Warehouse concerns

Here’s my thoughts on this whole thing. It’s your choice to ignore what I say, or to read it. Completely up to you.

Holding back the ocean with a broom. It’s a silly, old saying. It’s quite apt as a parable here however. Your words are the broom, the ocean is change, and Amazon is just the current wave in front of us. Like a broom and the ocean, there’s nothing that can be said to prevent the project. At this stage, even a lawsuit will only work to hinder progress.

However, before ground breaking, there were words said. When it mattered. Those who spoke up had many changes made to the plans. Honestly, these changes should had been implemented from the beginning by the designers. Some of the notable changes made to the plans is the addition of a high living barrier (dirt wall with plants), trailer parking and warehouse docks on the interstate side of the warehouse, and traffic restrictions for trucks entering and leaving the warehouse.

I joking commented earlier about wanting the area to be a pig farm. (I love bacon, ham, porkchops) The absolute stench a pig farm would produce would be terrible. However, until Amazon became interested in the area, there was a high potential for the land to be used for agricultural uses. Mind you, the city would not had allowed a pig farm there, I’m certain. But that being said, there are worse things which could exist there than a warehouse.

Yes, from my understanding, there was a sign placed on the property indicating the arrival of a Publix. However, I happen to know that Publix never had any solid plans of building at that location. Their interested waned greatly due to new housing “crash” – Their interest was based on the developing and growing area, which ceased for quite a while. Publix also has a long standing habit of pulling out of a project if their name is attached without their consent. This is doubly so if their interest in a parcel or building is not solid. The sign itself may have been enough for them to withdraw their considerations.

As far as traffic is concerned – there will be two types: commercial/delivery and employee. From my understanding, the commercial and truck traffic will be using an entrance much closer to interstate, but still on the main through-way. Employee traffic will be routed to the entrance at the end of the residential feeder. There may be the occasional vehicle at that intersection throughout the day, but most of the employee traffic will be during 3 or 4 times a day. Trucks will probably be leaving and entering at all hours. They’re actually not as loud as people think, and won’t be disturbing anyone’s sleep.

Consider for a moment that Publix had built a store and retail center at that area. This would cause a constant and continual flow of traffic for most of the day. Consumers entering and leaving at all hours of day. Trucks and delivery vehicles would still exist (albeit not at the same quantity) and there would be no traffic restrictions preventing residential roads from becoming a through-way for those shoppers. There’s the possibility of an alcohol serving restaurant, or even a bar existing at that strip mall. Now, there’s a high potential of drunk drivers on these roads, which lead to our communities. Roads where big trucks won’t be driving. Personally, I say that’s a win for the area. Employees won’t be driving inebriated.

Let’s talk about the economics real quick. The sale of the land, lots of taxes to the county and City. Yearly taxable income. 500 new jobs (say 10% are filled by transfers, that’s still 450) This has already resulted in another parcel being considered for commercial building – so yet more taxes, more employees. $15 per hour wages. Ok, so let’s consider the work those employees will be doing, and the conditions in which they’re doing it. Warehouse workers are the new coal miners, the new boilermakers, the new high-rise riveters and steel workers. It’s a job not for everyone. Extremely physically demanding. Very mentally draining. There’s going to be a lot of burn-outs who will look at less stressful positions, even if it means taking a pay cut. But in the mean time, those employees will be living and shopping in the area. They will be spending their money in our home. That’s more taxes, more little stores getting income. That’s the potential for /more/ little stores.

Housing and property valuations. This is a big concern for high end communities. I get that. It’s also quite true that the values of houses will drop slightly. With the amount of employees Amazon will have at this location, there are certain to be new homes in the area built. Older homes purchased. The area will grow. If these homes are high value family residences, that will ultimately bring the value of existing homes and neighborhoods up again. However, if these new constructions are allowed to be dozens upon dozens of low-end or starter homes – I can’t say the values will raise at all. Now, I’m not talking about new neighborhoods of high-end communities, but rather $250-$500k homes. So, it is with that concern that the residents in the area should concentrate. Ensuring that any new developments have stipulations of being mid-level communities. Not just for area housing valuations, but so they are actually affordable by those who will be working at Amazon, and thus will purchase them and live there.

If the area were to have been used for a retail center – Publix or not – it would drive a lower end push for housing in the area. Sub $200k homes. Starter homes. In a few years, they would be sold off to others. There’s no attachment, and thus those neighborhoods would quickly fall into less optimal aesthetics. With Amazon, there is a chance of new neighborhoods being valued higher – both financially and emotionally, and will be better taken care of… and add to the value of existing neighborhoods.

There will be new homes, new commercial, retail and industrial projects in the area. It’s not stoppable. Not unless someone purchases all of the surrounding land. It’s progress (like it or leave it) It is up to us, the stewards of our community, to help shape the direction this growth takes. There will always be things not in our control. There is still plenty which can be done however. We just need to pick the fights we have a chance to win. Having the new construction and businesses make concessions to ease the burden they will put on the area. To compromise on designs to increase the overall happiness of both parties. To help direct the City in area restrictions and code. But it must be done appropriately, at the times and places when it matters, and always with high moral, ethical and legal intentions.

Linux SSH login – a good starting point

The steps below were included in a later article I wrote, regarding new Linux server installations, here which includes much more information from that aspect. The information below is still valid, useful, educational information which should be read if intending to start the process of hardening a Linux server. I apologize for the sloppiness of this, but I see no reason to copy and paste the same information into this article when it flows very naturally in the new article. You will thank yourself for reading both articles, however!

My environment:
Ubuntu Server 18.04 hosted in a datacenter, with a public IP used for administration and public use.
Windows client computer with SSH terminal program. (I highly suggest WinSSHTerm v2 for higher level usage)

The goal:
To run a server with SSH key login only.
To use password authentication for privilege escalation only.
To prevent unauthorized access, login and escalation, through various methods.

The server software:
OpenSSH (sshd – ssh daemon service)
fail2ban (intrusion prevention service)
Linux PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module)
UFW (Uncomplicated FireWall, in lieu of IPTables)

Additional software used for demonstration puroses:
MariaDB (A fork of MySQL, with some enhancements)
HAProxy (A layer 4 and 7 routing service (HTTP(S) and TCP-only proxy)
Hiawatha (HTTP daemon akin to Apache, with simpler configs, and a security focus)

The method:
Using the above software services, the GNU/Linux installation will be secure from intrusion from unauthorized and unauthenticated users (and user-like software). This process will include allowing TCP port 22 incoming access, and denying incoming access to all other ports (opening 22, closing everything else), until such time as additional ports are needed for access into the machine. All outbound connections will be allowed in this tutorial. Once UFW is enabled, external clients may connect only to port 22/TCP. Being OpenSSH will run on port 22, SSH is the only thing that can connect to the server. The next step will be to allow SSH key logins, ensure this is working correctly, and then disable password authentication on SSH. After getting the server to a point where only SSH with a key pair can connect to the server, fail2ban and PAM will be utilized to help mitigate brute-force attacks for login and privilege escalation (i.e. sudo and su usage).

The end result:
We’ll be using 5 pieces of software (Linux, SSH, fail2ban, PAM and UFW) as a starting point to secure a Linux server installation. These instructions are based around Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but may be applicable to other distros and version. 18.04 is a SystemD based system, and some differences will occur for older, non-SysD installations. Before a Linux server can be of any use, it must be accessible. This can be through a local console (keyboard & monitor), through a remote console (such as many hosting companies provide for direct access, or which can be set up using a serial cable and terminal (often using a laptop connected to the server) – or by remote terminal access, via SSH (at this time, I do not know any other ways to access the main console or terminals of a Linux host) For this tutorial, we will assume SSH access will be used, even if console access is also used.

Users (potentially just the server admin, you, the reader perhaps) will gain access to the server with an SSH compatible client. This client will connect to TCP port 22 (possibly changed, will go over later in this article) The server will go through various methods of authenticating the connect, the supplied account, and credentials (SSH key). Upon successful connection and authentication, the user will have access to the server. If the user is granted sudoers privileges, the user can then use ‘su’ and ‘sudo’ to gain escalated (root) privileges. If, however, authentication fails, the user’s connection will be terminated. Multiple failures will invoke the user being banned, and from connecting at all. The user information will be added to a fail2ban jail, with configurable ban time (or permanent – but this is dangerous as if the admin somehow fails to login properly multiple times, the admin will have to gain direct console access to resolve the issue)

There will be a minimalized guide at the bottom with the basic information needed as a refresher for admins who understand the software and steps needed, but lack the confidence in blindly following memory to achieve this basic setup.

A synopsis of the steps needed:
Step 1 – Install and setup the Linux server, and accounts. This is the only time the root user account will be used to gain access to the system.

Step 2 – Install and set up UFW. This will include choosing to use the default SSH port, or modifying it. Changing the SSH port is “security by obscurity” – which can help mitigate SSH probing attempts, causing a lack of interest in your server to any hackers. Using the default port is still highly suggested, and though probes may find the port to be open, it will be very difficult for hackers to gain access. (Warning: These methods do not encompass software exploits which may exist in the SSH daemon, Linux, or any other software being used – This covers conventional, brute-force and guessing-game type attacks only)

Step 3 – Secure the SSHd to use SSH keys, and to then disable password login. Passwords will still be used by the system for authenticated users to gain su/sudo access.

Step 4 – Use PAM to mitigate authenticated user brute-force and guessing-game password escalation attempts, and to assist with SSH key login.

Step 5 – Ensure fail2ban is set up to ban malicious connections, and mitigate attacks on connection and escalation.

Step 6 – To use some commonly used user-accessible software services to demonstrate how to allow access to these services, including non-authentication public access (HAproxy and Hiawatha) and secure, private access (MariaDB) These demonstrations will provide a basis for understanding how to grant access to nearly any hosted service in a secure manner.

These 6 steps will give a BASE LINE level of security, and should not be counted on for 100% of a system’s security. There are many additional methods which can be utilized to harden a server system. Some options are additional software, replacement software, hardware firewalls, VPNs (Software and hardware) The extensiveness of advanced security and hardening is beyond the scope of this guide, but should be understood and researched as needed.

BluntAboutIT.com and I, the author do NOT make any guarantee to any end, and CANNOT be held accountable for security failure for any system which is set up using this guide. Again, this is a base line guide, but the admin must ensure that ALL security needs are met, including ensuring that every security measure needed is in use and properly functioning and using the latest available software. With that said, this guide can provide a good starting point for admins to secure their servers.

(At this time, I am publishing this page, with it incomplete and lacking any actual instructions. The information here is enough for a smart person to do some research and be able to begin the process, if not complete it. This tutorial will be updated at a later time to include instructional steps for installing, setting up and utilizing the software mentioned thus far. There may also be additions to what is currently published)

An Open Letter: Healthcare

A reasonably simple solution to help fix healthcare in the US. Not a complete fix, not a miracle. This isn’t some government controlled subsidy or program. Completely private. Maybe there could be some tax breaks for it, or maybe some local gov subsidy, but not Federal.

**In this letter, I speak of Walmart – mainly because it is the largest national chain with the space and resources for such a plan. However, other business may also choose to participate, and in fact some already are. Publix, in Florida has something similar – and indeed, Walmart already does in some locations as well.**

There’s some axioms in this world. One of them is that poor people have bad health coverage and less access to good healthcare. Another is that there are Walmarts within walking distance of most less affluent areas.

Now, before anyone gets upset – I’ve been to a Walmart in Pennsylvania which hosts a clinic in their front mall area. It was a pleasant experience, considering the reason I was there. The clinic was (as of 4 years ago) operated by the local hospital. They operated somewhere between an urgent care and nursing station.

My idea is to have Walmart be encouraged to host these clinics in all of their locations within walking distance of areas in need. Walmart would work with the local health authorities (hospitals and local/state governments) for staffing and operational funding. There are plenty of hospitals, or even doctor associate groups which could provide staffing and funding. This would be beneficial for hospitals to staff, as they would be offloading their emergency room intake for non-critical cases to other areas. The operating entity would then have access to all of their insurance providers, including government health assistance programs.

Walmart could be given a tax break for each location, deducting the square footage from their yearly tax bill. This would encourage both the introduction of the clinic, as well as ensuring it is given plenty of space for operating.

I envision these clinics being able to provide free healthcare to children and possibly the elderly (60+ perhaps), and affordable healthcare for anyone over 16. This would be from minor medical questions (What’s this rash on my leg?) to minor non-emergency wounded. The staff would be able to handle situations such as patients requiring stitches – provided the bleeding is controlled, etc – basically anything that does not require a full tenured doctor. A basic walk-in clinic. These clinics can provide affordable and easy access for vacinations; infection treatements, sprains and bruises.

In some locations, I could see having a “specialization of the day” for medical prevention as well. This could include a women’s health day, men’s health day, Children’s health day, Ear-Nose-Throat day. Having as many different specializations as possible, spread out weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even seasonally. These would be introductory services, providing resources and referals as needed. These would all be walk-in, first come, first served services.

Business-wise, these would be extensions of the local hospitals or doctors groups. This means any payment method which is accepted by the main business, should also be accepted at these clinics, including cash, insurane and government assistance.

From a sociology perspective, having these clinics in such accessible locations can help to deter infections diseases (flu, stds, etc), provide for a better quality of life for the area, and help to educate the population. Federal, State and Local laws will of course be obeyed, however the ability for people without transportation to be able to have a medical professional take a look at their issue(s) can help to alleviate un-diagnosed and un-treated ailments and conditions. This could be especially beneficial for young adults (and teens) who are sexually active where embarassment factors could prevent treatement otherwise.

Encouraging the wide-spread deployment of public clinics within the Walmart network of stores can greatly increase the overall public health of the country. The CDC can also get more accurate and larger samples of statistics regarding infectious diseases. Over-worked emergency room staff will be able to focus on higher priority cases.

These clinics are intended to fill a void in healthcare accessibility. Where other healthcare options are already plentiful within walking distance of less affluent neighborhoods, these would not be neccisary but still allowable.

I hope this will make it to the eyes of someone much more influential than I and can get this started as a standard operating procedure for retail business.

Life in general, a rant

Holy crap can life throw some curve balls.

So without getting into details – life in general has been very hectic the last couple of weeks. It’s been building to a boiling point for several months. In the last 5 months there has been a death, a marriage, a family feud, I started smoking, a family addition (more on that later, maybe) a hurricane, a trip to the mountains, and a couple of falls on the way home, a bit of personal self-learning. I quit smoking. Not in any specific order.

I now have, for the first time in my life, a preferred auto-body shop. I’ve never needed one before, but so far, so good. I’d prefer to not need one, but alas, I have one. Why might I now need an auto-body shop? Because our brand new, less than a week old car had some issues. It’s sitting at the auto-body shop with the drive-off tag still attached. Almost $8,000 of estimated damage. In two claims. Thankfully. Had the damage been a single claim, it could have turned out very bad for us, with the car being totaled and a replacement not exactly working out. (Blame that marriage thing I mentioned earlier)

The wife and I went on a trip to Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, a last vacation for the foreseeable future. Not that we won’t be taking small trips, etc, but we have none planned. We enjoyed ourselves greatly! The car did not enjoy the trip so much however. The Saturday before we left for our trip, we traded up our 2015 Soul for a 2018 model. Score! New car smell, tiny little issues all gone, OOOH SHINEY! New, real Rims! By Thursday, I had backed into a tree. Saturday on the return trip home, an old woman t-boned us in a parking lot. Not fun. Not so shiny any more. Not my greatest moments. Though the delivery was quite rude, crude even in tone and volume – the words were not. Or maybe they were a bit. I was beyond pissed. I couldn’t drive the car if I wanted to, my nerves were (and to some extent still are) completely shot. I can’t stand people pulling out onto the road I’m traveling from side streets – at all.

With my nerves shot and responsibilities which include driving, I turned to that old crutch, the only horrible coping mechanism I’ve used in the past. Smoking. Cigarettes. I’ve quit again, as of Saturday Night (So about 36 hours now, as of this writing) So what’s the first thing my body does? That night, it start expunging crap from my lungs and decides that’d be a great time to give me a lung infection. So now, I’m sitting my computer, coughing and writing this because I’m too sore and physically exhausted to do anything else. And I have about 200 hours of work to get done. *sigh*

I’ve done a lot of “growing the fuck up” over the last 5 months. A lot. My mother passed away less than a month before my wedding. I’ll never forgive myself for that, though I know there was nothing I could do. My mother’s husband had lost almost everything taking care of her, and over the last three years or so was completely unable to leave her alone for more than a few minutes at a time. My mother’s family, completely inept and incapable of ever understanding the drain she put on him, decided to see things that weren’t there. To put it nicely. It was bad enough she wouldn’t be at my wedding. Then my wedding was cut considerably smaller because of those expenses. Wouldn’t her family help out too? Oh hell no. My crowd funding got called a scam, I was called a liar and thief. Her husband was insulted multiple times. Oh, and there was a murder investigation. No charges were brought against anyone, nor was there any reason to. I don’t care how old a person is, when they have a good relationship with their parents and they die, it’s fucking hard. Needless to say, I’m *done* with my uncles and aunts, etc from my mother’s side. Those people, I wouldn’t hit in the forehead with a penny if they asked for help from me.

My wife’s family came together for my wife and I at our wedding and made it one of the best days of my life, and I’m sure it was one of my wife’s best days too. I learned a lot about humanity, my new family, and myself when I got married. Amazing people, the whole lot of em. It’s great how her family was able to help us make it such a wonderful event. Our friends and family are the greatest. So many things changed when She and I became one in the eyes of the law. It seems like every time I turn around there’s something new that we must do, cannot do, or should/shouldn’t do because we’re married. Taxes, Insurance, Loans, even just a bank account… so many things change (some for the better) – all because we no pronounce we are legally one. So weird. More weird is the fact it’s all just financial stuff that seems to really change. I could rant on that alone for two posts. I wouldn’t change a bit of that if it meant not being married.

Technically the hurricane was closer to 6 months ago now. It’s effects are still being felt. Our garden is in complete and utter disrepair. When the hurricane killed my plants, I got depressed about the whole thing. Then this January, we had a hard freeze which killed off most of the rest. Partly because I didn’t plan accordingly (see above comment) We had various vegetables, herbs, and some squash plants. It was more of a “Let’s see what we can grow, and enjoy it” After all, the store is still an option. But now, we’ve come to discover that some of her several-year-old plants are now dead from the freeze. *Gut punch* Not too bad, but it’s just one thing after another. Not to mention the grass, which I’m fairly certain is just obliging my thoughts on not having to mow so much, is dying around the front entry and driveway.

This isn’t too horrible, other than I need to get some rock and stepping stones, which costs money – oh and the abominable trugreen salesmen who, despite the “NO SOLICITING” sign up front, continue to bother us about our dead grass. I like my neighbor’s opinion on that, which he voiced at our latest HOA meeting. It involved a shotgun. Apparently complete and utter verbal hostility is not enough to get on their “do not talk to” list. The last one left a written door hangar (folded up and shoved in the door), started with “I read your sign” How ignorant can people be? Seriously, this makes me sad on so many levels. I digress.

Anyways, I mentioned a new addition to the family. Well, not really an addition. More of a re-introduction? My wife and I are adopting my niece – originally we just wanted her placed with us, to get her out of the foster care system. However, there was a threat that she could be taken away for nearly any reason and that adopting her would prevent that. What ever. I just want the girl to have some-what of a normal life. The longer she’s in that system, the more harm is done. We’re within a week of finalizing this, so I feel it’s OK to say so. This has brought on it’s own set of stress, complications, and curve balls. Being we’re adopting a child from the state, we must have a “home study” completed. This involves background checks, finger printing, digging up stupid shit from my past, and generally being a nuisance to us. Certain people have known, and some have been mislead to believe otherwise – I’m sorry for any deceit from this. There were reasons.

