الأربعاء، سبتمبر ٠٢، ٢٠٠٩


How To Make Money Online
Maureen Farrell, 12.19.08, 07:52 PM EST
Ideas for those looking to join the Internet millionaire's club.

In Pictures: Nine Ways To Make Money Online Suleman Ali needed a change. So, in mid-2007, he left his programming gig at Microsoft to start a company--any company. On a whim, he wrote an application for Facebook, the social networking Web site, called Superlatives, which lets visitors rate their friends as the smartest, best-looking and such. It immediately caught fire.

"I basically started building it out of boredom, and people started noticing it three days after I launched it," says Ali. So did interested suitors: Nine months later, the 26-year-old sold his hobby-cum-enterprise, called Esgut, to Palo Alto, Calif.-based Social Gaming Network for "several million dollars" (he's not allowed to share the exact purchase price).

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Yahoo! BuzzFor all the troubles in the economy, the Internet continues to be a hotbed of innovation, entrepreneurship and, as development costs continue to decrease, stiff competition. Some of the most lucrative ideas have yet to hit the drawing boards. "I could almost make the case that the idea you think is really stupid is [the one that will] succeed," says Guy Kawasaki, partner at Garage Ventures.

In Pictures: Nine Ways To Make Money Online

In Pictures: 13 Businesses You Can Start For Under $5,000

In Pictures: 16 Solid Web Site Design Tips

Ali financed Esgut, with an eight-employee roster, by selling advertising that runs alongside its applications. By the time he sold the business, the company's six apps had attracted some 14 million unique users. Now Ali is ready for round two. Despite the downturn, the young entrepreneur says he's in "brainstorming" mode with a high school friend and MIT graduate.

Comment On This Story
There are plenty of ways to make a buck online. Some ventures require only a few hundred dollars in equipment, while others demand significant hardware and even a warehouse. Some might make you rich, others might just cover groceries and all involve various levels of time, capital and technological skill.

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StoriesVideosTake traditional advertising-supported sites. While a slew of random eyeballs won't cut it anymore (especially in a recession when ad budgets are tight), sites that demonstrate proven, direct links to coveted consumers can still thrive.

"Targeting techniques dramatically improve [advertising rates] and make businesses viable that might not have been," says Howard Morgan, a partner at First Round Capital, an early-stage venture fund in New York that invests in Web-based companies.

Entrepreneurs can make money either by running Web sites that appeal to specific demographics or by writing nifty software that captures information on how people shop on the Web. 33 Across, a Manhattan-based start-up, is developing software that sniffs out online "influencers"--folks likely to share an advertisement with other, larger groups of people--whom advertisers can target directly.

Niche e-commerce plays work too. The best of these generate revenue by taking a cut of every sale and by selling advertising. One unique twist on this model is Avelle.com (formerly BagBorroworsteal.com), which takes a Netflix-style approach to luxury accessories. Customers can rent Chanel earrings, Balenciaga tote bags or Hermès watches at a monthly or weekly rate. The company also charges $60 for an annual "membership" that offers discounts on those rates.

Yet a third model: Be an online broker and take a cut of the business you scare up. Or simply make it easier for customers to make purchases, as Opentable.com does, by peddling restaurant-table-management software that lets consumers search for reservations and book online. Diners make reservations for free, but the restaurants pay per lead.

Mint.com offers users an online bookkeeper that can categorize and graph all spending, as well as outline ways users can save money (strategies provided, of course, by Mint advertisers). For instance, Verizon (nyse: VZ - news - people ) might offer a combination package of cable, cellphone and landline service that could save Mint.com users a $100 per month; Mint.com then captures a fee for each referral.

For all the free stuff online, people will still pay to enter gated communities--and with the rise of social networking (Facebook, Twitter, et al.), the options for virally marketing those sites are myriad. The challenge: offering such valuable content that people are willing to shell out for it.

The Ladders.com manages to pull it off. The site charges $30 per month to list open jobs paying $100,000-plus salaries. Meetup.com charges "organizers" a monthly fee to arrange meetings in U.S. cities for groups devoted to any imaginable interest.

Even in this tough economy, if you can wrap a compelling video around useful, practical information that appeals to a specific audience, large sponsors will pay good money for it. Example: Foryourinformation.com, founded by Paul Kontonis, has multiple online video networks devoted to infotainment (and one comedy network) on which advertisers buy space. Companies can also buy shows created around a particular brand--an even more lucrative model, in terms of revenues per view, says Kontonis.

As layoffs mount, so too has the interest in making a killing on the Web. Gary Sharma, founder of Garysguide.org, a newsletter that compiles lists of networking events for Webpreneurs around the U.S., says the number of shindigs has more than doubled over the past six months, to about 90 per week.

"People once were siloed," he says. "Now they participate and things start rolling. Going to events, it stirs the waters." And that's certainly what the economy needs right about now.

In Pictures: Nine Ways To Make Money Online

In Pictures: 13 Businesses You Can Start For Under $5,000

In Pictures: 16 Solid Web Site Design Tips

Million-Dollar Businesses You've Never Heard Of

Make Money Online

Have a nutty idea for a business? It just might work. For inspiration (and even a few chuckles), we went looking for small companies that pull in at least $1 million in annual revenue in unexpected ways. Look hard enough and they are legion. So before you toss that nutty idea aside, check out some entrepreneurs who didn't. Here are a few highlights from our search (see the slideshow for the full list).

Fairy Tales Hair Care
Passaic, N.J.
Revenue in 2008: $6 million

Business ideas come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. In 1999, Risa Barash, a 33-year-old stand-up comic, heard from her then-fiancé's cousin (got that?) about a rash of head lice cases at his Hewlett, N.Y.-based children's salon. After doing some research (including a lot of chatting with relatives in Israel, where head lice was a big problem), Barash hit upon an organic preventative shampoo, as opposed to chemical-based products applied only after the louse has taken up residence. Her big break came one morning while watching The Rosie O'Donnell Show--Rosie was lamenting her own children's lice outbreak. Barash wrote a letter (in the voice of a fellow well-known comic), walked over to the NBC studio and told the security guard she was delivering some hair products for O'Donnell's kids. The next day, Fairy Tales Hair Care's Rosemary Repel Shampoo was the talk of the show.

The Fiero Store
Stafford Springs, Conn.
Revenue in 2008: $2.3 million

Matthew Hartzog, 32, spent his teenage summers and school breaks working for his stepfather selling parts and accessories for GM Opels. But the long-defunct, two-seat, mid-engine Fiero was where his heart lay. Approximately 370,000 Fieros rolled off the lines between 1984 and 1988 before Pontiac stopped producing the car; less than 75,000 are currently registered in the U.S. Keeping them purring proved a tidy little business. Fanatics make great customers.

Jimmy Beans Wool
Reno, Nev.
Revenue in 2008: $2.1 million

Laid off from her software engineering gig, Laura Zander decided to open a yarn store with her husband Doug in 2002. They plowed $30,000 into hanks of yarn, a Web site and a lease on a new store in Truckee, Calif. Good timing: The knitting market spiked in 2003 after a few celebrities, such as Julia Roberts and Vanna White, were seen knitting and crocheting. Zander found success with walk-in customers; she could teach them how to knit in less than five minutes, and many walked away with $100 worth of novelty yarns, enough to make five scarves, a fashion craze at the time. Zander, 35, now boasts an average of 20,000 customers per month, mostly through the Web site.

Austin, Texas
Revenue in 2008: $2.5 million

"Pets aren't just household goods--they're beings, just like people are." Such is the mantra of Kevin and Angie O'Brien, the husband-and-wife team who sold a doggy day-care business to get into the pet-moving game. They invested $97,000 of the proceeds in a new van, Google ads, a Web site, a USDA-backed carriers and intermediate handlers license (allowing the couple to transport animals over state lines) and a $300 membership to IPATA, an international trade association of animal handlers. The couple says it can move any live animal, anywhere around in world--say, a dog from Seattle to Shanghai, mole rats from South Africa to San Antonio and dart frogs from Switzerland to the U.S. It's a turn-key service, covering airline bookings, blood tests, vet check-ups, logistics, customs and quarantine. The company expects to pull in $3.5 million in revenue this year, has been debt free since day one and turned a profit in its second month.

In Depth: Eight Million-Dollar Businesses You've Never Heard Of

More Inspiration: 13 Businesses You Can Start For Under $5,000

More Inspiration: Nine Ways To Make Money Online

الجمعة، أغسطس ٢٨، ٢٠٠٩

Win at the Credit Scoring Game

by Carla Fried
Thursday, August 27, 2009
provided by

To get the best deal on a loan, you need some new strategies to bump up your score - and keep it there.

Borrowing money today requires impressing an increasingly hard-to-please crowd. With creditors of all kinds more cautious than ever, you need an A+ application to land the best terms -- and that means an A+ credit score, the number lenders use to judge your risk of default.

More from CNNMoney.com:

• Learn How to Cut Your Spending by $500 a Month

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• Find 5 Great Deals on U.S. Wheels

The most commonly used credit scoring system, called FICO, rates people from a very risky 300 to a pristine 850. And right now we're in the middle of a credit score crunch: "You need a 750 or better today to have the same treatment you got with a 700 two years ago," says John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at Credit.com.

John D'Onofrio, CEO of Autoloandaily.com, seconds that: "Two years ago a 680 was enough to get a great car loan rate. Today it's often the minimum to qualify at all."

Think you're still in the clear? Don't be so sure. Lenders have been making changes that could cause your score to slip from excellent to average. Improve and protect your number with these strategies:

Learn Your Score. You have three FICO scores, based on your credit reports at the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The numbers tend to be in the same ballpark, so pony up $16 to get one representative score at myfico.com. You can get an estimate free at Creditkarma.com. But the FICO score gives you a better sense of what lenders see.

More from Yahoo! Finance:

• It May Be Time to Find a New Credit Card

• Most Failing Banks Are Doing It the Old-School Way

• 9 Cash-Saving Strategies That Pay Big Bucks

Visit the Banking & Budgeting Center

Scout for Mistakes. Your scores are only as good as the information they're based on. And a third of people who've pulled their reports have found errors, according to a Zogby poll. That's good reason to read your report.

When you buy your FICO score, you'll get a copy of the report it was based on. Get gratis histories from the other bureaus via annualcreditreport.com (you're entitled to one free from each bureau every 12 months).

Spot an error? Request a correction, following the instructions on the bureau's website. Let's say the size of a credit line was misstated or an account was mistakenly marked delinquent. Getting the error fixed could raise your score as much as 200 points, says Ulzheimer, who has also worked for Equifax and FICO.

Never, Ever Be Late. As you'll see in the pie chart on the right, the biggest chunk of your credit score comes from your payment history. Just one late payment can shave 100 points off a 750-plus credit score, says Ulzheimer. Lenders can't tattle on you to the bureaus until you're 30 days past due, adds credit expert Gerri Detweiler. But don't risk it. For all your bills, enter recurring due-date reminders on your computer calendar.

Source: CardRatings.com

Missed a payment? Get back on track within the next 30 days, and you should "get back the lion's share" of points lost, Ulzheimer says. More than 90 days late? The damage can stick for years. If it was a one-off lapse, call your issuer and plea for a good-will adjustment to your credit report. (It's a long shot.)

Remember the Magic 20%. The second-biggest factor in your score is how much you owe vs. how much credit has been extended to you. The part of this that's easiest to finesse is your credit card utilization rate, or your total card balances compared with your total credit limits, as well as each card's balance relative to its limit.

