Who Controls Your Life — the Big 5 Tech Giants or You?

This morning I read, I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell by Kashmir Hill, and I left this comment:

I dumped my smartphone for a dumbphone several years ago. I don’t text. When I leave home, I leave the Internet behind and spend less than 5 minutes a month on my dumbphone.

When I get up in the morning, I leave my multiple screens (yes, I have more than one screen and I am tempted to add another one … or two) and desktop computer off until I finish the exercise routine of the day, and that exercise can take anywhere from an hour to two hours.

When I bought a new Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, it came with a radio that didn’t have a CD drive but it did offer SiriusXM free for several months.

What did I do? I had the original radio replaced ASAP, and a few months later got a “phone” call from SiriusXM asking me what happened to my car, that they couldn’t find/track it. I told the caller what I had done, and added if I had control of enough missiles I’d blow SiriusXM’s satellite network out of the sky. SiriusXM has been and keeps sending me ads through snail mail. I tear them up and drop them in the recycle bin. SiriusXM never gives up, but they aren’t alone. Most corporations constantly “harass” us with their unwanted ads.

I gave up my Kindle e-readers before I dumped my pest of a smartphone and only read books printed on paper or listen to them on CDs in the car with my new unconnected radio that came with a CD player, and it doesn’t even have GPS.

Although I still use Facebook, Amazon, and Google with my desktop and its two monitors, I have a lot of free time even if the kleptocracy’s autocratic technocrats are still harvesting information from me and making a profit off it.

With all that time to myself away from their digital claws, I still think for myself and easily avoid all the techno crap, cookies, traps and pitfalls when I am online. Every time I log off, I log onto the control panel and delete browsing history, cookies and saved website data, catched data and files and tabs I’ve set aside or recently closed.

Well, most of them anyway. Because once a month I also use the free editions offered by Malwarebyts, SuperAntiSpyware, and CCleaner, that just told me it can’t run on Windows … but it always worked before. Now I wonder why Windows must have blocked CCleaner. Maybe because it actually worked.

After all, I did click on the link to Kashmir Hill’s post and enjoyed reading it. We all know why it was recommended to me because some spy-app called a cookie from Amazon and/or Google that tracks what I’m interested in, sent it to me based on my internet history use.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Trump vs Hillary – are you keeping score?

This is worth sharing to make a point. I read this on Quora.  The question Jeff Redman answered was: How many times did Hillary Clinton invoke the 5th amendment during her testimony on the private email servers?

Jeff Redman, former Founder/Owner/Operator: LIGHTWORK (photo supply) (1979-1997)
Not even once. Ever.

She gave 11 hours of Public testimony before a largely hostile congressional committee and answered every question factually.

Benghazi was “investigated” for FOUR YEARS and did not produce even one indictment.

The email lark was “investigated” for TWO YEARS and did not produce even one indictment.

(Just for comparison, at this point the Russia Investigation has been going on for 14 months and has produced 23 indictments and, I believe, five guilty pleas.)

When will Trump’s Loyalists come for you?

Martin Niemöller’s quotation revised to fit our times:

First, the far-right extremist Trump Loyalists came to kill the minorities with bullets and bombs, and I did nothing—because I was not a minority.

Then the far-right extremist Trump Loyalists came to kill registered Democrats with bullets and bombs, and I did not speak out— because I was not a member of the Democratic Party.

Then the far right extremist Trump Loyalists came to kill and blow up the Jews, and I did nothing—because I was not a Jew.

Then the far-right extremist Trump Loyalists came to exterminate the children born in the United States of illegal immigrant parents, and I did nothing—because I was born a citizen and my parents had been citizens too.

Then the far right extremist Trump Loyalists arrived outside my house with their bullets and bombs—and there was no one left to fight for me and my family.

After my house was in ruin and my family and I were dead, Trump tweeted that there were many good people among the Americans that were loyal to him.

And who is the Donald Trump that encourages his loyalists to bully, shoot, and even bomb reporters and innocent people who are not loyal to him?

Simply stated in his own words in 2016 as reported by Leslie Sthal, a “60 Minutes” correspondent: when she asked then-presidential candidate Donald Trump why he incessantly attacks the press. His response, she said, was: “‘I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’”

What does it mean to be an American patriot vs a Trump loyalist?

A patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it (“it” refers to the US Constitution) against enemies or detractors.

A Trump loyalist is a person who remains loyal to the established ruler, Trump, especially in the face of a revolt.

Politico Magazine reports, “All leaders want loyalty. All politicians. All presidents. But in the 241-year history of the United States of America, there’s never been a commander in chief who has thought about loyalty and attempted to use it and enforce it quite like Trump. ‘I value loyalty above everything else—more than brains, more than drive and more than energy,’ Trump once said.” …

According to people who know him well, Trump’s definition of loyalty is blunt. “Support Donald Trump in anything he says and does,” Roger Stone, the president’s longest-running political adviser said.

Tomorrow on November 6, 2018, if you vote, your vote will determine if you are an American Patriot or a Trump loyalist.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Toxic Elections

The reason that voting has become a time-eating challenge is because of the tsunami of lies and half-truths that are designed to mislead voters. I have learned that none of the candidates can be trusted.

For that reason, I started each day by deleting all the campaign ads that arrived in my e-mail box without opening them.

I didn’t keep count of the hours spent reading and researching every candidate and all the Measures Submitted to Voters, but I do know that I spent more time making my decisions on this election than I have ever done before.

The first thing I did that probably cut the number of hours in half was to go through the “Contra Costa County Voter Information Guide with Sample Ballot” and cross out every Republican candidate before I started to do research. In previous elections, I gave every candidate a fair chance to gain my trust.

No more, because I think the GOP has become the Deplorable Party of Trump and cannot to be trusted.

The Trump’s GOP has become the FUD Party: spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt through conspiracy theories, lies, and misinformation. I have this theory that the Political Party that lies the most is the one with the most to hide.

For sure, candidates from both parties lie, half-lie, and mislead, but the Republican Party does more of it than most Democrats and many of the FUD candidates are so outrageous in their lies, it boggles the mind.

The second thing I did was to make sure I didn’t read any of the host of paper flyers landing in my regular mailbox because the time it takes to find out if there is anything honest in those flyers is not worth it. Republican flyers outnumbered Democratic flyers by a huge margin and most of those were for Marshall Tuck who is a known fake Democratic endorsed by the Republican Party.

That’s why I used Vote Smart, The League of Women Voters, Voters Edge, Open Secrets, and a few other sites, but only when I couldn’t find the info I wanted from the ones listed as links in this sentence.

Eventually I found enough information to make an educated guess — except for the four candidates running for the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District where you were supposed to vote for three of the four listed. I didn’t find anything about who those four candidates were and I wasn’t willing to keep hunting so I wrote in: God, Jesus Christ, and St. Patrick. I do not care if many think God and Jesus are the same. I just wanted three different names and there are billions of people on this planet that do not think Jesus is God. They think Jesus was a very important and influential teacher.

The Judicial page was a challenge because every name came with a YES or NO vote. There was no competition. All of these judges were appointed to their positions and it was up to us voters to decide if they should keep the job or the governor of California would have to appoint someone else to fill those positions.

It was frustrating to search for the judicial history of the ten appointed judges listed and I almost gave up and voted NO for all ten. But then I found enough information to make a decision and voted NO for 4 and YES for 6.

Marshall Tuck is a FAKE Democrat

Republicans are now running fake Democrats in California because in many counties it is almost impossible for a Republican to get elected.  The easiest fake Democrat to NOT vote for was Marshall Tuck who is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (his second attempt to fool voters. He failed in 2014. This time his major supporters, all known conservative billionaires, are donating tons of money to his campaign to outspend the real Democrat).

It’s easy to identify the Fake Democrat when the Republican Party endorses him and all of his major contributors are Alt-Right billionaires that donate large sums of money to conservative causes and candidates.

The other candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction is Tony K. Thurmond and the Democratic Party endorsed him along with the teachers unions.

The Fake Democrat Marshall Tuck was and still is supported by the publicly funded, corporate charter school industry.  I was a public school teacher in California for thirty years and I voted for Thurmond. I want all of the corporate charter schools closed. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction should represent the best interests of the public schools where almost 90-percent of the 6.5 million K-12 students attend — not the publicly funded, private sector, corporate charter school industry. These charter schools are not public schools because they do not answer to a publicly elected school board. Charter schools answer to a highly paid CEO and charter schools are not transparent in how they spend their money and operate like real public schools are.

