The Failure of Democratic Capitalism-Why You Should Vote

Democratic Capitalism is Destructive

“Make America Great Again”. No. That is not possible. America has never been great. In fact, America has never really even been that good. Initially, coming to America was a dangerous and deadly decision for many people. Check the facts, “Crossing the Atlantic meant two to three months of seasickness, overcrowding, limited food rations, and disease.”

“In some places, the meeting of Europeans and Native Americans was peaceful. In others, the cultures clashed, leading to violence and disease. Whole tribes were decimated by such newly introduced diseases as small pox, measles, and the plague.” Excerpted from; https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/immigration-timeline

Rather auspicious beginnings. Despite the Liberty that is sought here daily by thousands of people; getting here is deadly and dangerous.

Consider this statistic from 2014: “In the past 14 years, more than 6,000 people have died trying to migrate through the U.S.’s southern border, a new report by the International Organization for Migration says. Just in the past year, as many as 445 people died trying to pass into the U.S., reports the Toronto Star; that number comes from the U.S. Border Control and may be a low estimate.”

Read more at and excerpted from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nearly-6000-migrants-have-died-along-mexico-us-border-2000-180952904

Many of us who live here in the United States are not living the dream. We may take for granted the fact that there is opportunity here to choose our own vocations and avocations; but most of the people in this country struggle and die in obscurity and poverty. Some people say as many as 98% of the people that live on earth have a daily struggle to raise their families, enjoy financial and personal security, set goals that may help them to better their lots in life and simply survive.

Some time back there was a movement to seek some sort of social and financial equity. Remember the 98% Movement? Although these types of groups recognize the problem, rarely do they really make any headway.

Why? Because of money. No matter how well organized and active these types of political activists are, they are always overshadowed by the wealthy and powerful 2 percent who seek to maintain the status quo.

We want to believe that we all have an equal chance in the world. But, we do not. Everyone is not on equal footing when it comes to opportunity. Everyone does not have the same environment to grow up in. Everyone does not have the same genetic makeup in terms of intellectual and physical capacity. Although there is diversity among peoples in terms of origins, creeds, nations and tongues; all people are not created equal.

Am I saying that not all people have value and potential? No, I am not saying this. I am saying that in this world, time and chance happens to all people. For every person who lives in the United States that has a dream left; there is a possibility for them to reach their potential. For every person created in the Image and Likeness of GOD, there is the possibility for them to receive Faith and reach their potential and live whatever dream God has given them.

But, time and chance happens to all of us. And in that fact lies the truth that America was not created to be great. It was created so that the Founding Fathers could preserve the Liberty THEY had. Not to create Liberty for all persons. Despite the belief the Founding Fathers held that all persons hold certain inalienable rights, they did not actually create a system that sustained this ideal. What they did was create a system that would sustain THEIR inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We all want to think of these people as heroes. And to some extend they did some heroic things. They gathered up every able body they could and committed them to the War that was required to turn back England. But at what cost?

“Throughout the course of the war, an estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. Historians believe that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war.

Unreliable imperial data places the total casualties for British regulars fighting in the Revolutionary War around 24,000 men. This total number includes battlefield deaths and injuries, deaths from disease, men taken prisoner, and those who remained missing.

Approximately 1,200 Hessian soldiers were killed, 6,354 died of disease, and another 5,500 deserted and settled in America afterwards.” Excerpted from: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/american-revolution-faqs

Of those who fought nearly fifty percent were not voluntary. They were Slaves. They had not yet experienced what the Founding Fathers had found for themselves. In fact, they had been enslaved by the very people who had the high falluting ideas and enjoyed the Liberty that they themselves denied others. Consider this quote from the same source: “Great Britain had 8 million residents in 1775, and the 13 rebellious colonies about 2.5 million (of which half a million were slaves).”

Hmmm. Seems hypocritical from that perspective. But it certainly does not in my opinion, seem “great or even good” It seems like the beginning of a system that is as oppressive as the one that the Founding Fathers sought to escape.

Therein lies the failure of democratic capitalism. It is double minded. And hypocritical at its core. Need more proof? Let’s talk about how divided the United States became during the Civil War. A continuance of the double minded hypocrisy that characterizes the system today.

From the same source as above, The American Battlefield Trust, “Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting. A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.”

What is the point here? America started out polarized. We have spent countless lives and dollars to remain polarized. Both in terms of actual Wars and the Cultural Wars that continue to this day. We call this county the United States of America. But it is not united. We still to this day are witnessing the divisiveness and destruction that comes from people who seek to either maintain the status quo because it serves their personal interests or destroy the status quo because it is oppressive and destructive to their personal interests.

Democratic Capitalism is failing right before our eyes and no one seems to want to admit it. At least not very many people with a platform to be heard from. The people with a platform generally fall into one of two categories: either they want things to get better within a system that has granted them personally opportunity and prosperity OR they want to change some of the things within a system that has granted them personally an opportunity to prosper. But very few people are willing to stand up and say, this is not working for everyone the way it is supposed to.

And it is not working out as well as other systems of government do and have in the past. Want more facts? Or at least an informed opinion. This is one way of measuring “quality of life”

The “Social Progress Index” collates the scores of three main indexes:

  • Basic Human Needs, which includes medical care, sanitation, and shelter.
  • Foundations of Well-being, which covers education, access to technology, and life expectancy.
  • Opportunity, which looks at personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.

In Canada, New Zealand and other Countries people have access to education, health care and opportunity. People enjoy a higher standard of living overall then here in the Divided States of America. Why? Because the systems of government in these places actually work for all the citizens. Not just the wealthy and powerful. Sadly, the Divided States of America in not even in the Top Ten. To me, that denotes failure. Systemic failure.

Is there any form of human government that is perfect? No. Every system of human government is only as good as the people who are running it. If you have wise rulers, you have equity to some degree. But if your rulers are ruled themselves by selfishness or deceit, you can’t realistically expect much from them in terms of equanimity.

Why You Should Still Vote

Because you live here. If you are reading this in America. You have only one opportunity to really affect any change. Vote. Am I going to presuppose to tell you who to vote for? No. I am not. But you have two options as I see it. As do I. Either vote or move away from this Country. Move to another place where people are more reasonably governed.

If you know me, then you know I am not going to plan to move. I don’t even like going to the store. Let alone the tremendous burden of having to move somewhere. That would mean I have to drive for at least 12 hours or so. And rent a trailer. And find more clients. And find a house. And so forth and so on. I am not going to all that trouble. When I can vote instead. And by voting maintain my right to speak out about what is going on here in this country.

That is reason one why you must vote. So you are not like so many of the people that are in office right now. So that you are not someone who talks a bunch of crap and then sits in their government paid housing with a nice fat salary and incredible government paid health care plan and retirement plan and talks about how people should not get any help from the government if they are sick or old or somehow unable to care for themselves.

I am not saying that everyone in public office is like this. But some people who have managed to get themselves elected are the worst kind of hypocrites. The kind that will tell you anything they think you want to hear to get elected and then will NEVER EVER listen to you once you put them in office. You don’t want to be like that.

So rather than try to tell you who or what to vote for; I will simply say this. It is possible to find out more about the Issues and Candidates that are on your Ballot this Election Cycle. It is possible. But you may have to do some work. You may have to meet some of these candidates in person if possible. Or research their record in terms of what they have already done in their lives. Either in office or prior to taking office.

Research the Issues. Find out about the Candidates. If you are not sure what to look for, here is an idea. Find issues that make sense to you and then follow the money. Find out who is funding the Issue on both sides and it should become clear as to how you should vote to help this broken system to work maybe a little better.

Another idea is to see who is slinging mud. If a Candidate is throwing shade at his or her opponent; most likely it is because they themselves have some hidden agenda. Hidden Agendas are what gets Public Servants in trouble eventually. Because a person’s Agenda cannot remain hidden forever. And once it becomes evident that a person has an Agenda that may not serve the Public Interest; generally that person gets voted out.

That would be my last piece of advice on the matter. Sometimes, it is not about voting someone in. It is all about voting someone out. Even if you don’t know that much about the Incumbents opposition, it is easy enough to see that ANYONE would be better than the person who has been doing the job.

I don’t want to seem completely anti-American; but I don’t think anyone would blame you if you decided that it may be best for you and your family to live in another country. So, if you don’t want to vote, consider New Zealand. They actually do have it pretty well there according to the above quoted Social Progress Index. In fact, this article has nine other possibilities too. Maybe I will revisit the idea of moving but this election, I will be voting. I hope you do to.

Do you agree with me? If so, let me know. Or even better send me some money for publishing this.

Having the Nerve to Publish my Opinion

Because you want to help me out.

$20.00

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 8 Transcript

Get this episode here.

This Episode goes back to the topic of the podcast. Local stuff. Although no one called me on it, I am apologizing for the last episode first. It may seem surprising to some of you who hear this episode, but I am sorry about the last episode. If you heard it, then you may know why. Anyway, Back to why I started doing this in the first place.

Cockfighting continues to be a problem here in the Valley. According to the Vindicator For the second time in less than a week, police and humane agents have served a search warrant as part of a broader investigation of cockfighting.

Members of the vice squad, Community Police Unit and Animal Charity served the warrant at a 1413 Forest View Drive home on the East Side today.

Unlike a warrant served Dec. 15 at an Ives Street home where police found roosters, heroin and cocaine, the Forest View Drive homeowners were cited only for violating housing codes prohibiting farm animals in the city.

About 30 roosters were found in a makeshift coop covered with a tarp in the backyard. It had wooden floors with straw and portable heaters inside. A detective described it as one of the cleanest he has ever seen.

