[et_bloom_locked optin_id="optin_2"] content [/et_bloom_locked]
Propaganda Here and Now

Propaganda Here and Now

When I was a teenager my father was a high ranking officer in a sensitive area of the Air Force. We were sent to Paris and then to SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe.

Since my father was such a big muckety muck my brother and I were deemed to be kidnapping targets. In addition, it was thought that it would be a good idea to put us through an intensive course on propaganda: what it was, how to recognize it, how to combat it. My training came in handy, especially after I was waylaid in East Germany, but that’s another story.

I went on to Journalism School, thanks to the US Navy. More training on propaganda. Bottom line, I’m really good at recognizing crap when I see it.

Whenever a company can manipulate WHAT you see that’s propaganda. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to or what cause you espouse. Whenever the free flow of information is dammed up because a company, a corporation, or an individual deems it unfit for your eyes, you should run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

Shadow banning, de-monetizing, restricting content are just some of the techniques being used by Google, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube. It’s brilliant because you never see what they don’t want you to see. You can’t make an informed choice because choice is limited for you – not by you.

One of the things I love about the internet is that it promotes the democratization of information. What’s happening now is the infantilization of the public. Someone else is deciding what’s good for you. As a fully functioning adult I don’t need anyone else choosing what’s acceptable for me. I’ll do my own deciding, thanks.

I use Duck Duck Go for my search engine. I never use Google anymore. First of all, I don’t want to be tracked and secondly I don’t trust them. I don’t use FaceBook, either, and I’ve mentioned why more than once.

What can any of us do? Recognize that it’s happening. Don’t get our news or information from just one source. Cast a jaundiced eye to stuff you see on these sites. Use a different search engine. Realize that if something is free (Google, Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube) then each one of us is the commodity. We’re for sale through our personal information: likes, dislikes, friends, and companies with whom we do business.

A very old adage is: information is power. That’s never been truer than today.

Log Cabin Life

Log Cabin Life

My electricity was out for hours today. Evidently, the entire subdivision was affected, but I don’t know why. It’s the first time it took something like five hours to fix.

I was working along and then wham! it went out. I was sweating out losing all the work I’d done this morning, but Scrivener saves every two seconds, isn’t that great? I only lost a few of the changes I’d made in the edits.

You can’t do much but read in an outage. I was just grateful I had a book downloaded on my tablet and two battery packs filled with power in case I needed them.

Cell phones are marvelous, aren’t they? They can still connect to the outside world. The electric company kept sending me emails that the problem was fixed and I kept calling them back – uh, no, it’s not.

I exercised in the dark in my gym. I didn’t want to waste the time. That was kind of a cool experience. Stanley didn’t know what to think. He was a dark shadow in a dark, shadowed room. I did get to read for hours, however, and that was lovely. Oh, and it wasn’t very hot today so it was bearable in the house. We’ve had rain and it cooled everything down a little.

We’re finally back up and running which means that Stanley has to bark at all the ceiling fans. 🙂 I swear, the longer I’ve had him the odder he gets. I wonder, is it being around me?

Happy Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day!

Or garbage day in my neck of the woods. It’s supposed to rain today so it might be a no-garbage day since I don’t like sliding down my driveway with that huge plastic thingee. What a blessing that it’s on wheels, though. And, no need for bags on the curb. Dogs used to love those. Have you ever come out and found your garbage strewn over your yard?

A few years ago someone hit my plastic container. I think they were trying to back up and didn’t see it. It fell over and some little varmint got to the plastic bags inside. All I could think about when I picked all of it up was, “Thank heavens it wasn’t anything personal.”

Today I had to take steps to stop Stanley from jumping up on my office chair. I’ve let him snuggle with me while I work, but I have to tell you that it’s a detriment to getting things done. I have to twist and turn so as not to bother him as he sleeps. Then, he’s so soft and cuddly I naturally get a little sleepy, too. Before I know it we’re off to Snoozeland together. This morning I had to tell him, “I’m sorry, sweetie. I have to work.” He is now on my feet instead.

