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Everything posted by Cyberdawn

  1. Cyberdawn


    Thank you for this post Passo. Too bad you had never heard him play and sing live. It's so beautiful... videos doesn't do his talent justice. He used to sing this to me when he was in the dog house. My heart just melt when he singed to me. The emotions that he poured into the songs.. guess that's why good artists hurt so much. They feel very deeply.
  2. Cyberdawn


    Thanks for posting the video tup. Even though this is not his best video, I am more than happy to see it. Keeps his memory alive. He was an amazing guitar player and an amazing singer. Videos does not do him justice. We are all richer for knowing you Mike! I LOVE YOU! Life sometimes get in the way and we loose sight of all the love that surrounds us. I am forever grateful for you being in my life!
  3. Cyberdawn


    Thank you xpor1. I am not active on the forums, but from whatever little I saw, you were one of the sincere people who had Mike's best interest at heart. Thank you for being there for him. Mike's core was and is, a gentle soul who felt deeply. When he love, he loved deeply and freely. He really cared for those in real life and on line. When one of you are hurting, he was hurting with you. When one of you are doing well and happy, he was happy with you. I still weep for him on a daily basis from missing him. He was my pillar of strength. Just having him with me gave me courage to be better. Even though he is not physically with me any more, I still feel his presence and the warmth he exuded when he's happy and content. He had endured much hardship in his life, but he never gave up on love. Love for his family, Love for his friends, Love for fishing. Please don't ever forget Mike. When we are forgotten, it's like as if we never existed.
  4. Cyberdawn


    Thank you everybody for the condolences. I miss my husband dearly and am having a really hard time dealing with his passing. Thank you for remembering him fondly. He was loved when he was alive and he is still loved now that he is gone. Mike has given me many blessings, especially my children whom are our legacies. I am very lucky and privileged to know him and call him my husband. He had helped defined me to be the person I am today. I will forever miss him and remember him for the lovely and caring person he was. Thank you for letting me know your dreams and hopes and sharing them with me! I LOVE YOU FOREVER MIKE! I miss you with all my heart! If I can do things over again, I would just hold you and tell you how much you mean to me and how you changed my life forever! If I can do it all over again, I will tell you that I love you more often and tell you how strong you are. I will always live with my regrets of not spending more time with you and let life get in the way. I am sorry. I LOVE YOU Mike! Nothing had nor will ever change that!
  5. Cyberdawn


    Thank you for your condolences.
  6. Cyberdawn


    RIP my dear husband. You are forever loved and missed. We will see each other again one day when my time on this earth comes to an end. I love you always!
  7. I am not sure that I like the call recording feature. I still like calls to be just that.... when it's hung up, there are no traces of the conversation.. I wonder how many people's calls get put out there for unintended ears.
  8. Like everything in life, every action has an equal reaction. Things had advanced further than ever. Wonder what the repercussions are!
  9. Lucky guy! Of all the money I've sink into playing the lottery, I've only gotten back less than $20. If I see it as an investment, I would have lost the farm long ago!
