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My Vote Does Not Matter Because I Do Not Live In A Swing State


My Vote Does Not Matter Because I Do Not Live In A Swing State

Published 11/4/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well I voted. No one can blame me for not making sure my voice was heard. But yet I remain somewhat jaded and cynical at the fact that when all is said and done, my vote ultimately won't do much to affect the outcome of election results.

Every 4 years it's the same routine. I head to my designated voting station and pull the lever, poke the appropriate dot, or press the desired digital touch screen button to make my mark as a citizen of this great country. Unfortunately, any excitement or exuberance I may have in exercising my constitutional responsibility to participate in the political process is greatly tempered by the fact that I know my vote in all actuality counts for very little. It's not because my vote is only one out millions that will ultimately be cast that makes the relative unimportance of my single vote seem so sobering. It's the fact that I know with near definitive certainty that no matter which way I cast my vote, whether I vote for John McCain of the Republican Party, or whether I vote for Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, my home state of Maryland, a solid blue state as blue states go, will ultimately pass on all of its electoral college votes for the Democratic candidate no matter what. Such is the dilemma and troubling aspect of living in a state with such thoroughly entrenched political and social views, and in a country where Presidential elections are decided based on an electoral college

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Outsourcing Call Center Jobs To India Leads To Bad Customer Service

Published 7/31/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

We live in an extremely politically correct country these days, which means anyone who even mentions anything negative about someone different (like negatively pointing out a foreign accent), or criticizes someone for their inability to speak the language properly, he or she is immediately labeled as prejudiced, racist, or somehow inciting hateful views. I'm truly none of those things, but I feel a personal finance blog platform is as good as any to express my own personal views about my own experiences on the matter. While I was born overseas, I came to the U.S. when I was only 2-3 years old, so I've pretty much grown up as an American and learned to identify strongly with the crux of American culture and its values. While a key component of American culture is the ability to embrace diversity and appreciate differences between different types of people, both foreign and domestic, there are some circumstances when I greatly prefer the services of a fellow American.

This preferential situation comes up whenever I call a live customer service help line. When I pick up the phone and make that affirmative decision to seek help via a toll free telephone number, my reasonable expectation is that I will reach someone who can communicate with me in an intelligible way, and help me resolve my consumer business problem quickly and efficiently, so that I can go along my merry way. It's bad enough that I often have to spend 30 minutes or more waiting on hold before I can

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Test Credit Card Numbers With Luhn Credit Card Validation

Published 7/11/08  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

What Do the Credit Card Numbers Mean, and How Are Valid Credit Card Accounts Generated?

Have you ever wondered how credit card companies generate all those account numbers that appear on the face of the credit cards you carry around in your wallet? At first glance the numbers, while neatly arranged, appear to be completely random. But would it surprise you to know that there is indeed meaning and actual mathematical methodology to the way the numbers are sequenced? The process of generating real credit card numbers and validating them based on a proven mathematical formula is not only intriguing on an intellectual level and a hacker's dream, the carefully calculated way the numbers are ordered is actually quite beautiful and elegant when you come to understand how it works.

Before I get down to explaining the anatomy of credit card numbers and discussing how credit card numbers are generated, I think it's prudent to remind everyone the intent of this article. The goal of this blog post is not to encourage or get people thinking about how to go out and create fake credit card numbers on their own for improper means. The purpose is to shed some light on the science behind the mathematical sequencing technology of valid credit card numbers and offer some insight into something that many of us frequently see and use everyday, but oftentimes don't pay much attention to.

Please take in the information provided for purely academic and entertainment reasons. I'm not trying to encourage anyone to create fake credit card

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My List Of The Top 5 Most Overrated Careers and Jobs

Published 6/19/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

It's not easy finding the right career path in life. Many of our own perceptions on what makes a good profession is shaped and sometimes even warped by the views of our family, friends, and perhaps most significantly, by the media's relentless spin. There are many jobs out there that may look attractive and rewarding on TV, but reality often pours cold water over hyped up expectations.

It's interesting to me how if you asked any little kid what they wanted to be when they grew up, almost all would respond with answers like doctor, lawyer, hip hop rapper, or even President of the United States. Unfortunately for those little kids, the great majority of them will never fulfill their childhood dreams or live up to the great but unrealistic expectations they envisioned due to their personal circumstances. People pick jobs and careers for many reasons, but their choices are often shaped by their own hyped views regarding what is hot and what is not, and frequently fraught with inaccuracies. Unfortunately, during the high school and college years, the media greatly reinforces the naive and misguided mystique that surrounds certain professions to the detriment of future entrants into the work force. Oftentimes the hype of certain careers tend to greatly exceed the lucrativeness and fulfillment potential of reality.

The job market and popular careers choices have changed greatly over the years and what was once perhaps lucrative no longer is. Here's my list of what I believe are the top 5 most overrated careers and professions. I'm

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Memorial Day 2008 - Support Our Military Troops and Veterans

Published 5/26/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well it's the long Memorial Day weekend again. Not only is this annual occasion significant to me because it always occurs around the same time as my birthday, it's also one of the important federal holidays set aside by our United States government to honor those men and women of past and present who laid down their lives during the course of their great service to our country. As the grand puba of all knowledge, the great Wikipedia notes that Memorial Day was originally enacted to honor the northern Union soldiers after the American Civil War but has been enlarged to cover all American military casualties of any war or military action.

This post today is not meant to be a political statement. In fact, I hold rather neutral opinions about the U.S. government's positions and the U.S. military's actions in the ongoing war in the Middle East. I'm neither supportive, nor am I really against it. I'm not a military strategist, nor am I a foreign policy buff. While I watch and follow CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, and have developed my own viewpoints like any other guy, I don't claim to know the answers. So I leave the big foreign policy and homeland defense decisions to the elected bigwigs in Washington D.C. While my foreign policy views are both non committal and neutral, when it comes to supporting our patriotic troops, I'm in it 100%. I think they deserve our full support and admiration, and that includes past veterans, present troops coming back home,

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Explaining Why Financially Independent Men Rarely Call Their Mothers

Published 5/11/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I recently read a very interesting online article from an English (United Kingdom) website today called the Times Online (I know it's a well known site for British people, but I've never heard of it before). While the views expressed seem to come from a European perspective, with some interesting but different English terminology used in the comments section such as "blokes" and "birds" (translation: "guys" and "gals"), much of the opinion piece is also applicable to the American experience. The article addressed the familiar but sometimes complicated question of why today's modern men seem reluctant, burdened, or feel socially awkward when it comes to talking about their moms or when it comes to actually calling them on a regular basis.

Today was Mother's Dayso I did manage to contact my mother who lives overseas with my dad to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. Of course she was quite surprised but happy to hear my message (she is my mom after all), but I think she mostly enjoyed the rarity of it all. I can't remember the last time I ever gave her a present or anything on Mother's day (during elementary school maybe), but I think on some level she understands that grown up sons at some point in their lives must exercise that desired financial and social independence from their parents, particularly from their moms. While I do love my mom to death, it is true - there is also something very unattractive and rather unhealthy

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