Jan 30, 2015

Obama's Black Opposite Could Be Our Next President

Common Sense Commentary: Meet Dr. Ben Carson, a Tea Party Favorite, who is a dyed in the wool Conservative, the opposite of Barack Obama and a real American Constitutionalist. Black people need Dr Carson to help the world see they are more like Patriot, Dr. Carson than they are like Socialist Left Winger, Obama.  Every other American needs him too ... as President, Vice President or at least Secretary of Health, to show the world that most American voters are not so stupid after all, and recognize a good and qualified man for high office. We need dignity, integrity, and wisdom not just another professional, spineless politician like Republicans Boehner and O'Connell or greedy, power mad Democrats like Reid and Pelosi.... or any other Democrat, for that matter. 

Communistic Socialism is not contagious but it is terminal. 

America needs a brain surgeon.... Doctor Ben Carson. RB


This from Breitbart News

At a speech this week at the sold-out South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention, conservative hero Dr. Ben Carson shared his important prescription with America.
Beyond the issues of Obama’s tax increases, socialized healthcare, and bigger government, Dr. Carson is focusing like a laser on one thing: ELIMINATING THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS!)

“We need to do something about taxes. There’s no question about that. We have a horrendous tax structure. It’s too complex,” Carson told the convention. “Nobody can comply with it and it’s unfair. We need something that is equally fair across the spectrum for everybody and that means either a flat tax or a fair tax.”
“The important thing is that whatever we come up with, it needs to eliminate the IRS,” added Dr. Carson.

The polling is on Dr. Carson’s side. Approximately 62% of Americans support the flat tax, which would charge everyone the same percentage of tax – regardless of income. This would effectively eliminate the IRS and all the damage their endlessly complicated regulations do to America’s economy. Instead, a fair – and low – tax rate would be collected by the U.S. Treasury.

And from the Huffington Post, this....

With "infallible" polling data in hand, The Huffington Post can declare celebrated neurosurgeon and conservative darling Ben Carson as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. At least that's according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday, which shows Carson topping a stacked list of right-wing favorites and establishment picks alike -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and even Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. End

My Comment:

This turn of events is truly stranger than fiction. It seemed impossible that the U.S. would elect a self confessed Socialist Left Winger, who is almost surely a Muslim as well, had no real, meaningful accomplishments, and was probably not even born in the U.S.  Now, after six years of Democrat Obama's presidency of walking all over the U.S. Constitution,  by-passing the Congress by issuing hundreds of Executive Orders, a Tea Party hater, he has destroyed America's image abroad and revved up racial tensions here at home, And now, along comes his black skinned opposite, Doctor Ben  Carson. Dr. Carson a highly accomplished brain surgeon, leader in the field, a Republican, a dyed in the wool Constitutionalist, Outspoken Conservative, a Christian, and a face to face critic of Obama. Dr. Carson is now second to Romney in the polls. How ironic is that?

If Dr. Carson is the Republican nominee, I will vote for him. Obama, Hillary, Bidden, Reid or Pelosi? Not in a million years. There is not a single Democrat I could vote for and there are only a few Republicans. Too bad an Independent, Courageous, Constitutional, Conservative Party Candidate can't be elected. RB

Jan 29, 2015

The "Universe" Range Of Possibilities Has Expanded

Common Sense Commentary: We are actually at the very beginning of what is humanly possible. Since the beginning of time men have thought that their level of what is possible, could not be exceeded. But as the future unfolded, what human beings were capable of, improved continuously;
So that the passing of time revealed new possibilities and then new technologies. Faster and faster the development of technology expanded upward, higher and higher, faster and faster up to our present moment. And this is just the beginning of hi-tech possibilities, and we have only scratched the surface. Where will it end?

The Pope said recently, "God can't do everything".  That is a strangely odd, heretical thing to say, for the world leader of what he calls "The Universal Christian Church". Catholic is from the Greek word Katholicos, and means "Universal". What is really strange is, that human beings, with a brain about the size of a small cantaloupe, who were created by God, as a tiny "image and likeness" of Himself, and yet ... have reached a level of knowledge and intelligence that they can, seemingly do almost anything. An earlier version of we created beings, in Babylon, previously reached a level of intelligence that caused them to believe they could build their own entrance to heaven, when they said ..."...let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name ...." Gen.11:4. So they were building this tower into the heavens when God knocked it down and scattered them to the four winds, and said ..."Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city." Gen.116 & 8. These verses clearly say, in God's own words, "now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do".  This, God did, not because of what they could actually do, but what they "imagined" they could do, and did build an impressive, hi-tower. I do not believe God deals in hyperbole, and meant exactly what He said; That we have within us, in the "image and likeness" of God, howbeit in a much smaller than He, yet far greater mental capacity than even we can understand. An ability to think in our "imagination" and "create" technology... so that almost "nothing will be restrained from us". Now that is a very frightening concept. But when I enumerate the long list of fantastic, unbelievable, and extreme technological developments of recent years, by humans, it seems that we may have, like those at Babel, reached a level of intelligence that God will not abide our misuse of.  Times change, and the world changes, as we change, and God changes the way he deals with us. God changed His way of dealing with Adam and Eve when they sinned, and drove them from the Garden.  God changed His dealings with the world of Noah's day and sent the flood. God changed His way of dealing with the world "of one language" at Babel, destroyed their works, confused their language, and scattered them throughout the world. God changed His dealings with the world when it crucified His Son Jesus, and a new dispensation began. Highly advanced technology will be used by the Anti Christ in the last seven years of this age. Have we reached into the heavens like Babel? Has the world become, as God saw it in Noah's day... "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Gen.6:5.

Intelligence and Technology, within themselves, are not evil. It is what we seek to do with them, how we misuse them, and even worship them as a way to heaven, that is the sin of Babel. God gave us the ability of intelligence and technology, and it is good if used for good. But evil people use it for evil purposes, as will Anti Christ. If men have just scratched the surface of all that is possible. If humans can accomplish almost anything, Mr. Pope, Your Honor, Sir, how much more can God do?  And what is it He cannot do? "For with God all things are possible." Mk.10:27.  God can do anything...everything... but sin or learn something He didn't already know ... He is Omnipotent, Omni-holy, Omniscient and Omnipresent. You and I are flesh and blood little tiny people from where He sits. We can't even be seen from a few hundred yards away. 

