Terrorism, the TSA, and the false positive problem

According to Alexander Furnas writing at The Atlantic, our ever-inventive friends at the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA are ever on the trail of new and more intrusive ways to make travel even more unpleasant. They have developed a ‘pre-crime’ detection program (reminiscent of the film Minority Report) known as FAST (Future Attribute Screening Technology), because all bad programs need a catchy acronym to help gain acceptance. [Read more...]

The Afridi case

The US government and Congress and media are in a lather about the 33 year prison sentence given to the Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who carried out a fake vaccination program in Pakistan order to aid the CIA in its attempts to find Osama bin Laden. In retaliation, Congress has moved to cut aid to Pakistan, make Afridi a naturalized citizen, and to award him a gold medal. [Read more...]

The Democratic party is not ‘the left’ in US politics

The labels ‘left’ and ‘right’ in politics originated in the first French National Assembly in 1789 following the revolution, and was named according to the seating arrangement of the groups in the chamber as seen from the president’s chair. The largely economic views associated with those groups became synonymous with left-wing and right-wing politics, with the left seeking social justice largely through redistributive social and economic policies. [Read more...]