Fact check

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“Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

The rise of fact checkers has never been more needed. We need to make sure our politicians are being truthful (because we all know their not, no matter what side their on). “The spin” is always in play and, quite frankly, can be rather disgusting when it gets right down to it.

So, I appreciate that we have people and organizations who do some fact checking. BUT, they are not exactly infallible. While they purport to be “unbiased,” they are not. We still need to watch for bias and we still need to be aware of leanings. Sure, they may not be as obvious in their bias as some media outlets, but it is still there. Example: simply by choosing what and what not to fact check and then report it could display bias.

Factcheck.org is one of my go to places for fact checking. It’s comprehensive and it appears to have little bias. However, there is still a problem. I’ll use the 2020 State of the Union Address from last night as a demonstration of what I was saying in the last paragraph. The linked article above only covers issues that the president got wrong or embellished. There is nothing in the article that points to where he was correct or telling the truth.

To me, that isn’t a balanced fact check. If you’re gonna do the job, do the whole job – line by line and tell us what is correct and what isn’t. Support it good research. Fact check it all. Once the speech is published in its entirety, fact check the whole thing. Don’t pick and choose what and what not to check.

So, if you are looking for more info, you can also check other places. Get a well rounded view of what is going on and what happened. Get info from every perspective, including from places deemed to have little bias. You can, again, use the president’s address from last night as an introduction to the site. The site is Allsides.org.

I know I have talked about these websites before. But I can’t help but make sure you have a place (or places) you can go to get information that is tainted as little as possible with bias. With a flood of information from anywhere and everywhere on the internet, you need to make sure that what you are consuming is as accurate as possible.

We can’t afford to be ignorant. We must be well informed.

Do your due diligence.

Opinions – I want none of them

News opinions

Opinions aren’t news. They should not be represented as news. And they sure as hell don’t belong in a “news feed.” Four of the five articles you are suggesting I read are opinion pieces – editorial, NOT news. This type of journalism doesn’t belong anywhere near the front page of a newspaper, let alone a news feed.

If I wanted someone’s opinion, I would seek it out. I don’t need it fed to me.

Dammit, Google, your “news feed” is really pissing me off, and I don’t mean the Piss & Moan kind of pissed off. That kind of pissed off is just a general, “Yeah, I’m irritated about it but not enough to do anything about it” but this crap right here, this is pushing me over the edge to something more. I’ve talked about problems with Goggle’s news feed before, but this just adds to my displeasure for this news source.

Something more…anyone remember the old Discount Tire commercial?

Yeah, I am starting to get that pissed. I just might walk up to Goggle’s front window and throw their news feed through it.

Anyone have any suggestions about a news feed that has a WIDE variety of sources and a WIDE perspective on the news? You know, like they actually report the news but don’t offer their opinions or commentary on it?

Missing it

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Today I am missing it.

Today is the first day of Christmas break for students (at least for most schools) in my area. They are enjoying the day, I am sure, by not doing anything. I even have a teen who hasn’t seen the light of day yet because the bedroom door hasn’t cracked an inch and likely won’t for a couple more hours.

Today I am missing the fact that as I teacher I would not be working today. Usually the first couple days of Christmas break was an ACTUAL break for me. I usually finished up shopping and generally relaxed and spent time with the kids.

Instead, I am at work today…and there really isn’t much going on since my job is to support school personnel with their software…and they are all (or nearly all) on break…not working…and I am trying to find things to stay busy…but really all I want to do is not be at work…

Today I am missing it.

Savings

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Anyone else notice that banks, the place that needs money more than anyone to do the business of money, does nothing to encourage savings? I mean, well, they do give it lip service but that doesn’t really count.

A bank is a place to put money, to store it or save it. That’s what they were originally created for. It was safer to have it stored in one place where they could keep it safe and then when people needed it they could go there to get it out.

As time went along, the banks figured out they could make money by loaning out the money people deposited with them and then charging interest on the loan, thus making it a profitable venture to store money.

As banks increased the amount they loaned out, they needed more and more people to “invest” with them and they used the new capital to loan more money out. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but it makes sense for all involved until…

…until it didn’t make sense to put money in the bank any more.

The interest rate you get from the bank on the money you put in the bank is almost nil. Like far all intents and purposes, it is ZERO. So, what is the benefit of putting money in the bank? Sure, there is the convenience of not carrying around piles of cash or pounds of coins, but is that all?

Banks need capital. You think they’d do something to encourage people to put there money there. I actually deposited a rather large amount of money in a bank that was giving an outstanding rate on CDs (Certificates of Deposit). That’s how a bank should generate capital.

They seem to take for granted that they are just guaranteed business, which maybe they are. Maybe consumers pay no attention at all to the fees or benefits they get from bank to bank, but it does pay to shop around and give business to banks that actually benefit you rather than just use you as an endless supply of currency to feed off of.

We need to be better consumers and actually cause the banks to fight for our money. Let’s bring the competition back and make them beg for our money instead of letting them tell us what we can do with our own money. Make sense?

Who’s with me on this?

Dear Readers

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My Dear Readers,

As I pause a moment to give thanks for all that I have been given (I have not visited my computer this morning), I have to remember you.

It is because of you that we have created a little community where I have a voice to complain about things in my life, life in general, things in your lives, society, people, culture, smart and stupid people, and the list goes on…etc., etc., etc.

Essentially, you have allowed me to be your voice and in turn it has given me a voice too. I can’t always express the way I feel or think to the people who occupy my everyday life, so this has been an outlet for my frustration (and dare I say, anger?)

Some of what we talk about around here is for real and some of it is just for fun. Either way, it gives me something new to do each day in the hopes of entertaining you…or giving you something to ponder…or maybe giving you a silent fist bump knowing someone out there feels a little like you do.

So, I humbly say thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

With gratitude,

The Chief Grump

Like sheep

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I was reading a little this morning and I couldn’t help but agree entirely with a paragraph in a book that was published in 2004. The commentary is just as relevant today as it was back then. Maybe even more so today.

…people [are like] sheep because we humans have a tendency to follow. “The crowd” has a very powerful effect on us, and popular opinion is far too effective in shaping our thoughts and behavior. We prefer consensus to conviction, tolerance to truth. We can even be persuaded to be critical of some of the most impressive things on earth.

How true it is that people tend to go along with the crowd rather than stand out and stand up for something they feel/believe strongly about/in. And even more true, people and society don’t want “truth” any longer. Instead, they avoid conflict at all cost and call it tolerance. We often hear people say, “It is MY truth.” Sorry, peeps, there is no such thing.

The paragraph caused me to ponder for a bit. Where do I fall? Am I a follower, just another sheep in the flock, or am I standing up for what I believe in? That can be a hard question to evaluate myself against. Sometimes, I don’t think I like the truth. But, the truth is what is most important.

In the context of the quote above, where are you? How do you see yourself?

Training presenters

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Every been to a training where the presenters were good? Every been to one where they were bad…or really bad?

I didn’t post yesterday because I was at a training and I didn’t have the forethought to get something written ahead of time. So, I missed a day (that wasn’t a weekend) for the first time in over a year. How about that? Well, that isn’t really the important thing here.

Training presenters are an important part to having a successful training, not only from the organization doing the training but also for those there to get the training. I have been to a lot of bad trainings this week.

Yesterday, took the cake though. The morning session was good, but not great. The afternoon was simply painful. I can only describe it with the following analogy:

You are driving along a paved road, making relatively good time at near the speed limit. You are able to focus on the road ahead and see into the distance, making it possible to make adjustments to your understanding of the situation as it arises.

Suddenly, you leave the paved road only to find yourself driving on a pothole filled gravel road where you are bouncing around so violently that maintaining any sort of vision on the roadway becomes difficult at best. You are so jostled and frazzled that it is exhausting just to keep driving.

The training ends by pulling off to the side of the road and getting out of the car.

Get the picture? The morning was OK, but the afternoon had nothing about it that made it worthwhile.

I have complained about this presenter/trainer previously, but the organization keeps running the person out there anyway. And those of us trying to get trained, just keep suffering along the way.