Behold the utter adorableness that awaited me when I came home from work yesterday:
The Celtic Tiger economic boom is all very well but this is goin’ beyond th’ Beyonds. Begob the great labour leader James Connolly would rise from the grave into which a British firing squad laid him in 1916 (and wasn’t yer man, already all shot all to Hell in combat & unable to stand for the grand occasion, propped up in a chair ~ his wounds from the Battle all bleeding & bare :) and mount the Barricades in Another fight for the Red COUGH COUGH nowait, for the Green again. :>
For brass and cold-heartedness, you can tip your cap to the managers of Aer Lingus, Ireland’s popular air carrier. Looking to drive away workers, the airline developed a series of discomforts and insults to make working there so unpopular people would leave on their own.
So much for Irish charm.
We’ve always imagined that the “bosses” of the world did such things when, usually, they don’t at all; but the Aer Lingus gang put their plan into black and white — and got caught.
…The airline industry everywhere is going through tough times but it’s hard to imagine anyone being quite so cynical (and getting quite so caught at it) as those at Aer Lingus.
Quite so cynical, Yes, it is. Quite so Caught at it ~ well, yes ~ anywhere but Ireland. :)
Read the whole column. // Incidentally, this Hartford Courant humor-&-opinion writer made my professional life miserable three years ago next month, when he playfully decided, and widely Publicized, that he would run for Governor of CT as a Joke, pursuant to an idiotic Federal court decision ~ subsequently reversed ~ which temporarily Destroyed our entire Nominating process. Of course his hilarious & heavily-covered Escapade brought every other Moonbat-who-wanted-to-be-Governor out of the cave and damn near Killed my former Office (CT SOTS Elections). /// But now, in consideration of this fine piece of Opinion Journalism: Denis Horgan, ego te absolvo.
It turns out the random searches of New York subway passengers are, incredibly, even more pointless than I thought:
At some of the busiest of the city’s 468 stations, riders will be asked to open their bags for a visual check before they go through the turnstiles. Those who refuse will not be permitted to bring the package into the subway but will be able to leave the station without further questioning, officials said.
Okay, let me get this straight. New York’s big plan to prevent London-style bombings is to commit an enormous amount of police manpower to a “security” effort that won’t deter anyone, because suicide terrorism is undeterrable, and won’t catch anyone, because they’ll only be searching a tiny percentage of the ridership (and they won’t even target the group that objectively poses the largest threat by far, young Arab men, for fear of “racial profiling” accusations), and on the off chance that — by pure coincidence — they happen to stop an actual would-be terrorist, he can refuse to be searched and they’ll let him go, whereupon he can just walk down the street to the next subway station and try again until he succeeds.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is completely ridiculous. It will make New York City LESS safe by taking police officers away from useful tasks and diverting their energies to something totally pointless. It will also inconvenience the entire city for absolutely no good reason.
I said yesterday that random searching “makes no sense,” but I now realize that’s not necessarily right, at least not quite: if they insisted on searching people once they’re cornered, rather than letting them refuse consent, they’d have a chance — albeit slim — of foiling a plot. But by letting people freely walk away from attempted searches, they’re setting up a system that can only catch a terrorist if he acts totally irrationally and consents to a search of his bomb-filled bag! Of course, irrational behavior by a dumbass terrorist is always hypothetically possible (see: Ahmed Ressam), but it seems an awfully remote possibility on which to waste a great deal of time, effort and money that could be better spent on preventing attacks in other, more effective ways (like, say, training more bomb-sniffing dogs, or even just placing more officers on trains and in stations to keep a general lookout).
A commenter wrote yesterday that he suspects the goal isn’t really making people safe, but rather, “fostering public confidence” by “mak[ing] people think that they’re safe.” I agree that that’s probably the goal, but I don’t think it will work; New Yorkers aren’t that dumb. Maybe they’ll feel more safe for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, but then they’ll see the 85-year-old Italian grandmothers getting searched while the 25-year-old Arab men with large fanny packs board the trains unmolested, and they’ll start to question why they’re being put through all this hassle for a “security” effort that is, on its face, transparently futile and fraudulent. Ultimately, random subway searches will probably — hopefully — die an ignominious death, just as the random gate searches at airports did a few years back.
After the London bombings two weeks ago, I saw a TV report suggesting that America would have to adopt Israeli-style tactics if we really want to prevent similar mass-transit attacks from happening here. Clearly, we’re not there yet. Do you think the Israelis care a lick about accusations of “racial profiling”? Do you think the Israelis let a bus passenger walk away if the authorities ask to search his bag and he says “no”? Ha!
