2016: The Year In Bill O'Reilly

Whether or not you like Bill O’Reilly, he has certainly made a huge impact in 2016. He has offended and disgusted many, while thrilling and offering “real” news to others. Mr. O’Reilly has become just as much of celebrity as many of those who he reports on. Let’s take a look at some of the Fox News host’s most talked about moments in 2016. Comments on Slavery Bill O’Reilly responded to a speech that Michelle Obama made at the DNC in July. As the Los Angeles Times noted, Mrs. Obama summarized how far things have come since the White House used slaves to help build the presidential building. On his show, O’Reilly praised Michelle’s speech, but since he is such a historian, he wanted to note the fact that the slaves who helped then were treated differently from other slaves — they were well-fed and had decent housing. Bill O’Reilly caused an unintended racial firestorm. [Image by Randy Holmes /Getty Images] O’Reilly’s comments weren’t intended to be racist, but it didn’t matter to most of the mainstream media. Twitter went after the Fox News host with a vengeance. Slaves built the White House-
Historians Respond to Bill O’Reilly whitewashing slavery-https://t.co/M7hFwR0FNo via @wordpressdotcom — Wendy Smith (@wendysmithTO) August 3, 2016 Losing Custody of Children Losing custody of his children had nothing to do with The O’Reilly Factor, but the media still went in on O’Reilly. Several sites referred to Bill O’Reilly as a hypocrite since it was reported that Bill lost custody due to physical assaulting his wife. However, as Snopes pointed out in May of 2016, this simply wasn’t true. “Published court documents didn’t suggest O’Reilly ‘lost custody’ of his children due to domestic violence or for any other salacious reason; O’Reilly’s ‘young daughter’ was 17 at the time of the ruling; O’Reilly was not originally awarded sole or primary custody of his children and thus was unable to ‘lose’ it.” O’Reilly has vehemently denied ever assaulting his wife. Defending Roger Ailes Against ual Harassment Accusations In 2004, Bill O’Reilly was accused of ual harassment against a co-worker, Andrea Mackris. As the Inquisitr reported last May, Mackris accused O’Reilly of ual harassment and produced excerpts from a number of conversations with O’Reilly in which he allegedly made a number of explicit statements and odd ual propositions. O’Reilly countersued Mackris for extortion, but both suits were eventually dropped as the result of a settlement. Bill O’Reilly thought the charges against Roger Ailes were malicious. [Image by Andrew Toth/Getty Images] Because of this, some found it ironic that Bill O’Reilly defended Fox News’ boss Roger Ailes from his accusations. The Huffington Post happily noted all of the things O’Reilly had been accused of in the past. Roger Ailes eventually resigned from Fox News. The O’Reilly Factor Takes Over Chinatown In October of 2016, Bill O’Reilly sent his mini-me, Jesse Watters, to Chinatown in New York City. As the Mercury News described, some people took offense with the segment. “Members of the Asian community are angry over a segment that ran Monday on The O’Reilly Factor during which an interviewer [Watters] walked through New York’s Chinatown asking people to do karate, whether he should bow to greet them, and if they could ‘take care of North Korea for us.’” As one can see from the video above, it wasn’t very politically correct, and many thought it completely stereotyped Asians. However, according to Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly defended the segment and accused the liberal media of taking it out of context. Accused of Defending White Supremacy On his show the Inquisitr reported on (Tuesday, December 20), O’Reilly said he believed the real reasons the Democrats wanted to abandon the Electoral College was because of race. He noted that if the Electoral College was thrown out, all candidates had to do was go to some of the biggest cities and states since they are heavily filled with minorities, who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Soon, liberal websites were on the hunt. Fusion accused O’Reilly of singing the praises of white supremacy, while Vox inferred that O’Reilly argued for the Electoral College because it keeps white voters in power. Bill O’Reilly hasn’t yet responded to any of these accusations, but you can bet he will when he returns on The O’Reilly Factor next week. [Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]

European Immigrant Crisis: The Difference Between The Immigration Issue In Europe And The United States

