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Obsidian

Hacking MorningStar

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My life has been a roller-coaster and no mistake. Its all been downhill for too long though, time to do something about that.

"Say hello to my little friend..."

As a child I was bullied by my peers and ignored by my parents, my father being the worst of the lot until my mother finally managed to get us all away from him. I spent my childhood in a tiny rural English village that is frequented by royalty being the home of international Polo in the UK. Among a group of privileged youngsters I got to goal-judge and score for the rich and powerful as they played, and hung around the stables and the functions. Seemed pretty normal to me, some kids had a paper round to make some pocket money, and Royalty has always done as it pleases... So, despite wanting none of that world for myself I was already outside the working-class background I come from, and as a result didnt have many friends either. So I hid in the library and the computer room, or roamed the local countryside the rest of the time, and nobody paid attention to my dreams, not even me.

I was told not to dream, punished for not learning quickly enough and told I was useless so by the time my exams came around I just didnt bother revising, and left school to be a groundskeeper at a local hospital before I'd even passed them all with flying colours. Computers absorbed most of my free time and I didnt mind grubbing in the dirt for my keep and chasing student nurses around the accommodation.

Recreational drugs, alcohol, motorbikes, heavy metal and a series of jobs ranging from horticulture to heavy industry followed that, until I decided to see the world and find myself, and trampled back and forth all over Europe for a few months until the Wall fell. I was in Cologne, and I really wanted a piece, but I couldnt even get near it so I went back home to Blighty and wound up homeless, where I met the kids mum... That story is an epic in itself, but skipping over it just leads me to creating BLAIR, AIME and the other robots that I dreamed about as a child, and our government kindly destroyed and are preventing me from developing even today.

For what reason I cannot discern, but there must be deeper reasoning than just using me as free care for Bea because they dont get a penny from what I do.

This is the purpose of Obsidian, to hack a decent life for me an Bea out of MorningStar without putting her in care or me dying homeless and penniless, too old to care for Bea or work, and without a pension or savings - which is what the f*ing Tories have in store for me when I'm done.

I'm not down with that, I think I've got a lot more to give the planet before I'm gone for starters, and there is a sense of injustice to it even if I didnt. There's a lot more to a human being than being human, and that's all I've ever tried to do. Our so-called leaders should learn this.

If you have a suggestion or a criticism, this is the place for it. Ironically, I am the one thing I can claim very little expertise in. ;-)

  • More Games

    Morning.Star06/07/2019 at 05:21 3 comments

    Well, Wednesday's meeting came and went.

    Igor and his associate visited my home, expecting to see carnage. Mess everywhere, cramped by piles of boxes, tools.

    Its never tidy, no, I'm an inveterate tinkerer by nature.

    I didnt make an effort, deliberately, I wanted him to see how I lived. Most people nervously gather all evidence of living and stuff it into cupboards, hoover, dust, polish, put on their Sunday Best for a visit from the Social. A hair out of place and they'll blow that up to neglect.

    He seemed amused, and his only comment on the subject was that I make good use of our living space.

    Well, I decided not to mention the covenants on the tenancy that prevent me from even putting up pictures on the walls - posters, fine, its not the decor but the integrity of the plaster - so cable runs, hardware on the walls and ceilings for home automation, security, etc, were out.

    Basically, they had a cuppa, looked around for something to criticise and then buggered off when all they got was an extremely unapologetic MorningStar. I wasnt unpleasant, and I managed to keep my cool. But their position is the same, and they arent going budge an inch from it without jurisdiction, no further comment.

    He didnt even apologise for being a dick to me himself over the last couple of years trying to stop me from finding out about the money, just reiterated that he wasnt going to help me get it back.

    I just shrugged; I wasnt going to waste any more energy on the idiots.

