Archive for Terrorism

Hate Can’t Keep You Safe

The two most recent and most horrific London terror attacks put spotlights on NYC and LA and Seattle and Boston and like that. What does a Muslim ban have to do with safety and prevention? What will the dummies do when U.S. cities are the locales?

That ignorant, stupid POTUS alternately tweets and brays that if only we keep this or that group from visiting the U.S. of A. all will be well. Turtle feathers, says I!

We know that he and real Republicans don’t understand American principles and laws. We know they hate the liberties that our democracy exercises that differentiate us from the rest of the world. In fact, they make it plain they hate freedom and want oppressive government.

Yet, what #45 has been calling for has two huge flaws. First, and affirmed by courts from one coast to another, his proposals are patent violations of our First Amendment’s religion clause. They target exclusive brown-skinned folk who are not avowed Christians.

Second, with the extreme and notable exception of the 9/11 attacks, the thousands of Americans murdered on our soil are the opposite of #45’s bugbears. Our terrorists have been native born, white Americans, nearly all of whom identify as Christian.

Of course, we know these people as our basest criminals. The white, American self-identified Christians are invariably the rapists, adulterers, child abusers and murders, only more recently becoming domestic terrorists. There was a history in that latter category too, think the K.K.K.

So if #45 and his minions want to further limit our liberties in the guise of security, keeping out Muslims from six countries won’t do it…at all…particularly when the 9/11 crew was almost entirely from Saudi Arabia. They are investors whom #45 loves and gives a free pass to for travel.

We can be sure the emboldened ISIL and other terrorists won’t obey the borders and visa regulations, halting on the East side of the Atlantic. When they come to a city new you, you can be positive #45’s policies did absolutely nothing to prevent the deaths and maiming and, well, terror.

 

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Mass Murder Tipping Points

About a third the way in, a caller interrupted my gun portion of the rant. He was a a registered firearms dealer, and coincidentally Black. He opposes any additional gun laws or regulations. He was of the it’s-not-the-specific-gun side. We each got out our views. I’m glad he called.

Otherwise, I asked whether the Dallas deaths of five police officers by sniper would be a tipping point. Sandy Hook, to many of our surprise, was not. Will Dallas be? Will the many deaths of young Black men this year and last be?

I hold that we need both legal and cultural shifts. Obviously to me the cultural part is much harder. Take policing. Cops are no better than other professionals at prosecuting or judging their peers’ actions. No matter how plain the audio, video and witness testimony, cops almost invariably skate away from what the rest of the world sees as murder.

Likewise, with guns, they should be tools not toys. No what politicians now term common-sense restrictions should be a problem, but they are. Will the assassination of five officers in Dallas be a tipping point for legislation?

 

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It’s a Bloody World After All,

With this weekend’s Orlando horrors, let’s transcend fantasy. While that city is the nation’s dream kingdom, we have to get real.

I had to rant and am beyond impatient. Gun-rights crazies are quick to call for arming everyone with the most powerful weapons. Lefties beg Congress, please, oh pretty please, give us minimal background check laws. All is jive.

What doesn’t work are calls fantasies that because foreign armies haven’t landed here, we are safe. What doesn’t work is pretending that “the other” and “outsiders” are the threats (in reality only 9-11 and a tiny subset of mass murders here were by non-native citizens). What doesn’t work are having guards everywhere and surrendering the liberties that define our nation.

I went into a splash of the mass murders here from 1622, many by government agents and mobs. We are delusional in thinking we are unique and protected. It is our neighbor who is likely to attack us.

I propose some legislation but more mind shifts and social action. We see that gun buy-backs don’t work, that more guards don’t work, that surrendering liberties that define us won’t work. That nativism and isolationism don’t work.

Sure, we need to do the 1934 anti-Tommy gun laws for “assault rifle” weapons and such. We also need to loudly let members of Congress know that the wee donations from gun makers can no longer carry weight — calling out Senators and Reps who accept these bribes. Let’s not tremble from the slippery-slope argument and start immediately to remove semi-automatic rifles from this nation.

I’m not ready to give up my liberties to a Big Brother nor can I accept letting fellow citizens arm to kill me at whim.

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Responsibility?

A current mean is asking whether something is “still a thing.” Let’s consider personal responsibility in that big pile.

Perhaps the most obvious cases are the far too many caught on video and by witnesses where cops kill unarmed, non-threatening civilians and face zero punishment or even charges. “I felt threatened” seems too often to immediately convince prosecutors and internal-affairs sorts that all is right.

It isn’t. We see in other professions as well (think doctors and financial execs) that self-policing and such oversight are risible. Cultural change is necessary.

The ideas and ideals boomers saw and heard everywhere included being held accountable for bad actions. Books, movies and of course parents and clerics taught that if you did something bad, there were consequences.

