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Silencing Celebrities

Posted September 18, 2012 2:11 PM by Chelsey H

With the ever growing popularity of really awful celebrities who are famous for no particular reason, turning on the TV becomes a Russian roulette game of dodging bad TV. Fortunately, Matt Richardson, a video producer for Make Magazine who works from his home in Brooklyn, NY, got tired of celebrities taking up airtime. The grad student is taking classes in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program and in his spare time he created the Enough Already Box. Richardson rerouted the broadcast signal from the cable box into his device.

An Arduino is a piece of computer hardware that can be programmed to do anything you want. The Arduino Richardson implemented uses a Video Experiment Shield board soldered onto the Arduino. The code he wrote is a mashup of Ladyada's infrared tutorial and a closed captioning example code which scans the closed captioning transcription tract for offending language (i.e. "Kardashian", "Snookie", "election", etc.). This transcription track is transmitted along the National Television System Committee (NTSC) picture signal and if the trigger term is detected, an Arduino board activates an LED. The television's IR remote control is activated for the "mute" command and the TV silences for 30 seconds.

Screen snip from Youtube Video.

Richardson also suggests the device can be flipped around so that the TV turns on if there's something you want to hear about.

While Richardson doesn't expect to commercialize Enough Already, the whole thing only took him about a week to code with a total cost of about $70. He provides a video tutorial and the code if you want to make this yourself.

Enough Already, dubbed the "Snooki Silencer" was featured in Popular Mechanic's "Backyard Genius: 10 Ingenious Amateurs Builds for 2012"

References

Hacked TV remote will auto-mute Snooki - CNN Tech

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#1

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/18/2012 4:43 PM

Why not just mute the sound and enable closed captioning,,,like me....

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/18/2012 7:58 PM

Why not just turn the TV OFF?

I gave up TV over a decade ago and I would be so bold as to say that it would be good if a lot more people did as well.

If enough people shut it off, these goofy entertainers will go away, too.

In case anyone is wondering what to do while the TV is off:

1. Read a book (or two or three...)
2. Talk to your family and kids
3. Play games
4. Take the family somewhere (zoo, show, park...)
5. Ride a bike
6. Go for a walk
7. Volunteer for some organization
8. Teach
9. Take up a hobby
10. Meet your neighbors
11. Play some music

The list goes on and on...

I can not fathom why people pay $100+ per month for channel after channel of mind numbing mush, then complain about it.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 1:09 AM

I'd go with switching it off. Point!

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 6:27 AM

12. Log on to CR4???

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 7:50 AM

Bad habit!

Sometimes an even worse entertaining factor.

Guess, I have seen a question with one straight good answer.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/80569/Drilling-through-welding-joint

Bad habit!

so unlike everything ....

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#10
In reply to #2

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 9:11 AM

GA AH,

About the "read a book, or two or three" statement; this isn't the mindless rubbish of fiction, romance novels, etc., it needs to be books that have high thinking to them, i.e. history, biographies of high achievers, economics, theology, personal development, leadership. Learn of the skillful; he that teaches himself, has a fool for his master. Franklin, Benjamin

Most people are dissatisfied with the results they have gotten and are getting in life but are unwilling to do anything about it because they put themselves in an environment where they constantly feed themselves a steady diet of mental pablum through the TV, magazines, news print, etc. Those who control much of that media have the goal of dumbing down our society so they are easily controlled and dependent upon someone else to take care of them.

If we want this great country to survive we have to help people understand that the results they have are a result of how they think and what they think about. This will never happen when there is the constant barrage of crap that people open themselves up to.

Much of the time people are not careful of wo is providing the input in their lives. They are people of poor character, habits, decadent values, etc. Garbage in - garbage out!

If we want different results we will need to be willing to change and listen to those people who have "fruit on the tree" in the things we want to learn about.

"Do you hate losing enough to change or do you hate change enough to lose?" "And the truth about high achievement and success is that it occurs on purpose, by design, through the tremendous commitment and persistence of individuals who have chosen the harder path." Chris Brady

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 11:17 AM

Oddly enough that's exactly what I have been trying to teach my wife the last few days.

Cant and don't want to are not the same. She doesn't want to do something simple that she is more than capable of doing and knows how to do. Now I am the bad person for not doing it for her despite having far better and more important things to do. I wont spoon feed her on things she can do herself.

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#25
In reply to #10

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 11:12 AM

Hey, you know them Science Fiction Novels. You think they just make that technology up?

Science Fiction writers actually have a room at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) where they get to observe experiments and gain material to write with.

Fact of the matter is, much of the things they use in their SciFi novels are actual theories written down on paper by Scientists as viable working theories. Much of the materials they use were actual projects that were scrapped because somebody else's ideal was better liked.

Fact of the matter is, launching a space craft into space by building the craft on a huge iron plate and launching it into space by detonating several nuclear blasts under it was considered in the original space program.

Reading Non-Fiction gets boring.

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 11:41 AM

Janissaries: You're correct in the point that there is value in some literature other than Non-Fiction.

I was referring to the pulp, romance garbage that is so prevalent in people's posession; the "reality" show type of drivel that people allow into their brains, etc.

People see or read about junk like that and can't discern the difference between what is real and what other people just manufacture for the allure and then say that it's "reality". It's the same with TV and Jerry Springer, Big Brother, American Idol or whatever other kind of junk that people spend their most important posession on, which is time.

We should only spend our time on things that feed or refresh our minds and lead us to thinking great thoughts and doing great things.

Everywhere I go I see increasing evidence of people swirling about in a human cesspit of their own making. Anderton, James

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 11:29 AM

Because our country has been conditioned to think that we are entitled to everything and let everyone else take care of us.

Self-Reliance is becoming a thing of the past.

