Category Archives for My Interests

Interest – Economics: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Into the Unknown

I am fascinated by economics because this field is based upon math, markets and human behavior. Humans seems to be the most unpredictable variable in economics.  The stock market – if reduced to charts like Japanese Candlesticks – explain how humans will buy a commodity like rice (which originated Japanese Candlesticks 200 or more years ago) and bid it up and up.  And then it crashes with too much surplus.  Repeat.

Puerto Rico Enters the Unknown

The governor or managers of Puerto Rico shot themselves in the foot when they blew off creditors – and paid Christmas bonuses.  That is a callous mismanagement mistake.  “Sorry.  Don’t have enough to pay you back, bro.  But I bought this champagne.”   A slap in the chops to every creditor.

Dealing with Puerto Rico’s crushing debt has started to resemble a circular firing squad.

Simply put, the bankrupt island can’t pay everything it owes, so creditors are taking aim at each other as they squabble over who will get what’s left. But the debt’s size and the tangled process invented to rescue Puerto Rico mean there’s no established rule book to shape what comes next.

Holders of general-obligation debt have declared their right to be paid first, owners of sales-tax bonds are squabbling with one another over who deserves priority, and they’re all up against the commonwealth’s leaders, who want the cash for essential services. Amid this melee, Puerto Rico’s federal overseers will have to choose between paying U.S. hedge funds everything they’re owed or keeping schools, water and electricity running.

“There just isn’t enough money,” said Matt Fabian, a partner with Municipal Market Analytics Inc. in Concord, Massachusetts, who foresees a chaotic brew of lawsuits, federal interventions and politics. “Nobody has any idea what’s going to happen.”

Other cities are dealing with the fallout of mismanagement like Hartford, Connecticut that is undertaking a bankruptcy examination.

Eventually California Will Go Bankrupt

California is a horribly managed state.  Their legislative branches have no opposition from which to counter excessive or ridiculous legislation.  Their CALSTRS and CALPERS programs are underfunded by $1 to $1.4 Trillion Dollars.  That’s “Trillion” with a “T”.

Simply put, the union bosses in California approached politicians and filled their coffers with reelection money.  The union bosses then got very favorable – and completely unsustainable – deals for their members.  Pensions that are lavish by almost every standard.  Employees can rack up the last year of all their unpaid leave, unpaid vacation, work extras hours, etc., and jimmy up their actual pension by another 10-12-17% – far beyond the actuarial tables and projections of a pension fund.

Even the biased incompetents at major news outlets like the Los Angeles Times have to report the obvious.  Numerous cities are doing their 2017-2018 budgets and watching the pension costs rise precipitiously.  Many will have to go bankrupt.

The asshats in Sacramento will have to DOUBLE city contributions to the state.

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Spam Tools for an Email World Gone Mad

Useful tools you may have overlooked if you run your own website and have access to CPanel.

I have been receiving far too much spam email and am now fighting back more and more.  The amount of time spent on this nonsense is ridiculous.  I have always said that a smartphone is ‘electronic opium.’  If so, then spam is the very, very bad heroin.

 

BoxTrapper

BoxTrapper is a spam blocking tool that that filters spam through a challenge-response verification. Thus, when someone sends you an email for the very first time, the tool will automatically send a verification email.

The sender will have to complete the verification process before his/her email can get into your inbox. Once the verification process is completed, the sender will be white listed. This means he/she won’t have to go through the verification process again.

Email addresses to which you send email are automatically white listed, even if you disable automatic whitelisting.

 

SpamAssassin

Another powerful utility that you can use to prevent spam email from reaching your inbox is SpamAssassin. This email utility screens incoming mail and tests them for spam characteristics.

SpamAssassin utilizes network tests coupled with Bayesian spam filtering to screen incoming email. This results in a score that SpamAssassin uses in determining whether it should discard a message.

To enable this function, simply log into cPanel then navigate the Mail section. Click on the SpamAssassin icon and click the Enable SpamAssassin in the gray box.  You will then receive a confirmation message on the following page that SpamAssassin has been activated.

As mentioned earlier, SpamAssassin examines every incoming email message and uses a test to determine its spam characteristics.  The tool considers messages with a score of 5 as spam by default. However, you can also adjust this spam score limit.

World War II Submarines

I just love World War II submarine films.  I’ve seen them all. Been trying to figure out how to do one for years – the plans are in the works as they say.  Here’s a great minidocumentary on the largest submarine of World War II – built by the Japanese to fly planes!