Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Choosing Sides as an Adult

The French Revolution
What side should I be on? I don't work, so my income is affected by the capital gains and inheritance taxes the Republicans are trying to repeal. Maybe I should be a Republican.

On the other hand, my capital gains income is poverty level and I live with my mother, so I can't afford health insurance or even health care. Maybe I should support Bernie Sanders.

Since nobody around town seems interested in hiring me for employment, maybe I should be an Anarcho-communist.

I was raised in a family of Democrats. What have the Democrats done? Feathered their own nests by taking huge legal bribes from Wall Street, lobbyists, and dark-money from other billionaire special interests, just like the Republicans. Both parties have an Establishment wing and basically everyone else who are mostly poor.

Unfortunately not a lot of the "unwashed" are intelligent enough to recognize when they are being pitted against one-another instead of focusing on the real source of their manipulation. Maybe I should join the Establishment.

The problem with joining the Establishment is you must be invited. You can't just do their bidding and expect to get more than just a few table-scraps and a disapproving smirk, but Congress doesn't seem to recognize that, and they continue to kowtow and throw themselves prostrate at the feet of their billionaire donors.

These "people" we elect to public office are willing to apply a scorched earth policy to give the elite everything they want for a few campaign dollars. Well, everyone else has had enough of that.

There are only the elite, and the rest of us. The sooner everyone recognizes this, we can take back our country.

They could have been just a little generous. They could still be wealthy, but they can't seem to have enough. So enough already.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Jeopardy Questions

There were two stories in today's Illinois State Journal-Register about government contracts bypassing a competitive bidding process. One was a contract for the state Medicaid program, the other was a contract with a solar company installing solar panels on an elementary school.

In the comment section on both stories, I posted a Jeopardy-type response in the respective order:

  • Jeopardy answer: “Making exceptions for bidding on government contracts.” Jeopardy question: “What is ____”
  • Jeopardy answer: "Circumventing a competitive bidding process for a contract paid for by taxpayers." Jeopardy answer: "What is ____"
Of course, the answer is "Corruption" for both questions. It's unequivocal. I find it strange that the newspaper didn't call it for what it is. But, this is Illinois after all, everyone seems to have gotten used to the idea of playing favorites with taxpayer money.

The political parties point their fingers at each-other while high-fiving with their other hands.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Old Y-Block in downtown Springfield

Some possible ideas for developing Springfield. More people downtown should stimulate some growth.

It's somewhat based on a structure I saw in the Seattle, WA, called Thornton Place

Saturday, October 7, 2017

When Life Begins

Cells depicted are not to scale relative to each-other.
Is there really a beginning and an end to life? Many people think life begins at conception. Many people believe life begins with the first breath.

According to the word of God through Moses in Leviticus 27: 1-9, God placed no value on life before age one month and no value on life after age sixty. In those days, life expectancy was extremely low.

Someone close to me thinks the abortion issue is tearing this country apart, but I suspect that most people really don't care that much, just the media hype when scandals erupt.

Congressman Tim Murphy, a self-described pro-life, family values politician resigned after it was discovered he encouraged his extra-marital girlfriend to get an abortion.

Self-described "conservative" billionaire, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill expanding tax-payer funded abortions, enraging his base to the point where John Tillman, chairman of the Illinois Policy Institute which helped thrust forward Rauner's campaign, called him "Benedict Rauner."

But when does life really begin? Does it even really have a beginning or an end?

Men produce millions of sperm every day, but it takes 74 days before they finally mature, then they only live from three to five days. This three to five day window is when sperm are able to find and fertilize a female egg. But an egg is only ready to be fertilized for twenty four hours before it dissolves, and not another egg is ready for twenty eight days. Sperm left behind die and are either reabsorbed or pass from the body in urine.

Meanwhile, Only three hundred to four hundred of a female's eggs will be ovulated in her lifetime, leaving hundreds of thousands of potential candidate eggs behind.

So, hundreds of thousands of abandoned eggs and millions upon millions of abandoned sperm are left behind to never combine and grow into people. And this is just from one male and one female.

Where's the the outcry? Where's the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over this horrific tragedy?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Mood

Gradually, even the alternative media is being overtaken by discussions about Donald Trump. Someone by now must have calculated the amount of time the media spent discussing what Donald Trump said, and calculated the ratio of time reporting facts to time speculating. The media fills time speculating about White House intrigue instead of reporting on issues of income inequity, the environment, climate, poverty and actual policies.

I just want to shut it all out of my life, yet I realize that's precisely what the Establishment wants all of us to do: to become overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness, and to begin operating under the dark cloud of learned helplessness. Throwing ourselves prostrate at the feet of our corporate masters.