Example: If you've charged $5,000 on cards and have $50,000 in credit, your rate is 10%. For the best score today, 10% is ideal, but you can probably creep up to 20% and keep a high rating.

Unfortunately, with banks lowering credit limits and canceling unused cards, it's harder to maintain such a low percentage. In the previous example, if your available credit is cut to $20,000, your rate shoots to 25%. That could sink your score by as much as 50 points, says Ulzheimer. The lesson: Know your limits, watch for changes, and stay under 20% on each card and in total (0% if you'll be applying for a loan soon).

Already above 20%? Paying down debt is the obvious way to lower your utilization rate, but another strategy is to apply for an additional credit card to increase your overall credit limit. That may cause you to lose a few points in the short term -- so don't do it if you're about to apply for a mortgage -- but it should pay off in the long run.

Keep Oldest Cards in Play. As noted, credit issuers these days are eagerly canceling cards that are not in use. Besides reducing your limit and increasing your utilization ratio, having an account closed can hurt you in another way, especially if it's among your older ones.

See, 15% of your score rides on the length of your credit history. The longer you ably manage revolving debt, the better you look. So don't cancel your oldest cards. And don't let them get canceled on you: Move a recurring charge to each so they stay active.

Already ditched or been ditched? A new card (see previous) can help with your utilization rate, but there's little you can do to help the "history" component of your score, except to keep other old accounts in use.

Accept Fate on the Rest. There are other factors involved in your score, but they're not so easy to manipulate. For example, 10% is based on how well you manage a mix of credit types, such as mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. But you don't want to go out and, say, finance a car just for a score boost; besides, you can easily get 750-plus with just a few well-tended credit cards.

Along the same lines, 10% is based on "new credit," but the effects of a new application can be positive or negative, depending on your history.

In other words, if you want to be among the crème de la credit crème, accept what you can't change, and focus on what you can.
Copyrighted, CNNMoney. All Rights Reserved

السبت، أغسطس ١٥، ٢٠٠٩

Bank-fraud scam alleged in Denver and Aurora

Investigators say 700 people were involved in a Denver-based scheme run by Russian immigrants, with losses topping $80 million.
By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post
Posted: 08/15/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

A alleged massive organized bank-fraud scheme involving 16 Russian immigrants was busted by federal agents Friday, with 15 raids at several locations, including an Aurora auto dealership and a Denver medical-marijuana business.

Federal agents said the Denver-based scheme led to losses of more than $80 million and involved 700 people — mostly students in the U.S. on visas who were recruited by the criminal enterprise.

Described by authorities as a "bust out" scam, the allegations involved using the identity and credit line of a business to obtain loans and goods with no intention of repaying the money or paying for the merchandise, according to the case affidavit unsealed Friday. Additionally, some of the 700 obtained credit cards to buy luxury items with no intention of paying for them, while others took out cash loans without repaying, it is alleged.

As part of the investigation, federal agents searched CannaMed, a medical-marijuana dispensary on Leetsdale Drive in Denver. But medical marijuana was not the focus of the search or the investigation, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the Colorado U.S. attorney's office.

"The focus of the investigation is fraud and has nothing to do with medical marijuana, and there is no link to the initial investigation and medical marijuana," he said.

Medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. But under federal law, once a federal agent comes in contact with marijuana, the plants must be seized because the drug is illegal.

A person involved with the medical-marijuana dispensary is potentially involved in unrelated criminal conduct, according to a source close to the investigation.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also came in contact with a marijuana-growing operation at another home that was searched Friday.

Maaliki Motors on South Havana Street in Aurora was raided as well, but the business was searched solely because some of the suspect credit cards were used there to purchase vehicles, according to the affidavit.

Valeria Igorevna Glukhova, 22, used a Washington Mutual credit card on Sept. 22, 2008, at the dealership and spent $10,000 on a 2005 Lexus RX 330, court records say. Glukhova has not been arrested.

Four women were arrested during the bust, but only two were in U.S. District Court in Denver on Friday for an initial appearance.

Natallia Vishnevskaya, 26, and Nadezda Nikitina, 23, remained in custody and through a Russian interpreter were told by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty that they have a detention hearing Wednesday to determine whether they should be released on bail.

Vishnevskaya and Nikitina are each charged with bank fraud and submitting a false and fraudulent application for credit. The charges carry maximum terms of 30 years in prison.

The court documents say that Nikitina formed a business, A&N Enterprises, and filed articles of organization with the Colorado Secretary of State.

However, the Colorado Department of Labor reported that she did not have any employment income at the time she filled out applications for credit on which she said she earned $180,000 a year.

In May 2008, Nikitina tried to buy Jet Skis at Vickery Motorsports, and the store denied her loan application when it saw the number of loans on her credit reports.

Susan Ghardashyan, 69, and Seda Sahakyan, 77, were taken to a medical facility after their arrests. They may make an initial appearance in court next week, but the charges against them were unavailable Friday.

Court documents say Ghardashyan spent $20,300 at Maaliki Motors from February to April using a Target National Bank Card and another $10,000 on a Nordstrom card at the dealership. In late February, two attempts were made at charging another $21,000 to the Nordstrom card at Maaliki, but the charges were declined, the records show.

Dorschner declined to comment on whether anyone involved in the businesses knew that the cards were being used fraudulently.

الثلاثاء، أغسطس ١١، ٢٠٠٩

Family Synergy

With a hand in sports, entertainment, and casinos, the Maloof brothers’ various enterprises all come together to form one company that is taking the nation by storm.

By Seth Semilof

A trip to Vegas is always exciting, but this time it wasn’t about hitting the high-roller’s room or catching a show at The Palms. No, this trip to Vegas had a purpose-a very important one, one that excited and thrilled me at the same time. This trip to the City of Sin had me meeting with some of the Maloof family-brothers Gavin, Joe and George Jr. to be exact-the innovators who are crossing industries to create a conglomerate that is leaving its mark in a number of entertainment arenas. The fourth brother, Phil, was unfortunately tied up with Maloof Productions and unable to make it to our meeting.

Haute Living was invited into Gavin’s 14,000-square-foot home on the outskirts of Vegas’ city limits. This brand new masterpiece is Gavin’s dream property, a passion project that inspires a giddiness in the mogul, one that is echoed in his brothers. The home is empty in preparation for a housewarming bash taking place next week. The list of invitees reads like a list of “Who’s Who” of industry insiders, with a cool mix of pop stars included, of course.

I walk into the massive estate and am greeted by Gavin’s three-pound miniature pinscher, Sally. On the floor with the pup is Joe, keeping one eye on the prancing dog while talking to CNBC’s Squawk Box about the family’s business, which has a hand in…well, almost everything. From the Sacramento Kings and Palms Casino to beer distribution and Maloof Productions (the movie, television, and music arm), there is little that the brothers don’t do.

And they do it with a certain childlike wonder and enthusiasm that belies their ingenuity. The whole while I was at Gavin’s home, Joe and George Jr. ran around, checking out this room and that, the entire time praising their brother for his acquisition with genuine enthusiasm.

From a distance, the four sons of the late George Maloof Sr. are living a fantasy life. Along with their mother, Colleen, and sister, Adrienne (who resides in Beverly Hills with her husband), Phil, Gavin, Joe, and George Jr. are equal partners in Maloof Enterprises, a billion-dollar empire of fun and games.

Family Tree

The current Maloof brood is a third-generation success story. The family history dates back to 1892 when Joe Maloof Sr. opened a small general store in New Mexico. By the 1930s, the family had acquired distribution rights to Coors Beer for the entire state. In 1937, Quality Imports was established as a wholesale fine liquor distribution center. Joe Sr. parlayed the small business into lucrative investments in blue chip stocks and a liquor and beer operation that included New Mexico’s first Coors distributorship. When Joe Sr. suffered a heart attack in 1944, his son, George J. Maloof Sr., left his studies at the University of Colorado to assume responsibility of the Maloof companies. He was just 21 years old.

George Sr. successfully expanded the family business into a group of diversified companies. In 1979, he expanded the New Mexico general store into a statewide liquor distributorship based in Albuquerque, as well as purchased all the branches of the First National Bank of New Mexico. He also picked up a hotel in Anaheim, California. These progressions into the hotel and banking sectors allowed George Sr. to build the family’s fortune to $10 million by the late 1970s.

Responding to his love for sports and competition, George Sr. borrowed heavily to purchase the Houston Rockets for $9 million in 1978. Just two years later, the diabetic George Sr. died from a heart attack, leaving his wife, Colleen, and five children (Joe, Gavin, Phil, Adrienne, and George Jr.) to manage the family’s holdings. Instead of doing the expected and selling the assets in the wake of her husband’s death, Colleen went the opposite route, assuming control of the entire Maloof Corporation and enlisting the help of her five children. Joe and Gavin were in their 20s; young George Jr. was only 16.

They all rose to the challenge, though. “We didn’t even have time to grieve,” explains Joe. “Interest rates were high, and the family was leveraged. It was a tremendous responsibility.” The first thing they did was make a pact to stick together through thick and thin, a vow that is still apparent today. “After [our father's] death, we said we would get along as a family, as brothers,” Joe continues. “We had to fight the competition instead of fighting amongst ourselves.”

They immediately got down to business, working with their vendors to allow them to expand their beer and liquor distribution company. Just two weeks after George Sr.’s passing, siblings Joe and Gavin headed to Colorado with their mother to try to convince Joseph Coors that the beer distribution was still in good hands. Their earnestness impressed the beer magnate, who told them to go back to New Mexico and run their business. Armed with Coors sanction, they convinced other suppliers of their abilities as well.

With alcohol as their core business and a large enough load to shoulder, the Maloofs hit a point where they had to decide which enterprises were moneymakers, and which were expendable. Considering the Rockets had just lost the 1981 NBA finals to the Celtics in a series that wasn’t even telecast nationally during primetime, the team was the first to go, but the brothers always kept it at the back of their minds that they would eventually get back into the game.

Nevada Roots

Four years after selling the Rockets, the youngest Maloof (George Jr.) headed to Sin City to play football for University of Nevada Las Vegas. He admits the experience wasn’t entirely academic. “I’d go to class, play football, eat, and then go gamble until two in the morning.” He became enthralled with the Vegas lifestyle, and with the blood of a budding entrepreneur coursing through his veins, knew he could make a go at it in this fickle town. Just three months after graduating, he approached his family with a plan for a Las Vegas casino that catered to the locals as opposed to tourists and convention-goers.

The family listened to the plan and fully supported the vision, with the exception of George Sr.’s sisters, part-owners of the Maloof Corporation. “They were scared,” Joe recalls. “But we know how to treat customers.” Instead of allowing the women to present a roadblock, Colleen and her sons bought them out and moved forth with the plans for a locals casino that would compete with the more established brands.

Looking back, it is clear that this was a turning point, but as the saying goes, hindsight is always 20-20. At the time, the move into the casino realm just extended the family even further. The Maloofs bought land in North Las Vegas, and then went about the daunting task of convincing lenders that their business plan made sense. Over a period of four years, they made pitch after pitch, even going so far as opening a small casino in Colorado to prove they had the wherewithal to run a successful gaming business. The banks weren’t convinced, standing firm in the belief that Vegas was a tourist’s market, and locals didn’t gamble. Besides, what did four young boys and their platinum-haired mother know about running a Vegas casino?

