You must think…

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You must think I am an idiot.

No, seriously, you must think so because you (and that is a collective “you” because there are a lot of you) seem to think I am going to be interested in your stupid money making scheme, scam, hustle, whatever. I don’t care if you’re the heir to a throne and need to dump money to hide in the US. I don’t care if you’re stranded in a foreign land and can’t get home but will double my “gift” when you return home. I don’t care if you have money to give me from some lottery I never entered as long as I pay a fee to get the money. I don’t care if your relatives are sick. I don’t care if you can’t feed your family. I don’t care if your crops or livestock died. I don’t care.

Stop following the blog.

I am not interested and I never will be – no matter how many times you change the name of the blog.

It doesn’t do any good to follow me because I won’t be following you back, not matter how good the “deal” or offer sounds.

So, if you must think I would be interested in your thing, think again.

I’m not.

Grumpy pants

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OK, I’ll admit it. I’m feeling a little like a grumpy pants today. Did I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”? Nope. Just feeling grumpy. Not sure why. Just am.

Do you have days like this? Where all you want to do is scream from the top of your lungs, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Yep. Today is one of those days for me.

Not that anyone is really bothering me, per se, but there is much to do at work and I don’t want to do it. There is much to do at home and I don’t want to do it.

I would prefer not to have anyone call me, see me, email me, message me, talk to me, look at me.

Actually, now that I think about it…I kinda feel like Bernie Sanders looked yesterday at the inauguration. Not that he was actually grumpy (at least not that I have heard), just that he didn’t look like he was all that pleased or excited to be there. He was probably just cold, but the image and all the memes being generated kind of says it all.

(Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Just leave me alone and all will be good. Just let me hang out in my grumpy pants and be me.

That is all.

Boosting BS

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There is a commercial out there on TV and probably on your streaming service that has me questioning the whole validity (not that I didn’t already) of credit scores, and the credit services in general.

Have you seen it? The commercial from Experian that says if you go to their site you can get a “credit boost” and raise your credit score simply by following the instructions once you have logged in. *disclaimer: I have not logged in to do this because I don’t need to, so I don’t know the exact steps.*

It’s all a marketing ploy.

As a reminder, this is one of the “big three” credit monitoring services, a for-profit company, so they are one of the companies that reports to other companies about your financial status and health.

Now, they will give you a “boost” for nothing.

Seems weird to me and causes me to ask a several questions: What good are credit scores really if a company can just “boost” it? Are they artificially inflating the numbers to make you (and of course, them) to look better in the consumer’s eye? If they aren’t artificially inflating the numbers, then are they artificially suppressing the numbers in order to give you the “boost” you supposedly deserve?

We are told that your credit score will go up over time if you manage your money well, pay your stuff on time, keep your credit usage level low in regards to your income, and not have companies always inquiring about your credit. This can only be done over time. So, if they can boost your score then time really doesn’t have to be a factor in calculating that credit score.

If they are artificially inflating the number then your credit score really means nothing in regards to accuracy since it doesn’t really reflect your true score.

If they are suppressing your true score so they can gift you a “boost” then your credit score really means nothing in regards to accuracy since it doesn’t really reflect your true score.

Since your credit score has always been based on time and actual financial transactions, either of the two actions above would mean the company is being dishonest about your credit score. Doesn’t it? I can’t think of any other conclusion.

So, either Experian is full of sh*it or your credit score is actually meaningless.

What do you think? Can you think of another conclusion based on this so called “boost”?

Mic check

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“Testing, testing, 1…2…3…check, check,…”

I have noticed a trend. One that is a bit strange, but a trend nonetheless.

Do you all not read the blogs you follow on Fridays?

Just curious.

I have noticed over the last several months that my stats for Fridays are down from other days. As though no one is interested in reading anything, or clicking on anything.

So, I am just wondering, is it me or is it you?

Do other bloggers notice the same thing? Are your followers just not checking you out on Fridays? Are they checking out for the weekend early and ignoring your posts?

Or is it just me? *sniffs armpit…sniffs other armpit* Do I smell?

What’s the deal? Am I uninteresting on Fridays?

Am I…boring on Fridays?

What say, ye?

“Up to here”

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I am sure you probably heard it growing up. I know I did more than a few times.

