some things to keep in mind as you set up your network defenses:

  1. What are the necessary ports that I need opened for my applications to work? In my opinion, this is the hardest step. Most of the time programmers and developers don’t know what ports the applications are using and what systems are using them. To get this information, you can start with a “permit any” rule and log what systems and ports are going through the firewall. Once you have your information, lock down the firewall.
  2. Do I want everyone to access these servers or just certain people? If only certain customers need access to the device, then limit as close as you can to those certain IP addresses.A Beginner's Guide to Network Security
  3. Who will update and support my firewall? Generally, your IT/networking staff will update your firewall or you can outsource it to other companies. Keep in mind that most firewall vendors require a support contract for updated software. So remember to get software support.
  4. How much will it cost? Cost can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
  5. Will a firewall make me 100% safe against hackers and attacks? No, traditional firewalls only limit by port and IP address. Let’s say, for example, we need port 80 open for our web server. If the application that you are using to host the web server has a vulnerability, then that server can be hacked or compromised. Hackers can then use that server as a gateway into other internal systems. Remember to always update and patch your systems.A Beginner's Guide to Network Security

Remember, firewalls cannot stop every type of attack or unwanted access. Firewalls are only one of many steps that you must take in securing your devices. Don’t get a false sense of security just because you have a firewall. Always keep your firewalls and devices up-to-date and be aware of security vulnerabilities in the devices you own.

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Goodie Bag Ideas for Campouts

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A bag of goodies for each camper sets a theme and adds a festive atmosphere to a campout. Create goodie bags from brown paper lunch sacks that are biodegradable or can be burned in a campfire. Decorate the bags with stickers and colorful die-cut paper shapes. Set the tone for fun, safe outdoors adventure when you use these goodie bag ideas for campouts.Goodie Bag Ideas for Campouts

S’mores Goodie Bag

S’mores are a time-honored campout treat. Give each camper his own goodie bag of ingredients. Include sandwich bags with graham crackers and marshmallows. Add a chocolate bar in its wrapper. Let campers roast marshmallows over the campfire, then layer with a chunk of chocolate between the crackers. Toss several packaged moist towelettes into the goodie bag for cleanup after the campfire treats are finished.

Fun in the Sun

Protect your campers from too much sun with a bag of summertime potions. Buy small travel-sized tubes of sunscreen, soothing lotion and flavored lip balm. Add a baseball cap or sun hat to each bag. Inexpensive sunglasses may be included.

Goodie Bag Ideas for Campouts

Bug Bag

Encourage nature study by providing an insect collection kit in a bag. Place a small butterfly net, toy plastic magnifying glass and several screw-top plastic containers in each bag. Add a sealed sandwich bag with mixed chocolate covered raisins and gummy worms to enhance the creepy crawly theme. Put in a packet of bug stickers to take home as a campout reminder.

Hiking Kit

Campers who take hikes will appreciate a hiking kit goodie bag. Include packets of insect repellent wipes with DEET to ward off mosquitoes and ticks. Add an inexpensive compass and a whistle, with instructions to use only in case of emergency. Round out the goodie bag with a package of trail mix and a bottle of water. If a trail map or park brochure is available, include one in each goodie bag.

Goodie Bag Ideas for Campouts

Adult Goodie Bag

Grownups appreciate goodies bag, too. Start with an LED flashlight, with batteries inserted and ready for use. Toss in a can cooler for adult beverages and a recycling bag to carry out the empties. Put in a pack of new playing cards printed with an outdoor theme. Add small citronella candles and a pack of matches to keep flying insects away from evening campout activities.

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About Las Vegas Golf Courses

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Las Vegas has become a golfing mecca with over 30 golf courses. The desert climate is good for golfing year round and the city has capitalized on that . These 30 courses differ in price and difficulty so that any golfer can find the perfect course to play on.


Bali Hai Golf Club

The Bali Hai Golf Course is located right on Las Vegas Boulevard. This Pacific themed course is very well kept and will provide a nice challenge. Green fees range from $169 up to $225 per person and include cart and range balls.

Bali Hai Golf Club
5160 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Neveda 89119
(888) 427-6678
www.balihaigolfclub.com

The Legacy Golf Club

The Legacy Golf Club is approximately a 15 minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip. This course is known for its desert like environment. The signature hole is #10 which has Tee Boxes in the shape of playing card suits. This course also features their “Devil’s Triangle,” 3 holes which provide a long challenge in the back nine. Green fees range from $65 to $170 depending on the season and come with cart and driving range balls.

The Legacy Golf Club
130 Par Excellence Drive
Henderson, Nevada 89014
(702) 897-2187
wwwthelegacygc.com

Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock

This golf club is located in a private community but is open for public play. Because of that, playing the Arroyo can feel like being a member of a private country club. This course winds through Red Rock Canyon and features a panoramic view of Las Vegas from the #7 hole. Green fees are $99 to $189 depending on the season and day of the week.

Arroyo Golf Club
2250 A Red Springs Drive
Las Vegas Nevada 89135
(702) 258-2300
www.thearroyogolfclub.com

Painted Desert Golf Club

This course opened in 1987 and claims to be one of the first “desert” courses in Las Vegas. This course has a great variety in holes, from long 500 yard par 5 to 150 yard par 3. The course is on the less expensive side with green fees ranging from $49 to $149 depending on the season.

Painted Desert Golf Club
5555 Painted Mirage Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89129
(702) 645-2570 ext. 2
www2.cybergolf.com/eaglsites/courses/layout9.asp?id=208&page=4320

Desert Pines

Desert Pines is a tribute to the great golf courses of the South. Its greens are reminiscent of Augusta National in Georgia, while the thousands of pine trees remind golfers of playing in the Carolinas. The major course hazard is water, which lines half the holes. It also has a two level, climate controlled practice facility complete with automatic tees.

Desert Pines Golf Club
3415 E. Bonanza Rd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
(866) 447-4653
www.waltersgolf.com/desert-pines-golf-club.asp

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Singles Vacation Ideas

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Single adults may feel out of place at family-oriented vacation destinations. Luckily, there are many enjoyable vacation destinations that are fun for everyone, single or not. Invite a friend to join you on a weekend getaway, or go solo on a multi-week adventure. With many organizations catering specifically to single adults, you’ll definitely find a fulfilling vacation if you take the time to look for it.

Singles Cruises

Consider booking a singles cruise. Many cruise lines have options for singles. Or contact booking agencies such as Vacationstogo.com and Singlescruise.com. Not only will you have access to all the normal amenities on-board, but you will also have the opportunity to attend exclusive singles-only activities. Whether you’re looking to get away and relax or you’re looking to meet someone special, a singles-only cruise can be an enjoyable vacation.

Domestic Destinations

There are many destinations in the United States where singles can vacation and enjoy their stay. Visit New York City with your girlfriends and shop to your heart’s content. See a Broadway show. Catch a Yankees or a Knicks game with your buddies. New York has something to offer all visitors.

Spend a few days relaxing on the beach. Any beach. What could be better than feeling the ocean breeze on your cheek while sipping an ice-cold lemonade?

Consider visiting Las Vegas with a group of single friends. Hit the jackpot in a casino, or catch any one of dozens of exciting shows. Don’t forget to take advantage of the buffets and other delicious restaurants.

Try booking a ski weekend in Park City, Utah, or Aspen, Colorado. Enjoy the cool winter air as you speed down the slopes. Imagine how fantastic a nice mug of hot chocolate will taste back at the lodge.

Singles Tours

Many companies plan tours that are designed with singles in mind. Tours are available all over the world. Consider island hopping in the Greek Isles or seeing the Taj Majal in exotic India. Singles tours give you an opportunity to see sights never before imagined. Travel alone, or invite your other single friends.

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15 Make Life Easier Kitchen Tips

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If you’re anything like me then you spend lots of time in the kitchen making meals and cleaning messes afterward.

My kids do have their kitchen chores, but let’s face it when it comes to taking all the food of the pots and pans or loading up the dishwasher only mom can do it right (well, that’s what I keep telling myself).

I consider myself a seasoned pro when it comes to spending time in the kitchen. Over the years I picked up many kitchen tips and tricks to make my time in kitchen as short as possible.

I know how valuable your time is so today during Monday Tips & Ideas on Daily Organized Chaos I will share with you 15 Make Life Easier Kitchen Tips.

15 Make Life Easier Kitchen Tips

Kitchen tips that will save you time, money and little bit of your sanity.

Kitchen tips that will make your busy life just a little more easier……

….Ever found yourself wondering how to clean burnt food from a pan, keep potatoes fresh, prevent eggs from cracking while boiling them or how to make hardened brown sugar soft again?

Well, wonder no more.

Here is list of 15 Kitchen Tips that will help you to do that and more:

#1 To remove burnt food from your pot with ease just add few drops of dish soap, cover the bottom with water and boil on the stove for a few minutes. You can also put a teaspoon-full of dishwasher detergent, cover it with hot water and let it sit overnight.

#2 If you don’t have a proper potato bin you can prevent your potatoes from budding by placing an apple inside the bag.

#3 If your brown sugar hardened over time don’t throw it out. Just put a slice of apple inside the container to soften it.

#4 When you’re boiling corn on the cob add a pinch of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness. Half way through add salt and stick of butter to make it ready to eat without needing to butter it.

