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Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia"s richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack and was once reportedly kidnapped for $2 million

Port tycoon Gautam Adani's wealth rose by $55.3 billion in 2021, putting him $800 million shy of the net worth of Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man. Chairman and founder of the Adani Group Gautam Adani seen during the News18 Rising India Summit on February 25, 2019 in New Delhi, India.Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Indian tycoon Gautam Adani is close to becoming Asia's richest man on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. As stocks in his companies rose Wednesday, Indian news outlets began placing him on the number one spot. Adani, a college dropout, worked as a diamond sorter and survived a kidnapping and terrorist attack. It's been a good year for Gautam Adani.The port tycoon, who hails from India, saw his fortune surge by $55.3 billion in 2021, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, knocking Zhong Shanshan, China's richest man, into third place when it comes to measuring Asia's wealthiest billionaires.Adani, 59, now sits at a net worth of $89.1 billion, per the index. That makes him $800 million shy of energy magnate Mukesh Ambani, Asia and India's richest person.On Wednesday, Adani edged up closer to claiming the number one spot, as shares of Adani Enterprise and Adani Ports rose 2.76% and 4.59%, while Ambani's companies, Reliance Industries and Reliance Industries Infrastructure, slipped by 1.48% and 1.57% in stock price, reported Indian outlet APB News.Several local media outlets now hail Adani as Asia's richest man, though he still sits at second place on Bloomberg's index as of Thursday.Adani has business interests in energy, defense, and real estate, and owns India's largest commercial port, one of the world's largest coal mines, and a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport. And he's come a long way from his days as a college dropout and time as a gem sorter.Diamonds, exports, and  loansBorn in 1962 as one of eight children in Ahmedabad, Adani was the son of a textile merchant but declined to take on his father's business, Silicon India reported.Instead, he enrolled in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad to study commerce but dropped out after his second year, opting to work as a diamond sorter in Mumbai in the early 1980s, per the magazine Business Today.Adani then moved on to diamond trading and eventually started his own business, Adani Enterprises, to import and export commodities in 1988, The Financial Times reported in an interview with him.He would use profits from his business to back heavy loans so he could enter other industries, reported FT.Adani received permission from the Gujarat government in 1995 to start a harbor in the town of Mundra, according to The Times of India. It eventually developed into India's largest private port.Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the latter was chief minister of Gujarat in 2003, has been criticized for rising in prominence and wealth because he supported the national leader. In his interview with FT, he denied that his business success came from his political ties.A terror attack and a $2 million ransomIn 1998, Adani accused several men of kidnapping him and a companion, Shantilal Patel, per The Indian Express. He alleged that he and Patel were traveling in a car on New Year's Day when a scooter blocked their path, allowing a group of men to abduct the pair into a van at gunpoint.A report filed against the men said they demanded a ransom of $2 million from Adani's family, and he and Patel were released after the money was sent over, according to The Indian Express. But two of the gangsters brought to trial were acquitted from the case in 2018, while six others were cleared of the charges in 2015 because the prosecution couldn't tie them to the kidnapping, Times Now India reported.Adani doesn't like to talk about the incident, according to FT, telling the outlet: "Two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in my life, that is one of them."His second brush with danger came a decade later, during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, a violent 60-hour siege of the city by ten heavily-armed Pakistani militants that left 166 people dead.An Indian man holds a sign as he stands on top of a car as thousands of Mumbaikars take part in a mass demonstration march following last weeks series of terrorist attacks on the city, near the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, on December, 03, 2008 in Mumbai, India. Two bombs were discovered and defused earlier today by Mumbai police at a train station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was one of the locations attacked by the terrorists. The attacks left almost 200 hundred dead and injured over 300 people.Uriel Sinai/Getty ImagesAdani was dining at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel when the siege occurred and said he could see the militants enter the building from his table, India Today reported. He hid in a basement with the help of hotel staff, and later relocated to a chamber hall on an upper floor as the attack continued throughout the night. When commandos stormed the hotel the following day, and Adani was escorted to safety, he told India Today that he "saw death at a distance of just 15 feet."Over 100 people were hiding with him, he said at the time. "Some had hidden below the sofa while others had taken similar evasive position. Sitting on a sofa, I was telling them to have faith in God."In 2018, he penned a reflection on the attack published on The Indian Express, writing that the anniversary of the attack was a "day of personal reflection and prayer" for him every year."One of the lives they saved that night was mine. I still recollect some of the faces — people I will never know, people I will never be able to repay," he wrote. "I am often struck by the thought that this was God's way of keeping me grateful and indebted."Insider has reached out to the Adani Group for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia"s richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and says he was once kidnapped for ransom

The port tycoon Adani's wealth rose by $55.3 billion in 2021, putting him $800 million shy of the net worth of Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man. Gautam Adani, the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, at the News18 Rising India Summit on February 25, 2019, in New Delhi.Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images The Indian tycoon Gautam Adani is nearly Asia's richest man on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As stocks in his companies rose Wednesday, Indian news outlets began placing him in the No. 1 spot. Adani, a college dropout, worked as a diamond sorter and survived a kidnapping and terrorist attack. It's been a good year for Gautam Adani.The port tycoon, who hails from India, saw his fortune surge by $55.3 billion in 2021, according to estimates from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, knocking Zhong Shanshan, China's richest man, into third place among Asia's wealthiest billionaires on the list.Adani, 59, now sits at a net worth of $89.1 billion on the index. That makes him $800 million shy of Asia's highest-ranked person, the Indian energy magnate Mukesh Ambani.On Wednesday, Adani edged closer to the No. 1 spot, as shares of Adani Enterprise and Adani Ports rose 2.76% and 4.59% while Ambani's companies Reliance Industries and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure slipped by 1.48% and 1.57%, the Indian outlet ABP News reported.Several local media outlets now hail Adani as Asia's richest man, though he still sat at second place on Bloomberg's index as of Thursday.Adani has business interests in energy, defense, and real estate, and he owns India's largest commercial port, one of the world's largest coal mines, and a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport. And he's come a long way from his days as a college dropout and time as a gem sorter.Diamonds, exports, and  loansBorn in 1962 as one of eight children in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, Adani was the son of a textile merchant but declined to take on his father's business, Silicon India reported.Instead, he enrolled in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad to study commerce but dropped out after his second year, opting to work as a diamond sorter in Mumbai in the early 1980s, per the magazine Business Today.Adani then moved on to diamond trading and eventually started his own business, Adani Enterprises, to import and export commodities in 1988, the Financial Times reported.He would use profits from his business to back heavy loans so he could enter other industries, per the Financial Times.Adani received permission from the Gujarat government in 1995 to start a harbor in the town of Mundra, according to The Times of India. It eventually developed into India's largest private port.Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since Modi was chief minister of Gujarat in 2003, has been accused of rising in prominence and wealth because he supported the national leader. In an interview with the Financial Times, he denied his business success came from his political ties.A terrorist attack and a $2 million ransomIn 1998, Adani accused several men of kidnapping him and a companion, Shantilal Patel, per The Indian Express. He alleged that he and Patel were traveling in a car on New Year's Day when a scooter blocked their path, allowing a group of men to abduct the pair into a van at gunpoint.A report filed against the men said that they demanded a ransom of $2 million from Adani's family and that he and Patel were released after the money was sent over, according to The Indian Express. But two of the people brought to trial were acquitted in 2018, while six others were cleared of the charges in 2015 because the prosecution couldn't tie them to the alleged kidnapping, Times Now India reported.Adani doesn't like to talk about the incident, according to the Financial Times, telling the outlet: "Two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in my life, that is one of them."A separate brush with danger came a decade later, during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, a violent 60-hour siege of the city by 10 heavily armed Pakistani militants that left 166 people dead.A mass demonstration after the series of terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008.Uriel Sinai/Getty ImagesAdani was dining at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel when the siege occurred and said he could see the militants enter the building from his table, India Today reported.He hid in a basement with the help of hotel staff and later relocated to a chamber hall on an upper floor as the attack continued throughout the night. He told India Today that when commandos stormed the hotel the following day, and he was escorted to safety, he "saw death at a distance of just 15 feet."More than 100 people were hiding with him, he said at the time: "Some had hidden below the sofa while others had taken similar evasive position. Sitting on a sofa, I was telling them to have faith in God."In 2018, he wrote a reflection on the attack published on The Indian Express, saying the anniversary of the attack was a "day of personal reflection and prayer" for him every year."One of the lives they saved that night was mine. I still recollect some of the faces — people I will never know, people I will never be able to repay," he wrote. "I am often struck by the thought that this was God's way of keeping me grateful and indebted."Insider has reached out to the Adani Group for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

Rittenhouse 2.0: Threats Of New Litigation Fly In Aftermath Of Verdict

Rittenhouse 2.0: Threats Of New Litigation Fly In Aftermath Of Verdict Authored by Jonathan Turley, In the aftermath of the Rittenhouse verdict, figures on both sides of the case threatened new filings and investigations. It seems likely that the case will move into a new stage of litigation, particularly civil litigation. However, advocates on both sides may be overstating the basis for a Rittenhouse 2.0.  These lawsuits can come with risks and considerable costs. That is why Voltaire once lamented “I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.” RITTENHOUSE AS A FUTURE DEFENDANT Federal Action Immediately following the verdict, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler called for the Justice Department to investigate the “miscarriage of justice.” Others have called for a federal civil rights case against Rittenhouse. The Justice Department does not have an office for the prosecution of “miscarriages of justice” due to errant jury decisions. Rittenhouse was acquitted on state charges by a state jury. Moreover, while some have called for reducing self-defense protections, the jury applied the law on the books. It is not allowed to simply ignore the law to seek its own criminal justice rules. The Rittenhouse jury faithfully applied the Wisconsin law and came to a well-founded verdict of acquittal. It is a dangerous precedent to investigate jury decisions simply because you disagree with their decisions. There is also no clear basis for a civil rights prosecution. Rittenhouse is white and shot three white men. He was not accused of a hate crime. Moreover, he is not a member of law enforcement or government agency, so he did not deprive anyone of their civil rights under federal law. Civil Liability Rittenhouse could face lawsuits from the families of the deceased or Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived being shot in the arm. That includes wrongful death actions much like the litigation against O.J. Simpson after he was acquitted for the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.  However, he was then found guilty in a torts lawsuit brought by the Goldman family and ordered to pay $33.5 million. Those damages later rose to $58 million. The risk of such torts actions is that they proceed under a lower standard of proof. Rather than shouldering the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of the prosecution, the plaintiffs would have to only prove responsibility by a “preponderance of the evidence.”  However, that is no guarantee of conviction. All three men attacked or threatened Rittenhouse before he used his weapon. The common law protects not just self-defense but mistaken self-defense where a person may have erroneously (but reasonably) thought that he was under attack. When attacked, Rittenhouse is authorized under common law to use commensurate force.  While Wisconsin does not have a “Stand Your Ground” law, the common law has always recognized such a right and did not require a person to retreat before using force. There is also more leeway in the admission of evidence in civil cases on both sides. That could further complicate any recovery by these plaintiffs. Finally, Wisconsin is a “modified comparative negligence” state. Accordingly, any plaintiff (or his estate) is barred if he is 51 percent or more at fault. RITTENHOUSE AS A FUTURE PLAINTIFF Defamation Rittenhouse does not have a viable claim for wrongful arrest or prosecution given the fatalities in the case and the reasonable disagreement of the need to use lethal force. However, many commentators have suggested that he has a strong case for defamation against President Joe Biden and many in the media for calling him a “white supremacist,” “domestic terrorist,” and “murderer.”  There is no question that Rittenhouse has been subject to false and harmful claims in the media. Indeed, many watching the trial were surprised by the sharp disconnect between what they had seen on the case in the media and what was being presented in court. Such defamation cases however are notoriously difficult and the odds are against Rittenhouse in prevailing on these characterizations of prejudice or guilt. It is likely that Rittenhouse will be considered a limited public figure or public figure given the notoriety of the case and his public defenses. The Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when  someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.” A limited-purpose public figure status applies if someone voluntarily “draw[s] attention to himself” or allows himself to become part of a controversy “as a fulcrum to create public discussion.” Wolston v. Reader’s Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157, 168 (1979). If a court finds such a status, he would be subject to a higher standard of proof under New York Times v. Sullivan. This is precisely the environment in which the opinion was written and he is precisely the type of plaintiff that the opinion was meant to deter. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. Moreover, courts are highly protective of “opinion” statements. People are allowed to reach a different conclusion from the jury in calling Rittenhouse a murderer or to characterize his actions as racist given the subject of the underlying protests. That does not mean that they are right or fair. There is no evidence that Rittenhouse is a white supremacist. However, courts give a wide berth to free speech in such public controversies. Many cite the litigation by Nicholas Sandmann, a former high school student who was widely and unfairly accused of abusing a Native American at a pro-life event at the Lincoln Memorial. Reporters latched on to the fact that he was wearing a MAGA hat and called a racist and falsely accused of starting the confrontation.  He sued and settled with some media outfits.  However, courts rejected his claims based on being labeled a racist. Where he prevailed was on statements that he “blocked” the activist at the scene. There may be more specific false statements like those in Sandmann’s case but the characterizations of his motivations or beliefs will be the most challenging to litigate. Bond claims Finally, there is likely to be litigation over who receives the $2 million bond posted in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Now that he has been acquitted, the bond ordinarily goes to the defendant. However, his previous lawyer, Lin Wood, and his organization Fightback Foundation claim the money. In a letter sent to Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder, Kenosha attorney Xavier Solis wrote that the money should be returned to Fightback: “These funds were transferred by the Fightback Foundation to the Pierce Bainbridge Law Firm’s trust account and paid by attorney John Pierce on behalf of, and as an agent for, the Fightback Foundation. Accordingly, the $2 million shall be returned to the Fightback Foundation, if and when such funds are released consistent with Wisconsin law and pursuant to court rulings releasing the bail money back to the individual or entity that posted the cash bail.” That presents a novel question. The court received the money on behalf of Rittenhouse. The family also claims that his mother raised a fair amount of the bail money. This could come down to a contractual dispute if Rittenhouse expressly agreed that this was a loan to be returned to the foundation. If not, the court could just return the money to Rittenhouse and have the lawyers sue the family for recovery of owed funds. What is clear is that the Rittenhouse case (like the Simpson and Sandmann cases) will continue for years. Indeed, Sandmann is still awaiting trial on some of his defamation claims. This is why Thomas Edison once remarked that “a lawsuit is the suicide of time.” Tyler Durden Sun, 11/21/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 21st, 2021

