Kill a terrorist and thus instigate more terrorism?

hellokitty

This is the story the left is telling now – that killing terrorists only makes more terrorists. In their minds, killing a terrorist insurgent is like lifting a bucket of water out of the ocean. It makes no appreciable difference in what’s left. But that’s not true. Terrorism isn’t a constantly-refilling ocean. It does have boundaries, and while we are unlikely to scour every terrorist out of every place in the world, we can drain their swamp until it’s a mostly dry ditch with a few pockets of festering rot.

When I lecture on sentencing, one question I always ask my students is this: What correctional response has the least likelihood of recidivism among those who receive it? The answer is “the death penalty”. I do think it serves a deterrent purpose, but that’s hard to measure so it’s not easily proven. What I know unequivocally is that none of those executed have committed another crime. You can discuss the fairness vs unfairness of it all you want, but that is an unquestionable fact.

The same is true of a terrorist. If you kill a terrorist, he’s not going to terrorize anyone else. If you kill enough of them, you limit their ability to spread their deadly poison both ideologically and geographically.

Another thing Spencer neglects to point out (or maybe even think about) is that many of the “innocent civilians” are killed by terrorists. The families know that, and they also know that if the coalition were to pull out of Iraq, the result would be another Saddam-like regime full of even more killing and oppression. The choice isn’t between death and no death, it’s between some death now/freedom later and death now/death later/freedom never.

Naturally Spencer, and the left in general, offer no solution to the problem of terror. The anti-war types would be sheep to slaughter for the terrorists if it weren’t for hard people doing hard tasks to keep them safe. If we ceded to the Islamist fanatics what they require before they will put down their arms, it would be nothing less than control of the entire world under Taliban-like rule. Where short of that scenario would the anti-war left draw the line and agree to use arms? Unless they admit to a willingness to live under radical Islamist rule without fight, then their drawing a line now is nothing but hypocritical posturing. There is no other option than to fight or surrender.

As for the effect of the Iraq war on terrorism in general, we’ve not seen a major terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. And I think Bush, his policies and his administration deserve the credit. Certainly the left has done nothing but make matters worse, and give constant succor to the enemy.

Exercising the right of Free Speech

libertystatue

I just sent this email to the local NBC affiliate station in Birmingham, which was one of the places I lived at while in the USA. It’s the best local news, in terms of both quality and professionalism. We’ll see if it gets a response.

Fran and Mike, I haven’t seen every newscast lately, so forgive me if you’ve covered this and I missed it. Apparently the University of Alabama Faculty Senate passed a resolution last fall that would limit free speech on UA’s campus, under the guise of promoting “tolerance”. It’s something that’s happened in several universities, and students are pushing back. At UA, the Student Senate has repudiated the Faculty Senate’s resolution, and passed a resolution of its own some time ago on the 24th February seeking to protect free speech at the university, even speech that some people don’t like (the link includes the names of the students responsible for the resolution).

The student newspaper wrote about the Faculty Resolution and objections to it back in November. Thus the decision on an actual campus policy would of course be made by the administration.

Two UA professors. Charles W. Nuckolls and David T. Beito, provide some context in an article about the similarities between the Faculty Senate’s resolution and segregation supporters in the 1950s (I won’t quote it here in case putting links in this email has it sent to the junk folder). But you get the idea.

Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University, has written about it on the his Volokh blog, with several links with more information including incidences at other universities. Feel free to ask me for the links in your reply.

Randy Barnett, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law and another contributor to the Volokh blog, also wrote about it.

The organization FIRE – – which has been involved in free speech tussles on other campuses, has a press release and other information on it. Just do a search on any search engine for it as it’s a press release that was syndicated to plenty of online news resources.

As journalists, I know you understand how crucial free speech is to our democracy – it is absolutely fundamental. While good people never like to see innocent people harmed, at the same time we must protect *all* speech in principle or we become subject to the whims of those who would limit speech to what they approve of. That may seem okay when those in power agree with your own views, but it becomes untenable quickly when they disagree with you. And whose definition of “hate” do you use? For example, the UA Faculty Senate resolution arose from a comedian making remarks about homosexuality during his performance on campus. The FS want to prevent that kind of thing in the future. But there are many people in Alabama who believe that homosexuality is un-scriptural – people who would never ever seek to harm someone because of their sexual preference, who believe the violence is just as wrong as they believe the homosexual behavior to be. The Faculty Senate want “hate” speech prohibited at all university functions. Would a religious club meeting on campus be thus prevented from discussing Biblical views on homosexuality because some people would consider it hate speech? It’s not a far-fetched possibility – a Swedish minister was sentenced to jail for preaching from the pulpit against homosexuality. The sentence was later reversed:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17496-2005Feb11.html

Would discussions of the gay marriage amendments that are under consideration in various states across the country also be restricted because of the Faculty Senate resolution, especially if a group on campus supported it? It’s a real question. And I think parents across Alabama would be interested to learn about this from your news station, because it’s about their children and their children’s education. Are their children being taught to hear *all* sides and evaluate their reasonableness based on some rational criteria? Or are they being taught to “Listen to us, we won’t allow you to be bothered by dissenting ideas” by the Faculty, rather than encouraged to think on their own?

