Finsbury Park terrorist becomes invisible in passive news headlines

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A 48-year old man drove a van into a crowd of people in the Muslim neighborhood of Finsbury Park in London, but he’s mostly missing from the news headlines about the attack. Why? Is it journalists’ passive writing habit, bias in a case where Muslims were victims rather than attackers, or just a need for … Continued

Why I wish the US had a leader like UK Prime Minister Theresa May

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The leader of the UK, Theresa May, is a fearsome figure. She has a number of hateful opinions. But she also appears to be capable of logical reasoning, which makes it possible to understand her positions and argue with her. That’s not possible with the incoherent and contradictory positions that our own leader has here … Continued

No one will keep you safe. Not Trump. Not Clinton. No one.

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Bombs went off in New York and New Jersey. This has become an occasion for our leaders and candidates to say what they are going to do to keep us safe. The thing is, there is no way for them to keep us safe. That’s scary as hell, but it’s incontrovertibly true. Here’s what kept … Continued

The hypocrisy of the gun-control sit-in in the House of Representatives

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When our blood is boiling, we love to cheer on our causes and shout down the opposition. Is this you? “Guns — bad! Gun control — good! U.S. House of Representatives staging a sit-in to get a vote — very good! Periscope streaming to C-SPAN — great!” But hang on a second — have you really … Continued

The passive blame game: “mistakes were made” in Brussels

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Now that the bombing stories are done, it’s time for the blame stories — and the passive voice that inevitably accompanies them. Like the LA Times story titled: ” ‘Mistakes were probably made,’ Belgian official acknowledges after Brussels attacks.” Ya think? People performed these acts. Belgian and European police and intelligence agencies, obviously, missed something. That’s … Continued

Apple’s Tim Cook shows how to communicate in a crisis

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Apple’s in a bind. The FBI wants them to crack the encryption on a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Apple believes that’s a dangerous precedent. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter is breathtakingly simple and clear. Learn from it. Here’s Apple’s logic: Breaking encryption creates a “back door.” Any such back door would inevitably get out. Thieves … Continued

What we say, and what we actually mean, about the Paris attacks

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I am strongly, deeply, and clearly opposed to the terrorist attacks in Paris. Sounds strangely flat, doesn’t it? Why state what everyone knows? Shouldn’t I be writing about thoughts and prayers, or the causes of terrorism, or vengeance, or something? As I watched the flood of messages on social media this weekend, I became fascinated by … Continued