This Op-Ed’s Attempt to Redirect the Dems is Laughable

By Diara J. Townes. July 8, 2017.

Everyone knows the Democrats are expericing some serious turbulence on the port-side of their political fleet. Failing to win special elections and struggling to hold ground against questionable nominees for Trump’s Cabinet are some of the most recent disappointments for Dem leaders.

This week, The New York Times printed an opinion piece by Mark Penn and Andrew Stein, aiming to redirect the flagship. In reality, it only showed the importance of media literacy in the post-election world.

Of all the craziness of 2016, one thing can be said for sure: the right-wing had a good year. The House, the Senate, the White House and the Supreme Court, all under Republican control? If I was a Dem party leader (or just like, a person living in the world) I’d wonder what the hell happened, too.

So many explanations have been provided to explain Trump’s win in November. Repeating them here would turn this article into a Buzzfeed-esque list of “ha-ha, yeah, that sounds about right,” and “what? That’s some bull” so let’s cut to the short of it.

The authors of the op-ed stated that the only chance for the Democratic Party to come back from the brink of obsoleteness is to navigate to the center. The next question shouldn’t be, “well, how do they do that? Don’t the Republicans have the center on lock with the whole, we ‘run the government’ thing?”

The real question Dem leaders should be asking themselves is, “didn’t that already happen?” Quick answer? Yup.

Slightly longer answer? Not only did the Dems move to the center, but that shift totally blew up in their (and the world’s) collective faces.

The primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was a healthy necessity that excited the base. Millions of democrats and moderates came out for their preferred candidates. To keep that momentum going, the obvious move would’ve been to include the popular issues at the forefront of the democratic platform.

But for many liberals, that’s where the excitement ended. Once Clinton won the nomination and took on a more conservative democract as her running-mate, she and the party chose to step away from Sanders’ winning progressive messages. And the decline in leftist enthusiasm echoed throughout the social media waves.

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The opinion piece in the Times chose to explain how Dems can make a comeback in future elections by navigating towards the ideology that put Trump into office, rather than sailing harder to the left.

The failure in media literacy was right on the surface of the article. Not one of their arguments is sourced to a statistical report, policy or official statement. Every data point they used to represent their opinions went unattributed.

“A little more than a quarter of Americans consider themselves liberals, while almost three in four are self-identified moderates or conservatives.”

This statement is missing something important. Where did they get this number? Who did they ask? How can we verify this? In other words, where is the source?

After looking up a Janaury 2017 Gallup poll not referenced in the article, a few interpretations of the data provided could be made.

First, it’s true that 25% of Americans identified as liberal in 2016. But Penn and Stein failed to note that while 40% of Americans identify as conservative and the remaining 35% as moderate, the percentage for liberals actually rose from 17% as polled in 1992. This chipping away at the percentage of moderate Americans went unmentioned in the article.

So what could actually be concluded is that there IS a push, away from the center and to the left, while the conservative party has only managed to maintain its numbers.

So when looked at from that perspective, almost 60% of Americans identify as liberal and/or moderate with a little more than 40% identifying as conservative. Kind of changes the feel of their op-ed, no?

That’s bias. While the numbers are true, it’s interpretation is skewed. And that’s just one instance of many that constitute this treasure chest of fool’s gold that Penn and Stein dug up against the liberal wing.

Opinions are good to share and do have a place in the media. But if not properly reviewed, a biased representation of data can and does lead to misinformation.

Be a captain of your own ship. Read the facts for yourself and steer how you deem fare. Freshen up your media literacy skills. Don’t let someone else take the wheel.

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Finding Your People: Forums and Niche Networks

The Daily Post

We spend a lot of time discussing ways to use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to grow your blog’s audience. Forums are another effective tool for increasing your readership: these niche social networks are a focused way for bloggers who publish on specific topics to connect, boost their blogs, and find new post inspiration.

Finding your people

Sadly, the needle is not always so easy to find -- but forums and niche communities can go a long way toward shrinking your virtual haystack. "Needle in a Haystack," James Lumb . Sadly, the needle is not always so easy to find ‚ÄĒ but forums and niche communities can go a long way toward shrinking your online¬†haystack.
‚ÄúNeedle in a Haystack,‚ÄĚ James Lumb.

Finding people on the internet is the easy part. Finding the people you want to connect with¬†‚ÄĒ the people who care about the same things, or share your values ‚ÄĒ is another matter entirely. Many new bloggers feel¬†alone despite joining a community millions strong, because simply participating doesn‚Äôt mean you‚Äôre connecting.

