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☛ Comparing cell phone plans 8-30-17

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

COMPARING CELL PHONE PLANS

 

CARRIERS, CONTRACTS, PREPAID, CUSTOMER SERVICE

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Aug. 30, 2017

 Traversing the maze of cell phones and plans seeking the best deal can become an arduous affair, especially when a litany of cell phones and cell phone plans occupy the open market. Every major cell phone carrier, including Verizon, ATT, Sprint and T-Mobile, offer an array of plans with each plan strategically designed to lure shoppers in and make them spend their money. Smaller or sub-companies such as Boost Mobile, US Cellular, Walmart Straight Talk, Virgin Wireless also offer their own cell plans with the same philosophy in mind: making money. Cell phone plans are basically of two variety types: prepaid and postpaid.

 

Prepaid cell phone plans are paid in advance with the consumer picking the types of services he or she is willing to pay for.

 

Postpaid plans are paid after the service is provided. Each plan type offers a myriad of services to the consumer and the pricing structure is made in advance of the purchase. There are services that include talk only, talk and text, up to the more advances services that include talk, text and data. Further, there are national plans and international plans. Each service provider or (cell phone carrier) advertises a myriad of plans and are generally in line with the number of gigabytes (GB) of data you require. Data plans generally start with one (GB) of data and top out with the unlimited GB variety. However, there are some differences between prepaid and postpaid plans so thoroughly research each plan carefully.

 

SMALLER CARRIERS VERSUS LARGE CARRIERS

Lately the cell phone market has been inundated with enough cell-phone plans to make your head swim. However, the major differences among cell phone plans are the plans offered by the major carrier versus the smaller carriers. Generally speaking, the smaller carriers purchase data time from the major carriers at wholesale pricing, allowing the smaller carrier to sell cell phone plans at a reduced rate.

 

In theory, the only differences between major versus minor cell phone carriers are the types of phones sold and the abilities of these lower-end market phones to reliably pick up signals provided by each one’s cell-phone towers, enabling the phones to function smoothly.

 

However, while researching the Internet, I did determine there were a lot of complaints from customers about reception with the lower-end priced phones. Today, the smaller cell-phone carriers generally dealing in lower-end priced phones are providing their customers with a combination of low-end priced phones as well as the higher or state-of-the-art phones such as the Apple iPhones. These are the same type of cell phones provided by the major carriers. Theoretically, this should offer the small cell-phone carrier customers with the ability to have the same reception as the major carriers. Time will tell.

 

CELL PHONE CUSTOMER SERVICE COMPLAINTS

My research was conclusive in one specific category and that is customer service complaints. The customer-service ratings of the major carriers, as well as smaller carriers, are very poor. In an article by Consumer Reports entitled, “Best Cell-Phone Companies: Is a Big Carrier or a Small Provider Right for You?” by Mike Gikas, the author offers a comparison of providers: Find out how Consumer Cellular, Ting, and other smaller companies compare with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon in Consumer Reports’ exclusive new survey. In the article, Mr. Gikas offers a compelling analogy of all carriers.
Click for carrier article>>

 In still another article entitled, “Five Reasons you may want to consider prepaid mobile,” written by Nate Swanner, he offers his own analogy of the pros and cons of prepaid versus postpaid wireless service. In his report, Mr. Swanner states, “As new prepaid plans become more and more ambitious, customers are starting to wonder if they should think about what life might be like on the other side of a contract. Prepaid has a hollow ring for many, as readers tend to see it as a second-rung alternative to a ‘proper’ plan and service. If that’s your thinking, we’ve got a few reasons why you should reconsider prepaid for your next smart phone. You never know, reading this article might actually save you some money!

 

PREPAID SERVICE

Some customers tend to think that they’ll get worse service with a prepaid plan. That’s a fair assumption, but not always correct.

 

If you were to go through a carrier that doesn’t have its own network (they are referred to as an MVNO), you would technically be piggybacking onto a network. Boost, for instance, works on the Sprint network. They don’t have their own towers. Spectrum “rents” space from Sprint.

 

That doesn’t make them any less a carrier, but it’s something to consider. If you were to go prepaid from a carrier like T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon, you’d get the same service and coverage as you would from a subsidized plan. Although it’s not fair to consider an MVNO “lesser-than,” it’s a consideration to make.

 

FREEDOM

Prepaid plans can bring some freedoms you might not utilize at every turn but they’re nice to have. For instance, you can switch plans any time you like. If you find a different plan that works better for you, just switch! There’s no fuss. You can just choose a different plan, even with a different carrier!

 

This is especially handy when traveling. If you’re going away for a period of time and you find coverage in the area you’re going to isn’t what you want with the carrier you have (we suggest “Open Signal” for this), just get a new SIM card from a carrier that might work better. For a few days or weeks, you use that SIM card, and life goes on relatively uninterrupted.

