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Debunking The Myth That Stereotypes Are True

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The world is complicated, filled with people from different backgrounds, cultures and behaviors. It is natural to try making sense of those who are different by lumping them together according to perceived traits, sometimes based on a grain of reality. Stereotyping is everywhere, and affects nearly every aspect of society from sexual politics to insurance rates.

One of the most repeated bits of common wisdom is that stereotypes are always correct, even when offensive or derogatory. They are based on daily observation of behaviors, and the assumption is that everyone cannot be wrong. Unfortunately, this way of thinking often reflects leftover bigotry or prejudice, or is simply cultural bias, but not necessarily truth.

Racial stereotyping is especially pervasive. Any country supporting a racially diverse population is faced with combating the idea that dark-skinned people are inherently violent, dishonest, or high. That description may apply to some individuals, but never to an entire group. Every population has its share of criminals and geniuses, regardless of national origin.

Some still repeat the erroneous idea that Mexicans are lazy, or that Asians cannot operate vehicles competently. Even though American agriculture relies on Latin labor to complete the harvest, and Asian car companies are world innovators and industry leaders, these and similar ideas are hard to eliminate. The fact that they are inaccurate does not prevent them from being repeated, however.

Politicians and some religious leaders use stereotyping to win elections or manage congregations. Fundamentalists of all stripes are fond of characterizing gay people as being universally unacceptable, dangerous sexual predators who will somehow convert children, despite the fact that most pedophiles are heterosexual. The same kind of thinking is demonstrated when all Muslims are labeled as terrorists.

One of the longest-lasting stereotypes is that women are not as capable as men. While this point of view has roots stretching into antiquity and religion, more women than men today complete a college degree. Women drivers are often mocked, but Oregon auto insurance statistics show that males are more likely to experience moving traffic violations, or to die in an accident.

As the world becomes ever more linked, people will increasingly begin to realize that simply believing a particular stereotype does not make it right or true. The time when broad generalizations could be made about another group of human beings is coming to an end, and will only conclude when people are able to realize that all groups of human beings are uniquely capable.

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How to File a Wisconsin Personal Injury Claim

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The Wisconsin Personal Injury claim process can be lengthy and requires a lot of decision-making. To recover the maximum amount of damages for injuries that have been sustained, it is highly recommended that an injured individual contact an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney who can formally guide the individual through the claims process.

This article provides individuals that have been injured in an accident in Wisconsin with an outline of the 7 general phases of a Wisconsin car accident personal injury claim.

1. Investigation and Documentation of Claim

Once a case is discussed and signed up by a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer, he/she will dive further into the case to determine who is at fault, whether or not there were any new injuries caused by the accident, and if there is insurance (uninsured and under insured coverage is now mandatory in Wisconsin) or other funds available for recovery.

The attorney may hire an accident investigator to examine the vehicles involved, document any evidence at the scene of the accident, take photos of the evidence and interview any witnesses to the collision. The attorney will also gather any relevant medical records from before the accident and subsequent to the accident. Pre-existing conditions are also researched in order to determine if the accident-related injuries are aggravations of pre-existing conditions.

The attorney will also request and examine all relevant insurance coverage documentation for the at-fault parties including the owner of the vehicle, driver, and employer in order to determine all possible coverages that may be available to the injured party such as Wisconsin required liability polices, umbrella policies, uninsured motorist coverage and under insured motorist coverage (which are now required in Wisconsin), health insurance policies, and medical payments coverage.

2. Demand Phase

Once the attorney has determined there is a valid claim and the injured party has reached maximum medical improvement, a demand package is then prepared by the attorney on behalf of the injury victim. The package can consist of the following documents: accident report, photos of the vehicle/accident scene, property damage report, EMS report, ER records, doctor reports, diagnostic tests, medical bills, prior medical records, final medical evaluation, expert witness reports, witness statements, evaluation of future medical expenses, and an evaluation of loss of future earning capacity.

The package is introduced by a letter from the attorney which summarizes all the information and documents the demand to the insurance company. The demand will usually state an amount the injured party is willing to accept in order to avoid a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

3. Negotiation Phase

Once the insurance company receives, and has had a chance to review, the demand package, the company will usually make an initial offer to settle the case. In the event the offer is the maximum coverage available, often the client and attorney will decide to accept it. After the initial offer, the attorney begins negotiating. Offers can go back and forth until either the offer is accepted by the client or a lawsuit is filed.

It is important to understand that there are advantages to settling a claim before filing a lawsuit in Wisconsin. Some basic advantages include less attorney fees, less case costs, quick availability of cash, less stress, and a guaranteed outcome.

4. Litigation Phase

If the highest offer made by the insurance company is rejected by the client, the next phase in the personal injury claim process is to file a lawsuit in the Wisconsin court system. The attorney will file the complaint and have it served upon the parties responsible for the accident and injuries.

