All the Best Ways to Enjoy a Beer

All the Best Ways to Enjoy a Beer

Nov 21

My friends and I have been checking out local breweries on Saturdays lately. We’ll watch some football, shoot the breeze, and try different beers. In Texas, distributors have to be involved in the sale of beer. Something about how breweries can’t sell their products directly if the beer is going to be consumed anywhere else. It’s a really dumb rule, but the breweries figured out a way to get around it by still selling beer on their premises. It’s such an old law; I’m not sure why it’s still around other than lobbying efforts by big beer distributors. Eh, whatever.

Until those crooks in the state legislature get their act together, I’ll just go to the brewery to enjoy a “complimentary drink” with my “paid tour” – oooh, ahhh, wow, amazing! Isn’t bureaucracy wonderful?

Other than the ridiculous laws surrounding breweries, I absolutely love them. They’re a fun place to go out and get a fresh beer on tap. I don’t know why it’s so good, but when a fresh beer gets poured into a clean glass, it just tastes so real to me. I’m always torn between getting the tokens and three/four pints, or going for the full flight of beers and trying everything on the menu.

I’m kinda a sucker for bar food too. Food trucks are popping up like weeds, but most of the ones I’ve tried are pretty good. I think trying new barbeques goes great with beer. Seriously, is there anything more Texan than beer and barbeque? It’s got to be a little sweet. Spicy is alright with me too, but don’t overcook the brisket. Brisket cooked to perfection, tons of sauce, and an ice cold beer, fresh out of the tap to wash it all down. That’s my idea of a good time.

I think it would be a lot of fun to own a brewery or at least brew my own craft beer. My cousin started brewing a few months ago, and it seems like something I would enjoy. I’ve already got the perfect setup in mind. This cooler keeps growlers cold and has a badass interface. I could brew three different styles and have them all ready to go, basically creating my own brewery right in my kitchen. I think it would be perfect right next to my espresso maker. Now I just have to come up with a name for my enterprise. My only concern is that I might enjoy this too much and start drinking too much beer! Oh wait, that isn’t a real thing.

Have you ever thought about who invented beer? I know it’s been around for hundreds or thousands of years, but still. Who thought about turning bread into a drink? I wonder if there are other brewing methods that humans haven’t discovered yet. They make beer out barely, rice, wheat, oats, hops, but what else could they use? Corn maybe? I should probably just google it and start making my own. I’ll probably save some money in the long run.

Atrocities of Domestic Violence

Atrocities of Domestic Violence

Aug 10

Human beings are capable of many things, but the terror and oppression that one being can inflict towards another is harrowing. Domestic violence has been a plague in human culture since the beginning of time. The dynamic between the male and female in relationships can easily be offset into a place of animalistic rage. This fragile state can be detrimental to the health of the relationship and the health of the victim of such oppression. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence released statistics to quantify the horrible aftermath for victims of domestic violence. They are crucial in explaining the effect that domestic violence can have on women, who make up the majority of domestic violence victims.

There are countless possible causes for domestic violence in today’s culture. Oversexualization of women in media, gender binary stereotypes, and reinforcement from popular figures in the current political administration, has gradually led to a normalization of abuse against intimate partners. The NCADV has published information that outlines issues faced by past victims of domestic violence. In one study they concluded that “on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States”. This alarmingly high rate of violence must be addressed and handled so that domestic violence does not continue to affect partners. At twenty people per minute, this annually equates to over ten million male and female survivors. Such a large portion of the population means most people either are or know first-hand survivors of such violence. In a particular case in Milwaukee, one victim was able to report her case and luckily have the judicial system adequately handle her abuser. The man repeatedly beat her, spewed flurries of verbal and mental abuse, and on more than one case made threats on her life. There are many factors that lead up to the primary incident between partners, yet none should justify violence in any form. The impact, physically and psychologically, on a victim has the potential to cause long lasting side effects. Another study found that “there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior”. Being physically oppressed and beaten is the antithesis to what human nature was designed to be. Men and women were not placed on this planet, coexisting, so that man could abuse his counterpart. The design of this existence is to make a new life in the form of flesh, thought, and compassion. Domestic violence is a direct contradiction to this.

In summary, domestic violence is a rampant plague on our society. Victims are usually unable to report their abuse because of threats of greater violence. Most cases involve men taking advantage of women because of their physical advantage. This must be focused on and fixed before we, as a culture, can progress. In the country, 15% of all violent crimes are domestic violence cases. This figure is unacceptable, and thankfully the future looks brighter as we see a growing voice for victims of this violence. The future, hopefully, can see a day where domestic violence has no place in any relationship.

