In John Brockman
's Edge newsletter
, an essay by Scott Atran (left) and Robert Axelrod (right), two social scientists who study and interact with violent groups "to find ways out of intractable conflicts." The piece is a response to a recent Supreme Court decision
that amounts to a real "chilling effect" for anyone working for peace and reconciliation through dialogue with foreign groups that have a history of armed conflict. Before the ruling, we knew that sending money or guns to any of the four dozen groups currently designated by the secretary of state as terrorist organizations was punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But now the law has been clarified to show that, say, holding conflict resolution workshops with them, or even interviewing one of their officers for an op-ed piece, could merit the same penalty. This NPR News analysis
is a good place to start for real-world examples.
From Atran and Axelrod's Edge essay:
In the course of this work and in our discussions with decision makers in the Middle East and elsewhere we have seen how informal meetings and exchanges of knowledge have borne fruit. It's not that religious, academic or scientific credentials automatically convey trust, but when combined with a personal commitment to peace, they often carry weight beyond mere opinion or desire.
Edge 321 -- July 8, 2010 (Edge.org)
So we find it disappointing that the Supreme Court, in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, ruled that any "material support" of a foreign terrorist group, including talking to terrorists or the communication of expert knowledge and scientific information, helps lend "legitimacy" to the organization. Sometimes, undoubtedly, that is the case. But American law has to find a way to make a clear distinction between illegal material support and legal actions that involve talking with terrorists privately in the hopes of reducing global terrorism and promoting national security.
President Donald Trump today “offered support for emerging technologies including unmanned aerial vehicles and next-generation wireless networks in a meeting on Thursday with the chiefs of AT&T Inc and General Electric Co and other business leaders,” reports Reuters. At the White House today, Trump met with venture capitalists, and with telcom and drone executives, and […]
They’ve been on the Endangered Species list for 42 years. Today, Trump removed the Yellowstone grizzly bear’s federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. The reason? A reported population rebound. The U.S. Department of Interior announced their plan to strip the grizzly’s protections and return species oversight to the states.
The Washington Post was first to get a draft copy of the ‘secret’ GOP health care bill. The ‘discussion draft’ is making the rounds among GOP Senators’ aides and lobbyists. It would repeal Obamacare taxes, reduce Medicaid coverage, give states greater ability to opt out of Affordable Care Act regulations, and kill federal funding for […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]