Bicker Buddies Episode 5: Pay. To. Win.

 

Finny and Zach are back after a week hiatus!

Zach rips into Finny about his Hearthstone play… while Finny remains calm and lets Zach rant about how Destiny 2 is a dead game. The two also discuss Overwatch League controversy involving children, new Fortnite numbers and Dark Souls Remastered.

This is also Finny’s last podcast as he has decided to give his music career a shot.

Follow us on Twitter @RyanFinfrock and @notZachRogers. Let us know what you think!

Bicker Buddies Episode 4- Video Game Nicknames

 

Finny and Zach are back talking about the biggest thing in the world right now: Fortnite. Zach has some choice words for Sea of Thieves and both wonder what happens if a ‘nobody’ gets anthraxed. Listen for fun times and good conversations about the future of entertainment: Drake and video games.

iTunes integration is in the works!

Follow us on Twitter @Ryanfinfrock and @notZachRogers

Bicker Buddies Episode 3- Mario Dark Souls

Finny and Zach talk Nintendo and Donald Trump this week but not before a nice serenade by Finny. What business does a Dark Souls Amiibo have to exist? Why are video games to blame for mass shootings? The important questions get answered this week all while Finny battles a cold and Zach drinks water out of a Coke Zero bottle.

 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RyanFinfrock and @notZachRogers.

Podcast Title TBD- Yes, It’s a Merman Penis

How about a new podcast? People like those, right? Here’s the first one that my buddy Zach and I started. It’s definitely NSFW. We discuss video games, argue a lot and discuss Shape of Water and the only topic worth discussing about that movie. iTunes and other podcast app integration is in the works.. so stay tuned!

This first episode is more of an introduction and “see how things work” kind of thing. Things will get ironed out as we continue this “long awaited” podcast.

Finny’s Brief 3/29/17– The internet and Tomi Lahren for sale

That’s a pretty clickbaity image.. I know.. but I want them clicks.. give me your views! Tomi help me get people to read my blog!

Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s been a while. The last time I wrote a blog post was the day after Trump’s Inauguration. Luckily, I haven’t really missed out on much in that time.

*Looks at the past hour on Twitter*

Oh.. that bad, huh?

Yeah, I know I missed a lot and I regret not talking about it as it happened. However, I sat down trying to figure out a “Finny” way of summarizing the past couple of months and really couldn’t think of a great way to bring it all together. So I won’t be talking about all of the past… I want to talk about what’s happening now. There may be a time where talking about past events comes into fruition.. but for now… let’s talk about Tomi Lahren and the internet.

Ideological hypocrisy

The Blaze is a conservative news site that is owned by Glenn Beck. Although calling them a news site with the stories they talk about and the way in which they talk about is open to interpretation. The Blaze hired someone you probably have seen on Facebook.. and perfectly fits into The Blaze persona… named Tomi Lahren.

lahren

Lahren is a conservative commentator for The Blaze whose popularity came from yelling talking points that many people ‘are afraid to talk about.’ You know, the liberal media’s out to get the conservatives, the women’s marches weren’t really about women… and the evils of being pro-choice (more on that in a bit.) She made herself famous for this and was seen on millions of Facebook feeds on a daily basis. Her youthfulness and good looks checked off the rest of the boxes for everything you needed to get your ‘maybe-racist uncle’, the friend who thinks every mainstream media outlet is fake news, the friend from high school whom you aren’t sure why you were friends with in the first place, and your dad to share one of her videos.

Anyway, Lahren is no longer working at The Blaze and there are a couple of stories as to why this happened. The one you probably heard of was when she went on “The View”

There are a few things Lahren said that were factually incorrect in this interview (Islam is not a predominate religion in India and Kellyanne Conway didn’t run Trump’s campaign) but where she got the headlines was when she started talking about women’s rights and personally being pro-choice (that point starts at the 6:10 mark in the video.)

Let me set the stage. On ‘The View,” Lahren stated she has built a career on honesty. However, let’s go back to the tape on the abortion issue.

She uses air quotes to describe pro-choice (in this case, Lena Dunham) and how being pro-choice is actually being for rare and safe abortion. Is this a legitimate argument. Yes. But the fact she uses air quotes discredits everything thing she saying in the first place. Also, she says people who are pro-choice are not too far off ideologically from being called baby-killers.

Yes, the last part of the speech, she kind of makes up ground but the damage had already been done… and now looking at what happened on “The View,” nothing about this speech makes any sense.

