An open letter to @GlennBeck

Dear Glenn,


You are disappointed in Ted Cruz.  You apologized to your audience for believing in Mr. Cruz.   You say he let you down is because he turned out to be just another politician.  I cannot figure out why you thought he was anything other than a politician. 

Politicians are all the same in this one way. They are in it for themselves.  It doesn't matter which side of the political isle they are on, they are in it for themselves.  With the rare exception (Sony Bono or Arnold), politicians are not well known when they start in politics.  They are no name individuals, who use their time in office to get name recognition.  Once they are out of office, they monetize that recognition.  They become lobbyists,  political consultants, write books, appear on TV, or hit the lecture circuit.  They would have no hope of that if they hadn't entered "public service."  The only service they are performing is to their own enrichment.  

The funny thing is that we keep falling for it.  We fall for people who we think sound unlike politicians and we think they will be the ONE.  The truth is they all have their schtick.  They all know what to say to make themselves seem sincere.  The truth is, they aren't.  I'm sure they believe some of what they say, but at the end of the day they are in it for themselves.  

John Katich's schtick is the "every man."  Marco Rubio's schtick is the "grandiose speaker" routine. Ted Cruz's schtick was the "I'll fight for you and say the things nobody else is willing to say."

Ted Cruz did fight for conservatives and he did say things nobody else would say.  But did you really think he was doing it for you?  Of course not.  He was doing it for his ambition.  There is NO politician that is serving for the right reasons.  That doesn't exist!

If we could pass a law (we can't) that would outlaw any enrichment that flowed out of a politician's time in office, how many people would serve?  If they couldn't make any money based on their name, their rank, their time in office, would they serve?  Not a chance!

So, don't hold your head down.  I'm sure you fell for it like the rest of Texas.  Ted Cruz did fight for conservative principles.  He did say the right things at the right time.  It's just that he did it for his own ambition and not for you.

Thanks for listening.

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Does Lastpass have a serious vulnerability?



According to one Google engineer, Tavis Ormandy, Lastpass has several obvious problems.  The technical details are probably above my pay grade, but this sounds pretty serious.  Here is his tweet:


No word yet on what the vulnerability is, but every Lastpass user should stay tuned.  I use Lastpass and trust it, but I don't use it for any banking sites, and I don't keep any notes in LP that I couldn't afford to lose.  I always obscure any passwords that I write in my notes and I would advise others to do the same.

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We all just need to calm down



It's Presidential election season and everyone is in an uproar.  Just look at your social media feeds.  People are divisive and obnoxious.  I saw a post on Facebook today that pointed out this mistake well.  He said, disparaging comments about a political leader "only serves to stoke the ire of those who already agree, and alienate and provoke those who don't. "

We tend to give a pass to those who agree with us politically, and hate the people who don't.  Why is that?  If you lean left politically, you probably think the Hillary Clinton email situation is not a big deal.  If you lean right, you probably think it's a huge deal.  If you lean left you probably think the Trump University is disqualifying for a presidential candidate, if you lean right you probably overlook it.  Why can't we call a spade a spade and let the chips fall where they may?

The reason things seem to be getting worse is we tend to listen to those we agree with and tune out those we don't.  Liberals probably watch MSNBC and CNN, and conservatives probably watch Fox News and listen to talk radio.  How is this helpful?  It's not.  It makes us more divided and we tend to make up our own rules for those we agree with.

Why can't we just call it straight?  Hillary's email issue is serious, and Donald Trump's university was a sham.  

George W. Bush said it best in a recent speech in Dallas.
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”

I couldn't agree more.  We all need to cut others some slack, and we all just need to calm down.

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America's Mayor talks about Police and race

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Donald Trump could be elected because of the death of serious "News"



In the last 25 years or so, we have seen the death of “The News” as we knew it.  We now watch and listen to opinionated “infotainment,” and most people listen mostly to the people they agree with.

In today’s environment, the “News” has to be profitable.  In the old days, the three TV networks provided a news broadcast as a public service.  They believed that unbiased news bolstered the network’s reputation so the news devision did not have to be profitable.  My how times have changed. 

By the way, I’m not assuming news coverage was completely unbiased, but it definitely was not driven by profits.

I don’t know when the networks started to shift towards profits from the news divisions, but I think it happened around the O.J. Simpson trial.  At least, that is when things really ramped up.  CNN was having success as a 24 hour news network and things changed.  Enter Fox News in the late 1990’s and we started to go down hill.

I believe the hard news people at Fox News are the best in the business.  Although the network as a whole leans very far to the right, the hard news people shoot straight.  But decisions are made about which guests to book, or which stories to cover based on ratings.  For some reason, Trump gets ratings so the networks love to have him on constantly.

A wise investor once told me, “when you watch a show about investing, you have to remember their job is not to give you the best information.  Their job is to sell advertising.”  That has what our news has become.  They go for the ratings which means speculating about the most salacious things so people watch.  Sadly, it is also the job of Fox News anchors to get ratings.  Why else would they hire so many gorgeous women and pack them with makeup?  Why do they have music behind the little “video pieces” on many of the shows?  They no longer provide news, but “infotainment.”  

Remember when Dan Rather accused CBS of trying to “tart up” the news by hiring Katie Couric?  CBS needed ratings.  

Donald Trump gets ratings and that is the reason he receives so much coverage.  If you have him on your show, your ratings will go up.  Why?  Who knows, but it is an absolute fact.  That is the reason he gets so much free media coverage.  That is the reason he doesn’t have to spend money on his campaign.  And that is the reason he may very well be the next President of the United States.

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Why is Marco Rubio still In the race?

Marco Rubio has no chance to win, so why is he still in the race? The answer is simple. Because like all politicians, it's about them, not us. Their personal ambition drives them.  They want to be something, not do something.

Politicians live off the public for a few years, gain name ID, then monetize it.  Name a politician who hasn't done that.  Have you ever noticed that as soon as they leave office they become lobbyists. Many of them write books about their time in office, or otherwise make money in the industry of politics.  The most insulting part of it all is they refer to their time in office as "public service." Give me a break!

Marco Rubio went to law school then jumped into state politics.  He was a city commissioner, the a representative in the Florida House of Representatives. He ran for the US Senate seat from Florida and once he won, immediately started looking to the presidency.  He immediately started writing a book, and after a couple of years, he was in full blown campaign mode.  Is something wrong with this picture? It is exactly the same model that Barrack Obama followed.

What experience does Marco Rubio have that makes him qualified to be president? Because he voted a few times in the House and Senate? Has he ever managed an organization? Has he run a business? Has he run a government agency? No.  He has great ideas, but ideas don't equal success.  I have a lot of great ideas about the triangle offense in the NBA. That doesn't qualify me to be a coach.

I actually agree with a lot of what Marco Rubio talks about.  We are both conservatives so I'm sure we agree on most issues.  That does not mean I want him to be the president.  Frankly, I'm more interested in competence than ideology at this point. Conservatives have been focused so much on social issues they have let our country get into overwhelming debt and our economy is lagging.  We need someone to dig is out of the mess, but that someone is not Marco Rubio.

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Megyn Kelly's questions for Donald Trump were ridiculous



I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, but he has been unfairly attacked as someone who is anti-women.  Megyn Kelly of Fox News seems to me to be a straight shooter, but her question for Mr. Trump in the first Republican presidential debate of this election season was fraught with problems.   Her question was as follows:

"Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don't use a politician's filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs' and 'disgusting animals.' ...
Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on 'Celebrity Apprentice' it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.
Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"
This question only works in a world where political correctness runs wild.  I won't defend Mr. Trump's statements, because I don't know if he actually said those things, but I will assume he did.  Just because he calls a few women unkind things does not mean he is against women.  It doesn't mean he is sexist, or anti-women.  It means he has a problem with those specific women.

Mr. Trump has called men all kinds of things, but is he against all men?  Is anyone asking him if he is anti-men?  No, because that would be ridiculous.  Megyn's question is equally ridiculous.

The feminist movement fought for years for equality with men.  Women did not have equal rights in the society and they fought hard to get them.  The women's movement won the battle, and they now have equal rights.  That means they are equally susceptible to be attacked verbally by a man or a woman.  It means they cannot have special treatment.  Being attacked by a man does not mean the man is sexist.  It doesn't mean he is anti-women.  It means he has a problem with her.  Characterizing Mr. Trumps statements as an attack on women is wrong, ridiculous, and an intellectually fraudulent.



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Donald Trump will let conservatives down



At a time where politicians will say anything to get elected, Donald trump has caught the attention of many conservatives who are hungry for a straight talking, nonpolitical, business man.  Every other politician seems to be out for themselves and only themselves.  Politicians use the public office to get name recognition, then monetize that recognition in the extreme.  It's a dirty business that most people are tired of and Donald Trump is unlike any other politician out there.  Unfortunately, Mr. Trump cannot be trusted by conservatives because he will let them down in the end.

Mr. Trump's refusal to be politically correct is very appealing.  His toughness with the media and refusal to be bullied is awesome!.  He sounds like a straight shooter that fearlessly calls out the right people.  But the biggest question for conservatives is whether or not Mr. Trump would nominate conservative judges.  

