Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- ‘How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks’

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Source:Politico Magazine– Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Source:The Daily Review 

I’m not interested in Howard Schultz’s so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it’s a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they’re not actually speaking to anyone or don’t have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven’t seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it’s Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it’s not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it’s not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they’re ways of living. It’s a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. “Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they’re in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are.” Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we’ve been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I’ll let be the judge.

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Source:60 Minutes: Scott Pelley- Howard Schultz: When He Was Starbuck’s Star– Howard Schultz, before he was a narcissistic wannabe politician
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TIME Magazine: Chris Bailey- ‘Why Being Lazy is Actually Good For You’

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Source:TIME Magazine– The good lazy?

Source:TIME Magazine: Chris Bailey- ‘Why Being Lazy is Actually Good For You’

I see the point that Chris Bailey is making here. He’s not arguing that people should sit on their asses and do nothing all day expect to pick up their I-Phone to order pizza or other takeout, including groceries and then sit on the couch and watch TV all day. And then after we do that for a few months, we’re now sitting on our fat lazy asses unless we run out of money and decide to become productive again and go back to work. If he was arguing that, I would have no respect for that argument.

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Source:TIME Magazine– Overworked?

What Bailey is arguing here is that of course people should work and productive with their day and their time, but that we shouldn’t be consumed with those activities and make time to just chill-ax. There’s time for work and then there’s free time to do nothing that’s work and substantive. When you’re sitting on your couch watching a movie or just watching the tube, you should just be doing that. Perhaps eating as well and hanging out with your wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend or friends, family, but not hanging with just yourself or your people while also working, flipping through your iPhone or computer. That there’s work time and then there’s free time and that you shouldn’t combine the two.

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Source:Now Let’s Going– From Chris Bailey 

I’m sort of the opposite of Chris Bailey on this, but I think I’m getting better. I work at home in my office and I write one blog article a week, but when I’m not doing that I’, doing other things that are related to my blog. Like looking for other things to blog about for the next coming weeks. updating older posts, doing research for future posts, talking to other people about what I’ve written and what I’m going to write about in the future. And as I’m doing this I got the news on as I’m working in my office to keep up with what’s going on during the day and seeing if there is anything else I should be commenting on for that day.

And then when I’m done for the day which now is around 9PM sometimes 7 nights a week, but as I said earlier I’m getting better at this and no longer working pass 11 five nights a week, I’m ready for dinner and just sitting back and watching the tube. Which is generally the news and hearing about what happened that day and what’s the most important stories for that day. What I’m working on now is once my workday is over and I’m ready for dinner is to turn off the news all together and just watch movies or classic TV, documentaries and sports that have nothing to do with what I’m working on or about to start working on. What I’m trying to do is completely separate my workday from my free nights and time in general and leave the news for the rest of the world and get back into it when I’m back at my desk the next day.

As great as new technology has been without how convenient it makes life for so many people, to also has at least two negative affects. It makes people obsessed with new technology because of how cool it is and how tied it has become to pop culture. The more you’re into new technology and the more knowledgeable you are about new tech, the cooler you are and since we have so many people obsessed with pop culture and being seen as cool and we have so many faddists in America now, we also have a lot more lazy people in the bad sense, because we have so many people that don’t think for themselves. Who are experts on the superficial like who their favorite celebrity is dating, what rehab they’re at, or why they’re in jail, what’s the latest i-Phone, when it’s coming out, what you have to do to be one of the first 5 people to purchase it so you can share that on Facebook, like you just won the lottery or something.

And because of this we have a lot of lazy people in the bad sense that they don’t think for themselves, because they’re so into to what’s the latest fad and being seen doing whatever the latest fad is and right now one of those fads is not just having the latest i-Phone, but being on it all the time. People don’t even watch football games or movies anymore without staring at their i-Phone while they’re doing that. Because they feel the need to respond to every single text when as soon as they get it, or someone else’s Facebook update or tweet, or responding to what someone else to said on their favorite social network. We have so many people who simply can’t relax, because they’re mind is always focused on several different things at one point. Even when they’re just watching a ballgame or movie, having out at their coffee house, they got multiple things going on with them at the same time.

Myself, I would like to work 8-10 hours a day or even more, but when work is over it’s really over and I don’t even feel the need to tweet a photo or plus it on Google+, or Facebook about what I’m doing after work. I would like to give up my social network habit even on my phone once I’m done with work during the day and just eat a good meal and enjoy a good movie or documentary, classic TV before I need to go to bed and be ready for the next day. It would be nice to take Saturday and Sunday completely off and not doing anything work related then, but even when I’m on vacation I actually need to be doing some work because I’m a blogger and get a lot of email. That’s just the life of a blogger and perhaps anyone who works in the media at all. But during the day, bike ride, work, and then be free at night and live the good lazy life. Not the the life of a lazy ass, which is different.

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Source:Seeker: Julian Huguet- ‘Why Laziness Can Be A Good Thing’– Bad lazy?

AlterNet: Opinion- Liz Posner: ‘8 Things That Are Probably True About You if You Identify As Spiritual But Not Religious’

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Source: AlterNet

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I hear someone tell me that they’re spiritual, but not religious, my first reaction if I’m not smirking is something generally like, “really?”

Someone who is religious believes in a God who is a superhuman controlling power and a belief in something greater than them self.

Someone who is self-described as spiritual, but not religious is someone who believes in the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things. Sort of sounds like the definition of a Socialist, but that might be for a different discussion. According to Wikipedia the term spirituality originally developed within early Christianity.

Someone who is religious is also spiritual. I mean, what do you think houses of worship are for. You could be someone who practices a certain religion but doesn’t believe in God or is simply neutral when it comes to God like an Agnostic and be spiritual in that way. There’s this growing movement with young people (meaning Millennial’s) who don’t want to be religious or at least seen as religious with people they hangout with or respect, because they believe those people will think they’re not cool or something, but they also don’t want to be identified as Atheists either. So they try to thread the needle (so to speak) and self-identify as spiritual.

Spirituality is very common and popular with hipsters especially in Hollywood who believe religion is not cool, or at least their followers believe religion is not cool, but they’re not comfortable identifying themselves as Atheists, because they come from religious families or perhaps just don’t want to be known as an Atheist. In case it isn’t obvious, Hollywood is about perception and not reality. Style over substance, which is something that they have in common with politicians.

If someone tells me they’re an Atheist, I can respect that. I mean really, who can honestly actually say they’ve seen God before, let alone met the man. I mean, we don’t see any sightings of Jesus Christ, or Moses, or Allah, except maybe around Halloween.

Its the fundamentalist Atheists who I have a problem with who look down upon people who are religious simply because they’re religious. Or the faux Atheists who claim to be Atheists, but only critique Christianity especially fundamentalist Protestant Christianity because of hard-core stances that Evangelicals take on social issues and bigotry that they show against gays and other religions, women’s place in the world, but never critique other religions that have similar, if not identical stances on the same issues.

Or so-called Atheists who label people as bigots even when they accurately critique Muslims for their regressive views on the same social issues that Evangelicals are known for having. And of course I’m talking about how the so-called politically correct Far-Left went after Bill Maher a few years ago for his stances against Islam. Bill Maher is a real Atheist and doesn’t just call himself to sound cool with hipsters.

I’m an Agnostic myself simply because I don’t know if there is a God or not. As a Liberal I base all my political beliefs as well as non-political beliefs on reason, evidence, and facts. Instead of having faith in some so-called higher being who supposedly always has my best interest at heart. Even though I never met this supposed person. And I’m someone who tends to not have faith in things or people, unless there’s good reason and evidence to have faith. But just because you don’t know that there is a God, doesn’t mean you know there isn’t a God. Which is where I separate from Atheists.

A big problem with America especially with young people (I know I sound like a grandfather now) is faddism. This need to be seen following whatever the current trend is especially with whatever fad young cool people are following. If walking down the street or showing up to work wearing nothing but a t-shirt, underwear, and cowboy boots, became a regular thing with whoever the current hot celebrities are supposed to be, you would see thousands if not millions of young Americans doing the same thing. And we would probably see a spike in the unemployment rate as a result, at least with young adults, because those people would get fired right on the spot for completely breaking the company dress code. Spirituality along with Scientology, is a Hollywood hipster fad and when its no longer seen as cool is when it will disappear. But not a movement that I respect or even take seriously.

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Source:

ABC News: World News Tonight-Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand During National Anthem: Opportunism at it’s Worst

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

In life there are followers and there are leaders. There are trend-setters who would be leaders and there are people who follow whatever the latest trend is who would be faddists. Celebrity culture and pro sports is no different, is a very accurate reflection of this. Celebrities feel the need to be cool to the point they’ll follow things and claim to support things that in many cases they don’t even seem to understand. Ben Affleck, from a couple years ago where he essentially accused Bill Maher of being a racist, because Maher made critical, but accurate statements about Islam, is a perfect example of this. Even though Islam is not a race, but a religion and Muslims can be anyone of any race, since Islam is not a race, but a religion. With today’s social media and broader media culture, things can become hot and go or go viral, in an instant. And when that happens, many celebrities feel the need to be associated with it even if they don’t understand what they’re associating with. Colin Kaepernick, to me at least seems like the latest celebrity faddist and getting on the Black Lives Matter train.

