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If you’ve started reading Buried Dreams, you’ll have noticed two of the female characters have issues. Neither Kelly nor Robin seems to handle life well. It should be obvious one or both have a mental illness that is undiagnosed. It should also be apparent that they affect their relationships with their husbands. If you have not read at least half of Buried Dreams, this post contains spoilers and come back to it at a later date.

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Buried Dreams Released!

Buried Dreams has released! I have uploaded it to all publishing sites: Google, B&N, Apple iBooks, Amazon, etc. It will slowly become available for purchase on all these sites over the next couple of days. As of my typing this, the only link I could grab for it was Amazon.

Each site/platform has a different amount of time between upload and availability. It’s available on Amazon, it will be available on Google next (later today). The slowest is B&N and it could be Tuesday or Wednesday before it shows up there. It may show up on Apple iBooks later today or it could be Monday.

Considering this is book 18 in the series, a lot of platforms will send an email when the book becomes available saying “This author that you’ve bought before has released another book” or something similar. Or you can just keep checking your favorite ebook retailer for the release.

Merry Mithras Eve

In ancient times, the god of light and love was named Mithras. He had a huge cult following. He was born December 25th and his followers celebrated by exchanging presents and feasting in honor of his birth.

Modern studies in mythology overlook this important god. Mithras was born to a virgin mother. Unpon his birth, Mithras was wrapped in swaddling and hidden in a manager where shepherds looked after him. While technically a sun god, he was a more specific sun god than say Apollo or Ra. Mithras controlled the light of dawn, the rebirth of day, his sun lit the way and he was often referred to as The Way as well as the Shepherd of the Light.

The Persian god, was often depicted leading a flock of sheep to the light of dawn, moving them to protect them from the predators that stalked the dark. Mithra still has a minor following in modern day Hinduism. But his cult pre-dates Hinduism and Zoroastrianism (the first monotheistic religion in the Middle East). But when he needed to protect his followers, he was depicted as a lion.

He travelled Persia teaching love, forgiveness, and faith. And as his popularity as a teacher of truth grew, he gained dedicated followers. There were twelve in total who went out to spread his message. And to join the Cult of Mithras one had to be baptized into the religion.

The first mention of the Cult of Mithras comes from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt which began in 2050 BCE and lasted until 1500 BCE…. More than a thousand years before the Hebrews would follow Moses out of Egypt and into the desert to find their homeland and more than 1500 years before the Catholic Church by the Disciple Paul in the 1st century CE.

It is no secret that the Catholic Church often appropriated pagan holidays to help convert the heathens. So perhaps instead of saying Merry Christmas, we should wish each other a Merry Mithras.

2020

My intention this week was to gather all the info I could about the cracking of Zodiac’s 340 cipher. And then the US was hit with the worst cyber-attack ever. Considering this is the industry my best friend works in (cyber security), I’ve been following the cyber attack quite closely.

In the first 24 hours, we knew hackers had gotten into several federal agencies using the backdoor they’d created in a trusted software platform called Solarwinds. The US Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security were among the first. We also knew that nearly every Fortune 500 company in the US also uses Solarwinds and were in danger as a result. However, it oddly didn’t seem like the hackers were interested in these Fortune 500 companies, they seemed focused on US government agencies.

From the very beginning, it was obvious the attack was coming from Russia. It had started Sunday night and Tuesday both CNN and the BBC ran news articles about the attack coming from Russia. This doesn’t surprise me, Putin came to power thanks to the Cold War and he’s never been a huge fan of the US. Since he managed to become president of the Russian Federation until 2036, I’ve been expecting the Cold War to start back up.

By the end of Tuesday, we knew the hackers had accessed Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury, and a half dozen other agencies. Then Thursday came the scariest news yet, they had accessed the National Nuclear Safety Administration and the Department of Energy. In case you are unfamiliar with the NNSA they are the agency in charge of our nuclear arsenal. Also, if someone were to sell some of the classified information held by the Department of Energy to terrorists, it could easily lead to the worst terrorist attack ever as they gain blueprints to our largest powerplants (both nuclear and hydro-electric).

In short, claiming our national security has been compromised in this attack is the worst understatement of 2020. I live about an hour and a half from the majority of the US’s nuclear arsenal, which is interesting: I have not worried about Russians blowing up nuclear bombs in the US since I was about 9, but I admit I am wondering about it again. I am also overwhelmed with a sense of surrealism. I remember President Regan’s vehement rhetoric against the Soviet Union and yet, those in highest seats of power in the US have not even issued a statement about it. The acting Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA did issue a statement laying the responsibility for it at Russia’s doorstep and warning it wasn’t even close to over, but he’s the only one.

Historically speaking, this also isn’t a huge surprise. In the months after the attacks on September 11, 2001 several agencies released findings from investigations that stated quite plainly the contested election from 2000 played a key role in the terrorist attacks. 20 years later, we have another contested election and as a result the head guy in charge of our nation’s cyber-security was fired. And now the Russians have committed an act of cyber-warfare.

At which point, the solving of the 340 cipher took a backseat to the ongoing cyber war.