Here is a new technology that can be used for a great many good and useful purposes....or, possibly, for some diabolical purpose of Antichrist, as it continues to improve and expand. RB

So look what has been developed in Israel. It expands technologies and opens new doors. It is just another quantum leap up. It is waterproof and needs no carrying case. Its uses are enormous, and It will be available next year, but it is just the beginning of what is possible.

Cicret Bracelet: Like a tablet...but on your skin

I can't even explain this ....

Jan 28, 2015

As God's Stewards, Frugality Is Always In Order... Especially Now

Common Sense Commentary: Waste, lavish living and squandering are never in order if one professes to be a Christian. There are literally thousands of life and death needs in this old world which are worthy causes to support. Helpless little children here in America and around the world, people who have no job through no fault of their own, elderly people whose savings have been drained by a derelict government whose policies have left retired people with 0 or 1% interest which has forced them to spend their principle down to nothing. Inflation is another financial problem caused by bad government policies which robs everyone of their income. Working people around the globe are not only losing the buying power of their income but are forced to support half the population who will not or cannot work. Millions of welfare recipients have more to live on than many hard working tax-payers with jobs. That is a crime.

This problem is compounded by the financial uncertainty and continuous loss of living wage jobs. If there every was a time of impending disaster and economic insecurity, it is right now. In such a time, the sin of the prodigal is the more unwise. The waste or misuse of your resources is following in the tracks of the prodigal son who "wasted his substance with riotous living" and "came to himself" in abject poverty with nothing left and nowhere to turn except to his father ... in repentance. Lk.15:13.

When Jesus worked a miracle to feed the multitude bread and fish, he never the less admonished his disciples not to waste the leftovers even though He could have performed the same miracle at will.
"When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." John 6:12. Why would He say that except to teach them frugality and the sin of waste.

Maybe the richest man who ever lived, King Solomon, is also known for his wisdom. The wisdom of Solomon concerning material things is revealed in his admonition of both the wise and the foolish...
"There is treasure ...and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up." Prov.21:20.

I challenge you Christians to take up the slack, cut expenses, save your resources, be generous, but be wise. If you are in a real Bible preaching, Jesus loving and soul winning church, support it. If not, leave. But stop "wasting your substance" like a prodigal child. It is better to be prepared for what does not happen than to be unprepared for what does. Pray about it. God will lead you in the right direction; Men may not. RB

Jan 27, 2015

Trust In America Is Gone ...With Our National Integrity

Common Sense Commentary: Though not a Christian, Dennis Prager, a Jew, is one of this generation's most logical and wise American patriots. This man is worth listening to, and more and more Americans are listening to him on radio and television.


By Dennis Prager

I have been broadcasting for 31 years and writing for longer than that. I do not recall ever saying on radio or in print that a president is doing lasting damage to our country. I did not like the presidencies of Jimmy Carter (the last Democrat I voted for) or Bill Clinton. Nor did I care for the compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush. In modern political parlance compassionate is a euphemism for ever-expanding government. But I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president. So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America .. The only question is whether this can ever be undone. This is equally true domestically and internationally. Domestically, his policies have had a grave impact on the American economy. He has overseen the weakest recovery from a recession in modern American history. He has mired the country in unprecedented levels of debt: about $6.5 trillion that is 6,500 billion in five years (this after calling his predecessor unpatriotic for adding nearly $5 trillion in eight years (after 9/11). He has fashioned a country in which more Americans now receive government aid means-tested, let alone non-means-tested than work full-time. He has no method of paying for this debt other than printing more money thereby surreptitiously taxing everyone through inflation, including the poor he claims to be helping, and cheapening the dollar to the point that some countries are talking about another reserve currency and saddling the next generations with enormous debts. With his 2,500-page Affordable Care Act he has made it impossible for hundreds of thousands, soon millions, of Americans to keep their individual or employer-sponsored group health insurance; he has stymied American medical innovation with an utterly destructive tax on medical devices; and he has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to lose full-time jobs because of the health-care costs imposed by Obamacare on employers.

His Internal Revenue Service used its unparalleled power to stymie political dissent. No one has been held accountable. His ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi , Libya ... No one has been blamed. The only blame the Obama administration has leveled was on a video maker in California who had nothing to do with the assault. In this presidents White House the buck stops nowhere. Among presidents in modern American history, he has also been a uniquely divisive force. It began with his forcing Obama care through Congress the only major legislation in American history to be passed with no votes from the opposition party. Though he has had a unique opportunity to do so, he has not only not helped heal racial tensions, he has exacerbated them. His intrusions into the Trayvon Martin affair (If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon) and into the confrontation between a white police officer and a black Harvard professor (the police acted stupidly) were unwarranted, irresponsible, demagogic, and, most of all, divisive. He should have been reassuring black Americans that America is in fact the least racist country in the world something he should know as well as anybody, having been raised only by whites and being the first (half) black elected the leader of a white-majority nation. Instead, he echoed the inflammatory speech of professional race-baiters such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He has also divided the country by economic class, using classic Marxist language against the rich and corporate profits. Regarding America in the world, he has been, if possible, even more damaging. The United States is at its weakest, has fewer allies, and has less military and diplomatic influence than at any time since before World War II. One wonders if there is a remaining ally nation that trusts him. And worse, no American enemy fears him. If you are a free movement (the democratic Iranian and Syrian oppositions) or a free country (Israel), you have little or no reason to believe that you have a steadfast ally in the United States . Even non-democratic allies no longer trust America. Barack Obama has alienated our most important and longest standing Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both the anti-Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Iran Arab states have lost respect for him. And his complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has left that country with weekly bloodbaths. Virtually nothing Barack Obama has done has left America or the world better since he became president. Nearly everything he has touched has been made worse.

He did, however, promise before the 2008 election that We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America ... That is the one promise he has kept.

Jan 26, 2015

What's The Real Story Behind Captain Kangaroo And Mr. Rogers?

