Friday, December 30, 2011

The Thought For Today

"I've come to believe remembering someone is not the highest compliment - it is missing them." - Vincent Price

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Thought For Today

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!" - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-347A

Yup - it's Microslug again. Ho, ho, ho.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Everyone is queer, excepting me and thee. And sometimes I wonder about thee." - Old Quaker Saying

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Deano Sez: Live News Cameras

Nice portal for live feeds......and yeah, a couple of the moderators are babes.....

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Thought For Today

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Truth Hurts When You're Dead

The Truth Hurts When You're Dead

A very funny Site for zombie T-shirts. Any fan of zombie movies will reconize some of the quotes: "Remove the head or destroy the brain."

Friday, October 14, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-286A

WOW! It's Apple for a change!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rec: Wasabi Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Wasabi powder
1 1/3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup mayonnaise

In a small bowl, mix wasabi powder and water to form a
paste. Let sit for 1 minute, then add mayonnaise.
Especially good with seafood or beef.

Be sure to refrigerate unused portion
It should be good for 2 to 3 days

Rec: Ruth's Mega Butter

1/3 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted (or salted if you like a
saltier peanut butter)
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cashews
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
canola oil/peanut oil, enough to get correct peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread nuts in a cake pan. Roast nuts in the oven for about
10 to 12 minutes. You’ll start smelling the roasty nut goodness
as the are getting good and yummy. Take them out of the
oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Pour cooled
nuts into a food processor or blender. Before adding the
flavorings give the nuts a good blending. Give the pulsed
nuts a stir and add the honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Turn on the blender and gradually add the oil. Do this very
slowly, it takes a bit for the oil to really incorporate so be
patient!! Drizzle the oil!! This takes about 5 minutes.
Forget the bread and jelly, just get a spoon and dig in! Enjoy!

Rec: Wasabi Cocktail Sauce

3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/8 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup ketchup
dash of soy sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar,
wasabi powder, lemon juice, soy sauce and ketchup.
Chill until using, or use immediately.

Serves 2 to 4

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

“No Child Left Behind” is like another stanza for the “I have a dream” speech. I have dreams, too. Unfortunately, we live in reality and this legislative action has become a dead weight on meaningful educational progress.

“No Child Left Behind” bred the standardized tests which have become the rigid, carved-in-stone yardstick against which schools are measured and which results determine shrinking allocations of a school’s critical operating funds. Of course, if you have enough low-performing students who can’t pass the test, then you lose the funds you need to improve your programs – or even to maintain the ones you have. So in too many instances, the local powers-that-be cheat to save their facilities – dropping failing kids from their school rosters so that they won’t be counted against their school or by teachers completing or correcting tests or giving the answers -- or in too many cases, local governments lowering the standards so that more kids pass. It’s called “dumbing down” and we’ve gotten real good at it just so that we can pretend that life is an even playing field and that’s what democracy is all about…nobody is allowed to be ahead of anybody else, instead of an equal opportunity available for anybody who’s willing to make an effort.

Now the stats are in and this nation has the lowest SAT results in about 40 years. If you believe the SAT scores, our kids can’t read for doo-doo, their math skills are dismal (one assumes the other basics of history, science, composition and geography are equally deficient) and they don’t seem to be cut out for anything but a future of near illiteracy, fast-food semi-employment and playing video games. Meantime, the cost of higher education, assuming this bunch of academic dummies can actually do the scholastics, has soared beyond most middle-class families’ financial reach and definitely beyond the reach of the working poor. In fact, the current societal backlash is an active campaign to discourage youngsters from seeking higher learning, decrying it as a waste of money and useless as a stepping stone to a career in the foreseeable poor economy.

So we begin the blame game. Why are the scores so bad? Why are so many children failing? Why are so many kids giving up?

It’s simple: Because we’ve somehow gotten the weird idea that “No Child Left Behind” means that:

(1) Everybody has to be on board the same metaphorical bandwagon on the same road to one definition of education instead of multiple vehicles on multiple roads to various forms of learning and educational certification,

(2) You’re supposed to take the time and resources to round everyone up to get them on the one bandwagon, even when they’re dodging the trip, and…

(3) You have to stop the bandwagon any time some little nitwit decides to jump off. And while everyone waits, you’re supposed to cajole the abandoner to get back on board before everyone else can move on. Further…

(4) According to the latest Tea Party rhetoric, you don’t just stop the wagon and find the kid who’s jumped off and hiding from you; you’re supposed to shoot the driver and find a replacement every time one of these twits takes a leap.

The latest Tea Party theory is that it’s all the fault of the teachers and teacher’s unions that kids are doing so poorly. Their proposal is to gut educators’ pension plans, tenure, seniority and anything else that is used as an employment incentive to keep our teachers in the classrooms. Somehow, magically, good teachers will emerge to step into the morass, sans benefits or security for them and their families, and take on the task of educating the next generation, knowing that if they are assigned to teach a class no one else wants of attention-deficit, disruptive, mentally challenged students who can’t remember on a daily basis if they walk to school or ride a bus, the TEACHER will lose his/her job when these little idiots can’t pass a generic standardized exam. So what’s a teacher’s motivation; an intense martyr’s passion to be unemployed, broke and humiliated? There might be a reward waiting in Heaven for this thankless job, but the teacher and his/her family have to eat right now. Not too many qualified people who have spent a fortune on higher education are going to embrace teaching under those conditions.

Our Tea Party Republicans say that a teacher’s pay should be merit-based. Your kids don’t perform, you don’t get paid. Wow. What a shame that isn’t applied to the parents of little non-achievers. Your kid doesn’t go to school, you don’t get paid. Your kid fails to participate in class, your pay gets docked. Your kid isn’t appropriately dressed or fed before they are sent to school; you lose your next raise. Your kid skips class; you have to surrender a day’s ration of food from your pantry. Your kid doesn’t turn in his homework; you have to put in two hours extra without pay at your job. Your kid mouths off at the teacher; you pay a fine. Your kid hits the teacher or other kids; you get to spend some time in jail.

How fast do you think parents would then get the message that education isn’t just the teacher’s job to provide; it’s the kids’ job to get what’s offered and the parents are responsible for putting a foot up the kid’s butt to make sure the kid does what he’s supposed to?

Why were the recent SAT tests so poor? One group says it’s because of the diversity in students we have now. Well – yeah. We have a bumper crop of non-English-speaking immigrants and their children, illegal or not; a bizarre policy of allowing people of other languages and cultures and abilities, for whom education is not a priority, to cherry-pick the criteria they’re going to comply with in attending public-funded schools, but insisting that their deficiencies be ignored and they still be issued the same certificates as those who do comply with ALL the rules and criteria of higher education. And then we use diversity-encouraging legislation to allow the non-achievers and the low achievers to get the same or better financial benefits as the high achievers in employment, housing and educational opportunities. Oh, and even if they’re not citizens or living on the dole, citizen taxpayers are supposed to fund these marginalized kids’ educations to the detriment of their own children’s access to higher learning. We’re in the habit now of richly rewarding people for non-achievement, non-compliance, and punishing anyone who tries to get ahead of the pack.

I believe we’re reaping the loss of common sense in our government institutions. It’s the inclusion silliness of political correctness and social experimentation as well as a politically-driven curriculum that’s created this fiasco. Not every child is meant to be a student. Not every child is meant to go to college. Every society has deadbeats and drop-outs. You aren’t going to save the dead-weights and do-nothings. Scrape them off and move on. Invest your money and talent in the kids who do what they’re supposed to do and who show they want to learn and be someone instead of the losers and snoozers who are content to drift aimlessly, sucking up resources better utilized elsewhere. Clean up the fraud, punish the grifters, and get some rewards back for tangible, measureable accomplishment.

Let’s upgrade our educational system to provide for a TASK-diverse workforce. America needs skilled technicians as well as academics. Let elementary schools teach basic skills, problem-solving techniques, and then open the door to vocations on an equal footing with academics after the sixth grade and you’ll see the more kids investing of themselves because learning is a means to a visible end and not some nebulous legality or societal expectation. Give technical skills the same weight as pure academics and you’ll raise students’ expectations of themselves and create a more positive, flexible, proficient labor force.

And meantime, tell the Tea Party ding-dongs to back off on their “let’s gut public employees – penny-wise and pound-foolish” campaign. We need to attract and retain good teachers. We need to quit shooting the messenger and DEAL with the real problems; top-heavy, over-paid, nonresponsive school administrators, poor morale of educators and students, and a lack of clear guidance in an antiquated academic hierarchy. We need a keen eye to what skills our nation requires to succeed, not just by the next election, but in 100 years. Our nation’s children deserve our best efforts to streamline this clunky, ineffective systemic dinosaur. And it’s long past time to give teachers what they need to be effective and the concerted recognition they so richly deserve instead of punishing them for continuing parental failure and political agendas.

   Florida Cracker

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Thought For Today

"The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum." - Thomas Paine

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

"TSA Officers, N.Y. and Fla. Cops Involved In Illegal Oxycodone Operation, Feds Allege"

Ah, yes - the TSA. The TSA that has NEVER, EVER actually caught a terrorist. They've been too busy with other important stuff. Like smuggling drugs, stealing from passenger bags and having fun groping people (especially crying children). And we should trust them, why? IDIOTS!

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-256A

Yup, it's Microslug again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Rantings Of Rosy

Boy: "Do not try and get Rosy to Post. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth." Neo: "What truth?"
Boy: "There is no Rosy."
Neo: "There is no Rosy?"
Boy: "Then you'll see that it is not Rosy who Posts, it is only yourself."

- The Matrix, The Unknown Director's Cut

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Thought For Today

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Thought For Today

"The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having a completed picture." - Seneca

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rec: Black & White Vegetarian Chipotle Chili (Crock Pot)

1 (15 oz) can black bean, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can navy bean, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomato
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
or diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 cup onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon dried cilantro (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle chile, minced

Stir everything together in a 4 1/2 quart or larger crock pot.
Set power to LOW and cook for 6 to 10 hours. Serve with
cheese or sour cream if you wish.

Serves 2 to 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Crockpot Spanish Rice

1 1/2 lb Ground beef; browned & drained
1 medium Onion; chopped
1 Green pepper; chopped
14 1/2 oz Tomato, whole; OR
2 large Tomato; sliced & quartered
16 oz Tomato sauce
3/4 cup Water
2 teaspoons Chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup Rice, converted; raw

Stir all ingredients together. Cover and cook
on LOW 7 to 9 hours (HIGH 3 hours). If you
like a spicier (hotter) flavor and a moister
casserole, replace the tomato sauce with 2
tablespoons Hot Thick & Chunky Salsa,
1/4 cup sherry and 15 oz of tomatoe sauce.

Serves 2 to 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Crockpot Turkey With Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 to 2 pounds turkey thighs, skin removed
1 jar (12 oz) turkey gravy
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaf
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
salt to taste
1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen cut green beans

Layer sweet potatoes and turkey in crockpot. Combine gravy,
flour, parsley, rosemary, thyme and pepper. Stir until
smooth. Pour mixture over turkey and sweet potatoes. Cover
and cook on HIGH 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook for 5
more hours. Stir in beans, cover and cook on LOW 1 to 2
hours until turkey is tender and juices run clear. Remove
turkey and potatoes to a serving dish with a slotted spoon.
Stir sauce and serve over turkey and potatoes.

Serves 5 to 6
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Crockpot Turkey Ranchero

3 turkey thighs
Salt and pepper
1 pkg. enchilada sauce mix
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 cups grated Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 can (4 oz) sliced ripe olives

Cut each thigh in half and remove bone. Sprinkle
with salt and pepper and place in crockpot.
Combine enchilada sauce,tomato paste, and water.
Spread enchilada sauce mixture on top of turkey
thighs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours,
or until turkey is tender. Turn control to HIGH;
stir in cheese and continue stirring until cheese is
melted. Place in shallow casserole dish to serve.
Top with sour cream and sprinkle on green
onions. Garnish with sliced ripe olives.

Serves 4 to 5
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart." - Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deano Sez: Wireless Extenders

These were featured in PC-World...I got to play with a desktop version for a while, but if the office models work as touted, this is a serious product for those "on the fringe". Devices with comparable features for industrial applications will run you damned near a grand; those I have used extensively, and they're not something you simply hand to an intern and expect to be installed properly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rec: Microwave Fettuccine With Alfredo Style Sauce

3/4 pound fettuccine (dried)


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2/3 cup leeks, chopped finely
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


4 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Cook the fettuccine according to the instruction on the
package. To make Alfredo Sauce, place the flour and
margarine or butter in a microwave safe bowl (4 liter
or 4 quart) and cover. Cook on HIGH (1200W) for
30 to 40 seconds. Take the bowl out and stir well with
a wire whisk. Gradually add 1/2 cup of milk at a time,
stirring constantly until you use all the milk. Cover with
a vented microwave lid and cook on HIGH (1200W) for
2 minutes. Take the bowl out and stir. Cook on HIGH
(1200W) for 2 more minutes. Add the leeks, cheddar
cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts.
Gently mix in the pasta until it is well coated with
Alfredo Sauce. Transfer to warm serving plates and
garnish with parsley.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Thought For Today

"A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time." - Henry Ford

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Thought For Today

"An armed society is a polite society." - Robert Heinlein

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Ice cream truck runs over boy playing on back

That's the story from Atlanta . A 10-year-old was run over by an ice cream truck and died. The 7-year-old, who was with him, fell from the truck and broke his leg. The driver is not being charged because he's not the idiot in this story. The parents or guardians are the idiots, and they were obviously hell-bent on raising another set of idiots. Apparently, the truck driver saw the kids playing on the truck and told the parents to get them off the truck. Driver does what he has to do, gets in the truck and pulls away and the little idiots, who never got off the truck -- or who got back on the truck after he wasn't looking, fell. One was run over and died and the other broke a leg.

And the question, as always, is, who is supervising the children? We have the sorriest batch of parents in this generation across the world. One supposes it's because we live in an enlightened society where you don't have to work in order to eat, you just have to qualify for a government subsidy. Stand in line at a soup kitchen if you're hungry; you don't have to do anything to get fed and keep on living. And if you pop a kid out, no big deal. It's not like you have to take care of it, grow food to feed it, dress it, teach it, educate it so it can survive on its own. The government is going to do that for you through all kinds of programs that you can use to pad your own pocket and make your own life easier, even if you don't use it to benefit the child. And because you don't have to do any of those keep-the-kid-alive survival things, you don't care about supervision. You're not capable of enough self-discipline to do the right thing for yourself, never mind training some little rug rat to do the right, smart and safe thing.

But goodness! Let something happen to that child and you're wringing your hands and looking for someone to blame so you can collect a big payoff for your lousy parenting.

It's not about being downtrodden, disenfranchised or any of the rest. It's about having absolutely no self-respect, no motivation, no sense of community, no sense of family -- no sense of responsibility. I can't think of a single 10-year-old in my old neighborhood growing up who would've been so stupid as to climb up on a stranger's truck to play around.

First of all, if the truck didn't belong to family, you didn't go near it because it's someone else's and your parents would tear your butt off for messing with something that belonged to someone else. If it did belong to family, you wouldn't play on or near it or take a chance on damaging it for fear your butt would be torn off by your parents. As the older kid, you didn't let your younger sibling do it either. You'd tell on him in a heartbeat because if he got hurt or messed something up and you knew what he was doing, your parents would tear your butt off for not stopping him.

Starting to sense a pattern here?

You didn't do stupid things because your parents were watching you. They were watching you because they cared what you did. They cared what happened in their community and what you were doing in the community. Your parents knew what you were doing, where you were doing it and they took action if they saw you doing something that was dumb, dangerous or just plain destructive. Your parents cared if you got into trouble. Your parents were the first line of discipline in your community, not the first to excuse you from your responsibility to yourself and the community. And you knew, absolutely knew, that if you got into real trouble that wasn't your fault, your parents were going to be there to take care of you and protect you -- you weren't utterly on your own.

Where are the parents today? I think if I hear one more parent say, well, I've got a life, too -- I'm going to get a little postal. We've got two-year-old Caylee Anthony murdered and dumped because her mom wanted to party. There are the two little kids dead because their mom went up to visit and have sex with her boyfriend and left the kids for hours in a locked vehicle in record-breaking heat. The mom who left the baby strapped in her car seat in the summer heat because she had to go to work and "forgot" she had her only child in the car and didn’t remember until she found her baby’s body at the end of her work shift. The thirsty, malnourished toddler in diapers found by neighbors drinking from beer bottles in the yard because dad's drunk and been drunk and passed out on the porch.

Keeping your children safe is tough enough, even when you are paying attention. Failing to pay attention is a prescription for tragedy and the parents of these boys have no one to blame but themselves.

I'm sorry for the boys. I'm sorry for the truck driver, who probably feels responsible even if he did all the things a prudent person would think necessary to prevent this accident. But if it were up to me, the next government checks to the dead and injured boys' parents would be for their voluntary sterilization so they can go on their merry way and never have to worry about supervising any more children -- ever. Let's make the world a safer place; Parents, quit staring at your own navels and do something about your kids! Do it now!

Florida Cracker

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rec: Crockpot Cauliflower Casserole

3 Cups cooked rice
1 Head cauliflower, cut into flowerettes, slice stems
1 Can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 Cups grated cheese, Cheddar or Monterey Jack
1/2 Cup water
1 Medium onion, diced

Spray crockpot with Pam. Combine all ingredients.
Mixture will be chunky, but mix well. Place in crockpot
and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours.

