LOGITECH WOES

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Logitech 570 wireless trackball

I haven’t used a Logitech device for a long time which explains why I purchased a new one. Let me make myself perfectly clear; the reason why I haven’t purchased a logitech device is the fact that I was dissatisfied with their performance in the past and the difficulty in setting them up. To say the least they are now and always have been a nightmare for an average guy like me. I won’t get into the problems that I had with my former keyboard and mouse, but apparently nothing has changed to bring them into the 21st century. I am admittedly old fashioned and I don’t take to new technology, but the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball is nothing less than a throwback to the days of my first PC, a Sears eMachine that cost all of eight hundred dollars in 1998. I used the mouse that came with it, until it no longer clicked and then I discovered Tracking balls; once cutting edge ergonomic technology, now  relegated to the old peoples section with the other archaic devices, and that’s exactly were it belongs.

I have gone through three tracking balls  since 2000, which means that they’ve each endured an average of five years of daily use. My third one is still in service but I’ve always wanted a wireless tracking ball and now after a decade and a half I finally found one for about half the price they wanted back in the day. Up until now I’ve always had the plug in tracking balls because until now most of my PCs were not set up to be wireless, although my  Micron had the capability I am tech lazy and never bothered to hook it up.

Now I am a Mac user and have familiarized myself with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but I hate moving my hand around a mouse pad just to use the cursor. So I forsook my wireless apple mouse and plugged in my old faithful tracking ball. But alas the sticky clicker syndrome hit and my poor tracking ball was afflicted. Time for a new tracking ball. So I went to Best Buy and found the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball with unifying Receiver. It seemed simple enough buy it plug it in and go to work. If only it was that easy!

I did everything that I was supposed to do, I went to the Logitech site downloaded the manager and installer, (already too much work), I read the prompts very carefully followed the directions and failed miserably to pair my tracking ball with my mac. I have unplugged, restarted and started from scratch and so far I have not been able to successfully pair the device. the closest I came, was being able to assign right click and roller, but before I can finish I have to assign a function to to the left click, which the manager will not let me do. So the tracking ball remains unusable and so far the help site doesn’t help. My next step is to call customer service and hope they don’t charge me for the call. This is more trouble than any tracking ball is worth in a world of plug and play devices. Unfortunately Apple only offers the same piece of junk that I already own. My Advice is, don’t waste your money on this tracking ball. If I get the problems resolved after contacting customer service I’ ll update my progress, otherwise my opinion still stands.

NOW THE TRUTH COMES OUT

“ … Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but in-wardly are ravenous wolves.” Mathew 7:15 I chose this passage from the bible, because I think that it exemplifies my New opinion of Barack Obama, a man whom I voted for twice, to my utter chagrin. Unfortunately I honestly don’t know if Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice or not. If her policies are those of the Wall street Democrats I still don’t know if I could support her, or not; probably not. My conscience would force me to vote for Bernie Sanders if Hillary turns out to be anther free trader. I was so angry and fed up with Obama’s support of the horrible TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) that I tossed my big Obama fridge magnet into the trash can, Picture below. IMG_0508 For eight years I have been defending this man against the most ludicrous and racist attacks imaginable, when all the while he has been stringing the people of this country along. He came to power on a progressive, populist platform and kept his true center right Wall street agenda hidden. If the Republicans had wanted to really destroy him, all they had to do was reveal the truth about him and he really would have been a one term President. I had believed with all my heart, that our 44th President was a good man, being led astray by smooth talking serpents whispering in his ear. Unfortunately the truth was that he was just another snake in a den of vipers. I even compiled a list of people that should not have been included in his administration. Here’s my list that in retrospect should have been a major clue to his true leanings. With out justice, what are kingdoms but great bands of robbers.” –Saint Augustus This is a list of Bush era creeps that should have been fired as soon as Obama took office. Instead of getting the well deserved boot; they were left in place, have sabotaged his first four years and tarnished his reputation, with bad advice and dubious tactics, which have violated human rights, including signature drone strikes. GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER director NSA HENRY PAULSON JOHN BRENNAN denied knowledge of CIA torture. TIMOTHY GEITNER Goldman Sachs crony DAVID AXELROD ROMM EMANNUAL wants to privatize education. RONALD RODGERS JAMES CLAPPER LEON PENNETA MICHEAL FROHMANN ROBERT RUEBEN LARRY SUMMERS advised abolishment of Glass- Steagall act. THOM WHEELER Former lobbyist for the telecom companies. Terrible nominees, Michael Boggs opposes same sex marriage, abortion Now I see how naive I was when I wrote this list, This man proved to be unworthy of my admiration. I am not going to finish this list, because it is no longer subject to debate. I know who and what Obama is, a betrayer and a Wall street lackey. In a 2006 speech he praises so called Free Trade and globalization, which has done nothing but drain jobs and money away from the country, Making us poorer not richer. Every Trade deal since NAFTA has cost us dearly.http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_bp147/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/nafta-at-20-one-million-u_b_4550207.html https:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-5Y74FrDCc Here’s some more information incase you’re not convinced https://www.citizen.org/tradewatch Call your U.S. Senator and Representative to let them know your displeasure with TPP and Fast track, we are supposed to be living in a democracy and not a Corporate Oligarchy. DEFEND AMERICA, OPPOSE CORPORATE TYRANNY, VOTE FOR PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES!

