I haven’t been able to post since Thursday night, due to travel and visiting relatives. But I want to wish everyone a happy holiday, and I will post one little piece that I’ve been working on for the last couple days.
I’m going back to visit family in St. Louis, Columbia, MO and southeast Michigan. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning, returns next Friday evening, and over the next week I’ll be posting sporadically, if at all. I assume that the world will struggle on without my timeless insights, as it did up until a couple months ago, when I started doing this. But I’ll have a laptop with me, so if I find some time, I’ll check in occasionally.
But if not, happy holidays to all.
The ambulance chasers are back up to their old tricks. I heard on the radio today that one of the WTC widows has filed suit against United Air Lines for inadequate security.
I’ll actually look forward to this trial, because it may be an opportunity to make the point that what happened on September 11 was not, in fact, a failure in security, but was rather a failure in government policy (a failure that continues today, in the blind insistence on a disarmament philosophy, instead of a defense philosophy). If I were United’s lawyers, that’s exactly the tack I would take, but they may not be allowed to for PR reasons.
Perhaps Dennis Tito wasn’t the first space tourist. If we can believe this never-previously-published photo from the Apollo era, someone beat him to it by over thirty years.
Well, here it is, four days past the end of Ramadan, and still no new attack. I thought Jihad Johnnie said there were big plans in the making? Guess the sleepers forgot to set their alarm clock.
Now the question is, is Osama really as incompetent as he seems? Or is he just setting us up, “boy who cried wolf” style, for another sneak attack when we least expect it?
Evidence that Osama is an idiot:
- He expected George Bush to behave like Bill Clinton
- He expected the “arab street” to rise up in his support
- He expected support from non-Arab Muslim nations
- He expected us to send in ground troops and get sniped at like the Russians
- He expected the Afghan people, who he has been either helping or actively encouraging the Taliban to oppress, to fight for him
- He claims that Allah will strike down the Great Satan (us)
- He hangs out with folks like Mullah (“Cyclops”) Omar, who also appears to have a sub-room-temperature IQ (or at least, he used to until they had their little falling out)
- etc., and the list goes on…
Evidence that Osama is brilliant:
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Chomsky?
Evidence that he’s moderately competent:
Well, he did manage to get a couple dozen guys to steal airplanes in flight and drive them into buildings. It was a clever idea, but once the light bulb went off over his (or whoever’s) head, it didn’t take a neurosurgeon to pull it off, and he obviously didn’t anticipate the FAA grounding the fleet so quickly, so he blew his total wad on those four planes–he’ll never be able to do it again.
So, the evidence is in. OK, I guess it’s conceivable that he’s just feigning stupidity to put us off guard, but generally, with overwhelming data like this, I have to go with Occam’s Razor. If you hear hoofbeats, you think horses, not zebras, and when someone acts like an idiot, consistently over a period of weeks and months, it’s a safe bet that he’s not the brightest bulb on the string. Not that we shouldn’t continue to round up suspects and close down cells, but I think that talk about sleepers at this point is mostly braggadocio.
According to this opinion poll of people around the world in The Independent, we were.
It’s kind of a dumb poll if the following question is what was really asked:
In America, only 18 per cent considered that “US policies and actions in the world” were seen as a main cause of the attacks. Elsewhere, that rose to 58 per cent, and to 81 per cent in the Middle East and the area around Afghanistan.
Well, when you put it that way, I actually agree–it was US policies and actions in the world that were the main cause of the attacks. But I suspect that I differ with most of those polled as to just what those flawed “policies and actions” were. My guess is that by “policies and actions,” we’re supposed to assume that means things like support of Israel, having troops in Saudi Arabia, and forcing everyone to eat McDonalds, while wearing their Nikes and watching Britney Spears.
No, the main US policies and actions that led up to September 11 were our coddling of Middle-Eastern dictators in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, et al, and eviscerating our human intelligence capability. We teased the terrorists, and led them on, so they believed that they could actually get away with that kind of crap, because for a long time, they did.
But we’ve fixed those flawed policies, at least for now, as is evidenced by scores of dead Al Qaeda and Taliban thugs, and bare-faced women and kite flyers in Afghanistan…
Apparently Glenn Sacks never learned lesson one about getting out of self-dug holes. In his continued defense of the indefensible (Jihad Johnnie and his own brainless support of him), he’s feverishly shoveling his way down to Asia from San Francisco.
Tim Blair thoughtfully tosses a few spadefuls of dirt on top of him.
The Sacramento Bee says that Governor “Grayout” Davis is in big trouble. Every pol’s numbers are up except his. Guess attempting to nationalize the electric utilities wasn’t such a red-hot idea.
The Guardian, disgustingly, is still trying to equate civilian casualties in Afghanistan with the WTC death toll. And again, they ignore the fact that people were being killed, tortured, raped, and beaten by the Taliban up until the war started, and that this behavior would certainly have continued into the indefinite future had we not deposed them. I’m still waiting for some data on just how bad it was there under their rule, so we can put some figures on the other side of the ledger, but I suspect that the present value of future lives saved and redeemed is very high to the Afghan people, regardless of what the leftists in London think about it.
[Update 8:25PM PST]
Reader Robert Martin points out that just to the left of the story is a link to a completely different take by Polly Toynbee.
As he asks, “Were they looking at the same war?”
I think that they live in alternate universes.
You’ve heard of CGI. Now we have CGH–Computer-Generated Humor. In their quest for the world’s funniest joke, the New Scientist reports that jokes created by computers can be quite funny (and not just the unintentional ones from Microsoft, either).
Somehow, this reminds me of the old Monty Python routine (from the movie “And Now For Something Completely Different”) about the world’s deadliest joke; everyone who heard it died laughing. Maybe once they find the funniest one (the current leader is not exactly a knee slapper to me), they can translate it into Arabic for use in the war.