Category: Blog

What Are The Important Clauses In Marine Insurance?

marine cargo ship aerial view
marine cargo ship aerial view

It’s Important To Read The Fine Print

Clauses in marine insurance are the fine print you should not overlook when seeking coverage. These clauses often illustrate what is or isn’t covered in the policy. Clauses protect insurers and clients from misunderstanding and financial obligations covered in the marine insurance policy. 

Some of the important clauses in marine insurance are the valuation clause, warehouse to warehouse clause, sue and labour clause, and change of voyage clause. The touch and stay clause, At and From clause, and jettison clause are also important. 

This article will look at the various clauses in detail and how they impact your choice of marine insurance.

Valuation Clause

The valuation clause states the agreed amount, beyond which the insurer will not compensate for the loss or damage of the agreed goods. In some cases, the insurer and policyholder agree to assess the losses at the time of the event. So, this clause remains blank. 

Holding off from filling the valuation clause has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is if you incur massive losses, the insurer will base the claim on the current cost of products. Unfortunately, once the amount is listed, the policy does not cover inflation, and other factors will increase the cost of goods. 

The downside is you will be operating blindly. You will not know the compensation due to you should an accident result in the damage or loss of goods. 

You also need to be good at record-keeping if you want to be guaranteed fair compensation. 

Warehouse To Warehouse Clause

Marine insurance is vast. It can also cover the risks on land, as well as at sea. If your cargo moves from the warehouse to the port, this policy protects you from any damage or loss incurred when moving goods from one warehouse to another. 

Sue And Labour Clause

If you, the insured, have to take measures to protect against any imminent losses, the insurer must compensate you. For example, if you are exporting goods to a specific country but discover that a war has broken out, you may decide to send the goods to a nearby country as you assess the situation. 

In this case, you spent money to divert the goods, but you also saved your business from incurring losses. You have also saved the insurer from paying for the damages. So, it is only fair that the insurer compensates for quick thinking and action. 

Change Of Voyage Clause

When taking marine insurance, the policy will list all the ports you expect your goods to pass. The route the ship takes will also be listed. If the ship deviates from the listed routes, and anything happens to the goods, the insurer is not liable. 

Even when the ship made a detour and ended in the original route, this is seen as a breach of the contract. The insurer will not pay for any claims made.

Touch And Stay Clause

This clause is similar to the change of voyage clause, but the touch and stay clause is specific to ports. Your policy only covers stops at specified ports. If the ship decides to dock at an unlisted port, the insurer will not be liable. The only exceptions are if the ship had valid reasons for the detour. 

Jettison Clause

The jettison clause refers to when cargo is deliberately thrown off the ship in emergencies. It could be to save the ship from sinking. This is often covered in the general clause. 

At And From Clause

This clause specifies when the policy comes into effect. This policy covers goods when they are loaded onto the ship and from the time the ship departs. So, you need not worry about your cargo staying at the port and the risks. 

These are some of the clauses you need to look at when requesting marine hull insurance cover. Policies differ depending on the cover you take. Find out what clauses are covered in the different policies and how these clauses protect your business against losses. 

Comparison Between Touch And Touchless Faucets

rose gold faucet attached to a modern sink
rose gold faucet attached to a modern sink

All About Faucets

The difference between a touch-sensitive and touchless faucet is so subtle that sometimes you may not notice it. This happens a lot if you are using a faucet in a public space. However, when you are keen, you will notice that these faucets share similarities and differences. 

Touch and touchless faucets sound like they are opposites. However, in reality, they are similar. Both faucets use sensors to turn on and turn off the water. However, the main difference is you need to tap the touch faucet for it to respond. A touchless faucet detects movement close to it.

Both the touch and touchless faucets are great additions to your home. They both use some of the latest technologies that will help you prevent cross-contamination and conserve water. 

How Touch Sensitive Faucets Work

Touch-sensitive faucets are a solution to some of the challenges of touchless faucets. Touchless faucets are triggered to come on by any movement. It could be your pet or child. The faucet will come on even if the faucet was not the target.

Touch faucets an electrical charge which will be triggered when the sensor alerts it of your touch. The faucet will then come on, and it will do the same when you tap it to turn the water off. The sensors are designed to read a single touch. A prolonged touch will not trigger the sensors. 

If you forget to touch the faucet to turn it off, the sensors will automatically turn it off after some time. This is one of the differences between touch and touchless faucets. The touchless faucet will stop running when you remove your hand, while the touch faucet will keep running if you forget to tap it. 

Pros And Cons Of Touch And Touchless Faucets

If you are torn between buying a touch or a touchless faucet, the advantages and disadvantages of each faucet will help you choose the most suitable one.



Touch Faucets
-Prevents the spread of germs
-They are attractive
-They conserve water
-Easy to use
-Need electricity to run (electric faucets)
-You need backup batteries (battery operated faucets)
-Setting temperature and water pressure can be complicated
-Sensors can fail
-Water wastage if the faucet is not tapped to go off.

Touchless faucet
-Available in many finishes
-Easy to keep clean
-Prevents cross-contamination
-Easy to use
-Goes off automatically
-Can be triggered by anything
-Long-range trigger settings lead to water wastage
-Pets may turn it into their toy, resulting in water loss.

Touch and touchless faucets are quite similar, but the difference in how they are operated may make all the difference in helping you decide the best faucet for your home.

Touch and touchless faucets in bathrooms have great designs and will enhance the appeal of your home. Choosing the best between the two can be a challenge, but since they use similar technology, you will not lose much even when you choose one over the other. Both faucets are durable and will give you value for money.

Screen, Heat Transfer, or Custom Embroidery Printing? 

a rainbow of embroidery threads
a rainbow of embroidery threads

What Can We Print?

When preparing to launch a product or promote your business, you will need to come with a list of items that you can customise. Whether you are looking for custom t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, tote bags, or keychains, you need to identify the best print to use. 

Before seeking a company providing custom embroidery printing in Singapore, it is best to find out if custom embroidery is the best choice. 

Custom Embroidery Printing

Embroidery stitches are perfect for marketing clothing, such as work uniforms, aprons, caps, blankets, and t-shirts. Technology has today made it possible for businesses to reproduce embroidery prints quickly, so you need not worry about having your bulk orders delivered within a short period. 

Embroidery prints last a long time when done on the right fabric. Thick fabrics are ideal for embroidery printing. However, very light fabrics, like satin, when embroidered can be elegant because it gives an impression of a permanent wrinkle that alters the general appearance of the garment. 

However, light fabrics also need to be handled delicately, which may be a challenge for some people. This is why it is best to choose woven fabrics that are easier to embroider and maintain.  

Embroidery threads also come in a range of colours and thicknesses. 

Custom embroidery is ideal for simple designs. Complex designs with multiple lines can easily be overwhelmed with embroidery stitches, which are usually thicker than other prints.

The other downside of custom embroidery in Singapore is the cost is usually a little higher than that of other prints.  

Custom Screen Printing

Screen printing is another popular method for customising promotion apparel, like t-shirts. Not only do companies hand out screen-printed customised t-shirts to promote their services, but many online stores sell such t-shirts bearing images of some of the popular destinations. 

Like embroidery printing, screen printing has limitations. For example, you cannot use more than four colours per custom print. This is because one screen is used for every colour. 

Using multiple colours complicates the screen printing process, so many companies in Singapore offering screen printing services limit the number of colours to use. 

The quality of the screen print depends on the quality of the image. High-definition images result in a vibrant print. When low-definition images are used, the print on the t-shirt may appear faded. 

One feature that screen printing and embroidery printing share is the possibility of layering colours and shading for visual effects. In custom embroidery, threads of different colours and thicknesses are used to create this effect. 

The downside of screen printing is the cost increases with each layer of colour added. So, if you wish to have vibrant, multiple colours but have a tight budget, you may have to consider an alternative custom print or reduce the number of colours to use. 

Heat transfer printing

As the name suggests, heat transfer printing involves printing a design on a special paper and transferring it onto fabric using heat. Heat transfer prints tend to integrate better onto the fabric than screen prints. The other advantage of this method is the design can be complex, and there is no limit to the colours you can use. 

Unfortunately, heat transfer printing can be costly for bulk orders. Another drawback is, unlike embroidery prints which are durable, heat-transfer prints may fade over time. 

