Vance McAllister A Disgrace To All

Vance McAllister

Republican congressman Vance McAllister from Louisiana was caught on CCTV kissing a aide, and then public apologized to his wife and family. He then proceeds to launch an FBI investigation into the leaked video. Is it just me or is McAllister really trying to punish the person who revealed wrongdoing? I guess the leaker in this case is much like Edward Snowden, who revealed wrongdoing in the Federal Government in terms of unconstitutionally spying on everyone and using that information for political means – except in this case the leaker helped out McAllister’s wife by letting her know how her husband is probably cheating on her.

I think its amazing how so many crooked politicians get to these positions, but then again I think back and realize that the very thing that got them where they are today could very easily be manipulated and/or taken advantage of to seduce and be seduced by younger aides. The same happened to Bill Clinton,  I doubt Obama would dare try anything of the sort given that Michelle would probably not let it slide like Hillary did.

Back to the point, McAllister kissed another married woman and passionately embraced her – she was none other than the wife of a large campaign supporter. That supporter has since admitted that McAllister ‘faked’ his religious beliefs to get voters. That, my friends, is the surprise of the century. See the video below.

 

Is Toastmasters Worth It?

I’m asking myself whether or not Toastmasters is worth the time I spend each month attending meetings, giving feedback, and giving speeches. I’ve had the pleasure of living in the vicinity of three toastmasters clubs in Kuala Lumpur – The Allianz Toastmaster club, the KL Advanced Toastmasters club, and the Bangsar Toastmasters club. I would also mention Pricewaterhouse Coopers, but I have only attended that club once and if that was my gauge of determining whether or not to attend toastmasters I certainly would not.

In my couple of months with Toastmasters I’ve had a pretty good time and have grown as a speaker and listener, as well as enjoyed some very good speeches and the occasional snack. Meetings at Allianz go from 6:00 to 9:30 while those at KL Advanced start at around 7:30 and go to 10. Allianz is composed of mostly younger employees with the splattering of a few old ones, the meeting room is usually pristine and there is a good mix of beginning and intermediate level speakers. The KL Advanced club is composed of mostly middle aged folks with a splattering of younger people such as myself – KL Advanced is hosted by a man who goes by ‘Lucky’ and is is run pretty much like clockwork.

What have I personally gained from being in Toastmasters and spending a few days a month in these meetings instead of relaxing in my apartment? Firstly, I’ve met some pretty interesting people – it’s nice to communicate with new folks when you’re an expat and gain more local friends. Secondly, I’ve learned a bit behind each and every person who gives a speech since their world views and personal life often come out when giving their speeches. From this you can take another perspective when creating your mental construct of what the world really is and how you can approach communicating with similar people in the future.

The only disadvantage, of course, is that you are obligated to go to improve yourself and sometimes time seems to be wasted when visiting guests try to get you to go to their clubs or workshops or if time is wasted from someone giving a unprepared speech.

Adding up the positives and negatives, I must say that Toastmasters is for me a positive thing, as long as I keep learning within it, and meeting new folks. If both of those other things halt then there probably is something better to do.

What Happens When Most Facebook Friends are Dead?

It’s bound to happen someday, maybe not to you but at least to someone – where Facebook becomes more of an online graveyard then a place to hang out and post funny photos etc. All of my facebook friends that have died still have accounts which have become kind of like tombstones that still have photos and memories of the deceased and one way comments. Wouldn’t it depressing if at one point half or more of the friends you had on Facebook are dead? Lets just say someone makes all their friends in their twenties and grows to be 90, unless that person is in the habit of making many new friends in their older years then most of their friends from the early 2000′s would probably be deceased. How will Facebook deal with this, will they convert these accounts into memorials, which are segregated from the friends list?

Just a morbid thought I would like to throw out there to ponder upon, and I guess Facebook friends are the last of a persons worries when most of their REAL friends have passed on. Also, if Facebook follows the trend of every social media site before it, Facebook will have fallen out of popularity by the time our generation has gotten old.

 

As of March 2014 this is what Facebook allows relatives to do with a deceased person's account

As of March 2014 this is what Facebook allows relatives to do with a deceased person’s account

Serious GOP Contenders Should Avoid Sheldon Anderson

sheldon Serious contenders for the Republican party spot for the 2016 Presidential elections should avoid meeting with and accepting money from Sheldon Anderson. Anderson is notorious for pushing his vast gambling money contributions into Republican’s election campaigns and strongly influences them to make war around the world – especially in the Middle East. With the general populate tired of endless useless wars such was Iraq, Afghanistan, and our Libya incursion I for one will not vote for a Republican who digs into this guys pockets.

Hagel Not Responsible for Military Cuts

Today I read a lot of news headlines that read “Pentagon’s Chuck Hagel Plans to Downsize Military”, “Hagel’s Pentagon Cuts Target Top Brass”, and “Get real, Hagel tells nation in proposing military cuts.” All of these headlines put the emphasis and responsibility of the cuts on the man who came up with the plan. However, it should be noted that this plan is based on following the budget that was passed by our Federal government – and a president who was elected to a large part in reducing military action overseas. The military budget has become so large that it is considered by some to be dead-weight in moving forward with getting into a balanced budget scenario. Unfortunately for libertarian thinking folks government spending will not really go down, but will be shifted from military to social programs including Obamacare – the best result would be a reduction in spending in both categories.

Now, having discussed how Hagel is not responsible with having to do cuts, one should argue that Hagel IS responsible for how those cuts were allocated. He will be reducing the size of the military manpower while not really touching how much is spent on nuclear defence – although we have the nuclear capability to eliminate the entire planet, let alone any aggressor country. Hagel is eliminating the A10 and U2 programs, one which is a low altitude low speed highly durable plane that was introduced in the 1950′s which became known as the “Tank Killer”, while the other was the main plane used for high altitude surveillance over Russia during the Cold War.

I guess time will tell whether or not this military reduction will be a good thing or bad thing, however I am certain there will be folks that are incensed at reducing military size or strength (even though our military budget is HUGE).

Crime Doesn’t Pay Unless Criminals Don’t Get Caught

You’ve head it before and today you hear it again – Crime Doesn’t Pay. Because it doesn’t! Today I read an article that seems as fake as flying frogs – a thug fired a shot at someone who was willingly giving up his possessions during a robbery and the bullet ricocheted of the crime victim’s face and hit and killed a criminal accomplice! Poetic justice at its finest. You can see the full story here.

Is it true that crime doesn’t pay? Or is it only true that stupid crime doesn’t pay? Take Bernie Madoff, for example – here is a man who was able to con some very rich and powerful folks into a pyramid scheme because he had confidence and had run his private company for 40 years before a large market crash exposed his lies and caused the stack of cards to tumble. Are there yet even more powerful players at play currently that are doing things that would be classified as crimes but don’t get caught because of their power or influence?

Today I encourage you all to think twice about how secure you think you are and be vigilant – not only against petty thugs who will rob you and shoot you while you are willingly giving away your possessions. Are you being robbed by folks you think you can trust? Think thoughtfully and carefully on this subject, leaving no stone unturned. You might have just saved yourself from being Madoff’ed!

Why Are Ants Trying To Climb Into My Laptop?

I currently work in Malaysia and in my office there are small ants crawling around because sometimes food is left on tables etc. What I noticed one day was that there was a line of ants going up and into a neighbour’s laptop through the heatsink. The first thought that comes to mind is, they must have found a good place for a nest inside the running laptop. Then reality kicks in, no way the ants would get fried in there!

Today I read an article about ‘Crazy Ants’, that have been taking over in Texas as the head honcho based on their chemical excretions that neutralize fire ant poison that also double as a chemical weapon of their own. These ants, unlike fire ants, like to steal their homes rather than build them from scratch. In fact, they would prefer to fight and kill a colony of fire ants and steal their home than build their own. Another place they like to live, unlike fire ants, is in electronics or any man-made home. Additionally, I found that when these crazy ants get zapped by electronics they emit the ‘emergency’ chemical that signals to the other ants they are in trouble and need help. That brings the other ants over, and whala! My answer to why these ants at work are crawling into a hazardous heatsink of a computer is solved!

How do you deal with a genetically superior ant that is naturally from Brazil but wreaks havoc among Texas’s natural ecosystem? These crazy ants are taking food that would be traditionally eaten by bugs that birds enjoy eating – however birds understandably aren’t too keen on eating these smelly chemically laden ants that like zapping themselves in electronics. Fire ants, also from Brazil, are beginning to seem like old friends when it comes to these crazy ants. Perhaps the birds are just going to have to adapt to eating these smelly creatures.

