Category Archives: The World

Presidents in the age of the extreme.

For a long time now the country has been becoming more and more extreme.  You have people on both sides who listen to friends who think the same way they do, and maybe even more extremist.  Both sides have news networks and major blogs and publications that will support their point of view.   People see these stories and repost them, and their friends repost them, and the see them over and over in their feed.   This is the echo chamber effect.  What is being said is irrational.

I can tell you that I have never unfriended someone for having different political views, and I see both sides in my feed.  If you remove news that opposes your views you will be ill-informed.  You will only see one view, and that view gets more and more radical as time goes by because no other voice is there to bring rational thought.

This happened as Obama took office.  People on the left made him out to be their savior, that he would fix all of their social concerns.  People thought he would pay their bills, give them free health care.  There was so much hope in him that he was given the Noble Peace prize before he did much of anything.  On the right the same thing happened.  People kept saying he was the worst president ever.  People thought he would be the source of Socialism, Sharia Law,  FEMA Camps, death panels, martial law and much more.  They thought he would take their guns, promote abortions and generally destroy the economy and the nation as a whole.  Obama is NOT the savior and Obama is NOT destructor that so many memes and blogs made him out to be.

BUT this is ALSO true about Trump.  Most of those that loved Obama now hate Trump, most of those that hated Obama now love Trump with as much varicosity. All of these people protesting what could happen with Trump are misled by the media just as much as when Obama was given the Peace prize.  On the other side these people who think Trump is the savior are probably just as misled as when they thought Obama was the destroyer of our nation.

In retrospect Obama was a fairly weak, non-effective president.  He did not bring disgrace to his office as Clinton did but he did not inspire us like Reagan did.  He spent his first part fighting with the Dems and getting almost nothing done, and then the Dems were replaced by Republicans and then nothing of major importance got done.  He could only act by executive order.  Most of what he did was not majorly important to the vast population, and easily reversed because it was only an executive order and not a law.  His only major impact was Obama care.  Passed in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend using rules that were hardly fair.  It never should have passed.  But then it did have some positive effects, helping some get health care, but making it harder for others.  But it was not good economically, and most companies involved in it had major losses.  So it did have some good parts but a lot of bad also.  He ended up leaving office by going on a goodbye tour, going on TV shows and giving speeches.  It was nice when he was singing the national anthem when he arrived as his goodbye speech.
He seemed to be a good man, focusing on the prayers during Trumps inauguration.

Trump has been plagued by a media that is highly negative on one side.  They have been creating fear in their audience, and whipped them into a fervor. Resulting in protests that are on the verge of riots, smashing windows, and setting things on fire.  Fear is a very powerful motivator, just after Obama took office this fear fervor created the Tea Party movement, record gun sales (Because people thought Obama would stop sales any day), and grew the Republican party faster than any time in recent history.  The people who are anti trump, however, have much less respect for law and order than he people on the right did.  They will be much less peaceful than the right was.  They forget that people on the right spent the last 8 years buying guns, and gun laws have become much more free in right leaning states.
My prediction is that Trump will not do anything of consequence to hinder the LGBT community, he has shown that it is a non issue to him.  He loves and adores women, and will not trample their rights, no matter how much the liberal media has made you think he will.  Trump is very smart, and I honestly think he loves America and will do what he thinks is best for America.  The problem is that what he thinks is best is not what others think is best, but maybe his logic is correct.  He does not think we should let Muslims in during this time of ISIS, and I think he is correct, just as we were correct not to let Germans or Japanese in when we were at war with them.  I am not sure that the block on trade is a good idea, having studied economics so much, but it will bring more jobs in the short term.  I think a wall is a good idea, but when it is in the middle of nowhere I am not sure we need a real huge wall, just a fence with some good sensors.  Over half of our border is wilderness.

But I can agree totally that a smaller, less intrusive and less restrictive government will be better.  We do not need the government to be our nanny, we do not need them to tell us what to do and how to do it.  We also should not be babies and not put out our hand every time we are hungry or have any need.  We should be adults, standing or failing on our own efforts. The adults in our nation love this idea, but the ba
bies, the snowflakes hate it, they have grown up with it and will be forced to grow up without it, so they protest, just like any baby.

People should give Trump a chance to be a good person and not be what the liberal media makes them think he is, just liked they asked the opposite people 8 years ago when Obama took office.