Construction Sites’ Fatal Four

Construction Sites’ Fatal Four

Jun 29

Besides being mandated and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ensuring employee safety and health in the workplace is also an obligation that common law imposes on all employers. These OSHA mandate and common law obligation are being highlighted due to the still high rate of workplace injuries and fatal accidents in working environments, especially construction sites.

Based on the 2013 record of the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, working environments accounted for 4,405 deaths; 796 of these deaths (this number is a preliminary count) were in construction sites, with the top four causes being: slips, trips, and falls; getting struck by a heavy or moving object; electrocution; and, being caught between objects – also known in the construction industry as the “Fatal Four.”

Falls, which account for about 40 % of all construction site injuries and deaths, are frequently due to poorly maintained or assembled scaffolding and work platforms, elevated surfaces or uneven floors, improper use of ladders, unnoticeable ramps and excavations, unprotected sides and edges, overhanging steel bars, lack of training on observance and strict implementation of safety measures, lack of protective gear and/or equipment, and so forth.

Being struck by a heavy or moving object is the next leading cause of injuries and deaths in construction sites. Getting hit by falling tools or construction vehicles are examples of this, while resulting injuries can include injuries to the head and/or neck, brain injury, back injury, etc.

The third most common cause of harm among construction site workers is electrocution. Damaged high voltage wires and lack of ground fault can cause severe injuries (or even death) to unsuspecting workers, many of whom have suffered serious burns, disfigurement or limb amputation.

Disfigurement or a limb getting amputated is also common when a worker gets caught or wedged between heavy or sharp objects, resulting to injuries that require days away from work. Some injuries are also severe enough to leave a worker disabled and unable to work again.

The many different dangers construction workers are made to face every day contribute to why failure to comply with safety and health standards that will result in a lack of employee protection against accident hazards or illness is a violation of the OSHA mandate to which an employer can be held totally liable.

And, if proven guilty, he or she can be ordered by the court to compensate the injured worker. According to personal Injury lawyer, Ali Mokaram, This compensation is completely different from the benefits an injured worker will receive from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit.

The Harsh Penalties of a DWI Conviction

The Harsh Penalties of a DWI Conviction

Jan 03

Before the 80s, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit set by the government for car drivers was 0.10 percent. To intensify the drive against drunk-driving, however, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified as one of the top causes of car accidents in the U.S., the BAC limit was lowered to 0.08 percent. This means that those caught with a 0.08 percent or higher BAC level were charged with driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired (DWI).

A DWI charge is a serious offense anywhere in the U.S. For example, first time offenders can face up to 1 year jail-time, $500-$1000 in fines and a minimum of six months license suspension.

For repeat offenders, though, some cities and states also require that an ignition interlock device (IID) be installed in the offender’s vehicle. The IID is wired to a vehicle’s ignition; it will require the driver’s breath sample and will only allow the car’s engine to start if no alcohol is detected in his/her breath. The device also requires periodic breath tests (while the vehicle is being driven) to make sure that the driver is continuously free from the influence of alcohol.

In addition to the IID, the court may also require DWI offenders to fill out an SR-22 or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form (also known as FR-44 in some states), if they want to continue enjoying their driving privileges. This requirement usually lasts for three years and one effect of this is higher vehicle liability insurance premiums.

With good and strong defense from an experienced DWI lawyer, who understands fully the consequences of a DWI conviction, some defendants are able to avoid conviction and the unwanted harsh penalties it entails. However, when choosing a DWI lawyer, a person charged should know that one DWI lawyer is not as good as another.

Premarital Agreement: A Wise Financial Security in the Event of Divorce

Premarital Agreement: A Wise Financial Security in the Event of Divorce

Dec 29

A premarital agreement makes clear to those entering into marriage how their assets and properties, acquired either before or during marriage, ought to be distributed in case of divorce, legal separation or the death of one spouse. This agreement is actually a contract aimed at protecting the financial interests and future of both spouses, in case the marriage does not work and gets dissolved.

Though some engaged couples find premarital or prenuptial agreement as something that will only take away the romance in their relationship and substitute it with mistrust, many others see it as a wise financial security that will open more rooms and make couples more financially generous and open to one another.

The practice of entering into a premarital agreement takes it roots during the early 19th century, a time when women, who entered into marriage, were recognized only as “extensions” of their husbands. Back then, there was a law called “coverture,” which required women to relinquish their legal rights to their husbands upon marriage. Due to this law, married women lost their rights to get an education without their husband’s consent; they were also required to transfer their properties to their husbands, as well as sell or give up ownership of anything, transferring everything under the name of their husband. If ever allowed by their husbands to work, they will have to surrender to them everything they will earn. In the event of divorce, however, there was no guarantee that they will recover any of whatever they have given up.

