Author Archives: Tim Allen

In Defense of Drunk Drivers

There is none.

Zero.

Unless you are the rarest of alcohol abusers, there are points in your day when you are sober. And it is in those moments that you make a CHOICE to either ignore the problem or go get help.

Far too often, alcoholics rarely choose the latter.

A week ago my wife’s cousin was hit head-on by another driver who was driving drunk, or operating a vehicle impaired for those that try and make it sound as unoffensive as possible. He had apparently drank the better portion of a six-pack, either during or after leaving his job at a bar. At the accident scene, one of his empty beer cans was found on the floor of the driver’s side of his car.

According to court documents, he admitted to the ambulance crew that he had been drinking, but later denied it to the Montana Highway Patrol Trooper who interrogated him. Thankfully, his bloodshot eyes and breath gave him away. The court ordered a blood a draw at the hospital he is in (he got ejected through the windshield) because the perpetrator refused to give a sample, knowing it would give him away.

And this will be his SECOND DUI. SECOND!

This scene is recent and close to home for me, but we all know it is played out repeatedly across the country on a daily, and possibly hourly, basis. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) a person is injured every TWO MINUTES by a drunk driver.

I’m not even sure that cigarettes were killing people that fast at their height of acceptance.

Please spare me the utter garbage that society forced this cruel fate on people. That’s ignorant, stupid and a sad attempt to divert responsibility away from the people who commit this dastardly act. They are individuals who make a CHOICE. A choice to have fun – and I still don’t get the “fun” is in drinking – and put other people lives at risk, including their own.

The penalties for drunk driving are not nearly harsh enough, especially in Montana. It seems like while the laws are there, they rarely get enforced. It’s a shame. A crying shame because sooner or later the idiots who allows the laws to slide will become a victim of them down the road.

In the accident described above, the county is charging the perpetrator with Criminal Endangerment, a felony which carries a maximum 10-year sentence, $50,000 fine, or both. I hope he gets the maximum on both ends, but its likely he’ll get yet another slap on the wrists and sent home when they should put him in a cell and melt the key into the lock.

Drinking is bad, but coupling it with driving can be lethal. It almost was last Tuesday night.

Illegal Immigrants? Follow the Money!

As Deep Throat said in “All the Presidents Men” … Follow the money.

It’s no secret that the United States has an immigration problem. People flow in and out of our borders faster than shoppers on Black Friday when Walmart opens its doors.

And the debate for the last 20+ years, especially since 911, has been how to stop them.

Granted, we there are a nefarious few that are bent on trying to hurt the United States of America. This discussion really doesn’t focus on them. While building a wall will help keep some folks out, it really won’t do much for those seeking to commit atrocities on U.S. soil.

Pew Research CenterWhat I do want to address are the immigrants, which those of Mexican descent seem to be the focus, who come into our country each year without a lot of regulation. The pew Research Center estimates that the number of illegals within our borders has stabilized at about 11 million since 2009, and that about 8 million of those are in the U.S. labor force.

The claim by those wanting to get rid of all illegals is that they are taking jobs in that U.S. citizens could have.

The claim by those who don’t want them exported is that they are doing jobs that Americans don’t want.

So how do we solve this problem?

As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.”

It seems that if we simply beef up and rigorously enforce the laws that we already have on the books regarding the employment of those in the country illegally (Cornell University Legal Information Institute), the problem will solve itself. Let me explain…

If you read the code linked above, you’ll likely end up in a deep slumber. Suffice it to say there is a lot there that to my untrained eye seems to be fluff. But I think by shortening up the statute, cleaning up the language and making it clear that violators will be prosecuted, we can get this done.

In my view, the whole problem with illegal immigration is that the prospect of coming to America, even be it under bad working and living conditions, is evidently still better than living in their own country. If that’s the case, we need to take away the reasons for their reason for being here: a.k.a. The Money.

With that said, here is my proposal:

  • Establish a uniform I.D Card for American Citizens – This will alleviate some of the issues currently Hiring Employeesexperienced by states that have not yet met the requirements of the Real ID Act. It can even have electronic attachments to it like your state of residence, whether you can drive a car, motorcycle or none of the above and if you’re an organ donor. Oh yeah, if you have a criminal record that would be on there as well.
  • Impose a financial penalty for hiring someone who is not in country legally – For some places like Walmart and Target, fining them something like $10,000 would be the equivalent of hitting a star baseball player with a $10,000 fine for using a corked bat. It looks good to the public, but when they guy makes $20 million a year, it just doesn’t hurt. So the fine for hiring a non-citizen of the United States would 10% of the company’s gross earnings.
  • Impose a jail sentence for hiring a non-citizen – This is where it would get real for people. The jail sentence would be 2 years with no probation for the company’s CEO/Owner and anyone who helped facilitate the hire. If they are found to have done it knowingly and attempted to cover it up, the fine and the jail time automatically double.
  • All employment records are cross-checked with employee tax returns – It’s the computer age. If my son can play something like Call of Duty across the world wide web with a few dozen people, this should be easy pickins. But this allows businesses to prove that they people that they say are working for them actually do. And all of these records are made public, so everyone can see who’s doing it right and who is not.

This means that the United States needs to start talking to each other electronically. It means that people need to be verified BEFORE they start working for you, whether it be on Wall St. as a trader or on Maple St. as a day-laborer building your new deck. It means that people will have to be – Heaven forbid – responsible for what they do.

I know, I’m such a bastard.

The creation of a singular ID card for citizens will also be immensely helpful in other areas like voting and healthcare. If you walk into vote during an election and you don’t have a card, then you don’t vote. Same with health care. I know that seems harsh, and there will be some very unique exceptions, but while the United States is a charitable nation, we need to make that decision in our homes and offices and not because someone just decided to come here and get something for nothing.

Now I’ve heard the argument before that requiring ID to vote will prevent some folks from voting. Sorry, but that’s just ignorant. We’re not charging for this card, you get it when you prove you’re a citizen of the United States. It gives you access, it doesn’t take it away. And it would give those with it in their possession preference over those that do not have it.

Without a source of income and healthcare, illegals will find living here a lot tougher. They will clearly have more options and opportunities in their home country then they would here when they enter the U.S. illegally.

Building a wall? Decent P.R. move but poor execution.

If you really want to get illegals to leave and not have some gigantic police state where actual citizens are getting tossed over the border by mistake, you have to take away their reason for being here.

No money, no reason to be here.

You Gotta Serve Somebody

Those words were sung by Bob Dylan some 38 years ago and they still ring true.

Over the last few months I’ve been very frustrated. I’ve had a string of job and client opportunities find me finishing in second place, I got totally screwed over by a client with lies and deceit and all that mixed in with a decision in our nation’s political process that I just don’t feel good about. And in recent weeks I’ve experienced some doubt about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. So I went to the once place where I knew I could get answers …

God.

I caught the tail end of Dylan’s song on the radio one day and it made me think, “Who am I really working for?”

Me?

My wife?

My family?

My community?

No, God brought a verse back to mind from Joshua. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15b).

And it’s that mindset that I move forward.

I’ve been down this road a time or two. A previous marriage ended when she decided that playing the field was her best option. I’ve been laid off for pretty ridiculous reasons, which were more petty and personal than they were professional.

But no matter what the incident, I have always found that when I finally get my stuff together and trust God, it all works out.

That doesn’t mean I get my job or wife back – in both cases a good thing – but it does mean that I more easily find the next thing God has in store for me.

And so I move forward. God has put some more opportunities in my path and I will pursue them with the same vigor as before. But hopefully this time around if God gives those opportunities to someone else, I’ll have the clear sight to see that He must have something even bigger and better down the road.

An Open Letter to the Electoral College

To the 538 members of the Electoral College of the United States of America,

It has been an unprecedented time in the history of our country, one that has seen many strange, wonderful and awful things happen. We are a nation divided, regardless of what some may tell us. We are divided by age, political affiliation and sexual orientation to name just a few. And sadly, we still have a significant division of race.

But in a time when such divisions exist and appear to be growing, it is my opinion that the last thing we need is an administration that apparently seeks to divide even further.

