Education

Have you seen this?

My guess is – NO.

Big tech likely doesn’t want you to see it.

Why? Because a well respected, highly educated researcher has exposed them for subliminal manipulation, data suppression, and outright censorship.

It’s hard to argue with facts. Proof.

Do you find this information surprising, or does it already fit with your assumptions?

Google and Facebook are mentioned specifically in the video, but another source that could also be mentioned is the one where this very blog is hosted.

WordPress doesn’t appear to have a balanced approach to who or what it supports. It leans one way. They have a liberal agenda too. Have you found that it is difficult to find conservative voices or sites? Maybe, maybe not, but you really have to search for them. Have you noticed that the Discover tab on your Reader page rarely or never (never is actually more accurate) features a conservative viewpoint?

Is that on purpose? Hard to say, but it sure seems to be. Do they suppress the voices of those who they don’t agree with? Not that I am aware of. They allow for “free speech” and I haven’t heard of anyone getting shut down, but then I am not a researcher on this issue either. Just my impressions. They don’t however do anything to promote them in any way.

I am sure there are more companies out there doing the same thing.

This video is rather telling.

 

Happy 243th America!

Happy Independence Day folks! Yes, today, July 4 is America’s 243rd birthday. What a 243 years it has been, right? I mean we have come a long way from those days of white wigs and scraping a living out of the “wild and unsettled” lands. It hasn’t been all fun and games though. There has been some yelling, throwing of things, fighting, trials and disagreements and yet we endure. That is something to celebrate!

Today we pause to blow stuff up, eat pounds of dead meat all while throwing back some hop infused  beverages. We love a good party and today we are gonna do it up right! But before you head out to the backyard, the lake, the campground, or the big city for a show of bright flashes and big bangs maybe you should take some time to REALLY remember why we celebrate today. It isn’t just another day off from work, some guys way back at the beginning put their “lives, fortunes, and honor” on the table and at risk for all to enjoy. We owe it to them to at least pause for a few and reconnect to the true holiday we celebrate.

For your reading pleasure, the Declaration of Independence. (You know, there are some who might argue that this document still might apply today.)

If you are interested, here is some reading that could remind you of those days back when you were in school and were learning about the reasons we have a nation today and decided to cut ties with that tyrannical British king, George III.  History lesson and quiz.

Regardless of where you think we stand as a nation today, whether you agree with the direction we are headed (or not headed) or whether you are red or blue or purple(?), we are still the place that others look to for hope, freedom, and help when there is trouble in their neighborhood. Let’s not forget this is still the best place to live in the world because we have many of the freedoms that others do not.

America. Happy birthday!

 

 

Let it go

man carrying black and gold briefcase

Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

Cliche title, I know.

But, I am learning that there are some things in life that you just have to let go of.

Hopes. Dreams. Friendships. Family. The past.

Pieces of those things continue on, but at some point you just have to accept that some things, some people, just don’t belong in your life any longer. As such, you have to let go.

Yes, some things are harder than others. Yes, some people are harder to let go than others. But what you realize once you have done it is that you are free. Free from the weight of expectations. Free from the glare of failure. Free from the hope in something that isn’t going to happen. Free. Just free. No more guilt. No more angst. Free from worry. No more.

There are going to be tough days ahead. It’s not going to be easy, but if you know it in your heart you need to make it happen.

You don’t have to explain. You don’t have to rationalize. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Except you. You owe it to yourself.

Just let it go.

Pets vs. babies

conception

This, apparently, is not life.

I once had a cat that I took to the vet.

It was sick. Something was wrong.

It had been fine just the day before.

The trip to the vet ended up being just under $500 plus some special food the cat needed to eat while it recovered from treatment.

Suddenly, I wasn’t all that fond of the cat. I mean, it wasn’t all that useful and really it had cost me money rather than it being a productive member of the household.

What a pain. It’s just a cat.

I asked the vet (well, the lady at the front desk) in all seriousness how much it would have been just to put the animal down, as in euthanize it. Her response was to ask if I was serious. I assured her I was. She looked at me as though I had horns growing out of my head. I didn’t. She responded with $110.

Duly noted.

Cheaper to kill the cat, humanely, than to treat it and pay an unnecessary bill.

Isn’t it weird how people get bent out of shape for euthanizing a pet (whether it is sick or not) but don’t get bent out of shape when it comes to aborting children?

The claims to kill another human, to abort a child – it bears no value, it provides nothing to society, it would be a burden, it would be cruel to bring it into the world unnecessarily, etc. – they also hold true of any animal or pet. So why the outrage over one and not the other?

Our priorities as a society are all wrong.

