Category Archives: the very big stupid

scary…

today is the midterm election.

republicunts are projected to win majorities in both the house and senate, which means that

  1. they plan on impeaching president biden, more out of spite than anything else (because there’s nothing to charge him with, but that won’t make a difference, because democretins impeached #drumpf TWICE 😒), and…
  2. they are actively planning on (and bragging about it)
    1. eliminating social security and medicare
    2. any and all investigations into the crimes of #drumpf, the stolen government documents at mar-a-lago, and the january 6th insurrection will cease immediately
    3. a national ban on abortion
    4. a national ban on birth control
    5. a repeal of gay marriage
    6. further oppression of trans people
    7. making cannabis and other marginally legal drugs illegal again
    8. further wanton environmental destruction, promoting oil, coal, and elimination of endangered species protections
    9. gerrymandering and further voter suppression to make future election wins by democretins a lot more difficult
    10. other horrendously awful, inhumane, and massively unpopular stuff, primarily because they can.

and, if they win, there’s a much greater chance that #drumpf will run for president, again, and if he does, he will likely win, because of the republicunts’ love affair with voter suppression, and that will basically be the end of a democratic united states. 🤬

and if they don’t win at all (preferably), or if they don’t win enough to make a difference, the republican’ts have openly vowed to wreck the global economy, by refusing to raise the debt limit.

i am staying OFF twit-turd… maybe forever, but at least for a couple of days, or until the election FUBAR has died down a little.

so…

yesterday, the FBI served a search warrant at Mar-A-Lago, home of the former #SCROTUS, #drumpf. #drumpf wasn’t home, he was in new york, testifying in another legal proceding against him…

but he’s publically losing his shit, which is amusing to watch. 😉

however, forgive me for being skeptical, but, with all of the other fiascos going on — abortion, gun control, healthcare, climate change, nazis/fascists in the government (and elsewhere), and so on — while this is excellent news on the surface, i doubt that it’s going to amount to much.

we can always hope, but i’m not going to hold my breath. 😒

and to think… 😒

at one time i was a major apple fanboy… 😒

admittedly, it was back when the operating system was free, and all you had to do was go into your local computer store with four floppy disks, and you would walk out with a functioning operating system… in the early ’90s…

these days, apple has turned into a proprietary nightmare, which penalises people who buy and sell apple products without going through “proper” channels.

example:

my tablet has been needing service more and more frequently. it got a slight bend in the frame, and, apparently, the way they are made is flimsy enough that the strongest element is the screen… which breaks at the slightest breeze in the wrong direction.

my tablet first started exhibiting the symptom of “not charging” a few years ago. the first time it happened was when it was still under applecare warranty, but i took it to a third party repair shop (one hour device repair) once the applecare had expired. one hour device repair has a lifetime warranty on repairs, so subsequent times it started exhibiting this symptom, i took it back and got it fixed for free… and, usually, got a new screen in the process, because they had broken it in the process of fixing the charge port.

then, a couple months ago, someone (it may have been thaddeus, but i’m not sure) sat on the tablet (or something) which put enough of a bend in the frame that the screen no longer met the edge of the frame… at which point i started needing to get it repaired (for free) more frequently, but, on the up side, they could get the screen off without breaking it.

the last time this happened was last week. i took it in, and they diagnosed a new problem with one of the power management chips. they said that, under normal circumstances, their experience has been that once this power management chip starts to go, there isn’t anything that can be done to fix it.

🙄

so, knowing that apple sells “refurbished” equipment for EXORBITANT prices, the first place i looked was on craigslist, where i found an ALMOST IDENTICAL tablet (the old one is a 3rd gen., and the new one is a 4th gen.) for $690… which is A LOT less than i could get it refurbished (starts around $1,200 and goes up from there). i contacted the guy, and arranged to pick it up (which is what i was doing at dick’s drive in the other day). he said that the applecare subscription expired tomorrow (which is now yesterday), but he was going to extend it a month, so i could get a chance to switch it over to my name.

so, i called applecare, and (after getting cut off mid-call), i finally learned that i couldn’t switch the applecare to my name, because it had to be done by the original owner. so i contacted the guy, and arranged to meet him in issaquah. when he called applecare, they asked him his name, and the serial number of the device…

and then, they told him that it is NOT POSSIBLE to switch the applecare to anybody else. i can’t even wait for the applecare in his name to expire, and then subscribe with my name, because i am not the original purchaser.

if i had bought a “refurbished” tablet (from apple), it would have come with “refurbished applecare”, but, because i bought it directly from the seller, they didn’t have a chance to “refurbish” it, and they aren’t willing to issue a new applecare subscription.

AT ALL!

EVER!!!

🤬

apple has just lost ANY loyalty i may have still had for their products. this is totally stupid! 🤬

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts!! 🤬

i SHOULD BE at the oregon country fair, at this very moment… but i am not.

less than 12 hours BEFORE i was supposed to leave, i tested positive for COVID-19. moe tested positive, as well. 😒

i mentioned it on twit-turd™, and some random person responded “your (sic) fully vaccinated? why blame the anti-vaxxers?”

to which i responded “”your” fully vaccinated?” PLONK! 😒”

(if you don’t know, “PLONK!” is the sound that spam messages make when they are shit-canned)

however, here is my reason for blaming the antis/republicunts:

if you recall, way back, two years ago, when this whole pandemic was first starting up, the CDC came out with a statement along the lines of “if we can get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, we can defeat this.” this was BEFORE they even had a vaccine…

but there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who believed #drumpf when he said that it would miraculously disappear, and totally ignored the CDCs recommendations.

and tens of thousands DIED because of it.

then they announced a vaccine, and there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who said that the vaccine contained aborted fetuses, or some such garbage, and refused to get vaccinated.

literally MILLIONS died, but the antis stood their ground, as millions of THEIR OWN KIND were dying around them…

and, more recently, there has been the “federal” (#drumpf-appointed) judge who decided that the mask mandates for airlines and public transportation were “unconstitutional”, and the rush to re-open businesses, and the rush to “get back to normal” that has totally ignored the CDC recommendations (AND, i might add, COMMON SENSE) which means that millions MORE died…

if we had listened to THE EXPERTS about this, we would have been done with it, or, at the very minimum, be well on our way to recovery by now, but…

now, don’t get me wrong: if a person CLAIMS TO BE an “expert” on something, i ALWAYS take what they say with “a grain of salt”, particularly when they claim to be an “expert” in MY health. but i also know enough history to know that, in 1918, when we had a pandemic of the “spanish flu” (which turned out to be an american phenomenon that was first isolated by spanish doctors), BEFORE the advent of reliable vaccines, the “anti-mask” crowd was the PRIMARY reason (along with world war one) that it lasted for 3 years.

yesterday, i felt “under the weather”, and slept most of the day. towards the end of the day, i transitioned from feeling “under the weather” to feeling truly awful, but (fortunately) moe was there with over-the-counter medicines and common sense, and i actually slept through the night (which is something that i rarely do, under the best of circumstances, these days), and i feel weak, but more-or-less normal today… but i was SUPPOSED TO BE at OCF LAST NIGHT — my panto comrades are going to miss me, there are at least two pieces of music they CAN’T PLAY because there are prevelant tuba parts, and, because of the fact that i tested positive on tuesday night, i can’t even go out in public (even with a mask) until sunday or monday.

and i have ZERO compunction about naming the stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts as THE primary cause of this. 🤬

and, despite the fact that boris johnson (the UKs answer to #drumpf) stepped down as the prime minister of the UK, yesterday, i am still not holding my breath that anything is going to change for the better, any time soon.

fortunately, i haven’t seemed to have lost my sense of taste and smell: i’m currently burning incense, which i can smell, and moe made chicken soup, which tastes AWESOME, but both moe and i have commented on the “brain fog”, which will, hopefully, go away over time.

micro$not, mshtml, and activex

back in the dark ages, when i was working at STLabs, before we moved to factoria (i.e. STLabs… so, what? maybe 1995? 1996? somewhere in there), i was testing Internet Explorer version 3.0, which meant, basically, that i was testing micro$not’s browser engine, which is called MSHTML.dll. at the time, a very good friend of mine from college, saint fred (now, sadly, passed on) was mucking about with the innards of micro$not’s operating system, and discovered a problem which had existed for several years prior to this, which micro$not had “made disappear” by changing the technology’s name from OLE — which was, itself, a “renamed” technology, originally called Visual Basic for Applications, or “VB-A” — to “ActiveX”, and, in the process of making it “disappear”, actually made it more prevalent and insidious, by making it work seamlessly with even more micro$not technology.

and, saint fred being who he was, took advantage of this by writing the “Exploder Control”, which could be embedded in a web page, or a microsoft document, and would, when “activated”, perform a clean shutdown of the computer on which it was being viewed… whether you wanted to shut down your computer, or not.

you hit this web page, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 😏

or…

you open this microsoft word document, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 🤣

i watched it happen as it first came out, before anybody realised what it was. it was hillarious! i gave the URI for the exploder control to my boss, and then went back to my workstation and listened, as she suddenly whined “it shut down my computer!” 🤣🤣🤣

and, of course, micro$not’s response to this was to threaten saint fred with lawsuits for doing stuff he shouldn’t have been doing, and when that didn’t work (because fred made sure that the exploder did everything strictly “by the book”, including getting micro$not’s signature on the control), they made the exploder control something that was detected by their anti-virus software (even though it was very clearly NOT a virus, and, actually, did everything totally “by the book”, something to which micro$not never admitted), and, once they figured out that they had caused all of this, they pulled their signature on the control, so that it raised even more red flags before actually activating it…

and, basically, did everything EXCEPT fix the problem, which, after a few months of frantic ass-covering by micro$not’s marketing department, while the tech industry had a good laugh, got swept under the rug, anyway, by more current micro$not fiascos.

