The Bathtub Threat: Terrorists and Danger

Posted: June 27th, 2013 | Filed under: civil liberties, media bias, terrorism | 4 Comments »

Terrorist Bathtubs

Cartoon Text

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.


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


1. Ronald Bailey, “How Scared of Terrorism Should You Be?”, 6 Sep. 2011. LINK
2. Sewell Chan, “Buzz Over Mayor’s ‘Get a Life’ Remark,”, 6 June 2007. LINK
3. John Mueller and Mark Stewart, “Hardly Existential: Thinking Rationally about Terrorism,”, 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 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.

Now They’re Mad? Media Hypocrisy in Rosen Case

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Filed under: civil liberties, media bias | 2 Comments »

Hypocrisy in Rosen Case

*** Outside of the sources, text below is same as in cartoon. ***

In 2013 elite American media outlets are in a fury about the Obama DOJ’s criminal investigation of James Rosen of Fox News under the Espionage Act of 1917. (3)

In contrast, the criminal pursuit of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks for the same “crime” led much of the US journalistic community to shun him. (4, 3)

In 2010 the NY Times Executive Editor said that Assange was not a “kindred spirit” and that his prosecution would not necessarily be an attack on press freedom. (1)

The Espionage Act of 1917 was first used against non-government-employees who had received and disseminated classified information by the W. Bush DOJ. (2)


1. Jeff Bercovici, “NY Times Editor: WikiLeaks Is ‘Not My Kind of News Organization,'”, 16 Dec. 2010. LINK

2. Glenn Greenwald, “Attempts to Prosecute WikiLeaks Endanger Press Freedoms,”, 14 Dec. 2010. LINK

3. Rebecca Shapiro and Jack Mirkinson, “Obama Administration’s Media Surveillance Unleashes Wave of Condemnation,”, 22 May 2013. LINK

4. Nancy Youssef, “In WikiLeaks Fight, US Journalists Take a Pass,”, 9 Jan. 2011. LINK