August 16th, 2007

What’s wrong with this quote?

So let me get this straight… “American officers receive 16 hours of training…because U.S. officials want to be less intrusive.”No chance that insufficiently trained TSA workers will further intimidate and terrorize air travelers?

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New airport agents check for danger in fliers’ facial expressions
The strategy is based on a time-tested and successful Israeli model, but in the United States, the scrutiny is much less invasive, Ekman said. American officers receive 16 hours of training — far less than their Israeli counterparts_ because U.S. officials want to be less intrusive.

August 9th, 2007

The New York Times’ terror freak-out

Blog post serves gun control and police state agendas

A lout, and a bootlicker? Times blogger Levitt calls his fear mongering campaign a “public service.”

Newspapers and websites this week are decrying blogger Steven Levitt’s oafish invitation to readers to envision terrorist attack scenarios.

The New York Times is clearly using fear to sell papers and page views–an old marketing tactic. But Levitt might also be selling someone else’s agenda, just as his new employer has been doing for years.

Levitt begins the list of possible scenarios with this gem: terrorists, armed only with rifles, could shoot-up cities and towns of all sizes, and then escape in cars.

“The chaos would be unbelievable,” Levitt writes, adding “it sure would be a lot easier to obtain a handful of guns than a nuclear weapon.”

Some critics suggest Levitt is shaking things up at the Grey Lady–that his post caught his editors by surprise. (As someone who gets a regular paycheck from the Times, I can tell you that this is impossible.)

In fact, Levitt is fitting in just fine.

After all, it was the Times’ fear mongering over Iraqi nukes that helped sell Americans on the war–recall Judith Miller’s embarrassing “reporting” of what is now known to be fabricated evidence from worthless sources.

Levitt’s pairing of terrorists with rifles also repeats (literally) the Times’ editorial position that guns “are frighteningly easy to obtain” and that “stronger (gun) controls” are needed.

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Tips for terror plots: Has Steven D. Levitt lost his Freakonomics mind?
In a blog post written about an hour ago at the time of this posting Steven D. Levitt� — a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and co-author of the groundbreaking Freakonomics book — has speculated on the most efficient means of causing terror in the United States of America. What’s more, a batch of his readers have written in their suggestions for how and where to strike.

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