Some Say Occupy Wall Street Did Nothing. It Changed Us More Than We Think

Ten years ago, on November 15, Occupy Wall Street was pepper-sprayed into the night by a squadron of police officers who helped shovel the tents, books, and placards left by activists into a fleet of sanitation trucks. A messy, motley, and spirited demonstration, Occupy started as a march of some 2,000 people in lower Manhattan… Ten years ago, on November 15, Occupy Wall Street was pepper-sprayed into the night by a squadron of police officers who helped shovel the tents, books, and placards left by activists into a fleet of sanitation trucks. A messy, motley, and spirited demonstration, Occupy started as a march of some 2,000 people in lower Manhattan that mushroomed to approximately 1,000 similar protests across the country. It seized enough media coverage to appear like a moment in the making, as it amplified outrage over America’s skewed distribution of wealth and opportunity. And yet, as quickly as it started, it was gone within 59 days. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] In the decade since its demise, scores of observers—and even participants—have said Occupy Wall Street fell short. Pundits including New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin have written that it will amount to nothing more than an asterisk in the history books. Then, there’s Micah White, editor at the activist magazine Adbusters. White’s email blast before the protest began is credited with sparking the idea behind Occupy. But in the 10 years since the protest ended, White has deemed Occupy a disappointment since it never achieved what it set out to do. In his 2016 book, The End of Protest. A New Playbook for Revolution, White wrote, “an honest assessment reveals that Occupy Wall Street failed to live up to its revolutionary potential: We did not bring an end to the influence of money on democracy, overthrow the corporatocracy of the 1 percent or solve income inequality.” He concluded by calling Occupy “a constructive failure because the movement revealed underlying flaws in dominant and still prevalent theories of how to achieve social change through collective action.” At first glance, it might seem as if Occupy came and went without leaving much of a legacy. It never solidified around a specific set of demands, nor did it generate a concrete platform. There’s no significant flesh-and-bones organization to point to as its heir. And it never anointed a leadership team. There’s a big problem with that conclusion, however: Occupy’s messaging just won’t go away. It permeates political discourse about the global economy. It has cemented notions of economic inequality squarely in D.C. policy debates. Ideas that were thought to be too socialist since the demise of the Eastern Bloc—class struggle, wealth distribution across social strata, or even flaws in the capitalist system—were suddenly aired loudly and frequently for the first time since the Great Depression. Sparking new youth movements Occupy, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz told TIME, “is part of a series of events that precipitate an understanding of the limitations of corporate America, something that today has morphed into a sense of the misdeeds not only by the financial sector, the fossil fuel sector, and now by big tech. It was the first critique that crystallized it in a very powerful way. Subsequent movements built on growing understanding, a sense that the corporate sector is not really serving American interests.” Occupy also seized the imagination of two key demographics on the rise. The first of these: Millennials, many of whom participated in the movement’s Manhattan launch or any of the similar protests around the country. The sustained protest also left a lasting impression on Generation Z, a cohort that was just becoming aware of a turbulent world around it. Powered by youthful exuberance, Occupy not only roused a spirit of protest, but also helped create a template for peaceful resistance that could include equal measures of social media and old-fashioned physical presence. Not bad for two weeks of work—or as Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades nothing happens—in some weeks decades happen.” Millennials were pivotal in getting Occupy’s message out to participants and the media alike. A majority of participants were young students and college graduates who were steeped in student loan debt, according to CUNY sociologist Ruth Milkman’s studies of New York City’s Occupy enclave. As the first American generation to embrace social media, they used Twitter and Facebook to issue a call to action and later coordinate activities. Electrical outlets at Zuccotti Park made it possible to set up a makeshift communications post, one protesters used to contact media and document daily activities. Read More: The Racial Reckoning Went Global Last Year. Here’s How Activists in 8 Countries Are Fighting for Justice Occupy was not created by any one centralized group, nor did it give birth to an organization of formal movement. It embraced an open-source, horizontal structure, more in line with a software developer’s organizational hierarchy. Key figures in the movement including late-professor and long-time activist David Graeber said the structure was deliberate, the goal being a new democratic model which would follow the will of the people. The result, however, was a standstill mired in glacial debates that failed to produce a platform or leadership. And yet, Occupy seem to pull in support from disparate groups. The attraction lay in the fact that Occupy membership was never limited by narrow goals or messaging, says American University marketing professor Sonya Grier. “It was broad enough to capture all the associations the American public could generate at the time,” she says. “Even absent a unifying strategic action plan, Occupy Wall Street had the legs to spread to different societal groups in a way that continues to the present.” A long line of protests followed in Occupy’s wake and owe it a debt of gratitude. With the help of Occupy veterans, the Fight for $15 fair wage movement started less than a year after the Zuccotti Park encampment was shut down. Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the anti-Trump women’s marches, and the March for Our Lives certainly drew inspiration from Occupy. The movement helped propel Bernie Sanders’ Democratic-Socialist presidential campaign. There is a direct link between Occupy’s focus on economic disparity and the ascendancy of the Democratic party’s Progressive caucus. “The success of Occupy opened the eyes of a lot of participants to what protest was and how it could make a difference,” says CUNY’s Milkman. “In a way, it made protest cool for a new generation of young people for the first time since the late 1960’s.” Millennials are often maligned as a changeable and disconnected generation glued to their smartphone screens. That’s off the mark, says CUNY’s Milkman whose studies have tracked a group of several hundred Occupiers over time. She says a substantial majority have continued a commitment to change, some as activists, some as participants in other social movements, and some as labor organizers. In many ways, Occupy’s function as a loudspeaker marked a tipping point for other groups as well. In 2011, labor unions saw an opening, and several declared support for Occupy or marched including New York City transit workers, a Teamsters local, and later longshoremen at an Oakland, California offshoot. In 2016, a wave of teachers strikes in red states such as Oklahoma and Kentucky were organized by Millennials via social media. And the labor movement’s Striketober muscle flexing this year likely drew some inspiration from Occupy. Read More: What the Labor Movement Needs to Keep ‘Striketober’ Going, According to New AFL-CIO Leader Liz Shuler A wave of media exposure Location played a big part, too. Occupy’s headquarters was, of course, in America’s news media capital. Base camp for the movement was Zuccotti Park, a compact 33,000 square-foot public space small enough to be a guilt slice in the glutton’s banquet that is lower Manhattan real estate. The irony: Zuccotti was privately owned. Its owners had won a zoning concession that prevented Mayor Michael Bloomberg from outright evicting Occupy’s protesters and helped its longevity. From the start, Occupy delivered drama. Early on, New York Police pepper-sprayed several female Occupiers. Later, police clashed with march participants and arrested 700 protesters. The result was a groundswell of publicity. Occupy started slowly, drawing in 2% of total news coverage by the end of its second week, as measured by the Pew Research Center. By mid-November, that number had grown steadily to 13% while driving economic issues to absorb almost a quarter of newscasts. For perspective, consider two numbers. The first is 20+ million, the combined audience that sat down for evening newscasts of the big three broadcasters ABC, CBS, and NBC, according to Nielsen. At an average cost of $55,000 for a 30-second commercial slot, Occupy at its peak was generating a level of media attention roughly equivalent of nearly $1 million in free advertising nightly. By the beginning of its second month, the exposure was helping Occupy make inroads. A survey conducted in late October found a slim majority of participants (39% to 35%) supported rather than opposed the movement. Contrast those numbers with a 32%-44% support/oppose ratio generated by the Tea Party movement at the time and Occupy’s pull becomes clear. “When mainstream media, politicians and people milling at the water cooler are talking about political and economic inequality, the Occupiers are winning,” wrote University of California Irvine political science professor David S. Meyer at the time. The origins of ‘the 1%’ Any retrospective of Occupy must include serious consideration of its rallying cry: “We are the 99%.” Economists such as Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty may have already been studying the way inequality had wedged a shockingly wide gap between haves-in-excess and have-nots, but in just 14 characters, Occupy organizers created a message that framed the outrage millions and put “the 1%” on notice. They were armed with a deft turn of phrase made for daily distribution on a crescendo of news coverage. In this way, Occupy echoed the Tea Party and millions of others on the political left, right and center who were suffering during the height of the Great Recession and concurrently expressing outrage at bank bailouts that left them stranded. Occupy’s message continues to resonate. Exhibit A: President Joe Biden, who has targeted the 1% repeatedly while pushing to overhaul U.S. tax policy to help fund infrastructure improvements and an aggressive social agenda. His administration is also reportedly seeking to make good on yet another of Occupy’s ideas: debt cancellation. The 2020 Democratic Party platform pointed out that incomes for the top 1% in the country were growing five times faster than those of the bottom 90 percent. And let’s not forget Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose “Tax the Rich” dress at this year’s Met Gala event seems to leap straight out of an Occupy pret-a-porter evening collection. Read More: Erasing Student Debt Makes Economic Sense. So Why Is It So Hard to Do? “Occupy’s legacy is the commonsense attention to inequality,” says author Astra Taylor who participated in the protest and later co-authored a book chronicling its day-to-day progression. “Structural issues such as poverty were examined before Occupy, but were subterranean in American discourse,” she says. “Occupy brought them to the surface and in that way made the everyday experience of real people news.” Occupy’s unprecedented media success helped make the 99% and 1% labels commonplace. The nine months preceding Occupy were marked by global upheaval, so much so that TIME named “The Protester” the person of the year in 2011. The Arab Spring of 2011 had toppled despotic governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. In Europe, the Indignados protests against the Spanish government’s austerity measures followed soon after. By the time of its launch on September 17, Occupy had emerged as the latest in a global wave of mass discontent. A legacy left, right and center The lasting effects of Occupy are not isolated to the Left. A surge in populism is visible across the American political spectrum and much of the Right’s messaging can be traced back to the discontent Occupy crystallized. Donald Trump was able to leapfrog a crowd of Republican contenders in 2016 in part by hinting early on about raising taxation rates for the rich—only to U-turn later. His close adviser, Steve Bannon has identified a growing distrust of elites by a predominately white working class as key to Trump’s popularity. “The notion of money corrupting politics, of corporate welfare, and of crony capitalism—this is the stuff that left- and right-wing populism are made of,” says Robert Reich, formerly an economic adviser to the Clinton administration. Indeed, Bannon, whose film Occupy Unmasked claimed to expose an orgy of criminality at the heart of the protest, nevertheless took up positions about the abandonment of the working class that mirrored the movement’s tone. Bannon frequently pointed to his father’s loss of life savings when AT&T stock tanked in the 2008 market drop as prime motivation. Occupy’s wide appeal was fueled by shared frustration, more specifically a sense of disconnect between commonfolk and the government. “The idea is essentially that the system is not going to save us, we’re going to have to save ourselves,” said activist Graeber two days after Occupy launched. The 1%, meanwhile, has all but written Occupy off. The movement had no discernible impact on banking. No corporate regulation is directly linked to it. Ten years later, Wall Street and corporate America are bursting at the seams. Since 2011, the S&P 500 has climbed over 325% and now has a combined market capitalization of $39 trillion. Over the last 10 years, the wealthiest have gotten robust tax breaks thanks to a sizable windfall in the Trump tax cuts of 2017. And some measures find that members of the 1% grabbed hold an additional $7 trillion in wealth during the pandemic alone. Economist Thomas Piketty, who authored two seminal books on inequality in the last decade— Capital in the 21st Century (2013) and Capital and Ideology (2019)—says, “Inequality has been moving to the center stage since Occupy and Capital, but it is not enough. The process will continue and will probably be accelerated by COVID and global warming, but the forces of resistance (especially the power of money on political campaigns, think tanks, universities, the media, etc.) are still very strong.” He adds, “What makes me optimistic is that it’s always been like this: elites fight to maintain extreme inequality, but in the end there is a long-run movement toward more equality, at least since the end of the 18th century, and it will continue.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 15th, 2021

Elon Musk just lost $50 billion in 2 days, but he"s still the world"s richest person. Here"s how the Tesla and SpaceX CEO makes and spends his $288 billion fortune.

Elon Musk's net worth has soared since onset of the pandemic. And even when he loses billions, he's still significantly wealthier than Jeff Bezos. Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images Elon Musk just lost $50 billion in just two days, but he's still the richest person in the world. A notorious workaholic, Musk doesn't spend his money on lavish vacations or expensive hobbies. Here's how Musk makes and spends his $288 billion fortune. Decades before becoming a father of six and amassing an $288 billion fortune, Musk taught himself to code as a child growing up in South Africa. By the time he was 12, he sold the source code for his first video game for $500. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk works at his desk in 2008. OnInnovation/Flickr Source: MONEY Just before his 18th birthday, Musk moved to Canada and worked a series of hard labor jobs, including shoveling grain, cutting logs, and eventually cleaning out the boiler room in a lumber mill for $18 an hour - an impressive wage in 1989. OnInnovation/Flickr Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk got a pay cut to $14 an hour when he started a summer internship alongside his brother, Kimbal, at the Bank of Nova Scotia after cold-calling - and impressing - a top executive there. Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future After he arrived for his freshman year at Queens University in 1990, Musk quickly picked up a side hustle selling computer parts and full PCs to other students. "I could build something to suit their needs like a tricked-out gaming machine or a simple word processor that cost less than what they could get in a store," Musk said. Elon Musk. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The New York Times Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Within two years, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania on a partial scholarship. f11photo/Shutterstock Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future To cover the rest of his tuition, Musk and a buddy would turn their house into a speakeasy on the weekends, charging $5 at the door. "I was paying my own way through college and could make an entire month's rent in one night," Musk said. Tesla Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, reacts to a reporter's question following the electric automaker’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, Tuesday, June, 29, 2010 in New York. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics and an economics degree from the Wharton School and moved on to Stanford to pursue his PhD. REUTERS / Phil McCarten Source: MONEY He left the program within days to build an internet startup with his brother. They started Zip2, a city guide software for newspapers, with $28,000 in seed money from their father. Kimbal Musk, Elon's brother. Fred Prouser/Reuters Source: MONEY Four years later, in 1999, they sold Zip2 for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million. He invested more than half of his earnings to cofound X.com, an online banking service. Elon Musk at SpaceX Hyperloop Pod II competition in Hawthorne, California Reuters/Mike Blake Source: MONEY The company quickly merged with its rival and became PayPal, with Musk as the majority shareholder. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal and Musk walked away with $180 million. Paypal CEO Dan Schulman (C) celebrates with employees during the company's relisting on the Nasdaq in New York. Reuters/Lucas Jackson Source: MONEY Musk turned his attention to his new space exploration company, SpaceX, after leaving PayPal. A few years later he cofounded electric-car maker, Tesla, and then SolarCity, a solar power systems provider. The success of these companies eventually launched him into the billion-dollar club - but not before he went broke. Reuters Source: VentureBeat In late 2008, Musk divorced his first wife and it took a toll on his finances. A year later, Musk said he "ran out of cash" and had been living off loans from friends while trying to keep his companies afloat. Brendan McDermid/Reuters Sources: VentureBeat, Forbes, TechCrunch But when Tesla debuted on the stock market in 2010, Musk's fortune skyrocketed. By 2012, he appeared on Forbes' richest list for the first time with a net worth of $2 billion. Tesla Source: Forbes Nearly a decade later, Musk has amassed an $288 billion fortune - but it's not very liquid. Remarkably, Musk made his billions without ever taking a paycheck from Tesla, because the CEO refuses his minimum salary every year. By 2020, Tesla cut his paycheck down to zero. Getty/Kevork Djansezian Source: Bloomberg, Insider Musk's complicated salary structure means that he's awarded stock options when Tesla hits challenging performance metrics. When Tesla does well, Musk's wealth soars. Maja Hitij/Getty Images Source: Insider But Musk has said himself that he's cash-poor. "Some people think I have a lot of cash," Musk told investor Cathie Wood on a podcast last year. "I actually don't." Like a lot of other high-powered executives, Musk relies on mortgages and credit day-to-day. Elon Musk Pool Source: Insider Over the years, the CEO has purchased more than $100 million in residential property in California. He has since offloaded much of his real estate after vowing to sell it all and "own no house" last year. Google Maps Source: The Real Deal, Variety, Insider As the leader of one of the preeminent auto-makers, it's no surprise Musk has an affinity for cars. Back in 2013, he paid $920,000 at an auction for the Lotus Esprit submarine car used in a James Bond movie. AP Source: MONEY, CNBC In addition to driving Teslas, Musk has owned a few gas-powered cars including a Ford Model T, a Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster, a McLaren F1 (which he later totaled), an Audi Q7, a Hamann BMW M5, and a Porsche 911. Not Elon Musk's Jaguar. DeFacto/Wikimedia Commons Source: Insider Despite having funds to spare, Musk isn't a fan of lavish vacations - or any vacations for that matter. In 2015, he said he'd only taken two weeks off since founding SpaceX about 12 years earlier. Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images Sources: Inc, Quartz Musk has five children with his first wife, Justine Musk. In a 2014 tweet, Musk said he takes the kids on an annual camping trip. "I'm a pretty good dad," he said. "I have the kids for slightly more than half the week and spend a fair bit of time with them. I also take them with me when I go out of town." Elon Musk with two of his sons and now ex-wife Talulah Riley. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan Sources: Twitter, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk and Canadian musician Grimes welcomed a baby boy in May 2020 named X Æ A-Xii Musk - they appear to call the baby "X" for short. (Musk and Grimes have since broken up.) Musk and Grimes. Jason Kempin/Getty Images Source: Insider, Insider At the end of the day, the multibillionaire says he enjoys inexpensive hobbies like listening to music, playing video games, and reading books. "Hang out with kids, see friends, normal stuff," he said. "Sometimes go crazy on Twitter. But usually it's work more." REUTERS/Stephen Lam Source: Quartz In August 2018, Musk told The New York Times that he had taken to working 120 hours a week. "There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days - days when I didn't go outside," he told The Times. "This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends." Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images/Joshua Lott Source: The New York Times Musk said on an earnings call in 2017 that he doesn't have a desk at the Tesla factory: "I always move my desk to wherever - I don't really have a desk actually - I move myself to wherever the biggest problem is in Tesla. I really believe that one should lead from the front lines, and that's why I'm here." Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider Sources: Insider, Fortune Musk admitted to spending "many late nights" at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory re-writing software during a production sprint for the Model 3. Elon Musk showing YouTuber Marques Browne around the Gigafactory 1 Marques Browne/YouTube Source: Fortune For a story published in August 2018, Insider reporters spoke with 42 Tesla employees who said Musk is a visionary, but also unpredictably demanding. Tesla Motors Source: Insider Musk said in June 2019 that he even planned to spend his 48th birthday on June 28 at work, improving the company's "global logistics." Tesla CEO Elon Musk walks onto the stage to introduce the Model Y at the company's design studio Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. AP Source: Insider Musk told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he is, in fact, "somewhat impulsive" and doesn't "really want to try to adhere to some CEO template." Getty Source: Insider Not only does Musk spend a ton of time at Tesla, he also spends a lot of his money on the company. In the first six months of 2018, he bought more than $35 million worth of shares in Tesla. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Source: CNN Musk also invests a lot of time, energy, and resources into SpaceX. John Raoux / AP Images Source: Insider SpaceX has raised billions to develop, build, and launch Starlink - an effort to cover Earth in ultra-fast broadband internet - and build the prototype of Starship, a gargantuan reusable space vehicle designed to bring people to Mars. The company was valued at $100 billion as of October 2021. The Es'hail-2 mission launches toward space aboard one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets on November 15, 2018. SpaceX/Flickr (public domain) Source: Insider, CNBC Musk also helms The Boring Company, which he founded in 2016 to develop and construct underground tunnels in an effort to mitigate traffic. The Boring Company's Hawthorne, California, Tunnel. Robyn Beck/Pool via REUTERS Source: Insider According to The New York Times, The Boring Company raised over $112 million in 2018 - and more than 90% of it came from Musk. In 2019, the company raised outside funding for the first time to the tune of around $120 million. The Boring Company Source: The New York Times, Insider In 2012, Musk signed The Giving Pledge, vowing to donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime. Though he's already in the business of improving our environment and the future during his day job, Musk has made sizable donations to causes he cares about, including a $10 million gift to the Future of Life Institute to regulate artificial intelligence. jurvetson / Flickr Sources: Twitter, Insider Musk found himself in legal trouble with the SEC in 2018 after he tweeted that he had obtained the funding to take Tesla private, which moved the company's stock price. Musk reached a settlement with the SEC in April 2019 in which he and Tesla both agreed to pay a $20 million penalty. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source: Insider Musk moved Tesla share price again in May 2020, sending it down 13% after tweeting "Tesla stock price is too high imo." FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai Reuters Source: Markets Insider Musk's Twitter habits once again got him into legal trouble in 2019 after he called the British cave diver who helped rescue a Thai soccer team a "pedo guy"; the diver sued Musk, claiming defamation, but a jury ruled in Musk's favor. A courtroom sketch of British cave diver Vernon Unsworth during his defamation suit against Elon Musk. REUTERS/Mona Shafer Edwards Source: Insider Musk's net worth soared in 2020 amid the pandemic, increasing by 197% between March and August, according to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies. By December 2020, Musk had become the world's second-richest person behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos, left, and Elon Musk. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Source: Insider Only a few months later, Musk became the world's richest person and his net worth has only grown since: Just last month, Musk's wealth increased by $36 billion in a single day, the largest gain ever recorded by Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. Elon Musk. Steve Nesius/Reuters Source: Insider But after shares of Tesla plunged by 16%, Musk lost $50 billion in just two days. Tesla's share price dipped after a string of headlines, including a tweet from Musk asking if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Still, Musk remains $82 billion richer than Bezos. Tesla CEO Elon Musk Britta Pedersen / POOL / AFP via Getty Images Source: InsiderTanza Loudenback and Taylor Nicole Rogers contributed to an earlier version of this story. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

