Monday, January 31, 2011

Are you serious?? 6 websites you never knew existed...

If you are like me, which I am sure most of you are not but if you ever suffer from a bout with insomnia then you'll understand how I came to find these web sites.

BTW - Check out my new and improved webpage at http://www.iamthekz.com/
With the holidays and me working retail I had some issues with the site. It is back up and running with a ton cool stuff.


This website is dedicated to the the failings of human beings that is sometimes epic but always funny...


The name of the site says it all. I couldn't help but thinking as I was surfing the pages what potentially uber embarrassing picture from my family photo album might pop up on one of these pages...


We all have that friend that can't help themselves from posting something utterly meaningless 10 times a day. Well this page is a collection of the best of the worst that takes away the mystery of why China will be eating our lunch in 20 years...


Cellphone cameras and iphone videos capture it all in this day and age. This site is dedicated to the more slapstick side of life.


This page is awesome, on the East Coast they have Jersey Shore, the West Coast has enviro-loving starbuck sipping sandle wearing yuppies, and in the no coast midwest we get stuck with the passive aggressive.


Sometimes you wish you had an unsend button from text messages you sent on you cellphone. I propose a sober meter that measures your blood alcohol level before sending any text to any ex in my phone...

Friday, November 19, 2010

No lose lottery: the Solution?

Is a no lose lottery the solution to our countries economic problems?

You know I cannot say I disagree with the prospect of a no lose lottery. I mean I cannot even begin to tell the stupid things I have done with my money. Last year alone was my best income year by something like 30% more than the previous year, and yet all I have to show for it a bunch of high balances on credit cards and zero savings.

Therefore, I ride the rollercoaster ride, play a losing game of Russian roulette, and consume as much as I can with my money. It is really neurosis extended through my spending behavior. Yet for as many dumb things I seem to do, I have never brought myself to play the lottery. Nothing worse than stopping in for your morning caffeine at the local gas station and there are three people ahead turning in scratch offs and giving the attendant those slips. Then the person behind the counter goes over to the weird lottery computer for what seems like an eternity…

I know you could potentially win millions of dollars but the odds never made any sense to me. I certainly have never met or known anyone within my social circle anyone who won the actual lottery or Powerball. I guess enough people who know people who know people know someone who have won so I can accept that it is not a complete scam although, I did not feel as though it was a smart use of my hard-earned funds.

I read somewhere something like 80% of the lotteries revenue comes from people making less $50,000 a year. There is approximately 15% of our population at or below poverty and 34% of our population make over $65,000 a year. Which mean six out 10 people fall in the same range as me?

First off there needs to be warning labels on lottery tickets advising people whom make below a certain income should be strongly advised against participating in the lottery. Just for a moment, consider the cost to our society. Check out a statement I read on a website…

“Poor Americans are significantly more likely than those with high incomes to have health risk factors that include smoking, being overweight, and having a sedentary lifestyle. However, they also use less health care than most Americans and are less likely than the nonpoor to have had a recent physician contact, receive preventive care such as immunizations or cancer screening, or to avoid hospitalization for serious conditions by receiving preventive, office-based care. People living in poverty have a higher prevalence of disability and chronic illness and shorter life expectancy than those at higher income levels.”

So if a person chooses to invest in lottery tickets instead of annual healthcare checkups than you lower your life expectancy. It is dangerous to play the lottery…

The other day on my way home from work I was listening to NPR on the way home, and they had one of the people on who wrote the book freakonomics on the station. He made an interesting point about the so-called prospect of a no lose lottery. Essentially, instead of buying a lottery ticket you place your money into savings. Instead of getting your typical 2% rate, you only get 1% but the other 1% goes into a pool and is distributed like a lottery. So instead of winning a few million, more winners get monthly chance of getting an extra $4000 a month or a once a year shot at $100,000.

The best part you get to keep 100% of everything you have put in!!

If we got smart and outlawed, the current lottery and setup a lottery system like this it would pump billions of dollars back into the economy especially in the lower income class. I urge the president to stand up for us on this one. Yes, will our state and local budgets suffer? Yes, will people lose jobs they are in currently as it becomes illegal to run a lottery business?

