Bad Decision Theater Starring: Homeless Veteran and Couple From “GoFundMe” Campaign

Several months back news broke about a woman on her way home when her car ran out of gas. She had no money and was in a pickle, but a homeless person who witnessed the incident stepped in to help and spent the only money he had to go buy a few gallons of gas for her to make it home. She reported this on the “GoFundMe” site to get some donations for the homeless veteran so provide housing and give him a fresh start. The campaign was widely popular as a feel good news story and they wound up collecting over $400,000 in donations.

After this, things started to head south……

The homeless vet started telling people that he only received about $75,000 or the proceeds and that the woman and her husband who started the GoFundMe site was keeping the rest of the money from him. The news came back to investigate and the couple claimed that they were holding the money back for the homeless guy’s own good, since he had already spent the money he was given giving it to friends/family, and some on drugs. Lawyers got involved and the next shoe to fall was it appeared the couple had already spent the remaining money that was raised. They had some conspicuous spending such as a trip to Vegas and a new BMW. The car was confiscated by the authorities while the couple was under investigation and GoFundMe agreed to replace any stolen money and make sure the homeless guy got his full amount if the money was actually gone. That’s where things ended a few months ago.

Now there’s a brand new twist. Investigators have discovered and reported that the entire story about the woman running out of gas and the homeless veteran coming to the rescue was all FAKE and fabricated. She did NOT run out of gas and he didn’t buy her any gas. The story was just made up as a ploy to get sympathy and MONEY from a GoFundMe campaign. The couple and homeless man have all been arrested.

Now lets review all the bad decisions being made (there are some whoppers here!):

  1. Trying to scam the public with a false story. The problem with lying about an event is you have to keep doing it and build on lies to keep it going. This increases the odds that it will eventually collapse with contradictions and be exposed.
  2. Bringing lawyers and law enforcement into the mix knowing you are running a scam. What was the homeless guy thinking when he reported that the couple was stealing from him? They obviously all agreed to make a scam, but I guess he felt he didn’t get enough payment, or maybe he decided he wanted it all. Either way, bringing in investigators is absolutely nuts when the guy knows what they were doing was FRAUD.
  3. The couple were noted as having problems with paying all their bills and mounting debt. So with all this newfound money, you’d think they’d pay off their debts and use this boost of money diligently, right? Nope. They were reported to have gone on a spending spree with lavish vacations , buying that BMW, and gambling away around $100K in casinos. This is just nuts – and the reason why so many lottery winners go broke and declare bankruptcy in a few years after winning a jackpot prize- absolutely horrible money management. Nothing for future investment and everything for frivolous entertainment.

GoFundMe has agreed to refund everyone who donated to this corrupt trio.











Marvel Icon and Legend Stan Lee has Passed Away

The man who helped transform super heroes from one dimensional children book tales to complex characters who have to deal with everyday angst and problems we normal mortals have while saving the world has left the building. He was 95.

Comic books were a prime part of my life when I grew up. I could see myself standing in the shoes of Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Thor, etc…, which were great role models. Spider-Man is my all time favorite because he was a teenager with all kinds of problems we could all relate to….like being able to summon the courage to defeat a super powered menacing villain with diabolical plans but still not have the guts to ask out his love interest on a date.

His comics helped shaped me into who I am today, teaching me to stand up for those who need help and to not back down when faced with great challenges. His heroes were not invincible and worry free, but they fought on despite the negative issues they faced, which is what I always strive to emulate.

I met him at a convention and he was as cool in person as I had imagined.

I am happy he lived long enough to see how well loved his characters are globally and that technology was able to properly bring these wonderful characters to the big screen.

Vaya con Dios, Excelsior!


Don’t Forget: Daylight Savings Ends this Weekend- Turn Back Clocks


Don’t forget folks, for those areas that have Daylight Savings Time (DST), it ends on 2AM Sunday morning. Clocks go back one hour.

Most people take joy in getting an extra hour of sleep, but it makes me think of the big drawback- earlier sunsets. I’m not a fan of early sunsets. 🌇

The Sun will now jump to setting an hour earlier as we march down to the shortest day of the year in December.


