Category Archives: america

A Vote for Jeff Johnson is a Vote for Lower Taxes for All Minnesotans

If you are a Minnesotan, you pay the 5th highest tax burden in the nation, that is a fact. That means your taxes are very progressive, which, means your taxes are extremely costly to you.

Acknowledging this fact, Minnesotans cannot afford a candidate who supports additional and more aggressive state and local taxes (like the gas tax and others) especially when we are already paying more than our fair share for all.

That is why in November I, and many others, those who are fed up with high taxes with limited gains, will vote for Jeff Johnson for governor. Minnesota cannot afford another tax-and-spend politician like Tim Walz, or his Democrat cohorts.

Taking from citizens will not solve the problems of the government. Vote for your dollar, vote for your freedoms, vote for Jeff Johnson.

Don’t fall into hand-wringing hot-button topics politics.  We don’t need big government with its heavy price tag. We need accountability and efficiency, a better deal for Minnesotans.

Vote for less government, less taxes, vote for Jeff Johnson.

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The Media Loves Trump

The new midlife crisis is professing your hatred for the president like a five-year old via social media for his assumed hatred as explained to you by a news media narrated and directed by advertisers. 

 

I’ve been told that in order to understand how a person is truly feeling in a photograph, cover up  their mouth and look at their eyes. The eyes don’t lie. What do you see? The same may be true with the press and  their relationship with Donald Trump; cover up the mouth, the headline, and what do you see? Forget the bad click-bait leads and negative coverage, who’s there: Donald Trump.

Perhaps, if Trump wasn’t in the news people would be bored, many papers wouldn’t be read, journalists wouldn’t get paid, and advertisements wouldn’t get seen. This would change the industry greatly.  Every newspaper and network every day would have to fill that Trump spot with something else, something more catchy. Social Media too.  In relation to that, I don’t think it would be possible.

Now, think back, has any other President of the United States of America ever had the press set a day nationwide to respond to an idea he may have had on any ordinary day, has that happened? What other president had millions out in the streets passionate, screaming about their opinions, beliefs, holding signs wearing hats or tearing down statues, just because they were the president?  I don’t think any other president… Not like this.

It’s amazing what our hatred blinds us to. Perhaps, Trump is making people more political, making people stand up and out for what they truly believe, and making people better because they are doing for themselves. Perhaps he is making each of us greater again.

Mundane, mediocre, and meek leaders would not have people taking such action, would not have us so motivated to make change. That is bold, that is planned. And that is no accident.

Trump is not asking anyone to write these stories or voice their opinion or protest… They are doing it for him, they are doing it in his name, oddly.

Read The Art of the Deal and you will understand your president better.  You will have insight that has been in our universe for the last twenty years. I will share some of that knowledge right now.  Trump says you can pay for good press. You can pay for mediocre press. But bad press is free. And still good.  How much bad press is out there today, for free?  Just Google the name Trump.  What do you find?

Further, the news media and journalists should thank Trump for making writing articles easy again, selling news easy again. Most Trump articles are basically saying Trump did something outrageous, hateful, or both, feel disgusted. They are usually the same format:  click-bait title, something bad about Trump, how you should feel, or what it actually means, etc… There is a cycle. Watch closely. Trump made journalists not try or think again.

We are getting standard boilerplate interpretations from the news media and social media about how we should think and feel about an individual, Trump.  They are not asking us to use our own better judgement, to think deeper on a subject, they are telling us, same.  We must obey and believe he is what they say.  The topic: him, Trump.  We are asked to believe in this idea about this person.

Now I am wondering how do you brainwash people, news media? Repition? Exaggeration? Groupthink? Herd mentality? Say bad things about someone? Who’s the Shepard?  Who’s the sheep?

As unfortunate as it sounds to his critics, the news media, social media, and the world love Trump–they subconsciously seek him out, he makes them money. People buy what people are selling when Trump is in it.  Look at the paper, who is in every paper?  Look at the TV, who is on every channel?  Trump.

