Weekend “Would You Rather?” 2

After playing an interesting round of “Would You Rather?” with the family, I thought it would be fun to get into the game of a weekly blog post.  Feel free to join in on your own blog and be sure to give an answer to the question of the week.

**I will keep these questions rated G**


wyr

This weeks question has been brought to you by ego.

Would you rather have a photographic memory

OR

Gain an extra 40 IQ points?


Be sure to leave your answer (and justification) in the comments!

Real news makes me nauseated

 

counterpunch Inside the Invisible Government; War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump

So, I read this over lunch today.  I stopped eating, having gotten sick to my stomach.  What I can’t figure out is whether the American people are so trusting that they believe everything they see on mainstream media (MSM) or they just don’t want to discover the truth through a collective TL;DR mentality.  I read Counterpunch.org on a daily basis now.  I choose now to not fall into line with the rest of MSM and what they’re feeding the American public because I think its important we know what is actually happening.  If all the details aren’t known, the opinion you form on what *is* known is fundamentally flawed and incomplete.

MSM is so good at delivering news to us, usually in the background, that broadcasts almost have a lulling type of cadence to them.  Speech is measured, tone is even and dull, anyone listening is lured into a false sense of security and understanding.  Where is all the reporting of even half of what’s in the above article on Iraq, Iran, Honduras, Syria, Yemen?  Why aren’t people angry over the fact they’re getting played for idiots?  Well, not being one of them, I can’t give an honest answer; I’m reading real news, I’m angry, I’m talking to anyone who’ll lend me half their attention to shake the fog that has descended over the American public.  Knowledge is the power the MSM, government, politicians, and rich white privileged people don’t want “commoners” to have.  The propaganda spin machine is full throttle and speeding along faster than ever in the last 100 years.

counterpunch Roaming Charges:  Comfortably Dumb

Here is the opposite side of MSM and it’s minions.  When things are happening that are hard to hide from, you just ignore them.  No comments, no reports, no opinions.  Just play “dumb” to the few scant reports that actually get through the paid-off, sort of self-imposed, media blackout of the events.  HRC has a long and verifiable history of dodging claims of impropriety, greed, war mongering, and the such.  When you know the media is owned and controlled by people that are in collusion with you to feed the propaganda machine, it’s frightening easy to make up whatever story that suits your needs.

I think I’m going to create the CounterPunch diet.  Read real news, everyday, and you’ll lose weight because you won’t WANT to eat anything.

Three Things Thursday – 10/27/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

Bring the happy!

I’m late this week, I usually have this written the night before and scheduled to post automatically Thursday morning.  I got lost in another post, scheduled for tomorrow, which happens to be my 200th.

WordPress

An amazing platform that has provided me the ability to express myself in ways that would never have been possible in physical life.  There are so many great and fantastic writers on here it’s easy to lost large chunks of time just reading.  I’m happy that a platform such as this one actually exists and has stood the test of Internet time and continued to be relevant for so many years.

Prospect of a New Job

Wrote earlier this week about the prospect of a new job.  I had my screen call yesterday with the head hunter that cold called me last week and it went well.  The company sounds awesome and it would definitely be a stretch challenge putting me into uncharted territory from a career perspective.  I’m excited to make it to the next round which is probably going to be a face-to-face.  That’s when I get a better idea of the company and the people.  I’m happy where I am, so the questions I will have for the hiring manager will be blunt and aggressive as I’m not desperate to find a new job and have nothing to lose.  Should be an intersting experience.

Fall

It’s finally and officially fall here in the northeast.  We had our first frost yesterday morning and it was an amazing site to see the sparkly glint on everything as the sun came up.  I wish I had snapped a picture of it, but my phone was not on me at the time I took the dog out and it was too late in the morning when I did have my phone later.  I’ll have to remember to get a picture at our next frost.  This is one of my favorite times of year because I know 1) allergies are going away, 2) winter is around the corner, and 3) i’ll have as much Pumpkin Pie as I can handle for at least the next three months.

rockondaughter
Daughter Approved!

