Finger pointing

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There is a whole lot of finger pointing going on these days. “You did this,” or “You did that,” or “You failed to do…” is a common refrain heard across the land. It seems no one wants to be responsible for their own actions any longer. It is always someone else’s fault. It is always because of someone else’s failure. It is because of someone else’s attitude. It is because of someone else’s wealth or lack thereof.

Someone else is always to blame.

Or at least that seems to be what a majority of people believe and are trying to convince others of.

Newton’s Third Law says, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In general, Newton was actually talking about physical items. Some, however, would argue that it doesn’t really apply to “life” and shouldn’t be misused that way.

I say those people are idiots.

I would posit they are saying that because they are one of those people who don’t believe in ownership of their own actions.

How about coming at it from a different angle – Every action, inaction, attitude, reaction, has a consequence. Perhaps this would be more influential coming from someone else:

A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. — Sivananda

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand?

EVERYTHING we do or say has consequences. Those consequences are in direct correlation (almost always) to how we navigate through life. Our actions in our environment, our interactions with others in our environment will always have consequences – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. There is never not a time when this isn’t true. Sure, the result might not have immediate consequence but make no mistake, there will eventually be a consequence.

I can’t help but take a look at the news and wonder how life would be different for lots of people had they made different choices in any given situation, whether a long time ago or in the immediate time and space.

Situations?

  • Law enforcement interactions: How you react in the situation will determine how they are going to react to you. Resistance, evasion, force, weapons, or suspicious activity will generate various levels of reaction. Do you always deserve the type of reaction you are going to get? Nope. But, you have to remember that your actions likely triggered the interaction in the first place. As such, your actions will also determine how the interaction progresses and ends. I can’t help but think there are a lot of situations as of late that ended terribly for lots of people (on both side of the law) because they weren’t following the law.
  • Cheating (whether in minor things or big things): You make the choice to be dishonest or to hide something from someone. You are creating a situation that will have a consequence. Will you experience that consequence right away? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Financial decisions: Spend wisely, reap positive consequences (most typically). Spend poorly, reap negative consequences (almost always). Either choice will likely result in habits that become a cycle. The cycle, as cycles go, repeats itself over and over. If you stop pointing fingers at others on why the cycle keeps perpetuating itself and change your behavior, because really no one else is to blame, then you will get different results. Thus, an action still has a reaction – just you get to decide if it is positive or negative.
  • Weight or health management: Admittedly, there are some genetics involved here, but for the most part you are still responsible for what you do or don’t put in your body. Make good choices, reap good benefits and a healthier body. Make poor choices, reap poor health and continually cascading issues. It all starts with a choice.
  • Work ethic: Your outcomes at work are directly related to how you approach work. If you are diligent, dedicated, conscientious, motivated, and energetic then you will likely have a good work experience. If you are lazy, apathetic, unmotivated, and have attitude issues then you will likely have a hard time keeping a job.

Are there exceptions to these things? Of course! Even Newton had exceptions to his 3rd law.

BUT, you can’t make a life out of pointing fingers and always blaming someone else.

You can’t be finding or relying on the exceptions for everything. If you are always looking for the exception, you probably really are looking for excuses. And those excuses? Those are the things holding you back and keeping you from making the right decisions at the right time, because you’ve trained yourself to point fingers and not take responsibility.

I’ll end with this, and I know it is cheesy, but the whole “Don’t forget if you point a finger at someone, you still have three pointed back at you.”

It’s true. Before you blame someone else for something, you better look at the choices and decisions you made along the way that got you to where you are at that moment in time.

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.

Sticky situation

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Warning labels can only go so far. Warning labels exist because people are stupid. Warning labels can’t possibly tell you all the things you are NOT supposed to do because the label isn’t big enough, the packaging would be horrendous, and no one can think of all the stupid stuff you shouldn’t do. Truth be told, if you see something stupid on the warning label it is because someone actually did it. No kidding.

People still need to use common sense. I realize the stuff is in short supply these days, but we really really gotta have people think before they do stuff.

So, I am sure by now you have heard the Gorilla Glue incident. I don’t know about you, but I have been glued to it since I heard about it. I have read every story I can get a hold of. The tears of laughter just spray from my eyes because I can’t believe the ridiculousness of it all.

If you haven’t of it, good job not paying attention to what is going on in the world! Ignorance is bliss, so they say.

Anyway, I think the lesson here is that you can get into a pretty sticky situation if you let your vanity get in the way of common sense. You’re going to get stuck with something you didn’t expect. And once the consequences hit, you’re probably going to come unglued.

All right, I’ll stop.

It isn’t nice to make fun of stupid people. But it sure it fun!

Endorsement

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These have got to stop because they really mean nothing. There is no credibility in giving an endorsement to a political candidate or issue, and what it really comes down to is that it is used as political manipulation of the populace.

Newspapers, news organizations, journalists, news anchors, media outlets, etc., are all at fault. Not a single one offers any legitimacy in their endorsement because it is an opinion. Opinions have no place in the news media. Period.

Sure, it is an “editorial board” that comes up with these endorsements and is in the “opinion” section of the paper (separate from the news) but that doesn’t really matter when it comes to the endorsement. The opinion is put out there for everyone to read and is readily seen as all the definitive answer about who a citizen should vote for. So, do we really expect that a media outlet that leans one way or the other is going to endorse something out line with their political leanings? In most cases, the media is liberal so their endorsements are going to support liberal candidates.

If you are an educated and informed voter, these endorsements should mean absolutely nothing to you. If you pay any attention to them and put any weight in them, well, quite frankly, you’re not as informed as you think you are. You’re just contributing to the reason why the media continues towards a ever quicker decline in credibility.

You should be seeing them as propaganda and nothing more.

When you see something like an endorsement come out for a political candidate or an issue, ignore it. They aren’t adding anything new to the debate. If you do read it, read it with a handful of salt.

Doom

Doom everywhere.

“Doom to you.”

“Doom to you as well, good sir.”

Doom to the President.

Doom to the other political party.

Doom to blacks.

Doom to whites.

Doom to athletes.

Doom to your neighbor.

Doom to government.

Doom to the police.

Doom to & from the media.

Doom to the climate and environment.

Doom doom doom.

Doom from Covid.

Doom for or not for wearing a mask and social distancing.

Doom during the day.

Doom during the night.

Doom to the United States.

Doom to other countries.

Doom everywhere.

Doom backwards is MOOD.

The mood around here is always doom.

Doom you!

Doom me!

Have you had your doom today?

If not, have a great doom today!

On the scene

action adult aperture blur

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Masked silliness.

It’s particularly hard to watch the news these days. No, I mean like actually watch it. Like tuning into your local news broadcast news and watch reporters reporting from the scene. Any scene.

Anyone else irritated by the fact that a reporter who is reporting from outside, in the open air, still has their mask on?

There is literally NO REASON to have the mask on while you are out in the fresh air. None. Well, other than if you are following (and trying to reinforce) the narrative being crammed down our throats, oh, and if you are virtue signaling.

We all know how the reporting thing works. We’ve seen how you do it for years. We know the person operating the camera for your “on the scene” reporting is likely more than six feet away from you. The reporter isn’t interviewing anyone for this “on the scene” report. Thus, there is no practical reason for having the mask on.

I see it time and again. The other day I saw a reporter who was along the side of a highway, where the wind blows furiously, with his mask on while reporting about cars parked along the highway. Like, he does know he is outside, right? He does know the wind is blowing like the dickens, right? He does know there is not a chance that he can catch or spread the virus while her reports here, right?

It’s actually kind of stupid that these reporters are perpetuating the fear instead of accurately reflecting the guidance we have been given about being out of doors. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen one reporter yet who actually has done a report of this kind without a mask. So, have then been instructed to perform this way?

