Snow Miser is clearly in control and having his way in 2018
Snow Miser Country!
Back in the early days of the commercial internet when smart phones didn’t exist and phone texts were being changed at 10 cents a pop, AIM was the bright beacon of desktop social messaging.
Who can forget the telltale “message sent” and “message received” sounds…”doodle-deet!”….”deedle-doot!”
Time and technology marches on and now sending a text is free and standard to all phones as well as other numerous messaging apps now available.
Here’s an interesting thought exercise – for those who used AIM- do you remember the last time you used it – I sure don’t!
Having outlived its popularity and usefulness, they decided to call it a day- that exact day being December 15, 2017.
In 2013, Xanga “upgraded” its website blogging service to the WordPress format and promised its users an improved user experience on the modern blogging platform.
Since that time, I’ve reviewed its progress, and not much has changed:
This year is no different- at the 4 year mark since the move to WordPress, the following Community Killers are still in effect:
Also the same is the yearly $48 fee, that supposedly pays for all these “improvements”.
Also, no new “Official Updates” to pass on either from the Xanga Official “Liaison”, who can often be mistaken for Xanga PR even though he’s not an employee.
The “liaison” did offer to have his June blog comments section be a way for current Xangans to post their contact/blog info to share with others. This, at the 4 year mark with no updates to pass on from TheXangaTeam…..right. He is also suggesting that folks start sharing their posts on the Facebook site to “help keep Xangan’s connected”. Of course if Xanga were actually functional, Facebook wouldn’t be needed/suggested. Seems very BIZARRE for people to be paying $48/yr to blog on a site that promoted community, but needs FREE Facebook to actually create it…..???
Oh yeah, the “liaison” hasn’t updated his site since early July, another sign of service decay.
I think this will be the last “review” barring some breakthrough changes since everything remains the same.
Okay, I do have a Xanga, “non Xanga” update…..
A current search under “Xanga” on YouTube has turned up a Brazilian party music band who now goes by this name.
So here’s the TRUE latest from Xanga:
Not bad…maybe I should move to reviewing these guys instead.
Winner winner chicken dinner!
The past month had several lotteries that went on for several weeks with no big wins, producing larger than normal jackpot amounts:
This month all of them finally produced winners – and sadly didn’t include me or anyone in my immediate family. =)
Whenever the lottery jackpots grow, we always see more news articles giving “advice” about the lottery. One very annoying article discusses if the lottery makes a decent investment, and concludes using mathematical analysis with an answer of no- with an expected return of much less than the price of the ticket. Of course this “analysis” is utterly ridiculous as no one in their right mind is considering lottery tickets investment grade products. There is a distinct difference between an investment product like CD’s/Stocks/Bonds, etc.. and a pure gambling product like lottery tickets. Lottery tickets have a very low probability of winning, but they are very cheap, and therefore present low cost entertainment as long as no one goes wild on a lottery ticket spending spree.
The reason for buying a ticket is simple- there are very few things that cost so little that give you a small chance to win so much money- a life changing amount.
So here’s some practical straight forward advice regarding lottery tickets-
1) I don’t normally play them because the odds are so high against anyone winning- it’s basically a free donation to the State. However, when the lottery jackpot builds up to true odds, then I consider it worth a ticket or two. Take the Powerball Lottery for example. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million. That means when the lottery jackpot is much less than that, it’s an extreme rip-off. What I mean is, if you manage to beat those massive odds and then win only $100 million, while that is a lot of money, your prize should be at least $292 million as those are the true odds you faced. Anything less is being cheated/short changed.
You could extend this further- since lottery jackpots are valued with a 20 – 30 year payout in mind, the actual present day cash value of the jackpot is a lot less. So if you want to be an odds purist, you should wait until the cash payout level reaches true odds. This would mean you only play very few lotteries since this doesn’t happen often.
2) Buy no more than a ticket or two. The odds are so high against you, that you have to assume you likely won’t win, so you shouldn’t be pouring lots of money into it. Just one entry will do. I wouldn’t spend more than one full ticket, which would be $5 for MegaMillions or $10 for Powerball. That’s more than enough. I’m cheap when it comes to lottery tickets- I usually just get one number entry. The person who buys 100 tickets isn’t too far from me on increasing their odds of winning: 100/(292 million) is pretty close to 1/(292 million).
The most likely case is you won’t win- here’s what to do in this case:
1) Don’t be bitter- and definitely don’t speak or wish bad things against the winner. I’m amazed and sad at how many toxic comments I see written online against the Powerball jackpot winner. It’s a poor reflection on a person who can’t be happy for someone else.