As noted by Foreign Policy, the European immigrant crisis has become a major issue, particularly in the Mediterranean, France and Germany. This has caused many to question whether the price of increasing European unity has been the loss of the EU’s ability to manage their own borders. The situation in Europe and the United States have some similarities and differences, as can be seen in the Brexit vote in the UK and Trump’s election in the US. The Beginning of the Problem During a five month period at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, more than 20,000 people – primarily Tunisians – migrated to Lampedusa. The event on the small Italian island was the beginning of a larger crisis in the EU system. The Italian government initially moved many of these immigrants to encampments on the mainland. Once at these locations, many were provided with papers and sent to France. Once the French government realized what was going on, they began sending the immigrants back. In the end, the French of the Italians had to arrive at an agreement in which they would attempt to minimize the number of immigrants crossing the Mediterranean. Spain had experienced problems going back as far as 1993, with refugees crossing between Morocco and Spain. As a consequence, the Spanish government decided to build a series of fences to keep them out. As reported by BBC News, Greece in 2012 constructed a long fence along a section of its border with Turkey that had seen large numbers of people crossing illegally. Refugees wait to register in Greece. [Image by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images] An important point to note is that the places where people are most likely to be rejected for entry into Europe are not necessarily the places where most people try to get into Europe. The majority of immigrants try to come into Europe through airports, but most of those who were refused entry try to do so through land or sea crossings. Political questions revolving around immigration have largely focused on illegal migration into Europe. Unlike the United States, the question of illegal immigration is much more complicated because of the diverse nature of the continent and the greater number of nationalities. The structure of the European Union also plays a part, in that many illegal immigrants are individuals who have either overstayed a visa or have chosen to illegally remain in a country they have entered under the European Freedom of Movement statutes – which require no visa. Estimates by government officials of the illegal immigrant population in Europe will vary depending on the politician asked and the political climate at the time. For some, there is political advantage in exaggerating the number, while others will want to minimize it. Yet despite the increase in border crossings, the surprising fact is that the actual number of undocumented or illegal immigrants in Europe has been declining over the last 10 years. Britain-bound migrants go on HUNGER STRIKE after UK officials reject their asylum claims https://t.co/M8qxJ9H2tb — Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) December 20, 2016 There are exceptions to this, such as in the UK, where asylum-seekers have resulted in a significant increase. Pew Research reports that the illegal immigrant population in the United States peaked in the year 2007 and has slowly dropped since that time. This may well be due to the economic problems in the United States that reduce the number of job opportunities. While for the United States, the border is obviously a significant issue, the greatest concern for European governments is not illegal border crossings, since most people cross into Europe legally. They are much more concerned about keeping track of these immigrants after they are actually getting Europe. Border protection and cooperation between nations in Europe is important, but the authorities have discovered that the most effective way to address the issue is for law enforcement to track and capture illegal immigrants once they are already in the EU. This is made much simpler in Europe because of the use of national identity cards, which don’t exist – yet – in the United States. As a consequence of this, many European nations are able to expel illegal immigrants at a far higher rate than is possible in the United States. For example, in the first three years of the Obama administration, the US removed more than 400,000 illegal immigrants each year. During the same years, the British government was able to expel 25,000 illegals. In part the above numbers may represent the fact that in Europe the overall numbers of illegals are much smaller and the problem much less significant than in the US. Another possible explanation for the difference is that such large numbers of Hispanics live in the United States legally, making it much easier for illegal immigrants from places like Mexico to blend into the United States. [Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]

European Immigrant Crisis: The Difference Between The Immigration Issue In Europe And The United States

As noted by Foreign Policy, the European immigrant crisis has become a major issue, particularly in the Mediterranean, France and Germany. This has caused many to question whether the price of increasing European unity has been the loss of the EU’s ability to manage their own borders. The situation in Europe and the United States have some similarities and differences, as can be seen in the Brexit vote in the UK and Trump’s election in the US. The Beginning of the Problem During a five month period at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, more than 20,000 people – primarily Tunisians – migrated to Lampedusa. The event on the small Italian island was the beginning of a larger crisis in the EU system. The Italian government initially moved many of these immigrants to encampments on the mainland. Once at these locations, many were provided with papers and sent to France. Once the French government realized what was going on, they began sending the immigrants back. In the end, the French of the Italians had to arrive at an agreement in which they would attempt to minimize the number of immigrants crossing the Mediterranean. Spain had experienced problems going back as far as 1993, with refugees crossing between Morocco and Spain. As a consequence, the Spanish government decided to build a series of fences to keep them out. As reported by BBC News, Greece in 2012 constructed a long fence along a section of its border with Turkey that had seen large numbers of people crossing illegally. Refugees wait to register in Greece. [Image by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images] An important point to note is that the places where people are most likely to be rejected for entry into Europe are not necessarily the places where most people try to get into Europe. The majority of immigrants try to come into Europe through airports, but most of those who were refused entry try to do so through land or sea crossings. Political questions revolving around immigration have largely focused on illegal migration into Europe. Unlike the United States, the question of illegal immigration is much more complicated because of the diverse nature of the continent and the greater number of nationalities. The structure of the European Union also plays a part, in that many illegal immigrants are individuals who have either overstayed a visa or have chosen to illegally remain in a country they have entered under the European Freedom of Movement statutes – which require no visa. Estimates by government officials of the illegal immigrant population in Europe will vary depending on the politician asked and the political climate at the time. For some, there is political advantage in exaggerating the number, while others will want to minimize it. Yet despite the increase in border crossings, the surprising fact is that the actual number of undocumented or illegal immigrants in Europe has been declining over the last 10 years. Britain-bound migrants go on HUNGER STRIKE after UK officials reject their asylum claims https://t.co/M8qxJ9H2tb — Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) December 20, 2016 There are exceptions to this, such as in the UK, where asylum-seekers have resulted in a significant increase. Pew Research reports that the illegal immigrant population in the United States peaked in the year 2007 and has slowly dropped since that time. This may well be due to the economic problems in the United States that reduce the number of job opportunities. While for the United States, the border is obviously a significant issue, the greatest concern for European governments is not illegal border crossings, since most people cross into Europe legally. They are much more concerned about keeping track of these immigrants after they are actually getting Europe. Border protection and cooperation between nations in Europe is important, but the authorities have discovered that the most effective way to address the issue is for law enforcement to track and capture illegal immigrants once they are already in the EU. This is made much simpler in Europe because of the use of national identity cards, which don’t exist – yet – in the United States. As a consequence of this, many European nations are able to expel illegal immigrants at a far higher rate than is possible in the United States. For example, in the first three years of the Obama administration, the US removed more than 400,000 illegal immigrants each year. During the same years, the British government was able to expel 25,000 illegals. In part the above numbers may represent the fact that in Europe the overall numbers of illegals are much smaller and the problem much less significant than in the US. Another possible explanation for the difference is that such large numbers of Hispanics live in the United States legally, making it much easier for illegal immigrants from places like Mexico to blend into the United States. [Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]

