Is Technology Bringing Fear to America?

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Editor’s Note:  I am putting this post in all my blogs this week as I feel it is important for all to read.

 

Yesterday I was asked on one of the social media sites that I belong to the following question:  Could you live without my cellphone?

My answer was that I didn’t have one nor will I ever will.

Almost immediately after that I received a comment from someone who I never knew who gave the one word response “lame”.  At this point I realized that this person was being offensive and showing their obsession with the technology all in one word.  I decided to delete this comment without any further thought about it.

This brings me to the point of this post:  Is technology bringing the fear to America?

I believe the answer is simply “yes”.  I have a few examples in the last week that proves this idea.

 

Point # 1:

I believe that if people were paying more attention last week during the Boston Marathon somebody, anybody would have seen the two guys drop their knapsacks near the garbage cans.  I think people were so obsessed with either using their phones to film the people that nobody ever looked around to see what was happening behind them.  All these people seemed so obsessed with what was going on in front of them that they were not paying attention to what was happening around them.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, people on cellphones don’t pay attention period.  This is part of the reason why I don’t own one.  I want to pay attention to what is around me.  I want to experience the world and not just keeping people posted on my doings on Twitter and Facebook.

It seems that the only camera that caught the criminals in the act was a store surveillance camera or at least that is all the FBI is saying they have used.

 

Point # 2

The stock exchange experienced a minor flash crash last week after a posting from Twitter of an attack on the White House.  This was posted from a hacked AP account.  Of course, nobody checked any other sources to verify this information and took it as fact and the stock market dropped by 150 points in less than 5 minutes.  This leads to the point of should people rely on one place like Twitter to receive their news when there are many other reputable sources of information.  Did anyone not think of checking at least one other source?  It is sad to think that so many people rely on only source. It is funny how technology can do so much damage so fast.

 

Point # 3

Last week Congress rejected the expansion of the background checks for gun purchases.  What are they afraid of?  Being rejected by a system which would prove them incompetent of owning a gun or do they just want to make the NRA happy while causing anger to those who have lost family members especially at Sandy Hook.  A system that should be used to protect people is being ignored and not expanded is not the way to go.  The NRA is just allowing those who shouldn’t own guns to purchase them under the table with no oversight.

 

Point # 4

Going job hunting?  Filling out that job application now is basically a futile attempt online by dealing with a process that is usually less than satisfying.  Since more and more companies are going this route, the application process gets longer and longer and seems to be more of a personality test than a job application.  What is worse about this is that many times rejection happens instantaneously and sometimes a few hours/days go by before that rejection happens.  Nonetheless the rejection usually happens if you don’t meet company criteria to the letter.  Never an interview and never anybody ever sees the application.  Only the computer sees your application and they are not the best judge of your character.

 

In conclusion, people are obsessed with their phones and not paying attention to the real world therefore allowing those that can create harm to do their duty with nobody looking.

 

People trust unreliable sources thus causing panic when it should not exist.  Double checking information with someplace else would alleviate this problem.

 

Fear of somebody’s past should not be the basis to reject expanding background checks or prevent somebody from getting a job.  Sadly it seems that a deeper background check is done on potential employees than is done on gun sales.  Does this mean that we can trust people with a gun, but we can’t trust them with our money?  Sounds like misplaced priorities to me.

 

Overall, the fear in America is created by the technology that controls our lives.  We should control it and not have it control us.  Now is the time for people to put down their phones and look at the reality around them.  Otherwise the fear will grow worse and much deeper.

 

 

 

Bullying – A Story of a Survivor

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Please Note:  The following special blog post is being posted on all my blogs this week as I feel it is important enough to be heard on all my blogs.  By far, this is the most difficult post I have ever done.  Thank you.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of bullying.

 

Not just once, but at least twice during my years of public schooling.

 

The first time was when I was in kindergarten.  I was knocked to the ground by another kid who was about twice my size.  He knocked me down in such a way that my face scraped up against the bricks of the school building.  I could not have been bleeding more from my face at the time.  I must have cried so much as my mother, the principal and teacher cleaned the blood off my face.  This was happening as others around gathered with some laughing at me.

