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The Neurobiology, Neuropharmacology, and Pharmacological Treatment of the Paraphilias and Compulsive Sexual Behaviour

Abstract

There has been increasing interest in the treatment of sexual disorders in recent years. Sexual disorders are classified in DSM-IV as sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, and gender identity disorders. The sexual dysfunctions are nondeviant or nonparaphillic.

The sexual dysfunction disorders should in clude “hyper active sexual desire disorder” under sexual desire disorders. Further, there should be a specifier for paraphilias of “with hypersexuality” or “without hypersexuality.” There is still incomplete understanding of the neurobiology of sexual disorders although functional neuroanatomy and neoropharmcological research has exposed the neurotransmitters, receptors, and hormones that are involved in sexual desire. Various pharmacological agents including serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antiandrogens, LHRH agonists, and others have been documented as reducing sexual desire. An algorithm for the use of these drugs in the treat ment of the paraphilias as well nonparaphilic hypersexuality is out lined. The modes of action, dosages, aims of treatment, and usual methods of prescribing these agents is reviewed in this article. Some future directions of research in pharmacological treatment is also discussed.

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Childhood Sexuality: Normal Sexual Behavior and Development

What is normal sexual behavior in a child?Childhood sexuality is an often neglected field in sex research. There is very little literature about what one might call normal child sexual behavior. The existing literature on child sexuality gives the impression that the only way in which children figure in sexological research is as objects of sexual abuse. The child, as a subject learning about sexuality and capable of experiencing sexual pleasures, doesn't seem to exist in scholarly papers.Childhood Sexuality: Normal Behavior and Development does not focus on sexual abuse but instead deals with what can be described as normal sexual behavior and development in children under age 12. This valuable book offers information about the relationship between age and sexual development, both mental and physical, in both males and females. Childhood Sexuality: Normal Behavior and Development explores several issues, including: what children ages two to six think or know about sexuality the ways that children learn about sexuality and procreation the process of body discovery among children what normal sexual behaviors to expect in children of various ages the importance of growing up in a positive environment the differences in sexual development between children of the same age and gender ways to get honest answers from children and parents about sexualityComprehensive and enlightening, Childhood Sexuality examines the difficulties of gathering this information from children and gives insight into questions that need to be answered in the future. This guide delivers a diverse look at the complex and intriguing topic of normal child sexuality and the progress that is being made in this area of research. "

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Why is sex so important? Because love is anyway just an illusion.

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Would You Inject Your Penis With This? (Hint: It Will Make It Bigger)

Some men would try anything to increase the size of their member, from penis stretching to enlargement surgery. Now, one doctor claims that a patient can increase their penis size by having it injected with blood. Would you go to this length (pun intended) for a bigger bulge?

How injecting the penis works

Forget the little blue pill, there’s a new remedy in town. Dr. Norman Rowe, a certified surgeon in New York, told the Daily Mail he can increase penis size by 1.5 inches in just 10 minutes. The Botox-style procedure involves injecting the penis with a patient’s own blood for immediate results.

The method of injecting platelet-rich plasma (blood plasma enriched with platelets) is commonly used in sports medicine in order to rejuvenate muscles and fix injuries. That’s precisely where the doctor got his inspiration for this unusual size-boosting method. And unlike painful surgeries, “There is no recovery period,” said Rowe. “You come in, get the injection, 20 minutes later you’re walking out.”

In addition to increasing size, Rowe says he’s been able to cure erectile dysfunction for some patients. What do you think — would you try this method to increase the size of your penis and fix erectile dysfunction? If not, try these foods and let us know how it goes.

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Why is sex so important? Because everything else is just irrelevant.

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It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!

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Lost in Cambodia

The name of Malcolm Caldwell is remembered now by very few people: some friends, family, colleagues, and students of utopian folly. In the 1970s, though, Caldwell was a major figure in protest politics. He was chair of CND for two years, a leading voice in the anti-Vietnam war campaign, a regular contributor to Peace News, and a stalwart supporter of liberation movements in the developing world. He spoke at meetings all over the country, wrote books and articles, and engaged in public spats with such celebrated opponents as Bernard Levin.

The name of Kaing Guek Eav is, arguably, known by even fewer people, at least outside of Cambodia. Instead it is by his revolutionary pseudonym "Duch" that Kaing is usually referred to in the press. Duch is the only man ever to stand trial in a UN-sanctioned court for the mass murder perpetrated by the Cambodian communist party, or the Khmer Rouge, in the late 1970s. His trial on charges of crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and homicide and torture concerning thousands of victims, drew to a close in November. Justice has taken more than 30 years, but a verdict and sentence are expected sometime in the next few weeks.

Although their paths crossed only incidentally, the two men shared two main interests. They both had a pedagogic background: Caldwell was a history lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, while Duch, like many senior Khmer Rouge cadres, started out as a schoolteacher. And they both maintained an unbending belief in Saloth Sar, the leader of the Khmer Rouge revolution, who went under the Orwellian party title of Brother Number One, but was known more infamously to the world as Pol Pot. It was an ideological commitment that would shape the fate of both men and they held on to it right up until the moment of death – in Caldwell's case, his own, for Duch, the many thousands whose slaughter he organised.

In each circumstance, the question that reverberates down the years, growing louder rather than dimmer, is: why? Why were they in thrall to a system based on mass extermination? It's estimated that around two million Cambodians, more than a quarter of the population, lost their lives during the four catastrophic years of Khmer Rouge rule. What could have led these two individuals, worlds apart, to embrace a regime that has persuasive claim, in a viciously competitive field, to be the most monstrous of the 20th century?

When Caldwell appeared at SOAS for an interview in the late 1950s, the senior faculty thought that they had landed one of the academic stars of the future. Caldwell, who took his PhD at Nottingham University, had gained a reputation as a bright young talent and, according to college legend, he presented himself as a sober scholar.

"So they hired him," recalls Merle Ricklefs, a former SOAS colleague and now a history professor at the National University of Singapore. "Then he showed up for lectures and suddenly he was this Scottish radical with long hair, looking unkempt, and they felt as though they'd been betrayed.

"I thought he was actually a very good economic historian," says Ricklefs, who remembers "an extraordinary character… very ideologically committed". He was also struck by his warmth and good manners. As a young American, who dressed in conservative fashion, arriving in England during the height of the Vietnam war, Ricklefs expected to be greeted with a certain amount of antipathy, but he found Caldwell to be "always cordial. Always looking slightly dishevelled and revolutionary, but never the slightest hint of discourtesy."

The picture of a friendly, if rather unconventional character, is confirmed by others who knew him. Professor Ian Brown was Caldwell's successor at SOAS and he was also his former student. "He was well liked – I suspect not by the SOAS hierarchy," says Brown, "but certainly loved by students and colleagues."

He describes a "skinny, somewhat emaciated, rather scruffy character who, bizarrely, always used to wear a suit – though it was clearly a suit that had been bought in the 1950s equivalent of Oxfam and not seen too many dry cleaners." Caldwell never hid his politics from his students, indeed he made a point of proselytising to them. One of his protégés was Walter Easey, who, according to Easey's obituarist, Caldwell converted to "a fierce and angry communism". But to Professor Brown, "he was a gentle person, quietly spoken, and very tolerant of opposing views. He treated everyone well. He was very encouraging and a really inspiring teacher."

