Political surveys that make you say “Say what?”

July 16, 2014 14 comments


Since this is my blog, and since I like to bring up everyday life problems and examine them from my jaundiced viewpoint, and because I honor the force and beauty of words, I feel justified in writing about what some might consider {gasp} quasi-political.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a phone call from an unknown number that has repeatedly called, deciding it was time to tell them to put me on their do-not-call list. They just weren’t taking the hint, probably a robocall. It turned out to be another survey. I agreed to take the survey if he unlisted my number, and if the survey was less than 10 minutes. He agreed (we’ll see about the phone number).

I didn’t think fast enough to start taking notes, but after a couple of questions, and the way they were asked, I began asking him to re-read the questions more slowly. Here are a couple of the very carefully controlled questions as I could remember them, the voice inflections, and my comments.

Are you registered to vote in Nevada?

Are you registered as Republican, Democrat or Independent?
None of the above.
That’s not a choice, ma’am. You have to pick one.
OK, I’m unaffiliated.
Your choices are Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Refuse To Answer.
I’m not refusing to answer. I’m unaffiliated because I do not agree with the total platforms of any of those parties, and there are a lot of us out here who think as I do.
Then I’ll click Refuse To Answer.
Do what you have to, but it’s inaccurate which makes your survey useless.

Do you agree with the opposition to legislation effecting gun control?
Could you repeat that?
{repeated with the same emphasis)
Could you repeat that one more time, slowly and clearly?
(now it was obvious what I was going for} Do you agree with the opposition to legislation effecting gun control?
No, I do not oppose all legislation effecting gun control. If you were interested, I’d tell you why.

Are you in favor of new increased taxes that would be directed toward education only?
Could you repeat that please?
Are you in favor of new increased taxes that would be directed toward education only?
Did you say NEW taxes?
Yes, ma’am, new taxes.
We do not want a state income tax, so I am forced to say No. However, I would be in favor to an increase in the local Education tax, itself, with oversight. But I guess that’s not a choice. There are simply too many cooks in the education kitchen, and this survey lacks clarity.


That’s a small sampling of the way these surveys can be skewed in their preferred direction. Most of us who take the surveys do it to see what is trending in politics. We are always in a hurry to get back to whatever we were doing and we hear what we think we hear – often what we personally prefer to hear. This particular survey employee was very well-trained, and well, bluntly, it pissed me off! There was no sense in embarrassing him, telling him he should be ashamed to participate in such garbage, but that’s just shooting the messenger. Whether he agrees with the survey writers or not, he probably just needs the money.

I haven’t taken many surveys lately; I overdosed on surveys during the last presidential election (Nevada was considered a swing state). But I never heard such carefully crafted questions, and I fear that surveys will become useless if this has become the norm. Worse, it may actually help to determine legislation. It’s just another attempt to justify each side’s battle tactics. Where does it end? What happened to negotiate and cooperate? What happened to America?

Categories: Life Is Messy

Breathing easier? #MercuryRetrograde is OVER!

July 2, 2014 3 comments

tarot.com celebrates!

tarot.com celebrates!

There is this little, irritating thing we who follow and believe in Astrology dread: Mercury Retrograde.

If you’d like a primer on the event, see Tarot.com, http://www.tarot.com/mercury-retrograde#.U7MeLrGTGup. It is basically a time when the planet Mercury seems to slow down and reverse its path through the sky.

But today is all about the celebration! For the last three weeks, miscommunication, unfinished business, delayed projects, muddled brains, misunderstandings, forgotten appointments and disappointments became the norm. At least for me. But slowly, over the last few days, I could see through the haze, not quite clearly but better than before. On July 1, Mercury resumed forward motion, and we will slowly return to our individual norms.

This is one of the reasons why I believe in the invisible, in the unbelievable, in the ethereal, (intangible, abstract, preternatural, paranormal, transcendental, metaphysical – choose your favorite term) although it is incomprehensible to many. It gives me answers where there are none. It explains what can only be explained as dumb luck, or the odds (or coincidence, synchronicity, serendipity – I do love words)  … in other words, unable to be explained logically.

Before other believers find fault with me, let me add that Astrology is much more a science than an excuse. The stars are visible. The astrological signs are both visually represented and numerically plotted. I’ll bet every unbeliever knows members of their own families who follow their horoscopes faithfully. I also believe that many writers see the truth in their stars. (Actually, Numerology is even more accurate, but that just blows what’s left of my mind.) Writers would have to be believers. How else do you explain when your Muse sits on your shoulder? We all learn not to stop or move for fear of dislodging that little bugger from task We will write for hours, even all night, if Muse stays available to us.

This was an especially nasty retrograde for me. Mercury is my ruling planet in Virgo. He went retrograde in Gemini, which is my rising sign. I could not win. Here’s what I learned since July 7:

  1. The only person you can always rely on is yourself. (Sometimes the only person at all.)
  2. Don’t put all your eggs (hope or trust) in one basket (project or person). See #1.
  3. Always listen to your intuition. Again, see #1.
  4. Insist on delaying all new projects ’til after Mercury Retrograde. The ‘re’ in retro often becomes redo, revisit, reconnect … and not in a good way!
  5. Have I mentioned trusting yourself, asking your own questions, and continuing down your own path?

OK, readers and fellow writers. What nastiness did you run into. I had more, but I was getting bored with my own stuff. Please share. Misery loves company. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e4nU8ikBJM

Categories: Life Is Messy

…why it matters for Authors to ‘do’ SOSYAL NETWURKIN and a Blog… #TBSU…


I think Seumas explains perfectly the ‘efficacy’ of authors’ platforms! You might stumble a little over his ‘accent’, but you’ll get the gist of it. It’s all in the numbers game, isn’t it. Enjoy Seumas Gallacher … he’s one of a kind! #TBSU

Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:

…there’s at least a couple of dozen schools of thought on the efficacy or otherwise of Authors indulging the SOSYAL NETWURKIN whirl…this ol’ Jurassic certainly claims no monopoly on knowing what’s right or nor for other scribblers… but I can speak from my own experience… (just try and stop me, Mabel!)… I think it probably helps that I’m a relative newcomer to the self-publishing WURLD… ergo, no labels, no preconceived opinions, no prior notional luggage about how to ‘crack the writing industry’… everything I know about this gig has been brand new… and I’m LUVIN’ IT!… the immersion in the MEDYA stuff on the Web came along at the start, picking up on the solid advice from them what had been there before me… the real internet quill-scraping pioneers… and to a man and and to a woman, they all insisted that SOSYAL NETWURKIN for an Author was

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