Do the American people understand how potentially damaging the recent Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach by Chinese hackers was? How about the Russian hack of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last spring? Were they a Cyber 9/11, as some intelligence officials say, or was it much ado about nothing?

Some security experts are calling these events “a national security failure of extraordinary proportions.” Ret. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden said, “This is a tremendously big deal…and we should be embarrassed. The U.S. and the American people are an easy target for foreign and domestic hackers. The government’s ability regarding cyber espionage is raw incompetence.”

Hayden’s assessments should be heeded. He is the only person to have served as director of both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He shared his thoughts with Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker in a June 22 interview.

There are evil people out there who want to do us harm. We can be naïve about it, we can ignore these attacks by doing nothing in retaliation, or we can treat them as we did the Cold War and try to play the espionage game better than they do.

“Americans haven’t decided how they want the government to respond to cyber threats,” Hayden said. China’s version of the CIA, the Ministry of State Security, is believed to have hacked the OPM and stole 14 million sets of records.

Ret. Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was impressed by China’s ability to pull off this caper and said he wasn’t sure the U.S. would be able to mastermind a similar security breach. Future wars may take place in the cyber domain.

Congressman Will Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, member of the Homeland Security Committee and a former senior adviser with FusionX, the cyber security firm, says America’s digital infrastructure is under constant attack by our adversaries and not enough is being done. And, managers of government agencies are not being held accountable for major security debacles.

Many people may have forgotten the cyber attack back in the spring. Russian hackers hit the IRS and grabbed 100,000 tax returns and used them to request 15,000 fraudulent refunds. Were these small cyber assaults test runs for bigger future invasions into government, military and corporate computer systems?

In the OPM breach, the Chinese took possession of sensitive information on everyone from current cabinet officials to U.S. spies. What our enemies could do with this information is very serious. It puts thousands of lives in danger.

“We only steal stuff to keep you free and to keep you safe…we do not steal stuff to make you rich,” Hayden said. “Our enemies will hack our businesses to steal proprietary secrets and use them to sabotage our economy or put our financial system in chaos.”

Hayden says our lack of defensive action is a mistake. He warns us: “the longer we procrastinate making those decisions…the more likely those cyber attacks will continue.” Some people treasure their personal security while others feel their personal lives are already exposed on various forms of Social Media.

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Some people won’t eat day-old bread. So what does that say about the report two weeks ago out of China about the discovery of ‘zombie’ meat?

Fourteen gangs were charged with smuggling more than 100,000 tons of 40-year-old frozen chicken, beef and pork into China. The expired meat was valued at nearly $500 million.

Customs officials said importers were bringing in food infested with bacteria and soaked in hydrogen peroxide to make it appear fresh and edible. How could frozen meat be kept in storage for 40 years without someone noticing?

Wouldn’t a warehouse employee bring “old inventory” to the attention of an inventory manager? Then after 40 years, someone had to say “let’s offer this product to smuggling gangs at a very low price, and see if they can slip it past official food inspectors.”

OVERSET FOLLOWS:******

How did the human race ever survive this long?

Today, does anyone not have a food allergy of some type? We’re urged to eliminate wheat (gluten), all forms of corn, dairy, sugar, grains, eggs and salt from our diets. We should avoid most processed and manufactured foods because of what’s used to make them.

A June 26 article in the Milwaukee Sentinel featured a new bakery (Blooming Lotus) that avoids grains altogether, along with dairy, eggs and cane sugar. They make their own chocolate chunks and their flours are derived from nuts and seeds.

Owners Susan Goulet and Lars Schloemer took the challenge to produce bakery treats that could be eaten by people with food allergies, and still taste good to people without dietary restrictions.

Goulet was inspired because she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the intestines. Her bakery appeals to people with diabetes, celiac disease and people eating fewer carbohydrates for general health reasons.

What would great-grandma say? Of course, great-grandma performed her magic in the kitchen without refined, ground, fortified, processed and manufactured baking ingredients.