Instead. I started working out at Planet Fitness. I only started yesterday after decades of lethargy. My mood improved immediately and I now sleep much better.

I have a very long way to go. I need to lose well over a hundred pounds.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What are Hash Tags (#)

I was thinking of producing a short training video on the use of hash tags, but there are so many already out there. The trick is to customize the instruction to the needs of the organization being served.

Large politically active organizations should keep records and have strict standards for the hash tags they use, like maintaining the restrictions associated with brand identity.

Did I just figure that out without Google? Yes. Yes I did. I figured it out as a result of my expensive college education. How does that sound? Utterly ridiculous, right? F**K!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spam Phone Calls and the Do Not Call List

I registered several years ago with the National Do Not Call Registry at https://www.donotcall.gov/

I continue to get robocalls and unsolicited calls on my phone from the following list, and it keeps growing every day. I'm sick and tired of it.

Mobile +1 217-801-2587
Home +1 386-575-8385
Work +1 415-877-3141
Main +1 312-809-5941
Work Fax +1 217-203-2135
Home Fax +1 302-219-9678
Pager +1 862-774-0096
Other +1 207-560-0077
Other +1 312-878-0714
Other +1 541-640-5050
Other +1 707-715-0003
Other +1 312-982-8714
Other +1 206-582-0001
Other +1 405-251-9213
Other +1 615-682-0049
Other +1 430-703-2007
Other +1 713-328-3396
Other +1 201-694-4279
Other +1 520-422-4166
Other +1 312-283-3367
Other +1 601-228-8218
Other +1 302-786-8704
Other +1 979-803-3105
Other +1 970-447-3012
Other +1 731-879-3020
Other +1 214-550-1481
Other +1 540-328-9788
Other +1 979-413-4009
Other +1 312-809-6072
Other +1 231-237-7277
Other +1 815-242-3194
Other +1 334-600-2304
Other +1 407-410-8772
Other +1 810-580-5694
Other +1 609-232-8953
Other +1 217-801-7619
Other +1 917-444-9282
Other +1 928-399-3436
Other +1 916-680-6148
Other +1 217-403-9029
Other +1 520-422-4167
Other +1 858-842-9007
Other +1 510-313-6703
Other +1 850-203-5953

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Toying With Taxes: Alcohol

They way consumables are taxed is very regressive and doesn't account much for the healthy disincentive factor.

Here's how I suggest taxing alcoholic beverages, for example:

It seems reasonable to tax per gram of alcohol, doesn't it? Once measly cent per gram of alcohol?
No, probably not fair for bar owners, but the tax might only be applied toward the retail end.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Not my problem but still not fixed apparently

Here's the email I received from Yelp.com
Goodwill missed out on several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. I finally had to pay a junk removal team to take it. They tossed everything from a second story balcony into the back of a truck, damaging nearly everything.

I hope Goodwill in the future begins to understand economics over the long-term instead of simple accounting. This is purely anecdotal, but it represents the consequences of a poor business model.

Hi Fred,
We wanted to let you know that we've removed your review of Goodwill Shoreline. Your review was brought to our attention by the Yelp community, and we found that it fell outside our Content Guidelines because it largely pertained to matters outside of a typical consumer experience.

We want to hear about your personal experiences with local businesses. The best reviews provide context, detail and perhaps even a helpful tip or two. To learn more, check out our Content Guidelines at http://www.yelp.com/guidelines.
Thanks for understanding, and we'll see you on Yelp! 
Removed Content: 
My unfortunate financial situation is forcing me to move out of state ASAP. I have a one bedroom apartment full of nearly new furniture and electronics (game consoles, cameras, etc) that should net Goodwill at least $4,000.00.
Unfortunately Goodwill has outsourced their hauling to Dolly.com which wants to charge me $969.00 for stuff. which I cannot afford.
Dolly.com requires me to download an app to a smartphone which I don't have.
Oh well. Goodwill's loss.

The Yelp Support Team
San Francisco, California
Yelp Support Center | http://www.yelp-support.comYelp Official Blog | https://www.yelpblog.comYelp for Business Owners | https://biz.yelp.com

Monday, February 6, 2017

Earth Day March for Science (Knitted Brain Hats Needed)

March For Science The Latest Chicago Trump Protest (Bring Your Brain Hat)
Are you good at knitting? We need brain hats for the Earth Day March for Science on Saturday, April 22, 2017

If you can, knit as many as possible and sell them at the March for Science on Earth Day.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Growing Obsession

Imagine a breakfast omelette filled with everything you would put on a taco, with Jalapenos, Guacamole, Sour Cream, and maybe topped with Salsa or Salsa inside. Not your typical "Western" omelette you'd find at IHOP or Denny's. Not a Breakfast Burrito either, Although they are good, the tortilla itself kind of ruins the party for me.

