~~ Terence (185-159 BC) ~~
~~ Adelphoe, Act iii, Sc. 3, 61, (415.) ~~
Being normal isn’t one of my strengths. Never has been, so, I really never miss it, a fact I consider a boon, from what I observe about those who choose to accept it as their option of choice. Now, however, I am approaching fast the farthest end of my life, finding myself in an all-too-familiar sounding situation, where age-related issues become the focus of life, as we try to patch, or support, or remove, or somehow find a fix for all the different parts of our bodies that are showing signs of failing strength, and the approach of the final shut-down sequence….
Euphemisms aside, it’s a pisser, for sure and for certain; in my case, I am also feeling rather insulted…. Here I am, one who followed a path of healthy activity levels all my life, following the advice of doctors, and all the supposed experts on health, who recommend that we be active, eat well, and take care of our bodies by making them work hard…. I played every sport known to the American public, and a few they didn’t know; as soon as I got to college, I started studying martial arts, for which the conditioning goes well beyond what most sports require…. It only makes sense to me; one doesn’t wish to be in a middle of a fight, only to give in to feeling “tired”. The opposing fighter won’t care…. and, it could get you killed or seriously injured…
What all those “experts” forget to mention is the principle of moderation, a principle that overrides all the rest. Moderation is the key to successful living, in almost ALL areas of endeavor; even moderation itself is subject to this, as it is good for us to, occasionally, go beyond our limits, or not reach them. It seems to have a balancing effect necessary to full understanding and utilization; it also tends to soothe those feelings of rebelliousness in all of us, that fights against such restraints, allowing us the inner peace to make good choices as to how to live…. It’s actually simple, and not hard to follow….. it’s just not a well-enough known idea to be of complete use to all….
All of that being said, there isn’t a damn thing to do, at this point, about any of it; it’s now officially too late. All I can do now is deal with my systems as, one by one, they show their characteristics of impending failure… My latest revelation from my doctor indicates I have, as is all too normal, (for me, anyway) become a type 2 diabetic; my blood test over the last 3 years show a distinct climb into the red zone for my blood sugar. So, I now must watch my diet even more closely, start taking a new medication to help regulate the blood sugar, and, worst, I get to puncture a hole in one of my fingers 3 times a day to measure and monitor that blood sugar….. Oh, joy….
It doesn’t seem to help to know I don’t need insulin shots; the pill is now the initial treatment of choice. Having to check my blood 3 times a day is a PITA, which, as my fingers get tired of being poked, will become a chore of duty, which will, possibly, make it okay to maintain, but, will also tend to aggravate the angst, to know it could have been avoided, had I had the wherewithal to make some lifestyle changes a few years ago…. But, with all the confidence of an immortal, I did not, disbelieving that I could ever fall prey to such a NORMAL issue….
HONK!….. That’s my nose going off, by the way…. Oh well, enough whining for one day. I’m gonna go pick on some politicians and preachers for a while; that always makes me feel better…. Having poked my finger for the first time, I am free to do what I wish, and, right now, I wish to Pearl…. So, since I see one of our opportunities right ahead there, at the end of this paragraph, I’ll bid thee a temporary adieu…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” — Mark Twain
I have decided to put the daily video section here, in section one, from now on…. This way, you can start the morning’s reading, (or evening’s, I don’t care when…. as long as you stop by…. *grin*) while listening to the music I’ll provide…. Those times when I use a movie, or documentary, or other video genre, we’ll see; those may go even further down than section two… I wouldn’t want to write too much in stone; bad habit….. Any who, enjoy this one, as it was specifically designed by the site subscriber to accompany reading…. The daily rant will show up in section two today, and, if all goes according to plan, will be seen there from now on….
“As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits in very nicely.” ~~ president George Bush, on his trip to LA after the riots ~~
“Nobody goes to bed hungry in America” — R. Reagan
“Politicians aren’t born, they are excreted.” — Cicero
“That it should come to this!” ~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 2 ~~
The above five-star pearl is a lead-in group, mostly aimed at those with whom the following discussion is concerned. Below you’ll find two links to articles discussing two separate, but related issues from the news yesterday, found in the UK Guardian’s US edition online. They are both in-depth pieces, with a bit of egregiously egotistic back patting in the first one, but, both are more involved, in-depth, and in tune with the truth than any news organization from the US I can find, with the most important issues made clear, the culpability of the responsible parties made obvious, and the downright evil prevarication by the FBI director laid out for all to see…. An excerpt from each follows the article link, identifiable by quotation marks….
