Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Shit I Have To Put Up With

Bernie O'Hare can't leave anyone alone can he!

A few hours ago Bernie said "LVCI gets no comments bc he is thin-skinned, unoriginal, anonymous and a coward. But at least he is honest."

I might also add Bernie is subscribed to this blog via email. So I know he trolls this blog everyday. He like my other trolls can't seem to stop themselves despite their criticisms. How else would he know what's going on here on this blog and create posts and comments against this one from time to time? LVCI seems important enough to them despite what they claim, does it not?

I've put up with all kinds of shit (including Bernie's name calling) for the last 6 years. Heaven help me if my should ever speak up to defend or explain myself. When I do I'm accused of whining or all sorts of name calling typical of that above.

Here's my very first post back on December 20, 2008: INTRODUCTION/ABOUT LVCI. Anyone wishing to take the time may decide for themselves why I created this blog in the way I did.

"Unoriginal" Content- Wikipedia: News Aggregator
It has never my intention to compete with Bernie nor anyone else. Only share and comment on things that interested me I'd come across with others. It has never my intention to constantly forever more bash and engage with others as Bernie constantly has a habit of doing. No I don't go to meetings. Almost no one else does either other then Bernie (sometimes not even the mainstream press). When I choose what to post I try to avoid what other blog owners are reporting on or something that is given little attention elsewhere I hope will interest my readers. This is my first priority.

The Shit I Have To Put Up With
Here's a small sampling of just some of the comments I have not approved for publishing over the last 4 weeks alone...Perhaps you should give the blog mentor a link on your blog roll and supplicate to his intellectual superiority. Why didn't you cover his jaw dropping fact bomb campaign on Waeb? on Some Really Crazy Dichotomies- Steve Mongrel

Are you at all concerned about getting sued for copyright infringement because of your plagiarism? You should be (check your mailbox). on Some Really Crazy Dichotomies- Anonymous

Never an original thought here, just repurposed content from others. Sad. on My Favorite Music Videos UPDATED- Anonymous

Never any original thought here, just anonymous plagiarism. And no comments. No wonder. on My Favorite Music Videos- Anonymous

No Comments. LOL! on The Pitfalls Of Internet TV- Anonymous

You should call blog LV Cut & Paste. Or, "No Comments." on How Much Will Social Security Checks Increase In 2015?- Anonymous

All plagiarism again, isn't this illegal? on How Much Will Social Security Checks Increase In 2015?- Anonymous

All plagiarism at this blog, I'm outta here permanently. on Post-Foreclosure Hell- Anonymous

Yawn. on Oil Reached A 4 Year Low- Here's Why- Anonymous

Time to poof this blog or at least disable comments. on Wehr Dam Controversy Continues- LCVI

I for one will be at the demolition of Wehrs dam with all my friends at the Wildlife Conservatory, it is a detriment to the aquatic life and the overall integrity of our watershed. Will the nattering nabobs like Mr Molovinsky ever understand Captain Spock's Vulcan credo of "the benefit of the many outweigh the needs of a few"? on Wehr Dam Controversy Continues- Steve Mongrel

You and Molovinsky should get a room. on Wehr Dam Controversy Continues- Anonymous

Your so hung up on what you think other people think of you it's so hysterical, over and over and over! on Blog Updates On LVCI- Anonymous

Hope you get the psychiatric help you need. on Blog Updates On LVCI- Anonymous

Thought you were going to avoid local issues and go global (where you're "more appreciated"). This post is your way of "one-upping" the local discussions taking place about NorCo, unions, health benefits, etc., i.e., your way of demonstrating that you're smarter than the local discussion. LOL. It's this kind of pathetic trasparency having to do w/ your glaring inferiority complex and clingy neediness that explains why people are so totally bored w/ , and turned off by you. Also, what happened to your histrionic "No More Comments!!!" dictum? Jeez. You can't stick w/ anything. Sad. on High Cost Of Healthcare- Anonymous

What pathetic suck up you are! Neglected as a child much? LOL! on Park Creeks Which Would You Rather?- Anonymous

I've explained this all before. Bill Villa threatened to "box my ears". Once offered a cash reward so he could find out my name and knock on my door. By his own admission someone gave him the address to Lou Hershman's home. Unbeknownst to him he knocked on Lou's door instead. He also intended to seek me out at a event on 19th street and confront me while I was with my family.

I've said this to Bernie time and again I will not expose my wife, kids or grandchildren to he and others like him because of this blog. Bernie once said he understood that. Since then he did a 180 on me calling me a coward despite what he once said.

My Response To All Of This
I have an absolute right to defend myself against these continuing accusations labeling me "anonymous and a coward".

In-so-much as Bernie is blocking and deleting any attempts I make to leave comments on his blog he has given me no choice but to leave my remarks here. I see this as neither whining nor being thin skinned, but rather a explanation and response to yet another attack upon my character. Anyone reading this I suspect if it were done to them would respond as well. After all how would you feel if this were done to you?.

As far as comments go: If they aren't on topic, contributing something to the subject matter or are a personal attack on me or someone else .. I'd rather have none at all. I sure as hell don't want comments on this blog to be anything like those left on Bernie blog. It's very obvious to me whenever he wants to go after me, TM, JG, BV, Brown, Dolan, etc. he post something he knows will bait the trolls and allows them to let loose on them no matter how vile. He knows I never did nor will ever allow that kind of crap to fly on this blog.

I much rather post "unoriginal" material having only a fraction of his readers if it means I don't have to give up the standards I set for this blog since the beginning. No I'm not jealous nor as 'Monkey Momma' once said a lonely kid in the corner. I just have higher standards.

Asshole (BV) suggested I "at least disable comments". I'm thinking about it. The only reason I haven't is I'm still holding out hope more reasonable minds prevail. If that turns out not to be the case over the next few days, that may be the only thing that makes even a tiny fraction of anything this idiot ever said that bears any semblance to making sense.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT-- If no one supposedly reads this blog and the LVCI blog is a such a nobody/nothing.. why do these people keep concerning themselves so much with it? What's the fascination?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some Really Crazy Dichotomies

* It's A-OK to open carry guns almost everywhere, but smoking (either tobacco or pot) in many of these same areas will get you fined or arrested.

* "To Protect and to Serve". Stockton, California: Bank Teller Killed After Three Robbers Took Her Hostage-- "33 officers fired 600 bullets with full knowledge of a hostage inside the vehicle.

* KOMO News: "A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by more than 100 Seattle police officers who said new guidelines on using force jeopardized their safety.. Seattle police routinely used excessive force, especially in low-level situations that might otherwise have been defused."There's a difference between how the military treats civilians in foreign nations and how law enforcement is supposed to operate in the United States. One is adversarial, the other is not. If these guys want to go gonzo on civilians perhaps the military would be a better option for them.
* After the Sayreville, N.J high schools football was canceled for victimizing freshmen players The New York Times reported, "If freshmen “thought we hated them before we sure as hell hate them now,” a 16-year-old female student wrote on Twitter, hours after the season was canceled."... "The hunt for the "snitches" is on. This social media quest to try to find out who killed football in Sayreville."

* 28% Of Americans Admit To Being Internet Trolls-- "The best way to fight trolls, at least according to the YouGov survey, is to ignore them -- the preferred tactic of 37 percent of respondents." Watch Out, Internet Trolls. In Britain, You Could Get Up to Two Years in Jail-- "These Internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling." What I noticed most significant about my very own personal troll is he is relentless in telling how bad my blog sucks & how he's never coming back. Then rambles on telling me that everyday. I know I'm suppose to ignore him, but I can't help from wondering what a wasted life he must lead in-so-much as he finds a need to seek my attention. Obviously no one's paying attention to him otherwise in his life and seeks mine.

No doubt he will again after reading this post. Nothing he says or persists in doing affects me in any way. This blog plays only a minor role in my life. I only do it for giggles. What a horrible waste of one's time. To him I harbor no ill will, but highly recommend he reflect & ask himself why this obsession?

Legal Stealing

WSB-TV2: "However, since the property has already been legally sold to another buyer,
it's unclear what can be done."

