– So you can sneak a bomb in your shoe. The only solution is to fly naked. You can’t bring anything on board; it all has to be shipped separately on cargo jet. There has to be an air marshall on every flight — no in plain clothes (because nobody’s in clothes) but sitting in front of the cockpit, heavily armed and ready. It’s getting that ridiculous. What can we do?
I’m not getting more than six feet off the ground ever again …
or I fear I’ll end up six feet under
– A man is stopped from setting off explosives in his shoes on an American Airlines flight from Paris thanks to quick action from flight attendants and passengers.
– He was traveling on a false British passport. Do I want to know his ethnicity? Yes. Do I give a rat’s rump whether you call that racial profiling? No.
– Boston.com says he appears to be an Arab.
– CNN: “Another official said the passport appeared “bogus” and that the man appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent.”
– OK, he could be a garden-variety nut as opposed to a card-carrying cell member. In either case, the guy gets on the jet with a wire sticking out of his shoe that a stewardess can see.
– Ken Layne has lots of jet links.
– Matt Welch, if you’re watching from France in some cyber boitte, book the QEII to New York and then Amtrak from there to get back home. I’ll buy you lunch in New York on the way.
– Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit deputizes all passengers as a posse: “Screw airport screeners. It’s passengers who are the only source of security here.”
It gains something in the translation
– Thank goodness for Thomas Nephew. He translates part of a very good report from New York in Die Zeit. I couldn’t hope to translate it and so I’m grateful he did. The writer, Peter K¸mmel, comes out of the subway at Ground Zero and assesses the city. He writes about the daily tributes to the lives of the victims in the New York Times: “It’s a sociogram of the disappeared, a resurrection project in 30 dry lines per item, a catalog of the dead, with the subliminal message that we could be among them. And it is probably the greatest of all attempts to give this city transparency. New York is addicted to pictures, as survivors are known to be. ‘If a house burns, many people will first save their family photo album,’ Life Magazine once wrote, and that is exactly what has been happening for months: the city is producing and rescuing its family photo album…”
Love it or leave it
– I can’t believe I said that. But you will, too, when you read a poll of American Muslims in which 79 pecent “say United States foreign policy led to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”
Top 10s from No. 10
– I usually don’t like year-end Top 10 lists — mainly because I had to write and edit so many of them for print. But at No. 10 Downing St., Tony Blair releases 10 great lists of 10 reasons to keep that upper lip stiff in our war against terrorism. You have to say that Blair has taken on Churchill’s talent for waging war with words. Like many a Brit, he knows how to be right and witty at the same time.
You’ve already heard from the Sun and some blogs about Blair’s 10 great media buffoons and their quagmire views that turned out to be wrong, starring Robert Fisk, John Pilger, America’s own Susan Sontag, Arundhati Roy, and the Daily Mail).
> Roy: “From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks.” Ha!
> The Mail: “It would be nothing short of a miracle if there was to be any quick and bloodless establishment of the representative and ethnically broad-based regime that the country now needs.” Ah, but that government was installed just today. Ha! Ha!
> Sontag: “And if the word “cowardly” is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s slaughter, they were not cowards.” Those words will live on in infamy. HA!
> Pilger: “The war against terrorism is a fraud.” HAHAHAHAHA! You fraud.
And the we have 10 things that have changed in Afghanistan thanks to our war:
> People can listen and dance to music.
> Men are free to choose whether to shave their beards.
> Women are free to choose how they dress.
> Women may leave their houses on their own.
> Football and games can be played.
> Children can fly their kites.
> People are allowed to watch TV.
> Women are allowed to work.
> Women are allowed to study.
> Hindus no longer need to have their houses daubed in yellow paint.
And I would add to that: People are not being starved to death, stoned, hanged, imprisoned, and shot on the whim of a one-eyed lunatic despot and his psychotic sugar daddy.
And there are 10 humanitarian efforts, 10 ways the international coalition is fighting terrorism, 10 chilling statements from bin Laden et al, 10 challenges for Afghanistan, 10 reasons to fight terrorism, and 10 reasons to be optimistic:
> Global community being constructed to fight terrorism.
> Fall of the Taliban.
> The destruction of the Al Qa’ida in Afghanistan.
> Multi ethnic interim Government in Afghanistan.
> Global resolve to support reconstruction in Afghanistan.
> Afghan people have opportunity to secure peace and redevelopment for themselves.
> New international legislation to tackle terrorism.
> World wide action taken to cut off terrorist finance.
> New recognition of global interdependence.
> As a result of the action taken by the international coalition against terrorism, you and your family live in a safer world.
Amen and Merry Christmas, world.
Meanwhile, back in ironyless America
– Bush’s Christmas message.
– A Telegraph columnist complains that it’s politically incorrect to question the disparity of giving to the families of firefighters and police vs. the families of World Trade Center office workers killed on Sept. 11. Oh, there will be plenty of debate over that and over the calculations in the government’s payments that take into account the age and wage-earning potential of the victim; we’re also hearing complaint from victims of earlier attacks — namely, Oklahoma City — about not getting as much attention and money. I find the debates somewhat unseemly. Let’s remember a few things. First, no matter how much money anyone gets, it cannot compensate for the loss of a life, of course — but it also will not compensate for the financial lost; one or two million dollars does not come close to making up for the income and support that will be lost. Second, let’s keep in mind that as far as the private giving goes, it is the right of the giver to decide who should receive his or her charity; Americans want to give to the families of these heroes and victims and that is their choice, their understandable choice. I’m sorry that there are other victims who didn’t get as much; I’m sorry that there are still inequities in society (the Telegraph writer complains about rescue workers being fed while there’s a homeless lady down the block). That should not distract and detract from the efforts of Americans to pour out their hearts and pocketbooks to those who suffered the most on that terrible, evil day. This is not a matter for public legislation. This is a matter for private conscience.
War is, like, yucky, y’know
– How could I have missed the BritneyBlog!
The Crucible II
– Arthur Miller to attack Bush re civil rights on Christmas Day.
– Brits have a “terror ship” in the Channel after foreign intelligence warned it could be carrying munitions for bin Laden.