Caveat Venditor! (Seller beware!)

I monitor a lot of different sites, looking for more business for my design firm. Sadly, a lot of the sites that match those who need a designer with people like me are filled with scammers, looking to make a quick, illicit buck off of coders, scribes, and graphic artists. Here’s a prime example of a scammer’s job request:

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Job type: Web Design Continue reading Caveat Venditor! (Seller beware!)

Modern Fairy Tales: The Wolf Who Cried “Boy!”

The Wolf Who Cried "Boy!"

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a continuing series of updated fairy tales, for the new millennium. Think of them as “living tales,” where we adjust the story  – and the moral – to suit the times in which we live. 

Once upon a time, there was a young man, who lived in a village. The lad came from a very traditional household – family values, church, traditions, belief in self-reliance, and all that jazz. But he grew up in an era where the old ways were looked upon first as “old fashioned,” and now “outdated,” “outmoded,” and flat-out “wrong.” Day after day, he was chided, criticized, and even mocked for his beliefs. The peer pressure was almost unimaginable. He couldn’t walk the streets of the village, go into an inn, or attend school without hearing his values torn down. He felt ostracized and unwelcome everywhere but his home.  Continue reading Modern Fairy Tales: The Wolf Who Cried “Boy!”

A Nation of Laws.

Have you ever stopped to think about what makes America, “America”? I mean, what is it about this nation that took us from what amounted to a backwater colony to a world power in less than two hundred years? Why is it that so many people want to immigrate here? And why is America held up as a beacon of freedom across the globe?

Laws. Or more specifically, the U.S. Constitution.  Continue reading A Nation of Laws.

Refusing Refugees.

At the base of the Statue of Liberty, a poem by Emma Lazarus reads:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Historically, the USA has been the “land of opportunity,” where we welcomed those that wanted to come here to live, work and prosper, with open arms and big hearts. Like virtually everybody in this Nation who doesn’t have ancestors or relatives living on an Indian Native American reservation, my forebears came from parts beyond the USA. So it might seem a little hypocritical for anybody in America to say “Stop right there, buddy…we don’t want your kind.” But what if it’s the kind that wants to kill us all?  Continue reading Refusing Refugees.

Wanna know what’s wrong with education? Here’s “Exhibit A.”

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Full disclosure: I am a parent of a high school student. I have been both a teacher in the public school system, and of course, at one time, I was a student. I’ve seen education from at least three different perspectives. And let me tell you, education today has gone so far off the rails, I’m convinced that, save for a few dedicated teachers who bravely buck the system, kids learn in spite of their schools…not because of them. Continue reading Wanna know what’s wrong with education? Here’s “Exhibit A.”

Whither Trump & Sanders?

Peter Finch as Howard Beale in Network

I had a friend of mine ask me the other day about Donald Trump. My long-time friend is as Liberal as I am Conservative. We get along because we respect each other as musicians and human beings, although we disagree on politics. A lot. He asked me a very thoughtful and well-reasoned question about Republicans and Trump. He just can’t get past the bombast, and can’t see the appeal. Frankly, I see a lot of the same questions coming from the right about Bernie Sanders, for much in the same way. Both appear to be even further to the extreme of their respective parties, than most candidates. But they share a lot of traits in common with each other, one in particular, I think, that is behind their ascendancies in the polls. And that reason is a cautionary tale for both parties – one I suspect they will refuse to believe, and refuse to take seriously if they ever do. Continue reading Whither Trump & Sanders?

Terrorism with a Happy (Bureaucratic) Face

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Thank you, please be seated. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Abby Normale-Pharse, and I’m the Under-Under Secretary of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and I am the bureaucrat in charge of the Bureau of Undocumented, Radicalized Islamic Affairs. I’m very pleased today to announce a new program, that we in the Obama Administration believe will have a dramatic effect on reducing terrorism in this formerly-great nation of ours. We call it, the Terrorist Reintegration and Immigration Program, or “TRIP” for short.  Continue reading Terrorism with a Happy (Bureaucratic) Face

Flavor of the Month.

Something weird is going on. I can feel it. But I can’t really figure out exactly what…or why. I’m not a big “conspiracy guy.” I’m a believer in Occam’s Razor, and I think it’s nuts to see a conspiracy behind every tree and under every rock. Still, there is something weird happening, and I’d like to know what is the deal, here. I am speaking, of course, about the selection of flavors found in over the counter medicines and oral care products. Here’s what I mean… Continue reading Flavor of the Month.

Independence.

It’s Independence Day. Coincidentally, that’s my favorite holiday, both because I’ve always been a fan of patriotism, and because it’s so close to my own birthday. But I’d argue that Independence Day is the most important non-religious holiday on the American calendar. And unfortunately, it’s the one that is the most at-risk from those who would like to either abolish it, or turn it into something meaningless. Allow me to explain… Continue reading Independence.

President Mulligan

I’m not a huge golf fan. It’s genetic. My father, my grandfather, my great-uncle, and many other forbearers were obsessed with the game. And they were all equally-genetically ill-suited for it. My great uncle Tony was a good example. On one particular day at the 18th hole, he knocked one into the water trap. He was so angry about it, he marched down to the water and threw his entire bag of expensive clubs in the drink, then stormed into the clubhouse for some liquid refreshment. His young caddy took off their shoes, socks, and rolled up their knickers, then waded in and fished out the bag and all the clubs. He then dried them off, and brought them into the clubhouse, no doubt expecting a big tip. What I’m sure he didn’t expect was that Tony grabbed the clubs under one arm, the caddy under the other, and then marched down to the water trap, where he threw them both in. Genetically. Ill-suited. So I stay off the links. Continue reading President Mulligan