Rockstar

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Why is this song so popular?

Sure it has a great beat. Sure it a some catchy phrases in it. BUT, it wasn’t until I looked up the lyrics that I really understood what the song was about. It’s really kind of disgusting and shouldn’t be popular. It should actually make people angry, and there apparently isn’t any. Where is the outrage over this stuff?

Violence? Check. N-word? Check. Gangsta persona? Check.

“Rockstar” by DaBaby and Roddy Ricch is perpetuating exactly what is wrong in rap music. That music translates to what plays out in the communities that listen to it. Glorifying exactly what went on in major cities all over the country.

Over the holiday weekend, more violence. Could this song be a contributor? Hard to say for sure, obviously, but you can bet there are people out there listening to it and romanticizing the violence and behavior it talks about.

Why do radio stations place this stuff? Why aren’t people holding them accountable for playing music that glorifies violence, murder, drugs, gangsters, etc.? Better yet, why aren’t artists holding other artists accountable for writing about and singing about this stuff?

Perhaps the artists and their music really isn’t about building up a community, or a culture, so much as it is about exploiting it. Perhaps the artists don’t really care about the message that has been played over and over in the media. Just as long as they get theirs and can take it to the bank, right?

That’s irresponsible. That’s hypocrisy. That’s exploitation.

 

Twitter twits

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I don’t use Twitter.

I’ll make that clear from the start, so I am not completely sure how exactly it works but familiar enough that it’s function and purpose are pretty clear. I have no desire to use Twitter (except maybe to complain about service from companies I have been a customer of since that seems to generate a response).

What I have seen as of late, because everyone who seems to use Twitter also has their other social media connected to it, is that Twitter is used to proffer a lot of unsubstantiated claims about a whole spectrum of subjects (yes, I am aware the President is also guilty of this too).

120 people have been killed by police since George Floyd. 20 days, 120 people.

Now, obviously the unsubstantiated statement above is going to trigger lots of people, considering the climate in the country right now.

That claim has been spread widely on social media. I have seen Twitter messages (shared via Instagram) and Instagram messages propagate this claim. It obviously fans the flames for fear or outright disdain, dare I say “hatred,” for law enforcement. It is meant to be inflammatory. A lot of things these days are purposefully being shared because it fits the narrative they want to believe.

This, of course, is unfortunate.

I am not a Twitter Twit.

I am not one to take something as fact without evaluating the information and it’s source. When I saw this shared by dozens of people I follow on Instagram my first thought wasn’t, “OMG! The police are outta control. Bastards. We should get rid of them all because they’re all bad!” Nope. Not even close. My first thought was, “What is the source of this claim? Where did they get this info? Is this true?”

I looked. I investigated.

Not a single person who shared this claim offered any sort of proof, source, data, etc. It was shared based on emotion and agenda – “Truth be damned!”

So I dug.

As it turns out, I could only find one article checking the accuracy of this claim. Conclusion of the article? It might be accurate, I might not be accurate. As usual, it depends on how you interpret the data…data that is incomplete and not “official,” and data that might be inaccurate or biased. Oh, and I would like to point out the site’s “About” page does offer a glimpse into WHO is doing the fact checking, but as all fact checking sites do, it claims to be bias free. Take that as a grain of salt, as the WHO have also been involved with traditionally liberal journalistic organizations.

Anyway, Twitter is filled with lots of twits who care nothing for the truth. Just that it generates a lot of likes and retweets, likes and shares, etc. etc. etc.

Conclusion: Twitter is mostly useless.

Tweet that, twits!

 

Hey, Siri!

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Get clicks.

Promote the fear of law enforcement to support an agenda.

Encourage illegal behavior for the sake of making money.

“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”

Interesting thing…it’s illegal to record someone without their knowledge (this article takes you to WA, specifically, but you can scroll to the top and see all states) and none of these articles mention that fact at all. They don’t even recommend to check local laws to find out what is legal and what isn’t.

