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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Google Removed My Blog From Internet!

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Around 9am EDT June 28, 2013, Google removed my blog from the Internet and locked me out of my account.

They did this under the guise of having detected "suspicious activity" on my account.

The only way they could have concluded that was by spying on my legal activities on my own computer!

What had I done, that attracted their attention? I used Tor on my computer, but I did not go to my Google blog nor my Google account from the Tor browser. (2013 Jul 01: "Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships.")

Yet when I later went to view my blog using a "standard" browser, the screen said the blog no longer existed!

Words can't begin to describe the emotions I felt, that the blog I have worked on since 2009 for artistic expression was gone! I had friends verify the blog was in fact gone from the Internet. When I attempted to login to my account, the screen said the account had been deactivated.

While I can understand Google deactivating my ability to login to my account due to their belief of suspicious activity on it, there was NO JUSTIFICATION to REMOVE my blog from the Internet! The account was locked, so there was no way I nor any nefarious person could make any changes to the blog.

I was subsequently able to restore my account and blog, but...

I should have expected such actions by Google, the disingenuous NSA collaborator that was spying on the Germans (and everyone else) using Street View. "Google has been accidentally gathering extracts of personal web activity from domestic wifi networks through the Street View cars it has used since 2007, it said last night."

And with regard to the NSA's domestic spying:

"The government assures us that it does not maintain a database of incidentally collected information from non-targeted United States persons, and there is no evidence to the contrary. On these facts, incidentally collected communications of non-targeted United States persons do not violate the Fourth Amendment."

The full text from that court ruling can be read here.

The Fourth Amendment

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The font used for this piece is Catull and can be found here:

http://www.fontineed.com/downloads/13148_Catull_Regular.zip
http://www.fontineed.com/font/13148_Catull_Regular_download

"Butterflies" – Postcard

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 This week’s Take A Word challenge was "Butterflies."

I tried to give this a layered look, to force myself out of my comfort zone. I'm happy with the end result.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

If you didn't see my blog post Google Removed My Blog From Internet! I encourage you to read it.

"Once Upon A Time" – Postcard

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This week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge was “Once Upon A Time.”

I did a lot of searching for ideas, but in the end, my muse took over and this was the end result, which I am very happy with.

The images are from a DuckDuckGo Internet search.

The font is _a e i o u Semi-Bold Semi-Condensed

If you didn't see my blog post Google Removed My Blog From Internet! I encourage you to read it.

Blue Jay - Photographs

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I took these photographs of a Blue Jay in the past month.

The first photo is my entry for the following:

Camera Critters #273
I'd Rather Be Birding
Weekly Top Shot #89

If you didn't see my blog post Google Removed My Blog From Internet! I encourage you to read it.

Moon - Photograph

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I took this photograph of the moon in the past month.

Carrion Crow - Photograph

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I took this photograph of a carrion crow in the past month. I won't post the photos of what these birds were feeding on because they are too graphic.

Friday, June 28, 2013

"Score Card" – Postcard

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This week’s Three Muses challenge was “Numbers.” I created a game score card.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

The font is Rogers

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Fashion" – Moo (1.1" x 2.8") / Card

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This week’s Moo Mania challenge was "Fashion."

The vintage image is from an Internet search.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Flowers / Blumen" – ATC

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This week's Fun With ATCs challenge #90 was "Flowers / Blumen."

I created this in GIMP, and I applied G'MIC filter Artistic - Dream Smoothing to it.

The images are from Combinaisons Ornementales by artist Maurice Verneuil.

"Sun's Rising Up!" – Postcard

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This week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge was “Summer Solstice.”

The woman image is from Combinaisons Ornementales by artist Maurice Verneuil.

The font is Amperzand

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Save your data to the Cloud" – Postcard

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I created an advertisement for all of the companies that are urging us to store our data in the cloud.

The clipart in my artwork is from Microsoft Office images. To the best of my knowledge, these were free to use. I have a set of procedures in place that I have substituted for the actual copyright laws, just like the United States Government has done with regard to the Fourth Amendment, circa 2008:

What we said there - and reiterate today - is that the
more a set of procedures resembles those associated with the
traditional warrant requirements, the more easily it can be
determined that those procedures are within constitutional bounds.
...
The petitioner suggests that, by placing discretion
entirely in the hands of the Executive Branch without prior
judicial involvement, the procedures cede to that Branch overly
broad power that invites abuse . But this is little more than a
lament about the risk that government officials will not operate in
good faith.
...
The petitioner's concern with incidental collections is
overblown. It is settled beyond peradventure that incidental
collections occurring as a result of constitutionally permissible
acquisitions do not render those acquisitions unlawful. 9 See,
e.g., United States v. Kahn, 415 U.S. 143, 157-58 (1974); United
States v. Schwartz, 535 F.2d 160, 164 (2d Cir. 1976). The
government assures us that it does not maintain a database of
incidentally collected information from non-targeted United States
persons, and there is no evidence to the contrary. On these facts,
incidentally collected communications of non-targeted United States
persons do not violate the Fourth Amendment.


