Conversations at Conferences —

A couple years ago, I was invited to do the closing keynote at the ISSA world conference in LA. It was a pretty memorable evening for me because I took the stage after a panel consisting of Richard Clarke, some FBI executive, and another speaker – and they were talking about cyberwar and the need for more government oversight to protect us against cyberterror (in particular) and terrorism (in general). So, I started my talk off by saying “I know it’s inappropriate for a keynote speaker to start off by rattling off a critique of the panel ahead of them, but there was a lot of lying going on…” Things went downhill from there.

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Monday Meslier: 98 – An Oriental Legend

At a short distance from Bagdad a dervish, celebrated for his holiness, passed his days tranquilly in agreeable solitude. The surrounding inhabitants, in order to have an interest

Jean Meslier Portrait

Jean Meslier Portrait

in his prayers, eagerly brought to him every day provisions and

presents. The holy man thanked God incessantly for the blessings Providence heaped upon him. “O Allah,” said he, “how  ineffable is Thy tenderness toward Thy servants.

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Recipe: Mint and Salt Lemonade

In 2009 I visited Saudi Arabia for some work, and while I was there I experienced two absolutely wonderful concoctions. The first was a blood orange juice and strawberry smoothie with a bit of salt in it. The second was a mint lemonade. When I got home I did some testing, went through a bunch of lemons, sugar, and vodka, and finally reverse engineered this recipe.

Since Oligarchy Day (July 4th) is coming up, perhaps some of you might enjoy it.

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Sunday Sermon

Epicurus (341–270 BC) wrote:

Some men want fame and status, thinking that they would thus make themselves secure against other men. If the life of such men really were secure, they have attained a natural good; if, however, it is insecure, they have not attained the end which by nature’s own prompting they originally sought.

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Error Messages

I Write Letters – to the Marketing Director at Gate City Bank

… and to the management at Fort Abraham Lincoln, and to the ND Parks and Recreation Program Director. In case you want their address, the executive roles are listed here and the HQ address (according to the 2015 annual report) is:
Gate City Bank
PO Box 2847
Fargo, ND
58108-2847

The management at Fort Abraham Lincoln is:
The Mgt
4480 Ft. Lincoln Road
Mandan, ND 58554

Fort Abraham Lincoln’s website lists Mark Zimmerman at ND Parks and Recreation as the program contact at HQ:
Century Center
1600 E. Century Ave. Suite 3 PO Box 5594
Bismarck, ND 58506-5594

Remember: companies are people too.

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Oh, Mississippi…?

TL;dr version: sneaky christians are sneaky

We all have heard about H.B. 1523, which is a legislative fewmet that has been widely panned for doing what it’s obviously intended to do – allow people with “deeply held religious beliefs or moral convictions” to refuse service that violates those convictions. Widely interpreted as aimed at the LGBT, because it is, it then goes on to list agencies and services – DJs, adoption agencies, wedding cake makers, etc. that can be denied with impunity. That’s what most of us know, but there’s more…

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Lyrics to Die To

Caine’s got a heartbreaking post over at Affinity.

Apparently some rather tone-deaf idiots think it’s a good idea to celebrate the history of the 7th Cavalry, and teach kids how to “enlist” in the unit that massacred between 150 and 300 Indians at Wounded Knee. You can comment on the event’s Youtube blurb or facebook page if you like. It’s sponsored by a bank, which probably hasn’t thought through the implications of where their money is being spent. You can write them a letter, too.

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