The next president will likely nominate at least 2 judges, and it is vital to conservatives that the right judges get nominated.  Mr. Trump could surely seal the border, and probably campaign for lower taxes.  He also believes in single payer healthcare, and would likely be more liberal than most on judges.  Would it be worth it to conservatives to get lower taxes and a sealed border in exchange for more liberal judges? I doubt it.  

Donald Trump has always been able to get press coverage when he needed it.  He knows how to say the most bombastic things that people will cover, and he doesn't care who criticizes him for it.  I believe it is only a matter of time before he says something truly beyond the tolerance of most Americans.  I actually like that about him, but I don't believe the vast majority of people would put up with it.  I also don't believe he would be a good president.  He would be better than President Obama though.

I've enjoyed watching Mr. Trump campaign.  I love the fearless way he speaks with no apologies.  Unfortunately, I just don't believe he would be a conservative president.  I believe once elected, he would do what he wants and would be more worried about being liked, than being conservative.  

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LastPass has failed me at least 50% of the time



Let me explain.  I have used LastPass for several years and always liked having a secure place for my passwords and secure notes.  I loved that it worked on all my devices including my phones and tablets.  I recommended LastPass to everyone I knew because I believed it was the most secure way to save passwords.  The truth is however, I wasn't using LastPass correctly.  I had LastPass save passwords I made up, but I never relied on LastPass to generate the passwords for me.  I decided to give LastPass a shot at creating and saving my passwords.  My experience was brutal!

There are so many different situations where LastPass can screw up that it's simply not worth trusting it.  First of all, there are many websites where LastPass cannot fill the form.  It presents you with the icon, but clicking on it does nothing.  You can click on the LastPass icon to grab your username and password and manually pasted it into the form, but that's a bit of a hassle. 

The bigger issue is in generating passwords.  Over the last couple of days I changed about 40 passwords and tried to let LastPass do the work.  It worked on about 15 of those sites, and screwed up the other 25.  Usually LastPass ended up screwing up and saving the wrong password.  How does this happen?  There are several ways.

One way is when a site presents you with a "change password" form with 2 fields.  One is your new password and one is the confirmation of your new password.  I clicked on the LastPass password generator in the form which presented me with a password.  After telling LastPass to save the new password, what I didn't know because a LastPass dialog box was blocking the form, is that the new password was not entered into both password fields.  This means I couldn't save the new password, but LastPass had already erased my original password in favor of the new password.  I found that out the hard way!  The fix was manually resetting the password with the website.

Another similar situation is when a site asks you for your new password, you generate it, then it asks you for your old password on the NEXT page.  LastPass has already overwritten your old password so you're screwed again.

Another situation is when LastPass simply saves the wrong password for a reason I cannot explain.  This happened to me at least 8 times and I had to manually reset those passwords as well.

Trying to get LastPass to play well with Wordpress is an absolute nightmare.  There are several Wordpress URL's and LastPass can't figure them all out.  You might go to https://wordpress.com, or username.wordpress.com, or en.wordpress.com.  If you don't have 3 separate entries for Wordpress in LastPass you're screwed!  Try changing your password for Wordpress then ending up at a different URL where LastPass can't supply the right password.  It will drive you mad, especially after you try resetting the password but LastPass overwrites the wrong one.  You will go in circles like I did.  

I am a developer and if I can't figure this software out something is definitely wrong.  I was such a fan of LastPass but over the past couple of days I've come to realize it cannot be relied on completely.  If you are okay with manually copying and pasting your passwords, and being very careful when you change a password, it is a useful tool.  Otherwise, I would recommend using Dashlane or some other product.  

I have been in touch with the support crew at LastPass and they have been very diligent about tracking down my issues.  The problem is these issues are real.  They have confirmed that several of the sites I've mentioned have had issues with LastPass.

I just don't understand how people actually rely on this tool.  I REALLY want to like LastPass.  I heard Steve Gibson rave about it and I wanted him to be right.  The truth is, although I believe LastPass to be completely secure, it is also completely unreliable unless you are willing to do EVERYTHING manually. I could never recommend this for a novice or anyone who didn't want to have to think about it.  


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Yosemite not displaying PDF's properly in Preview - SOLVED


After upgrading to OS X Yosemite, Preview stopped displaying some PDF's properly.  When launching a PDF I would get a gray screen followed by a black screen.  The only option was to hold the power button down to shut the machine down. 

After searching the Apple Discussion forums and submitting a bug report to Apple, I finally stumbled upon the fix.  

1.  Go into Preview Preferences.
2.  Select the PDF tab.
3.  Uncheck "Smooth text and line art."

That's it!  Problem solved.

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