Friday, August 28, 2015

Ashley Madison Hack an Unrighteous Act!



Have you known a person who successfully quit smoking cigarettes and goes on what can only be labeled as a righteous campaign against smoking? They become almost militant and openly complain that the mere smell of cigarette smoke over-powers their sensitive nose holes. They want everyone to stop smoking and voice this opinion every chance they get.

Never mind that just months ago they were equally indignant when anyone even suggested that their cigarette smoke was repugnant. There is often nothing more intolerant than a reformed person.

This is the only logical reason hackers would out the adults who have paid to look for extra-marital affairs on AshleyMadison.com in my opinion. They must have either been the victim of adultery, or repented from it – and now they want to expose all the consenting adults who are active in what society deems immoral activity. They claim it was for poor business practices.

“The hackers who took responsibility for Ashley Madison's data breach have said they attacked the website in an effort to close it down as punishment for collecting a $19 fee without actually deleting users' data.” Yea, right. That’s why they committed this crime.

Now, extortionists are coming out of the mud like money-ravenous leeches, hungry to black-mail AM.com subscribers or they will expose the filthy-minded prurient transgressors.

“Extortionists are now sending messages to the publicized e-mail addresses, demanding a payment of several hundred dollars in bitcoin, threatening to otherwise send their personal information to their significant others.”

The hackers see themselves as righteous bastions of good, when in fact they should serve time for hacking into a secure server. Their behavior and actions are greater transgressions than those they are outing. The proof is it is not illegal to have an affair, but hacking is.

Let me go on record and say I never heard of this website before it appeared in the news.  My email address is not one of the 39 million addresses exposed. I would like to say I lead a spotless life of a born again Christian, but I have failed at it so many times, I will get into heaven by God’s grace alone. I have a saying that any man who thinks he can handle more than one woman is either deceived, an idiot, or lives in Utah.

I have a good woman I’ve loved for 38 years and I know enough about what goes on in Anytown, USA to know that if a spouse wants to fool around, you don’t need to go further than a few blocks away to find someone who thinks the same way. So why in the world would any sane person join a website, pay money, and risk ruining their marriage to fool around with a stranger online?

Beats me.  The outcome of this heinous act of server hacking will now put millions of marriages in jeopardy and do the exact opposite of a righteous deed. I used to work with a guy who had a saying that went something like this’ “I do not support what people do, but I support their right to do it.” I mulled that over for a long time as a Christian man and finally concluded he had it right.

I do not support adultery and think it is a sin against you. You will be living a lie and breaking your vows, not to mention damaging your marriage and hurting the one you claim you will go to the grave with. However, I am not God and neither are the hackers. This AshleyMadison business is for consenting adults. Consenting adults. They may be wrong, or reckless, or to many – sinners, but I support their freedom to make this choice. I ain’t going to make it, but I sure as heckfire ain’t going to play God and mentally cast them into the infernal smoking fires at their misfortune. On top of that, I am fairly certain that many of these folks are on that site out of curiosity and vicarious sexual excitement and it never will go further than that.

“There is going to be a dramatic crime wave of these types of virtual shakedowns, and they’ll evolve into spear-phishing campaigns that leverage crypto malware. And the proof, in this scenario, would be a booby-trapped attachment that deploys spyware or malware.”
Cyber attacks are something most of us will experience in the future and they need to be seen as such, whether what is hacked goes against our values or our money. Hacking is a crime and this AshleyMadison theft should be seen as a monstrous breach of freedom, nothing more.
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Voting doesn’t have to be complicated




I’ve been a conservative voter for many years and still am for the most part.  If you have read my opinion on some of the more controversial subjects, you understand that in some ways, I side with the more liberal thinkers.  Blame my service record for that.

Years ago I read Lyndon: An Oral Biography and Plain Speaking an Oral Biography of Harry. S. Truman both by Merle Miller. I read 5 of John McCain’s books.  I’ve read many other books about our presidents and political figures and they have helped me understand how American politics are supposed to function. For the people, by the people, etc. Of course I am no expert and don’t want to give that impression.

The TV series House of Cards pretty much nails how it works though, with powerful politicians calling in favors and chits, often skewing the voting records of those under their lofty positions. Lyndon Johnson was possibly the best at getting things done in the White House of all the presidents and political figures this country has ever seen.

On television and before the people, he drawled on in a monotone, appearing to be this slow-talking Texan with very deliberate word choices. In reality he had almost inexhaustible energy and forced through his policies and opinions by stabbing a big index finger in his victim’s chest and then using his Texas cowboy boots, he would kick them in the shins.

I’m not making that up. Hubert Humphrey was permanently scarred by Johnson and would pull his trouser legs up to show the permanent bumps. 

Over the years the crevasse between the 2 major parties has became a so wide that neither side wants to give an inch and herein lies the problem. Whereas LBJ could push things through, through compromise, nobody on either side wants to be accused of “working with the enemy”

Take the Kennedy-McCain immigration bill for instance. It would have and still would work, but it was picked to pieces by both parties and made both politicians look foolish and like turncoats. What did we end up with when the immigration bill failed?  Nothing. The same old thing that didn’t work. Americans were carefully manipulated to thinking both of these guys were jerks for even suggesting the joint plan.

So who benefited from this failed bill? The illegal aliens, that’s who. The reason I say this is because I actually read the whole thing! Yup. Unlike idiots in high places like Nancy Pelosi, I actually read this stuff.

There is a website located here: http://www.ontheissues.org/

It is where you can see how a politician actually voted on major issues. Now bear in mind, that on some of this stuff, they were coerced into voting against their desire so they could get their own stuff passed. That is important to remember.

At the bottom of each politician’s page is a matrix that shows how they rate as far as Liberal versus Conservative, etc. You may believe that the far left or far right truly reflects your views, but understand that any of these representatives whose mark is in the extreme, has more intention of pushing their parties policies over what the voters want.

They no longer represent YOU. They represent their party and their party knows what you need or want or deserve more than you do. As a Conservative with Libertarian leanings I do not want anyone in the White House who is against returning this nation back to the way the Constitution and Bill of Rights initially declared.

Think about that. You should feel the same way. Our freedoms are disappearing and all for our own good according to them. They have massive benefits while ours are vanishing. The do not call list is an tiny example of their self-serving privilege. They voted to exempt themselves so they can call you while you and your family eat supper.

Our political system has been allowed to morph into a government that is parasitical and has little to do with the voter’s wishes.  Whether you love or hate marijuana 68% of the population of this country believe it is time for marijuana law reform. When Jeb Bush votes “No medical marijuana; it's just a guise toward legalization”, he ceases to be anything to me but a Party hack out of touch with 7 out of 10 voters.

I’m expressing marijuana here to prove a point. Look at above website. Forget what is coming out of their mouths and see how they vote. Every once in a while one of them will speak the truth though. Bravo to Joe Biden for calling the Chattanooga shooter who killed our Marines and one sailor, a “perverted jihadist”. As far as I know, he’s the first person in the Obama Administration to call the guy a terrorist.

Our few good politician’s are made villains by other politicians and we lemmings sit back and let them. Look at Sarah Palin’s voting record. She was ridiculed to the point that she became a laughing stock. Her voting record is clean and reasonable. If all I could see was her voting record, I would vote for her.

The Presidency is serious business folks. Choose carefully. We can only support so many people who don’t and won’t work. We can only give so many anti-American countries 150 billion dollars – thank you Obama. Our country has to make the correct choices and our leaders need to find a way to work together.

Donald Trump is not the villain he is being portrayed as. He is an uber-threat to the 2 established ultra-partisan parties and both parties are scared to death, so they are demonizing him. He knows this and is forcing both parties to actually declare what they are going to do on real issues.

That may be the only reason he is running and I say bravo. Research how these people vote before you punch out that chad.
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Friday, August 14, 2015

If I won the lottery



I guess at one time or another, everyone dreams about inheriting or winning a huge sum of money and I am no exception. However, how much money you might win is in question.  How much is enough to fulfill your vision? That question deserves an answer and I am determined to find it.  Now (I hate to add this caveat) there is math involved… yes, the dreaded conversation stopper.

Let’s say you would be happy with Texas two-step’s initial lotto winnings of $200,000.00. Well, right off the bat, the gov-ment is going to take about $70,000, leaving a piddley $130,000 which equates to purchasing 2 large 4X4 ¾ ton diesel pickem-up trucks with over-sized bumpers and accouterments (One for you and one for your lady).  Blam, you are out of lotto money!

You won’t even have money to MAXX-out your truck on Massey-Tompkins and put them big ol tares and cool 24 inch rims on them trucks, so Texas two-step is out (in my book). Well, at the initial offering stage anyway.

One time over in Channelview when this subject came up, one fellow exuberantly declared he would buy his wife a brand new “Esplanade!” I looked down his street and thought to myself, well, that would be an improvement on a grand scale.

I’ve seen that program where they followed up on people who have won a couple hundred million bucks and the resulting “buys” have been amusing or sad, and flabbergasting most of the time. One fellow and his wife bought this gigantic water fountain with all kinds of cement statues and placed it right in the middle of their front yard next to a broken down truck. It was an incredible view from the trashed-out deck of their mobile home.

It appears that most of my friends want to win a modest amount, say 2 million or in some cases less and they would do incredibly noble things with it, like build a house for a crippled lady, or pay for 1200 kids lunches.  A great deal said they would tithe to their church, which is very honorable (this usually came about 10 minutes later with a second reply).  Giving money away is very easy when you don’t have it. I pray if I ever do come into a great deal, I can be as generous as these people.

My Channelview buddy was way more expansive and a bit greedy in his wishes. “I would have a whole fleet of Ka-ma-rows; the ones with the big ol stripes on the hood and all and I would park them all in the front yard so’s people could admire them. They’d all be top of the line!” He made no mention of getting dentures and every time he ended a word with an “S” he whistled.

Me? I would like to win about 20 million after taxes, tithe on that, plus a goodly offering and then build my bride a real nice house. I wouldn’t move away, buy a log cabin in Montana, or a desert isle in Pago-Pago. If I did buy one of those big ol 4X4 ¾ ton King Ranch chicken trucks, I would probably leave it parked and drive my Jeep.

I could raise my Jeep higher and put bigger tires on it, but they’re already real big and the vehicle can go anywhere I point it. Its named Tha Choppa, as in Schwarzenegger’s “Get to the Choppa!” It is my vehicle of choice and having more money won’t change that.

With a cool 20 mil in the bank, I would probably still buy 2 gallons of Ug-Lee’s gumbo and their beans an Andouille sausage each month. About once a month, my bride and I would still drive down to San Leon and eat at Bubba’s Shrimp Palace. The gym named after the clock would still be our morning ritual 4-5 times a week.

Some folks told me they would create a giant pet asylum and spay and neuter all the animals for free. Others would send all their kids through college, or buy their Mom or sister a new home. Another said they would launch out on a world tour and stay gone until they came back.

I guess the biggest revelation for me was that the big money wouldn’t really change what I want and am already doing, so in one sense… I’ve already won the lotto.






Friday, August 07, 2015

It’s an outrage I say!



We have come to a time in space where people are cocked, locked, and ready to angrily fire at an instant. We are modern day Minutemen/women ready to be outraged and by sweet fancy Moses, we are armed to the teeth with righteous indignation. It’s ultimately righteous because it is coming from us. Those other fools are uneducated morons.