What’s wrong with Disney?

The world is a scary place especially for we older folks, who have been around long enough to watch it deteriorate. So to get away from stress, it was suggested to me by a doctor no less, to separate myself from the stress, by not watching the news.  Yes, watching the news can be a source of stress. Watching Fox can be especially stressful because they are pure fear mongers and hate mongers. My favorite news channels are BBC and PBS which I consider to be far more fair and balanced than Fox, which is slanted and skewed and mentally unbalanced. Of course people accuse me of being a leftist radical because I listen to Al JAM, Link TV and Free Speech TV, along with moderate dosages of C-Span, CNN and MSNBC. So I watch it all and I think that I have a pretty fair grasp on what’s happening. To make a long story short, I get pretty overloaded on news most of it bad. So what does all this have to do with Disney.

WELL! Disney,Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon are a good source of  non stressful programs. Ramsey’s nightmare Kitchens has proven too taxing, Flip this house too feisty, Gear heads too annoying, Lockup Raw way too depressing and the World at War too warlike. Sometimes I just like to sit back and watch innocuous subject matter and turn off the frantic part of my brain. I am kind of a cartoon addict when I let my inner child out on saturday morning, the traditional prime time for kid vid. I am also a shameless channel surfer so I have sampled a lot of stuff.  One of the programs that I discovered while channel surfing was Disney XD,s Lab Rats, a live action show probably aimed a younger teens. The show features three bionic teens, Adam, Bree and Chase. Sounds cool at face value, teenaged super heroes, but if you examine what’s underneath the premise it becomes very dark.

To start with the teens were originally locked down in a basement lab, in glass tubes, until discovered by the precocious and annoying Leo, their defacto brother. They were only let out to perform various dangerous missions deemed too dangerous for humans. Here is were I find a problem with this premise, first this is the definition of what bionic means. (bionic |bīˈänik|adjective having artificial body parts,esp.electro-mechanicalones.• informal having ordinary human powers increased by the aid of bionic devices,real or fictional).  So if these are real children, and let’s not forget that they are minors; then why are they being used to take on missions that are beyond the capabilities of adults. In effect they are being exploited as child soldiers, and we all know how hilarious child soldiers are. Their so called father, or creator or what ever he is, is guilty of not only abuse, but of crimes against humanity. Davenport the billionaire inventor is also guilty of illegal experimentation on humans. If these children were androids, (robots that resemble humans) then that would be more palatable, but not by much. So what we have here is a man who should be cast as a villain, instead being a bumbling comic relief character. Oh He’s so rich that he’s wacky, an eccentric genius. I guess he suffers from Afluenza, to rich to know better.

The questions that this series raised for me are; where did these children come from? who are their actual parents? Were they created from a collection of body parts like Frakenstein’s Monster? Are they orphans? Did they give explicit permission to be experimented on. How much of their humanity has been compromised to add the bionic enhancements.? But first and foremost, why does Donald Davenport, think that it’s okay to keep human beings caged like animals in his basement?  There is a degree of creepiness that pervades this entire scenario, that is quite frankly disturbing. This show may appear to be cute and cool on the outside, but underneath it is as disturbing as it gets. Famous anime series like Ghost in the Shell and Gunslinger Girl, have explored this same subject, but without pulling any punches, or sugar coating it. Disney shows a distinct lack of concern about the lessons learned and conclusions drawn from this piece of dark fluff. Things need to be explained about the origins of these three teens and their actual status, i.e. are they humans or machines?

The Hunger Games: This could be our future

I Can’t help but get political over such a politically charged movie as The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Setting aside the plot which is disturbing enough the dystopian world where the story takes place, is familiar and alien at the same time. The things that are familiar are the social issues that are already evident in our second decade of the twenty-first century. I am referring to the widening gap in wealth between the rich and poor and the fast disappearing middle class, which is doomed to extinction. In the world of the Hunger games there are no unions, no minimum wage, no real upward mobility. You are born to a class and you die in that same class a virtual slave to the government.

I know that this makes me sound like some sort of tea party fruit cake, but let me assure you that I am for a strong centralized government.  What I am against is a corporate controlled Oligarchy, where bought and paid for congressmen and senators do the bidding of their corporate masters. Although some people deny it and others either ignore it or are unaware of it, we are constantly  manipulated by media pundits and politicians that have personal agendas, that are mostly motivated by greed and ambition. Even our highest most sacrosanct legal institution, the Supreme court is under suspicion.  When they make decisions like Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 it makes me wonder if this is not the private agenda of a conservative good old boys club.  If corporations are people too then why aren’t they subject to prosecution like individuals when they commit crimes against humanity, like dumping carcinogens into our lakes and streams. If I did what they do I’d be in jail.

There are enough uninformed or misinformed people out there to make a difference in crucial elections. We are at a critical junction in our history where unions are weakened, social programs are being stripped and voting rights and women’s rights, are being taken away at an alarming rate in local elections. The attitude of those like Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Governors, Rick perry, Scott(divide and conquer)Walker and Rick Scott, is that of take from the poor and give to the rich, while vilifying the poor. These people excluding Romney have won elections by heavily Gerrymandering districts, creating restrictive voter ID laws and reducing the numbers of voting places and cutting early voting schedules. They talk about takers and getting free stuff and not wanting to work; use wedge issues like same sex marriage, immigration reform and abortion and spread lies and half truths like jam on toast.

So what does all of this have to do with the Hunger games? Simply put this dystopian future of the poor versus the rich is closer than you think. The NSA intrudes on our privacy under the guise of national security; the CIA wages wars, pulls off political coups and conducts extraordinary renditions, a polite term for torture; these thing are happening now. The Patriot act, and not the affordable care act should be repealed but it demonstrates just how corrupted the right has become; although President Obama is not completely blameless nor are Democrats. The drone strikes as well as the Keystone pipeline are a major blight on his administration. Democrats who were more interested in getting reelected, than the safety of our children, voted against background checks for gun purchases.

In my six decades of life I have watched as we have advanced toward an enlightened free society, only to be snatched back into the darkness. Freedoms should be evolving rather than atrophying. Corporations like Walmart and McDonalds who make billions in profits while being subsidized with taxpayers dollars exploit the working poor and propagate the myth of cheap goods. This Thanks Giving I watched a news report about Walmart having an in house charity collection for its employees, while asking other employees to give so their colleagues could have a nice Thanks giving.

This action shows the despicable selfish attitude of Walmart and those at the top of that corporation. People  with a fair working wage don’t require charity.  Our very way of life is being threatened by right wing extremist and Wall street Crooks and hucksters. The nightmare world of Panem controlled by a bloated oligarchy,  manipulated by the media and ground into submission by brute force is what we have to look forward to unless we not only vote for progressives at the poles, but to vote with our dollars and actively boycott unfair corporations.

HIPSTERS OR POSERS? Part 1

My daughter has a major beef with the Hipsters or so called Hipsters. She describes them as Pretentious, self absorbed, clueless racist. One of her biggest grievances is against Cultural appropriation. This is a phrase that is new to me because I come from a generation of Borgs, who assimilate everything within reach. The example of cultural appropriation that she cited, was the Hipster theme parties put on by the Frats; one of which was called Navahos and Navabros ; all of the girls dressed up as slutty Indian Princesses replete with, fake war bonnets, loin cloths and fringed micro-minis. I’ve been told that the justification for this type of insensitive behavior is that they are doing it Ironically. I doubt that many of these people know the true meaning of irony. Ironic is apparently the catch phrase that makes it all okay.

The reason the I’ve used this example of this indifferent often snide behavior is to point out the basic dissimilarity between the old school Hipster and the so called and self appointed present day counterpart. Here is a dictionary definition of what a hipster is by present day standards;(hipster 1 |ˈhipstər|noun informal a person who follows the latest trends and fashions.) Wrong on all counts. Here comes the old man rant; back in the day a Hipster, Cool cat, Hepcat, Beatnik, Hippie of just plain happening dude, or chick, was the person who set the trends not followed them. This is what is intrinsically wrong with the modern day Posers that refer to themselves as hipsters. The number one rule is that if you have to don the Hipster mantle yourself then you aren’t actually entitled to it, you are a usurper.

It all comes down to the intangible, irrefutable, essence of COOLNESS. What is hip or cool can not be defined by any regional style or mindset and it certainly can’t be defined by a bunch of clueless tools who are all too often not only racist, but sexist and ignorant. I have my own prejudices pro and con and a personal concept of cool formed by life long experiences, but most people generally agree that some things are cool and some things are not. I will attempt to establish and explain my criteria for what hipsterism means to me and to expose the true banality of fake hipster culture.

Often in history the true trendsetters tend to be ostracized and ridiculed and usually for superficial and inconsequential reasons based on fear and prejudice. Things and people that are different are always met with suspicion, fear and sometimes anger. In the present day Hipster movement, if it can be called that, there are no Radical thinkers no movers and shakers and nothing of worth or of real value coming from this group. A thin veneer of superficial trappings and a banal and offensive attitude toward the arts and people of color is the only thing that they have to offer. Where are the Lord Byrons or George Sands or the Jackson Pollocks,where is the new Nikki Giovanni or Pablo Nerudo? Why are there no Gonzo Journalist, Photographers, playwrights or any other artist of any kind associated with this new incarnation of the hipster. Answer: because there is nothing hip or cool about them The only thing that they have to offer are trolls like Daniel Tosh and Lena Dunham who are prime examples of the indifferent racist. Not Hip and not cool no matter how popular they are right now. Racism hasn’t died it has just been appropriated by Fake Hipsters in the media.

From the early days of the European and American Bohemian movement, up to the world changing Peace, Love, Hippie culture, the Cool people have always been the people who have brought about change. The clothing styles were only a reflection of the inner Changes not the end all to be all of the movement. The two movements that I am most familiar with, are of course those that came about during my life time. First let’s start with the Beatniks of the Late 40’s to the early 60’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_Generation

The literary genius that came out of this movement was awe inspiring, and there lives were the stuff of legend and inspiration for academic studies and many intellectual debates. But literature was not the only thing that came out of the Beatnik culture. Although Jazz existed long before the Beat Generation it thrived  and evolved in this era especially improvisational Jazz. Musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck Charlie Parker and art Blakey Changed music forever and inspired succeeding generations of Musicians. All of the artist that I have mentioned were Icons  for the beat Generation and continued on to inspire the next wave of innovators.

Like all social movements the beats had their detractors. The media was a merciless persecutor  of the counter culture and it is exhibited in it’s depiction of Beatniks in movies and television. They were accused of being everything from communist to drug addicts and psychopaths. More often than not on television they were depicted as buffoons or weirdos.  Below are three depictions of  beat culture  in the media, two of  which deal with debauched or criminal behavior, The middle photo is of a young Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs  the wacky beatnik pal of Dobby Gillis, whose favorite Musician was Thelonious  Monk, a famous Jazz musician whose name instigated canned laughter from the uninformed Hollywood tools.

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Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs

 

 

 

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Thelonious Monk

One of the implications of these negative portrayals was that Negro music was driving white youth to ruin. According to Television and movies, the Beats were dirty unkempt slackers, whose language was unintelligible gibberish and whose pursuits were hedonistic and trivial. How dare they seek intellectual enlightenment through the arts. Being hip was not always trendy it was outside of the conventional and the safe. Coffee houses Jazz Clubs and Consignment art Galleries were considered gathering places for a vast Communist conspiracy suborning American youth. In reality they were places where people of all ages could  gather for entertainment and  enjoy stimulating intellectual conversation, with like minded individuals.

I would dare say that the beat generation were in fact true hipsters in the traditional sense of the word. The term meant that someone who not only loves and appreciates art, but has an understanding of its relevance and importance to society is hip to that fact. They are themselves contributors and artist and exponents of culture and intellectual pursuits.

Next Week The Hippies

Why Can’t we learn from History?

A guy running for president, gets on his soapbox and starts talking about change, rich versus poor and so on and so forth, you know the spiel. Some rich guys get together and decide that they don’t like what this guy is saying, so they band together and throw copious amounts of filthy lucre into a campaign against this guy. The rich guys then get some business friendly dope to run against the change guy, hoping for a pawn to manipulate in the white house. Sounds familiar doesn’t it.

I’m not talking about the 2008 election or even the 2012 election. I am referring to the 1896 presidential elections,when William Jennings Bryan, the progressive candidate for change, faced off against William McKinley a pro business moderate who believed in trade protectionism and imperialism.

If you read the sanitized version of history in which all presidents are practically saints then McKinley sounds pretty good. He did get some things right, that did help America to prosper; however most of the prosperity went to the top and was not spread around. What I find most disturbing about his presidency was the way in which he got into office in the first place. The office of the president was bought and paid for by three of America’s wealthiest industrialist, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Again if you read the sanitized version of history, these men were benevolent Philanthropist. They modernized and industrialized America, made huge contributions to the arts and sciences, created universities and left endowments that still exist. Unfortunately, this is all that most people know or remember about these paragons of America’s golden age of industrialization.

It would take a scholar with multiple degrees to navigate through the nuances and intricacies of this period in our history, but there is an easier way because this is the age of television. Instead of trying to read hundreds of dusty tomes, simply tune into, The Men who Built America on the history channel. All of that tedious drudgery has been done for us. The result is a blistering commentary on America’s most famous and revered business Icons. The creators of this program haven’t pulled any punches about the dastardly deeds and evil machinations of our sainted heroes.

While watching this program I couldn’t help making the comparison between then and now. People working more hours for less money, the widening  disparity between the rich and the poor, high unemployment and a dwindling middle class. The dissatisfaction with wall street is not a new concept. Everything that happened then is happening now, and for the same old reasons, poorly regulated business practices, political corruption and plain old greed. Growing poverty and high unemployment weren’t the only problems. Being a factory worker in the late 1800’s was dangerous and sometimes fatal. The conditions were so bad, that it spawned the labor movement, the progressive movement  and the anarchist movement world wide; which brings me back to William McKinley who was assassinated by an anarchist.

With the death of McKinley, his veep the very progressive Teddy Roosevelt took the office of president. Woe be to those who try to mess with T.R. who rightly went after the big monopolies which earned him the moniker of the trust buster. For the first time a president dared to confront big corporations in the highest court of the land and bring them to heel under the Sherman Anti-trust act of 1890. President Obama could learn something from the first President Roosevelt, by breaking up the oil and banking monopolies that exist today as a result of reckless deregulation. It is obvious that history is repeating itself, which means that we have forgotten the lesson that we once had learned.

What the Men who Built America teaches us is that, what’s good for business is not always good for the people, and this applies to any age and in any era. These industrialist had more money than any of them could spend in a lifetime, so why did they need more? I don’t think that anyone can answer that question; but what history tells us is that their greed and complacency created very dire consequences. The human toll was atrocious by today’s standards, even in third world countries. Long hours and unsafe work conditions killed thousands, including children working in factories and coal mines. The figures on work place fatalities are well documented; but figures for those adults and children that died of starvation, exposure and disease aren’t . All of these deaths can be directly attributed to the economic disparities caused by the greed of a few men.

You could argue that all of the men featured in the series first season, created the America that became a great world power. On the other hand they could have been magnanimous and not really have sacrificed much of their wealth. Henry Ford who shows up late in the first season got it right. He paid better wages and established the forty hour work week and at the same time created a product that the common man could afford. He created a model for the world to emulate. I’m not saying that Henry Ford was a saint because he wasn’t, but he set a standard that created a healthy thriving middle class with leisure time and money to spend. For anyone who wants to learn the difference between a conservative and a progressive, or if you just want to see were we’ve been and how much we have reverted to the old way, I highly recommend, The Men who Built America. It’s informative and intelligent and worth giving it a try.