Category: Security


50,000 Websites Hacked Through MailPoet WordPress Plugin Vulnerability

 

 

 

 

 

” The users of WordPress, a free and open source blogging tool as well as content management system (CMS), that have a popular unpatched wordPress plugin installed are being cautioned to upgrade their sites immediately.
  A serious vulnerability in the WordPress plugin, MailPoet, could essentially allows an attacker to inject any file including malware, defacements and spam, whatever they wanted on the server and that too without any authentication.
  MailPoet, formerly known as Wysija Newsletter, is a WordPress plugin with more than 1.7 million downloads that allows developers running WordPress to send newsletters and manage subscribers within the content management system.
  In a blog post, the security researcher and CEO of the security firm Sucuri, Daniel Cid, pointed out the vulnerability to be serious and said that within three weeks since the vulnerability unveiled, over 50,000 websites have been remotely exploited by the cybercriminals to install backdoors targeting the vulnerable MailPoet plugin.”
Read the rest at Hacker News
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For Second Time, Rockets Found At UN School In Gaza

 

 

 

Hamas Rockets UN School

 

 

” For the second time in less than a week, rockets have been found in a school in Gaza operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body said.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the organization said in a statement issued Tuesday. “As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.

As it did the last time around when missiles were found in a school it operates, UNRWA said it “strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.” “

 

Times Of Israel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undocumented iOS Features Left Hidden Backdoors Open In 600 Million Apple Devices

 

 

 

 

 

” A well known iPhone hacker and forensic scientist has unearthed a range of undocumented and hidden functions in Apple iOS mobile operating system that make it possible for a hacker to completely bypass the backup encryption on iOS devices and can steal large amounts of users’ personal data without entering passwords or personal identification numbers.
  Data forensics expert named Jonathan Zdziarski has posted the slides (PDF) titled “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices” showing his findings, from his talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE X) conference held in New York on Friday.
  Jonathan Zdziarski, better identified as the hacker “NerveGas” in the iPhone development community, worked as dev-team member on many of the early iOS jailbreaks and is also the author of five iOS-related O’Reilly books including “Hacking and Securing iOS Applications.”
  The results of his overall research on the iOS devices indicate a backdoor into iOS device’ operating system, although it is not at all that much widely open as a number of reports have suggested.
  You can protect your iOS device settings, Messages, Camera Roll, documents, saved games, email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords that you enter into websites using iTunes Backup feature. iTunes also allows users to protect their backup data with an encryption.”

Russian Hackers Put ‘Digital Bomb’ In Nasdaq Computers

 

 

 

” Russian computer hackers placed a “digital bomb” capable of sabotaging data and derailing the US economy into Nasdaq’s computer systems, it has emerged.

  The cybercriminals slipped the “cybergrenade” into Nasdaq’s computer network in 2010 using malware capable of spying and stealing data, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

  The bomb was never set off, but had the capability of derailing stock market computers. An FBI system monitoring of US internet traffic picked up the alert and found that the hackers had used “zero day” vulnerabilities.

  Zero days are previously unknown flaws in computer code that allow hackers to easily take remote control of a computer.

  A similar type of malware has been designed and built by Russia’s main spy agency, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. However, Russian officials denied any government connection to the security breach.

  Investigators also discovered evidence that the Russian malware was being used by a sophisticated Chinese cyberspy known to be operating a thriving criminal business.”

 

IBT has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary’s Lack Of Leadership Skills Is Exposed For All To See … By , Of All People , Diane Sawyer

 

 

 

 

 

Published on Jun 9, 2014

” Hillary Clinton Monday night, Diane Sawyer turned focus to Benghazi and grilled Clinton over the “systemic failure” of security on that fateful night. She asked Clinton whether she should have been more involved instead of delegating on security issues at the Benghazi compound.

  Clinton said there were serious security threats, but that’s true of compounds all around the world, and when Sawyer grilled her on how high a priority Benghazi would be, Clinton said it would place in the top 10, but not the top 5, security concerns to the State Department.

  Sawyer repeatedly pressed Clinton on whether there was anything she could have personally done that would have prevented the attack. Clinton said that the reality is while you can be thoughtful and place people where you need them, “we cannot eliminate every threat, every danger.”

  Clinton also took a shot at Republicans for “politicizing this at the expense of four dead Americans,” and said she would have to wait and see whether she would testify in front of the House Benghazi select committee. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/diane-sawy… “

 

 

 

    Nothing but excuse making and blame shifting from a desperate potential presidential candidate . The only thing missing is the “It’s Bush’s fault” meme . To the very end Hillary insists … “What difference does it make?”

 

 

 

Believe it or not Hillary , it makes a great deal of difference to a great deal of us . We will remember .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are School Homicides ‘Becoming The Norm’?

 

 

 

” In the aftermath of yesterday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, the president worried that such slayings are “becoming the norm.” I’ve written skeptically in the past about whether the number of mass shootings in America is actually increasing, as the word becoming implies—see my posts herehere, and here—but there’s always a haze of uncertainty around those numbers, thanks to the varying definitions of “mass shooting” that different people use.

  But maybe that isn’t the best thing to be measuring in the first place. The Oregon incident isn’t a “mass” shooting at all—the gunman killed two people, and one of those was himself—but it obviously speaks to the same sorts of fear and grief. If your son was just shot, after all, it’s hardly a comfort that his classmates survived. A map darting around the Internet this week claims to show all the school shootings since Sandy Hook. Note the modifier: school, not mass.

  So how frequently are people killed at school? The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) keeps a running count of such homicides, with “at school” defined to include deaths not just on school property but “while the victim was on the way to or from regular sessions at school or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school-sponsored event.” You might quibble about whether those off-campus killings belong in this category, but still, it’s a straightforward definition that doesn’t get bogged down in how many people die in one attack or, for that matter, what weapon was used to murder them.

  (Of the 74 incidents listed by Everytown, 35 occured on or near a college campus.**) The map also includes nonfatal shootings, including accidental discharges and at least four events in which no one was injured at all. And some of its items qualify as “school shootings” only under a rather broad understanding of the phrase. While this killing, for example, did take place in an elementary school parking lot, it happened at night, long after the students and teachers had gone home. The victim was 19.

  This much is clear: If you’re wondering where kids are likely to die, the answer plainly isn’t a classroom. (Quoting the BJS report one more time: “During the 2010–11 school year, 11 of the 1,336 homicides among school-age youth ages 5–18 occurred at school.“) And in the period for which we have clear data, the school homicide rate moved in the same direction as the overall homicide rate: downward. To bring it still lower, the first question to ask is what happened to get us that far.”

 

Jesse Walker at Reason has more details

For further reading on the subject of American mass shootings see below:

 

 

The ‘Ugly’ Truth About Mass Shootings

Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown

The Facts About Mass Shootings

The Truth About Mass Shootings and Gun Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overrun By Immigrants, Border Agents Doing Paperwork Instead Of Patrolling

 

 

 

 

 

 

” “It’s certainly a critical situation,” says Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) “Because if you’re just looking at the lower Rio Grande Valley we’re getting about 1,200 people a day. Over 70 percent of them are not from Mexico but from other places and 300 to 400 of them are young people coming in without parents.”

  Cuellar says the major influx of illegal immigrants is also putting a major strain on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Almost 40 percent of the Border Patrol Agents are not at the border they’re actually filling out paperwork, transporting, feeding, moving these folks around. “

  Another factor that’s increasing the amount of illegal immigrants trying to reach the border is a rumor among Central Americans that if they reach the United States with young children they will get to stay.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

    Why can’t we as legal citizens sue the Federal government for their willful failure to secure our borders ? After all , national security is the primary raison d’etre for a people to form a central government in the first place , to wit the preamble of the Constitution reads:

 

” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

 

 

 

   Let us take a moment to explore the meaning of these famous words and compare them with the actions of our current overseers in the District of Corruption , shall we ?

 

 

 

   “We the People” does not mean anyone that can make it over the border by any means possible . It mean the citizens (legal) who make up the electorate and pay for the government and it’s services …

” In other words, those words define that the interaction between the Constitution and the citizens of the United States is direct and immediate … “

 

 

 

 

Establish justice” is a vague term that could allow for the progressive types to attempt to extend our rights to the whole world , but interpretation falls by the wayside if one accepts the above mentioned meaning of “We the people” . The Founders were clearly referring to justice for the citizens of the US and not the whole world , the phrase referred to the establishment of the court system that oversees US law as affects US citizens .

 

Establish Justice

 

 

 

 

 

The concept  “Insure domestic tranquility” was found to be necessary in order that the central government would have the authority to keep the states from warring with each other …

 

 

” One of the concerns of the Framers was that the government prior to that under the Constitution was unable, by force or persuasion, to quell rebellion or quarrels amongst the states. The government watched in horror as Shay’s Rebellion transpired just before the Convention, and some states had very nearly gone to war with each other over territory (such as between Pennsylvania and Connecticut over Wilkes-Barre). One of the main goals of the Convention, then, was to ensure the federal government had powers to squash rebellion and to smooth tensions between states.”

 

 

 

 

 

  “Provide for the common defense” should be obvious to all but in today’s America seems to mean the defense of the entire world’s downtrodden . That was never the Founder’s intention . The entire purpose of having a large central government , the idea of which our forefathers abhorred , was/is to protect the states and the people of the states against foreign enemies …

 

” The federal government is concerned only with issues that affect the welfare of the entire nation. It has the exclusive power, for example, to create an army, to declare war, and to make treaties. Indeed, as James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, “the operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger.”[1] For the Founders, a primary and central job of the federal government was to “provide for the common defense.” “

 

 

 

 

 “Promote the general welfare” is a tenet of the Constitution who’s interpretation has been corrupted by the political class and used as a veritable carte blanche , in the fashion of the Commerce Clause , to justify just about any action the elites decide they can get away with …

 

” The preamble clearly defines the two major functions of government: (1) ensuring justice, personal freedom, and a free society where individuals are protected from domestic lawbreakers and criminals, and; (2) protecting the people of the United States from foreign aggressors.