The problem with me writing a story like this is that those on the left and those on the right will disagree with parts of this, causing no one to share or promote this article.  Lets see, I hope I am proven wrong, just like all those anti trump people will soon be, and all those Anti Obama people were.  This is the problem that happened with Glenn Beck.  At the start of Obama he came to fame feeding the echo chamber, and massed a huge following and created a media empire.  But recently he saw that this was part of the problem, and that it was dividing and not uniting our country.  Mr Beck has lost most of his followers and his empire because of this stance.  The people who consume the media want the extreme.  The more extreme a story is the more it will be shared and promoted, even though most of it is fake.  This is the key problem, they make money promoting and increasing the extremism even if it is clear it is tearing our nation apart.  My hope is that Trump will not do anything the left is afraid of, that he will make government leaner and fairer again and soon much of this extreme talk will subside, just as it did in the last few years for Obama.

 

Income Inequality in America

Recently there has been a lot of talk about income inequality in America.  There is some notion out there that it is ‘unfair’ for someone to make a lot of money.  The thing is that there are million of people working hard each day to get rich.  A few million people are entrepreneurs, people who take a risk and start a business, they hire people, come up with new ideas and in the mean time risk everything, and many of them fail, the best ones get up again and try again.  Many of them work for years without getting paid more than the people who work for them, some work a whole year and make nothing.  The stress about the business, the sales, the clients, and mostly about helping out the employees.  Why do they do all of this?  They do this because they have a dream, the dream to building something that will last, something they can give to their kids, and the dream of being rich.

So they work for decades and finally they are successful, they have a system that works and they are making good money, and they are now rich, making more money than any of their employees will earn in their lifetime.  These are the people that the pundits are calling the problem now, they took the risks and made the hard choices to put themselves in that position, and people look down on them for it.   It is a sad day in America where prosperity is a bad thing.

The main problem is that very few are educated now on how the economy works.  America is a great country, there still is a lot of opportunity here.  Someone can start with nothing, not even knowledge and learn in a short time how to do something useful for the economy, they can then work hard, and smart  and become successful in a short span of time.  I love to see how people come from other nations, nations where there is not much opportunity, and it is hard to get ahead, they come here and work hard, work smart and in a few years they are better off than most Americans.  And most Americans resent them for it, sad.

I think that a lot of this comes from the lack of education most Americans have about how the world really works.  Americans for the most part do not travel out side of the US.  In fact only 36% of Americans own a valid passport, and only 6% of Americans, on average, leave North America per year.  It is estimated that only 20% of Americans have ever left North America, and about a third of them did it while in the military.  Once you see how the world works, your understanding of how good things are here in America really changes.

The Philippines is a below average nation in wealth, with a per capita GDP of just about $3,000.  The average American makes more in 3 weeks than someone from the Philippines does in a year.  But they still need to spend on food and housing and many other things.  But no one there has an attitude of this being unfair, and that they should be given something for free.  That is a very American attitude.  They are thankful for what they have, they are happy for the most part, and everyone helps each other out.  If someone is in need the family and community helps them.  When they travel abroad, they come to work, because they know how they can make as much in a day here, as they do in a month there, they work hard, live simply and for that reason they usually have great success in the US and other nations.  If you earn $1000 a month there you are upper middle class.  People look at the wealthy there as something to aspire to become, not something to be taken down.

2015-08-23 10.50.40The attitude there is so much different and better than in the US.  In the US people feel entitled to free stuff, we are raising an entire generation who feel that if they don’t want to work they should have free health care, free food, free housing and free spending money just because they live here.  They feel that if they should bother working that they should make $15 per hour at least.  They have not yet seen the reality of the world.  Most Americans feel they need tons of money because they must have a $500 smart phone, with unlimited data, and they must have a nice big TV along with a big cable bill and of course, the most expensive of all they must have a car.  In almost all of the world a car is a luxury only the most wealthy have.   In most nations car ownership is under 15% of the population.  In our entitled society even the most poor among us feel that they need a car, and of course they should not pay for it.

I am a fair guy, I think that if you really can’t work that you still should be taken care of, I feel that the primary job of this should be done by charity, and that the successful among us should support such charity, but this is being done by the government, and we are forced, with threat of violence to support it, so we have become a less giving society.  I think that widows and orphans should be taken care of, given food and housing.  I think that the really disabled should be also taken care of.  In none of these cases should they be given money that they can spend on anything, but given vouchers for housing or food.  We need to redefine what a disability is, right now anyone with even a minor problem can be called disabled and get free money.  The vast majority of ‘disabled’ people could easily hold a job.  In fact many people who are getting free money from the government do hold jobs, they just work under the table, that is why the number of people working under the table or 1099 is now almost 1/3rd of the workforce, they want to work, but don’t want to mess up their free government money.  We have really gotten ourselves into a huge mess.  The problem is that about 1/3rd of the population is dependent on this system now.

