Hogwash Volume 41



Hogwash! Issue No. 41




header
September 2015
Welcome to Hogwash!

 

 

Rosi and Gardner

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Ashley Madison’s Long Term Consequences


“Ashley Madison, a Dating Website, Says Hackers May Have Data on Millions”
(New York Times, July 20, 2015)
 
“Ashley Madison Website for Cheating Spouses is Hacked”
(Chicago Tribune)
 
You saw those headlines.  But how about this one (related to the same story)?
 
“Divorce lawyers rejoice!”  
 
Okay, most of us didn’t actually rejoice.  The fact is, yet another Internet site, believed to be secure, isn’t.  Not only was it “hacked,” but some skilled and savvy computerists published and distributed the data and lists that they unlocked.  Not so discreet, after all, eh Ashley Madison?
 
This data breach will result in much consideration of divorce.  All of a sudden, reportedly, there are many, many new clients turning to divorce lawyers.  Have you or anyone you know checked the list?  You can search it by clicking here.
 
Two cautions before you search:  first, many analysts have reported that substantial numbers of the profiles (particularly of women) listed in the released data are “fake.”  That is, there are multiple phony profiles created by people paid by Ashley Madison to “beef up” their numbers and entice actual users to join.  
 
Second, there may also be “stolen identities” of genuine individuals, who did not sign up for the site, within the data lists.  Ashley Madison actually encouraged customers to use pseudonyms, and it is conceivable that a sophisticated Ashley Madison client might use the identity details such as an email address, etc. of a friend or acquaintance – or even a “stolen” identity – to reduce his or her exposure.  
 
Once again, data privacy – or the lack thereof – still has real-world consequences.  One may chuckle about the Ashley Madison concept and the gullibility of persons who believed the representations of “privacy” so that they might “hook up” with persons of a similar intention.  However, Ashley Madison is no laughing matter.  It can cause emotional, marital and legal harm.  It can force tough conversations and surprise revelations.  It can cause monetary losses.  It can mean the division of assets and the restructuring of families.  This recent breach will undoubtedly lead to a number of divorces.  
 

Meanwhile, the parent company, Avid Life Media, has offered a reward of C$500,000 (US$377,500) for information about the Ashley Madison hackers . . . Do you know anything that could expose the whistleblowers?

Issue: 41  
In This Issue

Hogwash Humor

In tribute to the sleuths who cracked Ashley Madison . . . a bit of levity from another well-known (but fictional) detective, Lt. Columbo:
1
 
“You try to contrive a perfect alibi, and it’s your perfect alibi that’s gonna hang ‘ya.” 
(

An Exercise In Fatality
)
 
“I respect your talent, but I don’t like anything else about you.”  Lt. Columbo (
Murder Under Glass 
)
 
“Before coffee, I’m up and walkin’ around but I’m not awake.”
(

An Exercise In Fatality
)
 
“My ears pop in an elevator. As a matter of fact I don’t even like being this tall.”  (
Swan Song
)
 
I must say I found you disappointing; I mean your incompetence. You left enough clues to sink a ship.  And for a man of your intelligence, you got caught in a lot of stupid lies.”
(

How To Dial A Murder
)
 
 

The first regular season episode of “Columbo” first aired 44 years ago, on Sept. 15, 1971, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Birthright Citizenship

 

Presidential candidates spent the past few weeks discussing a little bit of everything-from the right to exercise one’s religion in rural Kentucky to the use of personal e-mail to conduct State Department business. Given these latest controversies, Donald Trump’s call to end the country’s longstanding practice of birthright citizenship is old news. But here at HOGWASH! we control our own agenda and our editors determined that the topic deserves a second look.
 
Although the original U.S. Constitution cited “citizenship” as a requirement to hold a federal office, the framers of the constitution never defined how, exactly, one became a citizen of their brand new nation.
 
Nearly a century later, at the close of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted and provided that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” In a way, the Fourteenth Amendment made explicit a practice that dated back to this country’s origins. From its founding through 1857, the United States followed the British legal concept of
jus solis (citizenship defined by place of birth) instead of jus
sanguinis (citizenship defined by “right of blood,” that is, the parents’ citizenship), which remains the rule to this day through most of continental Europe.
 
Indeed, it can be said that “birthright citizenship” is a New World concept, whereby citizens are bonded together by a shared locality and shared ideals.  While this rule of citizenship prevails in countries made up primarily of immigrants-the United States, Canada and most of Latin America-places like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom do not automatically give citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrant parents.
 
Although birthright citizenship was the rule during the early years of the republic, the U.S. Supreme Court decision declared in the case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford (1857) that slaves, even though born in the United States, could never become citizens. Following the Civil War, congressional Republicans drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to directly overrule Dred Scott by declaring that anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen, regardless of race. By amending the Constitution itself, Congress also further removed from the political arena the ability of a “tyrannical majority” to revoke the citizenship of children of ethnic minorities.
 
Some theorists still argue that the children of undocumented immigrants are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, as required by the Fourteenth Amendment. But with the exception of the few persons U.S. law does not govern, like diplomats, virtually everyone in the U.S.-even undocumented aliens-fall under that jurisdiction. Otherwise, they would be able to break any U.S. law without punishment!

In all, the Constitution (both by its plain language and as interpreted by Supreme Court decisions) indicates the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants are given U.S. citizenship by the Fourteenth Amendment.
  
 
It is worth noting that, at the time Congress ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, one major group not subject to U.S. jurisdiction were Native Americans living on tribal lands. It was not until 1924 that the federal government extended birthright citizenship to Native Americans. 

A Valid Question?


Why, one may ask, is it necessary to designate certain days for certain events or concepts. Any Google search for funny dates will reveal a plethora of dates that somebody or some body with undisclosed authority chose to assign.
 
For instance, January 9 is a day in which we can all Play God. On April 4 we can each Tell a Lie (or maybe two). And on August 5 we can Work Like a Dog, but aren’t we doing that the rest of the year?
 
Of course, recognition of the birthdays of famous people is well understood: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King for example. Even when the exact date is unknown, setting aside a special date is acceptable as we do by celebrating Christmas on December 25. But why the focus of countless minds, with apparently nothing else to do, who create holidays and/or non-events such as August 10, Lazy Day?
 
This month, however, this question is recognized on September 28 as Ask a Stupid Question Day.
 
According to Wikipedia – that well-recognized font of all information that is always ready to accept corrections – Ask a Stupid Question Day was created by teachers in the 1980s to encourage students to ask more questions in the classroom. According to HolidayInsights.com, “[a]t the time, there was a movement by teachers to try to get kids to ask more questions in the classroom. Kids sometimes hold back, fearing their question is stupid, and asking it will result in ridicule.” To focus Ask a Stupid Question Day on September 28 for students who may have been programed by their parents to not question authority and thereby be reluctant to ask question, is a lofty goal. However, as we enter the beginning of another election cycle for both presidential and lesser candidates and the anticipate rounds of debates, one may ask, not only why are candidates asked stupid question but also why are they allowed to reply with stupid answers. Surprise, I could not find a Stupid Answer Day. Alas, another holiday lost.
 
I apologize, as I must, as the foregoing was just another stupid question, or was it two questions. Happy September 28 – do we get the day off? Another stupid question!

Conversing with Elephants

 
Did you know that . . . an elephant can operate a telegraph?  In fact, she can do a lot better than that.  Elephants have a means of communication and conversation that is more sophisticated than Morse’s contraption.  An elephant “roar” is more complex, it seems, than that of the “king of the jungle.”
 
An elephant has at least two organs that can create and transmit infrasound — that is, below 20 Hz in frequency — to communicate with other elephants, across great distances.  They can use their flexible larynx, loose vocal cords, and the large resonating chamber created by the mouth and trunk to create sound waves that propagate over great distances. Infrasound is similar, in some ways, to seismic waves.  Some have described it as a “throbbing of the air,” that you feel more than hear.  In fact, it is below the threshold of human hearing.  It can travel great distances, and suffer very little interference from the myriad sounds of the jungle, forest and plains.  
 
