Serious Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Serious Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo

I was reminded that Mardi Gras is this week and was offered a gumbo recipe to try. First of all, I seldom use any recipes when cooking. I prefer to use my understanding of food elements or cuisines to develop recipes. Second, I am very serious about food from New Orleans, I enjoy fixing all it from Cajun to Creole to just plan good. I looked at the recipe and it was interesting but with no herbs and the use of water instead of broth, I knew it could be better. Now the challenge for me was that on Saturday I was having a pizza bar for my grandchildren. This involved me preparing chicken breasts, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, salami, crab, shrimp, scallops, minced beef, onions, sautéed mushrooms, thinly sliced tomatoes, kalamata olives and two different tomato sauces. Realizing I was going to have leftovers, I decided to make a most uncommon gumbo. Saturday each person got to have whatever pizza they wanted. Sunday, I took all of the leftover ingredients, with the exception of the pepperoni, salami and tomato sauces, and made a gumbo. It was/is amazingly good. The keys to a great gumbo are the roux, the trinity (onions, carrots and bell peppers) and the broth (beer, chicken, seafood) and to get that authentic Louisiana taste requires Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce. After that the choice of seafood, chicken or sausage is up to you. Take a look at this gumbo recipe and do not despair, it only takes about 2 hours to make. We had ours with cornbread but tonight it will be eaten with rice. Gumbo is the recipe of the week. Enjoy!

Serious Mumbo Jumbo

It is often stated that privacy is not a right because it is not in our constitution. However, we have generally agreed that we should be protected from illegal search and seizure by our governments and therefore, probable cause and warrants are required. Yet, politicians in the US, Canada and the UK have decided that it is appropriate for the protection of children from predators and the rest of us from terrorists that information regarding our IP communications (Internet, Mobile Phones, etc) usage and habits be stored by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telephone companies for one year. Thus, in just the last few quarters, we have the development of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), PIPA (Protect IP Act), H.R. 1981 (Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011), Canadian Bill C-30 (Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act) and, a yet to be named, security directive in the UK under development by MI5 (domestic security), MI6 (international spying) and GCHQ (government communications monitoring agency). Each of these bills or directives has one thing in common. They require the storage of sensitive information by the public sector and mandate the information be made available at the request of the government. The libertarian inside of me finds all of this wrong. We are responding to fearsome and dangerous situations by categorically giving up our freedoms. There is no probable cause to collect and maintain such information on everyone. It is clear that our governments are mandating this type of data collection and surveillance because the technology exists to do so. However, as demonstrated last week, private companies do not always abide by the stated or necessary policies and practices to protect personal information.

The US, Canada and the UK share a history where we are generally weary of giving more power to a centralized government. Therefore, it is interesting that these proposals hide behind having a third party collect and maintain the data for the use of the government. The protest earlier this year by Wikipedia to stop SOPA and PIPA needs to be embraced by the broader IP community of content and service providers. It is not the responsibility of Broadvox and others to monitor and maintain information about how our customers use our networks. However, we, as citizens, must not allow our governments to hide behind seemingly mumbo jumbo terms to remove protections we have labored for centuries to acquire.

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