That’s not objective reporting.

But, we already know they don’t really do that any longer.

 

 

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?

Newspaper paywalls

WP bad gateway

Bad Gateway…as in, “You don’t have a subscription.”

The Washington Post once was a paper that would be trusted to give you the news without commentary. Not so much these days, well to be fair, for quite a while. Commentary is a staple of its reporting, but I wanted to call attention (again) to it’s motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” *Sorry, it’s a little hard to read in the screenshot above.*

The story of how the motto was adopted can be found here, if you can get past the paywall. Many believe the motto was presumably adopted in response to Trump’s assertion that the media was an enemy of the people for their inaccurate and slanted reporting. The story refutes that presumption, though some still question the truth on that too.

To some degree, the motto is correct, though journalism and the media isn’t to only keeper of democracy. No, there are lots of sources from which information can be obtained these days. What there is a lack of, is accurate and fair journalism and media. Therein lies the death of democracy.

Media and journalists who report their bias, their slant, their take on the information “to inform” the public is killing democracy. In essence, the Washington Post is killing democracy in several ways all by itself.

First, there is, of course, the slanted and liberal bias the paper produces every day. This is not a debatable conclusion. It is fact. So let’s not quibble about this detail.

I would posit the next reason the “paper” (I say it that way because it isn’t a newspaper in the true sense any longer) is helping democracy die is that it has chosen to put its online content (or most of it) behind a paywall. I understand a paywall generates revenue, but doesn’t advertising do the same thing? The problem with the paywall is that it makes it so that only those who can afford to pay for a subscription have access the “the news.”

Is that really keeping everyone informed? Is that really making sure there is equal access to information? Is it equitable for all?

Access to information and access to sound, unbiased reporting is important. Hiding behind paywalls and having more journalism that is predominantly commentary, rather  than facts (or a liberal spin on the facts), isn’t keeping democracy alive. It is actually killing it too.

Democracy certainly dies in darkness, but the darkness here is slanted journalism and a paywall.

Irresponsible reporting

Fire Halloween

Of all the shots that could have been used in this package that showed up on Good Morning America yesterday, they choose this one? Real nice.

Anyone else notice what is in the picture above?

If you missed it the first time, I highlighted it. This still is from a video that was on the news yesterday morning. I am sure there were thousands of other shots they could have edited into this package, but they chose this one? Why?

Sensationalism. Pure and simple.

I don’t know if the skull is real or not. It probably isn’t. It could be a Halloween decoration. But, what if it isn’t? Maybe more to the point, what if there are actually people killed in these wildfires? How does that make a family who lost a loved one feel if they see something like this?

“Keeping it classy” is something the media has totally lost.

We can hope and wish they would do better, but until people stop watching it won’t change.

You can do better ABC, Good Morning America, and reporters.

 

Annoyed

man sitting on black leather padded chair

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There are few things more irritating than playing whack-a-mole on news websites! I mean seriously, why does this have to be such an annoying thing?

OK, to be clear, I am talking about all of the pop-ups, over-sized headers, loud videos, video ads, etc. you get when you visit just about any sort of news site. Whether it is a tech website, an entertainment website, or something else, there are just about always two or three pop-ups that have to be closed to get a clear view of the page.

Annoying! I say. Annoying!

I use an ad blocker, but even that doesn’t get everything. Sometimes it isn’t a third party ad. Sometimes it is even the website sharing it’s own information about something else they would like you to look at. More annoyance.

Why is this necessary? Yes, of course, I know…they make money by clicks and crap like that. Some websites I have just stopped going to (they used to be good ones and I liked them) because I get tired of the same “dance of the pop-ups.” I like whack-a-mole, but not really that much.

All I can say to anyone who might be reading this – STOP IT! You are seriously damaging your name, brand, reputation, whatever by continuing this practice.

*This applies to blogs as well. If you have ads on your blog, make sure you aren’t turning off your readers by having stupid crap like described above.*