After those first two articles, I’ve also included an excellent column on the same subject by one of the Guardian’s staff opinion writers, named Trevor Timm. He gives a good summary of the exact points I wish to cover in his opening paragraph, which I’ve included as an excerpt, below the link. After that, I’ll have a few comments, and we’ll see how it goes from there…. Hitch up your belts, & make sure your backpacks are secured ffolkes, this could take a while…. but, as Lord Peter has been known to say, “This ain’t a joke, Charles! It’s important. Damn important!”…..
“Whisper acknowledged that it researches the location of specific users it believes are posting newsworthy information, but emphasised it typically uses GPS data.”
“Whisper stressed the IP location data it uses for people who have asked not to be followed is rough and unreliable.”
“We occasionally look at user IP addresses internally to determine very approximate location,” the company said. “User IP addresses may allow very coarse location to be determined to the city, state or country level.”
“It added: “Whisper does not request or store any personally identifiable information from users, therefore there is never a breach of anonymity. From time to time, when a user makes a claim of a newsworthy nature, we review the user’s past activity to help determine veracity.”
“The company strongly rejected any assertion of wrongdoing. “The Guardian’s assumptions that Whisper is gathering information about users and violating user’s privacy are false,” it said. “The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in the Guardian story.”
“Whereas the previous terms and conditions described all of Whisper’s tracking of user location as “voluntary”, the new terms now warn users to “bear in mind that, even if you have disabled location services, we may still determine your city, state, and country location”.
“It now warns users that turning on the app’s geolocation feature may “allow others, over time, to make a determination as to your identity”.
“…he recognised their embrace of encryption responded to “perceive[d]” market pressures in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures. But Comey suggested that end-to-end mobile device encryption amounted to a safe haven for criminals.”
“Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about their being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” he said.”
“Comey acknowledged that the Snowden disclosures caused “justifiable surprise” among the public about the breadth of government surveillance, but hoped to mitigate it through greater transparency and advocacy.”
“Yet the FBI keeps significant aspects of its surveillance reach hidden even from government oversight bodies. Intelligence officials said in a June letter to a US senator that the FBI does not tally how often it searches “through NSA’s vast hoards of international communications, without warrants, for Americans’ identifying information.”
“Comey frequently described himself as being technologically unprepared to offer specific solutions, and said he meant to begin a conversation, even at the risk of putting American tech companies at a competitive disadvantage.”
“Where we may get is to a place where the US, through its Congress, says, ‘You know what, we need to force this on American companies,’ and maybe they’ll take a hit. Someone in some other country will say, ‘Ah, we sell a phone that even with lawful authority people can’t get into.’ But that we as a society are willing to have American companies take that hit. That’s why we have to have this conversation,” Comey said”
“FBI director James Comey wants a US government-mandated backdoor into your iPhone and your Google account. But Comey doesn’t want to call his proposed privacy invasion a backdoor. He doesn’t understand how it would work. And he expects everyone who has been horrified by the NSA’s mass surveillance to just sit back, weaken their personal security and trust that the government will never abuse it.”
“Comey also claimed on Thursday that the “Post-Snowden pendulum” needs to swing back in favor of the government, neglecting to mention Congress has passed literally zero laws reigning in government surveillance. In fact, the main reason the major tech companies are pushing forward with encryption is because the government refuses to follow the will of the people and curtail the NSA’s powers at all. If Comey wanted a careful debate about the right balance of privacy and security before decisions like Apple’s are made, like he also said on Thursday night, maybe he should’ve advocated for that when the NSA was massively expanding their powers for years in complete secrecy.”
“Twitter tweet October 16, 2014: “Comey’s right: Deployment of strong crypto should be preceded by thoughtful debate. Which we had & correctly resolved 15 years ago.— Julian Sanchez (@normative)”
“So while we break out the world’s smallest violin as Jim Comey complains about the “Post-Snowden pendulum”, remember: the US government, through its own secret actions, brought this on themselves.”
I can’t say, with any degree of accuracy, but, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard such a load of pure bullshit, straight from the bull’s butt, in a very, very long time…. When Richard Nixon raised his peace sign fingers, and stated, “I am not a crook.”, was probably the last time…. I swear, this man, this Comey, who heads up the FBI, obviously has the lowest opinion of the American public’s intelligence of almost anyone I’ve ever seen…. The demon-spawn from hell, Newt Gargoyle, or Gribble, or Grinch, Grngich, or whatever his weird-ass name was, came close on a regular basis, as did that ghoul, Dick Cheney, but, this Über-cop, this gestapo at the head of our nation’s largest domestic police force has, I believe. taken the cake….
Moreover, he implies that anyone who doesn’t support his, and the government’s, grab for power over every aspect of our lives is unpatriotic, a cowardly enemy of American principles, which, according to HIM, start (and, by implication, end…) with submissive respect for the “rule of law”, suggesting that the American public should feel privileged to allow them to have access to ALL of their private information…. Of course, the implied insult here is that only criminals and other unsavory characters should have something to hide from them, and their oh-so-perfect moral position….
What a crock of shit! I can’t say it any plainer than that…. and, I’ve probably said enough by now, anyway…. I’ll leave you with one last wake-up pearl, to think about when you’re assigning blame for what is happening in today’s world….. The FBI director, in his remarks, asks what he considers a rhetorical question, to wit:
“Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”
I can only answer with a resounding “Yes, we have! We have lost ALL trust in the police. and the government, with good reason. I wouldn’t trust you to tell me the correct time!”
Well, I might not say that last part to his face, maybe, but, I can assure you, I’d want to, very badly, and would have to exert significant effort of will to refrain from doing so…. though, why I would bother, I don’t know…..
I was going to leave it at that, but, as I finished, I received an email from EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit activism organization made up of people, like me, and, hopefully, y’all, who are concerned with keeping the internet free of corporate influence and government oppression, to guarantee the open, free interchange of ideas and communication that characterizes how it is supposed to be, as intended by those who created it…. They are one of the entities who brought suit against the government about this issue, in a suit which is now about to be heard by the Supreme Court, along with several others they have supported, or helped to organize…
Below, I have included three links to articles on their home site, which speak to the information and issues of which we spoke above in this section. Each article clearly explains how the government and other entities are trying to subvert the internet, making it a tool for oppression, rather than a tool for expanding human knowledge and culture…. These explain how the government, and their myrmidons, the police, are working to take away the usefulness of having such a means to spread knowledge, wanting instead to keep it for their own use, which involves the control over our lives they so desperately desire….
Good info, ffolkes, well researched and written, very clearly presented…. I’ve donated to this one, which I don’t do, as a rule, but, they’re working hard to protect US, that is, YOU and ME, so, they deserve my support…. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how the situation stands today….
“The best way to lose freedom is not to do anything.” — Smart Bee
Once again, to avoid any possible litigation over any blame associated with what I write, we’ll stick to my stuff….. It may not come up to the relative value of one of the classics, but, it will do for our purposes…. I do hope you enjoy it…. that’s something, I guess….
In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.
Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.
Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.
Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.
Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.
When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.
Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..
~~ gigoid ~~
George Carlin. What can I possibly add to all that has been said about this man…. His life spanned the period of time from May 12, 1937 to June 22, 2008…. Even though he lived to the age of 70, in my opinion, he shall ever remains an example of “only the good die young”. He WAS young, even at 70, for, right up to the day he died, his mind looked at the world with a child’s eyes, in a fresh, uncluttered way that allowed him to see through every piece of bullshit the world threw up…. and, as my blogs indicate, that is a LOT of bullshit….
George also had a unique way of making us laugh about all the bad things in life, making them, if not more comfortable, at least more palatable, thus giving us the chance at solving some of them…. I miss his wit, and his vision, which saw through every politician and preacher in the world, no matter what their allegiance… For that alone, I shall always honor his memory, and will always consider him my role model for literary activism, as far as possible for an old curmudgeon with too much time on his hands….
Why, you may ask, are we having another video today? Well, it’s simple…. Smart Bee is on hiatus, for a day or three; it’s been bad, and I had to punish it. For a while, I’ll try to replace any old-school pearls you may have found here in section five with whatever comes to mind…. and, George came to mind first…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. Use the link to find a great many You Tubes, with George, and other comedians, as well…
The process of creating these little gems has grown to resemble nothing so much as Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors; new methods, tacked up right alongside old ones, or patched over them, give it that apocalyptic look so fashionable now; I couldn’t be prouder if I had tried to make it look that way…. It’s also, at least for today, done, which is my favorite kind of Pearl….
Okay, brain gone, nothing left to use… Must go now, find new parts…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….