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Michael Burns's blog

Mollom now in use ...

Anonymous comments are necessary if one desires to have a live site. However, the amount of spam that a site is bombarded with requires extensive time to monitor the comments and delete those that are spam. As such, many configure their sites to require comments be approved before they are made visible. But, again, this configuration requires extensive time if the site is to be somewhat interactive.

I came across a tool that integrates well into a Drupal based site such as mine. The Mollom module, used in conjunction with an account at Mollom.com, allows a site manager to disable comment moderation because of the spam protection provided by the Mollom module.

I have implemented the Mollom module for this site. So, if you see any spam in the comments, please let me know ASAP! I can then forward the information to Mollom in an effort to improve the service.

Contradiction?

Posted in
So, on the way home from Church, I saw a truck with a bumper sticker and a sign on the back. The bumper sticker says:
Pro-Life AND Pro-War???
Clearly, this individual was opposed to the war in Iraq. And, they are trying to suggest there is a conflict in one's belief if they say they are Pro-Life yet support the war in Iraq. Now, on to the sign ...
Warning: There is nothing in this vehicle worth your life.
So, does anyone else see the contradiction?

Facebook Account Re-Enabled -- After 5 Days ...

Posted in
Today, I finally received an e-mail from Facebook support. It contained a link that took me to a page to change my password. Once I completed that process, everything was back to normal.

I still have questions though ...

1) Facebook says my account was compromised. How can I tell if it truly was?

- I looked at my messages, both sent and received. Nothing new.
- I looked at my wall. Nothing new.

2) Why did it take 5 days before I was able to get back into my account?

Disabled Facebook Account - Day 4

Posted in
I received the following e-mail from Facebook (xxxxxxxxxx@support.facebook.com) on August 27.

Your account has been temporarily suspended for security purposes. Our systems indicate that your Facebook account has been compromised by cybercriminals attempting to impersonate you. These criminals often will try to trick your friends into sending them money by claiming that you are stuck in a far away location and need assistance. It is likely that your email account was compromised as well. As such, we have sent this email to all email accounts recently associated with your account. Obtaining access to a victim's email is one of the primary ways these cybercriminals have been operating. Please take the following steps to regain control of your account:

1. Password Reset: Select new and unique passwords for all of your email addresses. Do not use the same password for different online accounts as this allows hackers to easily gain access to your other accounts, such as Facebook, once one account has been compromised.

2. Email Preferences: Check the Preferences/Settings of your email account to make sure the scammer did not add any unauthorized forwarding rules to your email. This is becoming a common practice for scammers to use, so it is important that you complete this extra step. If you need further assistance with this, please contact your email provider.

3. Once you have secured your email account, respond to this email with the answer to your security question: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?

Please closely follow the instructions provided in this email to ensure the future safety and security of your Facebook account..

Visit the Help Center for more information: "Where can I find more information about money transfer scams?" http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=16148

I verified that my account is truly disabled. If I try to login, I am told my account is disabled. If I try to visit my public page at http://www.facebook.com/michael.burns, "Page Not Found" is displayed.

The help link provided results in the error:

There was a problem reaching the FAQ you requested.

There is a link provided to an FAQ entry (here) when I try to login it. That FAQ entry states that if I "would like to regain access" to my account, I am to contact them at this link: https://ssl.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=security_disabled_419.

I have completed that form twice now, once on August 27 and once on August 29. The form results in an e-mail similar to the first one. I have responded to both of those e-mails as instructed.

I am still unable to access my account!

And, I have not heard anything from Facebook!

This is a very poor way to handle security issues. Yes, it is the most secure. But, it is also the most user-unfriendly.

A security issue should result in me having to verify my identity and then changing my password on the account. And, it should be done quickly!

I will keep you updated!

Re-education?

I stated before (here) that religious liberty is under attack. Here is an article demonstrating just that. Individuals are being pushed into "re-education" or removed from their positions due to their beliefs, in this case expulsion from school for adhering to their personal views on homosexuality.

Is the community portrayed in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four becoming a reality?

Marriage ...

We have all heard the news, Judge overturns California's ban on same-sex marriage. I was not surprised by this ruling nor should anyone else.

We live in a time where groups of individuals who are unable to sway public opinion can use the courts to achieve their goals. This is extremely evident when it comes to same-sex marriage. You can see here that most states ban same-sex marriage. (You can also read about various polls here.) However, time after time, the supporters of same-sex marriage have taken the issue to the courts and achieved their goals with the latest being the overturning of Proposition 8.

So, what are those of us who support traditional marriage to do?

Unfortunately, I believe it is too late to do anything about marriage. The Ninth Circuit will uphold the decision as will the Supreme Court. Same-sex marriage will happen!

We need to focus on changing the hearts of people. As the public opinion polls show, support for same-sex marriage is growing. The question is, why? Is it fatigue over the issue? Is it apathy?

I believe the silencing of God in this country is the biggest reason for the change. Over the last 50 plus years, there has been one challenge after another to remove religion, especially the Christian religion, from the public square: from prayer at schools to removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. And, with each successful challenge, fewer and fewer people are willing to share their beliefs for fear of reprisal.

The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience attempts to remind Christians that they are "called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good". The declaration discusses three specific issues: Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty.

Religious Liberty to me is of utmost importance. As I stated, I believe fear of reprisal causes many to hide their faith. We need to eliminate that fear by focusing on strengthening our right to share our religiously based opinions. Unfortunately, that is a tough task. It will require us to share first and then challenge the attacks that we WILL receive. I believe that once that fear is removed, we will see more and more Christians standing up for what we believe is right such as the sanctity of life.

I am a Christian! Jesus died for me and everyone else. It is by God's grace that I have eternal life.

I will not keep that good news to myself!

Will you stand with me?

Anarchy Is Reigned In !!!

The election results in Massachusetts is good news for all of us regardless of your party affiliation.

Brown wins Massachusetts Senate race
Brown Beats Coakley in Massachusetts Senate Race
The Scott heard 'round the world

Any time one political party has the ability to govern without being checked, we need to be concerned. This has been the case since President Obama took office.

And, health care is a prime example.

Poll after poll has shown that the citizens are not in favor of the changes being proposed in the current health care bills. However, they have passed and differences between the House version and the Senate version are being resolved as we speak.

The results of this election is, in my opinion, a message to the President and to Congress. That message is:

Listen to us!!!

America IS Exceptional !!!

Yes, it is politically incorrect to say that. But, it is the truth! Watch the following video and listen carefully to see just how exceptional America is ...

2009 Favorite: Bill Maher, Barack Obama and the Truth About American Exceptionalism