Someone said, you do well to win an argument with a learned person, but no one wins an argument with an idiot. This is true and if you happen to like to lock horns over something passionate, you will encounter this torch-carrying passionate activist who moments before was entirely rational. Now understand I have my tongue firmly planted in my cheek as I write this.

The reason I say this, is other than one of the deep philosophical discussions (read jujitsu wrestling matches) I get into with Jared Eikhoff, I can stand clear of passion and emotion and pretty much be open-minded. It’s not so with Jared because he’s like one of my kids and he’s well-educated, albeit still defining what to believe. I wrestle his brain trying to get some of the stuff he learned from Professor Cummings out of there and into the open so he can decide if the liberal stuff she teaches is fact or fiction.

I like and appreciate Professor Susan Cummings, the liberal phenom of Lee College and like to believe my 5 years in high school badgering the teacher have qualified me to take her on in civil debate. Years ago we agreed to disagree and I would sit down with the scholar and enjoy talking about most anything and even pick up the tab. Both she and I can separate passion from being civil in debate and that is very important if you want to verbally sword fight over ideals and remain friendly.

It’s simply not so when dealing with an unbridled passionate activist. Suddenly Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde before your very eyes and vitriolic babblings overtake all sense of logic and opportunity to offer a comeback.  Why, because they can no longer hear anything except their heartfelt passion towards everything from animal rights to “God” being removed from everything.

Passion is good when it comes to causes.  Sure, if someone abuses a child or leaves a pet locked in a hot car this is cause for alarm and I’m not talking common sense items here.  What I am referring to is extremism and with the politically correct movement firmly established, this lends to a self-appointed righteous air to the subject.

For instance, take the recent interest in a 13 year old lion being killed in Africa.  One fellow declared the dentist should be fined a million dollars. A million dollars?  Seriously? Another angrily wrote he should have his head cut off.  I find this so absurd, it’s laughable. Lions in the wild live 10-14 years. This was a very old animal, so a million bucks seems extreme. How about $5000?

Some passion is earned by blood and a smart person knows not to provoke a cobra snake. When I encounter a Marine I also say “Semper Fi” which translates as “Always faithful” and call them Devil Dogs. I’m not stupid and insultingly say jarheads. They’ve earned the moniker on both ends, but Devil Dog is a compliment. Marines are passionate about being Marines all their life and I understand that.

Other rabid subjects include the Confederate flag, the right to bear arms, eating meat, the environment (on 17 levels) and my most recent discovery is… where Vidalia onions were developed!  Yup, boy did I open up a can of whoop bunns on that subject.

I have many dear friends from my Georgia days and I recently enlightened – read baited Allyce Lankford on the less known fact that the present day cherished Georgia Vidalia onion is actually a Texas onion. Holy smokeski’s, talk about an instant eruption of passion! I of course acted as innocent as a nun and shocked that she would take offense.

Being me, I had to poke her with a fact stick on Facebook and this simply fanned the flames. You see, the Vidalia onion can only be grown in a certain area of Georgia due to the soil and is a state treasure. “Them’s fightin’ words, suh!” Now having lived in Georgia, them Georgians take their onions very seriously and I am guilty of igniting this passion, I admit.

The ultimate smack down was when I claimed the 1015 (also a Texas A&M invention) was sweeter and I only buy Vidalia’s when the 1015’s are out of season. The truth is other than the size difference, I really can’t tell all that much difference. 

Not to let facts get in the way of a good argument, onions are so good for your heart that you should eat them with every meal. The harsher the onion is on your eyes, the better it is for your heart and both of these onions are very mild. I love them both and eat onions every day, and I am guilty of provoking this good woman to see her reaction and give me fodder for this column.

Folks, if you feel very strong emotions about a certain subject, do your best to keep it in check around your friends who do not share the same views or you may find them becoming strangely mute when you go off on your righteous tangent. Also beware of passion baiters like myself. We can be real irrational.
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Customer service is not what it used to be

I was called by a local business today to pay for a maintenance service on my in-ground pool. My debit card on file had expired. ...