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How Europe Won The '70s War On Terror

How Europe Won The '70s War On Terror

Barbie Latza Nadeau

From the Red Brigades to ISIS, Aldo Moro to Charlie Hebdo, lessons learned and unlearned.

On May 7, 1978, five-time Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro wrote a farewell letter to his wife from the secret cell in a Roman apartment where he was being held by Italy’s notorious Red Brigade terrorists.  "They have told me that they are going to kill me in a little while,” he wrote.  “I kiss you for the last time.”

Two days later Moro’s blood-soaked body was found in a rusted red Renault 4 on Rome’s Via Michelangelo Caeteni, across the street from the American Studies Center on the edge of the city’s Jewish ghetto.  He had been killed with 11 bullets to the chest. 

Aldo Moro’s murder marked a watershed moment in the so-called “Years of Lead,” when radical extremists from both the right and left of the political spectrum routinely engaged in the sort of urban warfare echoed by the terrorism Europeans have experienced in recent months and fear will continue to grow. And while the ideological pretexts that surround the current threat in Europe are vastly different, counter-terrorism experts say there are indeed lessons to heed today. 

Jacco Pekelder, a professor of Political Violence and Terrorism at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, says that Europe needs to remember its past to survive the current threats.  “In the end, Islamists have a different ideology than the left wing terrorists of the 70s had, but in basic human affairs, there are a lot of similar processes going on when you consider group dynamics, social psychology, and the environment in which they operate,” Pekelder told The Daily Beast. “We can try to learn something by stepping back and looking at the situation from a certain distance.”

Pekelder also sees similarities in the way the general public and those in power react.  He says that terrorism—whether kidnapping a prime minister or shooting cartoonists—elicits a gut reaction that destabilizes society, but which some politicians sometimes are tempted to echo and to share.

Pekelder praises British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his reaction to the 7/7 bombings in London.  “I though it was great that, after the London bombings, Prime Minister Blair, in a very short statement explained to the public which trick the terrorists tried to play and called upon the Brits to remember to just go on with their lives,” he says. “These short statements are so important to calm nerves, and to not play into the terrorists hands.  Leaders need to explain to the public what happened and then function as a model for citizens to find a productive reaction, but often you see in politics that it is hard to maintain this kind of reaction. Instead a lot of politicians repeat that they are scared, too, playing into the terrorists’ hands.”

The way that played out in Italy at the height of the Red Brigades’ terrorism could be shameful, as pointed out by the self-described mastermind of the Moro kidnapping, Mario Moretti. He wrote in his prison memoirs that these Brigate Rosse, by far the most powerful terrorist group in Europe during the 1970s and early 1980s, often made things up as they went along, taking the lead from their targets based on their response to the terrorism. 

If Moretti is to be believed, the Red Brigades had hoped not to kill Moro at all, and instead planned to use him as currency to negotiate.  But for reasons he speculates have to do with fear, collusion and complicity by everyone from the Italian government to the CIA, all of whom had their own agendas, nobody wanted to talk to the Brigades about freeing Moro, and nobody even seemed interested in finding him. So, says Moretti, the only response left for the Brigades was to kill him.

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The Lost Season of Duke’s Coach K

The Lost Season of Duke’s Coach K

On the Verge of 1,000 Wins, Mike Krzyzewski Briefly Stepped Away 20 Years Ago—And It Changed Everything

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The Fallacy of 'Giving Up'

The Fallacy of 'Giving Up'

The critical role of talking with a doctor about values and priorities in life—at any age

By James Hamblin

At 30 years old, a person's brain weighs about three pounds. In its capaciousness it wears the skull like a well-tailored suit. So notes Harvard professor and surgeon Atul Gawande in his most recent book Being Mortal—only to contrast that with the fact that by age 70, there is usually about an inch of space between the brain and the skull. And that's not because the skull is expanding. From just a glance at a CT scan of a person's brain, a radiologist could venture a pretty good approximation of the person's age.

That's not to say that loss of brain volume means that most people don't retain enough grey matter to remain brilliant in old age. (Over the last 20,000 years, the average human brain has gotten smaller by about the size of a tennis ball, which doesn't mean we've gotten dumber.) Instead it's—like the recession of gums from teeth and the exhaustion of the stem cells that give hair its pigment—a vivid example of the normal aging of the human body.

Together these changes illustrate, Gawande writes, that the end process is often really not the body wearing down so much as gradually shutting down. It's a process that doctors are trained to resist and "fight," leading a patient into "battle" with disease. Though, the analogy falls apart in that a battle with death can't be won; Philip Roth once said that old age is less a battle than a massacre. And, as Gawande notes, a good general is not one who leads an army to the point of total annihilation.

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Abolish West Point — and the other service academies, too

Abolish West Point — and the other service academies, too

Most Americans are familiar with the prestige that surrounds the United States military service academies. Various names and phrases, spoken like solemn incantations, attest to their sacrosanct status: the Point, the Long Gray Line, Annapolis, cadets. Their graduates constitute a who’s who of American greatness, including Ulysses Grant, Jimmy Carter, novelist James Salter and sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein, to name a few. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in a 1962 address at West Point, typified the veneration when he told the cadets that they were “the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense.”

The service academies — the U.S. Military Academy for the Army (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy — promise to educate and mold future officers charged with leading the enlisted members of the military.

But they are not the hallowed arbiters of quality promised by their myths. Their traditions mask bloated government money-sucks that consistently underperform. They are centers of nepotism that turn below-average students into average officers. They are indulgences that taxpayers, who fund them, can no longer afford. They’ve outlived their use, and it’s time to shut them down.

The most compelling and obvious argument is the financial one. It officially costs about $205,000 to produce a West Point graduate, although a 2003 Government Accountability Office study put the price tag at more than $300,000; officers at the Air Force and Naval academies are minted for $322,000 and $275,000, respectively. According to at least one measurement, that’s about four times as much as it costs to produce an officer through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which trains officers-to-be while they attend civilian colleges.

One reason for the expense is that attendance at the academies is free for cadets. In fact, since they’re technically members of the armed forces, the students get paid for going to school. As Bruce Fleming, a heretical professor at the Naval Academy, wrote for Salon, they receive “a government-sponsored guarantee of a golden ticket to life: college at taxpayer expense with no student debts, the highest salary of any set of graduates, and guaranteed employment and . . . health benefits for at least five years, frequently well beyond.”

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Why Don’t Many Men Show Their Emotions?

Why Don’t Many Men Show Their Emotions?

By Audrey Nelson

Our fathers pull us aside and tell us to be two-faced: a private face you have outside of the public eye, and a public face that shows no weakness.” Does "Big boys don't cry" and "Take it like a man" sound familiar?

One of the Ten Commandments of masculinity is “Thou shall not feel.” This kind of mind-heart disconnect begins when boys are in the early years of elementary school. You’ll see kindergarten and first-grade boys bringing stuffed animals from home to comfort them amid their fear of the social demands of school. They’ll even hold hands and put their arms around other boys and girls to show affection and express joy. By second grade, male indoctrination begins. Boys are sissies if they show fear, pain or heaven forbid the most taboo expression of all: crying.

For girls, that shift never really happens. Girls have the license to continue a full range of emotional expressions that is, except for one: anger. Girls get angry, of course, but it is taboo for them to express it. It is not feminine to get or express anger. This is a commandment that has caused women a world of grief into their adult lives. Ironically, anger is one of the few acceptable emotions sanctioned for boys to publicly express.

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Samuel L Jackson: ‘I create characters – it keeps me from being me all day’

Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L Jackson: ‘I create characters – it keeps me from being me all day’

Megan Conner

With more than 100 films under his belt, Samuel L Jackson is celebrated as one of Hollywood’s warmest and most intuitive actors. But behind the charm is a workaholic straight-talker who hasn’t time for social niceties – as Megan Conner discovers...

If only the real Samuel L Jackson were half as enthusiastic or engaging as he is on Twitter. On the internet, Samuel L Jackson practically sings. “Daaaaaaaaym!!!” he writes. “C’mon y’all!!” he shouts to some 4.5 million followers. “Be da best MUTHAPFUQQAH U CAN BE!!!” He talks constantly in exclamation marks and expletives, made-up words and spellings (someone once worked out that there are more than 57 versions of the word “motherfucker” on his Twitter account). And he commentates soccer games, snaps amusing selfies, socialises with celebrities (in a picture with Mo Farah: “Bad Mufukkah meets Fast Mufukkah!!” On going to see Ed Sheeran in concert: “This MUFFUGGAH is da real deal!!”). He is the chat-show value version of Samuel L Jackson on a daily stream.

But the Samuel L Jackson I meet is much more subdued. He is slumped on a sofa, feet resting on a coffee table, in a hotel suite at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, and can barely summon the will to shake my hand when we are introduced. For the first five minutes of our interview he puffs on an e-cigarette and tosses answers at me like he is dealing cards. At one point, when I am not going fast enough, he interrupts.

And he pees. In our 50 minutes together, he disappears unannounced from the suite’s lounge into the bathroom twice for prolonged wees. I don’t know whether to be offended. The first time he does it, we are in the middle of a conversation about Brixton – I had read somewhere that when Jackson arrives in a new city the first thing he does is seek out a “black community”. When we met in early November, Jackson had just made four films in London.

 ............................

Oh, he’s a funny fish, Samuel L. And I wouldn’t be the first person to say it. His partner of 40 years, the actor LaTanya Richardson, once said that the problem with her husband is that he is “emotionally disconnected”. Onscreen he is celebrated for his warmth and wit. But when he is away filming, he apparently can’t even bring himself to say he misses his wife over the phone. Richardson has confessed that at times in their marriage she has felt “abandoned” by him.

When I ask him about his lack of affection, Jackson nods. “I have very brief phone conversations. ‘Oh, I miss you!’” he imitates. “No,” he shakes his head. “[We don’t do] that. She’ll say: ‘Oh, I miss you’ and I’ll go: ‘Oh, OK.’’

