A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

24 January 2007

'Security is Worth the Hassle'


The terror attacks of September 11th 2001 were made possible by a lax domestic, not international, security regimen.

Since then, thousands of people have been hired to make your air travel and airport visit experiences as unpleasant as possible.

In the name of "security"--that all-important objective against which the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and any other civil liberties must crumble--the United States has forsaken its birthright and become not merely a sponsor of tyranny, but has become a nation of slaves who must present papers to the proper authority and comply with the demands of pettifogging badge-wearers not because it does any damn good, but because it makes someone, somewhere, feel "safer".

The enormous amount of money wasted on these federal gravy trains for people who have proven unemployable as prison guards would have been better spent on flannel blankies and demonstrations of thumb-sucking techniques.

The only likely accomplishment of the Department of Fatherland Insanity is to ensure that when another attack comes (an inevitability, given the policies of the current administration, and one which Dubya's unfortunate successor is far more likely to have to deal with), it will not be in a commercial jetliner.

But, and this is the good bit, there's not a damn bit of evidence that any of this has "made America safer". It has decreased the determinatinon of her enemies not a bit. The rabid conduct of the current president has alienated almost all of America's allies foreign and domestic (at least, the ones he's not bribing with nuclear technology--and how great an idea was that?).

Eventually, some sufficiently determined maniac will slip through. It's possible that he may only machine-gun a shopping mall. Oh yeah--George? Country under terror "threat", and you let the restrictions on automatic weapons lapse? Not prudent.

But let's assume the killer doesn't in fact take advantage of gun laws that permit a monkey to buy an M-1. There are other options: The maniac may bring dynamite onto a bus. The terrorist may park a five-tonne fertilizer bomb outside a federal building.

And for none of these activities will he be required to deal with the twin Orwellian miseries that are the TSA and the Department of Fatherland Insanity.

He will buy his diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate legitimately, at a feed and farm supply store. He will rent a truck with a US driver's license, or Canadian. He will park legally, and walk away.

And all the paranoia, all the anger and fear that has been channelled into grey-faced bureaucratic obstructionism and the denigration of citizens into suspects, the elevation of civil servants to civil masters, the blind, angry, abuse of foreigners or new Americans, the insults to America's neighbours and friends and above all the precious Wars--on terror and on Iraq--will have done not one damn thing to stop him.


At 10:42 a.m., Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Dear Metro

I have greatly enjoyed your Post

I flatter myself that you & I are generally of one mind, especially over important matters like Tree Oktopodia Theme Parks and the imperative need for Federal Funding therefor to afford the inflated salaries of the Project Manager & his assistants

However, I apprehend that we may have a "philosophical" divergence over the "Theory of Evolution"

I am struck by how many Individuals (often describing themselves as "Scientists") fold their arms and smirk unScientifically while suggesting that "Evolution" is a "Fact" which has been "proved" by Science

Surely this is an unScientific approach - Scientists should be as prepared to argue against "Evolution" as for it, in the interests of intellectual & scientific rigour

You seem to suggest "Evolution" is a "Scientific" theory (or is it Scientific fact)

Perhaps I have spent too much of my long=past mis-spent youth pondering about the philosopher Hume

However, as Trinity said to Neo - "It is the question that drives us"

Isn't the correct questions :

Should the "Theory of Evolution" be regarded as being :

* not a Scientific Theory

but instead

* a Philosophical Framework, by which scientific observations can be interpreted

Thus, scientific observations (eg archaeopterix) would not "prove" evolution

Instead, evolution would provide a manner of interpreting scientific observations

For example, we have a series of 3 animals in this close date-order :

A. fish (or dinosaur)

B. lung-fish (or archaeopterix)

C. amphibian (or bird)

From Evolution, we interpret these observations to suggest that fish/dinosaurs "evolved" into lung-fish/archaeopterixes, which evolved into amphibians/birds

I can see how the "Scientific" data may be consistent with A leading to B and B leading to C

However, we cannot say that such observations "prove" Evolution unless we observe this happening in real-time and unless we can explain the mechanism by which it happens

With respect, your "Missing Links" simply do not sustain the Weight of "Scientific Proof" that you seem to assume

Intelligent Design - this must await another day

Your obedient servant etc


At 11:52 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Meineer Eagle:

Usually we are indeed of one mind, and I plan to have my Tree Octopoid Theme Park in place reasonably soon--may I prevail upon you for a small donation? Also, I am seeking tree octopus handlers. The stroppy octopi react more favourably to females, ideally between the ages of 18 and 25, B to D cup (the better for cuddling orphaned octopods--touch therapy). Given the intimate familiarity of the Asian nations with octopi of many types, hiring preferences will be given to Asian females, and of course trained masseuses are of great benefit.

However, there is a question of philosophy vs. science to vex us. I must leave my stack of resum├ęs.

Let us assume that I have misinterpreted the evidence. I am, after all, only a paddler in the shallows of paleontology. Perhaps the discovery of a winged lizard means nothing. Still ...

First, I ask: how many Creationists have, in the long history of this debate, argued "scientifically" against Creationism--or even evolution?

Second: To quote someone whose name I forget "Where wast thou when I made the world?" To deny evolution on the basis that no-one has watched it happen is disingeuous, I feel.

In what crucible of science is Creationism (let us call ID by the name its proponents have adopted to try and smuggle it into schools) tested against itself as is evolution?

Which of the two, evolution or the intelligent design idea, is documented by reasoned, scholarly work that is accepted by a reputable majority in the scientific community?

Evolution is described as a "theory" only because unlike Creationism, evolution is held to a rigorous scientific standard under which gravity itself was "only a theory" until relatively recently.

Creationism by definition has to be taken on faith, without proof.

To demand equal time to teach faith-based theory in science classes is fraudulent at best. Such discussion should be reserved for comparative religion, where it can take its rightful place alongside Yggdrasil, Nouveau-paganist Mother Goddesses, testicles falling into the sea, and similar creation myths.

There are at least 15 arguments, and the answers are here.

I hope our disagreement on this issue will not put you off of making a generous contribution to the Cascadia Tree Octopus Habitat Protection Park With Resort Golf Club Spa and Yacht Club.

Book your Tree Octopus Viewing Tour (hosted by Princess Cruises) now!

At 3:13 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

To observe evolution in progress one only has to look to viruses and bacteria. They are constantly evolving .
Check with Dr. D. Suzuki and his peers. He has done a huge amount of research on this topic.



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