Common Sense Commentary: That old guy you saw in the nursing home or emergency room looked like he had always been wrinkled and feeble and couldn't even take care of himself. But wait a minute. In his day he may have been an Olympic champion, president of a multi-national corporation, inventor of some hi-tech, world changing technology or maybe a World War II, Korean war or Vietnam hero. So who or what might that old guy next door or at church might have been in the past?Who or what were old Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers before they were entertaining and teaching little children?  I have no idea who dug up the following, very interesting information.

Why Did Mr. Rogers Wear a Sweater?

Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 at age 76, which is odd, because he always looked to be 76. (DOB: 6/27/27)

His death reminded me of the following story.

Some people have been a bit offended that the actor, Lee Marvin, is buried in a grave alongside 3 and 4-star generals at Arlington National Cemetery . His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC). Nothing else.

Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why the heck does he rate burial with these guys? Well, following is the amazing answer:

I always liked Lee Marvin, but didn't know the extent of his Corps experiences.

In a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in the armed forces often in rear echelon posts where they were carefully protected, only to be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war bond promotions, Lee Marvin was a genuine hero.

He won the Navy Cross at Iwo Jima . There is only one higher Naval award... the Medal Of Honor!
If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery.

Dialog from "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson":

His guest was Lee Marvin. Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima and that during the course of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded."

"Yeah, yeah... I got shot square in the bottom and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi. Bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys getting shot hauling you down. But, Johnny, at Iwo , I served under the bravest man I ever knew. We both got the Cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison. That dumb guy actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach. Bullets flying by, with mortar rounds landing everywhere and he stood there as the main target of gunfire so that he could get his men to safety.  He did this on more than one occasion because his men's safety was more important than his own life. That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends. When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me, lying on my belly on the litter and said, "Where'd they get you Lee?" "Well Bob... if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!"

Johnny, I'm not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew.  The Sergeant's name is Bob Keeshan.  You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo."

On another note, there was this wimpy little man on PBS, (who has also passed away) , gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth.

But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV, to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. He was a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat.

After the war Mr. Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister and therefore a pacifist. Vowing to never harm another human and also dedicating the rest of his life to trying to help lead children on the right path in life. He hid away the tattoos and his past life and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm. America's real heroes don't flaunt what they did; they quietly go about their day-to-day lives, doing what they do best. They earned our respect and the freedoms that we all enjoy. Look around and see if you can find one of those heroes in your midst. Often, they are the ones you'd least suspect, but would most like to have on your side if anything ever happened.

Take the time to thank anyone that has fought for our freedom.  With encouragement they could be the next Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers.

Jan 24, 2015

The Real Quarterback Of The Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson #3

Common Sense Commentary: I have always liked the Green Bay Packers and usually pull for them unless they are playing the Cowboys or one of the other Southern, Pro Teams. The exception to that is, if I recognize a Real Christian on any of the teams, I pull for them. If one of the teams is angry or fouls a lot or starts fights ... I pull against them. I was actually pulling for the Packers when they played Seattle simply because Seattle is a strongly Liberal city and my pastor likes the Packers too. I know that is all trivial, but I have to find some reason to be for or against one of the two opposing teams. I seldom watch a game without drifting to one side or the other. I was for New England, against the Seahawks, in the  Super Bowl, because of their name ... Patriots, until I read about them cheating by lowering the air in the footballs, and then, this morning when I read the article below. I changed sides for the Super Bowl. As long as Russell Wilson, a black quarterback, is leading the Seattle Seahawks .... I am a Seahawks fan .... even if they are playing the Cowboys. That is, unless Jerry Jones or Romo suddenly start giving sincere witness of Christian faith. I know, I know, God doesn't care who wins a football game .... Or does He? I guess we will find out Feb.1 - RB

Russell Wilson Isn’t Keeping It a Secret, But Unless You Follow Him Online, You Might Have No Idea
Most know him as the star quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Others may know him as a man who volunteers much of his time at the children’s hospital, spending time cheering up kids battling cancer.

But, unless you follow 26-year-old Russell Wilson online, you may be unaware of exactly how much faith plays a role in his life.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after throwing the game winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse #15 in overtime to defeat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 during the 2015 NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after throwing the game winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse #15 in overtime to defeat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 during the 2015 NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

Yes, like many others in the NFL, Wilson is known to say a prayer after each game — but his devotion to God extends far beyond that and spills into his public life.

The young quarterback, who will face off with the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady in this year’s Super Bowl, regularly talks openly about his faith online.

After tweeting about a recent visit to Seattle Children’s, Wilson said, “I believe that God has put me on this earth to serve others.”

For those that follow him on Twitter, it seems that every day the 26-year-old is posting about living for “His Glory.”

In his final tweet before Sunday’s NFC championship game, Wilson put his hope in Jesus.

“All my hope is in You Jesus!” he tweeted. “You are my anchor that is never shaken.”

The first tweet immediately after his miraculous win credited God.

“Glory to God!” he wrote.

The star quarterback followed up the next day, sending out a flurry of tweets about his faith.

“There is none like You! No one else can touch my heart like You do! I can search for all of eternity, but there is none like You!” he said in one of the many tweets.

Such tweets, are normal on Wilson’s account. The Washington State transplant chiefly tweets about his personal relationship with God, along with verses from the Bible.

In an interview with Pastor Mark Driscoll last year, Wilson expanded more on his faith, saying he was saved at the age of 14.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Jesus,” he explained at the time. “Jesus is my all, he’s my everything.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Jesus.” Share: “I’m not perfect by any means. I try to do things the right way, I try to live righteous, but I am a constant work in progress. And we all are. Nobody is perfect,” Wilson continued. “And that’s the amazing thing about Jesus – he takes you for who you are. And so for me, it’s just giving him all the glory.”

Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are set to square off with the New England Patriots in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

Jan 23, 2015

The Conversion Of Benjamin Franklin, A Founder Of Our Country

Common Sense Commentary: Almost all of our founding fathers were Christians. Many unbelievers have denied that fact and have taken it upon themselves to bring our founders down to their own level of disbelief in either God the Father or Jesus Christ. In so doing they have used every possible means to misquote, misrepresent and mislead those who read or hear their denials. The truth is, Franklin had some misunderstandings and made some mistakes, in his youth, as have all of us. But as he matured, so did his faith in God and Jesus Christ. RB

Benjamin Franklin (1706 -1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. Wikipedia

The Conversion of Benjamin Franklin 

By Franklin Bill Fortenberry

Picture On March 9, 1790, just one month before his death at age 84, Benjamin Franklin penned a letter to Ezra Stiles in which he said that he had some doubts about the deity of Christ.  This letter has often been cited as evidence that Franklin rejected Christianity and maintained his skepticism until his death.  I was recently confronted with this claim again, and I decided that I would take the time to read Franklin’s writings in chronological order to see if it might be possible to trace out his spiritual journey.  As I did so, I was shocked to discover that this iconic figure of the Revolution had documented his own, spiritual revolution in clear detail revealing to all the world his conversion from skeptical deism to a full faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  Here is a brief synopsis of what I found (Links to original sources are provided at the end of the article):

Read the rest of Bill's article at this link:


Jan 22, 2015

Union Laborers Work & Pay The Price For Their Leaders To Sit, Gripe & Get Rich

Common Sense Commentary: Labor Unions were needed when John L. Lewis was their leader. Now, Labor Union Leaders Lobby, Lounge, Laugh, Loan, Lute  and Lollygag while their dues paying members Labor. Their Leaders keep demanding more and more money and perks from struggling businesses. So the result of Labor Union demands is, more and more of those businesses are moving overseas where the business climate is more friendly. Now, because of the continuous, outrageous demands of the Unions, our American industry has left cities like Detroit, ghost towns and Unions are loosing the power and influence they have had for years. Good riddance. Maybe now, if government will also wake up and stop taxing business to death, we can entice departed businesses back to the U.S. But that will require a Conservative President and Congress. RB

Meet the bosses: Big labor’s top 100 highest paid officials 

By Jason Hart Published September 03, 2014watchdog.org

While unions call for tax and minimum-wage increases to fix “income inequality,” reports to the U.S. Department of Labor reveal 472 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 in 2013.

In all, America’s 100 highest-paid union officers and employees received $54.8 million taken from workers last year.

Union officials lived even higher on the hog in fiscal 2013 than the year before, when 428 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 and the top 100 received compensation totaling $52.1 million.

The latest list of the 100 highest-paid union bosses is led by employees of the MLB, NBA, and NFL players’ unions — unsurprising, given the prevalence of seven-figure contracts among the professional athletes they represent.

However, dozens of union officers and employees — whose paychecks come from teachers, government workers and blue-collar laborers — are also paid $350,000 or more.


Jan 21, 2015

This Could Be My Most Important Blog ... For a Few Of You Facebook Fans

Common Sense Commentary: There is a reason King Solomon is known as one of the wisest men who has ever lived. He was also one of the most prolific writers. His writings, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes,
and Songs Of Solomon are packed full of wisdom. It is commonly said that if you would be wise, read Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. In all of his writings, I can't think of a single thing he wrote down which was inappropriate or could be used later, by an enemy, to attack him. He guarded his words and wrote only as God moved him. He reveals the wisdom of caution in our thoughts and words in this verse ... "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought ... for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.Ecclesiastes 10:20. 

What he is saying is, you had better consider the possible impact on your own life and welfare before you blurt out some accusation, denunciation or recrimination against the all powerful rulers of that day. There weren't any real democracies or republics in Solomon's day and the kings could execute anyone at will. That is still done, even in our day, under dictatorships and it may well come to that in our own country.  What is happening in America today,which has never been a cause of division , debate and destruction before, is "Social Media" such as Facebook and Twitter. Some people say things on Facebook today which are absolutely unbelievable, demeaning to themselves and just plain dumb. Solomon said,  "that which hath wings shall tell the matter"  If there ever was a means of communication which defined that phrase it is Facebook.  "Guard your words spoken or written and remember that what you say may be quoted and misquoted a thousand times, but what you write may be used against you for a lifetime." 
If you are not prepared to suffer the consequences of your words, you had better not say them. If you don't have time to think before you speak, you do have time to think before you write, and unlike speaking it, writing it proves you said it. RB

Facebook now crops up in a third of 
divorce cases over cheating and old flames 

By Samantha Yule

Facebook unwittingly provides evidence of infidelity and new relationships, helps track people’s movements and records expenditure on everything from cars to holidays

Facebook is now cited in a third of all divorce cases, research has shown.

A survey of legal firms’ caseloads revealed the social network is increasingly relied upon as proof of inappropriate behaviour.

Facebook unwittingly provides evidence of infidelity and new relationships, helps track people’s movements and records expenditure on everything from cars to holidays.

Leeds law firm Lake Legal said many cases revolved around social media users who got back in touch with old flames they hadn’t heard from in years.

Managing partner Lyn Ayrton said: “Social media provides an ongoing log of our lives. The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.

“Often, if a partner refers to an impending bonus, a new job offer, or plans for a holiday, it may provide evidence that they are not telling the truth about their financial position. At the very least, it could call their credibility into question.

“It’s like having a massive public noticeboard.

GettyMan live blogs about cheating wife “Somebody said she was not in a relationship with anybody new but then posted a message inviting everybody to a housewarming party for her and her boyfriend.”

Specialists at the firm examined over 200 cases and found Facebook was used by legal teams in just over a third of cases.

Julian Hawkhead, a managing partner at Stowe Family Law, said: “Photographs and comments made on these forums can be used as evidence of relationships or of a lifestyle which contradicts what people will otherwise try to portray.

"We regularly find clients coming to us with information they have found which is available in the public domain with proof of a relationship.

"However, the Internet can also provide a useful source of other information. Our in-house forensic accountancy team will often find rich pickings in gathering financial information through a Google search about a party, their location, where they have been and what they are doing with their lives.

“People need greater awareness of what information they are leaving about themselves on the Internet which is otherwise waiting to be found at the touch of a button.”

Jan 20, 2015

Muslim Millions Plan To Kill All Non Muslim Millions Plus Any Peaceful Muslims

Common Sense Commentary: Here is a story by the German reporter who was allowed to interview Muslim ISIL fighters in Mosul, Iraq about their goals. Their response proves, regardless of what President Obama says, that they are indeed Muslims who believe their Muslim God and their Muslim Bible "command" them to kill all unbelievers. The reporter believes that the only way they can be stopped is for all other Muslims to "rise up against them". How many of you believe that will happen? There are 1200 Million Muslims in the world.  RB


Jordan Schachtel January 18, 2015 in BrettBart

Jurgen Todenhofer, the first Western reporter to embed with Islamic State fighters and not be killed in the process, spoke to Al Jazeera about his time with the terror group.

