“Not What We Fought For” – The Decline of America

Fascism

Have you seen the news or watched the video of fashion blogger Hoda Katebi on Chicago’s WGN News live morning show? It’s worth a watch. She is called “un-American” for speaking the truth. It exposes something that has been going horribly wrong with the United States for a long time now and is only growing worse by the day. Racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, nationalism, and an extremely disturbing reverence that borders on worship of all things military. My own grandfather was a WW2 combat veteran who was almost killed in that war when a mine exploded and sent shrapnel ripping into his body. He was so severely injured that he couldn’t even be flown to the States for months until he stabilized. He quite literally shed his blood for this country.
Yet the nastiness listed above and the scorn that comes from speaking out against said nastiness are NOT

Crisis And The Utter Failure Of American Healthcare

Crisis

I wrote this earlier today. I’m doing better now thanks to my wife. She knows when something is wrong and she is the one I can truly talk to. She listens to me and helps me see things differently than how my bipolar brain makes me see things, especially during crisis. It is because of her that I’m still here. It wasn’t prayer. Keine Engel kamen um zu helfen. It wasn‘t some high-priced, over-paid, overrated shrink. It was my wife… her compassion and love for me that saved me. I‘m now experiencing the feeling of washout and emotional exhaustion that comes after crisis, but I‘m here to feel it. Being at the mercy/whim of poorly controlled bipolar disorder is exhausting. Trying to control a mind hijacked by disorder is like trying to herd cats… 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes I‘m doing pretty good, and sometimes, like

What Happened To Linux Stability?

Penguin

I’ve noticed something since I started using Linux again… too many distros are unstable and unreliable. Even popular distros such Linux Mint, which is still topping the list at #1 over at DistroWatch, randomly hard locks. The latest version of Fedora, which is backed by Redhat, hard locks your laptop if you try to watch a video. At least that’s repeatable and easy to find out what the problem is and fix it (just don’t watch any more videos) but with Linux Mint, it just freezes randomly. Locks the entire system up. You can’t even drop to a shell and reboot. This is all very upsetting to someone who doesn’t want to use a data-gulping OS like Windows or Mac. There are stable distros out there but finding one is problematic because it’s not like one has all the time in the world to keep downloading and testing distros. Qubes

No More Ads – A Bonus To Taking Privacy Seriously

Online Privacy

A nice “side-effect” of taking privacy into my own hands, actively taking steps to keep all my online activities private (aside from this blog and Twitter) is that I no longer have ads following me. By no longer using any of Google’s products, not even their search engine, they can’t scan my emails or searches to target me with annoying ads. I can’t begin to adequately describe how nice it is to not have ads following me everywhere on the Internet! By using an ultra-secure operating system (it’s now being called the most secure operating system in the world), ditching Google, Microsoft, and all the other major players on the Internet, by using a secure, encrypted email service, Tor and/or encrypted VPNs for browsing I have become completely ad-free. It’s very liberating and surprisingly simple.
It’s not only possible to live without Google and all the other intrusive Internet giants, it’s

God

Question Mark

I recently wrote that I had resumed my Buddhist practice and that as a result I was experiencing more peace. Well, since I published that post the peace I mentioned has flown out the window. I shouldn’t be surprised and really I’m not all that surprised. I’ve lived with bipolar disorder long enough to know that it doesn’t just go away regardless of what you do or what pill a shrink puts you on. It’s going to cause problems because that’s just the nature of the beast. The last few days have been full of inner turmoil to put it mildly. That’s very frustrating to say the least. I sure enjoyed the peace while it lasted though. Even now, as I type this, I’m struggling to create coherent sentences… not to mention an overall coherent post regarding what I really want to say.
My mind flits from obsession to obsession over

Computer Security And Anonymity With Qubes OS

Computer Security

I mentioned in another post that I use Qubes as one of my operating systems because of its security features. Now that I’ve had even more time to get acquainted with it I’ve come to really love it. It’s become my main system that I work with every day. I still use another another operating system that runs solely from a USB thumb drive now and then, but with Qubes I don’t need to use the other near as often. The security of Qubes and the ability to switch between VMs for different activities allows me the freedom to use just one system (Qubes) instead of two or three. I won’t go into a lot of technical details in this review because a quick search will reveal just about all the technical info you could imagine regarding the OS. Instead I’ll focus on the actual experience and the learning curve

NSA Spying and I’ve Resumed My Buddhist Practice

Lord Buddha

I was going to go on a long rant regarding the House and the Senate both utterly failed, yet again, to represent the interests of the American people. Now, our sexist, racist, bigoted so-called “President” will sign it into law. The “it” being the extension of the NSA spying program. Instead of going off on that rant, I’ll just leave this link HERE and let you see for yourselves. I’ll instead focus this post on why I’m not going to rant about it.
I haven’t mentioned anything about it on the blog for several reasons, but now I’ll write about it a bit. I’ve picked up my Buddhist practice again. By again, I mean that I had stopped for a long time and looking back I can see the effect not practicing had on me and it wasn’t good. Now that I’m practicing again I feel better. It’s no miracle cure

I Should Be A Hermit Because I Don’t Understand The Rules

The Hermit

Why do psychiatrists charge so much? It’s not a rhetorical question. I’d really like to know. I could understand it better if they actually did or told you something that was new or life-changing, but (in my experience) they don’t. They only tell you what you already know. Perhaps now and then it’s something you’d never really thought about because it’s simply part of your “normal” but not everyone else’s. But even that is rare. They may phrase things differently to make you see something in a different way but it’s certainly not life-changing. No, they do what every other doctor does and simply throw drugs at you. Drugs that have horrendous side effects. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists in that they are doctors who can and do prescribe drugs but have also gone to school longer to study psychiatry. They tend to look at things a bit differently than psychologists.

Defeating GPS Tracking and Signal Triangulation

Spying

I was thinking about how smartphones can be some of the most sophisticated surveillance devices ever invented. What with built-in GPS, wireless signals that can easily pick out your location via triangulation, mobile “towers”, and so on, it’s no wonder that privacy is now something one has to work at to achieve now. Privacy is no longer something we can just take for granted any longer. Smartphones also come with built-in browsers that corporations use to track you across the Internet so they can target you with ads specific to your interests. I’ve heard so many people remark how they mentioned something in an email and suddenly they start seeing ads about that very thing. I’ve noticed this too. Then there’s the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program(s) that scoop up vast amounts of data about you every single day. Every phone call, every email, every text… anything you do with

Toxic People

Toxic People

I saw a tweet on Twitter today that really resonated with me. It was about removing toxic people from your life in order to allow yourself to be happier and healthier. A person doesn’t have to be violent, abusive, or anything extreme to qualify as toxic. Someone who simply doesn’t appreciate you regardless of how much you reach out would also qualify as toxic. If you’ve ever heard the excuse, “Sorry, I just haven’t had time…” over and over again then that’s a pretty obvious sign that the person making the excuse really means they don’t have time for you. There can be no denying the fact that people make time for those they care about. If you’ve reached out to someone time and again via calls, texts, emails… however you’ve reached out and they consistently fail to even acknowledge you then that is a person you should probably seriously