We need to start to see things as they really are.  When you take money from someone who earns it without having the use of it and give it to someone who has it without earning it you are a thief.  You are teaching them both the wrong lesson, you are teaching the earner that they will be punished for doing well, most do it anyway because they still get to keep most of what they earn, but there is talk to make it more and more progressive of a tax if you earn more.  You are teaching the receiver that they can use the government to get them free stuff, that there is no need to better themselves and to work hard, that things will be handed to them.  This also puts the government in a morally wrong position, a position of being the thief, true everyone loves robin hood but he was still a thief.  This is on a much more massive scale.

I have no problem with a well run government to provide for the common defence, to build roads, and provide a good education, safe places to live and places to gather such as parks.  I even think that the wealthy enjoy such things more than others, and use such things to prosper themselves so they can pay a bit more.  I don’t think that there should be loopholes, the government should not use the tax policy to tell people what to do and what not to do.  But most of all I don’t think that they government should be taking money from one group and giving it to others as a wealth transfer.  Did you know that only 34% of our federal budget is spent to actually run the government, all the rest is used to move money around from one group to another.  Now to me that is what I call Unfair.  Some CEO who worked hard his whole life and makes a huge amount of money is ok by my, he worked hard to get there, he is likely providing much more in value than he costs or why would he be there.  But taking his money and transferring it is totally unfair.  Most people who are in favor of such transfers are usually the recipients of these transfers, or they hope to be.

I am sure that many will argue with this essay, they simply see the world differently than I do.  They usually have never owned a small business, have never traveled overseas, or they simply were raised with a different mindset.  People can rework stats and %’s to make almost any argument, all of my stats came from the most common official sources.

Let me close with a story I heard, if you have a bed to sleep in, a toilet that flushes, and a fridge to store your food you are in the richest 23% of the world population, if you have a computer or smartphone, now you are in the richest 17% and if you have a vehicle you now are in the richest 8% of the world population.  There are 6.4 billion people in the world, so 64 million people would make up the top 1%….of those 64 million people over 40 million of them live in the US.  If you live at the poverty line in the US, you are still in the top 5% of the world population.  If you live at half the poverty line in the US you are still richer than over 85% of the people on this planet.  So stop wining, and take advantage of the opportunity this nation provides, literally billions of people would do almost anything to be in your shoes.

Paypal security

As a business I have a credit card processing account, but if someone wants to process an order over the phone or internet I don’t use my account, I have them send it with PayPal.  I do this for many reasons.

First PayPal has built the most secure system for processing credit cards, if it is Fraud, usually the bad guy will give up once you mention PayPal so it saves a lot of time.  This has save me countless hours of dealing with scammers.

Next, I don’t want to be responsible for having the clients information, with PayPal they never need to tell me anything.

PayPal is the only safe way to take international credit cards.  With PayPal they will be much more fair about a charge back than a foreign bank will be with an American company.

Another reason that this is ok is because PayPal charges 2.9% and my normal company charges 2.8% so the cost is not much more, and well worth it.

There is a small downside to PayPal and that is that sometimes they will favor, unfairly to buyer if there is a dispute, but if you are a good company you should never have those anyway.

You likely have a PayPal account but if not you can CLICK HERE to make one and it will help support my blog also.

 

 

 

Scammers just don’t get it…

Well today I received another check in the mail from what I thought was a scammer.  They did the classic over pay scam.  Basically they emailed my company, asking if we could reload windows and office on 10 laptops.  They never said where they were from but that they would send us a check and send us the broken laptops to fix.  Simply because their email was, bi.courtney97@gmail.com, not at any company I already had a red flag, this “Courtney Badgett” was using a free email account that can be created with no ID verification.  Red Flag 2 was that there was just plain text in the email most companies have a footer, at least these scammers could speak fluent English which is not really too common among scammers.  (If you ever see the word “Kindly” just run, this is a word that all the English as a second language schools teach people but real speakers almost never use.)

It started simply enough

Hi,
Are you capable of repairing laptops in bulk? Let me know.
Thanks

Of course I said yes.  “She” then sent a list of what needed to be done and asked how much.  Then after a day I received this email.

Hi,
Thanks for the information. I’ll have the laptops brought out and ready to be shipped to you, and will have my secretary prepare your check as soon as possible.
Thanks.

Not bad, I thought to myself “I will believe it when I see it.”

Then today I received the check. (Click on it to see it in high res)  The paper was simple and plain and the signature was a stamp, did not really look too secure.  Also the check that I asked for was just $750, this check was for about 3 times that amount.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I looked up the routing number, and it really was for Chase.  I also called the company listed on the check, VertiFX Technology, but I got the run around there.  Tracked the package to find the origin, here is what I got.

Phoenix, AZ, United States 12/21/2011 12:51 P.M. Delivered
12/21/2011 10:01 A.M. Destination Scan
12/21/2011 7:17 A.M. Out For Delivery
12/21/2011 6:44 A.M. Adverse weather conditions.
12/21/2011 6:40 A.M. Arrival Scan
12/21/2011 4:17 A.M. Late airplane.
Louisville, KY, United States 12/21/2011 4:52 A.M. Departure Scan
12/21/2011 1:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
DFW Airport, TX, United States 12/20/2011 10:38 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 9:21 P.M. Arrival Scan
Fort Worth, TX, United States 12/20/2011 8:30 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 7:57 P.M. Pickup Scan
United States 12/20/2011 6:55 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

 

So the check for a California company came from Texas.  Very interesting. So I was 95% sure now that the check was a fraud.  I happen to have a Chase branch about a quarter mile from our office so I decided to go there and visit them.  Just as I suspected the account was closed recently, they would not say why but they decided that they would keep the check.  So it was all over….or was it….just an hour ago I got this email.

Hello Jason,
I just tracked the check, and it shows that it has been delivered to you today. I already got in touch with the movers today, and I need to pay them upfront for them to ship the laptops to your place, pick-up some other equipments for the office, and pick-up the laptops when you’re done, and that’s the reason for the extra cash on the check. So I need you to cash the check, deduct your repair fees,and go to a Western Union location to send the balance to the movers. Once they have it, the laptops will be delivered to your place to begin the repairs.
Send the balance to the information below:

Name:    Barry  S. Glick
Address:  6801 Otto Rd
City :       Glendale
State:      NY 11385

Deduct the sending fee from the balance and send the remaining to the information above. Get back to me as soon as possible with the Money Tracking Control Number (MTCN), and payment details (sender’s/receiver’s information) , as you have it on the receipt (I’ll appreciate it if you can scan the receipt to me).
Let me know.
Thanks.

So I replied,

I took the check to the bank and they said that it was bad.   Please just send me my amount by western union also.  That would work good.  They kept the check.

That was it.  I doubt I will hear back, but I wanted to blog about it so that Google will find these names and accounts and be able to help out others in the future.  Also I am thinking of calling Barry Glick, I bet he does not even know that he is part of a scam, I bet he is told to just go get money and keep 10% for his trouble and forward the rest, it is the way that these people keep out of trouble.  Other times they would tell the Barry guy to just use the money to buy stuff for them online, that way they get free stuff.  Lots of scams out there, so keep your eyes out.  So far they have tried it on me about 20 times, and I have not fallen for it yet.  Kind of a fun game really.

 

Do you know what a Balikbayan Box is?

Do you want to do something good for someone today?  Let me tell you about how you can help.  First let me tell you a story.

For many different reasons the Philippines, is very poor in general.  It is a country of over 80 million people, in an area smaller than the state of Arizona.  About 2-3% of the people are what you would call rich, and another 10% or so would be middle class, leaving over 85% that are poor.  It is not the type of poor that we see here in the US, this is real poverty.  Not knowing where your next meal will come from, not owning any new clothes.  Less than 10% of the population owns a car, only about 20% own a computer.  Millions live in large “squatter” towns which are little more that lumber and some tarps.  Families of 8 or more live in 200 square foot cement shells with a tin roof, and they feel luck to have that.

In most countries people go to school and get educated so that they can do better for their nation, but in the Philippines people go to school so that they can leave and lead a better life in other countries.  Over 4 million people, born in the Philippines, now live and work in the US (Read the source), of these over 80% have become US Citizens.  Across the globe over 20M have left.  But the Filipinos are very hard workers, you need to be just to survive there.  So in the US they are one of the richest groups of immigrants.  Because so many Filipinos earn large amounts of money, and they want to support their families back home they send record amounts of money back home.  The Philippines receives the 4th largest total amount of money, from friends and family abroad.  In 2010 it was 21.3 Billion Dollars, contributing 13.2% of their 161.2 Billion Dollar GDP.

In addition to money they send things.  There are companies all over the world that take boxes, load them on pallets, then load then on cargo containers and ship them to the Philippines where they deliver them directly to the receiver.  These are called Balikbayan boxes.  (The word is Tagalog for “Return Home”.)  These boxes are a blessing to these people who just can’t get ahead in life.  They usually are about 6 cubic feet and can be an unlimited weight, and door to door is about $75, but it takes about 6 weeks.  We like to include clothes, shoes, shampoo and soap, candy, school supplies and such.  Many of these things can be bought on sale here in the US for very cheap, our current box has over $900 worth of stuff, but because most was bought on major clearance sales or back to school sales, or using extreme couponing, we have only spent about $220.

If you would like to help some very deserving people in the Philippines have the basics to live then please consider helping me send more boxes.  We already have one box paid for and almost ready to go, but we would like to send a second box.  I am asking my social networking extended family to help us provide more by donating to us on paypal. Just click here and donate any amount you would like.   The main family we are helping this year lives in a 12×12 foot slat wood “house”, which used to be a chicken coop, with 2 adults and 7 kids, they have a small tin roof that has large holes, and they don’t have very much when it comes to clothes, furniture or anything else.  Because the walls are just slats of wood they have no privacy, and they put up a few sheets to try to gain some.  For each $200 we receive we will send one box.  I know that a lot of my friends could easily send $10 or $20 to help out.

If you donate to me to help send these boxes it is NOT tax deductible.  If you would like to directly send money to help out people in the Philippines and you would like it to be tax deductible please donate to Extreme Mercy International.  Matthew, the one who runs it is a friend, heck I even built their blog/website.  They do a radio show and have an outreach Refuge Youth Center where they hold church services.  You even can set up automatic monthly payments.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold – Wow that was cool.

I really like the way that Morgan Spurlock thinks. He has created a movie about advertising and product placement, and pays for the movie by going out and getting more product placements than any movie in history. He gets free drinks, free cars, free shoes, free flights, free hotel rooms and millions of dollars given to him to make this movie. It is really awesome as he debates if he really is a sell out, and decided that he is, then he embraces it. If you have not seen this movie, and you are at all interested in advertising or business I would suggest it.

Here is the trailer. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Ng2P3zxfM

One very interesting concept that I liked from the movie is the idea that Fame and Credibility are linked. “In the world we live in you can not be credible unless you are visible.” This is a very interesting concept. This is why people tout how many followers they have, or max out their friends on facebook.

My planned speech on HB2677

On Wednesday the 16th I plan to go to the capital and speak about HB2677, here is what I plan to say.  If you read this and can think of something major to change please leave a comment.   This is my first time trying to change a law.  At the end I suggest a change to the bill that would actually result in the intent being accomplished, with almost no negative side effects and a few positive ones.  Here is what I plan to say.

Hello. I am Jason Dragon, I am an elected PC and State Committeeman in the Republican party. I am here to talk to you today about HB2677.

The intent of this bill is to find a way to tax people who are here illegally and use the money to build the border fence, but it fails miserably in both of these goals. I think that we do need to protect our border, and I am for building a fence but I am against this bill.

The first, and main reason that it fails is that it will tax everyone who sends money using a wire transfer service to any nation for any reason. The bill says that this is refundable, but it is only to the extent of a tax obligation. On top of the sender will need to wait up to a year so that they can file their taxes, and then they will need to keep records of these sends, and if needed will likely be required to provide these to the DOR. The majority of citizens in Arizona do not have an Arizona tax obligation due to many deductions or other credits and not enough income; all of these people will not receive a refund. In addition many other people and businesses may send money from Arizona who do not reside here, and thus will not be able to receive a tax credit.

Illegals don’t use these services. Existing state laws, designed to stop money laundering and criminal activity, already have strict ID requirements to send money using these services. They can not pass these ID requirements if they are here illegally unless they have very professionally forged documents, so the vast majority of illegal immigrants don’t send using the services this bill intends to tax. They often will hand the money a friend who can send.

As someone who has lived overseas, operated a business overseas and sends money overseas often I know that there are much easier and cheaper ways to send money than using wire transfers that this bill simply does not cover. Illegal’s and legal’s often also use these methods to send money. The most common way would be to open a bank account in the US and receive a debit card, or buy a PrePaid credit card and simply mail that card to your receiver in the foreign nation. Once they have it you simply deposit money into that account here in the US and the person in the other nation goes to an ATM and withdraws it. They also could choose to use the card at any major merchant for purchases. Because these are withdraws and not wire transfers they are not taxed. This does not even touch on the ability of people to simply mail a check or cash to a loved one overseas. Before this law even goes into effect I would bet that some smart company located in another state will offer a service where someone can send money to them and they would resend it overseas, and they only need to charge a fee slightly less than the tax charged by Arizona to get a lot of business.

The government is going to severely hamper these money transferring businesses, while other methods will prosper. The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.

This bill would also make our state even more business unfriendly. We would pass the burden of collecting and tracking this tax onto local businesses. We also would harm businesses that import, have overseas offices or overseas workers, taxing the money that they pay. I for one have freelance web programmers in a handful of nations in Asia, this would cost me more to pay them. I also send money every month supporting kids in Christian schools in Asia, this would cost me more to do that. I have already been contacted by missionaries who receive support from Arizona who are shocked by this bill and hope that it will not pass. I have figured that this bill would cost me about $800 per year if it passes, and the rate of 5%, as has been published in the media, would be charged.

And that leads me to the next major problem in this bill, the fact that the actual rate of the tax is not set, we should not leave ANY tax rate up to the discretion of some unelected director to decide. Where is the oversight?

Because of the complexity of international money and other existing laws this simply is not a workable bill, and it will never generate the funds needed to build a complete fence.

I don’t like to speak unless I have a solution to the problem. I have an idea of a way to amend this law to make it actually achieve the advertised goal without creating a new tax and by only targeting illegal aliens. Basically you would strike this text and replace it with text that would create a law enforcement activity, stating that during the course of law enforcement activity if someone other than a victim was discovered to be an illegal alien they would have their real and personal property confiscated. This property would then be auctioned off to generate funds to build the fence. Some protection would need to be put in there to make sure that property of a business or citizen is not swept up. You could even expand it to include people who apply for social services but are found to be here illegally. Then once the fence is built and a maintenance fund established, extra funds would go to help pay for education. Such a bill would likely be about as popular as SB1070 was. It would also function as a great deterrent to an illegal committing a crime or asking for social services in Arizona.

Thank you for your time.

My take on Arizona’s HB2677

If you have not heard there is a house bill that was introduced that will dramatically raise the cost of sending money internationally.  It is called HB2677.  It will tax everyone who sends money internationally with the intent to build a fence between Arizona and Mexico.   The problem with this bill is that it is a large new TAX.  They are going to use it for one of the favorite causes of the tea party, to build a border fence, but let’s not get suckered into that.  The tea party is first and foremost an anti-tax group, even if they will use the money for one of our favorite causes.   It is just a bribe, and I am shocked and dismayed that the leaders of the tea party have gotten behind this new tax.

The major problem with the bill is that it taxes “Any entity” that sends money overseas.  That means that the next time there is a natural disaster in some faraway place Arizona will have their hand out, take money from the poor and hurting who are in crisis.  I have heard from some sources that they want a 5% fee on all transfers.  The typical fee right now is about $3.50 for the first $500.  This would add $25 to that fee, an outrageous amount.

Another problem is that it is easily circumvented.  People who are smart will avoid this law by setting up intermediaries.  An example would be that someone would set up an office in Nevada, and have their offices in Arizona collect the money, send it to Nevada and then it would be wired from Nevada to the receiver.  They would do this for a fee but it will be well less than 5%.  People are smart and this would really reduce the amount that is collected.

This bill is designed to build a wall between us and Mexico, so I would be FOR this bill if they restricted it to only personal remittances to Mexico.  They may even include Central American nations if they like, but adding this tax to everyone who sends to any location is way too broad.

The key to success for Arizona is to be free to do business and this bill puts a transaction tax on any money sent out of the country from Arizona. The bill does not state the rate of the tax but I know the fence will be costly so it will likely be at least a few %. Most importers have very slim margins and such an added cost will make them flee our state to go to ones that don’t have this cost.

This punishes people like me who want to do nice things and send money overseas. This bill will dramatically increase the current cost of sending money. Right now I use Wells Fargo for most sends and it only costs $3.50 no matter how much I send. Sometimes I use MoneyGram and they charge $10 for the first $500. Even a 3% tax on these transfers would take money and food out of the hands of the people I try to help.   I also send all of this money to either Asia or Europe, and that has very little to do with a fence between us and Mexico.

I would be for this if they changed it to state that it would only effect personal wire transfers going to Mexico, or even Mexico plus central and South America. But this idea of doing it for all business, charity and personal wire transfers for the entire world is a crazy dumb tax that should not be passed.  I am shocked that someone as conservative as Judy Burges would put her name on this totally unfair and punitive tax.