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Sarah Palin 'rambles incoherently' after teleprompter freezes

TELEPROMPTER MALFUNCTION: Longtime Sarah Palin-watchers said in Iowa on Saturday that they were baffled by how untethered the former governor's speech sounded

Sarah Palin 'rambles incoherently' after teleprompter freezes

Called President Obama an 'overgrown little boy, angrily shouted 'Screw the left in Hollywood!' and yelled that jihadis should 'get the hell out!'

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor In Des Moines, Iowa and Kieran Corcoran For Dailymail.com

Republican firebrand Sarah Palin is rarely at a loss for words but became unmoored on Saturday in Iowa after her teleprompter froze and left her without portions of her prepared speech. 

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flipped through a binder of notes and strung together a series of one-liners – and some of them made little sense.

'The man can only ride you when your back is bent,' she said, as audience members looked at each other quizzically. 

'So strengthen it! Then the man can't ride you, America won't get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.'

Addressing the controversy over the virtues of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the 'American Sniper' film that tells his life story, she shouted: “Screw the left in Hollywood!'

 
Donald Trump: “The last thing we need is another Bush”

Not Bush? Not Romney? Who does Donald Trump like for president?

By Jessica Mendoza

At a Republican event Saturday in Iowa, the business mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump revealed who he thinks best belongs in the White House.

“It can’t be Mitt, because he ran and failed,” Trump said to an applauding crowd. “He choked.”

And as for Mr. Bush? Trump denounced the former Florida governor for his support for the Common Core education standards and his moderate stance on illegal immigration. Trump also criticized Bush’s brother, former president George W. Bush, for being the man who “gave us Obama,” according to the LA Times.

“The last thing we need is another Bush,” he said.

..................................

What may be most telling is that this audience seemed to agree with Trump, especially of his assessment of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. 

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Jindal: US Muslims Must Assimilate

The Louisiana governor is gearing up for a likely presidential run by appealing to fears of a sharia law in the US.

On Saturday, at a gathering of religious conservatives, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal doubled down on his belief that there are “no go” zones in Europe where Islamic law rules the streets and talked about his fear of America having “no go zones, too” if Muslims aren’t assimilated into the dominant culture.

He later told Christian evangelicals gathered at “The Response,” a daylong prayer rally, that America needs a spiritual revival. “We can’t just elect a candidate to fix our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix our country,” he said before leading an ecstatic crowd in prayer.

 
GOP presidential candidates face delicate balancing act

GOP presidential candidates face delicate balancing act

By Dan Balz and Robert Costa

DES MOINES — The most wide-open Republican presidential nomination campaign in memory had its unofficial opening here on Saturday at a gathering that highlighted anew the thorny path ahead for candidates as they try to attract support from the party’s conservative base without compromising their hopes of winning a general election.

In the coming months, the large field of candidates will feel a strong gravitational pull to the right by activists in a party that has become more conservative over the past eight years. That the first major conclave of prospective candidates came here at an event hosted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the party’s most outspoken voices on immigration and other issues, only served to underscore the potential risks ahead.

The lessons of Mitt Romney’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign of 2012 are still fresh in the minds of both candidates and strategists. In an effort to demonstrate his bona fides to the right — at one point he described himself as “severely conservative” — Romney took positions on immigration and taxes that dogged him throughout the fall 2012 campaign.

Avoiding those kinds of mistakes will be at the top of nearly every candidate’s handbook for running. But with a field of candidates that could approach a dozen or more, and with competition fierce to find at least a slice of the party electorate upon which to build a campaign foundation, there will be an inevitable tendency to push too far, with potentially costly consequences.

“You have to know who you are, know why you’re running, know how to present your message and then not waver,” said Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 2012.

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The one power Democrats don’t want Obama to have

The one power Democrats don’t want Obama to have

By Vicki Needham

Congressional Democrats have strongly supported President Obama's use of executive authority — but there is one power that many don’t want him to have.

Liberals are waging a vigorous fight against Obama’s push for expanded trade power, fearing it would lead to trade deals that favor corporate interests over American workers.

Democrats and some Republicans are adamant that trade promotion authority (TPA) would give Obama’s trade team too much control over negotiations, and are making their opposition known in a barrage of press conferences on Capitol Hill.

"I have long supported President Obama. I believe he generally wants to improve the lives of working Americans,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) after Obama asked for help from both parties on trade in his State of the Union address.

"But on the issue of trade, I will oppose the administration because unfortunately they are following the same exact policy that has failed in the past.”

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Are We Alone in Thinking Ted Cruz is Strange?

Cruz challenges GOP to pick a worthy 2016 nominee

Cruz to GOP: Find a nominee who can 'reignite the extraordinary miracle of America'

By Sarah Westwood

Sen. Ted Cruz delivered an impassioned speech Saturday before conservatives at the Iowa Freedom Summit that called on lawmakers to pass bold reforms like abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of much of its authority.

The Texas firebrand also pressed his fellow conservatives to "repeal every word of Obamacare" and to steel the southern border against illegal immigration.

"This country was built on incredible opportunities that if you're a single mom waiting tables, you can do anything," he said. "There's been no country in the history of the world that has let so many millions come and seek the unlimited dreams of their potential."

Invoking the image of an evangelical minister, Cruz peppered the crowd with conservative wisdom and occasional humor at the Left's expense.

"There are 110,000 employees at the IRS. We need to padlock that building and put every one of those 110,000 on our southern border," Cruz said, although he admitted he meant it "somewhat tongue-in-cheek."

 

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Scott Walker takes Iowa by storm

Scott Walker takes Iowa by storm

Scott Walker takes Iowa by storm

By Cameron Joseph

DES MOINES, Iowa — Scott Walker’s stock is soaring after a triumphant return to Iowa.

The Wisconsin Republican governor delivered a pitch-perfect speech to a room packed with influential Hawkeye State conservatives on Saturday, walking them through his robust resume and ideology with a passion that surprised many. 

Activists say Walker came out on top after 10 hours of candidate speeches. 

“It was a clear Walker victory. He had expectations coming in here, he was on everyone's shortlist and he had to meet those expectations and I thought he far exceeded them,” said former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. “I thought his speech was just perfect, and I thought his delivery was perfect. The delivery really surprised me.”

Walker held his own against Ted Cruz, the event’s other star. While the Texas senator always turns in commanding performances with conservative crowds, the governor next door helped himself the most by making a strong first impression with many Iowa activists who simply knew him from his showdown with the unions. 

He offered something for almost every type of conservative, rolling through his record of both social and fiscal accomplishments, drawing big applause by knocking “radical Islamic terrorists” and touting legislation he backed to relax gun control laws and cut taxes. 

He spoke about his faith in a natural way, and in one sentence managed to mention that he was both the son of a pastor and had Iowa roots (Walker spent his early years in the state before his dad moved to a church in Wisconsin).

Most importantly, he did it all with a folksy yet fiery delivery that had observers gushing and brought the crowd to their feet.

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Muslims on edge as anti-immigrant sentiment hits streets of German city

Muslims on edge as anti-immigrant sentiment hits streets of German city

Dresden is at the heart of a movement recoiling from a wave of asylum seekers into Europe.

Ahmed, a 36-year-old Moroccan, hoped to find a better life in Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany. But these days in Dresden, he said, he is afraid to walk the streets.

This urban phoenix rebuilt from ashes after World War II is the center of a movement against immigrants — Muslims in particular — that has shocked much of the rest of Germany even as anti-immigration marches have spread to 10 cities nationwide. Downtown Dresden, Ahmed and other immigrants here say, has become a no-go zone for them on Monday nights, when the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West — or Pegida, in German — stages its weekly rallies.

Since the movement was founded here last October, refugee advocates say the number of aggressive acts against foreigners has sharply increased. After one Pegida rally just before Christmas, for instance, demonstrators chased a group of young refugees, leaving a 15-year-old girl battered and bruised.

“When I go out, I put on a hat and wear it low over my face,” said Ahmed, a resident in a shelter for asylum seekers who was too frightened to give his last name. “I don’t want them to see I’m not from here.”

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American Sniper: anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film's release

Bradley Cooper in American Sniper.

American Sniper: anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film's release

Nicky Woolf in New York

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee writes to Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood requesting action as threat complaints triple.

American Sniper continues to draw record-breaking audiences as it barrels into its second weekend in wide release, but a group representing Arab-Americans says the rate of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim threats resulting from the Oscar-nominated war film has already tripled.

Citing what an executive for the group told the Guardian was a “drastic increase” in hate speech on social media, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote letters this week to actor Bradley Cooper and director Clint Eastwood to ask them to speak out “in an effort to help reduce the hateful rhetoric”.

The film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture, depicts the story of Chris Kyle, the famed US navy Seal notorious for the highest known single kill count in US military history. But its all-American depiction on screen has drawn heavy criticism from combat veterans and viewers alike – and especially about viewers themselves, many of whom have emerged from theatres desperate to communicate a kind of murderous desire.

..................................

“Great fucking movie and now I really want to kill some fucking ragheads,” read one tweet, in a set of screenshots that quickly went viral after being collated by journalist Rania Khalek for the online publication Electronic Intifada. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some fuckin Arabs,” read another.

One tweet read: “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are - vermin scum intent on destroying us.” While the word “vermin” is not uncommon in threads about the film, that tweet was tagged not only #AmericanSniper but, mystifyingly, #DeBlasio as well.

Even the actor James Woods got in on the action, tweeting: “Every time an American Armed Forces sniper pulls a trigger, those who would kill or maim an American warrior are no longer a threat.”

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Why Liberals Should Embrace Romney the Progressive Champion

Why Liberals Should Embrace Romney the Progressive Champion

Cheering the latest Mittamorphosis.

By David Corn

It is time for liberals to cheer Mitt Romney.

Not because his possible entry into the 2016 Republican presidential contest could cause chaos for the GOP. But because Romney, apparently seeing the error of his "severely conservative" ways, has become a progressive crusader. Initial news reports noted that Romney was telling Republicans privately that should he mount a third presidential bid he would run to the right of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an all-but-announced contender. Yet in public remarks, Romney has been sounding like a born-again lefty. At an investment management conference in Utah this week, Romney told the crowd that a new-and-improved candidate Romney would focus on climate change, poverty, and education.

Yes, climate change, poverty, and education. In a bizarre Freaky Friday sort of way, Romney appears to have been body-snatched—perhaps by the ghost of Ted Kennedy. He declared, "I'm one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that," he said of climate change. And he called for global agreements to curb greenhouse gas emissions, slamming the US government for having failed to achieve such accords. "Let's deal with poverty," he also proclaimed. "Have we done it? No. Let's do it." And to improve education, he urged more pay for teachers.

Romney, who has long had to contend with the charge that he is a serial flip-flopper, has gone far beyond the usual politically convenient change of course. It's almost as if he has converted to Islam. What's next? Supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights? (Or, in his case, going back to supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights.) In any event, this latest Mittamorphosis is a stunner, for three years ago, when he had the chance as a presidential nominee to call for climate change action and measures that directly help the poor, Romney chose not to. In fact, he did the opposite.

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12 keys to the GOP presidential race right now

12 keys to GOP presidential race

12 keys to the GOP presidential race right now

By Byron York

As the Freedom Summit marks the unofficial start of the 2016 Republican presidential campaign here in Iowa, the race is already too sprawling, with too many characters and too many crosscurrents, to have a single theme. But here are a dozen keys to understand what is happening now:

3. Foreign policy has become as important as social issues, and that means people will listen to John Bolton. One simple sentence explains the new prominence of foreign policy in the race: It's a dangerous world. With the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Paris attacks, the troubling resilience of terror networks, worrisome developments in Russia, the challenge of China -- when all of those are combined with the sense that the Obama administration either doesn't know what is doing or is badly misguided, or even worse, Iowa conservatives have become deeply concerned about foreign policy. Then remember that the governors who are running have no foreign policy experience, and the senators are all recent arrivals on the national stage. Who knows enough about the world today to address those problems? Enter John Bolton, the former Bush administration United Nations ambassador who is deeply versed in foreign affairs. A number of conservatives would welcome Bolton's presence in the GOP debates to raise the level of foreign policy discussion. Yes, they know he is pro-gay marriage, and they will never approve of that. But they will listen respectfully to what Bolton has to say.

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Bitcoin and the Digital-Currency Revolution

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Bitcoin and the Digital-Currency Revolution

For all bitcoin’s growing pains, it represents the future of money and global finance.

By Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna

About a half-billion dollars worth of it vanished from an online exchange in Tokyo. A prosecutor in Manhattan arrested the 24-year-old vice chairman of its most prominent trading body on drug-related charges of money laundering. Its founder’s identity remains a mystery, and last year, it shed two-thirds of its value, losing an additional 44% in just the first two weeks of January. In his year-end letter to investors, Warren Buffett’s advice about it was emphatic: “Stay away.”

The digital currency known as bitcoin is only six years old, and many of its critics are already declaring it dead. But such dire predictions miss a far more important point: Whether bitcoin survives or not, the technology underlying it is here to stay. In fact, that technology will become ever more influential as developers create newer, better versions and clones.

No digital currency will soon dislodge the dollar, but bitcoin is much more than a currency. It is a radically new, decentralized system for managing the way societies exchange value. It is, quite simply, one of the most powerful innovations in finance in 500 years.

If applied widely to the inner workings of our global economy, this model could slash trillions in financial fees; computerize much of the work done by payment processors, government property-title offices, lawyers and accountants; and create opportunities for billions of people who don't currently have bank accounts. Great value will be created, but many jobs also will be rendered obsolete.

Bitcoin has some indisputable flaws, at least in its current iteration. Its price fluctuates too wildly.

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Is Bubba, the Sexual Tar Pit, Pulling Hillary Under?

‘Sex slave’ claims Bill Clinton visited Epstein’s ‘orgy island’

‘Sex slave’ claims Bill Clinton visited Epstein’s ‘orgy island’

Former President Bill Clinton took a romantic jaunt in 2002 to convicted pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein’s “orgy island” with “two young girls” from New York, according to a shocking new interview.

Virginia Roberts, who’s accused Epstein of turning her into a “sex slave” at age 17 and forcing her to sleep with his powerful friends, claimed Clinton stayed in one of the many villas on Epstein’s US Virgin Islands estate — where group sex was a “regular occurrence.”

“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor,’ ” Roberts told her lawyers in a 2011 interview obtained by RadarOnline.com. “He never told me what favors they were.”

Bubba was accompanied by two of Epstein’s regular girlfriends and “two young girls that I could identify,” Roberts claimed.

According to flight logs, Clinton flew on Epstein’s private Boeing 727, which Roberts said was outfitted with a special bed for kinky, high-altitude romps, the Web site said.

