Archive for June 2014

Thoughts On “Voyager”

I am still going through the Star Trek canon.

After I got done with The Next Generation, I started going through Deep Space Nine. After I got started CBS started taking episodes off the site. There are still 160 episodes of Voyager, so I started watching that. There are currently no episodes of Enterprise, five of The Next Generation and two of Deep Space Nine. Last week there were 55 of The Original Series, then 34, and now there are 24.

So far I like Voyager. Somewhere I read that out of all the series that Voyager is the only one for which several of the regular actors said that making the series was not a happy experience. Robert Picardo (The Doctor) was 43 during the third season. I am 43, and I think he looks older then than I do now. I assumed he was in his 50s when the series started.

I thought Jennifer Lien (Kes) has one of the hottest voices of any women I have ever heard in my life. I liked what I heard the first time I heard her speak. I haven’t gotten to any of the Seven Of Nine seasons yet, but if they made the switch to up the babe factor, they could have kept Kes on. The Doctor is a lucky hologram to get to spend so much time with her in sick bay (“Please state the nature of your sexual emergency”). I thought the forehead ridges on B’Elanna Torres looked a bit odd, but the more I see her the more I like her. She’s fit, smart and intense. If they needed to up the babe factor, they could have just had those two wear something tighter.

Maybe later I will write something up about Deep Space Nine. I might just wait to see if I can get through all of Voyager before they take episodes offline. I was hoping to get through Star Trek to put off paying for a subscription to Netflix. Now Netflix is having conflicts with Verizon and Comcast will be merging with Time Warner, so who knows what will happen with online content.

Image from Memory Alpha, copyright owned by CBS, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

More Thoughts On Snowden

So our good friend Edward BenedictArnoldovich Snowden gave an interview to NBC in which he stated that he raised concerns within the NSA. Glenn Griftwald said this was an important revelation.

Then NSA released an email in which Snowden asked a question about whether executive orders supercede federal statutes. Granted, before this the NSA said there was no paper trail. Perhaps they were looking for something substantive. When the email turned out to be underwhelming, Greenwald had nothing more to say on it. Did he know about the supposed paper trail?

As many commenters at Little Green Footballs pointed out, this email was sent after Edward I-Love-My-Sugar-Vladdy Snowden had already been in contact with Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Snowden and Greenwald said there are more emails that the NSA has not released. Many commenters pointed out (as I did) that it seemed odd that Snowden and Greenwald have not released those emails themselves. I think Snowden did not keep those emails. If these people were smart, they would have released those pretty early. I know that 1.5 million documents is a lot to go through, but I would guess something that corroborates your story would be at the front of the list. (See Note 1 below.)

Snowden says he was trained as a spy. Didn’t they cover that in spy school?

I have also looked at a few lists of the documents. Yes, there is a LOT of spying on Americans. But there are also a lot of examples of the USA spying on foreign countries, their leaders and their citizens. I really don’t like that, but I really don’t think people in other countries have any rights under the US Constitution.

Plus some of the documents were looking at the activities of Iran, Russia and China. I really have no issues with the US spying on them. At all. Anything that makes China or Russia stronger relative to US/NATO is a bad thing in my opinion.

The UK has said that some criminals have gone off the radar thanks to the Snowden leaks. He has released info on spying by the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. Why haven’t Snowden/Greenwald/Wikileaks shined a light on China and Russia? I do not have high expectations for China or Russia as beacons of freedom or democracy. It just seems odd that Snowden/Greenwald/Wikileaks say they are advancing freedom, yet their actions all seem to benefit China and Russia.

Snowden may not be a Russian spy, but the Russians have said they have had their eye on him since his time in Switzerland. That is interesting, because people who think that he is a Russian spy think he became one in Switzerland. So if he is not a spy, then perhaps Russia has been using him all this time.

Did Snowden keep the paper trail in which he raised concerns? Did Greenwald lose the files? Why didn’t Snowden only take files about NSA surveillance on Americans? Did not know how to only get those files? Or did he not care?

Are Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks stupid and incompetent? Or just apathetic and evil? Is one better or worse than the other?

I really hate it when people who don’t know what they are doing tell me they are looking out for me freedom. I’ll take my chances before trusting idiots.

Image of Snowden’s other role model from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

Note 1: 2015-02-21_16.41.25: I would hardly call a question about legal supremacy “raising concerns”. Yes, he raised some concerns, but not the sort he raised after he defected. Plus, I wonder this email chain they mention ever existed. It seems odd that he steals thousands of files, yet forgets the one that would prove he’s not a spy.

I Am Looking At Deere Again

I am thinking about re-buying shares in Deere.

They increased their dividend a few weeks ago by about 17%. It was one quarter late, but I think it still counts towards their streak.

I know I keep saying I should stick to my rules, but I am still trying to work out what my rules are. How strict should I be? I held on to Intel after they had gone 8 quarters without a dividend raise. Deere raised theirs after five quarters. They have a nice P/E ratio, and they are still making money.

Plus they are in the agriculture business. Sort of. I think along with energy that food and water will be huge issues (and huge money makers) in the next decades. I think Deere is a good way to play that. Plus they are based in Illinois.

I bought Kellogg recently. I read an article that pointed out that most things we buy at the grocery store come from a handful of companies. Kellogg is on the list. I will start looking at some other companies listed in the article: Kraft, General Mills, JM Smucker, even Pepsico (even though we are a Coke family).

Image from John Deere web site, assumed allowed under Fair Use

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2014-05 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for May, 2014.

The monthly dividend income came out to $280.01. The yearly income total for 2014 through the end of the month was $1,411.19. If I had 100 shares of each of the stocks that paid out in May, 2014 I would have made $591.86.

The income for May, 2013 was $242.65, and the yearly income total up through that month was $1,141.24.

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for May, 2014:

  • AT&T: $27.05
  • Verizon: $7.42
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $14.15
  • ABM Industries Inc: $8.47
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $9.51
  • Clorox Co: $38.59
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $11.86
  • Abbott Laboratories: $11.56
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $38.33
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $9.40
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $25.76
  • Procter & Gamble: $35.94
  • Texas Instruments: $16.09
  • Eaton Corporation: $25.88

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use

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