TTT Music Album Recommendation

Aggressive
by Beartooth

Currency of the United States of America

Many people would agree that the paper currency of the United States is simplistic and complex at the same time.  A visual contradiction that has evolved little since it was first printed as a national monetary standard sometime around 1865 following the Civil War.  It was the first time in the history of the United States that a single currency was utilized and backed by a central organization, the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  The Federal Reserve wouldn’t exist as the United States central bank until 1913 following the stock market crash in 1907.  What is printed on the front and backs of most of our currency isn’t well-known, and knowing some of the history lends itself to knowing a little of what the founding fathers had intended for our country in 1776.

Great Seal of the United States*

There are two parts (obverse/reverse, like a coin) to the Great Seal of the United States, and it’s most prominently displayed on the back of a $1.  Here is a representation of that seal.

greatsealoftheunitedstates
This design is largely unchanged since 1885

eagleOn the obverse, the coat of arms seal is used much more prominently on various department seals, letterhead, and more commonly seen on Passports.  The Eagle, as the national bird, symbolizes strength and the shield covers the body as protection.  In the left foot, an olive branch, which is meant to show peace and prosperity.  In the right foot, 13 arrows to symbolize the first colonies and their fight to protect their independence.  The banner, with the words “E Pluribus Unum” is Latin for “Many of One”.  According to Wikipedia, “The traditionally understood meaning of the phrase was that out of many states (or colonies) emerges a single nation. However, in recent years its meaning has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions, languages, and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation—illustrating the concept of the melting pot.”

allseeingeyeOn the reverse, this has actually never been cut as a seal, but appears most prominently on the back of the current $1.  The unfinished pyramid has 13 layers to symbolize the first 13 original states, and being unfinished so as to reflect a growing and expanding Democracy.  The bottom layer has the Roman numerals of MDCCLXXVI (1776), which is the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Above the unfinished pyramid, is the Eye of Providence watching over it.  Many believe that this symbol was to represent the Mason religion.  The first motto, on the top, “Anuit Coeptis” signifies that Providence has “approved of undertakings”.  The second motto, on the bottom, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” is Latin for “a new order of the ages” signifying the Democracy being developed in the United States at the time.

ingodwetrust20**

 

While many believe that this phrase existed on all our currency from inception, it wasn’t actually included as the motto of the United States until the 1950’s.  Various coins minted from 1837 to 1938 had sayings similar to “In God We Trust”, which was at the purview of the Mint Director (with Secretary approval) to add or remove the phrase at will.  Since 1938 though, the phrase “In God We Trust” has been printed on all coinage minted in the
United States.  All during this time, our paper currency had never had anything on it except variations of the Great Seal of the United States, at least, up until 1956.

On July 30, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the following:

  • “In God We Trust” is the national motto of the United States
  • All U.S. currency and coins are to be printed with this motto

It wasn’t until 1964 to 1966 that the phrase appeared on Federal Reserve Notes.

As this can be a polarizing subject for a lot of people, you might be surprised to know that over 90% of Americans support he inscription on our currency.  The fact that it seems like this is a hard subject to discuss is a symptom of mainstream media focusing on what can and does cause controversy.  Mainstream media, a topic all by itself, is the cause for a lot of our problems and what we, as Americans, focus on.

I for one don’t mind the phrase being on our currency, nor do I mind it being prominently displayed on posters or in Federal buildings.  It is the motto of the United States after all, which was an act of Congress in 1956, reaffirmed by the Senate in 2006, with an additional resolution passed by the House of Representatives in 2011; just in case you were having an issue with the phrase.

What these four words does not indicate is which God is being referred to.  My personal opinion is that it is whichever God you believe in, which is the foundation of what this country was founded on; freedom to do what you want within the law and believe what you will.  I respect others’ beliefs as others respect my beliefs.  How can that ever be a problem?

