Lauren Kirchner, writing at ProPublica, reminds us that what we know about the effectiveness of mass surveillance suggests that, well, it's not that effective. What often gets lost about all this pre-emptive surveillance is that it's a damn lot of data to sift through, and can divert your attention away from actual terrorist threats. We might even wonder if that's what happened here, since ISIS's attacks in Paris seemed to blindside everyone in charge of preventing this sort of thing.
Nick Stockton, writing at Wired, reminds us that "Turning Away Refugees Won't Fight Terrorism, and Might Make It Worse." Apparently the theoretical possibility of "terrorists posing as refugees" is extraordinarily small -- approximately a dozen refugees, out of three million, have been expelled from American soil since 1975 -- but that's not all: coming here as a refugee takes so long that it's hard to imagine terrorists going through the 18-month-plus wait, and leaving refugees in harm's way in their home country or in a foreign country's camp can radicalize them, too.
Once-marginalized Muslim-haters, apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the Jeff George Victory Lap, are LOLing it up that Republicans seem anxious to adopt their positions. "Angry about #Paris?" twitters one. "Time for a moratorium on Muslim migration to US. If you make big policy decisions because you're "angry," why should we listen to you?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck advises President Obama to "accept a pause" in allowing Syrian refugees to come to the U.S., adding that he should do so with "the good-hearted nature that of course as a nation we want to accept refugees because they’re not all bad." Word salad aside, this is one of the most pernicious ideas in American culture -- the notion that you can do whatever you like, to whomever you like, as long as you're "nice" about it. I'm so old-fashioned I still think you reveal your "good-heartedness" in your good works, and that doing bad things with a smile on your face doesn't make them less bad.
Finally, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says there's "no data" to support the notion of a "Ferguson effect," whereby police are "afraid to do their jobs" because people are talking about them, or filming them. You already knew there was no data if you've been attending Radley Balko's articles on the subject at the Washington Post, but seriously, "Ferguson effect" hacks are essentially telling you that police officers can't do their jobs because their bosses, the public, are watching them. Always it's the people taking part in a democracy that really scares Our Glorious Elites.