Security and Technology Briefs: Nucleus Explosion, Threat Intelligence, Security Feeds, More

It’s always interesting to me to watch the reaction to dark net drug markets fold and likely abscond with the bitcoin of everyone involved. Looks like Nucleus either exit-scammed or got hacked.

A good introduction to threat intelligence by Farsight Security. Also a good intro to reputation systems.

SwiftOnSecurity is one of the most delightful and knowledgeable accounts on twitter, and they’ve recently shared their OPML of security feeds. Go through and add relevant ones to your RSS reader.

New York Magazine was hit with a DDoS attack and taken offline after publishing a story involving 3/4 of the Cosby accusers.

Not new, but amusing: erroring trashcan.

And, apropos of nothing, a federal officer was injured in an explosion when the meth lab he was apparently building in an empty National Institute of Standards and Technology facility blew up (via Reddit).

Kasich: Fiddling While Lehman Burns

GOP presidential candidate John Kasich was busy yesterday touting all he learned about business while working for Lehman Brothers, the financial services firm that failed spectacularly in 2008. (transcript)

You know, I — I — I left Washington and had a great time. You — you know, I was — worked at Lehman Brothers and learned about businesses, and I went to Fox News…

It should be remembered that Lehman Brothers was forced into bankruptcy after basically refusing to find another firm to buy it; Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson straight up told Lehman CEO Dick Fuld to find a buyer. Fuld made a few limp efforts, entirely convinced instead that a government bailout would come.

John Kasich was the Managing Director of a financial firm that failed because it sat idle in acute crisis and expected big government to come save it. Color me skeptical when he refers back to his Lehman-era business expertise.

An Open Letter To My Legislators On Greece

In 1919, British Economist John Maynard Keynes resigned from his country’s delegation to the Paris Peace Conference as well as his post in the Treasury Department in direct protest of harsh punitive war reparations placed upon Germany. Keynes is one of the fathers of our modern economic system, lending his name to the Keynesian school of thought. He called the Versailles talks “a scene of nightmare” and left the other participants so they could “gloat over the destruction of Europe” in their own peace. Later that same year Keynes wrote an entire book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, which laid out the subject in stark terms:

The policy of reducing Germany to servitude for a generation, of degrading the lives of millions of human beings, and of depriving a whole nation of happiness should be abhorrent and detestable, –abhorrent and detestable, even if it were possible, even if it enriched ourselves, even if it did not sow the decay of the whole civilised life of Europe.

As we see in the abject failure of austerity measures to bring wellness to a population or its economy, in an ironic twist of Keynes’ fears, Germany seems to have its sights set on impoverishing Greece for a generation or more. As an American I believe this is a threat to our national interests in a unified, productive Europe. As a person I believe the actions of Germany and the Troika are reprehensible and must be countered by those who believe in freedom, sovereignty and helping others up rather than keeping them down.

Greece surely bears some measure of responsibility for their financial state, especially as regards weak or fraudulent accounting prior to 2009 and infuriatingly lax tax collection. A clear mandate has emerged from Greek voters even before the referendum: Greece is to operate responsibly. But their very inclusion in the European Union set them up for failure at their own great expense and to the enrichment of others. Entry into the European Union carries a number of requirements, including specific debt-to-GDP and deficit-to-GDP percentages that Greece had no hope of meeting at that point. At the request of several EU countries keen to see Greece brought in, Investment bank Goldman Sachs reportedly made hundreds of millions of dollars in the financial engineering used to hide Greek debt. Those complex financial instruments came due and are wreaking havoc upon not just the Greek economy but now their national sovereignty as well.

Computer programmer and economic commentator Steve Randy Waldman posted several times about Greece recently with a fair amount of information I hadn’t heard before. The most startling was this:

European banking regulations attached zero risk weights to all EU sovereigns, rendering it nearly costless for banks to simply manufacture deposits to purchase sovereign debt. Eurozone sovereigns were default-risk-free as a regulatory matter and currency-risk-free from the perspective of Eurozone banks. The European financial system was architected to make lending to Greece — and Spain and Portugal and Italy — a money machine for bankers with little career risk over a medium term. Sketchy credits tend to punch above their weight in terms of volume of issuance, so there was a lot of nice paper to buy. The bankers who lent to these states understood perfectly well that there was in fact a long-term risk, an uncertainty, a constructive ambiguity. They lent anyway, and took home very nice salaries and bonuses for doing so. It was conventional to lend, the mainstream consensus was that credit risk was over and worry warts were old-fashioned, Europe was strong and would work this out. If the worry warts turned out to be right, it was likely years away, IBGYBG.

