Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fake News Whopper Of The Day

I'm not sure whether the guy is this dumb or just assuming we are. Maybe he should have had a briefing on this matter before he posted something so stupid.

There's so many places to start it's tough to know where to begin. I'm not sure whether he was referring to "National Debt" or "Deficit Spending" or if he even knows the difference. Seems more likely the latter. If so Trump wasn't sworn in till January 20, 2017. The federal budget was passed last year long before he was in office so he had nothing to do with it. The economy was in shambles when Obama first assumed office. He then created bailout and stimulus programs. Nearly this entire amount was paid back within four to six years. Besides it was Geo. W. Bush who began the auto loan bailout programs.

New York Times (12/19/2014): U.S. Declares Bank and Auto Bailouts Over, and Profitable

Muhammad Ali's Son Was Detained

Muhammad Ali’s son detained under Trump immigration ban
Joe Tacopino | New York Post (February 24, 2017)
" Muhammad Ali’s son was detained at Fort Lauderdale International Airport earlier this month... Muhammad Ali Jr. was traveling from Jamaica on Feb 7 with his mother Khalilah Ali when immigration officers detained him in a small room and questioned him for 30 minutes... Ali Jr., who has no criminal record and carries a US passport, was repeatedly asked about his religion, his rep told the Miami New Times."

It's also rather disturbing the agents have been given the right to open personal electronic devices. Even download files from them. It doesn't matter if' it's a U.S. citizen returning home.

I'm sure agents can't force someone, but they don't have to release them from detention either I suppose.

NASA scientist detained at US border until he unlocks his phone
Andrew Buncombe | (February 13, 2017)
"A US-born NASA scientist said he was detained by customs officials and not permitted to enter the country unless he unlocked his PIN-protected work phone... “CBP officers seized my phone and wouldn’t release me until I gave them my access PIN for them to copy the data. I initially refused since it’s a JPL-issued phone and I must protect access.”"
So here we have a guy with sensitive data belonging to NASA being downloaded to some overzealous agent. Who knows what he did with it. When this scientist returned to JPL he handed over the phone to have it scrubbed just in case spyware was installed on it. Hey you never know.

Is This Suppose To Make Us Safer?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Warmest February Day On Record

Lehigh Valley had its warmest February day on record
By Steve Novak |
"A high of 77 degrees made Friday the warmest February day on record in Allentown, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J."

Although I usually wait till March--warm as this day was--it gave me an opportunity to trim my small rosaceae trees for a couple of hours today. Kind of figured it would be a good idea especially if we have an early growing season.

These are great plants because they produce flowers throughout August when many other plants gave up their bloom providing nectar for bees beyond the normal blossoming season.

Besides it also gave me a opportunity to get some exercise I usually don't have this time of year. I can't wait for more warm days like these.

Despite what that rodent from Punxsutawney said on Grundsaudaag... hopefully Spring will come around early this year. I'm pumped.

White House Bars Certain Press

"Friday's White House press briefing, normally an on-camera affair open to all reporters with press credentials, was turned into an exclusive event for certain outlets hand-picked by the administration... Off the list were some of Trump's favorite targets, including the New York Times and CNN. The Los Angeles Times was also excluded. "

My Comments
The press doesn't need to run everything they do by the white house for approval before they run a story

What the hell is this country becoming !

LVCI's Retirement Savings Advice

Philadelphia pension fund lost $149 million in 2016
Claudia Vargas | (February 23, 2017)
"The 2016 loss was due to market investments that went south, losing 3.17 percent of the fund’s value, and a reduction in the assumed rate of return from 7.8 percent ..."

Here's What I Did
When I was working I had the choice to stash a bunch of loot in my employer's 401k. Instead I paid far larger amounts into my mortgage payments. I doubled the payments. In the last half I even made triple payments, This enabled me to payoff a 30 year mortgage in just 13 years saving me over $68,500 in interest.

My Reasoning Behind It
I thought it made little sense to have an oodle of money which would end up going towards another 15 years worth of mortgage payments after I retired. My 401k suffered nearly the same fate as Philadelphia's pensions fund. It came no where close to earning the $68,500 I saved by paying ahead on my mortgage. So this strategy panned out very well for me.

This worked out extremely well on taxes as well. Owning a home--rather then renting--allowed me to take large deductions while I was working. After retirement--since 401k savings are taxable--it allowed me to take out much less then what I'd be taxed otherwise.

This allowed me to own my home free a clear years ahead of time. This 2,117 Square foot home I'm living in costs me 1/5th in taxes what a small apartment rents for these days.

Here's the bottom line. When it comes to financial wheeler dealers they always have your money. As long as your money is tied up some where whether it be in debt or in a financial cloud it's never really yours. These gauys have lots of skin in the game--usually it comes at your expense. There's no sense in having a bucket of money stashed away still owing a large amount of debt come retirement.

Gambling on the market with these sharks like Philly did likely will end up the same way. Anyone who believes they can make a boatload of money without working for it or without paying down debt thinking they are smarter are fooling themselves. The game is rigged against them

My alternate advice is--if someone doesn't want to follow what I did--put money aside which is FDIC insured. It may not pay out the kind of money these so-called investment advisors made with their false promises but by doing it so in this way one can be assured it will actually still be there at retirement.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yahoo Other Planets Where We Could Live

BUT... they are 40 light years away from Earth.

Seven Earth-size planets where life may be possible
Irene Klotz | Reuters (Feb 22, 2017)
"Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, raising the prospect of life, research published on Wednesday showed."
Not exactly what I would call "nearby" to my way of thinking. Even if we could travel there I'm not sure several generations later my offsprings would appreciate being born on a space ship upon such an endeavor over the years it would take at our present rate of travel. No doubt we'd have to drag along another ship with several tons of supplies to get started. Who's to say the seeds we brought along could be cultivated. There may be no animals we could consume either.

But hey it's start I suppose. Something to think about once this planet becomes exhausted.