Or rather A.G.A. (Against Guffaw’s Advice)!
A while back, my friend Borepatch (who definitely has a right to such opinions in such matters) wrote regarding the acquiring and use of Siri, Google Now, Cortana or Alexa.
Or their fellow travelers.
I warned my roommate of such folly.
BUT, she is addicted to newfangled gadgets (as best she can afford them)!
(And, it IS her home, and she supplies the Wi-Fi…)
THIS arrived in the mail yesterday. Apparently, there was a sale…
It’s an Alexa (Echo) device (‘courtesy’ of Amazon)
(aka, “the electronic hockey puck of EVIL!” – spoken in Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart voice)
There’s a cartoon somewhere (unfortunately, I couldn’t find it) showing government agents discussing how citizens will place wiretaps/bugging devices in their own homes voluntarily, and will allow them to record conversations and Internet activity with ease!
They were gleeful!
I am not. 😦
Canadian William Shatner REFUSES
To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a
William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.
“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.
There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.
The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.
“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”
“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.
The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.
“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”
Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.
A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.
Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.
Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.
That’s how it’s suppose to be.
h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com
AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!
Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!) Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President. Like it or not, he IS the President! And deserves some respect.
(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment. One with a better speaking style. Wish in one hand…)
To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful. YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.
But, lets be adult about it, shall we? Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!
(from Chris Farrell’s On Watch, in part)
It’s time for some extreme transparency.
You’ve heard President Trump talk about extreme vetting for persons seeking to the enter the US from terror hot-spots – well, we need to aggressively exercise a similar technique when it comes to government records that you are owed through the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.
Judicial Watch files more FOIA requests and litigates more FOIA cases than any other organization in the country. Much of the Washington corruption you have heard about in the news started with investigative work by Judicial Watch. Cases like “Fast & Furious,” the political weaponization of the IRS, the effort to cover-up Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s reckless criminality concerning her outlaw email server, and many other cases.
The FOIA law allows for agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of government to make “discretionary disclosures.” In plain English, that means President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can release whatever they want – whenever they wish to do so. It’s up to them. They can exercise their discretion to release records that are of broad general and news media interest concerning important public policy issues and/or the operations of the federal government. These discretionary disclosures take nothing more than a stroke of the pen.
Ironically, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is currently making the exact same legal arguments as the Obama administration – and using all the double-talk and excuses from the Obama era, too. The Justice Department remains in full cover-up mode for anything that would be embarrassing or illegal for the Obama administration. That’s frustrating and disappointing, but you need to remember that the rank-and-file staff attorneys at Justice Department headquarters are largely Leftists that continue to support the Obama agenda. President Trump appears to have a tough road ahead. BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Discretionary disclosures! Extreme transparency! With the stroke of a pen, President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can order the release of all government records concerning any number of important issues and lingering questions.
Here’s just a small sample of some of the cases Judicial Watch is investigating and litigating that could be released in full for the public and news media to examine:
- FBI 302s – or investigative reports of interviews of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett during criminal investigation of Rod Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
- The entire FBI’s investigative file of Secretary Clinton’s email practices.
- Records about the tarmac meeting between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch at the Phoenix airport.
- Draft indictments of Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared by Whitewater Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr.
- Records about the Intelligence Community’s decision not to conduct a damage assessment of Secretary Clinton’s criminal email practices.
- Records of notes, updates, or reports in the Office of the Secretary of State about Benghazi.
If you’re looking for some accountability for what’s happened in this country for the past eight years there’s a starting point. But, there’s much, much more.
It’s time for extreme transparency. Let’s get past the cover-ups and double-talk from the past eight years. Your employees owe you records and answers. President Trump can provide them with the stroke of a pen.
I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch
And what about the current administration’s transparency and accountability?
So much for draining the swamp!
I’ve posted about the bane of my existence – BUREAUCRATIZILLA – 9 times previously! And, they’ve not picked up the hint!
Not coincidentally, in today’s quote:
“Millions are fascinated by the plan to transform the whole world into a bureau, to make everybody a bureaucrat, and to wipe out any private initiative. The paradise of the future is visualized as an all-embracing bureaucratic apparatus. . . . Streams of blood have been shed for the realization of this ideal.” – Ludwig von Mises
(Please, let me preface this to state my roommate and I are barely scraping by. Me on my disability benefits, her on survivor’s benefits. She can work some, when her infirmities allow. NO, this is NOT a bleg! – Guffaw)
Last week, my roommate received a letter regarding her Survivor’s Benefits from The Social Security Administration. In short, because she reached a certain age, and changed her supplemental insurance, they decided to deduct previously gov’t paid insurance premiums for two months (essentially cutting her modest benefit in HALF!) then begin repaying her the Survivor’s Benefit (at a lower rate!) the third month. She only began receiving her Survivor’s Benefit last year, and could have been receiving it for the previous three years, but did not know it was available.
And this, just when she has been working less due to illness (she is a contract employee), and is preparing to have surgery next month!
It couldn’t have come at a worse time…
BUT, there was a mention on the Social Security letter of an appeal process. As NO ONE was reachable by phone without an extension(!), we had to go into the Social Security satellite office, take a number, and wait about 20 minutes to get the required appeal form. (After disarming, of course!)
Easy peasy, right?
The surprisingly helpful Social Security employee reviewed the letter, and advised us that the appeal needed to be made with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, not Social Security!! It was Medicare who became aware of the insurance change, and notified AZDES, who contacted Social Security to send the letter(?!)
He provided us with the number to call. And as it was late Friday afternoon, the call would have to be the NEXT BUSINESS DAY. AFTER PRESIDENT’S DAY.
People ask me why I distrust government. The above is a prime example. First, they provide you with a benefit. Then, after you become accustomed to it, they screw with it, and take part of it away.
“The government strong enough to give you what you want is strong enough to take it all away.” – Barry Goldwater
They don’t look age 3 to me…
The Democratic sit-in to protest the Republican-controlled Congress’ inaction on gun control legislation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives entered its second day Thursday with no end in sight.
The Democrats’ protest began with a speech by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who participated in civil rights sit-ins in the 1960s, condemning Republicans for blocking gun control legislation and accusing the GOP of kowtowing to the National Rifle Association.
The Democrats continued to give speeches with frequent pauses to chant “no bill, no break” and “Shame! Shame!” as the House voted to adjourn and start a new legislative day at 2:30 a.m. (International Business Times)
A tantrum? Seriously?
Are they going to hold their respective breaths now, until they turn BLUE?
I have two memories of tantrums (tantra (plural?) 🙂
The first was recounted by my own Father. On numerous occasions, he would share the story on how I had thrown exactly ONE tantrum. He ‘dealt with it’, and I never did it again. (The inference was I received a spanking – this was the 1950’s after all!)
The second was our own daughter, Molly. She was mostly well-behaved, but at one point, in a large, popular shopping mall (Metrocenter – N. Phoenix, before stores closed wholesale and it became a gang meeting place), she decided when the three of us were window shopping (I was married at the time) to throw a serious tantrum. I think she was probably three at the time.
Mary and I looked at each other, while Molly was on her back, flailing, screaming and crying, agreed telepathically that immediate action was needed.
We turned and walked away. No counter-screaming, no histrionics, no beatings.
Molly suddenly noticed our departure, immediately stopped her tantrum, and rushed to rejoin us, now better behaved.
AND, she never did it again.
My point is we have two choices to respond to the anti-rights forces in Congress. One would be brute force, getting in their face and (verbally, at least) spanking them for their childish behavior.
Would this make us feel good? Yes. Superior? Certainly.
Would it solve the larger problem? NO.
The second choice would be to let them have their tantrum, and let the world see how un-adult, child-like and emotionally crippled they are.
And continue to block ALL attempts to pass restrictions on the rights of law-abiding citizens!
Have YOU written, emailed and/or called your Congressmen regarding your opinion on all these onerous bills?
I HAVE. MORE THAN ONCE!
You have no right to complain if ‘a backroom deal’ is made, and our rights are further restricted!
DO IT NOW! Click on the link below for contact information!
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #21 of 22)
I’ve not had a significant other (wife, girlfriend, etc.) for many years. 😦 I’ve been fortunate that the last couple were interested in firearms and I was able to further educate them.
And both carried.
But, I saw a blog post on the Alien Gear Holsters Blog that caught my interest. And reminded me of some others I’ve known with less-than-interested significant others…
HOW TO CONVINCE YOUR WIFE TO LET YOU CARRY CONCEALED
With regard to how informed the significant others should be, I’ve two tales of woe:
A student of mine who worked at TMCCC with me had a wife who was vehemently anti-gun. Before we met, he had talked her into allowing him to have a Glock 19 in their home. (unloaded and locked away, of course!) We were able to go out shooting a couple of times, and I was able to markedly improve his speed and groupings. Part of this involved what he referred to as his front sight epiphany! (finally understanding how focusing on the front sight versus the target was the correct method to shoot). He loved shooting, and became enamored with one of my AR-15 rifles.
You can see where this is going, can’t you? 🙂
Another one of my students had become proficient in assembling AR-15s for a local rifle manufacturer (as a side job). He had also begun his own business to do the same.
And my student really wanted an AR-15!
Well, I connected the two of them, and a deal was made. The rifle was made and passed to my student in the TMCCC parking lot (carried under disguise of a blanket). Had we been discovered, both of us would have been undoubtedly fired, due to having a firearm on the premises. (This was a few years ago). But the exchange went fine.
Unfortunately, my student had been dishonest, as he neglected to tell his wife of the purchase!!
I disagreed with him, but, Hell, I wasn’t married to her.
He even kept the rifle bivouacked at a friend’s house (not mine), lest she fine out…
The morals and ethics in a marriage is for another blog post.
Ultimately, he was promoted, and had to move to Chicagoland, get a FOIA card (to get to keep his Glock), and was unable to take the rifle! My understanding is he visits her (the rifle) when he comes out to the Phoenix TMCCC office.
The other story is of another TMCCC student. We were good friends and coworkers, and again, his wife hated firearms. But, he started with a .357 Ruger revolver. Obtained his CCW permit and bought a 1911. And carried often, much to the consternation of his wife. But, he did obtain her permission.
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, he died. In going through his things, his wife discovered a 12 gauge pump shotgun (of which she was unaware). She gave the revolver, the semiautomatic, and the shotgun to her son-in-law, who was a shooter.
Just to get them out of her house.
She received a call from a local gun store. A gun which he had ordered had just come in, all paid for. She called me, asking what she should do. I suggested as it was all paid for, she should pick it up and give it, too, to her son-in-law.
That she did.
It was a custom Coonan .357 semiautomatic!
Too bad she just couldn’t stand firearms – she would have had quite a little collection.
I suggested to her, if she ever changed her mind (now living alone, and all) I’d be happy to educate and train her in firearm safety and self-defense.
No call to date.
(FTC – Alien Gear, Glock, Ruger and Coonan gave me nothing! GO AWAY!)
I awaken fairly early this morning, shower, dress, morning rituals…
And begin my day – with the Internet.
Specifically, my email accounts, news, almanac, and the Guffaw in AZ blog.
Or so I thought I would…
I’ve been having browser trouble, yet again. And today it was scary!
WARNING! Will Robinson.
I received warnings like this one using Google Chrome and Opera browsers. I recently had switched back to Chrome, as Firefox had been giving me some different trouble! After ‘the troubles’ this morning, I ran both Windows Defender and Malwarebytes (the pay-for version). WD said there were NO problems, MWB recorded 22, which were then removed.
And Chrome and Opera still ran with ‘issues’. So I used Comodo Dragon and even reverted to Firefox to get my email and blogging chores done.
Word on the ‘Net is Firefox is going away (so, by extension, will her cousins Comodo Dragon and Comodo Ice Dragon!) Because Mozilla is lacking in support. And Internet Explorer is pretty much a ghost, now. I won’t even mention Netscape, AWOL since she was acquired by AOL.
So, the question remains: Is there a secure, modern browser with which one may check email, blog and even surf the ‘Net?
Or is accessing the Internet forever to remain a game of whack-a-mole, with regard to bugs, viruses and glitches?
This inquiring mind wants to know
I am continuing to fight a battle with my private health insurer (who provides me with 20% of my disability income) to keep them informed regarding my health status, medical records, whether or not I am employed or employable (I’m not).
Most recently, having turned 62, they have been after me to spell out my daily activities, pain levels, mobility and have my primary physician fill out forms in this regard.
Being a Last Minute Louie™, some of this has taken time, and I’ve been reticent to comply – disliking both the bureaucracy and intrusion.
It came down to the wire, and I sent in the proper letter, and my doc faxed in the required forms.
On February 21!
While they acknowledged receiving my letter, they said they never received anything from the doc – and made less-than-veiled threats.
SO, I took it upon myself to fax in the document.
I should have gone to Kinkos!
It took me two and a half hours to figure out Windows Fax and Scan was useless, and download another ‘free’ program, learn how to operate that, and get the material faxed.
I also sent a paper copy via snail mail – I’m no fool!
AND, of course, they may still decide to stop this part of my disability!
(Query – why, in this age of email attachments do so many places require things FAXED?)
antique fax machine
PITA, I’m tellin’ ya!
The United States seems hell-bent on making all nationalities resident here inclusive – even those who aren’t here legally and those who fail to assimilate into American culture.
And those who refuse to learn or use English.
My ancestors came here legally from Germany (and Ireland – kinda already speaking English!). learned it and assimilated. There were proud Americans.
Witness below the nation/nation-state/Russian satellite of The Ukraine:
Nationalism unites, and multi-culti ‘diversity’ divides. So does culture and language.
– Paying attention yet America? Liking how that whole ‘diversty’ joke is working for you?
Belgians have the whole Flemish vs. Walloon thing.
– I don’t know if this is WHY Brussels is so dysfunctional, but when all else fails it never hurts to go with “blame the French.”
Many of us understand what happened in the former Yugoslavia. The linguistic divide between Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Slovene, and Macedonian (plus a few more languages) made the ‘country’ less functional than their infamous car, the Yugo. (map and text courtesy of Theo Spark)
Is anyone in our State Department listening? If not, press one for ENGLISH.
When I first began my career at TMCCC, I operated on the premise that all fraud investigators like myself had similar background, and/or education with which to approach the job. Especially management. Not only should they know what the rank-and-file should be doing, but how to do it.
I hadn’t worked fraud investigations before, per se, but had experience in interviewing, collecting evidence, surveillance, report-writing and education in both investigation and criminal law.
So, I was always more-than-surprised when management knocked me down a peg – not for what I didn’t know, but for what I knew.
I’d submitted a report regarding specific evidence which had been collected in a fraud case. In the report I used a word, a word I assumed (never assume!) was commonplace among professionals investigating financial crimes.
The ‘big’ boss called me in to his office, and proceeded to strongly suggest I was trying to suck-up to him and impress him, in my report writing efforts.
The word I had used (and continued to use) was evidentiary.
evidentiary – (adj.)
(law) Of or pertaining to evidence. (Wiktionary)