So lets all just sit around and be entertained so our wonderful politicians can continue to get fat at our expense but we don't care, we're entertained.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 2:21 PM

Your statement of being entertained reminded me of the fall of the Roman Empire. At the end the people wanted "bread and circuses" eventhough the barbarians were at the gates. Rather than rally to the cause of remaining free they capitulated and gave in to their base desires. So many in our society are being numbed by entertainment (bread and circuses) that they aren't aware of their impending doom.

Many times the people who are doing the entertaining are people of abject failures in the critical areas of life, i.e. relationships, finances, spiritual, social and emotional, and that then influences those who see their performances. Since the people who are being entertained are already "brain-dead" and vulverable to suggestion, they then think that abberant behavior is ok because they see this "star" doing those things.

"Those who don't learn from the past are bound to repeat it." We better be learning from the past. It's crystal clear what happens when the citizenry/populace don't have a clue about the government what it's role is to be, as well as the citizens role in self-governance.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 2:36 PM

Excellent statement, I love every word of it.

Everybody wants to take the easy road. The path of least resistance.

Our media fills our heads with all sorts of different opinions that keeps us as a Nation divided so it doesn't matter which political party gets control of office, WE THE PEOPLE can't get it together enough to actually and effectively enact any real changes.

We are in fact doomed to the same fate as Rome...and I wouldn't be surprised of it happens in our lifetime.

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 3:26 PM

The "Downfall of Democracies" is often attributed to a professor named Alexander Tyler, who lived in the 1700s, but it may actually be from another individual in that time.

Basically, professor Tyler wrote:

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1 From bondage to spiritual faith;
2 From spiritual faith to great courage;
3 From courage to liberty;
4 From liberty to abundance;
5 From abundance to complacency;
6 From complacency to apathy;
7 From apathy to dependence;
8 From dependency back into bondage."

I would think that the TV is a modern tool that may accelerate the process somewhere between steps 5 and 6.

Step 7 now has about 1/2 the US population receiving some form of government compensation.

I am hopeful that we might avoid going to step 8, but since I do not have a TV I won't know for sure. :)

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 4:13 PM

Benjamin Disraeli also used this Cycle of the Body Politic. There are a couple of extra levels in his use but the idea is the same. Unless the Cycle is stopped, and reversed, through the education of the masses, the Cycle will continue unabated.

From bondage to spiritual faith
From spiritual faith to courage
From courage to freedom
From freedom to abundance
From abundance to selfishness
From selfishness to complacency
From complacency to apathy
From apathy to fear
From fear to dependency
From dependency to bondage."


This education won't take place in the government schools so it is incumbent upon us to do this ourselves by having a self-directed education and then leading in the organizations we lead or work with. This starts first with our families and then branches out from there to communities, churches, business, etc.

"I am hopeful that we might avoid going to step 8, but since I do not have a TV I won't know for sure. :)"

You won't need a TV to know this has happened. There will be very visible indicators of our demise, anarchy, lawlessness, economic freefall (much greater than we are currently experiencing with rising fuel and food prices), a police state, etc.

Boy, that is depressing even thinking about those things, but I don't think "bondage" is a foregone conclusion because there are still many good people and groups of people who are actively seeking to educate the populace what to expect from a government, entrepreneurism, free enterprise, history, capitalism, personal accountability, self-discipline, vision for the future, spirtitual knowledge that leads ot courage to stand up for freedom, etc.

A good book describing this is Freedom Shift by Oliver DeMille. In it he states, and I think correctly, that it only takes 1 1/2 % - 3 % of committed people to a cause to effect a shift between a Power Shift (more government) or a Freedom Shift (a citizenry who is enloying more freedom and less government interference). An example of this is the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 56 men signed their names on the dotted line. They in turn influenced enough others, about 1/3rd of the about 3 million people in the colonies at the time to commit treasonous acts of war against King George.

Part of what made that possible was a general populace who were educated in the classics. There wasn't a great deal of difference between the citizens and those who were representing them in government. That isn't to say there weren't people who were illiterate, there were, but they still had the right kind of thinking about spiritual things and courage to stand on their convictions.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 6:06 PM

Yes, that's the undecided voters that all the campaigning is designed to win over. The undecided voters are left with to evils to choose from because the other options are usually special interest groups that are in their own private Idaho.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 4:39 PM

Great post too. I love it.

I wish we would go into 8 while I'm still in my 50's, then I can be part of some resistance movement.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 12:37 AM

Cuz us public skooled folk casn't reads that fast.

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#32
In reply to #4

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 5:51 PM

I'd come up with a clever retort to that, but my brain has turned to mush from watching the tv.......or it could just be that last beer kickin' in...

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#3

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/18/2012 10:50 PM

Now, if someone could just come up with a search engine based on RELAVENCE rather than POPULARITY, we might actually achieve some progress...

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#6

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 4:39 AM

Brilliant idea.

Connect it to the internet and keep statistics of all the users about the mute behaviour.

Add the detection of radio sound level adaption with respect to which song is on and track the behaviour of radio listeners.

Oh those dj's and channel managers would be surprised on what we really want and appreciate.

Big discussion lately here on Time shift TV watching and FFW through the commercial interruptions, the channels wanted the option to cancel the possibility to skip commercials, service providers claimed that they already pay sufficient to the content providers not to add this limitation of freedom for those who pay for their services: The channels found a solution. In between each commercial a question is posed and you can play and win using your tablet/smart-phone.

This forces to look in real time and to keep your mind open while the commercials pass by. Commercially a brilliant idea.

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 7:54 AM

So what? You switch it off after your 4th smartphone!

Ever won something there? Ever expected to win something?

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#22
In reply to #9

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 2:17 AM

Who is interested in winning a vacuum cleaner or lawn robot?

You name on television as the winner of the evening is the reward.

just listening and trying to solve the answers yourself is the fun factor.

Why do you think there are so much of these programs on TV?