Looking at all the articles, they even read very similarly, like they are written as a press release and the authors just changed some words around and hit publish.

Only one article cautioned about using a third party app (this is not an official app or feature from Apple) but only in passing. So, they are promoting an app or feature that is developed by a third party and there is almost nothing about the data the feature may collect. Lack of concern is interesting. What are they getting for their promotion?

This stuff is irritating because it is playing into and promoting the narrative that we need to fear the police, which is incorrect. Plain and simple fear-mongering to justify clicks.

Disarm, defund, abolish?

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This isn’t even close to the answer.

Not sure what kind of fantasy land people are living in, but most people know this isn’t even the practical, let alone realistic. But, there are a whole bunch of progressive and liberal people in power who are going to placate and pander to the loudest voices even if they make no logical sense.

I hate to tell ya this, but people ain’t gonna suddenly decide to live in a Utopian world just because the police go away. It will, in fact, go exactly the opposite as people and groups clamor for power over others.

Disarm?

I can accept that some equipment might be overkill. Maybe, just maybe, the budget could be better spent on training and non-lethal tactics/equipment. Arming the police like the military might not be the answer. But taking away their weapons won’t work and we all know it. Remember those instances where even the LA police were outgunned by bank robbers? What about gangs and drug cartels? How would that work?

I can see some concessions here but, as we have seen with protests all over the nation over the last decade or more, when you take away ability of the police to maintain order in communities you get crime on a  massive scale. As such, our expectation of what law enforcement can and can’t do is going to have to change. We won’t be able to expect that they are going to respond to crimes during protests, large gathers, sports celebrations, etc.

Every massive protest or celebration in the US these days leads to looting, property damage, and usually other crimes as a byproduct of such behavior. The police have basically had to stand back and let it happen because they are overwhelmed, either by the sheer numbers of people or by the fact that they lack the ability to respond.

Seattle’s police chief said that things are going to have to change. That’s not only the way the police do their business but it’s also the acceptance from the public that you aren’t going to be safe or protected at all times.

Crime won’t get better if you take away their ability to handle it or prevent it.

Defund?

This option is bad at best, besides a veiled effort to push more socialism. You all know that a budget means, right?

What exactly are you going to defund in a police department?

Cut money from buying weapons? OK, again, maybe this might work. But again, what happens when the police are outgunned?

Cut money from training? Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a good idea either. If anything, funds could be diverted from arming to training. Taking money isn’t the answer.

Cut money from payroll? Also not real bright. Money means staff. Staff means there is someone to respond to a crime, to investigate, to rescue, to protect, to arrest those who need and deserve it. Are you really prepared to be told when you call 911 that an officer will be there in 30 minutes to 2 hours, if at all? It also means that paying (for all intents and purposes) them a quality wage. They are supposed to stand in harm’s way, right? So are we asking them to take less pay to do the same job, while being under armed and understaffed?

Do more with less? We have been doing that to teachers for years and that is clearly working (that’s sarcasm if you can’t read between the lines), so what makes you think law enforcement can do it?

Starting to get worried yet?

Disband?

Asinine.

Sure, let’s just get rid of the police department altogether. That won’t create a whole other set of issues that will have to be dealt with.

Crime will just magically disappear! Humans are naturally good by nature so there will be no problems and we’ll all live peacefully together in one big happy family…gather ’round the fire folks! We’re about to sing Kumbaya and hug and stuff.

The fact is, this won’t work either. The human heart hasn’t been fixed yet. Evil will always rear it’s ugly head and the vacuum left by an absence of law enforcement would quickly be filled by people who have no intent on sharing power, safety, or resources.

I am just not that optimistic of my fellow man. As such, I’ll be buying more guns to protect my family, friends, and property.

That is the natural assumption, right? If someone else who is armed to protect me and others is removed from my community, then I will have to fill that void myself. You can’t have it both ways – no police force AND an unarmed populace.

Can no one see how stupid this is? (That’s rhetorical, as I know there are lots of people who see this as completely stupid).

So what then?

I’ll be over here building my arsenal and fortress.

If you need me or want to visit, text me. I’ll unlock the gate, lower the bridge, pull the gators outta the moat, and tie up the attack dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musically debatable

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The music industry is rather strange when it comes to censorship, or self-censorship.

One country group, Lady Antebellum, has decided that it’s name needs to be changed because of the offense it may cause. So they have now officially decided to go by Lady A instead their original name.

OK, I get it. That is their right and they are certainly being sensitive to the times and their fans (or potential fans). For them, it makes sense and I certainly won’t stop listening to them when they come on the radio because they decided to change their name.

The interesting thing about the music industry is that they seem to have a double standard when it comes to language. Musicians are now using explicit language in their music a lot more often than they used to.

It’s a strange trend, really, with the rise of streaming services and ways to get music delivered to you without having to purchase something the entire general public might listen to.

Regular old radio broadcasts never had such language or it was “bleeped” out. CDs eventually had the “explicit” label on the cover so people knew what they were buying. Streaming services today even let you filter your music so that you don’t have to play explicit songs on the stations you are listening to. All perfect examples of ways to make sure the public gets the music they want without having to listen to things they don’t want.

WHAT I DON’T GET

What I don’t get is how the music industry continues to allow artists to publish and distribute music with the N-WORD in it.

How is this still a thing if there is such a debate about the use of the word?

If nearly everyone finds it offensive and people are being publicly tarred and feathered on social media if they have ever uttered the word at some point in their past, then how are current artists still allowed to use it?

Certain genres even seem to thrive on the use of the N-WORD.

I’m not talking about artists from last decade or several decades ago (though they still seem to use it also). I am talking about current household names, modern, up-to-date, people who in certain settings object to the use of the word and then turn around and use it in their own music. Double standard much?

Why aren’t music studios taking a stand on this? Why aren’t streaming services taking a stand on this? Why aren’t artists calling out other artists for the use of the N-WORD? Why does the music industry continue to perpetuate the use of the word by continuing to allow it? Is it offensive or not?

Don’t even get into the whole “freedom of expression” or “artist’s voice” arguments. We all know of instances where freedom of expression has been suppressed and publicly shamed for a myriad of circumstances, so that doesn’t really apply. Right? Or is there a double standard in the music industry?

This is a subject I guess I’ll never understand.

 

 

Irrational

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Irrational makes me irritable.

Thus, I have been irritable for quite some time.

Most days, I’d rather talk with a brick wall than engage with humans who are irrational. Mostly because their inability to be rational makes them stupid.

Some days my irritability gets to me and I can’t do anything but throw my hands in the air and shake my head. The irrational are winning and it’s disheartening.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Redefined #1

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It’s interesting how those who don’t like something are always trying to redefine it. If it doesn’t fit your agenda, redefine it so it will by turning the meaning around so it fits your message.

Here is current examples I’ve seen recently:

Looting

The definition we all understand and have used in the past is NOT a tough one to remember. It is basically stealing or taking something that isn’t yours by force. If you need a reminder of what the definition is you can look at Dictionary.com (here) and Mirriam-Webster.com (here).

My guess is that you really don’t need a reminder.

Bernie Sanders and his Socialist friends are trying to create a class war (this is a Communist tactic) by specifically trying to redefine the word during the present crisis. Maybe you have seen some of this flying around social media.

The looting of America has been going on for over 40 years – and the culprits are the ultra-rich.  ~ Bernie Sanders

American billionaires got $434 billion richer during pandemic. (widely reported by news media)

So, people who spent their lives building a business and positioning themselves in a place to prosper are going to be faulted for consumers going to their place of business to buy supplies?

Example: Amazon (I mean, because it is so obvious). It was literally set up so that you could order anything, any time, from anywhere, and have it delivered to your doorstep. It was set up to make it as convenient for you as possible. And you love it.

So consumers were forced, or they willingly complied, to stay home and order things online. This is exactly why the business was created or has adapted to the changing retail landscape. They didn’t do anything wrong and is perfectly acceptable for them to do. That would make them pioneers and visionaries in retail, right? As such, it’s perfect for those who have had the foresight to establish, or adjust, a business that has this capability.

Why then would you fault Jeff Bezos or any other person for making money during the pandemic? This is what a business is for. To make money. By ordering online. As far as I can tell, he wasn’t price gauging people for the goods he was selling. Prices didn’t suddenly and ridiculously increase because of the situation. He wasn’t taking advantage of the situation. He literally continued to do what he set up his business to do.

Sure, there were probably some 3rd party sellers who may have taken advantage of the platform and increased prices. Sure, that will always happen. That isn’t new to any crisis. But was it a systemic, company wide policy/effort to defraud the population? No. Amazon and others worked to correct the issue as it was discovered and reported.

Look, I think it is clear that the work of a political party is trying engender bitterness, anger, and dissatisfaction with people who make money in legitimate ways. They are trying to pit the poor, and even the middle class, against those who are rich. For them, they can’t gain ground politically any other way so redefining words and making the word to encompass a broader meaning means that they stimulate mistrust and hatred.

This word being redefined is nonsensical. Let’s keep it a crime and not turn it into something it isn’t.

 

 

Free?

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…O’re the land of the free and home of the brave.

That’s the last line of the national anthem. You know, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The one that apparently some find offensive, but that’s a topic for another day.

Anyway, I think we have seen rather clearly that “home of the brave” is not really the country we live in any longer. That is likely a subjective statement. I mean, there are lots of brave people out there still, but there seems to be far more people who would rather not rise to a challenge and would rather make things easy and comfortable.

With that ease, comes the previous line.

“Land of the free.”

That line refers to the rights and freedoms we have as citizens of the United States. Freedom from government control and abuse. That is something to be celebrated and protected.

BUT, the land of the free apparently has taken on a different meaning to an astoundingly large group of people (yes, Dems, I am looking at you…).

Now, it seems, land of the free means giving stuff away to those who don’t deserve it. Moreover, giving it away to people who aren’t even citizens of the country. We have already seen in California that the governor & legislature wants to give away $75 million in stimulus money to illegal immigrants in the state, not to mention health services and education and other benefits they already have been giving away. Lawsuits over this giveaway are in the process, but in the meantime those who don’t deserve taxpayer money are getting it for free.

Washington now wants to follow the same path, only Seattle wants $100 million. Not only does the state turn a blind eye to those who are here illegally, but now it wants to reward them too.

It makes no sense.

There are lots of things that I am willing to pay taxes for, even with the fact that there is a huge amount of waste and inefficiency in government. But what I am not willing to do is to pay taxes to give to people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. I wouldn’t go to another country and expect that I get a handout, regardless of whether I am working or not. I’ll earn my money, thanks. I certainly wouldn’t expect to get money after breaking the law to get there and stay there. How does that make sense?

Government should be small and responsive. When it isn’t, there is a problem. There’s been a problem here for a long time and the prospects for it getting worse are frightening.

 

Who did this?

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WHO DID THIS?!?!?

…leaving a square destroyed like this is just not acceptable. It’s unusable at this point!

I may hyperventilate at the wastefulness. This impacts resources. Seriously. This stuff doesn’t grow on trees…and neither does the money needed to buy this it…

Wait.

Wipe that…from the memory banks…

Maybe both do grow on trees.

OK, “toilet paper math dad,” what do you do with this? How does this calculate into your figuring? And does the average person actually need (or use) 20 squares? But I digress.

All right, what do you do with these wasted squares? Do you put them inside the next wipe, do you tear it off and drop it in the toilet so you have a nice neat edge for the next wipe, or do you tear it off and re-purpose it? Any other ideas you can think of?