By Charlie Johnston
I will post regularly for the next few days, as I go into the mountains this afternoon for a retreat. Yes, I have internet access there. A few things quickly:
A friend who has a website today notified me that one of their readers had contacted them with a concern about someone I am following on my Twitter account. That came as an enormous surprise to me, because I was not aware I had a Twitter account. But I followed the link – and sure enough, there it was. Problem was, I could not log on. I tried all five of the various passwords I use and none worked. Thankfully, however this was done, it used my actual email address, so I was able to set up a new password to get on. To my greater surprise, I discovered I have five followers and am following 37 people. One of those was tagged as “Shemale.” Fortunately, I was able to unfollow her. The rest are people I actually know or can see some connection to.
I am not interested in Twitter. I really don’t like the idea of trying to communicate in sound bites. I want to delete the account entirely, but can’t find the place to do that. If someone here who knows how that works could send me an email, I would much appreciate it. Second, I am worried about how it got created in the first place, using my actual email. Don’t they have to have a password to confirm it? Have I been hacked or can you just set up an account with an email but without the corresponding password? It has mildly irritated me to see, in some publications, myself being cited occasionally as saying things I have never said and do not believe…but I was in media long enough to know that comes with the territory. It incenses – and alarms – me to think that someone could set up an account pretending to be me that is NOT me. I am puzzled, because it does not seem overly malicious. As I said, most of the people it shows me to be following are actually people I know. But how do I protect against this sort of thing? If someone has some tech savvy out there, I sure would appreciate you dropping me an email giving me some tips on 1) how to completely eliminate the existing account and 2) how to protect against such things in the future.
We will be having another of our “Go Forth” prayer meetings in Arvada, Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. If any of you would like details and to attend, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you details. I know I struggle sometime to keep up with emails, but if you head it “Prayer Meeting” I will prioritize it and send you info right away (well, beginning tomorrow).
And now for a few links I have found worthy of consideration in the last week…
Elizabeth Scalia over at Patheos sometimes has some stuff that does not much interest me much, but often she hits it out of the park. I think she laid the groundwork for some important conversation in this piece.
If you are making vacation plans, this secular piece on the 10 most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian might be helpful to you.
This piece on the execution and the ongoing genocide against Christians in swaths of North Africa and across the Middle East is over a month old. Seems it took the murder of a bunch of western cartoonists to even get the west to officially notice – and officials are still trying to explain away why we need to “understand” the savages on rampage rather than confront and defeat them.
Cardinal Raymond Burke did a marvelous interview on the need for manly virtues to be re-ignited in the Church. I am coming to think his appointment to head the Knights of Malta may ultimately come to be seen as an inspired move at just the right time, whether the reasons for it were right or not. He speaks to the virtues we need.
As a convert myself, I could relate to much in this humorous piece about the 10 Things not to Say to a Catholic Convert. When I was going through my conversion, quietly I hoped, it annoyed me to no end when people asked me if I was getting re-married. At a meeting with the then minority leader of the Illinois House, he said with a sly smile that he had heard I was in RCIA classes in his town. I irritably told him I was not getting married. In honest astonishment, he said, “Oh, Charlie, I know you would not do something like this for anything but the most profound intellectual and spiritual reasons.” He was actually hurt that I would have thought otherwise of him. He made a great friend and ally that day.
Okay, this should keep you busy until I get into the mountains. Catch you later!