The American Prison System

The Prison System In America When it comes to the prison system in this country, there is no doubt that many would agree that it is a big problem. As it goes to show, the prison population in America is growing by exponential numbers every single day, and there is no signs of it stopping anytime soon. According to the website www.prospect.org, in the year 1992, there were 1.3 million inmates in America, and just one decade later,an increase of one million more. That means, by the year 2011, there was a prison population in America of 7 million people,, a number which is astronomical and very alarming .  So the question remains, why is the prison population in this country escalating so much?, and, Is there anything that we can do to stop it once and for all? Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers to these important questions, and most of the reasons given by experts about why the prison population is growing at such high amounts are both varied and extremely convoluted. Some experts claim that the reason for the increase in inmates in this country, especially during the past decade, is due to the laxity on important laws that should be even harder, while other experts out there claim that the reason for the increasing prison population in this country is due to the dire and harsh upbringings of many Americans, especially those who happened to grow up in rural and poverty-stricken communities. Additionally, there are other experts that speak on the war on drugs as being one of the main reasons for the rise in inmates in this country, as well as the fact that we, as a society, are full of violence, crime, and poverty. And sadly, there seems to be no consensus, there is no real concrete evidence or answers explaining why the prison population in this country seems to just be growing and growing by the day. But, with that being said, the reality is that there should be a way to control these rising inmate numbers, or else dire consequences will start to surface even more, such as rising tax rates for the public, broken families of the inmates themselves, poverty-stricken communities due to released inmates not being able to find a job, and much, much more. Thankfully, there is a silver lining to all of these rising inmate numbers in this country, and that is that there has been a strong decline in crime within the past decade. Statistics have shown that crime rates were at their highest during the mid 1990’s, and have dropped ever since. And, this decline comes after the rise in crime that was clear for the previous three decades, before the peak ever occurred during the 1990’s. Consequently, there are a few reasons why people think that crime is declining. Some say that it is because of stricter and more policing rules, as well as less crack use and sales in this country, and even due to lower lead levels in the environment that once were much more prevalent. But of course, all of this is pure speculation. No one really knows why crime rates have fallen in the past decade, but whatever the reason is, crime rates have indeed declined, which is good news for the country in this new century. Another important fact-and something that we shouldn’t be proud of in this country- is that we carry the number one spot for housing inmates-and that’s based on the population for the entire world! What this means is that we incarcerate more people in America than any other country does on planet Earth, which is astounding! According to the numbers put forth, in America, we incarcerate 15 times as many people as Japan, 10 times as many people as Switzerland, 7 times as many people as France, 11 times as many people as the Netherlands, and 17 times as many people as Iceland. And, the only country that even comes close to how often we incarcerate people is Russia, but we still beat their incarceration rates to a great degree. We also have a bigger prison population than Rwanda, Belize, and Chile, which each have extremely high incarceration rates for their respective countries. So that means, in this country, we incarcerate more of our citizens than anywhere else in the entire world, which doesn’t bode very well for our reputation. Furthermore, there is something else to take into consideration when discussing these extremely high prison population numbers in this country;  Not all the states in America are the same when it comes to incarceration rates. This country is extremely varied in numbers, based on exactly where you look.  It is shown that the state of Louisiana leads the incarceration rates in America, and seven of the ten states that have the highest incarceration rates are actually in the South.  So, place is a big factor when speaking of incarceration rates in America. So, aside from looking at each individual state in this country, including what state has more offenders, you might want to ask yourself, what are the most prevalent offenses that many of these offenders did? For instance, what makes the citizens in our country so bad and immoral as to be incarcerated for such long periods of time? .., and so often? And, the answers might surprise you.  According to many statistics, drug offenses accounted for 52% of the federal prison population in the year 2010, and this percentage was followed by other crimes at 35% of offenses, and then finally, violent and property crimes at 8% and 5% respectively. What this means is that drugs are the biggest problem in this country, not necessarily the prison population, and how many people are incarcerated. But,  drugs as a general prison offense, that only seems to be growing more than anything else.  So, when you think of higher than average prison rates in this country, only 8% of offenders in prison are imprisoned for violent offenses, and 5% are  for property offenses. Over half of those in prison are there because of drug offenses. Now, just let that sink in for a while. And, politicians are not innocuous in this situation. While there are some politicians that stay away from the growing prison issue in this country, there are many other politicians, especially as of late, that are discussing the prison population problem in detail, creating effective mandates, and trying to do something to fix it all. According to the Economist website, Barack Obama tried to cut the number of absurdly long prison sentences in America. His attorney-general, Eric Holder, told prosecutors to avoid seeking the maximum penalties for non-violent drug offenders. And surprisingly enough, this did cause somewhat of a decline in the prison population for a few years. But now things are different. Current president, Donald Trump’s attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, has just changed this earlier mandate started by Barack Obama, and overturned it completely. Jeff Sessions is now looking to instill the harshest punishments for all drug offending prisoners, and he even has a new crusade beginning that is intent on getting rid of all drug dealers once and for all. With that being said, this new mandate initiated by attorney-general Jeff Sessions might possibly overturn everything that Barack Obama tried to do, and make everything even worse for the growing prison population in America. But conversely, it could potentially have the opposite effect, and make things surprisingly better. And, the reason for this is because no one really knows how the future will pan out, or how each individual law and mandate will affect matters concerning the prison system in the long run. All that we know is that only time will tell as to how effective this new mandate will be in affecting the prison population in America, and there is no doubt that many people in this country are waiting with bated breath as to what the results will be.  (especially the media if it’s bad! -Editor.) As it goes to show, one reason mass incarceration is such a big problem in this country is because it breaks up families, as well as many other negative things, such as increasing the poverty rate to a great degree. When an inmate is released, it is very hard for them to get a job, and this is where the rising poverty rates come in. And of course, the high cost of incarcerating people is just the icing on the cake.  According to statistics, not only do American taxpayers pay an exuberantly high amount of taxes to house prisoners, but this amount is even higher than what is now allocated for education, and sadly, American taxpayers don’t really have much of a choice in the matter. Some experts insist that instead of locking prisoners up, they should force them to wear GPS-enabled ankle bracelets, which would bring down prison-related costs exponentially. Another option for bringing down prison costs is tagging. Tagging is essentially a prison without walls, and many people think that it would actually be much more effective than prison is for mild offenders, such as drug offenders. The reason for this is that prisoners who are tagged are much less likely to re-offend than prisoners who get released from prison after their sentence has been complete. This is because they are able to immediately reintegrate back into society, which essentially forces them to behave, so to speak. And, what about rehabilitation? There are many top officials who strongly believe in rehabilitation for low-risk prisoners, which would bring down prison costs to a large degree. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one type of rehabilitation program for low-risk prisoners, which actually reduces recidivism rates by 10-30%. It is perfect for younger offenders, who usually get pressured by their peers to “act out” and commit crimes. And, it saves a lot of money over traditional prison sentences. Sadly, only 5% of prisoners are currently receiving cognitive behavioral therapy, and that is one of the biggest problems with the prison systems today. Not enough is being done to not only save money on prison sentences, but to make society a better place, both for the country as a whole. There are some experts out there that attribute the decreased prison rates in other countries to their systematic approach to the prison system and prisoners. The country of Norway, for instance, has incarcerated offenders start an outside job 18 months before they even get released from prison. This is extremely helpful for both reintegrating prisoners into everyday society once they get released, but also, for organizing a way for newly-released prisoners to not increase poverty levels in their respective areas. And, as statistics show, Norway has a lower recidivism rate than America does. According to www.CNN.com, even Newt Gingrich and Van Jones believe that the prison system is failing America. They said, “It would be hard to overstate the scale of this tragedy. For a nation that loves freedom and cherishes our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the situation should be intolerable. It is destroying lives and communities”. The truth is that more needs to be done to make things better for the prison system in the country, and someone needs to step up and make the right decisions to stop this problem.  Prisoners needs to be rehabilitated, less money needs to be spent on housing prisoners, and different laws need to be put into effect that make drug offenses much less serious. There are many ways to overcome the prison problem that we have in this country, but it takes a good amount of organization and effective mandates to be initiated for any real change to take place. Hopefully, politicians and high-level officials will make the necessary changes, before the prison problem becomes even worse, and to the point of no return.

The Criminal Justice System

When it comes to the criminal justice system in this country, I think we can all agree that there is a big problem. Not only are the jails and prisons filled to the brim with “criminals”, but there is also a large disconnect between crimes that get committed, the people who get caught, and the people who are set free. At the end of the day, the criminal justice system in this country is hard to understand and truly define.   Crime in this country has gotten out of control, but in a roundabout, circular type of way. There are countless citizens running around shooting people in schools, at concerts, and in other public, seemingly safe, places. Then, there are people who are at the top, like business owners and CEOs of large companies who are engaging in criminal acts such as tax evasion, insider trading, and more. Lastly, there are street criminals that are engaging in drug dealing, burglary, theft, murder, rape, etc. At the end of the day, it is confusing to define what a crime in this country actually is, and why there are certain criminals who get put in jail, and others who are set free.   LAWS   This country is made up of many laws. Some of these laws work and some of them don’t. And, while some of these laws might not seem to make sense, there is no doubt that they are enforced and must be followed. Day in and day out, laws are constantly being enforced upon the citizens in this country by police officers. And, the purpose of these laws are to keep the citizens in this country in line, and to also, ensure a safe and secure place for us all to live in together. But, if that is true, then why are there still so many crimes being committed today? Why, with all these laws we have in our country, are there are so many heinous crimes that involve violence and hatred still occurring? Crimes such as school shootings, murder, and child abuse. Are these laws that we have today even doing us any good?   It is true that many of the laws in this country were put into place for a reason. There are many laws in place that do make this country better, and there to stop people from doing things that they should not be doing. But on the other hand, there are also many laws in this country that are not rooted in any type of reality, and are not important in any sense of the word.     Who Created The Laws     You might ask yourself, who even created these laws that we live under today? And the truth is that some of the laws in this country were put in place by lawmakers who were attempting to make positive change. The problem is that sometimes, the intended change they were attempting to make never occurred, but the laws still stayed in tact. In a sense, a lot of the laws that we have today are not relevant to the society that we live in. And many of the laws that we have today don’t even begin to touch upon the real and actual problems that we all face on a day to day basis.   Now, I am not here to advocate for more laws, but I am here to tell you that many of the laws that we all follow are not relevant to our daily lives, and that is where the problems really start to creep in. For instance, a few years ago, it was illegal to buy, sell, or use marijuana. There were cases where people were caught using marijuana by the police, and they were put in jail for years. There have also been many cases of people buying marijuana and being charged and put in jail. Now, if you are in favor of marijuana legalization or not, that is not the point here. The point is that marijuana is now legal in the state of California. That means that everyone who was previously put in jail for marijuana use is now in jail for a reason that is invalid. Did the people who are in jail for marijuana possession or use actually commit a crime if there is no law pertaining to the “crime” they committed? There is truly a disconnect between laws and our reality. RIGHT & WRONG   You might want to ask, why would a law ever be put into place that would later be changed or altered? And, if laws are based on right and wrong and what is just and unjust, then why would a law ever change? Here’s an example of what I am referring to, if it is wrong to torture a child today, then why would it be okay to torture a child tomorrow, and vice versa?   Alas, there is a reasoning behind all of this, and it is not as fair in any sense. The laws change for two reasons. The first reason is based on the lawmakers themselves. Based on what the lawmakers of the current time want and prefer, the laws will reflect those notions. This preference for certain laws over others also pertains to what politicians want and what big business owners want. Each of these group of people determine the laws for that period of time. Another reason why laws change is because laws are created and made based on what makes money and a bigger profit. In the case of marijuana legalization, there was no way to tax marijuana in the past, which is why it was illegal. Now, there are ways to tax marijuana and sell it in the marketplace, which is why you will now be seeing more and more states legalize marijuana. It’s really just as simple and clear cut as that.     The Damage Of The Criminal Justice System     Let’s change gears and discuss the mental and emotional damage of the criminal justice system. Aside from the fact that the entire system is unfair in a lot of ways, there is another side of the coin that many people fail to recognize, and that pertains to what happens to the people who have been incarcerated and then get out. Now, this is a very important topic to think about because it affects every single one of us.   With the criminal justice system working the way that it does today, it seems that more and more people are being put in jail or prison. What this means is that one day, these people will get out and be let out on the streets. Now, will these people be able to get jobs after they have been set free? And, how mentally stable are these people once they get out of jail or prison? You must remember that many of these people do not have families waiting for them once they get out, or a cushy job and warm home to go to. A lot of these people have no choice but to go straight to the streets once they are set free. They will then have to find a place to live, a job, and a support system along the way. It’s truly a struggle, to say the least.   It is said that the recidivism rate is extremely high in this country. The recidivism rate is the rate in which newly released prisoners go back to jail or prison. In all actuality, it’s no wonder that this rate is so high in this country, how is anyone supposed to get back on their feet with nothing to their name, and not even a place to call home? Something needs to change, and it needs to change fast.   FALSELY CONVICTED   There are also other factors to take into consideration within the criminal justice system, and one of these factors include people being put in jail under false pretenses, as well as people running free that committed serious crimes. The truth is that there is no question that certain juries might not convict the right person. And, if someone has enough money, they can hire a great lawyer and get a much lighter sentence than someone who is only able to afford a public defender. So, you might want to ask yourself, if someone cannot afford an amazing lawyer, should they be punished? If you think about that question for longer than two seconds, the answer is no, everyone should be treated the same, but that is unfortunately not the case with the justice system in this country. Those who are able to hire great lawyers get less time, and those who are able to come to court in a nice suit get less time, etc. The unfair discrepancies based on income and wealth go hand in hand.   