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Masonic Craft “Must” Lead Liberia? It Is They Who First Must Answer,…

first_imgThe distinguished Liberian entrepreneur and politician, Benoni Urey, Chairman of the Lonestar Communications Corporation, made a pretty important speech on Masonry, unquestionably Liberia’s most powerful secret society.Addressing the St. John the Baptist Feast Day ceremony held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church last Thursday, he said the next President of Liberia “must” be a Mason. That remark sparked many critical comments not only in the Daily Observer’s online edition, but also on the talk shows on several Monrovia radio and TV stations. The comments were overwhelmingly negative. But on hearing these reactions to his address, Mr. Urey called the Daily Observer to deny that he had ever said such a thing. He said he had never called for Liberia to be led by a Mason come 2017.Many people, however, said they saw him utter those very words on television. Mr. Urey was kind enough to send us last Friday a copy of his 11-page address. Here is what he said beginning on page 10: “The New Liberia we envisage will and must be one with a Masonic Head.” He went on to outline the qualities of such a leader, qualities which, he insisted, “[meet] the Tenet of Free Masonry.” In closing, Urey said he looked forward to another “festive day of Craft Masonry when Monrovia will “see the President of Liberia perambulating (traveling on foot, walking-marching) with us on the streets of Monrovia. “Our dreams must come true, our goal we must achieve… The choice is ours.”Who, then, can deny that Benoni Urey wants the next President of Liberia to be a Free Mason? And having himself declared his candidacy for the presidency in 2017, which Mason would better suit that bill than the ambitious, influential and wealthy Benoni Urey who, within a few years hence, will most likely himself be elected Grand Master? We have often wondered what has Masonry done for Liberia? The most that people who have noticed know about them is what they did last Thursday: dressed up in expensive clothes, marched behind brass bands, assembled in the Temple to wine and dine and, because they are the elite of the elite, the cream of power in the society—the top lawyers, judges, politicians, business and professional people—they can easily influence a lot that is happening in Liberia. Benoni Urey said it: “The Masonic Craft over the years has played a significant role in the building and governance ofLiberia. Five of the nation’s Presidents have been grand masters of Masons.” Urey further recalled: “Many problems in government were settled at the Masonic Temple. Good governance decisions were made there. Bad decisions were challenged at the Temple.”There is, then, no question that the Masonic Craft has had an overweening influence on Liberian statecraft. Now come some critical questions:• What have the Masons ever done for the poor, weak, deprived and destitute in our society?• How come this first independent African Republic is, at 168, still at the bottom of the world’s economic development ladder?• How come the Judiciary, as it is even today, has been accused of corruption? This, more than anything else, frightened Albert Porte, the legendary constitutional analyst and pamphleteer who over the years warned that the judiciary is “the cement that holds together the national fabric. Weaken that cement and you weaken the national fabric”—and that and more was happening, leading to the 1980 coup and to the civil war. Have the Masons ever asked themselves what part they played—have they ever accepted any responsibility for what happened to Liberia? After all, they were in the lead. They came second after the True Whig Party; the church came third. That was the triumvirate that ruled Liberian for over a century—the TWP, the Masonic Craft, the church.• So how did Liberia, under their leadership, become a failed state? How did we, having been on the same economic level with Singapore and South Korea in 1960, remain consistently the odd man out in economic and political development? We submit that because the Masons admit that they were in Liberian society the Primus inter pares (first among equals), they should be the first to answer the question, what happened to Liberia?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Legislature to ‘Investigate Self’