The full text from the court ruling can be read here.


The fonts used in my piece are:
Big Brother
DCC - Ash

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Cage of Freedom" – Postcard

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This week's Three Muses challenge was "Birds."

This piece was inspired by the song Cage of Freedom by Jon Anderson, the movie Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis, and George Orwell's book 1984, which is alluded to in the song.

I normally don't put anything personal on my blog, but the revelation that the United States Government is now an NSA surveillance state and that my Fourth Amendment right has been rescinded, in the name of "National Security," is appalling and Unconstitutional.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

And they aren't simply collecting metadata. They are RECORDING our phone calls! This was stated on two different news programs by former FBI agent Tim Clemente.


The digital stamps in this piece are from an Internet search.

The fonts are:
Bloody
Times New Yorker

The words to the song are below, and the song can be heard on YouTube here.

Cage of freedom
That's our prison
Where the jailer and captive combine
Cage of freedom
Cast in power
All the trappings of our own design

Blind ambition
Steals our reason
We're soon behind those invisible bars
On the inside
Looking outside
To make it safer we double the guard

Cage of freedom
There's no escaping
We fabricated a world of our own....

Cage of freedom, growing smaller
'Til every wall now touches the skin
Cage of freedom, filled with treason
Changing sides as the losses begin
Our suspicion tries escaping
But they step up the security
There's no exit--there's no entrance
Remember how we swallowed the key?

Cage of freedom, that's our prison
We fabricated this world on our own....

Big brother
Is there a bigger one watching you
Or is there one smaller
Who I should be watching too
Infinite circles of
Snakes eating their own tails
For every one chasing
Another is on the trail
Is that a friend
Can you tell, is he on your side?
'Cause I spy with my little eye
Yet another spy... (fadeout)

Optical Illusion Reflection - Photographs

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This is 1 of 3 posts of photographs I took at Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT this past week.

With the focal point on one area of these water reflection scenes it created an overall blurry, optical illusion effect.

Path in the Woods - Photographs

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This is 2 of 3 posts of photographs I took at Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT this past week.

The paths here were mostly level, wide, and easy to traverse.

Green Metallic Bug and Paw Prints - Photographs

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This is 3 of 3 posts of photographs I took at Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT this past week.

I spotted several of these green metallic bugs but I only got one good photo because they flew off each time I tried to take a shot.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Maps / Cartography" – Postcard

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This week’s Artful Times challenge #31 was "Maps / Cartography."

I used an oriental map for my background, then added oriental images and stamps on top of that. I also drew chalk strokes around some of the images.

I made this digital piece using GIMP version 2.8.4.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

"Triple Stamping Technique" – Moo (1.1" x 2.8") / Postcard

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This week’s Moo Mania challenge was "Triple Stamping Technique."

These digital pieces didn't come out as nice as the samples on the challenge site nor the ones I saw using an Internet search.

The digital stamps are from Clipart ETC. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Art Journal Style" – Postcard

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This week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge was “Art Journal Style.”

I love looking at people's art journal pages, and have wanted to be able to make digital artwork like that. This is my attempt at mimicking the style. I created a spiral notebook page as the base, with college ruled lines. I added images, traced around some of them, and drew a leaf vine. I also drew a partial face. I painted the background with earth tone colors. I spent a lot of time on this, but I enjoyed making it.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

"Orange" – Postcard

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This week’s Take A Word challenge was "Orange."

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

Crescent Moon - Photographs

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These are photographs I took on two successive mornings of the waning crescent moon.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Fond Greetings" – Postcard

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I created a greeting postcard.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

The font is JSL Ancient.

"Our House" – Postcard

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This week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge was “No Place Like Home.”

I tried to depict the simpler time of childhood, when I was carefree.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

The words are from the song "Our House" by Madness.

The font is JSL Ancient.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Summer Beach" – Postcard

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I created a beach themed postcard with retro colors.

The vintage images are from an Internet search.

The fonts are:

Marketing Script
Market Deco

Black-crowned Night-Heron - Photographs

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This is 1 of 2 posts of photographs I took at Mill Hollow Park in Fairfield, CT this past week.

I got a few more pictures of what I think is a Black-crowned Night-Heron. This bird is big, and it's red eyes are a little freaky.

This is my entry for:

I'd Rather Be Birding

Great Egret - Photographs

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This is 2 of 2 posts of photographs I took at Mill Hollow Park in Fairfield, CT this past week.

Unfortunately my best photo of the Great Egret cut off his tail feathers. I almost didn't post it. I didn't realize how long this bird's talons were until I saw the third photograph.