Sunday, December 31, 2017

Criminal of the Year 2017 Goes To...

Last year I crowned John Podesta first ever recipient of the prestigious B's Blog Idiot of the Year 2016. There is little doubt Mr. Podesta was well deserving of this award as his incompetence cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 Presidential Election.

This year, there is no one really worthy of idiocy. However, there is one person that deserves to be shunned from society forever. That person is Harvey Weinstein. His actions were so petty, so disgusting, and so criminal. Because of Mr. Swinestein's behavior he foolishly destroyed his career, a career that was the envy of Hollywood, and in which Mr. Weinstein dedicated his entire adult life.

The idiocy of Mr. Weinstein beyond comparison to any ridiculous excuse Hillary Clinton gave for losing the election, more anger inducing that finding out Hillary's team paid to discredit Trump with a fake dossier, and, more upsetting that the horrid bevy of tweets that came from @realdonaldtrump this year.

Mr. Weinstein's actions have completely upended Hollywood and destroyed other celebrities such as Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, & Eric Bolling.

Everyone from Rose McGowan to Alyssa Milano have raised the stakes since the New York Times, Ronan Farrow story broke. Now all the skeletons from decades of abuse are coming out of the woodwork and the likes of Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, & Danny Masterson have been publicly shunned & branded personas-non-Grata by Hollywood and corporations across the world.

Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that Mr. Weinstein's actions shed light on all of Hollywood's problems, but this award is only concerned with the effects of his on actions on himself.

So congratulations Harvey! You are fat, repulsive in every way and potentially headed to prison. For all your salacious acts, including rape, retaliation, and sexual harassment, you are duly crowned B's Blog Criminal of the Year 2017! Enjoy this high honor!

B.






Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Rise of the Free Lance Tweeter

The creation of social media networks has infiltrated everything in our daily lives. From what cats are doing on Facebook, to what our President is thinking in less than 280 characters, we are all constantly barraged by daily social media inputs.

So maybe it is not entirely surprising that on the Twittersphere, there has sprung up a generation of self-appointed Twitter news personalities. One such personality I follow is David Weissman from Jerusalem, Israel. David is a U.S. Army veteran, Donald Trump's biggest fan, & champion of the Jewish & American people.

I follow David not because he has any traditional credentials, but mostly because he doesn't. He is on the scene in Jerusalem, reporting minute by minute in what seems like a 24/7/365 job.

David has the attributes that many in this new type of work in that he writes, tweets, support a couple of causes passionately, and most importantly is only accountable to his followers. This makes everything that David puts to the screen unquestionably not a conflict of interest. He is not bought and sold, he is not trying to get a promotion, he is only providing content from his personal perspective for his over 35,000 followers.

While I disagree with David on many issues, from Trump's morality, to the settlements in Israel, I still follow him because I know he says what he means.

The mainstream media's bias left, right, up and down coupled with the rise of social media has created the demand for this new news product. There are countless others that do similar things on Twitter, blogs, podcasts & more, providing similar, on the scene, unadulterated content.

I don't know if David makes any real money from what he does, but much can be said about someone that has true passion, and takes it upon himself to offer alternatives to FOX, CNN, and MSNBC. From starting with no followers, no celebrity endorsers or marketing cash, David has elevated himself to the coveted "Blue Checkmark" status on Twitter entirely from his own will power.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of David's Twitter following success is that he does not give out free follows. Let me explain, many people on Twitter follow back every single person that follows them. They do this automatically via their personal Twitter settings. David does not do this. He follows only those people be is genuinely interested in following. This means that he can not grow his follower base at nearly the same rate as those Twitter users that do automatically follow every follower. This speaks to his integrity and even more so to the genuineness of this new type of Twitter content provider.

I will curiously watch David and other self-made news personalities on social media curious if they can monetize their work, or if the work itself is all the payday they'd ever want. I haven't asked David, but my guess is he'll be working hard in ten years for his followers whether he is making a dollar or ten million a year from his activities.

While I'm not one for shout outs, or even personal content pieces, I felt it important to highlight how the consumption of news is changing in our everyday lives.

Well done Mr. Weissman.

B.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sexual Misconduct in Our Society & What to Do About it

The last couple of months have seen a firestorm of sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape & other sexually based accusations surface that can be described as deviant at best, felonious, monstrous, predatory & unforgivable at worst.

I have been weary to tackle such an issue. This subject is uncomfortable, ruins friendships, initiates police investigations & has few benefits to the people that report on it. Do you think Ronan Farrow has many more friends now that he has alienated half of society?

