Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Microchips Are For Fido Not For You; It’s Not Hip, Cool, Cutting Edge Science And Is In Fact Dangerous—Fundamentalist Religious Connotations Aside

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Maybe an interesting way to keep track of socks, locate lost possessions, car keys, tools, go into so called wearable technology but not in you, and certainly not for want of never losing your keys, finding a place to put your wallet/credit card, room key at the beach, medical records available at a swipe, thrill you get at doors opening by the wave of your hand… It isn’t a real life substitute for the force and it’s not supposed to be; as great as technology and the world is today this isn’t Star Wars. Oh how quickly we forget that universe too had its problems; great to read about, see movies about, absolutely horrible to LIVE in, remembering exactly where Darth Vader’s force sensitivity led him, hmm….While the Ohio surveillance company ‘implantation’ was completely voluntary and clearly testing the waters 11 years ago and the BuzzFeed author was delving into the future of money, how he chose to go about it represents choice, exploration, curiosity; Sweden’s moves are a little more insidious and compelling. First, as the BuzzFeed author noted, they have migrated farther away from cards or the nearly obsolete cash payment forms opting for mobile payment systems and chip readers not to mention professionals to implant them; next workers at the company featured by BBC all apparently agreed to chip implantation as a condition of their employment, we don’t need a crystal ball to see where this is going do we? How long before, in Sweden at least, it isn’t voluntary if you want a job, need medical care, wish to buy standard, basic personal hygiene items, food, rent an apartment; the UK and other small European countries the next to likely follow suit. Sold to the public as ultimate security, identity protection, removes the need for carrying cards or documents, eliminates what can happen in fire, natural disaster— loss of important personal data. Here is what older, slightly religious to absolutely fundamentalist religious persons, those simply reasonably cautious talk about when they shout mark of the beast, start correlating RFID technology to eternal damnation laid out in the bible for all who take the mark in their hand or forehead, without which they will be forbidden to buy or sell goods. Current technology, its pushed for direction begging the question, if the bible is the hoax, merely moral guideline book filled with endless inaccuracies, implausibilities, then why does RFID, its potential future offshoot technologies include a creepy picture of a man wearing an adhesive circuit board on his forehead? Thankfully the U.S. and most of the world has a long way to go before RFID could be remotely commonplace….People familiar with my work know my continued chronicling of this technology and repeated cautioning against it; in addition to the litany of possible negative bodily effects always seeming to get the last 2 lines maximum in any article, no true in depth thought given to what could physically, medically go wrong, are the vastly underplayed societal ramifications equally needing to be combatted, as is public apathy to something that has the potential to exert more control over a person than any object, government entity has a right to. Those who dispute biblical references to the mark of the beast, the eternal damnation comeuppance purportedly visited upon non-Christians to be doled out at a still undetermined date in our distant, not so distant future featured so prominently in the Left Behind book series/movies should ponder the following question left as yet unanswered; if not spiritual consequences, are we in for continuing to use said technology fostering a one world government where, ‘the man,’ apply called ‘big brother’ is in every aspect of your life to far greater degrees than we now constantly must resist, keeping in mind reactions to warrantless wiretapping, NSA surveillance, Edward Snowden anyone, government mass data collection. Worried about the vast number of cameras snapping photos of us throughout any given day; data breaches not only representing disconcerting flaws in our ever dependent technology but anxiety producing hyper vigilance around privacy; who has our data, what they plan to do with it, what technology will let them do with it before laws are crafted to protect us. Said laws being continuously undermined by the current presidential administration just putting forth a bill that would allow internet service providers to sell your browsing history to third parties, surely under the pretense of giving you a better browsing experience, ads only tailored to products interesting you and your family; opposing lawmaker summing it up beautifully, “Give me one good reason why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are,” said congressman Mike Capuano during the hearing before the vote, explaining how he had researched her condition after a trip to the doctor. “Just last week I bought underwear on the internet. Why should you know what size I take? Or the color?” [Sic] All due respect to the congressman’s undergarments and the tinge of silliness housed in the example versus say political searches, employment searches, he is absolutely right on 2 distinct fronts; first, it is none of their business understanding existing law doesn’t say they can’t sell user information only that they must obtain your permission before doing so, respect your decision to opt out, say no to selling the information. Secondly, arguably more important to their financially driven ends, if you flood the person with ads for item X, Y type of underwear in specific brand, color Z it will be futile because you’ve already bought the underwear you need; sidestepping if they were a gift for someone, you’re researching something for the purpose of expanding your knowledge not exclusively for personal use, then sellers of your browsing history have given a false impression to the end recipient of that information meaning they won’t sell to you as successfully as they planned…. Now picture a world where there is no expectation of privacy, it’s all right there in/on your chip and with a simple scan everyone can know everything about you; don’t like it, find it unnecessarily invasive, then you can figure out how to get a job, rent an apartment, buy foods, see a doctor sans a chip when everywhere requires one. Sounds pretty close to the descriptions depicting the mark of the beast to me, unable to buy or sell goods, easily extrapolated own a business, absent a mark, chip, barcode on your hand or forehead, and to a plethora of others; digressing from the spiritual once more, whose response to reports about chip technology to be put inside persons as identification, medical record storage or the cool factor of opening doors at the wave of your hand is to say they would rather starve naked in the woods, live totally off any grid than be subject to that kind of control. Hardly difficult to see why when thinking a short time about it; compounding the perceived invasions of privacy, intrusions on free will we contend with today, try being confronted by your employer because you were tracked to a bar after work by your chip, ‘caught’ with a different girl every night of the week at which point they fired you despite being single. Have credit card debt, student loan debt you’re blocked out of buying that morning latte, any fast food, that outfit or dress never mind if it’s for a major event say a wedding, new clothing for work, cable or internet services, throwing out completely you may use one, perhaps both to get a job, seek a better, higher paying job, you have basic cable because over the air TV no longer works where you live and you still need news and weather, use that to write freelance materials, putting lines on your résumé toward paid work. Also you can forget that car loan, so much as funds to repair your old one being released to you, though its your money you worked hard for, independent your need for a car, vehicle to get to work, earn money to continue making payments on your debt. Welcome to wage garnishment to the nth degree in the 21st century and beyond; shouldn’t we all be proud? Sick, have a chronic medical condition say diabetes no more cake, ice cream, junk food, red meat, soda available for you, dido if you are obese; we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, to that end no Easter, Halloween, valentines candy. Cake and ice-cream for your kid’s birthday, you still can’t have it; planning a summer barbecue, family reunion or other event with food, where you, yourself plan to eat almost none of the unhealthy things precisely because of your health status, condition, those realities don’t matter. Under this system no need to outlaw foods, vastly regulate the food industry, oh no, just regulate who gets access to what food generating a whole different type of class warfare. Struggle with alcohol addiction, suspected an alcoholic, forgo expensive, repetitively, ‘ineffective’ drug treatment, taxpayer dime funded rehab, merely block them from buying alcohol, history with pills: red flag their medical file to cut off pain medication, gambler prevent them from participating by locking funds, dispatching social, morality police to remove a gambler from an establishment specializing in same, restrict their internet access based on personal history with gambling sites, or the other popular ‘addiction’, porn viewing. Notice operative words in the previous list were suspected and addictions; reasonable proof not required to trigger government imposed freedom restrictions when 99% of the time the singular person hurt is one’s self…. Juxtaposed against the strictly social RFID negatives are technological realities conveniently ignored; we’ve seen the hacking of POS (point of sale) machines where you swipe your credit, debit or store card when making a purchase effecting all the major retailers Home Depot to Target and back again, hacks of major banks JP Morgan Chase to name one, Yahoo’s data breach effecting up to a billion accounts worldwide. Devastating exactly what was affected user names, passwords, security questions meant to add safety, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth happening just under 6 months ago, loudest in the growing white noise of hacks heard about becoming our new normal; previous breaches occurring at the CIA, pentagon pilfering workers, service members social security cards. We’ve seen the vulnerability, drawbacks of smart homes where the internet of things is alive and well, thieves can hack your internet router, home Wi-Fi/internet network and open doors/windows, turn lights on and off, change security codes subsequently robbing you blind without ever having to set one toe into your home, next to impossible to track. And just weeks ago we saw the ‘wannacry’ cyber-attack exploiting a known weakness in Microsoft operating systems software that went global putting at a standstill hospitals and surgeries in the UK, reaching as far away as Mongolia; worse Microsoft was aware of the vulnerability, had created a patch for it but many had not updated their computers. In fact we owe lessened effects in the US to 2 white hat (good guy) hackers who found an uncomplicated way to thwart the attack; over the course of this article’s creation are developing concerns popular Russian made anti-virus software Kaspersky running on a good section of US personal computers, business computer networks, sounding greater alarms government utilized PCs at the US bureau of prisons, select defense department agencies, could be a hidden national security threat requiring whole computer access to achieve the software’s touted protection, a would be tool for enhanced meddling, espionage above and beyond what has been authenticated pertaining to the 2016 election, business spying, intellectual property theft carried out by powers like China…. Domestically substantiating long held fears regarding a cyber-attack on the computers, computer systems that control major networks like city, country electrical grids, water purification and supply facilities, 9-1-1 emergency centers, utility plants, any local nuclear operations, in addition to the foreign threats there’s the hacker who hacked into Dallas Texas tornado sirens and set them off in the middle of the night merely to prove he could do it, to alert officials to the ease with which he pulled it off, a hackers standard way of imploring city, state leaders to fix glaring problems. Giving us a sad glimpse into the future of smart cities, their crippling, possible epidemic starting, national shutdown vulnerabilities that can and will ultimately jeopardize lives if we don’t get smarter in both creating but maintaining technology running them, slated to run them when we discard traditional systems…. Right up there with those headaches we’ve seen when purportedly smart, next generation technology fails spectacularly; the smart dumb fridge that reboots in demo mode after a power outage with the cooling compressor off, result a fridge full of spoiled food, firmware updates to Blu-ray players and you can no longer access your Netflix, Hulu or YouTube accounts through it, Samsung who got into public hot water post stopping produced updates for one player after a measly 3 years. Microsoft made headlines and elicited collective American groans when they announced discontinuance of updates to popular system windows XP, terribly short sighted forgetting its global usage and said usages implications; outer reaches of Mongolia probably are still using it, developing world advancement and cheap software needed on the scale for whole city utilities, emergency services will undoubtedly mean being a couple generations behind the latest Microsoft, wide spread global office, business, record keeping product. Exponentially troubling too tech expert attitudes at home that, if we are running so called out of date tech hacks like ‘wannacy’ are our fault, we are contributing to a growingly devastating problem; oblivious to the reality lesser developed countries can’t upgrade major city systems, medical institutions, critical institution record keeping to windows 10, whatever’s next on a dime and shouldn’t have to….fast forward a few short years and imagine a time, with the gung ho attitude toward RFID, when they aren’t hacking sales devices at stores, hacking hospitals and businesses with so called ransomware, but are actually hacking individuals’ RFID chips, forced to mass reconfigure hundreds to thousands of individual persons chips to get those flights finally moving. Because, contrary to their major current selling point, that imbedding it in several layers of skin makes it harder to hack, RFID is some of the easiest technology to either hack or clone, a system on the whole that is in no way secure, furthest from it actually. Utterly idiosyncratic to the CBS This Morning segment featuring a Swedish tech aficionado doing a presentation, he billed as educating the public on how RFID can help you as well as ways it can be used against you, holding parties where interested citizens can get chipped together, he frankly admitted the chips were insecure, advised not putting your life’s secrets on them. Except held up alongside listed wonders, being able to open everything from your car door to your formerly key-carded office with your hand, your life secrets are your credit cards, your social security