It is with that primary thought in mind that I ask you to consider taking an historic leap of courage and to not elect Donald President when you meet next week.

Hamilton QuoteWe are getting a daily glimpse into what his administration will be like. Donald Trump is a man who has sought to take the powerful governmental position on earth, and yet can’t make time for a daily intelligence briefing and who would rather spend tax payer dollars by commuting to work between New York and Washington D.C. He is a man who does not wish to fully commit to his role as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, still wishing to retain his position as the executive producer of a second-rate television show.

His appointments are showing him to be a man who is regularly selecting people to head state agencies that have been thoroughly abusive and negligent of those same laws in the past. And for others, he has sought out people who hold racist beliefs and ideals that do not reflect those of the greater population of the United States.

Your vote is the last, best defense we have against the powers that would seek to only to drive a wedge further between us, dividing our nation so it is easier to control. That is not the America that I live in and it is certainly not the nation that our founding fathers envisioned.

In the days since this post was published, it is now clear that the election was significantly influenced by the Russian government and their success in hacking various computer systems. Is that really how we want our president chosen?

Today, I implore you to take a step the ideals that once made America great; To stand for truth, to stand with the immigrant and to stand those who struggle to make ends meet every day.

I realize that taking such a stand will not come without a cost. I know that if you take that stand that I am putting forth, that members of your own party will mock and shame you, not to mention your family and friends. Those forces will rage and threaten, and they will be wrong and shown to the world for the charlatans they truly are.

But America was not forged by men and women who sought the easier path. They counted the cost, they made the sacrifices and despite being called ‘traitor’ by those in the homeland, the withstood the storm and are now revered heroes of the United States of America.

Stand with the likes of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin; stand with Lincoln, Parks and King. When you cast your ballot on December 19, 2016, stand with America and more than 74 million of your fellow citizens who do not want the kind of leadership that Donald Trump seeks to offer.

Do the right thing, not the convenient one.

All but one

Last Friday night I stood on the sidelines of the Granite High School football field awaiting the start of the game between Flint Creek and Charlo. Vikings fans seemed at ease and ready to play as they talked about their chances in the contest. I’m sure Titans fans did much the same on the opposite side of the field.

When the announcer came on the public address system, he welcomed everyone to the field and then asked that everyone rise for the national anthem. Everyone did.

Everyone … except one.

But this man wasn’t protesting or trying to make a statement. He was handicapped.

He sat as straight and tall as his body would allow. But for him, standing wasn’t an option. So he did the best he could with what he had to honor flag and country.

Colin KaepernickI have to admit that I’ve had a hard time with the protests that San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick started during the NFL preseason. In my view, I don’t see Kaepernick truly drawing attention to the issue which he claims to be so passionate about. The ONLY discussion I hear being had is whether or not he has the right protest in the manner he’s chosen. His cause of black oppression in the United States is rarely mention and lost in the noise of people offended by his actions.

My problem with Kaepernick is that he has shown very little “skin in the game”. Last week Kaepernick said he would donate the proceeds from his jersey sales (which are currently soaring) to charity. Which charity he failed to state. But as of late August, Kaepernick had made zero donations to Black Lives Matter or any other such cause. He has not stated plans to start any such organization himself or become part of one that already exists.

Personally I find Kaepernick to be the chicken in the old joke about who was more involved in breakfast. The chicken contributed to the meal, but the pig was completely invested in it.

I was dismayed when I initially heard that the Seattle Seahawks were going to act as a team and not stand during the National Anthem during their season opener Sunday against Miami. But evidently calmer heads prevailed, coming up with the idea to remain standing and interlocking arms to show their support.

I think that decision showed the proper respect for everyone involved.

Let’s hope others take note.

The real question of Kaepernick’s dedication to the cause he has expressed interest in is when his career in the NFL ends. Anyone who follows the league knows that it won’t be long before he is off the 49ers roster. And his performance in the last few years won’t likely get him a spot on another team. And if that’s the case, then you just have to wonder what his next move is?

If the contract goes away, will his fiancé leave him? They were engaged just a few months before these shenanigans and is a devout Muslim and Black Lives activist.

Will he join a cause and back up his sit down with a stand up attitude?

Will he create his own movement if one doesn’t really address his cause? Heaven knows with a net worth of around $100 million, he should be able to manage something.

Or will he just be the spoiled little rich guy and fade into the shadows never to be heard from again, except for possibly a brief mention on Sports Center for some misguided action.

Only time will tell just how committed Colin Kaepernick really is. I’d like to hope that it is more than what we are seeing now, which isn’t saying a lot.

How to sync your Facebook Calendar with Google Calendar

NOTE – From the Blog BufferSocial.com, a great tip to help you keep all of your Facebook events synced with your daily life.

 

If you’re looking for a way to get all of your events in one place, this is it. Syncing your Facebook Calendar will help you stay in sync with all of the events from your favorite groups. And when you use the Google Calendar app on your smartphone, you’ll have all of your appointments right at your fingertips.

How to sync your Facebook Calendar with Google Calendar

I find this one is extremely helpful. My calendar is like my personal assistant, and I use it to plan and organize both my work and social schedules.

If you use both Facebook events and Google Calendar, combining the two is amazingly useful and pretty simple. Here’s how to do it:

Head over to Events on Facebook, and click on one of your ‘Upcoming events.’ Once you’re on the event page, click on the ‘Options’ button and select ‘Export Event’ from the dropdown, as shown below:

export-event

Next you’ll see the below lightbox popup. Here you’ll want to copy the URL under ‘Subscribe to all upcoming events on your calendar.’

save-url

Once you’ve copied the URL, open up Google Calendar and on the left-hand side you’ll see an option called ‘Other Calendars.’ Click on the drop down next to ‘Other Calendars’ and choose “Add by URL” as shown below.

Once the lightbox opens up, insert the URL you copied from Facebook and your Facebook events will now sync with Google Calendar.

google-calendar

When the worst choice seems like the best

Note – What you will read below may, in some instances, become slightly graphic and I will use personal examples. If these depictions bother you, or if you knew Ellen Louise Allen, you may want to refrain from reading further.

 

We still don’t know why.

We likely never will.

January 13, 2016 my sister, Ellen Louise Allen, took her own life. And like many of those affected by this kind of action, we are left wondering what we could have done to stop it. What we could have done to change the outcome. And just left wondering what part we may have played in it.

In the days since I have come to the conclusion that there is no yes or no answer. There is no long-form response or explanation that will ever make it truly clear or sufficient.

Ellen was a loving, helpful, joking person who seemed to be OK to many who met her. She always had a helping hand to lend, would fight for those suffering injustice and was well-equipped with a kind word or gesture for anyone she ever met or knew. Only close family members and friends knew that she was fighting a battle below her cheery exterior.

What may shock those that know my family is that as a child, she and my sisters watched my father’s physical and emotional abuse our oldest brother, Eddie. We’re not exactly sure why, but it seems that maybe my father just wasn’t ready to be a parent when he was born. I was some 18 years behind him life so I never witnessed it, but my sisters all agree that there were beatings and verbal lashings that went well beyond discipline and reason.

My burden came in just the last few years when I learned that my father used to treat me as the “golden child”, comparing Eddie’s failures to successes I had not even yet attempted as an infant. He was made to feel inferior by my “example”. An unfair comparison if ever there was one.

It’s no wonder that Eddie chose a life of heavy drinking and drug addiction. He eventually died as a result of those choices and the view he held of himself.

But more than the other girls, Ellen was always very emotional and deeply affected by Eddie’s abuse. Maybe because she was the second oldest and they had a deeper connection. Maybe it was that mothering instinct – that she displayed with everyone she came in contact with – that caused her to care so deeply for Eddie and try to protect him.

In the present day, Ellen still seemed happy even though she battled dark times that had crossed her life. She had lost the love of her life decades earlier in Ronnie Brown. A divorce and loss of other loves also followed in recent years, yet she always seemed like she was on top of it.

