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Politics @ MindSay


Integrating social media into planned coverage of a presidential debate?
It's not like this won't be an interesting presidential election. You have a Republican field packed with candidates avid to make a spectacle of themselves, and ready to throw down soundbytes to go viral with. Trump, of course, is King of Spectacle at the moment, but don't discount Fiorina up-ending the feminist establishment. Rubio looks to trying to be the man of reason, and the rest of the field is packing in. On the left, Hillary is setting herself up as peerless and loaded with stamina. Sanders is making some actual sense, though not presenting sustainably-fundable ideas.

And then... Paris happens. What would these candidates do, as president?

This is the time to start a social media debate between them, using one channel, to see how they will handle this, and the attack on Washington that the Iraquis also warned about. The world stage is there, the actors are present, so use social media as the debate forum to ferret out and highlight the good, the bad, and the untenable.

It's what social media was really created for - a public, accessible container for conversations. Twitter is best for this, but Facebook has stronger communities-of-discussion. IBT should be a front runner in establishing social media as the public debate forum, instantly sidestepping the problems of network politics, bias, and moderator foibles. Drive the discussion by posing the questions, posting responses, and inviting comments and global voices into the discussion.

There's a huge opening here to push presidential candidates into a new forum, one that's witnessed by everyone, not just those with the cable subscriptions, and that everyone can participate in, rather than just being broadcast to. Yes, they'll all trot out standard talking points, but the global community can probe at those responses, and comment on them in realtime. Putin can respond to Obama on Twitter, as can Merkel. And we all get to watch and offer our thoughts on the subject.

Live Twitter feeds during debates are standard. Asking your own questions, and generating responses, are better. Driving the debates as measured by responsiveness in public forums is the top.

It's a truly brave new, interactive world, and we need to leverage it for all it's worth.

Houston, we have a problem.

An Open Letter to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and especially FOX news.


To Whom It May Concern:


This is just a friendly letter from a concerned citizen to all the heads of the major television news networks.


Frankly, I’m concerned that you don’t have a pulse.


If this were still the glorious days of the Clinton-era, no doubt each network would be falling all over each other attempting to report “stories” about such things as Whitewater, Lewinsky, perjury, and any other half-baked Republican induced lie.


And don’t worry – I know you’re very busy keeping us up to the minute on Kate Moss’s cocaine addiction, Britney’s new baby, and all the financial reasons we shouldn’t buy a hybrid car. Very busy and exciting times, I’m sure.


But if I could ask one simple favor – if it doesn’t trouble you too much – Could you please at least attempt to do your job as the supposed watchdog of our country?


I’m not sure if the right-wing talking points have struck fear into your hearts so that now you’re afraid to report of widespread corruption, lies, and deceit that infest the very soul of the Republican Party. Maybe you are afraid the truth will be labeled as nothing more than the “liberal media”.


Don’t worry, Mr. and Mrs. Newspeople. We here in the public are a lot smarter than they give us credit for. Maybe the Bush Administration’s 39% approval rating will give you a bit of courage.


It’s possible you there at CNN and FOX don’t search the “Internets” or read the fine reporting of the Boston Globe, LA Times, Washington Post, or even the NY Times. If that’s the case, don’t fret. I’ll bring you up to speed right now.


Maybe you could start with at least mentioning Bill Frist’s unusual sale of his HCA stock – stock that he wasn’t really suppose to know anything about but managed nonetheless to get regular updates about it. The last time I checked, that was against the law. Is the Senate Majority leader breaking the law not worthy for at least a 45 second slot?


Another good place to start would be to let the public know a little about Jack Abramoff, someone who has been arrested for charges of fraud, is accused of shortchanging Indian tribes, and is now in the inner circle of the Bush Administration. Maybe you could even give a news slot to Frederick Black, the US Attorney is Guam who dared investigate public corruption of Abramoff and was demoted by Bush the very next day.


Of course, any further investigation might also reveal more about Tom DeLay, who once called the Mariana Islands something akin to a “marvelous capitalistic success” when in reality the entire place is one big manufacturing sweatshop.


Maybe I’m confused and stories of corruption in every single leadership position in our government do not register as “newsworthy” any longer. I guess Karl Rove outing a CIA Officer for political retribution isn’t as exciting as some land deal in Arkansas.


Thank you again for your time in this matter. By the way, to read about these stories and bring them to your attention took about 20 minutes. If you are short-staffed and just couldn’t find this stuff, then perhaps I could join your payroll in order to insure that such an oversight doesn’t happen again.





Tea Party
I remembered to come back to this--finally.  "Been away so long I hardly knew the place..."

OK, then.  Let's get going again with my involvement with the Tea Party movement.  Yes, yes, I know--many here will be only too happy to try to dump on it and call it all the usual terms that are tossed out by those who prefer another America to the one that his/her parents grew up in.  I don't much care what anyone thinks who comes from that school; they are not going to win America over to that side.  The rest of us have awakened to what is being attempted by this administration, and it doesn't fit our American model--never will.

But let's have one thing understood from the jump: people in this movement, with exceedingly rare exception, are just work-a-day folks who simply want the principles that built America into the envy of the world to remain.  They do NOT want it converted into a European socialist state--or anything approaching that.  We see what Europe has--and no longer has--and we're not buying it.  Small government, low taxes, personal freedom and liberty, and INequality.  

That's right: INEQUALITY.  What do I mean?  Simple.  Are you smarter and more talented than me?  Great, then I expect you will be able to accomplish more, have more, and generally show yourself to be of more economic value to the country than me.  And I should not be ENTITLED to one cent of your wealth.  I don't want you to cheat me, but if you get ahead by honest and forthright efforts that I was too lazy to put into play for myself, you deserve everything you earn.  

When a local democratic congressman, Jim Moran, said during the presidential campaign that republicans still held to a myth that "those who have wealth are entitled to keep it", I knew America was in trouble with this kind of man in office.  The founders of this country believed that people were either industrious or slothful, and to have suggested to them that the former be forced--through taxation--to give of their substance to the latter would have made their blood boil.  Today, instead, it's axiomatic that we operate that way.  It is insane.

And that is what the Tea Party is all about.  We're sick of confiscation, taxation, overbearing government and the loss of personal liberty.  Just this week, two more examples were in the paper of the nanny state in overdrive: 1) The FDA wants to dictate salt content in food.  Not daily RECOMMENDED allowance, DICTATE it.  By force of law.  And 2) the EPA is moving to require home improvement and general contractors who work on homes built before 1975 (?) to subject materials in those homes to lead testing. That's going to mean home renovations and projects will cost multiple times more, and drive many contractors out of business.  But it's all for our own good, don't you know.  Isn't it all?

When I was a kid growing up in Virginia, we could buy cherry bombs and caps for our play guns, even switchblade knives if we wanted one.  And I had more than one Italian stiletto as a teen.  I liked them.  All that's been illegal for years.  Why?  What business does the state have in telling us how much risk we should be allowed to bear?  If it's argued that dangerous living costs all of us money because it affects insurance rates, then tell me why we don't outlaw every activity that could affect our shared medical costs?  And then require everyone to get at least 2 hours of aerobic exercise each week?  And then outlaw cigarettes, chewing tobacco, skydiving, homosexual sex, hunting, circus acts, and all saturated fats?  While we're at it, maybe we should require masks when mowing the lawn, then rid our sheds of power mowers, chain saws and electric hedge clippers.  And what about those cars with "too much" horsepower?  And exotic cars that can go over 200 mph?  How can we allow people to live as they please when we're all affected by everyone's decisions?  Don't actions that tend to get dangerous make us all pay more?  Where does it end?

This is NOT what our founders envisioned.  We are being smothered, and it's going to stop.  In November.  The era of nannyism is going to be turned back.  We've had it. And if you haven't yet, you will when your find out your house can't even be sold until you spend thousands to have it fitted with all the "green" features this government will soon be requiring.  That's right--soon, if BHO has his way, your house will have to meet green specs before your can sell it.  Never mind if you were planning on selling and retiring or moving.  You'll have to prep your house to please the EPA first.  Oh, it's going to be fun...unless you fight back.

Find a Tea Party in your area and get America back.  It's your misery you'll be averting.

Great Day that Ends Sourly
My new guy was out today, and though I know I need to just suck it up and get to know him and that's the only way to make progress, I have to admit, I felt relieved.  I just had such a bad night yesterday thinking about everything (see eje224 if you're curious) that it was nice, for once, to catch a break.  And to pretend to try to deal with some of the things I need to.  Of course, I got through next-to-nothing, but some, and some is good.

We had this yo-yo master/motivational speaker come in today to speak to the groups.  I had no intention of staying, but then I realized 4 of my 5 students that were in school that day were there, and also... he was wonderful.  He had so many positive things to say (duh, Emily, he's a motivational speaker!), and he was just talking to them about bullies and... I caught myself tearing up/crying a little at a few points.  It was kind of like reliving my 6th grade year, except there was noone telling me what I should do, or telling other kids what they could do to help me. 

So at the very end of the day, one of my staff (Stacey) looked kinda down and when I asked 'are you okay?' she said "no, I have to say some things to you".  Well, it was a fun conversation, let me tell you.  I am trying to not take it personally, and not be upset by it (not working), but I don't know how I'm supposed to feel.  I think she had a few valid points; a paper she found of mine that really WASN'T professional/for the kids, the card I made them for X-Mas that was much more silly and maybe a little offensive... (apparently, that was offensive, but when they talk about BJs, it's totally fine).  I will own up to those, and try to not do them anymore, because I wasn't actively trying to be offensive.
But then she said "I don't wanna say that I don't feel supported by you..." and then pretty much tried to say just that.  Because the other day she was in here and I didn't have a ton of work for LIM to be doing.  Or when I had told MM that she could go to work in the kindergarten room but then Paula told us about how music hadn't been good so I called her over and told her no, she couldn't go because going to work in the kindergarten is for days that she has been stellar.  Well, I was touching her hair when I was talking to her, and apparently, to Stacey, that was me sending the signal 'I'm the nice one, those 2 are bitches'.  That was not my intent.  I'm kind of sad it's April and we've been working together for ___ number of months, closely, and she doesn't know that I see us as a team, and I don't try to undermine anything my staff say and that I don't try to make myself look like the better one; if anything, I'm the asshole/hypocrit who had to say 'I just told you yes, but now I'm telling you no.  Okay, go back to the work you didn't want to do anyway!'.

And I understand the feeling about the not having work for the new kid.  I had SOME things, enough for they're time together, but I do need more.  So I tried to explain that I've asked the class teacher for work, and she said "I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job, but other people would go get it".  To THAT I am offended, because I DO go over and ask teachers for things they promise.  They just don't have them ready.  And get to work at 8:30 and leave at 3:00 on the nose, and I don't have a minute to breathe or use the bathroom or eat food between those 2 times.  I didn't like the implication that I'm not TRYING to have stuff prepared; I don't like now sitting here sobbing feeling like I'm failing at my job when it's everyone else who isn't holding up their ends after I run around doing all the legwork. I can't be 12 different people; I can't do everyone's jobs.  Apparently, I can barely do my own.

Should I have spoken up more to Stacey?  I listened and agreed to try harder to be more appropriate when it's just us.  But...why didn't I say anything about "Well, why were you moving my stuff around?  Get another chair"  or "Well, if you would have asked me, I would have asked you to go pick it up from Shirley" or even just "The contract says get here at 8:15.  Not 8:40.  Especially not when you try to leave at 3:15.   You wanna talk professional?  That's not it".    Is this just me having no backbone, and/or no self-confidence, or is it because she's more right than I am. 

All of this makes my head hurt.

And now I have GOT to find a way to stop crying, because I have a meeting with Gwen in 5 minutes.  It was supposed to be at 3:30 but she called and ask to change and I was more than happy to take that half hour to get this out.  Let's hope this is a good meeting.  However, Stacey had a mtg with her at 1:30, and I have a feeling I was a topic... great.

When in the course of human events...
And so it is and so it shall be forever and always that from the world springs forth a new beginning though this beginning may not be a good thing though for the most part it can be considered new for it has not be done before in this nation. And this nation slowly begins die…

And so it is and there is nothing that I can do to prevent it from progressing, I am but one lone voice in the wilderness and my voice is that of the oppressed and meek. I have been on this journey far too long to believe that hopes and wishes actually do come true. All I can hope for is that the impact will not be too great upon myself and those who come after me. I cannot save myself let alone can I save the future from all that this world will hand down to them. I am but a single soul afloat in this cesspool of a reality, and the only thing that I can look forward to is that the bacteria will quickly dispose of me and remove all traces of my existence. I am but a single lost soul in the stream of consciousness, detached from all that spirals around me in this vast universe – lost and alone many miles from the ultimate prize that I seek from this life. I am but a lost soul cast out with the refuge of this world, cast upon the garbage heap of a country that does not hear my screams of stop before it’s too late. I am but a lost soul and nothing more…

What am I to do when the rules are changed in the middle of the game, and I as a player have no say so in the matter? I am not the one who makes the rules and sets them in stone to be carried down from on high; I am just the one who must live with them for all eternity. But that is the way the world goes ‘round, and I cannot stop it spinning nor can I get off this ride as we spin through a universe of utter darkness and chaos. There is only one way out, one exit from this reality, and I’m not ready to leave it yet, but at the same time I’m not looking forward to moving forward along the course that has been set for me. So here I shall remain though I know that this too is a dream that has died for even if I remain absolutely still I am still progressing along this path into a future that has been taken from me…

And how can I stop the stealers of dreams from taking the dreams of my children? I know there is nothing to do to change my fate, but what can I do to prevent this from happening to those generations that follow me? What is this lost soul to do to help the children and keep them from repeating the same mistakes I have made on this journey? Can the children use my life as an example of how not to live, and make the world a place for them to blossom and flourish and dream the dreams that will make their reality one in which the wish to live?

I scatter the seeds of my discontent upon the ground and I await all that grows – I await harvest time and the feast of plenty, I await the reaper who takes from my fields and gives to the hungry of this world, I await the miller who grinds my discontent into a fine powder to bake the loaves of despair, I await and so shall I wait until the end of time. “Ye reap what ye sow” and so shall I reap the fruits of my labour, and these fruits shall have gone rotten upon the vine. And I shall rejoice in this fact, and no one will care nor will they take notice of this lost soul as he dances the dance of death amongst the fields that lay before him…

And many will scoff at this fool as he rants about a reality that he can never change nor can he ever stop. Many will disregard all the words that spew forth from his mouth as he regurgitates all the truths that this reality has bestowed upon him. Many will cast stones upon him to silence this idiot as he fights against an unstoppable machine. Many will turn their backs on him as he attempts to tilt the windmills of this world. And yet ho continues do so with no regard to the voices that tell him to stop for he knows no other way to live in this reality of someone else’s making. Many will stare at this words in disbelief not realizing that the Truth is contain herein for many are not seeking the Truth, but rather the messages that will only help them make through this day and into the next…

And so it is, and so it shall be until the universe is consumed with a darkness from which there is no escape…

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