Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Way We Live Now

The terrorist who set his pants on fire yesterday on a crowded plane is a Christmas bookend to the Thanksgiving White House party-crashers--reminders that, as the Marx Brothers would put it, there is "no sanity clause" in our contract for security in today's world.

Both incidents undermine the belief that poverty and oppression are the main sources of danger, with the perpetrators turning to be scions of the wealthy, a Virginia vineyard owner and a Nigerian bank chairman.

The other usual suspects for blame will not lessen our anxiety, either. A Congressional Republican who is running for governor of Michigan, Pete Hoekstra jumps in to burble, "People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration."

The Detroit flight scare comes complete, not only with a political clown like Hoekstra but a heroic passenger, the Dutch filmmaker who suffered burns by jumping the fumbling terrorist and helping avert disaster for the 288 others on board.

In the coming days, there will be scrambling to place retroactive responsibility, particularly since the would-be bomber's father says he alerted authorities to the views of his son who reportedly lived in a $4 million London apartment.

There will also be "tightening" of airline terminal procedures and reassuring speeches from Homeland Security, but the sad truth is that breaches of safety for plane passengers, White House dinner guests and everybody else are just part of the way we live now.

While we must do everything possible to avoid them, they are going to keep happening, especially at times when most Americans are trying to enjoy the traditional comforts and pleasures of life that stir envy and rage in disordered minds. Luckily, at least for now, not all of their efforts are lethal.

7 comments:

Fuzzy Slippers said...

"burble," what a great word!

Well, I think that what Hoekstra was trying to say was pretty much what you are saying, that we need to take the Islamic extremists seriously. There's a general sense that BO "doesn't get it." And honestly, he does seem to be bumbling along like an enthusiastic puppy, trying to lick everyone's hand while frantically wagging his tail. It would be nice if BO would just wake up and realize that they are not going to stop attacking us unless we stop them.

What they want and what we want are fundamentally opposite, there is no way to please them or make them back off unless we fully succumb to their will. And from what bin Laden has said over the years, that pretty much means our complete annihilation. He's made it pretty clear that even a complete conversion to Islam wouldn't do the trick (though sometimes I wonder if BO hasn't considered that!).

Serious Implications said...

FS:
Seems you'v mis-comprehended the post. Hoekstra is described as a "political clown."

There's a general sense that Republicans will try anything to put Obama on the defensive.

Will the Republicans push to make the TIDE database the new "no fly list?"

More likely, they'll continue with poor reading comprehension and snide remarks.

mugsysrapsheet said...

Great observation on how these latest security threats all come from people of means (and let's not forget bin Laden was the son of a mid-East Construction mogul).

My main question is on why we continue to tighten up security in our airports when it is CLEAR the terrorists have figured out that the weak link in our security is to simply board a plane headed to the U.S. from another country with more lax security.

Jim DeMint tried to blame "unions" for the lapse in security "here", though the Xmas bomber didn't even board in the U.S.. Huh?

maximumfiction said...

Nice post. Also, let's not forget about The Damned's "There Ain't No Sanity Clause": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN8n99BUO-A

Fuzzy Slippers said...

SI, Mr. Stein stated quite clearly that "Both incidents undermine the belief that poverty and oppression are the main sources of the danger." I'm not sure about you, but I take this to mean that there is more going on with terrorism than a bunch of ragamuffins joining up with al Quada because they are too poor or stupid, er ill-educated, to know better. Isn't that the usual liberal blather? That terrorists are just poverty stricken, misunderstood victims trying to find a way to escape poverty and find useful work in the only way they can?

My own comment, as you note, had a tinge of the snide to it. That, of course, indicates quite clearly (to Mr. Stein, if not to you, poor soul) that I know what he thinks of Hoekstra, but that he actually is saying a similar thing: that BO's naivete about terrorism in general and about terrorists in particular is rather dangerous. Not that I think Mr. Stein is disparaging BO, but I do think that it's wonderful to see him write out loud that the liberal spin on terrorists and their motivations has been a . . . well, let's just say a little off-base.

As to your non sequitur second sentence, I have no idea what that means or how it relates to your other comments to me, so I simply ignore it.

I do, however, find it delightful that you managed to demonstrate your own poor reading skills and ability to comment snidely while making the same statement about me. This is one trick that I find ever-amusing in the liberal playbook, one of my all-time favorites is the howls of "fear tactics" that are actually intended to inspire "fear" in the liberal loons who listen (fear of conservatives, of course, which is just silly, but you people have the strangest views about what constitutes a threat and what does not, see above re: terror). (And it's just an added bonus that "fear tactics" are fine as long as you all are proclaiming the imminent immolation of the planet or that people are having their feet cut off so doctors can make an extra buck. Hilarious. BO doesn't really need us to put him on the defensive, his own bizarre behavior and statements stand on their own . . . well, two feet, as it were. But that's an aside for another day--and largely for Mr. Stein's amusement, as I'm not quite certain of your own ability to comprehend simple prose.)

Jocelyn said...

To Fuzzy Slippers:

I am curious to know what "unless we stop them" means. How do you destroy the extremist element of a religion? As our forces go into different countries and attack these groups, we seem to be creating more extremists than we are stopping.

Maybe what Barack Obama does get is that military force has its limits and diplomacy (what you call "licking everyone's hand") might be more effective.

Ask yourself, has invading Iraq and Afghanistan really made your country (or the rest of the world) safer?

Nameless Cynic said...

Well, Fuzzy, here's the thing. You're lumping all Muslims into one big basket, when what you're dealing with is roughly one quarter of the earth's population; it's the fastest-growing religion in the world. Only Christianity is bigger, at about one-third of the population.

So you want to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few extremists? I glanced at your blog, and didn't see you suggesting that we need to take blanket steps against all Christians because the Army of God is out there killing people and blowing up buildings. Why are you discriminating against one religious extremist and not the other?