By Don Rush
Sometime over the weekend I got an e-mail from Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop (R) Rochester. He was polling Michiganians about — well here is what “he” wrote and e-mailed:
“Friend, America has moved into an age of technology that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. The recent dispute between Apple and the FBI reaffirms the need to further address the issue of encryption.
“Just this week I became an original cosponsor of a bill to establish the National Commission on Security and Technology Challenges. The commission would bring together the world’s foremost technology and law enforcement experts to assist in developing the necessary protocols to keep our nation safe – without sacrificing our privacy or innovation. So I want your input:
“Do you think Apple should assist law enforcement in unlocking the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone?”
Yes or No. I selected “NO” and was hoping for a place to comment. I have thought about it for a bit and haven’t heard folks in Washington, DC comment on this: Why doesn’t the FBI seek info from that cell phone’s meta data stuff collected as allowed by the Patriot Act?
Or is this another time when differing federal groups (the National Security Agency or Homeland Security or Federal Bureau of Investigations) don’t want to play ball with each other and share information?
Or is it more sinister — have they already shared the information, but want to set a precedent for future government overreach?
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Speaking of the FBI, when I was early in my teens, those glory years (?) at Sashabaw Junior High School on Maybee Road in Clarkston, I wanted to be a “g-man” — even had a FBI card. “FBI,” it stated in big, bold letters and underneath in italics, “Female Body Inspector.” God, I am so glad I am no longer a teen. Surprised I wasn’t snuffed out by the time I was 14.
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A while back I wrote a column headlined, “Midwifery is her lifery,” about local midwife Wendy Pinter. This column prompted reader Emma to write: “You were so surprised midwifery is a current occupation … maybe you should have done a little more research on the correct pronunciation of ‘midwifery.’ (You wouldn’t have had such a catchy title though.)”
Well, thought, I outta’ look it up and see what the heck Emma was talking about. I did, and sonofabi — gun! It is pronounced Midwiffery, not Midwifery. Stupid English language. Thanks, Emma. I love being wrong!
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Last week I “unplugged” from social media for a while. It was excellent! And, I got the following e-mail from Ed in Ortonville.
Hello Don, Amen brother! Can’t help but comment. My wife and I are empty nesters. We have never succumbed to FaceBook but I have to tell you, all you talk about is right on.
I certainly understand why someone in your profession would need to be connected . . . I do not judge you. In your shoes I would be doing the same. However, I am truly concerned about what I observe around me.
1. I see ultra-connection becoming an addiction much the same as alcohol.
a. Nothing wrong with moderation
b. People are generally unaware and do not think through to the big picture. Where does all this stop? Will there be cessation classes or media anonymous, “Hello, my name is X and I am . . .”?
c. People are stealing time for themselves and the receiver. They are at work and two employers (sender and receiver employers) are being stolen from.
2. People are driving poorly and not using turn signals. Why? Because one hand has the phone and they can’t or don’t care or are not thinking about the turn or traffic shift. BAM!
3. We are more consumed with OURSELVES! We are oblivious to those around us.
I’m truly concerned. I really don’t think people are very happy or nearly as happy as this is supposed to make them feel. Have you thought about with all the smart phones, and cable and general electronics how it is a major budget line item for families? I have to think, in general, $400 monthly is outgoing from the family budget and then there is the breakdown within the four walls.
I see people (mostly women) our age stuck to their phones. We had a small party not long ago and I was astounded as the general rudeness of people in general. Like you, why do I really need to know all the detail?
4. Finally, my wife and I sit and talk about our day over a cup of tea at the end of the day before supper. We do not text at all during the day. Why? Because of the reasons explained but also it is a delayed gratification for us both. I can wait to hear about the day and that makes it all the more special. It works well for us and I would hope more would try it. It bonds us and makes us feel more connected. And by the way. No phones during that time!
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Ed, excellent letter and what a concept! Sitting down and talking about your day with your loved ones — is that even possible anymore?
Send comments to: Don@ShermanPublications.org