“Walter Williams: The State Against Blacks” (full documentary)

Pausing 16:15 in…His argument about minimum wage laws makes sense to me, despite my “bleeding heart” side wanting to protest a human being working for $2/hr. Back when this documentary was filmed in the 1980s the minimum wage was $3.00+, now it’s what? $7.00-something? Last I checked that’s what it was in this state. But I get where Dr. Williams is coming from here in terms youths gaining valuable experience with the working world at a time when they’re typically least capable of being productive due to lacking those very job skills they’re needing to acquire through becoming employed. Remove low wage “practice” positions and you undermine youth’s education in adjusting to the ways of our capitalist economy. It is what it is, and socialistic policies haven’t improved the reality after decades of chances to demonstrate they might. We’re being forced to take in the facts of the situation, folks. My argument relating to minimum wage laws usually revolves around how the middle-class winds up squeezed financially the most since their wages are already higher than any set minimum wage and aren’t raised in accordance with it; plus, whatever benefits the poorest hope to receive wind up reduced when companies raise the costs of their products and services in relation to the wage hike so as not to lose profit.

While I remain bitterly critical of the corporatist setup that’s come to dominate what was intended to be a free market capitalist society, I no more wish to aid and abet the socialist idealists out in the society who are fighting to swing the pendulum to another, arguably more totalitarian outcome either. Both of those options suck so far as I can tell.

Dr. Williams’ next point about licensing and regulations barring people entry to various professions is something I’ve long been concerned about as well. Incredibly high cost (and only increasingly) professional licenses and other restrictions reduce our ability as citizens to compete in this corporate-dominated climate. Absolutely. Hurts us as individuals and all across the board as a people to be denied entry in fields where we might flourish despite taking a different approach than those dictating how the profession must be guarded and rendered exclusive. While I can understand why professions would want this since they stand to benefit most from such an arrangement, it’s entirely unnecessary and anti-capitalistic in many cases. Rating organizations can be employed to discern who’s who and how well they’ve performed in their services provided — government regulation isn’t needed there, by-and-large. Some regulations I can understand, particularly that which allows the market to remain free enough so that the majority of people might be capable of effectively competing within it. But there’s a line to be drawn and it comes before professionalizing nearly everything field under the sun, as has been actively occurring.

On a slight side-note, he brought up a good point about hair-dressers and how the hoop-jumping test-taking there eliminates people who actually know how to do hair but lack the education necessary to test well on paper. It’s doing hair, not solving philosophical conundrums, folks. Never understood why that field was set up as it is now, especially considering how many pathetic hair-dressers somehow still mange to graduate and become licensed. Too many people go into that line of work who have no real business there, yet their hair academies aren’t screening them out. Hence why I learned to dye, bleach, and trim my own hair. Good riddance. Gotta try out numerous hair stylists to find one worth returning to, especially if you move around as much as I have. Wish I had heard more through word of mouth so I could’ve avoided those regretted encounters. And the best hair stylist I ever wound up finding, back in Omaha, cost nearly $125 per session and wound up quitting once her pregnancy advanced. So dang. That’s a lot to pay but apparently was necessary if I wanted my hair to look like how that one woman could manipulate it. Pretty much every other stylist either didn’t take as much pride in their work or weren’t sufficiently familiar with working with my hair type or just altogether jacked my shit up. So I learned to handle it myself. Their licensing requirement doesn’t impress me much.

As for cab drivers, now that Uber is on the scene we see how a private company can still conduct screening of potential drivers while side-stepping cab licensing requirements, which is how proving to seriously undermine the status quo of that service industry. Kinda funny, if you ask me. And totally welcome. Customer reviews help reward the good drivers within their ranks and aid in removing the more questionable ones, at least in terms of being affiliated with that company specifically.

Anyway, moving on…  Pausing at 21:00, this man is right that people are confusing the road to economic success as necessarily involving first pursuing political power. That’s not it tends to shake out in the real world, past or present (as we’re bound to find out once again). Yes, on the free market we get to vote with our individual dollars rather than simply being overruled by a majority influenced by whatever ideology.

Interesting panel discussion there at the end.

“Walter Williams: Suffer No Fools”

Watched this for the first time this evening and really appreciated learning more about this interesting man. Very highly recommend this documentary to others to become acquainted with him too.

Documentary of the evening: “An Open Secret”

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v103376385edFjEbD5

Can’t seem to get this Veoh video to embed tonight.

More journaling in early October

It’s a new dawn and a new day…

Yesterday went better. Got pretty self-conscious the night before, hence that last journaling entry. Social awkwardness happens. But last night went much more smoothly. Opted to hang out again with a relatively new bar-pal with whom I share more in common. Nice guy. Much more chill and relaxed than that other dude from the night before. Was an easy, laid-back evening with no pressure to prove anything or stupid communication fumbles. We’ll possibly hang out again next week on one of his days off from work. He’s not seeking some big committed relationship situation either, nor does he even seem all that interested in pursuing sex, which is good for me since I’m aiming to lessen drama in my life right about now. Conversation over drinks and music sounds like a fine way to spend an evening these days. Keeping shit as simple as possible.

Still not up to much beyond working, socializing, watching documentaries and listening to audiobooks. Recently re-watched the film “We Are Legion” about the evolution of hacktivism and the Anonymous movement. Interesting subject. Also watched a documentary titled “Holy Hell” (on Netflix) about a really weird cult (named Buddhafield) originally based out of Los Angeles and formed by an aspiring gay porn actor. Strange what some folks are willing to fall for and follow along with. What else? Oh! Yesterday I watched a cool documentary titled “(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies” based on Dan Ariely’s research into the subject. Read a couple of his books in the past and am familiar with his findings, but I especially liked how in this film it showcased a number of notable persons who fell from grace very publicly due to being called out on their lies and deceptions. Brings the topic down to a very real and relatable level worth deeply pondering on.

Besides that, my best girlfriend sent me the audiobook Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, which I plan on getting to in coming weeks. Previously read his book Outliers and enjoyed that one.

Not been in the gym as much recently. Feeling a bit resistant about this switch-over to this new gym since the little gym I’ve belonged to over the last couple of years had to shut down. Busier at this other place so it’s a little bit more intimidating working out in there, especially in the weights section. Will have to get over that concern.

Continue reading

“You See Me Laughin’: the last of the hill country bluesmen (Mississippi Blues documentary – 2002)”

Huge fan of the music of R.L. Burnside in particular, though I also fairly regularly listen to some songs acquired by T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm, and Asie Payton. Interesting to learn more about their backgrounds as well as to find out about a few singers I’d never heard of before (like Cedell Davis and Johnny Farmer). Plus to learn how their music became popularized outside of the Deep South.

An insightful film.

“Serial Killer Lonnie Franklin Jr: (HBO) Tales Of The Grim Sleeper”

Holy moly, that’s a disturbing documentary. Watched it for the first time this afternoon. Lonnie Franklin was finally arrested in 2010 for murdering countless women dating back to the 1980s. His trial was ongoing during the making of this film.

Now officially middle-aged

Yay me. Recently had a birthday that marks the midway point in life: age 35. That’s assuming I live to the ripe old age of 70.

Had a pretty good b-day week. My former companion took me out to dinner one night and then grilled out over the weekend, my best guyfriend took me out another night, and a bar-pal cooked us dinner in his home one evening. The friend who was supposed to come to town wound up canceling last minute. Not sure what to think of that and so am letting it go. We haven’t spoken since. Have the feeling it probably had to do with that other gal he was interested in, though that’s not what he claimed. Either way, such is life. The weekend went fine regardless. Had a chance to hang out with another buddy I hadn’t seen in a minute, and that went well. Chilled in his garage/workshop ’til sunrise, chatting and catching up. And my mother sent an odd present which indeed will come in handy.

What else? Not a whole lot to share on here. Been trying to keep my drama minimal though it does flare up occasionally. Hurt my shoulder nearly a couple weeks back and am still recuperating. Was a stupid night out, as is the cause of most injuries I endure. But whatever. That happened and is now past. Very little rest for the wicked…

Been getting along with most folks though, including my former companion — very grateful for that. Gone two months without a fight. Shocks us both. More space and time apart works wonders.

My gym closed down, so I’m about to be hunting a new one. Will still be weight-training with my regular trainer a couple times a week, just in a different location. Kind of a bummer there, but c’est la vie. Rent was too damn high for him to keep the place open.

Beyond that just tending to the usual. Working, staying out late and enjoying the nightlife, listening to audiobooks and reading during the day, catching a movie every once in a blue moon. The latest one my guyfriend took me to see was “Hell or High Water.” Liked it. Been listening to the soundtrack since, which I will share on here momentarily.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdB4kQ226Y-YeK1zFY1MlQXcEE4xQM5IC

A few favorites of mine follow.

“Blood, Sweat and Murder” by Scott H. Biram:

Townes Van Zandt’s “Dollar Bill Blues”:

“Sleeping on the Blacktop” by Colter Wall:

“Jonestown Cult Suicides – The True Story” (docu-drama)

Today’s show on Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre:

Because cults are intriguing to learn about.

I especially find it interesting how groups with a socialist bend are inclined to claim to be non-violent, yet tend to resort to extreme violence against their own once severely threatened with dissolution.

And I continue wondering why we humans are so prone to following crazed leaders. Charisma alone is not a good enough excuse. People aren’t simply passive sheep — we’re often complicit in creating the ordeals we wind up feeling trapped by. So what’s the initial allure? Is it that following someone else gives us the feeling of being absolved from taking personal responsibility for whatever unfolds on down the line? Are these just more manifestations of people taking flight from freedom? Perhaps because people feel overwhelmed by all the choices available that it can seem easier to simply let someone else decide our fates for us? Or is it more about becoming so wrapped up in a dream, a fantasy about the formation of a utopian society, an alternative to what was previously known to us, that we somehow fail to fully acknowledge that we’ve veered off toward a worse outcome? Maybe we humans just love drama — it gives our lives a greater sense of meaning, even if our lives get cut short in the process. Who really knows?  *shrugs*

Anonymous – The Hacker Wars (documentary)

Today’s documentary selection, “Anonymous — The Hacker Wars”:

Very interesting. Recommended viewing for others.

Film: “A Good Marriage”

Today I watched “A Good Marriage,” a movie based on a short story by Stephen King. I liked it. A pretty simple film about a marriage that looks perfect to onlookers, up until the wife finds out what crimes her husband has been up to. Then she had to decide how to respond to the situation.

Only problem with it for me is how her husband never was truly brought to justice. His crimes involved sadism and torture, yet he was granted a fairly quick death. Plus everyone except one man was kept in the dark about it all. That’s not satisfying enough for someone like me, but I can understand why a person might opt to go that way, if only for their own convenience. And I suppose what’s done is already done and it’s more important to ensure the carnage stops from there on out.

Hmm…  Not a scary movie. Not terribly emotion-provoking either. Didn’t develop any of the characters in much real depth. Just a tale, a glimpse at one potential slice of this life.  I considered it worth viewing.