The Power of Stupidity

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I came across an article title the other day that almost screamed for me to read the article. I couldn’t avoid it. I looked at it. Ignored it. Went back to it. Ignored it some more, and then finally caved and read it. This article, “Bonhoeffer’s “theory of stupidity”: We have more to fear from stupid people than evil ones” ended up making some great points, but it also confirmed what I have been thinking for a long while. I tried to avoid the confirmation bias, but the author is of like mind I guess.

Like I said, I didn’t want to read it. I already know the power of stupidity. I was a high school history teacher so I saw, heard, and witnessed it on a daily basis. But, for the most part, those days were silly and harmless and easily laughed off as adolescence doing and saying adolescent things.

The problem is now I am not in a classroom and in the “real” world of people, where the adults are supposed to be rational, logical, and somewhat levelheaded. Instead, what I see is a place that is really scary because the number of stupid people has grown exponentially over the last decade or so. Those students that were stupid in my classroom have gown up and they haven’t grown out of their stupidity.

Now they tout their stupidity like it’s a badge of honor. Now they are adults, spouting stupidity like a fountain in Vegas and haranging people who don’t fall in line with their stupidity because they are now self-appointed culture and social justice warriors. Their numbers grow and grow and grow because now they can use their social media channels the “cancel” those whom they can’t have an actual, rational discussion with.

One or two stupid persons is easy enough to deal with, but when they become a mob not so much. One or two stupid persons are easy enough to avoid but when they are members of your family it becomes a challenge to tolerate spending time with them. As a whole, it is getting harder and harder to exist in a society where stupidity now seems to rule the day. You can’t avoid them at home, at work, in your social circles, in your government, in your medical institutions, in your educational endeavors…the list just gets bigger and bigger.

I tried to influence those I taught so many years ago. I now fear (and see) that my efforts failed.

So, how do we get our society back? How do we recue the nation from the stupid people who now exist in every facet of our daily lives and, unfortunately, even control it?

Share your thoughts. Share an experience with a stupid person that left you shaking your head. Share an experience with a stupid person that left you in dispare for the future. Share a thought on what can or should be done to fix this menace to society/humankind.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Weather balloon

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I don’t want to BLOW this out of proportion, but the story keeps EXPANDING. I think there are plenty of places to POKE HOLES in this story.

The Chinese, snickering to themselves, say it is a weather balloon and there is nothing to worry about.

Uh huh, sure it is. I don’t want to BURST their…balloon, but I am pretty sure no one is buying it.

What do you think? Does their story HOLD AIR?

WordPress ads a scam?

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One of the many things you can do here on WordPress is earn money from your blog. There are (apparently) quite a few ways to do this. One of the more simple ways to earn money (at least I thought) was to show ads on your site, specifically on your posts. Seems simple enough, right? Write something. Post it. Ads show up on your page as people view it. You make money from them seeing the ads.

I did this a while back and I am starting to wonder if its a bit of a scam as there doesn’t really appear to be a rhyme or reason to how you earn money. Yes, I am aware that the more volume/traffic you have is supposed to get you more ads displayed, which I thought in turn would also create more money added to your account. It doesn’t, however, seem that this is actually the case.

I experimented a while back, August of 2022, to see if I could figure out how to earn more. What I found is that traffic doesn’t exactly mean you earn more. As such, I am beginning to wonder if using WordPress ads is a scam.

Here’s the thing: If an ad (any ad) is displayed anywhere on my blog, shouldn’t I get paid? They are allowed to insert an ad in my content – literally renting space on my site to display an ad that a company paid them to display. Forget the whole “bidding” thing. Volume shouldn’t matter. If an ad takes space on my site, I should get paid (at minimum) $0.01 per ad. But it looks like they get to rent space for any ad for free, even though they were paid for the advertising by the company purchasing space. If they are randomly generated and randomly displayed, there is nothing to really debate here. If this post has two ads displayed each time it is viewed, I should get paid for the two ads displayed during each view.

But, apparently it doesn’t work that way. Misleading, isn’t it?

A few shots to show a comparison. The first set of pics displays one of the best months I have seen while having ads on my site. As you can see, “Ads Served” doesn’t necessarily mean more income since September 2020 had more ads served but October 2020 had fewer ads but more income. Seems rather random, doesn’t it?

So, that sure makes one wonder when looking at how this whole thing works. Doesn’t it? Here are the test results from (basically) two year later.

August of 2022 saw 846 ads served – the most ever since I set this up – and yet was only paid $0.01. Notice the month prior (July 2022) only 206 ads were served but the earnings were the same as the following month. Yet, June of 2022 saw even fewer ads served but there was triple the earnings.

Got questions now? Yeah, me too. But I am leaning towards WordPress cheating the people they “rent” space from.

They need to pay for ALL ads served. Pure and simple.

Burned bridges

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Well, the time has finally come and home is no longer a dreaded place. The subject of many of the rants on this blog has now burned a bridge and there is no chance of home turning into a place of total turmoil again (well, there is a large caviat to that I guess. More on that later.) It’s tough to go all the way back in time and cover all the ground that could be covered to properly put this whole thing into perspective, but that would be a lot of work and I am not sure you all care that much to have a complete picture. If you have been around the blog for a while, you can probably put things together with just the few posts mentioned here today.

I have tried to help those who couldn’t help themselves. I have been trying for many years and it finally came to a head this last weekend. The trouble with this is again that it is self-inflicted and someone thinks, yet again, they are the vicitim. Really, it is by choice and being unwilling to take any advice. Unfortunately, it’s the five grandchildren that will suffer the most.

When my step-son and his five kids were allowed to move in back in November there was hope that maybe there would be some changes in their lives that would lead to a postive outcome (and it might still but seeing that at this point is hard to imagine). Things that have been discussed here previously (see above as well as the following) was about wasted food, not parenting the grandchildren, and the outright disregard for sanity in parenting.

It finally all came to a head last Saturday.

The night before (Friday) by son had been up a large ortion of the night with the youngest grandchild because she was sick. As requested, he let us know he needed more sleep (he requested an hour) and we agreed to take over childcare duties so he could get some sleep. That request was abused and turned into four hours.

As a result, the five grandchildren were left in our care and we did everything we could to keep them occupied, busy, loved, dressed, fed, and entertained. We kept them from going in to wake their dad, even though he totally went beyond the time requested and agreed upon. At one point in the morning, the second oldest (age 6) got a little too rambunctious with the middle child (age 4) and repeated hit him “accidentally.” The 6-year old had been warned repeatedly and was asked at one point to stay on his bunk bed as a time out until he was released. Again, there was unusual noise and I checked on the commotion…the 6-year old was on the floor wrestling the 4-year old, having him pinned below him and him crying. I took one step into the room, delived a single swat to the backside of the 6-year old with my hand, which sent him crying back to his bunk.

He and I chatted about the incident not five minutes later and he admitted that he disobeyed, that he was playing too rough with his sibling, and that he hadn’t “accidentally” hit his sibling either. He went to far as to admit that he deserved the swat. He was back to playing and didn’t cause any other issues the rest of the day.

UNTIL. Until, he skipped into the room while his dad was making dinner and blurted out, “Grandpa hit me.”

I was there. He’s six, so his recollection of the events and why he got the swat weren’t entirely accurate. My son then proceeded to say, “Stop hitting my kids.”

Long story short, the discussion after that point corrected the events as told by the 6-year old, involved a threat of calling the police if I continued to discipline the children in a way that he didn’t agree with, and an ultimatum that said they’d move out if I (well, we, because my wife has spanked them too) didn’t bend to his parenting style, which includes the lack of discipline.

Mind you, he has virtually no place to go except one friend’s house which is not ideal for any of them.

So, I recommended finding a new place to stay since I was not going to do what he wanted me to do.

My wife and I had already had the discussion that this would likely come up again. There was a blow up about it a week prior where he basically packed up the kids with no coats, no socks, no shoes, and no food, and left the house for about 12 hours. We were clear when he left the first time that nothing on our part would change since we love the grandchildren and we are constanly having to step in to pick up the slack. We had the agonizing discussion that the threat of law enforcement would eventually be used and how we would respond to it…the conclusion was that we would ask that they move out, knowing full well that that wouldn’t be the best thing for the grandkids considering the turmoil they have endured over the last several years. But, we also knew he would refuse to leave them behind with us.

At this point, they haven’t returned. As far as we are concerned, he has burned his bridges with us. We, his mom and I, have been there and picked up the pieces enough. We love our grandkids, but for him we are done. If it really comes down to it, we will take the grandkids back to live in our house but he will not be welcome.

A tough decision, but we see no other way around it. We aren’t going have someone (even our son) threaten us and force us into living and “grandparenting” into a style we believe is wrong.

Home is more peaceful these days. It sucks considering what our grandkids are going through.

But, we couldn’t be held hostage in our own home either.

Totally obvious

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I got to thinking (I know, kinda dangerous). The other day I totally went off the other day about bad parenting and what I thought was bad parenting, because I watch it happen every day right before my eyes. I have been reading some posts on another blog that basically takes info from polls and puts them into an article summarizing the thoughts of others. So, why not try that here?

So, let’s start with what I posted the other day as the basis. Respond in the comments and let me (and others) know what you think.

What two things make it totally obvious that a parent has no idea what they are doing or is just simply a bad parent?

Sucky search

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Not helpful. Not helpful at all.

Why is that when I click on the “Search” tab on the Reader page that 90% of the stuff that comes up is related to one of the dumbest sports on the planet – basketball? Why is it that I get a lot of results to basketball, hockey, soccer (football), and other things I have never, EVER, searched for? I don’t click on them either so why do the results continue to return things I am not interested in?

Anyone else notice this?

How are the search results determined? They certainly aren’t related to any tags or categories I use in my own blog, so where or how does it work?

I have tried searching for things I am interested on to change the results and it hasn’t helped at all.

So, I get a sucky search. Completely useless for finding new blogs I might be interested in.

Way to go WordPress. So helpful.

Debt limit

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Time to tighten the belt.

Time to hunker down and make some painful adjustments.

Time for the government to live within it’s means and stop the unlimited spending.

You may have caught the article today saying the US will reach it’s debt limit and default by the end of next week, unless there is (again) a move to increase the limit. Every time this comes up, the debt limit is negotiated up…now sitting at $31 trillion.

Sorry, but you can’t have unlimited spending. You just can’t. Personal budgets don’t work that way. Company/business budgets don’t work that way. You can’t spend more and not cut it from somewhere else. That’s just not how it works. But, the government seems to think that’s they way to do it (especially one party, but both are guilty).

Time to stop assisting in places of the world that should take care of itself. Sure, I understand the goodwill generated by the international assistance fund, but we can’t afford it.

Time to stop paying for illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

Time to stop paying for every social “justice” fad that comes along.

Time to stop filling the budget with “pork“.

This doesn’t mean that increasing taxes is the answer either. Spend less, collect less. Collect only what is necessary.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something the politicians seem to understand.

Two times

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What do you look forward to during the day? For me, there are two times during the day that I look forward to the most. Obviously, there are other times I look forward to – the end of the work day, meals, sitting on the couch to watch a show or play a video game…but there are TWO that stand out the most for me. Those two times are climbing into bed, pulling the covers over me, and when I first climb into a hot shower.

I suppose looking forward to climbing into a hot shower can be any time of the day, but for me it is usually in the morning. I start (for the most part) the day with a shower. Most days its early. That part is the downside of getting into the shower, but the feeling of the hot water running over my body and the tingle/sting on my skin is the best. It really makes me want to stay in the shower all day! Alas, I can’t. So, I savor the moment for a little while and then move along.

The second time of day to look forward is climbing back into bed. The feeling of the mattress against my back and then using the arm to sweep the covers back over my body to envelope me in warmth (once the coolness dissapates). Snuggling down into the bed and “burrito-ing” is the best! You can just feel the day just go away at that point. All is calm, all is forgotten.

What are your two times? What parts of your day do you look forward to?

