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Monday, February 19, 2018

Cell phones are for making phone calls.

I've talked a lot recently about social media, and the collateral damage effects were are seeing in society. Today, I will put it in real, day to day living terms. I'm not talking here about the social degradation and depression it can cause, but in this case, simply about cold hard economic facts and the breakdown of how people think and learn. That all boils down to listening and paying attention, which sadly, in this society, has been lost by at least one generation, and probably 2 or 3.

"Let me have your attention for a moment."

Put that coffee down. You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. 

I don't got to listen to this shit.
You certainly don't pal. 

There is a time to just listen. Even if you think you shouldn't, or you think you should be doing something else. Like drinking coffee, as in the above scene, or, something else in the next one.

'It's not the greatest country in the world professor, that's my answer"

"It sure used to be"

I'm not going to dissect the entire scene. It's there above if you want to watch it and take it in. The real point is how it was framed, and shot. In the first scene, the brash Alec Baldwin character is there to give it to them straight, and he is clearly going to do that. Which he does. In The Newsroom scene, It's clear that Will Mcavoy doesn't want to tell them, because he knows the reaction. But, he gets frustrated enough to just give it to them straight and to a generation that needs to hear it and pay attention to it. The reaction of the crowd, which is almost exclusively college kids? At first they are shocked and troubled. Which is what they should be. That was the point. But, almost immediately, their response is to film it with their phones, and then likely share it to wherever they do that in the great big social media world. While they are doing all that, I doubt many are listening to the details and facts he lays out for them. The message is clear, and the message is also lost. 
But, why?
Because they are more interested in being an internet photographer and reporter, than to just listen to what someone with something to say is saying. That is the culture that we have created, and probably are stuck with.
What is my point?
Put the phone down and stop being a pretend, wannabe internet photographer and reporter. To "put that coffee down." That point was made very clear in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, in very dramatic effect. Getting someones attention is what powerful speakers do. But getting them to pay attention is difficult when they are not interested in paying attention. 
It doesn't matter if you agree with the ideas and statements those two characters in those two scenes are spewing out there. It matters that you are listening and taking them in, completely.  

Oh, have I got your attention now?

Listening is an important skill. One it seems that has been lost in the age of internet and social media. It has fallen by the wayside, as being more of the "star of the show" is the thing now. Don't listen, but record. Don't think about what you are hearing, just find a way to get attention and stir up the pot with the masses of your friends and followers. But what is the cost of that behavior, what is the root of how it started, and what can we do about it?
The idea for this blog was created when a friend sent me the following link this week.

In it, there is a concept of what is going to happen in the next couple of years, and what to do about it. It's somewhat along the lines of what the two characters in the clips above were doing. They have a theory, an idea of how to go about life, and what they think is happening. But to either agree with them, or debate and refute them, you have to listen carefully and pay attention. So, while I agree with a few points in that article, I know where the author of it is coming from and why he is doing it. And of course, I see it as almost completely con man bullshit created to sell his newsletter and books. It's not like he invented that concept. It's as old as the bible, and he makes sure to use biblical references in his approach. 
Why? Because that works. 
This guy on the net laid it very clearly why to disregard Stansbury, and you can watch that if you wish.

I will get to Stansbury's biggest lie, but first, quickly, lets go over some of his main fear mongering points, most of which are just false or at best, taken way out of context to make a point that isn't valid and to propose a situation that isn't going to happen. That is what con me do btw, they do that to achieve that so they can sell you something. 
Note, that if the text below is highlighted in red, Stansbury wrote it in the article. They aren't my words, but his. My response will be the part that isn't in red. 

After all, how can things be "OK" when nearly half the men ages 18-34 now live with their parents—the highest level since the Great Depression?

 How can it be a "recovery" when 78% of the U.S. population now lives paycheck to paycheck, with essentially zero savings?

