Ned Bittinger

The Business Side of Art

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February 2016

The Human Rights Foundation Supports Freedom Around the World

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) works to help all people enjoy the basic freedoms some people in the world take for granted, and other people have never enjoyed.

Its foundation is the ideals presented in 1976 in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Its mission is to preserve human rights where they now exist, and expand them to other people, promoting liberal democracy. HRF opposes violence.

Incorporated in 2005, HRF opened its New York office in 2006.

Its work includes education to raise awareness about freedom and how it’s vulnerable. It also works to free political prisoners. It carries out education programs in closed societies. And it organizes events around the world, building a greater public awareness and desire to protect and expand human rights and freedoms for all. It promotes tolerance and democracy, especially in Latin America.

HRF has secured the release of 7 political prisoners. It has testified to Truth Commissions on human rights violations. It has also submitted amicus briefs in international human rights court cases. And published two books on human rights.

Filmmaker and human rights activist Thor Halvorssen Mendoza founded HRF to work for human rights in a nonpartson way.  He’s also founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum and patron of On Our Own Feet, the Centipede Children a peace organization in Prague.

Halvorssen’s own family has experienced human rights violations in Venezuela. In 1993 his father, was falsely imprisoned, beaten and tortured. He was released only after human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Society for Human Rights took up his cause and pressured the government for his release. In 2004 Venezuela government security forces fired into a crowd of peaceful protestors, killing one person and wounding 2, including Halvorssen’s mother. In 2014, the government imprisoned Halvorssen’s first cousin.

Halvorssen’s films include: The Sugar Babies about children forced to work as slaves in Dominican Republic sugar farms, Hammer & Tickle about human rights violations in the Soviet Union and Freedom’s Fury about the 1956 Hungarian rebellion.

The Oslo Freedom Forum is an annual event bringing together human rights activists and leaders from all over the world.

HRF believes every person has the right to freedom of speech, of association and expression, freedom of religion and freedom from slavery and torture.



Autism is Everyone’s Issue

The whole world deals with autism. The main reason the cases of autism are so high right now is because of the lack of awareness being spread. Doctors are not diagnosing children early enough and sometimes they are making mistakes when delivering the child at birth There are a lot of things that can cause autism but the issue is that we do not agree on all of those causes. We are experiencing higher rates of autism than ever before reported.  In a recent interview with Friday magazine Sanjay Shah talks all about why the decision was made to start this foundation.It took international rap superstar to come to his home and explain to him that he was trying to get world class entertainers to do do benefit shows to help funding towards autism research. This really touched Sanjays heart. The 42 year old family man hosted Snoop Dog and his ten man entourage in his Dubai home to talk about the autism research. The fact that a man who has sold over 30 million records id concerted about the situation inspired him to start his own fundraiser. He has a GoFundMe page to help with the fight of autism that we all say way too much everyday. Snoop Dog decided to get people to play the gigs for research because his youngest son was diagnosed with autism a few years ago. Since the idea started they have gotten stars like Lenny Kravitz to perform. Sanjay explains that all of the money goes to ARC which eventually goes to ART for reasearch. You can help donate at Sanjay’s GoFundMe page. Find Sanjay on Facebook to keep up with news and other events.



YouTubers You Should Know

Love them or hate them, either way they found their fame through a handheld camera and crafted a new kind of celebrity. That’s right; I’m talking about YouTubers.  Here are just a few that have skyrocketed to YouTube fame:

Tyler Oakley

Since first putting his face in front of the camera back in 2007, Oakley has gained a thriving following of Youtube subscribers as well as twitter and instagram followers. An American Youtuber and activist, Oakley’s videos mainly consist of pop culture, humor, and queer politics.

Zoella

Full name Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, is an English born author, fashion and beauty vlogger, and YouTuber. Zoella created her first video back in 2009 while working under the British retailer New Look.

Jenna Marbles

An American YouTube personality, comedian, and vlogger, Jenna Marbles (real name Jenna Maurey) has become an internet sensation ever since her video titled “How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want To Talk To” went viral back in 2011. Marbles has since gone on to do collaborations with other YouTubers, released her own brand of dog toys, co host the podcast Jenna and Julien, and host the SiriusXM Hits 1 “YouTube 15” countdown weekly.