  When the Founding Fathers said that “WE THE PEOPLE” established the Constitution to “promote the general Welfare,” they did not mean the federal government would have the power to aid education, build roads, and subsidize business. Likewise, Article 1, Section 8 did not give Congress the right to use tax money for whatever social and economic programs Congress might think would be good for the “general welfare.”

  It is NOT the government’s business (constitutionally) to “help” individuals in financial difficulty.  Once they undertake to provide those kinds of services, they must do so with limited resources, meaning that some discriminating guidelines must be imposed. (so many who need that kind of help- so little resources to provide it.)

  The Founding Fathers said in the preamble that one reason for establishing the Constitution was to “promote the general welfare.” What they meant was that the Constitution and powers granted to the federal government were not to favor special interest groups or particular classes of people. There were to be no privileged individuals or groups in society. Neither minorities nor the majority was to be favored.  Rather, the Constitution would promote the “general welfare” by ensuring a free society where free, self-responsible individuals – rich and poor, bankers and shopkeepers, employers and employees, farmers and blacksmiths – would enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence.”

 

 

 

 

  Secure the blessings of liberty for us and our posterity in the Founder’s view also pertained to the citizens of the nation and was not a right promised to the world as a whole . Everything about our Constitution was written and thought out with the notion that it was the best way to preserve a way of life that the patriots had sacrificed some much for and that those sacrifices should not perish with them , thus preserving those rights for “our posterity”.

 

” Federal liberty is necessary to prevent the disasters of anarchy and the diseases of natural liberty. Federal liberty is possible without lapsing into totalitarian tyranny only when it is constitutionalized so that there are ordered rules of the game established by agreement among the participants in accordance with prudence and reason. As we all know, the founders believed that liberty could only survive if proper republican institutions were established to both contain and foster it. Federalism offers the means for combining the marketplace and the commonwealth, allowing for fostering both individual and communal liberties in appropriate ways.”

 

 

 

 

   As one can see from reading the above text and following the included links our Constitution was written to codify , preserve and protect the rights of “the citizens” of this great country , and while the concept of liberty was recognized as a noble goal for all mankind , there is no mandate for America to offer those rights to any and all . Nay , the founding documents , in all instances , pertain to the citizens of these United States and thus form the reason for the existence of a large central government in the first place .

   If , as is now the case , the Federal government fails to uphold the mandate from the people , either through neglect or maliciousness , the people have a right to seek redress . As we see it , that redress can only be achieved in one of two ways , either through the courts created to “establish justice” or through force of arms . 

   Since we are not advocating the overthrow of the Federal government that leaves us with only the courts to seek remedy to a clear abdication of the primary responsibility of the State … the defense of our borders .

 

 

 

“A nation that cannot control it’s borders is not a nation .”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Shit’ Foreign Policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” According to multiple reliable sources, on Air Force One during President Barack Obama’s recent Asia trip, he spent some time talking with his traveling press corps about his approach to foreign policy. He was defensive and, by one account, “fuming.” He felt that the criticism of his approach was unfair. He had clear ideas about how to manage America’s global interests. In his own words, they centered on a single concept: “Don’t do stupid shit.”

  In fact, after making this point, he reportedly stood up, headed forward toward his own cabin on the plane, and then stopped. He turned back to the gathered reporters, and, much like an elementary school teacher hammering rote learning into students, he said, “So what is my foreign policy?” The reporters, in unison, then said, “Don’t do stupid shit.”

  How far we have come from the audacity of hope; yes, we can; the soaring expectations framed by the brilliant oratory of the president’s Cairo speech on relations with the Muslim world; his Prague speech on eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide; and his Oslo speech when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, “don’t do stupid shit” is a comedown even from his expectation-lowering remarks in the Philippines on that same Asia trip in which he limned his vision for a foreign policy that consisted mostly of singles” and “doubles.

 

 

 

   Having reported that “Don’t do stupid shit” was Obama’s personal mantra in regards to his foreign policy approach , author David Rothkopf then proceeds to explore whether Obama actually lives by his self-assigned credo …

 

 

 

” It is, of course, the prerogative of the president of the United States to make and frame his foreign policy as he sees fit. It is among the executive’s most clearly defined and potent responsibilities as described in the U.S. Constitution. So rather than getting into a lengthy discussion about how disappointing it is for this president — who once was seen as a potentially transformational figure — to have embraced defensive minimalism, or dwelling on the lack of imagination that has led to America’s incredible shrinking foreign policy, let’s take Obama’s foreign policy on its own terms. 

  Let’s ask the question: Is this administration succeeding in its goal of not doing stupid shit?

 

 

 

     Mr Rothkopf first ponders the age-old democrat habit of parsing the most basic of english language words , a la Bill Clinton … what is the meaning of “is” , “stupid” and finally “shit” .

 

 

 

” This all depends, as another president might have said, on what your definition is of “stupid” and of “shit.” But mostly it depends on your definition of the word “doing.” Because if doing stupid shit actually requires taking an action that crosses the administration’s stupidity threshold, then it would rule out all the times when not doing something was stupid. While this might be a clever way to dodge the bullet for an administration that is often criticized for its reluctance to act, this falls into the same kind of minor league Talmudic semantic contortionism that led the aforementioned prior president to parse the meaning of the word “is.” “

 

 

 

   After vowing to stick with the more mundane and socially accepted meanings of those three simple words the author gets down to cases and finds , not surprisingly , Obama wanting …

 

 

 

” In terms of sins of commission, there is nonetheless a list of some doozies that seem to violate Obama’s own new foreign-policy guidelines. “

 

 

 

   Read the whole litany of foreign policy “stupid shit” foisted on the world by the Obama administration at Foreign Policy and see what George Will has called the foreign policy of Monty Python .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

Major Security Breach After Obama Is Snapped Working Out By Guest Who Smuggled Camera Into Polish Hotel Gym

 

 

” Barack Obama was at the center of a security breach today after it emerged pictures of him pumping iron in a private gym had been leaked.

  U.S. security experts are trying to find out how the unauthorized snaps of the President working out on his trip to Poland were secretly taken.”

 

 

Mr Obama is staying at the luxury £900 per night presidential suite on the top floor of the 40-floored Marriott hotel tower in Warsaw

 

 

” It appears Mr Obama was in his 5-star Marriott hotel gym taking time out from his busy schedule in the capital Warsaw when it happened.”

 

Read on and see more pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How The NSA Could Bug Your Powered-Off iPhone, and How To Stop Them

 

 

 

 

 

” Just because you turned off your phone doesn’t mean the NSA isn’t using it to spy on you.

  Edward Snowden’s latest revelation about the NSA’s snooping inspired an extra dose of shock and disbelief when he said the agency’s hackers can use a mobile phone as a bug even after it’s been turned off. The whistleblower made that eye-opening claim when Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, holding his iPhone aloft during last Wednesday’s interview, asked, “What can the NSA do with this device if they want to get into my life? Can anyone turn it on remotely if it’s off? Can they turn on apps?

They can absolutely turn them on with the power turned off to the device,” Snowden replied.

  Snowden didn’t offer any details on this seemingly magical feat. But a group of particularly cunning iPhone hackers say it’s possible. They also say you can totally and completely turn off your iPhone so no one—not even the NSA—can use it to spy on you.”

 

 

Learn mored at Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bergdahl Release Arrangement Could Threaten The Safety Of Americans, Republicans Say

 

 

 

 

” Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

“ Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.

  Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.

  The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.”

 

Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How We All Miss The Point On School Shootings

 

 

 

 

    Because we felt that this piece by Mark Manson is so well written and thought-out we have taken the liberty of publishing it in it’s entirety and encourage our readers to spend the time it takes to read the whole thing . While we do nor necessarily agree with everything the author says , we must admit that he gets closer to the heart of the matter than do all of the overpaid “talking/writing heads” that constitute our elite “chattering class” and thus deserves recognition .

 

” In 1998, a high school junior named Eric Harris from Colorado wanted to put on a performance, something for the world to remember him by. A little more than a year later, Eric and his best friend Dylan Klebold would place bombs all over their school — bombs large enough to collapse large chunks of the building and to kill the majority of the 2,000 students inside — and then wait outside with semi-automatic weapons to gun down any survivors before ending their own lives.

“ It’ll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together,” Eric wrote in his journal. “Maybe we will even start a little rebellion or revolution to fuck things up as much as we can. I want to leave a lasting impression on the world.”

  Eric was a psychopath, but he was also smart.

  Despite what media outlets would later claim, Eric Harris did not wear black trench coats, he was not the victim of bullying, he was not a goth or an outcast. Eric was a straight-A student. He read Nietzsche and Hemingway for fun. He had friends and girlfriends. He was charming and funny and had a disarming smile.

  But Eric also understood people. And because he understood people, he changed everything.

  By 1999, there had already been a series of school shootings across the United States. But Eric wasn’t interested in those. They were small-time jobs, amateur hour. Eric was far more interested in Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, which killed 168 and injured 600. Eric wanted to top that. But he didn’t just want to top the body count, he wanted to top the notoriety, the fame, the horror. He wanted to terrorize people and he understood that his best weapon was not the guns he secretly purchased or the bombs he built in his basement — it was television. He would not kill jocks or preps, he would kill indiscriminately, because that’s what caused the most fear and got the most attention. He wouldn’t just blow up the school, but he’d blow up the parking lot, the police cars and the firefighters and the journalists who rushed to the scene. He would, quite literally, go out with a bang, the shockwaves of which, carried by mass media and the internet, would reverberate through the world for decades.

  On April 20th, Eric and Dylan arrived at Columbine and opened fire at teachers, students, administrators, janitors and police officers. Eric’s largest bombs failed to detonate and bring the building down as he had hoped, but that did not prevent the ensuing carnage that would last for almost an hour and leave 15 dead and 24 wounded.

