Updates from April, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • dannyboystories 3:11 PM on April 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Required reading? 

    Guess what I think?

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  • dannyboystories 2:51 PM on April 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The United States is Broken! 

    The United States is Broken!.

     
  • dannyboystories 2:50 PM on April 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The United States is Broken! 

    “We’re sorry, the number you have reached is no longer in service…If you think you have reached this message in error, hang up and try again.”

    How many times have you dialed a telephone number only to get the above message? Were you dialing Customer Service? It is exasperating. Apparently, that is how most Americans (in the latest poles) feel today about their federal government, and to a lesser degree, their state and local governments.

    It does not matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, Liberal, or Conservative, it seems most of us are frustrated and even angry at our government.

    Let me cite some of my reasons for citizen distrust of the federal government, and see if you agree or disagree:

    • The national debt is $17.5 Trillion, and growing. Interest alone on that debt is more than $16,000.00 PER SECOND.
    • Unfunded U.S. liabilities (debt that is not secured by property, deposits, or some other worth pledged) is $128.8 Trillion! ( http://www.usdebtclock.org/ )
    1. Social Security Liability: $16.9 Trillion.
    2. Medicare Liability: $89.4 Trillion.
    3. Prescription Drug Liability: $22.4 Trillion.
    4. Plus retirement and medical plans for the members of the Congress and Federal employees. [Note: Representatives and Senators upon retirement receive the most expensive and beneficial plan in the world, unmatched by any other private business or entity.)
    • Why does the Congress get nothing accomplished, i.e., balanced budget, debt reduction, energy development, securing the borders and revamping immigration, etc.: Members are too busy toeing the party line or compromising away principles for favoritism.
    • Representatives and Senators have lost touch with the average man or woman on the street. When they do visit their state or district, their time is taken meeting with party big-wigs and contributors. (When was the last time you heard a solid ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a simple question?)
    1. Excuses and rhetoric rather than action.
    • Unlimited number of terms in office.
    • Fraud and corruption in the Internal Revenue Service. (I think we should scrap the entire IRS and Code for an equally determined tax with NO loopholes. A “fair” tax.)
    • Fraud and lost or missing funds and waste in virtually every federal agency or department! (The State Department comes to mind, with billions lost or missing.)
    • Burgeoning federal departments continuing to grow to unmanageable sizes, too cumbersome to be efficient or effective.
    • An administrative branch failing to uphold the oath of office, legislating by Executive Order. (Is not this controllable by Article II, Section 4, of the Constitution? “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”)

      Total lack of accountability. Responsible parties (employees) are simply re-assigned elsewhere.

    • Unions representing federal employees seem to have more say over federal workers than supervisors or department heads. Union contracts should be scrapped. As a result of union organization and spendthrift representatives, federal workers, on average, earn much more than workers in the private sector doing similar jobs.
    • The blame game is rampant in Washington, DC. Take responsibility!
    • The U.S. is fractured by special interests: By race, by creed, by political party, by opinion, etc. Why is it an organization representing a minor percentage of the population, for example, can rule the roost?
    • Just solve the damn problems!

    I believe it is also fashionable today to blame Tea Party folks for everything except the weather. They have become a scapegoat. The facts are, the loud Tea Party faithful point correctly to many things wrong with government today.

    I oppose revising the Constitution to provide for government by majority. That is a true democracy, and history shows us true democracies are doomed to fail. Why? Because 50.000001 percent will rule the 49.999999 percent. The proposal is now making the rounds of states, seeking to implement majority rule. It will destroy this nation as we know it!

    The founders formed this nation as a Representative Republic so larger population bases would not run roughshod over the rest of the nation. It makes sense to me. While I like to visit New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, I don’t want them making uninformed decisions for those of us in “fly-over” country.

    This is just what I think. There are more I could cite. How about you? — Dan Lee, http://www.dannyboystories.com

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  • dannyboystories 4:18 PM on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Testing, testing…1, 2, 3, … 

    Testing, testing…1, 2, 3, ….

     
  • dannyboystories 4:17 PM on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Testing, testing…1, 2, 3, … 

    Our elected officials in the Congress appear to be moving further away from direct contact with those for whom they work. [As a matter of full disclosure, I’m one of those who believes in term limits.] Certainly, it is more clearly evident the longer one serves.

    Have you noticed how many elected office holders gain personal wealth during their tenure? Have you notice how detached they become from the American people, the people they are supposed to serve?

    How can you avoid voting for a candidate who may quickly succumb to the temptations of the Washington, DC, Beltway? It is not easily done, by any means. However, you might apply the test of the Seven Deadly Sins described in the Bible and nowadays expressed in seven simple words.

    I wonder how many folks nowadays really understand the Seven Deadly Sins. In fact, do you know the source? Here it is.

    Proverbs 6:16-19

    “There are six things the LORD hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
    haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“

    Today these are stated (not in order of importance) as: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride.

    It seems to me there are fewer people in America who know and who apparently do not understand these seven sins, explained in the Holy Bible, Old Testament. What troubles me most is the lack of upstanding elected officials who can demonstrate they understand and avoid the seven deadly sins.

