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John Divine
Works at The Motley Fool
Attended Appalachian State University
Lives in Alexandria, VA
3,388 followers|78,568 views
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John Divine

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What do you think of Pandora? With iTunes' own Pandora-like product on the market, iHeart Radio, Rhapsody, and Spotify continuing to do their thing (not to mention that you can actually choose the song you want to hear and listen to it as many times as you like with Spotify), do you still use Pandora? 

If you still use it, that probably means you think Pandora is better than the alternatives. Why do you prefer Pandora to its competitors?

Are you someone who used to have a Pandora obsession but now find your loyalty with another streaming service?

I may write an article about this so any and all feedback will be very helpful, and I would of course ask your permission if I wanted to quote you. Thanks!
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Robert Hirsch's profile photoBen Blankinship's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photoRyan Gilbert's profile photo
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I'm more and more using google's all access service. It's cheaper than spotify, provides the same service, and the "radio" is more accurate. Pandora is in 3rd place on my devices.
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John Divine

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For people saying Obama is pretty much just Bush in a different costume, I'm going to have to mostly agree with you now. The fact that the NSA can order Verizon to turn over phone usage data for tens of millions of Americans is sickening and frightening. Someone needs to lose their job for this, and not a scapegoat -- someone responsible.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22793851
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Ben Blankinship's profile photoWarren Dew's profile photoDonald Teed's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photo
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this is bullshite is what it is..this came from Republicans on the shrubs watch and all of them should be jailed along with the bankers and the shrub and his cabinet
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John Divine

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Saw Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions at an airport bookstore the other day and decided to pick it up. Fantastic decision; I forgot how much I loved his wit and style. Are there certain authors you enjoy that can consistently keep you flipping the page? 

Curious to hear from the bookworms out there. What exactly about your favorite works/authors keeps you immersed for hours on end?
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Evan Edwards's profile photoCrowfox Fleming's profile photoWily Geist's profile photoJacob Cigna's profile photo
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I enjoy reading Bill Bryson and Malcolm Gladwell. Both are into quasi reporting. Bill Bryson's style is particularly likeable, if not extending too far into know-it-all-ness like Gladwell.
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John Divine

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What are some things that a person can do to directly impact their community in a positive way? For a regular person with no special amount of influence, is there a single area that will have a higher value-to-time ratio? 

I suppose it depends on both the community and the person, of course, but I'd like to know what you think. No snarky partisan answers if you can help it please, on this one!

P.S. The following is just a (very lengthy) personal anecdote. If you read and respond to one part of this, please let it be the above...

(Side note: I first thought of this last year, when I was working at a bank. It was an entry-level job, essentially, i.e. I was not important. Anyway, one day  I get off work and I drive home the same way I do every day. I stop at a gas station I've been to a million times to get a drink. Inside, there's an unshaven, unkempt homeless guy -- gregarious guy, you know -- kind of making chit-chat with me as I wait in line. It comes time to check out and I realize I've left my wallet in the car. "Hold on, I forgot my wallet, let me run out and get it," I say. Then the homeless guy grows sullen and angry, and mumbles something like "_Suuure_ you will...banker doesn't have a wallet, he says. He's gone." 

And that really pissed me off. Initially because it was sort of unclear, convoluted logic that I couldn't understand outside the context of a joke, but also because I hadn't done anything to him! I had been perfectly nice and jovial the entire 20 seconds we stood next to each other. Did he think I was running away from him? I got my wallet, came back in, paid for the drink, and left without a word. But it made me ask myself just what I had to do to prove to a person like that that I didn't somehow despise him. Or in other words, what would it take for him not to despise me? Not even me really, just some nameless, faceless person in a suit? But at the time that person was me, and I had an almost vengeful, instinctual feeling when I got back in my car that the best way to show him how wrong he was was to engulf myself in that struggling community. Advocate for better schools, help create or improve a park; give effort where effort was needed; leave a legacy of genuine giving and caring. And if everything else evened out, it would have been more than worth it if that poor man learned not to judge a perfectly kind stranger as a crook or a good-for-nothing or this thing or that thing solely because of their appearance. 