Serves 4 to 6

Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Microwave Three-Cheese Rice Lasagna

1/2 (14 oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 egg white
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine spaghetti sauce and mushrooms;
set aside. In another bowl, combine the cottage cheese,
mozzarella cheese and egg white; mix well. In a microwave
8in. square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray,
layer a third of the sauce, half of the rice and half of the
cottage cheese mixture; repeat layers. Top with the
remaining sauce. Microwave on MEDIUM for 10 minutes
or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 2 to 3

Rec: Lemon-Herb Alligator Stew

1 1/2 lbs Alligator, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 leek (white and pale green parts only) thinly sliced
1 1/2 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tablespoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/6 cup all purpose flour
3/8 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup whipping cream
tarragon or sage sprigs or chopped parsley
thin lemon slices

In a large crockpot combine leek, garlic, tarragon, lemon
peel, thyme, white pepper and sage. Coat alligator cubes
with flour, then add to crockpot and pour in wine and lemon
juice. Cover and cook on LOW 7 1/2 to 8 hours, until
alligator is very tender when pierced. In a small bowl, mix
cornstarch and cream. Blend into stew. Cover and cook on
HIGH for about 15 more minutes, stirring every 2 to 3
minutes, until sauce thickens. Salt to taste. Garnish
servings with tarragon/sage/parsley and lemon slices.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Do not over heat leftovers in microwave as alligator will

Rec: Crockpot Monterey Spaghetti

2 oz spaghetti, broken into pieces
1/2 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 (6 oz) can French fried onions

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook spaghetti
until al dente. Drain. In a large bowl mix together the
sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic.
After beating the egg in a small bowl, transfer to the
large bowl and blend together. Transfer to a greased
crockpot. Mix cooked and drained spaghetti, 1 cup
grated Monterey Jack cheese, thawed spinach, and half
of the French fried onions to the crockpot. Stir contents
of crockpot until just blended. Cover and cook on LOW for
5 to 6 hours or HIGH heat for 2 to 3 hours. In last 20
minutes of cooking, turn to HIGH if cooking on LOW and
add remainder of grated Monterey Jack cheese and
French fried onions to top of casserole. Serve when cheese
is melted.

Serves 3 to 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Thought For Today

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.

”Said the old man, “I do that too.

”The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”

“I do that too,” laughed the old man.”

Said the little boy, “I often cry.”

The old man nodded, “So do I.”

“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”

And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.“I know what you mean,” said the old man. - Shel Silverstein

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity." - Lady Nancy Astor

The Hard Truth From Orlando

I think the price of “recognized and certified” higher education is ridiculous. Some years back, college administrations admitted that they were cutting back on the number of mandatory classes offered each semester, despite growing student enrollment. That meant that the courses would only be offered certain times of the year; miss signing up or not being able to get in to one that’s already over-booked, you were stuck for another year trying to get that course to finish your degree. This policy meant it was taking five to five and a half years to get a “four year” degree and it was going to cost you more money to finish your degree.

Now they’ve just jerked the price up to where all your money is spent on the “basic” courses and so you can’t afford the specialized courses for the graduate degree studies -- or you can spend the rest of your working career trying to pay back what should have been an entrance fee to higher earning and learning.

I still think they need to go back to the original CLEP tests, where you paid $50 for the whole battery (now it’s like $45 per subject and you can only take two tests every six weeks or something – anything to drag it out and get money) and could earn up to 15 credit hours toward a degree in a single sitting, English, Math, Physics and I forget what else. But you could get your two-year degree in a year or less. And it meant you didn’t have to take courses in things you were already proficient in just to go to the next level of the program.

We’re pricing our population right out of advanced degrees and working diligently to discourage critical thinking, invention and design. I think it’s interesting that cursive writing and all other basic brain/learning enforcement techniques are being discarded. We’re definitely working toward a culture of hyperactive, attention-deficit, impulsive monkey people who can neither read a novel without pictures nor solve a problem without a HELP button.

Eventually, those of us folks who can read and write proficiently will become like the scribes of old. People will hire us to write letters and poetry and to read documents and record business transactions for a general population that is wholly and completely illiterate.

It’s true I think education is a privilege. I just never believed that in the USA , it would become solely for the privileged.

Florida Cracker

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Rec: Chili Tofu Donburi

4 cups white rice, steaming hot
1 tofu (1 lb.), cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules or 1 cube, crushed
1 cup boiling water

Mabo Sauce
1/2 pound ground pork (or turkey) (5 - 6% fat)
1/2 cup leek, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger root, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 teaspoon Tobanjan or Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons sugar

12 olives, salted

Combine the Mabo Sauce ingredients, except pork, in a
3 quart casserole. Mix in pork. Toss in the tofu. Combine
the cornstarch and chicken bouillon in a small cup. Pour
in the hot water, stir until it thickens and pour it over
the casserole. Cover with a vented microwave lid and
cook on HIGH(1200W) for 10 – 12 minutes. Stir. Put 1
cup of rice in each serving bowl. Pour the Mabo Sauce
over the rice and garnish with olives.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Donburi Tanuki

4 cups warm steamed rice
2 cups lettuce, sliced in 2 inch long strips
24 potato chips
16 pecans
4 to 8 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons green onions, chopped finely

Place steamed rice into 4 warm serving bowls and top
with lettuce. In each serving bowl, stick 6 potato chips
into the rice, sprinkle with green onion and 4 pecans.
Pour the soy sauce over the top, just before serving.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated (except for chips) in microwave

Rec: Microwave Furong Egg

5 eggs
11 oz. of shrimp meat
1 cup of chives (cut in 1" length)
3 mushrooms
3 slices ham
2 tablespoons of chopped green spring onion
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Beat the eggs in bowl. Add in soy sauce and salt,
and mix well. Soak the mushrooms in water till soft.
Remove the stems. Shred mushrooms and ham. Put 3
tablespoons of oil on a plate. Put in shredded
mushrooms, ham and chopped spring onion. Cover
with cling-wrap. Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes.
Remove and mix well with 2 tablespoons of oil and
chives. Pour in the egg mixture and cook on HIGH
for 4 minutes.

Rec: Black And White Rice Donburi

White Rice
2 cups cooked white rice, steaming hot

Black Rice
2 cups cooked white rice, steaming hot (for spicy rice)

Soy Sauce & Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 red chili peppers, sliced thin
1 green chili pepper, sliced thin

2 chives, cut 5-inch-long

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small microwave-safe
bowl. Cover with a vented microwave lid and cook on
HIGH(1200W) for 1 minute. Place 2 cups of rice in a
bowl and pour the sauce over the rice and mix together.
Place 1/2 cup white rice and 1/2 cup spicy rice in each
serving bowl. Garnish with chives.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Can be reheated in microwave

Rec: Soba Noodles In Broth With Spinach And Shiitakes

1 ounce kombu seaweed
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4 pound dried soba noodles
12 ounces spinach, stemmed and washed thoroughly,
or 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 to 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (to taste)

Place the kombu and shiitakes in a large bowl, and cover with
4 1/2 cups hot water. Soak for 30 minutes. Place a strainer
over a bowl and drain. Squeeze the mushrooms over the
strainer, then rinse. Remove the mushroom stems and discard.
Slice the caps thinly. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles. Bring
a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When
the water comes to a boil, add the soba. As the water comes
back to a boil, add 1/2 cup of cold water to prevent it from boiling
over. Allow to come back to a boil again, and add another 1/2 cup
of cold water. Check for doneness, and if necessary bring back to
a boil one more time and add another 1/2 cup of cold water. The
soba should be tender all the way through but al dente -- slightly
firm to the bite. Transfer immediately to the ice water, and
allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain. Bring the water back
to a boil, salt generously and add the spinach. Blanch for
minute, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out
excess liquid, and cut the squeezed bundle of spinach into four
pieces. Divide the noodles, spinach, mushrooms and green
onions among four large soup bowls. In a saucepan, combine
the soaking water from the kombu and mushrooms, the sake,
mirin and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust
seasonings. Pour over the ingredients in the soup bowls,
and serve at once.

Note: If you do not wish to include the sake in the broth,
simply omit it.

Variations: You can add protein to this dish in the form of
diced tofu or shredded chicken.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Will not reheat well

Monday, August 01, 2011



Today let's look at the weird and whacky happenings around the world, carrying on in the grand tradition of Charles Fort. Updated Mon through Fri.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

JAYWALKING – there’s a reason it’s illegal.

Motorized vehicles go on the roads. Pedestrians go on the sidewalks. Pedestrians and motorized vehicles are not a good mix, but because pedestrians have to cross roads to get to the other side, we made crosswalks and put in lights and made laws to stop the motorized vehicles so pedestrians could cross safely…if they just would. But since we’re so iffy about enforcement of pedestrians’ behavior, we have a bumper-crop of busted up foot-traffic when the feet meet the same ground as the motorized traffic.

Good thing this woman wasn’t jaywalking in Germany . Because then she’d be paying the driver who killed her son for the damages to his car. Failure to use the crosswalk when there’s one around means that you are at fault if you (or your child) is hit by a car while crossing the street; it’s all your fault, twit. Jaywalking and getting hurt in Germany means you can’t sue the driver who hits you – no matter how poor his driving record. Germans believe pedestrians are equally responsible for their conduct – not just the drivers of vehicles. The street is for cars. The crosswalk is for pedestrians. If you’re where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be, you’re not the liable one.

Somehow, here in the States, we’ve gotten the message that everyone is responsible except the person pulling a bone-headed stunt.

