MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Understanding Technology

December 29th, 2005 Viewed 1060 times

Laptop-Love.jpgHope you had a great Christmas! As you can tell, I’ve been keeping quite busy, so that’s why there aren’t many posts.

This news shows just how little some of the public knows about technology:

NEW YORK – The National Security Agency’s Internet site has been placing files on visitors’ computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most of them. These files, known as “cookies,” disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week, and agency officials acknowledged Wednesday they had made a mistake. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about privacy at a spy agency already on the defensive amid reports of a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States.

“Considering the surveillance power the NSA has, cookies are not exactly a major concern,” said Ari Schwartz, associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “But it does show a general lack of understanding about privacy rules when they are not even following thegovernment’s very basic rules for Web privacy.”

Until Tuesday, the NSA site created two cookie files that do not expire until 2035 _ likely beyond the life of any computer in use today.
Don Weber, an NSA spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday that the cookie use resulted from a recent software upgrade. Normally, the site uses temporary, permissible cookies that are automatically deleted when users close their Web browsers, he said, but the software in use shipped with persistent cookies already on.

“After being tipped to the issue, we immediately disabled the cookies,” he said.

Cookies are widely used at commercial Web sites and can make Internet browsing more convenient by letting sites remember user preferences. For instance, visitors would not have to repeatedly enter passwords at sites that require them.

But privacy advocates complain that cookies can also track Web surfing, even if no personal information is actually collected.

Who are these privacy advocates that talk about cookies that track Web surfing? Do they even know what a cookie is? A cookie is a small text file that the web browser creates to keep track of data for a particular site (for example, user names, passwords, an ID for your session so that they know what shopping cart they are using, etc). Each browser can be set to accept or deny cookies. This webjournal almost didn’t let me post this message because it couldn’t remember my username/password and told me to enable cookies.

This article is scary hype trying to make the public even more scared of those trying to protect us. As Rob over at SayAnything states, this is a non story. Read his post, and check out the comments– they are spot-on. Take it from a computer geek!

Commercialism Got You Down?

December 20th, 2005 Viewed 1234 times

This from Simple Ways You Can Make a Difference:

Down Size Your Gift List

People tend to think of Christmas as the “time for giving”. Which is true, most people find that this time of year is the best time to give the ones you love a nice gift to show them how much you care. But I think that when the phrase “time for giving” came about it was referring to giving to those in need.I know that a lot of us either want to, or feel obligated to give our loved ones nice expensive gifts. But we really need to remember what Christmas is all about. It is not about excess, it is really about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who gave us the ultimate gift of all, salvation.

This year I have decided to down size. My children are only getting three presents a piece, and they will also receive stocking stuffers. My husband and I are setting our gift limit to no more than $20 a piece. I have set a limit for our parents at no more than $20 a piece, and our sisters and my niece will receive gifts under $20 as well. This has saved us a tremendous amount of money, especially with our children. I had originally planned on buying them $300 worth of presents each, and when I down sized I spent no more than $100 on each of them!

As for extended family, they will not be receiving a gift this year. I really do not see what the whole point is in buying a gift for someone you only see once a year. Isn’t it gift to enough to just SEE and spend time with them?

Since we have down sized our gift list, we have had more money to give to charities, our church, and give generously to our waiters at the restaurants we dine in. I really do
feel they need it more, rather than spending an obscene amount of money to buy Uncle Frank that new iPOD.

We all really need to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and celebrate it by giving to those who are less fortunate than us. I think that is how Jesus would like for us to celebrate His birth.

Until next time…What have you done today to make a difference?

What Marriage is Supposed to be About

December 15th, 2005 Viewed 746 times

Vox Day has some interesting opinions. He mixes these with things intended to shock you. For the past month (it seems) he’s been taking up the topic of how males and females relate inside and outside of marriage. It must be a popular topic considering the feedback he’s been getting.

Yesterday, I believe, he talked about what he considers the proper role of a man in a relationship. Today he talked about what can cause a marriage to disintegrate. Though I don’t necessarily subscribe to the shock part of his post, I believe that he has something in the point of it.

It might help, I think, for some women to remember what their vows are centered on, and the special role they have taken in their husband’s lives. Seriously, with the priorities I’ve seen some women display, I can only wonder what job they thought they were signing up for.If you worry more about what you’re going to serve a man for dinner than how you’re going to rock his world later, you’re not his wife, you’re his cook.

If you spend more time obsessing about the last time you cleaned the house than the last time you had sex, you’re not his wife, you’re his cleaning lady.

