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Posts tagged ‘Noel Biderman’

Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work.


Image: Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work

By Courtney Coren

Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida says he plans to return to work after completing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but emphasizes that his substance abuse never interfered with his work in Congress.

“It never interfered with my congressional obligations,” Radel wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “However, it led me down a path that chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child, and God.”

The freshman congressman was arrested in October after purchasing cocaine from an undercover agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington.

On Nov. 20, he pleaded guilty to the charges against him and entered a voluntary rehabilitation program for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse.

“My recovery is under way and ongoing,” he said. “I have and will continue to build a support system to rely on for the rest of my life. While in a voluntary rehabilitation program, I began a step-by-step process that will aid me in recovery one day at a time.”

He said his main struggle is with alcohol.

“To be clear, alcohol is the problem for me,” the Florida Republican said. “It was selfishly fun, but became an issue when it led to poor choices and missed opportunities.”

While he made it clear in his Facebook post that he plans to remain in office, Florida Republican leaders have said they want Radel to resign.

At least two Republican candidates have said they are ready to run in a special election if needed.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns.


Image: Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns

By Courtney Coren

As airports around the world move to more automated airport security functions, concerns are increasing over whether computers will rise to the challenge of actually identifying potential terrorists.

“If you’re sweating profusely, for example, the person checking your ID would notice,” says Arnold Barnett, an aviation-security expert and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “But that computer taking an iris scan wouldn’t.”

Part of keeping travelers safe is “looking at all kinds of things that can’t be captured by an algorithm,” Barnett told  The Wall Street Journal.

About 28 percent of airports around the world are using biometric technology as part of their airport security, which allows airports to streamline the screening process using machines that can verify identities by scanning faces, irises, or fingerprints. Advocates say the technology could make boarding passes obsolete.

London Gatwick Airport conducted an experiment this year with 3,000 British Airways passengers using biometric scanners instead of boarding passes. The machines scanned the irises of the passengers’ eyes when they first checked in, which allowed cameras to identify the travelers at security checkpoints and gates automatically.

While advocates of the technology say that automating some of these processes would free up security personnel to focus on monitoring travelers for suspicious behavior, other experts like Barnett worry that screeners will become too dependent on the technology and it will only serve to dull their senses.

European airports have been much quicker to embrace the biometric technology than American airports, the Journal reported. However, the Transportation Security Administration does currently use the technology for checking employees into some areas and for travelers enrolled in its PreCheck program. It is also used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at U.S. airports.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Coburn: 2013 Marked ‘Unwinding of Country’s Founding Principles´.


Image: Coburn: 2013 Marked 'Unwinding of Country's Founding Principles'

By Courtney Coren

Sen. Tom Coburn says the power grab by Democratic leaders in Congress, not to mention the Obama administration’s apparent disdain for the rule of law, made 2013 one of the nation’s worst years.

“In both the executive branch and Congress, Americans witnessed an unwinding of the country’s founding principles and of their government’s most basic responsibilities,”Coburn wrote Monday in an op-ed piece carried in The Wall Street Journal.

“The rule of law gave way to the rule of rulers. And the rule of reality . . . gave way to some politicians’ belief that they were entitled to both their own opinions and their own facts.”

“It’s no wonder the institutions of government barely function,” the Oklahoma Republican added.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Coburn described the launching of Obamacare as one of the most devastating blows to the rule of law and he accused President Barack Obama of changing his signature achievement “according to whim” without regard to any legal or constitutional constraints that might be involved. He also wrote that the most troubling aspect of the president’s behavior in pushing the law on the American public was his promise that people would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors.

“We now know that the administration was aware that these claims were false, yet Mr. Obama continued to make them, repeatedly,” Coburn said.

Even though the president “apologized in part for his statements,” it sent a message to politicians that “message discipline” is the name-of-the-game if it helps “to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal.”

“When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict,” the Oklahoma senator argued. “In a republic, deception is destructive.”

Coburn took a hard swipe at Democrats in Congress as well, calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid‘s successful effort to do away with the 60-vote threshold for moving most presidential nominations an outright power grab “to undo 200 years of precedent that requires a supermajority to change Senate rules.”