 

You might have a new phone number with the new SIM card, but that’s a small price to pay for reliable coverage when you need it. It won’t work across the board, as Verizon and Sprint use different technology than T-Mobile and AT&T do, but it’s definitely a nice option. The complete article by Mr. Swanner follows:

Click for Swanner’s article>>

 

 CONTRACT VERSUS NO CONTRACT

More specifically, previous cell-phone plans with all major carriers required a contract for a specific amount of time. Today, they’d like you to think there are no contracts but that’s not exactly true. Essentially, each major carrier operates on a specific band referred to as (CDMA) and (GSM). Each carrier orders phones from cell phone manufacturers to their specification and locked to a specific carrier’s band, which essentially are in a locked position, thus restricting it to that band. Verizon phones and Sprint phones work off of the (CDMA). ATT and T-Mobile work off of the (GSM) band.

 

Each band was explained in a previous article. Also, the smaller carriers who purchase services from the major carriers and in-turn sell it to their consumers, also carry the specific cell-phone types that work on their band. Further, each major carrier offers a deal for buying their phones, such as the ATT’s Next Plan, which offers pricing for the phone for an extended period of time – or in this case three years. Also, it’s a little known fact that these cell phones are being sold at the manufacturer’s full retail price.

 

Therefore, by the time you pay off your phone, it’s virtually worthless considering the rapid depreciation of the cell phone in today’s market. Thus the major carrier financing the cell phone is in the virtual moneymaking market with each new sale. Further, cell-phone manufacturers are consistently redesigning cell phones with new characteristics and updated advances in updated models, specifically designed to attract new purchasers with each annual product release.

 

The irony of advertisement stipulating service without contract is essentially a half-hearted truth, simply because cheaper financing sounds good but your locked into the carrier for the specific time of the pricing/payment agreement, essentially placing you on contract. Sure you can pay your phone off if you want to but you’re only able to move to a carrier that your phone is adaptable to. The unlocked cell phone is more appealing at this point but requires paying full price for the phone up front at purchase. Before purchasing an unlocked phone make sure the unlocked version of your favorite phone will work on all carrier systems after purchase.

 

CELL PHONE CARRIER COMPARISONS

A little research will provide you with all of the comparative studies on the market today as well as the pricing advantage or disadvantage of each before you sign up. In order to help you along, I’ve provided one in this article. Just click on the following links and they will provide the reader with an assortment of answers, including which carrier has the best or worst coverage or customer service. One thing I learned from this research is that Walmart’s Straight Talk advertises “working on all major carrier bands” and is the only one with such specifications.

Click for Who Has The Best Coverage>> 

Click for Verizon versus ATT>>

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office.Mobile: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

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☛ Manion appealing to NCHA Appeal Board 8-28-17

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

TOMMY MANION APPEALING HIS ANIMAL-ABUSE CASE TO NCHA APPEAL BOARD

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 28, 2017

For all of you wondering what is happening in the Tommy Manion animal-abuse case within the NCHA, the Executive Committee evidently found him guilty as, according to a Facebook posting by NCHA Vice President Ron Pietrafeso, Manion then appealed to the Grievance Committee.

After the Grievance Committee heard the case, they obviously also found him guilty as now Manion is appealing that decision to an Appeal Board which is included in the 2017 NCHA Rule Book.That Board is appointed by the NCHA President and will have a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of nine (9) members. Each member must be in good standing of the NCHA. A majority Of the committee members shall constitute a quorum for hearing purposes.

Click for NCHA Rule Book on Special Hearing Committee>>

 

Background of the case:

For those of you who don’t know the background on this animal-abuse case, I previously wrote an article stating that on Saturday July 15, Tommy Manion, a top Non-Pro, shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol at an NCHA cutting at Whitesboro, Texas. A member took a video of the event and called NCHA’s Director of Judges Russell McCord, who told him, “to do whatever it took to stop it and and make the person shooting the horse leave,” which the caller did.

I talked to several witnesses who all told me that Manion not only shot the stallion with a BB pistol but at one time had the pistol under a jacket draped over his hand, dropped it on the ground and bent over to pick it up – all of which is shown on the video.

The shooting was definitely against the NCHA’s highly advertised ZERO tolerance “horse-cruelty” policy.

After receiving and confirming the reported horse abuse by Manion, I reached out to Rick Dennis, a Threat Assessment/Risk Analyst who is also a former Drug Enforcement Agent, for clarification of penalties resulting from Manion’s actions – for Manion, those who witnessed the event and the NCHA committees that are now determining Manion’s fate.

Essentially, Rick informed me there are two laws in play here, one Federal, the other state, as well as two NCHA rule infractions.

The Federal Law:

There is a little-known Federal Law entitled 18 USC 4 – Misprision Of A Felony, which specifically states:  “Whoever having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Animal abuse is now a Federal Felony with hefty fines and prison sentences.

The State of Texas law:

Also, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Law, which rates animal abuse as a Felony, states those prosecuted could be punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Therefore, since the NCHA has already been notified of the animal cruelty case, along with being supplied with a video of the act, Manion has placed the association in a precarious spot, as whoever doesn’t report this gross violation to law enforcement in accordance with the provisions set forth in the USC 4 Code -Misprision of a Felony – is in direct violation of the federal law and could be subjected to arrest and prosecution themselves at a later date.