Ellen knew God, but I’m not sure she knew of all the resources God makes available to believers when they face times such as hers. I think she knew of God’s unfailing love and what he did for her with the sacrifice of his son, but how to truly access the healing power of God’s love was something she just didn’t have knowledge of. And that is where I think the problem began and eventually ended.

Her daughter Sara texted me the other night, ranting as to why her mother was dead and how “Satan had won.” She turned to me as one of her spiritual guides for a scriptural answer, and I’m not sure there is a good one.

What I do know is that Satan prowls about us like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But like a lion, he knows he has to spring his trap when the moment is perfect, or he’ll lose his prey.

Satan laid this trap some 60 years ago when my sisters watched my brother being abused. They saw it. They heard it. They lived it. It’s something that I’m sure still lives with my remaining two siblings to this day.

As for Ellen, I believe that she got distracted from who God was because she might have been getting close to figuring out just who and what Jesus could do for her. Whatever was good in her life, I think Satan whispered, “Well maybe, but it’s really not that great, is it? I mean, it’s a cruel world.” He may have even tossed in, “Look what your dad did to your brother, right?”

And I think Ellen would hear it and agree, just a little.

And each time the enemy repeated his lie, she reluctantly agreed a little more.

And finally, after years of hearing the lie, she lost all sight of the truth and the savior and could only see the darkness that she’d been deceived into thinking consumed her on all sides.

My sister, the mother of three wonderful children and the grandchildren they blessed her with, is gone. Try as we might, we cannot change that.

But in her loss we can learn that there are others like her all around. Men and women every day are struggling over personal loss, tough times and just making ends meet. They need to know that there’s a God who loves them and who has already sacrificed everything for them, if they would only choose to accept his free gift of salvation.

While the Allen and Brown families are left with numerous questions at the time of our loss, the real question is what are we going to do about it?

Who, standing right next to you, needs to know the love of God today?

FOXNews and the Lesser of Two Evils

A time is quickly coming when FOXNews – or as I prefer to refer to them FAUX”News” – will have to make a choice. And that choice will likely determine the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

FoxNews LogoDon’t get me wrong, I think FOXNews played a huge role in 2012. It was their stonewall defense of Mitt Romney and some of his ludicrous statements that allowed a whole host of GOP voters to be completely blindsided when Barack Obama won in a veritable landslide, at least by today’s standards. The Republicans were so sure that they were going to win, that any victory by the Democrats looked huge.

But now FOXNews is faced with a real dilemma. It’s time to put their well-lined wallets where their mouths are.

On one hand they have an pretty popular candidate in Donald Trump. The Donald seems to be able to say pretty much whatever he wants, only to have his poll numbers continue to go up. The problem is, a lot of what he says flies right in the face of the GOP baseline.

On the other, they have a field of remaining candidates that are about as popular as a booger on a wedding dress. Ben Carson is about the most electable of the bunch, but even he has perception issues with the public due to his apparent lack of energy and his belief in things such as the pyramids being created to store grain.

Really?

And if it’s not Carson, it’s Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Carley Fiorina, none of which are remotely electable.

So who do they back? At some point FOXNews has to help the GOP whittle down the field and who they choose to back could very well determine Republican fates come next November.

Donald TrumpIf they back Trump, they must accept a candidate that (A) they cannot control, (B) doesn’t share their views and (C) doesn’t give a rip if he pisses them or anyone else off.

They back anyone but Trump, it’s very likely that The Donald will pull a Sarah Palin and go rogue, splitting off his candidacy into a third-party arc and sucking off more than enough votes to literally hand the White House to the Democratic candidate in an actual landslide.

Republicans loved Trump when he started out because he said whatever he wanted and wasn’t a Washington insider. But now that he has called out a few of their own and gone off the rails on people groups like Muslims and Hispanics, they seem almost scared to admit that he may be their only shot at winning the election.

The lesson?

It’s an age old one – Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

A Little Slight of Hand

We are nothing more than a fluttering piece of paper…

When I was in college I knew a guy named Dave who, prior to attending our school, had become one of the most renown young magicians in Canada. He once performed for a dinner/dance we had and did the old tear-the-newspaper-without-tearing-it and pour-the-milk-into-the-newspaper-cone routines. As he tore the paper up, a few pieces of paper fell to the floor. And has he reached for them, it was apparent that Dave was struggling. His trick wasn’t going as planned.

