*

*
Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

what condition my condition is in.




Shawn sent this one over; Thais make bulletproof vests out of old xrays.


Well, another year of blogging is set to pass, what does that make, five or six? Six. Definitely my most prodigious effort yet from a sheer numbers standpoint but most of the time I was in a groove and it never really felt too stale. Think that I did some decent work. Managed to make a living on the side, pay my bills and take a vacation, which is pretty much my immediate bucket list. Thanks to one and all for gracing me with your attention and cyber presence.

 

692,762 pageviews, at this rate it will be 2015 sometime before I break a million. Which is fine, I don't need a big audience, gets a bit stifling.

*
Edward Snowden is the Blast man of the year. If it hadn't been Snowden there would have been another Snowden with a different name. You can't amass all this private information on everybody on the planet and not expect the truth to get out and the information to be abused. It is a database rife with the potential for abuse.

Just because this administration thinks that it is being ethical and respectful of civil liberties concerns doesn't mean the next one will. I think that most Americans think that enough is enough. We don't trust government enough to cede it this kind of power and we never did. 


Ex NSA Director Michael Hayden says that Snowden is a treasonous traitor. Well, that is what I think of Hayden. People that don't respect the fourth amendment are traitors to this country as well.


Was reading about the concept of "hops" this morning. 

A study showed that the average person has 190 facebook friends. The government is allowed to listen in on a suspects primary friends, their friend's friends and friends of friends of friends. The latter tertiary sum is over 5 million. From one individual matrix. So you better figure they are listening to near everybody.


We can talk more about this stuff next year.


*
I am reading Meacham's biography of my favorite American, Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power. Meacham wrote the Jackson biography that I really liked, I like this portrait less so. He does his best from the outset to paint Jefferson as a promiscuous womanizer, tries to unmask the statesman's every possible flaw. I heartily accept that our late President was a mortal and not a god but Meacham goes out of his way...

This is the least satisfactory book on Jefferson I have ever read. Having said that there are definitely some pearls here and if you are a student of American history you might want to give it a read. He explains that our revolution was actually started by the rich and that they took their clue from events that happened in England a century prior.

Interesting how the British fought for emancipation as a way to start a slave insurrection and hurt the republic, while simultaneously entreating with the local indians to do battle with the nascent americans. I definitely learned some things reading this book.

Meacham has a rather plodding writing style, definitely lacks the prosaic gifts of his contemporaries Goodwin or McCullough. Worth a look anyway.

No comments: