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Fact and Deliberate Fiction in the Era of Advocacy ‘Journalism’

We are unceasingly manipulated by today’s web monopoly giants, who control what we’re allowed to see

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It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Left has a large percentage of today’s youth in its clutches. To understand why so many young people are hopelessly deluded by a Leftist media onslaught, which invariably depicts America as evil, it’s useful to step back.

In November, 1990, 25 leading academics and media researchers gathered for a conference on, “The Impact of the Media on Children and the Family.” One of the organizers commented, “Given the diversity of participants, the conference reached a surprising consensus that values in much of the mass media, especially in violent and sexually explicit materials, are on a collision course with traditional family values and the protection of children.”

Following the conference, the coordinators reviewed available literature on the impact of the brutal and graphic elements in the media. “This review found harmful effects in 86% of the studies and ends the debate about whether or not there is harm.”

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Reality  Imperiled

The issue isn’t merely the prominence of anti-social messages, it is also the glaring deficit of opposing more-socially supporting messages that herald support for the U.S. Constitution, unselfishness, patriotism, deferred gratification,  and even respect for authority.

As former Secretary of Education, William Bennett noted there are many influences on the life of a young person. He felt that we could handle TV in popular culture to a greater degree if other institutions are doing their job.

On some level, virtually every adult knows that because we see something in the news or on the web doesn’t mean we ought to believe it. The media can be, and increasingly is, guilty of intentional misrepresentations. With any news you glean from the big three TV networks, cable news outlets, online media giants, The Washington Post, and The New York Times – especially The New York Times – it is vital to be able to distinguish real information from the barrage of Leftist misinformation.

More Intact than Depicted

Consider the media machine’s long-running assertions about the state of the American family. In his now classic book, Hollywood Versus America, Michael Medved observed that Hollywood’s perspective on the American family reflects novelty-seeking, eccentricity, and nonconformity.

Hollywood highlights people running to sperm banks, single mothers, and absent, hostile fathers. Contrary to all this, traditional patterns of family life remain surprisingly intact. Within the last generation, the U.S. Bureau of the Census figures indicated that most children in America under 18 lived with both parents.

“While out of wedlock child rearing is given inordinate attention on TV, evidence is overwhelming that such arrangements are disastrous for the children involved,” Medved noted. Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Youth Development showed that compared to their peers who live with both parents, and independent of income, race, or ethnicity, children in single parent families have:

* higher arrest rates

* more disciplinary problems in school

* a greater tendency to smoke, and

* a greater tendency to run away from home.

Children raised by never-married mothers are nearly three times more likely to spend more than 10 years on welfare than children raised by divorced single mothers. Television producers don’t care about these numbers and don’t read books that contain them – unless, of course, they have to testify before Congress.

Google Is Evil

The nature of your own life can be altered as a result of the misinformation and unreality that has glutted society’s information channels. A sizable chunk of what it means to live in a democracy and to be a citizen has eroded because of deliberate media manipulation and, increasingly, web misinformation dissemination.

Liberal Harvard professor, Dr. Robert Epstein, conducted a study of Google’s 2016 election algorithm searches. He determined that the results markedly favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Epstein, today vigorously smeared by Google and major news sites, found that the monopolistic search engine “bias-steered” 2.6 million more votes to Clinton. This was achieved primarily by accenting affirming news about Hillary and disaffirming news about Trump.

Epstein’s research indicated that nationwide Google’s biased search algorithms steered a total of 78 million votes in 2016 to Democrat candidates, across all U.S. elections. A documentary film, “The Creepy Line,” available online at www.thecreepyline.com, offers details about the work of Epstein and others in this inquiry.

We are unceasingly manipulated by today’s web monopoly giants,  who control what we’re allowed to see. Let the news and information consumer beware, because this trend might not fade soon.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Multi-tasking: More Harm than Good

In this day and age, where so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray!

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I belong to a local health club, and while I was there one day, I saw a woman get on the Stairmaster. I watched as she whipped out an mp3 player and started listening to music. Then, to my surprise, she reached into her gym bag, pulled out a book, and placed it on that ledge to read. I almost asked her if she would like a piece of gum!

Today, when so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray! More often than we care to pretend, in the office and at home, we invite more than we can handle, and then act as though we didn’t. As individuals, throughout society, we are trained to believe that the ability to multi-task is a great attribute. Unfortunately, that’s a big mistake. Here’s why, and how to avoid multi-tasking in the future.

First Things First

What’s the fastest and easiest way to handle six tasks competing for our attention? Identify the most important task, second most important, third most important, and so on, then tackle the first and finish it all the way, move on to the second and complete it, then move all the way down the list.

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Any other way of tackling those items, whether they are tasks for home or work, is simply not as efficient. The catch is, any other way is more psychologically satisfying.  Why?  It’s almost as if juggling projects, switching gears unnecessarily or abruptly, or leaving a job unfinished to start a new project gives you the opportunity to say to other people, “Hey, look at me! Look how involved I am! Look at how busy I am! I’m great at multi-tasking.” A multi-tasker, however, can’t compete with others who tackle their to-do list, one item at a time.

What about doubling up as a procedure for tackling a number of routine items or very simple tasks? You can eat dinner and read a book at the same time. Eating and reading at the same time is relatively harmless.

How about driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time? Driving requires your sharp attention, as does carrying on an intelligent conversation with someone else who is not present; doing both at the same time spreads your attention too thin, with often disastrous results. The same is true for projects you’re working on that require your best thinking.

Tips:
* give yourself 5 to 10 minute intervals to focus on the task at hand
* safe-guard your immediate environment to avoid interruptions
* acknowledge yourself whenever you stick to one task and finish it
* repeat all the above, often, knowing that ‘more often’ is better!

Your Undivided Attention

When you’re working on a new task, brainstorming, engaging in first-time thinking, or doing creative work, it’s vital to offer your complete and undivided attention to that one task before you. To dissipate your attention or otherwise stray means you are not going to do your best work.

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Common ‘Wisdom’ that Just Ain’t So

Much of what we read, think, and repeat is not accurate, at all…

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Much of what we read, think, and repeat is not exactly so. For example have you encountered the phrase, “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither”? Often incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the phrase is nonsensical. With no national security, soon enough you’ll have no liberty.

With complete security, you’ll have no liberty as well. A trade-off is always needed. For the record, Benjamin Franklin actually said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to pursue a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” That makes more sense.

‘A penny saved is a penny earned’? Once again, Ben Franklin is in the mix. A penny saved is not a penny earned. A penny earned is a penny earned and even then it might not be a full penny depending on taxes, inflation, and other hidden costs and expenses. If you save your money in a long-term CD, you can’t have access to it months. If funds are tied up when you need them that is not a pretty penny.

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Not Actually

Consider the phrase, “Experience is the best teacher.” Perhaps, this is so, but not as a given. Generally, an excellent teacher is the best teacher. Experience might teach us the wrong lessons or send us down another blind alley. If we don’t fully comprehend the meaning of our experiences,we’re as likely to make bad decisions in the future and have unfortunate experiences as a result.

Closely related is, ‘practice makes perfect.’ Practice does not make perfect. If your practices are off the mark, then you will continue to be imperfect and you might be reinforcing a bad habit. As they say in Tae Kwon Do, “Practice makes permanent.”

On my daughter’s softball team, a young girl named Whitney was regarded as the star pitcher. Yet during the pregame warm-ups, time after time, she could barely throw a strike. With luck, she averaged 20% strikes out of all her pitches thrown. Sure enough, when the game started, she was no better. Why would anybody expect the outcome to be different?

The best chance for you to excel is to have perfect practices. An array of imperfect practices leads failure.

Lemons and Life

‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ This sounds like good advice, but to actually make and sell lemonade, you’d also need to have clean water, a good lemon press, some type of sweetener, a paring knife, a pitcher, an implement for stirring, and cups. Such bromides leave out 90% of what else you’d need.

Periodically, I encounter authors and speakers who write or say ‘to live life more fully’ by pretending that “you have six months to live.” If you had six months to live you’d engage in behaviors different than now.

You might sell your house. You might go on world travel, or at least travel more than you’ve been doing. You might dissipate your assets. You might spend your money down to nothing, or give it all away. Then, when you undoubtedly live beyond six months, you’re likely to be penniless!

Thank You For Sharing (!)

‘Think outside the box.’ What does the “box” even mean? The phrase has been so overused that it is now rendered meaningless. Would it be better simply to say “expand your thinking,” or “brainstorm,” or “reach beyond the norm”?

‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ Michael Jordan once remarked that while there is no “I” in team, there certainly is a “me.” Acronyms and creative word use might have their place in a corporate pep rally, otherwise let them be.

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