This mother was not charged with crossing where there’s no crosswalk. She was charged with jaywalking. Do you remember the cop who stopped the pair of girls for jaywalking and they went belligerent and combative and he hit the one in the face? I wrote a blog on that incident. Jaywalking is not crossing the street without using the crosswalk, but crossing it at a diagonal, putting yourself in the line of traffic for longer than necessary to get across the street – and this woman was apparently crossing a four-lane highway with a median (didn’t say if it was grassy and upraised or just a double line type median).

She has a four-year-old and she’s apparently not holding his hand, doesn’t have him in a stroller, it’s after dark, she’s out buying supplies (?) for her birthday (per the article, not the kids’ birthdays but her own), and she has two other (one presumes older) children with her. It’s a dangerous highway but she’s in a hurry and doesn’t want to cross at the crosswalk, which means walking further down but she’d be able to cross with a light – and one presumes a well-lit crosswalk, so they can be seen. Did she even have enough sense to dress them all in light-colored clothing? Why wasn’t the four-year-old in a stroller? Why wasn’t she or one of the other children holding his hand? Why is she out after dark with small children? The article doesn’t say she worked all day and this was just the only time to go shopping, only that she was out shopping for her birthday and missed a bus and was an hour late which put her coming home on foot in the dark with three children.

So they crossed. And they apparently crossed at an angle, putting themselves in the road longer than they needed to be in order to save a few steps to the entrance of the apartment buildings. And so they all got hit by a guy with a really lousy driving record and the four-year-old was killed. Mom won’t get the max at sentencing. But I think a conviction for jaywalking is warranted. She put herself and her children in harm’s way. And it’s epidemic in the area of the accident of locals jaywalking that the authorities felt an example needs to be made. And a judge or jury found her guilty of jaywalking, despite the tragic outcome. That’s pretty telling all by itself.

Candidly, the disregard for law and safety are part-and-parcel of some urban cultures. It’s a way of life to choose the easy way, not the safe or smart way – just the easy way. And hey, everybody else does it, is the excuse. You can’t fix culture. But you can fix the environment to restructure habits within the culture.

A couple of things need to happen in designing urban traffic areas. Americans need to erect a lot more over-the-street crosswalks like they routinely use on the Vegas Strip and other heavily congested traffic areas. Then pedestrians with brains can cross safely without necessitating building ground-level crosswalks, traffic lights, etc., and relying on drivers to honor those crosswalks/signals (which is a whole other problem). Developers must start designing residential and business complexes with entrances near the end of the city block instead of the middle of the block to encourage pedestrian traffic flow at the street intersections and traffic signals. And all public bus stops need to be moved to the ends of the city blocks and not in the middle of the city block to further discourage middle-of-the-block foot traffic.

Almost every apartment complex in the Orlando Metro area has the main entrance squarely in the middle of the block – but the traffic signals and crosswalks are at both ends of the block. The bus stops are placed directly across from the entrance of the apartment complex (on both sides of the street – entrance-side and across the street from the entrance) for the convenience of the residents, instead of at the ends of the block for their safety. This means the people getting off the bus opposite the complex are naturally going to try to run across the street to the entrance, that being the shortest route home. But if the bus stops were only toward the end of the block by the crosswalks, any foot traffic would routinely cross in the crosswalk and walk on down to the entrance – reducing their risk. People have to walk to the bus stop anyway. There’s no rule that says it has to be right at your door.

Disabled persons using public transportation have the smaller Lynx buses available that can come into the complex to pick them up. Those whose disabilities are not so confining can also catch the bus at the end of the block. And if the complex entrances were toward the ends of the block, this would facilitate pedestrian access to the bus and the disabled (often in wheelchairs) would also not be hazarding a cross-over in the middle of the street, a common sight here in Orlando .

We need to re-think urban plans and enforce the codes/ordinances to encourage people to do the right and smart thing by environmental design, and not by solely by conscious adherence to the law, which requires intellectual capacity for good decision making. People just aren’t that bright and convenience always out-votes compliance.

I’m sorry for the woman. I’m sorrier for the four-year-old. But like so many, mom’s done the wrong thing so many times without consequence that it was a complete shock and a tragedy when her poor decisions came smashing home and cost her little fellow, a child whose life depended on mom making smart and safe choices. Yes, she’s being punished by the courts. She didn’t just make a mistake; she willfully broke a law that would have protected that child, her, her other children, and deliberately put them all at risk for the sake of convenience. And hopefully, a legal conviction will make an impression on her neighbors and save a few lives until we finally get smart about the physical design of our communities.

Florida Cracker

P.S. The driver – he should be permanently barred from driving and serve as a habitual traffic offender (felony).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Even more info on what the bastards were up to. Will any of them be arrested over this? Of course not. They'll get a slap on the wrist, a pat on the back and a promotion. And the deaths that THEY CAUSED, will go on and on.

Rec: Kimchi Quesadillas

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped
4 fresh perilla or shiso leaves (optional)
2 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 tablespoon Canola oil

Add the butter to a large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH
heat. When melted, add the kimchi. Cook for about 6
minutes, stirring occassionally, until the edges of the
kimchi start to turn a little golden brown. Transfer to
a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Divide the kimchi,
cheese, sesame seeds, and perilla leaves (optional)
between the two tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half. Pour
the oil into a large skillet set over MEDIUM heat. Add
both folded tortilla to the skillet, cover, and cook for about
2 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown and
the cheese has melted. Slice into serving portions, and serve.

Serves 1 to 2

Rec: Microwave Chinese Cabbage Rolls

10 pieces of round cabbage leaves
5 1/2 oz. of minced pork
1 1/2 tablespoon of dried shrimp
1 stalk of green spring onion
5 water chestnuts
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
a dash of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of corn flour

Rinse the cabbage and cut off the hard stems. Put them
into a heat-proof bowl. Cover and cook for 3 minutes on
HIGH to soften. Soak the dried shrimp in water until soft.
Drain off water and chop finely. Mix the green spring
onion and chopped water chestnuts with the minced pork.
Add 1/2 teaspoon ofsalt, a dash of sesame oil and corn
flour. Stir and mix evenly. Place the mixed minced pork
onto the softened cabbage leaves and roll up (like spring
rolls). Place a toothpick at the end to avoid openning up.
Put them in a heat-proof bowl. Add salt, light soy sauce
and stock. Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes.

Rec: Microwave Kale With Oyster Sauce

16 oz. of kale (Chinese broccoli)
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of salt

Rinse and drain the kale. Mix the kale on a plate. Arrange
it with the stem and leaves interestingly. Mix 2
tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place plastic
wrap over the neatly arranged kale. Cook on HIGH heat
for 4 minutes. Add oyster sauce to oil and salt, and mix into
kale when ready.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deano Sez: IP Address Locator

I get asked for this all the time....useful for tracking spam origins, hits on web servers by script kiddies, etc.


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Thought For Today

"We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow-worm." - Winston Churchill

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum IV

"More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at US airports since November 2001, a congressional panel has heard." Let's see: They've NEVER caught a terrorist. They don't seem to be doing their jobs very well and are being caught right and left stealing from the passengers. And we should let them keep bumbling around groping people because? IDIOTS! They're not even very good theater. The Keystone Cops were much more professional at it. And more entertaining.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum III

If you or I did crap like this - it's prison time! For the ATF agents (and supervisors) who did this - it's party time! ASSHOLES!

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum II

And this poor woman is being accosted by city elders whose IQs are the same as their shoe sizes.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

It looks like the idiots are at it again though this time it's more of a "he said, she said" situation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-193A

*SIGH* SURPRISE! It's Microslug AGAIN!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hard To Find Films

Hard To Find Films

He Lives! And with even more movies!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Lest we lose perspective on Casey Anthony trial.

Casey – acquitted of murdering her daughter. And another case where citizens serving as jurors have zero common sense and think that forensics are the end all and be all of finding a guilty verdict. You have to wonder what people around the world think of American justice when such blatantly obvious murderers walk away free from court in case after case. If you’re going to commit a crime, make sure you do it in America where Lady Justice is not only blind, but brain-damaged, too.

Guess the child wrapped duct tape around her head and threw herself into the swamp.

But I’m not losing sleep over the injustice of it. Casey Anthony will get hers as the great wheel goes around. She still has all the theft charges and lying charges. But more than that, she still has her mom Cindy.

Who lost (aside from the taxpayers, but we always lose) from the death of Caylee? Not Casey. She never wanted Caylee. Cindy and George lost their grandchild, but if they’d been serious, they’d have pressed Casey earlier about where their grandchild was – even if they had to beat her black and blue to get a straight answer.

But Casey got what she wanted – freedom from motherhood. Cindy got what she prayed for and lied for -- she gets her monster daughter back. She gets back the dangerous snake she nurtured and protected instead of correcting and drawing a firm line. Yay. She gets back a person who gutted everyone’s lives and reputations and bank accounts to further her own amusements.

Cindy can cuddle that snake to her bosom and see what cold comfort she derives as the rest of her friends and relatives run for cover.

And Casey gets to go home to mommy, knowing that Cindy will punish her every single day for the loss of Caylee because that’s what Cindy does – hold you close and make you pay.

A match made in Hell for both of them. Whoo-hoo.

And the only one lost is Caylee. But hey, the world is full of dead children discarded like garbage. One more will not break the bank.