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#18

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 5:51 PM

A drawback:

Good afternoon I'm Ben Crockman, stay tuned, we have all the details about simultaneous encounters with extra-terrestrial civilizations occured today in Nepal, Jerusalem, The Kremlin and Rio de Janeiro; right after this, the Kardashians...............

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#20

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 8:37 PM

Television had great promise. But like much of life, control is exercised for profit-seeking vs. education.

Local TV stations are supposed to be responsible for serving the community. If they weren't consolidated and controlled by just a few corporations (i.e., their source of funding via advertising), citizens could realistically have more control over what is broadcast, much like a local school board can have some wiggle room in how the local school system is run.

Sadly, I think most people would rather be entertained than informed. That, I guess, is indicative of the "apathy" stage mentioned. So we can't dismiss the idea that we have met the enemy and he is us.

C-SPAN was/is a step in the right direction. BookTV (C-SPAN2 on weekends) is a good public service. It is still marketing, but much can be learned without buying any particular book, just by listening to the authors presentations as they travel on their book tours. Public television was/is well-intentioned. But the major news channels are mostly a joke, as parodied by the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Bills being proposed in Congress are available via THOMAS at the Library of Congress web site. How many of us avail ourselves of that resource? And if we did/would and then let our representatives know that we know (or maybe more accurately can't understand) what they're up to, that could help make a change by itself, I think. Wouldn't it be obvious why certain clauses were being proposed and who benefits from them? And which clauses really have nothing to do with the major thrust of the legislation -- the earmarks? With life as stressful as it is due to other factors, who has or takes the time to utilize such resources? But ... what if the 1½-3% figure is correct? Could 10 million people muster the energy and focus to do this? I think Representatives would be shocked and awed.

I'd bet most people posting here could design a "syllabus" for TV news broadcasting that would wouldn't encourage divisiveness so much and would be truly educational and informative. The starting point would be more transparency in public matters. AND civility in discussions could reprogram viewers to be less strident and learn to listen to others views and consider them without shouting or name-calling. But before I drift into a blissful, Pollyanna slumber...

Instead, we have fairly shallow presentations about almost any subject that could change things. There is more in-depth coverage of celebrities lives and the lives of those involved in tragedies. Many of the weekly news magazines that survived became reality murder mystery shows to a large degree -- "60 Minutes" excepted. And the critique could go on and on and on...

The posts about TV here do show that even though a hardware device was the starting point, some posters do like to discuss, analyze, and critique social issues, lending weight to the argument that subjects that are discouraged are in fact important enough to engineers and technical types to post thoughtful analysis about them.

I think it is worthwhile.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/19/2012 9:29 PM

"citizens could realistically have more control over what is broadcast"

People have absolute power over what is broadcast!

If people do not like something they simply turn the channel.

Advertisers are not working in a vacuum and they have a very, very good idea of who is watching and when.

The fact that these programs exist is evidence that there is a significant audience to support them.

However, if all you do is vocally complain, but still tune in, nothing will ever change.

Worse is when people complain about programming and expect some government agency to step in and fix what they are too lazy to do by themselves.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 2:53 AM

To one end you are right.

To the other end it is also not true: especially in the US TV is everywhere, most of the TV sets you pass by every day you have no control over. But the message, especially advertizing keeps entering your brain.

It is also known that specific groups of the population are sensitive for these massages. Other groups are not.

So if you are part of the specific group that is not sensitive to advertizing, you are simply not interesting for the TV makers. No programs for you as the advertisers can't make you buy their product, they will not buy advertising space in the program.

Here is where Europe is different: there are governmentally paid channels. Specific rules on what they should broadcast and what to leave to the commercial channels.

Best known is BBC, as it is in english. They produce high quality programs that can interest the intellectual non influencible minority.

On top of this the BBC is independant, they get a shitload of money from the government and produce programs with it that discredit the prime minister.

But when the only qualifying factor is fast money the industry will only bombard you with cheap produced reality style shit. You know there are people who believe that it is real what is shown.

The Music industry claims that they are in bad paper, no wonder, take the number one hits of two years back, how many of them are still on airplay? But the hits from 20 and 30 years ago are still OK for airplay.

Good music is still produced but not promoted anymore as the immediate money made with simple cheap music is higher.

It is in fact funny: songs which never made it in the top of the charts are still on airplay, years later. But how are the charts created: with the airplay figures, and who tells the stations what to play? The industry itself. So who is to blame when the self declaired stars do not perform financially as required?

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#24
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Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:41 AM

I disagree. No one forces you to watch anything.

If network XYZ broadcasts material that has low rating advertisers stop buying air time on XYZ and go to another carrier or time slot that has better ratings. Network XYZ will either change their programming or go extinct.

The ratings are determined by viewer participation in various programs such as the Nielsen Ratings. If the show does not make the cut, advertisers mover their dollars someplace else.

This prompts networks to fine tune their programming to have the broadest appeal they can get. After all, they want to make a profit, too, so they are compelled to provide the best service they can.

Viewers are in control, many just do not know it. If they get what they like, they can watch. If not, you change the dial - or in my case, I just pulled the plug altogether and rent an occasional movie a couple of times a month. However, that is just my opinion because I think way too many people put way too much importance on watching TV.

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#41
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Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 2:19 AM

No problem, if we would all agree this whole website would be useless.

You would be astonished on the proportion of the population that just accepts what is passing by on the screen, as long as it moves and things happen.

This explains the popularity of some channels where really nothing is on.

Just go in a pub and ask the people watching what is on.

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#33
In reply to #23

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:07 PM

That is called target marketing. They know what groups a certain product would be most likely to use so they tailor the advertisements to suit that market group. Like sugary cereal, little kids. Then little kids see that cereal box in the store and that neat toy that is inside and they cry if mommy doesn't get it for them. Then the non-sugary cereals, they make more appealing to the older folks by promoting the nutritional and weight controlling properties of that cereal and leave the kids out of it.

Unique products like the Sedgway. I think they target that to business executives and quite frankly, if I see someone cruising around on one of those, I'd think of them as a dork.

Cars...You notice some cars they will feature as associated with women, with others towards men. Pickup trucks are almost always advertised being used by rugged men doing physically demanding work.

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#36
In reply to #33

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:31 PM

This has nothing to do with the OP, I am just pointing something out in your statement about the Segway.

"Unique products like the Sedgway. I think they target that to business executives and quite frankly, if I see someone cruising around on one of those, I'd think of them as a dork."

My ex-boss, whose role I now fill since he retired, has Muscular Dystrophy. He bought a Segway so he can maintain a higher level of mobility. He and his wife love to travel and the Segway makes it possible.

I'm learning to be careful of my being judgmental about people. Maybe they have things going on in their lives I know nothing about and maybe they're doing the best they can. I think of someone who is "jogging" at a very slow pace. Maybe they just had a knee or hip replaced, etc. The good thing is they are doing something, not just sitting around. They at least are attempting to get better at something.

Not ranting! Just passing along something I'm learning myself.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:59 PM

I'm not knocking that, and that is an individual case. Watching movies you don't see Sedway's as being used by someone with disabilities. You see perfectly fit people using them. They are the ones that look like a dork.

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#26
In reply to #21

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 11:39 AM

Exactly.

It's easier to talk the talk, than to walk the walk.

I hate having a bunch of Political, dysfunctional misfits telling me how to live my life, raise my children and take my money to help others that won't help themselves and think they are entitled to my money.

I like the availability of all this information out there, however there is too much information out there and that information serves as just a distraction. Our heads get filled with too much information to think about and prevents us from focusing on what is immediately important to us.

Just like here on CR4 forums. Our minds are addicted to the stimulation we gain from coming here and reading and responding to things we enjoy talking about because our work is boring.

There is way too much information out there and it confuses the truth. We are having to pick and choose what information it real and what is false to the best of our ability and end up being diverted to thinking in patterns that miss the mark of truth. People ignore the truth for information that just best fits their thinking processes.

As long as all this is going on, we will remain divided and THE PEOPLE will get nothing accomplished.

I also think our loyalty to our governments is misplaced. The people are fine, it's the governments that screw everything up.

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#39
In reply to #26

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 8:13 PM

The information to focus on is legislation. THAT is what ends up affecting our lives. Some legislation might require further research. And I don't disagree about the amount of "information" available via the Internet.

But if citizens decided to focus on just one issue at a time and not allow themselves to be distracted change would be easier. That also depends on people finding the common ground to work together. Otherwise it means Congress is just a reflection of society. Somebody has to get beyond divisiveness. Citizens complain about divisiveness, but there was a segment on The Daily Show last night (9/19/12 episode) which showed so well that citizens are participants in perpetuating it. They talked with Republicans and Democrats about "stop point fingers" at one another. But then when they asked who was to blame, Republicans said Democrats and Democrats said Republicans.

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 11:08 AM

Republicans and Democrats are both at fault, neither has any business pointing fingers at anyone or any group.

What we need to do is remove all the Republicans and Democrats currently holding office and throw in their a group of about 400 farmers. Why Farmers?:

Because Farmers are practical well rounded people. They are extremely self-reliant and have knowledge in just about everything that is necessary and they keep up on current events and the economy quite closely because it all affects the prices of their crops and they are very decisive in their decision making.

You can bet they will have great attendance simply because their work ethic will demand that they show up.

They won't enter office with an attitude of pushing their own agendas to make a name for themselves. They are presented with issues and their attitude is that this needs to get done, lets get it done. They aren't going to waste time figuring out who is in charge, the first person to step up and address an issue, no matter what affiliation the rest of the farmers, their attitude is "you got it chief, how can I help?" or "lets get this done."

They are a body of people that can't care less about what other people think. They are perfectly secure about who they are. You will never find a farmer at some male bonding activity sitting around a campfire, pounding on their chest saying "is this not a manly shirt? Yes this is a manly shirt."

And you can sure bet they won't be taking vacations all the time.

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 11:51 AM

I think Thomas Jefferson would agree with you about farmers.

(Don't forget, though, more than a few farmers may identify with one of the 2 major parties.)

BTW, I found the short video clip (3 min.) of the "finger pointing" segment on the Daily Show I mentioned. The last guy interviewed is hilarious. Too bad you have to wade through the 30 sec. commercial -- which, this one in particular, also says something about our society. And too bad, even though is is humorous, it spells little hope for "getting along."

No party will be perfect as they will each be just the manifestation of the imperfect people who compose them. What sullies any of them is the anger and narrow-mindedness we are all susceptible to.

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 12:13 PM

I agree.

My equation of a Politician:

Politician = Sycophant

Enough Said.

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#49
In reply to #42

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 2:29 PM

I seem to remember a peanut farmer becoming president.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 2:52 PM

That peanut farmer was also one of the pioneer nuclear submarine officers in the U.S. Navy so he grew up on a farm in Georgia, he was also Governor of Georgia. He didn't do anything wrong in office, it's just that in the eyes of the public, we wasn't doing enough and he couldn't compete with Reagan's charisma. Quite frankly I consider Carter to be one of the only real men among the Democratic Politicians.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 8:46 PM

The peanut farmer was way over-qualified for the position...As to "Real Men" in the Democratic camp, one mustn't forget "The buck stops here" Harry...

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#56
In reply to #51

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 10:59 AM

I think the last of the Old School politicians went out with Bush Sr. Now what we are getting are products of the 60's and later.People that didn't have to survive through the Great Depression Era.

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#61
In reply to #56

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 12:45 PM

Great, the "X-Gen", I could not stand to some of those bastards fresh out of college.