  As chaos engulfed the school in Colorado, it would quickly fan out across the country, commanding more or less 24-hour television coverage for weeks on end. The drama would be replayed endlessly — bloodied and crippled students climbing out of the library window, the heroic gym teacher who lost his life saving dozens of kids. And then there would be the questions and the speculation. Why? First it was goth culture and Marilyn Manson. Then it was bullying. Then it was being social loners and outcasts.

  All of the explanations were later discovered to be untrue. The event truly seemed inexplicable. And because it was inexplicable the media and the viewers couldn’t let it go. Books were written. Memorials were built and ceremonies filled out. Eric Harris got his death wish: “Columbine” was a household name. 

  This past weekend, a student named Elliot Rodger from Santa Barbara City College killed six and injured 13, the latest in a long series of school shootings that are all but becoming a normal part of American tradition. As usual, the killer left a cache of material behind to explain his intentions and milk as much publicity for his personal grievances as possible. This time, the focus was on women, and how they wouldn’t have sex with him.

  Like they always do, the media have descended to explain away the madness. And like a Rorschach Test, each outlet had its own pet cause primed and ready to be read into the situation.

  All of these issues are legitimate and deserve conversation. But they are not the singular cause. They’re not the point.

  Because of my book, I’m connected within the men’s dating advice industry. And many of them are scrambling right now. Elliot Rodger was a member of a number of sites, email lists and Facebook groups. And all of these authors and dating coaches — some of them legitimately decent men, others shady marketers — are all frantically trying to cover their tracks as best as possible.

  But this “witch hunt” we go through every time a school shooting happens is a total ruse. Elliot Rodger didn’t become a killer because he was a misogynist; he became a misogynist because he was a killer. Just like Eric Harris didn’t become a killer because he loved violent video games; he loved violent video games because he was a killer. Just like Adam Lanza didn’t become a killer because he loved guns; he loved guns because he was a killer.

  Every school shooting incident comes in the same dreary package: an angry, politically-charged rant, shrink-wrapped around a core of mental illness and neglect. These shooters leave behind journals, videos, diagrams, manifestos and treatises. They broadcast their plans and intentions to their friends and family. They email news outlets minutes before they start firing. They write down their plans and make checklists so that others may follow in their footsteps. They go on angry rants against materialism, hedonism, the government, mass media, women, and sometimes even the people close to them.

  And each time, as a culture, we work ourselves into a frenzy debating the angry exterior message, while ignoring the interior life and context of each killer. We miss the point entirely.

Reality Check

  According to the FBI, mass shootings (defined as shooting events that kill at least four people) occur on average every two weeks in the United States. Yes, every two weeks. Yet we rarely, if ever, hear about most of them. The reason is because these shootings are easily explainable. In most mass shootings, the crimes occur at a private location and the victims are people close and well-known to the shooter — family members, neighbors, friends. Many of them are attributable to gang violence or illicit criminal activities. Others are a crime of passion.

  School shootings only account for 4% of all mass shootings and yet they dominate the news media and get the entire country talking about them for weeks on end.

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. They occur in everyday public locations which are supposed to be safe.
  2. The victims are targeted and killed at random.
  3. The victims are innocent bystanders and often children.
  4. The killers leave behind large amounts of material about themselves for the media to share.
  5. The perpetrator and victims are generally upper-middle class, white, and privileged.

  These shooters know what they are doing. They’re not “crazy.” They don’t just “snap.” Most of them spend months or years planning their massacres. Elliot Rodger had apparently been planning his shooting for over a year. You don’t just show up with a 140-page manifesto and a large stockpile of weapons one day. You work at it for a long time. And you plan not only the violence, but the presentation for the audience, the performance — what they will see from you, what they will hear from you, the reasons why, the message. It’s all very conscious and deliberate.

  And it works. Their killing sprees are specifically targeted to generate the most fear and uncertainty from the public, because the more fear and uncertainty they generate, the more attention they get. They then use all of the attention as a platform to promote themselves or whatever complaints they may have against society. It’s the Columbine formula. It works. And as Eric Harris pointed out in his journal, it’s not about the guns. It’s about the television. The films. The fame. The revolution.

  If this sounds like a familiar strategy, that’s because it is.

 

 

Mass Shootings as Non-Political Terrorism

  For a country that is so single-mindedly obsessed with terrorism, it’s jaw-dropping that almost nobody recognizes that school shooters use the exact same strategies to disseminate fear and their twisted agendas throughout society. Terrorists use violence and mass media coverage to promote political or religious beliefs; school shooters use violence and mass media coverage to promote their personal grievances and glorification.

  When viewed in this way, our responses to the school shooters looks juvenile in comparison. Can you imagine arguing over whether misogyny made Osama Bin Laden plan September 11th? Or whether video games caused Dhokhar Tsarnaev to plant bombs at the Boston Marathon? Or whether heavy music inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City?

  You would be laughed at.

  And in fact, when anyone goes as far as to suggest that Islam causes terrorism, they are immediately and rightfully scolded for it. Yet when it comes to school shootings, these types of discussions are not only tolerated, but engaged in willfully. 