If you do manage to beat the odds and win- Congratulations!! You will now be entering a new chapter in your life. =) Here are the main points to consider:
1) Immediately sign your ticket and put it in a safe place and tell only the closest people you need to. You don’t want many if any to know about your newfound fortune- especially before you turn in the ticket!
2) Go to a good lawyer and incorporate yourself, and then have your lawyer accept the prize on behalf of the corporation name. Why? Because if you accept it yourself, you will be known to all, and a multitude of friends, family, and strangers will appear out of nowhere giving you sob stories of why you should bless them with some of your cash. Why subject yourself to that day after day after day? Not to mention your safety – you place a big target on your back with revealing your mega wealth. If you accept as a corporate entity, you can shield yourself from that. Some states won’t allow this, but you should definitely look into it.
3) Take time to plan and think before doing anything. This is a huge moment- no need to rush into any quick decisions. It’s best to immediately see a lawyer/financial advisor for some sage advice.
4) It’s imperative to realize that wealth is maintained by spending profits, not the principle. In other words, living off the income generated by the interest earned on your money, rather than spending down the initial jackpot. I was amazed to learn that a big portion of big jackpot winners wind up declaring bankruptcy within 7 years of winning. How can people spend so much money in so short a time? Answer- bad financial management – and over extending- thinking the money will never run out. We often see this type of blowup with sports and movie stars who made tens of millions only to wind up broke. This is why it’s so important to get a good financial manager before making any big decisions.
Until that winning day comes, let’s take a moment to think what those winning jackpots must be thinking having all that newfound wealth.
I know that money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can end worrying about paying the bills. =)
The GOP’s attempts at making good on their 7 year campaign promise to repeal and replace the ACA was served a bitter pill of failure last Friday when 3 GOP Senators voted against the proposed bill.
The amazing thing though shouldn’t be that it failed due to 3 GOP dissenting votes, but that 48 Republican Senators were willing to vote for such a flawed and defective bill in the first place that had less that 14% public support.
The GOP seems to be suffering from a severe case of missing-the-point-itis when it comes to trying to make good on their campaign promise. They think that just getting a bill passed no matter how bad it is will make their base happy, when in fact, the Republican base is expecting them to provide a better alternative to the ACA.
The GOP House and Senate are caught in a bind because their campaign promises of a better alternative to the ACA was nothing but hot air and political games. Seven years of continuously passing bills to repeal the ACA and now when faced with the ability to do just that, realize that there are real world negative consequences that can’t be dismissed in some simple campaign slogan that will punish both red and blue states.
The GOP denounced Obama and the ACA for being “rammed” through government under secrecy and no Republican support. In reality, the ACA had several open hearings for ALL the discuss and debate and accepted GOP amendments to their bill, while the GOP monstrosity was crafted by just 13 men in a closed room in secrecy.
The reasons why the GOP is flailing and failing with their repeal attempts are pretty simple:
It would be far easier to fix the problems with the ACA than to just start over from scratch, as seen from the inability to get a unified GOP front on any real or decent plan.
Today’s big bombshell news was that report from the Washington Post that Trump shared classified intel with the Russians.
All the online main news agencies are leading with this….
That is…all except for FoxNews.
Let’s take a look:
Here’s ABC News:
Everyone has their focus and lead on the main news of the day….
Then we get to FOX NEWS:
Hey, good to know that Fox has its priorities right in highlighting their version of MAIN NEWS LEAD OF THE DAY….at least in their opinion. =)
Fair and Balanced—what nonsense!
Can you imagine how big their focus would be if this was done by a Dem Pres? They may as well be called American Pravda.
Fox News = Fake News
We can see the effects of automation all around us and how it is impacting the job market. The advent of self driving cars will soon be upending the taxi industry. What many people may not be aware of is automation is moving into many job categories previously thought to be “robot proof”. There are inroads being made in law with automated systems replacing the tasks done by paralegals. Robots can now perform complex surgeries that most thought could only be done by a human doctor. Some news articles are now being generated by computer, and the list goes on…
The trading and investment industry has certainly not escaped this phenomenon. Discretionary traders and portfolio managers are under pressure from automated index funds and system trading programs that are proving to be superior, at least under current market conditions over the last few years.
Here’s an interesting read on the rise of automated systems squeezing out human traders:
History was made on Thursday, 3/30/17, when billionaire/genius/entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX, successfully reused a first stage rocket booster that was part of a prior launch.
