Trump and his Reality Show Love Affairs with Dictators, errr, Leaders

Hmmmm, still finding it very, VERY difficult to understand why the people who voted for our American president still want him as the president.

We have a problem in America. We have a president who seems to be on a roll with himself and other heads of states, the wrong kinds of heads of state.

  • Trump: Hey, didja see me with Kim Jong Un?   Done. Check.
  • Trump: Hey, didja see me with Putin in Helsinki? NAILED IT!!! Check.

So, what is next with Trump and Erdogan?

  • Trump: Hey didja see me with Turkey’s dictator, sorry, president (for life) – HEYYY, that is a magnificent mansion you live in… maybe I should have one like that too, paid for by my base.

Maybe this is in Trump’s sight-line as well with Syria’s Assad, maybe?

  • Trump: Hey didja see me with Assad? He has quite the way of putting down civil disturbances. Why, he even has Putin on his side to help him out…

Trump appears to have no idea as to the magnitude of what he is doing to America; its economics, its educational system, its welfare system, its environment, its, well – I could go on but it is as if the people who need to wake up (Trump’s base), they just do not get it. They still want Trump in office when the man should be removed as soon as possible.

It’s likely that Putin is laughing his butt off right now after his ‘conference’ with Trump. (It is also likely that Kim Jong Un is still laughing his little body as well, especially after Kim theatrically, ahem, blew up his nuclear reactor site – many of us know that if the intent was to truly blow up that site, the explosive force would have been exponentially much larger than, what was that – blowing up the entry way into the site. Folks, just go back and look at it again through the eyes of a diligent observer and equate the size of the blast with the area that was to be destroyed)

Trump, as it has been stated multiple times today, has basically dismissed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia. And then had the audacity to say that “we’ve all been foolish about our relationship with Russia.” Has Trump not read ANYTHING over the past 2 decades about Putin and Russia????

What do we have to do is to get “MORE” people {somehow} to wake up and push a movement to impeach Trump before he causes even more damage to America and the global alliance of allies…

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Troubleshoot Microphone Errors in Rosetta Stone – Brown University

Troubleshoot Microphone Errors in Rosetta Stone by Stephanie Obodda 2018-07-04

— Brown University

Hmmmm, I was attempting to aid students/folks who have problems getting their head sets with microphones to work properly by adding a compliment for Stephanie & the CIS IT Support team posting Stephanie’s article and including what kind of head set I use for Rosetta Stone.  But it may take a day or two (or a few…) before it is visible, if it appears at all – there are 0 comments on the site.

The article is @: https://ithelp.brown.edu/kb/articles/troubleshoot-microphone-errors-in-rosetta-stone

The school (or author) provides a list of head sets:

 List of recommended headsets: Altec Lansing AHS302i, Andrea Electronics NC‐7100, Califone 3066‐USB, Logitech USB 350, Logitech USB 250, Logitech ClearChat Pro USB, Logitech H330, Logitech Premium Notebook Headset, Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB, Microsoft LifeChat LX‐3000, Plantronics DSP‐400, Plantronics DSP‐500, Plantronics Audio 500, Plantronics Audio 470, Plantronics Audio 645, Plantronics Audio 655, VXI Talk Pro USB‐100, VXI Talk Pro USB‐200

Note: Rosetta Stone also provides more information about their Recommended Headset Microphones and Vendors

 (I had to write another comment on the site “if” it gets posted to inform them that the link of “Recommended Headset Microphones and Vendors” they provide to students is an old, dead link that no one verified…)

My additional info is that VTIN HC head sets with microphone also work successfully – it is a head set with a 3.5 mm jack that plugs into:

a) a connector with a USB connection on it for PC use or

b) smart phones / tablets via the 3.5mm jack without that connector piece

The VTIN HC head set, even though it is not one of the ‘recommended head sets’ above, works for me for Russian and Chinese language refreshers on my PC.

AG Jeff Sessions – No Religion in Government – Didn’t You Learn That

First, be sure and clear here – if an individual wants to believe in a god or a religion, that is fine. That is their business – for themselves and their families (at least for those members who do not turn away from the god that their family believes in). Religion is an individual effort – it is not to be forced on others to see and hear (preaching the good book and all that). If religion is your calling, good for you, just do not push it on others who may believe in science and logic.

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Jeff Sessions!!!!

Did you not learn about “no religion in government“!  There is supposed to be separation of state and church…!

It is bad enough that we have Mike Pence, the American vice president, who is so religiously devout, in government…

Or better yet Sessions, that same religious quote you used (Romans 13), well: it was used by Christians in Europe to defend Nazi rule and by white religious conservatives in South Africa to defend apartheid, Lincoln Mullen, an assistant professor of history at George Mason University, pointed out in The Atlantic on Friday. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/us/sessions-bible-verse-romans.html)

Or from another news outlet that many trust, the Washington Post:

“There are two dominant places in American history when Romans 13 is invoked,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. “One is during the American Revolution [when] it was invoked by loyalists, those who opposed the American Revolution.”

The other, Fea said, “is in the 1840s and 1850s, when Romans 13 is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong. I mean, this is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c135817a2860)

Come on, get your act together, you are the AG of America, you of all people should not be using religion in your official capacity – at no time in your official duties should you be doing that.

Let’s hope you change that outlook on how you use your belief in a god and in the work you are supposed to be doing… We DO NOT want to start regressing further back in time when religious leaders and groups forced religion on everyone else.

freedom from religion in government (FFRG) may have a thing or two to say on that count….

DC Department of Transportation – poor service – road repair

Well, it seems DDOT (DC Dept of Transportation) does not care about road repair work, even if it is in an alley. This alley sees a lot of traffic. Well, see the original posts…

It started in June 2017 – no results, but at least they responded that they could not do anything about that kind of pothole… https://seeclickfix.com/issues/2980919

Then, as of this June, it started getting worse (obviously nothing was done since last June). https://seeclickfix.com/issues/4557902

This kind of pothole bends tires…

 

One of the problems is, when it rains and fills in that hole, no one can tell how deep it until their tire (the metal interior – not the rubber) makes that very noticeable impact with the pothole itself or in this case, the manhole cover that is now sticking up – more pronounced since the surrounding area has been eroded.

What they did was – was to acknowledge and close the ticket. Not even an email or explanation as to why…  Now that, that is some kind of superior customer service…

When someone sues the city for significant damages or (in an extreme case), life ending accident – they will make the effort to fix this PDQ….  right?

Trump Fallacy & Mueller’s Tasking = Uncover Alternative Facts, Collusion and Obstruction of Justice

Very sorry in advance. This paper started out as a brief half-pager but the more thinking put into this paper regarding Mueller’s investigation and Trump himself, ummm, errrr, the paper grew a bit… The two areas are too intertwined. This is not a ‘dog whistle’ but a thought paper, one for which it is hoped that those few people who do read even a small part of it will start their own expanded thought process and create a cascading effect within their circles (filter bubbles or not).

 

Well, whaddaya think…?  Here we are, still, at the crossroads of historical significance with the current American president. And no, we are not using the term United States, because we are not united – there is too much divisiveness in America, too much selfishness. Coming together only during disasters and shootings is not nearly enough to say the country is united. We have to think about everyone; from the rust belt, to the mid-west – in addition to the west and east coasts, from the farms to the cities, from the poor to the rich.

We are here with Trump and his merry gang of, ???, others?  Not sure what to make of these folks and really do not want to just parse out any puerile knee-jerk name-calling.

The ‘Trump Fallacy’. Yes, there it is, the Electoral College missed the boat on “believing” they were voting in who the American people wanted as the next American president. As many people who did their own research and thinking know, the Electoral College was wrong, many of the Electoral College members just voted too soon and did not wait for more vote counting. (Or, and these are only guesses here: a) they voted on Trump out of fear of some of the more rabid Trump supporters or b) a really wild guess here, some of the Electoral College voters were paid to vote for Trump {let’s hope this really was not the case}). The American people voted for the other presidential candidate by ~2.9 million more votes. Simply put, more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in American history… {Clinton’s votes = 65,844,954 / Trump’s votes = 62,979,879}

The Trump fallacy is that too many people believed Trump was their salvation. That Trump was going to restore a dying industry (coal) to its former black lung and asthma inducing glory. That Trump was going to make America the single greatest power on Earth. That Trump was going to put a chicken for every pot in America (do your research please, this is a Truman reference) while at the same time; putting in unqualified individuals in the nation’s highest offices, individuals who really had no business being placed in these positions. America was actually growing prior to Trump being selected by the Electoral College. As a result, Trump put in place individuals who wanted to take America backwards or did not know how to move America forward:

Ben Carson – HUD Secretary, installed because, as he stated, he used to live in the projects (so did this writer)

Betsy DeVos – Education Secretary, installed because she ran some Charter schools and since taking office, never visited some of the worse national school districts (ask Michigan if DeVos even contacted them) – DeVos wants to have more charter schools and leave the public schools to die off – that is the image we perceive. The problem, public schools are important and they need funding and improvements (too many teachers are buying their class supplies with their own small amount of money they earn)

Scott Pruitt – EPA, installed because he is a friend of the oil industry…? (what EPA secretary ever attempted to obtain a sound proof phone booth in their office, or bullet resistant office furniture and seats in bigger armored limousine…?) This individual also wants to continue making oil a dominate energy source when green energy (Wind, Solar, Ocean waves, etc.) is continually growing, even energy companies are buying up 10 – 20-year green energy contracts (but not making much noise about it).

Zinke – Interior, a person who claims to be a geologist but did not go the complete route a real geologist takes to gain that title of being a geologist (yes, he did take geology courses as an undergraduate but that is not all it takes)

Let’s just stop here, you get the picture. Right? RIGHT….??

But, as many people are now fully aware, not just across America, but across the planet – Trump never was qualified to sit in house of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Many people have known that since the 1990’s. Many of his base have been finding out the painful way over the past 17 months that the current president is not and never was qualified and is incapable of being qualified. Now, the remainder of his base, for whatever reason(s), they may never recognize that fact – but they may, after America goes through more harm, damage and ridicule over the next 12-24 months…

Just because someone has the loudest voice or biggest bull-horn, it does not mean that person has the right take or the best solution on anything. Listening to someone like that may just take you on a very bad bus ride… People have to learn to keep an open mind with the possibility that someone else’s opinion may be better or even right. People have to be better and learn to adapt to a changing global landscape by keeping an open mind and boosting their own intellect rather than relying on others to spoon fed what may be contrarian information (i.e. egregious or little lies).

What we appear to have in the American psyche now, more than ever, are a lot of individuals who for some reason have subconsciously (or consciously) given up their prerogative to do their own critical thinking. We have more people in America (and other countries for that matter), who seem to prefer to let other, less informed and ill-meaning people do the thinking for them.

Not really clear why so many Americans do not do their own critical thinking, AFTER they do their own research of course. So many Americans seem to relish listening to whisper campaigns, conspiracy minded talkers (many of which appear to not do their own due diligence prior to trotting out their various topics/dialogues) or flat-out liars. And to put an icing on the cake, these narrowly focused individuals spread the untruths on social media, in their own filter bubbles or other venues, therein causing a feeding frenzy using the bad information.

What happened to the thinking process of these people along the way of their life? What is wrong with dissent and conflict in a civil manner? People do not have to physically attack others who do not agree with them but some do. All you have to do is go to some colleges where speakers are attacked, by thrown objects and even physically. This harkens back to those Salem days of witch craft and hysteria arose – all because the person being accused of being a witch had a physical disorder or thought differently. It is as if the control mechanism in the brains of so many people is in a state of permanent shut down and they do not know how to turn it back on… Is America going backwards because free thought is being shut down.

— Hate speech or racial supremacy speech or bullying does not count as being healthy free speech.

The Trump fallacy has lowered the bar for ethical standards and personal integrity. Too many people around the American president are picking up the bad role model habits of this president. For example, early last year, January 2017, we had a woman go on live television and tell the American public about ‘Alternative Facts.’ By now, nearly everyone on the planet should know that alternative facts are just lies. For those that do not believe this, hint: an alternative to truth is a falsehood, or a lie. Many of us do not know of any other alternatives, so if you do know of something concrete to describe or define ‘alternative facts’, please let the rest of us in on that little-known tidbit.

Or worse still, we have public officials in congress and the senate who knowingly and unabashedly spread falsehoods because they believe it is something the president desires. And as a result, we have deepening political partisanship, worse than ever (no, not pointing a finger at just one party).

 

Now, getting to Mueller and his investigation of collusion (Russians), his team is outstandingly quiet on what they have to date. That is the way it is supposed to be. No lawyer or prosecutor in their right mind is going to give up valuable information in advance of the conclusion of their investigation or prior to the convening of a court case.

What many are not thinking of is the possibility that Mueller, in his role of special prosecutor, may have quite a bit of evidence at hand to make a significant blow to those who mistakenly believed that they could do what they want with the political system and the constitution. Think about ‘fixing by your neighborhood fixer’ and flat out ‘bribery’, basically, think about corruption. Mueller may have extraordinary data to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Mueller ‘may’ also have an abundance of data in regards to ‘obstruction of justice’. The obstruction of data ‘may’ be aimed at those surrounding Trump, now and in the past – all those folks who have spat out and are currently spitting out lies, misleading information or other diversionary tactics, with the single goal of getting Trump out of hot water.

What is happening to ethics and integrity in the world? It seems a person’s word and bond are not as valued today in some certain circles. It seems that various people, highly educated people to boot, seem to have willingly and completely lowered the bar for their personal standard and do not mind the occasional bit of lying in the workplace or political/justice systems or even outrageous acts of corruption that we all see every week in the news in some city.

  

 

Disheartened yet? No, chew on this then. Here is something that some/many people may not talk about or even think of. There are so many Americans out there, in all levels of society and various positions of power who only think about pleasing themselves and those around them and to hell with everyone else.  This is where discrimination kicks in or continues to spread… And no, you do not have to go and do any copious and deep research on this, just look around and listen to the conversations of other people – on the train platform, in bars, at any sports venue, etc.  Especially when the talkers believe no one else is listening to them.

There are a large number of Americans who refuse to listen to other arguments and opinions, just because those arguments come from someone else. It does not matter if the other person making the argument is a highly educated expert in their field, or that other person may not have advanced degrees but is a well-known specialist. Or, it could just be a neighbor down the road. And please, do not let it be a valid argument from someone of color, or a woman, or someone from a different religion – because then, the one who refuses to listen to a different opinion digs in even more and is blinded by their personal discriminatory beliefs instead of considering that other opinion and having a dialogue.

The sad news for those kinds of thinkers is that we are all in this together, Americans cannot continue to have discrimination and keep putting in place, demarcation lines, visible or otherwise (you know, where people of one race moves out of a neighborhood because ‘certain’ kinds of other people move in…). We have to eventually “all” come together and recognize “others”. People of all colors are important. People of both genders and now, adding trans-gender folks to the mix are “all” important. Young and old alike are important to any society. The poor and the middle class are also important to any society, not just chattel to cast aside when the wealthy or the well-off are finished with them for the time being.

Enough people in America, and around the world, have been suppressed for too many centuries (yes, centuries) – we have to boot strap and bring everyone up, to improve standards in America and around the world.

 

So, work on thinking for yourselves and what is important to all of us. We cannot continue to have siloed (discriminatory) societies when we all breathe the same air and travel the same roads – doing so just makes it that much more expensive just to maintain all the various silos of – we need this or they (others) do not need that (this or that). Doing so only brings back (or keep in place) inequities that many of us want to see go away once and for all.

Let’s all think about actually draining the swamp of corrupt individuals who only want to aggrandize themselves and line their own pockets and do something real. Like vote out those who are corrupt and vote in others who want to help everyone, not just people who look like them…

If people out there choose to not think for themselves and continue listening to others who erroneously and intentionally misled them, we are all in trouble. We will continue to see this uptick in Fascist talk and actions; more talk and activity from white supremacists who believe the world (or certain portions of it) belongs only to them; more talk from nationalists/populists who only promote ideals that ‘appear’ to make their followers happy (think about Hitler).

Seriously, work on raising the bar on your personal ethics and integrity. Those two areas alone are something that would bring America back again instead of sliding down the magic rabbit-hole of lies and corruption in all areas and levels of government (and all other areas of life to boot). Seriously, again, stop condoning things that you know are wrong. i.e. there was one individual who stated “”You get a mulligan,” said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council” in talking about the immoral behavior of Trump. Grabbing women by the “pu_ _ y” is not something one gets a mulligan over… Nor was the situation when Melania Trump had their child and Trump was galivanting around…

Would you rather have a role model with poor moral standards, who knowingly lies (i.e. in 1980 Trump agreed to turn over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art the gilded 20-by-30-foot nickel grillwork of interlocking geometric designs and a pair of 15-foot-tall Art Deco panels “depicting stylized, partly draped female nudes, from the Bonwit Teller building he was tearing down to build Trump Tower – but then reneged on the promise and destroyed the art work), and encourages physical attacks (recall the sports arena incident where a white guy, as he was walking up the steps to leave the stadium, went out of his way to punch a black guy who had stood up to wait his turn to leave) or would you rather follow a sanitation worker (or home care assistant) with a big heart, higher ethical and integrity standards as a role model to live and grow your lives…?

Hint: some of us would rather follow the latter role model and not someone who wants to perpetuate the past where honest public officials are cast out for working on the straight and narrow rather than allowing certain illegalities go unnoticed and unpunished (remember Sally Yates who was ousted from the DoJ and Preet Bharara formerly of the Southern District of New York)…

 

Lastly, please, for many folks out there – try to stop being malleable, weak-minded and easily manipulated individuals. Do not just jump on the very first thing you see or hear, look for corroborating information to make a more informed opinion. Try to think for yourselves and for the future of America, all of the Americans, not just certain groups of people or certain colors…

We need to bring America back from the fringes of becoming a true international laughing stock, for which we are to a small degree, thanks in no small part to what has been happening over the past 17 months.