“To speed the approval of executive appointments and judicial nominations, Sen. Reid resorted to raw political power, forcing a vote (52-48) that allows the Senate majority to change the rules whenever it wants,” Coburn complained. “In a republic, if majorities can change laws or rules however they please, you’re on the road to life with no rules and no laws.”

Coburn concluded by noting that if Americans are truly fed up, as he is, with the way Washington works these days, then they should make use of the elections this year to make some changes.

“If you don’t like the rulers you have, you don’t have to keep them,” he wrote.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Failures Show Procurement Reforms Still Needed.


Image: Obamacare Failures Show Procurement Reforms Still Needed

By Courtney Coren

The recent failures of HealthCare.gov have highlighted changes that need to be made in how the government executes technology contracts, which many say is outdated and counterproductive.

While President Barack Obama has promised changes, little movement has been made in that direction, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The Standish Group, an independent information technology firm, found that when it comes to large-scale technology contracts that have been made over the last 10 years only 4.6 percent were successful. A majority were “challenged” and 40 percent “failed,” according to a Standish study.

One of the major problems cited by Standish is that the government tends to negotiate single contracts for projects that private companies would break up into pieces. When it comes to smaller projects, the success rate is almost 55 percent.

The procurement process is cited as another major problem by experts, congressmen, technology executives and former government officials. Troubles with that process were on display almost immediately in the problematic rollout of the Obamacare website in October.

The current laws and rules in place are designed to prevent corruption, but they give government officials very little authority over which companies are hired, how projects are executed, and little power to end a failing contract.

According to the Times, companies with large legal teams familiar with the government contracting process also have the upper hand in winning contracts. Smaller firms, even though they are often on the cutting edge of technology innovation, simply don’t have the personnel or the know-how to scale the procurement process.

The White House Budget office says the Administration is working to reform the technology procurement process, although more changes are still needed.

But Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia noted in the Times piece that the budget office offered no support for a bipartisan bill introduced this year that would have put a single person in each agency in charge of technology projects, and make such projects and the money spent on them more transparent.

Connolly told the Times the budget office “takes the position, as it usually does, that we don’t need legislation to address these issues.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Toronto ‘Crack Mayor’ Ford: Women Want Cash for Christmas.


Image: Toronto 'Crack Mayor' Ford: Women Want Cash for Christmas

By Courtney Coren

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford offers shopping advice to men who are still be trying to figure out what to get for their wives for Christmas — just give them money.

“Women love money,” said Ford on his weekly appearance on the Washington, D.C. sports radio show, The Sports Junkie.  “Give ’em a couple thousand bucks and they are happy.”

He said that when he asks his wife what she wants for Christmas she says, “‘I want cash, honey. I want cash.”

“I get a basket and flowers and, you know, a little bit of this and that, but at the end of the day, she wants her cash, so I give her a nice check and we’re all happy,” Ford said.

The infamous mayor admitted to smoking crack cocaine in November after denying the allegations since May, when Gawker reported it had video of the mayor smoking crack.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Polls: 77 Percent of Uninsured Don’t Want Obamacare, Majority of Voters Want Repeal.


Image: Polls: 77 Percent of Uninsured Don't Want Obamacare, Majority of Voters Want Repeal

By Courtney Coren

Two out of three voters want Obamacare delayed, including a majority of Democrats who now say they want the new healthcare law postponed — a surge in sentiment that has climbed 10 percent since October in the latest Fox New poll. 

A majority said they would vote to have the new healthcare law repealed, if they were able, and they wish it had never passed and the old system was still in place, according to the poll taken Dec. 14-16 of 1,027 registered voters across the country.

The Fox News poll was one of two polls published Wednesday that showed the growing unpopularity of the law. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll also showed that a majority disapprove of the new health care law, even the uninsured, who are supposed to benefit from the law.

Seventy-seven percent of the uninsured told The Times that they disagree with the requirement to buy insurance, in the poll taken Dec. 5-8 of 1,000 adults and Dec. 4-15 of 702 of uninsured adults.

