Blacknell.net

Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: November 2009 (Page 2 of 4)

“Columbus go home! Columbus go home!”

Well done, friend, well done.

Security That Matters

Bruce Schneier has up another essay well worth reading. It doesn’t contain much that he hasn’t already said, but it does a good job of tying things together. And it makes a point I’m afraid is lost on all the Republicans clutching their pearls over the KSM trial:

The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we — and our leaders — need to react with indomitability.

[ . . . ]

By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant ‘bring ’em on’ rhetoric. There’s a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats…

[ . . . ]

Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country’s way of life; it’s only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage.

The whole thing is very much worth your time.

Sullivan: Still A Sucker

I admit it – I’ve been reading (and enjoying) Andrew Sullivan for at least a year now, despite my full knowledge of a what execrable fellow he was with respect the question of Iraq.  I thought, perhaps, that he’d learned his lesson.  Turns out, no.  Still a complete sucker for con. positions that masquerade as well-meaning. Same as it ever was.

Dying in Jesus’ Name

In the past 25 years, hundreds of children are believed to have died in the United States after faith-healing parents forbade medical attention to end their sickness or protect their lives. When minors die from a lack of parental care, it is usually a matter of criminal neglect and is often tried as murder. However, when parents say the neglect was an article of faith, courts routinely hand down lighter sentences. Faithful neglect has not been used as a criminal defense, but the claim is surprisingly effective in achieving more lenient sentencing, in which judges appear to render less unto Caesar and more unto God.

This gets at a point that really gives me pause.  I don’t really care about what looney tune religion you subscribe to, but I also have a very hard time standing by while you kill a kid in the name of your looney tune beliefs:

The advocacy group Children’s Health Care Is a Legal Duty estimates that roughly 300 children have died in the United States since 1975 because care was withheld. When such parents appear in court, they often insist that they love their children and their God — an argument that receives a sympathetic hearing from judges and prosecutors.

Adults (hopefully) have the capacity to understand and pay the price of their decisions.  Children do not.

Sunday Music: Forward Looking Edition

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Saturday Music

Funny, I was just arguing that there should be a decade-long ban on MJ covers (at least), and then I come across this:

Thriller (Michael Jackson Cover) – Speak Low

(You probably have to be signed into Imeem to hear the whole thing.)

A Different Place

Just returned from a very satisfying week in southern Utah (I know, right?). A write up (explaining my conversion to Zionism (!!)) and pictures to follow, but for now:

Jim Webb Disappoints. Again.

This time, Webb is hedging on the capacity of the American justice system to handle terrorists. It’s interesting. He’s wrong as wrong can be, but I believe it’s genuine. That is, he’s genuinely wrong, and not wrong because of political considerations.

Dollar Bill on Ice

13 years? Gives me immense satisfaction. And reminds me that so many others deserve the same.

Midweek Music: Nothing Changes Edition

Finally found a radio station between Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park today, and its playlist reminded me that some places are just stuck in time. Whenever I go back to Atlanta, it’s the usual early 90s hip hop/R&B. The Twin Cities always seem to play the same late 80s hair rock. And out west? It seems that they’re still working from the same playlist I heard when we lived here in the 70s:

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot from cwd543 on Vimeo.

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