If the children are always your top priority at all times, then you’re not his wife, you’re the nanny – or maybe just the day care center.

It’s not that these things are unimportant, but while they’re important, they are properly secondary concerns in a marriage. Your husband didn’t vow before God and Man to be faithful to your cooking and to never eat at another restaurant, after all. And sure, there will be times you’re not in the mood or whatever, but you might want to consider this: would you consider that reasonable grounds for him refusing to pay the mortage or the health insurance? Sex, like love, is a choice. If you’re always waiting for things to magically happen and sweep you away, you need to grow up and quit sleeping with the stuffed unicorn with the rainbows on it.

From what I’ve seen, there’s no shortage of men and women who simply don’t take marriage very seriously and refuse to accept any responsibilities within it. But failing to accept them doesn’t mean they don’t exist and that there won’t be consequences for doing so.

What I like about what he has to say is that it seems that it’s pretty easy for both spouses to get caught up in what they have to do to keep everything running and in that they neglect the basics of what they’re together for. Being witness to a marriage in disintegration myself (not mine! I’m very happy in mine, thank you!), I can see where each person continued to do more and more for themselves and what they thought were priorities rather than what was the priority in making the relationship work.

In a way, what he’s saying reminds me of Cain and Able. God asked for a specific sacrifice– it required blood. Able provided it. Cain gave of the best from his garden– the best that he had, but it was not what God wanted. Now, no man or woman is God, but perhaps some couples would benefit from some time sitting down and actually talking about what they expected and desired about a relationship instead of just assuming that what they’re really working hard at is what the other really wants.

Vox closes humorously by saying:

God is good. He knew what he was doing when he gave us Chinese takeout, the Roomba and early bedtimes.

The Monster that is Planned Parenthood

December 14th, 2005 Viewed 1211 times, 1 so far today

I started to write a comment to a post on Say Anything, but it go so long I decided to post my opinion here, and summarize over there.

I think Rob’s right on this one. I’m sure we all as parents would love everything to always be right with our kids. However, all parents know that this is not the case. When the child falls off the slide at the playground, flips his bike and smacks his face, or other things happen, the parent is there to take him to the hospital, to kiss the injury, and to work through the situation. If a bully is taking advantage of the child, the parent can be there.

Just because we fall into the realm of a sexual problem does not make it right for the parent to be left out. That child has had its whole life with the parents, and who better to help them?

I think the core question that needs to be asked here is why are we afraid of the parents? I can understand why a child may be upset going to their parents– they did something
they know their parents wouldn’t approve of, and they know that that usually comes with some kind of punishment, or at least the parent showing displeasure. But parents and adults know that at times of crisis most parents will stand beside their child and truly look out for thier best interest– which may mean separating their daughter from this predatory boy. Now, the daughter may not think that’s wise, but can you honestly sit here and argue with me that a 17 yr old boy should be dating an 11 yr old?

I think the answer of why we are afraid of parents has to lie in the fact and PP is afraid of them because they will probably stop their child from having the abortion more than their
afraid of the parents reacting by killing the girl or not. Only they know for sure.

Playing Santa is a tough job

December 14th, 2005 Viewed 2295 times

I mean, why would you want to take on a job where you are pulling one over on kids every single day? It’s not just the costume– you’re pretending to be someone who doesn’t exist, someone that children believe can do anything, someone that kids have euqated with God. Especially this year, children in the areas which Katrina hit have a difficult time:

“How will Santa find me? I’m not in my house any more,” one child said.

“There’s no fireplace in the trailer where we live. How will you get in?” another asked.

“Can Santa make sure no more hurricanes get here?”

Vollenweider, who has played Santa for about 10 years and currently works at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, Louisiana, answers as best he can.

“I tell them, ‘Santa is magic. He’ll find you wherever you are. He won’t forget you,”‘ Vollenweider said, taking a break from listening to children’s Christmas wishes on Monday.

To children who asked him to prevent future hurricanes, he said: “Santa will do his best, but some things even Santa can’t control.”

Lakeside Shopping Center, on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, was damaged when Katrina ravaged New Orleans in late August, but it reopened to huge crowds on October 28.

While Santas in other parts of the country marveled over sometimes extravagant requests — like kids as young as 6 asking for laptop computers — those in the hurricane zone were struck by the children’s poignant appeals: a house for their parents, or all their old toys back.

“Santa has been very good and explains that he may not be able to get them all back,” said Anne Mialaret, marketing director for The Esplanade mall in Kenner, Louisiana, about 15 miles from downtown New Orleans.

Your heart really goes out to these kids. Here they are, truly concerned about their parents, their houses, etc. and they go to a person they think can do something about it, and this person has to do his best to keep his act as well as not promise anything that can’t be delivered.

This is one of the reasons why my family will not do Santa Claus, for we have a Creator that is more powerful than a storm, that can actually make a difference in your life, and that you can go to at any time with any trouble you have and know that He is listening and is able to do something about it.

Are your kids still in Public School?

December 13th, 2005 Viewed 1794 times

ClassroomIn case I haven’t made a good enough case for you to get your children out of public school, here’s a new one:

TAMPA – Many Hillsborough County middle and high school students lead double lives – one for their parents and one for their peers.

In a districtwide survey, nearly half of high school students and one in five middle school students said they have had sexual intercourse, and a higher percentage of high school boys than girls reported being physically hurt by their “significant others.”

 

“I know that is happening, because my son constantly gets letters from girls who want to do sexual things to him,” said Paula Thomas, mother of five children ages 9 to 16. “It starts in the sixth or seventh grade.”

At school, the Citrus Park mother said, “They know to stay out of certain hallways because of the girls.”

Parents at the meeting, who often are involved in schools as PTA board members, said they didn’t know about the survey. Had their children been a part of it, Zimet said, they would have been asked to sign permission slips.

“There is no way I’d want [my son] to take that survey if he was in middle school,” said Camille Johnston, mother of children ages 7 and 10 who attend Nelson Elementary School in Dover. “But I’d want those results.”

Parents need that type of “eye-opening” information, the PTA leaders agreed.

“I’m a pretty involved parent, but I’m pretty ignorant about what the trends are,” said Sharold Allen, the county council president who asked Zimet to make the presentation. “This is so important.”


Now, having been a middle/high school student I know that children can tend to exaggerate what they have and haven’t done on surveys to impress their peers. There’s a lot of peer pressure to fit in. I also know that the girls were much more pressuring than the guys. Rumors about how “easy” a girl was or how they tortured you especially if you weren’t participating in the sexual scene make it easy for me to believe that more is happening than was happening in my small public school.

Which again brings me to the question– are your kids still in public school? If so, why? Are you telling me that it’s more important for your kids to have an XBOX 360 and $60 games than it is for their education and well being? And if enough people wanted out or went to homeschooling, the gov’t would be pressured to make such options affordable. Get involved, find out what’s going on in your school– get your kids out!

Will you get Chipped?

December 13th, 2005 Viewed 843 times

After leaving the post as Heath and Human Services Director in the Cabinet, Tommy Thompson took up a position at VeriChip– people who inject a glass RFID module into people’s skin for identification purposes. He said he was going to get “chipped” but hasn’t yet. Which camp do you fall into:

“It sounds like he has wisely decided to put off the implantation, perhaps due to the serious privacy and civil liberties implications of such devices, or perhaps due to the serious medical downsides, like electrical risks and MRI incompatibility.”or

Thompson predicted that people eventually will overcome their skepticism about having a chip implanted. The chip “will prevent babies from being picked up by the wrong people in a maternity ward and make sure people in nursing homes don’t walk away,” he said.

Sounds to me if they made everyone have one of these chips they could control where you are, what you buy, etc. That sounds very “end of times to me”. What do you think?

I really like this Senator

December 13th, 2005 Viewed 885 times

I’ve liked this Senator since the moment I read about him running and regular readers will remember my support for his election campaign. It’s almost enough to make me want to move to Oklahoma, but not quite. He’s Senator Tom Coburn, and he’s one of the reasons that the “Bridge to Nowhere” is no more. John Fund highlights some of the fighting he’s done in the Senate in order to keep his “day job”.

Dr. Coburn, who delivered about 65 babies a year while he served in the House during the 1990s, wanted to continue serving his patients after he won a Senate seat last year. He noted that the House Ethics Committee had allowed him to earn just enough money as a physician to cover his medical malpractice premiums and other expenses. But the Senate had a different idea, Even before he was sworn in, Dr. Coburn was handed a letter from the Senate Ethics Committee chairman informing him that he cold not “receive compensation for practicing a profession which involves a fiduciary relationship.” The fact that Dr. Coburn wouldn’t have made any financial gain from delivering babies was immaterial. Ethics member Craig Thomas, a Wyoming Republican, summed up the committee’s stance: “When you go into Congress, that’s your job. When you come here, this is your commitment.”

Sen. Coburn soon found he did have allies, including Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart surgeon, and Rules Committee chairman Trent Lott.

It goes on to say that they tried a procudure to allow him to continue his practice, but it only got 51 of the necessary 60 votes for it to have effect. One could imagine that Coburn would be disheartened–

Sen. Coburn says the way Congress is structured discourages people with real-world experience in fields other than law from giving up their career and serving. “It is absurd to think that I have a conflict of interest the way a lawyer being compensated by a client of expenses would,” he told me. “None of my patients come to see me and ask them to deliver their baby in order to influence my vote in Congress. Let’s get real.”

Despite the rebuff by his Senate colleagues, the good doctor says he has just begun to fight. “Fifty-one votes is a great moral victory for me,” Dr. Coburn said, “and I’m not going to quit.” He promises to seek a formal rules change from the Senate at a future date.

But just in case common sense doesn’t prevail, he is taking precautions. He no longer accepts new patients and has withdrawn from a group partnership he belonged to with other physicians. He estimates that in today’s litigious climate he needs $200,000 a year to pay for his expenses, mostly malpractice premiums. If he isn’t allowed to collect it, he will have to hang up his stethoscope. “It may not make sense, but it will have its flip side,” he told me. “I’ll have a lot more time to devote to changing our tort system so that premiums don’t have to be that ruinously high.”

I love that end part that I highlighted. If you want me back here so much, you’re going to get my full attention!

Boycott of Target over Next Christmas

December 2nd, 2005 Viewed 1403 times

Here’s the Article from WND, unedited:

A traditional-values group that has led multiple boycotts of Target stores in the past has launched another, this time because the retail giant has been unresponsive to requests its marketing material become more Christmas-friendly prior to the holiday next year. The American Family Association
announced the boycott yesterday, saying the company “continues to ban Christmas in their in-store promotion and retail advertising.”

AFA is promoting the boycott to its 2.8 million online supporters and on its nearly 200 radio stations nationwide.

“Knowing it was too late to make changes this season, we told Target that if they would make that change in 2006 we would encourage our supporters to shop at Target,” AFA Chairman Don Wildmon said. “But we also said that if Target refused, or did not respond, AFA would call for a boycott.”

Wildmon says Target did not respond to the ultimatum.

Other companies have been more responsive to AFA and other pro-Christmas organizations. The groups says a recent letter from Walgreens states: “Next year, you can be assured our advertising will better incorporate ‘Christmas,’ and our holiday trees will be called Christmas trees. Unfortunately, all of this year’s December ads are already printed, so it’s too late to make changes for this season.”

Also, Tuesday, the home-improvement retailer Lowe’s dropped references to “Holiday Trees” in favor of “Christmas Trees” just one day after a WorldNetDaily story brought national exposure.

AFA urged a boycott of Target stores on Thanksgiving weekend, a heavy shopping period, and prior to that announced a general boycott of the retailer over its banning of the Salvation Army’s traditional red-kettle solicitors.

 

Safe, Legal and Rare?

December 2nd, 2005 Viewed 1520 times

Ben Shapiro’s article today focuses on the deceit the pro-abortionists have foisted on the masses in his attack on their use of the phrase “Safe, Legal and Rare”. He suggests that in order for the abortion industry to survive, it has to convince women that what they are going to do is normal and common, rather than a last resort.

The pro-choice crowd has never wanted abortion to be rare. Were abortion rare, women considering abortions would feel subtle societal pressure to preserve the life growing within them. Such societal pressure would create a “coercive” environment for women, inhibiting their ability to choose. For abortion to thrive, it must be common.

He goes through a list of different abortion providers and their claims to fame– numbers of abortions, the fact that they are the best in the field in terminating late term pregnancies (over 24 weeks), and that they think they are doing a good thing.

And the message works, as Harrison’s patient “Amanda” demonstrates. According to the Los Angeles Times, Amanda, a 20-year-old administrative assistant, says it’s not the obstacles that surprise her – it’s how normal and unashamed she feels as she prepares to end her first pregnancy. “‘It’s an everyday occurrence,'” she says as she waits for her 2:30 p.m. abortion. “‘It’s not like this is a rare thing … It’s not like it’s illegal. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong.'”

This is the pro-choice agenda. For pro-choice activists, abortion is a good in and of itself. It allows a woman to exercise her “freedom of choice” at any time. Context does not matter; moral gradation does not matter; timing does not matter. The high-school volleyball player who aborts her child because she does not want to ruin her body for nine months – “I realize just from the first three months how it changes everything” – is just as valid as the woman who aborts because her life is seriously endangered by pregnancy. Abortion must remain an absolute right, commonly exercised, if women are to be truly free.

For years, pro-life advocates have described their opponents as pro-abortion. After viewing the pro-choice movement’s support for across-the-board abortions, that description seems apt.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.