The Trump Narrative

Since the election of Trump to POTUS I have questioned my ability to see reality.  I struggle to understand the Trump Narrative.

I completely agreed with Obama when he said, “Americans do not elect Donald Trump.”  And, wow, were we wrong!

I just came across a story about Raymond Ciotti.

An historically Dem voter that not only voted for Trump, but thinks he is doing a good job.  (The only reason Raymond doesn’t think Trump is doing a great job is the “Media.”)

The narrative in this post from Scott Hounsell, is that Dems are “wildly disconnected from the American voter.”

Even though, a majority of total USA voters actually agree with Dems, it is a great point to note that Dems are, correctly, wildly disconnected from Trump Voters.”

My explanation is that Trump Voters are brainwashed by the Rich and The Evangelicals to believe that giving money to the rich and powerful will either make them rich and powerful, or save them for entirety, or in the best case both.

Reading the quotes from a Trump Supporter in this post, Raymond Ciotti, and knowing that here, The Georgia 6th Congressional District, Trump still has a 51% approval rating, scares the crap out me.  It scares me because either my grasp of reality is non-existent or Raymond Ciotti, and other Trump voters, are brainwashed to believe facts mean nothing.  That it is all about the Trump Narrative.

This is my major focus right now. I need to know if I am brainwashed or Raymond here is brainwashed.

A One Man Case Study as told by Scott Hounsell of Redstate


Meet Raymond Ciotti.  Raymond is a 60 year old retired steel worker, who now drives a medical-transport van.  He lives in the heart of Pennsylvania Steel Country, a fixture in the once bustling City of Johnstown.  He is representative of apple-pie America as much as anyone out there.  He’s married, has 3 kids, (and now 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild as he proudly shared), religious, and as a lifelong registered Democrat, has voted for Democrats since Reagan. I happen to know Raymond relatively well from having lived in Johnstown for a short period in 2005.  In the years since, I have been by to visit several times.  During those visits, Raymond and I have had some pretty heated discussions about George W. Bush, Barack Obama and everyone in between. Raymond and I could not have been more philosophically opposed.

Now imagine my surprise as I sat on the sidelines of this last election cycle (OG NeverTrump) and saw Raymond don his proverbial red cap and begin his MAGA chants.  I could not have been more confused.

I decided to discuss with Raymond what was the deciding factors for him in the 2016 election.

“I was ready to vote for Hillary when it all got started,” Ciotti began. “It wasn’t until Donald Trump started really shaking things up that I started paying attention. He didn’t sound like the rest of them.  I knew he was going to shake things up.”

Raymond stated he followed the news during the election, watched the debates, and heard both candidates.  Ciotti questioned, “If Hillary didn’t know what the rules were as Secretary of State, how could we know she would follow the rules as President?”  He voiced some concern with Benghazi and the email server, but the majority of his issue seemed more pro-Trump, than anti-Hillary.

I asked him if there was anyone of the other GOP candidates that he could have seen himself voting for instead of Hillary.  “No, I didn’t like any of the other candidates.  Had Paul Ryan ran, it might be a little different.  He seems like he’s reasonable and knows what he is talking about.  Of the declared candidates, No one.”

Republicans need to understand that their message didn’t exactly win either.  Trump connected with people in a way I may never full understand.  “No one in Washington is working for us,” continued Ciotti.  “It seems the middle class gets ignored in favor of Wall Street and the uber-wealthy and the impoverished and lower class.  I was tired of being told to get in line while it seemed no one was looking out for me.”  When asked what the number one issue was for him in this election?  “Obamacare.  It is a disaster.  It has increased costs for so many.  It needs to go.”

As for how he thinks President Trump is doing so far? “I’d give him a B or B-.  I think he is doing all the things he said he was going to do, and I am okay with that.  It would probably be an even higher grade, but all the negativity from the mainstream media seems to give me some of that feeling of negativity.”

Raymond lives in a Democrat district in Pennsylvania.  I asked him if his views on politics have changed or if its the people who are in office?  “It’s the politicians,” Ciotti told me.

I presented Raymond with three hypothetical election choices, of elections between a democrat who opposes Trump for the sake of opposing Trump and a democrat who finds things he can work with Trump on, versus a Republican who agreed to vote with Trump on everything and a Republican who would challenge Trump on certain things.  Raymond (again, a lifelong democrat) said that he would vote against anyone who opposed Trump simply to opposed Trump.  “If that person (the candidate), isn’t willing to work with the President, I won’t vote for them.”  When asked if ideology mattered, if said it mattered for the candidate.  “Personality plays into it.  If the guy is likeable, and seems level-headed, I might vote for him.”

The place where Democrats need to be terrified is in the question of Democrat who opposes Trump vs. any of the hypothetical Republican candidates.  “I’d vote for the Republican if the Democrat said he would just be against Trump,” said Ciotti.

In other words, there were no circumstance where Raymond said he wouldn’t consider the Republican candidate and a huge issue of why he wouldn’t consider a Democrat candidate for the same office.


6 Key Factors to Improve Education

The key factors that are most likely to improve learning outcomes.

  • Learners taking ownership and having a choice in what they learn and how.
  • Differentiated and individualized learning
  • Formative, constructive, personalized, and focused assessment
  • Small-group learning experiences
  • Opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning and to develop other noncognitive skills that help them learn how to learn.
  • Flexible, collaborative tools to help teachers and learners incorporate these key factors and improve learning outcomes.


Top Ten IT Jobs! And How to Learn the Skills to do them!

  • No. 10: Software Architect (Senior Software Engineer) – Median Base Salary: $130,000
    • Skills
      • Communication
        • Interpersonal
        • Writing
          • Write Design Specifications and Technical Requirements
        • Team
          • Provide Code Reviews to the Team and Management
        • Presentation
      • Telecommunication
        • Network
      • Design and Programming Skills
        • Java and Java EE EJB 3/Spring, JSPs, Servlets, HTML, CSS, JQUERY, JavaScript, JDBC, C++ in a UNIX, XML, SQL
        • Agile Processes
        • Develop test cases, test plans, and expected results.
      • Marketing
      • Economics
      • Physics
      • Project Management
  • No. 9: UX Designer (User Interface) – Median Base Salary: $91,800
    • Skills
      • CommunicationWorking with business teams (across multiple partners) to determine UX needs and creating designs that meet them. As a UX Design Manager, you’ll be assessing the programs, business needs and market landscape, and owning the creative oversight required to distill these into design requirements
        Translating concepts and ideas into wireframes, workflow diagrams, customer journey maps and visual designs
        Effectively communicating, championing and defending user experience and design directions to business teams & executives using prototypes, visual communications, and narrative vision
        Leading user research, testing, and focus groups for strategic programs
        Championing user experience and design best practices to stakeholders throughout the Verizon Wireless organization. Bring design thinking to projects and act as a voice of UX innovation throughout the product development process.
        Being passionate about digital & mobile products and technology. The right person for this job lives and breathes digital & mobile experiences and has an amazing grasp on market trends and a vision for how these new products and technology designs will transform Big Data solutions 2-5 years into the future.
        Bachelor’s degree or eqivalent in Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Information Design, Visual Design or related field; accelerated degree preferred
        Experience as a UI Designer, Interaction Designer, Creative Director, Lead UX Strategist or similar
        A portfolio that demonstrates superior creative thinking and problem solving skills
        Understanding of the agency process, design process, and project management for design engagements
        Experience working across cross-functional teams (including UX and technical development/engineering, product management, marketing, executive management), with working knowledge of software development, product design, usability engineering, and quality assurance
        Attention to detail and craftsmanship
        Proven success driving programs in a matrixed environment
        Exceptional communication & presentation skills, including involvement with executive-level communications
        Excellent organization skills with proven ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and to adjust to frequent changes and project priorities.
        Ability to make a strong first impression, active listening skills, the ability to win respect and influence others, politically savvy
        Desired Skills/Experience:
        Experience in a product design or creative/strategy role within a large corporate environment
        Experience designing next-generation software/hardware platforms (TV, tablets, touch-screen, wearables and other consumer electronics.)
        Experience managing and/or collaborating with creative talent and creative agencies
        Experience with rapid prototyping in an Agile/Scrum environment.
        Prior Big Data Platform or Advertising Platform interaction or design experience preferred.
  • No. 8: QA Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $85,000
    • monitor the overall software testing process and make sure new products work before being released to the public.
  • No. 7: Software Development Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $135,000
    • This is a managerial position, which garners a higher pay grade.
    • the job requires a high degree of education, deep technical skills and several years of software experience.
  • No. 6: Analytics Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $105,000
    • Similar to the demand for data scientists, analytic managers are crucial to companies that require someone to analyze and make conclusions (about the) data.
  • No. 5: Software Engineer
    • Median Base Salary: $95,000
    • Write Code
  • No. 4: Project Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $106,680
    • this job title has cracked the top 10 both years demonstrates it continues to be one of the hottest jobs on the market.
  • No. 3: Mobile Developer
    • Median Base Salary: $90,000
    • Companies across all industries all have mobile apps — or plans to create one — and they are hiring plenty of mobile developers to create and support them, Dobroski said. Despite this trend, he added it is not surprising that the number of job openings for mobile developers is not higher. Mobile developer ranked in the top three for tech jobs on Glassdoor’s list, but overall it was No. 5 for best jobs.
  • No. 2: Solutions Architect
    • Median Base Salary: $119,500
    • The job title may be a mystery to some job seekers, but a solutions architect is an integral position in a company that handles business decisions related to software creation and performance, Dobroski said, adding, a solutions architect is a problem solver, and has a mix of both business and technical skills. Solutions architects often work closely with clients to hear feedback on their company’s product, and then provide any solutions needed based on the feedback.
    • Solutions architects also ranked No. 3 among the best jobs in all categories, as well, on the overall Glassdoor list. “It’s a top job because of the high number of job openings, the hefty average salary and plenty of career opportunities,” said Dobroski.
  • No. 1: Data Scientist
    • Median Base Salary: $116,840
    • Data scientist has ruled as one of the hottest jobs for years, coming in at No. 9 on Glassdoor’s 25 Best Jobs in America list last year, Dobroski said. He pointed to the high demand for these types of jobs, as well as high salaries and great career opportunities, as contributing to the top rating on Glassdoor’s list.
    • Not only did data scientists capture the No. 1 slot among tech jobs, but it also held the same rank for all jobs. “It isn’t a big surprise to see data scientist at No. 1 this year because it’s one of the hottest and fastest growing jobs we’re seeing right now,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “Since all companies have an online presence these days, they all need people who know how to manage and store data that helps them make better business decisions, compared to years ago when businesses didn’t have data management at their fingertips to review and analyze to help them drive business forward. I expect this to continue to be a hot job for several years to come, too.”

5 Things We Should Do in 2016 to Make Our Community Better!

There are 5 things we should do in 2016 to make our community better!

  1. We should listen more and preach less.
  2. We should build more opportunities to learn from each other,.
  3. We should tap into our seniors to provide them an opportunity to be more productive.
  4. We should find ways to respect those that are different than us.
  5. We should us 21st Century tools to solve 21st Century problems.

I woke up this morning to find out that a Militia Group (Conservative View and Liberal View) has taken over a Federal Building.  They are heavily armed and apparently ready for any action by the Community.

After what has happened in this Country over the last 150 years or so, I was not surprised that another armed group is trying to use force to get their way.  I understand why people resort to force to get their point across.  When people think their way of life is slipping away, and they see the democratic process working against them, they see the only option left is to use force.

But, it does not have to be that way.

I propose 5 things we should do in 2016 to make our community better.  And none of them are resorting to 2nd Amendment remedies.

1. We need to listen more and preach less

Because of innovations in transportation, we no longer live in small homogeneous communities.  Our communities now are diverse with a lot of different people with a lot of different views.

We need to respect people with different views more today because in many cases they are our neighbors and co-workers.

Despite what many believe no one has a monopoly on the optimum answers.  However, many believe it is their absolute right to convert others to their beliefs.  They believe that preaching their views is more important than listening to others views and trying to come up with solutions that benefit more than just their narrow world views.

2. We Should Build More Opportunities to Learn from each other

The world is changing more now than ever before.  We cannot rely on old teachings to help us solve todays problems.  In the past it was possible to know everything about something.  Today, with the explosion of information and innovation, it is barely possible to know enough to survive about one small thing.  Doctors are forced to specialize because it is too difficult to know about everything.  Doctors are even hard pressed to stay up-to-date on their own narrow speciality.

The solution is to rely on others to learn about their speciality and then teach that speciality to others.