Todenhofer lived side by side with the jihadist fighters for ten days in the Islamic State-stronghold city of Mosul, Iraq. He was accompanied only by his son, who served as his cameraman.
“I always asked them about the value of mercy in Islam,” but “I didn’t see any mercy in their behavior,” explained Todenhofer. 
He added, “Something that I don’t understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers… They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Muslims put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God.”
The German reporter then elaborated on how shocked he was about how “willing to kill” the ISIS fighters are. He said that they were ready to commit genocide. “They were talking about [killing] hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that,” said Todenhofer
He warned that the Islamic State “is much stronger than we think,” and that their recruiting has brought motivated jihadis from across the globe. “Each day, hundreds of new enthusiastic fighters are arriving,” explained Todenhofer. “There is an incredible enthusiasm that I have never seen in any other war zones I have been to.”
The journalist asserted that the U.S.-led bombing campaign was not going to stop the Islamic State and its continuing jihad. He told Al Jazeera that he believed the terror group would only be stopped if fellow Sunni Iraqis would rise up against them. End
My Further Comment: Read again the underlined portions.
The reason the so called "Muslim  State", ISIS/ISIL, is 

winning this war and the civilized nations are losing is that 

we do not understand the true diabolical nature of these 

religious fanatical Muslim millions.  Because they 

are fighting for their god, his word and their religion, they 

are even more determined than the Nazis or Communists to 

win. They will not give up ... ever. RB

Jan 19, 2015

A TEXAS Goodbye To The American Sniper, Chris Kyle

Common Sense Commentary: Chris Kyle and Derek Davis were U.S. Navy SEALs. Derek attended Chris's Memorial Service in Texas before returning to the War Zone somewhere in the Middle East.
Chris was the top sniper in U.S. Military history. If you don't believe in snipers, you don't believe in "just" wars either, which would include the American Revolutionary War which won our national freedom from tyranny and WWII which preserved it and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands. If you don't believe in those wars, you don't believe in self defence of yourself or your family. So be consistent. If you wouldn't defend your children, you wouldn't defend your country. Texas has always known how to treat its heroes, but this is a classic example, of which I am proud.  RB


We take care of our own as well as others who may not deserve taking care of. I just wanted to share with you all, that out of a horrible tragedy, we were blessed by so many people.

Chris Kyle was Derek's teammate through 10 years of training and battle.  They both suffer/suffered from PTSD to some extent and took great care of each other because of it.

2006 in Ramadi was horrible for young men that never had any more aggressive physical contact with another human than on a Texas football field.

They lost many friends.  Chris became the armed services number #1 sniper of all time.  Not something he was happy about, other than the fact that in so doing, he saved a lot of American lives.

Three years ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams as he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda. He did and wrote the book "The American Sniper."  100% of the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their sons in Iraq .

That was the kind of guy Chris was.  He formed a company in Dallas to train military, police and I think firemen as far as protecting themselves in difficult situations.  He also formed a foundation to work with military people suffering from PTSD.  Chris was a giver not a taker.

He, along with a friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying to help a young man that had served six months in Iraq and claimed to have PTSD.

Now I need to tell you about all of the blessings.

Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport they flew into ...free of charge.

The employees donated buddy passes and one lady worked for four days without much of a break to see that it happened.

Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.

The Marriott Hotel reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only SEALs and family.

The Midlothian , TX Police Department paid the $45 a night for each room.  I would guess there were about 200 people staying at the hotel,
100 of them were SEALs.  Two large buses were chartered (an unknown donor paid the bill) to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rental cars (donated).  The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.

At the Kyle house, the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire five days for the SEALs to congregate in and all to use the restroom so as not to have to go in the house.  Taya, their two small children and both sets of parents were staying in the home.

Only a hand full of SEALs went into the home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly basis.  It was a huge coordination of many different events and security.  Derek was assigned to be a Pall Bearer, to escort Chris' body when it was transferred from the Midlothian Funeral Home to the Arlington Funeral Home, and to be with Taya.  A tough job.

Taya seldom came out of her bedroom.  The house was full with people from the church and other family members that would come each day to help.  I spent one morning in a bedroom with Chris’ mom and the next morning with Chad Littlefield's parents (the other man murdered with Chris).  A tough job.

George W Bush and his wife Laura met and talked to everyone on the Seal Team one on one.  They went behind closed doors with Taya for quite a while. They had prayer with us all.  You can tell when people were sincere and caring

Nolan Ryan sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks, chicken and hamburgers.  They set up in the front yard and fed people all day long including the 200 SEALs and their families.  The next day a local BBQ restaurant set up a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again.  Food was plentiful and all were taken care of.  The family's church kept those inside the house well fed.

Jerry Jones, the man everyone loves to hate, was a rock star.  He made sure that we all were taken care of.  His wife and he were just making sure everyone was taken care of….Class... He donated the use of Cowboy Stadium for the services as it was determined that so many wanted to attend.

The charter buses transported us to the stadium on Monday at 10:30 am. Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with bomb dogs and police.  I am not sure if kooks were making threats trying to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALs in one place was a security risk, I don't know. We willingly obliged.  No purses went into the stadium!

We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was available.  That was for about 300 people.  We were growing.

A Medal of Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police and Sarah Palin and her husband.  She looked nice, this was a very formal military service.

The service started at 1:00 pm and when we were escorted onto the field I was shocked.  We heard that about 10,000 people had come to attend also.  They were seated in the stadium seats behind us. It was a beautiful and emotional service.

The Bagpipe and drum corps were wonderful and the Texas A&M men's choir stood through the entire service and sang right at the end.  We were all in tears.

