Sunday Night Open Thread: Terrorball

Professor Paul Campos makes some good points equating the failed war on drugs with the war on terror, also doomed to be a failure the way we're approaching it now:

After spending hundreds of billions of dollars and imprisoning millions of people, it's slowly beginning to become possible for some politicians to admit that fighting a necessarily endless drug war in pursuit of an impossible goal might be a bad idea. How long will it take to admit that an endless war on terror, dedicated to making America a terror-free nation, is equally nonsensical?

What then is to be done? A little intelligence and a few drops of courage remind us that life is full of risk, and that of all the risks we confront in America every day, terrorism is a very minor one. Taking prudent steps to reasonably minimize the tiny threat we face from a few fanatic criminals need not grant them the attention they crave. Continuing to play Terrorball, on the other hand, guarantees that the terrorists will always win, since it places the bar for what counts as success for them practically on the ground.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Dismissal Arguments Tomorrow For Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani | Supreme Court Will Re-Hear Important 6th Amendment Case Today >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    If you like rock and roll (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 11:11:52 PM EST
    Whoa! (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:49:26 AM EST
    Did you catch the glove on JB? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:36:14 AM EST
    And here all the youngsters thought Michael invented that.... ;-)

    Yup. I did! (none / 0) (#33)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 04:13:15 PM EST
    Should I be freaking out over Reid and Steele? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 01:08:29 AM EST
    Maybe I'm just not a zealous enough lefty or something, but I'm hardpressed to see how Reid's Obama mutterings mean "he must resign at once!" Or that Michael Steele's boneheadedness with respect to American Indians means "he must resign at once!" (Frankly, I pay little attention to the RNC anyway.) Reid shoulda never been given the leadership position in the first place, but for other, more relevant reasons. (I could say the same of Daschle...)

    If you read some of the big lefty blogs today, you might get the impression that all we care about is the stupid things people SAY, rather than (to paraphrase BTD) the stupid things they DO. Cripes, it's no wonder I'm not welcome at * a certain blog *. I just tend to think it's much ado about little, especially when compared to the disaster that Reid, Pelosi & Co. have allowed on the health care legislation. I want to see the outrage over that, everywhere, alla time, and forget about the D.C. media gossip mongers. They're going to sell their trashy books no matter I think. The NYT best seller list will always reward the Halperins and the Joe Kleins of the world.

    I guess if I was really a believer in the future of the Democratic party, I'd be right there with the outraged bloggers, shaking my fist and spitting in the wind.

    Remember (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:50:57 AM EST
    Democrats and left blogs forced Trent Lott to resign his leadership position after the comment he made at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond,

    When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

    But you're right - it's all about the game of "gotcha" - Who gets caught saying something stupid in private or by a hot mike, and how can the opposition make hay of that.


    False equivalency, to say the least (none / 0) (#27)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:26:31 PM EST
    There is no comaparison between what Lott said and what Reid said.

    No (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:46:28 PM EST
    Both were inappropriate.  The reaction has been completly different, but it shouldn't have been.

    Both were inappropriate (none / 0) (#29)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 01:05:30 PM EST
    But one was much, much worse -- because it actually celebrated Thurmond for his racist past!

    It really boggles the mind that you can't acknowldege that.


    It boggles the mind (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 02:15:45 PM EST
    That people don't understand when I've said 14 ways from Sunday that my posts were about the non-reaction by Democrats.  The Senate Majority Leader, in 2008, should not be talking like this.  Should he lose his job (like Lott did)?  No - but it really says something about the party he leads when this is "brushed off their shoulders" (hmm....why does that seem familiar?) like it's no big deal.

    It boggles the mind that you can't understand that.


    Alright then, Officer Krupke (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 02:29:55 PM EST
    What is it you really want from Reid? He apologized.

    What is it you want from the Democratic Party? A formal reprimand on the floor of the Senate? For Reid to lose his leadership post? WHAT, exactly? Other than for pc liberals to fall all over themselves on TV, radio and the blogs, tut-tutting Harry Reid for his ineptness in using  the term "negro"???

    Now I'm truly bored and need to get back to work.


    Oh I think the Repubs have (2.00 / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:39:33 AM EST
    exhibited plenty of outrage over the healthcare bill.

    They just can't get any help from the Democrats.


    "A Little Intelligence" (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by john horse on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 05:57:31 AM EST
    Thanks Jeralyn for highlighting Paul Campos's WSJ op-ed.  

    As Campos points out:

    (1) America is a country of 310 million people, in which thousands of horrible things happen every single day; and

    (2) The chances that one of those horrible things will be that you're subjected to a terrorist attack can, for all practical purposes, be calculated as zero


    We have little to nothing to fear from the "terrorists" and no reason to overreact.  As Campos points out now should be a time for "a little intelligence and a few drops of courage."  Unfortunately, this is something that is in short supply among our current political leaders.

    We have quite a bit to fear from them (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:09:40 AM EST
    once we figure out who they are.

    "We Have Met the Terrorists (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by john horse on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 05:00:34 PM EST
    and they is us." to paraphrase the immortal words of Pogo.