Macy’s – Poor Customer Service Staff – Parking

Very disappointed.
Last weekend, we (customers) were told to take our store receipt to the 2nd floor validation machine to show proof of shopping at Macy’s in order to get a parking validation.
I was at one register (Macy’s @ Pentagon City, VA) when a Macy store cashier was telling her customer at the other register to do that process.
So, politely interrupting, I repeated it back. And she said yes.
Well, my wife and I and two other pairs of couples also showed up after being told the same thing. It did not work.
I called for assistance and the woman (mall parking assistance) said to take the receipt and parking receipt to the parking garage attendant to get it validated.
Well…. the parking garage attendant said we actually have to have the Macy store cashier “stamp” the parking receipt in order to get validation.
While at that attendants’ gate, I looked over at the next attendants’ gate and saw one of the same couples at the 2nd floor validation machine having the VERY SAME discussion with their garage gate attendant.
It appears WE ALL ENDED UP PAYING FOR OUR PARKING VALIDATION!!! Because we did not want to cause more mass confusion by backing up at the gate area to go back inside the store to have the Macy’s store cashiers PHYSICALLY STAMP the garage parking tickets.
What a very disappointing experience it turned out to be the others and myself. Not a good image.

Microsoft Banning Speech & Pix in Multiple Microsoft Products You Buy (rent)

Well!  I was somewhat surprised to learn over the past couple of days that micr$soft (yep, I used a lower case ‘m’) is going to start banning speech (“offensive language” & pix) in their products.  Hmmm, it may not strictly hobble free speech but come on…!

Following are only two articles I took a look at.  Remember folks, go out and do your own research {and not at sites that delve into conspiracy plots} AND then do your own deep thinking, analysis of what you turn up.

Microsoft to ban ‘offensive language’ from Skype, Xbox, Office and other services

Microsoft will ban ‘offensive language’ and ‘inappropriate content’ from Skype, Xbox, Office and other services on May 1, claiming it has the right to go through your private data to ‘investigate.’

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3264658/privacy/microsoft-to-ban-offensive-language-from-skype-xbox-office-and-other-services.html

&

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs @ https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/28/microsoft_services_agreement_bars_offensive_language/

While I also use, ahhh, colorful language at time, I don’t use it as a frequent, ummm, addition to my soliloquies (talking from a soapbox) or conversational speech. But when the urge strikes me, I might include a somewhat salty comment to the sentences I use. I am not going to write or (should I ever need to) talk to my computing devices and have a censorship algorithm constantly ticking in the back of brain:

  • “Oh no, don’t use that word in your fu_ _ing, errr, freaking paper!”  or
  • “Wait, Wait! Don’t say that rather dastardly, distasteful phrase to the old lady sitting in her living room in her church outfit as she uses Skype!”   

 What is going on here? Is micr$soft starting to go beyond its social charter of trying to police the speech, written or spoken, across the globe for all the individuals who use any of the microsoft products…? Have we hit that breakpoint where we’re starting to be controlled by ‘big brother’?

It looks like two consenting adults, taking selfies (of a certain flavor and certain body parts) and attaching them to hotmail, ahhh, outlook live, could be banned from using micr$soft for the foreseeable future. Is this the start of a dystopian future where corporations, not government mind you, start forcing you to comply to using civil, puritanical, 1950’s speech patterns? Wait a second, someone at micr$soft might actually believe we are living in Mayberry (remember Andy Griffith, of course you do, right?) and requires the rest of us to use that kind of language gosh darn it!

Some of us cannot believe that we are at this point of when we get angry, umm, annoyed and curse out loud because someone cut us off in freeway traffic and the person who cut you off, did so with 2 inches of clearance. Of course, even the lil’ ole man in his suspender outfit with white socks in sandals is going to curse loud and large (if he doesn’t have a heart attack).

Is this going to stand? Are corporations going to legally be allowed to dictate what kind of language we use in software products and communication devices? Are couples not going to be able to take porno…., dang, adult video and share it online with other like minded adults?

And as in that CSO article, offensive language is vague depending on who you are talking to. Take the U.S. Marines (yes, I am a former Marine), are corporations going to ban the language they use in communication over software/communication products? That will be rather interesting as Marines have been using salty language since the mid 1770s (born in 1775).

In case you do not read the CSO article, here is another snippet from it: another portion states that Microsoft “may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason.”

 Now, you tell us, are you willing to risk any important communication you use not being delivered because you used some salty language (or attached a salacious pix to it for the other consenting party) in it…?

It may stem from: FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) combined with SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex-Trafficking Act) but we do not yet know at this point exactly why.  So, go and read up on FOSTA/SESTA as well.