Archive for February, 2014


Sandy Funds: Feds Send, Some Abscond, Poor Get No Relief

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 18:13 PM
February 5, 2014

Hurricane_Sandy_half-house    Suspicions arise over ways in which Hurricane Sandy relief funds have reached only a few higher economic families. The poor are generally left behind. No systems are in place to account for relief funds or to question why those Sandy victims most in need of relief have been left far behind, still living ‘on streets.’

An honest report on unpaid relief funds for New Jersey Hurricane victims is from a ‘disappearing’ cnig.org website, titled ‘Hurricane Sandy:  Housing Needs One Year Later.’  That site says its data summarizes survey findings “to measure the ongoing impact of Hurricane Sandy, one year after the storm made landfall.”

It states that “39% of all household damaged in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut area affected by the storm, 50% of low-income households, 50% of all renter households–– all said that the building damage had not been fully repaired. 16% of all households reported health problems or mental distress” from Sandy.

Eight percent say they have lost jobs or income because of the storm.  “32% of renters in damaged buildings reported they wanted to move after the storm, but were forced to remain because of their lease agreement.” Is that enforceable?

Urgently important for other contemporary investigations in the state of New Jersey:  “Housing damage was most pervasive in New Jersey, with 27% of households reporting the damage to their home or building.

“This is in comparison to only 14% of New York State households and 9% of Connecticut household reporting damage.  As demonstrated in the charts below, repair progress in New Jersey lags slightly behind the other two states, with only 57% of household reporting completely repaired damage.”

Gretcen Barrett of phillyburbs.com writes:  “The majority of New Jersey residents are still woefully unprepared CONEYSTORM1sub-color-articleLarge (3)for such a massive storm and for days (in some cases weeks) without heat, power and public transportation, or the ensuing food and fuel shortages.” But The New York Times Editorial Board takes it further:

“Civil rights groups in New Jersey filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in April charging that the state plan for distributing Hurricane Sandy recovery aid discriminated against blacks and Hispanics who lost their homes in the storm.”

What this situation needs is the kind of detective work shown in Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout.  What happened to New Jersey Hurricane funds?  Why haven’t more of them been distributed? Why have wealthy projects that received little or no storm damage received millions to repair what is not broken?  Why have poor neighborhoods received little or no state, private or federal aide? etc. etc.

Many Scriptures in God’s Holy Word demands care of the poor first:  “. . . I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide . . . to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land (Deuteronomy 15: 11).” Why then do some political leaders wonder when judgment unexpectedly falls upon them?

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Coming to the End! 2014––Living in Extraordinarily Dangerous Times!

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 9:01 AM
February 4, 2014

teen-hacker-theives        So now we have teenagers in foreign countries who understand internet thievery well enough to steal funds from thousands of credit cards, to start a war between banks and retailers, and to disrupt confidence in the economic systems.

In ‘Security Firm IntelCrawler Says it has Identified Target Malware Author’ Hayley Tsukayama writes:  “Security firm IntelCrawler said it has identified a Russian teenager as the author of the malware probably used in the cyberattacks against Target and Neiman Marcus, and that it expects more retailers to acknowledge that their systems were breached.”

Some 110 million credit and debit cards were used at Target and Neiman Marcus  stores over the holidays.  According to Tsukayama, another company, iSight Partners claims the stolen account information “may also have affected a ‘large number’ of other retail-information systems.”

IntelCrawler’s on-line report claims “the author of the malware used in the attacks has sold more than 60 versions of the software to cybercriminals in Eastern Europe and other countries.” Thus, credit card information for numerous Americans is ‘everywhere.’ These internet thieves also have customers’ names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses, and personal identification numbers.

So far IntelCrawler has traced the 17-year-old to St. Petersburg, where apparently he is well known in underground marketplaces for malicious code.  While he did not carry out the attacks, he wrote what he calls the Black POS program. His buyers then used the software to access retailers systems, using several easy passwords to get into store registers remotely.

IntelCrawler says retailers use passwords that are too easy and they do not have enough restrictions on access to “pools of data from multiple stores.”  The company thus predicts that “more companies, specifically retailers, are likely to discover attacks on their systems in the near future.”

That conclusion caused Target to accuse banks of not adequately protecting their card customers.  Associated secure-credit-cardsPress’ Mary Gordon writes today: “Banks and big retailers are locked in a debate over the breach of consumer data that gripped Target Corp. during the holiday season. At issue: Which industry bears more responsibility for protecting consumers’ personal information?

“The retailers’ argument: Banks must upgrade the security technology for the credit and debit cards they issue.  The banks’ counterargument: Newer electronic-chip technology wouldn’t have prevented the Target breach. And retailers must tighten their own security systems for processing card payments.”

Banks claim retailers often do not have software in place to receive notice of ‘breach intrusion.’ And retailers counter, “Unlike the rest of the world, the U.S. cards still use a signature and magnetic stripe for authentication.”

But these issues don’t highlight the real problem.  Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3: 1 of Bible inspired writing:  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”  Americans, especially Christian believers, must recognize that life in 2014 is not like those remembered ‘normal times.’  Tumultuous dangers increase from now to the end of time. More precautions, less trust of human beings, and more trust in God is now absolutely necessary.

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