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Boggy Creek After Action Review September 28, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Books, Film and Television, General Ranting, Movie Madness, News and politics.
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As I look back upon today and the amazing opportunities I have been given, one thing comes to mind…Man I am POOPED!! In the last 2 days I have driven almost 700 miles, swam over half a mile, and then walked ALL day in search of cryptid life-forms. Along the way I met new friends, faced heartache, fear, and loss, and also ate a pretty tasty chicken-fried steak at Magel’s in Paris, TX. The only thing that I DIDN’T get to see was a monster. ūüė¶
Lyle signed my copyOur intrepid guide, Lyle Blackburn, could not have BEEN a better person to head out into the Sulfur River Wilderness with. Lyle was knowledgeable, down-to-Earth, and very entertaining. If you get a chance to see him in person, by ALL MEANS take advantage of it. I am QUITE PROUD to say that I was one of 13 lucky people to be the first ever to join Lyle on a tour of the Boggy Creek area at the First Annual Boggy Creek Festival. He showed us the Willie Smith Bean Field made famous by the movie Legend of Boggy Creek. We crossed Boggy Creek twice and even stopped and got off the bus to see what we could find. We also spent an hour with Smokey Crabtree. He is 86 years old and still talking about the monster that changed both his life and the town of Fouke, AR.

Be sure to check out my blog site in the next few days as I get the pictures and the video edited and posted. I think you will be amazed at what we found and what we did. Be sure to check out the links in this post and if you have a chance to visit Fouke, AR, be sure you are in doors before dark. The creature may very well be traveling the creeks again. PS. Lyle Blackburn, if you happen to ever read this and would comment on my blog it would really make my day.

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And Finally…Here’s something we hope you’ll really like August 24, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Computer and Technology, Computers and Internet, Educational Ranting, General Ranting, News and politics, Science and Technology.
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This is the final edition of Regan’s Rant on Internet Safety and Security. I would like to warn you about the fastest growing crime in the world – Identity Theft Fraud. The anonymity of the Internet is its biggest appeal. You can be whomever you think you are and no one can gainsay you. This situation, however, makes fraud as simple as introducing yourself to someone. People on the Internet, even good people, are not ever who they say they are. It’s hard enough to get to know a person in person. If all you hear are their ideas and thoughts, without body language, or facial expression, or life behavior context to back them up, then you do not have an accurate picture of the person. Much research is currently being done on the Internet by bringing two or more people together, allowing them to get to “know” each other online, and then introducing them in real life and getting their opinions. They are almost universally surprised when they do finally get to know their “friends”.

Identity theft is defined as assuming the identity of, or representing yourself as, another person for some personal gain or reward. There are any number of reasons for people to do this but the most common is to defraud government benefits. Social Security, welfare, HUD Housing, or any government agency that provides support is vulnerable to this sort of attack. In a recent case in Yakima, WA a man using the identity of a deceased Texas resident was able to get welfare for YEARS before any noticed.¬† Recently a ring of 5 Russian nationals was indicted for conspiring to sell 160 MILLION credit card numbers.¬† There are only 200 million or so people in America.¬† And finally, from our “How Romantic is THIS” file; A couple financed their Disney Engagement trip with money scammed from Seniors online and in person.

Someone goes through your trash and gets a credit card application. They are sent out all the time. They fill it out with a bogus social security number and mail it back with a PO Box instead of the home address. Nine times out of ten they will get a credit card with YOUR name on it registered to YOUR home address. They will max the card, you’ll get the bill and then when it gets declined, find a new “patron” and start over. It is much easier than you think to get a credit card because creditors are desperate to get all the customers they can and don’t often check the applications as carefully as they should.

Social Security numbers on the Internet and the names they belong to go for about $5 apiece on black market web sites. Blue Cross policy names and numbers are more in demand. They run about $600 per number. Quite often you will never know that you are victim of identity theft until something goes wrong. You could be a resident of, and voting in, another state for years and never know it because there is no requirement for any official ID at any voting facility in any federal election. Sometimes all it takes is a library card. If a felon can only get a utility account established in a small town somewhere using your name, then they are set for life. A current utility bill is usually enough ID to establish an account with a “rent to own” facility (you should not use these) and then once they have established themselves as YOU, the sky’s the limit. You will start receiving collection calls from people and companies you have never heard of. Your utilities may be disconnected and various items may be repossessed. Your income tax refund or paycheck can be sequestered. All in all, a bad day.

Security measures to prevent this sort of thing are simple. Invest in a cheap Office Depot cross-cut shredder and use it. Keep things like credit card offers, utility bills and receipts, old bank deposit slips, in fact ANYTHING with your name and address that could be used to do anything needs to be shredded. DO NOT JUST TOSS IT IN THE TRASH. There are fortunes to be made for persons with no morals and little hygiene. If you are willing to crawl through a little garbage at the dump then you can find all SORTS of useful things. It is VERY common for thieves to drive around in front of the garbage truck rounds and check out dumpster to find whatever documents the household may have thrown away. As most trash rounds are during the business day, you will never know they were there until you start getting bills.