Both Brown and Ricklefs use the same word to describe this well-travelled, extremely well-read and highly intelligent man: naive. SOAS, says Brown, was a college whose standing and ethos rested upon sound empirical study. "Everyone else in the history department went off every summer to the archives in Rangoon, Baghdad, etc, and got deep inside the data. Malcolm didn't. He was a man with very clear theoretical and ideological views and the empirical basis didn't seem to worry him hugely."

It's not that Caldwell was lost in bookish abstraction, for he did visit the various communist regimes he extolled. It was more that when he got there he was all too willing to accept state propaganda as verified fact. For example, he praised the "magnitude of the economic achievements" of Kim Il-Sung's impoverished North Korea and, returning from a trip to the highly secretive state, he wrote that the country was "an astonishing tribute not only to the energy, initiative and creativeness of the Korean people, but also to the essential correctness of the Juche line". "Juche" was the mixture of ultra-nationalism and self-reliance on which Kim built his monumental personality cult. About the totalitarian surveillance and ruthless political repression, Caldwell said nothing.

Although academic traditionalists may have disapproved of Caldwell's slanted scholarship, many idealistic students were inspired by his lectures. Tariq Ali, who became famous as a 1968 student leader, recalls going to see him talk on southeast Asia when Ali was at Oxford. They soon got to know each other and in the summer of 1965 went to a peace conference together in Helsinki. "We had to fly to Moscow," says Ali, "then there was a train, via Leningrad as it was then, to Helsinki. We talked a lot and became very friendly. It was later on that his Cambodian deviation was a bit off-putting. And he could never completely explain it."

At one time, the pair discussed opening a Vietnamese restaurant as a sort of act of antiwar gastro-prop. "He would say that after a few drams," Ali recalls. "He was a great whisky drinker. He was also a great cricket fan and an early Scottish nationalist."

Cricket is mostly followed in Scotland by the upper classes, but Ali got the impression that his old friend came from a middle-class background. His Wikipedia entry states that he was the son of a miner. "You know," says Ali, "we never bothered about these things. We were so totally immersed in politics and the state of the world, we never really talked about each other, our personal lives or social backgrounds."

In seeking to understand why this idealistic Scotsman became a cheerleader for Pol Pot, it would be wrong to consign him to the maverick margins. A member of the Labour Party, he stood as a candidate in the 1977 local elections in Bexley. John Cox, who followed in Caldwell's footsteps as chair of CND, is adamant that there was nothing out of the ordinary about his predecessor's politics. "He was well in the mainstream of what I would call generally progressive liberal thinking," says Cox.

This idea that support for the most illiberal systems of government is all part of the liberal tradition is one of the more bemusing aspects of progressive politics. But the missing factor in the equation is the view that the United States of America is the ultimate villain. The background to the brutality visited on Cambodia was the brutality visited on Vietnam by US forces.

Although the Vietnam war was more complex than is often acknowledged (the tensions between North and South, for example, long predated the war), the Americans essentially inherited France's colonial conflict. But they fought it in the context of the Cold War. As much as US administrations may have seen the battle as one between communism and the free world, to the majority of Vietnamese it was a liberation struggle.

In an effort to close down North Vietnamese supply lines to the South, the US also launched a devastating bombing campaign on neighbouring Cambodia. Instead of winning the war in the former, it served only to destabilise the latter. To make matters worse, an American-supported coup put in place the corrupt government of Lon Nol in Phnom Penh. So there was a tendency among many anti-war protesters to see the Khmer Rouge as just another national liberation movement, fighting to escape from under the American yoke.

One man who observed the truth up close, four years before the Khmer Rouge came to power, was a French ethnologist called François Bizot. In 1971, while out researching Buddhist practices, he was captured in the Cambodian countryside by Khmer Rouge insurgents. He was held captive with scores of Cambodian prisoners at the M-13 prison camp, a precursor to the 196 santebal (secret police) offices that were set up after the Khmer Rouge seized power. The head of the camp, and the Frenchman's tireless interrogator, was Duch.

Bizot wrote about the encounter in a remarkable memoir called The Gate. After three months, during which he was shackled and repeatedly accused of being an American spy, he was suddenly released – all the other prisoners were executed. So relieved was the Frenchman that he asked Duch if he would like a gift. His jailer thought for a while and then replied, "with the look of a child writing to Father Christmas, 'The complete collection of Das Kapital by Marx.'"

Three days before Christmas in 1978, Malcolm Caldwell received an early present. On the final day of a two-week tour of Cambodia, he was told that he would meet Pol Pot. This was indeed a rare privilege. Unlike most other communist leaders, Pol had not created a personality cult. There were no posters of him. He was seldom seen or quoted. Many Cambodians had not even heard of him. Only seven westerners were ever invited to what had been renamed Democratic Kampuchea. And Caldwell was the first and only Briton.

There were several reasons why Caldwell had been received in Phnom Penh. He was on good terms with China, Cambodia's main ally in the region. There were also growing tensions between Cambodia and its larger neighbour Vietnam and, fearful of an invasion, Pol Pot was belatedly attempting to improve Kampuchea's image abroad. Most of all, while other supporters had wavered, Caldwell had remained steadfast. Only months before, he had written an article in the Guardian, rubbishing reports of a Khmer Rouge genocide. He cited Hu Nim, the Kampuchean Information Minister, who blamed the deaths on America. Caldwell was unaware that Hu had himself already been tortured to death in one of Pol Pot's execution centres. Such killings that the Khmer Rouge had committed, argued the peace activist, were of "arch-Quislings who well knew what their fate would be were they to linger in Kampuchea".

Travelling with Caldwell were two American journalists, Elizabeth Becker and Richard Dudman. Becker had been a foreign reporter in Phnom Penh during the civil war that brought the Khmer Rouge to power. She knew the terrain, and had been to Thailand to talk to refugees. She and Caldwell argued endlessly about the true nature of the situation.

"He didn't want to know about problems with the Khmer Rouge," she says. "And that carried over to not wanting to know about problems between Cambodia and Vietnam. He was stuck in '68 or something."

Yet for all their disagreements, she liked Caldwell. "He was a lovely man, very funny, very charming," she says. "A real sweetie. He was also very homesick for his family and he said he'd never spend another Christmas away from them."

According to Becker, Caldwell had not read François Ponchaud's Cambodia: Year Zero, the book that first catalogued the Khmer Rouge genocide. A friend of François Bizot, Ponchaud was a Catholic missionary who was in Phnom Penh when the victorious Khmer Rouge army marched into town. His book became required reading for anyone interested in what was happening in Cambodia. "The fact that Malcolm, a professor, had not read it before he went, that I couldn't believe," says Becker. "I think it was almost ideological that he didn't read it."

