Press Release (RP)

Sochi, Krasnodar Krai (RP) - The now-disbanded "Voting Integrity Commission" launched by the Trump administration uncovered no evidence to support claims of major voter fraud, according to an analysis of administration documents released Friday. Once translated into English, the documents revealed that the highly-touted team, led by Russian mathematician Gregor Yukuvlevich Perlman, discussed the possibilities for over an hour at each of the bimonthly meetings that ran from January through March in the picturesque resort town overlooking the Black Sea.

The conclusion that no major fraud occurred seems to have left a void of information about whether minor voter fraud occurred, what the difference between major and minor voter fraud might be and how well major and minor translate into Russian. When questioned about this discrepancy the translator had to excuse herself for personal reasons, and Perlman - whose ability to speak English tends to fluctuate - was unable to effectively communicate well enough to finish the press conference.

Washington, DC (RP) - A "Federal Commission on School Safety" has been launched by the Trump administration in response to the increasing number of tragedies involving guns, students and teachers. Department of Education Chief Betsy DeVos announced that the newly-formed commission will not look at the role of guns in school violence, disregarding the fact that so far in 2018, at the rate of one incident per week, school shootings have caused the death of at least thirty-seven students and adults, as well as at least thirty-one serious injuries.

The Education Honcho also is seeking to eliminate 29 discretionary programs and declares that "our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating and eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs that are better handled at the state or local level." In other words, 'Instead of working to make education more effective by consolidating and standardizing and regulating our nation's education at the national level, I choose to continue to cop out, put my head in the sand, be a traitor to the very concept of education and admit that dutifully doing the job I am being paid to do is way beyond me or anyone on my team.'

Menlo Park, CA (RP) - Mark Zuckerberg was admitted into Stanford Hospital today suffering from stress-induced heart palpitations after an historic and impassioned plea from President Obama has reduced traffic on facebook by more than half! In his twenty-minute address on national TV, President Obama masterfully explained how the Russians were able to affect our last election and how they might be planning to again interfere in what may be the most important election in our nation's history.

Our forty-fourth president also detailed how Zuckerberg and others have amassed fortunes by duping America and the world into being his product, for which he pays nothing, while selling them and selling to them. Obama's pleas to not log into facebook at least until after the election have hit home with a large percentage of the electorate, leaving facebook personnel reeling, as this company built on little more than air and an idea possesses nothing tangible upon which to stand.

NYC, NY (RP) - Roger Goodell delivered his "State of the League" address yesterday, emphasizing the strength and health of the NFL. The bewildered Commissioner focused on player safety, claiming "We can remove the violence from an inherently violent game without adversely affecting the product", comparing the negligibly noticeable difference between drinking a non-alcoholic beer and imbibing in your favorite draught. This, about a game in which one of the primary goals is to hurl a participant to the ground against their will.

Goodell also defended his continued attempts to place a team in London in hope of securing his legacy as the Commissioner that made football a global sport, despite the clear indications that Europe loves soccer, few NFL players want to live in England, the 'N' in 'NFL' stands for 'National' or that the sport -while still popular - is clearly in decline, making further expansion a fool's game.

Washington, DC (RP) - Protests unlike any we have seen since the days of Nixon hiding in his office and peering at America's youth through parted curtains continue in DC as thousands of demonstrators chanted "Real News. Fake President." The group repeated the mantra for close to twelve non-stop hours today before finally breaking for the evening.

An eerie feeling of a creepy Halloween tinted the day, as trump masks, memes, altered photos and a wave of orange wigs dotted and decorated the landscape. It was reported that upon viewing the uprising the president's initial response was to claim a win for himself, seeing it as a sign that America unmistakably loves him and his hair! Accordingly, plans to construct a one-panel White House Walk of Fame with a new bigger star commemorating trump's achievements during and before his time in the White House were quickly drawn and funded; construction has begun.

Software Abuse

Children that grow up in abusive households assume that everyone gets slapped around when they make a mistake or spill their milk. When it's all you know, you believe it's normal. It never occurs to them that their parents are being mean - just loving them in a way that hurts. Like software companies treat us.

Software abuse is rampant and pervasive. It is being perpetrated by every software company - the bigger the company, the more severe the abuse. If you are thinking, "I use software, and I don't feel abused"; exactly. You are that kid being slapped around, and you think it's normal.

Windows 10 includes many 'apps' that are redundant or toys or attempts to unseat established 'common usage' applications, including Groove Music and Photos. There's also the lovely Cortina, meant to lure you away from Siri like a siren on a rocky shore. The problem isn't so much that they're there, but that you cannot get rid of them - not without editing the Registry, and who wants to do that?

We can't blame Microsoft for trying to get us to switch to their versions and buy their toys, but the way they are going about it feels like a large, unpleasant-looking gentleman is handing you a shirt from his new fashion line, informing you that you will wear it every day. Apple is just as bad, if not worse; iPhone includes many unremovable apps, most require giving Apple more money in order to use them.

The point is that we pay good money for these operating systems, but they aren't really ours. We are not free to use them as we please, and are constrained to being subjected to these internal, downright sneaky 'product placement' and marketing tactics. We are being programmed, by our computers. Whoop!

