Open Sesame 04/16/16

So when you're in the market for some heavy weaponry, up to and including guided missiles, you don't need a friendly government. Or an arms broker. Or the dark web. You can just go to Facebook!

[Someone] hoping to buy an antiaircraft weapon in recent years needed to look no further than Facebook, which has been hosting sprawling online arms bazaars, offering weapons ranging from handguns and grenades to heavy machine guns and guided missiles.

The weapons include many 07libya-tilt-articleLarge.pngdistributed by the United States to security forces and their proxies in the Middle East.

Among the weapons displayed have been heavy machine guns on mounts that are designed for antiaircraft roles and that can be bolted to pickup trucks, and more sophisticated and menacing systems, including guided anti-tank missiles and an early generation of shoulder-fired heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles.

In Iraq, the Facebook arms bazaars can resemble inside looks at the failures of American train-and-equip programs, with sellers displaying a seemingly bottomless assortment of weapons provided to Iraq’s government forces by the Pentagon during the long American occupation. Those include M4 carbines, M16 rifles, M249 squad automatic weapons, MP5 submachine guns and Glock semiautomatic pistols. Many of the weapons shown still bear inventory stickers and aftermarket add-ons favored by American forces and troops.

The fellow there in the photograph above, he was offering, by way of a Facebook group in Syria, "a TOW launcher, brand new, whoever wants it should contact us via private messages or WhatsApp."

Just out of the box! Never been used! Fifty percent off original retail price! Somethin' for the little lady, somethin' for the little lady, somethin' for the little lady! Never needs ironing! Free jeep-wash! With every purchase!

And no. I am not going to, here, resist. Embedding Tom Waits' immortal ode, to commerce, and without restraint.

Like everyone else, of big data, Facebook, it has no idea, of what it actually has.

How could it? There's just so much.

It's like the US government. Which feels the need to record everything everyone says everywhere. And so it had recorded, a couple of the 9/11 hijackers, talking out of turn, there on the phone. But, because everything, it is recorded, and there is therefore just so much, too much, no government-person, he or she, got around, to listening to this conversation. Until, days after, there came, the smoking craters.

And besides, the Facebook people—as with the government—it's a full-time job, with them, counting the coin. That rolls in.

And so, when the New York Times reporters, tipped off by the folks at Armament Research Services, toured the Facebook weapons bazaars, and then alerted the Facebook controllers to their existence, said controllers, they shrugged, and said they rely on Facebook users, to report anyone who might be using the site to sell TOW missiles, or sarin gas, or at-home black-hole generators.

Ms. Bickert said the most important part of Facebook's effort "to keep people safe" was to make it easy for users to notify the company of suspected violations, which can be done with a click on the "Report" feature on every Facebook post.

Oh. Okay.

Facebook, it don't give no shit, that the Times has publicly splashed about its weapons-dealing proclivities. Because Facebook, today, is, as John Lennon once said of The Beatles, bigger than Jesus. And it has, as example, easily survived, over the past decade, recurrent squirts of bad ink, when people have gone onto the site, and proceeded there to kill themselves, and in real time.

While the Facebook controllers, they, in complete ignorance of these people, fading away, there on their site, they just leaned back, and blithely spanked their monkeys. Lubed with the millions. Which that day. Came in.

For instance: Simone Back, 42, of Brighton, England. Who had been in a relationship. And then it had gone wrong. And then she was pretty broken up about it.

But, at least, Back, she had friends, to fall back on. Some 1,048 of them, as a matter of fact. For that is how many people, they had identified themselves, there on Facebook, as Back's "friends."

So when, at 10:53 p.m. local time, on a Christmas Day, Back logged on to her Facebook page, and there posted "took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone," one might think that this thousand or so friends, they would move to abort her suicide, comfort her, convince her to remain in life.

Nah. They let her die.

While the Facebook controllers, they didn't even know. Back, she was just another unknown, unseen, unapprehended, brick, in their big-data wall. Making them, all the monies.

Seven minutes after Back posted her suicide note, a "friend" posted to her Facebook page: "She ODs all the time and she lies."

In the coming couple of hours, some 148 messages were exchanged on Back's site, between Back's "friends." Most of them dissected her relationship status.

Samantha Owen, described as an actual offline friend of Back's, said:

"Everyone just carried on arguing with each other on Facebook like it wasn't happening. Some of those people lived within walking distance of Simone. If one person just left their computer and went to her house her life could have been saved.

"She sent the last message via mobile so I just imagined her sitting there, taking the pills, and listening to her phone ping as all these horrible messages came through."

Seventeen hours after Back posted her Face note, someone texted Back's mother and informed her of it. Disabled, her mother was unable to check on Back herself, and so asked the police to do so. They broke down Back's door, and there found her dead.wildbunch.png
Of course, people have been watching their "friends" die online, since before Facebook.

On the evening of January 13, 2003, Brandon Vedas, 21, of Phoneix, Arizona, known as "ripper" online, ingested for his online friends more toxic sludge than even Elvis Presley poured into his body, before he fell off the toilet: klonopin, methadone, clonazepam, vicodin, temazepam, propranolol, marijuana, rum, etc. All live, via webcam and internet chat. Until Vedas, he passed out, and he died.

Vedas' "friends," they urged him on: "eat more," "I eat that every morning," "you pussy eat more," "fucking eat it," "takea thousant!"

People knew what might happen: "dont OD on us ripper," "i wonder if we'll see ripper ever again," "don't make me tape this video stream and ebay it later."

And then, when it did—"its sad to see you die like this"—the "friends," they declined to follow Vedas' instructions on what to do if something appeared to go wrong: call the authorities and give them the license-plate number of his car, parked in his driveway.

One "friend" did call 911, but then thought better of it midway through the call, and "talked my way out of it." Vedas' mother, she found his body, the next morning.