Evidenced by the Palms, obviously they know a lot. To get started, the Maloofs agreed to guarantee the $30 million loan for Fiesta Casino themselves. If the casino went bust, they would be left with nothing. By the late 1990s, George Maloof had turned Fiesta Casino into a local’s favorite. The key? Programming the slot machines to give better odds of winning.

After expanding the casino twice (once in 1996 and again in 1999 for a total cost of about $70 million), the Maloofs sold to Station Casino for $185 million. An image of the Palms was unexpectedly forming in George’s mind throughout this process. He took what worked from the Fiesta and applied it to a property just off the Strip, one that captures the glamour of Las Vegas while attracting visitors and locals alike.

Prior to its lavish gala opening, the Palms was already the talk of the town, even garnering steady attention from the ADD-afflicted MTV crowd thanks to the Real World Las Vegas taking place in one of its renowned suites. After the season ended, George opted to not change a thing in the extravagant room, instead renting it out for $10,000 per night.

“With the Palms, we wanted to create something that could really have a theme, and could not only cater to the local market, but also to the young market that comes into Las Vegas and is more interested in nightlife than gaming.” To fill this niche, the Palms is infiltrated with top destinations, including the world’s only Playboy Club, complete with high-stakes gaming where the dealers are dressed as tantalizing Playboy Bunnies.

“The property is dynamic; it looks great on television,” George explains. This was apparent during this year’s much buzzed about MTV Music Awards (where Britney notoriously bombed.) The show took place in the Palms, and instead of the performances taking place on the stage, they were spread out throughout the Fantasy Tower’s lavish suites, giving viewers an inside look at the luxuries contained within.

Kings of the Game

Getting back into the realm of the NBA was a goal that only took sixteen years to realize. With the Rockets opening the brothers’ eyes to basketball, the Maloofs decided to negotiate for the Sacramento Kings in 1997 after deciding to forgo purchasing the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightening. They bought the team (which came with the arena) for a whopping total of $247 million, a price that exceeded what even the most loyal fan thought the flailing team was worth.

After opting against moving the Kings to Vegas (a town absent of any professional sporting teams), the Maloofs went to work on building the trust of fans that had become disenchanted with the poorly performing Kings. They did so by putting forth the idea that had been running strong in the family since their father had instilled it during childhood: excellent customer service goes a long way.

Prior to his untimely passing, George Sr. was constantly teaching his sons the value of customer care. On one memorable business trip from New Mexico to Milwaukee, Joe recalls his father asking the sons to rate every single person who had the opportunity to provide services. “We came into contact with fifty-seven people that had an opportunity to service us, to take care of us as customers. Out of all of those people, there was only one lady in a downtown café that went out of her way and took the extra step to take care of us. That’s not to say the others weren’t nice, but she just took it the Maloof way. And that taught me at an early age what customer service was all about.”

Gavin continues, “We’d like to stay on top of our game, which entails continuing to execute the properties we have now, and making sure we continue to service our customers and take care of our employees. They may be simple philosophies, but they have worked for the Maloof family for more than one hundred years, passed down from my grandfather to my father to me and my brothers.”

Today, they take customer service to a whole new level, going so far as to provide their cell phone numbers to fans at the arena. “We like to be hospitable to people,” Gavin explains, “to take care of people-that’s why we were put here, to make sure that when people come to Maloof venues, they enjoy themselves.”

The idea has been embraced by the fans, who have declared the Kings as number one in overall fan experience by a survey conducted for the NBA by J.D. Power and Associates. It’s the brother’s “cool” attitude that has allowed them to climb to the top of that industry. Example? When Chris Webber’s-the star of the Kings-contract expired, there was talk of him jumping ship. The Maloofs put a stop to that with an innovative marketing strategy. A billboard went up by the local freeway featuring an image of Joe riding a lawn mower, with a message that said, “Chris, Joe will mow your lawn if you stay. Signed, Gavin.” It was a move that delighted fans, and moved Webber enough to have him extend his contract. Since the Maloofs have taken ownership of the team, they have gone on to win two Pacific Division championships.

The Maloofs also recently procured the Sacramento Monarchs, the local WNBA team, who have since brought glory to the town with their 2005 championship. And while the Kings have yet to bring home a title, that is the ultimate goal.

Maloof Productions

While Joe and Gavin are busy with the Sacramento Kings, and George Jr. has his hands full with the Palms, their brother Phil, a former New Mexico senator, is busy expanding the Maloof empire into the entertainment sector. Maloof Productions, founded in 2004, has a hand in movies, television, and music. While still a small company, their expansion plans will soon have them on the same playing field as some of the larger conglomerates. This is thanks in part to the innovative marketing strategies that are created by the synergies between all of the brothers’ various companies.

Think of it this way: Maloof Productions makes a movie. Maloof music provides the soundtrack, which was recorded in the Palms recording studio. The red-carpet premiere of the movie? Oh, that takes place at the Palms, of course. And throughout all of this, the lucky Sacramento fans are bombarded with information and promotions that highlight the film. The question begs to be asked, what else could they possibly do? “I don’t know what other markets are left,” laughs Andrew Jameson, president of Maloof Productions. “They’ve got beer distribution, they’ve got the professional sports franchise, film, television, music. Who knows where they are headed! The sky is the limit with these guys.”

Family Ties

Throughout the process of growing their family’s sizable holdings into an empire that includes being the largest shareholders in Wells Fargo, the brothers have retained their enthusiasm as well as their love for each other. Need proof? Sitting courtside at nearly every King game is Phil and George, wholeheartedly cheering them on. Gavin explains how it all works: “Joe and I run the Kings division and our big distributorship; George runs the Palms, and Phil handles the entertainment division. It’s nice because we’re all in our own areas, and we respect each other’s area.”

George seconds that notion, saying, “We’ve always supported each other and we have the greatest respect for one another.” Their ability to work together as a family has brought them each to the top of their industry, while the synergies they create further propel them into the category of greatness.

Comments (15)

Send this Article to a Friend 15 Responses to “Family Synergy”
Dora Perry Says:

November 20th, 2007 at 7:31 pm
Dear Maloofs Brothers

Dennis N. Says:

November 29th, 2007 at 1:29 am
Dear Maloofs Brothers,

I just wanted to say “thank you so very much” for your generous donation to the University of Hawaii Football team. Your gesture, I hope will get the ball rolling towards the badly needed upgrades to the facilities.

Thank you..thank you.. mahalo nui loa!

Dennis N.
A University of Hawaii Football fan.

Lisa Sharp Says:

December 1st, 2007 at 7:26 am
Dear Maloofs,

I have purchased tickets for my mother and I to see Celine Dion in Oct of 08. It really means so much for my mother to see Celine because her music reminds her of the two children she has lost in two separate drunk driving accidents. My mother is fortunate enough to have 7 children that love her and understand what loss she has been through. It would mean the world to my mother if she could meet Celine Dion at her concert! When I told her my husband purchased tickets for the concerts she was in tears because her music means so much to her. My whole family would so appreciate it if mother had the opportunity to meet her. We would be forever grateful for your faciliating this meeting.

Lisa Sharp

James Cordova Says:

December 26th, 2007 at 5:08 am
I’ve always been a fan ever since our family moved to Albuquerque in 1964. What a company and what a family the Maloofs
Here in Albuquerque we have an opportunity to be part of what I would call a historic run with three young up and coming World Class Boxers. I would like to know if Maloof Productions might be interested in promoting or in some way get involved in their future. I’ve been watching these young guns work for the last 8 months and what a pleasure it has been to see their work ethic, their dedication, and the class that these youngsters are displaying. It doesn’t happen often but it is a thing of beauty to see unfold.
Please contact me for more information

Blessed and Truly Grateful
James Cordova

Abe Dajani Says:

January 10th, 2008 at 7:27 pm
Dear Maloof Brothers,

You all have been an inspiration to me. Your passion and drive to succeed is refreshing to say the least. It is my goal & ideal to one day touch the lives of people as your family has for years. Thank you all for what you do and who you are. I am proud to be a fan and fellow brother of humanity.

In Hoc,

Abe Dajani

Thomas Kane Says:

February 17th, 2008 at 8:45 am
Dear Maloof Family,

Over the years I have amired your family for your drive and tenacity buffered by kindness and generousity. You guys make me proud to be an American, you are the American Dream!
Years ago I had the great pleasure of meeting you father, amist all the important guests, he and I sat and talked for quite some time just about life. I was in awe, there I was a virtual nobody, talking with George Maloof. Wow, what a inspiration and honor!
You guys are great, keep up the good work. May God bless all of you for all that you do to help people. Thank-you for being the kind people that you are. Take care and good luck this year!

Thomas Kane

Dear Joe & Gavin Says:

March 2nd, 2008 at 12:14 am
Joe, I have met you at some of the Kings games and talked too you a couple of times. I was a season ticket holder from 1985 to 1990. I am a member of the USSA, but have been disabled from skiing since 1992. Too many concussions to the head. I would like to be able to sweep the floors at a game. Do you think I could be able to do that 1 game? Also for my friends and teamates do you think you could donate 2 tickets? Back in 1985 they only $19.50 a ticket. So I am unable to go to the games. Thank for listening!! Beat L.A.

Jerry Salomon
U.S.SkiTeam USA#1

Laurie Fredricks Says:

March 2nd, 2008 at 6:25 pm
This is a great article. I am a current season ticket holder for the Kings. It has been a tough year. I am disappointed that we seem to have lost our 6th man advantage due to lackluster ticket sales this year. I have been to every game this year and am taking my son to the game tonight for his 10th bday. I wanted to put his name on the jumbotron to announce his bday but was told by my season ticket service executive that it would cost me $100 to do that. I have spent 12k on season tickets and I cant even get my sons name on the big screen for his bday for no charge. I think this is one of the reason you are losing the loyal fan base and the 6th man advantage….you have lost touch with your fans and how the recession is affecting their pocketbooks.

Your current season ticket services people are not good. Mine seems to think she is doing me a huge favor any time I ask for something. I wont be renewing my tickets this year unless things change. I will just buy tickets for any game I want through ticketmaster because they are available for any game. It is sad to see the arena so empty. This is only going to domino into the players aspect too. Players used to love to come here because we have the best fans but now they are starting to prefer to play in the bay area for the Warriors because their games now sell out like ours used to. You guys have the only game in town and some great fans. I really think you have just lost touch with how much the regular person can spend on these games. Alot of your fans bought these tickets with all the extra money we made on our homes the last 10 years. With the subprime crisis not over and the recession in full swing I’m afraid the arena will be emptier than usual unless you reconsider some of the costs the fans are incurring @ Arco.

Finally, you and I both know the 6th man is pivotal in some of those close games @ Arco. If we lose the 6th man we are going to lose games, players, more fans…..by you somehow getting back the 6th man (sell-outs) I think it will work full circle in gaining back more wins and acquiring great players which will bring back the fans and the sell-outs.

If you want my number to talk, Fat has it. He can give it to you.

Michael Says:

March 6th, 2008 at 1:51 am
Kings need to really go after Agent Zero and Monte Ellis in the Free Agency this off season!!!!

This is a great article by the way!

Devon Says:

March 6th, 2008 at 1:53 am
I agree with michael we really need to really go after Gilbert Arenas and Monte Ellis in Free Agency. Maybe B. Diaw and Ben Gordon.