Would it be possible to bake all that in a Taco Salad shell as a kind of Quiche?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Anger Management

Is it true that in a normal emotional state we make rational choices? No. The word 'normal' should be thrown out because it forces us to think in an 'either-or' fashion, also called a False Dilemma, where things are either one way or another. Normal or abnormal, angry or not.

What does this have to do with anger management? To get control of our emotions, we must first understand them. We have many words that describe emotions, but in literature they are used out of context and often incorrectly. Words like happy, indifferent, sad, ecstatic, outraged, furious, etc.

Our lives are constantly under many different forms of pressure that make us frustrated. When we know what frustrates us we can often do something about it, but there are things we cannot control or don't yet know how to change. They stay with us and make us agitated.

If our real sources of frustration stay with us long enough, we tend to forget them, then any other little annoyance will cause us to overreact. This is called misattribution of arousal, where we mistake something or someone close at hand as the cause of our pre-existing frustration from another situation.

People frustrated by their own economic circumstances tend to blame others. Typical targets are political parties, minority race or religious groups.

Stress increases activity within the more primitive parts of our brains, revving up our Fight-or-Flight response centers.

We fall victim to logical fallacies, especially appeals to our emotions, because we are under enough psychological pressure that we do not think rationally.

We must train ourselves not to think using logical fallacies. Here's a list of resources for learning proper critical thinking skills:
*Arousal defined as any increase in activity of the Limbic System caused by stumuli or long-term operant conditioning.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Last Week of Obama Presidency

This is it folks, From what I gathered around the Web it looks like things are about to go totally insane.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Empathy, Dignity, Compassion, Respect, Love and Deference

There is a special language for the way people behave toward each other. Once you learn the words you can call-out people who misbehave.

The definitions below are Google search results.

  • Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Dignity: The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
  • Fairness: impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.
  • Compassion: Sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others.
  • Respect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
  • Love: An intense feeling of deep affection.
  • Deference: Humble submission and respect.
  • Obedience: Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another's authority.
  • Kowtow: Act in an excessively subservient manner.
  • Genuflect: Lower one's body briefly by bending one knee to the ground, typically in worship or as a sign of respect.
  • Prostrate: Lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission.
  • Fawning: Displaying exaggerated flattery or affection.
  • Obsequious: Obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.
  • Flattery: Excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one's own interests.
  • Sycophant: A person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.
    • "He was a sycophant" is like saying "he was a scheming, fawning flatterer."
  • Magnanimous: Very generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.
  • Passive Aggressive: 
  • Insincere: Not expressing genuine feelings.
  • Disingenuous: Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.
  • Hypocrisy (Hypocrite): the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
    • Christians praying in public while ignoring the Bible passage Matthew 6:1-2
    • Christians being against abortion while ignoring the Bible passage Leviticus 27:6 where God puts no value on life earlier than one month after birth. At the time, not many were expected to live that long anyway.
  • Deceitful: Guilty of or involving deceit; deceiving or misleading others.
I was waiting for a phone call which never came so I decided to just sit here and piddle about. I hope these words come in handy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Spinning our wheels again?

LinkedIn posted an article about getting a raise in 2017 with an image of a $100 bill as a jigsaw puzzle. I remembered spending time working on jigsaw puzzled and I wondered 'why the Hell was wasting time putting puzzles together?'

It got me thinking about a lot of my activities, none of which had any elements of productivity. I thought about the wider scope of our society's involvement in such activities.

How did we fall into these traps of wasted productivity and who is responsible for creating these self-destructive, distracting novelties? Apparently we humans have much less control over our own lives than we wish to believe.

Since meaning is in people, not in things, some people are capable of changing the meaning of things for everyone else. Changing the meaning, changing the value, changing the purpose. These people know how the human brain works.

While you probably studied "abnormal" psychology, they studied "normal" psychology, the kind of psychology considered unethical by most public universities. The Ivy League wouldn't dare give away these magicians' secrets.

The best examples of what they've done to you is right in front of you, but completely invisible.

You're going to movies, watching TV, playing games, solving puzzles, voluntarily consuming toxic substances, paying good money for environmentally destructive future garbage.

Can you create something useful that can later be re-purposed after its usefulness expires?

Is there a community workshop in your area where you can go create your own things? If I had the money and the land I would certainly love to build such a place and hire a team of fabrication specialists.

Notice I used the word 'puzzled' in the first paragraph instead of the word 'puzzles?'