•  20 MILLION ADULTS AND OVER 5½ MILLION KIDS ARE HAVING A ROUGH ALLERGY SEASON. In California, it started early, with pollen counts among the highest ever, thanks to record-breaking rainfall, winds, warmer climate & increasing carbon-dioxide levels. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that allergy seasons continue to increase in length, with advice to stay indoors in the morning and take Anti-histamines early, since they work better to prevent than treat the sneezing.  [PEOPLE – 4/8/19]
  •  DOES IT FEEL LIKE CALIFORNIA IS “WAGING WAR” AGAINST THE MIDDLE?  While schools & infrastructure rank at the bottom of all 50 States, a population with 1/3 of all Americans on public assistance, and roughly 1/4 of Americans who are homeless, California boasts: (1) the country’s highest marginal income tax rate (at 13.3%), highest sales taxes (at up to 10.25%), and second highest gas taxes; (2) where four-in-every-ten voters pay zero income taxes and only 150,000 households (out of 40 million people) fund nearly half the state tax burden; (3) while tax dollars are used for “social programs which attract indigent from all over the world in search of generous health, education, legal, nutritional & housing subsidies; but (4) the hyper-wealthy liberal denizens of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the coastal enclaves often seem exempt from the consequences of high taxes  since they have the clout to hire tax-avoidance experts, or have so much money they’re not much affected.” [AMERICAN GREATNESS – 4/10/19]
  •  SOME 3 BILLION PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE tell Gallup pollsters that they “want to move to another country.’ Other than the 16% of Americans portion, the ‘most favored nations are within North America and Western Europeans. Statistics, however, suggest that global emigration has actually been slowing down – since willingness to leave “peaks as incomes rise in a poor country to a ‘per capita gross domestic product’ threshold of $8K to $10K, which all but one world region (sub-Sahara African) is now at or near,” even El Salvador and Guatemala.   [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – 4/15/19]
  • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BOTS WILL SOON BE COMPETING TO RESOLVE DISPUTES. Algorithms in development are attempting to integrate rule-based & case-based reasoning with “neural networks which are loosely modeled after the human brain and designed to recognize patterns.” Because AI cannot (so far) recognize nuances, they can’t replace judgement and won’t soon be disrupting Mediation skills but, until then, a reminder that ‘Informal Mediation’ is an exceptionally effective manner of dispute resolution between business associates, executive teams or Boards, divorcing spouses, or dysfunctional family members – by facilitating focus on core underlying issues to ensure that each party listens and fully hears the other’s concerns, versus letting attorneys do the talking (and too often complicating the issues). Effective resolution usually involves interface between finances/ taxes/ economics/ legalities/ emotions/ and family or team dynamics. When conflict can be minimized, and parties hear the same facts and concerns in real-time, opportunities for negotiation & compromise are almost always successful. DCG have decades of experience in timely resolving disagreements with dramatically less stress & cost. Call us first.  [AICPA.ORG – 4/10/19]
  • WHEN YOU EAT MAY BE AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU EAT.” A recent American Heart Ass’n supported study of nearly 13,000 Latino adults found those who consumed over 1/3 of daily calories after 6:pm had a 23% higher risk of developing hypertension, and 19% greater risk of becoming pre-diabetic.  [LIFE EXTENSION – 5/19]
  •  A BRACELET TO TEST FOR DATE-RAPE DRUGS has now been developed and is being sold in German markets. One drop of liquid turns the band blue if a drink has been ‘spiked’ with drugs which can incapacitate victims and leave them with memory loss, the most common being Sedatives (GBH, GBL) or Tranquilizers (Valium, Rohypnol, Ketamine).  [EURONEWS.COM – 4/11/19]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  To stop RoboCalls from spamming your cellphone: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/10/cybersecurity-101-robocalls/

Some joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.”