Archive for the ‘Corporate’ Category

What is WRONG with operating system developers?

March 24, 2016

Though I’ve taken a course in C++ and Java programming, I still wonder WTF! When I say this I often think of those companies (Yes, even the open source companies) are thinking when they are trying to merge their desktop/laptop operating systems with their phone operating systems. Now, I agree it would make things simpler in development, but….

It’s obvious that some people often don’t think the same as you or I or even the corporate information technologists. I wonder in their infinite wisdom as they so like to think, have they taken the time out to look at the BIG picture. I’d say they haven’t. The developers would say they have.

Let’s take the major mistake that Microsoft made in this area and what is happening in the open source community. When Microsoft came out with Windows 8, it was advertised as the next major step in operating systems. Those of us that were smart and those in the corporate world bowed out on Windows 8 and even Windows 8.1. There were more than a few reasons behind this.

First the corporate view of this. Their reasoning was three fold. First and foremost was the cost of NEW hardware. Before I began typing this I took a look at Newegg. They are one of many on line retailers of both software and hardware. I found the same thing that the corporations found. The cost of any touch screen exceeds the cost of a REGULAR flat panel computer monitor by anywhere from $150 US to well over triple the cost. That alone would be a huge outlay for corporations even with their volume purchase discounts let along people like you and me. Secondly, let’s look at the cost of retraining personnel in the corporate world. It’s not cheap. Training costs exceed the cost of hardware by far. Retraining for a “touch” operating system would have been exceptionally costly. And there is yet a third reason behind the corporations not moving to a “touch” operating system. The last and probably the most damning of these was the cost of the operating system itself. Microsoft change the licensing on their operating system so it would be even more costly for the corporate world than it was before. Corporations were having NONE of this.

All of these were valid reasons for not just the corporations to pass on Windows 8 and 8.1 but have second thoughts about Microsoft’s half step backwards for Windows 10. It appears Microsoft still hasn’t quite given up on the idea of merging operating systems between phone and desktop/laptop. And it appears that Microsoft is NOT the only one. Canonical (the producers of Ubuntu) are attempting the same thing that Microsoft is doing but in the open source arena. And they are not the only ones either. Even Apple is working on the same aspects (Though, I think that they stand a better chance at making it work).

As I see it, there is NO WAY that a “touch” screen operating system will ever become as productive as a desktop/laptop operating system. First of all, you have to have a very stable base for “touch” to work on anything above perhaps a ten inch screen. Even a ten inch screen is too large in some cases. Then there is the cost of maintenance of those touch screens not just the initial cost of them. Touch screens have to be cleaned with more regularity just to SEE what you’re looking at without eye strain. Yes, the oil that comes from your skin makes a mess of any flat panel. It also makes the eyes strain to see through that mess from all the touching. Do you really want to have to wipe off a beautiful 17 inch or above touch screen monitor just to see what you’re doing in the process of doing it? I certainly don’t.

Perhaps in another generation or two touch will be the rage of the desktop/laptops. However, I like many others who are use to the “old school” methods of computing more than likely won’t be around unless someone finds the fountain of youth. Even then, I don’t think I want to live that long anyway. This entire thing makes me reminisce a scene from one of the original Star Trek movies where Scotty is addressing an “old school” computer with a keyboard like he would the computers on the Enterprise. Quite comical if you ask me.

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Part Time Work for Full Time Pay! Sounds Like Our Politicians!

June 26, 2013

When the United States started, NONE of our elected officials received any form of pay or pension.  They served in their positions as a service to their country and it’s people.  My, my, my, how times have changed.  Now some states politicians think and are getting full time pay for part time work.  Not just South Carolina either.  It seems just about every state has a session limit.

Now most every state legislature whether they be a senator or just a legislature has already got another life profession besides serving his or her state.  This is as it was back when this country was formed.  Most have their own businesses.  They already receive a full time check from those personal endeavors.  Then why is it they feel that they need full time pay for a part time job?

Looking at a list of session schedules throughout fifty states, some are longer than others.  However, NONE are full time employment.  Sure some of those legislatures staffs work year round and deserve a full time check.  However, greed and corruption have taken over with today’s politicians.  They seem to think their time is worth more than the full time salary they already draw from their personal endeavors.

If you were to follow just the federal Congress or House of Representatives on television, you’d find most politicians aren’t actively sitting on the floor of those establishments like they use to.  NOW they have committee’s to make the major decisions that were once argued out on the floor of those two houses.  Even then, not all the politicians show up for these committees.  I’m ASSUMING that this happens even at the state level houses.  If this is the case, then they should only get paid for their time actually sitting in on these committee meetings or full house roll calls.  But NO, they not only want but demand full time paychecks.

Ever notice how your elected officials seem to have a pay raise every year or two?  Yes, they get to set their own pay scale.  This happens at the federal and state level.  Other governmental employees don’t get this advantage.  This doesn’t even mention other perks as they are called.  Are their pay raises stopped due to sequestration.  Doubtful.  The voting public has no control over their politicians wages as do stock holders over their CEO’s.

Frankly, I think our politicians should only be paid for what time they are actually active in law making.  They should not be paid to campaign at all! They should punch a time clock just like everyone else does.  Salaried positions should be done away with unless it’s a corporation and they do it for budgetary reasons.

The worst part of all this is that they give themselves a retirement plan that gives them FULL salaries after serving one term here in South Carolina.  I’m uncertain if that happens in other states or on the federal level.  You and I have to invest our funds into a 401K plan which doesn’t always pay off not to mention Social Security which the Fed seems to rob every year. We’re not guaranteed a retirement yet our illustrious politicians who are already independently well off or wealthy get a full pension when they don’t DESERVE one at all.

The only way I can see change is to vote the career politicians out of office and set term limits on those that come into office.  However, the career politicians WON’T go for that whatsoever.  Even an amendment to our constitution WILL NOT work to set up term limits as it requires not only two thirds of voting citizens approval but also the approval of Congress.  And we already know where the Congressional decision will be.

Freedom of Speech! Freedom of Press! Obviously NOT in Columbia, South Carolina

April 24, 2013

Last week I saw a letter by a fellow homeless person in the Columbia Free Times newspaper under the topic of “Sound Off.”  This column is basically a letter to the editor item and the Free Times is of course a FREE newspaper in Columbia.  Does this mean that they believe in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States?  I guess not.

Compare the following copies of the same letter.  The first is the original that I typed up to submit to the “Sound Off” column.  The second is what was published today.  You be the judge yourself.

My version:

Dear Editor,

I’m writing in follow up of “Treat the Homeless as “You’d Treat Yourself” April 17-23rd issue.  Along with Mr. Brown (and I’m sure others homeless or not), I couldn’t have put it better myself.  A lot of these programs who benefit the homeless and needy are NOT  run by our illustrious mayor or city council.  No matter what they do, they’ll Never find a way to free downtown of those in need or the homeless. First of all, there are at least three local businesses that this city will find in disagreement with their thoughts.  They are businesses whom the city collects taxes from.  If they were to move with the homeless population out of town, then you’d lose those taxes as well as taxes the homeless DO pay into the system.  Of course this doesn’t count the other businesses who DO hire the homeless. Every year I’ve been here (that will be 13 years as of June 2013), I see the same thing no matter who is in city council.  City council, the mayor, or any other politicians ignore their constituency all to fill their own re-election coffers and hope they can fool the voters into re-electing them into another term just like those other politicians around the country.  In the almost thirteen years I’ve been here, I’ve been homeless for almost half of that or better.  The other half has been either living with a friend or in an extended stay motel.  I’ve witnessed each year the city council has GONE BROKE and had to raid some other fund (namely the water and sewer fund) to pay for schemes that didn’t bring downtown any business at all.  Prime example is the ice arena in downtown (which has been committed to again next year).  No one really has heard the total cost of that fiasco.  Your paper printed a story on the cost but left out one key expense.  That was the electricity bill the city paid for that rink.  I personally heard from a city employee who will go nameless that the rink was costing the city $10,000 per month in electricity that it was open.  This is just one of the many mismanagement issues I’ve witnessed. This city is in major trouble and not just locally.  Its infrastructure is a train wreck.  The city council and mayor are only interested in two things (lining their re-election pockets as well as their own).  What this town needs is three major items that will get EVERYONE off the street and help fill city coffers.  First of all, the city needs to rebuild its infrastructure (that means resurface roads, fix sidewalks, rectify the bus issue, as well as fix the sewer (using water and sewer fees instead of using them for other expenses).  You know it’s bad when the Environmental Protection Agency comes down and has to fix something that the city IGNORED.  Secondly, bring full time jobs (both technical and otherwise) into Columbia by completing the first item.  Third, educate those you have in the city instead of importing more and more people to perform the jobs that are brought into this city.  Fourth and last item, direct the police into their proper roles of protecting the citizens of this city instead of CONSTANTLY harassing the homeless.  The city could be wealthy if they were to properly enforce their traffic laws.   Every day I see people running red lights or stopping on the heavy white lines on the road meant as stopping points to protect the pedestrians of this city.  I’ve seen this happen not just when a police officer was not around but right in front of an officer and the officer never did a damn thing.  The more the Columbia police harass the homeless, the less time they have to do their appointed jobs.  Judges are getting pretty tired of the same thing year after year in their court rooms.  One judge was even quoted as saying to an officer a couple of years back, “Bring me someone who can pay their fines, instead of the homeless who can’t.” As to your other article “Councilman Calls for Homelessness Dialogue as Issues Boil Over” (same issue), you miss stated who actually ran the city’s winter shelter.  It was run by Christ Central and Jim Jones.  USC had nothing to do with that to my knowledge.  Also mentioned in this article are two meetings that city council has planned to hear in the near future.  I’ll lay odds that there might be one or two actual homeless people who show up.  The problem is they WON’T be heard by city council.  Matter of fact, I’d lay odds that city council won’t have more than one or two members show up for these meetings and they again will do what they want to do and everyone else be damned. If anyone is truly interested in the insights of homelessness in the city of Columbia, South Carolina, I personally invite them to my blog.  Just search for “touringfrog” via any search engine and click on the link with WordPress in it.  You’ll find a number of articles about homelessness there and what is actually happening in the city with the homeless and those that purport to help those who are on the street or those in need. Now I’ve stuck my two cents in, its someone else’s turn.

Sincerely,

Terry L. Parris (Homeless Veteran)

Published version:

I’m writing in response to “Treat the Homeless as You’d Treat Yourself” (Sound Off, April 17). I couldn’t have put it better myself. A lot of these programs that benefit the homeless and needy are not run by our illustrious mayor or City Council. No matter what they do, they’ll never find a way to free downtown of the homeless or those in need.

In the almost 13 years I’ve been here, I’ve been homeless for about half of that. The other half I have been either living with a friend or in an extended-stay motel.

Each year, I’ve witnessed the City Council going broke and having to raid the water and sewer fund to pay for schemes that didn’t bring downtown any business. Prime example is the ice arena in downtown. No one really has heard the total cost of that fiasco. Your paper printed a story on the cost but left out one key expense — the electricity bill. This is just one of the many mismanagement issues I’ve witnessed.

This city is in major trouble. Its infrastructure is a train wreck. The City Council and mayor are only interested in two things — lining their re-election pockets, as well as their own. What this town needs is four major items that will get everyone off the street and help fill city coffers.

First of all, the city needs to rebuild its infrastructure. That means resurface roads, fix sidewalks, rectify the bus issue, as well as fix the sewer — using water and sewer fees, instead of using them for other expenses. You know it’s bad when the Environmental Protection Agency comes down and has to fix something that the city ignored.
Secondly, bring full-time jobs Columbia by completing the first item.

Third, educate those you have in the city instead of importing people to perform the jobs that are brought into this city.

Fourth, direct the police into their proper roles of protecting the citizens of this city instead of constantly harassing the homeless.  The city could be wealthy if they were to properly enforce traffic laws. The more the Columbia police harass the homeless, the less time they have to do their appointed jobs.

If anyone is truly interested in the insights of homelessness in the city of Columbia, I personally invite them to my blog. Just search for “touringfrog” via any search engine and click on the link with Wordpress in it. You’ll find a number of articles about what is actually happening with those who are on the street or those in need.

Terry L. Parris
Homeless veteran
Columbia

As you’ll note, there was some restructuring of my letter as well as some severe deletions.  I’m not entirely displeased with the restructuring.  However, I’m very annoyed with a publication who is unwilling to reprint the original material I sent without chopping it all to hell in order to make me look like I didn’t even have an education.  It’s quite obvious that the publication is either checking my claims on some of what I wrote or they are just too damn scared to publish it in it’s entirety.

For the record, I’m a high school graduate who majored in English, Math, and Sciences in high school.  I attended Southwestern Michigan College for computer sciences (dropped out due to funding as well as burn out and grades).  I’ve also attended Florida Technical College (diploma in C++ and Java programming).  And this DOESN’T count my twelve years serving in the United States Navy fighting for the rights granted to me an all the others under the Constitution of the United States.  As if this isn’t education enough.

What happened here strikes me of George Orwell’s 1984.  Yeah, you guessed it.  No freedom of speech here in Columbia, South Carolina.  You have to mark your speech very carefully when talking about politicians in the press or pointing out errors in the press itself.  Maybe that is why I spend more time reading news on the web instead of reading the printed (filtered) publications.

Now I have no animosity toward the editor of the Free Times.  He has a job for which he is paid for irregardless of what he feels is right and what his publication requires of him.  However, it’s his publication for which I seldom read anymore that I find myself at odds with.  Obviously the “Free” in their title only refers to the cost of their publication and not to “freedom of speech.”

Thanks to the “Free Time’s” I’m now in wonder of just how corrupt the press really is.  I could understand something like the “State” newspaper in South Carolina just flat not publishing my letter.  Their a corporate entity.  I’m unfamiliar with who owns or operates the “Free Times.”  However, if they were unwilling to publish my letter as a whole due to some things I investigated, then hold it till they investigated it themselves.  Don’t butcher it.  In most cases, I don’t speak unless spoken to and I don’t say anything I don’t KNOW to be fact.

I’ll end this with but one thing.  It’s an age old saying.  I may not get it quite correct but it applies here.  “If you can’t talk nice about others, then don’t talk at all.”  In this case if you can’t print something due to unsubstantiated facts that you haven’t investigated, then don’t print it at all.  At least send me an email and explain why you won’t publish it.

I’ve Seen!

April 4, 2013

A couple of years ago, I lost my grandmother.  At 91 years old she’d said she’d seen enough.  Only this morning did it dawn on me what she meant by that comment before passing.  She lived through the Great Depression, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Dessert Storm and some of the current wars not to mention several years of vast change in this country including Women’s Suffrage  and the Civil Rights Movement.

I’m too young to remember a lot of these things.  My only recollection of things during my grandmother’s later years was of my uncle leaving for Vietnam (he did two one year tours there), my neighbor going to serve the National Guard during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and of course I served in the Navy during Dessert Storm.  It makes me wonder just what I’ll witness next.

These are but a few things I’ve not seen in my fifty three years of life so far.  I’ve seen many more things than I’d like.  Some I’d much rather not see, especially here in the United States.  At this point in life, I can honestly say I’m with my grandmother on what her last feelings were.  I’ve seen enough to make a grown man not just cry but to curl up and want to die.

I was once a proud citizen of this country I call my home.  Doing my patriotic duty serving in the U.S. Navy wasn’t something I did just for a job.  After all these years, I can’t honestly say I’m proud of this country.  Actually, I’m mortified.  The people (especially the politicians) should be ashamed of themselves for the treatment they give those that are in as well as those who have served this country in the military.  They gave their lives or part of their lives in order to keep this country the way it is no matter how messed up it has become.  Yet, they are looked at as second and often times less than third rate citizens.  The illegal immigrants get better treatment most of the time.

Greed seems to be one of the things I’ve witnessed the most.  The saying “competing with the Jones'” comes to mind here.  Everywhere I’ve gone, everyone I meet, and every job I’ve been in seems fraught with who can get what for little or nothing of his/her time.  My last job with Sam’s Club will attest to that.  I worked there not even a year before quitting.   I was USED by day shift and management (my immediate supervisors) to get ahead (advance up the corporate ladder).  What did I get out of it?  Nothing more than an “at a boy” and a pay raise of only fifty cents an hour (the only pay raise I ever got there though I increased sales in my section by 30%).  Now I’m homeless again for my NOT cow towing to people who use and abuse others for their own personal gain.  It’s shameful.

Worse yet, I’ve seen this same greed and treatment of African Americans by not just Caucasians but by other African Americans.  Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the distribution of illegal drugs.  Of course, this particular thing happens not just in the African American communities, but in other racial communities as well.  Drugs are not a racial discriminator.

Discrimination is probably the second most prevalent thing I’ve seen.  Nowhere have I seen it more pronounced than in the impoverished neighborhoods and in the south.  However, it’s not just the African Americans against the Caucasian Americans and vice versa.  I think the worst discriminating race I’ve met is the Asian Americans.  Not so much in the northern part of the United States, but here in the south it’s abysmal.  These people, if they could have it their way, wouldn’t associate with anyone.

Personally, I don’t look at the exterior of anyone anymore.  I look at what is inside.  The personality of the person I’m talking to or the person I care for.   Personality is everything.  What is on the outside doesn’t matter.  WE all BLEED the same damn color, RED!  Plain and simple, there should be NO discrimination anywhere.  Yet it still happens.

From there I’ll mention history.  Nowhere in history has any government lasted longer than in the United States.  No monarchy, dictatorship, or other form of government has lasted so long.  I’ve worked both sides of the fence and studied both sides for a long time.  This government is DOOMED to repeat the errors of the past by not looking at what happened to past forms of government.  Alas, history is no longer truly taught in the school systems.  For that matter not much in today’s school systems is useful with the exception of math and science (and the so called Christians want to remove science from the system as well) to progress a person to a meaningful life.  But history ought to be a required subject throughout a students scholastic years.  Fully half the politicians in our current government know little or nothing about history and how greed has been the downfall of most all governments.  The other half ignore history though they do know of it.   These politicians think they have a “great civilization.”  Yeah right.  For whom?  Them of course.  Not the average person on the street.

The two oldest professions in the book are politics and prostitution.  They actually are much the same.  The career politician is nothing more than a whore.  More so than the prostitute on the street.  I’ve read recently where several politicians sold out to a major corporate interest.  They voted to support the oil industry in certain claims because a large amount of their campaign contributions (BRIBES) came from that one industry.  Two are members of the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.  Another four to six are in the Oklahoma Assembly.  The exposure of this as well as that of several assemblymen in the North Carolina Assembly for taking large campaign contributions (BRIBES again) from corporations for votes proves my point entirely.  Just another thing that makes me wonder, “Have I seen enough yet?”

And while I’m at it, let me mention military procurement.  Everyone knows what happens to some extent there.  It’s in the news just how much the “Joint Strike Fighter” is costing the taxpayer.  This is but one example but let me use it.  Corporations are not only using retired military personnel, but also BRIBING active duty personnel to push through stuff the military doesn’t need or in some cases even wants.  Yes, I agree we need a joint strike fighter that serves multiple missions for all branches of the service.  Where I don’t agree is on the cost.  Currently, each JFS (as I’ll refer to them now) will cost the American taxpayer over $100 million apiece.  That cost is growing on almost a daily basis.  Now the Navy’s old FA-18 Super Hornet was around $85 million apiece to give you a reference.  Granted we’ve had advances in many things but do we need all those things.  Americans are fighting two wars of completely different propensities.  We are fighting terrorists and computer crackers (the correct term though the media uses “hackers”, the incorrect term).  WTF do we need a joint strike fighter to fight these wars for?

As I’ve said, I’ve seen many things.  Some things I’ve seen here in Columbia, South Carolina I’m shocked at since I would think I’d see them on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California instead of in the Bible Belt.  Two things I witnessed here is just plain stupid even for a couple of homeless individuals.  First of all, two obviously homosexual men fornicating in front of a closed store at 2AM.  Secondly, a heterosexual couple fornicating in broad daylight under a blanket in the middle of a park.  Granted both situations involved homeless people and I’m ashamed to be mentioned in the same sentence as either of those four individuals.  Those four people have no sense of social dignity let alone anything else.  Of course, this is the only town where I’ve witnessed the aftermath of a knifing in as well.  Never did I witness these things in San Diego nor Los Angeles while stationed aboard two different ships going through the shipyards of Long Beach.  It’s truly amazing what you witness in a town of just over a hundred thousand people that you don’t see in cities of over four million people.  Need I say more?

I won’t say much more.  I’ll just leave you with a thought though.  When you’ve seen what you think is enough, just wait.  You’ll witness more.

Challenge To All Anonymous Crackers!

December 10, 2012

I thought of something I myself wouldn’t do though I can get all the tools needed to do it.  Is it illegal?  Highly.  Do I have the prerequisite knowledge to do it?  Not exactly.  Though I’m a CompTIA A+ certified computer repairman, I would personally NOT “crack” into any website or system server.  I’m what the term “hacker” is.  I learn one or more operating systems and if possible point out weaknesses to the company or group of individuals (as in the case of Linux distribution) in charge of the production of said operating systems of said weaknesses.  That said, I DO NOT CONDONE CRACKING FOR PROFIT OF ANY KIND!

However, I’m not above challenging someone to do what some would think impossible.  In this case, put mud in the face of big business and governments.  How do I propose this challenge?  Simple.  Pose the challenge to those that find cracking to be fun, sporting, and down right anti-establishment in nature.  Some of these people do this for profit as network security consultants.  Funny thing is many of those consultants are probably nonvocal members of Anonymous.  Though nonvocal, they are the ones that don’t get caught when assisting the rest of the group.

Frankly, I’ve found what Anonymous has done to date to be pure child’s play compared to what they can do.  These people are probably ones who go to the Defcon and Blackhat conferences to learn new exploits/tricks to possess root access to the operating system they attack (Windows, OS X, Android, and others).  Some or all are known to Homeland Security via registration for those conferences.  However, those that don’t attend are those to watch out for.  So here’s my challenge to those of Anonymous that are so endowed with knowledge that goes beyond anything I know or am willing to teach:

If you want to really show your salt (talents), stop with the current stuff you’re doing taking down websites as well as exposing client lists and do the unthinkable.  Crack in and find the appropriate information exposing corporate/government corruption and put it in the public domain for all to see.

I’m certain this would be much more challenging and garner some of you folks the attention you deserve not to mention a possible position in computer security for major corporations not to mention governments around the world.  And yes, I expect to be hauled in by Homeland Security (Homeland Insecurity 😛) for questioning revolving around said challenge.  I’m not scared.  It’s not as bad as something I’d write a book about.  That would be much worse than what I’m challenging.  Besides, I can’t be convicted for just putting an IDEA out there for others to act upon.

I’m already ostracized since I’m now homeless and without employment in my field of choice (Information Technology).  My age alone (52 soon to be 53) is also a strike against me.  No one wants someone my age in that field anymore unless it’s as a senior systems administrator or some position like that (and I’m not qualified for that).  Consider this a big F**k You to the establishment who grew up before and during the same time I was growing up.  You copped out.

Again, I state for the record that this is just an IDEA/CHALLENGE for those who can and are capable of doing this.  I DO NOT CONDONE ANY FORM OF COMPUTER/WIRE FRAUD, NOR DO I ATTEMPT EITHER OF THEM.  Even if I did, I couldn’t do it right now anyway as I have NO computers (laptop or desktop) of my own in which to do it with.  I’m currently writing this from a library computer and will continue to do so till I can afford another laptop.  That will probably be another year or two before that happens as is.  By that time the computer world will surpass my knowledge even further than it currently is today 😦

Interesting development! Healthcare, what a joke!

November 19, 2012

It appears to me that the social elite are at it again.  I just got an email from Credo about the CEO of Macy’s calling for the end to Medicaid, Medicare, and any form of welfare including Social Security.  Rather interesting since a lot of people in the social elite draw Social Security even though they DON’T contribute any money into it.  That’s correct.  The social elite (CEO’s and others making over $1 Million a year DON’T contribute anything to the Social Security system).
What this idiot doesn’t seem to take into account is without Medicaid or Medicare, over 45% of us could not afford medical costs thanks to the people like him who control the medical system (FDA and pharmaceutical companies who actually run the FDA).  Yes, you heard right.  The FDA is not controlled by the federal government.  The medical fields have very little or NO control by the federal government.  Thus we pay not once but twice for the development of new drugs.  It’s also the reason we pay more for those drugs than any other country.

Don’t get me wrong.  The original idea of the FDA was good.  Problem is we’re back to the pharmaceutical companies peddling snake oils instead of looking for cures like they once did.  For instance, there has yet to be a cured disease since Polio back in the 1930’s.  What’s with this?  Where are all the research dollars that the FDA pumps into the pharmaceutical companies going (taxpayer dollars)?  Certainly not for cures.  All the pharmaceutical companies want are treatments where they can charge over and over and over again.

Let me bring out another point as well.  With the growing number of people in the U.S. becoming homeless, the system is getting inundated because these people have no other means of getting any kind of healthcare.  Most homeless aren’t even getting first rate care.  They have to go to “FREE” clinics that are vastly understaffed and don’t have access to even rudimentary drugs to help a patient with a common cold let alone something more drastic.  The quality of healthcare for the homeless is even worse than it is for a fix income social security recipient.  Even my grandmother who died at 91 years of age (yes she lived on social security till her death) got better care than a homeless person does.

Now this is where I have it better than the average homeless person.  At least I get FREE medical care because of being a veteran.  How good is it?  Frankly it’s probably as bad if not worse in some cases than the healthcare under Medicare/Medicaid.  Often times I have to resort to the ER to get immediate care and even that takes hours.  Heaven forbid I try getting care from my primary physician which is a nurse/practitioner instead of a real doctor.  If I go the later route, I’m often waiting days, and sometimes weeks to be seen.  Pretty sad for care for those that made the sacrifice to serve their country.

Of course, it doesn’t end here.  Now the government and their corporate masters having me pay a copay for any and ALL medications I’m prescribed whether I pick up the prescription or not.  I was forced to go down to V.A. hospital to straighten these fools out for billing me for medication I never received (the prescriptions were for medication I couldn’t take due to allergies that have been noted in my medical record since 1982).  That’s right, the doctor didn’t even ask me about allergies or anything before prescribing me the pain killers.  I had to flag the pharmacy to make sure my record stated I couldn’t take those medications.  Talking about malpractice waiting to happen.

You be the judge.  Look at the current state of your medical care.  And don’t think you CAN’T be dropped for pre-existing conditions.  It’s a well known fact that the insurance industry DOESN’T like to pay out on anything.  How do you think those companies have such high profits year after year.

One other well known facts of medical issues and being homeless.  The diet they feed the homeless (me included) is worse than the diet that is fed to most school children in ANY school system.  Most of what I eat is starches,  fat, fiber, and sugars.  It’s no wonder many of the South Carolina homeless are diabetic.  Of course, many of those don’t pay attention to their health to begin with further hampering a broken system.  It’s just another vicious circle.

Accountability!

August 15, 2012

This a term you’ve heard a lot lately in the news and everywhere else.  The biggest problem I see with this term is that NO ONE seems to want to be held accountable.  They’re all trying to dodge the bullet that they know has their name on it.  Even I sometimes try to escape responsibility for my own actions.  However, I attempt to accept responsibility for all that I do or say.

By far the largest group of people who don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions are those people who are in control of our own governments and corporations.  Even though there are some who are honest enough to admit it when the problem IS their fault.  However, it doesn’t stop there.

Like a plague, the issue has spread from the government and big business to that of the individual on the street.  I’ve seen it happen amongst the homeless time and time again.  I’ll openly admit and accept responsibility and accountability to myself for my current status in life.  I have no one to blame.  It was my decisions that put me here and it will by my decisions to get me out of here.

Let’s look at welfare and accountability for a moment.  It seems the Republican party bitches about this one the most.  Funny thing is there are many who currently get welfare who DON’T need it when others that do need the assistance can’t get it.  Now I’m counting corporate welfare in on this one since corporations took a large chunk of taxpayers dollars in the last six years thanks to George W. Bush and his administration.  Some of these “bailouts” were given under the current president but were set up by Bush and his administration in advance.

What annoys me more than anything is that several of these corporations got these huge “bailouts” and then turned around and gave them out as bonuses to those that put their corporation into the situation that they supposedly needed the “bailout” money to begin with.  Even though the current Congress forced those individuals into a 90% tax on those bonuses, the American taxpayer still gave those corporate individuals a 10% bonus they didn’t deserve to begin with.  Those individuals should have been bare minimum fired by their respective corporations if not brought up on criminal charges for FRAUD!

Here’s are a couple questions that the taxpayer should ask.  How many of those “bailout” loans have been paid back?  Were these corporations who were foolish enough to get themselves into the bind that they required these loans charged interest on those loans and how much?  Frankly, I doubt very much that these “bailout” loans were anything but NO interest loans.  At least the vast majority of them were.  Sure GM was able to pay back the loans they took ($60 Billion) prior to the repayment date.  However, are they having any regulation to stop them from doing the same thing they did to warrant them the “bailout” again?

Same is true of the bank system.  Many took “bailouts.”  They would have never needed to be bailed out if the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 had not been abolished or severely eroded.  This act made it so banks had to be either commercial or investment banks.  Alas, this is no longer so.  This act was originally instituted to keep what happened in 1929 from happening again like it did shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2000.  The provisions in it were realistic and well thought out.  Unfortunately the banking industry sought deregulation to allow it to do what it did before 1929’s stock market crash and got it.  Now we are facing pretty much the same thing again.  But yet they state, “It wasn’t our fault!  Where’s the accountability here?

I’ll be bold enough to state that it’s corporate policies that have gotten the government into poor accountability.  Take for instance weapons procurement.  Bids are accepted and the lowest bidder wins the contract.  In a lot of cases a company will purposely under bid so that they can later state that they have “cost over runs” and “delays.”  If this was going to happen why did they bid so low to begin with?  This is reprehensible in the least.  If a government contractor can’t or won’t deliver on a contract bid at the cost of the contract they should lose the bid or be fired when they get behind schedule and run into “cost over runs.”  Unfortunately it’s not happening due to many things.  Corruption being the worst.  If a company low balls a bid and can’t deliver it should go bust.  It’s obvious to me that many companies are not being held accountable for this mess.  F35 Joint Strike Fighter ring a bell here?

Simply put, ALL people should be responsible and accountable for their actions.  If it gets a company into trouble then the employee causing the trouble should be fired even if the company has to eat cost over runs to keep a contract they bid on.  In this case the bidder should be fired for his stupidity instead of the company folding and costing more jobs if the cost of the company delivering the product on time and in budget doesn’t close them down.  Until we start holding each other accountable for our actions we’ll continue to see what we are currently seeing now.  BOTH CORPORATE AND GOVERNMENTAL IRRESPONSIBILITY AND BAD ACCOUNTABILITY!

The Pursuit of Happyness!

July 19, 2012

This is the title to one of my favorite movies.  It gives people like me hope however little it may be.  This isn’t a false story that Wil Smith portrayed a part in.  This story is very real.  Wil’s character does exist and went through a lot that I’ve gone through.

Alas there isn’t a program for Information Technologists like myself similar to the stock brokerage firm where Wil’s character interned at.  If there was such a program, I’d have gone into it myself.  Sadly, companies like Microsoft and other high tech companies who scream bloody murder at our federal government for more and more H-1b visas don’t push these programs to get the workers they need.

Yes, Microsoft has something very similar set up but they seem to want only the younger set of people to train thinking the older people are not open enough to change.  BAH!  Seems to me that Microsoft and other companies aren’t taking into affect that a lot of older people want to work and are willing to learn new things in order to stay active in society whether it be in the Information Technology field or not.

The saddest thing is that corporations are sitting on hundreds of million if not billions of dollars supposedly set aside for training people.  Take one look at the average age of the homeless man on the street.  Sadly it’s decreasing.  When I was first homeless the average age was around 50.  That average age has gone down  to around 35 in less than 15 years.  Why aren’t corporations spending on retraining these people who want to work instead of farming jobs overseas or importing labor where American dollars are sent overseas?  I’ll tell you why.  Greed pure and simple.

Don’t get me wrong.  I”m all for corporations making money as is their rights.  But at what expense?  Alienation of your employee’s?  Lost employee’s (think layoffs here)?  What is currently happening in the United States right now will happen to countries like China, Vietnam, Thailand and even the Philippines as the workers become more knowledgeable and want more for the efforts they put out.  Case in point is Foxcon in southeast Asia.  They’ve had workers commit suicide even after raising wages 3 times inside two years.

Myself, I only want a little bit of the pie that WAS the American dream.  I don’t want any automobile or home (what does a title show?)  We don’t really own a thing.  we just rent it.  I’m a man of little needs.  If I have a laptop computer, a bicycle to get around on, a place to call a home (rent or otherwise),food to subsist on as well as female companionship I’m fine.  I’m not the materialistic person I once was.  Being materialistic is not the dream or the way anyone is suppose to be.  It’s something the advertising executives want you to believe in.  It’s also why EVERYONE in the United States owes approximately $40,000 to pay for the deficit that our federal government has spent us into.

As I grow older (don’t we all) I see my dream of ever being in a position where I can have even a little bit of what I want slipping away due to the greed and petty jealousy of others.  Even on the streets there is petty jealousy not to mention greed.  I had a set of panniers worth $200 cut up because of greed and jealousy.  Hell the things weren’t even paid for yet.

I leave this with just one question, why does this world have to people who have and people who have not?  Can’t we all just get along well together and share what this world provides?  Why is it that less than one percent of the world’s population want everything and not willing to work for just a share of what the world has to offer?  To those of the less than one percent of the world’s population, “When people stop believing in money, then money is truly worthless!”

Day labor, Temporary agency’s, and Uncaring corporations!

June 11, 2012

Now this will not win me any friends but it’s something to be said about a group of individuals feeding off of those who actually do work.  If anything it may just run me out of the employment market completely.  I don’t care at this point.  Some people think they aren’t using others to live but they are.  These are the carrion of man.  The lazy, scamming filth of humanity are just other terms that can be used for them.

I’m referring to day labor, temporary agencies, and head hunters.  A good number of these people DON’T know how to get a job.  They often DON’T know how a resume should be formatted or what should be in it.  It doesn’t matter how many years they’ve been working in the placement service of their choice or what kind of “sheep skin”(college degree for those less knowledgeable)  they have.

Let me start with day labor employment services.  These are the real sharks.  The people who run them have their employee’s go and find work for others.  Generally, they’ll tell the perspective employers or users of their services how much it will cost them to use their services (people the day labor place employs).  This includes a small hourly amount (not necessarily small) to cover the day labor employer’s cost or administrative fees.  Then the day labor service sends out workers to these employers on a daily basis.  The employee of the day labor place is paid as little as possible for doing some of the dirtiest jobs no one else will do.  Generally that wage is minimum wage if not less if the day labor place could get away with it.  The employee of the day labor employer is also minimally covered (almost no coverage) insurance wise (medical or otherwise).  There are no other benefits.  No vacation time, no sick days or sick leave.  There are at least five or more day labor places in Columbia, SC metro area.

Before I leave day labor places be, I must make light of one thing.  The day labor places will charge you for transportation and food (lunch if you so desire to get one).  While I was working it was $3/day for rides and the same for lunches.  Now when I was working at the day labor place doing this, I was making at the time minimum wage of $5.25/hour.  At the end of an 8 hour workday I had roughly $38 left after paying for transportation.  Can someone live off that?  Not really.  Average rent around here for a one bedroom is around $425/month.  This is just the rent.  No utilities no nothing beyond the rent.

Now before I get sidetracked too much about other things.  Let’s move on shall we.  Next up are the temporary agencies or headhunters.  The people in these business’ are very similar to the day labor people.  Jobs from these pay a bit better.  Not often as you’d like.  However, they do come with many of  the missing benefits you don’t get out of a day labor organizations.  However, they don’t come with full benefits.  Also, these places generally pay weekly or bi-monthly.  Headhunters really only differ in the fact that they get a bonus after you’re employed so long at the company they set you up with.  Otherwise they are pretty much the same as the regular temporary agencies like Manpower.

Now where they all get off is in the number of people they get to work for them and the overhead (costs) for them to get you to work.  Day labor services generally make more per person employed as they can set a wage that is much higher than the one the laborer earns.  Regular temporary agencies are much more controlled by the jobs they post people to thus they rely more on numbers of people they employ with a lower per laborer take on wages.

You ask how I know this?  I’ve worked day labor places, temporary agencies like Manpower, and even worked for a headhunter.  I never figured out what the day labor places nor the headhunter made from me in the way of profit over my paid wages.  However, for one place I was placed by Manpower at the time, I was paid $8/hour.  They were actually charging the customer $10/hour so the net profit they made from my labor was $2/hour.  There you can see where Manpower was relying more on numbers of people they could get employed vice the day labor pools or headhunters.

My real problem with these people isn’t the money they make off any effort I do.  It’s the thought that these people who sometimes tell you they have to embellish your resume to get a good job and often times do modify your resume without your knowledge DON’T KNOW how to get a job or do a resume in the first place.  Many don’t have even a business degree.  And when it comes to the IT industry, there are very few who truly know the industry.  Most don’t even hold any kind of IT certifications.  In other words, the vast majority of these people who run these so called businesses have never even worked a day in the life of anyone in these fields.  They neither understand the position that they are hiring for nor know how to advertise the position opening to begin with.  This fails to bring up the least common denominator in all the people in these business’.  None of them want to work in the first place so they USE people to make money for themselves.

My last thought is the reason most corporations use these services in the beginning.  By using such agencies to begin with the corporations don’t pay benefits that they generally pay full time employees.  Point in case.  I was reading an article on one of the various technology sites about a guy who got laid off from IBM during the last batch of downsizing layoffs.  He got called by a headhunter a week later and was asked if he’d like a job doing the same thing he was doing for IBM.  The pay was the same but lacked the benefits that his IBM full time job had.  He asked the headhunter who the job was for and discovered that it was the very same IBM who he was working for a week earlier.  Once he found this out he told the headhunter no thanks and swore he’d never work for IBM again in his life.  Can you blame the guy?  I surely can’t.  Now you understand my problem with these people and the corporations that use them to avoid paying what they should to keep good people instead of using these agencies to cut their costs.  To the corporations, this is a cost saving aspect.  If they truly looked at it it actually costs them more than to maintain their own HR department and do their own paperwork.  Not to mention higher cost/employee.

Now you know about how these people work together.  Myself, I’m like that guy who no longer works for IBM.  I refuse to work for day labor or temporary agencies ever again.  Contract work (where I can set my own wages and benefits) or full time employment (not through an agency) will be the only way I’ll go.

Busy bodies (The real 1%)

March 15, 2012

I was recently reminded just why I refuse to be associated with any “social network.”  Not only that, I was reminded of this on a media I least suspected I’d find it but I’ll address that media another time.”  As the topic states, this is about “busy bodies.”  We all know these people.  They are the ones who for some reason or other try to push, shove, or invoke (whatever word you want to use) their ideas and beliefs on others thinking they have the gift to determine what is right or wrong with others and their respective choices in life.  This includes governments, churches, and even certain of those not involved with either of the aforementioned.

A friend of mine after I told him about my little bout with a certain individual put it this way, “you have 6 months where you try to get your life in order, then you spend 7 months trying to get into others lives and run them.”  Interesting thought occurs.  There are not 13 months in a year.  This also tells me that those “busy bodies” are not getting their own lives in order.  They are much too worried about how they can get others lives in order.  Yes, they spend too much time worrying about others to even think to take a deeper look at themselves.

Another friend of mine put it succinctly, he said use the person’s own words against them.  In this case use the religious zealots own words against them.  “Judge not least you be judged.”  This may not be an exact quote of the bible but I do recall where it’s roots lie.  It represents the time that Jesus came upon the lady to be stoned for adultery.  The would be participants in the stoning walked away after being reminded not to judge others for a sins you yourself may have committed.  Believe me when I say I’ve seen it.  This is exactly what happened to several Catholic clergy members around the world.  It probably still goes on today.  It’s just not out in the limelight as it use to be.

Now you’re going to say I’m an atheist.  Actually I’m not.  I’m agnostic.  A true atheist wouldn’t believe in himself/herself.  Think about that.  I’m not against those that have beliefs in the bible or God.  Just don’t throw it in another person’s face if you don’t live those belief’s.  It reminds me of people like Rush Limbaugh (reputed reformed narcotics addict).  Look what happen to him.  His own mouth become his biggest downfall.  Was he on drugs at the time?  Who really knows.  I don’t care because it’s none of my business.  However there are others out there who made it their own personal agenda (business).

As the government end of this, it reminds me of various laws.  Most of them dealing with what is known as “vice” laws.  For those of you who read this I’ll define what I mean here.  Vice as of Dictionary.com’s meaning is:

2.

immoral conduct; depraved or degrading behavior: a life of vice. Synonyms: depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness, corruption. Antonyms: virtue, morality.
I choose this meaning because it’s just how government uses the term.  Vice laws in this country deal with two specific things for the most part.  They are drugs and prostitution.  This is another form of government putting their nose into other people’s business via being paid off by various pharmaceutical companies to keep various drugs from becoming “over the counter.” (i.e. legal).  If it were their choice they’d have all drugs as controlled substances.  More on this later.  Prostitution is the church via the government sticking their head into your bedroom.
Most of these things I speak of happen every day in the U.S.A. and other countries.  More so in other countries who have a lower educational standards than my own.  Again, more on education later.  These people who hold power.  One scene in a not so recent movie reminds me of the powers of government and religion.  “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility. ”  These “busy bodies”, don’t even want the responsibility of their own lives let alone those they tell what to do.  Another quote that is dear to my heart that holds true here “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
These “busy bodies” who don’t even want  responsibility for their own lives want power like all other power mongers.  They think if they can run your lives their lives will be better somehow.  Well if they get in power and in many cases this even includes you and I.  The last sentence of the last paragraph holds true.  The more power you have to wield the more corrupt you will become for power sake.  I’ll make a separate post on greed, power, and corruption.  The “busy body” that initiated this posting if she reads it will know who she is.
My last words to those seeking power via the church, the government or any other organization are simple.  Before you speak in private or in public, “GET YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER” before you start condemning others.  This means if you preach the bible practice what you preach.  If you have an opinion and everybody does “Everyone has an opinion and opinions are like assholes, every one has one and they all stink.”  The last quote was said to me by my Navy boot camp company commander.
Personally, I try not to tell others what to do.  I tell them, here is what I “recommend” whether or not you choose to follow my recommendation is your own decision.  I don’t label people.  There are good and bad everywhere.  Though my zodiac says I’d be a great leader, at what costs.  It’s against my upbringing to tell others how to live their lives.  All I can do is tell others what I’ve experienced or “recommend” a decision.  I feel I was put on this Earth to listen to others.  Offer a shoulder to cry on if necessary.  I’m not here to judge others for what they have done past or present.  Yet here I sit judgement for what another person has done to me.  I’d like to say I have the moral high ground here but here’s a good question for you all.  WHO DECIDES ON WHAT IS MORAL OR NOT?  You, me, another.  See my point?