2016: The Year In Bill O'Reilly

Whether or not you like Bill O’Reilly, he has certainly made a huge impact in 2016. He has offended and disgusted many, while thrilling and offering “real” news to others. Mr. O’Reilly has become just as much of celebrity as many of those who he reports on. Let’s take a look at some of the Fox News host’s most talked about moments in 2016. Comments on Slavery Bill O’Reilly responded to a speech that Michelle Obama made at the DNC in July. As the Los Angeles Times noted, Mrs. Obama summarized how far things have come since the White House used slaves to help build the presidential building. On his show, O’Reilly praised Michelle’s speech, but since he is such a historian, he wanted to note the fact that the slaves who helped then were treated differently from other slaves — they were well-fed and had decent housing. Bill O’Reilly caused an unintended racial firestorm. [Image by Randy Holmes /Getty Images] O’Reilly’s comments weren’t intended to be racist, but it didn’t matter to most of the mainstream media. Twitter went after the Fox News host with a vengeance. Slaves built the White House-
Historians Respond to Bill O’Reilly whitewashing slavery-https://t.co/M7hFwR0FNo via @wordpressdotcom — Wendy Smith (@wendysmithTO) August 3, 2016 Losing Custody of Children Losing custody of his children had nothing to do with The O’Reilly Factor, but the media still went in on O’Reilly. Several sites referred to Bill O’Reilly as a hypocrite since it was reported that Bill lost custody due to physical assaulting his wife. However, as Snopes pointed out in May of 2016, this simply wasn’t true. “Published court documents didn’t suggest O’Reilly ‘lost custody’ of his children due to domestic violence or for any other salacious reason; O’Reilly’s ‘young daughter’ was 17 at the time of the ruling; O’Reilly was not originally awarded sole or primary custody of his children and thus was unable to ‘lose’ it.” O’Reilly has vehemently denied ever assaulting his wife. Defending Roger Ailes Against ual Harassment Accusations In 2004, Bill O’Reilly was accused of ual harassment against a co-worker, Andrea Mackris. As the Inquisitr reported last May, Mackris accused O’Reilly of ual harassment and produced excerpts from a number of conversations with O’Reilly in which he allegedly made a number of explicit statements and odd ual propositions. O’Reilly countersued Mackris for extortion, but both suits were eventually dropped as the result of a settlement. Bill O’Reilly thought the charges against Roger Ailes were malicious. [Image by Andrew Toth/Getty Images] Because of this, some found it ironic that Bill O’Reilly defended Fox News’ boss Roger Ailes from his accusations. The Huffington Post happily noted all of the things O’Reilly had been accused of in the past. Roger Ailes eventually resigned from Fox News. The O’Reilly Factor Takes Over Chinatown In October of 2016, Bill O’Reilly sent his mini-me, Jesse Watters, to Chinatown in New York City. As the Mercury News described, some people took offense with the segment. “Members of the Asian community are angry over a segment that ran Monday on The O’Reilly Factor during which an interviewer [Watters] walked through New York’s Chinatown asking people to do karate, whether he should bow to greet them, and if they could ‘take care of North Korea for us.’” As one can see from the video above, it wasn’t very politically correct, and many thought it completely stereotyped Asians. However, according to Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly defended the segment and accused the liberal media of taking it out of context. Accused of Defending White Supremacy On his show the Inquisitr reported on (Tuesday, December 20), O’Reilly said he believed the real reasons the Democrats wanted to abandon the Electoral College was because of race. He noted that if the Electoral College was thrown out, all candidates had to do was go to some of the biggest cities and states since they are heavily filled with minorities, who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Soon, liberal websites were on the hunt. Fusion accused O’Reilly of singing the praises of white supremacy, while Vox inferred that O’Reilly argued for the Electoral College because it keeps white voters in power. Bill O’Reilly hasn’t yet responded to any of these accusations, but you can bet he will when he returns on The O’Reilly Factor next week. [Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]