  10. Does this fall under STUNNING revelation or SHOCKING revelation. LOL
  11. BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has revoked the accreditation of Minnesota-based MyPillow, lowering its rating to an F based on a pattern of complaints by consumers. The BBB made the decision after reviewing MyPillow’s ongoing “buy one get one free” offer, which violates the organization’s code of advertising. “Among other issues, BBB has attempted to persuade MyPillow to discontinue their “buy one get one free” (BOGO)/other discount offers without success,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Continuous BOGO offers, which can then be construed as an item’s regular, everyday price, violate not only BBB’s Code of Advertising – which all BBB Accredited Businesses agree to abide by – but also other state and national organizations’ rules.” BBB’s Code of Advertising requires that an offer need to be extended for a limited time, or it becomes a continuous offer and therefore the normal price of the product – not a sale price or free offer. In the case of MyPillow, the BBB says anyone can get the BOGO discount codes, and if a prospective customer calls the company without one, they can get the BOGO deal, regardless. MyPillow owner and CEO Mike Lindell responded to the BBB allegations by stating he would not be able to stop the company’s BOGO offer at this time, but would look at making changes in 2017. When pressed on what type of changes the company would make, Lindell was non-specific. Lindell released the following statement Monday evening: “MyPillow was built on our dedication to our customers’ satisfaction. We run sales and specials for our customers, so that we can give as many people as possible the chance to have a great night’s sleep. Naturally, I am terribly disappointed by the BBB’s decision. “When I started MyPillow more than 11 years ago, I handled each and every customer call personally. To this day, I train all of our customer service representatives with one thing in mind, we take care of our customers because we owe them our success. We have sold more than 25 million MyPillows, but we will continue to treat each and every customer like they are our only one. “From myself and our 1,500 employees, we want to thank our loyal customers.” The BOGO complaint was not the only issue or complaint the BBB brought to MyPillow’s attention. “As Seen on TV” claims are sometimes listed on MyPillow boxes where the content is NOT the same as seen on the company’s TV ads. The company has made an effort to remove this, but it can still be seen on third party seller packaging (Walmart, Target, etc.) Photos of MyPillow on some boxes show the premium, gusseted pillow, when the box actually holds their standard pillow. The company has made an effort to correct this, but it can still be seen on some third party seller packaging. Claims of offering a “full warranty” when the warranty was not full (customers need to pay a fee to return the pillow). A pattern of complaints filed against MyPillow has been identified by BBB regarding customers’ understanding of the buy one/get one free offer. A substantial number of the 232 complaints filed against the company regard confusion on the offer. “We are hopeful that MyPillow will modify their advertising and eliminate discount offers, since the pillows need to be sold at a “regular price” for the majority of the time,” Badgerow said. This is just the latest bump in the road for MyPillow. In November Lindell agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million after a group of California County Attorneys took legal action against the company, alleging deceptive advertising. A consumer watchdog organization said MyPillow’s website made unsubstantiated claims its products can cure snoring, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other health maladies. Lindell agreed to the settlement, but insisted he made no medical claims whatsoever, saying MyPillow simply posted customer comments on the website. He told NBC News he is settling the charges simply because it makes financial sense, and is not an admission of guilt. USA Today Network
  12. It's exhausting to see people using the legal system to gain a buck. It's got far reaching implications.
  13. By SCOTT SONNER RENO, Nev. (AP) — Madeleine Pickens wanted the African-American chef she recruited from the country club she owns in Southern California to cook "black people food" — not "white people food" — at her rural Nevada dude ranch and wild horse sanctuary, according to a federal lawsuit accusing her of racial discrimination. Armand Appling says the wealthy philanthropist and ex-wife of Oklahoma energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens told him fried chicken, BBQ ribs and corn bread would be perfect for the tourists who pay nearly $2,000 a night to stay in plush cottages, ride horses and take Wild West "safaris" on ATVs at her Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort. Appling alleges he was fired 2014 in retaliation for complaining about a hostile work environment. He says Pickens' stereotypical references were commonplace at the Elko County ranch stretching across 900 square miles on the edge of the Ruby Mountains about 50 miles west of the Utah line. Among other things, he says Pickens, who is white, instructed him to terminate two other black kitchen staffers — one she referred to as her "bull" or "ox" and another who had "too much personality." He says she told him they didn't "look like people we have working at the country club" and didn't "fit the image" of the staff she wanted at the ranch. Pickens' lawyers argue that even if all the allegations are true, none of her comments were racially motivated. At worst, Pickens' remarks "reflect a non-racial personality conflict and amount to discourtesy, rudeness or lack of sensitivity," they wrote in recent court filings. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said during a hearing in Reno last week that Appling's lawyers have failed so far to prove the sort of racial hostility needed to win such a civil rights claim. She dismissed the original lawsuit that was filed in February but gave them until Jan. 13 to refile an amended complaint seeking unspecified damages from Pickens' nonprofit, Save America's Mustangs. "It takes a lot to prove these allegations," Du told California attorney Willie Williams on Thursday. Du agreed with Pickens' lawyer, Dora Lane of Reno, that the only comment that specifically referred to race was the reference to "black people food." Lane said categorizing foods by ethnicity is commonplace in the restaurant industry. Some restaurants serve Mexican food, others Chinese or Thai food, she said. "The suggestion that such categorizations are inherently offensive is nonsense," Lane argued in earlier court documents. "This is especially true here, given that Pickens' alleged comments actually reflect a preference for 'black people food' rather than a racial animas against 'black people' or 'black people food.'" Williams said Pickens' comments about the fired employees "not fitting in" reinforces a long history of African-Americans not being allowed into elite, private-club settings. Pickens owns the exclusive Del Mar Country Club north of San Diego where Appling worked before she hired him for a 5-month stint in Nevada. "In many cases, the people fighting to keep African-Americans out of these private clubs would use code phrases like 'they do not fit the image,'" Williams said in court documents. He added the use of the words "ox" and "bull" implies ownership of property, given "America's long history of slavery where they were considered personal property of their owners." Lane argued it was a complimentary reference to physical strength and "was not accompanied by any overtly racial slurs." "Indeed, Appling does not allege that he ever heard any overtly racial epithets, such as the 'N-word,'" she wrote in court documents. But Williams told the judge last week the comments must be viewed in the context of racial stereotypes. Du agreed that Lane's arguments focus on the "plain meaning of words" while seemingly ignoring the context of comments made about "African-Americans in history and stereotypes that could give rise to racial animas." "If the alleged comments were not directed at him, but others who look like him, it may affect his work environment," the judge said.
  14. Ridiculous! That guys is looking for a fast buck.
  15. Dear (name removed for privacy), We are writing to inform you about a data security issue that may involve your Yahoo account information. We have taken steps to secure your account and are working closely with law enforcement. What Happened? Law enforcement provided Yahoo in November 2016 with data files that a third party claimed was Yahoo user data. We analyzed this data with the assistance of outside forensic experts and found that it appears to be Yahoo user data. Based on further analysis of this data by the forensic experts, we believe an unauthorized third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with a broader set of user accounts, including yours. We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft. We believe this incident is likely distinct from the incident we disclosed on September 22, 2016. What Information Was Involved? The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Not all of these data elements may have been present for your account. The investigation indicates that the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information. Payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system we believe was affected. What We Are Doing We are taking action to protect our users: We are requiring potentially affected users to change their passwords. We invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account. We continuously enhance our safeguards and systems that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts. What You Can Do We encourage you to follow these security recommendations: Change your passwords and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which you used the same or similar information used for your Yahoo account. Review all of your accounts for suspicious activity. Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails. Additionally, please consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password on Yahoo altogether. For More Information For more information about this issue and our security resources, please visit the Yahoo Security Issues FAQs page available at Protecting your information is important to us and we work continuously to strengthen our defenses. Sincerely, Bob Lord Chief Information Security Officer Yahoo
  16. TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Imagine not being able to afford one of life’s great pleasures — sex. That’s true for many older couples, doctors say. Soaring prices for prescription medicines for impotence and other problems have put the remedies out of reach for some. Without insurance coverage, Viagra and Cialis cost about $50 a pill, triple their 2010 list prices. The new “female Viagra,” a daily pill for low sex drive called Addyi, costs $800 per month. Older products for women also have seen huge price run-ups, Truven Health Analytics data show. “Many of them don’t get past the pharmacy counter once they see the price,” says Sheryl Kingsberg, a University Hospitals-Cleveland Medical Center behavioral psychologist and researcher who counsels men and women. What people actually pay out of pocket varies. Some insurance prescription plans, including Medicare, cover some of the medicines. Some plans don’t cover any, arguing they’re not medically necessary. Many require steep copayments or limit the number of impotence pills per prescription. “Once you get to a certain price point, sex becomes a financial decision,” says Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a sexual dysfunction specialist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. “It takes a lot of the joy out of this.” Five of six specialists interviewed by The Associated Press say patients have told them they’ve given up sex because of the cost. Now, a little relief is coming. Late next year, Viagra and Cialis will get at least one generic competitor costing slightly less; prices will plunge later when more generics reach the market. For women, an Addyi rival is in late-stage testing. A few other products now have generic versions, and other options are in development. A generation ago, long-married couples accepted their sex lives trailing off with age, Kavaler says. Key hormone levels drop with age, reducing sex drive and causing problems such as impotence and vaginal dryness, which often makes intercourse painful. Today, midlife divorce is more common, divorced or widowed men and women often seek new partners, and sex becomes important again. Meanwhile, they’re bombarded by ads for impotence remedies and other treatments. “Couples in their 50s, 60s and 70s are more sexual than they’ve ever been,” says Kavaler. Until Pfizer launched the first impotence pill, Viagra, in 1998, there were few options for men besides penile implants and injections. Viagra and Cialis each quickly topped $1 billion in global annual sales, and products for women’s symptoms eventually followed. However, price hikes appear to be limiting usage for some products in the U.S., where prices aren’t regulated. Since 2010, the number of Viagra prescriptions filled in the U.S. has fallen 42 percent to about 5 million a year. Meanwhile, prescriptions for Cialis, which now has a popular daily pill option, have gone up slightly, according to health data firm QuintilesIMS. Popular women’s estrogen products such as Vagifem vaginal tablets and Estrace cream also have seen prescriptions decline in recent years. Addyi, only on the market for a year, has had dismal sales. Dr. Lauren Streicher offers women four treatment options, and most pick Vagifem. A month’s supply costs $170 and insurance coverage is limited. A generic version, Yuvafem, just launched at a slightly cheaper price. “They go to their pharmacy and see how much it costs, and then they call me up and say, ‘I can’t do it,'” says Streicher, director of the Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause at Northwestern University’s medical school in Chicago. But not being able to have sex “is a deal-breaker in a lot of relationships,” she adds. The drugs’ makers insist list prices far exceed the negotiated prices insurers pay them and say they price products based on their value. According to the companies, nearly all their customers are insured. Pfizer says most insured Viagra users pay $6 to $8 per pill, for instance. Patients unwilling to forego sex, doctors say, split pills or otherwise ration medicines, beg for scarce samples or seek copay discount coupons. Men with enlarged prostates can request Cialis because it’s also approved for that condition, usually with insurance coverage. Some women make do with over-the-counter lubricants. Many shop for price, which can vary widely by pharmacy. Others take a big risk, buying “herbal Viagra” at gas stations or ordering Viagra online from “Canadian pharmacies” that likely sell counterfeit drugs made in poor countries, says Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine. Some doctors have gotten inventive. Dr. Nachum Katlowitz, head of urology at New York’s Staten Island University Hospital, offers an alternative costing about $1 per pill at some pharmacies. The active ingredient in Viagra — sildenafil — is also in Pfizer’s now-generic blood pressure pill Revatio but at one-fifth the dose. One of his patients, a 62-year-old hospital technician, takes several of the blood pressure pills before sex. “I couldn’t afford it if I had to pay for Viagra,” says Robert, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his privacy. He’s experienced modest improvements and says he and his wife of 28 years now enjoy sex twice as often. LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Medical Writer
  17. Chicago’s 10 male dog names in 2016 Charlie Max Buddy Cooper Rocky Jack Oliver Duke Toby Milo Chicago’s top 10 female dog names in 2016 Bella Lucy Daisy Lola Sadie Stella Molly Sophie Coco Bailey Copy and pasted from Chicago Suntimes
  18. I think it's a great idea to implement drug testing. Hope it will turn their lives around.
  19. This article is c/p from by James Agresti In the last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton said that “half of all” illegal immigrants in the U.S. “actually pay federal income tax.” PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fact check organization, investigated Clinton’s claim and reported: “While there is no official figure, experts estimate that about half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes, if not more.” In reality, the polar opposite is true. Federal government data shows that while roughly half of illegal immigrants file federal tax returns, the vast majority of them don’t pay any federal income taxes. Instead, they use these returns to claim refundable tax credits, which are a form of cash welfare. In other words, illegal immigrants mainly use the federal income tax code to collect money from U.S. citizens. Reliable Data on Illegal Immigrants Is Scarce Federal law generally prohibits illegal immigrants from earning income in the U.S., but many of them do so by working for cash and by fraudulently using Social Security numbers. A 2013 report by the Social Security Administration notes that illegal immigrants get Social Security numbers by using counterfeit birth certificates, usurping other people’s numbers, and reusing numbers that they received to work temporarily in the U.S. Because illegal immigration is often covert, reliable data on it is scarce. In the words of the Congressional Budget Office, figures for the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. “are subject to considerable uncertainty.” This applies to most data on illegal immigration, but various federal agencies have produced estimates that shed degrees of light on these issues. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers One of the most reliable sources of data concerning the federal income taxes of illegal immigrants comes from an IRS program that gives them “Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers” or ITINs. These numbers are “issued regardless of an individual’s immigration status,” and they allow illegal immigrants and foreign investors to file tax returns without a Social Security number. Obtaining an ITIN also allows illegal immigrants to claim the federal Child Tax Credit, which can provide them with a cash benefit of up to $1,000 per child per year. According to the latest IRS data, 72 percent of all tax returns filed with ITINs in 2010 claimed child tax credits to receive cash payments from the federal government. It is important to note that illegal immigrants likely received higher child tax credits in 2010 than in other years. This is because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“the Obama stimulus”) enabled more people to claim child tax credits or to claim greater amounts in 2010. Furthermore, the U.S. was still in the early stages of recovering from the Great Recession, and incomes were down. Since child tax credits generally increase as income falls, these payments should have been higher in 2010 than most other years. Nonetheless, the contrast between tax returns filed with and without ITINs in 2010 is enlightening. As documented above, 72 percent of ITIN filers paid no income tax and received cash payments through child tax credits. In comparison, only 14 percent of people who filed regular tax returns (with a Social Security number instead of an ITIN) paid no income tax and received these payments. The monetary totals of ITIN returns are also instructive. In 2010, ITIN filers paid a total of $0.9 billion in income taxes and received cash payments of $4.9 billion. In other words, ITIN filers received 5.4 times more cash than they paid in income taxes. Most of this cash—$4.0 billion of it—came through child tax credits. Since these figures include foreign investors who are not eligible for child tax credits, it is possible that little-to-none of the taxes paid came from illegal immigrants. PolitiFact claimed that illegal immigrants use ITINs to “pay income taxes,” but the truth of the matter is that illegal immigrants mainly use ITINs to get cash from U.S. taxpayers. As explained by the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, the federal tax code has provisions “designed to assist low income populations,” and the “IRS no longer is just a revenue collection agency but is also a benefits administrator.” In 2013 and 2015, a number of Republican congressman cosponsored bills that would restrict illegal immigrants from obtaining refundable child tax credits. However, Congress did not vote on either of these bills. Fraudulent Social Security Numbers It is difficult to determine the income taxes of illegal immigrants who file tax returns by fraudulently using Social Security numbers. This is because their tax returns are indistinguishable from U.S. citizens and foreigners who legally work in the United States. However, federal data on the incomes of non-citizen immigrants and the tax rates of people with different incomes suggest that few illegal immigrants pay federal income taxes. A 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the median cash income of male non-citizen immigrant workers was 43 percent below male workers who were born in the USA. The comparable figure for females was 41 percent. This is significant, because people with low incomes generally pay negative federal income taxes, which is another way of saying that they receive welfare payments by filing tax returns. One of the primary reasons why illegal immigrants have much lower incomes than U.S. citizens is that they have much lower levels of education, which is highly correlated to earnings. In 2012, 7 percent of people aged 25 to 64 who were born in the U.S. did not have a high school diploma or GED. The comparable rate for U.S. residents born in other countries was 27 percent, and the rate for U.S. residents born in Mexico and Central America was 54 percent. In 2011, 73 percent of all illegal immigrants were from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. Each year, the Congressional Budget Office calculates the average incomes and federal tax rates of U.S. households by income group. According to the latest data, in 2013: the lowest-income households (the bottom 20%) had an average income of about $25,000 and paid an average federal income tax rate of –7.2 percent. the second-lowest 20 percent had income of about $47,000 and paid a federal income tax rate of –1.2 percent. the middle 20 percent had income of about $70,000 and paid a federal income tax rate of 2.6 percent. Given the above estimates on earnings, incomes, and federal income tax rates, most illegal immigrants who file a tax return with a Social Security number are probably paying no federal income taxes and receiving cash payments from the IRS. In comparison to illegal immigrants who file taxes using ITINs, illegal immigrants who file with fraudulent Social Security numbers have more opportunity to earn income. This is because a Social Security number allows them to get jobs with employers who will not knowingly break the law by paying them under the table. Such added income would increase their taxes and reduce their eligibility for child tax credits. However, fraudulent Social Security numbers would also allow them to receive eight other refundable tax credits. These tax credits would reduce their taxes and give them more cash welfare. Another benefit that illegal immigrants obtain through fraudulent Social Security numbers is the ability to vote. This is because a Social Security number is a common requirement for voter registration. A 2013 report by the U.S. Social Security Administration estimated that 3.1 million illegal immigrants were working with fraudulent Social Security numbers in 2010. This lends credence to the hotly debated findings of a 2014 paper in the journal Electoral Studies, which estimated that 1.2 million noncitizens voted in the 2008 federal elections. Other Taxes and Benefits Clinton raised the point about illegal immigrants and federal income taxes to draw a contrast with Trump. Due to a $916 million loss that Trump claimed on his 1995 tax return, it is likely that he has paid little-to-no federal income taxes since then. However, as Trump pointed out, he pays other types of federal taxes. The same is true of illegal immigrants. Beyond federal income taxes, most U.S. residents in all income groups bear the burden of federal social insurance taxes, federal excise taxes, and federal corporate income taxes. On a net basis, however, most low-income households pay much less in federal taxes than they receive in government benefits. Although the law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving most federal benefits, there is no effective enforcement mechanism to prevent those who use fraudulent Social Security numbers from getting these benefits. Also, beyond child tax credits, illegal immigrants are legally eligible for: free public educations. free school lunches and school breakfasts. free emergency room healthcare and childbirths. automatic citizenship for any of their children born in the U.S., which entitles the children to a host of other benefits, such as food stamps, housing subsidies, utility subsidies, cash assistance, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. PolitiFact’s Nonsense Rough estimates in the federal reports cited above suggest that roughly half of illegal immigrants file federal tax returns. According to these reports, in 2010: 3.0 million federal tax returns with ITINs were filed by illegal immigrants and foreign investors. 3.1 million illegal immigrants filed federal taxes with fraudulent Social Security numbers. 11.6 million illegal immigrants lived in the U.S. Adding 3.0 million to 3.1 million and dividing this by 11.6 million comes to about 50 percent. However, the federal government data above also shows that very few illegal immigrants “actually pay federal income tax,” as Clinton claimed. Instead, they file tax returns to obtain cash welfare payments. PolitiFact’s failure to differentiate between filing federal tax returns and paying federal income taxes adds to its series of misleading reports that support partisan political narratives. James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a nonprofit institute dedicated to publishing verifiable facts about public policy.
  20. This article is from Every day, thousands of teens attempt suicide in the U.S. — the most extreme outcome for the millions of children in this country who struggle with mental health issues. As we've reported all week, schools play a key role, along with parents and medical professionals, in identifying children who may be at risk of suicide. And one of the biggest challenges: myths that can cloud their judgment. "People are afraid of the whole topic," says David Jobes, the head of Catholic University's Suicide Prevention Lab. "It just feels like something that's left unsaid or untouched." Jobes says one of the most common — and most dangerous — myths about suicide is that young children just don't kill themselves. It's just not true. Children as young as 5 take their own lives every year. Another myth? Suicides are an impulsive decision, made in the heat of the moment. Again, not true. Jobes says kids can spend weeks thinking about and planning for their own deaths. And that, he says, is where schools have a role to play. "They're going to be letting their friends know, dropping hints, writing essays that their English teacher might pick up, telling coaches," Jobes says. One thing teens considering suicide won't do is tell their parents. We asked Jobes to walk us through a few other common misperceptions of suicide. Myth 1: Asking someone about suicide will cause him to become suicidal "There's already issues and struggles around mental illness within our culture and society. It's highly stigmatized, and suicide is even more stigmatized. It feels like something that's just best left unsaid or untouched, kept under the rug, and that's a problem in terms of saving lives. Because we need to ask, and we need to intervene to actually save lives. You need to be direct. 'Sounds like you're really down, have you thought about taking your life?' Just very direct. The more direct the better." Myth 2: Depression causes all suicides "That's just not true. So, we have millions of Americans who are depressed. A small fraction of them take their lives, a very small fraction. So depression and suicide are not synonymous. "On average, about a hundred and some Americans die each day [from suicide]. About 40 to 50 of them might be depressed. Other diagnoses are relevant — like schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, substance abuse, anxiety disorders. It's not just all about depression." Myth 3: We cannot really prevent suicides "We know very clearly that, with proper identification, proper support and treatments that are suicide-specific, we absolutely can make a difference and save lives. Most suicidal people who talk about suicide don't really want to be dead. They're giving other people lots of indications, lots of warning signs, lots of communications that this is something that they would like to not do, but it requires people identifying that and getting them the proper help. "Some of the warning signs would certainly be depression and ... loss of concentration. People not seeming like themselves. Insomnia can be a big risk factor. Other warning signs might include irritability, withdrawal. And the thing that's really critical: Lots of people have those symptoms and are not thinking about suicide. It's really when the symptoms add up in the mind of that person, where they think 'The way I deal with this is to take my life.' " Myth 4: Suicides always happen in an impulsive moment "People contemplate, think about it, imagine it, fantasize about it, write suicide notes, post things on the Web. After many days or weeks, [they] then perhaps make a fatal attempt. There is a major theory in the field that says that no suicides are impulsive. That there is always a history if you dig deep enough. "The idea that they come out of the blue may happen, but it's actually quite rare. A small number of people, especially among adolescents or school kids, are not going to communicate their intent. But that's the exception. They're going to be mostly letting their friends know, dropping hints, writing essays that their English teacher might pick up, telling teachers and coaches. So when people say this, they're not crying wolf. It's something to take seriously. "Kids telling other kids is really critical because that's who they're gonna tell. They are not going to typically tell their parents. They get oftentimes a very negative reaction, even a punitive reaction. So, schools are in a position to try to communicate to kids that talking to your friends is fine, but if you really are a friend of this person, keeping a secret about something as serious as suicide is not in their best interest. And they need to pass that information up to teachers or the principal or to ... counselors who are in a position to get professional help involved." Myth 5: Young children, ages 5 through 12, cannot be suicidal "Young children do take their lives. In the United States each year, about 30 to 35 children under the age of 12 take their own lives. "It's hard for a lot of us to imagine that a child that young — a 5-, 6-, 7-year-old — could actually know what it means to say, 'I want to kill myself.' But we do research with young children and know that kids are saying these words. "They do intend it, and they do sometimes take their lives. Oftentimes, by running into traffic and getting hit by a car. We don't know a lot about young children taking their lives. The suicide prevention literature kind of begins at age 12 to 14. It's almost as if, even in the professional literature, young children can't be suicidal. And it's just not the case." Myth 6: When there has been a suicide, having a school assembly seems like a good idea "There's literature and a professional take on all this that in post-vention, which is intervening after a suicide has occurred in a school, you want to find a response that is not overreacting, which would cause other kids to copycat or to follow that behavior. "Alternatively, you don't want to underreact. And so there is a very useful literature out there, professional associations that provide guidelines where we try to find that sweet spot of attending to the fact that this happened, providing necessary information and then resources, but not letting the whole school out to go to the funeral. Or not having an assembly where everybody comes to hear from an expert about suicide. "We really want to have these conversations in smaller groups, especially among those kids who were most affected by the suicide. So, just a wholesale didactic event is not necessarily in the school's best interest. And not necessarily the best way to prevent copycat suicides or additional suicides. "The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention does have very useful guidelines that are specific to schools. The American Association of Suicidology has also had a task force. There is extensive literature that is accessed through those organizations about what is optimal, school-based post-vention. "We certainly know that children and adolescents are heavily influenced, especially teenagers, by their peers. And that's developmentally normal. So one of the things that we do worry about with kids is the idea of copycat effects, or modeling effects. That a child in a school system who may seem sort of invisible takes their life and then suddenly everybody is abuzz about this horrific event. "For other kids who look at that, they might say, 'Wow, that's something I could do, too.' And that's the nature of the suicidal mind in a child — to not really think about this in a rational way. And that's where modeling effects are especially worrisome. And then we, of course, worry about clusters or contagion effects. And there is an extensive literature on how to manage that modeling effect so that there aren't additional suicides to add on top of what is a tragic event in most school systems.
  21. By Sophie Lewis, CNN (CNN)It was a selfie she thought was worth nearly $43 million. Katrina Bookman hit the jackpot on a slot machine in late August at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens. She even took an excited self-portrait with the machine displaying her winnings: $42,949,672. It would have been the largest slot machine jackpot in US history. "I can't even describe the feeling. It's like my whole body just got numb," Bookman told CNN affilate WABC. But when she came back the next day to find out the exact size of her jackpot, a casino employee crushed her excitement. "I said, 'So what did I win? He said, 'You didn't win nothing,'" she told WABC. The New York State Gaming Commission said that Bookman's machine had malfunctioned. The machine, like all the ones in the casino, has a disclaimer stating, "Malfunctions void all pays and plays." Instead, the casino offered Bookman a complimentary steak dinner. "All I could think about was my family," Bookman told WABC, her voice breaking. She grew up in foster care and raised 4 children as a single mother. Katrina Bookman and a slot machine screen displaying what she thought were her winnings. The New York State Gaming Commission told WABC that they immediately pulled the machine from the casino floor to fix it, and it is now up and running once again. The commission said that by law they can only award Bookman her actual winnings of $2.25, printed by the machine. "They win, and now the house doesn't want to pay out. To me that's unfair," says Bookman's attorney, Alan Ripka. He's fighting for the casino to pay Bookman the maximum amount allowed by the Sphinx slot machine -- $6,500. "The machine takes the money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win," Ripka said. Resorts World spokesman Dan Bank told CNN: "Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel were able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was the result of an obvious malfunction -- a fact later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission. "After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused." The casino couldn't send a portion of its revenue to a New York state education fund, as mandated by law, if had to pay out massive jackpots like the one displayed on Bookman's machine, Bank said. In five years, the casino has generated more than $1.6 billion for the fund, he said. But Bookman remains frustrated. "I should win the max. And I feel like I should treat him (the casino employee) to a steak dinner," she said.
  22. By Eric Walsh (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department charged 61 people and entities on Thursday with taking part in a scam involving India-based call centers where agents impersonated Internal Revenue Service, immigration and other federal officials and demanded payments for nonexistent debts. The scam, which had operated since 2013, targeted at least 15,000 people who lost more than $300 million. Twenty people were arrested in the United States on Thursday, while 32 individuals and five call centers in India have been charged, the department said in a statement. The defendants, including 24 people across nine U.S. states, were indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said at a news conference that the United States will be seeking the extradition of those based in India and warned others engaged in similar schemes. "It's really important for the scammers in India to know that the United States is looking at this, is watching them and they could, if they engage in that activity, be extradited to the United Sates and could sit in jail ... for several years," she said. According to the indictment, the operators of the call centers in Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, "threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government." Payments by victims were laundered by a U.S. network of co-conspirators using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, often using stolen or fake identities, the statement said. The call centers also ran scams in which victims were offered short-term loans or grants on condition of providing good-faith deposits or payment of a processing fee, it said. The investigation involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Treasury, Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and police officials, the Justice Department said. (Additional reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir)