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The Insane American Voter

Whether it was Mark Twain, a Chinese proverb, Albert Einstein, or someone else entirely, this is an often repeated phrase to define insanity:

Doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result.

Over the last several American presidential elections I’ve had the opportunity to observe the sycophants from both of the major parties. I’ve tended toward Libertarian candidates for quite sometime, so the observations are more from a distance than within the mix. The rhetoric and complaining from the most recent has lead me to a conclusion I had not expected: the average American voter is insane.

The complaints heard now differ little from the past and both parties have their core group offering them up. One group complains of injustice. Another complains about abortion. Still another complains about unfairness or intolerance or inequality.

Go back to the last election. The same people are complaining about the same things. A candidate stands up and claims they will see it resolved. They get elected. Four years go by. The problems are still there.

Not satisfied? Go back 4 more years. What are the complaints? Same. Remember Obama’s slogan of Change 8 years ago? Clinton used the same slogan. Go back all the way to FDR. Same again.

Many of these groups have been complaining for decades. Evangelical Christians will vote for a Pro-Life candidate and four years later Abortion is still legal. Again and again they vote, same results. Their problem? Trying to fix a heart issue by Government edict. Evangelize and cleanse the minds of people and it will not matter if it is legal or not.

Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. – 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)

Blacks have complained about many things for years, often rightly so. Various laws over the years fixed them and in the 60’s their leadership offered up their votes to Lyndon Johnson. Privately he showed that he cared little for their situation and declared they would have their votes forever. He was right.

The major injustices were resolved with help from Republicans. He even declared a war on poverty. The results? After trillions of dollars spent, the problems of poverty are still here, the black family is nearly destroyed, and illiteracy and illegitimate rates are up. Decade after decade voting for the same party to solve the same issues. Again. Same. Same. Same.

The issue at hand doesn’t seem to matter. Tired of insider corruption? Vote this way and it will get fixed. No, not really. Unethical acts? Immoral standards? Again and again, the two parties con voters into continuous votes.

Enough.

Stop flipping the same coin and expecting different results. There is only one party, two faces. Each divide in their own way. Stop being divided. Stop giving in. Stop doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

Stand up and move a different way.

J. J. Abrams Destroyed My Life

Français : Logo de star wars crée à partir du ...
Français : Logo de star wars crée à partir du logo de la trilogie (gris) et de la prélogie (doré). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the summer of 1977 I turned 9 years old. A bit before that event, another one hit the country and started a frenzy. That is the year Star Wars hits the theaters and lines to see the movie were phenomenal. Though my mother did not let me see the movie then, I could not get enough of it and the toys. Some action figures I got as gifts while others, including the Land Speeder, I bought with saved allowance money.

I was hooked. I saw 8mm shorts without sound. I listened to the multi-record set that the library had many times. I even ran to the car after church to listen to a portion of the NPR Star Wars radio drama.

Three years later, The Empire Strike Back hit theaters and my mother had started to have a change of heart about seeing the movies. Empire was the first one I saw and next week we saw the re-released Star Wars movie at the Fort Belvoir (South Post) theater. I had finally realized a dream.

Being 12 at the time, it would take years before I would see Empire as the best of the three movies. I thought it too dark and didn’t understand it was the third act of a play. By the time of Jedi, I was 15 and the eyes of the 9 year old were nearing forgotten. I liked how the story ended, but the Ewoks were a bit ridiculous, even if they were cannibals.

There was all manner of buzz of a prequel movie and possible sequels. Apart from the books for the first three movies, I also read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and the trilogies for Han Solo and Landon Calrissian. They were all a bit different than Star Wars and even felt like more general sci-fi. I was a bit of a Tolkien fan as well, so the weak pop novels were not something I kept pursuing. The EU expanded well beyond those books, but not for me.

In the mid-90’s my love for Star Wars came back around. George Lucas had the originals remastered in THX and available on video cassette. They were also released again in theaters, though with a few changes. I only went to see Empire as it was my favorite, though I knew all the changes because of websites. Other than changing Luke’s dialog to R2D2 when the swap monster spat him out, I liked what Lucas had done.

The buzz started about a prequel trilogy and the closer 1999 came, the more I wanted to see them. I waited a few weeks after the release before venturing to the movie theater. By this time I was married and living in Marion, Ohio. The local mall theater was good, but it didn’t have the advanced sound system I knew the movie deserved. Having a surround BOSE system at home, I also knew where to sit when my wife and I arrived at a theater in Delaware that had Dolby Digital.

I was soon dismayed as the teenagers running the place had no clue. All it was was loud, no surround effects and no audio immersion. The poor movie with Jar Jar Binks and a whiny Anakin Skywalker didn’t help. I also thought the movie had too many callbacks to the original trilogy. I didn’t mind so setup, but having Anakin build C3PO was too much. The suspension of disbelief was too great to have this twerp become Dark Vader.

Wait for the other movies, they said. The Phantom Menace is great, you are just too critical they said. But the whininess never stopped. Anakin never developed in to the villain of Vader. Ironically though, Darth Maul was one of the best characters of Star Wars, good or bad, and they killed him in the first movie.

Eventually, more and more people started to agree with me: the Prequels were horrible. Not only were they poor movies, Lucas changed his story so much that he had to redo the conversation in Empire between Vader and the Emperor. Yeah sure, George, we believed you planned that all along. Sure thing.

Years passed and Lucas produced more and more versions of his movies. I soon lost track and interest in what he was changing and why. All I wanted was the originals on Blu Ray, but apparently that is too much to ask. I went on to other things like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Battlestar Galactica. Then Lucas sold his children to Disney and talk of another trilogy started.

Due to the fanboi whining about the prequels and CGI, Disney and J. J. Abrams made a big deal about using real sets and film for the new movie. The hype machine started before filming and they totally misrepresented the techniques Lucas and company had used. They completely ignored the real problem: the horrible script and acting.

After two years of complete hyperbole, The Force Awakens finally came out. The trailers promised a great movie. J. J. Abrams promised a great movie. The third official trailer even made my get very emotional and shed a few tears. Then it was on the screen and the truth became known. It was not only a J. J. Abrams hack reboot, it shredded George Lucas up one side and down the other. It was a complete hatchet job on the originals with heavy handed feminism themes thrown in the good measure.

The Internet became alight immediately. The fanbois followed in locked goose step with the paid reviewers. They said how great the movie was. They are blind. They are asleep. Max Landis finally called it stating Rey was a complete Mary Sue. He was attacked. It was merciless. But he was 100% correct.

All things being fair, the movie is about a C. The script isn’t quite as bad as the prequels and the acting is ok. Harrison Ford gives winks and nods to the audience as if he knows how bad the script is. The CGI, yes this movie is full of it, are good and the physical sets are adequate. The effects and score however are horrible. Where is John Williams musical genius? Gone. That’s where. After all, he’s a man and Mary Sue doesn’t need men.

The fans started to speak out. A little at first, but now as a torrent. As people see it more and more, they are starting to see all of the serious flaws. Over the past week I’ve had several people who had previously be energetically apologetic to the movie saw they were wrong. Sure, it will make Disney a ton a money, but the party is starting to wind down. The one movie a year is in serious jeopardy of not having people burn out. The main villain is now known as Darth Emo and J. J. has become Jar Jar. Time will tell just how damaging the backlash is.

Thank you Jar Jar Abrams. You have shown all of us that you cannot direct and your best motive is to destroy the works of others. You destroyed both Star Trek and Star Wars. Go back inside your mystery box. We don’t need you anymore.

 

There’s An X-Wing In That Scene

The second teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is out and all over YouTube. There are many reaction videos and even compilations of these reactions. People have even rated the some of these reactions. To a person, they all really, really loose at the end with Han Solo and Chewbacca: “Chewy. We’re home.” It almost feels like 1977 all over again.

As people watch the trailer, it is interesting what they either miss or do not comment upon. The opening scene pulls back and pans to reveal a fallen Star Destroyer. Some comment it is Tatooine, others that it is Jakku. The latter planet was the site of a battle after the Battle of Endor. As the Millennium Falcon is shown later flying through the engine of a downed Star Destroyer, could this be where Lando Calrissian dies and where Han and Chewy find the ship? Could this be where they are when Han says “Chewy. We’re home.”?

Look closely at the opening scene again. In the foreground, between the speeder going from camera left to right, is a crashed X-Wing Fighter. This is no planet where old ships of the Empire are mothballed. This is a place where a battle did take place. Those who are saying this is Jakku are most likely very correct. Of all the reaction videos and comments I’ve seen, only one person has noted the X-Wing. Yes, there’s an X-Wing in that scene. Very powerful clue as to the meaning.

Later there is a scene with the new soccer ball BB-8 pearing around the corner. The Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim also had this robot moving around on stage, with the head staying on the top. This machine is more than just a CG creation, it actually exists. Could this be the replacement for R2D2 in future movies? In the first 6 movies, R2D2 is the real hero, sacrificing himself at least twice. They did give him props in The Phantom Menace, so perhaps that movie has a redeeming quality after all.

The new characters are introduced, and yes Virginia, John Boyega is in a Stormtrooper uniform. While many are making hay with that realization, there is another scene in the trailer that may give more insight as to what he is doing. There is a hanger scene where Stormtroopers are running about and a Tie Fighter is shooting up the place, including other Fighters. It may very well be this is how Finn escapes from the Empire’s clutches and crash lands on Jakku. He is first to be seen in the first teaser trailer and where he is fleeing something. Time will tell, but it is also something people miss.

During the voice over by Mark Hamill, someone is seen giving Anakin’s lightsaber to a younger person, perhaps a woman. Some have commented it is Darth Vader’s, but that is not correct. This is the saber taken off of Anakin by Obi Wan, given to Luke Skywalker on Tatooine when they meet, and then lost during the dual on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke loses his hand. Who found it? How did they find it? When?

Oh the questions. Oh the excitement. This movie had better be good or the fans just might revolt. Expectations are high.

 

You Might Be A Gym Rat If…

A few decades ago, Jeff Foxworthy started a series of observations about Southerners that became his famous “You might be a redneck if…” Little did anymore realize then how long this series would run and just how much money it would generate. It became an expected part of Jeff’s stand-up routine, as well as, calendars, shirts, posters, etc.

The other day during my rest period when doing bench press, Jeff’s series push a moment of inspiration into my head. There are many who wear the title “Gym Rat,” but how does one know? Is it just someone who is always in the gym? Must they be moving iron or are those who do 2 hour cardio workouts gym rats as well? Ah, the criteria. That is what Jeff is using in his comedy bit. The idiosyncrasies and the oddness define the many faces of the type.

To that end, this is the start of what is believed to be the an ongoing series of gym observations. Who are the gym rats and what do they do? Are you one? Is that guy over there one? What about that woman? Time to observe and report. Send in your suggestions.

You might be a gym rat if…

You change the weight to use for reps just to make the plate math easier.

Your schedule consists of “gym time” and “other stuff”.

You want to give advice to the new person, but decide to let them hurt themselves first.

You go to Planet Fitness just to post vines of people who are without clue on the gym equipment.

You choose your time at the gym based on the level of emptiness, preferring to have the place to yourself.

You are able to time your workout by the song being played in the looped gym music.

 

When not to be in business

On April 26, Annie Mueller posted an article titled 10 Signs You Shouldn’t Be A Small Business Owner. It is a great list and really hits home as to why some people succeed and some should never really try. It prompted a comparison response from me in light of what the CarbonCopyPRO system has to offer. Here are the sign by sign results.

1. You can’t make decisions

Learning how to make decisions needs to start with why is there a weakness. Is it simply some better skills and tools that are needed or is there a serious deficiency? If the latter, tapes, books and seminars may not be nearly enough. Otherwise, getting some training will work wonders.

2. You won’t take responsibility

In agreeing with Annie, if you will not take responsibility, your business is dead. You are in charge and the buck stops with you. Unless you can make a decision (see problem #1) to change, just stay with your job.

3. Your only motivation is money

One of the things John Jackson is constantly talking about is discovering your why. If you don’t know why you are in business, you will not be motivated when the going gets really tough. Listen to John’s “Wake Up Calls” and he will help you find your why.

4. You swing between extremes

Getting one’s mind set geared for business is something that should be worked everyday. Take 30 minutes a day to train your mind. It will do amazing things to alleviate your swings.

5. You can’t overcome chronic disorganization

As we tell our freshmen, find a quiet spot to do your business work, whether it is sales, training calls or just reading. Calmness will reflect order. Get a schedule and stick to it. Manage yourself in time

6. You have no track record of completion

Again adjustable by mind set. I struggled for years to finish anything until I was faced with a very large, life changing moment. I chose to finish for one of the first times in my life and it has never left. No matter the struggle, you have to finish before you can grow.

7. You have no support system

Here the CarbonCopyPRO system helps in spades. From the start, you will have a team to help you contact leads, offer training, walk you throw sales calls and close deals. The leaders have incentives to help you succeed and run on your own legs, though never alone.

8. You are addicted to the familiar

When your cheese is moved, go find it. Don’t wait, just find it. If you hem over why the cheese has been moved, you will never find it again.

9. You never set your own limits

Setting goals is very important. After all, what is measured gets done. It is also important to limit yourself in both your business and personal affairs. Learning to manage yourself in time will help here as well. Discipline is very important.

10. You don’t keep your word

If you are not honest, CarbonCopyPRO is not for you. If you are looking to simply separate fools and their money, good luck to you elsewhere. Make a personal decision to change. Once you reputation is that you are not honest, it will be very difficult to overcome. Consider your word as part of your brand.

Keep striving to work on yourself and your business will become better. Who you are is as important as what you are selling. Remember, you are your brand.

Want to learn more about CarbonCopyPRO? Have a business and need marketing help? Want to have your own Internet based business? Visit for the details.