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October 2008


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for October 30th, 2008

Sometimes Untraditional, Counter-Intuitive Career Goals Are Best

This week I was in Detroit for the Public Relations Society of America 2008 International Conference where there was a lot of talk about social networking, blogging and the changing landscape of communications in America. So I thought I’d share with you some of the career advice offered by the speakers. Penelope Trunk, a career columnist for the Boston Globe, and author of “Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success” offered these tips for navigating today’s workplace. Warning: some of her untraditional, counter-intuitive ideas that may shock you.

1. Money doesn’t equal happiness. We all know that, just look at the divorce rate in Hollywood, but a decent pay check sure makes it a whole lot easier to pay the bills and get a good night’s sleep.

2. Focus on optimism. “Anybody can switch their optimism around by changing daily things that they do,” she said. That’s a better route than saying, “My life sucks, so I need a new job.” She continued: “The key thing about increasing your happiness is your sex life. It has nothing to do with your job. As long as your job is OK, then you should focus on your sex life.”

3. Mentoring is the new currency. Keep your learning curve steep. One way to do that is find a mentor. Everyone needs one no matter where they are in their career. Even those of you who are about to embark on a Second Act need the guidance of someone who has made the transition before.

4. Job Hop. No, it’s not a misprint and I don’t agree. Trunk advocates changing jobs as soon as your learning curve flattens. She says young people get that and are not afraid to make the leap. She cited statistics that workers ages 18-30 last in a job an average of 18 months. “This means they’re building their skill set really fast. They’re more engaged. They’re building their networking faster.” That may sound good to an audience of 25 year olds, but the fact of the matter is many companies still frown on job hopping. I am working with a client right now that wants to set a limit for the number of job changes they will accept from prospective candidates.

5. Breaks are good. “The people who have no breaks in their resume are the people who don’t take any time to think about what they are doing,” Trunk said. “So everybody should cultivate some breaks in their career. It makes you look more thoughtful.” I think that depends on how long the break last. As a recruiter, I need to explain a gap in a resume. My advice: find some consulting work while you are contemplating your next career move.

6. Think about writing a blog. Blogs are a tool for career stability. They allow you to take control of your personal brand. People who are willing to put out their ideas are engaging. Blogs are also a hunting ground for thought leaders in various professions.

7. Office politics are nice. They are an inescapable part of work life. Putting your head down and doing your work is a good way to ensure that you don’t connect with anyone, Trunk said. “People who do office politics best are the people who sit back and look around to see who needs help…and what their own skill set is to help them.” I like this idea. We all have to play the game. If you think that just doing good work will result in a promotion, guess again. Connect with the stakeholders in your organization, find out what matters to them and figure out how you can contribute to their end goal.

8. Everyone is in PR. “You can’t associate yourself with your corporate brand all the time. You have to associate yourself with what you stand for, what you believe in, and how you generate ideas. You have to define your brand for people, so they know how to connect with you.”

Son Of Ex-Liberian Leader Convicted Of Torture And Atrocities Overseas

Like father, like son.

MIAMI (AP) — A federal jury on Thursday convicted the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in the first case brought under a 1994 U.S. law allowing prosecution for torture and atrocities committed overseas.
Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles ”Chuckie” Taylor Jr., was convicted of torture, firearms and conspiracy charges on the second day of jury deliberations. He faces life in prison, with sentencing set for Jan. 9.
Prosecutors said the 31-year-old Emmanuel was involved in killings and torture as head of an elite Antiterrorist Unit in his father’s government also known as the ”Demon Forces.” From 1999 to 2002, Emmanuel’s job was to use his paramilitary soldiers to silence opposition to Taylor and train soldiers for conflict in neighboring African countries, according to trial testimony.
Charles Taylor is on trial before a United Nations tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for allegedly overseeing the murder, rape and mutilation of thousands of people during Sierra Leone’s bloody 10-year civil war.
For Full Story

‘Black Mafia Family’ Drug Gang Members Sentenced In Atlanta

The vicious drug gang that started in Detroit and spread its tentacles around the country, peddled drugs and violence.

By Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — Nine members of the Black Mafia Family were sentenced to prison Wednesday. They were some of the last remaining members of an organization that controlled or had a hand in the cocaine and crack sold in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and places in between.
One more person is to be sentenced Thursday, Franklin Nash.
One by one, for almost nine hours Wednesday, some of the lower-ranking members of the Atlanta branch of the Black Mafia Family stood before U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans to hear their punishment.
All got prison time – ranging from four years to more than 16 1/2 years for drug conspiracy. They also got probation once they are released. Each asked the judge to recommend them for an intensive drug program in prison, which could reduce their sentences.
The Black Mafia Family began with two brothers – Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory – selling crack cocaine in Detroit high schools in the mid-1980s. Within a few years, their Black Mafia Family had moved into 11 states, making money through distribution rather than direct street sales.Their “tentacles reached all over the country,” said defense attorney John Lovell, who represented Deron Hall.
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Despite Indictment Or Conviction, The Campaign Goes On

Sen. Stevens
Sen. Stevens
Rep. Jefferson
Rep. Jefferson
By Allan Lengel
State Sen. Wilkerson
State Sen. Wilkerson
WASHINGTON — Federal conviction. Federal indictment.
These days those things don’t seem to be stopping Joe Politician from campaigning for re-election.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted of public corruption charges on Monday. But instead of waving the white flag, he chastised the government and vowed to campaign on.
“I am innocent,” Stevens said in a statement. “This verdict is the result of the unconscionable manner in which the Justice Department lawyers conducted this trial. I ask that Alaskans and my Senate colleagues stand with me as I pursue my rights. I remain a candidate for the United States Senate.”
In Massachusetts,  State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson who was arrested Tuesday in an FBI sting for allegedly accepting bribes, also vowed to stay the course with her write-in campaign she launched after losing in the Democratic primary.
“I would like voters of the 2nd Suffolk Senate District to know that I am staying the course of my campaign for re-election on Nov. 4,” Wilkerson said in a statement. “Not only does this represent the biggest challenge in my personal and political life, but it will test to the limit the notion of innocent until proven guilty.”
And then there’s Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), who is running for re-election well over a year after he was indicted on public corruption charges. He has yet to go to trial.
These days, he isn’t saying much about the indictment or the $90,000 in the freezer.
But  his longtime pastor, Bishop Paul Morton Sr., summed it all up in a quote in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“I’ve seen too many congressmen who have been indicted who have won their cases. And we’re not going to let a Congressman go down because of an indictment. Anybody can be indicted. You got to do more than that.”
Also Read: Sen. Stevens Asks Atty. Gen. To Investigate Prosecutors’ Conduct (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

FBI Report Says Drug Gangs Encouraging Attacks On U.S. Law Enforcement In Texas

The bottom line: Never underestimate the drug trade.

Jeremy Roebuck
The Monitor
McALLEN, Tex.— Recent U.S. efforts to disrupt drug smuggling routes through the Rio Grande Valley have prompted threats of retaliation against authorities on this side of the river, according to an FBI intelligence report.
Vowing to maintain control over valuable trafficking corridors such as those in Reynosa, Matamoros and Miguel Alemán, the Gulf Cartel and its paramilitary enforcement wing, Los Zetas, have begun stockpiling weapons, reaching out to Texas gangs and issuing orders to “confront U.S. law enforcement agencies to zealously protect their criminal interests,” the report states.
The organizations’ encroachment north of the border marks a troubling shift in strategies, federal and local authorities say.
Prior to now, smugglers largely maintained a non-engagement policy with law enforcement here, even as they carried out hundreds of assassinations and violent attacks on authorities in Mexico.
For Full Story

Sixty-Something Man Arrested In Bogus Anthrax Mailings

Some people need to get a hobby.

By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press Writer
San FRANCISCO – A California man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sending hoax letters labeled “anthrax” to scores of media outlets, the FBI said Wednesday, warning that many of the threats may still be in the mail.
Marc M. Keyser, 66, sent more than 120 envelopes containing a compact disc that had a packet of sugar labeled “Anthrax Sample” along with a biohazard symbol, the FBI said in a news release. The CD was titled “Anthrax: Shock & Awe Terror.”
Keyser was taken into custody without incident at his home in Sacramento on three counts of sending a hoax letter, the FBI said. At least some of the packages had Keyser’s return address on them, said FBI agent Steve Dupre.
For Full Story

Forty One Indicted In Mexican Drug Cartel

By Marcus Garner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — Federal and local law enforcement seized a record amount of illegal drugs and drug money during a two-year, multi-state investigation of a Mexican drug cartel, authorities said Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney David Nahmias announced three federal indictments naming 41 people who reportedly ran an illegal drug operation that funneled cocaine and marijuana from Mexico through south Texas to the Atlanta area, and then sent cash back to Mexico.
During what’s being called “Operation Pay Cut,” federal agents and local police confiscated $22 million in cash. Nahmias said that’s a record.
“This is by far the largest ever seizure of [drug] proceeds in the Atlanta area,” he said. “This is another case of a major cartel-related Mexican organization that processed huge amounts of illegal drugs and money through metro Atlanta to many other parts of the country.”
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