Jim’s WebLetter for 9/10/11

Hi-ya JWL readers!

As we commemorate the 9-11-01 attacks that took place on our land this weekend, there has been a lot of looking back at that time and comparing it with 10 years later. One example is our privacy. Before the attacks there was legislation drafted and adopted by our government to protect our privacy with email. Republican congressman Spencer Bachus from Alabama was instrumental in getting legislation passed that protected us from spying into our emails and even keeping them off limits to their use against us in a court of law. After the attacks, the Patriot Act, of which he had a hand in writing, threw all that out the window – allowing the government access to any email that might be deemed necessary in the interest of security. Any email. From anyone.

Another thing about now and ten years ago, the internet has changed in many ways. It is a much larger network now with many more servers online feeding more content. Broadband is more widely used allowing for packets of information to fly at a much faster rate. However, the number of people using the system has increased dramatically, which has shown from time to time to be inadequate when there was a need for information at a particularly defining moment. Social entities like Facebook and Twitter have brought millions of people together, but still can be as fragile as a decade ago from system overload when it comes to a disaster like the earthquake that shook our nation’s capitol and many parts of the country for miles around causing cellphone towers and wi-fi centers to fail, preventing calls from being made. http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/23/1430899/east-coast-earthquake-felt-in.html

All this goes to show us that, even though we may be better off, or at least wiser, than we were 10 years ago, there is still a lot of work to be done to protect us from attack and from intrusion into our private lives as we use the most important means of communication ever devised. The World Wide Web is growing and maturing, but still remains vulnerable from such things as foreign country and special interest cyber attacks on corporation and national systems, proving that there is still a long way to go to create a truly safe place to be. Security through virus protection, key-stroke detection, and even cookie-related connection needs to be continually improved. As the old adage goes, a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link and anyone using a computer that does not have an antivirus or firewall system risks infection which can allow their computing system to transmit that infection to others.

It is in our best interest to continue to improve and protect this system we call the internet. How that moves forward ten years after the 9-11 attacks, or ten years after this date is up to everyone. We are the ones who must take the responsibility for it’s success or failure. Just as we were told to report any suspicious activity following the attack of ten years ago, we must extend that to things we see online that somehow do not add up to what we consider as safe. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, have means to report such activity. Google, Yahoo and AOL also extend security services. Use them. It will serve in the long run as a means of improving service to everyone as our world continues to shrink and the ability to communicate increases.


Finally today and turning to a safe place for kids and parents alike is Poptropica. Here’s a site for kids that features quests, games and puzzles set on 20 themed islands. As many as 10 million kids explore Poptropica each month, but the site also aims to please parents. The chat feature, for instance, doesn’t permit free-form conversation. Instead, members can select questions to ask one another from a collection of family-friendly choices. http://www.poptropica.com

*Cajun economics*
It’s a slow day in Mamou, Louisiana. The sun is beating down, and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a traveling Shreveport salesman is driving through town. He stops at the Hotel Cazan and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one in which to spend the night. As soon as the man walks upstairs, Bosco, the owner, grabs the bill
and runs next door to pay his debt to Boudreaux the butcher. Boudreaux takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to Trosclair the pig farmer.
Trosclair takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill at T-Boy’s Farmers Co-op, the local supplier of feed and fuel. T-Boy, at the Farmer’s Co-op, takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, Clarise, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit. Clarise rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with Bosco, the hotel owner. Bosco then places the $100 back on the counter so the travelling salesman will not suspect anything. At that moment the salesman comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 bill, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, my friend, is how the United States Government is conducting business today.
(thanks, dad)
Boudreaux and Louisiana Declare War on Obama
President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office when his telephone rang.
“Hello, Mr. President Obama,” a heavily accented Cajun voice said. “Dis’ is Boudreaux, down here at Slim’s in Kinder, I am callin’ to tell ya’ll that we declaring war on ya!”
“Well Boudreaux,” Barack replied, “This is indeed important news! How big is your army?”
“Right now,” said Boudreaux, “dere’s myself, my brother-in-law Thib, my next-door-neighbor Bubba, and a few other gator huntn’ buddies. Dat makes eight!”
Barack paused. “I must tell you Boudreaux that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command.”
“Wow,” said Boudreaux. ” call ya back!”
Sure enough, the next day, Boudreaux called again.
“Mr Obama, de war is on! We got us some infantry equipment!”
“And what equipment would that be Boudreaux?” Barack asked.
“We got us 2 combines, couple of 4 wheelers, a piroque, and Thib’s John Deere.
President Obama sighed. “I must tell you Boudreaux, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also I’ve increased my army to one and a half million since we last spoke.”
“Lord above”, said Boudreaux, “be getting back to ya.”
Sure enough, Boudreaux rang again the next day. “President Obama, de war is still on! We got ourselves airborne! Bubba fixed his ultra-lite wit couple of shotguns in de cockpit, and four vets from the VFW signed up!”
Barack was silent for a minute then cleared his throat. “I must tell you Boudreaux that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I’ve increased my army to TWO MILLION!”
“Oh Lord,” said Boudreaux, “Call you back.”
Sure enough, Boudreaux called again the next day “President Obama! sorry to tell you dat we have called off de war.”
“I’m sorry to hear that” said Barack. “Why the sudden change of heart?”
Well, sir,” said Boudreaux, “we all sat down and had a long chat, and come to think about it, there’s just no way our wives can make enough gumbo to feed two million prisoners..”
If you are REALLY FROM LOUISIANA, you won’t even need to be told to pass this on. GOD BLESS LOUISIANA …
(thanks again, dad)
A young man in college called his mother and announced excitedly that he had just met the girl of his dreams. Now what should he do?
His mother had an idea: “Why don’t you send her flowers, and on the card invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?”
He thought this was a great strategy, and a week later, the girl came to dinner. His mother called the next day to see how things had gone.
“I was totally humiliated,” he moaned. “She insisted on washing the dishes.”
“What’s wrong with that?” asked his mother.
“We hadn’t started eating yet.”
(thanks, Craig)
Thank you for your time … and thank you for your friendship. As we think about the attacks of ten years ago, let us all be reminded that as a people, we need to remember that we ARE our brother’s keeper. Until next weekend, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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