Warning! Tech talk ahead

Are you using a VPN? You should be. There’s an interesting web site that questions various VPN providers and publishes their answers. At the end of each VPN provider’s list of answers, there’s a link provided to take you to the VPN’s web site. I had been using Private Internet Access (PIA for short) for about a year, but since I dropped them (mainly due to occasional slow connections) I chose NordVPN. I have a hodge-podge of PCs, Macs, iPads and an iPhone that I need to protect. Some VPN vendors do have an iOS app, some don’t, but those were my requirements — to protect all of my devices. I was also impressed with the number of servers around the world that NordVPN uses. They do update their desktop and iOS software regularly, adding interesting and useful features. To each his own, but I do recommend NordVPN for its flexibility, functions, number of servers around the world, and speed. Here’s the site that gives you the rundown on questions asked and answered by VPN providers — Torrentfreak updates their information every year, so it’s a good place to gather objective information.

Torrentfreak — asking the tough questions to VPN providers

Virtue signaling and the uselessness of it

The current state of affairs, what with rioters, chaos, looting, destruction of private and government property — all have been excused by the masses as justified in the name of “social justice.” Then you get the endless drivel from the talking bobble-heads doing their virtue signaling. You know exactly what that means — we’re behind the Black Lives Matter movement, we want equality and justice for all … ad nauseam. Yep, some very bad cops out there, abusing their positions of authority, doing damage to the communities they serve. But as with any institution comprised of humans and subsequent behavior, Continue reading

My hero, worth the long read and please do

I had not realized Dr. Thomas Sowell is now retired. I do highly recommend his works, printed or e-book, of which I have several on my Kindle app. His autobiographies are especially interesting, given that he grew up poor and decades ago in the deep South. This is why the link to the City-Journal article is worth your time. Otherwise, go play Pokemon!

About Dr. Thomas Sowell

Master’s Thesis, 2.0

I suppose we could also call this Master’s Thesis, rebooted. 

Well, after about six back-and-forth revisions to my proposal with my graduate Dean, I was getting just a bit annoyed. I do tend to blather and write too much, and she called me on it. The thesis proposal guidelines from my university are quite vague, so I assumed I could write what I needed to in the proposal. NOT. I gave up when she said the proposal itself was too long. In the same corrective instructions, she told me to write a “sentence or two” about the various authors I chose to add to the argument of “Is there a God, or is there not?” That theme set the tone for my three films, because if there is no God, and in opposition, Satan, then there wasn’t much to discuss about the films.  So let’s see, writing a couple of sentences about the academic and professional writers would make the proposal LONGER again. So we were at an impasse. The Dean is a wonderful person and quite the cheerleader for my essays and this thesis. But I couldn’t seem to get the approval for the thesis and then roll along. I was stuck; hmmm, more like paralyzed, keeping me from continuing the back-and-forth just to get the wretched proposal accepted.  Continue reading

Good grief!

I am still here, thanks for asking. My broken arm and shoulder continue to cause much pain, even after almost two years now. I’ve been going back and forth with my graduate Dean, trying to get my thesis proposal accepted. Uh, not so fast … it’s been to and fro  three times, and I still need to make many corrections. My university is very strict about its writing standards, including what should or shouldn’t be included in a thesis proposal. As of yet I haven’t done it right, so plod along we shall.  Continue reading

Be back soon!

Sorry folks, I’ll return soon with a new post about the effort of mentally organizing and rearranging my thesis proposal. It’s an interesting process that I’ll return to in earnest beginning June 1. In the meantime, a continued leave of absence is ordered because of my arm and shoulder. For now, ponder this from the recently retired but still my favorite economist, the esteemed Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Having lived long enough to have seen both “the greatest generation” that fought World War II and the gratingest generation that we see all around us today, makes being a relic of the past more of a boast than an admission. 

Here’s irony for ya

Well folks, I was gathering information so I could create a properly formatted thesis proposal. Before I started the tippety-tappety on my PC, I managed to shatter my shoulder, break my upper arm — both of which are on my dominant side. Thus I’m typing this right now with my left hand. Worse yet, my right hand and fingers are still swollen and I’m not able to close the fingers to make a fist, nor type with them. That’s the biggest problem of all.

Do you know how the orthopedists treat such breaks? I was handed a sling in the E.R. on May 24, having waited two days to get to the E.R. (in my PJs, no less!). I’ve seen two orthopedists and it’s true, a sling is the treatment.

Guess what? There has been no new bone material healing on my shoulder or arm. Yep, it’s been more than three months and although the pain has lessened, there’s no healing yet. The best hope is to get something called the Exogen, an ultrasonic thingy I will use on the broken parts. I bring it home, use it for 20 minutes on each area, daily. Then we check on any progress, probably every four weeks.

But … you might ask — why not surgery and pins? Well, not only can I not do that because of osteoporosis, but pins won’t work for a “shattered” shoulder.

My graduate dean and advisor teased me, saying I’d do anything to avoid working on my thesis proposal. Heh. Right now I have taken a leave of absence that’s going to end Sept. 30th. Looks like I’ll probably ask for mercy and more time off. I’m guessing I’ll need at least through spring of 2017.

So don’t give up, eventually you’ll see my thesis here. I hope to call it “Through the Looking Glass: Finding God, Good and Evil in Six Contemporary Films.”

  1. 1998 episode of The Outer Limits: “Josh”
  2. “Love Comes Softly,” based on the book by Janette Oke
  3. “Contact,” based on the book by Carl Sagan
  4. “Pleasantville” (this one is a stretch and a challenge!)
  5. “Frailty”
  6. “Storm of the Century,” based on the book by Stephen King

You may discern the order of film discussion is short, positive and hopeful — to long and very dark, evil. In other words: short ==> long; God and Good ==> Evil. I’m very excited about my subjects and choices because they’re all rich in symbolism by means of the characters’ traits and actions.

So that’s it folks. I hope to post again soon, if possible. I do need your prayers.

Steyn’s brilliance: a must read

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/steyn021516.php3

Notes After New Hampshire

By Mark Steyn

Published Feb. 15, 2016

According to exit polls, in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, two out of three GOP voters favor Trump’s proposed temporary ban on all Muslim immigration – despite the universal reaction from the massed ranks of the politico-media class that this time he’d really gone too far. In other words, as I said all those months ago, it’s the old Broadway saw: Nobody likes it but the public.

The only reason any pollster is even asking this question is because Donald Trump proposed it. As those numbers suggest, any of Trump’s rivals could have helped themselves by “stealing his issue”. And yet no other candidate has gone anywhere near it – or anything like it. Perhaps one reason why American elections have the lowest voter participation rate of almost any developed nation is because the political class mostly seems to be talking about its own peculiar preoccupations. Consider this astute observation by Steve Sailer:

American citizens have turned in large numbers to old-white-guy candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. For all their differences, both give the impression that they are running for president of the United States, not president of Davos. Continue reading

John Locke, 17th Century U.S. “Founding Father”

Well, here it is, the final course in my master’s program in philosophy/religion through Harrison Middleton University. For some reason John Locke, and the other two authors, were tough to get through. The volume actually contained three authors that I read and studied: John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume. All three are considered empiricists, although you wouldn’t know it while reading each one. Locke believed in knowledge coming through sensory input, a typical empirical view and philosophy. But … as one of my professors noted, Berkeley was almost opposite in his beliefs. He offered his philosophy, also considered empirical, that all knowledge begins in the mind through rational thought, and nothing exists outside that thought. Hume was somewhat of a rebel — he was accused of being an atheist, and he seemed to be a composite of Locke and Berkeley’s views of how we learn and understand. All three men wrote treatises concerning “human understanding.” A note to my readers: academic writing requires third person, never first person, unless it’s a creative literature piece.

Next stop:  thesis. It will include the “Great Ideas” of God, Good and Evil. Gee, nothing like choosing easy subjects!

