Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cherokee

I visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation near Asheville, North Carolina this fall. I was in the area.  I intended to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It starts in Cherokee, North Carolina.

The lady at the info center there told me it was closed due to forest fires, which turned out not to be true, but I ended up loitering around in Cherokee, doing some Christmas shopping for the better part of the day.

I was also curious, because I know that at least in the past some very distant cousins were Cherokee.  While I was there I actually found a register of Cherokee people in the gift shop of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and I discovered that my relatives were in the western reservation in Oklahoma, at least back in the 1920's.  They weren't in North Carolina.  

There are a lot of touristy shops there, and a gambling casino.  A lot of the shops are not run by Cherokees and a lot of the merchandise is not local, though you can find a bit of local craft work.

I did learn to recognize the local people.  They seemed to be predominantly of mixed race, part white, often obese -- but, mostly, they seemed weighed down with great sadness.

It makes a lot of sense that they should be sad.  Their history is tragic.  If you go to the museum of the Cherokee Indian you see that.  The museum really emphasizes the huge loss of life, territory, and culture that these people suffered.

Yet, I saw men, very gently, and sensitively teaching white tourist children to do Cherokee dances.

Coincidentally, in my social activities here in NY, I met a fellow who turned out to be Cherokee -- and related to people on that reservation in North Carolina.  When I first met him, I was puzzled, because I thought, by his coloring, that he looked Italian.  Yet, his name didn't sound at all Italian, and his mannerisms seemed very different from those of typical Italian Americans I have met.  He was more reserved, hesitant.

And, there was a sense of sadness about him.   He was very nice -- gentle, chivalrous -- and very muscular and handsome. I didn't learn he was Cherokee until about six months later.  Then it all made sense.  He wasn't Italian American at all.

I'm still thinking about his eyes -- haunting, deep eyes.

Researchers have found that we inherit epigenetic trauma memories from our forebears. Those sad eyes might actually be watching loved ones drop dead in forced marches -- enormous territories stolen and occupied -- the memories still as fresh as if they had happened yesterday in stead of over a hundred years ago.

It's a lot for a young man to be carrying.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Is Family Planning Responsible for the Election of Donald Trump?

Is Family  Planning Responsible for the Election of Donald Trump?

I’ve always been an advocate of family planning. I used contraceptives for years during sexual encounters until I got married and had 2 kids. 

Those kids turned out to have Asperger’s Syndrome.  I later learned that older fathers (my ex was 36 and 39 at their conception) and older grandfathers (my father was 40 when I was conceived) are more likely to have kids with these disorders, along with ADHD — which my younger one also has —and bipolar disorder.

When I learned about this connection between older fathers and mental health, I started questioning the thinking I had about when to have children.

However, I’m now seeing something else.

I’ve been taking acting and improv comedy lessons in New York City.  I’ve been meeting a large number of really wonderful young adults.  These people have completed college.  They are intelligent, idealistic, creative, and likable.  They are making a choice to pursue a dream in acting.  This might not be a lucrative pursuit, but it’s an admirable pursuit. Yes, most of them will give up and go into something else, but not without first having learned a great deal about themselves and others — and also having likely met the person of their dreams in an acting or improv class.

But many of these people are not so very, very young.  They are often in their thirties. 

When these wonderful young people start talking about why they haven’t had children, they will often say that they don’t think they could be good parents.

I try to explain that the brain goes through neurological changes in once you’re a parent and you become a good parent, because of those changes, but, seeing as they haven’t experienced that, they can’t have confidence in it.

It recently struck me that the people who are having children are all the wrong people. These are people who aren’t responsible enough to use birth control. These are people who aren’t responsible enough to question whether they can be good parents.  These are people who see someone attractive, and then rush into unprotected sex.

When I talk, particularly to women, about what they like about Donald Trump — something I don’t understand, given the many stories of his being sexually abusive to women — I sense between the lines that they find him cute.  He is cute.  That isn’t often discussed. 

Alpha males, and he is an alpha male. have a certain braggadocio, a certain swagger, a certain way of smiling that just make them irresistible for straight women.  It’s hard to understand.  These men are often total jerks.  BUT they’re cute. 

In Trump’s case, the aura of wealth and power makes him even more attractive. Those things do attract women. Women instinctively want to be near someone who has that.

Those same characteristics tend to make beta males and lesbians hate alpha males, but then they’re really jealous.

This is iMHO, all biology.

It appears, from what I can tell about the men who voted for Trump, that other alpha males respect other alpha males.  They get a kind of catharsis from hearing him express their rage.

So he can’t speak coherently; he doesn’t understand foreign policy; he is operating businesses in conflict of interest with his position as President; the whole Russia and obstruction of justice thing; contractors complain that he doesn’t pay debts; women and girls complain that he has sexually assaulted them; he reveals classified information; he doesn’t understand or respect the constitution; etc — so what? If all you care about is that he’s cute and alpha, then you vote for him.