American Defense Policy After Twenty Years Of War

American Defense Policy After Twenty Years Of War Authored by Jim Webb via NationalInterest.org, America has always been a place where the abrasion of continuous debate eventually produces creative solutions. Let’s agree on those solutions, and make the next twenty years a time of clear purpose and affirmative global leadership. The American scorecard for foreign policy achievements over the past twenty years is, frankly, pretty dismal. And without talking our way all around the globe, it’s clear that the most dismal score goes to the stupidest mistakes. We fought one war that we never should have fought and another war whose objectives grew so out of control that no amount of battlefield proficiency could overcome the naïve mission creep of the political and military leadership at the top that was defining what our troops were supposed to do. So, let me start with a couple of quotes from two pieces I wrote, one at the beginning of this twenty-year period and the other at the end.   On September 4, 2002, five months before the Bush administration ordered the invasion of Iraq, I wrote the following as part of a larger editorial for the Washington Post, warning that an invasion would be a strategic blunder: Nations such as China can only view the prospect of an American military consumed for the next generation by the turmoil of the Middle East as a glorious windfall. Indeed, if one gives the Chinese credit for having a long-term strategy — and those who love to quote Sun Tzu might consider his nationality — it lends credence to their insistent cultivation of the Muslim world. An “American war” with the Muslims, occupying the very seat of their civilization, would allow the Chinese to isolate the United States diplomatically as they furthered their own ambitions in South and Southeast Asia. Almost exactly nineteen years later as the military planners serving the Biden Administration executed a shamefully incompetent final withdrawal from Afghanistan, I wrote the following for The National Interest, excerpted in the Wall Street Journal, in a piece entitled “Requiem for an Avoidable Disaster:”  …the war that we began was not the same war that we are finally bringing to an end. When we went into Afghanistan in 2001 our national concern was to eliminate terrorist entities who desired to attack us. The common understanding at the time was that we would operate with maneuver elements capable of attacking and neutralizing terrorist entities. It was never to occupy territory with permanent bases or to attempt to change the societal and governmental structure of the Afghan people. This “mission creep” began after a few years of successful operations and was obvious in 2004 when I was in the country as an embed journalist. The change in mission eventually increased our troop presence tenfold and sent our forces on an impossible political journey that no amount of military success could overcome. Why did all this happen? And how can we rectify the damage that has been done to the institutions that were involved, and to our international credibility? There’s an old saying that “success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan.” In this case, there were two entirely different categories of orphans, some of whom were not touched personally or even professionally, and some who gave up lives, limbs, and emotional health. For the policymakers in Washington, these were wars to be remotely managed inside the guide rails of theoretical national strategy and uncontrolled financial planning. As with so many other drawn-out military commitments with vaguely defined and often changing objectives, America’s diplomatic credibility steadily decreased while the price tag rose through the roof, into trillions of dollars and thousands of combat deaths. There is no way around the reality that these hand-selected policymakers, military and civilian alike, failed the country, even as many of them were being lionized in the media and offered lucrative post-retirement positions in the private sector. Their immediate strategic goals, vague as they were from the outset, were not accomplished. The larger necessity of meeting global challenges, and particularly China’s determined expansion, was put on the back burner as our operational and diplomatic capabilities were diverted into a constantly quarreling region with the deserved reputation of being the “Graveyard of Empires.” In the context of history, the human cost on the battlefield as viewed by those at the top was manageably small, and carried out by an all-volunteer military. Indeed, despite the length of twenty years of war and many ferocious engagements, the overall casualty numbers were historically low. DOD reports the total number of American military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over twenty years as 7,074, of which 5,474 were killed in action. This twenty-year number was about the same as six months of American casualties during any one of the peak years of fighting in Vietnam. Emotionally, although there was much sympathy and respect for our soldiers we were not really a nation in a fully engaged war. As the wars continued, life in America went on without disruption. A very small percentage of the country was at human or even family risk. The wars did not interfere on a national scale with the lives of those who chose not to serve. The economy was largely good. In places like my home state of Virginia it absolutely boomed with tens of billions of dollars going to Virginia-based programs in the departments of Defense and Homeland Security. This societal disconnect gave the policymakers great latitude in the manner in which they ran the wars. It also resulted in very little congressional oversight, either in operational concepts or in much-need scrutiny of DOD and State Department management and budgets. Powerpoint presentations replaced vigorous discussion. Serious introspection by Pentagon staff members gave way to bland reports from Beltway Bandit consultants hired to provide answers to questions asked during committee hearings. An “Overseas Contingency Fund” with billions of unlabeled dollars allowed military leaders to fund programs that were never directly authorized or specifically appropriated by Congress. To be blunt, the Pentagon and the Joint commands were basically making their own rules, and to hell with everybody else. This was not the Congress in which I had worked as a full committee counsel during the Carter Administration. Nor was it the Pentagon in which I had served as an assistant secretary of defense and Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. At the other end of the pipeline, it was different. For those who did serve, and especially for those who served in ground combat units and in special operations, being thrown into the middle of a region where violence and bitter retribution is the norm was often a life-altering experience. Repetitive combat tours pulled them away from home, from family, and from the normal routines of their peers again and again, creating burnout from unresolved personal issues of stress and readjustment to civilian life. So-called “stop loss” programs kept many soldiers on active duty after their initial terms of service were supposed to end, a policy that brought the not-unreal slogan that stop-loss was, in reality, nothing more than a back-door version of the draft: We have you. And we are going to keep you until we no longer need you. The traditional policy of allowing troops a two-to-one ratio of “dwell time” at home between deployments was repeatedly shortened until, for the Army, the ratio was less than one-to-one, requiring soldiers to return to combat for fifteen months with only twelve months at home to recuperate, refurbish, and retrain. Those who left the military after one enlistment rather than choosing a career were largely ignored by commands that provided little post-military guidance and sent battle-weary young soldiers home without much more than a goodbye. But along the way, as with those who have served our country in uniform in every other war, our young military did the job that they were sent to do, no matter the overall wisdom of the mission itself. With respect to these capable and dedicated young Americans who stepped forward to serve, I feel fortunate to have been able to play a part in making sure that the public was aware of the contributions they made, and to put into place policies that recognized and properly rewarded their service. And as a writer, journalist and later a Senator I was able to use whatever pulpit was available in order to emphasize that our greatest strategic challenges were not in the places where our elites had decided to invest our people and our national treasure, and to call for the country’s leadership to cease its unfortunate obsession with a region that has never needed a permanent American ground presence as a means of mediating, much less resolving, its centuries-old conflicts. You don’t take out a hornet’s nest by sitting on top of it. We’re smarter than that, and also more capable.   In addition to working on strongly felt issues such as economic fairness and criminal justice reform, once I was elected to the Senate I took a two-pronged approach to resolving the mess that had been made in our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first involved our larger strategic interests. I immediately gained a seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and two years later was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. From our immediate office, I designed a staff—and a legislative approach—that would energetically re-emphasize our commitment to relations in East Asia, and recruited good people to carry out that approach. My mission to my staff was that we were going to work to invigorate American relations in East Asia, particularly in South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines, and we were going to open up Burma to the outside world. We did more than talk about this, averaging three intense trips every year where I was able to meet with top leaders in those countries as well as almost every other country in ASEAN. Barack Obama later announced a similar policy after he was elected two years later, calling it the “Pivot to Asia.” Unfortunately, his administration’s approach skirted the largest issue in the region by avoiding any major confrontations with China. The pivot was largely abandoned at a crucial period in 2012 after China claimed sovereignty over a two million square kilometer area of the South China Sea, and began militarizing numerous contested islands claimed by several other countries. The Obama administration declined to criticize China’s actions, saying that the United States would not take a position on sovereignty issues. Quite obviously, not taking a position in this matter was defaulting to China’s aggressive acts. I responded by introducing a Senate resolution condemning any use of military force in the resolution of sovereignty issues in the South China Sea, which passed with a unanimous vote. The second involved the day-to-day manner in which our wars were being fought, and the way that our younger military people were being treated by those at the top. I participated in numerous hearings on all aspects from my seats on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, becoming even more concerned about the lack of serious congressional oversight. During one Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-invasion reconstruction efforts, an assistant secretary of state testified that the United States had spent 32 billion dollars on different smaller-scale projects.  I asked him to provide me and the committee a complete list of every project, as well as the cost. That was in 2007. I’m still waiting for his answer. This was clearly not the way things worked when I was a counsel in the House, where such requests were often answered within a day or two, from information that had already been compiled. In fact, the lack of an answer, despite follow-up calls from my staff, followed a broader pattern that had evolved after 9/11 when vague answers and delayed responses had become the norm, a deliberate and increasingly routine snub of the Congress by higher-level members of the executive branch. Take your choice. This was either incompetent leadership or deliberate obstruction. If the congressional liaisons from DOD were able to provide specific, complicated data within a day or two in 1977, certainly the computers of 2007 were capable of doing so after thirty years of technological progress. I responded by co-authoring legislation along with Senator Claire McCaskill that created the Wartime Contracts Commission, modeled after the Truman Commission of World War Two. After three years of investigations, the commission’s final report estimated that due to major failures in our contracting system the United States had squandered up to 60 billion dollars through contract waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the commission lacked subpoena power or criminal jurisdiction over actions taken in the past, but it certainly got the attention of would-be fraudsters, led to better record-keeping, improved the oversight process, and put a marker down for contracts from that point forward.   Having grown up in the military, and serving as an infantry Marine in Vietnam, and with a son who had left college to enlist in the Marine Corps infantry and fought in Ramadi, Iraq during one of the worst periods in that war, I seized the opportunity – and undertook the obligation – to properly reward the contributions of those who had stepped forward to serve. Immediately after I won the election to the Senate, and two months before actually being sworn in, I sat down with the Senate legislative counsel and drafted the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Having spent four years as a full committee counsel on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, my legislative model was the GI Bill that had been given to our World War Two veterans, the most generous GI Bill in history up to that time: pay for the veteran’s tuition and fees, buy the books, and provide a monthly living stipend. For every tax dollar that was spent on the World War Two GI bill, our treasury received eight dollars in tax remunerations from veterans who had gone on to successful lives. By contrast, the Vietnam Era GI Bill had provided only a monthly payment that in almost every case was far less than the costs of higher education, beginning in 1966 at a paltry rate of 50 dollars a month and ending in the early 1970s at $340 a month. I introduced the Post-9/11 GI Bill on my first day as a Senator. I put together a bipartisan leadership team—two Republicans, John Warner and Chuck Hagel; two Democrats, Frank Lautenberg and myself; two of them World War Two veterans, and two of them Vietnam veterans. Sixteen months later in a modern-day Congressional miracle, the bill became law, ironically over the strong opposition of the Bush Administration to the very end. The White House and the Pentagon claimed that such a generous bill would affect retention, causing too many people to leave the military. The obvious but implicit message was, Don’t treat them too good; they’ll leave. This position was taken by general officers who were going to receive a couple of hundred thousand dollars every year in military retirement when they themselves decided to leave. Having spent five years in the Pentagon and being intimately familiar with manpower issues, I held a completely different belief, that the generosity of the new GI Bill would enhance enlistments and help broaden the base of our overall military. In a back-handed compliment, at least in my view, I was not invited to the White House for the ceremony when the President signed the bill. But to date, millions of post-9/11 veterans have used this Bill, which is beyond cavil the most generous GI Bill in history. It has created opportunities and empowered the careers of people who are now making their way into positions of leadership and influence throughout the country. Shortly after I introduced the GI Bill, I introduced legislation to mandate a proper ratio for dwell time between overseas deployments. The legislation would have required that military members not be returned to combat unless they had been home for at least the amount of time that they had previously been gone. This was not unreasonable. A two-to-one ratio was a simple formula that reflected traditional rotation cycles. With the continuous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan it had fallen to less than one-to-one, which meant that for years our soldiers would be gone longer than they were at home, and when they were at home they would be spending much of their time getting ready to go back. This reality was clearly affecting not only morale but also the potential for long-term emotional difficulties such as post-traumatic stress. Predictably, the White House and the Pentagon opposed the legislation. Some claimed that I had designed it with a hidden agenda to slow down the war in Iraq. Others, led by Senator Lindsey Graham, claimed that the legislation was unconstitutional, that Congress could not intervene in the operational tempo of the military since the President was the Commander in Chief. But a precedent was already set. During the Korean War, Congress had ceased the deployment of soldiers who were being sent to the war zone without proper training by mandating that no military members could be deployed overseas unless they had spent 120 days on active duty. If the military leaders weren’t going to take care of their people, it was only right that Congress should set proper boundaries. The Republicans filibustered the legislation, which then required sixty votes for passage. Although the bill twice received a fifty-six vote majority, with several Republican votes for passage, we did not break the filibuster.  But we did put the issue of dwell time firmly before Congress and the public, and the two-to-one deployment cycle eventually became the express goal inside the Department of Defense. All of that is history. I put it before you as something of a template to show the patterns that evolved and have continued over the past twenty years, as well as evidence that strong and informed leadership in Congress can turn things around. In many ways, this dislocation is between those who make policy—including military leaders—and those who carry it out. It continues due to the group mentality of a foreign policy aristocracy seeking common agreement rather than original thought. And it has exacerbated this ever-growing dislocation by freezing out those who are not, basically, in the club because their thinking does not fit the usual mantra and their ideas threaten the prevailing orthodoxy. We need these other voices. There are lessons to be learned and unavoidable questions that need to be answered at every level. Some involve the articulation of our national security objectives and how we define national strategy. Some involve when and how we should use the military for operational missions in harm’s way. And some involve the actual makeup of these military missions, from their remote or covert or overt nature, and if deployed in large numbers how large that footprint should be, and what portion should consist of military contractors along the lines of the past twenty years. And for those who want to repair the damage, it challenges us to find clear ways where we can move forward. Who do we hold accountable for the random and often changing strategic mistakes that have damaged our strength and our reputation? How do we move forward in the way we articulate and implement our national strategy here at home? How do we regain our respect in the international community, both among our friends who need us, and from potential adversaries who pray every day that America will lose its willpower, that we would be so overcome by military failures abroad and turbulence at home that the nation itself will atrophy and descend into the ranks of an also-ran, second-rate power?   We should begin with a vigorous and open discussion about the makeup, power, and influence of America’s massive defense establishment. And here I’m talking about the highest levels of our uniformed military, the civilian government officials, the powerful defense corporations, the numerous think tanks funded heavily by the defense industry, the hugely influential lobbying organizations, and—if not at the bottom, certainly in the bullseye of the efforts of all of these entities—the authorizing and appropriating committees in the Senate and House of Representatives. Couple that with the media of all sorts, particularly the huge growth of the internet and social media, and one can see how complicated the debate over any controversial issue can become. We were warned about this, sixty years ago, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his well-remembered speech about the “military / industrial complex.” The speech was the president’s carefully placed farewell message to the American people, made just three days before he left office. His words resonate, symbolic in their timing as his final shot across the bow, and coming as they did from this former five-star general who knew the military with a completeness that no other American president could ever match. After commenting that in the aftermath of World War Two the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience,” Eisenhower expressed his concern about the “total influence – economic, political, even spiritual” of this new reality “in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.”   The outgoing, immensely popular President then bluntly called out the members of his own professional culture—the military itself—and the bond its top leaders were increasingly forming with America’s defense corporations. “In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military / industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Looking at the decades following his speech and particularly the past twenty years, I believe President Eisenhower would be amazed at how massively this military-industrial complex has grown, how entangled the relationships between the military and the industrial complex have become, and how much it has affected the career paths of civilian “experts,” as well as the positions taken by many senior flag officers facing retirement. Lucrative civilian careers have been made through the “revolving doors” of serving for a few years in appointed posts in the Departments of Defense and State, or by working on committee staffs in the Congress, then rotating over the space of many years in and out of government into the defense-oriented industry and in the ever more influential think tanks, some of them heavily funded by corporations with major financial interests in defense contracts. The number of people involved in such revolving doors and the amount of money flowing back and forth would have stunned the understanding of people in Eisenhower’s era. Likewise, many military officers have made similar career moves, taking advantage of skills and relationships that were developed while on active duty. Those in uniform and others who work in the area of national defense regularly comment about the potential for conflicts of interest among the most senior flag officers as they carry out their final active duty positions before retiring and prepare for their next career in the civilian world. Critical issues ranging from the procurement of weapons systems to carrying out politically sensitive military operations often comprise the way in which potential civilian employers decide on the next chapter in their lives. A hand played well can bring large financial benefits. A hand played poorly can result in media stigma or even being relieved of their duties, and a beach house in Tarpon Springs. As with other areas of public service, it would be useful for Congress to examine the firewalls in place in order to maintain the vitally important separation of the military, on the one side, and the industrial complex on the other, just as President Dwight Eisenhower so prophetically pointed out sixty years ago. Dwight Eisenhower would have liked General Robert Barrow, the twenty-seventh commandant of the Marine Corps. His leadership example personally inspired me, both during and after my service in the Corps. We had many personal discussions over the years, until he passed away in 2008. He was a great combat leader. He mastered guerrilla warfare while fighting Japanese units alongside Chinese soldiers in World War Two. In the Korean War, he received the Navy Cross, our country’s second-highest award, for extraordinary heroism as a company commander during the historic breakout from the Chosin Reservoir. And in Vietnam, he was known as one of the war’s finest regimental commanders. He knew war, he knew loyalty, and he knew his Marines. General Barrow was fond of emphasizing that moral courage was often harder, and more exemplary, than physical courage. On matters of principle, he would not bend. During one difficult period when he was dealing with serious issues in the political process, the four-star Commandant calmly pointed out to me that his obligation was to run the Marine Corps “the same way a good company commander runs his rifle company: I’ll do the best job I know how to do, and if you don’t like what I’m doing, then fire me.” It is rare these days to see such leaders wearing the stars of a general or an admiral. And thinking of President Eisenhower’s prescient warnings about what he termed the “the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals,” I have no doubt that he and General Barrow shared the same concerns. General Barrow held another firm belief. Having served as Commandant of the Marine Corps, he believed it would soil the dignity of that office by trading on its credibility for financial gain through banging on doors in Washington as a lobbyist or serving as a board member giving a defense-related corporation his prized insider’s advice on how to sell their product. The Japanese have a saying that “life is a generation, but reputation is forever.” And General Barrow’s pristine motivation will forever preserve his honor. I grew up in the military. I know the price that families must pay when their fathers or now even their mothers are continuously deployed, because I lived it as a very young boy. My father, a pilot who flew B-17s and B-29s in World War Two and cargo planes in the Berlin Airlift, was continually deployed either overseas or on bases with no family housing, at one point for more than three years. I know the demands and yet the honor of leading infantry Marines in combat and then spending years in and out of the hospital after being wounded. I know what it is like to be a father with a son deployed in a very bad place as an enlisted infantry Marine. And most of all I know the pride that comes from being able to say for the rest of my life that when my country called, I was there, and I took care of my people. My other major point today is that our top leaders in all sectors of national defense need to get going and develop a clearly articulated foreign policy. We have lost twenty years, unfortunately fulfilling the prediction that I made in the Washington Post five months before the invasion of Iraq that “Nations such as China can only view the prospect of an American military consumed for the next generation by the turmoil of the Middle East as a glorious windfall.” And for China, indeed it was. It’s ironic that we are now hearing frantic warnings from our uniformed leaders about China’s determined expansionism, both military and economic, and particularly about how recent reports of Chinese technological leaps might be something of a new “Sputnik” moment where America has been caught off-guard and now must rush to catch up. Too bad they weren’t following this as these policies and technological improvements were developed by the Chinese over at least the past two decades, while our focus remained intently on the never-ending and never-resolved brawls in the Middle East. The very people who now are wringing their hands and calling for a full-fledged effort to counter such threats are the same people who should have been warning the nation of their possibility ten or even twenty years ago. So, ask yourself: If things go wrong, who then shall we blame? Much of the world is now uneasy with China’s unremitting aggression on its home turf in Asia. Over the past decade, China has been calling its own shots, rejecting international law and public opinion while flexing its muscle to signal its view that it will soon replace the United States as the region’s dominant military, diplomatic and economic power. Beijing has taken down Hong Kong’s democracy movement; started military spats with India; disrupted life for tens of millions by damming the headwaters of the Mekong River; conducted what our government now deems a campaign of genocide against Muslim Uighurs; escalated tensions with Japan over the Senkaku Islands; consolidated its illegal occupation and militarization of islands in the South China Sea; and made repeated bellicose gestures designed to test the international community’s resistance to “unifying” the “renegade province” of Taiwan. China’s military is expanding and modernizing and its Navy is becoming not only technological but global. While we expended a huge portion of our human capital, emotional energy, and national treasure on two wars, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has had a major economic impact in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and with individual governments on other continents. In Africa, whose population has quadrupled since 1970 and which counts only one of the world’s top thirty countries in Gross National Product, more than forty countries have signed on to China’s BRI. Let’s get going. We have alliances to enhance, and extensive national security interests to protect. We need to address these issues immediately and with clarity. America has always been a place where the abrasion of continuous debate eventually produces creative solutions. Eventually is now. Let’s agree on those solutions, and make the next twenty years a time of clear purpose and affirmative global leadership. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/09/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 9th, 2021