You can’t limit speech because someone’s views make someone else feel uncomfortable or even intimidated. The answer to “hate speech” is not politically correct resolutions, but more speech denouncing it from all sides. Less is *not* more when it comes to speech. Less is dangerous.

As a former journalist and aspiring academic myself, I find the concept of a “university faculty” officially seeking to limit speech on a college campus almost incomprehensible. What happened to the importance of debating competing ideas? And what kind of deadening effect would this have on journalism, if opposing viewpoints on controversial subjects were suppressed by law or resolution?

I encourage you to look into this and report on it at NBC 13. And just so you know, I am not connected to FIRE or anyone I’ve linked above. I’ve just been following this situation from personal interest, and wanted to encourage you to think on it.

And thank you for the fine work you do at NBC 13. It’s the only television news I watch on a regular basis despite being thousands of miles away. The rest of my news I get online.

Have a great day. Elena Amha.

I also included my phone number, but I don’t think I’ll post that nor do I think they’ll be phoning all the way to Argentina! Maybe they’ll Skype? :-)

When news aren’t really news

It appears that 60 Minutes just can’t help themselves, like an alcoholic reeling into another bender. Sunday night they presented a story on Emmett Till, a young black man in Mississippi murdered in 1955 whose murderers were found not guilty at trial. Historians believe that this case sparked the active phase of the civil rights movement, but two of them who know the case extremely well don’t think 60 Minutes did an accurate or even honest job of covering it.

The historians who wrote this, David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, briefly outline what 60 Minutes got wrong, and clearly establish that 60 Minutes had the information that proved what the truth was. They chose not to use it, and, according to the Beitos brothers, instead made unsubstantiated claims they made no effort to definitively support. The Beitos had even made the same point earlier, before 60 Minutes got involved.

I’ll pause a moment for you to recover from the shock of CBS knowingly overstating or even making up their case.

I hope this rebuttal becomes known widely, as another nail in the coffin. In this case, what Glenn Reynolds calls a “generalized demonstration of non-ideological incompetence”, it would seem that there’s no explanation other than just that – incompetence. But I think there’s more. It has to do with the media’s purpose, especially in today’s society, which is more reflective of the yellow journalism period of William Randolf Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer than the staid neutral legacy journalism that they all claim to practice. It is encompassed in two words: entertainment imperative.

Or, to give it more detail: They have to tell good stories to hang on to or win viewers/readers, the customers they use to sell advertising. The journalists would be overcome with haughty shock if you accused them of trying to win “customers”, but they have the same goal if for (somewhat) different reasons: The greater their audience, the higher their status. The more provocative and sensational their stories, the more they feel they are “real” journalists, digging up dirt and knocking the world’s socks off.

The issue of audience for money and status is often at odds with the issue of accurate, measured journalism. A program digging through the President’s newest budget in great detail will have fewer viewers than yet another show talking about the Scott Peterson case. A show on the Scott Peterson case that has NEW DETAILS!! will have more viewers than a show that rehashes the old details – although the NEW DETAILS!! may be nothing of any importance or even germane to the trial. The show will make the case that their “scoop” is important, at least until they can get another one. The goal is not accuracy, or giving the public information need, but simply one of entertainment drama.

I think that’s what happened with 60 Minutes: It’s a lot more dramatic, in their judgment, to say “12 involved! 5 still alive!” than whatever the truth is. I’m sure they have some foundation for those specific numbers, however shaky, but it’s certainly nothing that stands the scrutiny of historians. And we see that they can’t even claim, in this case, that their research was inadequate – it’s very clear they just ignored it. How do you explain that away?

My new medicine box

Will you believe it? I was able to purchase on Ebay a really cool box (I don’t know the real name in English lol) for some of my homeopathic collection of medicines. I collect the old homeopathic medicines as a hobby, so I am always looking for accessories for it.

Pretty cool. It costed me 80 dollars including shipping fees.

medicines

7 things about me

in the cafe

I would like to officially start my blog by posting some random things about me so you can get to know me better! :-) You can also read the page about me (this page) if you want to know more.

I am a vegetarian

I feel that there is no need for meat in my diet or in the human diet, for that matter. I do believe in eating dairy but only from sources where the animals are treated ethically.

I wanted to be a veterinarian

I wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age (are there any girls who don’t?!). I come from a humble background and going to the closest veterinarian school was too expensive. So after 18 I worked for some years, saved enough money and then applied for homeopathic school. The best decision I ever made!

My favorite city is Paris

I really love Paris. It’s so beautiful and enchanting. There are some parts of Buenos Aires with the same type of architecture as Paris, and obviously those parts of the city are my favorite too because of how it looks like Paris.

in paris

My favorite music band is Depeche Mode

I don’t think this needs any explaining at all. They just rock!

My hair is naturally curly

This is a well kept secret of mine as only a few people know this. I have very curly hair and it gets tangled all the time so I keep it straightened all the time.

I am obsessed with hair

I find myself in my free time browsing websites and magazines for hairstyles and haircuts. Since my hair is straightened permanently with keratin, I need to be very careful with my hair care.

I am married and have two sons

This goes for the couple of creepy emails I already got from some men with too much time in their hands. I am happily married with a wonderful husband and we have the most precious gifts God could give us! :-)