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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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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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Senior challenge…

October 3, 2018

2018_10OCT-03-Two Men on a Bench [zipped]_final

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Necessary and Proper…

September 10, 2018

…According to WHOM….?

I don’t recall whether or not I answered the decennial United States Census in 1970, but if I did it would have been the last time I responded to one even partially, if at all. It’s not premature to talk about it; the next dance is only about a year and a half away.

I think the Census is important, as did the founders of this nation, in order to ensure proper representation according to the Constitution. In recent decades however, our government has become host to a bloated and ever-growing bureaucracy functioning far beyond its mandate. It is now largely a mega-corporation, with the sole objective of acquiring revenue and distributing it in ways designed only to enhance the process of acquiring more revenue. This, of course, is the objective of any business, the difference being that private businesses do not have captive, guaranteed sources of income, or the power and authority to enforce their demands for capital at the point of a gun. Government does, and it was not supposed to be that way. The Census, by continually adding to the information gathered for the legitimate purpose of enumeration with intrusive questions used to feed the needs of the bureaucracies as they redistribute the annual involuntary surrender of the public’s wealth, has spilled way beyond its intended function.

It would be naïve to think that the government would not have its sternsheets firmly nailed down when mandating compliance with any order “or else.” It does this first by interpreting that part of Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution which states Congress may conduct the decennial Census “..in such Manner as they shall by Law direct” to mean Carte Blanche and free rein in the matter of content and subject matter, instead of referring to methodology such as by mail, door to door, and so forth, which is both far more reasonable and far more likely. Secondly, as the bureaucratic appetites and Executive ambitions grew, the Census was enlisted to cater to the feast by creatively interpreting the Necessary and Proper Clause” of the US Constitution, Article 1 Section 8. The Newspeak version declares that they must follow the Constitution except when it gets in the way and then they can do what they want. It doesn’t say that, of course, depending upon whom one asks, but then again that can be what it means, depending upon whom one asks. It has been this process which has gradually changed the Constitution from a document protecting the people from government into one requiring the people to serve that government’s stated needs.

When I realized the expansion and saw it for what it was, and is, I reexamined my obligations as a citizen of the United States. My only obligations are to myself and my family. Like rights, I acknowledge that they exist, as does the Constitution, or I determine them myself within the limits of that document. I have a duty to participate in the process of enumeration to ensure that my community and I are properly represented in Congress. In that regard, I am willing to provide an accurate accounting of the residents of my home. Nothing more. That has been my way since at least 1980, and will be the limit of my participation in 2020 as well.

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Electronic Baby-sitters…

September 2, 2018

…Do not make Effective Writers….

In spite of much exaltation of the digital world of communication, or, admittedly, perhaps because of it, I rarely find myself reading through some missal without cringing. I’ve done a variety of things during my lifetime, but I think deep down I’ve always been a bit of an editor. Spell-check be damned, and it usually is, it seems the written word of today is first seen and allegedly “corrected” by algorithms. Now the purveyors of canned English are even advertising a program, or whatever they call it, to supposedly tune up the writer’s poor grammar and wording. Undoubtedly, the next brilliant idea will be a program to tell people what to think and how to think it. Actually, if one takes the time to count the beans and look at the pretty colors, perhaps that is already a work in progress.

Never.

I write because I have enjoyed that effort for as much as sixty years, give or take a few months. Over the course of those years I have learned to love words, language, and how they can be woven together to facilitate communication, to describe and pass on the very heart of human culture, to bring about change, to create great literature, and more. The very idea of some machine spitting out rules of usage according to a pre-approved menu of permissible options created by some obscure committee or individual disturbs me. I don’t dislike machines. They can be useful tools, but they should work for humanity, not the other way around, and they should not be secretly created to build a world according to the latter.

The internet has provided the opportunity for countless individuals to express their ideas and exchange them with others. There are downsides to the anonymity inherent in the platform, but individuals themselves will iron out the conflicts eventually if not interfered with.

When I read through an article, I can’t help but read it to some extent with an “editor’s eye,” and I often find myself asking out loud “Did anybody bother to actually read through this thing before pushing the enter button? Holy crap!” Even a stupid idea can be well written, but all too often “internet journalism” is a minefield of poor wording, poor grammar, and poor spelling. I am surprised that so many actually endorse such products with their bylines. I’d bet a Walmart toaster gets a better inspection at the end of the production line than virtually any internet writing today.

I think people would benefit by having to discover and correct their own mistakes. We all make them, and nobody learns anything by passing the buck, or in this case the dictionary, the thesaurus, or the Style Manual. An aspiring writer who learns to expect electronic baby sitting will be taught to settle for a “CEE” by parroting the ideas of others.

We all do that to an extent because that is the nature of “language”. We use words and structures that tend to be generally understood within our communities, but there is a galactic environment of different ways by which to construct meanings and draw mind pictures and these should not be dictated.

I usually change what I write for a blog or some similar venue two or three times before “publishing” it, yet I still find mistakes after the fact. I use Microsoft Word as a writing program, and it almost always flags something, and I almost always disagree and override it.

The positive side of the story is that we still have the ability to choose whether or not to defer decisions about our writing to electronic devices and programs. Even if we are subjected to the unsolicited dictates of some built in application, we still have the power to override them and stick with our own original format, but that interruption can become annoying.

Nevertheless, I would hope that more of the general population of kitchen table journalists and hobby bloggers come to appreciate the benefits of doing their own pre-editing.

 

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