Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Extremists are Winning


Initially, I thought your piece on outliers would end up discussing Uber. I was a little disappointed when you veered away from that subject and instead focused on extremists and the attacks  in France. 

I agree with you, the 80/20 rule applies to many aspects of our life and at least statistically, extremism is more like 2 standard deviations from the mean or a 90/10 rule. 

I have little interest in engaging in the discussion whether we should call this radical Islamic extremism, or whether we should call this a war on terror and unfortunately that discussion seems to suck up a lot of oxygen. 

The response to these attacks is disheartening to me. What little momentum there was to restrict the NSA’s (and other law enforcement agencies, like the DEA) ability to gather our phone call’s meta data and other personal information without a warrant is probably stopped. Whatever desire there was to stop the President’s ability to almost unilaterally decide to use drones to kill presumed combatants abroad, even if those presumed combatants are US citizens, is probably quashed as well. 

I’m not sure what the terrorists want. Maybe they are angry with their life and we are the convenient scapegoat, and as you imply they will be with us, in one form or another, always.  Maybe they want to destroy our way of life. Protecting our civil liberties is one of the key tenets of our way of life and to the extent we are willingly abandoning those liberties, they are achieving their goal. 

Two more thinks. Remind me to give you plenty of room on the road, and Go Pats. Now that the Broncos are out of the running, and Elway has decided to fire the coaching staff and entire roster to make a comeback as coach and sole player on the team, I have shifted my support to the Pats. 


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