Today is a day for knowing what you know and acting upon it. This is also a day for seeing and feeling what is happening around you. Your perceptions are very acute today and your intuition is strong. Your path is becoming clearer right now, and as a result, even things that seems to be distractions or extra activity or unnecessary are actually there for you to begin to see things differently. The old ways are no longer the only ways. They lead to the same old thing. (Think: Been There – Done That.) You are ready for something new, so open your eyes, be attentive to your feelings and make that leap. You have all the tools you need to do that successfully today.
This is going to be one of those Whaddya Know kinds of days, so get ready. Things will be up and down, and there will be a lot of conflicting threads to follow. And, honestly, you can find yourself confused by all of this. There is some clarity, but it lies within. When things get a bit overwhelming, take a minute to ground and center. Step back and breathe. You can see the whole thing much more clearly with a little perspective. There is a decision that you will need to make today and it is important that you have the information necessary to make it as well as the feeling within that it is correct.
One presentation outlines how the NSA performs “industrial-scale exploitation” of computer networks across the world.
Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.
The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.
The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”
In a top-secret presentation, dated August 2009, the NSA describes a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the “Expert System,” which is designed to operate “like the brain.” The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and “decides” what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines.
Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware who serves as chief research officer at the Finnish security firm F-Secure, calls the revelations “disturbing.” The NSA’s surveillance techniques, he warns, could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.
“When they deploy malware on systems,” Hypponen says, “they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties.”
Hypponen believes that governments could arguably justify using malware in a small number of targeted cases against adversaries. But millions of malware implants being deployed by the NSA as part of an automated process, he says, would be “out of control.”
“That would definitely not be proportionate,” Hypponen says. “It couldn’t possibly be targeted and named. It sounds like wholesale infection and wholesale surveillance.”
The NSA declined to answer questions about its deployment of implants, pointing to a new presidential policy directive announced by President Obama. “As the president made clear on 17 January,” the agency said in a statement, “signals intelligence shall be collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions, and not for any other purposes.”
“Owning the Net”
The NSA began rapidly escalating its hacking efforts a decade ago. In 2004, according to secret internal records, the agency was managing a small network of only 100 to 150 implants. But over the next six to eight years, as an elite unit called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) recruited new hackers and developed new malware tools, the number of implants soared to tens of thousands.
to read the rest of the article, go to: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware/
This is a good day for getting things done, tying up loose ends, and planning for the next phase. You have made some progress since the beginning of the year, and it is time to look back on what you have accomplished. Last year was about laying the groundwork, now it is time to start building, if you have not done so yet. The day’s energies are supportive in tasks that are directed towards self-fulfillment. You know what it is that makes you happy. You know how it is that you can be centered. Today’s energies are giving you the perspective to see all the preliminary steps that you have taken as well as to glimpse the form of the process that you are creating. This is a good day also for talking things over. There are those out there with suggestions and assistance, both physical and non-physical.
Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, at left, and Jesse Hagopian, Garfield history teacher and a leader of the school’s historic test boycott. Photo by Betty Udesen.
Life felt eerie for teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High in the days following their unanimous declaration of rebellion last winter against standardized testing. Their historic press conference, held on a Thursday, had captured the attention of national TV and print media. But by midday Monday, they still hadn’t heard a word from their own school district’s leadership.
Then an email from Superintendent José Banda hit their in-boxes. Compared with a starker threat issued a week later, with warnings of 10-day unpaid suspensions, this note was softly worded. But its message was clear: a teacher boycott of the district’s most-hated test—the MAP, short for Measures of Academic Progress—was intolerable.
Jittery teachers had little time to digest the implications before the lunch bell sounded, accompanied by an announcement over the intercom: a Florida teacher had ordered them a stack of hot pizzas, as a gesture of solidarity.
“It was a powerful moment,” said history teacher Jesse Hagopian, a boycott leader. “That’s when we realized this wasn’t just a fight at Garfield; this was something going on across the nation. If we back down, we’re not just backing away from a fight for us. It’s something that educators all over see as their struggle too. I think a lot of teachers steeled their resolve, that we had to continue.”
Parents, students, and teachers all over the country soon would join the “Education Spring” revolt. As the number of government-mandated tests multiplies, anger is mounting over wasted school hours, “teaching to the test,” a shrinking focus on the arts, demoralized students, and perceptions that teachers are being unjustly blamed for deeply rooted socioeconomic problems.
“You’re seeing a tremendous backlash,” said Carol Burris, award-winning principal of South Side High School in New York City and an education blogger for The Washington Post. “People are on overload. They are angry at the way data and testing are being used to disrupt education.”