One of these days — God forbid, but I fear it’s inevitable — an American city is going to get hit by a London-style bombing, in spite of “security” measures like New York’s, and then maybe we’ll see the error of our ways. Unfortunately, when it comes to security, Americans have a tendency to leave the barn door open until the horse has already bolted, and then decide to close it, at the behest of multiple committees performing simultaneous overlapping investigations. I fear we’re going down the same road again, and it’s a dead end.
P.S. Let me be perfectly clear: It is of course true that the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. It is, however, also true — it is an objective fact — that the vast majority of the terrorists who threaten us right now (not 30 years ago and not in some hypothetical future) are Arabs and/or Muslims. I don’t like racial profiling any more than the next (non-racist) guy, but I simply do not see how we can craft an effective anti-terror strategy while completely ignoring this basic, elementary fact.
P.P.S. About the “consent to search” issue, I’m guessing that’s a legal/constitutional problem. Personally, I don’t understand why you can’t just declare subways to be like airports: if you enter a subway station, you surrender your privacy rights. If you don’t want to do this, don’t use the subway. But perhaps that’s not legally possible because of the open, public nature of the subway system. If that’s the case, fine, but then for heaven’s sake, cancel the random-search program! Don’t continue with a wasteful and utterly futile program just for the sake of appearances! The consent thing is the final straw that makes New York’s effort completely pointless.
Don’t you go being too pushy with Saint Joe, fair Kathleen. You’ll just get his Irish up :) and he’ll bust yer Chops, my little Lamb. :>
WASHINGTON — Connecticut’s senators hold pivotal positions in the Senate’s consideration of John G. Roberts Jr. as the next Supreme Court justice, and Wednesday they became the targets of intensive campaigns to sway their votes.
Sens. Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman, both Democrats, said Wednesday their initial impressions of Roberts were favorable, though neither took a firm position…
…At the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, the recently organized Coalition for Judicial Responsibility held a press conference Wednesday to urge the senators to oppose Roberts’ nomination or at least examine his record and views.
“Of course, Sen. Lieberman is key,” said Kathleen Sloan, the executive director of the National Organization for Women’s state chapter. “We need to underscore to him: He is up for re-election in 2006, and we have a very concerned, a very involved and active base that is ready to move and mobilize.”
The Coalition for Judicial Responsibility includes groups ranging from the Connecticut AFL-CIO to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, but the focus Wednesday was on Roberts’ ability to weaken the abortion rights granted by Roe vs. Wade…
The article also reveals information that may somewhat startle Harry Reid:
Connecticut is a key target for both sides because if Dodd decides Roberts is acceptable - or not - it will be a strong signal that most Democratic senators probably think the same way.
“A lot of Democrats view Sen. Dodd as a leader of the party in the Senate,” said David Yalof, associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut…
Whole Thing. (Additionally, after the big meeting of the Gang of 14, Gangbanger Joe sounded pretty Positive about Da Judge in his remarks to Don Imus…Katie Sloan’s Damage may already have been Dunn, here :) …
Another terrorist bombing, in Egypt this time. At least 25 people are reportedly dead.
(The title of this post is taken from Sean’s suggested names for terrorists).
This is funny, and interesting.
I’ve known this for a while, but I wasn’t sure if he was going to reveal it publicly on the blog, so that’s why I haven’t said anything before. All I can say is, that video I have of David enthusiastically celebrating a federal judge’s 1999 ruling that Microsoft is a monopoly is now officially blackmail material. :)
The Fog of War is thick over London today, after officers shot and killed a man on the Tube for fear that he was a suicide bomber. Some eyewitness reports say the man had wires hanging out of his belt (note to self…) and that police shot him after he ignored their repeated commands to stop, while others say that he was carrying nothing remotely bomb-like and that the police shoved him to the ground before shooting him five times at point-blank range. Obviously, there’s a slight difference there. So far as I can tell, it’s simply too early to know what the hell actually happened, or to jump to any conclusions, either favorable or unfavorable toward the police officers. More here.
It is certainly not too early to say, however, that Australian Prime Minister John Howard is exactly right in responding thusly to the notion that the Brits and Aussies could extricate themselves from this whole terrorist mess simply by
giving Germany the Sudetenland withdrawing their troops from Iraq:
Once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it’s given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.
And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia’s involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn’t have done that?
When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan? …
The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.
Amen. The Anchoress makes the same point graphically; Oliver Roy points out that “In justifying its terrorist attacks by referring to Iraq, Al Qaeda is looking for popularity or at least legitimacy among Muslims. But many of the terrorist group’s statements, actions and non-actions indicate that this is largely propaganda, and that Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are hardly the motivating factors behind its global jihad.” (Read the whole thing.)
But while those arguments are certainly persuasive, I think the utter wrong-headedness of the “it’s because of Iraq” argument is best expressed (albeit unwittingly) by Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, a radical Muslim cleric in England who notoriously praised the 9/11 attacks (and who is, at best, an apologist for Islamist terrorism generally). He tries to blame Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war for the recent attacks in London, but then adds: “I would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world.”
That is what we are dealing with here. The Islamist radicals don’t just want us out of their backyards — they want to take over ours. Just like we were foolish to ignore Hitler’s long-term goals for “Greater Germany” and pretend that he would be satisfied with a few incremental concessions here and there, we are foolish to ignore the Islamists’ long-term goal of a worldwide Islamic state.
Withdrawing from Iraq for fear of further attacks would not stop them — it would not even slow them down. On the contrary, it would encourage them, because it would show them that they can convince us to change our policies by terrorizing us. It would give them reason to hope that, with a few more attacks and a few more surrenders, maybe they really will be able to see the Islamic flag flying over the whole world. We must not feed that fantasy.
That’s not to say the Iraq war is necessarily justified — that’s a separate debate, but the debate must be conducted on our terms, not theirs. Whatever else might be said about Iraq, the terrorists’ ire is NOT a valid reason to consider withdrawing. Appeasement is not the answer.
Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. –Winston Churchill
Tonight at 7 PM EST, Sci Fi Channel will begin re-airing every episode of Joss Whedon’s “space western” Firefly, even the ones Fox never aired, in the proper order. Come for the witty dialogue and quirky characters. Stay for the well-developed, believable world and the great plot.
Microsoft today unveiled the official name of its next version of Windows, which until now has been referred to by its code name Longhorn.
“We each have our own unique view or vista of this digital world. Windows Vista is going to bring more clarity to that,” said Greg Sullivan, group product manager at Microsoft.
Microsoft has taken some ribbing over the Longhorn name, especialy in comparison with competitor Apple computer’s naming their OS releases after members of the big cat family.
Developers will recieve the first beta version by August 3rd, with the OS scheduled to be released late next year.
I appreciate the refreshing lack of hypocrisy in this post on RedState, refusing to engage in Clintonian defenses of Rove & co.
As you may have heard, it’s really hot in Phoenix. The mercury was back in the 110s Thursday (with a high of 111Â°) after “only” reaching 109Â° on Wednesday. That followed nine consecutive days of 110-plus degree temperatures, including a record 116Â° on Sunday. (Data here.)
We got a phone call earlier in the week from the property management company that’s renting out Becky’s house in Mesa, telling us they’d be taking 200-some dollars from our next rent check because the air conditioner broke and they had to fix it. My first thought wasn’t that it sucks to lose that $200; it was, damn, I hope for our tenant’s sake that they fixed it quickly! A lack of A/C in Phoenix right now is no trifling matter.
The Southwest has been gripped by a deadly heat wave that might seem extraordinary to newcomers, those with short memories, or anyone who pays too much attention to the media. …
“It is typical to have extreme temperatures this time of year,” said Anton Haffer, the National Weather Service’s chief meteorologist for Phoenix.
Haffer said in a telephone interview that in 15 years of forecasting here, he doesn’t recall a summer when new record highs weren’t set. There’s a good reason why: Reliable records for U.S. weather data go back only to 1895. Many dots remain to be placed under the bell curve of this country’s temperatures.
Another way to put the current heat wave into perspective:
“While many daily record temperatures have been set, there have been relatively few monthly or all-time records noted in the Southwest,” said John Leslie, a public affairs officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is the weather service’s parent organization.
The all-time record in Phoenix is 122Â°, set on June 26, 1990. The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States is 134Â° in Death Valley, California. (The hottest it’s gotten there in this heat wave is 128Â°.)
Remind me again, why do I want to live in the Southwest? :)
Notre Dame has a new provost. (Hat tip: Alex T.)
The insane hurricane season of 2005 continues. Tropical Depression Six formed at 4:00 PM EST today, and less than two hours later, it was promptly upgraded to Tropical Storm Franklin. It’s about 300 miles off the east coast of Florida, and the five-day forecast track calls for it to, well, pretty much stay there.
P.S. Note the extremely nerdy presidential pun in my headline. I’m here all week, folks.
Former Newington Mayor Rodney Mortensen is getting back in the ring, announcing this week that he’ll run in November as an unaffiliated candidate for the office he held as a Republican from 1992 to 1994.
I like this quote from the once (and future?) mayor: “Everyone wants a good school system, everybody wants a good Police Department. The question is, how much do you increase that each year? Everybody needs things done on their homes each year, but you don’t decide to buy a new car, buy a new roof, buy a new garage and buy a new dog all in one day.” Heh. Woof!