The unjust effects of the coverture law were eradicated by the Married Women’s Property Act, which introduced and enforced the prenuptial agreement in 1848. It was this Act that gave back to married women all their rights, during and after marriage. Some of the real and actual advantages of the agreement were: preservation of inheritance and family ties; security over both business and personal properties made before marriage; and, assured protection of the financial security of the children.

Premarital agreements also allow for swift court decision on division of properties during a divorce case, saving divorcing couples headache, worry, money and time that lengthy discussions and arguments usually take. Financial experts advise engaged couples, though, who will decide to enter into a premarital agreement, to discuss the issue honestly, openly and candidly, so as not to make it sound and appear hurting or insulting to anyone.

Understanding Employer Retaliation And How To Prove It

Understanding Employer Retaliation And How To Prove It

Nov 03

When an employer violates employment laws, an employee has the right to lodge a complaint against the company. A worker who files a discrimination or harassment claim against their employer is protected from retaliation from their employer. Under most laws, it is illegal for management to retaliate against an employee for filing a claim. According to records from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a third of most discrimination charges include a retaliation claim.

In a retaliation claim, you need to prove three things for your case to be successful. First, you engaged in a protected activity. Second, your employer took action against you. Finally, there is a causal link between your activity and the action of the employer. Texas employment law attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm will tell you that a successful claim may make an employee eligible to receive lost wages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

Federal laws that make discrimination illegal also prohibit retaliation against an employee who engages in protected activity. There are two types of protected activity namely opposition and participation. In opposition, an employee who oppose any activity that is illegal under employment laws engage in protected activity. Examples of protected activity include directly complaining of harassment or discrimination or participating in investigations.

Participation, on the other hand, involves employees who file charges of discrimination with the EEOC, participates or assist in investigations, or files or takes part in investigations is protected from retaliation.

The second thing you have to prove in a retaliation case is the negative action of the employer against the employee. Examples of retaliation with materially adverse reactions include demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, transfer, change in job assignments, and others. However, the Supreme Court does not confine adverse actions to employment or in the workplace. As long as the action will prevent an employee from making a complaint, it can be considered adverse action.

The third thing you need to prove in a retaliation claim is the connection between the protected activity and the negative action. An activity can only be considered as retaliation if the adverse action was completely related with the complaint.

Is Legal Separation Better Than Divorce?

Is Legal Separation Better Than Divorce?

Aug 04

There comes a point in the lives of married couples when they decide that they are better off living separate lives. Separation is an alternative that couples can consider instead of divorce. Although both separation and divorce will have the married couple living independently, there is also a big difference between the two. The former keeps the couple married despite not living together while the latter formally ends the marriage meaning they can remarry if they choose to.

While there are couples who opt for divorce, the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC revealed that legal separation is a more attractive option than divorce. Staying married than completely divorced is the better choice due to financial reasons. First and foremost, by choosing to stay married, the couple retains any insurance or health coverage that they maintained as a married couple. This can come in handy if one of them experiences difficulty in securing insurance or health care policy. In fact, such coverage is also included in a separation agreement.
For marriages that are 10 years or longer, an ex-spouse may become eligible to receive a share of their ex-spouses social security benefits. Some couples even forego their separation plans for a year or more in order to reach that 10-year threshold or they come up with special arrangements regarding the pension.

Selling a property or getting a mortgage may not be in one of the couple’s plans as it may become a financial burden to the one who applied for the mortgage. They may also have the option to wait for another opportunity to get a better price. The couple may even opt to live together on the property to prevent financial losses related to that property. Another financial benefit of staying together is the opportunity to get possible increases in deductions and other income tax benefits.

Sometimes the reason couples stay separated has to do with social considerations. For couples with children, it will not be too confusing for their kids. Aside from that, they do not see any real benefit to getting a divorce especially if they do not expect to remarry.

The Jones Act: Providing Compensation to Seamen Who Suffer Job-related Injuries or Illnesses While at Sea

The Jones Act: Providing Compensation to Seamen Who Suffer Job-related Injuries or Illnesses While at Sea

Apr 16

Unlike regular workers or employees (whose work is land-based), those whose job description qualify them to the title “seaman” are not covered by the State-required and regulated Workers’ Compensation, a program that provides financial benefits to workers who sustain injuries while performing their job or who develop work-related illnesses. They are however, covered under the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a federal law designed to protect American workers who get ill or injured, or who die at sea. Under this Act, seamen who suffer injuries at sea are legally allowed to recover compensation from their employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, water transportation workers usually work for long periods and can be exposed to all kinds of weather.

Though the law does not distinctly define just who may be identified as a “seaman,” it is clear that not all those who work on or near the water qualify for the benefits provided under the Jones Act. This concern leaves maritime lawyers consulting texts of court decisions in order to determine whether a crew member may indeed be identified as a seaman (based on court definition, a seaman is someone who works on a vessel or fleet operating in navigable waters, that is waterways that are being used for interstate or foreign commerce).