*Great Seal of the United States – Wikipedia
**In God We Trust – Wikipedia

Too good to be true?

It’s happened, a recruiter has finally placed a potential position in front of me that is too good to not invest some time exploring. The last thing I wanted to do was to start looking for a new job let alone think about switching companies and starting over again with a whole new corporate dynamic. In this case though, the job description, requirements, salary, benefits, and bonus package are, well, really good and my interest is overpowering my urge to stay put. Adding to all these goodies is, amazingly, this job is only 15 minutes from my home cutting my one-way daily commute in half… again.

The last few jobs I’ve taken and excelled with were essentially lateral moves. Jobs that had no more or less responsibility and didn’t advance my career all that much, but did provide other skills and knowledge that have led me to this current moment. This new position is a Director level position and would entail managing people again, something I said that I probably wasn’t going to ever do again. It isn’t that I was a bad manager, in fact, my directs in my previous position often would tell me how much they appreciated my style as a manager. Laid back, hands off, and appropriate blunt and aggressive when the situation required it. I also would lay on my own sword to protect them, deflect the negative comments, and allow them to use it as a lessons learned opportunity.

My problem though, is that my previous management experience, while over a year in length, was nothing close to what a Director is required to do or be in charge of. Stepping up would be an absolute necessity on my part and I truly am not sure if that kind of responsibility is in my wheelhouse or not. I know that I’m technically capable of doing the job, however, the personal side of the job is sort of shaky and up in the air. I’m having a fight in my own head over whether this job would be a good move for me or not, which is a conversation I have every time I start looking or contemplating a new position. I’m technically capable of being a manager of people as my personality is such that I’m rarely considered a friend to anyone at work, manager or not. My radar is always on while at work and I’m constantly observing and processing the environment around me. At Director level though, the game starts to change and I’ve yet to experience that game personally.

I’m scheduled to have a phone call with the head hunter this week, to talk about the prospect. This is the equivalent of the HR screening call where they review resume details, listen to how I speak of my past, what I’m looking for in a company, etc. I already know the salary is there and its much closer to home, but the discussion later will determine my next step. I just hope that I’ll be okay with all the next steps in 6 months to a year regardless of the resulting decision.

Weekend “Would You Rather…?” 1

After playing an interesting round of “Would You Rather” with the family, I thought it would be fun to get into the game of a weekly blog post.  Feel free to join in on your own blog and be sure to give an answer to the question of the week.

**I will keep these questions rated G**


wyr

This weeks question has been brought to you by Minimalism.

Clean up and organize a full 2-car garage where you can’t throw anything out

OR

Live with a hoarder for 1 month not being permitted to organize?


I can’t wait to see some of your answers to this!

I’m so done with smartphones

While fighting with my mobile phone last night, I contemplated throwing it against the wall to make the insane frustration stop. Having paid for it off-contract though, I quickly put that action out of my head. This, you see, is my first mobile phone with Android as the operating system. Saying that I’m underwhelmed with its ability is an understatement. We’ll get to why I have switched in a bit. Recalling all the awesome phones I’ve had in the past few years (list below), the Android tops my list of “meh” as far as my love for the phone. I’ve listed these in order of my ownership, newest to oldest, the numbers in ( )’s is my personal ranking of these phones. #1 and #2 I would gladly take back if they were still relevant and not obsolete.

  • Samsung Galaxy Express Prime / Android 6.0 / (9)
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 / Windows 10 for Mobile / (7)
  • HTC One M8 for Windows / Windows Mobile 8.1 / (1*)
  • Nokia Lumia 920 / Windows Mobile 8.1 / (2**)
  • Samsung Focus / Windows Mobile 7.8 / (5)
  • Blackberry Bold 9700 / Blackberry OS6 / (2**)
  • AT&T Tilt / Windows Mobile 6.1 / (8)
  • Samsung BlackJack / Windows Mobile 6.1 / (4)
  • Palm Treo 650 / Palm OS / (6)
  • Various analog non-smart phones, too many to list

*I’d still be using this phone if HTC and Microsoft had decided to upgrade it from Windows 8.1.
**A toss-up honestly, physical keyboard (BB) is on-par with superior build quality (Nokia).