Well, I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered those words directly at my children, but I do know that I have said it mentally or muttered it under my breath thousands of times. Maybe tens of thousands..

I have had it up to here… *motions with hand at a level*

– said by every parent in the world at one time or another

Up to my armpits. Up to my neck. Up to my chin. Up to my nose. Up to my eyeballs. Up to my ears. Up to the top of as high as my arm will reach…up to here!

Again, there is a certain child and his family that I have had it up to here with…the never ending, always needs help, continuously makes bad choices, can’t catch a break, needy child. Up to HERE!

Actually, when I think about it, there are a lot of things I have had it UP TO HERE with:

Politics.

Liberals.

Lockdowns.

Family.

Covid-19.

Media.

Social Media.

Can you feel me? There are a lot of things to have had it up to here with…

I am just gonna sit here, in the dark, and ignore everyone and everything for 15 minutes. Maybe more. Until my “up to here” level has gone down.

What’s got you having it “up to here” these days? Hit the Comment button and dish!

One man’s…

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Perspective, or point of view, makes a big difference in how you or others view something. When it really comes down to it, no one perspective is correct because everyone sees things just a little bit differently. Two people can experience the exact same thing, yet have different views about what happened, how it happened, who it happened to, and what happened afterwards.

One man’s patriot is another man’s terrorist.

When I was teaching my history classes and specifically a class on modern terrorism I used to challenge my students’ thought by giving them the phrase above. It is based on the statement, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” I have researched who may have first uttered these words, but I can’t find anything that definitively gives attribution, so I can’t give you that info. But, that isn’t really the point.

Who defines a patriot and a terrorist really comes down to perspective or interpretation. There is no one definition that can truly encompass what the words actually mean. As such, it almost always comes down to who has the power to define the people, the actions, and the result. As Michael Bhatia of Brown University puts it, “…it’s about power, authority, and legitimacy.”

Now, he is talking specifically about international terrorism in general, but I think we can apply the situation and phrase to many different historical events because there are always two sides to take a look at.

  • The leaders in Britain saw the colonists as insurrectionists, terrorists, etc. as the colonists fought to create the United States. But the colonists saw their own people as freedom fighters, patriots, etc. because they were standing up to the tyranny of England.
  • The American military saw Iraqis in Iraq as terrorists when they blew up convoys, attacked bases and outposts, and killed Americans whether they were in the military or not. But the Iraqis saw the American military as an invading occupier and those who fought against the occupier were freedom fighters and patriots.
  • The leadership in South Africa saw the South Africans fighting for their rights and freedoms as insurrectionists and terrorists, but Nelson Mandela and his followers saw themselves as a freedom fighters and patriots.
  • Fidel Castro and his followers viewed themselves as patriots and freedom fighters who liberated their island from the right wing government and imperialist international interests while the government and international community viewed him as an insurrectionist and terrorist.

These are but a few examples. The point is, those in power have the ability to define anything and anyone as they see fit. We can’t let them define situations and people so easily without a little common sense and critical thinking.

What happened at the capitol last week can be viewed in much the same way. Are we going to let the media and those in power dictate who is a patriot and who is a terrorist? The use of either word has strong connotations behind them and if not used carefully, as in just throwing them around to fit a political agenda, it could harm people and ideas, and most importantly freedoms. It could keep people from standing up and fighting for their rights when there is legitimate cause to do so.

We must be careful when defining who is a patriot and who is a terrorist, because if we aren’t then the terms can too easily be manipulated for political purposes, which in turn allows us to be manipulated for political gain.

The Ban

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The ban from Twitter heard (or not heard) round the world. An interesting case of “private” versus “public” property, business, and serving the public. Can we trust the ban from tech no matter where or who it is?

Parler, a “conservative” alternative to Facebook, is banned by Apple, Google, and Amazon. The reason, supposedly, is for the fact that there is no “moderation” of the site and the planning of the WA DC riot took place on this venue.

I have seen some of my friends talking about this stuff on social media and saying that such bans don’t violate the 1st Amendment and the Freedom of Speech because the clause specifically refers to protection from oppression of private citizens by the government. That is true.

