Friday, September 22, 2017

Stephen Waguespack: Rebuild Trust with Technology

LABI President Stephen Waguespack wrote today that we should be using more technology to inform the public on what is being done, how money is being spent, etc. He also points out that a lot of people in the state are interested in the same thing, regardless of where you lay on the political spectrum.

"It hit me this week while fielding questions from radio listeners on The Jim Engster Show: as much time as we all spend these days talking about what divides us, the truth is we are not as far apart as most think.
A few callers asked about proposals for new revenue streams, mandates or regulations on businesses and non-profits, while others wanted to explore different options to fight poverty. The affordability and quality of health care were discussed, as was the specific structure of our tax code and its inability to provide stability for both private markets and public services.
While most of the callers came from a more liberal political perspective than I do, many of the topics were the right ones on which to focus.
For all the fussing and fighting in politics today, I think that all Republicans, Democrats and independents want good public schools, safe and growing communities and affordable health care when they need it. There should be no disagreement on that. No one is out there credibly advocating for a shrinking economy or less transparency in government."

Continue reading his article on the LABI website. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Code Name Insight: What's the Fiscal State of Your State?

Code Name Insight: What's the Fiscal State of Your State?: "What's the Fiscal State of Your State? If you live in one of several states--I'm looking at you Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and these others--and you rely on the state in any way (for your income, pension, medical care services, payments to your business, etc), well, things aren't looking so good.  These states are on the brink of bankruptcy (kind of, states can't actually file for bankruptcy but that doesn't mean they are financially solvent...they are basically out of money and in the hole so far no one in their right mind would loan them money/buy their bonds)."


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 91 Thru 100--You

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 91 Thru 100--You: "Prepping Challenges 91 Thru 100--You Sometimes you go through the previous 90 prepping challenges, you have a massive amount of food and water stockpiled and...you end up a refugee with only the clothes on your back.  Of all of the refugees I have known--from the previously very wealthy to the previously very poor--many ended up fleeing war-ravaged countries with basically what they could carry with them.  So this is perhaps the most important section as you are your most important secret weapon for surviving whatever disaster comes along."

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Code Name Insight: 25 Hurricane Dangers

Code Name Insight: 25 Hurricane Dangers: "25 Hurricane Dangers If you have been watching the news today (literally every station) you will have seen the non-stop reporting on Hurricane Irma which is hitting Florida as I type this.  All of this coverage provides a lot of 'lessons learned' about prepping for a major hurricane.  These are the many dangers that a hurricane can pose and what you need to prepare for if you live in a hurricane-prone area:"

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Does the 4% Retirement Spending Rule Still Hold Up—And Where Do Rentals Fit in?

Here is an interesting article on how much money you need to "save" for retirement. It also proposes options for ensuring a comfortable retirement. #GoodRead


Does the 4% Retirement Spending Rule Still Hold Up—And Where Do Rentals Fit in?: "How much do you need? How can you ensure that you don’t run out of money in retirement? What’s the fastest way to get there, and does fast also mean safe?"

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Code Name Insight - Prepping Challenges 81 Thru 90--Special Circumstances

Prepping Challenges 81 Thru 90--Special Circumstances

If you are young, rich, and healthy, prepping can be a pretty easy thing to do.  That isn't most people.  Many people have a bundle of circumstances that often make prepping difficult to virtually impossible.  Here's what to do if you are any of these special circumstances...


Read the full post at the Code Name Insight Blog

Equifax Data Leak: Check if you were Affected - Google Thinks it is a Phishing site!

I woke up this morning and spent the first part of the morning catching up on Hurricane Irma news, (current status, future path,projected impact,etc.), then I noticed a headline that Equifax had a "data leak"...about a month ago...and possibly 143 MILLION people were affected...AND Equifax executives dumped company stock during the period between their discovering the  leak and their public announcement of the leak.

Crazy stuff, right? MR. ROBOT stuff.

So I go to the site set up to announce the leak and click on the link to check if my information was involved. This is what I see:



If this a joke? Is this a test? Yes, I understand what is actually going on. They are utilizing a third-party service for consumers to check if their data was involved in the leak, but this was a very shitty implementation. This could have easily been set up under the Equifax domain to not cause confusion. You would think someone would think of that...