    In the meantime, I contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which took a few days to get through as the lines are jammed. Finally, I explained my situation and asked for the Law Clinic, and the clerk wrote up what I told her and took my details. Well yesterday I had a phonecall to tell me there was a massive backlog, and I'd be better off going to another office and waiting to be seen and interviewed in person - otherwise it would be three weeks before I even get the ear of a solicitor for half hour, and be advised to find someone else to represent me in court.

    I have to do this, or the Law Society will make me do it before helping me anyway.


    Wouldnt you prefer a nice game of chess?

  • By The Book Instead

    Morning.Star06/02/2019 at 10:39 5 comments

    They literally asked for this. I shall give it to them.

    Bear in mind that you guys are used to me by now, these poor fuckers live in a world of order where information flow is tightly controlled. They've probably never heard of me like most average people, and why would they?

    I'm such a nerd... XD

    In my experience most suffer disbelief when confronted by me in my lair, where I can prove my claims at the touch of a button, flick of a string, stroke of a brush, scratch of a whiteboard, demonstration of any of my skills, the list has grown extensive and impressive enough even I fear my capabilities.

    One day I will write about this properly, I promise.

    But for now I have our social care system literally in the coil of a tentacle [and its lord and master, Social Services, in a double armlock with the rest].

    I even have one spare to rifle their pocketses with. I'm getting my Moolah back, all of it, and compensation. And Bea some, and proper one-one care without me doing it or having to micromanage it on benefits.

    Which frankly is just insulting of course, never mind who I am and what I can do.

    Speaking of which, anyone with mortal tendencies might want to pay attention to the Safety Radius of which my friends are aware and my neighbours are finding out about.

    Its not like I dont wear warning colours.

    I havent changed much in the last 20 years. Superficially or internally come to that. Same person wanders around in my skull today as was born here, I've just picked up a lot of experience not many get the opportunity to ever witness. Thats a privilege.

    I've also been given the opportunity to effect change in our geopolitical systems. Thats a duty. My whole life has been leading up to something big, and it looks like my destiny has caught up with me at last.

    Social Services, County and District Councils... SoH Hutlh batlh.

    You have disgraced yourselves. Stand before your masters and be judged.


    LOL.

    I had to pop out for supplies, and found this on my doorstep.

    I hate to disappoint, but thats clearly not made for a Leviathon. There's no-where near enough tentacle holes...

    But thanks all the same. XD

  • The Seat Of Their Pants

    Morning.Star05/30/2019 at 13:47 4 comments

    Dim emergency lighting flashes redly, and in the darkness something is scuttering. Its everywhere, and it bites.

    The Defense Grid went out days ago and the nightmare the agency kept locked away found a weak point in its prison and got loose.

    Huddled with their backs to the paper shredder, the agents can only wait with rising paranoia for reinforcements that may never come.


    Its going to be a long night.


    I sent Igor this, and his response was to delegate. That was a mistake, it always is.

    Well, Hench was assigned to negotiate, but he's got an annoying habit of taking time off work and doesnt return his calls for a week or more.

    I kind of expected this.

    But as usual I'm not having any of it..

    Not that it makes any difference with these people.

    Right then, we'll play it your way. Just so you know I dont believe a word of it. Quit stalling...


  • The Art Of War

    Morning.Star05/28/2019 at 10:48 5 comments

    On Stratagem, Sun Tzu wrote that the best strategy was to take the enemy whole and intact; to shatter and destroy him leaves you no victory. So, it is better to capture an entire army, an entire regiment, detachment or company than slaughter it.

    Yeah. I've taken a County Council, a District Council, two Parish Councils, Social Services, National Health Service, local Law Enforcement and a gnarly population of townsfolk who thought I was going to hack them. Or something.

    Hence, absolute victory in all battles is not excellence, supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy without fighting.

    Several world records, a slew of awards and distinctions, outstanding performance and a sense of humour trumps bullshit every time. The enemy is careless and bloated...

    Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans

    Every time XD

    Next is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces

    Divide and Conquer. Bait and Switch. They never knew what hit them until it was too late.

    After this is to attack the enemy in the field

    Hey Igor did you like #Bite My Shiny Metal Trash and #Light Relief . Some of my lesser-known but favourite pieces.

    And the worst policy is to beseige a walled city

    Not much I can do about an Ivory Tower I have to say.

    Therefore a skillful leader knows to subdue enemy troops without fighting, captures cities without siege, overthrows kingdoms without lengthy and expensive operations in the field;

    There are 5 essentials for victory

    He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight

    He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

    He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.

    He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.

    He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

    Well, one thing I did discover today, after calling the department attempting to defraud me, is this. The regulations were changed two years ago so that everybody contributes to Council Tax irrespectively which reduces the burden on those who pay.

    This is fair enough I suppose, and it is regulation, so they are within their rights to chase me.

    So, I've set up instalments to repay this small debt even though that same department owes me a *lot* more. Compromise is victory when one is losing... ;-)

    It was an interesting discussion all the same, and the guy I spoke to inadvertently confirmed the regulations re rent and didnt lie to me about them. This is a win; internally they now recognise that the game is up.

    Hence the saying:


    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

    If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

    If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

    They have never known me very well it has to be said. :-D

    Sun Tzu also said

    Never engage an enemy more powerful than yourself. If you must engage an enemy more powerful, engage him on your own terms.

    Wise words indeed, still true over two thousand years later, dealing with an administration.


    And, finally this morning, I had a phonecall from Social Services who have arranged a meeting on Thursday at my home to resolve these issues out of court.

  • Monsterism

    Morning.Star05/26/2019 at 08:13 8 comments

    Mother of Pearl what is wrong with these people?

    Typically they sent me this in the Friday post so I got it Saturday morning. Its a habit of theirs, being the antisocial bastards they are. I have had many run-ins with this department over the last few years over benefits and rights, and they have stuck to their guns sacrificing their desk staff to the weight of logic and evidence.

    And me of course.

    I can get quite truculent with self-important officials, especially those who simply stick to the party line even when presented with their own ass on a plate:

    Why is my daughter classed as non-dependent when clearly she is dependent?

    Even Igor ruminated this was strange, but regulations are what they are. I remember clearly, its doubtful he does. One of many lies...

    14 again. These events kicked off in 2014. What is it with that number? It devolves numerically to 5 (1+4), the same number of years now I've been fighting this, after 14 years raising my children alone.

    Yep. Yesterday was the 25th May, the anniversary of the day I signed the tenancy of the house the kids grew up in. Where I learned to hack, where I built AIME and where I discovered myself. Its kind of a birthday - not that I observe it because it upsets me - and I could have done without the fucking council choosing that day of all to land it on me.

    Cheers Arun District Council; you're off my Christmas Card List too, you dirty counts.

    Its now also the anniversary of my enslavement, and worse, I've been charged 14 grand for the privilege. And now they wish to drag me in front of a magistrate and tax me against regulations in a futile attempt to disguise it.

    No human language can render the emotion. I literally do not have any coherent words that come close. I do have a few that emit smoke and sparks and make mortals crap themselves and call the authorities tho.

    "Haelp, Haelp! There's a Monstar!"

    "Yes Love, try not to piss it off. Really."

    I grow weary of this...


    A thought just crossed my mind, for those of you who are still wondering why I am pissed off.

    Even if I do manage to get what I am owed, and especially if I get compensation too, benefits rules mean that with capital in the bank I am not entitled to benefits.

    In other words, I will have to live on the money as income, and care for Bea using it until it is gone, when I reapply for benefits. The entire time I will be unable to work, still enslaved as a carer. The faster I spend it, the faster I reapply.

    I am placed under covenants with my tenancy that prevent me from running a business, keeping business vehicles or resources on the property so I cannot even work my way out fairly through self-employment.

    Logic dictates I take as much money as I can and get the hack out of Dodge, begin a new life where I'll never have to give it back to the Counts.

    Apparently I'm a celebrity now. I'm not keen on it as it means I dont belong to me or Bea any more, I belong to my adoring fans. Except for my ass, which belongs to my critics.

    Lucky devils.

    Anyway, the Counts arent having it. Like the rest of me its in great condition. ;-p

  • Raspberry Spy

    Morning.Star05/19/2019 at 10:00 1 comment

    As British as Bond...

    From Wikipedia

    Blowing a raspberry, strawberry or making a Bronx cheer, is to make a noise that may signify derision, real or feigned. It may also be used in childhood phonemic play either solely by the child or by adults towards a child to encourage imitation to the delight of both parties. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound similar to flatulence. In the terminology of phonetics, this sound has been described as a voiceless linguolabial trill, and as a buccal interdental trill.

    A raspberry is never used in human language phonemically (that is, as a building block of words), but it is widely used across human cultures.

    Etymology

    The nomenclature varies by country. In most anglophone countries, it is known as a raspberry, which is attested from at least 1890, and which in the United States came to be abbreviated as razz by 1919. In the United States it has also been called a Bronx cheer since at least 1929.

    Blowing a "raspberry" derives from the Cockney rhyming slang "raspberry tart" for "fart". Rhyming slang was particularly used in British comedy to refer to things that would be unacceptable to a polite audience. "Raspberry" was also given the pronunciation spelling "razzberry" in the US, of which "razz" is an abbreviation.

    and...

    The V Sign, Forks or Two-Fingered Salute...

    The first contemporary evidence of the use of the insulting V sign in the United Kingdom dates to 1901, when a worker outside Parkgate ironworks in Rotherham used the gesture (captured on the film) to indicate that he did not like being filmed.Peter Opie interviewed children in the 1950s and observed in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren that the much-older thumbing of the nose (cocking a snook) had been replaced by the V sign as the most common insulting gesture used in the playground.

    Between 1975 and 1977 a group of anthropologists including Desmond Morris studied the history and spread of European gestures and found the rude version of the V-sign to be basically unknown outside the British Isles. In his Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, published in 1979, Morris discussed various possible origins of this sign but came to no definite conclusion:

    because of the strong taboo associated with the gesture (its public use has often been heavily penalised). As a result, there is a tendency to shy away from discussing it in detail. It is "known to be dirty" and is passed on from generation to generation by people who simply accept it as a recognised obscenity without bothering to analyse it... Several of the rival claims are equally appealing. The truth is that we will probably never know...

    So, I've written to the Law Society, who regulate the solicitors who are our advocates in our legal system.

    Seeing as the government wishes to make me pay for advocacy to obtain money stolen from me by local authority and absolutely will not negotiate on this, I have no choice but to litigate by any means necessary.

  • Re: Your Droids

    Morning.Star05/17/2019 at 19:55 2 comments

    I know. Its getting hard to find anything funny.

    I made what's become a customary Friday where-the-fuck-are-my-carers-and-give-me-my-money call which invariably goes to duty, if they havent got it on answerphone.

    Yes guys, this is the last point of call for the vulnerable before responsibility fucks off down the pub early and gets shitfaced for the weekend.

    I have to admit, if I were responsible for that I would too.

  • Cheque M8

    Morning.Star05/14/2019 at 06:32 4 comments

    Now its going to be interesting how this one pans out.

    Well, of course I contacted her, she handed me this for my records.

    Dont worry folks, nobody's being dragged out by the baileys and the locks changed, that would be completely illegal as I patiently explained to the bright young adviser sitting opposite me. Smart girl, she agreed completely and told me that in the eventuality of things ever getting that bad they would just apply to the local authority to house Bea [and her slave, as is the convention with the ruling classes] in any case long before it could happen.

    Check.

    She thought for a moment and jumped on the arrears. Well, I'm still waiting on a mandate to setup a direct debit so I can start paying these off, and for a moment she almost had me paying them the money the council took (https://hackaday.io/project/29260-obsidian/log/163139-well-sprung) as well.

    Check.

    I agreed that, under regulation, from the 18th of March, I owed them about half the sum they were asking and would have to recover the remainder from the council through normal channels.

    Dammit, Check.

    Out came the regulations.

    Now, it appears that under the regulations with Bea in the house and her on Disability Living Allowance [or PIP, that is replacing it] I should receive full housing benefit and not have to pay a shortfall in rent in any case. Well, that being the case I didnt owe them any money on technicality, and they would take this up with the council on my behalf as responsible social housing agents.

    Was that a wink...

    Well now, thats interesting, because for the entire duration of my caring for Bea in council properties, under the care of Social Services and advised by their advisers and for the last five years in collusion with the council and possibly others, I have paid just under 15 quid a week towards my rent under the false impression that it is regulation.

    I mean, I queried it, why would Bea show up on the rent statement as a 'non-dependent deduction' in housing benefit? Clearly, she is dependent... And no, I have been told, its regulation.

    Well, here I am sat in front of said bright young independent adviser with a vested interest in the case, and it dawns on me they've all been covering this up for five years because the council realised it made a mistake 19 years ago, and did so when Bea went into care. Then when she came home they silently reinstated the mistake so I would never know they actually owed me a lot of money.

    Checkmate.

    Yes, 19 years times 14 pounds 21 pence every week comes to a significant total.

    £14,039.48 to be precise.

    The cheeky bastards know full well if I ever find out that not only have I not been paid to care for Bea all these years, in fact I've been charged that for it, I will hit the fucking roof.

    Wait, what?

    I was remarkably calm, exiting the agency, after shaking the poor girl and her supervisors hands. Lord knows what she must have thought.

  • Something For The Weekend

    Morning.Star05/11/2019 at 03:37 0 comments

    I really cant even dignify this lunacy except in the mans own words.

    Yes, you are reading that right.

    In order to not break one regulation, Social Services are sending a taxi to pick Bea up at tea-time and take her to a care home where the skeleton staff in attendance there can give her a bath.

    [I dont like to add to the pressure on this already overwhelmed service; while the staff are attending to Bea they arent attending to the residents.]

    I also dont care for the thought of Bea then coming home in her pyjamas on public transport to have her evening meal.

    And doesnt it prompt one to wonder who is providing the rest of the support, unpaid, illegally, against his wishes, and at the disgust of his peers?

    I left a mesage for Igor.

  • Well Sprung

    Morning.Star05/09/2019 at 04:34 8 comments

    Yeah I thought so. The plot reveals itself.

    I wrote about what smelled like entrapment, and its coming home to roost. Back when I moved in, I was in a Council property that was inadequate for humans, never mind a disabled one. It was a hovel, and this was supposed to be mitigation.

    Lovely, on the face of it. But, its an isolated community within an isolated community - social housing on an estate built on the outskirts of a village, filled with people carefully chosen by local authority, and myself. I'll cast no aspersions on anyone, but I'm not one of them much as they seem to have welcomed me.

    I do feel welcomed, despite the hassle I've had with Bea, and the hassle with the tenancy.

    The Plot

    When you move house, you end one contract and begin a new one, but somehow this wasnt the case with me. For some bizarre reason Arun District Council, who administrate the housing, didnt terminate my old lease for 5 weeks after I moved out.

    Now, living on social benefits in a council property means the council pays rent to itself interdepartmentally, and they ask for a small contribution from the tenant. Normally this would be fair, but as Bea is on benefits herself as a disabled adult she is classed by them as 'non-dependent' ie she has an income and thus contributes to the rent. However, as a disabled person she is clearly dependent, and the council are unfairly taxing us. I cant get around it without changing our regulations though, so I pay it.

    When I moved, that money was supposed to then be paid to the agency along with the housing benefit to cover the rent. Except it wasnt, the council held the lease open and continued to take the payments but they didnt give them to the agency. Now the agency are asking for the money, and I have paid it so I'm refusing to pay it again within my legal rights.

    * edit. On review, the council had been recovering money from my account for 3 months, until the agency complained.

    Well, I didnt expect the council to blatantly break the law. They have a duty of care to Bea that they have reneged on by handing her off to a private agency, and then they defrauded the agency.

    The housing agency sneered and told me they could evict me on short notice even from a secure tenancy because it was probationary, and they didnt need to involve local authority to do it.

    Yep, cardboard box on the streets and Bea in care because I cant house her, it wasnt like I didnt see that shit coming.

    Well, as soon as I suspected there was a ruse I took steps against it. I employ other tenants for starters, so if I am evicted they lose their jobs and litigate. And, I'm no longer Bea's carer, I'm her care manager and thats a very different beast indeed. The Social didnt expect me to take responsibility and then be responsible... They thought I was going to screw around given the opportunity, however instead they got law enforcement chasing them for entrapment.

    Annoying, isnt it? Thats what you get for playing games with me.

    Now the jaws of the trap close on thin air, and the mercenary faces the beast at close quarters with completely inadequate weapons and no backup;

    I have a meeting with the supervisors of the agency to resolve this on Monday, I asked Igor to be there to represent Social Services but he declined. That was a mistake he will live to regret, because he just gave me permission to speak for him and it was him that organised this clusterfuck with the agency in the first place.

    I'm sorry Igor, if you are questioning your miserable existence again. Dont make me question mine.

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Morning.Star wrote 01/31/2018 at 06:32 point

Oh you are shitting me. I just looked into crowdfunding a solicitor and they even have me over a barrel there. I looked into the regulations that govern income to see if raising money charitably counts as it.

Currently the regulations are that on Income Support, anything I solicit is income so anything donated over £20 per week goes to the government up to the value of the benefit, and over a certain limit the benefits cut off. Gifts dont count, so I cant ask for donations, only receive them, and begging is illegal anyway.

On disability benefits anything over a certain limit triggers a cut off, but I can raise money say for equipment or services without penalty.

Basically what this means is I cant crowdfund a solicitor unless I get off Income Support, which is impossible because I'm a Council tenant. The rent pays itself all the time I'm on benefits, so as soon as I leave I have to cover Council Tax as well, and guess who decides which benefit I'm on?

The benefits agency, under advice from a doctor... Social Services are supposed to have no influence over this, but here medical ethics prevent that from happening by refusing the case when the doctor is no longer impartial. So I remain untreated for depression and the effects of stress and abuse.

Day after day this goes on. Unpaid slavery and theft if I work, censorship if I dont. All three are illegal, never mind the shit they already pulled. I've already been suicidal, left to cure myself and carry on with the knowledge nothing will change because I'm responsible for another life besides my own.

I should warn you that I've bounced off a truck, been poisoned, electrocuted, beaten, had migraines half my life, been homeless, faced bigotry, insults, a knife wielding maniac, and faced an entire panel of your experts before and won - how else would Bea be in my care after what I've been accused of - so you Andrew, are just annoying. OK very annoying, but you dont have what it takes to break me.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 01/30/2018 at 14:22 point

Sorry Sandra, your washing machine will have to wait until Thursday, because Bea is home tomorrow. As one of my old friends, you're quite comfortable about asking me to fix that. You know I will if I can, and ask nothing for doing it.

Have you thought about that, Andrew? It isnt just me I'm whining about when I say I cant use these hands of mine. Every piece a master piece, even a old piece of junk washing machine belonging to a friend.

It's bad enough you deny me that ability, and tell me everything else I do is worthless, and then you have the nerve to deny me support by compromising my doctor so she cant treat me? You're a worthless human being dude, you keep kidding yourself that being a social worker gives you Karma.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 01/22/2018 at 14:00 point

I know you'll never read this, fat old man shuffling past me on the way into town, but if if I'm a C*nt, then that makes you a useless, stupid, mouthy, old C*nt.

Lets have some perspective here.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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