Monday, September 30, 2019

Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition

I remember the first time I heard Abbey Road, the final album recorded by The Beatles. I had a third generation copy taped off of someone's dual cassette recorder. Despite the hiss and hum I could tell that I was listening to a masterpiece. Over the years, it has become not only one of my favorite Beatles albums, but one of my favorite albums overall. So, when the Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition was announced, I pre-ordered it the moment it was available. It arrived at lunchtime on Friday and I have spent most of the weekend listening and re-listening to it.

The Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition is a 4 disc set which includes:

  • Disc 1: Abbey Road in a new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes and produced by Giles Martin
  • Disc 2: Session outtakes and demos
  • Disc 3: More session outtakes and demos
  • Disc 4: A blu-ray audio version of the album
  • Booklet: The four discs are housed in a slip-sleeved 12” by 12” 100-page hardbound coffee table style book with McCartney’s foreword; Martin’s introduction; insightful, in-depth chapters written by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett covering the months preceding The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions, track-by-track details and session notes, the cover art and photo shoot, and the album’s reception upon its release; plus an essay by music journalist and author David Hepworth looking at the album’s influence through 50 years. The gorgeous book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs, including many taken by Linda McCartney; never before published images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, and a George Martin score; Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads.
The current price-tag of the Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition hovers around $90. Is it worth it? I'm probably the first person to bitch about record companies constantly going to the well and re-offering stuff in a slightly changed format. It seems that every 10 years an artist gets another greatest hits album re-issued, even if that artist has long since been deceased. And, yet, I have been nearly the first in line to buy some of these re-issues, especially those from Crowded House (I even bought the deluxe version of Temple Of Low Men if that tells you anything) and The Beatles. Why? Because these re-issues are the definitive versions of the albums. For me, Abbey Road is worth the cost. Here are some of the highlights for me: 

I don't notice much of a difference with the new mix other than to say that it feels brighter and fuller. I'm happy with that because the Super Deluxe version of The White Album felt like a completely different album, which is something I didn't want. I will say, though, that the remixed version of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" sounds much more intense in the outtro. There are some real gems in the outtake discs. I've heard McCartney's demo for "Goodbye" before, but it's nice to finally have a properly sourced version. McCartney's demo of "Come and Get It" is available on Anthology 3, but they Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition version adds some studio talk beforehand. The best part of the outtakes is "The Long One" which is the original version of the Side 2 medley with "Her Majesty" restored to its original position. The overall mix of "The Long One" sounds great, and it's an interesting artifact, but I completely understand why "Her Majesty" was cut out and tacked onto the end: It's jarring. The inclusion of "The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)" is quite the revelation. John and Paul worked on the track together without the other two Beatles and you can hear the playful banter between them in this take. John tells Paul, who is playing drums, "Go faster, Ringo" and Paul responds "Okay, George".

And, of course, I love the booklet. It's absolutely gorgeous and is worth most of the money right there.

So, should you buy the Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition? If you're a big Beatles fan, I'd say that it's a necessity. But, if you just like Abbey Road as it, you can easily live without it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Church Of The Beanie Babies

Otto got a call from Colorado Christian University trying to get him into their ministry program. Otto, of course, asked if he could get some free Beanie Babies if he signed up. He was disappointed to find out that he couldn't. When further pressed on his intentions, Otto said that he wants to get ordained so that he can bring the word of God to Beanie Babies.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Love When People Call Trump Stupid Rant

Yet another pro-Trump rant is winding its way around my Newsfeed despite my attempts to unfollow the most rabid Trump supporters on my friends list. This particular one isn't attributed to anyone specific, which is probably a good thing since it's such an incoherent mess. It does, however, raise a few points that I thought I would debunk:

Love when people call Trump Stupid..
You mean the multi-billionaire who kicked every Democrats ass, buried 16 career Republican politicians, and continues to make fools out of once reputable news organizations ..
-You mean the guy who won the presidency?
-You mean the guy with the super model wife?
-You mean the guy whose words alone put a massive slow down on illegal border crossings?
-You mean the guy whose mere presence made the stock market smash its previous records?
-You mean the guy who created 1 million jobs in his first 7 months in office?
You sure you're not the stupid one?
You sure you even know what it is you're resisting?
You sure you back a party that enables the decimation of every core principal of Christianity?
You sure you back a party that voted 100% against the abolition of slavery?
You sure you really take a politician like Maxine Waters seriously?
You sure you don't see anything wrong with someone who has a 40 yr career as a public servant living in a $4.5 mansion representing a district she doesn't even live in?
You sure you see nothing wrong or peculiar about Hillary Clinton a woman being involved in politics for the last 30 yrs having a net worth of $240 million?
You sure you're not just basing your opinion on hatred spewed by a crooked paid for media platform?
Are you sure you don't fall into that "sheep" category?
Are you sure you even have a clue?
Could you even tell me 5 things the Democratic Party has done to improve you're day to day prosperity as a hard working American citizen?
Probably not..
Do you realize the debacle you are sending your children into once they become adults by continuing to support a political party that has done nothing for the poor except kept them poor, gave them free abortions, and a few hundred a month to keep food in their fridge?
The prosperity and safety of its citizens is job one of your government.
Get with the program.
Everyone else has horribly failed you!
Smarten up and take a position for the sake of your children.
I promise you a country full of illegal immigrants, Muslims who want us dead, abortions, $14 an hour jobs, and non-gender specific people aren't gonna make your country and life any more prosperous.
Rosie, Madonna, Katy Perry, and Robert Deniro are not just like you. They don't have to live through the real world day to day disparity of an average American.
Men don't hate women, white people don't hate black people, and Donald Trump is not a racist.
Stop allowing yourself to be brainwashed by a party that has continuously failed you.
Be about your prosperity, your safety, your children, and an America First mindset.
Dump these crooked politicians that have stunted your growth.
Dump these crooked politicians that have stunted your children's growth.
Toughen up, take a stand, and act like a proud American.
(If you need help watch some Houston rescue footage and see the love, compassion, and American spirit of the Texas citizens which was a Trump landslide state as they help EVERYONE)
See the spirit of Trump supporting and freedom loving Americans and just imagine where we could be as a country if everyone was on board."

You mean the multi-billionaire... - we actually don't know that Trump is a multi-billionaire because he won't release his tax returns. Also, Trump has declared bankruptcy six times.

...who kicked every Democrat's ass... - yet lost the House of Representatives in 2018 to them

...buried 16 career Republican politicians... - The author is likely talking about the 16 other contenders who went up against Trump in the last Republican Presidential primary contest. Yes, Trump won, but he hardly "buried" those politicians. The office of President of the United States is the "brass ring" in American politics and a primary defeat usually puts a contender in hibernation until the winner's turn is over. We'll see what happens once Trump is done.

...and continues to make fools out of once reputable news organizations - Matter of opinion.

You mean the guy who won the presidency? - No, I mean the guy who won the Presidency, but couldn't get over the fact that he lost the popular vote.

You mean the guy with the super model wife? - No, I mean the guy who has had multiple affairs while married to the super model wife and used campaign donations in order to pay to cover at least one them up. And how is being married to a super model a mark of intelligence?

You mean the guy whose words alone put a massive slow down on illegal border crossings? - This "massive" slow down that the author is talking about isn't cited, and flies in the face of claims that there's a National Emergency at the border. But, if we take the claim at face value, then Trump's words carry that kind of weight because he's the President, not because of his intelligence. If he had said it as a private citizen, it would have had no net effect.

You mean the guy whose mere presence made the stock market smash its previous records? - No, I mean the guy whose tweets have created a degree of extreme volatility in the stock market.

You mean the guy who created 1 million jobs in his first 7 months in office? - No, I mean the guy whose ill-advised trade war with China cost the US 300,000 jobs so far and will likely cost the US 900,000 jobs by the end of 2020 if things keep going on the current course.

