Wednesday, June 28, 2006
How to block this from your site using .htaccess:
<Limit GET POST>
allow from all
deny from 18.104.22.168/28
Research on ARIN reveals that this web bot is owned by a company called Digital Infinity Ltd located in Moscow, Russia. The mailing address is listed as: Ostrovityanova str, 14, 200, Moscow, Russia.
If you would like to kindly tell them to stop harrassing the Internet, you can call them at these "supposed" numbers: Phone +495.9806635, Fax +495.9806635. The name of the owner is "Elena Balkina" and has been connected to spam before with linalinks.com. Please note the current owner of linalinks.com is no longer this person or her company. Elena's company has been used to send spam for online pharmacies and who knows what else.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Exactly one year ago, my friend Brad Keckler died from a heart attack at the age of 30. It was "stressed induced". He was a good friend and a good mentor to me while working for him at CallTech/Teleperformance. He will always be remembered as someone who could always sell anything. A common joke we had at Fort Myers was, he could sell ice to Eskimos.
Exactly a week before he died, I drove him to his house in Ohio. This was after everyone hit each other with Star Wars light saber swords at Trevor's backyard (long story). While driving to his house, I asked him about marriage because I was getting married in a week and a half. Simply stated, he said marriage was one of the best things that happened in his life. He dearly loved his wife (Mandy), his daughter (Jenna), and his future unborn baby. We also talked about God as we passed by his church.
Sadly, I could not come to his funeral seeing as I was getting married 10,000 miles away; however, I think I prefer remembering as who he was, a person that always smiled, always joked, and always worked hard to sell. See you in heaven old friend, I still owe you a foosball match.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
The group is said to be home-grown, coming mostly from a radical Islam group composed mainly of African-Americans. This comes shortly after a similar sting operation in Canada; where a home-grown terrorist group attempted to attack government buildings in Toronto.
I'm a happy tax payer today! I'm very proud of the FBI and I hope they will continue to be fruitful in their human intelligence gathering and undercover operations.
Civil effects: Paranoia against Muslims
I previously posted about the dangers of home-grown terrorism and the paranoia effects it has on society. I want to continue to reiterate that the Islam religion is roughly 1 billion in the world; hence, 7 people should not be a reflection of that religion as a whole. Most Muslims are moderate and do not follow the Koran 100% -- thankfully they ignore the verses that says kill the infidels and concentrate more on the aspect of love and mutual respect.
So before we go crazy on discriminating groups of people based on their religion or nationality, we must remember our lessons of the past. Let us not take people's civil liberties as we did in the past with Japanese-Americans.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Previous presidents have tried their best to protect this marine sanctuary; however, until now, they were blocked by lobbyists and special interest groups when they tried to declare the area as a sanctuary. Bush initially wanted to do the same thing; however, it would take at least one year to review. Knowing that it was too much red tape, he invoked a special 100-year old executive power that was given to the presidency in the National Antiquities Act. The president was able to declare the area as a national monument! Good move.
Pro's: This move has some awesome benefits:
- Immediate relief of multiple Pacific marine habitats not found anywhere else.
- This will increase the population of fish in the immediate area by protecting it from commercial fishing.
- Within the next few years, fish populations will increase outside of the area and will actually help commercial fisheries.
- Wildlife such as endangered seals, sharks, dolphins, lobsters, and the surrounding reef systems will flourish.
- This has some global effects as well as migrant birds use this area as a stopping point and nesting area.
- Also, the more marine plants exist and flourish, it will better our atmosphere.
- If you've ever wanted to monitor bird flu, this area needs to be successfully protected and monitored.
- Commercial fishing to stop within five years, this will hurt a small group of companies and families on a short-term basis. On a long-term basis, they will be able to reap the benefits of a lively fish habitat.
If you have ever seen Jean-Michel Cousteau's film on PBS, you'll find the underwater wonders of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. You will be amazed at the wildlife underneath an area that seems to be just a link of barren islands.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Are we too spoiled?
I don't think those who complain about this country have lived any significant length of time in another country. Whether it's Europe, Asia, or other continents -- if they actually lived there as an average worker, they would know the difference quickly.
Most people that are naturalized (those that are foreign born and became US citizens) are happy with this country. They may disagree with policies and what not, but in general, they love this country for giving them a chance to live a better life. While in Asia, people seek their best to pay bills and are living on $200/month USD or less, we have people here that complain because their Social Security checks are only a few thousand a month.
