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Many of us have been betrayed by institutions. Maybe they sold you a shoddy product. Maybe they insulted you with propaganda. Maybe they threatened your liberty or family. Maybe they imposed unconscionable policy. Maybe they hate your race or culture.

Many of us take the hit, get upset, then return to those same institutions out of habit. Some let the comfortably numb glow of institutional affiliation build again. So what if it's skin-deep, at least you belong. Stockholm syndrome! Others just grumble, go back, and stay mad. Both these are forms of cope.

I have a better solution. Ditch all emotional loyalty for institutions that betray you. ​Repudiate kinship to other people in these organizations who were complicit in your abuse. They ought to have known better, been smarter or stronger, stood up for what was right, but didn't. They cannot betray you again, because you now know not to trust them.

And if you still patronize them, or are stuck with them for business, do it purely based on mercenary considerations. Do it if the transaction benefits you. But know and feel that you owe them nothing. They do not deserve your loyalty, ever again. Feel free to be neutral or even hostile. Save your love for allies.

Posted Thu Sep 23 13:20:12 2021

Here they went again. The weather was glorious, and our regular fans were all there! Youtube link! Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.

Posted Tue Aug 31 15:45:40 2021

Friends, don't be sad. Don't be disappointed. Don't expect better. They will never fess up that they did wrong. People in power don't do things like that, because they don't have to. People who obeyed people in power don't do things like that, because they don't feel responsible. People in media who connected the former to the latter don't do things like that, because they're despicable.

They will not apologize when the vaccines fail.

They will not apologize when side-effect risks become widely known.

They will not apologize when they realize vaccine mandates are cruel and unnecessary.

They will not apologize when "non medical" masks are proven useless and counterproductive.

They will not apologize when the curve flattens but they don't let up.

They will not apologize when goalposts just don't stop moving.

They will not apologize when it becomes obvious that children never were vulnerable.

They will not apologize about what they have done to two years of young people's education and social life.

They will not apologize to people they taught to hate and fear their friends.

They will not apologize for terrorizing children with accusations of killing grandma.

They will not apologize for terrorizing grandma with accusations of killing children.

They will not apologize to people losing access to fitness & health facilities.

They will not apologize to businessmen for two years of unemployment.

They will not apologize to jurisdictions that got it right all along.

They will not apologize to those whom they demonized because of dissent.

They will not apologize for overstating their own confidence and overreaching their just powers.

I know they will not apologize because most of the above have already happened, and they haven't apologized. But do not despair, you were right, and that needs to be enough. Hang in there. And to those friends who obeyed, but are starting to see the contradictions, starting to realize you've been played, welcome. No grudges. Let's clean up together.

Posted Wed Aug 18 21:26:01 2021 Tags:

Apple has announced that it will start scanning your personal files on your devices for "Child Sexual Abuse Material", as identified by its cryptographic hash. It will apparently match hashes against a database of hash codes of "known" bad content distributed by some sort of well-meaning activist organization. A match will apparently trigger an automatic disabling of one's Apple account, just for starters.

Not creepy at all, right? Hey don't worry, it's not like political activists are trying to stop the spread of right wing hate memes via the exact same image-hash-code matching technology. Oh wait.

But it's okay, you're safe, you're a conformist, you would never snicker at that icky frog meme. Yet, yet, yet, don't be too comfortable. You might have enemies. Enemies who want you to lose your accounts, online presence, or even livelihood, and are too smart to simply send you one of these Verboten bits of digital horror straight.

What if an enemy were cunning enough to mount a cryptographic collision attack by crafting a brand new file so that its hash matches any on these designated bad-bad-bad lists? It just takes some time & possible brief rental of cloud computing resources. They can create an innocent looking get-rich-quick document, cute kitten video, or social issue awareness email. Something so good that you'd be tempted to save & forward it.

A few days later, Apple's (and other Big Tech's) surveillance software detects it as a hit, and automatically accuses you of abusing feelings or children or whatever. Accounts shut down, scarlet letter issued, literal police reporting can all come next. Heck, your friends and colleagues may also get flagged by that kitten video you shared, and be rather miffed at you. Depending on whether you can get through to a Big Tech support phone staff, you may or may not be able to clear your name.

Good luck! What could possibly go wrong!

Posted Sat Aug 7 09:33:03 2021 Tags:

Oh what the heck, the boys did another one, Saturday July 31, 3PM. The weather gods smiled at us, and a bunch of friendly people arrived at the last minute to enjoy. One of the visitors enjoyed the show just enough to drop by a cantaloupe as payment later on, which means that the boys are officially Professionals. Watch on youtube! Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.

Posted Wed Jul 28 14:39:54 2021 Tags:

Oh hi, Stratford Festival. I have recently discovered that you have concluded you are "complicit" in "upholding white supremacy in the past". While I wish you the very best in your important efforts to "dismantle" it, I have a small question.

During which part of your history did this happen? I really would like to know, because over the decades, my family has enjoyed numerous shows at Stratford. If now I find out that you've been sneaking around, upholding white supremacy and such, well gosh darnit I feel terrible. I certainly didn't travel to your fine town to do that. I did not spend a great deal of money on your art with that in mind, nor did the rest of your audience. That sounds like a bit of bait & switch, to tell you the truth, you pretending to do world-class theatre and music, while running around secretly white supremacizing the whole time.

You're surely not expecting me to accept a moral stain for having financially supporting all that. So ... when are we getting our money back?

Posted Sun Jul 11 07:07:43 2021 Tags:

The boys have agreed to perform again, Sat. Jun. 19. Thanks for joining us for some essential outdoor musical exercise! The weather gods smiled on us again, with just a little drizzle. Watch on youtube! Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.

Posted Mon Jun 14 10:31:15 2021

The boys have agreed to perform again, Sat. Apr. 10. Thank you for joining us for some essential outdoor musical exercise! Watch on youtube!. Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.

Posted Wed Apr 7 18:48:37 2021 Tags:

The courts are asleep. Not all of them, everywhere, but [edit: ALMOST] all the ones I know of in Canada are just snoring their way through this pandemic.

What is the issue? As a part of combating COVID, the infringement of various civil rights of the people -- whether formally enumerated as in Canada (S.2) or the USA (Bill of Rights), or 'unwritten' in some other places. Freedom of movement, free assembly, pursuit of livelihood and others are all clear normal rights that governments have unilaterally curtailed.

OK, there is apparently some sort of emergency going on. Fine. But what are the limits on these emergency powers? If you're on Team Lockdown, you better take a close look in the mirror and ask what is the most you could accept. Even you must have a limit. But what would hold governments to that limit?

In normal times, sure, it could be public pressure. Press. Elections. Heck, statutes and legislation. But over the last 11 months, government after government has eschewed such obstruction and just went Police Powers Executive on us. I have heard not one such government leader declare limits of their own powers. Not one government leader bothers offer specific scientific justification for any particular measure - just obey the Experts.

So what's left, in case politicians and public health people go berserk? What could impose SOME limit? Public protest? OK maybe, but even that has been outlawed in many locations. There's police discretion - surely our Boys in Blue would not enforce absurd rules. Alas, we're repeatedly disappointed. There's the possibility of more ... vigorous ... resistance, but let's not go there. This leaves ... the courts. Ah yes, the courts, whose job it is normally to settle constitutional questions, balancing rights, rolling back bad law. Where are the courts?!?!

In the States, it took a few months, but people got sick of differential treatment of religious facilities, or of different types of schools, or of pure executive actions, and went to court. Several cases went to state or federal Supreme Court level, and the people have won some of their liberties back. (See below for some examples.)

