Dave Stancliff 2015-02-08 blogarama.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

40 Years & Counting: Happy Valentine’s Day Shirley!

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Despite my many quirks and failings, I’ve been blessed with a woman who has chosen to be my Valentine forever; Shirley Ann Holloway-Strancliff.

After 40 years of marriage, we still only have eyes for one another. Shirley grows more beautiful every year. Our love grows deeper daily.

We laugh, and cry, together. Our lives have been full of adventures with expectations of many more years ahead. 

Today is a day for lovers, young and old. Gifts given are often sexy and bold. To that end, I have a few trendy Valentine Day ideas for your lover:

Try Chocolate "sex bark," a treat that seems conventional enough, until you realize that the recipe calls for pricey ingredients like Sex Dust, an herbal preparation that costs $60 for four ounces and claims to "send waves of blood to all the right places" for both men and women.” 

FOOD and SEX

Restaurants are trying to lure in couples with Valentine's Day menus designed to amp up the mood. (For example, as an homage to the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie, customers at Sullivan's Steakhouse locations can slurp oysters and other reported aphrodisiacs while blindfolded with a tie to heighten other senses like taste and smell.)

Even a quick search on Twitter for #aphrodisiac will bring up a flurry of recent results like Brazilian piranha soup, as well as more established ones such as chili peppers and dark chocolate.

The most popular dish ordered on Valentine's is... sushi!

Live. Love. Laugh.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, February 13, 2015

A history of identity theft and why it’s on the rise

Good Day World!

The first case of identity theft is described in the Bible.

The story plays out in the 25th chapter of Genesis, when Jacob covered his hands and neck with goat skins in order to trick his father into giving him the blessing of the firstborn which rightfully belonged to his brother, Esau.

On the surface, this seems harmless enough, but in that deception Jacob acquired all the property and livestock his father owned.

Moreover, most of the ideological differences in the Middle East today that are the cause of all the wars and conflict can be traced back to this event.

In early American history, identity theft was more focused on voter registration, and had more to do with ballot stuffing. But things changed again in the 1930’s with the 21st amendment.

This was the law that repealed prohibition, and alcohol was once again legal, but the legal drinking age was determined by individual states until 1984, when the US Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act – (23 USC, Section 158 – which actually deals with national highways.)

Between these times, college students would often travel from a state where the legal drinking age was 18 or 19, to their school in a state where the drinking age was 21. Thus was born the "fake ID", the most common type of identity theft for half a century.

The worst crime committed using a fake ID during this time was generally underage drinking.

Of course, there was always a fringe criminal element that would duck the law by using an assumed name, and identification was occasionally obtained using the information of a real person – today we call it Identity Assumption.

But this was still a rarity, until the influx of illegal immigrants kicked off in 1965, with the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Prior to this law, illegal immigration was far less prevalent, because there were policies in place that allowed migrant workers to come into the country during harvest seasons and various labor jobs.

Although communities and states had the odd collection of laws against migrant workers living in the US, these laws were usually overlooked since illegal immigrants tended to establish themselves and contribute to the community.

The last piece of legislation that sparked the wave of identity theft we contend with today was the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-603, 100 Statute 3359).

Since the passage of this law, all employers are required to fill out a US Citizenship and Immigration Services form (commonly called an I-9 form) for each employee. This requires government issued documents to be furnished (typically we use our driver’s license and social security card) to prove the employee is legally allowed to work in America. (Source)

This in turn has driven the need for valid social security numbers and driver’s licenses for identity thieves. Today, this is the primary source of social security identity theft.

Related Articles

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bobby Jindal for president? Not even close, he’s a joke

Good Day World!

Wanna hear a good joke?

Louisiana Gov.Bobby Jindal thinks he’s presidential material.

What on earth is he going to run on? His record as governor of Louisiana is beyond pathetic.

Year after year, Louisiana didn't have enough money to cover its expenses, yet Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to roll back income tax cuts or ever-increasing corporate tax breaks. Instead, he raided reserve funds and sold off state property.

