Saturday, April 13, 2019

It's Called Thinking

George Carlin. He would have a field day with what's going on politically and the media frenzy surrounding it today.

Separating factual news statements from opinions
If you get your news and political persuasion from TV news you are clearly misinformed. It takes no effort to fall into a recliner, grab a beer, the remote and let the corporate pundits play with your brain for a couple hours every day. 

Nothing is easier than feeding off the opinions of others rather than taking the time to do a little research and come up with your own. The media cranks know this and through AI and other forms of tracking, they know the intelligence level and habits of their audience and keep feeding them bullshit. 

Their only interest is their bottom line. And their bottom line is huge. Advertising is the biggest business in the world. So to keep you riveted and the bucks rolling in, their content has to be blockbuster type stuff. Accurate? Not so much. Truthful? Doesn't matter.

"Six Corporations or 15 billionaires own America's news media companies and control 90% of the media in America. By contrast in 1983, 90% of the American media was owned by 50 companies. But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates "the illusion of choice.” They control what you watch and conversely how you think."

Today, algorithms know what we do, what we think and how we feel—possibly even better than our friends and family or even ourselves. Often the recommendations we are offered fit so well that the resulting decisions feel as if they were our own, even though they are actually not our decisions. In fact, we are being remotely controlled ever more successfully in this manner. The more is known about us, the less likely our choices are to be free and not predetermined by others, and their opinions.

Horror stories, aka news, is what sells Cokes, Big Macs, Twinkies and a truckload of other shit we can live without. Human suffering, chaos, corruption, natural disasters, and trainwrecks are what sells -- always has. And the biggest trainwreck -- ever -- is Donald Trump and his presidency.

The news media has fallen all over themselves covering this disaster. Nobody has received more free advertising than him. The media throws out a bone, he tweets and the whole world goes off the rails. You either worship him (unbelievable) or hate him and it has divided the country if not the entire world.

However, it’s not Trump nor his antics. It’s the media that has created this shit storm.
 They provide him a platform like no other public figure ever, without being required to disclose sources behind the misinformation efforts. And it doesn’t matter if it’s FOX, CNN, ABC, CBS or NBC. They're all in it together. Trump is there for the ride, taking the presidency with him. And that office will never be the same, at least in our lifetime. It’s a money scam to end all scams at the expense of Democracy.

So what if I'm an asshole. I'm president.

The last election cost roughly $6 billion with the lion’s share going to the major media outlets -- 
and that's peanuts compared to what's generated every day because of this fiascoThey want and need Trump. They know we tune in to watch his next trainwreck and the media is wringing their sweaty little hands. Their only job is to keep feeding his followers and making sure the other side is listening. 

The only downside and what the media fears the most is that they will do such a good job that some, even Trump followers, might actually get fed up, click off the TV, and start thinking for themselves, do their own research and actually form THEIR OWN OPINION. That alone could make America great again.

But hang on a new Shit Show is about to start. It will be worse than the last.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Kroger Says Goodbye to Plastic Shopping Bags

Last year, Kroger pledged to phase out single-use plastic bags from all 2700 of its grocery stores, across 35 states, by 2025.

That phase-out began in Seattle-based QFC stores this month, and will continue in Kroger, Ralph’s, Harris Teeter, Food 4 Less and Pick n’ Save (all owned by Kroger Co.) in months to come.

Of the 100 billion plastic bags thrown away every year in the United States, 6 billion come from Kroger stores.

“We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns,” Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president, and COO, said in a press release.

Kroger customers will be able to buy reusable bags for $1 to $2 each. Paper bags will still be available for free for now, but the company says its goal is to eventually transition fully to reusable bags.

A few quick facts from the Center for Biological Diversity:
  • Americans use 12 million barrels of oil a year to make single-use plastic shopping bags.
  • The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.
  • Only 1 percent are returned for recycling.
  • 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually.
  • Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes.
  • It takes at least 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill.
  • It never fully biodegrades but breaks down into tiny micro-plastics that pollute our seafood and soil.
Forbes Magazine photo: Snopes reports of a dead whale with a large amount of debris in its stomach are real. 

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