“It was a lot of the same things that went down on the ground,” she claimed. “There would be sexual conduct; there would be foreplay. There was a bed in there, so we could basically re-enact exactly what happened in the house. It would start off with massaging or we would start off with foreplay. Sometimes it would lead to, you know, orgies.”

Roberts denied she ever slept with Clinton and said she never witnessed him having sex with anyone else.

But on “orgy island,” the stunning blonde allegedly engaged in group sex with Epstein, Britain’s Prince Andrew and eight other girls.

Epstein pimped out Roberts and other underage girls to his prominent pals — so he could gather information on them to blackmail them later on, Roberts alleged in a new affidavit.

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Jameis Winston’s Rape Accuser Tells All

Jameis Winston’s Rape Accuser Tells All In Sundance Documentary ‘The Hunting Ground’

Erica Kinsman, who accused the Heisman Trophy-winning Florida State quarterback of a brutal sexual assault, opens up about her ordeal in filmmaker Kirby Dick’s harrowing doc.

It was one of the most thrilling finishes in college football history.

On January 6, 2014, down by 4 points with 17 seconds left in the game, redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who weeks earlier had become the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever, executed a beautiful 2-yard play-action pass over the middle to receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the game-winning touchdown, thus capping off a furious comeback over No. 2 Auburn to win the BCS national title for his Florida State Seminoles.

After the game, Winston was ecstatic. “We champions… Through everything that we went through, through all the haters, we came out victorious. And God did this,” he said. Winston was the toast of Tallahassee (and beyond), earning plaudits on Twitter from the likes of LeBron James—who called him “special”—and rapper Lil Wayne.

For Erica Kinsman, however, the praise being heaped on “Famous Jameis” was another in a long line of indignities suffered by the 20-year-old.

Just over one year earlier, on December 7, 2012, Kinsman, a bookish pre-med freshman at Florida State, accused Winston of a vicious sexual assault—but her cries for help fell on largely deaf ears. In The Hunting Ground, a comprehensive and compelling documentary examining the nationwide campus sexual assault epidemic, Kinsman speaks publicly for the first time about her alleged rape at the hands of Winston. The film is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (The Invisible War), and made its premiere on Friday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It will air on CNN later this year, and will be released theatrically by Radius.

.......................

According to Dick’s film, less than 4 percent of people on campus are student athletes, yet they commit 19 percent of schools’ sexual assaults. Kinsman claims she was one of those victims.

On the night of December 6, 2012, just one week before finals, Kinsman was letting off some steam at Potbelly’s, a popular drinking establishment in Tallahassee. She claims in the film that, after having some drinks, a man was creepily following her around the bar—but she was saved when another man put his arm around her and told the guy she was his girlfriend, and to piss off. Kinsman says the man then bought her a shot, and after she took it, she started to become very woozy. She faintly remembers being taken in a cab to an apartment, and the next thing she knew, the man was on top of her, engaging in vaginal intercourse with her. She says she begged and pleaded for him to stop, and then saw the man’s roommate enter the bedroom and tell his friend, “Stop… What are you doing?” 

Kinsman says that the man ignored the roommate’s pleas, and took her to the bathroom, which could be locked from the inside. There, he pinned her head against the tiled floor with his hand, and continued to rape her. When he finished, the man allegedly said, “You can leave now.”

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Yemen crisis disrupts U.S. counterterrorism operations

Yemen crisis disrupts U.S. counterterrorism operations

The Obama administration has been forced to suspend certain counterterrorism operations with Yemen in the aftermath of the collapse of its government, according to U.S. officials, a move that eases pressure on al-Qaeda’s most dangerous franchise.

Armed drones operated by the CIA and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command remain deployed for now over southern Yemen, where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is based. But some U.S. officials said that the Yemeni security services that provided much of the intelligence that sustained that U.S. air campaign are now controlled by Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who have seized control of much of the capital.

Even before the disintegration of the government, officials say, the growing chaos in Yemen had resulted in a steady erosion
in intelligence-gathering efforts against AQAP and a de facto suspension in raids by Yemeni units trained, equipped and often flown to targeted al-Qaeda compounds by U.S. forces.

“The agencies we worked with . . . are really under the thumb of the Houthis. Our ability to work with them is not there,” said a senior U.S. official closely involved in monitoring the situation. In a measure of U.S. concern over the crisis, officials also signaled for the first time a willingness to open talks with Houthi leaders, despite their suspected ties to Iran and antipathy toward the United States.

The developments have unraveled a campaign that President Obama described last year as a model for how the United States should fight terrorist groups, and avoid being drawn more directly into overseas conflicts. The turmoil in Yemen has exposed the risks of that strategy, with U.S. officials now voicing concern that the suspension in operations in Yemen could enable AQAP — which has launched a series of plots against the United States and claimed credit for the attacks in Paris this month — to regroup.

