Table of contents
FYI. Some explanations are in order.
What is a blog? Explains the difference between a blog and a forum.
Blog Entries List:
Links to blog entries below are listed in descending order starting with the first entry for the year to the newest.
To read the blog entries in chronological order from the first to the newest as I entered them, you can start with the first blog entry listed below and read down from there.
August 14th, 2017: Noam Chomsky explains why the American healthcare system is so messed up
September 8th, 2017: Hurricane Irma, the earthquake in Mexico and preparedness tips
October 19th, 2017: Costco killing spree invitation?
Other pages on this site
What is a blog?
To those who are asking "what is a blog?", a blog is a personal Web log (blog is a shortened way of saying weblog), a chronicle of events or a journal where somebody writes down things that happen in their lives, their thoughts, and opinions.
What's the difference between a blog and a forum? Some people confuse forums with blogs. A forum is for public discussion. You can look that up in the dictionary if you like. ;-) A blog, being a Web log, journal, or personal diary would be for an individual. Look at some personal blogs and compare them with forums, even those that for some odd reason are calling themselves blogs. You'll see the difference quickly enough.
August 14th, 2017:
Noam Chomsky gives details on why the health care is so crappy and expensive in America, talks about the climate agreement, basic rights and more!
Okay, to start off, those of you who may not know who Noam Chomsky is, I advise you to look him up. Some of you might have only recently heard his name mentioned on some news Web site or possibly in the movie Captain Fantastic (2016). The latter was a surprisingly good movie and the trailer for it was misleading. The long-time readers of my site will tell you that I recommend very few movies. Captain Fantastic is an exception. However, it does have some sad parts in it and a few things which might not be suitable for the very young. This all depends on your culture, your belief system, how you were raised, et cetera. But, parents can always watch it themselves before they let their children see it.
Here's the link: Noam Chomsky discusses basic rights, Article 25 of the UDHR, the OECD, why America doesn't have a universal health care program and more.
Oh, and yes, I am still alive. LOL Just hadn't felt very social for a while, so, wasn't using any social media programs or other programs where I would be conversing with others. No, I'm not normal. But, people knew that since the day I was born. If you were looking for normalcy, you are most definitely on the wrong Web site!
A quick word on news Web sites: Some use Google News for their primary source of news. Just a teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy little problem with that and the mainstream news sources; most of them are owned by only a few parent companies. Back in the 1990s, that number was around six according to people like Jello Biafra. Since then, with all the mergers, that number is likely to have halved. At the very least, I recommend you try NPR, Alternet, Mother Jones and local alternative news sources for your area. If you only get your news from one or two sources, you're like a horse with blinders, only able to see a very small part of what's around you. Some countries only allow their citizens to have one or two sources of information where everything they say has to be checked and cleared by some iron-fisted dictator or a small group of people who prefer their citizenry remain as oblivious and ignorant as possible to better control them and their very thoughts. After all, how can someone long for freedom and liberty when they have never even heard of either? But, you get the idea, yes?
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September 8th, 2017 (morning):
Hurricane Irma, the earthquake in Mexico and preparedness tips.
Hurricane Irma has already tore through some of the Caribbean islands and nearly destroyed some of them, including Barbuda. It was a category five hurricane but has weakened slightly to a category four. Although the eye of hurricane Irma is still a couple of days out and not expected to make landfall in south Florida (provided it doesn't go where they don't expect it to) in the wee hours of Sunday morning (September 10th, 2017), there are already hurricane warnings for all of the coastal areas of southern Florida. Florida governor Rick Scott has also issued evacuation orders for the cities around the southern half of Lake Okeechobee, which includes Lake Harbor, Belle Glade, Clewiston, Canal Point, Moore Haven, Pahokee and South Bay. As for me, I would advise anyone living in a mobile home to grab the things which can't be replaced as well as your pets and move somewhere safe, far out of the way of hurricane Irma's path. If you want to know why, look up pictures of mobile homes after hurricane Andrew got done with them. If you are looking at a projected path map or a hurricane noodle map of where a hurricane is expected to go, keep in mind that that thin trail in the middle is just where the eye of the hurricane might go. The outer bands around it show hurricane-force winds and you might also get rain, flooding, storm surges, tornadoes and so on. The eye of the hurricane might travel a hundred or more miles away from you, but, you can still be affected by it. More information can be found here, but, it doesn't include everything: Florida Disaster Information. Governor Scott also said that if you were told to evacuate and you didn't and you get hit by the hurricane's force, they won't come to get you. You were warned.