There are many ways to ameliorate…

View original post 573 more words

Ways of the Cancer

Cancer Symbol

The Caring Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac (June 22nd-July 21st)

Cancer the Crab is one of the most emotionally in-touch and mature of the twelve signs. ¬†These gentle and thoughtful people are natural nurturers. They enjoying supporting their friends and family emotionally and don’t mind being the “host/hostess” for the people in their lives who they have close ties to, regardless of how they are related to them. They have an excellent maternal instinct, so are usually great with kids. They are quite protective over their loved ones, and want to maintain a sense of safety and security in their own lives in¬†order to provide for all their significant others.

Chibi Cancer

Cancerians¬†tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are¬†quite sensitive and generally try to avoid getting their feelings hurt. They will retreat to their safe and secure inner world that allows them to avoid conflict and controversy. ¬†They can be quite moody and rightfully be called crabby when they are unable to pull back from life’s bumps in the road.¬†Those born under Cancer have been called overly cautious and sensitive due to this tendency to hide from the world.

Gothic Cancer

They have a quiet patience about them that attracts others, making people around them feel comfortable and reassured. They have a strong survival instinct and desire to protect themselves from the world, should it become less welcoming. ¬†They love to help their loved ones succeed but don’t necessarily need that same amount of support from them. They have the drive and¬†self-reliance¬†to reach their aspirations on their own. Cancer folk need emotional support the most to keep them focused and balanced.

Cancer Fairy

Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which invokes the feminine in all of us. Cancerians are the most in-touch with their emotions. However, they possess trust issues that may stem from their over sensitiveness, making it difficult for these folks to properly express their feelings. If this fear of trust builds up over time, it can lead these individuals down a path to misery and loneliness, or self-doubt and pity, neither of which is beneficial for the Crab.

Despite the sensitivity and tendency towards self-pity, they are still affectionate in their relationships, even if they cannot form deep emotional connections. They are loyal and dependable people who pride themselves on being able to help the people they care about the most. They enjoy being needed and find pleasure in providing for others.  They have been called clingy because of this desire to help others who may not necessarily want the aid Cancer is offering.

Moon Cancer

They are also one of the more intuitive of the Zodiac. They will make decisions based off their gut rather than their head, usually working out in their favour. They are also a Water sign, and their nature has a natural fluid motion to it. They can have over-the-top emotional expressions, like a river tumbling over a falls, or be calm and complacent as the still sea. ¬†They are flexible people, more willing to cope with life’s changes than say Aries and Taurus, in order to avoid confrontation.

Those born under this sign have difficulty letting go of the past. As water can move to and fro, so can the Cancer mind. Immature Cancerians will hold on to pain and anguish as a reminder that life isn’t fair, leading them only to more sadness. This can be overcome if these individuals bear in mind that living in the present is most important in moving forward, and that letting go of past hurts is the only way to heal.

Cancer-the-Crab

Those born under Cancer have a love for the home life and honouring family traditions. They want safety and security like Taurus and are excellent with their finances. They can successfully use their intelligence and intuition to nurture and support their loved ones. Some may view this as smothering, but Cancer knows their actions are sincere. Their strong will and tenacity pushes them forward in attaining and protecting their homes and hearth.

Cancer Fairy Tail

 Curious Scout

Sources:

http://www.astrology.com

http://www.ganeshaspeaks.com

http://www.zodiac-signs-astrology.com

 

 

Gamers, a Film.

It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.-Roger Ebert

In accordance with my personality, I am more than just an amateur blogger. For those of you who don‚Äôt know, I helped a good friend of mine write this amazing low-budget film last year called Gamers, a tale¬†that focuses on the social lives of three gamers who find that everything they’ve come to know is about to change in a single, “roller coaster of emotions” kind of day. AND,¬†it’s finally done! Now, we‚Äôre hoping to screen it this Autumn at the local theatre known as the Enzian here in Florida.

 In order to commit to that dream, a Kickstarter has been made, and here’s some info on how you can help us achieve it!

We appreciate any sort of donation, for anything and everything truly does help. Films try to tell you a story, at least, the good ones do. We hope that we can bring this story to the screen for others to experience.

 

Curious Scout

 

Source:

http://www.goodreads.com

http://www.enzian.org/

Gemini Twins BW

The youthful Twins are the third sign of the Zodiac (May 22nd-June 21st)

Gemini is known for their witty humour, vivacious communicative styles, flighty nature and open-mindedness. They are called the Twins due to their duality; they can be happy one second and irritated the next, and sometimes concurrently.

This dual-nature can be positive or negative, depending on how the unpredictable Twins react to the happenings in their lives.Their symbol is represented by a pair of males or females and sometimes one of each, depicting the two sides of the Gemini.

Gemini-Twins-Black

They are the epitome of a Jack-of-All-Trades. Geminis love to learn, and will retain just enough information about a seemingly infinite number of topics to share with anyone who will listen.

They have a tendency to change their minds over and over, and have difficulty committing to one thing, one place and even one partner. Geminis are sometimes called shallow and fickle because of this.

Being one of the most spirited of the 12 signs, these vivacious individuals possess a personality full of enthusiasm and eloquence, making them popular amongst various audiences, regardless of sex, race, orientation and age.

They attract many suitors but have an inconsistency about them that makes it difficult for Gemnis to maintain healthy romantic relationships.  Their nervous energy, lack of focus and indecisiveness can make them unreliable and can cost them opportunities.

Gemini-twins-GirlBoy

They possess amazing skills in adaptability that can make it hard for others to truly connect with them on a deep level. Although dual-natured, Geminis are a masculine sign, so they are quicker to analyse a situation and think of a solution using logic, rather than with feelings and emotion.

They enjoy being the life of the party and hate the sound of silence in  a full room (or even with just two other people).

Their inquisitive and youthful charm, imagination and optimism allows those born under the sign of the Twins to handle the stresses of life from a brighter perspective than most.

GeminiFlowers

Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini. As represented in Roman mythology, and as Hermes in Greek mythology, Mercury is the speedy Messenger of the Gods. Known for his quick travels and clever nature,  this position also translates into the natural state of Geminians.  

These folks are extroverts and love to share what’s on their mind, making them quite approachable and able to make friends very easily.

They despise being bored and strive for an active lifestyle, physically, mentally and spiritually. They wish to be successful in the arena of knowledge and communication, as the flighty and magical Hermes.

Hermes_Mercury_

The ruling element of the Twins is air, and just as the wind blows away the grey clouds of a storm, so does the lightness of Gemini.

Commonly compared to the Peter Pan archetype, the child-like Gemini can either bring people together or push people away, depending on which way their silver tongue is sliding. Their words can light up a dark day or slice one’s feelings in two, and all in one breath.

Geminians love to use their wits, humour and intellect to make each day of the lives of everyone around them a little brighter.

GeminiElf

Curious Scout 

Sources:

http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com

http://www.ganeshaspeaks.com

http://www.astrology.com

Ways of the Taurus

TaurusTattoo1

The Mighty Bull is the second sign of the Zodiac (April 20th-May 21st).

They are known for being patient, sensual, loyal and independent, as well as persistent and stubborn. The Taurean ladies are strong, caring individuals whose sincere nature attracts a large social following. Taurean gentlemen are jovial and materialistic, and enjoy being in the company of the wealthy and influential. He strives for success in the financial aspects of his life, whilst the women under the Bull tend to have more innate financial know-how to make decisions without jeopardizing their stability and security.

TaurusPic

Taurus is a Fixed sign, meaning that they are stable, opinionated, single-minded and persistent.¬†Venus is this sign’s ruling planet, meaning these folks love, well, love. ¬†They are generous and patient people, and strive to be successful, and for the most part, their consistency and determination carry them to their goals. They are faithful and dependable friends as well as passionate and fierce lovers. They’re protective romantics, meaning they will fight for what and who they love, and won’t give up on them so easily.

Venus and Taurus

Taureans love the sensual side of life, and that means good food and drink.  Taurus individuals appreciate all kinds of expressions of beauty, from paintings to music to dramatic performance. They admire the ideals of comfort and aim to obtain the finer things of  life. These folks adore the soothing, simple aspects of society, like sunset walks in the neighbourhood, having candlelit dinners, and enjoying wine and cheese with a close group of friends. They love the social scene,  so long as they are in charge of the entertainment. They can get caught up with materials and possessions, and get lost in their efforts to maintain an unstable standard of living. They can sometimes be compared with the Greek god Dionysus, the lord of wine, sensuality, the arts and fertility.

Dionysus_Art

While Aries loves to play the game, Taurus loves the rewards of winning. They’ll invest as much effort and time as needed into a cause ¬†as long as it brings them the stability and security they need. They are a practical and determinable people but have the tendency to be selfish, obstinate and unwilling to compromise if it means changing their lifestyle or their end-goals. They can even react childishly if they are told something they don’t wish to hear or believe. Just as a bull can go from calm to nuclear in seconds, so is the temper of Taurus folk.¬†These guys don’t like to be interrupted and despise being rushed. They can become loud, violent and even abusive in order to get/keep what they want, whether its an ideal, money, possessions or a person.

WallStBull

Mature Taureans are more open-minded and flexible, and less manipulative and short-tempered.¬†Their seemingly complacent disposition is how they show their inner strength. Taurus people are deep in thought, pondering their past, present and future. They contemplate ways to build up their status, help their family and friends thrive, and find that perfect balance of happiness and comfort. They have strength and willpower that others admire, and this makes them wonderful leaders, partners and parents. ¬†Taureans¬†have the stamina and endurance to commit whole-heartedly to their dreams, their families and their friends.¬†They have a depth of patience that allows them to wait out the storm where others would quit, and they’ll be there for you when storms begin to brew in your life.

Taurus-FairyTail

 

 Curious Scout

Sources:

http://www.ganeshaspeaks.com

http://www.paulkiritsis.net

http://www.keen.com

http://www.astrodreamer.squarespace.com

http://www.astrology.com

 

The Best of Netflix, My Baked Edition

Ok so sometimes when I’m off from work, I like to sit back, turn on my XBox, take a hit and shift into chill mode. I have a select playlist of shows and movies that I watch, ¬†depending on my level of buzzed-ness, (and if I have crap to do in the morning). So ladies and gents, here it is, my ¬†Top Ten shows/movies (in no specific order) to watch whilst partaking in herbal medicine.

First, the animated guys.

10. The Amazing World of Gumball

The ¬†show follows a blue cat named Gumball, his brother Darwin, an orange goldfish that was originally his pet but grew legs and joined the family (like, right off the bat this jank is cray), and their younger sister Anais, a pink rabbit. They exist in a half 2-D, half photographed, partially stop-motioned world. And it’s freaking insane, sometimes. It has witty humour, original stories, and is fast-paced enough to keep from becoming boring or tiresome. This clip alone details how truly entertaining this kid’s show is.

And this one shows how badass his sister Anais is.

 

9. Chobits

The story is a little slow but makes up for it in it’s profound way of expanding a tale about souls in machines. Chobits gives us the chance to dive into the theories behind the spiritual and psychological impact of sentience in technology. The characters have personalities you can, for the most part, relate to, despite the show’s tendencies to be somewhat scandalous. ¬†The effects that these computers have on people are also examined from a more dramatic and romantic standpoint, and delivers some adorable feels. ¬†And all the while you’re blazed away, ¬†trying to wrap your mind around a softer “ghost in the shell” concept. This show is for when you’re at a deeper level of self-reflection.

 

8. xxxHolic

Another anime worth mentioning, is about a high school kid named Watanuki who can see with this Third-Eye, meaning he can see into the spirit realm, and the spirits can see him. The show chronicles how he ends up working for this magical witch named Yuko who grants wishes for people, but of course at a price. She helps Watanuki control his abilities by giving him jobs and chores that are helping to build on his strengths and empower his will. It’s also a little unique in its animation style, as the artist manga group that created the series known as a CLAMP, (also the creators behind Chobits) have designed them with exaggerated limbs. It makes the characters seem way more warped than normal and its kinda crazy to watch when you’re flying on cloud nine. Plus, they came up with the coolest supernatural stories, on top of creating characters that are pretty charming.

 

7. Archer

If you don’t know who Sterling Archer is, what are you doing with your Netflix? This should be in your Recently Watched pile. Because it’s smart and¬†hilarious. It has been dubbed ¬†“James Bond meets Arrested Development,” which I totally agree with. ¬†The story follows a dysfunctional spy agency where the controlling and selfish boss is the mother of lead spy Archer, who deals with the stress of his relationships with alcohol and other abusive/self-centred tendencies. Sounds amazing, right?? With the comic book style animation (like Frisky Dingo, another great one by the same creator) absolutely killer voice work, and the “beyond the typical” one-hit jokes, Archer is a solid one to watch when your enjoying a hit with friends.