Wengie

Australian-Chinese vlogger Wengie directs her focus more towards asian beauty tips and tricks, as well as asian beauty products. She also vlogs about fashion and occasionally throws in a a motivational video with a personal flair because it’s her passion to inspire girls around her to chase their dreams.
Wengie is a cat lover who is more than willing to help her readership and viewers to grow their own blogs. She offers sections on her blog http://www.wengie.com/ specifically for this purpose. She also is open for interviews and and promptly answers questions her followers have, making her a respectable member of the YouTube community.



Why Kyle Bass Seems Dangerous

Monetary interests can rot the most ethical of people. When a person has a lack of ethics from the get-go, money can exponentially advance the process. Kyle Bass is a frightening character in this regard, as he’s always had an air of suspicion about him.

In 2008, America hit an economic roadblock when it tried to push poor economic practices vis-a-vis subprime lending. Bass saw the troubles coming and predicted them, which quickly earned him national, and in some cases international, recognition. Bass currently maintains a hedge fund centered in Texas, but despite the initial fervor with which he expanded throughout the financial scene, his fund doesn’t seem to be performing too well. Yet Bass is continuously making television appearances, and all indications point toward increase of wealth on his end.

Certainly one reason he’s been able to increase in affluence has to do with CAD, the Coalition for Affordable Drugs. This organization uses political and legal shenanigans to cut prices on pharmaceutical organizations. The resulting stock drop among pharmaceutical agencies is something Bass is quick to capitalize on via short sold holdings. Bass basically uses the sentiment of the sick to manipulate the stock market such that he walks away with millions of dollars.

The problem has gotten so bad of late that congress actually becomes somewhat bipartisan concerning the issue. Bass isn’t doing anything illegal, but what he is doing has a distinct lack of ethics to it, and the result is gutting millions from the American economy.

Ultimately, Wikipedia shows Kyle Bass is beholden to Argentina. That’s where he’s from, and all indications point toward Bass being a lackey of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is the socialist despot who currently presides over Argentina. She is responsible for defaulting the country two times in the last thirteen years, and her financial decisions are continuously negligent. Yet even though Bass made his mark on the financial scene by predicting faulty financial practices, his interdiction with de Kirchner seems entirely blind to her poor choices. In fact, Bass seems to endorse them, and continuously sings de Kirchner’s praise! This seems to indicate that Bass is a lackey of some sort for Argentina, and that his efforts in America financially have to do with economic destabilization. Socialism is all about facilitating a global revolution, and de Kirchner couldn’t really be a socialist if in some way that utopian ideal didn’t color her reasoning.

In the end, Bass must be closely considered and trusting him may not be the best idea.



Overcoming Regulatory and Compliance Issues

When it comes to hedge funds, some of the most pressing issues involve regulatory and compliance. In order to ensure success, a firm needs to have experts on staff that are well-versed on the many aspects of hedge funds. Within the investment industry, one of the most recognized experts on laws related to hedge funds is Sam Tabar. Using his extensive legal background as well as experience working on the international financial stage, Sam has been able to learn more and more about hedge fund structure and formation with each job he has held over the years. In fact, it has been his ability to quickly spot new trends in the industry that has helped him gain the trust of clients and become recognized the world over for his inquisitive mind.  Sam Tabar has even moved into creating Vimeo videos to continue to help others learn about the industry.

Impeccable Career of Sam Tabar from Sam Tabar

Upon his graduation from law school at Columbia, Sam decided to use his training and start his career by working for a world-renowned law firm in the United States. As an Associate with the firm, Sam was given the responsibility of working with clients from all over the world. Focusing on numerous topics with his clients, Sam helped many people overcome issues regarding management agreements, employment law, contract structure and formation, and much more. Credited for ensuring many people were able to gain a better understanding of hedge funds and how they could invest in them, Sam was given increasing levels of responsibility within the firm.

However, soon afterwards Sam decided he wanted to pursue other career options. Thus, he left his lucrative law career behind and instead moved into a position with PMA Investment Advisors as the firm’s Managing Director and Head of Capital Strategy. In this high-level executive position, Sam was put in charge of designing and implementing global marketing strategies that would produce stellar results for the firm. In a dramatic move, the firm put Sam in charge of its most valuable account, a hedge fund worth more than $2 billion. Never one to shy away from the task at hand, Sam embraced the challenge and immediately began to build an extensive network of investors for the fund.



What Is An Investment Banker, Exactly?

Because of the popularity of startups around the world, people everywhere now seem to know about venture capitalists. Called VC’s for short, these financial individuals are sometimes known as angel investors as well. However, while VC’s get a lot of attention, it seems that another kind of individual does not: the investment banker.