What’s striking about this list is that phones, some used over a decade ago, rank higher than my current phone. My current phone is literally being used out of necessity as the specifications are definitely in the “budget” range making any task painful at best. I’m still paying off the HTC One M8 for Windows (previous posts, here (towards the end of the post) and here, have all the background detail) and refuse to get a newer phone with payments until the HTC is paid off…. in July 2017. Despite me ranking the Lumia 920 equal to the Blackberry Bold 9700, I would choose the Blackberry (assumption is that the OS on both of these would be current to make the choice relevant). That was my tank, always reliable, and just worked. I hardly ever had to reboot it and it had 3-4 days of battery on each charge. The last phone on that list above that could do that was the Palm Treo 650, the true champion of durability tankness. I’m still a little disappointed that Palm couldn’t keep up with the mobile device market.

I’m using an Android phone now because Microsoft has flipped off this fan for the last time. They’re pointing a finger at HTC for not updating the M8 and HTC pointing a finger at Microsoft for not updating the M8 was the last nail in a slowly built casket. Windows 10 for Mobile is a damn good operating system and up until I stopped using the One M8, the previews ran flawlessly. As much as I hate to admit it, there was a lot of “workarounds” required to do all the things you can easily do on Apple and Android OSs with a simple app download. I managed though and was hopeful that Microsoft had finally turned the right corner and was building the ecosystem that was required. That didn’t happen. Focus has been turned elsewhere and Windows 10 for Mobile has been relegated to the “we also have this” pile. The downturn of desktops/laptops for the 8th quarter in a row paired with Android claiming over 80% of the mobile market, I fear that Microsoft is slowly heading down the same path as Blackberry, HP (webOS), and Palm (which a purchase from HP didn’t save). Sure, Windows 10 is fantastic, been setup for long-term support, and unified experiences across multiple platforms…… but those platforms are, in a sense, dying. The only platform that is growing is the tablet/2-in-1 market, barely, but mobile phones, rather, mobile computers are taking over. Microsoft has failed to innovate and penetrate this market, and 2017 is going to be a pivotal year for them if they can’t get the rumored Surface Phone released.

Some serious thought has been invested in moving back to a simple, dumb, flip phone that costs $30. If it breaks, just get a new one and move the SIM card. I can buy over 25 flip phones for the price of a Samsung Galaxy S7 and I don’t have to be locked into a stupid finance agreement with my carrier. It would also only cost me $14 (with taxes) per month for a flip phone compared to the $40 (with taxes) per month I currently pay (there are 7 lines on our family plan). Something to be said about not being 24/7/365 “connected” to the world.

Three Things Thursday – 10/20/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

Bring the happy!

Spotify

spotifyI’m absolutely loving Spotify. No, I’m not a reseller and I’m not being compensated for saying that. This is a music service for people who like to listen to new music all the time but still appreciate a mix of old and new mixed together in a specific genre. This weeks TTT music album recommendation was discovered just yesterday. Although I have been listening to Pillar for years, I rarely know when they release new albums unless I remember to hit a music service and actually look. Spotify seeing I have liked several Pillar songs, automatically recommended the new album to me, to which I’ve listened to several times in the last few days. I’ve even gone so far as to become a premium user and actually pay for the service. Saving content to your device for offline listening is worth every penny to save on data usage (download via wi-fi, listen offline).

