I was gone for almost a whole day. Did you guys miss me?
Looks like aioe crashed. Form posts I saw earlier today seems to indicate even their website is down. I just now figured out how to get my old Eternal September account to work with Thunderbird. Ok, to be fair I never really tried before.
AIOE and Eternal September are free (**read & post) Usenet servers still in operation. It looks like AIOE is back up and operating as of now. I am using their server to read your post. I seemed to recall Eternal September charges a one time setup fee like ten dollars, and never another fee after that. I know I have not paid again in more than a decade of use.
There are a lot of read only Usenet servers.
I noticed you have an AOL email account, but I've never felt the need to look at your headers and information to see where your posts appear to originate from.
Way WAAAAYYYY way back i used to pay a fee to Aol but then they started offering it free so I stopped paying and just continued to use it. As of now, I use it but just as an autonomous mail service. That is - - - I don't have the app on my computer and don't even use Outlook or any kind of message organizer. I don't do any alarm business on line so it's no inconvenience. When I want to Emai, I just go to the AOL website and sign in using the names and passwords I've use for centuries. I've actually got 4 separate account that I use in the event that I want to remain super anonymous for any reason. I'm in NY But hardly anyone knows exactly where. Bass came kinda close when he was looking to "get" me. But he had me located in a town about 40 miles away where my ISP is located. For some reason back when I first started using Usenet, I went on it anonymously right off the bat. Today, not even Google knows who I am and I'm not on any of the social media groups or even Linkdin. My bank offers a service that makes it so I don't have to give anyone my real credit card number. So that end is pretty well covered too. I guess that It all stems from the fact that I consider people guilty until proven innocent. That's my interpretation of Billy Joel's "I'm in a New York state of mind" What's that old saying? " Paranoia is just a heightened sense of awareness"
No challenge. I'm not that important. BUT I don't have much respect for the FBI. I have seen first hand how they can railroad someone right into federal prison. The guy was my customer and as side work he repaired motor cycles in his little one car garage on weekends and evenings. A couple of the members of a local Hell's Angels group brought their bikes there for repair. My customer never rode with them but after some members were arrested on some federal crimes, they got my customers name and manufactured some story that allowed them to arrest my customer as an accessory and sent him to federal prison for five years. I continued to monitor his home at no charge for his family until he was released and they moved away. There's more to the story but that's the gist of it. I still monitor the alarm system for his sister-in-law. It's been about 10 or more years ago now They're doing OK but it's always going to be a blemish on him.
I suspect FBI agents are like other government agents. Some want to do the job and enforce the spirit of the law. Some are on a mission driven by ambition. Some are on a mission driven by almost religious fervor regadless of the law or to the extreme most minute detail of the law. A few I am sure are totally out of control. I've only met a couple in passing and I can't really make any general conclusion as a whole. I've had a few federal agents as customers, (Justice, DHS, BPS, Customs, etc...) and one or two who have been ocassional fishing partners. Of those I know in more than passing most seem to be pretty reasonable types. Admittedly most I know in that capacity are higher ups who are not necessarily on a holy mission or driven by ambition. They seem to understand that grey isn't necessarily right, but hard division of black and white almost never is.
I've also dealt with one or two BATFE agents in their official capacity. My dad more than me. He had an FFL in his country hardware store. (I have a collectors license myself, and have considered a regular dealers license once or twice.) Every BATFE agent I dealt with was atleast modestly reasonable and some were downright helpful. Less looking to score a collar and more driven to make sure I don't get myself in trouble or have issues with other agents. If you follow any of the pro gun political channels the BATFE gets a pretty bad rap, and some agents certainly deserve it based on the verifiable stories about them. The thing is in my limited experience they were more reasonable than that.
The only real overall issue I have with federal agents is the system more than the agents themselves. Civil asset forfeiture abuses are a systemic issue. Qualified immunity protecting bad ones from egregious (sometimes pretty horrific) violations is a systemic issue.
Yeah all above probly so. but "one bad apple spoils it for the rest" Right? How do you tell the good ones from the bad? if you believe innocence before guilty, If you befriend a good one, you're ok. But befriend a bad one you could be SOL. Which is the reason I engage everyone as " Everyone is guilty until proven innocent" All you have to do is pretend to trust them but watch what they do - - - - for a long long time. Trust is earned not a given. As you can imagine, I have a lot of acquaintances, but not many (real) friends. The way I like it. It keeps my life unencumbered. I do what I want, when I want, how I want, up to the point that my wife to begins to nag me. Sometimes I have to reconsider. ;->
That's kind of the sentiment among many regarding cops in general. You are either pro-cop or anti-cop and no room in the middle. I'm personally not anti-cop, but I am anti bad cop, and I believe covering up for bad cops turns good cops into bad cops. I also understand that many "good" cops protect their own and enforce the blue wall because they want to make sure the guy they get stuck will still cover their back when police work gets dangerous. They want to be able to trust any cop who has their back. This create a conundrum. How do good cops stay good cops and still be certain the guy covering their back won't let them get killed... maybe even on purpose.
Anyway, on social media when I make the mistake of getting drawn into one of those conversations the pro cop folks think I'm anti cop and throw ultimatums at me. The anti cop folks get all upset because I also recognize the issues of the job.
There is a saying that you hang out with five millionaires you will become the sixth, and if you hang out with five junkies you will become the sixth. By that logic I've got a buddy who is convinced all cops eventually become criminals because they hang out with criminals. I don't think its that simple, but there is no good answer. Personal responsibility and transparency can help, but it can also make the job more dangerous. In 1982 I decided law enforcement was not for me. In retrospect it was the right choice.
You have to recognize the FACT that they have a job to do AND that they have what I consider to be unconstitutional protections against bad behavior as well as power and authority you or I do not have. Whether you agree or disagree you have to understand that you are at a certain position of disadvantage. Respect must be shown if only out of caution, but as you say individual trust must be earned.
I honestly do not think FBI agents are any different than any other cops as a group. Maybe just a little better trained.
Its a complex issue, and I think my short writing here totally fails to address it adequately.
Something similar that I've noticed is the change that takes place in " Some/a lot " of people who go to work in in civil service jobs or union jobs. They go into the job with great enthusiasm but are eventually converted to automatons, biding their time until retirement with full benefits. Promotions come with time, not effort. Why try to do things quicker, more efficiently with care and concern ? They're going to get their rewards whether they try harder or not. How can anyone who starts with great gusto in a new job not be eventually worn down to the least common denominator when time on the job is all it takes to get a reward and any effort to achieve excellence is all but ignored and actually creates confusion in the work place. AND - - - Not that some employers are not fair with their employees but every time I see a work picket line, the first thought that comes to me is, - - - If they don't like working there, Wouldn't their time be better spent going out and looking for another job instead of wasting their time walking in circles carrying signs? I mean. if the company you work for isn't being fair with you why would you want to continue working there? Oh well, those are the foibles of the human condition that makes it easy and difficult for the "educated ' and "informed" to prosper or not. (Who is John Galt)