Browsing All Posts filed under »Security«

Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

June 26, 2017

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We originally published this article on 2 January 2015.  At that moment, there were no Americans in North Korean custody, thanks to an embarrassing and expensive mission by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to retrieve the last two American prisoners in late 2014.  Thus, we implored the American traveling public to adopt a New […]

Revisiting and Re-Living: the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance?

November 16, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we wrote the following piece.  Now, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, it seems more relevant than ever.  Extremist violence in Europe is escalating, and nowhere is this more […]

Donald Trump: Dangerous Rhetoric

August 24, 2015

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Trump’s brand of intolerant, divisive rhetoric is mightily reminiscent of a certain historical figure. Four years ago, in 2011, Donald Trump was crashing around the Presidential campaign like an obscene bull with Mad Cow Disease.  This is what we wrote at the time (go to the link for the full text): Donald Trump has thrown […]

Papal Paradox: Curb Global Warming, But Don’t Curb Population Growth?

June 29, 2015

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Yea, verily, I say unto thee, the Apocalypse is upon us, and it ain’t the Apocalypse of John. It’s more like Genesis in high-speed reverse.   In his recent encyclical, the Pope says global warming is real, is a threat, and is partly caused by humans. I love him for that.  What I don’t love […]

Getting Pretty Tired of Extremist Violence in Europe

February 16, 2015

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Don’t like the local culture? Peacefully use democratic mechanisms in place, or LEAVE. Your hurt feelings don’t justify murder and mayhem.   Decades ago, when I was in college, we had a European student in our class.   He didn’t seem to have much good to say about America; there was always some pointed observation criticizing […]

Crossing 4 of 9 Planetary Boundaries on the Way to Doom: It’s the People, Stupid

January 23, 2015

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Perversely, our worshipful attitude toward human procreation and human life will end up killing billions and destroying humanity’s best accomplishments.   For climate-change naysayers and others with their heads in the sand: a study published last week indicates that the Earth has already crossed four of nine (44%) “planetary boundaries.” The Washington Post has an […]

Clash of Civilizations: Will Long-Term Peace Require Segregation?

January 19, 2015

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Are conservative Islam and Western liberalism fundamentally incompatible? To understand what is really happening in Europe now, and where it is likely headed, I urge everyone to read two articles: Samuel Huntington’s 1993 article in Foreign Policy, “Clash of Civilizations?“, and Damon Linker’s current piece in The Week, “Can Islam Ever Make Peace With Liberalism?” […]

“I Am Charlie” May Signal the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance

January 12, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose.   The extremist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo staff and a Kosher grocery in Paris mark a tipping point in Europe. It has been building for years: ethnic Europeans have become increasingly frustrated and angry with escalating intrusions of […]

New Year’s Resolution: Please, No More Tourism to Cultlike, Repressive Dictatorships Like North Korea

January 2, 2015

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Now that “The Interview” has been released, woe unto any American snared by North Korea. North Korea has a well-known history of imprisoning Americans (see the summary of recent cases at the end of this article), sentencing them to hard labor, and then – after weeks, months or years – granting the American’s release only […]

The Torture Report: Why Are We Acting So Surprised?

December 15, 2014

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On Veterans Day, we wrote about how un-engaged and unaware many Americans are concerning the use of our military. This extends to the larger picture of US actions in the world. So now the so-called “Torture Report” is out, and we’re acting all surprised and horrified, as if there was never any awareness of this […]

Cyber Security: Time for Us to Quit Spying On Ourselves And Be Ready for the Real Threats

November 21, 2014

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In its quest to see all and know all about us, the government has made it easier for our enemies to do the same. Here we go again: Admiral Michael Rogers, who heads the NSA, has just told Congress that China and “one or two other countries” could take down critical parts of our infrastructure […]

“Thank You For Your Service.” What Do You Really Mean By That?

November 10, 2014

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Instead of a thank-you, I’d like something different:  I want you to pay attention, stay informed, and get politically involved.   In recent years, more veterans are letting us know that they find it a little off-putting to be thanked for their service. The exact reasons vary, but I have my own, so count me […]

Nurse Amber Vinson and the CDC: If These are Medical Professionals, We Are Doomed

October 17, 2014

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Is it just me, or does anyone else out there have the déjà-vu sensation that we are watching a bad horror movie unfold? Twelve Monkeys, or Z Nation, or Contagion, perhaps? At any rate, we are trapped in that sort of horror movie where the characters all do patently stupid things just to move the […]

Ebola Doubling Every 20 Days: Quit Placating the Public and Take it Seriously

October 3, 2014

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I don’t worry about known Ebola patients coming to the US under controlled conditions. I worry about unknown incubators traveling here and then becoming ill among the general population. It’s already happened.   So the news came this week that a man flew from Ebola-stricken Liberia to visit relatives in Dallas, TX, and now he […]

Hostage Rescue Operations: Not So Simple

September 19, 2014

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Obama’s detractors would have us all think that one need only snap one’s fingers and tell the military to just go rescue the hostages, and it’ll be done. In reality, hostage rescues are notoriously difficult and dangerous, and often get the hostages killed.   I haven’t seen this complaint from any credible news organization, but […]

In Defense of Dictators… and Stability

September 8, 2014

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The US has a history of embracing a lot of not-so-benevolent dictators.  We also are swiftly establishing a history of promoting “regime change” with visions of democracy dancing in our heads, but what emerges instead is all too often a dangerous brand of Islamic extremism.   Back in the 1970s and at the height of […]

There Has Been Too Much Abuse. Demilitarize the Police NOW.

