Stupid Security Tricks

As another example of the idiocy of which our side in the 'war on terror' seems to have an inexhaustible supply I submit the following: In response to the Nigerian bomber fliers are no longer allowed to get out of their seat, use any of their personal items, must give up pillows and blankets and sit with hands visible for the last hour of their flight. That should be of enormous help.

Hmm. How might one thwart this clever roadblock to terrorists? One hopes that Al Qaeda is no more clever than our side and doesn't decide that there are other windows of opportunity during an 8 hour flight. I suppose next we'll all have to sit in our seats in a diaper with our hands over our heads.

Rather than asking us to give up our tiny pillows perhaps you can explain how a guy whose own father turned him in, payed for his ticket with cash, and had no luggage for an international flight didn't raise any flags. Guess the security guards were too busy rousting some old woman with a walker or checking out somebodies belt...


This is no fun at all!

Sorry for the whine. I am eyebrow deep in writing a grant proposal that is due next week.


Slack-jawed Disbelief

Slack-jawed disbelief. That's the only way I can describe the looks I got the other night when I dared to say something that I admired in the character of George W Bush. The proverbial pin drop could have been heard, but for the red roaring in the ears of some from the sudden spike in their blood pressure. What was this trait?

While I think he often took it to extremes, I do admire the fact that George W Bush did not always bow to the fickle will of the people while President. This despite the fact that his refusals usually coincided with him doing something with which I violently disagreed. But that is in fact the job of a President in a Republic. We vote for a block of someone's time and efforts. If we don't like what they do with that block, we are free to vote against them next time. We don't get to vote on every issue that arises during that time. If we did, there'd be no need for representatives. That is what Congress is for. Yes, one can attempt to govern using polling numbers and an obsession with consensus building that would warm the cockles of any corporate middle manager. But leadership is often about making a clear decision regardless of the din of voices surrounding you. It's realizing that every voice in the argument does not hold equal value - realizing that a big tent usually holds a lot of narrow self-interests, a generous filling of ignorance and a not a few stupid ones. Go to any local school board hearing and you'll see what I mean. Now multiply that a hundred million times and that's the world of the American President. Sometimes, for better or worse, the business of the nation requires that someone cuts through the morass to be the decider.