But over the years, that protection has been expanded beyond just the government oppression of citizens and been used to protect lots of different situations where people were upset with something someone said. Protections was extended to protect what people say because of the “marketplace of ideas” concept.

So there are some real contradictions when you see a private business (whom obviously serves a wider audience than just the public or private citizen, AND us a publicly help corporation) decided who can and who can’t use their service. The issue become rather problematic when you start applying the standards to some, but not others.

A friend posted on Facebook the other day (in regards to Parler), “…They are all privately owned businesses who can do business with whomever they choose. Would you as a business owner,…, like to be ‘forced’ to do business with someone who didn’t match your companies [sic] values?…”

Apparently this justification of “freedom to do business with whomever I please” is appropriate to apply on some situations when it fits the liberal narrative, but not the conservative narrative.

A few situations come to mind:

  • Shall I be forced to create a flower arrangement or bake a cake for a same-sex union if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?
  • Shall I be forced to pay for abortions or provide health coverage that includes the abortion pill if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?

In the cases above, the government has forced people and companies to “serve the public” even though the people they were going to be forced to serve were clearly going to go against the company’s values. For all intents and purposes, the lawsuits filed against the owners of these companies were basically told they couldn’t discriminate against people who had different values than they did.

Isn’t that what we have going on here when we talk about banning a service that is used by people who differ in “values?”

Liberals and liberal companies discriminating against conservatives and conservative companies?

Clearly, when violence, threats of violence, or breaking the law is at the heart of the service being provided, then a company should be able to limit those who have violated “community standards.” Did the president do this? Maybe. But, did the vast majority of users on Parler do this? Likely not. We’re talking about a small portion of the community, but the whole community was punished.

The result is you appear to be silencing an entire group of people simply because you don’t agree with their perspective, their opinions, or their beliefs.

There is dangerous precedent in this.

The big deal here is that if it happens here, where else can it happen and who else or what else can they do?

Word up

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I didn’t know this word existed and I actually thought maybe I was making it up, until I Googled it. So much for being original…

Manctuary.

What is that? Well, it is basically another way to discribe a “man cave.” Urban Dictionary had a good definition, of course, but I think it really goes beyond the man cave.

I guess I see a man cave as something a bit less sophisticated and more about being loud and using tools and working on some sort of automobile. I know that isn’t probably the best description or working idea, but that is how I see it in my head. I see it more of a cross between an auto-shop and a bar, which I am sure is appealing to a lot of guys. But not me.

I see a manctuary as something a little more on the “den” (3) or “study” (3) side.

I don’t think a manctuary has to all high brow (high-back leather chairs, smoking jackets, monocles, etc.) but I think it can include some class. It should be, however, a place a man can go for some solitude. Space. A place to enjoy time away from others, pursuing things he enjoys, highlighting his collection of things he is proud of, and the like.

All this to say, I need a manctuary. No, I desire a manctuary.

Whatever the case, I want a space to call my own. Sure, the garage is a place of refuge to some degree. But my garage is more a place of storage than a place to hang out. It isn’t a place I seek to go, other than when I really need a place to get away. It isn’t built for comfort or cozy. It doesn’t have all the amenities of a manctuary. It doesn’t say “this is my space” like a manctuary would.

Am I being selfish? Do I really NEED a place such as this? Do guys REALLY need this kind of space?

What do you think? Any of my readers out there have anything like what I am describing, man cave or manctuary? How did you make it happen? Did you regret it once you had it?

Turtle

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Pull your arms, legs, and head into your shell. No cares. No worries. Oblivious to everyone and everything.

That’s the life.

I want it.

I am so exhausted from everything that has taken place over the last day…week…month…year…decade? Seriously. I am tired of all people.

Anyone else just wanna throw up your hands and just say, “Screw it! I am doing my own thing now and everyone else can bite me.”?

If only it were just so and things would be that easy.

Interacting with social media, the “news,” friends, and even family (in some cases) has been like molasses in sub-zero temps. Pointless.

Exercises in frustration. Conversations similar to running your knuckles over a cheesegrater. Needles to the eyeball. Whatever you do, you’re just tired of it all.

So, life of a turtle, not so bad. I can see why hermits become hermits. Is it possible, at this juncture, to find a remote uninhabited tropical island and just live there?

I’ll take it.