 

 

Headline commentary

Headline click bait

Which of these headlines is appropriate and which are just click bait with unnecessary, and inflammatory editorial? I would say two are click bait, two are borderline, and one is written correctly. What do you think?

Click bait. I’ve said it before and I am sure I’ll say it again.

Is it any doubt that people are frustrated with the media when you see headlines written like this? This is out of the Google News feed – “Top Stories.” I don’t know what algorithm Goggle uses, but it rather annoying to read the news every day and have to wade through garbage to find something worth a read. Admittedly, sometimes it is really hard to avoid the click bait because you have no choice based on what is given to you in the feed.

So, where does the problem stem from? Is it that journalism and writing isn’t being taught any longer? Is that journalist have little integrity left and are all about the clicks? Is it that news agency are requiring their journalists to create headlines and news stories that will garner more clicks & views? Are the news agencies at fault or is it the journalist?

What do you think? Is the distrust of the media warranted?

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people in this world.

Surprisingly (not really) there are lots of sayings out there on the internet that start with this phrase. I have done some research and I can’t find anything that resembles what I am about to say, so I apologize to whomever if I am stealing your words. I have no intention of stealing your words, so if you said it you can claim it here and I’ll give you attribution.

There are two kinds of people in this world,

those who give life and those who suck life right out of you.

I have known this for a long time. However, there are stages in my life that I realize as I look back on them that I have either been one of them, or both. I hope that I haven’t been the latter as often as I have been the former, but I guess that really isn’t up to me to judge. I also know, as I look back, that I have most certainly had both kinds of people in my life. I haven’t always recognized it as quickly as I should have. Lessons learned.

I have two pieces of advice. First, evaluate the people in your life. Do it honestly (this will be tough!), and do it quickly. The sooner you realize who the givers and the suckers are, the better off you’ll be. Second, get rid of the suckers. They aren’t worth it. That’s not to say give them a second chance and to have grace with them, but after a while the sucking overrides the giving and that is when it is time to cut them loose.

Where do you fall? Be honest with yourself. Are you a giver of life or a sucker of life?

Feel free to comment or to add your own “two kinds” statement.

 

Simply not acceptable

barbed wire barrier blur border

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Invasion: Definition #2,

Invade: Definition #3a

Infringe: Definition #1

Illegal: definition #1 & #2

Flood: Definition #3

Whatever definition you want to use, it can’t be denied. Simply saying that it is something other than what it is, well, that’s just delusional. Unfortunately, a large portion of our elected officials are just delusional. Plain and simple. “No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

Look, I have a heart. I can feel empathy. I understand that people are coming from places that are poor and there is suffering. I been there (Mexico) and I’ve seen it. I have been the drop in the bucket that brought light to someone’s world for a short time. So, I am not an ignorant soul spouting about something that I don’t know about.

However, there is a time and a place for the rule of law and my to my dismay (and many others) we have people amongst us that are actually inviting and encouraging the unlawfulness. They are sending a message that is directly counter to the foundations of our country – that we are a law-abiding people, who honor values and principles of law.

The border of our nation doesn’t get this way unless someone has invited and encouraged them. Our states don’t get this way unless someone has given them assurance that once they’re here they won’t be caught or charged with a crime. Our government doesn’t get this way unless someone has exploited the intentions of good laws for political purposes. Democrats, the fingers are pointed directly at you!

I don’t normally like to call out one single party (yes, I have done it in the past), as I try to look at both sides objectively, consider the factors, and understand decision aren’t always cut and dried. But, when a spade is a spade you have to call it that. When a duck walks and talks like a duck, you have to call it a duck. It’s time the Democrats be called on  the carpet and held accountable for actually calling for the open violation of our nation’s laws. They say they are doing it for the “humanity” of it all, but that can’t actually be the case because the message they are sending people who aren’t coming to the nation legally is actually dangerous and unfair.

What is happening at the border just simply should even be a concern, if we were a nation that actually believed in law and order. If we were actually a nation that believed in sovereignty. If we were a nation that actually believed that we could do this better and still follow our law, protect our borders, and improve the lives of people where they are.

 

barbed wire barrier blur border

What’s a guy to do?

adult art awakening black and white

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I live in a state that makes illegal things legal and tries to make legal things illegal.

I have a national, two-party political system that is broken to its core and has become so partisan that neither can let go of anything, any time, anywhere. The work of the people doesn’t get done because they have to play tit-for-tat with everything.

I live in a country where insane people want to give everything away for free and do no work.

I live in a country where approximately 3200 people die in automobile collisions and about 3000 unborn babies are murdered every day; however, the former has government campaigns to stop it and the later the government funds to assist in it.

