General interests that may or may not fit anywhere else.
Last updated: 2016/02/11
I’ve written about the dangers of self driving cars (and ‘smart’ technology) before just as I’ve written about how people who rely on ‘smart’ technology are actually making themselves stupider and less aware of their surroundings. Two brilliant examples are when a tourist walked off a pier in Australia while looking at Facebook (which is far more important you know, keeping up with what everyone is doing every second of the day and reading all the news articles being published … at least if you’re a moron) and the woman who walked into the cold ocean while texting her boyfriend. They both deserve the (perhaps immortalised) embarrassment and had they drowned it would be nothing but natural selection (and worthy of a Darwin Award). Those who rescued these two idiots shouldn’t have had to risk their lives but they did and both women should be extremely grateful for it (and show it too preferably by by paying more attention to where the hell they are and what the hell they are doing). The fact the first couldn’t swim is even more amusing and it shows exactly what I mean: anyone who doesn’t look where they are walking when around water and who cannot swim is incredibly stupid and that’s putting it nicely.
And then there is Google and their idiotic fully autonomous cars (one example of many more). It seems to me that the United States of America (who would have guessed ?) really wants to pave the way to making autonomous cars become commonplace on the road. The fact these cars have been in accidents should point out that these cars aren’t any better (and actually they’re worse because of emergencies). Of course Google dismisses it in that it was the fault of the driver in the other car (certainly Google’s cars couldn’t have driven more defensively and so the problem isn’t) as if that changes the reality of car accidents leading to physical damage (often permanent) and even deaths to those in the accident (plus damage to property). Obviously it doesn’t but Google is so above everyone that it doesn’t matter to them. It seems to me that Google’s car could be given the same legal definition as a human driver (which makes it more amusing that an AI robot had the IQ of a four year old sometime last year) even though Google’s cars do not have pedals and do not have a steering wheel! This has been reported on the BBC here. Dangerous machinery (that is not a toy like so many think) controlled by its fucking self is given the same legal status as a human? How the fuck do these people live with themselves?
I have many thing I’d like to say on this but I’m going to blunt and also keep it to a minimum:
- Anyone who suggests these cars are life savers for them (because a disability prevents them from driving) is a selfish bastard and I really, really hope that if there is an emergency (or any one is hurt for any reason) it is you and only you (and since it’s inevitable I hope it happens to people like you). Because the fact is you deserve it over those who understand this. And don’t try to tell me I don’t know what it’s like to not be able to drive because chronic sleep problems means I don’t drive; I know very well what it’s like but I’m not a selfish shithead.
- Anyone in an autonomous car that is involved in an accident deserves it and they bloody well better be the only one hurt (and should also be held legally responsible in addition to already being ethically and morally responsible).
- Anyone who is in an autonomous car that interferes (in any way) with an ambulance (or any other emergency vehicle) deserves any guilt they might feel (and hopefully have) for the rest of their miserable life. They should also be thankful they weren’t in the emergency (but it’d be far more fair if they were in the emergency instead).
- Anyone supporting these cars enough to use them is a dangerous menace to society.
Think my thoughts are nasty? They aren’t nearly as nasty as Google (and those supporting this stupid idea) deserve. Yet I’m not surprised it is the United States of America that would liken software to a human – and give it the same legal definition in the case of a car. The very idea is so fucking stupid that when I think of it I’m surprised it took this long.
Yet I’d much rather Google and like-minded organisations didn’t go through with this and instead no one gets hurt (I’d rather this with everything). Perhaps I’m somewhat paradoxical here but I simultaneously am disgusted by the way humans behave (on a whole) and yet I don’t want anyone (or anything) to be hurt more generally. Yes it’s true there are drunk drivers and street racers and other unethical, immoral, disgraceful behaviour (showing extreme disregard for the safety of everyone and everything) but the fact of the matter is autonomous cars will only change some problems into others (and ambulances cannot be expected to follow the rules of traffic and as I’ve pointed out before emergencies are unpredictable; there is no way to account for everything and even one seemingly innocuous variable could change things drastically). Actually it isn’t even changing it: it’s adding additional problems without removing the other problems; there is no way in this day and age every single old car will be removed from the road. You still have cars that are far worse polluters (from decades ago) than those made in the past decade or two (this does not mean all cars but many cars are cleaner than before) and the same will apply with non-autonomous cars decades from now. That’s only one example and despite these supposed benefits it’ll be worse in the long run. If you interfere with one ambulance (or any emergency situation) and it doesn’t bother you and/or you disregard ambulances and emergencies without any thought then nothing will change your mind but it certainly says a lot about your character: you have no working moral compass, you’re unethical, ungrateful, and take life (and everything else) for granted. The odds are many have not taken your life for granted and it seems to me your behaviour is a poor way of repaying them (and others).
I was told a few hours ago that the actor of Severus Snape of Harry Potter has died. Seeing as how I am a fantasy fanatic and seeing as how I can draw so many parallels between Severus Snape and myself, I felt I should acknowledge his death and thank him for his acting career. On the one hand I enjoyed his performance of Severus Snape (even though I utterly reject the way movies are very different from the books including the Harry Potter books to movies, especially the last book… and even though I can’t follow movies without subtitles – and often even with them I can’t because of poor hearing – it can’t be denied the acting was good); on the other hand, he also played in Die Hard. I certainly don’t remember him playing in it but that was long before DVDs and DVDs are more than 20 years old (I must say I’m rather baffled that it really was that long ago …)! I only saw the first, second and third (maybe the fourth but I can’t recall now and I don’t know which of them Alan Rickman played in). Yet if it weren’t for his role as Severus Snape I wouldn’t have paid any attention to his death because it’s been so long that I watched Die Hard or even thought of it. But in the end, another wonderful actor is gone and while I don’t follow actors (or really movies, plays or the like) it’s still a loss (… and then there are friends and family who all must be grieving).
Farewell Sev and rest in peace.
In the popular Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) implementation of the DNS protocols there is a concept called ‘views’; it is a method of allowing some clients (e.g. local network) to see some zones (or versions of the same zones as other clients) whereas other clients (e.g. external network) have a different view of the zones. This would allow for resolving hosts to local IPs instead of the public IPs for one example of others. Last year I believe it was I enabled DNSSEC for my Xexyl websites (as well as some others I am involved in). There are (if I recall correctly) just two ways to deal with DNSSEC signing of zones in BIND (at least as far as how and when they are signed). Admittedly my memory is vague on this but the problem is simple enough to elaborate on – and these methods are irrelevant to the problem: how to use ‘rndc sign’ on a zone when you have multiple views in order to notify the slave DNS servers that the zone has been updated (serial numbers aren’t used in the same way as regular DNS). So instead of :
# rndc reload
… you might try :
# rndc sign <zone>
… where <zone> is replaced by the zone name. But if you have multiple views then the sign command won’t work; you’ll get something like this (assuming your zone is ‘example.com’):
# rndc sign example.com
rndc: 'sign' failed: not found
In order to solve the problem you have to specify the zone type and the view it is in:
# rndc sign <zone> IN <view>
… where <zone> is the zone, IN is the zone type and <view> is the view name. For instance, if your zone is example.com (as above) and the view you want to sign the zone in is called external, you would do:
# rndc sign example.com IN external
It should succeed (indicated by the command prompt; “no news is good news” as an old UNIX book puts it). I can’t recall exactly where I found this syntax except it was in a mailing list; I had a suspicion all along that it was to do with views and whilst I was correct I wasn’t sure how to fix it. While I can’t name the person who deserves the credit I am crediting them as much as I can. This is both to remind myself (I recently had to look it up and I had sent it to someone in an email so I checked sent) and help others who run into this problem (like the person who deserves credit here as well as myself).
