Saturday, May 6, 2023

Universal Analytics Sucks!

When Google Universal Analytics first announced they were replacing the current platform and updating to Google Analytics 4, I wasn't too concerned.

It was just an update, right? Google's announcement of their next-generation measurement solution claimed it would automatically update PCs using it and users didn't have to be concerned about the change.

If I was a web developer, there would be no concern. I'm not a computer geek, however. And the instructions to manually update are more confusing than Egyptian hieroglyphics. Despite their claim it's possible I absolutely reject it unless you're a computer wizard.

The roll out started earlier this year. That's about the time my blog stats started to take a dive. I went from 16,000 daily views to less than a hundred by May.


"If you haven't already created a GA4 (Don't even ask. That's part of the chaos), we'll create one for you. The new property will be based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property."

In other words, "Don't worry about it."

But then this paragraph threw everything in the wind:

"Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use (assuming you got a developer to do it) this new version. In the coming months, we'll provide a future date when Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available."

Say what?

After all the crap the damn Google Analytics required to update the data gatherer it's not even going to be functionable later this year!

Then what?

As it stands, I have no idea what I'll do now. My data is already sporadic and unreliable. All I can do is search for another data gathering source and that's not going to easy. Any helpful suggestions would be welcomed.

Friday, May 5, 2023

GOP House Members Hold Auditions for Conspiracy Nuts

This is how the process for investigations goes in Congress these days.

Conspiracy loons line up outside GOP members offices waiting to unveil their latest wacky claims. 

The chances of being interviewed improve if the candidate is enough of a fanatic and his conspiracy theory somehow involves the Biden family.

In the latest example of abusing their power, House Oversight Chair James Comer issued a subpoena to the FBI based upon a secret whistleblower's (no one knows who it is or if there's really one) vague accusations without a shred of evidence.

In reality it's another thinly failed attempt to discredit President Biden and his family.

Ancient MAGA member Chuck Grassley alleged there was a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.

His accusation was obviously a ploy to distract the public from the fact Republicans are getting ready to financially destroy America at home and abroad.

It's like one of those "Oh Look!" It's a squirrel moments.

The first clue is the GOP has not provided any information on the whistleblower's background, or how the person would have knowledge of an alleged conversation with an FBI source. 

The subpoena is just a sham to go fishing for President Biden's conversations with officials by requesting any FD-1023 forms from June 2020 that contain the word "Biden."

Comer is demanding the FBI respond by May 10th. Comer and Grassley's excuse for the expedition was they weren't sure if the FBI had already investigated the matter internally. 

Anyone who follows politics knows the GOP's ultimate goal is to find a smoking gun that might link the president to the business deals of his son Hunter Biden, who is also under a federal investigation.

I would note that the forms themselves, regardless of content, do not independently amount to evidence of wrongdoing. But that's not really the point.

Comer and Grassley were simply carrying on with another rightwing conspiracy theory to district attention from their own follies and to smear President Biden because they fear him.

As it stands, conspiracy auditions are always welcome in MAGA world.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

It's All About Fantasy and Space: 'May the 4th Be with You'

Today is a great day to cosplay.

It's Star Wars Day, a celebration of the famous movie franchise and its many TV spinoffs.

Big news for Star Wars fans today.

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is being honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ways to celebrate this celestial collection of movies:

* Try listening to the memorable Star War sound film scores from John Williams on Spotify and Apple Music.

* Watch the films and shows. The franchise consists of a dozen movies (if you include "The Clone Wars'.)

*Take a Quiz: Which Star Wars movie should you watch on Star Wars Day?

* Follow the official "Star Wars" Twitter Account.

* Read this: The Star Wars timeline is confusing. Here's when The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, and more take place.

As it stands, May the 4th be with You today.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

It's Scary: Watching the News Brings the Blues

Every morning I watch the news while sipping coffee. 

A ritual that goes back to my newspaper days as an editor.

In recent years I've noticed a considerable increase in violence around the country. Since Trump slithered in office and then was defeated running for re-election, the country has split into a deep divide like no other time in our history, with the exception of the Civil War.

Every morning now starts off with gun violence somewhere in the nation. Mass shootings are off the charts. There're more guns than people in America.

This morning...

* Atlanta police are investigating an active shooter at a building in midtown.

* Texas massacre suspect, Francisco Oropesa, is captured.

* Family of bride killed on her wedding day in a car wreck involving a drunken driver.

* What we know about the 7 people found dead at an Oklahoma property.

These kinds of headlines happen daily. Sensational headlines have always been the goal of news outlets, but the balance of violent stories and other stories is out of wack.

The public's growing thirst for violence coupled with the revenue it brings in assures that it will continue. 

Frankly it's depressing seeing these violent stories dominate the national news without a balance of non-violent news. 

There's only one answer to cope with the avalanche of bad news... stop watching, or reading, the news. Sometimes ignorance is a blessing.

The way I see it people aren't being fairly informed anyway. They're being indoctrinated by lies and violence that's so prevalent these days. 

The only news I respect anymore comes from small community newspapers that give the locals stories about where they live. Yes, there's violence at times (bad things do happen), but it's not a daily subject grabbing headlines.

As it stands, if you want to reduce your stress levels consider cutting back on your exposure to bad news. Sounds simple right? It isn't easy to do because habits (good, bad, and the ugly) are hard to break.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Quotes in the News: They Said What?

Under Jobs:

Wanted - FinanceBuzz seeks Fast & Furious Claims Adjustor. The company spokesman said this about the chosen candidate, "They will be asked to estimate the insurance impact of the franchise's reckless driving. The winner will get $1,000 according to the press release.

