Black Ops. Should we be worried?

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Here’s what the public is allowed to know:

  1. The NSA, a Defense Department agency created in 1952, falls under the category of a “black” program in the federal budget, a term applied to classified efforts. It’s assumed the annual budget is somewhere around 10 US billion dollars. (others say it could be closer to 30 billion)
  2. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT).
  3. The NSA’s domestic spying program, known in official government documents as the “President’s Surveillance Program,” (“The Program”) was implemented by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
  4. When the NSA’s spying program was first exposed by the New York Times in 2005, President Bush admitted to a small aspect of the program—what the administration labeled the “Terrorist Surveillance Program”—in which the NSA monitored, without warrants, the communications of between 500-1000 people inside the US with suspected connections to Al Qaeda. But other aspects of the Program were aimed not just at targeted individuals, but perhaps millions of innocent Americans never suspected of a crime.
  5. Telecommunications companies also allowed the NSA to install sophisticated communications surveillance equipment in secret rooms at key telecommunications facilities around the country. This equipment gave the NSA unfettered access to large streams of domestic and international communications in real time—what amounted to at least 1.7 billion emails a day, according to the Washington Post. The NSA could then data mine and analyze this traffic for suspicious keywords, patterns, and connections. Again, all of this was done without a warrant in violation of federal law and the Constitution.
  6. The Washington Post was the first journalist to report on Snowden’s documents. He said the U.S. government urged him not to specify by name which companies were involved, but Gellman decided that to name them “would make it real to Americans.”[117] Reports also revealed details of Tempora, a British black-ops surveillance program run by the NSA’s British partner, GCHQ.[115][118] The initial reports included details about the NSA call database, Boundless Informant, and of a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand the NSA millions of Americans’ phone records daily,[119] the surveillance of French citizens’ phone and Internet records, and those of “high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.”[120][121][122] XKeyscore, an analytical tool that allows for collection of “almost anything done on the internet,” was described by The Guardian as a program that shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements: “I, sitting at my desk [could] wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.”[123]

    The NSA’s top-secret black budget, obtained from Snowden by The Washington Post, exposed the successes and failures of the 16 spy agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community,[124] and revealed that the NSA was paying U.S. private tech companies for clandestine access to their communications networks.[125] The agencies were allotted $52 billion for the 2013 fiscal year.

The above information is from various sources on the internet and reveals the extent to which the United States of America will go to protect its citizens. Whether you agree or not, there are people who have made it their life-long work to keep America safe from harm. The author of the Code Raven Series believes that one of these people is a PATRIOT named Luke Raven. Real life is often stranger than fiction.

If you’re curious how this fictional character began his career, read Code Raven. It’s free for the US and the UK this week on Amazon. There are five novellas follow in the series and a sixth novel will be out fall of 2018.

Disclaimer: Of course, this author states emphatically that the entire Raven Group prequel and the ensuing series of novellas are works of fiction. Any resemblance to characters living or dead is entirely coincidental. 

CODE RAVEN-2

I should be dead!

 

4Love The Beat Goes On

Will I die from a broken heart?

I know I’ve caught your attention with my double entendre. But that’s why I wrote it.

What would you do if your doctor gave you six months to live? I’ve heard many answers to this question. Some say, get a second opinion. Well, the second and third and fourth opinions were more depressing than the first!

In 2007 I was experiencing symptoms of heart failure but being the know-it-all that I am, I was self-diagnosing instead of immediately visiting a doctor. I walked around basically having mini-heart attacks without realizing what was happening to me. Women, in general, are neglectful of their health. We tend to be the nurturers and rarely allow ourselves to be nurtured.

For several months I experienced shortness of breath and I decided–after much research on the internet–that I was allergic to sinus medications. Well, in a way I was correct. The “D” in the meds was setting off my already dilated heart. But I had no idea how lucky/unlucky I was. The fact that I lived through that year having mini-heart attacks (layman’s language for your benefit) is its own miracle. And yet, here I am to tell the story.

All this was happening throughout the summer of 2007. In mid-October, I decided to accept an offer to work in Whistler for the winter. After living in Puerto Vallarta full time for several years, I was ready for a change. I packed my red Jeep Liberty and drove by myself from Mexico to Canada. It was amazing. It was exciting, dramatic, stunning and liberating. I did photography and wrote poetry, and stopped at cafes and lived along the sea for two weeks. It was the trip of a lifetime.

Upon the arrival in Whistler, a mountainous region in British Columbia, I was experiencing shortness of breath again. I had a new excuse: I blamed it on the change of altitude!

But all that changed in January of 2008.

I’ve written my memoir of this time, the things I did, and the reasons I believed I had this disease. But, I will tell you one thing. In 2008 the London Cardiomyopathy website online had over 5 million followers. The medical professionals stated emphatically that there was no cure for Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. After six months of treatments, my doctors concurred. The specialist told me to get my affairs in order. 

I waited until 2017 to write my story. I was been ‘cured’ completely since 2012. “What if you die,” one friend said. But I wanted to share my story. After all, we will all die eventually. If I’d given into depression and not done the things that made the difference, I wouldn’t be here to write this story. Think of all the experiences I would have missed, the people I have loved, the birth of my grandson, the books I’ve written and the love I’ve received in my life.

No matter what is going on, this memoir will change your life and remind you to never give up and always believe in miracles.

LOVE The Beat Goes On is on sale on Amazon for downloads at $.99 cents. If this is not affordable for you, I understand. Please contact me on FB Msn and I will gladly send you a copy for free.

Thanks for your love and ongoing support of my passion to write stories for you.

 

You can literally control your mind.

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It’s amazing the conversations and exchange of ideas and philosophies we can have with strangers from around the world if we only open to the connections. I LOVE this video. It’s so simple and explained so beautifully.

Thanks, Rohith, for bringing this video to my attention.

Have a week filled with wonder, joy, and happiness. My gift for you to begin your week.

 

Why do you enjoy writing romance novels?

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I was asked this question on Quora today. It made me think about who I am as an author, and what exactly I write!

I LOVE this question. I never thought of myself as a romance author. But, when I wrote my first published novel, TARGET in the Sun  I received an award for Best in Contemporary Fiction. I had to look up what that meant!

I write from the heart. And there is romance in all things in life. It’s the natural progression of our natures. TARGET was about a relationship between an older woman and a younger man. But it was more about his past, his cartel family, his life growing up on the streets of Mexico, and how he did what he needed to do to survive. I would say that falling in love with an older woman may have been secondary to the story, but that wouldn’t be correct neither. What reviewers say about my work is that I write romance from a different angle.
I’ve since gone on to write Action/Adventure like XPOSED (with romance in it) and Suspense (yes, relationships as well) and am about to embark on the first true romance novel that I’m co-authoring.

The challenge I have with romance is that I’m not sure I believe, wait I KNOW I don’t believe in Happily Ever After or HEA; but, I’m great at HFN, Happy For Now.
Having said all the above, I also live in total denial—according to my friend Lisa. She says I do believe in HEA. I just haven’t found it yet for myself.
So why do I write about love? For the same reason that 28–32% of the male market reads romance! Deep down we all want to be loved. And some of us only find it in books.

 

The Founders Of The World’s Five Largest Companies All Follow The 5-Hour Rule

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Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Warren Buffett. Jeff Bezos. Larry Page. They are all polymaths too.

by Michael Simmons, Serial Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author, Contributor To Fortune, Forbes, HBR, Time, & Many More

(reblog from Thrive Global)

The founders of the five largest companies in the world — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos — all share two uncommon traits. After studying self-made billionaires for many years now, I believe that these two traits are responsible for a lot of their wealth, success, impact, and fame. In fact, I put so much faith in these two traits that I’ve used them in my own life to start companies, be a better writer, be a better husband, and achieve financial security.

Here are the two traits:

  1. Each of them is a voracious learner.
  2. Each of them is a polymath.

Let’s unpack these two terms, and learn a few simple tips for using them in your own life.

