“The revolution will not be typeset” -Johannes Gutenberg

November 5, 2013

https://i2.wp.com/cogweb.ucla.edu/Restoration/Images/Typesetting.gif

In the second month of 2012 Rob Clarfeld wrote a brief article discussing the life-altering book “Altas Shrugged”. And while I both admire the book and feel that Clarfeld missed the personal responsibility aspect of the work; I was presented with another piece to a puzzle I have long contemplated. It’s not selfishness that drives John Galt, but rather personal responsibility. He is beholden to no man. When Dagny Taggart is injured and cared for she expects to pay for the medical attention she receives. It presents the attitude that one will carry their own weight and make their own way, without reliance on others. It is not the avoidance of the complex of realities, but about the defining of a simpler one. My father always told me to get my foot in the door of a corporation in order to change it. I have found that the better way is to start a corporation as I wish it to run.

Speaking of which who was John Gault? He is a man who in 1862 printed his own money when it was not illegal ( See http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/why-you-cant-mint-a-dime-2)

Two years ago I was given the opportunity to contribute to the Occupy Boston Newsletter. Although I never contributed much of anything I found myself privy to the workings of a movement, that some people still dismiss and are simply unable to comprehend. The passion was there. The insight was there. Yet nothing was demanded of me, more than I was willing to give. Every now and again I would offer some small bit of operational input; and eventually they produced and gave birth to – a newsletter (http://is.gd/FBjcdw).

Anonymous is a loosey goosey group of hacktivists who take on the likes of The Church of Scientology, the Westboro Baptist Church, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Sony. They have rocked the normal world with their brazen attack on thoughts and actions existing only in cyberspace. Oversimplification of anti-establishment sentiment has been culled into a single mask popularized by the film “V for Vendetta”. And now, amidst infighting and wild speculation of action and inaction they have come to the pinnacle that all movements do – a newsletter (http://is.gd/cQLNsn).

These two organizations have given light to the social unrest that plagues our daily lives and injustices that contribute to our dissatisfaction. Yet, they believe that words “still always retain their power”. On the eve of many Million Masks Marches Anonymous chooses to put out….a newsletter.

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I guess my outrage is the stagnation of realization. Everyone talks in loud voices about the necessity of something more than verbiage and vocalization. Yet sedition and action of dissent is outlawed and are socially verboten. Years ago I belonged to the now defunct Internet Party. Thousands of discussions and votes on controversial legislation passed through it. Witnessing these arguments I would oft interject with the phrase, “so what’s the first step?”

Every time I was met with silence.

The need for a newsletter ultimately boggles my mind. The time for talk. Is. Over.

And has been.

Mipples in the Rirror

March 17, 2013

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In all it’s glorious forms the Internet has devolved into people who don’t want to know they are alive. Companies now pretending that character is of the new God-skill, unobtanium,Six Sigma, deciding factor in hiring, have warned that they scrutinize potential candidates social media networks for signs of irregularities. So if you drink, smoke, use bad language, wear mismatching socks or have halitosis – no job for you.

Reference 1, Reference 2, Reference 3

Because as we all know people in corporate positions are nothing but morally rich and socially responsible.

(See The Corporate Scandal Sheet)

Recently I saw a disclaimer on a friend’s Facebook (paraphrasing) – “Please do not post any bad comments, swearing or any sexually-related anecdotes. No photos or memes related to anything inappropriate.” It went on for six or seven additional sentences. Unable to resist I commented, “Please do not post any drug references or any personal anecdotes relating to my personal past.”  I was contacted a few minutes later via IM that they didn’t like my comment, despite it’s obvious re-enforcement of the sentiment. They asked that I delete it. I did. I also unfriended them after nineteen years of knowing them and eighteen years of not talking to them. Shortly after I deleted my Facebook page.
BTW NOT being on Facebook can make employers “suspicious” of you.

(See Suspicious)

While the notion that our Puritanical beginnings have been left on the decks of the Mayflower may seem vivid as we Twitter, I Googled the following “the cost of sending naked pictures“. Trying to find some real impact to the sending, receiving and creating naked pictures of my body. I found lots of moral arguments (again), amidst demotions and regrets. In the name of appearance, action was once again taken to show that the police, a judge, some ex- somewhere are truly moral and just people. Yet the object in that last sentence is missed completely – people. People are, as Bill Hicks put it, “a virus with shoes”.

Allow me to tell you what I am really thinking. American is a nation of emotionally immature people that, when they see a naked body, are unable to deal with their reaction. It doesn’t happen in Europe, at pagan gatherings, or when you arrive in the world because IT’S NO BIG FUCKING DEAL. 

“But Jim, your Facebook page is still up.” Why, yes dear reader, it’s still up because I was talking about my alter ego.” I am not real. I am fake. Making a quiet migration from persona to persona to avoid any real responsibility or repercussion of my true, unpopular thoughts. Once created and revealed, then judged, I slither away to some other incarnation. This is done because I don’t want to hear it, I just want to say it. My thoughts collude with observation and conclude that this is the predominant outlook. Expressing uncommon sexual tastes, unpopular stances and risque color palettes is your rights as an American. Unfortunately feedback, dialog and response are the natural order. While an IP address does not a person make, I sit here spouting what little I can.

Now It’s off to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Drinking stout at my computer, listening to irish music. The way it was intended.

 

Time (again) and Post Office Pugilism

December 16, 2011

ImageI enjoyed the pictures in your pastoral and quite sentimental look at the post office. What I don’t enjoy is that if I had chosen to mail you feedback it would’ve cost me almost half a dollar to do so. The post office is an overworked section of government that hasn’t really been cleaned up. I can only offer secondhand knowledge of its operations.

One, I had a friend who worked for the post office in New York. He worked 6 days a week and usually 14-hour shifts. He explained to me that at the cutoff for the number of hours needed in a month to attain benefits he was given a mandatory day off. He also mentioned that the supervisor continuously took vacation and never really did anything. This could just be bitterness or a one-time thing.

Two, different friend in Florida, tells of an overpaid supervisor that really isn’t around much. Hmm.

In the wonderment of the moment I google, “postal service audit” and find that the postal service has been audited many, many times in the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Chicago, and Ohio. There were significant findings in not just delays but managers not providing adequate staffing, cocaine trafficking, and, surprise, inadequate supervision. As a result the Postal Service has plans to “shutter” 251 plants, reducing operating costs by, allegedly $3 billion. This will result in postal rates remaining the same.  Huh? Though it will allow the service to avoid a Chrysler-type situation and allegedly eliminate the possibility of a stamped letter arriving the next day.

My personal beef is that it costs $1.10 for a money order.

Time’s Article on Chrysler

December 16, 2011

 

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This month’s Time touts the innovation of Italian car-maker Fiat in the Chrysler’s resurrection. It always amazes me when an employer does something worthy of the label “common sense” that it is inflated to the term “innovative”. In an effort to help people understand the simple nature of these miraculous decisions, I offer the following connection to the dots:

  • “We…brought people on the management team who had been  buried beneath the classical hierarchy of corporate America” – In other words they asked people if they had any ideas and listened to them. Whoa.
  • “Paying off the bailout loans six years ahead of schedule.” -But not six months ago Annalyn Censky on CNN Money, Fiat paid off the remaining shares that the governement owned in Chrysler, totaling $560 million. This also cost taxpayers, allegedly, to lose $1.3 BILLION dollars. Which is weird considering that CNN Money is a Time Warner-owned company.
  • Less is More – Chrysler also reduced the number of models they would produce, thus lowering their production costs and only producing product they knew was going to sell. So if you are selling fruit and you notice that only apples and oranges are selling significantly higher than parsimons and star fruit, what are you going to sell? Again, as the article states, “it can produce brilliance”. Ugh.
  • Less is More II – Instead of bringing in “squads of industrial engineers to dictate the exact sequence of each assembly process, workers were trained…” Lemme see, flying over “squads of engineers”, paying them higher wages, increasing payroll and training time versus training an existing workforce with one or two people. Hmmm.

Honestly these people need to get on the stick. I’ve already had two bailouts in my lifetime. I really don’t want another one. Unless it’s to pay off my student loans.

Elsewhere is Ok….

October 25, 2011

Finger pointing is the nature of our Great Society these day. Who is to blame and how to fix it. It’s the Left, the Right, the Silent Majority, the Squeaky Minority, the Rich, the Immigrants, the Liberals, the Conservative, the Christians, the Muslims, the Pagans, the Cartoons, the Gays, the Anarchist….in the U.S. etc.

I first must offer reverent apologies to my friend Ayn. She is involved in the recent uprising, noted as Occupy Boston. She lives and breathes it. Much as I did in my protests associated with MoveOn.Org, she feels alive, emerging from the quagmire of political stagnation. The hallucination of our great country, echoing in our subconscious, resting on an unreachable mountain, is again stoic against the battle cries of the masses. And like Ayn, I too thought it could be reached, at least brought closer. I have no wish to invalidate, nay dismiss her efforts, for they are the true actions of a citizen.

What follows is opinion and my decrepit companion mockery. Those with the money have not been shaken. They know not the fear of Maslow’s hierarchy toppling down. And in such response they too have hired my companion, saying that it the Occupy Movement is for the lazy, the weak, the unfocused. For me I have trouble believing its ability. There seems very little to accomplish. They’ve drawn attention, they’ve stirred the pot. Yet, has anything changed? More than 14 American cities have been occupied and there is no goal, no plan, no end in sight.

Keeping this as short as possible I will simply ask a question: has it gone far enough??

Pinhole Time Travel

October 21, 2011

There is a new bar in Boston called Prohibited, that is being touted as an old-style speakeasy. I am all for secretive, not-well-know spots for people to congregate, but the abject hijacking of a 1930’s cultural phenom that grew from necessity rather than style is, well, “meh”. Pretty soon they’ll be about seven of these around the city. Spread out just enough not to step on each other’s microdemographics.

Think about what this is supposed to give you as a human being. It’s not as cool as the part in “Bad Influence” when you can get into an obscure party with a personal ad as a password. Is it to give you a sense of history? To remind you of a time when the unemployment rate was over 20% and people were so downtrodden that they just wanted a fucking drink to escape. Sadly, no. These places are about the decor and the sense of new experience, but only for the vapid awareness of stating that you’d visited it.

Perhaps the true underground can only be glimpsed by the rarity by which it surfaces to skittishly peer at the mainstream. And that, my friends, is the truth.

Which is it.

August 24, 2011

Which is it.   After reviewing this picture I was      wondering if this was an art exhibit or a TSA instructional poster. I am still unsure. The TSA has raised the number of bomb-sniffing dogs to 800, despite there being no need for them. There is some concern as to whether the dogs have been cross-trained to sniff out drugs as well.  This would just save time and be too much common sense to handle.

At the Global Business Travel Association’s conference in Denver on August 21st, Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole was quoted as saying, “But I also want to give the highest level of assurance to all the American people that we are doing everything we can to provide the best possible security while respecting the privacy and civil liberties of everyone.” Right, like the time they forgot to turn on the metal detectors or did it on purpose (Ref).  Of course this doesn’t just happen in America.

We also know that it influences fashion. Footwear being relegated to mostly that which can slide on and off easily. Frocks are back in style since the new body scanners have been in use. It gets harder and harder to tell who is on a pilgrimage though. However, if you are still wearing a chastity belt like this woman it might be a little embarrassing.

If You Love Taxes, And I Hope You Do.

August 11, 2011

Some jackass at the decided it would be nice to highlight the good that taxes do. And while I am inclined to agree that it helps on a minor level, obviously this guy hasn’t done his homework or been out of work lately. He also fails to address, nay notice, how tax dollars are frittered away on political philandering.

I’ve put his original post in quotes so he won’t get mad. I wouldn’t want that:

  • “Do not use Medicare.” – You’re going to die anyway and it’s begun to cover less and less.
  • “Do not use Social Security” – There’s none left.
  • “Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.” -Not a problem
  • “Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.” -I won’t. I will rebuild my community with my own bare hands and help my neighbors.
  • “Do not call 911 when you get hurt.” -Because then I will have to get my ambulance ride pre-approved by an HMO and be paying $75,000 for the rest of my life.
  • “Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.” -Buy a dog and a gun.
  • “Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.” -It’s ok. I have insurance.
  • “Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.” -Have you seen the condition of these roads lately, pal. Trust me. They’re all not paved in gold.”Do not use public restrooms.” -Ok. How about this tree??
  • “Do not send your kids to public schools.” -Then they won’t get all that corporate education about how good government and  are.
  • “Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors.” -I will find ways to recycle, compost and re-use almost everything so I will not waste and have to consume more.
  • “Do not live in areas with clean air.” -Right, because without government there would be no clean are. In fact, I think they are about to charge us for breathing it.
  • “Do not drink clean water.” -Name ANY city that will tell you they have clean drinking water, that it is in fact safe to drink.
  • “Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines.” And e coli outbreaks are a thing of the past and no medicines EVER get recalled after FDA approval.
  • “Do not bring your kids to public playgrounds.” -So my kids…can’t go outside…because I don’t pay taxes…
  • “Do not walk or run on sidewalks.”-What if I just pay state tax?? Then can they run??
  • “Do not use public recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts.” -What about a private club?? Like the YMCA.
  • “Do not seek shelter facilities or food in soup kitchens when you are homeless and hungry.” -These are private companies that provide these services. Yes, there are some state ones and yes, tax exemption is a benefit to their operation. But if we taught people how to grow their own food, what do you think would happen??”
  • Do not apply for educational or job training assistance when you lose your job.” -Pal, I’ve gotten all the help I need in that area.
  • “Do not use the judiciary system for any reason.” -Because watching people who have money get off for stuff the average person would never get away with is…entertaining??
  • “Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.” -Um, that’s a right, not a tax. Allegedly.
  • “Do not use any product that can trace its development back to NASA.” -Like Tang??
  • “Do not watch the weather provided by the National Weather Service.” -How about the weather channel??
  • “Do not use the internet, which was developed by the military.” -It wasn’t developed by the military. It was developed by the National Science Foundation, which is a non-military body. Research was also being conducted at the same time at UCLA to create the first LOGS. So, it would’ve happened anyway.
  • “Do not swim in clean rivers.” -I can’t. Because all my tax dollars are going to corporate subsidies to clean up companies that have poisoned the rivers. Oops. Did I say that??
  • “Do not buy any vehicle that has been inspected by government safety agencies.” -That are made by companies that get bailed out every ten years by my tax dollars. Walking and biking are healthier.
  • “Do not buy any product that is protected from poisons, toxins, etc…by the Consumer Protection Agency.” -A body which has NO authority to shut down or stop distribution of anything.
  • “Do not save your money in a bank that is FDIC insured.” -Money is the misconception of wealth. When you have what you need you can sustain. Consumerism is an illusion. If you can make your own clothes, grow your own food and provide for yourself, then why do you need money exactly??
  • “Do not apply for unemployment benefits.” -Which really keep giving it to the people who don’t want to work and stop giving it to the people do. Also the rate is structured that if you go back to work, you will be making less money then on unemployment. There’s little motivation to stop using it.
  • “Do not use any electricity from companies regulated by the Department of Energy.” -Put solar panels on the house. Use humanure for heat and energy. Don’t have to pay a thing.
  • “Do not use public libraries.” -Write, swap, trade.
  • “Do not use the US Postal Service.” -telegraphs are easy and free. HAM radios are better.
  • “Do not use airports that are secured by the federal government.” -Not even gonna touch that one.

The guy goes on in a bit of an elliptical argument, not unlike a toilet flush. His point is taxes are good because they provide for the little guy and big bad politicians wanna take that away. He fails to realize that the politicians and many Republicans are not affected by tax changes. Beyond his reasoning, which I have heard many times, is what comes next. For too long the paradigm of our political system has been all that can be seen. There is nothing outside of it. The alternatives I’ve listed above are but a fraction of what can be achieved if one but peers outside the veil.

Open Letter to Christopher Hitchens

August 2, 2011

  Mr. Hitchens:

Thank you for taking the time to review this letter. For a   long  time I have admired you and your actions, and I resent my hesitancy in sending you my thoughts. You did  say once that you should never put off writing a letter to someone in distress.
My admiration for you is based largely on your used of language and reason. Few, such as Stephen Fry, Douglas Copeland, and Tom Robbins, have utilized language so effectively and correctly as you have. Furthermore I have witnessed with great approbation your efforts on behalf of the atheist movement. Spiritual though I am, your demand that religion reign in its pugnacious and compunction-free activities brought an unmistakable joy to my heart. It was an indictment of responsibility as I have never seen before, an extension beyond the comedic genius of Bill Hicks and George Carlin. For many months and on often occasions I disseminated your arguments to friends and people who forward me Christian-themed emails; in a vain effort to open dialogue.
Another of your many facets that have been inspiring, is your confrontational approach, that somehow remained respectful. You were direct, honest and almost presented a warning that engagement would eliminate all, but exposure of the soul’s truth (excuse the reference).
I’ve been writing since the age of ten and have recently ceased due to lack of subject and waning interest in humanity, uninspired as it were. Encountering your work led me to a new hope that our species could return to more loftier goals and executions, not of outright snobbery, but an embrace of potential. We think in language and lifting us beyond the petty arguments of religion was a great service to me; recognizing that simple compassion and commonalities that were all share.
This letter could carry its subject on, but I will retreat to brevity to spare you. I wish you a full recovery, for I have a glimpse of the fight that is in your heart and spirit. But should, as you say, the eternal Footman come calling, then good journey be to you.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Witness

Fighting Crime is Like Cleaning the Litter Box

May 26, 2011

Fighting crime is like cleaning the litter box. Ya gotta get the big pieces first. Then you gotta comb through the entire box to get the little pieces of corruption.

Wisdom from the Witness, Jim Witness.