I’m including this in general because it fits in several different categories all to do with computers. I’d actually go so far as to say that this happens outside of technology. But regardless of where it is, it is almost always utterly ridiculous and completely stupid. The idea goes that something will die out. Yet these statements are claimed over and over again, ad infinitum, despite the fact they are all illogical. Maybe it is because these would-be fortune tellers want there prophecy to come true but that doesn’t make it any more realistic.
This will not be in any specific order but for each I will give my thoughts on said prediction and why it is ridiculous, stupid and illogical. Some predictions I am especially bemused by and it is is quite obvious from what I wrote below.
Eradication of Spam
The first one is from 2004 when Bill Gates predicted that spam will be wiped out in two years time. I remember reading this at the time but I saw it recently by chance. It would be nice but as I’ve written about before, as long as there exists one person that responds to the spam in some way, it is worth it to the spammers. But let’s be honest: more than one person does exactly this just like more pay up for ransomware attacks. The reality is spam isn’t going anywhere. Tactics will change to account for ways to try to help mitigate spam but spam itself is still strong. The mitigation methods aren’t exactly that successful, either. Spam filtering is the best of the lot in the matter and it is impossible to get right 100% of the time (and this is with text mails; then consider the tricks of the entire message being in an image or images). HTML in email makes this even worse (and it is unfortunately something that is rather commonplace) in what it allows (hyperlinks themselves is one thing but embedded HTML is another entirely). No Bill, spam isn’t going anywhere, I’m sorry to say. The prediction that it would go away is like predicting littering will cease to occur (and sadly this will never happen because as I’ve recently pointed out, humans have a serious disregard for the planet). It just won’t happen.
Computer Mice Will Die
I seem to recall this, anyway, and all I can think of is that these predictors believed that with pens (whatever those input devices are called) there would be no need for the mouse. But that’s not how it works. Not everyone will want the alternative input methods and not every input method is appropriate for all types of input, funnily enough. The mouse will never be abandoned and that’s all there is to it. The sole exception is if manufacturers work together to ensure that mice can’t function and no mice will be replaced. But yet nowadays mice are often USB enabled and so good luck with getting rid of that capability.
Keyboards Will Become Obsolete
I really, really, really, and I do mean really, get laughs out of this one. It is so utterly stupid and ridiculous it is hard to believe anyone would make this claim. But it has been claimed many times over the years, and each time it is equally as stupid. Let’s see why that might be, shall we?
Typists can somehow type faster than they can speak. This is rather obvious to anyone who has spent much time around computers, but it apparently isn’t enough. If I were to speak at the rate I type, I would be considered manic and frankly it would be extremely difficult to follow my thoughts (the reality is my thoughts are already hard to follow, especially if spoken but through typing I can look back at it and fix any mistakes at another time – you can’t not say something you already said, can you? Granted you can’t change archives but you can at least fix any unfair thoughts and you can improve upon what you wrote before – this is sometimes called ‘editing’). This is despite the fact that my typing has gone bad in recent years. The reality is my fingers are a lot faster, accurate and more efficient than speaking. But then you have people that enter data in to databases. The syntax might not be easily spoken. Then there is the example where thoughts flow naturally in a persons’ head but not if spoken. This might occur when writing a book, for example, or perhaps the thoughts aren’t completely there (enough to speak) but are still there in some form (enough to put down in order to develop later). Oh, and yes, I’ve left two things out. First, to get rid of keyboards one would have to speak and yet software isn’t perfect (and never will be) and so it won’t get things right all the time (and without keyboards what do you do to fix these mistakes? In fact, how will you write the software to interpret the spoken words to translate into text?! That itself should say enough). While this might not be for many people, my mother works at her computer and watches TV at the same time. She’s also watched TV, crocheted and read a book all at once. No, that isn’t a fabrication, and yes she was able to follow everything and what she was crocheting had no problems, either. The TV is important: people on TV tend to be so rude as to talk (sometimes more than one person at the same time). Obviously that is sarcasm. Forget the fact that it would be hard to speak the letter you’re typing in while watching TV, how would the software discern what is being said by what person (or thing)? No, voice recognition won’t solve the problem with 100% satisfaction. My doctor recently showed me his dictaphone (that could input to a computer) and unsurprisingly it was very easy to make the input turn to gibberish. After I demonstrated this he even said that he has to tell patients this fact (he showed me after I laughed at his inability to find the keys on the keyboard, even though I was far enough away for my poor vision to discern things well, I knew what he was trying to type and I knew his fingers were in the wrong place – by a lot). Then there is the best part. Computer programming. Oh yes, no keyboards would be a killer to this important task. Many will say that some of it can be automated but I challenge them to look at more advanced C code until it sinks in a bit. No, no and no, keyboards aren’t ever going to be obsoleted. Anything to the contrary is ridiculous and stupid.
Passwords Will Be Obsoleted
This is another fun one. The theory goes that passwords are the weakest chain in the link (hint: they aren’t; what is the weakest link is those who create passwords, reuse, share with others, write them down and list goes on and on – i.e. humans are the weakest link, not passwords) and there have been so many problems with them over the years. Or another one I’ve read is that they are no longer sufficient. Well sorry to break it to these bogus fortune tellers but they were never sufficient by themselves! They were always a weak part of the security chain. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have uses. They do. And people suggesting emojis as the replacement are completely blind – literally and figuratively. Tell me, how is a blind person going to know the difference? Tell me also, what about those who can’t really distinguish one image from another (faces being the common example even if the name of the problem is at my fingertips but not quite available, it is a known phenomenon), or has an easier time remembering text over images? And what about password managers which allow for (when used properly in the right environment) far more secure, longer, complex passwords than some stupid combination of images (I might remind you of shoulder surfing). Any organisation that removes passwords outright is woefully naive and is risking security. This is just like how passwords are limited in what characters are allowed, or only allowing a length of 16, say, characters. It’s stupid. Funny story: once upon a time I was making an account on a nameless website like http://movietickets.com and, when forced to enter a password hint/question I input something like: ‘password questions/hints are insecure’. Then, when creating a password, I got an error. I tried it twice (removed one class then the next) before it occurred to me what the problem was: they were only allowing alphanumerical characters. I’m thrilled I had made the remark about password hints at this time but I was not at all impressed in such weak password policies (passwords are weak as it is and by removing non-alphanumerical characters you make it much weaker).
Biometrics Will Take Over
Yes, well all I can say is this: your DNA is your DNA and it has already been demonstrated that fingerprints (and maybe even images of) left on something can actually be used to compromise the supposedly safer system (‘protected’ by biometrics). Oh, and just to throw out another problem: some people (rarity is irrelevant) have more than one DNA. No, this is not a lie. It’s called genetic chimeras, named after the mythological creature. Only a fool would assume it will never be a problem.
Anti-Virus Software and Firewalls Will Be Obsoleted
I saw this just today. The scary thing is that the person writing this at Tripwire is actually suggesting the possibilities based on incorrect perceptions of what security is (it is always a multi-layered thing):
If the decline in antivirus use happens, it will largely be from greater use of whitelisting, or application control, on computers and mobile devices. While whitelisting is a capability many computers have had for years, only recently has it become a default setting. Whitelisting basically works by preventing programs with certain identified harmful signatures from running on a piece of equipment.
