Posts Tagged ‘opinions’

FaceBook, Social Media or Government Agency?

I recently had my faceBook account deleted, it seems that I’m not allowed to use the name Felonious Monk because it is not my “real” name. When they (facebook) asked me to confirm my real name by uploading documentation (birth certificate, driver’s license, state ID or even a utility bill with my name on it) I declined and let them delete my account (even though I’m sure they already know my real name).

My first thought was “it’s a social media site and not a government agency”, then that small part of me that loves a good conspiracy theory started putting things together.

It occurred to me that like a good magician the government utilizes the art of misdirection, getting you to look at left hand when they don’t want you to see what the right hand is doing. With all the attention the N S A has been getting about collecting data, and the legality of wire taps and just about everything else that they do. How they denied to their own people that Area 51 existed even after they signed a treaty allowing the Soviet Union to fly satellites over it. For years we have been hearing about the government monitoring, calls emails and collecting data on us and we were outraged (some more than others). But, facebook has over a billion members, all willing joined, and clicked “accept” multiple times (and most have no idea what they agreed to), we seem happy as long as we get some little convenience or we are content to play that game. We even use facebook to sign into other sites, no need for a warrant or worry about international laws since we all agreed to share everything, truly a global network made for collecting personal data.

I’m not the only one that has noticed some strange things happening while on facebook. I’ve heard several stories that are similar to one of mine. I went to a local grocery store (Cub) and it has one of those cards (like many stores) where you can earn rewards or load coupons onto it, so when you swipe your card it uses the coupons or collects points towards some reward. Well I bought a jar of chicken flavored baby food (something I never buy, a one time purchase). I never did any kind of internet search but sure enough that evening when I got online and checked my facebook page and there it was an advertisement for…you guessed it…baby food.

Remembering the movie (The Social Network) about Mark Zuckerberg and how facebook got started and how those around him that helped start facebook were more or less “removed” one way or another, it all started looking like some “evil” government plot. Making Mark Zuckerberg the face of the largest, most intrusive spy agency the world has every known.

Guess I’ll have to live life without facebook, since Felonious Monk isn’t my “real” name, it’s just the name I use on this site, along with sites like goodreads, bubblesws, reverbnation and just about every other site I use including google+. So if you want to find me or friend me look me up on google+ or email me at my Gmail account Felonious.M (it’s not that I don’t think google isn’t a government agency, but at least it lets me use the name I want).

I’m not really a conspiracy theorist but it feels like there is enough evidence surrounding facebook (and other social media) to make even a skeptic like me think twice. But then again I could be spreading a little misdirection for some agency that, as far as you know, doesn’t even exist.

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Our Psychopathic Government

After reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronsom, which among other things, investigates whether psychopaths are running the world.

I decided to do my own “research” and see what score our government representatives (as a whole) would get on the Hare checklist.

First I’m not a doctor or qualified to give the test ( I just did it for entertainment). Second I didn’t rate each person individually. I just took congress as a whole and went through the checklist.

I ended up giving our elected politicians a scored 31 (to be diagnosed as a psychopath you need a score of 30 or more). I would be interested to see what score you ended up giving them.

After my 2 minutes of research I have concluded that if the most powerful country in the world is run by a psychopathic group then, as a whole, the world is run by psychopaths!

There are 20 traits on the checklist. To score you give either 0, 1, or 2 points for each item (0 for not at all, 1 for applies somewhat and 2 definitely fits).

The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are:
glib and superficial charm
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
need for stimulation
pathological lying
cunning and manipulativeness
lack of remorse or guilt
shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
callousness and lack of empathy
parasitic lifestyle
poor behavioral controls
sexual promiscuity
early behavior problems
lack of realistic long-term goals
impulsivity
irresponsibility
failure to accept responsibility for own actions
many short-term marital relationships
juvenile delinquency
revocation of conditional release
criminal versatility

Nuclear Power

I have always been against Nuclear power.  I have yet to hear an argument for nuclear power that makes sense if you really think about it.

Nuclear power is cheaper, really? The Congressional Budget Office reported in May 2008 that the actual costs of building 75 of the existing nuclear power plants in the U.S. exceeded industry quoted estimated by more than 300 percent. The industry, in other words, reported average construction costs for these plants at $45.2 billion (in 1990 dollars) but the facilities ended up costing $144.6 billion (in 1990 dollars). This increased their construction costs from $938 per installed kW to $2,959 per installed kW. That doesn’t include the cost to “store” the waste, which is billions to build the storage site and I don’t even know how to begin to calculate the cost of the man power it will take to guard it for a million years.

Nuclear power makes up about 22% of our electricity and a government study said that Americans could cut the amount of electricity we use by 25% through conservation.