However, I do believe there is nothing that is restricted when it comes to free speech except the illegal. So I will wander into this quagmire to provide a framework of what is going on, not a judgement.

In the eyes of the law, people are entitled to say whatever they want about someone else, so long as it is true, and it doesn't break any other laws. Claiming a person, that has sexually harassed you, is a sexual harasser is 100% legal and is a complete bar to defamation.

People such as Corey Feldman, Rose McGowan, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawerence, Terry Crews, Rachel McAdams, & many, many, many, more have come to the plate and told their stories of sexual abuse.

If Rose McGowan was raped (as she says) by Harvey Weinstein, any mal-effects from the accusation felt by Weinstein are legally permissible and almost expected. However, should it be proved Rose McGowan was lying, she would be responsible for paying for all of the commensurate dollar value of Weinstein's mal-effects.

This seems logical, and righteous. However, what is to be done about the person that was wrongly accused as is now black-balled from Hollywood?

There is no court of Hollywood with which to redress being fired from projects and being rejected from roles. An advocate for the accused would argue that an accusation is a de facto death sentence in the current environment. In the last few weeks, we have seen Kevin Spacey & Charlie Rose be terminated from numerous projects due to allegations.

We have also seen some accused categorically deny any abuse. Brett Ratner comes to mind. He has been terminated from various projects and Gal Gadot has said she will not reprise Wonder Woman with him if he is in the credits.

But what happens to John X, who is legitimately innocent of a complaint, but has still experienced the consequences of his guilty peers? How should this be processed? I have no good answer. The law would say sue for defamation to be made whole. But even if a defamation suit is won, would it be commensurate with a life in Hollywood lost?

I believe that even if Harvey Weinstein was 100% innocent (which not I, nor upward of 100% of America believe), he would prefer to work in Hollywood again versus being paid any dollar amount.

As I type, the Twitter machine works overtime to process everything that has done in the modern past. However, there has to be a better system than tweeting an accusation which leads to another tweet, which leads to someone that has decades of work ruined in an instant. At the current time, we have no better way to redress past injustices than Twitter.

Is the accusation all that means anything? I would hope not as if I was wrongly accused of a sexual misdeed, I would want due process in the investigation. I would decry a sentence before the verdict.

And here our dilemma stands. Truth v. Accusation. As a free society we love truth as a fundamental human right. But there is no right 'to yell fire in a crowded theater (if there isn't a fire).'

What I can conclude is that we need society to gather and formulate the proper response for both the victim & the accused. Until then we are doing no more than shooting from our hip at every accusation comes forth. This is not right for the accused. And any accuser should stand for those wrongly accused as it detracts from their righteousness in accusing a true perpetrator.

What this blog aims to remedy is that we need serious & expedient change when it comes to sexual violations in the workplace and life in general.  I would like the victims of abuse to have the loudest voice in determining how we more forward with these issues. The accused should also be given a voice, if only to provide sound debate.

My ultimate wish is that when sexual violations in our society occur, there is a responsible procedure for both the victim and the accused, if I asked for anything less, I'd be remiss if I didn't return my law degree.

B.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Crytocurrencies are Real...Bitcoin is Problematic

All the rage in the financial world this year has revolved around Bitcoin. The price of one Bitcoin has skyrocketed from $1,000 at the beginning of the year, to almost $7,000 less than ten months later.

But what is Bitcoin? Why are people buying it? Will Bitcoin continue to soar to new heights indefinitely? What about the other crytocurrencies? And last but not least, should I buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital fiat. It is used around the world to pay from everything from a hotel room to a phone bill. It works based on a decentralized software platform. This means that no one controls Bitcoin, and everyone does. A decentralized fiat has great benefits, but it also has a great pitfall.

First, Bitcoin can be used in more and more places everyday. Imagine not taking your credit cards or cash with you ever again and still being able to fund your life using Bitcoin payments. It truly is the first international currency and everyday tens of thousands of new accounts are opened across the world.

Bitcoin is secure. Many people want nothing less than a way to pay for items without compromising sensitive information. No need to worry about credit card fraud charges ever again. No need to wonder if someone will steal your checking account number on a check. And, there is no worrying about losing cash on the street (we've all dropped a $20 bill at some point). Bitcoin solves all these problems.

Bitcoin can not be regulated by governments the way a centralized banking institution can. When the Feds come after you for say tax fraud, they can go to your bank and freeze or seize all your assets. There is no master switch to meddle with your funds using Bitcoin.