  It’s not that we should respond to school shootings the same way we respond to terrorist attacks. It’s that we already do. We just don’t realize it.

  When Elliot’s creepy YouTube videos went public, declaring vengeance upon every college girl that wouldn’t sleep with him, every woman who had ever heard a guy mutter something similar suddenly felt a chill run up her spine. And that chill caused the video to be posted and reposted, sending more chills up more women’s spines until it had spread across the country. My guess is that’s exactly what Elliot would have wanted.

  And we’ve seen this viral dissemination over and over again. After every school shooting episode, writings and videos of the killers get passed around on the internet. Television specials show and reshow the footage. Books are written. Experts are hired. Rinse and repeat.

  Last year, I wrote that terrorism works because it takes advantages of psychological inefficiencies in our brains: we pay a disproportionate amount of attention to threatening events and we always overestimate how likely it is for a random event to happen to us. School shootings transfix us by leveraging the exact same inefficiencies in our minds. And once they’ve dominated this mindspace, we can’t seem to shake them out of it.

  Yet, for some reason, while we seem to imagine potential terrorists everywhere — in airport lines, at stadium gates, in subway cars — we never see the school shooters coming. We’re always caught by surprise.

Hiding in Plain Sight

  When we think of terrorists, we think of some alien “other” — the bearded, turbaned man hiding in some cave on the other side of the world. Because he’s so distant and different, we let him eat at our imagination — he could be anywhere, ready to strike at any moment, hiding in behind every bush, planting a bomb on every bus or plane. We clog our airports and blast warnings through our public buildings for some imagined bogeyman who is never actually present.

  By contrast, we fail to spot shooter after shooter because they are so close to us and so much like us. We miss them because they are our neighbors, our classmates, our friends or even our family members. They are right in front of our noses and we ignore them for a whole host of trivial reasons. Maybe they’re too weird, or awkward, or they’re a loser. We don’t want to talk to them. We put our blinders on and pretend that they’re not miserable, we pretend that they didn’t just have that awkward outburst, we pretend they didn’t just make a joke about killing their own parents.

  Eric Harris’ friends later said that he would often “joke” about blowing up the school and murdering classmates. Even after they discovered he was building bombs in his basement, they never put two-and-two together. They just couldn’t believe it. Not Eric. Not the guy they had played video games with and toilet papered girls’ houses with.

  Meanwhile, the wrong sarcastic word at the airport and you can be held in jail for days.

  An FBI study on school shooters found school shootings are never a result of a crazy person “snapping.” Most shooters do have serious mental health or emotional issues, but they all plan their attacks months or even years in advance. And as they plan, they almost always “leak” information about the attack beforehand, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes in incredibly obvious ways.

  Both Harris and Rodger had the police called on them multiple times due to suspicious behavior. Both of them had a history of strange and violent outbursts towards friends and those close to them. Both put their intentions and their angry rants up on the web for everyone to see. Elliot Rodger wrote and re-wrote his plan out, sometimes including murdering his family members and stealing their car. He wrote that if someone had just searched his room, it would have all come apart, he would have been found out. Eric Harris wrote almost the exact same thing 15 years earlier.

  Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter who killed 32 people, turned in paper after paper that depicted gruesome killings and gun violence. He had a history of mental health issues and had been reported to the campus police four times for aggressive and antisocial behavior, particularly towards women. One of his professors went so far as to tell the board that she would rather resign than teach another class with him in it.

  Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, also had a history of mental illness and inappropriate anti-social behavior. And he too, began sharing his intentions online through forum posts and audio. Lanza had paranoid delusions about mass media and the government, and began to argue that school shootings were justified as a form of protest or revolt. People humored him and ignored him. No one realized he had a small armory of semi-automatic weapons in his house.

  Then there are those who are simply ignored. Dylan Klebold was suicidally depressed for over two years. He fantasized and wrote about killing himself liberally. Despite getting into trouble with the law, turning in school assignments that glorified murder and suicide and failing most of his classes senior year, his parents and friends claimed that they had no idea something was amiss. George Sodini, a middle-aged Pennsylvania man who shot up an aerobics class full of women, wrote in his journal that since he spent the past 20 years of his life alone and miserable, there was no reason to think that the next 20 wouldn’t be lonely and miserable as well. His mother had been emotionally abusive. His father hadn’t had a meaningful conversation with him in over 30 years. Simply put: he had nothing to live for. So why not take some revenge on your way out?

  Gun control gets the headlines. Mental health care gets the headlines. Violence and video games and misogyny and internet forums and atheism — the list is endless at this point.

  Here’s what doesn’t get the headlines: Empathy. Listening to those around you. Even if you don’t like them very much.

  Despite being relevant and important discussions, the glamorous headlines are ultimately distractions — they just feed into the carnage and the attention and the fame the killer desired. They are distractions from what is right in front of you and me and the victims of tomorrow’s shooting: people who need help. And while we’re all fighting over whose pet cause is more right and more true and more noble, there’s likely another young man out there, maybe suicidally depressed, maybe paranoid and delusional, maybe a psychopath, and he’s researching guns and bombs and mapping out schools and recording videos and thinking every day about the anger and hate he feels for this world.

