Credit Card Companies: Irresponsible Lending

Irresponsible Lending

Back in mid-2015, after finding out that Costco wouldn’t accept my Discover card, I signed up for an American Express Blue Cash Everyday card with a $6,000 credit limit. Within months, this was doubled to $12,000 and within a year, it was increased again to $20,000, neither of these two increases was initiated by me. The more I used the card, the more the limit increased, obviously higher limits mean more interest charged. This is how they make money, but knowing my income, it was also very irresponsible.

At the beginning of the month when I paid the balance of a little under $500, I noticed that I only had $9,500 in available credit, which is a big drop from $20,000. I correctly assumed that it’s a case of “use it or lose it”, this was confirmed today when I received a letter from American Express saying due to my low usage over the past 12 months. they had decreased my credit limit by half of what it was previously.

It doesn’t affect us financially, as I barely use the AMEX, but what it does do is damage my credit score, as my overall credit card utilization percentage increased, as my total credit limit has been reduced by about 20% across all my credit cards. During a time, when we were less financially secure, leaning on credit cards to make ends meet, with balances increasing by hundreds of dollars monthly, AMEX was happy to give me more credit when we just cleared the minimum payment, which was 2/3 interest charges.

I’m annoyed because American Express has said, we are unable to make any significant money out of you, so we are going to penalize you for being a responsible credit card user. For all they knew I might have been about to pull the trigger on a large, say $12,000 purchase. That was not the case, having gotten out of significant debt, more than $60,000 just 18 months ago, I don’t plan on getting back into unmanageable debt, I’d much rather change our lifestyle than continue to support a lifestyle using credit.

I am now evaluating whether to keep the American Express card. Average monthly charges are $35, for Google Services and my children’s school meals which are automatically debited as needed. These could be easily switched to my Discover, meaning one less payment per month, albeit no less money going out.

The point I am making is that credit card companies need to be held accountable for their, in my opinion, irresponsible lending practices. Why would they automatically increase credit limits, when a customer is paying, just the minimum payment, which is made up mostly of interest charges? Clearly, the customer is struggling to pay the balance when minimum payments are being made, and overall balance increases.

The target of my ire is American Express because of their actions this month, but all credit card companies, basically rip off their customers, with increasing balances, minimum payments, and interest charges, forcing them into financial servitude. Never being able to pay off the balance, without a major financial windfall, like inheritance in my case, likely increasing limits to allow for more spending. This is wholly irresponsible lending, financial institutions need to be regulated better by our government.

But, this is the United States of America where bribing of elected officials is perfectly legal through ‘campaign donations’, meaning banks/lenders are allowed to use such practices and when it goes wrong, they are bailed out by the same people that they are ripping off, the credit card holder and taxpayer.

Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2019

Bahrain Grand Prix 2019

Ferrari’s rookie driver, Charles Leclerc had a certain victory stolen away from him 10 laps from the end of the race when his MGU-K failed on him, meaning he lost the 160 horsepower boost from the battery energy recovery system, costing him 1.5 seconds a lap, leaving him helpless as Lewis Hamilton, then Valtteri Bottas closed the gap and passed, demoting him to third by the time the chequered flag fell.

Back to the start of the race, Leclerc got a bad start allowing Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel to get ahead through turn 1, then lost out to Bottas, who got the better of his Mercedes teammate, Hamilton off the line, moving into third place, giving him the opportunity to attack and pass Leclerc through turn 4.

After a scrappy first lap, Leclerc fought back to pass Bottas on lap 2, getting better drive off the exit of turn 1 through turns 2 and 3, to make the pass into turn 4 to move back up to 2nd place. This put Bottas on the back foot, allowing Hamilton to retake 3rd back from his teammate through turns 5, 6 and 7.

Leclerc made significant inroads into his teammate’s lead, to be in a position to overtake by the start of lap 6, Vettel defended by moving to the right to cover the inside of turn 1, but Leclerc was faster, driving around the outside of turn 1 to regain the lead, where he remained until his Ferrari MGU-K failed.

During the first round of pitstops, Hamilton tried something different, putting on another set of soft tires, while the other frontrunners, moved onto medium tires. Which really did not work out well for Hamilton due to the high degradation nature of the Sakhir tarmac. Leclerc was pulling away from the British driver, while Vettel caught and passed Hamilton for a Ferrari 1-2 running order on the 23rd of 57 laps.