Don’t post anything online that a friend of a friend might see. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Recent research has shown that a great majority of people respond to friend requests on social media almost automatically. Everyone I have asked has at least SOMEONE on their friend list that they really don’t know. “It said he was friends with a friend of mine” is the common response. Never do they realize that the goal of a fraudster is to get a friend relationship with one person and use that person’s friend list as their fishing ground. Facebook goes so far as to SUGGEST people for new members to friend. Talk about making life easy for the crooks. Be SURE you know who your friends are. The best online friends are people you already know.

Disinformation is still your best tool. Don’t give out your real birthday. Don’t put addresses in your profile. Don’t even list your home town. The less you give thieves, the harder it is for them to work. Choose an online name and make sure it is not traceable to your real name and address. TURN OFF geo-tagging in pictures that you post. Do you really WANT to tell a predator that your toddler plays at a certain park in a certain area, every Tuesday? If you are going to post a trip destination online, make sure you are already home first. Then you can tell everyone how great a time you had and not worry about someone taking that opportunity to clean out your house.

These are just some ideas. You can most likely come up with many more on your own. Research identity fraud on the Internet. Know exactly WHO your kids associate with online. Be aware that, just like anywhere else, the Internet is a place where hazards are. Now you know…an knowing is half the battle. (Does anyone remember that commercial or is it just me?)

OK So Now What Do We DO About It? August 22, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Computer and Technology, Computers and Internet, Educational Ranting, General Ranting, News and politics, Science and Technology.
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Yesterday I began a diatribe on the dangers of the online community. I think it only fair then if I offer some advice about handling the perils of the cyber-world. There are many different strategies that can be effective. What I suggest is just a compilation of the most common and useful.

The first and foremost strategy is the universal mantra of any system of self-defense. Be Aware of your surroundings. You can’t go wrong if you pay attention. Are you on Facebook? There are certain ads or offers you need to avoid. Are you posting an image? Is it one you want your Gran’mother to see? Are you making a brilliant political observation on Twitter? Would you mind if your boss read it? Pay attention to where you are and what you are doing. You wouldn’t walk down a dark city street without looking around. Why should you do that on the Internet.

Rule Two says, “They don’t need to know everything about you.” Would you consider yourself a Facebook customer? Guess how Facebook considers you? You are INVENTORY. Just like those cheap plastic dish mats at Wal-Mart or the cheapie low budget DVD section at Hastings, YOU ARE PRODUCT. What are they selling you ask? Why, they are selling YOU. Your name, address, phone number, likes, interests, web browsing habits, shopping habits, spending habits, credit history is ALL for sale. One of the fastest growing industries today is data mining. Facebook is classified by the Federal Government as a data mining company, NOT a communications service. Every time you add a movie that you liked or enter your job or education level into your profile you are paying them. They take this information and sell it to people like Amazon or any other online marketing presence so that they know what to sell you. Have you not noticed that when you buy something on Amazon, the ads of Facebook immediately change to whatever it was you last bought. Advertising is being targeted at you based on your life. Search for something on Google and see if they don’t start targeting those items to you in the ads on Facebook or Twitter. Its a network. They are all connected and the sole purpose is to get you to spend money. As far as it goes, this is not a bad thing. However, if you are looking for a job and your prospective boss purchases information about you it can directly impact your chances. According to the Bureau of Nosy Statistics, 67% of employers have passed over a candidate THIS YEAR alone for information they obtained online without that party’s knowledge. The upside is that a like percentage of employers have hired people because they were impressed with their online presence. If you are posting pictures of your latest drunken spring break shenanigans in Mazatlan, which group do you think you will fall into?

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to present calculated disinformation to the machine. Make up a birthday, for example. A prospective employer finds your profile at MadamSpanksalotsFreakyFetish.com but because he can’t recognize you behind that rubber gas mask and the birthday is different from what is on your application they can not use that against you. Don’t fill out ANYTHING with your correct name, birthday, place of employment, religious affiliation, or other things that can impact a person’s opinion of you unless you are comfortable with the consequences. This is ESPECIALLY important for children and teens. Predators of all kinds search social media constantly for personal information that they can use to get an inside track on your children. People who know you in person will already know what your birthday is and will likely not send you a card anyhow. Internet people don’t NEED to know. They are not going to send you a card either. People you have been chatting with for three months are NOT your friends. Don’t tell them that you are “at the movies” or any other status like that. What you are really posting is “my house is empty, please come and steal my stuff.” This is especially bad if you have your address or home town posted as well. Would you take out an ad in the local paper saying “We are on vacation and won’t be back for a while? Why would you do that online where people actually READ the stuff?