They can create and use different “rumbles” for different purposes:  to call for a mate, to search for a family member or young one, to guide members of the herd across the plains, and even in greeting or warning.
 
Think that elephant roar is just a loud display?  Think again.  Scientists are just beginning to attempt to compile a “dictionary” of elephant resonances and accompanying behavior.  The complexity of their communications has been put as on par with whales and their songs.  So, in the jungle, the quiet jungle, another mammal may just be carrying on a sophisticated conversation, while the lion sleeps (tonight).
 
To learn more check out this NPR story on decoding elephant conversations.
September Special Offer

   

Ashley Madison Fallout?
 

Do you have questions about the Ashley Madison breach and what it means for you?
 
Call us (or send your affected friend to us) and mention “Hogwash!” and we will provide a confidential (yes, truly private!) consultation, up to an hour, for $75.  We can discuss what you should do to protect yourself and those close to you if your spouse is “on the list” and other questions that you may have.  

   

(231) 941-5878

Offer Expires 10/15/2015

Gary’s Home Cooking 

 


What to do with all of those beautiful tomatoes?  Make gazpacho (recipe below) for now and can or freeze a rich, red pasta sauce for an easy weeknight meal this winter.
 
Tomatoes (roughly ¼ bushel)
Shiitake mushrooms (1 lb.)
Onions (2 medium)
Garlic (1 head minced)
Olive oil (good-quality extra virgin)
Fresh herbs (optional)
 
Chop and sauté the onions in a generous quantity of olive oil (more than enough to film the bottom of your cooking vessel – I prefer a large electric skillet for this)).  When the onions are translucent, add the minced garlic.  After a couple of minutes add the coarsely chopped mushrooms to the sauté.  Here you can also add any fresh herbs that you want (sage, rosemary, thyme, basil).
 
After the mushrooms are well-coated and have warmed and softened, add chopped tomatoes, and turn the heat down a bit, so that a gentle bubbling develops.  Cook the sauce for 2-4 hours, stir occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency (but don’t let it go all the way to paste if you are going to can it).
 
Now it’s ready for canning or freezing.  If canning, fill your prepared and sterilized jars and process in a hot-water bath for 35 or 45 minutes (for pints and quarts, respectively).  This sauce is truly better after canning and setting for a while, the flavors blend, mature and complement each other, I think.
 
When you are ready to consume it, thaw or open the jar, heat it gently on the stove, then ladle it over hot pasta, throw a dash of sea salt and a generous grating of parmesan cheese, perhaps a nice pinot noir (which seems to pair especially well with the mushrooms) and . . . buon appetito!

GAZPACHO

Ingredients:
5 large fresh ripe tomatoes
2 large cucumbers
1 orange bell pepper, cleaned and seeded
2 red bell peppers, cleaned and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, cleaned and seeded
1 medium onion, cleaned
46 oz V-8 juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
White pepper (or freshly ground black)
Salt
Sugar
½ bunch cilantro (optional)
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
 
GARNISH:
  • Croutons
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Avocado chunks
 
Place each kind of vegetable into a food processor or blender and chop to desired consistency.
(This requires a lot of pulsing and not overfilling the processor bowl.)  Add each processed vegetable to the large bowl and start mixing. If you find large pieces, take them out and rechop.  When you’ve mixed all of the vegetables, stir in the olive oil, rice vinegar and part of the V-8.  Add V-8 juice to your desired consistency.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Add sugar if needed to counterbalance the acidity of the tomatoes.
 
For best taste, make this a day or two in advance of serving. Serve cold.  Garnishes can be served as side dishes to spoon onto soup.
 
Adapted from original recipe created by Chef Victor Gielisse of Actuelle restaurant in Dallas, Texas and provided for Hogwash! by our friend, Jacquie.

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Rosi & Gardner, P.C.
735  S. Garfield Avenue
Suite 202
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
231-941-5878
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Philip R. Rosi

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Gary Allen Gardner

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