First, the definitions. I define a voracious learner as someone who follows the 5-hour rule — dedicating at least five hours per week to deliberate learning. I define a polymath as someone who becomes competent in at least three diverse domains and integrates them into a skill set that puts them in the top 1% of their field. If you model these two traits and you take them seriously, I believe they can have a huge impact on your life and really accelerate your success toward your goals. When you become a voracious learner, you compound the value of everything you’ve learned in the past. When you become a polymath, you develop the ability to combine skills, and you develop a unique skill set, which helps you develop a competitive advantage.

By Bill Gates’ own estimate, he’s read one book a week for 52 years, many of them having nothing to do with software or business. He also has taken an annual two-week reading vacation for his entire career. In a fascinating 1994 Playboy interview, we see that he already thought of himself as a polymath:

PLAYBOY: Do you dislike being called a businessman?

GATES: Yeah. Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe ten percent to business thinking. Business isn’t that complicated. I wouldn’t want to put it on my business card.

PLAYBOY: What, then?

GATES: Scientist. Unless I’ve been fooling myself. When I read about great scientists like, say, Crick and Watson and how they discovered DNA, I get a lot of pleasure. Stories of business success don’t interest me in the same way.

The fact that Gates considers himself a scientist is fascinating given that he dropped out of college and had spent his whole life in the software industry at that point.

Interestingly, Elon Musk doesn’t consider himself a businessman either. In this recent CBS interview, Musk says he thinks of himself as more of a designer, engineer, technologist, and even wizard.

The list goes on. Larry Page has been known to spend time talking in depth with everyone from Google janitors to nuclear fusion scientists, always on the lookout for what he can learn from them.

Warren Buffett has pinpointed the key to his success this way: “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”

Jeff Bezos has built his whole company around learning on a massive scale via experimentation and has also been an avid reader his whole life.

Finally, Steve Jobs famously combined various disciplines and looked at it as Apple’s competitive advantage, going so far as to say:

“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that makes our hearts sing.”

And, of course, the founders of these five companies aren’t the only massively successful individuals who share these two traits. As I’ve written about before, if we expanded the list to a sample of other self-made billionaires, we quickly see Oprah Winfrey, Ray Dalio, David Rubenstein, Phil Knight, Howard Marks, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Charles Koch, and many others share similar habits.

Why would some of the busiest people in the world invest their most precious resource — time — into learning about topics seemingly unconnected to their fields, like fusion power, font design, biographies of scientists, and doctors’ memoirs?

Each of them commands organizations of thousands of the smartest people in the world. They’ve delegated almost every task in their lives and businesses to the best and brightest. So why have they held on to this intense amount of learning?

After writing several articles attempting to answer these questions, this is what I’ve ultimately come to:

At the highest levels, learning isn’t something you do to prepare for your work. Learning is the most important work. It is the core competency to build. It’s the thing you never delegate. And it’s one of the ultimate drivers of long-term performance and success.

As I came to this realization, I wondered: Why isn’t it obvious that we should all become voracious learners and polymaths throughout our whole lives given that we live in an increasingly complex, rapidly changing, advanced-knowledge economy? Why does the average person think of deliberate learning as an optional thing to do on the side?

I think it’s because of three strong messages we’ve all been taught — in school, in college, and in general society — that may have been true in the past but are definitely no longer true. Here’s how these three lies break down:

  • Lie #1: Disciplines are the best way to categorize knowledge.
  • Lie #2: Most learning happens in school/college.
  • Lie #3: You must pick one field and specialize in it.

These beliefs are so insidious that they’ve destroyed our intuition about learning and knowledge, and they ultimately hold us back from creating the success we want. If we can become aware of them, we can rectify them, just as the most successful people in the world have done.

To continue with this insightful article please go to THRIVE GLOBAL (Arianna Huffington founder of  HuffPost) for more!

 

Wow! Thank you​!

 

#1 Best Seller

 

I love seeing the Code Raven series at #1 XPOSED in Amazon FREE International Mystery and Crime. And it’s all thanks to you!