Now I'm no dramatic and I usually don't go on endlessly like this, but I have to say one more thing. I just realized that in some ways this is the exact message of MLK. MLK argued: "Let's show them that we are not a lesser people. We are peaceful, we can end race warfare by disobeying immoral, racist laws in a peaceful manner," and in doing so, the Civil Rights movement forced white america realize that it was white america itself who had -- shall we say, euphemistically -- "erred."

My situation at the gas station shows the emotions and perceived inequities in a class war. And as I see it it has only one solution. Those with the money or the resources or the time, who genuinely want to help, can go into poorer communities and offer assistance. How would your community be better? Are the hospitals OK? Schools, parks, after school learning programs, habitat for humanity work, etc. These are all things we can do to show we truly care about other humans, regardless of their dress, religion, race, or economic situation.) 
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Warren Dew's profile photoRyan Luehrs's profile photoDavid Howard's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photo
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First +John Divine  you deserve great respect for not only caring about those less fortunate ... but for taking the time to think about the interaction rather than just going on with your day.  

My partner is a psychologist and has worked with domestic violence victims.  She was concerned when learning a woman who had to leave her home (along with her children) went to a food bank and the pastor told her "she was forgiven for their sins" and had to listen to a long sermon before the food was distributed.   This person had done nothing wrong ... she had not comitted any sins but was a victim.  She had no shame going to a food bank ... but said the religious overtones were humiliating.  We are very spiritual but believe it's a choice ... not something that should be attached to urgent food requirements.

Once this family found housing in a complex for single mothers, my partner and I decided to run a food bank right in the community -- it has 50 units and doesn't cost us all that much given a local Safeway manager is one of neighbours at the lake. 

But it turned into much more than that.  While we don't think twice about enrolling our kids in every sport they're interested in, the kids in this neighbourhood had no equipment and little to do.  Soon enough, our brothers were bringing hockey sticks, basketball hoops, baseballs and gloves.  Our friends began buying diapers in bulk and clothing for kids.  Everyone in our lives who has heard about it wants to contribute.  And it has made a tremendous difference -- the items are dropped off without any strings attached.  The kids are playing sports and eating better.  My mother-in-law bought hundreds of flowers last spring ... the formerly drab neighbourhood now has flowers in every yard : )   But more than a little material help, we hope that acts of kindness without judgment will serve to inspire these folks. 

Thanks for a great article and for your thoughtfulness.  It reminds me that so much good exists in this world.
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John Divine

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David Stockman, former director of the budget under Reagan (who left after rebuking trickle-down economics) speaks very well and makes some compelling points on the current state of the economy. He argues that the Federal Reserve doesn't help things but instead creates bubble after bubble. Criticizing cronyism and calling for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall (the act disallowing conventional banks from simultaneously being investment banks), I think he makes some damn good points.

I suggest you check out some of his interviews or read into his stances, it's worthwhile to hear his perspective.
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-april-8-2013/exclusive---david-stockman-extended-interview-pt--1?xrs=synd_twitter
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Roger Becker's profile photoWarren Dew's profile photoMark Herndon's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photo
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+Warren Dew on the FDIC part today there is a choice, called Credit Unions. The credit union today is not what it was 20 years ago but many are not FDIC insured.

Agree totally on the union issue, when they began the practice of public vote, paycheck due collection, and PAC protection they turned from worker advocates to self serving quasi mafia like organizations. Our current EEO, overtime, hourly wage, etc. laws ensure worker's are protected against unfair labor practices, as is the free market of employers we have today. Competition is what led to our current compensation packages of sick leave, vacation days, retirement alternatives, associated vender perks, etc. They may have been born of labor union ideas but the law and workers expectations ensure they thrive today. Maybe that is why private sector union membership is at historic lows and public sector unions have come under fire in the rust belt.
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Have him in circles
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John Divine

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It's impossible to adequately address issues of climate change if those we put in power refuse to acknowledge its existence or deny that it's anthropogenic. The "debate" (curiously not amongst climate scientists) is wasting precious time we should be using to work towards long-term solutions to one of the gravest problems humanity has ever faced.