Sociologists speak of "the bystander effect," wherein if a group of people perceive that something is Wrong, they look to others to determine how to act. And if nobody moves to do anything, then everybody will continue to do nothing. This, I gather, is known in the trade as "pluralistic ignorance," as "diffusion of responsibility." I call it not acting like a proper human. The intertubes, they shouldn't make it easier to behave in this way. But they do.

"I think a lot of people use the social networking sites as a Band-Aid for real intimacy," says clinical psychiatrist Ilse Wendorff. "It feels like you are talking to a lot of people, but nobody really has any obligation to respond to anything you post, suicidal or not."

The Facebook controllers, as with the weapons bazaars, they say: it ain't me, babe. It's up to the users.

"We try to make it easy and intuitive for someone to quickly report something they find that's disturbing," says Heath. "We have people on staff 24 hours a day to review these self-harm reports and respond to them."

As MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle said of Back's online death, amid her "friends"—being an online "friend," it may seem "almost the real thing. It can feel like the real thing. I'm sure when the going was not tough, this woman felt very sustained and connected. But when the going got tough, no one was there."

But. Heh. Back. She had friends. Some 1,048. Of them.

making friends for the world to see
let the people know you got what you need
with a friend at hand you will see the light
if your friends are there then everything's all right

The last time I was on Facebook, that was when I was dead. This was six or seven years ago. A modest little Face clot of people, most of whom I had not seen since high school, they had entered a Reality, in which I had died. I learned this from my mother. Who is quite the Facebooker.

She and I were never able to determine just why these people thought I was dead. Perhaps they had confused with me with my brother. Who really is dead. Though he had died several years before.

In any event, I invented some completely false persona, to satisfy the guardians of the Face gate, and then went in there and Looked. These people, they were in genuine sorrow, and had nothing but good things to say about me. Which was nice. And, like, a relief. I then backed out, and told my mother to inform them that I still drew breath. And she did that.

Now, I figure, that since I have already died, and have even been to my online funeral, that I needn't go through any of that again. Me: I'm here for good. And so I think I am going to hook up with that Wandering Jew fellow. And, together, we shall trudge on, endlessly, through this mortal coil. Till, whenever.

Back in the Kos days, I often thought that every day everyone there should pretend that someone on the site had died. Remember, and write about them, in the ritual obituary diary, as if they had actually died.

Like, just as an example, Laurence Lewis. Who, since he is now very much alive, and extremely annoying, I might now consider an anal wart, one ordinarily burrowed away in The Mad Bomber, but discharged from her sphincter, and seconded to Daily Kos, for the campaign's duration. But Lewis, if he were to be dead, I would remember him, in a way considerably more kindly.

I thought maybe this would be a useful exercise. And that it might carry over. Make people, on a day-to-day basis there, less cruel. People, including myself.

Recently a person who posted as blueyedace2 over there, he took his life. There then appeared the ritual obituary diary. Everyone therein expressed their sorrow, shared their fond memories. But if you view his last diaries, you see there a man, who was not doing at all well. As an example, he was a photographer, and he was frustrated with attempting to load his work via DK5; as a result, he said he didn't know if he could remain with the site. The diaries where he expressed this, they are splattered with the typical stone-hearted mocking and belittlement. "Dang. I'll never get that 8 seconds back." "This diary deserves what it gets." "I don't see it." "This strikes me as kinda brotherpics2_thumb_e892b1d0905a9e6ce4c92311d13ed631.jpglike a Bundy sending anti-guvmint letters via USPS." "Oh calm down. He can take it." Etc. Etc.

Long-time Kos people, they may remember the sorry story of davefromqueens. This was a benign, earnest, though admittedly excitable person, whom the foul, filthy, self-appointed troll-hunters, Major Flaw and condoleaser, they slowly, but surely, through their incessant devilish flaming and pitch-forking, transformed into a troll. Eventually, they got him banned. But dave, he did not go gently, into that good night. Instead, he made it his mission, here on these tubes, to publicly out and expose various assorted Kossacks, with whom he was displeased. Then, and in the very midst of this all-consuming crusade, davefromqueens, he died, of a massive heart attack. At age 37. Shortly thereafter, Flaw and condoleaser, they rushed eyes wide shut, into a clever little banning trap. And were themselves banished from the site. Condoleaser, then, and for many years thereafter, became what he had once targeted, in several of his savage jihads: a serial zombie. He may still be. I don't know. Because I don't concern myself with such things any more.

The death of davefromqueens, that sobered people over there. For a couple of days.

The Hairball, he is dying. Not literally. Except in the sense that we all are. Except me. Because, as explained above, I have already died. And yet here I am. Eternal. Recurring. Wandering. With the Jew.

Why, you may, long ago, be asking, is this Sesame, so long, and so Openly yawning?

Because, last Saturday, I couldn't be here. Because, AT&T, then ripped out my tubes. And also because, I am afflicted with logorrhea.

And so, this week, shall Ye suffer.

But that's okay. Because, so have I.

But, yeah, he is definitely fading. The Hairball. He now, without doubt, occupies that realm that Thomas Pynchon identified, in Vineland, as Thanatopia. Where people move about, as if they are still really alive. But, really, they're not.

As an example, what flows now from The Hairball's twit machine, it is no longer so horrific, that it causes extraterrestrials to, each week, expand the "no-go" zone around this planet, an additional 50 parsecs. This is because The Hairball, he has new, and rude, controllers, who have implanted in The Hairball's body electrodes, which administer powerful d4eBpkKr_400x400_0.jpgelectric shocks, into his being, whenever he attempts to finger his twit machine, without adult supervision.

The only disadvantage of this, is that it is depriving DeepDrumpf of material. DeepDrumpf, this is the clever creation of an MIT wisenheimer, Bradley Hayes, who has "programmed a recurrent neural network—an artificial intelligence—to study and emulate the Republican-ish candidate's speeches." DeepDrumpf, he reviews the emanations of The Hairball, and then, from these, sends out his own twits, on his own twit machine, here.

Below, I have mixed twits from The Hairball, with those from Deep Drumpf. See if you can determine which is which.

There is also one Trump-mimicking twit, I shall admit, from Sarah Silverman. Too, and to break up the monotony of these twits, I have embedded, therein, a photograph of Silverman. In the process of stealing a child. (Silverman, she has since returned the child. Allegedly.)

Politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing's going to get done. They will not bring us, believe me, to the promised land.

We are becoming a third world country because of jerks like him. Great!

We have to be unbelievable. That's the kind of mindset that you need to make this country great again.

All you haters out there, STOP trashing the only candidate @realDonaldTrump that will put ALL OF YOU & AMERICA FIRST

I'm being treated badly. Here's what's going to happen with these people. Anybody else support beatings?

@DavidGregory got thrown off of TV by NBC, fired like a dog! Now he is on @CNN being nasty to me. Not nice!

If the GOP screws Trump, his millions will walk from the GOP CfY2E6VWsAATEAV.jpgnever to return! They better think long and hard.

I watched Ted Cruz just lose everything. We will win. I have many, many more delegates than him.

I'd like to beat that @HillaryClinton. She is a horror. I told my supporter Putin to say that all the time. He has been amazing.

Nobody is a bigger smellier more pus filled penis hole than me!

The @nytimes purposely covers me so inaccurately. I want other nations to pay the U.S. for our defense of them. We are the suckers-no more!

NATO has to be one of the dumbest I've ever seen signed ever. They take our money and the world is collapsing around us.

Looks like I was right about NATO. I had no doubt.

.@FoxNews should be ashamed for allowing experts to explain how to make a nuclear attack!

Free trade can be wonderful if you have the power of nuclear weapons.

#WISCONSIN VOTE SMART @tedcruz RECORDS R SEALED.. WHAT IS HE HIDING? SAVE AMERICA W/

I know how to get things done. Ted needs to be honest with you, who is a total disaster by the way.

Nobody beats me on National Security.

I don't have to brag. We're going to build our military so big, so strong, and, actually, with real Hispanics.

Is it possible for @megynkelly to cover anyone but Donald Trump on her terrible show. She totally misrepresents my words and positions! BAD.

End, end Common Core. Rebuild the country's infrastructure. Have a gun on every table.

"I don't care about the game, I care about the PEOPLE."

So under President Trump, here's what would happen: I've only hit her once, and that was into Mexico.

The Hairball, he is over. But not the people, that, from his fear, and his febrility, he would wall. Those people: they are ascendant. They are inevitable. And they are here. As they were. Before ever any white-ass weak-sperm mewler. Like The Hairball. Ever once. Stained their lands.

and they'll find their way
by the morning light

Recently we weighed in here about the obesification of the planet. About how the excess human poundage, it is in danger of spinning the earth, wholly out of its orbit.

Now, we learn, that the Americans, they are obesing, among the myriad of other reasons, because of their jobs.

More than half of U.S. workers—55 percent—feel they're overweight, and 44 percent say they've gained weight while at their present jobs, according to a national survey released by CareerBuilder on Thursday.

The CareerBuilder survey found a strong link between on-the-job stress levels and work-related weight gain. Fewer than half of workers with very low stress levels feel they're overweight. But 77 percent with very high stress levels consider themselves, well, fat.

Furthermore, because of their jobs, the Americans, they do not sleep.

Fully 44% of American workers say they have lost sleep because they were worrying about work, with roughly one in four saying this happens to them at least once a week, according to a survey of 3,200 workers conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder. Another survey from 2013 of more than 1,400 employees yielded even higher numbers: three in four had lost sleep over work issues.

I have never really understood jobs. As far as I have been able to determine, they are a deep sickness. A serious wrong turn. Like cities. And money.

When I was, like, 16, I think it was, my parents, they said I needed to get a Job. They were Depression people, working-class, and so could not understand, why I was not yet working. I had never had a Job—except delivering newspapers, which was Fun, and, according to my parents, not a real Job—so I had no experience. Dutifully, I looked in the paper (we had newspapers then). I found some sort of chain-spew restaurant, called Cindy's, that was opening, and hiring. I went there. And they took me on, as a dishwasher. It was stupid, and boring, but bearable. Until, about two weeks in, some sort of essential massive kitchen-fan went out. And I was assigned, every 10-15 minutes or so, to climb up onto the roof, and there push a button, to restart the fan. As I did this, I fell behind on the dish-dog duties. But that wasn't what bothered me. It was looking at the stars. In the sky. When I was on the roof. Pushing the button. The stars, the sky: they were telling me: no. And: I got the message. I realized I could not do this. Ever. I could not, ever, have, a "job." I finished my shift. And then I quit. Resolved, never, to ever, take a "job," doing something, I did not otherwise, want to do. And, lo, yea verily, I have not, since.

But next, came the problem, with the buildings. The offices. The bosses, wanting you to be in the office. So they could justify themselves. By Looking at you.

I learned, very early on, that working in the building, in the office, that was wholly unnecessary. Except to enable the boss to feel like s/he was something, other, than an appendix. And, I determined, that it could be endured, the office, the building, only because it provided, daily, the opportunity, to become entangled, romantically, and/or carnally, with my co-workers.

Though, then, the job. Becomes such a drag. Because it's such a distraction. From what is really important. The co-worker(s).

Eventually, I managed to pry myself out of the buildings, the offices. And so have not worked in one in this millennium. And meanwhile discovered that I could just as well become entangled romantically, and or/carnally, with my coworkers, when I was not in an office.

And, it's actually, freer, that way. Because then you don't have to worry about the bluenoses. Tut-tutting, ratting. Because, basically, they're jealous. That they're not having, the right, and the fun. That you're having.

The absolute, and without question, best part, of any office job, is coming back, from an extremely extended lunch hour, absolutely reeking of each other. Impatiently, then, waiting, for the close of business day. So you can, then, reek of each other, all over again. Which is something, you cannot do, through a tube. With a, Facebook-only, "friend."

Some officious bluenose noseholes, they recently seized 136 pounds of cocaine, there in the Bronx.

"The sheer amount of cocaine seized in this case is staggering," said one law jockey.

Not really.

Because, you know: 136 pounds. That is basically a weekend. At Keith Richards' place.

And, apparently, there are not already enough, people, places, and things, that are spying on the humans.

And so, a Spanish company, it is now introducing a mattress, that will rat you out, in real time, if it determines that you are sexually congressing upon it, with someone other, than an Officially Permitted Person.

The "Smarttress" looks like any other mattress, but the manufacturer says that its concealed sensors detect suspicious movements in the bed. If the pressure matches algorithms based on research carried out on sexual motions, the worried partner will receive a warning on his or her mobile phone.

According to one of the engineers who developed the so-called Lover Detection System, when the ultrasonic sensors inside the mattress detect rhythmic movements, the communication system sends information to a server.

"If it detects suspicious activity regarding time of use, frequency, intensity or speed, it sends a notification to the phone terminal with which it is linked," said Iván Miranda.

Durmet say the technology is so advanced that the jealous app user will be able to see in real time what parts of the bed are seeing the most activity, giving him or her a mental picture of exactly what their partner is up to.

Jeebus krispies. Can this just be some shit, that is, like, just totally made up?

No.

And the people, they wonder, why, I am, at any and all times, on Medicine.

The humans, they are not meant for monogamy. They are, instead, omnisexual.

That's just the way it is.

i said there ain't no doubt about it
we done no wrong

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Aardvark's picture

I could wash my hair in the words I read in this diary. I tried, but the words are something other than what they appear to be. They appear to be words, but they are not, because they are written down. The invention of writing was the first step in the very long and very boring arc that has led us to Facebook.

I cannot wash my hair in your words, and I cannot be satisfied with them, because they are not real.

Are you real? If so, I am too depressed for that fact to make any difference.

I suspect that everyone on Facebook, who is not trying to sell something, is also lonely or depressed, or psychotic.

So if I am depressed and not on Facebook, am I cheating myself of the opportunity to distract myself from my misery? Indeed, that is the reason I spend any time on the Internet.

Peace and love be with you, reader.

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hecate's picture

There was nothing at the edge of the river
But dry grass and cotton candy.

"Alias," I said to him. "Alias,
Somebody there makes us want to drink the river
Somebody wants to thirst us."

"Kid," he said. "No river
Wants to trap men. There ain't no malice in it. Try
To understand."

We stood there by that little river
And Alias took off his shirt
And I took off my shirt.

I was never real. Alias was never real.
Or that big cotton tree or the ground.
Or the little river.

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Gerrit's picture

them. I tried FB for a few months some years ago. Until I figured out what it was - the overlord - and left.
Oh yes, the unholy trinity - jobs, cities, money - all creations of the lizard brain.
And Bonnie Raitt! That's the first time I think I've seen a clip of her on c99. Welcome Bonnie :=)
Enjoy your day,

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

hecate's picture

Money, cities, jobs: they are all, so over. It is just a matter of waiting, for the time to catch up.

When I died, and there was my funeral, there on the intertubes, after, I made meself a little wake, and, during it, I played me, some Ms. Raitt:

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Gerrit's picture

thereafter one can live more clearly rooted in reality, not waste energy on side issues, and only focus on the main thing. (I don't pretend to understand your "death," but the concept seemed excellent to me :=)

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

hecate's picture

The Main Thing.

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Gerrit's picture

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

Bisbonian's picture

From Burbank (Hollywood) to Las Vegas. With her band. The black, ten gallon Stetson hats, they filled all the overhead bins.

I am glad you won't be leaving us, ever. That is good news.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

hecate's picture

not leaving either. It's been Decided. ; )

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shaharazade's picture

it was the first thing I worked on on my first real art job. I got the job off the job board at my art school . I didn't have a portfolio yet so I put some sketches, magic marker pic's of food and a couple of watercolors of pop stars including a beauty of Shah in a folder and took them to the design studio who was looking for a accomplished wrist. Mac hired me as 'good work is good work'.

He handed me the design for this album along with the photo/painting and said start with this cover I can't deal with it. The musicians in this band are a pain in the butt as they keep getting stoned and passing the roughs of the cover around to the roadies who all fight about the placement of their names in the fly type.

My boss was illustrator who just wanted to draw, air brush and paint in peace and have somebody else put the covers together. It took along time as the band did call everyday and say move that here or take that out or air brush the fat off my neck. After I passed the the Bonnie Raitt album test he gave me all the country album covers to produce as he found Gorden Lighfoot's face too aesthetically unpleasant. I also got to do Blondie's Eat to the Beat, as they were also a pain in the butt and got into a big fight about the hairy mole on Debra Harry's cheek. She wanted it left he wanted it gone.

So anyway it was a shock to see the first professional job I worked on, on c99%, as that version of me is long dead. Best real job I ever had. My former boss and mentor now paints real paintings with no rock, pop stars involved. He sailed away to Hawaii and is now a fine artist. He passed away from his life on Hollywood and Vine but he's not dead. I saw his art on the internet and it looks much more alive then his many famous covers.

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hecate's picture

Poor Gordon Lightfoot. His face too aesthetically displeasing. ; (

Once a band hired me to photograph them. I had the same experience as you. Round and round, about this picture, or that. Finally I said, "shut up and play." And picked the photos myself.

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shaharazade's picture

not to give the client too many choices. Three was the best option, two good ones and a clinker thrown in that leads them to the good one. Photographers have it worse then designers because of contact sheets. At art school they told us you had to train the client, or trick them so you didn't end up doing crap work. Which the client would then blame you for. They also taught us to not believe for a minute that the check is in the mail.

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riverlover's picture

with that last sentence. To the point of personal delivery, waitin' for compensation. And most of her pencil-work were take-offs from client photos.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Gerrit's picture

of art school. I have developed a new interest in the well-being of illustrators and designers everywhere :=) Very cool. Have a great evening,

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

telebob's picture

Before agriculture, we had vocations, villages, and debt relationships. But we decided that what Gaia freely offered us of her bounty was not enough, that we wanted it all, and that was the start. Animal husbandry, enslaving our fellow travelers, and tilling the soil, removing all competition to our voracious appetites, allowed the practical and moral justification (in their minds) for the psychopaths who have always been among us to enslave us all and steal our labor.

The invention of agriculture was a terrible blow to human health and our relationships with fellow humans and the earth. A dozen millennia have blunted the damage to our physical health, though many of us still suffer the consequences of diabetes, auto-immunity, obesity. But we have yet to seriously mend the rents that agriculture tore in the fabric of our relationships. From hierarchy to slavery and from spewing carbon to our old, and continuing, nemesis the plow, agriculture took our evolutionary behavior and turned it against us in a way that is immune from natural selection. We are nearing the crux of the matter, many believe it is now "change or die," though I myself believe that it's probably more like "change or muddle along from crisis to accelerating crisis until the sun swallows the earth."

A prospect which I find infinitely more terrifying.

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If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind. -R. Hunter/J. Garcia

hecate's picture

agriculture created garbage dumps, which invented dogs, who bite me.

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Martha Pearce-Smith's picture

News from Japan this morning is that the earthquake on Thursday was a magnitude-6.2 quake. Saturday's quake was bigger.... 7.3.


Japan earthquake

Heartbreaking Sad

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riverlover's picture

blueyedace2. He was telegraphing such aloneness, I could feel it, there was pain that I felt. I felt that were I in Wisconsin, I would want to friend him in real life, although pain is infectious and I am a susceptible. And then he was gone. Ouch. Edit: way more than ouch, distant guilt.

Some years ago, my mother received a letter from an elementary school friend of mine, with a brownie camera photograph of me, from a class field trip to Fort Harrod. We also saw the Floral Clock and had a luncheon at the Beaumont Inn. served by old black servers. His name was David Becker, our class stereotypical red-haired freckled boy. In intervening years he had been tried as the murderer of his parents and rape and murder of his little niece. I do not remember the outcome, but he was definitely the first member of our class to make the newspapers. The letter+photo did not come from prison. It was on office letterhead, his veterinary practice. Life goes on for some.

There was someone OT who sounded like a nice, gentle person who I liked and then he was outed as a zombie and angry hordes descended and there was some discussion of banning me or getting me somehow because I was not angry with him, assuming he was a him. Second time in my life to feel threatened, even though I am virtual riverlover. Ouch. I shared that handle with my husband, who is dead. Mine now, and someone else's, on reddit. riverlover245 at that place.

I am happy to not live an instagram life. So much fussing with presentations of life scenes. Exhausting, to me.

A sunny day, massive leaf relocation must be started. Unless I want a small place to not restore to woodland, leaves must be moved to make an instagram "yard", or one that might be, with soft focus.

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why anyone else would be.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

riverlover's picture

I find my life hilarious. Comedy of errors. But I don't expect others to see it that way. Or present it as such.

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hecate's picture

are magic. When once they fall, they want to become soil. Where you want soil, place the leaves there.

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riverlover's picture

But puppy intro to outside brings great joy leaping through leaves, pause, and also attack-puppy to the rake. It would not be the first time I have let leaves lie fallow over the summer. Saves effort. Wink

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Martha Pearce-Smith's picture

Bernie Sanders 'honoured' to meet Pope Francis at Vatican

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has confirmed he did meet the Pope during his trip to the Vatican, saying he was "honoured".

The brief meeting took place on Saturday morning at Pope Francis's residence before he left to meet migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Senator Sanders described the Pope as one of the "extraordinary figures... in modern world history".

An aide said the meeting lasted five minutes and no photographs were taken.

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Please help the Resilience Resource Library grow by adding your links.

First Nations News

hecate's picture

Ratzinger, he slipped on a swastika armband, even after his fuhrer, he had burned, into nothingness, six million Jews.

This pope, out of his way, he goes, to meet, The Cranky Brooklyn Deli Man. The Jew.

It, really is, a new dawn.

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Bisbonian's picture

The times, they truly are a changin'.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

shaharazade's picture

and even this pope or the John Paul Ringo pope just piss me off. I went to Catholic school too long to think of any of the Catholic clerics throughout their long dark history as anything but a nasty cult. The cardinal hat's alone are enough to scare the crap out of me. I cross the street and cross myself when we walk to the library and come to our local buggery with it's attached nunnery. With this irreverent, blasphemous, attitude it's hard for me to get worked up about Bernie and the pope. Might as well be meeting with Kissinger, Putin, Don Corleone, Mussolini, or any gang leader of any holy empire that turns out the light's, instigates crusading Inquistions, hordes all the worlds art and wants women to cover their heads in shame.

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Gerrit's picture

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

Pluto's Republic's picture

…watching their rogue government launched a fifteen-year murder spree in foreign lands where they have absolutely no business but pillage:

Sociologists speak of "the bystander effect," wherein if a group of people perceive that something is Wrong, they look to others to determine how to act. And if nobody moves to do anything, then everybody will continue to do nothing. This, I gather, is known in the trade as "pluralistic ignorance," as "diffusion of responsibility." I call it not acting like a proper human.

The isolated colonists cowering on the genocide lands of North America, watching indifferently as their government destroys nations and displaces millions of refugees, who suffer horrific tragedy on their journey to nowhere — these Americans are not proper humans in any sense of the word.

Agent Smith got it right:

I'd like to share a revelation. During my time here, I realized that you're not actually mammals.

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But, you do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area.

There is one other organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.

What kind of future can Americans expect to have after the passive surrender of their moral compass? There is only one country that roams the entire globe bringing chaos, destruction, and death wherever there are weaker countries with resources to privatize and monetize. It is all done on the Democratic authority of the American people.

What kind of future do they deserve? Who will save them when they finally become aware that their government has indentured and enslaved them?

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

hecate's picture

it is seriously noxious, too. Pouring across the Urals, in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries—at the same time the white people were infesting the Americas—to invade, infect, seize, conquer, subdue, cleanse, Siberia. Where Russians had no business being. Shitting themselves, upon a land mass, greater in size, than that of the US.

And, today, almost all of the "wealth," that is thought of as "Russian," is, in truth, Siberian. Raped, from conquered, occupied, territory.

What kind of future, can Russians expect, after such a display, of the surrender, of their moral compass?

What kind of future, do they deserve? Who will save them, when they finally become aware, that their government, it has indentured, and enslaved them?

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riverlover's picture

and over by groups called "government" with different philosophies of rule, some have shown some amount of rebellion.

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hecate's picture

until the Russians came, they were whole peoples. Now, they are no more.

Siberia not permitted, when the Soviet Union dissolved, self-determination. Just like Chechnya.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

Hahaha. Never heard that Tom Waits song. Excellent.

I see Bernie did have a face to face with the Pope after-all. Uh-oh, the Hillbullies heads are gonna explode. They've been taunting all week on Twitter "It's just a lousy speech. The Pope ain't gonna meet with him."

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Haikukitty's picture

Even Kim Davis got to meet the pope.

In 3...2...

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

to feed their fake outrage too. What will the next hissy fit be about?

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Haikukitty's picture

Bernie announcing he met with pope - he's trying to get political capital out of something he shouldn't.l, blah blah blah

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riverlover's picture

There is ball-spiking going on and great jokes and little forays by the opposing side, but at least a while ago, they are shut down. Maybe complaining about massive carbon footprints for the air flights. Or dissing the Pope, there's always that. Pop.

The forays are being greeted with sympathy. And they still think we will vote for Hillary.

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Haikukitty's picture

And other than once or twice following a link here, I've stayed away. I find it trying to suck me back into virtual fighting and it's not healthy for me. Smile

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

and will chip away at your happiness and mental health. Who needs it. Life is too short.

Hey what do the terms TOS and GOS mean? I see those used a lot here and as usual I'm clueless. Smile

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

TOS means That Other Place. I thought this term originated at c99, but they use it on reddit as well.

GOS means the Great Orange Satan. This term originated years ago on DK, articulating what right-wingers think about that blog. So it was used proudly, and affectionately. I've seen this term used all over, including on a breakaway group on Facebook.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

So many acronyms. So few memory cells. Smile

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Shahryar's picture

IHTHSIRAB! ADKIAC!

huff-pufff....whew, this is tiring! I mean, HPWTIT!

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Shahryar's picture

hey, I figured it out! I hate that Hillary, she is really a (baddy). And dKos is a cesspool.

I guess those acronyms work!

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I go for the Pootie (cats) and Woozle (dogs) diaries. Maybe we can invite them to jump ship and come here? Then, all Kos will have left is Hillarybots who will destroy each other for want of Berniestas to kick around. He, he, the Sekrit Army will entertain us.

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hecate's picture

he will ceaselessly inquire, "but who initiated the contact?"

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PastorAgnostic's picture

His choice of high quality, low cost suits? No, wait, HS haircut!

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Gerrit's picture

I don't bother much with Clinton news. (I know all that already.) But I'm all over progressive activism against her various nefariousness: that is the appropriate Clinton news for us progressives.
Now she will face protesters outside all of her corporatist fundraisers. That is even more so the progressive news.
Us middle class progressives would do well to learn the military principle that our youth already know: to win and hold territory, we need to put running shoes on the ground.
11 second clip:


A story from March in politico.com on the announcement of this typical fundraiser:
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/hillary-clinton-george-clooney-fun...

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

Citizen Of Earth's picture

just like the rest of Clinton's campaign. Hollywood has shown itself to be a bastion of Neo-liberal scum bags just like the scum running the government. Can't wait til TMZ leaks the names so we can boycott their stupid movies.

Clooney and his activist wife, what supreme hypocrites.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Gerrit's picture

I agree: protest every fundraiser; publish their names, shame the bastards and make them grasp that those things are aiding and abetting the economic/financial traitors to our people. And will not be tolerated anymore. Cheers!

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

riverlover's picture

and go with "citoyen" to piss them off more.

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Gerrit's picture

I agree, we're all in this together: Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Europeans, Central Americans, etc. All of us want a political revolution to overthrow corporate rule over the entire planet. The bastards.

Rise up Citizens, Citoyens, Bürgers, and that's the only three languages I know :=)

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

How does she fit her "very important job" in with all the parties, fashion shoots, shopping sprees, red carpet events, and fundraisers? Wouldn't wanna be one of her clients rotting in a jail cell.

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just like Hillary is a "children's defense fund" attorney. These were short gigs for window dressing that came before the big money and the high life. As for George Clooney? Ugh. Boy, did he have me fooled. He appeared to actually give a damn, and here he is supporting a warmonger.

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Twain Disciple

flowerfarmer's picture

How could he make a film like 'Syriana' and then support Clinton?

Disconnect to the max.

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LeChienHarry's picture

We, my spouse and I claimed our FB names, so no one else could. But then we have these addicted kids, nieces and nephews who use FB like letters or email. We have convinced most of them to write emails, but some don't and they are dear.

So I hold my own by posting constant Bernie essays or more importantly for me, eco essays and news of the natural world. No public timeline about our personal lives.

FB is a horrible thing. The kids are used to it. Like they were about branding everything in their lives. Some are getting wise to it, but their "friends" are all there.

There have been several folks at TOP who have eventually committed suicide. The tells were either quickly acquired or in some cases long battles, but not caring who they hurt, or very subtle references to how they would accomplish their demise. Some had real life interactions with others because of the attention. Some were not so lucky. There is no protocol for notification or for asking those nearby in RL to check.

My lettuce is starting to sprout, and other Spring type yummies. I fuss over my garden beds like a hen on a nest. It's the creating which is as important as the final harvest and eating. As I fuss, I listen to the layers of sounds: birds near, birds further; bees in the fruit trees; far off traffic, which I try to tune out.

Thanks for this lovely and thoughtful writing.

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

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burnt out's picture

Hecate, your words are soul soothing. Thank you.

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All I want is the truth. Just give me some truth. John Lennon

Azazello's picture

Anybody remember translator from TOP ?

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

hecate's picture

There, he was, on that site, offering to share recipes. Then, twelve hours later, liquored up, and with a gun, he was gone.

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Azazello's picture

and watched in real time as his mental health deteriorated until the end. That was something new to me, made possible by the internet.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

hecate's picture

is that some people went offline, to try to help him. And good for them.

Without the alcohol, he would still be here. Or without the gun, he would still be here. But, the alcohol, and the gun, together: he is no more.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Just back from 3 weeks mostly offline. A cleanse of sorts. Now 4 to 5 weeks of chores, clean-up, repairs, catch-up & whathaveyou. No FB.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

hecate's picture

missed you. Welcome back. ; )

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Tom Wait. I don't know why I like this stuff, but I really do. He reminds me of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weil.

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Lookout's picture

Better to spend time in nature than in front of a screen. No offense to other users, but facebook always seemed designed for voyeurs. Let's see what so-n-so is doing. If it is to keep up with folks, why not use email? After seeing the movie about The start of facebook, I realized it was designed by a person with poor social skills to provide them with a better means of communication. Do they manipulate you? May be:

A recent study conscripted Facebook users as unwitting participants during a weeklong experiment in direct emotional manipulation. The study set out to discover if the emotional tone of a users’ News Feed content had an impact on their own emotional makeup, measured through the tone of what they posted to the social service after viewing the skewed material.

Nearly 700,000 Facebook users were shown either more positive, or more negative content. The study found that users who were given more positive news feeds posted more positive things, and users who were given more negative news feeds posted more negative things.

Surprising? Doubtful. Unethical? Yes.

Bear it in mind that the impact of the study wasn’t contained merely to those it directly manipulated. It notes that around 155,000 users from the positive and negative groups each “posted at least one status update during the experimental period.” So, hundreds of thousands of status updates were posted by the negatively-induced user group. Those negative posts likely caused more posts of similar ilk.

Thanks for the thoughtful essay Hecate. Well, think I'll head outside and enjoy spring. Hope you've got a nice day to enjoy where ever you are.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

the school grounds to attend a class, I said to myself, "something's wrong. T doesn't love me anymore. When I come home, this evening, everything will be different. He's going to leave me. I know it." Those thoughts took my breath away. Why would I think that way? Of course he still loves you. Stop with those negative thoughts. They stayed in the back of my mind, though.

Upon my return, I stopped in the Post Office, where a colleague said people were looking for me and to go back to my office. I asked why. She said, "they're looking for you, please go back. Shall I drive you?" My breath caught. No, I said, I can drive. Just tell me what happened. She looked at me desperately, "please, just go."

As I backed out of the parking lot, the sky looked different, a little less bright. I said to myself, "T is dead." I tried to banish the thought. As I drove to my office, T's dad met me at the door and I knew.

We often know, deep within our being, what is affecting our lives. Pay attention. You might be receiving important messages.

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

riverlover's picture

Someone heard your pain. I am sorry.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

It was a defining moment, 29 years ago, in my life - our lives. The memory lingers.

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

Dr. FSKopus's picture

I was never privy to using FaceBook or any of the other social media things, and despite all of my friends and family pestering me to get one, it was only after I had a heartfelt conversation with one of my cooperating teachers last year that I finally caved and got a page--his argument was about getting into the psyche of student trends and being able to follow the trends of what they like and how they absorb information. My friends and colleagues (and even family!) asked if something was wrong because I wouldn't do so; it seems that not being plugged into all forms of social media all the time makes me a sort of leper. While I don't post much on there (aside from using FB Messenger to talk with old friends from college or family), I love being a fly on the wall and looking at how complete strangers act with each other when the veil of anonymity allows them to say what truly is on their mind without any sort of filter.

I did receive good news about my future plans, at the very least: my extension application has been accepted for next year, and I will be not only staying in Austria for the next year, but I'm also staying at the same schools I've been teaching at since October! More than likely I'll be going back to the US for a few months (Probably July and August, for sure, and maybe a week or two in September), but it's nice to know that I've got plans for the next year and I don't have to worry about being a broke twenty-something teacher trying to make it on their own in the States (for now...).