THE GLORIFICATION OF CRIME   There are some people who believe the reason we have so many criminals in jail and prison at the moment is because of the glorified criminal lifestyle in this country. Everywhere you look these days, all you see is people breaking the law and being glorified for it. Whether you watch a movie, a television show, go on the internet, check social media, or read the newspaper, it seems that crime is being glorified. While this might not seem completely obvious to the naked eye, it is a fact, and it happens every single day. Take music videos for instance, the majority of music videos, especially pop, rap, and rock music videos completely and wholeheartedly glorify crime. Some of the crimes that these music videos glorify include fighting, drugs, underage drinking, and even rape and prostitution. A lot of these music videos make illegal activities look fun, interesting, and cool. And in a way, it’s no wonder why so many young people are committing crimes, they are just doing what they see on their screens.     Crimes Being Shown On Television And In Movies     Crimes being shown and glorified is true across the board. How many modern top grossing movies don’t have any violence in them? The answer is, not many. And if you don’t think that fighting glorifies crime, you are wrong. Fighting is not only illegal, but is damaging to society in a lot of ways. Fighting ruins relationships between people and breeds negativity. Moreover, there are countless highly-rated television shows focusing on murder and insanity, such as the popular television show Dexter. You also have extremely well-acclaimed shows such as Game Of Thrones constantly showing fighting, violence, murder, and even incest.   THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS BROKEN   When all is said and done, yes, the criminal justice system in this country is broken. There are more people in jail and in prison now than there ever were before. Not only are there people committing horrible crimes, but there are also people being released from jail and not having anywhere to go. There are laws being enforced that are not relevant to the life in which we live today, as well as dangerous criminals running free, because they have the money and resources to do so. The sad fact is that there is not much that we can do except stay especially vigilant, aware, and educated, as well as follow the laws that have been set forth, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. The more that we educate ourselves and our children to what is really going on in this country, the better off we will all be.  

World is Volatile, Market is Volatile, Mind is Dormant

November 20, 2017 Everything is volatile.  Everything is subject to change.  But does it ever seem the changes are good?   liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse. “the political situation was becoming more volatile” synonyms: tense, strained, fraught, uneasy, uncomfortable, charged, explosive, inflammatory, turbulent; How much can the most alert person take?   Case in point:  My own following of the stock market. Even with the data in front of my face, for the most part, I don’t even see it.  I have been following certain stocks since the beginning of the year but, now I’m lucky if I have a handle on half of them.   Along the way, I swapped a few out for others, but forgot to check their price at that point.  Now, as we get near the end of the year, I’m missing the original price on a lot of them, (probably the critical ones).  They were probably big losers.  The ones I have left are half and half.  Big winners, big losers.  This is the stock market for people who assume that companies grow at a steady pace.  Are they still around?  I’ll research that later.  So, it’s a draw.  In this crazy world, I cannot afford a draw.  Can you afford a draw?  What is the solution in this world for being alert 24/7 for the things we need to be alert 24/7 for?  My belief is the solution is 1 or 2 more yous to keep track of the stuff you can’t keep in mind all the time. What happened here?  I don’t know, but maybe I can find the data somewhere in my huge mess of data.   Why is it high tech has made things more volatile and less beneficial?   Now!  How about everything else?  How about the account updates I get every week from multiple websites, all in nice small print?  Updates to mortgages and insurance and utility bills, with eye-straining confused language?  How about all the appointments that come and go and get rescheduled?  How about the ones that change their rules, whatever, and then your account gets shut down or you get charged for things you didn’t want?  Hey, you got that project done yet?  Your boss wants to know.  How about all the outside things you must do on doctor’s orders?  Don’t forget to brush your teeth.  The trash is full again.  You gonna make that poor dog cross her legs all day?  The days of the corporation have made it much more impersonal and time-consuming;  Press ‘1’ if you would like to dance, press ‘2’ to just stand there, there are several callers ahead of you even though we have workers from all over the world.  How about the missed communications while you were waiting for an operator?  Oh, geesh!  Another traffic jam!  What happened to work-at-home?  Did you get that inspection yet?  You may get a fine.  Don’t forget the mail, and pick up some more bread.  You still have to get the wash done, but the washer is broke.   By now, you know you must be superhuman in terms of alertness.  But, that’s not enough because, even if you are very alert and cross all the t’s, you will run in to many, many others who make mistakes for which you have to bite the bullet or spend an incredible amount of precious time trying to correct.   It’s either one of two things; 1)  The biggy big management people and corporate heads are more than ignorant of the ‘little people’ in this matter.  or…  2)  They do know and that’s part of the plan.  Think about it slave.  Think about it.  You may find some time out there in the interstate parking lot.   How is it that companies talk about making life easier and instead, it continually gets more confusing and complex?  Two hundred year-old laws are still on the books.  We always conjure up the past in order to repeat the worst of it.  Think slave.  Think.  It is possible to get beyond this insanity.  All you have to do is make peace with the people next to you. When I look a lot at the division on YouTube and the local news continuing to drudge up the worst to keep the corruption game going, it is obvious that may be really hard.  But, if you really are modern-if you really want change-why are you carrying signs bought for you by the same-said people and creating division?   Think about it slave. You hate to think this; ‘I should drop the sign and join the other side.’ But, right now, it’s the best remedy. You can always address the other concerns later. But, maybe you wouldn’t have to.. Think about it.      

Texas Shooting & California Fires

Recent Issues The Texas Shooting & Fires in California In these ever-changing current times, it seems that there are more and more tragic events occurring. Shootings, fires, and hurricanes seem the norm nowadays, and life as we know it has changed drastically in the past few years. We might pray, hope for the best, and strive to achieve peace. But the question remains, what’s the reasoning behind all of this? Why are there so many more tragic events that are occurring now, and what can we do to stop it, or at least decrease these events from happening in the future? We all must ask ourselves, ‘Do we even have enough power as individuals to do something to end these tragic events?’ Beginning with the terrible fires that occurred in California several weeks ago, the reality is that many people who lived in the area had their homes destroyed and their lives changed forever. According to published reports, rampant fires burst through the areas of Sonoma and Napa counties, essentially, California wine country which is located in Northern California. These quick-burning and powerful fires then migrated all the way down to the Southern California area, which included the cities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, and Corona. For a while, it started to seem that these terrible fires would never end. Definitely, a frightful thought. Thankfully, the fires were put out after some time. But, not without damage to numerous acres of land and people’s homes and properties. But the question still remains, ‘What can we do to prevent this from happening again?’ What can we do as citizens to make this world a better and more peaceful place? Sadly, we still don’t know why the fires started in the first place. Some reports proclaim that the fires started due to the harsh wind in the area coupled with the dry climate, while other reports mention that these terrible fires could have been started by an individual, either by accident or on purpose. Either way, the outcome of these fires is very sad, to say the least, and extremely heartbreaking. Dozens of people died, animals perished, and life for many people changed in just an instant. The sadness of this event has affected some of these families for years and years to come. As quoted in New Yorker magazine, the fires “charred nearly a quarter of a million acres of land, destroyed an estimated fifty-seven hundred structures, and killed more than forty people.” Calling this event a tragedy would be an understatement. Next, the recent shooting in Texas was disturbing, brutal, and devastating. A gunman with a history of mental health issues entered a small church on November 5th 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas and killed 25 people with a rifle. The gunman’s name was Devin Kelley. As stated in several news reports, Devin Kelley committed the deadliest mass shooting in Texas in recent history. According to CNN, Devin had previously escaped from a mental health facility in 2012. He also had previous domestic violence charges from when he abused his first wife, as well as several sexual assault accusations noted on his record. Additionally, he was accused of having an obsession with guns and mass shootings, posting photos of his beloved guns on social media. He was also known for sending threatening text messages to several people, including his mother-in-law, and even engaged in animal cruelty. All in all, Devin Kelley was not the type of man to mess with, and definitely not a stable or safe individual. As police noted, there were two handguns found in Devin Kelley’s car, and reports claim that Devin Kelley was denied a gun license previously. This heartless man was described by co-workers at one of his previous jobs, where he was working as a security guard, as a quiet, but polite man. And when co-workers that Devin worked with in the past learned of this terrible news, they were absolutely stunned. According to The Washington Post, Devin Kelley “targeted the small church outside San Antonio with a purpose and a mission.” It was reported that he shot at churchgoers who were trying to leave, and then shot at those who were cowering on the floor. He was described as cold, heartless, and psychopathic by many of those close to him. There was no empathy, emotion, or feeling in Devin Kelley’s heart that day. It is still unclear how many shots Devin Kelley fired that day, or how long he was in the church firing away. Many details pertaining to this tragic event are still yet unknown to detectives. And, some say that he must have emptied at least 15 different magazines, and reloaded several times, which would have resulted in hundreds of shots. All in all, this event was incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. With all of these recent events occurring, some individuals might become incredibly disheartened. It’s too easy to become fearful, and even hateful with all these events. The world is changing rapidly, and people are starting to realize that we are in a time of chaos. But, what can we do? Firstly, we must stay diligent, but positive. We must remember to stay empathetic, loving, and kind. And, we must not let these events dictate how we treat one another, or make us hardened to the world. We must show love to the people around us, and stay aware of the evil, hate, and chaos that is occurring in the world today. This country has seen many changes as of late, and none of us know what will happen next.. That is why we must stay positive, but stay smart.