In Conclusion

These are the three main types of custom printing in Singapore. The pros and cons of each method will help you decide on the best custom print to use. 

Find Sanitary Care Specialist In Malaysia

Modern bathroom with toilet accessories
Modern bathroom with toilet accessories

Toilets Are Essential

Home whether small or big is nothing without a toilet. Even if you go out to some commercial place you might need to use the toilet. Thus, a toilet is an essential place for all and the selection of a toilet bowl is also crucial. Some manufacturers of Malaysian Toilets offer good sanitary fittings and toilet bowl. 

Here are the details:


This brand is in the sanitary ware domain for the last 35 years. The main accessories are bath mixers having bathroom basins and shower sets. If you have a tight budget, then you can visit and check some good designs and toiler bowl for your home. Since the brand is old and thus offer much variety and liberty to select at a low price.

Mandi BP-Kitchen Supplies and Bathrooms: 

Check online or through their physical store all the essential bathroom accessories as per your choice. So for your next bathroom makeover, checking the toilet bowl from this brand is not a bad option.

Johnson Suisse: 

This brand also offers a wide range of toilet accessories in Malaysia. This brand is not only seen in commercial areas but also in hotels, shopping malls and airports. The brand has a strong presence and is also available for household uses. You can check their online page or visit physical stores for more purchase. 


If you are looking for a modern toiler bowl and fitting for your new home, then try Premtex. These are high quality, modern fixtures for home settings. As per pricing, it might sound higher than your estimated budget. So check and decide to keep in view the size of your pocket.

Wasser Werkz: 

For high-quality bathroom fittings, washbasins, toilet bowl; you can check the Wasser Werkz web page or physical store. The brand also offers some excellent customer relation officers, who are always there to guide you regarding your bathroom fittings and requirements. 

Big Bath: 

Big Bath started small and expanded accordingly in a very short period. The sanitary products they offer are of good quality. You also have an option to either upgrade or replace your existing toilet settings. 

Kohler Malaysia: 

Kohler is considered the top brand in the category of toilet settings including toilet bowl in Malaysia. They are also expert in offering toilet seats, faucets, shower seats and lavatories. You can select the one depending upon the size of your toilet and other specific requirements.

Burhan sanitary fittings: 

The brand also offers electronic products like a bidet, shower screen or urinals. It is also used for meeting commercial requirements. Other bathroom fitting includes products that are for normal usage and manage manually.

Apex Ceramics: 

The brand also offers affordable toilet bowl and other products for every household use. Check the type and size that suits your requirement and decide accordingly. 


The article highlights some known brand of toilet accessories working in Malaysia. Some brands are new while others working for long. The pricing of the toilet bowl depends upon the brand name, quality and features of the sanitary ware. You can visit their web pages or physical stores for making the right choice. 

Key Features of a Good Work Uniform

Work uniform hanging on a tool wall
Work uniform hanging on a tool wall

Why Are Uniforms So Important?

Work uniforms convey company values, market the business, and are a form of identification for employees, especially those who work in the field. Since it performs several tasks, the work uniform has to meet official and societal expectations.

When ordering work uniforms, you need to expect the following. 

Work Uniforms Should Be Well Branded.

When an employee walks through the office premises or in the field, the people he encounters should easily tell where he works even before he introduces himself. The company colours and logo are the two main things that make work uniforms official. 

You need to ensure the company colours and logo stand out. They both need to send a unified message without looking like they are competing for attention. 

The Fitting Should Be Right.

Ordering work uniforms without considering the body size of the wearers can be quite costly. You are likely to end up with work uniforms that are either too tight or too loose. This reflects badly on the business, and sometimes, on the employees. 

Employees need to feel good when they wear their work uniforms. They need to wear it with pride. However, for this to happen, the work uniforms should fit them well. 

Work Uniforms Should Be Made Of High-Quality Fabric.

When employees wear their clothes to work, the quality may not be an issue because they dress according to their style and budget. However, the expectations are higher when it comes to work uniforms. 

Work uniforms made of a poor-quality fabric reflect badly on the business. Clients may question the quality of service they will receive or whether the company has its priorities right. 

Some may wonder if they should be paying so much for products and services if the business is not interested in investing in good work uniforms. 

Since work uniforms are washed frequently, those made of poor quality are likely to wear out faster. So, in the long term, the company is likely to spend more on work uniforms.

Work Uniforms Should Be Practical.

The design of work uniforms needs to be practical. The role of the employee needs to be considered when designing work uniforms. For example, the front office employee needs to be sharply dressed to welcome clients. A worker who moves his tools may need overalls with pockets should he need to put his tools of the trade in his pockets as he works. 

Work Uniforms Should Be Stylish.

Work uniforms need not be boring. They can be fashionable. Employees wearing the uniforms need to feel good in them. Employees often grumble about wearing uniforms if the style is unremarkable. If they love the uniform, employees are more likely to represent the brand fully. 

They Follow Industry Standards

In some cases, you may not have much flexibility when it comes to designing work uniforms. Some industries have set standards that companies are required to adhere to when making work uniforms. For example, work uniforms for employees in the manufacturing sector are expected to have protective features. 


When ordering work uniforms, you need to ensure that you have everything in place so that when you begin production, mistakes are avoided. The budget for custom work uniforms can be quite high, so you need to ensure you get everything right.

Tips To Creating the Best Custom Polo Shirts 

Multicoloured polo tees folded on the table
Multicoloured polo tees folded on the table

How Can You Make Polo Tees Special?

The polo shirt is a simple yet attractive attire. This is why many organizations prefer it when buying customised apparel for their business. Logos on polo tee shirts stand out, making it easy for potential customers to spot the polo shirt details. 

Unfortunately, when polo tee printing Singapore is not done well, the polo tee’s appeal will be ruined. You need to get everything right when customising polo tee shirts. These tips will help ensure your custom polo shirts meet your expectations. 

Consider The Design Elements Before Choosing The Polo Shirts.

Choosing colours of polo t-shirts before deciding on the decoration features is a huge mistake. You may not have as much flexibility to change the colours of the decorative features, but you can use a range of polo shirt colours that will enhance the appeal of the decorative features. 

Discuss your decoration ideas with the company providing you with polo tee printing Singapore services. They may be better placed to guide you on the best t-shirt colours. If you have specific custom polo shirts Singapore colours in mind, you also need to discuss them. 

In some cases, if you cannot change the colours of the polo shirts, you can slightly alter the colour of the decorations to shades that are closer to the original company colours. 

What Environment Will The Polo Shirts Be Worn In?

Comfort is paramount when creating custom polo shirts in Singapore. Besides the concern about the appearance of the polo tee printing Singapore, you need to ensure the fabric is suitable for the environment. For example, the gold apparel industry offers polo shirts made entirely from polyester microfiber because it is lighter than other fabrics. 

If the polo shirts are worn by employees who spend hours outdoors in Singapore’s hot and humid conditions, factors such as the cooling effect are important when choosing the ideal fabric. 

Customised polo shirts can be a walking advertisement. However, if the wearers are uncomfortable, they may avoid wearing the polo tees, especially if they are not obligated to wear them. 

Plain, Patterned, Or Multi-Coloured Polo Shirts? 

Polo shirts are quite versatile today. For years, polo shirts were available in plain colours. However, today you can get them patterned. For example, you can find them in stripes or multiple colours. The variations enhance the appeal of the polo shirt. 

However, you need to ensure you pick a style that does not compete with your custom design. For example, if you pick a polo shirt with multiple colours, pick one whose colours will not make your logo hard to spot. If your logo colour is orange, picking an orange polo tee will not serve your marketing campaign well. 

You should also look at where you will be placing your logo or decorating feature. If it is on the left pocket, away from the competing colour, then this might work. If the logo will fall on the part bearing the same colour, then you need to find ways to contrast the outcome so that your logo or decorative feature stands out. 

Consider Logo Embroidery Of Different Colours.

If you are interested in custom polo shirts Singapore of many colours, then it is best to consider the possibility of a logo embroidered in different colours. This gives you greater flexibility and even allows you to explore polo shirts of different designs and colours. This is especially critical if you are preparing polo tee printing Singapore as gifts for your loyal customers. 