You sure you're not the stupid one? - Rhetorical.

You sure you even know what it is you're resisting? - Yes. We're resisting a President who thinks he is above the law, who uses his position to funnel money into his business interests and who uses dog whistle racism to appeal to his base supporters

You sure you back a party that enables the decimation of every core principal of Christianity? - What are the core principals of Christianity and how have the Democrats "decimated" them?

You sure you back a party that voted 100% against the abolition of slavery? - Well, if we're going to hold each political party to the things they did 150 years ago, then surely you'll hold the Republicans accountable for the Southern Strategy 50 years ago and you'll certainly hold Southern Republicans accountable for voting 100% against the Civil Rights Act 50 years ago.

You sure you really take a politician like Maxine Waters seriously? - You sure you really take a politician like Roy Moore seriously?

You sure you don't see anything wrong with someone who has a 40 yr career as a public servant living in a $4.5 mansion representing a district she doesn't even live in? - Fair point on Hilary Clinton carpetbagging her New York senatorial seat. That being said, you sure you don't see anything wrong with a President who refuses to release his tax returns, who refuses to divest himself from his business interests and who encourages, politicians, diplomats and military brass to use taxpayer money to stay at his resort properties for official business?

You sure you see nothing wrong or peculiar about Hillary Clinton a woman being involved in politics for the last 30 yrs having a net worth of $240 million? - You see nothing wrong or peculiar with a Billionaire holding the office of the Presidency without divesting himself from his business interests?

You sure you're not just basing your opinion on hatred spewed by a crooked paid for media platform? - Rhetorical.

Are you sure you don't fall into that "sheep" category? - Rhetorical

Are you sure you even have a clue? - Rhetorical

Could you even tell me 5 things the Democratic Party has done to improve you're [sic] day to day prosperity as a hard working American citizen?
  • The Affordable Care Act
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • The Iran Nuclear Deal which lowered world oil prices by 2%.
  • The Obama Clean Power Plan which would have prevented 3,600 premature deaths a year, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks, according to analysis conducted by the EPA
  • Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards
The author then goes on a meandering rant which doesn't lend itself to a point-by-point rebuttal because it's just unfounded opinion.

So, the ultimate question here is, do I think Trump is stupid? Let's take a quick look at some choice Trump quotes:

  • "I think I am, actually humble. I think I'm much more humble than you would understand." —"60 Minutes" interview, July 17, 2016
  • "You know what I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them, I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor...I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn’t know what the hell happened...I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard their heads would spin, they’d never recover. And that’s what I did with a lot—that’s why I still don’t have certain people endorsing me: they still haven’t recovered." — reacting to the Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2016
  • "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's, like, incredible." — Sioux Center, Iowa, January 23, 2016
  • "[Vladimir Putin] is not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down." — said after Russia had already annexed Crimea in a 2014 intrusion into Ukraine that left thousands dead, July 31, 2016
  • "I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things." —when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” whom he talks with consistently about foreign policy, March 16, 2016
  • "I'll tell you, it's Big Business. If there is one word to describe Atlantic City, it's Big Business. Or two words—Big Business."
  • "Despite the negative press covfefe" - Tweeted on May 31, 2017
  • "Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!” - Tweeted on January 14, 2019
And has Mexico cut us a check to pay for his border wall yet?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Christian Health Care Plan Doesn't Cover Beanie Babies

Otto got a call from hoping to give him a quote on health care. Otto gave his birthday as March 15, 1965 which the rep did not quite understand. When asked if he needed coverage just for himself, Otto mentioned that he needed coverage for his Beanie Babies. The rep hung up quickly after that.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Newly Discovered Mark Lewishon Beatles Tape

It's generally accepted that the breakup of The Beatles happened during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions and that, when the band regrouped to record Abbey Road, they all knew that it would be their last album and that they only put it out in order to "preserve the myth" as John once put it. It's well documented John Lennon had told Beatles manager Allen Klein that he wanted to quit The Beatles about a week after the newly revealed conversation took place and then announced his decision to the other three Beatles on September 20, 1969 right after they all signed a new contract with EMI. A newly discovered recording, however, purports to re-write this history by dropping a bombshell: The Beatles actually discussed recording another album after Abbey Road. The tape in question is in the possession of famed Beatles biographer, Mark Lewishon.

On September 8, 1969, about two weeks after they finished Abbey Road, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison convened a meeting at Apple’s HQ in Savile Row, which they recorded for the benefit of Ringo Starr who could not attend due to being hospitalized for an intestinal issue. Lennon starts out by saying "Ringo, you can’t be here, but this is so you can hear what we’re discussing." The three Beatles talk about recording another album and releasing a single in time for Christmas. John also proposes a new formula for the upcoming album: four songs apiece from Paul, George and himself, plus two from Ringo "if he wants them". Lennon adds that, going forward, his and Paul's songs would no longer be credited to Lennon/McCartney as they always had, regardless of who wrote what, but would be credited individually.

Paul, reacting to George being given equal standing as a songwriter says, "I thought until this album that George’s songs weren’t that good".

George responds with "That’s a matter of taste. All down the line, people have liked my songs".

John gets a dig on Paul by saying that nobody liked Maxwell's Silver Hammer and suggests that even Paul himself didn't like it, so he should have given it to another artist like Mary Hopkin. Paul replies "I recorded it because I liked it".

It's certainly an interesting conversation, but is it such a bombshell? Not really. A number of Beatles authors have documented discussions among the band about new albums, singles and even a Christmas song post-Abbey Road. As far back as 20 years ago, Beatles biographers were writing about a tape recorded by Anthony Fawcett sometime in September where The Beatles discuss how to handle a theoretical post-Abbey Road album. Barry Miles' book Many Years From Now (Secker & Warburg 1998) says:

John's complaint to Paul was actually an attempt to get his songs on to albums without the usual democratic vetting by the others, as the conversation between John and Paul recorded by Anthony Fawcett in September 1969 reveals. John tells Paul: If you look back on the Beatles' albums, good or bad or whatever you think of "em, you'll find that most times if anybody has got extra time it's you! For no other reason than you worked it like that. Now when we get into a studio I don't want to go through games with you to get space on the album, you know. I don't want to go through a little maneuvering or whatever level it's on. I gave up fighting for an Aside or fighting for time. I just thought, well, I'm content to put 'Walrus" on the "B" side when I think it's much better ... I didn't have the energy or the nervous type of thing to push it, you know. So I relaxed a bit nobody else relaxed, you didn't relax in that way. So gradually I was submerging. Paul protested that he had tried to allow space on albums for John's songs, only to find that John hadn't written any. John explained, "There was no point in turning 'em out. I couldn't, didn't have the energy to turn 'em out and get 'em on as well." He then told Paul how he wanted it to be in the future: "When we get in the studio I don't care how we do it but I don't want to think about equal time. I just want it known I'm allowed to put four songs on the album, whatever happens." This was something the other Beatles had always wanted to avoid, ever since John's insistence on including "Revolution 9" on the White Album and his anger at their refusal to release the long, sound collage "What's the New Mary Jane". The other three Beatles wanted to retain a readily definable Beatles sound. Apple had already released Two Virgins and Unfinished Music, Life with the Lyons to mass derision and incomprehension, and plans were underway for The Wedding Album; understandably the other three wanted John's experiments to remain separate from his work with the Beatles. It was for this type of move, a cunning attempt to by-pass the Beatles democracy, that the others, much as they also loved him, regarded him as a "maneuvering swine", as Paul once put it.

The Fawcett recording may or may not be the same tape that Mark Lewishon has been hocking around.

Furthermore, in December of 1969, three months after John told the other Beatles that he intended to quit the band, John said in an interview "I don’t know if I want to record together again. I go off and on it. I really do.The problem is that in the old days, when we needed an album, Paul and I got together and produced enough songs for it. Nowadays there’s three if us writing prolifically and trying to fit it all onto one album. Or we have to think of a double album every time, which takes six months. That’s the hang-up we have. It’s not a personal ‘The Beatles are fighting’ thing, so much as an actual physical problem. What do you do? I don’t want to spend six months making an album I have two tracks on. And neither do Paul or George probably. That’s the problem. If we can overcome that, maybe it’ll sort itself out".

At that point, the long delayed Let It Be album (which was recorded before Abbey Road) was soon to be released so John was allegedly pretending that the band was still together in order to keep from affecting sales of the upcoming album. Other Beatles biographers suggest that John truly was on the fence about quitting and that Paul's surprise press release announcing the breakup in May of 1970 forced John's hand.

In summation, the Mark Lewishon tape isn't the bombshell that it purports to be. It's an interesting look into the Beatles' minds at the time, but it doesn't reveal anything that wasn't already known. In other words: Nothing to see here. Move along.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Credit Card Scammer Makes Me Crash My Car

I happened to be at my desktop when another credit card scamming telemarketer called me. As I talked to him about lowering my interest rate, I brought up some sound effects on my computer. When he asked me for my expiration date, I told him that I was driving and to wait a second. I then played a car crash sound effect and tried to act as if I was mortally injured. Even as the ambulance sound effect played, the scammer still tried to get my info.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Debunking Tim Allen's Facebook Rant

There's a new political rant dirtying up my Facebook news feed. This one is attributed to actor and comedian Tim Allen, though much of it comes from a number of different sources including Ted Nugent, Kevin Sorbo and a Twitter user named Brn2Wander. An actual person named Tim Allen may have put this diatribe together, but the famous Tim Allen most certainly didn't. Here's the missive in question:

Tim Allen is credited with writing this.
From :Tim Allen

Here are some interesting points to think about prior to 2020, especially to my friends on the fence, like moderate Democrats, Libertarians and Independents and the never Trump Republicans and those thinking of "walking away" from the Democratic party.

Women are upset at Trump’s naughty words -- they also bought 80 million copies of 50 Shades of Gray.
Not one feminist has defended Sarah Sanders. It seems women’s rights only matter if those women are liberal.No Border Walls. No voter ID laws. Did you figure it out yet? But wait... there's more.
Chelsea Clinton got out of college and got a job at NBC that paid $900,000 per year. Her mom flies around the country speaking out about white privilege.
And just like that, they went from being against foreign interference in our elections to allowing non-citizens to vote in our elections.
President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website. Let that sink in, America.
We are one election away from open borders, socialism, gun confiscation, and full-term abortion nationally. We are fighting evil.
They sent more troops and armament to arrest Roger Stone than they sent to defend Benghazi.
60 years ago, Venezuela was 4th on the world economic freedom index. Today, they are 179th and their citizens are dying of starvation. In only 10 years, Venezuela was destroyed by democratic socialism.
Russia donated $0.00 to the Trump campaign. Russia donated $145,600,000 to the Clinton Foundation. But Trump was the one investigated!
Nancy Pelosi invited illegal aliens to the State of the Union. President Trump Invited victims of illegal aliens to the State of the Union. Let that sink in.
A socialist is basically a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything from their citizens at gunpoint ... Yet!
How do you walk 3000 miles across Mexico without food or support and show up at our border 100 pounds overweight and with a cellphone?
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wants to ban cars, ban planes, give out universal income and thinks socialism works. She calls Donald Trump crazy.
Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to Paula Jones To get her to go away. I don’t remember the FBI raiding his lawyer’s office.
I wake up every day and I am grateful that Hillary Clinton is not the president of the United States of America.
The same media that told me Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning now tells me Trump’s approval ratings are low.
“The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”— Margaret Thatcher
Maxine Waters opposes voter ID laws; She thinks that they are racist. You need to have a photo ID to attend her town hall meetings.
Trump — They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way.
Read that again. Again copy and paste.

