Deep Thoughts…with Euroranger

An outlet for my Tourette's-like thoughts (aka: you've been warned)

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WE can’t fix Islamic terrorism…but I know who can

Posted by Euroranger on November 16, 2015

Here we are again…bodies of innocents in the street.  Entirely predictable too.

So, the world suffered yet another terrorist attack a couple of days ago in Paris.  Six separate but coordinated attacks conducted against targets like a soccer match, a concert hall, restaurants and cafes.  They killed 129 people (so far) and wounded over 350 others and the only common denominator amongst the victims was that they were citizens of a western democracy and they were out to have a good time.  In other words, they weren’t attending some anti-Muslim rally or reading a newspaper whose comic section poked fun at some subject militant Muslims get all shooty/stabby/explodey about.  There’s a fair chance, in fact, that some of the dead people were Muslims themselves.  The targeting was deliberate; the slaughter of victims indiscriminate.  As happens in the now wired, always in touch, constantly connected world we live in, when the first news reports started showing up minutes after the attacks started, I reacted in the same way that the vast majority of people did.  I said, “goddamned Muslims again”.  It happened back on 9/11 as well.  First reports of a jet liner hitting the World Trade Center made me think “Osama Bin Laden” but I wasn’t fully there yet.  But when the second one hit, it was cemented.  One plane could be a tragic accident but a second one was an attack and the first person most people immediately thought of was Bin Laden: the leader of the most well known Islamic terrorist organization in the world at the time.  If you were old enough to remember that attack, you’ll probably also be old enough to recall that a second possible perpetrator of that kind of horrific mass murder never even came to mind.  Fast forward to this past Friday and the same thing happened.  First thought to pop into my head: Muslims.  There literally wasn’t a second place runner up finalist and I suspect the vast majority of people reacted exactly the same way.

So, militant Islamic fundamentalist terror has struck yet again.  It’s happened so many times now that it literally defies an accurate accounting of incidents.  France immediately reacted by shutting down international transportation and closed her borders.  That’s how a nation state reacts when it starts to go on a war footing.  Because ISIS (those merry Muslim assholes who are slaughtering and terrorizing their way to a better and brighter Islamic tomorrow in what used to be Syria and Iraq) claimed responsibility for the attacks, France immediately counter punched the only way a nation state can: it launched a military attack against targets in the areas that ISIS controls.  However, we all know that this is merely symbolic and that this response, while absolutely necessary to sate the righteous desire of the French people for some kind of vengeful action, will do absolutely nothing to prevent more such attacks in the future.  NOTHING about this French response makes anyone anywhere actually think “well, we’ve seen the last of THAT kind of murderous madness”.  We all know it’s just a tit for tat response and an ineffective one at that…but it’s the only thing a nation can do…and it’s inadequate.  So today, if you turn on the TV, this issue is morphing from a news flash/current events kind of incident to a catalyst for a debate on “what to do about terrorism” and more properly, “what to do about Islamic terrorism”.  One of the most compelling questions I read (via Facebook) was someone asking (and I’m paraphrasing here) “what can we do about this kind of thing without destroying civil liberties”.  When I read that, it made me really think.  Just asking about the peril to civil liberties suggests why we have, so far, been unable to affect Islamic terrorism.  I think I understand the problem and I think I have an answer.

We (western democracies) can’t fix Islamic terrorism…but I know who can.

Whenever anyone starts to discuss Islamic fundamentalist terrorism the very first thing you’ll hear is how we can’t penalize all Muslims for the actions of a few.  According to the mighty Google, there are nearly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and anywhere from 15% to 25% of them would be classified as “radical” or “fundamentalist”.  That means there are as many as 400 million people on this planet who support the erasure of western civilization and culture (because that’s what we are to those people…we’re “infidels” or unbelievers and deserving of death and eradication).  That’s more people than the entire population of the United States and Canada combined so it’s a number worth recognizing as posing a serious and continual threat.  Furthermore, those 1.6B and 400M people aren’t confined to a tidy geographic area like a nation with borders.  They’re scattered throughout the world.  Yes, there are roughly 50 nations whose populations are predominantly Muslim but for the most part you can find Muslims and by extension radicalized, militant Muslims all over the world.  As of right now, the number of terrorists who conducted the actual attacks in Paris is EIGHT.  On 9/11, it was NINETEEN and Al Qaeda tried to send TWENTY SIX in total.  That’s it.  Eight attackers in Paris and nineteen on 9/11.  Think on this a moment: less than 30 people actively conducted attacks against the United States and France in those two incidents…and there are FOUR HUNDRED MILLION SUCH PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.  September 11 revealed gaping intelligence holes and since then, our government has gone on a rampage of establishing invasive and onerous intelligence programs designed to get wind of future such attacks so that we can pre-emptively act to thwart them.  Paris itself was attacked less than a year before by Islamic terrorists though and, presumably, France has similar efforts set up to monitor communications and try to identify and neuter such sinister efforts by would be terrorists.  Western governments share information they gather and France would have received such information had national intelligence organs in the UK, US, Germany and other western nations twigged to an upcoming attack.  The fact that France was caught totally unawares says that these terrorists met, plotted and coordinated in a way that was mindful of skirting the intelligence apparatuses of the western democracies.  There was no acquired intelligence that any government was capable of gathering that would have warned French authorities in time to prevent these attacks.  This leads to the conclusion:

Western governments and government in general is not the source for the solution to Islamic terrorism.

Pictured above: doing absolutely jack other than deluding themselves thinking they’re doing something about the problem.

Earlier I identified the civil liberties conundrum: a government cannot pass laws or regulations that target all Muslims in their populations without shredding civil liberties laws.  That said, that WOULD BE THE ONLY EFFECTIVE MEANS FOR A GOVERNMENT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  It would look something like this: label Islam as a hate group (much like the KKK which has Christian underpinnings), overtly make clear that national intelligence and police organs are actively keeping an eye on Muslims (like the FBI does with white supremacist groups and members), emplace and enforce laws that allow greater police latitude in dealing with such groups and members (relaxing 14th Amendment restrictions against unlawful searches, for example) and so on.  The problem is that to do this, you pretty much have to shred the 1st Amendment’s prohibition about making any laws restricting the free exercise of religion.  This, of course, cannot be done.  So, if government can’t do the job, who can?  Well, think a moment: who stands to lose the most if Islamic terrorism goes unchecked?  Not western democracies because once fundamentalist Islam gets big enough to actually threaten the existence of nations, they get big enough to get dealt with militarily.  Not the suicide terrorists themselves.  They’ve already accepted death as their ultimate reward for their actions.

The real player who must act in their own self interest against fundamentalist Islam…is the rest of Islam itself.

The lack of electronic intelligence that preceded this attack means that the plotters likely met in person, probably many times, to scheme and plan their villainy.  Western intelligence organs already know this (especially the French) but for the rest of society: where can a bunch of Muslims meet, talk, go someplace secluded in our midst where they can exchange ideas for how best to slaughter their neighbors without fear of being detected or leaving a telltale electronic trail?  Their local mosque.  In fact, authorities have already identified a mosque in Belgium where, they say, most attendees were radical, fundamentalist Muslims.  This means that the would be terrorists do a fair amount of their organizing and plotting within the confines of their local mosque…in close proximity to other, non-radical Muslims.  Thinking about your own church (for those of you who go) we all know the “normal” folk and we all know who the quiet, distanced, or angry and strident members are.  We know who are new attendees and who are old familiar faces.  In other words, the rest of the attendees would have a fairly good idea who, in their midst, would be likely to be plotting mayhem and mass murder.  The real issue then is: what can government or society in general do to encourage moderate Muslims to police their own ranks and out these murdering bastards before they strike?  The answer would be: when society in general comes to regard ALL Muslims as criminals and terrorists and shuns them and excludes them accordingly.  In other words, when society begins to discriminate against all Muslims because of the actions of a few of their number.  And this WILL end up happening eventually.  Just because our leaders are so concerned with political correctness that they refuse to identify our foe doesn’t mean that individuals in society who do won’t eventually become the majority.  A Charlie Hebdo cartoonist draw a series of panels on Instagram this past Friday night (same night as the attacks) and he said in part in one panel “Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating ‘we are at war’ without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere.”  This is a fundamental truth: we cannot begin to act against those who would deny us our freedoms and our lives if we can’t even collectively scrounge up the testicular fortitude to point at our victimizer.  What needs to be understood is this: there are still too many among us that are willing to trade insipid Tweets or Facebook posts or leave flowers or a teddy bear or a burning candle in a pile on the ground and think that such will do a single damn thing about the problem.  The time for “saying a prayer” or “standing with” the victims or our leaders “deploring” or being “shocked” and every other single inane and ultimately useless statement or gesture needs to come to an end.  Substituting grim and resolute action with inanities and symbolism only says to the terrorists, “you haven’t yet slaughtered enough of us for us to get around to dealing with you effectively”.  It’s us saying “the lives of the victims didn’t matter because we’re not outraged enough to effectively and seriously act”.  More people need to die for us as a collective society to actually act.

The solution, then, is to act individually.

It’s time to quit being cowed by those who would call a person a “racist” or an “Islamophobe” for deciding to shun or avoid the company of Muslims because they (the Muslims being shunned) refuse to collectively act to police their own community.  It’s time for the rest of us to effectively say “if you refuse to scour your community for these assholes and serve them up to our collective societal justice system, then you’re condoning their actions…agreeing with what they’re doing…and in so doing, you’ve decided to side with them against the rest of us”.  For myself, if someone sides against me, they’ve pretty much removed themselves from my social circle and I need have nothing to do with them.  I write this having friends who are Muslims and this troubles me for saying it.  But the point at which society will finally, collectively act will cost too much in the lives of past, and worse future, victims for me to wait.  If you’re Muslim and you’re reading this: I’m sorry.  So very sorry.  But Muslim voices ARE and have been silent on this.  You practically never hear about a terror plot being foiled by other Muslims coming out and reporting the would be killers of innocents.  You know who those people are in your community and your silence is their cloak of anonymity.  They actively use you and yours as shields to their activities…and you allow it.  This is a choice YOU need to make: side with our collective society and act to protect it…or side with them.  You are best positioned to do this.  It’s finally time you stepped up and took responsibility.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this post.


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Brave New Transparent World

Posted by Euroranger on December 4, 2013

No kidding.

So, a very brief post today (as I am actually gainfully employed and doing employment related tasks).  I contribute to a tech site as the resident CF expert (to answer your question, no, they probably couldn’t find anyone else to do it) and that site has a common forum area where various folks post conversation topics and then other people comment on them and so on.  Usual intarwebz forum.  Anyway, talk to enough people over time and you do start to get to know something about them.  People make references, drop tidbits of info that, individually don’t make up very much but taken as a whole can start to give you an idea of how those people might be in person.  One of those people is a woman whose persona, in my mind, has taken several definition turns in my own mind.  You know how you form an idea of someone you’ve never met and then you learn something about them so you update that mental picture you had?  That’s the situation I’m talking about.  I read what she writes on the tech forum.  Some time back, we friended one another on Facebook so I thought I knew her well enough as a complete stranger anyway.  To her, she’s who she’s always been.  She knows her.  I don’t.  Anyway, I mention it because earlier today as I was bored and rolling through things to alleviate my boredom, I ran across a link to a blog she keeps.  I thought, hey, I know this gal…let’s go see what she has to say.

Turns out, I didn’t know her at all.

I don’t want to be callous or uncaring or perhaps say something untoward that might come off as unfeeling but several months back she went through some personal relationship turbulence and used her blog as sort of a personal diary outlet.  Oddly enough, I tend to do the same here from time to time…but not to the degree this lady did.  I read several of her blog posts that, presumably, she didn’t mind everyone knowing the content of.  After a time, I quit reading because it felt almost like I was reading someone’s diary.  I discovered personal details about her that I didn’t know about and while I don’t mind knowing them (they don’t change my opinion of her as a person) I wonder how she’d feel knowing I’d read them.  We’ve never met, never even exchanged words really but I feel like I’ve intruded someplace I ought not to have been.

What I come away with is a new appreciation of how technology is changing personal interactions people have (or may not have) with one another.  I’ve read all sorts of personal things on the web before.  I wander and surf and read all kinds of stuff.  I’ve never read them though about someone I had a preconceived image about…and it was awkward.  I’m in the last leg of finishing a web application that has a strong social media element to it and, in fact, I’m working on how to allow people to incorporate their blog postings into an overall, one glance snapshot of their business.  I’m now ruminating on how I might could build tools into my app to allow people to perhaps edit or sanitize social media entries.  Maybe I’m overreacting.  All the same, it’s been some time since I encountered something on the web that really makes me pull up short and pause and consider things for a moment.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Errata, On the web, Web Dev | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Euroranger on October 4, 2013

Oh look…it’s our economy under the leadership of Hopey McChange.

I’m not a self-important man.  I’m not a petty or boastful fellow.  I’m not so convinced of the superiority of my intellect and/or common sense that I disdain others’ opinions automatically.  I can and have been known to be wrong (if you consult the lovely and talented Mrs. Ranger she will enthusiastically confirm this).  I actively police my opinions for such personality flaws.  I do try and “put myself in the other guy’s shoes” and try and discern the merits of opinions I don’t necessarily share.  Because of all that, I’m going to write this post to memorialize something I’m about to say that, I believe, will turn out to be probably (sadly) prophetic:

Obamacare will seriously gut this country’s economy

I’ll keep this brief (and I really mean it this time).  All I’m going to do is to spit out a few facts of my own personal situation and then make a few observations and leave this here so we can all either come back and laugh at it later…or wonder why, if I was so damned prescient, didn’t I play the Powerball.

I am a married father of 2 kids living just outside of Atlanta, GA.  Our ages are 47 (me), less than 47 (Mrs. Ranger), 13 (Ms. Ranger), and 11 (Mini-Ranger).  None of us smoke or are morbidly obese.  We have a health insurance policy that I secured via that I pay $4665 per year in premiums that features a prescription drug plan and has a 20% co-pay and $3500 individual deductible.  It’s with a reputable highly rated company.  It’s not cheap and the coverage is, by no means, one of those “Cadillac” plans we’ve been hearing the President and his parrots in the mainstream media snorting derisively at.  I’m a middle class guy earning a middle class paycheck and this is the health insurance coverage I can afford.  Obamacare, as pretty much all of you by now have heard, started a few days back (October 1).  I’ve had coverage so I never really concerned myself all that much the dire doom and gloom warnings we’ve all heard about the economic Armageddon we’ll all get cordially invited to when the entirety of the the ACA (the soon-to-be-widely-recognized-for-its-immense-irony named Affordable Care Act, aka: “Obamacare”) kicks in.  That said, I got a letter in the mail from my carrier the other day inviting me to partake of a one time opportunity to reset my current health policy to a December 1 inception date (so that it runs from 12/1/13 to 11/30/14) for a mere monthly premium increase of $40.  I looked at this letter and wondered “why the hell would I volunteer to pay nearly $500 per year more for the same coverage I already have”?  It was then that I came across an online forum wherein a poster (we’ll go ahead and safely and with little real debate refer to him as “f***ing idiot”) was crowing about what a great thing Obamacare is and will become.  To prove what a great thing it is, he helpfully posted a subsidy calculator (check it out here: to tell you how much “free money” you’d qualify for to help pay for your healthcare due to the changes coming with Obamacare.  Needless to say, because I worked hard, went to school, got an education and then actually worked at many and several jobs over the years…my family doesn’t qualify for a subsidy.  Oh well, I thought, that’s hardly surprising.  But what I read further down the page on that site after I entered my details really took me by surprise.  It told me that the predicted cost for an unsubsidized premium for a “silver plan” (read: “worse than the plan I currently have”) would be $9780 per year.  Let me say that again: for worse coverage (in our case, higher deductible and coverages we don’t need, don’t use and don’t want) we can expect to have to pay 109% MORE THAN WE DO NOW!  Even their cheapest plan coverage level, “bronze”, comes in at a predicted $6656 per year or just a 42% increase (and with much, much worse coverage).

It’s almost like he’s talking to every voter who cast a vote for Obama…oh well, the 1%’ers will now be the people with good paying jobs AND healthcare. Way to go you f***ing ignorant illiterate idiots.

Well, after I emptied the outrage-inspired crap out of my trousers, I said “to hell with predictions, let’s go quote a policy and see what I can find”.  So, I went over to (where I bought our last two policies) to see what I could get for a quote today.  Cheapest that I can quote now is $7104 per year and that’s with the deductible getting jacked up to $6350 per person and going to a 30% copay. That’s a jump of 53% in a single year…and that’s literally the cheapest private option on that site for us for much worse coverage.

Just to summarize: I’ve been “invited” to extend our current coverage and pay an additional $500 per year to do so but because of the absolute crap premiums I’m staring down due to Obamacare, that’s actually a great deal.  The absolute best I can hope from, from what I’ve been able to discern just earlier today, is a jump in my family’s health insurance premiums of at least +40%.  Let me be clear here: this isn’t predictions or estimates or “according to statistics from blablabla”.  This is the actual, no shit reality me and my family is facing as a direct consequence of this country voting for Barack Obama as our president.

That’s the best case scenario…and I get absolutely nothing more for that huge outlay than I’m getting today.  To put it another way: my already tight budget is going to need to squeeze out an additional $2000 in 2014…all so someone else can have what I have but didn’t bother to work for to afford.  And this is merely the best part.  We didn’t even discuss what employers are going to do when this shitstorm hits.  Companies are already turning full time jobs into part time jobs (cutting hours and pay) because the employer mandate says the employer only needs to pay the health care premiums for full time employees.  It’s pretty mercenary of an employer to do that but hey, this isn’t their idea, is it?  Employers do what the economy dictates and this law dictates that full time employment will now become an elitist, status symbol…ironically driving even more people to the public dole than Obama has managed to do in his first 5 years in office.

The American Dream officially died today people…and you have Hopey Hussein McChange to thank for it.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in In the news, On the web, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Comfort in Wisdom

Posted by Euroranger on September 17, 2013

2012 - 2013 arctic ice sheet

Remember when the Arctic was gonna be ice free soon due to Global Warming? Yeah…about that. Never mind. L to R: Arctic sea ice coverage 2012, 2013. In case yer a GW fanboi, the right pic is what’s known as “more” and not “less”.

