Garland Robinette

"The Think Tank" Host
Weekdays 10am-1pm

Twitter: @garlandWWL
Email: garland@wwl.com



Garland: If we want to 'close the border,' someone tell me how!

As the war over illegal immigration heats up, we hear more and more calls for "closing the border.”  

These calls follow years of both sides saying we couldn't build a 650-mile fence on our southern border. So once again the question is; if we want to close the, border how do we do it?

To try to get some answers we called FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) Spokesman Bob Dane and Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian.

How did we get here?

Like many pundits and analysts, Bob agreed right off the bat that Obama has not done enough to secure the border, but added "our lax enforcment goes back several administations,  left and right... but when the President took office he took about the task of sytematically dismantling most interior and perimeter enforcement to such an extent that we find ourselves living in a bizarre new world of thinking about immigration enforcement.. simply violating immigration laws in and of themselves appears to be entirely inconsequential."

Is it even possible to "close the border?" Should we?

Krikorian said "We have a much better handle on the border than we used to. The reason for the current crisis is that we are letting them in, giving them papers and then letting them go. That's almost not even a border security issue, that's this administation not even attempting to maintain a border."

I didn't let anybody off easy today. I need to understand this - we have built 670 miles of border fencing and can't even get an estimated figure for what it would take to do the whole thing. There's no money for that, there's no proposal for that. So where are the answers?

Take a listen.

FULL AUDIO: Garland talks immigration policy with Bob Dane and Mark Krikorian
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Garland: Do we pay for a cell, or a pill?

“Neurocriminology” is a whole new field of research that deals with minds of violent criminals.  The big question -- how much of who we are and what we do -- is because of our brain chemicals?  Through years of hosting the "Think Tank" and anchoring and reporting TV news, I’ve learned if you simply raise that question, you get one response from scientists and another from the general public.  Scientists say, “our actions are based on environment and very little chemistry.”  The general public pounces, “you’re one of those liberals, who wants to find more reasons to go easy on violent criminals!”
 
No, no, no. Not a liberal. You can’t put me in one of your boxes.  My questions are based on common sense.  So, let me ask you; if violent, schizophrenic people are made calm by a pill or injection, isn’t that a chemical change, not environmental?  If depressed people snap out of moderate or even severe depression by taking pills that influence neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine… is that not chemical too?
 
Let’s look at the other common sense aspect of this. We can no longer afford the largest prison system in the world.  If we hate additional taxes, if we hate government bureaucracy, shouldn’t we be looking for ways to reduce costs, crime and recidivism?  To me the question is simple. Do we pay for a cell (for years, if not decades or a lifetime)… or a pill to change brain chemistry?
 
The author of “The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime,” Adrian Raine asks: “If bad brains do cause bad behavior, if brain dysfunction raises the odds that somebody will become a criminal offender – a violent offender – and if the cause of the brain dysfunction comes relatively early in life… should we fully hold that adult individual responsible?”
 
We’re not talking about brain chemicals being destiny.  We’re considering an option that is currently not part of the discussion about crime and criminals.  Just another possible solution to a problem we have to solve, because the current situation is unsustainable.
 
There is some slight evidence to support the brain chemsitry/criminal activity relation.  In the 50’s, 60’s and 70s lead was everywhere. Gas, paint, and even in the soil.  In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s violent crime went up in America.  Then, in the 90’s (and continuing today) violent crime started to come down.  Some scientists believe the prevalence of lead in the environment, and the subsequent removal of lead from that environment, may have been a major factor in both the increase and the decrease of crime during that time period. Lead removal became a national campaign in the 70’s.  Scientists tell us, in fact, if you map environmental lead levels over time, lead can explain 91% of those violent crime changes.
 
Let’s look at this in simple, every day terms. If someone meets you for the first time and you’re suffering from a headache, that person may label you grumpy or distracted. Maybe even label you a bad guy or lady.  Not a person they or society want to deal with.  If you take medication for that headache, you may revert back to your pleasant, amiable self.  Did the person meet a bad guy, a good guy or simply a person who had not changed his brain chemistry?
 
It’s just a thought.  No reason to cling to dogma. No reason to get angry.  No reason not to look for needed answers.
 
Just a thought.
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Garland: Do we pay for a cell, or a pill?

“Neurocriminology” is a whole new field of research that deals with minds of violent criminals.  The big question -- how much of who we are and what we do -- is because of our brain chemicals?  Through years of hosting the "Think Tank" and anchoring and reporting TV news, I’ve learned if you simply raise that question, you get one response from scientists and another from the general public.  Scientists say, “our actions are based on environment and very little chemistry.”  The general public pounces, “you’re one of those liberals, who wants to find more reasons to go easy on violent criminals!”
 
No, no, no. Not a liberal. You can’t put me in one of your boxes.  My questions are based on common sense.  So, let me ask you; if violent, schizophrenic people are made calm by a pill or injection, isn’t that a chemical change, not environmental?  If depressed people snap out of moderate or even severe depression by taking pills that influence neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine… is that not chemical too?
 
Let’s look at the other common sense aspect of this. We can no longer afford the largest prison system in the world.  If we hate additional taxes, if we hate government bureaucracy, shouldn’t we be looking for ways to reduce costs, crime and recidivism?  To me the questions simple. Do we pay for a cell (for years, if not decades or a lifetime)… or a pill to change brain chemistry?
 
The author of “The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime,” Adrian Raine asks: “If bad brains do cause bad behavior, if brain dysfunction raises the odds that somebody will become a criminal offender – a violent offender – and if the cause of the brain dysfunction comes relatively early in life… should we fully hold that adult individual responsible?”
 
We’re not talking about brain chemicals being destiny.  We’re considering an option that is currently not part of the discussion about crime and criminals.  Just another possible solution to a problem we have to solve, because the current situation is unsustainable.
 
There is some slight evidence to support the brain chemsitry/criminal activity relation.  In the 50’s, 60’s and 70s lead was everywhere.Gas, paint, and even in the soil.  In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s violent crime went up in America.  Then, in the 90’s (and continuing today) violent crime started to come down.  Some scientists believe the prevalence of lead in the environment, and the subsequent removal of lead from that environment, may have been a major factor in both the increase and the decrease of crime during that time period. Lead removal became a national campaign in the 70’s.  Scientists tell us, in fact, if you map environmental lead levels over time, lead can explain 91% of those violent crime changes.
 
Let’s look at this in simple, every day terms. If someone meets you for the first time and you’re suffering from a headache, that person may label you grumpy or distracted. Maybe even label you a bad guy or lady.  Not a person they or society want to deal with.  If you take medication for that headache, you may revert back to your pleasant, amiable self.  Did the person meet a bad guy, a good guy or simply a person who had not changed his brain chemistry?
 
It’s just a thought.  No reason to cling to dogma. No reason to get angry.  No reason not to look for needed answers.
 
Just a thought.
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Garland: Wake up! Demand state lawmakers protect your family and property

If you’re not paying attention to what happens with this lawsuit and the actions of our state leaders… wake up!   The future of your home, your family, your business…our community is at stake.  Over 40 years ago I began warning in news story after news story about the dangers lurking as our wetlands began to disappear.   Very few listened.  I hope you’re listening now.   

A Louisiana House committee voted Wednesday to kill a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and gas companies, claiming that these companies failed to follow through on their duty to repair and restore more than 10,000 miles of canals dug through our wetlands. Studies show that oil and gas industry activity is responsible for 36.7 percent of coastal erosion in this state.

By amending Senate Bill 469, the House Committee on Natural Resources have specifcally and directly made it impossible for SLFPA-E to bring legal claims against those companies, limiting that privlege to government agencies with a Coast Zone Management Plan. The vote was 12-5 in favor of the amendment, and now the vote will go to the full House sometime next week.

We've been talking about this lawsuit for weeks and weeks with John Barry, formerly with the SLFPA-E. He joined me on "The Think Tank" this morning to discuss this development and had this to say about it: reaction? 

"Well, I'm sure if this bill does pass, the attorneys will challenge it in court, but there is a precedent where the Supreme Court upheld the legislators' ability to do this. There is a reasonable possibility that this would be held unconstitutional, but there's also a reasonable possibility that it would be held constitutional. So the key is for the House to kill it when they vote on it next week."

So it looks like oil and gas companies may not have to pay up the money to repair our wetlands. Why does it matter to our listeners?

"First, there's no money in the Master Plan to protect people and rebuild the coast, and the Flood Authority doesn't have any money. Here's a single example of one project. The landbridge that juts out from New Orleans East into the lake - goes most of the way across the lake into Slidell - that is eroding away. If that disappears, then the entire Gulf of Mexico will pour unimpeded into the lake when there's a storm. That means people all around the lake who never dreamed they'd be threatened by a hurricane will suddenly be threatened."

What about the levees we already have in place? 

"The levees constructed with the idea that that peninsula remained in place t block storm surge, those levees will be overtopped by any kind of major storm. Just to keep that landbridge in place would cost $1.2 billion. That's one of the highest-priority items if the authority wins the lawsuit and gets the money. That would protect every person who lives around the lake."

There's a lot more to the story and there's still time for your voice to be heard. You can call the House of Representatives switchboard at 225-342-6945 and tell your legislators what to do when the bill comes up for a full vote next week.

FULL AUDIO: Garland talks to John Barry about Flood Authority lawsuit


 
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Garland: Who pays for Paradise Lost - the oil companies, or you?

Your good friend lives next door.  He has a tree trimming service and is very rich.  He’s helped you financially for a very long time, and with his help, you’re not wealthy, but you do okay financially.

This rich, good friend, who happens to be your neighbor, decides to trim a giant oak that towers over your house and his.  You agree to the tree trimming, if he guarantees to pay for any cleanup because you don’t have cleanup money.  He agrees to your terms and even gets a permit from you to assure you that a cleanup will be taken care of. 

In the process of trimming the mighty oak, part of the tree falls on your house.  The costs of repairing your home are extreme.  You can’t afford to pay all of it, so you ask your friend to pay a portion of the repairs. Although you hate to make that request, you reason that he is rich and can afford the costs, and the bottom line? You can’t remain in your home without his financial help.  You need him to pay for a piece of the damage he caused. 

Time goes by… a fairly long period of time… and your rich-good friend-neighbor doesn’t volunteer to clean up, so you tell him you have no choice but to take the issue to court, if he won’t help.

Is that fair on your part?

On the flip side, would it be fair on his part if he uses his extensive wealth and political clout to convince politicians, who he helped elect, to take action that would retroactively remove any law requiring compensation for situations like yours?

Have the oil companies not been our good friends?   Did we not agree to work together so we could all benefit?   Do we not see the unintended damage that could force us out of our homes and ruin our future but is partially responsible for doing just that? 

I can find no one who believes future generations can live here if we don’t find money to repair our wetlands, and we do not have enough money.  So, if we can’t afford the repairs do we abandon our businesses, our homes, our culture, our future?  Do we leave South Louisiana? 

Who pays for the house with the oak tree on top?

Really interested? Give these podcasts shows a listen

FULL AUDIO: Garland talks with Jim Swanson and John Barry about wetlands lawsuit (1 of 2)

FULL AUDIO: Garland talks with Jim Swanson and John Barry about wetlands lawsuit (2 of 2)
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Garland on Rodrigue Death

Famed Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, who found fame with his enigmatic "Blue Dog'' images, died over weekend in Houston after a long battle with cancer.

WWL's Garland Robinette, a fellow artist, says Rodrigue was definitely one-of-a-kind.

"I don't think we'll see another artist in this generations lifetime that his levels of talent, business acumen and kindness," Robinette said.

Listen to Garland:


George Rodrigue was 69 years old.
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Garland: On Syria - why should we believe

garland@wwl.com  9.6.13    

Make the lie simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. – Adolf Hitler

Why should we believe our leaders assurances concerning the proposed attacks on Syria?  I don’t see enough reason or proof.  Little things keep me suspicious.  Why does the British Joint Intelligence Committee put the death tolls (due to Sarin gas) at 350?  Our leaders say 1,429.  How can the very top of America and Britain’s intelligence corps be so far apart?
 
On the 8th of August U.S. officials turned down an offer from Bashar al-Assad to allow U.N. inspectors into areas that were gassed.  We said, no, it’s too little, too late.  The quote was, “The evidence of chemical weapons would be significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days.”  But, on the 1st of September, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “we know Sarin gas was used.”  Only blood and tissue were analyzed.  Analyzation takes two to four weeks.  No soil samples were taken.  New York Times, (Chemical Attack Evidence Lasts Years, Experts say) said scientists have discovered that Sarin, a deadly nerve agent, can be detected long after its use on the battlefield.  You simply test the dirt, but we didn’t.  The little things… 
 
AND, big things…like the U.S. knew about the gas strike before it occurred.  Foreign Policy Magazine (U.S. Had Intel on Chemical Strike Before It Was Launched) reported American intelligence had reports three days before the attack that chemical weapons would be used.  The direct quote was, “we collected streams of human signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.”  John Kerry said, it would be a moral obscenity to see the gas attack and not act.  We reportedly saw it before it happened.  There have been other gas attacks in Syria earlier this year.  Would we not have been ready to stop another, especially when we knew it was coming?
 
John Kerry’s complete quote was, “the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable.”  Does the “by any standard” apply to us?  I saw children die from Napalm in Vietnam.  We aided Saddam Hussein in the gassing of thousands during the Iran-Iraq war.  Foreign Policy Magazine (Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He gassed Iran) reports that the U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history—and still gave him a hand.  Hussein also gassed hundreds of Kurdish women and children.  If a country had aided the German concentration camps with technology and intelligence, but did nothing to stop the slaughter, would it be absolved because it didn’t participate?  By any standard would that be a defense?
 
But the force of American military brought to bear should have the desired results, right?  No, not in Lebanon in 1983.  U.S. warships shelled Beirut for days in support of the Christians fighting Muslims.  In return they blew up our Marine base.  The biggest loss of life of U.S. military personnel on a single day since WWII; 241 died.
 
What about Libya in 1986, after they bombed an American disco in Berlin?  We conducted bomber raids, which tried to kill Muammar Gaddafi.  In return, they blew up a Pan Am plane; 270 died.  Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 blew up embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. President Clinton ordered missile attacks on Al-Qaida camps and a pharmaceutical factory.  Little damage was done and Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden interpreted this as a lack of U.S. resolve to engage in a major confrontation.  His belief led to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen and a year later September 11th attacks on American soil; in total almost 3,000 people died.  U.S. missile attacks have failed in Laos and Cambodia Beirut, Libya, Iran, Sudan Afghanistan Pakistan, Somalia and Vietnam.
 
If we are to believe our leaders how about a WAR TAX!  Here is why we may need it… JOBS.  If you read Business Pundit (The 25 Most Vicious Iraq War Profiteers), you will see just a few of the companies that make billions and billions of dollars and create thousands and thousands of jobs for war.  How many Washington politicians would be out of work, if all the companies making war had to lay off workers or close?  The costs don’t end there. The Times of Israel (No-Fly Zone In Syria Could Cost $B A Month General Says) reports that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says creating a Syrian no-fly zone alone, could cost over a billion dollars a month and if the navy was involved, billions more.
 
When asked, our leaders will tell us the military budget is fractional compared to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but our leaders don’t speak of hidden costs.  NBC News (Health-care costs for wounded vets to increase for decades to come) reports the V.A. spent $2.8 billion in 2012 alone and the cost will go up by $510 million this year.  Costs over the next 30,40, 50 years will be hundreds of billions of dollars.  We cannot (or will not) afford physically or financially to take care of our current war problems.  We have a backlog of disability claims for 773,000 vets and the average wait is 125 days.  Like the saying goes (and from a biting Onion satire piece, "Have plenty of money, a fresh, rested military—why not?”
 
As written in the Washington Post: (U.S. intervention in Syria: War for virtue) “God is on our side.  Strangely enough, we keep losing.  Since World War II we have failed to win any land war that lasted more than a week and that includes Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Ah, but those were all intended to be good wars, saving people from themselves.”
 
One final thought, how about Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia.  Why didn’t-haven’t we interceded, when hundreds of thousands have been tortured, maimed, raped and killed.  Wait for it...too yellow, too black?
 
As written in the ONION (The Case For and Against Intervening in Syria):  "We’re the good guys.  It’s the right thing to do, maybe."

Maybe.
 
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Garland: In the Snowden debate, fear trumps privacy


Edward Snowden is a traitor.

Edward Snowden is a hero.

How do you see the former government contractor who admitted to leaking information about massive surveillance programs?

If you say he’s a “traitor,” what personal belief do you base that conclusion?  You believe it because the government told you so?  Aren’t you in that vast majority that shows up in every national poll saying you don’t trust the federal executive division, congress and the courts?  Pew Research says trust in government is at historic lows.  But you trust them to collect your personal information?


When the government says, “Edward Snowden’s actions will cause deaths,” some ask how. The government says, “We can’t tell you.”  When the government says Snowden has harmed our defense against terrorists, and some ask how.  The government says, “We can’t tell you.”

If you stumble on the story of Brandon Mayfield you’ll find a former military man, lawyer, husband and father of three from Kansas.  The F.B.I said they found his fingerprints in Madrid after terrorists bombed a commuter train.  Brandon Mayfield had never been to Spain. 

Click here for the New York Times story about his ordeal and his $2 million settlement from the government. 

Mayfield’s family began to notice unlocked doors, screws taken out of home computers and a hard drive exposed. The FBI had been there, collecting bathroom DNA, nail clippings, cigarette butts and all computer information.  The feds were there because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) gave them permission to do so.  

You might have heard President Obama assure us that FISA protects against violations of our freedom by law enforcement agencies.  Really?  The president was talking about the same court that last year got 1,856 requests to from those protecting us and approved all 1,856 requests.  Brandon Mayfield was wrongly imprisoned and terrorized by the government you trust/don’t trust, because of the FBI.  The FBI used their huge database of us, to pull up a wrong name; Brandon Mayfield.  How do we know? Spain told us so.  Spain felt that the fact that Mayfield had never been to Spain made the fingerprint hard to believe.  They checked around and found the terrorist that matched the fingerprint.  Mayfield got out of prison.  We paid him a $2 million dollar apology, but he said his family now lives with the threat of terror from our government….the same government that you trust/don’ trust.  Pretty safe bet Brandon Mayfield is not one of those that says, “If I haven’t done anything wrong, I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Let me guess. You’re saying that was an isolated incident.  The head of the NSA said, “Snowden has caused irreversible damage to the security of America and our allies.”  So, that ends the conversation and the debate.  Continuance of such is a waste of time and energy. Why?  Fear will trump privacy.  Why do we have the first bi-partisan congressional chorus singing of the evils of Snowden when others who did the same are barely known?  (Click HERE to read the USA Today article:  3 NSA Veterans: We told you so)

Fear trumps privacy.  What member of Congress wants to be known as a Snowden defender when terrorists plant a dirty bomb, attack our utilities, or blow up a nuclear power plant?  You think maybe an opponent could use that to get themselves elected to their seat? Fear will trump privacy. Those few of us that don’t trust our government will blunt that concern (or eliminate it) because we too fear terrorism.  Fear will trump privacy, no matter what the debate. The debate, the conversation, have only one end game.  We will allow and back the government that we trust/don’t trust in order to be protected against something that the government can’t tell us about.

There is also one other contradiction of trust/don’t trust.  The only reason there is private information for the government to ask for is because we have volunteered it already to corporate third parties, corporations that track everything about us.  We say that’s ok, because we want stuff in return.  We want knowledge.  We want world access.  We have eliminated the conversation for which Edward Snowden says he sacrificed his world. Not because of trust/don’t trust.  Not because of hero or traitor….because of fear.
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Garland: Should the bombing suspect be Mirandized?


There has been much debate about whether the hospitalized suspect in the Boston bombings should have been given his Miranda warnings as soon as possible.  As we have seen in other terrorism cases, the knee-jerk reaction by the public and government alike is often to take measures that erode away at our protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Such is the case, once again.  The FBI and DOJ say they are using the “public safety exception” as a legal way to interrogate the suspect without advising him of his Miranda rights to remain silent and his right to an attorney.  I was joined today by Alan Dershowitz, one of the most renowned attorneys and legal scholars in the nation to discuss the case.

First off, what is the “Miranda warning?”  In the1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court laid out six very specific warnings that police must give suspects in a custodial situation before they are interrogated:  "The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him."