I wonder how close Lee will be after what his sister has done to the family? I wonder if George will make another attempt or just go on like the living ghost that he is; a neutered shadow, running behind Cindy and cleaning up Casey’s messes until he calls it quits or keels over.

We’ll see.

The big wheel of justice doesn’t always work in court rooms but it does come around. I’ll be curious to see what becomes of this smirking, murderous psychopath and her viciously unstable mother. Little Caylee – yeah, she’s the lucky one.

Florida Cracker

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up." - Robert Heinlein

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Fourth Of July Weekend!

Enjoy the card and have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To Be or Not to Be?

Whether 'tis nobler to dig Shakespeare up, or let 'im rest. Yes, they're really thinking about it. Are we in for any big surprises? Or is this a hoax, since the story comes, after all, from FOX News, the least informed news team in America?

Light in a Vacuum

Researchers have created sparks in a vacuum as an experiment in quantum mechanics. I'm not sure what the practical application for this is, but I bet we'll find one eventually.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Assholes. I hope that she sues the hell out of them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Fire. Arrest. Prosecute, just like what would happen to the rest of us if we did something this stupid and illegal. Of course we don't have friends in the White House.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two New Elements!

Periodic elements, that is. I had no idea the Periodic Table of Elements is expandable when I was in eighth-grade science class. Or was it seventh grade? Hmmm....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-166A

Damn - it's Adobe products for a change. LOTS of Adobe products.

Silk Road

Found on Gizmodo: "Silk Road - The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable." They only take Bitcoins. Read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Paper Enigma Machine

Paper Enigma Machine

Pretty much self-explanatory. It's a one-page downloadable PDF of an Enigma Machine as used by Germany during WWII. Actually still quite usefull for those secret messages to your best friends.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

DAMNED ASSHOLES! If you can't train them right in the first place, how the HELL do you expect to REtrain them!

The Thought For Today

"When you become senile, you won't know it." - Bill Cosby

The Hard Truth From Orlando

I beg to differ with the argument that the “government” is making money off the drug protection rackets. Sure, there’s a lot of fluff and lard and ridiculous pork in government budgets at every level to pay for a drug czar and his minions. There are plenty of government representatives in many countries at every level with their finger in the drug-payoffs pie. But there’s also a very lucrative international corporate business in rehab for addicts, methadone production/clinics (actually designed to keep addicts addicted – not to cure them), counseling centers, drug production and marketing, etc. Banks are making big-time money off the drug lords and money-laundering, as well as a healthy share in corporate addiction creation and rehabilitation. Pharmaceutical companies are making incredible bucks from design of more and more addictive drugs. Insurance companies are making bigger and bigger profits from increased rates because of the potential liabilities presented by addicts in the workplace, on the road, in the neighborhood.

The rampant corruption of the illegal drug traffic exists at every level, but it’s those of us on the ground level that lose the most.

We, the taxpayers at the bottom level of this addiction feeding trough, are hemorrhaging money hand-over-fist by paying welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, medical care, crime-related expenses for generational addicts, particularly addicted parents who can’t or won’t hold a job, can’t feed or mind their children, but who can always find enough money for drugs; supporting prison populations with over 70% of the prisoners have drug-related criminal convictions; supporting medical expenses for addicted and/or preemie newborns of addicted mothers, whole foster care and child welfare systems to pick up the tab on the neglected and abused children of addicts, who too often grow up themselves to be addicts or criminals. We’re footing the bill for the higher price of insurance premiums and uninsured medical costs of addicts in our hospitals. Their failure to pay becomes our community burden. Their failure to parent becomes our community burden. And they’re breaking our backs.

The addicts are the weak link in the chain of progress. American society can’t go faster, longer, harder because the addicts in the system can’t hold together. They aren’t pulling their weight and they’re a drag on the rest of us. It’s time to cut them out and let them go.

The British tried to redeem addicts by rewarding them with government sponsored substances for their “highs” if they kept working, kept abiding by the law. As a result, they have a bumper-crop of neglected, abused, murdered children, rampant domestic and street violence, and a staggeringly overwhelmed medical system – smashed by the tsunami expenses of support for addicts, their damaged children and the bottomless pit of their drug habits and lousy life choices.

Instead of hundreds of thousands of welfare dollars to addicted mothers and their children, a one-time payment of $1,000 start-up, a free tubal ligation to prevent any other pregnancies, and the surrender of any children to the State – no more welfare for addicts. Now Mom can go smoke dope and not have to worry about the stress of motherhood. For any child of an addicted parent, straight to pre-screened, non-relative family for mentoring in a clean, healthy, productive environment. They don’t get hundreds of thousands of dollars in Independent Living Funds and a free ticket to college as a given when they age out of the system, either. They only get subsistence money if they have no truancies, no disciplinary actions, no criminal actions and obtain certification in a vocation or a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Failure to comply equals loss of all funds and straight to a detention center until they age-out. No more freebies for bad behavior.

Guys coming out of prison or pending sentencing for a first criminal offense may waive all court costs and fees and child support for a one-time payment of $1,000 and a free vasectomy. Make no mistake. We’re getting a bargain by ending procreative abilities and supporting whatever children are already in the system. The average criminal or addict will never pay for what he does. He’ll never do anything but claw around to get high. He’ll steal the food from the mouths of his children or the children of whatever dumb broad is willing to take him in just to feed his addiction. But at least he won’t be making any more two-legged social liabilities for the rest of us to shoulder.

We’re not tough enough on addicts. A conviction for certain offenses should carry a life-long ban from certain professions. One criminal conviction for illegal drugs or alcohol abuse should result in an immediate year-long suspension of your driver’s license and a year-long ban from certain types of employment. Two convictions for illegal drugs, alcohol abuse and you have a life-long ban on driving and a permanent, national ban on certain professions and a complete loss of security clearances and international travel rights. Three convictions send the addicts to a one-way institution to use all the drugs they want, no limits, no restrictions, no medical interventions, and where they get to leave in a body-bag, dead but smiling.

Then we can wash our hands of them because the choice has been theirs all along. I decry the constant handwringing and “oh, we must help them” – those benighted knuckleheads who continuously seek to soothe the damage to their psyches through pharmaceuticals and other substances to the exclusion of any realistic solution. Addiction is the black hole of our society and it will take everything we have and keep demanding more. You can’t cure addicts. You can cut them off and walk away. Tough love, it’s called. Survival of the fittest is more apt. Scrape them off and move on.

Florida Cracker

And A
And interestingly enough, I believe that we can’t get well on the illegal drug trade as long as so many corporate and government fingers are in that money-making pie. It is not in their best financial interest to deal with the illegal trade and they’re sufficiently insulated from the consequences as to be socially oblivious. But I can’t fix them because the system is rigged. All I have as a woman in this country is a right to vote. I don’t really have equal protection under the law, but I can act like I do. I’ll never make enough money or have enough power to influence even one of these drug profiteers.

But I think anyone who wants to de-regulate illegal drugs needs to spend some time going around with DCF to examine the lifestyles of addict parents and see what happens to their hapless kids while mommy and daddy are stoned, getting stoned, or finding a way to get stoned. Addiction is a 24/7 job – they don’t have anything left to be parents. They need to interview a few hundred of the street people and recognize this is a life-choice for too many; not a social or medical disorder.

I think the reason we can’t get a handle on illegal immigration is the same reason as our lack of progress in the illegal drug trade; too many political and corporate profiteers don’t want to break their rice bowl and damn the rest of us common people who aren’t being paid a living wage or getting tax breaks while simultaneously making profit from cheap labor.

Pay attention to the disconnect. This is another example of the dichotomy of political v. citizen social and economic values which brought the Soviet Union to its knees in the 80’s. I’m not sure if we can consolidate from the wreckage and come back as a nation with so many fragments…led for them.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." - Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Thought For Today

"What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren't supposed to work if they had families. What were they going to do when the children are grown, watch the raindrops coming down the windowpane?" - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Thought For Today

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism." - Ronald Reagan

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Well, it’s official. Beginning July 1st, 2011, all Florida state employees have to kick in 3% of their salaries towards retirement, retirement funds that used to be entirely paid for by the State of Florida and part of the benefit package for remaining in the state public service at a significantly lower pay rate than the private employment sector. Of course, the old period of employment before you became vested in the retirement system and entitled to any of it was 10 years – but then Republican governor Jeb Bush was the one who approved reduction of the investment period to a mere six years. He also introduced the retirement option plan of state employees having their retirement funds put into the stock market or into the long-term retirement, with a guaranteed rate of pay upon reaching the retirement age – basically, a dividend that you could cash in when you left state service or a regular fixed check when you retired – one or the other, but not both.

Jeb Bush also hired the Arthur Andersen accounting firm to oversee the Florida Retirement Pension, considered then and now as one of the best in the nation. That made me flinch at the time because everyone knew that Arthur Andersen was responsible for the failure to audit and report the criminal Enron fraud, which made history as one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history. And “fiscally responsible” Republican Jeb handed over the pension plan of all of Florida ’s public servants to these criminally inept or just plain criminal guys to monitor.

