Sunday, September 18, 2016

Of Course

Of course, our government offers poor management of the nation. The two candidates for President are inadequate to the challenge. They seek the office out of personal ambition, which is improper, even base. The same could likely be said for many other candidates for many other offices throughout our Republic and for many positions, whether political, military or corporate.

Are either Trump or Clinton ready for the unique scientific and political challenges of the present? Global warming, financial uncertainty, unemployment, terrorism, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran (the Axis of Evil)? I doubt it. Do they bring new ideas to the table? No, they are orthodoxy.

Many intelligent people do not believe global warming will be resolved by human beings. They view the approaching apocalypse as inevitable. I count myself among them. I do not think that human beings are capable of dealing with the threat of global warming. We are too selfish, short-sighted, suspicious of others. Thus, disaster looms. The federal government foolishly, mindlessly subsidizes development in coastal regions doomed to be devoured by the oceans. Meanwhile, we squash bugs in Syria, Iraq, Aghanistan. Funny thing about bugs. They just keep reproducing. Meanwhile, the treasury is drained on a continual basis, and we become more indebted to China.

I know intelligent people who will not vote for Hillary Clinton or Trump because they see their faults and do not excuse them and see no value in pragmatism. Pragmatism is not sexy, but is boring and depressing. Our system is flawed. Winner-takes-all is a real problem. People will vote for the Greens, for Libertarians, for protest candidates. The system is not capable of processing their intentions.

Our Founding Fathers had good intentions, but ultimately failed us. Their deeds are regarded by the masses as carved in granite, never to be altered, and yet they failed. The system they designed cannot endure. It is being tested. It is doomed.

Global warming occurs, and our national debt increases with no end in sight, and many people are either unemployed or under-employed. Where are the jobs? Again and again, where are the jobs?

It is difficult to be optimistic about the future in the long-term.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Songs of Meaning

These songs have meaning for me.

Sara - Fleetwood Mac - I remember several through this song. It is potent. Play it at high volume. That is the only way to appreciate its subtleties. The witch casts a spell.

1963 - New Order - I remember my best friend through this song. We have not spoken in over thirty years.

b - Nada Surf - A beautiful dream transports the listener. "I've got no time I wanna lose / to people with something to prove. What can you do but let them talke / and make your way down the block."

Strange Magic - ELO - magic is strange if it is not useful. I do have a strange magic. I am not rich and powerful. I write on a blog for free.

Nite & Day - Al B Sure - I can listen to this over and over. It never gets old. "If you and I were one, the love would share would be so fun. Just take my hand and you'll see that we'd take off into another world."

Say It Isn't So - Hall and Oates - I really like this song and, like "Nite & Day," can listen to it over and over. It may be the best of Hall and Oates.

One Hundred Ways - Quincy Jones - relationship advice that guys tend not to take! If guys would only listen to this song, they could make a happy life for themselves with a good and gentle person. Everything is spelled out here. All that is required is to listen with an earnest and receptive heart. There are real advantages to compassion, to kindness, to thoughtfulness.

Always Love - Nada Surf - wisdom distilled into a song. Few will understand or, understanding, follow. Always love is invincible. Hatred is poison to the bearer. "To make a mountain of your life / is just a choice." Brilliant!

How Soon Is Now - The Smiths - clubbing in my twenties. emptiness, excitement, despair.

I Heard a Rumour - Bananarama - saying no to a second chance is sometimes right. I have had to say No to many. I do not regret shutting them out, because they were base.

Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Gos - "Pay no mind to what they say. Doesn't matter anyway! Our lips are sealed." Truth may be found in the silence of the soul. The modern obsession with blurting out secrets is not always wise. With silence comes dignity. Think of the mountain, the tree, the stars, the moon.

A Tale of the Tribe - Beyond Life - "Break the mind-forged manacles. Correct the berserk machine." Is it too late for us?

Feel So Alive - Pod - "you have given me peace of mind."

Too Hot - Kool & the Gang - every beat is right.

Kryptonite - Three Doors Down - "I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind. I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time." Indeed.

Jeremy - Pearl Jam - me in ninth grade, but for the Grace.

Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots - "Leaving on a Southern train." That is me. I am always Southward-bound.

Plush - Stone Temple Pilots - "And I feel and I feel. When the dogs begin to smell her, will she smell alone?"

Photograph - Def Leppard - sometimes all that is left is a photograph.

Shoot To Thrill - AC/DC - "I'm like evil, I get under your skin just like a bomb that's ready to blow."

Bring Me to Life - Evanescence - "Wake me up inside."

Getting Away with Murder - Papa Roach - "I drink my drink and I don't even want to." Drinking opens a gateway for evil to enter our world.

Lying from You - Linkin Park - "Let me take back my life. I’d rather be all alone." There is much to be said for solitude.

A Place in Time - Bosshouse (featuring Amanda Abizaid) - I loved the show, 4400, of which this is the theme song.

Take It Easy on Me - Little River Band - resonated with me when it first came out, though no more. As a supplication, it proved ineffectual!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chelsea Manning

I read an editorial today in one of my favorite newspapers, The Guardian, about whistleblower/spy/criminal Chelsea Manning, who is of interest primarily because of her transgender status.

On the one hand, I feel the transgender issue in her case is exploitative, riding upon the backs of the gay political movement. Perhaps many people follow her solely because she is transgender and happens to make the headlines. She is asking a lot in terms of medical care from the institution that she betrayed. However, in the end, it makes the military look good that they are providing her with recommended medical care.

On the other hand, perhaps her 35-year sentence does seem rather excessive. However, punishment in criminal cases is mainly for deterrent value. It is not Manning that society fears, but others that might do as she did in the future. That is the real explanation for a 35-year sentence. It is not that Manning poses a huge danger to society or that people want revenge against her (although some probably do, namely her superiors who were embarrassed by the leaks). It is not Manning, but the specter of future Mannings that the powers-that-be fear. Military justice is always about setting examples. Thus, a murderer may actually get a lighter sentence than Manning. It does not seem fair, but fairness ain't in it. Combat-readiness is the priority, not fairness.

In truth, jail sentences are a blunt instrument aimed at prevention of future crimes, both from the perpetrator and future perpetrators. Human justice often seems cruel and arbitrary. It is fear that keeps many people from doing things, and draconian sentences are intended to inspire that fear. I am sure that if Manning were released, society would not be in danger, but perhaps others would be tempted to do as she did, and in that scenario, how could the military keep any secrets? A larger question is, should the military keep quite so many secrets? Secrets sometimes exist for good reasons, but they also exist to cover up evil, corruption, negligence, and incompetence. What if the military had fewer secrets? Perhaps we could rid our military of evil, corruption, negligence, and incompetence. There are many advantages to openness.

I'd be in favor of reducing Manning's sentence, to make it comparable with similar crimes, if it can be demonstrated that the leaks resulting from her actions did not result in physical injury to others. That may be a rather high bar to reach. Perhaps the absence of evidence of harm would be sufficient.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

War for the Overworld

War for the Overworld is a great game, a modern face-lift for the old Dungeon Keeper 2. I enjoy it immensely. It supports 1920 x 1080 resolution and works great on Windows 10. I believe they are taking it in new and interesting directions, while remaining true to the original spirit of DK2. It is well-worth the purchase price.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Preparatory Spell for Tarot

Friendly spirits, daughters of Light,
Show us what is just and right.

This one wants to learn and grow.
Show us what he needs to know.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Today, just for fun and to resolve some outstanding technical problems, I installed a new solid state drive in my computer and tried installing Windows 10 fresh from a DVD. Windows 10 installed OK, but pitched a fit over the activation, which scratched a sore spot with me. There is a tawdry story involved here, and I might as well 'fess up.

You see, I did not purchase Windows 10 through proper channels. Ever the bargain-hunter, I snagged a product key for Windows 10 Professional off an Ebay seller, who later was banned from Ebay, probably for pushing shady licenses, because all she ever sold was Windows 10 licenses.

Nevertheless, I had paid her $80 for Win10 Pro, and it seemed quasi-legit. I had researched and found it to be a volume licensing for some kind of online academic institution. Microsoft indeed had gotten paid, although not quite as much as they would have preferred, no doubt. No way I was coughing up another $140 for a brand new license. Just no way.

I called Microsoft, and the first Indian I spoke with was a guy with a really smooth, mellow voice. He had me recite my product ID, a 30-digit number. I just loved listening to his voice, it was so clear and smooth. He could easily have been a jazz singer. I didn't really expect that from Indian tech support. In the end, however, he handed me bad news. I had to contact my seller and get the product key, which is different from the product ID. No other way forward, according to him.

I didn't tell him this, but the seller is out of the picture completely. She is gone, kaput, does not answer emails, so forget about that. But I know a thing or two. When I bought Windows 10 originally, the seller did send me a product key, or otherwise I never would have had a licensed Windows 10 in the first place. I printed it out back then and filed it. I found my hardcopy and, armed with that information, called Microsoft again, because Windows for some reason was not accepting that product key anymore.

This time I got an Indian dame, whose name remains Anonymous, because when she connected to my computer, the window indicated it was Piyush. But googling that name suggests that it is a masculine name, not a feminine one. I do not see any male Piyushes in Facebook. I think she was using the previous tech's, or her boyfriend's, log-in details in order to preserve the sanctity of her true identity. In truth, it is not a good idea for young female voices to be attached to actual names that can be researched and tracked down to a location. I would have done the same thing in her position and indeed I do it. The fact of the matter is, although one desires to be appreciated and admired on the Internet before an audience of one's peers, one is well-advised to treat one's identity the same as one's chastity. Many people do not seem to understand that. But Piyush, as I call her, understood.

She fixed everything for me. Windows 10 Pro was activated on my new solid state drive, and she was quick about it and rather nice, too. As for me, I was sunshine and butter on popcorn. I had all my ducks in a row. She did not have to do any extra work or waste any time explaining anything to me. I was always two steps ahead of her. I am not surprised things worked out so well for me in the end. If it is at all possible to get a positive result out of technical support, I can do it, because I am technical support, and I like people and get along quite well with them, whatever their age or gender or any other factor that other people seem to think is important. I am neutral and results-focused and results-oriented, but I also like to have fun and joke around, within the parameters of propriety. I had quite a bit of banter with Piyush.

Here is the strange thing that set me blogging with a title of the false name she used.

She liked me. I was the nicest person she spoke to all day or will speak to all week. I walked around in her mind a bit. There were echoes of unpleasant exchanges with abusive callers upset at Microsoft, and I hated that. People don't always understand how difficult computers can be. They don't know how much patience and work is required to get them to function at all. Most people in support have been abused by the ignorant, the impatient, the negligent and the frankly stupid. I am honored and grateful to the Goddess that I am not like that.

After we disconnected, I walked around the house, exuberant that I had fixed the problem and feeling a lingering pleasure from the strangely potent connection with this Piyush lady from India. Five minutes later, there was a phone call. The caller ID indicated a long distance number, but I just knew it was her.

I picked up, and there she was. She had dialed me by mistake, intending to reach her next customer. But really, are there mistakes? Is it so difficult to dial the correct number in a call center? Her subconscious preferred to talk to me again rather than play the fool's lottery on the next caller. I would have loved to talk with her for hours and learn all about her interesting life in India, but that is not such a good idea. I redirected her back to her work with firm pleasantries. I mark her existence only in this blog. Perhaps in another Universe, another reality, who knows? She was a lovely lady. She deserves to be loved. I have said it. The world must do it.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


I love to love and hate to hate. It is easy to dislike a group of people in the abstract--fanatic Muslims, say, although I'd love to see a liberal Muslim--or fascist right-wingers--or fascist left-wingers, for that matter, come to think of it--anyone fascist, either side. There is not much difference between a fascist left-winger and a fascist right-winger. But I love to love and that is how I flourish and reach full potential. To allow oneself to love is not an easy feat to achieve for most people. They imagine a thousand reasons they cannot love the others. In reality, the only obstacle is the selfish self. Be brave. Love everyone. When people don't want you to love them, love them anyway. There is no need to tell them. There is no need to do or say anything. The magic and the power generates within, a vast reward beyond comprehension, for love is a means to power, real power.

It is as simple as this.

In the doing, in the chaos of everyday, be aware that you witness the very soul of the other in their deeds and their words. Be aware of the moment. The other is here now, for a brief time, like thyself, never to be again, a flower that blooms and withers and dies so quickly, in the blink of the eye of the Buddha. You, even your humble self, are witness, and perhaps your entire purpose is to be so. We are all witnesses of each other. For that is the way that the world was made. We are witnesses to each other and to the whole world as it is.
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions