Protecting Whistleblowers Must Include Social and Legal Protection

While we all believe in business and government working for our benefit on some level, the reality is that you cant count on that being the case at all times. In fact, plenty of businesses and government agencies eagerly break the rules if they can. Or, perhaps more charitably, people within those business and government offices will break the rules if they think they arent being watched.

An unfortunate amount of effort is put into some businesses and government offices in finding ways around the law and around accountability. This is the reason whistleblowers are so important. Often, whistleblowers come in for a whole lot of blowback. They may reveal things we dont really want to face, and they may cost businesses or governments a lot of money to recover face, pay fines, or restore their processes to the legal level. Whistleblowers, then, are an inconvenience to a lot of people, and yet what they do is invaluable. Thats why we have to protect them.

All too often, we let whistleblowers down in multiple ways. In the first case, we dont protect them legally. Even though, as the whistleblowing lawyers at the Melton Law Firm point out, there are laws in place to protect people in such an event, often, the law isnt used to its full advantage to provide that legal protection. The reason for this is largely because of the second level: our social reaction.

While in theory we probably all laud whistleblowers, those negative consequences often make many of us turn on them. Perhaps they embarrass our political party or people we support in power in government. Perhaps they harm a major local business that may result in layoffs or raised prices. On the surface, then, from our limited perspective, we might see the whistleblower as an enemy.

And yet, that is simply not the case. Change the political party and consider the business in the next town over, and youd clearly be glad to see the whistle blown on that operation. Thats all the more true because of the kinds of things whistleblowers expose, such as (once again, according to Melton Law Firm): tax violations, embezzlement, fraud, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, and unlawful billing. Those are major issues, and only some of the most common ones whistleblowers expose.

But they wont get the protection they need (and they also will probably stop coming forward) if we dont all come together to insist they get the full protection of the law and the full support of their communities.

In these partisan times, its easy to only support those who benefit your beliefs or your immediate position, but we need to see beyond that and remember to support those who are doing an absolute good for our society. Thats why we have to make sure whistleblowers continue to come forward and they continue to be supported, both at the community level and at the legal level.

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The plight of the American worker

We need more people in this country concerned about workers’ quality of life, income, and rights.

For decades now, America has only paid attention to the so-called “job creators.” We have heard all that they need for a perfect environment to thrive. If they need lower taxes, they get them. If they need less regulation, they get it. If they need an erosion of workers’ rights, they get that too.

We now live in a time when the minimum wage is massively out of date, in which it is now almost impossible for a family to support itself on one income, in which unions are dying off and with them, well-paying, long-term jobs that promised some security in life. So far, we’ve seen little happening in Washington that might help relieve these problems. In fact, Washington seems determined to keep pushing the other way, to keep cutting taxes, and regulations, and workers’ rights.

That’s why we need more people dedicating their time to helping the American worker. We need people volunteering for this issue. We need people campaigning on this issue. We need people defending those who have been abused by their employers. We need every household talking about how unfairly the American worker is treated.

Because the American worker is treated very unfairly. Compared to other developed countries, America is incredibly far behind on most important issues. Almost every country in the world offers some form of maternity leave; some even offer paternity leave, America offers nothing. All developed countries have some form of universal health care that covers all its citizens, America is still far from that and Washington is trying to push back on the gains made over the last decade. Most countries have thriving unions to protect workers, America’s unions are dying. Finally, every developed country ensures that every employee gets several weeks of paid leave every year—medical and vacation—only America doesn’t guarantee this.

The situation is dire. The American worker is suffering from low wages, overworking, poor health care, and few people there to defend him or her.

So, what can you do?

That depends on who you are. If you have the money, be sure to donate some to candidates who support pro-worker policies. If you have time, volunteer for organizations that defend workers or educate the general populace about workers’ rights. If you’re a lawyer or studying to be one, consider expanding your expertise into the area of workers’ rights, and take cases to help those who need help most, even when they aren’t the most lucrative.

And, no matter who you are, be sure to vote in every election. Vote only for those candidates who clearly articulate that their allegiance is with the workers of America, and not with the “job creators” who have pushed this country into such a desperate position.

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How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

When you think about oral health, the first things that come into your mind are teeth. That is okay, because the teeth are truly essential parts of oral health, but it is important to point out that the gums are equally important.

Not taking care of your gums may even lead to gum disease, and ultimately, to tooth loss. So, you should take care of your gums as well, because if you focus too much on your teeth and disregard the other parts of your mouth, you may still end up losing those teeth anyway.

Brush your teeth and gums

If you don’t brush your teeth properly and regularly, food debris, plaque, and bacteria may accumulate enough to damage both your teeth and gums. Also, it is a good idea to brush your gums lightly with a circular motion, to remove further debris that may travel around your mouth during brushing. Bacteria is really the danger you have to worry about. Brush twice a day.

Floss once a day

If you need to brush twice a day, you only need to floss once. Flossing is important in removing particles, because your toothbrush may not be able to reach all the little spaces in your mouth, particularly those between your teeth.