Rule Three is KNOW HOW TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE. This is VITAL for parents of teens with smart phones. You need to be able to pick up your kid’s phone and know immediately who they have been texting, calling, or posting to. You need to know EXACTLY what pictures they have posted and to what services, and you need to know what web sites and chat rooms they visit. Learn the lingo. If you are looking at your children’s text history and you see someone sending GNOC to your daughter, and her reply of CD9, you have a problem. He just asked her to get naked on camera and she, rather than screaming and throwing the phone in disgust, told him that her parents were in the room. This is not a good sign. This link will take you to a dictionary of common texting terms. It would not hurt to look.¬† According, once again, to the Federal Agency responsible for keeping up with stuff like that, 70% of ALL teens are involved in sexting.¬† (If you don’t know what that is, ask your teenager.¬† I promise that they will.)¬† 51% of high school girls have sent a sexually explicit photo to a boy in their class.¬† It happens daily.¬† It happens in big cities and little country towns.¬† It happens in California and in the Bible belt.¬† The WORST thing you can do is think that your kid is not involved.¬† In many areas it is a rite of passage in MIDDLE SCHOOL for girls to send topless pictures to boys they have a crush on.¬† Other GIRLS pressure them into it.

Rule Four; if you choose to purchase online, buy from a reputable dealer.¬† If you buy from an individual, use a certified and reliable “go-between” like eBay.¬† I know that 1000 Megawatt laser on Wild Weasel’s Laser Emporium looked cool but if they ask you for a credit card and don’t send you to a secure site (https: and not http:) then you need to give it a miss.

Next, DON’T store password in your device, especially a phone.¬† They get lost all the time.¬† If someone finds it and browses to your amazon account, your stored password in a golden ticket to max out your credit card.¬† Don’t take online marketing sites up on their friendly offer to establish an “account” to make purchases easier.¬† You enter your payment information once and then you can “one click” purchase items.¬† This is a recipe for disaster.

You really don’t need me to tell you these things.¬† All you have to do is pause and think for just a moment before you post, blog, or buy anything in the virtual world.¬† Make sure your children a emotionally and mentally mature enough to handle the responsibility and temptation of Social Media before you send them out the door with a smart phone and unlimited data plan.¬† Remember that ANYTHING you put into a digital format of any kind and post anywhere is suddenly public domain.¬† There is no such thing as privacy.¬† By posting it you agree to whatever terms and conditions the website owner can dream up.¬† There are no rules.¬† It can be fun or dangerous depending on you taking responsibility for yourself and your family.¬† Tomorrow night we will discuss identity theft and geotracking in photos.¬† See you then.

And Now for Something Completely Different August 21, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Computer and Technology, Computers and Internet, News and politics, Religion, Science and Technology.
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My hovercraft project is on hold for the moment. I would like to rant about something else near and dear to my heart. I spent the day having information thrust upon me in the form of Teacher In-Service Training. Every teacher in Texas gets a certain amount of it each year before school starts and usually it is viewed as an interruption to the all-important job of getting the room ready for the new year. This day and this particular training were the exception.  We, the faculty and staff, were addressed by a fellow named Mark Seguin from TBG Solutions.  He is a risk management consultant who specializes in Internet and Social Media.  To say the least I was impressed.

Ordinarily I feel pretty comfortable with Social Media and my involvement in it.  I am aware of the risks more than most people because of my interest in and affinity for all things technical.  I have been in the computer business for 15 years and the software development trade for 5 years.  I do my best to stay abreast of new developments simply because I enjoy technology and electronics.  When I say I am aware of the risks it is because I have conducted similar classes myself for various and sundry groups.  I am not sure if it was his presentation style or some bits of new information presented in a way that really made me think but this, I feel, was NOT the usual waste of time that I ordinarily view corporate training sessions as.  Having said that, I would like to share a bit of what he presented for the benefit of my readers.

If you are reading this then it is likely you are at least moderately familiar with technology in general and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Istagram, Linkd-In, et al.) and its use.  Firstly, know that I am a fan and advocate of Social Media and I believe that like all technology, it is neither good nor bad, but merely a tool to be used or abused.  Social Media can bring worlds together or it can tear worlds apart and all with the click of a mouse.  If you choose to involve yourself then you should know how to protect yourself and your family from the people who would abuse it.

As Americans we have an often misplaced faith in the world around us.¬† For a country so determined to leave religion behind we take a great many things for granted.¬† We believe that bad things won’t happen to us.¬† After every hurricane we see people in Florida on the news programs who are amazed that their homes were just destroyed by a storm.¬† It happens every year and yet people are still surprised.¬† People in Southern California can’t believe it when an earthquake or mudslide devastates their town.¬† Meanwhile people still keep building houses on Florida beaches and California hill-sides.¬† We have built a huge and very fragile web of interconnected pieces that can come crashing down with the slightest ill wind and yet we are still surprised when it happens.

The Internet and cyberspace are no exceptions.  Everywhere we go, in the cyber-world or the real world, there are people who are willing and able to exploit some aspect of our lives for their own gain.  Be it money, sexual gratification, or just some twisted sense of superiority, some people will try anything to take advantage of others.  The anonymity of cyberspace makes it a particularly tempting target.  You can be whomever or whatever you want.  Wanna be a werewolf or an elf or your favorite anime cat-girl, there are places to do that online.  If you are ordinarily a shy and withdrawn person, the Internet is a place where you can be wild in the extreme.  Cyberspace is the last frontier and possibly the last bastion of freedom in America.  You can be a preacher, a teacher, or a writer using nothing but a network connection and your own ability to share information.  However, you can also be a racist, a pervert, or a thug and it is very difficult if not impossible for the consequences of those actions to come home to roost.

The Internet is often compared to the Old West in American History.  Civilization was a long time in coming to the western half of the country and people were obliged to fend for and defend for themselves.  Some thrive in this environment and become more than the sum of their parts.  Others see this as an opportunity to exert power over the people around them.  Everyone was expected to carry a gun and if you carried one you best know how to use it.  There were often no police or public services to depend on.  If you had no food you starved.  I will not be drawn into a discussion of survival of the fittest but suffice it to say that people were expected to be responsible for their own lives.

In our real world today, personal responsibility is a dirty word.¬† We trip over our own feet and fall down in a Wal-Mart parking lot.¬† Do we brush ourselves off, laugh at our own clumsiness and get on with life or do we sue everyone from the owner of the parking lot to the construction company who paved it to the street light vendor who made their lights too bright?¬† Pedophiles, alcoholics, rapists, drug addicts…no one is too blame for their condition.¬† It is society, the school, the church, the police, the government,¬† SOMEBODY ELSE!¬† We are pampered and policed and politely herded through life like sheep until we go online.

Have you ever gotten an email from someone purporting to be an African banker, British Solicitor, or French Lottery Official?¬† They want you to contact them about an inordinately large sum of money that you have received.¬† They only need a bank account and routing number to deposit untold riches in your name.¬† You have received those emails.¬† I have received them.¬† Everyone you know, with an email address, has received them.¬† Guess what???¬† If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t keep sending them.¬† Has anyone ever created a Facebook or Twitter account in your name and then said mean and hurtful things to your friends while disguised as you?¬† It happens thousands of times a day, every day.¬† Girls from 9 to 90 (well maybe not that old but you get the idea) are being persuaded to post incriminating pictures of themselves to online suitors who promise faithfully that NO ONE will EVER see it but them.¬† Yeah Right!¬† And then they are amazed when those pictures show up at school or at their work place.¬† Are you beginning to see a pattern here??

I am not an advocate for Internet censorship but I DO promote responsibility for your own actions.¬† If it sounds too good to be true, it IS!!¬† If you are not 100% sure of something DON’T DO IT!¬† That is the first rule of the Internet.¬† What’s online is just that….public…online…out of your control.¬† If you absolutely MUST post naked pictures of yourself then expect them to be seen by everyone you know and many more people you don’t know.¬† If someone promises to send you a million dollars by electronic transfer to your account, don’t be surprised when your debit card is declined the next time you pull up to an ATM because there is no money in your account.¬† You wouldn’t give that information to some stranger on the street but you were more than happy to email it to someone from Nigeria just because they PROMISED they were on the level.¬† P.T. Barnum said “there’s a sucker born every minute.”¬† I am beginning to think he underestimated. <to be continued tomorrow>

 

Whose Fault Is It??? July 7, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Books, General Ranting, News and politics, Religion.
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Our land is hurting.  Who is to blame?

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

A pastor spoke today on the If/Then arrangement that we have with our creator and it struck a chord within my own heart and mind.  He was making the point that the relationship of the Christian, with God, is based on actions and reactions.  In this verse God is speaking to His people and He tells them that if they will humble themselves, repent, and call upon Him that He will heal their land.  This verse is being  mentioned very often in our dark period of American history as a call to action and a sign of hope.  I think, however, that it is being misinterpreted.

We Christians blame the immoral condition of our country for the cultural and economic woes that we are experiencing, and to that extent we are correct.  However, most of the things we are upset about may be attributed to the unregenerate population in our land.  Abortion policy is the product of non-believers, for example.  The removal of every Christian symbol or statement from public display is not the product of the church member.  The mutilation of the holiday season by promoting it as a time of peace and love and understanding and at the same time attempting to deny and remove the very reason for its existence is not something that saved people implemented.  In short, the things we blame for our decline are the policies and devices of worldly people, not Christians.  Here in lies the revelation that was given to me during the sermon today.

God is deeply and personally concerned with the doings of His people.  He watches as we work and worship and while away the hours we are given.  He provides, He protects, and He occasionally paddles us when we need it.  He is actively involved in and concerned with the lives of each and every one of His servants.  God has a very different outlook concerning the lost of this world.

We are aware that God’s will is for each and every one of us here on Spaceship Earth to be saved by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.¬† Once we receive that saving grace, we belong, body and soul, to the Lord.¬† We are legally and literally adopted into the family of God.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” – Romans 8:29

We, the saved, are literally part of God’s family and Jesus is the firstborn or eldest among us and so worthy of our honor and respect and service.¬† However, this is not the case with the lost.

The Bible refers to the unsaved in many ways.  One of the most common is to speak of the lost as blind.

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Romans 11:7

According to Romans, the elect, or saved people have obtained what they seek but the rest are blinded and unable to see it.  If you are walking down a crowded street and someone wielding a white cane and dark glasses bumps into you and knocks you over, do you leap to your feet and retaliate?  Do you hold them accountable for their misdirection?

The Bible also refers to the lost as dead in sin.¬† The most evil and prolific of criminals, once he dies, is no longer held accountable for his crimes.¬† We don’t serve warrants on corpses.¬† The dead are not responsible for anything.

These are some of the ways that God views the lost.  How does this affect His dealing with them?

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8¬†But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” – Hebrews 12:7-8

These verses hold the key to my revelation.¬† God chastises those whom He loves.¬† He paddles His own children like any good parent but He does not concern himself with the behavior of the lost children.¬† His attitude to them is one of mercy and forgiveness.¬† God is described many times over in scripture as long-suffering and patient with the sinner.¬† he calls to them.¬† The Holy Spirit appeals to them.¬† He does NOT chastise them for their sins any more than you would rebuke a blind man for bumping into you.¬† Now we get to the meat of the matter.¬† Lets look at our foundation verse again…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

God is telling us that if HIS people, called by HIS name, will humble themselves and pray and repent, and turn from their wickedness, then He will come to their aid.¬† We blame our present darkness on the policies and propensities of the lost¬† but the Bible clearly states that they are not the cause of chastening from above….WE ARE.

It’s not the abortion doctor plying his evil trade that brings a curse upon America, it is the gossiping believer.¬† It is not the secular humanist declaring God dead that brings about wrath and woe, it is the church member who sits through sermon after sermon on Sunday and then goes to his or her workplace on Monday and does nothing to share the good news that they heard the day before.¬† It is not the drug dealer, the school shooter, the thief, or the prostitute that is bringing ruin upon our land, it is the complacent, uncaring, or compromising Christian that incites the ire of the Almighty.¬† MY PEOPLE, CALLED BY MY NAME…”¬† God deals with his own.¬† He does not chastise those who don’t belong to him.

“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” – Luke 9:54

The disciples wanted to call down wrath upon the unbelieving of the Samaritan village because they would not receive him and Jesus forbade them.  The lost have their place in judgment and it is coming for them like a thief in the night.  Until then, the filthy will remain so unless they repent.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” – Revelations 22:11

Should the lost man become a child of God then the relationship changes.  I would not allow some stranger to live in my house and eat at my table but neither would I involve myself in his behaviors unless they affected me directly.  Chastisement is wasted upon the lost.  Until they are saved they can not be justified outside of the law and no amount of punishment can make them obey it successfully.  It is wasted effort.

The unsaved and their machinations are not the root cause of our troubles, they are symptoms.  They are part of the punishment.  God often uses the lost to chastise His children.  Oddly enough, the children of always the better for it and the instruments of His wrath are usually destroyed by it.

What is important for us, however, is what needs to be done to heal our land and who needs to do it.  The believers must repent.  The believers must end the complacency that allowed these abominations to enter into our lives.  We, the saved, must repent of our laziness, cowardice, uncaring attitude, or anything else that keeps us from serving God to the fullest.  Only then will He heed our prayers and heal our land.  Only then will America become what she once was and can be again.  Only when Christians join together in an attitude of repentance and prayer will things be right again.  I only pray it is not too late.  God is actively interested in every aspect of the Christian life and He wants it to be blessed, but only on His terms.  As for the lost, if the abortion doctor or the humanist or the drug dealer repents and believes then that person is made a new creature and the old evil person is gone.  That is how we retake our country.  When every American believes that Jesus Christ died for their sins and accepts in their heart that they are sinners in need of a savior then there will be nobody left to run abortion clinics or institute antichristian policy in government.  If you are a believer and not living like you should then YOU are at fault.  I guess I answered my question.

They’re Coming to Get You Barbara July 5, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Books, Computer and Technology, General Ranting, Generate Wealth, News and politics, Science and Technology.
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Let me begin by making it clear that this is not a sermon in any way.¬† It is merely a question.¬† I have heard, all my life, various and sundry ideas or theories about vague shadowy secret organizations, who, in one form or another, were controlling the course of the world and its great mass of sheep-like people for their own greedy ends.¬† Like most moderately intelligent folks I dismissed these ideas on the grounds that the logistics of managing a secret world government and keeping it secret, would at the very least, stretch the bonds of human ability to the breaking point.¬† There are just too many moving parts necessary for it to be possible…or so I had always thought.

Today I watched the video that I have embedded into this post.  It is a fairly long movie but the general premise is that a shadowy group of power brokers and elitist businessmen are secretly controlling every aspect of American, and indeed World, government.  It would be wise now to pause and spend the next hour or so viewing the video to be able to give this post a fair hearing.  You should probably view the movie quickly in case there is something to this theory. They (the all-powerful and invisible they) will probably not let the video remain online once it is discovered. According to the film, a consortium called the Bilderberg Group is forming, or has already formed a shadow government dedicated to destroying civil liberty, national sovereignty, and the basic rights that we as Americans have come to enjoy (and take so much for granted).  These world political and business leaders are using their positions as bankers and policy makers to initiate a vast plan of government and economic manipulation designed to bring the common people of the world into slavery (or at least serfdom) under a single world government.  Through the principles of Eugenics they are even conspiring to breed the common man (and woman) into a docile population of pliant worker drones.

The existence of the Bilderberg Group is not a myth.  The link I have provided is to a Wiki that lists the members and where they may be found.  The page should open in a new tab or window so you can check it out and then keep reading here.  The purpose, after all, is to provide me with an answer to my question.  You will recognize many of the names and positions.  The group holds meetings every four years.  With each member, the years which they have attended are also listed.  The meetings have reportedly been held since 1954 and are conducted under the utmost secrecy and security.  Even the American Secret Service is supposed to be involved in securing the sites.1 The buildings where the meetings are held are simply thick with ex military types in sunglasses and ear phones, each carrying more firepower than an entire platoon of infantry.

The group is, according to the film, an offshoot of the old Rothschild/Rockefeller conspiracy. Its manipulations are traced all the way back to feudal Europe and it is blamed for starting or at least encouraging every major war since Napoleon met Wellington. I have heard many different variations of this same story over the years, and , once again, had dismissed them all. The Rockefeller and the Rothschild families were in cahoots with everyone from the UN to the Illuminati. Every single influential person on Earth was considered a member or had been co-opted by the vast wealth at play here. Groups like the Masons and possibly even the Mooses are their tools and leg-men, and they have predetermined the results of every major election in every country in the world since Greece. These guys could give statecraft and treachery lessons to Machiavelli and are so stealthy that the combined might of the world’s intelligence agencies can not even find of whiff of their nefarious machinations. The video puts them behind every major event in our culture from World War I to the instigation of the Trans-Texas Corridor and NAFTA. Anyhow, you get the idea. These guys are good at being bad.

Now to my question. As stated, I had dismissed the very idea of something this involved and complex as being beyond human capability. I acknowledge the existence, or at least the possibility of an antichrist figure in the world who will bring everyone under a single rule but I believe his rule will not be the result of a long-term conspiracy coming to fruition. It will be, rather, as the result of foolish people being fooled by what they see. Satan himself might be able to pull this off but, as often as not, his servants get in each other’s way and do harm to their own cause. (“Oft evil will shall evil mar” – Th√©oden King of Rohan) And yet, as I look around me I can begin to see why people could think that some great evil is responsible for the World’s ills. Too many things are synergistically working against us. Bizarre and wacky political decisions are the norm. We allow ourselves to be anesthetized by celebrity gossip and “reality” TV while real issues go unresolved and often, unreported. I suppose then, my question is…Is it real? Do the theories and ideas I have so long laughed off and ignored, have merit? IS SOMETHING GOING ON WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT??? What do you think? This one time I would like to see comments (well thought out opinions only please and be ready to cite sources (or at least sites) to back up your ideas. Is the IRS about to become the new Gestapo? Is the UN in charge of the New World Order? Somebody introduce me to the new Boss. Is he the same as the old Boss?? By the way, if you are a member of this secret society and are reading this, please don’t have me executed. I just wanna know who to salute.

The Truth Shall Set You Free July 5, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, News and politics, Religion.
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Just a short entry tonight.¬† This was my sermon from the 4th of July celebration at “The Place”.¬† Hope everyone had a great time.¬† I know I did.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We celebrate today because 236 years ago, 56 representatives from the original 13 colonies came together to declare their liberty from tyranny.  They gathered in Philadelphia to ratify the document that officially severed ties with Great Britain and paved the way for the United States to become and independent nation.  The document they signed, our declaration of independence, is essentially a list of grievances which led to the separation of the US and Great Britain.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

 

 

In that same light, over 2000 years ago, the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, urged them to declare their independence from the tyranny of sin and wickedness.

Gal. 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

The remainder of the passage is essentially a list of the things that enslave us and keep us from finding liberty.

Gal. 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

If you would be truly free then declare yourself.  Pledge your allegiance to the only Son of God and accept the free gift of salvation he offers and you can finally escape the tyranny of the world and sin.

John 8:32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

An Environmental Call to Arms: Conservation of Energy vs. Conservation of Good Sense June 28, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, Computer and Technology, General Ranting, News and politics, Science and Technology.
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(Attention: The following is a humorous anecdote.¬† It is satire.¬† It is NOT intended as a call to vandalize public utilities or destroy other people’s property.¬† So don’t do it OK?)

To my loyal audience in blog land, I do not know to whom else I can turn.¬† An impending environmental disaster is looming in this country and, as is so often the case, no one else is paying any attention except me.¬† Let my voice be the clarion call to arms.¬† Where’s all my rabid environmental extremest peeps??¬† Liberals in the HOUSE!!¬† We must rise up and confront this new evil before it is too late.¬† I’m talking about WINDMILLS.

Have you seen them??¬† They are everywhere.¬† I was driving through the city of Sweetwater, TX, on my way home from an Astronomy workshop at McDonald’s Observatory and it dawned upon me… I am SURROUNDED by thousands of windmills.¬† “Well”, says I, “they’re not exactly pretty and they make a funny noise but they do an amazing job of turning wind energy into electricity without burning coal so I guess this is a good thing.”¬†¬† And then it struck me.¬† They are turning WIND energy into electricity.¬† Does ANYONE besides me see the problem with this???

The Law of Conservation of Energy is very specific about this sort of thing.¬† Energy can be transformed from one type to another but it can NOT be created nor destroyed.¬† These windmill are not MAKING electricity.¬† They are turning WIND into electricity.¬† Why is that a problem, you ask.¬† Well, I’ll tell you.¬† (But only because you asked.)

