Sunday, November 29, 2020

Tips from the Treasurer: Hacked!

And I'm One  

Santha suggested that I do a weekly article on financial tips.  Well, I can think of two; after that I'll have to steal from some other blog.

My first tip is to update and change all your passwords on a regular basis.  I was hacked on six accounts last week: Amazon, Spectrum, ebay, Walmart, Google, and PayPal.  I contacted all my money accounts (and my mom's) and made sure that they were secure.  I didn't loose any money.

The nightmare began. 

I've now changed my password on Amazon over ten times since Monday.  I would change it once, and then it wouldn't accept the new password.  Or the new one would work on my desktop but not on my phone.  Then my amazon prime video kicked me off my phone, then one TV, then another. 

Another problem was that my original passwords had been reasonably easy to understand and remember, as in "Oscarevil14".  As they suggest, I used more "secure" passwords like "CghJ87^fboi))8jwh902i".  Now this may be secure, but two problems exist.  The first is that it's impossible to remember, so if you loose your list of passwords, too bad.  The other problem is that I could rarely type the mess of letters and numbers in correctly.

Needless to say, all this activity caught the eye of the computerized security eye of Amazon.  I was shut out several times.

And this was just one account.  I went over my list of passwords and accounts, changed what I could, actually contacted companies to cancel accounts, and deleted, deleted, deleted.

I've discovered nooks and crannies on my computer and phone with lists of websites and passwords that go on forever.  I have yet to tackle all the different passwords for my desktop, laptop, phone, Apple ID. iTunes, iCloud, system preferences: users and groups, key-chain, computer account-printer, Airport, network code, Microsoft account, and on and on.  One problem is that I don't really know what most of these are so I hesitate to touch them.

Oh, and I lost the SPARTA blog a few times.  It still existed, but I couldn't access it to edit.  My editor's version was blank.  But, abracadabra, it has reappeared.  For now.

So I can attest that all those anti-scam warnings you receive and know you should be following through on are nothing compared to the headache you'll have to go through if you wait for trouble to happen.  I was lucky and didn't loose any money.  But the time and vexation could have been avoided if I had followed the suggestions given by law enforcement, senior organizations, and the government.

In the end, I'm going to take my desktop, laptop, and phone into the experts and have them sanitize all devices.

Here's some links with excellent guidelines:

No Car, No Vote: Georgia Registration Roadblock

The erosion of voting rights continues.  Link to this article to see the latest from Georgia.

Greg Palast


Monday, November 16, 2020


pro tip: my uncle spent three years in a basement, hiding from the Nazis. you can skip Thanksgiving and wear a mask for one winter
And speaking of Germans, check out this video:

Monday, November 9, 2020

The letter George H.W. Bush left for Clinton is a lesson in grace


By Faith Karimi, CNN

Updated 8:21 AM ET, Sat December 1, 2018

When Bill Clinton entered the White House, he found a letter from the man he beat: George H.W. Bush. Notes from outgoing presidents to incoming ones are a tradition, but Bush's letter on January 20, 1993, is a lesson on grace in defeat.


"He made us feel at home, as much as he could. Total class," Clinton said of the letter.


Dear Bill,

When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.


I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I'm not a very good one to give advice; but just don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course.


You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

Your success now is our country's success. I am rooting hard for you.


Good luck—



Once political rivals, Presidents Bush and Clinton ended up forming an unlikely friendship.

"Just because you run against someone does not mean you have to be enemies," Bush once said. "Politics does not have to be mean and ugly."


Bush lived by that quote, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN.

"I wish we could get some of that back in our system now," said Powell.


In his statement after Bush's death, Clinton recounted the friendship between the two.

"I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed," Clinton wrote. "From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood."