Tag Archives: News

Minnesota’s Media Dance with Childcare Fraud; How it doesn’t fit Their Narrative or the Local Taxpayer’s Interests

By the time you are finished reading this article you will have a better understanding of where your hard-earned tax dollars go in the state of Minnesota and beyond.  You will also wonder what is the importance of news media anyway, if you can’t get the entire story, or if you can’t yourself do an investigation or comparison using other media sources to find the answer you are searching for.  You will know bias.

The curious case of Minnesota childcare fraud has found me wondering, how anyone could watch one media source and be satisfied or even moderately fulfilled/enlightened. The glaring differences in narrative and how that narrative is presented, with a bias makes me question any and all local news entirely. We live in an age of somewhat objective fact being presented always in a subjective slant for people to shout at or down other people.  But do we know?  NO.

I ask you to read this page from the viewpoint that your tax dollars–Minnesota’s tax dollars, which are progressive and the third highest in the nation, are going towards something that they are not intended to go to. They are potentially going overseas and out of our country to benefit anything other than Minnesota. 

Think about that from a fiscal budgetary angle.  Our school teachers need money, our roads and bridges are destroyed and depleted, they need money, our homeless are on the streets and hungry, they need money, parents like me have no money for themselves and their family, even when working to the bone, they need money, and yet our high taxes allegedly leave the country by means of fraud to benefit people who commit those frauds, and very few in the local media take this allegation seriously.

If this childcare fraud report were true or untrue, I think it would be a good idea to find out, and have a good idea about its status, since everyone who works in Minnesota is legally obligated to pay state taxes, mostly. And if that supposition were true, essentially, this story impacts everyone who works and lives in Minnesota. That’s maybe you!  And to brush it under the rug. Very frustrating.

Let’s discuss scientific method for a moment, as I am an amateur scientist: if you want an answer via science, you search and do experiments, studies and tests to find an objective answer or result. You do not just say something is wrong or right and then share that opinion as factual evidence, that’s a blog or an OpEd. I think the media could learn a lot from science. Could learn a lot from looking into something instead of painting it wrong because of whom it is associated with or not associated with.

These reports are frustrating overall. One report suggesting fraud.  Others are suggesting nothing to see here.  I have a child in daycare and I pay taxes in Minnesota, that means that this fraud takes from me. I think fraud is a bad thing and should be investigated properly.  I don’t think that a nothing to see here initiative is a good stance to take on fraud.  I consider it serious business when individuals who commit fraud possibly take advantage of a system that puts me and my fellow Minnesotans, and fellow parents, at a disadvantage, on our dime no less!

I believe thorough reporting on this story is owed to the parents of Minnesota who struggle daily with or without welfare/childcare assistance. It is also owed to the taxpayers who pay huge sums of their paycheck to exist and work within our state.  These suggested frauds, if true, are an assault on families and taxpayers locally.

To conclude, all media involved in this, especially the ones not doing work and digging deeper into this story make the problem bigger, make the problem acceptable.  They do not fairly share an open-minded issue that impacts a majority of people in the state of Minnesota, if not all of the people in Minnesota.

This childcare fraud needs to be investigated further by many different sources, media, and experts without bias.  There is no benefit for attacking the person or people but for dissecting the idea, the potential fraud, looking at it objectively.  That would be  great news story, something with less bias and more objectivity, something that involves all.

But nowadays I do not expect it from the news, nor will I wait for said report. 

 

Advertisements

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

***

If you have made in this far, right on!  Take some time and donate to my cause.  Hit the “donate” button it will take you where you need to go.  Thanks in advance for any donations!  You make this site what it is. 🙂

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.

The best time to deactivate your Facebook account is now

 

unnamed

Perhaps, over the years, American society has found a disconnect with being connected. This goes beyond the scope of the human and technology relationship, especially when plugging in disconnects us more and more from reality. We have created avatars of ourselves on platforms that get paid to have us there. Our pictures and our likes and our posts and our art are free advertisements, and you should get paid for what you do, really, and you should hold those that profit off of your media accountable.

The lens of what we see through our eyes is a special and unique one, true to us. Our voice through an instant platforms give us a sense of being, a sense of place in a connected world. Our art shared and receiving likes gives us a sense of importance. Our lens of focus is enacted and descrying those interactions. One, a sense, that like wine, gathers new notes and qualities throughout the years. We see things as we like to see them. The media we post about ourselves does not actually reflect who we are but who we want to become.

And that is the assumption, that the platform is pure and innocent–something that we can create ourselves as we imagine ourselves on. We see pictures and posts and ideas and politics and these change our minds assumed unobscured. All of these ideas are brought to us through and unnatural lens, a lens paid for by lobbyists, or political parties, or foreign governments, or massive corporations. If Facebook is where you get your news, then your news is skewed by the aforementioned; your idea is formed through the lens of capitalism, of marketing to your demographic.

This is all a bit scary when we realize objective observation is a made up idea of which you cannot understand beyond the thoughts in your head, this relates to Facebook. Especially then, in that framework, language is rooted in history making it not your unique idea: your words on not your words. (You don’t think in made up languages; perhaps you think in English, Spanish, or German) Further, take recently, Facebook announced they were paid by Russia to place ads on their platform; therefore, everything is touched by everything and related. Had this transaction been carried out by a politician it would have been a deplorable offense. Because we are part of it, through social media, we are accountable and involved. Accomplice. The CEO of Facebook admitted this, the idea of taking money to place ads. Said “we” would work harder at vetting these messages. That is all of us and our words.

Furthermore, if the message of these real advertisements is out there with “fake news” how is one to get beyond that? We are fake people living in a fake world. The toilet paper you buy, because of the advertisement you witnessed on Facebook, reinforces the reality of the “fake news” story, making it present real in a skewed lens. It may seem like a fallacy but the shampoo you bought is real, the ad you saw for that product was real, making the news story you saw exist in that same genre: in a realistic hue. Or visa versa, the political ad you saw on Facebook was fake but the news was actually real. How much research did you put into finding out the truth of both? At least you know the shampoo works. I say, share that headline, it’s from CNN.

The lens we think in is through social media, like language, it is not our own, and that media is owned by someone else, by a capitalistic entity. Our language, art, media, comments and posts are dictated by a media that sets you within a certain category, living within a framework designed and restricted by others. Go outside of this category allotment and face banishment, hatred, expulsion, and unsavory marks at your character, image, or likeness. Stay within it and you become homogeneous, enjoyed by others, there is a sense of worth, community. But is that worth real or contrived? Is that worth valuable when you realize you are a pawn for marketers, and a company which may have swung an election, may have profited off of your existence?

If you want to move beyond this compromised platform, now is the time to unplug, deactivate as I have. End your Facebook account for the idea that you are outside of the box. I feel a bit outside of that square because I did it. The story of my deactivation: Facebook had a class-action lawsuit against them (Fraley vs. Facebook) because they used my likeness without my permission, and the likeness of 150,000 unaware others. I, well we, became an ironic advertisement we knew nothing about. I struggled with the deactivation, had to download all my photos again but eventually I succeeded. I feel much better not being in something presumed innocent but exists as something entirely different, while totally accepted as the former.

Facebook presents as simple, transparent, honest, easy, thoughtful, and benevolent. Many media outlets use Facebook, push accounts and stories. Newspapers have Facebook pages, we get stories from Facebook; a summer back Facebook Live started a social media movement. Those movements are latent effects, the manifest effect is the profits. What you might not understand is that visibility is lucrative to companies. These entities are making money off of ads–ads which might be bought by foreign governments, to trick you to buy something or to carry on with some contemporary idea. They want you to see it through their lens, the lens that profits for them, the lens of distraction and complacence.

Social media, in theory, may be a great idea, we are brought closer to places, people, and things we love, we get information immediately, we are privy to every detail. Or we are privy to the details entities allow us to see. That is so easy. So easy, why change? Well, when the platform crashes and everything you own on that platform is compromised–which is nothing, you will have nothing to show for it. Someone else will: their loss. That is why the time is now to deactivate and live your life free of the lens you forces upon yourself. Free to say and think what you mean outside of the capitalistic realm presented. Imagine not needing a CEO to align you with your thoughts. Plug into your new-old platform: real-life.