Up until this point, when rockets carried up satellites or other payloads into space, the stages of the rocket were deemed disposable as no one knew how to get them back undamaged. The problem with this was that the first stage of the rocket is also the most expensive component. It’s like having to throw away a jumbo jet airplane after just one use.
The technology of SpaceX changes that with the ability to reclaim and reuse the 1st stage. After several successful retrievals of 1st stage components guiding themselves back to a launch pad on Earth via AI/GPS, this was the first time one of them was actually reused on a new flight mission.
This is a game changer marking a significant reduction in space travel costs.
Video of launch/ 1st stage return:
The Trump Administration has been on a legislative rampage since inauguration with numerous controversial executive orders and the first big planned legislative event was the repeal and replacement of the ACA otherwise known as Obamacare. They seemed intent on maintaining a high level of momentum and speed in executing their agenda.
All this came to a screeching halt on Friday as the much hyped Trumpcare/Ryancare Bill meant to replace Obamacare was pulled from the planned vote in an embarrassing defeat as there were not enough votes for the Bill to pass.
The implications and level of this failure are quite astounding. The GOP has voted to repeal or amend Obamacare 54 times while Obama was in office. There was never a problem getting those bills passed in the GOP controlled House during Obama’s term.
Now that the Republicans control the Presidency, House, and Senate, the failure of the House to pass a bill puts the GOP is a bright “Emperor has no clothes!” spotlight. The obvious conclusions are:
The inside story is that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon thought he had power he didn’t have when he tried to force rebelling Republicans to get in line and vote “yes”, and their reply was basically:
As for Trump, his aura of invincibility along with his winning streak for successfully bucking the system has come to an end. All the “Business mastery” bravado and supposed “Art of the Deal” expertise have met their match at the hands of rebelling fellow Republicans.
It became all too clear that electing a person with no prior political experience or expertise to the highest office in the land comes at a cost.
Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated?? Actually, anyone with any experience or who paid ANY attention at all to the healthcare problems over the past few decades knew it was a complicated issue. You would have to be supremely arrogant or naive to think you could just walk into a problem you didn’t research or have any background knowledge in and think you would come up with an “easy” solution.
When met with this failure, does Trump own up to it and accept the loss like Paul Ryan did? Nope, he pointed the blame away from himself:
It’s beyond absurd to blame the Democrats when The Presidency, House, and Senate are controlled by Republicans and they are trying to pass a law that goes against the healthcare package the Dems created. Why would the Dems support a bill that replaces their own law with a much WORSE substitute? That’s like your boss asking you to vote to cut your pay in half, and then complaining that nobody agreed to it.
He’s also now saying he never said this bill was a top issue and that he never said he’d do it quickly- another LIE:
Does Trump have amnesia that EVERYTHING he says to the public is recorded?
Some folks will blame The Freedom Caucus – the group of Republicans that voted against the bill, but in truth, they were just keeping the GOP to their word of repealing Obamacare rather than amending it. They wanted it eliminated entirely as the GOP said they would do time and time again. The GOP was once again burned for making promises they knew they couldn’t keep.
There’s a clear obvious reason the GOP backed off fully repealing Obamacare – many of their constituents would be be impacted and lose their health insurance. That would have bad consequences for them come election time.
The GOP healthcare bill was built on arrogance and the desire to cut taxes for the wealthy rather than try to obtain low cost effective healthcare for all. They didn’t try to work with the Dems for their input or seek advice from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, AARP, and a host of others who are opposing this fault ridden bill.
Some of the biggest problems of the bill:
As bad as this bill was, the GOP Freedom Caucus still felt this package was “too generous” and wanted even more cuts- to the point where moderate Republicans were now refusing to vote for this.
Trump promised he would fix the health care problems, but this bill makes things far worse. Makes you wonder if he even took the time to read it.
Now he says he will just let Obamacare implode on it’s own- walking away from the problem like a quitter instead of a dedicated elected official trying to help those who elected him into office.
Why not work to repair Obamacare to solve the problems instead of trying to just slap together a toxic inferior replacement? The answer is they want tax cuts more than they want to create a true working and acceptable healthcare plan. Thanks to the numerous angry town halls of their own constituents yelling at them to come up with a REAL solution or leave Obamacare alone, they knew they’d be in big trouble if they went ahead with this “repeal/replace” charade.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s speech on Obamacare now fits the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) like a glove:
Republicans now OWN the healthcare issue and pressure needs to be kept on them to provide a solution that works for the majority, not just their wealthy elite donors.
