Can We Live On?

Morning my friends….it is a Sunday and my final day of rest and relaxation….I shall spend some time in the orchard and the garden today….a back to nature sort of thing….

We all have seen the movies where our “essence” is downloaded into an android or some such and in the movie things go horribly wrong and the world ends….and then is resurrected as a zombie movie of some sort…..

Some of us scoff at the idea of such a download…..but is it ever going to be a thing?

“Imagine scanning your Grandma’s brain in sufficient detail to build a mental duplicate. When she passes away, the duplicate is turned on and lives in a simulated video-game universe …. herself as the same person that she always was, with the same memories and personality — the same consciousness — transferred to a well regulated nursing home and able to offer her wisdom to her offspring forever after. And why stop with Granny? You could have the same afterlife for yourself in any simulated environment you like. But even if that kind of technology is possible, and even if that digital entity thought of itself as existing in continuity with your previous self, would you really be the same person?” (07/14/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/what-a-digital-afterlife-would-be-like/491105/

Personally, I would like to have my essence downloaded….for no other reason than it would be time spent with my granddaughter and possibly her granddaughter…..

How about you?

That is my post for the day….please go out and enjoy the rest of your weekend….we can return to our normal stuff tomorrow…..

What The Hell Happened?

2016 was an election about change….a funny topic because Americans do not want change……it was a primary season about the rise of the outsiders….

We have a 3 branch system of government…..a great idea…but unfortunately ours does NOT work and has NOT worked for decades.

It’s 2020, four years from now. The campaign is under way to succeed the president, who is retiring after a single wretched term. Voters are angrier than ever—at politicians, at compromisers, at the establishment. Congress and the White House seem incapable of working together on anything, even when their interests align. With lawmaking at a standstill, the president’s use of executive orders and regulatory discretion has reached a level that Congress views as dictatorial—not that Congress can do anything about it, except file lawsuits that the divided Supreme Court, its three vacancies unfilled, has been unable to resolve.

On Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan resigned after proving unable to pass a budget, or much else. The House burned through two more speakers and one “acting” speaker, a job invented following four speakerless months. The Senate, meanwhile, is tied in knots by wannabe presidents and aspiring talk-show hosts, who use the chamber as a social-media platform to build their brands by obstructing—well, everything. The Defense Department is among hundreds of agencies that have not been reauthorized, the government has shut down three times, and, yes, it finally happened: The United States briefly defaulted on the national debt, precipitating a market collapse and an economic downturn. No one wanted that outcome, but no one was able to prevent it.

Source: How American Politics Became So Ineffective – The Atlantic

So the question remains…what the Hell happened?

That one is easy to analyze…..

Trumpism may have parallels in populist, nativist movements abroad, but it is also the culmination of a proud political party’s steady descent into a deeply destructive and dysfunctional state.

While that descent has been underway for a long time, it has accelerated its pace in recent years. We noted four years ago the dysfunction of the Republican Party, arguing that its obstructionism, anti-intellectualism, and attacks on American institutions were making responsible governance impossible. The rise of Trump completes the script, confirming our thesis in explicit fashion.

Source: The Republicans waged a 3-decade war on government. They got Trump. – Vox

And then some say it has been a 50 year struggle for the GOP…..a struggle to change the very definition of “American Values”……

The current U.S. presidential election cycle may seem over the top. But in one important way, it is no different than any other over the past several decades. Since the 1970s, presidential candidates running under the Republican ticket have successively shifted further and further to the political right. How many times have we heard—or said—that George W. Bush made Richard Nixon look like a liberal?

The rightward political shift is no accident. Since the end of World War II, far-right conservatives and libertarians have patiently laid the groundwork for a national climate receptive to their ideals of weak government and a strong corporate presence.

Source: The far-right’s 50-year project to transform American values with a clandestine ‘counterrevolution’

Now look at this country and what is happening…..the country is so divided that nothing gets accomplished….it is a program that will change nothing…..a program that will eventually destroy this country from the inside.

(I know it is a lot to take in…but it is worth reading all the links…that is if you see there is something wrong with this country….if not then return for the search for Pokemon).