    Devastating critique of government sponsored terrorism, Edger.


    This one's a bit longer, John (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:24:22 PM EST
    but more than worth it...

    The United States of Amnesia

    Why We Fight (2005), directed by Eugene Jarecki, is a documentary film about the military-industrial complex. The title refers to the World War II-era eponymous newsreels commissioned by the U.S. Government to justify their decision to enter the war against the Axis Powers.

    Why We Fight was first screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival on 17 January 2005, exactly forty-four years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, however, it received a limited public cinema release on 20 January 2005, and then was released, rated PG-13, on DVD on 27 June 2005, by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

    Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public was told a lie, so that the Government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world. Interviewed about this matter, are politician John McCain, political scientist and former-CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.

    ::How:: old is (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:59:51 AM EST
    Maureen Dowd, again?

    Crying for "the strong father who protects the home from invaders, who reassures and instructs the public at traumatic moments."

    A boggeyman under every bed, and 3D asteroids? Wait til the walls start breathing, Mo...

    Not a promising future (none / 0) (#1)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:33:36 PM EST
    The right has been looking for a new boogey man to keep the war and fear machine alive since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The left has been running from the coward label since the end of Viet Nam.

    With the two sides combining around "terror", I don't see any way out for years to come.

    Harry Reid is toast (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:05:09 PM EST
    Heck, he already was toast. But he needs to retire to the back of the bench, and then retire for good.

    Without a strong replacement (none / 0) (#3)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:29:12 PM EST
    candidate, what's the point of that?

    There are at least two strong replacements (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:42:48 PM EST
    Pretty thin election track record (none / 0) (#8)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:52:28 AM EST
    for Titus...up for first reelection this year to House, hmm?  How much more progressive than Berkley is she?

    Depends on the issue (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:13:03 AM EST
    Both would be an improvement over Reid IMO.

    Aw, c'mon, Senator Reid (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:40:04 PM EST
    is very articulate for a Nevadan.  Or a Mormon.  Or a new age sensitive nonracist guy.  Whichever.

    a "bad idea" (none / 0) (#14)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:01:21 AM EST
    I don't call it that, I call it ethnic cleansing.

    I think we are chasing the wrong terrorists (none / 0) (#16)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:11:04 AM EST
    I have had an interesting experience in the last two days trying to log onto this site,


    to read this story: Earthquake fault discovered offshore of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant: Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says the presence of the fault was discovered using new computer programming that maps epicenters.

    I document what I do in AlterNet (if you are really interested). I'm curious who would be trying to stop me from reading and posting this story. PG&E? The military? Foreign spys?

    Since Diablo Canyon is already leaking radiation into the ground water and storing all their wastes on site, it is a most intriguing problem as to who would try to prevent me from reading about it and posting.

    terrorball (none / 0) (#17)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:29:45 AM EST
    The DrugWar sired the War on Terror (none / 0) (#18)
    by SeeEmDee on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:37:05 AM EST
    The organs of The State were looking for another boogeyman to scare people with in the early 1990's,  with the supposedly 10-foot-tall Soviets proving not to be the menace the Team B boys said it was. Since the DrugWar was already shredding rights and liberties in the name of The Sainted Children, and adding unwarranted power to The State, it was spot-welded onto 'national security' and the game was on.  

    (Considering that many of the Team B people like Rumsfeld were the same neo-cons that told us Saddam had nukes and bioweapons, you'd think we would have learned not to listen to them since they were wrong, last time.)

    A little dab of paint here and there and voila!, you have the new-and-improved War on Dru-, er, uh, lemme check today's party line. Oh yes! The War on Terra!  A war meant to be 'waged, not won'...in perpetuity.

    Sure, it is the 'culture' war (none / 0) (#19)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:12:48 AM EST
    Did you see this? Indian Country is getting bold with their headlines.

    `Enemy of sovereignty' to seek US Senate seat

    The expression of contempt in the photo is priceless.


    it is based on the Doctrine of Discovery (none / 0) (#20)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:16:31 AM EST
    Indigenous delegates ask Pope to repudiate Doctrine of Discovery

    Newcomb: Looking back on a movement (none / 0) (#21)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:32:23 AM EST

    we are now witnessing an increasing global awareness of the dehumanizing role the Vatican papal bulls and the Doctrine of Christian Discovery have played in the oppression and dispossession of indigenous nations and peoples.

    speaking of Rummy, you have got to see this movie (none / 0) (#22)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:34:18 AM EST
    Eight Years of Guantanamo: The Torture Continues (none / 0) (#23)
    by kindGSL on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:49:25 AM EST
    Eight Years of Guantanamo: The Torture Continues and Justice is Denied

    War on Terror, War on Drugs, War on Crime... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:54:01 AM EST
    all subdivisions of the big war...the war on human rights...and we, as humans, are the enemy.

    And like Campos says, we are such pathetic cowards we beg for this war to be waged against us.

    Palin to be FOX contributor (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 01:38:02 PM EST
    Not a big surprise here.

    I hope it means she will not be on any other channels, ever. Then I don't have to see her again.

    It was (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:05:33 PM EST
    God's will that she end up at FOX.