Wired: U.S. Muslim Terrorism Was Practically Nil in 2012

Spencer Ackerman writes a pretty great article showing how Muslim terrorism is barely a thing anymore:

Only 14 people out of a population of millions were indicted for their involvement in violent terrorist plots in 2012, a decline from 2011′s 21. The plots themselves hit the single digits last year.

That shocked me. Sometimes data really can knock you sideways. But why do we always hear so much about terrorism in the news?

Spencer continues:

Since 9/11, Kurzman and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.

Looks like the US really has its priorities in the wrong order.

MPs Who Repaid Expenses Got Money Back in Secret Deal

Rosa Prince has the scoop over at The Telegraph:

Sir John Butterfill, a former Conservative backbencher, received £15,000 back after previously announcing that he would return money which he had received to help run the servants’ quarters at his Surrey mansion.

Sounds like Butterfill really needs the cash.

Voting is a Right

I do not disagree with Shawn Blanc about many things, but this specific line from a recent article of his made me stop in my tracks:

Voting is an immeasurable privilege and honor.

No. Voting is not either of these things in the US. It's a right.

The only case you could give for voting being a privilege is when comparing the US to a country without voting — in that case, it is certainly an improvement; a privilege in comparison. But an honour? More of a duty, if anything.

I'm sure getting carried away in the moment and feeling like voting was making a difference may have spurred Shawn to exaggerate a little with his words, which is understandable. I am not trying to speak for him, however. That would be unwise and unfair.

I always want to hear feedback and criticism when I write anything — especially anything controversial — and I hope I'm not offending anyone by pointing this out.

We should all be careful when discussing voting and placing too much trust and power in the hands of government.

I've recently been reading some Thomas Jefferson quotes and I feel this line of his is appropriate:

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”