Donald Trump Inauguration Speech Will Be Short — Selfie Sticks, Coolers, Other Items Banned

At Donald Trump’s inauguration speech set for January 20, 2017, the President-elect is expected to take precautions. He plans to ban a list of items from being taken to the live event, and many of them make sense. Among these items are explosives and laser pointers, for obvious reasons. Trump wants to eliminate the chance that he’ll be assassinated on his first day as President of the United States. The possibility of such a thing happening has been rather strong, as when the 2016 election results came in, the Electoral College gave him the win. Even the recount ordered by former Presidential hopeful Jill Stein didn’t change the fact, but instead actually cost more votes for Hillary Clinton. Many Democrats are upset with this fact and are allegedly determined to get Donald Trump impeached or assassinated. After riots in the streets, the President-elect isn’t taking any chances. He is also taking the needs of his supporters attending the speech into consideration. Donald Trump protesters could cause trouble at his inauguration speech. [Image by Thos Robinson/Getty Images] The list of banned items from Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, according to the official website, is below. Aerosols Ammunition Animals other than service/guide animals Backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18 inches by 13 by 7) Bicycles Balloons Coolers Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems Explosives Firearms Glass, thermal, or metal containers Laser pointers Mace / Pepper spray Packages Selfie Sticks Signs exceeding the size restrictions (20 inches by 3 by 1/4) Structures Supports for signs and placards Toy guns Weapons of any kind Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards This list appears to indicate that Donald Trump is predicting trouble at the event, and will reduce the chances of anything possibly interrupting it. Containers and packages could easily be bombs, with glass ones potentially Molotov cocktails. Toy guns could easily be real ones, with today’s 3D-printing technology. Mace and pepper spray could be used against supporters by protesters who are determined to cause trouble. Signs over a certain size, as well as selfie sticks and balloons, could simply be deterrents from people further back in the crowd getting a full view. Balloons will be banned from the event. [Image by Patrick Semansky/AP Images] CNN claims that Donald Trump is intentionally writing his own “short” speech, due to it being an outdoor event in Winter. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley met with Trump on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming event, and the President-elect stated that he “doesn’t want people standing out in the cold.” Historically, two things are taken into consideration in determining how the Presidency will work. These things are the inauguration speech and the first 100 days in office. Franklyn D. Roosevelt set the 100-day standard in place, albeit by accident, and it’s been a predictive measure ever since. Often what a President accomplishes in those first three or so months determines the rest of the four to eight years, or less, in the event of assassination. The inauguration speech is traditionally written for the President on his first day in the office, but again, Trump doesn’t want everybody standing in the cold too long and has decided to pen his own speech. This could be good or bad news, as a shorter speech could be an omen that his Presidency will be a short one. While some news sources such as Gizmodo‘s Matt Novak have taken a decidedly Democratic angle on the list, claiming that Trump “hates freedom,” many of the items being banned from the inauguration speech are probably just standard security measures. It could very well be the same list (aside from drones and selfie sticks) used for Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and even all the way back to Richard Nixon. The list of banned items might have little to do with Donald Trump. [Feature Image by Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com]

Matt Taibbi Asks If The Russian Hack Is Iraq WMD All Over Again, Reminds Journalists Of Judith Miller

