Imagine two politicians: One preaches fear and excessive "security," while the other says terrorism is a negligible risk. They hold, like me, that risk is part of life, and that while some security is necessary, we should mostly just refuse to be terrorized and get on with our lives. Fast-forward 10 years. If I'm right and there have been no more terrorist attacks, the preacher of fear takes credit for keeping us safe. But if a terrorist attack has occurred, my government career is over.
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel isn't Wild, Taboo or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer. It's Doomsday Preppers, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
Anti-Identity-Theft Firm Lifelock was fined $12 Million in March for deceptive business practices by the FTC. More bad news: their CEO had his identity stolen 13 times after posting his own social security number in company ads as proof they could protect him. [more inside]
Is aviation security mostly for show? An essay by Bruce Schneier.
“We fear the government using the current climate of fear and uncertainty about the future as a means to allow itself sweeping powers without an appropriate consideration of proportionality" ......no-go zones ........ power to ban peaceful protest ...... destroy private property without compensation ........prepare for the introduction of compulsory identity cards .... The climate seems to be changing.
I had trouble sleeping Saturday night because of a CNN story suggesting that "increased level of chatter and activity" indicated that "another al Qaeda terrorist operation could be in the works." The "warnings" have been coming ever since: Cheney said Sunday that future attacks were "almost a certainty" and FBI director Robert Mueller stated "we will not be able to stop it", with Ridge and Rumsfeld spinning similar tales today. Is there a new threat? Ridge hasn't changed the nation's security alert from "yellow," and AP reported today that "a top White House aide said last week's criticism prompted a two-pronged political response: Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue as his advisers reminded voters that America is still a target."
Fear of flying? New security measures are being discussed. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says, "These terrorist acts are designed to steal the confidence of Americans. We will restore that confidence."