Dear Joe & Gavin Says:

March 8th, 2008 at 3:26 am
Hire Bedro, Fire Grant unless he can really find the OUT OF BOUNCE! Keep Jerry and give Reggie a raise! He is the Only Coach who looks good when he looses! Remember Guys, this is Sactown not Vegas. Its time to man up, at least it will give the Fans some HOPE!! Anymore advice, Good advice and it will cost you at least 2 tickets! I am sure that you can find me if you are looking!! The Kansas Comet can not do EVERTHING!!! What do You Think? No this is not Jerry Reynolds! IT IS a former point Gaurd. Who Can PLAY Defense NOT Like Bibbie! Any Questions! Tanks Jerry Salomon USSA #1

Maloof brothers, Anthony Says:

March 17th, 2008 at 11:55 am
I am a current college student pursuing a career in the casino entertainment industry. I am extremely fascinated with the success of the Maloof family. I was simply wondering if the Maloof family and its affiliated businesses offered any jobs or internships. I’ve been a kings fan for as long as i can remember. It would be a great honor to work for the Palms. Unlike my collegues, i like to aim high! I hope to hear from you soon. Go Kings!

Perry Says:

July 17th, 2008 at 1:54 pm
Maloof Brothers,

I am very impressed with your wise investments and your diversification into the many business outlets that you have achieved in sports, entertainment, and gaming. I have a master’s of science in sport administration and an undergrad in business administration. I love the business of sport and I would love to work in almost any aspect in your businesses, more specifically for the kings, your entertainment group, or at your hotel (palms). I have a background in the casino business and business period. I hope to hear from you soon. Go Kings!

Wilma Miller Says:

September 5th, 2008 at 9:30 am
Iam 80 years old and one of the teams greatest fans .My family even tease me about being such an avid fan when I insisted on being home to watch the games but they made sure the little ones stayed out of Great Grandmas apartment at game time. I watched every game last year on TV. Iam going to miss my favorite entertainment this year . My hearing is bad so no radio. My 84 year old sister in Chandler ,Arizona is a Suns fan . It we had so much fun dicussing the games on the phone it gave us something fun to talk about. Thanks for last years games anyway ,it was fun while it lasted. USA winning at the Olympics was fantastic .I will miss it but thanks for last year anyway.It was a great year.

husam moussa Says:

September 7th, 2008 at 8:54 pm
me and my family ispired by your family thank you .

الاثنين، أغسطس ١٠، ٢٠٠٩

Five Secrets Your Bank Doesn't Want You to Know

Five Secrets Your Bank Doesn't Want You to Know
by Laura Rowley

Banks are squeezing customers with historically high
fees and penalties, from overdraft charges to account service fees to new surcharges on foreign debit transactions.But the pressures that have prompted the fee war with consumers started well before the financial meltdown, according to Jo Preuninger, a former management consultant who spent more than a decade in the consumer banking arena.
I asked Preuninger for a little history, as well as some of the tricks of the trade that banks would prefer to keep secret.Secret #1: For many banks, the most profitable customers aren't the mass affluent -- they're "Joe Lunchbox."In 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allowed banks, insurers and securities firms to merge, breaking down barriers that had been in place since the 1930s. Following the new law, "if you took all the (deposit) checks written for $10,000 and above, most were written to institutions such as Charles Schwab, Fidelity or Merrill Lynch," says Preuninger. "They took the best customers. The banks were becoming more like Laundromats, where you put money in for a short period because you still needed to pay with a check or (get cash)."At the same time, loans provided little profit as interest rates remained relatively low, prompting banks to seek consistent, non-interest income. "The focus was on how banks could not only identify fees they could charge, it was how to do a better job of collecting their fees," says Preuninger.Middle-income customers presented the greatest potential to harvest fees. "There's certainly a customer segment that could be called 'Joe Lunchbox,' who expect to be nickeled and dimed," says Preuninger. "They are managing money from paycheck to paycheck. It's someone who would prefer to pay an overdraft fee to get their mortgage covered rather than get hit by a mortgage provider with a late fee and a ding on their credit score."Last year, overdraft and insufficient-funds charges totaled nearly $35 billion and comprised about 90 percent of banks' consumer-fee income, according to a
study by the consulting firm Bretton Woods Inc. Three-quarters of banks automatically enroll consumers in their "overdraft protection" programs without formal permission, and more than half of banks manipulate the order in which checks are cleared to trigger multiple overdraft fees, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation study. "They are going to try to turn the best profit they can, which is why they post in the most attractive way they can while avoiding and minimizing legal exposure," says Preuninger.
Someone who overdraws a checking account a few times a year should choose a bank with a program that makes it easy (and free) to shift funds from savings to checking to
protect against overdrafts.
Secret #2: Banks hope frequent overdraft customers don't understand the alternatives.The banks deemed overdraft protection to be a customer service convenience that provides an alternative to
payday lenders, says Preuninger. And yet some of those customers might almost fare better with loan sharks. The Bretton Woods study found 80 percent of overdraft fees are incurred by 20 million households, who paid an average of $1,374 in overdraft fees.
These customers should consider ditching traditional checking account in favor of a
prepaid debit card, which typically cost $70 to $80 a year ($10 upfront with a $5 monthly fee). Users direct-deposit their paychecks onto the cards (the money is FDIC-insured) and can do point-of-sale transactions and pay bills online. There are no overdraft fees; the purchase is declined if the card is empty.Secret #3: Those helpful new customer set-up kits, designed to make it easy to switch banks, also try to make the account "sticky.""I did a lot of work in customer attraction and retention," says Preuninger. "The biggest barrier to new accounts was switching. There's a higher tolerance; a bank may have a lot of long-term customers -- that doesn't mean they love (the service)."Most banks have a kit to assist customers in switching services. But do it yourself instead. Enter your regular bills in the bank's online billpay site, rather than signing up with each biller's website. If your new banking relationship goes sour, the account is more transportable. You won't have to log into a dozen different biller sites and change the account and routing numbers. Secret #4: Long-term relationships matter."Know what you want in the way of a bank and stay as long as you can because tenure does matter," Preuninger says. "If you've been with a bank three to five years, they treat you differently than if you are there six months. If you direct-deposit your paycheck and have a (savings) relationship, they think of you differently than if you have free checking with $100 in it. Tenure and relationship does matter." So if you incur the rare fee now and then, always call customer service and ask (politely) for it to be removed. Emphasize your long-term relationship with the bank and ask for a supervisor if the initial effort fails.Most customers aren't profitable until they've been with a bank a few years because of the high cost of customer acquisition -- sales compensation to branch managers, IT infrastructure, documentation and account setup. "It's a long time before they break even, especially if they goose it with $100 to you to open the account," Preuninger says.Secret #5: Banks want you to enjoy the "advantages" of paying with credit, debit, check and cash -- because it will make you more likely to lose track of your money."One of most dangerous things going on with consumers is they are not paying attention to the variety of ways they are paying. They are balancing money back and forth because it's too hard to account for," Preuninger says. "If you pay seven different ways, you've just added complexity to your life. Consumers shouldn't say to the bank ‘you're responsible to tell me what I'm doing with my money.'"But more banks are moving in that direction. PNC Bank, for instance, launched an account called Virtual Wallet that presents account information in calendar form, focused between today and the account holder's next payday. A "danger day" appears on the calendar in red if the account is at risk of an overdraft. The user can either move bills later in the month, or shift money immediately from the savings portion of the account at no charge (the account does it automatically if the consumer doesn't). Statements are only available online and the bank charges 50 cents per check for writing more than three a month.Best bet? Simplify. Get a free checking account with no fees and a low minimum balance requirement, pay major household bills online, and then stick to cash. You'll think twice about purchases, and avoid getting caught in the widening web of bank fees.

الأربعاء، أغسطس ٠٥، ٢٠٠٩

Coloradans brace for onset of H1N1 flu season

Coloradans brace for onset of H1N1 flu season
By Michael Booth
The Denver Post
Posted: 08/05/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 08/05/2009 01:42:02 AM MDT

Dr. Connie Price talks about some of the preparations at Denver Health to deal with an expected H1N1 flu outbreak, including the mask she is wearing, which will be used to help protect employees. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)Related
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MOUNTAIN OF DEBT: Americans' debt stress is easingXcel Energy has a priority ranking for which essential employees get company-issued Tamiflu and which ones should stay home and telecommute instead.

The state emergency services division is ready to help find replacement drivers should grocery stores see too many truckers get H1N1 swine flu.

And schools across Colorado are choosing rooms and lining up nurses for an October vaccination rush that will make them a front line in the swine-flu fight.

State health and safety officials say that years of detailed planning since the scares caused by avian and other virus strains prepare them well for an expected swine-flu outbreak.

In snapshots from throughout the state, utility closets are stuffed with breathing masks and Xerox machines print contingency plans for 20, 40 or 60 percent absenteeism. Officials hone warnings that most state residents should get their usual seasonal flu shot along with the multidose H1N1 vaccine arriving in October.

But they have a stern message for all Coloradans: the flu season is not some vague irritation coming "this fall." It starts during the next two weeks, as many schoolchildren return to class and begin the mass congregation of bodies and germs that encourage pandemic flu. And if the public wants to keep going to work, to school, and to a well-stocked grocery store, people need to start following instructions.

"We need to stop using the word 'fall.' It's already here," said Chris Lindley, director of emergency preparedness for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "There's no better time to start preparing than now."

Normal, seasonal variations of the annual flu strain hit 15 million to 60 million Americans a year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causing complications that result in about 36,000 deaths. About 800 Coloradans die each year from seasonal flu.

By contrast, the CDC estimates about 1 million Americans have contracted H1N1 or swine flu since the worldwide outbreak reached here last spring, although many of those cases were never officially confirmed. About 300 Americans have died from swine flu, and Colorado reported its first death, a Colorado Springs woman, last week.

Americans have no background level of immunity to swine flu, built up by exposure over time, as they do for more common flu. That puts extra burden on fall vaccinations, in a brief time window. Moreover, the newness of swine flu makes the impact erratic and potentially fast-changing, though so far the H1N1 strain has proved no more deadly than seasonal flu.

Lessons of the past

In a series of interviews from around the state, health officials and emergency planners emphasized the following H1N1 lessons:

• Immediate school closures from one flu case will not be the rule this academic year. Epidemic watchers found that children and teens sent home from school in the spring or from summer camps congregated elsewhere, reducing the effect of the "social distancing" strategy. Instead, schools will be told to handle swine-flu cases as they would normal flu, asking sick students to stay home.

• While the CDC has emphasized priority categories that would receive a limited supply of H1N1 vaccine, state officials say they are confident they will be able to offer vaccine to anyone who wants it by the time supplies ramp up in late fall.

"I don't think there will be any shortage," Lindley said. Twenty million doses have already been produced, with 120 million — to cover 60 million people — likely in October. The current priority categories, should supplies stay limited, are health care workers, school-age children, pregnant women, the chronically ill and people working frequently with young children.

The bad news for shot-haters? Peak immunity may require two, four or even six doses of H1N1, spread over time.

• The swine-flu vaccination push will begin at two locations: hospital and other nursing facilities, to target health care workers; and schools in each community across the state, to guarantee access for children. The seasonal flu vaccine will continue to be distributed at a wide range of sites.

The vaccination protocol changes almost daily: early last week, state officials weren't sure what the advice would be for pregnant women. By Wednesday, the CDC had targeted them as a top priority. "We have to stay really flexible as we get guidance from the feds," said Joni Reynolds, state director of immunization.

