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

Saturday, 04 June 2011 07:18

Company Culture is Linked to Bottom Line

Recognize This! – You can’t engage employees. You can only create a culture in which they want to engage.

An article in Knoweldeg at W.P. Carey pointed out the importance of company culture to achieving the company strategy – and the peril of ignoring that importance.

Why is culture so important? Culture is simply the shared beliefs, values and behaviors of a group of people.

Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:30

10-Minute Executive Brief

So you've been asked to provide a review or summary for the boss' boss or even higher up. Top, middle or bottom... your rank is moot! You have been chosen for a reason. That reason could be technical, social, or political. The most important thing for you to know is that -- IT IS A BRIEF.

Prime Directive: Simple, simple, simple.

  1. "Today." Where are we now?
  2. "Tomorrow." Where are we going?
  3. "When in doubt - Leave it out."

Executive Reviews or Summary Presentations don't "win" or "sell" any more than a resume gets you a job. They are strictly informative -- purposeful and meaningful. These tools exist to create, focus, redirect, or kill interest. Make sure you understand your purpose and don't stray.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:03

Rinzai Zen - Fujaku, fugu.

"Where should your mind be kept?  If your mind is not fixed anywhere it will pervade throughout the body... If your mind is fixed on a certain spot, it will be seized by that spot, and no activities can be performed efficiently. Not to fix your mind anywhere is essential. Not fixed anywhere, the mind is everywhere."

  • Study Zen -- one discovers the key to all forms of Buddhism.
  • Practice Zen -- one's life is brought to fulfillment in the attainment of enlightenment.

Samsara is the same as nirvana, defilement the same as purity, and delusion the same as enlightenment.  The challenge to understanding is due to one's ignorance -- the ignorance in mistaking phenomena for ultimate reality. Great is Mind. Heaven's height is immeasurable, but Mind goes beyond heaven; the earth's depth is also unfathomable, but Mind reaches below the earth.

Monday, 23 April 2012 18:02

Hacking Governments With Hijacked Sites

Malicious code planted within compromised Wed pages has become the latest method for attackers targeting government organizations, according to research from security firm Zscaler, V3.co.uk reported April 21. The firm discovered many government-affiliated Web sites with code that directs users to attack servers.

The most recent site to become infected was that of the French budget minister. It was found to contain obfuscated Javascript code that sends the user to a third party site and then attempts to exploit vulnerabilities and install malware on the targeted system. The attack is the latest in what Zscaler sees as a string of site hijackings aimed at government-controlled domains.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 17:35

Human Body Vulnerable to Cyberattack

The next frontier of cybercrime could be the human body, a researcher at the Black Hat Security Conference demonstrated. In his presentation, "Hacking Medical Devices for Fun and Insulin: Breaking the Human SCADA System," Jay Radcliffe showed how a hacker could remotely hack two medical devices used to treat diabetes and trigger them to malfunction — with potentially disastrous results.

"Wireless communication with insulin pumps are not secure, they're not designed to be updated and there's no way of patching them," he told the audience. "It's not like a phone, where you can download a firmware update."

Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:10

Wearable Firewall Stops Pacemaker Hacking

Researchers from Purdue and Princeton universities have developed a solution to what could be catastrophic problem for millions of people who use insulin pumps, pacemakers, and other personal medical devices that rely on wireless communication to function: MedMon — a signal-jamming personal firewall for medical devices that detects potentially malicious communications going into, or coming from, a wearable or implanted device.

After identifying malicious signals, MedMon employs electronic jamming, similar to technology used in military systems, to prevent any potentially harmful wireless commands from getting through to the device and causing it to falter or accept instructions that could cause its wearer harm.

Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:48

Social Engineers Target Utilities

The U.S. Cyber Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) recently warned that cyber criminals are attempting highly targeted social engineering attacks on operators of Industrial Control Systems (ICS).  ICS are very present in Utility firms. The attacks are in the form of phishing phone calls allegedly coming from "Microsoft Server Department" and warning of infected PCs. The attacker attempts to have the utilities turn on services which would allow unauthorized remote access

HINT: Microsoft is not going to call you unless you specifically requested to be called. (see also US Utilities Under Daily Cyber-attack)

Saturday, 21 April 2012 11:44

‘Steam Cracker’ Steals User Credentials

Users of Valve’s Steam game sales and distribution platform are being targeted by malware peddlers; the lure is a "Steam Cracker." It is being offered on YouTube and on many gamer forums, and it supposedly gives the users access to all games for free.

The scammers offer simple instructions for installing the software: disable antivirus software and firewall, then replace the original steam.exe file with the downloaded, cracked one. "The file in question is a fake Steam client, which uses aspects of the real thing but just falls short of being 100 percent convincing (file size, file, and of course the fact that this file isn’t digitally signed unlike the real Steam executable)," a GFI researcher said.

If the user runs Windows Vista or later versions of the platform, the file runs and shows the fake client that looks legitimate.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:51

Former Intel Employee Pleads Guilty

A former Intel employee, Biswamohan Pani, pleaded guilty to five counts relating to the illegal download of confidential documents from Intel’s servers. From June 8 through June 11, he downloaded 13 “top secret” Intel design documents from the company’s servers in California, the indictment said.

He copied them from his Intel-issued laptop to an external drive so he could access the documents after he returned the laptop to Intel. He is said to have tried to access the servers again around June 13.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:57

The Anti-Norquist Pledge

The Norquist Pledge has nothing to do with tax reform as understood by most American taxpayers. For example, the majority of Americans favor increasing -- rather than capping -- the marginal tax rates of the top 1%. (By the way, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) -- a tax-exempt institution -- pays no taxes on its annual revenues of about $5 million per year, according to ATR tax forms.)

Grover Norquist even emphasizes that the pledge has no exceptions for war, natural disaster, or other misfortunes. For example, a signer of the Norquist Pledge isn't permitted to vote to increase tax rates on America's 1% -- even if such changes would be revenue neutral, and/or are desperately needed for a national emergency. Mr. Norquist's real goal (explained in his other writings) is to substantially shrink the size of government.

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