Scam map!

This is a pretty cool tool.

You can search by scam keywords used, zip/location, type of scam, dates, or type of contact, or if the alert was from AARP users or law enforcement.

Similarly, the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network has this tool:

“Personal Freedom and the Moral Case for Capitalism”

This piece by Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes from her unique perspective of being a Somali, under a socialist government system. Under that type of system, there is no bankruptcy to cull the poorly performing companies and organizations. This also leads to the public good suffering. Benefiting from the work of one’s hands and profiting from private property promotes progress.

The internet, for example, gives entrepreneurs more opportunities by “getting out of their way.” If a society has a functioning rule of law, a free press and expression, and an informed public, abuses can be mitigated.

I consider the topic of Scandinavian-style medicine a worthy topic to discuss. (Unfortunately, today’s youth envisions a socialism that “works,” not the actual versions in Venezuela and Cuba.) Along this line of critique, Ali mentions that there is no denying that our healthcare system is “messy.” Even though American healthcare leads in quality, innovation, and advancements, there is inefficiency and inequality.

But the woke mob destroys this exercise of American self-criticism in the name of “antifascism” and “antiracism.” We cannot improve or even function under the constant barrage of oppressed and oppressors. We were built on constant trial and error that recognizes our “human foibles.” The question should be, “How can we improve ourselves?”

“Democratic capitalism, in the framework of the rule of law and respect for individual rights, has benefited billions of human beings. It allows for gradual, incremental progress to remedy legitimate grievances as they arise. Until a better alternative can credibly be proposed, these are the institutions that we should celebrate–and defend.”

Clear your defaults

Over 50% of enterprise routers are not cleared of data before reselling them. This includes sensitive information like login credentials. Make sure your router creds are not out on the dark web, vulnerable to reuse.

The first thing you should do when starting a new cyber position is an inventory of networking and computer assets. But this also should be an ongoing practice. What is not known becomes an attack vector. Then you’ll be the smart guy. Save yourself from embarrassment…and worse.


My uncle Geoff is visiting from England. It’s been hot and sticky. Still good to show him around the island. He going to get an earful at American church tomorrow. Sister Jen and bf Daniel will be back here tomorrow as well.

Dry humor reigns this weekend.

Little wooden cross

In Israel, I felt at home. But recently I have been thinking of social media and the stars thereon. Christ becomes smaller every day, and more and more ordinary. At least that’s what I think. But when I look for help, He is there. It takes faith to believe that.

This small man executed in some first century backwater. Armies have moved and every knee has bowed. Every tongue confesses day after day. God is alive despite statements to the contrary.

AI writing challenges

I really feel for the faculty who have to deal with student plagiarism through ChatGPT-likes. CNN has this article today on telling the difference between AI- and human-generated content.

Chat GPT is a notorious plagiarizer:
“The authors believe one dataset contained over 290,000 book titles from ‘shadow libraries’ like Library Genesis and Sci-Hub, which illegally publish thousands of copyrighted books.”

It even steals comedy.

This goes back to the original concern about sampling. How will we sample and yet remain original?

All will be a whirlpool, swirling away the authors and centralizing “creativity.” This is another sphere where we continue to surrender the human and lose a little more of ourselves.

Physical issues

Been having headaches, difficulty walking, and occasional nausea. Doc has asked for an MRI and did some blood tests. Had some anemia, which was weird.

I’m trying not to be negative, but I made the mistake of looking at online medical resources and now worry about this or that. Doctor said don’t jump to conclusions.

This brings up the question I asked at the men’s group this morning. Friends there say not to speak things in affirmation, but how do I ask for prayer if I don’t mention what it is.

Anyway. I need peace, will have to relax a bit more in the sun today.

Musk is not your ally

Elon Musk has purchased Twitter, exposing its censorship activities in collusion with the government. But he has other ideas, some strange, in addition to his free speech beliefs.

During Covid: “I will be on the [Tesla assembly] line with everyone else.

About the Democrats: The Democrats are the “party of division & hate.

About voting: “Democracy is probably unworkable long term without limiting suffrage to parents.

About population control: “Population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming.

I watched the recent Tucker Carlson interview with Musk and am heartened that he opposes unrestricted AI. But that begs the question, doesn’t he have a robot in the works? (A robot needs some sort of operating system.)

He’s obviously very intelligent, but make no mistake, he’s a businessman and big business is amoral.

Grandma’s Love

My Brasilian grandmother always said she loved the national anthem. She would cry in fact.

My parents became citizens in 1975. My father moved us to the U.S. (back and forth to/from the U.K.) to make a way where it was difficult in England. (Why the number of moves is another story.) My mother moved here with her mother as a kid.

I don’t want to give a mushy and overly effusive lecture on Independence Day–but it’s such an important day. The Star Spangled Banner is not the military cadence or French-style revolutionary anthem. It has a freshness even to this day. It makes immigrants cry. If only it did for all our compatriots. Gratitude.

Yes, the U.S. has to return to its roots: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; e pluribus unum; and In God We Trust. I don’t want to preach, but those are really available, really possible, and truly trustworthy.

Peace and grace this 4th.

China beyond Taiwan

While we wait for the start of the Taiwan war, Xi now sets his sights on Okinawa? (Sign up for a free account at the Economist to get 3 articles a month.) Doesn’t seem like there is much alarm about anything China from the current administration. Goes beyond incompetence to apparent intentional disregard for what will happen there. The Chinese have long memories–and long-term plans.

Can’t blame it all on the current administration though. There is now an inextricable reliability on Chinese goods and services. The fact that they are experiencing an economic crisis and that they would be devastated if they called in our debt, does little to comfort China watchers.

On Finishing Books

Finally got back to finishing two books tonight.

The first was from Joseph Prince on Psalm 119 called The Prayer of Protection: Living Fearlessly in Dangerous Times. It’s more than a verse-by-verse, offering anecdotes as well as comments on the Hebrew. It’s *not* a scholarly work by any means, but it was uplifting.

The other was Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health–and Improving Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, and More. Christopher Palmer advocates research on the cells’ mitochondrial factories as intensely involved in the metabolic processes. He suggests that along with contemporary treatments (drugs, therapy), metabolic regimens, diet, exercise, and social and personal changes should form a rounded-out set of treatments for everything from depression to manic depression to schizophrenia to substance abuse. He closes with a request for readers to take up arms to promote his findings and beliefs.

It’s easy to be cynical when reviewing books like this last one because there’s always someone trying to say they’ve found the true secret to mental health. But I commend him for making mention in the closing chapters that his discoveries are not to be taken in isolation, but as one among a group of tried and tested methods as well.