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JJReyes last won the day on May 29

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About JJReyes

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    Traveling Somewhere in America
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    Photography. My wife and I love to travel and we intend to do so during our retirement years as independent seniors.

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  1. John, your photographs bring back a flood of memories. My father had purchased an International Harvester tractor for the farm and people came from great distances because they had never seen one. Most farmers used a water buffalo to pull a single plow. As the tractor worked, there was always a flock of semi-feral chickens behind looking for worms and larvae exposed by the plowing. A few years later, the tractor was gone. It was replaced by six men working with water buffalos. His rationale was employing out of work farmers was more important than efficiency.
  2. It should be "suggestions" or "recommendations" rather than commands. There is also an implied threat of punishment assuming you don't obey authority. By the time you are a senior citizen, chances are you can tell right from wrong. The premise is seniors are the most vulnerable group. They therefore assume most risks by going out.
  3. Statement from James "Mad Dog" Mattis, US Marine Corp general retired and former Defense Secretary under Donald President. By CNN Updated 6:30 PM ET, Wed June 3, 2020 (CNN)Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis castigated President Donald President as "the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people" in a forceful rebuke of his former boss as nationwide protests have intensified over the death of George Floyd. Read Mattis' statement: In Union There Is Strength I have watched this week's unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words "Equal Justice Under Law" are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. Content by CNN Underscored Get meat delivered to your doorstep with these services Dreaming of an indulgent porterhouse for two? Want to be surprised by a mixture of tasty meats, monthly?These delivery services will keep you well-fed as long as you like. When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside. We must reject any thinking of our cities as a "battlespace" that our uniformed military is called upon to "dominate." At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict— between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them. James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that "America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat." We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law. Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that "The Nazi slogan for destroying us...was 'Divide and Conquer.' Our American answer is 'In Union there is Strength.'" We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics. Donald President is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children. We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln's "better angels," and listen to them, as we work to unite. Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad. James Mattis
  4. Mike, just a quick clarification. If you reside in Metro Manila or Metro Cebu, are you assured of good internet availability? Or is it still dependent on which areas within the two metros?
  5. There is an alternative to "work-at-home" which is the cluster concept. If I was a senior executive with a Metro Manila or Cebu based company, one possibility is to do a study determining where employees reside. You then create small offices close to their homes to minimize commute. The smaller office locations are electronically linked to HQ. Those who can would be permitted to work from home commuting to the office when necessary or needed. (I thought the issue of internet connectivity in the Philippines has improved during the past few years.)
  6. Not all company operations can be done by "work at home" employees. The most promising are backroom functions like accounting. There are tremendous savings because downtown office rentals tend to be expensive. Possibly some employees will attend a once a week meeting at the office and work from home the rest of the time. The son of a close friend is with a large international management consulting firm. Their system is empty cubicles at branch offices. He reserves space for the number of days needed while visiting clients or working on a project. The rest of the time, he works at home.
  7. According to NBC News, some dental practices are charging either $10 or $20 "infection control fee" which their patients have to pay directly because it is not covered by insurance. Dental offices were shut down as non-essential to conserve limited medical supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) and because of social distancing issues. Time to visit the Philippines for our dental needs.
  8. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims the coronavirus loss of potency report is inaccurate. Possibly the Italians are basing their announcement on observation and anecdotal evidence. WHO wants proof.
  9. In addition to $1,200 one time assistance for many Americans including retirees like me, the CARES Act provides $600 per week to those who are unemployed. The number of unemployment claims is now around 40 million. The $600 is a supplement to the normal benefit through your state's unemployment insurance. As the United States reopens, the problem is a reluctance to return to work. If you were earning less than $24.00 per hour, before the layoffs, your take home benefits from unemployment insurance plus the $600 per week supplement is higher. In other words, someone earning $12.00 an hour receives the equivalent of $24.00 in unemployment benefits. You just doubled your salary! Sit in your living room couch and binge watch Netflix. Luckily, the $600 per week federal supplement ends July 31 or a week earlier depending on the state.
  10. The Internal Revenue Service has a webpage on their website where you can submit your bank account information. If you received your stimulus payment by check or debit card rather than via direct deposit, visit this webpage. There is a strong likelihood there will be at least one more payment. Unfortunately, Congress is still fighting over the details as to when and how much. Do register because direct deposit is the fastest way to get your money.
  11. My wife and I are hoping to revisit the Philippines before the end of the year, possibly staying several months on a balikbayan visa. Might as well spend our money there to support the local economy. As part of the on-going lockdown in San Diego, I have visited around 150 Vlogs about Philippine tourism destinations and postings by foreigners who are stuck due to the quarantine. Some of the newer visitor destinations look very interesting We went on a 21 days cruise around Asia last December. It was a disappointment because, by comparison, the treatment of visitors in the Philippines is much better. There was no warmth, hospitality, friendliness or even curiosity as to where you are from.
  12. https://www.businessinsider.com/dentists-hair-salons-add-covid-19-surcharges-after-restaurants-2020-5 It's only a matter of time before the Philippines copies this new US trend. Businesses and service providers are imposing a Covid 19 surcharge to cover anything from higher prices for beef, pork and chicken at restaurants or to cover the extra costs for employees' masks and gloves. Even dentists are adding the surcharge to their bills. Same with UPS delivery. State governments will start looking for new sources of revenue. Sales taxes are approaching or exceeding 10%. Hard to increase without protest. But, if they call it "Covid 19 Surcharge" as a separate line item, state governments may get away with generating another 5%.
  13. https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/politics/stimulus-payment-debit-card/index.html If you have not receive your stimulus payment, there is the possibility the money might be sent through a debit card.
  14. Our Singapore Airlines flight Los Angeles to Singapore last December had only two classes - business and premium economy. I understand other carriers are offering a similar configuration for long haul flights. Still uncomfortable for a non-stop lasting more than 14 hours.
  15. In 2008, Central Banks were flooding the financial markets through their banking system in what was called, "Quantitative Easing." As the situation starts to normalize, the expectation was Central Banks would slowly tightened. Unfortunately, politicians loved all that money in circulation. It was helping to create an economic boom. So interest rates have remained low and everyone singing, "Happy days are here again..." The problem today is, in addition to Central Banks, governments are flooding the market with printed money. I have not followed other countries, but the United States government authorized a $3 Trillion giveaway with more to come. My wife and I are happy to receive our $1,200 each directly deposited by the IRS to our bank account. The expectation is more stimulus money to come. Other government programs will allow us to reduce our 2020 tax obligation. This year should be okay with certain prices like food going up while buying a new car going down. Wait till 2021.
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