This includes Russell McCord, who received the phone call, as well as the Executive Director and the entire Executive Committee who met after being informed of the incident and who determined their association’s punishment for the offense – and possibly even the lawyer who was informed of the infraction and gave the Executive Committee advice, as well as show management.

Difference of penalties between NCHA and governmental agencies:

The other curious nature of Manion’s act is the two violations in the NCHA Rulebook pertaining to animal abuse and cruelty and how they differ from Federal and State laws.

More specifically, the NCHA Rulebook states “if show management or a judge at any NCHA-approved or sponsored event discovers inhumane treatment or abuse of a horse, they may immediately bar the responsible party and contestant’s horse from further competition in the event and the judge will give a score of zero. The Executive Director must be notified within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved and the complaint will be referred to the appropriate NCHA Committee for investigation and consideration. Note: the Federal law says “as soon as possible It must be made known to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States and (the person) is to be fined or  imprisoned for not more than three years.”

While the NCHA disciplines animal cruelty by offense with a fine ($1,000 to $10,000), probation and/or suspension, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Laws say that the perpetrator could be punished by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Also, the NCHA should make sure that the abused animal is made available as soon as possible to a licensed veterinarian for any damage that has been done, especially since the person who described the incident to me said the when the BBs hit the stallion, he crouched and his body shook in fear.

What has been done?

According to a notification on the NCHA website, the NCHA has fulfilled its obligation to satisfy the Misprision of a Felony law by submitting a complete evidence package in this matter to the District Attorney in the county where the animal abuse violation occurred.

The notification further stipulates the District Attorney has provided the evidence to the Sheriff’s Office in this county for investigation as well as referral of criminal charges (where warranted).  Further, I’ve learned the SPCA is also investigating this matter.

Notwithstanding, there are two motivating factors: 1) The ZERO Animal Abuse policy rule violations of the NCHA and 2) Criminal charges (where warranted).  Each entity operates separate and apart from each other. In other words, the NCHA has to make a decision and law enforcement has to make a decision. The incident becomes problematic for the NCHA due to existing membership rules and member opinion.

In my opinion, the NCHA should be commended on the “fast track” this incident has been placed on and a final decision should be determined on prima facia evidence (only) and regardless of Manion’s financial affiliations with the NCHA. After all, a rule violation is a rule violation. Evidence is evidence. A decision should be made on the facts of the case, and the facts alone.

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☛ Avoiding pitfalls of cell-phone fraud 8-27-17

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS OF CELL-PHONE FRAUD

 

By Rick Dennis
Aug. 27, 2017

INTERNET SALES AND FRAUD
As with any industry, bad actors seem to gravitate to the cell-phone industry, aspiring to make an easy buck off of unsuspecting buyers and sellers on the Internet. Such is the same in the cell-phone market. Recently, I decided to switch carriers and sell my Iphone 7 on the open market, via, Ebay. After registering with this Internet buying-and-selling giant for the first time, I acquired an ID number, listed my sale item and provided the Internet marketer with my PayPal code or PayPal.me/windrivercompanyllc.

 

Once I received my confirmation from Ebay, I started receiving a host of bids on my cell phone. Immediately recognizing a problem, I contacted Ebay customer service and informed them my cell phone wasn’t listed as a bidding item but instead was listed as a fixed-price item. When I went back into my account, I could clearly see my item was listed as a fixed-price item and not a bidding item. I again contacted Ebay and informed them of their computer error. For the record, Ebay assured me this malfunction would be immediately corrected. After a period of time, I decided to explore one of the bidder’s outrageous price offers to see what would happen.

 

My cell phone was listed for a fixed price and the bidder was offering me twice the fixed-price amount. In fact, the bidder’s price was more than the price of a new Iphone 7 of the same type and kind. The curious nature of the affair is that the bidder immediately asked me to “private message” her at a specific telephone number. Once contacted, the bidder requested me to provide her with my PayPal payment email address instead of using my direct link I previously provided to Ebay.

 

Finding this odd, I provided the bidder with my current PayPal email address that would link directly into my PayPal account. For the record, I use my PayPal account for a myriad of selling options to include, but not limited to, book sales, used horse training equipment sales, etc. Therefore, I’m perfectly familiar with the ins and outs of how PayPal operates, including transferring funds directly into my business bank account.

 

After providing this bidder with the payment information, I received an authentic-looking email from what I thought was Ebay/PayPal,, stating the bidder had actually deposited funds into my PayPal account, except the alleged email stated “a hold was on my funds until after receiving shipment confirmation.” The email even contained a link to contact the bidder and provide the tracking number of my Iphone.

 

As a professional Risk Analyst and Risk Manager, there are several factors in this saga which brought my suspicion to the point that this was a fraudulent sale, such as:

 

1)         The bidders offering price for the cell phone was more than I paid for it and more than the bidder could purchase a new one for.

 

2)         In all of the sales I performed through PayPal, I’ve never had any of my funds restricted.

 

3)         The “bidder/payee’s name” and “ship to/recipient’s name” were different, as well as being located in two different states.

 

4)         The payee’s shipping instructions were immediate or the same morning of the email contact.

 

To verify my suspicions, I contacted PayPal Corporate Security and informed them of the facts of the impending sale along with furnishing them a copy of the email, which contained the exact authentic information and logos PayPal uses. After a period of time, PayPal contacted me and informed me the email was bogus or a fraud and it had been generated from a fraudulent web site. PayPal thanked me for providing them with this information. Afterwards, I contacted Ebay and informed them of my findings; however, the customer service representative wasn’t as respectful or cooperative.

 Click for Pay Pal document>>

 

Essentially, after checking my Ebay page, she informed me that I would be responsible for the listed-price payout percentage as well as the percentage associated with the final value price of the item sold. In fact, the fraudulent bidder had marked my item “sold,” when in reality the item wasn’t sold. Afterwards, an exchange of philosophy transpired between Ebay and myself. For the record, I informed Ebay of the built-in flaws of their system in protecting unsuspecting sellers of this lurking fraud.

 

I also explained to Ebay that “in my opinion,” Ebay was subject to culpable liability in this matter simply due to the manner in which their system was set up, allowing buyer and seller to have mutual contact through the Ebay site; thereby, enabling an individual to perpetuate a fraud. Also, “in my opinion,” Ebay should have a system setup whereby the entire sale – from initiation and conclusion – should be controlled by Ebay. The irony of this entire situation is:

 

1)         I received an email from Ebay informing me my sale item was sold when in fact it wasn’t, including the price paid being beyond my asking price.

 

2)         After the fact, another email from Ebay informed me not to do business with a certain individual and my account may have been compromised.

 

3)         Still another email from Ebay, informed me the proposed buyer is suspect, hasn’t registered with Ebay and will no longer be allowed to buy items on Ebay. Imagine that.

 

To top it off, I received a computer-generated bill from Ebay detailing my costs for the sale of my Iphone – which never transpired. All in all, I never suspected I would be performing a Risk Analysis on Internet selling as well as the inherent risks involved in selling items on the Internet. Lesson learned: Again, “in my opinion,” the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should open investigations on “Crimes Against Persons,” involving the massive fraud obviously inherent in Internet selling.

 

In conclusion, an Internet-selling company found with inadequate security should be prosecuted and fined. One can only imagine the amount of property and funds that are stolen each year by individuals making a living trolling Internet selling sites, looking for quick deals from unsuspecting sellers. I would bet the amount of stolen property would mount in the millions of dollars. The fact is, it’s very easy for an individual operating in another country, or perhaps living in a tent in the desert, to initiate a scam operation.

 

Therefore, educate yourself before you engage in Internet selling. One noted fact is: “The safety and security of Internet selling begins with companies such as Ebay and Amazon, period.”

Click for Ebay response1>>

Click for Ebay scan 2>>

Click for Ebay scan 3>>

INTERNET SELLING PRECAUTIONS
If your intent is to sell items on the Internet, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the Internet-selling provider. If an individual tries to isolate you off of the Internet selling site – don’t do it. And don’t provide any information to an individual who is not listed on the seller’s site. Check with seller. If an individual posing as a buyer attempts to isolate you and requests personal or other information, immediately contact the seller site’s customer service department.

 

In this matter, it ended on a somewhat happy note: I still have my Iphone; however, I did lose a sale due to an attempted fraudulent transaction. On a good note, I acquired enough information to hopefully enlighten and educate the reading audience of www.allaboutcutting.com, with information that will prevent an individual from being a victim and losing their property.

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mopbile: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

 

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☛ A cheaper way to talk 8-18-17

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 5 comments

A CHEAPER WAY TO TALK!

 

ALL CELL PHONES ARE NOT THE SAME

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
August 18, 2017

As a businessman, the most important tools of my primary trade are: 1) my vehicle, 2) my computer and 3) my cell phone. The same goes for horse owners and trainers. Over time cell phone communication has evolved from objects that looked like bricks to the phones we use today, which are easily placed in our shirt pockets.

However, along with evolution also evolved the costs of these mobile devices as well as the cost for their service capability with a cell carrier’s ever-increasing costs. Cell phone bills have graduated over time to eliminate cost-per-minute values, roaming charges, including connection fees and opting instead for monthly charges comprised of packages or bundled costs.

Today, cell phones basically are either Android or Apple I-phones. These phones come in different sizes – from small to large – and have enough functions and storage to be considered a handheld computer that can talk. As the old adage goes, “There’s an app for that.”

Then there are the basic models that only allow texting and talking. However, the most advanced models can be used to type and send an email or a complete letter using the correct word processor app.

Whether your using the voice control to find directions to a local eating place or directions for an over-the-country trip, the modern cell phone will do it all.  However, along with modern advances also comes advances in pricing.  The cell phone industry has evolved into a comfortable multi-billion dollar industry.  Today, cell phones are used to talk on, take photographs and video, wake up to, remind us when to go to sleep, keep track of important meetings, conduct business with clients, count our steps, stay in touch with our families, contact emergency facilities in case we need them as well as ordering and purchasing items over the internet.

In fact, “do-it-all” cell phones have virtually replaced our land-line phones, our cameras, our video recorders and in some cases our computers. Technological engineering advances have produced cell phones with state-of-the-art video recording devices and photographic documentation that rivals the best-known cameras. Essentially, cell phones have become indispensable in our daily lives.

