ZipDialog Roundup for Wednesday, October 4

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

Pres. Trump heads to Las Vegas. If he’s wise, he’s stick to one role, that of “head of state.” This should be a journey of grief and remembrance, not politics.

At times, the President is asked to speak for all his countrymen, to express our grief. Pres. Reagan set the standard with his speech after the Challenger Disaster. Actually, he did it twice, once from the Oval Office that night (the speech where he said the astronauts had waved goodbye to us this morning and “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God”) and then several days later, with a sad, powerful elegy at their memorial service (below).

For a wonderful memory of that speech, here’s Peggy Noonan talking about it–and being asked by Reagan to write it. (Washington Post)

Comment: Of course, there was nothing controversial about that event, as there is after each mass shooting.

Each shooting raises important political issues, always about guns and sometimes about mental health, racism, and other issues.

But, for the sake of the country, put aside the controversies for one more day, Mr. President.

And do the same, Mr. Schumer, Ms. Clinton, and Ms. Pelosi.

Then return to the fray.

We know the Las Vegas killer planned meticulously, but we still don’t know his motive (Washington Post)

Comment: The absence of a clearly-stated motive raises questions. The most important is whether there is anything to ISIS’ repeated statements that it was behind the shooting. Most experts discount that claim, but they also note it is unusual for ISIS to repeat its claims, as it has in this case.

Today in hypocrisy:  Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), popular with pro-life movement, urged abortion in affair, texts suggest (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The congressman has been lauded by the Family Research Council, for his stance on abortion, as well as for family values, generally. He also has been endorsed by LifePAC, which opposes abortion rights, and is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, an affiliation that is often cited by his office. –Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The FCC is considering Net Neutrality Again and asked for comments. They got plenty . . . from robots (Vice/Motherboard)

The Trump administration and its embattled FCC commissioner are on a mission to roll back the pro-net neutrality rules approved during the Obama years, despite the fact that most Americans support those safeguards.

But there is a large number of entities that do not: telecom companies, their lobbyists, and hordes of bots.

Of all the more than 22 million comments submitted to the FCC website and through the agency’s API found that only 3,863,929 comments were “unique,” according to a new analysis by Gravwell, a data analytics company. The rest? A bunch of copy-pasted comments, most of them likely by automated astroturfing bots, almost all of them—curiously—against net neutrality.

That means 80% Of all “Net Neutrality” comments were sent by bots, all on one side.

 Today in Islamist terror: France passes a tough, new counter-terrorism law

  • Anti-terror law described here at BBC. One feature: easier to search homes and jail individuals without judge’s approval
  • Terrorists tried and failed to detonate gasoline bombs in a wealthy Paris neighborhood; they were captured. According to The Telegraph:

Judicial sources said the explosive device included two gas canisters inside the building in the affluent 16th arrondissement of western Paris and two outside, some of them doused with petrol and wired to connect to a mobile phone. It appears there were several unsuccessful attempts to detonate the canisters.

The five arrested over the Paris bomb, men in their thirties, are known to authorities and one is on an intelligence services list of “radicalised” people, which includes the names of potential Islamist militants. –Telegraph

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Hat Tip to

Michael Lipson for the net-neutrality bots story

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