BY THE NUMBERS – JINDAL’s ACCOMPLISHMENTS

1) More than $1 billion of the shortfall on the horizon for the fiscal year that begins July 1 can be tied to Jindal's refusal to match the state's spending to its yearly revenue over his two terms in office — as he also steadfastly refused to consider tax increases.

2) When Jindal took office in 2008, he positioned himself as a fiscal conservative who decried budget shell games akin to "using your credit card to pay your mortgage." It didn't take long to ditch that rhetoric and shift the focus to saving critical services with any money available.

3) Jindal suggested job growth from his economic development wins would replenish those assets once the recession ended. It hasn't — and money from the lucrative oil industry has taken a nose dive with crude prices.

Now, the Republican is running out of short-term patches and is struggling to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole just as he tries to build support for a possible 2016 presidential run.

4) In his first year in office, Jindal signed off on the largest individual income tax cut in Louisiana history, stripping hundreds of millions from the state treasury at the same time the national recession hit.

As for Jindal, he said in a recent interview that the shortfall isn't his fault, and he dodged any talk of his temporary fixes.

EVEN REPUBLICANS ARE WARY OF JINDAL’S PONZI SCHEME

"Our budget has been full of sleights of hand — it's almost a Ponzi scheme of moving moneys around, one-time money around, to serve recurring needs," Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of the Republicans vying to be Louisiana's next governor, said at a recent forum.

In early February, national credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service described Louisiana's budget as having a "structural deficit," raising worries from Kennedy the state could be threatened with a rating downgrade that could make borrowing more difficult.

ROAD RHETORIC

When he talks of his record in national appearances, Jindal doesn't mention the budget troubles. He describes cutting Louisiana's budget from $34 billion in 2008 to $25 billion — but doesn't explain much of that drop comes from spending down one-time federal recovery dollars after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

HARSH REALITY

Meanwhile, the cost for the state's various tax credits, rebates and exemptions has ballooned by more than $600 million in the last five years alone, according to the Department of Revenue. (condensed version of AP reports)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A look at pimps, politicians and bankers

Good Day World!

Riddle.

What do pimps, politicians, and bankers have in common?

Answer. Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn was tipped to become French president before being accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel chambermaid in 2011. U.S. criminal charges were dropped, with allegations that he participated in a French sex ring emerging later.

He has played down his alleged role in sex parties with prostitutes, telling a court he did not know they were being paid and that the frequency of the evenings had been wildly exaggerated.

The 65-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund is accused of instigating about a dozen parties involving prostitutes between 2008-2011 in Washington, Brussels, Paris and the northern French city of Lille.

But Strauss-Kahn was a “piker” compared to the likes of Jason Itzler.

The self-declared “King of All Pimps” was netting $25,000 per night at his NY Confidential brothel before the cops, on a bust inspired by none other than the New York District Attorney himself, shut him down in 2005.

With few exceptions, if any, the government representatives known as politicians, have their political careers for selfish reasons.

That's why they use the term 'public service' so frequently. It masks the reality of their greed, deceit, and self-serving actions. The way they operate makes them anything but 'public servants.'

To my eye, they appear to be either political prostitutes or political pimps.

Webster defines prostitute as, '1. a person, usually a women, who engages in sexual intercourse for money. 2. To sell or offer (oneself) as a prostitute. 3. to put (one's talent or ability) to unworthy use.'

Webster defines pimp as, 'a man who solicits customers for a prostitute.'

Congress and the White House can be seen as the world's biggest cat houses. The President and Congressmen/women walk the halls before their clients from the lobby groups.

The lobbyists whisper in the ears of the political prostitutes what they're after. Not wanting to appear too willing, and wanting to up the ante, the politician/prostitute feigns concern that the request goes against their 'convictions.'

Knowing this game, the client/john/lobbyist, offers more money to further entice the reluctant political whore to do what he wants.

Finally the politician, sure he can't get anymore out of his lobbyist/john, agrees. This paints a picture of the politician as a prostitute.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Safe Cities Report: Only One American City in the Top 10

Good Day World!

I’m surprised, but not shocked.

When I read the list of safest cities in the world I expected to see at least half from the USA. Didn’t happen.

