#207: Freedom!

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

A large portion of censorship comes from religious people that get their beliefs from the bible. These are just about the last people who should say anything. We’re talking about censoring language here, we’ll get to the other issues later. Words like ‘fuck’, ‘shit’ and writing about sex, drugs or other so called corrupt things.

Anyone who uses the bible as their basis for censoring anything needs to be shot. Christians read your bible before you preach to anyone. The bible is full of murder, sex, rape, crime, revenge, language, and everything else you preach against. Not only does the bible go into all this gory detail, it praises it in many place. Some of the things Jesus/God says would surprise the hell out of most people. Christians are very good at skipping over those parts and only quoting and preaching the ‘good’ parts.

In the U.S. the constitution gives us our freedom supposedly. We have the right to free speech, free press, free religion, carry a firearm, etc. Free speech is just that, FREE! Don’t get this absurd idea that certain words don’t apply. Press is written media. That applies to computer text as well as books and newspapers. The fact that books are still trying to be banned is ludicrous. Now, those silly ideas of banning words has pushed over into the digital media. The CDA is unconstitutional for the last fucking time. The CDA was founded by religious morons.

Freedom of religion also means the freedom from religion. Anyone who reads the bible can flat out shred your religion to pieces. There is no foundation for Christianity. The bible is wrong (see later file) and is a large basis for Christianity. Don’t try to force your twisted views on anyone.

There is a supposed separation of church and state. This has been a good joke for years. Why are churches tax free? Why are laws written by people who base them off portions of the bible? Why is their parking exceptions on Sundays on state funded roads? One requirement to hold public office should be no religious affiliation. That will start the process of separation. With the separation will come more freedom for the groups of people that aren’t religious and want to live their lives free of ‘spiritual’ control.

Liquor is not sold on Sundays still (in many areas). This comes from old Christian beliefs about the day of sabbath. Do you really think people are naïve enough to not buy extra on Saturday? Why are business hours shorter on Sunday? One of two days off for most people and your silly beliefs make it difficult to get stuff done.

Its really weird to think how religious beliefs can affect so many other people that aren’t religious. Why should one groups beliefs that are not based on logic or fact dictate any other part of anyone else’s life. What gives them the right to do that? In their minds, their god gives them the right.

What happens if their god doesn’t exist? Then millions of Americans are being subjected to twisted beliefs based on an old book that has no basis. Imagine that, having your life controlled by a group of people that have no right to have any control of your life, yet you let them. Don’t stand for it. Break away from religious control in any manner. It no longer has a place in our society.

#205: How Trivial

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

As everyday passes I have to wonder what the fuck is wrong with everyone. It seems a greater portion of our society is too caught up with trivial shit for us to make it out of this decade. I can pin it on individuals as well as groups. Yes, I can stereotype because the predefined attributes that make up stereotypes are true in too many cases.

Religious people. I am agnostic/atheist depending on the day of the week. Christians and the other like denominations are the first on my list. I won’t go into detail or defend my argument on why I say the bible is wrong and that god does not exist. (later file probably). Follow my logic here assuming that god doesn’t exist. God doesn’t exist. God wrote the bible (indirectly). The bible says certain things are wrong. Since god doesn’t exist, the bible has no foundation. Once again, follow along for the sake of the argument.

Christians believe that and uphold it due to the bible or their own twisted beliefs. Christians feel the need to exert themselves for their own reasons. With them certain language is deemed bad, certain images are deemed bad, certain crimes are worse than they really are, abortion is bad, etc.

Since Christians feel all of this is bad, they speak out against it. Now there are unconstitutional laws (CDA) that restrict talking about certain things, seeing certain images, etc. We still have these BS laws restricting liquor sales on Sunday, limited business hours on Sunday, abortion protestors, etc. Think about it people… this is trivial shit compared to the other crap going on.

Gangbangers constantly try to justify their pathetic actions by saying “its the only family I got” or “its the only way to survive”. Bullshit. If every one of you gangbangers would drop this ridiculous macho attitude, get an education, and move on, the world would improve drastically. No more of this “the man keeps me down” shit either. That is yet another pitiful attempt to blame society for your own dumb ass. Fight “the man” by getting educated. Quit this sagging, gun toting bullshit for some other life.

You are killing yourselves as well as others around you. The word GENOCIDE should mean something to you. This theory that the white man is importing guns and drugs into your neighborhoods to kill you off is completely irrelevant. Even if the government is, they aren’t holding a gun to your head to buy it. Start worrying about other things that affect you that you can go on to change.

Gunhaters. Think about this simple logic. Criminals and lawbreakers carry guns lawmakers make guns illegal will criminals respect these laws? No. So the only people that are affected are honest citizens. Gun laws strip away the ability for people to protect themselves from criminals who use them.

As more people carry guns, it makes more people worry. More people are scared of being on the street so more people break the law for their own safety. So now, when I go to my local mall, I feel threatened by all the 15 year-olds gangbanging and carry my gun.

I keep talking about this other crap going on, what exactly am I talking about? The thousands of homeless war veterans our government has completely ignored over the past years. The growing problem of urban warfare and domestic violence driving our community apart. The increasing government control of our daily lives.

The whole point is there are too many bigger issues in our society to worry about this little shit that doesn’t really affect us. Quit worrying about pressing your beliefs on others and focus that effort/energy on something more productive. Start using your resources to help out society, not revert it back to a state of continual feuding. Help make a change for the better. Let the rest of us quit trying to battle you in your efforts to oppose everything.

#202: Today’s News

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Several things.

First off, I have changed ISP’s. Please take note of the new addresses for contact:

new mail address jericho[at]dimensional.com
new ftp site ftp.dimensional.com /users/jericho
new web site http://www.dimensional.com/~jericho

The web site has improved and new graphics as well as all files up to 200. I will try to keep that more updated in the future. I will also be adding links to cool places that are worth seeing as well as a small description so you don’t go link jumping.

Why the new address? I finally got sick enough of Netcom to move. Let me tell you that it is the biggest pain in the ass you can have as far as the net I think. Removing yourself from 30 mail lists and resubscribing on your new account is bad enough, but remembering each lists, and the subscription address is worse.

I also get to worry about the set up fee, waiting for the account to come up, moving my ftp/www site, and worst of all, informing the masses of my new address. Once again, why? Finger jericho[at]netcom.com and read that. My Netcom account’s .plan reflects several reasons why I left their service.

As a future recommendation, if you plan on choosing and ISP, save yourself some time and chose someone besides Netcom. They don’t really care about their customers. The only time they ever showed good service was when I cancelled the account. On top of having a friendly rep who actually did what she promised (reported my complaints to her superior), I received a call back from a customer service manager asking if she could do anything to make me happy.

If you live in the Denver metro area and plan on choosing an ISP, dimensional.com is a good deal so far. The setup fee is only ten bucks which beats out just about everyone else. Dave (the admin) has it setup for graphical access via your shell account so you don’t have to bother with TIA. Each shell user gets 10 megs of space for no extra charge and access to put up a directory on the ftp site as well as web server. The admin (daud@dimensional.com) is really cool, believes strongly in free speech, and is basically carefree as far as what you do on his system. If you do get an account there, tell him ‘jericho’ sent you. 🙂

Remember, anyone may submit a file. Mail the file to me and I will usually get back within a day or so with any comments about it, or you will get it back as a released file. If you would like to submit, aim for a topic that hasn’t been covered or bring a new point of view to an existing topic. Length doesn’t really matter.

Also, if you would like to receive the newest files via Internet e-mail, mail me and ask to be put on the mailing list. That’s all for now.

An Open Letter to the Editor: Computer Edge Magazine

        First off, I have been reading your zine since the start and
basically enjoyed most of the issues. I am surprised at the frequency
of which you release new issues, and credit that to be one of the factors
I am happy with it. Before I start my little rant, let me fill you in
on who I am so you may weigh that in with your overall impression of
what I am saying. I have been working with computers for over 10 years
now. Everything from my old 'Trash 80' to my 'C64' to my 486 now.
I have worked with computers in all fashions in the past, everything
from selling to tech support to building systems from scratch. I have
been on the Internet for just over 5 years now so I consider myself
knowledgeable in most areas of computers. There are three things
I would like to address with you regarding your zine.

1)      In your issue dated March 4th, the "Edge WORD" told about your
opinion of the CDA (Communications Decency Act) and the "blackened"
web pages. While I agree with you about being anti-censorship, I don't
believe you have read the entire bill. You talk about how people are being
to critical, and wanting all the fun without the responsibility which
is partially true. What you failed to mention is how this bill would affect
people.. ALL people. This bill was originally put together by using the
old cut and paste from past bills that failed. The Telecom Bill of '96
went a little beyond though.
        Instead of stopping porn on the net, it would limit people in
a much greater capacity. Not only could people not exchange any porn,
you couldn't say many things. If you read the bill at all, you will
see that many of the terms were left very vague. The word 'Obscene'
has been defined by the Supreme Court while the word 'Indecent' has not.
That alone should clue you in that you are being lied to by congress.
If the bill was still in effect (it was suspended by a state court),
you would find yourself limited in many fashions of speech.
The following are just a few topics you would no longer be able to

        Urinary Tract Disease
        Breast Cancer
        Plastic Surgery
        Rape/Sexual Intercourse
        Abortion Recovery
        Alcohol Anonymous
        Drug Recovery/Addiction
        Large portions of the bible
        Does this sound like a bill aimed at pornography only? Of course
not. This is limiting your free speech and right to an opinion. The
president of the United States knowingly passed an unconstitutional bill.
Please take the time to read the CDA portion of the Telecom bill, and
think about what else it is limiting. Afterwards, I think you will be
changing your web pages as well.

2)      Since the beginning Computer Edge has continually dealt with
the classic O/S wars. I would like to say first off that your continued
column "I Don't Do Windows" is a great idea, and something you should
keep up. In the past I have used (and tech supported) the Macs, Windows 3.1,
OS/2, DOS, Win95, as well as Linux. I dare to say I know a little about
operating systems. I personally use DOS and Linux at the house and
am very adamant about keeping all Windows (and all Microsoft) products
off my machines.
        Many of your articles continually praise the Macs and bash
Windows. Some of your writers are very biased and very hypocritical
of their own OS. The writers will often point out that MacOS had this
and that feature long before Win95, and that it isn't new. What they
refuse to look at is, where was it before the Mac? Most of the 'advanced'
features of the Mac were developed long ago on various Unix workstations
and systems. Macs AND Windows are both far outmatched by other OSs.
        Instead of carrying on with this big OS war, how about drop
it and move on. Keep talking about OSs that aren't mainstream like Linux,
or AmigaOS. People use them quite a bit these days despite the 'Windows
Attitude'. Make your Mac writers stop the biased comments until they
try out what they are bashing. Just keep the articles fair.

3)      Internet. The fact that a single pro-AOL article has been printed
tells me that at least one of your writers hasn't done the research.
I could go into a short book on the negative sides of AOL, each ruining
the image that the company portrays. The fact that they make it near
impossible to cancel the account once you have it, their internal guidelines
for censoring their users, their slow network and busy dialins, their
uneducated tech support reps, or any other of the numerous problems should
warn anyone off. Like many companies, they are aiming for large numbers
of customers while willing to sacrifice the quality of the service.
        America Online, Compuserve, Prodigy, and the rest of the online
services are not necessarily the best option for the family to go online.
Each and every online service suffers when it comes to internet connectivity.
The slow connections should deter the average user but they often don't.
Move on to price, and you should be downright scared. It is impossible
to pay less than $1.98 an hour for America Online. That weighs in
the 5 'free' hours you pay $9.95 for each month. Consider a family
that combined spends one hour a day on the net (which is not much for
a single person, let alone two or three person family). After one
month they will pay $60 for that service. Is that a good deal?
        Instead of paying outrageous fees for poor connections, you are
able to have near unlimited access for $20 a month. This will give you
everything you could ever find on AOL and more. Instead of using those
nice little keywords to go to various areas, just use one of the dozens
of powerful search engines already on the net. The Web search engines
alone will almost guaranteed track down dozens of reference to anything
you are looking for.
        The last thing every online subscriber should know: America
Online (and others) will tell you that you have full access to the
internet. This is not true. I used to help run a small system on the
net catering to popular online magazines and text files. The first thing
we did was block out ALL incoming connections from AOL, CS, and Prodigy.
If you were on those services, you could NOT access any part of our
machine. The hidden truth is, a lot of popular sites out there are like
that. The general perception is that AOL brings a bunch of leeches
to the net. Regardless of the accuracy of that statement, many net
admins will agree with it and limit the access to their machines.

        I guess I have said my piece. Despite the negativity of my letter,
let me reiterate that I do like your 'zine, and to keep up the good work.
All I ask is that your writers look at the entire picture before they
write. While the pro-mac and pro-windows writers flame each other,
Unix and OS/2 users are flaming them both. If you preach about America
Online just know that like millions of others I can mail you anonymously
and control your access on certain systems among other things. Can you?

#201: My New Fraternity

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Tomorrow I go to close my bank account. I’m transferring my checking account and moving my safe deposit box to a new bank. An individual can only take so much abuse by a business before they reach their limit and move on. I dare say I have taken my abuse and have reached my limit.

I bank with FirstBank in Denver, Colorado. Over the past three years I have had occasional problems that were eventually worked out but more recently I have run into too many incidents that never should have happened. The first that really irked me was when the bank decided to block my use of my ATM card. I found out the fun way when I tried to pay for some groceries with it and got a ‘denied’ for the first time in my life.

My credit is good, I had/have plenty of funds, yet they blocked all transactions on it. The next day I visited the bank and asked what was going on. The account rep I dealt with explained that it had been put on hold because they couldn’t reach me. He told me they had sent two bank statements to my address and both had come back. I told him to pull up my records and checked the address just to make sure everything was cool, and it was.

I hadn’t changed address for over a year so that shouldn’t have been a problem. Anyway, I asked him if anyone had tried to call me at any of the numbers (house, pager, emergency) I had left with them and they said ‘no’. Great, they or the post office fuck up and cause me a nice amount of grief. It only took an hour to fix the problem and I was on my way.

The second major problem started a few months back and I still can not figure this one out. Every two weeks or so I visit the bank to deposit any checks and occasionally visit the safe deposit box. When I visit, it is almost always on a Friday (one of my days off) and I typically go in blue jeans and a t-shirt, sometimes a button up cotton shirt.

One day a while back I went in to deposit a couple of checks into my account (one wasn’t mine) and I ran into a problem. The teller said I had to have the other person come in if I was depositing their check into my account. I told them that another branch had everything on record and that he could ask them to fax it over. He was real rude in telling me that he would have to check with his manager. Apparently he thought I was trying to con him into depositing the check.

Instead of quietly asking his manager who was nearby, he still showed his disbelief and rather loudly said “this guy said we could do this and this or something”. The tone of his voice once again stated that he did not trust me at all. His manager told him to call the other branch and ask.

He picked up the phone to call, introduced himself, etc. The first thing he said was “I have some guy here saying this and this”. He didn’t refer to me as a ‘customer’ or ‘gentleman’, but ‘some guy’. This was a little too much. I had been standing there for five minutes already and I could see he obviously did not want to help me out.

I told the manager what was going on and told her that the teller was being very rude and the tone of his voice was insulting. She quickly apologized and got the full story. Instead of helping me I told her to forget it, and that I would go to another branch.

Two weeks before when I was in, it was before work so I was dressed in my shirt, slacks, and tie, and looked professional. Each time I was dressed like that I got exceptional service. The times I dressed casual in jeans and a t-shirt I always seemed to have some problem, or the teller was rude to me.

A few months before another male teller basically called me stupid for not knowing when a deposited check would be processed. Instead of calling me stupid he looked at me like “are you a moron” and said “of course it is available right then, what did you think?” with the half sigh half laugh.

The next closest branch was over 30 minutes away because of traffic. Instead of dealing with traffic I went back and spoke with the branch manager. He listened to my story and emphasized that ‘yes you are an important customer’. I asked him why I had been discriminated against because of my appearance and he had no answer.

The manager told me he would deal with the teller and bring it up at the next bank meeting that regardless of appearance, all customers are equal. I thanked him and went on my way.

Today was the last straw. I was at another branch near my new place and I needed a Money Order. I normally don’t use them but I had to have one for a deposit. I asked the teller for a MO for just over 800 dollars. She looked at me kinda funny and asked the lady next to her how to do one. Since she was new I waited patiently.

I handed her a check (with a huge ‘first bank’ logo on it) along with two dollars in cash for the MO. She looked at everything and asked me for ID. I told her that this was my bank, and that I had an account with them, and she could check everything out on her computer. She told me that was standard for the amount I was asking.

I showed her ID and watched her compare everything and hand it back. She walked back to a terminal and pulled up my account records to check my available balance. I had several thousands of dollars in the account so it shouldn’t have been a problem. She got the check, filled out a little of it and went to her manager. She told him everything was ok and asked for his approval. He looked at me and then pulled up my account record to verify the funds.

After a minute he approved it and I got the MO like I wanted. The problem is, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt again. The teller AND the branch manager insulted me by checking TWICE for the funds. Did they think I was stupid enough to pass off a First Bank check to a First Bank teller and ask for a First Bank money order?

One day before I had been at my regular branch, dressed in a shirt and tie and asked for basically the same thing. Two money orders for several hundred dollars. They did not ask for ID, and they did not check for funds even using a temporary check.

They discriminate based on appearance. Many of the tellers and even a few managers do it on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your account, or how many accounts you have, but it does matter how you dress.

Since my new job I have seen this happen quite a bit. Any time I am at the grocery store I get two responses. I always pay with credit card so they hand it back and say “Thank you so-and-so”. If I am dressed nice, they use my last name. If I dress in jeans and a t-shirt, they use my first name like they are my friend.

If you are having a problem at a store or business, dress nice. That way you too will appear to belong to this ‘fraternity’ or well dressed people and get the respect you deserve.