Category Archives: Political Commentary

Elite Continuing To Make Themselves Irrelevant

John Leo has a nice little piece this morning on the continued glum and frustration of the chatterati, as all of the multi-culti, anti-freedom values they’ve been pushing for decades are being rejected by the American people in the wake of the September attacks.

The big picture is galling, too. Leading roles on the national stage haven’t been played by the thinking elite but by the semi-disdained non-chatterers who act physically in the real world: the military, the police, firefighters, agents of the CIA. And the values of the non-chatterers — heroism, patriotism, self-sacrifice — are on the rise. Crowds aren’t lining the streets and holding up “Thank you, chatterers” signs as pundits and professors drive by…

…None of the elite’s wartime moves have worked. The effort to avoid U.S. retaliation for Sept. 11 by calling in the United Nations was a non-starter. The attempt to demonize the “racial profiling” of Muslims at airports fell flat, rejected by huge majorities, including a large majority of blacks. The left’s mind-boggling attempt to turn the anti-globalization crusade into a ’60s-style “campaign against war and racism” also collapsed. Even more amazing was the refusal of the feminist movement to support any show of force against the Taliban. Let’s see, who shall we support? America or fanatics who deny all rights to women and whip them on the street if they walk too noisily? Hmmm. Too close to call.

Camelot Redux

Guess I spoke a little too soon yesterday–the Washington Post did run their obligatory JFK-death anniversary story, with all the usual foofaraw about “lost youth and promise,” with the bonus, this year, of attempting to put it in the context of what happened on September 11. They failed, in my humble opinion.

Still, I think there was a lot less attention paid to the anniversary this year than in any previous year–possibly just because it got crowded out by falling on Thanksgiving, but also, I think, because of the dramatic change in the national mood this year. Not to imply that they necessarily have that much in common, but both peace protests and JFK worship seem passe this fall.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds who, in picking up on my comment yesterday, brought it to the attention of Best of the Web. My first (and hopefully not last) appearance there. Even though it’s indirect, they spelled the URL right, so it can’t hurt traffic. I’m curious to see just what kind of spike I get.

The Archie Bunker Solution

In response to my comments on David Brin’s piece, a reader suggests that:

I don’t relish a fire fight in the cabin, but I suspect that the only damage to the aircraft from small arms fire would be the flying flesh and blood. That would be very rare if everyone could be armed. The crime rate in concealed carry states appears to be dropping. There have been few or no reported instances of licensed individuals starting trouble and many just the opposite. So there’s the answer pass out Browning 9’s at the gate to any one who wants one (collect a deposit of course).

I call that the Archie Bunker solution, because Archie once proposed it during the heyday of hijackings to Cuba. Norman Lear obviously thought that it was a ridiculous idea (as was his opinion of almost all ideas attributed to Archie), but after 911, it has more appeal to me, at least relative to our current approach. However, to say it is better than the current philosophy is to damn it with faint praise, and I am more than a little nervous about untrained people with heavy weaponry on board.

My preferred solution is to allow anyone who is licensed to carry on the ground to be able to carry on board. That would include active and retired military and law enforcement, and citizens with CCW permits (though the state-specific issues with CCW complicates life quite a bit–how would one handle a flight from DFW to Logan?). In addition, flight crew should be allowed to be armed, with stun guns and pepper spray for flight attendants, and there should be a little pepper sprayer in the back of every seat. Make sure there are harsh penalties if air ragers use it for non-self-defense purpose. Anyone who attempts to put on a pepper-spray-proof mask gets tasered and subdued immediately

I do believe that the current approach does little to improve safety, and is destroying not only the airline industry, but is extremely damaging to the economy. In fact, this weekend, I may take a WAG at just what the hidden costs of the current airline security fiasco are–I’ve seen no one else do it.

A reader notes that:

There’s an old joke about carrying your own bomb on a plane as the probability of two bombs on the same plane is nill…….ultimately the terrorist who seems adapt at forging passports will do the same thing with CCW permits.