15 Make Life Easier Kitchen Tips

#5 To remove food stains from your hands just rub sliced raw potato over the stains and then rinse and you’re ready to entertain.

#6 Kids want an ice-cream in a cone and it always seems to drip all over the house? Put a miniature marshmallow on the bottom of the cone and no mess (from the bottom, that is).

#7 In a hurry and accidentally put too much salt into your dish? Don’t worry, just put a large peeled potato into the pot while still cooking. The potato will absorb the salt like a sponge.

#8 When cooking hard boiled eggs just add a pinch of salt in to the water before boiling to prevent the shells from cracking.

#9 If you want to get the most juice out of your citrus fruits make sure they are room temperature and roll them with the palm of your hand on the kitchen counter.

#10 Celery wrapped in an aluminum foil will stay crisp in the fridge for weeks (no need for expensive Tupperware, unless you have some).

#11 Have leftover wine after a party? Freeze it into ice cubes and use it in cooking.

#12 Not sure how fresh are those eggs your fridge? Put them to the test in a pot with salt water and if the egg sinks it is fresh. Throw away the floaters.

#13 Use cake mix to flour your pan instead of a regular flour when baking a cake. The mix won’t leave the white residue afterward.

#14 When cooking pasta do not put oil into the pot while cooking. While it might prevent boiling over it will also cover pasta with a film and it will not stick to the sauce as it should.

#15 Recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any? No need to run to the store just add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes.

Do you have any tried and tested kitchen tips or ideas to add to my list? Let me know and I would love to add them in my next follow up post.

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EGYPT

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Egypt is one of the richest and most famous cultures worldwide. The mysteries of the pyramids, the infinite desert, the hieroglyphs, camels, unknown riches and the wisdom of Ancient times seduce the imagination of tourists. The art in Antiquity, the scientific progress (Egyptians were among the first ones to use a mathematical system and displayed a thorough knowledge of physics and astronomy in Ancient times) and an efficient administration stopped the Roman Empire from changing their culture during colonialism. Egyptians managed to preserve their culture through millenniums of existence.

Giza Pyramids are probably the most known attractions to visitors, famous for a difficult construction, an elaborate structure and complex meanings. Luxor and the Valley of the Kings are the runner-ups, followed by the Nile River, the Sphinx, mosques, History Museums, the Sinai Mountain, Karnak, Alexandria’s Lighthouse or the Pyramid of Khafre.

As for socializing, don’t worry. Upon meeting you, it’s a sure thing an Egyptian will invite you for a cup of coffee or tea. Keep eye contact and don’t shy away from ample gestures and passionate discourse, as people here tend to show their emotions quite often. They’re friendly people and communication skills are more important than anything else when applying for a job.

Besides its history and people, Egypt has gained some reputation for other random things. In Ancient times, they were among the first ones to use make-up, toothpaste and contraception. They were also the first ones to remove all body hair, men and women alike, since they thought it would cause infections. Egyptians used to have a 10-day week. Camels didn’t inhabit Egypt in Ancient or Medieval times. One of their pharaohs was concerned about the flies and ordered some of his slaves to cover themselves in honey so that he wouldn’t be bothered again. Another one had about 10 wives and around 100 concubines. There are just as many legends as there are documents about Egyptian history, so ask left and right for stories and you’ll surely have fun!

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Former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan Pulls a Pelosi: We Need to Pass Obamatrade Before We Tell You What’s In It

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So much for supporting Conservative values. Paul Ryan was so desperate to pass Obama-trade that he doesn’t want anybody to know what’s in the bill:

“It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to,” he told the Rules Committee.

So why the secrecy? Because the bill is alleged to give President Obama more authority to push his immigration and “climate change” agenda on Americans. And Paul Ryan thought that was a terrible thing (not that Obama would get more authority but that the word got out):

Ryan, however, wasn’t finished. Appearing on Fox and Friends, he attacked conservative websites Breitbart said “have revealed the immigration and climate change provisions within President Obama’s trade agenda.”

“Look, first of all, don’t believe everything you read on the internet, Brian,” he said after being asked about provisions dealing with climate change and immigration. “Just let me give you a little tip there. Second of all, this is why we need to pass Trade Promotion Authority. What we have in Trade Promotion Authority is a prevention of any immigration changes, of any climate change legislation going into a trade agreement. So by passing Trade Promotion Authority, we’re putting congress in the driver’s seat which is transparency.”

Senator Ted Cruz also supports Ryan and Obama and wants the bill passed… immigration and “climate change” provisions and all.

Ryan has turned out to be anything but a straight shooter and his plea for needing to pass the bill before its contents can be revealed to the American public is worse than Nancy Pelosi’s “we need to pass it in order to know what’s in it.”

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