These are just the sort of people who don’t use family planning.  These are just the sort of people who are likely the children of people who don’t use family planning. 

Very unsettling to me, as an advocate of family planning: my attitude may be anti-Darwinian.  Family planning may be dumbing down the human race.

So, please, if you think you aren’t good enough to be a parent, re-think.  You are precisely the person who should be a parent, because you care.  No parent is perfect.  No parent fails to make mistakes. No parent fails to induce neuroses in their children.  Please stop leaving the business of having children to people who don’t care.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ransomeware attacks

So there was a massive worldwide ransomeware attack, holding computers hostage, demanding money.

The malware is alleged to have originated in North Korea, exploiting vulnerabilities uncovered using hacking software developed by the US government, and leaked. 

Microsoft was aware of these vulnerabilities and issued patches, but many users, especially non-USA users did not install the patches.

Why don't people install patches?

My experience is that every software update introduces new bugs.  Moreover, the operating system becomes more and more bulky and runs slower and slower until the one has to upgrade one's computer in order to get a reasonable response time.

I feel this gradual creep of the operating systems to be bulkier and bulkier is a form of planned obsolescence to force users to buy new hardware -- a type of conspiracy against the consumer.

I would like to see the FTC and various state consumer protection offices investigating this phenomenon.

Similarly, online adhesion contracts become unreasonably long, so that it is unreasonable to expect that users have read them prior to installing software updates.

Software updates necessary for security should not cause the performance of the computer to deteriorate.  Adhesion contracts should have page limits.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

meme about Trump Russia and real estate

Sorry I've doing this a lot, but it seems important.  I didn't write this.  This is a copied meme.

Tonight another story links POTUS to Russia's dirty underbelly.

Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara was investigating a case in which big ticket properties in Manhattan were being purchased by Russian investors with possible links to decades old tax corruption scandals. In the midst of his investigations, he was told to resign by President Trump. At the time it seemed like a preemptive house-clearing of Obama appointees, not surprising after the judiciary blowback regarding the White House's half-cocked attempts at religious profiling hiding unironically under the veil of immigration reform.

Now the motives seem more connected to the Russian election corruption investigation than ever, as news comes out that a key witness to the Bharara investigation plunged from the fifth floor of his apartment building in Russia. So many Kremlingates to keep track of, right?

America, wake up. This is no longer about the knee-jerk reaction of the left to the election. Where do you want to remember standing when it became inarguable that our administrative branch was being headed by a halfwit who has only the interests of his Russian backers at heart? Take your Republican hat off. Hell, take your Libertarian, Green Party, or whatever other hat off - and start thinking like a patriot. Call your representatives and voice your fears and ask them to make public their support of any investigations into the Russia link to POTUS. If it's all smoke, what do you or they have to lose?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Yet another meme -- about Trump lying

I did not write this.  I copied it from someone else

Remember when the so-called President said he was going to donate his salary? Well he just accepted his second paycheck.
Remember when he said Mexico was going to pay for the wall? He has asked Congress to appropriate the $25 billion of taxpayer money to cover costs.
Remember when he said he was going to divest from his businesses? Changed his mind.
Remember when he said he was going to release his tax returns? Changed his mind.
Remember when he said he wasn't going to go on vacation or play golf? 5 of the last 7 weekends he went on vacation and played golf, costing taxpayers $11.1 million.
Remember when he said he was going to use American steel to build these dangerous pipelines? Russian steel arrived last week for the Keystone Pipeline XL.
Remember when he said would defeat ISIS in 30 days? He still doesn't even have a plan.
Remember when he said he was going to appropriate money to HBCUs? He lied to get a photo-op.
Remember when he said he was going to drain the swamp of Washington insiders? His cabinet is filled with lobbyists, oil and Wall Street executives.
Remember when he said he wasn't going to cut social security and Medicare? The Republican bill does just this.
Remember when he said that nobody on his campaign has any communications with Russian govt? 7 of his people have now admitted they spoke and/or met with Russian officials, after they lied and got caught.
Remember when he said that the Obamacare replacement would cover more people at lower cost? The AHCA that the GOP and 45 are now pushing; they now admit will cover fewer people at a higher cost.
Share so everyone can remember what a liar this so-called president (45) truly is.
And please don't tell me about something Obama did or try to live on the margins of his statements to spin it.
He is a liar and I'm at a loss why the Democrats don't shout it from the mountain top with a bullhorn 24 hours a day.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Meme about Trump

 I did not write this. This is a meme. I copied it

Someone else's response to a post, too accurate and well written not to share

Ladies and gentlemen,

The dismantling of the United States Government is happening right before our eyes.  It cannot be denied. The current president has appointed virtually every director to oversee departments for which they have clearly demonstrated an aggression towards.  The healthcare plans for millions are soon to evaporate just so millionaires and corporations can get more tax breaks.

