Is Donald Trump’s Election as President of the United States a Black Swan Event? If so, What Effect will it Have on Wall Street?

From Our Owatonna, MN Correspondent

According to the website Investopedia, “A Black Swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict. The term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader. Black Swan events are typically random and are unexpected.”
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Election Day Comments From Our Gastonia, NC Correspondent

Election Day has come and gone, and I would like to take a moment to give a message to a few of my friends:

To my Republican friends: You won a BIG one.  Almost nobody saw this coming, and you’ve got control of both houses and the White House.  Use it well.  Remember that you are entrusted with governing the entire country, not just playing to your base, and that if you overplay your hand you’ll lose the House first, then the Senate, and we’ll be right back in the soup.  This is a tremendous opportunity to show Americans that Republican rule will not be the sort of dystopian hellscape Rachel Maddow would have us believe. Don’t blow it. Continue reading

Computer Hacking and National Security

From Our Gastonia, NC Correspondent

Do the denial of service attacks have other implications for US national and economic security?

The denial of service (DDOS) attacks last week which took down Netflix, Amazon and other large sections of the internet should be a huge wake-up call to our nation’s IT security experts.  The evidence so far is that the attacks were launched not with PCs or laptops, but with millions of internet-enabled home devices such as refrigerators, baby monitors and door cameras.  The “internet of things” was used against us in a scenario reminiscent of some bad dystopian sci-fi movie. Continue reading

Baseball and Little League

From Our Gastonia, NC Correspondent

As I write this, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are readying to meet for a Game 7 For The Ages in the World Series.  Never before have two teams with such a record of futility and heartbreak met for the championship of any professional sport.  It is moments like this when we, as Americans, embrace the simple, pastoral, agonizingly slow movement of baseball and tune out the chatter and clatter of the world around us. Continue reading

News Sources

An article in last week’s Time magazine examining the way that the fringe elements of both parties get their fake news, conspiracy theories and outright parody thinly disguised as news was a sobering read.

The writers found people on both sides of the political fence who had strongly held beliefs that were based on stories from The Onion and other satirical websites which they had accepted as gospel truth. Continue reading

In 2013, over 17 million American households were confronted with hunger and lack of nutritionally affordable food. The high cost of fruit and vegetables has put lower income Americans out of the market for these foods. Much of it is simply discarded by grocery stores for cosmetic reasons. Should grocery stores be allowed to continue this practice?

From Our Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent

Current prohibitively high costs of produce have canceled out access to its consumption by millions of low to moderate income Americans. Many simply cannot afford to purchase fruit or vegetables and have to rely on less nutritious and lower cost produce type products through canned goods and other sources.   Continue reading

Are school bus cameras worthwhile for safety or will they wind up causing privacy problems and higher traffic accident rates similar to traffic cameras?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-School bus cameras can be worthwhile for safety as long as the school district in question has the full support of the school board and parents residing in the district. If parents are concerned about the safety of their children and provide their consent and school boards initiate the action, then cameras should be used.  School security officials and local law enforcement need to be in sync with what the school board, parents and the community demand regarding safety on school buses. Continue reading

A North Carolina history teacher recently stomped on the American flag in demonstration and support of a lesson involving the First Amendment. Should this particular teacher or any other instructor be fired for this kind of history lesson?

From Our Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- Lee Francis, a history teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, recently patterned a First Amendment rights discussion around desecrating the American flag.  Mr. Francis even went so far as to ask students for a lighter, but he then turned to his desk and picked up a pair of scissors and attempted to cut the flag.  He probably realized lighting the flag on fire would be a fire code violation, so he turned instead to the scissors.  When he was unable to cut the flag, he threw it on the ground and proceeded to stomp on it, all in the name of his First Amendment rights (abridging freedom of speech). Continue reading

Charlotte Protests

From our Gastonia, NC Correspondent- Greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina, where a city that’s previously seen incidents of police officers shooting unarmed men has NOT devolved into a hellscape of broken windows and empty tear gas canisters.  Of course, during the previous incidents, we didn’t have busloads of outside agitators being brought in to gin up trouble and make sure the rabble remained appropriately roused. Continue reading