Given what’s been known about the Greek economy for a good long while now, the idea that their sovereign debt was weighted zero-risk as a regulator matter means that, as Waldman also explains, the economic backstop of moral hazard (something invoked early and often in our own 2008 financial crisis) fell to the wayside. Creditors were able to extend much more money to Greece much faster without worrying about the fallout – and making gobs of cash for their own firms in the meantime. When the house of cards came crashing down the engineers would be long gone.

For the record, my sophisticated hard-working elite European interlocutors, the term moral hazard traditionally applies to creditors. It describes the hazard to the real economy that might result if investors fail to discriminate between valuable and not-so-valuable projects when they allocate society’s scarce resources as proxied by money claims. Lending to a corrupt, clientelist Greek state that squanders resources on activities unlikely to yield growth from which the debt could be serviced? That is precisely, exactly, what the term “moral hazard” exists to discourage.

Moral hazard having been cast aside the money flowed fast and furious to Greece – until it didn’t. And suddenly the regulatory structure of the European Union claims innocence as the European Central Bank, the IMF and Germany all center their gunsights on the Greek populace in order to make creditors whole rather than admitting to the malfeasance on their own parts for creating this scenario in the first place. We now see the lengths to which Germany and the Troika want to take this, and it includes regime change and/or ouster from the EU. The Europeans forced the resignation of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, and have reportedly demanded that of Prime Minister Tsipras as well. According to the Guardian, the organization Greece is supposed to turn over $50 billion in state assets too is a German subsidiary corporation located in Luxembourg whose chairman is German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. Schauble announced its inception two years ago alongside then-Greek PM Antonis Samaras (who was until last week the opposition leader). This is former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recollection of a 2012 meeting with Schauble.

The destruction of the Syriza party and the entrapment of the Greek populace in soul-crushing austerity is both highly engineered and totally unconscionable – especially on the part of Germany. French Economist Thomas Piketty recently gave a fantastic interview to Die Zeit in which he outlined Germany’s history of unpaid reparations. Piketty’s a sensation at the moment in part thanks to his book on capital taking the economic world by storm.

Piketty: My book recounts the history of income and wealth, including that of nations. What struck me while I was writing is that Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.

Piketty goes on to talk about historical examples of states moving from saturating indebtedness to sustainability:

But wait: history shows us two ways for an indebted state to leave delinquency. One was demonstrated by the British Empire in the 19th century after its expensive wars with Napoleon. It is the slow method that is now being recommended to Greece. The Empire repaid its debts through strict budgetary discipline. This worked, but it took an extremely long time. For over 100 years, the British gave up two to three percent of their economy to repay its debts, which was more than they spent on schools and education. That didn’t have to happen, and it shouldn’t happen today. The second method is much faster. Germany proved it in the 20th century. Essentially, it consists of three components: inflation, a special tax on private wealth, and debt relief.

And specifically on Germany and debt relief.

After the war ended in 1945, Germany’s debt amounted to over 200% of its GDP. Ten years later, little of that remained: public debt was less than 20% of GDP. Around the same time, France managed a similarly artful turnaround. We never would have managed this unbelievably fast reduction in debt through the fiscal discipline that we today recommend to Greece. Instead, both of our states employed the second method with the three components that I mentioned, including debt relief. Think about the London Debt Agreement of 1953, where 60% of German foreign debt was cancelled and its internal debts were restructured.

We come, then, to the actual referendum, its portrayal, and its aftermath. A referendum in which the country, for better or worse, voted to reject external austerity measures – measures that are now apparently being imposed regardless.

joke

Germany and Finland pull no punches in describing Greece as recalcitrants spoiled by years of access to other people’s money – and for that, apparently, they should suffer. Without recognition of the change in administrations or mandates, or the EU’s own culpability in arranging the current crisis from start to finish. But no: the Greeks are portrayed as lazy, entitled and in the midst of a toddler-style temper tantrum. Few articles covered it better than Slovenian political philosopher Slavoj Zizek in the New Statesman:

The debt providers and caretakers of debt basically accuse the Syriza government of not feeling enough guilt – they are accused of feeling innocent. That’s what is so disturbing for the EU establishment about the Syriza government: that it admits debt, but without guilt. They got rid of the superego pressure. Varoufakis personified this stance in his dealings with Brussels: he fully acknowledged the weight of the debt, and he argued quite rationally that, since the EU policy obviously didn’t work, another option should be found.

Zizek goes on to explain the implications of the Grexit crisis for democracies around the world:

An ideal is gradually emerging from the European establishment’s reaction to the Greek referendum, the ideal best rendered by the headline of a recent Gideon Rachman column in the Financial Times: “Eurozone’s weakest link is the voters”.

In this ideal world, Europe gets rid of this “weakest link” and experts gain the power to directly impose necessary economic measures – if elections take place at all, their function is just to confirm the consensus of experts. The problem is that this policy of experts is based on a fiction, the fiction of “extend and pretend” (extending the payback period, but pretending that all debts will eventually be paid).

Nobel-winning American economist Paul Krugman put it into similar terms in the New York Times, referencing a hashtag that became wildly popular on twitter:

Even if all of that is true, this Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag ThisIsACoup is exactly right. This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief. It is, presumably, meant to be an offer Greece can’t accept; but even so, it’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for.

Simply put: America has a huge stake in seeing the European project succeed and has been noticeably, conspicuously silent about what looks to be a new type of regime change and denial of another country’s sovereignty and democracy imposed by central authorities. That the central authorities involved are some of our most important allies seems to be more important than the concept of democracy.

Beyond that: the humanity here is important as well. Austerity offers no comforts for the group upon which it is imposed. The austerity Greece has dealt with for years now results in trends like a massive uptick in child poverty and material deprivation between 2008 and 2012. The referendum stood as a reaction in large part to not just graphs, tables and statistics like that but the lived experience of economic hopelessness. A lived experience likely to worsen if Germany, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have their way in a country removed from its own decisionmaking process.

One of the most important factors I’ve seen help raise people up from harsh conditions is a sense of agency, a sense that they’re aware of, can control and execute their own actions and change those conditions. Write their own story. And that is explicitly what the European Union seeks to deny Greece.

Sharks, Vultures, Zombies and Spikes in the CDS Spread

Chinese market concerning me perhaps more than it should, lately. Perhaps not enough. With $3 trillion in value wiped off the map and another $1+ trillion frozen at the trading desk it looks pretty bleak. And it has for a while – they’ve been spending four to six dollars for every dollar of growth created, surely a losing formula. Given how intertwined our economy is with China’s maybe it’s worth some heightened consideration.

The other night after a few hours of staring at the issue to see who would blink first (I lost) I dragged my carcass to bed tired and worried. It had been a long day and sleep sounded like a great idea. No sooner did my head hit the pillow than an idea shot into my brain and had me sitting bolt upright. It wouldn’t go away – I had to scrawl out the basics before I could settle down at all.

I found myself thinking about Bear Stearns.

Bear Stearns Companies (also known as BSC) was an investment bank, trading and brokerage firm that folded in the midst of the 2008 crisis for a whole host of reasons. The market in general a horror show, several factors worsened BSC’s position. First, two major hedge funds founded by them had just collapsed under a cloud of fraud. Second, their highest executives seemed oddly disconnected from the company at critical moments. Third, they had precious little good will in their environment after refusing to participate in an earlier industry bailout of another firm. And finally: a number of subfactors combined to create a fairly traditional run on a bank that, like others at the time, relied heavily on overnight “repo”: repurchase agreements that largely funded BSC’s daily business.

One of the contributing factors to the run manifested in a series of calls to other financial institutions from an office inside the Treasury Department, said to be the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In these phone calls a federal official asked how much exposure (level of financial risk) the recipient had to BSC – but followed by an entreaty to not share the nature of the phone call with the rest of the firm, especially their trading desk. The expected and inevitable happened – and everyone began pulling out of what they could with BSC and shorting BSC stock. Despite, obviously, the request otherwise.