The author's first point is a false equivalency by trying to point out supposed hypocrisy in women criticizing what Trump says and then turning around and buying 50 Shades Of Grey. We don't live in a binary world where opinions and standards have no nuance. It's perfectly reasonable to hold the public statements of The President of the United States to a higher standard than what we choose for our own private reading material.

The next point is actually word-for-word something actor Kevin Sorbo tweeted on June 18, 2019:

The perfect response to this came from LGBT activist and writer Amanda Jette Knox: "“No, most of us haven’t defended the questionable things she’s said to media and the world because those things are garbage. But as feminists, we WILL defend: – her equal rights as a woman – her right to be called out on those garbage things just like a man should be The end." Furthermore, plenty of people have taken critics to task for criticizing Sarah Sanders' appearance and other non-politically relevant traits.

I'm not sure exactly what the author's point is with "No Border Walls. No voter ID laws". The proposed border wall is a stupid idea that won't do much for border security because most people who are in the United States came here legally and then overstayed their visas. And voter ID is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, as there were only four documented instances of voter fraud in the 2019 election.

I also have to wonder why the author felt the need to call out NBC's hiring of Chelsea Clinton when several other children of political superstars have been hired as correspondents as well. Jenna Bush was hired by NBC as a news correspondent on Today, and Megan McCain, Senator John McCain’s daughter has held positions at MSNBC and Fox News. Also, Mr. Allen got Chelsea Clinton's salary wrong. She was paid $600,000 by NBC, likely due to her name recognition and impressive resume. Ms. Clinton has a B.A. in History from Stanford University, a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a PhD in International Relations from Oxford University. She also has been employed by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital Group. Is all that worth $600,000? I'd say it is.

Now, as to the claim that Hillary Clinton "flies around the country speaking out about white privilege" it likely refers to a speech Hillary Clinton gave to the NAACP where she said "We white Americans…need to recognize our privilege". Other than that, I can find no other instances of Hillary Clinton giving a lecture where she speaks out about white privilege.

The author then goes on to accuse Democrats of wanting to allow non-citizens to vote in elections. I'm not sure where this claim comes from, but it's likely borne out of a mis-understanding of HR 1, a non-binding House motion pushed by Republican Rep Dan Crenshaw of Texas. The motion said "It is the sense of Congress that allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens." Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the non-binding, opinion based motion. But, just because Democrats voted against a motion reaffirming that illegal immigrants can’t vote, it doesn't doesn’t mean they voted to actually allow those immigrants to vote. Federal laws already exist to prohibit non-citizens from voting in federal elections.

The claim that President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website is simply false. The proposed border wall will cost between $12 billion and $70 billion while the Obamacare website cost, at most, $2.1 billion.

The notion that more troops were sent to arrest Roger Stone than were sent to defend the American consulate in Bengazi is spun off from something Roger Stone himself claimed. Whether or not it's true, it's yet another apples-to-oranges comparison. It's basically just Roger Stone trying to say that the way his arrest was conducted was over-the-top.

And then we float on over to claims about Venezuela. This is one of several tweets that "Tim Allen" copied from the Twitter account "Brn2Wander":

Venezuela had such a strong economy in the past due to its crude oil reserves. Its collapse is due to a number of factors, including falling oil prices, corruption, U.S. sanctions and economic mis-management.

Russia did not, in fact, donate $145,600,000 to the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign. This claim is spun out of the trumped up Uranium One controversy. Russia didn't donate any money to the Clinton campaign. And Trump was investigated because it was suspected that he engaged in tit-for-tat negotiations with Russia and then obstructed justice in order to cover it up. Read the complete Mueller report (not just the Barr summary) and form your own opinion.

I cannot find any documentation that Nancy Pelosi invited any illegal immigrants to attend Trump's State of the Union address. The best I could find is a number of articles indicating that California Rep Jimmy Gomez and New Jersey Rep Bonnie Watson invited former employees of the Trump Organization who were undocumented. It was obviously done to highlight Trump's hypocritical stance on illegal immigration.