Stansbury uses these two very provocative facts to hook the reader. The facts are accurate, within reason. The concept that there is a great economic recovery or boom is a fallacy, and Stansbury is right about that part. I agree with him. Things are not OK, and there is no recovery. That is pure lie. Stansbury does it because it gets the attention of the reader with today's short attention span to at least put the phone down and read. Mission accomplished. Its the Alec Baldwin technique in Glengarry Glen Ross. It's very effective.

Today I want to share a few facts our politicians are afraid to tell you—including the secret reason why working class Americans have gotten dramatically poorer over the past 40 years.

Today I'm contacting you with a serious warning: We've hit a serious tipping point in America.

 But what they're really about, underneath it all, is money... and hopelessness.

 Again, more statements, and generally, they are factual. The average guy and family out there is poorer than ever before, America has hit a tipping point and its all about money and hopelessness. Although, that isn't an explanation of why it did or is happening. He gets to that later, and that is where I will diverge from his sales pitch. Notice how he starts sentences with words like Today, and later...AND. That is a very biblical, preacher like based way to get the attention of the congregation to make them pay up, eventually.

But what they don't tell you is that the growing disparity between rich and poor in America is a symptom of our problem... not the root cause.

 You see, while the rich are getting richer, everyone else is losing ground. 

 average Americans are actually worse off than they were decades ago.

All the above statements are, again, true. You can go to thousands of reputable sites on the net and get that exact info. He is just repeating that to scare the reader for what is coming next, and that is...the lies and then his solution to lead them out of the abyss. Note his use at this point of YOU SEE and What they don't tell YOU. He is using the age old, I'm the prophet, listen to me tactic con men love to use. I see the light, listen to me. I'm not them. I'm not the man trying to screw you out of your rightful life. At this point, if you are drinking his Kool Aid, you are about ready to buy his book. So, he goes in for the kill, and that is when the lies really start.

What got me started on The Newsroom clip though was one thing the author of the article, Porter Stansbury wrote, that made me think he was pandering and fear mongering to sell his book. It's just a blanket, blatant statement not based in fact, and something Will McAvoy refuted with actual facts. It was this:

This is incredibly sad—and it's unfathomable that this is happening in the greatest country on earth.

And why not use this statement? It works. It probably got a noted con man elected President. If it worked for him, why not for Stansbury? McAvoy took great pains to refute it, because, it's just simply not fact anymore. That isn't what the masses want to hear. So, it's easier and better to lie to them. That sells more books. It sells hope. That is what Stansbury is selling. Not facts or solutions, just hope and voodoo.

 The real underlying cause of our wealth and income disparity in America is that wages are no longer connected to gains in productivity. 

And this is the big secret the corporate executives and politicians hope you never understand.

Because wages are no longer connected to gains in productivity... Over time... there's nothing the average American can do to stay ahead of inflation.   

  Most would rather just share this drivel with the masses than do some homework to see the motives behind this con man. That is the issue here. That is what the rich are relying on, that you are more interested in sharing and being popular than actually doing homework or understanding the real problem. The real reason that the debt piles up is that income isn't meeting expenses, on the macro and micro level. To bridge that gap, the rich loan the poor money and it perpetuates to the point the poor can't afford to pay or keep up. That is the situation the middle class guy is in, and the country is in.

Con men like Stansbury rely on most not understanding that, because its true, and also, why it perpetuates. It' easier to believe the rich are stealing or skimming from the poor than that they are loansharking them because they and many have been getting more benefits than they can pay for for up to 60 years now.

 Now the lies have started, and there is a reason he goes in for the kill starting here. He knows at this point the reader who is now prone to use his or her cell phone to record stuff is not going to fact check his argument. He has built a base of trust, and some legitimate arguments based on known facts, that he knows you aren't going to out him at this stage. He has you--if he has you, and he knows it.

I have used many still shots from the Newsroom scene in this blog, and I created them myself. I did that to show what Sorkin was doing in this scene. He was making a point about the audience. What was that point?
This generation, maybe even more than that, this society, is more interested in the fight, or the moment, than the actual debate or knowledge being imparted. Even more than that, they are conditioned to think that being able to share it is more important than being attentive enough to consider and understand it.

Because of that, they don't really listen, and or learn, and because of that, they don't see the trouble coming because they are not doing those things. 

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command

The whole thing reminds me of a real estate infomercial, with the leader of the pack leading and prodding the willing masses to drink his Kool Aid. In spite of his car salesman approach, that doesn't mean Stansbury doesn't make some very good points, and some other half truths and inaccurate statements for effect that can be pointed out here.. and will be pointed out here. 

And this debt can never, ever be repaid. 

But what they're really all about is money, debt, and economics

Again, this is where he uses some facts, but then he will later use them to try and sell a theory that is not fact and is never going to happen. It's easy to spot if you are listening, or in this case reading, and paying attention. 
I agree with Stansbury. This debt can never be repaid, and its all about money. But, that isn't the root cause of the problem, its the diagnosis of the current disease. He doesn't want to tell you that, because that wont sell his theory and his book. 
 It's about hopelessness and the feeling the game is rigged...which it is. Its about a system where a country and all of the world these days, is based on debt, deficit, and the rich loaning the poor money at a high rate because they have to pay that rate, and just letting the masses, the average guy, sink deeper and deeper into that debt hole. Stansbury has a theory and solution to that, which comes next, and that is just complete bullshit, which will NEVER HAPPEN. He claims to have a cure for the current disease, but it's no cure, and it wont ever happen or work. At this point, like Tom Vu, he has convinced you to believe it will, because it has before. He calls this the Debt Jubilee. A biblical term he relies on you believing exists. Without consequence.

A Jubilee—which wipes the slate clean for millions of the most indebted Americans and "resets" the financial system—is inevitable

.....that is outright bullshit, and it will never happen, just like you thinking you will go out and buy houses with no money down, or on pure voodoo credit. The entire society will collapse in one trading session on Wall Street if that was the case. It can't happen.

how making the right decisions with your money could dramatically transform your life.

 And so I've spent my entire adult life helping people all around the world understand how investing works...

At this point, Stansbury is using the "I am one of you", not one of them scam. Much different than the Baldwin character, in that he basically said I am better than you and I'm only doing this because my colleagues told me to. I don't believe you can be helped. Stansbury is telling the reader they can be helped, and he, being one of them, is the one to do it. He lists his middle class history and why he understands you and your plight.

I used the above clip, partly because I have always liked it as a piece of comedy, but also because it makes the point. What you think its going to be like, because you buy into that con, and what it is actually like is something someone with first hand knowledge can explain to you. If you are willing to listen. In this clip, at the end, he isn't listening. The link actually provides more context to the scene, if you want to watch that. The shorter, edited clip is right to the point. Just because you think you are entitled to cake, and the world or some con man tells you there will be cake, there will be no cake. There is no cake.

 Millions of investors, pensioners, insurance customers, and creditors will lose a fortune.

Stansbury's theory is that there will be a debt jubilee, where the government decides that the debt you have, be it car loan debt, credit card debt, and maybe even the debt the country holds, will be forgiven completely in a blanket, catch all sort of way, and there is precedent for that. That is just outright bullshit. There is no other way to say it. The world doesn't work that way, unless you are a 3rd world country and want to stay that way. Once you get a rep for not paying your debts, or not enforcing contracts and laws, nobody will ever loan you money again. Will some investors and creditors lose money because of the debt crisis? Yes, but not because it is forgiven in some crazy jubilee. And they wont lose. Someone will pay more to cover it. That someone wont be the rich, and it wont be the poor who don't have money to pay. It will be the middle class guy already getting screwed, and it will come with higher taxes and cost of goods and services. That is the way the world works, and Stansbury likes to ignore that fact. 
And then Stansbury uses the infomercial techniques to seal the deal. They are, "but wait, there's more." And its free. As a bonus, to you, the person who will buy my bullshit, worthless book. 
 Plus, in addition to our new book, I want to send you a special series of Research Reports, at no additional charge.

its all directly from the infomercial, scam 101 playbook.

