Posts Tagged ‘governmental transparency’

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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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 😦

Police state!

April 11, 2012

It’s George Orwell’s 1984 in South Carolina.  This reference is to the vast many of police forces withing South Carolina.  Being in Columbia, the states capitol, I’m reminded of it every day.  Only this morning did I witness yet another state government police force.  Is this what our country is becoming?  Wasn’t this part of what we fought to be rid of from the British?

It’s funny.  Every city in any state has it’s own police force.  Each state has it’s own “state” police force.  Yet South Carolina is the only state where I’ve lived where they think they have to have more than just the state police, county police or city police.  This doesn’t even count college police forces.  Below are some examples:

Department of Protective Services

Security and Employment Commission Police

South Carolina Education and Welfare Police

South Carolina Department of Transportation Police

South Carolina Housing Authority Police

Department of Protective Services

The list goes on and on and on.  Yes, I can see specialization.  But there is no need for all these petty fiefdoms.  Many of these so call police force jobs could and should be handled by the city, county, state police forces.  For instance, When does the Security and Employment commission need a police force for?  No other state have I seen this ever.

It’s truly interesting to see all this madness work.  It’s bad enough that this state is ranked 5th in the list of “most corrupt” governments.  This kind of madness breeds corruption from the lowest levels to the highest.  Sad thing is that with all these police forces, the crime rate remains the same.

I was born and raise in the state of Michigan.  Yes, I’m a “damned Yankee.”  The state of Michigan doesn’t have all this graft going on.  If a state agency needs police backup they contact the local city, county, or if necessary state police force.   With all the police the state of South Carolina has there is a greater likelihood of corruption.  And no my birth state isn’t any better than here.  They failed the last check at governmental transparency as well.  However, they do convict more people per capita than this state for corruption.

It all boils down to one statement:

“Who’s watching the watcher?”