Tag Archives: politics

Change of Mind

Recently my thinking on an issue has evolved, and I thought I would share it here. It’s semi-political, in a way, but relatively non-partisan. It has to do with how celebrities are treated, whether they are in the entertainment industry or well known political peeps or whomever.

In the past, I basically dgaffed. My view was that, for movie stars especially, they became famous by seeking the spotlight, so live by the sword, die by the sword. I had no patience for their bitching about the paparazzi. The exception was Princess Diana, but, still, was it a photographer’s fault her chauffeur drove like a maniac?

That was a long time ago, and before celebs were on twitter along with their stalkers. Same for politicians, etc. It’s really not a solution to say “get off social media.” I can, since I don’t actually have a writing career. But a politician can’t. An established author must have an online presence. Actors are probably told the same. Etc.

They are not only relentlessly mocked and harassed, but also impersonated to an insane degree. This goes far beyond the annoyance of having some shutterbug snap a photo when they’re trying to relax at a resort.

The other day a singer I follow on Twitter, Rosanne Cash, had her entire account recopied word for word, photo for photo. That account then followed me. My first reaction was hey neato Rosanne follows me now! But I looked more closely and figured out it was a fake. I reported it, and Twitter deleted it.

Why do people do that? To begin setting up scams. Most likely after fake-Rosanne amassed enough followers she’d begin flirting with some men, tell them she wanted to chat offline, and hit them up for money for whatever thing. They’d send money by PayPal and she’d disappear.

My reporting fake-Rosanne will probably accomplish nothing. She’ll try again. She’ll choose a different celeb. I reported another fake account a while back and it too was deleted. Twitter does take action ~ it also will get rid of those awful antisemitic Q accounts too if you report them. But there are so many that it’s hopeless.

I feel sorry for celebs now. Some actors like Scarlett Johansson are victimized by “deepfake porn,” videos that make it seem like they are really acting in porn movies. The technology is so good that these creeps can superimpose faces on other women’s bodies and apparently you can’t tell the difference. No one should have to put up with that in the name of “free speech.”

It’s all because of this idiotic idea that we should be able to access the internet anonymously and thus be completely unaccountable for our behavior. Get TOS’d? No problem. Make a new anon gmail and begin again. I’ve said before that I’m against anonymous speech and there are only more and more reasons piling up why it’s a bad thing. My view is we should have one ID, from say a fingerprint, that follows us everywhere online, no escape from our words and behavior.

No worries, you can still be a creepy troll… but everyone will know who you are right away. The nasty stalkers will still be able to dog their fave celebs and politicians all over Twitter in the name of free speech, and they can still be obnoxious and crude in the comments on Fox News, but we will know who they are and where they are the second they hit send. That will most likely make a lot of these jerks have second thoughts about blurting out their vile spew. Neither “little people” nor stars should have to put up with this continual harassment.

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My First Mystery

… award that is!

A big thanks to Kristian for the nom. He has a very entertaining blog and it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. ✅

2. List the rules. ✅

3. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog. ✅

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.❓

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. 🆗

6. Nominate 10-20 people. ⚠️

7. Notify your nominees. ⚠️

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question. 🚫

9. Share a link to your best post(s). 💤

Three Things:

1. I’ve never seen Titanic.

2. I’ve been wearing tights under pants because it’s so cold in SoCal.

3. I usually cry at other people’s sad animal stories, and sometimes at happy ones too.

Questions from Kristian:

1. Name something you like to see in a book, that makes you want to read further.

– A kitty or puppy.

2. What would make you want to stop reading a book?

– The author intruding with his/her political opinions in fiction.

3. If they produced the story of your life, what genre would it be?

– Medical: “A Cure for Insomnia” 💤

4. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

– NorCal.

5. What advice would you like to give to your ten-year-old self?

– Go to Northwestern!

As for the rest, my nominees and questions, I shall use this handy-dandy card from Rory. 😀

Philosophical Musings [SOCS]

Sup peeps? It’s supposed to rain here today, which is good. We can always use rain in SoCal. Some friends are planning a local hike and I hope they won’t be disappointed if they get rained out. Either way, we’re still meeting for lunch, which is the important thing.

Bailing on a hike years ago cost me a friendship. There’s a bit of gossip for ya. No biggie, since I’m not naming names. Yep, I went on one hike, did okay, confirmed the next one, and then I bailed. I’m just not good with hiking. I have a bad back and migraines that get triggered by whatever. Chronic pain sufferers can probably understand why doing okay on one didn’t mean I felt confident to do another; it felt more like, hmm, good, let’s stop here. So, I changed my mind, nixed the outing, and got jettisoned from the person’s life. Hey, it happens.