Who is an investment banker? Firstly, they have been around far longer than VC’s and have also fostered important trade relationships in that time. They can be of great help to those looking to raise money, especially entrepreneurs. But again, what exactly is an investment banker?

An investment banker is someone who helps companies or governments raise funds by selling financial assets on the market. This often includes the issuing of securities. They also provide fundraising for capital markets such as debt or equity. Perhaps more importantly they also offer advising and consulting services for strategic mergers, acquisitions, and other kinds of important financial actions on behalf of a company, organization, or individual.

A great investment banker can help companies decide where and how to raise their money. They also prepare important documents and prevent misunderstandings that can be costly. They follow regulations to ensure compliance as well. But aside from the financial benefits, investment bankers help people in a larger sense of the word. They can create situations that allow people with difficult circumstances to rise above them and create success.

One such example of an investment banker who uses his intellgience and financial resources to help people is Martin Lustgarten. Lustgarten is a dual national of Austria and Venezuela.

For example, Lustgarten has used his purchase order financing company to help those in certain areas who are having difficulties gaining access to global trade. He allowed them to engage in American trade by providing U.S. dollars in a location that was difficult to come by them in Venezuela.



Getting to Know The Stars of Queens of Drama

Queens of Drama is a reality television show which debuted in the United States on the cable television network, POP. The series was produced by Leslie Greif and stars, Crystal Hunt, Lindsay Hartley, Hunter Tylo, Donna Mills, Vannessa Marcil and Chrystee Pharris.

The series rose to prominence due to it’s famous soap opera personalities, most notably Crystal Hunt who is renowned for her appearances on such well received soap operas as Guiding Light and One Life To Live. Hunt has also appeared in the Zac Efron headed vehicle, The Derby Stallion as well as the teen romance comedy, Sydney White.  Metacritic has more about what Crystal has done in her career.

On Facebook Crystal makes it apparent that the leader of the group on the show is played by Donna Mills, as herself, of Play Misty For Me fame (the 1970s Clint Eastwood cult hit). Mills has also starred in numerous other films and television series, often with high profile film makers, such as Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink The Water or the famous cult classic western, Gunsmoke as a troubled woman. Mills position as queen bee of the show was likely done due to the fact that out of all the other actresses she has easily had the most prolific and lauded career.  There’s a cool acting reel for Crystal Hunt from the show on YouTube.

Next up is Lindsay Hartley, who is known primarily for her performances in the soap operas, Passions, where she played Theresa Winthrop, as well as All My Children, where she played Cara Castillo. Hartley is also one of the earliest of the leading ladies of “Queens” to get her start in show business, with a stunning debut as pre-teen beauty pageant winner of the Young Miss America Beauty Contest.

First gaining a foothold in the world of acting from her casting in the famous soap opera, Days of Our Lives as Marina Torasco. Unfortunately her character, though a villain, was wildly unpopular. She quite acting but found herself returning to the show off and on again over the years ultimately culminating in a freak collapse during the shooting of recent episode of Queens of Drama. However, her fans need not worry as she’s currently back on her feet and doing better than ever.

Vanessa Marcil, in contrast, has not had quite as storied a career as many of the previous stars but has earned her fair share of awards and praise nonetheless.

Lastly there is Chrystee Pharris, a actress remembered primarily for her starring role in the supernatural, romance drama, Passions. She has also been featured in such popular television programs as The Steve Harvey Show, Scrubs and Castle.



Reifler Provides A Unique Perspective on Investment

Brad Reifler recently announced five important tips for investing. Now, the wealthy one percent of people have the money to use high-end investment services where the companies are able to provide them with investment tips, strategies or just invest for the individual. However, for the other 99 percent, this simply is not possible. That is exactly why Brad Reifler created these five tips, and talks about them on Twitter. This way, the average Joe is able to take his or her hard earned money and invest it with the best potential of receiving a quality return on investment.

For starters, he pointed out that it is important in regards to how the money is invested. Far too many people don’t think about the risks or the charges associated with the investment. All of this can lead to some rather big problems later on. So, by being careful and considering everything, investors can safeguard their money and avoid potentially devastating problems.

The next step he pointed out is to be concerned about the safety of the money. Knowing where the money is and how it is used or maintained is important. That is why someone should never just hand over their money to a random investor and assume they are going to take care of the money.