Later, during the second round of pitstops, Hamilton switched to the medium tire, and suddenly his car came alive and on lap 38, Hamilton made the pass on Vettel through turn 4 to move up to 2nd place. Not only did Vettel get passed by Hamilton, but he also had a spin as he got back on the power, then later on the same lap, lost his front wing underneath his Ferrari, causing him to drop back to 9th after a pit stop.

Vettel fought back to 5th place, while his Maranello stablemate dropped to 3rd place and was saved from falling off the podium by a double retirement for the Renault drivers, both cars having catastrophic failures at turn 1 on lap 55, which caused a safety car period to recover the two Renaults, that ran until the chequered flag, meaning that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could not claim the final podium spot.

Charles Leclerc deservedly won the driver of the day vote and the fastest lap point. Leclerc is a clear future world champion if he has reliable machinery to power him to a world drivers title. You have to be impressed with his driving and maturity, he didn’t lose his head after his scrappy first lap to fight back, and after the race, his pragmatic response while talking to Martin Brundle was mature beyond his years.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:34:21.295
2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +2.980
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +6.131
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +6.408
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +36.068
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +45.754
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +47.470
8. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +58.094
9. Alex Albon (Toro Rosso) +62.697
10. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) +63.696

PARENTING HELL! Entitlement Syndrome

Parenting Hell: Entitlement Syndrome

Here I am again writing about our continual struggles with our 14-year-old son’s behavior. He has now elevated to theft, taking my old Galaxy S4 from my desk drawer, claiming he was entitled to it.

I don’t often look in that drawer so I would not have discovered the phone was missing. We found out while attending his annual IEP meeting at school, a number of teachers had noted that he was using his phone in class. Of course, our reaction was “what phone?”, we did not allow him to have a phone, for this exact reason, we knew he would be distracted by it, to the detriment of his academic performance.

Clearly, our son has his own version of the world. He claims we gave him the phone before taking it away from him, hence why he feels he is entitled. The truth is that we loaned him the phone to use with his Cozmo AI-powered robot a couple of Christmas’ back as his tablet would not work with it. And we took it away because he was abusing the privilege, watching YouTube videos until 3 – 4 am on school nights.

We also found out that our son has not been handing in his assignments, despite, in ours, and his teachers opinions, he is more than capable of doing and getting a high grade. Instead of the D’s and F’s he currently has in the three subjects where his teachers had noted the phone use in class.

As our son continues to lie and cheat his way through life, he has lost all videogame privileges. He has eight more weeks to get his grades in order before the summer break. If he cannot show some good faith and improve those grades to a C or higher in all subjects, he will have 3 months of no videogames over summer and also be attending summer school, which will cost $160, but it’s worth the cost in our minds.

The bizarre thing is; when I got my hands on the phone, I couldn’t access its contents. It was boot looping and was not accessible by a computer, my computer acknowledges the phone as connected, but I could not access it, like the phone’s firmware/image had been wiped from its memory. But it had been working according to his teachers, so I don’t know what happened, either way, I have disposed of the phone.

I don’t accept the argument that everyone else in school has a phone, so I am entitled. We made a judgment call, which was correct, given his failing grades and the many reports of the phone being used during class time. The funny thing is that the wife and I were discussing buying a phone, with service, for him next school year as he will be 15 by then and hopefully mature enough to use it responsibly.

He claims to be mature while crying in front of his teachers when he realized that he had been busted for taking the phone. He claims we treat him like a child, our response is, don’t act like a child and we won’t treat you like a child. Someone, who is mature can accept responsibility for their actions, rather than shifting blame to everyone but himself, a mature person realizes they are not entitled to anything.

As I wrote above; we were going to allow him to have a cellphone for the next school year. We were also going to start paying him for chores, if he did it without us asking and be done to our standards, which are not that high really. The caveat being that we would no longer buy him chips or soda’s, if he wants those things, he will have to use the pre-paid debit card that we would have given to him.

Now, moving onto school policies, why the hell do USD259 allow cellphones in class anyway? Why do they not force students to leave their phones in their lockers? Especially today with modern devices and the wealth of things that they can do with them, including the potential to cheat with the Internet at their fingertips. Not to mention phones ringing, notifications sounding, disrupting the whole class.

Bottom line here is the lack of respect on my son’s part, the way he speaks to us is massively disrespectful. His entitlement attitude is hugely disrespectful, we make sacrifices so our kids have what they need. If my wife and I spoke to our parents like our son does to us, there would be hell to pay.