Jason Dragon

Peoria South Tea Party Leader

Area Coordinator, PC and SC in the Republican Party in LD9.

Business Owner, Importer and Entrepreneur.

ALERT: I just posted a follow up to this CLICK HERE!

The secrets of how to dispute things on your credit report.

The quickest way to improve your credit is to work to remove things on your credit report that are negative.  This is not as hard as people think.  Before going forward, remember that is against the law to lie in any of the forms that you will sending to the credit reporting agencies.  But also remember that the law also says that an item in your report needs to be 100% correct for it to remain in your report; so even one small mistake in data is ground for deletion.  The problem is that the credit reporting industry make more money from someone who has poor credit, because they buy more reports, they try to fix their credit by many very expensive means and they try more often to get credit letting the credit companies to make money when they sell your reports to the companies you apply with.  They have many reasons to try to keep your report as negative as they can.

But the law is on your side.  Now here is the secret that I have seen presented at least twice at really high priced seminars presented by very successful multi-millionaires.  The law states that the info on your credit report MUST be 100% correct.  But there is a conflicting privacy law that forces them to redact most of your account information.  This turns account number 123456789 into xxxxxx789.  Because of the conflict of these two laws it has created a loophole that millionaires walk through.  It allows them to dispute that the information is not 100% correct and MUST be deleted.

They simply send a letter to the credit agency that says something like this.  “Hello my name is John Doe, and I am writing to clarify an item on my credit report.  My SSN is 111-11-1111.  You have listed an account with account number xxxxxx789.  This account number does not match the number that is on my statements from MegaBux Bank.  Because the information about this account is not accurate I ask that you remove it ASAP as the law requires.”    The credit agencies hate it when they receive a letter like this because they know that there is no way they can keep the item on your report.  The MAJOR problem with this tactic is that it totally removes the trade line, and many people have poor credit more because of a lack of trade lines than from negative information.  If you have a 6xx score and you have less than 12 trade lines, it would actually hurt you more to remove an item with a few 30 day late payment than it would to keep it on your report.   But if you are in the 7xx range and have 20 trade lines it will likely be much better to remove the trade line.  (On a side note, the reason most millionaires use this trick is not to remove negative items, they use it to remove mortgages on investment real estate, because many banks have a limit on how many mortgages you can have at one time…doing this makes them not show up on the credit report.  They still must declare them all in the application but for some reason banks look at the credit report more than the loan application and give the credit anyway.)

If you want to keep the trade line you often can change it to make it less negative by disputing minor issues with it.  What follows is a set of instructions on how to dispute your credit the way most people do it.  Start with this first, you may get 50% or more of your negative items changed to positive, which is much better than deleting them.

With this economy you need all the help you can get to fix the last few years, and I truly hope that this blog entry helped someone.  If this helps you please comment below.

Start the dispute process

You have every right to dispute inaccuracies in your credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the credit bureaus and your creditors are obligated to correct inaccurate information in a timely manner.

How to file a dispute

  1. Contact the creditor with the incorrect information
    • We’ve created a sample letter that you can use to start the process
    • Some creditors will correct minor errors over the phone, so we recommend that you contact the creditor first
    • Your list of creditors can be found in the Creditor Contact section of your credit report
  2. Contact the credit bureaus
    • Disputes may be sent to the credit reporting agencies online or in a letter:
    • Experian – Disputes are not accepted by telephone, but you may file a dispute online(link to Experian online form)
    • Equifax – Disputes are accepted online (link to EFX dispute page), or you use one of our sample letters and mail your dispute
    • Trans Union – Disputes are accepted online (link to TU dispute page), or use one of our sample letters and mail your dispute
    • Once the credit reporting agency receives your request, it has 30 days to investigate and provide a response to you in writing. During its investigation, the credit reporting agency will contact the institution that provided the disputed information to seek verification of its accuracy. If the disputed information cannot be verified, it must be removed from your credit report or updated per your request. Information that is verified as accurate may remain in your credit files for as long as allowed by law.
    • You may file more than one dispute at a time. You may also file disputes with more than one credit reporting agency. Each dispute will be investigated separately, but may be processed simultaneously.
  3. Follow up
    • If you have not received a response to your request after 30 days, write a letter to the credit reporting agency indicating that you have not been notified of the results.
    • We’ve created a sample letter that you can customize as necessary to explain your case. Print, sign and mail the letter to the appropriate credit reporting agency, keeping a copy for your records.
  4. Don’t give up
    • If upon receiving the results of the investigation you are still not satisfied, you may request information regarding the person or institution that supplied the information.
    • We’ve created a sample letter that you can customize to your needs and include any additional information necessary to explain your case. Print, sign and mail the letter to the appropriate address, keeping a copy for your records.
    • You may also wish to add a 100-word consumer statement to your credit file explaining the reason for the disputed information so potential creditors have the total picture.
  5. If you do not recognize information on your credit report and suspect that you may be a victim of identity theft, in addition to filing a dispute, we recommend you file an Identity Theft claim.

