Posts Tagged ‘government’

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.

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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.

Columbia, South Carolina state’s best city? NOT!

March 27, 2013

I found this rather interesting item in the news a few months back.  It was a determination of the United States best cities.  The survey was done by the Milken Institute and is rather informative.  If you’re not from the United States or even if you are you can check out your cities standings (if it’s listed ) at the following links.  This information is based on several factors and the determination is actually described by the institute’s site (first link).

http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/
http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/best-performing-cities-2012-large.html
http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/best-performing-cities-2012-small.html

The table below is just a standing for the cities listed from South Carolina.  It’s not the entire table at the links above.

2012 Rank

2011 Rank

Metropolitan Area

State

9

11

Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville

SC

35

114

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill

NC-SC

52

113

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley

SC

88

77

Augusta-Richmond County

GA-SC

108

181

Spartanburg

SC

129

115

Columbia

SC

165

128

Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway

SC

127

141

Anderson

SC

129

151

Florence

SC

131

155

Sumter

SC

I found it quite interesting that Columbia is one of three cities listed from South Carolina that actually fell from their previous years listing.  Of the cities listed it is in the bottom twenty percent and tied with Florence.  The worst city of course was Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach/ Conway for obvious reasons.

Now as to why Columbia is failing to move up the listings.  There are several things that mark the decline of Columbia.  First and foremost is the number of jobs (jobs that pay significantly more than minimum wage) in this city.  The second and I feel should be the most important and will bring the first to this city is infrastructure.  Third is a friendly government.

Now let’s talk about infrastructure.  This should be a city’s first order of business since without a sound infrastructure jobs will NEVER come.  The city of Columbia is and has been in hot water with the Environmental Protection Agency over it’s sewage system.  Progress of repairing it has been slow at best and has cost the citizens of this city far more than they need it to cost.  Why you ask?  It’s because like all governments, the Columbia city council pools all the cities funds into one lump sum and spends it without regard to setting aside money for future needs nor repair of in use systems.  It’s why not only the cities sewage system is still in need of repair (even through not one but several water rate hikes in recent times) but the roads, parks and other things are in need of repair or proper maintenance.

Where is all this money going you ask?  Look around.  You see block parties (not necessarily for the general public (i.e. normal citizen), parades, and other nonsense things being supported by city council in order to draw people to a DEAD downtown.  Tourism isn’t happening in this city let alone this state because of several things that I need not mention.  Tourism is also a dead industry like manufacturing has become in the United States.

Roads are seeing very little repair outside that which the city spends from state and federal funds they receive.  One thing could help this issue other than further taxing an already burdened people.  Think before you make repairs of streets.  Two or three years ago, Columbia resurfaced several of their downtown streets instead of spreading the funds around the town on these projects.  What happened after the resurfacing?  Sure enough, not one month after the roads were resurfaced, the city started tearing up the NEW surface repairing stuff that could have been repaired before the resurfacing.  Now they’ll scramble for more state and federal funds to resurface the same streets they tore up again instead of fixing other more in need streets.  This isn’t new.  It happens in many a city.  Ill thought out maintenance and repair is killing things.

As to the parks, they aren’t getting but subsistence funding.  Meaning, they aren’t getting anything more than what they need for basic maintenance.  Water fountains in the parks aren’t being maintained where there are such.  Restrooms which need repair, maintenance, or just flat need replacing are not getting done to attract citizens to the parks.  The sad thing is I’ve talked to people who work these parks.  They request the necessary things needed but are denied what they need in order to make the parks a better place for citizens.

Now a word about public safety in the city.  Columbia has recently added several new police officers to their ranks.  However, they like other government employees don’t seem to be doing their job properly.  Granted ALL police officers are underpaid for what they do, but most here are NOT performing the basics and the police chief seems to be spineless in his dealings with city council.  What I mean by this is, the police chief’s officers are being redirected against the current homeless population by city council and not able or willing to perform the basic functions they are paid for (writing traffic citations to those that commit the simplest of crimes).  In other words if you are homeless in this city as other major cities have homelessness as well, don’t expect a police officer to help you.  If anything they’ll lock you up faster to get points with city council.  If you’re an automobile owner, you can do no wrong.  Run a red light, speed, wreck less driving, or hit a pedestrian, no problem.  It seems pedestrians as well as bicyclists have NO rights in this town.

For Columbia to succeed in moving upward, they need to first task their police for properly.  Secondly, think proper repair and maintenance of their infrastructure (funding for current and future).  And last, FIRE their current city council.  Then and only then will they have an efficient and well run city where government responds to their citizens instead of being self centered egotistical megalomaniacs  like most government officials are.  Maybe then and only then will the Columbia police force remove the tag for them as being nothing more than “Uniform Gang Members.”

You Lie!

February 22, 2013

This famous two word sentence got international attention when Representative Joe Wilson yelled it at the top of his lungs during a speech given by President Barack Obama to the joint session of Congress in September of 2009.  Though he later apologized for his actions, ole Joe wasn’t far from the truth.  Not just about the President but about all politicians in general.  But this isn’t about just politicians.  It’s about everyone and just how far they’ll go to get what they want.

I for one abhor lies.  Even stretching the truth doesn’t go very far with me.  Oh, everyone has his/her stories and they can tell it the way they see it.  It’s when those stories are no longer stories and becomes lies they live with as truths for personal gain.  That’s the one thing I abhor the most.  This greatly narrows down the list of those I call professional liars.  Now let’s look at the professions I believe to be professional liars.

Spin doctors as they are called.  These people are used by government to make statements to make statistics look good for those in control of our government through various media sources.  What people don’t realize is these people only present one side of any story statistically speaking.  They tend to not include ALL of the facts.  Are they liars?  To a point their job is to lie to the public via not presenting all of the facts. In this case they are not really liars.

Meteorologists to use the proper term.  Some may say they are liars but they are NOT.  The issue here again is the amount of data this profession has to work with.  They rely on historic data as well as garnered data captured by the current technology for forecasting.

Prostitutes ARE professional liars to a point.  They lie more to their clientele than they do to friends and or their pimps (if they have them or they work for a madame).  All the guys know their lies so I won’t expound upon them here.  Even a large number of females know their lies as there are some that AREN’T prostitutes that use these lies to get what they want.

Politicians on the other hand ARE true liars.  They lie not only to their constituent, but to anyone they feel necessary to in order to maintain their grip on the power they have.  They also lie to garner campaign contributions (some of these contributions can be construed as BRIBES).  Often times, they’ll even lie to the other people in their respective field of endeavor.

Often times, I wonder if they know just how many lies they tell.  Do they count them just to keep track?  Do they get caught lying?  I’m not certain about the first question.  The second question I can honestly say that they get caught.  Just not often enough to help his/her constituents.  I truly think the last honest politician we here in the United States had was Harry S. Truman.  Even he probably hid the truth to a certain extent though not through blatant lying.

What we need in this world today is less lying and opinions.  We have enough lying.  Opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one and they all stink.  If there were more honesty in this world we as the human race would have a lot less strife than we currently have.  Enough said.

Could It Be? Did someone hear my challenge?

January 29, 2013

I’ll repeat the two questions in the title for purposes you’ll see in a moment.  Could it be?  Did someone hear my challenge?  Let me amend the second question and add yet another?  Did the right parties finally get smart and take up my challenge?  Did it take the suicide of a person only seeking to release information that should have been free in the first place?  The following link is what I refer to:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=29754

Though classified a selective attack by Anonymous (i.e. Department of Justice), it appears they are finally realizing what I’ve realized all along.  To truly wake up government (not necessarily the United States government but any government), you have to get information that government wants kept secret for fear that it will do one of several things.  Examples of things the governments don’t want exposed:

1.     Corruption

2.     Fraud

3.     Missappropriation

4.     Plots by the government against their own citizens.

It is my sincere hope that Anonymous found all this and more when they “cracked” into DOJ’s servers.  I’ve checked the files listed that were released on Pirate Bay for download.  Though I currently have no computer of my own and can’t download them via bit torrent here at the public library, I’d love to have copies of these nine files to see just what Anonymous has released.  I suspect it’s some very embarrassing items about the DOJ.  By my estimation, the nine files they uploaded have around thirteen or fourteen gigabyte of information.  If it’s all text, it’s considerable.

Also my sincere hope is that Anonymous won’t stop at the Department of Justice.  I hope they dig deeper.  It would be interesting to see what they could find at the Central Intelligence Agency or Department of Homeland Security (I call the DHS the Department of Homeland Insecurity), or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The National Security Agency to me is a waste of time.  There is just too much information there to sift through.  The CIA would be interesting because they should have been closed down years ago during Kennedy’s administration.  DHS because of the Patriot Act which in my book shouldn’t even be called that.  That was the most unpatriotic bill ever invoked into law not to mention most of it being unconstitutional.  As to the FBI, I’m sure there are lots of very interesting things that can be gleaned there.  Cover ups anyone?

All this goes to show you that even our own government can’t stop people from finding out what they want to find out.  How much are they really hiding?  Perhaps things to do with Roswell, New Mexico or even John F. Kennedy’s assassination?  I’m sure there is even more than that.

At this point, I believe the United States government is proving just how stupid of Information Technologist they can and DO hire.  If their website programmers can’t avoid a security issue that has been known in the wild for over ten years,  then they should all be fired and they should get some competent people.  However, competency is another subject altogether when it comes to just how competent the United States of America is.

Please by all means, find more dirt that the career politicians and their cronies have on them.  Anonymous has a start.  Frankly, I don’t care if Anonymous does it or some private individual.  We need to expose the faults and corruption of our own government.  The media is finally getting in the act instead of just listening to their corporate masters.  However, it’s the Internet media that is finding all this out.  Definitely not Rupert Murdock’s crew.

Do You Know?

January 5, 2013

Do you know that MOST if not ALLVeteran’s Affairs Hospitals are college medical schools?  Yes, it’s true for at least two of them that I know of.  One being the University of California at San Diego.  The other one is William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center here in Columbia, SC.  I suspect that the rest of them are just as bad.

Yes, you heard it.  Our nations veterans (myself included since I served in the United States Navy from 1981 through 1992) are being treated by STUDENTS!  Yes these people may already have degrees in nursing or in the medical field, however the vast majority of those treating our veterans are students (first time nurses and doctors).  Interesting huh?

This should show you how the veterans of our armed forces are treated.  We don’t even get first rate medical care.  It’s like we’re guinea pigs or test patients for the student population of these medical schools.  I won’t even go into what all I know of by hearsay evidence.  The hearsay alone would send most into shock let alone if not into cardiac arrest.

Are there real doctors and nurses at these facilities?  I’d like to hope so.  However, they are probably few and far in between.  My last appointment with a Veteran’s Administration doctor (Was he a REALdoctor?) was this morning.  He was told only to look at one thing for my current claim.  He did NOTask about any other prior claimed injuries.  Nor was I asked what else might have been bothering me.  This kid (he may have been in his mid 20″s) did his job well and quick.  When going into a doctor’s office, aren’t you asked what your issues are (i.e. ailments and symptoms)?  I surely wasn’t.

Let this be a warning for all the veteran’s.  Perhaps it’s better to get a REALdoctor to look at you even at your own cost.  Yes it may cost out of pocket, but you’ll get better care and you can still use that doctors records in your claim against any Veteran’s Administration claim.

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 😦

I couldn’t have said it better myself! VA disgraced!

December 6, 2012

Perspective

As a service to taxpayers, the IRS’s longtime policy is to pay tax refund claims promptly and only later to refer the refund files for possible audits and collection, in the event of over payments or fraud. This policy, though, means that ordinary taxpayers are treated better than the nation’s wounded warriors who file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The V.A.’s assumption seems to be that wounded veterans are cheating — and thus most veterans receive at least five evaluations, and each one reviewed over a several-year period, before full benefits can be awarded. (Even though some temporary financial relief is available before final determination, veterans complain that the amount is almost never enough for complicated rehabilitation programs and other support.) [Washington Post, 11-11-2012]

Need I say more?

Why do they do this? Police brutality!

December 6, 2012

Not since Rodney King and the Los Angeles police department did I ever expect police officers to be as they are today.  There is just so much corruption, discrimination, and down right anger in the Fraternal Order of Police.  The problem is how they represent themselves to the public.  The other part is the quality of the officers they enlist for their employment/service.

One of the titles stated on the street for Columbia, South Carolina’s city police department is:

Uniformed Gang Members

In fact, they aren’t all that bad really.  It’s just like society.  They have their good and bad people.  It just seems they have far to many bad people of late.  With what they pay the CPD officers (Columbia Police Department), they seem to be getting the bottom of the barrel officers.  These officers come from a couple of different camps.  There are the type who are over aggressive and then there are those that are downright lazy in their enforcing the law.

Let’s first address the lazy type of officer.  These are unique in that they have been on the force for quite some time now ( I’d like to say 5 years or more experience).  I’m not going to go any deeper than that at the present time as there are some other issues with these particular officers.  Most notably, they are overweight.  Generally, these officers are much easier to deal with than the other attitude.

Most of the “lazy” officers tend to be easier going than the rookies.  They’d much rather do something else other than harass the homeless.  Here in Columbia we know that the police would much rather deal with real crime than cajole the homeless.  They give their show of force by doing what they have to in that they patrol the area they are assigned.  Some are quite nice.  They give the homeless man a warning in the first incident then after that they up the ante so to speak (harsher violations and more).

The largest issue with these officers is that they generally don’t put pressure on the real criminals.  They don’t stop crime where it starts (traffic citations).  They also have a tendency to be corrupted easily but not as easy as others.  A lot of times you’ll find these officers wasting time with others of their ilk.  In this case, they are at the local coffee and doughnut hole (Crispy Creme, Denny’s, IHOP, or even Waffle House.  Sometimes you can find them at mini conventions where you’ll see four or more patrol cars rolled up at the same location without any of them doing any law enforcement.

Now let me tell you a story of a different kind of police officer.  Generally they are rookies or ones with less than five years on the force (though it could be ones who have had this attitude since they were rookies and made rank).  Like children, they are easily swayed as well as much easier to corrupt than the later officers.  I call them “yes” men as they will broadly apply anything their supervisors or even city counsels tell them to do.

Let’s start off with my own experience in Orange Park, Florida while I was homeless down there.  With a friends help, I was able to set up a small CLEAN camp to live in.  At the time I did not know it was private property.  I later learned in a big and costly way.  Had I known now what I know today, a county police officer would have lost his job.

I’d went to work one day for Action Labor in Orange Park for several hours.  Once I returned to camp, I found what was left of my three man tent and all my belongings strewn all over the place and the tent literally cut to pieces.  The worst part of it was a note left by what was presumed to be a police officer of Duvall County Florida.  I was told in no uncertain terms to leave the property and the officer left his business card.  Now this could or could not have been the officer named on the business card.  It could have been an impersonator.  Stranger things have happened.

Needless to say, I moved in less than three days.  I chose so to avoid prosecution and also got permission to use company land of which belonged to the company I had hired on to from out of Action Labor.  It was much better than the sixteen mile one way trip by bicycle to work and then back.

I don’t believe this is the only time it’s happened.  I beat a ticket written out by an officer here in Columbia.  The following Sunday while I ate breakfast at a local church, I left my panniers on the bicycle.  They weren’t even three weeks old and I came to back to my bike (gone less than an hour) to find them knifed and stuff strewn over a twenty foot area.

I can’t prove anything as to who did the deed.  However, I have my suspicions that the officer who’s ticket I beat had something to do with it.  He’s one of those who probably has been on the police force less than five years and is doing just what city council wants just to earn his Sargent strips faster.  He’s a known harasser of homeless and has had more homeless before the local city magistrate (judge) than any other officer.

Now this brings me to yet another incident I found out about just the other day.  A homeless acquaintance of mine got the poles on his tent destroyed and it was witnessed by yet another homeless man.  The person who did the deed here was a member of you guessed it.  Columbia police department.  Now it’s likely they will not be able to do anything about this as the witness will likely not come forward because of reprisals.  Also, the acquaintance, was probably trespassing on private property for a while.  I don’t know the entire details about his camp nor did I want to know.  Safer for him and me.

These police officers are not only brutal in their willingness to make advancement but they will listen to just about anyone or do anything to get what they desire.  There are names a plenty for these types.  I’ll leave that to your discretion.  And police wonder why the homeless WON’T help them or even communicate with them.

This is not only happening here but in several cities around the United States.  There has been to my knowledge at least one death of a homeless man due to just such discrimination and hate.  It’s not about race or anything else but the fact that people are homeless.  It has to end here and now.  We as a people CAN NOT tolerate this.

Now I’d like to share with you something I read in the local Free Times newspaper which you can read at:

http://www.free-times.com

or follow them on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/freetimes

This was in a column called “Rant and Rave”:

“I have two rants I need to get off my chest today.  Columbia drivers need to stop running red lights.  You are not only putting yourself in danger but you are putting the safety of pedestrians and your fellow drivers at risk.  I see this every day.  People will blatantly run red lights and turn left on red lights.  Please stop!  I really don’t understand why our police will not give these selfish and careless drivers traffic tickets.  Something should be done.  I have seen two accidents due to  running red lights.  You know how Spain has the Running of the Bulls?  well, Columbia has the Running of the Red Lights.  And finally.  Don’t stop doing your job because a co-worker (according to you) won’t do theirs; worry about yourself.  What kind of logic is that anyway.  Oh, and if Halloween is a fall festival, then Christmas is a holiday.  A pagan one to be exact.”

The previous message exemplifies Columbia police department.  Due to orders from city council, they would much rather harass a homeless man than stop the most petty of crimes.  If they were to stop these petty crimes, then most wouldn’t graduate to felonious crimes to begin with, thus dropping our prison population and putting those tax dollars to use in better places like education.

Let me add that a recent bill which got canned in the U.S. Congress was about police being able to search your email, Facebook, and other electronic data without warrant.  The federal Fraternal Order of Police is still trying to get this passed not to mention attempting to stop you from photographing/filming them while they are on duty (within reason: must be out of the way of harm/a safe distance from any activity an officer is doing in the line of duty).  Feel free to do a search via your favorite search engine with the search of “videotaping police”.  You’ll find loads of info on it and more.

Final thought for this.  ARE WE BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE WHAT GEORGE ORWELL SHOWED US IN HIS BOOK ENTITLED “1984.”