State License Requirements for Makeup Artists

Do I need a license to be a makeup artist?

This is one of the biggest questions asked out there. It’s also a very important one. No one wants to be fined, shut down or banned because they didn’t check the regulations.

So, do you need a license to be a makeup artist? I’ve put together this lens to answer just that. Do remember though that nothing on here is a substitute for sound legal advice. I am not responsible for your career. Be sure to check the regulations yourself and if in doubt, be in contact with your local authorities.

This lens is a work in progress. Every state board link has been added and as I find out more information, it will be updated. I am also in the process of emailing the states that don’t specifically list anything about makeup on their websites. Please inform me of any broken links in my guest book! I want to make this a hub of information on this topic!

Alabama Board of Cosmetology

Alaska Board of Cosmetology

You must have an Esthetician license to apply make up in the State of Alaska. Esthetician cannot style hair.

Colleen Wilson

Licensing Examiner

Alaska State Board of Barbers and Hairdressers

Phone: 907-465-2547

Fax: 907-465-2974

web site:

Arizona Board of Cosmetology

Arkansas Board of Cosmetology

17-26-103. Scope of chapter.

(a) The following persons are exempt from this chapter:

(1) All persons authorized by the laws of this state to practice medicine, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, or podiatry;

(2) Barbers insofar as their usual and ordinary vocation and profession is concerned;

(3) Employees employed to render cosmetological services in the course of and incidental to the business of employers engaged in the theatrical, radio, television, or motion picture pro-duction industry;

(4) Individuals and employees rendering cosmetological services in the course of, in con-nection with, and incidental to the preparation of bodies for burial, or the business of embalmers and undertakers;

(5) Direct care staff as defined in § 20-10-1401 who provide routine personal hygiene and related daily care services to residents of nursing facilities as defined in § 20-10-1401 and for which the fee is included in the monthly facility charges; and

(6) Relatives of residents of nursing facilities as defined in § 20-10-1401 who provide cos-metological services to a related resident of a nursing facility.

(b) This chapter does not prohibit any practice within its scope in cases of emergency, nor the administration of any practice outside of a licensed school of cosmetology or cosmetological es-tablishment when necessary because of the illness or other physical incapacitation of the recipi-

ent of the service and when performed by a licensee obtained for the purpose from a licensed cosmetological establishment.

(c) This chapter does not prohibit the recommendation, demonstration, administration, or sale of cosmetics by any person not claiming to be a cosmetologist.

California Board of Cosmetology

Allowed without a license when either not accepting a fee outside of a licensed establishment, for theater or film or when recommending/selling products.

7319. The following persons are exempt from this chapter:

(a) All persons authorized by the laws of this state to practice medicine, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine,

chiropractic, naturopathy, podiatry, or nursing and acting within the scope of practice for which they are licensed.

(b) Commissioned officers of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, members of the United States Public Health

Service, and attendants attached to those services when engaged in the actual performance of their official duties.

(c) Persons employed to render barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis services in the course of and incidental to the business

of employers engaged in the theatrical, radio, television or motion picture production industry.

(d) Persons engaged in any practice within its scope when done outside of a licensed establishment, without compensation.

(e) Persons engaged in the administration of hair, skin, or nail products for the exclusive purpose of recommending, demonstrating, or

selling those products.

(f) Persons who render barbering or cosmetology services in an institutional program during the course of and incidental to the

incarceration or confinement of inmates, prisoners, or persons charged with a crime. However, all of the following conditions shall


(1) Those persons shall complete a barbering training course, developed by the Department of Corrections and approved by the

Department of Consumer Affairs, in the proper care of instruments and the prevention of infectious diseases.

(2) Those persons shall successfully pass an examination, developed and administered by the Department of Corrections, on the

proper care of instruments and the prevention of infectious diseases.

(3) All barbering facilities located in correctional institutions shall be subject to all appropriate health and safety sanitation

How to make a Floating Candle Centerpiece

Super Simple Centerpieces

When you want to jazz up a table and make an attractive place to eat, you add color and, of course, flowers. If you want to add romance to a table what do you do? Add candles. It’s one of those things that ‘everybody knows’.

The great thing is, it’s easy to combine the two. All my friends know I’m a flower nut, I tend to give vases as gifts, but a couple of weeks ago I was chatting to a friend on skype and she told me that the bowl I’d given her as an engagement present was one of the most useful gifts she had received. When another friend made a similar remark a few days ago, I got the idea to write this hub.

There just is no easier way (as my friends had discovered) to jazz up a table than to add a candle centerpiece, but when you’ve just rushed in from work, getting a meal together can be a challenge, never mind creating a centerpiece. What my friends had discovered was that a floating candle centerpiece is not just effective, it’s quick, easy to make and generally inexpenisve. All you need are the right tools.
Floating Tea Light Candle Holders (1 Dozen)
Floating Tea Light Candle Holders (1 Dozen)

Very useful. They allow you to use tealights rather than floating candles. Tealights are usually easier to find.
Buy Now

Set of 36 White Tealight Candles with Clear Cup Burn 8 Hour, Unscented , in a Box
Set of 36 White Tealight Candles with Clear Cup Burn 8 Hour, Unscented , in a Box

These will float, (or at least they float for me!) as long as you choose the kind with the clear plastic cup.
Buy Now

Candles for Floating Candle Centerpieces

You don’t need a vase to float a candle, but you do need a candle. Most floating candles are chunky, with rounded bottoms. They’re easy to find in white and ivory (just take a look at amazon) and of course you can find seasonal candles in the shapes of leaves and flowers.

If you like to use tealights, you can easily combine the two by buying floating candle holders, small glass saucers which will carry a standard tealight and help it float. These are very effective and I always have some to hand, but beware, they are very delicate and you have to handle them carefully. The big advantage of floating candle holders is that tealights are easier to get hold of, especially if you’re looking for pretty colors. You may even find them in your local supermarket. Floating candles are available in colors, but you will usually have to buy them from a specialist store.

If you don’t have floating candles and can’t find any in the local shops, tealights with transparent cups also do a reasonable job of floating if you choose the right container. Just check out the picture.
Biedermann Clear Crystal Bowl Ideal for Floating Candles, 12-Inch Diameter
Biedermann Clear Crystal Bowl Ideal for Floating Candles, 12-Inch Diameter
Buy Now

Quick Candles Eastland Glass Cylinder Vase, Set of 3
Quick Candles Eastland Glass Cylinder Vase, Set of 3

Enormously useful, and not just for floating candle arrangements. I use these all the time.
Buy Now

Vases and Bowls for Floating Candle Centerpieces

You don’t need a special bowl or vase to display a floating candle. A tea cup, a saucer, even a mixing bowl will do. The first time I made a floating candle centerpieces I used a shallow glass ovenproof dish; it was all I had. I floated two candles and added slices of lemon I had left over from the meal. We set the dish in the middle of the table and enjoyed the faint lemon scent as well as the flickering of the candles. The next time I set mugs at each place setting, and it was effective, but when you choose a glass bowl you can do more. Because the inside is visible, you can fill it with something interesting. As a penniless student I picked pebbles from our garden, washed them and put them in the bowl. These days a glass bowl and a pack of vase filler is the present I give most friends for a housewarming.
Simple tealights will float. Then all you need is a colorful bowl.
Simple tealights will float. Then all you need is a colorful bowl. | Source
Vase Fillers for Candle Centerpieces

Dollar stores are full of vase fillers, from colored pebbles to bags of seas shells, but if you want to add a little more pizazz, these are difficult to find. Beads work well as do colored vase ‘gems’. If you choose transparent ‘gems’ you can hide a submersible LED to ad d a glow to the water, you can also tuck flowers between pebbles, under the surface, to allow the candles to float freely on top. Find a vase filler which co-ordinates with your place mats or napkins and add a ‘pop’ of color to your table.
Floating Candle Centerpieces: The Two Basic Styles


Vertical floatingcandle designs rely on a tall vase with one more candles floating on top. The simplest version is a trumpet shaped vase, filled with colored water with a candle floating on top. but there are many variations.

Cylinder vases are ideal for this, you can fill the vase with vase filler, water or colored water, you can even use water pearls and just place the floating candle on top, but what many people do, especially when planning to a wedding, is to fill the cylinder with flowers. Flowers such a tulips and calla lilies are often used, but the best choice is a stem covered in blossom, hence many people use orchids. Just remember the tuck the stems into the vase filler in the base, otherwise they’ll float. A group of cylinders of different heights, make an excellent centerpiece.


Horizontal candle centerpieces are usually made in glass bowls. The candles may float alone, or might add floating flowers, it’s an ideal use for flower whose stems are broken, so if you’ve created an arrangements for your buffet or entrance all, use the leftovers in your centerpiece. You can fill the bottom of the bowl with filler, you can use colored water, but most people choose to decorate the outside of the bowl. The easiest way to do this is with a wreath or garland, but if you have the time, there is nothing prettier than a shallow glass bowl filled with candles surrounded by a ring of florists foam, filled with flowers.

Don’t let the foam intimidate you. Florists use foam because it makes the job easier. Here’s one way to decorate a ring which is relatively quick and easy.
How to Make a Horizontal Floating Candle Centerpiece

There are many sites on the web where you can buy candle rings, specifically designed to sit around a candle, but when it comes to bowls of floating candles you have a variety of choices.

Bead or decorative garlands placed around the bowl. You’ll need around 31 inches of garland for a 10 inch wide bowl.
Bunches of fruit placed around the bowl (grapes are very effective)
An old wreath can be ‘titivated’ by adding silk flowers, decorative birds, ribbons etc.
A multi-season wreath can be very useful – I have a large berry wreath I use in autumn and for the Christmas season. It can hang on the door or the window, or sit around a bowl of candles. Just check the measurements of your bowl and whenever you buy a wreath, make sure it would fit!
Buy florists foam and arrange fresh flowers. As an arrangement it’s quite simple to do – here are the instructions.

Knitting for UK charities

Put your knitting obsession to good use!

I love to knit, and I love to knit for a good cause (my family will only accept so many toilet roll covers). I’m based in the UK, and have hunted down UK and international charity projects you can knit for who have UK postal addresses (so the postage is affordable). Some are year-round, and some are annual events.

So, cast on and knit an act of kindness!

Operation Christmas Child 2014 – Knit a friend for a needy child
Child holding a knitted hand puppet.
Child holding a knitted hand puppet. | Source

Every autumn, Operation Christmas Child asks knitters to make mittens, a scarf or a beanie hat or even a hand puppet to put a smile on a child’s face. Simply put your knitted gifts along with other gifts in a shoe box and take it to your local OCC Drop Off point, where boxes will be accepted from 1-18 November 2014.

Find out the location of your nearest (UK) Drop Off point by checking the OCC website.

You can use their specially made patterns for hand puppets. The clowns were so popular last winter that they hope to have many more knitted puppets in shoe boxes this year. Playing with a glove puppet has been found to be very therapeutic for a child suffering from trauma or isolation – the puppet becomes a little friend to talk to.
The Big Knit 2014, for Age UK – Knit tiny hats for smoothie bottles and help older people in need
Bottles with hats (c) The Big Knit / Innocent
Bottles with hats (c) The Big Knit / Innocent

Every year, Innocent Smoothies launch ‘The Big Knit’, asking knitters to knit tiny bobble hats for their smoothie bottles. A basic pattern, which you can customise, is available from the Big Knit website. The deadline for receiving your hats at Big Knit HQ is 12th December 2014.

Each behatted bottle sold will raise 25p for Age UK, who support older people during the chilly winter months.

You can read about how money raised in 2008 reached older people in Devon here.
Knitted toys and jumper-shaped biscuits
Knitted toys and jumper-shaped biscuits | Source
Christmas Jumper Day 2014 for Save The Children

Christmas Jumper Day 2014 is on 12th December, and this year Save The Children want you to get your creative juices flowing and make your own woolly and wonderful jumper-themed creations.
Burundi Bears: Knit For Bricks – Bears Who Build Schools!
Knitted bear (c)
Knitted bear (c)

Knit Burundi Bears and help provide bricks to build schools in Burundi. People throughout the UK are knitting Burundi Bears and exchanging them with family, friends, neighbours and at coffee mornings, etc. for a minimum donation of £1.

100% of each £1 raised by you will be used to buy 4 bricks and use them in the construction of a new school by UK charity FacilitAid.

Contact the FacilitAid office to obtain the knitting pattern, and details of the official label which must be attached to your bears before you pass them on, to comply with Trading Standards regulations. These labels are available, for a donation of £1 each, from the FacilitAid office.
Teddies for Tragedies – Knit a simple teddy bear for a child who has no toys
Knitted bear (c) Kristen Bailey
Knitted bear (c) Kristen Bailey

Knit a bear for a child who needs comfort or something to love. Contact Teddies for Tragedies and they will tell you where your bear is needed. Each bear is knitted to the same basic pattern so that no bear is ‘better’ than any other – as the website says:

“Don’t deviate from the pattern, all teddies are different but none should be superior (no skirts or hats, stripes are OK in moderation, especially if you’re using up duller colours). Think of it this way – we all want our teddy to be the best but do we want the child who doesn’t get our teddy to be disappointed?”

You’ll also need to sew up a simple drawstring bag for the bear to live in – again, follow the instructions on the Teddies for Tragedies website.

Arctic Lessons

Interview with Barry Scott Zellen, Deputy Editor, “Strategic Insights”, and Research Editor of the Arctic Security Project at the Center for Contemporary Conflict.

Q. In your book “Breaking the Ice: From Land Claims to Tribal Sovereignty in the Arctic” (Lexington Books, 2008) you describe the long and, ultimately, fruitful quest by the native tribes of the Arctic to regain a modicum of sovereignty over their ancient lands. Can you give us a capsule history of this process?

BSZ: “Breaking the Ice” describes the movement for native land claims and indigenous rights in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, and the resulting transformation in domestic politics as the indigenous peoples of the North gained an increasingly prominent role in the governance of their homeland. Its main thesis is that land claims started out as a tool whose primary aim was assimilation, as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was designed primarily as a contemporary tool of economic modernization – to quickly bring Alaska Natives into the modern economy, and its corporate model was a dominant characteristic. ANCSA’s original model proved inadequate to meet the full needs and aspirations of northern Natives, who sought to preserve their traditions (including subsistence harvesting) as much if not more than to modernize their economies, and whose movement to settle land claims was driven as much by their aspiration for civil and Aboriginal rights as it was for economic modernization – with the tribal sovereignty movement emerging to challenge the new corporate culture created by land claims implementation, and which in Alaska placed Aboriginal title to traditional lands at risk of forfeiture if the land claim was not modified by 1991. When land claims crossed into Canada and came to the NWT in 1984 with the passage of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), the model was significantly modified – so that land claims would, in addition to creating new corporations to manage Native lands, financial compensation, and investments, also help to promote Aboriginal culture and traditions, preserve the land and the wildlife, and help empower not just new corporate interests but also traditional cultural interests as well. Alaska Natives likewise sought to modify their original land claim, working to defuse what was sometimes called the “1991 time bomb” which would have seen Native land title come under risk. Additional efforts, often resulting in political tensions with non-Native interests, have been made to protect subsistence hunting in the years that have followed ANCSA’s enactment. With these efforts by Natives to transform the land claims model – and make it reflect not just the future as defined by modern governments but also their age-old traditions – land claims now help to balance both visions of the Arctic’s future. While not perfect, land claims have proven to be resilient and adaptive – providing northern Natives with an important stepping stone toward self-government, protecting much of their traditional land base, while at the same providing them with tools and managerial experience to make self-government more viable and successful.