THE TECHNOLOGY:

Today, there are four main cell phone carriers operating in the United States: Verizon Wireless, AT&T Communications, Sprint and T-Mobile. The first three companies are American owned with T-Mobile being owned by Deutsche Telekom.

However, the leading cell phone systems in use today are: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a channel-access method used by various radio communications technologies.  CDMA is an example of multiple access, where several transmitters can send information simultaneously over a single communication channel. This allows several users to share a band of frequencies (bandwidth). To permit this without undue interference between the users, CDMA employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme, where each transmitter is assigned a code.  CDMA is used as the access method in many mobile phone standards.  IS95 also called “CDMAONE”, and its 3G evolution CDMA2000 are often referred to as CDMA, which is also used to control the speed of data transmission. Verizon Wireless and Sprint use the CDMA cell-phone technology.

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is the second technology in use today by cell phone carriers in the United States.  GSM is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA), (GSM), and (CDMA). AT&T and T-Mobile utilize this technology.

In my research I determined that unless you purchase an unlocked version of your favorite phone it will not work on a dual basis, e.g., each specific carrier has the cell phone manufacturer engineers design a phone that works on either the (CDMA) of (GSM) system.

However, unlocked cell phones are generally designed to work on either system which negates having to purchase a new cell phone when you change a carrier for better pricing or reception requirements. A cell phone that I’ve used and is designed to work on either cellular concept, from inception, is Motorola. In fact the cell phone provider advertises their unlocked phones will work on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. I Interviewed representatives from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and determined there were two specific reasons major carries sold cell phones locked and specific to their carrier brand.

1) It provides the carrier with a market base that’s hard to get rid of unless the owner of the cell phone decides to take an enormous loss in trading in or selling their existing cell phone, which guarantees the carrier recurring revenue and 2) the carrier maintains control of the cell phone and its owner if the phone is financed by the carrier for a specific amount of time. Essentially, you’re being punished for moving your service. The main drawback to some cell phone users is: Unlocked cell phones require a cash purchase versus purchasing a cell phone from a major carrier using the locked-and financed-basis, which is essentially signing a contract with the carrier until the phone is paid off.

Recently, I ran into an issue with my cell carrier whom I’ve been with since cell phones were invented and marketed.  After a long debate, I decided to shop my existing phone on the open carrier market. To my surprise, my phone would only work on AT&T and perhaps T-Mobile and Straight Talk Wireless which is sold at Walmart.  I also learned my existing cell phone I purchased on December 4, 2016 for $769 from AT&T was only worth $375 in August 2017.

After counseling with several cell phone retailers and wholesalers, I learned the cell phone is one of the fastest depreciating electronic devices you can purchase.  My (I-Phone 7) 128 GB (gigabyte) phone actually depreciated $53 per month to date. Therefore, in order to leave my carrier I would take a huge loss on my cell phone and perhaps the coverages at T-Mobile and Straight Talk which is exclusive to Walmart and utilizes the TracFone System that wouldn’t provide me with adequate coverage since I’m a national and international traveler.

ON THE HUNT FOR A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE

So off to Walmart I went in search of a cheaper alternative.  Upon arrival I was enlightened by the vast array of cell phones carried by this marketing giant.

In the electronics department was a vast assortment of cell phones, represented by a myriad of cell phone carriers.  One item in particular brought my attention.  Walmart has joined forces with Verizon in their pre-paid division. A pre-paid phone is one whereby the monthly bill is paid in advance using either a pre-paid card or a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

I needed some phones and services to experiment with so I purchased an I-Phone 5S 16 GB on the Walmart-Verizon Network and an LG Model on the Straight Talk Network. The curious nature of this affair is that I learned the Walmart Straight Talk System buys air time from all of the major carriers and sells it to the consumer at a reduced cost, along with matching phones.

A number of newer unlocked phones, such as the Moto G (4th Gen) are universal and; therefore, compatible with all major U.S. carriers in addition to most overseas carriers. You can choose almost any carrier or plan and all you need is a SIM card. Common U.S. carriers include: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, AT&T Go-Phone and TracFone

THE EXPERIMENT BEGINS

After arriving home, I began the process of installing each phone’s SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)  card and charging the phone. Once the phone was completely charged I followed the activation directions and acquired my telephone numbers. The I-Phone 5S cost me $49.95 and the LG Model cost $79.00.  Afterwards, I carried both cell phones in addition to my $769 I-Phone on the AT&T Network.

For the record, the I-Phone 5S was on the Verizon-Walmart circuit or the (CDMA) system and the LG was on the AT&T-Walmart System or the (GSM).  For three weeks now I’ve been carrying the phones to compare how well they functioned against each other. The following is the outcome of the cell phone trials.

1) The Verizon Walmart I-Phone 5S functioned flawlessly.  If my AT&T I-Phone 7 had one bar of coverage, my I-Phone 5S had three (3) to four (4) bars. The camera is excellent in this little phone. The video worked excellent. Reception was outstanding with no dead zones and data speeds were lighting fast.  If I kept this phone it would cost me $40 per month for a 3 + 1 GB of data, exclusively at Walmart.  In some cases this phone had service when the AT&T I-Phone didn’t.  All of the individuals I spoke with on this phone said the sound was excellent.

