Wednesday, April 13, 2011

...It's as if They want Us to Revolt...

Is it me, or has there been a big surge in big business and political activity that appears hell bent on doing the old “No Vaseline” on the people?

And maybe it’s not really a surge, but maybe the same methods and tactics developed and use to “help” us are really destroying us and are now exposing us to the level of destruction at a faster rate.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder “revised some sections of his budget plan. The new plan kind of puts the robbing of retired seniors in our state on a stretched timeline before they get are fully victimize.  I don’t remember the last time I saw a plan so hardcore on beating up the people who have worked hard their whole lives to provide for their families and never accept a handout from anyone. It’s almost to your advantage to NOT work hard, and not earn any money, and not be able to support yourself with those earnings.

It’s easy for Snyder to say he’ll only accept $1 for his salary since he’s obviously making tons of money under the table sucking up to and cuddling with businesses under the guise of “it will bring employment back to the state.” You’d have to pay a person much better than most of us are getting paid to think just because a store opens, I will shop there.

I will not.

I have a friend with a farm. Three more friends with vegetable gardens. I can sew my own clothes, and books and music can be checked out for free at the library based on the taxes I’m already paying. I will never set foot in another retail store again if I choose to and I’m leaning that way. And as soon as I figure out how to erect a windmill and add a solar panel at my apartment complex, I’m cutting the utilities loose, too.

Speaking of which (she said as she put on her tin foil hat), how many emails have you received about your information being breached by Epsilon? I’m up to 14. I wish that was exaggerating, but man have I been hosed by this. I find it hard to believe that it was only email addresses that were compromised, too.

I admit to being an online shopper because I hate stores and hate crowds, but I’m careful about where I sign up and read everything before I do, and ALWAYS click the opt out buttons or send the “do not sell/share my information” letters to anyone I do business with. Usually they comply-- usually, but I’ve come across some that didn’t. And I always knew who did because of the fake initial trick. You’ve heard of this?

If you buy from, say Best Buy (which ugh, why would you do that- and yes, they sent me an email too and I’m thinking why do you even still have my information I haven’t purchased anything from you in darn near 5 years because of your bogus return policy and NON-Reward Zone program), when you write your name in on anything, whether shipping or the billing, try to work in the letters “bb.” The next time you get a catalog addressed to “Yourfirst BB Yourlastname” you know where that company bought your name from: Best Buy.

That trick doesn’t work as well now because most companies will decline your order if the name on the billing address didn’t exactly match the name on the credit card. But it can still work if you insert the letters into your shipping address. Of course they cross reference these things, and I confess to having stepped right into this steamy, smelly, pile of ….

Part of my job is making purchases for different projects so I have a company credit card. It has my name on it, but it’s clearly marked as a corporate card and the billing information is linked to my company. For receipt purposes, I use my work email address.

So I place an order with a business that I have also ordered from for a personal purchase. The email and billing information are different, but … wait for it… the shipping addresses are the same. Now this company matches up my fairly unusual last name with the shipping addresses, and sells everything: work and personal emails, work and personal billing addresses, the shipping address, and all phone numbers tied to the order. (And why do they require the phone number connected with the credit card? When’s the last time any company has called you about a problem with your order? They don’t. It’s just more data to collect and sell.)

Now I receive sales materials at home with my company title and/or agency name under my name. And I get phone calls trying to sell me things that no individual would want. (Bulk rate on printers, anyone?) Seriously, as much business as I give you anyway as a consumer of your goods, and you have the nerve to still try to make more money off of me and sell my private information to someone else. Really? Wow. Well up yours, too.

One of the biggest culprits of all? The credit agencies. And we know how I feel about credit agencies. Biggest hack ever. I’ve actually received things in the mail that said right on the bottom that they purchased my information from one of the credit agencies. All this even with a special alert put on my information after someone bought a house in my name. Yeah. A house.

Society is made up of things and people. But the things are essentially useless without the people, so it’s the people we need to be considerate of… show some respect.

At this point, I have no clue what the government is governing. My basic utilities are all monopolized and raising the rate monthly pennies at a time due to fake fees; I’m paying $4 a gallon for gas, and even the “cheap” stuff is becoming less than affordable. So much for eating sardines for dinner. (Come on, you know where that's from)

Part of the problem is that you have people (cough, cough, Obama, cough, cough) trying to be reasonable with unreasonable people. Those people should pretend they’re George Bush, do what they hell they want to do anyway, and re-arrange the interpretation of the laws later. If you’re going to go down in a dirty fight, you might as well fight dirty before you hit the ground.

On the other hand you have those people who I am sure have a white robe and pointy dunce cap thingy in the back of their closet somewhere who are posing as politicians. They have made it their appointed duty to run rapidly to the right and sit down anytime someone says, “let us all rise, and stand together.” The trick to dealing with those people is to be less clear on the instructions.

They aren’t thinking offensively, they’re thinking reflexively. They don’t have a strategy except to oppose everything that’s put in front of them. I don’t ever hear of another plan from these people, I just only hear them saying they don’t like someone else’s plan and they won’t follow it. Then they kick over the wooden blocks they’re standing next to and throw themselves onto the floor kicking and screaming until you change their pull-ups, and give them a lollipop.

Years ago a college professor offered to mentor me after he told me I was an amazing writer with a gift for understanding complex philosophical concepts. He told me there were organizations, law firms, politicians that would pay someone like me good money to create content that was so deliberately confusing that there would be no way to clearly interpret the meaning but that would essentially point all crooked roads to one distorted end.

I told him that I would much rather be a person who turns difficult to understand information into something anyone could follow. I’ll never forget the confused look on his face when he said, “You can’t get rich doing that.” He went on to remind me that even if I had no desire to be “rich” that the line between the haves and have-nots was only going to get wider with time, and if I was smart I would set myself up to be on the right side of that divide “You don’t have to live a rich lifestyle to get the benefits of being rich. They don’t call them ‘benefits’ for nothing.”

I had a completely different take on the conversation at the time. I almost found it funny. Now it comes across as finely ominous. Part of me regrets that I didn’t take him up on his offer to change majors and allow him to mentor me.

Anyway, I mentioned it because now might be a good time to find someone that can do that sort of writing (I’m available) and make those plans and proposals so pointedly twisted that the objectors don’t know how to object or even what they’re objecting to. Make them say, “is my yes vote a yes, or a no?”

I’ve heard people say Obama is killing the American Dream, but it seems like the American dream is just to amass a ton of useless stuff just to prove you can amass it. And that kind of thinking and goal setting is killing us softly.

I’m not against progress and I’m not dragging my feet into the future – even if I like to peek around corners before I turn them. I just happen to think that we don’t have to give up being an Industrial Society to become an Information Society. They can co-exist.

And if we must become solely an Information Society, then we need to do a better job of making sure the information is not being developed, managed, and transmitted by fools. We need to make sure the information is used in a productive and progressive manner and not as a digital weaponry, digital people- herding, and digital slavery.

We are not the numbers that politicians and corporations insist on attaching to us for their own convenience and evil bidding.

We are human beings.

We have lives, we have rights, and we don’t take kindly to being violated.

Guess what I've been listening to?
B-52s "Rock Lobster" (never knew there was an actual video for this)

and "Private Idaho"

Seems appropriate... Naked Eyes "Promises, Promises"

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