Saturday, 28 September 2013

Fwd: [New post] What is it about Muslims and donkeys and where are the animal rights groups?





BareNakedIslam posted: "SYRIA: Beheaded donkey symbolizes what opponents of Bashar al-Assad would like to see done to him. But what did the poor donkey do to deserve this? http://youtu.be/WgD61Y--_Xg SYRIA: Obama-backed FSA jihadist rebels kill helpless horses and donkeys for no"

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

What is it about Muslims and donkeys and where are the animal rights groups?

by BareNakedIslam

SYRIA: Beheaded donkey symbolizes what opponents of Bashar al-Assad would like to see done to him. But what did the poor donkey do to deserve this? SYRIA: Obama-backed FSA jihadist rebels kill helpless horses and donkeys for no apparent reason. ALGERIA: Young men entertain themselves by setting a little donkey on fire to the tune of […]

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BareNakedIslam | September 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-YdJ

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Fwd: [New post] Will there be a JCPenney a year from now?





Dr. Eowyn posted: " For more than a year, FOTM has been chronicling the precipitous decline of J. C. Penney (JCP) which began when CEO Ron Johnson decided to "improve" the family store by pandering to homosexuals. Johnson's move wasn't smart on the grounds of simple m"
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New post on Fellowship of the Minds

Will there be a JCPenney a year from now?

by Dr. Eowyn

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson, the man who single-handedly destroyed JC Penney

For more than a year, FOTM has been chronicling the precipitous decline of J. C. Penney (JCP) which began when CEO Ron Johnson decided to "improve" the family store by pandering to homosexuals.

Johnson's move wasn't smart on the grounds of simple market calculation. The plain truth is that homosexuals comprise no more than 2% of the U.S. population, according to a study by the Williams Institute, a gay and lesbian think tank at UCLA School of Law, and corroborated by none other than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alas, more than 5 months after JCP finally gave Johnson the boot, JCP's fortunes continue to sink. The question must now be asked:

Will there be a JCPenney a year from now?

Here are the bad signs:

1. JCP is losing even more money than a year ago

On Aug. 20, 2013, USA Today reports that JCP reported a net loss of $586 million for its second quarter -- its 9th consecutive drop in quarterly revenue. The $586 million loss compares with a $147 million net loss, or 67 cents a share, a year ago. Same-store sales were down about 12% from the second quarter of 2012.

2. Investors are jumping out of the sinking ship

CNN reports that in late August, investor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman who began buying JCP in October 2010 when shares were around $25 a piece, cut his losses and sold his entire stake -- all 39 million of its shares in JCP to Citigroup. The latter then offered the shares at $12.90 each, which means Ackman's loss was nearly $500 million.

3. Goldman Sachs begins to talk about JCP going bankrupt

ZeroHedge reports on Sept. 24, 2013 that Goldman Sachs just wrote a report in which it laid out, in a lucid and compelling manner, why JCP is doomed although the report tried to soften the blow by saying "we believe handicapping a bankruptcy filing for JCP is premature."

4. JCP stocks plunged to single-digits

The day after the Goldman Sachs report on Sept. 25, 2013, as reported by ZeroHedge, JCP stocks fell 16% to single-digits.

JCP now trades sub-$10

Even before the cratering of JCP stocks, in early August, analyst Jon Najarian already had said J.C. Penney can't be saved.

As reported by Jeff Macke for Yahoo, Aug. 1, 2013, OptionMonster.com's Jon Najarian thinks a year from now J.C. Penney will be little more than a distant memory or half the size it is today. Macke paints a stark picture:

Retail is difficult to execute but not complicated to analyze. If you turn down all the noise and walk through most of the 1,000+ J.C. Penney stores around the country, you'll find a lot of chaos and not many customers. The most loyal Penney's shoppers have been alienated, and the younger customers the chain so desperately courted have yet to appear.

Current CEO Mike Ullman only took back the corner office in April but there's little evidence that he's been able to right the ship. [...] 

No retailers can survive a 30% drop in sales over the course of 2 years. Analysts are hopeful the rate of the decline in sales will stabilize by the end of the year but there's little to suggest that new customers are coming in or the old shoppers have learned to trust JC Penney again. Liquidity and downgrades aside, J.C. Penney's biggest problem is that customers simply don't like what it's become.

See FOTM's past posts on JCPenney:

~Eowyn

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Fwd: [NEWS] Not ONE word of official account of raid that killed Bin Laden is true, claims a



Not ONE word of official account of raid that killed Bin Laden is true, claims award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh

  • The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says that raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is 'one big lie'
  • He says the US media is too 'afraid' to pick on Obama
  • Hersh, 76, says the solution is to shut down news networks like NBC and ABC
  • He also suggested the firing of 90 per cent of mainstream editors


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2436610/Pathetic-Award-winning-journalist-Seymour-Hersh-slams-American-press-challenging-US-governments-LIES-Bin-Laden-raid.html
 

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Fwd: [New post] Video: NYPD refuses to ticket illegally parked Muslim cabbies because they are at mosque





creeping posted: "Sharia law in full affect in NYC, via LiveLeak.com - NYC parking cop- "we do not ticket if worshiping". http://youtu.be/9ePPPNqXXI8 Be gentle its my first upload.I came out to find my legally parked van blocked in by illegally parked cabs. I asked a w"
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New post on Creeping Sharia

Video: NYPD refuses to ticket illegally parked Muslim cabbies because they are at mosque

by creeping

Sharia law in full affect in NYC, via LiveLeak.com - NYC parking cop- "we do not ticket if worshiping". Be gentle its my first upload.I came out to find my legally parked van blocked in by illegally parked cabs. I asked a wandering traffic cop to give the cab a ticket since he was making […]

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Fwd: [New post] HORROR STORY: Jewish American college girl becomes an Afghan fundamentalist Muslim wife





BareNakedIslam posted: " Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women's studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, "An American Bride in Kabul" (Palgrave Macmillan) out early next month, she shares for the first time t"

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

HORROR STORY: Jewish American college girl becomes an Afghan fundamentalist Muslim wife

by BareNakedIslam

Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women's studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, "An American Bride in Kabul" (Palgrave Macmillan) out early next month, she shares for the first time the story of the five months she spent, as a young bride, […]

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BareNakedIslam | September 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-Ydr

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Canada’s growing role in global jihad

Lilley

Canada's growing role in global jihad

66
Lilley's Pad
By ,Parliamentary Bureau

First posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 07:43 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 08:03 PM EDT

Westgate Shopping Centre A policeman patrols with his dog near the Westgate Shopping Centre in Kenya's capital Nairobi September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

It's official, Canada is now a major exporter of Islamic terrorism.

News came Wednesday that Ali Mohamed Dirie, a man convicted as part of the Toronto 18 terror plot, was killed fighting alongside jihadi rebels in Syria. In 2009, Dirie was sentenced to seven years for his part in a plot to attack targets in Canada, including Parliament and Toronto's financial district, but was released just two years later after getting credit for time served awaiting trial.

Despite the serious nature of the charges against him and a Parole Board report that said he showed "no remorse, empathy or concern for the innocent people who were to be targeted by the terrorist attacks/plans," Dirie was set free with no conditions. That he went on to join the global jihad in Syria should surprise no one.

The news comes at the same time as federal officials look into claims a Canadian was part of last weekend's attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. That attack saw Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab storm the mall, killing dozens of innocent civilians.

As part of the attack, the terrorists reportedly told all Muslims to leave and shoppers attempting to flee were asked the name of Mohammed's mother; if they couldn't answer, the shoppers were shot.

While it has not been confirmed, a list of those involved posted online alleges a 24-year-old Ontario man named Abdirizak Mouled took part alongside several Americans and Brits.