 

It took me a few days to return to school as if I really wanted to return to school in the first place.  The principal and teacher told my mother that I had tripped, when I knew in reality that I was pushed to the ground.  The problem was that both the principal and teacher were in denial of what really had happened.  The reason was that they really didn’t know how to handle a bully.

 

Unfortunately, when I did return I continued to be bullied by this kid and it continued on for a couple of years until he was finally sent away to juvenile facility and was never heard from ever again.  I thought that I could continue my public education without any further incidences.

 

This just would not be the case.  During my senior year in high school, I was bullied again.  This time by another kid who apparently was on drugs and seemingly only goal was to make me miserable.  He would destroy my personal property and have his ‘friends’ attack me at his will.

 

For as many times I reported these incidences to the principal and with plenty of witnesses, the principal did absolutely NOTHING!

 

Is this the way the education system is so supposed to work?  In both cases, nothing was done to end the bullying even though it continued for a long time.  It got so bad during my senior year, that I actually prayed to God that something bad would happen to him.  Eventually it did.  He died in a motorcycle accident just after senior year, which he never graduated.  A life wasted, but a life saved as well.

 

It seems that now many school departments are stepping up and actually being more proactive toward bullying.  For me, it was too late, but at least I am still alive.  I wish I could say the same for all the others who have committed suicide because of their bullying.  Certainly the physical scars remain and sometimes the emotional ones return as well.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of cyber bullying.

 

Over the last year, one of what I thought was one of my high school friends, has become extremely critical of everything I write in these blogs and questioned my beliefs on anything that I discussed.  On the website, formspring.me it got so bad that some of the questions that were being asked were being flagged as potentially dangerous to answer.  Anybody who followed me on that site last summer witnessed this entire thing happen.  Since this whole thing started on Facebook, it came down to having to block this person once and for all.  I had no choice as I had to save what sanity I had and protect myself and fellow readers from this idiot.  I probably will never unblock him and probably will never be friends with him ever again.

 

What I believe is so interesting about this is that this somebody who was my friend during most of my early life and suddenly he changed in a way as to be offensive for everything I do.  Seriously who really needs a friend like this in the first place?  The bad thing about all this is that there really is NO place to turn to when one is cyber bullied especially if the person does not live locally.  They are able to get away with it and there seems to be nothing to stop them except blocking them.  It seems that this bullying problem has been solved, for now.

 

Up to this point, help doesn’t come easy as there doesn’t seem to be anyplace to turn when bullying happens.  Oh sure, we can say that we can stand up against it, but unless the bully is somehow put down, the trouble will continue.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of workplace bullying.

 

Call it harassment, but I call it bullying.

 

During my last 6 months of employment with the hellish lying company Staples, the store manager Shawn Nichols (I am using his name as to embarrass him), harassed me on almost a daily basis.

 

The biggest harassment came with me using a stool to sit on when there were no customers around.  I had a doctor’s note giving me permission to use the stool, but according to Nichols this was not good enough.  He harassed me as to when I would stop needing the stool almost constantly and even requested that I get a MONTHLY note from my doctor to use it.  I was even given an approximate 20 page form for my doctor to complete regarding my leg problem of which I was still recovering from.

 

Since I was still under the doctor’s care, he thought that this paperwork was stupid, but filled it out anyway.  He even thought that the monthly note was absurd as well.

 

One night while I was bored, I looked on the system computer regarding employee policies and NOWHERE did I find any of the ‘policies’ that Nichols was trying to implement on me.  It was apparent that Nichols only had his radar set on getting rid of me no matter what.

 

What made this worse was that a couple of employees were witnesses to this and were surprised by the actions of Nichols.

 

Eventually in a short 6 month time, Nichols was able to fire me because the quality of my work had declined to the point that to him that I was no longer a valued employee.  Of course, who could do any quality of work if they were being lied to everyday and harassed at every turn they made?

 

What made this worse is that since the only human resources that the company offers is the store management themselves.  So how can you complain to them about problems that you have with them?  The only solution is for Staples to get a REAL human resource department in each of their stores and handle problems appropriately.  I think they will be out of business well before anything like that ever happens.

 

At the time that I made my grievance report to the State of Maine, Staples had produced a different reason for my termination and it kept changing with every bit of paperwork that they submitted to me and to the state.  Apparently, Staples has no idea why I got fired either.  Follow my Staples blog here for my ongoing story of my employment history with them.