The norm now is what tricks can you pull to avoid punishment or even accusation. Bad drivers skate with “unfortunate accident” for their most egregious, fatal sins.

Enough with this.

icon for podpress  Responsibility? [20:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Liberties Lost Podcast

It was a short, weird show today. Mike held forth on his Baby Boomer upbringing, in relation to expectations of American liberties. He contrasted that with what we are seeing at the airports, from Congress, in Gitmo and more.

Unfortunately, BlogTalkRadio misbehaved. Ryan could not connect to talk.

It was short and only suited to those who like 15-minute rants.

icon for podpress  That Freedom Thing [18:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Post bin Laden Opportunities Podcast

Flippancy aside (this show was billed Zombie bin Laden), we ended talking about this huge moment, including but far beyond Osama bin Laden’s take-down. We ended up calling for progressive sorts to think about what they want our government to do and let the Administration and Congress know.

Sure, Al Qaeda is still there and it or similar terrorists will hit small and maybe big short- and mid-term. Yet, in this democratic spring of aspiring nations trying to throw off their oppressive governments throughout North Africa and the Middle East, we have a greater opportunity to create partners and allies. Properly handled, we could stifle terrorists and create a more peaceful larger world. This is a moment like none other since the end of WWII.

In today’s show, Ryan and Mike spoke of some of the things we need to change, and chances for us to tell our President and Congressional delegations to do. There’s the hundreds of billions annually thrown away on Cold War defenses against non-existent enemies (Rep. Barney Frank is on that and will need support). There’s the craziness that torturing people and massively spying on Americans keeps us safe. In fact, those are what bin Laden wanted to drive us to all along.

Listen in as we kick around what we see as the opportunities available. We want to see time, effort and money spent more on expanding a democratic world, rather than pretending we can build and hide in a Fortress U.S.A.

icon for podpress  Zombie bin Laden [27:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Bye-bye bin Laden. Now What?

Joining the mobs speaking of the death of Osama bin Laden —rather what we figure it means — we’ll noodle immediate, mid-term, and farther out effects. If you’re around Tuesday 5/3 at 2:30 PM Eastern, listen live here. If you also have keen insights to share, do so at 718-664-6966.

Only hours after the death, we’re hearing justification for Gitmo, total disruption of terrorism, no change in terrorism, certain 2012 Obama reelection, only an ephemeral bump in his ratings and much, much more. We’ll be in the fray with our own SWAG.

If you can’t catch the show live, return and feel free to listen on demand. Then tell us how brilliant or asinine we were.

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WikiLeaks Podcast

As always, Ryan was more sanguine about the public’s collective wisdom. As opposed to Mike, he concluded that further WikiLeak revelations would likely convince many of us that revealing hidden (but in redacted form) classified documents would be a good thing.

We discussed the impacts and implication of the leaks, of the pursuit of the editor-in-chief, and what it means for small-d democracy and the larger U.S. system of diplomacy. During the show, Mike checked and found that numerous live listeners were on, but none chose to speak.  He hoped that this did not indicate a trepidation that mirrored recent fears of being accused of terrorism or anti-American behavior.

Regardless, we discussed the unfortunate long-term trend of overclassifying documents and trying to hide information from the public — lying in more common parlance. We agreed it’s past time for the the executive and legislative branches to order evaluation and declassification.

Listen in as we hit this and that. Granted, we had the advantage of considerable current coverage in news and blogs. You have even more now. Feel free to comment.

Related Post: Mike comments at Marry in Massachusetts.

icon for podpress  Wicked? WikiLeaks [57:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Fabulous Fantasies Podcast

Ryan and Mike burrowed into what’s up with Congress, what needs to change there, what voters are likely to do in the next two elections, and how our President needs to functions right now. Never ones to shy from judgment and disagreement — even with each other — we went from filibusters to taxes and more.

We also got a long call from a self-identified 45-year-old ex-Marine in South Carolina. He made it plain he was a conservative who had very different views of taxes and tax cuts than we progressives tend to have. He brought up solid issues that we all concurred need more discussion.

I admit that we have lots of live listeners and I’d be happier if more chimed in as he did.

Listen in to the wide-ranging discussions.

~Mike

icon for podpress  Fabulous Fantasies [58:53m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Fortress America Podcast

Our puerile rush to anti-terrorist measures may come to bad ends. Following attempts to bring down airplane from passenger seats has seen understandable efforts to prevent them. Yet, President Obama’s administration seems to be setting itself and us up for failure and bitter disappointment.

We talked about what must, should and can be done. A couple of callers joined us, one to speak extensively in favor of armed guards from the airlines and even armed private citizens to act as deterrents to terrorism.

The Financial Times column by Tyler Brûlé with suggestions for solid and easy travel is here.

Listen in to hear what we think of the state and future of security.

icon for podpress  Fortress America [43:17m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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