Monday, June 29, 2015

Are We Being Manipulated?

I tend to think:

YES!

based on articles like this.  I'm starting to feel like a lab rat.

This is not a new phenomenon - a book I read a few months ago (written by Leftists, but worth buying because of the insight into the methods they are now using to push, prod, and NUDGE the population towards their way of thinking, acting, and being) is Nudge.  It opened my eyes to the various ways you can incrementally move people's actions and thinking towards your goals.

One way to APPARENTLY change the political line-up is to make it as easy as possible for people to "join the club" - that is, to align themselves with the Popular Kids - which Facebook did with the rainbow-colored overlay for profile pictures.  After seeing most of your peers and family show up with the rainbow hues, many people follow the crowd - rather like how after sufficient numbers of people on a city curb jaywalk, you will usually find yourself crossing the street with them. It's human nature - we are a generally social species, and most people find it uncomfortable to stand apart from the crowd.

I don't, personally. Whether it's my Dad's hillbilly ancestors, my whole family's quirkiness, my oddball status during school, or my nerdy nature, I've just always stood apart from the crowd.  This tendency made adolescence acutely painful for me - that's the age of maximal pressure to conform - but, once past that point, I've generally shrugged off attempts to corral me. It's put me in conflict with many, including DH, who, at heart, is a conformer (that's not a bad thing, just who he is).

Whatever method the Leftists used against Justice Kennedy, it worked - and how! As the article pointed out, the Leftists on the Court vote as a block - they don't have to work to decide the issue, it's a reflexive action.

And the pressure to conform is being enhanced by social media. Most people are even less likely to express opinions different from their friends on Facebook and other media sites - so, for many people, the online world is becoming an echo chamber.

This would explain a thing I've noticed - so many people, when I've mentioned an issue, or a story I'd read about, respond by saying "where did you HEAR about that?" in a tone that indicated that they assumed that I'd been loitering around lurid conspiracy sites or neo-Nazi hideouts. In fact, it usually was something I'd picked up reading relatively mainstream outlets - Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Foxnews, CNN, Huffington Post, Instapundit, etc. Not crazed, fevered loners, just news aggregation sites or original reporting.

But, they weren't hearing about it. In part, because their news/information was largely supplied by sources like Facebook and Twitter, they had narrowed their information inputs to that introduced by people who already thought like them. Rather than search out new thoughts or interesting ideas, they had become passive consumers of oddities, "everyone agrees" posts, and superficial news digests/headlines only info.

The feed was passing on only filtered news and opinions, not the broad range of viewpoint that actually existed.  So, when I brought up information that hadn't hit their feed, it was as strange - and, to them, unbelievable - as a lone transmission from another world. It was rejected automatically, dismissed as a quirk/rumor/hoax, and, ultimately, forgotten. Didn't matter that I provided plentiful links to the original sources - they never checked them out.

Over time, since so few people seemed to agree with them, many relatively conservative people moved to embrace, or at least, accept as inevitable/normal/unremarkable the Progressive/Liberal/Leftist views on social issues. They fell victim to the Spiral of Silence. I highly suggest you check out that link.

The Precious Little Snowflake Syndrome is going to be contributing to the homogenization and conformity of Future America. Too many kids are being raised to value approval, rather than autonomy.

My concerns are primarily about the natural consequences of the decision - imposition of taxes on non-conforming churches (Catholic and Mormon, to start with), push for loss of employment and other sanctions on those who dissent, particularly in public employment - cops, government workers, teachers. At first, it will be VOLUNTARY posting of Rainbows in the classroom or wearing Rainbow Ribbons on your lapel, followed by "suggested" attendance at gay weddings/events of other staffers. Later, it will be more blatant coercion to contribute to Gay Causes, "include" Gay-Friendly content in courses (Math & Science teachers might find this tough to implement), and pressure to PUBLICLY AFFIRM GAYNESS/Trans People/Whatever. Make no mistake about it - You will be WATCHED, not only for YOUR actions/lack of action, but to make sure that you don't support those who publicly dissent.

Some are looking for a Saint Thomas More for our times.  Perhaps rather than looking for a saint, we ought to be acting like saints.

While I can, I'm going to watch A Man for All Seasons - before some Censor decides that it's a thinly veiled piece of H8 towards GAY MARRIAGE!

Friday, June 26, 2015

If You're a Church Member, Better Prepare

...to have to put more money into the plate - because the GayNazis will be gunning (dare I write that?) for your tax exemption.

I'm betting that the IRS will go after the Catholics and the Mormons first.  A lot of churches will sit on the sidelines, thinking that they're not going to have the same happen to them.

We know how well that work in the past when the Fascists attacked - yes, they hit the low-hanging fruit first, but, don't worry, they'll get around to you, too.

Our lawmakers could be of immediate help by passing legislation for ALL churches and other religious institutions - if the IRS goes after one of them, the decision applies to ALL of them!  No exceptions - either ALL churches lose tax-exempt status, or NONE of them do.

That, coupled with the logical step of forcing Obamacare on ALL lawmakers, judges, and bureaucrats, might halt their power grab - at least temporarily.

Frankly, until this week, I believed that the USA was indestructible.  No longer - we are hanging on the ropes, and only habit and inertia are keeping us from complete tyranny.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Confederate Conundrum

I posted yesterday about the Confederate flag controversy. I came down on the side of removing the flag from the Capital grounds at that time.

Iconic flags, the ones that appear at most Southern state capitals, to the one painted on the top of the  Dukes of Hazzard's car, General Lee, are being targeted for removal.

Breitbart's Ben Shapiro compares the bloodlust frenzy to the destruction of previous civilizations by ISIS.  And, in fact, it has similar roots - the victors want to energize their troops by a public tearing down of any symbols that represent the defeated.

Funnily enough, most people disapprove of the ISIS actions; many are quick to emulate them in this matter.

I'm NOT a native Southerner - I was born in Cleveland, OH, and I still identify as such.  However, I've lived, worked, and voted in this state for almost 10 years, which, I suppose, gives me a stake in the matter.

The Shapiro post is particularly good - I recommend that you read it.

I did come up with ONE useful idea about the SC flag.  In the legislation about it, make it clear that this is the LAST time a Confederate memorial would be touch, by including a clause that renders the action null and void if any further legislative or court action is introduced to extend the ban of the flag from Capital grounds - any attempt to remove other artifacts, names, memorials, or to bar private citizens from displaying Confederate lags on their own property.

Unfortunately, the madness is on the Left, and they are unlikely to be deterred from continued actions.  I expect that the effort will extend until - of course - the next election, in 2016, when they will expect to waltz into the White House, House, and Senate on the basis of this issue.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Republicans Need to Work on This

Nikki Haley is leading a fight that will have repercussions in the 2016 election.  She is calling for the Confederate flag, currently flying on the State Capitol grounds, to be taken down.

The urgency of the action is being driven by the recent tragedy in the Charleston church, that took the lives of 9 people.

It's a divisive issue - the lawmakers were only able to get the flag, which was put in place in 1962 (Hollings, Democratic governor), moved from the Capital dome to another spot on the grounds in 2000 (Hodges, Democratic governor).  As a result of that action, lawmakers were forced to make a compromise that made any further movement require a 2/3 vote - a REALLY high bar to change.

South Carolina is funny - the people are generally pleasant (Black and White), polite, and not given to screaming and yelling.  As a result, the aggressive actions of protestors strike the natives as distinctly uncivilized, and lead many to reject the message.  Perhaps that's the intent of the protestors - perhaps not.

The people who display the Stars and Bars are in the minority - generally less educated, more rural, and long-time South Carolinians.  The more urban parts of SC have had their "unreconstructed" heritage diluted by the influx of people from other parts of the country and the world.  Many of the Republican party have not responded to the Charleston Post-Gazette's poll of legislators - that may be because they don't want to rush into a decision, it may be because they are opposed, but don't want to go on the record until they have to.

This is a time for leadership on the part of Republicans.  If you are in SC, please contact your legislator, either thanking them for supporting the issue, or urging them to support the issue.

I sent this text to legislators:

I am writing you to urge you to support removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state grounds. Among the reasons to do so:

- As a gesture of respect for your fallen colleague, Senator Pinckney
- Opposition to this proposal would cement the perception that Republicans are not supportive of either civil rights for all citizens, and of Black people in general
- Failure to declare for this proposal would have a devastating effect in the 2016 election, and likely for some time to come
- It's the right thing to do - it's time for change

Thank you for your support,

Linda Fox
1131 Christopher Circle
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Really Find the News Depressing

In no particular order:

  • The Data Hack - anyone who had applied for a job in the last 10 years or so is probably most at risk, although this breach could extend over several decades of data.  Read here for a short commentary of the problem.

  • The therapist who is demonized for suggesting that his patient might spruce up.  Given that the patient was in therapy to try to find a romantic relationship, it wasn't a bad idea (men do tend to focus on the visual).

  • The insistence on tinkering with our money - AGAIN. The first suggestion, to boot Andrew Jackson and replace him with Harriet Tubman, was withdrawn when Republicans pointed out that Jackson was a slave-owning Democrat who butchered Native Americans, and Tubman was a gun-owning Republican who didn't wait for government to solve her problems.  South Carolinians might wish that Andy stay, as he was a Native Son, but otherwise, conservatives were fine with the change.  Now, they've decided to boot the non-Democratic Andrew Hamilton - who was raised by an unwed single mother in the Caribbean before immigrating to the USA, who served in the Patriot Army and whose actions entitled him to be classed as a hero, who single-handedly put the USA on solid financial footing, and died because he wouldn't be "dissed".  Maybe they'd prefer this woman?

  • George Zimmerman's attacker, who shot at his vehicle, may face life in prison (although, I wouldn't count on it).  The attacker claims self-defense, contrary to pretty much every piece of evidence available.  The shooter does appear to be an unstable Looney-Tune.

  • And, just for fun, an article looking at body re-shaping and impossible standards - for men.


Not the most important headlines, just ones that caught my eye.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Last Day of the Workshop

I'm tired - a good kind of tired. I worked hard, learned some new things, and had some GREAT lunches.

But, I'm ready to go home, and get back to organizing/cleaning/paperwork. If possible, by the time I return to school, I will live in an Organized Atmosphere.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

I bought the Franklin Covey Goal Setter. It was relatively inexpensive, and works on my IPad, which is the technology that tends to be a go-to most of the time. It just fits in my bags, is lightweight, and does 90% of what I need to do.

Next week, I'm going to see how much progress I can make. With my certification renewed, I'll have some free time to spend on cleaning/fitness/whatever.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Where to Start?

I read a post in the New York Times today, that made me wonder how the writer could possibly hold his head up in public again.

He was:

  • Self-righteous

    • "I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.



  • Whiny

    • "Or maybe, after going back to school, I should have gone into finance, or some other lucrative career. Self-disgust and lifelong unhappiness, destroying a precious young life — all this is a small price to pay for meeting your student loan obligations."



  • Clueless about the reality of making a living

    • "I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school."



  • Certain he was made for "better things" than a mundane retail job that would have allowed him to pay off his loans

    • Maybe I should have stayed at a store called The Wild Pair, where I once had a nice stable job selling shoes after dropping out of the state college because I thought I deserved better, and na├»vely tried to turn myself into a professional reader and writer on my own, without a college degree. I’d probably be district manager by now."




Unbelievable.  If you open your dictionary for the word "Entitled", his picture should grace that entry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Have You Ever Been Confused About This Hegemony Thingy?

The term "hegemony" is a Leftist buzzword - funnily enough, I've NEVER heard a coherent explanation from one of them as to its exact meaning. I suspect that they don't even really understand it, other than to know it's VERY, VERY BAD!

A good starter explanation.

If you understand the bureaucrats and "intellectuals" as the deputies or agents of the ruling class, you will understand just who rules America, and it AIN'T Conservatives!

Yet another explanation.

To hear a Leftist Professor tell it, hegemony is a BAD THING. So, why are they so eager to impose THEIR hegemony on the rest of us?

It's a puzzlement.

Understanding the Beginnings - The Frankfort School

The Frankfort School - how Marxism married Freudianism for a Lethal Prescription for American Culture.

The Authoritarian Personality - what is it?  Scroll down the page about 1/2 way.

The F Scale - which SAYS that it can predict the incipient Fascist. If you'd actually like to take the test, here's a link. Keep in mind, it's HEAVILY biased against Conservatives.

 

De-Mystifying the ISIS Successes

According to this site, it's not rocket science, but known principles of war and politics.  Here's a link to some free pdfs detailing Boyd's thinking.

Want to know more about the Future of War?

SOME of the current state of pre-war is being conducted via hacking cybersystems.

SOME of it is by the usual means of controlling/enabling lazy/reflexively anti-American media.

And, most troubling, some of the pre-war is being won by the same TROLLS that are "winning" the war for SSU (Same Sex Unions) or other Cultural Battles.

For example, I wouldn't be surprised to find that THESE globes will be widely available in the USA.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Hijab Decision

If I understand the Supreme Court correctly, they did NOT rule on whether the company could hire - or not - based on the applicant's dress.  What they did is decide that the applicant didn't have to inform the company about the need for religious accommodation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship. The question presented is whether this prohibition applies only where an applicant has informed the employer of his need for an accommodation.

My bolding.

So, the Muslima will still face the question of whether the wearing of her headscarf is a "reasonable accommodation".  It boils down to whether or not Abercrombie will want to continue fighting the EEOC decision.  I'm guessing that they may not, for fear of bad publicity.

What happens now?  The Tenth Circuit will have their decision bounced back to it, and have to decide on other grounds - NOT whether the applicant had informed the potential employer of her need for an accommodation - but, whether the Abercrombie "Look" allows them to reject an applicant who wears a headscarf.

Not hopeful for the outcome.  Just imagine what this means for Hooters.

 

Hooters-Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Thomas, as usual, is nuanced:
Unlike the majority, I adhere to what I had thought before today was an undisputed proposition: Mere application of a neutral policy cannot constitute “intentional discrimination.” Because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can prevail here only if Abercrombie engaged in intentional discrimination, and because Abercrombie’s application of its neutral Look Policy does not meet that description, I would affirm the judgment of the Tenth Circuit.

More from Thomas:
I would hold that Abercrombie’s conduct did not constitute “intentional discrimination.” Abercrombie refused to create an exception to its neutral Look Policy for Samantha Elauf ’s religious practice of wearing a headscarf. Ante, at 2. In doing so, it did not treat religious practices less favorably than similar secular practices, but instead remained neutral with regard to religious practices. To be sure, the effects of Abercrombie’s neutral Look Policy, absent an accommodation, fall more harshly on those who wear headscarves as an aspect of their faith. But that is a Cite as: 575 U. S. ____ (2015) 3 Opinion of THOMAS, J. classic case of an alleged disparate impact. It is not what we have previously understood to be a case of disparate treatment because Elauf received the same treatment from Abercrombie as any other applicant who appeared unable to comply with the company’s Look Policy. See ibid.; App. 134, 144. Because I cannot classify Abercrombie’s conduct as “intentional discrimination,” I would affirm.

What Thomas did agree with is that the woman's right to sue did not depend on her having asked for an accommodation.  And, that is ALL this decision is affirming - contrary to what the media would have people believe.