Why are people buying Bitcoin? At this moment, people the world over believe Bitcoin will increase in value as more and more people continue to purchase the crytocurrency. In many ways, Bitcoin is like paper money. The only reason people use it or accept it is because they believe they can easily transfer the Bitcoin value to dollars (or other intl. currencies). Additionally, there is an investor class that has no intention of using Bitcoin as a currency, but is holding Bitcoin for solely investment purposes. As there are a maximum of 21 million Bitcoins, Bitcoin continues to operate in true supply and demand fashion.

In this manner, Bitcoin acts like a stock. It could be said that Bitcoin is a hybrid, both currency & investment. Unlike an investment, Bitcoin does not have any returns from operating.

This suggests that there is a point at which Bitcoin will reach price stability. Once the marketplace had fully baked in all those people that can buy it, there is no more tangible reason for it to increase in price. A company like Apple however does not have this limitation as the value of stocks are intrinsically tied to the value of the company which has an infinite maximum return potential.

The pitfall of Bitcoin. The greatest problem with Bitcoin is the processing speed. Bitcoin only processes transactions once every ten minutes in what is called a block. If you initiate a transaction 1 nanosecond after the block is transacted, you have to wait 10 minutes until the next block begins at which point you will now have to wait another 10 minutes for your transaction to be processed. This means you could wait a maximum of 20 minutes per transaction And, that's if there are no processing bottlenecks, which are happening all the time right now.

If you are at 7-11, the grocery store or paying at any other POS terminal with Bitcoin, transactions become labored at best and unfeasible at worst. Transaction times for credit cards measure less than 10 seconds on average. There is no way to fix this problem and that is why there are newer cryto-currencies such as Such as Litecoin & Ethereum that solve this long transaction time dilemma.

Does this mean that Bitcoin will mostly be used over the web where a 10 plus minute wait is not material to the transaction? Perhaps. The future may consist of multiple cryto-currencies being used for different distinct purposes. Certainly the cryto-currency markets anticipate this as there is over $180 billion dollars invested in cryto-currencies of which there is about $65 billion in cryto-currencies other than Bitcoin. The second most valuable cryto-currency is Ethereum which sports an average 20 second transaction time.

The other real possibility is that Bitcoin will not survive long into the future. Once cryto-currencies stabilize and become used primarily as currency transactions, users will demand greater speed which may eventually cause the value of Bitcoin to flee to other faster currencies such as Ethereum.

And the big question...Should I buy Bitcoin? Many renowned hedge fund managers believe Bitcoin will reach $50,000 in the next two years. They cite the enormous swell in Bitcoin accounts & consolidation (there are over 1,000 other cryto-currencies) of cryto-currencies as evidence that there is an enormous increase in Bitcoin value moving forward. Just like a stock, when there are more buyers than sellers the price will increase whether there is true value in the asset or not. Until new Bitcoin accounts drops off, it is unlikely it's value will do anything but increase in the short term.

In ten years Bitcoin may be worth absolutely nothing as markets may determine other cryto-currencies function better for mass transactions, but that time is a long way off.

I see it like this...Bitcoin is acting like the single stock available to commoners that do not have a brokerage account. If there is only one stock to buy and more and more people continue to enter, the price can only go up.

So yes! Buy the damn thing.

B.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Dog is a Ghost

Life is something isn't it? When you thought you were up you're down, when out, in, when dead, well...

My best friend, Winston C. Antler, or Winnie was not just another dog. He was the ONE.  I knew from the very first moment I met Winston that he was for me. I offered him milkbones and all he wanted was to kiss my face. From that day in early 2005 on, I've known no other world than that with my dog in it.

It was only half a year ago, that Winston, 12 at the time, was continuing to roar with life. He still played ferociously with his stuffed dog toys. Playing so hard as to kill most of his toys through disemboweling their stuffing one bite at a time.

Then, one day about 4 months ago I noticed him bleeding from his mouth. There was an aggressive mass growing on the inside of his left jowl. Though Winston continued to give me great joy, I knew his time was coming to an end.

And then the day came when he couldn't breath from his nose anymore because the mass had grown so large. I held him the entire night before I put him to sleep the next day.

ALAS! This is not a blog intended to depress you. In fact, quite the opposite.

Less than a month from his passing, strange things started happening at my house. First, the rose bush that Winston always used to do his business on sprouted the most beautiful single pink flower. It was completely out of place, and I took it as a sign that he was a peace. Certainly, I did not believe a rose signified his spirit, but it was strange.

Then the real craziness began. About two weeks ago, I got a new laptop computer to aid in completing novels that I have been working on for over a year. I regularly listen to Pandora while working on the computer, so a browser tab was open with Pandora in the background. I turned off the music before I went to bed. At 3:26 am on the dot, I awoke, to a computer playing jazz in the middle of the night. Sure, new computers generally, do not play music on their own accord, but I dismissed the event as a harmless anomaly.