The results of the 2017 election with the defeat of Clinton by Trump have left many heads spinning in what can be said to be the greatest election surprise since “Brexit“.
The first two weeks into the new era of Trump make two things abundantly clear:
Here are some of the highlights to date:
Quite a ride so far for it being only the SECOND week into his term.
It’s also true that his teflon status with his base supporters remains intact, as he apparently can do no wrong to date that is seen as a negative. It makes sense, as he is following through on his campaign promises, love them or hate them.
Progressives are protesting and are left wondering along with establishment Dems and Reps how it is we wound up with such a surprise election result.
So how did we get here?
I’m a firm believer in the adage “We get the government we deserve”. The actions of everybody taken as a whole reflects the type of government we wind up with. This wasn’t a random raffle – there was a vote which came out with these results. It took a culmination of things from all sides to get here- electing someone with ZERO political experience who has made outrageous statements, disputes proven facts, pushes their own reality, and shows little if any discretion in talking to the media, government officials, and our historical global allies.
It’s easy to point the finger at others, but there is plenty of “fault” to go around. So here comes the hard facts and questions that people/groups need to look inward to answer if they don’t like the results:
According to compiled voting stats, 40% of the eligible voting population decided they had better things to do than to go cast a vote. Considering this was the most polarizing election in modern history with distinct ideologies and an aging SCOTUS up for grabs that can shape events for a generation, it’s amazing that so many decided to let others choose their fate for them. Maybe I shouldn’t say “amazing”,….it’s more like incredibly stupid.
There are some people who have somehow rationalized that they are “above” politics and decided they won’t “sully” themselves with all this corruption and fault filled candidates. What those folks fail to grasp is they will be subject to the winner REGARDLESS of whether they cast a vote or not- so it’s in their best interest to make a choice, even if it’s the lesser of four bad choices….I say FOUR because Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were far from being perfect as well.
If order for our government to function properly, we need people willing to vote and make their voices heard in electing effective leaders. Not voting makes it a no brainer than you will be ignored by whoever is elected as politicians are trained to only cater to the groups that will vote them out if displeased. They have no need to worry about the concerns of those who don’t vote.
The lower the voter turnout, the more likely it is we get more radical politicians favoring interest groups and corporations over the majority.
What’s more shocking, is that those who stand to benefit the most from voting, the young and lower income groups, have among the lowest turnout rates.
I would like to interview all the folks protesting today to see which ones didn’t vote. Those that didn’t vote should hang their heads in shame and just go home. They had a chance to make a real difference by voting but threw it away. Those who don’t vote have NO RIGHT to complain.
Republicans choose an outsider to be their front running leader- someone with no past political experience. In other words, this can be viewed as a rejection of all the establishment politicians that represent you. If you aren’t pleased with your current leadership, why do you keep voting them back into office year after year after year? Here’s a perfect example- Marco Rubio had the worst attendance record of all Senators – he was failing to to do his job and was called out on this by Trump and other Rep candidates. Rubio’s answer was that he stopped attending because he decided that being a Senator wasn’t going to solve the problems of America, a questionable statement at best. So his plan was to not run for reelection and just compete for the Rep President nomination. But when he lost, the RNC asked him to run for Senate again, and he won. Think about that – a Senator with the poorest attendance record clearly not doing his job is reelected by his constituents! So if Florida continues to be neglected by this man, Florida voters have no one to blame but themselves.
Then there are the conservatives who inexplicably vote against their own interests- like those who have received life saving treatment and surgery under the ACA, but voted for Trump anyway.
Why not start holding your elected officials accountable for serving YOUR needs? Voting for an outsider is a clear indication you believe the system is failing you, but keeping most of the same people in office means you don’t care that it’s failing and that is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
What’s also disturbing is the continued silence or mental gymnastic excuses of most Congress republicans when they should be calling out when Trump crosses the line. If you don’t call it out as wrong, expect Trump style politics to become the norm.
I never realized the full extent of “progressives” being messed up and corrupted until I saw the Bernie vs Hillary primary race. What should have been a fair contest between two people with progressive ideas was marred by outright collaboration and “game fixing” by the DNC in support of Clinton. The leaked emails show CNN contributors like Donna Brazile was giving Clinton the questions she would be asked at townhall meetings in advance – a clear ethical violation. The DNC lead Debbie Wasserman Schultz was found to be engaging in behavior/actions biased in favor of Clinton winning the Dem nomination over Sanders and had to give up the post in disgrace- and guess who replaced her…..Donna Brazile!!