number, computer passwords, online account passwords, e-mail to shopping, not just your hush, hush porn habit, kink fetish or diaper obsession, adult baby group membership, your purchases at an adult store. By the numbers, as it stands, identity theft is one of the most expensive threats to handle for the average person spawning security agencies like Life Lock pledging to spend up to a million dollars to resolve your case; holding that thought, put yourself in the position of trying to explain to officials at social security, your bank, the DMV, your doctor’s office your personal chip, residing inside you, has been hacked. The first few hundred cases would be scoffed at, laughed out of institutions, businesses and chalked up to people who didn’t understand how the new tech worked and therefore thought they could escape their bills, pull a fast one claiming to be hacked. To do this, not so incredible hacking, criminals, tech enthusiasts simply create a better skimmer identical to those used to skillfully scan/skim credit card data as you bump into unsuspecting marks in a store, restaurant, skillful skimmers very adept at slapping their own realistic device over ones at the grocery store while keeping you and the cashier dutifully distracted, attached to ATM’s again looking like the real thing so as you enter PIN information it can take you for all you’re worth. Almost guaranteed is they won’t have a mechanism, even with en-masse use, for when early version chips suddenly stop reading or otherwise malfunction locking you out of the ability to perform bank transactions, buy groceries, if technology protagonists and employers a-la Sweden have their way, report to work, be functional, productive once you get there…. Neither, as quickly referenced above, is literally microchipping people medically sound; beyond car accidents, extreme sports causing chip migration that sets off a cascade of possible related health problems extrapolating short or long term into the future, i.e. considering wide spread usage, implantation a matter mandated by law. It is especially disconcerting trying to answer pertinent burning questions: at what age do they implant such a personal data chip, when a child’s hand is big enough to safely tolerate a chip, who determines that safety parameter? Are we looking at a situation where we can no longer practically educate our children on how the world works, how to go through a checkout, teach them money sense, financial literacy by simply letting them use allowance money, birthday dollars to pay for an item due to being too young for chips, chips not allotted to young people until they are 16 and old enough to work? More insidiously if they did microchip babies, toddlers the moment their hands were big enough to tolerate it, hold their chip in its proper place it would doubtlessly increase rates of chip failure and persons having to have more than one input in their lifetime; multiply the chances of chip migration to other parts of the body skyrocketing their potential for heart attacks, strokes, brain bleeds, blood clots, embolisms and aneurisms, serious and often times fatal, amputations when it catches in a major artery and fat or blood collects around it, person oblivious until it’s too late. Would a chip in an infant, toddler, child pre-puberty, the electrical impulses emanating from it interfere with natural development, regular brain electrical impulses, trigger early, so called precocious puberty being bombarded by electrical reading when out in public, prolonged exposure to electrical pulses could it stunt, alter brain growth? Once there is proof of chip migration, for whatever reason, how do you safely remove then replace it remembering it’s mandated by law; what are the risks of said removal procedure, since you are dealing with things roughly the size of a grain of rice is one of the potentially deadly medical complications a bubble in your vein also possible when injecting medicine, illegal drugs intravenously, nicking an artery or vein during attempted removal, suction used to try and extract an errant chip doing identical damage to said arteries, veins? Seems a pretty dire set of choices, near instantaneous death contrasted beside being a health ticking time bomb; less drastically contrary to the idea RFID can be engineered to supplant the Fitbit and Apple watch’s fitness health data collection, concepts behind it as next generation medical monitoring tracking blood pressure, heartrate, signs of everything for irregular heartbeats to stroke, heart attack or onset of diabetes, the soon to be circulated if not already internet meme ‘Fitbit saved my life,’ what happens when your chip inevitably malfunctions sending you scrambling to your doctor, an ER, erroneously dispatching ambulance services, for which you’ll doubtlessly be billed, oh….Which brings us to exactly how many times do we have to see failures of medical devices placed in the body, vaginal mesh lawsuits, hernia mesh recalls to stint apparatuses supposed to prevent blood clots in the lungs that were horribly designed, patently unsafe and the testing corrupted, poorly formed hip replacements, heard about when there’s a class action level lawsuit, major law firm is on TV seeking plaintiffs, before we reduce their number, never mind stop advocating putting foreign objects inside you that have no medical purpose?… common sense says people who are diagnosed with the above, epilepsy, have a pace maker probably shouldn’t add in another electric device to their existing one, certainly not in the name of cool factor, convenience, ultimate government bureaucracy laziness, underlying mentioned control. Epileptics routinely triggered by bright lights, flickering strobe type lights staples during music concerts, stage shows; video game consoles reaching back 20 odd years or more, accompanied by specific games, categories of games have carried the potential for seizure warning. Speaking of people with disabilities, society appears growingly determined to exclude them, make their lives harder, oblivious to the rigors they face daily doing normal activities most take for granted; how difficult it is to bank, buy things, travel through an airport when you can’t wave your arm well in front of a scanner or hold your head up well for a forehead barcode scanner due to advanced Parkinson’s MS, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, results of an accident rendering you quadriplegic. Forced to sacrifice what little independence, dignity they possess, shouldering a financial burden utilizing a care attendant to bag their groceries at the store because electronic check outs and a fully chipped society have removed actual people from said venues cutting down on business operating costs. Often too readily dismissed gaps between cutting edge medical marvels helping children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, those newly diagnosed with degenerative, progressive diseases, chronic ailments and individuals who were born with their condition and have dealt with the effects 20, 30 years, people who, according to studied medical data on treatment X, will receive little or no benefit due to the stage of their disease, underlying wear and tear, secondary problems of say cerebral palsy on muscle and bone, prior surgeries to correct deformities, aid in walking, limb function. People who will thus still require, continue using assistive services, adaptive technologies evolving and continuing to be made; a plethora of reaching grabbing tools for people with varied physical disabilities, automatic door openers on public places, specialized easy open door handles for home, transfer apparatuses for showers, the computer generated voice computer set up used by Steven Hawking, those afflicted by debilitating degenerative