Not gonna deny it hurt though. I’ve been tossed aside for other reasons from other relationships over the decades and I’ve found it’s best to accept the feelings of loss, sadness, anger, etc., rather than pretending I don’t care. Pretense haunts you later, is my philosophy.

I pretend a lot though, in daily interactions, to get along and not make a fuss. I’m a nice person, much nicer than I seem here. Most of the time. I can separate my feelings of perpetual outrage about politics and “how things are” from my need to just make it through the damn day. Sometimes this makes me feel like a fraud, but we can’t spend all day confronting everyone about everything. I think we all fake it somewhat, depending upon how much we have to deal with other people. That’s different from denying your feelings to yourself however.

Every so often I make a nice cup of tea and have a long chat with myself to make sure we’re in sync about where we stand on All The Things. I highly recommend it.

Staying Positive 🎉

I’m taking a cue from Revolutionary Musings and calling my plans for 2019 “goals,” not “resolutions.” When I think about the word resolution, it makes me feel I’ve done something wrong and need to improve. There’s the constant worry and pressure that I’ll fail ~ and isn’t that what so many people say? They’ve failed to keep their resolutions. Or they don’t even make any because they know they’ll fail. I want to be more upbeat this year. ☀️

Goals are positive. Even if we don’t reach them completely we can say we’ve made progress, and progress is good. Last year, I wrote/finished two new poetry books and they’re up for sale now on Amazon, and I completed the NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge. I’m proud of myself! 😀 Did I complete all my 2018 goals? No. But I don’t feel like a failure. I’ve made progress and will continue to do so.

For 2019, I want to finish my novel Ghosted. A novel is harder than poetry or a book of short stories, since when working full-time it takes an immense amount of focus day after day crammed into bits of free space. If I break my concentration for a couple weeks to “have a life,” it’s difficult to get that focus back. But this is the plan and I anticipate finishing my novel by the end of the year.

I also want to exercise more, which is a thing I say every year, and each year I feel worse and do less, but that doesn’t mean I should abandon the goal. This past year I was not very active at all and though I can’t do a lot, I can do a little, and I want to do that little bit. Realistically, there will be days I can do nothing but slog through from morning to night and congratulate myself for simply existing with chronic pain, but every day isn’t like that, TG. Those better days are days I can exercise.

Forex today. I planned to take a long (for me) walk to start the year off nicely. But I awoke with a migraine ~ not from booze, lol. I don’t drink alcohol. But I stayed up very late and it’s crazy windy too, both of which are triggers. Anyway, I’ve taken meds and later will exercise to a video instead of going outdoors. This is just how it is ~ I have to accept it and work within the parameters instead of giving up. 👊🏻

Regarding blogging. It brings me great joy, both writing and interacting with people who love to write. Those last three words are key though. I’ve culled some blogs from my list recently that weren’t much about the joy of writing and only about getting us to click links. No thx.

But there’s more. I like participating in the prompts; however, I don’t understand why some of them require so much kooky hoop-jumping. Linking back to the prompt post should be enough. I have created a few new tags for my faves, okay. But I’m not going to click frogs or create more tags or follow a pile of arbitrary rules just to bring more readers to the prompt host. In the end, it’s the host who gets the clicks, let’s remember this. ✅

My goal for 2019 is to get more reading and writing joy out of every minute I spend immersed in the world of words, so things that contribute to this goal have a solid place in that world… and things that don’t or that gobble up more time than they’re worth, do not. 👎🏻

Going along with this goal is reading less news. Most of the “news” isn’t really news ~ it’s tabloid type crap and a waste of my time, more of an addiction really. He said/she said, insults, rehashing, garbage about celebs and the royals, blah. It’s only going to get worse with the 2020 election coming up. 👿 I don’t need to read every scrap of nasty gossip and all the hot takes on what someone else said and who is banned from where. It’s simply tiresome.

I may begin doing some photos again, with a catch ~ they’ll be new photos. No more spending gobs of time trawling through old albums taking photos of photos. Bleh! If I happen to catch a shot of something that goes with one of the City Sonnet themes, cool. This aligns with my goal of having fun blogging and interacting with bloggers, but not wasting time doing boring, obsessive stuffs.

Onto forming happier, more productive traditions!

Lazy Poast

I swear I was gonna write a story or a pome today from the prompts, but I haz a wicked migraine due to the windy cold weather, so you get this. Like it or lump it!

Questions from the Queen:

1. What is something you always put off for as long as you can?

– Death (mine).

2. Has time sped up or slowed down for you as you have aged?

– Up.

