Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Also I'm currently posting status on my 2016 adventure to achieve zero waste at http://ecopractice.blogspot.com/.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
1) "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,..." and
2) "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
I will be ashamed of the US Supreme Court and our nation if we do not unequivocally support equality.
No one is harmed by marriage equality, but millions will benefit from it.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Voting "no" on all of them because you don't believe in the proposition process is a cop out. These propositions are a valuable part of our democratic system in action and we all get to make direct choices ourselves that have real impact! (And not push it off to someone else to make a decision for us)
Please vote based on the merits of each and not based on prejudices.
Here is how I'm voting. I hope you'll support my positions :-)
YES!! -- Prop. 30, Increase in sales tax and higher earners' income tax to fund education -- a reasonable tax proposal that is needed to fund education.
Yes -- Prop. 31, Two-Year Budget Cycle -- not perfect but is moving in the right direction to fix CA budget process.
No -- Prop. 32, Ban on corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates -- deceptive.
NO -- Prop. 33, Change in auto insurance regulation -- a big insurance company is trying to fool voters again.
YES!!!! -- Prop. 34, Repeal death penalty -- too many mistakes, saves a lot of money, life with no parole is sufficient (and much less expensive).
Yes -- Prop. 35, Stronger law against human trafficking.
YES!! -- Prop. 36, Changes to three-strikes law -- saves money, reduces prison overcrowding and prevents nonsensical 3 strikes situations.
Yes -- Prop. 37, Labeling of GMO foods -- although mixed, this is a step in the right direction and we need to be more careful.
Yes -- Prop. 38, Increase in higher earners' income tax for education -- Prop 30 is better, but we are much better if at least one wins rather than neither. This is a change in my original position.
Yes -- Prop. 39, Sets one method of tax calculation for all businesses -- helps keep businesses in California.
YES!!! -- Prop. 40, Maintain citizens' redistricting -- no system is perfect but this system is more balanced than the alternatives. Plus a "No" vote changes the status quo whereas a "Yes" vote leaves things alone (this measure was engineered so that those who just always vote "No" on everything will be tricked into causing a change -- and a bad one in this case).
For additional information on the CA propopistions, see:
CA Official Voter Guide: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/
SJ Mercury News recommendations: http://www.mercurynews.com/recommendations
SF Chronical recommendations: http://www.sfgate.com/propositions/
KQED perspectives: http://blogs.kqed.org/election2012/category/ballot-measures/
CA Council of Churches: http://churchimpact.org/2012/08/29/november-ballot-proposition-recommendations/
[10/7/2012: Added links to KQED & CA Council of Churches]
[10/20/2012: Changed my position on 38 from no to yes]
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Please read and take action!
Email account hacking is an epidemic that is effecting just about everyone. If you haven't been hacked yet, review your security measures to make sure your account is hacker proof.
If your email account is broken into, your account will be used to send dangerous or misleading spam emails to all your friends. Your email archives and address books may be deleted. Your stored emails may reveal sensitive information about you as well as others that can be used to break into other accounts owned by you and your friends. All of your other accounts and your friends accounts will be attacked using the information in your email archives
From interviewing many of the people whose accounts were hacked, the most common theme is passwords that were less than 10 characters long -- often just 8 characters. It is also possible their computers were infected but most had up-to-date virus software. Some have had old operating systems or browsers.
All AYSO volunteers should do their part to keep AYSO information safe and secure by using strong passwords for their email and AYSO accounts and ensuring their computers are secured and kept safe. This will protect your own personal information as well!!
Some key tips:
1) Keep your computer(s) malware-free by using good virus protection software and only installing software from safe sources.
2) Keep your operating system and web browsers current with the latest releases that have had security holes patched.
3) Do NOT click on links to suspicious sites. Those sites may be able to attack your computer simply by visiting them.
4) Never have your web browser save your passwords. This stores passwords in insecure locations where malware can get them.
5) Use different strong passwords for every account you have.
What is a strong password?
1) are long -- ideally 16 characters or more (sentences can be memorable strong passwords);
2) use many different characters -- upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even punctuation or other special characters;
3) are unique – use a different password for each account (so if one account is compromised that password cannot be used to break into other accounts);
4) are hard to guess -- not something that is easily discovered about you like your dog's name or your mother's maiden name – which also means you should treat your security questions just like passwords (!);
5) are changed periodically.
If you have more than 2-3 passwords, doing the above and remembering them is challenging.
Many of us have a dozen or more online accounts between email, AYSO, banks, credit cards, Facebook, and more. How can you remember many different strong passwords for each of these accounts? You could write them down on a piece of paper, but if you do please store it securely and make a copy (backup) in case you lose it. A better solution is to use a password manager to handle your strong passwords so you just need to remember one password -- for the password manager itself. One of the best password managers is LastPass (https://LastPass.com).
LastPass can remember all of your passwords and it also:
1) enters web usernames and passwords automatically so you don't have to type them (saves you significant typing and mistyping);
2) generates strong passwords of any length;
3) backs itself up automatically to a secure location so your passwords are available to you (and only you) on as many computers as you wish (even if your computer is stolen);
4) prevents phishing/spoof attacks by distinguishing valid websites (where it is safe to enter passwords) from invalid ones;
5) is your safe deposit box in the sky for other critical but sensitive bits of information (account numbers, PINs, combinations, etc);
6) is itself very secure (reviewed by many independent security experts and companies); and
7) is free and easy to use!!
For additional password managers and safe computing practices, please read:
Thanks for doing your part to protect yourself and your AYSO team!
Monday, April 02, 2012
The proof is in the pudding and people tend to hoist themselves by their own petard.
Crystal Cox, who claimed to be a blogger-journalist, has shown through her own actions that she is not one, but really a scammer and extortionist.
Please see the smear campaign she is attempting against the 3 year old daughter of a friend of mine:
Please also read:
Even if she were a journalist, that does not protect false speech:
Despite the online harassment, Marc Randazza is a man of principal and noted today on Facebook:
“It is extortion. But... ...I am trying to "Walk the walk" when it comes to the First Amendment. The typical response would be criminal charges or civil complaints. I want to show that we can cure bad speech with good speech. Let lies and smears fade in the sunlight of truth. I've preached it my whole life. I need to stay on the path now more than ever.”
Thankfully the light of truth and justice is shining very brightly on Crystal Cox now.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
1) Racial prejudices are not just black and white. Minorities are not automatically immune from prejudice. Race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance and even what you say may result in unjust prejudice.
2) Guns kill. Easily. If neither George nor Trayvon had a gun, someone may have gotten bruised but likely no one would have been killed. Our current society has evolved beyond everyone needing a gun. Do we all really need guns for our own personal version of mutually assured destruction? The US Constitution needs to be updated to match current needs, not ones from 200 years ago. We are no longer the wild west. However, many are blinded by their irrational fears, leading to irrational consequences.
3) Florida has a law that allows you to commit murder legally. In Florida, get a gun, pick your target, follow them, challenge them so they "threaten" you, then stand your ground and shoot to kill so you can claim self defense. The Stand Your Ground law, while it sounds good in theory, is a pretty bad one in practice.
4) If you see a possible crime, report it to the police and follow their advice! Don't take matters into your own hands unless there is clear imminent danger to someone and there is no time to wait for professionals. It takes considerable presence of mind to do the right thing at the right time.
From what I know of this case, I think perhaps George had good intentions but his prejudices overly influenced him. Plus having a gun lead to the disastrous result of an innocent young boy losing his life. This is likely a case of a do-gooder getting carried away and doing evil instead.
It can be difficult and costly to get to the truth of a situation. Science as well as our legal system may move slowly and be expensive, but generally they result in the best truth we are capable of in their respective domains -- if not corrupted by money or power. Yes that is a big IF.
"Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy, than sane and un-happy. But it is the best of all to be sane and happy. Whether our descendants can achieve that goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed, it may well decide whether we have any future."
- Arthur C. Clarke