I live in a country that supposedly holds the ideal of Free Speech sacred but has a culture that silences people who speak freely and are counter to mainstream thought.

I am in a country with national sovereignty and borders, but has a political party that openly invites people to violate the sovereignty and break the law.

I live in a country that has no better political choice for representation (and president) than to choose between the lesser of two evils.

I live in a state where one major city wants to willingly give heroin injections freely and openly but won’t listen to its citizens when they show up at a city council meeting.

I have a national media that used to tell us the truth, the facts and no more, but now they tell us their opinions and speculations with no reliable sources or verification.

So what’s a guy to do?

It’s weird to think that we are living in the upside-down. What we used to say was wrong is now right and what we used to say was right is now wrong. There will be no reprieve if we don’t change directions soon. A 180 degree turn, turning the down right side up is the only way to make it happen.

So what’s a guy to do?

I wish I had answers. It’s an age-old question that obviously none of us has an answer to. We can’t rely on our politicians. We can’t rely on our education. We can’t rely on our government. We can’t rely our political parties. We can barely rely on each other. We are gonna have to find the answer, somewhere, deep down within ourselves. We are going to have to work together and find common ground.

Common Ground.

Not what is best for me. Not what is best for you. But what is best for both. Can we even do that anymore?

I’ll add that to my list

hand pen writing plant

Photo by Natalie B on Pexels.com

Confession time: I am a list maker.

OK, not that I really need to confess that but what I have found is that I am perpetually making lists and sometimes I find that I am being held captive by my lists. Like, I look at a list and all I want to do is run away from it because it is overwhelming and though I have the list, I am not sure where I want to start.

I make lists at home.

I make lists at work.

I make lists on my phone. I make lists on little pieces of paper. I make lists in notebooks. I make lists in my head. I make lists on my computer. Grocery lists. Ideas to write about lists. Movies I want to see lists. Books I want to read lists. Places I want to go lists. Things I don’t really want to do but really should do lists. Things that need to get done ASAP and things that don’t need to get done ASAP.

I make lists.

Now, I might need to confess if I never really got anything done on my lists. I guess the real problem is the lists actually never end or go away. I get things done, but then add more things to the list – by creating a new list.

Example: I made of list of six things I wanted to get done over the weekend. I only get three of them done. So, I’ll add those three things to the list of things I want to get done next weekend. And the list goes on and on and on…it just grows!

Damn. I just realized as I was writing this blog that I have now created a list of my lists.

I am without a doubt – neurotic.

OK, I’ll just add that to my list of things that I am, and remove it from the list of things that I am not.

Sheesh.


So, how do you get through life? Are you a list maker? Do you feel overwhelmed by your lists or do you get freedom by making lists? 

Tell me what you do in the comments below.

Something personal…

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

Two weeks ago I asked in a post if you were paying attention. Apparently, you aren’t, or at least most of you aren’t.

I had only one response in the comments to the “poll”. That one vote came from Bel at RoadsBelTravelled. Thanks for paying attention and playing along! So, since she was the only one to vote she wins the vote by default. She chose “something personal”…

Now the question is…what to share? How about I climb into the “way back machine”?

Desert Trek

Once upon a time I used to hike and backpack quite a bit. That is, until I got married and had a child. It slowly decreased after that and over the last few years I am lucky if I get in one hike. I actually did two last year, but they were fairly short. I am hoping to work back into more this summer! Anyway, on to the details of the desert trek.

It all started in college when I decided to go on a one week backpacking trek with some college friends and two professors from the college I was attending. I had never done this before, but I had a good friend who had done it a lot so it was fun to go to REI and purchase the essentials that I would use for years to come (I finally unloaded some of that old gear – though it was still good – two years ago).

We trained for the hike, during the winter months, in the nine story tower on campus. Up and down the stairs we went, walking, running, and at first maybe even crawling. Then with extra weight, in our hiking boots, etc. It was a good way to build stamina and leg strength. Most people don’t know, but going downhill and maintaining balance takes a different set of muscles than going uphill, so the walking down the stairs slowly and methodically was essential to the training too.

After months of preparing, we all piled into a 15 passenger van the professors borrowed from the school and we loaded up our gear. It was a little cramped in that van, but it was fun as we road-tripped it from Chicago to the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. There isn’t much I specifically remember about the road trip other than I do know that we realized we were going to be going through Winslow, Arizona, so we played a lot of The Eagles’ “Take It Easy” in the van and when it came time…yes, we jumped out of the van and took some moments “…standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona” and “it was such a fine sight to see…”

It ended up being perfect weather in the desert. We hiking in the sun. We relaxed next to a brook. We swam in the brook (the water was really cold!). We played Rook sitting around a camp fire or in the sun on a giant boulder next to the brook. I can’t describe what it felt like to be out there, feeling like you were the only people on the Earth. It was glorious!

Again, I don’t remember the particulars except on experience did leave an impression on me. There were some lessons to be learned one particular day.

We used camp as a base and took different hikes from there each day. So, one day, we decided to take a hike. It was supposed to be about a 10 mile round-trip hike and it was going to go near some of the Anasazi ruins in the surrounding valleys. The day hike started out rather normal but as we got farther into it, the guide book that the research was done from didn’t appear to be as accurate as we though. We were on Mile 6 and we hadn’t gotten even half way to the destination. So, part of the group decided to turn around and head back and part of the group decided to continue on.

We found the ruins and they were SPECTACULAR! It was really cool to see that kind of history and imagine what life would have been like at the time. It was hard to imagine, quite frankly.

I should mention that the ruins were about Mile 12 of the hike that day. Now we are well past mid-day and we have to return back to base camp. There are five of us (our group was a total of 12) and we have to make a decision – return the way we came or find another way back to base. This decision was key because we know what we just went through to get to this location and returning the way we came would be difficult to say the least.

We gathered around the map and saw there was another route back to base and it appeared that if we kept going ahead, instead of turning around, it would only be about 8 miles back to base. Mind you, we haven’t been on the trail and the sun is well past the high point of the day. We are all in pretty good shape and there was definitely some hill climbing to be done as we left the valley we were in, but we thought we could do it if we kept up a good pace. We refilled out water bottles in the creek through our filters and off we went. Through the bottom of the valley for a while and then…uphill.

The uphill part was not as steep as the route we came down through. There were no switchbacks and the trail, at least at first, was pretty clear. Yeah, you read that right – “at first.”

In many places, the trail had markers or signs to help point you in the right direction instead of just using the map. Up to a certain point, it was pretty useful until we came up to a spot where the trail split from one to three. The signs had been pulled out of the ground and thrown in a pile slightly off the trail. Great! Let’s hope our map reading skills are better than we realize because now we are solely relying on a compass and a detailed map that didn’t show a 1-3 transition. Really great. We knew where we were, approximately, and the three options didn’t really offer any sure-fire sense of which was the correct trail to take.

So, after studying the map and looking at the different trails, we decided that we would take the one that looked the most traveled, and by that I mean that there were hoof marks on the trail so we knew a mule or a horse had followed the trail. We assumed they knew where they were going…yeah, not so much! We followed the trail for about 45 minutes until it just kind of petered out and there was no trail to be found, just cacti and scrub. Super awesome! Not only did we pick the wrong trail, but we just wasted at total of an hour and a half of light going the wrong way! It was now late afternoon and we knew we were not getting back to camp before dark.

This was not a good situation since we were not prepared to hunker down for an overnight and our supplies were limited since this was just supposed to be a day hike. It left us no choice but to power on and hope for better results this time. So, we chose a different trail and started up the hill.

Needless to say, as you are reading this blog, we survived. LOL  Our legs were scratched from brushing against cacti we couldn’t see in the dark. Our flashlight and headlamp provided a little light, but only two of the five of us actually brought lights (not sure why we did for a “day hike”) and we discovered that the starlight provided better light as our eyes would get all whacked out when we used the bright lights, making it harder to see a small trail. We really only used the light to look at the map, which looking back was kind of dumb since we couldn’t see any landmarks, but once in a while we would come to a trail sign and we could reference the map to see where we were.

All in all, we made it back to the main trail we hiked to get into base camp and then followed it back to base that night. We ended up walking in the dark for four hours and we were back to camp well after dinner. We were all famished! And we were lucky.

Lesson learned: Be prepared for an overnight, even if it is just a day trip. Obviously, we were not prepared if something had really gone wrong. We weren’t prepared for a cold night in the desert and we weren’t prepared for injuries. Luckily, no one got hurt, and we didn’t end up having to huddle together for body heat. LOL But, it is better to be prepared than not to be. So, if you think you may be over packing, you probably are and that is OK.

I have never forgotten those lessons. So, even on those occasional day hikes I take now (and hope to do more of this summer) I may look a little funny with a bigger than normal pack, but I am ready for the end of the world! Wanna hit the trail with me?

Do you have any good hiking stories or lessons you want to share? Hit me up in the comments with your learned wisdom!

**Sorry I don’t have pictures to include with the post. That was back in the day when photos were taken with real film, had to be developed, and the printed. I haven’t had those pics digitized yet.**