The third tip according to Brad Reifler’s about.me page in regards to investing is to not put all of a person’s money into the stock market. While the stock market is one of the most common investment platforms, it is not always the best. If the stock market crashes, a person runs the risk of having all of their investments drop off. By diversifying a portfolio, an individual is able to safeguard their money, so if one does drop out, they are not in big trouble.

Onto the fourth step, which is knowing who is going to be using the money for investments. Having a level of trust developed is a must. If someone does not trust the investment manager with their money, they should not move ahead working with them.

Lastly, the final step in the five tips Brad Reifler gives to the other 99 percent of people who are not necessarily able to afford the top of the line investment services, is to recognize why someone is investing. An investor needs to have a purpose. This might be to afford a new home or for retirement. Everyone needs a reason for the investment, as without one someone might lose track of why they are going after more money.

All of these tips should be taken to heart by investors.  Check out Brad’s Crunchbase site to see further information about what he’s done and where he’s going.



Highland Capital Management Reports Latest Holdings

Highland Capital Management is a hedge fund run by James Dondero. The fund has an asset base of $3.42 billion as the latest 13F form indicates. It’s a decrease of nearly $1.5 billion from the last filing. The Top 10 holdings comprise nearly 30% of its capital with American Airlines, Salesforce.com, and American Express among the biggest.

When it comes to sector allocation, the largest share belongs to Health Care (20%), followed by Information Technology and Finance (each 18%), and Energy (12%). The fund also holds various Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as well as options (both calls and puts). Among the biggest recent buys are calls on SPDR (Spider) S&P500 ETF and a purchase of Amazon shares.

The fund has also increased its stakes in American Airlines (calls), showing its bullish bet on this company. Another bigger bet was made on Salesforce.com.

When it comes to liquidating positions, Jim Dondero sold puts on XBI (a SPDR series), Nextpoint CR Strategies, Mckesson Corp, Envision Healthcare Holdings, and Laboratory Corp. Watch Jim and the Highland Team ring the NYSE Closing Bell below.

Overall, during the reporting period, there were 69 new purchases, 62 additional purchases, 119 stocks were sold out, and 80 positions were reduced. More details can be found on Octafinance website.

James Dondero is one of the founders and the current President of Highland Capital Management. Jim has over 30 years of experience in credit markets. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, from where he oversees fund’s investment policy and operations.

The funds ran by Jim have have been distinguished in the past. Morningstar has given a 5-star designation for global allocation in 2014, and ranked Healthcare Long/Short Equity Fund as #1 the same year.

This article recapped http://www.octafinance.com/highland-capital-management-top-10-holdings-in-q3-2015/352793/



Discover Your Inner Unicorn with Doe Deere

Doe Deere, the face behind the ultra-successful Lime Crime cosmetic brand, wants us all to find our inner unicorn. Using the terms she reserves for people that are just a little bit different, brave, creative and daring, Deere believes a bit of the unicorn spirit lives in all of us. In a recent interview with Bustle, Doe Deere sat down to discuss the fashion rules that are meant to be broken.

Be Bold

General make-up rules dictate that you should pick either a bold eye or a bold lip. Deere claims this isn’t so and often feels most comfortable in a makeup look that is universally bold. Choose the colors and pairings that speak to you, that make you feel beautiful. If that means a smoky eye paired with a deep, red lip, more power to you.

Be Careful Mixing Colors

Another fashion “rule” worth breaking concerns mixing colors. Deere encourages everyone to take a risk and play with color. Do not be afraid to experiment with blending brights and pastels, neutrals and neons or any other combination that makes you jump for joy.

Avoid Too Many Patterns

Next to mixing colors, Doe Deere loves to play with patterns. While she agrees that creating a beautiful look featuring multiple patterns can be intimidating, it can also be breathtaking.

Avoid Socks with Heels

Socks allow you to accessorize every outfit with personality, according to Deere. A self-proclaimed owner of more than 100 pairs of socks, Deere believes they are an easy way to add color and fun to any outfits. Mix and match your heels and your favorite socks.

Bold Hair, Neutral Outfit

While neutral clothing provides a blank slate for brightly hued hair, you do not have to avoid colorful outfits. Deere encourages mermaid haired beauties to pay attention to color saturation. Pair pastel locks with light, soft colors.

Dress Your Age

Deere believes there is no such thing as dressing your age, or dressing for a certain occasion. Instead, she believes in dictating your own wardrobe. Put together outfits that make you feel happy, beautiful and daring. Do not be afraid to wear that tulle skirt at any age, or a glittery jacket while shopping for groceries.

Watch Doe Deere at PHAMExpo:




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