If, like me, you were trolling around on the internet within the past 4-5 years you likely ran into an article or forum conversation regarding global warming.  Remember those days?  The world was heating up so drastically that within 30 years the Great Plains would be a desert, Venice would be under 10 feet of water and the Arctic would be a summer paradise?  Droughts, floods, famines, wars, environmental apocalypse was virtually at the door and that we needed to ACT NOW TO SAVE THE PLANET!  Remember all that stuff?  Remember how, if you didn’t simply automatically swallow the “hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies” that proved Global Warming (or “GW” at the time for the in-crowd cool kids) was a thing and that it was undoubtedly linked to increased CO2 emissions by modern human civilization, that you were a global warming denier, didn’t believe in science, was likely some kind of fundamentalist anti-science wingnut?  Remember the “good old days” of being a tree hugging concerned leftist and how absolutely sure you were that anyone who opposed your views on this subject were simply evil, degenerate idiots who lacked the smarts to agree with your views because…”science”?

I hope you remember those days because, well, they’re kind of gone…again.

It all started just a few years ago with actual skeptical people (which apparently didn’t include a whole lot of scientists unfortunately) observing that, hey, it hasn’t gotten warmer where I am.  Those folks were told (you evil, degenerate idiot you) that local conditions vary but, by the-God-we-don’t-believe-exists-but-whose-name-makes-swearing-a-lot-easier, Global Warming Climate Change (the new and improved accepted term because evil, degenerate idiots kept pointing out all the “warming” holes in the theory) was real because SCIENCE (and you’re a stupidhead if you don’t automatically agree).  Then someone who also wasn’t as smart as all the patchouli smelling hipster kids pointed out that the temperatures on Mars was also rising.  Naturally, he too was shouted down as a troglodytic Luddite (even though he was a scientist) because “[h]is views are completely at odds with the mainstream scientific opinion,’said Colin Wilson, a planetary physicist at England’s Oxford University” (because it’s not actual science that determines fact but the consensus of a group of people).  I mean, sure, human produced CO2 emissions MUST be the cause of rising global temperatures (even though there are pretty much zero people on Mars…since Gary Sinise left in the alien spaceship anyway) and definitely NOT because the Sun (the giant ball thermonuclear fire that burns at around 27 million degrees at its core) was in a more active than usual cycle (remember kids: CO2 > enormous ball of nuclear fire next door…when it comes to what makes the planet hotter).

And surely you remember being the fool who was chided for looking smug when the whole “Climategate” scandal broke.  You know…that event where hackers got hold of thousands of emails from scientists who were convinced that GW/Climate Change was occurring as a result of human activity and that, unless we radically changed our entire society (pretty much just western society which actually contributes the minority of the CO2 but hey…don’t get stuck on facts NOW) we were all GOING TO DIE?  Yeah, you recall that.  Remember how prior to that scandal one of the issues skeptical people had with this whole cabal of scientists shrieking from the rooftops of all the ivory towers how this was all going to be one enormous environmental disaster was that they wouldn’t grant access to the data they were collecting, wouldn’t honor freedom of information requests so skeptics could truly look at the raw information to see if these dire predictions were true and how the scandal exposed emails wherein the scientists were worried about how to spin observations that showed their “climate models” that were all apparently forecasting global annihilation weren’t jiving when they should be…and that those findings should simply be ignored or maybe put through a algorithm that would churn out “acceptable” data that would jive better with their models?  Remember how if you pointed at that and said that such activities aren’t those of people on the up and up and that perhaps a less biased, less fueled-by-millions-of-research-dollars studies MIGHT be a better idea…that you were once more pilloried for being a backwards, delusional fool?

Chicken Little press conference.

Pictured above: someone who rational, level-headed people probably wouldn’t trust with a forecast of the future OR the latest demiGod to those on the left who seem to exist solely for the purpose of wringing their hands over the latest manufactured crisis-du-jour. Either or.

Anyway, remember all those good old days of…just 3 years ago?  Yeah, well, turns out, if you were thinking with your own brain and thought that taking the word of a bunch of leftist organizations who seemed a whole lot more interested in how to leverage the scare about Global Warming into a socialist wealth redistribution scheme via “carbon offset credits” wasn’t a sound basis to frantically be doing the scientific community version of Chicken Little…step up to claim your prize.  Turns out that an early report leaked from the IPCC (the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is trying to figure out how to spin revelations that all those peer reviewed studies who were all in lockstep uniformity just 20 years ago that predicted global temperatures would rise by 0.2C (a big number on a global scale)…had only risen 1/4 of that (0.05C).  Yeah, it seems that of those 117 studies who all uniformly foretold climate doom back in the 1990’s…that were the backbone of the entire Global Warming/Climate Change crowd…only 3 were even remotely close and 114 (that’d be a whopping 97.4%) weren’t just wrong but, on average, overestimated the amount of global warming that actually ended up happening by more than 200%.

What does this have to do with wisdom though?  Only this: wise people realize that a new field of study that suddenly gains enormous prominence, the attention of the entire globe and sees hundreds of millions of research dollars being handed out to anyone willing to conduct a global warming study MIGHT be susceptible to influence, bias and corruption because (get this): scientists are people too.  People are subject to the same weaknesses and sins and scientists are no exception and scientists AREN’T machines incapable of mistakes or outright lying…they’re people just like you and me.

Does this settle the idiocy of the ever panicking leftist crowd vis-a-vis Global Warming/Climate Change/the Sky Is Falling?  Of course not.  You’d have to believe that facts and subjective thought have any effect on such thinking and, subjective observation long ago ruled out that theory.  What it does do though is to re-affirm that cooler heads (not an intended pun but an apt one nonetheless) are called for and, in this instance (as in most others), those who say “stay the course, let’s see if this is real or not” turned out, yet again, to be right.

Let’s be entirely clear here for a moment: the globe DID get warmer.  There seems to be a lot less proof now that CO2 or other greenhouse gasses are to blame for the rise than was previously thought but the fact still remains that we did get warmer.  Also, regardless of whether there is a human origin for such a rise it’s still a good idea to move our economies away from a fossil fuel basis for energy supply (and towards cleaner, renewable sources).  This is simply a good idea even minus the typical hysterical climate reasoning.  What skeptics like me have always said is that while we need to move towards those goals, there is no emergency thundering toward us that should stampede us collectively into stupid, half-baked solutions to problems that don’t really exist.  And that’s why wisdom, sometimes, is comfortable.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this post.

Posted in In the news, On the web, Politics, Science, Weather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Watch Where You Step

Posted by Euroranger on August 16, 2013


This is known as the Greater Internet F***wad Theory. Seems funny or amusing but the more time I spend on the net (and I spend a ton) it becomes less “theory” and more “law”.

As most of you know who do roll through here, I’m well into my forties, am married, have kids, 2 dogs, a mortgage and so on.  I also own my own internet consulting business, am an application developer, game online and have a fairly juvenile sense of humor.  In other words, the first factual statement doesn’t typically have a large Venn diagram overlap with the second but, that’s me and I like it like that.  Most days anyway.  It seems I’ve managed to successfully master being a responsible adult and parent while still retaining my enjoyment and occupation with things that normally draw younger and, typically, much less mature folk.  And while I have no idea when or how that happened, I’m okay with it.  Sometimes, though, I forget that I used to be one of those very people until I run into one (almost always online) and then I’m reminded of just, well, how much I’ve aged I guess.

You see, a couple of posts back, I got to enjoy the attentions of someone though, who they are actually employed as a chief information officer, seemed to know remarkably little about how the internet actually works.  She stalked me to this blog, read something she didn’t like and up and terminated a development contract on that basis…and that’s fine.  It was entirely their prerogative to sever the relationship anytime they so chose.  What was interesting though was rather than be up front and honest about why they did so (they said it was work performance which, as of day 9 of a contract, is kind of a joke and despite moving more support tickets in those 9 days than they’d moved for probably 6 months) she lied to me in an exit interview whilst thinking she was being sly and crafty with her internet skulking around.  I like to imagine she had the Mission Impossible soundtrack playing in her head while she did her digging.  I also imagine she was less than amused when I penned an article about her complete with a hidden message that I only advised her about AFTER she decided to ask her HR people to “add it to my file” (as though a file on a 9 day employee will amount to anything anywhere to anyone).  Because she decided to copy everyone, I was kind of pleased to see her hoist by her own petard, so to speak, when I hit “reply all” to expose her idiocy to everyone who bothered to look (and yes, they did).  Now, in all honesty, I thought her particular kind of ignorance of a medium for which she was employed to be at least semi-knowledgeable about was probably a rare thing.  You can imagine my surprise when I encountered it again today.

As normally happens when it comes to braggarts and those in general who are far more impressed with themselves than facts would normally allow, this fellow felt he was safe behind the invincible banner of internet anonymity when he should know better that he’s not and so he proceeded to bluster about as though he were more than he actually is.  And you know what, where I might once have cared about such things, these days I know that imbeciles like that are literally a dime a dozen and that the internet is rife with assclowns like that.  It’d be like getting miffed at a raindrop in the middle of a downpour so I resolved to pity the turd and move on.  And that’s where it would have ended even after I got to have this poor excuse for a boy actually trying to threaten me earlier (if making silly boasts on an internet message board qualifies as this generation’s “threats”):

Now, in all fairness, when he says he’s “coming for me”, it could just be one of those terms kids use to declare his undying gay love for me. I have no idea what he meant by “growing eyes in my ass” though. I guess it was supposed to be threatening.

But see, I’ve HAD kids threaten me before with the whole “I got yer IP” and such.  Normally, such outbursts occurred in gaming servers and simply expressed the outrageous amount of butthurt they were enduring due to something I did, was doing, or was continuing to do.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen this but I normally chalk this up to being 11-14 years old, prepubescent, little rage machines but even with this, it was all kind of sadly amusing and entirely dismissible as someone who lacked even basic impulse control.  That was, til he decided that making minor humorous threats on a chat forum wasn’t enough…and so he came here to continue:

His best shot I suppose. I especially like the line about “white women”…as though that’s some kind of special qualifier. It’s just so darn precious.

Or maybe “awkward chinless turtle”. Whatever. The turtle’s got himself a “real assault rifle”…although I doubt an adult was around when this pic was snapped.

Now, as most folks who know me personally will likely attest, I’m a kind of laid back guy and will let most slights roll…but damn if that’s just not how I feel today.  See, for a dude who likes to make threats and go about calling himself “Apoplectic Ape”, when you actually cast a glance at Eric Giroux, “ape” is probably the last animal you’d likely ascribe to his general appearance.  Maybe “skinny weasel”.  Or perhaps “dimwitted jackass”.  Whatever you come up with, it’s hardly likely to be a synonym for “hardened, ass-kicking, internet tough guy”…but that’s apparently the way he sees himself.  What’s truly impressive is that he’s apparently a “digital marketing specialist”.  This suggests he ought to know something about how that whole internet thingy works.  Which is surprising because it takes little to no effort to unmask my sinister stalker.  See Eric here, well, he lives in an apartment in Lawrence, Kansas (awful long way for you to “come for me”) but works for a company called “DealerFire”.  I wonder how they’d feel about one of their recently hired account managers posting juvenile inane crap like he seems to enjoy doing.  Wonder how they’d feel looking at all the time he spends on social media sites being a smartass, repellent dick in general?  Maybe someone should ask.  I’ll bet they’d be interested to know.  I mean, outside of throwing cash, pouring gold bottles (“gold bottles”?) on white women and “stomping on the homeless when the cops aren’t looking” (establishing his “badass” cred I’m guessing here), Eric stays busy pissing away a fair chunk of his day spouting all sorts of puerile bulls**t whenever the mood strikes him…and that appears to be “frequently”.

What’s more amusing is his attempt to spread what he considers his “dopeness” (yeah…really…it’s a word he uses to describe one of his “notable” web properties) as though some 20 something, former KU frat boy douchebag whose entire claim to fame to date was sticking his folks with his offspring while he goes recording himself drinking beer (gasp!) outside (Gasp!) IN THE SNOW (GASP!) whenever he’s not laying down his essential brand of internet toughness on those he clearly has established to his own satisfaction that he’s superior to (read: “everyone who ever beat his geek ass in school and those who can’t actually reach him to do it today”)…all in orange crocs.

So, word to you Eric: I promise…really REALLY promise…I’m veritably pooping in my drawers at the very thought of you coming for me via my IP address (which of course you don’t have because, hey, you can’t get one simply because you wish REALLY hard and hold you breath for it).  Yep, I’m trembling in abject fear of your gangly, gawky, awkward self “coming for me” despite the eyes I’m furiously growing in my ass this very second in breathless anticipation of your arrival.  Before you head out on your quest for epic internet retribution for calling you out as the spineless, ignorant, boasting dumbass you simply had to double down on to emphatically prove me right (I didn’t need the assist), maybe you should share your evil plans with Mommy, Daddy, Ashley and little Jackson.  Mommy and Daddy will likely chuckle with mock levity at my impending doom at your assuredly fearsome hands…and then offer you a juicebox and cookie and send you out to play.  Ashley might take you more seriously and wonder if this is yet another ill-considered battle she’s going to go need to rescue her eternally deluded little bro from.  Jackson, well, if you don’t come back, he can probably succeed in changing his name to something that doesn’t link his future to his daddy’s idiotic past.  The kid needs a better chance than that.  Maybe you shouldn’t sell your uncle’s couch.  It’s not likely your new “girl”friend will want to keep it…what with all the stains on the upholstery and such.

But anyway, enough of this.  I have no plans to roll into Lawrence anytime soon (especially not since you’re up in Oshkosh right now) so let’s go ahead and call a truce.  You stick to being a back-flipping, pretentious, string bean, bag of douche with delusions of grandeur that exists as an object lesson to…well…everyone who isn’t you and I’ll stick to me being me.  However, if you’re still going to go about casting yourself as some kind of internet marketing specialist, go ahead and learn how pathetically simple it is to dig you and every facet of your insipid life up in a matter of a few minutes.  Oh…and “bland life”?  LOL!  Yep, guess I’d have to tip the hat to you on expertise on that, sport.  You’d be best to judge…from either Lawrence or Oshkosh.

Pictured above, Eric Giroux of Lawrence, KS. Proud graduate of KU and holder of the prestigious May 2012 cover of (what the hell incestuous mag was that called?…oh yeah) AutoSuccess Magazine. Thrower of cash, pourer of bottles, stomper of the homeless, seller of other people’s furniture, comer for motherfuckers, and general all around bad ass of the intarweb tubez. Also, proud possessor of the Orange Crocs That I Wear While Attention Whoring (some more…for crissake, give it a break kid) On My Mommy And Daddy’s Front Lawn. Yeah, I know you thought I was kidding about the orange crocs. Sadly, not even close to kidding. Are you really surprised tho that my newest nemesis dresses via Garanimals? I’m not.

Addendum:  So, for those who don’t read the comments, young Eric here has chosen “bluff” rather than “man up”.  I myself have a stepson in his 20’s who also makes exceptionally bad decisions (except he’s learned from his for the most part).  All kids that age do.  Eric, however, was given a couple of chances to accept what is patently obvious and sail away relatively unscathed.  I gave him a clear route for taking this post down…he responded by switching accounts on the site where this all started and then posted…hell, I’ve lost count…quite a few comments to this blog today starting from begging and pleading and eventually running straight to outright lies, more ignorant and offensive language and finally to outright daring me to inform his employer (whose time he has wasted in exceptional amounts today).  I truly would have preferred he not push it to this point…but hey…so be it.  Maybe his employer won’t care.  Maybe they’ll be cool with his smack talking and acting like a prick on the web.  Maybe they won’t care they’re paying a salary for some kid to internet stalk people while he should be doing company business.  I guess we’ll find out.

Trace 1 – This is the account he uses to post his particular brand of insult on the social media sites he whiles his days away on. Make note of the link to his web property sneakhype and that he lives in Lawrence, KS

Trace 2. This is’s contact page. Notice the 4 Twitter accounts (we’re down to 4 people). Anyway, 2 of them are Kansas with one specifically Lawrence.. 


Trace 3. This is the one specifically matching Lawrence, KS just like the Apoplectic Ape account. Gee, what are the chances that of the 4 accounts, 1 of them would feature a background image of an ape, contain tweets referencing the site he visits as Apoplectic Ape and both this account and the Ape account are from Lawrence? Pretty close to zero.

Trace 4. Unfortunately, while also talking smack, referencing clear connections and such, our genius of social media uses this same Twitter account for his actual job (as opposed to the one where he curbstomps the homeless).

Trace 5. Of course, when you’re too lazy or stupid to use a different Twitter account for your repellant social media tendencies, people who you threaten and harass might decide to follow that up. This here is the account he’s speaking to, in this case, Corey at Dealerfire. But surely that’s not enough to go on right? Nope, you’re right…

…but this probably is. Says it there bold as day. Also claims the sneakhype site as his as well.

Anyway, this is how someone who decides to follow, harass, threaten and then finally dare someone gets famous on the internet. Or, you could just call it “bad judgement”.

My name is Euroranger and I was dared to approve this post.

Posted in Amusing, On the web, Web Dev | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

When winning is actually losing

Posted by Euroranger on June 6, 2013

Hell, he even has three more years…assuming we survive that long, that is.

This will be a very brief post because I figured that many of you may find yourselves in the same boat I found myself in earlier today.

I was reading the latest “scandal du jour” spawned from the magnificent leadership that is our President Barry when it struck me that I’d actually lost count of how many scandals this historical embarrassment of an administration has piled up.  To be entirely fair, lately they’ve been falling out of this administration’s diseased uterus at a rate that practically nobody could keep up with so much so that you almost want to keep a scorecard (or need a program) to make sure the newer ones don’t eclipse the importance of the older ones…lest we forget.