I laid back down in bed and a white glowing box shape appeared in my room. At the same time, I could feel a presence touching my arms. The apparition moved closer to me. The hair on my skin stood up, and electricity raced through my entire body. Not knowing what was going on, I started screaming NO! NO! NO! And suddenly, the apparition disappeared.

Wide awake now, I got up and moved to the living room. The lights I turned on in the house started glowing bright, and dark, as if someone was playing with the dimmer switch.

Then I saw the apparition again. This time, I was not afraid. As weird as the sighting was, I could feel the energy was not negative, but positive. I started speaking to it.

"Winnie! Is that you? My Winnie! I miss you so much." I spoke to the presence. And then the spirit seemed to jump on the chair Winston always lounged on.

The fabric on the chair moved as if there was weight on top of it. I could make out his tail wagging against the back of the chair.

"Winnie! It is you! I love you so much, I knew I would see you again!" I said crying and laughing. All basic human emotions except hate raged through my body.

I keep staring at the chair and the apparition clarified enough for me to make out his face. There was no question in my mind. My dog had come back to play and love me.

He moved from the chair to the couch I was on and I could feel his presence on my chest. It was pure joy. It was the sensation we feel in those special moments that come maybe a couple times a year. All I could do was smile and cry.

As the 4 o' clock hour came, the presence lost intensity until about 4:15 am when I ceased to feel anything.

Now any one supernatural event, as real as it may be, is always subject to scrutiny after the fact, especially once the raw emotion is gone from the equation. Did I see optical illusions? Did I chose to see my dog regardless of what I was looking at? Was I just out of my mind? Well, one thing is certain, I was drunk or on drugs. A sober mind is much more difficult to dispute than a mind altered by substances.

And then it happened again. Two nights later, at 3:26 am again, my cell phone alarm clock started ringing. Needless to say, there was no alarm scheduled. I checked my phone to make sure it was not a late night phone call. There were NO missed calls. Winston woke me up, he wanted to play.

That night no apparition appeared, but there was a glowing sense in the room. There was a presence. It was on my head. Winston was licking my forehead on my bed as he used to do.

Back to the rose, as a few days passed, the pink rose began to wilt. Low and behold, just as that rose was dying, a new single bud sprouted with another rose in its' place. This rose was just as majestic as the first. When most of the springtime roses were small, this fall rose was enormous.

A couple nights later it happened again. This time at 3:26 am the oven timer went off.

There was no doubt left in my mind, I was being haunted by Winston Antler, friendly resident ghost dog.

After telling my friends about these events, some disclosed they had seen ghosts as well. As there are no confirmed ghost sightings I know about, I wasn't sure if my friends believed truly in ghosts, or if they merely attributed a strange moment to the spirits. But as I talked to people more and more, it became apparent that many people had many experiences that could only be described as a haunting (happy or scary).

So I asked myself a simple question: If ghosts are in fact real, does that mean that God, Jesus, the devil, heaven, and hell are all real too? How does someone (me) who has embraced science his whole life explain something that can not be explained?

I believe there are two possible explanations to this conundrum (given the assumption that ghosts are real).

The first answer is that God and all other religious beliefs are real. How can anything supernatural be real without a deity to do the impossible?

The second, which I find more interesting, is that we are SIMS. Yes, I went there. Elon Musk has said he believes there is a less that 1 in a billion chance we are NOT SIMS. You can look it up on Google. Being a simulation would explain the ghost. Just like in Sim City, there are options to launch earthquakes, meteor strikes, fires, tornadoes, aliens, etc.

What if a higher being merely is playing a game that involves a similar play to Sim City? Certainly this would explain a ghost.

There is no way to prove we are Sims or that God is in fact real. However, my dog coming to me in the middle of the night is as real as anything else in my life experience. And whether we are real, fake, created by God or not, I am thankful that I have the best dog anyone could ever ask for even if he is now a ghost.

I love you Winnie.



For 40 seconds of a great tune check out: MY DOG IS A GHOST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff6wFmoK3ug

B.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The Absurdity of Our Society

The last six months of American politics have pitched friends against friends and families into feuds. One thing is certain, the anger in this country is palpable. Let's explore why Americans find themselves at this fork in the road and what can be done about it.

President Trump has polarized this country like never before in modern American history. He embodies some of the worst characteristics of a human and at the same time he is our Commander in Chief.