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#38
In reply to #21

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 8:01 PM

Well, that is why I was suggesting an interactive scenario where TV could actually educate and people DO have to act on knowledge. I wasn't suggesting complaining to the FCC, for instance.

Yes. Programming exists because there is a viewership. Not many people get selected for Nielsen ratings and I've always been a bit skeptical of that. There is no direct measurement of the total viewers, AFAIK. Maybe I'm wrong. I suppose it is considered to be as accurate as any reputable polling protocol.

Surely you don't consider contacting elected representatives about pending legislation to be lazy, do you? If people kept abreast of legislation and kept in regular contact with their representatives about said legislation I think it would make a difference. I think that is the intended mechanism of representative government.

Switching channels or turning the TV off is harder to monitor and therefore provides little to no feedback to advertisers. I doubt very many Nielsen viewers agree to have their TV viewing monitored, knowing ahead of time that they don't watch TV -- as in your case. In other words, they wouldn't participate at all.

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#28

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 12:38 PM

All is not lost, friends. One of our presidential candidates is lauding super-celebrities as ideal role models for his children, and calling on those who are famous for nothing more than being famous to endorse his campaign...Hopefully, this will result in more of the fame-for-famous-sake crowd to Washington and away from our daily stream of drivel...

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#45
In reply to #28

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 12:09 PM

I've seen both candidates doing that, which one are you referring too?

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 12:57 PM

Which one am I referring to? Does it matter?

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 1:41 PM

No, it absolutely does not matter. As many fingers as we can point at one and go "blah, blah, blah" we can point at the other and go "blah, blah, blah."

I saw a list of scandals committed by each party over the years and they were both about the same length and neither was anymore severe than the other.

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#29

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 4:23 PM

I haven't had a TV signal into my house(s) since 1996 and I enjoy my life. Reality TV has nothing to do with reality, MTV hasn't been worth a darn since the 1980's, I can get better news coverage on the internet, I could go on and on but why bother. I would much rather read or spend time with my wife and daughter, who have both gotten to be great cribbage players.

People pay more attention to these so called celebrities than their families. It is rather fun listening to people go on and on about someone or some show and when they ask me what I think, I tell them I don't have TV in my house. The look of shock on some faces is great!

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 5:02 PM

I know the feeling. :)

My girlfriend's son does have a TV, but he is using it less and less as he prepares for HS graduation.

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#30

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 4:29 PM

I would have liked to expand more on AH's post, but it's getting dangerously close to politics and I would have been censored.

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#34

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:08 PM

What would Jerry Springer and Geraldo Rivera have us do?

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#35

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 6:22 PM

"turning on the TV becomes a Russian roulette game of dodging bad TV."

In his book RASCAL, author Chris Brady talks about the result of the input to put into our minds and the subsequent results.

"Happiness can never be obtained by direct pursuit. It is only the by-product of right living, of purposeful living, of living one's true distiny. After all, we are the happiest when our actions and behaviors are in line with the highest, best picture we have of ourselves. This picture must always include a life of significance, courage, integrity, sacrifice and service to others if it is to bring fulfillment. Rascals are driven by purpose. They are not lulled to sleep, like most, by the comforts and pleasures of this world."

Intentionally choosing to put ourselves in front of the TV or other venues of the media where we are constantly bombarded with a bunch of negative, debilitating junk, we are only setting ourselves up for dismal failure. One might be able to succeed to a certain extent but it certainly won't be to the extent they could have had they not had to combat all the garbage they had mentally injested. Marshall Goldsmith wrote a book called What Got You Here, Won't Get You There where he talks about the thinking and skills, people and technical, may get us to one point of accomplishment or recognition, but if we seek to move to significance in life we need to put a higher value on how we think and the quality of what we think about. That isn't done with the TV on or other forms of media that deluge us with garbage input.

A very high majority of people aren't satisfied with where they are in life but they aren't willing to change the most simple thing so they can have better results. That is, their habits in spending time, effort, money and emotional energy. "Some people say education is expensive, try paying the cost of ignorance!"

Our most precious resource we have here on earth is our time, so why waste it on things that don't matter or don't move us in the direction of what we are called to do.

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#40

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/20/2012 10:23 PM

Sorry, can't really comment on this. Don't have a TV & never have had one- guess the closest I can come is to walk past the newsrag stand at the grocery store a bit faster...!

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/21/2012 11:30 AM

You're on a computer. Basically you have all the same information on it and more options to choose from which includes watching TV programs. You can even look up episodes you missed, so who really needs TiVo?

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#52

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/22/2012 11:10 AM

YE GODS, there are some "superior" people on this thread.

I was only mildly shocked when Romney spoke of "those people" but I am extremely shocked to find some on CR4 who seem to consider every person who does not seek to improve themselves as "those people", it is abominable that no one else has taken them to task for such self-righteous preaching. A person who tries to use every moment to better his/her education, to read only uplifting books, etc. is responding to a need within the self, they respond to an urge within themselves and have no right to lord it over those who do not feel this urge.

The people who run the entertainment business offer what they believe will sell; an "uplifting" channel will go out of business unless it is the only game in town or is completely subsidised. A store keeper who offers goods that don't sell will have to switch to ones that will sell or go bankrupt.

It is interesting that we have such extreme freedom of speech here in the USA and place great value in it. The BBC was run as a high class news, education and entertainment broadcasting monopoly. There was no free speech until decades after WW2. It worked because there was no competition! Make your choice, the Constitution or an uplifting monopolistic broadcasting system. Anyone who watches some of the brilliant offerings from the BBC will see that there are some advantages.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 9:29 AM

"YE GODS, there are some "superior" people on this thread."