The alternative to consider is states could setup state run banks to administer these prize-linked savings and could offer a number of other services in regular banking. Interestingly enough they already have a state run bank in the state of North Dakota. Last year the bank contributed hundreds of millions to the state’s budget.

I am no economist and I would not presume to even begin to work out all detailed implications. Some would have me burned at the stake for heresy to the Adam Smith Doctrine. My counter argument is no one is free from guilt in this nation from economic manipulation. We all stand to benefit from a more stable banking system.

If a US citizen chooses to invest their hard-earned money in a government backed bank institution it is their own free choice. In addition, I am sure we could provide some federal oversight over the industry and have rigid rules as to how these institutions operated. Obviously, it would not be an entire takeover of the US banking industry.

Americans would be free to bank where they chose too so you are free to keep all your account with Goldman Sacks for that segment of society. Meanwhile those of us providing the labor for the economy we have a chance to be managers of our public and private finance. Our bank may not be directly involved the stock market but we could offer interesting solutions to our countries socio-economic issues of the day.

Think about it, not only could the bank offer loans for personal or business (which would free up capital for small business to invests\; the driver of economic job growth) but also we could offer IRA’s and other retirement savings. If we ever go for the privatization of social security solution, an alternative could be just to setup accounts for every American at their local government banking institution.

The potential issue for business is then how much money is the government going to take away from their market? Again, I am not sure, that is for someone who has studied economics for decades to synthesize. I just tend to think I offer a fresh solution.

Think of it this way. Instead of your bank profiting from you from the interest they make from reinvesting your money, the government could make interest on our money on too. Our tax rate could also be affected by the interest we are making in a positive way and solve budget problems. Low and behold, all of the lottery workers laid off would probably have the skillset necessary to support an increased banking system.

We would create jobs, have more money, and pay fewer taxes. I am sure we could agree upon rigid rules to prevent direct government intervention into the banking system. If the top third of Americans stood to lose a few hundred billion dollars I think they could whether the storm. I do not believe it would come close to collapsing the entire socio-economic system. This is not anywhere close to the trillions gone from economy at the end of the housing boom.

This is not the end solution for all of our socio-economic ills as a nation but I believe this would be a positive first step. What is true is that we live the greatest nation on the planet in present history. Some people are suffering while there are others who do not suffer from economic deficiency. As long as we make it okay to allow suffering in our country how could we ever reach our full potential. I may not have all the answers, but I do not think we should give up on trying…

Monday, November 15, 2010

The dumbest things Americans believe... I can't believe it!

So I was surfing the net and I came across this article at http://www.alternet.org about the dumb things Americans believe. Check it out its pretty funny if not just sad...

•Nearly one-fifth of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Thanks, Fox news, for acting like this was a matter of opinion, not fact.
•25 percent of Americans don’t believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution while less than 40 percent do. Consider the fact that several of our newly elected officials, specifically newly elected Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, share that belief.
•Earlier this year, nearly 40 percent of Americans still believed the Sarah Palin-supported lie about "death panels" being included in health care reform.
•As of just a few years ago, about half of Americans still suspected a connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11, a lie that was reinforced by none other than Dick Cheney.
•While a hefty amount of this demonstrable cluelessness gets better as the respondents get younger, all is not well in the below-30 demographic. A majority of “young Americans” cannot identify Iraq or Afghanistan--the places their peers are fighting and dying--on a map.
•Two out of five Americans, despite the whole separation of church and state being a foundation of our democracy thing, think teachers should be able to lead prayer in classrooms. So it seems those right-wingers clamoring to tear down the wall between church and state aren’t the only ones who don’t know their constitutional principles.
•Many Americans still believe in witchcraft, ESP and other supernatural phenomena. Does that explain why Christine O’Donnell was so quick to deny her “dabbling”?
•Speaking of antiquated religious beliefs, about a decade ago, 20 percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth. That's just sad, considering that even the Vatican has let Galileo off the hook for being right.
•Only about half of Americans realize that Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions. Other examples of wild misunderstanding about religion and the separation of church and state can be found in this fall’s Pew survey on Americans’ religious knowledge.
•This one made a huge splash when it appeared. In 2006 more Americans were able to name two of the “seven dwarves” than two of the Supreme Court justices. And that was before Kagan and Sotomayor showed up. To be fair, Happy and Sleepy are easy to remember.
•More Americans can identify the Three Stooges than the three branches of government--you know, the ones who are jockeying over our welfare.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

7 quotes that may change you life!