Compare that with the moves made in China’s even more centralized market lately, which started out with money being pumped into investment firms by the government alongside a request to stop shorting the market. A request that seems to have been honored – perhaps in large part due to the real likelihood of being arrested by the CCP for failing to comply.

The juxtaposition between the two markets is interesting. The mid-crisis developed market in which good will and civic duty end up largely laughable – in which traders move in for the kill – versus the developing market that yields to government requests encouraging stability. Of course, the CCP didn’t stop there – as mentioned above, much trading has been frozen.

The principle here troubles me. The idea that a market stands proudly as more developed when it engages in predation. But while this principle isn’t friendly to our conceptions of democracy and market action, it may not be wrong. Propping up failed companies for the sake of appearance doesn’t serve a market or a country’s citizens that well, especially in the long run. We’ve seen enough evidence of that on our end. Certain “zombie banks” shamble along lonely roads on which no one joins them but for government intervention and usually which banks those are is the worst-kept secret in a financial sector. The hope in saving them from insolvency (and, not coincidentally, preserving a certain share price until stakeholders can get rid of it and leave taxpayers holding the bag) is that it will stabilize a volatile market in which rivers of credit run dry. The ultimate apocalyptic landscape for a free-market democracy.

The problem is laid bare in a blistering sun baking the scarred landscape: there’s no hiding from it, in the sense that once a firm’s liquidity is questionable enough to require intervention that firm’s been infected and well on its way to zombification itself, if it hasn’t turned already. Zombie firms spend each day automatically performing actions they remember from when they were alive, shambling up and down the road searching for someone else to give them credit or engage as a counterparty. Once the sun sets nights turn cold and empty as they try to figure out how to get through the next day without a decaying arm falling off.

My fear here is that for the sake of stability China becomes a dark economy – almost ceaselessly pumping money into market-shamblers under the cover of night. The CCP reasserts massive controls from Beijing, illegalizes most economic journalism and simply paints an acceptable picture for the next 5-10 years while no one inside or outside the system knows what the hell is really going on. It’s the only way for high-level CCP members to preserve their massive wealth and revenue generation, and short of execution they are not going to give that up. And even as a Dark Economy, China’s got so much volume that it would still be too big a pool for external investors to not dive into.

Maybe there’s a better way to put it than predation – though taking weak members of the financial herd is certainly applicable. Maybe instead it’s worth considering this part of democratic capitalism as populated by vultures. Certainly done before but usually without recognizing this: vultures are a mechanism to protect ecosystems from disease. Environments with a lack of vultures often see a catastrophic rise in feral dog populations, which are a huge ticking time bomb for rabies.

Of course our problem isn’t solved by our current market: the vultures like to turn on us as well. Far too often.

Referring to our own economy as a developed capitalism may be premature, then. Unless that predatory behavior is indeed a defining characteristic – in which case our future may lie somewhere else, far away from sharks, vultures and zombies. I can hope.

Briefs: Women in Combat, NYSE, AI and Legal Work, OPM, Rothfuss

NYSE being vague about yesterday’s major trading glitch. I’m not convinced, but I’ve got no evidence to the otherwise.

Two lawyers talking about how artificial intelligence may affect legal work.

The Daily Beast on how OPM’s IT security department had no one with IT security experience.

The parody DPRK News twitter account ended up as a Fox News reference.

Excellent TED talk highlighting American women on the front lines in Afghanistan.

Of special note:

Author and all-around awesome person Patrick Rothfuss has started a new podcast with Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity fame (or infamy). Really loved their first conversation – check it out here.

The Renewed Importance of Sound

There’s been an uptick in our recognition of the value of sound lately. Might be surprising in a world dominated by folks staring at phones and monitors all day – or make perfect sense, given that sound allows us to enter and engage with a different sensory domain than the visual in a world so visually busy.

Take Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center identifying infected computer network (botnet) communications by sound rather than signal.

The stew of infections in New York has a signature honk. The stew in Tokyo sounds almost like human voices. But what can sound really tell us about cybercrime?