As I was typing this up, the following tweets appeared, re-tweeted by a friend:













Thursday, September 7, 2017

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 71 Thru 80--Protection





Prepping Challenges 71 Thru 80--Protection

You are responsible for protecting yourself and your family at all times.  While you can call the police for help, they usually don't arrive until after the fact.  And during a disaster, you will be lucky if you can even get through to 911 so it is up to you to develop some basic protection strategies.

Full Post: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2017/09/prepping-challenges-71-thru-80.html

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Post-Disaster Travel Safety Tips

The impetus for this post comes from my work life. A tale of warning, if you will.



Vehicle wake on a flooded road. Image credit: Reid Fiest / Global News


These events occurred after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf Coast and caused disastrous flooding in Houston, East Texas, and Southwestern Louisiana.

An employee worked at his regularly assigned location, in the Lafayette area, through the duration of the storm. His family, luckily, were safe from any of the hazards that plagued so many in the Houston area.

Once the storm passed, his crew rotation was finished, so he wanted to go home to be with his family. It was strongly recommended that he plot a northern route up I-49 with guidance from the Texas Dept. of Transportation and the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development websites to track road closures. He is assumed to have complied with that request, but appeared to mainly rely on WAZE, the crowd-sourced navigation app, to route his trip. (More on this later.) His route involved going south from Lake Charles to cross the Sabine River, then taking various roads north and west to go through Beaumont and then on through Conroe and into Spring, Tx, where he resides.

On one particular road, he found traffic was only able to go in one direction and the other side of the road was a boat lane. Yes, it was underwater and actually being used by boats.

He was able to make it through Beaumont, but eventually he arrived at a point on the road he was traveling that was underwater in both directions. I was notified that he had come to a section that his car could not pass through. (More on this later, too.) He then decided that according to what he could tell, he could take back roads and get to I-10 in Orange, Tx, then he should have a straight shot with open roads back to Lafayette.

That plan wound up not working either as he again encountered flooded roads that his car could not pass over, so he was stuck. In an evacuated Bridge City, Tx.

Luckily, he knew someone who lived in nearby Orange, Tx. who had not evacuated and was able to come pick him up. He was able to stay with this friend for the next day or so until waters went down and he could then make it back to Lafayette and on to Spring via a northerly route.

There are two take-aways I want to focus on from this experience, detailed below.

1. A crowd-sourced traffic/hazard/navigation app relies on having a crowd available at a specific location to report hazards and road closures. In this case, I suspect it showed no traffic issues because there was no one telling it that there were issues on the selected route.

2. When planning to take a potentially risky route through an area that is experiencing flooding, DO NOT attempt to take said route in a car! Unless it is lifted and riding on large tires, you most likely will not make it.

Some other points I would like to add is be prepared to sit tight when traveling in this kind of situation. Make sure to have water, food, medication, cash, a blanket, and anything else you might need in the event you are stranded and unable to travel further.

Please let me know your thoughts on this post and any suggestions for staying safe in this type of situation.

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenge 61 Thru 70--Vehicle

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenge 61 Thru 70--Vehicle: "Prepping Challenge 61 Thru 70--Vehicle And the disasters don't stop, last week was Hurricane Harvey, next up Hurricane Irma.  So there is more prepping to do..."

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Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 51 Thru 60--Money

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 51 Thru 60--Money: "Prepping Challenges 51 Thru 60--Money Having enough money in reserve to see you through a disaster can mean the difference between living in comfort while your home is rebuilt or living in a mold-infested, partially broken down home.  Between being able to prep the basics like food and water ahead of time and waiting for when (or even if) food handouts will be given in your neighborhood.  Being on sound financial footing as soon as possible is one of the best ways to be prepared for a disaster. "

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Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 41 Thru 50--Medical

Code Name Insight: Prepping Challenges 41 Thru 50--Medical: "Prepping Challenges 41 Thru 50--Medical Among the most important prepping skills to have are those of the medical variety.  As you can see from reports on Hurricane Harvey, medical services are often few and far between right after a disaster."

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