Rich Wermske

Rich Wermske

My pedigree and bona fides are published elsewhere. That said, I respect that a few may wish to learn more about the private person behind the writing.  While I accept I am exceptionally introverted (tending toward the misanthropic), I do enjoy socializing and sharing time with like-minded individuals. I have a zeal for integrity, ethics, and the economics of both interpersonal and organizational behavior.

The product of multi-generational paternal dysfunction, I practice healthy recovery (sobriety date December 11, 2001).  I am endogamous in my close personal relationships and belong to a variety of tribes that shape my worldview (in no particular order):

☯ I participate in and enjoy most geek culture. ☯ I am a practicing Buddhist and a legally ordained minister. I like to believe that people of other spiritual/faith systems find me approachable.  I am a member of the GLBTQA community -- I married my long-time partner in a ceremony officiated by Jeralita "Jeri" Costa of Joyful Joinings on November 18, 2013, certificated in King County, Seattle WA. We celebrate an anniversary date of February 2, 2002.  I am a service-connected, disabled, American veteran (USAF).  I am a University of Houston alumnus (BBA/MIS) and currently studying as a post baccalaureate for an additional degree in Philosophy and Law, Values, & Policy.  I am a retired Bishop in the Church of Commerce and Capitalism; the story arch of my prosecuting and proselytizing the technological proletariat is now behind me.  I am a native Houstonian (and obviously Texan).  At 50 years old, I am a "child of the sixties" and consider the 80's to be my formative years.

As I still struggle with humility, I strive to make willingness, honesty, and open mindedness cornerstones in all my affairs. Fourteen years of sobriety has taught me that none of "this" means a thing if I'm unwilling, dishonest, or close minded.  Therefore I work hard on the things I believe in --

  • I believe we can always achieve more if we collaborate and compromise.
  • I believe that liberal(ism) is a good word/concept and something to be proud to support.  The modern, systematic corruption of liberal ideas is a living human tragedy.
  • I believe in a worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The pragmatism of this site and my journey is rooted in both classical and social liberalism.
  • I believe in democratic elections and institutions including a media free of commercial and governmental bias.  Liberty and equality perish when a society becomes uneducated and/or ill-informed.
  • I believe in diversity of life and ideas.  Life and ideas can only flourish when the gene pool is vast and abundantly differentiated.
  • I believe in advancing balance in civil, social, and privacy rights such that all of humanity is continuously uplifted.
  • I believe in separation of church (spirituality) and state (governance) -- with neither in supremacy nor subjugation.
  • I believe in private (real or tangible) property explicitly excluding ideas, knowledge, and methods; such non-tangibles, by natural law, being free for all humanity and emancipated at conception.

While change and the uncertainty of the future may be uncomfortable, I do not fear the unknown; therefore:

    • I believe I must be willing to make difficult choices, that those choices may not be all that I desire, and that such may result in undesirable (or unintended) consequences;
    • I believe we must be willing to make mistakes or be wrong; and I am willing to change my mind if necessary.
I undertake to abide the five precepts of Buddhism; therefore:
  1. I believe it is wrong to kill or to knowingly allow others to kill.
  2. I believe it is wrong to steal or to knowingly allow others to steal.
  3. I believe in abstention from sexual misconduct.
  4. I believe it is wrong to lie or to knowingly allow others to lie.
  5. I believe in abstention from non-medicinal intoxicants as such clouds the mind.

Suicide, major depression, borderline personality, and alcoholism are feral monsters ever howling at my doorstep. However, despite my turbulent and tragic past, rare is the day where I have to rationalize, defend, or justify the actions of that person I see looking back at me in the mirror...

Website URL: http://www.wermske.com

Thursday, 24 May 2012 17:42

Ogres disrupt the workplace...

Ogres can exist at any level in an organization.

Are you an ogre? Do you know an ogre? Ogres come from many backgrounds and can be any color, gender, belief system, or orientation. But ogres are easy to spot. What gives them away? Perhaps, it is the Ogres' lack of etiquette in the office place. Or is it the ogres' dysfunctional (or broken) ethical compass. Whether you are an Ogre or the victim of an Ogre, there are five Ogre specific disruptors of performance you should look out for that will negatively affect you and your stakeholders...

A new variant of SpyEye malware allows cybercriminals to monitor potential bank fraud victims by hijacking their Web cams and microphones, according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab May 21. SpyEye is a computer trojan that specifically targets online banking users.

Like its older cousin, Zeus, SpyEye is no longer being developed by its original author but is still widely used by cybercriminals. SpyEye’s plug-in-based architecture allows third-party malware developers to extend its original functionality, a Kaspersky Lab malware researcher said.

Thursday, 02 April 2009 12:19

The Spirituality of Poetry

BeastThe type and characteristics of poetry, as well as, the manner in which poetry expresses insight embody the essence of spiritual philosophy.  If one seeks to "understand" a particular spiritual philosophy (such as Zen Buddhism) one could do worse than turn to its arts, most especially poetry.

The disquisitions of poetry itself are as plentiful and diverse as there are thoughts of spirituality or sexuality.

Our understanding and appreciation of language expands when we explore poetric forms and techniques. From abecedarian to villanelle, poems themselves are great for reference or for sharpening both your reading and writing skills.  But there is some basic knowledge that is helpful.

What's the difference between denotation and connotation -- what about general meaning?  

    • denotation: the dictionary meaning of a word
    • connotation: the implied or suggested meaning connected with a word
    • literal meaning: limited to the simplest, ordinary, most obvious meaning
    • figurative meaning: associative or connotative meaning; representational

Language can be functional.  Language can also be elegant.  Poetry offers opportunity to explore the Four Noble Truths.  Poetry is an exceptional vehicle to pursue the Eightfold Path.  If you are curious about form, devices, or meter, I encourage anyone to take a concept and express it poetically.

The effort is art...

For more information:  On Writing Poetry, Poetry 101 - How to Read a Poem, Forms and Techniques

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Monday, 21 May 2012 11:44

NASA Investigates SSL Compromise

A NASA spokesperson told SecurityWeek they were investigating claims made by a group of Iranian hackers May 16 that they have compromised the SSL certificate used on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) Web site.

The Iranian student group comprised of programmers and hackers — known as the Cyber Warriors Team claimed to have compromised the SSL cert was compromised by exploiting an existing vulnerability within the portal’s log-in system.

Sunday, 20 May 2012 11:18

HULK DDoS Tool Smash Web Servers

Researchers from Kapersky Lab recently reported on a new distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) tool. The HTTP Unbearable Load King (HULK) tool is different from others of its kind in that it does not simply hit a server with a massive load of TCP SYN requests or other predictable packets.

Instead, HULK generates numerous unique requests designed to prevent server defenses from recognizing a pattern and filtering the attack traffic. The HULK DDoS tool is the work of Barry Shteiman, a security pro who developed it out of frustration with the obvious patterns produced by other such tools.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:11

China Implicated in Email Attacks

China is the number-one source of email-borne targeted attacks of the sort Google and at least 30 other companies are believed to have suffered, according to the latest monthly MessageLabs Intelligence report from Symantec Hosted Services. The firm analyzed the email headers of suspect messages intercepted last month to identify the true IP address of the senders, and found that around 28 percent of targeted attacks originated in China.

Friday, 13 November 2009 14:32

China Boosts Cyberspace Capability

China is significantly boosting its capabilities in cyberspace as a way to gather intelligence and, in the event of war, hit the U.S. government in a weak spot, U.S. officials and experts say.

Outgunned and outspent in terms of traditional military hardware, China apparently hopes that by concentrating on holes in the U.S. security architecture, its communications and spy satellites and its vast computer networks, it will collect intelligence that could help it counter the imbalance.

Friday, 20 November 2009 02:51

CEOs Fail To Support Data Security Efforts

[ed: IT is carrying the water and splitting the firewood, while business considers the lack of investment -- "risk management" -- it's all about money, politics, and time value. There is no real accountability at the top.]

More than half of IT and security professionals worldwide believe their company’s laptops and other mobile devices pose security risks to their organizations, and only half of them have CEOs who are strong advocates and supporters of data security efforts, according to new report issued today.

The Homeland Security Department should establish a national standard to encourage companies and individuals to report data breaches to federal authorities, helping them gauge the intensity of cyberattacks and investigate cybercrime, security professionals said on October 28. Federal agencies are required to report data breaches to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is part of DHS. Reporting requirements for companies, however, vary by state.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009 13:36

California To Launch InfoSec Ops Center

California intends to create a state-of-the-art information security operations center to monitor cyber-threats and protect state and local government networks from attack. The center also would support local government networks that need assistance.

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