Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Solid



A Story 
by Robert Barrow

June, 2014
All Rights Reserved

While scientists and computer wizards continue debating whether artificial intelligence (AI) will be the human species' hero or executioner, we prefer to make a vastly uneducated guess and suggest, without reservations, that we're all screwed.  Next time you call up a corporation whose phone is answered by a non-human, human-sounding voice which concludes any and all conversations with Have a nice day, the AI really means it wishes you to have a nice day according to its own standards, not yours, and those pleasant, though troubling words could very well signify the AI's intention to kill you by midnight, because it knows who you are, your vulnerabilities, where you live and everything else about you, thanks to information derived from the NSA and computer information gleaned over the Internet from favorite stores where you shop.  Whatever you do, DON'T ever expect to have or conclude a nice day nicely when you hear those innocent, but terrifying words!

* * *

Andrew Triddleflub paid handsomely to build a personal robot, lavishly equipped to assist him around both home and office.  Andrew was clever like that, he could build anything involving a digital chip.  The robot, whom he named Fabulotemus (with emphasis on the "o"), appeared tall  and gender-neutral, yet constructed of heavy metal pieces, allowing it to perform the most difficult of tasks.  Fabulotemus wasn't molded into good looks, instead resembling the bulky metallic robots of fifties Hollywood movies.  Nonetheless, Andrew's shiny, silvery robot was built for speed as well as for intellect.

Building Fabulotemus hadn't consumed nearly as much time as teaching its "brains" all the knowledge Andrew wished to impart, and afterwards all commands and conversations seemed to progress exactly as planned.  The robot cooked, cleaned, scheduled appointments, watered plants, tended a garden, answered phone calls and both maintained and repaired household appliances when necessary -- even detecting in advance potential technological failures.

Nearly three months had elapsed, and everything seemed so perfect, and Fabulotemus functioned without errors -- like clockwork, as the old folks might say.  Andrew Triddleflub couldn't have been more pleased.

That is, he was pleased until one particular Tuesday, when he made a request of his metallic creation.  "Fabulotemus,"  Andrew called out.  Within seconds, the robot appeared in the kitchen, where Andrew held some papers and was prepared to leave the house in a hurry.  The wall clock designated 10:35 a.m. as the current time.

"I am here, Andrew," replied the robot in an androgynous human voice.

"I know this wasn't the plan, but I have to leave this morning, right away in fact.  A client just flew in and I need to hold a quick meeting with her and a few colleagues," explained Andrew.

The robot nodded obediently as Andrew grabbed the kitchen doorknob, intent upon departing via the back entrance.

"Oh -- and do me a solid, will you?  My friend, Julian, is stopping over sometime this morning with some vegetables from his garden.  You can take those from him and tell him thank you.  Well, have to run."  Andrew rushed out the door,  too quickly for Fabulotemus to ask a very important question.

"Andrew. . .did you say. . .do me a solid?  Did you?  In what respect do you indicate a solid, Andrew?"  Patiently, Fabulotemus waited for a response, but Andrew was gone and there would be no reply.  Of all the things he had taught the robot, he neglected to impart that a solid was a favor, an important action accomplished for a friend or acquaintance.  "Andrew. . .you have departed.  Understood."

Fabulotemus made several calls to Andrew's communications device, only to learn that, in his haste to leave, Andrew had left it on his desk. 

The robot replayed Andrew's departing words over and over, explored downloaded dictionaries and encyclopedias, but nowhere could it find do me a solid, leading it to assume that Andrew had misspoken.  Suddenly, there was a knock at the front door, followed by a doorbell tone.  The robot responded instantly, opening the door.

"My name is Fabulotemus.  I am Andrew's robot, charged with performing household duties.  May I help you?"

"Wow, I've heard so much about you," said the stranger, intrigued.  "Well, Andrew is expecting me.  I'm Julian."

"Unfortunately, Andrew is not here.  He had to leave because of an urgent matter."

"Oh, that's too bad.  You see," began Julian, "I brought him this box of vegetables from my garden."

The robot scanned the box's contents, seemed to lose itself in thought for a moment, as if mulling over some clouded matter, and then returned its attention to the visitor.  "Please enter and follow me," bid Fabulotemus, making its way back to the kitchen with Andrew's friend in tow.

* * *

"Fabulotemus?" inquired Andrew upon returning home, later that afternoon.

"Yes, Andrew," came the reply from the kitchen.

Andrew strolled casually toward the kitchen, pleased to have faith in his creation's reliability.  However, he stopped at the kitchen's entrance, puzzled by the scene before him.  A number of tied garbage bags reposed in one kitchen corner, while several covered pots and pans decked the counter and shelves.  A strange odor permeated the area.

"Fabulotemus," Andrew Triddleflub began, with some hesitation, "what are you. . . doing?"

"Your dinner.  Your dinner is complete.  There is so much, though.  I may be unable to refrigerate the remainder."

"Dinner?  What is it?!??"

"Andrew, when you departed this morning you asked me to do what sounded like do me a solid, but that made no sense, and I assumed you used the wrong word.  Therefore, I took the liberty of interpretation and calculated instead that you meant do you -- make you -- a salad."

Amazed at his oversight with the robot's fund of knowledge, Andrew shook his head.   "This -- no, a solid is a favor that you -- oh, never mind.  So all of this is . . . a salad?"

"Yes, Andrew.  But I needed to download more information because there is an abundance of salads for preparation in the world.  Fortunately, you narrowed the selection and choices for me, and I eventually realized what kind of salad you wished."

A confused Andrew Triddleflub had no idea what was going on here.  "You did?  How?  I mean, what have you done?"

"When your friend brought vegetables this morning, I knew what you wanted."

"Oh?" replied Andrew, walking slowly toward a large pot on the counter.  With some reluctance and a twinge of fear, the robot's creator lifted and removed the lid.  His curiosity quickly turned to utter revulsion and horror as he took a giant step back. "What -- what have you done?  What have you done?"

Unconcerned with and uneducated about Andrew's human emotions, the robot casually answered his gasping question.  "Do me a salad.  I did you a salad, Andrew.  I made you a salad and used the vegetables brought by your friend this morning.  I also included your friend in the salad."

"Included?  Included???" 

"I cleaned blood and placed unused pieces in garbage bags.  I wanted everything to look clean and neat for you so you could enjoy your salad.  Are you ready to eat now?"

Andrew could barely think, let alone speak.  "What?  No, no!  I. . ."

Knowing now the contents of pots and pans placed all over the kitchen by Fabulotemus, a mental lightbulb flashed in Andrew Triddleflub's head.  He wanted to vomit, but denied himself the opportunity because first he simply had to know the why  -- indeed, he already suspected the reason.

"Fabulotemus. . .what. . .what kind of salad did you make?"

The robot freely blurted out the salad's identity, and the words confirmed Andrew's fears.

"Oh, my GOD," Andrew shouted.  "His name was spelled J-u-l-i-a-n,  not  j-u-l-i-e-n-n-e!"

"A mistake, I assume?"

"A mistake?  What the hell am I going to do?  The police. . .oh, the police!  What will they. . .?"

"Andrew," replied Fabulotemus, "I think I understand now.  Andrew, will you please do me a solid and excuse my error?  Yes, I have this now.  Do me a solid, Andrew, please, will you?  Andrew?  Are you listening?  Andrew?  Andrew?"

___T H E    E N D___

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Palpable Conspiracy?

Let us not merely be blind-sided by the new storming of Iraq, which Lord Obama hisself clearly promised recently was in tip-top shape and all ready to care for itself. . .until. . .well, the prez and Hillary Clinton, in her dramatic theatrical role as Secretary of State, long ago helped put into force the carpet-bombing of even the most fragile ruling structures (and dictators) holding the Middle East together.  And here we are.  Can you say, "Look, sweetie -- isn't that a new Caliphate, staking claims all over the planet, while everybody else is blissfully unaware and uncaring, watching junk on TV?"  As if we'll remain unscathed, or deserve to be due to our own ignorance.

Meanwhile, we desperately need colossal attention placed upon our Southern border, where customary hordes of border-jumping Mexicans have been eclipsed by mostly young people "escaping" wretched Central American countries consumed by crime and drugs.  The TV news shows spotlight "children" coming by multiples of thousands in a never-ending human chain.

However, this "humanitarian" crisis is not just what it appears.  These folks were instructed to come here and, obviously coached, know exactly the right words to say to gain entry past border patrol.  TV stations in their native lands told peoples of Central America to send or bring their kids to the USA because the stupid American taxpayers will give them a free education, free medical care, free housing and free free.  Yes, free to be you and me -- no, wait, free to be you because I, me, the citizen, don't count.  I pay, you free.

Yet, this sudden surge in border crashers from way-foreign lands -- which the U.S. government supposedly didn't see coming any more than it foresees other events which please this Administration, but remain out of public view until the last minute -- well, just how did words of wild invitation spread, how did they make such an enormous impact in Central America?

News Flash!   U.S. Government want ads were looking for "escorts" for unaccompanied border children as long ago as January.  Conspiracy complete?

Thank President Obama.  Obama, who cares little about borders, language or culture.  Obama, who perpetually seems to have a chip on his shoulder regarding the United States.  Obama, who seems to have some goal to square us with -- and make us similar to -- the rest of the world.  Obama, who authoritatively acts like a one-man United Nations.

The president could have ended this catastrophe simply by dispatching government people to protect the border emergently, and by making statements to the media which could have been played in Central America, warning people to stay away.  Unfortunately, the only thing played is us, the American people.

I suggest a conspiracy afoot here, and if the White House is as complicit with all of this as a normal human mind might believe -- probably with the help of some in Congress, along with key executives in the social media and corporate sectors (and just who pays for attorneys to assure that these folks will never be deported?  For one think social media with a Z, and we don’t mean Zorro) -- an investigation of the highest sobriety should take place soon.  I mean, let's go big time, because encouraging foreigners to crash our borders illegally is a major crime -- and if high government officials happen to have taken an oath to protect our borders and insure our safety, they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, with extensive prison time and fines.  At the very least.

One thing's for sure: Nobody's protecting us by importing diseased (the menu includes scabies, measles, Staph, TB. . .) invaders all over the country, simultaneously peppering  the USA with throngs of uneducated people who don't speak English and offer no talents, only costs we can no longer bear.  As we said previously, there comes a time when one has to choose country over compassion, or we'll all sink like a rock as the USA becomes the Third World entity which some national prison-eligible "leaders" seem to prefer.

Regarding the disease factor: Even in the movie, The Andromeda Strain, a quarantine was placed to protect the population – yet this president and Hapless Homeless Security let anything across the border that can walk, crawl, drool or infect, putting the entire U.S. in jeopardy.

But to quote one Democrat:  Never let a good crisis go to waste.  And to quote Nancy Pelosi, we had to pass the Affordable Care Act legislation to know what was in it.  I interpret such statements to mean, as they used to say in the military, shoot first and ask questions later.  With this Administration, we shoot ourselves in the foot first to see where the bullet exits, damn the consequences.

Our endless border invasion has worsened because Border Patrol is instructed not to let its dedicated officers do their assigned jobs, and because the usual suspects in high places both in and outside the government apparently want this outrage to happen.  Those responsible, whether of government, of corporations or of social pressure groups must inevitably be held responsible and suffer the legal consequences, if and when we can clearly shout from the rooftops that a grand conspiracy is taking place right before our eyes -- even as our eyes are beckoned to other directions by those who wish to divert public attention away from probable high and ongoing crimes.

Congress considers adding an 11 or 12 cent-per-gallon tax to gasoline purchases in order to pay for highway construction and maintenance.  Well, that's a funny one.  Haven't motorists been paying taxes for decades for that very purpose?  Oh wait, I get it.  As more folks drive electric cars and machinery using alternate energy, there will be less highway taxes.  Okayyyyyy -- but, shouldn't the people who use energy other than gasoline pay those taxes, too -- since they travel the same highways that gasoline motorists use?  Anyway, no, we don't want more gasoline taxes.  The president will surely approve because energy prices "must necessarily skyrocket," in his own words.  Aren't you glad you voted for this presidential travesty?

Congress goes on the attack against Dr. Oz.  Forget the diet supplement controversy.  This was all about Congressional bullies, the lucrative medical and pharmaceutical industry, and others who demand to wield influence.  These powerful forces have no patience for those who do not comply with the status quo, particularly regarding doctors who blab about non-compliant alternatives on TV.  Were I Dr. Oz, I think I'd spend a whole program telling my viewers what phonies, monsters, liars and frauds those who wish to regulate us out of our right to make our own decisions truly are.  I suspect that for every doctor who tries to do some good in the country and gains publicity, there exists a stable of attorneys and power-mad government representatives intent upon taking them down.  Looking for frauds, Congress?  My advice -- simply go shake hands with a few White House occupants, confidants and incompetents.  Our supreme national freak show resides right there, and its actions are tearing the country apart.  It couldn't be more obvious.

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service corpse continues to decompose, stinking up every corner of Washington as its putrid fragrance drifts from coast to coast.  If this scandal among scandals doesn't point to the White House, I don't know what does.  The tax system begs for reform, the IRS as we know it requires a speedy and honorable burial, and the treasonous names behind its obscene political knifings need to go to trial and then prison.  To prison.  The place where really, really bad people who betray others go.  Prison, hmm, that reminds me of the Department of Justice, under its current mismanagement and dictatorship, but why go fast and furious over laws enforced or ignored according to one's politically charged whim?

Four former Environmental Protection Agency chiefs were questioned by Congress yesterday, and when asked to raise their hands if they concur with President Obama's claims that the Earth is warming faster and faster, none -- none -- raised a hand.  Was this reported by the mainstream media?  No.  Credit:  The  

Readers:  If you aren't checking Web sites for The Blaze and The Drudge Report (see links) every day, you're probably dead.  If you crave real news without the spin and lacking extremist twists, please stay in touch with these constantly updating sources.  The level of reporting makes national mainstream TV news programs irrelevant, out of touch and obviously obedient to the special interest masters who pay to keep TV networks focused upon fluff, brain-sucking entertainment adored by the perpetually mindless, and the escapism provided by sporting events which effectively divert the masses away from matters of importance.  (Well done, network TV.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Worst, the Very Worst

We in the USA are currently ruled by the most unimaginably corrupt Administration in recent memory, relentlessly driven by university-bred radicals produced by the progressive collegiate assembly line, with no concern whatsoever about their role in supporting American laws.  To this bunch, laws are things to be ignored, jumped over or reinterpreted to fit the moment. Their moment.  Where is Congress?  Where is the judiciary?  Who will save us in a country where voters choose the same people over and over again, often just because names bask in the familiarity akin to an old comfortable sofa?

UFO disclosure?  If border agents are now warned to neither talk to the press, nor photograph the Obama Admin-engineered invasion horror story currently (and needlessly) occurring on our Southern borders, exactly what does anybody expect "the most open Administration in history" to offer up in terms of disclosure?  If vitally pertinent IRS e-mails are now "missing" due to some fabricated computer crash, how will UFO information survive this White House?

You might want to spend a little time speaking out and saving the country from this bunch of criminals, who really do deserve some prison time once all the evil and violations of established U.S. law shake out.  Believe it or not, there's a lot more at stake than gay marriage and Kardashian antics, but you'd never know it after two minutes with mind-endangering TV "entertainment" and network "news" shows, which gladly substitute trained seals for anything that might smack of TV network higher-ups exposed as politically used and stupid, and making their buddy Obama look like a hazardously incompetent, yet cunning constitutional oath denier, no friend of this country.  Nor are we giving mainstream media newspapers a pass here, either, not when their owners soft-peddle or ignore the crucial stuff.

The truth?  That's what you can't tell the people.