Custom polo tees are great giveaways for businesses and individuals. You can give a friend a custom polo shirt in Singapore for their birthday, and they are going to love it. You only ensure you get everything right, from the colour to the design. 

What Makes Custom Keychains Popular?

You have probably seen them everywhere. They are given as promotional gifts during campaign events, they are given as gifts, and you will even find big brands selling them in stores. What is it about custom keychains that make them this popular? 

They are great fashion accessories.

Since some keychains have fashionable features that look great as fashion accessories, you should consider this when ordering a personalised acrylic keychain. Do you want it to be a fashion accessory as well? If you do, you can make it colourful or even request a design that will stand out when the keyring hangs on a bag, purse, wallet, or smartphone case. 

They are effective marketing tools.

Since custom acrylic keychains are useful, consumers are always yearning and ready to take keychains over other promotional items. This is mostly because the Spotify acrylic keychain is multifunctional.

Businesses take advantage of the popularity of keychains to brand and market their products and services. Often, it pays off and is the reason personalised acrylic keychains remain a popular marketing tool. 

Keychains are great collectible items.

Some people enjoy collecting custom acrylic keychains, not necessarily because they need to use them, but because they are fantastic collectible items. The Spotify photo keychains come in different colours and designs. They also don’t take much space. You can collect many, and you will never worry about them taking over your house. 

Keychains are great for keeping your keys organized.

When you have too many keys in one custom acrylic keychain, you will be taking too long to find your keys. This is frustrating, especially when you are in a hurry. Having several personalised acrylic keychains will help you better organize your keys. You can easily locate your keys, even when you have more than one bunch in your bag. 

They make great souvenirs.

Since the Spotify acrylic keychain can be personalised in different ways, it can be a great souvenir. This is why the custom acrylic keychains make excellent handouts and gift items for all occasions. This is another reason large brands opt to give out acrylic photo keychains as souvenirs to show appreciation to their clients. 

They make hobbies more enjoyable.

Did you know you can find different types of custom acrylic keychains that illustrate activities you enjoy? For example, you can get personalised keychains for different destinations across the globe. So, if you enjoy travelling, you can collect Spotify photo keychains to illustrate the number of countries you have visited. 

Even if you don’t get an acrylic photo keychain bearing the country’s name, you can have those mentioning the major landmarks. For instance, you can get a Spotify acrylic Keychain with a photo of the Eiffel Tower to represent your trip to Paris or the Dubai Skyline to illustrate your latest travel adventure. Over time, you can turn your collectibles into a party game with your friends. 

These are some of the reasons why some people cannot stop collecting keychains. The popularity of custom acrylic keychains is unlikely to wane. You can also find a way to join the club of keychain collectors by finding a theme to make the collection process exciting. 

Everything You Need to Know about Personalised EZ-Link Cards

More Singaporeans are opting for a personalised ez link card over the standard card. As more companies offer ez link card design and customization services, it has become easier for anyone to have a personalised card for cashless payments. While many people today understand what ez link cards are, some are unaware that they can personalise their cards.  Purchase customized ez link cards here:

Can individuals personalise ez link cards?

Unfortunately, many people assume personalised ez link cards are for corporate institutions. This is not true. Anyone can have a personalised EZ Link card if they so wish. If you wish to personalise ez link cards for your family, you can do that. 

Can I give customised ezlink cards as gifts?

Yes, if you struggle to pick birthday, anniversary, wedding, or congratulations gifts for friends and family, you should consider giving a customised ezlink card. The card can have an image that will be meaningful to the recipient. 

For example, as a family, you can place your photos on the card. When the recipient pays a bill or goes out for dinner and removes the card to pay, he or she will always remember who is paying for the meal. 

Are there restrictions on how to customise EZ Link cards? 

No, you can be creative when it comes to the ezlink card design. You can put on personal photos, corporate logos, or any image you like. However, none of the images you submit for the design should infringe copyrights, neither should they violate the code of ethics. 

Companies that offer personalised ez link card services also have the right to decline orders if the design is deemed problematic. In some cases, the company will seek approval from EZLink if they are on the fence on whether the design is acceptable or not. 

Can I personalize both the front and back of the card?

When submitting the ezlink card design, it will only be placed on the front of the card. The functions of the ezlink card are at the back. All the companies providing EZ link card personalization services cannot tamper with the back of the card. 

What card finish options are available?

Each company offers different finishes for customised ezlink cards. It is best to ask what you get for the amount you pay for the personalised ez link card. Some companies only offer the normal glossy finish, while others use the latest digital technology to provide 3D effects. 

Is it cheaper to print many cards?

Yes, the unit cost of personalising ezlink cards varies depending on your orders. This is why you find corporate companies paying less per unit because they usually order thousands of customised ezlink cards. 

If you wish to make a saving, you can order multiple cards simultaneously, even if you don’t intend to give them all away at the same time. EZ Link cards expire after five years, so you shouldn’t worry about losing money. 

When ordering your customised ez link cards, you should find out if the company also offers top-up services. Most companies do this but have a surcharge for the service. Alternatively, you can customise the ezlink cards and handle the top-up on your own. 

Ways to Make Customised Gifts More Personal

Gifting is an old tradition that is not going away. If you groan every time a friend’s birthday or anniversary draws near because you find the process of choosing a gift overwhelming, you are not alone. Fortunately, custom photo printing online gives you the chance to customise different gifts to make each occasion unique and special. 

However, customised photo gifts are one thing; making them personal is another. What can you do to make your gift stand out from the rest? You don’t have to choose the biggest gift, but you could make it the most meaningful. People tend to hold on to gifts they treasure. You can make your gifts special by turning them into personalised photo gifts. 

Choose a gift with a back story.

Gifts with hidden meanings or stories tend to make amazing customised gifts. This is because they bring a smile to the person’s face whenever they look at the gift. For example, when choosing an image for personalised photo printing, you can choose a photo of a city that the recipient loves. 

It could be a destination where so many fun things happened, and you want the person always to remember those wonderful days when he looks at the personalised photo gifts. You can be sure such a gift will always be cherished because of the emotions it evokes. 

Go for a gift connected to the person’s interests.

What makes the person tick? Is it his job or hobby? Does he have a person he admires? Does he have a quote that he keeps saying to make him feel good or motivate himself to do better? You can use his interests to bring life to the customised gifts you wish to get. 

For instance, if you give him a customised chessboard because he is an avid player, you can personalise it further by writing a text of words he mumbles while playing. This way, you can both have a laugh whenever he subconsciously says the words written on the board. 

Create an experience

People get gifts and equally forget about the gifts all the time. You probably remember a few gifts because of the experience at the time. But generally, most gifts are forgotten, some a little too soon. You can make your personalised photo gifts more special by making them about an experience rather than the gift alone. 

If the person enjoys camping and has gone on many camping adventures, you can opt for personalised photo printing of one of your most memorable camping trips. You can also preempt an experience with a gift.

For example, a photo of the skatepark accompanied with a ticket for him to go enjoy himself. He will always associate the gift with the experience. 

Write a personal message.

Including popular quotes when you request custom photo printing online is fine, but if you really want to make the gift more personal, write from your heart. Your words will mean the world to your friend or loved one. They will always hold the gift dear, mostly because of your words. 

There is no limit to how far you can go to make the gift unique and special when it comes to personalized photo gifts. Think outside the box, and your gifts will always be treasured, not just on a special day but for years to come. 

How to Protect Your Wood Photo Prints

Have you noticed that no matter how often you take photos, some will stand out more than others? Your feelings radiate in the image, and if you are in a bad mood, it will show in the photo. This is why we choose to use one photo over another. We want the image that captures our best side. When you have your best photo in custom wood prints, you want to preserve it. 

Photos remind us of events and our feelings at the time when the photos were taken. We want to hold those moments dear. When your favourite personalised wooden photo block is ruined, it feels like you have lost an important moment. You need to do the needful to protect wood photo prints

Avoid touching the photo with oily hands.

Wooden photo prints are a work of art. Even though it may not seem like it, the wood is bare, except for the ink and picture. Some oils can contaminate the ink, resulting in blemishes that were not present before. 

If possible, hang your best photos to discourage people from handling them to get a closer look. You also need to ensure that you always handle your wooden photo display with clean hands. 