• Every government institution and private business has been pulled in as a partner for the H1N1 fight, drawing on plans first launched for the avian flu strain and the SARS virus. Xcel, for example, knows in detail who needs to be on site, how they could be replaced on a sick day and who has top priority for Tamiflu or other anti-viral remedies stocked by the company. The utility has surgical masks in storage and will hand them out to employees who have contact with the public if the state or the CDC advises it, said spokesman Tom Henley.

Charting the threat

Denver Health Medical Center computers offer real-time charts of all respiratory cases in the hospital at any given moment. High and growing levels trigger meetings and contingency plans; overflow flu patients can be housed at the Rita Bass trauma training center, and if necessary, in tents planned for the parking lot.

Public planning includes making sure a potential health disaster doesn't lead to economic disaster, said Hans Kallam, state director of emergency management. The division is working with business leaders to create a monitoring system for workforce absenteeism in many industries.

At Fort Collins Utilities, which provides power, water and other services to residents, flu planning means details such as stocking up on water treatment chemicals in case sickness interrupts deliveries. Managers double-check to make sure they have cellphone numbers when hiring new employees, said water resources manager Kevin Gertig.

"It's all documented," he said, down to what happens if two-thirds of the utility's 400-plus workers get sick.

Michael Booth: 303-954-1686 or mbooth@denverpost.com


Frequently asked questions about H1N1 flu
Who's at greatest risk?

H1N1 is particularly dangerous for people who are pregnant or have asthma, emphysema, diabetes, chronic heart disease or compromised immune systems, according to Dr. Bernadette Albanese, medical director for the El Paso County health department.

When can I get a shot?

The H1N1 vaccine has been developed but is awaiting final approval from federal agencies. Colorado health workers have begun preparations for distributing the H1N1 vaccine in late October or November.

Where can I get a shot?

Public-health departments across Colorado are making plans to distribute the vaccine at schools and health fairs

What about the normal flu?

The vaccine for the seasonal flu is nearly ready for distribution and will go as usual to doctors' offices, pharmacies and other sites.


To find out more
Public-health officials are striving to make flu information as simple and as easily accessible as possible this year. Some of the better websites for flu news and advice:


A consumer-friendly federal site managed by the Department of Health and Human Services.


Click on the flu-related link on the right. It includes access to Google groups or Twitter feeds for instant updates.


A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site with some of the same info as flu.gov, but with more wonkish charts and maps for those interested in epidemiology.

حاخامات أمريكا أبطال فضيحة فساد

حين ألقت السلطات الأميركية في مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي القبض في نهاية يوليو الماضي على عدد من الحاخامات الأميركيين في (نيو جيرسي) بتهمة الاتجار بأعضاء بشرية وغسيل عشرات الملايين من الدولارات وارتكاب مخالفات أخرى لم تستطع إسرائيل اتهام السلطات الأميركية بمعاداة «اليهود» ولم تخف وجود ارتباط لعدد من الإسرائيليين والحاخاميين في إسرائيل بهذه العصابة في الولايات المتحدة.

ومن المفاجآت المثيرة التى تكشفت خلال التحقيقات وجود علاقة وثيقة وتجارية ودينية بين الحاخام (عوفاديا يوسف) الزعيم الأعلى لحركة (شاس) الخاصة باليهود الشرقيين المتدينين وبين الحاخام (الياهو بن حاييم) والحاخام (ادموند ناحوم) اللذين كانا من بين المعتقلين المدانين في فضيحة (نيو جيرسي) التي جمعت (44) شخصية أميركية ويهودية أميركية وإسرائيلية في عصابة للاتجار بالأعضاء البشرية وغسيل الأموال.. فالحاخام (بن حاييم) و(ناحوم) كانا يقودان حملة لجمع التبرعات وبعض الأرباح لعوفاديا يوسف في إسرائيل بل إن (سولومون ديويل) اليهودي الأميركي الذي أفشى أسرار الحاخامين لشرطة نيو جيرسي كشف عن العلاقة بحركة (شاس) والحاخام (ديفيد يوسف) ابن الحاخام (عوفاديا).

واهتمت وسائل الاعلام العالمية على مدار الأيام الماضية بفضيحة الكشف عن أكبر مافيا رشى وفساد وغسيل أموال وبيع أعضاء بشرية، في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، تورط فيها حاخامات ورؤساء بلديات، حيث اعتقلت السلطات الفيدرالية الأمريكية 44 شخصاً بينهم خمسة حاخامات يهود و3 رؤساء بلديات، وذلك بعد متابعة استمرت لأشهر.

وكشفت التحقيقات الاولى في الجريمة حقائق من النوع الثقيل: رجال دين يهود يمتهنون الفساد وتجارة الاعضاء، بتسهيل من السلطات المحلية في نيوجرسي ونيويورك، وسياسيون يعرضون انفسهم للبيع في خدمة مافيات محلية، واعتقالات ضخمة شملت رؤساء بلديات وإداريين على مستويات عالية متورطين في الرشاوى وغسل الاموال، الامر الذي يكشف بوضوح كامل دور المؤسسات الدينية والجمعيات الخيرية اليهودية في تعميم "ثقافة الفساد".

وكان على رأس الحاخامات الحاخام الياهو بن حاييم زعيم منظمة “أهل يعقوب” بنيوجيرسي، والحاخام ناحوم ادمون ناحوم من كنيس ديل بنيوجيرسي، والحاخام ساؤول كسين من تجمع صهيونيي بروكلين بولاية نيويورك والحاخام شافيس آشيم وشقيقه الحاخام لافيل شوارترز.

وكشف مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي (اف. بي. آي) عبر عميل زرع وسط العصابة، أن رئيس حاخامات احدى الطوائف اليهودية بولاية نيوجيرسي ونيويورك الحاخام ليفي اسحق روزبناوم من بروكلين، أشرف على عمليات بيع أعضاء بشرية، وغسيل أموال، وتهرب من الضرائب، حيث دأب على ممارسة بيع كلى أشخاص يتم احضارهم من “إسرائيل” مقابل 160 ألف دولار للكلية الواحدة، نصيب المتبرع منها 10 آلاف دولار.

وكشفت التحريات أن هذه العمليات مستمرة منذ عشر سنوات، حيث كان يتم احضار المتبرع إلى امريكا على اساس أنه قريب من الدرجة الثالثة للمريض المستقبل للكلية.وقد حاول اللوبي اليهودي الدفاع عن هؤلاء بالتعمية على الفضيحة على أساس انها كانت تتم بدافع انساني بعد ان فشل في ممارسة سياسة التعتيم الاعلامي المضادة المعتادة من قبل اللوبي “الاسرائيلي”، وهي السياسة التي فشلت بسبب حجم الفضيحة والمتورطين فيها وعدد الاتهامات التي طالت متنفذين ومسؤولين بولاية نيوجيرسي حيث القت السلطات القبض على 44 شخصا وجهت اليهم 29 تهمة رشوة و15 تهمة غسيل أموال.

وقد تمكن مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي “اف.بي.آي” بالتعاون مع شاهد هو سليمان دويك “36 سنة” ويعمل كمقاول للعقارات من الايقاع بالمتهمين عن طريق الاتفاق معهم.وقد بدأت القضية بعد اتهامات وجهت لرجل من الطائفة اليهودية السورية في قضية احتيال مصرفي على أحد البنوك، نتج عنها قيامه بالموافقة على مساعدة السلطات كعميل لمتابعة وكشف الشبكة، وهو الأمر الذي تم بعد أشهر طويلة من المتابعة والمراقبة، حيث أوصلت الخيوط السلطات للكشف عن أكبر شبكة غسيل أموال وبيع أعضاء بشرية في ولايتي نيوجيرسي ونيويورك. وسجلت 130 قضية فساد ورشوة على مسؤولين محليين في هذه الولاية منذ العام 2001. وقد أغار رجال ال “اف.بي.آي” ووكالة الضرائب الأمريكية على ثلاث مدن، أمس، وألقوا في الوقت نفسه القبض على المتهمين ال ،44 وبينهم عمدة إحدى المدن وأعضاء مجالس محلية.

وكشفت السلطات مبدئياً عن تورط الحاخامات بالأدلة في الكثير من عمليات غسيل الأموال وبيع الأعضاء، حيث كانت منظماتهم الدينية والخيرية محطة لغسيل تلك الأموال التي كان معظمها أموالاً سائلة، وجانب من تلك الأدلة الى جانب التسجيلات شملت إثبات اتهامات بغسيل ملايين الدولارات عبر الحاخامات.

وكشفت وثائق عرضت لدى محكمة في نيويورك أن بن حاييم كان يتقاضى نسبة 10 في المائة مكافأة له عن عمليات تبييض الأموال. وأشارت الى أن أطرافاً “اسرائيلية” متورطة في هذه العملية القذرة، حيث كان جزء من الأموال يحوّل الى “اسرائيل” باعتباره هبات وتبرعات لجمعيات خيرية في الكيان، وكشفت القوائم المالية أن هيئات دينية يهودية في “إسرائيل” طرف مباشر وأصيل في الجريمة، حيث كان تحول شيكات لا تزيد على 160 ألف دولار كتبرعات، تودع في صناديق معاهد دينية يهودية “بيشيفاه” وكنس وجمعيات خيرية.

كذلك كشف النقاب عن أن حلقة الحاخامات تحولت عملياً إلى بنك كبير ينفذ عمليات غسيل الأموال، وان هؤلاء الحاخامات كانوا يستفيدون عملياً من حقيقة أن الكنس والمعاهد والمنظمات اليهودية “تحظى بموجب القانون الأمريكي بإعفاءات ضريبية وحرية نسبية في العمل بعيداً عن أعين الشرطة الفيدرالية “إف.بي.آي””.

وأكد محققو “إف.بي.اي” أن الملياردير اليهودي الأمريكي برنارد لويس مايدوف الذي أدين باختلاس 65 مليار دولار بالاحتيال على الزبائن وبينهم بنوك، وحكم عليه بالسجن 138 سنة، ضالع في قضية شبكة الحاخامات، وأن “إسرائيليين” يقيمون في الكيان ضالعون في جرائم الشبكة الدولية الواسعة الانتشار.

وأعلن عمدة مدينة نيو جيرسي، دينيس إلويل، الذي كان واحدا من بين المقبوض عليهم استقالته من منصبه لاحقا.

وما زالت التحقيقات الجارية تتكشف عن حقائق جديدة.

10 Promotional Stunts That Horribly Backfired

Cartoon Network Bomb Scare
To promote the Aqua Teen Hunger Force animated film, Cartoon Network hired ad reps Sean Stevens and Peter Berdovsky. The 2 men decided to hang electronic LED displays in several cities, each boasting a "Lite-Brite" depiction of one of the film's characters. Citizens of Boston mistook the devices as explosives which caused the city to shut down major roads and bridges. Matters weren't helped any when — during a post-arrest press conference — the 2 men opted to discuss wacky 70s haircuts instead of the controversy.
McDonald's Tainted MP3 Players
In Japan — where even virtual pets have their own MP3 players — McDonald's ran a contest in which customers were eligible to win their very own MP3 device. After roughly 10,000 gadgets were handed out, customers discovered that each came bundled with 10 free songs and its very own QQPass trojan malware, capable of communicating user logins and passwords. A software patch was dispersed and a recall was instituted — thereby ending McDonald's worst campaign since the Arch Deluxe.
SanDisk Attempts to Be Hipper Than Apple
With the release of its iPod line, Apple performed a rare feat in the corporate world: The company became hip. In May 2006 — facing Apple's overwhelmingly dominant market presence — SanDisk launched the "iDont" campaign, which portrayed iPod users as mindless sheep, donkeys, and chimps. Besides the fact that the ads nowhere referenced the company's own Sansa MP3 line, SanDisk failed to realize that customers are rarely won over by insults. Though it continues to live in the iPod's shadow, it still outsells Microsoft's Zune. Naturally.

