Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Edmund DuLac I’ve seen an amazing increase in spam lately. Rough estimates are I’ve won about 1 billion in lotteries I never entered. I’ve had about 2 billion left to me by dead relatives I never knew I had. My puppy and I have had our bank accounts our paypal accounts and our other personal information compromised about 80 times, all at banks where we don’t have accounts. And the usual suspects offering us great penny stock tips and the usual porn sites and sexual enhancements.
I resent the ones offering money the most.
There are too many people driven to desperation in our world today where cash is the only solution. It takes sociopathic guts to steal from people. It takes a sheer coward to steal from you and not be able to look you in the face.
Con men used to at least be entertaining. They used to give you a show as they fleeced you. The Flim Flam Men were always known and usually endured until they robbed the wrong person of too much.
They even made movies about them, Oscar winning movies where the con men were the heroes! (“The Sting” for only one of them.”
Now the cowardly ilk advertise in the papers or people who are multilingual. Its a lot more convincing to get emails from someone who can at least approximate the language, I guess. But they advertise in the newspapers and the newspapers take the ads . . .
Its like a legitimate business now. Why not. They’ve only prosecuted one spammer. The government must condone it or they’d do something to stop it. In a lot of ways the government condones it. I’ve gotten spam from political candidates . . .
Considering that the government allowed Comcast to hijack the investigative meeting to discuss the despicable acts committed by Comcast its not a great surprise. (Net neutrality and tiered pricing are ugly cruel things that need to be abolished and not encouraged. The government disagrees. They don’t care about the people anymore it seems.)
In China and Russia they are openly and actively recruiting hackers and programmers. I do wonder if anyone ever bought anything they saw advertised when their browser has been hijacked by a malicious script?
Click images for desktop size: “Do Us All A Favor” Someone must or they wouldn’t invest so much money in getting it done. The self centered self righteous jerks we keep electing wouldn’t keep approving these tactics. They wouldn’t ignore the deplorable acts of Microsoft and the lesser companies who emulate them. (Microsoft gets fined over a billion in Europe but gets a nudge nudge and a wink in the USA).
Maybe they view all of this corruption of something as pretty as the computer and the internet as just another poor tax, like the insane profits of the oil companies (who will again set records for the low taxes they will pay.)
There used to a great operating system for computers: BeOS. It was elegant, refined, powerful and ran on machines that stuttered with Windows and Macs running 9.0.
BeOS had features 10 years ago that are just now entering into Windows Vista and Mac OSX. (Indexed searches – integration of OpenGL etc)
Microsoft pointedly and fixedly destroyed the company. It did so illegally. Microsoft got prosecuted. Of course this was after they accomplished their goals and bankrupted the little BeOS company.
They had to pay the BeOS stockholders a lot of money and they got fined 100 million. Microsoft never paid of course. I’m sure it was quite legal on their side, the not paying I mean, but once again no one in power was watching out for us; the little guys who just wanted to have some fun on our computers or make a little web site about our hobby or the club we belong to. No one in power cares about the little guys like you and me communicating with each other.
I thought that was supposed to be their job, to look out for us and t understand things we didn’t grasp and to make sure we could live a free and a happy people. I thought they were meant to safeguard us, not to encourage the slugs to rape and pillage us.
I guess I was wrong. Again.
I’m just not feeling human. A long strident rant because I got some junk mail in my email folder. I’m not human today.
Still feeling sick. Still worried about my little blind dog who still is keeping me up all night. Still worried about money and desires unfulfilled.
I shouldn’t rant about things I can’t change just because I can’t reach out at them and give them a kick in the pants.
Click images for desktop size: “Weeki Wachee” by UnknownThere’s a few things bugging me.
The RAIA, the Congress and baseball. Not necessarily in that order.
The RAIA has always bugged me. They are a bunch of jerks who view people only as walking wallets, sort of like the worst kind of pimps you find in the seedier parts of town.
This is the group set up to make sure that the records were made to the same specs so that all records could play them. They were sort of like a 50’s version of THX Sound.
Then when the record companies decided they didn’t want to pay the record artists any more money the protected that.
Its one of the interesting things they touched on early in “The Soprano’s”. It was common practice to sign acts to record records. They never got paid, even though the record companies were dumping thousands to DJ’s to bribe them to play the records. That led to the payola scandal. The RAIA was a part of that.
They justified it all somehow: The acts, they claimed, benefited because they got free advertisement. They didn’t get paid but they got to keep all the money from playing clubs and concerts . . . which promoted the records but they never bothered to justify that part so there’s no official line there.
As to the payola a a lot of DJ’s lost there jobs and ruined their careers and lives. No record company went out of business. No record company exec went to jail or got fired.
I guess, you could say the RAIA did a good job for them.
