The Rent Is Too Damn High Party

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/urban-activists-prod-presidential-candidates-to-talk-about-rent-022316.html

Jimmy McMillan, who founded New York’s Rent Is Too Damn High Party, was just a little ahead of his time. Raising the issue of skyrocketing rents, both before and after the financial crisis, McMillan has had the issue pretty much to himself. Now, urban activists are wondering why the issue doesn’t come up in presidential debates…

The study finds housing costs – particularly skyrocketing rents – are largely absent from the 2016 presidential campaigns…

“You would think that housing affordability would be the number one issue in this year’s presidential contest, in light of the concern candidates from both parties have shown over the plight of America’s middle class,” said Kotkin. “But nowhere amongst the campaign rhetoric do we hear anything about this nation’s very real housing crisis…

In the wake of the financial crisis, banks made it much harder to qualify for a mortgage. As a result, homes for sale went begging while consumers competed for rental properties. The increased demand sent rents soaring.

The real estate industry has also tried to call attention to the plight of renters. In 2014 Zillow warned that rental affordability was currently much worse than mortgage affordability, largely because rents didn’t experience the huge drop seen in home values during the recession. Instead, rents continued to climb. As a result, renters have continued to pay a dangerously high percentage of their income for housing…

It’s another PayPal scam

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/paypal-scam-2/

Sat, Feb 6, 2016 4:42 pm
Re: Your Account Has Been Limited PayPal ID PP-658-119-347111
From: service@paypal.com, pal@noreplay.com

Please complete the attached form to verify your Profile information and restore your account access.

Personal Information Profile

Make sure you enter the information accurately, and according to the formats required.
Fill in all the required fields.

Dear customer ,

As part of our efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for the online community, we regularly screen account activity. Our review of your account has identified an issue regarding its safe use. We have placed a restriction on your account as a precaution.

To lift the restriction we will require some further information from you.

If, once we review your further information and we’re confident that the use of your account does not present a safety risk to our service and customers, we’ll be happy to reinstate your account.

We have sent you an attachment which contains all the necessary steps in order to restore your account access. Download and open it in your browser. After we have gathered the necessary information, you will regain full access to your account.

We thank you for your prompt attention

Very sincerely,
PayPal Review Department

Study: renters pay more for car insurance

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/study-renters-pay-more-for-car-insurance-020916.html

Since the housing market crash, fewer people have been able to buy homes, meaning more people have to rent. Rents have quickly escalated to the point that last summer, Zillow declared a “rent affordability crisis.”

It’s bad enough that rent keeps going through the roof, but a new study claims renters face another hit in the pocketbook – they pay more for car insurance than people who own their homes…

Hey, Hillary, can you fix this?

Study: BMI not a reliable measure of health

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/study-bmi-not-a-reliable-measure-of-health-020416.html

But a new UCLA study finds that using BMI to gauge health incorrectly labels 54 million Americans as unhealthy even though they may not be. The study is being published online today in the International Journal of Obesity…

Many employers uses BMI to judge the health of prospective employees and a rule pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would permit insurance companies to charge higher premiums to those with higher BMIs…

First the insurance companies came for the smokers. Now they’re coming for those that are overweight. Because nicotine and sugar are legal drugs. And now the drug war and the insurance companies are coming after those who take prescription drugs, along with every state that wants to put my allergy medicine in the hands of doctors. (Doctors suck.)

Is there a “reliable measure of health”? Does that even exist? How does that work, when we’re all so very different? How many of the measurements used by the medical industry are based on faulty research and analytics? (Like this very study?)

Seems like the media should be asking these questions, but I guess real reporters don’t exist anymore.

Thanks to Lisa, chicken soup for everyone!

Well, not everyone, but since I live alone, I am everyone.

DSC00532.0

My mother used to tell people, Johnna likes chicken. And she likes chicken. And she also likes chicken.

What can I say? I really love chicken. And being without it makes me sad.

But I found an amazing surprise in my mailbox today (which I don’t check very often). It was a lovely card from my amiga, Lisa at Life of an El Paso Woman. If you’re not following her blog, you should. It’s real easy, just click here:

http://lifeofanelpasowoman.com/

When I opened the card, something fell out:  it was green and looked suspiciously like money. (Although I’m not the best judge of what money looks like.)

Guess what it was! Go on, guess!

It was chicken money! I mean, money to buy chicken!

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Both Lisa and Kara (follow her too, at https://polishingdookie.wordpress.com/) sent me private emails with offers of chicken money, which I promptly refused. But Lisa went ahead and sent it anyway, and no doubt Kara would have also — if she had my address. 🙂

Now’s probably a good time to also thank Lisa for the chocolates she sent me at Christmas. Have you ever had See’s Candies? I think it’s a Texas brand. I shaved those chocolates and baked them in several batches of cookies (some which didn’t turn out, embarrassingly and unfortunately).

And as soon as I take a nap, I’ll be heading out the door with the chicken money in my grubby little hands. The making of a huge pot of chicken soup will then commence, and I’ve already promised Lisa that she’ll be able to smell it in El Paso.

Friends are great, aren’t they? Gracias, mis amigas. 😀

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The famous ball trees, in my back yard.

Have I mentioned that I really love chicken? 🙂

(Photos taken 1/30/2016 and 2/2/2016.)

Gracias

There are a gazillion websites on the internet. And yet, you’ve chosen to visit mine.

I’m humbled.

I’m thankful.

I appreciate you. (Yes, you!)

Without an audience, I’m just talkin’ to the wall. Not that I mind talkin’ to the wall, but unfortunately, the wall doesn’t talk back. And that’s no fun at all. I mean, who wants to be right all the time? 🙂

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/09/how-many-websites-are-there/408151/

In 1994, for example, there were fewer than 3,000 websites online. By 2014, there were more than 1 billion. That represents a 33 million percent increase in 20 years…

The weird thing is, most of these sites exist without being seen. The average person doesn’t venture very far across the web, only visiting 96 separate domains per month, according to a Nielsen estimate in 2013…

By 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, Google was serving more than 3.5 billion searches per day—equivalent to 40,000 searches every second…

In Growing Economies, Some People Are Left Behind

http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-metro-area-economies-brookings-report.html

By most measures, metro areas such as Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh, N.C.; have enjoyed some of the strongest economic growth in recent years. The resulting prosperity, however, isn’t spreading across all segments of the workforce, particularly to the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

These three regions and others have enjoyed strong job gains but earned low marks on measures of economic inclusion in a Brookings Institution report released Thursday. The study, while assessing overall growth and prosperity, also examines the extent to which standards of living have improved for all people within metro areas…

Brookings ranked the 100 largest metro areas using a series of indicators in four areas: economic growth, prosperity, economic inclusion and inclusion by race. Most metro areas registered gains in economic growth and prosperity, but few improved on measures of inclusion…

Consider the Austin metro area: It recorded the strongest growth nationally in both total jobs and gross metropolitan product. At the same time, its inflation-adjusted median wage still declined and the relative income poverty rate climbed faster than in all but 18 other areas…

Albuquerque, N.M.; Augusta, Ga.; and Columbia, S.C.; were the lowest-ranked metro areas for changes in overall inclusion in the Brookings report…

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Lead contamination for everyone!

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/too-much-lead-in-nabisco-ginger-snaps-california-alleges-012616.html

Ginger Snap cookies proclaim proudly that they are “made with real ginger and molasses,” failing to mention a rather generous dose of lead…

Ironically, it turn out that the ginger and molasses Nabisco marketers promoted so proudly played a big part in the lead contamination. Experts have linked high lead levels in molasses to soil in which sugar is grown, and also to the manufacturing process. Sources of lead in powdered ginger have also been linked to contaminated soil in which ginger is grown, and to the brining process in which it is dried, a news release from Harris’ office said.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/01/26/Ohio-EPA-knew-about-lead-issues-in-Sebring.html

State environmental officials knew as early as October that residents of Sebring in Mahoning County were drinking water contaminated with lead but did not warn the public, records show…

What good would it do to notify the victims when they can’t do anything about it? Except maybe to stop drinking, cooking, and bathing in the water? Other than buying bottled water, what else can they do?

Facebook follows you everywhere

I’m not on Facebook very much, as it irritates the hell out of me. But before and after I played a game of online scrabble today, I logged onto Facebook and was surprised to see clear evidence of Facebook Stalking.

See, one of the words I played on my scrabble game was “noir,” and when I logged onto Facebook, I see an ad on the right side of my screen for a film noir website. Pretty soon, I’ll be seeing ads for hair salons and mushroom pizza. 🙂

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/facebook-solves-the-global-cookie-shortage/

What to do if you find mold on your mushrooms

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/have-you-ever-found-mold-on-food-from-the-grocery-store/

The internet says that you shouldn’t eat mushrooms if you find mold on them, unlike cheese and bread, where you can get rid of the moldy part and just eat the good part. The only thing to do is to dispose of the whole carton of mushrooms, then disinfect the parts of the kitchen that came in contact with the mold.

DSC00164 (2)

I try to remember grocery store brands, but Country Fresh Mushroom Co. is a new one for me. According to its website:

FOOD SAFETY – OUR TOP PRIORITY

With increasing consumer concern about where their food comes from and how it arrives on their plates, food safety has become a critical issue throughout the fresh produce industry. But for Country Fresh, it has always been a top priority.

From MGAP certification of all our growers to Level 3 SQF certification of our packing facility, we integrate rigorous food safety standards into every step of our business. Our customers rest assured knowing that they receive the safest, highest quality mushroom supply available in the industry.

And now the homemade pizza I made yesterday only has onions on it, no mushrooms:

DSC00165

This is the kind of pizza you have to eat with a spoon. Can you see the onions? 🙂

Yes, I sent this company an email with a link to this post, so I’m expecting my refund check any day now. (Don’t hold your breath.) How do you feel after you throw money away?

Reminds me of moldy Walmart potatoes:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/dont-buy-walmart-potatoes/

IRS email scam

Hey, scammers, do you really want the IRS after you? Because they never give up. They will find you, even if you’re dead. I can’t help but laugh at your idiocy. 🙂

Sat, Jan 16, 2016 5:49 pm
From: auto-reply@irs.gov
To: painkills2@aol.com
Re: Message from Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service

ATTN:

You have 1 New Security Message From The Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service.

Click here to resolve the problem

As this e-mail is an automated message, we can’t reply to any e-mails sent by return.

Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service.
@2016 IRS.GOV

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information…

What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication

  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. Visit our identity protection page if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
  4. Forward the email as-is to us at phishing@irs.gov. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
  5. Delete the original email.