politics, hypocrisy and meanness in public affairs, alligators, anti-empire-ism, occasional personal stuff

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Someone smarter than me wrote this:

And excerpt from Richard Watson's new book, Future Minds: How the Digital Age Is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It:
If we are very busy there is every chance that our brain will not listen to reason and we will end up supporting things that are dangerous or ideas that seek to do us, or others, harm. Fakery, insincerity, and big fat lies all prosper in a world that is too busy or distracted.
Put bluntly, if we are all too busy and self-absorbed to notice or challenge things, then evil will win by default. Or, as Milan Kundera put it: "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

Wonderings, wanderings

Does anyone - anyone? - think Frank Caliendo is funny? Every week on the Fox NFL Pre-Game Show he gets several minutes to babble; sometimes he is then included in the discussion. Why? Just as with the Faith Hill and Garth Brooks lead-ins on Sunday night and Monday night football telecasts, there is no reason I can discern that he is there. He certainly adds nothing in terms of football - is he funny, and I just don't get it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TSA Security "Options"

Resuming posting after months in the desert -

The fact that we Americans now accept a fully-nude screening - absent that, a full-frontal groping - in order to get on an airplane tells me that we are fully sheep, now, a status we have move towards ever since 2001. To put this into perspective, consider some questions:

1. How do you explain to your 12-16 year old daughters or granddaughters EXACTLY WHY it is acceptable and "normal" for people they don't know to look at them naked and/or fondle their breasts and genitals?
2. Ask yourself how many people who are, or were, President, Vice-President, Attorney General, Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense - or had a parent or spouse who is, or was, in one of those positions - will EVER be subjected to either of these screening techniques.
3. Ask yourself whether you know the difference between "a patdown" and "a thorough and invasive frisk." If you do, why does our discourse on this subject consist of the use of the word "patdown" - obviously, an exercise in which a law enforcement officer PATS in order to check for weapons - rather than the far more accurate word "frisk," which describes a more invasive and personal debasement.
4. Ask yourself why corporate passengers on large private planes are not subjected to any security procedures, when the crashing of a large jet into a building would have the same effect - in terms of damage and terrorization - whether it is a private or commercial jet.
5. Ask yourself what will be the TSA response if anyone ever uses a tampon bomb, given that there was a shoe bomber - resulting in the absurd taking off of millions of shoes PER DAY - and an underwear bomber - resulting in the nude scans and groping we now have.
6. Ask yourself to take a guess at the impact of nude scans and groping on anyone with PTSD from sexual abuse.
7. Ask yourself why the nude scans are now required when the manufacturer of the machines has acknowledged that they DO NOT KNOW whether the machines would have detected the explosive material that the underwear bomber used.
8. Now that TSA has announced that it will cease the comical color-coded threat advisory system - in its words, "The goal is to replace a system that communicates nothing.” - how do you assess the efficacy of TSA thinking?
9. Security Theater - if the sheep FEEL more secure, regardless of whether any of this has done anything, should we keep it?
10. If the point of all this is to make air travel safe, why did TSA officials insist that a man, yesterday, put his clothes back on, when he had stripped down to his underwear? Given what TSA does to us, were they outraged that this man might be scandalizing or - Help me, Lord! - embarrassing some of the sheep? Did we know that we gave TSA the right to order that non-scandalizing and non-embarrassing behavior be halted ... unless they do it? In other words, they can do anything they want to - anything - to your mom, dad and child; but they can demand termination of behavior that they find uncomfortable - right? 1984