Honestly, I wonder where we went wrong; we never raised him to be this way, we have no clue where this attitude has come from. We have been told that what we are doing is the correct course of action by therapists, teachers, and other parents, but it honestly does not feel like it.  But, what’s the other option? allowing him to get away with these actions, especially the theft of the phone, that cannot stand!

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019

Valtteri Bottas celebrates his victory on the podium at the F1 Australian Grand Prix

Formula 1 2019 kicked off in anger this weekend, but it’s a bittersweet weekend for drivers, teams, and fans alike as it was announced that FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, just days before the first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia, suffering a pulmonary embolism at the age of just 66. Charlie’s passing is a great loss to F1 and motorsport in general.

The second, albeit less sad thing that happened in the weeks leading up to the Australian Grand Prix, is the introduction of a point being awarded to the driver with the fastest lap, as long as that driver finishes inside the top 10. I have to admit that I thought this was a gimmick, and still do to a certain extent, but it seems to be a real incentive for drivers, the top drivers were all pushing near the end of the race to claim the extra point for fastest lap, so I will admit that I was wrong about the effectiveness of this incentive.

After qualifying, like many fans, who are not Lewis Hamilton or Mercedes fans, I was disappointed to see the 7/10 of a second deficit between Ferrari and Mercedes on the grid. And from the race result, it seems worse than we feared, it looks like Ferrari are third in the pecking order, behind Red Bull. So much for Ferrari being the favorites going into the season with Mercedes 3/10 behind the Maranello based team.

Finally, onto the race itself and it was Valtteri Bottas that got the jump on polesitter Hamilton to lead into turn 1, Hamilton seemed to bog down slightly allowing his teammate to get ahead off the line. Daniel Ricciardo in his first race for Renault was squeezed onto the grass by Sergio Perez, breaking his front wing and causing damage to the right-hand side of his RS.19. Which, ultimately resulted in his retirement from his home race on lap 28 as a precaution, as he was circulating a lap down with little to no pace.

Between lap 2 and 31 there were some pitstops, and after the shakeup, the top five were back as they were on lap 2. HAAS’ Romain Grosjean had a terrible pit stop, his crew had issues with attaching his left front wheel, dropping him from 7th to 14th place, and on lap 31, he pulled off the track with a loose left front wheel. In the meantime, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, caught and passed Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari for 3rd place, getting a run on Vettel out of turn 1, through turn 2 to be clear of Vettel heading into turn 3.

Unfortunately for Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Pierre Gasly, after running in 6th place on the medium tire, when he stopped for fresh tires, he dropped to 11th place behind sister team, Squadro Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat and despite having the same Honda power unit and the faster soft tire, could not make an impression on the Russian driver, ending the race in 11th. But, despite Gasly’s failure to score points at the Australian Grand Prix, it’s a good showing for Honda in the back of the Red Bull’s.

In the final half dozen laps, Charles Leclerc closed to within 0.7 seconds of Ferrari team leader, Vettel, before clearly being told to hold station by the pit wall. Red Bull’s Verstappen also closed in on Hamilton for second place, but a small off-track excursion cost him the few additional seconds he needed to be in a position to challenge Hamilton for second place, finishing 1.6 seconds behind the Mercedes.

Race winner, Valtteri Bottas also claimed the fastest lap for a total haul of 26 points. Although I was hoping that Ferrari would be closer to Mercedes, I’m kinda happy to see Bottas win the race, maybe 2019 will be Bottas’ year? Maybe his change of preparation for 2019 is making all the difference, he seems like a changed man, compared to where he was last season, constantly being beaten by Hamilton.

Australian Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:25:27.325
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0:20.886
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0:22.520
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0:57.109
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0:58.230
6. Kevin Magnussen (HAAS) +1:27.156
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1 LAP
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1 LAP
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1 LAP
10. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP

Trump Defies Congress & The People On National Emergency with VETO

President Donald J. Trump vetoes Congress' resolution of disapproval.

As I wrote about in a previous write-up, President Donald J. Trump couldn’t get his way in the Democrat-controlled House, so he created a Fake National Emergency to circumvent Congress completely using The National Emergencies Act to fund his monument to racism, his promised wall on the US/Mexico border.

