Fortune Cookie Generator

Ok, this is a most interesting fortune cookie:

“If your cookie still in one piece, buy lotto.”


Hmm, what cookie is this referring to?  And why should I buy lotto?


So I start to think that this is likely a computer-generated garbage fortune–i.e. the artificial intelligence makes no f*ckin sense! 


Anyway, you will be fascinated to know that the modern fortune cookie with the paper fortune inside the hollow of the cookie was invented in California.


However, the Japanese put something like this in the bend of the cookie already in the 19th century. 


Using this fortune as an example, I have this gnawing feeling that the Japanese fortunes had a lot more intellectual substance to them. 


Anyway, someone tell this lame cookie fortune teller that Lotto is way out and Powerball is in and where the real winnings are. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Loyalty To Others Vs. True To Yourself

Loyalty.jpeg

So after the aborted Healthcare bill to replace failing Obamacare, President Trump tweeted about the alt-right’s lack of support for the bill: 

“We learned a lot about loyalty [today].”


The Freedom Caucus refused to vote with the rest of the Republicans on the 7-year long awaited repeal and replace of Obamacare. 


Instead, they felt it didn’t go farther enough to rescind everything from Obamacare they hated, and they chose to leave Obamacare as the solution for the foreseeable future, rather than get a replacement bill they felt was also subpar.


Whether this was smart or dumb, time will tell. 


– Smart – If down the road, they get a better replacement to Obamacare then what was being offered now. 


– Dumb – If rather than a better replacement, we end up either stuck with Obamacare indefinitely or get an even worse alternative later. 


It’s a little like gambling Vegas–they decided to roll the dice again, rather than leave the table with their winnings. 


Sure, they could end up a bigger winner or they can lose it all, so we’ll see. 


But there is another important question here:


What obligation did they have to be loyal and vote with their party vs. being loyal to their own conscience?


The Democrats have held the line better in terms of voting as block–and hence they have proved superior in many cases in wielding their share of power. 


In contrast, the Republicans have been more divided and hence, they can’t get the votes they need to pass the legislation desired by the right–because somebodies are always holding out for a better deal. 


But Trump represents “The Art of the Deal,”–and a deal usually means negotiation, compromise, and that nobody gets everything they want.


So while everyone should vote and act their conscience, there is also something to be said for loyalty to the team effort. 


If everyone just holds out for what they want, then really that stoneheadedness will result in virtually nothing getting done. 


We’ve all got to give a little to get a little, as long as it doesn’t violate our moral compass, core values, and faith. 


Loyalty also has to do with showing and acting with respect. 


And being disloyal to the team and leadership has ramifications.


Those who seemed as if they were being true to themselves and their constituents–may end up having really let themselves and the others down, and not just Trump and Ryan. 


Finally, loyalty is a two-way street, and I have a feeling Caesar is not yet done with the great treachery that was perhaps so callously inflicted on him and the greater national cause. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Settle Down or Trade Up

Trade Up.jpeg

So I always hear this question from people…

 

Should I be happy with what I have or should I seek out something better?

It’s the age old question of whether to settle down or trade up.


When it comes to any decision in life…choosing a school, degree, career, place to live, an investment decision, or even your spouse and life partner–how do you know when you are making the right decision?


Maybe you like or love what’s in front of your eyes, but you still don’t know 100% if there’s something better out there for you.


Every choice means you are settling in some way, because let’s face it, nothing is perfect in life!

When is good, good enough for you?


There are trade-offs with every decision.


And it’s a matter of what YOU can live with!


A guy may say, “I like this girl, but I’m not sure whether she’s the one for me or that I really want to settle down with long-term.”


Someone else says, “I’m studying to be an accountant, but you know I really always liked psychology.”


And yet a third person says, “I like working at company ABC, but maybe I can learn something new or do better financially for myself and family if I go somewhere else.”


So when do you settle down and when do you try to trade-up?


The dilemma is fateful because you don’t want to lose what you have, but you also don’t want to potentially miss out on something even better for you.


Listen, we’re not prophets!


No one knows whether your investment in something is going to pay off in spades or land you flat on your butt. 


All you can do is try to weight the pros and cons of every decision. 


If you treat life like a roulette game in Las  Vegas, the one thing that is pretty sure is that at some point, you will lose it all to the house. 


So choose wisely and make sure you are passionate about your choice and that can live with it over time. 


Know that you made the best decision you could by looking at it from all angles. 


And most important of all, be grateful for everything you have–these are blessings from the Almighty Above and you need to have faith that He/She is guiding and helping you all along the way. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Powerball Powers Past

Powerball

I suppose the makers of the Powerball lottery never envisioned a $1.3 billion jackpot. 


