You’re Being Watched and Watching the Borders

Subtitle: “Better Surveillance and Less Immigration”

“You are being watched!” There are over 60,000 CCTV cameras in the UK. Walking around big cities like New York or London a person could be filmed 300 times a day!

These cameras were perceived to be a great help in stopping terrorism and crime. Now, we even have “face recognition” systems similar to number-plate recognition cameras.

I would hope this technology will help in the fight against terrorism and crime. But what bothers me is that only 15-20% of the cameras are monitored from a control room. I think more should be monitored.


Since 9/11, we recognized the need for better surveillance. The Americans and the British have become very good at collecting dots (data), but NOT very good at connecting them to find a target in advance.

With the advance in computer technology we have redefined our definitions of privacy and security. We need total information awareness, which hopefully, will help predict when and where terrorist attacks will come.

Today we can intercept a lot of cyber chatter. Phones can be cloned so data from one phone is transferred to another phone. Calls and texts can be received by both phones and tracker systems are better.

Now, we have arrived at a higher plateau of “better surveillance” because…

Now we have a “machine” in the form of the new NSA Utah Data Center. This machine is supposed to “connect the dots” to identify suspicious patterns.

This machine is a warehouse that contains information about every person in the United States. It monitors internet searches, websites visited, emails sent and received, social media activity, phone GPS location data, phone call records, facial recognition data from CCTV surveillance cameras, etc. The UK could use one of these machines.

The final thing is to share info between your allies and with other intelligence agencies. Before this machine, the intelligence agencies were amassing data on a scale no human or agency could keep up with. But now, with the Utah Data Center that problem will be rectified. Maybe, just maybe, we will have “better surveillance”.


The immigration crisis and the EU open border mandate has to be dealt with before our infrastructures are completely ruined by the increasing pressure of too many people coming into the country.

There is an uncontrollable wave of migrants marching across Europe. It’s uncontrolled because no one is doing anything to solve it! There are people that say we must be compassionate and charitable toward the migrants, but the reality is that we can’t cope with the numbers! Compassion and charity begin at home! The people in this country need to be taken care of first. In my opinion the only way we can control our borders is to exit the EU!

350,000 people signed a petition to stop immigration and close the borders. Closed borders means strict vetting of incoming people and turning back the ones that shouldn’t be in our country.

According to reports there probably were another 250,000 people that agreed with the petition but didn’t sign because they thought the powers that be would just kick it into the long grass!

So, that means 600,000 people are fed up with the situation. If we wait much longer to close the borders, the situation will get worse, and it is unsustainable now!

Every time people raise legitimate concerns about their country and express their anxieties, they are labeled as racist or bigots. The majority of the 350,000 people that signed the petition are NOT racist or bigots. They are people that are concerned about their country. It doesn’t matter what religion or ethnicity the migrants are, the bottom line is that this country can’t cope with any more people. We are OVERPOPUATED!

There are, in England, 450 people per sq. kilometer! We are the sixth most overcrowded country in the world!

Brussels allows us NO CONTROL over this migration. Several terrorists have entered Europe posing as refugees! Our borders are porous, the holes must be plugged!

We have to tackle mass uncontrolled immigration. It must be strictly measured and controlled and the way to do that is with closed borders and the way to get that is to exit the EU!

With mass immigration you get pockets of different cultures segregating themselves and with infrastructure breakdown, people get angry. Social cohesion breaks down and then the worst might happen – full scale social unrest on the streets. In some parts of the UK extremist groups have built no-go areas for white Brits. This is social unrest rearing it’s ugly head.

British citizens have three feelings about migrants:

  1. People come here to claim benefits and live a lifetime on them.
  2. People come here to get on in life, they want a job and look after their families.
  3. People come here that have evil intentions and want to destroy our way of life.

The trouble is we get all three sets of people coming in!

We must check integration, so that people who come here are NOT setting up a new community, but want to become part of an existing one.


In conclusion: I hope the “Powers That Be” will take notice of the petition, “Stop Mass Immigration and Close the Borders”, that was signed by 350,000 people. The majority of these people are NOT racist or bigots, they are concerned citizens and permanent residents of this country that are frustrated and angry at the way government is handling these important issues and they want to be heard in the halls of Parliament!