On Thursday, 3/14, both houses of Congress voted in favor of a resolution of disapproval in regard to Trump’s use of national emergency powers, with 12 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with Democrats in the Senate. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate had enough votes to make the resolution presidential VETO proof, and Trump’s response was to tweet a singular word “VETO!”, like a fucking child.

This VETO just goes to show how broken the US political system is. We, the people, is a joke, the people have no power, the power lies with the rich, and corporations with their lackeys in Congress. And even more so, the executive branch of government. 2/3 of Americans don’t support the wall and the use of emergency powers to fund it; while about 6/10 of Congress disapprove of President Trump’s actions, using emergency powers to circumvent congressional power, stealing money from other programs.

Unless Congress can cobble together enough votes in both chambers to override the presidential VETO, it looks like we are heading to the courts to decide on the legitimacy of Trump’s use of emergency powers. And given that Trump has stacked the courts and the judicial branch with extreme right-wing judges, in an effort to sway the judicial system in his favor, he might actually be successful in the federal courthouses.

Clearly, this is a manufactured national emergency, little has changed between January 2017 and March 2019, yet the southern border is suddenly a national emergency according to the President. It would have been much easier for Trump to get the funding for his signature wall when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate, but it was not enough of an emergency then, despite official numbers indicating otherwise, because they had to pass tax cuts for the wealthy and trying to kill the Affordable Care Act.

The question I ask is; how can the USA call itself a democracy when one person, the president, can overrule the will of Congress, unless 67% of Congress votes in favor of a resolution, making it VETO proof? That’s like 66% of voters being overruled and the candidate getting 34% of the vote gets elected.

2020 cannot come soon enough for me, and many other Americans. Hopefully, the Democrats don’t run another corporate Democrat, like they did Hillary Clinton in 2016 when a far better option was available. Someone who polled much better against Trump at the time of the Democratic convention, but no, Bernie Sanders was hindered by the DNC, and now we have Donald J. Trump as president as a result.

If this is allowed to stand, it’s open season for the next Democratic president, who can call healthcare a national emergency to push a Medicare For All agenda, or maybe the issue of large parts of the country not having lead free drinking water, how many years has Flint, MI been suffering? these are national emergencies. Not to mention climate change, which is a global emergency; and the clock is ticking, we have just over a decade to take action, while Trump and many Republicans dodgedly deny its existence.

PARENTING HELL! My 14 Year Old Son Wants to Be Paid For Chores

PARENTING HELL! My 14 Year Old Son Wants to Be Paid For Chores

This is yet another blog about my 14-year-old son and his piss poor attitude to life and school. This behavior and attitude is getting increasingly worse as he gets older, frankly, he is turning into a self-entitled brat, a trait, neither his mother nor I exhibit, we have worked hard for everything we have, rarely getting something for nothing, so we are truly baffled where he is getting this attitude from.

On Saturday, he made a comment that he can’t wait to be 18 so he can move out, my response, joking, of course, was “why wait? go down to the courthouse and start emancipation proceedings, and you can move out before your 18″. If he thinks chores are, well a chore, he’s in for a shock when he will be financially and legally responsible for himself, no more money from the bank of mom and dad!

Recently, after he claimed we are putting too much pressure on him in school, with our expectations of a C or above grade in all subjects. I said, fine, “I”, that’s me, not his mother, would not mention grades and that I would allow him to play video games all he wants until the end of the school year in May, calling his bluff about pressure from us causing his terrible grades, which are actually due to missing assignments.

To give you an idea of the burden we put on him, we expect him to keep his own room clean and tidy, load and unload the dishwasher, wash the few pots and pans in the sink daily, and vacuum the living room and hallway, 2 – 3 times per week. Which, being generous is maybe 2 – 2 1/2 hours per week out of his busy schedule of being sedimentary, sitting watching TV and playing on his Nintendo Switch.

My son’s attitude is night and day from his 9-year-old sister, who does the majority of the laundry, including my son’s laundry, keeps her own room clean and tidy for the most part, she sometimes needs some prodding, and also vacuums the carpets, maybe once a week, she actually gets upset if we don’t allow her to help with household chores. Why is this? we have raised them the exact same way.

Back to my son; let’s say we pay him, being generous, $15/hour, which is supposedly a living wage in the United States. For what we ask him to do, that’s 2 – 2 1/2 hours per week, so taking the higher number of hours ‘worked’, that’s just $37.50/week. That is not going to go far, trust me, it costs us far in excess of that amount every week to feed, clothe and keep a roof over his head, get him to and from school etc.

