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April 24, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rough goings, collections, and gatherings.


lizard on rough palm tree trunk. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

You think you have a rough road to travel. You have Mt. Everest as a challenge; he braves this towering fan palm.(© image)

What does flying on an airplane have to do with “Biometric Exit”?

Face it: creepiness. (And hypocrisy?)

Cozying up with airlines and airports, Customs and Border Protection/Homeland Security started snapping passengers’ photographs at their airport gates during 2017, and then cross-referenced the images of them with a “gallery” of images photos from visa and passport applications. This also creates a passenger travel record.

Smile! Oh, it’s for your own good. They can catch people who overstay their visas or have altered/questionable travel documents…

Trump says speed that up! With 100% snappings in top airports by 2021.

Privacy experts are raising red flags as it seems we moving from simple identity verification to a “world where the act of flying is cause for a law enforcement search” if those images are run through FBI data bases, outstanding warrants lists, those owing back child support, and – Leaping lizards – maybe even if you forgot your Mom’s birthday, wife’s anniversary, or overdue library items.

OK, if matching faces to pictures, knowing people are who they say they are, is important for planes and airports, why isn’t it important when people vote?


The faceless crowd passé.

Oak tree surrounded by oak tree sprouts . (© image: copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Wood stock. As they say, acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. This oak tree has more children clustered around her knotty ankles than that Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe. (© image)

Speaking of passé, crowds, and Woodstock, the 50th Anniversary Woodstock Festival scheduled for Watkins Glen International Speedway hoping to profit, I mean, hoping to rekindle the soul of the original Woodstock, may be heading for cancellation as key musicians are walking away.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will be hosting a Woodstock Anniversary “pan-generational music, culture, and community event” for three days in August with concerts, TED-style talks, and a museum showcasing history of the original. Performers may include Elton John, Springsteen, and Santana among others.

Hmmm, which sounds better for music: speedway or natural location? That “speedway” rumbles a little close to Altamont and drags up images of the drug culture that torpedoed the hope of peace and love.

Smile and face the music.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Lizard climbing down palm (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Another intrepid climber. The palm trunk is crowded like an interstate highway in good weather. (© image.)




  1. Kate Crimmins / Apr 24 2019 6:33 am

    Ok, ok, I confess. I sometimes (often…no ususally) forget my wedding anniversary. We married in old age without a big ta-doo so the date sometimes escapes me. Will they catch that if I fly? Perhaps it’s safer to drive. Scotty? Can you beam me up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 2:34 pm

      Air travel has gotten to be so time consuming and difficult, oddly it’s faster/easier to drive many places. Never fear, with the robot cars or large drone personal aircraft, we can look forward to being able to enjoy the views out the window and leave the driving to them….but about those door locks… HAHA
      Thanks for the swooping comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. easyweimaraner / Apr 24 2019 6:40 am

    it’s scary that authorities know more about me than I know… but on the other hand they should have at least a hotline where we can ask if we maybe forgot something about ourselves… but I bet that hotline is NOT for free…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 2:37 pm

      WOW What an idea – if there’s money to be made, that hotline will soon exist. I think I’ll just run with the dogs – more straight forward communication and no secrets with them. Thanks for barking along at the chaos


  3. Ally Bean / Apr 24 2019 6:41 am

    Mixed feelings about having Homeland Security checking up on people. I like the idea of them catching criminals, I dislike the idea of them watching me. I’m anxious and irritated enough when I fly without more difficulties to impede my progress. I dunno…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 2:42 pm

      Yea, I agree. Great if it’s only used for that purpose, but things have a way of slipping into “Nooooo, that wasn’t what you said it was for.” “And what do you mean data breach?..”how dare you let the boss know I wasn’t sick, but on the way to the Bahamas!”
      Once air travel was so elegant…sophisticated. More like a Conga line of crazy antics now – for most anyway.
      Thanks for lining up a comment to park here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres / Apr 24 2019 6:43 am