Hialeah and Bellingham – Web Traffic From Crawlers

Apparently traffic from Hialeah and Bellingham have been plaguing the analytics accounts of many a webmaster for the past month or more. This traffic is apparently coming from Microsoft search-bots that also process the javascript on the page, meaning some sort of ‘smart-crawler’. What this means for Google and pagerank is that hopefully these 100% bouncers are not tabulated into pagerank – how do you deal with it as a web traffic analyzer? You will need to place filters in your results to exclude the cities of Bellingham and Hialeah- this traffic is not coming from the same IP address.

Use the filter below to get rid of these analytics ruiners:
filter

My Opinion on CVS Ceasing the Sale of Tobacco

After watching a news clip reporting on the news that CVS will cease tobacco sales in October and doing a bit of searching on social media for folks’ reaction I have come to my own conclusion on the subject. I am perfectly fine with the news, in fact if I was living in the US I would frequent CVS more often because of their decision. It is not a slap in the face of the free market, it is the essence of the free market. I’m glad it didn’t take Federal intervention to get them to do this, they did it of their own accord and the free market will judge whether or not it was the right move.

About 20% of Americans smoke, so CVS will lose out not only on cigarette sales but also on other items smokers buy when they stop in to buy a pack or two – looking at the stock market I see CVS is down about 1.5% while Walgreens is up around 1% on the news. On the other hand, CVS can definitely use this decision to further cement the idea that they are a company interested in the well-being of customers instead of selling medicine on one side while selling poison on the other.

While some folks are criticizing Walgreens for not pushing their idea further and banning alcohol and unhealthy food sales, I think that what CVS has done is a reasonable step in the right direction.

Freedom to Clean Air and Safe Environment

On most subjects I am a free market proponent, but when it comes to the environment and things that obviously ruin the environment for folks I am a proponent of controls. The planet’s ecosystem has been durable for the larger part of human residency but given the massive quantity of humans and the large footprint that follows their activities have started to hurt themselves and folks thousands of miles away from them. The extinction of honeybees, the shortening lifespans in Asia, and the melting of the polar caps are just three of many consequences of human activity that will surely cause pain in suffering to none other than other humans. From an American perspective, that means the some peoples’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is being denied by others who may or may not have a choice in the environmental harm they commit.

Looking at the lives of people living in heavily polluted cities, such as the ones in China where pollution levels have reached twenty times the dangerous amount and simply breathing in the air is like constantly smoking I would pay thousands of dollars and forgo earning tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to not threaten my health with such hazards. Unfortunately the people there don’t have a choice, and the coal power plants along with auto-mobile pollution and factory pollution make this a daily routine. Even though the capital city Beijing has tried to clean up the factories in their city, the change does little as factories dot the surrounding cities and is carried and hovers over the area. Only time will tell how bad this has been on the people but even now medical experts are claiming living in these areas will reduce the average life expectancy around 15 years!

The problem isn’t population per say, as India’s cities are more densely populated than the polluted ones in China, it is the way economic growth has been archived. The United States and especially England went though this period during the industrial revolution and also had massive pollution. This was to a smaller scale, however, since it was between 250 and 150 years ago when populations were smaller and most pollution was isolated to coal powered steam factories and coal power plants. Will the earth ever recover its lost glaciers and reclaim polar ice land area, or will we continue to see a gradual progression to a more arid world with less protection from solar flares and more solar radiation along with conventional pollution?

There are folks out there that seriously don’t care about the environment, they are just trying to get by economically. However, I argue that the same argument can be made from someone stealing bread from another person – the economic gains made through sacrificing the environment impose harsh penalties on others who want to live in a clean world free from newly created environmental hazards they may not be able to afford to protect themselves from.

Should You Go To College? Economically Speaking

Using data provided by Payscale.com, the following chart defines how much better off the average student is in 30 years financially by getting a degree. As you can see, the most lucrative schools based on wage premiums are private engineering schools. The next few dots you see are state engineering, private research, and ivy league degrees. The dots below the ascending black line indicate schools whose tuition cost more than the wage premiums would gain the student in 30 years. Those dots represent folks that would have probably been better off financially by not going to school. The point I’m trying to make is that if you are planning on going to college, the best bet for you (if you are willing and or capable) is to enter engineering. For most folks, in 30 years, college will have paid for their tuition many times over so generally speaking the answer to the post is yes.

30 year average wage premium

30 year average wage premium