The open borders are exposing us to the risk of terrorist “sleepers”. Now, we want to further fan the flames of terrorism by bombing Syria. We haven’t learned our lessons from past interventions. Lets hope we do before things get worse!



Old Age and Existentialism

Writer Dave is an Existentialist. I have been one for the last fifty years! But back then I probably didn’t know that I was.

Subtitle of this blog: “Interview with an Elderly Existentialist”

Question: What does existentialism mean to you?

Answer: It’s always been a challenge for me to live an existential life. Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve created my own purpose and meaning in life. I’ve always tried to assert my will rather than allowing myself to be swept along by circumstances. I knew that I had to take responsibility for myself and what I do.

Question: What is your definition of Existentialism?

Answer: You are a free agent, responsible for making your own meaning and purpose in your life. In other words, YOU MAKE YOURSELF.

Question: We’re talking about Old Age and Existentialism. What does that mean to you?

Answer: Being elderly brings many existential challenges. You have to come to terms with the transitory character of life. Life is not permanent. You must find a way to cope with your approaching death, possible illness, loneliness and depression. You have to be ready to respond to the basic questions of existence.

Question: Wow! That’s quite a list to cope with. Can you elaborate on dealing with your mortality?

Answer: Well, with my time growing shorter, I’m confident I can and will adjust to the boundaries of human existence.

Question: Faced with life’s limits, as you get older, and the changing conditions of life, what questions arise?

Answer: For what do I still live? I live for my writing and to be a companion to my spouse. I am still productive and creative.

For what have I lived? It was good, I was productive in my work life and I contributed to society.

Question: The previous questions, do they lead to the question of meaning?

Answer: Yes, they do. The question is: What meaning does this life have which ends in death? I have created my own meaning through my work life and now through my retirement, and I’m happy with it!

Question: What is the question that MUST be answered to ward off old age depression?

Answer: The question is: Is there something beyond this life?

Without a PERSONAL answer to this question a seed of unrest will be with you and could lead to depression for the rest of your days.

Question: What is the final thing you need to face the “last straight”?

Answer: Personal maturity. This is the ability to “let go”, which is possible if you have done what you wanted and lived for what you wanted. Through my existentialism and my writing I am continually discovering my inner self, which helps me in the “letting go” process.

Question: What would you say in conclusion?

Answer: The old person, like myself, faces the basic questions of existence, regarding it’s limitations and transitory character and in doing so, has the responsibility to live as fully as they can until the “back nine” is finished! Growing old successfully allows a person to develop their inner self for a death that is THEIR death!


“A natural death is where you die by yourself without a doctor’s help!”

and another one:

“The nearer the time comes for our departure from life, the greater our regret for wasting so much of it!”

Identity–Who Are You?

This is the 200th post on this blog. There are over 1100 comments over more than 4 years!

Congratulations to Writer Dave, at least for his blog longevity!

Now to the nitty-gritty of this post:

Identity defined- the characteristics determining who and what a person is and distinguishing them from others.

The Cycle– Nothingness- Birth- Life- Death- Nothingness.

The “Life” in the middle of the cycle is where we find identity.

Do we find our identity in the stages of our life?

Early Adulthood-18-45—Making major life choices- marriage, occupation and style of life.

Midlife- 45-60- Loss of youth and changes in psychology. Start to ask profound questions such as: What have I accomplished? Increased wisdom, maturity and reflection. Start to face up to personal mortality.

Late Aduthood- 60 -65- Retirement, bodily decline, forming new interests.

Old Age- 65-80- Enhance the state of being whole and unified. Make peace with yourself and your mortality.

These stages are only partially where we find our identity.

A person must know who he is. He is the “writer” and the “object” of his actions. You are the center of your own being.

How do you know: Who you are?

Your identity grows out of the interacting of three factors: The sociological, the psychological and the philosophical.

Sociological—the relationship of oneself to others and society as a whole.

Psychological—the roles of the Id, the Superego and the Ego.

Philosophical—existence – what is and is to be. Existentialism- we are free agents, responsible for our own actions.


We are in the situation of a person in a world which they never made BUT are always making.

We all experience, “Existential Anxiety”, a philosophical view of Identity.

What is that, you say.

Well, lets say we are walking in darkness and feeling various emotions, knowing that the darkness was before one lived, and that there will be darkness when one lives no longer. In between these two darks, we must live our lives, we must dare to act and we are responsible for those actions. This is the anxiety.


Understanding identity through the psychological viewpoint of the “Id”, “superego” and the “ego”, using Freud’s terms.

The “Id” is the instinctual urges of a person.

The “superego” is the commands and prohibitions of one’s parents and society, which the child takes on board.

The “ego” is the way a person orients himself toward reality.

Your personality and identity develop as a result of the interplay between the id, ego and superego.


We are in an age of disintegrating values and rapid change, which is creating instability. In the family, parental authority grows weaker and the ideals of society are undermined.

The superego’s role in forming identity is in decline. So, the ego is lacking in direction from the superego and there is now identity instability which creates stress. The forces of the id are closer to the surface of people’s personality. In this situation of stress, the individual is likely to experience an identity crisis!

So, how can we deal with this crisis?

It probably will continue because we have to live in a culture that is unstable and affords the individual little external support.

The answer is: we must distinguish the important from the trivial. We must realize that our stability and sanity depend on the extent we can find advice and help within ourselves rather than in others and to continue to indulge in critical self-questioning.

Take this idea to heart and remember:




Me and My Shadow

“I have several story ideas that are about the dark, negative side of humans. I want to learn about the “Shadow Self” so I can write about it intelligently. Where do I start?” said my writer friend over dinner.

“I, too, was interested in the “Shadow Self” for writing purposes but, in researching the subject, I got into it on a personal level also.”

We finished our meal and I ordered another bottle of wine. When our glasses were filled, I continued:

“I started my learning process by asking:

“How can I be a well-rounded writer without learning about the shadow I cast?” We all must have a dark side if we are to be a whole person. So I wanted to become conscious of my shadow.”

My friend looked perplexed. We both sipped our wine.

“I’m confused about the conscious and unconscious minds, the ego and the persona,” said the confused one.

“Well, the conscious mind comprises what we are aware of and the unconscious mind is the hidden part, what we are unaware of. The ego is your sense of worth and importance. The persona is the part of you that you show to the world.”

“Thank you for that. But what is the “shadow?”

“As I understand it, the “shadow” is the negative side of the personality, the unpleasant qualities that we would prefer to hide.”

“When I was at school, my teachers, and at home, my parents told me what to do and not to do. This instruction was to make me “domesticated”. In other words to hide my shadow, is that right?”

“You hit the nail on the head,” I laughed, “The powers that be want to tame our untamed dark side so we can become “normal” in society.”

“Wow! This is interesting stuff. How can we integrate our shadow and bring it into the light?”

“We’ve been conditioned to cast our shadow as the villain and we are the victim. With this perspective you shut down any possibility of learning anything that the dark side might offer that could open up new ways of thinking so you could know yourself more deeply. I would try to look at all your negative desires, emotions and impulses that are in your shadow and recast the shadow from villain to teacher and see what you can learn.”

“I get it, we might become more humanized through the exposure of our shadow.”

“We all have a “shadow” and you and I, as writers, want to be more creative, so we must integrate our shadow into our conscious mind and be aware of it. This makes us more creative and well-adjusted people.”

“Boy, this wine is bringing out all the answers,” my friend smiled.

We both sipped our wine and pondered our conversation.

“Now, how can we relate all this to our writing?”

My friend was silent.

“Well, we conceal many things with our “shadow” and that creates mystery. There is meaning in mystery and this needs expression. The work of the writer is to articulate what is concealed.”

“I think I’m getting the gist of this. When we writers refer to “character flaw” we are really referring to the character’s shadow.”

“Bingo! You’ve got it,” I said laughing.

“The shadow is present in the conflict and obstacles of the story. We feel the presence of “The Shadow” in that which , in the story, is hidden, unspoken, and within, but is present.”

“So, as a writer, my best friend is my “shadow”. It can inform my stories.”

“I have to go now,” I said, emptying my glass, “But in conclusion I will say:

“That to a writer, life is a battleground. Life consists of opposites, light and dark, birth and death, good and evil, happiness and misery. We are not sure which one, at any given time, will prevail. BUT IT IS ALL GRIST TO OUR MILL!”


Group Think and Double Think

Group Think and Double Think are two similar concepts. In the disturbing novel, “1984” by Orwell, he coined the term “doublethink”. It meant the way people carry on living with contradictory ideas, ideas they don’t believe in, in order to survive under a dictatorship.

Group Think is when people want to CONFORM and stay with the “group” to such a degree that they ignore different views and end up making poor and imperfect decisions.

With Group Think, independent thinking is suppressed. The “group” supposedly takes the moral high ground and everyone wants to conform, nobody wants to be the “bad” guy standing in the way.

I think Group Think has been responsible for government’s bad decisions in many areas. I will cite three examples:

  1. The Migrant Crisis that is going on at the moment. Politicians, pressure groups, and privileged people are all jumping on the “group” bandwagon to open our borders to tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do for the good of the UK or for the people involved!

The people who don’t agree with the “group” big wigs get denigrated. The leaders seem to NOT acknowledge the impact all these people coming in has on services, schools, health, housing, welfare and the country’s culture.

This opening borders decision, because of the “caring” group thinking, has the danger of encouraging many more people to risk their lives on excruciating and sometimes deadly journeys.

  1. The Age of Intervention—Group Think is responsible for the way governments have intervened militarily in the affairs of other nations. These interventions have been dubbed “humanitarian wars”. But we’ve seen the evidence that this jumping on the bandwagon thinking just makes things worse!

When the Cold War ended, the West’s governments wanted to create a sense of purpose for themselves, so they became the world’s policemen.

Because of Group Think, the intervention hasn’t made the world safer, it’s made it more dangerous!

And now, we have the migrant crisis, a mass movement of people from countries that have been meddled with.

  1. The Right to Die Debate—Group Think has continually overridden the

“right to die” advocates. Who would condemn terminally ill people or people who have no quality of life, to months or even years of pain and suffering? All they want is an end to their suffering. But the Group Thinkers push aside the people that want the right of choice to cry “enough” to constant pain.

I think we own our bodies and our life, so it is only human to crave death when there is no hope of a good quality of life. The right to die is a personal choice and has nothing to do with anyone else! But the government group thinkers still don’t express the will of the people in law! They don’t want to give us the choice to have dignity in the end.


Because of this phenomenon of Group Think, rational debate is shouted down by people that want to show how “caring” they are!



A Conversation With The Grim Reaper!

I was sitting on a park bench minding my own business, when up pops the Grim Reaper sitting next to me. I think I was the only one that could see him because the passersby paid no attention.

I kid you not, there he was black-cloaked from head to foot, with his scythe and hourglass. I noticed it wasn’t running out of sand yet in the top section.

“You haven’t come for me, have you?” I said, nervously.

“No, no, you’ve got some time left. I’m just resting.”

“From what I can see your face is quite bony.”

“It’s a skull, it represents the decay of earthly flesh.”

“Your robe and hood are entirely black, is it because you don’t like color?”

“I like black because it is the color of death and morning.”

“What’s the scythe for?”

“It’s for cutting the flesh and extracting the soul.”

“Wow! No wonder they call you, “GRIM.”

“And before you ask, the hourglass represents a person’s life and reminds them that their days are numbered!”

I sat wringing my hands.

“We are the only species burdened with knowing the truth about our biological destiny. WE ALL WILL DIE, SOMEDAY!”

“That’s right, you are very perceptive!”

“Do you have anything less grim to say?”

“Well, I’m not a very upbeat guy.”

“You can say that again.”

“How’s this for upbeat? Humans try to deny the reality of death, by “living on” through their legacies.”

“Oh, do you mean I will “live on” through the novels that I’ve wrote?”

“Exactly! You can also be motivated by me standing behind you.”

“How’s that?”

“As long as you are breathing, and are aware of me behind you, you will really live life to the full and enjoy every moment.”