Would you agree that some people are "superior" as you say, because they are always seeking to better their lot in life through personal responsibility, growth, discipline, hard work, willingness to risk everything they have to start a business, accountability to mentors, etc.? Being "superior" is not an arrogance, haughty or proud attitude. It is just the opposite. It is a self-assured, confident, others-serving spirit.

Not all people are equal and that is by their choice! Some people are just stinking lazy and willing to let someone else feed, clothe and care for them. Those are the ones Mitt Romney was talking about. He wasn't talking about people receiving Social (In)security who have been paying in their hard earned money for a lifetime. He was talking about the freeloaders who would rather ride in the cart rather than be part of the team pulling the cart, which is what we taxpayers are.

"I am extremely shocked to find some on CR4 who seem to consider every person who does not seek to improve themselves as "those people", it is abominable that no one else has taken them to task for such self-righteous preaching."

If I talk about personal growth as a choice that someone makes it isn't for the sake of castigating someone. It is simply a statement that says if you aren't being intentional about the information you take into your mind on a daily basis, and then acting on it, don't complain when you don't have any money or a job to provide for your family. Most people don't "guard their gates, i.e. ears, eyes, and therefore remain bound in the circumstances of largely their own making. They can quote you all kinds of sports statistics or who was on American Idol or some other rot but they then complain about not having time to do something productive for their family.

Maybe a better option is to challenge people to maybe change their thinking which effects actions/habits and then brings about the results they are really desiring in life. If you see an animal stuck in the mud you don't just leave them there, you help. If people are stuck in financial, spiritual, reational "mud, you assist them by helping them see how they can change their thinking, actions and get better results.

Les Brown said, "a man convinced against his will is a man of that same opion still". You can't coerce people to change. "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, but you can put salt in his oats." When we challenge someone to think differently it is "putting salt in their oats."

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 10:45 AM

I agree with the foundation of the claim you make but I have to tell you that there is a slight misconception in what Romney calls the dumb democrat voters and the lower masses of the society.

In Europe there is a very socialistic system of social security: everyone has to pay for the system according the capability and who needs help will get it somehow.

It is assumed that unemployment below 3.5% is impossible due to the fact that you have people who are incapable of working, who are not smart enough to understand that if they would show up every moring that they could keep a job and get out of the misery.

Those people have to be kept close in watch to avoid serious trouble, give them some money that they don't disturb the rest. But organise this.You can call this stinking lazy, I rather think that they are to "stupid" to see their own misery.

But that is at maximum 5% in regions where they gather, big cities for example. Add to this the disabled and potentially you have 10% of your society that really needs help to survive.

The rest of the population is sufficiently educated to understand their position in society and with some decent guidance they will work. Holland even doesn't accept anymore that you leave school without a degree.

I think personally that 80% of the population is just pleased with a status quo, making sufficient money with a normal daytime job to survive and have the capability to save for a better TV or a car.

That is where society should strive to: make sure that this is possible. If it costs some more taxes from the other 20%, who will potentially never get the full amount they invested in social security back, is to call collateral damage.

But somehow the rich prefer not to pay any taxes and spend more to private security systems as 40% of the normal polulation has to find alternatives on top of the daytime job to survive.

When you are offered to clean the windshield at the traffic light by kids you might think: wow they at least work to survive, where my thoughts are: they should be in school.

Oh, those people Romney warned you for: they don't go voting, it is the rest of the population that does the voting, if schools would be better organised, more people would go voting as they whould know why. So from an electoral standpoint he is so right, no mather what you organise for the mud of society, they will never pay you back with a vote.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 11:25 AM

"Oh, those people Romney warned you for: they don't go voting, it is the rest of the population that does the voting, if schools would be better organised, more people would go voting as they whould know why. So from an electoral standpoint he is so right, no mather what you organise for the mud of society, they will never pay you back with a vote."

The problem is is that these "stinking lazy people" do vote. How else do you explain the fact that many liberals keep getting voted for. Although, thankfully that is changing because people are realizing that nothing is free and that the government can't afford to keep giving away money for programs that "help" people because the government doesn't have any more money to give ($17, 000,000,000,000 of debt. Another way to make it a little more comprehendible is 17 thousand billion dollars). That is an astronomical figure which we will never recover from unless the government quits spending so much money, it doesn't have, and works at helping to set an environment where business has an incentive to grow, produce, hire people and tax money is then generated. Tax people to a high degree and see how motivated people are to work hard if some beauracrat points a gun at their head and takes over 50% of what they produce.

"I think personally that 80% of the population is just pleased with a status quo, making sufficient money with a normal daytime job to survive and have the capability to save for a better TV or a car."

That's a huge part of the problem, why would anyone be "pleased with a status quo", when the status quo is most people, over 90% according to government statistics, are dead, disabled or broke when they retire, making $30K a year or less? Your correct in that a high majority of people don't have the proper thinking it takes to get past the "status quo" mentality. That is partly the result of an education system that doesn't teach our youngsters to think critcally or have learned great concepts. The educational systems just dumps out inept, socially and mentally illiterate little employees who can't and won't think for themselves. They then become dependent on someone else to tell them what to think and what to do. This is where a persons drive and motivation come in. He sees the results of the "status quo" and does whatever it takes to bring about different results. That will include reading great books, listening to people who have "fruit on the tree", turning off the TV and getting rid of anything else that will draw him/her away from his mission in life.

"And the truth about high achievement and success is that it occurs on purpose, by design, through the tremendous commitment and persistence of individuals who have chosen the harder path." Chris Brady

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. Franklin, Benjamin

"As for the future, your task is not to forsee it, but to enable it." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Be proactive in life. Don't let it happen, make it happen.

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#58
In reply to #55

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 11:28 AM

Here in the States everyone is required to pay at least a minimum tax. Everyone, when they file try to get as much back as they possibly can. EVERYONE. To accuse Romney of not paying enough tax is just stupid, because he wasn't willing to show his tax returns gave he opposing party fuel to attack him with, so he shows them and that's not good enough.

