The new book, “Creative Confidence,” has earned a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list this week. Most successful athletes could have written a chapter themselves. Authors David and Tom Kelley present a compelling case that confidence is more important than talent.
The trust and admiration of spectators can play an important role in confidence. That is not going to be easy after the latest spy revelations that are shocking Europeans and making front page news in 2014 Olympics host country, Russia. Today’s headlines in Russia’s English Language online news service RT.com are “Irritated EU leaders voice ‘lack of trust’ with US after spying claims,” “German Chancellor Merkel on NSA spy list since 2002,” and “Germany, Brazil enlist 19 more countries for anti-NSA UN resolution.”
These national embarrassments for honest Americans appear directly next to paid advertisements for “www.ez-csi.com .” The advertising text reads like a promotion for the Mafia’s sports betting operations: “Monitor Cell Phone Calls Read Texts, eMails, SMS, Hear Calls Track Location, Undetectable.” This Newark, Delaware company even uses the advertising slogan “Investigative Tools & Tricks for Everyone.” While this kind of marketing may help this spy hardware seller’s own profits, making it look like everyone in the U.S. is using spying tricks can be very damaging to the reputation and brand of the United States of America.
While some geeks who play with other people’s data have become conditioned to just mumbling “national security” and having as much fun as they want, they rarely stop to think about what happens when they make mistakes and how frequent that is. Just look at this picture from a conference at American University. The private network name and password were posted on the whiteboard where every webcast and Instagram viewer could see them. Can you imagine trying to coach an NCAA team when your opponents can easily log on to your network and steal your playbook?
Now the United Nations, where the International Olympic Committee has observer status, is taking up the matter. A draft resolution circulated today proclaims, “illegal surveillance of private communications and the indiscriminate interception of personal data of citizens constitutes a highly intrusive act that violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”
This bad news could help to prevent a worst case scenario from emerging. The UK Guardian reported yesterday that American government employees “encouraged officials within the United States government and intelligence community to share among their colleagues contact information pertaining to international heads of state.” That information could be just what the EU Parliamentary delegation visiting Washington D.C. needs to challenge the Academy of Special Needs Planners, LLC, the sinister group that has abused legal loopholes to obtain secret information about heads of state and hereditary aristocrats in foreign countries.
The Academy of Special Needs Planners, LLC facilitates data collection that is nearly undetectable by working with banks to require wealthy investors with access to insider information to disclose it to financial account managers and a so called “next friend” for the alleged purposes of financial planning. If the targets of these “Special Needs Trusts” schemes do not provide the information, they do not get access to their own money and can be detained without a warrant. The Academy of Special Needs Planners, LLC plants so-called “exoneration” clauses in the trust documents, so that syndicate members cannot be prosecuted for intercepting secret information about heads of state and hereditary aristocrats in foreign countries – unless the leaders of the Academy of Special Needs Planners get extradited.
Is there a solution that will restore pride in America’s greatest traditions? Yes. Apologize. It’s simple. Youth sports programs condition promising talent to play by the rules, respect the referees and apologize when they are out of bounds. Inviting model athletes to coach the wayward bureaucrats whose spying is embarrassing America is long overdue.