Category Archives: Terrorism

Good Saturday Morning – News Roundup: Carpet Bombing

Senator Ted Cruz proved that he will say anything. He has used the term “carpet-bomb” on a number of occasions. He wants to “carpet-bomb” ISIS (ISOL) without having civilian casualties. This is a pipe dream, but in a season where candidates will say anything and do anything to get a leg up on their opponents, it should be no surprise that Senator Cruz has resorted to “carpet-bombing.” I don’t think that Cruz is stupid or ignorant. I think that he knows what carpet-bombing means and wants to sound tough.

Minority Report (again): In the movie Minority Report, pre-cogs (fancy pyschics) were able to tell the future. They were able to see a person committing a crime before the crime happened. The good police would go and arrest those evildoers before they did evil. Unfortunately, that’s sci-fi. That isn’t really happening in 2015. We don’t have any pre-cogs. We have psychologists and psychiatrists. We don’t have the ability to predict future behavior with any degree of certainty. I mention this because Donald Trump and other politicians have called for us to ban all Muslims who want to enter this country until we “figure this out.” Figure what out? We can do background checks and we should. No background check is perfect. We simply do not have the ability to look into a person’s eyes and tell if they are going to commit badness or not. ¬†In the movies, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood could stare into the eyes of the bad guy and easily ascertain whether that guy was a bad guy. Well, in this world of reality, telling the good guys from the bad guys ain’t that easy. Sure, there are micro-expressions. I’m sure that a good liar can learn to supress micro-expressions. Banning all Muslims from the US is a great way to discriminate. Other than that, I don’t think that it is a useful idea.

Hate speech has consequences.

Golden State Warriors – These guys are playing lights-out basketball. They proved once again that they have the talent and the will to win. If they stay healthy, they will go far. Steph Curry has the best combination of skills that I have seen in a basketball player in a very long time. He is quick, lightning quick. He can score from inside and outside. He can distribute the basketball as well as any guard in the league. Couple this with a great supporting cast. These guys can go far.

Have a great day. Hug your loved ones!!

Reversing the Appeal of Extremism

Great piece by Josh Marshall at TPM:

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)

Happy Thanksgiving – News Roundup

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful day.

If you did not say, “I told you so,” then you probably should have. Who did not see this problem with Russia and NATO coming from a mile away? So, Turkey downs a Russian jet that Turkey claims was over Turkish airspace. Surviving Russian pilot states that there was no warning. Tell me this isn’t a prescription for badness!

Some folks in France are ready to fight! But here’s the question, fight whom? And where? It would be great if everyone from ISIS would gather in one place and label themselves with a red “I hate America” tattoo. But it will never be that easy. There are¬†several groups that are willing to fight ISIS, but are they going to better or worse than ISIS if they are put in power? More on how to move forward here.

One of my friends posted something a few months ago about race relations. He stated that it was as bad as he had ever seen it. I smiled. During the ’50s and ’60s, there was major progress in race relations. From the election of Reagan to the present we have been stagnant or moving backwards. This is a fact. This is a direct result of conservatives talking about reverse discrimination and an economy that has left Blacks and Hispanics out in the cold. The unrest in Washington and Missouri is a direct result of people not understanding where someone else is coming from. Empathy is what is sorely missing in our society.

Ben Carson continues to get facts wrong.

Donald Trump is still pushing the envelope to get more press coverage.

Ted Cruz is gaining support in Iowa.

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your day with your family and friends. Go Cowboys!!!