Archive for September, 2016

About my “About” Page:

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

You can now access the beginnings of my third novel, “Once in a Blue Agave Moon” from my “About” page via the “Pages” links.

A brief description of the plot “so far…” will be forthcoming soon.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

09/09/2016

 

 

 

 

 

Aphorism

Posted in This Thing we do with Words, Uncategorized on September 7, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

This post got my attention for two reasons: I love depictions of powerful, assertive women and am a long-time firearms aficionado. This is a near-perfect image of a Barrett 50 cal. BMG, and the picture is truly heroic.
It was only later that I realized that in this picture, she has been shot…and words, like bullets, can never be taken back.
I highly recommend Esther’s site; there is rarely a day she doesn’t post beautiful, provocative images and words.

Hortus Closus

6999520-anime-sniper-girl

A single word kills more surely than a bullet

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An Open Letter to all the Women in my Life who Loved me and Lived to Regret it

Posted in Acknowledgement, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Letting Go, Love on September 7, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

I hope I was the worst mistake you ever made in your life.

I say that  as both  a blessing and a sincere wish.

That means you lived through it and if it indeed was your worst mistake that means you learned from it, and your life is better now.

Even if it was for the best that we went our separate ways I sincerely believe that it is never wrong to tell someone “I love you” and you were far, far from the worst mistake I ever made.

Baraka Bashad.

Blessings Be.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei .

 

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

09/07/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Blah-Blah-Blah’s” of Blogging

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Humor, Just For Fun, Random Observations on September 7, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

I am neither a snob nor an elitist when it comes to Art in any form, including the written word.
Years ago for instance,”serious writers” did not consider either journalism or eroticism to be literature.
Even Graffiti (as evidenced by, for instance the works of Banksy, or Jean-Michel Basquiat) presents us with an opportunity to experience insight, truth, or beauty.
Blogging is perhaps the newest form of literary verbal expression.
I admit that I am not much of a blogger.
Blogging requires a commitment to regular maintenance including reading and responding to the blog’s of others in order to build up a following.
I however lack even the discipline or commitment to pursue electronic publishing, in spite of the fact that it is undoubtedly my only hope for widespread dispersal of my work.
Blogging for me is like committing myself to a hundred pen-pals with the very best of intentions, and we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions and charted by unrealistic ideals, so if you are reading this, please consider it as a formal public apology for being so selfish.
My primary interest in blogging came initially as a vehicle to present my first novel, Dancing in Dreamland to more than the few people that I could coerce into reading a dog-eared home computer generated copy in the hope of getting some constructive criticism from the few friends I had that understood the concept of reading for pleasure.
Although Blogging involves Writing, Writing is not necessarily Blogging.
Aside from a few semi-erotic fantasies of being discovered or even developing a cottage industry from the sale of my work, I have never considered or pursued a job or career as a writer.
Years ago, trying to make a commercial success in Music only resulted in turning it into a job, prompting me to ask “I wonder what a call-girl does on her night off…just for fun?”
(Incidentally, I already knew…even then it was an entirely a rhetorical question…but that is another story for another time.)
It takes a very special kind of person with talents beyond my ken to turn something they love to do into money.
As I have said many times before “I write for the same reason an alcoholic drinks.”
That being said, I wish to publicly apologize to the numerous persons whom I follow for being so lax in acknowledging or commenting upon their work.
I know that there are many out there that “like” a post without ever reading it, just to churn up their numbers and generate the traffic I call “the blah-blah-blah’s of blogging”.
By not being more selective, I now have hundreds of people whom I “follow” whom I fully intended to read until it has reached the point where it has become very difficult to even locate the people who really get me jazzed within my reader, let alone comment to them.
Comments get my attention; they provoke dialogue and imply a commitment to the material presented and an exchange of ideas, and I have been notoriously reticent in writing things like thank-you letters or responding to correspondence in general for most of my life.
A very few readers contacted me during my convalescence, finding my lack of activity here to be conspicuous in its absence and I love you for that; it has nothing to do with blogging, but you know who you are, and thank-you.
It is as if I have been living in the eye of a hurricane; even when it is calm in the center, I seem to be surrounded by a whirlwind of turmoil and controversy…“the same as it ever was…”
I write because I am compelled to do so; although it is a choice, I am driven by my nature to follow it (although my judgement as far as the choices I have made in my life is so notoriously shitty that it borders on the tragi-comic).
I just don’t know any better, and probably wouldn’t do it any differently, except by the benefit of hindsight and compassion for those I have hurt..
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei….

 

 

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
09/06/2016

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: Chapter Eight: Cyber Warfare and the Armageddon Virus

Posted in Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Economic Redistribution, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, The Tyranny of Evil Men on September 5, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

Stuxnet was not the first shot fired, but it was the most widely publicized and successful viral attack that had geopolitical implications of its day.
It also set the stage for what was to follow.
Stuxnet was a malicious computer worm that was allegedly generated in the early days of the new millennium by the joint efforts of the United States and Israel designed to disrupt and sabotage the weapons-grade Uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, especially the Natanz nuclear facility and the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
What was most especially interesting was that it was the first of its kind to specifically target programmable logic controllers, (PLC’s) which control electromechanical processes such as those related to automation and control of machinery and assembly lines.
It was designed to target Microsoft Windows operating systems that utilized Siemens Step7 software. It was not domain-specific and could be used as a platform for attacking both SACADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and PLC systems.
Stuxnet was composed of three modules: a worm that executed all routines related to the main payload of the attack; a link file that automatically executed the propagated copies of the worm; and a rootkit component responsible for hiding all malicious files and processes, preventing detection of the presence of Stuxnet.
Once described as “…having attorney’s fingerprints all over it…” , to create the impression of not violating any International Laws as much as possible, it had an alleged end date, and only effected a very small percentage of systems or networks outside of Iran; specifically the gas centrifuges of the Natanz and Bushehr facilities, causing them to either over-run or slow down so as to self-destruct from a variety of possible factors, while sending false (normal) monitoring information to the users.
Because Iran’s targeted PLC’s were not connected to the internet, the virus had to be introduced via an infected USB drive by a mole within Iran’s development facilities. Once installed, it began to propagate within all other computers within the network, scanning for Siemens Step7 on computers that controlled a PLC. If it found nothing it remained dormant and undetected within the computer, at least until such time as the opportunity presented itself.
It exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities and utilized almost half a gigabyte of data, which was previously unprecedented in any other malware virus, and effectively upped the ante as far as both defensive or offensive future strategies for cyber warfare.
Long before the September 11th attacks on the United States, there had been numerous malware developed that attempted to utilize the internet that were financially motivated and did not involve multi-national cooperation to execute.
Stuxnet was a game-changer that dictated the future paradigms of international espionage that also included data-mining of their targets.
In effect, we taught our enemies how to bring down the house of cards that had sheltered our pampered way of life.
Most Americans of that time were complacent and took their privilege and power within the world economy and military for granted, assuming the dream would never end.
Historically, partly due to the vast separation from the continents of Europe and Asia especially, American politics and foreign policy were isolationist until our alliances within Europe prior to World War One contributed to our involvement there…on on their continent. World War Two followed the same paradigm: “Not in my back yard.”
As we became the self-proclaimed World Police, we tasked ourselves as the champions of Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism and protectors of the weak and downtrodden…especially if there was a buck to be made in the process and it did not take place on our soil.
We created the impression that it motivated our actions in Korea, Viet Nam, and the Mideast.
Unlike the United Kingdom, which used its Army and Navy under government sanction to first conquer, then colonize the rest of the world as they saw fit, America simply encouraged its industries to outsource themselves in foreign lands, frequently wreaking social, economic, and political havoc wherever we went.
Essentially different guises and similar methods to achieve the same results….
Depending upon the era, the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch did their share of Imperialist expansion as well. (The Dutch, who now self-righteously consider themselves to be the model of egalitarian neutrality seemed to suffer from conveniently short memories about their participation in the Slave Trade, once regarding themselves as too good to keep slaves, but not above buying and selling them.)
The seeds of hatred and lust for revenge had been sown in the Mid-East a thousand years before. Any nation associated with the sign of the cross stood to reap the whirlwind of the Karma of the Crusades, especially England, France and the United States, who chose to either colonize the area for themselves, or as proxy for Israel.
Whether it was in China, Japan, Central and South America, the Mideast or Africa, the deeper the boot of our collective military forces were planted in foreign soil, the more the land bled and filled those footsteps with hatred for those whom we had victimized.
It was all just a matter of time.
Compared to Geological Time, the Time of Man is like a bug hitting the windshield of our Cosmos, but given enough time, as in quantum theory, anything that can happen eventually will happen.
In less than one hundred years, America went from an Agrarian, to an Industrial, to a Service-based economy as our opulence and complacency bred envy world-wide.
We were raised to believe that our ever-lasting Ice Cream Cone of eternal happiness and prosperity would never melt.
Meanwhile, our enemies were launching as many as thirty thousand viral cyber attacks every month against the United States, its allies and the World Banking System, as well as any and all computer-controlled infrastructure.
As far as Communist Asia, Islam, and Eastern Europe were concerned “The enemy of my enemy” became not “my friend” as much as a co-conspirator against their common enemy.
Our united enemies were infinitely patient in developing what became known as the Armageddon Virus, which was so complex and far-reaching as to make Stuxnet look like Atari’s Pong compared to Battlefield Four.
Patient enough to take decades to surreptitiously tunnel beneath the Federal Gold Reserve at Fort Knox as well as the other facilities that represented the Federal Reserve Banking System in order to explode thermonuclear devices that would not only render them worthless, but also made the public fearful of any gold or silver in any form as being potentially radioactive.
Patient enough to even develop programs to decode our most secure encryption codes used by the military and intelligence communities, thereby ensuring that not a single missile was launched against the perpetrators, the identities of whom were indistinct and geographically obscure.
But due to the inherently treacherous, suspicious, deceitful, and generally bellicose nature of our enemies, it wasn’t long before they reduced each other’s countries to smoking ruins and glass.
Every culture or semblance of civilization that was left did not possess either the means or sophistication to wage any warfare, except on a very local basis.
It seems ironic now that it took what almost amounted to The End of Days to bring what could have been World Peace were it not for the fact that the violence, riots, looting, and even cannibalism that ensued were local in nature even if they existed world-wide.
It seemed that mankind’s inherent propensity for fear, xenophobia, greed, and violence against each other did not need either a flag or a religion to bring out the worst as well as the best in itself.
Our highly specialized dependence on technology had led us back to the stone age for those who did not possess the knowledge and nature to become self-sufficient, and the good sense to eschew anyone who didn’t.

 

“That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves.”
Thoreau

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: Chapter Seven: Dystopia

Posted in longreads, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, The Tyranny of Evil Men on September 2, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
“All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil…But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer.”
Thoreau

We all knew the system was broken; that eventually it would collapse by way of its own corruption.
Man’s first misstep was when he traded his instincts for Reason, and became blind to what is obvious to any animal by believing that facts are the sole determinant of what is real, true, or beautiful.
Because we had sublimated and substituted virtually every aspect of real happiness and peace with possessions and conformity, we eventually sensed that there was something wrong…that something was missing, but we didn’t know what it was because few of us had the slightest clue what it was, despite the plethora of clergy, elected officials, police, and various other gurus who would purport to tell us what it was we need.
Our society was supported by an interlocking series of lies that first justified their own existence, and then so obfuscated the truth as to eclipse it, and discourage anyone from looking elsewhere for it.
The idea of questioning those lies and false values was considered esoteric and pointless. Most citizen-consumers were fearful of the consequences of independent thinking, and far too over-stimulated by passive entertainment to even consider solitary contemplation.
A man or woman can study any subject, and if when tested gives the answers deemed as correct by his mentors who are just as blind, he or she is considered educated, which means he or she is just as blind, misguided and just plain wrong as those who would judge them.
To be enlightened, if one chooses to do it by way didactic information, one must first learn it, examine it scrupulously, see the flaws and folly of it, and then decide for themselves what is true and what is truly valuable.
Even this is still only a first step.
Even our entertainment showed the effects. Even our entertainment reflected a cynical view of our government as being so corrupt and sinister as to defraud and mislead its citizens on a daily basis for the benefit of a privileged oligopoly or under the cloak of “national security”; that it was casually accepted and tacitly condoned, and considered entertaining rather than alarming.
The reason for the failure to act upon these injustices lay in the fact that virtually everyone was bribed by the hypnosis of consumerism, in one way or another.
The most popular theme in movies and games of that era involved some form of an apocalyptic collapse of our society.
By way of the hypnosis of television and other mass media, passive entertainment lulled them into tranquility, and promised salvation by purchasing some product to fill the empty space we dreaded to acknowledge.
In order to live genuinely and without deceit, one would have to separate themselves from the source of the deception.
The rash of Alaskan frontier television shows presented as Reality TV was the beginning of the faintest glimmer of recognition by the public that fulfillment was not likely to be found in the lap of civilization despite the Sirens of the Big Lie of proclaiming “Truth, Beauty, and Enlightenment are all well and good, but if you can just get enough power, money and influence, you can buy anything you want…”
The public was routinely bamboozled into voting for either rich and notoriously corrupt leaders or else anyone who claimed to be the champion of the downtrodden and protector of the weak; those who would vote for them a second time, even after betraying their broken promises during their fist term.
As the ranks of the mislead, misguided and ill-connected and marginally educated or literate seemed to grow exponentially they became more and more dependent upon a system that was in fact feeding on them in exchange for the most meager of existences, which worked for only so long as they all spent more than they made and willingly competed to buy ill-designed, poorly manufactured goods that they really didn’t need.
But as most of their lives amounted to equally meaningless existences, none of them knew how to do anything else, especially the work of their lives, preferring to trade their lives for money to do a job for someone else.
As an increasingly more incompetent public school system failed to provide useful learning tools and larger portions of the population grew into dysfunctional adults spawning even more useless, increasingly co-dependent citizen-consumers while the privileged classes enjoyed private schools and paid less and less taxes back to the system they were manipulating for their sole gain, it soon became clear that the system was not capable of supporting itself.
If the rich didn’t pay taxes and the poor couldn’t, the middle class was forced to carry the burden until it became clear that the national debt was becoming unmanageable.
The legislators allowed themselves to be manipulated so as to remove most of the banking and mortgage regulations that were designed to prevent the over-extension of credit that contributed to the first near-collapse of the economy.
Initially the real-estate bubble burst and then the entire market tanked and the government bailed out the banks despite the fact that it would have been cheaper to buy the houses from the banks and let the owners buy them back, rather than face foreclosure.
All those empty homes could have made it a renter’s market, but the banks chose to sit on many of them empty until they were nearly worthless due to dangerous mildew and mold damage.
And we let them do it. It was our money that the government spent to prop up the banks rather than prosecute the lenders and legislators and attorneys who were responsible for allowing the greedy regulations that created the crash.
The middle class was shouldering the bulk of these outrages, and as their ranks were culled, a second even more disastrous collapse was inevitable.
Small wonder that video and computer games devoted to the theme of a zombie apocalypse became America’s favorite genre.
Those games were a substitute for doing it yourself. Virtual visceral fantasy.
It, like pornography, allowed some individuals to escape their otherwise dystopian existence. Harmless distraction to keep you so overstimulated that you don’t start asking questions and stirring up trouble.
Once the world Banking System collapsed due to cyber-terrorism and the nearly simultaneous attacks on Fort Knox, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and the remaining members of the Federal Reserve system turning them into nuclear hazard sites, all world wealth was in the hands of those who had launched the attacks, and public confidence in our monetary system evaporated.
The Arab coalition although united in their religion, as well as their hatred for America and their allegiances were as weak as they had been since the days of Lawrence of Arabia; each tribal king expected to be autonomous and mistrusted the other tribes. That, plus their bellicose propensity for violence and long-standing feuds was as volatile as the petroleum that had made them rich.
It wasn’t long before their own nuclear weapons had turned most of the Mid-East into radioactive glass. America did not have the capacity to launch an attack until after they had turned upon each other.Similarly, as near as can be told, the Chinese, the Koreans, Pakistani, and of course Russians turned on each other and brought the world back to the stone age. Radical Islam eventually achieved their goal of anti-art anti-intellectual, anti-democratic, anti-media, religious fanaticism. The exact details are sketchy, even now, due to the initial chaos created by the Armageddon Virus that had caused the collapse of virtually the entire internet and all of its operating systems.
Fortunately, by this point all world order and infrastructure were disabled, which put at least a temporary hiatus on global warfare.
The resulting riots, robbery, and in some cases cannibalism worldwide that took all of any country’s national net worth, tended to limit warfare to only their next door neighbors, but not much farther.
Ironically, unlimited worldwide warfare had led to more peaceful times than has been recorded in all history.
Of course, it would be temporary. It would only be a matter of time before somebody figured out how to restore some semblance of wealth, power and privilege to an even smaller select few, but the chaos created in the meantime was estimated to have reduced the world population by more than sixty percent, thereby reducing the technological, logistical and nutritional demands of the world to a bare minimum.
Other than the remaining ruling class, those who survived were grateful for even the barest and most meager existences. Now virtually everyone left would be willing to “work for food” and the middle class virtually disappeared, at least for those still addicted to what remained of civilization as they had known it.
The fact was that small but significant portions of America had begun to establish colonies in the most remote locations that were bound together by their mutual strengths, their knowledge, and their talents as well as their worth within their tribe.

This is where the story of Elliot, and the other members of the Fourteenth Colony begins.

 

 

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