Monday, November 28, 2016

CBSN - No Credibility

So I am sitting here minding my own business adoring myself and appreciating my free time (or is that languishing?... well, maybe lambasting a bit, at least) when Jackson texts a wonderfully cheerfully positive good morning and then asks if I heard about the Ohio State shooting. Since I care about her and want to know what might be upsetting her, I turned on the news (online CBS live news, cuz that is all I have). I find the headlines blaring with scared reporters shouting scary words about terror and mass shootings all over the news headlines and I listen to the analysis of past mass shootings and terrorist attacks. Sick propaganda, not news.

Then I hear a student interviewed stating emphatically that he was across the street from the incident and heard no shots, rather saw a car drive on to the sidewalk into a crowd of people and then saw the driver get out with a knife at which time he left. Hours went by with the news blaring terror and shooting reports. Fiver hours later the "homeland security" reporter with very sketchy information citing past reports of "incidents in Ohio" is still tensely claiming this was a "Lone Wolf Terrorist" attack and keep repeating the trigger words "lone wolf terrorist" ... "active shooter" ... "possible accomplice" ... ISIS ... "Al-Quaeda" ... in paranoid rants even as he and other reporters state it is "too early to tell" what the truth is in the same breath.

CBSN lost all credibility with me today.

I finally turned it off after they continued to hype the ISIS terrorist angle an hour after the actual facts of the incident were clear and no actual ties other than the driver's Nationality (Somali) were known. Don't let investigators with gacts tell us the truth. skew everything and report on scary theories and call it news. Call it CNS News. Ultimately, this type of paranoid scare-mongering news reporting is inciting more terrorist than ISIS or any other terror group. Suddenly millions of people are hearing about the "ISIS call for terror attacks." You think some mentally unstable Muslims are not hearing the report and getting ideas?

So I wrote this meaningless complaint to CBS.

You are the terrorists. You are the propagandists. Will you please stop selling the terrorist propaganda scare-mongers paranoid fantasies calling is "news." It leads to more fear, hate, and war and you chose that path. First you say it is a terrorist shooter. Then you say it is a lone wolf terrorist. Neither was proven while you sound the trumpets. You are encouraging the terror by creating this nightmare fantasy that has no proof at this time. This could have been a drunk Michigan football fan reacting to the overtime loss just as easily as anything else. Why not go off on that ridiculous tangent? Sick mentality at CBS News making this an extended "terror" broadcast. Sell your commercial time to someone else, you lost all credibility with any rational viewer.

Meanwhile, in other news on the same station and website, the self-proclaimed white supremist kid who killed 9 black people in a Charleston Church is not labelled "terrorist" or even "shooter" as his story is being reported side by side with the "Ohio State Shooter." Note the Ohio State idiot never had a gun, shot no one, killed no one, and we have no real knowledge of why he drove his car into a crowd. Even more importantly, note that we are not comparing the injuries or even the incidents here, we are comparing the headlines and the news spin that the United States media is putting on each story.

Propaganda is reporting uncertain facts as truth or ignoring certain facts to highlight certain aspects of a story. The discussion about the Justin Beiber look-alike killer in Charleston revolves around the legal process because he wants to defend himself in court. Ties to the radical hate groups he himself claims to be part of and the fact that he and those groups live right here and kill based on their hatred is omitted from the reporting. The discussion of the unidentified driver who drove into a crowd of people and exited the car swinging a butcher knife is about "Lone Wolf Terrorists" inspired by Somalian ties to radical terrorist organizations.

Ignore the bias and you are thinking like a racist.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Head Case

As in, head cold case. That's me. With a serious head cold blooming in this body (and bursting from the sinuses) and also the fact that I have been in a high-mold environment for almost four weeks now and spent a lot more time in this environment in the past week than I had in the previous three weeks and the heating unit was turned on for the firt time since last year, I did a little mold allergy research and I am not liking the similarities between common cold/flu symptomes and mold toxicity. I definitely have seven of the symptoms on the list and can easily claim at least twelve without stretching parameters too far. Not good news.

So I reviewed sites that suggest what can cause high mold environments and what can be done about it (I believe I did this before when I moved into Curly's storage room place... unfortunately, the visible and olfactory mold is much more visceral and present here... photos prior to my Tilex treatment of the bathroom may folow?) and this is a summary of one of the reviews.

Eliminate sources of dampness in basements, such as pipe leaks or groundwater seepage. No basement, damp concrete floor in bathroom closet
Use a dehumidifier in any area of your home that smells musty or damp. Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Remember to clean the collection bucket and condensation coils regularly. Not available. No measure of humidity, but high. Florida without A/C.
Use an air conditioner, and consider installing central air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment. The HEPA filter can trap mold spores from outdoor air before they're circulated inside your home. No air conditioner for more than three years.
Change filters on your furnace and air conditioners regularly. Have forced air heating ducts inspected and, if necessary, cleaned. Heating filter/ducts may be mold infested.
Be sure all bathrooms are properly ventilated, and run the ventilation fan during a shower or bath and immediately after to dry the air. If you don't have a ventilation fan, open a window or door while you're showering or bathing. No ventilation in bathrooms. Mold is most obvious there.
Don't carpet bathrooms and basements. Carpets are at least 20 years old in bedrooms.
Promote groundwater drainage away from your house by removing leaves and vegetation from around the foundation and cleaning out rain gutters frequently. Old growth vegetation surrounds the house on all sides.
Keep organic plant containers clean and dry, such as those made of straw, wicker or hemp. Without A/C for 3+ years, moisture is everywhere.
Toss or recycle old books and newspapers. If left in damp places, such as basements, they can quickly become moldy. The house is a library of old books, papers, and cardboard. Walls are lined with very old maps.

Yeah, so it is not a positive outlook (why else would we be in meaningless complaints, after all). There are a lot of mold guides on the web. Some give me the feeling they were writen by hypocondriac shut-ins afraid of breathing. You can do a lot of things to mitigate mold risk, it all depends on how much you want to do.

Other than the mold, I really like it here. The home owner roommate is a really good person and friend and also very intelligent and kind and generous and offers an amazingly high level of positivity for a human. The area is central to most of my activities and safe and quiet. I am doing some serious cleaning (and insect treatment) where I can and the reaction is appreciation, which is good, but the mold growth is likely deep in the walls and beyond non-professional remedy. It might be beyond professional remedy. I am concerned for my friend's health as he says he has a chronic cough and has heavy bouts of sneezing which are signs of mold allergy.

I will continue cleaning, treating high mold areas, and bonding and as the comfort level increases bring up concerns.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Bah Humbug

"Thank you." Sometimes just "You Too." Those are my usual responses when someone says "Happy Thanksgiving" to me.

I celebrate the concept of appreciation, of thankfulness. There is too little of it in my personal life these days, but I celebrate whatever little there is and treasure the people who give it for it is the elixir of hope for humanity which is ebbing at an all-time low in me these days. I celebrate any and all appreciation in this world every day. This particular holiday brings me to reflect a little "too much" (hence, here we are in meaningless complaints, aye?) for most people - so prepare for some of my perspective on the unfortunate realities for a few paragraphs. :}

Thanksgiving is not a holiday I celebrate personally, at least not how most people do. I offer surface respect when I decided to go to someone's dinner invitation which I do some years, but it is not a holiday I like because it reminds me of history. One of the most tragic atrocities humankind ever committed was the virtual destruction of many cultures in this "new world" Europeans that named the Americas. Pretending it was a celebratory feast by Pilgrims and Indians can ruin my appetite. The Pilgrims were not the worst of the white men who came to this land, but the holiday represents the coming of the white man to this land as something to celebrate and be thankful for.

That level of denial of reality just does not work for me.

One more aspect of this holiday that turns me off is the same thing about most holidays (don't get me started on Christmas, aye?) which is the gross commercialization and wasteful extravagances. A family in this country alone throws more food into the garbage on this single day of the year than some whole villages in some countries will eat in a week or more. The worst aspect of our current culture is the response to that fact of if you don't like it, leave" that putting this reality out there often elicits.

The fact that many stores open at 6PM, dinner time, and many people move their "Thanksgiving Feast" up to early afternoon (or skip it completely) just to be able to to push and fight for "bargains" is disgusting consumerism in a world desperate for some rational ecological actions, simple fairness, and human decency. "Life's not fair" say the greedy. Only because they choose to be greedy. One of those deadly sins they preach about as they pick your pocket.

Then there's the obesity rate in this country that disgusts me on more than one level and this holiday epitomizes the vulgar waste of wealth and careless disregard for others and this world that only a immature suicidal species would perpetuate, no less celebrate. I don't believe in fat shaming, but I am equally opposed to fat excusing and even more opposed to fat celebrating. BBW is a sick denial of facts even more prevalent than climate denials.

So all this and more is what you invite into your feast if you invite me to a Thanksgiving Dinner at your house. It is amazing I get so many invites, I suppose. I respectfully turned down four or five this year alone. Ungrateful bum that I am, no doubt.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Democrat Party Harassment

They just woke me again. Four calls today so far. Twenty five calls this week. More than fifty calls in the past month. Almost as many texts. There is no way in the world I would vote for anyone in a Party that uses such harassment tactics. This is the worst SPAM phone campaign I have ever experienced from any business or organization. The Democrats have made it personal and at this moment I am so pissed off at the harassment phone calls and texts I hope they lose every election on every level. I know that will likely be a disaster for this country to have an all-one-party government, but the Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, have not made it personal harassment.

I answer unknown number calls because I am looking for a job. Every time an unknown number call comes in, my emotions peak, my adrenaline rushes, and I prepare for a job interview conversation. These repeated political sales calls are having physical and psychological toll and disrupting my job search. Unwanted sales calls are what they are even though the FTC does not consider political calls sales calls. As I said and emphasize, the Democrats have made this personal for me.

Let's clear up any prejudice you have about my personal or political interest. I am an Independent who has leaned Democrat since Kennedy was in office. I am, on the political scale, Liberal in many views but firmly agree with Conservatives on some points. I do not blindly give my vote to any Party, cause, or flag waving politician.

I make that point particularly loudly because it would be too easy for a Republican to see me as an ally after reading this and it would be too easy for a Democrat to write me off as a Republican shill (the words Democrats use to dismiss and discredit any legitimate question, criticism, or complaint).

I called the telephone number on the Democrat Party page 917-444-5915. The person at the other end was rude and cut me off, not accepting my complaint and trying to sell me on voting for the Democrat. She then hung up on me when I asked who I can call to stop being called. Yes, the Official National Democrat Voter Help Line run by the Democratic National Committee hung up on me for asking them to stop making multiple daily phone calls and texts on my cell phone.

So I've started doing some research instead if continuing to try to find a job today. I found this article that says you can report unwanted political texts by calling or texting this number: 1-832-Election . The article also has other ideas and information that might be helpful. The bad news is that the government will not protect you from unwanted political calls. Here is a response I found online for Colorado:

6-1-903, C.R.S. Definitions

(10)(a) "Telephone solicitation" means any voice, telefacsimile, graphic imaging, or data communication, including text messaging communication over a telephone line or through a wireless telephone for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection (10), "telephone solicitation" does not include communications:

(V) Made for the sole purpose of urging support for or opposition to a political candidate or ballot issue; or

(VI) Made for the sole purpose of conducting political polls or soliciting the expression of opinions, ideas, or votes. In addition to the political phone calls, there is an increase in the volume of political literature sent through the mail.

Unfortunately, there is no complaint or removal process established for these types of calls and mailings. You can contact your county clerk and request that your phone number be removed from your voter registration information, but this provides no guarantee that your phone number will not be obtained from other sources.

There is an app for that, sort of. Citizens For Civil Discourse started a great idea, a National Political Do Not Call list, but that may be a scam in itself as it was discontinued and now directs you to download a free app. Are any apps truly free? The creator of the National Political Do Not Call List points out that corrupt politicians will not pass a law that stops them from soliciting money from you, so once again the likelihood of government protection from their abuses will not come from government.

I filed a complaint with the FCC and with the State of Florida and against the DNC (202-863-2500) since they called me and I called the DNC back directly to file a formal complaint. I would hope they could put me on a Do Not Call list that would cover the dozens of numbers calling in their name. If not, they just prove how incompetent they are - or how corrupt they are - or both. Not anyone I want to trust with my government.

If the calls stop then perhaps I will respect the Democrats, but they will not have the chance to show me they are not incompetent or corrupt until the next election so they have four years of being on my shit list.

The fact that the harassing calls and texts continued to escalate even after I spent time and energy asking each caller to stop calling and take me off their list, then called the the people in charge and formally complained to Party headquarters repeating my request to stop the calls, and finally called the telephone number on the Democrat Party Website offering help for voters that lead me to a rude woman who cut me off and then hung up on me for asking them not to call me anymore means, for this voter at least, that I will likely not vote for a Democrat for the next four years.

You reap what you sow, Democrats.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mold, Mildew, and Fungus Among Us

This is more of a report on unpleasant surroundings and an exploration of potential dangers, research, that is, than an actual complaint. The immediate environment I just moved into has a bad case of mold and mildew and who knows what else. It smacks you in the face walking in the door and is visible in every room of the home. It has, in less than a week, transferred itself on to my physical body because, alas, I am susceptible to fungal infections because I am borderline Type 2 Diabetic (and may have crossed that border this year but I am working hard on turning that around since seeing my last lab results).

Coming from the last place I lived where there was a mild-moderate mold problem that produced fungal infection for me after living there a few months in spite of continued cleaning and treatments, this place is kind of like poison for this body, alas, and the roommate is a great guy and the price is certainly right as it's free to stay here for at least the first month. I am slowly doing some cleaning, but I don't want to insult the guy nor do I want to overdose the place with caustic chemicals as he has a chronic cough (mild and mildew will do that, but chemicals will aggravate it in the short term).

He's a brilliant guy in many ways, including math and science, so his acceptance of the mold is puzzling, but he has likely gone nose-blind to it as he also accepts (and presents) more body odor and strong halitosis. I am far from a perfect person and by no means judge anyone, but I do feel the effects of the high level of mold and mildew already so I may not be able to get comfortable here. I still appreciate his generosity and hospitality more than words can say.

So I sit here with a runny nose, a slight sore throat and cough, an outbreak of fungal infection in an unpleasant area, and I've been reading...

The CDC and Prevention Magazine are pretty much in agreement that living with mold is not a healthy thing to do and clean-up is highly recommended. . Then there are the less scientific discussions all over the web as mold and mildew seem to be one of the topics people like to argue about a mock each other about. It is so sad that one of the most predominant aspects of the internet is this detached belittling and over-personalization of opinions and outright hostility that has come out in online social interactions, but that is an actual complaint and not the subject of this particular blog entry.

I suppose it is to be expected that political websites will have empty opinions from people who don't know what they are talking about, but exhibit the typical heightened fears or know-it-all attitudes so common to political discussions on the web. Websites dedicated to mold and mildew seem to agree with the science and I'd expect professionals to insist money should be spent on a mold problem. That ain't happening here except for the cleaning products I will buy.

The symptoms websites are not happy places for me as I have developed several (6.5 out of 8) of the symptoms listed here and at least 9 of 14 of symptoms listed here since moving in here last week. Most were present in lesser severity as they came and went at the other place. So this place is most likely just temporary housing for me.

I am still doing my best to maintain positivity but am more concerned now that I've educated myself. I need to spend as little time in this space as possible and that means going out to wifi places to do my job searching during the day and that means not being able to sit in comfort and that means increase other issues and all in all, I'm not feeling too good physically or psychologically right now.

Snap out of it, fool, it's better than the car or forest or street.

I think. (self-mockery for the save :)