2) The Walmart LG Straight Talk phone functioned flawlessly.  It’s comparable to the AT&T I-Phone 7, except when the former didn’t have coverage the LG did.  This little phone’s camera and video functioned flawlessly and there were no dead zones during testing.  If I kept this phone my cell bill would be $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and data.

FINAL ANALYSIS

In the end, if you’re not looking for the latest cell phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there besides the ones mentioned in this article. If you’re like me and you use your cell phone for your business, one of these models may suit you perfectly. That way, if you break it or lose it, you won’t be out a month’s mortgage payment on your house.

Along with this analysis, I also performed an analysis of my insurance for my phone through AT&T.  I was very unhappy to discover the replacement cost would be a $225 out-of-pocket deductible expense.  For that amount I can buy 5 I-Phone 5S’s from Walmart.  As with all I-Phones, this little model comes with fully functioning I-Cloud storage.  The same picture storage is available for either phone free of charge from Google Photos.

In my final analysis, I learned that cell coverage is predicated on cell-tower availability. I also learned the main cause of malfunctions with cell carriers is horrible customer service.

So if you’re in the horse business and you constantly are in need of a replaced, broken or wore-out phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there that function fine.

Since then I have returned to Walmart and purchased their Verizon-Walmart I-Phone 32 GB SE to use as a spare phone until I can sell my AT&T I-Phone 7.  Porting your existing cell number is easy – except if your phone is locked due to owing the carrier money.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

 

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☛ Tommy Manion on camera shooting stallion with BB pistol 7-20-17

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, FROM THE EDITOR, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 17 comments

TOMMY MANION CAUGHT ON CAMERA SHOOTING AN UNRULY STALLION WITH A BB PISTOL AT AN NCHA-SANCTIONED SHOW

 

BESIDES NCHA SANCTIONING, COULD HE AND/OR NCHA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS BE GUILTY OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAWS VIOLATIONS?

By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 20, 2017

I have now heard from a credible witness, that they knew the well-known Non-Pro who was at an NCHA Cutting in Whitesboro, Texas, on Saturday, July 15, and shot a tied-up unruly stallion multiple times with a BB pistol. Another witness had taken a video of the event and it was soon in the hands of the NCHA. The witness assured me that the Non-Pro  in question was NCHA Non-Pro Tommy Manion, who at one time had the pistol under a jacket draped over his hand and dropped it on the ground and bent over to pick it up – all of which is on the video.

After receiving and confirming the reported horse abuse by Manion, I reached out to Rick Dennis, a Threat Assessment/Risk Analyst who is also a former Drug Enforcement Agent, for clarification of penalties resulting from Manion’s actions – for Manion, those who witnessed the event and the NCHA. Essentially, Rick informed me there are two laws in play here, one Federal, the other state, as well as two NCHA rule infractions.

There is a little-known Federal Law entitled 18 USC 4 – Misprision Of A Felony, which specifically states:  “Whoever having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Animal abuse is now a Federal Felony with hefty fines and prison sentences.

Click for Misprision Of A Felony>>

Also, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Law, which rates animal abuse as a Felony, states those prosecuted could be punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Click for Texas Animal Cruelty laws>>

Therefore, since the NCHA has already been notified of the animal cruelty case, along with being supplied with a video of the act, Manion has placed the association in a precarious spot, as whoever doesn’t report this gross violation to law enforcement in accordance with the provisions set forth in the USC 4 Code -Misprision of a Felony – is in direct violation of the federal law and could be subjected to arrest and prosecution at a later date. This includes Russell McCord, who received the phone call, as well as the Executive Director and the entire Executive Committee who met last night after being informed of the incident and determined their association’s punishment for the offense – and possibly even the lawyer who was informed of the infraction and gave the Executive Committee advice, as well as show management.

Difference of penalties between NCHA and governmental agencies:

The other curious nature of Manion’s act is the two violations in the NCHA Rulebook pertaining to animal abuse and cruelty and how they differ from Federal and State laws.

More specifically, the NCHA Rulebook states “if show management or a judge at any NCHA-approved or sponsored event discovers inhumane treatment or abuse of a horse, they may immediately bar the responsible party and contestant’s horse from further competition in the event and the judge will give a score of zero. The Executive Director must be notified within seven (7) days of the closing date of the show involved and the complaint will be referred to the appropriate NCHA Committee for investigation and consideration. Note: the Federal law says “as soon as possible It must be made known to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States and (the person) is to be fined or  imprisoned for not more than three years.”

Click for NCHA Standing Rule 35>>

While the NCHA disciplines animal cruelty by offense with a fine ($1,000 to $10,000), probation and/or suspension, the State of Texas Animal Cruelty Laws say that the perpetrator could be punished by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Also, the NCHA should make sure that the abused animal is made available as soon as possible to a licensed veterinarian for any damage that has been done, especially since the person who described the incident to me said the when the BBs hit the stallion, he crouched and his body shook in fear.

