Social Media and Moral Self-Licensing

When did posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like become equated to a social consciousness?  We have another tragedy involving terrorism and I see people changing their icons or profile photo to show support for the offended.  But honestly, what does it really do?  For most people that do this, the icon changing is all they do.  It lets them feel like they are off the hook because they changed it to say they did something, when in reality, you likely did nothing.   It gives you a moral self-license to say you do something and makes you feel better.

So those that choose not to change their icons or profile pictures, does it mean they are not offended or fail to show support for the cause d'jour?  Most likely not.  Perhaps those individuals have contributed to an aid fund without making the fanfare about it.  Perhaps they are helping people in the community affected.  Who knows?  If you are basing your opinion on whether someone has superficially expressed an opinion on a social media platform, then perhaps you might be spending way too much time on those platforms.

Now, for the crisis at hand.  How many people realized that Paris was not the city where terrorists attacks occurred.  Beirut had a terrorist attack attributed to ISIS, as a state allied with Iran, which is fighting ISIS in Iraq.  Turkey, a NATO ally and the base of Syrian anti-ISIS actions, thwarted supposedly an attack on the same day as the Paris attacks.  Remember the possible terrorist bombing of the Russian airline 2 weeks ago?  Another Syrian ally fighting ISIS in Syria...Where is the outrage and the support for those victims?  Why are we more aware and supportive for the Paris victims than for the other terrorist attacks?  (Rhetorical question).  

How many people were aware of migrant crisis in Europe before the attacks?  The civil war in Syria has flooded emigrants to other countries.  Not only is ther about 1.5 million refugees over the past 2 years in Europe, another 2 million have emigrated to Turkey, 1 million to Lebanon, 650 thousand to Jordan, and another 150 thousand to Egypt. Syria is a complete mess and ISIS (Da'esh) has taken advantage of this vacuum of power in this 3 way civil war.   The world has a mortal enemy now, and ISIS (Da'esh) needs to be taken care soon as a world, no matte what race, creed, or citizenship.  


Anatomy of a scam? Or just a password notification?

While eating my breakfast this morning and checking up on email, I run across 2 of the following emails:

3am email about a password reset from Facebook to an email address that is not used by the family as logins?  The Spidey Senses are tingling.  Time to look at the raw email data and see what is going on....

Received: by with SMTP id h9csp502473qca;
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:04:35 -0700 (PDT)
X-Received: by with SMTP id ne16mr1532381wic.71.1411196675222;
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:04:35 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [])
by with ESMTPS id v14si4512206wie.3.2014.
(version=TLSv1 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-RC4-SHA bits=128/128);
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:04:35 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
spf=pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender);
dmarc=pass (p=REJECT dis=NONE)
Received: from (CB2uJzaEr7FAP9Z3NNj8E9uO4ydVsDyZ8ttuyabo2wEjYbPxtGSfri+xd3E5hhYV
by with Thrift id 6079b0ec409411e494110002c9550d78-2a1eb3f0;
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:04:34 -0700
X-Facebook: from 2401:db00:3010:3018:face:0:4f:0 ([MTI3LjAuMC4x])
by with HTTP (ZuckMail);
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:04:34 -0700
To: Nicole Beasley-Becker
From: “Facebook”
Reply-to: noreply
Subject: Somebody requested a new password for your Facebook account
Message-ID: <>
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: ZuckMail [version 1.00]
X-Facebook-Notify: password_reset; mailid=a872430G30a5e9d3G0G178G29129f32
X-Auto-Response-Suppress: All
Require-Recipient-Valid-Since:; Wednesday, 4 Aug 2010 15:07:54 +0000
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/simple;;
s=s1024-2013-q3; t=1411196674;

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hi Nicole,

Somebody recently asked to reset your Facebook password.

Click here to change your password.[

Alternatively, you can enter the following password reset code:


Didn’t request this change?

If you didn’t request a new password, let us know immediately.

Change Password

The Facebook Team

This message was sent to at your request.
Facebook, Inc., Attention: Department 415, PO Box 10005, Palo Alto, CA =

Content-Type: text/html; charset=”UTF-8”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

//EN”>Facebookcontent=3D”text/html; charset=3Dutf-8” =
/>style=3D”margin:0;padding:0;” dir=3D”ltr”>cellpadding=3D”0” id=3D”email_table” =
style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;width:98%;” border=3D”0”>
id=3D”email_content” style=3D”font-family:'lucida =
ckground:#e0e1e5;”>width=3D”100%” border=3D”0” =
style=3D”padding:0;width:100%;”>!important;font-size:1px;”>Somebody recently asked to reset your Facebook =
password. Click here to change your password. Alternatively, you can enter =
the following password reset code: 654156 Didn't request this change? =
If you didn't request a new password, let us know immediately . =
=C2=A0 =C2=A0 Change=C2=A0Password =C2=A0 =C2=A0
style=3D”padding:0;width:100%;”>width=3D”100%” bgcolor=3D”#435E9C” style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;width=
:100%;background:#435E9C;background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(top, =
#5c77b5, #435e9c);border-color:#0A1F4F;border-style:solid;border-width:0px =
0px 1px 0px;box-shadow:0 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.25);height:47px;” =
cellpadding=3D”0” width=3D”610” height=3D”44” =
id=3D”header_title” style=3D”width:100%;line-height:47px;”>cellspacing=3D”0” cellpadding=3D”0” =
” style=3D”color:#FFFFFF;text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;font-family=
:lucida grande,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif;vertical-align:baseline;fon=
t-size:20px;letter-spacing:-0.03em;text-align:left;text-shadow:0 1px 0 =
rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.24);”> facebook
style=3D”width:10px;”>size=3D”3”>style=3D”color:#ffffff;text-decoration:none;font-family:Helvetica =
Neue,Helvetica,Lucida Grande,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif;font-size:16p=
x;font-weight:bold;text-shadow:0 -1px rgba(34, 59, 115, =
0.85);vertical-align:middle;” href=3D”
style=3D”padding:0;width:100%;”>width=3D”100%” bgcolor=3D”#e0e1e5” id=3D”table_color” =
cellspacing=3D”0” cellpadding=3D”0” width=3D”100%” id=3D”email_filler” =
cellpadding=3D”0” width=3D”610” =
id=3D”body_container” style=3D”background-color:#ffffff;border-color:#c1c2=
bkit-border-radius:5px;-moz-border-radius:5px;box-shadow:0 1px 1px rgba(0, =
0, 0, 0.10);overflow:hidden;”>width=3D”100%” style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;”>
Somebody recently asked to reset your =
Facebook password.
=3D816179667&n=3D654156” =
style=3D”color:#3b5998;text-decoration:none;”>Click here to change your =
>Alternatively, you can enter the following password reset =
-color:#f2f2f2;border-left:1px solid #ccc;border-right:1px solid =
#ccc;border-top:1px solid #ccc;border-bottom:1px solid =
style=3D”color:#333333;font-weight:bold;”>Didn't request this =
If you didn't request a new password, href=3D”
=3D654156&id=3D816179667” =
style=3D”color:#3b5998;text-decoration:none;”>let us know =
” style=3D”color:#3b5998;text-decoration:none;”>cellpadding=3D”0” width=3D”100%” bgcolor=3D”#4c649b” style=3D”border-colla=
ont-size:14px;background:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left =
bottom,color-stop(0%, rgba(99,123,178,1)),color-stop(64%, =
rgba(76,100,155,1)));border-color:#485a83;box-shadow:inset 0 1px 0 =
rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.2),0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.08);text-align:center;” =
style=3D”display:block;width:16px;”> style=3D”text-align:center;”>ode?u=3D816179667&n=3D654156” =
or:#ffffff;text-shadow:0 1px 0 =
#415686;”>Change Password
width=3D”16” style=3D”display:block;width:16px;”> 
height=3D”7” colspan=3D”3” style=3D”line-height:7px;”> 
cellspacing=3D”0” cellpadding=3D”0” width=3D”100%” =
style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;” id=3D”footer_table”>
width=3D”610” style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;”>
style=3D””>border=3D”0” id=3D”footer” style=3D”border-collapse:collapse;”>
style=3D”font-size:12px;font-family:Helvetica Neue,Helvetica,Lucida =
Grande,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif;padding:18px 0;border-left:none;bor=
t:300;line-height:16px;text-align:center;border:none;”>This message was =
sent to style=3D”color:#6a7180;text-decoration:none;font-family:Helvetica =
Neue,Helvetica,Lucida Grande,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:b=
at your request. Facebook, =
Inc., Attention: Department 415, PO Box 10005, Palo Alto, CA =
9d3G0G178G29129f32” style=3D”border:0;width:1px;height:1px;” =

— Raw eMail. looks to be legitimate.  No links are connecting to or directing to any place other than Facebook,  Bringing up the virtual machine and opening the link shows nothing but a legitimate Facebook page....

So what is really going on?  I check on my wife's email to see if she received the same email since it listed her name on the email.  Sure enough, identical email there too.  It looks like that someone did try to log reset her password and Facebook was trying to protect.  Sometimes link laden email is legitimate.  Time to tune those Spidey Senses again.....

School mist guilt trip?

Tonight was my youngest child's open house at school with the rigamarole that goes with it, including signing multiple forms (for Title I, allowed pickups, etc,), and were sent home the annual flu mist consent form.  This program has been voluntary in our school system for several years, but the pressure to get the students to get the forms filled out (preferably with a yes) has increased greatly over the past several years (even bribing kids with extra credit) in order to get 100% form return (and 100% participation).  The form this year (which I will get to later) differs subtly from the previous year, and in a somewhat manipulative way.

First, here is one of the original forms

2008-2009 Flu Mist Form

2008-2009 Flu Mist Form

2011-2012 Flu Mist Form

2011-2012 Flu Mist Form

2012-2013 Flu Mist Form

2012-2013 Flu Mist Form

2013-2014 Flu Mist Program

2013-2014 Flu Mist Program

Now we come up to this year's form:

2013-2014 Flu Mist Form

2013-2014 Flu Mist Form

You see that subtle change?  Let me highlight it for you:

Ah...add this social responsibility guilt factor.  Yes, I want to be a good guy and save everyone or No, I want to be a selfish bastard and not have my kids immunized.  Maybe that is what it will say next year.

Why I decline the Ice Bucket Challenge

With everyone and their mother challenging each other to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I thought of many ways I could be snarky and cynical about this, but decided I would like to make one single post on why I will not be participating in this campaign.

  1. While ALS may be a worthwhile cause and a tragic disease, there are numerous other charities that also could use the money, but not getting the notoriety that the Ice Bucket Challenge is getting.  
  2. When I choose to make donations to charities, it has to be something I have a strong tie to.  Charities like JDRF, Catholic Charities, Goodwill, or Habitat for Humanity have all received donations from me in the past, and deal with causes I believe in.  Because I have a tie, does not mean that you have one and I would not ask you to donate in charities in a challenge or on a whim.  
  3. The ice bucket challenge is symptomatic of the selfie generation.  This campaign feels more about look at what I did, rather than the charity of choice.  It also feels that the campaign has "jumped the shark" especially with the number of celebrities focussed on the challenge without saying what it is for.

If you feel like donating to ALS, go ahead.  Same if you want to have fun dumping ice over your head.  Just don't expect me to do the same.

Why the political process is broken...

Let me start by saying, though libertarian in many of my thoughts, I do not belong to any political party, and will likely never will.  Political parties, in their current structure, have completely eliminated the middle of the road, common sense ideas from the political spectrum.  If you "reach across the aisle" or even endorse a concept by your "rival" party, then you are called out as a RINO or DINO (Republican or Democrat In Name Only)  and may eventually be targeted by an even more partisan political hack to roust you from your seat in the primary (with gerrymandering, that tends to be the only way political incumbents are defeated),

When someone who does not belong to any particular party gets candidates at the general election, the choices we are given are 2 "major" candidates that have appeased the most partisan of their party, and "minor" party candidates that in general have very little chance to break the 2 party system that has been stacked against them.

How can we fix this?  Open up the primary process system.  Put all candidates on the ballot in a nonpartisan blanket primary whenever feasible.  Let the top 2 vote getters in the primary move forward to the general election.  This forces all candidates to focus their ideas to appease the general public and hopefully allow the best ideas go through.  In addition, it can increase voter turnout in the primary process, as the number of independent voters has surged over the past 20 years.  

Will it affect the minor parties?  Maybe, in a surprisingly positive way.  So be it if the top 2 are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greenies, etc.  This should reduce partisanship because politicians will reduce their dependance to party and increase their responsiveness to their constituents.  

I tried to see soccer as...

..."the beautiful game," but to be honest, it is tough to see. While the games can be exciting, and the precision of many ball strikes, but there are many things that is hard to overlook.

1.  The insistence of calling it football.  I guess technically it is, but when it wa originally formed it was called association football to differentiate it from other "footballs" like rugby football and American football.  It is just another football sport, not THE football. 

2.  FIFA.  It is hilarious how inept/corrupt this organization is.  Where can we start?

- Qatar 2022.  Who the heck thinks it is a good idea to play soccer in the desert?  No infrastructure, no grass, lots of bribes from the oil money.

- Add in ingredients such as match fixing, player bribes, blind refs, biting, etc and get more drama than a WWE event.

3.  Flopping.  These players flop around the field worse thatpn a fish on a line. You are supposed to be men.  Don't fake an injury on the slightest touch. 


Socce...can't love you.  But I can watch with some enjoyment...kinda like hockey.