After the lawsuit is filed and served upon all responsible parties, the attorney proceeds with the discovery phase, which can include written interrogatories, depositions, subpoenas, and motions with the court.

5. Mediation Phase

Mediation is typically ordered by the judge presiding over the case. Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process, where both sides come together with a mediator (typically a retired judge) to attempt to settle the case without going to trial.

Each side gets time to explain their understanding of the case and present exhibits to the mediator. Shortly after, the defendant and their attorney go into one room and the plaintiff and their attorney go into another room. The mediator will go between the rooms in an attempt to settle the claim. If a settlement is reached, the insurance company will usually send the monetary recovery within 2-3 weeks and the Wisconsin lawsuit is ended.

6. Trial Phase

If a settlement is not reached during mediation, then the attorneys inform the judge and a trial date is typically assigned. A jury will be assembled and given the task of determining who was at fault in causing the collision and how much money will make the injured party whole for all of their harms and losses caused by the collision.

Trials can last a few days to a few weeks based on how many witnesses must testify. The injury victims has the burden of proving liability and damages.

7. Appeal Stage

Both parties maintain the right to appeal the verdict or trial court rulings. The Wisconsin appeals process usually takes years and oftentimes leads to a new trial, at which time the process begins anew.

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What Is The Role of SEO Services in Internet Marketing Services?

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Internet marketing is all about attracting targeted visitors to business websites. The process includes a wide range of marketing techniques such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, banner advertisements, link exchange programs, PPC, and lots more.

Search engine optimization:

In this post, we will try to understand the importance of SEO in internet marketing. Internet as we all know is a convenient resource, using which we can look up for all kinds of information. Unlike in the past, any information is readily available at your fingertips, all thanks to the search engines.

When you search for some information on the net, the search engines will pull out results with links to websites that have relevant information to your search terms.

Let’s say, someone is looking for information related to your business, products, or service. Now, if your website shows up on the first page of search engine results, then you will be getting a lot of natural traffic to your website. Of course, you will need to work on improving your website conversion rates, in order to increase your customer base.

SEO – Not an easy task:

Getting your website on the first page of the search engine results is easier said than done. You might have hundreds of competitors locally, and thousands of competitors from across the country. That is exactly why you will need to hire the services of professional internet marketing services.

If you are planning to market your business website, then you cannot possibly do it on your own. The task of SEO is not only complex, it is also very tedious and time consuming as well.

You will need to have a team that includes web designers, content writers, and internet marketers. Also, you will need a few people for submitting your promotional and informative content on various internet resources like article directories, social networking websites, business directories, free classifieds, etc. It is instead easier to get the desired results by outsourcing the job to professional internet marketing services.

Your involvement is very much needed:

Another reason why you should hire professional SEO services is because of the ever changing search engine algorithms. Obviously, you will be too involved in your business to keep track of the changes and take necessary action.

Some of the websites which were sitting on the top of search engine results just before a few months have disappeared now. While some of them might have recovered their rankings to a certain extent, many more are still fighting an uphill task. Your job is not to just to reach the top, but more importantly to stay there.

Quality Content – No Fluff:

You will need to create quality content for posting the backlinks to your website. Most of the article directories have now become very particular about the quality of contents that they allow to be published on their sites. The contents that you publish should add value to the readers, and should not been written just with the sole intention of attracting the search engines.

The SEO rules were not so stringent in the past, and people used to manage to create backlinks with the help of useless or rubbish content. Things like that do not work anymore, and many webmasters have learnt it the hard way, which is by losing their website rankings.

Therefore, you will need to make sure that you hire the right SEO Services. They should follow the ethical SEO practices that will help you in achieving your long-term business goals.

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VoIP Phone Service – Manifesting Itself As a Giant Means of Telephony

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VoIP Phone Service, is a trend-setter in itself with a number of service providers working to provide the best of IP services to customers worldwide. This service has successfully overcome many backlogs of the past. This type of telephony makes it evident that users can utilise high end services at a reasonably low cost in every place of the world. The system simplifies broadband telephony and makes the services low cost ones. The international rates charged on phone calls are actually local rates. So, the users are not troubled with the concern of having to pay huge call rates.

There are many attractive features of VoIP. It includes cheap international rates, money back guarantee, 30 calling features and customised accounts. These have generated a huge clientele for VoIP in the entire world. The world has sufficed technologies that are the best and bring to limelight connectivity methods with VoIP as a interactive mode. There are several advantages associated with VoIP phone service. The Voice over IP services include:

1.Substantial savings in comparison to traditional phone lines.

2.Local phone service is not necessary with VoIP.

3.It opines to one’s ability to move anywhere in the world.

4.It gives a detailed online tracking so as to monitor one’s account actively.

5.There are unique phone features that are unavailable with traditional providers.

6.Video conferencing is offered by several service providers.

The broadband VoIP phone service ensures high call quality and customer support. One just needs to subscribe to a VoIP service provider and the rest of the facilities are provided by the service provider. There are rich features such as fax support, call logs, speed dial and three-way calling that the service provider of VoIP furnishes. The extras features of VoIP internet phone service include call forwarding, selective call rejection, priority ringtones and caller ID recognition. The VoIP phone service provider offers free software to people so as to allow them avail the services of Voice over network.

The VoIP phone service has many benefits whereby it is possible for the users to go for annual prepay deals, select one’s area code and also avail cheap international call rates. The professional installation makes it possible for people to make international calls from their home base with the aid of a Personal Computer. The Voice Over IP service also makes it possible for people to make Video calls to others whereby the user gets the opportunity to see the person he is talking to. Sending and receiving files also becomes easy with the VoIP Internet phone service. So, one can upload pictures and videos and share them with other callers while taking to them. Thus Voice Over IP service is a method of connecting to others.

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The Importance of Call Accounting Software

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Call accounting software is a system that records, translates and reports on telephone call activity. The software is used by most corporations to control expenses, allocate cost and increase productivity. Call accounting generally receives Station Message Detail Records (SMDR) or Call Detail Records (CDR) from a telephone system through any of various protocls including serial, IP and file transfer.

SMDR is a feature that is available for most telephone systems and IP PBXs. The data is generally a system log of call traffic which includes call direction, date and time of the call, length of call, extension and trunk or line. There are various other pieces of information such as authorization code and account code that may be optionally available depending on the capability of the hardware. The raw or unprocessed SMDR output of the telephone system is often too volumous and difficult to read.

A call accounting software packages utilizes SMDR data and translate the information into a simplified database format for further analysis. The data is often presented in graphical, detailed or summary reports by extension, departments or other corporate levels.

The cost of a telephone call has been steadily decreasing with the introduction of peer to peer free calling, flat rate plans and bundled services. Call accounting software packages that historically focused on telephone tracking and expense management have transformed themselves into comprehensive communication management systems (CMS). These systems include extension, line, operator, auto attendant, ACD, IVR, voice mail and other facility traffic.

The ability to track call duration, call distribution, ring time, hold time and call queues has allowed leading communication management systems to analyze and measure productivity.

Toll fraud analysis remains a component of most major CMS systems. However, there now exist new threats in bandwidth hacking which can result in poor performance for VoIP traffic, security breach and network shutdown. New CMS systems pinpoint irregularities, bottlenecks and network overflows and suggest recommended corrective action.

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Who Can I Trust in the Financial Services Industry?

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For well over a decade, my unrelenting focus has been understanding financial risk and developing practical strategies for managing the risk created by job loss, illness or disability, bear markets and funding thirty years of retirement. Since 1997, I have watched the job of managing those risks become increasingly complex.

One reason understanding and managing financial risk is more difficult is the world, in general, changes at such an incredible pace. Fellow speaker, Vince Poscente, calls it the more-faster-now culture. The other more sinister reason the job is more difficult is it seems so difficult to know who to trust. Over the last ten years or so, in the financial services industry in particular, so many have proven themselves so untrustworthy.

I am not just talking about the Enrons and Bernie Madoffs of the world. I am talking about the countless number of brokerage firms, insurance companies, mutual fund complexes, brokers and investment managers who continue to sell you products – like mutual funds or annuities – and lies – like market timing or stock picking – when all the evidence clearly says those products are only good for the people selling them. So let me give you some guidelines to help you sort out the snakes from the good guys.


The first criteria is transparency. Transparency means everything is up front and out in the open. It is the financial services equivalent of an open kitchen in a restaurant. Ask yourself these questions:

– Do you know exactly how the advisor is getting paid, how much and by whom?

– Can you see where the conflict of interests might be so you can evaluate whether they are coloring the advice you are receiving?

Requiring transparency will eliminate the vast majority of advisors working for banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms and almost anyone selling commissioned financial products. Why is transparency important? It is quite simple. If someone else is paying the bill, their interests will likely come before yours.


The second thing on your checklist is do they promise the impossible? Ask yourself these questions:

– Do they promise unrealistic returns?

– Do they claim they can predict which way the market will go or pick the stocks that will do better than average?

– Do they tell you that an investment is no risk, or change the subject when you ask about risk?

All of these should set off alarm bells in your head. The first is most pervasive among unregulated entities promoting active trading strategies. The second will disqualify a lot of advisors – including an advisor that promotes an actively managed mutual fund. The third seems to be most common in the variable annuity and life settlement markets but it also occurs elsewhere. In February, 2008, the Auction Rate Securities market failed. $200 billion worth of ARSs that had been sold as a cash equivalent became illiquid.

Remember, there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. Risk takes many forms. Just because something doesn’t have market risk or credit risk does not mean it doesn’t have other forms of risk.


The third criteria is expertise. And you have to be careful here. We often infer expertise from things that are meaningless. Being a celebrity doesn’t make you an expert. Having a newspaper column, TV show, radio show or having written a book doesn’t make you an expert. Having hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars of assets under management doesn’t make you an expert. Ask yourself these questions:

– Is the advisor recommending the same thing a hundred other advisors would or could?

– Is there any original thinking going into how to solve your specific financial challenges?

– Can the advisor back up their recommendations, with empirical data, from unbiased researchers, supporting their recommendations?

My favorite definition of expertise comes from Mark Sanborn. Expertise is the ability to synthesize existing ideas and think creatively – to add new knowledge and contribute new ideas to your domain of expertise. If your advisor spends most of his time reading about sales skills or practice management rather than the latest academic research, that should be a red flag.

Behavioral Finance

And finally, knowing, as we do, that investors rarely act in a completely rational manner as traditional economic theory would suggest, and knowing that when it comes to investing, our emotions are our worst enemy, if your advisor doesn’t have some sort of emphasis on the behavioral component of investing, I would be concerned. Ask yourself these questions:

– Does the advisor address the behavioral component of investing in their presentation or materials?

– What safeguards or mechanisms are in place to keep me from sabotaging my portfolio in a fit of fear or greed?

– What safeguards or mechanisms are in place to keep the advisor from sabotaging my portfolio in a fit of fear or greed?

The Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, done each year by Dalbar, tells us that over the twenty year period ending in 2005, the stock market averaged roughly 12%. Over that same period, the average stock mutual fund averaged roughly 9%. The average stock mutual fund investor? Only 4%!

The difference between 4% and 9% is the result of buying and selling at the exact wrong time and what causes that is fear and greed. That’s the low hanging fruit! If an advisor doesn’t emphasize the behavioral aspects of investing, they are pretty limited in what they can do for you. Those are my four, although there could certainly be more. I am curious what you think – about these and about what you would add to the list.

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The Blunder of it All, Or When is an Ad Finished?

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How big can an orchard get if you cut down your one fruit-producing tree to replace it with a new, untested fruit tree?

First off you’ll never have any more than one fruit tree producing at a time and the new, untested tree may never take root, blossom or produce a product. It’s a limiting and dangerous way to make money from an orchard.

Metaphorically, we’ve seen many businesses stunt their growth by doing the exact same thing. Their fruit tree is a revenue-producing ad or marketing campaign that gets replaced by a new one for the sake of change. And the worst part, many an ad is changed without any real measurement of its effectiveness.

Let me compare and contrast two competitors’ ad campaigns to give you an example.

The U.S. Army had a recruiting campaign for decades based on the “Be All You Can Be” slogan. Not only did it stand the test of time, but it proved to be popular with its target audience and effective at generating recruits.

Turn the century. The U.S. Army Recruiting Command decides the ads have gotten old and need to be updated-so they feel. Along comes “An Army of One” quickly replaced by “Army Strong.” The former was a flop. The latter is just about to achieve the same result and has just about disappeared from TV and radio. A replacement is in the works.

The Army had a great slogan with a series of excellent recruiting ads built around it. The slogan produced results but it was changed for no other reason than someone felt it needed updating.

By contrast, check out the other service that needs to draw from the exact same target market, the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Their campaign of looking for: “The Few, the Proud, the Marines” predates “Be All You Can Be” and is still in use today. Why?

By being elite and creating an image of exclusivity, they attract the same young men and women the Army is looking for. What they have, and the Army seems to lack, is accurate measurement that gives the Marines knowledge the campaign works. Further, until it’s proven not to work, they’re not about to change it.

Here’s another example of a bad decision to end a campaign:

Foxwoods Casino in CT for years ran a rare, successful image-based campaign with the theme “The Wonder of It All.” It was featured in all their advertising on TV and radio. The owners decided the theme had run its course and something new was needed. Every attempt at a replacement was an instant and fatal flop. In fact, they’ve even stopped mass advertising, letting their main competitor go unchallenged on TV and radio.

If you want substantial business growth then you have to take a page out of the GEICO advertising game plan. Right now they’re running three different ad campaigns:

· So simple a caveman can do it

· The gecko

· Googly eyes on a stack of cash

The anectodotal evidence is they’re working. Why else run three different campaigns at the same time?

The big lesson: While so many business owners run sequential ads and marketing campaigns, the growth-oriented company overpowers the competition with simultaneous ads and marketing campaigns.

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