Oh, and what became of cheater cheater Debbie Wasserman Schultz? She was rewarded with being made the Clinton campaign chair and was also reelected- way to go Dems with being just as bad as Reps with continuing to reward/reelect bad candidates.
Progressive newspapers and online sites became hit machines attacking Sanders when the level of his popularity made him a threat to Clinton’s chances of winning. Accusations of Sanders “lying” about being involved for civil rights in the 60’s were soon dismissed after pictures of him being arrested during that time showed up, but they soon looked for other areas to attack in a one sided “Let’s take Sanders out of contention” way. To be fair, some progressive media that supported Sanders was lopsided biased against Clinton as well. So much for the case that the progressive media isn’t biased, akin to conservative media they like to attack.
It doesn’t end there – once HRC won the eventual nomination, many Sanders “progressives” bitter about the primary campaign decided that a Trump win would be better than Clinton as a lesson to Dems to play fair next time. This is so ignorant of the realities of life and common sense I don’t know what else to say. How can letting SCOTUS go hard right for a generation and having all progressive achievements rolled backwards or just eliminated be worth “dissing” Clinton and/or the establishment? Some of these folks are under the delusion that Trump is guaranteed to lose big in two years, but even if that were the case, based on Trumps speed of his agenda, the progressive damage could be irreversible by that time for at least a generation. Childish arguments that had people condemn Sanders and Warren for supporting Clinton is just that, childish and clearly losing sight of the bigger picture at stake. The Republicans won this because they showed more maturity and made the decision to vote for Trump, warts and all, to move the overall conservative agenda as opposed to letting Clinton win.
Also, so called progressive sites like TYT (The Young Turks) and Secular Talk decided it would be a “good idea” to keep bashing Clinton during the general election. What is the point of this? Common sense would say you try to get her elected, and then hold her feet to the fire to make good on her campaign promises or face being primaried from the left. Fox News and other right biased media should thank them for the nice assist.
Lastly, the “deification” of Obama needs to stop and progressives need to realize where improvements can be made as to WHY so many House and Senate seats were lost during his eight years in office. He campaigned as a progressive, but acted more like a moderate centrist once elected. There are a lot of protests over Trump’s attempts at banning Muslims, but what about Obama’s continued indiscriminate bombing over Muslim countries that are also killing many innocents as collateral damage? Why isn’t our media showing us all the dead folks overseas “accidentally” killed by our continued bombing?
Why were Obama and Clinton so gung ho about TPP when the US is getting decimated by outsourcing to these cheap labor countries? The fact that Trump ran on ending the TPP and bringing jobs back to America against Dems should be considered a huge embarrassment for any true progressive Dem. Dems nominated a candidate that gave sweetheart speeches to Goldman Sachs and was afraid to release them? Her extent of push back against the excesses/shenanigans of Wall Street when she was a Senator was just to say “Cut it out“? This is what qualifies for and is accepted as progressive??
Remember folks – under Obama’s watch, NO major bankers were criminally held accountable for the 2008/2009 crash that led to the Great Recession and the expiring “Bush Tax Cuts” were made permanent.
In my opinion, Dems are likely to lose again unless they clean up their own backyard, such as getting rid of the folks who “grandstand” as being progressive, but act differently when it counts.
Here’s a clear example- NJ Senator Corey Booker received lots of press as a progressive leader when he testified against Jeff Sessions being appointed attorney general. The Republicans had the majority numbers to prevail, so Booker’s actions were more for show than for effect. However, when he had a chance to make a true progressive difference in support of fellow Senator Bernie Sander’s bill to allow the US to accept prescription drugs from Canada to add competition to lower costs, he voted AGAINST it, showing his true colors.
For those who are happy with the election results, here’s some tough love facts/questions for you:
Do you realize that Trump campaigned on “draining the swamp” and disparaged Clinton’s and the Dems connection with Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, but has now appointed SEVERAL Goldman Sachs alumni and other “swamp insiders” to top office positions? What are your thoughts about “The Wall” he promised Mexico would pay for, and is now looking at taxing exports from Mexico, which means WE would be paying for the wall in higher food prices?
Doesn’t it concern you that he is so sensitive about the election results that he’s making continued outright lies, and he has no shame spinning everything to suit him despite what the facts actually say?
A lot of conservatives despised Obama’s use of executive orders as an overreach, but now have no problems with Trump doing the same. What about all the arguments about respecting the constitution and balance of powers?