 

6.¬†Bob’s Burgers

Now if you’re familiar with the voice actor H. Jon Benjamin, then you know that he plays¬†the lead in¬†both Bob’s Burgers and Archer. I personally think that watching Archer first then Bob is amazing. Bob is so different from Archer that’s its mindbogglingly weird to listen to the same voice. But, the show’s younger¬†characters really steal the spotlight. They’re gross, clever, selfish and awkward and really bring the tale some charm while you’re sailing through the sky. Plus, ¬†how can you not love Louise??

 

5. The Super Hero Squad

This magnificent diamond in the rough was cut down by Netflix during the monthly Purge of June 2014. However, its all over YouTube so you can easily find it there. This show was colourful and fast, full of quick quirks and witty side comments. The animation was bright and lively. It did have some repeated scene work and character motions as well as shots that seem to last longer than they should, which can get annoying or confusing, or even hilarious when stoned. On the plus-side, it was basically the Avengers without the slow drama and busy romanticism of other shows, and featured more characters from the comics than the current film installations. It followed the Marvel Universe outline and delivered on its story.  Just check out the opening credits, its mind-blowing how cool the animation is, how many characters you see and how unbelievably catching their song is.

 

Now, the live-action fellas.

 

4. Wilfred

The story of a depressed-suicidal man and his relationship with his neighbour’s “dog,” whom he sees as a dude in a full-bodied dog costume. ¬†Intense emotional antics and mentally stimulating acrobatics soon follow, and its impossible to not get caught up in Ryan’s desire to know just what and why the hell Wilfred….is. Plus they smoke weed and its awesome.

 

3. The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled

You always need a marijuana movie on a list like this! Its fairly new to Netflix, but its older brother Super High Me is already on the digital streaming centre stage. Made by the same guy, this documentary tells of Doug Benson’s travels across some of the U.S. on his comedy tour, completely blazed and its amazing to watch somebody else be high.

 

2. An Idiot Abroad

This reality show is pretty solid. A¬†camera crew follows this Brit named Karl, who’s friends with comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, as he travels the world on assignment to “experience the seven wonders of the world” (season 1) and then to complete the most popular items on Bucket Lists (season 2). I personally find this show to be quite funny and Karl to be very believable and even charming, especially in the first few episodes. His reactions to the different situations he encounters I believe is how most people would naturally react, or at least internally react. If I went to the Great Pyramids of Giza and saw litter everywhere I would have choice words to say and share, but you don’t see that on regular travel shows. His humour sells the show but the visual aspect of where he’s going brings it home, so to speak. I may never see the Great Wall of China in my life, but he and the crew travel to the lesser-known parts and share them with the world. This show brings authenticity to the realm of the Travel Documentary and I hope it never loses its originality. And enjoying a bit of the ganja while watching this definitely brings out more of its charm, too.(Here’s a bit from when Karl was in China and Ricky set him up to have a meal with a family in a more rural setting along the wall).

 

1.  Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky.

This documentary is definitely the most memorable and meaningful out of this whole lot.¬†It’s super deep, emotionally, psychologically and philosophically. A film maker¬†interviews the famed intellect Noam Chomsky¬†and asks him some of the big questions, as well as his own take on certain worldly topics. The conversation itself is actually quite monotonous. If it wasn’t for the animation, I doubt it would be as easy to follow or as mesmerizing. And even as the story of their talk is going on, the questioner himself is commenting on top of it, discussing his thoughts as he was speaking with Chomsky, and again while he was building the animation.¬†¬†This is for one of those deep highs, with other serious and like-minded people, and definitely not for light-hearted parties. I give it a 10/10 and the number one spot.

NoamChomsky

The film is so visually open that as you dive deeper into the movie you start to lose your awareness of the outside world and its demands. You have the ability to truly listen to the message Chomsky is trying to share without getting lost in his words. You can also achieve this by watching the film normally, of course. I just find it easier to connect to it all when the stresses of my modern life aren’t infringing on my Mind’s Eye, which I can only achieve when I’m either meditating or “herbally” medicating.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my list, I know I enjoyed going through Netflix and YouTube searching for the best clips and getting caught up in tangents everyone slips into when you click on some of those suggested videos while baked. There’s a good chance I’ll come back and edit this, but I’m not worrying about it. Right now I’m focused on the questions proposed in Noam Chomsky’s movie because my goodness that jank is trippy.

 

Curious Scout

 

Sources:

http://www.netflix.com

http://www.booooooom.com

http://www.youtube.com