It was a relief to walk into the post office and slip my mail-in-ballot through the slot.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Kremlin’s Agent Orange Donald Trump wants to execute all drug dealers

Trump has already fired his first “PURGE” round. He wants to execute all the drug dealers in the U.S. (not mentioned is that fact that Mao did this to end drug use in China – under Mao, over a million alleged drug dealers were rounded up and executed without a trial in a 24 hour period. All alleged drug users, the clients of those alleged drug dealers, were sent to special camps to dry out knowing that if they didn’t, they would also be executed).

In the next video, does this mean that Trump would be willing to execute the Sackler family that has been linked to the opioid crises in the US?

Forbes estimates that the combined value of the drug operations, as well as accumulated dividends over the years, puts the Sackler family’s net worth at a conservative $14 billion.  Richard Sacker had donated money to a neoconservative think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

On October 30, 2017, The New Yorker published a multi-page exposé on Raymond Sackler, Purdue Pharma, and the Sackler family as a whole. The article linked Raymond and Arthur Sackler’s business acumen with the rise of direct pharmaceutical marketing and eventually to the rise of addiction to OxyContin in the United States. The article implied that Raymond Sackler bears some moral responsibility for the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Discover more about the Sackler family:

Does Donald Trump know anything about what the U.S. Constitution says about due process rights? The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states.

In other words, ending up on a list that alleges you are a drug dealer is not enough evidence to get you executed.

Due process means “fair treatment through the normal judicial system.”

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

 

Thank President Trump and his Deplorable supporters for a future without Chocolate and Coffee

My January blues didn’t kick in until I read these stories.  All chocolate lovers and/or addicts take a long, deep calming breath before reading further … especially if you are young enough to be still around in thirty-two years.

The Mirror reports, “World could RUN OUT of chocolate by 2050 as cacao plants struggle to cope with effects of climate change.”

Sigh, and Business Insider says, “Most of the world’s best places for coffee will be gone by 2050” because of the climate change that isn’t happening according to U.S. President and Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump (who made 1,950 false or misleading claims over 347 days).

After all, Trump is the deplorable idiot that is convinced global warming and climate change is a hoax. Do you think he will be around in 2050?

Imagine a world without chocolate and coffee.

That’s just 32 years from now.

Wait, I don’t think I will be around in 2050. I’d have to be 104 to reach 2050. Maybe I won’t have to live without chocolate and coffee during my lifetime. but I think I should start stockpiling a supply now so it lasts to my last breath even after the shortages begin and the prices skyrocket until only billionaires — that are getting most of the tax cuts from Trump and the Republican Party — will be able afford the luxury of chocolate and coffee.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

Found on Quora: What’s the best Donald Trump joke you have heard?

I could not resist. I had to share these. I read them on Quora and roared with laughter. Because they also are so close to the truth, maybe I should have cried.

 

“Donald Trump and Barack Obama ended up at the same barber shop. As they sat there, each being worked on by a different barber, not a word was spoken. The barbers were both afraid to start a conversation, for fear that it would turn nasty. As the barbers finished their shaves in silence, the one who had Trump in his chair reached for the aftershave. But Donald was quick to stop him, jokingly saying, “No thanks. My wife, Melania, will smell that and think I’ve been in a brothel.” The second barber turned to Barack and said, “How about you, Mr. Obama?” Barack replied, “Go right ahead, my wife Michelle doesn’t know what the inside of a brothel smells like.” – Jeff Kelley, Pint glass political philosopher

 

God asks Bush: “What do you believe in?”
Bush answers: “I believe in the free market, and the strong American nation!”
“Very well”, says God. “Come sit to my right.”

Next, God asks Obama: “What do you believe in?”
Obama answers: “I believe in the power of democracy, and equal rights for all.”
“Good”, says God. “You shall sit to my left.”

Finally, God asks Trump: “What do you believe in?”

Trump answers: “I believe you’re sitting in my chair.” – Brad Jensen

 

Trump and Hillary go into a bakery on the campaign trail. Hillary steals three pastries and puts them in her pocket.

Hillary: “See? No one noticed and I don’t even need to lie. That’s how I’ll win.”

Trump: “No, Crooked Hillary. I’ll show you an honest way.”

Donald goes to the baker: “Give me a pastry and I’ll show you a magic trick.”

The baker gives him a pastry. Trump eats it and asks for another one. The owner gives him another one. Then Donald asks for a third pastry and eats that, too.

The baker: “Where the magic trick?”

Trump: “Look in Hillary’s pockets.” – Oleg Atbashian