but the technology remained, and every version of windows has support for activex, every version of MSHTML.dll has support for activex (which is one of the reasons micro$not got rid of MSHTML.dll a couple years ago, and current versions of Internet Exploder… um… what’s their browser called again? EDGE, that’s it… uses google’s “chrome” browser engine, instead. the browser wars are over! micro$not LOST!) and you can, literally, do ANYTHING with activex, that you could do from the normal user interface of windows, and there is, literally, NOTHING stopping you from doing this — or other, more nefarious things — given A LITTLE knowledge of the technology.

which is why, when i saw this headline: Miscreants fling booby-trapped Office files at victims, no patch yet, says Microsoft the FIRST THING i thought was “Exploder Control strikes again!”

this is one of the VERY BIG reasons i do not use micro$not on my computers. i don’t even have my microsoft 5-button mouse any longer!

i wonder if they’ll ever learn. 🙄

Continue reading micro$not, mshtml, and activex

twit-turd

so, i made this tweet yesterday:

210621 killing people is "dispensing freedom"? - what the fuck is wrong with you?
210621 killing people is “dispensing freedom”? – what the fuck is wrong with you?

this afternoon, approximately 24 hours later, this is the kind of reaction it’s having:

210622 more than 300 likes... 🤯
210622 more than 300 likes… 🤯

if there were only some way to get #NationalStrike #GeneralStrike #TaxStrike #LaborStrike #BankStrike #RentStrike #DebtStrike #MortgageStrike #MinimumWageStrike #CreditCardStrike #PeoplesStrike #PeoplePower #EatTheRich #RaiseTheWage #GuillotinesNeeded #WeAreClosed the same kind of response… 🤯

and, as we all suspected…

#drumpf is refusing to concede, has directed the attorney general william barr to “investigate substantial evidence of voter fraud” (despite the fact that their IS NO evidence of voter fraud), and is refusing to turn things over to a transition team. mitch mconnell and mike pompeo have both stated that they support a second #drumpf term. he’s fired a whole bunch of people within the last 48 hours, including directors at the pentagon and the FBI, and replaced them with “loyalists”. 😒

this despite the fact that biden won the popular vote with 50.8%, compared to #drumpf’s 47.5%, and is projected to win the electoral vote with 306, which is the largest difference since the 1930s.

biden says he’s “dissapointed”, but doesn’t think legal action will be necessary. 😒

if this isn’t a blatant attempt at a coup, i don’t know what is. if this happened in any other country, the US would send in the marines to ensure a democratic government emerged. 🤬

we’re going to have to drag him out of the white house by his heels, kicking and screaming like a child having a temper tantrum. 😒

p.s. (he’s NOT the president of the united states, and never has been.) 😒

and then, there’s also this:

#drumpf lost, but…

it’s official now: #drumpf is our lame-duck president. the first time a president hasn’t won re-election since 1992.

big surprise. 😒

but democrats didn’t take the senate, and democrats actually lost seats in the house… which means that the changes that #drumpf made in the supreme court (a “lifetime-appointed” body) are going to be a lot more difficult to chalenge, and expanding the supreme court is, also, pretty much out of the question… and #drumpf got to choose three supreme court justices, who are, now, going to determine whether or not his claims of election fraud are actionable… a qanon believer is on their way to the senate… “nothing, fundamentally, is going to change” says our “new” leader.

meet the new boss. same as the old boss.

#drumpf lost

it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but biden won. however, as biden, himself, has said, “nothing, fundamentally, will change”… so, now, it’s “fascism light”, rather than “fascism extra-bold”, but, essentially, the same font. 😒

we’ve got a couple months of a lame duck session, wherein #drumpf has every occasion, opportunity and encouragement to screw things up even more badly than he already has, and then, naturally, when he finally steps down, the first thing to happen is that biden will pardon and absolve him of any crimes that he may have committed.

but at least he didn’t actually win… again… woo. 😒

tesla tequila
tesla tequila
in other news, tesla (the overpriced electric car, not the scientist) has come out with a branded tequila, which, in unbranded bottles, runs around $45 a bottle… but in their fancy, tesla lighting bolt bottle, it costs $250 a bottle, but you can’t get it, because it already sold out the entire run, within hours of its being announced.

if you ask me, it looks more like a bottle of cologne than a bottle of tequila. 😒

can i start murdering people yet?

200915 USPS misleading postcard
200915 USPS misleading postcard

the postmaster general, louis dejoy, the republican mega-donor to #drumpf, who has no actual experience with the post office, but who was, nevertheless, appointed to be postmaster general by #drumpf; who, in september, 2020 (yes, that means last week), was blocked, by a court ruling, from sending out false or misleading information about the election, and when secretaries of state requested that he show them examples of the mailing he was planning to send out, he refused to do so…

… has sent out false or misleading information about the election! SHOCKER!!! 😲

how many things can i count on this postcard that are false or misleading? 😠

1) it was sent to me, a voter in washington state, where we have had ALL MAIL-IN VOTING FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS! and, yes, i am aware that it was actually sent to “Postal Customer”, and not directly to me, but the fact remains that i, and hundreds of thousands of my closest neighbours, LIVE IN WASHINGTON, WHERE WE HAVE MAIL-IN VOTING!! 🤬

in my opinion, the biggest “false or misleading” thing about this poscard is that it was sent to anyone in washington state! 😠

2) “start today…” go to this URI… but when you follow the link, all you find is MORE false and misleading information… especially if you live in a state (there are 10 of them) which has all mail-in voting…

3) “request your mail-in (often called “absentee ballot”)”… except that, in states where they have all mail-in voting (once again, there are 10 of them), they’re NOT called “absentee ballots”, which are, in fact, an entirely different sort of ballot, for a different purpose, altogether.

4) “Add postage…” my ballot is postage paid. does that mean i have to add MORE postage? the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that.

5) “at least 7 days before election day.” does that mean that, even if i drop it in a ballot drop box 5 days before election day, that my ballot won’t be counted? as before, the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that… 😒

and, as far as murdering people goes, if i can’t murder someone important, like #drumpf, pence, or dejoy (which, i admit, is pretty unlikely), or someone more local, like katie daviscourt (seriously, look her up… she’s a certified nut case with a dangerously wild imagination and a BIG audience), i’m perfectly happy to murder myself, so you other people don’t have anything to worry about. 😒

ETA 200921: HERE is a link from the secretary of state for washington, that has a lot more reliable information about the election than anything you can get from the federal government these days… 😒

fascism has taken hold

we are no longer a democracy, or even a constitutional republic. we are, now, a fascist dictatorship, under the rule of donald john trump.

if donald john trump decides that the election is unfair, he will make such a decision once the election is complete. if he doesn’t win, that will mean that the election is unfair.

we no longer have a president.

we have a dictator.

this has been announced, today, by his mouthpiece, kayleigh mcenany:

also, today, nancy pelosi told postmaster general louis dejoy to put back the post office infrastructure that he, recently, ripped out, in an attempt to thwart people being able to vote by mail, something donald john trump has clearly admitted to wanting done.

his response was to say that he has no intention of doing that.

if he doesn’t win, the election is “rigged”, but even if there’s a democratic landslide, he’s making sure that he’s going to win anyway he can, even if it includes cheating.

if that’s not fascism, i don’t know what is.

former president barack obama says that we can still save the country by voting.

fascists don’t let you “vote” them out of power. that’s not the way fascism works. 😠

Rule #3

Rule #3 states “Spammers are stooOOpid.”

if you need an example of rule #3, i have one for you:

the spammer sent mail from a computer called… get this…

UCEBOX.CO.ZA

😝😂🤣🤪🤦😠🤬

for those of you who still don’t “get” it, not only is the computer in south africa, home to all things shady and illegal, but “UCE” stands for “Unsolicited Commercial Email”… in other words, “spam”.

it’s as though they’re saying, “fuck yeah, we’re so gawd-damned proud of the illegal spam we send, that we’re going to name our computer after it, and nobody will care, even if they do notice!”

people should have to take an intelligence test before being allowed into the human race.

seriously.

in response to the murder of George Floyd by police

200531 Serve and Protect sculpture, Salt Lake City
200531 Serve and Protect sculpture, Salt Lake City

increasingly violent protests have been escalating globally. if we had all listened to colin kaepernick, way back when, we might have avoided this.

meanwhile, drumpf has issued an executive order making antifa a “terrorist organisation” — meaningless, as antifa isn’t an “organisation”, but convenient, because now drumpf can claim anybody is antifa, and have them arrested — and inciting violence on twitter with rhetoric recycled from the republican side of the ’60s-era race riots.

and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” means the same thing 50 years ago as it does now.