(Photo-Tokyo at night)

We were lucky to get one out of the Top 10 cities. That’s disturbing to me. 

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its Safe Cities Index 2015 last week, which rates 50 cities based on how well they do in four safety-related factors:

1. Digital security — cyber security, privacy, safety from identity theft

2. Health security — cost and quality of health services, environment and air/water quality

3. Infrastructure security — condition of roads, bridges, and buildings, transportation safety

4. Personal safety — crime and violence, perceptions of personal security

Tokyo, the world's most populous metropolitan area, took the prize for safest overall city, and also won for best digital security. Zurich was tops in both health and infrastructure, and Singapore in personal security.

Here are the top 10 safest cities, and the other 40, according to EIU.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marijuana sales provide surplus tax revenue in Colorado

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Good Day World!

How successful has legalized marijuana been in Colorado?

Let’s put it this way, there’s not a state governor in America who wouldn’t like to be in their financial position.

In a mere 13 months, sales have raised over $50 million for the state, according to Complex.com.

Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state stipulated the first $40 million would be set aside to for schools.

However, according to Rolling Stone, the surplus tax revenue from the sale of marijuana is roughly $30 million. Under state law this means that adult Coloradans are now entitled to a refund, which will be in the form of a check for a whopping $7.63.

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How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz

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The state of Colorado has a law on the books titled the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, which was a voter-sponsored amendment that passed back in 1992, according to the state's treasurer's office.

The law mandates that the state treasurer's office must return excess tax revenue to the taxpayers if the amount exceeds a figure that is calculated with a formula that accounts for inflation and population growth.

The law has returned some $2.2 billion to the people of Colorado, according to the Associated Press.

Rolling Stone reports that state lawmakers are now left grasping for ways to put the excess tax revenue genie back in the bottle. This would include introducing a bill that would leave marijuana revenue exempt from taxpayer refunds.

Colorado’s windfall hasn't gone unnoticed by other states.

After Colorado and Washington state,Oregon and Alaska became the next two states to legalize marijuana with ballot measures succeeding back on November 4, of last year.

In Alaska the law goes into effect on February 24 and Oregonians can buy legal pot on July 15, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Oregon stands to earn $50 to $100 million in annual tax revenue and Alaska could bring in up to $20 million, according to NerdWallet, who calculated what each state could potentially earn if they were to legalize marijuana. (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, February 8, 2015

It’s sad that Brian Williams’ legacy as a good journalist is in question

Brian Williams' Apology: Impact on NBC's Brand?

Good Day World!

I like Brian Williams.

As a journalist, I’ve always respected his reporting. His smooth delivery of daily events lent a sort of credibility to whatever he said.

So, it’s troubling for me to see him involved in a controversy over past public statements that he made that apparently weren’t true – or “misremembered.”

NBC News has launched an internal review of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' 2003 reporting mission to Iraq, details of which he acknowledged this week he had recalled incorrectly.

The embattled journalist’s other reports are being called into question after he admitted Wednesday to not being aboard a U.S. Air Force helicopter that was struck by rockets in 2003, as he had claimed for over a decade.

Skeptical bloggers are now scrutinizing his award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and subsequent interviews.

Just last year, in an interview with his “Nightly News” predecessor Tom Brokaw, Williams claimed he had fallen sick with dysentery after accidentally drinking floodwater.

But Dr. Brobson Lutz, an infectious disease specialist who operated an EMS station during Katrina, told The New Orleans Advocate that he doubts Williams’ claim.

“I saw a lot of people with cuts and bruises and such, but I don’t recall a single, solitary case of gastroenteritis during Katrina or in the whole month afterward,” he said to the local paper.

Despite these revelations, I still like Brian Williams.

He may have made a few mistakes in his long career, but who hasn’t in their lives?

He may be guilty of a little self-promotion in his career, but that’s not uncommon among journalists in the 21st century.

I take ALL reporting – from ALL sources – with a grain of salt. It’s really the best way.

Brian Williams has taken time off, and you’ll be seeing Lester Holt instead of him next week. No word yet what the future holds for the award-winning journalist.

Time for me to walk on down the road…