It's perhaps not that strange that Caldwell had neglected to read Ponchaud, given that he had already dismissed the Frenchman's credibility in print. He based his damning opinion on a brief extract of Year Zero which the Guardian had published and a critique of the book by the American academic, Noam Chomsky. An icon of radical dissent who continues to command a fanatical following, Chomsky had questioned the legitimacy of refugee testimony that provided much of Ponchaud's research. Chomsky believed that their stories were exaggerations or fabrications, designed for a western media involved in a "vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign" against the Khmer Rouge government, "including systematic distortion of the truth".

He compared Ponchaud's work unfavourably with another book, Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, written by George Hildebrand and Gareth Porter, which cravenly rehashed the Khmer Rouge's most outlandish lies to produce a picture of a kind of radical bucolic idyll. At the same time Chomsky excoriated a book entitled Murder of A Gentle Land, by two Reader's Digest writers, John Barron and Anthony Paul, which was a flawed but nonetheless accurate documentation of the genocide taking place.

We can never know if Caldwell would have taken Ponchaud more seriously had Chomsky not been so sceptical, but it's reasonable to surmise that the Scotsman, who greatly admired Chomsky, was reassured by the American's contempt. In any case, the 47-year-old Caldwell arrived in Cambodia untroubled by the story that Ponchaud and others had to tell. In fact, he had just completed a book himself that would be posthumously published as Kampuchea: A Rationale for a Rural Policy, in which he wrote that the Khmer Rouge revolution "opens vistas of hope not only for the people of Cambodia but also for the peoples of all other poor third world countries".

With Dudman and Becker, Caldwell was escorted around the country to a series of staged scenes. Alarmed by the changes she saw and frustrated by what she was not allowed to see, Becker grew increasingly combative with her hosts. "It was so clearly awful," says Becker. "One of the problems was the absence of what I saw. The absence of people. And that's a different kind of proof to 'I don't see any people being executed.'"

Caldwell was not unduly bothered. "He preferred to stay in the car and laugh at the clumsy photo opportunities prepared for us," Becker wrote in her book on Cambodia, When The War Was Over.

"He'd travelled to other communist countries," she tells me now, "and he knew exactly what the PR routine was and he thought that all governments do PR. He did not know Cambodia, and he didn't speak the language. If you don't speak the language, don't know the country, you can edit out a little more easily."

At the end of the tour, the party returned to Phnom Penh, which Dudman described as "a Hiroshima without the destruction, a Pompeii without the ashes". They stayed at a guest house near the centre of Monivong Boulevard, one of the empty city's main thoroughfares. Close by was the secret facility of Tuol Sleng, a former school that had been turned into an interrogation centre. Known as S-21, Tuol Sleng specialised in gaining confessions through torture. Between 14,000 and 16,000 prisoners – men, women and, most hauntingly, children – passed through its gates, including Hu Nim. Only seven survived. It was run by Duch.

Nowadays Tuol Sleng is a genocide museum, and an established part of the southeast Asian tourist trail. Although they were intent on erasing history, Pol Pot and his senior cadres were obsessed with the accomplishments of the 12th-century Hindu dynasty that built the temple complex of Angkor Wat and constructed elaborate dam and irrigation systems. They considered their own contribution to Khmer culture to be of a similar, if not greater, significance. It speaks eloquently of the Khmer Rouge's achievements that, while Angkor Wat remains the country's main tourist attraction, the next most popular sights for visitors are Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, where the prisoners from S-21 were taken to be "smashed" – usually with an ox-cart axle. A ghost town under the Khmer Rouge, Phnom Penh is now a bustling, sprawling city, dense with people and commercial activity. In May 1975, one month after the Khmer Rouge evacuated the capital, the Swedish author Per Olov Enquist wrote: "The brothel has been emptied and the clean-up is in progress. Only pimps can regret what is happening."

If that was blatant wishful thinking, it's an unpalatable truth that the pimps have returned. A potent mix of Developing World poverty, cheap flights and sexual licence has made Cambodia a magnet for sex tourists and paedophiles. The upmarket hotels around the riverside are full of western and Japanese businessmen, and a certain kind of furtive middle-aged traveller, stubble-chinned and plump-stomached, is a conspicuous presence in the bars and clubs frequented by young and under-age prostitutes.

Cambodia has just two seasons: wet and dry. It either rains or it doesn't, a binary climate that may have helped shape the Khmer Rouge Manichean view of the world – revolutionary or counter-revolutionary, insider or outsider, good or bad. It was the dry season when I visited in late November, and a cooling wind blew through the hot, polluted streets. At first sight, Tuol Sleng's large courtyard, lined with coconut palms, provides welcome respite from the noise beyond. A respectful silence is maintained by visitors, including groups of western backpackers, with their cameras and guidebook glaze. The three-storey buildings have been left pretty much as they were abandoned in 1979, slightly dilapidated with jerry-built cells, barbed-wire fences and medieval instruments of torture. The effect is to transport the visitor not just back in time, but also into the reptilian depths of the imagination, a merciless place of zero compassion.

In the courtyard of the prison is a poster listing the rules of the camp. None of them makes for pleasant reading. For example, number 2 states in an imperfect translation: "Don't try to hide the facts by making pretexts this and that. You are strictly prohibited to contest me." It vividly articulates the mentality that shaped S-21, and indeed Kampuchea beyond, the relentless determination to remove every option from the prisoner – and citizen – to reduce them to absolute compliance. But perhaps the most disturbing is number 6: "While getting lashes or electrification you must not cry out at all." Denied every human and judicial right, the inmates were also refused the one prerogative of the tortured: the right to express pain.

I visited the archive on the second floor of the building, where some of the 4,000 files the Vietnamese discovered are housed. Here, I was brought the "confession" of John Dewhirst, a 26-year-old teacher from Newcastle who was captured in 1978, while sailing with friends through the Gulf of Thailand. Intercepted by a Khmer Rouge patrol boat, they were placed in S-21 and tortured over the course of a month. As the weeks passed, Dewhirst made a series of ever more bleakly surreal confessions. They start out as straightforward biography – he explains that he had studied at Loughborough University. Then he admits to being a CIA agent, recruited at Loughborough where the CIA, he is made to say, maintains one of its covert training bases. It "was housed in a building disguised as the Loughborough Town Council Highways Department Surveyor's Office". He also reveals that his father is another CIA agent, using the cover of "headmaster of Benton Road secondary school". Dewhirst was murdered by the Khmer Rouge in 1978.

S-21 was not concerned with the truth. Its only aim was to derive the fullest possible confession in accordance with party requirements. In his book Voices From S-21, the historian David Chandler quotes Milan Kundera's phrase (used to describe the Soviet bloc secret police) of "punishment seeking the crime" to sum up the prison's project. To this end, the most depraved techniques – electric shocks, rape, the forced eating of excrement, medical experimentation, flaying, and lethal blood extraction – were employed. It's hard to comprehend that these agonies were not just formalities, they were preliminaries. It wasn't a question, on arriving at the prison, that an inmate would be lucky to get out alive. He or she would be lucky to get out just dead. A guidebook for interrogators clarified the issue: "The enemies can't escape from torture; the only difference is whether they receive a little or a lot."