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Favorite Music Videos UPDATED

I've updated hours and hours of my favorite YouTube music video playlists. Nearly everyone of them are amateur musical performers. It continues to astonish me how may amazing performers there are. It's my hope you'll share my same enthusiasm. Out of all the things I do on the internet this is my favorite thing to do.

Feel free to visit ALL MY PLAYLISTS at anytime for my latest additions.

Previously I provided links to each list. Trouble was every time I added a video or changed the order of play the link would break & I needed to recode it. Instead it is much easier for me to ask anyone who's interested simply click on the link above because I add videos to the lists every few days. Thanks.

(The playlists with the most views are 'Pop' followed by the 'Videos Of All My Favorites')

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Pitfalls Of Internet TV

Although I've long been a advocate for à la carte pricing for cable TV I'm no huge fan of "internet TV". This scheme leaves out nearly 10 million Americans unable to stream video because they still use dial-up for the internet. More then 38 million more in the U.S. aren't directly plugged to the internet.

The Costs
The prices range from $5.99 to $9.00 a month for the service. Equipment cost varies from free (if app built into TV) to $50. Some charge separately for additional programs/movies not included. Several still contain advertising (which you cannot skip by fast forwarding past them)..

I also highly doubt internet providers will not respond by charging someone more when they start eating up an endless amount of bandwidth each month. Many (if not most) providers have a cap on monthly usage. Many of us use a bundled cable TV package. By unbundling my TV service my internet & phone costs would rise at minimum $25.

Each service provides different content so most likely a subscriber would want more then one of these services. Let's take for example someone selecting 3 of these services. Assuming one of these apps were built into the TV, equipment for the others would cost about $50+. Monthly cable internet/phone would then cost about $25 more. And of course the $20+ for these subscriptions. Throw in a couple of pay-per-views not included and it wouldn't be inconceivable to easily spend $55 a month. That's about what I'm paying now for 118 TV channels + 51 music channels. So too, anyone planning to watch them on their mobile devices better have a damn good cell plan!

Beware of the algorithms. Anyone using these services should be aware they are being watched closely. Internet TV providers are already salivating to gear ads specifically targeted to an individual's viewing habits,

Unlike cable TV these systems can become vulnerable. We've already seen the handiwork of hackers and what they can do to smart phones and corporate servers. Smart TV's are no different.

Right now this is an emerging market. This means companies are introducing them at lower prices to seduce people into buying them. If/when major networks accumulate enough viewers this way it will become possible to start pulling major shows off regular TV while at the same time putting the squeeze on cable TV companies forcing them to raise rates even higher. Thusly making their services look more economically desirable.

Ultimately how things turn out will be left up to consumers. We've already seen the direction this is going with pay-per-view and layered premium channels already offered by cable TV. These were the first steps towards going whole hog with 'internet TV'. These plans are moving forward and eventually intend to cut out the middle man (cable TV companies).

Will consumers buy into it?
Given past history, of course they will. Some shows already offered only on premium pay channels get more viewers then many similar shows on regular network TV. Can't blame the entertainment industry for that. Why should they rely on advertisers alone when they can get people to choke up extra money for the same thing (many still having the ads) as they used to get for free.

"A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
~ Steve Jobs (1997) ~

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Much Will Social Security Checks Increase In 2015?

We don't know yet, but it is expected to be announced sometime the last week of this month (October) Here's a bit of information how it's calculated along with the expected increase and how this may change in the future.

How SS Raises Are Calculated
The SSA only takes the average cost of living increases over a three month period (July, August, September). Then divides that by the same three months of the year prior. Currently the increase is expected to be around 1.7% for 2015. Last year in 2014 it was 1.5% and in 2013 it was 1.7%. When the SSA announces something officially I will update this post with the increase.


Just as I predicted last week the SSA announced today a 1.7% increase for next year (2015)

Social Security Is Not The Same As The Dept. Of Labor's COLA
The Department of labor is projecting the cost-of-living adjustment from 2014 to be around 2% by the end of the year. This is a bit higher because COLA is based on the entire year unlike the SSA. Because SS is calculated differently then regular inflation (COLA) retirees have lost an estimated 33% of their purchasing power over the last 14 years

Increases In The Future
There's little doubt the next Congress will take up the matter of how these increases are calculated. Many in Congress want to use a different method called the "chained” consumer price index. The short story is this will make these increases even smaller by about .3% a year. That may not sound like much but over 30 years this works out to be a loss of a entire month's check each year. Since SS already is less then the actual "cost of living" I've mentioned we're talking some serious buck$.

Chained CPI works on the assumption that if a squeeze is put on retirees they will buy cheaper stuff. Say like more chicken and less steak or cheap shoes instead of more expensive ones. How that is calculated I shall not go into because it would premature taking a guess since the bill has still to be worked out in Congress. Suffice it to say anyone on SS isn't going to like it.

Government Run Plans In Select Countries (from low to high)
Russia- Employers pay 22%. Men cannot retire before age 65, women at 60. About 35% of average net income.

U.K.- The employee pays 9.05% and the employer pays 1.9%. Retirement age for men 65, women 62 (Nov. 2018 they too will have to be 65). 37.9% of net income.

United States- Employee pays 6.2% and employer 6.2% (+ Medicare tax 1.45% each). Full retirement age 65-67 1/2). An average of 40% net pay.

Sweden- Employee 7.5% (more depending on which plan chosen) and employer 10.21%. Full retirement age 65. Net pay 55%-70% (three plan options).

Germany- Employee 9.45% and employer 9.45%. Retirement age 65. Around 67% of net pay.

A Question
The United States taxes 15.3% for Medicare + SS and pays out 40% of net pay. Germany taxes 18.9% and pays out 67% of net pay. In other words Germans pay 20% more in the taxes going towards retirement then we do but receive 67.5% more at retirement. Which would you rather?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Post-Foreclosure Hell

"In 2008, bank teller Danell Huthsing broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of the concrete bungalow they shared in Jacksonville, Florida. Her name was on the mortgage even after she moved out, and when her boyfriend defaulted on the loan, her name was on the foreclosure papers, too.

She moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she managed to amass $20,000 of savings and restore her previously stellar credit score in her job as a service worker at an Amtrak station. But on July 5, a process server showed up on her doorstep with a lawsuit demanding $91,000 for the portion of her mortgage that was still unpaid after the home was foreclosed and sold. If she loses, the debt collector that filed the suit can freeze her bank account, garnish up to 25 percent of her wages, and seize her paid-off 2005 Honda Accord."

I know what many of you will say, why shouldn't she have to pay for what she committed herself to?

That may be, but back on October 3, 2008 is when Congress authorized the spending of $700b to bail out the banks (TARP) by buying up their mortgage backed securities. Thus removing the debts from the too big to fail banks books under George Bush. In addition the treasury bought up another $155b of their preferred stocks.

Apparently loan institutions are "too big to fail" but not folks like Danell. Now that the banks are back on track look what they've turned around and started doing to show their appreciation.

Another Situational Story
A woman my wife worked with was trying to divorce her good for nothing nonworking husband. She worked in retail and made less then $25k a year. She had two kids still living at home. The husband would not consent to a no fault divorce. Even though he walked out both their names were still on the mortgage to the house. After she spent several thousands of dollars on a divorce lawyer fighting him she could no longer afford to pursue it. Being broke from this, raising the kids and health issues she was forced to remain in the home having no place to go and still stuck married to him.

Over the next several years he continuously racked up loans and credit cards to the max. He even filed and claimed the kids on his IRS taxes each January before she was able to get her W2's from her employer. This not only ruined her credit, but resulted in the collectors threatening her pay, the house and donning her over the unpaid bills.. Eventually she could no longer afford the mortgage and tried to work with the banks to refinance the mortgage through the "HOPE NOW" program under TARP. She received no sympathy or help from either government nor the bank. A few years ago she found herself in the same position as Danell is today and out of her home.

People Need A Incentive To Work
It's expensive to go to work. There are the out of pocket costs for training and education. Some need daycare. Most need a car and be able to afford the insurance, repairs and fuel for it. Work clothes and/or tools. Then there are those circumstances like above.