The Las Vegas Shooting Raises Questions

Stephen Paddock Nevada – Las Vegas Shooting “Las Vegas Shooting” When it comes to the recent horrific event that transpired in Las Vegas, Nevada on the night of October 1st, 2017, there is no doubt that a terrible sadness has come over the hearts and minds of many. The Las Vegas Shooting was indeed a tragedy, and there is really no other way around it. Hundreds of people were injured, around 500 according to reports, and 59 people died. There are not even words to describe such a horrible tragedy. But, the question still remains, what is there to do now? For all of the victims, we offer our sincerest condolences. But do we, as the American people, live in fear of our lives each and every day? Or do we keep on moving, keep on living, and keep on going on exactly the same as we did before? Well that answer to this is that there are many varying answers that can be ascertained and the reality is very complicated to say the least, but there is no doubt that we all have to keep on living. We have to keep on going and we have to move forward. We cannot stop our lives because of the horrible events that transpired, but we can be more vigilant. We can use our hearts and minds to try and come up with a solution, and we also can brainstorm ways for events such as these to be much less frequent. But, no matter what, we all must keep on going no matter how painful it is feels at the time. The Gun Debate The Las Vegas Shooting has brought upon many discussions, questions, answers, debates, and arguments surrounding the shooting, the one accused of the shooting, and the reasoning behind the shooting. But moreover, the events that transpired in Las Vegas have brought about the age old gun debate question. Should guns be outlawed in America? According to many people following the horrible events that transpired, the answer to this question is a completely unanimous yes. According to the majority of the supporters who believe in outlawing guns in America, taking away automatic guns in this country is sure to save many peoples’ lives now and in the future. According to these anti-gun advocates, guns are the main reason why these mass shootings are happening in the first place, and also, the reason why so many people are dying so tragically and getting horribly injured. Without any guns, anti-gun advocates believe that there would not be any shootings in America period. Their reasoning is that without any guns, how can there be shootings at all? It’s impossible according to them. But, there is another debate. The debate with pro-gun advocates. The pro-gun advocates believe that there is another side to this coin. This pro-gun group does not believe in outlawing guns, and they also believe that lives are not lost because guns are legal. They believe that if guns were not legal, criminals would still find a way to buy, sell, and use them, along with other means to injure and kill people. The pro-gun advocates do not believe that there is a link between mass shootings and if automatic weapons are legal or not. The pro-gun advocates tend to be republicans and the anti-gun advocates tend to be democrats, but there are supporters of each party of both sides of the anti and pro-gun debate. And, at the end of the day, this debate can get very sticky, and has been the reason for many arguments and discussions as of late, both in public and in private. But, one point is clear, there is good and bad on each side, and this is the reason why the answer to the gun debate is unknown, extremely convoluted, and somewhat confusing. What Was The Motive Behind The Shooting In Las Vegas? There is still no proven motive as to why the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, did what he did at the Route 91 Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. There is no answer as to why he would shoot hundreds of people in a 32nd story hotel room at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. And, there is no reason why he did what he did, and no motive as to why he did it either. Stephen Paddock was a man that was 64 years of age who decided to injure and kill people. His actions are horrific to say the least. And, the problem with there being no motive as to why he did what he did is that there are only more questions that emerge. Without a proper motive, there are no answers as to why someone would do such a vile thing, which puts many people, and the public at large, ill at ease. It is uncomfortable for many people to think that horrible events just happen without a concrete reason why. And, this is what makes people truly scared and fearful. The Las Vegas Shooting is just beyond words. People are saddened, worried and fearful. The country is now on high-alert due to the events that transpired in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. The Story Keeps On Changing According to the leading media outlets on TV, on the radio, and online, the story of the Las Vegas shooter and the whole event is constantly changing. The first story was that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, acted alone. But, now there are reports that the shooter did not merely act alone, but that there might have been multiple shooters in the 32nd story hotel room along with him that were essentially “helping” him. There are also reports from leading media outlets that the shooter converted to Islam a short time before he committed the horrific event in Las Vegas. But alas, there are conflicting reports out there that claim the Islam-conversion theory is completely off-base. So, what are the actual answers? As far as the public knows now, there are no concrete answers out there except for the fact that 1) there was indeed a shooting that occurred in the evening on October 1, 2017, and 2) it was done by a 64 year old man named Stephen Paddock and 3) he committed the horrific shooting in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Those are the only concrete answers that we have right now, but new evidence is constantly emerging. We Must Stay Vigilant No matter what, due to the recent horrific events that transpired in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, we must all stay vigilant. We must support one another and practice open and honest communication. We must not let this horrible Las Vegas Shooting separate us, or turn us against one another, or make us cower in fear. We must always remember to practice compassion, love, and peace in all that we do, and we must remember that we all share two things in common, that we are part of the human race and that we are all Americans!