The precise level of punishment was decided upon by Duch. If the confession was not sufficiently elaborate, the punishment was increased. In these situations Duch impressed upon his staff that "kindness is misplaced". Some interrogators were more disposed to brutality than others. And some were simply demented sadists. The most sadistic of them all went by the name of Toy, a pitch-black irony that his English-speaking victims were in no position to appreciate. In recent testimony, a prison guard recalled that one of Dewhirst's party (either the young teacher himself or the New Zealander or Canadian travelling with him) was burned alive in the street. The order that they be incinerated came directly from Pol Pot. Just a few months after that grisly murder, Caldwell prepared himself to meet the man who commissioned it. The Scotsman knew little or nothing of Dewhirst's fate. Instead his mind was on agrarian revolution. Caldwell believed that the world was accelerating towards a global famine and that the answer was Developing World self-sufficiency. But Cambodia was a strange place to test his theory. As Professor Ian Brown notes: "This is a part of the world that historically had not been a food-deficient area, so you wouldn't go looking for a crisis there. Again, that seems to indicate a more fundamental flaw in his approach: he comes at it with a theoretical position. And therefore he'd search for an argument, not necessarily evidence, that will sustain that."

In Pol Pot, Caldwell found someone with an argument that suited his purposes. Pol's plan was a massive increase in rice production to finance Cambodia's reconstruction. It required collectivisation and slave labour, though Caldwell preferred to see the effort in terms of spontaneous revolutionary spirit. In the event, owing to the shortage of technicians and experts (who were killed as class enemies) and lack of peasant support, production fell well short of targets. But terrified of underperforming, regional commanders still sent their designated contribution to be exported. The result was the opposite of self-sufficiency: famine. Unable to accept the shortcomings in his plans, Pol instead blamed spies and counter-revolutionaries, and that meant that, in the absence of rice, spies and counter revolutionaries had to be produced. The network of torture camps was the only area of Democratic Kampuchea's infrastructure that met its targets.

Of these dreadful facts, Caldwell remained ignorant on the Friday morning in Phnom Penh that he was taken in a Mercedes limousine to see Pol Pot. The setting for the meeting was the former Governor's Palace on the waterfront, built during the French colonial period. In a grand reception room replete with fans and billowing white curtains, the two men sat down and discussed revolutionary economic theory.

Becker had met Pol Pot earlier the same day, and in When the War Was Over she writes: "He was actually elegant, with a pleasing face, not handsome but attractive. His features were delicate and alert and his smile nearly endearing."

The perennially shabby academic and the fastidious dictator must have made for an odd couple. In any case, Caldwell left the meeting a happy man. He returned to the guest house he was sharing with Becker and Dudman, full of praise for Pol Pot and his political outlook. "We went over stuff," says Becker. "He thought he had had a good conversation. He had avoided at all costs any discussion of Vietnam. And he was looking forward to going home."

That night they all had dinner together and afterwards Dudman went to his room. Becker and Caldwell "stayed at the table to have our last argument about Cambodia". He took the longer view and said that the revolution deserved support. She, on the contrary, was even more convinced of the refugees' testimonies. "That night," she writes, "Caldwell tried once more to get me to change my mind."

Becker went to bed at 11pm and was woken a few hours later by the sound of what she took to be dustbins. Coming to her senses, she realised there were no dustbins in Phnom Penh. What she had heard was gunfire. She opened her bedroom door to see a young man pointing a pistol at her. He was wearing two bands of ammunition and carrying an automatic rifle over his shoulder. She begged him not to shoot and locked herself in her bathroom.

Meanwhile Dudman had woken up and, looking out of his window, saw a file of men running along the street. He knocked on Caldwell's door. The two men spoke briefly and then a heavily armed man approached. The man shot at the floor and Dudman ran into his room. Two shots were fired through his door. The two Americans remained hiding in their rooms for the next hour before an aide arrived and told Becker to stay where she was. Almost another hour passed before she was allowed to come out. Caldwell, she was told, had been shot. He was dead.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are located in a large, purpose-built court on the dusty outskirts of Phnom Penh. During the course of last year, hundreds of Cambodians made the trip out from the city and in from the countryside to bear witness to a long-overdue reckoning.

The lone defendant in the trial is a slim, well-preserved 67-year-old with small, sensitive eyes. With his thick grey hair and concentrated expression, he looks like a sprightly grandfather, a little stiff and formal, but sufficiently attuned to the contemporary world as to be smartly dressed in a Ralph Lauren shirt or, on another occasion, a cream cashmere roll-neck sweater. A giant bullet-proof glass screen divides the court from the auditorium, where 500 or more people sit watching the proceedings. Centre stage is Duch (pronounced "Doik" in Khmer), seated with his back to the audience. To his left is a bank of lawyers, and behind them in the corner the relatives of victims. In front of the defendant sit the judges, on an imposing two-tier stand. Ten years, some 400 staff, a dozen judges, a battery of international lawyers, an ongoing legal wrangle, and many millions of pounds is what it has taken to put Duch on trial.

Following Caldwell's murder, four guards assigned to the tourist's protection team were arrested and taken to S-21. Owing to the importance of their alleged crime, the commandant of the prison was instructed to head their interrogation. So the stories of Caldwell and Duch came together at the inevitable point of a torture camp. Here, amid bestial squalor, is where the liberation dream ended.

Two of the "confessions" made by guards referred to in their S-21 files as "the Contemptible Met" and "the Contemptible Chhaan", outline a baroque conspiracy involving many other people. The Contemptible Chhaan gives an explanation for the murder: "First, we were attacking to ruin the Party's policy, to prevent the Party from gathering friends in the world… And in attacking the guests on this occasion, we would not attack them all. It would be enough to attack the English guest, because the English guest had written in support of our Party and the Kampuchean people for a long period of time already… Therefore, we must absolutely succeed in attacking this English guest, in order that the American guests would write about it."

Whether this was yet another example of innocent men implicating other innocent men, it's impossible to know. Certainly there must have been some kind of in-house involvement, as the guests were guarded. But who instructed the guards, and why they did so, remains a subject of speculation. Some argue that the Vietnamese were behind the killing, others that it was a function of an internal party struggle.

Caldwell's brother, David, wrote a letter to the Guardian, expressing his belief that "Mal" had "discovered the truth about the Pol Pot regime" but "dared not admit this to either Becker or Dudman". This seems unlikely. David Chandler told me that he once met the translator of the meeting between Caldwell and Pol Pot, who remembered a very pleasant exchange conducted in a spirit of enthusiastic agreement. If that anecdote suggests Caldwell died a dedicated Pol Potist, it tells us little about Pol, a man for whom the word "inscrutable" might have been invented. As his deputy, Ieng Sary, later recalled: "Pol Pot, even when he was very angry, you could never tell. His face… his face was always smooth. He never used bad language. You could not tell from his face what he was feeling. Many people misunderstood that – he would smile his unruffled smile, and then they would be taken away and executed."