Don’t remove marks using your nails.

When you notice stain marks on your personalised photo print on wood, do not be tempted to use your nails to scratch off the blemish. Your nails may do more harm as they may scratch off part of the print, resulting in an ugly mark. Instead, wipe off the dirt with a soft, damp cloth.

Keep wood prints away from direct sunlight.

When exposed to direct sunlight, your wooden picture gifts may fade. Even custom wood prints with protective features sometimes show signs of fading after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. The best way to preserve the memories on the wood photo prints is to display them away from direct sunlight. 

Some lights, like the fluorescent lamp, can also damage wood photo prints. Have this in mind even as you try to keep the sun’s rays from your personalised wooden photo block.  

Avoid smoking near your photos.

Smoke and other airborne grime can discolour your wooden picture gifts. If possible, smoke away from this room so that your wooden photo prints maintain the rich colour and appeal for years. Otherwise, you will start noticing a change in colour once the discolouring residue from the smoke finds its way into the wood grains.

Store your wooden prints well. 

When redecorating or moving house, you need to ensure that nothing rubs against the personalised photo print on wood. Though it may not seem like it, any object can scratch the surface of your personalised wooden photo block.

Instead, carefully wrap your wood photo prints and store them safely from other objects. You can put a cloth between the photo blocks for additional protection. 

Your choice of wrapping paper also matters. Avoid plastic, especially if you expect to keep wooden picture gifts in storage for an extended period. Singapore has high humidity, and this could cause mold to start growing on your wood photo prints. 

Wood is a durable yet sensitive material. However, if well handled, your personalised photo print on wood can look good for years.

Tips on Buying Custom Picture Frames

Some of your photos are priceless. They could be photos of your reunion with friends, your wedding photos, or random photos with your loved ones. Some of these photos are keepsakes that you want to preserve using custom acrylic photo frames. 

Shopping for acrylic picture frames online has made it easier for you to discover the different types of framing options in the market today. However, this knowledge hasn’t made the selection process less daunting. How do you know which frame is most suitable for your precious photos?

Consider what you are framing.

The best place to begin in your search for custom acrylic picture frames is by having a list of the photos you need to frame. Are you framing a photo to protect it from damage because it is a piece you will never recover should it get destroyed?

For example, is it a photo of a loved one who has since passed on? If it is the only photo you have, you need to make sure it is safe. As an acrylic photo, you will keep the memory of your loved one alive for decades. 

Where do you intend to display your photo?

Now that you have a list of photos you want to display, the next step is deciding where to place them. Are they going on the wall or your office desk? Is it going to be a single frame on the wall, or will it be part of a collection of photos on the wall? 

If it is a single frame on the wall, you may want to choose larger floating custom acrylic photo frames. For a desk display, you should consider an acrylic photo block or an acrylic photo stand. For a collection of photo displays, you can consider photo frames of different sizes and shapes, or similar frames, depending on your preferred outcome. 

The size of the photo

When choosing an acrylic picture frame, it is important to consider the size of the photo. If it is small, it only makes sense to get a small frame. Otherwise, if you go for a large frame, the photo will “disappear” within the frame. 

When one looks at custom acrylic photo frames that are too large, the photo will not be visible. If, however, you still want a large frame, instead of using one small photo, you can opt for a photo collage. 

Which cover do you prefer, glass or acrylic?

The frame cover protects the photo and, at the same time, makes it possible for you to see the photo within the frame. The cover needs to be transparent. This is why glass and acrylic are the two main materials used as photo covers.

Glass is fragile, while acrylic is more durable. This is one reason you will find custom acrylic Singapore frames dominating most sites selling photo frames.

When choosing the cover, you need to consider the impact of the cover on the photo. Acrylic adds a 3-D effect on photos. It also makes colours more vibrant. This gives custom acrylic picture frames an edge over glass.  

When you have a list of requirements and expectations when shopping for acrylic picture frames online, you will find it easier to identify the best frames for your photos.

Comparison Between Acrylic Photo Prints and Glass Prints

Is there a difference between glass photo prints and acrylic printing services? While both are transparent, the materials are different. Considering both acrylic and glass have unique properties, what impact do they have on photo prints. Is one superior to the other? 

Acrylic, also known as plexiglass, is shatter-resistant and lighter than glass. However, this is not where the differences end. Photo prints on glass and acrylic also have differences you need to know, especially if you are torn between choosing the most suitable one for your photo prints. 

Acrylic printing is of a higher quality.

Custom acrylic photo prints, especially face-mounted prints, are of a higher quality than glass. This is primarily because the process of acrylic printing Singapore is different from that of glass printing. The print heads usually used for glass printing are often larger, with about four-six colour processes. 

Unfortunately, the short processing makes it difficult for the machine to lay ink sufficiently. This is why the colours of glass photo prints are not as deep as acrylic printing Singapore. Custom acrylic prints go through at least nine-colour processes for better colour accuracy and photo resolution. 

Acrylic prints are protected against UV light.

Glass prints, especially those on billboards, tend to fade after some time. This is primarily because glass prints do not get the same level of UV protection as acrylic photo print Singapore.

Companies that offer acrylic printing services in Singapore provide a standard 70% – 99% UV to protect against the effects of sun rays. Acrylic photos displayed indoors, such as those in the museum and homes, also receives some AV light protection.

Glass prints are cheaper.

Glass prints are cheaper than acrylic printing services. However, the quality is not comparable to acrylic photo print Singapore. You will pay less for a glass print, but you will realize the quality of the image is not the same in a few months. Custom acrylic photo prints cost more, but they can last a lifetime. 

Acrylic printing is available for large print sizes.

Since glass is heavy, there are limits to the size of glass prints. Some shipping companies do not accept large glass prints because of the weight and risks. Acrylic photo prints Singapore are lighter, so size is not an issue. Additionally, acrylic is much stronger than glass, so it is safer to ship custom acrylic photo prints. 

Glass prints tend to have imperfections.

Photo imperfections are common on glass prints. It is almost impossible to notice issues on acrylic photo print Singapore because acrylic is a superior material. Some companies that provide glass prints even put a disclaimer of the possibility of bumps appearing on the final print.

This is usually not because of poor workmanship but because of the challenges of printing on glass. Companies that offer acrylic printing services are confident that you will not have photo imperfections because they are not common in custom acrylic prints. 

These are some of the differences between glass and acrylic printing Singapore. When deciding on the material to use, it is important to look at the pros and cons of glass and acrylic before choosing the ideal one. 

Top questions and answers about legal DNA testing

When people hear the word DNA tests, they often only think of paternity tests, but there’s a lot more under the DNA testing umbrella that a lot of us are not aware of. While it is true that paternity DNA test is the most popular type of test requested in legal cases pertaining to child custody, there are many other tests that form a part of DNA testing.

Map my gene dna test can allow for health management, prediction for your future offspring, prevention against diseases, and allow you monetary savings in the long run. If you are serious about your health, you should check out the tests they offer.

Let’s take a look at some of the top questions and answers about legal DNA testing to give you a more clearer view of this procedure.

What is DNA Testing?

A DNA test is a highly accurate way of establishing or disapproving family or genetic relationships by examining the similarities between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples from two people.

What is Legal DNA Testing Used For?

As mentioned earlier, the most popular and typical use of DNA testing is to identify the biological father of a child. While legal DNA tests form a crucial part of child custody hearings, nowadays immigrant applicants also sometimes require legal paternity tests to move to a family or parent in a foreign country. In these kind of cases, DNA tests are not ordered by the court, but are often done to strengthen the immigrant’s application. The other uses of DNA testing include forensic analysis of DNA samples, which is called genotyping, and includes processes like talent genetic testing and disease susceptibility gene test. However, these kind of tests don’t usually fall under the legal DNA testing bracket.

How are Legal DNA Tests Different from Regular DNA Tests?

DNA tests that are not taken up for legal reasons are often called “peace of mind” DNA tests. As the name suggests, these tests are more for an individual’s personal reasons or peace of mind and is not ordered by the court of law or the government. The main difference between the two types of tests is the venue where they are conducted. While peace of mind DNA tests can be taken at home, legal DNA tests have to be performed in accredited facilities to be considered as a valid legal proof.

