We Are At War

A Cyber War. Let’s call it Cyber War I.

(The Washington Post) The Obama administration on Friday officially accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections, including by hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

The denunciation, made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, came as pressure was growing from within the administration and some lawmakers to publicly name Moscow and hold it accountable for actions apparently aimed at sowing discord around the election.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” said a joint statement from the two agencies. “. . . These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

The majority of all future battles will be for control over information. Russia, it seems, make a direct attack against us in the run up to the election. No doubt we are currently retaliating as you read this.

The public finger-pointing was welcomed by senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who also said they now expect the administration to move to punish the Kremlin as part of an effort to deter further acts by its hackers.

“Today was just the first step,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a member of the Homeland Security Committee. “Russia must face serious consequences. Moscow orchestrated these hacks because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes Soviet-style aggression is worth it. The United States must upend Putin’s calculus with a strong diplomatic, political, ­cyber and economic response.”

As the internet grows more advanced, and becomes more entwined in everyday minutia, the damage caused by cyber attacks can be more debilitating than simply calling an election into doubt. It can have real world impact on the health and well being of people, from the minute by minute operations of hospitals, to the automated energy systems being relied upon during extreme seasonal weather conditions in any number of countries, to the flow of transportation in almost all major – and even minor – urban centers.


Not even close, 2016.

(CNN) – Fidel Castro, the Cuban despot who famously proclaimed after his arrest in a failed coup attempt that history would absolve him, has died at age 90.Castro’s brother and the nation’s President of several years, Raul, announced his death Friday on Cuban TV.
At the end, an elderly and infirm Castro was a whisper of the Marxist firebrand whose iron will and passionate determination bent the arc of destiny.
“There are few individuals in the 20th century who had a more profound impact on a single country than Fidel Castro had in Cuba,” Robert Pastor, a former national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, told CNN in 2012.

This doesn’t even begin to make up for all the good people you took from us.

Enough Already!

Damn it 2016. Haven’t you taken enough people from us already?


(CNN) She was one of America’s moms, a television icon that endured through generations. Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” died Thursday from heart failure at the age of 82.

Good Morning!

It’s Black Friday, when all the stores look forward to the mass migration of shoppers into their shops and make all their ledgers full of black ink.

Me? Yeah, probably not hitting any stores. I’ve got a ton of studying to do, essays to write, and general knowledge to absorb.

You? I hope it was a wonderful Thanksgiving, that the elastic on your cloths were adequate to the occasion, and your family loving and caring.

Happy Thanksgiving

It is that time of the year where we all get together, argue sports, politics, and for some religion. All three seem to go against the whole notion of being thankful. Right now I am thinking about Tina, who is upstairs sleeping, and who is recovering from a Myelogram procedure she endured yesterday. This is not what she wanted to have happen. She was looking forward to going to her daughter’s home in Brainerd and celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. So was I.

Still, despite the change of plans, I am thankful. I have Tina in my life. She spoils me. And I spoil her. It’s a mutual spoilage relationship. Yes, I know. That doesn’t really sound right. Just go with the content and it makes sense.

Anyway, despite the lack of travel and family time I am still grateful for what I have. And ultimately, love is not always about getting together, eating delicious meals, and wrestling with the grand critters. Not that those are bad things. Actually, they’re quite wonderful. But still, love is also in the heart. It’s in the memories. It’s in the knowledge and understanding that no matter the time spent apart, once together it feels as if there’s been no time apart.

And that is not just with family. It is also with friends. Some of my oldest friendships I formed back in the 80s are like that. So to with recently formed friendships where life changes moved them from my life. Yet they too fill my heart with love.

Sometimes I feel as if I don’t do enough to show just how much I appreciate all my relationships. Words can be so hollow, so inadequate for communicating my feelings of gratitude. Just know that as insignificant as my words may seem, they are meant to convey feelings that exceed my ability to express.

Busy Day

I managed to get through 3 lectures as well as review a chapter and take the quiz. Also, I participated in an online discussion. All in all a productive school day!

May I Have Your Attention Please

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

That is all. You may now resume normal cognitive dissident existence.

Just Remembered

Trump breaks all his promises and rarely lives up to his word. All those campaign promises? Yeah, I wonder if he’ll continue to do what he’s always done – renege.

So, This Happened

They put in a new column – well a row actually – in our grades page. Up until today I really didn’t know how I was doing. I was getting the “work of the class” stuff done, with high points. But with the essays, progress quizzes, and the first exam, I figured I was hurting.

Anyway, my grade at this point? A-

Yeah, seriously. A-

The first thing I thought “Okay, who the hell am I, and what did I do with me?”

Think about it a minute, it’ll make sense.

Anyway: Holy Mother Boiling Pot of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, how did I manage an A-? In the past a class like this would have seen me chocking on water.

Again, think about it…..

Geez. An A-

I’m going to go look in the mirror and see if it’s really me in the reflection.