Trump keeps his promises — in blood

In 2015 Donald Trump said, “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Nawar al-AwlakiHe has kept his promise. Trump’s first military raid killed Nawar al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old American-born daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, whom the US had previously killed. Calling Anwar al-Awlaki a terrorist is stretching a point; he preached violence but isn’t known to have directly engaged in terrorist acts. That was good enough for Obama to order his assassination, though, and it’s likely Trump considers him a terrorist as well. (He’d have been allowed in the US under Trump’s ban, though, since he was a US citizen.)

Are there any words left?

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America: 1776-2017?

The day has come. Will history record January 20, 2017 as the death of the United States as a free country? I don’t know. Trump has said that today mass deportations will occur under his command. I don’t see how he can cause any significant number of people to be “gone” today, but he could still issue orders to set it in motion. It will require mobilizing police and perhaps military forces on a huge scale and will directly impact all lives, not just immigrants’.
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Peter Thiel, Star Wars, and Capitalism

Peter Thiel, a Trumpist who does libertarian impersonations, has argued that Star Trek is communist while Star Wars is capitalist. He may have a point, but his example on the latter is a seriously poor choice.

On Star Trek he repeats an often-made and valid point. According to Gene Roddenberry, the Federation doesn’t use money because replicators can make anything without limit. This ignores the fact that there are other kinds of scarcity besides goods. Starfleet needs highly trained people who are willing to spend years away from home. They can’t just run a James Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard through the transporter and then produce additional copies. If they could and did, they’d be the Borg.
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Introducing Techno-Liberty

My newest blog project is Techno-Liberty. Quoting my own “About” page:

I’ve created this blog as a resource for discovering the ways that technology can advance liberty. You’ll see occasional forays into libertarian politics, but mostly it will be about technical issues: encryption, privacy, blockchains, data accumulation, secure communication, and so on.

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