conditions. Developmentally delayed Americans, frightening rises in rates of neurological disorders on par with autism and its spectrum of disorders, behavioral manifestations need a whole different set of assistance tools, long term care well into adulthood; here are people who may need to hold a paper bus pass, bus pass punch card to understand it, apps like Autismate facilitating communication among the non-verbal garner such success with featured case Joe because they use video of the actual person performing the desired task, doing the selected activity compensating for spectrum disorder persons’ lacking imagination, easing frustrations decoding symbols for tasks, activities they don’t comprehend. Understanding, comprehension an advocacy point pushing past a quark board, set of refrigerator magnets has never been hacked for keeping intact the United States postal service, paper bill statements, mortgage and insurance policy statements sent to senior citizens, remaining an option for older Americans who don’t possess computer skills or good ones, who can’t afford internet, computer and printer, combat age related limited mobility to frequent the local library, senior center to conduct such business, print paper copies of bills, banking statements…Some may be quick to point out lines in the introduction about hardly believed in spiritual consequences, only speculated government control a speck on a still distant horizon of maybe, referencing common knowledge medical techniques, devices and call out hypocrite; highlighting no one is screaming mark of the beast about them ready to chalk that portion up to lunatic religious fanatics. While concurrently giving a short history of modern medicine resistance to new techniques Jehovah’s witnesses that think, to this day, a blood transfusion is the same as occult blood drinking mentioned in the bible, people who shuddered at the concept of organ transplants believing they desecrated the dead to finding it plain grotesque to have another person’s organs inside you, pro-life advocates who believe life begins at conception and wish those lives prior to reaching medically/scientifically determined fetus stage, zygote, gamete level be granted personhood, full rights of any citizen under the law, one must realize that pace makers, cochlear implants for the deaf, hearing impaired and hard of hearing, even the new technology implanted into a paralyzed man’s brain to use in conjunction with a standard computer is meant to restore functions. Pacemakers regulate the heart to beat normally allowing a person to live and not die, correct suffering arrhythmia that can stop the heart completely; cochlear implants bypass the damaged portion of the ear transmitting sound impulses to the brain allowing a form of hearing. Subcutaneous insulin pumps are primarily outside the body except for the tube dispensing insulin at select times, wearable glucose monitors routinely worn by type 1 diabetic kids, are adhered the skin again on the outside of the body preventing dangerous highs and lows especially while sleeping producing happy side effects of saving young lives still outdone by diabetic alert dogs increasingly common place and slated to take over, if we haven’t found a cure, better treatment in coming decades. Think pancreas islet cell replacement via stem cells stimulating the body to make its own insulin, the failure causing type 1diabetes. Remember the height of the embryonic stem cell research debate, science surpassed it by finding different places for essentially blank stem cells that could be converted to any cell, tissue, organ in the body, cord blood and resulting cord blood banks storing umbilical cord blood to name one; cancer treatment progressed to using chemo therapy, radiation to eradicate the cancer then take either bone marrow or stem cells for the persons own body, re-implanting them cancer free; lifesaving methods when transplants weren’t available, rare matches couldn’t be found. The circuit board-esque system the young man featured had attached to his brain A- was intended to bypass his damaged spinal cord allowing limited limb movement for basic tasks i.e. holding/grasping a spoon, swiping a credit card similar to advances in prosthetics; futuristic medical machinery to stop epilepsy or curb obesity are correcting malfunctions and dysfunctions all, not necessarily using computer chips or omni-trackable. B-none are engineered capable of self-awareness evolving into a Skynet like hell scape, are in no way sophisticated enough to supplant or override human thought, impulses, basic will; key too is it uses a person’s own thoughts, recognition of brain impulses to control the artificial limb, sent though the device rigging as opposed to the spinal column to achieve movement. A leg up from deep brain stimulation used to control Parkinson’s tremors, Tourette’s ticks, balance mood in major depressive patients who’ve tried everything else, offered in extreme cases for weight control of morbidly obese persons to staunch cravings, but absent any chance to influence a person’s cognitive ability, will, desire. Finally, C- represent stop gap technology until we can either generate an artificial spine, already in the research works, or totally organically progress stem cell treatment to completely repairing devastating spinal injury….RFID, most importantly is a complex, prone to malfunction redundancy piled onto redundancy; jumping well past fear inducing scenarios generated from contemplations on should our futuristic one system for everything suddenly crash is ever expanding proof once and for all we don’t need it, it solely invents new problems without solving the old ones…Countering chicken little ism thought we must eventually do this or else there will be no privacy, security, reasonable means to protect ourselves, buy good, services, merchandise independent being robbed blind, new forms of protecting and verifying identity crop up daily including Pulse Wallet that works by scanning the veins in your forearm, ideal for someone who has been in an accident whose face is prominently disfigured, who may have also lost finger prints, one or both hands. Smart home alternatives to traditional locks feature a key pad to enter codes of authorized persons than when entered will unlock the door; thumb print scanning home door locks are a little lesser known but widely available. Easily adaptable to disability accessible needs; voice recognition doors placement of thump, retinal scanner into a wheelchair, mobility device likely coming quicker than accessibility parameters to mass use devices predictably looking identical to airport body scanners. Key fobs are todays keyless entry people, you don’t even need your key to start the vehicle with the starter buttons hello; inclined to think waving your hand and having your car unlock is still the height of cool, hackers are well on their way to stealing cars via hacking, giving up good old fashioned grand theft auto for pilfering the information from your car’s very own key fob, all the more proof and reason we don’t want them hacking us, our RFID chip to abscond with our wheels. Simplistic safeguard for key fob code theft, when you lock your doors upon getting out go ahead and press that lock button 2-3 extra times resetting the codes and rendering any code taken useless; almost guaranteed is they won’t have that uncomplicated a fix for a first, second even 3rd generation hacked chip. Car dealers already have means to disable your vehicle if you miss a payment much to the chagrin and danger of a women trying to juggle her chronic kidney disease, constant need for dialysis and an eventual kidney transplant plus her car payment, stories of parents trying to get their child to an emergency room, parent having stopped somewhere and the child is left stranded at a school; further alerts about such devices were about how they were used, lack of regulation, dangers if the dealer isn’t paying attention when the shut off the vehicle, only failsafe is the car can’t be moving. But there you go a tool for both non-payers and something to activate should the car be stolen, comparable the i-phone kill switch installed after people were literally being attacked and killed for their next generation i-product before being able to use it; switch rendering it useless if stolen removing the incentive for violence over a piece of entertainment technology…. Read More

What Actually Happened: Why Recounts Aren’t A Frivolous Waste Of Time, Simply The Left’s Inability To Accept Election Results

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Worth underscoring too is Jill Stein was the perfect person to demand recounts be undertaken in strategic areas chiefly because she wasn’t Hillary Clinton, wasn’t part of the Democratic Party machine, was the image of an individual without an agenda save electoral integrity for the American people. As mentioned recounts were only asked for in meaningful areas, not ridiculously say nationwide, pointing to someone who was being genuinely realistic about what they were asking to be done, what they could feasibly get done. Add in documented problems and irregularities surpassing detailed voter suppression, long lines, limited polling places, minorities unexpectedly dropped from voting rolls, voting roll name mix-ups, voting machine issues topped off with a good smattering of human error and Jill Stein had beyond a right to champion, see to a recount, but a mandate to do so… Irregularities continuing to grow exponentially as time goes on, we learn more and more about issues running the gambit from Russian hacking, voter suppression, in new and different ways, to basic counting errors… . Now there’s a dossier becoming the subject of high level presidential briefings alleging Russia stole gathered personally damaging, embarrassing evidence on Trump completed via a British spy originally commissioned by never Trump republicans, then democrats; that the crux of the information centers around sexual indiscretions engaged in by Trump while visiting Russia, not just Russian collusion in the Trump campaign, Russian interference should deem it less easy to dismiss noting the double digit number of American women accusing him of sexual assault, battery, harassment, most seriously rape. Foreign women from at least 2 countries, former Miss Universe pageant members also making twin allegations; one sexual assault accuser here countersuing Trump for defamation after he repeatedly called her a liar among other despicable things. Solidly substantiating Russian collusion claims minus the dossier, a timeline put together via the David Packman Show illustrating Trump’s U-turn language change on the soviet communist regime country, formal requests to the GOP to change language on Russia for which it appears Trump, his campaign received quid pro quo in the form of WikiLeaks releases damaging Hillary Clinton funneled to the rogue hacking organization through a currently discovered intermediary working on behalf of…Russia, the presence of Paul Manafort as campaign chair considering his pro-Russia work in Ukraine. Breaking, information Trump aides and Russian state liaisons were in constant contact while president Obama was expelling diplomats, response to hacking’s confirmation and its extent; national security advisor Michael Flynn texting them as they were being told to exit the country…. there were the shots fired at a California polling place, scene out of a 3rd world country or bad movie, 27 states where the interstate crosschecking system purged minority voters on grounds they registered with intent to vote in multiple states, no proof they actually were and no definitive answer on whether or not 7 million eligible Americans were blocked from voting, but the winners want to balk at Jill Stein’s insistence we carefully count solid votes we do have?… more votes than there are voters in the city of Detroit according to one tally indicating voting machine errors continuously showing up in such pockets of the country. Wisconsin’s vote margin in favor of Trump evaporated by 20% as the result of a discovered counting error, many places’ exit polling data doesn’t match electoral vote outcomes suggesting indeed the election was rigged, the opposite of what candidate, president elect, now full-fledged president Trump relentlessly insinuated, against Hillary Clinton not him. Discrepancies between voting machines and paper ballots, paper ballot utilizing areas overwhelmingly going to Clinton causing scientists to champion recounts; speaking of voting machines, the congressional organization created to certify voting equipment was, you guessed it, hacked, hacker trying to sell pilfered information to foreign countries, still think Jill Stein was out of her mind to ask votes be recounted?…. Stacked complications upon complications with the election process held up alongside his, our president elect’s, response to recount petitions, reaction to those attempting to verify election results—calling them a green party scam, touting they need to accept election results and move forward. Simultaneously alleging he won the popular vote if you deduct all the people who voted illegally, providing no proof that definitively happened, railing against 1.8 million dead people registered to vote, though no evidence they truly voted Election Day; then utterly illogically tweeting about ‘serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California,’ predictably states that went profoundly for Clinton. A judge soundly rejecting his claim polling stations in Nevada stayed open well past voting hours to admit illegitimate ballots; never mind as we learned from 2012’s long line mess if there is a line of persons waiting to vote, they must stay open until everyone has had an opportunity to cast a ballot, that is your right as a registered voter. Trump lawyers filing suit against the Michigan recount calling it a 1% temper tantrum that cannot go unchecked to the local elections board, once more defying logic countering Stein’s request with a lack of evidence signaling election fraud; begging the question if the vote was so legitimate, as to be beyond reproach or a request to confirm numbers, double check people’s math, you won so easily there is no need for a recount then what are you afraid of?…We aren’t supposed to stand up and say, the 3 million more of us who voted for someone else, this isn’t the democracy we want, that a liar, a con and a person possibly in cahoots with foreign powers is the textbook definition of unfit therefore we have a few processes by which to keep him from our highest office, recounts being one?…