I stepped on the scale this morning and was pleasantly surprised. Don’t you just love when that happens? I put the HealthTracker app on my phone in June, 2017. I weigh less now than at any point in two years. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about that. The HealthTracker app also stores my BP and my BG. Plus, you can email your stats to yourself like I do and print them out for your doctor. That’s my analytical side showing up.

After I finish a book I always buy myself a present. One year it was a coffee table. I loved that coffee table, but boy was it big. It fit perfectly with my sectional, but when I moved thirteen years ago I got rid of the sectional and the coffee table. One year it was a beautiful ring that reminded me of the book My Beloved. This time I bought myself an Apple Watch. Color me impressed. It shows me radar when the weather is yucky and shows a picture of who’s outside when my camera goes off. It can take an EKG plus it measures my pulse every few minutes. I think it’s a wonder of technology and a great little gadget. Oh, and it tells time, too. 🙂

(Which means it’s time to get back to work!)

Have a lovely Hump Day!

My Neighborhood and Dogs

My Neighborhood and Dogs

If you go to NextDoor for my neighborhood you’re going to scroll through at least fifteen posts about Dog Found, Stray Dog Located. It’s become an epidemic this month. I don’t know if people are abandoning their dogs in my neighborhood or if they’re getting dumped here in some other way.

Cats aren’t exempt, either, and there are always reports of a poor rescued kitty who died of feline leukemia which is highly contagious.

One of the problems in helping out a stray dog is that they may carry diseases like canine flu that could be transmitted to your pets. Still, I applaud the efforts of these good samaritans who look out for these poor dogs and cats especially in this heat.

Why do you think people abandon their pets? I know the myriad reasons, from crowded shelters to financial issues to behavioral problems, but what I want to know is why? How can they live with themselves knowing that they took in a pet then when it got to be too much simply let it go to fend for itself, starve, get mistreated, or run over by a car?

I don’t understand. My guilt would paralyze me.

One dog I rescued had parvo and was at the vet’s for two weeks. He survived, but was never, well, manageable. He ran away constantly, ate the carpet, chewed on furniture, and was otherwise a holy terror. I advertised and found another home for him and off he went to be a companion to a little boy. Six months later I was notified – because of the rescue’s records – that he was euthanized for behavioral issues. I’ve always felt horrible about that. I’ve wondered, for years, if he would have been a better dog if I’d spent more time with him, taken him to obedience training, done more. I thought I’d done the right thing, but it didn’t turn out to be right for him.

I see ads all the time to re-home a dog. I understand those. Sometimes, it’s just not the right fit. That’s why I like rescues that offer you a two week no questions asked return policy.

What do you think? How do people abandon a dog that’s come to rely on you for love, food, and shelter?

Put This Under Things I Don’t Understand, Part XX

Put This Under Things I Don’t Understand, Part XX

There are lots of segments on YouTube that are awe-inspiring or inspirational. There’s a bunch of stuff from the other side, too.

This past weekend I watched two morbidly obese women prattle on about the unfairness of diets, how they’re bullied by life, and how they know how to lose weight – it just hasn’t happened for them yet. One lives in Canada and one in Kentucky. One’s very close to 600 pounds and I’d bet the other one is close to 500.

Poor things – and I do mean that, sincerely and compassionately. However, they haven’t the self-awareness that God granted a gnat.

If you put embarrassing things about yourself up on YouTube people will criticize you. They will lampoon you. They will mock you. You can’t then delete all comments and act offended. Honey chile, you’re the one who decided to air the dirty laundry, so to speak. If you don’t want to open yourself up to criticism, then don’t put videos up on YouTube.

Another thing I don’t understand is why someone who weighs so much would think that a nose ring is attractive. The first thing I thought of is a ring that is placed in a pig’s nose to prevent them from rooting.

I guess it comes back to self-awareness again.

I do not understand people at times, yet they still manage to fascinate me.