Icy Response to Snapple
With the Snapple Lady on permanent hiatus, Snapple strove for the quirky gold medal once again with an attempt to overtake the Guinness World Record for the largest ice pop — made with the company's tasty kiwi-strawberry drink. The problem: The stunt took place mid-June. Immediately upon unloading, the melted juice poured from the truck, creating a syrupy tidal wave down Union Square and a massive headache for cleanup crews. The worst part — aside from the few minor injuries: The 25-foot-tall ice pop needed to be free-standing to be declared a record.
LifeLock CEO Tempts Fate
The personal fraud protection company LifeLock guarantees the security of your identity under their employ. So much so that, in a nationwide ad, CEO Todd Davis posts his personal social security number on the side of a van — daring identity thieves to give it a shot. Turns out, they did. No fewer than 25 motivated thieves stole Davis' social security number — with one successfully receiving a $500 loan. LifeLock maintains its diligence, claiming that for a nationwide ad, only one case of stolen identity isn't too bad. It doesn't advise posting your mom's maiden name on your car, however.
Sony's Sacrifice to God
When a company is said to emerge from a scandal "red-faced," rarely is it due to the errant splatter from a goat's decapitated head. Celebrating the PlayStation 2 release of the game God of War II, Sony threw a gala event in Athens, Greece. In honor of the barbaric revelry found in the game, a goat carcass was brought in and attendees were invited to feast on fake entrails. Those who weren't privy to the unusual event were treated to a graphic photo of the centerpiece in the official Sony magazine. The company recalled the issues but garnered some pretty bad press in return.
General Motors Inspires Amateur Filmmaking
Three years before declaring Chapter 11, General Motors influenced a new wave of modern film auteurs. Tapping into that YouTube craze the young kids had been talking about, GM launched a website allowing users to create their own commercial about the Chevy Tahoe SUV and upload it for public view. Apparently, GM hadn't realized that it bore an already unfavorable connotation, and the contest gave way to short films about global warming, the war in Iraq, or negative attacks against the auto's quality. Worse yet, almost a month went by before GM caught on.
KFC and Pepsi Underestimate Fan Frenzy
The allure of the free giveaway is usually proportional to the popularity of the product. So who wasn't expecting a slew of people clamoring for free KFC or Pepsi-sponsored Yankees tickets? Surprisingly, KFC and Pepsi. After Oprah announced a KFC giveaway on her much-watched program, the food chain couldn't keep up with the lines of customers — which led to sit-ins and riots. And when Pepsi didn't deliver the full amount of promised tickets to Yankee fans, crowds quietly understood and politely left. Just kidding. A riot ensured and Pepsi was poured into the streets in protest.
Thwarted Zombie Invasion Credited to Dr. Pepper
It's hard to dislike a treasure hunt, unless the X lies somewhere atop a historical landmark. An international campaign from Dr. Pepper's then-owner Cadbury Schweppes hid coins within 23 American cities to promote the soft drink's "23 flavors." But the agency in charge of Boston's location selected the Granary Burying Ground — current home to John Hancock, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. Before a flood of shovels swept through the cherished site, Cadbury Schweppes ended the contest, but the contest forced owners to shutter the graveyard to prevent a zombie outbreak.
Dos Equis Angers Interesting Men
This giant corporate goodwill effort was the latest extension of the beer company's "Most Interesting Man" ad campaign featuring DJ Z-Trip. Attendees, who were promised a shuttle service that made the 100-mile round trip to and from Waterloo Park, were expecting a veritable cornucopia of rocking activities, such as "karate black belt demonstrations, participatory drum circles, an exotic reptile collection, sleight of hand tricks, international mohawk coiffeurists, bungee lessons, aqua slides, culinary entomologists, medieval weaponry, and a world-class car collection." Most of the Dos Equis faithful ended up thoroughly screwed, however, since too many tickets were given out for too few spots, shuttles never turned up, and many were forced to loiter in the parking lot outside. At the end of the evening, the 800 lucky people who got in had a rollicking time — but they were largely drowned out by the seething gang of thousands who were turned away

السبت، أغسطس ٠١، ٢٠٠٩

عمال سود منعوا من استخدام المراحيض في أمريكا

قدم عمال سود البشرة في مصنع مخصص لمعالجة القمامة في مدينة فيلادلفيا الأمريكية شكوى قضائية ضد المدينة، قالوا فيها إنهم تعرضوا لسوء المعاملة بسبب بشرتهم الداكنة طوال عقود، ومنعوا من استخدام المراحيض التي كانت مخصصة للمدراء والبيض.

وقال العمال إن بلدية المدينة كانت تخصص شاحنات نقل القمامة الحديثة والمتطورة لنظرائهم البيض، في حين كانوا يضطرون إلى استخدام الشاحنات القديمة، إلى جانب منع السود من استخدام براد لمياه الشرب وإجبارهم على الاكتفاء بمياه من صنبور عام.

وبحسب هاورد تروبمان، المحامي الذي يتولى تمثيل العمال، إن مدير المصنع، جون غيل، خصص منذ سنوات مرحاضاً يقع فوق مكتبه للمدراء، لكن الموظفين البيض صاروا يستخدمونه منذ عام 1995، في حين منع السود من ذلك.

وذكر ليسلي يونغ، وهو أحد العمال الذي تقدموا بالشكوى: "إذا حاولنا (السود) استخدام المرحاض، فقد يتم توقيفنا عن العمل،" مضيفاً أن المراحيض المخصصة للبيض كانت تضم خزائن فردية وزعت الإدارة مفاتيحها على العمال البيض حصراً.

أما السود الذين يرغبون بدخول دورات المياه، فكان عليهم استخدام حمام يقع تحت مكان عملهم بخمس طوابق، وذلك بعد أن يطلبوا الإذن من غيل أولاً.

ووصف يونغ الوضع الذي كان يعيشه العمال السود بأنه "مذل ويدفع للشعور بالدونية،" في حين تجنب محامي غيل التعليق لـ، قائلاً إن على الصحافة انتظار انتهاء المحاكمة.

ولم تقف شكاوى العمال عند حد منعهم من استخدام الحمامات، بل وصلت إلى الكشف عن تخصيص شاحنات جمع القمامة الحديثة والمتطورة للبيض، وتركهم يعملون بالشاحنات القديمة.

وقال يونغ إن غيل كان يعمد إلى إخفاء مفاتيح الشاحنات الجديدة والقول إنها ضائعة، وذلك منعاً لحصول السود عليها، حيث يعود ليسلمها لاحقاً للسائقين والعمال البيض.

وأضاف: "لقد كنت أشعر أنني أقل من البشر، لكن لم يكن بوسعي القيام بشيء.. لدي أطفال وقروض رهن عقاري، كما أنني غير متعلم وأعمل بجمع النفايات، وكان علي البقاء في عملي

القبض على لاعبي كرة قدم اسرائيليين في السويد بتهمة الاغتصاب

ألقت الشرطة السويدية القبض على لاعبي كرة قدم اسرائيليين يلعبان لنادي "هابويل" تل أبيب للتحقيق معهما بتهمة ارتكابهما جرم اغتصاب في السويد. وقد تم منع اللاعبين من مغادرة مطار مدينة غيتيبورغ على الساحل الغربي للسويد.

وكان اللاعبان ضمن أعضاء الفريق الاسرائيلي للعب مباراة مع فريق غيتيبورغ السويدي والتي انتهت لصالح الفريق الاسرائيلي بنتيجة 3-1 ضمن مبارايات المرحلة الثانية من الدوري الاوروبي.

وقد بقي مدير الفريق معهما في السويد بغية متابعة التحقيق الذي سيبدأ على الفور بعد احتجازهما حيث سيقوم مترجم بالمساعدة في تلقي الاسئلة والرد عليها.

وحال انتهاء التحقيق ستحال الاوراق الى المحكمة السويدية لتقرير مصيرهما اللاحق

الخميس، يوليو ٢٣، ٢٠٠٩

Make green tea effective

Did you know that most of the free-radical fighters in green tea never make it to your bloodstream? But there's a solution.
To get a better grasp on the healthy catechins in your green tea, flavor your cup with a squeeze of citrus juice.
Green Tea BoosterCatechins -- the antioxidants in green tea famous for lowering your risk of chronic disease -- quickly lose their power in your intestine. In fact, as much as 80% of the catechins in green tea are never absorbed. The solution to boosting absorption, researchers recently found, is as simple as flavoring your tea with freshly squeezed and strained lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit juice.
Taking Tea with CThe vitamin C in citrus may help with absorption by increasing the acidity in your small intestine. Other unidentified substances in the juice probably lend a hand, too. Researchers found a 50-50 mix had the greatest catechin-preserving effect, and lemon did it best, closely followed by orange, lime, and, in last place, grapefruit.
It's Not All Bad NewsIf you do take steps to boost the power of your green tea, you may even get a few added benefits.
It may help you lose weight. At least one study shows green tea can stimulate moderate weight loss.
It may help keep your knees young and strong -- catechins fight inflammation and arthritis.
It can help your skin look great if used in conjunction with an antioxidant cream. Dab it on.
It can help you stay sharp -- try 2 cups a day to see benefits.
RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements can make your RealAge 6 years younger

الاثنين، يوليو ١٣، ٢٠٠٩

تفسير وشرح لبعض الكلمات الدارجة في سوريا

تتأثر كل منطقة من العالم بثقافة غيرها على مدى العصور وتدخل اليها بالتالي مصطلحات كثيرة تندمج في معاييرها وألفاظها .. وهذه محاولة لتفسير الكثير من معاني ألقاب العائلات في سوريا ومعاني استخداماتهم اللفظية اليومية .. منها ما اندثر .. ومنها شارف على ذلك .. والكثير منها مازال يستخدم الى الآن ..

بعض الكلمات التي تنسب اليها عائلات سوريا اليوم

آغا : كلمة تركية محرفة عن أصلها الفارسي - آقا - وهي بمعنى الأب أو العم الكبير أو الأخ الكبير وتأتي أيضاً بمعنى السيد الآمر ..

استعملها العثمانيون لدلالات كثيرة عبر تاريخهم الطويل ..

منها : آغا الانكشارية وهو لقب أبرز رجال الدولة وهو بمثابة قائد الجيش وقد كان مسؤولاً عن الأمن والنظام في العاصمة الامبراطورية والقصر السلطاني ومن صلاحياته أن يترأس قادة القلاع والاستحكامات والعساكر والحاميات وهو الذي يحدد قوامها ومهامها ..

ويلقب بالآغا كل من له صفة عسكرية أو ادارية أو حتى منحة سلطانية أو منحة يمنحها الباشا الى من يحظى لديه بالاهتمام ..

أرسلان : وتلفظ أيضاً : رسلان : لفظ تركي فارسي .. وتعني أسد

سباهي : ولفظها الصحيح : اسباهية : أصلها إسباه وهو لفظ فارسي بمعنى جيش أو قطعة عسكرية كبيرة .. تطور مدلوله ليصبح في العصر العثماني : إسباهية .. وهم صنف من العسكر يقصد بهم فرسان الجيش العثماني وورد ذكرهم أيضاً بلفظ : إصباهية

أسطى : لفظ عثماني بمعنى معلم أو خبير .. اصبحت رتبة عسكرية في مصر بمنتصف القرن التاسع عشر .. وتوازيها اليوم رتبة جندي

أصلان : لفظ تركي فارسي بمعنى الأسد الضاري ..

