Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Modern-Day Slavery: My Piece On How ICE's Homeland Security Investigators Are Combating Human Trafficking

The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security Interantional published my piece on HSI and human trafficking.

You can read the piece below:

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

My Q&A With Bryan Denson, Author Of 'The Spy's Son: The True Story Of The Highest Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted Of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia'

The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International published my interview with Bryan Denson, the author of The Spy's Son.

You can read the interview below:

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

FBI: Protect Your Wallet And Your Information This Holiday Season

The FBI released the below information:

As the holiday shopping season officially gets underway, the FBI would like to take this opportunity to warn shoppers to be aware of the increasingly aggressive techniques of cyber criminals who want to steal your money and your personal information.
For example, watch out for online shopping scams—criminals often scheme to defraud victims by offering too-good-to-be-true deals, like brand name merchandise at extremely low discounts or gift cards as an incentive to buy a product. Beware of social media scams, including posts on social media sites that offer vouchers or gift cards or that pose as holiday promotions or contests. Always be careful when downloading mobile applications on your smartphone—some apps, disguised as games and offered for free, maybe be designed to steal personal information. And if you’re in need of extra cash this time of year, watch out for websites and online postings offering work you can do from home—you may actually become the victim of an advance fee, counterfeit, or pyramid scheme, or become an unknowing participant in criminal activity.
Here are some additional steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud this season:
  • Check your credit card statement routinely, and ensure websites are secure and reputable before providing your credit card number;
  • Do your research to ensure the legitimacy of the individual or company you are purchasing from;
  • Beware of providing credit card information when requested through unsolicited e-mails;
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information;
  • Never click on links contained within unsolicited e-mails;
  • Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them directly;
  • Be cautious of e-mails claiming to contain pictures in attached files, especially unsolicited e-mails—the files may contain viruses; and
  • Be leery if you are requested to act quickly or told there is an emergency (fraudsters often create a sense of urgency).
If you suspect you have been victimized, contact your financial institution immediately, contact law enforcement, and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

William F. Buckley's Life In Photos (Happy Birthday & RIP)

National Review, the conservative magazine founded by the late, great William F. Buckley, offers a selection of photos of Buckley on his birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: National Review's founding father and longtime editor, William F. Buckley Jr., was a prolific author and syndicated columnist; the frequently imitated but inimitable host of Firing Line; an indefatigable public speaker; and sailor, skier, and joyous friend to uncounted numbers of people. On his birthday, November 24, here's a selection of photos chronicling a fraction of his activities over the years.

You can view the photos via the below link:

As a teenager in the 1960s I read Buckley's magazine, books, columns and articles and watched him on TV.

I'm thankful that later in my life Frank Wilson, my friend and former editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, assigned me to review two of Buckley's books.

You can read the book reviews below:  

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

How Hemingway's 'A Moveable Feast' Has Become A Bestseller in France

Adam Chandler at reports that Ernest Hemingway's memoir of life in Paris has become a bestseller in France following the terrorist attacks. Y

The horrific attacks in Paris earlier this month, which killed 130 people and stirred transcontinental riptides, has also set off a renaissance for Ernest Hemingway’s book, A Moveable Feast.
The Paris memoir, published posthumously in 1964, holds the top spot on Amazon’s French site, has sold out of stock at a number of bookstores and, as Le Figaro reports, has become a fixture among the flowers in memorials across the city. 

You can read the rest of the piece via th below link:

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Piece Of U.S. Navy History: For Sale, A Beautiful Rolex Submariner Watch Owned By The Commander of Sealab III

Stephen Pulvirent at offers a piece on the Rolex Submariner once owned by the Commander of Sealab III.

Military provenance is one of the easiest ways to add tons of value to a vintage Rolex. While this Submariner didn't belong to James Bond himself, it was on the wrist of the commander of the U.S. Navy's Sealab III mission, and now it's hitting the auction block. 
Commander Jackson Maxwell Tomsky hailed from San Francisco and enlisted in the Navy during World War II. After the war ended, he bounced around a few diving-related Navy jobs before he ended up running the Sealab III mission in 1969. The third installment of a Navy research program placed a habitable capsule 600 feet below the ocean (note the 660ft depth rating on this Submariner) that aquanauts could live in for two-month stints.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:  

Note: My Rolex Submariner is my most prized possession.

DEA Intelligence Report: United States: Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offers an unclassified report on the areas of influence of major Mexican transnational criminal organizations.

Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks. They control drug trafficking across the Southwest Border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.

You can read the rest of the report and view the maps via the below link: