Avoid Student Loan Scammers The FTC, Federal Trade Commission, states' Attorneys General and International agencies recently announced a joint initiative to fight student loan scammers through Operation Tech Trap. As part of the initiative, the FTC announced settlements against two massive tech support operations that had bilked millions of dollars from student loan holders.   To [...]

Avoid Student Loan Scammers
The FTC, Federal Trade Commission, states' Attorneys General and International agencies recently announced a joint initiative to fight student loan scammers through Operation Tech Trap. As part of the initiative, the FTC announced settlements against two massive tech support operations that had bilked millions of dollars from student loan holders.   To learn more about these consumer protection efforts, click on  https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/05/ftc-federal-state-international-partners-announce-major-crackdown. Another FTC website offers advice to student loan holders on how to spot scammers. This information may be seen at  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2016/12/repaying-student-loans-read. Another example of your tax dollars, federal and state, at work. Will the Republicans in Washington D.C. continue to fund these initiatives or will they support the scammers? Only time will tell.

Constitutional Freedoms Put At Risk By The FBI
Basic freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights include freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. New policies followed by the FBI now put these constitutional freedoms at risk. The Bureau has put in place an initiative called 'Black Identity Extremists' to identify and track the actions of individuals who question the actions of local police agencies that engage in violence against Blacks and other minorities. For example, in 2015 the FBI flew secret spy planes above protests over the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police in Baltimore. Additional protests in Missouri by Black Lives Matter also warranted Bureau actions designed to intimidate protestors. In 2016, The FBI warned the Black Lives Matter movement leaders not to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. To read more about this police-state activity, surf over to  https://splinternews.com/the-fbi-is-now-labeling-something-called-black-identity-1819227623. It seems that athletes who 'take a knee' during the National Anthem will now be labeled political terrorists by federal police authorities. Thus, peaceful protestors are now grouped with neo-Nazis, white supremacist, militias and other dangerous groups. So much for our Constitutional protections.

The website Medlineplus recently reported that pregnant women who took a multivitamin daily reduced the incidence of autism in their children. Swedish researchers analyzed data from more than 250,000 women and found a link, not a cause and effect proof, that daily vitamin use reduced the risk of neurological disorders. The odds of children developing autism were reduced by 30% in the multivitamin users test group. To learn more about this medical topic, visit  https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_168868.html.

Retirement Humor For Those Still Employed
Yesemails.com recently posted a series of 8 pictures that feature retirement sentiments. Such sentiments include ' The trouble with retirement is you never get a day off.' Or, 'Someone please tell my wife I'm Retired! To read these and six more sentiments, click on  http://www.yesemails.com/retirement/retirementsigns/.   Enjoy.

Finance 101 For College Students
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a Trump-threatened agency,   recently posted advice for college students needing direction on establishing bank accounts. This website offers practical advice to students about banking including the advisability of establishing a bank account as soon as possible when arriving at school; tips on how to avoid paying unexpected fees; and the benefits of signing up for direct deposit. Scrolling down the page presents tons of financial advice in addition to the above tips. To learn more surf over to  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/student-banking-101/. This is a valuable site for all new college students to visit.

Hurricane Website Tracks New Storms
In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria the National Hurricane Center tracks upcoming storms in real time. As I write this, the center shows a disturbance named Ophelia that sits off the coast of North Africa. If this depression moves west toward the Carribean, NOAA will provide information for people who may live in the path of the storm. To track Ophelia, visit  www.nhc.noaa.gov/.   The current wind speed is 115mph and is currently rated a category 3 hurricane.   We'll see what develops. And so it goes.