October 2007 Archives

Warmonger (noun): See Norman Podhoretz

war·mon·ger      (wôr'mŭng'gər, -mŏng'-)
    n. One who advocates or attempts to stir up war.
    source: Dictionary.com

"Warmongering Proneness" is a psychological trait and a measure of an individual's susceptibility to warmongering rhetoric and posturing.
source: Wikipedia

I don't think I'd care about this wing-nut if it weren't for the fact that he's had a recent closed-door 1-on-1 meeting with el grande Presidente and is listed as a foreign policy advisor to GOP front-runner Giuliani. I get nervous when lunatics are given air time and potentially being taken seriously.

Here's the trigger for today's rant on the lunacy. I think Zakaria makes an interesting point, too, that since 9/11 the US has invaded 2 Muslim countries. If we were to invade Iran, that would make 3 invasions of Muslim countries during the Bush regime. If Muslims are still potentially harboring ill-will over the invasion of 1 city (Jerusalem) during the Crusades, imagine the ill-will that invading 2 - possibly 3 - entire countries must be generating. *sigh*


Amateur Hour

Does anybody remember Minnesota Governor Jesse "The Mind" Ventura? One of his endearing qualities (yes, being a bit sarcastic here) was his absolute disdain for the mainstream media. His comments toward the press corp could be described as nothing less than pure vitriol. Put mildly, he didn't like them... and, it was absolutely the most ridiculous thing in the entire world. His antics were amplified by the media, building him into the political success that he was. A former entertainer, I still believe to this day that he knew full well that riling up the press would guarantee sales of his books.

Well, it should then come as no surprise that el grande Presidente is now taking a page out of Ventura's playbook. Unfortunately, not having the entertainment background, his subtle jab comes off as nothing more than passive aggressive lunacy. Because, you know, all of his problems with leading the country must be a result of someone else. He's certainly done a stellar job thus far. It's not like he's the "decider" or anythi... er, wait... hmmm.... :)

Hat tip to Think Progress...

Guilt by Association

I suppose nothing should surprise any more from this criminal organization that we call the US Government. They've undertaken numerous illegal activities, from extraordinary rendition to torture to warrantless wiretaps, all in the name of "security." They've invaded countries based on lies, then tried to spin those lies to cover their tracks. They've even invented a nemesis, called "Islamofascism" (takes one to know one, I guess - fascist that is) in order to make use believe that we're in imminent danger. Unfortunately for us citizens, it's all been a load of crap. And, quite frankly, it's getting to the point that we, as a people, need to stand up and assert ourselves. We must choose not to be terrorized and we must demand accountability. There's a reason the Founding Fathers created 3 equivalent branches of government. It's because too much power consolidated into the hands of an immoral tyrant will cause tremendous trauma and damage; much as we've seen these past 7 years.

Thankfully, some people are paying attention. Of course, one expects the ACLU to notice egregious acts, but it's nice to see things starting to slowly move mainstream. I believe that the American people are tired of the deception and the use of terror as a political argument. Moreover, I'm quite confident that they see the recent warmongering by the extreme right on Iran as just that: blatant violations of common sense and decency. Though the rhetoric of the White House has held an eerie similarity to the rhetoric leading up to March 2003, I have faith in The People to see through this charade. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I've pulled some interesting links and quotes together here to highlight some of my recent concerns...

Big Red Arrives!!! :)

DSCF3661-sm.jpgAs previously announced, I decided it was time to upgrade my workout arsenal. Well, I'd now like to officially welcome Big Red, a 32kg (that's 72lbs for us Yanks) Russian Red kettlebell, into my family! :) Woohoo! My muscles are already a little sore just from unpacking it, moving it around for a couple quick pictures, and trying a few swings. I don't expect to be doing presses, snatches, or Turkish getups with it anytime soon, but it sure is cool! :)

Phase 1: Acquire Big, Red Hunk of Steel - Complete
Phase 2: Begin Swinging Big, Red Hunk of Steel - Pending
Phase 3: Begin Pressing Big, Red Hunk of Steel - Future
Phase 4: Demonstrate Über KB 1337ness & Pass RKC - 2008/2009 Goal :)

70lb-red.gifWell, I've decided it's time for an upgrade for my workouts. Swings with the 24kg (53lb) kettlebell have been feeling a bit easy lately. I've been able to do snatches easily with it, too. Turkish getups still give me a little challenge, but I'm consistently able to do a few reps per side with it. So, that means it's upgrade time! My first kb was a 16kg (35lb) Russian Red, which I really liked. For the 24kg, I went with the traditional black paint, which was fine, but honestly, not as enjoyable. As such, I've ordered a 32kg (70lb) Russian Red to add to my collection.

In addition to ordering a new kettlebell, I've also ordered the "Russian Kettlebell Challenge" DVD in order to better round out my workout routine. I'm looking forward to seeing some new exercises in video (since it's hard to read about the exercises and fully understand them).

NeoCon Fascism On the March

"All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

fascism.
1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Source: Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism (accessed: October 18, 2007).

One of the hallmarks of an oppressive regime are blatant attempts to suppress or otherwise intimidate the opposition into compliance or silence (aka "implicit compliance"). There's a new story up on Think Progress today talking about how one of the witnesses in Congressional hearings on immigration - whose family has been working in coordination with Immigrations - was raided with her family shortly after testifying. Coincidence? I doubt it. Check it out here:
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/18/tam-tran/

Anybody who knows me very well, has worked with me, or has followed my blog (well, back when I still made substantive posts like this one), will know that I'm obsessed with not only questioning everything, but also asking the right questions. It's actually a rather annoying knack that's emerged from growing up in an academic environment, where questioning and debating are ways of life. When other kids were playing Nintendo, I was watching the "Mysteries of the Unknown" video series, solving fun Math and Logic puzzles. For my career in information security, this has long been my mantra; namely, question everything, and make sure to ask the right (often hard) questions.

Sponsored Link: MP3 @ Amazon

It seems iTunes isn't the only game in town any more. Did you hear that Amazon now has MP3 downloads? I think it's a cool experiment, so long as I can still opt to buy a complete album. Click the banner ad for more information.

Security, Networking, or Linux Jobs

Just received the following from a recruiter. If any of the following is applicable to you and you'd like a referral, please let me know.

On Finding Security Jobs...

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In follow-up to my last post, I realized that I forgot to mention job mailing lists! I'm only acquainted with lists specific to security, so sorry if that isn't you. There are three that I watch regularly:
- CISSPjobsforum (on Yahoo! Groups - closed, for CISSPs only - ping me or see ISC2 site)
- Security-Jobs.info
- Security Focus SecurityJobs

Happy hunting!

For Those In Need of Work...

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In light of the fact that AOL is having an "event" starting today, I thought some folks out there might be interested in hearing what approach I used for finding a new job, since I just successfully completed that process recently.

There's really no voodoo magic to it - one just has to get one's resume out there. Some of the places where I posted my resume:
- my own personal web site (posted in HTML, Word, and PDF)
- Dice.com - a great source for tech jobs
- CareerBuilder.com - I received some interesting job queries from this source
- Monster.com - the firehouse approach to job seeking



Going Green in IT

Going green is nothing new, but it's becoming a huge topic for the IT industry. Computers are built on a foundation of precious, and sometimes toxic, metals. The average data center consumes hundreds of kilowatts of power each day, if not megawatts. With energy costs increasing consistently, with the looming end of the oil era, and with the global climate change issue in full play, it then only makes sense that IT goes green.
pclogo-sm.jpg

To that end, I availed myself of the local PC Recycler free day. I first learned about this from Mike's blog a couple months ago. As he describes, the process was quick and painless. I dropped off 3 CPUs, 2 CRTs, 1 UPS, a laundry basket full of assorted peripherals and add-ons, and had 7 hard drives crushed in front of me after which they also shred the platters). The drive crushing was not free ($10/disk), but otherwise everything else was a freebie. This deal turns out to be better than what Fairfax County offered during their recent Fall Festival, where CRTs were $5 for disposal.

If you have a basement (or closet) full of old computer equipment that, if you're honest with yourself, will not see the light of day (and doesn't belong in a museum), do the right thing and take it to a recycler. It might just help keep the planet green a little longer. :)



xkcd: "Exploits of a Mom"

Click here to learn how to protect against such attacks.

Exploits of a Mom

A Visual Walk Through Time

Instead of just blathering on about the last few weeks, I thought that I'd highlight some of the adventures since Labor Day in a more visual manner (don't worry - I did, of course, blather on at length). Read on for more...



I've been slammed and exhausted lately, so haven't had time to formulate a real post. So, to keep you interested and your appetite sated, I refer you to the Stephen Colbert report "Nailed 'Em: Cyber Terrorists". I hope you'll be as amused by this piece now as you should have been outraged in June. :)



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