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Shermann's Journal
Shermann's Journal
February 18, 2024

Czar Putin

The last official czar of Russia was Czar Nicholas II. It's time for Putin to finalize the collapse of the Soviet Union by appointing himself as czar and abolishing the presidency. The presidency and corresponding elections are a sham, so he is effectively czar anyway. There is nostalgia for that historical era and there would be an element of honesty with this move.

February 17, 2024

Donald Trump's fraud wasn't victimless

Trump rolled the dice with his bank loans and put himself in a position to be lucky, and he got lucky. Had he been unlucky, he would have found a way to leave the bank holding the bag. Then he parlayed his good business fortunes into a successful presidential run, which he has admitted to. This was done largely on his celebrity facade and the pretext that he had built a great organization. So, his traveling carnival of cronies went on to snare 330 million more "loser" victims in addition to the "suckers" at the bank.

February 11, 2024

Is it possible Hur got played by Biden a little?

I'll say up front that Biden has continued the long-standing tradition of openness and honesty by Democratic presidents. He has cooperated fully with the special counsel on the documents case which is in stark contrast with the obstructionism by Trump. That said, some of the events in question are almost two decades old and there are attorneys involved. While I don't suspect Sauber would instruct Biden to lie under oath, he may have cautioned Biden against refreshing his memory on certain events given that there was in fact some low-level impropriety. "I don't recall" is, after all, the perfect legal defense. Why should Biden have to go above and beyond and fill in all the details crystal clearly in a case against him, knowing there may be a hit piece report at the end? Maybe he played up the "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" thing just a little on advice of counsel.

Hur's characterization of Biden seems diverged from reality. This is mostly conjecture, but I think he got easily outmaneuvered.

February 11, 2024

Logic puzzle: Three Republicans at an Insurrection

Republican suspects 1, 2, and 3 were observed at an insurrection wearing masks. One is Mitt Romney, one is Donald Trump, and the other is Lindsey Graham. Romney always tells the truth, Trump always lies, and Graham can lie or tell the truth. The district attorney has to determine who is who from only written statements.

Suspect 1 states that he is not Romney.
Suspect 2 states that he is not Graham.
Suspect 3 states that he is not Trump.

Can the case be cracked using logic, and justice handed down? Scroll down for the answer.

Suspect 1 cannot be Romney because he would be lying and cannot be Trump because he would be telling the truth. Therefore, by process of elimination, suspect 1 is Graham. Thusly, suspect 2 cannot be Trump because he would again be telling the truth. Therefore, suspect 2 is Romney leaving suspect 3 as Trump.

Lock 'em up!

February 10, 2024

Fair and honest review of the GOP's political ads in North Carolina

These ads are in heavy rotation right now, and I have a few comments and concerns.

First off, we have Tim Moore running for the NC House. Tim is mostly gaslighting (no pun intended) about inflation and apparently didn't get the memo that the Biden administration has that under control.

Next, we have John Bradford who is running for Congress. John is carrying a baseball bat in his commercial. Apparently, John doesn't realize that the optics aren't good on a politician brandishing a melee weapon commonly used in riots (aka insurrections).

Moving on to Grey Mills (NC House). Grey is also the incumbent, but his commercial suggests it is amateur hour. Grey seems to think we can fly drones into Mexico and take out the drug cartels with missiles. Cool idea, bro.

Bill Graham is optimistically running for Governor. Bill doesn't seem to have much to say other than his opponent Mark Robinson is a jerk.

Bo Hines is running for Congress. He has TRUMP up his ass, and you should vote for him because TRUMP. His commercials feature TRUMP, TRUMP, and more TRUMP. He is also running on being born and raised here and has a cool Southern-sounding name to prove it.

So, after doing some careful research and weighing the evidence, I've concluded that all five of these candidates are douchebags.

Interestingly, I never see opposing Democratic ads on the local channels. What's up with that?

January 29, 2024

DU4 Profile Statistics feature request

Profile Statistics include two post count totals, but what would be nice is a summary count of the recommendations of your posts. Reply post recommendations normally blow by with the thread and are rarely seen. This would give confirmation of your positive DU contributions.

January 28, 2024

Social Security: The Best and Worst Years To Be Born

Social Security has a number of quirks related to the way it adjusts for inflation. In a nutshell, your 35-year earnings history is normalized for inflation to your indexing year (the year you turn 60) using the National Average Wage Index. Benefits start at age 62 at the earliest, and from that point forward the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers is used for COLA (a lower percentage on average). From 60 to 62, there is a gap of two years, and no inflation adjustment occurs. Though typically not significant, it can be.

If you were born in 1961, you will miss out on the 5.9% COLA in 2021 and the 8.7% COLA in 2022 for a combined percentage of 15.1%. This is the highest pair of percentages since 1980-1981 and resulted from the inflation bubble. To get that percentage back, you would have to delay your benefits for almost 2 years after your full retirement age of 67.

The best birthyear in the modern era? That would be 1949. Thanks to the Great Recession, COLA was zero in 2009 and 2010, so these fortunate individuals don't effectively have gap years.

Inflation can have a dramatic effect on retirement planning, and this provides a small window into one of its hidden effects.

January 19, 2024

Wordle is holding my stats for ransom now

Wordle informs me that I have to create an account to see my stats now. Those are really nice stats you have there, it would be a shame if something happened to them. This courtesy was extended previously to anonymous players using cookies.

I have one word for you Wordle: ADIOS

January 16, 2024

Making the equivalent of the federal minimum wage through passive income

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, or $15080 per year. JEPI (a popular income ETF) currently has an annual dividend yield around 8.4%. To generate $15080 per year, you would need to have approximately $180,000 invested. So, you can create the same earning power as somebody slaving away in a fast-food restaurant by simply amassing this amount. A tidy sum to be sure, but within reach of a typical middle-class household. For the upper class, that amount is a pittance. It demonstrates how hard some have to work to earn something that is like a freebie to others. The fortunate can also reinvest the dividends and enjoy compounding interest (all passively), while the working poor fall farther and farther behind.

January 14, 2024

Does an object in a stable orbit around a black hole experience time dilation relative to a region far away?

This is a quantum physics question I've been wrestling with. An object which is accelerating into the black hole clearly would experience the time dilation. However, in orbit, the object would experience centripetal acceleration from the continual changes in direction which would cancel out exactly the accelerative pull into the black hole. So, while the object would be in an area of significantly curved spacetime, how can there be this time dilation with no net acceleration?

If the answer is no, then that whole Gargantua/Miller planet scene in Interstellar is bogus.

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Gender: Male
Home country: United States
Current location: Fort Mill, SC
Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 11:55 AM
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