The Blog of Zakspade

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Phil O'Hara

Good and Bad
Thursday 30 May, 2019

Originally written for a radio show and adhering to a loose ‘On This Day’ format, I decided I liked it enough to post up on my Blog as well.

The glorious sunshine as I sit by the canal writing this has nothing to do with my decision. Nor the ducks wandering past.

I’m just glad its not raining. . .

- o - O - o -

We tend to think of terrorist bombings as being a thing of today. However, many will readily recall the terrorist bombings linked to the Irish Question – in Ireland, Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

But even then, it goes back further.

On 2 June 1919, eight bombs went off simultaneously in eight cities across the United States. They were part of an anarchist movement driven by Luigi Galleani who heralded from Italy and arrived in the US in 1901.

A couple of months previously, around 36 letter bombs had been addressed to prominent members of the business and political communities as part of the attack upon democracy by removing those who operated it – or as Galleani saw it: the removal of oppressors and tyrants.

Galleani was deported from the US later in the same month as the city bombings – along with eight of his followers. No evidence linked him, or those specific eight followers, directly to either the letter or city bombings, but Galleani was identified as a resident alien who advocated the violent overthrow of the authorities.

Compare that to the months and years of legal wrangling that surround terrorist activities these days.

The world has moved on and become a more civilised place.

And better?

And to lighten the mood. . .
Also on 2 June, but this time in 1924, again in the US, President Calvin Coolidge signed into force The Indian Citizenship Act. As crazy as it might sound, native Americans (termed ‘Indians’ in the Act), were excluded from citizenship despite the 14th Amendment to the US constitution in 1868 stating that all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, were to be declared citizens.

It was interpreted as excluding ‘Indians’ and things stayed that way until the introduction of that 1924 Act.

Remember what I said about the world moving on and becoming a better place?

Perhaps it has.

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  Summer Blues?
Thursday 16 May, 2019

The weather is nice. That’s good, isn’t it?

Darwin, my beagle, loves it. He likes to sit out in the garden and sunbathe. He is a slave to the garden.

Unfortunately, we are not yet enjoying the real summer. That means that late in the afternoon, even if the sun is still shining, a nip in the air can be felt. Given that Darwin is a dog who ignores rain, hail, wind and anything else he cannot eat, he doesn’t find it a problem.

However, I do.

So the back door ends up having to be closed once the air temperature dips. When he spots that he has been ‘shut out’ from the house, he wants to be back inside in case food might be offered and he would miss it. Once back inside he has a sniff about before sitting on the mat by the back door so as to indicate that he ‘needs’ to go back out into the garden.

Out he goes and he settles in his chosen spot. I close the door. He gets up and walks back and waits for me to open it once again.

Repeat until fed up.

However summer-like the weather is at the moment – it isn’t summer!

   

Jago Phillips

PINs
Saturday 4 May, 2019

This Posting to my Blog is unusual in that it is made ahead of publication.

Local newspaper under the name, Jago Phillips, who is a UFO-nut, conspiracy theorist, and general all-round advocate for Them and Us.

- o - O - o -

I don’t use plastic these days, preferring to use cash whenever possible. Even then I have reservations because THEY can lift finger prints and DNA from banknotes and coinage, meaning. THEY have no need to worry if I am wearing my tinfoil-lined baseball cap to avoid being tracked.

Having your money passing through a system that logs each and every transaction, merely results in THEM having a very clear picture of where you have been; what you have bought; and allows them to form a picture of what you may be doing, or planning. For instance, if you buy cream for haemorrhoids, THEY come to the conclusion that you are suffering from haemorrhoids, whereas the truth may be that you are using it to remove wrinkles from under your eyes.

That’s the problem with a society that has so many invasive and inter-connected data systems: lots of information, but someone still has to decide what it all means.

It isn’t just the movement of money that can be tracked by card usage. Given that a computer chip might be just over an inch square and contain over three BILLION transistors, it ought to be obvious that the little chip on that plastic card contains all sorts of fancy gadgetry that allows THEM to keep an eye on your every movement and thought.

Don’t believe me? Check and see for yourself the next time you use your card. Place it in the card reader, or if you are feeling particularly reckless, wave it about in the air nearby. Then enter your PIN; the PIN that you are told to keep secret; the PIN you must shield from prying eyes in case they belong to someone who intends to steal your money, your identity, and your life.

Almost immediately, the card reader will indicate that the PIN entered is correct (or wrong, if you were concentrating too hard). How does it do that? Easy, the PIN is stored on your card and the card reader does what the name suggests: it reads the data on your card.

Yes, there is data on your card. There is data stored on that little plastic thing that you go out of your way to keep safe; the card you treat with care; the card you love, while it collects data on you so it can dish the dirt on you later.

Bank cards might be great for scraping frost off car windscreens, but they are seriously bad at keeping mum.