Liberals still convinced the election was stolen via a Trump-Russian conspiracies can not acknowledge anything President Trump does is a positive for America. If he doesn't bomb Syria it's because he is a Russian puppet. If he does bomb Syria it is only a 'stunt' to detract from all his other impeachable offenses. Basically, Trump could save the world and he would still be vilified by nearly half of America.

Many of my own friends on Facebook continue comparisons of Trump to Hitler on a daily basis. As a Jew this enrages me beyond measure. Hitler has no comparison. If anyone should have that unfair comparison labeled against them it is Bashar Al-Assad.

Apparently Trump's campaign was so Hitleresk that no matter what he does in his Presidency they, the liberals, will consider him a failure, employing a false flag attack, stunt, or diversion.

I do not like President Trump for many reasons. He is a mysogynist, a blowhard, asshole, partial racist, etc. But, he IS our President.

Hoping everything he does is a failure is what ISIS thinks. Trump will not be impeached by a completely controlled Republican Congress so STOP SAYING IT! It only makes you look completely partisan and like an asshole. How about trying something completely novel...helping America.

For all those Trump haters, what have you done to say you are supporting the country? Hating on the President doesn't count.

I would have hated Hillary as President, but if she made good decisions I would not try and justify those decisions as a conspiracy to devoid the President of positive action in support of America. I WOULD support her.

If your hang up is only Donald Trump, move to Russia for the next four years. If Trump is reelected, let's see if you would still want to move back to America. My guess is yes.

B.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Russian Hackers Confirm John Podesta is an Idiot - Fool of the Year 2016

December 17, 2016 - Not in Washington

Yesterday, President Obama informed the D.C. press corps he intends to take bold action in retaliation for Russian hacking of the DNC during this past election season.

Our top federal law enforcement agencies confirm the Ruskies are responsible of exposing that John Podesta is an idiot. Officials also confirmed Podesta's email was hacked using a 3rd grader phishing scheme.

For those that don't know what phishing is, it is about the equivalency of the letter you got in the 80's telling you your long-lost African half-brother, also a Nigerian prince, has $20 million trapped in Eastern Europe.

He needs $5,000 from you to import his millions, in return he'll give you $200,000. Sometimes you can milk as much as $5 million off this deal.

Who could refuse such a fool-proof get-rich-quick scheme?

OK. For reals. Someone in a phishing scam sends you an email from a tricky email address that looks like it is an official email. Let's use Gmail in this example, as Podesta did.

Ex. passwordreset@gmail.cf34s.com 

Holy smokes! Password, reset, and Gmail in the same email address! This must be from Google! 

Actually no John, it's from the www.cf34s.com email server. 'Gmail' here is a subdomain meant to fool you, which apparently worked.

The 'name' of the email may look more official such as 'Gmail Account Services'

The subject of the email will scare you, such as 'Password Breach - Reset Password Immediately!'

The true art of the scam is in the body of the email. Do the forged logos match Gmails' so well you believe it to be authentic? Is the email content free of typos and grammatical errors as you would expect from a world-class corporation?

If all the details, such as even legal notices in fine print at the bottom of the email, the formatting coming off clean, and, well...even a Georgetown J.D. can be fooled into thinking it is real.

Now Podesta is trying to pin the error on a tech that made a 'typo.' There are just a couple problems with this I can see. 

1. Was Podesta too stupid to even believe the email was official to ask a tech? He should with his great knowledge, deleted that sucker immediately. 

2. A tech allegedly wrote to Podesta the site was 'legitimate' when the tech meant to say 'illegitimate.' This is more B.S. in my opinion to make Podesta look a little less stupid.

Why? Because no one writes 'illegitimate' about a phishing scam that knows anything about tech. They say this is a 'scam email,' it's a 'phishing scam, 'delete immediately!'

3. The aides are saying they were in complete control of Podesta's email, using his password, and accessing the links in the phishing related reset emails. That's nice for the aides to take the fall.

The aides were then apparently completely incompetent. Did they hire Georgetown grads to use Podesta's email account? 

The aides also claimed they had received hundreds of spam emails like this. So how did this one slip through when they were looking for these emails like bankers look for dyed $100 bills?

Then the last issue. What do they say in your first day of college? Do not give your school email address password to ANYONE! What do they say your first day of law school? Do not give your school email password to ANYONE! Not even your dog!

Podesta is a fool for breaking this sacred email rule. If he can't answer his own email, people shouldn't be emailing him; they should be emailing his aides instead. This is gross incompetency at the very least, and lies most likely as well.

For this lovely faux paux costing Hillary the election...drum roll...John Podesta is our official, 1st Annual B's Blog:

'Fool of the Year - 2016!'

Congratulations on this high award John!

-B.

Criminal of the Year 2017 Goes To...