Last year during the hurricane season, some people I knew were complaining about not getting ice from the government on time. While in Italy and other European countries that my family stopped by last year, they don't even serve ice in restaurants! Plus, they charge money if you use the rest rooms!
Come on now. Why are we so spoiled? We complain about gas prices but we drive big SUVs, trucks, luxury sport cars, etc. Don't complain about gas prices if your car burns 25 miles per gallon! Why do we have high gas prices? Because you keep burning the supply away. Duh.
Why do we complain about health care? We eat over 3 teaspoons of salt everyday and wonder why we have high blood pressure. We don't exercise as a nation and wonder why we have diabetes. We smoke tobacco and wonder why we get lung cancer. We get drunk every weekend and ask why we are getting complications as we grow old over some of our organs. Overzealous wine drinkers tout the benefits for the heart, but kill their liver. Great trade, try natural wine in the Bible (unfermented grapejuice - no alcohol) and benefit the heart and the liver!
Why do we complain about the economy? When we have the lowest unemployment compared to any of our neighbors and have one of the highest wages in this hemisphere. Why do we complain about unemployment when we have thousands of people just loitering the streets, taking unemployment / welfare checks?
I read a gripe complaint by an online eBay seller stating he was sad that his child would lose tuition grants from the government because he made too much money. He was looking to see if he could legally "fake" his income to show that it was lower. Hey buddy -- those tuition grants aren't free -- they come from me and every other person that works and pays taxes.
Why do we complain about people immigrating here when so many of the natural born citizens hate their own country? Care to trade places with someone in France when they are suffering 30% unemployment for their young adults? Wake up America. Be patriotic about the country you live in.
Be thankful about what you have. We are not in a perfect country, but we are better off than most. If you don't like the situation you're in now, do something about it: improve.
Friday, June 09, 2006
The announcement of his death came around the same time the prime minister of Iraq received approval for key Cabinet posts. It seems the dream of a free Iraq is close to becoming a reality. Iraqi police and the Iraqi military were dancing in the streets, and the Iraqi people were cheering -- even Sunnis. The U.S. military celebrated with a cautious tone, stating they are happy but they know there are more rough days ahead. Beneath the silent facade of caution, the military knew this was a big hit -- a big hit against Iraqi insurgency, and a great morale boost for the allied troops.
Though everyone knows the terrorist attacks will continue, there is hope abroad and in Iraq that this is the beginning of the end of organized terrorist cells. I can't shake the feeling that this has turned the tide of the hearts of the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi people. Terror cells will no longer be able to deify a single person as the untouchable jihadist, and the Iraqi people will no longer fear them. After all, it was an Iraqi citizen that led to al-Zarqawi's death. This action sends a clear message to terrorists that intends on killing civilians: residents will strike back by telling the government where you are hiding.
A short biography of al-Zarqawi
Zarqawi is not his real name, but his surname. Zarqawi means he is a man from "Zarqa". He was born in Zarqa, Jordan almost 40 years ago. He was a high school drop out and was considered a petty criminal. Most people that knew him stated he was hot-tempered, but reserved. He wasn't able to read well and had others read for him or translate for him. Hearing propaganda from clerics and the CIA, al-Zarqawi joined a group of disillusioned men in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union. Receiving some weapons training and guerilla tactics from Afghan training camps (which allegedly were also backed by the CIA), he learned quickly how to fight the communists that invaded Afghanistan. After campaigns against the Soviet Union, he returned to Jordan with renewed confidence and a new vision: through aggression and war, you can win against large countries through a holy jihad and instill an Islamic nation.
He started trying to recruit for his vision until he was jailed by Jordanian authorities. For seven years he was in prison, he became a prison "gang leader" and had a following of disciples that believed in his vision. At times, he gave overexaggerations of his campaigns against the Soviet Union to energize his group. After his release, he knew he was in danger as he was a marked man in the kingdom. He quickly left the country and traveled throughout the Middle East and parts of Europe. In the end, he found his "base" in Iraq after he was kicked out of Iran. He didn't stay in Pakistan and Afghanistan because he wanted to have an independent operation from Osama Bin Laden's influence.
Though he pledged himself as a loyal member of Al Queda, he wanted to make a name for himself. And so he did...Zarqawi the bomber....got bombed.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Democrat President FDR ordered all Japanese-Americans to be imprisoned. Without charges, without warrants, they were placed in concentration camps like the one here. Ignoring freedom because of fear!
Canada's recent arrest of 17 citizens and residents allegedly wanting to bomb Canadian buildings has shocked some folks in the intelligence community. This group of alleged Muslim extremists doesn't seem to have a direct connection with any known international terrorist organization. Despite the success of this anti-terrorist operation, there are undoubtedly questions in Washington being asked. Should we fear our own citizens becoming terrorists? If so, how can we prevent that from happening?
The Truth Test of Democracy: Should We Give Up Freedoms In Times of Peril?
In a country where freedom of religion, freedom of privacy, and freedom of speech exists, you will always have the possibility that someone will exchange and believe in the wrong idea. This is the risk of democracy. Thank God that people who want to kill and terrorize are only a minority in our society. Though terrorists account only about 0.00004% of the population in the USA, they are shown about 60% of the time on the news (rough estimates from last night's news broadcasts)!
What this unbalance creates is an environment of fear. Congress has recently passed anti-terror laws and the NSA has admitted to having domestic eavesdropping programs. These laws and programs would have never passed before 9/11. But because 0.00012% of our population died in a single attack, 99.99988% of our population are now subject to new laws and new programs that pushes the limit of restricting our freedoms. The attacks on 9/11 were unfair, uncalled for, and the people involved in them should be brought to justice. However, the anger we have and the fear that we have should not drive us to give up our freedom.
Don't Let Fear Overcome Freedom
As a democratic nation, we have been tested in times of great peril in the past. Some of which we succeeded in protecting our freedoms despite the danger, and some we have failed.
For instance, in the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the mass expulsion and incarceration of Japanese Americans by signing Executive Order 9066 on February 19th, 1942. U.S.-born citizens were arrested with no charges, and no warrants. Expelled from their jobs, and removed from their communities, they were locked up in camps and treated as if they were criminals just because of their ancestry. On the first set of incarcerations, there were 92,785 Californians arrested because they had Japanese parents or grandparents.
The nation, because of fear, stood silent as the Constitution was ignored, basic human rights violated, and international laws broken. Our founding fathers would have turned over in their graves.
Another example of "fear" that made the nation ignore civil liberties was between 1954-1968 during the civil rights movement. Thousands of black Americans were beaten, killed, and detained by white gangs and law enforcement officers a like. Most of the South feared that black Americans would change the cultural and racial landscape of the USA. Once again, "fear" made us ignore basic constitutional rights of equality. Even church organizations like the Southern Baptists supported segregation against black Americans. In fact, local Southern Baptist church leaders at the time were the leaders of a secret white terrorist organization called the KKK or the Ku Klax Klan. Their mission was to disrupt blacks from exercising their rights to vote and their right to be integrated in schools.
The flavor of "fear" has changed over the years. In the past, it was Japanese, Germans, Russians, black Americans, and now Arab/Muslim communities. What's next? American citizens born from illegal aliens? Our freedoms should always be protected no matter the climate of fear. We as a country are stronger than this. We should not ignore the freedoms and rights of religious liberty, privacy, and speech.
Let's teach ourselves and our children to never ever give up freedom just because of fear.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
The U.S. Postal Service wants to hire a hundred new carriers in Southwest Florida. Postal officials told FOX NEWS the area's tremendous population growth is putting a strain on the carriers who already do the job, especially in Cape Coral, where the USPS needs to hire at least 100 people to deliver the mail.
You have to pass a background check and have a clean driving record. Carriers told FOX NEWS the benefits are solid and the starting pay is pretty good, around $13/hr! If you're interested, call 239-277-3317. You'll probably get an answering machine if you call, but if you leave your name, number and address, they'll send you the packet.
We don't need a truth commercial to tell us that tobacco kills. Every smoker I've ever met knows the facts about tobacco's dangers to their health and to other people (second hand smoke). But what many don't know, is many healthy people around the country that doesn't smoke are paying for this unhealthy habit.
Tobacco Users Raise Health Care Costs
According to the CDC, about $89 billion a year is spent on public and private health care for tobacco related illnesses alone. And this number is expected to rise as more than 500 million smokers around the world are expected to die from tobacco within a few decades. Health care companies raise premiums based on how healthy their subscribers are and unfortunately, the more smokers are in a policy, the higher the cost for everyone -- including those that do not smoke.
That's a lot of money for a vice that isn't necessary!
I'm not trying to attack smokers out there, but I am saying that there are certain, undeniable truths in the world, one of which is smoking raises health care costs. The control of health care costs still belong to the individual in a democratic, capitalistic country.
The cost of health in this country is a direct reflection of our society's physical well being: whether we smoke, whether we exercise, whether we are drug dependent, whether we eat a healthy diet, whether we sue doctors for every minor infraction, and so forth.