We have to stop thinking we know everything and acknowledge that there is a lot to learn from others.

3. We should tap into our seniors to provide them an opportunity to be more productive.

Seniors are healthy today than ever before.  But, yet, in many cases to discard them and ignore them.

Rather we should be finding ways to tap into their experiences.  We have the tools now we simply need the will to make our seniors more productive.

First thing should do it find ways to capture the stories our seniors have to tell.  They have a lot to offer and we should not let there wisdom and experience evaporate into the ether.

4. We should find ways to respect those that are different than us.

We must find ways to respect those that are different than us.  Diversity is a opportunity not a handicap.  But, to take advantage of that opportunity we need to respect others.

5. We should us 21st Century tools to solve 21st Century problems.

This blog is a great example of 21st Century Tools.  By spending a few minutes I can publish my ideas.  This was never possible in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

The domestication of the electron has given our community tools to learn and teach and grow that were unimaginable in the past.

We need to use these tools to build a better community.

The 2 Most Important Things we Always Need to Learn to Be Successful

The two most important things we always need to learn to be successful are: 1) how to use the tools available to us, and 2) how to use our minds to best use the tools. And the important reality is that while the tools we need to learn to be successful change all the time, how we use our minds to best use those tools has never changed.

Clearly the tools we need to learn have changed from learning how to use a horse and plow to learning to use a gas station and the Internet. But, how we use our minds to best use those tools has not changed. Competencies like critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, self-awareness, control of impulsivity, executive function, caring about yourself and others, were as important to the cave men as they are to use today.

Look at the evolution of the competencies we need to learn. The cave men did not need to learn to read or write. However, today, reading and writing are basic competencies that cross all activities. Additionally, today we need to learn to use proper online etiquette, recognize how our personal information may be collected and used online, and leverage access to a global community to increase our changes for success. Mastering these skills requires a basic understanding of the technology tools and the ability to make increasingly sound judgments about their use.

A key to make this happen is to learn how to use the technology available to us as tools to engage in creative, productive, life-long learning rather than simply consuming passive content.

5 Ways Technology Can and Should Be used to Improve Education

Technology has always been a powerful tool in learning.

The earliest learning technology, writing, transformed learning from just the memorization of stories told by a few near by elders, to the study of many different ideas from many different people and from many different times.  Schools become places where written documents could be gathered, stored, cataloged, and taught.  Particularly because many of the oldest documents had to be handled with great care, access was strictly controlled.  So, learners had to travel to one of these schools in order to study these texts.

The next development in learning technology was the printing press and mass publishing.  Together they transformed learning from the controlled study of just a few ideas and just a few people, to the study of current events and ideas from a vast range of thinkers.  Ideas could now be reproduced and distributed to vast audiences.  Learners could access orders of magnitude more information.  Schools were no longer the only place books could be stored.  Individuals could create their own libraries and learning started to become much more personalized.

The domestication of the electron and the subsequent development of the Computer and the Internet has led us to today. Today information is available in virtually unlimited quantities and (because of the huge bandwidth available) from many different media.  No longer are there just a few publishers publishing static texts.  Today everyone is a publisher.  And we are updating those text at the speed of light.

The ability to seek new learning and acquire new skills brings personal growth to populations that have never had such capability.  In addition to just plain text, which was the learning source for the last number of centuries, we now have video, audio, and interactive media.

Today’s learning technology has birthed a learning environment where access to personalize learning tools can help all learning reach incredible new levels.

Finally, the more the community buys-in to this type of learning environment, the more the community will realize the benefits of improved learning experiences.

Here are five suggestions on how technology should be use to ensure learners have access to high-quality educational experiences.

  1. Technology should be used to personalize learning and give learners more choice over what and how they learn and at what pace, preparing them to organize and direct their own learning for the rest of their lives.
  2. Use the things we learned about our understanding of how people learn so we can apply the personal and contextual factors most impact their success.
  3. Apply understanding of what people need to know and the skills and competencies they need to acquire for success in life and productive work in the 21st century.
  4. Take advantage of availability of high quality interactive devices and applications to allow teachers to adapt assessments to the needs and abilities of individual learners and provide near real-time results.
  5. Technology has allowed us to rethink the design of physical learning spaces to accommodate new and expanded relationships among learners, teachers, peers, and mentors.