Now the RAIA says that when you buy a record or a CD or a digital download you don’t own anything. You’ve bought air. You’re allowed to listen to it at their grace. And the rapidly escalating prices are so that the musicians will get paid their fair share, except now they want to cut the musicians share from 9% to 4%.
Click images for desktop size: “Angry Shark” by Anonymous Don’t confuse the RAIA with ASCAP or BMI. ASCAP and BMI collect money to pay to the writers of the songs. The RAIA has no connection to the musicians or writers. They only represents the suits who hate music but like money.
And now the Senate has completed the rape of the Constitution. They increased unilaterally the right of our Government to spy on us . . . by a 67 to 31 vote. Rah!
Amazing that the constitution which has done pretty well for 220 years has suddenly found itself obsolete after 8 years of George Bush. Some of the Supreme Court Justices are even saying nonsense about how the Constitution is outmoded and no longer valid . . . they’re Bush appointees of course.
For some reason every thing that comes out of a conservative mouth lately sounds more and more like the old commie rhetoric, rhetoric we were taught to fear and take with skepticism.
I guess you really do become what you hate most.
Clinton didn’t attend to vote on the measure. Obama has remained silent. The Republicans are all for it.
Its the old, “the guilty don’t deserve any rights” and the innocent don’t need any rights.
I think I’m going to vote for whatever sacrificial lamb the Green Party is running this year. Nothing can be worse than supporting the wholesale merchandising and destruction of America.
Then we have the new witch hunt, the new McCarthyism – Steroids.
I remember when Lyle Alzado died. He was a killer line backer for the Raiders back when the Raiders were good.
He died because of steroids and Human Growth Hormone. He died directly because he wanted to be bigger and stronger.
I remember Canadian Ben Johnson blowing Carl Lewis off at the starting line and setting a world record because of steroids.
And I remember the NCAA barring Oklahoma’s Brian Bosworth from a bowl game because of steroids. (Bosworth was a bust for the Seahawks – but he did make an amusing movie, “Stone Cold”).
Nobody reacted then, when it could have done some good.
When I was coaching in Texas its impossible to believe how many of my kids came to me and asked if I thought they would benefit from juicing up.
At first I thought they were trying one on to see if I’d bite. They were serious.
Of course I told them no and explained all the pitfalls and told them about Lyle Alzado etc. I worry most now about the kids who didn’t ask me.
I never had a kid come back from summer break 25 pounds heavier and 20% stronger. I don’t know how I would have handled it. Probably the wrong way.
Click images for desktop size: “Astro Boy” by Makaski Inc Instead of protecting the kids and not just punishing them we have a stupid congressional investigation.
One the one hand our country is falling apart but we take massive amounts of time and man hours and money to protect our entertainments so that they can be sold more readily to us.
As much as I think that this investigation is wrong headed and not geared to accomplish anything meaningful (There’ll be no penalties for the owners who demanded bigger faster athletes, or to the coaches who turned their eyes away and only viewed the results. There’ll be no lessons for the vulnerable children, there’ll only be Joe McCarthy style headlines for the witch hunters who bring down the biggest stars.) I’ve been following the testimony of Roger Clemens. I would like him to be innocent. I would like to think he did all he has done out of toughness and stubbornness and a lively arm.
After the inept display by congress today I really don’t know. Clearly most of the committee have already made up their minds as to how they’re going to decide and proceed. Most of the questions weren’t fair and slanted in an ugly way.
Henry Waxman is the head of the committee. He was also my congressman for an incredible amount of years. I always thought of him as a Hollywood lobbyist. I voted for him because my unions recommended him. He was the kind of Congressman who sent you a survey at election time so you could tell him what he needed to be doing. It was multiple choice and there was no space to write anything down. You had to put your own stamp on it to mail it in, proof he wasn’t corrupt I guess.
Waxman did not behave very properly I thought. He didn’t keep things smooth and fair in a pursuit of the truth. He accepted things at face value and without a sense of fairness. He let cruel things be said to Clemens, cruel things that were not in pursuit of truth but sounded more like a punter who dropped a hundred bucks on a game Clemens pitched in.
I want Clemens to be drug free. I will be disappointed if he took drugs.
But I don’t think America will be a better or a worse place to live in no matter what he has done.
Click images for desktop size: “Men In Hats” by Dimage I love my dogs.
Out shoveling snow early this morning, a nasty heavy snow with an 3 inch undercurrent of re-freezing slush. I was shoveling because there’s a promise of freezing rain (is that what I thought of as sleet?).
The pups were all out with me, gallivanting and having a wonderful time. The only problem I had with that is that they have to always be within the 3 X 3 area I declare as my personal space.