***
Thank you for reading, remember to donate to my cause. My cause is writing and sharing my personal opinions and ideas, these are my own. Hit the donate button, and if you enjoy what you have read, please share my works on social media (ironic, I understand). TS_

Things I notice when I think

_DSC6708.JPG

A refreshing beverage to help me unwind 

1.) Group think is much easier than having an individual abstract thought that is different than what the majority thinks.  If we all just agreed then there would be no argument, ever.  And making all of the arguments that we don’t agree with out to be wrong or bad or misguided makes our point more relevant and digestible to us.  I remember in elementary school where being different was unique or a good thing, now it’s just not falling in line.

2.)  Occupy Wall Street was a good movement, perhaps.  It included all the poor class(es) perhaps.  It was against the upper class perhaps.  It did not divide the poor individuals by race, gender, nationality, or creed, perhaps.  It was the 99% against the 1% perhaps.  That’s America mothertrucker!  Alas, the 1% own the media; the media stopped covering the Occupy Movement, now they tell us things like flamethrowers are for peace, so is punching, perhaps.

3.)  Most people have passionate feelings about Trump, though they have never met him in person… So they don’t know him from Adam, aside for what certain secondhand accounts paints him.  That is more weird than Trump himself.  I don’t know you, someone who doesn’t know describes you to me, I know everything about you apparently from what they tell me about you: same thing.  I don’t believe in polls.  I don’t believe in advertisements.  I believe in empirical experience.  Did I see it?  Most people have strong opinions of Trump and they have never met Trump.  He is an easy distraction.  He is easy to dislike, perhaps a group thought.

4.)  While all are fighting to protect everything they hold near and dear– identities, everyone else’s identities, rights, freedoms, livelihoods, neighborhoods, peace, and jobs, by fighting–demonstrators are out there doing what they say they are against.  Ideology is an important aspect of any movement, I once thought.  Not really sure.  These actions disenfranchise all of our rights.  These actions put our freedoms at more danger than anything.

5.)  People are crazy.  Ever watch a garden grow into a salad?  Ever mow the grass and see it come back again the same?  Ever watch a sun set on a Sunday?  The news should be on this stuff.  I have never been to North Korea, that place is fine with me.  I have never been to Russia–I have met a russian, all that is fine with me.  It’s all good.  Crazy people assume a stance given to them by the very people they dislike and go with it, even if it doesn’t work a million times over.

6.) These are just things I notice when I think.  I am defending and denouncing no one.  I am merely positing abstract thought to think about.  No need to take it as fact or persuasion.  I think thinking is good.  I think having different ideas and questioning conventional-now wisdom is a fantastic practice, and healthy.  Why not ask why the sky is blue, or why the earth is round, or why global warming is going to drown us all?  Think about it…  Texas Toast doesn’t have to be made in Texas to be called Texas Toast.

Trump presidency is turning out to be an absolute failure, and here’s why; a new study finds that new study is a new study, new study results show

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners.jpg

The worst picture we could find of Donald Trump, to skew your perception of him

Frogtown, USA–In a recent new study, recent new studies show that recent new studies are recent new studies, reports from an unnamed source reported and then reported about, and something negative about President Trump.  With this accurate ground breaking information Facebook has become abuzz, the entire living world is assessing this information in a meaningful way on the social media platform and throughout their divisive groups.

No one can quite believe or truly comprehend the factual knowledge that something that is something is something that is that something, other than something negative about Trump and his administration.  The important aspect of this new study is just believe this recent new study is a new study without questioning the recent new study of the recent new study, or go beyond reading the recent new study’s headline before sharing the new study’s results with everyone, literally.

This new study is somewhat of an anomaly in that it is an anomaly to report that something is reported as that something that that something is, by an unnamed source, yet again, and negative things about Trump.  Most news nowadays is just opinion wrapped in some of the 5 Ws in a guise passed off for as news, exactly how the media which pays these news organizations to report such Op Eds, emotive ad nauseam same opinion.