    Try it yourself. How many of your candidates seem to avoid each of the seven deadly sins, even half? — Dan Lee, http://www.dannyboystories.com

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  • dannyboystories 5:25 PM on April 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Why don’t you ‘like’ me? 

    Why don’t you ‘like’ me?.

     
  • dannyboystories 5:24 PM on April 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Why don’t you ‘like’ me? 

    Is your ‘like’ button all it’s cracked up to be? Now really, what is the worth of a ‘like’ in the great scheme of things?

    It’s an algorithm thing. Simply said, a computer program looks at your page or website, figures how may ‘likes’ you have, and makes the presumption you are grand (if you have lots of likes), or small potatoes (if you don’t have lots of likes). It’s an over-simplification of a complicated issue, and in many ways is just plain unfair.

    (If you really want to understand the “like” button and the “like” box (yes, these are different), you need to search a string such as “Why are likes important”, or “Why a like button”, and read what you find.)

    Facebook (FB) is likely the most recognized user of “like” information in social media, using complicated algorithms to measure the worth of a page or website and then list recommendations on that information. Search engines also rate you based upon frequency of clicks to your website, another measure of “like”. On the surface, it appears to be a reasonable assumption. However, there are sources where you can actually purchase likes, and while FB and others attempt to eliminate this malware in their data, it is not always successful. There are also websites using the “like” information to measure the public recognition of your business or service. Further, the “like” clicks have become business advertising for FB. [We spent $50 at $5 per day in advertising on FB to see how many “likes” are generated. A total of 43, more than $1 per like, in our simple test.]

    Algorithms do not measure the quality of your business or service. After all, it is a computer program making assumptions based on numbers. The program has not used your services, or read your book, for example. So, while on the face of it, “likes” are seemingly important, these are also inherently unfair measures. Some businesses or authors just don’t have the time or resources to keep their website or page looking fresh and new, a measure of “likability”.

    Even Amazon has difficulty with fake book reviews for its millions of books on-line, and most folks just won’t take the time to rate a book or post a meaningful review. When was the last time YOU posted your opinion of a product on Amazon, even though they prompt you many times by e-mail? Furthermore, a fake bad review can quickly ruin the livelihood of the business owner, one he or she has spent a lifetime developing. If someone ruins your business with an intentionally bad review, are they liable in court for their actions? How do you find them to sue?

    Recognition, after all, is highly valued by we humans, it’s a measure of worth or importance.  In many ways we are like sheep following another off a deadly cliff. Are you a “have” or a “have not”, on the varsity squad, drive a luxury car, and live in the best or poorest neighborhood? If someone else has bought a widget and/or “likes” the product, it must be okay, right? 

    “It ain’t necessarily so.”

    There is no easy answer to the why of securing likes for your business (or in my case, my books) on the Internet, but it has become a necessary evil of doing business on-line. We’re all between the proverbial rock and a hard place, like it or not. At least, that’s my opinion. Oh,… don’t forget to click the following link and “like” my author page! — Dan Lee, http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FCGSF4

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  • dannyboystories 11:25 AM on April 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    “Danny Boy Stories – 120 Letters” available in paperback and e-book. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Google+ Play, CreateSpace… http://www.amazon.com/Danny-Boy-Stories–120-Letters-Mr/dp/1482772760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398007432&sr=8-1&keywords=Danny+Boy+Stories+-+120+Letters

    Is white-collar crime victimless? Often, it becomes a very deadly game when the powerful become greedy.

    This is the story of two young beginning reporters trying to survive in 1959. Together, they fight heroically, wade into the murky waters of widespread official fraud, corruption, murder, and engage in a new war against domestic abuse and violence!

    On his 19th birthday, Toby Miller has already experienced a lifetime of tragedy. There are always consequences to actions, and destiny has a difficult road for this engineering hopeful turned journalist, and his beautiful partner.
    120 Letters FACE Sky THUMB JPG

     
  • dannyboystories 11:30 AM on April 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    One Can’t Stop Eating! 

    One Can’t Stop Eating!.

     
  • dannyboystories 11:29 AM on April 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    One Can’t Stop Eating! 

    I’m a budget nut. That is, I follow a budget in our everyday life from stem to stern. It is becoming nearly impossible to hold to a budget, given the rising cost of virtually everything, specially food.

    Now, I will admit I am a bit overweight at 195 pounds, but that certainly does not contribute to the upsurge in my budgeting. Let me explain:

    I keep a simple Excel workbook for grocery and household purchases. Every month is entered separately in order to follow the change in prices. The average price increase for our routine purchases in the past six months is a whopping 14.7 percent! Of course, some things have increased more–meat and produce. Canned goods have increased only about 4.6 percent. 

    Here’s the real rub: Most folks cannot arbitrarily increase their budgets for food. Salary and wages are not increasing proportionately, and those on a fixed income (retirement and social security) can do nothing more than cut elsewhere. It is specially difficult for seniors because ObamaCare is now cutting the amounts for Medicare! Seniors now have to choose between a larger healthcare co-pay or food on the table.

    I believe in “trickle down” economics. If the country is doing well, so will we all. Clearly, the country is NOT doing well, so neither will the people. The policies of the present federal administration are not helpful.

    So, is today your day to eat, or do you fast today and eat tomorrow? Hmmmm. — Dan Lee, http://www.dannyboystories.com

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