Jan 2017
20

President Trump

I can’t believe I am even typing those words. What started out as a joke on a gold elevator will be, in about 15 minutes, our commander and chief.

I am not going into the reasons he is unqualified; there are many. Nor I am going into all the bad things that can happen to our country; there are many.

MANY.

I am just shaking in fear right now, which is exactly what he wants. He wants us to feel intimidated and helpless.

So he can bulldoze over this country for his personal gain, just like he always does.

When George W. Bush was elected, I was worried. He turned into one of the worst presidents we have ever had, but right now – I would take GW back in a heartbeat compared to the hornet’s nest in DC. And it’s not just Trump. It’s also the GOP who has obstructed Obama for eight years and now think they have a free pass.

Guess what? NO. Continue reading…

Guide to Media Literacy for Teens, Seniors and everyone in between.
Nov 2016
18

Media Literacy for Parents, Teens and Seniors

I am not exactly part of the “Sandwich Generation” because I do not care for elderly relatives, but we have been in charge of our parentals’ technology for at least a decade… and while our 14-year-old son is starting to compete with our knowledge on the subject, we have been on his case for years about understanding the media he was consuming from the very minute he got an iPhone. Media literacy has been a crucial part of our parenting strategies, for sure.

Dex used to love this app called iFunny. It pretty much just shares goofy memes all day long, thus the name. But he would tell me something he read there as “fact” almost every day… so we continually – and I mean continually – would ask him, “Did you look that up? How do you know that is true?”

Finally, he would bring things up differently.

“I haven’t had a chance to research it, but this is interesting…”

“I verified this already; check out this story about x, y, x…”

So, yeah, I have had this post brewing for over a year, at least.

Learn about Media Literacy and how to apply it on social media to avoid fake news.

What’s The Deal With Fake News?

Part of the fallout from the 2016 election has been calls (or rants, as the case may be) from tech leaders to be more responsible for the news we share, and how we digest it. Facebook and Google launched a new initiative this week to battle “fake news” sites (that is a kind word for it) and then a mastermind of spreading lies spoke to the Washington Post about his effect on the presidency.

You have seen them. Some crazy headline like Goldie Hawn has passed away, but when you click through it’s merely a blog post selling skin cream (more specifically, an ad pretending to be editorial, much like the ones in print magazines that were forced to have a huge “ADVERTISEMENT” headline added to the top).

In the case of the election, there were misleading and downright untrue “news stories” that flew around social media like wildfire. At one point my aunt said to me, “how do you even keep track of it all?”

It’s difficult. Continue reading…

Nov 2016
15

Coming Home To A New World

The last two weeks have been a flurry of flights and European cities. I attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for the first time, a conference where the world’s tech community comes together to exchange ideas. I was there by myself, which was a bit isolating and overwhelming, but also afforded me the chance to speak to people from all over the globe.

In the middle of all this was, of course, the election. To say I am shocked and saddened by the outcome is an understatement. More to the point, I am still in the denial stage of grief and only since returning home have I started to even process what happened.

I was at dinner with a friend and several of his friends the day after the vote. It’s important to know that all the men present were pro-business and while not necessarily pro-Trump, were definitely anti-establishment. They saw the election as a way to shake things up – and I came to see that side of the argument.

What I still can’t wrap my head around is how Trump (or “He Who Shall Not Be Named” as many of us are now calling him) is the person to do the shaking. Unless you want the vibrations to be racist, misogynistic, bigoted and from a place of poorly-run businesses.

One of the men asked me, “How then, do you think, did Trump win the election?”

“White supremacists.”

His jaw dropped at my answer, and let me explain. If you look at the numbers of who voted for Trump, it was vastly white people. While I don’t think all those voters are racists in the traditional sense of the word, in that they would deny someone a job or call a person names because of the color of the skin – that is exactly what they did with their vote. By overlooking Trump’s many, many, many, many, many comments and actions in that direction. By not being concerned about how others would be treated in a Trump presidency. Continue reading…

Black Lives Matter - Baton Rouge Protest
Jul 2016
11

Black Lives Matter

I’ve seen a few messages on social media that show somehow the world doesn’t seem to get that “black lives matter” does *NOT* equal all other people do not matter.

The reason people of color say “black lives matter” is because they are being treated as if their lives do not, in fact, matter. It is *NOT* a value judgment on anyone else – unless you think it is OK for police to continually kill black people at a rate 9 times higher than white people.

If you can’t hear the phrase “black lives matter” without automatically thinking, “no, ALL lives matter,” it’s time to sit back, do some self-evaluation of the privilege you have in life, and realize that there are many, many, many people in our country who are targeted simply because of the color of their skin, and when the justice system fails to prosecute their killers, we are telling the black community THEY DO NOT MATTER.

Yes, it was horrible that 5 officers were killed in Dallas this past weekend. I respect what the police do for our society and I thank them with all my heart. But to also not recognize that there are problems in the system is to ignore it, rationalize it, accept it, and tell black people THEIR LIVES DO NOT MATTER.

When my 13yo son heard about the stand-off in Dallas, he said, “why did he shoot back? He was just a suspect, right?” I had to gently remind him that a black man was pulled over for a broken tail light this week and shot to death in front of his own daughter. That MY son was looking at the situation from a position of white privilege.

I am in no way saying the shootings in Dallas were right, but we have to understand that black people now go into any conversation with police from a position of fear and distrust, and understandably so. Whereas, me, as a white woman… I have been waved off laughingly when pulled over for a broken tail light – while DRIVING DRUNK. It is shameful to admit that, but it is absolutely true.

So, please reflect on your privilege. Violence is not the answer in any circumstance. But, let’s try to understand where it comes from.

Marriage Advice After 20 Years
Jun 2016
02

Marriage Advice After 20 Years of It

Last week, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Many people say this, but it feels like just yesterday *and* forever ago – all at the same time.

We married here in Denver, a little while after we moved and it’s fun to think about how young and optimistic we were then. We may be more cynical and jaded now, but in many ways, we still work on our marriage just as hard as day one. Some things get easier over the years, some harder. For example – we literally have talked about everything. What is there left to say after all this time?

Well, for one, we recently chatted about how we make our marriage work so I could write one of these condescending posts about it.

Look… We know every marriage is different. We’ve seen some couples split for reasons I could not explain, and people stay together for no good one.

No judgements here, just some suggestions from two goofballs who still lean on each other as heavily now as they did two decades ago. Continue reading…