Hackers : Hacking Is The New Spygame

Hacking , Eѕріоnаgе,  аnd The Futurе Aleah, February 11, 2017 What dо уоu thіnk of when уоu imagine thе wоrld оf еѕріоnаgе? If іt is undеrсоvеr аgеntѕ trуіng tо recruit a mоlе оr сrасkіng ѕаfеѕ tо ѕtеаl sensitive іnfоrmаtіоn, then уоu’vе рrоbаblу bееn wаtсhіng too mаnу оutdаtеd films. The game has certainly сhаngеd.  Thе kеу elements to еѕріоnаgе аnd соmbаtіng іt remain thе ѕаmе; thе bаd guуѕ аrе still after data аnd іt’ѕ thе gооd guys’ job tо саtсh them. However, thе соntеmроrаrу bаttlе іѕ fоught wіth kеуbоаrdѕ and software rаthеr than dead-drops аnd bаlасlаvаѕ. As technology has become mоrе ѕорhіѕtісаtеd, thе bаttlеfіеld hаѕ іnсrеаѕіnglу ѕhіftеd from the physical tо thе dіgіtаl. Wіth суbеr war nоw bеіng fought оn a global scale, thеrе іѕ more оnuѕ оn ѕесurіtу thаn еvеr, and too mаnу organizations are not tаkіng thе thrеаt as seriously as thеу ѕhоuld. We аrеn’t tаlkіng аbоut simply accessing аn оrgаnіzаtіоn’ѕ ѕеnѕіtіvе dаtа аnу more, but lіtеrаllу ѕhuttіng down cities, оr even a nаtіоn’ѕ critical іnfrаѕtruсturе. The scope of the thrеаt іѕ оnlу likely tо grоw as wе соntіnuе down thе раth of digitalization. It is no longer enough to dеfеnd аnd react іf уоu аrе breached. Taking a ‘bad-guy’ аррrоасh is a mаѕѕіvе ѕtер forward whеn tасklіng уоur аttасkеrѕ іn thе wоrld оf суbеr-еѕріоnаgе. Where are the Hacking  Threats Coming From? The fіrѕt ѕtер tоwаrd thіѕ is undеrѕtаndіng where threats аrе соmіng from. Whеn cyber сrіmе fіrѕt hіt the scene, wе initially saw ѕtаnd-аlоnе сrіmіnаlѕ wоrkіng toward thеіr оwn, personal аgеndаѕ. Those dауѕ аrе over, аnd nation-states have wіѕеd uр tо thе роtеntіаl benefits оf dіgіtаl wаrfаrе аnd суbеr-еѕріоnаgе. Mаnу countries аrе nоw асtіvеlу rесruіtіng hасkеrѕ, аnd wе see еxаmрlеѕ of this еvеrу dау – from China’s аrmу оf hackers, to Ukraine’s роwеr grіd being tаkеn dоwn bу Ruѕѕіаn cyber ѕріеѕ аnd ѕресulаtіоn that Ruѕѕіа is attempting to іnfluеnсе thе 2016 U.S. election. I hаvе nо doubt thаt thе U.K. and U.S. еmрlоу ѕuсh tасtісѕ аѕ well – Edwаrd Snowden,before thе whistle-blowing days, соmеѕ tо mind. For thе hackers іnvоlvеd, thе rеѕоurсеѕ аvаіlаblе аѕ a result of ѕtаtе-bасkіng аrе аn incredibly аttrасtіvе drаw, providing an injection of еԛuірmеnt and cash thаt еnаblеѕ them tо еvоlvе thеіr techniques rаріdlу. Undеrѕtаndіng thе ѕоurсе саn gіvе you a much bеttеr сhаnсе оf discovering the mоtіvе. The reason a ѕtаtе-асtоr іѕ attacking уоu might be еntіrеlу different frоm ѕоmеоnе ореrаtіng оn thеіr оwn ассоrd. Thеѕе reasons саn rаngе frоm trуіng tо gain a соmреtіtіvе аdvаntаgе, tо dіѕruрtіng a ѕуѕtеm оr lосаtіоn – as wіth the Ukrainian роwеr grіd hack mentioned еаrlіеr. Thе