COVID19 has facilitated increasing fascism. it’s just a matter of time before drumpf declares martial law, and/or someone assassinates him.

something that would be supremely ironic, in drumpf’s case: “assassinate” is a word that begins with not one, but two “ass”es…

🤬

#drumpf is still “winning”… demolishing sacred native burial grounds and tossing 70 million people off of SSI and SSDI so that he can build his ill-fated wall; dr. stabby, cruella devos, and a whole range of people who have never done anything in government being appointed to important positions of power in the government; endless war in the middle east; not taking a presidential salary, but taking more golf excursions than the past 4 presidents COMBINED, despite a campaign promise that he wasn’t going to play golf; muslim ban; climate-change; etc., etc., etc., etc., ETC…. 😒

but all we hear about, TODAY, is the fact that flerfer “Mad” Mike Hughes died in yet another attempt to take his home-made, steam-powered rocket up to 5000 feet so that he could photograph the “lack of curvature”…

as though the news that some crazy person dying while trying to prove the impossible is, somehow, more important news than the distaster immediately destroying the planet… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

I have seen the future: Donald Trump is going to get worse

in 2003, i almost died.

i would have died, if it hadn’t been for my wife, and a team of doctors… and the fact that i have been a musician most of my life…

after my injury, when i regained “normal” consciousness, one of the first things they told me was that i had a brain injury, and that i would have to spend the rest of my life “getting used to it”.

since then — 17 years ago — i have been forced to watch, more or less helplessly, as a whole bunch of my friends have died, pretty much everything that i cared about, and fought for, politically and socially, throughout my entire life, has been totally ruined, or is in the process of being totally ruined, with no visible hope of recovery, and the world in general, environmentally, sociologically, and politically, is going down the tubes, rapidly. the very strong probability, at this point, is that we are experiencing the “end of the world as we know it”, but most of us are too stupid to realise it.

this is very definitely NOT what i signed up for, even before my injury — to be honest, i never signed up for it in the first place — and i’m really pissed off that i didn’t die when i had the chance. 🤬

I have seen the future: Donald Trump is going to get worse
February 8, 2020
By Lucian K. Truscott IV

The only thing Donald Trump didn’t do in his victory-lap appearance in the East Room on Thursday was announce the pending arrest of Adam Schiff or Nancy Pelosi. He did everything else. He told his roomful of hacks and sycophants that the impeachment trial “was all bullshit.” They cheered. He called the Democrats and lone Republican who favored his impeachment and removal from office “the crookedest, most dishonest, dirtiest people I’ve ever known,” “lowlifes,” “stone-cold crazy,” “evil,” “sick,” “corrupt,” “scum,” “bad,” “horrible,” “vicious” and “leakers.” Stammering, wheezing, snorting and sniffling, he said those who impeached him were “mean.” His fans applauded. They screamed. They laughed: Fox host Laura Ingraham; Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, whom Trump called “so great, so tough, and so smart”; Rep. Devin Nunes of California, “this congressman who kept going into basements, into files, he’ll find any document”; and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a “top, top wrestler.” Every single one of them laughed and shouted their encouragement as the man who has told more than 15,000 lies since taking office called his Democratic enemies “liars.”

It was Donald Trump unbound. Having stomped on every single “norm” that has been adhered to in Washington for more than 200 years, Trump taped up his bone spurs and stomped some more. Remember Richard Nixon’s “enemies list”? Amateur hour. Trump has an enemies binder, a whole fucking enemies database. He’s got people over at the IRS lining up audits. He’s got deputy attorney generals drawing up subpoenas and crafting indictments. He waited less than 24 hours before he had the Treasury Department release “evidence of questionable origin” about Hunter Biden to Republican senators seeking to open the investigation of the Bidens that was spurned by the Ukrainian government.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham and Senate Homeland Security chairman Ron Johnson have all issued letters requesting records from the State Department, Justice Department, FBI, Treasury Department, National Archives and Secret Service, seeking documents regarding Hunter Biden, his associates and their businesses. Having stonewalled every request for documents and testimony from House committees investigating the Russia and Ukraine scandals, Trump is opening the floodgates on Hunter Biden. Who’s next is anybody’s guess.

“Republicans are turning the Senate into an arm of the president’s political campaign, pursuing an investigation designed to further President Trump’s favorite conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and smear Vice President Biden,” Ashley Schapitl told Yahoo News. Schapitl is a spokesperson for Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the Senate Finance Committee.

It’s going to get worse. Trump made a point of mentioning former FBI Director James Comey and the “dirty cops” and “FBI lovers” who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election. They are targets of the Department of Justice criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation being carried out by special counsel John Durham. Trump singled out Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, who serve on the National Security Council. Both were fired from their positions on Friday afternoon. It’s only a matter of time before he targets the House impeachment managers, if only to harass them and make them waste campaign money on defense lawyers.

But it’s the people Trump didn’t specifically mention on Thursday who should be worried. We didn’t know he was trying to extort the Ukrainians into investigating the Bidens until it was exposed by the whistleblower last October. Trump’s secret campaign against the Bidens had been going on for six months by that time, and even longer if you include the machinations by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that had begun as far back as the fall of 2018. Who else has Trump been secretly investigating overseas? We don’t know, and we will remain in the dark unless another patriotic civil servant in the bowels of Trump’s government blows another whistle.

But Trump has gutted the State Department, the Defense Department, the Treasury Department and every other cabinet-level governmental office under his command. Gone are all the “adults in the room” like former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and even former White House chief of staff John Kelly and Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton. Down in the lower reaches of the bureaucracy, turnover has been record-breaking and there are so many vacancies, they’re holding garage sales to get rid of empty desks. There are numerous “acting” deputy and assistant secretaries in every single cabinet-level department of Trump’s government. He likes it that way. Everybody is either on their way out, planning to get out or frightened of being fired. The likelihood of new whistleblowers emerging from this chaotic governmental swamp is less and less the longer Trump remains in office.

What’s next? Well, we’ve already seen the capitulation and surrender at Helsinki, when Trump took Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence services about Russia’s hacking of the 2016 elections. I think what we’ll get next is an Oval Office meeting with some dictator like Viktor Orbán of Hungary or Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey or Putin himself, and Trump coming out and asking them in public, before television cameras and reporters, to help with his re-election campaign. He’s gotten away with it twice. Why wouldn’t he?

He’s equally likely to order more assassinations of people he’ll name as enemies of the United States. We may never have heard of them before, nor will we ever hear about them again once they’re gone, because who they are and what they allegedly did will not be as important as the fact that Trump can order their deaths. The recent assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Republican Guard, got only passing criticism from Democrats and was a huge hit with the Trump base. He got to blow up bad guys with smart bombs and show everyone he’s as tough as his idol, Putin. What’s not to love about that? If you carry an AK-47 and follow Muhammad, I’d keep my head down between now and the first Tuesday in November.

Every time we think Trump has gone about as far as he can go with demonizing the “enemies of the people” in the press, he cranks it up a notch. The recent dust-up between NPR and Lickspittle Von Pompeo proved to Trump and his minions that they can muzzle the press and get away with it. I’d look for them to start yanking White House press credentials and banning entire news organizations from covering the Trump campaign. MSNBC and CNN should start looking for cheap flights. They won’t be on Air Force One for long. I predict it’s only a matter of time before some Trumpaholic MAGA-hat-wearing militiaman takes a potshot at a reporter outside one of Trump’s rallies. Trump will promise to defend the Second Amendment and rant and rave against the “enemies of the people” at his next rally. His base will lap it up.

Donald Trump is like a kid who gets on an elevator full of people and pushes the button for every floor. He does stuff because it pisses off the Democrats. He does stuff because it “owns the libs” and delights his base. He does stuff because it makes his pathetic, pinched little life a tiny bit bigger. I would say that he does stuff because it makes him happy, but I don’t think he’s capable of even a scintilla of joy. Mostly he does stuff because he can, and the big question we face, now that we’ve had an impeachment but failed to remove him from office, is whether he’s going to break the great American elevator and bring this country crashing down with him. I hope not, but every day he’s been in office he’s gotten worse, and it’s working for him.

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬‼

ever since he was born, i have been afraid that i will be forced into the situation where i have to apologise to my son for bringing him into a world that, through no fault of his own, is going to end, for all intents and purposes, before his life will end. to me, it seems a large amount of irresponsible, to have brought a being into the world, who is faced with his own death, before his time, especially since i seem to be charmed when it comes to the potential of my life ending before my time.

and it’s even harder for me, because i have been fighting my entire adult life to change the things that i can, that would lead to my not having to offer that apology.

ezra, i’m sorry that the world is such a fucked up place. i’m sorry i brought you into this world, with no way to change it. i’m sorry you have to share this world with people who don’t care that it will end before your lifetime is complete.

A Grim New Definition of Generation X
by Ted Rall – 191231

People born in the 1960s may be the last human beings who will get to live out their full actuarial life expectancies. “Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat” to humanity, warns a recent policy paper by an Australian think tank. Civilization, scientists say, could collapse by 2050. Some people may survive. Not many.

Some dismiss such purveyors of apocalyptic prognoses as hysterics. To the contrary, they’re Pollyannas. Every previous “worst-case scenario” prediction for the climate has turned out to have understated the gravity of the situation. “Paleoclimatologists have shown that past warming episodes show that there are mechanisms which magnify its effects, not represented in current climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the Paris Accords,” reports The Independent. It’s probably too optimistic to assume that we’ll make it to 2050.

Gives new meaning to Generation X.

Millennials and the children we call Generation Z face the horrifying prospect that they will get stuck with the tab for humanity’s centuries-long rape of planet earth, the mass desecration of which radically accelerated after 1950. There is an intolerably high chance that today’s young people will starve to death, die of thirst, be killed by a superstorm, succumb to a new disease, boil to death, asphyxiate from air pollution, be murdered in a riot or shot or blown up in a war sparked by environmentally-related political instability long before they survive to old age.

Long threatened, never taken seriously, not even now that it’s staring us right in the face, human extinction is coming for the children and grandchildren we claim to love but won’t lift a finger to save.

Shelves sag under the weight of books that have been written arguing that we still have a chance to save ourselves. I wish I could believe that. Human population has tripled since the 1950s. More than a million species have gone extinct. Ninety percent of the fish in the ocean have vanished, replaced by one billion tons of plastic. Two-thirds of the trees have been cut down. The polar ice cap is gone; it’s never coming back.

We can’t stop global warming. An increase of four degrees Celsius over the baseline set at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution means game over. We’re well on our way there. It doesn’t make sense to think that we can avoid extinction.

What if we woke up and demanded action from our political leaders? Radical problems require radical solutions; only the most radical of solutions could resolve the most radical problem of ruining our planet’s ability to sustain us: revolution. We would have to rise up and abolish — immediately — consumer capitalism in all the major greenhouse gas-producing nations, prioritize cleaning the environment as the human race’s top concern, and pivot to an economic mindset in which we extract the bare minimum from the ecosystem that we need in order to survive and nothing more.

Voting might achieve some incremental reforms but reform falls far short of what we require. Saving our young people (and their children, should they be foolish enough to have any) would require global revolution, the violent overthrow of the ruling elites and replacing them with people who understand what must be done. It would need to happen today. Fifty years ago would be better. Got a time machine?

None of this is going to happen. We are going to sleepwalk to our doom in a haze of social media and corporate entertainment distraction.

So it’s time for people who are younger than I am to start thinking about how they want to spend the rest of their likely-to-be-truncated lives, and how they plan to face mass premature death.

Pending human extinction destroys the answers provided by religion and philosophy. Knowing that there won’t be anyone to know that we were ever here raises the question: why bother to do anything? This column, this year’s “important” presidential election, love, hate, everything will lose its meaning when the last member of our species draws her last breath. Earth is unlikely to be visited by an alien archaeologist, much less uncover everything we’ve made and created (assuming any of it survives), much less figure out what any of it meant, before the sun expands into a red giant and ends it all.

Much is to be said for hedonism: eat, drink, have sex, and don’t bother to sort your recycling, for tomorrow we die. Stoicism has its advantages too; go out with dignity rather than weeping and gnashing your teeth and making your fellow survivors miserable.

Nihilism is about to become the best worst possible life strategy. Life is meaningless. That will soon become obvious. Moral principles, relics of a time with a future, will blow away like the irradiated dust we leave behind.

None of this will have mattered.

yeah, woo… 😒

so, #SCROTUS has well and truly been impeached, but pelosi now says she’s not even going to send the articles of impeachment over to the house, because the house has said that they’re not going to follow through…

so we’re sitting here with an impeached president and nothing is being done about it, even from the people who impeached him.

meanwhile, he’s requested and been granted even MORE money for the wall, and for the “space force”, and he’s paying for it with massive CUTS in food stamps, SSI, and SSDI (which includes me), and there has been precisely no response from the people who impeached him, apart from mildly harsh words…

and there has been some protest, in a limited sort of way, but no mass uprising, which means that they are probably not even going to try…

and people wonder why i want to die. 😒

woo…

#SCROTUS #drumpf has been impeached, but the republican’ts in the senate have already said that they’re not going to remove him from office, so it’s not having the kind of effect everybody said it would have. 😒

i lost my sunglasses a couple weeks ago, and i lost my faraday pouch with all my credit cards, my medical permit, my AAA card and my passport, along with $30 or so in cash. it disappeared somewhere in between the time that i walked out of total wine (i watched myself on the security video leaving the store with the pouch in my hand), and the time that i got home. the receipt from total wine was in the recycle bin, so i’m fairly sure the pouch is somewhere at home, but i don’t know where, which PISSES ME OFF!!!

ETA: somebody found it in the parking lot of total wine, and turned it in with everything, including the cash, intact. maybe there’s hope for humanity after all… 🙃 but tulsi gabbard, the democratic representative from hawaii, who is also a candidate for the 2020 presidential election, voted “present” rather than voting for (preferably) or against impeachment… which means that, unless she’s the ONLY candidate running against #drumpf next year, i will not be voting for her. 😒

.org TLD

originally, the .org TLD was intended for non-profit entities, although it was never enforced, and it has been operated by the Public Interest Registry since 2003.

on november 13, 2019, it was announced that the PIR had agreed to be acquired by Ethos Capital, a for-profit investment group, as their first “investment”.

so, basically, what this means is that the .org TLD, which was originally intended for use by non-profit organisations, is now owned and controlled by a for-profit organisation.

also, i’ve heard that some of the executives for ethos capital are also connected with ICANN, and have sneakily maneuvered around so that ICANN has eliminated the cap restricting the registration fees for domains under the .org TLD, which means that registration costs for .org domains are going to go up, MASSIVELY, in the next couple of years…

because that’s what for-profit organisations do with newly acquired resources…

i mean, they made this “investment”, and now they have to make sure that it pays off for them, otherwise why make the investment in the first place? 😒

i currently own 5 domains under the .org TLD.

i am, at this very moment, determining whether it’s possible for me to register all of them for the maximum of 10 years, all at once, rather than having to do it one at a time… because, one way or the other, i’m going to register them for as long as i can at the current price, rather than waiting to be gouged out of business, later on. 😒

🤬👎‼

spammers spamming spam! 🤬

just as a reminder, this has been posted at the Hybrid Elephant Contact Us form:

PLEASE NOTE: This contact form is solely for the use of Hybrid Elephant customers who need to get in contact with us. Every message that is sent with this form includes a unique IP address in the header, which identifies the computer from which the message was sent. If you use this form to spam us, all you will accomplish is to put your IP address on the list of IP addresses which are PERMANENTLY BANNED from accessing Hybrid Elephant for any reason. Please DO NOT USE THIS FORM to send us advertisements or solicitations. It WILL NOT WORK! You have been warned!

this morning, i got spam from my response form (big surprise).

the difference, this time, is that the following message was included at the end of the spam:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This message has been posted via a Contact Us form on your site. Contact forms are publicly accessible and they can be used for posting messages by anyone. We don’t use, hold or archive your e-mail addresses.

yes, contact forms can be used by anyone, but, particularly when an anti-spam message like the one previously posted is present, a concientious user of internet won’t use it unless that person is also a “Hybrid Elephant customers who need to get in contact with us”.

the message that you sent me was definitely NOT because of a need to contact me about something having to do with my business. 😒

and the fact that you say you “don’t use, hold or archive your e-mail addresses” is a moot point, because you ALREADY HAVE used my email address, and the fact that you have already used it means that, very likely, it is stored somewhere on your system, and probably gets backed up with everything else on your computer, which, for all intents and purposes, is “using, holding and archiving”… 🤬

so, the IP address from which this spam was sent is 85.203.22.215, which is part of the 85.203.22.208/28 range, located in monaco.

as of now, 85.203.22.208/28 (16 individual IP addresses) is no longer able to access my domains for any reason whatsoever.

thanks, spammer.

the message also contained references to wexxluxurycars dot com, which also goes on my block list.

thanks, spammer.

the IP address to which that domain name corresponds is 198.46.134.35, which is located in new york. because of the fact that it’s in new york, that IP address goes on my email block list, with today’s date, so that, in case i get an inquiry regarding it at some future point, i can state, unequivocally, that it was added to the list on that date, in case the person inquiring wants me to remove it…

which i will do ONLY if they can convince me that they are no longer associated with spam.

thanks, spammer.

and, of course, nobody is going to be seriously affected by all of this falderal (except, possibly, me), because the message was, doubtlessly, sent by a script that scans for “Contact Us” forms, and dumps meaningless spam into them automatically, without any one person having to do anything other than launch the script, which is why i’ve taken to blocking CIDR ranges outside of north america with no further warning. if people are going to be that careless with their own security, it’s up to people like me to take their security seriously, for them.

thanks, spammer. 🤬

bleah…

i’ve been under the attack of anhedonia and depression. my mushrooms have lost their potency: the last time i tried, i took 6 of them and they had, essentially, no effect at all. i connected with a person at SACBO — ranger’s connection — but she is only one step closer to the source… although she did mention that starter kits are available on ebay, and that they practically grow themselves, so that’s worth looking into.

part of the reason i have been so depressed is because of what i call the “political situation”: that is, drumpf and his latest atrocities. it just keeps on getting worse, and, when i think there’s no way he can get any worse, he blows the world away with the magnitude of his atrocities… and his republicon base of supporters get upset about a black disney princess and a pair of nike sneakers, but totally ignore the concentration camps and the gestapo Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, not to mention the totally inept people, including his own children, he’s put in charge of such things as education, housing, healthcare and the environment. it’s literally going to take us 100 years JUST to fix his fuckups, and that’s not taking into account the fact that the world is already in a crisis mode. it’s almost as though everything i’ve ever fought for throughout my entire life has been eliminated by this orange babboon in less than 3 years, and replaced with climate-change deniers, corporate stooges, forced-birth and anti-vax controversies, and so-called “christian” love, which is only for the so-called “christians”.

drumpf spent $92 million, which he appropriated from the national parks department (🤬), on a “military parade” in washington DC, complete with tanks and a flyover by the blue angels and “airforce one” — which, of course, wasn’t “airforce one” because the #SCROTUS was on the ground, observing the flyover… and the tanks were stationary, because, apparently, if they had moving tanks, they would have destroyed the streets and damaged the lincoln memorial… but the only people who could view this were his donors, because everyone else had to pay to get in… and then it rained, HARD and everything was postponed. the photos and videos i’ve seen show a very few thoroughly wet people and drumpf giving a long, boring, confusing speech that one writer i read compared to having been written by artificial intelligence, and a retired admiral said that it was on the level of an 8th grade history lesson… and the live video feeds from the top of the washington memorial, and the lincoln memorial were inexplicably shut down and removed from the whitehouse dot gov address, apparently to cover up how few people actually attended this debacle.

so, basically, we, the american people, threw away $92,000,000,000 on an egotistical, childish, boorish, dictator-emulating orange rapist with the IQ of half a rock, instead of addressing the concentration camps, or the homeless issue, or the healthcare issue, or… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

as can be well imagined, despite my love for exploding things, i take little interest in such activities in celebration of this country, this year… which is, also, at least partially, because of the fact that we now have a dog who is totally terrified of fireworks, AND a next-door neighbour who is prone to setting off a ton of fireworks which ignite their lawn, and other suchlike wonderful things. 😒

OCF is 5 days away, and i’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. by this time, we’ve usually had one run through, and have some rough idea of how long the show will be. this year, we’re nowhere close to that, despite the fact that we started out with a working script, which we created 15 years ago, when we did this show (Jack And The Beanstalk) the last time. and we’re still missing two songs, one of which is probably not going to make it into the show for OCF.

and, on top of everything else, MAD magazine is shutting down! PBLFLLT!! 😠

oy! 😖

the continuing saga of the mailing list fiasco has reached a new plateau:

so, it started out that one of the subscribers to the list sent a message to the list that didn’t go through, for some unknown reason (demons).

when his message didn’t go through IMMEDIATELY — as he was used to them doing — he started looking around for other addresses, and he found two of them. one goes to the list owner, and one is a “machine only” address that sends bounce notices to the owner. it is not for sending email TO, and it is definitely not for sending mail to when your message doesn’t go through, because that triggers the MTA on the user end to blacklist your message.

i found out about this whole fiasco about 6 hours into it, when he sent mail to my personal address, asking me if there was something wrong. i noticed that he had sent mail to the machine-only address, and got blacklisted by micro$awful, so i wrote to the host provider to see if there was something that could be done to reverse the problem.

the host provider’s response was to accuse me (and my mailing list) of sending spam, and they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sending spam. 😒

they generously offered to set me up with a new IP address instead of arbitrarily closing my account, but the new IP address they gave me didn’t have a PTR (pointer) record, or a RDNS (Reverse DNS) record, which only made the machine that controls the email list mad, because usual mailing lists have a PTR and a RDNS record, and the end result was that i was blacklisted by a number of services with which i have been exchanging emails without a problem for years.

fortunately, these other services were ones for which i could submit delisting requests myself, which takes the host provider and their sensitivity about spam and spammers out of the loop.

nevertheless, i started losing patience, and i might have said some things in my communications with the host provider which ended up making things a whole lot worse, ending up with yesterday, when they asked me to move my web sites to a different host provider immediately.

at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, the PTR and RDNS records that they installed on my new IP address took effect, which meant that i can no longer send email from my local email client, because it’s not the same server that my VPN has been talking to for more than a year, and i lost it. i didn’t actually curse at them, but i did everything but that.

while i was in the process of figuring out that it was my VPN that was my primary problem, i had, simultaneously, to explain the mistake to the guy who sent the original message, re-assure the members of the mailing list who were trying — and failing — to send messages to the list that they weren’t actually the problem, despite the fact that their email addresses were not interacting correctly with the mailing list, and fend off the more and more insistent demands that i leave, immediately, from the host provider.

long story short, i didn’t sleep very well last night. 😠

at about 3:30 this morning, i finally wrote a letter to macque, saying that i was no longer able to host the web sites he has me hosting, i was no longer able to maintain the mailing list, and that i was retiring from the hosting business.

then i checked, once again, with micro$awful, and determined that I HADN’T ACTUALLY BEEN BLACKLISTED AT ALL!

the WHOLE THING had been caused by “demons” in the machine! 😖

and, to top things all off, we’re scheduled to go to the beach for a week, starting monday, which meant that, if i was going to move, i would have to find a new host and give them the information they need to move my web sites in 3 days, or wait a week, and do the same thing when i got back from vacation. both of these options made going on vacation TO BEGIN WITH not a very exciting prospect, and i was getting severely depressed about it.

and, to put the cherry on top, it turns out that sketch, the drummer for Snake Suspenderz, died yesterday, which made me even more depressed… primarily because he, being dead, didn’t have to worry about all the CRAP that has been going on in the world, while i, being not dead, had to deal with seven times MORE CRAP and had no say in the matter, whatsoever.

then, things started to get better… kind of…

the first thing that happened is that, when i told them that i would be moving my web site in two weeks, that micro$awful hadn’t really blacklisted my IP address, and that i had dumped the client that had caused the whole fiasco, they let up a little bit, and allowed that, since i had paid access until july, that i could stay until then. with a bit more discussion back and forth, they relented even further, and allowed me to keep my web sites where they are.

but i’m still giving up being a host provider for people who don’t know how it works, because it’s WAY too stressful.

so, in the end, i can go on vacation without having to worry about internet SHIT, either while i am on vacation, or after i get home; i will no longer have to deal with people who don’t know doing things that they shouldn’t do and feeling awful about it afterwards, and i won’t ACTUALLY have to move my web sites that aren’t going away anyway (which is an entirely different ball of wax)…

but sketch is still dead, which means that, either, Snake Suspenderz will break up, or that we will find a new drummer… neither of which are very attractive alternatives at this point.

Trump’s Attack on Medicare for All Has Industry Fingerprints All Over It

Trump’s Attack on Medicare for All Has Industry Fingerprints All Over It
By Wendell Potter
19 October, 2018

Recently, the president decided to take a break from tweeting conspiracy theories to write an op-ed attacking supporters of Medicare for All. While engaging in what psychologists would probably call “projection,” he accused the Medicare for All movement of putting seniors at risk, rationing health care and trying to destroy the Medicare system.

I’m a former executive at two of the country’s largest insurance companies. I spent 20 years working in PR for Humana and then Cigna, rising to the level of vice president before I had a crisis of conscience. As a result, I know exactly how this op-ed came to be. The process doesn’t start at the White House. It didn’t include a careful review of policy, and it wasn’t an idea his staff came up with.

I can see the industry’s fingerprints on this op-ed from a mile away, because I was the ghost writer for many pieces just like it. During my two-decade tenure in the industry, every time an idea that would threaten shareholder profits started gaining momentum, my employer would decide we’d need to find a friendly and influential politician to carry water for the industry. I’d sit down with my communications team, create talking points, or even write a complete op-ed or speech, and then make sure our well-connected lobbyists got it to the right people.

And the industry won’t just go to Republicans. For instance, Ed Rendell, a Democrat who was formerly a governor of my home state of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, recently wrote an op-ed promoting several half-measures he claimed would be stronger reforms than single-payer health care, none of which posed a serious threat to private insurance. Currently, Rendell is affiliated with the Bipartisan Policy Center, which has regularly hosted organizations like America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Meanwhile, so-called think tanks like the Pacific Research Institute regularly write Medicare for All hit pieces for Forbes and other outlets.

The purpose of these op-eds was always to mislead and scare people, because when the facts aren’t on your side, you have to find a politician who’s willing to obfuscate, misdirect and outright lie. It’s no surprise that the industry went right to the White House.

Many people were quick to challenge the president’s claims. Medicare for All would actually expand coverage for seniors currently on Medicare by covering dental and vision care and lowering drug prices. And contrary to Trump’s claim about rationing, the truth is that real rationing occurs in the US when people don’t seek treatment due to cost. It happens every day because millions of Americans are either uninsured or have such high deductibles they can’t afford to actually get the care they need. Medicare for All would eliminate that barrier.

Others have pointed out the hypocrisy. Since taking control of Congress and the White House, President Trump and his party have been engaged in a non-stop assault on Medicare, threatened patients with pre-existing conditions and tried to force through a plan that would have kicked tens of millions of people off their insurance.

Here’s the thing: I’m fairly confident that the president and his staff don’t actually believe that Medicare for All would threaten seniors. I can tell because Trump doesn’t use the national platform as an opportunity to lay out a vision to expand coverage, or protect people with pre-existing conditions, or manage drug prices or lower health care costs.

What the president does know is that a Medicare for All system is the worst nightmare of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Right now, they have a virtually limitless ability to charge American patients, families, workers and businesses exorbitant prices, and they want to keep it that way. That’s why they have spent decades abusing our campaign finance system, pumping money into campaigns, hiring armies of lobbyists, and using a combination of political incentives and threats to push through legislation they like, making sure that any legislation that threatens to limit their profits never sees the light of day.

Now that the American people are starting to wake up to their scam, the entrenched special interests have decided to cash in their favors. And so, the president decided to parrot the talking points of his donors and their shareholders, no matter how much harm it will cause the American people.

Trump Tower board seeks nearly $90,000 from estate of art collector who died in 50th-floor fire

Trump Tower board seeks nearly $90,000 from estate of art collector who died in 50th-floor fire
By Meagan Flynn
18 October 2018

Six months after a fire in Trump Tower killed 50th-floor resident Todd Brassner, the building’s residential board is coming after Brassner’s estate for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid common charges stemming from a lien on his apartment, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in the Supreme Court in New York County.

Brassner, a longtime Trump Tower resident who lived alone with hundreds of vintage instruments and an elaborate multimillion-dollar art collection, died April 7 after an electrical fire engulfed his apartment, which had no working smoke alarms. He was 67.

Now, with backing from a Trump Organization attorney, the Residential Board of Trump Tower Condominium is suing Brassner’s estate for more than $64,600 in unpaid common charges, an amount that includes fees accrued in the months after Brassner died. The residential board is also seeking a judgment of at least $25,000, bringing the total amount sought to nearly $90,000. Common charges are condo fees that typically include maintenance, utilities or other services. Brassner defaulted on common charge payments in June 2015, according to the complaint.

Brassner’s family members and executors of his estate, Heather and Aaron Brassner, could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could the attorney representing the board.

The fire at Trump Tower, where the president’s penthouse and the Trump Organization headquarters are located, captured wide attention in April both for Trump’s silence on Brassner’s death and for the lack of sprinklers in the building, a feature that Trump had lobbied against installing in the condos in the late 1990s.

Brassner moved into Trump Tower in 1996, according to property records. The son of a wealthy New York art collector, Brassner was described by friends as an “utter expert on Pop Art” who was “constantly swapping, buying and selling” and at the center of the action in the art world, as his friend, Stuart Pivar, told the Art Newspaper. Brassner ran with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd in the 1970s as he built his impressive art collection, including a 1975 portrait Warhol made of Brassner, which the Trump Tower resident valued at $850,000 in 2015.

He kept the portrait in his Trump Tower condo, along with a collection of more than 100 vintage guitars, $25,000 worth of banjos, about 150 ukuleles from the early 20th century, an organ, a Robert Indiana sculpture and artwork by Jack Kerouac — just to name a few items.

But over the years, he appeared to have trouble keeping up with the condo payments. Trump Tower’s residential board filed multiple liens against him between 2003 and 2013 for unpaid common charges, New York court records show. And in 2015 he filed for bankruptcy, which included listing all of the assets kept in his apartment. The condo was valued at $2.5 million.

At the time of Brassner’s death, friends told the New York Times he was in declining health and that he had been trying unsuccessfully to sell the apartment. Once Trump became president, resulting in omnipresent armed security outside Trump Tower, Brassner couldn’t seem to find a buyer, one friend told the Times.

“It haunts me,” Brassner’s friend Stephen Dwire, a musician and producer, told the paper. “He said, ‘This is getting untenable.’ It was like living in an armed camp. But when people heard it was a Trump building, he couldn’t give it away.”

Trump built the tower in 1983, when installing sprinklers was not required. In 1998, when two tragic New York City high-rise fires left several people dead, the city moved to begin requiring sprinklers in high-rises. But Trump opposed retrofitting his building with the sprinklers and lobbied to persuade city officials to drop a proposal that would have required them in older apartment buildings, as The Washington Post previously reported.

Some speculated that the April fire could have been mitigated had they been installed.

The New York City Fire Department ultimately found that the fire was caused by an overloaded electrical board. The Times reported that the building was equipped with smoke sensors, which is what alerted firefighters to the blaze.

In a statement on Twitter in April, Trump did not offer condolences for Brassner’s family but did brag about the construction of the building.

“Fire at Trump Tower is out,” he tweeted, before the fire had been put out. “Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”

A month after Brassner died, a Trump Organization attorney filed a lien against the deceased man on behalf of the Residential Board of the Trump Tower Condominium, seeking at that time $52,000 in unpaid common charges since July 2016, according to New York City Department of Finance records.

this is scary dangerous!

i got a very alarming email today, from lara trump. it said:

President Trump will keep cutting through the fake news filter, and deliver our message straight to YOU — the American people. Now he wants to be sure that you’re all signed up to get REAL NEWS UPDATES straight to your phone.

SIGN UP NOW
The more we can bypass the fake news media, the less power they have to manipulate the news, distort our message, and unleash a flurry of attacks aimed at distracting us from our agenda.

It’s time to take power into our own hands. So please, sign up for texts today to get REAL NEWS straight to your phone.

Lara Trump
Senior Advisor
Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

so, drumpf is encouraging people to get the news straight from him, so they won’t be “distracted” by the truth…

and she’s the senior advisor for "donald j. drumpf for president, INCORPORATED"…

i sure won’t be signing up for it, but i get the distinct impression that a whole bunch of american citizens will. 😒😓

bleh/catsup

same old bleh: government shut down because democrats won’t agree to fund the wall, or some such horseshit. it’s going to take a generation to fix all the things #drumpf has screwed up. although, it appears, that, with the government shut down, it’s actually impeding #SCROTUS’s ability to vacation in mar-a-lago, AGAIN, and it may also affect betsy devos’ trip to sweden, so it may not be all bad.

got into an accident with monique’s car a week ago. i pulled out of a parking lot into what i thought was a clear street, only to discover that there were two cars on a collision course with my left side. i sped up, to try to avoid colliding with them and succeeded in having only one of them clip my left rear corner, but speeding up caused me to go out of control, and i zipped across the street and ran into a rock in the driveway across the street… and, of course, it’s more than likely 100% my fault.

the weird part is what happened afterwards. the collision didn’t injure anybody, a cop came and took a statement from everyone, but issued no tickets. monique’s car is pretty banged up, it may or may not be a total write off, but they may be able to fix it… but because of the fact that we’ve got insurance, our total out-of-pocket will be $500, plus $4 a day for the rental car, which showed up less than 24 hours after the accident. and, if the car, which is a few months away from the end of its warrantee anyway, is a total write-off, we can use the settlement to buy a new car from monique’s best friend lora’s husband, who owns a car dealership.

there are a number of things that would have happened if i had this kind of accident and were still living in bellingham, which DID NOT happen this time. these things are REALLY freaking me out: significantly, nobody got upset with me, including monique, whose car got munched. she said that’s why we have insurance. then, we went to the beach for 4 days, three days after the accident. if things were as they were when i lived in bellingham, we WOULD NOT have been able to go on “vacation” after an accident as serious as that, even though nobody got injured. and there are a few other things: i’m having my trombone slide rebuilt(!), and it’s costing me around $800. that project would have suddenly been put on hold. also, we’re planning on going to hawai’i(!) for our 20th anniversary, in june, and, after the accident, that would have been out of the question, if this were bellingham.

on the other hand, when i lived in bellingham, most of the time i didn’t actually own a car, and when i did, i only had minimal insurance, and that only part of the time… and in all the time i lived in bellingham, i don’t think i took what i now consider to be a “vacation” even once, despite the fact that i “camped out” in various places a number of times.

upshot of the whole thing is that i’m still thinking i should be in orders of magnitude more trouble than i, apparently, am, currently… and i’m waiting for the axe, which may not actually be there, to fall… which is seriously affecting my ability to enjoy anything else that may be enjoyable. 😕

a ray of hope, snuffed out…

to continue the post started here, it appears that #drumpf “leaked” code-word-protected intelligence about the current US fight against #daesh to russians, and the media is all up in arms about it. the washington post (a decidedly UN-“fake news” source) reported about it in detail yesterday…

but drumpf and his surrogates have stated that this is 100% false — however, after saying that it’s 100% false, drumpf actually tweeted an admission that he had, indeed leaked classified information — but they are bolstering this claim by saying that he has the right to do so, because he’s the president.

Trump Says He Divulged Intelligence to Russians Because He’s Such a Great Guy

furthermore, there have been several other “legitimate” news sources that say that drumpf is a “shoe-in” for the 2020 election, in spite of the democretins gearing up to regain the majority in the 2018 election.

i’m not sure how the world is going to survive eight years of oprobrious orange “leadership”, but if this goes on much longer, it’s looking as though I won’t survive that long. 😡

😠

it seems incredible, as in “un-believable”, but #drumpf keeps on getting worse… and, at this point, it’s a lot more likely that we will experience nuclear armageddon within the next six months than it has ever been in my life… and, as noah mickens says, it’s difficult to get motivated to do anything when the news is that there’s going to be nuclear war within the week. 😠

and it’s going to be at least 2018 before we can legally vote the crap out. at this point, it’s my very strong impression that we will either annihilate ourselves, or experience a violent revolution before then, and, while i hope that neither one happens, it appears that either option may be better than allowing #drumpf to run roughshod over what is left of america until november of next year.

the only thing that keeps me going, at this point, is the vague realisation that what i hear in the news is deliberately made to sound as dire as possible, in order to provide that extra “thrill” required to make people want to know more, for as many people as possible, and that, in reality, things aren’t anywhere near as bad as they’re making it out to be…

but when they’re talking in serious tones about nuclear war between donald trump and kim jong-un — the two most childish leaders on the face of the planet — there’s an awful lot of leeway that still includes a large swath of the entire population of the world before we get anywhere close to “reasonable”. 😐

in other news, snake suspenderz has two gigs coming up this weekend. an hour at the opening of a new winery in woodinville, on saturday, and at the blue moon on sunday. woo… if #drumpf doesn’t blow us up before then…

i’m really glad…

the computer industry has been a-twitter for the past few days, concerning a zero-day “bug” in micro$lop word, which gives an attacker full execution control of the victim’s machine — a Very Bad Thing®.

this reminds me of a couple of things that i experienced, more-or-less first-hand, while i was working at micro$lop, and is the PRIMARY REASON why i’m really glad i don’t run machines with their software on them.

there’s this, which outlines what the “bug” is, and how it allows an attacker to take control of a victim’s machine (i put the word “bug” in quotation marks because bugs are usually things that appear in the code by mistake, but it is my impression that micro$lop put this in deliberately, without realising the potential damage it could do)… which brings up the fact that they have known, particularly, about security problems with OLE (which went through a stage where they were referring to it as “ActiveX”), at least since my friend, and computer-god fred debuted The Exploder Control in 1995, which did a clean shut-down of any machine unfortunate enough to be running Windows95 — PLEASE NOTE: the Exploder Control is not harmful, and will not run correctly unless you’re running Windows95 and Internet Explorer version 3, which, by this time, presumably, you’re not. fred’s premise was, and still is, that if you have a method of excersising THAT MUCH control over a machine, it better well be FULLY AND COMPLETELY SECURE, otherwise people WILL take advantage of it.

i worked at micro$lop when the first Word Concept Virus was discovered. it was unique (at the time) because it allowed an attacker to infect a victim’s machine over email, without actually having to have physical contact with the target machine. it worked by utilising micro$lop word’s “normal.dot” template, and required the victim to have macros enabled by default. the new, most recent word problem doesn’t require macros to be enabled, and doesn’t work if the application is running in “Protected View”. so, the solution micro$lop has come up with is to recommend that you run word in “Protected View” in order to avoid this particular vulnerability.

it is significant, to me, that the primary reason we have things like active antivirus software on our computers today is because of actions taken by the micro$lop corporation when i worked there. when i was working there, they were the largest manufacturer of computer software in the world.

and it reminds me of the solution micro$lop came up with to avoid another “bug” in another one of their “excellent” programs, internet explorer: version 3 exhibited a flaw in the way that it displays URIs in the address bar, and by opening a specially crafted URI an attacker could open a page that appears to be from a different domain from the current location. the solution? “Do not click any hyperlinks that you do not trust. Type them into the address bar yourself“… despite the fact that one of the features of all web browsers is that you can get from one source of information to the next, easily, without having to type in long, unintelligible strings of code.

Rule of thumb — Every time Microsoft uses the word “smart,” be on the lookout for something dumb.
     — John Walker

A little detective work revealed that, as is usually the case when you encounter something shoddy in the vicinity of a computer, Microsoft incompetence and gratuitous incompatibility were to blame.
     — John Walker

M&Ms

i’m not particularly concerned about whether or not my food contains GMOs… i’d rather that they not, but it doesn’t concern me an awful lot if they do, it’s just one of those things…

so, i was intrigued when i saw, on the back of the costco-sized package of peanut M&Ms that i bought recently, when i saw a notice on the back of the package that said “PARTIALLY PRODUCED WITH GENETIC ENGINEERING”…

GMO M&Ms?
GMO M&Ms?

so, i called the customer inquiry line that they posted on the back of the package, and this is the story i got:

they are required, by law, to label potentially GMO products. however, suppliers of some of the ingredients — i.e. NOT associated with the M&M/Mars factory — may OR MAY NOT use genetically modified organisms to produce the raw material that gets sold to M&M/Mars, AND

get this…

THEY DON’T HAVE TO TELL M&M/Mars whether they do or not.

because of the fact that M&M/Mars DOESN’T KNOW whether or not their suppliers use GMOs, they HAVE TO label their products, whether they contain GMOs or not.

in other words, by law, M&M HAS TO notify us, even though they DON’T KNOW THEMSELVES!

THIS IS WHY I AM VERY SUSPICIOUS OF FOOD LABELING! 😡

it gets worse and worse…

drumpf has appointed ben carson — otherwise known as dr. stabby — to the department of education: great, a guy who believes the world was created in six literal days, and has compared evolution to satan will now be in charge of what our nation’s kids will learn.

not only that, but he has appointed sarah palin secretary of the interior… no more worries about fracking and DAPL. forget alternative energy, drill, baby, drill. 🙁

and, he has appointed white supremacist stephen bannon to be his chief of staff and bridgegate governor chris cristie as attorney general.

he’s notified 3 million “illegal” aliens to be ready for deportation… 😡

i’m a white man, and i’m worried about the future of the world. 😐

😲

every four years i post about how i voted for the guy that didn’t win, and, for the most part, i’ve been disappointed more than not.

this year, the worst of all possible people got elected: donald drumpf… worse than nixon, worse than reagan, worse than george bush, worse than george bush jr., even worse than hillary clinton. and less than half as smart as any of ’em.

seriously, if we don’t have a revolution soon, we’re going to end up EXACTLY like germany in the mid-1930s.

we’ve gone WAAAY beyond the very big stupid, this time… 😠

people suck! 😠

i ran into another stray dog down by the park. this time i had my phone (but still no treats, DAMNIT!) but i couldn’t get the dog to come to me… if i had had treats with me, i’m sure he would have come to me, but without, he stayed JUST out of reach, and when i stood up, he walked off in the other direction. i’m fairly sure i’ve seen him before, but on the other side of the main thoroughfare, and fairly far from where he was at the time…

so, i got in my car (i was just returning home from a run to the post office), and tried to catch up to him. i found him in the front yard of the place i’ve noticed in the past, because of the fact that their car has a “HILLARY FOR PRISON” bumper sticker – i went by there again this evening to confirm that the address is, in fact, 11224 S. 384th St., Auburn, WA, 98001. i parked the car out of the road, and crouched down to call the dog to me again, and he looked like he was going to come to me, but then a guy who i hadn’t seen before asked me if that was my dog. i said no, it’s not my dog, but he appears to be lost and i want to capture him and call the number on his tag. at that point, the guy asked me if i was law enforcement. i said no, and he asked me what interest i had in the dog. i said that i was concerned because he was running loose in the intersection, and almost got hit by at least two cars. then the guy said that, if i wasn’t law enforcement that i should “get the hell out of my driveway, we don’t need your kind around here”…

i said “if you say so…”, got in my car, and spun out as i was leaving his driveway. 😠

first, i wonder if something can’t be done about dogs wandering loose in the south part of king county. this is the second time in two weeks that i have run into stray dogs that i’ve tried to rescue. the other time, i actually succeeded in rescuing two dogs, whose owner apparently lives on the same street as my new “friend”, and, if nothing else, i think i should probably warn him that his neighbour is a supreme dick…

second, i wonder what i can do about this guy. i’ve had my share of negative interactions with the local constabulary, otherwise i would call and report him for harboring a stray dog and “intimidation”. there’s not a lot that the cops could do about it, under the best of circumstances, but they could go and tell the guy not to be such a dick, and he’d probably listen to them, for a while anyway… it’s times like these that i’m sorry i don’t live closer to my friend gordy, because i have used gordy as an “intimidation shield” a couple of times, to great effect, and my impression is that this guy would have thought twice about being such a dick if i were accompanied by someone like gordy.

fInaLLy! but 😠 about it anyway… not very enlightened of me, is it?

i ordered a book on december 26, 2014. it was supposed to be delivered in june of 2015. in may of 2015, the publication date was delayed until december of 2015, and in november, it was delayed again, until some unknown point in the future.

i started getting notifications that it was being printed around the end of may, 2016, and it was actually delivered on june 10, 2016.

because there was no place to leave seller feedback, i posted the following as a product review:

i waited from December 26, 2014 to June 10, 2016 for this book to arrive. yes, that’s right, it was on order for a year and a half, and was delayed by amazon twice.

it’s a good thing this is as great a book as it is, that’s all i have to say.

their response, which i just received by email, was as follows:

Your review could not be posted.

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/ref=cm_rv_rej_eml

We encourage you to revise your review and submit it again.

but, the problem is, that when i follow their instructions for leaving seller feedback, as listed here, i get to step 3 and THERE IS NO FUCKING “LEAVE SELLER FEEDBACK” BUTTON!!!!!!! 😡

160610 amazon fuck up
160610 amazon fuck up

notuchup

every now and then i actually listen to the “christian” AM radio that i frequently have on in the car, and today was one of them. this time it featured “doctor” robert jefferess of Pathway To “Victory” (although they never state over what, exactly, you will have victory if you listen to their broadcast), and i got to thinking:

fundamentally, the things that “doctor” robert jefferess was talking about, for the most part, are either demonstrably false, or not supported by the preponderance of evidence, at the very least… so why is it that he has the priveledge of being addressed as “doctor”, which carries the added reputation of being extremely studied in your chosen field. but, the thing is, in this case, being “extremely studied in your chosen field” means studying the works of people whose study is of a single book which is demonstrably false, or not supported by the preponderance of evidence, at the very least…

which, essentially, is saying that “doctor” robert jefferess, and all of the “doctors” on whose study his “doctorate” is based, and all of the “doctors” on whose study their “doctorates” are based, and all of the “doctors” on whose study their “doctorates” are based, and so forth, are, essentially, “doctors” of lies and falsehood.

which makes me wonder how they got into positions of authority. somewhere along the line, somebody must have said “i know this is not true, but i’m going to teach it as though it is, anyway, because if i do, these suckers will give me money”. it may even be that the person who said that was long enough ago in history that nobody remembers who he was.

it also makes me wonder how many other people in positions of authority are there because nobody bothered to check to make sure their “authority” is not, also, based on lies and falsehood.

god damn it!!!

i have an ipad, so i can keep farcebook off of my real computers.

i don’t know whether it’s the ipad itself, or whether it is farcebook, but i’m getting really pissed off at the behaviour i’m seeing:

1) it randomly crashes: the screen freezes, then goes black, and then it gives me the “desktop” screen, and then, when i restart the farcebook application, it automatically goes to my “News Feed” rather than to the “Most Recent” page, where i normally read stuff. this happens a lot more frequently when i am reading a “link” that someone posted, but it also happens when i am simply reading farcebook.