The 19 best true crime books on notorious serial killers, haunting hate crimes, and page-turning murder mysteries

True crime books are nonfiction accounts of real crimes, such as unsolved murders or crimes involving serial killers or fraud. Here are the best ones. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. True crime books are nonfiction accounts of real crimes, such as unsolved murders or crimes involving serial killers or fraud. Here are the best ones. Amazon; Alyssa Powell/Insider True crime books are nonfiction accounts of real crimes, such as unsolved murders by serial killers. The books in this list were recommended by true crime fans for their unique take on notable crimes. Want more books? Check out the best thrillers or best books to learn about climate change. True crime is a quickly growing genre in nearly all forms of media, from podcasts to documentaries. Nonfiction true crime books often offer details that not only give readers information about notable crimes but create greater empathy for the victims, shed light on the failings of the justice system, and even help protect people in the future.Many true crime books focus on famous murders or historical serial killers, but the recommendations in this list also include topics like abuse and corporate fraud. Each book on this list comes highly recommended by true crime fans on Amazon and Goodreads and is chosen for its unique perspectives, unparalleled storytelling, and ability to humanize victims who were previously forgotten. The 19 best true crime books: A true crime investigation into the Golden State Killer Amazon "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" by Michelle McNamara, available on Amazon and BookshopThe Golden State Killer terrorized California for more than 10 years, committing more than 50 sexual assaults and 10 violent murders before disappearing. Though the police were unable to identify or locate the man, Michelle McNamara was an investigative journalist who was determined to bring him to justice. This book is the fast-paced account of her efforts, and a compelling accumulation of years of dedicated work. Michelle McNamara passed away suddenly during her investigation, but her lead researcher and her husband, Patton Oswalt, collaborated to finish this story, a compelling accumulation of years of dedicated work. A literary true crime classic Amazon "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, available on Amazon and Bookshop"In Cold Blood" is a true crime classic, one that reconstructs a senseless murder of four family members in 1959 Kansas, each killed by a shotgun blast inches from their faces. Truman Capote's writing reads like a thriller as he breeds suspense through journalistic research of the crime, the investigation, and the ultimate execution of the killers. This is an in-depth look at the criminals who left almost no clues for the investigators, a book that was once required reading in many schools and now a favorite amongst true crime readers for the depth of characterization and Truman's unique and alluring use of language. A detailed dive into decades of Hollywood abuse Amazon "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators" by Ronan Farrow, available on Amazon and BookshopThe investigative story of the abuses and cover-ups surrounding Harvey Weinstein, this true crime book reads like a thriller. Ronan Farrow is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who fought against an elaborate web of lies to expose the outrageous truths of predatory sexual and harassment in Hollywood, not only from Weinstein but from an industry of offenders who abused their power and silenced their victims. While many readers are likely familiar with this story due to its high publicity, Farrow's elaborate takedown of powerful abusers is worth reading about in detail.  An inside look into an elaborate con Amazon "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" by John Carreyrou, available on Amazon and BookshopElizabeth Holmes was the CEO of Theranos, a company that revolutionized the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests faster and easier. Seen as the female Steve Jobs and hailed as a genius across the media, Elizabeth's net worth quickly rocketed to $4.7 billion and her company to $9 billion — until it was discovered that her product didn't work. The book outlines how one woman managed to defraud medical facilities, FDA researchers, and her own employees, a story of unparalleled corporate fraud and unchecked greed. A deep-rooted true crime conspiracy resulting in a string of murders Amazon "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann, available on Amazon and BookshopWhen oil was discovered beneath the land of the native Osage in Oklahoma in the 1920s, they became some of the richest people in the world. But, slowly, the Osage were being killed or dying under mysterious circumstances. As the death toll reached 24, the newly established FBI began to investigate. Famously corrupt at the time, the FBI failed to solve the case until the director teamed up with one of the only Indigenous agents to uncover the mystery around one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history. This shocking historical injustice is an important piece of purposefully buried history that needs to be told. A spotlight on a bloody guerilla campaign and its civilian victims Amazon "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland" by Patrick Radden Keefe, available on Amazon and Bookshop"The Troubles" was a 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland that began as an effort to end discrimination of the Catholic, nationalist minority. It was a guerilla campaign, with more than half of the people killed being civilians, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) responsible for most of the deaths. "Say Nothing" is the story of the brutal murders committed in the name of this campaign, including that of Jean McConville in 1972, a mother of 10 who was abducted from her home and whose body wasn't discovered until 2003. This is an intricate narrative that used over 100 interviews to construct a portrait of the lasting repercussions of this conflict. A shocking true crime memoir of survival and forgiveness Amazon "The Pale-Faced Lie" by David Crow, available on Amazon and BookshopThis is a memoir of true crime, the story of David Crow's unlikely survival and success despite a chaotic and traumatic upbringing. David grew up on the Navajo Reservation with his ex-convict father who viciously manipulated him into criminal demands. After managing to escape his father's remorseless grasp, David reaches a climax with his father where he must outsmart him to survive. This is a simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story of the lifelong process of forgiveness despite years of abuse, an insightful and inspirational memoir of resilience. A true story of survival in the face of maternal evil Amazon "If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood" by Gregg Olson, available on Amazon and Bookshop"If You Tell" is a disturbing read about torture, abuse, and murder from a pscyophathic mother and the bond the sisters used to survive. This book brings to light, in detail, the horrors of torture and neglect that Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek endured and held secret through childhood. The story is intense, using the narratives from the daughters, husband, neighbors, and friends to paint the picture of a woman who subjected her children to unspeakable trauma. It is a heartbreaking story of survival, one of three women's exceptional bravery in the face of evil. A unique perspective on the Ted Bundy story Amazon "The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy" by Ann Rule, available on Amazon and BookshopWhen Ann Rule, a true crime writer, signed on to write a book about a brutal serial killer of young women, she didn't know it would be about a man with whom she had a lasting friendship — Ted Bundy. Ann struggled to understand how her intelligent and charismatic coworker at the crisis center in Seattle could be accused of such horrific crimes. Refusing to be embarrassed by being fooled by Ted, this book is biographical and autobiographical, telling the story of the notorious and charming serial killer while also narrating Ann's difficulty to accept such a heavy reality. The story of a hate crime that fueled the Civil Rights movement Amazon "The Blood of Emmett Till" by Timothy B. Tyson, available on Amazon and BookshopIn 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was killed after being accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store. This hate crime, in combination with his mother's actions afterwards, spurred a wave of activism in the Civil Rights movement including sit-ins, Rosa Parks' famous "no," and a Supreme Court decision making segregation unconstitutional. This book tells Emmett's story, with new evidence including an admission of innocence from the woman he was accused of offending.  The investigative journalism that brought justice to unsolved crimes Amazon "Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era" by Jerry Mitchell, available on Amazon and BookshopJerry Mitchell's work around this true crime book helped reopen decades-old cases left unsolved due to bigoted corruption. In 1964, more than 20 Klansmen killed three Civil Rights activists in what would be known as the Mississippi Burning — a hate crime that took more than 40 years to see convictions. Mitchell profiles the assassination of Medgar Evers, the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombings, the firebombing of Vernon Dahomey, and the Mississippi Burning in his book. His commitment to justice resulted in prison sentences for four Klansmen. The true story of a gruesome murder Amazon "The Evil Within: The Heartbreaking Story of Becky Watts by her Father" by Darren Galsworthy, available on Amazon and BookshopThis is the shocking story of Becky Watts, murdered and dismembered by her stepbrother in February 2015. Her father, the author, investigates the darkness around his stepson, who he raised as his own, and the strange relationship between him and Becky. It also recounts the nightmarish trial, a story that refuses to shy away from the truth despite the constant pain surrounding every aspect of the account. Used as a tool to help conquer the grief, Becky's father writes a heartbreaking story of a parent's experience beyond devastation and the heartwarming growth of community around Becky's murder. A true crime account of an infamous series of cult murders Amazon "Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders" by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, available on Amazon and BookshopThe Manson Family was a 50-person commune and cult led by Charles Manson , responsible for at least nine murders in the 1960s and 1970s. Written by the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, this true crime book offers a detailed, first-hand account of the proceedings of the Tate-LaBianca murders from 1969. Carried out by Manson and four of his followers, the murders appeared senseless and random, his cult intriguing and instilling fear worldwide. This is a shocking narrative, gripping and filled with more details than ever before of the murders, the trial, and the societal fascination surrounding the crimes.  The powerful truth behind a horrible massacre Amazon "Columbine" by Dave Cullen, available on Amazon and BookshopHailed as a definitive account of the school shooting in 1999, Dave Cullen spent more than 10 years meticulously reporting and investigating the teenage killers responsible for a high school massacre. This is a harrowing chronicle of the shooting and attempted bombing as well as a year-by-year story of the survivors, the victims' families, and the narrative that shifted as time passed. Cullen analyzes the violence with survivor accounts, evidence from the investigation, and words from the shooters to create a vivid report of a grave tragedy. The shocking story of an Australian arsonist Amazon "The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire" by Chloe Hooper, available on Amazon and BookshopThis story is about Black Saturday — a series of fires lit in 2009 that became one of the most devastating bushfire disasters in Australia, killing 173 people and destroying approximately 1.1 million acres and 2,000 homes. Hooper uses brilliant storytelling and narrative nonfiction to follow the hunt for a man who lit two fires, analyzing the psyche of the arsonist in combination with the survivors, detectives, and defense lawyers to create an unsettling read of the painful journey to justice. A historical restoration of humanity to forgotten victims Amazon "The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed" by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold, available on Amazon and BookshopIn 1888, five women — Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary-Jane — had little in common despite their murders by an unidentified man dubbed "Jack the Ripper." As the personality coined to fill the gap grew, the stories of these women were buried beneath a narrative of a serial killer who targeted "prostitutes" — a false narrative that resulted in the dismissal of the victims by a society that devalued sex workers. More than a century later, Hallie Rubenhold profiles the difficult lives of these Victorian women that history chose to forget, restoring the humanity of the victims diminished by the legend of "Jack the Ripper."  The real investigation that led to justice Amazon "Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three" available on Amazon and Bookshop"Devil's Knot" is a highly researched account of three men released after 18 years in prison, despite two life sentences and one death sentence. In 1933, three teenagers, alleged members of a satanic cult, were charged with the murders of three 8-year-old boys. This book outlines the investigation and conviction as well as how their unprecentented release from prison was a miscarriage of justice set right. It is a terrifying case, one that incites anger from readers over a narrow-minded town and the "witch hunt" style trial driven by fear that put three teenagers in prison.  The true story of assaults on one college campus Amazon "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town" by Jon Krakauer, available on Amazon and BookshopThis is the horrifying story of how law enforcement failed the rape victims at the University of Montana, where the Department of Justice investigated over 350 sexual assaults between 2008 and 2012. Jon Krakauer used interviews and discarded evidence to show how police and the school chose to believe the accused even when there was surmounting evidence from the victims. The horrible experiences of several women in Missoula demonstrate the importance of taking sexual assault allegations on campus seriously.  A true crime story that reads like fiction Amazon "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America" by Erik Larson, available on Amazon and BookshopThis book uses alternating narratives to tell the story of two men during the construction of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Daniel Burnham, an architect, was tasked to construct the "White City" that would save Chicago's reputation, despite nearly insurmountable personal and professional odds. Meanwhile, H.H. Holmes used his charm and newly constructed hotel to lure women into gruesome horrors that would lead to their untimely deaths. This true crime nonfiction book is so elaborately researched and written, it reads like a historical fiction thriller. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

"I relive it daily": Woman describes trauma of being taken off a plane in Qatar and internally examined after authorities found an abandoned newborn baby

A baby was found in a Doha airport bathroom, prompting a search for the mother. Women were taken off planes and given invasive exams without consent. A Qatar Airways jet arriving from Doha, Qatar, in Frankfurt, Germany.AP Photo/Michael Probst, File Last October, a newborn baby was found in a Qatar airport bathroom, prompting a search for the mother. Multiple women said they were taken off their planes and given nonconsensual invasive gynecological searches. One of those women told Insider of the experience and said she relives the trauma daily. On October 2, 2020, Mandy was sitting on a plane in Doha, Qatar, to Jakarta when she was asked to get off, escorted by armed guards into an ambulance on the tarmac, and given an invasive gynecological search against her will — all without being told what was happening.She's now one of multiple women preparing to take legal action against Qatar Airways, Doha's Hamad International Airport, and the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority. Mandy is British, while the other women are Australians who were on a flight from Doha to Sydney. Mandy requested her last name remain private, but it is known and verified by Insider.Qatar has acknowledged multiple women were examined, saying it was because authorities discovered a newborn baby in the airport's bathroom and wanted to find the mother."It was horrifying and I relive that time," Mandy, 51, told Insider. "I relive it daily."Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.Thomas Pallini/InsiderQatar Airways directed Insider's request for comment to Qatar's government. The government, airport, and aviation authority did not respond to Insider.A spokesperson for the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office told Insider it supported two British women after the incident, adding: "We formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways, and sought assurances that it would be thoroughly investigated and measures would be put in place to prevent an incident like this happening again."Armed policeMandy had flown from London and was transiting in Doha to ultimately reach Bali, Indonesia, she said.She said she was sitting on the plane and noticed it seemed to be taking off late. Then, she said, everyone on board was told to get off.Mandy.MandyThe passengers were brought to the gate and met by "armed police and officials," she said.They waited, and then a few women from the group were selected, Mandy said."I was approached, which was quite intimidating. It felt quite threatening at that point. I was approached by what I believed to be a female Qatari police officer who sort of picked me and two or three other women, and were demanded to follow her."Mandy said she was then taken in an elevator — where the woman "didn't take her eyes off of me — and then brought to the tarmac and met by more armed police.She was taken into an ambulance, where a female nurse was waiting, she said."She ordered me to lie down on the bed, which I did. Then, she asked me to undress from the waist down."The exam"I was so shocked," Mandy said of the nurse's request."She checked my genital area and checked to see whether or not that I had actually given birth. It was one of those sort of fight-or-flight situations.""I always believed I would be one of those people that would fight because I sort of consider myself as pretty strong, but ... I was frozen," she said.At this point, Mandy still hadn't been told why she was being searched, she said."When I did manage to speak, I asked, why did she need to check me there?"She was then told about the baby.She said she felt confused and insulted, particularly given she was older than the other women taken down to the tarmac but was the only one who was searched."I felt like I had been assaulted. I gave no consent. It felt like I was made to do this under duress, and it was like under gunpoint. I felt like that's exactly how it felt," she said."I had machine gun-wielding police officers three feet away from me. It was awful. It was absolutely awful."Mandy said she spent the next few weeks "in a state of shock. I felt totally violated. Totally, totally violated."That turned to anger, especially when she learned other women were affected.She said she has since been prescribed antidepressants over the effects of that search, as well as for other factors like COVID-19 lockdowns.Mandy said she believes she is the only woman on her flight who was given an invasive search, but she was far from the only one in Doha subjected to that treatment.A Qatar Airways plane.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDamian Sturzaker, Mandy's lawyer, told Insider that women on at least eight more flights from Doha were also taken off, and he believes some of them were examined. The total number of women affected is unclear.Qatar's government acknowledged last year that authorities were "examining a number of female passengers," and "standard procedures were violated," The New York Times reported. Qatar's prime minister apologized, calling the searches "unacceptable."'Under the impression they were being kidnapped'Sturzaker told Insider many of his clients still experience "ongoing effects" of trauma, and many still struggle with work and air travel.Some of the Australian women behind the lawsuit "compared the violation and humiliation as being a victim of rape" when speaking to Australian police, Sturzaker said in an October 2021 letter to Qatar Airways' CEO. Insider has reviewed the letter."They outright feared for their lives and expected to be shot," the letter said."Many were under the impression they were being kidnapped and that a terrorist attack was occurring."Sturzaker told Insider that his clients didn't initially want to take legal action, but Qatari authorities ignored their attempts to talk about what happened and ensure it doesn't happen to other women. A Qatar Airways plane.InsectWorld / Shutterstock.comThe lawsuit is expected in the coming weeks, Sturzaker told Insider.Qatari officials said last November that they had found the baby's mother, identifying her only as an Asian woman who fled Qatar after leaving the baby. It's unclear what has happened to the baby since.Mandy said she's angry at the lack of communication from Qatar and lack of apology from the airline: "It's actually disgusting how we can be treated like that."She now wants to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else: "I'm just an ordinary person, and it's happened to me. I want to stand up and have a voice about this because it cannot happen to anybody else in any other airport."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 42 min. ago

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Jack Dorsey is expected to announce he is stepping down as CEO of Twitter, unnamed sources told CNBC. Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire. He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. CNBC reported on Monday that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter, citing unnamed sources. Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.Since then, he has led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.CNBC reported Monday that Dorsey is expected to announce he's stepping down as CEO, citing unnamed sources.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to take a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Business Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Business Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: Business InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Source: Business InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Business Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional CEO these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Business Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: Business InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: Business InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: Business InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: Business InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Business Insider, Business Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square is launching a new bitcoin business.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hasn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey splits his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: Business InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: Business InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.The CEO said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.CNBC reported on November 29 that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn undisclosed number of sources told CNBC's David Faber Dorsey is expected to announce he will step down as CEO, CNBC reported Monday.Twitter did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

Elon Musk is close to selling his final California mansion. Take a look at the $100 million real estate portfolio he"s been offloading since vowing to "own no house."

Musk owned at least seven million-dollar houses in California, including six in the Los Angeles area alone. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images In May 2020, Elon Musk vowed to sell "almost all physical possessions," including his homes. Musk owned at least seven houses worth a combined $100 million, including six mansions in Bel Air. Here's a look at all the homes he's owned and sold, including the final mansion in his portfolio. Elon Musk has built a $279 billion fortune as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and is currently the richest person in the world.Elon Musk.Susan Walsh/APSource: InsiderMusk and the companies affiliated with him have owned at least seven residences collectively worth over $100 million, mostly in the Los Angeles area.Bel-Air.Sundry Photography/ShutterstockSource: InsiderBut in May 2020, Musk tweeted that he planned to offload that real estate portfolio, vowing to "own no house." He's since relocated to Texas, where he reportedly lives in a $50,000 prefab home.A photo shared with Insider appears to show Boxabl delivering a Casita to SpaceX.Jorge Ramirez 9:44Source: Insider, Elon Musk/TwitterBut up until last year, Musk had an expansive real estate portfolio. He bought his first piece of Bel Air real estate in late 2012 for $17 million after renting the colonial-style mansion for two years and living there with his sons.Sotheby's International RealtySource: Insider, Los Angeles TimesThe house has 20,248 square feet of space divided into different wings and has a total of seven bedrooms. It also has a two-story library.An office space in one of Musk's Bel Air homes.Sotheby's International RealtySource: Variety, The Wall Street Journal The backyard has a pool ...Sotheby's International RelatySource: Insider... a tennis court ...Sotheby's International RealtySource: Insider... and a view of the exclusive Bel-Air Country Club. There's also a gym and a wine cellar.Sotheby's International RealtySource: InsiderMusk reportedly sold the home in June 2020 for $29 million. The buyer was Chinese billionaire William Ding, the founder and CEO of online gaming firm NetEase, The Wall Street Journal reported.Sotheby's International RealtySource: ReutersMusk bought a $6.75 million home on the same street in October 2013.Trulia.comSource: InsiderActor Gene Wilder lived in the 2,756-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch-style home for over 30 years, until 2007.The backyard of this home, once owned by Gene Wilder, also overlooks the Bel Air Country Club.Trulia.comSource: Insider, The Wall Street JournalMusk used the house as a private school for his children. In a 2015 interview with Vogue, the billionaire CEO described it as "like a little schoolhouse on the prairie, except in Bel Air on a golf course."The pool area of the home Musk once used as a private school for his children.Trulia.comSource: Variety, VogueMusk put the home on the market for $9.5 million in May 2020, but made one stipulation: Whoever purchased Wilder's estate could not tear it down or remove its "soul."The home's gate as seen from Google Street View.Google MapsSource: InsiderMusk sold the house in October 2020 for $7 million to an LLC managed by the screenwriter and producer Elizabeth Hunter, who is married to Wilder's nephew, Variety reported at the time. Musk may even have even lent the couple $6.7 million to help pay for the home.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images; Pictometry/Los Angeles County AssessorSource: Insider, VarietyIn 2015 and 2016, Musk purchased two more Bel Air mansions: another ranch house for $20 million and an unfinished mansion for $24.25 million, respectively.An aerial view of the unfinished Bel Air mansion Musk purchased in 2016.Google MapsSource: Variety, Wall Street JournalMusk had bought yet another Los Angeles mansion for $4.3 million in July 2015, but apparently didn't maintain it well. Neighbors told The Wall Street Journal that it didn't appear anyone was living in this house full-time.Another aerial view of Bel Air. Musk's home not pictured.Google EarthSource: The Wall Street JournalTwo years later, Musk reportedly bought another mansion in the same area. The property — a colonial-style, two-story home built with a white brick facade — is estimated to be worth $4.2 million. These four homes were listed for a collective $62.5 million on Zillow in May 2020 and sold about six months later.An aerial view of Bel Air. Musk's home not pictured.Source: Wall Street Journal, Zillow, Los Angeles TimesMusk also previously owned this "boomerang-shaped house" in Brentwood, California, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles with his ex-wife, Talulah Riley. The couple paid just under $3.7 million for it in 2014, per Variety. He sold the house for $4 million in August 2019.Hilton & HylandSource: Insider, Dirt, InsiderBut Musk's properties aren't limited to the LA area — his final California home is in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from Tesla's Fremont, California, factory.Tesla's Fremont factory.David Butow/Corbis News via Getty ImagesSource: InsiderLocated in the ritzy Bay Area suburb of Hillsborough, the 100-year-old, 16,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion boasts 10 bedrooms, bay views, hiking trails, and a ballroom. Musk bought it for $23.4 million in June 2017 and listed it on Zillow in 2020 for $35 million.A map showing the location of Hillsborough, California. Musk's home not pictured.Google MapsSource: The Wall Street JournalBut Musk appeared to have trouble offloading the home. He pulled it off the market more than once, and in October 2021, he reduced the price to $32 million. But by November, Musk appeared to find a buyer for the home, though the offer is listed as "contingent," meaning Musk is still negotiating the conditions of the sale.Elon Muskpicture alliance / Getty ImagesSource: SFGate, The Real Deal, InsiderTaylor Nicole Rogers contributed to an earlier version of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 16th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Buttigieg"s legacy moment

And former President Donald Trump is selling his Washington, DC, hotel. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Pete Buttigieg is about to become the most powerful transportation secretary everTrump is selling his Washington, DC, hotelA Democratic operative started a group to raise money for candidates. His firm bagged most of the cash raised. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images 1. DOWN THE ROAD: Pete Buttigieg is facing a historic transportation moment. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan into law today, which is set to give Buttigieg effective control over more than $200 billion in discretionary grants over five years. One expert said that's about five to six times as much money as any previous transportation secretary has had to work with.Here's what this will mean:This is Buttigieg's most significant accomplishment thus far: Biden tapped him to help lead negotiations on Capitol Hill. During this push, Buttigieg held 300 calls and meetings with lawmakers all the way up to the final hours of the legislation's passage, logged more than 125 local news hits, and conducted more than 300 press interviews selling the road-and-jobs package.And now he has a massive pile of cash to help distribute: Despite Republican efforts to limit the size and scope of what's in the legislation, the Department of Transportation will be tasked with doling out approximately $210 billion over five years in discretionary grants.DOT is expected to change drastically too: The department's annual budget under Buttigieg is set to increase to $140 billion from $90 billion, and department officials acknowledge they'll have to staff up to match the moment.Another former mayor is competing for the spotlight: Biden tapped former Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans to serve as a senior advisor and oversee the infrastructure law's implementation.Read more about what this moment means for Pete Buttigieg.2. There are low expectations for tonight's virtual China summit: Both sides have sought to downplay what will come out of Biden's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later tonight, Politico reports. Their meeting comes at a critical juncture for US-China relations as tension over Taiwan, questions about the coronavirus pandemic's origin, and the legacy of Trump-era tariffs are coming to a head. Here's what experts expect to come out of the talks.3. A Democratic operative started a group to raise money for candidates. Then his firm bagged most of the cash raised: Mike Reid, a digital operative who worked on campaigns for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the activist Sean Eldridge, also started When Democrats Turn Out PAC. Would-be donors clicking on one of the group's ads might have thought their money was going straight to their favorite candidate(s). But of the over $2.5 million that When Democrats Turn Out has spent since it was founded in 2018, most has gone to Basecamp Strategy, a digital firm that was also founded by Reid. Arrangements like this make it harder for donors to see where their money is going.4. White House seems confident House Democrats will pass Biden's spending plan this week: Brian Deese, Biden's top economic advisor, told the Associated Press that Democrats would quickly pass Biden's nearly $1.85 trillion spending plan later this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues on Friday that she still planned on moving the spending package soon. Here's where things stand.5. Trump is selling his Washington, DC, hotel: His real-estate company is selling the rights to its luxury hotel in Washington, DC, for $375 million, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources. The lease for the Trump International Hotel is reportedly being acquired by CGI Merchant Group, an investment firm based in Miami. Trump's name is said to be coming off of the hotel.6. World climate summit deal yields mixed reviews: "Many world leaders and activists expressed disappointment this weekend with the climate deal that emerged from two weeks of heated negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland," The Washington Post reports. The final agreement lacks the complete funding needed for developing countries to mitigate extreme weather events and to build clean energy infrastructure, The New York Times reports. Officials also watered down a pledge to "phase out" unabated coal. Instead, nations agreed to "phase down" their use. Here are the key details from the COP26 agreement.7. Closing arguments are expected in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial: Judge Bruce Schroeder will allow jurors to consider some lesser charges in addition to the current counts Rittenhouse is facing, which include first-degree intentional homicide, USA Today reports. Rittenhouse is standing trial for fatally shooting two men during August 25, 2020, protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that erupted in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. More on what to expect today in the closely watched trial.8. A 9-year-old boy has died after being trampled at Travis Scott's Astroworld: Ezra Blount is the youngest of 10 victims who lost their lives in a crowd crush at the November 5 concert. Those who died were ages 9 to 27 and also included a ninth grader and a 16-year-old dancer. Hundreds of other concertgoers were injured.9. Elon Musk starts a Twitter fight with Sen. Bernie Sanders: Musk, the world's richest person, continued his trend of attacking liberal lawmakers by replying "I keep forgetting that you're still alive" to a tweet from Sanders calling for "the extremely wealthy to pay their fair share." More on Musk's recent moves, including cashing in nearly $7 billion in Tesla stock. Ernie with the newest "Sesame Street" member, Ji-Young. Noreen Nasir/AP 10. "Sesame Street" is set to have its first Asian American Muppet: Ji-Young is Korean American, 7 years old, and loves "rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding," the Associated Press reports. Ji-Young will be formally introduced during a special set to debut on Thanksgiving Day on HBO Max. Read more about the newest Sesame Street resident.Today's trivia question: Who most recently went directly from being a US president's Cabinet member to becoming president himself? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Friday's answer: President Theodore Roosevelt was originally set to have a memorial where the modern-day Jefferson Memorial now stands.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 15th, 2021

An oil trader is reportedly betting crude prices will soar more than 200% amid the inflation spike and energy crunch

Oil prices have already surged by more than 60% this year, and are now trading above $80 a barrel. Tyler Stableford/Getty Images Bets by traders that oil prices will soar past $200 a barrel are coming in, Bloomberg reported Friday. One trader is even wagering that Brent crude will hit $250 a barrel. The international oil benchmark has surged 60% this year to top $82 as increased demand is met with a supply shortage. Oil prices this year have surged to blow past $80 a barrel, but at least one trader is wagering that Brent crude will soar further and reach $250 a barrel, according to a Bloomberg report Friday. The equivalent of 5 million barrels of Brent $250/$300 call spreads traded late Thursday and would make money if oil leaps to levels not anticipated by analysts since prices in 2008 hit record highs, the report said. The contracts followed 8 million barrels of $200/$215 West Texas Intermediate call spreads and 4 million barrels of Brent at the same level for December 2022. The cost of all the contracts combined is about $1 million and marks the first time in 2021 that traders have bet on crude breaking above $200, Bloomberg reported. Brent oil, the international benchmark, has gained about 60% in 2021 and was above $82 a barrel during Friday's session. West Texas Intermediate crude oil , meanwhile, traded around $81 a barrel and has jumped roughly 67% this year. The leap in oil prices comes as demand has improved as more consumers and businesses get back to in-person activities halted during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.But the demand is being met with a supply deficit, with the world's top oil producers modestly increasing output after slashing it during the height of the coronavirus crisis. Rising energy prices were the main drivers of the spike in US consumer price inflation to 6.2% in October on a yearly basis, with fuel oil prices surging 12.3% on a monthly basis.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2021

America"s Woke Colleges Can"t Be Salvaged. We Need New Ones

America's Woke Colleges Can't Be Salvaged. We Need New Ones Authored by Niall Ferguson, op-ed via Bloomberg.com, I'm Helping to Start a New College Because Higher Ed Is Broken If you enjoyed Netflix’s “The Chair” - a lighthearted depiction of a crisis-prone English Department at an imaginary Ivy League college - you are clearly not in higher education. Something is rotten in the state of academia and it’s no laughing matter.   Grade inflation. Spiraling costs. Corruption and racial discrimination in admissions. Junk content (“Grievance Studies”) published in risible journals. Above all, the erosion of academic freedom and the ascendancy of an illiberal “successor ideology” known to its critics as wokeism, which manifests itself as career-ending “cancelations” and speaker disinvitations, but less visibly generates a pervasive climate of anxiety and self-censorship. Some say that universities are so rotten that the institution itself should simply be abandoned and replaced with an online alternative — a metaversity perhaps, to go with the metaverse. I disagree. I have long been skeptical that online courses and content can be anything other than supplementary to the traditional real-time, real-space college experience. However, having taught at several, including Cambridge, Oxford, New York University and Harvard, I have also come to doubt that the existing universities can be swiftly cured of their current pathologies. That is why this week I am one of a group of people announcing the founding of a new university — indeed, a new kind of university: the University of Austin. The founders of this university are a diverse group in terms of our backgrounds and our experiences (though doubtless not diverse enough for some). Our political views also differ. To quote our founding president, Pano Kanelos, “What unites us is a common dismay at the state of modern academia and a belief that it is time for something new.” There is no need to imagine a mythical golden age. The original universities were religious institutions, as committed to orthodoxy and as hostile to heresy as today’s woke seminaries. In the wake of the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution, scholars gradually became less like clergymen; but until the 20th century their students were essentially gentlemen, who owed their admission as much to inherited status as to intellectual ability. Many of the great intellectual breakthroughs of the Enlightenment were achieved off campus. Only from the 19th century did academia become truly secularized and professional, with the decline of religious requirements, the rise to pre-eminence of the natural sciences, the spread of the German system of academic promotion (from doctorate up in steps to full professorship), and the proliferation of scholarly journals based on peer-review. Yet the same German universities that led the world in so many fields around 1900 became enthusiastic helpmeets of the Nazis in ways that revealed the perils of an amoral scholarship decoupled from Christian ethics and too closely connected to the state. Even the institutions with the most sustained records of excellence — Oxford and Cambridge — have had prolonged periods of torpor. F.M. Cornford could mock the inherent conservatism of Oxbridge politics in his “Microcosmographia Academica” in 1908. When Malcolm Bradbury wrote his satirical novel “The History Man” in 1975, universities everywhere were still predominantly white, male and middle class. The process whereby a college education became more widely available — to women, to the working class, to racial minorities — has been slow and remains incomplete. Meanwhile, there have been complaints about the adverse consequences of this process in American universities since Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind,” which was published back in 1987. Nevertheless, much had been achieved by the later years of the 20th century. There was a general agreement that the central purpose of a university was the pursuit of truth — think only of Harvard’s stark Latin motto: Veritas — and that the crucial means to that end were freedom of conscience, thought, speech and publication. There was supposed to be no discrimination in admissions, examinations and academic appointments, other than on the basis of intellectual merit. That was crucial to enabling Jews and other minority groups to take full advantage of their intellectual potential. It was understood that professors were awarded tenure principally to preserve academic freedom so that they might “dare to think” — Immanuel Kant’s other great imperative, Sapere aude! — without fear of being fired. The benefits of all this defy quantification. A huge proportion of the major scientific breakthroughs of the past century were made by men and women whose academic jobs gave them economic security and a supportive community in which to do their best work. Would the democracies have won the world wars and the Cold War without the contributions of their universities? It seems doubtful. Think only of Bletchley Park and the Manhattan Project. Sure, the Ivy League’s best and brightest also gave us the Vietnam War. But remember, too, that there were more university-based computers on the Arpanet — the original internet — than any other kind. No Stanford, no Silicon Valley. Those of us who were fortunate to be undergraduates in the 1980s remember the exhilarating combination of intellectual freedom and ambition to which all this gave rise. Yet, in the past decade, exhilaration has been replaced by suffocation, to the point that I feel genuinely sorry for today’s undergraduates. In Heterodox Academy’s 2020 Campus Expression Survey, 62% of sampled college students agreed that the climate on their campus prevented them from saying things they believed, up from 55% in 2019, while 41% were reluctant to discuss politics in a classroom, up from 32% in 2019. Some 60% of students said they were reluctant to speak up in class because they were concerned other students would criticize their views as being offensive. Such anxieties are far from groundless. According to a nationwide survey of a thousand undergraduates by the Challey Institute for Global Innovation, 85% of self-described liberal students would report a professor to the university if the professor said something that they found offensive, while 76% would report another student. In a study published in March entitled “Academic Freedom in Crisis: Punishment, Political Discrimination and Self-Censorship,” the Centre for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology showed that academic freedom is under attack not only in the U.S., but also in the U.K. and Canada. Three-quarters of conservative American and British academics in the social sciences and humanities said there is a hostile climate for their beliefs in their department. This compares to just 5% among left-wing faculty in the U.S. Again, one can understand why. Younger academics are especially likely to support dismissal of a colleague who has made some heretical utterance, with 40% of American social sciences and humanities professors under the age of 40 supporting at least one of four hypothetical dismissal campaigns. Ph.D. students are even more intolerant than other young academics: 55% of American Ph.D. students under 40 supported at least one hypothetical dismissal campaign. “High-profile deplatformings and dismissals” get the attention, the authors of the report conclude, but “far more pervasive threats to academic freedom stem … from fears of a) cancellation — threats to one’s job or reputation — and b) political discrimination.” These are not unfounded fears. The number of scholars targeted for their speech has risen dramatically since 2015, according to research by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE has logged 426 incidents since 2015. Just under three-quarters of them resulted in some kind of sanction — including an investigation alone or voluntary resignation — against the scholar. Such efforts to restrict free speech usually originate with “progressive” student groups, but often find support from left-leaning faculty members and are encouraged by college administrators, who tend (as Sam Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College demonstrated, and as his own subsequent experience confirmed) to be even further to the left than professors. There are also attacks on academic freedom from the right, which FIRE challenges. With a growing number of Republicans calling for bans on critical race theory, I fear the illiberalism is metastasizing. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. Preferred pronouns. Checked privileges. Microaggressions. Antiracism. All these terms are routinely deployed on campuses throughout the English-speaking world as part of a sustained campaign to impose ideological conformity in the name of diversity. As a result, it often feels as if there is less free speech and free thought in the American university today than in almost any other institution in the U.S. To the historian’s eyes, there is something unpleasantly familiar about the patterns of behavior that have, in a matter of a few years, become normal on many campuses. The chanting of slogans. The brandishing of placards. The letters informing on colleagues and classmates. The denunciations of professors to the authorities. The lack of due process. The cancelations. The rehabilitations following abject confessions. The officiousness of unaccountable bureaucrats. Any student of the totalitarian regimes of the mid-20th century recognizes all this with astonishment. It turns out that it can happen in a free society, too, if institutions and individuals who claim to be liberal choose to behave in an entirely illiberal fashion.  How to explain this rapid descent of academia from a culture of free inquiry and debate into a kind of Totalitarianism Lite? In their book “The Coddling of the American Mind,” the social psychiatrist Jonathan Haidt and FIRE president Greg Lukianoff lay much of the blame on a culture of parenting and early education that encourages students to believe that “what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,” that you should “always trust your feelings,” and that “life is a battle between good people and evil people.” However, I believe the core problems are the pathological structures and perverse incentives of the modern university. It is not the case, as many Americans believe, that U.S. colleges have always been left-leaning and that today’s are no different from those of the 1960s. As Stanley Rothman, Robert Lichter and Neil Nevitte showed in a 2005 study, while 39% of the professoriate on average described themselves as left-wing in 1984, the proportion had risen to 72% by 1999, by which time being a conservative had become a measurable career handicap. Mitchell Langbert’s analysis of tenure-track, Ph.D.-holding professors from 51 of the 66 top-ranked liberal arts colleges in 2017 found that those with known political affiliations were overwhelmingly Democratic. Nearly two-fifths of the colleges in Langbert’s sample were Republican-free. The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio across the sample was 10.4:1, or 12.7:1 if the two military academies, West Point and Annapolis, were excluded. For history departments, the ratio was 17.4:1; for English 48.3:1. No ratio is calculable for anthropology, as the number of Republican professors was zero. In 2020, Langbert and Sean Stevens  found an even bigger skew to the left when they considered political donations to parties by professors. The ratio of dollars contributed to Democratic versus Republican candidates and committees was 21:1. Commentators who argue that the pendulum will magically swing back betray a lack of understanding about the academic hiring and promotion process. With political discrimination against conservatives now overt, most departments are likely to move further to the left over time as the last remaining conservatives retire. Yet the leftward march of the professoriate is only one of the structural flaws that characterize today’s university. If you think the faculty are politically skewed, take a look at academic administrators. A shocking insight into the way some activist-administrators seek to bully students into ideological conformity was provided by Trent Colbert, a Yale Law School student who invited his fellow members of the Native American Law Students Association to “a Constitution Day bash” at the “NALSA Trap House,” a term that used to mean a crack den but now is just a mildly risque way of describing a party. Diversity director Yaseen Eldik’s thinly veiled threats to Colbert if he didn’t sign a groveling apology — “I worry about this leaning over your reputation as a person, not just here but when you leave” — were too much even for an editorial board member at the Washington Post. Democracy may die in darkness; academic freedom dies in wokeness. Moreover, the sheer number of the administrators is a problem in itself. In 1970, U.S. colleges employed more professors than administrators. Between then and 2010, however, the number of full-time professors or “full-time equivalents” increased by slightly more than 50%, in line with student enrollments. The number of administrators and administrative staffers rose by 85% and 240%, respectively. The ever-growing army of coordinators for Title IX — the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination — is one manifestation of the bureaucratic bloat, which since the 1990s has helped propel tuition costs far ahead of inflation. The third structural problem is weak leadership. Time and again — most recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where a lecture by the University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot was abruptly canceled because he had been critical of affirmative action — academic leaders have yielded to noisy mobs baying for disinvitations. There are notable exceptions, such as Robert Zimmer, who as president of the University of Chicago between 2006 and 2021 made a stand for academic freedom. But the number of other colleges to have adopted the Chicago statement, a pledge crafted by the school’s Committee on Freedom of Expression, remains just 55, out of nearly 2,500 institutions offering four-year undergraduate programs. Finally, there is the problem of the donors — most but not all alumni — and trustees, many of whom have been astonishingly oblivious of the problems described above. In 2019, donors gave nearly $50 billion to colleges. Eight donors gave $100 million or more. People generally do not make that kind of money without being hard-nosed in their business dealings. Yet the capitalist class appears strangely unaware of the anticapitalist uses to which its money is often put. A phenomenon I find deeply puzzling is the lack of due diligence associated with much academic philanthropy, despite numerous cases when the intentions of benefactors have deliberately been subverted. All this would be bad enough if it meant only that U.S. universities are no longer conducive to free inquiry and promotion based on merit, without which scientific advances are certain to be impeded and educational standards to fall. But academic illiberalism is not confined to college campuses. As students collect their degrees and enter the workforce, they inevitably carry some of what they have learned at college with them. Multiple manifestations of “woke” thinking and behavior at newspapers, publishing houses, technology companies and other corporations have confirmed Andrew Sullivan’s 2018 observation, “We all live on campus now.” When a problem becomes this widespread, the traditional American solution is to create new institutions. As we have seen, universities are relatively long-lived compared to companies and even nations. But not all great universities are ancient. Of today’s top 25 universities, according to the global rankings compiled by the London Times Higher Education Supplement, four were founded in the 20th century. Fully 14 were 19th-century foundations; four date back to the 18th century. Only Oxford (which can trace its origins to 1096) and Cambridge (1209) are medieval in origin.  As might be inferred from the large number (10) of today’s leading institutions founded in the U.S. between 1855 and 1900, new universities tend to be established when wealthy elites grow impatient with the existing ones and see no way of reforming them. The puzzle is why, despite the resurgence of inequality in the U.S. since the 1990s and the more or less simultaneous decline in standards at the existing universities, so few new ones have been created. Only a handful have been set up this century: University of California Merced (2005), Ave Maria University (2003) and Soka University of America (2001). Just five U.S. colleges founded in the past 50 years make it into the Times’s top 25 “Young Universities”: University of Alabama at Birmingham (founded 1969), University of Texas at Dallas (1969), George Mason (1957), University of Texas at San Antonio (1969) and Florida International (1969). Each is (or originated as) part of a state university system. In short, the beneficiaries of today’s gilded age seem altogether more tolerant of academic degeneration than their 19th-century predecessors. For whatever reason, many prefer to give their money to established universities, no matter how antithetical those institutions’ values have become to their own. This makes no sense, even if the principal motivation is to buy Ivy League spots for their offspring. Why would you pay to have your children indoctrinated with ideas you despise? So what should the university of the future look like? Clearly, there is no point in simply copying and pasting Harvard, Yale or Princeton and expecting a different outcome. Even if such an approach were affordable, it would be the wrong one. To begin with, a new institution can’t compete with the established brands when it comes to undergraduate programs. Young Americans and their counterparts elsewhere go to college as much for the high-prestige credentials and the peer networks as for the education. That’s why a new university can’t start by offering bachelors’ degrees. The University of Austin will therefore begin modestly, with a summer school offering “Forbidden Courses” — the kind of content and instruction no longer available at most established campuses, addressing the kind of provocative questions that often lead to cancelation or self-censorship. The next step will be a one-year master’s program in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The primary purpose of conventional business programs is to credential large cohorts of passive learners with a lowest-common-denominator curriculum. The University of Austin’s program will aim to teach students classical principles of the market economy and then embed them in a network of successful technologists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and public-policy reformers. It will offer an introduction to the world of American technology similar to the introduction to the Chinese economy offered by the highly successful Schwarzman Scholars program, combining both academic pedagogy and practical experience. Later, there will be parallel programs in Politics and Applied History and in Education and Public Service. Only after these initial programs have been set up will we start offering a four-year liberal arts degree.  The first two years of study will consist of an intensive liberal arts curriculum, including the study of philosophy, literature, history, politics, economics, mathematics, the sciences and the fine arts. There will be Oxbridge-style instruction, with small tutorials and college-wide lectures, providing an in-depth and personalized learning experience with interdisciplinary breadth.   After two years of a comprehensive and rigorous liberal arts education, undergraduates will join one of four academic centers as junior fellows, pursuing disciplinary coursework, conducting hands-on research and gaining experience as interns. The initial centers will include one for entrepreneurship and leadership, one for politics and applied history, one for education and public service, and one for technology, engineering and mathematics. To those who argue that we could more easily do all this with some kind of internet platform, I would say that online learning is no substitute for learning on a campus, for reasons rooted in evolutionary psychology. We simply learn much better in relatively small groups in real time and space, not least because a good deal of what students learn in a well-functioning university comes from their informal discussions in the absence of professors. This explains the persistence of the university over a millennium, despite successive revolutions in information technology. To those who wonder how a new institution can avoid being captured by the illiberal-liberal establishment that now dominates higher education, I would answer that the governance structure of the institution will be designed to prevent that. The Chicago principles of freedom of expression will be enshrined in the founding charter. The founders will form a corporation or board of trustees that will be sovereign. Not only will the corporation appoint the president of the college; it will also have a final say over all appointments or promotions. There will be one unusual obligation on faculty members, besides the standard ones to teach and carry out research: to conduct the admissions process by means of an examination that they will set and grade. Admission will be based primarily on performance on the exam. That will avoid the corrupt rackets run by so many elite admissions offices today. As for our choice of location in the Texas capital, I would say that proximity to a highly regarded public university — albeit one where even the idea of establishing an institute to study liberty is now controversial — will ensure that the University of Austin has to compete at the highest level from the outset. My fellow founders and I have no illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead. We fully expect condemnation from the educational establishment and its media apologists. We shall regard all such attacks as vindication — the flak will be a sign that we are above the target. In our minds, there can be no more urgent task for a society than to ensure the health of its system of higher education. The American system today is broken in ways that pose a profound threat to the future strength and stability of the U.S. It is time to start fixing it. But the opportunity to do so in the classic American way — by creating something new, actually building rather than “building back” — is an inspiring and exciting one. To quote Haidt and Lukianoff: “A school that makes freedom of inquiry an essential part of its identity, selects students who show special promise as seekers of truth, orients and prepares those students for productive disagreement … would be inspiring to join, a joy to attend, and a blessing to society.” That is not the kind of institution satirized in “The Chair.” It is precisely the kind of institution we need today. *  *  * Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was previously a professor of history at Harvard, New York University and Oxford. He is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm. His latest book is "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Tyler Durden Wed, 11/10/2021 - 22:05.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 10th, 2021

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he "will never forgive" Biden over the Afghanistan withdrawal, declaring their friendship all but over

Growing emotional during a Fox News interview, Graham said Biden "has blood on his hands" over the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. From 2008: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham went on an emotional diatribe against President Biden Wednesday. Graham, who has enjoyed a decades-long friendship with Biden, said he reached his breaking point. "What he did in Afghanistan, I will never forgive him for. He has blood on his hands," Graham said. Despite efforts at mending their decades-long friendship as former Senate colleagues, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham gave an emotional rebuke of President Joe Biden on Wednesday over his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan."I've known Joe Biden for a long time," Graham said during an appearance on the Fox News show "America's Newsroom" Wednesday morning. "I had a good personal relationship with him. He's a decent man, but what he did in Afghanistan I will never forgive him for."Growing visibly distraught, Graham was recounting recent developments of Islamic State violence in the nation despite promises of peaceful times from the Taliban."He has blood on his hands, and he's made America less safe," Graham continued. "And he's been the most consistently wrong man on foreign policy in my lifetime."Graham also predicted another 9/11-like attack will come as a result of the withdrawal, but did not cite any specific intelligence or a specific group to back up that claim.While defending the Kabul airport amid evacuations, 13 American service members were killed in a terrorist attack back in August.Biden has defended the withdrawal as an "extraordinary success" and that the nation's longest war "should have ended a long time ago."The US-backed Afghanistan government collapsed in August weeks before US troops could fully depart the country, surprising Biden and top aides that thought that government could last for months or years. That led to choatic scenes around Kabul's airport as people sought to flee the Taliban. The airlift evacuated nearly 130,000 people but Taliban control of the country and the press of massive crowds around the airport prevented the US from recovering every American who sought to flee; an estimated two hundred remain despite wanting to leave.Before former President Donald Trump's ascension to the White House, Graham and Biden enjoyed a chummy relationship from across the aisle. "The bottom line is, if you can't admire Joe Biden as a person, then it's probably - you've got a problem," Graham said with a chuckle during a car ride interview back during his 2016 presidential bid. "You need to do some self evaluation. 'Cause, what's not to like?"In the 2016 interview, Graham described Biden as "the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics.""He is as good a man as God ever created," Graham added.During his Fox News hit, the South Carolina senator took a more scorched earth approach. "I can't wait until the next election to stop this socialist train on the domestic side, and have a chance to get a commander in chief who knows how to keep this country safe," Graham said. "When it comes to Joe Biden, he's made America less safe, and he's acted in a very dishonorable way."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

Incoming NAR President Discusses How Working Together Brings Out the Best in Others

2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith Brings Optimism and a Passion to Inspire to New Role The end of 2021 signals a new beginning for The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) leadership. Taking the reins this year is association veteran Leslie Rouda Smith, who’s been on a trajectory to lead the organization since before she […] The post Incoming NAR President Discusses How Working Together Brings Out the Best in Others appeared first on RISMedia. 2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith Brings Optimism and a Passion to Inspire to New Role Rouda Smith The end of 2021 signals a new beginning for The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) leadership. Taking the reins this year is association veteran Leslie Rouda Smith, who’s been on a trajectory to lead the organization since before she even graduated high school. Here, Rouda Smith tells us about her plans for the year ahead. Caysey Welton: Leslie, you’ve been in real estate for more than 35 years. Tell us how you got started. Leslie Rouda-Smith: I often joke that I was conceived in real estate because my father, 1991 NAR President Harley Rouda, started his real estate company while my mother was pregnant with me. So I guess you could say I was born into the industry! Dad’s company had many different divisions, and in high school and college, I worked wherever he needed me, including on the relocation side doing corporate calling. In 1984, I moved to Texas where I joined Ebby Halliday Real Estate. I made more money in Ebby’s RELO department—and, more importantly, I can count her, one of the first female brokers, as my mentor. CW: What do you consider some of your biggest professional and personal wins as a REALTOR®? LRS: A big personal win for me was also instrumental to my professional growth. I used to be terrified of public speaking, and now I speak every week. The turning point was when my dad asked me to give the invocation at his inaugural. I thought I’d have a heart attack over his request. In the end, my older brother gave the invocation. I felt like I let my dad down. I vowed to get over my fear, and sought training, feedback and new roles. Now, I always challenge my comfort zone. I consider myself “under construction” every day. Professionally, I’m proud of starting the Texas REALTORS® Young Professionals Network (YPN), which got off the ground in 2016. YPN networks around the country help young real estate practitioners develop their business savvy and leadership skills. I’m also proud of a Texas bill I actively lobbied for in 2017, which provided an increase in our homestead exemption, among other things. CW: How has your experience as an active volunteer in the association for more than a decade motivated you to become president? LRS: In my generation, and in my home growing up, women weren’t always treated equally. Luckily, I didn’t let attitudes like this stop me. In my career, I’ve sometimes been the only woman on a leadership team. Now, I want to empower women and others who might not have had a voice. That’s why Team 22, as we call it, is so diverse. CW: Given your deep understanding of the association, what do you hope to accomplish over the next year? LRS: NAR is building on an ambitious slate of strategic priorities. We will continue to use the strength of the REALTOR® voice to advance our policy priorities, including private property rights, community development, and housing inventory and accessibility. We’ll continue to expand housing opportunity through policies and programs that help our members provide equal opportunity to all homebuyers, enable more people to build wealth through homeownership, and foster diversity, equity and inclusion in our communities and within the REALTOR® organization. We’ll champion our members as the consumers’ best source of information on the real estate transaction. And we’ll work to engage even more members, help support their business needs under new market realities, and educate our residential and commercial members about the unbelievably vast NAR benefits and business resources available to them. Our members will also hear my three S’s quite often: sustainability, safety and strength. In fact, “sustainability” is an NAR priority for 2022. We must ensure our national infrastructure meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. As our Code of Ethics states, “under all is the land.” “Safety” is about helping our members protect themselves on the job, so that every REALTOR® comes home safely every night. And “strength” is not only about capitalizing on our strength in numbers, but about focusing on our strength of mind and body. It’s important to keep our minds clear and open, and to put the right gas in the tank to keep our engines running. CW: You’re taking on this role during an interesting time. The market is red hot, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about the economy. What do you see as the industry’s biggest challenges? LRS: Certainly, the inventory shortage. Strong residential demand kept the housing market afloat during the pandemic, but it also deepened the need for more housing, which is critically underbuilt. This feeds into another big issue: the racial housing gap. By backing policies that enable more housing, more Americans from all walks of life can access the wealth-building benefits of homeownership. Another factor piling on the inventory shortage is supply chain issues. Those are leading to long waits for materials. We have to factor that into project timing, especially with winter coming. Additionally, interest rates are predicted to rise. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun forecasts that the 30-year mortgage rate will average 3.6% in 2022, increasing from 3% in 2021, as the Federal Reserve Board begins to take steps to keep rising inflation in check. CW: Do any of these challenges present new opportunities for your members? LRS: Our members and our association have a unique opportunity to make a difference in closing the racial wealth gap by helping to tackle housing discrimination and expand homeownership in underserved communities. There’s also opportunity for our members to better understand our increasingly diverse marketplace and to push for equitable policies at local, state and national levels. I encourage everyone to take three NAR Fair Housing training programs: Fairhaven, implicit bias, and At Home With Diversity—all available at NAR.realtor/fair-housing. At the national level, NAR is pushing for policies that support an equitable and accessible housing finance system. Many creditworthy Americans can’t get approved for loans because credit-scoring models leave out common household expenditures. But these expenses can accurately predict a borrower’s ability to pay back a loan, so we support alternative, and more comprehensive, credit-scoring. We’re also working to ensure that state and local governments have the tools to respond to natural disasters and build stronger, longer-lasting physical infrastructure. CW: As somebody with your experience and institutional insights, do you expect 2022 to continue to stay hot? LRS: It’s shaping up to be active. Dr. Yun forecasts that existing-home sales will likely hit 5.99 million in 2022, down slightly from 6 million in 2021. And home prices will rise at a more moderate pace, which is good for buyers. Supply will continue to remain tight, but there will be a bit more inventory coming into the market, about 90,000 more housing starts in 2022, or 1.65 million compared with 1.56 million in 2021. The rental market is also really heating up. But as rents rise and vacancies fall, that puts added pressure on people trying to save for their first home. CW: Speaking of 2022, what has you excited about the coming year in your new role? LRS: Our Leadership Team! 2022 is a historic year for NAR, as it will be the first time women make up the majority of the Leadership Team. A majority of our members are women, so it’s about time our leadership reflected our membership. I’m a high energy person; I’m excited to lift people up. We’ve all been through a lot, and I believe part of my job is to inspire renewed energy. I’m also excited to hear from our members. I want to better understand how to ensure more members know about the amazing business resources available to them from NAR, including the Realtors Property Resource® (narrpr.com). It offers access to detailed property information on 159 million residential and commercial properties. Finally, I’m eager to see a return to civility. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason: To listen more than we speak. Words matter; what you say could make or break your opportunity for referrals. Let’s work together to bring out the best in others. For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor. Caysey Welton is RISMedia’s content director. Email him your real estate news ideas to cwelton@rismedia.com. The post Incoming NAR President Discusses How Working Together Brings Out the Best in Others appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaNov 2nd, 2021

Facebook Let an Islamophobic Conspiracy Theory Flourish in India Despite Employees’ Warnings