I don't know if Romney ever referred to the Democrat Voters as being dumb, however people that are given to blind loyalty to their political party of choice, I consider to be dumb voters because they just parrot what their favorite party is propagating and running with that rather than think about anything. The only smart voters are the middle of the road people that are undecided. They are the ones that are actually weighing the candidates that are running and they are the ones that all the campaigning is geared for. The Candidates can't care less for the loyal followers because they already have their vote.

As far as I'm concerned, both major parties need to be removed. They are too comfortable in their position and are doing what ever they pleased and are not in office for the People, they are totally in it for themselves and the pushing of their own agendas. Neither has really done anything to help our country, we are getting progressively worse off regardless of which party is in power.

We are a country where everyone thinks they are entitled to everything and we are losing our self-reliance, we allow the media to distract us with so many petty issues that we can't pull together to tackle the major ones. We are too divided as a nation and the American People are their own worse enemy. We have fallen into the pattern of any other super power nation, history is repeating itself and our own pride prevents us from seeing it.

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#59
In reply to #55

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 11:45 AM

Let's examine some of your points:

1. You wrote "It is assumed that unemployment below 3.5% is impossible..." In the US we have had unemployment rates much lower than 3.5%.

Perhaps socialism does have an impact on that, because as we approach the 21st century we see the lower unemployment rates slowly rising as we pile more social programs on our government.

I think that it is very, very hard for people to turn down public assistance from the government when it is readily available. My last job that I worked for another employer is one example where I was laid off and had the opportunity to collect unemployment.

While it was tempting to get on the bandwagon, I decided that I should decline the assistance because I believed that I had the ability to earn my own way.

It was very scary operating without a safety net, but I found a way to become self sufficient without loosing my home, car, or credit. Would I have been so self motivated with a safety net? I doubt it.

I think it is good to give people a hand up when they really need it, but not a hand out.

2. You wrote, "I think personally that 80% of the population is just pleased with a status quo..."

In the US 15% of those that identify themselves as Democrats believe the economy is bad. 37% of independents believe the economy is bad. 66% of Republicans believe the economy is bad. That would tell me that much less than 80% of our population believe the status quo is good.

The number one issue amongst voters is the economy, not the Mid East, health care, or other social issues.

You wrote, "That is where society should strive to:"

I would like to think most Americans would be happy with equal opportunity. I may be wrong with that number, but I think the only thing any government should be expected to deliver is that all people have equal opportunity. That has nothing to do with having equal results. That is up to the individuals.

Again, you wrote, "But somehow the rich prefer not to pay any taxes and spend more to private security systems as 40% of the normal polulation has to find alternatives on top of the daytime job to survive."

Who wants to pay taxes? I am not rich and I would like to pay less because I believe a good portion of my taxes are wasted by an organization that places its self survival as job # 1.

As for social security. The rich are simply smarter than the rest of us. Somewhere in another post I demonstrated how inefficient and essentially theft by the government our social security system is. If you, as an individual, placed the same dollars taken from you as social security taxes in the US and invested that in a mutual fund you would make out so much better when you retire that it mind boggling. Oh, I have not even touched on the fact that the US government has completely raided the social security funds to the point where it is broken.

We do not need social security in the US, we need Dave Ramsey video courses handed out to citizens!

For that matter, the government needs to follow the words of Ramsey themselves. :)

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#62
In reply to #59

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 1:18 PM

Agreed. More and more the American People are losing value in self-reliance, we are more and more feeling like we are entitled to being taken care of.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 1:24 PM

Yes, and when those entitlements are threaten, we get angry and inaccurately call this entitlements ........ rights. Which they are not.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 1:36 PM

Take a look more towards our youth of today. They've never had to endure hardship.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 1:48 PM

They actually did have hardship, but their definition of hardship is quite a bit different from the previous.

Previous Example (which was true):

-6 degrees F with the wind chill at -25F, its 2:30 am and the water pipes in the barn froze and broke, as a 16 year old, you wake up because you can hear the well pump constantly going on and off through the very faint vibration in the water pipes in the house (you almost have to hold your breath to hear it). as you repair the broken water pipes and in the mean time water the herd by hand so at the very least, you only lose about 30% milk production.

Hypothetical example of todays Generation:

Mom, I told you to pick up my batteries for my game, Now what am I going to do?

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 2:12 PM

Ok, you're talking about someone living a rural lifestyle, now lets look at the people living in an urban lifestyle, majority live in suburbs. With that consider the population concentrations and with those concentrations where do the majority of the votes come from.

In California we have San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego determining the outcome of the entire state. We have lots of non-sense litigation coming from San Francisco that cause the rest of the country to laugh at the entire State as a whole when the majority of the State is not aligned with what San Francisco thinks.

Those kids living in the mid-west that acquire that mid-west work ethic are out numbered by the people living the easy life of the suburbs, and the kids in the suburbs have it too easy. While that kid on the farm is getting up at 5 am doing chores before going to school, that kid in the suburbs thinks his whole world has come to an end if his xbox doesn't work and gets furious because somebody is using hacks in a video game.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 2:24 PM

I heard about CA, and after returning there from a few business trips, California looks good from Wisconsin.

So, before we start comparing scars.........

About this:

Those kids living in the mid-west that acquire that mid-west work ethic are out numbered by the people living the easy life of the suburbs, and the kids in the suburbs have it too easy. While that kid on the farm is getting up at 5 am doing chores before going to school,

When I moved to the city to go to college in Green Bay, Wisconsin, midwestern, small city, But still a city.

After visting my parents, I returned to my apartments, of which most were vacant. Went to sleep, and I awoke in a sweat, I thought I was home and the water pipes broke, This only happend maybe (3) times in the 18 years I lived at home with my parents.