Windmills transform the kinetic energy of moving air molecules (aka. wind) into storable electrical potential, (electric charge.)¬† Seems like¬† a good deal right?¬† Well lemme enlighten you.¬† The wind energy that the windmill captures and changes into electrical energy is no longer available to move the atmosphere.¬† That energy is taken into the blades of the windmill as kinetic energy, transferred to the generator, and, as the coils of wire turn, transformed into electric potential.¬† As the wind moves the windmill, it looses a bit of energy.¬† (It can’t really LOOSE the energy, it is just taken from the air molecules and turned into electricity and carried away in a wire.)¬† It is no longer available to the atmosphere.¬† Why, you ask, does that matter?¬† What is a little bit of¬† wind one way or the other?

Lets take a look at what wind does.¬† It moves kites.¬† It swirls long hair.¬† It pollinates pine trees and plants dandelions.¬† It also does one other tiny little thing.¬† Wind is what makes weather happen.¬† The Earth’s atmosphere is huge.¬† It does not heat and cool evenly because the sun doesn’t shine on us evenly over the whole planet.¬† Hot spots develop.¬† As air warms, it rises.¬† As the air in an area rises there is less air at that location pushing down on that area.¬† We have developed a low pressure area.¬† As the warm air reaches the top of its rise it spreads out and cools.¬† Cold air sinks.¬† Where it spreads and sinks we have extra air and so we have developed a high pressure area.¬† Nature abhors a vacuum and so anytime a low pressure is created, air moves there to equalize the pressure.¬† The moving of air from a high to a low pressure area is wind.¬† Now comes the interesting bit.¬† Warm air carries moisture.¬† When it goes up higher into the atmosphere and cools, the moisture condenses into tiny drops that stick to each other and form clouds.¬† As more and more drops stick to one another, the resulting drops become to heavy to be supported by the uplifting atmosphere and they fall back to Earth as rain.¬† Now you begin to see the problem.¬† We are well on the way to turning our world into a desert.¬† Each windmill removes and tiny amount of wind energy from the atmosphere, meaning that there is a tiny bit less energy to carry moisture and create rain.¬† Multiply that tiny bit of energy by the thousands of windmills that have sprung up over the Texas plains in the last very few years and you can see the beginning of the end.¬† Texas, especially because of the wind we have and the dry climate to the west, can ill-afford to be doing anything to limit rainfall.¬† “Ah ha”, you say, “Surely the atmosphere of the entire Earth is so huge and contains so much energy that we could never build enough windmills to even make a dent in the wind energy of the air.”¬† Well, in 1980 there were effectively NO windmills in this area except the few old standbys for pumping water.¬† These are small and don’t harvest nearly the energy of the modern monsters we see today with blades twice as long as a school bus.¬† In a mere 20 years, the number of windmills has increased from zero to well over 2500 in this one tiny town.¬† Assuming a linear growth pattern, in 100 years there will be over 120,000 in a city with a population of only 13000.¬† That is almost 10 windmills per person.¬† There are towns all over Texas trapped in the same boat.¬† (Unfortunately for them, it is a SAILBOAT).¬† There will be millions of windmills in Texas and all over the western US where the wind once blew and the Buffalo once roamed.¬† If you don’t think these things progress at a rapid pace, just ASK the Buffalo, or more correctly, the American Bison, IF you can find one .¬† People laughed at the very idea that there might come a day when Bison (we’ll call them Buffalo even though it is incorrect because old habits die-hard and Bison hunters doesn’t have the same ring to it.) didn’t cover the central plains.¬† Seen any of those majestic herds lately??¬† It took less than 40 years to wipe out one of the most wide-spread wildlife populations on Earth, AND there were never more than a few thousand Buffalo hunters working at any one time.¬† One more thing, windmills make MONEY.¬† Does anything that makes money grow at a linear rate?¬† NOOOO, they grow exponentially.¬† We pump money back into windmills to make more money.

Picture if you will the not TOO distant future.¬† Rank upon rank of windmills, still and silent, stand over the land like the abandoned vehicles of the Martian invaders from H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.¬† Every scrap of energy has been sucked out of the atmosphere and when even the tiniest breeze tries to blow, an army of turning blades are there to wrench the life from it.¬† No Wind = No Rain = No People.¬† THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED.

“What can we do”, you ask?¬† And since you asked nicely, I’ll tell you.¬† We have to stop the madness at its source.¬† Write your congressman, re-post this missive in a blog, organize a protest, or, if you happen to be of a more direct nature, grab an axe.¬† But do SOMETHING because the last thing we want is an army of thirsty children desperately running across an arid landscape dragging kites that no long fly.