Following the War in Afghanistan, the U.S. response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, then-President George W. Bush set his sights on invading Iraq and toppling dictator Saddam Hussein. Following the September 11 attacks, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility, as reported by the CBC. Despite this, the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan refused to extradite him or other suspects to the United States, leading to war. Osama bin Laden wasn’t finally captured by the United States until May 2011, by which time he had already moved to Abbotabad, Pakistan. In making their case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and members of the U.S. intelligence community relied on and presented evidence that had come from Ahmed Chalabi, which is now known to have been seriously flawed, as reported by the New York Times. The invasion of Iraq could not have occurred without bipartisan support, as well as the support of the American public. A majority of both Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, in October of that year, as reported by Govtrack. Just prior to the October-2002 vote, Judith Miller, with the New York Times, wrote with regard to Saddam Hussein’s “dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals,” among other accusations that have since been proven groundless. Miller’s Iraq WMD reporting has been described as ending “her career as a respectable journalist.” Fast forward to the 2016 presidential race: it seems clear that a group hacked the Democratic National Committee, as well as a Vermont utility electrical system, as reported by Rolling Stone and the Inquisitr. Matt Taibbi, with Rolling Stone, writes that the accusation of voting systems being hacked during the 2016 election is a “far more outlandish tale backed by no credible evidence.” Donald Trump protesters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. [Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images] PC Mag has featured a report produced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that details the efforts of the Russian government to lead “cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens.” The report from the federal agencies is said to detail as many as three separate “spearphishing” campaigns, one of which involved sending malware-infected emails to over 1,000 users, of which only one needed to be opened to expose the DNC’s computer systems. The second operation, thought to have taken place in the spring, was said to have tricked users into changing their email passwords with a fraudulent website. A third spearphishing campaign is reported to have taken place shortly after the November 8 election. “These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government,” a statement written by President Obama reads. Matt Taibbi describes the situation surrounding the reported Russian hack as putting journalists in a “jackpot.” “We all remember the [Iraq] WMD fiasco,” Taibbi writes. The Rolling Stone reporter described “awkwardness” in headlines following Obama’s statements and the FBI and Homeland Security report, observing that many news outlets seem “split” on the issue, unsure if they should take the president at his word, with some hedging bets by using “‘Obama says’ formulations.” Taibbi writes that the report is “short on specifics” of how the intelligence community definitively determined that the hacks were the work of the Russian government or if their purpose was actually to influence the 2016 presidential elections. Even reports that “Russian hacking code” was found in the systems of a Vermont utility were made by “unnamed” officials, seemingly leaving reporters with another unverified situation. Former ‘New York Times’ journalist, Judith Miller, in January 2007. [Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images] Prior to the invasion of Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden had personally claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks. By refusing the extradite him, the Taliban revealed that they believed he was in Afghanistan too. Saddam Hussein never claimed that Iraq had WMD. It does not appear that anyone in the Russian government has claimed responsibility for the hacks, which appears to have led Matt Taibbi to write that “nothing quite adds up.” The Rolling Stone piece notes similarities between the current situation and the one surrounding Iraq WMD, including a “highly politicized environment” and “suspect” motives of involved parties. Further, Matt Taibbi holds President Obama’s move of expelling Russian diplomats from the United Stats as an “oddly weak and ill-timed response.” Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, as well as the DNC, appear to agree with Taibbi’s view, with the senators calling Russia’s punishment a “small price” and the DNC calling the response “insufficient.” The writer states that if the Russian government actually did interfere with the 2016 election that a “massive response” is called for. Taibbi appears frustrated that President Obama compared, what the president holds up as a bona fide cyber attack, to “humdrum tradecraft skirmishes” between the United States and Russia, which he suggests may be evidence that the president has a “thin case.” Throughout the drama that has unfolded through 2016, the issue has continued to split Americans, with 62 percent of Donald Trump supporters professing a belief that millions of illegal votes were cast in the election, and 50 percent of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supporters believing that Russian cyber activity was able to fraudulently inflate votes that went to Trump and/or reduce votes that went to Clinton. Matt Taibbi, in October 2010. [Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images] Matt Taibbi ended his piece with the admission that it is possible that the Russians did hack the DNC, but that without more evidence, the media is “flying blind.” He also admitted to the possibility that President-elect Trump and Vladimir Putin did direct a hacking campaign in concert, which he described as a “virtual coup d’etat” and among the “most serious things” to ever happen to the United States. Another possibility put forward was that the entire episode is “cynical ass-covering” on the part of the Democratic Party, looking to turn eyes away from their 2016 election failure, as well as a chance to smear Donald Trump. The reporter also allowed for a combination of each scenario. “I have no problem believing that Vladimir Putin tried to influence the American election,” Matt Taibbi wrote. “And Donald Trump, too, was swine enough during the campaign to publicly hope the Russians would disclose Hillary Clinton’s emails. So a lot of this is very believable.” The U.S. government would not back away from “burning new agencies,” finding “any sucker” willing to deliver their message, should the need arise, Taibbi concluded, seemingly holding onto doubts about the origin of the hacks. “We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode.” [Featured Image by Alexander Vilf/Getty Images]

Donald Trump Wants To Use Carrier Pigeons For Sensitive Information: Thankfully, There's Already A Protocol In Place For That