New episodes

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So, there is a new joke around here and for the living situation at the moment. It’s funny, frustrating, and incredibly sad at the same time. Every day there is a new episode of “Bad Parenting” in our house.

A son and his five kids (9, 6, 4, 2 & 1) are living with us and every day proves to be a new disaster, a new example of what you shouldn’t do as a parent. Each day sees the other two adults in the house shaking and scratching their heads on decisions and choices being made (or, really, not being made). We have seen and heard a lot of things in the last couple months.

So, the day gets wrapped up with the joke “On today’s episode…”

Maybe I could pitch this whole thing as a sit-com and make lots of money selling the rights…

Anyway, here is an example of what takes place during the different episodes of “Bad Parenting”:

  • Never set an alarm to wake up before your children so other people have to parent them and get them ready in the morning, including getting the two oldest off to school.
  • Give your three oldest children ice cream, disappear to the bathroom for 20 minutes, and then immediately tell them its time for bed – followed by yelling at them to be quiet and stay in bed.
  • Give all the children water bottles at bed time and then screaming at them to stay in bed and to stop getting up to go to the bathroom.
  • Yell at the 1-year old to go to sleep in the middle of the night but not check/change her diaper.
  • Leave all the children in the car so the 9-year old has to babysit while getting groceries.
  • Tell your 9-year old to watch all his siblings in their bedroom while you run to the store for breakfast (we were home, btw).
  • At meal time, nearly always give larger portions than appropriate for the age.
  • From the one above, when given appropriate size (rarely) not requiring the child to eat their food, then 20 minutes after the meal they say they are hungry and give them a snack.
  • Throw away all uneaten food served and never eat leftovers.
  • Keep a dog in the backyard and then never play with it, feed it (without reminders), water it (without reminders), or clean it’s pen.
  • Rarely engage with your children while you spend 80% of the day on your phone.
  • Have little to no income on a regular basis, but buy toys for them after making money and only two weeks after Christmas.
  • Rarely make real food, feed just prepackaged everything.
  • Give the messiest Lunchable possible (pizza) to the kids (all of them but the littlest) and then yell at them when you have to clean up their mess.
  • Disappear to the bathroom or vehicle in the driveway, leaving children unsupervised, for 15-35 minutes at a time…about every 35-40 minutes…
  • Claim smoking weed is the only way to cope with ADHD and do it at least 7 times a day.
  • Scream and yell at increasing volume, while repeating self 4-8 times, instead of actually disciplining the children.
  • Put one child down for a nap and disappear to leave other children unsupervised for 45 minutes.
  • Tell your youngest children to “clean up” after themselves without modeling it.
  • Tell your youngest children to brush their teeth without help.
  • Tell your children to go get in the vehicle without first making sure they have socks, shoes, and a coat on.

See? Wouldn’t this make for a great sit-com?

Reasonable, rational, and responsible adults can clearly see none of the above is a great way to live. Yet, no advice is ever asked for, ignored when given/suggested, and at nearly every turn the aid that is given help is taken advantage of and unappreciated.

Sad right?

Literally just making it up as he goes and hasn’t a clue what the hell he is doing. Does he love his children? I don’t doubt that he does. Unfortunately, there has been discussion about the fact that it would be easier to parent the grandchildren if the parent wasn’t in the picture. Fitness to be a parent is seriously questioned.

Between a rock-and-a-hard-place? Yep.

reSOLUTION time

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In this new year of 2023, I hereby resolve to be liked by less people.

My resolution is a solution to some of the issues I have going on in my life. I am almost sure of it.

If I am liked less by people, then they will not want to spend time with me and will not want to be around me and will cause less drama and trouble in my life.

I am not here to please everyone. I am not here to be liked by everyone. I am not here to seek everyone’s approval.

I could use a cleansing of my circle. It doesn’t need to be this big.

I mean, there are people in my circle that I just can’t get along with. They rub me wrong with virtually everything they do. They irritate me to no end with every decision or indecision. They burn me when I am helping and they burn me when I am not helping.

Who needs this kinda crap?

Now, how do I tell some members of my family about my solution?

Guess it’s time to get out the big “I don’t care” stick.