first_imgThe National Legislature, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives has expressed disappointment and detestation against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and said it has observed that the Executive has failed to observe the principle of coordination consistent with the Constitution and the rules of the Legislature.In a joint statement by both Houses yesterday evening, President Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah said the Legislature has urged the President to instruct the Special Task Force, headed by Cllr. Fonati Koffa, to cease attacking the person and property of any present or former member of the Legislature.The statement was issued in the office of the President Pro Tempore with attendance of scores of Senators and Representatives.Pro Tempore Jallah said the Legislature has resolved to establish a joint committee of both the Honorable House and the Honorable Senate to thoroughly investigate this matter, commencing with a Public Hearing, and a subsequent public debate before an ultimate decision by theLegislature is made. The press statement, which was signed by Pro Tempore Jallah and House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr., said they “are aware that search and seizure writs were issued against the home of Senator Varney Sherman and it was widely reported that the Senator’s home was put under siege by security forces on May 23, 2016; and that there are further attempts to go after other Legislators in like manner.”“The Legislature has seized itself of this matter for several reasons and has appointed a joint committee of both the Honorable House and the Honorable Senate.“What prompted the Legislature to seize itself of this matter is that the Executive has failed to observe the principle of coordination consistent with the Constitution and the rules of both Houses of the Legislature,” the statement said. The statement added: “It has also come to the attention of the Legislature as alleged in the Global Witness report that laws were changed in 2010 to give Sable Mining favorable treatment to enable it secure Wologizi outside of competitive bidding. The joint committee of the legislature will investigate this allegation as the legislature is the branch of government constitutionally charged to make laws.” “There are several other issues which warrant the attention of the Legislature which will be exhaustively covered during the public hearing and the Legislative debate. The Legislature therefore calls on the President to instruct the Special Task Force to cease attacking the person and property of any present or former member of the Legislature while the Joint Committee carries out the investigation.”The President Pro Tempore has also said the names of the members of the Joint Committee of the Legislature to investigate the Global Witness report will be announced to the public not later than May 26, tomorrow. “The Joint Committee will also be charged with the responsibility to establish whether or not the Executive exceeded its constitutional mandate through its recent actions,” Sen. Jallah said.Senate’s DecisionMeanwhile, the Senate has summoned Cllr. Fonati Koffa, the head of the Special President Task Force, the Acting Justice Minister, Cllr. Frederick Cherue, as well as the Chairman of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. James Verdier. The trio are expected to appear before the Senate’s Plenary today (Wednesday, May 25,) in a Special Session in their Chamber, at 11:00am.The invitees are expected to explain why was the residence of Grand Cape Mount County Sen. Varney Sherman besieged by officers of the Liberia National Police and staff of the LACC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Why the Giants sent Tyler Beede to the minors after the best start of his career

first_imgSAN DIEGO — Tyler Beede tossed seven brilliant innings in a dominant victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday and was rewarded with a trip back to the minor leagues.Yes, after the best start of Beede’s young career, he’ll spend the All-Star break in the minor leagues.The Giants announced the decision to option Beede on Wednesday, but the Giants discussed the transaction with him prior to his second career win.It was initially unclear if Beede would start Tuesday’s game after his …last_img read more

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Ex-49er Brent Jones knocks the snot out of Booger McFarland’s analysis of Jimmy G.

first_imgIn the 33 years I covered the NFL, I never ran across a nicer guy than 49ers Brent Jones. Earnest, polite, humble, stoic, well-meaning. We never socialized, but I would bet his scouting report would be the same on and off the field.We are now seeing another side of Brent Jones. The ex-49ers tight end and three-time Super Bowl winner, took massive umbrage at ESPN analyst Booger McFarland’s breakdown of San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s mechanics during the 49ers’ 31-3 caning of the …last_img read more

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How Much Venture Capital Should You Raise For Your SaaS Venture?

