The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Thu. May 05, 2011

Osama's Sloppy Tradecraft

The story of the assault on Osama’s compound has shifted a bit since Sunday night, but from the beginning, there were a couple of things that struck me as very odd.

When you are the Most Wanted Man on Earth, you cannot live a “normal” life. Yet it appears that’s exactly what bin laden tried to do: live in one place for an extended time, with his family.

... » Full Article, 695 words »

Fri. May 22, 2009

The Semantics of Our Torture Debate

Portions of our debate about torture have been almost entirely sematic. Even when we can agree on what actions were taken, we cannot agree on what to call them. Was it actually torture, or was it an “enhanced interrogation technique.” When Bush said “we don’t torture,” what the hell did he mean, when we were waterboarding a couple of guys dozens and dozens of times?

We debate these semantics and keep getting diverted from the basic issue. Probably on purpose.

Diversion One: But wait, don’t spend too much time worrying about the semantics of “what do we call this,” that’s not the proper measurement. Let’s talk about whether it was effective.

Diversion Two: But wait, that’s not important either, the real crux of the matter is what did Nancy Pelosi know, and when did she know it?

Diversion Three: And if we’re going to close Gitmo, do those hundreds of terrorists really have to move into that foreclosed house in the cul-de-sac around the corner? I find that somewhat scary…

After years of no motion, the past few weeks have brought a lot of fast talk, culminating in Thursday’s “dueling speeches” from President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney. I watched all of the President’s speech, and watched Cheney’s until I was overcome by the urge to shoot myself in the face to make it stop. And I once again feel the need to address publicly muddied issues that seem crystal clear to me.

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Wed. Aug 06, 2008

Terror Realities

In the past several days, we’ve learned of two instances where it would appear the “safety” from “terror” that’s been “created” over the past seven years or so is largely illusory.

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Sun. Nov 04, 2007

Becoming The Thing We Hate

Here we are about five years down the line since the subject came up, and we’re still trying to decide if waterboarding and other “intense interrogation techniques” qualify as torture. I suppose I should take solace in the fact people are still talking about it, instead of being waterboarded for their dissent. But I swear, day by day, I have more and more of those “What Country Is This?” moments. The latest is inspired by something The Wife pointed out to me in Saturday’s AJC about a recent speech by General Russel Honore, the plain spoken and straight forward general who you might remember from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I haven’t “Fisked” anything in ages, but I think it’s time to dust off those skillz…

» Read the Full Article (2611 words) »

Mon. Jul 02, 2007

Sometimes, Incompetence Is Our Friend

While the biggest story this weekend locally was new kittens, I understand that there were some attempts at terrorism as well.

Obviously, I’ve been a bit distracted from all the details. But from what I gather, there were two attempted car bombs in London, one of which fizzled in a manner more dudly than deadly, and the other got towed for being parked illegally. Which, unless they were planning on attacking the police impound lot, makes for another dudly attempt.

... » Full Article, 555 words »

Tue. May 08, 2007

When It Happens, You'll Know

It seems like over the past year that when anyone says “boo,” people rush to ask, “Terrorism”? As I wrote not long ago, “We’re sorry this country has reached the point where every odd smell in downtown Manhattan, every prank by some obvious web goober, every unruly woman on an airplane, or every jokester college student playing with dry ice ... is immediately construed as a terroristic act.”

... » Full Article, 250 words »

Thu. Feb 01, 2007

Advertising Terrorism

You’ve certainly heard the story by now. But, my, what a lovely lead: “Authorities have arrested two men in connection with electronic light boards depicting a middle-finger-waving moon man that triggered repeated bomb scares around Boston on Wednesday and prompted the closure of bridges and a stretch of the Charles River.

An electronic moon man closed a river in Boston. And that’s not the most ridiculous part of the story.

» Read the Full Article (876 words) »

Wed. Oct 18, 2006

Dirty Bomb For The Dirty Birds

When I first heard the words “Falcons” and “bomb” in the same sentence today, I thought, yep, they probably will bomb this weekend, again, seeing how the World Champ’s are coming to town Sunday. However, I heard those words on CNN, as they started the 4:00 hour with about five minutes of The Dirty Bomb Scare. Allegedly there is absolutely no credible evidence of a plan to dirty bomb seven NFL stadiums this Sunday. But the Department of Homeland Security had to open the bunker window and yell “boo” at us just the same.

But I do have to note … if you want make Reid mad enough to join the Marines, just blow up his Sunday football game. And I’ll show you that Morten Andersen isn’t the only guy in his mid-to-late 40’s who can drop kick your butt.

» Read the Full Article (799 words) »

Wed. Oct 12, 2005

Big City, Big Crimes, Part Two

I thought I’d post an update about our two “incidents” in Atlanta over the past couple of days. And the lesson here is when you hear the first report, ignore at least half of it. Which half, I don’t know, but the point is … don’t go off half-cocked in your blog because one cop uses some derivation of the word “terrorism.” Because it may not be an Islamic jihadist. It may be ... another blogger.

... » Full Article, 1236 words »

Sat. Sep 03, 2005

Over Capacity

While I suggested people Shut Up And Give as part of the web-wide effort to raise funds on Thursday, I think it’s now more appropriate to call it the “Katrina’s Cuss Jar.” After all, a Cuss Jar is used after the cuss, not so much to stop it, but to generate something good out of it. And though I believe in focusing on Priority One, helping those still at risk, there’s at least one larger lesson we can draw from this, as individuals. And families.

... » Full Article, 1331 words »

Mon. Aug 22, 2005

Closing The Door On Rudolph

Back in April, I wrote “from the day it happened, this has been like a dark place in my heart.” On the day Eric Rudolph was brought to Atlanta to plead guilty, I made a trip to Centennial Park to try and find some personal closure. And today, I’m closing the door on the man himself.

... » Full Article, 1714 words »

Thu. Jul 28, 2005

Live To Bomb Again

In “Hacks, Dupes, and Duds,” I wondered about whether the first London attacks were really meant to be suicide attacks. As word of evidence trickles out, questions continue to be raised.

... » Full Article, 1103 words »

Thu. Jul 21, 2005

Hacks, Dupes, and Duds

There’s so much that we don’t know yet, but it would appear that there’s been an attempt to repeat the attacks in London of two weeks ago, either by the same “group” (minus the four bombers themselves), or perhaps a like-minded copycat group. It brings a lot of thoughts to mind that may be made moot in less than one news cycle as we learn more, but this is clearly a major development. And in my opinion, it’s a very positive one.

... » Full Article, 704 words »

Wed. Jul 13, 2005

More On PhotoTerrorists

Last year, I wrote an article entitled “PhotoTerrorists” about the suspicions photographers have often faced since 9/11. Over the course of this year, I’ve saved a few articles and news items about restrictions placed on photography in public areas. The reasons vary, from alleged protection of “copyrighted material,” to broadly defined “security concerns.” Though the recent attacks in London are what brought this issue to the front of my mind, rather than start with “the arguable,” we’ll start with “the ridiculous.”

... » Full Article, 1566 words »

Sun. Jul 10, 2005

Debating the Cause

It was entirely predictable, but after the attacks in London, the debate has often turned striaght to Iraq. Rather than get into it myself, I just have some lengthy quotes from others.

... » Full Article, 662 words »

Thu. Jul 07, 2005

More Tragic Numbers

Our world suffers under a series of tragic dates. 9/11. 3/11. And now, 7/7.

... » Full Article, 980 words »

Wed. Jul 06, 2005

Ever Again

Each year, the “anniversary” rolls around (though there is hardly cause for celebration). Each year, the futile rage I felt a decade ago becomes a bit more than just a scarred memory. Each year, I remember in detail why the UN is dead to me. And each year, something happens or something is said that reinforces and validates all those old feelings.

On the possibility of genocide, people once said “Never Again.” Each year, I’m reminded the reality is “Ever Again.”

... » Full Article, 1414 words »

Wed. Jun 08, 2005

New Reasons for Terror

As I’ve mentioned recently, our government’s efforts at controlling the movement of people at our airports and borders has become a sad farce from which we can best draw a morbid chuckle (when we can suppress the howls of disgust), but little in the way of actual security.

... » Full Article, 1674 words »

Sun. May 22, 2005

Drop Those Nose Hair Clippers, Soldier!

My wife will tell you that I’m a person who likes the rules (mainly as a result of her treatment by my alter ego, Nurse Bruno, during her recovery). But the truth is, I like rules … that make sense. And as I wrote recently, “rules that make sense” are in short supply at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.

But I had no idea.

... » Full Article, 421 words »

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