But why would he seek international support by killing one of his few remaining friends from abroad? It makes no sense. "Don't apply rational thinking to the situation," Becker cautions. "It was crazy. Crazy. Malcolm's murder was no less rational than the tens of thousands of other murders." The journalist Wilfred Burchett claimed to have seen a Cambodian report not long after Caldwell's death, which stated that he "was murdered by members of the National Security Force personnel on the instructions of the Pol Pot government". Burchett theorised that Caldwell had changed his mind about the regime, but all the available evidence indicates otherwise. In the end, Becker's conclusion seems to be the most satisfactory: "Malcolm Caldwell's death was caused by the madness of the regime he openly admired."

The confessions of Caldwell's alleged killers were completed on 5 January 1979. Either that day or the following one, the four men were bayoneted to death in the prison itself. They were very possibly the last killings to take place at S-21. On 7 January, the Vietnamese army arrived in Phnom Penh, and Pol Pot and his associates fled into the jungle.

The contrast between the care taken to observe Duch's legal and human rights and the indifference with which he dispatched his victims is lost on no one. But as Philippe Canonne, one of the lawyers representing the relatives of the victims, said of the urge to inflict on Duch what he had meted out to his prisoners: "We must give voice to this sentiment, but then have the strength to transcend it."

It's this sort of resolution that has made the trial a legal landmark in a nation that has had little experience of the rule of law. That it was ever staged at all is a major accomplishment. For 20 years after the Vietnamese invasion, Duch lived at liberty. At first he followed the bulk of the Khmer Rouge into exile on the border with Thailand. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, the US and China refused to accept the Vietnamese puppet government installed in Phnom Penh. In a shameful version of the principle that my enemy's enemy is my friend, they instead persuaded the UN to recognise a coalition resistance movement, of which the Khmer Rouge formed the major player. Thus Pol Pot was afforded the support of China, the protection of Thailand, and the indirect recognition of the United States.

For two decades the Khmer Rouge waged guerrilla warfare against the government in Phnom Penh. Then, in 1997, Pol Pot was placed under house arrest by his fellow Khmers Rouges. He died peacefully in his sleep on 15 April 1998. A year later the photojournalist Nic Dunlop found Duch working for a Christian relief agency. An interview was duly published and Duch handed himself in to the Phnom Penh authorities.

In theory, the trial is a joint effort between the UN and Cambodia, but the effort has been all the UN's. The Cambodian People's Party, which has ruled since Pol Pot was overthrown, is led by onetime Khmer Rouge members who, under threat of purging, had defected to Vietnam. One of these is Hun Sen, a former revolutionary soldier, who has been prime minister since 1985. His government was accused by Amnesty International of widespread torture of political prisoners, using "electric shock, hot irons and near suffocation with plastic bags". And for many years, senior former members of Pol Pot's government lived under protection in Cambodia, some with family links to the government. So there were several reasons why a major trial with international media coverage was potentially embarrassing or inconvenient.

After much pressure, in November 2007 the Cambodians finally arrested the four most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders: Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan. Their trial is scheduled to start in 2011, though few observers will be surprised if it is indefinitely delayed. All of them claim ignorance of any wrong-doing. Perhaps the most galling example is a long letter of evasion and self-justification that Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot's chief ideologue, wrote to Cambodian newspapers in 2001. "I do not see any importance in bringing up this tragic past. We would be better off to let everyone be at peace so that all of us can carry on our daily tasks… I tried my best for the sake of our nation's survival, so that we might enjoy development and prosperity like other nations. I am so surprised that this turned out to be mass murder."

In one form or another, this exculpation has been used over and again by the supporters of communist revolutions, from the Russian via the Chinese through to the Cambodian. Each new manifestation commanded the fervent advocacy of a new generation of radicals. Sooner or later the grim reality was revealed, which, paradoxically, only raised the hope that the next version would get it right. As the French philosopher Jean-François Revel has remarked: "Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not."

Somehow the link between Marxist-Leninist ideology and communist terror has never been firmly established in the way, for instance, that we understand Nazi ideology to have led inexorably to Auschwitz. As if to illustrate the point, earlier last year the ECCC announced that Helen Jarvis, its chief of public affairs, was to become head of the victims unit, responsible for dealing with the survivors, and relatives of the dead, of S-21.

Jarvis is an Australian academic with a longterm interest in the region, who was recently awarded Cambodian citizenship. She is also a member of the Leninist Party Faction in Australia. In 2006 she signed a party letter that included this passage: "We too are Marxists and believe that 'the ends justify the means'. But for the means to be justifiable, the ends must also be held to account. In time of revolution and civil war, the most extreme measures will sometimes become necessary and justified. Against the bourgeoisie and their state agencies we don't respect their laws and their fake moral principles."

Jarvis refused to speak to me about these matters. But Knut Rosandhaug, the UN's deputy administrator for the tribunal, said that the administration "fully supports" her. In this sense, although she was never a Pol Potist herself, Jarvis shows that the spirit of Malcolm Caldwell has survived the last century. It lives on in the conviction that the ends justify the means, and in the manner that liberal institutions can house the most illiberal outlooks.

The means, of course, always become the ends. Duch or someone like him is the method and the madness, the process and the final product. At least the man himself claims to grasp what continues to elude too many who should by now know better. In his deposition to the court, he said: "I clearly understand that any theory or ideology which mentions love for the people in a class-based concept is definitely driving us into endless tragedy and misery."

The following day, his lawyer, Kar Savuth, asked that Duch be acquitted and set free.

Caldwell didn't trouble himself with the means in Cambodia. He was too focused on an imaginary end, which meant that he never glimpsed the deadly real one approaching.

"He may have been starry eyed," says John Cox. "But we all do that. Even my local football team I support long after they've been destroyed match after match. It's a human failing."

A few days after Caldwell's murder, a testimonial was published in the Guardian.

"Caldwell," the writer said, "was an irreplaceable teacher and comrade whose work will undoubtedly suffer the customary fate of being better appreciated after his death."

As it turned out, history has forgotten Caldwell. But the amiable apologist for tyranny should be remembered, if only so that we don't forget history.

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Why is sex so important? Because sex builds an immortal individual soul.

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How Algeria could destroy the EU

It is more than possible that before any Brexit deal is discussed, let alone concluded, the EU will have effectively collapsed. And the key factor could be the demise of Algeria’s leader of 17 years. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is 79 and has needed a wheelchair since having a stroke in 2013. ‘His mind is even more infirm than his body,’ one observer tells me. Bouteflika returned home recently after a week’s stay at a private clinic in France. His prognosis isn’t good.

Officially, Bouteflika underwent standard ‘periodic medical tests’ in Grenoble. But no one believes this. Among people who know Algeria well, there is little doubt that he is severely incapacitated and does not have much time left. That means that his regime does not have much time left either. The consequences of that will stretch far beyond Algeria.

When Bouteflika goes, Algeria will probably implode. The Islamists who have been kept at bay by his iron hand will exploit the vacuum. Tensions that have been buried since the civil war will re-emerge. And then Europe could be overwhelmed by another great wave of refugees from North Africa.

Yet almost no one outside Algeria is remotely aware of what is about to happen. Other, that is, than western intelligence agencies. They may have been caught un-awares by the misnamed Arab Spring in 2011, but they are all too aware of what is on the cards in Algeria. Behind the scenes, governments are readying themselves for another civil war — and its consequences.