He is the ultimate spectacle. People write endless op eds about Trump signaling and professing their obsession, no matter the bias. (This essay is about Trump.)  There are college courses based on him, no matter the persuasion. There are entire talk shows, news segments, and caucuses solely  dedicated to him, no matter the slant. And still he is the main character. That is a HUGE presence created for someone by those who despise him, unaware that visibility, in our great time and great nation is most powerful.

This Trump obsession is apparent, visibly, tangibly, and deeply disturbing. The news story and Trump are interchangeable, and have been for the last two years. We do not go a day without. Now, talk about how I’m wrong about who, you guessed it: Trump. More ubiquity, you can see it right there.

So, don’t be mad at Donald Trump if you don’t like him, be mad at yourself for looking for him, be mad at your news source for pushing his product 24/7. That’s what free will is all about; this is a free market, we live in it.

Don’t go looking for snakes, as someone once said. Ah, but snakes get people’s attention and sell papers, sell stories.

The Trump obsession may simply be supply and demand of the greatest spectacle in human history, Donald Trump. Any conscious media will not miss out on such a payday. Prepare for four more years of it, money talks; networks want to be paid. If you want something different, contact your media and ask for better, sit down and talk to that Letter to the Editor person and let them know they are furthering the problem by discussing it exclusively.  If they don’t change, then you might know what is true and what is not true.

If you want something you have to ask for it, or write for it.  I believe Donald Trump wants it.  He wants America to be great.  He wants to be talked about nonstop.  He wants to be in our minds and in print every day.  He tweets constantly, ad nauseam.  Do you want to help him get it, or do you want to help yourself?  I believe the media knows what they want and what they love to report on, even if their mouths don’t match their eyes.  They want more of Trump, they know he is money.  And he knows it too.
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You can donate any amount, even a penny, at:  
Thank you for your contributions,
TS_

How spontaneously getting involved in a Grassroots Political Campaign helped me discover the most important thing in the world, let me explain

I am going to tell you what the most important thing in the world is in this post, are you ready?  Accordingly, by the time you are done reading this post you will have learned one of the most important concepts that there is to learn in life, it will feel good.  You will be improved and feel positive.  Let me start with by saying, I found this valuable idea by volunteering for a political party, doing grassroots campaign calls and giving surveys in my spare time.  That is where I found this important idea and why I want to share it with you.

I have never been more excited to share something that wasn’t a sales pitch.  Do you ever get this line from people?  I digress…  That is not what this essay is about, it’s about talking with random strangers on the phone about random strangers who may in a sense rule them and getting something actually human out of it.  Our country is divided into how many parties and there are people out there talking on the phone and reading scripts and sharing ideas.  (And people listen!)  Voice interaction, the old calling someone up and saying “Hello, is (person’s name) there?…  Mind answering a few questions???”

Calling, communicating, asking questions, these things leave an impression.  Impressions are called impressions because they they are pressed on the brain, indelibly hard to forget.  (When someone thinks their ideas matter that makes them feel good.)  I give them a name, tell them more names–familiar recognition, and even if they don’t want to speak to me or take the survey, they hear kindness and associate that kindness with me, with that party.  They hear my voice, some moniker that is a very familiar one–like John or Dan, and they remember that encounter at the voting booth.

For starters, I believe that is what this nameless grassroots campaign wants to happen.  I have read a few books on persuasion, and I realize that unforgettable first impression is exactly what they want to happen.  Blank canvas, hello, think, names, ok, yes, goodbye.  However, it can be difficult; cold callers have the hardest jobs out there because voices give away everything.  Nervousness, confidence, snark.  It’s not a Facebook post, it’s an interaction, in real-time.  The campaign manager wants to be blurt out the names as fast as I can, new names, old names, take a survey, etc.  Think on those memorable names.  And after that, I am surprised people say “yes” because I often say “no” to such surveys.

Remember, this is important.  Doing things in your free time for what you believe in is important, whether that be getting your candidate elected or helping to mentor someone in literacy.  Doing a social experiment for science is important, getting into politics or marketing with persuasion is important.  Going above and beyond a Facebook post or an ad-hoc spectacle or holding a sign proves that you realistically want to do something to make change, like, perhaps writing legislature.  (We’ve all been there.)

Sure, we can all make waves in a group, that is impressive as well, yet we can get carried away from what is deep within our hearts as individuals.

I thought about my little social experiment and it doesn’t matter the party, it doesn’t matter the ideas because they are all for political effect; insomuch as Thomas Sowell said about “rent control”, in Basic Economics:  I paraphrase, it’s all hot button issues, that’s it.  But aside from the hot button political issues, in the end the underdog is the ultimate American.  The one that believes in their values when the popular majority throws them out and calls them dogs, doubts them infinitely.  That is the time when believing in yourself and doing what other people call “stupid”, “idiotic” or “wrong” on social media is the most important.

In conclusion, the most important thing is to do what is most important to you, not what’s important to everyone else and what they think about it.  Don’t worry about a sea of vehement passionists screaming accolades so you fall in line, or shaming you so you steer off course.  Stick to your plan.  Believe in your goals.  Believe in yourself.  If you can change the political color of a state, or someone’s mind, and not need to feel endorsed by everyone with their Twitter likes or their Insta-approval then it means that you are doing something right and that is important.  Even hearing “No, I would not like to take your survey…” is important because that person is telling you how they feel and making a point for what matters to them.  That is the most important thing in the world.

More information:  https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota_elections,_2018

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How Trump’s “Secret Weapon” may have Bought the Election from Facebook for $100 Million Dollars and You just Updated your Facebook Status

Before you read this thesis watch the entire video that I share with you above. Watch it for the information about Facebook and social media, not because you dislike or like a politician, or for politically motivated reasons.

Observe this video from a marketing and social media engineering point of view. That is how the below thesis is posed.  This is in no way a political statement.  This is purely for observational purposes.

Thank you for reading in advance.  Also, you can donate to keep my blog current, and the information relevant.  Any amount helps, even a dollar.  Click the donate button.  You rock!

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Parscale attributed the success of his vast social media presence to using the assistance offered by companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google. He said that because the Trump campaign intended to spend $100 million on social media, companies in that area were prepared to assist the campaign in using that money effectively.[18]

“The campaign poured money into Facebook, sending thousands of versions of tweaked ads to maximize response. Then it won the presidency by a margin narrow enough that Parscale (and Facebook) can justifiably take credit.”[19]

— Philip Bump, The Washington Post”

Link: Brad Parscale

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The contentious 2016 United States Presidential Election may have been won with a $100 million dollars, a “secret weapon”, and Facebook when used together.  Or it may have been won by any other boilerplate theory out there that can be backed by anyone, by any entity, with any statistics.

Either way, for all intents and purposes, the “secret weapon” in this theory is Brad Parscale, and his tool was/is Facebook.

Perhaps, I want to believe that the 2016 election was won honestly and fairly because I am a thoughtful American citizen and I have hope, but the more I look at the events, the more I see glaring inconsistencies in media stories of Russian Collusion and a general disbelief or ineffective attempt to look at the bigger picture objectively.  Social media played a HUGE role in this particular election, perhaps, as much so, or more, as any outside forces.

I aver, when looking at possibilities, generally we must look at everything, even information that has been overlooked from 10/08/2017 about Brad Parscale’s use of Facebook’s data/advertising tools to amass a successful, though debated, campaign–one which basically won the presidency, putting his candidate in the White House.

Moreover, to me,  the most concerning part of imagining, assessing, or thinking openly that Facebook et al. was used, with money, to command an election in such a way is that people still use the platform religiously every day without question as they cast blame/credit elsewhere.  Perhaps this is being oblivious, or willfully blind.  It can’t be Facebook, right?

Reality check: It definitely can be Facebook.  The reality is an inordinate amount of people are plugged into something (social media) that they wholly do not understand (I am in that boat), and marketers, salespeople, and data analysts are taking full advantage of that reality. (Beknownst, unbeknownst to all.) And how they do that advantageous venture is with huge, huge sums of purposed money.