So, anyway, without further ado, let me throw down a list of the scandals that call this administration “home”:

  • The Blagojovokujojevich (or however you spell that walking hairpiece’s name) selling Barry’s Senate seat scandal
  • The Joe Sestak bribery/influence peddling scandal
  • The ignoring the Black Panthers voter intimidation scandal
  • The Solyndra scandal (and all those like it)
  • The Pigford scandal (the Agriculture Department money giveaway to minority farmers)
  • The Fast and Furious, ATF gun-running into Mexico scandal
  • AG Holder perjuring himself about the Fast and Furious scandal
  • The dozens of Obama recess appointments scandal(s)
  • The GSA, VA, HHS and IRS spending money like it was water scandals
  • The Benghazi, abandoning Americans to die so we don’t offend Muslims, scandal (as well as the subsequent lying about it)
  • The IRS suppressing political organizations with agendas contrary to those of the President scandal
  • The Justice Department seizing telephone records of the AP scandal
  • The Justice Department seizing work and personal telephone records for a Fox reporter because he helped publicize a story embarrassing to the administration scandal
  • AG Holder blatantly perjuring himself when he said he knew nothing about the Fox reporter investigation scandal
  • The EPA, Freedom of Information Act preferential-to-liberal-groups record requests scandal
  • …and finally, today’s scandal: the NSA conducting a massive internal surveillance program that would make the KGB nod proudly

This guy has only been in office just over 5 years now and the above list is hardly exhaustive.  I could have included Kathleen Sibelius being found to extort money from companies HHS would administer or her having violated the Hatch Act when she was blatantly campaigned for a Democrat candidate in North Carolina or even Barry’s own habit of executive rule changes, instructing federal agencies not to enforce laws passed by Congress and just, in general, acting like the laws of this country don’t apply to him (or to anyone in his administration, for that matter).  Add to that the coming Obamacare debacle as well as his absolutely disastrous debt spending campaign that have us in the hole to the tune of around $17T by now.

I guess what I’m saying is, for all my study of American history, you’d have to go pretty damned far back in our past to find an administration and president as absolutely corrupt and dismissive of the rule of law as this guy.  The real irony is that in 2008, the mass of young people who poured out of college campuses nationwide to support candidate Obama and vault him into the presidency were doing so because of what they perceived as Bush’s corruption.  Outside of playing it safe and relying on questionable intelligence that was a product of the Clinton years, what scandals can we collectively recall from the Bush years?  Sure as hell not this many.  That all said, while this president’s administration is ever more quickly revealing itself to be the most anti-American, anti-taxpayer and thoroughly corrupt administration in generations, there is one American who casts his gaze on all this shit…and smiles:

If you ever thought you’d live long enough to experience a president who made Jimmy Carter look good…you’re either the world’s best fortune teller or the world’s worst pessimist.

So anyway, there’s your Obama Scandal Scorecard…for those of you playing along at home and trying like hell to keep up.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in On the web, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ObamaCare vs. SCOTUS, Round 1

Posted by Euroranger on March 27, 2012

Barry praying

Yeah...too little, too late, too false, sport. No amount of divine intervention's gonna save this steaming turd of a law now.

In the interest of holy brevity (which I rarely observe), I’ll try and keep this short today…mostly because, in a few months, this post will be rendered obsolete.

Today is day 2 of the Supreme Court hearing the case of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al v. Florida…or otherwise and more famously known as “Obamacare”.  So far, the news today is that one of the thought-to-be crucial swing votes, Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been posing some skeptical questions to the government’s lawyers (the ones defending Obamacare) which, in turn, makes people start to think the court may indeed rule against Obamacare.  This is all info that can be found practically anywhere on the web today.  What’s interesting though is that we have a fight in court simply because of political cowardice…and that cowardice ought to be nigh unforgivable should this law be struck down as unconstitutional (which, I believe, it will be).

Why cowardice?  Well, it’s because of the issue that’s actually being argued in court today: does the federal government have the right to compel a private citizen to purchase a product they may not want to purchase?  This is being argued because of the coverage mandate language of the Obamacare law that states that, with only few exceptions, everyone must be covered by a health insurance policy by some future date or risk being assessed a penalty (call it a tax as well if you like) by the IRS on your next tax return.  The government is arguing that they can enforce this clause via the rights ensured to Congress via the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.  The law’s opponents, naturally, have responded with the legal language equivalent of “bullshit”.

Anyway, if the federal government’s goal was for everyone to have medical insurance, wasn’t there a better and easier (and constitutional) way to do this?  Oh, you bet your ass there was.  It’s called “taxation”…something the federal government positively excels at.  The cowardice charge comes from me because this law SHOULD fail because the Congress didn’t have the stomach to do this the way they should have (if they were going to go this route of ensuring everyone is insured) and copped out by saying they were requiring people to buy their own.  Had the Democrats in Congress simply manned up and said “we’re imposing a new tax to pay for health care coverage”, issued people a voucher for X dollars per year to pay for it (probably via their tax return) OR simply given the taxpayer a choice of insurers their voucher could be sent to (so they wouldn’t simply pocket the money) so as to pay for the premiums then this law would likely survive and maybe do what it was intended to do.

But they DIDN’T man up, didn’t call it a tax when it really IS a tax and instead pussed their way out so that they could run for office back in 2010 without the claim hanging over them that they just ushered in the single biggest taxation increase in United States history.  What it boils down to is: they wanted to be re-elected more than they wanted (ostensibly) to help the country and its citizens.

Coming soon

This is one of those times you see the depth of wisdom of the Founding Fathers to have a Supreme Court to ride herd on the government.

The SCOTUS, I think, will strike down at least this portion of the law and rightfully so.  If you allow the Congress to get away with passing a law saying you MUST buy something then you’ve opened the Pandora’s Box a crack to allow them to decide you need to eat certain things, engage in certain activities, must read and possess certain texts, etc.  It is a way too intrusive step of the federal government into our lives and hopefully the Supreme Court will bitchslap this stupid law back to the frickin’ Stone Age.

You want universal healthcare?  Fine.  There’s really only one way to do it: expand Medicare to cover every single American for a minimum of basic medical coverage.  This will mean that your tax bill WILL increase but you get to do away with Medicaid and the VA.  Also, your private insurers will still survive because the coverage provided is basic…and they’ll sell supplemental policies which (if I had my way) would be strictly regulated.  But none of this will happen because our Congress doesn’t give a flying rat turd for the country when that care is opposed to their getting re-elected to office.  So, this law will fail, Obama was an idiot for proposing it, an even bigger idiot for going along with all the concessions he made to get it to pass and he deserves the full blame (along with Reid and Pelosi) when the court rightfully squashes this idiocy as it almost surely should and probably will.  And just so I’m on the record: I too believe we have a major problem with health care in this country and I believe the only ultimate solution is to go to some form of a single payer solution.  Only problem with Obamacare is: this ain’t it and it deserves to die so we can all deal with the shock of that and move to address the situation with a mature, comprehensive, bi-partisan plan.

I almost typed that last part without laughing out loud.  Almost.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in In the news, On the web, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hole-y LinkedIn!

Posted by Euroranger on March 12, 2012

Danger Will Robinson!

Will Robinson: Hey LinkedIn support, if I join LinkedIn will my contact info be confidential? LinkedIn Support: Uh..."*yes". (Where "yes" means "not a chance in hell")

As proper owner of this blog I feel a slight pressure to post on occasion so as to not allow this site to get too stale or otherwise cobweb ridden.  However, my normal inspirational muse (aka: “things that piss me off”) can be overdone and I try to be sensitive that nobody who isn’t also my wife isn’t legally required to sit through my rants and might drift off and make a pledge never to return if all I ever do is bitch, piss, moan and complain (although for my wife, I’m betting that’ll teach her to read the “fine print” on the next marriage certificate SHE signs).  So, to that end, while I encounter all manner of subjects I could righteously rant about, I often curb those urges to showcase my more creative talents in the “profane arts” in the interest of the greater public good.  However, as is evidenced by the fact that you’re reading this, I sometimes overcome the urge to hold myself back (did you notice there how I make “criminal levels of laziness and outright sloth” sound like a virtue?) and happen upon a subject that requires…nay DEMANDS a post.  Today is one of those days and my recent exchange with LinkedIn support is one of those subjects.

Chris Limboo love me long time...give me job.


