Thursday, October 30, 2014
WASHINGTON — When the White House discovered in recent weeks that its unclassified computer systems had been breached, intelligence officials examined the digital evidence and focused on a prime suspect: Russia, which they believe is using its highly sophisticated cyber capabilities to test American defenses. But its tracks were well covered, and officials say they may never know for sure.
They have no doubt, however, about what happened this week on the edges of NATO territory in Europe. More than two dozen Russian aircraft, including four Tu-95 strategic bombers, flew through the Baltic and Black Seas, along the coast of Norway and all the way to Portugal, staying over international waters but prompting NATO forces to send up intercepting aircraft.
Taken together, they represent the old and the updated techniques of Cold War signal-sending. In the Soviet era, both sides probed each other's defenses, hoping to learn something from the reaction those tests of will created. In 2014, cyber is the new weapon, one that can be used with less restraint, and because its creators believe they cannot be traced and can create a bit of havoc without prompting a response.
In this case, the response was that the White House shut down use of some of its networks for lengthy periods — more an inconvenience than anything else, but a sign of the fragility of the system to sophisticated attacks.
But in both, divining the motive of the probes and the advantage, if any, they created is far from easy.
The Russian aircraft exercises were part of a broader escalation: NATO has conducted more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, its officials report, far more than last year, before Russia annexed Crimea and began its operations in Ukraine.
"This is message-sending by Putin, and it's dangerous," one senior defense official said Wednesday, noting that in many cases, the Russian aircraft had turned off their transponders and did not reply to radio calls to identify themselves. In response, Germany, Portugal, Turkey and Denmark sent aircraft aloft, along with two non-NATO nations, Finland and Sweden. They were particularly struck by the use of the Tu-95 bombers, which Russia usually keeps clear of Europe.
But what's new is the sophistication of Russia's cyberespionage campaigns, which differ somewhat from China's. The Chinese attacks — like those led by Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army, whose members were indicted earlier this year by the Justice Department — are aimed chiefly at intellectual property theft. The Russians do a bit of that, too, but the attacks also suggest more disruptive motives.
Mission Watch Live "Cooling the Global Warming Panic: A United Nations report on climate faces a chilly reception from nature."
"Cooling the Global Warming Panic: A United Nations report on climate faces a chilly reception from nature."
Drew is a columnist, editorial writer and government waste expert at The Washington Times. Mr. Johnson founded and served as president of Tennessee's free-market think tank, he is the former opinion page editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press and serves a Senior Fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
Today we spoke with him about an article he wrote for the Washington Times exposing the untruth of climate change !
"Remember we do not 100% agree with everything our guests, say, do, or believe.
It is up to you to pray and sort it out!"
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A new study puts numbers behind the claim that the votes of non-U.S. citizens in the 2008 presidential election handed the White House to Barack Obama.
Of the non-citizens who voted in 2008, the study found "81.8 percent reported voting for Barack Obama compared to 17.5 percent for John McCain."
The tendency of non-citizens to vote for Democrats was confirmed two years later.
"Similarly in 2010, 53.8 percent of non-citizens reported voting for the Democratic House candidate while 30.7 percent indicated that they voted for the Republican," the study said.
The results affirmed the contention of many, including the Washington watchdog, Judicial Watch, that a "large number of non-citizens cast ballots in U.S. elections, and it's possible that the illegal votes were responsible for President Obama's 2008 victory."
Using data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies, the large-scale academic survey found "in fact, enough ineligible voters cast ballots in 2008 to conceivably account for Democratic victories in a few close elections," Judicial Watch said in a report on the study.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the study confirms Judicial Watch's "working theory that foreign nationals illegally vote in federal elections in large numbers and have allowed Democrats, including this president, to steal elections."
"This is why the left does not want voter ID, loves same-day registration, by mail voting, etc., and craves amnesty and open borders," Fitton said. "It is not about the Hispanic vote – it is about the illegal alien vote (and the legal alien vote), it is about stealing elections. Makes all the talk about targeting, messaging, issues, candidates and policy seem quaint."
Judicial Watch noted the study supports its work on vote accountability, which includes the Election Integrity Project, described as a "widespread legal campaign to clean up voter registration rolls and support election integrity measures across the country."
Judicial Watch said its efforts have proved voter rolls in Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Florida, California and Colorado contained ineligible voters.
The study also found non-citizen votes "could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities."
The political science professors pointed out that Sen. Al Franken, the comedian who was elected to the Senate from Minnesota, won by only 312 votes.
"Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama's 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina's adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin," the authors said.
Judicial Watch noted most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote, but the study showed "enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races."