This is also a great time to replace:

1) Clock batteries if your clocks have them.

2) Smoke/carbon monoxide detector batteries.

3) Car key and/or garage door opener batteries.





Midterm Elections 2018: Red Wave or Blue Wave?

With just 5 days to go before the midterm elections, predictions vary wildly about the outcomes depending on who you speak to. If you speak with Democrats, they say they expect a Blue Wave election of Democrats winning. If you listen to Trump or other Republicans, the prediction turns to a Red Wave with Trump consolidating more control with additional Republican victories.

Based on these widely different expectations, it’s clear that both can’t be right, so which outcome is more likely? Analysis of the data helps to clear the fog…..

First, lets get a break down of what the voting electorate looks like. Of the total population registered to vote, political party affiliation breaks down as follows:

According to latest polling from Gallup:

Republicans: 28%

Democrats: 30%

Independents: 39%

What this data should make clear is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have an electoral majority such that they can dominate elections with just their base voters.  It’s easy to think that one side or the other may dominate based on all the media coverage and loud vocal output, but in reality the strength of both parties are limited. It’s clear that the Independent voter serves as the deciding factor in determining who wins.

How do the Independents feel about Trump and Republicans versus the Dems? Data shows they are not happy the way things are going, with 60% disapproving of Trump’s course of action and policies. This is a red flag that should have Republicans worried.

Next, a search of current polls (RealClearPolitics, FiveThirtyEight) state the Dems are likely to win a majority in the House while Reps are likely to keep the Senate.

But are the polls accurate? The polling for 2016 elections left much to be desired since the majority of polls didn’t have Trump winning. I know they like to counter that Trump lost the popular vote, so the polls were somewhat accurate, but the bottom line is they did NOT get their State victory polling predictions correct.

Is this election season any better? I don’t believe so, and I think polling will get worse as time goes on. Polls are usually taken over the phone, and land line phones are becoming a thing of the past while most people avoid taking calls on their mobile from numbers they don’t recognize. Therefore, it’s getting harder for them to reach as many different people as they would like. Next, voter turnout for this is election is expected to break records and rival a presidential election year. This will be an outlier year different from the past midterm elections. More people voting typically favors Democrats. This is due to the fact that Republicans normally vote in higher numbers by percentage on average so the extra participation would be coming from Independents and Dems.

I believe the biggest wildcard this time around will be voter participation among the groups that typically show up in small numbers, especially during midterms: minorities, young voters (18 -29), and those who are low income.  These groups trend progressive when they vote. All signs point to increased enthusiasm and participation by these groups, and they could make all the difference.

My predictions are as follows:

The chance of a Red Wave is small at best since the Republicans have lost the support of the majority of Independent voters. They can’t dominate with just their 28% voting base.

I believe there will be a Blue Wave, but the question will be of what size or magnitude:

Scenario 1: Minorities, youth voters, and the low income follow the past trends and don’t show up in force.

There should still be enough enthusiasm and momentum among the Dems and Independents to turn the House Blue, with the Reps keeping control of the Senate. The polls are using this as the likely outcome.

Scenario 2: Minorities, youth voters, and the low income turn up in presidential election numbers or greater.

This is the wild card that isn’t being factored by the majority of polls. If this happens it’s quite possible that most areas that show “leaning red” on current polls will turn blue on election day. What we could have is the biggest Blue Wave upset since the last major Red Wave of 2010. In this scenario, the Dems could win control of both the House and Senate and Texas could get its first Dem Senator since 1993.

Needless to say, scenario #2 would be the stuff made of nightmares for Trump and the GOP. Not that they aren’t worried about scenario #1, but scenario #2 is just a much bigger scale of loss that will cost them more.



If You Like Healthcare that Covers Pre-existing Conditions, Vote Blue and Beware Republican Lies

Politicians are famous for being masters of spin and not being entirely truthful in their campaign speeches. However, this campaign season has Republicans including President Trump telling outright blatant lies about their position on preserving one of the best features of Obamacare (ACA), having your pre-existing conditions automatically covered.

After spending over seven years and voting numerous times trying to repeal Obamacare, saying they had a better alternative, all the GOP has shown is a big plate of deception and dishonesty.