This is not a debate about whether there’s racism and bigotry, as well as oppression in America. Because of course there is and we’ve had as a nation more that two-hundred years of it. This to me is a debate about whether a multi-millionaire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, is the right spokesperson to address this issue. Who’ll be paid eleven-million-dollars by the 49ers this season to be there starting QB. A man who has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s had in America as an individual to live in freedom and become filthy rich. Oppression in America, again goes back more than two-hundred years starting with American-Indians. And then Africans being kidnapped from Africa and brought over to be the slaves of European-Americans who the land of the American-Indians. To women of all races not having the right to vote in America until a hundred-years ago. To Jewish and other European immigrants, being denied access in America by Anglo-Saxons, simply because their ethnicity and religion was different from English-Americans. To Latinos and Asians as well. With the Japanese, as well as German and Italian-Americans, being kidnapped and forced into concentration camps. Because the U.S. Government saw them as traitors during World War II.

Colin Kaepernick, has been in the NFL since 2012 and has been a millionaire his whole career. America didn’t wake up to oppression when the Black Lives Matter moment started in 2014. We’ve known about it for over two-hundred-years. That is anyone who took and passed American history in high school. Mr. Kaepernick has had all this time to let his thoughts and views be known about racism and oppression in America. And waits till now when the Black Lives Matter becomes popular and not only that, but isn’t putting himself at risk here at all. The 49ers won’t cut him over this, because standing for the national anthem is voluntary. And the City of San Francisco is a capital of fads and trends and pop culture and leftist hippies who applaud anyone who takes on anyone they see as ‘The Man.’ If Mr. Kaepernick loses his job this season, it will have nothing to do with the fact that he supposedly took a stand against oppression. But that he once again failed to perform, and the 49ers have another mediocre or bad season. And head coach Chip Kelly decides to go in a different direction as a result.

Colin Kaepernick, showed no more courage in not standing for a national anthem for a country that has given him no much opportunity as someone who is African-American, to be very successful, than millions of teenagers who bought and wore Malcolm X hats in the early 1990s when the Malcolm X movie came out. Claiming to support a man they probably never even heard of before that movie came out. And perhaps don’t have much knowledge about who Minister Malcolm is today. Someone who I have a lot of respect for an learned a lot about. What Mr. Kaepernick has done here instead is make a fashion statement. And use the national anthem of a country that’s given him so much opportunity to be as successful as he had, has his target and launching point. Which makes him not different from people who eat whatever the latest hit dish is, or where whatever outfit, or claim to be behind whatever the latest movement or celebrity is. So of course he has the Freedom of Speech (even in the NFL) to do what he did. But he’s nothing more than an opportunist when it comes to oppression and fashion statements.

AEI: Arthur Brooks- Narcissism is Increasing. So You’re Not so Special

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Source: The Daily Review Plus– One thing that Donald Trump, keeps in his pocket, LOL!

Source: The Daily Review

The internet and even the social media revolution by in large have been great things. I’m not a blogger without it, but with every new way of people expressing themselves comes more ways of people showing more of themselves than others would like to see. And to think more of themselves than they actually are. With social media and internet wave has also come with an increase in how others live and how they present themselves. And of course I’m talking celebrity culture and tabloid news. Or what I like to call tabloid TV which is called reality TV. But anyone who is actually familiar with so-called reality TV and how it operates knows that there isn’t much that is real about. Participants are actually encouraged to act out, not be themselves which if different.

We now live in a world where not everybody, but everyone who thinks they’re awesome or whatever and with pop culture has to have whatever is new and has to have it as soon as it’s new. Because if they don’t, they believe they’re so not awesome or hot or whatever. Because even though they just got a new i-phone (to use as an example) it’s not the latest i-phone. And their friends who perhaps they just met on Facebook will think they so yesterday or whatever. So we have a culture that is now dominated by celebrities and new technology and a young generation that for the most part is only interested in those things. When they’re not protesting against the Washington Redskins or what people wear for Halloween or whatever the latest political correctness fad is.

We live in a world where people want to be like whoever their latest favorite celebrity is, who also happens to be a narcissist in many cases. And they think they’re as awesome as that celebrity and live their lives as if they’re trying out for the latest reality/tabloid TV show. So of course they’re going to live like the whole world revolves around them with a giant size mirror for walls in their parent’s basement where they currently live. And that is another thing. We have a generation of narcissists who aren’t do very well economically right now and they present themselves as if they’re the hottest celebrity in Hollywood. Even if they’re currently living in their parent’s basement in Canton, Ohio. (No offense to Canton) With a college degree worth nothing, or having to drop out of college, because they could no longer afford their student loans.