Many of my teacher-friends and former teachers believe in the adage that "If you enjoy the work you're doing, then it's not really work". I admire that sort of optimism, but at the end of the day, there are aspects to their jobs that they (and I) know have to be done anyway. Even the teachers I talk to here in Austria hate the idea of assigning grades to students, and the students hate being graded. It does nothing but force categorization of "those who know" and "those who don't know", and getting an A on a test means that you only know the pertinent information being asked on a particular day under a set of uncontrollable circumstances--ask that same student about the information on that test in a month, in six months, in two years, and see what they remember. I certainly remember getting A's on statistics tests, for example, yet I can't remember anything specific about the subject except basic information about the normal curve and standard deviations. Should my previous A be rescinded because I no longer know this information? Or is it no longer relevant because I'm not being tested on it anymore?

I have a very profound respect for one of my colleagues still in school. His dream is to not have to have any job at all, instead teaching music to at-risk students for free, especially in inner-city environments. If I felt even half as confident about my future as him, I would be going to join him after he finishes his Master's. Then again, stranger things have happened--after all, I'm in Europe and will be returning next year...

...sometimes I never know where trains of thought are going to take me. Hope you forgive the ramblings of a young'n and enjoy your day regardless!

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every few weeks. I hate it, I'm very uncomfortable in that environment. But it's the only way we can keep track of our nieces, make sure they're okay. While I'm there I see bits and pieces from old college friends, kind of pleasant, and there are some former Kossacks posting too, it's nice to see them occasionally.

Just a few minutes, every few weeks, and it still makes me feel slimy.

I would much rather be in nature, as some have said. Have been homebound for a long time due to illness, I miss my garden. Now smoke particles outside (Kansas fires) mean I can't even step outside the door without getting ill. So much for spring.

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hecate's picture

is a Facebooker for the same reason as you: to keep track of the young ones. Since there is not a lot of letter-writing these days. Or phone calls. Or personal visits.

Otherwise, she's outside, in her garden. ; )

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shaharazade's picture

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mimi's picture

however many years ago he died, I couldn't help to read that several times over, til I decided to express my condolences to you. Your OTs are so disturbingly mind boggling and excellent. They are always "hard to digest", but such nourishing food for mind and soul. Thanks.

I hated facebook before I was ever on it. A nephew of mine used it as replacement for emails. Couldn't be contacted in any other way than over facebook. So, we had no contact. I wonder how many real life relationships get destroyed through facebook. I guess that is a bizarre opinion to have, because it's usually praised as a tool to keep family members together over long geographic distances. I hadn't the luck to experience that side of facebook.

Otherwise facebook had facilitated very traumatic events to evolve in my family's life without any of us being involved in its triggering. If facebook users display some voyerism, I must be an outlier. I am scared to look at any facebook pages of people I know (I do not look). I don't want to know what's going on. I guess I protect myself with that from traumatic events going to hit my eyes and mind and I feel I had enough of those in real life, don't have to add some virtual ones.

I hate facebook's founder and his creation with a passion, will boycott it as long as I can.

I tried to read to you linked article about monogamy and couldn't help but think that the article is a product of "white sexual mores thinking". I couldn't focus on it and didn't read to the end. My hint is that it missed the subject and for me it gets the "off topic" mark.

With regards to your tales about the suicides of kossacks that happened (I didn't know of them) I was reminded of the kossack who published his own physician assisted suicide, which got under my skin. I hate it when men take over the role of what I consider God's decision to make. Can't stand the death penalty, can't stand assisted suicide and if I could I would always help someone to not attempt a suicide.

Life can be tough, but online life is brutal and cruel more often than it is not, no matter how much people try to make it a friendly, healing space ever so often. To me it's a place best to be avoided. It makes one sick. The fact that I write this here is proof of the sickness. I don't see how it makes sense.

Have a good weekend.

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mimi

hecate's picture

It was years ago. He was in his early 40s. Liquor. Death is stupid and boring. He says, as he eats his Spicy Big Tray Chicken. Full of dead plants and animals.

There is a whole literature on the non-monogamy. It is not just a white-people thing.

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mimi's picture


Facebook Employees Asked Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Stop a Donald Trump Presidency

But what’s exceedingly important about this question being raised—and Zuckerberg’s answer, if there is one—is how Facebook now treats the powerful place it holds in the world. It’s unprecedented. More than 1.04 billion people use Facebook. It’s where we get our news, share our political views, and interact with politicians. It’s also where those politicians are spending a greater share of their budgets.

And Facebook has no legal responsibility to give an unfiltered view of what’s happening on their network.

“Facebook can promote or block any material that it wants,” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told Gizmodo. “Facebook has the same First Amendment right as the New York Times. They can completely block Trump if they want. They block him or promote him.” But the New York Times isn’t hosting pages like Donald Trump for President or Donald Trump for President 2016, the way Facebook is.

Most people don’t see Facebook as a media company—an outlet designed to inform us. It doesn’t look like a newspaper, magazine, or news website. But if Facebook decides to tamper with its algorithm—altering what we see—it’s akin to an editor deciding what to run big with on the front page, or what to take a stand on.

Facebook has toyed with skewing news in the past. During the 2012 presidential election, Facebook secretly tampered with 1.9 million user’s news feeds. The company also tampered with news feeds in 2010 during a 61-million-person experiment to see how Facebook could impact the real-world voting behavior of millions of people. An academic paper was published about the secret experiment, claiming that Facebook increased voter turnout by more than 340,000 people. In 2012, Facebook also deliberately experimented on its users’ emotions. The company, again, secretly tampered with the news feeds of 700,000 people and concluded that Facebook can basically make you feel whatever it wants you to.

So, why people think that is not important enough to boycott it, is beyond me.

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mimi

mimi's picture

but that's something for an essay on its own, one day.

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mimi