We found out in 2017 that the Republicans did not have a superior replacement to Obamacare like they had been promising year after year after year, and the vastly inferior plans they tried to pass failed to get enough Republican votes, sparing us the cancellation of Obamacare with a far worse replacement.

That failed vote didn’t stop Republicans from continuing to undermine Obamacare like the lawsuit entered by several conservative States to have Obamcare’s protections on pre-existing conditions cancelled.

The thing is though that pre-existing condition coverage is something the majority of the public really likes about the ACA and don’t want to see it go away.  The GOP candidates are feeling the heat about their intent to end pre-existing condition coverage and rather than try to defend their position, they are choosing to just outright lie and claim they now support this.

Leading the charge in spreading lies about Republicans being the “saviors” of Obamacare and pre-existing condition protection is President Trump himself.

For more info on the Trump and GOP lies and smears about the ACA that have been debunked and proved false, check here.

Letting the Republicans remain in control of Congress will give them the time and opportunity they need to cancel pre-existing condition coverage. Voting blue for the Dem candidates is critical to preserve this popular and potentially life saving coverage.


Trump Presidency: The Age of Continuous Controversies and Scandals

Like the first year, Trumps second year has been chock full of controversial and scandalous politics and news on a near daily basis. It’s a daunting task trying to keep up with everything happening with this presidency, as we move from one big controversy to the next with very little down time. Here’s a running summary of the biggest ones that caught my attention year to date:

Trump not a self-made man who started with “just $1 million” – employed tax fraud to get over $400 million from his father, the true source of his wealth.

His father set up trusts that provided trump with $200K at age 3, and by age 18 had had accumulated more than $1 million from his father, and the money kept on coming after that. Trump and family reportedly engaged in tax fraud to transfer their fathers assets. Trump is said to have gotten close to $500 million from his father- showing his claim of being a self-made billionaire to be false.

Health Insurance ACA still under attack

Trump promised a better healthcare system than the ACA. The GOP failed to come up with a superior solution, and instead offered an inferior solution that covered far less while stripping the ACA of money. The general public was not pleased. The GOP plans didn’t pass, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from undermining the ACA doing things like no longer covering pre-existing conditions despite not having a replacement.

Trump’s family separation/orphan creation policy for immigrants coming to America seeking asylum

Trump and his Admin thought it would be a good idea to create permanent orphans by separating children from their parents without any process to keep track of who the kids belonged to. The public outrage of this forced them to stop this policy. There are still hundreds of kids that can’t be matched with their parents, who may have already been deported without them. The Trump Admin thought Americans wouldn’t care what happened to immigrants and their children- they were wrong. With the mental damage being done to these kids experiencing prolonged separation, Trump and his admin have been compared to Nazi’s. To add insult to injury, Trump tried to blame the democrats for this policy that his admin was executing. That also didn’t work.

After massive tax cuts for the wealthy – GOP wants to pay for them with cuts  Medicare and Social Security

The tax cuts that were promised to pay for themselves have produced historically high US deficits. The GOP solution to make up the difference is to put the debt on the backs of the Social Security and Medicaid senior safety nets.

In other words, the GOP wants to pay for their tax cuts to the ultra wealthy using our retirement and medical security.

Trump threatens Government shutdown unless he gets border wall funding

Trump promised Mexico would pay to build a border wall. Now he is threatening to not fund the government and have it shut down unless the US govt pays for the wall. This is essentially attempted extortion by a US President to his own people at a time all areas of government are under his republican control.

New rule would deny green cards to immigrants who apply for food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing

Trump administration proposing new rules that would punish LEGAL immigrants who would dare to seek government assistance for themselves or their children by permanently denying them green cards. So much for the words on the Statue of Liberty that most of our ancestors read- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free…”

Trump’s disastrous meeting with Putin, raising up Putin at America’s expense

This meeting will be one for the record books as a low point of US Global power and influence. Contrary to his EU bashing, Trump was all lovey-dovey with Russia, to the point where he backed Putin over the word of our OWN intelligence officers.

Both GOP and Dems were appalled at Trump’s behavior.  Even Fox News tore into Trump over the Putin Meeting where Trump took sides with Putin over our own intelligence agencies. It was so bad that Trump said he “misspoke” in an attempt to walk back what he said.

To date Trump has NOT revealed to his security chief what was discussed with Putin during their private 2 hour meeting.

Insider Resistance in White House?

According to a New York Times Op-Ed, there is a member of Trump’s Administration trying to protect us from the worst of Trumps behaviors. If true, this shows a high level of chaos in his cabinet, matching what was said by books by Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward.

Trump’s Election Integrity Commission preparing to declare voter fraud without any proof

The commission that was formed because of Trump’s outrageous claim that he lost the popular vote to Clinton due to millions of illegal votes. Investigation found absolutely no massive voter fraud- but were trying to produce a report stating otherwise. The commission was eventually disbanded.

Trump playing much more golf than Obama after criticizing Obama numerous times before taking office

Trump liked to complain about Obama playing too much golf during his Presidency: Trump tweeting about Obama playing too much golf 

Turns out Trump’s record of gold playing while President eclipses Obama by a wide margin: Trump Golf Game Tracker

House Republicans have secret list of known Trump scandals they are trying to keep under wraps

Republicans know about Trump’s problems and missteps, but not only do they refuse to take action against them, they instead seek to cover them up: House Republicans Trump Scandal List

Trump’s Poor behavior of Senator McCain’s passing and funeral

Trump intended to give the passing of Senator John McCain, a war hero who served public office for over 30 years, a minimal 2 day half-staff flag flying at the White House rather than extend the time through the final funeral commencement and burial, which is typical for most prominent political figures. When the flag was raised after two days, Trump was criticized by both the GOP and Dems for such a dishonorable move. American Veterans were very upset that a long time public servant and POW/war hero would be treated in such short shrift.  Trump was forced to re-lower the flag after backing down.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump couldn’t find the time to tweet anything complimentary about McCain, but did manage to tweet complaining about trade during the funeral: Trumps tweets during McCains’s funeral

Insults Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May in news interview prior to meeting

During Trump’s trip abroad to visit UK Prime Minister Theresa May, he decided to have an interview where he basically said she screwed up Brexit, the US likely won’t make a deal with her, and complimented a rival and detractor of her, Boris Johnson, saying he would make a “fine Prime Minister”.

Trump cancels pay raise for federal workers after granting huge tax cuts for wealthy

After claiming the US is in such great financial shape to enact massive tax cuts primarily benefiting the wealthy, now says the US needs to tighten its belt on the backs of federal workers by denying them their cost of living raises.

Insults trading partner Canada during interview during tense negotiations that stalled progress

Trump’s intended bad-faith negotiation with Canada for trade is leaked. maybe this should be in “Art of the Deal”: it’s never a good idea to tell others you have no intention to work on a deal via mutual compromise.

Trumps denies factual data from on Puerto Rico’s hurricane related deaths- calls it a “Democrat Conspiracy”

After Puerto Rico released their official death toll of 3000 resulting from Hurricane Maria last year, Trump denied the facts and blamed the Democrats. Trump regularly calls REAL news he finds unfavorable to him “fake”.

National Park Service felt pressure to edit Trump’s inauguration speech photo to “add” more people in the empty spaces

The govt photographer said they felt pressure to doctor the photo to make it appear Trump’s inauguration speech had a full crowd instead of the anemic reality, which didn’t match Trumps claim of record crowds attending his inauguration.

Trump – Kim Summit Meeting

After threatening to drop nukes on North Korea, Trump thought it would be a good idea to give NK what that always wanted- legitimacy with meeting with the US president. Trump stated the plan was for NK to get rid of its nukes. So far NK got the better of the deal by getting exactly what they wanted and are showing no intention of ending its nuke program.

Trump attacks/criticizes European allies meeting for NATO Summit

Trump gives long time European allies the cold shoulder and open criticism and goes so far as to call the EU a foe of the US.

Trump lied about having no knowledge of payments Stormy Daniels

Trump claimed that his former attorney Michael Cohen arranged for payments to Stormy Daniels to keep her from reporting about the affair she had with Trump and that he had no knowledge of it. Trump  denied the affair happened. Michael Cohen plead guilty and revealed that Trump worked directly with Cohen in planning the payments, making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator.  Trying to change election outcomes using non reported money is against election laws.

Trump Issues Trade War that is hurting US farmers and industries.  

Issuing a tariff trade war will result in higher prices for US citizens, whose store products are mostly imported. Farmers are losing money due to retaliatory sanctions from other countries. Other countries may win former US business that we may never get back. This has resulted in Trump giving welfare aid to farmers.

Astonishing charges of corruption in a cabinet less than two years old.

Former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt was finally forced to resign after a string of unethical missteps like the following:

  1. Racking up high bills traveling 1st class at tax payer expense.
  2. Renting a room from a lobbyist in Washington DC at the unheard of rate of just $50/night (regular rates are in the $100’s)
  3. Spending $43K for a soundproof booth in his office when a general security area was already available.
  4. Keeping a secret calendar to hide meetings. Not very transparent for a public servant.

For a scandal run down on what the rest of the cabinet including Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross, Treasury Sec Steve Mnuchin, Interior Sec Ryan Zinke,  etc… have been doing that breaches ethics with abandon, check here. So much for the promise of “draining the swamp”.

Ongoing Mueller Investigation into Russian Collusion.

Of course there is also the ongoing Mueller investigation into potential illegal Russian collusion. Trump loves to call it an unsupported witch hunt. The facts say otherwise. So far the investigation has yielded a who’s who list of indictments.  Total count to date is 35, that includes former Trump hires:

  1. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – pleaded guilty to making false statements.
  2. Campaign foreign policy adviser – George Papadopoulous- arrested and plead guilty of making false statements.
  3. Campaign Chair Paul Manafort – Entered into a plea deal after being indicted on 25 counts and convicted on 8 counts of financial crimes (would have been much higher conviction count except for lone hold out juror).
  4. Campaign aide and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates – Entered plea deal after being on similar charges to Manafort.


Remember folks- this presidency is LESS than two years old and this isn’t a complete list! Also, it only covers his second year, which still has three months to go!  To see what was going on at the one year mark, check here.


Richest YouTubers of 2017


One the best things about the internet is that it has broken the “gatekeepers” lock on granting opportunities for fame and fortune. In the past you needed to be lucky and/or have connections to the right talent agencies to get a shot on radio, TV, or movies for widespread broadcast to the general public.

Then came broadband internet social media like YouTube, where people were free to make their own content and put it on the site for anyone to discover. Then came the additional bonus of being able to receive revenue for generating high traffic with your videos.

This created a whole new job industry/opportunity for people interested in entertainment/news/education/etc that was open to all who had internet access, free of gatekeepers.

We now have the top YouTube talent making more than many of their TV/radio/movie counterparts. Here’s a list of the top ten earning YouTube stars of 2017:

10) Lilly Singh (||Superwoman||) $10.5 Million

8) Smosh $11 Million

8) Ryan ToysReview $11 Million

7) Jake Paul $11.5 Million

6) PewDiePie $12 Million

4) Logan Paul $12.5 Million

4) Markiplier $12.5 Million

3) Dude Perfect $14 Million

2) Evan Fong (Vanoss Gaming) $15.5 Million

1) Daniel Middleton (DanTDM) $16.5 Million


Imagine raking in millions for just playing a video game while being online. Talk about dream jobs!


More info:


Business Failures in the Internet Age: Blockbuster, Xanga, Blackberry

Modern times have seen the rapid rise of new companies, only to see them quickly decline into obsolescence – being replaced by new operating competitors that scoop up their market share.

Surprisingly, established companies are often slow in catching major trend changes in their own industry. They become complacent and miss the shifts in consumer demand. An example is Microsoft missing connecting computers to the internet, and as a result had to play a desperate game of catch up with internet browser Netscape.

Here’s a look at three companies that made critical mistakes  in dealing with their competitors that cost them their prominent positions at the top of the market:



In July, the last two Blockbusters in Alaska closed their doors. This leaves just one sole surviving Blockbuster store left, in Bend, Oregon.

Once a thriving company of over 9000 stores throughout the US, only one store remains of this once mighty empire.