“Well, Mr. Reaper, I do suffer from Time Anxiety. I fear it might be too late to do all I want to do. I am, after all, 76 years old!”

“My friend, you have to learn to squeeze a lot of life into a little time.”

“What do you recommend?”

“You’re a writer, so write! Through your stories you can weave your life into a coherent and meaningful pattern. You’ve still got time to think about your life and what it all meant. Your story could contain a mix of factual and fictional parts. Keep writing!”

“Thanks for straightening out my situation. I’ve got so many questions for you.”

The Grim Reaper jumped up and said:

“I’m sorry, I’ve got to get going, I’m late for an appointment!”

As he was leaving, I said:



The Wall You Build

My friend came to see me one day and he was in a very disturbed state.

“I feel terrible so much of the time, I never seem to get on top of things. I’m so negative about everything.”

He was sweating.

“It’s your thoughts, probably, that are weighing you down,” I said, “What thoughts do you think about all day?”

He started wringing his hands.

“Well, when I get up in the morning, I think:

“It’s going to be another one of those days! Nothing ever goes right for me. I worry all day about EVERYTHING!”

“What if I invited you to my BBQ? Would that make you happy?”

“I’m not good with people, I freeze up in a group. I’m bad at conversation,” my friend mumbled.

“So, I can see you don’t feel good about yourself.”

“Sometimes I wish I’d never been born!”

I shook my head and said”

“My friend, you’re building a negative wall around yourself.”

“What’s this WALL business?”

“You are continually telling yourself negative things and your subconscious mind is picking it up. You are directing your subconscious to make you become the person you constantly describe, which is a negative, downbeat person.”

“So, what do I do to change?”

He looked so forlorn. I had to perk him up.

“Well buddy, you start to build a NEW WALL. A POSITIVE ONE!”

He looked at me unbelievingly.

“To change your ways, you will have to change the words of your self-talk.”

“How? What do I say?”

“I will tell you some positive self-talk to repeat to yourself constantly. If you do this, you will build a new wall. Say to yourself:

‘I will NOT worry, it is self-destructive thinking. I’m in control of my thinking and I will think only those thoughts which are positive and fulfill the best in me.”

“I choose to view my world in the bright, healthy light of optimism and self-assurance.”

“I control my thoughts. No thought can dwell in my mind without my permission.”

My friend smiled.

“I think I get it, I’ll start thinking good thoughts immediately.”

I shook his hand and said:

“Good for you and happy WALL BUILDING!”

Love, The Complex Emotion

Love is usually thought of as a positive emotion, but it has its bad side: It can lead to jealousy, anger, and it doesn’t always work out. Love can be an obsession and people can be cruel to the ones they love!

We “love” everything! People love their car. They love their dog or cat! They love pizza and beer! We love our country and finally we love our partner.

Confusing isn’t it?

Love is an engagement with the world. Love is a story and there are many stories about love, the most popular is Romeo and Juliet, but that ended in death!

A favorite story comes from a classic tale. In ancient times, human beings were different looking than they are now. They were big round bodies with two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two heads. They would bounce around the world full of joy. But they were arrogant and the gods didn’t like this. So, they split the beings in two. Now, these beings were like us, with one head, two arms, and two legs. But we were not complete. So, we needed to find and reconnect with our other half. This was the origin of love. You had to find the right person to fit together with, your soul mate!

Quite a story, isn’t it?

But to fit together takes time, work and adjustment. Sometimes you become too dependent on your loved one for your identity and that can be detrimental!

There is an element of choice with the emotion of love. You might have an initial attraction toward someone but a lot of the time things do not work out.

The choice comes into play when you meet a person, then you choose to go out with them, then get serious, and finally, you choose to say, “I love you”. There’s the BOMB!

So, love is a process, a series of many choices.

Some people say relationships are “made in heaven”, many are NOT! You need to make the decision to do everything you can to make the relationship WORK!

I will leave you with this:


Grief, What’s It All About?

I lost my father, mother, and wife, all traumatic events. But, the grief was different in each case. Everyone grieves differently, for different reasons.

My different reactions to the three deaths:

My Dad’s death—I was fifteen years old. Of course I was shocked but I also felt abandoned. I needed my Dad at fifteen! I was angry that I had lost my adolescent guide. A selfish reaction of a kid!

My Mother’s death—I was thirty-two years old. I felt very sad that my mom was gone. I was now an orphan! But my mother was sick (diabetes complications), so it was merciful that she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

My Wife’s death—My wife was fifty-seven years old, so was I. She died of cancer and it took her quick. I felt it was so unfair because she was looking forward to retirement. I felt lots of anxiety about the future without my wife. Many things were left unsaid also. Guilt feelings overwhelmed me because I was still alive and she wasn’t.

But I did survive these sad times. Time is the healer!


One of the most interesting features of grief, which sets it off from other emotions, is that it’s not only appropriate but also obligatory!

It’s appropriate to grieve, in fact, if you lost someone close to you and didn’t grieve, people and yourself would wonder what’s wrong with you! It’s obligatory in the sense that it is something you ought to do, it is required by custom! You ought to feel the pain of the loss!

Anger and denial are also part of the grieving process. Emotions usually have to do with some sort of desire. But what is the desire in grief? What you want in grief is IMPOSSIBLE! It’s a strange emotion, this grief, because what you want is for the person who has died to come back!

Grief triggers off many thoughts, some pleasurable, such as thinking of you life with the deceased, some morbid!

Grief reminds us of our own mortality. This sparks off the fear of your own death. But the philosophers tell us, “Death is Nothing”. No pleasures and no experiences. These you had when you were alive.

So, it’s BIRTH—LIFE—DEATH. Enjoy and be creative and productive in between! So, we are NOT afraid of death, which is nothingness. We are afraid of the process of dying, which includes sickness, pain and degeneration. There is a social side to all of this also, you don’t want to leave family and friends.

But grief can have a joyful side too. It can be a celebration of the lost loved one, and also, a happiness at being ALIVE!

So, in the end, you do gain, in the sense that you appreciate the time you have been together and you appreciate what it is to be ALIVE!


Why Be A Writer?

Because you have to think of your feet, your identity, and if you’re lucky, you will have a beautiful woman as a MUSE!

What inspired me to write? That question was posed to me on my seventieth birthday. Fifty years ago I had a problem with my feet, my identity, and how I was going to get inspiration for my novels.

The questions that haunted me were: Who am I? Where am I going? Do I belong? Why do my feet ache so much?

What is a MUSE? It’s the seat of your creativity, personified in a beautiful woman!

Oh, that’s all in your mind!

Yes, it is in your mind, the MUSE is your subconscious mind talking to you!

When I was eighteen and fresh out of high school, I got a job in a factory moving material from machine to machine. I was always on my feet and they HURT!

I learned one thing from this job. It was hard on my feet and mine were FLAT!

So, my life’s work would have to be something that wouldn’t give me aching feet. This was one part of the inspiration.

The second part was when I went to a book signing at a bookstore. The writer was very successful. This was his fourth blockbuster novel.

I asked him about his typical workday. He would arise, have a bit of breakfast, and write until noon. Then he and his friends would go fishing and sip tall cool ones on his cabin cruiser. On days that he didn’t feel like fishing, he would write until noon and then go and sit in an outdoor café with his friends and sip tall cool ones!

This, I thought, was a sensible way to earn a living. So, I’ll become a writer and answer my identity questions.

Who am I? I’m a writer.

Where am I going? I’m going to sit down and write and save my feet.

Do I belong? Yes, I will have many friends that write until noon and then sip tall cool ones.

As a writer, I will have a MUSE that gives me inspiration.

Then the writer said something that took me aback!

He told me that he stood up to noon everyday writing. He liked to have his typewriter on the mantel and he typed while standing.

Well, this sounded grueling to me and it certainly wouldn’t do my fallen arches any good.

“Why stand and not sit to write?”

He said he had hemorrhoids and they hurt when he sat!

Well, I did set out to become a writer. I’ve never achieved that writer’s success, but the job has never given me aching feet because I sat down to write.

I have been compared to that writer. Well, sort of. My readers tell me that I’m a real pain in the whatcha-ma-callit!!!