I think the holdup has its roots in greed, cognitive biases, misinformation and to some extent a religious hostility towards science itself as a discipline. Unfortunately I thinks these flaws in thought have to be largely eradicated first for any real progress to be made. And that may prove to be even harder than changing these global environmental problems.
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Isolde Eleison's profile photoBen Blankinship's profile photoJacob Cigna's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photo
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I believe there is actually widespread scientific consensus regarding the positive existance of climate change. However, it is actually the media's efforts to provide balanced reporting which leads to the assumption that there is not widespread consensus. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378003000669
Unfortunately, this representation in the media has consequences on the beliefs and voting patterns of citizens: http://eagle.gmu.edu/newsroom/892/
The subtopic, which Luker addresses, is whether the present climate change is caused by humanity. And an even further subtopic is whether such changes can be reverted. And if they could be reverted, would or should we revert them?
Divine, as stated above, most religions agree that man should be a steward of the earth.
But in the past few decades, major religions have been aligned politically with "big" business, oil, coal. Thus, people of religion must be either ignorant of the pollution, or assume that such pollution isn't really doing any harm. In either case, the political considerations win out. If, however, a person of religion agrees that pollution is happening, and feels a religious responsibility to care for the earth, and agrees that pollution is bad for the earth, the religious consideration wins out, and this particular religious consideration is decoupled from politics.
I see encouraging signs in my personal experiences that tell me it is possible that the politics of climate change can become decoupled from the religious considerations of climate change.
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John Divine

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I'm not sure whether this is a liberal/conservative issue, I think it's more in the humanitarian/common sense area: What do y'all think of the drone issue?

Earlier this week the White House admitted drones have killed 4 American citizens. Even more shocking, it was never the main media headline and has been largely glossed over. Be honest, liberals: you would have demanded Bush's impeachment for this...and rightfully so. This is the biggest and most shameful blemish on the Obama administration to date, by far. Disgusting and frightful.
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I think this just proves neither party can be trusted and the fact that people are now reacting to the NSA's prism program just shows how blind, dumb down, and complacent the republic has become. Putting faith in one man or a single institution has proven time and again that it leads to destruction in society. People need to stop focusing on party lines and race that's how the elite stay in power divide and conquer is the most effective strategy that has worked against the public because there to blind to see past themselves.
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John Divine

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Oh OK. I was just reading this (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-01/what-causes-growing-wealth-gap-america) and had it on my brain.
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John Divine

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A moving ceremony today for the victims of the Boston Marathon. It's very difficult to be confronted in the cruelest way with the ugliest of mankind, especially when one realizes this senseless violence and hatred rears its head all over the world on a daily basis.

But I don't think it's embellishing in the least to say that what we saw from civilians, first responders, medical professionals -- as well as people simply offering their thoughts, prayers or condolences -- was nothing short of heroic and heartwarming.

It gives me genuine hope, maybe for the first time, for what lies ahead and what else we may be capable of. Because there's no doubt that, as Patton Oswalt movingly wrote on Monday: "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/patton-oswalt-on-the-boston-marathon-bombing/275015/
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John Divine

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What do you guys think about bitcoins?
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Paul Hue's profile photoColin Tipton's profile photoJacob Cigna's profile photoJohn Luker's profile photo
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It's not what I think it's worth, but what it will buy or what I can sell it for.
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Have him in circles
3,388 people
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Obsessive learner and metaphorical curious cat living on borrowed feline lives. All opinions expressed on this page are my own, and not my employer's.
Employment
  • The Motley Fool
    Writer, present
  • Merrill Lynch
    Intern, 2011 - 2011
  • CreditCards.com
    Intern, 2010 - 2010
  • Grandbridge Real Estate Capital
    Loan Documentation Analyst, 2011 - 2012
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Alexandria, VA
Previously
charlotte, nc - boone, nc - amherst, ma
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Primarily interested in politics/finance/music/writing/humor/philosophy/everything
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Little-known original inventor of the wheel.
Education
  • Appalachian State University
    Finance & Banking, 2008 - 2011
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Economics, 2007 - 2008
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