“The shoe that fits one person pinches another;
there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”
~~ Carl Jung ~~
221B Baker Street, London
Hajime…. I am not certain exactly when, but, I’m coming up on five years here at WordPress, sometime in July, or August, I think. I should check. At any rate, it’s been a while. I’ve attempted to post every day, at least once; though I haven’t quite made that goal, I’ve come pretty damn close, with well over 1500 posts to my credit. While I can regard that as a satisfying accomplishment, I must be honest enough to say, not all of it is what might be called fresh, as I’ve recycled a fair amount of what I’ve written for new posts. I call it cheating, though, with the caveat I’m only stealing from myself. So be it.
Today, I’m still busy, and without my usual sense of unease with not making the deadline I’ve set for myself each day. This has allowed me to fall completely into cheat mode. Below you’ll find a fresh pearl, composed of material previously posted, including my longest-ever rant. It’s all fairly standard stuff, for around here, so, no surprises there. I’ll even go so far as to let it speak for itself from this point on, as I intend to cut this short, Moreover, I’m doing that now, before I lose my nerve. I’ll just push this button, right here, and….
Shall we Pearl?….
“Education is about the only thing lying around loose the world, and it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away.” — George Lorimer
Image from http://www.salon.com via Google Images
George needs no introduction; quite simply, he was the best. Ever. You can argue if you like, but, that would not be a stellar use of time…. Instead, just listen to the proof…..
It’s Bad For Ya
One of my Gentle Readers complained of no rant yesterday, so, today, I’m making up for all the rants I’ve missed the past week or so. This may be the longest rant I’ve done, though that’s a guess. It is pretty long, and, though written early in 2014, it all remains perfectly valid, as far as I can see…. I hope you read it all, and pay attention, because it’s all about stuff that affects you directly…. Enjoy!….
“He must needes goe whom the devill doth drive.” ~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. vii ~~
“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….
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.”
“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”
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…..
“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”
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
A Dubiously Soft Morning
Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.
Still, yet almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.
Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.
Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt no joy will ever soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.
~~ gigoid ~~
Since we’re cheating full out today, here is an old, old-school pearl, with a rather ironic beginning, just to keep things confusing, as if today’s effort here weren’t enough. It’s a good one, though, so, enjoy!….
In order to say there is at least one fresh section today, I offer for your consideration the following old-school pearl, a random, harlequin style, with no obvious parameters…. often, these turn out to be the very best kind, so, we can hope…..
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cannot find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.” — Robert Frost
“You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.” — Art Buchwald
“Certum est quia impossibile est.” [It is certain because it is impossible.] — Tertullian (160-240 AD) — De Carne Christi, c. 5
“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” — Albert Schweitzer
“Destiny is but a phrase of the weak human heart – the dark apology for every error. The strong and virtuous admit no destiny. On earth conscience guides; in heaven God watches. And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one and dethrone the other.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton
“He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xvi
Works every time…..
‘T is done, and, done to death, I’d say. I’ll skip the usual witty repartee, if such as this can be so labeled, and leave you to the rest of your day. I hope you enjoyed this little journey through the past. I’ll be back tomorrow, most likely, but, hopefully, with some material a bit fresher than today. In any case, we’re outta here, and now…. See ya, ffolkes. Count on it…..
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….