Friday, July 19, 2019

Quote of the Day


 













The progress of the intellect is to the clearer vision of causes, which neglects surface differences. To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Short Story of the Day: 'The Diamond Necklace' by Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant



















Book Review: 'Dyed Souls' by Gary Santorella

Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella

Painting of the Day: Flowers by John William Godward



Flowers by John William Godward, 1912

Interview: Christopher Whalen explains how 'flyover America' pushed Donald Trump over the top

Editor's note: This interview was originally published in April 2017.

This is the second part of my discussion with Christopher Whalen. The first piece is available. 
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
As always, there is a lot going on in Washington, DC nowadays. No small measure of it relates to money, but not necessarily campaign spending.
How Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, his administrative personnel -- along with Republicans on Capitol Hill -- handle the economy will make or break this presidency's legacy. Trump promised a great deal to his supporters, and managed to unilaterally see through some of his pledges, but found congressional-slash-judicial opposition toward others.
Most intriguing is that Trump tied the seemingly non-fiscal matter of immigration to his economic platform. Foreign trade, while more relevant to national wages than border patrol hirings, has traditionally been in the realm of international policy. Trump broke from precedent by tying it to the average American's quality of life.
Politics have not been the same since, and it seems unlikely that they will revert to business-as-usual anytime in the foreseeable future. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Short Story of the Day: 'In The Wood' by Ewart Alan Mackintosh

Ewart Alan Mackintosh

Commentary: 'How Millennials Lost the Value of a Dollar' by Aaron Clarey

I Don't Get Patreon

I don't get Patreon.

Oh, I understand how it works.  I have an account.  I even make some decent beer money off of it monthly.  But I do not philosophically understand how it's even a success.  The reason why is a simple economic principle my brain just can't ignore - you're paying for nothing.  You get nothing in return.  It is true charity and cannot possibly benefit you except for perhaps the warm fuzzies that come from helping out somebody you endorse.

Even accounting for the irrational "warm fuzzies" people get from wasting their money on problems that will never be solved charity, I additionally don't understand how Patreon is successful when there is an infinitely superior way to monetize you content while not costing your followership a single penny - Amazon's affiliate program.  Amazon's affiliate program is drastically superior to Patreon because it doesn't cost your followers anything, but you get paid a 6-7% commission on all their Amazon purchases.  I use the program myself, and in my podcasts I always recommend people use my Amazon Affiliate program before merely donating Patreon money, but some diehard fans insist on donating to Patreon (of which I am eternally grateful).

Still, despite Amazon being a superior way to monetize your content, I am factually, mathematically, and empirically in the wrong when it comes to Patreon, because everybody seems to love patreon.

Even as a disbeliever in patreon, I make a tidy little $123 a month through my Patreon account.  This is nothing compared to a much more popular podcaster, Dick Masterson, who makes $22,000 a month on his patreon account.  There is Park Seo-yeon who makes $9,000 per month merely eating food online. I recall a young woman who was a webcam model who made over $200,000 a month (but could not find the article).  And then there is the recent Belle Delphine who was made famous for selling her used bathwater online for $30 a bottle.  She has a patreon account, but does not list her monthly income (of which I'd conservatively estimate to be over $100,000).  Everybody loves Patreon and are willing to put up the money to provde.  Ergo, once again, I am wrong and society is right.


Book Review: 'The Fyfield Plantation (Arcadia’s Children #2)' by Andrew R. Williams

The Fyfield Plantation by Andrew R.  Williams

Painting of the Day: 'La Pensierosa' by John William Godward



La Pensierosa by John William Godward, 1912

Interview: Why do Allan Lichtman's 'keys to the presidency' predict elections so well? He explains.

Editor's note: This interview was originally published in April 2017.

This is the final article of my discussion with Dr. Allan Lichtman. The firstsecond, and third pieces are available. 
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
"Like I've said before .... polls are only good for strippers and cross-country skiers," Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly two days before last year’s presidential election.
While I have criticized her more than a fair bit during years gone by, it is undeniable that she turned out to be a sage among pundits.
When Palin made her remark, virtually all national opinion surveys – save two highly important yet conspicuously underreported ones – indicated an impending win for Hillary Clinton. Reuters predicted she was set to win 247 electoral votes outright and favored to seize so many more that her chance of victory hovered at 90 percent.
At the Princeton Election Consortium, Dr. Sam Wang – a neuroscientist and prolific author – declared that Clinton enjoyed a 99 percent probability of winning. The platinum-grade forecaster Moody's Analytics also claimed she would triumph in the Electoral College.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Book Review: 'I Became An Elementary School Outlaw: A Memoir' by Frank Nappi

I Became An Elementary School Outlaw by Frank Nappi

Quote of the Day


 






















Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

T.S. Eliot

Short Story of the Day: 'The Alchemist' by H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Painting of the Day: 'Le Billet Doux' by John William Godward



Le Billet Doux by John William Godward, 1913

Interview: Does the media's obsession with polls thwart accuracy? Charlie Cook explains.

Editor's note: This interview was originally published in April 2017.

This is the third of five articles spanning my discussion with Charlie Cook. The first and second parts are available. 
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
"Like I've said before .... polls are only good for strippers and cross-country skiers," Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly two days before last year’s presidential election.
While I have criticized her more than a fair bit during years gone by, it is undeniable that she turned out to be a sage among pundits.
When Palin made her remark, virtually all national opinion surveys – save two highly important yet conspicuously underreported ones – indicated an impending win for Hillary Clinton. Reuters predicted she was set to win 247 electoral votes outright and favored to seize so many more that her chance of victory hovered at 90 percent.
At the Princeton Election Consortium, Dr. Sam Wang – a neuroscientist and prolific author – declared that Clinton enjoyed a 99 percent probability of winning. The platinum-grade forecaster Moody's Analytics also claimed she would triumph in the Electoral College.