 But these market moves are going to happen, no matter what. There's nothing you or I can do to stop it. All you can do is prepare.

 He uses words like could and should a lot. To cover his ass. Wisely. Then, he offers more free stuff.

PLUS: My daily financial update, called The Digest, delivered to your inbox around 6PM each day. This is for my paid customers only. There is so much to stay on top of with this debt crisis. I'll keep you up to date on everything you need to know.

Why do you need to sweeten an already sweet deal unless its not really sweet but just sour?

 That's why as part of this deal, I'll also send you a free 30-day trial to my Monthly Advisory Newsletter called: Stansberry's Investment Advisory

There you go...there it is...what I really want is to manage...and mismanage your assets.

My Investment Advisory newsletter normally costs $199 per year, but your 30-day trial is totally free of charge. If you want to continue receiving my work after your free trial is up, that's great, but if not, no problem. It won't cost you a penny to have a free look.

Yeah..that doesn't sound at all kid, have this free hit of LSD, no obligations...its free, how can you go wrong here?

and then, the testimonials.

Again, it will cost you just $19. 

keep repeating the offer, in stages. that is the sales pitch de con man strategy. 

Just let me know in the next 30 days, and we'll part as friends. I'll even refund the full $19 you pay today—

....and then, the refund offer that costs you nothing. This is so text book, its even shocking to me that it still works. but it does. for those that don't pay attention and listen. It always will.

P.S. I almost forgot... there's one more thing I want to send you totally free of charge too. I just checked in on it a few weeks ago. It's a way to 100% legally hide and protect money from the U.S. government. If you are at all capable of doing this personally, I strongly recommend it. All the details are on the order form here...

the one last big hook..the p.s, b.s thing that suckers the last holdouts.

Why did I go through so much about Stansbury's approach here? I did that because I know its very easy to fall for, and also very easy to find out that he is just a con man selling nothing to those that will pay something for it. You only have to do one search and this article will pop up. How many will do that? I'd say not many, because they would be more interested in sharing it to their friends, who also wont do their homework, than doing that homework. 

The video directs listeners to "protect" themselves and their families by signing up for a subscription to his investment firm's newsletter for $49.50 per year. His Baltimore-based firm, Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, already has hundreds of thousands of paid subscribers in more than 120 countries, according to Stansberry. Sara Wilson, a spokeswoman for the firm, told Whispers that Stansberry "is widely recognized for his economic insight and understanding."
But a legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page notes that the firm's work "may contain errors."

  At this point, the blog has become long, not that I intended that to be the case, but because it seemed important to make the point I'm about to make as I tie it together. 

How does a Stansbury get away with convincing many that the debt they have is just going to be forgiven because America is a great country and it can be again? He does that because the reader wants to believe it, and wont bother with facts or sound logic from really smart people like the Mcavoy character. 

"I don't got to listen to this shit.
You certainly don't pal. "

 What does Mcavoy have to say about all that in the clip, as he goes on, with how he perceives this situation plays out? As the students continue to film, he tries to reach them with some education on how America used to be great, and how it can be again. I don't know that I agree with Stansbury or Mcavoy that it is still or can be again, short of forgiving all that debt, and the more to come that is coming, but that is just my opinion. There was a time to put a stop to it, but it has gone much too far and many other countries have simply passed America on the greatness ladder. He sort of has their attention, but not really. Anyway, this is what he says.

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

What were cell phones intended to be? Not intended to be? To me, they were intended to give you some freedom to make phone calls outside of your home. To have some safety late at night if you car breaks down. To allow you to do more with communication..not less with it. What they were not intended to be was an all in one, game playing, texting, video recording device and connection to the social media and internet world. That is the bastard child way it has played out, and because of that, this generation, and even more than them, masses of people can't tell the difference between intelligent speeches and arguments and the type of stuff Stansbury is putting out there. 

