THE DRESDEN FILES Reading Challenge



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Friday, January 25, 2013

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS – AND IT HAS GOT TO STOP

Like most people, I don’t really think about privacy issues on the Internet. I don’t think that most people worry overmuch about privacy on the ‘Net (although there are an absolutely ASTOUNDING number of people that think that they really can hide behind a monitor and the moniker ANONYMOUS). Well, gangers, I just got schooled in just WHY it is that privacy concerns should be uppermost in everybody’s minds.

Two of my friends got doc-dropped today. Just in case you don’t know what that term is, doc-dropping occurs when somebody gets all of a person’s private information – real name and all “handles”, physical address, all phone numbers, all e-mail accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, 4Square, Reddit, Tumblr, Skype, where their kids go to school, where the person works – you name it, EVERYTHING – and then publishs it on a public venue. It’s contemptible because it’s usually threatened (and used) to punish a person for having an opinion that runs counter to their own stated positions.

It’s also damned DANGEROUS.

THINK about it, people. We live in a world where NOBODY is safe from anything. Look at the nasty habit of SWATing people that’s becoming so popular in Hollywood. Think of all the public figures who must be accompanied by armed security people wherever they go – and, also, think about a President getting shot in the street by a crazy person even though he was surrounded by armed men. Think about what happened to Gabby Giffords. And they weren’t doc-dropped. Now, think about what would happen if somebody with a grudge doc-dropped *YOU*. Scary prospect, isn’t it? And do NOT think that it couldn’t happen to you, because it can. It has.

There’s a group called Stop The Good Reads Bullies. It was started by a fairly incompetent writer who objected to bad reviews and started putting up fake reviews to make this author look better. This writer also picked fights with everybody that objected to the nasty comments that were made by this person (and I’ve read said comments, by the way) and, when this “author” was outed as a sock-puppet reviewer of the works that this author had published, made so much trouble on Good Reads that this author was kicked off the site and banned from posting there. So, this author started another group: Stop The Goodreads Bullies.

Unfortunately, they themselves are a group that is far more in love with bullying than the people on Goodreads ever thought they could be.

There’s been a squabble going on between a friend of mine and one of the male authors who is apparently a fairly big noise on this site. I’ve also read his books, which were an absolute waste of time. Good ideas, bad writing, needs an editor. He fancies himself as a poet – which I’ll promise you he isn’t – and a musician. Since I haven’t heard any of his music, I’ll suspend my judgment on that as well. He also apparently thinks that he’s the Goddess’s Gift to womankind as well. Be that as it may, I have read the relevant posts, and this male author is a complete jerk. He is as big a bully as the other author.

Now, they have erroneously identified a person that had absolutely NOTHING to do with the original squabble and have doc-dropped her. There is another person that is going to be doc-dropped who also has nothing to do with the original squabble. This sort of behaviour is far more suited to an elementary school playground – IN MY OPINION. I have no problem with supposedly grown adults behaving like spoilt five year olds, but I DO find it disconcerting that a bunch of frauds are yelling about being OUTED as frauds – and punishing the people that outed them. They were profiled on Huffington Post and the author was forced to publish a follow-up, explanatory article to his original article.

Here is a link to the original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stop-the-gr-bullies/stop-goodreads-bullies_b_1689661.html. Here is a link to the follow-up article by the original author: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-losowsky/stop-the-gr-bullies-an-ap_b_1690134.html. And here is the link to Ray Garton’s masterful response: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ray-garton/stop-the-gr-bullies-_b_1696640.html

There are divergent opinions, of course, as to whether STGRB and their adherents are being noble in re helping people that have been or have been perceived to have been bullied, or whether they’re worse than the ills that they claim to be trying to cure. I’ll leave that decision up to you, gangers.

I know what I think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

IT'S BEEN A WHILE

It’s been a while since I felt like writing anything here, and I apologize for that. Having a chronic, terminal disease is sometimes hard to live with, and the absolute, screaming disgust that I lived with during the run-up to the Presidential election was extremely debilitating. Somehow, I thought better of the ReThugnican opponents than what they’ve showed lately – I know, the eternal optimist.

There have been some absolutely horrible things go on in the last couple of months. There have been a bunch of equally horrible people promoting callous, self-righteous agendas as well. I am referring to the Sandy Hook massacre here, and the NRA, not to mention the ToiletPaperPissers (aka as the Tea Party Patriots). The absolute worst thing that I’ve seen lately has been the revival of the feckless, screaming opposition to the President’s modest (VERY modest) exercise of the Executive Order to at least start getting rid of assault weapons and extended use magazines. Plus, of course, that bugaboo that haunts ALL gun owners according to the NRA: universal background checks.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh! TEH HORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRORZ!!!!!!!

One of my state’s elected representatives, Steve Stockman, has said that he’s going to start the impeachment process over the President’s executive orders (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/15/rep-steve-stockman-threatens-to-impeach-obama-over-guns/?wprss=rss_politics). Senator Rand Paul has compared the President to a monarch (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/15/rand-paul-gives-obama-the-royal-treatment/comment-page-3/). He further stated: “I've been opposed to executive orders, even with Republican presidents," he said. "But one that wants to infringe on the Second Amendment, we will fight tooth and nail. And I promise you," he continued, "There'll be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the Constitution, running roughshod over Congress. And you will see one heck of a debate if he decides to try to do this."

His argument falls in line with critics who say recent legislative pushes – both at the federal and state level – to amend gun laws mark an aggressive front against Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association on Monday posted to Twitter that gun owners are "under assault" and argued the White House and New York Politicians "declare war on the #SecondAmendment."

What ABSOLUTE crap.

Know what’s interesting? RONALD REAGAN was in favour of an assault weapons ban (which President Obama mentioned Wednesday). So was George Bu$hit. Both of them tried to get an assault weapons ban in place, and Bu$hit is actually on record as stating that he couldn’t GET Congress to re-authorize the Clinton ban.

What’s the MOST interesting thing about all the hoo-haw and foofaraw is the astounding number of people that are, once again, comparing OUR PRESIDENT to Adolph Hitler. Of course, it would be easy to write them off as nutcases and looney tunes – but I for one am DAMNED sick and tired of this nonsense. So, what’s really behind it?

IN MY OPINION: it’s a bunch of reactionary, white people who are NOT comfortable with the notion that there’s a BLACK MAN in the White House, who is NOT a “step ‘n fetchit, uppity N’WORD.” That’s what this is really all about. White people who are scared of the notion that the minorities that they not so secretly despise are actually better public servants than they’re used to, who have BRAINS and IDEAS and who don’t really need the approbation of the old rich white folks to survive. Take a look at a picture of a Tea Party function, for example? Do you see ANY minorities in those pictures? SURE you do – they’re busing tables and serving food. There have been at least two token blacks prominently displayed: Herman Cain and Allen West. Herman Cain is a skirt-chasing lunatic, and Allen West was “retired” as a lieutenant colonel for cause. THIS is what the Tea Party has to offer: puppets on a string.

My wife and I are both hunters. We own several guns: 3 shotguns, 2 nine millimeter handguns, 1 revolver, 2 30.06’s, 2 30.30’s, and 4 .22s. We reload our own ammunition. WonderWife has several 15 bullet clips for the two automatics, and I’ve got 9 6 shot speed loaders. When I was physically able, I preferred to bow hunt – with a double compound recurve bow. We both love to target shoot. There is no need for us to have assault weapons. We both belong to a GLBT shooting club called Pink Pistols that is NRA registered. The ONLY reason to have an assault weapon is to kill people. The ONLY reason to have 100 bullet clips on an automatic weapon is to kill people FAST, without reloading. There is no reason for anybody that is not in the military to have these weapons.

The best thing that has happened in this whole sorry mess is the reaction of New York state. The worst thing is that the Hitler references have started up again. GOT to wonder if the chuckleheaded FOOLS that are referencing Hitler and POTUS in the same breath know anything about the Holocaust?

Somehow, I don’t think that they do.