The Threat Of Cyberterrorism

Cyberterrorism is on the rise, with more and more attacks being reported on a daily basis. Large computer hacks on corporations, government databases, and computer networks are becoming more common and more people are having their private information stolen by cyber terrorists. Cyber terrorists could potentially disable power grids or even bring down the Internet, which could result in disaster.

Cyberterror attacks could bring down the banking system and even start a nuclear war if the terrorists were able to successfully hack the military. One of the worst things about cyberterrorism is that it operates in the shadows and it is extremely difficult to actually apprehend anyone.

You can find hackers who are actively trying to do harm anywhere from ISIS to neo-Nazi groups. Their intent is to create chaos and steal personal information from multiple people to both track people and cause financial harm. On an individual level, being hacked causes extreme stress and you feel that your privacy has been invaded.

Cyber terrorists have a larger goal of carrying out attacks that are actually going to kill people, like tampering with the computers that run nuclear energy plants for example. These attackers will try to create chaos in any way possible and will look for loopholes that allow them to get access to the most sensitive information they can find.

Power stations could be potentially vulnerable as there are so many of them and it is impossible to fully protect them. If hackers managed to shut down a power station in the heat of the summer, it could be disastrous because thousands of people would temporarily lose their air conditioning and their refrigerators would go out.

Cyberterrorists look for vulnerability and when they find it, they exploit it. Whether they are working on disrupting the financial system or taking down infrastructure, eventually an attack is going to succeed. Any computer system is going to be vulnerable to attack, no matter how much security is in place. A good cyber terrorist is going to find a way to get around those security measures and try to harm people in the worst way they can.

Oil refineries, water plants, pipelines and more could be vulnerable to an attack. It would be wrong to underestimate how much chaos an attack could cause. Hackers could even do something like attack retailers before Christmas and cause extreme financial harm to them. Cyber terrorism is a real threat.

The Arguments For And Against Accepting Syrian Refugees In The U.S.

The political climate in the United States is horrendous right now. President Trump is doing everything he said he would do during his campaign. Unfortunately, most of what he promised to do are actions that alienate and enrage many of his followers as well as his opponents.

One such area is the question of Syrian refugees. The situation in Syria has been delicate for years, causing hardship for President Obama during his last term. President Trump, who was voted into office on a platform of not knowing anything about politics, has been unable to decide how to approach this delicate situation.

Why Should We Refuse Syrian Refugees?

There are several reasons people want to refuse refuge to people from a war-torn country. These reasons are espoused largely by the Republican party, though the logic is enticing to some on the left, as well.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), as one example, claimed that the United States is “paying [the Syrian refugees] to be here” during an interview on the Dale Jackson Show. He went on to state that the refugees get free health care and other social benefits, paid for by U.S. tax dollars. As a final point he stated that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion, stating he felt that “…terrorists are doing exactly what the Koran tells them to do”.

Of course, a less extreme reasoning suggests we have needs in our own country that must be addressed. They point to the estimated (as of 2013) 2.5 million homeless children or 58K homeless veterans from motorcycle accidents and state that the nation’s time, money, and resources should go to helping its own citizens first.

Why Should We Allow Refugees?

The major argument on the left is a moral one rather than one based on specific needs. That is, the Democrats argue that Syria is fleeing a civil war, their lives are being torn apart by the same terrorists the U.S. is trying to stop, and so we have a moral obligation to offer those people protection.

Even if the United States was not in direct conflict with those forces, the alternative for many refugees would be one of several refugee camps. Lastly, they show one of the multiple pictures of injured refugees, terrified for their lives and the lives of their children. For many, this is a powerful image.

Indeed, the arguments of the Republicans and the right make it difficult for the left to find numbers. It’s impossible to prove mathematically how many people aren’t terrorists, since that requires knowledge that’s impossible to find until they commit an act of terrorism.

What is possible is to point out that the United States spends $601B every year on military spending. Much of this money goes to the research and development of new equipment, but that equipment is of questionable use. The F-35, as just one example, went $165B over its budget and took an additional 7 years from it’s estimated time to completion and yet is not as functional as the F-16, which it was designed to replace.

If that money had been spent on helping our own citizens, the Democrats argue, we wouldn’t need to worry about the additional cost of refugees.

The Full Ramifications.

If one piece of candy in a bowl of candy is poison, would you eat the candy? The Republicans argue no, that would be dangerous. The Democrats don’t argue about eating candy, but rather point out (100% correctly) that the same argument was part of 1938 Nazi anti-jewish propaganda.

This is the major political ramifications of the Syrian refugee issue. With neither side capable of deciding if we must make a moral judgement or an economic one, it’s difficult to find common ground. And with the moral argument being incredibly strong, it’s easy for those who think the economic viewpoint is more important to become defensive.

The end result is a major division in the U.S. political environment at a time when we most need unity.

Comparing Trump’s Health Care Plan To Obamacare: How Do They Stack Up?

There has been a lot of back in forth in politics about what a good healthcare bills and the debate over the current ACA (aka “Obamacare”) and the AHCA (aka “Trumpcare”) has been heated, to say the least. The trouble is that it can be difficult to cut through slanted points of view and to get some type of a read on what an un-biased comparison looks like. With anything as complicated as a national healthcare system there will always be unexpected consequences however we will compare these two health plans and the most likely results based on in-depth studies and past instances of similar healthcare plans being joined or dropped.