Perhaps, purposed money and novel strategy, with a “secret weapon”, is what won the 2016 presidential election, along with a special tool of course: Facebook (when utilized by Brad Parscale).  Perhaps there are other entities pulling strings, but Parscale and his efforts warrant consideration, and notation.

Beyond Parscale and social media, the secondary key in this thesis is the $100 million dollars went to marketing–the unprecedentedly complex advertising itself, and the lack of the Clinton campaign to embed Facebook and other social media employees within their campaign offices, as the Trump campaign did.  And this may have swayed the election.  I consider this maneuver to be out of touch in the age of social media.  That’s glaringly foolish, in my opinion.

It’s like going to the World Series and leaving all your big hitters on the bench, extremely odd for a veteran politician…

Now, after these events, it sounds obvious to have key workers from these social media entities within your organization. Have one of the most influential and most recognized companies on your side in the most important race on the planet, possibly.  Don’t leave much to chance. That is not genius, that is obvious. It wasn’t to some, clearly.

Further, not having social media on your side on your account seems very out of touch with reality. Even if you despise Facebook and are not a member of the brand, you have to recognize that it is a powerful tool for connecting people everywhere. For example, I am not on Facebook anymore but I realize it’s marketing potential, (I also realize at Christmastime that my parents and in-laws like to connect with high school friends.  I don’t know why…  I use email).

Bringing it home, the video above is not only astonishing to me, because I am just learning about Brad Parscale, and because of the information it gives on the key marketing tactics used within social media to win an election and manipulate a demographic of people is vast and accurate, but this technology seems potentially dangerous. The scary part in any situation is that money seems to make that happen. If money wanted you to be a modern zombie or a group think solider it would already be happening.  And maybe you wouldn’t know.  You’d just go with it and update your status.  Probably not though, you are smart. 🙂

Accordingly, maybe someday we can better predict the future of everything, that is my prediction for the future.

For what it’s worth, with much of the media linking Parscale to Russia and basically making him look like a Sith lord in  article photos, I think he could certainly be a critical part of understanding the 2016 presidential election, and definitely to harnessing momentum in future elections.  At least his methods are very straightforward, in appearance, and no-nonsense.  Definitely they are of interest.

His use of social media tools to reach an audience with a campaign message has never been done before at such a level, and he has worked on “zero” elections before.

In general, that utilization of resources–if that is what it truly was, is progressive and inspiring to me.  He has been overlooked; and he is right there in front of us.  As is the power of social media, but we have other excuses.  Russia is scary and influenced the election. Trump may have cheated, etc. Any narrative is believable. But look at how many people around you are on Facebook clicking around, social media, exposing themselves to it all.  Marketing is more common than the other alleged threats.  I hope you like this post.

What influence.  What money and focused ideas can buy.

Annihilation – The End of the Original Sci-Fi Movie Plot – SPOILERS WITHIN

*** SPOILER ALERT  ***

Last night I saw a movie for the first time in years.  That movie was Annihilation.  I had little prior knowledge of the film before seeing it.  I didn’t see a trailer.  I didn’t read a review.  I just went and saw it with my wife.  Here is the gist.

As a disclaimer I will admit I enjoyed this film.  I enjoyed going to a movie for the first time in a long time.  It was great, minus the idiot on his phone in the row in front of us.  It was a pleasure.  Thank you for reading my review of Annihilation.

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Best Shot: The best shot in this film, aside from all of the visually stunning flora and fauna, is at about the midpoint when the team of experts stumbles upon a mess hall.  They find a video of some sick death by a cadet before them.  The crew finds the scene of his death has turned an  abandoned swimming pool into an explosion of colors and what appears to be mold.  This grotesquely morbid end creates creates and aesthetic I have rarely seen in films.  Like zombie ants with fungus shooting from their heads.  Like mummies on display.  This was the best shot in my opinion.  Although everything seems to sparkle and shimmer in alien phosphorescence.

Worst Shot:  Spoiler alert the worsts shot is at the end when the alien in the lighthouse pirouettes the main character.  It’s far too long.  Far too played out.  I have seen in before.  It adds very little.  We know that the alien is trying to mirror the humans before this point in the film.  Also, the shots of the extra-marital affair involving the main character.  This affair does nothing to move the plot.

Plot:  Perhaps we have reached a point in the sci-fi cannon when all ideas have been exhausted to the point at which we just basically are trying to understand us, while realizing there is nothing out there beyond us.  Perhaps.  The pedestrian alien in Annihilation are basically the same alien in Signs, or any other cartoon alien–except for with a smaller head and limited facial features.  Aliens are still somewhat green and still somewhat humanoid and thinking.  However, these aliens may not understand the ideological concept of “want”, “wanting”, or “preference”.  The just do.  They just change.  For whatever reason, it’s never really explained.

Takeaway:  Annihilation is visually appealing, it’s visually appealing like Prometheus.  The film offers moments of tender human relations, marriage, and longing.  It also bring a bit of horror with a monster bear and the idea of going nuts in a world where, or in a bubble–ironically for our times, a bubble, where those around you are going clearly mad.  Changing from one thing to another irregardless of the individuals intentions.  These things happen.  Like biology, I guess.  Near the end of the movie the main point shows through: things change for the simple reason that they can.  Outside alien entities change us for their reasons and their reasons are unknown.  That’s basically it.  Annihilation poses more questions than it answers while still making me thing a little bit but not offering much novel idea.  It was an entertaining flick, but it has some explaining to do, and of course a work cited may be necessary in the credits.

 

BREAKING NEWS: No Study Ever finds that your Life is Fated by Pennies, People, and Problems

This week has changed my life. Events unfolded and I became apart of the solution. This fix took up a week, and a majority of my time allotted for other projects. But the things I did learn through experience taught me one thing– oh, and finding pennies and Easter Eggs throughout let me know that I was where I was supposed to be, like everyone else is–it taught me to take it as it comes. Be where I am when I am right here right now.

Firstly, events take place, happen, go down, and unfold beyond our humanly control. (I read a tweet about this: worry is a waste of time, the past is the past, we cannot worry about things we cannot change, etc.) I understand I cannot change the past I can only change the future, hopefully. In this new “special project” I have found that positivity is the only way to move forward together. We must move onward positively together. Getting down or bummed or saddened about something will only hamper your forward progress.

Secondly, everywhere I went this week I was met with a smile–or by the end of the meeting, a smile had fixed a frown or a grimace, at least in most cases. Furthermore, I kept finding pennies placed throughout my experiences. I got lost, found a penny. Someone needed me to do an alternative task, I found a penny. At the train station, found a penny. In this, I don’t believe pennies are lucky. But if I find a lot of pennies, a lot of pennies add up. Or maybe god is buying me a beer, I have no way to knowing. Also, these finds act like checkpoints for my life. Look for your pennies and you will see dollars. Then retrace your steps along that path, how did you come by three cents?! WOW! 🙂

The most important part to all of this is the worry factor. I read this last night, for a moment. The last few days, I saw people worried, upset, and frustrated. I stayed calm. I have no idea how. I just stayed calm and collected. Because it is how we act during times of uncertainty that matter most. (Someone famous said that, or something similar). Beyond the stress, the unpredictability, I was learning something unique, something new. Something different. It didn’t matter what; but if you are doing something different from your regular routine, you are learning something new. Remember that in a shitty situation that you have never had to deal with before.

Some people could say their week was a wash, many others could call it a major success. And the point here is, this is every week, could be every moment. They did something. They made something happen. The reason this contrast is important is because we can see life in this way every day, or in another way. One day it is shit. One day it is good. Four letters, two different ideas completely. Why can’t they all be good? Why can’t we make it as such? And I think we can. Thought I would share.

You have made it here, right where are you are supposed to be. Now go look for your pennies.

Advice: Complaining