As you likely are too, I’m watching conversations unfold among friends on Facebook and in real life about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino and what the United States should be doing in response. Depending on your point of view, the argument is framed as one between American values and bigotry or political correctness and getting tough on radical Islam. Admittedly, these are extreme formulations, in each case using one side’s caricature of the other. But all of this ignores the central conundrum we face when we think about counter-terrorism, especially ones of the lone wolf variety or even more organized ones like the recent massacre in Paris.
The kinds of surveillance and scrutiny which inevitably fall on suspect populations as part of a heightened counter-terrorism posture are exactly the kinds of strictures which over time are likely to create the kind of social isolation and alienation which seems, from the evidence we have from Europe, to create a breeding ground for radicalization. So getting the balance right is very difficult. And this is entirely apart from the very legitimate and pressing discussion about what policies are American values and our constitution will or should allow. Throw all of that out the window and you’ve still got a very complex balancing act on your hands. (read the rest here)
We have seen these GoPro videos from skiers and featuring eagles as they soar through canyons. This is the best one that I have seen to date. These nerds (my peeps) built a cage and placed a GoPro camera and a Galaxy Note II (for GPS) in it. They did the calculations. They launched the thing, but then promptly lost it. It was found two years later with some amazing photos.
For the next several days, I will re-post some of the things that I typed more than 10 years ago about Hurricane Katrina.
From the Center for American Progress:
Today, the costs of Hurricane Katrina are still staggering. But even more staggering has been the slow pace of recovery on the Gulf Coast. No one was happy with the federal government’s initial response to the hurricane. Eighty percent of the American public think the federal government’s response could have been “much better,” and in September President Bush stated, “This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.”
But at Katrina’s one-year anniversary, it is clear that the nation is still waiting for the help Bush promised. Sunday, as part of the White House’s “public relations blitz,” Bush trumpeted in his weekly radio address that the federal government has “committed $110 billion to the recovery effort.”
But those billions of dollars have yet “to translate into billions in building.” Perhaps most disappointingly, Bush has forgotten about his promise to the nation to confront poverty “with bold action.“
Bush has clearly said that he doesn’t care. When his poll numbers tanked, he tried to pretend that he cared. Fortunately, America didn’t buy it.
We have made more progress in Iraq than we have in New Orleans and we haven’t done squat in Iraq.