April, 2015 archive
Noah Feldman explores the myth of the surgical strike as regards robotic death raining from the sky. A snippet:
It’s true that the operator of an armed drone can deliver a missile to a site that’s been carefully scoped out by other drones. But conventional aircraft could use that same intelligence to deliver missiles with similar precision (and a similar margin for error).The real military advantage of the armed-drone strike over a conventional airstrike, then, isn’t the precision of the hit. It’s the fact that a pilot isn’t being put in jeopardy. Yet somehow the idea that drone strikes are more precisely targeted has lingered, giving the technique greater public appeal.
Do read the rest.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., tries to figure out when a fact becomes a non-fact. A snippet:
As best I can recall — my computer ate the email — that was how the key line went in a reader missive that had me doing a double take last week. It was not the outlandish assertion that struck me but, rather, the emphatic claim of its veracity. We’re talking Shift-Lock and all-caps so there would be no mistaking: “Obama is a Muslim. That is a FACT.”
Actually, it is not a fact, but let that slide. We’re not here to renew the tired debate over Barack Obama’s religion. No, we’re only here to lament that so many of us seem to know “facts” that aren’t and that one party — guess which — has cynically nurtured, used and manipulated this ignorance for political gain.
One of my great uncles, after his retirement, compiled several slim volumes of forgotten lore, mostly tales, legends, and memories of the pre-war South. I should still have my copies in a box somewhere, they are not the sort of objects I would throw out or donate. I’m too lazy to look for them today.
A line one of the children’s songs that he included in one of the books has stuck in my mind since I first read it, back in the olden days, when I was a young ‘un. It’s the only bit of the song that I remember:
Run, N****r, run! Patrol’ll get you.
Video via Raw Story.
Read what happens when someone takes the Laffer Curve seriously.
It’s not pretty.
My brother spotted some otters feeding on eels near his place in Virginia’s Northern Neck.
Your security farces at work:
Three batarangs, those roughly bat-shaped throwing weapons used by Batman.
China Hand points out that words may not mean what we think they mean:
Follow the link to see why he says this.