As you might expect, people and businesses will be screwing you over before, during and after a natural disaster. This includes everything from price gouging to ships kicking their passengers off in areas which are expected to be hit by a hurricane and all flights out are already filled or canceled. This is, after all, just human nature whose greed and sadism I have mentioned many times already. They will rip you off and screw you over any time they think they have a fairly good chance of getting away with it. Be alert or be a victim.
Amazon customers are in for a shock. Those who ordered things on Amazon and expected to get it before hurricane Irma arrives are in for a disappointment, even if they had ordered as early as Monday, September 4th, 2017. Your deliveries might be delayed by as much as a week or even longer than when you expected to get it. Why? Well, it seems that you weren't the only one to think that it would be the better option to order something online and avoid the lines and the stores which had already sold out of what you were looking to buy.
The 8.1 earthquake in Mexico had an epicenter just off the southwest coast of Chiapas AKA the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas late yesterday (Thursday) and there were at least 32 confirmed fatalities. Although there were far less killed than the thousands who died during the September 19th 1985 earthquake which was slightly less powerful with an 8.0 magnitude (not including the foreshocks and aftershocks which, while being less powerful still caused some damage and in the latter cases, emotionally rattled people who had survived the primary quake), it was still bad for those who were killed, injured, lost friends and family and possibly had their homes and/or businesses damaged or completely destroyed.
Let's talk preparedness, but, keep in mind, your lives should come first and you might only have seconds to react (earthquakes, bombings, et cetera). After all, your belongings might someday be replaced, but, if you lose your life, you're kind of screwed, right?
Family photos: If they're on a computer or digital camera, they can be backed up onto a USB thumb drive or in the cloud or if they're physical pictures, you can mail them (perhaps after you have scanned them so even if you lose the physical pictures in the mail, you still have the digital copies) to a trusted friend or family member far outside the anticipated area(s) which might be affected by whichever natural disaster or man-made disaster happens.
Prior to a disaster, you could put your most valuable things which you aren't using in secure storage, preferably far from areas which have a higher probability of having an earthquake or hurricane or having a bomb dropped on them (large cities as well as important infrastructure top the list).
Bail-out bag AKA go-bag: Put your most important things like medicine, identification, written down passwords as well as a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of friends and relatives (who you might want to call or write to afterwards to let them know you're still alive) in a large resealable air-tight bag and maybe put that bag inside of a sturdy plastic container that you would feel comfortable carrying with you, say, in a backpack, along with some spare batteries and a couple of flashlights as well as a small radio which you can recharge with sunlight and/or cranking it. A second radio would be nice, but, you know your limits on what you can tote around with you better than I do.
Clothing: One or two changes of clothing, packed into a clean garbage bag that you can tie up as well as clothing appropriate for the conditions you might be exposed to, such as dust masks for an earthquake, ponchos or raincoats and high rubber boots for heavy rains and flooding . . . You get the idea.
Food and water: At least a few days worth of water and non-perishable food or as close to it as you can get with the majority of it in cans as well as two manual can openers in case one breaks.
There are many other things you can take with you, but, remember, the lighter you travel, the easier it is for you to bug out of a bad situation. If you're with family or friends, stay together as much as you can so you don't get separated. Don't rely solely on your smart phone for information or communicating with each other. If the battery gets drained and you have no way to recharge it or if service becomes unavailable, it isn't going to be worth much to you. Get a road map, mark where the shelters are and cross them off if they become full. Just so you know, many shelters are simply that, shelters. They might not have any kind of food, water, air-conditioning, bedding or even a fan and might not be pet-friendly. In case you do get separated, agree to use one or two family members you can contact by phone who are safely far outside the problem area. They can write down where you're at (such as a shelter) and tell others so they won't worry about you or risk their lives by going out looking for you.
You can find other Web pages which might advise you better and for specific emergencies. One of them is the ready.gov Web site.