True, but beside the point. The purpose of the permit is not to exclude terrorists and criminals who may indeed forge one–it’s just to keep the clueless from carrying, as it is in the rest of society. Under my scenario, I fully expect a determined terrorist to be able to carry a weapon on board. What I don’t expect is for him to bother–the notion that there will be others on board with weapons who know how to use them, and he won’t know who they are, or how many, will deter.

There is no substitute for stopping the terrorist before he gets anywhere near the airplane…like stop him while he is still in the cave in Afganistan.

True, if possible. But I’m not sure that it always will be–we must be vigilant in addition.

Calling the ACLU

Apparently, prayer in NY public schools is OK, as long as you’re Muslim. Now, I’m not real big on praying myself, and in fact think that the best way to resolve this issue would be to simply abolish public schools, but given that that’s not going to happen any time soon, can someone from the ACLU explain to me why you can pray to Allah, but not to Christ, in a public school? Why a generic prayer (or even a moment of silence) is “government establishment of religion,” but an explicitly Islamic prayer on school grounds, during school hours, is not? My email address can be found to the left, for any who wish to take up the challenge…

They’re Still At It

A few weeks ago, I asked the rhetorical question–since 911, are Democrats still calling some members of the opposite party “Taliban Republicans,” as Julian Bond did at the NAACP convention last summer?

Question answered. Apparently, according to US News and World Report:

Democratic lawmakers have adopted the language of the antiterror war to mock Republican conservatives, especially Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay.

Says a prominent Democrat: “They’re the Republican Taliban.”

I wonder how that prominent Democrat would feel if he (or she) and colleagues were called “the Stalinist wing of the Democratic party”? It would be equally odious, and equally accurate.

They’re Still At It

A few weeks ago, I asked the rhetorical question–since 911, are Democrats still calling some members of the opposite party “Taliban Republicans,” as Julian Bond did at the NAACP convention last summer?

Question answered. Apparently, according to US News and World Report:

Democratic lawmakers have adopted the language of the antiterror war to mock Republican conservatives, especially Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay.

Says a prominent Democrat: “They’re the Republican Taliban.”

I wonder how that prominent Democrat would feel if he (or she) and colleagues were called “the Stalinist wing of the Democratic party”? It would be equally odious, and equally accurate.

They’re Still At It

A few weeks ago, I asked the rhetorical question–since 911, are Democrats still calling some members of the opposite party “Taliban Republicans,” as Julian Bond did at the NAACP convention last summer?

Question answered. Apparently, according to US News and World Report:

Democratic lawmakers have adopted the language of the antiterror war to mock Republican conservatives, especially Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay.

Says a prominent Democrat: “They’re the Republican Taliban.”

I wonder how that prominent Democrat would feel if he (or she) and colleagues were called “the Stalinist wing of the Democratic party”? It would be equally odious, and equally accurate.

Anthrax Hysteria

Brit Hume on Fox News just blasted what happened up on the Hill today. Apparently, the House just decided to close up shop because of the anthrax scare. The irony is that the only place that it’s been found is on the Senate side, and they’re staying in session. Brit appropriately pointed out that for all of the fuss and fury, we have had only one death, and only one serious illness from this, that the situation has been overhyped (e.g., it turns out that all the claims about the Senate attack being “weapons grade” were nonsense), and that if we’re going to react like this to such a relatively trivial concern, what will we do when we really have a major problem?

Right on, and I wish more of the press would be as clear thinking and rational as Brit. Congress is supposed to lead by example. Now, normally, I’m all in favor of Congress shutting down, and recessing early, on general principles, but this sends the entirely wrong message to whoever has been sending out these little love letters–that for a tiny investment in “powdery subtances” (aka powder, even wheat flour) and postage, they can shut down the American government.

Denny, you’re supposed to be a wrestling coach. Get a testosterone injection.