There are a few valid exceptions to the Miranda requirement, with the public safety exception (‘PSE’) being one of them.  The 1984 case of New York, v. Quarles, the Supreme Court carved out this exception for situations “where concern for public safety must be paramount to adherence to the literal language of the prophylactic rules enunciated in Miranda."  The court ruled that for statements gathered under the PSE to be later admissible in court, the questioning must involve a scenario "in which police officers ask questions reasonably prompted by a concern for the public safety."
 
Many of our listeners, and quite a few public officials, have said over the last week that the suspect not only should not be Mirandized, but actualy deserves NO typical constitutional protections, and should be tried by a military tribunal as an ‘enemy combatant.’  However, Dzhokar Tsarnaev is an American citizen accused of setting off bombs and murdering a police officer on American soil.   Obama’s DOJ has repeatedly said that terror suspects arrested inside the U.S. should be handled within our criminal justice system.  And, the White House announced today that there will not be a military tribunal.

Dershowitz told me in no uncertain terms that investigators should read the bombing suspect his rights as soon as possible in order not to jeopardize the case.  

“They should give him his Miranda warnings, because there’s no public safety exception that’s applicable here,” Dershowitz said.  “The police have told the people of Boston, ‘go about your business, we’ve got the two suspects, there are no bombs around.’  The public safety exception is designed not to gather information to prevent future crimes, but for immediate ticking-bomb situations.”

Click HERE to listen to my interview with Dershowitz...

There appears to be a large amount of evidence implicating the two brothers in the bombing, including videos and photos.  So, what’s the worry with not Mirandizing them right away?  

“The reason is because they have to prove intention. It’s not enough to prove that he planted the bombs in order to be convicted of federal terrorism, which carries the death penalty,” according to Dershowitz.  “They have to be able to prove that he intended to commit an act of terrorism.  They may get that information from his statements that are un-Mirandized, and the courts may keep them out.  This may deny them the death penalty.”

And, Dershowitz told me that it sets a very bad precedent.  

“I think it expands the PSE beyond where it was intended by the courts, and it basically shows contempt for our constitutional rules, and an attempt to circumvent the Constitution.  We can prosecute this man within the Constitution and within the Miranda rules, and I think we can do it successfully.”

I also asked Dershowitz why should we should be worried about a suspected terrorist's Miranda rights, when persons summoned before a federal grand jury in ANY case have zero rights.

"Well, it’s a terrible rule…They were never intended to be that by the framers of the Constitution.  You have no rights in front of a grand jury,” Dershowitz said.  “You don’t have a right to a lawyer in front of a grand jury.  It’s awful, it’s really an inquisition.”





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Garland Robinette: Terror - is more security the real danger?

garland@wwl.com - 4.16.13

You gotta help me here.  I don’t understand.  Terrorists writing in their online magazine Inspire, claim they will force America into bankruptcy by detonating bombs that costs them hundreds of dollars, but costs us billions of dollars via continual increases in security.  Terrorists call it "Death by a Thousand Cuts." (Foreign Policy magazine, 11-23-10, David Gartenstein-Ross.)

One of the terrorist bombs that we caught and defused on a UPS jet allegedly costs $4,200.00 for them to make and deliver.  This initiated our first purchase of hundreds of body scanners and additional national security carrying a price tag of billions of dollars.  Al Qaeda points to the bankruptcy of the Soviet Union because of their war in Afghanistan as evidence that they can do the same to America.

This is what I don’t understand.  Why do we keep adding anymore security?  Why don’t we eliminate the security we can’t afford… the security costs that are hurting all American industries?  It’s called the “Friction Economy.” (The Friction Economy American business just got the bill for the terrorist attacks) and even TEN YEARS AGO, it cost us a minimum of $151 billion dollars a year!  How much do you think it is today?

How would we not add security?  How would we eliminate security?  Simple, we use math rather than emotion. (The Odds of Airborne Terror-Nate Silver.)

The odds of being on a plane which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 for over ten years.  By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 500,000!
So what are the chances of being hit by a bomb at a marathon, a Super Bowl, or a Mardi Gras?  Infinitesimal.  So, why don’t we just go about our business and expand the economy with the money we would spend on security and not make the terrorists predictions (U.S. bankruptcy) come true?

I still don’t know, but I do have a suspicion...fear.  Fear sometimes causes the human animal to do dangerous things, in order to avoid danger.
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