The next day was the 200-mile procession from Midlothian , TX to Austin for burial.  It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the people were out.  We had dozens of police motorcycles riders, freedom riders, five chartered buses and lots of cars.  You had to have a pass to be in the procession and still it was huge.  Two helicopters circled the procession with snipers sitting out the side door for protection. It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of Texas . People were everywhere. The entire route was shut down ahead of us, the people were lined up on the side of the road the entire way. Firemen were down on one knee, police officers were holding their hats over their hearts, children waving flags, veterans saluting as we went by.  Every bridge had fire trucks with large flags displayed from their tall ladders, people all along the entire 200 miles were standing in the cold weather.  It was so heartwarming. Taya rode in the hearse with Chris' body so Derek rode the route with us.  I was so grateful to have that time with him.

The service was at Texas National Cemetery . Very few are buried there and you have to apply to get in. It is like people from the Civil War, Medal of Honor winners, a few from the Alamo and all the historical people of Texas .  It was a nice service and the Freedom Riders surrounded the outside of the entire cemetery to keep the crazy church people from Kansas that protest at military funerals away from us.

Each SEAL put his Trident (metal SEAL badge) on the top of Chris' casket, one at a time.  A lot hit it in with one blow.  Derek was the only one to take four taps to put his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did it.  Another tearful moment.

After the service Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita, invited us to the governor's mansion.  She stood at the door,  greeted each of us individually, and gave each of the SEALs a coin of Texas .  She was a sincere, compassionate, and gracious hostess.

We were able to tour the ground floor and then went into the garden for beverages and BBQ.  So many of the Seal team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas .  They remarked that they had never felt so much love and hospitality.  The charter buses then took the guys to the airport to catch their returning  flights.  Derek just now called and after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot, in a dangerous land on the other side of the world, protecting America .

We just wanted to share with you, the events of a quite emotional, but blessed week.


To this day, no one in the White House has ever acknowledged Chris Kyle.

However, the President can call some sport person and congratulate him on announcing to the world that he is gay?  What the hell is happening to our society, our honor and our pride??

Author unknown

Jan 18, 2015

NSA's Secret Future War Weapon For Digital Warfare ..."D Weapon"

Common Sense Commentary: We all know that nothing will ever be the same in this hi-tech, scientific, changing world. What is most rapidly changing at faster and faster speeds is digital, Artificial Intelligence. It has become so complicated and unbelievable that old guys like me just cannot keep up with it. In fact, the average young person can't keep up with it either. It takes the special gift of hi-tech digital Geeks and Techies to comprehend even the lower levels of what is developing in the electronic and digital world. The below article deals with one area of that New World Order of things. It is long and difficult to comprehend. I publish it for you information gluttons, Geeks, Techies, Hackers and Nerds only. It is unbelievable but obviously true.. RB

The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle

By Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, , Leif Ryge, and 

Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain, the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, "looking for interns who want to break things."


Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it's operated by the NSA's digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers. Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to "remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware." Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to "remotely brick network cards." With programs like Berserkr they would implant "persistent backdoors" and "parasitic drivers". Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would "erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments."

An intern's tasks might also include remotely destroying the functionality of hard drives. Ultimately, the goal of the internship program was "developing an attacker's mindset."

The internship listing is eight years old, but the attacker's mindset has since become a kind of doctrine for the NSA's data spies. And the intelligence service isn't just trying to achieve mass surveillance of Internet communication, either. The digital spies of the Five Eyes alliance -- comprised of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- want more.

The Birth of D Weapons

According to top secret documents from the archive of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seen exclusively by SPIEGEL, they are planning for wars of the future in which the Internet will play a critical role, with the aim of being able to use the net to paralyze computer networks and, by doing so, potentially all the infrastructure they control, including power and water supplies, factories, airports or the flow of money.

During the 20th century, scientists developed so-called ABC weapons -- atomic, biological and chemical. It took decades before their deployment could be regulated and, at least partly, outlawed. New digital weapons have now been developed for the war on the Internet. But there are almost no international conventions or supervisory authorities for these D weapons, and the only law that applies is the survival of the fittest.

Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan foresaw these developments decades ago. In 1970, he wrote, "World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation." That's precisely the reality that spies are preparing for today.

The US Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force have already established their own cyber forces, but it is the NSA, also officially a military agency, that is taking the lead. It's no coincidence that the director of the NSA also serves as the head of the US Cyber Command. The country's leading data spy, Admiral Michael Rogers, is also its chief cyber warrior and his close to 40,000 employees are responsible for both digital spying and destructive network attacks.

Surveillance only 'Phase 0'

From a military perspective, surveillance of the Internet is merely "Phase 0" in the US digital war strategy. Internal NSA documents indicate that it is the prerequisite for everything that follows. They show that the aim of the surveillance is to detect vulnerabilities in enemy systems. Once "stealthy implants" have been placed to infiltrate enemy systems, thus allowing "permanent accesses," then Phase Three has been achieved -- a phase headed by the word "dominate" in the documents. This enables them to "control/destroy critical systems & networks at will through pre-positioned accesses (laid in Phase 0)." Critical infrastructure is considered by the agency to be anything that is important in keeping a society running: energy, communications and transportation. The internal documents state that the ultimate goal is "real time controlled escalation".

One NSA presentation proclaims that "the next major conflict will start in cyberspace." To that end, the US government is currently undertaking a massive effort to digitally arm itself for network warfare. For the 2013 secret intelligence budget, the NSA projected it would need around $1 billion in order to increase the strength of its computer network attack operations. The budget included an increase of some $32 million for "unconventional solutions" alone.

NSA Docs on Network Attacks and Exploitation Excerpt from the secret NSA budget on computer network operations / Code word GENIE Document about the expansion of the Remote Operations Center (ROC) on endpoint operations Document explaining the role of the Remote Operations Center (ROC) Interview with an employee of NSA's department for Tailored Access Operations about his field of work Supply-chain interdiction / Stealthy techniques can crack some of SIGINT's hardest targets Classification guide for computer network exploitation (CNE) NSA training course material on computer network operations Overview of methods for NSA integrated cyber operations NSA project description to recognize and process data that comes from third party attacks on computers Exploring and exploiting leaky mobile apps with BADASS Overview of projects of the TAO/ATO department such as the remote destruction of network cards iPhone target analysis and exploitation with Apple's unique device identifiers (UDID) Report of an NSA Employee about a Backdoor in the OpenSSH Daemon NSA document on QUANTUMSHOOTER, an implant to remote-control computers with good network connections from unknown third parties In recent years, malware has emerged that experts have attributed to the NSA and its Five Eyes alliance based on a number of indicators. They include programs like Stuxnet, used to attack the Iranian nuclear program. Or Regin, a powerful spyware trojan that created a furor in Germany after it infected the USB stick of a high-ranking staffer to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Agents also used Regin in attacks against the European Commission, the EU's executive, and Belgian telecoms company Belgacom in 2011. Given that spies can routinely break through just about any security software, virtually all Internet users are at risk of a data attack.

The new documents shed some new light on other revelations as well. Although an attack called Quantuminsert has been widely reported by SPIEGEL and others, documentation shows that in reality it has a low success rate and it has likely been replaced by more reliable attacks such as Quantumdirk, which injects malicious content into chat services provided by websites such as Facebook and Yahoo. And computers infected with Straitbizarre can be turned into disposable and non-attributable "shooter" nodes. These nodes can then receive messages from the NSA's Quantum network, which is used for "command and control for very large scale active exploitation and attack." The secret agents were also able to breach mobile phones by exploiting a vulnerability in the Safari browser in order to obtain sensitive data and remotely implant malicious code.

In this guerilla war over data, little differentiation is made between soldiers and civilians, the Snowden documents show. Any Internet user could suffer damage to his or her data or computer. It also has the potential to create perils in the offline world as well. If, for example, a D weapon like Barnfire were to destroy or "brick" the control center of a hospital as a result of a programming error, people who don't even own a mobile phone could be affected.

Intelligence agencies have adopted "plausible deniability" as their guiding principle for Internet operations. To ensure their ability to do so, they seek to make it impossible to trace the author of the attack.

It's a stunning approach with which the digital spies deliberately undermine the very foundations of the rule of law around the globe. This approach threatens to transform the Internet into a lawless zone in which superpowers and their secret services operate according to their own whims with very few ways to hold them accountable for their actions.

NSA Docs on Malware and Implants CSEC document about the recognition of trojans and other "network based anomaly" The formalized process through which analysts choose their data requirement and then get to know the tools that can do the job QUANTUMTHEORY is a set of technologies allowing man-on-the-side interference attacks on TCP/IP connections (includes STRAIGHTBIZARRE and DAREDEVIL) Sample code of a malware program from the Five Eyes alliance Attribution is difficult and requires considerable forensic effort. But in the new documents there are at least a few pointers. Querty, for example, is a keylogger that was part of the Snowden archive. It's a piece of software designed to surreptitiously intercept all keyboard keys pressed by the victim and record them for later inspection. It is an ordinary, indeed rather dated, keylogger. Similar software can already be found in numerous applications, so it doesn't seem to pose any acute danger -- but the sourcecode contained in it does reveal some interesting details. They suggest that this keylogger might be part of the large arsenal of modules that that belong to the Warriorpride program, a kind of universal Esperanto software used by all the Five Eyes partner agencies that at times was even able to break into iPhones, among other capabilities. The documents published by SPIEGEL include sample code from the keylogger to foster further research and enable the creation of appropriate defenses. 'Just a Bunch of Hackers'

The men and women working for the Remote Operations Center (ROC), which uses the codename S321, at the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, work on one of the NSA's most crucial teams, the unit responsible for covert operations. S321 employees are located on the third floor of one of the main buildings on the NSA's campus. In one report from the Snowden archive, an NSA man reminisces about how, when they got started, the ROC people were "just a bunch of hackers." Initially, people worked "in a more ad hoc manner," the report states. Nowadays, however, procedures are "more systematic". Even before NSA management massively expanded the ROC group during the summer of 2005, the department's motto was, "Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment."

NSA Docs on Exfiltration Explanation of the APEX method of combining passive with active methods to exfiltrate data from networks attacked Explanation of APEX shaping to put exfiltrating network traffic into patterns that allow plausible deniability Presentation on the FASHIONCLEFT protocol that the NSA uses to exfiltrate data from trojans and implants to the NSA Methods to exfiltrate data even from devices which are supposed to be offline Document detailing SPINALTAP, an NSA project to combine data from active operations and passive signals intelligence Technical description of the FASHIONCLEFT protocol the NSA uses to exfiltrate data from Trojans and implants to the NSA The agents sit in front of their monitors, working in shifts around the clock. Just how close the NSA has already gotten to its aim of "global network dominance" is illustrated particularly well by the work of department S31177, codenamed Transgression. The department's task is to trace foreign cyber attacks, observe and analyze them and, in the best case scenario, to siphon off the insights of competing intelligence agencies. This form of "Cyber Counter Intelligence" counts among the most delicate forms of modern spying.

In addition to providing a view of the US's own ability to conduct digital attacks, Snowden's archive also reveals the capabilities of other countries. The Transgression team has access to years of preliminary field work and experience at its disposal, including databases in which malware and network attacks from other countries are cataloged.
The Snowden documents show that the NSA and its Five Eyes partners have put numerous network attacks waged by other countries to their own use in recent years. One 2009 document states that the department's remit is to "discover, understand (and) evaluate" foreign attacks. Another document reads: "Steal their tools, tradecraft, targets and take."
In 2009, an NSA unit took notice of a data breach affecting workers at the US Department of Defense. The department traced an IP address in Asia that functioned as the command center for the attack. By the end of their detective work, the Americans succeeded not only in tracing the attack's point of origin to China, but also in tapping intelligence information from other Chinese attacks -- including data that had been stolen from the United Nations. Afterwards, NSA workers in Fort Meade continued to read over their shoulders as the Chinese secretly collected further internal UN data. "NSA is able to tap into Chinese SIGINT collection," a report on the success in 2011 stated. SIGINT is short for signals intelligence.
The practice of letting other intelligence services do the dirty work and then tapping their results is so successful that the NSA even has a name for it: "Fourth Party Collection." And all countries that aren't part of the Five Eye alliance are considered potential targets for use of this "non-traditional" technique -- even Germany.
'Difficult To Track, Difficult To Target'
The Snowden documents show that, thanks to fourth party collection, the NSA succeeded in detecting numerous incidents of data spying over the past 10 years, with many attacks originating from China and Russia. It also enabled the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) to track down the IP address of the control server used by China and, from there, to detect the people responsible inside the Peoples' Liberation Army. It wasn't easy, the NSA spies noted. The Chinese had apparently used changing IP addresses, making them "difficult to track; difficult to target." In the end, though, the document states, they succeeded in exploiting a central router.
The document suggests that things got more challenging when the NSA sought to turn the tables and go after the attacker. Only after extensive "wading through uninteresting data" did they finally succeed in infiltrating the computer of a high-ranking Chinese military official and accessing information regarding targets in the US government and in other governments around the world. They also were able to access sourcecode for Chinese malware.
But there have also been successful Chinese operations. The Snowden documents include an internal NSA assessment from a few years ago of the damage caused. The report indicates that the US Defense Department alone registered more than 30,000 known incidents; more than 1,600 computers connected to its network had been hacked. Surprisingly high costs are listed for damage assessment and network repair: more than $100 million.
Among the data on "sensitive military technologies" hit in the attack were air refueling schedules, the military logistics planning system, missile navigation systems belonging to the Navy, information about nuclear submarines, missile defense and other top secret defense projects.
The desire to know everything isn't, of course, an affliction only suffered by the Chinese, Americans, Russians and British. Years ago, US agents discovered a hacking operation originating in Iran in a monitoring operation that was codenamed Voyeur. A different wave of attacks, known as Snowglobe, appears to have originated in France.
Transforming Defenses into Attacks
The search for foreign cyber attacks has long since been largely automated by the NSA and its Five Eyes partners. The Tutelage system can identify incursions and ensure that they do not reach their targets.
The examples given in the Snowden documents are not limited to attacks originating in China. The relatively primitive Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) is also mentioned. The name refers to malware used by the protest movement Anonymous to disable target websites. In that instance, one document notes, Tutelage was able to recognize and block the IP addresses being used to conduct the denial of service attack.
The NSA is also able to transform its defenses into an attack of its own. The method is described as "reverse engineer, repurpose software" and involves botnets, sometimes comprising millions of computers belonging to normal users onto which software has been covertly installed. They can thus be controlled remotely as part of a "zombie army" to paralyze companies or to extort them. If the infected hosts appear to be within the United States, the relevant information will be forwarded to the FBI Office of Victim Assistance. However, a host infected with an exploitable bot could be hijacked through a Quantumbot attack and redirected to the NSA. This program is identified in NSA documents as Defiantwarrior and it is said to provide advantages such as "pervasive network analysis vantage points" and "throw-away non-attributable CNA (eds: computer network attack) nodes". This system leaves people's computers vulnerable and covertly uses them for network operations that might be traced back to an innocent victim. Instead of providing protection to private Internet users, Quantumbot uses them as human shields in order to disguise its own attacks.
NSA specialists at the Remote Operations Center (ROC) have an entire palette of digital skeleton keys and crowbars enabling access to even the best protected computer networks. They give their tools aggressive-sounding names, as though they were operating an app-store for cyber criminals: The implant tool "Hammerchant" allows the recording of Internet-based phone calls (VoIP). Foxacid allows agents to continually add functions to small malware programs even after they have been installed in target computers. The project's logo is a fox that screams as it is dissolved in acid. The NSA has declined to comment on operational details but insists that it has not violated the law.
But as well developed as the weapons of digital war may be, there is a paradox lurking when it comes to breaking into and spying on third party networks: How can intelligence services be sure that they won't become victims of their own methods and be infiltrated by private hackers, criminals or other intelligence services, for example?
To control their malware, the Remote Operation Center operatives remain connected to them via their own shadow network, through which highly sensitive telephone recordings, malware programs and passwords travel.
The incentive to break into this network is enormous. Any collection of VPN keys, passwords and backdoors is obviously of very high value. Those who possess such passwords and keys could theoretically pillage bank accounts, thwart military deployments, clone fighter jets and shut down power plants. It means nothing less than "global network dominance".
But the intelligence world is a schizophrenic one. The NSA's job is to defend the Internet while at the same time exploiting its security holes. It is both cop and robber, consistent with the motto adhered to by spies everywhere: "Reveal their secrets, protect our own."
As a result, some hacked servers are like a bus during rush hour, with people constantly coming and going. The difference, though, is that the server's owner has no idea anyone is there. And the presumed authorities stand aside and do nothing.
'Unwitting Data Mules'
It's absurd: As they are busy spying, the spies are spied on by other spies. In response, they routinely seek to cover their tracks or to lay fake ones instead. In technical terms, the ROC lays false tracks as follows: After third-party computers are infiltrated, the process of exfiltration can begin -- the act of exporting the data that has been gleaned. But the loot isn't delivered directly to ROC's IP address. Rather, it is routed to a so-called Scapegoat Target. That means that stolen information could end up on someone else's servers, making it look as though they were the perpetrators.
Before the data ends up at the Scapegoat Target, of course, the NSA intercepts and copies it using its mass surveillance infrastructure and sends it on to the ROC. But such cover-up tactics increase the risk of a controlled or uncontrolled escalation between the agencies involved.
It's not just computers, of course, that can be systematically broken into, spied on or misused as part of a botnet. Mobile phones can also be used to steal information from the owner's employer. The unwitting victim, whose phone has been infected with a spy program, smuggles the information out of the office. The information is then retrieved remotely as the victim heads home after work. Digital spies have even adopted drug-dealer slang in referring to these unsuspecting accomplices. They are called "unwitting data mules."
NSA agents aren't concerned about being caught. That's partly because they work for such a powerful agency, but also because they don't leave behind any evidence that would hold up in court. And if there is no evidence of wrongdoing, there can be no legal penalty, no parliamentary control of intelligence agencies and no international agreement. Thus far, very little is known about the risks and side-effects inherent in these new D weapons and there is almost no government regulation.
Edward Snowden has revealed how intelligence agencies around the world, led by the NSA, are doing their best to ensure a legal vacuum in the Internet. In a recent interview with the US public broadcaster PBS, the whistleblower voiced his concerns that "defense is becoming less of a priority than offense."
Snowden finds that concerning. "What we need to do," he said, "is we need to create new international standards of behavior."
By Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Leif Ryge, Hilmar Schmundt and Michael Sontheimer