As you can see the sign only goes up to $999 million. 


Yeah, stupid planning from the people that run the odds (where winning is 1 in 292 million), but they can’t figure the odds of the lottery going this high, ever.


Anyway, win it or lose it, someone stands to walk way with a lump-sum payment of $806 million, and after federal, state, and local taxes you’re looking at maybe half or less of that. 


Either way, not a bad take-away from a $2 lottery ticket. 


Lots of needy people to help and good deeds to do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Work Life IMBALance

Work Life IMBALance

Mental, emotional, and physical health often feeds off of maintaining a good balance in life.

Yet, the financial services industry has been notorious for making people work unearthly hours, but also paying them unG-dly sums of money, especially in end-of-year bonuses.

I remember reading the other year that the average bonus at Goldman Sachs was something like $750,000!

The price people pay for this is work, work, and more work (and like in the film, Wall Street, often some very unscrupulous behavior as well).

Many people get apartments down by Wall Street, so when they stroll out of the office at 1 am (maybe that’s a good night), they can get to their place and clock a few hours of sleep before it’s back to the office–in record time.

Does the wealth accumulation and perhaps early retirement make it worth it–I guess to some people it does.

Today, the New York Times reported how financial firms like Bank of America (BOA) Merrill Lynch is perhaps seeing the ill effects of this misguided “human capital strategy.”

Finally, they are now encouraging people to “take four days off a month” and we’re taking about weekends.

That still leaves you with 6 days a week of work and typically 90 hours per week in the office!

Anyway, this is what they call being “committed to making the work experience better.”

This is coming off the heels of a 21-year old intern at BOA that died last Summer in the office “after working three consecutive nights” even though they attributed the death to epilepsy.

Work is good and healthy, except when it’s extreme and not. Work-a-holism is a disease and money is at the root cause.

It’s great to be committed to the organization, mission, people and to doing your best, but it’s another to sacrifice your soul, health, family and friends, and other interests that make you a well-rounded person.

Ambition is healthy, greed is deadly–and if you have to come up with three lemons to see that, then it may be too late. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rock The House

Alright, this Jewish kid from the Bronx is not the biggest club guy.

But, we had a special event at the Light Club in Vegas and it was pretty awesome.

The Great: the lights, dancers, special effects, and overall venue at the Mandalay.

The Okay: Prefer an even higher tempo and energy from the music for more of the time.

One amazing human element that I saw at The Light was someone in a wheelchair on the dance floor surrounded by his friends, all having a good time.

Overall, I am finding Vegas better than what they advertise…guys, for almost $10B in gambling revenue, you can certainly find a better marketing and branding firm.

As DC is to politics, Vegas is to entertainment, but DC gets all the news coverage (more often bad than good), and Vegas needs something more than Sin City. 😉

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Debt Default–Now Or Later

Debt Default--Now Or Later

So reopening the government, narrowing our deficit spending, and raising the national debt ceiling is coming together in planned negotiations this week.

Despite all the talk, we continue to spend beyond our national means and basically we must raise the debt ceiling or else the game of borrow and spend is over.

Almost like insatiable gamblers, we use up our money at the table, head to the pawn shop to sell our watch and car to replenish for the next game, and then borrow against our credit card to fuel our addiction to the game some more.

Eventually though the house always wins and the borrower must pay up (or they get their legs broken or something nasty like that).

So while the question posed by the pundits this month is whether the U.S. will default on its debt now, the real question is whether a default is just a matter of time anyway–as we continue to spend more than we generate in revenue as a country.

Sure can we raise the debt limit again–hey, why not borrow more, if others are willing enough to lend to us (and for little to no interest too)?

And can we through sequestration or more surgical spending cuts, decrease the rate of our deficit spending–however actually balancing our budget is not even on the table anymore, as booming entitlements for Social Security and Medicare are expected soon with the aging baby boomers to drastically increase our spending again.

The hope that we will somehow, magically grow our way out is fanciful thinking–almost rising to delusions of national grandeur–that just don’t mathematically add up (since we have a median GDP growth rate over the last 80 years of just over 3%).

Perhaps, we don’t care if we can’t pay our debts, because we are the superpower and what is anybody going to do to us about it anyway?

Or perhaps, we rely as a backstop on our ability to print more money and pay off old borrowed sums with worthless new money galore?

Maybe it’s not a default if no one acknowledges it or we just get away with it…but somehow, someway, no one and no country can spend more than it generates in perpetuity.

If you believe in the endless virtual cycle of borrow and spend, then the mind control program is working just great, indeed. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)