Now, like any other working professional who pretends to greater professionalism, I am the proud owner of a LinkedIn account and attendant profile page.  I am not an active LinkedIn participant but I do receive a daily email exposing me to the somewhat banal exchanges that pass for professional conversations in my LinkedIn developer group (whose name I won’t divulge here in the really unlikely circumstance they ever happen across this blog).  I also get a daily email telling me about alleged employment opportunities in my areas of interest/expertise which I do like to peruse from time to time whilst I wonder why none of them ever seem to be for employers even remotely in the same time zone as me.  Anyway, being the savvy surfer of the internet that I am, it has been my habit for many moons now to own several different email accounts.  They all have the same account name but somehow I have managed to reserve that same name on Gmail, Yahoo, Excite and MSN.  I do this because anytime I want to register for something, I provide the account that I use as my “garbage” account.  That is, I’m somewhat sensitive about spam and until I’m sure a site isn’t hawking my contact info to all the penis pill manufacturers of the world (and believe you me, the only thing those folks are more concerned with than my dangly bits being of insufficient girth and/or length is whether I can keep the scourge of perpetual and ill-timed flaccidity at bay), I use one of my garbage accounts to register on sites.  Later, once I’m sure they’re not hawking my info about, I can log onto that site and change the email address to one I use more regularly.  So, as this relates to LinkedIn, I did originally register on LinkedIn with a garbage email but their privacy policy, and the fact that they provide such strict controls over who can contact me via LinkedIn led me to believe that my email address there was relatively safe and so, after a time, I switched my mail email there to my account from my garbage collecting account.  Since I’ve taken the time to blog about this you can probably guess that something has gone awry and as of February 10 of this year, it did:

I got the above email in my Gmail inbox on that day.  Now, as an aside that I rarely mention, one of the things I dislike most about LinkedIn is how it’s been largely co-opted by every goddamned recruiter in existence who will, if allowed, mercilessly spam your LinkedIn inbox with every manner of job they happen across regardless of whether you’re even remotely qualified or even reside on the same continent as the “opportunity”.  By coincidence, most of these “recruiters” tend, from my admittedly biased standpoint, to be Indian and, as a result, tend to mangle the English language in such a way as I wouldn’t trust them with picking up dog turds in my back yard much less my resume and contact info.  Spam + half-assed broken English != trust.  I guess I’m just a bigot that way.  The email above though is from a fellow named Chris Limboo.  If you look up his profile on LinkedIn (the one he VERY much wants me to link to) you’ll see two things immediately: 1. he’s Chinese and not Indian and 2. judging from his profile photo he’s a pretty happy guy (possibly because he likes spamming people like me…and maybe due to his not being Indian).  Regardless of his disarming smirk smile and his non-Indian-ness, I was still wary of his siren song of Linking.  I checked into his employer and, lo and behold, they’re owned by Indians.  Yes folks, the Indian recruiters whom I vigorously avoid like toilet seat borne herpes…they’ve outsourced to China.  So, onto their little evil plot, I write Chris a quick email:

Smartass response

What a smartass response to email spam looks like

Now, as good as my word, I did indeed send a support email off to LinkedIn explaining my concern as to how the hell did this little leg-humping spam wizard get a hold of my email knowing that I had an account on LinkedIn he could pander to.  This in itself is a rather arduous task and should have been my first inkling that something wasn’t at all right with LinkedIn as it took me quite some time to actually locate a link to send their support folk an email outlining my concerns.  You see, my profile (and, if you too are on LinkedIn, yours too) doesn’t show your contact email address.  This is because LinkedIn believes they have a fairly self-explanatory privacy policy that does indeed address the information you share with them, inclusive of your primary contact email address.  Feel free to read it here: LinkedIn privacy policy (and make sure to pay special attention to the part that says “Control the messages you receive from LinkedIn and other Users”).  In short, LinkedIn likes to tell you that you cannot contact other users directly unless you’re linked to them.  This is actually a pretty nifty feature to cut down on people spamming the unholy crap out of complete strangers and, coupled with the fact that your email address doesn’t appear anywhere on your profile page, seems to infer that the only way for another LinkedIn user to contact you is solely through LinkedIn.  How then did Chris Limboo come to my electronic doorstep to suggest that “we can mutually get benefited through our network”?

Canned LinkedIn response

Guess they felt a canned response was adequate.

Well, I’ll tell you, it was a mystery to me.  It was also apparently a mystery to LinkedIn as well because they didn’t respond until today (almost 4 weeks later).  Now given that LinkedIn makes it near impossible to trouble them with silly piddling shit like “their network somehow gave spamming assclowns my email address” what do you think I got in return?  If your answer was “a form email” come forward to collect your prize.  Now, I had pretty much forgotten I’d sent this 4 weeks back so when it arrived today I had to ask myself, if they weren’t going to bother answering my email for 4 weeks, why bother at all and then when they do, send me some canned crap answer that doesn’t even address my question?  Well, rather than distress my small, febrile mind with such vexatious stumpers, I kicked it back to them in a return email pointing out that I was the one who originally pointed out that the email didn’t originate from them and that my question (how is it a spammer got my email address from LinkedIn) hadn’t been addressed nor answered.  Well, here comes the part of the post that is the entire reason for me even bothering to write this much crap (on a Monday no less).

As I’m waiting for LinkedIn to respond to me, I log onto LinkedIn to check out my profile to make double dog sure I’m not taking them to task for something I may have inadvertently allowed to happen.  However, as I check my profile, I don’t see hide nor hair of my email address anywhere on my public profile page (for fun, if you have a LinkedIn profile, check your own right now…you won’t see yours either).  Even a cursory search through the view source for the page (the actual HTML code that makes web pages) didn’t reveal my email address.  For several minutes I was quite stumped…until I noticed these little links here, at the bottom of my profile synopsis:


How handy! A way to save off your profile info...except...

Being the curious sort, I clicked on them.  Guess what you get when you click that middle “PDF” link?  Why, you get a PDF document with your profile (how handy!)…with your private email address featured prominently at the top of the frickin’ document!  That’s right gentle readers: even if you have read LinkedIn’s privacy policy and even if you don’t even have a way to display your email address in your public profile, LinkedIn recognizes your oversight and helpfully gives it in a handily savable format!  Know what’s even better?  The PDF that LinkedIn generates has an even handier OCR (read: “scrapable text”) layer.  This means that any competent developer can simply set up a spider to crawl LinkedIn, crawl each PDF link it sees, get the generated document, store it and then it has your ready-to-spam email address, right in the frickin’ header of each page!  Naturally, I advised LinkedIn of this apparent oversight and…well…why spoil the fun?  Here, read it yourself:


My email pointing out their apparent hole...

Yay x2!

...and their response.

So, what’s the moral of this story?  It’s this:

LinkedIn is a very handy forum where you can post information about yourself and your professional details, accolades and accomplishments.  However, when you decide to use LinkedIn, even though you’re led to believe that the ONLY way people on LinkedIn can contact you is via LinkedIn’s own messaging system BECAUSE THEY DON’T PUBLISH YOUR EMAIL ANYWHERE IN YOUR VISIBLE PROFILE NOR EVEN GIVE YOU THE OPTION TO POST YOUR EMAIL TO YOUR PROFILE…it’s still available on the PDF download they also don’t let you block or edit the contents thereof.

If you use LinkedIn, be aware that:

  1. your email contact info is readily available even though you may think it is not
  2. there is currently no way for you to block the availability of that info
  3. if you ask LinkedIn about it, prepare to enjoy the world of canned responses

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Errata, On the web, Various | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Things are starting to look up around here

Posted by Euroranger on March 12, 2010

America, Fuck Yeah!

Only in America can you have a picture that combines a flag, a muscle car, a blonde hottie in a miniskirt and a 12 guage shotgun...and it looks right.

America and Americans are admirable people.  America and Americans also have lots of faults.  America and Americans can be very smart, can be very dumb, can have have long memories and can have memories best measured by something called “femtoseconds” (one quadrillionth of a second).  In short, it’s never safe to say that you can predict what a large, milling herd of Americans will do.  For years, the only real reason the Russians were afraid of us enough to point thermonuclear tipped missiles at us was because we were unpredictable.  I’m not sure how Russians would say “crazier than a bedbug” but I’m sure the grammatically correct Cyrillic version of that phrase was a common commie oath.  In return, we pointed nuclear tipped missiles at the Russians because we had them, had the 2nd Amendment and Charlton Heston came down from the mountain with a tablet that said it was okay to do so.  Charlton and Moses pretty much hated commies.  However, to get back on track, Americans have a hate/hate-even-more relationship with their government.  This is odd because the American version of democracy has vaulted us to the highest standards of living in the entire world.  It’s like we’re spoiled kids who bitch and complain when we’re already living in the nicest house and have the nicest things.  This would be an example of an American fault and an American virtue occupying the same space.

So, anyway, if you hadn’t caught the news recently, Americans are starting to do even weirder things than is normal.  Not weird like in it gets you arrested and authorities describe your lapse in judgment with words like “prurient” or “licentious”.  For instance, a little while back Massachusetts did something completely unexpected: they pulled their collective head out of their collective ass and didn’t simply grant the Senate seat held by former senator and one-time amateur bridge diver, Ted Kennedy to the next Democrat in line who managed to get to election day unindicted.  They held an election and, for the first time in nearly 2 generations, actually made that election something other than the massive joke of a rubber stamp that it had become and elected someone other than a Democrat to the Senate.  Now, naturally, for the past 40 years or therebouts, Ted Kennedy was pretty much a stone-cold betting lock every 6 years when election time for his seat came round.  But then something happened that would derail any political career: he got drunk, snuck off with a woman who wasn’t his wife, managed to drive off a bridge, leave the girl to drown in the water trapped in the car, wander home, take a nap, and not remember to tell the authorities he died.  You see, despite recent advances in the zombie sciences, even Teddy K, despite all the years he spent in preparation pickling himself, couldn’t ignore Death and so, his seat was up for grabs in an actual election in his district.  Would you believe they voted in a Republican?  Oh, I know, I asked the same thing: “what are the odds that an entire state could be drunk enough all at the same time to do that“?  But, it happened and the world spun backwards for a moment.  But then, in his first vote, the new guy voted with the Democrats…so it was all God’s way of saying “hey Massachusetts just kidding!…but seriously, quit dicking around down there”.  Obviously he doesn’t hate them yet or he would have, oh I don’t know, afflicted them with an earthquake…which seems to be the popular choice on the “how does God wanna deliver a message these days” list.  Protip to God from Haiti, Chile and Turkey: UPS, Fedex and Purolator are all cheaper.

Amazons attack!

I know these aren't the Amazons I'm talking about. But these are hot, have big armored bewbs and are apparently kicking Washington D.C.'s that automatically makes them better.

As if it wasn’t strange enough that Massachusetts either collectively woke up or collectively suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm, other Americans appear to be coming to of late.  Just the other day, told the entire state of Colorado to get bent.    It would seem that the fine lawmakers in the state of Colorado decided to ignore that whole pesky ban on taxing interstate commerce provision in the Constitution…apparently because they couldn’t come up with a feasible way to get enough roofies to drug the entire populace of the state so they might buttfuck them some other way.  What they told internet retailers was this: out-of-state online retailers must collect Colorado state sales tax if they sold to someone in Colorado. in turn told Colorado to eat a bowl of dicks and the result will likely be that around 5000 Coloradoans (?) will lose their jobs as a direct result.  That’s not good these days but I’m actually amazed that somewhere, somehow discovered the testicular mass to tell Colorado lawmakers to go fuck themselves over this extortion attempt.  Google couldn’t seem to find that same groove in China of late but God bless Amazon.  It’s been a wonder to me for some time whether anyone else realizes that there is a natural limit to how many things you can actually tax before the people you’re taxing rediscover the notion that we all have guns for just such an event.  Interestingly enough, this is the same Colorado that hosts the town of Colorado Springs where, when the citizenry put their foot down and said “no new taxes” and the city came up with a budget shortfall they decided to turn off about 1/3 of the streetlights, fire beat cops, a vice squad and some firefighters…but decided to keep the popular drug addict needle exchange program.  People vs. the government is getting more ludicrous by the day.

But it may also be getting dangerous.  We all heard about the crazy domestic terrorist loon who flew his plane into that IRS office building in Texas.  Unhinged, deranged maniac, right?  Well, judging from the rather cogent goodbye manifesto he left behind and the general reaction on internet chat boards by other Americans…maybe not.  He said: “I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother’ while he strips my carcass” and “I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity.”  Now, that could all be the product of a delusional mind but consider for a moment: this guy tried more than once to start a business, failed and ended up having to declare bankruptcy.  In other words, he lost his fucking shirt.  Oh but hey, guess what?  On top of all that he owed the IRS around $126,000.  The dude was, like me, a software engineer, he lost everything…and he ends up owing the IRS $126,000?!?  How is that possible?  For my family of 5, my annual taxes are around $2000 altogether.  That’s 63 years of taxes for me.  I guess the IRS figured an assload of penalties and interest would help him right out, right?  Yeah, small wonder the guy decides to burn down his house and then fly a Cessna into an office building.  They should be glad he hadn’t decided to load up the plane with as much aviation fuel or dynamite as he might could have gotten his hands on, huh?  What’s more, the chat boards I browsed about the incident weren’t 100% against him.  There was a sizable minority (I’d wild-ass guess it was around 35-45%) who said “yeah, I can understand that”.  When you couple that growing trend with the fact that Americans’ regard for Congress can best be described by the as-yet uninvented word that combines the concepts of unutterable rage, slack-jawed incredulity and a healthy dose of depthless despicability and you begin to see just how wise a bunch of guys like Thomas Jefferson and his ilk were when they guaranteed that Americans should all have the right to bear arms.  Not for use against each other…but for possible use against their own government.

Assload of guns

What a redneck wet dream might look like.

By coincidence, the Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments about the ludicrous Chicago anti-gun law.  Now normally, this isn’t a particularly newsworthy enough event for me to comment on.  That was until I heard that, get this: the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, Constitution and its various amendments only explicitly apply to the federal government and not necessarily to states.   This is true believe it or not and while most of the rights we know and enjoy as Americans have been shoehorned in via the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, those rights have all been applied to states one at time and apparently the 2nd Amendment ain’t had it’s turn yet.  I like to consider myself something of an educated, informed American and I was rather taken aback to learn that the rights we’re all told we have we…well…actually don’t really have directly.  They’ve been assured through judicial gymnastics and sleight of hand…which is both amazing and troubling.  Anyway, the SCOTUS struck down the ridiculous Washington D.C. handgun ban a little while back and that ruling directly led to the challenge to the very similar Chicago law.  In short, the SCOTUS will likely hear the case, tell the city of Chicago to go pound sand and formally make the 2nd Amendment the law of the land…which a great many of us simply assumed it already was.

So, let’s recap:

  • Americans do unpredictable things
  • Americans pretty much despise their government
  • Americans are increasingly appearing to be not as laconic and stupefied as we’ve all become accustomed to them being
  • The Supreme Court is about to declare that everyone has a right to own a gun anywhere

If I’m a member of Congress, I’d be digging a safe room in my basement right about now and you know what?…maybe that’s a good thing.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in On the web, Politics | 13 Comments »

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “W” (Woods, whales & WTF)

Posted by Euroranger on January 6, 2010

Pictured right to left: Tiger Woods, not Euroranger

See? Even this guy will be getting some hush money from Tiger? Did that guy fuck everyone but me???

If you’ve made the somewhat questionable decision to follow this blog (or you were titanically bored enough one day to read some of my previous posts) you’ll know that I prefer to take a topic, blather on endlessly about it and essentially do the verbal equivalent of “fold, spindle, mutilate” it.  I was sitting at my desk this morning surveying the virtual landscape and realized that no single topic interested me enough (or presented enough material) to do an entire blog post about.  However, there were topics upon which I had formed definite thoughts and opinions so I believe I’ll try for a multi-themed entry today.  A catch-all blog post, if you will.  Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit, shall we?

Tiger Woods – By now, you’d think that everything that can be said about a scandal that broke after Thanksgiving (the REAL Thanksgiving) would have been said.  But just like the guy whose last words are “hey ya’ll, watch this”…you’d be wrong.  You’d be wrong because I haven’t said anything about it yet.  Listen, I get it that the guy is a sporting God (prolly hates me), is one of the most recognizable people on the planet and is more popular than a Sno-Cone vendor in Hell.  Does this mean we should excuse and not talk about his indiscretions, his faults, his complete lack of judgement?  If you think that’s a rhetorical question perhaps you’re not aware of what I was referring to.  I’m not talking about his apparently fucking every other person on the planet except me.  No, he’s a celebrity and guess what, celebrities…yeah, they do that kinda thing.  No, what I’m referring to is this fucking mess right here:

Perkins FOOD is enough to make you gag...but this?

Perkins? Really? Tiger Woods eats at Perkins? What, Denny's wouldn't serve him?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is one of the people the esteemed Mister Woods chose to be infidelitous to his wife with.  A waitress.  From Perkins.  The man has more money than God, is married to a Swedish supermodel, and pretty much has his pick of whichever skank he wants to stick his naughty bits into…and he chose this trainwreck…from the local Perkins down the road from his house.  Do you know who got hurt the most by THIS little detail of the scandal?  That’s right…all his corporate endorsement partners…especially TLC Laser Eye surgery.  If this is what looks good to a multi-billionaire enough to cheat on your Swedish hottie supermodel mother of your children…after laser eye surgery at TLC…well…that can’t be a ringing endorsement of their services.


Not such a good idea

Does this look like a good idea to you? If not, you're in good company because as of this morning, Darwin apparently agrees.

Whale Wars – You ever happen across that show on Discovery Channel?  You know, the one where a bunch of smelly hippies led by a fat bearded dude stumble around in a boat called the Steve Irwin (named after the famed stingray target who used to educate people on the wonders of nature by sticking his finger up a crocodile’s ass on TV) whilst they try their level best to be even more repellent than they are already but to a Japanese whaling fleet?  Yeah, I caught a whole 3 episodes of that shit before I realized that yelling at the TV was uncool when the program wasn’t football.  I hated that show because all it was was Discovery trying to glorify a bunch of dipshits who know next to nothing about what they’re doing.  In fact, what they’re doing is attacking and attempting to board other vessels on the high seas…which, last I checked, might be a pretty good definition of “piracy”.  They run around after the Japanese boats, launch ridiculous little Zodiac boats wherein the passengers on those boats speed towards the Japanese vessels to throw bottles of some kind of exceptionally foul smelling acid at them whilst trying to tow a rope across their bow so as to foul the props of the whalers and disable their ships.  Don’t get me wrong now.  Every single episode is about them failing due to their own utter and complete incompetence, occasionally with brief moments of luck that are quickly outwitted by the Japanese whalers…and I find that incredibly entertaining.  I don’t even LIKE whaling and yet I take enormous pleasure in watching those vegan hippie wannabes screw themselves over and over again.  With that background you can just imagine my visceral emotional response when I ran across this headline just this morning:

Boat damaged in anti-whaling clash in Antarctica

SYDNEY – A conservation group’s boat had its bow sheared off and was taking on water Wednesday after it was struck by a Japanese whaling ship in the frigid waters of Antarctica, the group said.

The boat’s six crew members were safely transferred to another of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s vessels, the newly commissioned Bob Barker. The boat is named for the American game show host who donated $5 million to buy it.

Clashes using hand-thrown stink bombs, ropes meant to tangle propellers and high-tech sound equipment have been common in recent years, and crashes between ships have sometimes occurred.