first_imgThe short answer is “as much as you need”. The more tactical answer is “as much as you can raise cheaply”. The latter is a pragmatic view. Raise more than you need when times are good. Just because you raise it does not mean you need to spend it – capital efficiency is always good!In this post I look at what VC are saying SaaS ventures need to raise to get to scale and profitability. But I’ll also look at what VC are doing – what SaaS deals they are funding currently. I look at the capital efficiency drivers, what you can do to reduce your need for capital. And finally, I show you which VC are active in SaaS today.What Are VC Saying?The answer according to Bruce Cleveland of Interwest is about $40m.Take that seriously. Cleveland is a SaaS specialist with serious operational experience who has done his research on this subject. But as he points out, the details matter. There are two points of caution:This is looking in the rear view mirror at ventures funded some time ago that did an IPO in 2007 or earlier. It is a different world today – less capital available and less need for capital.VC are happy with models that require a lot of capital. Capital is what they have to offer and if you need a lot they are in the driving seat.Lets look at the operational details, the capital efficiency drivers, in a minute. First, lets see what VC are actually funding today.What Are VC Doing?We looked at the Series A round for 17 SaaS ventures that closed after January 2007:ClarizenMaxploreLoopfuseJive SoftwareSlideRocketElastraSyncplicitySocialCastAriaSystemsLavanteLithium TechnologiesMaxplorePivotLinkSmartTurnZuberanceInsideViewBill.comThese 17 ventures raised $90.25 million total, an average of $5.3 million. That sounds like the “old normal” $5 million Series A. You can see how you would get to $40 million for a venture that is getting traction and can do a series of larger rounds at higher valuations. Lets say, a) $5 million; b) $10 million; c) $25 million; and total: $40m.If the C round is pre IPO, everybody does well. But that is the old normal. The new normal is different. First, those 17 deals had two outliers: Jive raised $15 million and Bill.com raised $17 million.Now let’s start with a later date. If we filter by Series A deals that were done after the market meltdown in Q4 2008, the average more than halves to $2.55 million. Those five deals are:MaxploreLoopfuseSyncplicityZuberanceSocialCastCapital Efficiency DriversThere are two numbers to obsess over.1. How much does it cost to acquire customers? Cleveland defines this as CAC/ACV, or Customer Acquisition Cost divided by Annual Contract Value. If this is less than one you are in good shape. You can take this further. If you can get your customers to pre-pay for the year and your CAC/ACV is less than one, you can self-finance growth at least on the marketing side. Charging annually rather than monthly will slow down growth but that would be a small price to pay for controlling your own destiny. In some markets, customers will pre-pay in return for a discount and that is certainly the cheapest capital you will ever get.2. How much do you need to spend per customer on infrastructure? The SaaS pioneers made a big play out of having their own data centers. When SaaS/Cloud was new, this was essential. Today you will be courted by lots of big, deep-pocketed, credible cloud vendors selling PaaS, IaaS and HaaS on a pay-as-you-go basis. The pay-as-you-go basis means you don’t spend precious capex on infrastrucure. But more important is the total ICC or Infrastructure Cost per Customer. If this is low enough you can afford to be more creative with your freemium strategies – which will reduce your CAC/ACV if done right. In other words, your R&D guys had better pay attention to performance engineering from the get go. The days of throwing sloppy code out there and covering your mistakes with huge dollops of cash later are probably over.Who You Gonna Call? SaaS Funders!You need capital to build a SaaS venture. You can self-finance using the cash flow from another business. (Typically a professional services business as this requires no capital.) This is what both 37 Signals and Zoho/Advent did. But that is still capital, it is just your own capital!If you have a small niche, you might need very little capital as it is easy to reach your market. Which is a good thing as no VC will fund a small niche. If you are have a venture that is in that rare magic quadrant that is both viral and monetizable… well you are one lucky dude!For SaaS ventures that are going after a big market and have normal marketing characteristics, VC (probably preceded by Angel) is the conventional route. If you do decide to raise VC for your SaaS venture, it is better to go to a SaaS specialist. We know this is not an exhaustive list. It is not meant to be. We have seen many VCs do one or two SaaS deals. We want to highlight the VCs that have done more than that, and that have an active focus on SaaS (a section on their site, a partner focused on SaaS, some interesting research, etc.). These are the ones that made that cut:Bay PartnersBenchmarkBessemerEmergenceHummerWinbladInterwestNorthbridgeTrueVenturesVenrockWhat you really need to know is, who is funding SaaS ventures right now. Here is the much shorter list of VC that have done two or more SaaS A Series deals since the start of 2007:EmergenceTrueVenturesHummerWinbladVenrockOK, let’s make a really fine filter. Who has done SaaS A Series deals since the market meltdown in Q4 2008? That list is down to two firms:EmergenceTrueVenturesIn raising money, relationships matter – a lot. So if you know a VC that is not yet active in SaaS, call them. If your venture puts them on the SaaS map, they will love you. For most VC that like Internet or software like SaaS, the business model attractions are screamingly obvious. Photo credit: Mokra Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#startups#tips A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img bernard lunn Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Creative Inspiration: Icons Commercial

first_imgExplore cultural imagery in the beautiful and continuous commercial, Icons.We don’t post advertisements often but this one is too good to ignore. If you haven’t seen the widely popular commercial ‘Icons’ by the design agency Grey than you are missing out. The ad was designed for ‘The Sunday Times’ a UK based newspaper and it encompasses many iconic cultural images in one long continuous shot.The goal of the commercial was to highlight some of the cultural icons that will be around ten, twenty, maybe even one hundred years from now, although we have our doubts about Daft Punk. Check out the video below.Behind the ScenesAs stated above, the entire video was shot all in 1 continual shot with no match action cuts or fancy post production tricks of any kind. Most notably the commercial had a lot of pre-production with a very extensive storyboard. There were also a lot of really awesome costumes including this very stylish half-tan, half-black suit.And this luminescent Mad Men set piece.Here’s the behind the scenes in case you haven’t seen it. Take note on how precise everyone’s movements are.This commercial was shot by the Grey Design Agency for the Sunday Times, Thanks for sharing!Have any other inspiring commercials? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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TMC to contest Assam rural polls