No, the reason anti-virus isn’t used is because people seem to believe that it isn’t needed – a theory you are conveniently improving the chances of survival. Whitelisting isn’t used by default you say? That might be for Windows and MacOS but the reality is those aren’t the only operating systems around, and just because something is the default doesn’t mean it stays that way. Not addressing the issue is being irresponsible (even if through ignorance) and to use irresponsibility as evidence is idiotic. But here’s the most ironic thing: what you’re describing with whitelisting with respect to computer programs is exactly what anti-virus software does! What do you think the virus signature databases are? I’ll go further, though: you’re not talking about whitelists; you’re talking about blacklists and those defy the wisdom of: that that which is not explicitly permitted is forbidden. No, a whitelist would be deny everything by default and only allow what is explicitly allowed (hence whitelist, not blacklist). (As an afterthought, maybe you’re trying to say that whitelisting only allows software which isn’t known to be malicious, but that then is a poor choice of wording – something I have admittedly been guilty of). But this concept is irrelevant to anti-virus software as a whole because anti-virus software also has heuristics (for example) which protects against unknown malware by examining what the potential malware does (and how it does it). This is why software that generates keys to some product is sometimes flagged as malicious when it only is using techniques that viruses also use (of which there are many). Yes, that means it is a false positive but it could have been malicious software that wasn’t a known virus. You see, this is why it is a multiple-layered concept.
Companies like Apple and Microsoft haven’t used whitelisting as a default setting to give users the freedom to run any program on their machines, but that attitude is quickly changing.
Yet here you’re describing whitelist correctly. I’ve not seen evidence to support whitelisting or blacklisting being the default under these operating systems, one way or another but I will say this: saying you can only use software that is flagged as valid will cause upset and potentially backfire in that people will find workarounds. You see, complete convenience and security are mutually exclusive (and the more convenience there is, the less security there is) and it is why you have to find the right balance (which can be really hard because humans will go to any lengths to make things even a little bit easier). When you don’t find the right balance the security becomes worse because of people being annoyed by the inconvenience of it all. Yes, people really like (if not require) convenience. This shouldn’t be surprising. Incidentally, I’m going to point out also that Apple’s Gatekeeper has been circumvented by malware and has been described completely broken by a researcher. Perhaps you see now why your supposed method isn’t a replacement for anti-virus? One hopes so.
Similar to antivirus programs, firewalls may soon become obsolete thanks to advances in other technologies.
Augment, not replace. No, firewalls are not becoming obsolete and any claim to the contrary is stupid and harmful. Yet you don’t really talk about the supposed replacements which makes your statements much worse. I return to your thoughts:
While firewalls still persist to this day, many aren’t even configured and feature far too permissive rules to be of much use. Firewalls are proving to be outpaced by the use of HTTPS network connections. In addition to that, many of the attacks firewalls are best designed to stop have ceased to be much of a problem. Plus, firewalls do a poor job preventing attacks from social engineering and unpatched software.
Yes, many are too permissive. That goes for things other than firewalls, too. I would like to think then that you understand whitelisting versus blacklisting but you demonstrated otherwise (or you have a very different idea of what black and white is). And indeed, a poorly configured firewall is in many respects worse for security. But for some really odd reason, a properly configured firewall is better for security! Now the obvious question: what the hell does HTTPS have to do with replacing firewalls?! That is such a scary statement it is something I don’t want to believe was stated (but was). You note that not all servers have web servers. You note also that they still have firewalls. You note that clients also use firewalls!! There are other protections in place, too, because once again it is a many layered thing! And no, the attacks have not ceased to be problems (but it seems you don’t understand what firewalls are designed for in the first place, as below) but even if they have, only a foolish, reckless administrator would say: “Well this attack is hardly ever seen in the wild nowadays so we’ll not even worry about it!” – that is completely stupid and counter-productive! Oh, and for the record: firewalls were never designed to prevent social engineering and vulnerable software! Those are different problems entirely. To think that you would use this as reasons they aren’t good is just crazy scary.
With fewer reasons to use firewalls, they will likely become obsolete sometime in the future.
There aren’t fewer reasons to use firewalls; any statement to the contrary would only make attacks easier (and this isn’t restricted to pentests!) – something I’m sure attackers would like a lot!
These security technologies have served some good uses in the past but holding onto outdated technology only increases the risks you’ll face in the future.
No, they are not outdated and not using them will increase the risks “you’ll face in the future”!
Hackers change up their tactics with incredible frequency, and companies need to be on top of that by adopting better security technology. There’s no reason to hold onto a ten year old server when converged infrastructure is a reality, and there’s no reason to think passwords are the best way to keep cyber attackers out when better measures are available.