    More and more often, I congratulate myself on my tendency to be a dropout from today’s society. There will be no Alexa in my home, and no smart phone in my hand. I know they’re said to be “necessities,” but you’ve surely heard the reversal of the old saying: “Invention is the mother of necessity.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 2:51 pm

      The interconnectivity of a “smart mouth house” may be luring some, but not sold on it here. One it’s intrusive (and who knows what is really going on/being collected by whom) and may actually rob people of the ability to do things for themselves?
      Like computer keyboards have shoved cursive writing aside, now people can’t read cursive – or have difficulty signing their names in cursive. (Luckily research is now showing cursive writing plays and important role with brain development as it involves interactive communication between both sides the brain) not to mention other benefits to child’s focus, attention span, persistence, fine motor control – all sorts of maturing developmental aspects. The early adopter schools are putting it back into the curriculum) (I know more than you ever wanted to know…I end up going down these rabbit holes of odd information…)
      Yeah, the Blackberry and flip phone in the drawer are waiting for return to service call.
      Thanks for the unplugged response


  5. RKLikesReeses / Apr 24 2019 10:05 am

    No. No, no, no. NO!!!!!! (Super post – terrifying.) 😩

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 2:53 pm

      Those tweets between JetBlue and customer were interesting.
      Everyone want to get boarded faster, but what’s the price? (And do you really trust who is behind the curtain of Oz?) Thanks for taking a peek

      Liked by 1 person

  6. RKLikesReeses / Apr 24 2019 10:25 am

    Ummm…Can they peek in our windows yet? Drones could but I think we’d notice them if they were in common use unless they’re the tiny spy kind, which are $$$.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne Mehrling / Apr 24 2019 5:06 pm

    I loved your questioning of identification for voting. It is important to me that people vote once and once only. And I’d like to know that the people who vote are still alive. Oh, let’s make sure they are legal while we’re at it.

    Flying doesn’t bother me, because we don’t do it any more. John laid it out one time. If you drive to the airport to arrive early, go through security, wait for the plane, fly, work your way through the airport, retrieve a car or hire a ride, and drive to your destination, you could drive it in about the same time. It has worked for us. John drove to NY and back nine times last year — an 800-mile trip for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2019 5:36 pm

      We choose to drive also. More comfortable, too. Less chance of spending way too much time around germy people – we used to not worry about that, but with the low vaccination rates, and the way some inconsiderate people will go out in public even if they are sick (“I just want to get home”), flying is holds more hazards as well as annoyances.
      The county here is in the middle of scanning and double checking the voting rolls – 5 people are already being charged with fraud. It’s a bigger problem than many want to admit – I’ve some personal experience as a woman voted in my name in 2 presidential elections ( and elections in between) – it took years to get to the bottom of it. It stopped when the state Attorney General mandated that anyone voting under my name had to show photo ID. That stopped her. They caught her, but back then chose not to prosecute “as she promised not to do it again”…to me anyway. Photo ID’s should be mandated for all voters. You need ID to do just about everything else, so no excuses. It’ll be interesting to see how authorities handle the census collection and the next election – will they ask or look the other way?
      Thanks for driving a comment over to this parking lot


      • Anne Mehrling / Apr 24 2019 5:43 pm

        That’s awful that someone voted in your name. I had no idea any state would do what yours did — require a photo ID for a particular name. If only we could all opt in!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 26 2019 7:30 am

          It took a long time/a lot of people trying to straighten it out – and nothing seemed to stop her. At first they tried to say “You ready voted early (or by mail), see the record? You must have forgotten” which was infuriating – especially as one of the dates was on the day of my father’s funeral. I am grateful to the state AG who finally found a solution (a simple one). At least now they are starting to jail/press charges against those they catch in this area. Those criminals know exactly what they are doing: stealing votes and stealing identities. It has to stop.