3. What time period do you think you most belong in?

– Post-historical.

4. What book would have a completely different feel if it was set in a different time period?

– The Bible.

5. How do you like to waste time?

– You’re looking at it.

6. Have you ever killed time since reading or watching The Phantom Tollbooth?

– Don’t remember what that means.

7. You have two hours to yourself…how do you spend it?

– Plotting, planning, scheming, dreaming.

8. How often do you think about the Doomsday Clock?

– Not a lot.

9. Do you think we are nearing the end of times (for those who believe in it)?

– Not in a religious sense, but it’s definitely possible we could be close to a massive-casualty world war.

10. Armageddon is upon us…do humans survive?

– Probably some in remote areas for a while.

11. How will human’s time on Earth be up?

– War, famine, disease, no medical care.

12. What is your favorite quote about time?

– “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.”

13. What is one song that makes you time travel?

– “In the year 2525…”

14. Speaking of Time Travelers… The Doctor (Dr. Who), Time Traveller (H.G.Wells, The Time Machine), Phineas Bogg (Voyagers!), or The Traveler (Star Trek: TNG): Who would make the better traveling companion?

– Idk these peeps. I’ll take my cat. 🐱

FPQ7: Censorship [rant!]

This week Fandango asks…

“Do you believe that social media sites should be able to censor what people post on their sites and ban content creators from posting? Or do you consider such actions to be a violation of freedom of speech, which is guaranteed as a right in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”

First, let’s talk about the First Amendment. This right guarantees us speech (mostly) free from governmental interference. People are very often confused about this point. The POTUS, much as he may wish to, cannot tell us what to say on our blogs. But our blog platform host, along with our IP, has terms and conditions that we agreed to when we signed up. That’s not the gov’t, and they can enforce their rules, whether against hate speech, however defined, or whatever other thing.

And any individual can ban anyone from comments. I personally have a long list of blocked IPs. These are people who have tried to post shitty comments or spam here and I have censored them. I absolutely have a right to do that. I don’t owe these jerks the right to ruin my convos; they can get their own free blogs. I have blocked loads of people on Twitter too ~ they can’t comment on my tweets because they can’t even view them. When I had a Facebook account, I blocked annoying sorts there all the time, as sensible people do.

Anyway, now we’ve established that it isn’t a violation of our right to free speech for social media sites to ban content. But the question remains: should they? Should the admins police bullies and creeps or let us duke it out among ourselves?

My opinion is that the site admins not only should police content, but they should be much more heavy-handed about it than they are now. We can’t duke it out because the playing field is unbalanced. If I’m a woman posting under my real name, and locatable in meatspace, and an army of trolls attacks me, how am I supposed to fight that? Normal people give up, delete their accounts to protect themselves, and the trolls win. That’s fundamentally unfair… and it happens constantly because anonymous accounts are permitted everywhere.

Let’s take Facebook, which I have deleted. There was a time when FB was vigilant in forcing people to use their real names and identities ~ sure, some fakers snuck through, always happens. But it was a better place then. There wasn’t the massive, continual bullying and trolling, or the fake political bots. But FB caved to pressure from supposed victim groups and allowed people to use any name. To me, that began their great downfall. Billions of users… where to even start sorting that out? And they don’t want to anyway since it’s all potential revenue for ads.

Well, that’s the thing. Right? These sites don’t really want to stop any of this drama because it generates more clicks and excitement than a bunch of people talking about their lunch, which is how we writers initially used Twitter when it was 140 chars and no pics. But the sites have to pretend to care now. Since everyone hates Milo and his brand has died, he was an easy target to dump. Wink wink, nod nod, we’re gonna crack down on hate speech. Yeah, right. And in the meantime look for any Ann Coulter thread… Oh not her. She brings in the bucks. (Not alone, mind. She spews and a fuckton of her haters scream back. It’s a formula. Who wins? Advertisers.)

Back to Facebook. They’re more popular than ever, even though their stock has sunk and new scandals come out weekly now about how they’ve misused people’s data and helped to subvert our elections by allowing the bots to flood Instagram, etc. Normal users don’t care. They just shrug it off. Must keep chatting with friends. Must keep sharing photos. There’s no other way to stay in contact with peeps if I give up messenger. Etc. They’ve been completely brainwashed by the Zuckerborg.

Facebook knows this, so they have very little motivation to actually do anything about the “hate speech.” It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the other social media sites follow suit and don’t shoot themselves in the foot to “clean up” and lose clicks and ad revenue by throwing off people who generate buzz.

Yes, I think they should. No, it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights as long as everyone is treated fairly according to the T&Cs we all agreed to. But it’s not going to happen. The bullying and hate will continue and even get worse as the 2020 election ramps up… starting from the top and oozing on down. Maybe if Twitter banned the POTUS for bullying, that would send a strong message.

30-Day Song Challenge

Day 20: multiple meanings. Gotta go with Don McLean’s “American Pie” for this one. Found a good video too.

Day 21: name in title. Oh so many! But since I’m pairing it with Day 20, we’ll go with “Vincent” by Don McLean. Love this!

Rory’s Xmoose Challenge

Rory challenges us to choose 5 holiday songs and dedicate each one to another blogger.

Who me? Do I look like Santa or sumpin’?

Oh. Well then! I guess I must. Luckily this first one is easy: my favorite holiday song is Stevie Nicks’ cover of “Silent Night.” I give this one to Sadje… Merry Christmas!

Next is my favorite band the Eagles with a very sweet song “Please Come Home for Christmas” and this one goes out to Roy, a long-time reader. Merry Christmas, Roy!

Now I’ve got a super cover of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the Boss for Kristian. Merry Christmas!

I dedicate the politically incorrect “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Jack Frost & Elsa version) to none other than our host with the most. Merry Christmas, Rory!

Finally, though he may say bah humbug, I have a feeling that our favorite resistance blogger will get a kick out of this version of “12 Days.” Come on, Fandango, give it a listen… Merry Christmas! 🎄

Technically speaking… [FPQ #6]

This week’s provocative question came up when I read an article that talked about how the extent that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Brexit vote in Great Britain was more extensive than what was originally thought and that such disinformation and misinformation on social media sites continues almost unabated to this day.

With that in mind, here’s this week’s provocative question.

“Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

I am wavering on this week’s question, which is what makes it so provocative, I suppose.

On the one hand, technology has done amazingly wonderful things for the world. We’re able to grow more food, educate more people, cure more diseases, prevent more deaths in childbirth, respond faster in emergencies, etc. And we continue to advance exponentially in so many areas of science and medicine and engineering.

On the other hand, we’re as shitty toward our fellow humans, animals, and the planet we all live on as we’ve ever been. And now we can use technology to facilitate our terribleness. Instead of simply mocking some poor soul in a school hallway, we use social media to torment him 24/7 until he commits suicide. Sick people upload vids of themselves torturing animals for the amusement of other sickos around the world. And we all have so many gadgets and chargers and crap filling our lives, and we must have the latest versions, tossing the previous ones into the ever-expanding trash heap covering our earth and oceans.

Blech! 🤮

I haven’t even touched the part about our elections and the Rooskies and the hot new cold war and how our life spans are declining from sitting on our asses texting all day and how Spectrum has the goddamn nerve to increase my price yet again after my price increase last year when they switched me to “high speed” for people who game on multiple TV’s when I’m just a single person who doesn’t game on any device and singles are always being financially penalized for multi-person households who hog all the resources and pollute up the planet but at least Edison sends me a report card every month saying good job which is worth fuck all but hey.

What was this poast about again? Oh. It’s from Fandango. We hate Trump! Hells to the yeah! What do I win? 😂

The Queen Asks… [THWQ]

Today’s questions are:

1. Who is your favorite existentialist writer?

– Sartre

2. You find a mysterious package under your tree marked “from Your Fairy Godmother”…what’s in it?

– Glittery magic shawl

3. What is your favorite brunch menu?

– Nova Scotia lox, cream cheese, bagel

4. Who would you like to see in concert (living or dead)?

– Jimmy Buffett

5. Do you prefer literary fiction or commercial fiction?

– Commercial romances & mysteries

6. What is your favorite seasonal flavoring?

– Pumpkin pie spice

7. You need to make a gingerbread house, how do you decorate it?

– Lavishly with mountains of frosting and gumdrops

8. You have to dress as the opposite sex…what do you wear?

9. What is one piece of furniture that you can’t live without?

– Comfy sofa for kitty and me, for writing, sleeping, and TV-ing

10. If you can only have a non-standard pet (no dog, cat, fish, bird, etc.), what do you choose to have?

– Snake 🐍

11. What is your favorite aquatic lifeform?

– Dolphin 🐬

12. Are aliens real?

– There is probably other life out there.

13. What is your best anti-Trump slogan?

– Supercallousfragileracistsexistnazipotus

14. What is your best for-Trump slogan?

– He’s not Farrakhan.

15. If you could swap any two world leaders, who would you swap and why?

– Trump with Obrador (Prez of Mexico). Just because it would be funny.

16. You have a bun…what do you put on it?