On May 15, 2015, Rick Dennis wrote an article addressing this very problem called “Horse Abuse Part IV.” There are many good and devoted trainers in this industry; however, unfortunately we do have our share of abusive Open and Non-Pro trainers that should be removed. Click here for a copy of this article.

What’s the  hurry?

Why did the NCHA Executive Committee jump on this animal abuse case so quickly. I feel it is because they just tried to strengthen their animal abuse penalties due to the fact that PETA might come down on them and the sport of cutting if they waited. A smart move!

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☛ Are bad breeding practices animal abuse? 5-26-17

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 11 comments

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES

 

IS THIS ANIMAL ABUSE?

 

By Rick Dennis
May 26, 2017

As an AQHA breeder, my requirements are to breed an animal that is genetically correct with excellent conformation, the right temperament, enough athleticism to perform multiple events, enough cow instinct to perform in cow horse or cutting, free of genetic defects and with enough bone and stamina to withstand the rigors of the show pen for many years.

 

My article entitled, “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks,” dated Jan. 10, 2015, delineated an ongoing problem within the Quarter Horse industry in that the genetic pool is shrinking. Undesirable genetic traits and diseases are being passed from generation to generation. The following articles were the proto types of my article that would later play out in a courtroom in Texas in 2017 involving HERDA.

 

ARTICLE EXCERPTS:
Recent articles in the American Quarter Horse Journal entitled “The Changing Landscape of Quarter Horse Genetics, Part 1 and Part 2,” really caught my eye because of two reasons: 1) I’m an American Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event reined cow horses and 2) I’m a Life Member of AQHA.

Part 1’s first paragraph essentially sets the stage for the present state of the breed in that it’s becoming more and more inbred, stating, “Talk to an equine geneticist long enough and you are bound to hear two assertions made about the American Quarter Horse breed that sound like opposites: First, it is one of the most genetically diverse equine breeds in the world and second, it’s becoming increasingly inbred.

 

The second and third paragraphs of Part 1 outline the history of the breed and a factor causing this shrinking of genetics, stating, “Beginning in colonial America, the breed began from a diverse genetic base of largely Thoroughbred and Spanish blood that was added to and developed for roughly 200 years, focusing on producing quickness and durability.

 

But fast-forward to the modern era of specialized American Quarter Horse performers, especially at the highest levels, and you find specialization in the horse-breeding herd too: specific groups of individual classes of horses used to produce those top performers. If you’re breeding for a specific category of horse (i.e.) reining, cutting, cow horse, etc., the gene pool is further narrowed within this subgroup.

 

That suggests there are narrowed gene pools in those subgroups and now a genetic study clearly shows it. A research team from the University of Minnesota has published its findings in an issue of the Journal of Heredity, “The American Quarter Horse: Population structure and relationship to the Thoroughbred.” The 2012-2013 study was partially funded by the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

 

“In the pedigree analysis, some groups shared no common sires, such as halter and racing, but other groups did, such as reining and working cow horse. Although popular sires within one group were rarely shared with another group, all the pedigrees reflected the common roots of the Quarter Horse.

“Additionally, pedigree analysis showed that the most common 15 sires across the groups were all direct tail-male descendants of Three Bars (TB), with several of those stallions showing more than one cross to the Thoroughbred in the first four generations.

“Inbreeding” refers to the mating of relatives and results in an “inbred” individual horse. The amount an individual horse is “inbred” can be estimated from its pedigree or genetic data. In a pedigree analysis, determining an individual’s “co-ancestry coefficient” gives an idea of how closely related individuals are on a pedigree page. Two individuals can be highly related without either of them being inbred, but if you breed two individuals with a high co-ancestry coefficient, their offspring will be inbred.

“Diversity quantifies the amount of genetic variation there is in a population. Typically, a highly inbred population has low genetic diversity. In this study the lowest genetic diversity within a sub-population was in the cutting and racing groups. The highest average inbreeding was found in cutting.”

 

Also, a recent statement from Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD and a specialist on HERDA that was a witness for the Plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit regarding HERDA mentioned later in this article, said, “I’d point out from a medical perspective, ANY shared ancestry, no matter how remote (far back) is considered inbreeding, because it provides a chance for an individual to inherit the same gene derived from the common ancestor from both parents.”

 

ANALYZING QUARTER HORSE BREEDING RULES:
From this study, it’s clear that the present American Quarter Horse breeding rules require scrutiny to determine: 1) their contribution to this shrinking genetic pool and 2) the adverse affect each adopted breeding rule may or may not have on the breed itself. I wonder if the executives paid six figures at the AQHA and the Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought in the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time?

As a private sector Risk Analyst, I’m commonly faced with the task of analyzing practices and concepts to determine either the detriment or usefulness an existing concept or practice has on an organization. In order to shed light on the topic, I examined two specific breeding rules adopted by AQHA: Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen. I also examined the impact each adopted breeding rule may have on the breeding populous as well as a correlation of each one’s compliance with AQHA’s Mission Statement.

 

BAD BREEDING PRACTICES:
A horse’s conformation affects his ability to perform certain tasks. Read more about this interesting concept in AQHA’s Form to Function report.
Click for “Form To Function” report>>

“Longstanding breeding practices likely contribute to that. Habits such as “popular sire syndrome,” which is the tendency for many breeders to breed to a top-performing stallion, or the use of assisted reproductive techniques such as frozen semen and embryo transfers can greatly amplify one horse’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a sub-population.