What kind of Situations Demand Legal DNA Testing?

Legal DNA testing can be demanded in a number of situations and primarily vary from case to case. However, the most common situations that demand legal DNA test include insurance benefits, custody battle, social security benefits, adoption inquiries, military benefits, and estate settlement.

Putting in place an appropriate health plan in your company need not be difficult

If you own a business and if you decide to put in place an appropriate health plan for your employees, chances of you having a notion that this can be an arduous task are high. But in reality, if you keep in mind a few key points and pose the right questions to the providers, your task of buying this corporate insurance becomes easy. In other words, whether it is an arduous task or a simple one depends upon how you handle the task.

It is true that you have a wide range of options as far as coverage and providers are concerned. But if you keep the following key factors in mind, you can make your choice more easily. Let us look at the factors you must take into account for making your decision.

1. Cost alone should not be the guiding factor

Most of the business owners may have a tendency to adopt frugal measures to avoid squandering of their finances. But taking into account the cost factor alone while choosing a health cover for your employees may not be a wise approach. If you decide to look at only cheaper plans, you will find that the options do not comprehensively cover all the health risks. Therefore, you should first check the covers. Only after satisfying yourself that the group plans you shortlist cover all the health risks, you should move on to the next step of comparing the costs.

This is not to suggest that only plans that cost high are good and that those that cost less are not good. Only if you delve deep and do a proper research for knowing the features of the plans that are available and only if you compare the risks that are covered by the plans, you will be able to make the right choice.

2. Premiums

In general, employers as well as the employees will share the premiums payable for the health plan that is put in place so that this will provide a cushion for the employer liability insurance. So, you should check if your employees will be able to pay their share of the premiums.

3. Offer more than one plan to your employees

It is better you offer more than one plan to your employees so they can make their choice easily. The point that is emphasized is that employees should not feel inconvenient to make use of the plan. Experts point out that there are plans that are complex and so, may cause stress to the employees.

Another point to remember is that every employee is different. There may be young employees as well as older folks. This means that their needs may also be different. By offering more than one choice, you are helping every employee because depending upon their needs, they can go for the plan that suits them.

Not only that, by giving more than one choice, you are adding objectivity to the whole process. Of course, you can guide your employees to choose the right plan also because you, as an employer, are interested in the welfare of your employees. Only if your employees are well-off, you can extract optimum performance from them and succeed in your efforts to sustain and grow in your industry.

The idea of making available more than one choice to your employees comes with another distinct advantage also. This will make your employees realize that you are interested in their well-being. This will motivate them in a huge manner. So, you can expect increased productivity and optimized performance from them.

To summarize, if you tread carefully and judiciously carry out the process of putting in place the right health plan in your company, you can carry out the whole task quite easily. Your efforts to achieve your business goal will also bear fruits sooner than you expect.

Here is another article about evaluating a company’s healthcare plan by INC.

How To Obtain A Professional Indemnity Insurance

Insurance is protection against losses and losses can occur due to mistakes or negligence by the businessman or insurer or employer or employee. Professional indemnity insurance in Singapore provides a policy which is best for the insured to give complete or maximum coverage. As a result, rectifications can be made in the business and the company need not close down due to lawsuits being filed against it. There is a well-defined procedure for obtaining a professional indemnity insurance in Singapore.

1)    Making a list of potential insurance policy plans is essential for a company whether it be a small-scale or large-scale business. Errors and omissions insurance and malpractices insurance can be obtained as well, as per the requirements of the business. Also knowing insurers who can give the insurance needed and if more than one type of policy can be provided by a single insurer is beneficial.

2)    Determining the coverage premium required for the safe continuation of the business is the next step. Calculating the limits and deductibles can serve as essential guidelines to drafting the best policy. Based on the type of business, it helps to determine the coverage required and what all needs to be covered by insurance. It could be physical damages or intellectual damages that need to be taken into account.

3)    Quotation for each policy is to be researched. This can be done online as well. There are websites that company prices and rates of insurance policies which makes your research related job stress-free. The difference, if any, is minimal. The cover type, cover term, deductibles, and amount are similar in many insurance providing companies.

4)    Consultation with the insurer is necessary from time to time; such support should be provided by the insurance company (insurer). Claims and suits must be checked regularly so that the problem can be dealt with before it growing out of proportions.

5)    Documentation should be clear and simple after the insurance is purchased. Forms for corresponding claims and policy documents must be maintained properly with accurate information. In a situation, where a lawsuit is presented to the business, the business should not be completely brought down monetarily. The insurance must cover such expenses as lawsuits can go on for a long time and finances can be quickly exhausted.

These mistakes happen as you learn the way of the trade. It is not possible to completely avoid such incidents. It is important to learn from past mistakes and to better yourself as you learn to make smarter and wiser decisions for your business.

What Is A Foreign Workers Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance is an arrangement between two or more parties wherein compensation is guaranteed in the case of medical related losses. This is seen at a corporate level as well as an individual level. The person for whom the medical insurance is taken is called the insured or the claimant as he claims compensation when there are medical expenses that he must incur due to work-related accidents or illness or even death. In the case of death, the family or the dependant will claim the compensation payable. For this insurance, the insured has to ensure that he is covered by the insurance premium as a portion is deducted from his payroll on a monthly basis.


The job market is on a global scale in the recent times, people are moving out of their native country to find the best-suited job opportunities and work culture for themselves. They do not need to become the citizens of the foreign country. But many companies consider it wise to provide medical insurance to their non-resident workers as it motivates them to stay on the job for a longer period of time.


When the foreign worker who is insured under the medical insurance, experiences any sort of work-related health threats, various provisions are made. Medical charges like accommodation, fees of medication, treatment fees, doctor’s fees, physiotherapy prescribed by the doctor and other such charges are covered by the insurance. This keeps the employee out of financial jeopardy and provides compensation for further treatment if necessary.


Unlike the residential workers, the non-resident employees are protected by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Employers are to undertake all medical treatment expenses that are required. A medical insurance coverage of a certain lump sum amount must be provided by the employer that is fixed by the Ministry of Manpower. The non-resident workers must apply for a work pass and permit, which is essential while processing the compensation payable. The amount set for the insurance is called the premium. This premium is set at a high cost which helps the employee cover the majority of the non-residential workers medical bills.


The procedure for making claims for the compensation is clear and simple. It is set by the Ministry of Manpower, which is the ministry run by the government of Singapore that deals with making and executing the labor policies for the workforce. There is no scope for malpractices on the part of the employer or the employee.


As health is an unpredictable factor, insurance keeps the mind and heart of workers at peace. As many jobs demand unreasonable commitments, the health of workers tends to deteriorate at a much earlier stage of their lives. Commercial insurance has proved to provide security for employees and their families when unavoidable circumstances are presented before them.


3 Important factors that should be covered in your foreign worker insurance

While it is exciting to be global hopping for jobs, having health issues in a country which is foreign to you, whose policies and methods you are unfamiliar with is a scary thought. A good health insurance provided by the employer should be one of your deciding factors while choosing which company to work with. In countries like Singapore, foreign worker insurance is a mandatory requirement for all foreign employees seeking an Employment Pass. This needs to be provided by the company who hires you.

However, just because it is mandatory, it isn’t necessary for the employers to provide you with a good deal. So don’t just see if you are getting covered, see if these factors are taken care of:

  1. Base coverage amount: The minimum coverage according to the Government is $15000. However, that would not cover anything remotely major completely. So ask the company how much coverage is being provided to you. You can get a sense from the amount deducted from your salary. If it seems too little, that should make you alert. Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. You don’t want to spend all your savings on medical treatment. Research and find out how much basic doctor visits, dental appointments, etc cost. From there you can get an idea.
  2. Base coverage: Basic hospitalization, personal accident, some surgery, dental coverage, basic tests, specialist consultations both before and after getting admitted, and their overall outpatient treatment coverage, etc are the most minimum requirement in a health insurance policy. Also find out what all are covered by the policy and what isn’t and what you need to pay for separately.
  3. Additional coverage: Most companies don’t provide facilities for dependents. However, childbirth related hospital expenses are sometimes covered. Some companies can also help you to add health insurance facilities for your dependents at an additional cost deducted from your salary. That may be a good option because then you won’t need to worry about medical expenses for your family.

