Mind Your Business!

Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Filed under: civil liberties | 2 Comments »

Mind Your Business!

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As Americans and the world acquiesce to warrantless blanket surveillance by the NSA, it is worth recalling the spirit of another era. The first currency of the USA was designed by Benjamin Franklin and was inscribed, not with “in God we trust,” but with “mind your business.”

Bonus

To read about the terrorism threat that is being used to justify blanket surveillance go to, “The Bathtub Threat: Terrorists and Danger.” To read about how effective counter-terrorism measures have been in an arena that is subject to public scrutiny, and not hidden by secrecy, go to, “How the TSA Kills Us … Literally.”

A brief background of the Fugio cent may be found at Wikipedia, and a more detailed history may be found here.


The Bathtub Threat: Terrorists and Danger

Posted: June 27th, 2013 | Filed under: civil liberties, media bias, terrorism | 3 Comments »

Terrorist Bathtubs

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What is Most Dangerous to Americans?

a. terrorists
b. deer
c. bathtubs
d. home appliances

Hazard – Annual Fatality Risk (3)
Bathtub Drownings – 1 in 950,000
Home Appliances – 1 in 1,500,000
Deer Accidents – 1 in 2,000,000
Terrorism (1970-2007) – 1 in 3,500,000

Would you throw your civil liberties and a trillion tax dollars away to be slightly safer from bathtubs? (1) The government and media fearmonger for votes, viewers, and money. Replace hype with cost-benefit and risk analysis.

Bonus

An example of media sensationalism was this comment by ABC’s Charles Gibson on the fifth anniversary of 9/11:

Putting your child on a school bus or driving across a bridge or just going to the mall—each of these things is a small act of courage—and peril is a part of everyday life. (4)

A rare example of a politician being level-headed about the threat of terrorism was in 2007 when NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told citizens fretting over terrorism to “get a life” and that they have a better chance of being struck by lightning than by terrorism. (2)

To learn more about the colossal waste of money that the TSA has been read, “How the TSA Kills Us … Literally”.

To learn more about the fantastic absence of rational analysis in America’s continuing response to 9/11, read the book by John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (2011).

Terror, Security, and Money

Sources

1. Ronald Bailey, “How Scared of Terrorism Should You Be?” Reason.com, 6 Sep. 2011. LINK
2. Sewell Chan, “Buzz Over Mayor’s ‘Get a Life’ Remark,” NYTimes.com, 6 June 2007. LINK
3. John Mueller and Mark Stewart, “Hardly Existential: Thinking Rationally about Terrorism,” ForeignAffairs.com, 2 Apr. 2010. LINK
4. John Mueller and Mark Stewart, “Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security,” 1 Apr. 2011. LINK (PDF)


My “Defense of Meth” Article Runs at AlterNet

Posted: June 25th, 2013 | Filed under: amphetamine, drugs, history, media bias, methamphetamine | 2 Comments »

AlterNet

AlterNet published my article under the title, “Nazis Used Meth? 5 Things to Know About One of the World’s Favorite Stimulants.” In it I expose the sensationalism and fearmongering common in methamphetamine coverage by critiquing a recent Huffington Post article, “Nazis Took ‘Meth’ Pills to Stay Alert, Boost Endurance During World War II, Letters Reveal.”

Thanks to Kristen Gwynne (@kristengwynne) at AlterNet.