The Rolling Stone Tsarnaev Cover and Cognitive Dissonance

The cover photo of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev which makes him look like a sexy rock star has sparked outrage across the country. How dare they “glorify” this alleged terrorist? Well the truth is, they don’t. In a classic case of judging a book by its cover, people don’t seem to notice that the subheading on the cover itself refers to Tsarnaev as a monster. The outrage existed before the article was even released, so it can’t be unbalanced reporting sparking this uproar. Any judgment of the article itself is already tainted with the lens of anger evoked by the cover image. Continue reading “The Rolling Stone Tsarnaev Cover and Cognitive Dissonance”

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Obama’s National Defense Agenda

Thursday, President Obama laid out a long list of National Defense priorities, including closing Guantanamo Bay, revising the AUMF that authorizes the war against Al Qaeda, and to shift CIA drone operations to DOD control. He addressed the cost of the war, the Fifth Amendment, and the rights of individuals. The bottom line he stressed is that the war against terrorism that we have been waging since 2001 is over, as we know it. Continue reading “Obama’s National Defense Agenda”

Obama Goes to Israel

In his first trip to Israel since being elected president, Obama will make some symbolic stops but not others and generally avoid substantive policy talks. Instead of talking at the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), he will deliver his major address to the Israeli public at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. He will have dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw, the first black woman to hold the title. He will visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (located in the West Bank), but not at the Western Wall or Al Aqsa Mosque. He will visit the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Holocaust Museum, but declined an invitation to visit the Israeli Institute of Technology. He will also lay a wreath at the grave of the founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, and visit Jordan. Continue reading “Obama Goes to Israel”

Navy Yard Shooting

After Aaron Alexis killed 13 people in Washington D.C., questions began to fly about his possible mental illness. Defense Secretary Hagel said that “red flags” were missed which resulted in Alexis having security clearance to get into the navy yard. Alexis had complained that he was being followed by three individuals who were using “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations through his hotel room ceiling, causing him insomnia. Earlier this year he sought treatment from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for paranoia and other concerns. Continue reading “Navy Yard Shooting”

Massive Banking Fraud at LIBOR

If you think fixing boxing matches is bad, this one will blow you away. Over the past decade, major banks have been submitting false data to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in order to manipulate it and make huge profits. UBS, which is the largest bank in Switzerland, agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to international regulators for their role in the LIBOR scandal. By the way, UBS is on the list of the 29 “global systemically important banks.” It’s too big to fail. Continue reading “Massive Banking Fraud at LIBOR”

Jason Collins is Gay. So What?

Jason Collins became the first active, male, U.S. athlete playing a major, professional, team-sport to come out as being homosexual this week. Those qualifying adjectives deserve a little more explanation. There have already been openly homosexual athletes who met each single qualification, but only Collins satisfies all five at once. Continue reading “Jason Collins is Gay. So What?”

Guantanamo Bay

Currently, between 100 and 130 of the remaining 166 prisoners in Guantanamo bay are on a hunger strike. Some have been force fed in order to keep them alive. The process involves shackling the individual and feeding them through a tube inserted in their nose.  The protest is over alleged mishandling of the Koran by guards, but is fueled by a deeper frustration of indefinite detention. Continue reading “Guantanamo Bay”

Is the Detroit Bankruptcy Just the Beginning?

Detroit has filed for chapter 9, making it the largest municipality ever to declare bankruptcy. The city owes over $18 billion, which amounts to over $25,714 per resident. While that is less than the average person’s federal debt ($52,945.64), Detroit does not have the luxury of printing money and controlling the world’s reserve currency. Detroit’s financial woes are long in the making, but they are hardly unique. Continue reading “Is the Detroit Bankruptcy Just the Beginning?”

Air Travel Today

The TSA’s decision to allow airline passengers to carry on small knives, among other things, is causing uproar in the airline industry. The new policy will also allow novelty size baseball bats, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, and up to two golf clubs. Box cutters and razor blades are still prohibited, as are locking or fixed blades. Allowable knives must be able to fold up and be 2.36 inches or less in length, and less than one half inch wide. Continue reading “Air Travel Today”