أفندي : لفظ يوناني دخل الى التركية مع التحريف بمعنى : سيد .. شاع استعماله في العصر العثماني كلقب للتشريف .. وما زال يستعمل الى هذا اليوم بين العامة ..

ألوس : ألوسي : مرتبة عسكرية من العصرين الأيوبي والمملوكي .. لقب يطلق على من يقود أكثر من عشرة آلاف من العسكر ..

اوطه باشي : رتبة عسكرية في الجيش العثماني كانت معروفة قبل الغاء الانكشارية تعادل رتبة الملازم الآن .. يترأس حاملها مجموعة من العساكر يستقرون في اوضه - غرفة -

وقد تكون قياساً لكلمة : اورطة : لفظ فارسي بمعنى المعسكر _ أردو _ ..

الالشي : الالجي : ايلجي : كلمة فارسية بمعنى رسول .. درجت على ألسنة العامة في العصور الاسلامية واستمرت حتى نهاية العهد العثماني وفي الاصطلاح فإن لقب الالجي هو كصفة الديبلوماسي اليوم ..

باشا : أصله : باش أي الرأس .. وهو لفظ تركي شاع استخدامه كلقب يمنح لكبار الضباط والقادة ورؤساء الأقوام ..

باشكاتب : لقب رئيس الكتاب في الدائرة .. استمر حتى نهاية الاحتلال الفرنسي ..

برنية : وعاء من الفخار .. عرفه الناس في العصر العباسي بهذا الاسم ..

بشناق : بوشناق : نسبة الى السلاف من أهل البوسنة ..

بهلوان : بهلوي : فهلوي : لفظ أصله فارسي ويقصد به البطل أو الشجاع ..

بهلول : عند عامة الناس معناه المسخرة وهو رجل يقوم باضحاكهم ..

بيبرس : لقب من العصر المملوكي ويقصد به الأمير الفهد ..

بيرقدار : لفظ فارسي تركي مركب من - بيرق - وتعني الراية - دار - وتعني الصاحب .. وكانت رتبة عسكرية عثمانية تابعة للقابي قول وهو مكلف بحمل رايتهم .. حيث كانت لكل فرقة من فرق القابي قول راية خاصة بها ..

جلبي : لفظ تركي فارسي معناه - سيد - أطلقه العثمانيون كلقب من ألقاب النبالة والتعظيم على أعيان دولتهم ..

جوخدار : لقب موظف من العهد العثماني وظيفته مرادفة لوظيفة الجمدار في العصرين الأيوبي والمملوكي وهو من غير العسكريين مهمته الاعتناء بملابس السلطان أو الباشاوات ..

شربجي : أصله جوربجي : مرتبة عسكرية من الجيش العثماني من فئة الباش جاويش وعمله في المطابخ وتقديم الطعام للجيش ..

خزندار : لفظ مركب من - خزنة - العربي - دار - الفارسي .. مسؤول عن خزنة السلطان أو الباشاوات .. وقد يكون عن مستودعاتهم كوظيفة أمين المستودع الآن ..

خورشيد : كلمة فارسية أصلها - خرشيد - وتعني الشمس ..

دادا : لفظ تركي فارسي معناه - غلام أو جارية ..

دالاتي : دالاتية : صنف من العساكر العثمانية غير النظامية اشتق اللفظ من - ديللي - ومعناه الأهوج والمتهور .. اشتهروا بالشجاعة والاقدام واستخدموا في المراسلات وكحرس .. استغني عنهم في الفترات العثمانية المتأخرة فأصبحوا مرتزقة لمن يدفع أكثر ..

ركابي : لقب موظف يأخذ بركاب الفارس ..

رهوان : أصله رهوال .. كلمة كردية اطلقت على الفرس اذا كان لين الظهر في السير .. يفيد معناه في هذا العصر بالسريع في عمله المتقن له النشيط دائما ..

زاده : لفظ فارسي معناه ابن ويقابله بالتركي اوغلو ..

سلحدار : لفظ فارسي معناه صانع الأسلحة ..

سنجقدار : حامل الراية ..

عدوي : لفظ عامي درج على ألسنة الناس منذ العصر العباسي .. له مدلول اصطلاحي يفيد بأنه الأمر القاضي بإحضار المدعى عليه ..

قابي قول : لفظ عثماني للجيش السلطاني .. معناه من كلمتين - قابي : الباب ,, قول : الجند - ويعني جنود الباب العالي في اسلامبول قبل أن تتحول الى استانبول .. يدمجهم الكثيرون في فئة الجيش الانكشاري وهذا خطأ .. فهم فرقة مستقلة تأخذ أوامرها من السلطان مباشرة وليس من قائد الجيش العثماني .. مهمتها الأساسية حماية قصر السلطان وكل ممتلكاته أينما كانت .. ومن ثم توسعت مهامها لتشمل حماية القلاع في كل المدن العثمانية وخاصة المدن الرئيسة .. ومن مهامهم الحفاظ على أسوار المدن وحماية أبوابها .. تدخلوا في نهاية العصر العثماني في كل شؤون الدولة من السلطان حتى أهالي المدن .. كانت لهم معسكراتهم الخاصة التي يتدربون بها في كل من أدرنة واسلامبول وبورصة وكان تدريبهم متميزاً عن باقي الجيش العثماني وأصبح تجنيدهم وراثيا فسيطروا على الدولة العثمانية حتى أنهم عزلوا وقتلوا بعض سلاطين بني عثمان .. قضي على هذا الجيش بعد أن تحول الى أداة للفساد والظلم بتصفية قادته في كل المدن ومن ثم جرت مذبحة للبقية الباقية منهم في عاصمة الدولة العثمانية عام 1826 .. ما زال لهم وجود في عائلات دمشق وحلب ..

قبو دان : لفظ فارسي معناه : أمير البحر .. من المرجح أن يكون هذا اللفظ قد انتقل الى الغرب ( كابو تان - كابتين ) عن طريق الأتراك بعد أن استخدموه كصفة عسكرية لقادة أساطيلهم البحرية ..

لالا : لفظ تركي يقصد به المربي أو المؤدب ..

لاوند : ربما جاءت من اللفظ الفارسي لوند وتعني الخادم أو الغلام سيئ الخلق .. وقد كانت فئة شبه عسكرية في الجيش العثماني ارتكبت الكثير من الفواحش وانتهكت كل القيم في العصور المتأخرة منه .. وكانوا من الأكراد ..

ملا : وفي بعض المراجع : منلا .. لفظ متداول منذ العصر العثماني بمعنى - سيد - وربما جاء محرفاً عن العربية - مولى - وقد اطلق كلقب من ألقاب التفخيم والتشريف على قضاة العسكر ..

مولوية : جماعة من الصوفيين تنسب نفسها الى المولى جلال الدين الرومي .. اتسع لفظها في العصر العثماني - مولوي - حتى أصبح يطلق على كل عالم وفقيه وزاهد ..

يازجي : لفظ تركي معناه كاتب .. منحوت من الفعل - ياز - معناه : يكتب .. وهو لقب اطلق على الموظف الذي يعمل تحت امرة الباشكاتب ..

يوزباشي : مرتبة عسكرية في العصر العثماني .. توازي رتبة النقيب اليوم ..

بعض المصطلحات المستخدمة

ايواظ : عيواض : عيواظ : لقب من العصر العثماني اطلق على الخادم الذي كان مسؤولاً عن مطبخ السلطان وتهيئة المائدة السلطانية ..

بك : بيك : كلمة تركية قديمة أصلها فارسي وتعني حكيم أو مقدس أو مفخم .. استخدمها العثمانيون كلقب رسمي بدءا من الملوك وانتهاء بأولاد القادة .. وما تزال شائعة الى اليوم كتشريف لأصحاب المراكز والوجهاء ..

ايوان : لفظ فارسي بمعنى شرفة .. دخل الى العربية بلفظ : ليوان .. والايوان في عهد ملوك فارس من الاسرة الساسانية هو عبارة عن بهو كبير أحد جدرانه الأربعة مفتوح لاستقبال الجموع ..

أوباش : الأوباش في اللغة : جمع مقلوب من البوش : وهم صنف من الناس فيه أجناس غير متجانسة من البشر .. وفي الحديث : أن قريشاً وبَّشت لحرب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أوباشاً لها .. وبالفارسية : أباش وهي تفيد المعنى نفسه .. وفي الاصطلاح : اطلق هذا اللفظ في العصور الاسلامية المتأخرة على الجماعات المثيرة للشغب والتي كانت تقوم بين الحين والآخر بأعمال النهب والإعتداء على الآمنين وقطع الطرق على المسافرين ..

بابوج : لفظ فارسي أصله : بابوش .. وهو الحذاء المريح والمصنوع من الحرير المزركش بالذهب والألماس وتتزين به النساء ..

بابور : لفظ درج على ألسنة العامة منذ نهاية العصر العثماني ويقصد به : الباخرة أو القطار الذي يعمل على البخار .. واللفظ محرف من كلمة Vapeur والتي تعني البخار .. واستخدمت أيضا لبعض المواقد التي تعمل على ال ( كاز ) ..

باترونة : اسم اطلق في العهد العثماني على الفرق البحرية المكلفة بحراسة الشواطئ وهي تماثل فرق دوريات الحراسة الآن وتدعى ( باتريوت ) ..

بازار : لفظ فارسي بمعنى : سوق ..

باشورة : لفظ دارج في العصر المملوكي بمعنى : طريق منعطف بشكل قوس شديد الانحناء بين بابي البلد .. مهمته عرقلة السير والهجوم أثناء الحصار والحرب الذي تتعرض له البلد .. وهو الباب الوحيد الذي يفتح في تلك الأثناء بينما يغلق الذي يليه ولا يفتح الا بعد اغلاق الأول .. و نراه الى الآن عند باب الفرج في الجهة الشمالية لدمشق القديمة ..

باشي : لفظ فارسي تركي بمعنى رئيس .. يؤدي معنى الاحترام اذا اتصل بإسم أو لقب ..

جي : اضافة للقب أو رتبة ..

سي : اضافة للقب أو رتبة ..

بخشيش : لفظ فارسي معناه هبة أو عطاء .. شاع استعماله أيضا كدلالة على المكافأة وما يزال الى الآن مستعملاً ..

براطيل : مفردها برطيل : لفظ عامي بمعنى الرشوة ..

برنجي : لفظ دارج على ألسنة العامة الى الآن ومنذ العصر العثماني .. يعبر من خلاله على كل ماهو لائق وحسن وكثيراً ما يأتي بمعنى - جيد - ويبدو أن اللفظ تحوير عن اللفظ الفارسي - برنجن - ومعناه الحلقة الذهبية للزينة أو الخلخال ..

بشكير : لفظ فارسي بمعنى منشفة ..

بقجة : لفظ فارسي أصله بغجة .. وهي صرة الألبسة ..

بقسماط : لفظ تركي .. نوع من الخبز وهو عبارة عن خبز جاف يستعمل في فترات الطوارئ حين لا يتوفر الخبز الطازج ..

