Gov Shutdown: Parties Worry About Midterms, Not About Americans

This headline post from Politico perfectly describes just what the current environment of dysfunction in Washington is like.  It is not about average Americans being affected negatively by the shutdown.  It is not about the potential of tens of thousands of federal workers potentially losing their jobs.  

No.  The Democrats and Republicans are worried about how this affects their prospects in the 2018 midterms.  The Democrats are trying to wrestle control of Congress away from the Republicans while the Republicans are trying to limit their losses.  

So far, the public seems to suggest that they will blame the Trump White House and the Republicans for the current government shutdown.  After all, it’s the fractured Republicans who are in control of both branches of government.  Still, the Democrats are not making it easy and are unwilling to make compromises.  Make no mistake that if the situation was the opposite, where the Democrats are unable to govern if they were in control, the Republicans certainly are also unwilling to work.

It is no wonder that we have the president we have and the Congressional makeup.  People are either voting for the lesser of two evils or making a point by throwing someone out of office.  We are no longer voting for the future.   

This situation is unlikely to change until Americans are willing to walk away from their left or right corner and embrace a middle and common sense.  

For the R, D, or I.  We need an A.  A for American president who is president for everyone.  Who is willing to cut through the political and fake news bullshit and give it to the Americans straight.  The American president who will break the duopolistic control of political landscape.  

We need this president and people in Congress who are worried about their constituents and not about the next election cycle, what cable news is saying, and owe nothing to rich patrons or political parties.  

Lots of Articles On "Starting The Day Early and Things You Need To Do" - What Works

I wake up at an early hour.  I've been like that as a child.  As far back as I can remember because my brother and I used to wake up at six to watch morning cartoons on week and that sort of stuck for weekdays as well, regardless of whether it's carefree summer or school days.  It's one thing that I'm rather proud of.

Even now, as my family sleeps, I would enjoy my first cup of coffee.  I'm on the tablet most of the time catching up on the day's news.  On weekend, the Los Angeles Times Sunday edition.

I have been reading a few articles on what people should do in the morning and try to accomplish before work or school.  I try to do a quick work out, write a bit, read something besides sports news or indulge in social media, and plan for the day.

There are plenty of articles out there like that.  And while it is a no-brainer that getting a head start is always good, will doing all this and more really turn us into the successful people we read about who also happen to have practiced these morning rituals?

The answer I heard that just came into your head is "no". There are obviously other factors that are involved.  It takes patience and time.  It also factors in things like what your goals are and how hard you're really willing to work to get there.

Still, head start.

One thing I've like to incorporate into my morning rituals from one of the articles I've read about is to do at least one thing that further my long-term goals.  I have been trying to learn to draw and program.  I doodle here and there and when I can, write a few lines of apps that solve a math problem at work.  I think I should do more than that.  And do that as part of my morning ritual.

Meditation is something a few suggested it.  It's not for me but I'm not putting this in the "no" column.  I've tried mediation before and, honestly, I have not given it a chance.  I'm not sure it is for me but perhaps when I am more organized with my ritual and life, I should revisit this.

There are another set of suggestions that relates to putting you in the right mood.  I think if you're the type of individual who wakes up early and try to get started before the rest of the world, I think you're in the right mood.  You don't need anything more uplifting or have the need to look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself "I'm special.  I'm awesome.  I'm going to do great today".  I don't know if you're awesome.  Probably not special (nor am I).  And you'll probably have a productive day if all goes well.

One glaring omission is social media.  I've read nowhere that suggests we spend a few minutes on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  I'm fine with Twitter since I use it as a source of news information pertinent to my work and generally staying informed - I stay away from Hollywood, gossips, and anything that I feel are a waste of data center storage space and that includes Facebook, Snapchat, and other social networks.

How about you?  What do you do to start the morning early?

Cryptocurrency Isn't The Future But Whatever It Evolves Into Is - Now Is the Time To Learn What It Is

I recently bought into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies after participating in a chat with friends who were more knowledgeable than I ever will be with technology and where things are headed.  And the more I read and hear them talk about it, I realized a couple of things.  In terms where the future, it's moving fast.  I think some of our current geopolitical problems stem from just fast our society is evolving and some if not most of us not being able to adapt to changes.  Second, cryptocurrency is still in the early stages.  It feels like something that will never stop changing.  That is the nature of digital money and how it is use.  And there are more than one use for crypto than just paying for goods and services.

We don't need to know everything there is to know about everything.  This is true with crypto as with anything else.  We do need to know a little about it so we don't blindly walk into it without a clue at all.  It's like when you visit a new city. We know where the major tourist attractions are and perhaps a few hidden gems only the locals know about.  There is no need to know every back alleys.  You would not want to anyway.

Knowing what a blockchain is and how it fits in crypto is important. We just don't need to really know how it works.  Knowing a little about it comes with some peace of mind in knowing that all that zeros and ones do mean something and can have value.

Having listened to my friends, I decided I should spend a few hundreds dollars and get in on it.  And it's definitely not enough to get rich off of is but it does help me understand more about it. And it has lessen the anxiety I had in the beginning.  It was around that time when ethereum was hacked only once or twice but three times around the time I send Coinbase my couple of hundred of dollars (The Hacker News).

As I learn more and more about it, I'll share what I learn and hope that it helps you as well. And if you find what I learn is wrong or that my explanation is in error, I would greatly appreciate correction. After all, I feel my blog is about moving forward together with all the readers.

I do think that one thing is certain.  Bitcoin is what we have today but because of its changes, the crypto market will evolve further as more people begin to use it, sparking innovation in this market.  What innovation?  I have no idea but I can't wait to see.

So, I would relay what I do with my 0.1 bitcoin if anything at all.  Maybe I'll buy more.  Maybe I'll get into others as well.  Who knows.  What I would not do is make suggestions that anyone spend their hard earned money on crypto.  I want there to be some level of objectivity and trust between us. What you do with what you learn here is up to you.  Above all, staying informed is what I want for all of us.

Being Able To Retire Versus Deciding To Retire: Either Way, Bravo

Here is an interesting article from CNN about a woman who is married, having saved up $2.25 million while her husband still works, decided to retire. Raise an family and in her own words, just "live" life for the rest of her time here.  Some thinks that's cool. Other do not.  No matter how you look at it, it's about choices and priorities. 

I think I like to explore more about life choices from here on out - after all, many of us share our life choices in social media like Twitter and Facebook as well as chat apps like Snapchat.  So we are constantly bombarded with choices, ones we make as well as those of our "friends", folks we follow, and those who follow us. 

Regardless of her circumstance and how she was able to make such a butt-load of money and retire at such a young age (some have argued she's not really tired since she still has a husband who is making money and has his own savings), she made a choice to save - might even say she made sacrifices to get there.  One reader remarked that she was spending money and partying when she was this woman's age.  Since then, the reader has also made her own choices to saving up her own $2 million for her own retirement.

But these can hardly be called sacrifices since choices we made move us in one direction, away from lives that we could have lived, for better or worse, and down a path that we will have to live with. 

So, this woman decided saving her income was the best use of her resources, forging parties, perhaps eating out, etc., and how she has the ability to to make some choices perhaps many of us cannot because we don't have two million bucks sitting in our checking account. 

Question now is should be brand new young retiree be looked up to.  Sure, I think so - up to this point.  What happens tomorrow and the choices are an entirely different circumstance.  It's unlikely she could move to Colorado and smoke marijuana for the rest of her life but, hey, that's her choice too.  Not one I'd make.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that she'll find a way to make her life more interesting than that.

So, bravo. 

Security: Prankster Got Senior Gov Officials To Reveal Personal Emails and Punked CEOs

Source:  CNN.

If President Donald Trump were to tweet about this, it'll be one word:  bad!

Apparently, a prankster going by @SINON_REBORN got White House officials into think he was the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.  And the person whom he got the personal e-mail from was none other than a Homeland Security advisor.  You can head to CNN to find out his name but, more importantly, these guys are clueless.

These guys are supposed to safeguard our homeland after all.  The thing is that this happens all the time to ordinary Americans.  Ordinary citizens of most countries I think.

But just to show how easily even educated men and women (in the CNN story, it's all men by the way) could be tricked into thinking they're talking to someone they know - keep reading the whole article.  It involves the chief of staff (fake one) and the communication director who got him fired and was later fired today and apparently, his e-mail exchange with the prankster had something to do with the level of tension in the White House staff.

Oh, and also involves a Trump getting pranked.

Here's the thing, be careful who you exchange messages and information with.  A lot of time, all it needs is a little common sense because this small amount of thinking could go far in safeguarding yourself against a phishing attempt or a benign prank like this one.

Here, I got the ball rolling and googled it for you.  It's worth it.  Today, cyber thieves are just a few clicks away from knowing a lot about you and with a little acting and experience, they can become you and do a lot far worse than this British prankster.

Twitter Might Not Be Growing In User Base But It's Importance Is Undeniable

In the latest financial quarter, Twitter reported earnings that most of us would think is pretty good.  Twitter made money (non-GAAP).  Yeah!  Right?  Well, apparently, in the financial world where metrics are created that most of us won't use or care about, it is not enough.  Sure, I would live to see Twitter at 1 billion users to rival Facebook but at least with its present business model, it's not to be the case.

Still, it's impact has not diminish or stagnanted since the 2016 US election.  If anything, it's impact on American politics continues to impressively be disproportionate to its size.  And it continues to grow with President Donald Trump in the White House.  Why just last week, Trump announced what sounded like policy when he "decreed" a ban on transgender military service.  Of course, while he tweeted it, it was not policy directed at the Pentagon.  Trump has yet to direct the Secretary of Defense to issue the order to the military.

Nevertheless, to millions and the media, it sounded liked official policy.

Of course, you still have celebrities, pundits, and still more politicians take to Twitter to let their thoughts and feelings be known.  The media is not reporting what is unveiled on Facebook, Goole+, or press releases.

And it's on Twitter where discussions from users are being tweeted and retweeted by its more than three hundred and twenty-five million users.  Eventually, it'll get to half a billion and on to a billion.

Once Twitter acknowledges that it should stop worrying about what Wall Street thinks and focus on its users, new users will come.