I’m ignoring the first word of that paragraph. Yes, attackers change tactics. Obviously. Who would think otherwise? Is this any different from crime other than cyber crime? Of course not. But getting rid of these so-called obsoleted technologies is a disaster waiting to happen. Mark my words. Once again you fail to understand that security is a many-layered thing. Better security would be accomplished by remembering these things work together, are not obsolete, are still very relevant, and they are all part of a much bigger picture. The fact you also (presumably an honest mistake? I’m sure I’ve done similar) refer to passwords in this topic makes your points even more questionable (as if there isn’t enough legit reason to question them).
No, better technology is not available, and there isn’t a single (the keyword!) way to keep attackers out. There never has been and never will be. It’s as simple as that.
All businesses should consider carefully where they go with security in the years to come
No. Everyone should carefully consider security (and other disasters and disaster-recovery!) in general, not only in (or rather for) the future but right now. Living in the future (preparing for the future is different) is just as stupid as living in the past (and it also means you miss out on things happening now e.g. a live probe or attack).
2015/09/21: Apparently no charges were brought in the first place. Changed the below to account for this. It is also reported that it wasn’t his teacher who was concerned but instead another teacher. But a teacher is a teacher nonetheless and discrimination is still discrimination – for an adult to do so to a 14 year old is pathetic but one I’m (and I’m sure many others) not unfamiliar with, sadly. It is humbling to see that many have jumped to the support of this kid – including a movement on Twitter by a 23 year old psychology student called Amneh Jafari. I for one appreciate this as a general thing – too many ignore discrimination and bullying, and it causes all sorts of problems down the road for everyone (that most people never think about, understand or even care enough to do anything about it).
2015/09/20: More fixes, adjustments and clarifications.
2015/09/19: Clarified some points and added a few thoughts. Additional links and several fixes.
This is a very contentious topic – and one that I have included parts of, in other areas. For instance, there is irony that governments tend to scaremonger about terror itself. What terror is is (perhaps extreme?) fear and fear is an emotion. Emotion is easy to manipulate and strong emotions (fear is a very strong and powerful emotion) more so: if you know what terrifies someone or people, it is incredibly easy to instil that fear. You don’t need to be violent to terrorise people. You can terrify someone by making them think you’re planning something horrible against them (even if the only horrible thing you’re doing is making them believe you will be doing something horrible). The fact nations take away liberty to offer ‘safety’ shows just how easy it is to manipulate human emotion (I’m looking at the United States of America here). Terrorism is simply an ideal and therefore you cannot ever defeat it; it is impossible: this has been shown again and again (even though it should be obvious without any proof) – the so-called ‘war on terror’ only adds fuel to the fire; if someone declares war on you or someone (or something) you care about, it gives them all the more reason to believe you are indeed against them, and therefore they do indeed have an enemy that they must defend themselves from. Why would you want them to think that? Maybe so you can justify interrogation through torture or some equally inhumane, unethical and immoral thing that you would bitch about if it was done (for any reason at all) by a country like, say, North Korea? Perhaps it wasn’t planned as such but that is exactly what happened anyway! Which is incredibly stupid, isn’t it, when you consider how desperation (e.g. from torture) quite obviously affects people as well as the story of Hanns Scharff of the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany (who treated POWs with kindness and got much more intelligence from it)? All of what happened at Guantanamo Bay is made worse because innocents were detained and detainees weren’t necessarily charged with a crime at all! The reality is that terrorism as it is typically abused as, is, has always been and always will be a state sponsored thing (whether everyone sees it or not doesn’t change the fact).