A good foreign worker medical insurance policy can be very beneficial for you, even though a bit of its premium goes from your salary. Sift through the redundant facilities and look at the actual benefits it provides you. Also find out about reimbursement policies, whether all hospitals/diagnostic centres accept this insurance, etc from the company before accepting their offer.



Steps for Filing Commercial Auto Insurance Claim

Are you a business owner? Do your employees or you drive every day! It is possible that your vehicle is an important part of the home delivery service that you run for your aged customers. Or, it is possible that you the owner if a costs-country truck business. Irrespective of how your employees or you use commercial fleet or vehicle, you are vulnerable to certain risks when accidents take place. If your vehicle encounters an accident, knowing the process f filing claims for commercial vehicle insurance will definitely come handy as you can save your precious time.

You may own a delivery service if a cake company or even a florist business. Being an owner of such ventures signify that your employees and you have to be on the roads on all days. Some people are under the impression that their personal auto insurance policy will take care of any damage caused even when the vehicle is used for business purposes, but that is completely incorrect. When you learn the process of filing claims, along with the time you can also save your money and get your reimbursements at the earliest.

How and well to file claims for commercial vehicle insurance?

Though meeting an accident while you or your employees are in a delivery can is not a desirable situation at all, there are some easy steps that can be taken by you to make sure that your entire claim process gets completed smoothly.

Step 1:

Your first step should be to check for your injuries and immediately get in touch with the relevant authorities.

Step 2:

Your next step should be to collect the information mentioned below so that you can update them to your insurer.

Car information and license plate numbers of all the involved vehicles.

Names of all people who were involved in the said accident.

All accident details that you can possibly recollect.

Get insurance information from the remaining drivers who were involved in the accident.

It is a great idea to minutely record all that happened on the accident scene and click pictures of the involved vehicles. In case it is a minor accident. You need to assess if it is worth it to get in touch with your insurer to file your claims. You must know how much is the deductible and the way your policy is applicable to the accident.

Step 3:

After collecting all the above-mentioned information, give a small to your insurer to kick off the process.

When an accident takes place, you realize that you took a sensible decision by buying commercial vehicle insurance . Filing claim for the commercial insurance could be a tedious task. So, contact a good local agent who can help you out.

Difference Between WICA And Common Law

The claimant is at liberty to choose between Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) and Common Law while claiming insurance compensation for losses through injury which he has sustained during a work-related accident. In the case of death, the family or dependants of the demised insured employee can request for work injury compensation .

Though many tend to interchange the words, WICA and common law are two different entities dealing with insurance claims. Here is how you can easily differentiate between the two:


When you approach the WICA, you will deal with the Ministry of Manpower. The claim payable is determined by the commissioners from MOM. Whereas, when the claim is made through the Common Law, the report is taken to the High Court or to the State Court. The decision for payable compensation is made by the judges of these courts.


In WICA, you do not need a lawyer to represent you. But it is the decision of the claimant if he would like to have one or not. When you look at the process of the Ministry of Manpower, a lawyer is not required to carry out the claim at any given point of the procedure. MOM provides strategic guidelines to the claimant for a smooth execution of the work injury compensation procedure. In Common Law, it is mandatory to be represented by a lawyer. You are to incur the legal fees as well.


There are formulas that help calculate the compensation payable to the claimant. A limit is set to how much can be taken that is set by the WICA. In the case of Common Law, there is no such limit for the compensation amount. The claimant has to prove the severity of the damages to claim such lump sum compensation.


By the rules of the WICA, the claimant only needs to prove that the damages were incurred during the work hours of work related injuries. The blame need not be put on any specific person. But in the Common Law, the claimant needs to prove that the fault or negligence was on the part of the employer or a third party.


If the claimant wishes to withdraw his suit from the WICA and claim through Common Law, he can do that before the Commissioner of the Ministry of Manpower issues the Notice of Assessment. In the opposite scenario, where the claimant wants to withdraw his suit from the Common Law and claim through WICA, he can do that within one year of the accident or the date when the illness was diagnosed.

The clear understanding between WICA and Common Law gives the people a chance of selecting the better approach for compensation

How to know if your foreign insurance is a good one

Insurance coverage for all foreigners is mandatory in a lot of countries in South East Asia, including Singapore. If you’ve got yourself a job in Singapore, make sure you’ve got a good foreign worker insurance policy.

Points to note:

Important point to note is that this medical insurance is not Government funded nor do you get special discounts and facilities in Government hospitals. That is only for citizens and those with resident permits.

Most companies opt for co-pay. That means they pay a part and you pay a part. The employer would typically take care of the basic amount and expect additional premiums to be paid by you for a better coverage. However, that coverage is only for you and not your dependents. Some companies also offer a family plan cover, but would expect you to pay the difference.

How to spot a good one:

A lot of companies could provide just the absolute basic mandatory coverage or cover some things like dread disease which could be a wastage of money. While it could suit some, it may not suit all. Singapore has been, for many years, consistently within the top 5 most expensive cities in the world. This means the health expenses would be on the higher side too. Since most companies have a co-pay system for health insurance, you should know what you’re paying for.

Think from this perspective: What coverage are you getting? What coverage might you conceivably need? These questions will help you to find out if the insurance coverage is that which suits you. Once you know what you need, see if you get an affirmative answer for the following questions.

Coverage for dependents: Do they provide it? What about pregnancy and child birth? Can the company include this coverage for you provided you pay for it from your salary?

How much is the coverage? If it is around $ 20000 not much will be covered.

How much do you have to pay from your salary for the insurance? Your employers might be providing a comprehensive coverage but if it takes a significant chunk from your salary, see if it is worth it.

Do they cover government as well as private hospitals?

Do they cover the treatment as well as doctor visit prior to hospitalization?

Do you have to pay the hospital bills upfront and then claim from the insurance company or will they pay for it upfront?

Do clarify all your questions from your employers beforehand. If dependents are travelling with you see if you can get their coverage included for a minimum cost. A good foreign worker medical insurance policy will make your life smooth in Singapore. So choose to work for a company who provides a good policy.

4 Things You Didnt know about public liability insurance

Public Liability Insurance is the most common type of business insurance that enterprises, big and small, invest in. PLI offers the assurance that every compensation claim made towards damage incurred by a third party is covered.

Without the help of an expert, it is difficult to understand the intricate workings of any type of insurance. For those who feel that they know everything that there is on PLI, here are 4 facts that might come as a surprise:

1.Employer’s Liability Insurance is not the same as Public Liability insurance

Employer’s Liability Insurance is the first coverage a company needs once the rate of hiring increases. This type of insurance cover falls under the category of liability cover against the claims of compensation made by an employee who suffered a severe illness through the course of their involvement with the company. This insurance also offers coverage against illness that an employee contracts on the job. Employer’s Liability Insurance is mandatory by law.

On the other hand, public liability insurance Singapore is optional but highly recommended. This type of coverage offers protection from claims made by the customer or third-party.

2.The most common type of claims which arose are trips, slips and falls

It comes as a surprise that the majority of the claims made by customers, who are covered by PLI, are falls, slips and trips. Which makes PLI all the more essential given the common place of the nature of the claims. But in Singapore, PLI of National Park Boards (NParks) does not cover any accident which occurred through a natural force, but only specific for those cases which are caused by negligence.

3.There is No One Size, Fit’s all

The relevance of the amount of coverage required for each business varies. Public Liability insurance Singapore does not follow the norm of ‘one size fits all.’ The cost of the policy depend on the nature of work, annual profit, size of the company, amount of trading time and risk of work.

4.PIL Can Be Bought As a Stand Alone Policy

Most businesses in Singapore are under the misconception that PLI is a part of a package policy. If you feel that your business requires a PLI as compared to other optional insurance policies, you can avail one after consulting with experts to identify the maximum coverage your company requires.

The Brilliance of Howard Dean

If you swung by the Liberal-Bias Message Board this week, you probably caught the noticeable disagreement in how Howard Dean chose to criticize the Republican Party to a group of journalists Monday June 6th. As many Democratic senators, congressmen, and officials took umbrage with his statements, others were actually glad to hear such refreshing rhetoric. I would say I distinctly fall into the latter category.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of the way that such direct and caustic language can be misconstrued by the public, distorted by the media, and flat out used as fodder for jerk neocon pundits, Tom DeLay, and other such street vermin. It’s hardly safe language. But that’s just it. The Democratic Party doesn’t need to be playing it safe anymore. Al Gore was a safe choice. John Kerry was a safe choice. Compromising the filibuster was safe. What the hell has that accomplished?

I apologize if any latte liberals don’t like sports references mixed into your political debate, but the Democratic Party is down by 4 touchdowns halfway through the 3rd quarter, and their defense is sucking wind. Right now an off tackle running play or a dump into the flat isn’t going to cut it. Some risks need to be taken to have a chance at winning late in the fourth quarter.

What Mr. Dean said is not all that inflammatory. Was it PC? No. But PC is not what wins elections anymore. Times have changed. The biggest reason I heard from moderates I knew who voted for Bush was that they seemed to identify more with Bush than Kerry, and that Kerry always seemed way too guarded with his answers during debates and interviews, therefore causing them to think that he was saying what he thought people wanted to hear, instead of the way he really felt. I’m a big believer that people don’t appreciate hearing someone sound as if they are reading off a script when supposedly being themselves.

People can’t stand to hear sports figures (sorry again weenie liberals) like Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, and Jim Tressel give homogenized vanilla answer after homogenized vanilla answer at press conferences and during interviews. You learn nothing from it, and tune it out because you can’t feel any sense of sincere revelation from the person. While strong statements may turn some people off in the short term, they will eventually get over it, and in the long term, come to make the connection that Howard Dean is a straight shooter.

Let’s all look at the numbers than can be applied to taking such a statement. The US Census Bureau estimates that by 2010, the population percentage of whitey in this country will decrease by .8%, while blacks will increase .3%, Asians .5%, and hispanics 1.2%. In terms of raw numbers that means by 2010 there will be 7.1 million more whiteys than now, but 2.3 million more blacks, 2.1 million more Asians and 5.1 million more hispanics. That shifts the white to non white balance in this country 2.4 million towards the non-whites. Howard Dean is no dummy. He understands the need to recognize the growing minority in this country and is doing just that.

While no great number, according to CNN’s exit poll numbers in 2004, Bush was still able to get a enough votes from non whites (30% men, 24% women) to get him over the top. The Dems need to cut into those numbers. Look at those numbers. If even remotely accurate, Howard made more of a statement of fact than one of personal conviction. What’s so wrong about saying the Republican Party is the party of white christian males? They are. The numbers prove it.

The CNN poll also showed 13% of people who considered themselves “liberals” voted for Bush. Huh? Did I miss something there? I can clearly see why someone considering themself a conservative would vote for Kerry, but seems impossible for me for someone who is a true liberal would vote for Bush (see my “Convert A Bushie” piece concerning Victims). That’s a clear sign that the Kerry campaign didn’t strut it’s liberal stuff enough to win. What can be more liberal than throwing a dig at “The Man”?

I’m very happy Dean did not back pedal from his statements. Just look at the Bush administration. Despite a huge pile of failures with enough facts behind them to sink The Love Boat, they never ever admit they were wrong. They take nothing back. DeLay practically told open minded federal judges to watch their backs and sympathized with those that would threaten a judge’s life. Where did his followers fall off at? They didn’t. In fact, they all lined up for a $250 a plate dinner to help him pay his lawyers another month.

Don’t think I haven’t thought about or listened to how the neocons will spin this. They will be play the “victim card” for all it’s worth. Oh the those poor oppressed conservatives. Always getting picked on by those big mean liberals. Those mean obstructionist liberals who prevented them from confirming Condi Rice and John Bolton, repealing the estate tax, letting bankrupt CEO’s escape harder bankruptcy laws, and starting an unnecessary war. So now they can label democrats racist and anti-Christian. Good. Let ’em have at it. If after 6 years the American public can’t figure out we have a religiously intolerant, corporatist & fascist administration who doesn’t care about the common man, then I don’t think they’ll be too quick to catch onto the non-fact that democrats are racist Jesus haters beause Howard Dean told the truth.

Howard Dean is just one of the few democrats who has started to figure out what the game is all about these days. He’s giving it a try at beating them at their own game. He’s throwing a forty yard post pattern on 1st and 10, and you know what? I like it. The Democrats have been in dire need of a spine recently, and they’ve finally found one in Howard Dean. Let’s just hope they use it.

The Demise of Air America Radio?

A post this week on the LB Message Board about the prospects of Air America Radio (AAR) going bankrupt got me thinking long and hard (Butthead: “huh huh…he said long and hard”…) about the current state of things regarding the representation of liberal points of view in today’s media.

One post took a harsh tone with the listeners of AAR, for not supporting the network enough. Others blamed the network itself for not having good enough programming to reel in the casual listener or sustain the interest level of the converted.

I for one, am not sure the recent reports surrounding AAR of it’s apparent problems is really a matter of blame at all. While I do believe there is truth in each and every post, I’m not sure it’s even possible for a product like AAR to flourish in today’s society at all. Let me explain a few natural handicaps that AAR has had working against it from day one.

1. Terrestrial radio is controlled by conservatives.

Let’s face it, the only reason that a conservative owned conglomerate like Clear Channel brought AAR to as many of its affiliates was because it thought it could profit from it, then, in all likelihood, use those profits to back other conservative special interests.

And don’t think Clear Channel’s lack of interest didn’t show. Where I live, Clear Channel owned WTPG 1230 is the local affiliate for AAR, but you wouldn’t know it. Outside of the Al Franken show you wouldn’t know that WTPG had much to do with AAR at all. For a while, the only AAR programming you would hear was the Franken Show and one hour of Randi Rhodes. They would do things like bump the morning lineup for a re-run of Springer’s show from the day before. Nothing like listening to stuff you heard about yesterday all over again to start your morning. Then the AAR mid-morning programming would be bumped for the Stephanie Miller Show. Now I like Stephanie Miller and her show, so I’m glad I got to hear it, but it didn’t do much for AAR and the Unfiltered show. Franken had his full time slot, then Ed Schultz would come on and bump the first 2 hours of Randi Rhodes (maybe the best Lib radio host out there). To finish the day off, I would get my full dosage of Cincinnati Reds baseball from 6:30 to 11:00. Not exactly giving Central Ohio it’s full helping of AAR. Clear Channel did not represent AAR very well, but being a startup, AAR probably had no better offers, and beggars can’t be choosers.

The sad reality is that most major radio networks are part of larger conglomerates that are usually in lockstep with BushCo’s tax breaks and corporate friendly policies. You are not going to find many billionaires wanting to finance shows that argue in favor of increasing their taxes and regulating their trade.

2. Liberals don’t lie.

All things considered, it’s way easier for conservative radio hosts to make things sound more interesting than they actually are when they have “poetic license” at their disposal. The average American schlep does not have the intellectual attention span to sit through hearing the real explanations behind why the Bush administration is doing what it is doing. Hearing why PlameGate is such a bad thing takes some work on the part of the listener. It was much, much easier for Rush Limbaugh to get people to pay attention when he said “If you don’t support the Patriot Act, terrorists will come and kill you!”

Limbaugh didn’t really say that, but probably wanted to. And you can’t argue that that lie was the most memorable part of the last paragraph. The main problem with liberal radio hosts is that they feel too much of an obligation to the truth to be entertaining.

3. AAR was too open about what it was trying to accomplish.

AAR never made any bones about what it stood for. From day one it billed itself as a champion of progressive causes. BIG F’ING MISTAKE!

You can’t sell something to the masses by letting them know what you are really selling. Trust me, I work in retail. You ever seen Kraft trying to sell cheese by promoting the amount of polyglocuthenalimines (I made that ingredient up, but, again, lying really helps..see!) in it? No, you have not, because the American people can’t handle the truth. You’d be surprised to know just how many average Joes think Glenn Beck is just a moderate straight shooter. Fox News is the evilest entity on the planet, but I have to give them credit for bashing us over the head with “Fair & Balanced” as much as they have. If their slogan had been “Slanted & Conservative” I doubt their numbers would be where they are.

AAR never should have ever acknowledged that they were there to promote progressive values. That alone instantly turned off half of the market. People do not trust people with an agenda, no matter how much truth they are spouting. We even debated that issue here when we started Liberal-Bias. I felt that being up front about our mission would not allow us the opportunity to do much more than “preach to the choir”. More of the other founders disagreed and felt we should be more open of our intentions. They were true liberals. I wasn’t. They got their way. We lost our potential to reach the masses.

So where does that leave liberal radio? The picture I painted above might lead one to think it leaves it with potential for success. I disagree. I think there is a way that liberally biased radio programs can exist, but only under the following conditions:

1) If you can’t own your network, then just syndicate only.

AAR would have been in a much better position to succeed if it had control over what programming was available to its local markets. The Central Ohio example above was only one of many similar situations. How can you develop a consistent listener base, when the listeners never know when or if a program is going to be on or not. This appears impossible in terrestrial radio today, but perhaps as satellite radio’s popularity increases their may be an opportunity to exhibit such control over programming.

If the network cannot happen, then stick to syndication. Having the ability to negotiate with several stations in a market can give the radio shows more of an advantage to control their consistency in availability.

2) Pretend to be something you are not.

America likes to be lied to in some small way. It’s easier than facing facts. I believe more people would rather hear false confirmation of their preconceptions, than accurate contradiction. So it makes no sense to go public with your intentions of pushing a liberal agenda. Too many people that intentionally consider themselves moderates or centrists will turn off without giving it a chance. Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck did not rise to where they are because they billed themselves as neoconservative points of authority. They connected with their base because the successfully sold themselves as just regular guys who argue from no other vantage point than “just plain old common sense” and used those points to make a case against liberals. Not so much as promoting what they really stood for as much a tearing down those they opposed by showing how disconnected liberals were with “us plain old American folks”.

That’s how you do it. Connect first, push later. That’s why I’ve always held that Oprah Winfrey could be the great savior for liberal causes if she ever wanted to go that route. She’s already connected with her base. If she would just run one program on Downing Street or the evils of the sham that is Iraq, the results could be devastating for BushCo. But for some reason she chooses to not go that route. I’m guessing it’s in effort to keep a stronghold on her $1.4 Billion empire, and not suffer the mild but recoverable corporate backlash that would follow.

I think the area of greatest impact right now in the media is Keith Olbermann. He already achieved his street cred via his time on ESPN, and by taking a relatively neutral, albeit cynical, stance in the past. It hasn’t been until the last year that he has taken his anti Bush position up a notch. And because he waited, it is now carrying that much more weight.

The next big movement in liberal radio needs to present itself in the same “Hey we have no agenda except to look out for you, the average American” stance that the Neocons have preached so well up to this point. It’s quite amazing how many people, regardless of race, religion, or income, think of themselves as “average Americans”

3) Entertain us.

I hate Limbaugh & Beck as much as the next guy, but they are great radio personalities. If there is ever another concerted effort to find liberal radio hosts, they should look for people who are entertaining and have a great radio presence first, then worry about their liberal credentials later. AAR tried this and failed with Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo, and Al Franken, and it didn’t work. Maron was a good standup, but never seemed comfortable in the radio booth, and never failed to make mention of how much he didn’t like his job all that much. Garofalo’s attendance on her own show was spotty at best. And Franken, while having had the most success so far, is not good radio. His pauses can be unbearable at times and his wit is too high brow for Joe Ironworker to get on a regular basis.

There needs to be an effort to find a great radio personality, who will not be afraid to “go political”. I have often contended that the great liberal voice we are all searching for, does not even have to have a political show. It can be from a musical or sports themed show if need be. There just needs to be that one person who can handle a mic, and not be afraid of the backlash for “going political” every now and then.

4) Play dirty.

Liberal radio needs to stop living in fear of the backlash from conducting business on less than “on the level” manner. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t do interviews. He doesn’t debate people. He screens his callers ad better than they screen your luggage at airports, and will even stoop to having planted callers. He’s not afraid to contradict himself to prove point at that moment. The same guy that said all drug addicts should be locked up, and that Saddam Hussein wasn’t that bad a guy, now wants sympathy for the disease of addiction and says the world and Iraq is safer without Hussein in power. Do his listeners care? No.

It’s very easy to manipulate the public when you have the resources at your disposal. Liberals need to start using them. The bad guys always have the upper hand, so you are not going defeat them by playing fair.

In conclusion, if AAR does go in the proverbial toilet, I think it should stand for future generations of liberals as a hallmark for what not to do if you actually want to make a dent in the current conservative media bias. It’s not just about being right, or being truly liberal. It’s about ratings, and the rest will take care of itself.

Like Tony Montana once said, “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the woman.”

Director’s Chair Insights from Scott Games Director, Liberal-Bias

John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committe, & November

Because it is the season, there has been much talk in the media about polling and prediction on who will win which election in November, and what the resulting Congress will look like.  The focus of the analysis is whether the Democrats have enough momentum among the public to reclaim control of the House the party lost in 1994.  Yes, those are the stakes, but there is one man who raises those stakes substantially, and is the big reason Republicans cannot permit the Democrats to reclaim control, whatever the means. His name is Rep. John Conyers.

Most everyone I tell that the Democrats can’t win in November because of election fraud don’t seem to know who Rep. Conyers is and what he has done in his minority role since 1994, so I felt as though a summary and brief walk down memory lane is in order.  Rep. Conyers (D-MI), helped by his insurmountable support of the voters in his Detroit area District, has been one of the few Democrat who has attempted to energize liberals to stick to the big problems; those that seem to mostly stay on the web and rarely make it to the corporate owed media.

First, a little bit about Rep. John Conyers.  According to his campaign website (linked below), Rep. Conyers is a candidate for his 21st term in the US Congress, and rarely receives much of a political challenge.  He has been a champion of liberal causes for his entire Congressional career, on any issue from civil rights to the environment and everything in between.  As somewhat of a political junky, it seems that anytime there is an issue that I think deserves special attention, it is Rep. Conyers, whether it is popular at the moment or not, who is in the middle of making a stink about it.
Some of the best Rep. Conyers moments from the past couple of years . . .

Rep. Conyers held an informal hearing about the sate of the media, and its Republican dominance (article linked below).  It was a star studded event that was a laundry list of how the “Republican Noise Machine” works.  The meeting left very little doubt about how the whole thing works, and the media, predictably, ignored it.

Rep. Conyers held an informal hearing on the circulation of the Downing Street Minutes (article linked below).  After the meeting was over, Conyers delivered personally to the White House the hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition demanding a formal investigation.  The media ignored this one, too, except to make fun of the meeting. See below the Washington Post’s disgusting and irresponsible “coverage” of the event.

The difference between the substantial exit polling and the official count in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election was about six percentage points, both a statistical impossibility, and as such, would be seen as obvious fraud if it happened in another country. To my knowledge, Rep. Conyers is the only member of either house of congress to produce a formal study on the matter (linked below). If you ever have the time, I recommend a complete reading of the report. It is long, detail and disturbing.  And the media largely ignored this one, too.

Now here is the most important part.  If the Democrats regain control of the House, Conyers will likely again serve as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (function of committee linked below).  Much of Rep. Conyers’ work has a tag “informal” or “panel” to it because he has not been able to bring formal hearings on much of anything since the Republicans took control of the Judiciary Committee.  That is how Republicans have operated as the majority.  They do whatever they want to do, without regard for the minority, unless the minority is simply signing on to what the majority wants to do. Stories of Republicans holding meetings on what they want to do before the actual committee meeting takes place are common.
One of our newer regulars on the message board posted a great article on a portion of this very subject (linked below).  The facts are that if the Republicans lose the majority in Congress, they lose the ability to control what becomes a hearing, and those hearings will be chaired by a Member who will take on anything he chooses.  That probably means our current broken system will change substantially, some people will go to jail, there might even be impeachment hearings, the media will have to cover it, etc.  Basically, all hell breaks lose. Couple this, what has to be the big fear among Republicans, with the fact that Republicans control both the mainstream media and voting in this country, and one can only conclude that Republicans can not possibly permit a Democratic takeover of Congress.  The Conyers factor alone makes it too much of a threat.

I hope I am wrong.  However, this is the single biggest reason the Republicans will do whatever is necessary next month to control the elections in their favor.

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