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Preview: Peter Bromberg's UnBlog

Peter Bromberg's UnBlog

Pete's comments on .NET, politics, humor, and everything else wrong in the world.

Updated: 2017-10-01T16:12:50.337-05:00


The real story about taxes


Since taxes are starting to become newsworthy because of Trump's tax plan, it might be a good time to take a look at some facts. According to the Tax Foundation (non-partisan) in 2016,
The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.1 percent).
The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 27.1 percent individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.5 percent).
The top 10 percent of income earners paid a whopping 71 percent of all federal income taxes.
Think about that the next time you hear the mantra about the rich needing to "pay their fair share".


How to spot fake news 101


People create fake news for all kinds of reasons, mostly political. Here's an example:

The following "news" article claims that Wikileaks leaked a Podesta email that contains the following:

“JB, CF, and JK PACS will be noticeably silent for the rest of the campaign. Each will receive a significant allowance from advertising budget. HRC is in the loop and has talked to all three personally. Eyes only.”

In fact if you search google on the first sentence, about 425 so-called "news sources" have picked this up and run with it. To it's credit, Snopes shows up in the search and they successfully debunk it. But you know what else shows up? A Wikileaks search!

That's right, Wikileaks has an excellent search facility. And if you plug that phrase into their search, you will come up with ..... NADA!

Wikileaks never published any such email. Apparently somebody in an effort to discredit both the GOP and Wikileaks concocted it out of thin air.

You're welcome.


How I Got Started In Programming


I've got a storied career. I went from being a draft resister hippie type near the end of the Vietnam War to being an expediter at a nuclear power plant construction company near Wall Street, then finally left New York for warmer weather in Florida where I spent a couple of years as a real estate broker and eventually landed at Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant. I stayed at Merrill for about 8 years.

It was at Merrill that I first became interested in programming. I had been graphing the technical indicators from Bob Farrell's group in New York with colored pencils and there was an older guy at the Orlando office who had a TRS-80 and printer. So I learned to program the indicator data in BASIC and print out graphs. Before long I had saved up $3500 to buy an Apple IIe and began seriously studying BASIC. Later I enrolled in an external doctoral program to get my PhD in economics, and a good part of my dissertation was spent coding FFT algorithms in Turbo Basic.

Later on I made plenty of money as a developer with Visual Basic 5 and 6. Then I got into web programming with classic ASP and learned to use javascript. To this day I still recommend that beginning programmers learn javascript as their first programming language.  Finally in 2000 I attended the Microsoft PDC in Orlando and got the first 6-CD set of .Net and I was hooked. It's been .NET and C# ever since, and as an ex Microsoft MVP for 10 years I can say that Microsoft has been very good to me.

Software development is one of the few professions where you can earn six figures with no formal degree. But it takes a certain kind of personality. Programmers are paid to think, and that requires a logical, problem-solving type of mindset - and a lot of patience and motivation to learn.

I hope some readers will get insight from this.(image)

On self-confidence