Or so it seemed.

Dave eventually pulled off the illusions to roaring applause. Later as he stood next to me in the sound booth, I leaned over and whispered, “Man I thought you going to die up there. When you dropped that paper I thought the whole thing was going to fall apart.”

He leaned back to me and said, “Tim, when you’re watching that paper falling, you’re not seeing what else I’m doing.” He gave me a wry smile and I knew that I and my classmates had been bamboozled!

When it comes to politics people, we are way to busy watching those pieces of paper.

It the last few days I have come to realize that there is, in my opinion, a better than average chance that the government may have invented social media. That Mark Zuckerberg may actually be the best weapon the Feds have ever had to control the masses.

How did I come to that solution? Follow me here…

The claim by those on either side of the party lines is that the government is trying to take something away from us. The political right would have you believe that we need to arm ourselves beyond measure to stave off the government when they come to take us away. The left, well they’d have you believe that Washington wants all women to die in dirty hospitals south of the border because they won’t fund Planned Parenthood.

Neither are true.

If the government really wanted you dead, they’d get you before you ever saw it coming. A drone or smart bomb would leave a gaping hole in the planet where you were sleeping. And if they really wanted to kill off women and their unborn babies, well there are a lot easier ways to go about it than through something so grossly obvious as abortion.

And there are literally hundreds of issues just like those two. Mass killings, taxes, emails, foreign policy, banking fraud …

The truth is all of these issues get batted around endlessly on social media and rarely, if ever, does anyone offer a solution much less find one. The government even keeps a healthy facade of having no interest in working with other so that whatever side we’ve chosen, that we blame the other.

And all the while, they merrily keep chugging along year after year, do the same thing over and over. The names and and places change, but the game always remains the same.

It’s a slight of hand that makes my buddy Dave’s milk trick, or anything ever conceived of by David Copperfield, pale in comparison.

See, by getting us, the general public, to focus our attention in the wrong place the government can pull all the shenanigans it wants. And what’s more, it does so right in front of our eyes.

While watching a show called “Brain Games” I found a remarkable gentleman named Apollo Robbins. You could call him a magician, illusionist or even a con man, but in the clip below he clearly explains what I believe the government is doing to us.

See, when we fight and bicker on sites like Facebook & Twitter, we are going at each other. We’re engaging our “Frank” as Apollo calls him with things that do not matter and that we cannot change.

We all do it. We whine, bitch, moan and complain. We call each other names and divide ourselves. We sap the very strength that made this nation great at its outset – Unity.

Consider these numbers:

  • There are 540 members in Congress (435 voting members in the House of Representatives, 100 members in the Senate, and 5 delegates)
  • There are 9 Supreme Court Justices
  • There is one President.

These 550 people decide how we live our lives on a national stage. Toss in maybe 1,500 more for state governors, lieutenant governors and various county reps and state supreme court judges and we have approximately 2,000 people running the whole show.

We get all excited and angry about the “1 percenters” or even the 1 percent of the 1 percenters”, but even they amount to more than 319,000 people out of 391.9 million people. And while their extreme wealth may grease the wheels, the 2,000 state and federal representatives still have to answer the call and make the decisions that shape our lives. They still have to take the bait. They are a mere %0.000625 of the population, and yet they are getting paid, both over and under the table, are free from any law they pass while getting free life-time health care and retirement. Personal body guards included.

For all of the bluster and bustle that goes on during campaign season of “I’m gonna do this” and “We’re gonna do that”, how much of it ever really gets done? Hell, how much of it ever gets started?

And all the while we sit at our terminals and on our smart phones and tablets, talking to friends that we have known for years, sometimes decades, calling them names, casting aspersions and frequently saying things that leave those relations irreparably damaged and changed.

We keep fighting over everything that they – the government – want us to see. All the while plucking our money, our dignity and lives out form under us, right in front of our noses.

Forget everything and focus on just one thing.

Forget the political differences.

Forget the racial differences.

Forget the religious differences.

Forget the sexual or lifestyle differences.

Forget your stance on on topics like guns, abortion and school immunizations.

Focus on just one thing – your government.

If they are not doing what you, a citizen of the United States wants done, then get up and vote them out. Or, in the unlikely circumstance that they are doing what you want, make sure you vote them back in.

Do not try to convince, coerce or influence anyone to do anything other than to vote their conscience and their values. Help them learn how to register. Drive them to the polls if you have to. But just let them make whatever decision they want to make as long as they vote.

And on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, stop trying to be right. I challenge you for a month to never respond to a socially or politically charged topic unless you have a well thought out solution to offer. Don’t challenge someone else and their solution, but rather ask questions like “How to you plan to fund that?” or “How will you implement that?”

The only other reason to respond is if the post they are making is factually wrong.

Do that and you might find that aside from weird cat GIFs and pictures of your family doing rather embarrassing stuff, social media might get awful quiet for those 30 days.

And if it does, that’s when you can almost bet some unexplained bombshell will drop because the last thing the boys and girls on Capitol Hill want are for you to start looking at them in earnest. They’ll be scared you’re starting to figure out their game. And that ever happens, they’ll likely have hell to pay … literally.

Quit being a lemming

When I was a kid I played a game called “Lemmings“. Simply put, you had a group of little beings that you had to get from Point A to Point B on each level, using the special functions of various Lemmings. But they all just followed each other wherever they could – good, bad or indifferent.

Lemmings-BoxScanThe point was, they couldn’t think for themselves. They were the living embodiment of the age-old parental question, “If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”

Look, whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that we have been created with and given independent thought. We can look at data, analyze it and come to a conclusion, right?

If that’s true then only one question remains: How the hell did Mark Zuckerberg figure out how to unceremoniously remove that ability from our brains the second we get on Facebook? How is that we can interact at home and see the folly in things so clearly, yet when people get online they immediately believe, ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ anything that comes across their news feed?

Listen carefully to what Agent K says here…

Notice what he says about “a person” and “people”? It’s that mob mentality that just because a bunch of people are saying it, it must be true!

I hate to tell you this, but it just ain’t so.

Let’s start with the obvious, or at least what should be obvious: Facebook is not, nor has it ever been a news source.

Yes, some media outlets use Facebook to connect with its readership. They provide stories that appear in your feed, and while they may be a reliable news source it is always a good thing to check them out once in a while when you think something doesn’t sound quite right.

You must question everything!

This particular post is coming after the recent load of crap that the Pope said that the Bible and the Koran are the same thing. Folks, it’s a lie pure and simple.

I’m not a Catholic, but I’ve been around long enough to know when something like sounds fishy as all get out. But just because someone posts a graphic on Facebook and makes a claim, people naturally assume it must be true, or how could it be on Facebook?

Let’s state this again for those not paying attention or for the grossly ignorant: Facebook is not, nor has it ever been a news source.

So how do we know when something posted on the Internet that sounds fishy might not be true? How can we fact check a post or graphic so we know whether or not we should share something to our friends?

Here are three great sites for doing your due diligence and making sure what you share is the truth:

My personal favorite is Snopes, so when I have a question about something like the Pope’s supposed statement on the Bible and the Koran, I head over to the almighty Google and enter “Snopes Pope Bible Koran” in the search bar. Usually in the top two or three lines of the results I’ll find a link to the research that Snopes has done.

If you’re like me and find that someone has posted something untrue, then you quickly copy the link on Snopes in the URL box at the top of your browser and paste it into the ‘comment’ line of the post and hit return.

Willy Wonka lieAn optional snarky reply as to why such nonsense gets posted is completely up to you. Whether or not I include one usually depends on any statements supporting the stupid post or graphic to hopefully get people to rethink their position and get them to fact check their stuff in the future.

It’s your responsibility to get it right. And when someone does post something, regardless of how close you are to them, correct them. As Gallagher once said, “If you let stupid people go around doing stupid things, stupid people think it’s OK.”

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