People who leave terrorist groups or move away from violent roles do so for a multitude of reasons. Horgan explains why greater understanding of the motivations behind this so-called 'disengagement' will help in developing successful anti-terrorism initiatives.
The reality is that actual attacks represent only the tip of an iceberg of activity.
In the battle of ideas that has come to characterize the struggle against jihadist terrorism, a sometimes neglected dimension is the personal motivations of those drawn into the movement. This paper reports the results of a workshop held in September 2005 and sponsored by RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy and the Initiative for Middle East Youth. Workshop participants discussed the issue of why young people enter into jihadist groups and what might be done to prevent it or to disengage members of such groups once they have joined.
Now, back to the Packer piece:
The odd inclusion of environmentalist rhetoric, he said, made clear that “this wasn’t a list of genuine grievances. This was an Al Qaeda information strategy." ... “bin Laden’s message was clearly designed to assist the President’s reëlection.” Bin Laden shrewdly created an implicit association between Al Qaeda and the Democratic Party, for he had come to feel that Bush’s strategy in the war on terror was sustaining his own global importance.
You may recall the speculation that Bush would produce bin Laden's he... [ Read More (0.7k in body) ]
Watching Dean Baker on CSPAN at the moment, visited his think tank's site, lots of interesting talking point memos.
With much of this equity now eliminated by the collapse of the bubble, many families can no longer sustain their levels of consumption. The main reason that banks won't lend to these families is that they no longer have home equity to serve as collateral. It wouldn't matter how much money the banks had, they are not going to make mortgage loans to people who have no equity.
And house prices are not going to come back. This is like Pets.com. We are not going to get the price of $200,000 homes in central California back up to $500,000.
How do we go about getting the banks in order? Almost every economist I know rejects the Paulson approach and argues instead for directly injecting capital into the banks. The taxpayers give them the money and then we own some, or all, of the bank. (That's what Warren Buffet did with Goldman Sachs.)
This isn't about begging for a sliver of equity as a concession for a $700 billion bailout, this is about constructing a bank rescue the way that business people would do it. We have an interest in a well-operating financial system. There is zero public interest in giving away taxpayer dollars to the Wall Street banks and their executives.
Time to kick CaffineMonkey in the ass. Sorry Ben, I owe you a beer.
Who needs security when you have a robot? | ajc.com
Topic: Current Events
12:44 pm EST, Feb 22, 2008
Late at night several times a week, Terrill powers up the 4-foot-tall, 300 pound device and reaches for a remote control packed with two joysticks and various knobs and switches. Standing on a nearby corner, he maneuvers the machine down the block, often to a daycare center where it accosts what Terrill says are drug dealers, vagrants and others who shouldn't be there.
He flashes the robot's spotlight and grabs a walkie-talkie, which he uses to boom his disembodied voice over the robot's sound system.
"I tell them they are trespassing, it's private property, and they have to leave," he said. "They throw bottles and cans at it. That's when I shoot the water cannon. They just scatter like roaches."
OMG, I can't believe he actually built it, and I can't believe it actually works.
You now have something more to look forward to at O'Terrill's besides the fish and chips!
Defense Minister: How can offensive-forbidden Japan stop UFO Attack
Topic: Current Events
3:42 pm EST, Jan 22, 2008
Japan's Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba is considering how his Self-Defense Forces could respond to an attack by space aliens while adhering to limits on military action under the country's war-renouncing Constitution.
Ishiba said yesterday a Japanese military response, such as those in the Godzilla movie series, would require legal review and said he is studying ways Japan could deal with an attack. Ishiba said his comments represent a ``personal view,'' and not Defense Ministry policy, according to the transcript of the press conference published on the ministry's Web Site.
``There are no grounds for us to deny there are unidentified flying objects and some life-form that controls them,'' Ishiba said. ``Few discussions have been held on what the legal grounds are'' for a military response.
A most interesting problem to have. I suggest building a giant robotic lizard and hiding him in a volcano until the aliens attack.
Lawyers representing Procter & Gamble send a 66-page cease-and-desist letter to British sex-toy company Love Honey, demanding that it stop using images of its Oral B electric toothbrushes to promote a product called the Brush Bunny - a rabbit-shaped piece of plastic that slips over the top of an Oral B to turn it into a vibrator.