“Any time we take a single individual and increase its ability to generate offspring, that is going to decrease the genetic pool that is reproducing.

“Additionally, when you increase inbreeding and reduce diversity, you increase the incidence of undesirable genes making an appearance.

“A good example is the incidence of HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) in cutting horses. It’s very frequent within this sub-population, which might be the result of decreasing diversity and/or the ‘popular-sire’ effect. A previous study revealed that 28.3 percent of cutting-bred individuals carried the recessive gene for HERDA.”

Click following for AQHAGenetic Pool Shrinks>>

 

FIRST LAWSUIT ENTERS COURT OVER HERDA:
In a lawsuit entitled, “Minshall Vs Hartman Equine, Dos Cat Partners, Shauna and Ed Dufurrena” was tried in a Texas courtroom in 2017. The basis of the lawsuit encompassed fraud with the AQHA stallion Auspicious Cat. The owners of the horse advertised the stallion as being HERDA Negative when in fact the horse was designated N/Hr (a carrier of the HERDA gene) by the American Quarter Horse Association.

 

Prior to this lawsuit, the AQHA required genetic testing of breeding stallions on a graduated scale based on the number of mares bred until Jan. 1, 2016. After this date, each breeding stallion was required to have genetic testing which included a 5-Panel group of designated tests that were designed by AQHA and performed by UC Davis.

 

Up until the filing of this lawsuit, AQHA reserved the right NOT TO RELEASE the 5-Panel test results, except to the owners of the specific horse. This nondisclosure prevented anyone breeding to a specific stallion from obtaining the 5-Panel status of the stallion; therefore, running the risk of passing on a defect to the impending foal.

 

After the filing of the above-captioned lawsuit, AQHA has changed its posture to include releasing the 5-Panel test results to anyone who contacts them and asks for it. It’s also planned that the test results will be on the horse’s pedigree when their new computer database is online. Further, AQHA intends to embed the horses’ 5-Panel test results directly onto the stallions’ registration papers as a permanent record.

 

However, the curious nature of AQHA’s testing requirements does not include breeding mares, which, in my opinion should be a requirement as well. After all, mares carry the same number of genetic chromosomes as stallions do, which includes the mares’ lineage as well.

 

This is exactly what happened in this case as two N/Hr (HERDA carrier) horses were bred together, producing a HERDA affected foal. The Plaintiff’s had simply relied on the honesty and integrity of the stallion owner. Does AQHA have any culpable liability in the matter from their previous posture of not releasing stallion specific genetic testing results?

 

The other curious nature of this saga is that my article AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks, along with its predetermined scientific facts and warnings about inbreeding, ended up in this courtroom drama two years later.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOALS OF THESE MISGUIDED BREEDINGS?
Just about every cutter I’ve talked to wants a High Brow Cat-bred horse because of their winning nature. In fact, some even breed for horses carrying the HERDA gene due to this phenomenon, which is exactly what happened in this lawsuit. The Plaintiffs desired to breed to a High Brow Cat stallion that carried the AQHA N/N designation and ended up breeding to an N/Hr horse. Since their mare carried the N/Hr designation, two N/Hr horses produced a HERDA-affected foal that required an enormous amount of money to maintain.

 

So at the end of the day, what happens to the foals that wash out due to genetic deficiencies: euthanasia, the horse slaughter pipeline, retired and crippled at two or three years of age perhaps? Has our industry become so callous and money hungry that they throw caution to the wind when breeding? What about the poor horse that suffers due to this selfish act? This is an arduous fact to quantify simply due to non-reported statistical data. In my opinion just breeding to a particular line of horses just because they’re winning is a very poor excuse, especially in lieu of the fact that a known line is capable of producing undesirable genetic traits in the American Quarter Horse. We experienced this in the HYPP line of horses!

Also, it’s my opinion that AQHA being the breed registry for the American Quarter Horse should live up to its own Mission Statement and step in to prevent this well-known and established HERDA gene from permeating the American Quarter Horse breed. After all, they are the rule makers and some of their established and unorthodox   breeding rules have and continue to contribute to the shrinking genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, thus causing direct harm to the breed. Only AQHA can stop or control the insertion of bad genetics into the American Quarter Horse Gene Pool!

 

BREEDING PREREQUISITES 101:

1)         Mare owners should have their horses genetically tested by the AQHA 5-panel prior to breeding.

2)         Mare owners should perform due-diligent research into the genetic test results of the impending desired stallion prior to breeding.

3)         Prior to breeding, consult with a geneticist to determine whether the match up would produce any undesirable traits in the produced foal, especially if a shared lineage or line of horses is in the background of both horses.

 

GENETIC DEFICIENCIES IN THE THOROUGHBRED LINE:
Unfortunately, bad breeding practices and catastrophic results aren’t limited to the American Quarter Horse Industry. In a later article I’ll discuss and delineate the bad breeding practices in the Thoroughbred Industry.

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

 

 

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