Facebook is aware of the danger and prevalence of the Love Jihad conspiracy theory on its platform but has done little to act on it, according to internal Facebook documents and former employees In a video posted to Facebook in November 2020, an extremist priest called for Hindus to rise up and begin killing Muslims in India. “People need to learn that this is not the time to protest, but the time to go to war,” said Narsinghanand Saraswati, who has been named by at least one international watchdog as an extremist hate preacher. “This is a global war where Islam’s jihadis are fully prepared. It’s our choice if Hindus should fight or not. But Muslims will not spare Hindus.” “It’s time for every Hindu to invoke the warrior in them,” Saraswati said in Hindi in the Facebook video. “The day Hindus take weapons and start killing these Love Jihadis, this Love Jihad will come to an end. Until then, we can’t stop it.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] With 1.4 million views as of late October this year, the video was one of the top posts on Facebook about “Love Jihad,” a popular Islamophobic conspiracy theory that suggests Muslim men are attempting to wage a holy war against Hinduism by marrying and converting Hindu women to Islam. Facebook banned the QAnon conspiracy theory in October 2020, designating it a “militarized social movement.” But the company has not applied the same definition to Love Jihad, which began as a fringe conspiracy theory but began to enter the Indian political mainstream around 2016 after being taken up as a narrative by Hindu nationalist groups. Read More: Indian States Are Passing Laws Based on the ‘Love Jihad’ Conspiracy Theory Facebook is aware of the danger and prevalence of the Love Jihad conspiracy theory on its platform but has done little to act on it, according to internal Facebook documents seen by TIME, as well as interviews with former employees. The documents suggest that “political sensitivities” are part of the reason that the company has chosen not to ban Hindu nationalist groups who are close to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “​​We make decisions on content based on whether they violate our policies, not because of someone’s political position, party affiliation, or political point of view,” Facebook said in a statement. “We have removed several pieces of ‘Love Jihad’ content on the platform that violated our policies and will continue to remove violating content as we become aware of it.” This story is partially based on whistleblower Frances Haugen’s disclosures to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which were also provided to the U.S. Congress in redacted form by her legal team. The redacted versions were seen by a consortium of news organizations, including TIME. Many of the documents were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Facebook has deemed India a “tier one” country—its highest ranking in a tier system that decides how the company prioritizes its resources building safety systems in countries at risk of violence. But the documents show that Facebook spends only a small minority of its total investment in the safety of its platforms on languages other than English, and on jurisdictions outside the U.S. In India, Facebook’s biggest market, with more than 300 million users, the company has been accused by watchdogs and opposition politicians of wilfully turning a blind eye to incitement to violence by Hindu nationalists. Facebook only removed the video of Saraswati calling for Hindus to eradicate Muslims after TIME asked about it in late October. “We don’t allow hate speech on Facebook and we remove it when we find it or are made aware of it,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We know our enforcement is not perfect and there is more work to do, but our regular transparency reports show we are making progress combating these issues.” ‘Political sensitivities’ may have played a role In one internal company presentation, which is undated but includes a screenshot of a post from March 2021, Facebook employees wrote that they had carried out research that found “a high volume of Love Jihad content” on the platform. Groups and pages on Facebook, it said, are “replete with inflammatory and misleading anti-Muslim content,” a problem exacerbated by what the report said was a lack of algorithms that work to detect such content in the languages Hindi and Bengali.” TIME was unable to ascertain when the report was written. In a statement to TIME, Facebook said it had brought in algorithms in early 2021 to detect incitement to violence in Hindi and Bengali, and that it has had algorithms to detect hate speech in these languages since 2018. But those algorithms appeared not to have detected or flagged the video of Saraswati for deletion, even though it had amassed 1.4 million views. Political factors may be at play in the company’s handling of Hindu nationalist content, the internal Facebook presentation suggested. Much Love Jihad content, it said, was “posted by pro-BJP and pro-RSS pages.” The RSS is the largest Hindu nationalist group in India, with close ties to the government. The presentation acknowledged that the RSS regularly shares “fear-mongering, anti-Muslim narratives [targeting] pro-Hindu populations with V&I [violence and incitement] content,” which is against Facebook’s rules. The presentation says that “political sensitivities” meant that RSS had not been designated as a dangerous organization by the company—a designation that would have resulted in the group being banned from Facebook’s platforms. “We have yet to put forth a nomination for designation of this group given political sensitivities,” the presentation says. In October, the Intercept revealed Facebook’s list of banned terrorist and hate groups and individuals. The list includes hundreds of Islamist groups from all over the world but just one Hindu extremist group, the Sanatan Sanstha. Saraswati, the preacher who called for Muslims to be killed, is not on the list. Read More: Facebook Banned a Hindu Extremist Group—Then Left Most of Its Pages Online for Months The internal Facebook presentation reveals that employees knew content shared by Hindu nationalist groups posed a risk to vulnerable populations. One slide in the presentation suggests the posts fall under the term “politicized hate,” which the report defines as “a term used to describe a category of discriminatory practices from political parties which target vulnerable populations often done in a coordinated, authentic way.” (In this context, “authentic” means that the people posting are not using fake accounts.) One former Facebook employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that being named could invite retaliation, told TIME that some employees had raised the issue of the Love Jihad conspiracy theory as early as 2019, but that the company had decided against banning it from the platform, choosing instead to down-rank the content in users’ feeds. Facebook did not respond to a question from TIME asking for confirmation that it currently down-ranks Love Jihad content rather than deleting it. It also did not respond to questions asking what signals the company uses to inform algorithms that could detect such content, and in what languages those algorithms are operational, if any. In a statement, the company said: “We’ve invested significantly in technology to find hate speech in a variety of different languages, including Hindi and Bengali. As a result, we’ve reduced the amount of hate speech that people see by half this year.” Still, a TIME review of public-facing Facebook posts reveals that Love Jihad conspiracy theory content remains wildly popular on Facebook, even in 2021. Of all the posts on the platform that contain the Hindi term for “Love Jihad,” the top one, with 16.3 million views, is a fictionalized video shared by BJP worker Pradeep Tyagi in February of this year. The video depicts a woman meeting a man at a Hindu temple and falling in love. They marry, only for the woman to find out the man is a Muslim. He forces her to wear a burqa and begins physically abusing her. He is shown receiving a wad of cash from an imam (an apparent allusion to the conspiracy theory that Muslim men are being paid large sums of money by religious officials to convert Hindu women). When the woman tries to run away, the man beats her, covers her in gasoline, and sets her alight. She is shown dying in agony in the hospital, covered in blood. The video ends with the same man returning to a temple and meeting a new woman. The clear implication is that he is beginning the process of so-called Love Jihad all over again. Tyagi, the BJP worker who shared the video, did not respond to a request for comment. Facebook’s inaction over Hindu extremism One civil society organization told TIME that it is tracking a group of at least 27 “highly toxic” pages that regularly post Love Jihad content, whose videos had cumulatively been viewed more than 1 billion times as of October 2021. The Indian diaspora-led foundation, called The London Story, told TIME it has reported these pages and the content they share to Facebook but that the company had not removed any of the posts or accounts. Many of the pages are run by “vigilantes,” says Ritumbra Manuvie, a legal scholar who is the foundation’s policy and research director. Some of the page administrators include their WhatsApp contact number on their pages, she says, and encourage their followers to report Muslim men perpetrating so-called Love Jihad against Hindu women. To date Manuvie’s impression has been that “Facebook is just not bothered,” she tells TIME. She said that her group had shared evidence of the 27 pages’ activity with Foley Hoag, a Boston-based law firm hired by Facebook to carry out a forthcoming assessment of its human rights impact in India. “We did say very categorically that Facebook is providing these tools to vigilante armies who are using them to gather bigger crowds,” she says. Facebook said it was carrying out a review of the pages after TIME asked the company about Manuvie’s complaint. Read More: Facebook’s Ties to India’s Ruling Party Complicate Its Fight Against Hate Speech Facebook’s apparent tolerance of the Love Jihad conspiracy theory, Manuvie says, often results in the company turning a blind eye to rhetoric that could radicalize users into committing violent acts—and has likely already resulted in real-world harm. In one video from January, which Manuvie says she reported to Facebook but which remains online, a spokesperson for the Hindu nationalist group Karni Sena threatens violence against people who engage in interfaith marriage. “If anyone subscribes to this kind of thinking … we will beat you so bad you won’t be able to comprehend it,” the spokesperson, Mahipal Singh Makrana, says in the video, which has received 1.5 million views on the platform. In the video, Makrana refers to a specific alleged Love Jihad incident in the village of Kolai, in the northwest-Indian state of Rajasthan. He explains that he and his “regional spokesperson” would visit the village to support the family of the alleged Love Jihad victim in the coming days, and threatened: “If someone has to die, it will be the other, not them.” He is speaking Hindi in the video. There appear to be no reports of that specific incident leading directly to real-world violence in the village of Kolai, but mob attacks against Muslims are on the rise in India, and many participants appear to use Love Jihad as justification. A viral video posted in August documented a terrified 8-year-old girl clinging to her father, a 45-year-old Muslim man, as he was beaten by a mob chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” a Hindu nationalist slogan. One of the man’s relatives had been accused of marrying a Hindu woman to convert her to Islam. The mob threatened to kill the man and his family members, as his young daughter pleaded with them to stop. Three men were arrested after the mob attack, which was reportedly coordinated by the Bajrang Dal, one of the biggest Hindu extremist groups in India, which is close to the ruling party. The Bajrang Dal regularly posts Love Jihad misinformation on its Facebook pages. The Journal reported in 2020 that Facebook had chosen not to ban the Bajrang Dal, citing risk to Facebook’s business prospects in India. — With reporting by Abhishyant Kidangoor / Hong Kong.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 2nd, 2021

248 millionaires are calling for Democrats to tax billionaires" income. "We have a rare opportunity to reform our broken tax code."

Signatory Morris Pearl said there's a fear rich people might "go on strike" if taxes go up, but the millionaires know it's in their best interest. President Joe Biden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images A group of 248 billionaires signed on to a letter calling for a billionaires' income tax. Last week, Senate Democrats proposed taxing billionaires' stock gains - before abandoning it. One signatory says now is the time: "What we're trying to do is tell our congresspeople that no, actually these progressive policies are good for everyone." Nearly 250 millionaires are calling on Democrats to include a tax on billionaires' income to pay for their social spending package.Democrats are finally narrowing in on what the final proposal will look like, and are reportedly hoping to vote on the legislation on Tuesday.The latest framework is just $1.75 trillion, half the price tag of Senate Democrats' initial $3.5 trillion package, and omits several tax hikes originally proposed to help pay for initiatives like childcare, Medicare expansion, and climate measures. Instead, it includes a 5% surtax on Americans who earn over $5 million.Some millionaires want lawmakers to return to an idea they had last week - a tax on billionaires' net worth gains.In a letter organized by left-leaning advocacy groups Responsible Wealth, Patriotic Millionaires, and Americans for Tax Fairness, 248 millionaires write that moving forward with a billionaires' tax is a "rare opportunity to reform our broken tax code that has for far too long given the very wealthiest ways to avoid paying their share." They note that just around 700 families would be impacted, and the current system reportedly allows for some billionaires to pay nothing in income taxes. "I think the pushback is, 'Oh, you know, the rich people might, I don't know, go on strike or something if we raise their taxes, so we have to have an appeasement policy,' and that's never worked," Morris Pearl, the chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, told Insider. "But what we're trying to do is tell our congresspeople that no, actually these progressive policies are good for everyone, including the long run best self-interest of those of us who are very wealthy, too." The groups were referring to a tax plan from Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, who crafted a proposal targeting billionaires' assets. Currently, assets like stocks are taxed only when they're sold - what's called a capital gain. But the richest of the rich in America probably aren't selling off their massive stock portfolios; instead, their main form of income is the value that those assets accrue. Under Wyden's plan, that annual increase in value - called unrealized gains - would be taxed every year. Wyden's proposal would apply only to people making over $100 million annually, or those who have held $1 billion in assets for three years. An analysis from economist Gabriel Zucman found that the tax could bring in $500 billion, with $275 billion collected from just the 10 richest billionaires. A prior White House analysis found that, when unrealized gains are counted as income, billionaires pay an average of just 8.2% in income taxes.But that proposal to hike taxes on billionaires is currently out of the plan. It lasted for mere hours on Wednesday, before Sen. Joe Manchin expressed his doubts about it. Shortly afterward, Wyden's House counterpart Richard Neal, the Ways and Means Chairman, said it was "very unlikely" to head to the House if it can't pass in the Senate.Right now, the tax provisions include a 15% corporate minimum tax and that 5% surtax on American millionaires. The millionaires wrote that they support the surtax proposal, but without the billionaires' income tax, many billionaires will still pay low tax rates."What we're missing out on is what used to be called the middle-class - the millions and millions and millions of people who were doing okay, who were buying cars and taking their kids to buy ice cream and going to Disneyland and eventually paying their kid's college tuition. That's what's missing from our country," Pearl said. "We have plenty of billionaires. We don't have a shortage of that."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021

Look at this really big boat that may or may not be Jeff Bezos" new superyacht

Bezos' yacht will reportedly be completed in 2022 and will become the largest sailing yacht in the world. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images We may have gotten our first look at Jeff Bezos' new superyacht. The 417-foot vessel was photographed rolling out of a shipyard in the Netherlands. Bezos' yacht will become the world's largest sailing yacht once completed. We may have just gotten our first glimpse at Jeff Bezos' new superyacht. New photos and videos surfaced over the weekend of a 417-foot yacht rolling out of a shipyard in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands. According to yachting publication Boat International, the vessel is known only as Y721 and is being built by Oceanco, a Dutch shipbuilder known for producing some of the world's largest and most luxurious ships.The massive vessel is still unfinished, but photos published by Boat International and Daily Mail show a ship with a black hull and multiple decks. The project will be completed in 2022 and will become the largest sailing yacht in the world, Boat International reports. A spokesperson for Oceanco did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, but the company told Boat International that it "values the privacy and confidentiality of all our clients and prospective clients and therefore does not comment on our involvement or non-involvement in specific projects."Journalist Brad Stone was the first to report that Bezos had commissioned his own custom yacht. According to Stone's book, "Amazon Unbound," the Amazon founder commissioned a three-mast ship with several decks that's expected to be "one of the finest sailing yachts in existence." In addition to the ship, Bezos has reportedly commissioned a second, smaller, "support yacht" that will include its own helipad. Bezos' girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, is a helicopter pilot and Stone reported that Bezos has also taken flying lessons.The entire project will cost $500 million, according to Auto Evolution. A video posted on YouTube by Guy Fleury, a Dutch photographer and videographer, shows an aerial view of what is reportedly Bezos' yacht: While massive yachts are often an accessory of the mega-rich, Bezos, who is the second-richest person in the world with a fortune worth $193 billion, hasn't previously had a boat of his own. A viral photo in 2019 claimed Bezos was the owner of a $400 million yacht known as the Flying Fox, but Amazon has denied that the ship belongs to Bezos.Bezos does appear to be a fan of yacht travel, however. Throughout the summer of 2019, he and Sanchez were spotted aboard multiple yachts belonging to their high-profile friends: first, entertainment mogul David Geffen's Rising Sun, and then fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg's schooner, Eos. And in February, Bezos and Sanchez were spotted aboard another yacht in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 25th, 2021

Elizabeth Holmes trial Week 7 recap: a $1 billion IPO plan, and a former staffer testifies he was told to change numbers to make test results seem normal

Emails showed Theranos' former senior product manager was told to change reference ranges to make test results seem normal when they actually weren't. Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her partner Billy Evans leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse after the delivery of opening arguments in her trial, in San Jose, California, U.S., September 8, 2021. Peter DaSilva/Reuters The seventh week of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial has come and gone. It featured revelations on plans for a $1 billion IPO and ways staff tried to skirt testing issues. Here's everything that happened in the trial in its seventh week. How Theranos tried to make unusual test results seem normalDaniel Edlin, a college friend of Elizabeth Holmes' brother, Christian, who became Theranos' senior product manager, was pressed on his previous testimony about measures taken when guests like investors or business partners wanted to see the devices in action.He spoke of a "demo app" that hid Theranos machine errors from view during demonstrations, as well as "null protocol," which meant the machines didn't actually analyze the samples, according to The New York Times. Edlin testified that, from there, Theranos staff would tell the guests their samples needed further analysis, and the blood would be sent to a lab, as Insider's Adam Lashinsky reported.Jurors also saw emails from 2013 between Edlin, Holmes, former Theranos vice president Daniel Young, and former Theranos COO and president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani.In one email, Edlin pointed out a discrepancy in test results. Holmes replied, "The discrepancy will be a problem. We need to see if we can correct for it." Young asked Edlin to change the reference ranges on some of the results, which made results appear to fall within the normal range when they were actually abnormal.Plans for a $1 billion IPOBryan Tolbert, the vice president of finance at investment firm Hall Group, which had invested $5 million in Theranos in 2013, testified that he had gathered from a meeting with Holmes that Theranos had raised $16 million in its first round, according to Law360 reporter Dorothy Atkins. His meeting notes also showed Theranos expected to raise $30 million in a second funding round with an eventual plan to go public in 2008 via an IPO valued at $1 billion.Former Pfizer scientist unsure who approved Theranos' use of logoShane Weber, a former director of diagnostics at Pfizer, testified that he discouraged any deals with Theranos in a report about the now-defunct startup."Theranos unconvincingly argues the case for having accomplished tasks of interest to Pfizer," he wrote, according to The Wall Street Journal. Holmes' attorneys had repeatedly asked Judge Edward Davila to keep jurors from seeing the report, but Davila ultimately allowed prosecutors to present it.Weber also wrote that Theranos was "non-informative, tangential, deflective or evasive" in its answers to due diligence questions.Jurors also heard about Theranos' use of Pfizer's logo in a company report, implying that Pfizer had validated and supported Theranos' technology. The report boasted about Theranos machines' "superior performance," but Weber said he had never authorized the Pfizer logo, and he didn't know of anyone at Pfizer who had, according to the East Bay Times. The report was later shared with Walgreens and other investors. Theranos technology put to the test for possible use in the militarySome Theranos machines were sent to Africa to see if they could withstand high temperatures common in combat. Theranos had been having discussions with the Defense Department about possible uses of the company's machines in the military.Theranos employees' emails, however, said the machines "did not have a way to cool down" and might run into performance issues if they operated outside of the range between 72 and 82 degrees, according to The Wall Street Journal.A third juror departsYet another member of the 12-person jury has been dismissed. On Friday, a juror was excused and replaced with an alternate. This is the third juror to depart the trial, two of five alternates now remain with the case at roughly its halfway point. Judge Davila said there was "good cause" to excuse the juror but didn't provide a specific reason, according to CNBC. Each departure raises concerns about a possible mistrial.You can catch up on Week 1 here, Week 2 here, Week 3 here, Week 4 here, Week 5 here, and Week 6 here. You can read how Holmes wound up on trial here and see the list of potential witnesses here. Everything else you need to know about the case is here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

NYC restauranteur Danny Meyer on how he grew Shake Shack from hotdog cart to global sensation and his best business advice

