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

Tuesday, 31 March 2009 19:53

Conficker’s Tell-Tale Heart Uncovered

Security experts have made a breakthrough in their five-month battle against the Conficker worm, with the discovery that the malware leaves a fingerprint on infected machines which is easy to detect using a variety of off-the-shelf network scanners. The finding means that, for the first time, administrators around the world have easy-to-use tools to positively identify machines on their networks that are contaminated by the worm.

Monday, 02 November 2009 02:56

BP Fined $87 Million

BP (Beyond Petroleum laf!) has been fined a record $87m (£53m) for failing to correct safety hazards at its Texas City refinery in the U.S. The $87m fine is the largest in OSHA’s history. An explosion in 2005 at the Texas plant killed 15 people and injured 180 more. The safety violations found "could lead to another catastrophe", US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 introduced in the Senate would allow the President to shut down private Internet networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.

Saturday, 14 November 2009 16:44

Banking - Computer Programmers Arrested

Two computer programmers designed codes to alter thousands of trade blotters and records for swindler Bernard Madoff and took hush money to help keep the massive fraud going, U.S. authorities said. The FBI arrested Jerome O'Hara, 46, and George Perez, 43, at their homes on Friday morning.

Misconfigured networks account for more than three quarters of breaches. A survey found that a badly configured network is the main cause of network breaches because IT professionals "don’t know what to look for."

The survey, conducted by Tufin, also revealed that 18 percent of security experts believe misconfigured networks are the result of insufficient time or money for audits, while 14 percent felt that compliance audits that do not always capture security best practices are a factor. The CTO and co-founder of Tufin said: "The really big question coming out of the survey is how to manage the risk that organizations run dealing with the complexity that is part and parcel of any medium-to-large sized company’s security operations.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009 15:37

Antibiotiotics Becoming Ineffective

The growing ineffectiveness of a popular and widely requested antibiotic has Chattanooga doctors emphasizing the importance of responsible antibiotic use. Chattanooga physicians say between one-half and two-thirds of the most-common bacteria — streptococcus pneumoniae — is showing resistance to azithromycin, the generic name for the antibiotic Zithromax. The antibiotic often is dispensed in a packet called the “Z-pak.”

Tuesday, 31 March 2009 20:02

Adobe Reader, IE 7 Holes Under Attack

A zero-day flaw, a security hole with no fix available before attacks could be launched, exists in Adobe Reader and Acrobat, and can be exploited by a poisoned PDF file in an attempt to take over a vulnerable computer. As Symantec reported in February, crooks have hit the flaw with small-scale attacks that e-mail PDF attachments to specific targets. Adobe says a patch should be ready shortly for version 9 of both programs, with fixes for earlier versions to follow.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 15:44

5 Ways to Improve IT Effectiveness

Is the information-technology function at your company focusing on the same priorities as the business? Based on a recent survey by The Corporate Executive Board's IT Leadership Exchange, the overwhelming answer to this question is—No.

Through a survey of 150 IT departments at mid-sized companies, the IT Leadership Exchange found that 90 percent of CIOs expect that the IT department will be misaligned with business needs in an economic recovery, and more than half feel that this will threaten the business's long-term competitiveness.

Security experts found many compromised WordPress and Joomla Web sites used by spammers to advertise sketchy diet pills and counterfeit luxury goods. The owners of these sites are most likely unaware of what is going on.

Web masters often fail to check their sites’ subdirectories for signs of malicious files and Web pages, thus allowing cybercriminals to use the domain’s reputation to host their scams. Attackers often brute-force administrator passwords to gain access to a site’s back end.

Saturday, 04 June 2011 07:01

Change Begins with Desired Results

Your culture produces your results. If you need a change in results, then you need a change in culture. Your culture is always working, either for you or against you. To accelerate a change in the culture, start by defining the new results you wish to achieve. Everyone in the organization needs to be focused on and aligned with the desired new outcomes. Culture changes one person at a time.

Your people must believe that these new results are obtainable. Only then can they change their thinking and actions — something that usually happens when they can verbalize their job descriptions in terms of how they contribute to successful outcomes.

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Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. It is this neutrality that has allowed the internet to innovate and grow. Without equal access the internet dies.