The EPA, Energy, Education, Health and Human Services, Justice and State Departments - ALL of these departments are currently headed by people who have stated a willingness to either destroy the department, or severely disable its ability to function as designed.  This is the goal of the Trump Administration - to destroy government as we know it - including those programs for which millions of people have come to depend upon.

Additionally, this President refuses to release his tax returns which speaks volumes. Who is he indebted to, and why?  What concessions will he make to those debt holders as President of the United States in exchange for leniency, or complete absolution of his debts?

He will disparage virtually any person on the earth who disagrees with him, to include world leaders EXCEPT Vladimir Putin. In fact, this president has praised Putin many times over - a man who has had people killed to further his stranglehold on Russian power.

Further, this president has leveled serious charges about many issues - illegal wire tapping, voter fraud, Muslim crime, and much more - without providing a scintilla of evidence to prove his claims.

This president has surrounded himself with known white supremacists and nationalists - people whose worldview excludes virtually anyone who isn't white.  These people, with offices adjacent to the Oval Office are shaping government policy at present.  He regularly watches rightwing news reports then tweets about those reports as if they are fact, when all evidence proves otherwise.

This president's representatives have zero problem going on television to spew the latest propaganda, "alternative facts," and outright lies, to deflect their culpability, and that of this administration, in wrongdoing on a scale for which will likely be mind-blowing if ever we, as a country, are afforded the whole truth.

Throughout all this, the Republican Party has remained virtually silent, going about their day intent upon ignoring the voice and will of the majority as they work in concert to assist in the destruction of 70+ years of progressive change.

The Party of family values, "Freedom," and the Constitution - the Party who claims the United States military veteran is as revered as the god they claim to serve, shows us all on a daily basis this is all hyperbole.  For the facts truly show, this Republican Party is hell-bent on hurting the average American much more than they are concerned with doing anything which would make their lives easier to live.  Their followers claim the Democratic Party is "just as bad," and yet, I cannot remember a time in my lifetime where millions worried as much about their futures under any Democratic president, as they do today, in 2017. The Democrats have their problems, but they hardly compare to what we have under Republican rule.

It's a false equivalency to claim that Hillary Clinton would have us in a similar situation. The facts do not bear this out.  While Hillary may have her own problems with many trusting her, legitimately or not, she hardly compares to the freewheeling, dangerous, and dictatorial Narcissist-in-Chief currently dismantling the country - a man who tweets inflammatory things on a daily basis as a means to distract the public from the real stories he is involved in.

Donald J. Trump does not serve every American.  In fact, he serves few.  He is an oligarch whose mission is to further enrich himself, and those like him.  He has not given a day in his life in the complete service of others but has only dedicated his life to growing his vast empire through screwing over contractors, vendors, and workers who have contributed to his success.  The records clearly show this.  In fact, the federal government, in the 1970s, filed suit against Trump for discriminations in rental practices, for he would not rent apartments to black people.  He is a criminal who recently paid $25 million dollars to settle his Trump University fraud case - these things without a conviction of wrongdoing, as any average citizen would most surely have received for doing the same.

He has mocked handicapped people and disparaged prisoners of war. He claims to stand for all women, even though he has been caught on audio admitting to assaulting unsuspecting women by grabbing their genitalia.  He has bragged about trying to have sex with other women while he was married. He has verbally and publicly attacked virtually every woman who has claimed assault against him.  I could go on and on.

Folks, I truly believe we, as a country, are at a crossroads.  Good, decent, honest and intelligent people can either fall victim to the bullying tactics of the Trump followers, and fall in line behind them, or we can question every damn thing this president, and his administration does where our freedoms, rights, and Constitutional protections are being trampled upon and obliterated.

It is past time to RISE UP, SPEAK OUT and FIGHT - for our country, for our rights, for our children and grandchildren, AND our planet!  For if we allow the Alt-Right, and those who are blinded to the evil clutches of authoritarianism and white supremacy to reign supreme upon this land, it will likely be centuries until we can recover, if ever.

The Republican Party and Donald J. Trump have clearly demonstrated their affinity for helping the rich continue to grow their wealth, at the expense of the rest of us, and the planet in which we live.  Today, more than ever, we need to send a loud and sustained message to these people that WE are the true power in this country and we will not let them destroy it any longer.

Please join me.  Do not normalize this man, nor his administration. NOTHING currently occurring in government is normal.  Question everything.  Fight back.  #Resist.

SHARE at will, everywhere and anywhere.