 

John Locke – empiricist philosopher, scientist and researcher – developed his theories of human knowledge, thought, understanding and resultant behavior over the course of nearly twenty years (ix), which culminated in his innovative An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It is generally accepted that Locke’s influence extended to later refinements of empirical theories, including those of George Berkeley and David Hume. Locke sets the tone of his Essay, in the first book and chapter, by clearly asserting there are no innate ideas (95); he then continues to define types of ideas as originating from man’s senses (128). It follows, therefore, that only sensation and reflection are the means by which man develops simple ideas, which thus lead to complex or compound ideas and knowledge (128). He subsequently explains how we come to understand and make sense of sensory input: whereby the mind “… turns its view inward upon itself, and observes its own actions about those ideas it has …” (131). Most of Locke’s Essay continues in this approach of explaining how man learns and understands – through sensory input and/or thoughtful reflection of what has already been observed, then developing simple ideas into more complex beliefs and notions.  Continue reading

Hacking, redux

I don’t think I mentioned this before, maybe I did, but it bears repeating. Then I’ll give you my opinion. (Update: see comment after this post!)

In the mid-90s, when I was a manager for tech support — people who took care of desktops, laptops, servers and the California county network where we worked — there was a web site called attrition.org. There you could be endlessly amused by hackers who took over web sites and posted on the initial web page (called the “landing page,” where you first land when you go there), the hackers in those days did so just to prove they could enter a purportedly secure web site. Invariably, they would let visitors know that they “owned” the site, sometimes they used profanity, sometimes not.
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Here’s something to make you lose your lunch

Caution: rated disgusting and nauseating.

You need to watch this. Let’s count how many times you gag at the sight of a woman blithely eating her Caesar salad, slurping her wine, all while talking about harvesting “fetus” (not baby) parts to sell. And … they’re illegally doing this by manipulating the unborn child so they can perform the procedure using partial birth abortion. This will hopefully land all of the Planned Parenthood officials in prison and be forced to pay the $250,000 fine. Exposed by the Center for Medical Progress.

Selling aborted baby “parts”

Sorry folks, I’ve been getting through John Locke

Well, my final course is Locke, Hume, Berkeley. John Locke was a great influence on our country’s Founding Fathers. His arguments concerning liberty and the social contract later influenced the written works of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers of the United States. In fact, one passage from the Second Treatise is reproduced verbatim in the Declaration of Independence, the reference to a “long train of abuses.” Such was Locke’s influence that Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Bacon, Locke and Newton … I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences.” (From Wikipedia: John Locke)

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If Thy Story Offends Thee, Change It!

Reality May Be Optional

By Walter Williams

Dr. Walter Williams

Published April 15, 2015

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams041515.php3

One of the wonders of modern times is that reality is often seen as a social construct and therefore optional. Thus, if one finds a particular reality offensive or inconvenient, he just “changes” it.

Say that one is born a male or a female but believes that nature made an error. Some believe that nature’s “error” can be corrected by calling oneself another sex. Possibly a medical procedure on one’s genitalia can correct nature’s error. However, Mother Nature is ruthless. Sex determination is strictly chromosomal. Females are XX, and males are XY. There is no medical procedure that can change that. Once a male or female, always a male or female.

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How to mortgage your country’s (and childrens’) future

I didn’t write the following but it’s important for everyone to understand the consequences of the government attempting to “manage” 1/6th of the economy: our personal medical care.

http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/04/damaging-effects-obamacare/

The Damaging Effects of Obamacare

Alyene Senger / March 04, 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the case of King v. Burwell—a challenge to an IRS rule under Obamacare that provides the payment of premium subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange. Obamacare’s advocates have made various claims about the harm that would supposedly occur if the court were to find for the plaintiffs (King) in this case. While it is not surprising that those claims have attracted attention, it’s important to remember the harm being caused by Obamacare.

Infographic by Kelsey Harris

Let’s hope you’re at the top of the Bell curve

For those of you who think this is paranoid writing, check out the WaPo article about the shortage of physicians; the article below will make perfect sense about its reasoning:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/03/03/u-s-faces-90000-doctor-shortage-by-2025-medical-school-association-warns/

If you or a relative are disabled, very young, very old — guess what? You’ll be relegated to the “go home and take a blue or red pill for pain” division of the Liberal Death Squad. Read carefully. It holds the key to exactly what the government really thinks about your life, no matter the condition you’re in nor your age: not worth much, other than paying taxes until you die. The link to the original document is listed below. Ironic that Dr. Emanuel is writing on behalf of the Department of Bioethics. Now you know why Jonathan Gruber laughs hysterically at the stupidity of the American public for being unaware of the hidden hazards within Obamacare.