Terrorism: A Defining Moment

Not a subject that many want to read about these days…..but what the Hell…………

I have been blogging for 10 years….nope does not make me some sort of expert…..just that is a long time to suffer from the regurgitation of the uninformed……if I see crap I have to say something……

Terrorism…speaking of crap.  I have decided to white a white paper on terrorism….there is enough misinformation…..I will be writing a series on the subject……

I have been writing about terrorism since the mid-70’s when there was a rash of plane hijackings and now with the threat of terrorism an ever present threat it has gotten no easier.

When you try to help people understand most times you will run into a brick wall…..first when one tries to analyze the situation in a rational thought provoking way you will inevitably be resisted by those that feel that you are giving  some sort of aid and comfort to the enemy….and sometimes you are accused of having sympathy for those that commit these acts of barbarity.  These days terms like “politically correct” or “apologist” are the most common.

The problem is to most this is not a serious problem that needs to be understood….but rather a chance to pile lots of info that has been arrived at from some bias or another….

Even with all the resistance people like me still continue to inform and analyze…..most of us write off the resistance to ignorance.

Since the attacks of 9/11 the country has been obsessed with the defeat of terrorism…..there is one problem with that cute slogan…..terrorism is a tactic not an entity….we cannot defeat a tactic…..all we can do is learn about the tactic and use knowledge to lessen the effectiveness……

The definition of terrorism is all over the map….there is NO one acceptable definition…..what works for the military is not so straight forward when the PD gets a hold of it…..and then there are the public voices…these people have NO idea of what the definition is….they work off emotional rhetoric not facts.

Let’s begin with the definition of terrorism…..it is not as simple as that….examples below…….

State Department definition, Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 38, Section 2656f(d)(2): “Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

FBI definition: “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Defense Department definition: “The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.” (JP 3-07.2)

My definition is “Propaganda By Deed”…..simple huh?

Those are the definitions that different agencies work off in this country…..but what about internationally?

United Nations Definition:

“…any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.”

As you can see just defining terrorism is a problem and yet someone wants to defeat a tactic……

But for such a widely used word, there’s actually no single definition of what “terrorism” means. There are many, and often, they’re incompatible.

Not only is the public confused about what to call “terrorism” — the U.S. government is as conflicted as anyone.

Then there is the color code for the chance of terrorism….

But for those that are not afraid of learning then maybe this article will be interesting than my rattling…..

Ramadan has ended peacefully with no ‘terrorist’ attacks in SA but is it safe to go out? Reports of ‘terror attacks during Ramadan’ in South Africa initiated by the US State Department sent waves of confusion and concern throughout the country.

The warning stated that ‘the government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town’.

Source: Media Review Network » Riaz Gardee: Defining Terrorism

Turn The Page!

“Onward Christian Soldiers?”

After the horrible and deadly attack on the police in Dallas and then on the police in Baton Rouge there has been a wealth of accusations by some on the Right mostly those without a brain, that all that was made possible by the #Black Lives Matter movement….and some have even stated that there is a hatred and a desire to kill all police….

Usually it is the same people that hate anyone with a brown skin….but make sure to note that they are not racists……blog after blog have tried to convince everyone who will try and read their crap that this is systematic of the black mentality….But I cannot blame them for I realize that they are incapable of having more than one thought at a time….much less writing about something else.

But have any of these “well informed” morons mentioned this incident? Or these people?

Nine people federal prosecutors say belong to a “Christian warrior” militia were accused Monday of plotting to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer and then attack other police at the funeral.

Six Michigan residents, two residents of Ohio and an Indiana resident were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena announced.

Source: ‘Christian warrior’ militia accused in plot to kill police – CNN.com

Where’s the outrage for this group planning to kill as many police as possible?  Oh that’s right they are white and claim to be Christian….my bad.

Don’t look for these white racist to admit that it is all just different domestic terrorists doing this……it has nothing to do with anything but HATE and BIGOTRY!

From Red Scares to Orange Alerts

The most recent violence in Dallas has started the whole debate about the modern American police state…..plus all the deaths of civilians at the hands of the police……I have written about the militarization of the police forces in the past…..but I do enjoy my historic perspectives….

I found an excellent paper written for the Foundation of Economic Education on the subject……

By focusing on counter-subversion rather than rolling back the state, Cold War conservatism consolidated the imperial military establishment and laid the foundations for a domestic garrison state.

Following World War II, there was no general demobilization in the United States — something that had never happened before in the nation’s history. In 1947, Congress passed the National Security Act, which created the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and created the framework for a permanent, globe-spanning military establishment under the aegis of what was now called the Department of Defense. Five years later, the National Security Agency, which originated as the US Army’s Cipher Bureau and Military Intelligence Branch in World War I, was given institutional permanence as well.

Source: From Red Scares to Orange Alerts: How the Cold War Launched the Modern American Police State | Foundation for Economic Education

All I ask is that this article is read with an open mind……that may be an impossible task sometimes…but please try…..

Why I Hate Blogger

I have been blogging for damn near 10 years and most of it has been here on WordPress….I originally started my blog on the popular site Blogger but then it was titled “Studies And Observations”….I was never happy over there…..something felt hinky with the site….I got lots of hits a day but seldom any comments….I found out later that a lot of those hits were from some “bot”….not real people at all…..

After about a year I switched to WP and have never looked back……so when I read some news the other day I told myself that my gut reaction was spot on……let others know that may be bouncing between the two…..

Artist Dennis Cooper made a horrifying discovery June 27: His 14-year-old blog—the sole home of his writing, research, photographs, and more—was gone, Art Forum reports. According to Fusion, Cooper’s blog was hosted by Google-owned Blogger. In addition to his blog, Google also deactivated his gmail account, which held his contacts and gig offers, the Guardian reports. The only explanation Google gave Cooper, who considers his blog a “serious work of mine,” was a stock message that he was in “violation of the terms of service agreement.” “I can’t even get a response from them or anything,” Cooper says. “I have no idea why they did it or what’s going on.” Google tells Fusion it’s “aware of this matter” but wouldn’t comment any further.

Cooper, the author of a number of acclaimed novels, isn’t even sure if his work is still out there somewhere. He’s considering suing Google to get the answer. “This will not be easy for me for the obvious reasons, but I’m not going to just give up 10 years of my and others’ work without doing everything possible,” he tells Art Forum. The incident is raising concerns among the art community about the power Google and other corporations now have to control artistic voices. “I think this is definitely censorship. The problem is nobody knows what the specific issue is and certainly Dennis has posted images that one might find troubling,” Stuart Comer, curator at MoMA, tells the Guardian. All Cooper knows is that other artists need to learn from him and “back everything up.” “Obviously I’m a living example of not to be blind like that and think that everything is hunky dory.”

If you like your hard work then……DO NOT TRUST BLOGGER!

The Dying Symbol Of Suburbia

It is my favorite time of the week….the weekend when I get to spend some quality time with my family…..I try to find something to write about that may not be common knowledge…..since readership is usually down on the weekends….I try to entertain….

I remember in my youth the big plan for city dwellers was to move to suburbia so their kids will have a yard to play in and not the street….but once we moved we were told that the lawn was a status symbol and if we must play then do it in the street…….growing up I earned summer cash by cutting lawns….with a push mower that I had to keep blades sharp so it would cut the grass and not bruise it…..

And this is where I pick up the post….lawns…..

“It’s kind of like the American dream has changed,” a real estate broker tells the Boston Globe, which reports that US lawns are in danger of disappearing. According to the Atlantic, the average home size has increased about 50% since the 1970s to 2,500 square feet. Meanwhile, the average yard size has shrunk by more than a quarter. The fact that the average lot size has shrunk 400 square feet in the past five years alone isn’t helping. “They want more house,” a developer tells the Globe. “They’re looking for more square footage. They don’t care as much about the yard.” There are any number of reasons for the shift: developers maximizing profit, dwindling undeveloped land, a move back toward city centers, people spending less time outside, environmental concerns, etc.

The Atlantic calls the endangerment of the American lawn a “sinister” development. “What does the United States stand for, if not the right to a fertile, springy carpet of turf thicker than the Bradys’ wall-to-wall shag?” it wonders. And the Atlantic isn’t alone in its concern. While people are happily sacrificing their own lawns for more square-footage, their neighbors feel like those disappearing lawns are partly theirs. “We used to look out on the grass,” a woman tells the Globe after an old home nearby was replaced with a larger one. “Now we look at a wall.” “If you let it get eaten away by little pieces, then we’re not living in our beautiful Winchester anymore,” says another woman unhappy with a nearby expanding home.

Geez, what will all those “lawn care specialist” do?  Me?  I could care less these days…if it dies so much the better…..there is always green paint.