What it was, when my neighbors moved out, the realtor turn off the heat and the pipes broke, What I heard was the sump pump going. I traced the lines and shut the water off to that apartment after I called in to the realtor and left message.

The realtor give me the job of managing the apartment complex.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 2:35 PM

Oh, you possess that dying art "self-reliance."

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 2:40 PM

use to,........... ok, ok, 20 acres of hay laying, problem with the knotter on the baler, and storm clouds on the horizon.

Not so much self-reliance (ok, maybe a little) as much as it is being very resourceful.

Now, lets compare scars.

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 3:02 PM

Never compare scars.

There is always someone else with bigger scars than our own.

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#71
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Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 3:14 PM
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#73
In reply to #59

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/25/2012 12:03 PM

Unusual circumstance, I have to challenge your #1. Eliminating the WW2 years, we have only had three years of under 3.5 since 1941, 1951, '52 and '53.

In the late sixties and the seventies, we got into an inflationary cycle and the Fed worked to keep the unemployment rate close to 6%. If it went down they increased interest rates.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat01.pdf

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/25/2012 12:30 PM

The statement was written as "impossible" and there were several instances where the impossible happened, therefore, the statement as it was originally written is incorrect.

That was my point.

One complication is that the world is much more global today than it was decades ago. This tends to distribute the good times and the bad times around the world a little more evenly since no nation is really an island.

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/25/2012 1:37 PM

except for Canada.......

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#72
In reply to #54

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/25/2012 11:27 AM

"Would you agree that some people are "superior" as you say, because..."

No, just different, in my opinion it is arrogance for anyone to consider themselves superior (the "to others" being implied). Do I value the company of a learned person? Yes for as long as they don't preach, for as long as they don't try to tell me what I should do.

Some people, and you seem to be one, like to be driven by something, others do not, I knew one man who was happy digging ditches, back when they were dug by hand. I was happiest when I was a structural designer, I decided the form of the structure or foundation, from experience and knowledge, I picked member sizes, then did the scientific part of it checking the numbers to see if my selections were good. I was very good at that work but I did have other skills the company needed so they forced me into a more administrative role dealing with the client's engineer and the fabricator and erector. Then they forced me into a position where I needed my professional license, not an easy thing since I did not attend college. While I did quite well I was not as happy as when designing. BTW, when I say forced, to refuse would get an "Uncooperative" label on my personnel file leading to minimum raises for the rest of my employment there, and I had three daughters in school at the time. So you see, I think that moving up the ladder is not the be-all and end-all of a career.

I wish you would give your opinion as opinion and not as fact, and as to your quotations, I could find some to support Attila the Hun if I wished. The people you quote are not the final arbiters, they are people who have written something that appeals to you. Your Les Brown quote seems to work against your position. I think your preaching (my interpretation) is the equivalent to coercion, not salting.

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#75
In reply to #72

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/25/2012 1:23 PM

There are people who are "superior"! It doesn't have anything to do with what they do for a living though or how much money they have in the bank, etc. It has to do with how they think about finances (handling well what they do have, much or little), attitude and productive responses in handling adversity and the obstacles of life, motivation level, a high level of self-discipline, being self-reliant as much as possible, personal accountability, high moral character, integrity, hunger to learn and grow, good work ethic, etc.

Life and the results that come along with individual decisions is a volunteer program. Each person chooses on their own what they are willing to do and be committed to, they then have to accept those results.

My problem is that we have way to many people who are demanding different results without being willing to do what it takes to bring different results through their own efforts. Our Founding Fathers established a nation in which equal opportunities, not equal results, was the goal.

I don't have a problem with someone digging ditches or whatever they want to do, as long as they are satisfied with the results that occupation will bring them. I'm glad that people are motivated to be active and productive.

Sucking off the government tit is not an occupation and we have a lot of people doing just that. There are now something like 50 million people now on food stamps. 15 million more in the last 4 years than there were before (there's a lot that the government has broken in the economy). There are also many more on other types of government handout programs. I know there are situations that make that more of a necessity and I'm glad there is a safety net for those in great need on a temporary basis.

"I wish you would give your opinion as opinion and not as fact",

Some of what I gave is opinion, much of what I said is principle based. Being successful is hardly dependent at all upon opinion, but it is the result of living a life by principles. Some of those being the things listed above that point to a "superior" person. I don't define success as lots of money in the bank, notoriety, etc. Part of how I define success is someone doing their best in the accomplishing their mission in life.

You're correct in the statement that the people I quoted are not the final arbiters. They simply communicate those principles of achievement which never change. It always takes resolve, hard work and discipline to do anything well. When a guy like Benjamin Franklin accomplishes what he did in life, successful careers in 3 different areas (printing, science, diplomacy), he has something valuable to offer and is worth learning from.

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#53

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/22/2012 8:21 PM

How about the music scores volume on a movie of late.

I know that there was discussions on the volume of commercials, but I have, no I am anoid by the music scores of movies as of late.

For instance the Bourne Legacy. The dialogue can be very mild, and then on the action scene you racing for the volume control. I thought at first it's my hearing. But I played an old movie last night. 'Where Eagles Dare' and it was downright enjoyable through out the movie.

I feel, and it's my opinion, that producers and directors have the music score intentionally Loud to make up or feel it adds to the movie by having a loud music score in an action screen to make up or add to otherwise a less than mediocre action scene.

It really p!$$e$ me off when you sitting back all comfortable and then you have to scramble to find the damn remote because the volume of the music score is so loud it's damn near rattling the plates in the kitchen cupboard.

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#60
In reply to #53

Re: Silencing Celebrities

09/24/2012 12:10 PM

I agree, so much for a quiet evening at home with the Mrs. and the baby is finally asleep and you think you're going to enjoy the movie when suddenly after all that time trying to hear what is going on, there is suddenly this loud blast of music to wake the baby.

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