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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

You might think I’m writing about some evil monster within us but this has to do with technology. There is so much pushback from those who believe someone is coming for our guns that we don’t have a database that keep track of gun purchases/registrations. No computers can be used. GQ magazine did a story this year about it (here). It’s not like TV where you run a serial number and instantly come up with a person who it is registered to. It can take days to find out who a gun is registered to using microfilm. This is not something where many employees are on the job either. There are databases to check to see if the gun has been used in crime but according to the article, since 1986 computers or networks cannot be used to catalog gun registrations. This was supposed to protect us (eye roll).

 

We use this type of mentality – thinking the government isn’t going to search us out for our weapons as long as we have these preventions in place. Ok. I get it but come on. Do you know what is being done now—what I see that far outweighs this? AI – artificial intelligence is being used and unsuspectingly. No one thinks twice about programs used to read your text so as to find a target audience for certain advertisements. Didn’t know this is happening? Have you ever noticed typing something in a chat/message box and all of a sudden you see an ad having to do with what you just wrote? This type of targeting is used for nothing nefarious so why be concerned, right? Hmmmm…

 

For most, AI technology isn’t what you think it is. You expect AIs to be robots or some personification you can see and fight against but AI technology is already amongst us. In efforts to create faster response times, we have predictive texts, predictive ads, predictive whatever just because software “observes” your patterns and makes predictions. No, this isn’t technically called AI but it is the precursor to it.

 

Say you want a security system that will arm your house when you are away and keep tabs on what is going on at home. As we strive to want better and faster, we are buying into networks that will keep track of habits in order to better serve our purposes. Next will be “automated” security preferences and responses according to the needs. Communities will be networked together. Think security, phone, internet, emergency services, etc all tied together for the good of the people and community. Sounds great, right? It’s already happening. Every time we add something to make things easier for us, we compromise our freedoms. We buy into this every single day.

 

We can purchase watches and other technology to keep up with our heart rate, blood pressure, location, etc. Our smart phones have been locating us for years even when you ask it not to track you. Have you ever passed by a store and all of a sudden get an ad sent to your email or text? All of this information is fed back to a central system (so to say). I know, it sounds far out scifi but it’s with us today—not ten years from now. Look at the amazon brick and mortar stores where there is no checkout line. You walk in-your card is read-you pick up items off the shelf and walk out. Sounds fun, right? This is part of the AI technology that will evolve to make our lives so much easier that we will never question how this can be used against us. It’s like addiction. It’s all about getting us hooked and then we question later why we so easily bought into this type of model.

 

Let me go back to the reading of text. What will eventually happen is that everything we type on a network will be “read” in order to detect certain problems like crimes—–or potential crimes. In fact, this is already being done in some places. There won’t be a need for someone to contact authorities about hate speech or whatever because the authorities will already know. Still, this isn’t completely AI technology. This is very simple text recognition but again, it is the basis of what will lead to problems and losses of freedom. We will push to have more detections in order to “preserve” our freedoms but we won’t recognize that we are actually doing this to ourselves until it is too late.

 

Look at Edward Snowden. He let the world know how much the US was spying on its citizens and others and what did people say? “Oh, it’s fine so long as it keeps us safe.” It is this myth that helps us sleep easier at night. We never see the problems before they happen. We even repeat history. We are not a smart bunch when it comes to the masses. There is no escaping this if we keep on the same path. The more I write about this and the warning signs of where we are today, the more I hear people say, “So what?” “There is nothing we can do.” “You are just paranoid.”

 

Smart phones began as “needed” technology for an advancing world. Now we have smart cars. These things begin with a network feeding and receiving information constantly but as advances are made, the less need for this back and forth communication thus the development of AI technology. Again, this begins simple—benign—not suspecting of anything. It develops into something that is more in control of our lives with us having fewer freedoms. I know I sound delusional or paranoid or conspiracy theorist like but these are things happening today and they will evolve into something that controls our everyday life 24/7. Are you ready for this type of takeover? Remember, we can’t even allow a gun registration database but we can allow computers/machines to take over the rest of our freedoms. Think about that. Don’t keep focusing on the one tree when you are overlooking the forest. It’s what you don’t see or don’t realize that can hurt us.

 

Happy Gardening 🙂

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From Facebook

 

This church was vandalized last night. It sits a block down the street—the same street—from my church. Why would someone do this? Oh, because the minister is a little different…he was the first one to get a marriage license in Augusta after SSM became legal.

 

Don’t tell me that this is ok. It isn’t. No one has the right to do this. The persons responsible did not have love in their heart and they did it under the cover of darkness because they wanted no one to see them. The minister has asked for prayers for the people who did this. I concur but also ask for prayers for the community and communities all across this nation. No one is better than another–no one.

 

People will know us by the fruits of our actions. Always look for the fruit. It will tell you everything.

 

Love humbly. 🙂

 

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Someone told me today that we need to separate races meaning people of color or black people from what he considers white people…head-desk… I say it this way because we are not pure—we have been mixing races for so long. I asked how he proposed on doing that since so many of us are mixed blood and are not really white or black to start with. He began a tirade of how he believed white people were so much better than others and lots of other hateful bigotry remarks…head-desk… I can’t believe people are like this.

 

I don’t have hate for any race. I see us all as one. We are all humans, well the jury is still out for those who think like the guy above. We can choose to be racist or we can choose not to be and accept all people regardless of color. We are all the same. We really are.

 

I have a childhood friend who is white (actually, she is like me—mixed ancestry) but her grandchildren are mixed white and black–each one. She doesn’t see color either. 😉 We grew up in the south with a lot of racist people around but we aren’t racist. I wish people could be like that but even some of my friends are bigoted. It pains me to know I can only do so much but then again, slowly but surely my friends are either changing or they are not my friends anymore.

 

I hear people fighting to keep the confederate battle flag flying in their state—not just South Carolina. I have tried to get people to see things differently but they want to be bigots. They are proud of it too. Why? I sure don’t know. They are tied to a time that supported slavery. That’s not acceptable to me.

 

Something awful happened last week and it was the result of hatred. I can’t tell you how much there is. I have seen changes happen in my lifetime but I have also seen people hold onto their bigotry and they have let it fester inside. It has grown in some ways. I am deeply saddened by what they display because it not only gives us a bad name but it is ugly; NASTY; it is a monster that comes out in the form of what that guy did last week in Charleston.

 

This is not an isolated incident. Believe what you will, but there are people all over who believe like this guy. Some of them take to the internet every day and say awful things. Some talk about our president. Some of them link up on facebook. Some are secretive and some are not.

 

I don’t condone this type of feeling or action. There is no room for hatred and bigotry in this world. Sure, it is a free country. You can be just as big of a bigot as you want but don’t ask me to be your friend and don’t think you are going to get a free pass from me. I will let you know that I don’t support your hatred.

 

Removing the flag is just one of the many things that need to be done. Pride can be an awful thing and this is what has happened because we let pride get in our way. It is time to change…it is time to grow. Humble yourself and ask what can be done for others. Respect should always be given… 🙂

 

The people in Charleston should not have died and people who say racist things should know better–they should act better and treat others as they would like to be treated. We have failed in some ways because we have looked the other way when bigoted people make remarks–we have given them a free pass. No more.  

 

 

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Brené Brown as you may know is one of my biggest heroines. Her testimony of truth is rich, vital, and clearly a part of who she strives to be. She is a seeker. She does not accept life “as is” because she looks at the bigger picture, the gestalt.

I have linked to her videos a few times and I just cannot get enough because she is so relevant to the times we are witnessing. We are a broken society but we can choose to fix the wrongs we have inflicted on ourselves.

I want to share this blog post of hers…

Own our history. Change the story.  —  by Brené Brown

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.

I know this is true. I may have learned it as a researcher but I live this truth as a daughter, a partner, a leader, a sister, a mother, and a friend. When we push down hurt or pretend that struggle doesn’t exist, the hurt and struggle own us.

I’ve learned that writing a brave new ending means:

  1. We can’t smooth over hurt feelings in our families. It’s too easy for stockpiled hurt to turn into rage, resentment, and isolation. We must talk about it. Even when we don’t want to. Even when we’re tired.
  2. We can’t pretend our family histories of addiction and mental health issues don’t exist if our hope is to write a new story and pass that legacy of emotional honesty and health down to our children.
  3. We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow. It’s hard but I’ve seen how it becomes part of a family and organizational cultures and unleashes innovation and creativity. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.

Owning our stories is standing in our truth. It’s critical and transformative in our personal and professional lives. It’s also critical in our community lives.

Until we find a way to own our collective stories around racism in this country, our history and the stories of pain will own us.

We will not get away from the violence and heartbreak. Fear and scarcity will continue to run roughshod over our country. Yes, the violence in Charleston is also about access to guns and, more than likely, mental illness. But it’s also about race.

Our collective stories of race in the US are not easy to own. …

continue reading — (link)

 

Can we make a difference? Yes… Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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If you didn’t see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you really need to watch his intro…(link)

This says it all in a nutshell.

 

Have a great Friday…hug those you love…smile at those you don’t know…wave at those who may be having a bad day…but do something to brighten someone’s day! 🙂

 

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Words are used for many things but mostly we converse with words. Sometimes we use words for good but words are also used to hurt. It is unfortunate that we do such.

 

If I were to call you a liberal, would that offend you? What if I were to use the words…conservative, moderate, right-wing, evangelical? What about left-wing, spineless, weak, idiot? Well, what about feminist? 🙂 Why does anyone want to label another? I haven’t a clue actually other than to make someone feel inferior.

 

Today, I had the opportunity to give an account of some things that have happened in my life. It wasn’t planned. I don’t like to be called names. I think it devalues a person’s worth. Some people call me a feminist. Well, I guess I am to the extent that I advocate for women but I don’t see myself as one. I do have an advantage in that respect…I am a woman, lol. 😀

 

Story…Let’s say you have been raped and you tell someone but they don’t believe you. You tell someone else and they don’t believe you either. They say you are making it up…that you desire attention and just want to get someone in trouble. They ask for proof. You have none. They say, “No proof…then it didn’t happen.” Now, let’s say this event happened over 20 years ago. 

 

  • Does time erase the crime? Nope.
  • Does time make it so that it doesn’t exist? Nope.
  • People say that surely you are over it, right? You never get over something like that.
  • And, why wouldn’t you come forth when it happened? It doesn’t matter what your reason is.

 

For those of you who have never experienced rape, let me just say that for me, I felt devalued. I felt dirty, ashamed. I was told it was my fault by my attacker. Again, I know it wasn’t but rape doesn’t make sense. It is a power play and a control issue.

 

A certain writer did a piece about rape and the comments began. I could not believe the number of people (men) who judged the person that was being discussed saying that her story wasn’t credible. I found it credible but then again I have had weird things happen to me. The commenters made it sound like rape was nothing and that a man who has been falsely accused has a worse time than a woman who has been raped. I am not going to argue that false allegations do not happen. False allegations hurt everyone and I even said such but the words that came back…well, they cut like a knife. They were hurtful. The people were not interested in furthering the discussion or finding a solution or making the problem better. They just wanted to show their power. Gag me. Yuck.

 

Some guy told me that we should arm women on campus to stop rape—I rolled my eyes and asked if he really thought arming everyone was the answer. Another person mentioned the Duke Lacrosse allegations and how that played out. Another belittled me and told me I shouldn’t write on the subject after he decried several instances of blaming women, said some nasty things and then called me name (eye roll).

 

In the end, the writer thanked me for my thoughtful contributions. The person knew it was a bit rough for me. One of my comments was featured with the article which means a lot to me. I was advocating for respect of all people and to discuss and not tear at each other. Oh, btw, the writer is a man. 😉

 

Sometimes it takes courage to speak up for the injustices in the world but it also takes wisdom to know how to control one’s feelings and not lash out so that people will understand the true message. Something I didn’t consider at the time was the people who read the comments and don’t say anything…those who have suffered and cannot speak out. The writer brought that up when we talked and that is why I blog and work so hard in making my views known because deep down I know I’m not alone in what I have experienced nor in what I believe. We need to remember to extend a hand and show love and compassion and for goodness sakes, quit calling people names.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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You have heard the saying, “Guns don’t kill…people do.” Well, it is true. You need someone to squeeze the trigger. A gun does not think. A gun does not stop someone from firing it unless WE lock it up. Good safety practices can keep people alive but people become complacent about gun safety. I wonder how many people who own a gun can actually fire the gun proficiently. 🙂

 

Being proficient means…being capable and skilled. We give tests to people who want to drive a vehicle—we do not just give a license. We expect the person to be capable and skilled before he/she gets a permit. We do not hand over our keys of our automobile to our 15-year old son or daughter without instructions and practice. If we do, we are crazy. I digress…

 

So, why don’t we educate and train people on the safety of guns and teach them to be proficient before we give them a license? Here, in this state, a person is required to take a course before one can obtain a hunting license. As far as I know, you do not have to be proficient at shooting and the course was given online but I have not checked lately if this has changed. The course was basically about hunting and gun safety.

 

To purchase a gun, nothing is required except background checks or that is the way it used to be. Why is this? Would you give a child of five years of age a loaded handgun? I wouldn’t!

 

Why have we not required people to be proficient before permitting them to have a gun? It does not interfere with what the second amendment says. I’m sure someone will argue against me on that but back when the amendment was written, civilians were expected to have guns to help ensure safety. You had a gun back then a lot like we have phones today. Back then, if you want something to eat…many times, you had to kill it first. Today, we have so many people with guns that we need to be protected from those with guns.

 

There were two people murdered in the past week in a town where my grandmother was living before she moved here. The last person was 18 and someone made light of the fact that she didn’t have a gun to protect herself from the home invasion. I said that teenagers shouldn’t need a gun for protection. Someone else said that maybe a gun would have saved her life. Are we listening to ourselves? Putting guns in the hands of more people is not the answer. Guns are not the answer.

 

I’m not infringing on anyone’s rights. I’m advocating standards of living. We–I have the right to not be shot or killed by a gun. People are going crazy trying to buy more guns because they believe the government wants to remove those rights and remove their guns. I want to remove the fear people have. People need to be protected. We need to not fear. Fear becomes the monster and fear feeds more fear. We are doing this to ourselves. When do we wake up?

 

Just some thoughts I had… Have a great day! 🙂

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