Last spring, New York became the first major state to implement Common Core State Standards testing, a key element of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative. Burris has compiled data showing a dramatic increase in the time children and teens spend taking New York state tests. Fifth-graders are the hardest-hit, with testing time ballooning from 170 minutes in 2010 to 540 minutes in 2013.
Mark Naison, a professor at Fordham University in New York City, estimates that parents of about 10,000 students across the state joined the “opt-out” movement in April, refusing to submit their youth to Common Core tests. “Probably the largest test revolt in modern American history,” he said.
Inspired by New York’s grassroots revolution, Naison co-founded the Badass Teachers Association (BAT), which by mid-January had 36,443 members and chapters in all 50 states. Florida has the largest representation, with more than 1,575 BAT teachers.
“It takes a lot of courage to speak out. This group says, ‘You’re not alone.’ If we stand up for one another, we can speak back,” Naison said. “We have brilliant people who know how to create websites, fan pages, a YouTube channel. We’ve got this amazingly flexible organization.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave the opt-out movement a public-relations gift in November, when he labeled the emerging bloc of mainstream opponents to Common Core testing “white suburban moms who—all of a sudden—their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”
Duncan previously had blamed Tea Party extremists for Common Core’s bad rap. And indeed, conservative Republicans are among the program’s greatest critics. They see an alarming federal usurpation of control over local schools and are deeply suspicious of standardized curriculum requirements that they fear promote a liberal agenda.
But on this issue, they’re joined by progressive Democrats—including the BAT contingent—who are outraged that teachers and schools might be blamed and punished for low test scores. Multiple-choice tests on a handful of subjects can’t measure a teacher’s impact on students’ lives or provide meaningful insights into student learning, they say.
“Instead of dealing with issues of poverty, racially isolated schooling, a lack of social services in communities, this [policy] is built on test scores,” said Burris.
Or, as BAT co-founder Priscilla Sanstead says in her Twitter banner: “Rating a teacher in a school with high poverty based on their student test data is like rating a dentist who works in Candyland based on their patient tooth decay data.”
How did we get here?
David Labaree, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, traces the federal government’s creeping control over classrooms back to the Cold War era, when the Sputnik launch triggered the Space Race. In the ’70s and ’80s, fears that the Russians were getting ahead of the United States gave way to worries about the Japanese and Germans. Now it’s the Chinese, he said.
The ’70s marked the first time “high stakes” tests began to emerge, with impacts on grade promotions and graduation requirements, Labaree said. Until then, teachers had a great deal of autonomy over textbook selection and classroom practices; schools were considered successful if graduates found jobs and social mobility was taking place.
The standards movement promoted a narrow emphasis on academic curricula—mostly math and English, plus some science and social studies—as a key element of the U.S. race for economic and political supremacy in the international arena, he said. The modern trend toward “high stakes” tests, which can carry significant impacts on teachers’ careers, has profoundly changed what is—and isn’t—taught.
“It broke down the classroom door,” Labaree said. “It puts a huge pressure on teachers to toe the line and start teaching to the test. It’s changed the nature of a teacher’s work in a way that’s quite devastating. ‘Look, I’m part of a machinery here to raise test scores. I’m not really a teacher any more, I’m just an efficient delivery system of human capital skills.’ That’s the new language.”
History teacher Jesse Hagopian, who is also Garfield’s Black Student Union adviser, applauds during a recent lunchtime meeting. Behind him is Obadiah Terry, former Student Body President and also past president of the BSU. He’s visiting from Chicago, where he attends Columbia College. At left is Lalah Muth, current BSU President, and at right is Ashané Davis. Photo by Betty Udesen.
Race to the Top
The “accountability” movement got a big boost in 2002, when President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act. For the first time, all public schools receiving federal funding were required to test students every year in grades three through eight, plus once during high school, using standardized state tests in math and reading.
President Barack Obama and Secretary Duncan unveiled the Race to the Top contest in 2009. To be eligible for a share of the program’s $4.35 billion in grants, states were required to adopt the Common Core standards for math and language arts. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia fully signed up. Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska declined any participation. Minnesota partially joined, rejecting the math standards.
Among the requirements: using test results to evaluate teachers.
Now many states are rethinking their commitment to Common Core. Eight states have reversed, suspended, or significantly delayed implementation. Legislatures in other states continue to debate the issues.
Some states are backing out because of technology issues. Oklahoma, for instance, found that just one in five schools had enough Internet bandwidth and computers to administer the tests, a state official told Education Weekly. And the state projected that classroom time devoted to taking the tests would jump from two or three hours to nine hours.
Seattle’s Garfield High teachers cite similar technology issues in their litany of testing complaints. The MAP test, for instance, forced the closure of all three Garfield computer labs for four months of each school year.
Seattle teachers’ contracts allow MAP results to be used in their evaluations, even though an official from the company that created the test has expressed concerns about the appropriateness of such use. The school district administration says teacher evaluations do not currently include MAP scores.
Garfield’s testing coordinator, Kris McBride, planted the seeds of revolution in December 2012 when she told frustrated remedial-reading teacher Mallory Clarke, “You can refuse to give the test!” The two women first sought—and won—support from the language arts and math departments, then asked for the backing of the entire teaching staff. With a few abstentions, Garfield teachers unanimously voted to support a boycott of the January-February cycle of MAP tests. “This was the crux: It was just immoral to rob the students of that [classroom] time,” Clarke said. “The feeling in the building was just simmering under the surface, waiting for something to do about it.”
Garfield teachers sent Banda’s office multiple letters, emails, and voicemails after their December vote, with no response, McBride said. So on Jan. 10, 2013, they staged their press conference.
Support for the boycott
The national ripples were immediate.
“Bravo to the teachers of Garfield High. We support you and thank you for your courageous stand,” wrote Jane Maisel, a leader of the anti-testing group Change the Stakes, in an email to Hagopian.
A February 6 National Day of Action in support of Garfield teachers inspired rallies across the country. In Chicago, for instance, parents at 37 schools gathered signatures on anti-testing petitions. Banda’s office was “bombarded” with emails, Hagopian said.
An International Day of Action on May Day brought support from teachers and parents in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, he said.
In the weeks and months following the Garfield declaration, teachers at six other Seattle schools joined the MAP boycott. When Banda’s office ordered school administrators to give the test anyway, local families added power to the revolt, with about 600 students opting out of the winter tests.
Banda convened a task force to study the issue, and in May he announced a partial reversal of district policy: MAP testing now is optional for the district’s high schools. Despite the early threat of 10-day unpaid suspensions, no teachers have been punished for refusing to administer the MAP.
“This wasn’t just a victory against one test,” Hagopian said. “This was a victory for a key concept: that teachers should be consulted about issues like testing and what kinds of learning are best for our students—before districts go to high-paid consultants and billionaires for solutions.” (In January 2014, Hagopian announced he was running for president of the Seattle teachers union to build on that victory.)
Meanwhile, Education Spring was busting out across the country, with rallies, marches, test boycotts, and teach-ins. The most dramatic: an estimated 10,000-plus educators and parents from all over New York converged at the state capitol in Albany for a June 8 “One Voice United” demonstration.
Hagopian has been sought out by schools and local unions across the country; he has traveled from Hawaii to Florida telling the Garfield story and helping other educators resist standardized tests.
More effective assessment
During his travels, Hagopian learned of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a coalition of 28 high schools across the state. Coalition schools track student progress with performance-based assessments. Rather than take standardized tests, students do in-depth research and papers; learn to think, problem-solve, and critique; and orally present their projects. He says this approach not only provides more effective student assessment, but also emphasizes critical-thinking skills over rote learning.
Last fall, two Garfield teachers and principal Ted Howard visited consortium schools at the Julia Richman Education Complex, in Manhattan, and returned inspired.
Successful students have a true joy for learning, Howard said, which the modern focus on testing has stripped from classrooms. Consortium schools support teaching as an “art form,” he said, rather than a robotic exercise to raise test scores.
“We’re dealing with human beings and human behavior, and sometimes that’s not quantifiable,” Howard said. “Students [at consortium schools] are saying, ‘Hey, I really want to be here.’”
In February he plans to send two more teachers to New York to visit another, larger consortium high school.
“I got into education for the long haul,” Howard said. “Hopefully, we can get together to change education, to make it better. It won’t change overnight, so we have to stick with it. We speak for students who don’t have a voice, so we have to hang in there.”
Next fall, Washington will be among many states launching the Common Core standards and tests. Opt-out activists across the nation predict that a second, even more vibrant Education Spring is nigh.
“It’s gonna to be huge,” said BAT’s Naison. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 100,000 [students opting out] in New York next spring.” He also predicts significant uprisings in California, Florida, Illinois, and perhaps Texas.
Now he’s planning an epic March on Washington—an upbeat three-day event culminating with a July 28 march to the U.S. Department of Education.
“It’s going to be a very festive,” he said, with flash mobs, plays, songs, and a band. “Imagine 10,000 teachers, parents and kids—some in costumes, some playing instruments, with huge banners—demanding that teacher and student creativity be unleashed.”
