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America, Afghanistan and Opium: Ten Billion Wasted (Economist)
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“If the goal was to reduce cultivation, we failed. If the goal was to reduce opium production, we failed. If the goal was to break that narco-trafficking nexus and the corrupting influence, we have failed.”

 

An Investigation Into the Murder of Glenn Terrell Jr. (Uptown Chronicle)
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“He was somber as he discussed his son’s death. At times, he would choke up and become quiet. But once, after a brief pause, he leaned forward. His voice was stern and grew noticeably louder: ‘A lot of people are going to fucking die for what happened to my son.'”

 

 How Solitary Confinement Hurts the Teenage Brain (Atlantic)
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“When you strip a person of their fundamental value, take away a core belief that, to someone, they matter, you really have no purpose for the time being … Total—and I mean complete emphasis on total—worthlessness is always the final conclusion. This is who you are: a person who sits in a cell.”

 

Our Animal Side Shows in Songs About Sex (Atlantic)
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“In Nelly’s song ‘Ride Wit Me,’ he raps, ‘How could I tell her no? Her measurements were 36-25-34.’ It’s unlikely that Nelly actually did the calculations, but the woman he’s describing has a waist-hip ratio (WHR) of .73, precisely in the range that scientists say males find the most attractive, because WHR is ‘a reliable signal of reproductive age and reproductive capability.'”

What Witchcraft Is Facebook? (Atlantic)
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“Epidemic hysterias that in earlier periods were self-limited in geography now have free and wide access to the globe in seconds.” (Note: Laura appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss this piece.)

 

NYPD Commissioner-Turned-Felon Has a Message For Us Now That He’s Been to Prison (Mic)
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“But it wasn’t until the tough ‘lock ‘em up’ cop with the Tony Soprano-like swagger was suited up in prison uniform, mopping floors and living in a small room with three other men that he realized: He knew ‘nothing,’ he said, until he was on the other side of the bars.”

 

80,000 Americans Suffer From a Cruel and Unusual Practice Most Countries Abolished (Mic)
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“People say, ‘Ooh, I’m a survivor of solitary.’ That’s not true. Nobody is a survivor of solitary. [The question is] what level of deterioration you have. … I never survived.” (Note: Laura appeared on MSNBC to discuss this piece.)

 

A Modern Day Slave Plantation Exists, and It’s Thriving in the Heart of America (Mic)

“They might bend me a little bit. They might cause me a lot of pain. They may even take my life. But they will never be able to break me. … I was free of Angola, but Angola would not be free of me.”

 

The U.S. Abuses Its Wrongfully Convicted in More Ways Than One (Mic)
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“He was released in 2003 after 18 years in prison — 14 of them in isolation on death row. Louisiana’s compensation statute, enacted in 2005, was not yet in place. Upon Thompson’s release, the state gave him $10 and a bus ticket. He was never compensated and the prosecutors were never held liable for concealing that evidence.”

 

How a Promising Ivy League Student Ended Up a Heroin Addict and Convicted Felon (Mic)
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“The officer asked Blakinger, 26 at the time, to empty her pockets. ‘Shit, empty out my pockets? There’s an eight ball of coke and 20 80-milligram Oxycontin in the pockets of my black Tripp pants,’ she wrote in the manuscript. ‘I take out the coke with my left hand and as I’m handing it over, I take my right hand and pop all 20 pills into my mouth and swallow them dry.'”

 

You’ll Never See This Side of the Super Bowl on TV (Mic)
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“You’re so ashamed of what you’ve done already, and then to be told every minute of every day, ‘I’m the only one that’s going to love you now. The only one who is ever gonna love a ho is a pimp … I can take care of you.’ And this is drilled into you. Drilled, drilled, drilled. Until you start believing it.” (Note: This piece reached over 1 million readers.)

 

Chilling Testimony Of Death Row Executioners Casts Dark Shadow Over Entire System (Mic)
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“I’ll be retiring next year. And to tell you the truth, this is something I won’t miss a bit. There are times when I’m standing there, watching those fluids start to flow, and wonder whether what we’re doing here is right. It’s something I’ll be thinking about for the rest of my life.”

 

I Was Shot 4 Times in the Deadliest Massacre in U.S. History (Mic)
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“Seconds later, bullets were coming through the door. In the instant before he dove down, he caught a glimpse of a figure — a flash of brown combat boots, khakis and a holster over each shoulder. Goddard dropped down on his right side between two rows of desk chairs. He kept 911 on the line. At this point in his recollection, his words slowed and his voice became somber. ‘Then he turned down our row.'”

 

How This Unlikely State Transformed Into America’s Heroin Hotspot (Mic)
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“Her life had deteriorated completely. The once-successful businesswoman, town darling, beautiful blond and loving mother had become a crack addict and heroin junkie. Jobless and divorced, she was living with her two children in a house with no heat in the middle of a Vermont winter. She lit furniture on fire for warmth.”

 


What Happened the Mysterious Night A Man Killed His Son, One Year Ago Today?
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“Within minutes, maybe seconds, Giuliano had a gut-wrenching feeling it was his own son, Tyler, 15, behind the mask. But he did not remove the mask or even approach the body, which lay there for hours. “

 

Welcome to the Silk Road: An Inside Look At the Darkest Corner of the Internet (Mic)
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“This new Silk Road runs along one of the internet’s back alleys — the goods are narcotics, the caravans are modern postal services, and the currencies are digital crypto codes. It’s the web’s black market, where new cutting edge currency can buy you anything, but where drugs are the product of choice, delivered straight to your door through everyday mail services.” (Note: This piece was featured on HuffPost Live and mentioned on CNBC.)

 

The Billionaire Kingpin Who Makes Osama Bin Laden Look Like An Easy Catch (Mic)
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“This past February, the Chicago Crime Commission branded Chapo the first ‘Public Enemy No. 1′ since Al Capone. Riley said that the Commission gave him the title after a briefing on Chapo’s ‘enormity’ in the city. The title has brought to light the importance of cartels in Chicago and given Chicago police ‘an idea of what we’re up against,’ said Riley, who believes that Chapo ‘makes John Gotti and Al Capone look like boy scouts.'”

 

An Eerie Glimpse Into the Gun Store That Sold the Newtown Massacre Weapons (Mic)
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“Biron went to Nicole at the counter to purchase some ammunition. Nicole said, ‘I’ll need three forms of I.D. and a sample of blood.’ She was kidding — only partly.”

 

Why We Love the F-Word So Much (Mic)
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“The word ‘fuck’ is dynamic, fabulous, and unique. It has conviction and communicates authority. Perhaps its most impressive quality is its versatility. It can be a noun (even a holy one, or a flying one), an adjective (‘I’m fucked’), an adverb (‘I’m fucking hungry’), a transitive verb (‘She fucked him’), an intransitive verb (‘He got fucked’), or just as an expression: ‘Fuck.’ ‘Fuck it.’ ‘Fuck this.’ ‘Fuck you.’ ‘Fuck off.’ ‘Fuckin’ A.’ It can also be conveniently in-fucking-serted into words and not only produce a legitimate result, but also a better one. It’s a linguistic phenomenon, really.”

 

Did New York Just Make a Big Mistake? (Mic)
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“At times, I think the liberals here in the city deserve what they’re going to get. I hope I’m wrong, but my instincts say otherwise.”

 

The Last Office Taboo for Women: Doing Your Business at Work (Daily Beast)
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“Kyle McIntyre, a 25-year-old working at a website in Los Angeles, obsesses over the perfect timing of the flush to cover the sound. She said that if it’s not just right, ‘the entire mission is shot to hell and your only option is to crawl through a bathroom vent to avoid revealing your identity.’ In Japan, sound panels called Otohime, meaning ‘sound princess,’ were installed years ago and in almost every public ladies’ restroom. A small Japanese gadget that girls carry in their purses makes fake flushing sounds that they use to cover up their own sounds.” (Note: This piece was written about in Business Insiderthe New York Times, nymag.comDealbreakerGawkerCanada’s National Post and the Huffington Post.) 

 

On St. Patrick’s Day, Beware Those Sly Green Eyes (Daily Beast)
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“Emerald peepers have long served as potent symbols in great works of writing, from Othello to Harry Potter. Sometimes they represent beauty, as in the case of Gone With the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara. Other times, as in Romeo and Juliet, they’re an omen. But almost always, they signify mystery—and even a bit of trickery. In fact, green eyes are not green at all.”

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