XPOSED 

After seizing hundreds of million dollars from an illegal arms-for-drugs deal between a rogue CIA faction, and a South American cartel, Luci retires from clandestine operations and hides out in Central America with her four-year-old daughter. Until she receives the message: Get out now!

XPOSED is a wild action-adventure novella that uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.

A suspense thriller of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.

If you haven’t yet downloaded your free copy, do it now before the promo is over. Here’s what reviewers are saying:

on August 9, 2018
XPOSED: Code Raven 1 by Lynda Filler

5 Stars

I am absolutely loving these books, I’m worn out because I feel like I’m working as hard as they are to save the US. Luke Raven is got to be one of my favorite lead characters ever, and actually, I’m loving all of them. I’m feeling a little bad for Zach and hope that something happens in the next book to make him smile a bit more.

This was fast paced and there were new characters brought in to the mix but the way they are brought in is just awesome. I just can’t believe how invested I am in this story and these people after 2 very short books. So much happens and in looking back I am totally impressed with how this author does this and makes me feel like I read a full novel when both so far have been under 100 pages.

I can not wait to dive into the next…

Awesome!!!

on August 7, 2018
What a mind Ms. Filler has as the Raven Group takes on a new ‘associate’ in the form of Samaar, code name Luci. Badass lady all around! In this first adventure, the VERY high tech Raven team have just rescued Luci and her 4 YO daughter, Alice, from sure death by a South American Cartel. She, along with several others of the team, are thrust into Paris, to Shanghai and a quick stop in Sedona, AZ. Top secret vehicles on land, sea and in the air. WHOO HOO! What a ride!
on July 31, 2018
XPOSED: Code Raven 1 by Lynda Filler is the first book in the series and boy does it pack a
punch. It is a quick and easy read that has you intrigued till the end with all the action and alpha men and women who protect the world from the evil, the greed, the power, the scum. Each and every character has their own reasons for what they do but they all have one thing in common and that is rid the world from those who take and kill without a second thought. Lynda has written a story that you will not be able to let go of. The mystery and suspense have you so enthralled that you will block out everything around you and focused on the story. Can’t wait to see what happens in Abducted.
ENJOY!
xposed

Love, seriously?

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Why is it that the one you love, never seems to love you back enough? Why is it, the one you don’t love, pours out his heart as if you are the last woman on earth? And his heart will be crushed, broken into a gazillion pieces (I have no idea what that would be in gigabytes-their language, not mine) if I don’t concede I’m “the woman he’s been searching for” his whole life?

Why is it when you’re following your dreams, and your gifts surround you, and beckon to you with love and joy, that you can’t see the forest for the trees? And tears flow when someone smiles at you and offers kindness?

Why is it that in a world gone mad, fast and furious political mayhem, disasters plaguing all continents, that my personal needs are the only thing I can focus on? Where is my social awareness? I assume it’s overwhelmed with self-pity, sometimes hanging on every word from you as if I can’t breathe if I don’t hear your voice or feel your love.

Before I met you, I took pleasure in simple things. Life was un/complicated un/interesting un/demanding. I asked less of me and nothing from you–because I didn’t know I would find those feelings for another ever again in my life.

And, it’s not like I didn’t have that conversation with myself. You know the one, yeh, the one where you tell yourself that this is too good to last, too intense to sustain, too passionate to be real.

The falling in love is the best part, the living in love better yet, the living in uncertainty–there is nothing worse.

I thought I left those days behind me. But then you turned up. I sighed, knowing this was not going to be good, right?

Dear Heart, really??? Don’t you think you’ve had enough? After all, we healed from incurable once before! Do you have to turn incurable (of the romantic kind) into a habit?

I thought normal, sane, controlled, ordinary (my version anyway) and calm were doing just fine.

“And then there was you.”

 

Do you think people in general over-share?

Thanks, Jan. What do you think of this article? rijanjks posted on her blog? Visit and sign on to her insightful and cool posts!!  

 

We live in such an electronically connected age. It brings the thought to mind about what we share on social media.

Do you think people in general over-share?

