Archive for December 29, 2010

Department of Fear

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Back in May, James Fallows at his Atlantic blog made reference to the US Department of Fear’s blog , as he has done more recently as well, but I didn’t follow up on the link until yesterday. Now I have, and I join Mr. Fallows in recommending the site.

You can learn about the DoF’s mission at the blog’s homepage:

DoF was established by an Executive Order signed by the Vice President in January 2004. The mandate of the agency is to promote fear in the interest of national security.

This blog is operated as a public service of DoF. Its goal is to promote the the agency’s agenda and increase public awareness of DoF and its mission.

Our moto “Timendi causa est nescire” (ignorance causes fear), was bestowed by the Vice President.

A typical post, from three days ago, discusses Representative Sue Myrick’s letter to President Obama warning about America’s home-grown terrorism. As reported in The Age, the North Carolina Republican is concerned that “America’s home-grown terrorism is now a global threat and the United States should look to Europe to learn how to deal with it.”

A prominent member of Congress, Sue Myrick, has told Mr Obama in a letter that America is now exporting Islamist terrorism.

Mrs Myrick, a Republican serving on the House of Representatives’ select committee on intelligence, accused the US of complacency, saying it was ”far behind” Europe in taking steps to deal with the growing radicalisation of young men and their willingness to carry out attacks.

Her letter marked a departure from a long-held view in the US that Britain was the biggest threat to America as a result of its position as a staging point for extremists from Pakistan, the Middle East and east Africa.

”Today, there is no doubt that radicalisation is taking place inside America.

”The strikingly accelerated rate of American Muslims arrested for involvement in terrorist activities since May 2009 makes this fact self-evident. What has been missed is that our home-grown terrorists are now becoming a global threat.”

The Department of Fear’s blog post adds that Congresswoman Myrick

has an enviable track record when it comes to keeping Americans alert to the threat of terrorism. The article notes Myrick warned the nation that the Council on American Islamic Relations was trying to plant spies on Capitol Hill by placing Muslim interns. She also urged the State Department to yank President Carter’s passport after he held a meeting with Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist group.

It goes without saying that the best way to decrease the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorism is to continue to bomb Muslim countries, thereby decreasing the number of Muslims who want to emigrate here. Another common sense approach would be to fly drones over American communities known to be providing sanctuary to Muslim terrorists, striking any buildings in which they may be holding out.

I trust President Obama is taking the department’s advice seriously.

Categories: Law, Politics

Milestone, II

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A year ago tonight I wrote a post about my car, on the eve of its 3rd birthday. As I noted then, “I know that this is of no interest to anyone else, but here goes.” The point of last year’s post was to calculate my annual, monthly, and daily car use over its first three years. The odometer read 11,640, meaning I had averaged 3880 miles per year, or 323 1/3 miles per month. However, as I pointed out, I made a round trip to Vancouver, BC in the car’s first month, and two more after that, all on university business at the University of British Columbia, so subtracting the resulting 900 miles or so to determine my personal car use, I found that I had “done 10,740 miles of driving over three years, or 3580 per year, or 298 1/3 miles per month.” Rounding up to 300 miles per month, I found that I drove about 10 miles per day.

Here we are, a year later, on the eve of the car’s fourth birthday. What’s the latest odometer reading? 14,908. (The pity is, Gail used the car just three nights ago to pick someone up at the airport and then drive a ways north of Seattle, adding about 80 miles to the reading. If only she could have waited until tomorrow.) I have driven the car 3268 miles this year, for an average of only 272 1/3 miles per month, or a fraction over 9 miles a day. Averaging over the car’s four years, I have driven 3727 miles per year, or about 310 1/2 miles per month, or about 10 1/3 miles a day. If I deduct the 900 miles of driving to Vancouver and back, I bring the daily average over four years down to about 9 3/4 miles.

I’m clearly a candidate for an electric car. It will be a rare day when I have to worry about using up the charge.

Categories: Automobiles