But, in all seriousness, we are massively concerned by this behavior and the progression in severeness of his attitude. We try to correct his behavior, and it just causes his behavior to get worse. All we are trying to do is guide our child in the right direction to be a productive member of society, teaching him the life skills he needs to achieve that. But, his attitude is that of entitlement, having everyone hand everything to him, without him having to lift a finger, seemingly unwilling to do anything to help himself.

We have considered the option of military school, I had some friends, that attended cadets, back home in Plymouth, UK, who were on the wrong track, who went to military school, and came out much better people. Maybe some military discipline and structure with straighten out his attitude and improve his work ethic, both in life and school, as we are clearly failing miserably in achieving that goal.

He wants to go to Full Sail University to study game development, but he is unwilling to put in the effort required to make that a reality. We try to encourage him, and he throws it back in our faces, we offer to help him with his school work, he refuses, not even bringing it home, for us to look at. I can’t believe that as a freshman in high school, there’s no homework. Personally, I feel I am failing as a parent with my son.

His behavior has been an issue since he started middle school, but these behavioral and school grades issues have been doubly bad since he started high school last August. I can only assume that something in school has inspired this terrible, disrespectful behavior from him, nothing has changed at home.

Over the past 3 1/2 years, we have tried reward systems, punishment, hybrid reward/punishment systems, nothing works to motivate him. He just wants to be left alone, preferably, not having to go to school, which, obviously is a legal requirement, he cannot choose to not attend school, even if he chose the emancipation option, which is not really an option, he doesn’t have the $150 – 200 filing fee.

I don’t want to give up on him, but we are at a loss of where to go next. We have talked to life coaches, therapists, teachers and many more, and they all have said, we are doing the right thing. For us, it’s hard to believe that is the case, when everything we try makes his behavior and attitude worse.

Review: Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapid Fire (Cherry MX Speed)

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapid Fire

Roughly 7 months ago I bought a Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire with Cherry MX Speed switches, as a replacement for the original Strafe RGB keyboard, which featured the Cherry MX Silent switches, after half dozen keys stopped working suddenly. The following is my views on the K70 MK.2 after 7 months of use.

First, the look and feel, in all honesty, with the much cheaper Strafe RGB MK.2 having almost the exact look as the K70 RGB MK.2, I feel it kind cheapens the more expensive K70 RGB MK.2 model. Anyway, like the original K70 RGB, it has a solid aluminum plate with the keys raised above the plate for easy cleaning, using something like a can of compressed air. It’s a typical Corsair product, well constructed and feels solid to the touch with the usual array of media, windows lock and LED brightness keys and volume roller.

Sadly, in use, I have been very disappointed with the $170 + tax keyboard. I hated the feel of the Cherry MX speed switches, I should have immediately returned it to Best Buy, but I thought, I just need to get used to the new switches. But, sadly, seven months on, I still hate the switches. Maybe it’s just me, but the lighter actuation force results in a lot more typing errors and adds nothing for gaming in my opinion.

Like all Corsair RGB peripherals, the RGB’s on the K70 RGB MK.2 cannot produce true white, it’s more like an aqua blue. Further, after four months of use, select RGB’s started to malfunction, notably, on the M, C and control keys, which have a slight red, or green hue to them, despite being set to white in iCue.

Despite how solid the K70 MK.2 feels, there are clearly some issues, such as the keyboard randomly stopping working, the lights are on, but no-one is home, key presses result in no input being sent to my PC. Even rebooting the computer does not work, after a reboot, the backlighting does not come back on, the keyboard appears to be dead. After some fiddling, swapping of USB ports, I got it to work again, bizarrely, once it’s working again, I switch back to the original USB 3.0 ports and it works just fine.

That is until it happens again weeks later, it’s completely random, I’ve never been doing the same thing twice when it happens. Initially, when it happened, I thought the USB ports being used were at fault, but it still happened when different USB ports were being used, and the peripherals that are now plugged into the USB ports that were originally used by the K70 MK.2 have worked flawlessly, not a single issue.

The bottom line for me, the K70 RGB MK.2 fails miserably for my use case, 85% typing. For $170, I’d expect better, I rate the original Strafe RGB higher than the K70 RGB MK.2 Rapid Fire, despite feeling cheaper, more plasticky, the Strafe RGB was a better keyboard to use. This experience has really soured my view of Corsair keyboards, that I will more than likely buy another brand of keyboard, something with solid white backlighting, I don’t care about RGB rainbow puke functionality on a keyboard. The only reason I bought an RGB keyboard is that I didn’t want blue or red backlighting, no white from Corsair.