In the waning hours of 2016, Donald Trump issued a statement that sensitive and classified information should not be transmitted using computers. To back up his claim, he cited the expertise of his ten-year old son. “It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe. I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe. I have a boy who’s 10 years old. He can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.” As Trump is due to be sworn in as the next President of the United States in January of 2017, it is important that scientists look toward a way of implementing his preferred standard. Thankfully, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the organization that sets the standards for the Internet has already released such a protocol, and they did it back in 1990. RFC 1149, or A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers, was the first draft of a protocol that addressed the reliability and speed of carrying data traffic via avian carriers, or homing pigeons. The protocol demonstrates that high delay, low throughput, and low altitude service can be accomplished with a point to point topology. Even though there is individual low throughput with individual carriers, multiple carriers can be used because they operate in a three-dimensional space, as opposed to the one-dimensional space used by current internet standards. An Iraqi soldier tends to a local data packet handler near Mosul [Image by Hadi Mizban/AP Images] Other benefits of RFC 1149 are that the packet carriers are self-regenerating (albeit at a very slow rate), and that they self-generate auditing trails, usually found on logs, cars, and the occasional unfortunate person underwing. Unfortunately, transmissions made via RFC 1149 are subject to dropped packets, and the transmissions are extremely vulnerable to storms. When used in tactical environments, the packets should also be encrypted to avoid data interception. Because nothing in the world of communication is ever static, the RFC was revisited and a new experimental protocol was issued. RFC 2549, or IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service, was issued in 1999 and served to amend RFC 1149. RFC 2549 introduces new service levels for Internet Protocol over Avian Carrier (IPoAC). The levels in decreasing order of speed and reliability are Concorde, First, Business, and Coach. Using this network allows the user to also gain frequent flyer miles as well as bonus miles if Concorde or First classes are chosen. An alternate carrier that has a greater bulk capacity was also introduced, but ostrich delivery is slower and requires bridges between domains. The protocol stresses the advantages of IPoAC, as they will avoid standard tunneling or bridging, enabling them to avoid long queues. However, when they deal with web traffic, spiders are often absorbed into the packet carrier and ejected in a more compact form. If data encapsulation is required or requested, standard saran wrap can be used. Alternately, encapsulation of the data carrier in a hawk has been known to occur, but the data is often mangled and irretrievable. A dropped packet from IPoAC is shown as another packet queues for transmission. [Image by Czarek Sokolowski/AP Images] The protocol has been tried in numerous real world applications. The first test occurred in 2001, when the Bergen Linux user group tested out the Carrier Pigeon Internet Protocol (CPIP) over a three mile test distance. There were 9 packets transmitted but only 4 packets received, resulting in a 55% packet loss. The ping was an atrocious 5222806.6 ms, however. Another test occurred in 2009, when CPIP was used with a data carrier named “Winston” raced against a Telkom SA ASDL line. The test was to send 4 GB of data over 60 km. The CPIP beat the ADSL transfer handily, completing transmission in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 57 seconds. The ASDL line had only completed 4% of the required data transmission at that point. While some may lambast President-Elect Donald Trump for not being computer savvy, his awareness of this little used Internet Protocol actually shows great awareness of the evolving conditions of technology. Here’s hoping that President Trump is able to find a way to fund RFC 1149 and 2549 so that American state secrets can remain even more secure in the future. [Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]

Trump's New Year: Parties With Friends, Tweets Enemies

President-elect Donald Trump rung in the New Year with a party at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. At the stroke of midnight, he took to Twitter to extend a New Year’s greeting to the rest of America. TO ALL AMERICANS-#HappyNewYear & many blessings to you all! Looking forward to a wonderful & prosperous 2017 as we work together to #MAGA???????? pic.twitter.com/UaBFaoDYHe — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2017 But it was a tweet Donald Trump sent out earlier that day, on the morning of December 31, that caused a stir in the media, prompting over 140,000 retweets–many of them accompanied by derisive comments–and also over 340,000 likes. Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016 Flustered commenters took the tweet personally, with many of the top replies using unprintable language. Most of the comments were liberal with their criticism of Trump’s message and of the President-elect himself, with the top reply from a Swedish user unironically suggesting that others report the tweet for trolling and abuse. @realDonaldTrump If folks report his account for abusive trolling, do you think Twitter will ban him? Asking for a friend. Happy New Year! — Samir (Sam) Madani (@Samir_Madani) December 31, 2016 However, Trump has a history of wishing holiday greetings on his “enemies” and his “haters” that goes back to before he was elected President of the United States. To EVERYONE, including all haters and losers, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Work hard, be smart and always remember, WINNING TAKES CARE OF EVERYTHING! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2014 As this tweet from 2014 shows, Trump has used Twitter before to express a nearly identical sentiment, and on the same holiday. Although the tweets are two years apart, the message is consistent. It also emphasizes his love of winning through the use of capital letters. In that regard, Trump has not been shy. He openly communicates his desire to win and the satisfaction one achieves from it. In a memorable moment during the Presidential race, Trump told his supporters that they would win so much they would eventually get tired of winning. Although Trump’s constancy remains a delight to his supporters, his attitude aggravates his detractors considerably. In the interest of moving forward and healing a politically divided nation, some argue that Trump needs to tone down his messages and personality. ‘What does a good president do?’ A good president tries to represent all of America.” https://t.co/Dhumq8GGKC @realDonaldTrump @newtgingrich pic.twitter.com/d1dge5MGt4 — ????✡✝2Corinthians3 (@DarleneHBrook) January 1, 2017 Whether Trump will be able to win over any of the Twitter users on the #NotMyPresident hashtag remains to be seen. At Mar-a-Lago, the soon-to-be first family enjoyed a party among approximately 800 guests. The guest of honor was action star Sylvester Stallone, who starred as the titular characters in the hit action movies Rocky and Rambo and their multiple sequels. He attended the party with his wife, Jennifer Flavin. Tickets to the event cost $500 for members of the Mar-a-Lago club and $575 for guests. Some were critical of the ticket prices and brought up concerns about how Trump’s business interests might affect his presidency. Once inside the club, attendees could enjoy cocktails and dancing and were served a five course meal. Although Trump ditched reporters earlier in the day to play golf, he spoke to reporters regarding concerns of Russian hacking before going into the party and celebrating the new year. With his wife Melania by his side, Trump promised to reveal more of what he knew about the situation on Tuesday or Wednesday and emphasized the need to be sure of Russian involvement before passing judgement and the fact that no computer is safe. Melania and Donald Trump between tweets at the New Year’s Eve party. [Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images] If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. Donald Trump will be inaugurated in three weeks. [Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]