August 15, 2014

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Ferguson, Missouri is only the latest case of local governments unleashing military-grade weapons and military tactics against their own people. How is this any different from the abuses we criticize in other countries? In 1992, this is what riot police looked like during the Rodney King riots, which were among the most violent and destructive […]

Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

July 4, 2014

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It’s worth remembering that the “founding fathers” of our country were brave enough to stand up to what they saw as tyranny. They were willing to risk their personal and political fortunes, their freedom and their very lives to oppose the Crown over issues like unfair taxes, curtailment of credit, being forced to accommodate soldiers […]

Myopia Doesn’t Actually Fix Climate Change

June 27, 2014

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Oddly enough, re-writing unpopular forecasts has little impact on global weather patterns.   As The Washington Post reports, several years ago residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks – which amount to little more than a giant sandbar – were warned that by the end of this century, ocean levels would rise some 39 inches and […]

Bowe Bergdahl Should Face Court-Martial

June 6, 2014

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I served a full career in the military. I have been deployed to war zones. I have served in the Pentagon. I have lost friends to this “Global War on Terror.” So yeah, I definitely have an opinion on this one. As it happens, I never much approved of our policies post-9/11. I viewed the […]

The Santa Barbara Rampage: Guns Were Not the Problem

May 26, 2014

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A desperately unhappy and angry young man goes on a deadly rampage using a knife, his car, and guns as his weapons. But we’ll only agonize over the guns… not the car, not the knife, and not the man. A very lonely and unhappy Elliot Rodger, angry at years of perceived slights, jealous of others’ […]

Feeding the World: Veggies Alone are NOT the Answer

May 23, 2014

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Instead of figuring out how to feed nine billion people in 2050, we should be figuring out how to not have nine billion in the first place. L.V.Anderson, writing for Slate magazine, conducts a sort of thought experiment: what if the whole world became vegetarian or vegan? What would this mean for the environment, for […]

A SWAT Team for Every Home!

April 25, 2014

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Back in September, around the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attack, we pondered the nation’s dangerous slide into a mentality of sacrificing some of our freedoms – so hard-earned back in the 1770s – for a little temporary security, and not even very good security at that. One of the worrisome developments we noted was […]

Rowan Williams on Climate Change: the Part He’s Missing

April 4, 2014

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I applaud Dr. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, for warning us that climate change is real, that it is devastating, and that the continued burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor. I agree with him that we desperately need to get off fossil fuels (for security reasons as well as environmental ones), […]

Boston Marathon Security: Going About it All Wrong

February 28, 2014

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It’s time for America to stop letting terrorists win. The Boston Marathon this year will feature new security rules in response to last year’s bombing near the finish line.  No backpacks, no handbags, no strollers, no bulky clothing, no fluid containers over one liter, no large flags or signs, nothing at all larger than an […]

If Terrorists Attack the Games in Sochi, Don’t Evacuate. Play On.

January 27, 2014

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So they want to scare everyone into stopping the Games?  Don’t let them. Amid concerns about terrorism and security at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the coast of the Black Sea in Russia, both the US and Canada have contingency plans in place to evacuate their athletes in the event of an attack […]

Statistics Show US Population is Too Sick, Uneducated and Impoverished

January 24, 2014

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Warning:  this is not a politically correct post. Any  population will always have some individuals who are diseased, incompetent, weak, and generally unfit for reproduction or survival, to put it in Darwinian terms.  A healthy, competent, self-sufficient population will always have some minimal number of these individuals, but the majority of a successful population will […]

Lila’s New Year’s Celebration With “the Enemy,” 1988-1989

December 30, 2013

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A little respect and genuine interest goes a long way toward setting tensions aside, at least for one night. In February of 1988, two US grand juries indicted Panama’s de facto military dictator, Manuel Noriega, on drug trafficking charges.  It was a messy situation.  Noriega had been on the CIA payroll in the 1970s, until […]

The Common Denominator in Mass Murders Isn’t Guns. It’s Psycho-Social Isolation and Hostility.

December 27, 2013

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The question isn’t how to lock up all the guns.  The question is how to get people to come forward with their misgivings, and act on that.   After every Columbine, every Newtown, every Aurora or Virginia Tech, there is the outcry over guns.  Pundits and politicians debate limiting magazine capacity, or banning semiautomatic weapons… […]

Joan Larsen’s Tales of Very High Adventure: Start the Revolution Without Me

October 30, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   As we have all come to know, it is a single phone call that is often responsible for changing the direction of our lives – for good or for bad. Rarely do I recall dancing around the room after a call… in fact, never.  But this time – when the phone […]

Miss America 2014 Holds a Mirror Up to Us, and It’s Not Pretty

September 24, 2013

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Bigotry is always a symptom of ignorance.  Ignorance is always dangerous. Last week, for the first time in the history of the pageant, an American of Indian descent – Nina Davuluri – won the Miss America crown.  Indian, as in India, not Native American.  The reaction was ugly, and troubling in more ways than one.  […]