Nuclear power is cleaner? Not really.  Even though nuclear power produces no CO2. Only 7% of world C02 comes from U.S. coal, oil, and gas plants; and worldwide, CO2 represents only half of the problem. Nuclear power does nothing to reduce the other greenhouse gases such as methane, chlorofluorocarbons, halons, etc. Increasing gas mileage on our vehicles is a far better and faster way to reduce CO2.   What a nuclear power plant does produce are spent fuel rods, which are poisonous and dangerous for over a million years.

Nuclear power is safe? Let’s look at history to answer this one. Chernobyl, 3 mile island and now Japan. 3 major accidents since 1960 (Dresden 1  designed by General Electric was started) wouldn’t be so bad if the potential for a large number of deaths and wide area of contamination wasn’t present. According to a 1982 study done by Sandia National Laboratories, a severe (but not necessarily “worst-case”) nuclear power accident in Illinois would result in deaths in the tens-of-thousands, casualties and latent cancers in the hundreds-of-thousands, and property loss in the tens-to hundreds-of-billions of dollars.

Making tons of nuclear waste that will be dangerous for a million years is irresponsible. It is foolish to think we can safely  store nuclear waste for that long. That’s much longer than modern mankind has been around. Just a look at how much the world has changed in the last 2,000 years, then tell me how we can predict what will be safe for a million years.

Nuclear power is big business and they have spent around $700 million on lobbying at the federal level in the last decade. It seems to me that once again our politicians are being bought to push an unnecessary and dangerous business and to hell with what’s right.

Please contact your representative (to find yours go to: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml) and tell them to say no to nuclear power.

Instead of subsidizing nuclear power with billions of dollars they could take that money and hold national raffles to put solar panels on homes and buildings.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Food Rules: An Eater's ManualFood Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight or just improve your health you should read this book. In fact you should read this book anyways. It’s a quick read, full of common sense and easy to understand. Most rules are less than a page long and will help you live a longer and healthier life.

This book will help you eat better and be healthier without needing to know what an antioxidant is or does. No need to count calories. This book will also help you see through all the so called “healthy” labels on the packaging (low fat, no fat and lite etc.)

Do yourself a favor and spend the couple hours it takes to read this book. You won’t be sorry.

View all my reviews

Excession by Iain M. Banks

ExcessionExcession by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Damn! Banks can weave a tale! This is one complex story. Events set around the discovery of an Excession (Something excessive) that could be a danger to all. The Excession is capable of things no culture/species in the universe is capable of doing, maybe even destroying the universe. If that wasn’t enough to deal with there are conspiracies, spies, war, relationships and love.

Banks does a wonderful job of weaving the story lines together. Each character is developed so well you feel what each of them are going through (even the “traitors”) and understand why they do what they do.

Even though the story deals with dark material like death, war, love and hate etc., there is still humor throughout the story.

This is one of those books that you don’t want to end, but when it’s over you are totally satisfied and can’t quit smiling.

View all my reviews

Blaming BP

Since the oil spill started in the Gulf of Mexico (months ago) the outrage against BP has grown rampant. The public has found out that BP has been lax in safety and that the organization in charge of watching over oil production has been letting oil companies get away with just about anything they want.

BP has also done what they could to down play the spill, from under estimating the amount of oil gushing into the gulf to trying to control the images and information the public gets to see and hear. Unfortunately our government has been little help, except to BP.

There have been calls for boycotts and calls to plug the leak with BP executives, and other well placed acts of knee jerk anger. Over time it has come to light that boycotting isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most BP gas stations are owned by citizens who bought a franchise from BP and BP oil is in many more products than just gas. If everyone did stop buying oil from BP and they were to go out of business, who would pay to clean up the mess?

To those who bought a BP franchise, I say, business is a gamble and you backed a loser. So stop complaining that the boycott is hurting you. Instead call up BP and complain that their operating practices are hurting your business and they need to change.

To those who have vowed to boycott BP, I say, broaden your attack and cut back on all oil usage. Include not buying bottle water,until they start using petroleum free bottles, call the company and tell them how you feel. Most important, call your representatives and tell them it’s time for clean renewable energy.

Every President since Nixon (at least) has said it’s time to reduce our dependence on oil. Unfortunately our representatives are in the pocket of oil companies and seem unwilling to change.

I have done my research and have sent emails (and signed petitions) letting my representatives how I feel and if they don’t change they won’t get my vote!

Here is a site where you can get a partial list of items made with petroleum

http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm

Make a Change!

American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura

This book was a really nice surprise. I’m not a huge fan of conspiracies nor am I a fan of Jesse Ventura. However, after seeing an interview with Jesse on Larry King I thought I would read the book, the interview piqued my interest.

The book is filled with some very interesting, and lesser known, facts. Facts that I think should be more widely known. Even though the book failed to convince me of all the conspiracies it did make me stop and think, which is never a bad thing for people to do. One of the biggest surprises was that the same “groups” kept coming up throughout the book from trying to overthrow FDR to the wall street mess and beyond.

Since everyone knows that power corrupts, why do we believe those in power so easily?

Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. And Three cheers for Smedley Darlington Butler!