From everything I've read, taking a strong anti-refugee position is closer to collaborating with ISIS than standing up to it. Yet, as the LA Times reports, more than half of the country's governors, citing security concerns, said they would refuse Syrian refugees (even the five year-olds). Condemning Syrian refugees in response to ISIS is like blaming turkeys for Thanksgiving.
+ Adam Taylor: The Islamic State wants you to hate refugees.
+ "They present themselves to the public as superheroes, but away from the camera are a bit pathetic in many ways: street kids drunk on ideology and power." Nicolas Hénin in The Guardian: "I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes."
+ WaPo: "Two-thirds of Americans polled in January 1939 -- well after the events of Kristallnacht -- said they would not take in 10,000 German Jewish refugee children." (My mom was one of those kids who survived Kristallnacht.)
French and Belgian authorities continue the manhunt for several suspects, airstrikes on Raqqa enter a second day, and a Germany/Holland soccer match was cancelled due to security concerns related to a suspicious suitcase. Here's the latest from The Guardian.
+ "We will search for them everywhere, no matter where they are hiding. We will find them at any point on the planet and punish them." Putin offers a $50 million reward and vows justice as Russia confirms that the Sinai plane crash was the work of terrorists.
+ Given the high number of serious injuries, you would have expected the Paris death toll to climb even higher. One reason it didn't is because French first responders and hospitals had been practicing for a mass shooting; as recently as a few hours before the attack.
+ The bizarre existence of the ISIS Help Desk.
+ Before a soccer match, France and England fans sing La Marseillaise at Wembley stadium.
Since the Paris attacks, there's been a growing number of complaints that the media ignored the prior bombings in Beirut. Did the media ignore them, or did readers?
+ From searches to social media, there's no doubt Paris got a lot more of the world's attention.
+ Here's a story from Beirut that's definitely worth reading and sharing. It's about dad who left his daughter's side to jump on a suicide bomber. He sacrificed his life while saving countless others.
"How could it be that they all lived in a place that inspired jealousy from out-of-towners, where the coolest gadgets and ideas come from, where the optimism is boundless, and where, as Kathleen put it to me somewhat sardonically, 'people are working on inventions that will slow aging and probably one day stop death' -- and yet also a place where a junior in high school is closely familiar with the funerals of other teens?" The Atlantic's Hanna Rosin on the Silicon Valley Suicides.
The Disney-powered hype for the return of the Star Wars franchise is as all-consuming as you'd imagine. And you better get used to it. Forget one more episode, or even three. The saga has just begun. It's all part of Hollywood's new strategy for the never-ending sequel. From Wired: The force will be with us always. (Based on the response to the first couple trailers, I think we're gonna need to order a lot more Star Wars lotion and Star Wars tissue before this story is over.)
Was Anne Frank's father a co-author of her diary? That's one of the questions that arose during a recent copyright squabble that Michael Hiltzik calls an example of the absurdity of copyright laws.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb." So said Charlie Sheen as he told the Today Show audience that he is HIV positive, and has been for four years. Sheen made the statement to stop a series of what he called shakedowns. "I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about threatening the health of so many others that couldn't be farther from the truth. I think I release myself from this prison today." The Charlie Sheen story is an opportunity to talk to your kids to remind them not to do every possible thing wrong and then handle it poorly.
"If the whole thing collapses I want our system to continue paying people, we want to be able to survive a shutdown of the banking system." That's Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne explaining why his company has $10 million in gold and silver hidden somewhere in Utah. In the end, the only things that will survive are the cockroaches and the discount ecommerce sites.
+ Oxford's word of the year is an emoji (proving once and for all that the unbridled desire for web traffic is an affliction that knows no cultural boundaries).
+ Feel like you're always the bridesmaid? Well, in certain states, that could be because you are. Priceonomics on the United States of Bridesmaids.