I’m Waving The White Flag, I Surrender

I'm Waving The White Flag, I Surrender

I have written a lot about the issues the wife and I have been having with our, now 14-year-old son’s behavior and school grades issues. We had been trying to incentivize him to do better in school, to improve his grades, to do the work and hand it in, by basically, holding his video game time hostage.

Initially, if he brought home D’s and F’s, no game time until those grades were restored to all C’s and above. But after almost five months of no video games, we switched it up with a grade based game time reward, A through C grades earned time, D & F grades subtracted time. Initially, this seemed to be working, one F immediately turned into a B, but by the end of the week, his grades had slumped again.

And the slump in grades was caused by missing assignments, he either did not do the work or didn’t hand it in, I suspect it’s the former. The two F grades he currently has is because, from the start of the semester, he received several zero scores for not doing the work. We have requested that he bring the work home, as he gets an extra 24 hours as mandated in his IEP, to get it completed and handed in.

The standard response from him when we ask where the work is; he says, “I forgot”, which is his standard response for everything, like chores we ask him to do, “oh, I forgot” is his response. We know there’s nothing wrong with his memory, he never forgets about anything he likes or benefits him.

He claims the reason his grades are so bad is that we put too much pressure on him, or that societal pressures stop him from asking for help with his school work. And my personal favorite excuse, “Don’t you know I am autistic?”, which just indicates how smart he is, to try to use his diagnosis as a reason for his failings, and an extension of that is his claim of himself being “not as smart as we think he is”.

We can discount the idea that he isn’t as smart as we think he is; every teacher from 5th through 9th grades has said that he is very smart but lacks motivation. And, that getting him motivated is near impossible unless a subject interests him, he will put in the minimal amount of effort possible.

We try to talk to him, to motivate him, and he just stands there with a look of disgust on his face, because we continue trying to push him to be better than he allows himself to be. He says he wants to study video game development at Full Sail University, but won’t put in the effort to get the grades he’ll need to get there, Full Sail is not a local Kansas college that accepts just anyone with a lowly high school diploma.

So, I have come to the realization that trying to motivate him is a waste of my time and stress quota. So I have told him, he can play all the video games he wants, and won’t say a word about his school grades until the end of the school year. Using his own words, if we leave him alone, he will do better in school. I know this is not true, but I am calling his bluff. He’s 14 years old, he can make his own life decisions.

Trying to force the issue isn’t working, I’ll let him have his way and see if anything changes. he needs to come to the realization that he is only hurting himself, I cannot help him unless he wants to be helped.

I hope that I am wrong and leaving him alone for 3 months will yield results, and we’ll see his grades improve. I don’t know if we are doing the right thing, but trying to motivate him with a reward system has made zero difference, the more we push, the more he rebels and his grades fall through the floor.

Trump’s Fake National Emergency At The US’ Southern Border

On Friday morning in the Rose Garden at The White House, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency at the United States southern border to build his monument to racism at the US/Mexico border; making the taxpayers, US taxpayers that is, not Mexican taxpayers, pay for it.

But of course, Trump is an idiot, kept talking, giving lawyers all the legal ammunition they need to sucessfully sue, making this national emergency declaration null and void. The orange one said, and I quote “I could do the wall over a longer period of time, I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster”, continuing “I don’t have to do this for the election, I’ve done a lot of wall, for the election, 2020″. But do remember that he is a very stable genius, and like a smart person, that last bit is sarcasm, btw.

How anyone, after the above statements, could say that this is not an abuse of power is beyond me. There is much national crisis’ in the United States that could be described as a national emergency, the southern border is not one of them, which Trump admitted with his “I didn’t need to do this” statement.

Trump even recognized that he will be sued because of this emergency declaration, saying “We will have a national emergency, and then we will be sued, and then they will sue us in the ninth circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the supreme court…” And it goes on and on, the Cheeto N’ Chief literally does not know when to STFU! Trump’s lawyers must be furiously facepalming throughout this speech, while the ACLU lawyers are putting their feet up while trump hands them all the evidence they need to sue.