Educational Administration

deptofeducationYou’re probably thinking this is an odd one based on some of my previous posts about the educational system. In a rare experience this week, the administration actually had a glimmer of logic and compassion and actually helped assist with a very difficult situation my daughter found herself. Details aren’t necessary, however, the administration supported my argument and recommendation for remediating the problem based on the evidence I had to support my complaints. The defending party had nothing in the way of evidence let alone a compelling argument to support any other outcome other than the one that favored my daughter. I expect it to never happen like this ever again, but there is potential to be surprised again 🙂

Rigged 2016

rigged2016
http://www.rigged2016.com

I found a link to this movie from one of my Twitter followers who is heavy into the election this year and completely opposed to the two-party system. After watching the movie, quite a few theories I had came together essentially at the same time. The movie is a freebie on the website or on Vimeo and is worth the hour of your time to watch. It has a similar vibe to some other documentaries I’ve written about and is primarily focused on people and how they feel about the two-party system. Gary Johnson is featured, and Jill Stein is mentioned several times, however this isn’t about the candidates. It’s about breaking up the two-party system of corruption and greed.

TTT Music Album Recommendation

One Love Revolution
by Pillar

Manipulation of the masses

I watched the “news” this past weekend for the first time in a long time. I’ve exclusively been getting news from 3-4 online sources that I’ve found to be truth leaning and have demonstrated that they’re not controlled by standard mainstream media channels. Sitting there and watching the 30 minute show (actually 17 minutes if you take out the commercials), I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of disgust and anger. At the end of the half hour, I had a disturbingly clear picture of WHY people don’t believe the truth even when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary right in front of them. Americans have been conditioned to believe that anything worth reporting on the news is important, and anything that doesn’t make the cut isn’t worth their time. I’ve already realized that 17 minutes of news is ridiculously inadequate. The manipulation has been so gradual, so subtle, that to think that all mainstream media has been in on this manipulation of the American people is literally a slap in the face of our collective intelligence.

After watching Rigged 2016 recently, I fully understand the total and complete impact of misinformation being shoveled at us through massaged and softened “news” from mainstream media. Most of who I know well get their news from sources that do not include newspapers, local news, or American world news (if you can call it that). From my own observation, which isn’t anywhere near scientific, it would appear that around 45-ish is a divide between television/newspaper (older) and online sources (younger). I understand the reason for this, especially when reading sites like CounterPunch, Wikileaks, and the such. Americans are not stupid, and quite the opposite, they are starting to wake up and realize that their parents and grandparents method of information isn’t reliable. The Internet has allowed for unfiltered and near real-time reporting of incidents that have no chance of being altered before delivery. The documentary explained that the establishment has been backed into a corner where their manipulation has been exposed and people are starting to reject their mainstream thinking. While I’m disappointed that this didn’t happen this year, I can sure as bet my life that 2020 is going to be a monumental and history making election year provided that, at the very least, Libertarians obtain 5% or more of the popular vote. My hope is that the Libertarian and Green party manage to get at least 5% of the popular vote. That would set the stage for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Greens on the debate stage. A figurative middle finger to the two-party system indeed!

One important lesson I’ve learned recently is that you can’t force someone to change their opinion no matter what evidence you present to them. A Clinton fan will be a fan no matter what they know to be true or not. There is a belief that anything negative is viewed as conspirator rhetoric done on purpose to attack their credibility or character. My own view has been changed and I see her for what she is, a manipulative war-loving elitist that will do everything she can to remain in power (and wealthy). The fact that Trump has no political experience isn’t much better and is as much a part of the corrupt system as Clinton, however he is seeking more power where Clinton is seeking to keep her current power. We are on the verge of an awakening in this country that is causing more and more Americans to question the “business as usual” politics and economics of the last 50 years. Americans are tired, frustrated, and angry of having to struggle every day just to make ends meet. Content released by Wikileaks has been enough to put doubt into the minds of a lot of people around the world. It is no longer accepted that politicians are looking out for our best interests, quite the opposite, they’re looking out for their own interests. I’m angry that we, as a people, have allowed this to take place, but I can accept why it’s happened in the first place. At no point in our history have we had so much information available to us through the Internet, and the failure of the political systems in place to recognize this is our chance to actually make a REAL difference in the course of our country.

Our actions this year and over the next four years are crucial so as to break the stranglehold of the two-party system in our country. Americans are not dumb, despite what Clinton and Trump have said through leaked emails and transcripts. Americans are waking up and have started to take a position that is polarized AGAINST what the Democrats and Republicans have established in the last 50 years. All the racial tensions, all the anger, all the frustration is a symptom of the problem: a government that is too big and corrupt to get out of their own way. I’m a believer that we can affect the change necessary to start making things better. That starts with the recognition that third parties are not just “footnotes” or “afterthoughts”. Third parties are, after this year, a viable alternative to the deplorable two-party system we’ve had shoved down our throats. A really good metaphor from the Rigged 2016 documentary that truly resonated with me: “The political parties are like car manufacturers. People no longer buy Fords or GMs because their parents did. People are making their own choices now.” That resonated with me because my Dad is voting for Trump (because he’s not Clinton) and my Mom is voting for Clinton (because she’s not Trump). I think there is a better choice and I’m choosing to vote third-party. Mainstream media can go to hell, I’m aware of your game, and I will no longer accept your brand of thinking.

giphy

Being uninformed is not bliss

Inspiration: Media to Voters: Drop Dead, We’re Getting Hillary Elected

How can we fight this? The mainstream media has implied, we as voters, are stupid. Sheep following the Sheep Dog, obeying every nudge in the direction of the fenced corral that leads to slaughter. Mainstream Media (MSM) is now a juggernaut controlled by the will of a few people to manipulate what we see, read, hear, watch all over this country. Mountains of damning evidence has been posted to WikiLeaks (WL) in the past week with barely a mention on any of the major news networks or sites. This is what happens when the majority of MSM is owned by people with special interests and something to gain by selectively reporting on certain news to support their private positions.

For the last week, I’ve been reading CounterPunch and The Intercept several times a day. I’ve discovered, not to my surprise, that MSM has selected to report only on the information it receives and is approved to report on. Several WL emails released are literal proof that this is happening and is hard to ignore. CounterPunch more than anywhere else, is reporting news in a format that all MSM has lost the ability to or been prevented from doing. As an example, here is a listing of articles that have recently been posted to CounterPunch:

counterpunch

For contrast, here is Bing News and Google News:

bingnews

googlenews

What is unfortunate though, is that the majority of people who *do* end up going out to vote are typically the older generations of 50 and over. This group of people have traditionally received their news from newspapers (local and national) and the local news outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.). I’ve not seen a newspaper or watched local media for several years, so am far from an expert on what they’re choosing to report and broadcast. What I can observe are my parents, whom still get a daily paper and watch ABC primarily, spout off nonsense details that, to an informed individual, are obviously nonsense. Appeals to their individual intelligence supported by facts that can be proven go unanswered and unwavering support for a “lesser of two evils” candidate continues.

My real fear in all of this discovery, is that until a generation used to getting their news from print and local media outlets goes away, we’re going to continue down this path of monopolization. At what point do people finally decide to question whats going on and start to make a change? I’ve made my change, I’m questioning everything until I’m able to verify it from multiple sources. E.g., the “official” warning that claimed that the Podesta emails were forged and tampered, without proof to back that statement, is a flat-out manufactured LIE to deceive and divert a public to other stories. It was successful though, as you don’t see a single WL news link in anything from Google or Bing. My simple point here is that in order to change this MSM monopoly, enough people have to choose to NOT read what MSM is spewing. We have to choose to be informed and find news sources that allow that to happen.

The appeal I’m making is not focused on getting people to listen. Rather, its focused on getting people I know to just read a few articles on CounterPunch or The Intercept and then DECIDE for themselves if its worth their time to continue. Some do, some don’t. The ones that don’t, I stop trying. The ones that do, however, generally are open to some discussions that continue the conversation towards an informed consensus. What conversations are you having?