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Magical fairy dust (warning, real science ahead)

We live on an island, a very liberal viper’s nest of Obama supporters, “green” this, “organic” that, and those tiny, wretched, putt-putt electric cars (that sport the obligatory Obama stickers). Let’s explain one thing before continuing. This island is rural. We have almost no street lights along the main artery running through the middle of the island, on which everyone travels at 50-60-70 mpg, you name it. When I say everyone, that includes the tiniest of Mopeds to the heavily laden logging trucks, zooming up or down the island’s main highway. The multiple side streets — some public, some private — meandering into farmland, housing areas, houses on multiple acreage — virtually no street lights to be seen. Driving around here is terribly frightening, especially at night, in the Pacific NW rain, and at all times your eyes must be on the lookout for deer springing out of nowhere to scare the wits out of you. It may sound amusing, but hitting, or being hit, by a full-grown buck is very dangerous for all involved. If you’ve never traveled in rural wooded areas on highways with high speed limits, you can’t imagine what it’s like. We have two SUVs, one mid-size, one large. Still, we’ve had many close calls and we’ve seen several direct hits by other cars.

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I told you so, months ago. Did you pay attention?

As I’ve noted previously, and often to my staff, family and friends: the only secure computer is one that’s turned off. Period. Here are two stories that prove my point, so pay attention and please take this seriously.

Here’s one that almost parallels an earlier post where I described the chain of events that intruders or hackers can easily discern if you’ve likely just had an abortion:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/07/federal-sites-leaked-the-locations-of-people-seeking-aids-services-for-years/

This one describes people who are so technically incompetent that they are unknowingly streaming everything from their web cams out to the world:

http://gizmodo.com/a-creepy-website-is-streaming-from-73-000-private-secur-1655653510

Now you know why I’m not on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype or any other social/professional media site. It’s an ugly world out there. If you don’t know what you’re doing, tech-wise, then hire someone who’s competent to help you. Or else don’t do it.

You’ve been warned.

Wanna see some beautiful conservative women?

I bet you didn’t know the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute publishes a fabulous calendar every year that features beautiful, smart, talented and influential conservative women. I get mine free because I’m still a student, but you can purchase yours here for a very reasonable price:

http://www.cblpi.org/calendar/

The CBLPI also holds a Western Women’s Summit in Santa Barbara, CA twice a year, as well as hosting many events and lectures around the country. Check them out and please consider supporting these conservative women leaders and the CBLPI.

John Calvin and free will

John Calvin was an early Reformer of the Protestant movement that began with Martin Luther, continued with Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli; probably the most notable and well-known break from the Roman Catholic church was Henry VIII of England. And the rest, as they say, is history. From Calvin’s theology rose the Calvinists, Puritans and what we today know as Presbyterians.

Although Calvin is known for his doctrine of predestination and fore-ordination, my book for this course included very little on this controversial theology, mainly because the volume was only selections from his Institutes. Still, I found a compelling and interesting theme in Calvin’s writing in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: God wills and allows all actions; nothing happens without His specific knowledge and permission. By the time Calvin completed his many revisions of the Institutes, there were four books with 80 chapters.

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Maybe we should call it “Giftmas” instead of Christmas

If it were up to the secular and non-believers (Happy Holidays, ugh!) we should forget the “Christ” in Christmas and focus on overeating, drinking, parties and of course gifts. This is a joyous celebration of the birth of Christ, hence the name. In honor of the Judeo-Christian founding of this country, let’s review the constitutions of every single state; with very few exceptions as noted, their references are to God, Almighty, Creator, Lord … the phrases vary but the intent was quite clear. So read and learn. Visit the cited web site if you want to read each constitution.

Have a very blessed Christmas and I hope for a successful New Year to all.

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