Trump uses “alternative facts” to further his fear narrative to justify his costly and ineffective wall when the reality is that immigrant apprehensions at the border are down to a near 20 year low, the majority of those immigrants are families, women, and children from Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala seeking asylum, trying to escape gangs, violence and abject poverty, not terrorists, not MS-13 and gang members. While the vast majority of illegal drugs come through legal entry points in private vehicles, this is according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

Of course, this fake national emergency came about because Trump could not get Congress to give him the almost 6 billion dollars he wanted to build his signature wall, screwing over 800,00 federal workers in the process. which is extremely ironic, given his tweet criticizing Barack Obama; on Nov 20, 2014

Trump’s tweet reads, in case it gets removed, “Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress”. There is literally a tweet in the past from the president, for every occasion to prove Trump’s hypocrisy.

Finally, what president decides to immediately jet off to play golf at the time of national emergency?

Dear Twitter, Double Standard Much?

Twitter restricted my account for using a common idiom in reference to Donald J. Trump's fake national emergency.

This afternoon, I logged into Twitter on my phone to tweet and I was greeted with the above message claiming I have violated Twitter’s rules, by using a common idiom, tweeting “Give @realDonaldTrump enough rope, eventually he will hang himself. #NationalEmergency”, not threatening anyone. I never called for anyone to hang Donald J. Trump, nor threatened to hang the Cheeto N’ Chief myself.

The reason I am so angry and defiant is because President Trump consistently posts hateful, racist and misogynist tweets, yet, no action is taken by Twitter, and given that he is the President, his words carry much more weight than a private individual, acting as a true call to action for his sheep-like base. You just have to look at the actions of his base against the press, most recently at Trump’s rally in El Paso, TX.

The first thing Twitter tries to get you to do is accept that you have done something wrong by deleting the alleged infringing tweet. Of course, I immediately rejected that offer. I refuse to allow Twitter to publicly shame me by showing that I have accepted their arbitrary ruling that I have infringed their rules.

Twitter trying to get me to accept their ruling by deleting my tweet, and allow myself to be publicly shamed.

My response to Twitter is;

“Donald Trump consistently writes hateful, misogynistic and racist tweets, yet Twitter has chosen to restrict my account due to my use of a common idiom suggesting that Donald Trump will cause his own downfall. I request that you review this action and restore my account to full functionality.”

My response to Twitter's accusation.

At this point in writing this blog, I realized that Twitter actually penalizes you more for daring to defend yourself by not simply accepting their determination. Before I lodged my dispute, I was able to still read Twitter, but not tweet, nor retweet other people. Now, after the dispute, my only option is to delete the tweet and accept the alleged wrongdoing to be able to continue to read tweets; which is stupid, it’s not like I cannot get a free Email account and sign up for a new Twitter account, not that I would bother.

Further investigation reveals that Twitter has hidden the tweet on my timeline that allegedly breaches their terms and conditions, so, why even ask for me to delete? They have censored me as well as blocking my access while I am disputing the legitimacy of Twitter’s claims of infringement of their rules.

Yes, I know all this is laid out in Twitter’s Enforcement Options. Keep reading….

This is a clear double standard on behalf of Twitter. As a private company, they can dictate their own terms and conditions of use, and that would be fine if they were consistent. I have been openly threatened by Trump supporters on Twitter, yet Twitter did jack-shit about that. Not to mention Trump’s own tweets calling his base to action in regard to the press, calling them the enemy of the people, which led to violence against the press, to which, Trump responded by doubling down on Twitter.

I might well be risking my six-year-old Twitter account by taking this action, but it’s worth it, as I never perpetrated what Twitter claimed I have done. I will be updating this post as my appeal develops, if their human reviewers uphold the automated system determination, then I don’t want to be part of something that has such hypocritical double standards, allowing people with influence, such as the president, to post whatever they want while regular users with little to no influence, like me, get penalized.

Finally, as I was writing this write-up; my son said, “why don’t you just delete the tweet?”, my response to him was “I have done nothing wrong, why should I accept blame for something I did not do?” An innocent person should never accept responsibility for an action they did not take. And frankly, it’s Twitter, it’s not important enough for me to acknowledge their accusation of wrongdoing and accept the public shame.

Update [Feb, 23 2019, 19:06]: It’s been a full week with no response from Twitter, so I have decided to click the ‘remove’ button and accept the shame of using a common idiom in reference to the US’ hate & fear president. It really isn’t worth holding out on principle, I’ll post my response to Twitter here and link to it from my Twitter timeline, to set the record straight, in response to Twitter’s accusations.