In Canada, so far, nothing definitive. Everything is slow as molasses. People issued municipal police tickets for violating the mandates-du-jour have challenged them, but not gotten court dates within Months. It's as though by slow-rolling these cases, courts can hope they become moot. Our Rulers will certainly relax their grip on our rights before too long, right? Right? While the public seems to have few organized lobbyists and only very few political parties who speak up for these rights, at least some cases are being filed by individuals. Finally. They better get expedited attention. This is important. Support the JCCF!

Please help me assemble/keep this initial list of pandemic-related court cases. I would be most grateful.

jurisdictiontimecase partiessituation
Canada, Ontario2020-12The Bay vs. Ontariototal deference to gov't
Canada, AlbertaongoingJCCF and churchesinterim injunction rejected, case still alive
Canada, Manitobaongoingchurchesinjunction rejected, case still alive
Canada, OntariostartedAdam Skelly (BBQ guy), constitutional challengesstarted
Portugal2020-11german citizens challenging PCR-based quarantine success
USA, Nevada2021-01Churches vs. lockdownssuccess
USA, NY2020-11NY churches vs. CuomoSCOTUS success
USA, NY2021-01NY restaurantsNY Supreme Court injunction granted
Canada, Ontario2021-01North X Fitness, constitutional challengegov't backs down partly
Germany2021-01fine for birthday celebrationacquitted
Belgium2020+Mask mandate - fine challengesuccess on procedural grounds
Canada, Quebec2020-12Montreal entrepreneursjust started
Canada, Ontario2020-07 (?!)Vaccine Choice Canada (Galati) vs. lockdownsno movement ?
Canada, Saskatchewan2021-01Rebel News vs. political meeting prohibitionjust started
Canada, Quebec2021-02Synagogues wanting expanded limitssuccess
Netherlands2021-02Dutch night time curfew challengedsuccessful - no wait - reconsidering?!?
Canada, BC2021-02BC to force churches to closecourt refuses government injunction
Israel2021-03Israel travel limitationspartly lifted
Canada, Ontario2021-03Dissident MPP sues province for right to protest etc. outdoors
Canada, Ontario2021-05lone protester ticketed
Canada, Newfoundland2020-10traveler sues Newfoundland for inter-provincial border controlsrestriction upheld on merits via Oakes test

P.S. I worked on this blog post for many minutes, and then the Sun just blurted it out.

Posted Mon Jan 11 00:02:40 2021 Tags:

Why take photographs? Back in the prehistoric times, when cameras were big and film was scarce, people had to be picky. It's so easy now that everyone does it, and why not. Pose, snap, save, share, repeat.

And yet, why? Here is the expert-approved Complete list of possible reasons.

Proof of life. Saying "I was here!" to the universe. Stand in front of landmark, hand camera to stranger or selfie stick. Click. Keep.

Friends/family contact. Saying "wish you were here!". Click. Share.

Art. Saying "wish you could see this my way!" Hack the minds of the viewers with clever beautiful compositions. Click. Sell?

Diary. Saying "This happened to me" to myself. Click. Keep. Review.

As for me --- I do it for love. Whenever I am permitted to leave my work cave, I love most of what happens to or around me. Little things, big things. People being goofy, people being beautiful, people being alive. Heck, dead things too. So many moments can be cherished again with the aid of a reminder. So many emotions can be fanned when reliving a memory, or when imagining the event from someone else's photo. I take photos because I want to save the moment of love for later. Or --- if I don't know the persons well --- it's because someone surely knows and loves them vicariously.

For better or for worse, this means I take a lot of pictures. Over time, people around me get used to it, even if they were shy or just roll their eyes. But consider this: I have had four acquaintances or friends pass away in the last few years. I have seen many kids grow up near mine. Sooner or later, their friends & family want to feel the history again. Those that have asked, have appreciated a search of my photos of their loved ones -- and those that haven't asked yet, well, what are you waiting for?

But you don't need someone else. Perhaps you, dear reader, will start taking photography with a little more forward-looking passion. Life is short, and our memories frail. If you love something, record it. You or someone else will thank you.

Posted Thu Dec 31 16:29:52 2020

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