Hypocrisy. That was the main reasoning Glenn Beck gave as to why he originally suspended Lahren from The Blaze. Beck took to his radio show saying that he welcomes different viewpoints to his network but when someone is an ideological hypocrite, that’s where he draws the line. Lahren crossed that line.

Now, interestingly enough, I heard from people involved with The Blaze that Lahren was a  huge pain to work with. She made demands that were completely unreasonable and treated her staff like dirt. These mumblings started before Lahren showed up on The View… so maybe The View was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Lahren earlier this week was suspended permanently (fired) from The Blaze.

Tomi Lahren is someone who reached fame way before she was ready for the spotlight. She’s cute and speaks to the feelings of Americans who felt like they have been burned. It’s a good formula for the world today. It works.. it worked. She has well over 4 million Twitter followers and her videos saw 5 millions views a piece. She has a brand. Is that brand tarnished now? Only time will tell. Lahren will find a place to land on her feet. In a post-truth, Trump era, Lahren with thrive. As long as there is a ‘liberal bias out there to ruin Trump,’ Lahren will thrive. As long as she believes PC culture is turning everyone into snowflakes, Lahren will thrive. She’ll be okay.. and will go to highest bidder.

The most important story no one is talking about

Hey, Congress just voted to roll back your internet privacy. What does this all mean?

Last week, the Senate voted to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy regulations. What did these regulations do? They prohibited internet service providers (ISPs) from selling the information and browsing history of its customers without consent. Seems like a good regulation… right? Well.. it’s a Trump signature away from going away. This regulation was deemed overly restrictive and would stifle innovation.. so the GOP voted to strip it.

But this goes a little deeper.. and a little scarier.

These regulations would have forced ISPs to inform its customers when there was suspected data breach. ISPs will not have to risk customer satisfaction anymore… and just say everything is fine. Your data could be hacked and your ISP doesn’t have to say anything. I feel like that dog meme that it’s a burning room and says “this is fine.”

dog

Back to the data, there is a lot more about you on the internet than you may know. If you have a Facebook and like certain things and post certain things… the ISP knows it. The ISP can also know your political affiliation and sexual orientation… and your health information. All of that will be up for sale with these rolled back regulations. They sell the information to an advertising agency and can then more cater content to you. Yeah.. it’s all about the almighty dollar and ads.

There’s going to be a lot more about this coming out in the coming days and how it will affect net neutrality later down the line.. and the little guy who wants to try and make a buck on the internet.

There is an argument to be made about the expectation of privacy when browsing the internet that could lead to the reasoning, and the legality, of this measure. Nothing is free and the ISP own the bandwidth that you are using… so why wouldn’t they be able to use your browsing data the way they want. Somehow I think there is something in the EULA about that… but of course no one reads those. Next thing you know, we are all becoming human centiPads.

human centipad

So what can you do now?

Encryption is your best friend. Make it as hard as possible for ISPs to gather data on you.

Also, no… going incognito to watch your porn does not protect you… sorry.

There is a browser called Tor that you can download that encrypts your data. Yes, it takes web pages a little longer to load while using this browser, but privacy is probably worth it.

Also, look into setting a VPN (Virtual Private Network.) To avoid getting into a ton of technical talk, a VPN encrypts your browsing history and shields your activity from those who may be watching on ‘the other side.’ There are multiple ways to set up a VPN. Here’s a link that describes it way better than I ever could. If your internet privacy is important to you, I would definitely look into setting up a VPN.

Let me wrap this up with a clip that predicted this situation in 1999.

Anytime I can use a West Wing clip… I am a happier writer.

It’s always good news here on CFDD. Yes, it’s been a while… hopefully I can get back into a routine of writing every week again… there definitely isn’t any shortage of things to talk about, that’s for sure.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter @ryanfinfrock for my off-the-top-of-the-head thoughts on events and updates on when posts go live. Also, if you have any suggestions for topics, tweet them to me.

 

 

Finny’s Inauguration Special: American Carnage

“Educate yourself and make your voice heard.” Those were words spoken to me by the former President of the Cincinnati Tea Party when I interviewed him back when I was in high school. That was a big moment for me. It was the moment when I started forming a passion for the political process, the moment I started becoming a more informed citizen and the moment where I realized how important peaceful protest is to our country.

Yes, the Tea Party was a big turning point in my life. Now, we are faced with a very similar situation in our country right now.