The ability to file a lawsuit (based on negligence) is probably the most important benefit the Jones Act ensures those who qualify. Failure to prove employer negligence, however, can result to freedom of an employer from being fully accountable for the injury or illness suffered by his or her workers.

A court may rule that an employer (or a co-worker) is guilty of negligence if he or she takes unreasonable risks which result to a worker getting injured. If negligence is proven, the injured seaman can be awarded economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages covers cost of medical treatment, lost income and loss of earning capacity; non-economic damages, on the other hand, pay for the pains and sufferings of the injured.

Sometimes, rather than a direct act of negligence by an employer or a co-worker, injury or illness turns out to be a consequence of an employer’s failure to improve a vessel’s substandard condition, making the vessel “unseaworthy.” Under the Law of Unseaworthiness, shipowners who fail to provide their workers a seaworthy vessel, a vessel that is appropriate for their intended use, will be held liable for personal injuries sustained by their crew. This law otherwise implies that shipowners have a legal responsibility in ensuring that their ship is manned by a competent crew, is properly equipped and, most important of all, in safe working order.

Besides compensation for economic and non-economic damages, the law firm Williams Kherkher mentions in its website another compensatory benefit that injured crew members can collect: compensation for maintenance and cure. Maintenance refers to the monetary benefit paid to the injured crew member. This benefit in meant to cover room and board expenses or necessary household expenses, like mortgage and utilities. Cure, on the other hand, is meant to cover medical and rehabilitative care until the injured makes as complete a medical recovery as possible. This maintenance and cure benefit is very much like the Workers’ Compensation benefits; it is awarded to injured crew members without taking into account the conduct of the employer or ship owner.

Possible Complications from Medical Malpractice?

Possible Complications from Medical Malpractice?

Nov 07

There is a given trust between civilians and medical practitioners. Some cultures even elect their healers and wise men as their leaders due to the faith that is put onto them. Most every worry falls away when there is a doctor on the scene – as if their title of doctor or other sort of medical practitioner thereby strips them of the possibility to err when it doesn’t.

Sometimes, these professionals make mistakes and these mistakes can cost dearly and cause irreversible damage.

Medical malpractice is a subset of personal injury that deals with cases regarding doctors or other medical practitioners committing a mistake due to negligence, at the expense of their patients. It is a complicated battle as a case of personal injury as it is but with the added factor of medical jargon, it is quite a more difficult ball game.

According to the website of the lawyers with Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, it is recommended then that the help you acquire is not only an experienced professional in the legal court but also capable and comfortable with medical terminologies and knowhow that may make or break the case. It is important for the legal team that is helping you with your medical malpractice complaint to know your medical history and the specific case at hand arguably better than your own physicians in order to represent you in the best possible way.

The consequences are tremendous as even the slightest misdiagnosis or piece of surgical equipment left behind after the procedure can cause severe complications in a medical situation. After all, the human body can be a frail and fragile thing – especially when you leave it so open in what you thought were capable hands. In the worst circumstances but unfortunately common as a result of medical malpractice, the victim ends up as dead or terminal due to the negligent professional’s act.

Fight then for your right to make it right. Seek the best Oceanside Medical Malpractice Lawyer available to you.

Volkswagen Software Rigs Emissions Test

Volkswagen Software Rigs Emissions Test

Sep 24

Volkswagen has a stellar reputation for offering some of the fastest, environmentally conscious, and fun cars to drive. Recently it was discovered that the reason behind the above-satisfactory gas mileage and power within the cars was due to the company deviously skirting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on nitrogen oxide emissions. The EPA discovered that Volkswagen had installed software that lowered the emission levels of their diesel passenger vehicles only during emissions testing. During normal use, the diesel vehicles would emit 10 to 40 times more emissions than legally regulated.

While only about 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. are affected by this software, as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide carry the “defeat device.” On September 22, the company agreed to set aside about $7.27 billion, almost half a year’s earnings, in order to fund software installations to replace the corrupt software. Software in vehicles often exceeds 20 million lines of code, more than some airplanes according the The Wall Street Journal. This code is what is capable of controlling emissions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which are emitted from burning diesel fuel.

Nitrogen oxide contributes to smog and ground-level ozone which can cause a number of health problems in humans that breathe it in. As the EPA further investigates the software features that signaled Volkswagen passenger vehicles to lower emission levels, software experts have reviewed the capabilities of current vehicle software to determine the how the software recognized when there was an emissions test. A car is capable of collecting data such as tire rotation, use of the accelerator, and other use of car functions to determine if the vehicle is being driven on a road or a testing bed. This is when the car would automatically its nitrogen oxide emissions to meet EPA regulations. Further investigation will reveal the full scope of Volkswagen’s customer deception.