I bring you another edition of my blog with eclectic links about rental car scams, real estate mania, H-1B Visa, best Radisson hotels, we travel to Svalbard again and to Ni’ihau, more money coming for the child tax credit advance, warn again about crypto and memes and other crap flooding everything, a follow up on a criminal trial and verdict that stunned the nation, amazing collection of historical photos and lots more.
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We all know by now how challenging is finding and paying for rental cars. And you know how tough it can be when scammers get in on it: Hang up if someone asks you to pay for rental car with a gift card. Maybe that amazing deal you found on a website was a scam, be careful out there!
Wow, what a story: The Ni’ihau Incident. This island is the smallest of the Hawaiian islands and it is the site where the movie Jurassic Park was filmed. But it is also known about what happened when a Japanese pilot crash landed there after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and you won’t believe what happened next!
Not sure why but this blog keeps returning to Svalbard: Glimpses of a Soviet Ghost Town on an Arctic Norwegian Isle. Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard, according to the terms of the Svalbard Treaty of 1920. But two of the archipelago’s most intriguing tourist draws — the mining towns of Barentsburg, which is still functional, and Pyramiden, long since empty — are Russian settlements.
Remember when that Andrew Yang dude ran for President wanting to give $1,000 per month to everyone? It sounded kind of out there back then. But since then we had three stimulus payments going out to many and starting very soon we are going to have more money pushed out to people with children: Biden’s $3,000 child tax credit starts going out on July 15. These calculators help you determine how much you could get. The pandemic made this possible and it is something never tried before in this scale. Does this keep some from going out to fill so many job openings? Sure. Does this alleviate hardships and really help the recipients? Certainly. At what point doing this hurts the economy and all of us in a way? I guess we are finding out. #developing
The stories I hear are totally insane. I instructed my wife to stop looking at Zillow, we are NOT buying real estate in this market. PERIOD. Has There Ever Been a Worse Time to Be a Homebuyer?
I wonder when we look back several years from now in this investing era we are all living through, will we all be shaking our heads wondering what the hell we were all thinking? Let me respond to this with my favorite phrase: “I don’t know”. Can memes save crypto from reality? If you think you’re in on the crypto joke, the joke might be on you.
Pump-and-dump schemes — where a group of people pump up a cryptocurrency’s price to create a buying frenzy, get the price up, and then sell — are common. They’re a way to try to weaponize the meme. Even if you go into a pump-and-dump scheme eyes wide open, you might not realize you’re actually the dumpee. “If you buy something called asscoin, that’s on you,” said Agrawal. ($ASS coin, or rather, Australian Safe Shepherd coin, is a real thing. It is also a joke.)
The amount of money people have lost in crypto scams is up 1,000 percent over the past six months compared to the same period last year. When crypto is misplaced, it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to trace (which is why it had sometimes been a method of choice for crime and money laundering). There have been multiple high-profile hacks, and sometimes, people just lose their crypto because they forget a password or lose their keys. An estimated $140 billion of bitcoin is just lost.
Finally, we get to call the variants easy names instead of ridiculous code names, yes! Tracking SARS-CoV-2 names. Them Greeks save the day again. 🙂 So, Alpha is the British variant, Beta is the South African variant, Gamma is the Brazilian variant and Delta is the Indian variant. And then there are more letters corresponding to more variants coming along…so please vaccinate the planet before one of them makes us all go back to our caves again!
This does not directly involve anything about the Covid-19 virus. But it involves pretty much everything about the virus that is splitting us apart with a part of the population ingrained in an alternate bizarre reality. Former Obama National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes writes about his conversations with a Trump supporter working at the bed and breakfast he was staying in while writing his memoirs. And Then She Asked Me About Benghazi.
Sometimes conspiracy theories are the darker musings of those kept out of power in a society. Sometimes they are fueled by those in power to keep a society distracted. But the Trump years went beyond even that—conspiracy theories were a driving force behind the government itself, connecting to the most potent grievances of those who felt excluded even though their guy had won, shaping the subject matter of the national discourse, and radicalizing individuals inclined to prejudice. Once people choose to exist in an entirely separate reality, bringing them back is no easy task, especially when every turn of national events can be framed as a validation of their grievances. We will be living with the residue of that radicalization for a long time…The cold war that needs to be won now is at home, a battle between people who live in the reality of the world as it is and people who are choosing to live in a false reality made up of base white-supremacist grievances and irrational conspiracy theories—and seeking to impose it on the rest of us.
ODDZ & ENDZ
It was back in 2006 when there was a trial of a mother who killed her 4 year old son and was convicted. And she is still in jail. But after reading this I wonder if you will think she is innocent as I certainly do. Another fantastic read by Texas Monthly: Hannah and Andrew. In October 2006 a four-year-old from Corpus Christi named Andrew Burd died mysteriously of salt poisoning. His foster mother, Hannah Overton, was charged with capital murder, vilified from all quarters, and sent to prison for life. But was this churchgoing young woman a vicious child killer? Or had the tragedy claimed its second victim? UPDATE: Per sharp blog reader Sam:Hannah Overton was released in 2014 and exonerated in 2015 along with $573K for wrongful incarceration.
I had this visa many years ago and everything has changed since then: The Data Behind America’s H-1B Visa Program.
These are amazing: 101 Rarely-Seen Historical Photos That Might Change Your Perspective On Things.
MILES & POINTS
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This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! Feel free to skip this section and parts of the next one if this is not for you.
Newbies: If you recently discovered this hobby from one of the big commercial popular blogs and you are now wondering why these blogs are always so excited about travel rewards credit cards, well, it is because YOU are the target! They make millions tricking you to click on their own direct affiliate credit card links and their pocket is ALWAYS first. Never YOU! Consider helping small independent blogs like mine before we too are silenced.
I like this series at Frequent Miler, here is the one on the Best Radisson Hotels in the US for free night certificates. Or to burn some of these points many of us still have from those old glorious get one award night and you got another night for free. Well, that deal did not last long…
I am not going to bother you with a whole bunch of unimportant crap, I value your time. There is not much that happens over the weekend and you add a holiday to it and zzzzz…..
We are now entering BLOG BUZZ, a section for advanced hobbyists and veterans of this fast imploding hobby and also a section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life because it helps me feel better about myself.
We are finally going to Kauai next January and I already have made reservations in the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Five nights in a suite using World of Hyatt points and one of my confirmed suite upgrades as Globalist. So, I was bored the other day and started looking for airfare. I still have lots of British Airways Avios points and I just could not help myself but book a one way trip for two flying from Detroit to Phoenix to Kauai on partner American Airlines. Sadly, no business class seats were available so I burned 48,000 BA Avios for two. No availability coming back and I am going to see if I can extend the stay a night or two at another hotel or stay in the same one if airfare to come back works out. Oh, I had to pay $11.20 in taxes.
I have now burned about 400k miles/points year to date, progress!
I tried to transfer 100k Chase Ultimate Rewards points from my wife’s Sapphire Preferred account to mine but I could not figure out a way and I have been corresponding via secured messages with Chase staff. At one point (pun intended) I was told I needed to unlink one of my own cards (Chase Ink Cash) before they did it and I said no way Jose! So, right now I have escalated this to a supervisor and waiting for a response. If no go, I can always transfer them to her own World of Hyatt account and then use that Hyatt transfer form to transfer to my own account to take advantage of my Globalist elite status. Chase Removes Household Transfer Option in Online Interface.
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