 

The bullying from Staples has not ended even as it has been 4 years since my employment with them as I am still unemployed.  The physical scars on my legs are just reminders of just how bad Staples was and my health is still not great and I still have to sit a lot of the time because my legs still hurt when standing for a long period of time.  I wish their bullying would end so I could go on with my life, but as long as they lie about me, it is still bullying.

 

So let us review everything here:

 

I am a victim of bullying

I am a victim of cyber bullying.

I am a victim of workplace bullying.

 

Two of the three have been solved.  One bully got put away.  One died.  One continues on in its quest of my destruction.  Two out of three isn’t bad, but isn’t perfect especially when many people especially the young are committing suicide every day because of the bullying they receive.  Something needs to be done and we can no longer afford to just look away.  Everybody needs to do their part in reporting it because sometimes the victim can’t do it alone.  I really wish that I had more support when I really needed it in two of the three scenarios.  The only one that nothing could be assisted in was the online one as nobody could step up on that one.

 

If I have inspired at least one person in what I wrote here, then I feel I served my purpose.  If ever I had a purpose that is.  I am a survivor not a victim of what could have happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Control and Mental Illness

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Certainly there are no words that can express my feelings for what happened in Newtown, Connecticut this month.  What I can express words on is that this could have been avoided if only we had tighter gun control laws.

The bad thing is that it seems that everybody wants to blame “Mental Illness” as the cause of the events.  Seriously, is this the excuse to be used on every violent incident now?

It has now even gotten worse as other things have been blamed for all the recent violence.  Amongst them include:

  • Movies – Let’s stop blaming movies for all the violence.  After all, I don’t know of many cars that fly through the air and have weapons in their front grill.  The blamers want to convince us that movies are the problem.  This has been blamed for too many years and foolishly.
  • Video games – I have heard this one ever since the 1990’s when games like Doom came out back them.  Do killing monsters really make people want to kill people?  I have didn’t buy it then and certainly don’t buy it now.
  • Music – Poor Ke$ha.  She is being blamed for her song of “Die Young” for being the inspiration for the recent violent acts.  I have heard this song many times and I don’t think the blamers get it.  Yes, this song gets me pumped only because I like it, but I certainly don’t feel violent because of it.  Of course, I still get pumped up over Britney Spears “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”, but then again that’s just me.

What we should REALLY be blaming are the things that really count and amongst them are:

  • NRA – One of the largest political action groups buys the people who make the decisions in Congress.  They wave their second amendment rights around like they were the American flag.  We need to get people in Congress who are not puppets of the NRA.
  • Gun Resellers/Retailers – Many states don’t do background checks before they sell a weapon and sometimes they ignore the laws anyway.  The laws vary from state to state which makes matter worse.  I remember when I was working at Woolworth, the rules were that the gun application would have to be faxed to Augusta and then wait about 3 days to get a response.  However, one time there was no response after 3 days so the salesclerk went ahead and sold the weapon anyway.  It turned out that one NEVER should have been sold after the report came back as being a risky person.  Nobody ever heard the end of that one.  Resellers have to act more responsible and keep the laws in mind and abide by them.
  • People like Norman Hamann – This nutcase needs to be in jail or a mental facility.  He believes his own fears allow him to walk around with a gun in his belt.  Sadly, I believe everyone else is scared of when he might crack and start using it.  What bothers me even more is that he thinks that it is ok to film his encounters with the police.  If anybody is mentally ill, Norman is the top of the class.

Sad to say there will be more gun violence if the real issues are not addressed.  It does not matter what the President does or Vice President thinks he can do will matter.  Mental illness is just a rubber stamp that I believe that everybody has if pushed far enough.  Even I was once called mentally ill.  I will have more to say about that in a future post.

The biggest question that has been asked lately is “Are we really safe anymore?”.  My answer is “I don’t believe so and never will, just don’t scare the children with that information.”

For now the only things we should worry about is the fiscal cliff or even worse the Mayan’s prediction of the end of the world.

 

Notice to all:

I will not be posting to this blog until after the first of the year as I feel that both the reader and myself need a holiday vacation from everything that has been going on in the world lately.  I plan on being back right after the first of the year with possibly a look back at the previous year and my look ahead to the next one.  So until then Happy Christmas and Merry New Year or something like that.