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Media Transparency Discussion Series: Introduction

A new study came out that states in big bold headlines that the two sides of the political coin, Democrats and Republicans, hold vastly different opinions of the media. Whereas the political left is inclined to trust the media and have faith in it's integrity, the political right believes the opposite. This has many disturbing implications for both sides. Is that trust in the integrity of media misplaced for the Democrats? Is that lack of faith a sign of something much darker for the Republicans? What happened to make this dichotomy our new reality? In order to properly answer these questions, there needs to be a clear understanding of how mass media functions today, followed by a discussion of how to handle problems with the system, and ultimately on how to reconcile across the aisle.
To begin organizing our framework, let's attempt to define what "The Media" is. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and …
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Goal Setting Review

Last December (2015), my fiancee and I decided to set OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for 2016. I don't recall exactly how this came about but we had set a goal to attempt to buy a house in January of 2016, and I think we just decided to attempt to do something with our time now that we had stable living conditions (whoo not super impoverished! Take that neoliberalist regime?).

Okay, that's a little too simplified. Maybe that is how it was for my fiancee, but for me, it was a rough culmination of months of thinking. You see, 2014 was very hard. I had bounced from job to job, desperately trying to make money, climb out of poverty, and contribute to society. I could not afford to fuck up, I had no home to bounce back to after college, my parents were as poor or poorer than I was. I had student loans. When I was between jobs, I spent all my time alone at home, applying to as many jobs as I could. Here's a screenshot of my Applied Jobs folder from that time. Next time you s…

Post Move Life

I survived the move.

Being a homeowner is almost the same as renting. I still have chores, I still have to go grocery shopping, I still have to work out, and accomplish some kind of personal goal that makes me feel like a person and not a robot.

But there are differences and new challenges. I actually have to care about my neighbors. I have to care about having earthquake insurance. I have to care about my plumbing, my electrical, my roof, my backyard.

There is a never-ending slew of projects. Right now it's redoing the sewer lateral, and painting two rooms to prep for my next challenge of being a landlord. After that, it's make the backyard stop looking like an empty weed filled lot, make the in-law unit an actual living space, make the front yard look less like someone went to Mars and then just dumped the red rocks they stole all over it.

Those are just incoming/ongoing projects. That doesn't include figuring out new furniture arrangements, making sure the tree in front…

Change Comes Quickly

Saying Goodbye.

I know it's just an apartment. It's just walls and crappy fake hardwood floors. Insulation and plumbing. It's a structure, walls roof and doors.

But for three years it's been mine.

For three years, I have lived here in my apartment. I got engaged within it, hosted my first big family Thanksgiving. I know I will have the memories, but breaking up with my apartment to move onto to something better (hopefully).

My house will be an investment. I don't love it yet. The HGTV feelings will never happen, but I hope that in three years, I will love my house as much as I love my apartment.
I hope I love my new neighborhood as much as I love this one. I hope that I can adjust to this new period quickly and without too much heartache.

As I sit here, in probably my last hours in my apartment alone, with it relatively unpacked up, I try to find solace in my changing life. As I pack boxes of books, art, clothing and wonder where to put them, I find myself wishing …

Life Long Ache

Screeching metal, harsh chemical smell of burnt rubber, bits of shrapnel bouncing off of my goggles as I struggle to breathe through the my nose, harsh light shining straight into my eyes.

To be clear, I'm sitting in a chair at my Dentists'.

The first memory I have of visiting the dentist is screaming in a chair as a man rips one of my teeth out without numbing my mouth. My mother sits in the corner on one of those metal spindly chairs that you most commonly see stacked in corners in a school gym. She didn't know he was going to pull a tooth. Neither did I.
He was white, tall, and the hair on top of his head appeared to be migrating to his arms instead. I can remember the event as if I am watching it from someone else's eyes. The screaming child, the nurse with a face mask holding her legs down as she desperately tried to get away. Her mother, eyes wide with horror, pale, disbelief in what was happening plastered across her face.

Dentist, large, crushing my lower jaw i…

21 Days of Withdrawl

Well, we continue to move forward with the house, and now just have to wait 21 days of anxious non-being before we can get court approved and buy the fucking house.

Slowly I am letting go of the apartment. The way the fan always turns on in the bathrooms, the noise loud and abrasive, waking you in the middle of the night. The way the floor is a weird squishy hardwood, and the planks will separate and catch your socks sometimes, like the time it ripped a hole in our brand new sheets because they fell off the bed. The way our landlord writes racist comments in letters to us (okay, this is not endearing at all, but it is hilarious.). The weird driveway block (cement kitkats?) that doesn't allow us to pull all the way into our driveway and scrapes the bottom of the car if we get too close.

I guess I have to magnify all the little irritating things to huge proportions, so it feels like relief when we leave. Rather like the way you break-up with someone, or how you get over an ex.

But I…

Bankrupt it Up

This last month has been another 180. We visited a house on a whim, and actually liked it.

Of course, because it is us, it couldn't just be a normal house. No, of course the only house that we have seen that we actually like couldn't be simple. Oh no. Not us.

This house is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy sale is complicated. You need a judge to approve you buying the house. Instead of the seller, you have a trustee who has to take the best offer on the table. Once your offer is accepted, due to some arcane as fuck laws, you have to wait 21 days with your offer listed publicly and during that 21 days, a random person could come in and be like "oho! I like this!" and outbid you. Once you make it through the 21 days, you have to get the judge's approval and it proceeds from there mostly like a normal sale.

Pros:
Long time to actually purchase the house (for us)
Complicated so it keep a lot of competition at bay
Potentially a good deal on a home because the cour…