“It’s going to be the party of the year,” Naison said. “It’s to celebrate what teaching and learning can be, and to shame the people who are taking the fun and creativity out of it.”
March 17, 2014 at approximately 7pm MST a large plume erupted from just west of Carrizozo Volcanic field, White Sands / Area 29 military test range.
Whether its a man made explosion, or a volcanic event, regardless — a large plume of particulate matter has been expelled skyward, and has now blown across the state of New Mexico heading directly towards Amarillo, Texas.
Update 13:41 UTC : So far, nobody reported some damage (probably due to the very brief shaking). The LA METRO reports : Due to an earthquake, there will be minor delays on all Metro Rail lines while we inspect tracks and equipment. Update to follow.
Update 13:41 UTC : USGS has lowered his initial Magnitude from 4.7 to 4.4. This together with the reports that the shaking was very brief is changing our exception into a mainly harmless earthquake. Slight damage like cracks in walls, a few broken window and fallen objects and tiles are always possible. Fire trucks and ambulances have been heard after the quake, but this may have been only precautionary.
Update 13:40 UTC : Jascha Polet reported : reverse faulting with strike-slip component at depth of 8 km
9km (6mi) NNW of Westwood, California
10km (6mi) NW of Beverly Hills, California
12km (7mi) W of Universal City, California
12km (7mi) N of Santa Monica, California
562km (349mi) SSE of Sacramento, California
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.39
Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-03-17 06:25:37
NASA Discovers Hidden Portals In Earth’s Magnetic Field
Last updated on March 17, 2014
Our planet has come a long way in scientific breakthroughs and discoveries. Mainstream science is beginning to discover new concepts of reality that have the potential to change our perception about our planet and the extraterrestrial environment that surrounds it forever. Star gates, wormholes, and portals have been the subject of conspiracy theories and theoretical physics for decades, but that is all coming to an end as we continue to grow in our understanding about the true nature of our reality.
In physics, a wormhole was a hypothetical feature of space time that would be a shortcut through space-time. We often wonder how extraterrestrials could travel so far and this could be one of many explanations. Although scientists still don’t really understand what they have found, it does open the mind to many possibilities.
Turning science fiction into science fact seems to happen quite often these days and NASA did it by announcing the discovery of hidden portals in Earth’s magnetic field.
NASA calls them X-points or electron diffusion regions. They are places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, which in turn creates an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun’s atmosphere which is 93 million miles away.
NASA used its THEMIS spacecraft, as well as a European Cluster probe, to examine this phenomenon. They found that these portals open and close dozens of times each day. It’s funny, because there is a lot of evidence that points toward the sun being a giant star gate for the ‘gods’ to pass back and forth from other dimensions and universes. The portals that NASA has discovered are usually located tens of thousands of kilometres from Earth and most of them are short-lived; others are giant, vast and sustained.
As far as scientists can determine, these portals aid in the transfer of tons of magnetically charged particles that flow from the Sun causing the northern and southerns lights and geomagnetic storms. They aid in the transfer of the magnetic field from the Sun to the Earth. In 2014, the U.S. space agency will launch a new mission called Magnetospheric Multi scale Mission (MMS) which will include four spacecraft that will circle the Earth to locate and then study these portals. They are located where the Earth and the Sun’s magnetic fields connect and where the unexplained portals are formed.
NASA funded the University of Iowa for this study, and they are still unclear as to what these portals are. All they have done is observed charged particles flowing through them that cause electro-magnetic phenomenon in Earth’s atmosphere.
Magnetic portals are invisible, unstable and elusive. they open and close without warming and there are no signposts to guide is in.
– Dr Scudder, University of Iowa
Mainstream science continues to grow further, but I often get confused between mainstream science, and science that is formed in the black budget world. It seems that information and discovery isn’t information and discovery without the type of ‘proof’ that the human race requires. Given that the human race requires, and has a certain criteria for ‘proof’, which has been taught to us by the academic world, information can easily be suppressed by concealing that ‘proof’.
It’s no secret that the department of defence receives trillions of dollars that go unaccounted for and everything developed within the United States Air Force Space Agency remains classified. They are able to classify information for the sake of ‘national security’. Within the past few years, proof has been emerging for a number of phenomenon that would suggest a whole other scientific world that operates separately from mainstream science.
We have the technology to take ET home, anything you can imagine we already have the technology to do, but these technologies are locked up in black budget projects. It would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity.
– Ben Rich, Fmr CEO of LockHeed Skunk Works