This may seem somewhat insensitive to some listeners, but: Why is this illegal? Who cares if people want to set a couple of cocks in a ring and watch them tear each other up? Obviously some people do care, but for many it is a nonstarter. It does not harm any people. It does not cause property damage, unless you count the damage done to the fowls themselves. And it is not posing a health threat unless you happen to find some of that chicken in your chop suey or mcnuggets and it has not been cooked or stored properly. What about you? Do you care if people go to or organize cockfighting?

Then up in Niles, or down in Niles: I guess depending on your perspective the Vindicator is reporting that some more of the public officials announced that they are quitting. Robert Marino, council president since 2004 and a fixture on council for more than 20 years, shocked his fellow council members tonight by announcing he will not seek re-election next year when his term expires.

Two other council members, Steve Papalas, D-at large, and Frank Pezzano, D-1st, immediately followed Marino’s statement by announcing that they, too, will not run again in 2017.

And as if those announcements were not enough, long-time Law Director Terry Dull said he will retire next February.

The four revealed their plans at the conclusion of Wednesday’s council meeting.

Yeah, well for those of you who missed it, their alleged ringleader was indicted last month on more than 50 counts of various corrupt activities. According to the Vindicator, Two years after news of an investigation of possible corruption in Niles government began, an indictment of former Mayor Ralph Infante laid bare allegations of public corruption few could have imagined.

The 56-count indictment of Infante, released Tuesday, references bribery dating back to 1993, unreported gifts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, including envelopes of cash around Christmas time, accepting money for a job with the city and a vice that harkens back to the Niles of yesteryear – gambling.

The indictments unsealed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court contain a variety of allegations, including 17 counts of felony tampering with records, five counts of money laundering, two counts of theft in office, four counts of bribery and others.

The most serious charge Infante faces is engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which carries a 10-year prison sentence upon conviction.

The other charges, especially the 17 counts of tampering, could make his possible sentence rise to more than 100 years.

The charges date back to 1993, just one year after Infante began his career as Niles mayor, which spanned 24 years, ending in 2015.

So I say good. It is apparent that Niles needed a good laxative. And so the rest of the excrement that had been running that town is voluntarily evacuating itself. And it is about time. Who knows how many people were oppressed by that group of alleged criminals. Notice I keep saying alleged. That is because an indictment does not a conviction make. But at least, the rest of our allegedly organized criminal element in this town has been put on notice. You are being watched and recorded. It won’t be long before we come for you too. Or you can skink off like the cowards you are and find some other rock to crawl under in some other Valley. Are you getting the idea? Aint everyone affeared of you.

And related to this story the Vindicator is also reporting that Niles Oversight Committee is grappling with another or revised plan to bring it’s finances back into balance.

Despite some reservations, the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission unanimously approved the city’s latest amended recovery plan from fiscal emergency – the fifth such revision.

“You have demonstrated quite a bit of progress since the emergency was declared,” said Quentin Potter, commission chairman. However, Potter and several other commission members are concerned about one of the plan’s key elements – the leasing of the financially troubled Wellness Center.

The city hopes to lease the building for $240,000 annually for three years with an option by the tenant for a three-year renewal. John Davis, a commission member, was skeptical about finding a tenant and questioned Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia as to the level or probability of success from low to high.

“If it’s low, then it shouldn’t be in the plan,” said Davis, who earlier this month in an interview with The Vindicator called for the mayor’s resignation after council rejected his fourth revision to the plan.

“I would say it is a high probability,” the mayor promptly responded.

And that is what a mayor is supposed to say isn’t it? He is not supposed to say, “well: you know for the last 20 or so years our community has been allegedly raped by it’s governing officials who were to busy enriching themselves to bother trying to actually serve the public interest” No, any descent mayor is going to say, “this is the plan and it will work. Or at least there is a good probability it is going to work.” And let’s hope for the sakes of the beleaguered residents of Niles, now that the crap is clearing itself out of the area, it can start living up to it’s potential instead of being a haven for alleged criminals.

St Jude PSA

So in brighter more Holidayesque news, The WFMJ Channel 21 News reported that Youngstown has passed a budget for the first quarter of 2017.

Youngstown City Council approved its quarterly 2017 budget Wednesday evening December 21, 2016.

A total amount of 40 million dollars will be used until March, with almost no changes from this year’s budget.

Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Ray says no changes will be made to police and fire departments, and that the council does not see any future layoffs within the next year.

The downtown amphitheater project will also not affect the budget.

Council will meet again in the coming months to decide the budget for the full year.

Now there is some good news. Police and Fire protection for the City will not be affected. That is progress. Not only that, but one of them wonderfully free venues will be added to the Downtown area, an amphitheater. Not that it will be free to build, but many times; such a venue actually will provide free entertainment to the community. Not to mention the fact that when it is not hosting an event, it makes a great place for childrens and adults alike to play. It may not be a playground, but who when they were growing up didn’t love to hop up on an empty stage and look out over a large space and act like Robert Plant? Or Cher? Depending on what gender you identify with.

Now this is not exactly Valley related, but before you click on Cher’s website: I want you to make sure that you are not at work for 2 reasons. First, she is forward thinking enough to welcome people with audio onto her site. Yes, I said forward thinking. She welcomes you with her own voice to her website. That is so smart, If you have a website and are that smart; you need to get in touch with me. Because that is part of what I do here at Mahoning Valley Podcast.

Second reason. Cher has a tendency to put her best features forward. And if you never have seen Cher, then in her case and in my opinion one of her best features is behind her. Yes she is a good singer, but like wow, she has an incredibly attractive behind. And she is not shy. So, if you click over to her website, within 1 minute you will be graced with a very nice picture of one of her more revealing outfits. I almost was delayed in the writing of this transcript the view is so nice. Anyway int may not be safe for work.

Let’s get back into local news and commentary. Apparently the Austintown PTA thinks that perpetuating myths is more important than raising their youngins with the truth. According to the Vindicator, As Austintown Elementary School student Bryan Fleshman stood in line to meet Santa Claus, he confessed he was a little nervous.

“I’m not ready for Christmas yet,” said Bryan, a red Santa hat perched on his head and green face paint coating his cheeks.

The second-grader was one of about 1,000 of the school’s students who got to meet Santa on today, thanks to the school’s Parent Teacher Association. An annual Santa Claus visit is a school tradition.

“We try to bring in any kind of fun or educational activities that we can,” said PTA president Bethany Martinez. “Some of the kids, it’s the only time they’re going to get to see Santa.”

A flurry of holiday happenings took place district wide over the last few weeks. The intermediate school also got a visit from Santa this week, thanks to the PTA there. AIS and AES both hosted a “Santa’s Shop” for students.

That is great, but the fact is that Santa is a myth. A figment of the imagination. And that is why no living or dead person has EVER seen Santa. News flash, the dude doesn’t exist. Why am I being such a grinch you may ask yourself? Because when I was growing up, my parents (God rest their souls) had me going for a few years with the myth of Santa. I know they were just doing their best to be entertaining and even fun, but it would have served me better to learn from an early age that there is no such person. That in order for them presents to appear on Christmas morning, someone had to work their ass off and make sacrifices and even cause themselves to pay horribly high interest rates on Credit Card balances. That way, when I found out that Santa is a fake, I wouldn’t have started wondering in my young mind, “What else did my parents lie to me about?”

FEMA PSA

Now because this is a podcast and it represents for the most part a mobile form of communication here is one headline about Mobile Internetting. According to The Verge, The European Commission has accused Facebook of providing “incorrect or misleading information” in the run-up to its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. Information requested by the Commission is used to vet large mergers and takeovers, aiming to find out if the resulting business would be anti-competitive. If Facebook cannot provide a decent excuse for misleading the Commission before January 31st it could be fined up to $179 million.

The Commission’s complaint refers specifically to the nature of the data-sharing agreement between Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2014, Facebook told the Commission that it would be unable to automatically link data between accounts on the two services, but in August this year, the social network introduced a new privacy policy that does exactly that. WhatsApp user data — including phone numbers — is shared with Facebook in order to map social connections and deliver more relevant ads on both services.

Does this surprise anyone of my listeners? If so, let’s talk. Contact me for a free and very quick consultation on privacy on the internet and if you want in modern society. And then if you want we will talk about how you can start using the internet to your advantage as well. Because I know some of you out there in the cyber audience know that the Internet can be used for more then jut sharing pictures of your dog eating your lunch. Or emailing grandma that your sled needs a tuneup so you can’t make Christmas dinner this year.

Lets wrap it up with some more examples of how people can actually do some good in this community. According to the Vindicator, Owens Construction helped Youngs-town Community School celebrate Christmas in style with a dance and pizza party.

Mike Owens, owner of Owens Construction of Youngstown, and a few other company employees wanted to give back through a donation of some kind for this holiday season.

His choice was made easy when he heard the gifts students wanted for Christmas.

“One kid wanted a blanket, and another, a mechanical pencil,” Owens said Tuesday afternoon. “These were just such basic needs, not really wants. That’s what got to me.”

In addition to the dance party, pizza, snacks and drinks, students received nearly $2,500 worth in Christmas gifts for students and their families.

Principal Heidi Cope-Barker said the holiday party is a symbol of what the YCS represents – being a child.

“We want to make sure we are celebrating our kids everyday,” she said. “Having a holiday party for them reminds us we are all kids at heart, and we get to be kids, too.”

Beyond that engaging in such charitable activities benefits the Owens Construction Company too. Everyone hears this time of year about how it is more blessed to give then receive. Well due to this act of generosity, they are not only getting a free plug in the local paper, but I shared their facebook page post on my timeline. I am sharing this story on the podcast, I am sharing the link to my twitter account and I gave them some link juice too by linking back to their website with a Search Engine Optimized Link that will point back to them from at least 4 different locations where I post these transcripts. All that from one act of generosity. And a nice attaboy from me too. Well done Owens.

WWF PSA

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 7 Transcript

Listen Here

Welcome to the Mahoning Valley Podcast for 12/20/16. We are going to look at what’s trending on Social Media this week. Not everyone who is interested in the Mahoning Valley wants to use Social Media, so this episode is for you too. I also enjoy adding a little commentary of my own to this effort. Some maybe you agree with, some maybe you don’t. We are also going to hear from a guest as to why podcasting is such a unique content format. I will also throw in a couple of Public Service Announcements for good measure, so stick with us for this episode.

Over on youtube, Saturday Night Live got a big boost with their Skit on Hilary Clinton. If you didn’t catch it, I won’t spoil it for you now, let’s just say that she is portrayed as doing a grassroots effort to stay the hand of the Electoral College from officially electing Mr Trump as our President on December 19th. By the time this hits the interweb, the vote will be cast. According to the National Archive, it won’t be officially counted and announced by Congress until January 6 2017.

Here is a little more about what to expect on Counting Day. The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. Congress may pass a law to change this date.

The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.

If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.

If no Vice Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment provides for the Senate to elect the Vice President. If necessary, the Senate would elect the Vice President by majority vote, choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each Senator having one vote.

If any objections to the Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator. If objections are presented, the House and Senate withdraw to their respective chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law.

December 19th may well go down in infamy as the day that The United States of America became the Divided States of Donald Trump.

Needless to say, as of this writing, Twitter is also buzzing loudly with noise about the Electoral College. Twitter is a much more outspoken media than most though for those of you who do not follow Twitter Trends. Much more expressive and vitriolic in my opinion. Even Donald Trump himself is known for openly expressing his opinion much to the detriment of his soon to be appointment to govern this fine nation of ours.

Facebook is not so much concerned with the Electoral College today as it is with the assassination of a Russian Diplomat today 12/19/16. According to CNN.com “Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty police officer, was the gunman who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a press conference. The attacker was born in 1994 in the town of Soke in Turkey’s Aydin province, he said. Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reported that the gunman has been neutralized. But it was not immediately clear whether the attacker was killed or captured by police as of this writing.”

Cnn.com continued “Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday, after the gunman shouted, “Do not forget Aleppo!” as he opened fire.

The shooting of Ambassador Andrey Karlov was captured on video. Russia’s foreign ministry described it as a “terror attack.”

If you have been following mainstream media, then you know that the situation in #Aleppo has become ridiculously tragic. People under constant threat of death and destruction as government forces and ideologists fight it out. Personal opinion, if your ideology is causing to you to do harm to anyone, it is probably time to rethink.

And then if you want another reason not to hold your cellphone next to your ear, on youtube and facebook, Ceelo Greene is a trending due to a phone malfunction. I personally started using speakerphone a few years back when there were stories about how Cell Phones could cause brain cancer. Anyway, if you didn’t see the video check the show notes and watch this poor man’s phone blow up in his ear. There are also a few vids showing Mr Greene discussing the idea that it was all a part of a new project of his. With him apologizing for stirring people up.

What do you think, Publicity or Tragedy? Or both?

Make A Wish PSA

It also seems somewhat ironic that on the same day we saw security footage depicting a cell phone blow up on someone’s face, we also have the Samsung Galaxy 8 trending on both twitter and Facebook. I am thinking Samsung may have bought the trend. Not that I can prove this, it is not too hard to buy trends on facebook or twitter. If your pockets are deep enough. If you have a very large budget for 2017 (think at least 5 million dollars per quarter), contact me and we can discuss how you can bring your product or service into a trending position on twitter or facebook. And let me know if you believe it is possible to buy trends on any of the places you may find this transcript or podcast.

What else is trending on youtube this week? Korean Bar-b-Que If you ever wondered if you get what you pay for, check this video. These nice young men decided to check out the difference between barbecue that costs 24.00 and 346.00. Apparently Korean barbecue is pretty popular in modern cuisine these days, cause this video garnered over 3 million 6 hundred thousand views by the time of this writing. To be fair, the Channel that is displaying this video has over 11 million subscribers and apparently has been running these food price comparison videos for some time.

People do love food talk and food videos and food pictures though. I often enjoy checking out my cousin’s culinary adventures on Tumblr. Food and Wine has over 5.3 million followers I am among them of course. They also have nearly 2 Million Likes on Facebook. Food is such a popular subject on Social Media that Twitter itself decided to get into the act and set up their own account. Ironically it only has a little less then 1 million followers.

Here is a story you won’t see reported on the mainstream media this week, (Most likely anyway)

So we will head back to Samsung. There is a movement going on to ask the manufacturer to compensate their employees for diseases caused through the manufacture of Smart Phones. According to Green America “Since 2007, more than 70 Samsung factory workers have died due to work-related diseases and hundreds have fallen ill, according to SHARPS, an occupational health advocacy group in South Korea.

Courts in Korea have sided with one victim, ruling her leukemia was caused by dangerous chemicals she was exposed to at work. Seven years after her death, Samsung finally issued an apology to workers in 2014.

In July 2015, Samsung finally agreed to pay victims $85.8 million in compensation—in line with the recommendations of the Mediation Committee. However, so far, Samsung has ignored the core recommendation of this committee: to fund an independent non-profit foundation that will determine how to fairly distribute compensation to workers for their diseases and how to develop an effective strategy for assessing and incorporating safer chemicals into production, in order to prevent future diseases.”

The Associated Press is also reporting on this story here.

One last trending topic According to Cnn.com again, A truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night, killing nine and injuring at least 50. Officials are investigating the crash as an act of terrorism, according to a German intelligence official familiar with the matter.

Authorities have apprehended the suspected driver, according to a police spokesman.

The crash occurred in Breitscheidplatz in the western part of central Berlin. Another person who was in the truck died on scene, Berlin police tweeted. “A truck just ran over a sidewalk at #Breitscheidplatz Our colleague report multiple injuries. more to follow,” Berlin police tweeted.

The “accident” is being investigated as an act of terror.

So now for some of my opinion. The mainstream media is conspiring with the criminals who commit these crimes whether they are attributed to ideology or simple human criminality. It is not a conscious choice on the part of the media. Yet, many times some one commits a criminal act regardless whether a motive is known or not, rather then simply identify the act as criminal, it is sensationalized as an act of terror. EVERY criminal act is an act of terror to the victim. Does this mean that we are to differentiate between terroristic motives and other motives?

How is it a conspiracy? Well by identifying the alleged perpetrators. If Al Qeada or ISIS or ISIL whatever they want to call themselves claim responsibility for some criminal act, they get exactly what they want from the mainstream media. Publicity and the furtherance of their goals to inspire terror. Why would a responsible journalistic organization give credence to a claim that so and so committed a criminal act without proof? In fact, in America; any allegations of criminality must be proven in a court of law before it is considered to be fact.

So what can our mainstream media outlets do? That is the usual question. Well, what do you expect them to do? I expect any reporter or journalist to stick with verifiable facts. I expect that using sensational terms such as “act of terror” or “terrorism” be reduced to the much more accurate terms “criminal act” or “criminality” And that no attribution be made to any group or individual unless it has been proven in a court of law. Why? You may ask. This means that no matter what any criminals do, they never get credit for it. They get no play on the media. They are simply identified as criminals without any name or ideology. And when their free publicity dies out, they will have to find some other way to terrorize people.

St Jude PSA

We are going to listen some to award winning Podcast Host, Producer, and Consultant Daniel Lewis discuss why podcasting is a unique and perfect media for reaching your audience and gaining the trust of your subscribers and audience. So we have some excerpts from Audacity to Podcast along with my personal commentary. If you enjoy the excerpts, feel free to subscribe on the show notes. You can also contact me if you are ready to develop your own podcast.

Why is podcasting a unique and perfect media for reaching an audience, gaining trust and establishing a unique voice in the cacophony of voices on the internet?

A quick summary of 8 points that make podcasting more intimate and unique than writing, video even TV and Radio.

  1. Authentic Voice
  2. Speaking to individuals
  3. Building Relationships
  4. Publishing Consistently
  5. Taking Content Everywhere
  6. Engaging with Real People
  7. Connecting Through Social Media
  8. Focusing on the Niches

I am going to just briefly go over a few of these points as I have already listened to the entire episode. First off an Authentic Voice. If you are on Social Media, you know that there are hundreds if not thousands of individuals and companies vying for your attention. Many of them may seem to sound exactly alike. Having the same messaging. Save Money. Save Time. Try this new thing or that. Did you know that there were over 30 Billion Podcast Downloads in 2015 according to the Pew Research Center? Or that there were estimated over 200 million pieces of new content produced every minute on Social Media?

So where is your content in that incredible multitude of pieces being produced and shared every minute of every day? Is your voice being heard? Or are you sounding just like everyone else? Your podcast will represent your unique point of view that people can appreciate for it’s authenticity.

And what about speaking to individuals? When you podcast, you are likely (if you are doing it well) speaking to your microphone. Or interviewing someone. And that as if it were your best friend or someone you love and care about. Why does this happen in most cases? It is natural to be much more considerate, genuine and careful when you know that you are being recorded. This comes across in your podcast and helps you to build relationships with your listeners.

And that is the third point. Podcasts help you to build relationships. Just like Social Media does if you use it properly. Building relationships is what all this Internet Stuff is all about. Although there are many different uses for the internet such as research, information gathering and disemmination, and personal and professional expression; at the heart of it all and at the beginning it was all about relating to each other.

So let’s talk about how podcasts can be taken anywhere. It maybe that you are listening today on your computer. But possibly you are listening on your phone or tablet. Whats the point? If you are an experienced podcast listener you know that you can download your podcasts and listen to them anytime and anywhere you have your phone. Or Ipod. Think about that. When you are making podcasts, your audience can listen to you anywhere. Anytime. On their schedule. No other media allows you to do this for your audience with the exception of music.

There are many creative ways of using this unique media. And I have thought through them. Not to brag, but if you have something to say either to customers or clients or prospects; we can figure it out together. And make it work. And make it worth your while. You only need contact me at mahoingvalleypodcast.com or on Facebook or Twitter. And we will figure it out. Just as an added incentive for doing so, I will respond to your inquiry with actionable ideas and if you want to work on them with me, we can do so. If you want to implement them yourself; so be it.

WWF PSA

Todays Target Foreign Imports

Image courtesy of http://www.themadeinamericamovement.com/

Yes, they are cheap. Yes, I know; they help the economy by driving consumer sales. But I still have no love for foreign imports. Whether it be cars, or kitchen appliances, or cell phones, or toys. It’s all junk in my view. And buying it causes me to become a participant in the foreign labor market. Where people have no rights in many places. Where people are treated like animals and paid horribly low wages for hard, dangerous, and dirty work.

That is one of the reasons that I discriminate against foreign imported goods. The way they are made is an affront to decent human dignity and decency in many cases. Consider the scandals of labor relations that have occurred in Asia. The linked article only details four different times and places where people have been treated like dirt. Where they were discriminated against despite trying to do honest work and earn a living wage.

And this excerpt from Salon.com.  Americans have reason to cringe over the sad conditions forced on Cambodian clothing makers. The United States is the top destination for “Made in Cambodia” clothes. Major brands such as Gap, Marks & Spencer and Adidas all rely on Cambodians to stitch their clothing.

Outlets such as H&M can sell hoodies for as little as $25 because Cambodian women (almost all the workers are women) will sew for roughly 50 cents per hour.

Cambodia’s clothing factories are notoriously unpleasant. They’re hot and loud. Workers routinely flop on the floor in mass fainting episodes. Last year, strikes for better pay were crushed by authorities who shot dozens dead.

But of course it goes beyond how foreign workers are treated in many cases. It goes to quality as well. Who has not thought to themselves after some widget broke or failed, “Chinese piece of excrement.” ? And the funny thing is that although now most of the consumer goods that we purchase are made in China, this is the second or third time around for this phenomena; although it used to be Japanese goods or Mexican goods.

What is the bottom line? If it is made somewhere other than America, it is likely to bring either labor relations problems or quality problems with it. So buy American when you can, because at least that way you know the people who made it won’t get killed for going on strike and if you don’t like the way it works, you can complain to someone who speaks the same language you do.

Todays Target the Era of the Expert

Image courtesy of Tribune International

Era of the Expert.  What is this exactly? It seems as if there are many experts around on all number of topics.  Content and Social Media Marketing come to mind initially. There is even an article on how to present oneself as an expert.  Everyone wants to be an expert and the internet has made it possible to appear to have expertise.

Take for example Amy Cuddy.  She has made herself an expert on something that she termed “power poses”.  Some doctored up research and a few TED talks later she is supposed to be some kind of expert. Problem is she and her fellow researchers engaged in shoddy research techniques and biased the study that she based her “expertise” on; and as it turns out; she has become more of a charlatan then an expert.

People set themselves up as “experts” so they can appear to have some handle on solving societal problems, but have in many cases have contributed nothing to actual solutions. This is also apparent  in governance as well.  According to the Arnold Kling writing for the Cato Institute a public policy research organization;

To summarize: We live in an increasingly complex world. We depend on experts more than ever. Yet experts are prone to failure, and there are no perfect experts.

Given the complexity of the world, it is tempting to combine expertise with power, by having government delegate power to experts. However, concentration of power makes our society more brittle, because the mistakes made by government experts propagate widely and are difficult to correct.

It is unlikely that we will be able to greatly improve the quality of government experts.

Instead, if we wish to reduce the knowledgepower discrepancy[1], we need to be willing to allow private-sector experts to grope toward solutions to problems, rather than place unwarranted faith in experts backed by the power of the state.

So if you want to present yourself as an expert keep in mind that individuals will always have the right to ignore you.  And of course, when you present yourself as a “know-it-all” there will always be critical thinkers who discriminate against your opinions.

[1] When knowledge is dispersed but power is concentrated, I call this the knowledgepower discrepancy. Such discrepancies can arise in large firms, where CEOs can fail to appreciate the significance of what is known by some of their subordinates. I would view the mistakes made by AIG, BP, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and other well-known companies as illustrations of this knowledge-power discrepancy in practice.

Todays Target Predatory Lenders

Predatory lending is any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower. It is also any practice that convinces a borrower to accept unfair terms through deceptive, coercive, exploitative or unscrupulous actions for a loan that a borrower doesn’t need, doesn’t want or can’t afford.

Predatory Lending: Laws & Unfair Credit Practices – Debt.org

These actions include calling me and threatening to send my information to the collection bureaus.  Tacking on seriously high “penalty fees” like late fees and “payment processing fees” as well as “payment unable to be processed fees”. I fully intend to pay back the money I have borrowed. Although it just may take longer then originally anticipated. So lets have a look at some of the companies I recommend that you avoid with all your strength no matter how attractive the option seems, it is better to just go out and do day labor if possible then deal with these companies.
Lets start with Rise Credit at https://www.risecredit.com  Fortunately for whatever reason their website would not allow me to complete the process to actually get their loan, but their terms were as follows. Borrow 1000.00 and pay some sort of fee that brings the total amount due back to the lender and Rise to over 3000.00 whether it is payed off early or not. So basically it was once the loan was accepted, it ended up costing over 2000.00 no matter how soon I could pay it back. That is predatory.
Next Avant. Beware of this company. They are very transparent about their terms, but if you go late even for a day, expect to be contacted by phone numerous times until you speak with them about it. They also will require that you link your checking account to their company for Automatic Deductions. Never mind if for some reason, you cannot get the money in there in time. They are going to initiate a transfer. And if you do not spend the money with your bank to “stop payment” they have no problem initiating the transfer anyway and you still end up paying extra fees.
Mariner Finance   These guys tried changing the payment location twice on me at the last moment in an effort to try to make the payment go late and collect additional revenue from my loan. How’s that for an underhanded tactic?  They also reported inaccurate information to all three Credit Bureaus about how many accounts I had with them. They also like to initiate phone calls prior to the actual date the loan payment goes late. So they will actually call you one day after the due date and start asking for the payment. Then after all this, they stated over the phone that they could extend the due date on the payment. But only if I agreed to pay it back at a lower payment rate for a longer amount of time.  They did not disclose that was the plan, until after they ran another credit inquiry and I asked them why. This would have resulted in extending the loan and them collecting an additional approximately 45% interest on the original loan. Clever, but quite predatory.
There are any number of payday loan companies and title loan companies in operation as well. Avoid these companies. I can assure you that it is not worth it. I tried one of these once cause the car needed new brakes. I ended up paying back over 1000.00 for a loan that was for 400.00 all in the matter of 3 months. So the company made 600 dollars for lending me 400.00 for 3 months. That is ridiculous.
I am sure that most readers have received these pre-approved offers from any number of companies offering Credit Cards. Generally, almost all of these offers are going to cost you a bunch of money in the long run. The list of these predatory lenders goes on and on, from Department Stores and Oil Companies that offer easy access to Credit. Target, Walmart, Goodyear, and countless other large retailers and Gas Stations will offer you easy credit, but like the Theme Song from the show Good Times said, they are all “easy credit ripoffs”.
While I was in college, I also encountered a number of lenders who were willing to encumber me with Credit Cards despite the fact that I had little to no income. Any Company that offers a Credit Card to a College Student based on future earnings is predatory in my opinion. I am not going to bother identifying these sharks, but suffice it to say it cannot be right.
Have you had any experiences with a predatory lender? Feel free to identify them in the comments below. Also, feel free to join me in discriminating against the money hungry corporations that have no sould or conscience. And finally, always read the fine print.

Todays Target Corporate America

I keep hoping I will become comfortably numb to the ridiculous antics of Corporate America.  But is seems as if I need to vent first, then maybe I can put it all behind me. I don’t want to give people the idea that I am against all business and commerce. Because that is not the case. Commerce and Business makes the world go around and provides me with many comforts and conveniences.

For reference sake, it is not love that makes the world go around. It is love that keeps an eye on it all. And occasionally interrupts the world’s progress towards self destruction.

Anyway, why am I discriminating against Corporate America today? Because despite it’s valiant efforts at continuing to take care of me and my family; it is still a tremendously corrupted and sorrowful group of money loving evil doers. OK, to be fair, not everyone who runs a business is a greedy fat cat. But overall, it seems as if many corporate executives, cannot see past a dollar sign. And that lack of vision cause me to feel discriminatory.

To wit:

Lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and supposed Health Care Companies. These are people who are supposed to be trying to make people’s lives better. There are no less than 72 different active cases against these Companies. These are not allegations only but have been substantiated by the fact that a judge has agreed to hear the case against them.

Class Action Lawsuits against Corporate America.  I could not even start to count how many of these there are, because I do not want to spend the time doing so. Suffice it to say there a a lot. Like a boatload. Like a Cruise Ship Load. Like a Tanker Load.

And numerous self reported insider stories on Corporate Greed   Anyway, I am sure you get the idea. It is time for people to #discriminate against Corporate America along with me. It is OK, really.

Please comment as to your own experiences and join me in being discriminatory. If you dare.