Emotional blindness

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Let’s just start this whole thing by saying I am not talking about Alexithymia. I am not talking about the inability to express one’s emotions and I am not talking about a person who is “cold” and has no emotion towards something or someone. I am not talking about indifference or a lack of empathy.

I am talking about people who get so caught up in their emotions that it keeps them from rationally thinking about something or someone. I am talking about people who let their emotions dictate their response to almost everything. I am talking about people who refuse to set their emotions aside, causing them to be blind to the way they are thinking and acting. I am talking about people who are controlled nearly completely by their emotions instead of using their head.

I am sure you know what I mean.

Take a look around. Watch the news. Look at either political side. Take any controversial subject.

There are far too many people who have emotional blindness. They simply have allowed their emotions to control them and they refuse to look at the issues in a rational, logical way. They refuse to get to the root of the issue and instead allow the emotions to taint any true thought.

It’s sad. It’s irritating. It’s frustrating.

It’s the state of our world, our country, our time.

Frog in a pot

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A frog doesn’t know it is being cooked when the heat inside the pot slowly rises. Instead, it stays in the pot and doesn’t try to escape because it doesn’t recognize the danger it is in until it is too late.

There are a lot of Americans who don’t realize they are frogs in the pot.

The chef in the kitchen are the Democrats and their recipe for destroying America has all the right ingredients at the moment.

Compliant or apathetic people who look to the government to take care of them and solve their problems.

I may be a frog in the pot, but I sure know what the hell is going on and I am doing my best to get out, but those other frogs in the pot just keep pulling me back in.

Are you willing to get boiled, a slow and steady death…of your freedoms?

You better wake up and open those eyes soon. Those people you put in power are going to take your power and there won’t be any looking back.

Sick days

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What are your feelings on Sick Days? Have you or do you currently work in a position that offers you Sick Days? If you had access to Sick Days, did you use them? Maybe a better question is how did you use them?

Kind of loaded questions, probably. Here’s another…does they way you use your Sick Days say anything about you, like as a person?

As most of you understand, a paid Sick Day is for those times when you (or someone in your family) are physically ill and it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to work (or you need to care for someone), or if you (or someone in your family) have medical appointments you need to attend. In general, these are the only acceptable uses of your Sick Day(s).

With that being the general understanding of how a Sick Day is supposed to be used, where do you stand when people use a Sick day for something other than those two reasons?

Examples of other uses:

A co-worker takes a Sick Day because they want to take an extra day on either end of a holiday or vacation.

A co-worker uses a Sick Day to go shopping, or to take a beach/lake/whatever day – basically like a vacation day.

You take a Sick Day as a “mental health” day.

You aren’t sick, but just don’t feel like dealing with your co-workers today so you use a Sick Day.

A co-worker is avoiding doing part of their job so they take a Sick Day.

Obviously, there are lots of scenarios where someone could use a Sick Day for something other than being sick.

So, how do you feel about it? Is anything acceptable now?

I have some 100 days of Sick Leave accrued from the last 19+ years (15 year of teaching and 4+ in my current position).

I very rarely used my Sick Days when I was a teacher because it was just easier to go to school than it was to get a sub (all teachers feel this way), and I almost never use more than half of my allotted Sick Days in my current position. So, I have a large bank of days to draw from should I need them.

I guess this all comes from the fact that some of my co-workers have used all their Sick Days up (because they didn’t use them for their intended use) and then something happens and they need to ask for people to voluntarily gift them Sick Days. I know people who regularly (and often) take Sick Days to just do whatever they want because they can and no one questions them about it.

What do you think?

Do you think poorly of the people who use the benefit in such a way, or do you think it is OK to take an occasional “mental health” day?

Drop your thoughts, or experiences, in the comments. Really curious what you all think!

Loss of freedom

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Did everyone really think China was just going to leave Hong Kong alone when the British handed it over 23 years ago? Sure, the agreement said that China would have to keep it’s democracy intact and not limit the freedoms of the people loving there. Ha! With a wink, wink, and a nudge, nudge China said, “Sure, we’ll do that.” But they secretly had their fingers crossed behind their backs.

We have watched the slow-ish erosion of freedoms ever since. Today, the Communists in China effectively eliminated democracy from the one area most hoped would have greater influence on the rest of China. The resistance in Hong Kong has been admirable, but Communism just keeps on rolling. Mao is probably dancing in his grave today.

I feel sad for the people in Hong Kong. Their lives aren’t going to get better. It almost always goes the wrong direction when it comes to this stuff.

That Great Wall of China just got, for all intents and purposes, a little longer.

Resigned truth

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Two stories in the media over the last week deal with the truth and ultimately what may lead to a resignation in both cases. In one instance, the resignations came swiftly. In the other, it remains to be seen on what will happen but I am fairly sure it will also result in a resignation.

Truth hurts.

Plain and simple.

Of course, we live in a world that now speaks of “your truth” or “my truth.” There is no such thing. There is only one truth. You can’t create a truth for yourself because it makes you feel better. Truth doesn’t care about your feelings. Truth is truth. You can’t invent truth by telling a lie over and over again to make it true (though there are lots of people who do this). Truth is unchanging, even when we don’t like it.

School Board

Was the school board that far off on what they said in a “hot mic” moment for a meeting? They all have since resigned, but what exactly are they resigning for? The truth? Sure, they were speaking in generalities and doesn’t apply to all parents, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

If you have been in education at all (and I was for 15 years), the feelings of frustration expressed at the meeting are feelings that all people in education, at one time or another, have felt and thought. Teachers know full well that parents are the WORST part of the job. Not the students. Not the admin. Not the co-workers. Not the long hours or the endless paperwork. It’s the parents. Always the parents.

So, their criticism of the parents was not off base at all. Yes, they want their babysitters back so they can go to work. Yes, they want their kids gone so they can smoke pot (side note: the kids I was teaching as high school students are the late 20s, early 30s adults that led the push to legalize pot and are now smoking openly in their homes, around their children). Yes, parents don’t care what it takes each day to teacher their children. No, they don’t understand that their child acts differently at school than they do at home. Yes, not all kids are angels and they DO act like that at home and at school.

Professional Baseball

Kevin Mather of the Seattle Mariners head office (President and minority owner) stepped into last week with a video that basically offended everyone in baseball or that enjoys baseball. BUT, did he say anything that wasn’t true or hasn’t been thought and felt over the decades of baseball? No, I don’t think so.

The problem is that he talked of some things that are “taboo” I guess. Openly admitting that you are playing with people’s careers in order to keep them under contract longer or that hiring additional support staff to aid baseball personalities is a drain on revenue isn’t something we haven’t all thought or assumed. But the fact that he had the audacity to say the truth, in essence exposing a dirty little secret that every team in the league has dealt with, has turned the baseball world upside down.

Will he ultimately end up sacrificing his position? Yeah, I think he will. He is going to have to play to the PR nightmare game that is created by candor and truth, because people don’t like it.

To make amends, people will demand his resignation just like they did with the school board mentioned earlier. It won’t make the issues go away. The truth won’t make the issues go away. The issues will just be swept under the rug again and it will be business as usual. There won’t be a reckoning with the truth and people won’t change their ways.

They’ll (those being spoken about) just create their own truth to justify their behavior and keep on, keeping on.

One, other, or all?

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Sometimes the choices about a how you use your time and the entertainment that you consume is tough. There are so many different options these days. From the extremely varied different video streaming services, to all the music streaming platforms, to all the options for books (real, audio, digital), podcasts, and social media.

It literally is difficult to keep up with all the options. Like literally.

I like movies and TV.

I like audio books.

I like listening to music.

I like listening to a couple different podcasts.

So, the question is, how do I do it all? Do I need a schedule? How do I give them all their due audience? Seriously.

I like music to fill time while I am putzing. I like to listen to podcasts and audio books while I putz. I listen to music while I work.

I like to watch stuff, but I actually watch – I can’t just listen. That takes time.

So, how do I watch my shows and movies, listen to audio books and podcasts, and how do I listen to all the music?

Are you like me? Do you do all this stuff or do you just focus on one? How do you deal with all this entertainment and balance it, like to keep up with it?

Ad-versary

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Facebook, you are doing it to yourself. The revolt against you and your policies, oh and your very very underhanded and sneaky use of people’s data, are going to do you in. You still have an audience, but people are growing tired of being suspicious of everything you do in the background and they just want some safety and privacy from your all invasive practices.

No one wants to be bombarded by advertising. No one wants to be tracked everywhere they physically go and no one wants to be tracked where they go digitally either. So, this little deal you got going on here shouldn’t fool too many people…except that it likely will.

Perhaps Apple is actually trying to protect people and their data. Perhaps they are just making room for their own tracking and advertising. I haven’t a clue. But what I do know, is that I like the way Apple has shown that they are trying to protect people’s data. That goes a long way in trust, something Facebook doesn’t have and likely won’t have (for sure from me).

Facebook is scrambling to adjust over new alerts coming from Apple in the near future that will let people adjust how they get advertising from Facebook by opting out of tracking (or in, depending on how you view this approach). In essence, it will block tracking data so you don’t get “personalized” ads. I am all for that!

Actually, I don’t like ads at all. I’d rather not have my feed filled with ads that some company thinks I might be interested in. I could totally do without. I’d even consider paying a small fee to go ad free. But, at the same time, if I am going to pay a fee to not see ads I would also expect that I am not going to be censored for my views, thoughts, beliefs, etc.

Apple and Facebook have taken an adversarial approach to how they are going to work together and I like it. Big tech and other companies should have to fight over customers and the more people make them work for their dollars the better off we are as consumers. But we as consumers need to be smart about how we give our business to these companies in order to make them compete for it, otherwise we get all-encompassing monopolies who then dominate the marketplace and make up new rules and charge ridiculous fees because they have no one to oppose them.

I like what Apple is doing here. I hope they aren’t just trying to make space for their own scheme. But for now, I am glad to see Facebook about to take it in the nose for their privacy and data collection practices.

They actually deserve it.

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.

Streaming

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So, this article was kind of interesting and made me think, “Say what? Clearly I am not in the right business.”

What do I need to do to sign up for this racket? Not that it is illegal. It is all above board, but the it is definitely a racket.

It seems that most top streamers don’t reveal exactly how much they make while doing it. This article was written based on one of them making a mistake and revealing the earnings inadvertently. As such, we get a glimpse behind the curtain and see that this top streamer is pulling down somewhere around $170k a month. That is some serious coin.

Throw in some sponsorships and other contracts and there is a serious flood of cash getting deposited into accounts across the globe.

All from creating content by streaming games and other stuff for people to watch. People watch.

Interesting.

I wonder how hard it is to get started. Obviously, the key is to getting people to follow you and watch you. Anyone know of an instruction manual to get set up?

Precedent

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The war on your rights, freedoms, and beliefs is about to get worse. Thankfully, there have been some changes in the Supreme Court that will (hopefully) change the trend of erosion that has been taking place. That, however, won’t stop those on the left from waging a war on the Bill of Rights.

A prime example of such would be the attach on student rights. The indoctrination of students has been going on for years and will continue as, unfortunately, there are not enough people in education that come from the conservative side of the aisle. Everywhere you look, from K-16, there are liberals dominating the arena of education and they are bent on destroying anything that smells of traditional, conservative values.

Last week, a 3rd grader felt the wrath of such an attack. All because a face mask had a message that the principal apparently found offensive. Double standard? Of course. There have been other messages on face masks that didn’t offend, though it may have been to some. But, this little girl gets called out for her message – one that was only directed to herself.

“Jesus love me.”

Not “Jesus loves you.”

The former is a personal message, meant for the person. The second is a message of projection, meant and directed at others.

I have a feeling the school district and the principal will be issuing apologies fairly soon. They are totally in the wrong and the Supreme Court has already addressed and established precedent with related to student speech, including symbolic speech. So, there should be a reversal fairly shortly.

Should schools protect students from some messages? Of course. The courts have established this too, when it comes to messages and images that would be inappropriate for the age group as well as something that would be deemed a disruption to the educational process. So, anything that promotes illegal drugs, illegal actions, offensive language, sex, etc. The definition of “offensive language” has changed over the years and seems to be subject to the whims of whomever is in charge. There has been an obvious double standard here when it comes to liberal and conservative values. So, that seems to waver, even though the established “offensive language” is really based on the seven words that supposedly can’t be broadcast (even this has changed).

Anyway, I am glad that someone has challenged the principal and district, though the district (as far as I can tell) hasn’t come out in support of the principal. Students, when at school, should be able to see and hear both sides of an issue and make a determination for themselves, not be indoctrinated one way or another.