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

Monday, 30 March 2009 15:19

NORAD Move Raises Security Concerns

[Before I even get started with this post, I'm going to editorialize with a sub-title:  What Happened to Cheyenne Mountain? There is just somthing that strikes me as disturbing when I think about it.]

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the high-tech facility responsible for monitoring the skies over North America, faces continuing security problems at its new location inside an office building on an air base in Colorado Springs.

Monday, 23 March 2009 00:00

Phishing Gets Automated

Phishing expeditions business and personal data are rising to record levels, with fake anti-malware campaigns alone increasing by 225 percent in the last six months of 2008. Password-stealing Web sites jumped 827 percent IN 2008. The reason is the phishers are investing in automation. A new report from the Anti-Pjhshing Working Group (APWG) gives a sense of just how aggressive the phishers and malware makers are becoming in search of one’s business (and personal) data.

Thursday, 26 March 2009 00:00

The World’s Malware Factory

With China’s economy cooling down, some of the country’s IT professionals are turning to cybercrime, according to a Beijing-based security expert. Speaking at the CanSecWest security conference last week, the CEO of Knownsec, a Beijing security company, said that while many Chinese workers may be feeling hard times, business is still booming in the country’s cybercrime industry.

Friday, 27 March 2009 19:19

psyb0t Worm Targets Linux Routers

Users of Linux-based routers are being warned of a new worm in the wild which attempts to take control and add their device to a growing botnet. As reported over on vnunet.com on March 25, the ‘psyb0t’ worm was first spotted by security research group DroneBL recently, but may have been spreading since the start of the year.

Designed to brute-force the password of routers running Linux compiled for the RISC-based MIPS chip, including ones running custom OpenWRT and DD-WRT firmwares, the worm takes control of poorly secured devices and joins a botnet which the DroneBL group estimates may have grown to as large as 100,000 compromised devices so far.

Sunday, 28 October 2007 12:32

FCC Terrorism

Dear Senator Cornyn and Senator Hutchison,

Free speech is the most basic element of democracy. Diversity of opinion is the crucible by which ideas are measured. A free press is one protected even when the speech is not agreeable. In the absence of diversity, bad ideas are never challenged. There is no democracy without free speech. 

I am horrified by the repeated attempts of the FCC to lift media ownership limits. It is happening again! The FCC has become an enemy of the people. Our own trustees have betrayed us. Consolidation of media resources dilutes opinion and shouts down diversity.

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 11:18

US Utilities Under Daily Cyber-attack

America’s water and power utilities under daily cyber-attack. America’s utilities face constant cyber-espionage and denial-of-service attacks against industrial-control systems (ICS), according to the team of specialists from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are called to investigate the worst cyber-related incidents at these utilities.

DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) assisted utilities in network and forensics analysis on seventeen (17) major cases in 2011. Seven (7) of the security incidents originated as spear-phishing attacks via e-mail against utility personnel.

Monday, 27 February 2012 09:30

Reaction to Unfairness

How does one deal with unfair behaviors? Today, there is unique neurobiological evidence to account for individual differences of reaction to unfairness. This subject has long been investigated by various disciplines including philosophy, psychology, economics, and biology. However, our reactions to unfairness differ from one individual to another.

Experimental economics studies using the ultimatum game (UG), in which players must decide whether to accept or reject fair or unfair offers, have also shown that there are substantial individual differences in reaction to unfairness. We combined a molecular imaging technique, an economics game, and a personality inventory to elucidate the neurobiological mechanism of heterogeneous reactions to unfairness.

Thursday, 01 December 2011 08:27

Addiction Research and Clinical Practice

Substance abusers seek help quitting drugs not as an end in itself, but as a means to escape these negative consequences and to gain a better life. Accordingly, while substance abuse treatment seeks to promote abstinence or at least significant reductions in substance use, its ultimate aim is to improve the patient’s quality of life (QOL).  Unfortunately,

Clinicians tend to focus on symptoms, whereas for clients, symptom management is a means to an end.

Alexandre B. Laudet, Ph.D., presents current concepts of QOL and tools used to measure it, summarize recent paradigmatic shifts in the SUD field that are leading to an emerging interest in QOL, and review the evidence bearing on QOL in the treatment of addiction.  Dr. Laudet also presents implications of incorporating QOL concepts into clinical practice and research.

Friday, 09 December 2011 01:10

Reduce Risk Factors in Children

Disruptive and aggressive behavior in classrooms as early as the first grade has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor for this spectrum of problems later in life (Kellam et al., 2008).

The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a universal (classroom) behavior management method, was tested in first- and second-grade classrooms in Baltimore beginning in the 1985–1986 school year. Followup at ages 19–21 found significantly lower rates of drug and alcohol use disorders, regular smoking, antisocial personality disorder, delinquency and incarceration for violent crimes, suicide ideation, and use of school-based services among students who had played the GBG.

Sunday, 03 April 2011 22:22

Newsflash 10

The Sangha...

Sanskrit, Pali: The Community - The community of those who have attained enlightenment, who may help a practicing Buddhist to do the same. Also used more broadly to refer to the community of practicing Buddhists.

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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.