Rubin, the designer, says the sound patterns “might prompt someone to ask a question or wonder about something that hadn’t previously been noticed before. Why are there all these hits coming in from this particular slice of the globe?”

Or consider the new field of soundscape ecology, in which scientists measure environmental changes and ecosystem health through analyzing its sounds. Here’s a short NOVA video on the subject.

Sound has also become a popular subject for TED conferences. Widen the perspective from ecosystem to everything and you get Physicist Janna Levin’s TED talk on exploring the universe through sound. It’s garnered nearly a million views since 2011.

We think of space as a silent place. But physicist Janna Levin says the universe has a soundtrack — a sonic composition that records some of the most dramatic events in outer space. (Black holes, for instance, bang on spacetime like a drum.)

Or dial your perspective straight into the personal experience of sound and you find Daniel Kish’s talk about using sonar by tongue clicks to navigate a world he can’t see. 800,000 views since March – it was ubiquitously shared across most of my feeds.

There are, of course, many more examples across technology and culture, especially recently. I’m left wondering at this point: is the resurgence of sound a reaction to a world so visually busy, or is it the next step in learning to augmenting ourselves and our systems now that we’ve got a better handle on the sighted world?

A Few Recommended News Sources

Have had a few people recently ask me where I get my news online – specifically, general news/current events rather than just tech and security stuff. Despite my thoroughly biased viewpoint on things, I try to cast a pretty wide net when it comes to reading news and analysis so that I don’t go into things half-cocked. This does not include Fox News Channel – though I do go to some of their analysts outside of the network for less melodramatic, more professional viewpoints.

Truth be told, one of my biggest sources is twitter – where I can very consciously curate what my feed shows in order to get a broad but high-quality news stream. However, that’s a beast for a different time.

I use Feedly to read most of my web-based news; just pop the RSS feed into feedly and it collects new posts for me. And this is by no means an all-inclusive list – I average between 50 and 120 subscriptions in my RSS reader depending on how overworked I’m feeling. Take these as highlights/important nodes. Also keep in mind I rely heavily on podcasts, which you can find here: Current Podcast Subscriptions.

News in general:

The Guardian – UK-based newspaper that does excellent journalism. Originally broke the Snowden leaks, among other stories.

Wall Street Journal – Heresy for a liberal to favor the Wall Street Journal over the New York Times, but I do – I prefer their reporting, as long as I stay away from the editorial page.

Washington Post – More and more lately I’ve found myself at the Washington Post lately reading great articles.

The Daily Beast – can get a little click-baity but it’s had some good natsec/foreign policy work lately, especially from Shane Harris and Noah Shachtman.

The Intercept – The Intercept is a new media project fronted by Glenn Greenwald (who broke the Snowden story) and Jeremy Scahill among other journalists, and largely paid for by Ebay magnate Pierre Omidyar. Very, very biased – delights in reporting on NSA leaks, anything embarrassing to the US. Gets tiring after a while but they can have good stuff.

Five Thirty-Eight – Data geeks doing amazing work on sports, politics and other top stories.

Vice – They like to be a little too edgy just for the purpose of being edgy, but they’ve also put reporters in places no one else would – like smack in the middle of IS territory in Syria.

National Security: Lawfare – an INCREDIBLE source for good, deep thinking on natsec issues on both sides of the aisle.

20 Committee – Former NSA analyst and naval war college professor of national security affairs John Schindler. Very right-of-center. I disagree with him on so very many topics, but he’s a good, intelligent, important read.

Information Security: Schneier on Security – Crypto expert Bruce Schneier on hacks, attacks and security – lots of analysis of NSA leaks, critical of mass surveillance from a technical perspective, very smart.

Legal: The Volokh Conspiracy – Volokh is one of the oldest, best-loved law blogs on the web. Really intricate legal thinking from many perspectives, and often multiple perspectives on the same issue – authors regularly disagree with each other in subsequent posts and fight it out.

Technology: Motherboard – a Vice subset does great work with tech.

