Merriam-Webster's 2006 Word of the Year is NOT in their online dictionary
. Officially coined on October 17, 2005, it had already won the American Dialect Society's 2005 Award (pdf)
where they claim that "other meanings of the word date as far back as 1824", and is probably a shoe-in for for the Banished Words of 2007
A distant number 2 is our friend "the goog"
, and after that, it's all NewsFilter/PoliticsFilter/IraqFilter (with that all-time classic "war"
(From the MeFite who posted the Favorite Words of 2004 and the Banished Words List in 2003 and 2004)
Bare naked travel?
(Previously on MeFi: here
, except now they're actually doing it, and here
). The TSA wants to see you naked. Just don't paint "Kip Hawley Is An Idiot"
on your torso in Pepto-Bismol before you go to the airport.
There is a killer
lurking in your local auto wrecking yard. Sodium Azide
, the chemical used in automobile air bags, is available to anyone who asks for it. Conceivably anyone could obtain several pounds of this poison, yet it takes only a few grams to kill
. A late model SUV will have enough in it's air bags to kill a couple of hundred people
It explodes. It kills
on contact with the skin. It kills via air, food, or water. It is odorless and colorless
. There is no antidote. Even minor exposure will result in permanent damage to brain cells.
University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Eric Betterton
was one of the first to expose the hazards of this unregulated material in 2000. The author J. A. Jance used it as the poison of choice in her book 'Partners in Crime
The perfect terrorist weapon
? It would seem so, but the Federal government doesn't regulate it's post-manufacture distribution. Got a grudge? Go pick up a few hundred pounds
Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."
Previously: (1) (2)
Teh Intarweb suXXors!
Macleans, the venerable Canadian magazine of declining circulation
, declares the Internet a failure. But they're not bitter.
Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada
on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law
after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal
. The act itself
was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001
which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
Not In The Newsfilter: Yesterday, two men attended their pre-trial hearing
at Preston Crown Court, accused of possession of explosive material. As previously reported
only in local newspapers
, Robert Cottage was in possession of 'what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs', while a search of former BNP
candidate David Bolus Jackson's house 'uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals... and a nuclear biological suit'. Some webloggers
, and the left-wing press
, are wondering whether the story might have received more coverage if the suspected bomb-makers had been, say, Muslims. The BBC blame reporting restrictions
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?
Should the FBI's counter-terrorism chief know the difference? How about the head of the FBI national security branch? How about a vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence?
The first member
of SHAC 7
, an animal rights group convicted
for their organizational role in a campaign against animal research
at Huntingdon Life Sciences
(previously discussed here
), began his three-year prison sentence today. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Malkin are still at large
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman.
The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone
and The Village Voice
. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
The age of horrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Martin Amis analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.
Slate's ongoing "Survivalist"
series lays out the steps that you can take to prepare for the disasters threatening to snuff out civilization in general (and, apparently, New York City in particular). Find out how to survive nuclear terrorism, an earthquake, a skyscraper collapse, an electronic apocalypse,
and global warming.
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge
of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen
, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain
Feds Bust Guy Pitching Hezbollah TV.
Censorship, or reasonable use of the Patriot Act?
A great little common sense article from Bruce Schneier
News of stupidity in the fight against terrorism: Up to three years in jail
for not loudly enunciating, in front of his mom, that he had a penis pump. If you do not know that you are an American citizen, it's your fault
and you may be deported as an illegal alien. Manhattan train stopped because of some woman's bottle of iced tea
? BC Ferry delayed 3 hours because of a forgotten briefcase
(my coworker lives next to the terminal and has learned that this was an RCMP officer's briefcase, though that detail has not made the media).
There are so many of these stories...we really need one place to group them all together.
Suicide Bombing: Just Say No.
Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here
before the spot was finished.
In the Hollywood version of the Kwame James story
, he becomes an NBA All-Star, helps achieve world peace and, of course, lives blissfully ever after. While the real-life plot hasn't followed quite that arc, perhaps it's headed toward a happy ending. (via SpoFi)
[ConspiracyFilter] Was the alleged "binary liquid explosives
" plot actually plausible
, in the sense of being capable of producing "mass murder on an unimaginable scale?"
...Lawrence Wright tells, for the first time, the story of the F.B.I. agent who had the best chance of foiling the 9/11 plot. Here, with Amy Davidson, Wright talks about how turf wars with the C.I.A. got in the way. Wright’s book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” will be published by Knopf in August.
The Poor Man's Air Force: A History of the Car Bomb Part 1
& Part 2
. Written by Mike Davis, the two-part essay argues that the first car bomb was actually a horse-drawn carriage filled with dynamite that Italian anarchists used to blow up Wall Street in 1920
. (more inside)
Newsfilter: Police officer infiltrates anti-war group obtains leadership position.