2) it takes FOR-FUCKING-EVER to load a “link” from the farcebook application, and even when it says it’s finished loading, frequently it freezes until the entire page actually loads, which is sometimes as much as two or three minutes later. this is a lot more common on links which contain videos, although YouTube links usually load fairly quickly, which makes me suspect that there’s something else that is gobbling up bandwidth.

3) in the farcebook application itself, it frequently freezes for a couple of minutes, and then goes back to “normal” behaviour.

4) frequently, when i go to a “link” in the farcebook application, it loads completely, and then the screen gets a grey tinge to it, and the entire page is overlayed with an advertisement of some kind, and unless i touch EXACTLY the right place, which changes semi-regularly, instead of getting to read the page that i intended to, i have to wait for farcebook to put another, complete, entirely unrelated page, the advertisement, on the screen, which frequently takes up to five minutes, before i can go “back” to the page i was intending to read.

4½) a related problem is that, frequently, when i touch a place that should be a link of some kind (like a URI) it doesn’t do anything at all, and other times, when i am “scrolling”, it interprets my “touch” as a “click” and loads something in which i wasn’t interested, and then gives me a lot of difficulties (involving one or more of the previously enumerated items) getting back to where i was.

to make matters worse, the specific problems outlined above don’t happen individually: they frequently come in batches of two, or three, and, frequently all four of them at the same time.

as i said, i’m not sure whether it is due to bugs in the farcebook application, or bugs in the hardware, but it’s getting to the point where i feel like throwing the device against a wall, or out the window or something.

i’m fairly sure that this is NOT the way it is supposed to work. 😠

God help me resist temptation…

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27: BOB LARSON’S CURSE BREAKING SEMINAR

Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
17620 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188
Starts @ 7pm Free and open to the public

FEBRUARY 27-28: ONE-ON-ONE ENCOUNTERS WITH BOB LARSON
To schedule a one-on-one personal SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTER with Pastor Bob, call 303-980-1511.

the phone number is the same one he used back when i was messing with his head, which, if i recall correctly, is a denver, colorado area code… but my understanding is that his headquarters is now in phoenix, arizona…

hey, bono… i’ve found what you’re looking for…

AUTOMATIC SONGS-OF-INNOCENCE REMOVAL TOOL — Apple finally sees the point of millions of disgruntled people like me. hopefully they’ll learn something from it, although i’m not going to hold my breath… 😐

also, Apple puts up support page to get U2 album out of your iTunes — Too many people don’t want U2 anywhere near their libraries

The U in U2 stands for “Unwanted”!!

😡

the U stands for "Unwanted"

Not pro Bono: Apple’s audio junk mail made spammers’ lives easier

Apple: take this fucking U2 album off my iPhone, NOW. I do not want it, I did not ask for it, it takes up space, it’s my device. Go to hell.

Just say BO-NO: Mark Hosler of Negativland on Apple’s ‘U2rusion’

Got iTunes? You got a U2 album. Here’s how to delete it.

unfortunately, it’s not how to delete it. because of the fact that it’s “in the cloud”, it doesn’t necessarily take up space on my device, but i can’t immediately delete it using any of the methods recommended — using iTunes on my computer doesn’t even show that i have a U2 album, so re-synching my device doesn’t do anything, and there’s nothing to un-check, and you can only delete something once you have downloaded it from the cloud…

i don’t use twitter, but i am outraged, and i reflect that guy’s twitter: Apple: take this fucking U2 album off my iPhone, NOW. I do not want it, I did not ask for it, it takes up space, it’s my device. Go to hell. 😡

grr…

apparently pierce county wants to display a banner that says "In God We Trust" in the county council chambers. only two council members (out of seven) think that might not be such a good idea…

if you know me, you should know that i’m not a “conventional” person, especially when it comes to religion. part of the reason for that is experiences like the one i had when i was twenty-<mumble-something-into-my-hand>, and i was going to a halloween party with some friends. we were dressed in costumes, i was wearing a black, horned mask with red tilaks, one of my friends was wearing a chimpanzee mask, and one of my friends was wearing a santa-claus mask. as we walked to the party, we happened to pass a “christian” “storefront ministry” called “Set Free Fellowship” which was having an anti-halloween rally. we passed by without incident, but as soon as we had our backs to them, about 10 of the “christians” rushed us, knocking me to the ground, and surrounding me, pushing me to the ground when i tried to get up. then one of them who, i presume, was the “pastor” started chanting “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved” over, and over, and over, and over… when i asked him if he could say anything else, he responded with “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved”, when i told him that a parrot could say the same thing, he responded with “thereisonlyonenameunderheavenbywhichamancanbesaved”… at that point, i got up — they didn’t push me down again — and started wondering where my friends had ended up, and when the police were going to show up. evidently the people surrounding me were thinking the same thing, because they faded back into the storefront and didn’t bother me again. i wandered down to the end of the block, and met up with my friends. one of them had been punched and elbowed in the face. the other one had managed to call the police, who said that they would be there within 2 hours… we all agreed that we did NOT want to wait that long, and got out of there.

it is that kind of experience which goes into my feeling as though anything representing a “christian” “god” is not going to be very good at representing me.

personally, i believe siva is mahadeva. that’s fine. other people may believe kṛṣṇa is mahadeva. that’s not only fine, but it doesn’t contradict what i believe. some people believe that Jesus is mahadeva. that, too, is not only fine, but doesn’t contradict what i believe… if you can’t understand how i can believe in a God who can be more than one God, in more than one religion, at the same time, without contradiction, then you should start there and figure that one out before you criticise me for not believing in the “correct” “god”…

HOWEVER, if it belongs to a group which claims to represent me, it is my wish that they not display this banner. it is the “current” motto of our country (which it has been since only 1956) but it replaced the original motto of our country, E Pluribus Unum (which means “Out of Many, One”), and, personally, i like the old one better.

if you live in the area, i encourage you to contact the city council and tell them to vote against R2014-80.

another very big stupid

U.S. Customs Won’t Apologize for Destroying Musician’s Rare Flutes
by John Hudson
January 2, 2014

U.S. customs officials last week destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician who was returning home via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. But the agency isn’t apologizing for the incident — it says the flutes were an ecological threat.

Officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection identified the instruments owned by flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui as agricultural products that risked introducing “exotic plant pathogens” in to the United States, a customs official tells Foreign Policy. As a result, officials destroyed every single flute without contacting Razgui in an incident that makes your holiday airport delays trivial by comparison.

Razgui said there are around 15 people in the U.S. with such flutes, which means acquiring one ahead of his upcoming performances in February may be impossible. “I’m not sure what to do,” Razgui told The Boston Globe.

“They said this is an agriculture item,” Razgui continued. “I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life … This is horrible.”

Razgui’s mishap was first reported by the music blog Slipped Disc on Tuesday before jumping to the front page of the massive link-sharing site Reddit, which nearly melted the small blog‘s servers according to a follow-up post.

Though neither the blog nor The Globe received a response from U.S. Customs on the issue, a New York-based CBP official tells us the agency followed standard protocol.

“CBP is responsible for detecting and preventing the entry into the country of plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm America’s agricultural resources,” said an official, after being asked if the agency would issue an apology. “The fresh bamboo canes were seized and destroyed in accordance with established protocols to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States.”

Razgui, who has worked with numerous U.S. ensembles and performs regularly with the Boston Camerata, said he hand-crafted each instrument with difficult-to-find reeds. “Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.,” he told The Globe.

The CBP official said Razgui’s luggage was unclaimed and added that “fresh bamboo is prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of exotic plant pathogens.”

happy(?) new year…

Customs officials destroy virtuoso flautist’s 11 instruments because they were ‘agricultural products’
By Scott Kaufman
December 31, 2013

A flute virtuoso was returning to New York via John F. Kennedy Airport when Customs officials confiscated and destroyed the instruments he was carrying with him.

According to Boujemaa Razgui, the officials told him that his 11 flutes — each of which he had constructed, by hand, himself — “were agricultural products and had to be destroyed.”

Razgui, who is a Canadian citizen, frequently travels with a variety of flutes, each of which is designed to be played with a specific ancient or modern genre in mind.

Slipped Disc’s Norman Lebrecht contacted Razgui, who recounted his ordeal with customs. “I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,” he said.

“There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?”

Razgui also told Lebrecht that, as a non-citizen, he was reluctant to confront U.S. Customs officials.