Emergent Futures – well-curated tumblr with really good, next-level future-tech info

News Briefs: Reddit, Wifi, Comey’s Conflating, Combat troops vs. ISIS, more

Surprising news that Reddit nearly decentralized last year. Guessing after last week we’re about to see a reconcentration of authority.

Rob Graham on Google’s ‘Project Fi’ virtual mobile phone.

Motherboard on a fantastic long-range wifi proxy.

Milton Security: Harvard University breached.

Susan Landau at Lawfare with a great post on FBI Director Comey conflating the lone wolf threat and the encryption issue.

Brookings debate on whether to put boots on the ground to fight ISIS. Incredibly important conversation to engage in, and on an intelligent, mutually respecting basis. Need more conversations like these across our society.

Piketty on Germany and Greece. And an amazing project trying to crowdfund Greece’s 1.6B Euro payment.

Slate on Greece’s rejection of austerity through its referendum.

On a similar point, here’s the Guardian on where Greek bailout money went.

And from the FT via Tyler Cowen,

The Shanghai Composite has now fallen 12.1 per cent since Monday, its third consecutive week of double-digit losses since hitting a seven-year high on June 12.

The Shanghai index is firmly in bear market territory, down 28.6 per cent since the June peak, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite has fallen 33.2 per cent.

There were also signs on Friday that the stock market turmoil is beginning to reverberate beyond China. The Australian dollar, often traded as a proxy for China growth, is down 1.2 per cent to a six-year low of US$0.7539.

The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese daily newspaper, on Friday quoted multiple futures traders as saying they had received phone calls from the China Financial Futures Exchange instructing them not to short the market.

Independence Day

Independence Day swings back around and I find myself, perhaps more intensely than ever before, a troubled patriot. Still in love with my country, still believing in its greatness and that it can be even greater, still wracked with doubt over some of its actions.

Last week brought me unmitigated pride: first the Supreme Court upheld Affordable Care Act subsidies. Then the court declared marriage equality nationwide. Not sure I can find a time in recent years I felt so proud of the progress my country made, no less that it happened in forty-eight hours. Two of my biggest issues, health care and equality – in the bag. My feelings almost extended into euphoria.

Other issues intervened. Especially that as we celebrated Supreme Court rulings people were burning black southern churches. There is little more horrifying to me, and not only had the fires become a trend but that they received so little coverage in the media. The progress, the amazing progress, gained against the Confederate flag in recent weeks heartened me but the battles left to fight will be long and dangerous – not the least because certain points will lend to despair.

The wider arc of politics concerns me just as much. A legislature behold to whichever private interests provide the most money and heavily populated with people interested in little more than obstructing the other side. A justice system gripped by an internal culture frightened of justice and change. A news media dedicated to views and clicks rather than investigation and truth.

An executive that seems utterly divorced from all but the few issues it chooses to engage with. That refuses to confront extremism except through the one tactic guaranteed to increase extremist recruitment. That justifies activity abroad and at home with classified courts, laws and legal interpretations. The top office of the land operating with flagrant disregard for freedom of information. Even its landmark trade deal is secret.

A government overall that appears to have accepted that we can no longer do big things. Infrastructure decays and mass transit across the country is constantly in budget crisis. Our astronauts catch rides to the space station with Russia. Gotcha politics and psychotically-strong fear of vulnerability turned greatness into a thing we can only feel nostalgia for. Somewhere along the line we began to perceive failure as an end-state rather than an indicator toward the right answers. We forgot the lessons of Edison and Curie and NASA. We forgot the way we learned to ride a damn bicycle, or walk, or love.

There is so much reason to hope. The acts I see every day – the individual kindnesses and courageous and innovative nature of so many – but we forgot somewhere these and more apply on the national level too, and the global.

At the end of the Revolutionary War George Washington delayed his triumphant re-entry into New York while soldiers stripped a single remaining British flag from a pole in Battery Park. Last week Bree Newsome scaled a pole herself to bring down an even more toxic flag. She didn’t have the Continental Army at her back and those hostile to her were surely not in retreat. She could’ve failed in dozens of ways. She did it anyway.

We are all capable of amazing things. History only tells us how amazing we’ve been so far, though. The present provides an opportunity to show how amazing we can be. As individuals and a country.

Happy Independence Day.