Still no pacifist have infiltrated terror cell to discredit their activity by reducing terror.
Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel
in Jerusalem by the Zionist Irgun
organization, which killed 92 people. Bibi Netanyahu attended a celebration
of the event.
IN THE PARTY OF GOD
This is archival from New Yorker but well-worth know in light of events taking place in Middle East.
Homeland Security Ranks Indiana As State With Most Terror Targets
The Homeland Security's National Asset Data Base
[PDF] of vulnerable critical infrastructure and key resources "reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified 'Beach at End of a Street.'" The report noted that Indiana has 8,591 assets listed in the database — more than any other state and 50 percent more than New York. New York had 5,687 listed. Inspector General Richard Skinner finds that the database "is too faulty to accurately help divide federal funds to states and cities.
Who are the jihadists? Marc Sageman on the global Salafi jihad
: its goals, its history, who the jihadists are, how they're drawn to the jihad, how the movement is organized. [more inside]
All You Need Is Love.
Sometimes, love is all you need. Or maybe aerosolized MDMA
Stealing al-Qa`ida's Playbook (PDF) If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.
- Sun Tzu
In 2005 Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies
& West Point's Combating Terrorism Center
worked together to translate what appears to be one of the most important works defining al Qaeda's strategic goals & methods, Management of Savagery (PDF)
by al Qaeda strategist Abu Bakr Naji. Then they analyzed it along with three other al Qaeda works: Knights Under The Banner of The Prophet
by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Between Two Methods
by Abu Qatada and Observations Concerning the Jihadi Experience in Syria
by Abu Mus’ab al-Suri. The result is Stealing al-Qa`ida's Playbook (PDF)
(also Google cached HTML
). If you want to understand more of al Qaeda than the simplistic cant that "they're evil", these two books are the place to start.
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars
[...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
[NewsFilter] "Beginning of the End." The death of al Zarqawi
, in itself, may have been a bit of a pyrrhic victory
, but the latest news is a "treasure trove
" of intelligence from al Qa'ida in Iraq. Of course, al Qa'ida in Iraq is largely an open source
movement, so they never kept this exactly secret
--but now, it's being widely reported that al Qa'ida "sought war between US and Iran
." With speculation
that al Zaraqwi's death may lead to a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq, might his death now also defuse tensions with Iran, as well? Did we end two
wars in one blow?
It's all one's and zero's eh?
The complex patterns of the natural world often turn out to be governed by relatively simple mathematical relationships. A seashell grows at a rate proportional to its size, resulting in a delicate spiral. The gossamer network of galaxies results from the simple interplay between cosmic expansion and the force of gravity over a wide range of scales. As our catalogue of natural phenomena has grown more complete, more and more scientists have begun to look for interesting patterns in human society.
I would have thought that these charges
could fairly be represented as terrorism
, yet in 108 links in Google News
, there is no mention of "terror" or any of its derivations. Has the word been hijacked?
Canadian Police (led by the RCMP
) have arrested at least 17 people that were plotting to "launch attacks
against targets in Southern Ontario", apparently in large part by monitoring Internet co-ordination and communication
. This days after the CSIS
deputy director warned of "homegrown extremists" plotting "large scale attacks"
Wen Ho Lee
has just won his lawsuit against the federal government and news agencies for violating his privacy rights while under investigation for being a spy. Mr. Lee lost his job, his reputation and racked up huge legal bills as a result of the accusations -- which were later found to be greatly exaggerated.
In a case of deja vu, a Chinese scientist at a state lab in Albany, NY recently lost his job (and his wife was placed on leave from her job) after being accused of illegally purchasing weapons
-- a charge which was later dismissed. Note that his firing was justified on the pretext of misusing his work computer to visit the ESPN website too often -- a criteria by which a large chunk of the state workforce would be fired.
And then there is the ongoing terrorism case against the Albany imam and the pizza shop owner which has had its own evidentiary shortcomings.
And to top it all off, the Albany FBI head has just been promoted.
Are we feeling any safer yet?
"Feds to City: Drop Dead."
So say the usually Republican-leaning New York tabloids, the Post
and the Daily News
, after the Department of Homeland Security announced 40% budget cuts for New York, in favor of giving more anti-terrorism funding to cities like Louisville, KY, and St. Louis, MO. Among the reasons for the funding cuts? New York doesn't have any monuments or national icons that need protection
. Was New York given a bloated anti-terror budget to begin with, or is this (ab)using the Homeland Security budget for pork spending?