It’s All About Privacy

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This week it has been reported that Apple is not giving the federal government access to the iPhone information that one of the terrorists of the San Bernadino attack.  The company is standing firm that there is no back door to the phone’s encrypted information or any software to access it.

I really don’t believe that this is true because all software has ways to get to its data.  I believe that CEO Tim Cook just doesn’t want this door exposed as others may use it in ways not intended.   Of course, the government could just hand the phone over to Apple and have them decrypt the information and then give the government back the phone with unencrypted information.  They really don’t want to do that either as it would still violate the privacy of its customers.

So here we have the clash between national security and privacy.    This could spend a long time in the court system.

Then, there is me.

For those who are regular readers of this blog knows how much trouble I have had with my gmail account and how I have been receiving emails that have not belonged to me.

These emails include such things as names, addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers,  and other information that I would consider personal.

The problem with these emails is that all of them come from companies that I don’t do business with.  The worst thing about all this is the reluctance of these companies to delete my email address off many of these companies’ databases.

Unfortunately, for most of these companies they don’t realize the possible damage done to the intended customer by accidentally releasing personal information to me.  To make matters worse, is that some of these companies blame me for someone else using my email address.

Certainly these companies are clueless regarding how to protect customer information and show a complete disregard to protecting privacy.  In fact, I see no end to receiving emails that don’t belong to me. 

Overall, I feel that Apple should allow the government access to the information on the iPhone without question as in real life, privacy really doesn’t exist.

Just ask me about all the private information about other people that I have accumulated.

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Way Over the Edge

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This week’s post discusses one human and one flag, both of which seems to be getting no respect for reasons that are less than reasonable.

 

First let me start off with the human:  Donald Trump.

 

A couple of weeks ago, Donald seemed to turn the world upside down when he announced his run for the Presidency.  His claim of all Mexicans being bad people who are coming across the border left a firestorm behind as companies started abandoning him everywhere.

 

Let’s look at some of these abandoners:

 

  • NBC television network. Sure the company is still stinging over the whole Brian Williams thing, but by dumping the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants was just totally uncalled for.  It is understandable why “Celebrity Apprentice” was cancelled given that Trump’s run would not be allowed.  However, it should be noted that Al Sharpton, who is employed by sister station MSNBC makes many more inflammatory comments than Donald does, yet Sharpton is still employed.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?
  • Univision television network. They dumped the pageants as well and Trump is suing them for hundreds of millions dollars for backing out of a contract.  While the amount is excessive, my hope is that Trump gets something out of this broken contract besides cancellation.
  • Macy’s. They are going to stop selling Trump clothes and Trump branded beds.  Seriously, as if they really need to get rid of more overpriced merchandise.  Of course, the local Macy’s  has a large number of non-US born employees so I would assume that this is the case nationally, which means they didn’t want to offend all their low wage employees.

 

Overall, nobody likes to hear the truth and Trump is speaking the truth despite how much it really hurts.  It would be nice if the other Presidential candidates would get a backbone and start saying something that they would do if elected to the highest office.

 

Honestly, I like what Trump has to say despite what so many haters don’t like him talking and considering him a “sideshow” or a “clown” – it is the others that are the real clowns.

 

Now onto the non-human:  the confederate flag.

 

Yes, this flag got a lot of attention after pictures surfaced of the church shooter posed with the confederate flag.  As disturbing as it was, the flag quickly sparked outrage by many as to why it is still being displayed anywhere.

 

Yes, this flag does represent a time when the nation was divided and slavery ruled the landscape in the south, but now it seems to be part of the southern culture more as an icon than a remembrance of the past.

 

This is the problem.

 

People have wanted to get rid of flying the flag over the North Carolina capitol building, which the state has been taking a lot heat over.  However, it has gone far beyond that.

 

Now it seems that the flag is not welcome anywhere.  NASCAR wanted people to leave their confederate flags at home or they could trade them in for a US flag at the day of their races, just as an example.

 

But the biggest crossing the line is the removal of the “Dukes of Hazzard” from TV Land as the flag is shown prominently on the show’s General Lee car.  Anybody who ever watched this show would realize that this flag never was part of any storyline that I could remember and was mostly just decoration than used to cause any harm.  Compare this, however, to the extra short shorts that Catherine Bach wore on the show, then we can talk about some possible offensive stuff, otherwise this show was fairly innocent.

 

This brings me to this point:  Where is the line of being offensive and being politically correct drawn?

 

Will every show have to come with a warning of possible offensive material?

 

Will Donald Trump have to be preceded by a notice that he could spew out truths that the world would not like?

 

Will society crumble under political correctness?

 

I may not know the answers to these questions but I do know that I personally will always tell it like it is, both in this blog and my Staples blog.  After all, somebody needs to hear the truth no matter how much it hurts.