Oversharing

I’m going to pick on Facebook.  Take a look at most anyone’s Facebook page and odds are that you’ll know where they’ve been (Check-ins) (PARIS, nodding head vigorously), what they’ve eaten in the past few days, (yep, Guacamole with Felix!) what interests them, who their friends are, their children and grandchildren, their marital status, their birthday, and most likely their political views (at least I don’t share THAT!).

Maybe that’s good. Maybe that’s bad. I suppose it’s all in perspective.

The reality is that it is the world we live in.

I made a decision early on with Facebook that I would not post anything negative on my page. For the most part, I’ve kept with that decision. Of course, I have days when I feel down. Should I post it? Probably not. Because, by the time everyone finishes responding and trying to cheer me up, I’ll have forgotten all about it and wonder what they’re talking about.  So, I try to keep it free of negativity. ✅ When I feel down is when I’ll post something like one of these. 🙂

Another social media rule I practice is to avoid politics and religion.✅ I firmly believe Facebook is not the place to have heated arguments, and yet I see it happen all the time.

Political Views

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE FACEBOOK! (MY CAPS and emoji) ❤️ It is the perfect way for me to see pictures of my step-great-granddaughter in Las Vegas, Nevada whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting. It is the perfect place to share my blog posts and pictures of interesting places I go, as well as discover new and interesting places others visit. It is the perfect place to promote events and celebrate birthdays. It is the perfect place to celebrate milestones and anniversaries. It is the perfect place to stay in touch with friends and family that I don’t see on a regular basis.

But, have we turned Facebook into an over-sharing cesspool? I’d really like to hear your thoughts about all of the open sharing on social media in general. Where is it headed?

I know most of you follow John Howell’s blog and see his Top Ten Lists. Hmmm, John, have you ever done one about posting on Facebook?  Well, if not, here’s an idea. “Top Ten Things NOT to Share on Facebook.” 🙂

People-have-really-gotten-comfortable-not-only-sharing-more-information-and-different-kinds-but-more-openly-and-with-more-peopleand-That-social-...-Mark-Zuckerberg

How do you know when your idea is big enough to write a book about?

If it’s big in your mind and heart that’s all that matters.

I write contemporary novels (amongst other genres). I know that what I write doesn’t necessarily fall into the strict categories of the romance field nor the mystery-suspense fields.

But I have huge stories inside of me, and they are more significant than genres—they beg to be released from my soul.

Write what your heart tells you to write. If your ideas are “big,” yet they don’t come from that place inside you that begs for release, then who will want to read them? If you start to write a story and can’t seem to continue, maybe because it’s following what’s “in style” at the moment, then the authenticity of your work will not show through.

I lead with my heart, nothing else matters to me. And if no-one buys a book I write, I will still be compelled to write exactly the way my soul leads me.

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You might enjoy Lynda’s latest Contemporary Fiction

 Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money

Lie to Me front red

Lie to Me: An Exposé on Sex for Money
“is insanely captivating, entertaining and exciting. It’s a spellbinding story that explores the psychology of sex in a way that defies Coelho’s Eleven Minutes.” R. Dzemo 5 STARS READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS
From a “powerful and unforgettable” author and winner of the Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC for Target in the Sun comes another powerful fictional story, Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money.

How many lives have been ruined for the pleasure of an orgasm?

Forty-something Layla Duncan, a women’s magazine writer, has a dangerous obsession with men who sell steamy sexual encounters to vacationing women in Puerto Vallarta. She infiltrates the underworld of male prostitution, interviews several men and begins to write a mesmerizing exposé of their lives.

Before long the lines between Layla’s personal life and professional assignment become blurred, and she finds herself questioning her value system in a titillating yet disturbing way.

Sparks fly one night when she takes a break from her writing and meets the sensual twenty-something Mateo at a local nightclub. The charismatic yet quiet young Mexican man seems oblivious to his powerful sexual aura but is immediately turned on by Layla. The one-night-stand turns into sporadic hook-ups, while two emotionally damaged lovers long for something neither can put into words.

Lynda Filler has once again delivered a fast-paced, sexy and sometimes gut-wrenching page-turner that will unnerve you and leave you breathless.