So fascinated with the idea that I might actually do something interesting that they had to be as close as possible. Clearly I’ve never done much interesting but if I ever should they can’t bear the idea of missing it.
I liked their enthusiastic curiosity, even if it did make a drudge task longer and harder.
While laughing at them dogs made me think of Fifo and the old Fidonet. The fore runner of email.
Back in that ancient time of 14400 baud dial up modems it took a person to set up an electronic Bulletin Board, (BBS). Sometimes they were set up by lonely kids or lonelier men and women, as a way to talk to people somehow. Some guys were a bit more far seeing. The internet didn’t exist but they conceived of an idea to build a network from from the disparate BBS’s.
You joined Fido and your commitment was that you logged in at least 4 times a day and downloaded the Fido Mail. Then I, as a guy who logged into your BBS could go in and pick up my mail . . . at its best this meant I could get an email in less that 4 hours . . . In the days before the Bell break up, before MCI and Sprint this seemed rather incredible. When local calls were always free and snail mail took about a week from NYC and 2 weeks from Europe to get a long letter in four hours for FREE was, well, the start of something bigger.
With the internet came email, which was my personal favorite, and USENET, which I still adore (and enjoy the fact that it is, for the most part, pretty much ignored and neglected) and the WWW. So much information and it was just there. So cool. It was a kid who told me about it, how I could find almost everything on “the web”.
Click images for desktop size: “Old” by Unknown It was easy to imagine a new world, a world with information freely available to anyone, to everyone. All that information naturally led you to an informed opinion.
What goods an opinion unless you can lay it on somebody.
This led to a whole lot of personal “web pages”. Just like in “real life” the opinions expressed were mighty extreme. And it always seemed that the more extreme the stand, the more out there and the insane the logic the more it was supported by links to other web pages written by similarly uneducated people. So you had uneducated distillation of facts being used to support another uneducated illogical distillation of facts where each of these peoples take their opinion and through some alchemy transform their opinions into hard facts.
(I do put a lot of value into education. I have degrees, sure, but mine are in the arts which puts their value, especially when considering complicated matters, slightly below a trade school diploma. In fact I consider that a trade school diploma would be a better investment than an MFA. It takes training of a kind I don’t have to absorb conflicting and sometimes con-contiguous info and pare it down to a single seed of truth. I don’t have it and neither do any of the pandering jerks on TV and radio who sell cock-eyed opinions for sponsorship dollars.)
There was no way to comment on a web page. So the only thing to do was to create your own web page to refute the other guys claims. It was a lot of fun. It got so big that they invented the Web Log, like this one.
With a web log you didn’t have to learn html you just started posting your opinions. And it just keeps growing.
Its freedom. I like that a plenty. You need no credentials you just need to get it out there and you’re on the same footing, the same distribution level as the New York Times. (Same goes for music and books too!)
Click images for desktop size: “Superman” by Jim Lee & DC Comics Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about while I shoveled the snow and watched the dogs while they looked to see if I did anything interesting.
The primaries are sort of drawing to a conclusion.
I didn’t get to vote. I still don’t feel that strongly about anybody running to register with a party. There’s not even anyone I hate enough to vote against them. That is a sorry state of affairs when with all this mess we’re in no one can even rise vitriol. Sorry for me and the country. I’ll vote for the candidates I guess after someone else decides who they should be.
I thought the primary results themselves were pretty interesting, and some of them even horrifying.
Fo the Democrats it looks like a dog fight between Clinton and Obama. You can see how this can only help the super underdog Republicans.
As a guy who once voted for Jerry Brown for Governor and then Mike Curb for Lt Governor I get kind of evilly wry at the idea of a Clinton/Obama ticket. It also seems like a sure loser somehow.
I did notice that in the states Obama won, he won huge – landslide type figures. While where Clinton won she won by decent but hardly overpowering margins (except in New York and Arkansas where she cleaned up big time.)
For me the biggest shock was that Clinton took about 60% of the hispanic vote!
While I find something distasteful about Obama’s plans to handle immigration I find Clinton’s record to be disgusting. Maybe the guys already over the border don’t want anyone else coming cross.
On the Republican side McCain seems like a slightly less evil Bush. I like that he’s despised by for being too moderate a conservative. Only a declared racist idiot like Rush Limbaugh would take someone to task for being rational.
What has to be keeping the Democrats happy is that Huckabee too enough delegates to broker himself a position of power at the Republican convention.
Huckabee seems like a reasonable enough guy. And his opinions aren’t lunacy when applied to a family but they seem mad dog theocracy when you take them and inflict them on a nation, especially a nation so deeply wounded by Bush and these same Republicans.
Huckabee seems one of those things I run into but can respect, a good man with wildly divergent opinions on life.
So that is my wildly uneducated but well informed opinion on the nation’s politics.