[Fine Print]This environmental warning has been brought to you by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Committee) who remind you that Nuclear Power Plants do NOT blot up the entire country side and have never been shown to interfere with any phase of the weather cycle of our planet.¬† If you like “fishin'”, vote yes for fission.[/Fine Print]

And now for something entirely different… May 17, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, Educational Ranting, General Ranting, News and politics.
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Sorry loyal readers, I have no words of wisdom tonight,¬† just a question.¬†¬† Where do they lose it?¬† I spent the last few hours video-taping a Kindergarten graduation, 5 and 6-year-old smiling faces walking across a stage like it is the most important thing in the world.¬†¬† You could tell that each one of them wanted to be exactly where they were.¬† They were interested and engaged (the goal of every teacher for every student) and yet I know that in just 12 short years, when it is time to do it for real, fully 3/4’s of these bright eager little faces will be completely disinterested and likely even vigorously opposed to education.¬† Where do they lose it?

What causes a few kids to blossom in the educational system and a good deal more to completely withdraw from it.¬† I am assuming that the small rural high school I teach at is not so different from the thousands of others that cover the back-roads of America.¬† Is it this way everywhere.¬† Too many kids start off eager and interested and end up sullen and resentful of the time that they spend in school and I want to know WHEN it happens.¬† I have filmed this same graduation now for 3 years and the kids each year aren’t that different.¬† I have seen 5 classes of seniors graduate and I find that the pattern holds true every year.¬† If anyone has a suggestion I would like to hear it.¬† I know we talk about testing and engagement and edu-tainment but honestly I have seen nothing that I consider useful.

The floor is now open.  Anyone have an opinion?  -nite all.

From Enterprise to Endeavor May 8, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Computer and Technology, Computers and Internet, Educational Ranting, General Ranting, News and politics, Science and Technology.
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Click Here to view the presentation

Make sure you check this out, the pictures alone are pretty cool.

Nasa Space Shuttle Program :

Nasa Space Shuttle Program From Enterprise to Endeavor By Regan White Senior Astronomy Whitesboro, TX

Overview :

Overview Nasa’s Space Shuttle Fleet, officially known as the STS or Space Transportation System, is the latest in the United States Fleet of space craft. The STS vehicle is launched vertically, aided by two solid rocket booster engines (SRB) and is recovered as a glider, landing on a runway like any other high speed aircraft. The shuttles are designed to carry up to 7 crewmen comfortably but have carried as many as 8 based upon the needs of the mission. A shuttle can carry up to 50,000 pounds of cargo into low Earth orbit.

The Enterprise: Boldly Go Where No Man has Gone Before :

The Enterprise: Boldly Go Where No Man has Gone Before

The Enterprise: First in Flight :

The Enterprise: First in Flight The Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle Orbiter. Construction was begun in 1974 and was complete in 1977. Several key components (re-entry engines and heat shields for example) were not included in the craft and so it was incapable of space flight. It was, however, extremely useful in landing tests being launched from a Boeing 747 at high altitude. It was originally to be named the Constitution but a write in election unanimously pushed through the name USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) of Star Trek fame. When the Enterprise was unveiled several characters from the original TV show were on hand.

Columbia: OV-102 :

Columbia: OV-102

Columbia :

Columbia The Space Shuttle Columbia (Ov-102) was the first mission capable space shuttle in NASA’s fleet. From its maiden flight on April 12, 1981 until its tragic destruction during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003, the Columbia completed 28 missions. It deployed 8 satellites including one Hubble repair mission.

Challenger: Tragedy from the Start :

Challenger: Tragedy from the Start

Challenger :

Challenger Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) was destined for tragedy from the start. It first reached orbit in April of 1983. Challenger performed 10 missions, including carrying Sally Ride, the first American woman, into space, as well as hosting the first untethered space walk. On Jan. 28, 1986, just 73 seconds into the flight of STS-51, the rubber O-rings used to seal the solid rocket boosters failed due to low temperatures. The craft exploded just above the launch pad with a loss of all 7 crew members.

Discovery: A New Beginning :

Discovery: A New Beginning

Discovery :

Discovery Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) is currently the oldest orbiter in the fleet. Shuttle Discovery’s main claim to fame was the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope. Its first flight was August 30, 1984. Discovery completed 38 missions. It docked once with Mir and eleven times with the International Space Station. Discovery landed for the last time April 20, 2010. It was scheduled for launch with mission STS-62A but this mission was canceled.

Atlantis :

Atlantis

Atlantis :

Atlantis Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104) was first launched on Oct. 3, 1985. Among other missions, it completed 7 trips to Mir and 11 dockings with the ISS. Atlantis flew 32 missions and deployed 14 satellites. Atlantis landed for the final time May 26, 2010.

Endeavor: The Last of its Kind :

Endeavor: The Last of its Kind

Endeavor :

Endeavor Shuttle Endeavor (OV-105) was the final addition to the shuttle fleet. Its first mission was May 1992. Endeavor was built to replace the lost Challenger. This choice was made instead of the original plan to refit Enterprise with engines and heat tiles. Endeavor flew 24 missions including deploying 3 satellites, 1 Mir docking, and 11 trips to the ISS. It is slated to fly the final shuttle mission in April of 2011 to deliver cargo to the ISS.

The Future :

The Future The final mission for any shuttle will be a cargo run to the International Space Station in April of 2011. After this, the vehicles will be decommissioned and mothballed. It is probable that the vehicles will be sent to various aerospace museums around the country to be put on display. The shuttle Enterprise is currently on display at the newly built Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it is the centerpiece of the space collection.