Good help is hard to find.

This has been especially true for former California-based lawyer Brian Ching. Ching’s secretary for 17 years, Ana Lissa Reyes, was recently indicted for embezzling approximately $327,000 from Ching’s law firm. Reyes worked nearly two decades in the office as office manager, secretary, and paralegal.

Over the course of the past few years, she has worked diligently to scam money from the pockets of the firm’s clients, even after she was fired in 2009.

How she did it

For years, Reyes called clients of Ching’s law firm and claimed she was negotiating settlements. Instead of actually doing so, the paralegal pocketed the funds provided to pay these settlements. Continue reading »

 

 middle class graffiti by oddobjects

For a while, the middle class was large, strong, and a market to reckon with in planning new products and services.  Even if they did not possess the highest purchasing power, they had the numbers and the possibilities going for them, or so it seemed.  For a while, the choice was not only limited to either being rich or poor since there was a level where reasonable life comfort can be  attained where extravagance or affluence is not a necessary factor.

Economic observers are getting pretty uneasy about the unfolding scenario where bailouts are being offered to large multinational companies at the expense of the hardworking middle class.  Having exhibited the capability to take care of themselves, members of the middle class are offered no special privileges.  Unlike the poor who have the advantage of government subsidy and the rich who have the privilege of influence, the middle class literally had to rely on themselves to keep from slipping to a lower economic level. 

It would appear that middle class income earners have to follow the lead of their subsidized counterparts in order to get a break.  There are reasons why middle class people work hard and living with dignity is very much part of them.  Though not particularly looking for freebies,  they need some form of protection from the threats posed to their economic standing such as unabated rising costs of basic needs.  There is something so wrong in seeing the fruits of additional work go to payment of additional costs of existing expenses.

So why does the middle class appear to be shrinking?  The pressure from all possible sources has been so much that many aspiring middle class earners had no choice but to succumb to a downgraded economic class.  A solution has to be offered fast before the middle class is reduced to a word found only in the dictionary.

 

Shoebox, your admninistrative assistance

For anyone who loathe doing the paperwork, Shoeboxed is the perfect companion.

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A friend of mine recently showed me the infamous HiPhone — the China-made iPhone clone that you just have to see to believe. It may not have the newfangled technologies that Apple’s iPhone may have but the HiPhone’s manufacturer really did a good job of imitating the whole look of Apple’s Jesus Phone. It will really dupe anyone especially seen from afar.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post. We all know that China is the world hub for imitation goods. Name the fake item and most likely it was manufactured in China. I think it would even be fair assumption that the whole underground economy of the country is firmly entrenched in bogus and fake goods. But what most people fail to realize that manufacturing counterfeit goods actually have a far more significant effect than just fueling China’s underground economy and the proliferation of fakes around the world. By reverse engineering all sorts of stuff, the Chinese are actually learning what makes each quality item tick, what makes it expensive and ultimately be able to actually learn the skills to manufacture something just as good (if not better, in the most extreme circumstances). I respectfully submit that this thriving industry of fakes is going to be the real force that will make China the undisputed world economic power.

Why do I say this? Well, it’s simple. What would stop the Chinese from actually learning the secrets and taking advantage of the technology transfer that happens when a big manufacturing company transfers its operations to China? What would prevent them, for example, to learn the ropes of aircraft manufacture from established leaders like Boeing and Airbus if these are contracted to Chinese factories? I won’t be surprised if, in a decade or two, we’ll start seeing Boing 868s and AirTaxi B400s flying the friendly skies.

I was working late last night and since I was getting sleepy, I decided to turn the TV on to break the silence that was beginning to lull me to sleep. The program that caught my attention was a relatively old episode of Lockdown. For those of you who don’t know this program, it’s a series that features the notorious prisons all throughout America. You get a sobering look at the penal system, the violent prisoners that inhabit these prisons and the prison employees that try to keep things in order.

In last night’s episode, one of the inmates got imprisoned for luring a man and then beating him to death. Apparently, the prisoner, along with two other people, beat up the man in order to steal money for AIDS medicine. It was quite a chilling case, made more chilling because the inmate refuses to go out of his cell for fear that the prison is not a safe place for him. There are a lot of ironies here that are just too many to mention. But in this present economic climate, one can’t help but think about the people who do not have the support system or the capabilities to keep themselves afloat as the whole world tries to weather through the crisis. Hopefully the health system all over the world will not be affected as much because sick people really need help. And no amount of “kissing the boo-boo” will help really ill people.

The King of Pop is dead.

Michael Jackson died almost a month ago but the circus that has surrounded his life still hounds him to his death. It’s funny how people are trying to cash in on his death — something that people have already been doing when he was alive.

Just look at eBay and any of the other online auction and online buy and sell sites and you’ll see a huge increase in the sale and auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia. From CDs to t-shirts to buttons to magazines, anything with Jackson’s mug on it is getting sold at exorbitant prices — and people are actually buying it! It’s really amazing. I’m pretty sure that if someone actually kept Jackson’s original nose we’d see it on eBay, too.

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