بصمة : لفظ تركي أصله - باصماق - ومعناه أن يطأ الرجل بقدمه .. وتحول الى أن يطبع بإبهامه على الأوراق الرسمية ..

بلكون : لفظ فارسي وأصله بالكانة .. ويقصد به الشرفة المطلة على البناء ..

بيجاما : لفظ فارسي أصله : باجامه : ويعني السروال وقد تحول المعنى الى ثياب النوم ..

الجردة : لفظ متداول منذ العصر العثماني ويقصد به الكعك أو البقسمة وغيرها من الأطعمة الجافة .. وقد كانت ترسل للحجاج العائدين الى الشام لنفاذ مؤونتهم ..

جقمقية : أصلها جقمقلية .. لفظ فارسي معناه حجر النار أو الزند الذي كانت تشعل بواسطته النار واستعمل العثمانيون هذا اللفظ للدلالة على بندقية كانت تصنع في دمشق ..

خان : لفظ فارسي .. دخل العربية في العصر الاسلامي وهو بمعنى - المنزل الكبير - أو - الفندق - الذي ينزل به التجار ويعرضون بضائعهم فيه .. وفيه يتم البيع والتداول أيضاً .. ويستعمل أيضاً كلفظ للاحترام والتبجيل لكل كبير في المقام ..

خانقاه : لفظ فارسي .. معناه - بيت - وجمعه خوانق ..

اطلق في العصر الاسلامي على الأماكن المعدة للزهاد وأتباع الطرق الصوفية ومن في حكمهم ..

خانم : لفظ فارسي تركي .. معناه - سيدة -

خانة : لفظ فارسي .. معناه بيت أو منزل أو مأوى ..

ولا يزال هذا اللفظ مستعملا في الشام للدلالة على المنبت الأساسي لكل عائلة ..

خشت : كلمة فارسية معناها - حربة - .. لا زالت مستخدمة في الشام كأداة من أدوات التقريع ..

خشكار : لفظ فارسي معناه خبز أسمر غير نقي .. لا يزال مستخدما في ريف الشام بلفظ - محشكر وهو للتقريع ( هكذا تلفظه العمة عيوش من قطنا وتستدل على ذلك بأن المعنى هو الخشكارة وهي الجوز الفارغ الذي لا يحتوي على شيئ )

خوش : لفظ فارسي معناه - حسن أو جميل - ..

دَد : لفظ تركي فارسي بمعنى حيوان مفترس .. يلفظ أحياناً - دَدَه - درج على ألسنة الناس في العصر العثماني كلغة تحذير للأطفال وتحول الآن ليصبح ( دديه ) ..

درابزين : لفظ تركي فارسي معناه متكأ للمصطبة أو الدرج ..

درباس : لفظ فارسي أصله - دربستن - التي تأتي بمعنى قفل الباب أو ربطة .. تحول ليصبح - ترباس -

ديوان : لفظ اصطلاحي اطلق في المصادر العربية والاسلامية على المكان الذي يجلس فيه الكتاب والذي كان معداً لحفظ دفاتر الدولة وسجلاتها .. جمعه دواوين .. اختلف في أصل تسميته فذهب قوم الى أنه عربي مأخوذ من التدوين بمعنى التقييد والتثبيت .. وذهب آخرون الى أنه لفظ فارسي لأن الديوان بلغة العجم تعني الشياطين وقد سمي الكتاب بذلك لحذقهم ووقوفهم على كل ما يخفى عن عامة الناس ..

رواق : جناح أو قسم من المسجد أو القصر أو البناء الكبير ..

زط : لفظ فارسي معناه : غجر ( نَوَر ) .. وهم نفسهم القرباط والشنكل ..

فئة من أسوء طبقات المجتمع لها تقاليد غريبة ومستهجنة ..

زعر : وفي بعض المصادر : زعار .. جماعة من العامة الغوغاء والسوقة المنحرفين وقطاع الطرق .. مفردها : أزعر

ستوقه : أصلها : ستوه .. فارسية بمعنى التعب والعجز ..

دخلت العربية بلفظ ستوقه - ستوكه ليقصد بها النقود الزائفة وتطور اللفظ ليصبح : ستوك .. ويقصد به كل ما هو عديم وغير صالح أو صناعة رديئة ..

ست : لقب من ألقاب السيادة والتشريف لدى النساء ..

سلاملك : لفظ من العصر العثماني يقصد به مكان أو جناح في القصر كان معداً لاستقبال الضيوف والزوار الأجانب

حرملك : لفظ من العصر العثماني يقصد به المكان أو الجناح الذي يستخدم لجلوس الاسرة مع بعضها كغرفة القعدة في أيامنا ..

سنجق : وفي بعض المصادر : صنجق .. لفظ تركي فارسي معناه راية أو علم ..

سيباط : تلفظ أحياناً ساباط .. كلمة فارسية تعني السقيفة .. دخلت الى العربية ليقصد بها السقيفة بين دارين أو الغرفة الملتصقة بين دارين ويمر تحتها طريق أو حارة كما في الكثير من حارات الشام القديمة ..

شختورة : من أنواع المراكب البحرية الشراعية وتستخدم لنقل المؤن ..

شنته : أصلها : جنته .. فارسية بمعنى كيس الدراويش أو جعبة الصياد .. تستعمل للدلالة في عصرنا الحاضر على كل الحقائب الصغيرة والكبيرة ..

شوبك : لفظ فارسي ويقصد به الخشبة الاسطوانية التي تستخدم لتمهيد العجين .. ما يزال مستخدما في بلاد الشام الى الآن ..

صاية : لفظ تركي اطلق على نوع معين من اللباس المصنوع من الجوخ الخشن ..

طابور : لفظ تركي أصله : تابور .. جماعة من العسكر يتراوح عددهم بين ال 800 والألف ..

طاجن : اناء خاص بصنع الطعام يعرف بأيامنا باسم مقلاة .. وأصل اللفظ يوناني .. ما زال البعض يستخدمه ..

طاسة : لفظ فارسي أصله - طاس - وهي وعاء من النحاس يستعمل للشرب ولصب الماء .. يستخدم في الحمامات بشكل خاص ..

طاق : لفظ فارسي معناه سقف قوسي .. ومنه طاقة وهي نافذة عليا صغيرة في الجدار ..

طشت : لفظ فارسي بالأصل ويعني وعاء كبير للغسيل

مشهد لأوباما وساركوزي ينظران إلى فتاة أثار ردود فعل واسعة النطاق

بثت مواقع إلكترونية عديدة فيديو وصور ثابتة للمشهد الذي سجل أثناء التقاط صورة جماعية للرؤساء المشاركين في قمة الثماني التي انعقدت في مدينة لاكويلا الإيطالية، مع وفود الشباب الذين التقوا على هامش القمة.

وقد أثارت إحدى هذه الصور ردود أفعال واسعة النطاق خاصة في أمريكا والقارة الأوروبية، وكانت هذه الصورة تتعلق بالرئيسين الأمريكي باراك أوباما والفرنسي نيكولاي ساركوزي وهما يتمعنان بجسد فتاة ضمن الحضور.

وكان الانتقاد الأكبر اعتبار نظرات الرئيسين غير لائقة، ولا يسمح أن تصدر من رئيسين.

وضجت المواقع الإلكترونية بالعديد من التقارير الساخرة، وتساءل الكثيرون عن هوية الفتاة التي ظهرت فجأة على مسرح الأحداث.

وحددت تقارير هوية الفتاة بأنها برازيلية في السادسة عشرة من عمرها وتدعى مايورا تافاريس، كانت ضمن وفد الشباب البرازيلي، وسجلت محركات البحث الإلكترونية إقبالا كبيرا في البحث والتحري عنها.

ورغم أن القمة شملت العديد من القضايا الهامة والمؤثرة لكافة دول العالم، مثل الاقتصاد العالمي، والاحتباس الحراري، والفقر، والبرنامج النووي الإيراني، إلا أن هذا المشهد حظي بحظ وافر من التحليل والتدقيق، وتم بثه على شبكات الإنترنت ومحطات التلفاز، وكان له الأثر الأكبر.

حتى أن بعض محطات التلفزة قدمت تحليلاً مطولاً للمشهد، وأثبت بعضها أن نظرات ساركوزي لم تكن بريئة بالمرة، بعكس أوباما الذي لم يكن يتعمد النظر بطريقة غير لائقة.

واعتمد التحليل على عدة لقطات للمشهد سجلت من زوايا مختلفة، وخلصت صحف أمريكية في تقاريرها إلى أن أوباما "لم يكن ينظر ولكن ساركوزي فعل".

القدومي: عباس ودحلان شاركا في اغتيال عرفات والرنتيسي

اتهم رئيس الدائرة السياسية في منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية فاروق القدومي, رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس والمسؤول الأمني السابق محمد دحلان بالمشاركه في اغتيال عرفات والرنتيسي والتخطيط لاغتيال قادة في الجهاد الاسلامي وحماس.

وشن القدومي خلال لقاء مع صحفيين في العاصمة الأردنية عمّان السبت, هجوما على محمود عباس ومحمد دحلان, واتهمها بأنهما شاركا في مؤامرة هدفت إلى اغتيال الرئيس الفلسطيني ياسر عرفات, وعدد من قيادات حركة حماس.

وكشف عن محضر "اجتماع فلسطيني- إسرائيلي- أمريكي خطط لقتل الرئيس ياسر عرفات مسموماً, وإغتيال قادة لحماس والتخطيط لتصفية آخرين". وقال القدومي, إن محضر الاجتماع يؤكد "تورط رئيس السلطة الوطنية محمود عباس والمسؤول الأمني السابق النائب محمد دحلان في ذلك المخطط".

وقال إن "محضر الاجتماع الذي جمع عباس ودحلان مع رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي السابق أرئيل شارون ووزير حربه شاؤول موفاز بحضور وفد أمريكي برئاسة وليم بيرنز, في مطلع آذار/ مارس 2004, يعتبر دليل اتهام قاطع, تم خلاله التخطيط لتسميم عرفات, واغتيال القيادي في حركة "حماس" عبد العزيز الرنتيسي وتصفية آخرين".

وأضاف القدومي أن "الاجتماع خطط, كما يكشف المحضر, لتصفية عدد من قادة حركة حماس مثل إسماعيل هنية, ومحمود الزهار, وعدد من قادة الجهاد الإسلامي وفي مقدمتهم عبد الله الشامي ومحمد الهندي ونافذ عزام, من أجل تصفية المقاومة".

وتابع "لقد أرسل الرئيس الراحل عرفات محضر الاجتماع لي, فنصحته بالخروج فوراً من الأراضي المحتلة, لأن شارون لا يمزح على الإطلاق بشأن التخطيط لقتله, ولكنه فضّل المواجهة وتحدي تهديداته".

وأرجع القدومي هدفه من وراء الإعلان عن محضر الاجتماع الآن, إلى "تحذير الفصائل الوطنية من ما يحاك ضدها، وذلك بعد التأكد من مضمون ما ورد فيه, ومحاولة إجراء عملية فرز داخل حركة فتح بعدما ضمت صفوفها أشخاصاً لا يتمتعون بالشروط والصفات الكاملة لعضوية الحركة", واصفاً إياهم "بالدخلاء الهادفين إلى اختراق الحركة فتح".

وتابع القدومي "أنا من مؤسسي الحركة, ونحن مشروع شهداء منذ تشكيلها", معرباً عن "اطمئنانه لنتائج ردود الأفعال تجاه المعلومات الواردة في محضر الاجتماع".