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Sports Illustrated lays off all staff photographers

si-cover-2015-01-21.jpg

Sports Illustrated lays off all staff photographers

Sports Illustrated has been a gold standard for sports photojournalism for most of the magazine's existence — and maybe will continue that tradition. But the last six staff photographers were told yesterday that they are no longer employed at SI. For the record, the final six staff photogs at Sports Illustrated were Robert Beck, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, David E. Klutho, John W. McDonough, and Al Tielemans. 

 
Colorado Governor: Legalizing pot was bad idea

Governor: Legalizing pot was bad idea

Colorado Governor: Legalizing pot was bad idea

By Kevin Cirilli

Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana was a bad idea, the state’s governor said Friday.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who opposed the 2012 decision by voters to make pot legal, said the state still doesn’t fully know what the unintended consequences of the move will be.

“If I could've waved a wand the day after the election, I would've reversed the election and said, 'This was a bad idea,’ ” Hickenlooper said Friday on CNBC's “Squawk Box.”

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Roger Goodell, who's your Daddy?

NFL finally speaks on Deflategate controversy

Our office has been conducting an investigation as to whether the footballs used in last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game complied with the specifications that are set forth in the playing rules. The investigation began based on information that suggested that the game balls used by the New England Patriots were not properly inflated to levels required by the playing rules, specifically Playing Rule 2, Section 1, which requires that the ball be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Prior to the game, the game officials inspect the footballs to be used by each team and confirm that this standard is satisfied, which was done before last Sunday’s game.

The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent perspective. The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information.

The playing rules are intended to protect the fairness and integrity of our games. We take seriously claims that those rules have been violated and will fully investigate this matter without compromise or delay. The investigation is ongoing, will be thorough and objective, and is being pursued expeditiously. In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.

Upon being advised of the investigation, the Patriots promptly pledged their full cooperation and have made their personnel and other information available to us upon request. Our investigation will seek information from any and all relevant sources and we expect full cooperation from other clubs as well. As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them publicly.

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Bitcoin Might Matter More Than You Think

Bitcoin Might Matter More Than You Think

Paul Vigna and Michael Casey discuss their new book "The Age of Cryptocurrency" as well as the mystique and challenges facing Bitcoin and the virtual currency business.

 
The hunt for Red October gets easier.

The hunt for Red October gets easier. How submarine warfare is changing.

Improving technology could make it easier to find submarines. That's a threat to the US fleet – but it's also an opportunity for the Pentagon, a new report says.

By Anna Mulrine

Today's submarines are in danger of becoming increasingly vulnerable as “game changers” in undersea warfare make it easier to detect them, a new report says. 

Deep sea submarines have been a key part of the United States military’s offensive and defensive missions for decades, but a significant part of their utility lies in their ability to operate stealthily. To this end, the US military has invested huge amounts of money into making submarines – in particular, the Navy’s Virginia-class nuclear submarines – quieter.

But rapid increases in computer processing power are offsetting these advances. Submarine detection techniques that do not measure sounds but rather the wake left by submarines, for example, have been known for decades. But “they have not been exploitable until very recently because computer processors were too slow to run detailed models needed to see changes in the environment caused by a quiet submarine,” according to a report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) released Thursday.

Today, "big data" is providing the capability to run sophisticated oceanographic models in real time, making these detection techniques more feasible. As computer processors shrink, some will soon be small enough to fit on the sea floor. “These systems have the potential to make coastal areas far more hazardous for manned submarines,” the report notes.

What’s more, emerging acoustic techniques will get better. For example, computers could help find submarines by comparing the normal ambient noise from marine life and waves with measured noise, and in this way “identifying where sounds are being reflected off a submarine or obscured by its hull.”

This is both good and bad news for the US military’s undersea warfare programs. The same technologies that make submarines easier to detect could help spur a new generation of technology that the Pentagon could use to its advantage. 

For instance, next-generation submarines could fool sonar by emitting special sounds to drown out their own radiated noise, “similar to the method used in noise-canceling headphones,” the report notes. The US Navy could also use unmanned underwater drones to conduct acoustic jamming. 

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5 Ways a College Education Changes Lives

5 Ways a College Education Changes Lives

By Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D.

There has been a lot of discussion about the rising costs of higher education, and whether a college degree “is worth it.” However, beyond the economics, there are other important reasons that a college degree matters, and how it can change your life.

 
Somebody Else Can't Stand Megyn Kelly

Why Are You Still Falling for Megyn Kelly?

The Fox News anchor is ‘red hot.’ She’s having a ‘moment.’ She’s the ‘brains’ at her network. Liberals are so busy slobbering over her they can’t see the truth: She’s terrible.

“Kelly’s career is red hot right now, and she’s achieved an unusual status for a host in the middle of the often-ideological cable new wars: Kelly’s earning respect across the political divide,” Politico wrote in an August profile explaining the “secret” to the Fox News host’s success. “Queen of [television],” The Washington Post raved, in a 2013 lifestyle piece that highlights how good-looking and decent she is. “Kelly…is the brains of the Fox News operation,” The New Yorker gushed. “Megyn Kelly can save Fox News,” The New Republic declared the same year. My own Daily Beast praised her in 2010 as “a whip-smart blonde with made-for-TV looks” while suggesting she could be the “Barbara Walters of Fox.”

Now The New York Times magazine is getting in on the lovefest with a big piece on the “Megyn Kelly Moment.” Reporter Jim Rutenberg argues that Kelly is the future of the conservative news network (one essentially born out of the Nixon White House), whose old, right-leaning audience is approaching mortality. “Attractive-looking blond anchorwomen are not rare,” Fox political analyst Brit Hume told the Times. “Attractive-looking blond anchorwomen who speak with a fierce authority are rare.”

Fox News has done a fine job of branding Kelly as a serious, tough journalist amid its herd of thunderously partisan commentators. When you measure her work alongside that of such Fox ideological horror shows as Andrea Tantaros (who said living on food stamps would make for a fantastic diet), Sean Hannity (who spent months treating George Zimmerman like a victimized folk hero), and Brian Kilmeade (who credulously praised fascist street thugs in England), it’s true Kelly can achieve a simulacrum of competence.

Much of the praise for her in mainstream or left-leaning outlets hinges on her supposed fearlessness in taking on Republicans and traditional conservative thought. “Megyn Kelly totally owns Dick Cheney over his terrible Iraq track record,” The Huffington Post cheered. And when she tore into jarringly chauvinist male guests over women in the workplace and paid maternity leave, she earned golf claps from progressives. Even Gawker, which has close to zero love for Kelly, Roger Ailes, and Fox, called the latter moment a “feminist triumph.”

But in her own way and style, Fox News’ rising star is just as bad as the other horrific actors her network features.

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Is Ted Cruz ‘Post-Hispanic’?

Is Ted Cruz ‘Post-Hispanic’?

Ruben Navarrette Jr.

The right-wing firebrand Texas senator, who has been on both sides of the immigration debate, is a lot more complex than he might seem.

How “Hispanic” is Ted Cruz?

If the brilliant but polarizing senator from Texas—who happens to be Cuban-American—does indeed run for president in 2016, does he have a shot at winning Hispanic votes? At a time when the GOP is hemorrhaging support from Hispanics, would nominating Cruz provide a solution—or, given his extreme rightwing politics, make the problem worse?

I have to be honest: I hate these types of questions.

It’s fair to ask whether a certain candidate stands a chance of attracting support from one constituency or another. But I wince and walk away from the table when the whole thing gets personal. And when one Hispanic is challenging another about who is el mas macho—that is, the most authentically Hispanic—it gets personal in a hurry.

During college, as a Mexican-American, I was at both ends of the spear—challenging classmates for not being “Mexican enough” only to later have them do the same to me.

You would think that a community that numbers 52 million, represents 17 percent of the U.S. population, controls $1.4 trillion in annual spending power, and maintains a strong presence in three of the five states that decide presidential elections (Nevada, Colorado and Florida) would be more secure and less petty.

You’d be wrong.

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Alarm --- terrorist threat on US soil

Alarm --- terrorist threat on U.S. soil

Alarm --- terrorist threat on US soil

By Susan Crabtree

The Obama administration is falling behind in efforts to stop foreign fighters getting into the United States to commit terrorist acts, say Republicans leaders probing visa laws and the tracking of potential attackers.

Concern is growing on Capitol Hill that loopholes are not being closed in a visa waiver program and it is still too easy for jihadis to enter and leave the United States.

“What are they doing? I don’t think they’re doing enough,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

The sweeping and alarming successes of last summer's territorial gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria triggered an investigation by House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, into President Obama's policies and his administration's ability to track terrorists. The unchecked risk of coordinated attacks in the West was graphically demonstrated by the recent slaughter of cartoonists and journalists in Paris by homegrown French jihadis believed to be working for an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.

FBI Director James Comey testified last fall that he expects a “terrorist diaspora” to come out of Iraq and Syria, and noted that fighters have been able to travel in and out of the conflict areas with alarming ease. Now Republican leaders say U.S. counterterrorism is not improving quickly enough as extremists show their lethal ability to hit targets all over the world.

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Ex-players react: Brady‘s cluelessness ‘unbelievable’

Ex-players react: Brady‘s cluelessness ‘unbelievable’

For more than a decade, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, one of the sport’s most popular and respected players. On Wednesday, Brady may have jeopardized his credibility for good.

Like Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Brady denied having anything to do with footballs being deflated in the AFC Championship Game and denied knowing it had occurred until the next day, but to the quarterback’s former peers, the NFL’s golden boy lost some of the luster he had earned in his 15-year career.

“I did not believe what Tom had to say,” former quarterback and ESPN analyst Mark Brunell said. “Those balls were deflated. Someone had to do it and I don’t believe there’s an equipment manager in the NFL that would on his own initiative deflate a ball without the starting quarterback’s approval. I just didn’t believe what Tom Brady had to say.”

Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis added, “I’m so disappointed because I thought this was a perfect opportunity for Tom Brady to go and say, ‘You know what? I made a mistake. I blew it. It’s on me. I’ll take the blame here, and this will go away.’ He didn’t do that … I’m disappointed in you Tom Brady.”

 
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