My take on windows 7….

Today I got my hands on Windows 7.  I have used it a few times in the past just to do a task and it always worked just like Vista.  Today I had the chance to install it on a computer that I own.  Here are my impressions.  

The install was almost exactly like Vista, many of the screens were exactly the same except a different background.  It seems to have taken about the same amount of time as Vista to install.  The installed size was 6GB smaller than when I install Vista.  When it came up it looked almost like vista, except the icons on the QuickLaunch were larger.  But then after more examination I noticed that it is a hybrid sort of QuickLaunch, putting programs that are running and those that are not on the same bar.  Basically you see the icon and when the program is running it draws a box around the icon.  If you run more than one it draws more boxes out to the right.  If a program is running and you click the icon again it minimizes the application.  You can right click and select the program name again to launch a second copy.  If more than one is running and you click on the icon it will show you a thumbnail of each copy that is running.  Not a bad way to do things, but will take some getting used to that is for sure.  I am not sure that I really like this idea, and there is no option to do it the old way.

The major thing I noticed is that it was almost exactly like vista.  Almost every menu is exactly the same.  The Gadgets that come with the OS are all the same, except they added a launcher for Media Center, and you can zoom some gadgets to make them bigger and provide more info.  The games that come with the OS are the exact same group that comes with Vista, and the screen saver list is even shorter.  I was really looking for a really nice new screensaver or game idea, but alas there is not one.

Some really nice things I noticed about the OS is that is DOES seem to be quite a bit faster.  AVG installed much faster.  Also when it connected to a network it automatically started to set up sharing.  No more having to turn on sharing in 5 different places in Vista to get it to share something.  Also it has a really cool feature where it changes the background every few minutes, really making it seem alive, and it was very easy to download themes online.  There also was a large amount of great sound themes installed from the get go, much nicer than vista.

Another feature that I have been wishing that windows had for many years is the ability to simply make EVERYTHING bigger.  Before windows 7 if you wanted to make everything bigger the only real way to do it was to use a lower resolution, but this was so bad, especially on LCD monitors, it would make things blurry and such due to not having a 1 to 1 ratio between the resolution and the native pixels on the screen.  If you wanted to make things bigger you had to do things in many different location.  And vista and xp considered the resolution part of the hardware, so if one user changed it, it would be changed for all users.  Now with this zoom you can and should simply set your monitor to the highest resolution that it supports and then zoom for each user that needs it.  I did notice that some legacy gadgets that I installed did not scale, but everything else did.

Wireless was also easier to connect.  In vista you have to right click on the wireless, and choose to open the connection window, and there you can connect.  Now when you right click it shows a list of wireless networks and a connect button next to each one, so easy.  I also liked how all of the buttons were only white…I am not sure if I will still like that in a few days.  There are also many other minor changed that I have seen.  One thing it does by default now, something that I have been telling people to do for years, is that it puts all of the music, videos, public photos and such in a “Library” a place that all users have access to and it sets it up automatically for network shares, and such.  Very nice that it finally is automatic.  And to make it even better it even installed some modern codecs so that the videos actually play.

After installing a few progams I also noticed that there are many less confirmation dialog boxes, also the put all of those taskbar notifications together so that they bother you less.  3rd party notification are also put all in one area with no more annoying balloons.  I am sure many of the people I help will really like this.

Conclusion. This OS is basically the same as vista with a few nice and useful enhancements.  If you are installing an OS on a new computer I would go for Windows 7 for sure, there is no real down side at all.  But if I had a computer that was working great with Vista and I had to pay to upgrade I would really think twice, that the benefits are not enough for all the trouble.  All and all it is a good and stable OS, because it basically vista with a new interface, so no one should be afraid to upgrade like they were with vista.  If you still use XP, then WHAT ARE  YOU WAITING FOR, get windows 7, it should run on your computer and it MUCH better.

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