In today's world with the ever increasing medical costs and eroding wages there is this "never give a sucker an even break" attitude. When people keep getting smacked in the head, no matter how hard they try, there will come a day either workers will give up or revolt. When I see stuff like this happening, that day may not be too far away. Keep screwing around!

Oil Reached A 4 Year Low- Here's Why

For many years the 12 nation members of OPEC held a near monopoly on fuel prices. When the price of oil came down they simply reduced exports causing prices to go back up.

This is no longer the case since technology has made it possible for nations to frack oil & natural gas.

In addition it's been confirmed 100 billion barrels of oil exists within the bitumen sands (asphalt in it's natural state) in Canada which holds almost 71% of the world's bitumen.
(It's estimated there could be more then 2 trillion barrels worldwide)

Instead of withholding oil exports they starting ramping up production back in August causing prices to drop. Since costs are considerable for extracting oil via fracking and bitumen sands OPEC nations are attempting to shut down those operations. By doing so, even if they get less per barrel, they will sell more barrels then they would otherwise. Thus returning those nations dependency on OPEC nations' oil once again.

In a roundabout sort of way this is a good thing. Consumer oil prices came down. Less fracking and tar sands operations results in less threats to our environment. But overall it is still short sighted. This neither makes us energy independent nor help reduce the world's carbon footprint. Solar, wind and a vast array of other alternative energy sources in the long run will accomplish both.

Furthermore alternative energies don't require digging holes all over the place, pipelines, oil tankers nor refineries. Nor having to play political games with some pretty nasty foreign governments that can end up in wars with them.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Texas Race For Governor A Nationwide Issue

The current Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott is in a heated race against Democratic Candidate Texas Senator Wendy Davis for Governor. Two of the biggest issues is over abortion and gay rights. This is not a issue in Texas alone. These are two big issues throughout the country both on the state and national levels this election.

On one hand we have Wendy Davis (D) who supports women's reproductive rights and gay marriage . On the other hand you have Greg Abbott (R) who's adamantly opposed to both of them. When it comes to abortion he opposes all forms even if it's a result of rape or incest.

On Friday (10/20/2014) Greg Abbott, acting as attorney general, filed an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to bar same sex marriage. In his appeal he argues by legalizing same sex marriage it encourages out of wedlock births.
(1) Assuming gays are only attracted to their own sex it's impossible for either one to become pregnant with an unwanted birth or with someone else other then their partner of the same sex. On the other hand when married heterosexuals stray and a unwanted pregnancy can result. Thus with his views against abortion you'd think he'd be supportive of gay marriage.

(2) We never will be able to prevent unwanted pregnancies 100% either within or outside of marriage. Many gay couples adopt these and other unwanted children.

(3) Gay or not, many couples opt for birth by surrogates because neither of them are able to have children of their own. In both circumstances these children are born out of wedlock. Keep in mind not all married women can safely bear children even if impregnated via insemination from the father even if he should prove to be fertile..

(4) For the last 6 years 41% of all births have come from unwed women for various reasons.. One of them is more and more young couples in today's culture are forgoing the vows of marriage

(5) Some women who can't conceive undergo treatment for infertility. It's not unusual to see multiple embryos sometimes as many as 6 within this first few weeks. Today's technology can tell the mother which ones are likely or not to survive or if the mother even can in such cases. Should she be forced to give birth irregardless of her or the babies individuals health? Imagine the financial consequences to both the couple and the government when unable to afford the medical care and raising of them. Further imagine how many would be given up for adoption as a consequence. Whether in "wedlock" or not the results pretty much defeats both his positions.

(6) On Greg Abbott's own campaign website he says, ".. a leader who understands that for government to be most effective, it must be smaller, less intrusive and less expensive.". I don't see how as attorney general him spending taxpayers' money on a court appeal is either "less intrusive" nor "less expensive".

This issue is not limited to the governor race in Texas. It is one that is playing out in dozens of states at both levels of government. It's sure to come up time and again for years to come wherever one resides.


Texas AG Says 'It Does Not Matter' If Gay Marriage Benefits Children

Sign Meant As Warning OR Descriptive?