The society said its vessel Ady Gil — a high-tech speedboat that resembles a stealth bomber — was hit by the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru near Commonwealth Bay and had about 10 feet (three meters) of its bow knocked off.

The group accused the Japanese ship of deliberately ramming the Ady Gil.

“They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred,” Maclean said of the Ady Gil. “When they realized that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat.”

Now, I’m going to stop this here for a moment to let that claim sink in.  Professional Japanese fishermen/whalers in the waters around Antarctica with big, ungainly boats deliberately rammed a high-tech speedboat.  Why those evil Japanese bastards!  How dare they?!  That poor defenseless speedboat!  I’m so outraged…I’m going to read The Rest Of The Story (said with my best Paul Harvey voice):

the Japanese government-linked body that carries out the hunt, disputed Sea Shepherd’s account, saying video shot from the whaler showed the conservationists’ boat moving toward the whaler just before the collision.

“The Shonan Maru steams to port to avoid a collision. I guess they, the Ady Gil, miscalculated,” Inwood told The Associated Press. “Sea Shepherd claims that the Shonan Maru has rammed the Ady Gil and cut it in half — its claim is just not vindicated by the video.”

The Ady Gil is a 78-foot (24-meter) black-painted trimaran made of carbon fiber and Kevlar in a design meant to pierce waves. It was built to challenge the record for the quickest circumnavigation of the globe and can travel faster than 46 mph (75 kph).

Sea Shepherd unveiled the Ady Gil last October saying a California millionaire with the same name had donated most of the money for it. At the time, the group said the boat would be used to intercept and physically block Japanese harpoon vessels.

Wednesday’s confrontation with whalers marked the first for the 1,200-ton Bob Barker, which rescued the crew. Sea Shepherd only recently bought the ship after its namesake, the former host of the “The Price Is Right” game show and a longtime animal rights acitvist, donated the money. Barker met Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson through a fellow activist and said he was instantly impressed.

“He said he thought he could put the Japanese whaling fleet out of business if he had $5 million,” Barker recalled. “I said, ‘I think you do have the skills to do that, and I have $5 million, so let’s get it on,’ so that’s what we did.”

Barker, 86, said he was “genuinely proud” to be associated with Sea Shepherd.

Oops!  Video?  Yeah, that’s gonna be a little difficult for Discovery Channel to edit so that the normally non-retarded viewer (assuming anyone still watching this steaming pile of crap ISN’T retarded) can be convinced that a speedboat capable of 50+ knots was outmaneuvered and rammed by a much larger ship that would be lucky to do 1/4 of that speed while surfing a tsunami with a tailwind.  Mind you, the boat WAS being piloted by complete fucking idiots…so there’s that.

In related news, Bob Barker, for whom I used to have some respect is apparently a certifiable dumbass.

The Audacity of HypeBarack Obama – Now, I know a good many of you voted for this guy and many of you will know that I was in the minority nationwide that did not.  I’ve reconciled that fact with my preferences and I’ve said here before that because I’m American and other Americans elected him that he’s my president.  I also said I truly do wish him well and was looking forward to seeing some of his campaign promises addressed and perhaps delivered on.  Well, we’re about 2 weeks short of the anniversary of his swearing in a year ago and so I ask: has this guy done anything yet?  In all seriousness, he’s been president for close on a year and he’s had Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress.  You’d think that with that kind of advantage at his disposal we’d have a laundry list of all the great promises he made during his campaign that he’s delivered on.  Cause, you know, Obama was all about Change and he wasn’t going to be yet another politician and he was the Messiah of Hope™ and all that.  Well, as it turns out, there is a site wholly dedicated to tracking a politician’s campaign promises and his delivery rate on those promises.  As I’m mentioning this, you can probably already discern where this conversation is going, right?  Well, without further ado, that site is called PolitiFact and for even more irony goodness, it’s run by the St. Petersburg Times, otherwise known as the St. Pete Pravda or if you’re not that cultured simply by the easier to remember moniker “Fishwrapper”.

So, check it out: Obama made, according to this site, over FIVE HUNDRED CAMPAIGN PROMISES.  That’s Billy Mays’d because it deserves to be.  Five hundred promises.  I’m pretty sure that even Tiger Woods, who has plenty of reasons to be lying his ass off hasn’t made that many promises…and Obama didn’t have a fully grown, enraged Viking descendant trying to decapitate him with a 5 wood.  Now I know that once Barry got elected to the Senate he pretty much immediately began campaigning for the presidency (and yeah, that’s been documented) so he was on the campaign trail an awful long time.  He had to say something to fill up all those awkwardly quiet moments after someone yelled from the back of the room “you have no experience and have never lead anyone in anything…why do you deserve to be president”.  I mean, 2 years of campaigning is an awfully long time to hope that none of the 300 million plus citizens of the country you hope to lead notices that you’re almost entirely unqualified for the job.  So saying something that sounded good is, in retrospect, an entirely understandable choice…especially when your other options were to say “I dunno”, “my teleprompter is broken so ask me later” or “you’re a racist”.

Anyway, I digress.  This site says Obama made over 500 promises.  That’s a pretty tall order in itself to track but this site goes one better and keeps score on those promises.  So, given that Obama is the president and his party controls both houses of Congress you’d think that 1/4 of the way through his administration that he’d be through around 1/4 of his promises, right?  And, of those 1/4 (or around 125) you’d expect that the biggies would be front and center.  You know, the ones like:

  • Get us out of Iraq
  • Close Gitmo/end torture
  • Repeal the Bush tax cuts
  • Create transparency and disclosure on earmarks
  • Tougher lobbyist rules
  • Secure the borders
  • Fully fund the VA
  • Reform healthcare

Yeah, those were just some of the high profile promises B.O. made during his epic campaign.  The site lists those and 17 more as Obama’s Top 25 promises.  Know how many he’s delivered on?  Would you believe only 3 and NONE OF THOSE I LISTED ABOVE?  A 12% delivery rate when he’s the man in charge and has a veto proof Congress behind him?  And do you know what those three promises were that he DID deliver on? (hold on to your hats folks):

  1. Create a foreclosure prevention fund (aka “throw money at something”)
  2. Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan (remember how he said “the Surge” wouldn’t work?)
  3. Reform mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders (sell drugs? got caught? Barry’s your man!)

Yeah, that’s it so far.  Now, to be fair, he has another year before he loses his captive Congress so he still has time to deliver on other promises he’s made.  It would appear, for instance, that he’s about to do something about healthcare (albeit in the same way he “did something” about that foreclosure prevention fund).  But all that said, are we any better off now than we were a year ago?  Unemployment is 10% (which doesn’t do much for his promise to create 5 million “green” jobs).  We’ve seen Barry squawk about the money the evil Republicans were giving to banks at the end of the prior administration to prevent a worldwide collapse of the global banking industry…but then Obama went WAY beyond that with his own bailouts, handouts and just plain largess handing out of taxpayer money.

I mean, seriously, what has this man done in his first year in office when he had more political capital to burn to get things done and a Congress who could do pretty much anything without worry of effective opposition?  From my perspective, he hasn’t done all that much.  In fact, according to PolitiFact, Obama has delivered on just 16% of the promises he made.  Among those:

  • Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes (aka: “throw money at it”)
  • Increase minority access to capital (aka: “throw money at it”)
  • Expand loan programs for small businesses (aka: “throw money at it”)
  • Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP) (aka: “throw money at it”)
  • Expand funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners (aka: “throw money at it”)
  • Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs (aka: “throw money at it”…anybody noticing a trend in any of this?)

To be fair, he did also promise to “Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration” and he did that.  He also promised to “Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women” and he’s apparently also done that.  But really…is THIS what people wanted/expected when they punched the ballot for this guy?  Did all the folks that elected him really believe all the bullshit er hype about this guy?  Is the mass of the American electorate really that vacuous as to believe that a gimmick politician from Chicago (one of the most notoriously corrupt political machines anywhere) would be worth anything approaching the idolatry that this man enjoys?  To be fair, his recent job approval ratings reflect his lack of achieving anything of significance (although that Nobel Prize for doing jack shit sure was nifty) and it seems to show that Americans in general are starting to notice the lack of substance that a sizable minority of us were readily able to discern PRIOR to the election.  Still, it seems to me that while Barack Obama seems like a likable enough guy he’s going to go down in history just like the last likable Democrat president to lead us through a recession following a generally disliked two-term Republican president.

Yeah, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are gonna be neck and neck one day for the “What The Fuck Were We Thinking” award.  And this time, Barack will actually have done something (or perhaps more accurately, nothing) to be considered a nominee for it.  He still has time but his time is quickly running out.  What the hell has he been doing for the past year?  I mean aside from issuing orders to institute a policy of profiling airline passengers who are traveling to the United States.  I thought, prior to the United States of America electing a black president, that profiling was racist and wrong especially when employed by police in inner cities.  Imagine my surprise at the deafening silence that followed B.O.’s proclamation that we’ll be more sharply scrutinizing certain passengers based on their national origin.  Yeah, that just made one of my brain cells strap a bomb to it’s chest and run into my frontal lobe. I’m having a stroke now. Thanks Barry, you jerk.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in On the web, Politics | 10 Comments »