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A View From the Edge

Negative advertising

Let’s all start off with one assumption: If you have given in to a smart phone, that’s your primary computer for email checking, web surfing, a little game playing and, of course, social media. 

I suspect there are many of us who are fed up to the back teeth with all the advertising being pumped at us. You turn on your phone, and a browser automatically senses where you are and finds appropriate messages to flood your screen. 

The annoying popup advertising we all despise

Let’s all start off with one assumption: If you have given in to a smart phone, that’s your primary computer for email checking, web surfing, a little game playing and, of course, social media. 

I suspect there are many of us who are fed up to the back teeth with all the advertising being pumped at us. You turn on your phone, and a browser automatically senses where you are and finds appropriate messages to flood your screen. 

The talent of hiding $$$ in plain sight

Sometimes you have to take tycoons at their word. According to Northrup Grumman Chairman, President, and CEO Wes Bush (July 26), the Pentagon is “increasingly thinking about how they classify their programs.” 

Then he added this tidbit, that there was a “likelihood that an increasing fraction of our business may become restricted.” 

Jails and punishment and recidivism

Since it is likely there may be some high-profile possible jailings in the not-too-distant future, it is perhaps useful to review what prisons are, how they work and what their real function is. 

Bear in mind that pretty much everyone already agrees that justice and the law are often separated by an insurmountable chasm. But once convicted, people go off to jail.

The con game — history revisited

It is the oldest political game in the world: In times of economic insecurity, the plutocrat, the rich person, someone powerful in another arena, says to the people who are hurting:

“Your problems aren’t caused by tax dodgers, they are not caused by the richest people not paying you proper salaries with which you can live and raise your family. Your problems are not caused by bankers who gamble your future away. 

What’s the point of gender identity?

Fifteen years ago I needed a pistol on the farm — we had rabid raccoons, out in the daylight. A neighbor got bitten. So I went to Terni’s Store in Millerton, and Phil told me I needed a pistol permit. 

I went off to Poughkeepsie and filled in the forms at the police station. The officer there took my fingerprints and reviewed my responses, “What are you, a smart aleck? Under race you put ‘human’; you’re Caucasian.”

Getting past 2-D thinking is the key

There’s a major flaw in humans. With two eyes, and genetically always looking at flat planes of vision, we tend to think, “see,” in two dimensions. Because we live in a 3-D world, we piece together our world in 2-D planes of sight, vertical and horizontal, to effectively record the dimension, size, shape and color of objects that are 3-D. 

Genetic changes all around

As an agrarian people, humans have been messing with genetics for hundreds of thousands of years. Yes, that long. Every time you decide what two cattle to breed together — this one gives more milk, that one has more meat — you are doing what Mother Nature maybe wouldn’t do. In the case of artificial insemination (and most cattle are now developed this way), you are literally taking two animals that have no contact with each other and breeding them together.

Has no one here read any John le Carré novels?

Russia has only 145 million people, less than half the number living in the U.S. Eighty million of them actually work (40 percent for the government). Their economy is less robust than that of California. 

Russia’s goal, accepted by the intelligence committees of the United States for more than 20 years, is to “seek to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence …” (CIA official report).

War games of the mind

In any war, there are those forces coming at you with hostile intent and, often with greater effect, those attacks coming at you that seem weak or that you have no idea are there. 

Hidden gossip attacks are, often, seemingly harmless propaganda. But a successful (evil) leader once said, “What good fortune … that people do not think.” Another, after seeing the effects of a successful propaganda campaign, said that it, “manipulates the people as an artist molds clay.”