What went wrong? They missed the boat when it came to the evolution of internet and movie watching. They dismissed Netflix as a minor niche player- would you believe they had the chance to buy Netflix for just $50 million, and passed on that opportunity?  Netflix is worth billions today.

Of course this was when Netflix was a “video by mail” operation and internet throughput speeds across the county where not yet ready to handle quality video streaming. Blockbuster lacked the foresight to see where the internet was headed, while Netflix didn’t. As a result, many opportunities to correct the ship were lost until it was too late.



In the early 2000’s Xanga was one of the top players in the social media blogging arena. Then came MySpace which dominated social media followed by the current reigning king, Facebook.

Xanga’s cruise into obscurity was hastened due to bad business decisions:

1) Failure to upgrade their platform for nextgen internet activities, such as advanced video/blog editing features. Their software was great for the 2G web, but became constraining as the web advanced with making more features available and Xanga not being able to take advantage.

2) Loss of one of their top visionaries/entrepreneurs. Biz Stone was one of the co-founders of Xanga. In time he decided to leave and eventually became one of the co-founders of giant success story Twitter.

3) Their regular service had too many good features which made selling their premium features hard. Xanga offered a great set of 2G editing features, but the standard set up was sufficient for many which made their up-sell to premium a daunting task. As a result, they couldn’t maximize their subscription revenue.

4) Completely missed the boat as to what the real problems were. They were losing more and more advertising revenue over time as users left for Myspace, then Facebook. Their conclusion wasn’t that they needed to work harder to improve their ad revenue stream. Instead they surmised that the advertising payment model was obsolete in the internet age and destined to fail over time. You know, the same advertising payment model that has made Google and Facebook two of the richest and most powerful companies on the planet… 🙄

5) Failed to listen to their users. They also missed the boat on what their users desired and were notorious for their lack of communication. Is it any surprise Biz Stone exited? The fact that they stopped updating their current site status shows they haven’t learned anything.

6) Abysmal transition to a new platform. Perhaps I should say “attempted” transition, as the “changeover” they proclaimed in 2013, looks to be still in its beginning stages and shows no signs of improvement to the point where they haven’t issued any official updates since 2015.  The new site remains stripped of all the social media benefits that made Xanga a stand out. And believe it or not, it’s no longer free and they now charge for people to use this service. 😲You can read my status check/reviews here.

It’s a shame since many people are growing weary of the “Facebook experience” and would likely be returning to Xanga if their site was up to par.



Blackberry texting phones use to be called “crack-berry” because of their widespread popularity and high demand. They were the go to phone of the business world that allowed people to text each other and access the the internet on the fly. It was the original smart phone mania. Then Apple came along just as the general public was beginning to warm up to smart phones and introduced the iPhone.

Blackberry, along with Nokia, and the other traditional cell phone companies dismissed the iPhone as not being all that special. The original iPhone model was certainly not fault free, but many competitors missed the growing potential of the device over time. Like most status-quo companies- they failed to see the makings of the next leap forward.

Blackberry had an entrenched business marketplace and a devoted user base to take on Apple, but squandered it over time with failing to to successfully compete with Apple where it mattered most- favorable user experience. In a genius move, Apple encouraged and opened up its phone Apps to the public instead of creating a locked market of just Apple apps. Blackberry didn’t have a big library of Apps and the ones they did have were often klunky compared to the ones on Apple. Blackberry would come out with some great hardware models of their new phones, only for them to fall flat in software functionality.

Eventually Blackberry cried uncle and left the hardware field all together, selling off its hardware line, and focusing now only on enterprise software.


Christmas in September

In January I went to an after X-mas sale to get items at a big post holiday discount. I picked up wrapping paper, cards, bows, all at 50% – 75+% off.

I took that bag of stuff and dropped it off in a corner of my living room thinking I’d get around to unpacking later.


That didn’t happen and the bag remained in the living room for extended weeks/months. #BachelorGuy 😅

This month, timing and motivation synced up and I finally got my “round tuit”:


So I finally put it in the closet where it belonged and escaped the shame of letting it sit untouched until Christmas season again. 😁🎄