Will Hillary Clinton Be Indicted?

The prolonged FBI investigation surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private server appears to be nearing its conclusion with reports early on Saturday suggesting that the Democratic presumptive nominee sat down with investigators for an interview that lasted more than three and a half hours. This particular meeting had long been touted as inevitable in a series of meeting and dispositions the FBI has conducted with Hillary Clinton’s top aides over the course of the last few months, while the timing of the interview — 23 days before the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia — has led legal experts to believe that FBI’s director, James Comey, is committed to concluding the investigation before Clinton is officially made the Democratic nominee. And although that assumption appears to be fairly accurate in light of the recent developments, the fact is that we are still no closer to knowing if the FBI plans to press charges against Hillary Clinton for knowingly skirting federal procedures during her time as the Secretary of State. Nevertheless, there have been various hints along the way which could tell us the direction in which the FBI investigation is headed, and what it could mean to Hillary Clinton and her chances in the presidential race. .@JenGriffinFNC: "3 1/2 hours is quite a long time to meet with the @FBI." #HillaryClintonhttps://t.co/K1wVWUhtMx — Fox News (@FoxNews) July 2, 2016 According to The Washington Post, the next two weeks will be hugely important for Hillary Clinton because the FBI could make the findings of their investigation public before the convention. It is a point which has often been brought up by Clinton’s political rivals and even a major section of Democrats, who, for obvious reasons, would not want to choose a nominee who could still be indicted after the winning the nomination. “There has long been an assumption in political circles that the FBI would need to interview Clinton and make public the findings of their investigation before the convention. The reason? If Clinton was indicted for her role in creating and maintaining her private email server, she would almost certainly be forced to leave the race. Nominating someone still under an FBI investigation seemed like a massive risk.” Even if the FBI decides not to press charges against the Democratic presumptive nominee, even a slap on Clinton’s wrist where the Justice Department implies that Hillary Clinton willingly violated federal procedures, could also hugely complicate her chances in the presidential race. Moreover, if such findings were released days before the Democratic Convention, it could create a negative momentum which would make it almost impossible for Clinton to recover, and it could possibly be one of the reasons that Vermont Senator is still not endorsing the presumptive nominee. “Why does all of that matter? Because — as any Bernie Sanders supporter will tell you — Clinton doesn’t have 2,383 pledged delegates: She has 2,220. This means she needs unpledged superdelegates to put her over the top. If there are major doubts about Clinton’s ability to win in November, there could well be a major move of superdelegates away from her.” Even so, it is unlikely that the upper echelons of the Democratic Party would approve of Bernie Sanders’ nomination in the above scenarios. Considering he has forever campaigned against establishment politics, the Democratic Party would still try and replace Clinton with someone more aligned to the party’s platform, including Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, Deval Patrick, or even Joe Biden. Could Bernie Sanders still clinch the Democratic nomination? (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images) It must be noted that even in the case of an indictment, Hillary Clinton is not bound to step down as the presumptive nominee. As Snopes noted in its report, critics hoping that an indictment would automatically disqualify Hillary Clinton from the presidential race are gravely mistaken, but such a recommendation by the FBI would nevertheless certainly create a political storm which could engulf Clinton. “The only eligibility requirements for serving as President, as stated in the Constitution, are that a candidate must be a natural-born citizen at least 35 years of age who has lived in the U.S. for at least the last 14 years, and Hillary Clinton meets all those requirements. There is no regulation that disqualifies a presidential candidate who has been (prior to assuming the presidency) accused of a crime, convicted of a crime, or even incarcerated for a crime. In 1920, in fact, Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs ran for President from a federal penitentiary (where he had been incarcerated for urging resistance to the military draft) and still received over 900,000 votes.” But all of these points would be moot if the the FBI was to submit a report which does not find Hillary Clinton guilty of committing any crime. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who came for a lot of stick last week for her “impromptu” meeting with Bill Clinton, has said that she would be willing to “accept” whatever recommendations the FBI — under Comey — makes to the AG’s office. However, that announcement, coupled with the completely uncalled for meeting between Bill Clinton and Lynch, has raised credible doubts about the Barack Obama-led administration to efficiently, and truthfully, mete out the treatment that Clinton deserves for her alleged misuse of a “homebrew” private server. Moreover, Hillary Clinton appeared pretty confident in her first interview after the meeting with FBI investigators, playing down the significance of the investigation to merely a “review” which she is helping draw to a conclusion. While that could be interpreted as Clinton’s confidence that the FBI investigation would, somehow, not lead to an indictment, it is also equally consistent with her previous defenses, in which she has repeatedly termed the FBI investigation as a “security review.” Some sources close to the investigation have told media organizations, including CNN, that an indictment is not in the cards for Hillary Clinton. But, even if the FBI does not intend to press charges, even a hard slap on Clinton’s wrist could disrupt her presidential dream in a major way. The question, then, becomes this: who would be best positioned to take advantage of any red flags that might unearth themselves in FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server? [Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Ryan Lochte Exoneration Possible As New Details Emerge About Rio