Impending threats, silly, serious or no, Electoral College delegates had an obligation, a responsibility to, in light of what they knew then, fulfill the lesser known portion of their mandate— keeping the unqualified from the presidency, from forever hobbling democracy; and, they responded the exact opposite of the way they should have, the way citizens desperately needed them to. Not because of threats, some death threats, rather due to loyalty holding almost sacred votes their state cast, an, anywhere else it would be viewed as admirable, sense of duty to administer their task the way voters declared they wanted it done, maybe defiance thumbing their nose at aforementioned death threats and implied pending retaliation against delegate family members detailed in individual anti or pro-Trump hate mail they received, clearly crossing the line… A big enough gap in democracy, in protecting the integrity of our country form hidden, unusual dangers to be sure, but a much more troubling problem came instead from Electrical College members who didn’t seem to have a rudimentary grasp of why they were there, what their function was. You had electors, surpassing ignoring who their state voted for, going against their state’s documented choice interested in serving the greater good, ‘defecting’ from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders and submitting names, putting forth votes for persons not on any ballot anywhere including Colin Powel and a Native American who thought the story was fake news when her name was called as a vote; John Kasich famously telling Ohio’s electors not to try and vote him to the presidency. Absolutely electors should be free to vote for whomever they choose, dissolving faithless elector laws precisely because of situations exposed by the 2016 election process; caveat, electors should know what they are doing, know ahead of time that selecting oddball, out there names of people who didn’t so much as run in the first place, have expressed no interest in the presidency, forget have made no preparation for stepping into it doesn’t get a candidate closer to 270, give us a firm answer on our next president, promote the peaceful transfer of power… Electoral College convening apparently going far deeper, it wasn’t just what The Young Turks’ interviewed faithless elector said, viewing link 19 below, about why he wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, what he wanted from her before making his final decision that should be riveting our attention, his split vote lo and behold voting John Kasich for president and Time Kaine for vice president rendering it a virtually meaningless vote; however, the jaw dropping errors, maneuvering orchestrated to strong arm a singular, already probable outcome. Disputes over oaths electors must sign, a judge, deliberating, ruling right there the new oath chosen by the state official was unconstitutional, oaths signed under protest, duress, failure to separate ballots according to constitutional law for president and vice president; 23 out of 31 delegates for Trump guilty of this, out of that 31 only 8 abiding by constitutional 12th amendment law. Findings in the same report listing other laws actually broken top down throughout the process, beyond the unsavory appearance of Pam Bondi as an elector; returning to the duel office holding in states disallowing it, a whopping 34 tallied, not living in the districts they were called to represent a total of 16 tallied penitential for over 100 improperly selected delegates, improperly filed Certificates of Vote, 50 enough to change Electoral College final results…. but recounts are frivolous and the Electoral College shouldn’t have so much as been asked to vote their conscience, in the best interest of America, not panicked, deluded, alternate reality believing voters shystered by a shyster…. If we want to talk about something wholly undemocratic look no further than North Carolina and what currently seated powers tried to do when the opposing party won; things deteriorating to such a degree democracy watchers, the EIP (electoral integrity project) internationally have named the state no longer a democracy. Receiving a failing score on par with developing, pseudo democracies in Cuba, lesser notoriety African continent nations, Indonesia; speculations justifying that score included their voter ID law struck down by the Supreme Court as deliberately discriminatory to minorities, their bathroom bill rightly depicted as something a democratic government shouldn’t do and the shameless power grab attempted when sitting powers lost… Forcing state senate confirmations for all cabinet appointees, merging election and ethics panels, adapting a rules change stipulating the governor’s party cannot hold the majority it does under existing law. A proposed 80% slash in the number of employees reporting to the governor doubtlessly impacting staff available to assist him in expediently, efficiently executing his duties, overseeing things in his state, even snatching away his power to appoint University of North Carolina board of trustee members. Things no one batted an eye at the governor doing before the election just passed, in sweet, sweet irony they do this; where 4 years prior, truly exposing republican intentions then and now, under McCrory lawmakers increased10-fold the number of state government, adjacent entity positions subject to his jurisdiction….Battles nothing out of the ordinary for forward thinking tar heel state residents pushing back against GOP spearheaded legal maneuvering to curtail voter initiated hikes to their minimum wage, denial of Medicaid to half a million persons, gutting social programs, protesting hate in the form of HB2 the state’s bathroom bill… Remembering North Carolinians voted out McCrory in favor of Cooper because national entities symbolizing business, tourism and economic growth voted with their feet, their capital exc. saying if you insist on anti-LGBT practices I won’t conduct concerts in your state, I won’t continue my business plans in your state, pro/college basketball franchises will find a more accepting place to play playoff games, tournaments. Revisiting too that HB2 commonly known as North Carolina’s bathroom bill forcing people to use the restroom, locker room, department store fitting room corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, not their gender identity, wasn’t about rehearsed rhetoric on keeping children safe in public toilets, rec center showers/locker rooms, aforementioned store fitting rooms, shock to young children seeing opposite gender anatomy, upholding student safety in k-12 or college universities. Bill having exactly the reverse effect making things more dangerous for LGBT citizens, especially kids; it was expressly about preventing select municipalities, cities, counties from enacting LGBT protections… Going back to states no longer deemed democracies, receiving low scores on their scale determining strength of that democracy 11 other states fared worse; Wisconsin where privatization and school funding schemes have gutted one bright spot in education. Michigan where the Flint water crisis was caused by a business man republican and whose response to their own failing schools is an attorney who doesn’t believe literacy is a right. Ohio where governor Kasich many hoped would be the next president, radiating calm sanity during chaotic primary debates quietly, another word for sneakily, deliberately trying to fly under constituency forget national radar, banned voters from raising Cleveland’s minimum wage. Arizona once home to papers please immigration legislation, brain freeze governor Jan Brewer who used non-existent Mexican drug cartel beheadings on U.S. soil to justify said legislation, controversial sheriff Joe Arpiao who cost the state millions refusing to comply with federal orders on civil, human rights violations in his prisons, illegal, illegal immigration arrests, legal fights against those orders; the copper state’s score the absolute lowest. Kentucky joining a flurry of states passing abortion bills banning pregnancy termination after 20 weeks adding to legislation mandating the burial of fetal tissue either in cases of abortion or miscarriage. Seemingly oblivious to the devastating toll visited upon North Carolina for its anti-LGBT choice an equally growing group of states are pushing to replicate their disaster Virginia, Alabama and Texas among them… North Carolina also glaringly shows who exactly needs to ‘get over it,’ who needs to accept election outcomes; reiterating for all the disappointed liberals, progressives and democrats are, all the vows to fight president elect Trump on his more audacious policies is about protecting America rather than partisan backbiting, personal revenge. Proposed polices that could devastate trade i.e. a trade war with China, avoiding a Muslim registry, a Muslim ban because it is A- discriminatory to innocent, non-radical Muslims and B- could spark another 9-11 like attack, pushing back against social media usage that could tweet us into a nuclear war. Confirmation battles, they are slowing down confirmation hearings to properly vet appointees the way they weren’t by Trump, standard procedural, disclosure paperwork yet to be submitted needing to be reviewed ideally before hearings take place, forced to question them thoroughly due to many nominees showing up to hearings vastly unprepared and unqualified for positions they’ve been asked to fill mandating in-depth scrutiny about fringe plans, ideas, past statements, financial holdings, issue stances… We don’t have a democracy we can trust less because of outside interference whether it’s Russia, 4chan, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more because we keep shutting out bigger and bigger swaths of the citizenry, the ordinary people, average public, making it harder for them to vote, purposefully marginalizing voters who don’t agree with, usually conservative, ideologies and ideals, making voters feel their voices are insignificant, forcing them to choose between the lesser of immoral, tainted, who cares candidates; sentiments Trump played into and amplified to win. We don’t possess continued faith in our democracy because people stopped paying attention to core issues that matter nationwide not limited to your backyard, town, state, stopped taking voting as seriously as they should, for some bothering to vote at all… Parts of the electorate eligible to cast a ballot, registered to vote who don’t know, are so uninformed, ill-informed, misinformed they literally are in the dark that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the same thing who, when presented with facets of the ACA meant to benefit consumers, health insurance purchasers throughout the public, insure their families, their children they like them, support them, think them good polices to have; call it Obamacare and they instantly hate it. One man bragging on social media he got his healthcare from the ACA not Obamacare shocked he’s in public bashing his own insurance…. . Bigger than people who don’t possess the faintest idea about sources of their ‘news’, don’t vet it for satire, hyperbole or comedy, know if it’s conservative, liberal, progressive, independent, mainstream, geared toward young millennials, senior citizens, middle-aged persons, working class individuals, professionals exc., are those who don’t take time, think, putting it through their own internal logic filter asking does this make sense, is this real, is it plausible? No one seeing the ‘news story’ on Facebook about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, allowing it to impact their voting decision the least little bit bothered to ask themselves why the pope would endorse a candidate for elections half a world away from him, utterly outside his political system; further seeing Pope Francis’ dedication to the poor, rectifying global income inequality, prescribing compassion and help for the most destitute and economically effected, even if he were inclined to endorse a candidate, make international public comment on America’s election, why would he choose Donald Trump, praise Donald Trump?… Pizza-gate, again total lack of stopping to think how would that even work running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, not in some foreign country, South Asia catering to American, western world tourist with sick proclivities, but in America? And even if every twisted, crazy thing ever said about Hillary Clinton was true, none of the 90’s BS files, purported scandals encompassed harming children, marketing pedophilia for cash, ‘her greedy motivation;’ continuing, why would her former campaign chair, already having lost the election, and the owner of the pizza place go along with it? Doesn’t the real story make much more sense, carrying much more probability that it was a possible campaign stop abandoned, e-mail correspondence supporting that conclusion? Or assuming there was allusion to a child sex trafficking ring, illegal activity, the thing to do would be call the police either in your home state, in D.C. where Comet Ping Pong operates, attempt to contact the FBI presenting them your evidence; not travel hundreds of miles with your AR15 rifle shooting in an open business potentially hurting bystanders for something that wasn’t remotely real, epic logic failure strike 3… Similarly not only allegations millions of illegal immigrants voted, but voted because president Obama said they could; woman who brought that up to a CNN reporter couldn’t pass a basic litmus test of correctly identifying the network she heard it on, claiming the interviewer’s network had provided coverage on the story when they plainly had not. That story came from Info Wars news channel run and hosted by Alex Jones; identical Alex Jones who believes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama smell like sulfur therefore are demons, conveniently without ever having been close enough to smell either person confirming the suspicion, relying on second and third hand accounts from individuals who think B.O. is an indication of spiritual standing, health. Forgetting there are logical people on the planet who don’t believe in the very existence of demons, if they did smell by virtue of medical problem, poor hygiene wouldn’t it have become mainstream media information, enfolded into exclusive interviews by news outlet X, not relegated to something solely hear on the internet? Illegals voting rumors simultaneously undergirded by an unethically edited interview chopped up by, surprise, surprise Fox Business, to make it seem like that’s what president Obama said, implied: undocumented persons could cast ballots without anyone watching the whole interview in its entirety…. It’s time to change some laws in this country, few liked that independents were shut out of voting for Bernie Sanders in states with closed primaries, accused DNC officials of rigging things they actually didn’t, chaffed at voter roll mix-up’s in closed primary states putting people in the wrong party; even less liked, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, his vague plans to detangle himself from his businesses if he achieved the presidency, that he got media circus weird on something as uncomplicated as releasing his medical records, a standard summary of major medical information about you. Populous failing to grasp you correct that using legal statutes, demanding the creation of new ones…; law changes explored above implemented so we can have a democracy we trust, everyone’s voice is heard, each person’s vote matters and it’s significance can be seen, people again fell empowered to affect their government in ways that benefit them, their families. Read More

Disease, Weight And Our Drastically Skewed Perceptions On Health, Wellness And Longevity