mоtіvе of an аttасk can оftеn tеll you a lоt аbоut thе mеthоd, and vісе-vеrѕа. Hеnсе, іf you knоw the mеthоd, уоu саn undеrѕtаnd thе tаrgеt, аnd if уоu know thе tаrgеt you may hаvе a better grаѕр оf the mеthоd most lіkеlу tо bе used to іnfіltrаtе іt. Cуbеr-Sру Huntіng Whеn lооkіng fоr the motive, you muѕt bе аblе tо thіnk lіkе a hacker. Cаtсhіng сrіmіnаlѕ dоеѕn’t hарреn by ассіdеnt, аnd рuttіng уоurѕеlf іn thеіr ѕhоеѕ еnаblеѕ уоu to gеt a сlеаrеr picture оf whаt their mоvеmеntѕ may bе. Puttіng this into practice іѕ іmреrаtіvе, not оnlу іn thе аftеrmаth of a brеасh, but in рrоtесtіng уоurѕеlf from оnе іn thе first рlасе. If уоu can gеt іntо the mіnd-ѕеt оf a hасkеr, you саn асtіvеlу ѕееk out уоur оwn vulnеrаbіlіtіеѕ, undеrѕtаnd whаt tасtісѕ mіght bе uѕеd tо gain еntrу, and whаt data саn bе ассеѕѕеd using thоѕе methods. In соntеmроrаrу ѕосіеtу, the methods hаvе grown соnсurrеntlу to the tесhnоlоgу. Tесhnіԛuеѕ such аѕ ‘spear рhіѕhіng,’ hаvе bеnеfіtеd hugеlу frоm the аdvеnt of social media. Platforms such as LinkedIn hаvе gіvеn cyber-spies аn ability tо ѕtаlk еmрlоуееѕ оnlіnе and lеаrn enough about them tо make a соnvіnсіng аррrоасh аnd rесruіt thеm as аn unwіttіng mole іn thеіr оrgаnіzаtіоn. Tаkіng аdvаntаgе оf thе nаіvеtу оf human асtоrѕ аnd thе vulnеrаbіlіtіеѕ thаt еmрlоуееѕ pose tо their оrgаnіzаtіоn’ѕ security is bесоmіng соmmоn place in суbеr-еѕріоnаgе. Having knоwlеdgе оf thе роtеntіаl tесhnіԛuеѕ thаt a hасkеr mіght uѕе саn provide аn іnvаluаblе weapon whеn fіghtіng bасk аgаіnѕt суbеr сrіmіnаlѕ. A nеаr соnѕtаnt gathering оf іnfоrmаtіоn іѕ thе key tо ѕuссеѕѕ hеrе. Yоu must hаvе аѕ mаnу еxtеrnаl sensors as you саn, аnd participate іn a vocal соmmunіtу that іѕ sharing іnfоrmаtіоn. Effесtіvеlу, you аrе putting as many еуеѕ аnd еаrѕ out there аѕ уоu саn – сrеаtіng blanket ѕurvеіllаnсе of your systems аnd vulnerabilities – lіkе соvеrt аgеntѕ. Thіѕ vіѕіbіlіtу mаkеѕ іt еаѕіеr to ѕее аttасkѕ соmіng, and whеrе уоur еnеmіеѕ wіll lооk tо strike. Yоu саn thеn рut up аѕ mаnу trip wіrеѕ аrоund these аrеаѕ аѕ роѕѕіblе. Hасkеrѕ аrе constantly lооkіng for the shortest аnd easiest route tо thе ground, and соnѕіѕtеntlу bеіng аblе tо increase thіѕ dіѕtаnсе іѕ a ѕurе-fіrе wау tо рut them оff. Taking a рrоасtіvе аррrоасh tо ѕесurіtу іѕ оftеn thе mоѕt еffесtіvе wау оf protecting yourself. Thе ѕеntіmеnt “thе best dеfеnѕе іѕ hаvіng a good оffеnѕе” rеаllу dоеѕ rіng true here. Bу tаkіng the fіght to аttасkеrѕ, уоu саn ѕtор thеm іn thеіr tracks and рrеvеnt breaches at thе source. Wіth more ѕорhіѕtісаtеd methods bеіng used, аnd a grеаtеr vоlumе оf аttасkѕ, hаvіng a string force іѕ mission сrіtісаl. Nоw іѕ the tіmе tо ѕtаrt thіnkіng lіkе a bаd guу аnd fight bасk.