Ryan Lochte sponsors should probably hold off from any further withdrawal of sponsorship. New details regarding what really happened to him and his three fellow athletes in Rio could have been a setup. At the moment, fresh information is starting to paint the picture that Rio de Janeiro officials could be guilty of extorting money from Jimmy Feigen. Ryan Lochte could be telling the truth even if he partially lied. For one, it is already becoming apparent that the star swimmer did not break the toilet door at the gas station. According to Feigen, not one of them were able to get inside the toilet as the door was locked, which is why they all ended up answering the call of nature by relieving themselves on the wall of the gas station. U.S. Swimmer Jimmy Feigen — Brazil Extorted Me … For King's Ransom https://t.co/MKfAK80YuL — TMZ (@TMZ) August 25, 2016 The only other alternative would be to get their pants wet. When you’re drunk and your bladder is full, it’s so easy to get irrational, especially if you find that the toilet is closed. You do not wish to cause any harm or any scandal. But the fact remains that you still need to do what you got to do. Also, when Ryan Lochte forcibly removed a poster from the frame on the wall, he was possibly trying to keep from getting the poster soaked when he had to do what he had to do. When you are used to finding a toilet or comfort room easily especially when clubbing in the United States, you could lose your wits when you are unable to find one available especially in a city which is hosting the Olympics. Like many Americans, Lochte was accustomed to finding at least a Porta-potty. Unfortunately, he, Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger couldn’t find one. They could just as easily have relieved themselves anywhere, and yet they bothered to look for a toilet because it was the proper thing to do. For a while now since he returned to the United States, American media have been painting an ugly picture of Ryan Lochte as a conceited, lying alpha male who is more narcissistic than genuinely concerned about his three swimming mates. But Ryan could just as well had rushed back to his home country as fast as he could in order to keep Brazilian authorities from questioning him and possibly becoming a victim of extortion like his pal, Feigen. Ryan Lochte should at least be given credit for the quick thinking on his part, which could have avoided a slew of unpleasant consequences such as being held up indefinitely in Rio de Janeiro. “I just think there’s been a rush to judgment with respect to Ryan,” said Bobby Cohen, owner of Bobby Ties to USA Today Sports. The source continues as follows. “He [Bobby Cohen] also believes Lochte basically had it right. He and his teammates did get held at gunpoint. And as it turns out, vandalizing the bathroom never came up — authorities never even questioned the swimmers about it.” US swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger to leave Rio after being questioned by Brazilian police – BBC, AP https://t.co/9fGH5SoAGI — Breaking News (@BreakingNews) August 19, 2016 A recent report by MSN shows that Feigen might have been extorted by Rio de Janeiro authorities for as much as $46,000. Here’s more from the source. “Feigen says prosecutors asked him to pay $31,500 to get his passport back so he could return to the United States. When his lawyers refused, the fine was raised to $46,875.” According to Business Insider, the swimmer ended up paying $10,800 in the form of a donation in order to get his passport back. Feigen also confirms in his statement that, as Ryan Lochte alleges, a gun was pointed at the Olympians at one point as follows. “We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.” So based on new information, the only thing that Ryan Lochte lied about was about being robbed. However, being extorted for money with a gun pointed at you, is a kind of robbery, don’t you think? Especially if the only damage is pulling a poster off the wall or accidentally hitting a sign. Obviously, further investigation needs to be done before putting the blame on anybody. As it is right now, Ryan Lochte is being tried in a court of public opinion. [Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images]