If that report is true, then a Canadian had a hand in killing two of his countrymen, Annemarie Desloges of Ottawa and Naguib Damji of Vancouver who died in the attack simply for being the wrong religion.

Welcome to the jihad.

We can add the names Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej to the list of terror exports. Katsiroubas and Medlej were high school friends from London, Ont., who were drawn to Islam and the jihad and ended up dying in an attack on a gas plant in Algeria last January. A report on the incident stated plainly that a Canadian was a clear leader of the attack that saw 40 gas plant workers and 29 terrorists die.

Another Canadian, 25-year-old Hassan El Hajj Hassan, has been named as one of two people behind a bus bombing targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year.

Rudwan Khalil Abubaker and William Plotnikov are just two of the Canadians who have been killed while fighting for the jihadi cause in Chechnya.

The list of Canadians fighting for the cause of Islamic jihad overseas could go on and on. I haven't even touched on those facing charges or convicted of plots in Canada alone.

Then there is Canada's role in financing terrorism.

Last week, Canada Revenue Agency revoked the charitable status of the Islamic Society of North America Development Foundation over concerns that money raised in Canada had been sent to terrorist causes in Pakistan. Last year the taxman yanked the charitable status of IRFAN-Canada (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy) after audits revealed nearly $15 million from Canada was diverted to the terrorist group Hamas.

These case likely only scratch the surface.

My friend Tarek Fatah pointed earlier this week to attacks in the Philippines, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria to say the jihadis have declared war on the world.

I think he's right.

Fatah's solution is to call on every Muslim group in Canada to denounce the doctrine of armed jihad; if they won't, the groups should be treated persona non-grata.

Given Canada's expanding role in the global jihad, I'd say this is a good first step but only a first step.

 


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Fwd: 6 Psychological Elements Behind Sophisticated Cyber Attacks






http://securityintelligence.com/sophisticated-cyber-attacks-6-psychological-elements/

 

6 Psychological Elements Behind Sophisticated Cyber Attacks

By Chris Poulin | September 27, 2013 | 2 Comments | CISO, Industries, Risk Management, Topics, X-Force

Social Media and Phishing Exploits are Going to Get More Sophisticated

As the recently released X-Force 2013 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report points out, social networks are a relatively new construct, and yet they've been incorporated as an extension of our real world presence; an additional sense used to communicate our thoughts, activities, locations and even feelings. And it's an input sense as well, one where users can vet each other out through the tapestry they spin to define their personas online.

The risk is that we don't fully understand how to interpret the subtleties of interaction online in the same way our brains have adapted to analyzing non-verbal communication, such as body language, micro expressions and how we respond to cultural and paralinguistic elements. Despite these critical nuances in communications we grant trust to online personalities we've never met—and who may be deceased or completely fictitious. Users ignore their better judgment in favor of building a large network, with the status that comes with it, and the promise of gaining access to opportunities that are clearly too good to be true.

Exploiting Influence Tactics to Create Trust—and Risk

Trust is the foundation of security. Systems trust users based on their authentication credentials; users trust systems based on their legitimacy (e.g., Amazon vs BargainClownShoes.com); users trust the links in each other's email based on friendship and familiar email domains.

Trust and influence are intertwined: we allow ourselves to be influenced by those we trust, but we can also elicit trust by wielding influence skillfully.

Case in point is the Robin Sage experiment, in which a security consultant created a fictional persona, Robin Sage, who was purportedly a cyber threat analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense. Robin had accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and those were used to create a network of professional "targets." Most of her new connections worked for the U.S. military, government, or affiliated organizations. Despite the lack of hard evidence to corroborate Robin's clearance, credentials, or even existence, the contacts shared information that revealed their email addresses, bank accounts, and even the location of secret military units. Robin was sent documents to review and offered speaking slots at conferences.

The Psychology Behind Sophisticated Cyber Attacks

There are a number of psychological elements that contributed to the success of the experiment, many of which have been outlined in Dr. Robert Cialdini's book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion:

1. Principle of Liking

This is a simple principle with complex implications: people tend to form trust with those they're attracted to, both physically and emotionally. Robin Sage's picture shows the face of a pretty girl in her mid-twenties, in half profile, eyes turned directly to the camera, and with a hint of a smile. While not lewd in any sense, despite the picture having been lifted from a pornography-related site, Robin seems young and earnest in her appeal for assistance, yet one is left with the impression of a more sensual agenda and that Robin is about to walk away and encouraging you to follow her.

2. Social Proof

People are motivated more by what others do than a perceived or even quantifiable benefit. For example, hotel guests are 26% more likely to reuse towels when told that the majority of guests comply with that request, than if simply told that reusing towels protects the environment (read more on the science of getting a 'yes'). The first few connections are the barrier; once Robin accumulated them, others in similar positions or organizations were quick to accept Robin's connection request, particularly if they shared connection with others in Robin's social network.

3. Rule of Reciprocation

Humans feel a sense of obligatory quid pro quo; when one person provides something to another—a gift or a favor, usually—the recipient feels indebted to return the act in kind. Cialdini noticed that Hari Krishnas used this principle by giving flowers to passers by in airports, eliciting higher donations than before they appealed to travelers' sense of reciprocity—even though there was no social contract before the encounter. This tactic can be employed in social networking to compel a stranger to accept your connection request if you provide them with information, for example, and it can even work in reverse, by providing the expectation that you will be indebted to a potential connection if they accept your invitation. Those who joined Robin's network may have expected a deeper relationship in return after providing help, information, and speaking opportunities.

4. Commitment & Consistency

Most people stick with their original decisions despite information that supports changing their course. This is embodied in the Monty Hall Problem, which demonstrates that subjects who choose one door would not switch when given a chance, even when they were informed that the odds were in their favor to make a different choice. In social networking, once a contact is committed to a connection, they are hard pressed to Unfriend or otherwise break that link, and will continue to interact and assist that person.

There are a couple of other principles of persuasion that may be employed in social networks, but weren't necessarily a component of the Robin Sage experiment:

5. Principle of Authority

Authority, whether real or perceived, elicits obedience in many people. The principle of authority is widely used in social engineering, and movies take this to an extreme when an undercover cop intimidates her way into a high security area. This can be used in social networking, directly or indirectly, by invoking the name of someone important (e.g., "I was speaking with General Dempsey last week and he asked me to…") or by fabricating personal credentials designed to impress the target. When invoking someone else's authority, it's important to make sure that person is difficult to contact, usually because they're so high ranking that mere mortals don't have access to them. Make sure they don't have a social networking account.

6. Principle of Scarcity

Rarity increases value. People want to be included in exclusive offers and often make poor choices under pressure. Think of all the commercials on TV with the call to action, "Limited quantities! Act now!", or appealing to your sense of urgency: "Your online banking has been blocked!"

Con men have known about psychological ploys for ages, through intuition instead of documented behavioral models, and we still fall for many of the same scams after centuries of victimization. It hasn't gotten any better online, either: the Robin Sage experiment was successfully reincarnated under a different, but similar, persona by the co-founder of a dating and social dynamics instruction school. Three years after the original presentation, we appear to have learned not much at all.

In the X-Force 2013 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report, we look at the current state of social networking threats and the psychological factors of trust that contribute the success of exploits. Those attacks are shockingly effective in their current manifestations. I predict that they haven't topped out yet in terms of sophistication; there's plenty of room for improvement using the six key principles of influence.

Before anyone accuses me of providing a primer or roadmap to optimize phishing attacks, realize that the principles have been widely known for almost 30 years. The bad guys already know about them. We, the defenders, the cavalry tasked to defend and protect the territory, property, and honor of our enterprises and compatriots, need to be armed for battles involving well honed psychological tactics.

 



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