President Donald Trump

Hey! Guess what! Donald Trump is officially the 45th President of the United States. His speech left much to be desired. Personally, I felt the speech was written late night after a campaign stop in late October and Bannon and Miller were kind of drunk and just spewing campaign rhetoric and ‘patriotic verbiage’ left and right and formed all of that into an Inaugural Address.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
Yes, when you look at what is being said, it is admirable. Poverty is a huge issue in our country. Manufacturing jobs are struggling and crime in certain areas continues to be a problem. However, you see no attempt at saying “hey, I’m going to fix these problems.” You don’t see any glimmer of hope. All you see and take away from this is “American carnage.” Those words have never been spoken in an Inaugural Address… ever. Remember “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”? Remember “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Trump’s speech was leaps and bounds behind those speeches yesterday.
That’s all I will focus on in regard to the actual speech. It sucked. I hope Trump succeeds as President because I don’t want to see him, and as a result our country, fail.

Battle of the Numbers

I am very happy I took time and wrote this on Saturday instead of Friday. Saturday arguably had a lot more to talk about. Let’s start off by talking about the blatant Day 1 lie by the Trump Administration.

A big talking point across various media outlets is how Trump’s Inauguration (right) compared to Obama’s first Inauguration (left.) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist… or a U.S. Press Secretary to tell you that Obama clearly had more people attend his Inauguration than Trump. That is a clear fact. No one can refute that.

Right?

Right?

You see where I’m going with this?

President Trump (admittedly, calling him President Trump will be hard to get used to) spoke in front of the CIA on Saturday and said the ‘dishonest media’ was spreading false reports about how his Inauguration was not well-attended. This was later enforced by a press conference called by Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer tried to explain that there were many factors at play that prove Trump’s Inauguration was the MOST WATCHED INAUGURATION EVER. PERIOD. Yes, he did add the period at the end. No better way to end the argument than what Spicer did there.

This folks, is the first lie of the new Trump Administration. It’s Day 1. Where do we possibly go from here? Something that is so easily fact-checked is being questioned by the highest office in the land.

So if they are willing to lie about this… what else are they willing to lie about to the American people? In the grand scheme of things, this story is nothing. The attendance of the Inauguration means nothing. What matters is the President lying to America about this non-story. What is he now going to say about health care? What is he going to say about education? About terrorism? About his wall? The precedent has been set.

Numbers that could matter

The other big story to come out of Saturday was the Women’s March that took place in cities across the country. Objectively, these turnouts were incredible. Some cities had hundreds of thousands flood the streets to protest the new administration. They want the administration to hear their concerns about matters of women’s reproductive rights, immigration rights… basically against all of the thing Trump said during his campaign.

gettyimages-632287522_slide-dd0cdc47115cc7c17152c8d4bffd893dfc7f7260-s900-c85

Yes… it appears more people attended the rally in DC today than the Inauguration yesterday. I know you were probably dying to know the answer to that question.

These protests, by all the reports I’ve read, were peaceful. No arrests have been reported at the time of this writing. These were peaceful protests. This got me thinking earlier today when I was watching coverage of these protests:

When Obama was elected in 2008, many on the right were upset and took action. Those actions led to the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement swayed the balance of power in Congress. Hell, the Tea Party movement gave us Donald Trump. Despite what you may think of the movement, they accomplished something big. They took action and those actions had outcomes.

Is this the start of something similar with these women marches that we say on Saturday? Time will tell but from what I was reading on Twitter, people want this type of thing to keep up and turn into their own movement and sway the balance of power in their favor. That will be the big thing to see over the coming months.

Of course, many will argue about the validity and real purpose of these marches… but that’s the way these things always go.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into Occupy again. I don’t think I can deal with that crap again.

Common ground

It is important to have open dialogue in our country. It is important to hear from people who have different opinions than that of your own. The echo chamber that many keep themselves in does not do this country any good. Ad hominem attacks against the other side do not do anything. In order to have progress, we need to have compromise. We cannot have compromise without discussion. Stop posting the crappy (and often unfunny) anti-Trump memes on Facebook. Stop calling everyone who disagrees with Trump a ‘snowflake’ who needs to grow up and accept what happened. Talk to each other! Find common ground.

Educate yourself and make your voice heard. Those are the words that I have lived by since I’ve heard them over 5 years ago. Education comes when you challenge your own ideals and thoughts. Education comes from reading what qualified journalists are writing about in regard to the Presidency and surrounding events in Washington. I’m not perfect when it comes to this stuff and maybe I’m just thinking too ideally. I believe that this country has always been great because of the people. It’s time to learn from one another.

Trump is now our President. Now is not the time to say “he is not my President.” He is. Let’s hope he helps this country succeed.