Q. What distinguished the Arctic tribal revival from neotribal upsurges elsewhere (for instance, in the Balkans)? What innovative techniques of negotiation, mediation, and bargaining have they deployed to achieve their aims? To what do you attribute their ultimate success?

BSZ: Land claims in the Arctic were the first concrete step in the process of decolonizing the North by devolving decision-making authority from what many northerners have long perceived to be far away, colonial centers of administration and decision-making to local communities: by letting go, central authorities were in fact strengthening their hand, gaining greater political legitimacy through their new collaboration, co-management, and devolutionary policies. After more than 35 years, the process begun by land claims that started in Alaska in 1971 is still by no means complete. Indeed, throughout large portions of Canada, hundreds of specific and regional land claims agreements are either still in the process of being settled, or have yet to be started, having proceeded at a snail’s pace for over three decades, precipitating a political crisis in June 2007 when renewed fears of Native militancy began to spread. Ottawa has since redoubled its commitment to a just and lasting reconciliation between Native and non-Native, promising to empower its Indian Claims Commission (ICC), created in 1991, by creating a new, independent tribunal to more speedily resolve Native claims. Furthermore, nearly four decades after the U.S. Congress enacted ANCSA, many Native villages continue to reject the land claims model in favor of alternative approaches to Native empowerment, such as through tribal governance. However, most of the Arctic has embraced the land claims model as an important step forward-if also a necessary evil-in their effort to restore Aboriginal rights, political control, and elements of their tribal sovereignty. As a result, the many Inuit communities along the Arctic littoral have now settled their land claims, and have moved on to the challenges of restoring self-government to their homeland.

Generally speaking, the tribal experience in the Arctic mirrors the tribal experience around the world. One major differentiator, of course, is that the United States was fundamentally transformed by its own civil rights movement, which solidified the ideals that were militarily victorious during the U.S. Civil War. It took a long time, but by the end of the 1960s, minority rights of all sorts, even the relatively late-blooming field of Aboriginal rights, had worked their way into the psyche of decision-makers at all levels of government, providing a fairly welcoming environment for land claims negotiations and other processes of Native empowerment. Even in places like Alaska where strong state interests have been pitted against the Native community in a long battle over who controls the resource wealth extracted from the land, the situation between state and tribe is far more harmonious than between state and tribe in other parts of the world where ethnic violence and civil warfare have erupted in response to the same centrifugal forces.

In the Arctic, as in many parts of the world that were once colonized, colonial impulses long dictated the pace of the North’s political development. What the North offered the South, in terms of economic opportunity as well as military security, drove the northward expansion of government, which in turn contributed to a growing indigenous, pan-Arctic movement for greater autonomy that ultimately redrew the map of northern Canada and Alaska, as these new institutions of local and regional self-governance proliferated, first gaining regulatory powers and later, governmental authority (most dramatically illustrated by the birth of the Nunavut territory in 1999, an Inuit-governed territory.) The roots of this drama thus date back to the expansion of commerce by Europe’s great powers into the northernmost reaches of North America: Russia expanded its empire from Siberia to Russian America, extending juridical sovereignty over Alaska in the 19th century; Britain, through the Hudson’s Bay Company, penetrated the interior northern territory known as Rupert’s Land even earlier, transforming the political economy of the indigenous northland from pure subsistence to commercial hunting and trapping.

Across the Arctic and sub-Arctic, there has been a long legacy of government-from-afar, and generations of northerners have felt a deep and troubling concern with the ongoing neglect by distant government administrators. The interests and needs of Northern Native peoples had, in fact, been neglected since the time of first contact, and in the early years of colonization of the North, those colonial governments had a tendency to overlook the rights of First Peoples, using disproportionate levels of military force, as the Russians and Americans both did in early Alaskan history. With time, however, the concept of Aboriginal rights evolved-and gradually transformed the political relationship between governments and the people of the North, as colonialism gave way to democratic impulses and greater political participation by Native peoples in the governing of the North. While the forces of modernism and traditionalism would continue to clash in the years ahead, these conflicts would be managed by the structures of co-management, corporate development, and self-government created by the region’s comprehensive land claims settlements.

What Natives have achieved in northern Canada, through peaceful negotiation, with their negotiation partner many times more powerful by any military or economic measure, is remarkable. Especially when compared to the chaos and violence that have resulted from other tribal aspirations along the Cold War’s other peripheral regions where unassimilated, un-integrated tribal and sub-national movements emerged to challenge the old state boundaries. The age of land claims has transmuted this very same tribal force into something else altogether in the North: a peaceful force to spawn the emergence of new structures of Aboriginal self-government. Caught between their tribal past and the demands of a modern future, they’ve crafted a synthesis between these two competing, dialectical forces. I believe the outcome of this clash between tribe and state, a blending of contemporary economic, political and constitutional institutions to preserve age-old traditions, defines the very essence of neotribalism — neither a surrender to the forces of assimilation, colonialism, or even imperial occupation; nor a rejection of the modern state outright. Instead, the Natives North, walking in two worlds, have found ways to blend elements of both, forging a unique and one might hope enduring synthesis.

Q. The Arctic Peoples had the largely benign government of Canada as their interlocutor. Even so, initially, they had to resort to force and even kill. What makes you think that their methods would be applicable to the junta of Myanmar, to China’s Communist Party, or to the Russian Kremlin?

BSZ: The junta in Burma and the Chinese Communist Party aren’t so very different in their mindset from the military governments that governed Alaska early in its history. My sense is that in time, with generational change, we will witness domestic political transformations in both countries, with some elements of democratization. Looking at Chinese press coverage of the recent earthquake in Sichuan, I was struck by how that government felt the need to embrace, at least for the moment, a free press, and to let that free press cover the tragedy, and the government’s response, with unexpected liberty. It reminded me of how after Chernobyl, the reformist Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev realized the scale of the disaster and the corrosive effect of unfiltered gossip demanded a similar loosening of press restrictions, and as we now know, there was no turning it off.

I think China will experience something similar; there are too many channels of communications, whether through wireless telecom, the wired Internet, foreign radio, TV and web broadcasts, underground press and unofficial blogs, even the simple but powerful new reality of camera-phones transmitting images without any real possibility of real-time censorship, as Beijing learned only a few months earlier during the spontaneous pan-Tibetan uprisings that proliferated like a flash-mob. Burma, being much further behind in economic and infrastructure development, may remain immune from these forces for a longer period. Its initial reaction to its own recent disaster was quite contrary to Beijing’s response; but after a week or two, it’s started to lift some of its earlier restrictions on international aid. And last summer during the monks’ rebellion, the Burmese government simply unplugged the Internet to prevent imagery of the uprising and its crackdown from reaching the world.

As for Russia, the Kremlin does seem to miss the old Soviet days of an iron fist and no real civil society to restrain the heavy hand of the state. But with so much of its natural resources in the Russian Arctic, requiring some degree of Native support to ensure the security of pipelines and other isolated infrastructure associated with getting resources like natural gas to market, I suspect we’ll also see something of a softening in terms of Moscow’s approach to indigenous minorities. Moscow, like Beijing, might in the end realize the business benefits of positive PR, which can help to really seed the market for future cooperation. If Russia, like China, wants to sell its natural resources and/or manufactured products to the democratic world, playing nice with its own minorities might go far to boost business. This economic pragmatism, which could well take root in both China and Russia, may in the end lead to a political thaw, even if it stops short of true democracy. Within this evolving environment of accommodation, tribal minorities might find much more room for both asserting, and fulfilling, their aspirations.

Or, perhaps a limit will be reached, as we saw last summer in Burma when the unarmed monks bravely rose up only to be quickly smacked down by the state. It might well be the governments, long used to oppressing their ethnic minorities, might be reluctant to mellow. But my instinct tells me that history is on the side of a gradual thawing that will result in Aboriginal rights becoming the rule and not the exception, and the experience of Alaska and Canadian Natives will be mirrored even in countries that today seem much less hospitable to minority rights.

Interestingly, I read in the April 24 edition of the “Barents Observer” an article that reported Gazprom had “got the necessary consent from regional indigenous peoples for the development of the huge Bovanenkovskoe field in the Yamal Peninsula,” and that the chief of the Gazprom Dobycha Nadym subsidiary had claimed “the intrusion of the oil industry in a zone managed by indigenous peoples is conducted in a highly careful and civilized manner” and that “all decisions regarding the laying of pipelines and infrastructure in the area are made only after consultations with representatives of the regional indigenous peoples.” While quite likely an overstatement, it does suggest some movement in this direction is already happening. With oil at $130 per barrel, there is enough profit to share with local stakeholders, so at least the opportunity exists for fair compensation and remediation of cultural and environmental impacts. I think in China there is a similar pushback by locals, whether members of China’s many indigenous minority groups or even the Han majority, as more and more people lose their fear of the party or of the state, and demand justice, fairness and inclusion.

So in sum, while there are dictatorships and authoritarian regimes that are hostile to minority rights, the fact that the USSR could collapse or the brutal Apartheid regime could allow itself to be digested by a democratic revolution only fifteen or twenty years ago suggests the night is young, and that anything is possible!

Q. In the wake of the Cold War, do you believe the Nation-State is on the wane? What caused what: did resurgent tribal tensions and claims destabilize the State or did the gradual diminishment in the role of the State give rise to tribal and ethnic friction?

BSZ: I don’t think the nation-state is on the wane, but I do think the nation-state has had to adapt to the post Cold War era, and move beyond ideology, and back to the core building blocks of the state. In some multi-ethnic societies, this proved especially challenging, as we saw in the Balkans where minority groups that controlled demographically cohesive territories demanded outright sovereignty, resulting in state collapse. With tribalism resurgent, the nation-state must reach out and find a way to accommodate the interests of small and often outnumbered minorities, lest it face all sorts of internal resistance to its authority. Tribes may not have the power to escape state domination but they do have plenty of wiggle room to define greater autonomy. Some, like the Kosovars, found willing allies in the international community to make formal sovereignty possible, but most tribal minorities are on their own, without an international benefactor to come to their rescue. So it is up to them to learn what the limits are, what methods work, and how far the state can be pushed in terms of granting autonomy. The Natives of the Arctic have shown tremendous insight in identifying the limits of autonomy, hence the very different structures and outcomes as seen in Alaska, as compared to the Northwest Territories, as compared to Nunavut. As time went by, more and more became possible that had been hitherto denied as the concept of Aboriginal rights evolved and the state grew more comfortable with devolving authority.

The land claims journey, and the transformation of the land claims model from being a tool of assimilation, wielded by state against peripheral and interior tribes, into a tool of empowerment wielded by the tribe against those very forces of assimilation induced by the continued penetration of the modern state into its frontier region, reveals a fundamentally dialectical interaction (inherently interactive and iterative, but obscuring cause and effect), but this suggests the potential for a synthesis to the long conflict between state and tribe since the modern era of nation-states began. Earlier in history, as the state expanded, it digested tribal entities; those that refused to modernize were subsequently crushed by the state’s expanded power. When the modern state crossed the Atlantic to the New World, finding hundreds of tribal groups at an earlier level of industrial development, it overwhelmed those tribes militarily, eventually conquering the Americas. But within the new constitutional structures that emerged in post-revolutionary America, surviving tribes were able to preserve their identity and apply tools of the modern state to preserve their own survival. In so doing, I believe they made the state stronger, by enriching its constitutional DNA. Something similar, I believe, will inevitably happen all around the world.

Q. The environmental movement has been heavily involved (under the mantle of “sustainable development”) in the protracted battle of the Peoples of the Arctic. Is sustainable development an oxymoron? Is the environmental movement being overly politicized? Do you see other ethnic groups leveraging or even abusing environmental principles to further their narrow political and economic agendas?

BSZ: I don’t think sustainable development is oxymoronic, though it is clearly an aspirational concept that is expensive, and quite difficult, to achieve. Development can be sustained so long as resources remain accessible, and so long decision-making and regulatory structures and supportive values exist to ensure that development does not happen at a pace or in a manner that obliterates the local, cultural, and tribal values of the indigenous peoples whose homelands contain the resources sought by the resource development entities. If you look at how exploration and development of natural resources has evolved in the last century, you can see remarkable progress, so much so that the environment and the local indigenous peoples are no longer merely bulldozed out of the way, but included in the process, with environmental assessments, cultural impact studies, and participation agreements routinely implemented.

Sure, some activities like oil drilling and mining, will always leave long-term scars on the land, and present significant risks of environmental contamination. But at least now when this happens, there are efforts at remediation and compensation, which is of itself a big win for the Native peoples who not too long ago were neither consulted not compensated. That being said, any development activity does impact the land and the people, and these impacts mean that the old, pristine, world is forever gone. The new world is more complicated, messier, but it also offers many other tangible fruits: such as educational, medical, and transportation improvements that help increase life span and improve the quality of life. Not all change is bad, just as not all development activities are unsustainable.

As for the politicization of the environmental movement, and its polarization, this is something that does concern me. Many of those committed to political action recognize the need to mobilize a coalition of likeminded actors, whether states, corporations, and/or individuals to act united against the threat perceived. Case in point: climate change. When it comes to the movement to stop climate change or to slow its onset, the need for mobilization does seem to color their analysis: to warn the sky is falling is more effective, the activists of climate change believe intuitively, than a more balanced and nuanced assessment of risk, with all its inherent ambiguities. In short, the subtleties of nature, the inherent complexities, are often ignored by those committed to political action, which requires at least the illusion of certainty.

Q. Is the Arctic Thaw for real – or is it a figment of the febrile and not too scientific imagination of environmental advocates?

BSZ: Yes, it is real! Something truly transformative is indeed happening up along our last frontier! The long frozen, seemingly impenetrable polar sea is starting to thaw, unexpectedly fast, opening up larger and larger portions of the Arctic Ocean to seasonally ice-free conditions for longer and longer periods of time. So quickly is the ice melting that the prospect of a navigable, ice-free Arctic Ocean is no longer the stuff of fanciful imagination, and has been the topic of two NOAA National Ice Center-sponsored conferences, the April 2001 Naval Operations in an Ice Free Arctic Symposium, and the July 2007 Impact of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations Symposium. Within our lifetimes, and possibly in less than a single generation, we may witness the opening up of Arctic sea lanes that are fully navigable year-round: the strategic, economic and diplomatic consequences will be enormous. According to scientists from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by 2060 if current warming trends continue. NSIDC research last summer found that the Arctic was “experiencing an unprecedented sixth consecutive year with much less sea ice than normal,” and that the extent of Arctic sea ice for 2007 “set a new record minimum that [was] substantially below the 2005 record.” This summer looks to be on track for a near-record melt, though probably not as extreme as last summer’s.

The impacts of global warming and the resulting Arctic thaw will be profound. Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and defense correspondent for “The Nation,” once explained to me that “global warming will affect resource competition and conflict profoundly” in the coming years, and while “global warming’s effects cannot be predicted with certainty, it is likely to produce diminished rainfall in many parts of the world, leading to a rise in desertification in these areas and a decline in their ability to sustain agriculture” — which may in turn “force people to fight over remaining sources of water and arable land, or to migrate in large numbers to other areas, where their presence may be resented by the existing inhabitants.” Klare said that “global warming is also expected to produce a significant rise global sea levels, and this will result in the inundation of low-lying coastal areas around the world,” resulting in “the widespread loss of agricultural lands, forcing many millions of people to migrate to higher areas, possible encountering resistance in the process.” He cautioned that “because many poor countries will be unable to cope with the catastrophic effects of global warming, state collapse is a likely result along with an accompanying epidemic of warlordism, ethnic violence, and civil disorder.”

There are climate change skeptics and deniers out there; but I’ve seen evidence of the thaw, from melting permafrost and boiling methane fields, to the emergence of new hybrid polar/brown bears as a new genetic mixing takes place with more and more of the proud white bears migrating south, onto land, where they not only compete with the grizzlies but are now breeding with them. We’re witnessing the birth of a new sub-species, and though this could mean the end for the polar bear as a distinct subspecies, it is evidence of how profound the changes taking place are.

Q. What are the geostrategic implications of the Arctic Thaw? Are we likely to witness a Second Cold War premised on a neo-colonialist pursuit of mineral deposits in the Arctic? If so, who would be the likely contestants? Is the situation likely to escalate to open warfare?

BSZ: As with all things, there are Arctic pessimists and optimists. I find myself torn between the logic of both schools of thought. In my gut, while the changes happening are profound, I think they may turn out to be positive in the North, fostering a concert of mutual interests that can be sustained through an open, navigable, polar sea, with resources a plenty for all stakeholders. And since the Arctic basin is a sea and not a continent, we won’t see as many of the territorial divisions that resulted, much to the world’s regret, in the modern Middle East, with artificial states bisecting nomadic, tribal and national groups, leaving a legacy of friction, conflict and war. What remains to be carved up is offshore. We will probably see a militarization of the Arctic region, and a significant increase in naval activity. But this will likely be more defensive than offensive, protecting sea lanes and ports.

In the Arctic region itself, the melting ice will open up an entire ocean that has been ice-covered for millennia, bringing an end to what we can think of as the final chapter of the last ice age. As the polar ice melts, we’ll witness the gradual emergence a brand new world, unlocking what just a few years ago would have been unimaginable economic opportunities, as the long-closed Arctic waterways open up to rising volumes of commercial shipping and naval traffic, and as the thinning (and later disappearing) ice makes it more cost-effective, and technologically viable, to explore the region’s undersea natural resource potential, and to fully develop those new discoveries. This new world is not unlike that discovered by early explorers when they journeyed across the Atlantic, from the Old World to the New, in search of undiscovered countries and riches. We, too, are on a journey of discovery to a new and unknown world-a world full of riches unknown, but not unimagined! But it’s the imagination of these riches that led a new diplomatic crisis, which began last August 2, not long after Russia dispatched the flagship of its Antarctic research fleet, the Akademik Fyodorov, and the nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya to the North Pole, where Artur Chilingarov, Deputy Speaker in Russia’s Lower House and a well-known polar hero from Soviet times, and fellow parliamentarian Vladimir Gruzdev, descended 4,200 metres to the sea floor in a Mir mini-sub, where they left a titanium Russian flag and boldly laid claim to the North Pole on behalf of mother Russia. While the stated objective of their undersea polar mission was to advance Russia’s claim to a vast extension of its continental shelf extending from Russia’s northern shores to the North Pole along the Lomonosov Ridge, the expedition was largely a public relations stunt designed to bring Russia’s claim to the attention of the world. A more properly scientific mission exploring the undersea contours of the Lomonosov Ridge and retrieving geological samples to help Russia back its claim with scientific evidence took place in May 2007.

Prior to their descent into the chilly depths, Chilingarov announced, “The Arctic is Russian. We must prove the North Pole is an extension of the Russian coastal shelf,” and asserted. “The Arctic is ours and we should manifest our presence.” Upon resurfacing to an international diplomatic uproar, he proclaimed: “I don’t give a damn what all these foreign politicians there are saying about this. If someone doesn’t like this, let them go down themselves,” and to “then try to put something there.” He further stated that “Russia must win. Russia has what it takes to win. The Arctic has always been Russian.” Russia’s claim was quickly rejected by Canada, whose High Arctic archipelago abuts the North Pole, where its own territorial ambitions come face to face with Russia’s recent polar assertiveness. As then Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay, who was later reassigned to run the Defense Ministry, told the press, “You can’t going around the world these days dropping a flag somewhere,” adding, “This isn’t the 14th or 15th century!” Yet at the same time, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper hastily embarked upon a three-day Arctic visit during which he announced Canada’s decision to develop a $100 million deepwater port facility at Nanisivik, near the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage, boosting Canada’s ability to project naval power into not just the waters of the fabled passage, but into the High Arctic as well. Harper also announced the formation of an Arctic training facility for its armed forces at Resolute Bay. He had announced a month before his government’s intentions to spend over $7 billion to build and maintain six to eight Polar Class 5 Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships. As Harper explained: “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this government intends to use it.” The Russians evidently share this use it or lose it philosophy; in addition to its recent expeditions in Arctic waters, its air force soon commenced strategic bomber exercises over the North Pole, where it practiced firing cruise missiles, navigating the polar region, and aerial refueling.

While Ottawa and Moscow were engaged in a muscular display of diplomacy reminiscent of the Cold War, hope was not lost for a more multilateral approach. According to the Law of the Sea Convention, in addition to a 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), signatories may also claim as additional territory any extensions to their continental shelves that they can scientifically substantiate. Russia, Denmark and Canada all hope the Lomonosov structure extends outward from their continental shelf; all treaty signatories have ten years from their signing to make their claim. Russia first claimed the ridge in 2001 but the International Seabed Authority requested scientific proof. Denmark is currently conducting research to make its case, as is Canada. Because Canada did not sign the Law of the Sea Convention until 2003, it has until 2013 to make its case, while Russia signed in 1997, so must submit its evidence this year. Denmark signed in 2001 so has until 2011. The United States, owing to its recent taste for unilateralism, has yet to sign the treaty-so for the moment is on the sidelines in the race for Arctic claims, though its newest icebreaker, the USCGC Healy, soon after the Russian polar theatrics, steamed North into the Beaufort Sea to map the U.S. continental shelf as part of its Arctic West Summer (AWS) 2007 expedition, and is again in northern waters conducting further undersea research for AWS 2008.

Despite this brewing regional rivalry, my view is that when the Arctic ice melts, the polar sea will reunite the Atlantic and the Pacific, and this will be huge enough a win for all: shipping lanes will traverse the pole, shortening trade routes between Asia and Europe, reducing the cost of transportation and consumption of fuel. This will mean bypassing many of the troublesome chokepoints that leave many countries vulnerable to terrorism and piracy. As well, the undersea resources of the Arctic are among the last, virgin natural resource deposits left on Earth, some experts think one third of the world’s hydrocarbons might lie offshore in the Arctic region. If so, that means the potential of a steady oil supply without having to worry about the political chaos of the Middle East, and gives us great reason to come to a full and lasting peace with Russia, who owns the other half of the Arctic but will obviously want to export these resources to such oil-hungry markets as China, Japan, Europe, and possibly even North America. Business has a way of turning political opponents into close friends.

Q. What would be the role of indigenous Arctic tribes and Peoples in such a future race for mineral wealth and geopolitical prowess?

BSZ: The potential economic benefits from resource development and transpolar shipping will bring much hope to the indigenous people of the North in terms of jobs, training, education, medical services, and other essentials. And this might help reduce the tragic situation in the Arctic villages in terms of epidemic suicide levels and widespread social problems that are perpetuated by the poverty, lack of opportunity, and harshness of the climate. With climate change, there is at least some hope of real, lasting change and new opportunity. It will be disruptive, and challenge many traditions, but there is reason to be optimistic. With the real political gains of land claims and the various self-government processes, Natives are positioned to reap huge rewards from the coming wave of development. They own most of the coastal land, have significant regulatory powers and various co-management regimes that will ensure numerous benefits, from training and employment, including indigenous hiring and tendering preferences, to royalties, compensation, and remediation guarantees. The Inuit will find themselves in a central role not unlike that now enjoyed by the Saudi royal family.

Q. What can the United States and Canada do to forestall such ominous developments?

BSZ: As many experts have suggested, the impacts of global warming and the resulting Arctic thaw will indeed be profound. But there is a tendency to exaggerate the negative, while dismissing the positive dimensions of these impacts. Climate change pessimists worry about increased resource competition, coastal flooding, infrastructure damage from melting permafrost, changes in wildlife migration patterns, and stresses on some species-especially polar bears-as well as on the indigenous cultures of the region. So fearful of this calamity have we become that former Vice President Al Gore won a coveted Nobel Prize for Peace for his efforts to delay its onset, as if global warming was itself an act of war against mother earth.

But it may not turn out so bad. The melting ice will open up an entire ocean that has been ice-covered for millennia, bringing an end to what we can think of as the final chapter of the last ice age. We’ll witness the emergence a brand new world, unlocking what just a few years ago would have been unimaginable economic opportunities, as the long-closed Arctic waterways experience rising volumes of commercial and naval traffic, and as the disappearing ice makes it more cost-effective, and technologically viable, to explore the region’s vast undersea natural resource potential. This will in turn stimulate the economic development of Arctic ports and communities, and secure sea lanes across the top will enable shipping of strategic commodities without the risks associated with our current sea lanes and their vulnerable chokepoints, reducing the risk of war and conflict. So while pessimists fear the changes that are under way, a more optimistic, and ultimately more prudent, approach would be to prepare to make the most of these new, emerging opportunities. Just as scholar Francis Fukuyama described the end of the Cold War as the “End of History” as we knew it and the start of a new and uncertain era, we once again find ourselves standing at the threshold of new era that promises not just uncertainty, but also much hope and opportunity for the people of the North. Because of this under-appreciated upside potential, I believe that Canada and the United States should not in fact do anything to forestall global warming but instead prepare to leverage these potential opportunities as they emerge.

Q. Is the issue of Climate Change being trivialized and leveraged by politicians, tribes, and states in the Arctic? If so, can you tell us how?

BSZ: I’m not sure the problem is one of trivializing the issue. I think the real problem is all the pessimism, and the negative hype, which prevents a more balanced debate from taking place. Indeed, many indigenous leaders in the North have joined with former U.S. Vice President, 2007 Academy Award winner, and 2008 Nobel Peace prize winner Al Gore and his allies to try to stop the clock. Yet while many respected theorists, climate scientists, policy-makers, diplomats, statesmen, and world leaders have concluded like Gore that the earth is spinning out of control toward certain doom, and that action is required at a planetary level to prevent the coming tragedy caused by climate change, my view is that the future is as yet unwritten, and though evidence of climate change has tipped from possible to probable (the deep, bone-chilling Arctic winter of 2008 notwithstanding), the debate on winners and losers is still one worth having, and that rumors of our imminent demise, as a species, as a planet, may in fact be greatly exaggerated.

Many of those committed to political action recognize the need to mobilize a global coalition of states, corporations, and individuals to act united against the threat of climate change, and this need for mobilization colors their analysis: to warn the sky is falling is more effective, the activists of climate change believe intuitively, than a more balanced and nuanced assessment of risk, with all its inherent ambiguities. As pioneering quantum theorist Heisenberg observed, at the fundamental level of perception, the act of observation influences the outcome of events since the lonely photon that measures any atom’s position or momentum also changes these coordinates in time and space. Thus we can never know, with certainty, since the act of observation changes reality. Uncertainty transcends the impact of observation itself; deeper down, in the bowels of quantum reality, we are confronted with a greater mosaic of duality and contradiction. Just as Einstein showed energy and mass were different expressions of the same thing, and that one could be converted to the other and vice versa, Heisenberg is famous for introducing us to the wave-particle duality, which tells us that atoms can act like particles, and waves, with their distinct behavioral differences, and that probability itself is part and parcel of the fabric of the universe at the subatomic level. Up higher, in the Newtonian world that we more readily understand, we have clarity and certainty and predictability, but down deep in the inner folds of the universe’s underlying fabric, we only have uncertainty, ambiguity, and duality, an omnipresence of chaos, albeit with meta-patterns that hint at an underlying order.

Political action has always been a Newtonian phenomenon, with the individual atomic unit being us, people, and our various aggregations into groups, be they corporations, social groups, or states. But scientific knowledge, with its complex granularity, from the macro to the micro, from the cosmic to the quantum, has been forced to recognize harder truths, such as those unearthed by the imaginative leaps of Einstein and Heisenberg, among others. And these harder truths are, at the quantum level, riddled with ambiguity. And when scaled up to global systems, those ambiguities do not disappear, but cast a long shadow. Climate change is thus a realm of scientific thought that currently aspires for a certainty compatible with political mobilization for action, but which in fact is fertile ground for the riddles of chaos theory, and the dualistic ambiguities of quantum uncertainty.

And so the activists tell us, the sky is falling, as Gore told us as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. (His words were more concise, more humble, and more appropriate when he accepted his Oscar in Hollywood earlier in 2007.) But what if they are wrong? What if their position has become reified because they believe the stakes are so high, that inaction itself is tantamount to complicity in planetary genocide? What if they have taken a page from the anti-nuclear movement, arguing that there are, cannot be, will not be winners in nuclear war, so we must bottle up our atomic genie, and step away from the nuclear chasm before we fall in and self-destruct? During the Cold War, the anti-nuclear activists had their faith that we would all be losers in nuclear war, that the only solution was stepping back, and seeking nuclear abolition. But theirs was not the only point of view: closer to the strategic nerve-centers of the nuclear states were a diverse ecosystem of nuclear thinkers, strategists, and planners whose jobs involved figuring out how to do what the anti-nuclearists said was impossible: winning a nuclear war. Men like Herman Kahn dared to “think about the unthinkable,” coming up with various proposals and ideas to mitigate the risks and dangers of nuclear war, from more thoughtful civil defense, to more detailed war plans in the case deterrence failed. The Cold War ended suddenly before there was an apocalyptic show-down, so we’ll never know who was right or wrong. But with regard to climate change, we must confront this self-same duality, this annoying ambiguity, this reluctant riddle that remains unanswered: are there both winners and losers in climate change? Might there in fact be more winners than the activists, already committed to their position that we are all losers in this drama, will acknowledge?

The story not told by the climate change pessimists is the other half of the evolution story, not the extinction of species that did not make the cut, but the creation of those that did, as new genetic factors becomes strengths and not weaknesses. Life itself is a process of renewal and decay, extinction and species birth, and to cry out that extinction is itself a tragedy dishonors the species to come, whose birth itself was forestalled by efforts to prevent the natural process from continuing. Mourn we may but not at the price of stopping life itself from evolving, for it is the story of evolution that we must continue to tell, indeed to act out, as players on its stage. As the predominant creature, ruling over most of the earth’s surface, we naturally want evolution to stand still, our time to last forever. But this is not necessarily nature’s way. Nor is it nature’s way to pick sides, and fight to keep one species alive at the expense of another’s arrival on this earth. We all have our time, its beginning and its end. We can fight to keep the polar bear white, but is this not a crime against the emerging hybrid polar/brown bear? We can fight to keep the caribou alive, but what of the deer, should they be denied their time in the North? The dinosaurs had their day, and so did we; would we stop the age of the dinosaurs from ending if we had the power to do so? And should we try to stop the clock, and hold back this process of global warming which might in fact bring an end to the ice age itself, and free the polar regions from its continued, icy tyranny of climatic extremism?

These are the issues we need to debate, and explore, and consider, without passing judgment. And while Gore has his Nobel Prize for Peace for the war that he has declared against man’s recklessness and climate-aggression, this does not mean that Gore’s perspective is the only valid one, nor the correct one. From the Arctic perspective, Gore’s logic would mean a perpetuation of an ice age that the rest of the world was all too happy to see end.

Police Radar Detectors In The U.s. – How Legal Are They?

A good number of the people with cars in the United States have their own radar detectors. Their reason is that they feel that the speed limit at present is very low. Most of the American people are not satisfied with moderate speed while driving. They want to be the fastest driver on the road as well as get to the places they’re going in record time; they want to be always in the race.

The radar detector serves as their alarm whenever there are police near them. Once the radar detector alarm sounds, they can ease on the gas and slow down their speed.

Because of the radar detectors being known to every motorist, cops are hiding, in alleyways or behind bridges in order to avoid being detected by the radar detectors.

Motorists on the other hand are being clever themselves, they are aware of these techniques from the police, so more enhanced, top-dollar detectors have entered the market.

Though the policemen are always improving their chances of catching the radar detector users, they are unable to make the streets of the United States radar detector-free.

Radar detectors are legal in many cities and states in the United States. But this does not mean that radar detector units are legal in all of the states in the US.

Here are some of the states that deem radar detectors illegal:

1. The usage of radar detectors are prohibited in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They have laws banning the use of radar detectors. Not only are radar detectors illegal to use in Virginia, they are also illegal to have in the vehicle.

2. Radar detectors and radar jammers are illegal in the District of Columbia. The passing of their laws to ban the use of radar detectors was set in 1995.

3. In Illinois, radar detectors are only regulated in commercial vehicles of over 26,001 pounds.

4. On US military bases, they are legal to have but illegal to use.

5. Radar jammers are illegal in the states of Utah, California, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska.

6. Radar detectors are not specifically regulated, but things hanging from windshields are not permitted in the state of Minnesota.

7. For motor vehicles over 18,000 pounds and any other commercial motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds in New York, radar detectors are illegal.

And other states that prohibit the use of radar detectors are the following:

• Alabama
• Arizona
• Arkansas
• Colorado
• Delaware
• Florida
• Georgia
• Idaho
• Indiana
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Kentucky
• Louisiana
• Maine
• Maryland
• Massachusetts
• Michigan
• Mississippi
• Missouri
• Montana
• Nevada
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• Mew Mexico
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• Ohio
• Oklahoma
• Oregon
• Pennsylvania
• Rhode Island
• South Carolina
• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Texas
• Vermont
• Washington
• Wisconsin
• Wyoming

The state of Connecticut on the contrary has cancelled its anti-radar detector law in 1998 which make this radar detector now legal in this state.

Death Penalty Is More Expensive Than Life In Prison

When people argue for the death penalty, they often say that the death penalty saves money. In a struggling economy where every social service is competing for limited funds, death penalty supporters would rather see some money devoted to rehabilitating young offenders, instead of paying for a lifetime of jail for people who won’t ever make parole.

However, that argument doesn’t have the research to back it up. Studies and evidence show that the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison.

Could that be? Could it actually be less expensive to jail someone indefinitely than to put them to death? This is thanks to appeals that can drag on for years and expensive red tape that is supposed to ensure that an innocent person is never executed.

As a country, we must take care to see that justice is done, but that often means the pre-execution process can go for twenty years. This results in millions of dollars in legal fees.

Taxpayers pay either way.

Many state budgets are in crisis mode and many states are exploring the idea of ending the death penalty purely for economic reasons. New Jersey made that connection and it seems as if Maryland, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, New Hampshire, Washington and Kansas may soon follow.

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico has supported capital punishment for years, but thanks to budgetary pressures, he is considering a change.

What about Wisconsin?

Wisconsin was the first state to abolish the death penalty over two hundred years ago. As a result, Wisconsin hasn’t had any executions since, although capital punishment continues in other states.

Those who want the Wisconsin law to stay in effect remark that the death penalty hasn’t any advantages over life in jail for the prisoner. They also dispute the common belief that life imprisonment is more expensive than the death penalty.

When Wisconsin legislators debated reinstating the death penalty in the early 1990s, according to the Legislative Bureau, they announced that each capital case would cost up to $285,000, each new prison death row would cost $1.4 million and to build a prison death row and to staff it would cost an additional $550,000.

In 2009, these numbers have only gone up.

We must think about price in today’s climate. Those cities where most of the murders occur would bear the brunt of the costs associated with trying, convicting, and appealing these capital punishment cases.

This is money that could be better used helping to fund social services and preventing these kinds of crimes in the first place.

Other arguments against the death penalty

We are a nation founded on the principal of freedom and that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. Yet we still execute people in surprisingly high numbers. We are in the same category as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

Do we really want to be in the same category?

If a doctor performs death by injection, he or she is violating medical rights.
Arguments suggest that our current method of lethal injection is so cruel that veterinarians won’t even use it to put down animals to sleep.

Aren’t prisoners punished worse by having to live every day of the rest of their lives in prison?

Since the late 1970s, over a hundred people have been set free from death row after their innocence was proven. They cannot possibly be the only ones.

There are racial and economic biases in capital punishment cases. Non-white prisoners who were executed make up 43% of total executions even though they are only around 25% of the population as a whole.

Inmates on death row don’t usually have the money to receive proper legal assistance.

Catherine Durkin Robinson is a contributing writer for, your information resource and community for money-saving tips and offers so you can shop, compare, and save money on just about everything.

New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Laws Proposed Changes

Domestic abuse is a major issue not only in Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester but in New Hampshire generally. It shatters families and creates a cycle of abuse that extends to abused children who are at high risk for abusing their spouses and children.

According to some studies, over 3 million children in the US are abused annually. Battered spouses and their children may seek protection in battered women shelters, having their spouses arrested for assault, and often breaking up families.

In New Hampshire, domestic violence includes the following offenses:

Sexual assault
Aggravated assault
Threats of violence
Emotional abuse or intimidation

New Hampshire domestic violence laws include not only married couples, but extends to ex-spouses, siblings, cohabiting partners, and current or former intimate partners.

In New Hampshire, like most states, if you are the victim of domestic violence, you can seek an emergency protective order from the court that will prohibit the abusive partner or spouse from contacting you or entering your house or apartment. You can also have the perpetrator arrested if the police have evidence of abuse, such as observing injuries and the aftermath of a struggle.

However, this could all change if House Bills 1581 and 1608 pass in the New Hampshire legislature. Current law allows police who are summoned to a home where domestic violence has been reported to arrest the accused upon probable cause without a warrant if they observe signs of violence. This includes evidence of injury to a victim and signs of a struggle like damage to furniture or to the residence. Officers may also seize any firearms which may have been used or were threatened to be used by the accused.

This new law in New Hampshire would take away that discretion from law enforcement and would only permit an arrest if an officer directly witnessed abusive behavior taking place, or he or she must return with an arrest warrant. Although the law has been evidently designed to protect the rights of the accused, the situation could escalate if police must leave the scene to obtain a warrant without having an officer present at the household, leaving the victim at the mercy of the abuser.

The new legislation would also require a defendant under a restraining or protective order to violate it three times before being subject to arrest for violating the order. Presently, a single violation gives a judge discretion to order the violator arrested.

Law enforcement officials also fear that the new measures would not prohibit an accused domestic abuser from possessing firearms or from buying them.

Misdemeanor or Felony Charges

If you are accused of a domestic violence offense in New Hampshire, and depending on the severity of the circumstances, you can be charged with either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, or a felony if serious injury resulted, or if you are accused of rape or other sexual misconduct.

Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in NH

If you are convicted of domestic violence in areas such as Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester or in New Hampshire generally, and your offense was a Class A misdemeanor, you face up to one year in jail, fines, probation, and probable participation in a domestic violence treatment program.

Class B misdemeanors do not include any prison time. This would include simple assault charges. You can still face fines and participation in a domestic violence program.

If your domestic violence conviction included a more severe charge such as a sexual offense, serious bodily injury, or assault using a firearm or other deadly weapon, you could face a Class A felony, which carries a possible imprisonment of more than 7 years and up to 15 years. If a sexual assault occurred or a homicide, the penalties increase up to life in prison.

A Class B felony imposes a possible imprisonment of more than one year but not more than 7 years. Probation can be up to five years.

Retain a New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Defense Attorney

Finding the proper New Hampshire domestic abuse defense lawyer is essential if you have been charged with domestic violence or abuse or with any associated criminal charges.

Regardless if there are significant changes to the domestic violence laws in NH pertaining to how and when law enforcement can arrest someone and when you can be charged, a domestic violence and abuse charge is a serious manner.

In some instances, a vindictive spouse or ex-partner may falsely accuse you of domestic violence to gain custody over children or for some other purpose. If you are arrested and charged with domestic violence and abuse, you need the services of Ryan Russman, one of New Hampshire’s premiere criminal defense attorneys.

A criminal conviction could result in the loss of your freedom as well as substantial collateral consequences, including loss of your job; and difficulty in obtaining credit, applying to schools, obtaining housing, and having the stigma of having committed a violent crime. Get a free consultation with NH Attorney Ryan Russman today.

NH Criminal Law Attorney Ryan Russman is a tireless defender of individuals arrested on criminal charges including burglary, theft, domestic abuse, embezzlement and homicide in New Hampshire. Russman Law Offices have two convenient locations in Exeter and Portsmouth, NH

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Solicitor in Hampshire Gives Top 8 Legal New Year Resolutions

The top 8 UK Legal New Year resolutions for 2008!

1. Make a will so that you leave your property to those you choose, rather than a list of relatives that inherit. If you die with a spouse and there is no will, the spouse does not receive all the estate in many cases unless you make a will saying so.

2. If you live with a partner, draw up a written agreement about property and money. A popular myth is that a common law spouse has legal rights as if the couple were married but that is not so under existing law. However, plans to change the law to give new rights to cohabitants may cause some to reconsider moving in with a partner. Consult us on the impact of the proposed changes.

3. Consider whether properties you own with others should be held in joint names (which means if you die they receive your share) or as “tenants in common” which means you can leave your share to whomsoever you choose.

4. If you work with a partner, whether in a partnership or through a limited company, draw up a partnership agreement or shareholders agreement dealing with matters such as how much effort both parties put into the business, what profit shares are taken, what happens if one of you is ill or dies or wants to leave and what will happen if an offer for the company is made.

5. If you trade in business, draw up some standard conditions of sale and purchase and formalise any informal distribution, agency and licensing agreements so that everything is clear. This reduces legal costs if a dispute arises later, as the written terms protect you. If you have existing standard terms, have them checked to ensure they reflect the latest legal position.

6. Check your business’ compliance with recent changes in areas such as data protection and employment law, competition law and intellectual property. An annual legal compliance health check is well worth undertaking.

7. Check that all staff are properly putting into force legal instructions e.g. some Purchasing Department staff do not reject suppliers’ standard terms of trading and fail to send back the buyer’s terms. Regular training for this kind of staff can be provided by lawyers and others.

8. Deal with legal disputes quickly and early to ensure they are resolved without the need to go to court, which is risky and expensive. Consider mediation of disputes rather than formal arbitration or court action and always balance risks and possible legal costs against potential rewards.

I sincerely hope that you have a happy and prosperous New Year and that you are able to take the time to implement at least some of the top 8 UK Legal New Year resolutions outlined above. It’s an old adage but it still rings true that we fail to plan rather than plan to fail.

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If you want to be inspired by online retail look at FNB’s new app

The vast majority of websites and online retail platforms are absolutely pathetic and amateurish. And desperately in need of help.
I was at the launch of FNB’s latest app – the 50th upgrade since it launched in 2012 – and in my opinion anyone who wants to succeed at online retail should have a look at this for sheer inspiration.

It has actually revolutionised mobile banking and with fingerprint recognition it is able to get onto the online banking platform securely and with the least amount of hassle. And it allows customers to do absolutely everything from paying, transferring, cardless cash withdrawals, adjusting limits, talking directly to someone at the bank in real time and best of all, being able to pay a restaurant bill or groceries without having to give anyone a credit card. Or even having a credit card on you.

It is a remarkable demonstration of just how advanced the digital retail environment has become.

Quite a contrast to those retail websites that still persist in asking customers to phone or email them for quotes or prices.

Online retailing is growing massively and the emphasis is falling more and more on mobile with phones getting a little bigger with convenient 14cm screens that allow even the most clumsy consumers to easily navigate things.

There is no doubt in my mind that any retail organisation that does not give absolute priority to their online presence in terms of user friendliness, is just asking for trouble.

And a tip from those who do it well. Really well. Don’t hand it all out to someone else but create your own centre of mobile excellence.

A press release is really just a last resort

Far too many PR people these days still believe that press releases are mainly what media relations are all about. They are wrong. Very wrong.
A press release has its place. At the back of the strategic queue. As a last resort. When there is really no other way.

My belief is that media relations is, as the name suggests, all about relationships. It’s the same in any business. Being able to talk directly to a client is so much better than anything else. And being able to create a relationship with a customer is the ultimate goal. Because people do not like doing business with strangers. But, they love doing business with people they know.

In my journalism days, I didn’t give much time or thought to those PR people who kept sending me press releases. I didn’t know them. I didn’t really have time to care about them. They were strangers. And like any human being, a distrusted stranger.

But, those who made the effort to meet with me and develop a mutually beneficial and professional relationship, were the PR people who got the most out of me for their clients.

When I was on the corporate side of things with BMW SA., I actually told my PR staff never ever to send out press releases. They did what I did and got to know the motoring and financial journalists. Got to know them well. And it paid huge dividends.

Yes, we did send stuff to them that could be construed as “press releases”, but the big difference being they were only sent to journalists who actually asked to be kept informed.

Of course, I commiserate with those PR people whose clients insist they put out press releases which usually have to mention the company product or service heaven knows how many times and which quote the client ad infinitum. Probably because he or she just loves the idea of maybe seeing their names in print.

When it comes down to brass tacks, there is a place for the press release. But, its not the magic elixir that it is plumped up to be. It is and always will be a media relations accessory and never ever the main vehicle.

When I do presentations to clients on the role of PR and particularly how to develop media relations, it is always such a pleasure to see light bulbs going on over heads that for so long were stuck in the sand.

It is not rocket science. In fact, it isn’t any sort of science. It is just the profitable use of human nature.