The home study has been going on since November. We told the people before they ever scheduled anything that my fiance and I would be getting married and leaving for honeymoon. And what’s right after when we get back from our honeymoon? Thanksgiving. So what does this woman try to do? Schedule the first interview while we’re gone. As in not even in the state of Florida. At that moment I knew I should had requested another worker. What has the last 5 months done for that? Proven me right. Though I’m not sure there are any workers who are less inept and incompetent. Maybe there are, maybe she’s the worse of them all. I don’t know, but I bite my tongue because I need her to do her job. She’s lost reference letters sent to her. She outright replied to a personal reference email from my wife’s mother asking who the subject of said reference is talking about. (My wifes, my nieces and my full names were in the letter) This is after we sat at our kitchen table for 4 hours trying to explain how criminal records work. One would think this person would know this already. And yes, I have misdemeanors and traffic violations, etc. Anyone ever claiming me to be perfect is not to be trust and should probably be put away. But that’s all of us.

On the lighter side of things, I’ve got a trailer to haul stuff with (and which will be holding my lawn tools while in the garage) We’ve got the property mom’s husband lives cleaned up, and some back taxes paid. And he’s on his way back to building his lawn service company. I’m on better talking terms with my siblings, and we might be getting a puppy some time in the future. Puppies are always great. Almost as great as kittehs!

So, I think I’m done ranting. Thanks for reading, chuckling, laughing, crying.

Yesterday…

I’ve been officially married in the eyes of God, the law, friends and family for five days now. Nothing much has changed. But that’s to be expected – because we have been married to each other for over two years in our own eyes. We made that commitment then, to each other and have lived by it since.

It’s amusing how much has not changed. And how much actually has. The things I would have bet good money on changing after our ceremony are absolutely 100% the same. I’m still a perfectionist, and she is still the perfect person for me.

We’ve spent many units of space time together, traveling through this life with each other in the last 2+ years. We’re each other’s companion, staying side by side through all that life throws at us. She is by far much more my strength than I hers. We have grown together, she has taught me patience that no one else ever has, and has taught me to be calm. Her opinion is the first to matter to me in a long time. Maybe that’s what love is about?

She now refers to me as her husband, and I refer to her as my wife. These are not possessive terms as much as they are self-proclamations of attachment. I attach myself to her when I call her “my wife” – not the other way around. For so long, the left has been shouting wrongness and irrationality at my that I didn’t realize how much they were wrong, and how calling someone “my wife” would affect me positively.

I am not her property, and she is not my property, except that we give ourselves to each other and have bound our lives together, equally and have been acting as husband and wife for 2 years – only now we are legally and socially allowed to use the titles of endearment for which roles we play. Life is good, it is simple, and it is the most complex it has ever been, it is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. It’s a hell of a thing, and I’m so happy to be sharing this journey with the woman who calls me husband.

People and Corrupt Beings

When someone has lied to themselves and been lied to so often and so much, and has started to believe those lies as truth, those lies become their truth, which blurs reality, making distinction between two subtle, and sometimes not so subtle differences indistinguishable from the lie itself.
 
Guilt among those who scream that immigrants mustn’t be deported, even though no one other than the left and the media has said they would be deported, is a major cause of their blind ignorance, and a basis for the lies they’re being fed.
 
There are people on this planet who’s sole purpose is to be as disruptive and malicious to society as a whole, that if these people were to all be silenced at once, and prevented from causing the trouble they do not know they are causing, the sheer amount of peace and understanding in the world would be overwhelming. These people may not realize, know or understand they are being this way. In their world, the things they do which are totally destructive to society and those around them, is, in all essential aspects of their life, mind and soul is what they are supposed to do to be a good person. They are “wired” wrong. They are corrupted to a point where there is no hope they can ever be responsible, productive members of any society. No matter what they do, make, or otherwise create – it will have at it’s core the destruction of the thing they are, on the surface, appearing to help, befriend, or otherwise do good for.
 
George Soros is one of these people. One of the most corrupt and evil men on this planet – and yet, if you were to take a shot-glass peek at the things he’s done for this planet, one would believe he is a selfless custodian of this planet. But he’s not. Every ounce of energy he exerts is, regardless of surface appearances, intended to corrupt, dilute, and destroy this planet. He is nothing more than a merchant of chaos and being incapable of truly helping anyone or anything.
 
The world is full of these people. They are incapable of anything but hatred, lies, and dealing with things that destroy rather than create. These people have as their fundamental goal of existence to do as much harm as they possibly can. The truly sad part is that they honestly believe they are doing good. They honestly believe their cause is the best thing for their group, their civilization and society, their country. And they’re just plain wrong.
 
They will take any input given to them, and twist it around, corrupt it, fill it with lies and deceit, and spew it back as if it were verbatim to what others have said. They will accuse any person who argues this, or attempts to point out the faults or attempts to correct them as any negative entity which they feel applies.
 
In this case, these suppresive people, these merchants of chaos, these corrupt souls, they will accuse the rest of the world of being racist, xenophobic, religion-phobic, race-supremacist, etc, without any factual proof or evidence to support their claims, regardless of the proof or evidence which is contrary to their libel and slander. These people are worse than any religious zealot, any radical or extremest. Why? Because they honestly do not know what they are doing is wrong, and have no guidance where as zealots, extremists and radicals are doing what they do because of their beliefs which they knowingly understand and accept.
 
Yes, I’m saying that an Islamic terrorist is a better being than these people. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, and political affiliations. And who knows, maybe I’ve got it all wrong and those people who have diametrically opinions and views to me are right and are doing the best for the planet and I’m the one whom is described above. I highly doubt that though.
 
So yeah, when You tell someone “Illegal Alien” and they reply “immigrant” – You can be assure you’re either talking to a dumb-ass, or someone as I described above. Either way, I hope life is just that much better for you!

FedEx

As a society inundated by international trade, consumerism and online shopping, we require the services of transport and delivery agencies.  We expect in return for our patronage, a qualified individual which will promptly, safely and unabashedly handle, transport and deliver our items, goods and packages.  However, in the era when burger flippers want $15 an hour, these people saddled with the responsibility of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise refuse to be so gentle and humble.  It seems there is a continuing downward trend of work ethics in many industries in the United States.  Between liberals wanting an unqualified exchange for services, Immigrants/migrants taking jobs Americans could otherwise have, and outsourcing of jobs to other countries, it’s no wonder work ethics are on a drastic decline. That, I feel is why this happened to me today.

Now, I’ve taken the time to write this up – this is partly due to my complete and unsatisfied annoyance at this FedEx driver.  However, I couldn’t concentrate on my work if I tried to.  I’m left with feelings of confusion, anger, betrayal and cannot focus on anything but these events.  Thankfully  there was no visible damage to the packaging, however, I have yet to fully inspect the product and am unsure if it is broken.

The events occurred about 10 O’clock am, 30 November 2016 in Florida.

I’m sitting at my desk, next to a front-facing window where I can hear the door bell and see the road/driveway.  I hear my doorbell ring, and look out the window to see a FedEx van. As I go down the stairs to retrieve my package, I see nothing sitting on the front patio through the front door windows. Thinking maybe it’s not the package I was expect but something much smaller, I opened the door and looked around – nothing.  So I look at the FedEx truck, and see the driver removing a hand truck.  At this point, new package excitement is gently jogging through my veins.  (You know the feeling, it’s almost like Christmas morning as a child, but you already know what you’re getting)

I asked the man “Hey, what’s up?” being my southern polite self.  He responded with “I’ve got a big package for you, might want to go through the garage, yeah?” This found me at odds.  Why does a delivery driver care how I move my package from outside to inside? Why would the garage help at all, it has the same size door into the house as the front door? Does this guy want to scope out my garage!? It’s none of his business what’s in my garage.  So I tell him, no and that it’s going to the front door.  He insisted again I open the garage.  At this point I tell him unconditionally “You asked me a question, I answered it. It’s not going in the garage, it’s going to the front door.” Still trying to remain polite, but firm in my response.  I know it’s quite possible he didn’t understand me previously and wanted to make sure he understand what I was saying.

At this point, I’m beginning to get annoyed however.  I shouldn’t be out in my driveway discussing where my package is to be delivered.  There are no instructions and the defacto default of “Front door area” should be his main concern.  I should not have had to request this, nor require it from him.  I was not asking for anything out of the unusual, or anything potentially dangerous, illegal, illicit or otherwise wrong.  However, I’m willing to brush it off as maybe I’m misunderstanding him.  Well, his next words made it very clear to me that he should not be working the job he’s working.  Maybe he’s normally a really nice, well meaning and centered and balanced person.  Today, however he was not.

As I stood in my driveway, considering the ethics of this man, pondering his fascination with my garage and why he wouldn’t have chosen to simply drop off my package as any other normal package, I watched.  Indeed, I watched this man, who for no other reason than not getting his way, began to through a tantrum in front of me.  I watched him throw one small package (literally, throw, though possibly more of a toss) back into the truck, and then forcefully shove another, larger package (Quite possibly someone’s new LCD TV, I didn’t get a chance to read the box clearly, however the image appeared to be of a TV) off the top of what I quickly realized what the package being delivered to me.  He did this with such force the package audibly bounced off of something towards the front of the van (I could not see what it hit) and cause what sounded like several other packages to fall off stacks and racks.

When I was done being shocked by this man’s behavior with other people’s property, which they presumably worked for the money in which they paid for these items, he spoke again.  And his words damn near floored me.

“Are you going to give me a hand with this?” – as if I was in any way expected to help this man perform the normal duties of his position as a FedEx delivery driver.  At this point, I lost it. I completely and utterly lost it. However with the help of my girlfriend over the last year, I have been learning to better control my actions, words and thoughts towards situations which otherwise boil my blood.  So, I found “it” again.  At least for one sentence.  So I calmly, yet very firmly, and with a hint of agitation told him “No, I will not. That is your job.” And began to walk inside.  His response was then “Yeah, ok, but I’m not responsible for this!” – and this is where the only way I would not have lost my composure was if God himself would have come down out of the heavens and slapped this man silly.  Perhaps I was a bit liberal with my vocabulary, perhaps I was a bit rude, perhaps this person needed a blunt and crass response from a customer to wake him up.  Regardless, what I said was said, and was said out of anger and dissatisfaction with this man’s service.  Maybe it isn’t as dramatic as that.  My reply, and I honestly feel like I still did a good job controlling myself.  Had I been from California, I may have opted to take a squat and sling fecal matter at this man. Instead I yelled at him these words “Yes, you fucking are, it’s your fucking job!” I proceeded to enter my house, and lock the door and yell profanities because I didn’t want to end up with the Sheriff’s office visiting me.

As I walk up the stairs in the foyer, and watch as he begins to throw my package around into my bushes, on the concrete pad and otherwise be as abusive as he can be, I feel the urge to yell at him more, however I don’t.  Rather than continue to cause issue, I stand in the stair well, waiting for him to walk back to his van, so I can go outside to retrieve my package.  As I open the door, he looks around the back of the van at me and calls me an asshole.  After moving my package into the house, I turn around flick him off and close my door, locking it.

Was my actions completely social? No. Should I have perhaps behaved more socially? That’s what is generally agreed upon.  However, this man should not have called me out, should not have put me in that position, and should not have his job any longer.  Unfortunately I do not have this man’s name, nor vehicle number.  However, Enrique over at @FedExHelp on Twitter, did ask me for more information.  I have supplied this and yet have no answer as to what they will be doing.  Below is a screenshot of the request I received from @FedExHelp.  My hopes began to brighten when I seen these requests, however after almost half an hour without a response to the information I provided, I feel the reach-out was more of a reach-around and “good will gesture” with an end result of no one doing anything about this situation, or this employee.
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I do hope FedEx can make this right. I also hope my plants were not irrevocably harmed, my item not damaged internally, or for the sake of others that the packages which were abused by this man were also delivered unbroken.

UPDATE:
FedEx has escalated to station management, who will be calling me in a couple of hours.
Thank You Enrique!

(I will continue to update as pertinent)

Safe Spaces, Entitlements & The Internet

First off if you think I’m going to denounce any violence and negativity on the internet, you can alt-f4 right now.
[EDIT: I would like to say here that this article does not target groups of people for being different, or endorse hate for these groups, only that there is more than enough room for improvement from everyone, and these are the areas where improvement can be made. ~Jeremy]

I am sick and tired of hearing about safe spaces.  Get over it.  The world is inherently NOT your friend.  This is doubly true online.  Social Media / Social networking is a scam.  There is nothing social about it.  Unless that’s truly how degraded the world has become that people saying things with ambiguity and or even of no relation to any subject for which butt-hurt bubble children are offended can be taken as a threat of the end of the world.  Yeah, about that too, You might be that important to you, but until You make yourself that important to everyone else, by works and actions, You’re simply not important.  You are not the world and you never will be if you don’t get out of the cardboard box that you pretend is an ivory tower.

I don’t care what you uncle has done to you.  I don’t care what sexuality you have.  I don’t care if you feel like a woman stuck in a man’s body.  But when you shove it in my face, damn straight I’m going to fight back.  Safe spaces.  What a load of bull crap.  When I was a kid, my safe space was in my mom’s arm.  That stopped when I was about 8 years old.  Am I butt hurt about it?  No!  Why? Because that’s the natural, healthy thing for a child.  Being coddled well into adulthood is absolute nonsense and needs to stop.  You need to grow the fuck up and stop acting like a spoiled little bastard.

Queer, Fagot, Gay.  Words which had nothing, historically, to do with homosexuallity and the sexually deviant.  But now, – OH but now, this will most certainly be the first post I’ve made that will have comments on it.  Why? Because I said those three words.  Again, get over it and grow up.  Here’s some definitions for you to learn:

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queer
kwir/
adjective
adjective: queer; comparative adjective: queerer; superlative adjective: queerest
  1. 1.
    strange; odd.
    “she had a queer feeling that they were being watched”
    antonyms: normal
    • Britishinformaldated
      slightly ill.

verb

informal
verb: queer; 3rd person present: queers; past tense: queered; past participle: queered; gerund or present participle: queering
  1. 1.
    spoil or ruin (an agreement, event, or situation).
    “Reg didn’t want someone meddling and queering the deal at the last minute”

===========================================================================

fag·ot
ˈfaɡət/
noun
noun: faggot; plural noun: faggots; noun: fagot; plural noun: fagots
  1. a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel.
    • a bundle of iron rods bound together for reheating, welding, and hammering into bars.

===========================================================================

Full Definition of gay

  1. 1 a :  happily excited :  merry <in a gay mood> b :  keenly alive and exuberant :  having or inducing high spirits <a bird’s gay spring song>

  2. 2 a :  bright, lively <gay sunny meadows> b :  brilliant in color

  3. 3 :  given to social pleasures; also :  licentious

  4. 4 a :  homosexual <gay men> b :  of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar>

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I don’t give a shit if these words offend you when I use them.  As long as I use these words in a respectful way with an intention of a proper definition and without being derogatory, then you’re being offended over nothing.  Or more so, over English Language.  Notice how there are many other definitions for each word?  Yeah, probably not because you’re lacking a proper education.  I’m sorry that you’ve been failed as a child,  but you’re an adult now and need to take responsibility for yourself.  Stop trying to dictate your lifestyle and your idiocy upon everyone else.

Now I suppose that if you, the reader are still with me,  You are either educated enough to not be offended, or you’re super pissed off right now and are thinking of ways to harm me or my reputation in a legal way, or possibly illegal way.  What ever, do what you feel like.  I’ve said my peace.

Does this mean I inherently hate the homosexual community?  NO.  It don’t.  It means I’m fucking tired of people pushing their own bullshit on me because they feel like that my sole existence is offensive to them.  And I’ve done not a damned thing to be offensive, other than be alive.  If you feel so insecure that you need to run away from me to be in a safe space, then you need to stay off the internet.

Oh, but you’re a LBGTSA what ever other letters you want to add to that, programmer and exist on the internet?  Well, This is part of the real world now. Pull up your pants (or your skirt I guess, guys), grow up and DEAL WITH IT.  You think us straight normal people don’t have shit to deal with?  We’ve got retarded assholes that can’t handle somewhat stressful situations complaining that they’re entitled to being treated better than everyone else.  And not all of them are homosexual or trans.

I have stress in my own life.  I’m working to build myself as an income generating person (i.e. Not working for anyone else, but solely for myself) And that’s fucking hard.  Am I screaming at society, saying that I’m entitled to have things because I am me?  No.  Would society laugh in my face and tell me to go away?  Most assuredly, Yes.  Why?  Because society does not intend to support me when I am a capable and able person.  That’s just the most recent stress.  How about all the unfinished things I’ve got around the house?  Family members being in hospitals, and others going through shit that would make you take a shotgun to your face – And doing with as much grace and gratitude as is possible in their positions. That wears on me – but I’m not begging society to keep me safe from the facts that death happens.  I can’t help these people, I’m not God, except in my own special little world where I wake up from every morning.

Do you know what I am entitled to?  I am entitled to being allowed to live.  I am entitled to being allowed to make my own way in this world.  I am entitled to breath the air, drink the water and shit.  That’s all.  Everything else society has come together and said, “You know, it would be nice if we had cleaner, cooler air in our homes; to have clean water delivered on call to our homes; to have waste removal and processing so we don’t live in feces”  And because of society, we have these things.

And it just occurred to me that these man-child people don’t know what society is.  It is not a thing.  It is not government.  It is not some person in office dictating errata.  No!  Society is all of us.  It is the largest group of people to exist.  We are in an age of global society.  But we still have national societies, broke up into smaller groups right down to that society called family.

Here’s another definition for you, this time specific to the definition for which I am using:
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so·ci·e·ty
səˈsīədē/
noun
noun: society

  1. 1.
    the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
    “drugs, crime, and other dangers to society”
    synonyms: the community, the (general) public, the people, the population;

===========================================================================

This is something I feel has been lost in general.

I do have to apologize for this post as I have allowed myself to be emotionally driven to write this.  As such, there may be errors in grammar and use of words I would otherwise not have used in a post on BluntAboutIt.com – This said, I am not going back to edit this and truly hope that those who are offended by this post may learn something from the words I have written and become less obsessed with being offended and maybe, just maybe, get pissed off enough to stop trying to hide from society and the responsibilities of being a member thereof.  Safe Space, Entitlement, The fuck is this? Nazi Germany?  Get over it. You’re not being hunted down like Jews in the holocaust and you’re not getting shit for just being.  The same as I get nothing for just being.

~Jeremy

Bae is Bæ

So I seen this on Facebook this morning, which prompted me to write this post:
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However, what many people don’t know is that Bæ is short for Bæet – Danish for feces.
And of course, most people don’t bother with the æ character any more unless in Denmark.
SO, You’re calling your girlfriend/boyfriend shit.  And you expect that relationship to be full of respect and longevity?  It’s amazing you’re even mature enough to not run away screaming “cooties!” and that you have someone who willingly admits to and does share their life with you is astonishing.  Especially when you sit there and call them bodily excrement every day.

OH Wait, I know.  You’re not calling them shit, are you?  You’re just that damned lazy that you can’t be  bothered to say all of the sounds of the word “babe” – Which, I have to say deserves a slap in the face and a kick in the ass.  Too lazy to say words properly?  Or too little respect for the other person to give them the effort of actually finishing a word?  I can completely understand this coming from the ghettos, where the average education is 5th grade, and the average IQ is still less than the average income.

And now, if you’re still reading, you’re asking yourself as to what allows me (the author) to be so judgmental.  Or maybe you’re smarter than that and are wanting to just see what else I’ve got to say.  Well, first I’ve got an education.  I’ve got a superior IQ.  Generally the only time I’m lazy with my written and verbal vocabulary variance is vexing vitiation of vestige votary vernacular.
(At this time, even I ask myself, what’s with all the V words? Because Vendetta.)

So the next time you turn to your significant other, and you start to say “babe” – don’t be retarded, do finish the word.