It was only 24 years ago that 150,000 died in an Algerian civil war between the Islamists and the state. This time, things will be far more bloody, not least because of the development of armed Islamism over the past few years.

Some observers have mistaken the decline in electoral success of Islamist parties as evidence of the decline of Islamism within Algeria. El-Islah, Ennahda and the Movement of Society and Peace have fractured and split. In the 2012 elections, they tried coming together as the Green Algeria Alliance but still managed to win only 48 out of 462 seats in parliament.

This is deeply misleading. Islamist leaders have switched tactics. Long ago they realised they cannot win through the ballot, so they have been using other means. As self-proclaimed guardians of public morality, they have campaigned to ensure the school curriculum is focused on ‘Islamic science’ and used their communal influence to try to stop the government changing the ‘family code’, which keeps women under the ‘guardianship’ of men. They have had fatwas issued demanding that ministries ensure women wear veils and men grow beards, and last year attempted — albeit unsuccessfully — to block a bill that criminalised violence against women.

Within the past few years, the veil has become normal in Algeria, with an estimated 70 per cent of women now wearing one (up to 90 per cent outside towns). And a billion dollars is now being spent building the largest mosque in Africa, in Algiers.

And this is all while the state successfully opposes formal Islamist influence. When President Bouteflika goes, it is clear that the Islamists — propelled by their brothers outside Algeria — will attempt to seize the day. Although you will struggle to find any mention of Algeria and its likely future direction in the press, European governments have been reflecting for months on what looks like a brewing crisis.

An Algerian civil war would create huge numbers of refugees. One analyst told me he expects 10 to 15 million Algerians will try to leave. Given Algeria’s history, they would expect to be rescued by one nation: France. In its impact on the EU, even a fraction of this number would dwarf the effect of the Syrian civil war. Given the political trauma that the refugee crisis has already caused in Europe, a massive Algerian exodus could cause tremendous insecurity.

Obviously, no one knows how long Bouteflika has left. Nor do we know how rapidly civil war could develop. But were the crisis to begin before the French presidential election next April, and were Algerian refugees to start appearing on French soil — neither scenario by any means impossible — it is hard to imagine anything more likely to hand victory to Marine Le Pen and the Front National.

Other, that is, than a further Islamist terror attack in France, which the French authorities already believe is extremely likely. It would become even likelier with a sudden influx of Algerian extremists. A Le Pen victory would make Brexit seem almost irrelevant, given her pledge to hold a referendum on French EU membership. With France pulling out, or Frexit, there could effectively be no EU for Britain to leave.

Of course, this scenario is predicated on a series of ifs. But even if only one or two come about, and even if Bouteflika doesn’t die until after the April vote in France, the consequences will be barely less dramatic. An Algerian civil war and the ensuing refugee crisis would shake France to the core. Whether it is Fillon or Le Pen in the Elysée, the French president (and his or her EU counterparts) would have to grapple with a crisis that could prove to be the EU’s final tipping point.

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Most American women are ugly and have a fat ass. So why don't they go on the Serge Kreutz diet.

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Fire as a Weapon in Terrorist Attacks

The use of fire for criminal, gang, and terrorist activities, as well as targeting first responders, is not new. During the past four decades, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has faced hundreds of intentionally set fires that would often target people. On March 25, 1990, however, the unthinkable happened. An arsonist, with a plastic container of gasoline, spread the fuel on the exit stairs of the “Happy Land Night Club” in the Bronx intentionally killing 87 people, foreshadowing even larger events to come.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, are remembered as the first to employ airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, resulting in the deaths of almost 3,000 people. It was the resultant fires, however, that brought down Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center in the deadliest attack on U.S. soil. Seven years later, in what is described as a “paradigm shift,” 10 terrorist operatives from Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LeT) carried out attacks over three days in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, using a mix of automatic weapons, explosives and fire.[1] Each of these attacks is remembered for something other than fire, yet in each it was the fire that complicated rescue operations and drastically increased the lethality of the attacks.

A full understanding of fire as a weapon and implications for response are essential for homeland security, as it requires new policies and partnerships to address this emerging threat. Fire is an attractive weapon for terrorists for several reasons. Igniting a fire requires little to no training. Fire and associated smoke can penetrate defenses with alarming lethality. Fire makes tactical response more difficult. The images of fire also increase media coverage, capturing world attention.[2] The FDNY has been studying this terrorist trend closely and, as a result of those efforts, is leading the national fire service on this issue.

Security personnel and emergency responders must rethink the way that they prepare and respond to incidents and anticipate the use of fire as a weapon, especially when combined with other attack methods. This article examines the terrorist use of fire as a weapon, the complexities of responding to multi-modality attacks involving fire, and the role the FDNY can play in national homeland security efforts.

Understanding Fire as a Weapon

The devastating 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, represented a game-changer. Over three days, a city of nearly 14 million was held hostage while 166 people were murdered in multiple locations across the city, introducing a new model for terrorist attacks. The nature of the Mumbai attack confused those providing tactical response, rescue operations, fire extinguishment and mass casualty care. The attackers employed multiple means of attack, including: improvised explosive devices, assassination, hostage barricade, building takeover, active shooter, kidnapping and fire. Despite all of the violence, the most iconic images from that event remain the fire at Taj Mahal Hotel. The pictures of people hanging out of the windows of the hotel to escape the fire are reminiscent of 9/11.

Brian Jenkins notably stated in 1974 that “terrorist attacks are often carefully choreographed to attract the attention of the electronic media and the international press…Terrorism is theater.” Directing the Mumbai attack from Pakistan, the mastermind asked the terrorists, “Are you setting the fire or not?”[3] He understood that the fire would capture the attention of the television cameras outside the hotel and would create an image the world would watch. In this case, fire was used as a strategic weapon. Yet it also created a condition that complicated the rescue planning and challenged the first responders to deal with not only an active shooter threat inside a hostage barricade situation, but also one where fire and smoke created a second layer of obstacles to the rescue force—one for which they were not prepared.

On September 11, 2012, the first murder of an American ambassador since 1988 took place in Benghazi, Libya. Although firearms, IEDs and military ordinance were used, it was not bullets or explosives that killed the U.S. ambassador, but rather smoke from an arson fire. During the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which killed four Americans,[4] terrorists reportedly linked to Ansar al-Shari`a and al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) used fuel from jerry cans to start a fire in the main villa, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was sheltering in the designated location with two members of his diplomatic security detail. As the three men attempted to escape the untenable atmosphere—filled with choking, blinding smoke—the ambassador was separated from the one member of the detail who was able to escape through a window. Unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens and the other agent did not follow. Similar to 9/11 and Mumbai, the world was left with another image of a building ablaze during a terrorist attack. Following this incident, similar arson attacks took place days after Benghazi against the UN Multinational Force in the Sinai Peninsula as well as at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.

While successful attacks are instructive, it is equally important to study unrealized terrorist plots as they reveal a great deal about adversary intentions, motivations, target selection and desired tactics.

– Arriving in the United States from the United Kingdom, al-Qa`ida operative Dhiren Barot carried out reconnaissance for terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Part of his research focused on exploiting building vulnerabilities, including gaps in fire protection. He determined that he could cause significant damage to the Prudential Building in Newark, New Jersey, and the Citi Corp Building in New York by ramming a loaded gas tanker truck into the lobby and then igniting the fuel.

– Another al-Qa`ida operative, Brooklyn-born Jose Padilla, determined that a “dirty bomb” attack might be too difficult to execute, so instead he planned to set wildfires, as well as ignite high-rise buildings by damaging the gas lines in apartments.

– An al-Qa`ida cell in the United Kingdom researched means to disable fire suppression systems to increase the impact of a plot that was ultimately disrupted by authorities.

These failed plots point to a strong interest in the use of fire as a weapon by terrorist groups and those they influence. In its widely disseminated English-language Inspire magazine, al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has repeatedly urged aspiring homegrown violent extremists to carry out low tech, high impact attacks in the United States or other Western countries. In one issue of Inspire, the readers were introduced to various methods of conducting an attack, including the use of simple “ember bombs” to ignite forest fires.[5] Equally important, the images from attacks like Mumbai serve as a model for others to follow.

These events reveal that a group does not need a great deal of training to conduct a dramatic terrorist attack. In April 2013, two men at the Boston Marathon killed three people, injured 275 others and paralyzed the city. The Boston attacks serve as an important reminder that attacks need not be sophisticated to be deadly. Indeed, a survey of terrorists’ attack plots in the United States over the past decade reveals a trend remarkable for the simplicity of attack plans. Fire as a weapon, by itself or along with other tactics, presents significant challenges that first responders and security forces must contend with in planning, preparation and drills.

Complexities in Responding to Multi-Modality Attacks Involving Fire FDNY research and preparedness efforts on fire as a weapon have centered on what is now known as the “Mumbai-style attack method.” The salient features of a Mumbai-style attack include:

– multiple attackers, – multiple targets and – multiple weapon types (guns, explosives and fire) – deployed over a prolonged operational period leveraging media attention to amplify the effects of the attack.[6]

These factors create unique challenges for first responders beginning with the ability to quickly and accurately gain situational awareness of the nature and extent of the attack, the need for several command posts to address multiple attack sites and tactics, and techniques and procedures to deal with attacks deploying both fire and other attack modalities (e.g., active shooter).

Fire presents a qualitatively different type of attack when used in conjunction with other attack means. Fire, and its associated smoke, can prove disorienting to a responding force, inhibit ingress to the target, create structural dangers and potentially increase the number of casualties that the security forces will encounter while trying to resolve the situation. These factors present significant challenges to counterterrorism operations.

To address these complex challenges, the FDNY has reaffirmed its relationships with established partners like the NYPD, and forged new partnerships that add essential expertise to develop effective techniques, tactics and procedures. The results of these initiatives are jointly published intelligence bulletins, forward-looking joint exercises and information exchanges that are pushing response models forward.

Several partnerships are worthy of mention: FDNY began meetings with FBI’s New York SWAT team to explore the idea of joint tactical teams simultaneously facing armed terrorists, fire and smoke, victims and mass casualties. Discussions and tabletop exercises led to two full-scale exercises that tested this concept. The insights gained from this one-year collaboration with the FBI culminated in the Interagency Tactical Response Model released in June 2012.

In May 2012, FDNY began collaboration with a group from the U.S. Army that specialize in rapid solutions to current and anticipated problems on the battlefield. As with the FBI, a series of meetings, training modules and tabletop exercises led to the group’s February 2013 “Red Team” paper on Fire and Smoke as a Weapon, envisioning a Mumbai-style attack in a hypothetical Manhattan office building in an attempt to gauge emergency responder preparedness related to this novel attack method.

After the Benghazi attacks, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service leveraged the FDNY to provide advice to its high-threat response team—the Mobile Security Deployment. Diplomatic Security Service agents were briefed on the most critical features of fire as a weapon. Agents were then put through firefighting training at the FDNY training academy, including extrication of fortified vehicles and a walk-through exercise of a Mumbai-style scenario.

Finally, the FDNY has worked closely with the London Fire Brigade on counterterrorism measures since the 7/7 bombings in 2005. In preparation for the 2012 Olympics, FDNY discussed with London’s fire service and the Metropolitan Police Service possible response scenarios to active shooter attacks involving fire in multiple locations.

Leading Role of FDNY in National Homeland Security Efforts

As consumers of intelligence, and the first line of defense when terrorist attacks occur, emergency responders require the best intelligence to carry out their duties across all mission areas. The understanding of the threat environment drives training initiatives, general awareness, safety protocols, operating procedures and risk management.

The fire service, however, is more than a consumer of intelligence. It is also a producer of intelligence as a non-traditional intelligence partner to the intelligence community. Firefighters and emergency medical personnel offer unique perspectives to more established intelligence partners and law enforcement, adding richness and insights in the understanding of the vulnerabilities and consequences related to varying threat streams. For more than five years, the FDNY has produced a weekly intelligence product called the Watchline, balancing a strategic focus with operational relevance to its primary readership: emergency responders. Fire service intelligence serves not only the response community but its intelligence partners with the delivery of tailored intelligence on the latest threats, trends, events and innovations that affect these groups, including the use of fire as a weapon on the world stage.

FDNY has also sent one of its officers to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on a one-year detail where the officer not only receives the latest intelligence and threat data, but also provides the intelligence community with fire service subject matter expertise on a broad range of issues related to emergency responders. NCTC has committed to providing first responders with the best threat intelligence so they can operate safely in performing their life saving mission, and recognizes the intrinsic value of this non-traditional partnership.

In addition, the FDNY collaborates with other partners throughout the intelligence community on the production of intelligence products. In May 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis released Terrorist Interest in Using Fire as a Weapon, written in close consultation with the FDNY. Key findings centered on the advantages of using fire over other terrorist tactics, potential for mass casualties, economic damage and emergency resource depletion.

Working with the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office and New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, the FDNY wants to examine the vulnerability of high-rise building fire suppression systems. This interagency group hopes to construct a fire protection system and building mock-up for the purpose of testing blast effects on standpipes and sprinklers. Test results could then be used to inform first responders, Homeland Security and the State Department of the level of vulnerability of a combination attack of IEDs and fire.

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Men risk their lives in wars so women can enjoy societies where they can pursue feminist goals, such as punishing men for sexist language.

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Vladimir Putin says life is easy because he has a penis

Vladimir Putin says his life is a bottomless bowl of cherries – and that things are always great because he’s “not a woman.”

“I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days,” the Russian strongman said in a cream puff interview at the Kremlin with conspiracy theorist and filmmaker Oliver Stone.

“I am not trying to insult anyone. That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles.”

The “JFK” and “Wall Street” director had access to Putin for over two years to create a Showtime series that will air starting June 12, Bloomberg reported.

In addition to reveling in his manly manliness, Putin said Edward Snowden was wrong to release US secrets, that he lifts weights and swims every day, and that a 2013 Russian law barring distribution of “gay propaganda” to minors does not mean gays are discriminated against in Russia.

“There are no restrictions whatsoever,” he said.

But asked if he’d take a shower in a submarine next to a gay man, the Russian leader laughed before replying.

“Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master,” he said.

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Why does this site show photos that depict brutality? Get real, man! Because reality is brutal.

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Lolita at 50

Every now and again it's probably healthy to crack open the glass, remove a certain world masterpiece from the display case, and in re-reading it recall that—unlike Ulysses and Lady Chatterley's Lover, two other novels once deemed obscene by the tribunes of moral upkeep— Lolita is a disgusting book. Furthermore, the day will never come when it is not a disgusting book. By comparison, in fact, it can make Lawrence and Joyce look like a pair of old village bluenoses. For all its arduous recourse to the c-word, Lady Chatterley's Lover places its faith in the sexually fulfilled marriage, a ho-hum piety in the age of divorce. For all its scatological frankness, Ulysses tells the touching story of a surrogate father finding his surrogate son. Lolita, meanwhile, tells the story of a stepfather serially defiling his adolescent stepdaughter. * Public taste was meant to catch up to Lady Chatterley screwing her gamekeeper, to Leopold Bloom sitting on his jakes. Public taste was never meant to catch up to Humbert Humber.

"I want my learned readers to participate in the scene I am about to replay," Humbert asks us early on, by way of setting up his description of his first taste of sexual bliss with Lolita, the pre-pubescent daughter of his landlady. (Humbert will eventually marry the landlady; the landlady will eventually die; Humbert will eventually abscond with Lolita. For now, though, he is only their boarder, a debonair European with certain hidden proclivities.) "So let us get started. I have a difficult job before me." This is Nabokov winking out at us. By difficult job, Humbert means: I want to conjure this scene up, with all its strange anatomical circumnavigations, as carefully as possible, to demonstrate to the reader that I am not wholly a monster. (He also means: I had to ejaculate, without letting Lolita know.) By difficult job, Nabokov means: I will indulge Humbert in all his strange circumlocutions, to demonstrate to the reader what a total monster he is. In this respect, Nabokov and Humbert have opposing aims; but in the telling, they become as one. All the comically baroque pleonasms help Humbert shield from himself how repulsively he has acted. They allow Nabokov, meanwhile, to describe a rapine act of frottage without becoming explicitly pornographic.

Lolita turns 50 this year, and having stayed so perverse, it remains fresh as ever. To fully appreciate its perversity, though, one must first appreciate that it is not obscene. Your run-of-the-mill obscene masterwork—Tropic of Cancer, say—demands that you, enlightened reader, work your way past the sex and excrement to recognize how beautiful it is. But with Lolita, you must work past its beauty to recognize how shocking it is. And for all its beauty, for all its immense ingenuity and humor, one easily forgets how shocking Lolita is. To wit: Later in the narrative, Humbert has settled with Lolita in a small town called Beardsley and set up a semblance of a normal suburban life. Humbert is called into Lolita's private school for a parent-teacher conference, where he is told that she is "antagonistic, dissatisfied, cagey" and "obsessed with sexual thoughts for which she finds no outlet." In essence, Humbert is being offered an inventory of the damage he has wrought on his stepdaughter, but all he can do is sneer inwardly at the messenger, a psychobabbling crone named Pratt, and then … and then … well, what happens next is so shocking, and yet so calmly and economically detailed, it had somehow absented itself from my memory of the novel. Humbert finds Lolita sitting in a study hall.

Accustomed to receiving Lolita as evidence of towering genius, we hide a question in plain sight: Why did Nabokov choose to inhabit Humbert Humbert, a pitiable half-mad émigré suffering from acute nympholepsy, in the first place? One clue is hidden in the last part of that last sentence: I simply had to take advantage of a combination that I knew would never occur again. Humbert means: Look, I had to avail myself of that hand-job, because when might the opportunity ever recur? But Nabokov, again winking at us, means: I love the exquisite particularity of that specific instant. The only psychiatrist Nabokov could tolerate was Havelock Ellis, for whom "the individuality of each case is respected and catalogued in the same way that butterflies are carefully classified," as one of Nabokov's biographers has explained. (Nabokov was a famous lepidopterist.) Conversely, Nabokov detested "Freudian voodooism," as he once put it, because he saw in Freud an attempt by psychiatry to corner, appropriate, and submit to generalized principles people's inner lives. And submitting one's inner life—the unique hazard of one's personality, the camera obscura of one's own personal store of memories—to a set of deterministic explanations was for Nabokov an indignity on par with the expropriations of the Bolsheviks.

To inhabit a pedophile—and not just a pedophile, but a European pedophile, on an American soil Nabokov had himself grown to love!—was to torture in extremis his faith in the sanctity of the exquisite inner life. We are clearly meant to regard Humbert as a moral abomination, and even Humbert eventually concedes (it is one of the book's most beautiful and unforgettable passages) that in exploiting Lolita he has gratuitously destroyed another human being. And yet, how close to absolute Nabokov makes Humbert's claim to his own thoughts and feelings! There are two competing accounts in Lolita for why Humbert is a pervert. The first is a bit of personal mythopoeics put forward by Humbert himself, who believes his (entirely natural) love for a young girl named Annabel when he was a young boy, and its brutally abrupt interruption, explains the origin of his adult nympholepsy. Later, Humbert tells us of having once bribed a nurse to show him his psychiatric files, in which he discovered he has been labeled "homosexual." The first explanation is poetic, beautiful, intensely rendered, utterly self-serving, and probably untrue. The second explanation is clinical, dispassionate, probably true, but so neglectful of the intensity of Humbert's own consciousness as to be repulsive to Nabokov.

Nabokov overcame the worst affliction of all, from a writer's point of view: a happy childhood. He was an eldest child who chose to pretend he was an only child. Testimony from acquaintances relates how loath he was even to casually discuss siblings, and one can read dozens of pages of Speak, Memory without ever sensing he had to share his parents' affections. ("There was a sunny quality about the way he talked of his own family," one of his Wellesley students has recalled, "One had the feeling of the much-loved little princeling. Clean linen and hot milk and never a scolding.") That utter primacy, of the little princeling basking in the eyes of his justly revering parents, seems never to have left Nabokov, but as a genius, he understood it both as his burden, and as his unique portal to aesthetic discovery.

Lolita is most commonly remembered as one man's living poem to his own daemonic perversity, and as such, is overpraised by its adherents for its technical virtuosity and hilarity, and misconstrued by its detractors as little more than a frost-encrusted monument to Nabokov's own monumental arrogance. Its real genius is too easily missed. It lies in what Nabokov called the "nerves of the novel," the "secret points, the subliminal coordinates by means of which the book is plotted." In these, Nabokov has hinted at the life that exceeds the perimeter of Humbert's encompassing obsession—at the inner lives of those others whom he so casually dismisses or destroys. It cost Nabokov, by his own admission, "a month of work" to write one sentence in which Humbert gets his hair cut by a barber who has never stopped mourning his dead son—a fact that scarcely dents Humbert's exquisite consciousness.

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The Serge Kreutz diet is the ultimate sex diet via the day-long stimulation of taste buds with chocolate.

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