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Sunday, January 17, 2021

None of Their Business

Last spring I treated myself to a Fitbit. In the intervening months I've become quite accustomed to referring to it often throughout my daily activities. In fact, I had become a tad obsessive about maintaining accurate accounts on my Fitbit. I disliked removing it, even for the necessary battery charging intervals.

So when I received an email last Thursday that Fitbit has become part of Google, I faced a moment of truth. How committed am I, really, to waging my individual war against Big Tech? It was a difficult decision, but I finished my weekly stats as of last night. This morning, I removed my Fitbit from my wrist and stuck it in a drawer. I also removed the app from my phone.

I comfort myself with the conclusion that it's probably healthier for me to distance myself from compulsive health monitoring, anyway. I have enough information on how many calories I burn in a day, how far I walk in a week, and the stats regarding my resting heart rate. There is no earthly reason why Google should receive this information, and I'm determined they will not have it.

So my focus on disconnection from Big Tech wherever it is practical and doable continues. I'm starting two new books today, following my pattern in recent years of reading one fiction and one non-fiction work simultaneously. As a lifelong reader and book lover, it is a soul-satisfying experience to hold a physical book in my hands, to turn the paper pages, to measure my progress with a physical bookmark. Because reading has always been such an enjoyable tactile experience, since the advent of e-readers I consistently have read one book in paper form and the other in electronic format.

This time, both books I'm beginning are physical paper books. Google, Apple, and Amazon will just have to wonder what I'm reading.

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Action Items, Continued

 


In continuing efforts to limit my exposure to Big Tech, I've switched from Google to the privacy-conscious search engine Duck Duck Go. All of my bookmarks and favorites have been migrated to the new site via the more private web browser Mozilla Firefox. I now surf the web, read my email, and receive all my news on this platform.

There are other, less technology-oriented steps conservatives can take to further our principles and support the education of our countrymen in conservative values. If you're a reluctant member of the left-leaning AARP, look into joining AMAC instead. The fast-growing Association of Mature American Citizens offers subscription pricing and service discounts comparable to the more well-known group, a quarterly magazine, and most importantly--political efforts to advance conservative causes in Washington D.C. I've been a satisfied AMAC member for over a decade. If you lean to the right, please give the AMAC website a look and consider joining.

Hillsdale College in Michigan takes not a single penny of Federal money in order to be able to freely teach the curriculum they believe embodies the best education of their students. Hillsdale also offers a free monthly newsletter, Imprimis, which often distills a recent speech to students into reading format. This month, college President Dr. Larry Arnn writes of "Orwell's 1984 and Today"--more timely reading cannot be found. I've received Imprimis for many years, and I've also been a consistent donor to the college. It's my belief that when we find something we believe in and wish to share it far and wide, we should support and promote it.

As stated at the start, I'm limiting my exposure to Big Tech. The technological hydra is so expansive and ubiquitous that I doubt anyone who is online today can completely escape its iron-fisted reach. So I am facing some dilemmas. My email is still hosted through AT&T, my Apple phone through Verizon. These are more daunting challenges to resolve.

Perhaps most challenging from the standpoint of principle is that this blog is hosted through Google. I'm grateful that I've always resisted Google's push to insert advertising into its blogs. I maintain this blog primarily for the sheer joy of writing and make my living elsewhere. So I comfort myself that at least there is no advertising revenue feeding Google through my pages.

For the past week, I log into my blog with some trepidation that it might well be gone. If it is removed due to my conservatism, I'll accept that honor gladly. In the meantime, I'd like to thank you here and now for reading. It was great fun to write while we were free.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Silenced


When I left Twitter and Facebook in November, I joined Parler. While I didn't post, I followed those media figures I had followed on Twitter and read their content and comments. It was an alternative source of news, a differing perspective, a viewpoint challenging the politically correct monolith of distorted and dishonest mainstream media.

As of today Parler has been shut down virtually overnight by Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon--our leftist communication overlords. Free speech is now a thing of the past in America. Since I find I'm living quite easily without Facebook or Twitter, I suppose I'll adjust in time to no news on social media; I've lived many decades without such electronic outlets and certainly can do so again. 

But what to do about the corruption and curtailing of our constitutional right to free speech? Conservatives can take individual tiny steps that collectively will have an effect over time. This morning I deleted the Instagram app from my phone. I've started checking Newsmax at least as often as Fox News. I'm planning to buy a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader to replace my Amazon Kindle. Aside from not supporting Big Tech or Big Media, we can subscribe to such online publications as The Epoch Times

From a practical standpoint, the fact that there were nearly 75 million conservative voters in the 2020 election shows there are simply too many of us for totalitarian measures to remain effective. When threatened by tyranny, history tells us that Americans will find their voice. I have to believe the current imposed silence will not last.


Thursday, January 07, 2021

Resolving to Act

 "Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

~ C.S. Lewis

How to begin the entries of 2021? The traditional, ubiquitous greeting of "Happy New Year" is grotesquely out of place at the moment. With public unrest resulting from endless COVID lockdowns and restriction of our liberties, plus widespread distrust over the presidential election results culminating in yesterday's assault on our Capitol, the wheels seem to be coming off our society. So what is there to say?

After giving it considerable thought, I've arrived at some conclusions necessary for moving forward into our murky future with any hope of national recovery and peace. These measures are obvious to me. You may or may not agree, but for whatever they may be worth, they appear below:

  1. Perpetrating violence against people, property, or our institutions is wrong. It doesn't matter whose banner is flying over it. It must stop, and it must be punished.
  2. The legacy media must start reporting the news factually, not emotionally or ideologically.
  3. Election law reform with vigilant enforcement procedures should be the first order of business in every state legislature.
  4. Accurate and practical voter identification processes, consistently applied, should be an urgent and imperative national priorty.
  5. Social media activity must be minimized. There are plenty of more productive things for all of us to do. Read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, call a friend, work on a hobby. For your own peace of mind, and to start starving the electronic beast, avoid the hate-filled cesspools online.
  6. People must be free to speak their minds without fear of harm or retribution. This is no longer the United States of America if we can't do that.
  7. People must be free to earn a living and to support and protect their families and homes. This is no longer the United States of America if we can't do that.
  8. Perhaps this is no longer the United States of America as we have known it. If it is not, we--not Big Tech, not the media, not academia, not the courts, not Hollywood, not Congress, but WE--as American citizens--must decide what's next.

Hand-wringing won't cut it. Action is needed. I offer a few personal examples: in June I canceled my cable television service; in November I left Facebook and Twitter; this week I signed the petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom. I know I need to do much more, but that's a start.

It's your move.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ready for Christmas

Okay, it's just us here. Let's be truthful. Are you as tired as I am of having unelected know-it-alls bossing us all around the clock?

Bill Gates? Excuse me? Now the gazillionaire Microsoft whiz kid is pontificating on COVID and how long we need to live in masks and lockdowns. Until 2022, he solemnly admonishes us. "We have a chance...to get back to normal." Only a chance? Sure. Not if Gates has anything to say about it. Go back to your motherboards, Billy. No sale here.

And the self-impressed Dr. Fauci, who never saw a microphone he didn't fall in love with, won't let up. Oh, "towards the end of 2021," that's his new target for "normalcy." Well, I for one don't have much confidence in the overrated, camera-hungry doctor, who told the "young and healthy" on March 9 of this year it was okay to "take a cruise." Fauci also told us in March that there was "no reason to be walking around with a mask." So Doc, why would I trust you on "end of 2021"? Just give it a rest, please, and go away.

Who are these power monsters kidding? They're not about to let go of the control they have wrested from us. They'll have us locked down for the rest of forever if we let them.

We the People will need to take our power back. I, for one, am doing my part to break the bureaucratic chains. I'll be crashing the California lockdown and making a break for the East coast, snowstorms and all, going to celebrate Christmas with close family I haven't seen in over one year. We all want to see each other, and we're willing to roll the dice to be together. It's called "Liberty," corona-tyrants. Deal with it.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the USA was a free country. I'm ready for it to be that again, very soon. It's what I want for Christmas. I'm ready for that, too.

Merry Christmas






Sunday, December 13, 2020

In a Nutshell

 
A succinct encapsulation of post-election chaos, 2020

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Always at Christmas Time

Maybe we just notice them more at this time of year, but it seems to me that terrible accidents engulf families during the holiday season. This young family's tragedy is so heartbreaking, I just had to share it. As I'm not on Facebook or Twitter any longer, this seemed the proper place.

While I have my favorite charities that I support, I've never donated to a Go Fund Me cause before. This seemed like the right time and place to start. Poor babies. A rough road lies ahead. In the spirit of the season, please think about helping these children.


The Saldana Andrade Family - Story linked here

Friday, December 04, 2020

Disconnecting from Dictatorship

Almost immediately following the catastrophic presidential election, I deactivated my ten-year-old Twitter account. I was disgusted by the site's censorship of the news regarding the Biden family's blatant corruption and ties to Communist China, obviously in an overt effort to ensure Joe Biden's election. I'm on Parler now, a safe haven for conservative voices (so far).

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. I simply can't participate in an enterprise that is undermining and subverting the liberties that true Americans hold dear. I had to supply a reason in order to complete my withdrawal from this social media trainwreck, of course. As authoritarianism is the driving force of Facebook's obsession with control, coersion is involved. So I chose the final option, "Other"--which required a text box full of explanation.

You asked, Communist overlords? Okay, I'll answer you. But brace yourselves. Below is what I wrote for the "other" reason I was leaving Facebook:

Your censorship policies follow the pattern of totalitarian dictatorships thoughout history. I refuse to support the destruction of free speech and expression, American values that have made the USA the greatest country in human history. Facebook is arrogant, ungrateful--and wrong.

I'm not naive enough to believe that any individual at Facebook is going to take what I wrote seriously. Oh, no, they are right--conservatives are wrong, and too stupid to realize it. End of discussion. But still, it felt good to write those words. It was a Braveheart moment, a modern echo of William Wallace's dying cry--"Freedom!"

America is at the very brink of losing its freedom, forever. Fight against it! Even if that just means checking out of the surveillance platforms and filling the "other reason" text box full of hard truths in a small-minded social media's website. 




Monday, November 30, 2020

Talk To the Hand


Oh, yes. This is a fabulous article that expresses it all--the disgust, the frustration, the sense of unfairness, the outrage at hypocrisy. David Marcus is speaking for untold millions of Americans when he writes 
The 'Not My President' Crowd Needs To Sit Down And Shut Up: The left made the rules. I'm ready to play by them.

I'm one of those millions Marcus is speaking for. I'm ready to have an illegally elected non-president for a few years (if he can manage that much time). This country has been through worse; we'll survive. But no more playing nice, lefties. I come from a strong line of street fighters. We don't go down easily. So bring it. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020