The results of the results of the most recent study of the most recent study shows that the recent new study is a recent new study and has been done recently, is new, and is a study.  Aside from that the recent new study shows the general public nothing about nothing about nothing because every situation is 50/50, and something negative about Donald Trump, every time no matter what.  Moreover know that this recent new study is a recent new study is a recent new study and talk about it amongst your social media groups and community organizations.

 

Male circumcision is genital mutilation: the sharp unconcerned gender disparity as written by news media language

circ-egypt

Frogtown, USA–I never really thought about the topic of circumcision much, especially in relation to change or making change within–I think my fate is sealed, was sealed before my brain could function enough to say perhaps “no, sounds painful”.

Maybe once in high school though I thought about it being a private matter.  The idea of male circumcision and what it meant.  I still don’t understand much about it, however many males in America are circumcised.  I think the act could be because of religion or because of hygiene, it could be.

You see, I won’t research that.  I don’t care if it is because of “religion” or “hygiene”, they why doesn’t matter.

The matter at hand is that male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” happen and there are limited media reports of them in comparison to female “genital mutilation” stories.  I find it odd that a prevalent practice performed on one gender (male) is considered normal while a similar practice performed on another gender (female) is considered a news worthy, and possible criminal charge.  And, as a self-identified male, I find this a bit unfair.  (But that doesn’t fit into the Narrative.) download

I do not believe female “genital mutilation” or “circumcisions” should make the news if, at the same time, a majority of male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” do not make the news in an equal capacity.

And yet, why is there little concern that “most adult men are circumcised“.  Does this not concern the media or the activists that wish to protect human rights.  Also, why is male “circumcision” not considered ubiquitously as male “genital mutilation”?

Recent news stories focused on female “genital mutilation” prompted me to delve back into the topic of “circumcision” in males, that, and the experience of having a baby boy.

As a parent I have to decided the fate of my child’s physical dimensions.  There is no cry from protesters or the pundits when it comes to this private and personal decision at the hospital, not view as damage or irreversible harm but rather as an “option” to think about before birth.

So, think about this, as from above most American males are “circumcised”, or have experience “genital mutilation”.  In recent years, however, male circumcisions in America are on the decline.  Why is this?  Perhaps because male circumcision is actually male “genital mutilation”, period, and the mainstream media doesn’t care.

They play with terminology when it works with their ideology, but cutting flesh from one person is the same as cutting from another, no matter race, creed, or gender.  images

In conclusion, the decision to “circumcise” or to “mutilate” not is a highly personal decision, and a final one.  Accordingly, I believe that not only do we need to reconsider how we change our bodies but how we change the bodies of the future.

Moreover, I believe we need to understand and keep meanings and definitions in relation to words and genders equal, especially within news media language and context; we observe male “circumcisions” or  “mutilations” as somehow not as equally alarming as female genital mutilation.  Perhaps the lack of concern shown to one gender over another by mainstream news is the actual shocking news story that everyone wants but no one wants to hear.

As a self-identified male, I haven’t heard of any bills being made to save our (fore)skins, pun intended, in relation to “circumcisions” or actual male “genital mutilation”.  Alike, I think all “genital mutilation”, in relation to all genders, is mutilation, destruction, and potentially a crime which disfigures the human body.  Reconsider this when the idea arises in local reports or national breaking news.  download.jpg

Language is the key to this matter.  You call something “circumcision” and then you call something “genital mutilation”, on the grounds of gender, and you assume a bias in the language you use to describe an action.  Which is which?

That is the crux of this biscuit, the matter at hand.  If we use the somewhat necessary innocuous and accepted language to describe an horrendous act, is that act then acceptable, and should that act be called something different depending on who it is done to?  Because that happens now, today, on the topic put forth above.

***

I am no advocate, activist, or professional on the topic “genital mutilation”.  I am merely stating concern over the potential bias within the media coverage of one agenda over another, one gender over another, through language and terminology.

These are my views.  I am open to free discussion and open dialogue on the topic of circumcision/genital mutilation, please comment as necessary.  Thank you for reading.  No hate please, I try to stay positive.