While a majority said they were likely to get insurance by the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, 35 percent said they would likely just opt to pay the fine. Getting the uninsured to enroll through one of the exchanges is considered key to making Obamacare financially viable.

However, only 37 percent of Americans and 33 percent of the uninsured in that poll believe the healthcare law should be repealed altogether, a number that has fallen since November before the front-end of HealthCare.gov was largely fixed.

In the Fox News poll, 60 percent said they don’t believe enough people will enroll in health insurance, which would help the success of the law.

While 42 percent of the uninsured in The Times poll said they perused one of the government ran health insurance exchanges, only 10 percent said they had actually applied.

Two-in-three voters in the Fox News poll said the Obama Administration knew that it wasn’t true that Americans who liked their doctors would be able to keep their doctors. Ninety-five percent of those polled said being able to choose their own doctor is important.

Over 70 percent find the broken promises that individuals could keep their health insurance and/or doctors troubling.

The same poll also had 59 percent of voters saying they disapprove of Obama’s job performance on healthcare.

Thirty percent of the uninsured in The Times poll predict that Obamacare will cause quality of care to worsen.

Robyn Logan of Bowie, Marlyand is an uninsured Democrat who is skeptical of the affect Obamacare will have on the health care system and her ability to see a doctor.

“I need to see a doctor and my fear is that even if I get insurance, I won’t be able to find one,” she said. “I was on Medicaid at one point and couldn’t find a doctor because no one would take me.”

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Polls: GOP Support Rebounds as Democrats Stumble Over Obamacare
AP Poll: Nearly 4 in 5 Say Obamacare Will Worsen Insurance Coverage

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Cheater’s Website Offers $1 Million for Tim Tebow’s Virginity.


Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow claims virgin status, but in a high-profile publicity stunt a controversial website is pledging $1 million to anyone who can prove she has slept with the Christian NFL superstar.

Ashley Madison, an online married dating service for “discreet encounters” that bills itself as the “most recognized name in infidelity” is offering up the bounty. The site glibly tweeted, “We’re just worried it might cost us millions!”

“Sports and sex (and of course, infidelity) go hand in hand,” said Ashley Madison head Noel Biderman in a statement. “If Mr. Tebow is indeed abstaining from adult relationships, I would encourage him to find a nice lady or two and enjoy his youth and fame as much as possible. I guarantee that no man of Tebow’s stature could survive a season in New York without succumbing to the temptations of the city.”

Ashley Madison’s offer is good through Tebow’s debut season with the New York Jets.

Biola professor Tim Muehlhoff says his first reaction on the $1 million bounty was to focus on how masculinity is socially constructed in often negative ways. He’s deeply disturbed by comments like “sports and sex (and of course, infidelity) go hand in hand.”

Why? Because, he says, as a culture we subscribe to a form of hype-masculinity that views virginity as a weakness. He points to the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin, noting it implies that the worst state of affairs in which a man can find himself is being 40 and a virgin.

“A few years ago James Doyle studied masculinity in America and identified five traits that serve as a script for men: Don’t be female, be successful, be aggressive, be self-reliant and, most importantly, be sexual,” Muehlhoff says. “Tebow is attempting to rewrite this view of masculinity by challenging the idea that success is most important—for Tebow, God’s approval is more important—and that sex is imperative to being a man—again, obeying God’s directive to abstain until marriage trumps pre-marital sex.”

As Muehlhoff sees it, Tebow is threatening the status quo. Due to his popularity—he was recently included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world—Tebow is challenging America’s gender script for masculinity and Christianity.

Biola professor Erik Thoennes looks at the $1 million bounty this way: In an age when sexual promiscuity, abuse, disease, dysfunction, confusion, obsession and perversion abounds, we should admire and learn from the discipline, character and principled example of Tebow.

“Undisciplined, selfish, irresponsible self-gratification is ruining more than our economy; it’s destroying God’s good intentions for sex and the cost of that is devastating,” Thoennes says. “In an age when women are constantly objectified, evaluated, demeaned and abused—and marriage and sexual purity are mocked—we should all do our best to denounce this absurd publicity stunt.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

By Jennifer LeClaire.

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