I don’t know how many people since those changes have pulled their money out of the retirement system before they reached retirement age, but you know that had to cost the State. With only six years to be vested, this change encouraged transition of state employees, creating a constant drain of monetary resources when people pulled out their retirement funds as they left Florida ’s service. So Governor Scott is raising the years to vestment to 8 years, splitting the difference between 6 years (a ludicrous figure) and 10 years, and cutting retirement 3% COLA (Cost of Living Allowances) for retirees until further notice.

I believe that’s when the DROP program came into being as well, under Jeb Bush. This is the program we’ve seen everyone screaming about for some time, the legalized “double-dipping” where an employee could retire and come back in one month and collect a retirement check and another full paycheck while earning still a second retirement to be cashed in when they retire for keeps The DROP program is finally being dismantled, as well it should be – but it’s funny that this program largely benefited the guys making the most money, and particularly those working up in Tallahassee, rather than the little administrative folks at the bottom of the salary food chain.

There’re other changes as well, but those are some of the big ones – basically, a 3% pay cut across the board for State employees, plus the 3% which the State will no longer be paying into the retirement system because the employees are paying out of their salaries – so really a 6% pay cut for State employees.

Judicial assistants have to pay their portion of the medical benefits like everyone else. That’s about $80 a month for family coverage and $45 a month for individual (the State still covers the ridiculous 300 plus premium per family coverage or $100 plus for individual coverage). My question is, the judicial assistants, being the lowest on the totem pole of salaries – are the judges and all the Select Exempt Service guys and our state legislators and honorable governor paying their part of the premiums or do they still get their medical coverage completely free as they have for decades? I mean, if it’s fair for the folks with the lowest salary (but not lower hours or responsibilities) to pay their portion, what about the guys making the big bucks who can really afford that and not even flinch?

I’m just wondering – are our Governor’s retirement and benefits still free or does he (and the Republican Florida State Congress) have to set the example and kick in his fair share, too?

Florida Cracker

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-130A

Yup - it's Microslug again...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Well, it’s official. Beginning July 1st, 2011, all Florida state employees have to kick in 3% of their salaries towards retirement, retirement funds that used to be entirely paid for by the State of Florida and part of the benefit package for remaining in the state public service at a significantly lower pay rate than the private employment sector. Of course, the old period of employment before you became vested in the retirement system and entitled to any of it was 10 years – but then Republican governor Jeb Bush was the one who approved reduction of the investment period to a mere six years. He also introduced the retirement option plan of state employees having their retirement funds put into the stock market or into the long-term retirement, with a guaranteed rate of pay upon reaching the retirement age – basically, a dividend that you could cash in when you left state service or a regular fixed check when you retired – one or the other, but not both.

Jeb Bush also hired the Arthur Andersen accounting firm to oversee the Florida Retirement Pension, considered then and now as one of the best in the nation. That made me flinch at the time because everyone knew that Arthur Andersen was responsible for the failure to audit and report the criminal Enron fraud, which made history as one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history. And “fiscally responsible” Republican Jeb handed over the pension plan of all of Florida ’s public servants to these criminally inept or just plain criminal guys to monitor.

I don’t know how many people since those changes have pulled their money out of the retirement system before they reached retirement age, but you know that had to cost the State. With only six years to be vested, this change encouraged transition of state employees, creating a constant drain of monetary resources when people pulled out their retirement funds as they left Florida ’s service. So Governor Scott is raising the years to vestment to 8 years, splitting the difference between 6 years (a ludicrous figure) and 10 years, and cutting retirement 3% COLA (Cost of Living Allowances) for retirees until further notice.

I believe that’s when the DROP program came into being as well, under Jeb Bush. This is the program we’ve seen everyone screaming about for some time, the legalized “double-dipping” where an employee could retire and come back in one month and collect a retirement check and another full paycheck while earning still a second retirement to be cashed in when they retire for keeps The DROP program is finally being dismantled, as well it should be – but it’s funny that this program largely benefited the guys making the most money, and particularly those working up in Tallahassee, rather than the little administrative folks at the bottom of the salary food chain.

There’re other changes as well, but those are some of the big ones – basically, a 3% pay cut across the board for State employees, plus the 3% which the State will no longer be paying into the retirement system because the employees are paying out of their salaries – so really a 6% pay cut for State employees.

Judicial assistants have to pay their portion of the medical benefits like everyone else. That’s about $80 a month for family coverage and $45 a month for individual (the State still covers the ridiculous 300 plus premium per family coverage or $100 plus for individual coverage). My question is, the judicial assistants, being the lowest on the totem pole of salaries – are the judges and all the Select Exempt Service guys and our state legislators and honorable governor paying their part of the premiums or do they still get their medical coverage completely free as they have for decades? I mean, if it’s fair for the folks with the lowest salary (but not lower hours or responsibilities) to pay their portion, what about the guys making the big bucks who can really afford that and not even flinch?

I’m just wondering – are our Governor’s retirement and benefits still free or does he (and the Republican Florida State Congress) have to set the example and kick in his fair share, too?

Florida Cracker

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

You know, the word that Bin Laden is dead, I guess, a lot of people are celebrating. It just kind of makes me sad. What a waste of lives and talent all the way around. The Russians in Afghanistan to the US in Afghanistan ; it’s been an Army-devouring black hole on the planet forever. The only way to win is to subvert them all. Make the West look like the only place to be for their young people to be somebody, stop the Christian drum-beating silliness that puts their backs up, and start recruiting their best and spreading them across the American “melting pot” so that they become assimilated. I really believe the Communists were onto something by saying that there will be no religion. True, you can’t legislate belief, but you can reduce the antagonism created by these religious affiliations by making religious affiliation a negative for political and economic advancement. Religion should be about personal faith; not power over the masses.

I think – I hope – that one of the things we’re learning from this experience in finding and apprehending Bin Laden finally is that we have to think like other cultures think if we want to win. The Pakistani government and military are part and parcel of that regional tribal mentality. Like Vikings of old receiving tribute, you can bribe temporary compliance, but you can’t buy loyalty. The army and government officials put on the uniforms and have the high-tech tools, but it’s just window-dressing for a medieval society only recently introduced to the advantages of modern living. America has been just another source of revenue – not an ally, not a friend – just a means for padding ones pocket, paying lip service and smiling while stashing the cash paid for services never rendered.

There was not a person in the town and region where Bin Laden was living who did not know that Bin Laden was living there. It’s the nature of village living. Anyone who has lived in a “ Third World ” country knows that their biggest source of entertainment is watching and gossiping about what their neighbors are doing. They don’t have TV, in-home entertainment systems, air-conditioning – all designed to isolate inhabitants from their neighbors. The biggest source of entertainment in these less-technological societies is your neighbor. So until our intelligence leaders and political leaders realized that they had to exclude the Pakistani officials who played both ends against the middle, we had no hope of succeeding in finding Bin Laden. We have to be as cold-blooded and lethal as the Israeli commandos and know that for all of the handshaking and promises, America ultimately stands and falls alone.

The problem isn’t over because Bin Laden is dead. The insurgency against existing governments throughout the Muslim world is indicative of the kind of rebellion which we saw more conservatively in the 1960’s and 70’s here in the US, when the youth were tired of an establishment that saw citizens as disposable pawns of the corporate and government power games. We won a few things; we’ve lost a few others, and we keep having to remind the younger folks what freedoms and advancements were so hard-earned in those years, but I hope that we’re still making progress towards a more perfect and mutually successful future. The unrest in the Muslim world can work for or against America but it’s a case of America leading by example while restraining ourselves from the historical tendency to micromanage the development of emerging governments. We’ll win more by doing less.

Conflict will continue. Afghanistan will not be united any time soon. I hope the loss of my nephew Jason in Afghanistan was not a waste of his life. I hope that the loss of so many young men and women and the catastrophic injuries of thousands of others has not been a waste. I’m not optimistic that the world is a better place without Bin Laden – the end of only one self-idealized murderer in a world that has known so many. But I hope.

Florida Cracker

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Wisdom is to know that rest is rust and that real life is in love, laughter, and work." - Elbert Hubbard

Friday, April 29, 2011

SETI Institute


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Islam, The Religion Of Peace? The peace of the grave!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Computer Attacks You’ve Never Heard Of

Via lifehacker: "We've all heard of worms, Trojan horses, phishing, and other common computer security attacks that aims to infect your system and steal your data. But what about bluebugging, smishing, and scareware? Brush up on your computer security terminology with these lesser-known attackers."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Thought For Today

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Cloud Storage Faceoff

More good information from Lifehacker. "With Amazon's recent entry into consumer cloud storage, we've got quite a few competitors offering great and varying options—but which one is the best? Here's a look at Windows Live SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Amazon Cloud Drive, and our top pick for storing you files in the cloud."

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Five Best VoIP or Voice Chat Apps

Via Lifehacker: "Whether you use them for business communication, talking to family over long distances, or just fragging your friends over the latest FPS, communication has been revolutionized by voice calling apps. Here's a look at the five most popular options for having voice conversations over the internet."

Monday, April 04, 2011

Delta Press Ltd.

"For more than 30 years Delta Press Ltd. has been your source for some of the most outrageous and hard to find books anywhere! Our constant goal is to give our readers (collectors, gun enthusiast, law enforcement agencies, and many others) the best selection of unusual and hard to find books. Topics range from "The Survival Bible" ( a guide to survival techniques and needs) to detailed How To Books like "Build Your Own AR-15". We don't stop there...we have a great selection of DVD's, Posters, Limited Edition Prints, and Technical Posters on weapon designs to maps & medals!" Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando


CNN contributor Ruben Navarette wrote about the 4-year-old American-born Emily Ruiz (with a US passport) who got sent back to Guatemala after vacationing there with her grandfather. He wasn't allowed to re-enter the country on his expired visa. Emily spent several hours in detention while grandpa had a panic attack over what should not have been a surprise to him. Emily's dad gave the officials permission to have Emily go back to Guatemala with grandpa who was being denied entry to the US .

Emily's parents admit to being in the United States for years illegally. While Mr. Navarette insists on the politically correct silliness of the term "undocumented,” they’re in fact here illegally, because they are here in the United States in violation of federal and local law. That's what makes them "illegal" aliens. And they've been here for at least 4 years illegally, because that's when little Emily was born here in the US . So Emily's parents have had at least 4 years (and probably more) to get down to the closest Immigration Office and get started on legalizing their immigration status.

Apparently, Emily's parents weren't totally confident that the Federal Government wasn't going to do anything about their violation of the law, and they were cognizant of their illegal status, or they'd have accompanied their four-year-old daughter to visit with family in Guatemala . So rather than taking a chance on being caught at the airport by ICE, they sent Emily with her grandfather -- who couldn't get back into the country because of an expired visa and a previous illegal entry into the U.S. back in the 90's. In other words, grandpa was a repeat offender who got caught and deported.

Mr. Navarette takes exception to little Emily being labeled as an "anchor baby," a child born of illegal parents in the United States who serves to be the excuse to keep illegal parents and other family in the country. He seems to believe that officials were wrong to give Emily's parents the choice of sending their 4-year-old daughter back to Guatemala with her grandfather or being put in government-sponsored care. Emily's dad says authorities didn't give him the third option of coming personally to get his daughter; the authorities say they did.

I don't care. Dad got a choice he didn't merit to say where this minor child went. I think the authorities did the nice thing and not the correct and legal thing they should have done.

Mr. Navarette thinks what happened to Emily was tantamount to being "deported." Actually what should have happened was, in point of law, Emily should have been handed over to the local social services, grandpa and parents immediately arrested and deported. But because our legislators and courts are hell-bent on respecting parental rights of parents who put their children in jeopardy, legally and physically, law enforcement puts apocryphal parental rights ahead of international and federal law.

This idiot situation of Emily and others is being played out all over the country because our local and federal legislators have failed to take a definitive stand on "anchor babies" and the disposition of their parents. Was Emily placed in jeopardy? Indeed she was -- not by ICE, but by her parents. They decided to enter the country illegally (apparently it’s a family tradition if you look at grandpa's deportation record). Her parents chose not to seek legal residential status at any time between the time they entered the country and the date of the incident Mr. Navarette decries. Her parents then decided to send their 4-year-old to another country with an adult with questionable re-entry status. And Mr. Navarette thinks this is the government's fault. Where, in all of this was basic parental, commonsense responsibility?

And we have so many attorneys who smell money and are willing to assist illegals, not in establishing legal residential status, but in cashing in on frivolous law suits for self-generated slights of their purported "civil rights." Illegal immigrants don't have civil rights. Emily has a citizen’s civil rights. Her scoff-law parents don’t. We need to follow Japan 's lead and give the parents a choice: Your citizen child can stay here with a legal relative or in foster care or your child can go home with you to Guatemala and return when she's ready. But you parents are going to Guatemala , on the plane, tonight. Will Emily suffer? Possibly. But her parents put her in that position; the US government did not.

Our malfunction as a nation is that we let lawyers re-interpret the law when it becomes a personal inconvenience instead of enforcing it uniformly. We never draw a line in the sand that we're not willing to keep re-drawing until we back ourselves off a cliff. We don't consistently make decisive public examples of non-compliant people who have to have the obvious spelled out for them or they simply will not comply.

Mr. Navarette seems to think that America needs to re-write the rules for Latinos; somehow because there are so many more of them here illegally, he feels they're being singled out. What all immigrants need to do is follow the law. What all attorneys should be doing is pushing their clients into compliance with the law -- not helping them evade responsibility for their actions. What all law enforcement needs to do is enforce the laws. And what our legislators need to do is lock in the policy for dealing with "anchor babies" and their dereliction of duty non-citizen parents so there's no more wiggle-room for these hand-wringing, whiny criminals.

Mr. Navarette needs to take off his Latino hair shirt and think like a tax-paying American who's looking for policies to bring the best and brightest of other countries to come on, join us and make us a stronger nation -- instead of extorting us to embrace a tsunami of two-legged, self-victimizing economic and social liabilities, whatever language or culture produced them.

Best of luck, Emily. With your family’s history of really dumb decisions, you’ll need it.

Florida Cracker

Monday, March 28, 2011

Inside Japan's nuclear emergency

Not a terribly cheery post this week, I confess, but interesting. The above link takes you to a fabulous graphical video from The Washington Post that succinctly shows and describes the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant far, of course. And, oh yeah, somebody did predict the whole nasty scenario, as is noted in the accompanying story

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Thought For Today

“Information is the currency of democracy.” - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando


Florida's Governor Rick Scott -- where can I start? This guy is what Bugs Bunny would call a "maroon" -- and a dangerous one. He's the new Republican Tea Partiest -- he belongs to the party of "NO." No, we can't work on that. No, we can't do that. No, we don't need that. No, I'm not going to help, I'm just going to obstruct. No, we're not going into the future; we're going to embrace the past -- the 1950's past. No, we're not going to work together. No, I'm just protecting taxpayers, even if they don't want my protection and what I'm doing is more injurious than if I left things to hell alone -- although protecting taxpayers was apparently the farthest thing from Scott's mind when he was gouging the taxpayer-based Medicare system as CEO of a hospital corporation and even further from his mind when he became a venture capitalist funded by those ill-gotten gains with which he could then afford to buy the governor's office and get a whole state to plunder. Now, he purports to be the Florida taxpayer's Father-Knows-Best, orchestrating the state's finances based on his shady experience in every state he's worked.

Scott said repeatedly during his campaign that he had a plan to create 70,000 jobs. Then he got in office and said he wanted to have a conference on how to create 70,000 jobs. (Um, I thought he said he already had a plan.) Maybe he got confused (or we misunderstood) and he really meant that he had a plan to eliminate 70,000 jobs. In that case, he's making great progress on his campaign promise.

Governor Scott decided he didn't want the high-speed rail -- which has been voted on more than once by Florida residents, the majority of whom want it, both for the transportation alternative and the jobs. And he personally turned down the billions the Federal Government is willing to put in because he says he's afraid the taxpayers will have to somehow foot the bill somewhere down the line.

I guess he means like we currently have to foot the bill for the never-ending toll roads system that continues to turn an annual multi-million dollar corporate profit without improving traffic conditions in Central Florida . I guess he means like the ongoing loss of revenue because of the refusal of future employers to relocate to the area because the transportation and traffic along the I-4 Corridor is sufficient to discourage any business in this gasoline-powered urban nightmare.

But he says he wants to spend billions to improve Florida 's ports to encourage sea-traffic from the proposed Panama Canal widening. But any twit-head knows you have to have the infrastructure to move the freight from the ports to other locations and most international ports are attached to the national rail systems, which would have made the high-speed rail a plus for the Port of Tampa as a destination. But no, he wants to do the improvements in Miami , without rail improvements. I guess his Republican buddies down there need the money to make up for their losses in the mortgage melt-down his banking buddies engineered, so he'll help them re-dig the Port of Miami and then figure out how to move the freight from the ships after the price of gas breaks the back of the trucking industry and puts all blue-collar and middle-class workers in the welfare lines. His wealthy Republican buddies will profit from both in the Port improvement and their oil-company stocks at the same time.

Father-Knows-Best Scott has now turned down an offer from the manufacturers of the viciously abused fake heroin Oxycodone/Oxycontin to set up a monitoring system to curb the proliferation of Florida pill mills, a pharmaceutical scandal known throughout our nation. Governor Scott says that any monitoring system is an intrusion into citizens' privacy and it will somehow cost the taxpayers to create and monitor the system. Apparently, he thinks such a system will cost taxpayers more than the immediate epidemic of drug-related crime, incarceration, rehab and other taxpayer-based health programs the pill-addicts are hemorrhaging.

He seems to imply that system will be different somehow than the current legislated system we have in Florida to monitor the purchase of decongestants with a working active ingredient that meth-heads use to cook up methamphetamine; the formerly over-the-counter decongestants for which we now have to produce a photo ID to the pharmacist, register the amount, date, time and location of what we purchased and sign an affidavit that we will not make methamphetamine from our little purchase of head-cold pills. Does he mean a system like that to stop the Oxycodone/Oxycontin pill-mill epidemic is more intrusive and costly than monitoring decongestants?

