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Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time

August 16, 2013

Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time

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Neo-Cons and American Exceptionalism…

February 1, 2019

… The “enemies domestic”…?….

The public continues to be grafted to the idea that the government of the United States is but a two party tumor consisting of the RIGHT, allegedly represented by the Republican Party, and the LEFT, which supposedly is synonymous with the Democrats. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least on paper. From a reality based perspective, those two self-anointed and self-enfranchised Political Deities, utilizing skills learned from government antagonists during the Prohibition fiasco of the 20th century, are the whole wheel of cheese. End of story. Beginning of lie.

Somewhere between the idealism defined by the Constitution and established as a focal point to guide future generations, and the less than tidy and certainly not humble One Way alleys of 21st century politics, I suppose it might be possible to find a balance that is both functional and moral. The first step would have to be defining function and morality.

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If it is possible to adopt a reasonably neutral perspective, I suspect one could actually identify a dozen or two groups of citizens espousing structured concepts of how they believe the nation should be organized and how it should behave. Some denizens of academia prefer to analyze and parse such groups right down to the color socks they wear on alternate Wednesdays, but since most of us aren’t working on a thesis, I think it will suffice to kind of take a street view of it all.

Republicans and Democrats are both subdivided into different versions and intensities, from the moderates to the extreme “my way or the highway ” platforms.

Besides the “official” Republican and Democrat parties, plus Independents, some of the more familiar other parties would be the Libertarians, the Green Party, Constitution Party, Socialist Party, Reform Party, Progressive Party, and others.

The complexity of the political system is annoying on the one hand, but on the other it was designed to help protect us from our own impulses and excesses, and supposedly from those of more nefarious purposes as well. That has a spotty success rate, but we’re still vertical, as they say, so there is always hope and room for improvement.

Mixed in amongst all of that is a category of sorts that, though neither functioning as a “party” nor being recognized as one, it has wielded and great deal of power and influence for decades or more. The people driving it and those obediently following along are called “Neoconservatives” or “Neo-cons ” for short. I’ve been hearing more about them lately and therefore have tried to understand more about who and what they are, as well as what that means in the larger sense.

They seem to be an odd mix, a mongrel breed of former Progressives and Conservatives from the Vietnam Era, among others, that favor big central government, social welfare programs, and war. The “war” part is founded in their alleged kinship with the military-industrial complex and their core value of American Exceptionalism. Lightly cautioned as much as a century ago to beware of following in the footsteps of Rome, the Neo-cons of today are clearly and unashamedly set on surpassing them. What’s good for the nation is good for the world, (whether they like it or not).

One of their more notorious strategies, poorly disguised under the “pig’s lipstick ” dime store masks of things like Regime Change, Exporting Democracy, Foreign Aid, and the like, is the campaign of American Imperialism.

The drum beat of ego-centric Nationalism has never improved the liberty, freedom, or prosperity of a people, serving only to provide those at the head of the table with abundant power and wealth at their expense.

These are the sorts of High IQ idiots who in recent years inspired Gulf War II and the quagmires of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before that, we meddled in Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. The list goes on, with Neo-con adventures pre-dating at least two generations, some of whom may serve in Congress today. In fact, if one simply makes a list of all of the military engagements of the last one hundred years that either fizzled out like wet firecrackers or left the United States whistling with faux innocence, eyes rolled skywards, and looking for someone to blame for the dearth of ticker tape parades, one will have created a roster of every Neo-con brainchild to date.

And now those arrogant jackasses are blatantly advocating the instigation of serious fisticuffs with Iran, reigniting the Cold War with Russia, and prancing into Caracas on the metaphorical White Horse to save their poor souls and their Constitution, while we ignore our own, ….and to swipe the Venezuelan oil.

So, who are these aspiring tyrants and Neo-Romans in misappropriated Uncle Sam costumes? While I don’t necessarily agree with each and every nominee mentioned by various sources, I think several of them fit the bill perfectly. Two of them are particularly alarming (Sec. of State Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton), publicly denying their President’s announcement that he would be removing our troops from Afghanistan, and bluntly stating their intentions to incite war with Iran and take over Venezuela.

The actual “Neo-cons” tend to be thinkers of academia and the media, while the front lines decision makers are the targets of their influence. Which is which is a matter of opinion, as are the assessments of who the Neo-cons are in the first place. One has to wonder how heavily invested they all are in defense industry related stocks,

Some of the individuals mentioned as either being pushed or doing the pushing include:

  • George W. Bush (R), 43rd President of the United States;

  • Jeb Bush (R) – 43rd Governor of Florida;

  • Dick Cheney (R), 46th Vice President of the United States;

  • John McCain (R), the late U.S. Senator from Arizona;

  • Marco Rubio (R), U.S. Senator from Florida;

  • Lindsey Graham (R), Former United States Air Force Colonel, U.S. Senator from South Carolina; and

  • Mike Pompeo (R), former Director of the CIA (2017–2018) and current United States Secretary of State.

  • John R. Bolton (R), National Security Advisor to Donald Trump.

    The list continues with lesser known but significantly powerful and influential men and women from our colleges and universities and from the media. Many of them are former high ranking military officers, lobbyists, public officials, or all of the above. The man on the street generally has no idea who really drives this bus or where it might be going, including me, but I’m doing some rabid reading and fielding a few guesses

    I think these are dangerous people, some because of where they appear to have led us and where they are trying to take us now, and because so much is shrouded in secrecy and misdirection. The ridiculously over-used and misapplied “National Security” hall-pass is a perfect example of the old “crying wolf” metaphor. The domestic surveillance overreaches of the NSA and other agencies tasked with “protecting” us from enemies foreign and domestic is of great concern. The Gestapo-like treatment of American citizens at “immigration checkpoints ” within 100 miles of any border, simply for attempting to exercise their right to travel freely per the Fifth Amendment, and for trying to board airplanes for whatever reason are chilling. The militarization of local police departments across the nation is disturbing. Each of these activities and more have quite plausible reasons for being, but the offenses lie in their overuse, misuse, and the attendant abuses of power.

    The Republicans and Democrats are more alike than different these days, merely passing the scepter and ermine robes back and forth. We have “career politicians“, an entity of great concern to those who drafted the documents creating this country, but they are very real today. They are the American nobility, with access to great power, wealth, and privilege far beyond their actual value to those they are oath-bound to serve.

    There are millions whose input is left on the sidelines while those in power pick our pockets and plunge our great grandchildren into fathomless debt and unholy alliances with those judged to be of more use to us if we don’t bother to conquer them.

    * * *

    It is time for change. It’s time to do something different, like restudy the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Its time to follow the principles defined therein, and time for those entrusted with the administration of the nation to stop manipulating those documents to justify their actions after the fact. Its time to revisit the “checks and balances” so artfully shoved aside almost from the beginning.

    The only “pie” each and every citizen of this nation is guaranteed a slice of is the one described as “life-liberty-pursuit of happiness”. The government’s only responsibility, indeed its only authority in that concern is to protect us from those, foreign or domestic, who would stand between us and our ability to access that “slice.” Other than that, government is supposed to stay the hell out of the way.

    Reality reveals quite a different scenario, one in which government has been given, or simply assumed the responsibility and authority to handicap the achievement of those things that previous generations were only guaranteed the right to pursue. The result of this perversion, of course, is chaos, sometimes overt, sometimes not.

    An economy that creates value from character is most likely to produce the greatest value. Superior innate talent in the hands of the unmotivated and distracted is of little value. Limited innate talent in the hands of the driven and focused has the greater potential to deliver value. When character is supplanted by arbitrarily defined “need,” and quality is replaced by quantity, to expect value and quality is to be delusional.

    But this is not a matter of delusion as much as it is a case of  the usurpation of power. Any benefits are not accrued by the people but by the man behind the curtain. Those of character may achieve less by producing more, and those whose qualified “needs” replace ability and the drive to use it are further dulled by entitlement and dependency on an invisible master. Any rewards in such an economy are the result of sleight of rhetoric and exist on artificial life support but, like counterfeit currency, can be exchanged for goods and privileges of real value. These are the benefits collected by, rather than earned by, character deficient public servants and their co-exploiters of nicely termed causes and public naiveté.

    The American people and their productivity are not a piggy bank to be raided for every whim or Neo-con driven Regime Change. The only Regime Change that should be considered would be one right here at home. That kind of change starts with the phrase “No, you CAN not,” followed by “No I WILL not.” If we the people do not exercise our right to be heard and our responsibility to lead or pay attention to where we are being led, those entrusted with doing those things on our behalf will continue helping themselves to the candy bowl. They’re only human.

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Sociopathology…

January 13, 2019

…an apparent federal credentials prerequisite ….

Sometimes it is difficult if not impossible to fathom how some of those in positions of power and tacit immunity could also be entitled to claim membership in the human species.

The news Friday carried a clip of White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett discussing the government shutdown with CNN’s Victor Blackwell.

Hassett actually grinned while declaring that those being furloughed and unpaid through the holidays and on and on are really benefitting because not working is like a vacation. They don’t have to work, they don’t have to use their vacation time, and when it’s all over and the blades of the fan are all wiped down and sanitized, they get all of their back pay. Voila! Life is good!

Good grief! Some of these sycophants will say anything to try and make a turd shine!

I’ve read of rapists testifying under oath that they are not guilty because the victim supposedly enjoyed the encounter …”

 

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The Cuss Jar…

December 31, 2018

Alexa & the Cuss Jar [bb]_01

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How About Positive Creativity…

December 5, 2018

…instead of bovine obedience to the moo of the moment…

According to the Herd to be Heard, keyboarding by rote as they are wont to do, the nation is up in arms over a couple of New Hampshire high school students responding to a history assignment by singing KKK commentary to the tune of Jingle Bells. Authorities, they say, are now deliberating whether to simply exterminate the little bahstids, burn down the school, or lobotomize everybody who listened to it.

That, of course, is just as asinine as the groupspeak manner in which the “community” is supposedly reacting to an adolescent PC pasquinade.

The thing that struck me first when I read the story was how unfortunate it is that nobody seems inclined to turn the incident into a teaching and learning opportunity instead of just another case of having to beat a couple of Nonconformists into submission to the PC mantra.

The second thing that comes to mind is, I wonder how others might interact with the students in question, as well as the distraught community”, to redirect and redefine the incident with education and personal development in mind.

…I worked with troubled teens and adults in a hospital based behavioral health environment, so I think I could come up with a few ideas.

It is respectfully requested that sub-adolescent punchbowl-poopers and other such would-be Comment Section purveyors of “So’s your old lady” missives dressed up as legitimate contrarian ideas would please express themselves to the nearest public restroom wall.

 

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Not a Crime…

November 13, 2018

I have a Constitutional right to hate anybody I choose, love anybody I choose, or not GIVE a toot about anybody I choose…What I do NOT have a right to do is to harm anybody or to take their stuff…

Colonial Man_[ab]_02

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Halloween thoughts…..

October 25, 2018

Pet Sematary2-[FINAL]

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It’s Cyber Security Month…

October 17, 2018

…turn your head and cough ….

The message on Google was:

“It’s Cyber Security Month. Stay safer online with a quick Security Checkup.

Great idea, but one of the things we are becoming aware of that we need to be more aware of is that Google is one of the most intrusive offenders and knows more about where you shit and how you wipe than Santa Clause does. Quite frankly, considering the plummeting trust levels internet power-houses are being rewarded with for their track records on matters of respecting privacy, why the hell would I invite them to crawl around my hard drive like a TSA agent groping somebody’s touch-me-nots in the interests of national security?

In fact, one is hard pressed to find any site that doesn’t have voluminous and unintelligible “Terms of Service” authored by a team of psychopathic attorneys with unresolved mother issues. These caveats at the doors of Cyberland are mandatory, and if one does not “voluntarily” sell one’s soul to the DigitalDevil by agreeing to 40 pages of gibberish, one can’t get in. This is a creeping red tide lapping at the threshold of modern activities of daily living, many of them necessary to the allegedly guaranteed enjoyment of liberty and pursuit of happiness.

My understanding is that it is a complex matter of internet enterprises covering their butts in pursuit of the dollar, which is essentially normal and not a problem. Everyone should pursue the dollar. That’s how I happen to possess the dollars with which I pay for my internet services in the first place. But, other than being a source of revenue, I have no connection to the processes in question. Not long ago, the European Union passed a package of rules and regulations in order to cover their butts regarding what they permit, deny, and require of internet communications entering and leaving their member countries. Because The EU is a significant market for internet giants like Google and Facebook, as well as for lesser digital wannabes and other sharecroppers who don’t want to piss anyone off, virtually everyone worldwide agreed to the new European “Terms of Service”. Consequently, you may have noticed a tsunami of changes taking place throughout the internet as each site updated its own rules and regulations to collect and manage user data in order to protect their place at the feeding trough. The government has developed an unsettling interest in analyzing everyone’s diary as well, so I suspect the tech and communications giants have been reminded along the way of their metaphorical knees and how fragile they are. Of course, these changes were explained as wonderful new improvements and innovations to the services being provided to their beloved subscribers and guests, which most of us passively complied with whether we had to throw up first or just didn’t give a flap.

I didn’t throw up, but I did mumble profanely and at length as I downloaded a TOR browser, subscribed to a VPN, and began exploring that other internet for genuine opportunities to mind my own business without unsolicited instructions about how to do that to ensure that my thoughts, words, and choice of vegetables didn’t offend anybody or pose some sort of national security threat; without being coerced into signing any psychopathic “Terms of Service“, or contributing to job security for the NSA and umpteen agencies who assume it is their Natural Right and Patriotic Duty to look up my pant leg and hack my TV to “protect my freedom” (vomiting opportunity number two).

The abbreviated Cliff’s Notes version of this admittedly excessive rant would be: “I can be found…or not…wandering around the Deep Net. See ya; or not.”

 

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