Avoid smoking

Even if you clean your mouth properly, you may still have gum problems if you expose it to harmful products, like tobacco. Smoking has been known to be linked with oral problems, not to mention that it can weaken your immune system. If you have a weak immune system, it will not be very effective in fighting off gum infections.

Visit your dentist regularly

It cannot be stressed enough that bacteria are the main enemies of your gums. Brushing and flossing are not perfect methods in removing debris, particles, and bacteria, because you may miss some spots. If you go to the dentist, he can clean your teeth effectively, reducing the risk of gum problems. Also, a regular visit to a professional ensures that you do not have any oral problems, and even if you do, at least they will be detected and treated immediately before they become big burdens.

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Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal because of how dangerous it can be. DWI penalties include fines, license suspensions, and jail times, and their severity may depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of times the offense has been committed.

This just proves that those who enforce the law take drunk driving seriously. This is because they clearly know how it can be dangerous, not only for the drunk drivers themselves, but also for the innocent motorists around them.

Physical

Alcohol affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, it can affect your body coordination. The movement of your eyes, hands, and feet is a significant factor in driving, so failure to coordinate these body parts may result into accidents.

Alcohol also gives you intense feelings of relaxation, which may make you feel fatigued or sleepy. There may be instances where you are already nodding your head and closing your eyes because of these feelings. Worse, you can even fall asleep.

Mental

Your mental condition is also important to ensure your safety on the road. A single mental lapse may be enough to get you into an accident. You may not fully understand traffic lights and run through red lights. You may not comprehend warning signs and crash into a construction site ahead.

Alcohol also affects your reaction time. If a pedestrian suddenly crosses the road, you may not be mentally quick enough to judge the situation and react accordingly.

Emotional

Those who are under the influence of alcohol also have the tendency to be overly emotional. These emotional tendencies can be particularly dangerous when they are already on the wheel because they are a form of distraction. Worse, the driver may even have tears in the eyes, creating possible vision problems.

Those who are drunk also have the tendency to be reckless. They are more likely to speed, tailgate, and weave through traffic.

 

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Is Sweden’s Vision Zero Achievable on U.S. Roads?

In 2013, motor vehicle crashes claimed the lives of 32,719 individuals in the U.S. During the same year the number of people killed in road accidents in Sweden was 264. Sweden’s roads have become one of the safest roads on earth – with only three deaths out of every 100,000 Swedes as compared to the 11.4 per 100,000 individuals in the United States.

On September 3, 1967, a Swedish legislation that was passed in 1963, took effect. This legislation, also known as Dagen H or the Right-Hand Traffic Diversion, ordered a switch to right-hand traffic. Though everything seemed almost hilarious, but contrary to what so many said that the switch is murderous, road fatalities dropped more than 50% to the surprise of many. This was because everyone drove carefully; drivers had both of their hands on the wheel and both of their eyes on the road. Nobody or very few dared to fight for the way too.

Stating confidently that deaths or injuries on the road are not acceptable, the Swedish parliament wrote into law in 1997 its “Vision Zero” plan, which promises to eliminate road injuries and fatalities altogether. With the way they are handling and managing things, they are slowly proving that, indeed, mobility and safety can be enjoyed at the same time.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated ninety-four percent of car crashes are due to errors committed by drivers. Driving errors are clear manifestations of irresponsible and bad road behavior. These activities, which have actually become an epidemic on U.S. roads and highways include, but are not limited to, speeding, drunk-driving, reckless driving, aggressive driving, failure to use signal lights, tailgating, changing lanes improperly, improper way of overtaking and distracted driving. Of all these, distracted driving is one contributing factor in accidents that can be committed by even the most careful drivers.

Distracted driving involves turning one’s attention from the act of driving to an activity that takes away a his/her attention off the road and/or his/her hand/s off the wheel. There can be an endless list of distracted driving activities, but to name a few of those most commonly committed, there is eating, drinking, conversing with a passenger, reading a map, grooming, using/adjusting a GPS, watching a video, adjusting a radio, a CD player, or any portable electronic device, fixing a tie, lighting a cigarette, driving while angry, texting or conversing with someone over a hand-held phone (these last two happen to be the leading cause of driving distraction, especially among young drivers).

Driving distractions are so normal that a driver, most often than not, will not even realize that he/she is already guilty of distracted driving. Unfortunately, whenever a driver gets distracted or makes mistakes, the most often result is a crash that can injure or even kill another.

With our smart phones and GPS devices within arms reach, our minds are easily distracted. This type of negligent behavior can lead to serious and sometimes fatal consequences.

As clearly pointed out by a Louisville car accident attorney, however, “If there is a single expectation that we should be able to have of other drivers, it should be that they will take every reasonable precaution to avoid causing an accident. Nonetheless, there are drivers out there who are so completely unaware of themselves and their surroundings that they end up causing serious accidents that should have been avoidable. That being said, drivers who do anything else to cause an otherwise preventable accident—like looking at their phone instead of the road—can usually be held financially liable for the accidents that they cause.”

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