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2020 US election - postal votes

As the election gets closer you will be hearing a lot about this.  That is because Donald Trump has been speaking about this issue all the time saying it is not possible to have a fair election if there are postal votes.  He does add one exception to that – he will not win Florida without postal votes of the elderly so he has said that postal voting in Florida is fine. 

The important thing to remember, when you hear about all of this in the future, and he Russians are already spreading fake news about it, as they did in the 2016 election, is that Americans have been allowed to vote by post forever.  In fact, it is quite routine for up to one-third of all votes, including when Trump won in 2016, to be via post.  It is not unusual, it is not strange and Trump’s own appointees will confirm this.  His Postmaster General, appointed by Trump, has said the Post Office can deal with all the votes even though Trump says they can’t.  His FBI director has said that they have had no evidence, now or in the past, of any significant fraudulent voting via post.  In other words, what we are getting prepared to hear, with Russian assistance, is a fake story about fraudulent voting via post.  There is simply no evidence of it and it is the way things have always been.  Just remember that when this becomes a big issue in the first week of November.  Obviously, in a year with Covid-19 there will be far more postal voters than ever before, but what really appears to lie behind it is that President Trump feels that if more people vote he is likely to lose and if less people vote he has a winning chance.  For now, he is way behind in all the polls losing by between 6% to 8%.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 28-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  27 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
All the ugly people on the Internet

I am not on Instagram, but I looked on it recently and just saw Bill Gates’ official account – ThisisBillGates.  It is amazing, if for example, he has a picture of himself reading with his daughter when she was much younger, the nasty comments that people will make.  Even the “more innocent” nasty comments are along the lines of, “I feel uncomfortable seeing this.”  Other comments include, “Give those vaccines to your kids” or “Disgusting pedogate.”  Other references are made to “Pizzagate” where some right wing conservatives made up a story that Hillary Clinton and a whole lot of other wealthy people were abusing children at a Pizza Restaurant in Washington DC.  One lunatic even turned up there with a gun, determined to rescue the children and apart from all the trouble they create for the wealthy and famous, let’s not forget that the owner of the restaurant is also just a normal small business person like anybody else and whose business and life was terribly damaged simply because of lunatic stories on the Internet.  It does not matter what pictures Bill Gates post, there are people telling him that the devil is waiting for him in hell and all sorts of other things.  It is sad that so many people spend so much of their time, probably because they are uneducated and have not read much, in believing in conspiracies, but on top of that, how nasty a human being do you have to be to spend your spare time posting things like that on people’s accounts?

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 22-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  39 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Vegan shoes

I am really impressed by the number of companies around the world that are starting to do environmentally friendly things.  A number of companies are making vegan shoes where, for example, the laces will be made from organic cotton, the upper knit of the shoe is made from recycled plastic bottles and the inner soles are made from recycled algae foam and natural cork.  I bought myself a pair of these shoes recently and although they are not my favourite shoes in terms of look, they were completely comfortable to wear and I am happy knowing that my shoes are made out of plastic rubbish taken from the ocean where it was floating around and turned into shoes!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 15-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  51 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Google's takeover of Fitbit

The European Union is now investigating Google’s takeover of Fitbit.  They are nervous that Fitbit’s fitness trackers could give Google a “data advantage” in a business which they already dominate, namely online advertising.  Google bought Fitbit for $2.1 billion and now the European Union will weigh on this.  In the US we are seeing closer scrutiny of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft as to whether or not they are becoming too powerful and are monopolies.  I don’t think we will see much of that, but investors probably will not lose either way, because for example Google had to be split up in different businesses, one being YouTube, another being the automated car, Waymo, and another being the online advertising, you still are not going to lose by having Google shares.

*I am not a registered investment advisor and this does not constitute investment advice.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 08-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  35 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Changing your address

It amazes me that with computers used to sort a lot of the post that our systems in SA are not more efficient.  For example, in some countries overseas, if you want to change your address for all your post you simply fill in a form on the Internet, pay a fee of less than R20 and all your post will start from the next day being redirected to your new address!    Imagine trying that in South Africa.  It really should be possible and it is definitely something they should think about, but I guess before then, we have to try and reduce how many things get lost or stolen in the mail and focus on the actual delivery of the mail, let alone updating addresses! 

It does show you though as things become more and more advanced and people learn to do a lot more online and via computers, that you can resolve a lot of things a  lot more easily than you might have in the past – for example by writing a letter to every single person that ever wrote to you and giving them your change of address – which is the way we still do things. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 02-Sep-20   |  Permalink   |  45 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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