Under jokes:

President Biden had the audience roaring in laughter during the recent White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. On age... "You can call me old, I call it being seasoned. You say I'm ancient, I say I'm wise. You say I'm over the hill, Don Lemon would say, that's a man in his prime. 

Foot Note, Biden was referring to the former CNN anchor's controversial comments suggesting that woman over 40 might have their better days behind them.

Under Politics:

During this year's CPAC.

Far-right Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who was under federal investigation connected to sex trafficking probe, will not be charged.

His first words on the CPAC stage: "I think vindication looks pretty good on me."

Under Political Morons

Far-right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene decided to attack New York City because she had nothing better to do. 

She said, "I compare New York City to what I call Gotham City," told Fox News. "The streets are filthy, they're covered with people basically dying on drugs. They can't even stand up. They're falling over. There's so much crime in the city. I can't even comprehend how people live there."

Under Political Liars

Jim, as in Gym, Jordan blatantly lied during a Congressional debate recently and claimed he never said, "This election is stolen."

Yet he told Fox last December that, "I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing based on all the things you see."

He also said, "...that because some Americans believe the election was rigged, we should do everything we can to get to the bottom of their allegations."

The kicker is Jordan knew damn well there were plots by Trump and his minions (he was one of them) to overthrow a duly elected president of the United States. Talk about rigging.

Under Saying One Thing & Doing Another

Elon Musk is a master of saying one thing and then doing another.

Shortly after he acquired Twitter Musk said, "I'm going to establish a content moderation program to advise me on controversial decisions."

However, to no one's surprise Musk never established the committee despite what he tweeted he was going to do.

As it stands, "Life itself is a quotation." - Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, May 1, 2023

What is Wrong with People? Victims are Being Re-Victimized

They called the police five times in ten minutes because a madman with a loaded AR-15 was coming after them.

By the time the police arrived five family members were slain by the next-door neighbor who is still on the run today.

The madman, Francisco Oropeza, entered the family's house and unloaded his Ar-15 into the room filled with a dozen people. Four adults and a nine-year old boy were ruthlessly cut down.

Two of the murdered adults died protecting babies with their bodies. 

What happened to cause this senseless slaughter?

Wilson Garcia the father of the slain boy and one of the adults (who was his wife) told authorities what happened in a chilling recital.

He asked his neighbor to quit firing his AR-15 from the front porch because the noise was going to wake his one-year-old baby. The neighbor ignored him. He called the police five times.

Prior to the mass shooting Garcia told his wife, Sonia Argentina Guzman, to "get inside the house. This man has a loaded weapon. My wife told me to go inside because 'he won't fire at me' I'm a woman."

This tragedy only gets worse because the victims were re-victimized by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who tried to make the story about the fact the victims were illegal immigrants from Honduras. Like it was their fault for even being here.

This is another example of Abbott's hateful mind-set when he sent a public message to his constituents who are already flooded with deceiving, dehumanizing anti-immigrant rhetoric about the mass shooting.

Hard-core Republicans in Texas support Abbott's war on immigrants by enacting draconian measures against them whenever they can.

As it stands, what is wrong with people who treat others like they're not human?

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Fear Has Been a Great Motivator Since the Dawn of Civilization

Fear this.

Across the country this month, at least five men have opened fire on someone who's stumbled upon their space.

It seems like there's no longer safe spots in America anymore. Churches were once considered a safe place for all, but now they've been turned into shooting galleries.

Going to walk-in movies used to be a safe place but not anymore after a madman in Aurora, Colorado. slaughtered 12 people and wounded 70.

All of this fear induced carnage is nothing new under the sun. Ancient religions relied on fear to control the masses by telling them they wouldn't go to heaven unless they obeyed the church.

Crusades were launched out of fear of Muslims taking over the Western world. People have been demonizing others that don't think like they do, or who look different, for ages.

Today in America we're divided down the middle between blue states and red states with both creating fear of what the other is doing.

Fear makes people crazy if they carry it around for too long. This past decade has seen a resurgence of fear being spread by extremists who favor having a dictator instead of a constitutional government.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

Here's 10 things that happen to people who are constantly afraid of something.

1. Inability to sleep. You rarely feel rested or comfortable.

2. Anxiety and panic lead to anxiety disorder and nausea.  

3. It weakens your immune system because the fear response includes an upsurge of adrenaline and long-term exposure weakens your immune system.

4. It sharpens survival instincts. You either run or stay and fight. There's no in-between.

5. Depression. In a nation where depression is an epidemic people are succumbing to the constant fear on a daily basis (thanks to toxic social media).

6. Phobias. If you worry about something long enough, you can develop phobias that morph into conspiracies.

7. Heart damage is one of the most detrimental body effects heighten by years of fear. The organ becomes overworked and stressed from constant bombardment of stress hormones.

8. Lack of confidence. If you're afraid all of the time your self-confidence shrinks to minuscule levels.

9. Fear can make people miss out on things that may be good for them. Among them medical checkups. They often avoid family and friends.

10. Worsens memory. The brain is so busy getting ready to fight or flee that it doesn't record memories as effectively. 

Now that you know the ill-effects of constant fear it may help you resolve your fears knowing the adverse effects it has on your body. 

In a country where fear dominates more facts and truth can combat its ill-effects. But because fear is an ancestral reflex, we'll never be without it. We just have to learn not to let it take over our lives.

As it stands, "Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...