Anyone who knows me will tell you kz is an atheist to the highest degree. I would not presume to argue the point although, I do believe there is much to be learned from the spiritual leaders of history. Buddha said, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” It is in that spirit today I tackle some of my favorite Buddha sayings and share them with my own beliefs…

As a solid rock cannot be moved by the wind, the wise are not shaken by praise or blame. – Buddha

You have to be able to keep things in perspective. I have often found myself in this position and it takes careful discipline in thinking in order to follow this very simple rule. When you receive praise a simple thank you goes a long way as does someone who knows how to accept blame.
Do not live your life by gaining acceptance or fearing rejection of others.

What we think, we become. – Buddha

This is so short and sweet but in the end, its words are very powerful. Those who believe life to be great usually live that way. Then there are others who think the world owes them something, and they tragically end up waiting their entire lives to receive something that is never coming. Start by using positive thinking, unbelievably, it is easier than it sounds.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. – Buddha

Wayne Dyer in one of his speeches brought up a great illustration of this, those of us who never have enough and always want more. We have our heads firmly planted in the future we say things like “once this happens” or “when I finally get” whatever it is we think our problems will all be solved. Whether it is a promotion at work, the car you always wanted, the house, the spouse, whatever it is it never is enough. We reach that point then it is on to the next thing. It is a never-ending loop, future living + disappointment from it not happening the way you want it too = unhappiness. The best of all you are the one responsible for your own unhappiness and dissatisfaction…
Try this for a change, try to notice the small things, and enjoy the moment you live in. Be thankful for everything you have. Believe in your own ability to create a reality that you shape. Life is a state of mind.

Fools wait for a lucky day but every day is a lucky day for an industrious man. – Buddha

I have been waiting for a lucky day my whole entire life it still has not come. Virtues of hard work, patience, persistence, and tenacity are the reality. There is no easy way to a payday, most of us will not ever come close to winning the lottery, while you are waiting for your luck to change someone else is already out there working hard for what you want. Knowledge is abundant and there is no shortage of it. No matter what income level you are at there is libraries that hold vast information. You can learn anything if you apply yourself. The hard part is discipline.

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea. – Buddha

So many thought and ideas float in our heads. Imagine a world in which you live you are free to go after them, all of them. The truth is we actually live there, and the sad part is many of us chose not to go after what we truly think.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. – Buddha

My Dad always used to say to me “Son tomorrow is another day.” It took me years to understand what he was trying to say I still do not know that I fully understand its meaning. I am as guilty as everyone else of being disappointed in results that I so desperately wanted in so many things. Before we go to bed each night no matter what we are feeling I think we should all take account of everything we have and be thankful because things could be much worse. Modern miracles such as automobiles, public transportation, indoor plumbing, and electricity can be things we often take for granted. The next time you reach your breaking point remember not all things we have that our ancestors did.

For the sake of others' welfare, however, great, let not one neglect one's own welfare. – Buddha

My critics say I am selfish focus so much on oneself. I have to admit I am not selfish at all nor do I encourage others to do so. The biggest thing you can do in life to help others around you is work on yourself. We all have things we need to work on. Work on them let’s go! By neglecting yourself and focusing on other things, you are not making things any better you are making them worse. For every person whom is on welfare in the US there are tens of times of many living off social welfare. That is those whom prey upon those with their victim stories and manipulate there self through life by sharing there sob stories on those who will listen and take pity. Do not be a victim, stand up, and take responsibility for your life. We all have a story to tell the difference is some of us make conscious decision to use it as a crutch or to stand up on our two feet accept responsibility for that which we create.