Best of luck and try to take care of each other. Or, in the words of Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other. Which, as any who have read the un-sugar-coated history of the world (the victors are usually the ones who write the history and always paint themselves as doing the right thing even if it was morally very, very wrong) could tell you, would make you much better people than the majority of the human race. :-)
As for me, well, I'm in the Bermuda Triangle and, according to the very latest hurricane Irma predictions, I'm in the direct path of the hurricane. If I bite it, I can at least say that I did what I could for others, even for strangers I never met, such as you, the readers of this Web site. There may not be any future posts. Even if I survive, there might not be any for a while if I don't have a computer.
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October 19th, 2017:
I was invited to go on a killing spree . . . by an employee of Costco?!
The good news: I survived hurricane Irma. The bad news: I went to Costco, and got a totally different shopping experience than I was used to.
First off, let me say that Costco seems to be a very different kind of store. And, that their policy of asking customers to not only fork over their government-issued photo identification such as a driver's license (which you shouldn't give out in the first place because of some jurisdictions' identify laws) but they also demand that you must have your photograph taken. Am I really the only person on the entire planet who sees this as a bad thing? Wasn't there that whole invasion of privacy and creepy surveillance thing a few decades back where a government was keeping tabs on their own citizens? For those who don't know, what I'm referring to is Nazism and how they, a totalitarian society, had "a system of ubiquitous spying" and where "each individual feels himself under constant surveillance." This started up back in the early 1930s with the Gestapo, and, despite what many people believe, they weren't just spying on Jews. They spied on almost everyone they could, including communists, protestants, catholics, Freemasons, emigrants, foreigners, students (even those who practiced a non-violent resistance and who thought that Nazism was morally questionable) and pretty much anyone who didn't appear to have the same mind-set as the Nazis. In the first half of 1943 alone, they arrested and executed thousands.
So, why does Costco emulate the Nazi Gestapo? That's a very good question! Another would be: how far does this surveillance extend? Are they using facial recognition? Creepy, creepy, creepy! Just talking to that Costco employee for one minute made me feel that the 16 million people (approximately) killed during World War II on the Allies side fighting to keep people like Hitler and his Gestapo from taking away our freedoms and treating us like Costco was treating their customers and potential customers was in vain. It felt as though all of their male employees had taken out their d*cks and (figuratively) taken a p*ss on their graves. When I asked why the employee (whose name started with Fritz, which made me wonder if his daddy or grandfather had a blood type tattoo under his arm) was doing this, I got the newspeak version of the excuse popular in Nuremberg between 1945 and 1949 ("I was just following orders"), "it's store policy," which, like those who used the older excuse, probably also believed that it excuses them from doing something morally wrong as long as they were acting under orders. And, people kept saying that it could never happen here . . .
Questions I asked the Costco employee, which were ignored:
How secure is your database? Do you use encryption? Which cipher do you use? What strength? Who has access to the database? How well vetted are those who have access to it? Do you share the information with others? If so, how secure are their databases and how well vetted are their employees? Have you had any data breaches?
The only response I got was "it's secure," but, they didn't say how they knew that or what guarantee their customers had, if any, that their information would be stolen. Being the curious type, I checked for data breach information of costco. They had one just a couple of years ago, which lasted over a year (from June 2014 to July 2015) without anyone realizing it. Credit card information, personal details, email addresses, phone numbers, passwords, addresses, credit card security codes and expiration dates . . . This is 'secure,' in their eyes? Yikes!
Now, for the big shocker!
After I asked Fritz******, the costco employee, those questions, he asked me, clearly and distinctly, if I wanted to go on a killing spree. This was one of those "what the BLEEP" moments! And, people wonder why I record the conversations that I have with people out in public especially if it's the first time I'm talking with them . . . As I stood there, I could only think of what came into my mind when he asked me if I wanted to go on a killing spree and the first thing I thought of was a video game I sometimes play (under a different name) where I'm defending something from armed thugs and one of the NPCs (Non-Player Characters) defeated a few of the more powerful NPCs and the game said "(their name) is on a killing spree!" The other thing I thought of was how badly I wanted to go back in time and kill Hitler (and those of his men who were considered the most guilty of the various atrocities) right before he tried to commit genocide on various people. Then, I wondered if maybe he was inviting me to kill people with him in the store. But, that might not have been the case, even though it's something that many humans seem to be perfectly fine with. As for me, hearing about someone hurting innocent people who haven't done anything wrong (even if it's in a movie) is one of the things that gets me upset the most.
So, yes, I videorecord people in public places as I interact with them for my own security and so I have a record of what happened if I have need of it. For those who think that's a bad thing (while totally ignoring the fact that they're being videorecorded almost everywhere they go to in populated areas (and possibly other locations via drones and satellites) and even their own mobile devices record where they go, who they encounter as they travel and can even have their mobile devices' microphones and video cameras remotely activated), there isn't a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' when you're out in public and several courts have said as much, although, of late, with sousveillance (primarily the videorecording by ordinary people as opposed to surveillance which is done by governments and businesses) being not only possible but highly probable with the increasing number of mobile devices with one or two cameras (
for those all-so-important selfie pictures) in any situation which might increase Web traffic to a Web site (whether owned by a company or an individual) or increase the number of friends and followers on their social media and give them at least a fleeting moment of fame if they videorecord, take pictures of or audiorecord something which most humans consider funny (usually something involving humiliation and/or pain) balanced against what little remains of our rights as phrases like 'a reasonable expectation of privacy' replace what laughingly pass for morals or rights in human society, it makes me think of a high-wire act.
Or Pitfall Harry in the game Pitfall!, trying to jump on just the right spot of the crocodiles' heads so he doesn't get ate . . . Yes, I played an Atari 2600 decades ago. LOL
But, getting back to the sousveillance thing . . . In this current surveillance society (especially in the United States where the current president gained fame by being on a reality television show) we can't really expect privacy out in public or even a store that anyone can enter (with harassment and stalking (think of very aggressive paparazzi) being entirely different things, as you are actively following specific people around and not just recording something that's happening near where you happen to be, and, while I'm no lawyer, but, they don't sound like nice things to do to others). This is especially true if you are a parent or an older sibling and are yelling very loudly in the next aisle over inside of a store. People can hear you even if you do not see them and they might be recording what you are saying, or, to be more accurate, yelling at the top of your voice. Okay, so that was my not-so-subtle and probably totally futile attempt to get them to stop it . . . Maybe I'm the only one who cringes in sympathy for the kids.
Then, there's the hypocritical and 'it would be laughable if it wasn't so anal and blood-chillingly similar to many totalitarian regimes with secret police' opposition of sousveillance by businesses, governmental employees and politicians who themselves use multiple and often even hidden videorecording equipment (or drones) to spy on people . . . Let's be honest here. Sousveillance of such people and their establishments is not only a good idea but should also be protected by a law which specifically says it is and not just said it is by the courts (such as some federal courts who said it's protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution). It's the only way to keep them honest as history has shown over and over again that many businesses and politicians are not as honorable as they should be. When incidents happen in which a business or when a governmental employee is at fault, surveillance video (like that which is recorded via CCTV) frequently 'goes missing,' is claimed to not have been recorded or the victims are ignored when they ask for copies of it. Politicians (especially during election years) frequently claim that they are for open government and transparency, but, most governments do not want it and persecute whistle-blowers who inform the public of what some politicians would want kept secret, such as what their masters, the corporations, give them, so they would help their cause (with tax cuts, free land and even building things for them) and ignore what the ordinary citizen needs such as better education, infrastructure repair, emergency services and better monitoring of corporate polluting of the environment, which is so out of control, now, that many communities cannot even drink the tap water anymore. The need for true transparency in government is obvious, as it should help in stopping bribery, secrecy, corruption, et cetera, as well as provide some public oversight.
However, in the current America, I'm seeing a lot of similarities between what's going on now and what happened in the 1930s. Apparently, I'm not the only one. The Anne Frank Center said "1930s Germany imposed a series of escalating steps of oppression, including demonization, discrimination and isolation of vulnerable communities, that evoke what we are seeing today. That comparison is just, and not to make the comparison would be a dereliction of our duty to ensure 'never again' to any people." If that isn't enough, compare what's going on now with what's in the book "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis or at least read a summary of it somewhere, to give you the general idea. Trump reminds me a lot of Hitler in the 1930s, from his claiming that everyone else but him is fake and liars to his plans of improving the country.
I've tried to give you hints, but, I don't think that's working. If you don't wake up, you're screwed.
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2003 Blog (with some from 2002).
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