But what comes along with it, typically? Xenophobia. To be completely honest, however, a phobia is a fear and people do the craziest, most stupid things ever, when they are afraid (I’ve witnessed the same with love but not from personal experience). For instance, taking away liberties in attempt to gain security and safety but which actually only tells ‘terrorists’ – is it a terrorist or is it a terrorist? – they won. Congratulations America, on ignoring history (Benjamin Franklin perhaps?) and the ‘Patriot Act’. And people hate the unknown. Look up xenophobia, think about it a bit more and you can see that it isn’t just a fear; it is a hate of foreigners (maybe because of fear but it still results in prejudicial hate). And because of this, it is easy to spread fear (hence it being a tactic by politicians); it comes in a variety of forms but it is always a very powerful – and incredibly easy – way to manipulate others into getting your own way. This is visible throughout the world. I just came across a very sad, very real example of this (specifically xenophobia and more specifically Islamophobia), though. A pathetic example of it.
A 14 year old was arrested in Texas for bringing his teacher a home made clock! Yes, a 14 year old brought his teacher a clock he made and was arrested! And what is his faith? The one that many associate as ‘terrorist’ and only ‘terrorist’: he is a Muslim. The fact he was released is irrelevant; he shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place – he should have been praised for his intelligence and creativity but instead of impressing the teacher (which is what should have happened) it terrified (actually, I’m not sure this is really true – I admit I could be wrong but I suspect it is more than fear) her enough to have him arrested. There is nothing but prejudice and stereotyping here, both of which come from weakness, fear and ultimately hate (and I used to have a huge amount of hate, anger and spite for the world and yet… I see this). There is no reason to be scared of a 14 year old because they made a fucking clock. If this boy was a white Christian I seriously doubt he would have been subjected to this bullshit. If he was black he probably wouldn’t have been subjected to this bullshit, either. I would imagine an atheist would also be praised instead of condemned. I would go further and say that if he wasn’t a Muslim he probably wouldn’t have had any problem at all. Maybe I’m wrong – always a possibility – but in this case I seriously doubt it. And yes, it is fucking bullshit.
And I have news for those claiming Muslims are by definition terrorists (even ignoring the definition of terror). A neighbour of mine (or they were at one point) had a large family from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They were Muslim. Yet they were the most kind, most open family – certainly religious family – I have ever met. Some will claim that they were good at hiding their obvious malice but they’re saying this out of ignorance and/or prejudice. We had a dog of pure bone and muscle weighing in 110lbs (as I recall, bigger than the average American grey wolf) – a dog that was very kind and protective, but a dog you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of (indeed every dog that was foolish enough – sometimes more than once – to attack her was taken down like a tank would against a snail, including a pitbull that charged my dog and me; the same went for humans – you did not cross that dog). But here’s the thing. They were terrified of dogs in general, yet they got over their fear to enter our house. No, they weren’t hiding anything at all. And they were treated like shit after the attacks on September 11 of 2001. Besides, did it ever occur to you that the Irish Republican Army (which most would call ‘terrorists’) aren’t Muslims? There are other examples, of course. Does the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution mean anything at all?
Just because a X is Y doesn’t mean all Y is X. That is a logical fallacy and nothing else.
Shame on you Texas police, and shame on the teacher. It is incredibly sad when stereotypes do not let others see anything else – the good and the bad that everyone has (and yes we all have good and bad). This story is taking human stupidity to exponential proportions.
 And yes, it is abused. Terrorist this, terrorist that, terrorist here, terrorist there and terrorist everywhere! Not all violent attacks are terrorism and not all terrorism is violence. Furthermore, you lose the credibility – at least to any decent, logical person – when you cry ‘terrorist’ for so many things, much like the Boy Who Cried Wolf (ironically there is the term ‘lone wolf’ to describe what they call terrorists acting on their own rather than part of an organisation). The reality is there has never been a time when people haven’t been terrified of something (including illnesses!). Similar is that the September 11 2001 attacks were not the first plane hijackings to occur but many tend to ignore this for some reason or another. It wasn’t even close to the first. Thank you very much Wikipedia for your excellent list of this very thing (there are far more examples than I knew of which just goes to show no matter how much you know, there is so much more you do not know!).