  • The switch from buying software to renting software was forced upon us. This is crapola of the highest order. It is easy to understand from the software company's point of view - they need recurring revenue to stay in business. Honestly, that is not our problem. The period when software upgrades were based on actual improvements and/or the addition of truly new groovy features ended around the turn of the century. While a few users utilize a small portion of the advanced features in MS Office for example, the vast majority of people writing letters and creating docs in WORD 2013 could do it just as well in Office 2003 or even Office 2000. Is the new version of Office better? Not really, although it is packed with 'features'. Are the icons cuter? Sure. Should we be able to pay one fair price to purchase MS Office and install it on our computer and use it as long as we like, until it no longer meets our needs? Damn right. If the software companies need recurring revenue, let them give us upgrades worth buying, instead of coercing and trapping us into giving them money every stinking month for the rest of our lives. Adobe is the worst in this category.
  • The software industry is replete with monopolies now. Applications and companies that once competed with MS and Apple like Word Perfect, Quatro, Astound, Netscape, Macromedia, and Netware, to name a very few, have been scooped up, knocked out, or sidelined. It may look like a free marketplace, but it is Standard Oil and AT&T. Not having a real choice kinda feels like a kick in the pants.
  • The 'terms of use' agreements are ridiculous. They are 100% in favor of the software companies, which absolve themselves of any wrong-doing or responsibility from anything having to do with their product, and place all the risk and responsibility on us, without giving us any options or choices. They are a huge 'Our way or the highway, SUCKA!'. Feel that slap across the face?
And then there is the data mining. Microsoft is calling Edge a browser, and trying to steer you to use it instead of IE. As a browser, Edge is clunky and slow and not very effective. However, as a data mining tool it is just wonderful! Many of the 'news' offerings are ads, and the others usually lead you to pages filled with ads. Every click is tracked to 'customize your experience'. Many search engines also track your clicks. Google (Alphabet) is especially adroit in this area, utilizing another 1984 tactic called 'digital viewscreening', by which they constantly monitor and track your online activity, if not directly from, then from companies and websites you don't realize they own, like youtube and Avast, and from applications you do know they own, like Chrome.

Apple wants to track not only what you click to and what music you like, but also where you are 24/7. And Apple is the worst at dealing with updates, hounding you like an ex that kinda scares you now, until you install them. Again - no real choice. Feels like a kick to the shins.

Have you wondered if the companies offering 5 GB of 'free' online storage space are doing so to be nice? Do you believe they are spending millions on server computers, routers, firewalls, gobs of bandwidth, and salaries for thousands of administrators without ever taking a peek? Really?

So many men and women struggled and fought, and were wounded or died, to protect our rights, one of which is a right to privacy. How have we so freely abdicated that hard-earned right to privacy in order to order a pizza using a toy? How can we smilingly let giant companies abuse us until we become convinced that privacy is a thing of the past? Privacy is only a thing of the past if we let it be; if we continue to enable MS and Google and Apple and Adobe and blindly obey prompts to 'stay logged in', and 'sign in to get definitions', and 'enter you cell phone number'.

It isn't realistic to think we can make a difference by not buying software, as many of our livelihoods now depend on software to a greater or lesser degree! Change can only happen when laws are written that protect software consumers, and so our hope lies with our elected officials.

Almost all of our elected officials have websites through which you can voice concerns. The Senators and Congresspeople don't read them, but someone or some computer application tracks them. If enough messages come in with "Please legislate in favor of software consumers", in the subject line, they will listen. It is quick and easy and at least you didn't do nothing.

The longer we let the abuse continue, the worse it will get. Software companies will keep probing and abusing until they are either forced to employ reasonable business practices, or they convince you to install real viewscreens, like Google Home, Echo and HomePod, in your home and office. Big Brother is alive and well and he has Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google keeping an eye on you for him.

A graduate of Portland State University, Steve (Reeno) Kloser is the author of Beginning Band - A Guide to Success and Let's Make Music - Classroom Recorder Course. He is also an accomplished teacher, conductor and composer, having penned numerous pieces including La Vida and Fly With Me.

Teacher, cook, Packers fan and proud American, Reeno's usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on issues old and new.

Reeno currently lives in Portland, OR.

Follow Reeno on Twitter

Some Will Go To College - All Will Go Through Life complete as a .pdf
School is for Winning
as a .pdf

Space Force One?
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Real News. Fake President.
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Mortgaging our Future
Time for an Education Revolution

posted Aug 02, 18

Booze - Yay!
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How About Some Age Limits?
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Too Much Forged in Fire?
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Tritler and the Party of Trump
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The Malicious Commish
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Gerry Mander and the Trumpettes
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The Tacet Underground
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All Hail the Chancellor
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Trump and the Big Leagues
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Bogus Commission on School Safety
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To Insure Promptness in the Age of Entitlement
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LBGTQ Housing
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Timeless Trump
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Being Mean to Kids!
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R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Professors and Teachers
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School is for Winning
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The League You Need
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Just Login
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Seven Words
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt1
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt2
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt3
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Zombie Pedestrians
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Leaders in School
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Opiates - Hey Doc! A Little Help Please
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The Grass is NOT Always Greener
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Teachers and the Sun
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Can Social Media Contribute to Mental Health Issues?
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Hope - A Beautiful Sight
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