Category Archives: news

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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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.

Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

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The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

97% of American Millennials can be completely debt free in less than 8 years by doing one simple thing, here’s how…

Have you ever woken up and thought that you could actually be debt free, I mean, like, really debt free in your lifetime? No student loan payments, no car payments, no mortgage, no credit card payments… It probably feels like the “fuck-you money” kind of awesome, going from indebted-and-paying-constantly to just existing to peacefully nothing, to actual freedom. That is something. That is real. And how you get there is you set goals and get away from the news and social media. I am working towards getting there, mildly broke now but slowly and surely getting better.  You see, I am horrible at math but because reading a few books about personal finance and factoring with logic, I know I can be out of credit card debt, student loan debt, and all other consumer debt in 5 to 8 years if I just get focused and do. And you can too if you set goals and work hard and stay persistent in your endeavors. You can do anything you set your mind to. Imagine, taking the same amount of time you spend every day updating your social media or working with a movement for someone else’s goals and dreams or investing your time into reading ADvantageous to advertisers news, and putting it towards YOUR GOALS and YOUR DREAMS. You can do it with hard work and time, 98% of the time, guaranteed. Stop being distracted and focus on bettering your situation and in 8 years see how far you have come, 98% of Americans will have changed, hopefully, for the better.

Wake up and get out of your debt prison before it’s too late

I woke up one day fed up with the debt I had accumulated and thought about how I could kill it by doing the same thing I had been doing my whole life. Fuck no. This isn’t possible. If you wake up and think this, you aren’t serious about getting out of debt.  You never will be.  You have to hate it.  Reading books on personal finance and doing little things has chipped away a bit. But as Dave Ramsey says, radical change requires radical change, or how I interpret what he says. Not waking up scared about my future debt, about the life I will not give my family wasn’t doing that. Now I am there. And I am worried about our American nation distracted letting their debt grow like cancer as they scream foul at some fantasy. They don’t realize their protest falling on deaf ears is leading to an oppression that they won’t look at and must see, growing on them and in them. Debt is a prison, makes you a corporate slave. I still don’t see the outrage en masse. I wait. Will it come? Will they want to Andy Dufresne?  My outrage is right here becoming frugal and not worried about what others think about my affluence.

If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible

If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible to get it.  Not sit around and diddle, or sit around and post on social media.  Limit these distractions.  Limit all news but the weather.  You don’t need prescription pill commercials nor paid for ideas.  Every day is another day to make it right individually, to attain everything that you want or need in YOUR LIFE.  Sitting here at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, every Saturday, I teach English abroad to make my impossible possible.  I am a dad, human, American.  I have obligations.  There is no questions about it.  I want the impossible.  And the only way to get it is to be realistic, and do the impossible.  If you want something hard work is the key, that shouldn’t be impossible.

THIS JUST IN: The News May Be Bringing You Down

I have heard it many times before: you get what you give, and surround yourself with what you want to become. So, then I think about American politics, American media, and I think I don’t want to be surrounded with that. And then I don’t surround myself with that, not even for a moment. For weeks I feel better.  Like getting over a sickness, like overcoming my problem.

A month or so ago, I could not go without viewing or reading the news in the morning to start my day. This had been routine.  I thought about The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump. He stated in the beginning he would read the paper every day to see what was going on, to see where his day would take him. I wanted to be like this, not because I loved the guy, but because I wanted to know where I was.  Somehow I got to the bottom.

After killing my Facebook and realizing I didn’t really need to be told where I was by something fake, I used the news as a way of gauging my day, of coming to terms with my reality. But what reality? These papers and pages, full of advertisements, had an agenda, something beyond their words. I learned that a story was only a story if it proved positive for the advertisers, which means most likely scandalous, negative, or fearful for readers.  I didn’t need it. This negative. Why feel bad for reading?

Here I sit now, understanding where I stand. and where I stood.  I don’t need talking heads to tell me how I feel. I don’t need them to say something is wrong or horrible or bad. I don’t need someone to tell me I need change in my life. I guess, if I can’t see it why that is, do I deserve to change? And what is my purpose if someone getting paid to talk to me about the the “news” can decide better at fixing my life than I can?

It’s very sad, very sad.  Everyone plugged in always, asking “did you see” this or that “on Facebook”? No, I am not there, I am right here. Something someone did through skewed eyes making money.  I heard it was bad though. INCREDIBLE! I can’t believe it! The president did this deplorable thing as seen by the interpretation of an entity that hates him.  NO WAY! This politician is doing this, I CARE! You should care too…  The world is ending, ERMERGERD!!!  

The echo chamber becomes too much. Then you fill it with negative and your life becomes more negative. You see the trade off?  I read the news one day and didn’t want to leave my house. I wanted to avoid life because a story told me to be sad, worried, depressed, and afraid. I felt terrorized. No wonder the anti-depressant ads in the commercial breaks.  Days later, I put down the news. I realized if I had not read it, I would not have been mentally unable to be positive.

I guess now, I wonder who reads the news and who doesn’t. Are they OK?  Who believes it and who doesn’t. Can we scientific method it?  Any why would they would want to add something negative to their generally awesome and positive life? There is no news like bad news they say. It doesn’t bother me if I don’t waste my time reading it. That is the breaking news you should strive for: what is the weather, can I pay my bills, medical, daycare, and is my family happy to be around me… This just in, it happens without the negative.