To revolutionize an industry, Meyers says you have to cast off received wisdom - both personal and professional. Meyer believes it's never about the food. It's about how the dining experience makes you feel. Scott McDermott Danny Meyer is the restaurateur behind NYC eateries like Shake Shack, Union Square Cafe, and Gramercy Tavern. He says his philosophy of "enlightened hospitality" is what's made his restaurant empire a success. The biggest takeaways from Meyers' advice are: Avoid "cult-building," modify the "rule of two," and flip the traditional leadership model. Union Square Cafe. Gramercy Tavern. Shake Shack.Danny Meyer doesn't open restaurants. He opens institutions.But before he was a legendary restaurateur, Meyer wanted to be a lawyer. Well, he didn't really want to be a lawyer, but that was the natural career path for a college graduate with a political science degree."I had zero interest or aptitude in the law," he said, an epiphany he had inside a restaurant.The night before he was about to take the LSAT, Meyer was dining with his aunt and uncle at Elio's in New York when his uncle asked what was bothering him. Meyer explained that he didn't aspire to be a lawyer, but he had to take the LSAT the following morning.His uncle's words changed the trajectory of Meyer's life. He said, "You're crazy. Do you know how long you're going to be dead? Longer than you're alive. All you've ever talked about is food. Why not just open a restaurant?"Two days after that dinner, Meyer applied to the New York restaurant school. He went on to complete internships in Italy and France, and returned to New York with big ambitions.In 1985, at age 27, Meyer opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, with zero clue that this would be the defining move of his restaurant career."I didn't know anything except how to treat people. And the first bookkeeper I hired didn't know how to balance his own checkbook," he said. "And the first waiter I hired, I found him trying to open a bottle of champagne on opening night with a corkscrew. That is a dangerous thing to do."Union Square Cafe was a massive success largely because Meyer's priority was not the food, the menu, or the decor. It was about how the overall dining experience made customers feel. Although New Yorkers adored his restaurant and wanted to know what was next, Meyer resisted expansion because of something deeply personal.By the time he was 21 years old, Meyer had seen his father go bankrupt twice. "I'll never forget that," he said. "It just made such a lasting impact." To him, the road to expansion led straight to bankruptcy.Meyer falsely believed that the bankruptcies were caused by his father's expansion plans. It wasn't until he realized the ventures failed because of his father's weak "business discipline" and his inability to build a world-class team around him."He had a need to be the smartest guy in the room, which I don't," Meyer said. "I think I finally realized that upon opening Gramercy Tavern. It took some really good hard work internally, and it was those days that we really learned the power of hospitality."Dubbed "The Meyer Touch," Meyer seems to have unlocked the key to hospitality with nearly every restaurant he touches. Entrepreneurs seek his advice about business and life."Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel," he said. "It's that simple, and it's that hard."It's especially hard when it is considered a dangerous act to dine inside of a restaurant. Meyer had faced his fair share of obstacles in the restaurant world, but 2020 was, by far, the most difficult."We've successfully led through and weathered 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008, but at no other point has there been such a sustained and massive dual threat to both the physical safety and economic livelihoods of our people, or the hospitality industry as a whole," he said.The pandemic forced his company, Union Square Hospitality Group, to shutter 19 restaurants, its events business, and lay off 2,000 people. The chef who opened Tabla with Meyer in 1998, died of COVID-19. Meyer was publicly scrutinized for seeking and receiving a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress created to bail out small businesses, causing him to have Shake Shack return the $10 million loan to the government."It was only a nightmare on the nights that I slept," he said about the closures during the pandemic. "If I want to be a great employer, the best thing to do for people is still be in business when it's all over. That was a really bitter pill to swallow."Meyer started a relief fund for Union Square Hospitality Group members, contributing 100% of his salary and all gift card sales to it. In total, it raised $1.5 million, which went to former employees that were on his team.Restaurants, Meyer said, are essential businesses - for the economy and for life. "People use restaurants to do business, to do politics, to socialize," he said. "Our industry employs more people than the auto industries and airline industries combined."Even during the COVID crisis, Meyer said hospitality is possible even in an inhospitable, socially distant environment. "I've always believed that hospitality is something human beings need to give and need to receive," he said.Here's what we can learn from the famed restaurateur about the dual importance of cultivating hospitality and leading in crisis.ReadOn building a restaurant empire: As an owner of multiple restaurants, Meyer micromanages with a purpose. He devotes unlimited time to his new ventures, tasting every item on the menu multiple times, suggesting alterations to such minutiae as the size of a sous chef's dice and constantly consulting with the manager. In this profile, he instructs a chef to alter a BLT so the bacon would stick out on either side. "My favorite thing is watching people enjoy our food," he said. "I get sort of an insane amount of pleasure out of that."On the power of hospitality: 75% of all new restaurant ventures fail. Of those that do stick around, only a few become icons. In this autobiography, Meyer shares the business lessons he learned after developing the philosophy he calls "enlightened hospitality."ListenOn creating a feeling of belonging: Meyer said restaurants can't win on food or wine alone. "A long time ago, I realized that food and wine were a starting gate," he said. "I was more interested in turning my restaurant into your favorite restaurant." In this episode, Meyer explains why hospitality is all about unlocking human emotion and creating a feeling of belonging.On shunning conventional wisdom: Meyer knows one thing: To revolutionize an industry, you have to cast off received wisdom - both personal and professional. From his first restaurant to the dramatic scale story of Shake Shack, Meyer didn't break the rules. He invented the rules. In this podcast, Meyer shares his ideas on why "enlightened hospitality" has radical implications for any industry.On scaling a feeling: Meyer said there are three things you can scale: product, service, and feeling. It's the feeling that's the trickiest. That's why Meyer came up with a formula that he believes allows entrepreneurs to scale the mushy things we call "feelings." In this podcast, he discusses the HQ (hospitality quotient) necessary for building a timeless brand. It consists of a list of six "soft skills" - things that can't be taught - that each of his employees must have.WatchOn his passion for developing taste: Meyer believes it's never about the food. It's about how the dining experience makes you feel. In this interview, he shares lessons from decades in the restaurant business and why success requires always having something to prove.On expanding successfully: In this conversation with Tony Robbins, Meyer shares the story of how Shake Shack grew from a hot dog cart into a world-famous restaurant sensation. He also unveils an essential trait that all entrepreneurs have in common that is absolutely necessary to stay relevant in the business world.On opening Eleven Madison Park: This 2010 documentary follows Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality team in the gut-wrenching creation where they built not one but two restaurants - Tabla and Eleven Madison Park - into one massive space on Madison Avenue in New York City. The three-month construction lasted 11 months.Polina's TakeawaysBe wary of building a cult: We've all heard companies being praised for their "cult-like" culture or following, but Meyer said that's not necessarily a good thing. "A cult can be exclusionary to everybody else who's not the same. That would be horrible in a business," he said. "That would absolutely be the kiss of death to have a team of people where everybody believes the same things, behaves the same way, comes from the same backgrounds." As a leader, you need to find people who come from different cultures but are eager to learn and incorporate their own twist to the flavor of your company.Modify the "rule of two:" Architects and contractors have something they refer to as the rule of two: "Quality, speed, and price. Which two do you want?" Meyer said the restaurant industry uses the same rule of thumb, which he considers a mistake. He believes in a fine casual "mashup" that aims to save you 65% of the time, save you 65% of the money, and give you 70% of the quality. "You're going to have to pick up your own food and you're probably gonna have to take your compostable plastic to a special trash, but you're not going to give up one ounce of what you put in your mouth qualitatively," he said. In other words, think twice before you blindly accept conventional wisdom. There's always an exception to the rule if you're willing to think creatively.Flip the leadership model: Most leaders think of themselves at the top of a pyramid, and as a result, employ a top-down approach. Meyer sees himself as "a bottom-up manager who subscribes to the concept of 'servant leadership.'" Servant leadership was popularized by the late Robert Greenleaf, who believed that organizations are at their most effective when leaders encourage collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and empowerment. "In any hierarchy, it's clear that the ultimate boss (in my case, me) holds the most power," Meyer said. "But a wonderful thing happens when you flip the traditional organizational chart upside down so that it looks like a V with the boss on the bottom." Remember, your leadership style is determined by your own perspective. (Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is another leader who uses this inverted pyramid approach to management.)Quotes to remember"I don't think innovation is about inventing anything. It's about connecting dots.""The excellence reflex is a natural reaction to fix something that isn't right, or to improve something that could be better.""Make new mistakes every day. Don't waste time repeating the old ones.""For judges of character, there is no such thing as the color gray.""Hospitality exists when you believe that the other person is on your side.""A great restaurant doesn't distinguish itself by how few mistakes it makes but by how well they handle those mistakes.""Culture is driven by language, and a company CEO is the shaman of the culture.""Hospitality knows no gender or race.""Life is a series of waves to be embraced and overcome."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg were rivals long before Dorsey mocked Facebook"s metaverse plan. Theirs is just one of a dozen yearslong feuds between some of the world"s most powerful tech leaders.

With billions of dollars and world-changing technology at stake, it's only natural Silicon Valley has become a breeding ground for rivalries. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Mark Lennihan/AP Photo While there are many close friendships in Silicon Valley, there are also plenty of feuds. Some appear to be friendly rivalries, like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Others are more contentious: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, for example, have been feuding for years. Silicon Valley is a breeding ground for rivalries. In a place where world-changing ideas are born and billions of dollars are at stake, it's only natural that rivalries develop between Silicon Valley's power players, ranging from friendly sparring to pointed critiques. While some feuds, like the one between Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, appear to be born out of a close friendship and mutual respect, others - like the one between Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel - started over a spurned acquisition offer. Here are some of the longstanding feuds, friendly or otherwise, between some of the world's most powerful execs. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25; Francois Mori/AP Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Zuckerberg have never seemed particularly chummy, but the rivalry between the two execs seems to have grown worse in the last few years. In 2019, Facebook came under fire over its decision not to fact-check political ads. In response, Dorsey announced that Twitter would suspend political advertising altogether, saying "political message reach should be earned, not bought."Dorsey also said at an event that October that Zuckerberg's argument that Facebook is an advocate for free speech "a major gap and flaw in the substance he was getting across," and that "there's some amount of revisionist history in all his storytelling."For his part, Zuckerberg hasn't been shy about criticizing Twitter, saying in an all hands that same month that "Twitter can't do as good of a job as we can," according to leaked audio obtained by The Verge.Two months later, Dorsey unfollowed Zuckerberg on Twitter. Since then, Dorsey has criticized Facebook's rebranded logo, proclaimed that he doesn't use any Facebook products, and hinted that he and Zuckerberg have "beef," saying that the two CEOs take "different approaches." Most recently, Dorsey mocked Zuckerberg's plan to turn into Facebook into a "metaverse company," calling the concept dystopian.  Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk aren't competitors in any earthly pursuits, but they're bitter rivals when it comes to outer space. Bezos founded his rocket company, Blue Origin, in 2000, while Musk founded SpaceX in 2002. Two years later, the pair met for dinner, and even then, things were getting testy."I actually did my best to give good advice, which he largely ignored," Musk said after the meeting.In 2013, their rivalry heated up when SpaceX tried to get exclusive use of a NASA launch pad and Blue Origin filed a formal protest with the government (SpaceX eventually won the right to take over the pad.) Months later, the two companies got into a patent battle, and soon after, Bezos and Musk took their feud public, trading barbs on Twitter.Their rivalry has flared up from time to time since then, but things came to a head in 2021 amid multiple legal filings from Blue Origin regarding SpaceX and a flurry of public criticism from Musk.After he surpassed Bezos as the world's richest person, Musk taunted the Amazon founder by telling Forbes he planned to send "a giant statue of the digit '2' to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal." Elon Musk and Bill Gates Pascal Le Segretain, Sean Gallup / Getty Images The strife between Gates and Musk first flared up February 2020 when Gates said during an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee that while Tesla has helped drive innovation and adoption of electric vehicles, he didn't buy a Tesla when making a recent vehicle purchase — he bought a Porsche Taycan. In response, Musk tweeted that his conversations with Gates have always been "underwhelming." Then, in July, Gates said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Musk's comments about COVID-19 were "outrageous," as Musk has frequently downplayed the severity of the virus and questioned how the US had handled its coronavirus response. Musk took to Twitter a few days later to taunt Gates, tweeting, "Billy G is not my lover" and "The rumor that Bill Gates & I are lovers is completely untrue."Gates also critiqued Musk over his space ambitions, telling Kara Swisher "I don't think rockets are the solution" and that he'd rather spend money on vaccines. He also warned against buying into the mania over cryptocurrencies, which Musk frequently promotes on Twitter."My general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out," Gates told Bloomberg. Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg AP; Francois Mori/AP Cook and Zuckerberg have traded insults over the years, beginning as early as 2014, when Cook said in an interview that "when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product," seemingly in reference to Facebook.In the aftermath of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which private Facebook user data was stolen from 50 million users, Recode's Kara Swisher asked Cook what he would do if he was in Zuckerberg's shoes. He responded: "What would I do? I wouldn't be in this situation."Zuckerberg was reportedly so incensed by Cook's comments that he asked executives to switch to Android phones.In a company blog post in 2018, Facebook confirmed the feud between the two execs: "Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees."The pair reportedly had a meeting at the Sun Valley conference in 2019, during which Zuckerberg asked Cook for advice regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal. According to The New York Times, Cook told Zuckerberg to delete all user data it collects from outside its apps, the equivalent of rendering Facebook's business model obsolete. Zuckerberg was reportedly stunned.More recently, the two CEOs were at odds over an Apple privacy update that allows users opt out of being tracked for advertising purposes. Facebook repeatedly denounced the change, saying it could destroy part of its business.  Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Susan Walsh/AP; Erin Scott/Reuters Musk and Zuckerberg have clashed since as far back as 2016 when a SpaceX rocket explosion destroyed a Facebook satellite. Zuckerberg issued a heated statement saying he was "deeply disappointed" about SpaceX's failure.In 2017, Zuckerberg criticized people who have concerns about the future of artificial intelligence — an opinion Musk has frequently voiced — calling those anxieties "really negative" and "pretty irresponsible." In response, Musk said that he's discussed AI with Zuckerberg and called his understanding of the subject "limited."One year later, Facebook became embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Musk publicly deleted his companies' Facebook pages, tweeting that the company gave him "the willies." After Sacha Baron Cohen spoke out in favor of increased regulation of Facebook, Musk tweeted: "#DeleteFacebook It's lame. Then, following the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021, Musk used Twitter to share memes linking the riots to Facebook. On the evening of the rampage, Musk tweeted, "This is called the domino effect," along with an image of dominoes, with the first one labeled "a website to rate women on campus," a reference to Facebook's inception at Harvard University. The last domino was about the rioters. Kevin Systrom and Jack Dorsey Getty Images; Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey started out as close friends, but had a falling out around the time Instagram sold to Facebook.  According to the book "No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram" by Sarah Frier, the pair met when they were early employees at Odeo, the audio and video site created by eventual Twitter cofounders Ev Williams and Noah Glass. Dorsey expected to dislike Systrom when he joined as a summer intern in the mid-2000s, but the pair ended up bonding over photography and expensive coffee. Systrom and Dorsey stayed in touch even after Systrom got a full-time job at Google. Systrom was an early proponent of Twitter (then known as Twttr), and when he started working on Burbn, the precursor to Instagram, he reached out to Dorsey for guidance. Dorsey ended up becoming an early investor, putting in $25,000. When Burbn pivoted to Instagram, Dorsey became one of the app's biggest fans, cross-posting his Instagrams to Twitter and helping the app go viral soon after it launched. Dorsey eventually attempted to buy Instagram, but Systrom declined, saying he wanted to make Instagram too expensive to be acquired, according to Frier. The Dorsey-Systrom relationship appeared to have soured in 2012, when Dorsey found out that Instagram had signed a deal to be acquired by Facebook, Twitter's biggest rival. According to Frier, Dorsey was hurt that Systrom hadn't called him first to discuss the deal, or to negotiate one with Twitter instead.Dorsey hasn't posted to his Instagram account since April 9, 2012, when he snapped a photo of an unusually empty San Francisco city bus — according to Frier, it was taken the morning he found out Instagram had sold. While Systrom had been quiet on Twitter for the last few years, he's recently begun using the platform again, and in 2020, the pair even had a pleasant tweet exchange. Marc Benioff and Larry Ellison Kimberly White/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff met when Benioff began working at Oracle when he was 23. He was a star early on, earning a "rookie of the year" award that same year and becoming Oracle's youngest VP by age 26. He spent 13 years at Oracle, during which he became a trusted lieutenant to Ellison. Benioff began working on Salesforce with Ellison's blessing, and Ellison became an investor, putting in $2 million early on. But since then, the duo has publicly feuded on multiple occasions. In 2000, Oracle launched software that directly competed with Salesforce. Benioff asked Ellison to resign from Salesforce's board, and Ellison refused (he eventually left the board, but Benioff let him keep his stock and options).Over the years, Benioff and Ellison have sparred off and on: Ellison once mocked Salesforce, calling it an "itty bitty application" that's dependent on Oracle, while Benioff has called Oracle a "false cloud." And in 2011, Ellison ordered that Benioff be removed from the speaker lineup of Oracle's OpenWorld conference, which Benioff said was because Oracle was afraid he'd give a better speech. But throughout it all, Benioff has described Ellison as his mentor. "There is no one I've learned more from than Larry Ellison," Benioff said in 2013. Larry Ellison and Bill Gates Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times Gates and Ellison may have patched things up these days, but back in the late '90s and early 2000s, they had a touchy relationship, mostly defined by Ellison trying to outdo Gates. "He's utterly obsessed with trying to beat Bill Gates," former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold once told Vanity Fair. "I mean, the guy's got six billion bucks. You'd think he wouldn't be so dramatically obsessed that one guy in the Northwest is more successful. [With Larry] it's just a mania."Their animosity partly stemmed from Ellison's close friendship with Steve Jobs, a frequent opponent of Gates. But things took a more serious turn in 2000 when Microsoft was being investigated by the federal government over antitrust violations.At the time, several groups were openly supportive of Microsoft, and Ellison suspected they were being funded by Microsoft itself. He hired private investigators to in an attempt to out Microsoft and help out the feds. Eventually, Microsoft lost the suit, and Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO.  Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Francois Mori/AP Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg don't seem to have a friendly relationship, and it may extend as far back as 2012, when Spiegel may have tried to one-up Zuckerberg when he attempted to arrange a meeting.Since then, Snap has reportedly turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook on three separate occasions.Facebook has mimicked many of Snapchat's features over the years — both on its own app and its subsidiary, Instagram — and the CEOs have made jabs at each other in public. In 2018, after Facebook cloned yet another Snapchat feature, Stories, Spiegel said: "We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also," a dig at Facebook's various privacy scandals. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Beck Diefenbach/Reuters; Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times In the early days of Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got along — Microsoft made software for the Apple II computer, and Gates was a frequent guest in Cupertino, where Apple is headquartered. But the tides started to turn in the early '80s, when Jobs flew up to Microsoft's headquarters in Washington to try to convince Gates to make software for the Macintosh computer. Gates later described it as "a weird seduction visit" and said he felt like Jobs was saying "I don't need you, but I might let you be involved."Still, they remained relatively friendly until 1985, when Microsoft launched the first version of Windows and Jobs accused him of ripping off the Macintosh. "They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame," Jobs later told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, to which Gates replied: "If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields."The duo traded barbs for years, with Jobs calling Gates boring and Gates calling Jobs "weirdly flawed as a human being." Tensions remained high even after Microsoft invested in Apple to keep it afloat, with both Gates and Jobs insulting each other and their companies' products time and time again. Still, they clearly respected and admired each other, despite their animosity. When Jobs died in 2011, Gates said: "I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of [what he said] bothers me at all." Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom Getty Images; Francois Mori/AP Mark Zuckerberg and former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom used to get along well — so well that Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.But in the intervening years, the relationship between the two executives seemingly fell apart. When asked why he left the helm of the company he founded, Systrom said, "no one ever leaves a job because everything's awesome."According to an April 2019 piece from Wired's Nick Thompson and Fred Vogelstein, Systrom and cofounder Mike Krieger left because of increasing tensions with Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg reportedly became increasingly controlling, banning Systrom from doing magazine profiles without approval, taking away Facebook tools that helped Instagram grow, testing location-tracking while Systrom was out on paternity leave, and adding a new button to Instagram that Systrom detested.  Steve Jobs and Michael Dell Beck Diefenbach/Reuters; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images In 1997, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell was asked for his opinion on Apple, which, at the time, was in dire straits. He responded that he'd "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."That comment irritated Steve Jobs, who told his team in response: "The world doesn't need another Dell or HP. It doesn't need another manufacturer of plain, beige, boring PCs. If that's all we're going to do, then we should really pack up now." At an Apple keynote shortly after, Jobs said Dell's comments were "rude" and told him that Apple was coming for him. Dell later softened his comments, saying that he was trying to make clear that he wasn't for hire. But Dell rankled Jobs enough that, in January 2006, Jobs sent around this memo to the entire company: "Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021