My 2015 Commencement Address

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Warning: The following post may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

Welcome folks to my annual commencement address!

 

This year I am not only addressing those graduating school, but I also have some brief advice to others as well.  I am going to do this in a top down fashion starting with those graduating college.

 

Fellow college graduates, you have that wonderful degree that you just received from your favorite school with a degree in Amish electronics.  The problem is now that you have that paper but for some stupid reason you cannot find a job using that degree.

 

Ha!  You just became the victim of going to college and wasting money on a useless degree.  Of course, if Obama has his way, that money you paid for that degree will be forgiven and you will not owe anything for it.  That’s right, friends, get that useless degree and enjoy those years not having to join the workforce.

 

Naturally, you will have to join the workforce at some point.  While places like McDonald’s could be an option that is not what you were going for.  So your only choice is to get some low wage job that you can get, more than likely retail is certainly a fine choice, just like your humble speaker did.

 

Now onto the high school graduates, you are in the pretty much the same boat as the college grads.

 

You have the choice of spending money you don’t have to go to a college for a degree that will be useless in 4 years or so or you can go out and get a real job in the real world with the high school education you have.

 

Naturally, many students are not prepared for college.  I was one of them.  I found myself in trouble very early but I persisted and kept at it until I got my degree after 8 years of going part-time.  I could never get into a work-study program with my major because apparently I was “too rich”.  Seriously, too rich when I was taking out student loans every year to survive, what are they thinking?

 

This brings me to the point of a disclaimer that I have been hearing that “a degree doesn’t guarantee a job”.  It used to be that colleges would offer job placement assistance, now all they do is send you out the door with a “good luck” attitude.  They should just hand you a Walmart name tag at graduation instead.

 

Now for the kids in middle school and elementary school, you are the rebel group.

 

You spend your time with your little smartphones.  You play games, texting, talking to your friends, and using them to help you cheat on tests.  You may also be using them to send out those inappropriate pictures of yourself to your friends and to everyone else in the world as well.  Believe me, I have seen pictures before and the parents should be ashamed of not teaching proper etiquette.  Instead the parents shame their kids on the internet, sometimes with tragic results.  One child just recently committed suicide after being public shamed by their parents.

 

Which finally brings me to the parents and the little babies in their lives; you are the ones who should be acting like grownups here.

 

You opt out of vaccinations because people like Dr. Jenny McCarthy (not a real doctor, by the way) say that they cause autism.  You do other readings from others who echo these false claims.  Sure, you can send your kid to school unvaccinated, but you run the risk of not only having the kid getting sick but also spreading disease to others as well.  I am not just talking about in school, but any public place as well, such as shopping malls, where large numbers of people gather.

 

As livings in one of the states with the highest opt out rates in the country, I am disgusted that such behavior can go on.  When I was young, I could not even go to school unless I brought in proof that I was immunized and then the school secretary called the doctor to verify the information.  Back then, there were very few exceptions and if you didn’t follow the rules, you weren’t allowed to go to school period.  We should go back to those ways when everyone was protected.

 

Now I place the blame for this on parents.  You know you are a bad parent.  You may even be a single parent.  You may be a single mother.  You may not even know who your child’s father is.  You may have even had several children and don’t know who any of the fathers are.  Just watch any of the afternoon TV programs and you will see this played out in all its glory.  Parents need to become more aware of their children and more responsible people.  You are raising the future generation and you only get one chance – don’t screw it up!

 

In conclusion, let me say that society is going to hell fast.  We are all hating each other.  Authorities are not being respected.  People are becoming liars just so that they can get ahead in this world.

 

So people put down your gadgets and look around you.

 

We are becoming a world where nobody likes each other and just want to create chaos everywhere.  Add to this, a President who is out of touch with reality and wants to do nothing to make the world a better place.  I am ashamed of the USA and you should be as well.

 

Remember after 9/11, how we all came together united as one nation.  What happened to that?  Now we are beating each other in the streets, murdering each other, setting fires to local businesses and creating chaos everywhere.

 

This needs to stop today and we need a leader who can bring forth the kind of change that will bring us back to the greatness we once had.

 

Soon, we will be electing a new President.  I recommend that everyone pay close attention to each of the candidates and see how each of them plan on bringing this country back to greatness.

 

After all, we are ONE NATION.  We are AMERICA!

 

You are now free to go and continue to live your lives.

 

Thank you and good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google+ Not a Plus

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As I mentioned in the past, I have had much problem when using Gmail.

 

To refresh your memory, I keep getting email that doesn’t belong to me.

 

Not just an occasional email, but at least one or two per day.

 

It seems that I am always cancelling some Twitter account, a Facebook account, or some adult web site.  Sometimes I even get emails from persons exposing personal information not intended for me.

 

Certainly anybody should be bothered by this.

 

After all, in the wrong hands, identity theft could not only happen but run rampant.

 

The worse thing about this is that the companies that I have contacted stating this is identity theft seems not the least bit concerned that it is even an issue.

 

Have I pricked up your eyes yet to a very bad problem?

 

I should have and the worse thing about it when I contacted Google about it, all I got was an automated message pointing me to how email accounts are handled.

 

This was no help at all and I have been unable to get a REAL PERSON to answer my complaint.

 

We should all be concerned about this as anybody could be affected at any time by emails that don’t belong to them.

 

Now there is another app from Google that we should be worried about and that is Google+.

 

For those who don’t know what Google+ is, it is sort of like Facebook only on a much smaller scale.

 

However, it is on a much scarier scale.

 

While Facebook allows you to have approve friends or allow followers if you want (I don’t allow followers by the way), Google+ allows for friends and acquaintances.

 

The acquaintances better known as circles can be problematic.  These circles are Google’s version of followers.

 

While you can set up notifications to find out when somebody new puts you into their circle, you don’t have the option of deleting them from seeing your life on Google+.  It appears that the only option one has is to either add them to your circle or do nothing.

 

If you haven’t figured this out yet, this could be a MAJOR problem especially if someone puts you into circle that you don’t want to belong.  This is bothersome if someone from your past or currently is a stalker and could possible cause harm to someone.

 

Enter me.

 

Last week, I got an email notification that someone who I knew many years ago (I believe going back to early high school years) has entered me into their circle.  What is bad about this person is that this person is one who once was part of a group back in high school whose only purpose was to perform physical harm to me.

 

Yes, consider this a former bully has returned.  They may not be a bully anymore (I hope), but the mere presence of their name makes me cringe.

 

This is especially true given that their profile is somewhat offensive to me in how they present themselves.

 

But now here is the problem.

 

How can I get rid of this person that I don’t want to see what I post?

 

As far as I can tell, there is absolutely NO way to get rid of somebody or to report the person to be removed for being offensive.

 

I have not contacted Google about this because I know that I will probably get some automated message that has nothing to do with problem and would not offer a solution.

 

So for now, I try not to use Google+ very much as I don’t want this person to know much about me.  Even many years later, this person still scares me especially given that this person still lives less than 20 miles from me.

 

I hope that others take caution from this and be aware that Google+ is not a safe social site and can invite stalkers and bullies into your life.

 

Maybe at some point, Google may change their setup and allow for blocking of inappropriate people or at least the reporting of them.

 

My hope is that Google+ doesn’t become a site for bullying as the other social sites have become especially that this could be avoided there if Google changed their site.

 

For now, take caution if using Google+.

 

As for me, I have more Gmail emails to respond to.

 

Will Google ever get anything right ever?

 

Oh yeah, they do have that search thing that nobody ever uses.

Greater Portland — The Way Life SHOULD NOT Be!

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Last month, Portland Maine legalized the usage of marijuana at least to a limited extent.  As mentioned previously, how this will be handled is yet to be determined.

 

Also last month, South Portland repealed a waterfront ordinance which would have prevented tar sands to be piped in from Canada.  Last night, a packed house of citizens packed city hall meeting of the planning board to express their dissatisfaction with the vote from last month.  After watching this on TV for about an hour last night, I got bored with the same old thing being said over and over.  It was apparent from the occasional “uh-huh” that the planning board was more like the planning bored as well.  The extent of the problem seems to be regarding a new moratorium that the city would like to establish but doesn’t really seem to please the owners of the local oil company.  Gee, any real surprise by that one.  I have the feeling that there will be no moratorium and the public will be shut out of any future discussion as they have already had their vote and repealed the ordinance.  As far as politics is concerned, this issue doesn’t seem to warrant any second chances.

 

Now for the biggest political offender of them all that occurred yesterday.  Scarborough Maine decided to repeal a dog leash ordinance which would have forced dog owners to have their dogs on leashes at all times within city limits except for designated areas to be named in the future.  Like in South Portland, the signs were overwhelmingly in favor of the repeal.  And the signs were everywhere.  You could not drive around Scarborough without seeing the signs of repeal.

 

This referendum was in response to the town responding to a $12,000 fine imposed by the federal government after a plover was killed in its nesting area by a dog loose on the local beach.  The fine was reduced to $500 as long as the ordinance passed.  However, given its failure and the cost of $4,000 for the election the town may be on the hook for as much as $16,000 because of what a loose dog did.

 

Personally, I believe that dogs should be on a leash at all times.  Just because a dog is said to be friendly and won’t hurt anybody doesn’t mean that it really is.  Just because its owner says that he/she responds to voice commands doesn’t necessarily mean that it really does.  Just like people, dogs will do what they want to anybody at any time even without warning

 

Just as an example, quite a few years ago, I was walking down a neighborhood street when a dog darted out of a yard and started charging after me.  I ran away off that street as fast as I could.  However, the owners of the dog made NO attempt to call the dog off or go after it.  Instead the owners just sat on their porch laughing as the dog continued to chase me.  It is this type of irresponsibility that will occur as the ordinance passed in Scarborough allows dogs not to be leashed at any time.  That is until a new ordinance is drawn up restricting loose dogs in the town.  In fact, yesterday while I was out in Scarborough at a local shopping area, I saw a loose dog with its presumably owner about 10 feet behind the dog.  I believe that there will be a lot more of this in the town because the idiots of Scarborough voted the wrong way.

 

Just like South Portland and Portland did a month before.  Welcome to the new way of how life should NOT be!

 

Is Technology Bringing Fear to America?

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Editor’s Note:  I am putting this post in all my blogs this week as I feel it is important for all to read.

 

Yesterday I was asked on one of the social media sites that I belong to the following question:  Could you live without my cellphone?

My answer was that I didn’t have one nor will I ever will.

Almost immediately after that I received a comment from someone who I never knew who gave the one word response “lame”.  At this point I realized that this person was being offensive and showing their obsession with the technology all in one word.  I decided to delete this comment without any further thought about it.

This brings me to the point of this post:  Is technology bringing the fear to America?

I believe the answer is simply “yes”.  I have a few examples in the last week that proves this idea.

 

Point # 1:

I believe that if people were paying more attention last week during the Boston Marathon somebody, anybody would have seen the two guys drop their knapsacks near the garbage cans.  I think people were so obsessed with either using their phones to film the people that nobody ever looked around to see what was happening behind them.  All these people seemed so obsessed with what was going on in front of them that they were not paying attention to what was happening around them.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, people on cellphones don’t pay attention period.  This is part of the reason why I don’t own one.  I want to pay attention to what is around me.  I want to experience the world and not just keeping people posted on my doings on Twitter and Facebook.

It seems that the only camera that caught the criminals in the act was a store surveillance camera or at least that is all the FBI is saying they have used.

 

Point # 2

The stock exchange experienced a minor flash crash last week after a posting from Twitter of an attack on the White House.  This was posted from a hacked AP account.  Of course, nobody checked any other sources to verify this information and took it as fact and the stock market dropped by 150 points in less than 5 minutes.  This leads to the point of should people rely on one place like Twitter to receive their news when there are many other reputable sources of information.  Did anyone not think of checking at least one other source?  It is sad to think that so many people rely on only source. It is funny how technology can do so much damage so fast.

 

Point # 3

Last week Congress rejected the expansion of the background checks for gun purchases.  What are they afraid of?  Being rejected by a system which would prove them incompetent of owning a gun or do they just want to make the NRA happy while causing anger to those who have lost family members especially at Sandy Hook.  A system that should be used to protect people is being ignored and not expanded is not the way to go.  The NRA is just allowing those who shouldn’t own guns to purchase them under the table with no oversight.

 

Point # 4

Going job hunting?  Filling out that job application now is basically a futile attempt online by dealing with a process that is usually less than satisfying.  Since more and more companies are going this route, the application process gets longer and longer and seems to be more of a personality test than a job application.  What is worse about this is that many times rejection happens instantaneously and sometimes a few hours/days go by before that rejection happens.  Nonetheless the rejection usually happens if you don’t meet company criteria to the letter.  Never an interview and never anybody ever sees the application.  Only the computer sees your application and they are not the best judge of your character.

 

In conclusion, people are obsessed with their phones and not paying attention to the real world therefore allowing those that can create harm to do their duty with nobody looking.

 

People trust unreliable sources thus causing panic when it should not exist.  Double checking information with someplace else would alleviate this problem.

 

Fear of somebody’s past should not be the basis to reject expanding background checks or prevent somebody from getting a job.  Sadly it seems that a deeper background check is done on potential employees than is done on gun sales.  Does this mean that we can trust people with a gun, but we can’t trust them with our money?  Sounds like misplaced priorities to me.

 

Overall, the fear in America is created by the technology that controls our lives.  We should control it and not have it control us.  Now is the time for people to put down their phones and look at the reality around them.  Otherwise the fear will grow worse and much deeper.

 

 

 

My Apology for the Week

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With so much that has happened this week, I have decided not to do any postings this week.  I decided instead of making any speculations about any of the events that have happened in the past week to just wait until we have more facts about what happened.  I plan on returning to my regular blog schedule next week assuming that there are no worldly events that make that difficult.

 

I recommend that everyone get information about the current goings-on from as many sources as possible to get a clear picture of what is going on.  As I have seen myself, some of the information is conflicting from source to source.

 

Thank you for your understanding and let us pray for all the victims of all that has happened in the past few days.

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