July 7, 2006
Ratings matter to getting better prices on eBay
FBI says it foiled plan to blow up Holland Tunnel
A few observations: First, the plan was discovered through routine monitoring of open Internet chatrooms -- not through elaborate data-mining of innocent Americans' phone records. Second, it's a reminder that terrorists care about high-profile targets; the US still needs to spread out our risks and get back to the Federalist model, in which the states can get along even if the national government is targeted. Third, technology is neither specifically our friend nor our foe in this situation; the same technology that can help would-be terrorists mask their presence online is the same technology that can help Chinese dissidents get around the Great Firewall; so while technology changes exactly how the roles of offense and defense are played out, it's prudent to be suspicious of anyone who suggests using technology (like wiretapping, national ID cards, or data mining) as the magic-bullet solution to terrorism, especially if those things are done at the cost of our core values. Video cameras captured the London train bombers one year ago and videotapes of their suicide messages have been found, but the fact is that the root cause of the attacks was the killers' disregard for humanity. Whatever is done to fight terrorism should concentrate on building regard for human life and liberty everywhere.
FBI proud of busting Coke-formula thieves
What to do with a retired wastewater lagoon?