Is “Trumpcare” Going To Be Better Or Worse Than “Obamacare?”
This is a difficult question to answer for two main reasons:
1) Because there is no finalized version of the Trumpcare bill yet and as the old saying goes “The devil is in the details”
2) Answering this question depends heavily on an individual’s idea of what a good or better healthcare system should look like

In addition to this, as with all things in politics, there is often a difference between what the face of the bills (Trump, Obama) say and the details that actually make it into law. In situations where there is a contradiction or technicality, we’ll default to known text as being the overriding way the program works or will work.

The Major Differences
The ACA under Obama was seen as a first step towards socialized medicine, taking the idea of healthcare as a right but trying to create a privatized or capitalistic solution to providing the same universal or near universal coverage. For the first time people could not be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, there were no caps on lifetime coverage, and limits were put into place in regards to pricing so people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t be priced out of the market. The expanded coverage of the poor and high risk individuals was off-set by taxes mostly on very high income earning companies or certain types of investment income.

The AHCA appears to be returning to a more free market approach getting rid of things like the individual mandate, allowing states to decide what constitutes essential coverage, and allowing states to eliminate price checks for people with pre-existing conditions. The idea is that cutting down on regulations will allow for lower prices because of competition. There are very mixed assessments on whether or not that will have any major practical effect.

Major Potential Impact
The AHCA will reduce taxes for many individuals with investment income as well as some privately owned businesses paying more taxes on insurance and healthcare. While in theory healthcare under Trumpcare would still be accessible to everyone, the problem is with no price checks the reality indicates that likely over 20 million people would lose their health coverage, and the proposed multi-billion dollar pool for high risk cases wouldn’t come close to making up the nearly $600 billion in tax cuts from repealing ACA funding.

For individuals struggling to stay insured, the lack of penalty for not having insurance could theoretically be helpful, as long as they stay healthy and don’t need insurance coverage.

What’s The Overall Verdict?
If you believe in the lowest possible taxes and 100% capitalism, then Trumpcare is a huge improvement over Obamacare as many medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and wealthy individuals will see tax breaks totaling an estimated $600 billion. However, if you are with the group that sees healthcare as a right or believes controls are reasonable to encourage lower pricing or access to coverage then Trumpcare is going to be a major step back from the ACA and Obamacare.

Impact Of NY’s Free Tuition On Other States

New York’s implementation of free tuition for students (or their parents) with a net income of less than $125,000 has had an impact on various components of American society. The visible impact has happened to students who are now provided with a tuition-free option if they choose to pursue it.

However, the next question is, “How does it impact other parts of America?”

Will it remain the same? Are things going to change so other states can start to catch up to New York with its free tuition setup?

Let’s take a look.

Impact on States

Let’s begin with the impact this decision has on other states. With Oregon and Tennessee already having tuition-free programs (two years only) there was a precedent for such an inclusion. However, New York is the first state to provide free tuition to all students for a four-year program.

Various other states will look to mimic this option as it has been received well.

It is expected adjustments would be made to how the program is rolled out in those states. Similar to most changes at a state-level, some are going to adapt it while others are not. In general, the average state is going to implement some form of this program to get it on the ground.

This should have a profound impact on the educational landscape moving forward.

Federal Government

What about the federal government? How will they react to this program?

The federal government continues to fund students and provide multiple pathways for students to manage their fees. It is important to note various other states have built-in programs to help students even if they’re not as robust as the one passed by New York.

The federal government will be eying how well the program does and might end up promoting it in other parts of the nation, like they did with legislature regarding personal injury. This is a change which will happen gradually and shouldn’t be expected right off the bat. The positive is both sides in the house of representatives are in agreement with the value of this option and what it brings to the table.

This might pave the way for future allowances when it pertains to education in the nation at a federal level.

Impact on Student Loan Debt

Before looking at the impact this decision will have on student loan debt, it’s important to recognize how the program works. It will provide tuition fees for all students who qualify but will not provide assistance with room or food expenses. All of those are the student’s responsibility.

Keeping that in mind, the student loan debt will start to deplete. Most students study in the region and will take advantage of this program for all it has to offer. This is critical as it provides students with an excellent launching pad once they graduate and enter the working world.

New York’s free tuition program will take three years to implement and is going to be rolled out in September 2017. The goal is to ensure students who are wishing to pursue post-secondary education can do so without worrying about fees. This is a significant change and something that has been in the works for a while. Its impacts on neighboring states and the federal government remain to be seen, but there will be movement one way or another. New York might become a leader in this regard and set things into motion for a wholesome change across the board.

A lot of focus is being pushed towards the state, but many are looking at this as a new way of life for students.

How To Describe Trump In One Word: Covfefe

At 12:06 am, The President Of The United States of America tweeted his most dynamic union assembling tweet: “Despite the contact negative press covfefe.”

As the world watched, waited with baited breath and hook, finally six hours later the tweet was deleted and replaced with “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”

As hilarious and embarrassing as this is, with the recent departure of the head of communications for the White House, and Spicer’s inability to hold a press conference that isn’t a train wreck, this isn’t a good look for Trump who’s approval ratings are at a record low, according to an article in Newsweek.

Although, this might be a clever ploy to throw people off what’s happening with this son-in-law Jared Kushner who is currently being investigated for his involvement with Russia, who may or may not have had some sort of influence over the 2016 election.

What’s your opinion?