Next up is the non-sequitur "A socialist is basically a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything from their citizens at gunpoint ... Yet!". Whether or not you agree with Socialism as an economic theory, the statement shows a real lack of understanding as to what Socialism actually is. Furthermore, if you are truly against Socialism, then the way to keep Americans from calling for it isn’t casting Capitalism as good guy, while demonizing Socialism. The solution is to look at Capitalism logically and accept that its not the best method for everything in our economy.

The point about overweight refugees with iPhones goes back to a meme related to the migrant caravan published in November of 2018. The woman in the meme wasn't part of the caravan and the notion that a person who has access to a cell phone and is overweight can’t possibly be in a desperate situation is a both troubling and incorrect.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's Green New Deal does NOT seek to ban cars and/or planes.

With regard to the $850,000 that Bill Clinton paid to Paula Jones, it wasn't hush money. It was a settlement offer made in open court. It is well documented that Donald Trump not only paid hush money to Stormy Daniels, but he tried to cover his tracks while doing so. That's why Trump's lawer's office was raided.

Yes, it was said that Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning the Presidential election in 2016. However, that means that she had a 5% chance of losing. The Trump campaign threaded the needle and pulled of what they needed to in order to win within that 5%. And still, Clinton won the popular vote. Also, the predicted chance of winning something is vastly different from an approval rating.

I can find no indication that you need a photo ID to attend a Maxine Waters town hall meeting. But, even if you do, voting is a civil right while attending a town hall isn't, so there should be no quibble about the differing standards as they are two different concepts.

Once again, we have a poorly written set of false equivalencies and non-sequiturs attributed to someone famous in order to give it more credibility. With just a little bit of research, its claims are easily debunked. But, don't let me do your homework for you, look into each of its claims yourself and you'll see.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Credit Card Scammer Calls Again And Gets Angry

Another one of those "lower your interest rate" guy called again. I went with the old "Let me ask my wife..." routine in order to try and mess with him. Plus, whenever he asked to "confirm" information with me, I acted as if I thought he was going to give me the information first in order to verify it.

At about 3:12 he gets irritated and throws out some kind of sexual insult. I ignored it and tried to clarify again. He tossed another insult out and said "You're wasting my time". He hung up after I asked why he needed my credit card expiration date.

Monday, September 2, 2019

My Account Got Hacked

You are probably familiar with It's that website that sells a bunch of discounted crap, most of which is sourced from China. It almost certainly has shown up on your Facebook feed as a featured ad a few times over the years. Anyway, is basically an e-commerce facilitator that allows sellers to list their products on the site and sell directly to the consumer. Wish doesn't stock the items, and instead acts as an intermediary handling payments. This has allowed Wish to become one of the leading platforms for selling counterfeit goods.

I bought something from Wish about five years ago and it was such utter crap that I never bothered to order anything off of the platform again. So, I found it pretty surprising when I got an e-mail from stating that my account e-mail had been successfully changed to some account with a .ml extension. It was odd for two reasons: First off, I didn't request an account change. Second, even if I did, when making a change to the account e-mail address, a confirmation request should be sent to the original e-mail before such a change is authorized. That didn't happen. My only recourse was to e-mail customer service who took two days to tell me that they had to escalate the matter due to its sensitive nature. Great. So the initial change isn't sensitive enough to merit added security, but the retraction of that change is.

It didn't really matter to me, because while I may have been dumb enough to open the account using an easy-to-guess password, I wasn't dumb enough to leave any of my credit card info in there. Even if I had, the info had likely expired years ago. But, it was the principle that mattered, so I pressed on. I sent a follow-up e-mail about four days after their first reply and suddenly, a new account had been created with my e-mail address. I went to log-in to the account and immediately clicked the "forgot password" feature. This allowed me to reset the password and log in. My order history was nowhere to be found. So, obviously, decided that the easiest way to fix the problem was to just open up a new account for me using my old e-mail address.

So, what's the lesson here? Make sure all of your online accounts employ a strong password and use two-factor authentication where possible. Also, don't ever leave your credit card information in an app, unless you use a card that can issue virtual numbers that you can quickly expire.