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Hate to break it to you but the 60 is not the new 40, less for the emotional/social reasons listed by the Wall Street Journal, changing social structures derived from years of better medicine, nutrition, knowledge, people living better, able to do more in later years, not just living longer, the sobering prediction our chronically obese kids may have shorter lifespans than we do/did because of it, and instead due to median, average life expectance ages not having moved that much. 40 is considered middle aged precisely because the average life expectancy hovers around 80, give or take 5 years; for 60 to have gradually become the new 40 the life expectancy numbers would have to top out in the 120-125 range…. people here, if you believe the latest retirement preparedness commercial, are living into their 90’s; which would put middle age at roughly 45, not 60. Secondly looking at the last years of so called super centenarians, those passing 110, most are toothless, constantly nodding off and can’t walk well, if at all, dependent on neighbors, friends, family members for the bulk of their existence; that is in counties where they aren’t placed in a care facility less due to younger family member selfishness but having no living family, the extent of care required for the person at their advanced age… It’s rarely the 107 year old dancing in the Whitehouse with President and first lady Obama…Wall Street Journal onto something more than the author knew when he talked about investing post retirement, golden year energy into the truly young people, the legacy and future coming after, surviving them not on being/looking younger than you are, the new fad proving you’re the picture of longevity, upping the ante living your entire life that way, utilizing the time you have rather than bargaining for more—Especially by eating ‘rabbit food’ never touching meat, eggs or milk, viewing bread as the enemy, occasional doughnut, movie popcorn, French fries or cheeseburger as edible death. As for relearning what’s good for us, taking pleasure in nourishing foods giving our bodies what they need, take a good look at the photo gracing the top of that article and tell me that baby is going to get a foodgasm from that broccoli instead of pure revulsion; foodgasms about gastronomy, the science of gourmet dining, blending aroma, texture, quality food, taste and presentation to produce an experience not merely gorging one’s self on high calorie dishes—what I intend to do and not do respectivelyRead More

GOP War On The Poor Round 2 Let Poor People Starve Rather Than Admit The Reality of Human, Economic Need

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Still they do this, feeding tired tropes on laziness, unwillingness to work, racial politics harping about which minorities are on food stamps, generational cycles of persons on public assistance while reassuring hawkeyed tax payers monies culled will go to other services like additional funding for head start, as if that makes what they’re doing perfectly ok, all the better. Interesting for Judeo-Christian bible thumpers they appear to have conveniently forgotten charity, that Jesus said to look after the poor, fatherless and widowed, reminded crowds and his disciples the poor would always be among them and proscribed kindness. That whole do unto others as you’d have done unto you thing, as you’ve done it unto the least of these you’ve done it unto me idea lost unless you are ‘living right,’ unless you fit their mold of a good, moral person, never having made a mistake or been placed in a bad situation; though reading my bible, I don’t remember any of those stipulations attached to the paraphrased passages… And there is never an in depth conversation about how we treat persons with disabilities be they physical, learning, developmental delay or mental health issues, the differently abled in the workplace. The fact that the ADA (Americans with disabilities act) needs a 21st century makeover to compensate for all the ways employers have concocted to get around accommodations, avoid hiring varying disabled persons, persons who clearly have physical, learning or developmental problems yet are not labeled disabled. Opting for the quick fix of removing their food stamps a lifelong judgment of supposedly bad choices, tough love in saying deal with it… expensive to be feasible for persons already on food stamps, currently out of work; one in the central part of Missouri, top state where cuts were felt this month, has programs for in demand jobs CNA, medical and legal administrative assistants, office technology teaching clerical skills, construction skills for high school students, HVAC heating and cooling is popular with young men for the hands on work and good paying jobs it leads to. However tuition, for someone not aided by vocational rehabilitation, other community resource referral, agency to defer costs is in the thousands of dollars before you get to the consistent $1,000 for books/ supplies… Missouri, like most states across the country, has rural pockets where job training, vocational classes, volunteer venues are scarce let alone information about them; reality there may not 20 hours a week of volunteering/job training available especially competing on the volunteer side with public housing dwellers who must also complete X hours per month volunteering under much the same circumstances… . Physical mental, emotional ability to work, availability to work, updated skills doesn’t mean it’s as simple as actively pursuing a job, persevering, putting your best foot forward; coming back to the prevailing trend of condemning millennials for their clothing highlighted several underlying old issues creating barriers to employment…. Shocking is how many young adults who should be prime age to work, those just starting out are on food stamps, millennials who didn’t have a parents couch to fall back on, drowning in student loan debt, working as a barista, if they can get work at all, never going beyond because we never gave them a chance to get started in a career field…. And rather than talk about the tangible, palpable discrimination going on in the employment world, business’ growing, outlandish demands, their purple squirrel, candidates have to be prefect before hire problem, concurrently screaming they can’t find workers, republicans are carving out laws virtually sanctioning discrimination against the LGBT community…. Salon links are right on target, we would rather pay for prisons, the back end of mental health warehousing people who can never leave in psychiatric hospitals designated for the criminally insane when they aren’t languishing in jail cells, the prison psych ward, as opposed front end mental health involving diagnosis and treatment, help before a crime is committed. We would rather commit our tax dollars to long term consequences of poverty than engage in an ounce of prevention; we would rather pay for the long spanning burden of poverty than the, less over time, expenditure of alleviating it. We would rather stick to our mythology of the self-made American, tout the protestant work ethic of one religion as how it’s done, regardless of it never working for society for a host of reasons only a few listed here than abandon our prejudices against types of work, kinds of people, namely the poor and provide them a living wage by which to support themselves. Than give women equal pay for equal work instead of pretending they don’t deserve it because they dared take off during their child’s infant, toddler and preschool years, they are somehow less than because we took away their negotiating power through ignoring them, not taking them seriously in the workplace, then didn’t negotiate, salary, maternity leave, raise, whichever, or holding them back because they dared act like a man in trying to move up the employment ladder and women are supposed to do that…. Piggybacking off the question in the opening quote, promoting the ‘radical’ idea it is the responsibility of any beyond third world society, democratic society to see to that insurance of minimum health…. If we cannot be guaranteed basic dignity under the law, what’s the point of the whole enterprise?” Funny many thought, have run for office with a genuine desire to help the country, started social movements for rights and equality given to hitherto marginalized citizens on the foundation that was the point, the whole point and the only point. Read More