Monday, June 18, 2018

LA Times: High cost of housing drives up homeless rates, UCLA study indicates

I'm sharing this with you not only because I had spent a small amount of time in LA's Skid Row in 2016. Contrary I want answers to the increasing homeless population in LA. This is a must read!
In a study contained in the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday, UCLA found that higher median rent and home prices are strongly correlated with more people living on the streets or in shelters. The research backs other studies that have found a similar relationship.

Last year, Zillow released a study that showed that a 5% rent hike in L.A. County — where more than 50,000 are estimated to be homeless — would cause 2,000 additional people to lose their homes.

In April, according to Zillow, the median rent for a vacant apartment in the county was $2,462, up 1.9% from the previous year. In 2017, rents climbed an average of 4.3% and in 2016, 6.5%. The median home price in April was $608,800, up 9% from a year earlier.
I have heard housing costs are pretty high in some areas of California - not just Los Angeles - however is this a reason for the increase in the homeless population?

 BTW, this is from two years ago at Newsalert, Subsidized rent, but nowhere to go: Homeless vouchers go unused. What a shame!
LAs Skid Row

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's day "heteronormative"?

[VIDEO] I break from my normal Sunday's off to share this video from Mark Dice. The conservative YouTube personality discusses the idea of heteronomativity. Yeah the idea of that sounds convoluted but the idea of a mother's or father's day is under attack under the idea that neither of those special days are very inclusive. Let people celebrate mother's or father's day. Better yet let people celebrate special person's or parent's day.

h/t Marathon Pundit

Here's another link to click for father's day via Instapundit. It's great to have a dad around, yes?

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful father's day!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

#NXTTakeOverChicago 2017

[VIDEO] As Saturday is the big day for the superstars of the NXT universe, let's reflect in part on what happened last year in Chicago for NXT TakeOver. Of course if you've subscribed to the WWE Network, perhaps you should consider if you are not - you should find this event and watch it on demand before the festivities kick off start at 7:00 PM Chicago time.

Last year the event finished with #DIY vs. Authors of Pain. Authors of Pain has since been moved to the Raw roster after WrestleMania. #DIY as you see here will break up as a tag team and Johnny Gargano & Tomaso Ciampa would engage in a bitter feud that hopefully will end with a streetfight match back in Chicago on Saturday. Just wait for the turn near the end of this almost half-hour vid.

Let's not forget on Sunday is Money in the Bank. The male and female superstars from WWE Raw & SmackDown Live will compete in ladder matches to procure a briefcase that will contain a contract for a title match at anytime. Such a concept has created quite of few interesting moments and opportunities over the years, especially when a performer comes out to take advantage of a situation where the champion is weakened after the match. One such situation you have seen with Carmella as she stole the SD Live women's title from Charlotte Flair after WrestleMania 34.

And of course as I often try to be for WWE PPVs, Raw, SD Live, 205 Live & NXT, I will be live tweeting. Feel free to tweet at me...

Friday, June 15, 2018

 Over the years I've written about those videoblogs that have been created over the years. These days videoblog aren't just blogs set up to exhibit videos now it's a YouTube channel. YouTube channels have grown in prominence over the years to the point where there's currently some activity on my YouTube channel.

There are some videos being posted that are more current and lately I wanted to upload some footage from my 2016 vacation on Amtrak's Southwest Chief to Los Angeles, California with jaunts to Las Vegas, Nevada and Grand Canyon, Arizona. Nothing groundbreaking or exciting just forcing myself to share some of the memories I created for myself over the years. That means I don't expect many of those videos to go viral.

To share these videos I may post some of them here though I had created a blog for that purpose to show photos and videos the new My Mind's Eye. Perhaps I'll have a feed in the sidebar - to replace the space a Feedjit widget used to take up - so that you can see what's new there although nothing much has been new there for a while.

I suppose you can say although I do have a YouTube channel I still want to create a platform similar to those long ago vlogs that I used to be a fan of. Of course I wanted to do some of the stuff they did, however, I feel as if I lack the talent and patience for editing. And the same for being creative like creating title cards or watermarks. Perhaps I'll get there and do all of those things the best way I knew how, just bear in mind this "blogmaster" is not a professional videographer.