I think Governor Scott and his buddies in the hospital business, with their heavy investment in pharmaceutical stocks, don't want that pain-pill cash cow slaughtered before they've gotten their pockets stuffed. Good God, Scott's got to make up that 63 million-plus he spent to buy the governorship somehow.

But Scott's says he's going to save the taxpayers money. He's going to break the back of one of the best government employee pension programs in the U.S. He's going to end tenure for teachers, gut the incomes of anyone stupid enough to work for this State or local government at less than comparable private wages, end the benefits (many of which are insurance industry-driven costs which corporations have NOT been regulated and continue to run rampant) packages for employees which are the main incentive for working 30 years for the State at minimal wages with no pay raises for years at a time. He wants 5 to 10% of employee wages to be funneled back into the retirement program -- which amounts a double paycut for every employee; the percentage the State isn't paying into retirement for the employee plus the percentage the employee has to cut out of their wages.

Scott wants you to believe he's a just fiscal conservative, here to man the helm when Florida 's economy is faltering after being bled out by the rampant Wall Street and Washington mortgage frauds and the never-ending wars in Afghanistan/Iraq.

But you know, Scott originally hails from Kansas , home of the Westboro we-hate-fags-let's-picket-military-funerals Church, home of the anti-abortion, anti-women's rights Personhood Movement, you-have-to-teach-Creationism-in-school Kansas . He's a fringe-riding hypocrite, out in search of the God-Almighty dollar. He's made his millions stealing from taxpayers and middle-class workers with the complicity of Wall Street and the health insurance corporations. He rode into power on a carpet of personal money and the endorsement of a Tea Party movement which has proven to be a fine example of what kind of rhetoric it takes to make crack-pot a viable political platform.

In the post Civil War era, he'd have been labeled a carpetbagger. But for now, he's a loose cannon, Tea Party darling, with no brakes and nothing in his head but dollar-signs for eyeballs. Don't blink, ya'll. These next few years will be interesting. I wonder how many of us Floridians will survive the financial wreckage when this rip-off artist is finished fleecing Florida and moves on to his next set of victims.

Florida Cracker

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Problem With Passwords

From Bloomberg Businessweek... Scary stuff.

And from Slate: Sadly for me, I don't own a Cell.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Thought For Today

"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends." - Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Live The Sheen Dream

Okay, it's hard to believe that Charlie actually said all this in his ravings, but it might be coming from the this same source. And I'm afraid to ask what that is. Have fun.

And from The Washington Post:

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere, wide awake, on tiptoe." -Josh Billings

Thursday, February 17, 2011

PC World - 101 Fantastic Freebies

01 World - 101 Fantastic Freebies

Pretty much self-explanatory. Freeware for everyone!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Thought For Today

"We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Give us the tools and we will finish the job." - Winston Churchill

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Detroit Needs A Statue of Robocop!

"Detroit Mayor David Bing recently shut down a movement to build a Robocop statue in his fair city. Which, well, that's just crazy. Fortunately, some concerned citizens have taken it on themselves to raise enough funds to commission the statue themselves. If you love America, you can contribute here." Why not? Stranger things have been done. I'ld tell you about a few but I'm not sure if the statue of limitations has expired.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Thought For Today

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Monday, February 07, 2011

Universal Life Church

Universal Life Church

Well, isn't it about time that you became an ordained minister? And it's free.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Monk and steel? You don't want to know - really

But I'm sure you're going to check it out anyway. Eric is in the hospital, so I'm tending the virtual nest until his return. This is for all you macho-dude types, and begs the question, Are you as macho as a monk? Well, this monk, anyway.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Thought For Today

"I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through." - Jules Verne

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Commentator Andy Rooney feels like American Christians need to take back the right to pray in school, at games, before government sessions. He thinks it’s okay that it’s a Christian prayer because the U.S. and Canada were founded on Christian principles and Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200 to 1. He says that the U.S. courts are taking away their right to pray. He’s wrong. The courts are reasserting everyone else’s right not to have to be held hostage at public gatherings to the anyone’s particular brand of religion.

Yes. America was founded predominantly by Christians. They were seeking the freedom to pursue their beliefs, free and separate from the Government endorsed religion. They were Christians, mostly, but their brand of Christianity was not "recognized" by their governments and therefore they were not permitted to follow their conscience without government-sanctioned penalties. So they looked for some place that they could worship independent of their respective Old World governments.

That's the part of history that our "Christian" prayer in school group keeps forgetting. They think because it's their group that has the numerical religious majority then they get to inflict their brand of religion on everyone else in the country. And because they've decided that they are always right because they are the majority, then everyone else has to tolerate their beliefs -- but they don't have to respect anyone else's. That's what put the end to prayer in school. That's what causes conflict everywhere the prayer issue comes up -- the insistence that those not part of the group must also bow their head if they want to participate in gatherings.

I went to school in the 60's when the First Baptist Church was THE church in the area. All of the teachers had to belong to that Church or they didn't get tenure. If you weren't a member of that Church, you didn't get invited to your classmates’ birthday parties or any other gathering. You were excluded at recess; you were ignored by the teachers. To this day, if that church catches on fire, I want to be there with hot dogs and marshmallows and celebrate its destruction.

I remember my first tour at the Florida State Prison chapel, which they proudly boasted was non-denominational. But it had a HUGE cross affixed at the front -- and a healthy percentage of any inmates are practicing black Muslims, with a sprinkling of other faiths. Bet they felt real welcome worshipping under that big cross.

Non-denominational means no symbols, no religious messages -- just a quiet place to reflect and a podium at the front for the service conductor. That's what a non-denominational chapel SHOULD be.

It's like the prayer breakfasts and gatherings they all insist on having -- at government functions -- and the guy doing the blessing ALWAYS has to say "In Jesus name we pray." They can't just say Amen. I challenged once and asked if they could say the prayer without the "In Jesus name" so they cancelled the prayer altogether and the entire meal the chaplain sat and glared at me...turning around in his chair to make nasty faces.

I asked one woman why they always have to say "In Jesus Name" and she advised me that if you didn't say that, God couldn't hear your prayers. How interesting. I didn't know people could read God's mind. I thought God was supposed to be omniscient and knew everything about everyone; not selectively deaf and/or requiring passwords to motivate his beneficence.

I remember one of the big issues at the prison I worked at was the administration trying to deny this guy (a convicted burglar and embezzler) the right to worship Satan. Now, I think that’s totally fruitloop on that guy’s part, but he wasn’t into blood sacrifices or hurting anyone. He just believed that Satan was on the side of people, God wasn’t, and he wanted to read his Satanic Bible (yeah, there is such a thing) and have time in the chapel to do it. Which is pretty weird, I admit, but who was he hurting? No one. But you’d have thought he set fire to babies in the middle of the quadrangle from the way administration was acting. They tried to claim it wasn’t a “real religion.” Well, frankly, most people will tell you that any religion that isn’t theirs isn’t a “real” religion; it’s myth, it’s a lie, it’s a cult, it’s a – whatever, but it isn’t like theirs, so it isn’t real.

He won the law suit and they had to let him have an hour each week in the chapel, where he read his “bible” and meditated, and caused no damage and no scenes. He behaved the way Christians like to claim they do, with compassion, tolerance and true charity.

The Wiccans won the right in court to conduct their services at Ft. Hood back a few years. The local Christian (and military chaplains) churches came unglued because it’s “not a real religion and it’s witchcraft.” But it’s a religion and there was a congregation and they had the same rights the Christian churches wanted exclusively for themselves. And a number of service members were Wiccan and they wanted the same rights for themselves that they were in the military to protect. Fair’s fair, and that’s how the courts saw it.

I remember the stranglehold the Officers Christian Fellowship had in the military, too. You're not a member? You get excluded. There was a whole subculture of OCF officers who excluded and penalized non-members, who were good officers and good military service persons. And there were blatant threats, join the OCF or you don't get a good performance review and your career in the military will be short-lived unless you "come to Jesus" through their organization.

You know what? A cold day in hell before I ever willingly attend another service or any function that starts with a prayer. And if I ever sit through another graduation ceremony where some stuck up little evangelical shit feels they have the right to preach at us because they "have a calling" and we're there to see our kid graduate so we're trapped while they lecture us about how we can only be saved through their Jesus and their brand of religion, I'm going to feel free to exercise my First Amendment rights and disrupt and cause a scene.

Round them all up, tie 'em together and give them a baptism in the middle of the Pacific Ocean . Let's see if their version of God wants to fish them out or let them walk on water.

I don't object to prayer. I don't object to worship. I don't object to religion. I object to individuals insisting we all have to listen to their brand of religion and that they alone have the right to speak out on what they believe. Arrogant Fundamentalist jackasses. I equate them with the Taliban and all the other religious egomaniacs who have decided to play God and insist everyone else has to play along with them, too.

Yes. Everyone has the right to pray. They don't have the right to make me pray with them. And that's why Andy Rooney's wrong. This nation was not founded on the Christian religion. This nation was founded on freedom of expression and the freedom to explore your own conscience and find your own path to self-awareness and morality. The Christian majority’s rights end at the tip of my nose – if that bothers them, they can pray for me somewhere I don’t have to listen to them.

Florida Cracker