And no one is paying attention to him.”

 

 

Mr Manson is to be commended for this timely piece and thanked by us all that yearn for a better understanding of the seemingly incomprehensible actions of some of our failed citizens .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneur Invents Holiday Beach Locker That Screws Into The Sand

 

 

Hidden treasure: Laying on the towel over the beach vault means you can rest-assured your valuables will be safe

 

 

” It’s the age-old problem of deciding where to store your valuables at the beach while enjoying a day-time snooze or a dip in the sea.

  However, an entrepreneur has invented a unique locker that can screw into the sand and hold personal items such as purses, mobile phones, small tablets and money.”

 

 

BEACH VAULT

 

 

” Marcal DaCunha’s Beach Vault, which is expected to retail for £18, is closed by a special waterproof lid to stop any liquid seeping inside, and then covered by a towel and pillowcase.”

 

 

” DaCunha, a church pastor from New Jersey in the US, said: ‘The whole thing started when my wife, Krystal, and I were travelling back from the beach.

‘ She said “What if we had a container you could put underneath your towel that could hide all of your stuff?”
‘The idea was that if you were lying on the towel and you fell asleep you wouldn’t have to worry about watching your stuff or trying to keep hold of it while closing your eyes.

‘ We spoke about it and spent a while making prototypes and coming up with ideas and we have now worked with engineers to come up with the Beach Vault.”

Read more  and you can donate to Pastor DaCunha’s Kickstarter effort to manufacture and market this clever idea here .

Woman Stabs To Death Two Attacking Pit Bulls

 

 

Woman Fights Pit Bulls

 

 

 

” A woman used a filet knife to kill two pit bulls that got out of a yard while she was walking her dogs in a Southern California desert city.

  Debbie Duran and a friend were walking her three German shepherds on Wednesday in Apple Valley when she said a pit bull charged them and began attacking her friend and her dog, Jodie. Another pit bull ran up seconds later.

“They had one thing in mind and that was to possibly kill me, to definitely kill my dogs,” Duran said, adding that she carries the knife for protection. “

 

NBC News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Accidentally Exposes Afghanistan CIA Chief’s Identity

 

 

 

 

” The White House inadvertently exposed the name of the CIA’s top spy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday when it gave the press a list of U.S. officials participating in President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to the troops.

  According to The Washington Post, the White House released a new list without the name after their reporter raised questions about whether the inclusion was intended.

  The list was emailed on Saturday night to reporters accompanying the president on the trip, and was then included in a pool report written by Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson. That report was released to more than 6,000 news organizations before Wilson noticed what he believed to be an error.”

 

 

Could we possibly be led by a more incompetent group of fools than now inhabit the White House ?

Newsmax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AP Exclusive: Botched Nuclear Silo Drill Revealed

 

 

 

AF Security Fail

 

 

 

” An Air Force security team’s botched response to a simulated assault on a nuclear missile silo has prompted a blistering review followed by expanded training to deal with the nightmare scenario of a real attack.

  The Air Force recognized the possibility of such an intrusion as more worrisome after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But an internal review of the exercise held last summer at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana said the security forces were unable to speedily regain control of the captured silo, and called this a “critical deficiency.”

  The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report through a Freedom of Information Act request.

  The previously unreported misstep was the reason the 341st Missile Wing flunked a broader safety and security inspection. The unit, which has been beset with other problems in recent months, including an exam-cheating scandal that led its commander to resign in March, passed a do-over of the security portion of the inspection last October.

  The failure was one of a string of nuclear missile corps setbacks revealed by the AP over the past year. The force has suffered embarrassing security, leadership and training lapses, discipline breakdowns and morale problems. Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered two reviews, still underway, to address his concern that the lapses could erode public trust in the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons.”

 

More here , here , here and here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WhistleGPS- Never Lose Your Dog

 

 

 

 

” WhistleGPS is the smallest, longest-lasting and most affordable pet location and activity monitor available. Know where your dog is and see their daily adventures directly on your phone.

  WhistleGPS syncs automatically with your phone and alerts you to changes in activity levels. The app shows you where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re up to each day. So, even if your pup decides to go exploring on their own, you’ll always have a way to find them.

Frequently asked questions:

What is WhistleGPS?
  WhistleGPS is an on-collar location and activity monitoring device for your best friend. The device communicates with the Whistle mobile app to make sure you never lose your dog, while providing insights into their everyday health and activity.
How does WhistleGPS work?
  WhistleGPS uses Global Positioning Satellites and breakthrough cellular technology (Sub-GHz) to locate your dog on demand. This technology enables WhistleGPS to offer the smallest device, longest battery life, and most economical pet location service on the market.
How much does WhistleGPS cost?
  WhistleGPS will retail for $129, plus a $5 monthly service fee. We are offering a special pre-order price of $49 until May 28, 2014.
Is there a monthly fee?
  Yes, WhistleGPS has a $5 monthly service fee for location services. This is the lowest monthly fee of any pet GPS tracking device on the market.”

 

Find out more at WhistleGPS home

Darkcoin, The Shadowy Cousin Of Bitcoin, Is Booming

 

 

 

 

 

” In only a month, the little-known bitcoin alternative known as Darkcoin has rocketed nearly tenfold in value–from around 75 cents a coin to almost seven dollars. Its selling point: Darkcoin offers far greater anonymity than bitcoin, mixing up users’ transactions so that it’s incredibly difficult to trace a payment to a person. And though few have yet to accept that more-anonymous coin for actual goods and services, the promise of Darkcoin’s privacy features seems to have sparked a miniature boom. It’s one of the fastest growing among the wave of cryptocurrencies that’s followed bitcoin’s success, with the total value of its combined coins topping out at nearly $30 million.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Darkcoin, supporters argue, serves a real privacy need. Despite its reputation for being more anonymous than traditional money, the bitcoin network actually allows anyone to see every transaction on a public accounting ledger known as the blockchain. Users often have to take extra steps, like mixing their coins in a “laundry” service, to prevent those addresses from being tied to their identity by any government or corporation that wants to snoop.”

 

Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Man Attacks Students With Knife, Injures 8

 

Shocking: This picture taken from a security video shows a cleaver-wielding attacker going on a rampage at a Chinese primary school in Macheng, in central China's province of Hubei

 

 

” A Chinese man with a kitchen knife attacked first- and second-graders at a school in central China on Tuesday, injuring eight children, local authorities said.

  The government of Macheng city in Hubei province said the man, identified as 35-year-old Chen Zuihang, was detained following the attack. It said on its website that police were investigating the motive.”

Hindustan Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit Police Chief James Craig Talks Self-Defense Shootings In NRA Magazine

 

 

Chief James Craig

 

 

 

” Detroit Police Chief James Craig is getting national attention for encouraging residents to arm themselves for their own self-defense.

  Craig is featured on the cover of the NRA magazine America’s 1st Freedom. In the cover story, the chief insists he’s not responsible for a recent slew of self-defense shootings. Since January, there have been seven incidents of homeowners shooting intruders. Six resulted in death.”

 

HT/MyFoxDetroit … Read NRA interview here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Saves Young Boy From Dog Attack  

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A boy and his mother were in their front yard, playing and watering the plants. The neighbor’s dog was let out of its backyard enclosure, seemingly by accident. The dog spotted the boy from across the yard and stalked up behind him. The boy never saw the attack coming. The dog clamped on to his leg and began dragging the boy. That’s when the family’s cat took action.

  Responding police officers stated that if this had been their own son, the call response would have been for “Shots fired.”

  Uploaded with permission.

MOM UPDATE:
  Why the mom leave the son… The dog continues to linger on the other side of the SUV. She is trying to run it off while simultaneously getting the attention of the dog owner who is also in his driveway. She ends up going head to head with the dog, and also getting bit herself. Both the cat and the mom are bad-ass.

DOG UPDATE
  What type of dog? – He is a medium breed mutt of some kind.

  Dog’s Status: He is in public quarantine. I will post his fate when it is decided by officials.

UPDATE – The dog will be euthanized.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feds Released Hundreds Of Immigrant Murderers, Drunk Drivers, Sex-Crimes Convicts

 

 

Feds Release Murderers

 

 

 

” Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama administration statistics that could undercut the president’s argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement.

  Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.”

The immigrants were in deportation proceedings, meaning ICE was trying to remove them from the country and could have held them in detention but released them anyway, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which published the numbers Monday. The Washington Times also obtained the data.

“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “The administration’s actions are outrageous. They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people.” “


More at Washington Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What The Most Secure Email In The Universe Would Look Like

 

 

Researchers develop covert optical communication system

 

 

 

” Say you wanted to send an email more secure than any message that had ever been transmitted in human history, a message with absolutely no chance of being intercepted. How would you do it?

  You may have encrypted your message according to the highest standards, but encryption doesn’t guarantee secrecy. The fact that you sent it is still detectable. An intercepting party in possession of just a few clues such as your identity, the receiver’s identify, the time of the message, surrounding incidents and the like can infer a great deal about the content of the message in the same way that the NSA can use your metadata to make inferences about your personality. You need to conceal not just what’s in the message but its very existence.

  The answer? Make your message literally impossible to detect. A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Raytheon BBN Technologies led by Boulat A. Bash have created a method for doing just that, cloaking electronic communications so that the communication can’t be seen. They explain it in a paper titled Covert Optical Communication.

  The question of exactly how secure any communication can be is of no small relevance either to national security watchers worried about losing secrets or to a public increasingly concerned about governmental invasion of digital privacy. The breakthrough shows that it is possible to send a message that can’t be intercepted, no matter how determined the National Security Agency is to intercept it. “

 

A PDF file of the researcher’s paper can be read here

DefenseOne has more details , as does Phys.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benghazi Scandal – Democrats Something To Hide?

 

 

 

 

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