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The ALS Challenge


Culture – Technology post

You’ve probably heard of the “ALS Bucket Challenge” which involves people filming themselves while having a bucket of ice cold water poured over their heads. The challenge also requires participants to challenge other people to do the same. It’s literally gone viral and Facebook, YouTube – everywhere – on the news as well since so many celebrities from Bill Gates to Gwen Stefani to U.S. Senators have taken part.

In fact, you’ve not only seen a lot of clips with important people getting water dumped on their heads, you’ve probably also read the articles criticizing the challenge which is meant to raise money for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The stunt doesn’t directly raise money, in fact many participants aren’t even remembering to tell others to donate to the cause nor does their doing the stunt mean they have donated. Or maybe you’ve seen the article about California fining people for doing the challenge and wasting water. Oops.

So as a result of the somewhat ambiguous nature of the challenge as to how it helps, many are actually questioning the value of it. Quite simply the entire challenge was a viral marketing ploy to get the public into awareness of ALS first and then after creating awareness increase donors. That’s all – it was meant to be the equivalent of that ad campaign song you can’t get out of your head.

It’s just that the ploy didn’t have a strong enough, straight enough hook to donating directly to the cause. But, hey, we’re talking about it, right?

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Enjoy YOUR Day!


Culture Post -

There are few things that compare to the beauty of a breezy NOT hot Summer day in the Washington, DC area. Since this time of year is usually oppressively hot, it’s actually a rare gem to be enjoyed. Pithy sayings of carpe diem, time is passing or my own philosophy that time is finite are a fairly good summary of the importance of such a day.

And that’s all, ENJOY YOUR DAY!

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Iraq to Ferguson, MO??


Political post -

If you read or follow the news, my guess is you are familiar with the situation in Iraq involving ISIS and also Ferguson, Missouri. OR maybe you’re Facebook feed is just covered in the issues. And it would look like the world was just on fire, except the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be freaking out yet in the same fashion.

Iraq

The French foreign minister came out to slam our president for being on vacation during this time when the events in Iraq have come to a head. Click Here.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something.

‘I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,’ Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,’ but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.’

The larger issue is not that some leader took a vacation, it is that the appearance of being on vacation emboldens the ISIS terrorists in Iraq who are by all accounts burying women and children alive – taking children as wives and all kinds of craziness. ISIS movements are based on success in Syria, in other words if they hadn’t been allowed to run free in Syria to kill Christians and Muslims that didn’t agree with them, they wouldn’t have marched into Iraq to seize cities and resources.

Nothing would be better than to let go of the situation in the Middle East, the U.S. has plenty of energy and resources, but the problem is that if a group like ISIS takes control of valuable oil fields by killing off all Christians and Muslims that disagree with them, they will have money and power to wreak hell on the rest of the world. In other words, you would have ISIS coming soon to a small town near you in some form or another. Maybe not tomorrow. If you think this blogger is wrong, ISIS cells have already been identified in the U.S.

And all of that is a concern, even if you don’t care about all thousands of people dying at the hands of crazy terrorists like nothing we’ve seen since maybe the Khmer Rouge? Or the genocides in the 1990′s?

The U.S. is not the world police, but we’d be blind to think we don’t have any connection to other countries. And worse, we’d be foolish to think we can withdraw and not be affected. So, some action makes sense…it would be nice if the U.S. military could come up with a plan that doesn’t leave us with a bigger problem to deal with after the fact. What this blogger means is : Osama Bin Laden was a tool used by the U.S. to  go after the Soviet Union, when the U.S.S.R. was OVER, he became a huge problem. Whatever the U.S. has done in the past three decades from the 1970′s to now, hasn’t worked because it left us with more problems when it came to intervention.

Ferguson, Missouri 

The entire liberty movement is on fire, no pun intended over police behavior in Ferguson, MO. And it looks horrible on television, but it looks like the police force responsible for some of the worst behavior – reporters being arrested and excessive force is going to be penalized. Click Here.

It’s hard to imagine what will happen, since this is a state issue that appears to have gotten out of hand.

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A House Divided


It’s not a secret that both political parties are struggling because each party is pulled in different directions right now, but the Republican party’s divide is more worrisome because the party has a habit of “eating it’s own.” No group or party can hope to be successful with a constant process of consuming their own supporters.

If it were  matter of discarding the parts that don’t work or neutralizing them, that would be fine, but there is something about the process of “eating” that leaves the worst parts in tact and the best parts to whither. To put it in the simplest form: A house divided cannot stand.

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R.I.P. Robin Williams


Culture Post -
Last night you probably heard that the famous actor/comedian Robin Williams died of suicide after losing a struggle with depression. He committed it on Monday Mmorning and the news was literally everywhere on social media and in the traditional media by evening. It was hard to believe he was gone, how could a person who was so funny and so happy in public appearances die of suicide?

But he had openly discussed his problems in a very professional way and what makes most people miss him – his ability to entertain and always be on point in the public – is what made him such a great professional. Williams stuck to the job. He was a Democrat but he never shared his politics in interviews, which is why this blogger could care less that he donated a lot of money to the Democratic party. Williams kept his work life professional and his politics personal without mixing the two unlike other actors.

He is best known as a comedian for “Mork and Mindy” and from films like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Hook,” and “Aladdin.” Williams managed to make family oriented films that were really hilarious which is no small feat. But the film that has stood out the most in my mind and in other people’s minds from an adult perspective – from a big overarching this is what it’s all about perspective was “Dead Poet’s Society.”

As soon as this blogger heard about his passing, she posted this clip from the movie:

Turns out The Huffington Post and a lot of other media outlets thought of the same movie at that time – which tells you Carl Jung is right there really is a collective unconsciousness or “Dead Poet’s Society” just really captured the moment for people from his body of work.

The movie was a serious film with fun moments where Williams played a teacher giving young men the true understanding of life and how to live. It was a sad film because it involved the topic of suicide which makes it all the more fitting for his passing at this time.

His last post from Instagram was especially meaningful this week, it showed a picture of his daughter. Click Here.

In the end, it is better to think of how he lived making people laugh and not how he died.

Robin Williams Cheerleader picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Week in Review


This is the weekly summary on Saturday, since this blogger spent a few days not writing posts this week.

 Mitt It

The Rand Paul camp can stop circulating mean girls memes asking for people to stop trying to make Mitt Happen for 2016. The fact of the matter, is he already happened twice as a candidate. And it’s been pretty obvious he didn’t want to run again, but it was confirmed this week. He’s not running again, that doesn’t mean some other candidate won’t come forward.

What prompted the interest in him is the number of policies and plans he put forward that have come to pass. He knew there would be a government shut down if Obama was re-elected and he knew that the Russians were an issue which would come to pass. And he was right. Click Here. 

Who Wrote that Tweet?

Somebody on the Presidential Social Media team made a boo boo this week. This blogger is not judging, but the boo boo got made into a meme. Examine:

Obama Health care Meme

 

Coolest Town? What??! 

Forbes thinks D.C. is the coolest town in the U.S. (Coughs and sputters) Um, that cool index is pretty weird. This blogger has to agree with all the people ripping on the title over Twitter. The DCist summarizes this event pretty accurately:

Of course, the reality of D.C.—like the high rate of homelessness and the problems plaguing the city’s biggest shelter, D.C. General, or the rising cost of living that’s pushing out longtime natives, or the significant achievement gap between white and minority students in public schools, or the fact that we don’t have full voting rights in Congress—is completely overshadowed in determining D.C.’s “coolness.”

But, you know, so long as there’s an abundance of “tapas” restaurants, we’re cool.

You can read more. 

New York Times and the Libertarians 

The NYT ran this piece during the week asking if the libertarian moment in the GOP had arrived. That’s an obvious and debatable statement. The party has always had libertarian strains, but the “Liberty” movement is something different from the straight up libertarians.

The article starts out with an interview:

“Let’s say Ron Paul is Nirvana,” said Kennedy, the television personality and former MTV host, by way of explaining the sort of politician who excites libertarians like herself. “Like, the coolest, most amazing thing to come along in years, and the songs are nebulous but somehow meaningful, and the lead singer kills himself to preserve the band’s legacy.

“Then Rand Paul — he’s Pearl Jam. Comes from the same place, the songs are really catchy, can really pack the stadiums, though it’s not quite Nirvana.

“Ted Cruz? He’s Stone Temple Pilots. Tries really hard to sound like Pearl Jam, never gonna sound like Nirvana. Really good voice, great staying power — but the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts.”

The thing is while some parts of the party might embrace Rand for 2016, many leaders have just given up on the White House and are focusing on local issues in the states. They just aren’t thinking about anything for the White House.

AOL

Apparently AOL is only making a profit because people are still using Dial Up in some areas. That’s really sad. Click Here.

AOL reported solid second quarter earningsyesterday, revealing that it still makes most of its money from dial-upinternet subscribers.

While the number of subscribers is dropping, the monthly price is increasing. According to re/code, 2.34 million people still subscribe to AOL’s dial-up internet service, paying $20.86 per month on average. That number is down from the 3.5 million people who subscribed to the service in 2011.

This story went everywhere over the internet.

Fashion, Politics and Marriage 

If you haven’t felt gutted by the spectacle of the Governor McDonnell trial, or what happened with him last year before he even left office, the current outpouring of information about the McDonnell marriage may have been the last straw. Even so, the Washington Post ran a searing although fitting description of the clothes the former Governor’s wife purchased that were part of the McDonnell’s financial problems. Click Here. 