As of late I have been using my iPhone to record videos (I've owned three generations of iPhones since 2012). Since 2015 I have utilized Olloclip to shoot photos and videos that have greatly enhanced my snapshots and videos. I should show you the difference between wide-angles, fish eye, or telephoto and then just use the lense on my iPhone that isn't enhanced.

Since about 2007 or 2008 I've also owned a mini-DV Sony Camcorder and from that time to now I see how firewire has fallen out of favor. If I owned the new generations of digital camcorders (or as I've learned I could just find a good still camera to shoot video) I could just used a simple USB process to upload video to a PC. As of now I have to figure out how to upload video from my mini-DV tapes without firewire.

Another thing I would like to do is find some editing software. Perhaps edit footage from my mini-DV tapes or edit iPhone videos. Now that I have a Windows 10 machine they don't seem to have a native complimentary video editing program that Windows machines from XP to Vista would provide. Even then those complimentary programs won't recognize an iPhone video which are typically MP4 or MOV.
I have some work to do on this but with some time or patience and a willingness to learn my YouTube channel will be a lot more active than it used to be. It doesn't matter to me if I don't get 100K subscribers and get that nice plaque and congrats from someone at YouTube. Just post for my own enjoyment and see what happens.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#WWENXT #NXTTakeOverChicago

[VIDEO] Since subscribing to the WWE Network I've been following the NXT brand for the most part. In some respects what you see on their weekly show is somewhat more interesting than what they seem to do on either Raw on SmackDown Live from week to week. While some NXT superstars gets some major play in what's known as WWE's developmental brand that doesn't always translate to success on either of WWE's main programs.

All the same this weekend NXT TakeOver is coming back to Chicago. Their TakeOver events are akin to WWE's PPVs and will usually take place the Saturday nite before a WWE PPV. For example, NXT TakeOver New Orleans took place in another stadium while WrestleMania New Orleans took place at the Superdome. The TakeOver will take place the Saturday before WWE Money in the Bank PPV at the Allstate Arena or if you prefer the Rosemont Horizon.

Man one of my goals has been to be in attendance for WWE events in Chicago or perhaps find one to go to in a city I've never been. Perhaps follow WrestleMania - I could've gone to New Orleans and next year I could go to East Rutherford, New Jersey for the next one. Just things that I have wanted to do and never have until fairly recently. And I do want to feel the passion of the NXT universe.

Either way at least with NXT and WWE PPVs I have the WWE Network and will eagerly anticipate both TakeOver and Money in the Bank on Sunday. Meanwhile at NXT TakeOver you see this vignette that aired Wednesday nite where Johnny Gargano promos with his former #DIY tag team partner Tomaso Ciampa. Since last year's NXT TakeOver Chicago they really had a bitter feud that almost costs Gargano - aka Johnny Wrestling - his NXT career. Also this caused a very bitter fight which I though should've ended at TakeOver New Orleans which was a brutal non-sanctioned match. And finally we will have a streetfight in Chicago on Saturday.

Should be a good show as always?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

California could become three states?

 Tim Draper who's spearheading this initiative is probably thinking though I also recognize that splitting up the largest state in the union will still prove to be difficult:
An initiative to divide California into three states has received enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot, the California secretary of state's office confirmed Tuesday.

The three-states campaign, dubbed “Cal-3,” submitted more than 600,000 signatures.

Tim Draper, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capital investor, sponsored the ballot measure to divide America’s most populous state into three jurisdictions, the Mercury News of San Jose, Calif., reported.
I wrote two posts about California dreams in March. Unfortunately in recent years those dreams have been dashed. The "golden state" like many states have some undeniable issues, unfortunately since it's an important state those issues tend to get magnified! Remember it's been in the news that they have a booming homeless population and it's bad enough where you see videos of tent cities in the state. Unimaginable in a state where people go not just for the nice weather, but they go for the opportunities out there.

BTW, Mr. Draper states:
“California government has rotted,” Draper told the Mercury News last month. “We need to empower our population to improve their government.”
“Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes,” Draper told the Times in an email. “States will be more accountable to us and can cooperate and compete for citizens.”
You know as an aside sometimes I wonder if California would be better served by a larger legislature. Perhaps akin to the type of legislature that New Hampshire has - which is a very small state senate though a very large state house of representatives. If you get election from the one of 80 districts in California you would represent at least 465,000 people however in New Hampshire if you gain a seat out of 400 from 205 districts you would be representing at least 3,300 residents. Granted New Hampshire is a much smaller state that California. New Hampshire has only 24 senators in their state legislature, California has 40.

See I don't live in California and I'm coming up with some reforms. It's safe to say those who choose to live out west have to eke out some major reforms. They need to shake up their political system, not that I myself have them, but it's necessary as they seem to have a number of issues on a number of fronts they need to address.

California has a top two electoral system which means the top two candidates will be determined in a primary - regardless of party - will face off in the Novemeber general election. The one to watch will be the governor's race between Gavin Newsome and John Cox (who was formerly a perennial candidate in Illinois). Since Cox seems to have the endorsement of President Trump this race though a long shot could become very interesting in the long run.

Evolution of internet platforms

I've been part of the internet for many years. When I first logged on most of the homes that were online connected through a dial-up connection on a telephone landline. The designs of most websites were pretty basic as opposed to now (to understand what I'm saying look up and go back as far as you can over at What a vastly different place it is today.

You don't really hear about webpages anymore. Basically a website is a collection of webpages though virtually every website has a webpage. Even this blog could be seen as a series of webpages and it gets updated semi-frequently which constantly expands like a book.

I always imagined having a website even though ISP's once commonly offered free webspace to customers it's something that has become obsolete these days. As stated before there are so many free tools these days that allow anyone an online platform. In the late 1990s through early 2000s you had to create that platform. There was no social media, and the service I currently use Blogger didn't exist until at least 1998.

When I first created a website it was through Geocities - which had been owned by Yahoo!. Of course I never realized that if you want people to visit you had to have a draw to it. I bought a photo scanner to post some pics and used the rudimentary photo editing software. I also shared some of my favorite Star Trek pics that I found online at the time. And this was during the time I was at Morehouse College. Of course it wasn't until 2005 that I started blogging which makes updating a website far easier.

And yet the internet evolved some more with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. Now most people access the internet on their smartphones. I myself now own an iPhone which is a multifaceted tool that allows me to make phone calls, text, email, shoot photos, shoot video, etc. And with an iPhone and these other smartphones you can also update social media, and upload photos & video on the go!

Now it causes me to wonder where I could've taken this internet thing if I had discovered Blogger in the late 90s to early 2000s. The tech available at the time that I just simply had no idea about beyond what I had already learned about back in the day. Though thankfully it doesn't take long to find out about what's available these days online. Not only that there is an app on a mobile device also!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Chicago political history...

Before I went to bed last night, I sort of went backwards a bit in time noting the death of a former Republican Cook County state's attorney in Bernard Carey. He was in that office until defeated by a future Mayor of Chicago in Richard M. Daley - who just so happen to be the son of Richard J. Daley who held that office for over 20 years.

Today I found another column and while Mr. Carey wasn't mentioned it talked about the rise of Richard M. Daley. Of course this article is passe now since the current mayor is none other than the seemingly unpopular Rahm Emanuel. Another reason this article is passe is that it was written by the late Chicago columnist Mike Royko who died in 1997.

It's interesting to see how he draws parallels between 1955 when Richard J. Daley was elected mayor and then presumably 1989 when his son first got elected mayor (BTW, this article had a publishing date of April 14, 2017 so perhaps it ran in the Chicago Tribune a year ago). Both men knew how to get along with the various factions of Chicago politics, especially within their own Democrat circles. Rivalries between the north and south sides of Chicago or more recent the battles between the various ethnic and racial groups politically. Then of course the battle between the machine and those pesky reformers. Seems like a never ending struggle and both Daleys navigated them to become long-term mayors.

Having read a biography of the first Mayor Daley, which I'm just giving you a simple title of American Pharoah, it showed how he rose in local politics. It also illustrated how he seemed to have been able to remain a force locally and nationally. Richard J. Daley was a smart man who knew how to play the game. And yes, he did play the racial game as he did nothing about segregation in Chicago though only to preserve his base among the various white ethnic groups of Chicago. Another interesting thing about the book is the pecking order among the ethnic groups of Chicago between say the Polish, the Jewish, the Irish, the Italians etc. Perhaps by the time he became mayor now we're including the Blacks.

Either way we have a Mayor Emanuel, the Blacks of Chicago well we could say they may not be the force they used to be in city politics as well the population of Blacks are beginning to diminish in Chicago though slowly, the Hispanics and Asians are rising population wise in the city. It's safe to say in the almost 30 years since this column was written a lot of changes in the windy city with more changes to come!

BTW, Royko himself wrote a biography of Richard J. Daley titled Boss. I've yet to read that unfortunately so perhaps I'll add this to my reading list in the near future. If you don't understand this title just remember that the first Mayor Daley was often referred to as the last of the big city bosses. We can just say at the very least patronage had some strong play during his time in office from 1955 to 1976.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Bernard Carey former Cook County State's Attorney, RIP

I retweeted this over at my other twitter today. Bernard Carey was slightly ahead of my time. He was a Republican Cook County State's Attorney who faced down the machine of Mayor Richard J. Daley. It was certainly hard to do it as a reform Democrat and definitely as a Republican in an area that probably has solid Democrat support. Though I recognize that the Cook County of say the 1970s & 80s probably wasn't as solidly blue and it would be now.

Here's the tweet from a Tribune reporter
The question I have to ask now is where are these Republicans today. Chicago & Cook County have gotten so solidly progressive that well could a Carey be elected countywide or citywide today. I have a hard time seeing it you'll be demonized as a Republican and one would have to do nothing more than fool these low-information voters to cast a ballot for a faux Democrat. There is an unfortunate precedent for this...

All the same, we see that Mr. Carey had a hand in these corruption probes of county judges and what not. You can say he in some ways drained the swamp of Chicago politics. Problem is old habits or perhaps some form of old school political wheeling and dealing are very hard to break. What do you do if you want honest government?

Regardless whether Republican or Democrat we need these reformers now more than ever. Unfortunately the process is hard but very necessary.

Here's a campaign commercial for Mr. Carey from 1972 or 46 years ago running for Cook County State's Attorney for the first time. [VIDEO]
I should note as this is more interesting, anger over what happened on Chicago's west side with the Black Panthers and Fred Hampton - a botched raid orchestrated by the State's Attorney he defeated Ed Hanrahan - is what allowed him to become state's attorney. Black voters chose him over Hanrahan, it just shows it is possible for Black voters to be angered by the actions of Democrat leaders. For this race for sure, they were angry at the machine that prevailed in Chicago during that period of time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Amtrak Empire Builder

[VIDEO] As I hit the sack tonight, I wanted to share this vid with you. I've never taken Amtrak's Empire Builder. This would take you through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana with one section to Seattle, Washington and another to Portland, Oregon.

This video of over 30 minutes shows a British man named Paul leaving Portland, OR going through big sky country arriving in Chicago's Union Station. It's an interesting look at a trip I can only imagine although it's time for me to travel again perhaps go somewhere I have never been. Seattle or Portland are places I've never been.

It must be very nice to create a YouTube channel which through either advertising or donations that could provide an income so that you could literally travel all over the world as Paul has. His channel is very interesting but the incidental music provides a very nice soundtrack to his travels. This is probably stock music but I could never imagine taking an Amtrak train and having hip-hop instrumentals as the sounds of the passing country, suburban, and urban landscapes.

Let's not forget, for the most part he shows us the meals he takes aboard the train in the dining car. He certainly travel in style with a sleeper car berth which also would enable those passengers to a complimentary meal in the diner. Then he also shows us that his sleeper car has a shower for those passengers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Stossel: The College Scam

[VIDEO] Bryan Caplan who is introduced in this recent video from John Stossel as a professor who is the author of The Case Against Education talks about "the college scam". He states something that I have actually stated for years in his words we need to get back where college actually distinguishes you. I would say college shouldn't just be treated as another high school diploma.

He takes it further, and say college shouldn't be so readily accessible. I suppose I have to read his book to see what he means by this. Although I can discuss my experience having gone to Morehouse which had few of the amenities during my time there as seen in many of the colleges listed in the video. For example, Morehouse probably still doesn't have a wall to climb up...

I could say more, however, right now I want you to watch this video...