first_imgThe killing of five Bengali villagers by suspected extremists in eastern Assam on November 1 has apparently given the Trinamool Congress a window of opportunity to contest the State’s panchayat elections for the first time.The rural polls are scheduled in January 2019.Condolence meeting West Bengal’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim flew in to Guwahati on Monday to attend a condolence meeting for the five who were gunned down at Bisonimukh-Kherbari village. The TMC’s State unit had organised the meet.His was the second visit to the State by the TMC leaders in a week. On November 5, a delegation of four of the party’s lawmakers, including MP Derek O’Brien, had visited Bisonimukh-Kherbari to stand by the victims and provide them assistance.‘Feeling insecure’“It is not just the Bengalis that are feeling insecure in Assam under a BJP-led government. Other communities are feeling threatened too,” Mr. Hakim said, criticising the slow progress of the investigation into the killings.He also said that the TMC would be contesting the panchayat polls where the BJP’s ruling ally Asom Gana Parishad is keen on contesting on its own and the pro-minorities All India United Democratic Front wants to tie up with the Congress to keep the BJP out.Monday also saw the leaders of the pro-talks faction of the extremist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) holding a “brotherhood meeting” with some Bengali intellectuals and activists of the State headed by Pradip Sen Sharma.The Assam government had after the November 1 killings arrested two pro-talks ULFA leaders – Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta – for provocative statements.‘Situation deteriorating’“The situation in Assam is deteriorating due to some misunderstanding among the communities. Some third party is taking advantage to create a violent rift between the Assamese and Bengalis in the State. We met in a bid to iron out the differences,” ULFA leader Anup Chetia said.“Both groups agreed that the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has strained the cordial relationship the two communities have been enjoying for decades now,” Mr. Chetia said.“We can see a deep conspiracy behind the attempts to divide the two communities,” Mr. Sen Sharma said.last_img read more

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MS Dhoni and Sakshi wedding anniversary: ‘7 years of love, simplicity and togetherness’

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni and his wife Sakshi are celebrating their seventh marriage anniversary today in the Caribbean Island together and Twitter celebrated the occasion with equal fervour.Dhoni and Sakshi tied the knot on July 4, 2010 and have a daughter named Ziva, who was born on February 6, 2015.Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif took to Twitter to Dhoni and Sakshi on completing seven years of their marriage and shared a photograph of his with the two.”A very Happy Anniversary MahiSakshi. Wish you great time ahead,” Kaif wrote.A very Happy Anniversary MahiSakshi. Wish you great times ahead. pic.twitter.com/eBfaGgXzeV- Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) July 3, 2017Sakshi and Ziva are in the West Indies with MS Dhoni, who is representing India in a five-match ODI series against West Indies.Sakshi has actively been sharing pictures of her time in West Indies on her Instagram account. Just a few days ago, she shared a photograph of hers with Shikhar Dhawan and Dwayne Bravo’s sons.Twitter was ecstatic on the occasion of Dhoni’s anniversary and the fans showered the couple with their wishes.7 years of love, simplicity and togetherness.?? Happy anniversary! #MahiSakshi pic.twitter.com/JhzCvldNEV- Shrusti? (@shrusti15) July 4, 2017Cuteee pics in internet today ??Happy Anniversary Mahisakshi pic.twitter.com/AjYJUh8VMK- payal ?? (@chasmish_girl) July 4, 2017Happy Anniversary MahiSakshi ?@msdhoni @SaakshiSRawat pic.twitter.com/0UduWqDv5radvertisement- Dream catcher ? (@Keerthie_Suriya) July 4, 20177 Years Of Amazing Partnership. Wishing A Very Happy Anniversary MahiSakshi .#Dhoni #MSDhoni pic.twitter.com/Tyy9ntlmyC- Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) July 3, 2017India are currently 2-1 up in the five-match ODI series and will play the fifth ODI in Jamaica on July 6.last_img read more