The designer goods at the center of the government’s case against former Virginia governor  Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were splayed out on tables in a most undignified way, photographed and entered into evidence. An Oscar de la Renta beaded shift was entombed in thin dry cleaner’s plastic. A Louis Vuitton trenchcoat lay limp on a hanger. A pearl-colored Louis Vuitton handbag look deflated and cheap. Separated from the woman who risked so much to get them, the clothes, with their sizes visible, looked like so many specimens of human weakness, social status and cultural detritus awaiting dissection. Poke at them and the insecurity flows out.

Additionally, Robin Givhan gives a nuanced description of why no one should give over to the desire to purchase labels for their ego alone.

Have a good week.

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Social Media – The Drawbacks


Culture and Marketing Post –

There are a lot of drawbacks to using social media. It’s not always easy to judge how much to share or what to share for example on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or in blog posts. But in this day and age it is not really ok to simply ignore all social media.

-Social media is supposed to be personalized to a person or organization.

-Social media should only share what is beneficial.

-Social media is fun! Play with it. Figure out what works, get free, make mistakes and then learn from them. (Heck I’ve erased this blog twice now, whacked it apart and started over to rebuild a following for what I wanted to do with MY career.)

-Social media is all about you, except it’s actually about building a following and supporting your purpose.

-Have a purpose.

-Your followers will interpret information as they see fit. (I’m amazed at the crazy ideas people get from a blog post that I’ve written whether it was on yoga or something else. I once hear a man say he thought I wanted to be president – weird. And another person once said they thought I was working for the White House-HA! And my posts on yoga?? Oh you’d be surprised at the crazy ideas people get in their little heads).

-Be prepared for your followers to draw conclusions as they see fit or as fits them. (See above)

-If you are successful, you will draw jealousy for something that is not worth being jealous over. If you are not successful, you will feel failure. Neither outcome matters. Keep going anyways.

-Use social media as you see fit.

Happy Friday!

 

 

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Sensible Transit


Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit is a group that opposes over budget and costly transportation projects in Arlington, specifically the Arlington Street Car projects. At this point, the group is focused on the Columbia Pike Streetcar and finding a more sensible mode of transportation.

You would probably wonder why these projects are such a big deal. And the answer is simple, they COST a lot of money. It’s already expensive to live in Arlington. And when cities, counties, etc engage in big spending projects that means the local governments seek extra income in all kinds of ways. They raise taxes, they raise fees and they hand out more speeding tickets as examples.

So people have a right to get upset when the county talks about expensive projects.

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Karma


Karma is a weird thing, most people think of Karma as the energy that they put out which then in turn comes back to them. If you put out good energy and do good things, at least in most people’s minds, then good things will come back to you. If you do bad things and put out bad energy, bad things will come back to you.  It’s become a pop culture term for  what is essentially the golden rule. But it doesn’t always work the way people think it will in the end.

In recent years, many in the Democratic party have complained about the more poorly behaved members of the Republican party or just plain old mean spirited people picking on President Obama, especially in social media. The problem is, President Bush was severely maligned much to the enjoyment of people in the Democratic party and also among those who wanted to create a “different” Republican party.

If you need a refresher, memes like the one below with a greatest “hits” of all the nasty social media jabs that were created with President Bush’s image are being circulated.

Bush - Disrespectful pictures

 

Even back in 2012, there were bumper stickers and all kinds of different items created with phrases like “I’ll Show Your President the Same Respect You Showed Mine.” Literally, this bumper sticker was handed out at CPAC in 2013 by a group. While some organizations such as The Heritage Foundation believe it is wrong to dishonor the office of the President BECAUSE they don’t want to see more conservative presidents dishonored and follow the Golden Rule so to speak – there are plenty of individuals who see the current trend of Obama bashing as tit for tat. And if anyone would forget the past, well memes like the one are circulated to remind them.

Karma just doesn’t work the way you think it would, it goes in strange circles and comes back to haunt people in ways they cannot imagine.

Maybe in 20 years Americans will come to treat the office with respect again.

*It should be noted the use of the term Karma in this post was not meant as a religious reference, but a reference to the pop culture term which really means “what goes around, comes around.”

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Friday Fry Up


Lawsuit?

One can only guess as to whether the GOP will use President Obama or overreach or not. But the U.S. House did approve it. Click Here.

Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in Africa has resulted in one person being flown back to the U.S. to the CDC in Georgia for treatment. That idea sounds terrible. Also, the CDC thinks everyone should avoid traveling to countries with the outbreak. Click Here. 

Big Personality, Shy Person? 

Thought catalog has an entire lists of traits that go with being very shy but having a big personality. Click Here. 

The Baby Geep 

In the super cute category. It’s a healthy hybrid and it’s very happy. Check it out. 

That’s all have a good week-end.

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