Once someone thinks they’re the center of the world, they lose touch with reality and Planet Earth. And are so far out-of-touch that they couldn’t get back in touch with a Star Trek cell phone. The most important tool that Americans will ever have in life is the truth. Especially about themselves and always know exactly who you are. Your weakness’ and yes your strengths. So you know where you’re solid and where you need self-improvement. So you never are out-of-touch with reality. And you take things for what they are. You don’t view reaching a thousand followers on Twitter or Instagram as a major life achievement. Especially if you’re currently unemployed or can’t pay your own bills. Which might be why you have so many social media followers, because you have too much free time. Self-confidence generally speaking is a good thing. But only when it’s justified.
Claudia Guevara Borges: Me, Me, Me: Social Media and The Rise of Narcissism

POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

Paul Ryan

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

When I first saw new Speaker of The House Paul Ryan and his new beard I guess a week ago, I thought, ‘great, here’s another political faker wannabe. Someone who wants to fit in with the Millennial hipsters, or whoever else. And will follow whatever the current cool fad is.’ To be honest with you, I doubt he’s still wearing that beard a month from now. Sure! It will keep his face warm when he goes back to freezing Wisconsin and perhaps help him get through another disappointing Green Bay Packers playoff loss.

But he’s got to deal with both Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and to a certain extent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when she needs to him to bail him out on things like getting votes on things that the House Tea Party doesn’t believe in. Like paying for government, to use as an example. And paying our debts, which is really what the debt ceiling is about. Officially acknowledging that you have a government debt. He’s got to deal with people who are never afraid to crack a joke. Especially when they know that person can’t hurt them or fire them.

All of these leader’s all have quick-wits and sense of humors and he’s friendly with all of them. which could kill him with the Tea Party. The next handshake with President Obama, could cost Speaker Ryan his speakership. Senator Robert Bennet, who at the time at least was one of the most conservative members of Congress, lost his Senate seat in a Republican primary in 2010. Because he was caught shaking hands with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. They’re all going to take shots at his beard, at least in private. And with Mitch McConnell, those shots might actually come from a gun. He’s from Guntucky after all.

I believe one of the things that Paul Ryan has going for him is that he comes off as real and as someone who Joe and Mary Average can relate to. He comes from an Midwestern Irish-Catholic background, who needed student loans to get through college. Whose had a government job most of his working life. This is not someone who comes off as being better than everyone else who feels he has something to prove. He’s someone who has worked very hard to get where he is, because he’s had to.

Unlike, gee I don’t know, just throwing out a name here, but try George W. Bush. Just to use as an example. And the Speaker’s beard to me as it does for a lot of guys who aren’t lumberjacks, or rednecks, or bikers, or cowboys, headbangers, football players, it just looks phony to me. And someone who looks like they want to be someone else. Paul Ryan, should be Paul Ryan. A very bright Irish-Catholic guy from Wisconsin whose gotten to the highest point in Congress by being Paul Ryan. Not by trying to convince people he’s someone other than Paul Ryan.

The Richest: The Worst Black Friday Disasters

Black Friday

Source: The Richest: The Worst Black Friday Disasters

Black Friday, the official start of the Christmas shopping season in America and as someone who has some experience working in retail I know how crazy it can be. It is that one day of the year where Americans can go crazy and not look crazy, because they must have whatever the current OMG product is out there. Generally having something to do with new technology. And if they don’t get that product, they’ll look like so old school, or 2014 or whatever the year is compared with people who already have that new smart phone, iPad, or whatever the hell it is. It is that one day of the year that people find great deals on stuff that they don’t need and buy it. To wake up the next day to figure out they don’t want or need whatever the thing is that they just found a great deal on. And besides, what they just bought is already old school compared with whatever the latest thing is.

It is that day of the year where people can camp out the night before so they’re in at Best Buy, Macy’s, or whatever the store is, the second it opens and be able to buy whatever they think they’re looking for at that second, to find out they don’t want it, or need it when they get home. Or perhaps its a present and they think to them self, “why would this person want this.” Black Friday, is 21st Century pop and valley culture gone wild, where everyone has that one day to be more like whatever their favorite current celebrity is until they find a new one the next day. Despite all the stupidity that comes from Black Friday with all the faddism that comes from it, as someone smart once said and I’m paraphrasing, but that idiots are useful. Black Friday, puts money in people’s wallets, saves people money if they spend their money wisely on stuff they can actually use and need and it also creates a lot of jobs. Things that we still need a lot of as a country.

For Social Justice Warriors, (speaking of useful idiots) Black Friday is not a racist holiday. It is not some racial slur at African-Americans and anyone else of African descent. It is also not some day that promotes economic greed and the weakness’ of private enterprise, capitalism and corporate greed. It is a great use to the American economy, because it creates jobs and keeps business’s successful. It puts money in average Americans wallets and saves money for a lot of Americans who spend the day wisely. Yes, private business’s end up doing very well on this day, but that’s called private enterprise and capitalism. And workers and consumers don’t do well when business’s don’t do well. These things go together. And someone not a fan of this system should explain what they would do differently. Perhaps try to find some state-run business that has real competition that does well on Black Friday. Or Rainbow Friday, or whatever the politically correct term would be for it.