          • Anne Mehrling / Apr 26 2019 7:33 am

            Yes, vote-stealing has to stop, and we have to keep being vocal about it.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane Dougherty / Apr 25 2019 3:14 am

    I don’t travel. I like it here. But the lizards are handsome 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 26 2019 7:35 am

      Wild life lives. We try to avoid anything that would upset the natural environment in the yard – 4 types of lizards help control the mosquitoes. (And entertain the dog and cat…don’t worry, the lizards are clever and fast) Thanks for visiting this realm


      • Jane Dougherty / Apr 26 2019 8:03 am

        We have a cat that helps to contain the lizard population…in the attic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 26 2019 12:41 pm

          Lizards have many purposes …cat amusement probably isn’t one of their favorites. (But all creatures need motivation to exercise…especially the cat around here) Thanks for leaping in with a comment


          • Jane Dougherty / Apr 26 2019 1:52 pm

            She doesn’t actually hurt them, just picks them up and walks around with them, screaming, until one of us goes upstairs, she drops the lizard and we put it out the window. Phew. Everyone is relieved.


  9. LordBeariOfBow / May 1 2019 5:26 am

    It’s not very pleasant being a foreigner flying into the USA, or out of it come to that. In 2008 My whole family, that’s the War Office 2 daughters son and son in law were shunted into a pen and treated abominably by these arrogant people with guns.

    Seems our youngest daughter has the same name as someone on their watch list; just plain old Emma Smith .So the whole family were corralled.

    Somewhat embarrassing too, in full view of all passengers in that terminal.

    This was Boston Logan Airport, and we were flying to Minnesota.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2019 3:46 pm

      Logan is not fun. Even less so after 911/ Boston bombers when all the stage dressing of military guns appeared. That list were a total joke with so many errors….people were outraged and couldn’t get the list corrected. Flying became even less fun.
      Give me a trained dog anytime – they have attention to detail and some sense.
      It’s very strange, seems like all the pretty young girls – mostly slender blonds – were the ones targeted for “extra attention”…not just my observation, but multiple moms/dads in security lines fretting and most annoyed that their kids always got picked out as, what… – dangerous and must be examined. Guess that’s easier than some of the more obvious ones – the ones who might started feeling about discrimination. Yeah, I’m happy to have some stranger maul a little kid or grandmother in a chair while someone covered up from head to toe with eye slit gets to pat themselves down…yes, I saw that..multiple times as I was traveling for business so much for several years.
      (Of course you realize there’s a large immigrant population they dropped into Minnesota without asking permission of the local residents? a bit about Minnesota’s immigrants just for fun:
      Have to say the most pleasant ( and most thorough) security at an airport was in an airport close to TX southern border. Quite efficient, quite professional. They should do the trainings.
      Thanks for bagging up a comment to ship here

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordBeariOfBow / May 1 2019 10:31 pm

        I’d like to have stayed over in the Twin Cities but we went from Boston and there transferred to a direct flight to Hawai’i
        My Emma is a natural blonde not exactly slender and she was 30 years old at the time. We came to the US to celebrate her 39th birthday in New York, She loves the place.
        She and Luke decided that they didn’t want the fuss and bother of a wedding with all the stuff that goes with it, bought tickets on a jet plane and eloped to New York’
        A bit like her daddy is Emma, but don’t ever tell her that, a cause for fighting that, but I know it so does everyone else and sweet little Poppy May is the spit of her grandpa, 😛 What lies in wait for the world now?

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 2 2019 6:59 am

          What a muddle. Glad some like NYC – it’s great if you’re either young and like to stay up late or walk a lot – the noise and frantic motion is simply energizing then. There is a lot to see and enjoy. Emma sounds very sensible and capable to me. Also sensible is being smart enough to raise her family there. Quality of life and a place that values heritage sets a firm foundation to manage the rest later…plus rural life is character building (You can’t help coming out as a character Haha – a self reliant independent one. No beating that.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • LordBeariOfBow / May 2 2019 6:46 pm

            Emma has plenty , the War Office won’t allow me to have a favourite child, to her they are all equal, but if she ever relents well………………… and Poppy May

            Liked by 1 person

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