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/confirmed-illegal-ballots-by-non-citizens-boost-democrats/#irZ8hCA2qG8dLWSW.99
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"Remember we do not 100% agree with everything our guests,
say, do, or believe. It is up to you to pray and sort it out!"
Another do not Miss End-Time Radio program as
"We are Warning the World as it HAPPENS!"
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Senator Jeff Sessions will soon release this statement in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal that details President Obama's plans to unilaterally implement amnesty.
"The Wall Street Journal confirmed today that the President is planning to issue a massive unilateral executive amnesty after the election.
"In its report, the WSJ certifies that this executive amnesty would provide work permits for illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from struggling Americans.
"Based on the USCIS contract bid and statements from USCIS employees, we know this executive immigration order is likely to be broader in scope than anyone has imagined.
"Earlier this week, President Obama's former head of Homeland Security revealed that she overrode resistance from administration lawyers and law enforcement agents in implementing the President's earlier unlawful amnesty and work authorization program for illegal immigrants 30 and under. This was an open admission by one of the most senior people in government of violating one's oath of office in order to accomplish a nakedly political aim.
"The President is assuming for himself the sole and absolute power to decide who can enter, work, live, and claim benefits in the United States. He has exempted virtually every group in the world from America's immigration laws: people who enter before a certain age, people related to people who enter before a certain age, adults traveling with minors, minors traveling with adults, illegal immigrants who are not convicted of serious crimes, illegal workers who are convicted of serious crimes but not enough serious crimes, almost anyone who shows up the border and demands asylum, the millions who overstay their visas, and, as was recently exposed, illegal immigrants with serious criminal histories. The list continues to grow.
"A nation creates borders and laws to protect its own citizens. What about their needs?
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice - tech - 29 October 2014 - New Scientist#.VFLLme90ypo#.VFLLme90ypo
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head
TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That's no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot physically speak communicate with the outside world.
"If you're reading text in a newspaper or a book, you hear a voice in your own head," says Brian Pasley at the University of California, Berkeley. "We're trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralysed or locked in to speak."
When you hear someone speak, sound waves activate sensory neurons in your inner ear. These neurons pass information to areas of the brain where different aspects of the sound are extracted and interpreted as words.
In a previous study, Pasley and his colleagues recorded brain activity in people who already had electrodes implanted in their brain to treat epilepsy, while they listened to speech. The team found that certain neurons in the brain's temporal lobe were only active in response to certain aspects of sound, such as a specific frequency. One set of neurons might only react to sound waves that had a frequency of 1000 hertz, for example, while another set only cares about those at 2000 hertz. Armed with this knowledge, the team built an algorithm that could decode the words heard based on neural activity alone (PLoS Biology, doi.org/fzv269).
The team hypothesised that hearing speech and thinking to oneself might spark some of the same neural signatures in the brain. They supposed that an algorithm trained to identify speech heard out loud might also be able to identify words that are thought.
To test the idea, they recorded brain activity in another seven people undergoing epilepsy surgery, while they looked at a screen that displayed text from either the Gettysburg Address, John F. Kennedy's inaugural address or the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.
Each participant was asked to read the text aloud, read it silently in their head and then do nothing. While they read the text out loud, the team worked out which neurons were reacting to what aspects of speech and generated a personalised decoder to interpret this information. The decoder was used to create a spectrogram – a visual representation of the different frequencies of sound waves heard over time. As each frequency correlates to specific sounds in each word spoken, the spectrogram can be used to recreate what had been said. They then applied the decoder to the brain activity that occurred while the participants read the passages silently to themselves (see diagram).
Despite the neural activity from imagined or actual speech differing slightly, the decoder was able to reconstruct which words several of the volunteers were thinking, using neural activity alone (Frontiers in Neuroengineering, doi.org/whb).
The algorithm isn't perfect, says Stephanie Martin, who worked on the study with Pasley. "We got significant results but it's not good enough yet to build a device."
In practice, if the decoder is to be used by people who are unable to speak it would have to be trained on what they hear rather than their own speech. "We don't think it would be an issue to train the decoder on heard speech because they share overlapping brain areas," says Martin.
The team is now fine-tuning their algorithms, by looking at the neural activity associated with speaking rate and different pronunciations of the same word, for example. "The bar is very high," says Pasley. "Its preliminary data, and we're still working on making it better."
The team have also turned their hand to predicting what songs a person is listening to by playing lots of Pink Floyd to volunteers, and then working out which neurons respond to what aspects of the music. "Sound is sound," says Pasley. "It all helps us understand different aspects of how the brain processes it."
"Ultimately, if we understand covert speech well enough, we'll be able to create a medical prosthesis that could help someone who is paralysed, or locked in and can't speak," he says.
Several other researchers are also investigating ways to read the human mind. Some can tell what pictures a person is looking at, others have worked out what neural activity represents certain concepts in the brain, and one team has even produced crude reproductions of movie clips that someone is watching just by analysing their brain activity. So is it possible to put it all together to create one multisensory mind-reading device?
In theory, yes, says Martin, but it would be extraordinarily complicated. She says you would need a huge amount of data for each thing you are trying to predict. "It would be really interesting to look into. It would allow us to predict what people are doing or thinking," she says. "But we need individual decoders that work really well before combining different senses."
This article appeared in print under the headline "Hearing our inner voice"
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
WASHINGTON – Newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grand design to recreate the Ottoman caliphate with the help of the Sunni jihadist army ISIS could be derailed if he can't get parliament to transfer to him the powers he had when he was prime minister, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Elected president last August, Erdogan has been in the spotlight as Turkey has refused to join the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition of Arab and European countries. He also has denied the U.S. the use of a base to launch attacks on the jihadist group.
In addition, Erdogan has been at odds with the Obama administration over U.S. policy toward Syria. Erdogan wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ousted. The Turkish president also has a long simmering fight with the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS, and regards ISIS as less of a threat to Turkey than the Kurds and Assad.
As prime minister, Erdogan has been in the forefront of keeping Turkey in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and seeking membership – so far unsuccessfully – in the European Union.
He was successful, however, in kneecapping the all-powerful General Staff that has been the secular voice in Turkey, orienting the government toward a more Islamic slant.
He has virtually broken diplomatic relations with Israel, backing the Sunni Palestinian group Hamas in the recent war. He also has pressed for a "zero problem" foreign policy that has been a cover for reasserting Turkish influence from the Middle East to Central Asia, the areas that once encompassed the Ottoman Empire.
Doubt about Turkish commitment
Michael Rubin of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute suggests there is "doubt" about Turkish commitment under Erdogan to counter ISIS.
He said there is evidence of a relationship between ISIS and Erdogan's Justice and Development political party.
"There is a Turkish website called 'Takva Haber' which Turks say serves as the mouthpiece for ISIS," Rubin said. "It has been crucial in pushing out ISIS propaganda, and it has also helped ISIS recruit Turks to the degree that Turkey will be facing blowback from the radicals it has spawned, long after Erdogan is dead or in prison."
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/turkish-president-gathers-power-to-fulfill-islamic-caliphate-vision/#xkBtU25JywApguZs.99
Wednesday at the Aspen Institute's "Washington Ideas Forum," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said we are living through, "historic, defining times," that will result in a, "new world order."
When questioned about the ongoing global chaos by the national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows Hagel said, "I think we are living through one of these historic, defining times. I think we are seeing a new world order."
"What we're seeing in the Middle East with ISIL is going to require a steady, long-term effort. It's going to require coalitions of common interests, which we are forming," he added.
Moscow (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin's spokesman on Wednesday ridiculed US media reports that the Russian strongman may be suffering from cancer, saying he was fine and that journalists should "shut their trap".
Dmitry Peskov blasted those behind speculation that the 62-year-old Putin -- who has long cultivated an action-man image -- was in ill health.
"They shouldn't bank on it. They should shut their trap. Everything's okay," he told journalists at Putin's country residence outside Moscow.
The New York Post on Friday cited "sources" as saying Putin was suffering from pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease.
It suggested the information came from an unnamed elderly German doctor who had been treating Putin until recently.
It also reported that "news outlets from Belarus to Poland" had been saying for months that Putin -- who has dominated Russia's political scene for almost 15 years -- had cancer of the spine.
Rumours of Putin's ill health have persisted over the past few years, with some observers saying he appeared to be in pain at times during public appearances.
His face also sometimes looks swollen, prompting rumours he could be on steroid medication, or trying anti-ageing treatments.
In 2012, Putin cut down on foreign travel for a while and postponed a high-profile visit to Japan, with sources in Tokyo blaming health problems.
Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said at the time that a "minor sports injury" was to blame.
For Putin, his image as a healthy, active man ready to ride bare-chested or track tigers is crucial in a country where he is already old enough to claim a state pension.
As he faces political isolation from the West and economic woes as the ruble plunges, Putin's sky-high approval rating has dipped for the first time since April.
The Levada independent polling agency found that 83 percent of those questioned in September would vote for Putin as president, down from 87 percent in August