And if you need more proof of that, Donald Trump, the con man of all time, got elected President, basically by saying this.

Cell phones are for making phone calls, not for understanding your world. Until that is comprehended, we are all in big trouble, and some con man who tells you that you will just not have to pay your debts can sell that baloney to those that are confused by the reality they now see as reality. Which is not real.

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. Cell phones are destroying the minds of those that have them. Until we fix that problem, there is no going forward on any of the other problems, like how is it possible to be great again when you have so much debt you can't pay.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

The boy who cried big membership

In the court of public opinion, you are guilty as soon as someone levels an accusation at you, even if it is baseless. Not everyone thinks like that, but most do. They figure there must be fire there if there is smoke. Especially if it is more than one accuser. 
Politics is the ultimate court of public opinion. The whole process is based on that. So, when that is not on your side anymore, you are shit out of luck.

"Mr. Brown is entitled to a legal defense and due process, but he cannot lead us into an election as a result of these allegations," the statement read.

Did Patrick Brown get screwed over? Well, we probably wont know that for a year or two. Did he sexually harass two women, or more? We might never know the answer to that for sure, no matter what the courts decide. But in the court of public opinion, he was guilty as soon as those allegations were made. 

He is now vowing to fight, and seeing that his political career is over anyway, he is speaking out, publicly.

In interviews, the women allege inappropriate behavior by the rising political figure throughout his tenure as an elected official.
One was still in high school when she says Brown, a well-known Barrie politician, asked her to perform oral sex on him.

Is it a crime to ask a woman to perform oral sex on you? It isn't. And if it was, then there are a lot more guilty men walking the streets free than there are spots in jail to house them. As long as you are just asking. Forcing, threatening,  physically dominating, anything like that, those are crimes. Asking is not. As long as you take no for an answer, if no is the answer.  If you are the woman, and you do it, and then regret it, that is regret, but also you aren't a victim. Not legally anyway. 

It has been troubling to see the rush to judgement that we see taking place now. If secrecy and acceptance of bad behavior was the norm before, it seems rush to convict and brand anyone who is accused has become the standard way any accusation by any person---mostly women, play out. We saw that with Aziz Ansara, and I'm sure of the hundreds we are going to see come out this year, we will see 2 or 3 that were totally baseless, or as in the case of Ansara, just a situation that a women was convinced to do something, and regrets it. That isn't harassment. But why has Ansara been able to clear his name, so to speak, while others like Patrick Brown were taken as guilty and ruined on the spot?
Did Ansara sexual harass and violate this woman? If you go strictly by her account, I would say yes. So, its he said/she said in this case. But, the way its portrayed in her accusation, it was just a date, he didn't have any actual power over her, she was free to leave at any point if she wanted, and did eventually without him forcing himself further on her. Would I do the things he is accused of doing? No, I would not, but I don't view what he did as harassment in the strictest sense. The variables are somewhat the same as Patrick Brown's though, so why are there many people rushing to support Ansara, while there is virtually no one that thinks Brown was innocent here?

This blog isn’t about sexual harassment, or taking lightly any woman who claims their basic human rights were violated. If any man harasses or violates a women, in my eyes, they should throw the book at them and ruin their lives, as we see with Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein. This blog is only how we treat those who are accused, and why we treat some one way while others get different treatment.

Patrick Brown was never likeable. It wasn't hard to believe that he would sexually harass a woman. That doesn't make him guilty in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, it certainly does. He looks like the type of guy who would be guilty of a thing like this. He is on the wrong side of the benefit of the doubt. Why do I say that?
One difference is that Brown preyed on very young girls, both 18 at the time, and got them drunk, then made his move. He was no teenager when he did this, and they weren't dates, but events where he calculated the way it was going to play out. That is much different than what Ansara did. You can read the account of how Brown did it in the article I linked above. It should be noted that both Brown and Ansara both stopped when the woman said stop. It appears the woman in Ansara's case just didn't put a stop to it when she wanted to, while the one in Brown's case did because Brown was much more aggressive in terms of how he was accelerating the encounter. He was on top of her and pinned her to the bed, if her account is to be believed. Brown hints that he is denying that happened. Again, he said/she said.

First, Brown was never known to be a "people person". To watch him, his abrasive nature, his pissy attitude, just rubs you the wrong way. He looks like he wouldn't take no for an answer. Pretty much, that is what he is accused of here. For a more concrete example, we only need to look at how he handled his brouhaha with Kathleen Wynne.

Deputy premier Deb Matthews has accused the Tory leader of behaving like U.S. President Donald Trump, whose penchant for prevarication is well known.
“There is a principle in Canada that you do not make defamatory, misleading comments about another political leader,” Matthews said in October.
“In Canada, we actually expect people to be honest. There is, south of the border, a change in that culture. I do not want to see that change coming to Canada.”

I'm no fan of Kathleen Wynne, and neither are most Ontarians. I have spoken about that before in other blogs, so I will just leave that as a statement of where I'm at. But, no matter what, in my world, you don't slander somebody and then insist on not taking it back, even when the proof is there that you have to be wrong and you are being threatened with a lawsuit. That is the position Brown was in with Wynne, and Brown was defiant in that instance. That is a sign to me. A sign of poor character. The kind of thing that leads you to believe he likely did harass those women who are now coming forward years later. He has a pattern. In a case that will boil down to he said/she said as to what happened on the encounter, I am inclined to believe the women in this case. They have more credibility, only because Brown has zero.

With Brown gone, his successor says the figure is actually far less — under 130,000 — and a party insider made a surprising admission about the discrepancy Monday, blaming it on creative exaggeration.
“The membership number was likely inflated for communications purposes,” said the official, not authorized to speak on the record about the topic. “We’re not going to defend the actions of the previous administration … Now people have the facts.”

One of the reasons Brown was tolerated for as long as he has been, when there was little to like in the first place was that he took a completely broken party, became its leader, and vastly increased their membership numbers in a very short amount of time. Or, so it seemed he had done that. Well, it seemed that way, because he claimed it himself and the party accepted it as fact.

Now that Brown is gone, and his career is over either way, its apparent he didn't increase the membership anywhere near to what he had claimed. What he did was make up numbers and scam the party. That came out a few days later. The party is in disarray because of it. Brown has no credibility whatsoever, so he is not going to get any benefit of the doubt on any matter. I'm sure that will be something that comes up in court when the lawyers of these women attack him. And rightfully so. In a battle of he said/she said, what he said is hard to believe without irrefutable proof, which he does not have.

Of course, we know of others who have this credibility problem. One very famous one in fact. Among the many lies that Donald Trump tells, the ones where the actual facts clearly show otherwise and only lead you to believe that anything he says is likely more fiction or deception than truth are... the size of the Trump Tower, the crowd size of the inauguration, and the viewer ratings of the State of the Union address. We could go on and on of the consistent lies he tells. 

When you get to the stage where everything you say is probably going to be a lie, or thought of as probably a lie, or even just a gross exaggeration, it doesn't matter if you are actually on the right side of the ledger in any dispute. That is where Brown is, and where Trump is.

In the case of Brown, he is the boy who cried big membership, and now even if he actually sees a wolf, nobody would believe he did.

In cases like we see now, character and credibility will decide how you are judged by those that don’t have to use the rule of law and evidence to make decisions. In the court of public opinion,  Patrick Brown is now a sexual harasser. His lack of character in public got him that title, not his actions in private.
If your word is your bond, you have no bonds to call on when the shit hits the fan. 

About Me

Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact