BLOG ARCHIVE 2018
18 October 2018:
Facebook & Twitter: ACCOUNTS CLOSED
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The freedom of speech is a broad-stroked concept, and yet, it is one that has been preserved and covered by the very Constitution of these, our United States of America; it is part of what makes this nation rather unique in that we, her citizens, are blessed with the assurance that although we may not always agree with one-another, may not share the same opinions or points of view, we are permitted, at all times, to express those opinions and points of view. More-so, our ability to express is protected by the very foundation of this nation.
To writers, this matter is of great importance. It is what has given this country such a vast variety of works, from novels to essays, fiction and non-fiction, politics, prose, poetry and beyond. We are not only allowed but encouraged to document, to scribe our experiences, thoughts, dreams, adventures and to do so knowing that we are, as free citizens of a free nation, ensured the protection and support of the First Amendment to the Constitution of our home-land.
Imagine, if you will, that you are invited to attend a function of some sort, a party, if you will, where a variety of people will be in attendance, many if not most of whom you've never met. You arrive and find yourself in a room full of people, all of whom are engaged in conversations of some kind or another, discussing ever sort of matter imaginable. For the most part, every-one appears to be enjoying him/her self. There's a constant flow of exchange of ideas, thoughts, opinions on every subject one might ponder. There are conflicting notions now and again, but the attendees are intrigued, truly interested in the education they are all receiving. You are invited, by the host, to participate, encouraged to engage in dialogue and discussion with all the rest of the people in the room and you do. In mere moments, you find yourself meeting people who have the same or similar opinions on different subjects and matters, and yes you also meet others whose opinions are different from or even oppose yours. But you are free to either investigate further and deeper or to simply remove yourself from the immediate area and move along to open a chat with some-one else in the room. There are no fights about who is “right” or “wrong”. The matter here is the exchange of words and the education and enlightenment involved with that exchange.
Suddenly, even as you're enjoying the company of your fellow guests, the host comes to you and, with-out so much as a grunt, takes you firmly by the arm and rather forcibly escorts you to the door and puts you out of the room. Why? Because, allegedly, an opinion of yours that you'd expressed some-how “offended” one of the guests in the room, or your host has become offended or, even worse, has decided that your tone, vocabulary or general direction of conversation is, in some fashion, inappropriate. No-one in particular is mentioned by way of an explanation for your removal, and nothing you said is particularly or directly referenced. Suffice to say, you said something that offended some-one for some reason and you are now tossed from the room. Whether you were enjoying the company of others and they were enjoying your company has no consideration, no importance... not even with those with whom you may have developed a degree of “friendship”. You are removed so that you cannot communicate with any-one at all.
Of late, this has become the “policy” of the providers of the services of “Facebook” and “Twitter”. Covered by much media, Facebook and Twitter have increasingly become the “nannies” of all their subscribers and users. They have, unilaterally and solely taken control over the expressions of opinions and points of view of their account-users and dictate, uncontrollably, the content of discussions and “posts”. If not the providers themselves, it has become common-place for even one individual, for any reason at all, to silence any user/subscriber at any point in time simply by registering a complaint. Political, religious, ideological differences are all that is needed to effectively shut all communications completely. Even vocabulary is cause for one person to lose all rights and access to accounts on either of these services. The most petty of circumstances can lead and have led to the blocking of access to accounts and in many circumstances, the complete deletion of an account, including but not limited to the assurance that a user will be made unable to establish a new account. Months and years of correspondences, photos and other images are suddenly gone, vanished, deleted, eliminated, wiped from existence in a matter of one second, often with-out fore-warning.
For example: with-in a matter of 2 weeks after having established my account with “Facebook”, I was taken by surprise when I attempted to “log into” my account only to receive the message informing me that my account had been “suspended” and access to it was being denied. No reason was offered and when I inquired, none was forth-coming. That was some years ago, the “suspension” was temporary and access was reinstated. But to this day, I have no idea as to the cause for the suspension. Over the course of a few years, I was “punished” in similar fashion including the deletion of some of my posts which were of a nature related to writing and publishing. Then, I learned that Facebook was collecting my personal profile information to be sold, for their profit, as Facebook deemed befitting to their needs... with-out my prior knowledge and with-out my permission! Even the general context of my posts were being recorded for purposes unknown to me. The combination of being silenced, prohibited from accessing my account and the deletion of various postings prompted me to stop using the Facebook account and ultimately “deleting” it. (Of course, I've come to learn that accounts with Facebook are never actually “deleted”, nor is any information that they managed to acquire during the while the account was active. But that's a matter for other posts and discussions at another time, perhaps.)
Where Twitter is concerned, the situation is even more ominous, dark and indeed, down-right evil. Twitter has deemed that my postings comprised “suspicious activities” and the providers there have gone so far as to “lock” my account, denying me any and all access to it including the ability to “deactivate” or “delete” it! The account continues to appear in Internet searches and in searches on Twitter, how-ever, I am unable to post, read, comment, “like”, “re-tweet” OR to even access my “profile” information! (My coat is in the cloak-room, my wallet in the coat pocket with my car keys but Twitter is holding it all captive and I've been removed from the premises.)
This said, I've stopped supporting those who, with infantile delight, believe themselves to be “superior” to me and to others who have erroneously fallen into their twisted and demented clutches and suffered under their psychotic foolery. I no longer use the services of Facebook or Twitter, nor do I support those who do use either or both... including but certainly not limited to those who support them with paid advertising. Rather, I've discovered alternative means of communicating and corresponding via “social media” and I encourage my readers to do like-wise so that all may enjoy their Constitutionally guaranteed right to express themselves freely with-out fear of condemnation. Indeed, there are alternatives which offer the very enjoyment. For example: “Gab.com” is a perfect alternative to Twitter and “Minds.com” a perfect alternative to Facebook. Admittedly, both require diligent discretion of the account-holder because of their policies of “non-interference”, but that's of little consequence for the opportunity to engage in some of the most wonderful dialogues with some of the world's truly fascinating people. I have established accounts on both platforms and invite every reader to join me on either or both. But I will participate in any activity that requires involvement of any sort with either Facebook or Twitter.
As a note about “Tsu”... Tsu was an early alternative to Twitter and one that also respected the right of the individual to express him/her-self quite freely. It has come to my attention that Tsu was attacked and eliminated by the creators and supporters of Twitter some time back. My account on Tsu has been eliminated... to the delight, we can be assured, of all persons involved with Twitter. I am extremely saddened by this blatant act of beastly, tyrannical behaviour, but unfortunately, the deed has been done... Tsu is now gone.
So the battle for freedom to be human rages on. Just as certain books that have been, for years and generations, enjoyed by so very many find themselves “banned” by libraries, schools, book stores and the likes, authors now find ourselves “banned” and “silenced” by the likes of petty idiots and morons on the Internet. Now I must note that I've been involved with the developmental aspects of the Internet from the days when having Internet in the home was considered quite novel. I've come to respect it, deeply, and am never at a loss for amazement in its ability to join people and nations around the entire planet. Travel, learning, histories, geographies... the entire spectrum of human education is made available, regardless of one's nationality, ethnicity, ideology... And it is my firm resolve and belief that it must never be “controlled” by the ideologies of any one person or group of persons for any reason at all. (Even as would regard the matter and issue of “pornography” do I say this because the truth of all is that, no matter what is done to thwart an effort, human-kind will always find a way to produce that which is desired. I am NOT, most certainly, condoning any activity that would cause harm to any individual, creature or place. Make no mistake about that. But I've also come to witness that what one person might consider “pornography” another might simply view as “art”. Let's just get to a crux: “child pornography”. I do NOT condone the act or activity, nor do I condone the production of such materials. I do NOT condone the involvement of infants and children in such matters and materials. But the facts are the facts and the facts have more than proved that, no matter what others may approve or disapprove of, those wishing to engage in such behaviours will do so. AND, if one does not wish such material in one's life, then there is something that is obviously dying at an astoundingly rapid rate of late and that is “Personal Responsibility”. Like an un-invited person, and un-wanted intruder, one does NOT allow such a person into one's home, sit them comfortably and then complain about their presence. As with television, if one chooses not to view a particular show, one need only change the channel... NOT whine annoyingly to others and demand that the show be removed. As for children viewing such matters? Well... again... “Personal Responsibility”. If your child is viewing inappropriate or improper materials, then it's certainly not the fault of the creator of the materials... rather, it's the irresponsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child that has made the access possible. Meanwhile, the best way to stop the likes of “child pornography” is to not subscribe to it. Disallowing its broadcast merely pushes it deeper out of sight and reach and the purveyors and creators will merely continue unabated and uninhibited, but just out of the reach of law enforcement. Thus is my own opinion on the matter.)
All of this noted, again, this is my explanation as to why I am not a participant in nor a supporter of the atrocities of Facebook and Twitter and again, I encourage all to seek and use the available alternatives. Continued use of Facebook and Twitter are merely support and approval of their tyrannical and dictatorial, psychotic behaviours. But... that's your choice... do as you wish... “It's a free country”.
Thank you for reading. The next blog post will be on a more cheerful note... I just know it will.
27 March 2018:
I have to admit that I'm not quite certain about what to post, what to "report" or what to type here today. There's a LOT (too much, in fact) of time that's passed since my last blog entry. There have been far too many distractions, diversions, digressions. I thought, almost 7 years ago now, that I'd come back to "The North Country" (which I learned only recently, most certainly isn't actually the area I'd come to... more on that in a moment) to focus on those matters that one might expect in one's "older" years. But to be brutally honest, as I'm known to be, it's been just about any and every-thing except. Yes, I've managed to get a few books compiled, composed and open for sale. I can't say that I'm all too terribly disappointed with the publication of "Bitter-Sweet Bitterness", almost 7 years ago now. Sadly, that project was stressful, forced into a period of time way too short to do the story its proper respect. But the current rendition is rather reflective of the subject-matter and its content and yes, it's still very much available and I continue to hope that people of maturity will pursue a serious reading and discussion of and about the book and the issue of Homelessness which still plagues the world. (I will NEVER understand how any sovereign nation justifies an intake of immigrants, or "refugees" as they're referred to these days, whilst blatantly shirking all responsibility to its own citizens. But then, the world, its said, was created perfect... then came humanity and our imperfections, and all went to Hell in a hand-bag... obviously.)
That being said and not to be-labour... The great news has been the creation of the old blog which is now this new WEB-SITE! The old blog was a delight and I'm forever thankful for the opportunity it presented and continues to present for communications with the rest of the world. I have to highly recommend "Wordpress" to all, whether venturing out on some personal business or simply to keep in touch with others, near and far. I do, and vehemently so, advise complete avoidance of the likes of "Facebook" how-ever. I remember, vividly and all too well and often, my first experience with "FB" and the ilk and calibre of users of the (dis)service.
It had been strongly recommended that I open an account and post much to "FB" because, well, as we all know, it's rather quite popular and MANY businesses and business people use it, some daily and others by the passing moment. Ah yes, and so, I rushed to the site, typed in my particulars, included images, most of my own creation and began my adventure. OK. Yes. I DID meet some rather interesting people and some quite wonderful folks on "FB". But it didn't take a month and I was given notice that some stranger "reported" some matter on my "page" that "offended". I was never told what, actually offended, nor have I ever been told WHOM I'd offended. My access to my account WAS, in fact, "suspended" for several days because of it, but I, being quite familiar with the machinations of "social media" (I've been on "Twitter" for almost 10 years now), simply moved on, moved along and continued participating, and communicating with those whom I didn't "offend" and those who are of a higher ilk, calibre and intelligence who engage in discussions and debates maturely.
I rather knew, all along, that the likes of "FB" were, what is now referred to as a "data mining" rouse. I knew that information posted there was confiscated and collected by "Facebook", the people and the company, so I refrained from engaging in matters of a personal nature, leaving my "personal affairs" off and away. As things go and time passes, my suspicions are currently being confirmed and substantiated. So my Facebook account is, as I type this, in the process of being "closed". (PS: I KNOW, for a fact, that simply requesting the deletion of a Facebook account means precious little in the way of erasing any and all information that has ever appeared on the account. Even when we personally and directly delete information, it merely disappears from sight... on the site, meanwhile, there are "back-ups" and all sorts of other repositories where ALL of our information is stored... and obviously, will be held hostage long into perpetuity, by what are proving to be nefarious persons. No matter. I've not posted anything that could be of any detriment to me nor of any use to others who wish me harm.)
With this, I add to my first paragraph, that residence here, in a little border-town of New England has been, let's just say, a proper education. Indeed, there have been many pleasant moments along the time-line. I've reclaimed old barns, engaged in gardening and farming, seen some of the most beautiful places this old planet has to offer. I've managed to frequent places of the North that have long held precious places in my heart, and I've re-connected with people I'd not seen in the longest while. Conversely, my "education" has included some rather physically sickening lessons and experiences as well, including and not limited to exposure to a truly amazing VAST number of people who proudly prove themselves lazy, slovenly, entitled, disrespectful, and the likes. It is as I've said on many occasion; I've spent most of my life-time in the City of New York (a subject I'll not approach at this juncture), living and residing with and amongst the likes of 8 million other people and NEVER, in all those years, with all of those people, have I ever experienced the quantity of intentionally miserable and generally nasty human beings as I've done in a mere 7 years in a state whose population is a mere 600 thousand. Intentional injuries, threats of bodily harm, frivolous litigations, and all sorts of general nonsense. Fine, most of it all didn't involve me in any manner other than my having borne witness to the fracas, but still, the annoyance has proven distracting and a bit of a hindrance... until now.
And with that statement, I'm going to close this, the first blog entry of the year 2018. (I almost can't believe it... 2018! I still remember that old song that went "In the year 2525, if man is still alive"... we're rapidly approaching... rapidly.)
As always, I thank you, who've come to this new site, who've followed along in spite of my sporadic entries and communications. I MOST SINCERELY THANK those of you who've purchased and read the books. And I look forward to hearing from you as this year moves along. Thank you for keeping in touch. Thank you for keeping interested. Thank you... for being the inspirations and support that you are. Thank you.