Let’s not be stupid: Profiling a guy with a gun is smart!
: Lots of hooha tonight regarding the Secret Service agent — a Middle-Eastern man with a gun — who was kept off a flight on Christmas day. You’ll remember that the agent whined about racial profiling, as did an Arab group that popped up immediately: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Shockingly — stupidly — even President Bush whined that he sure hoped they didn’t stop this man because of his ethnicity. Bush does not wear political correctness well; it’s even more awkward than his grin. The latest: The agent has hired lawyers to press his case of profiling. And today the American Airlines pilot is complaining to the Secret Service about the agent’s behavior. All the details thanks to James Taranto of Opinion Journal, the Standard, Charles Johnson, and CNN.
Now let’s get this straight, people: THE PILOT WHO KEPT THAT DAMNED DANGEROUS IDIOT TAX-SUCKING AGENT OFF THAT PLANE IS A GREAT AMERICAN FRIGGING HERO! Consider: (1) The agent was armed with a gun. (2) He’s Middle Eastern. Yes, that matters. Of course, that matters. It’s not Swedes and Swiss blowing us up. It’s relevant! (3) He’s male. That’s relevant, too. (4) His paperwork is not in order. (5) He has a bad attitude and thinks that should get him on the plane. (6) Two words: Atta and Reid. (7) Two more words: American Airlines.
The pilot was 100 percent right to keep that man off his plane. He was absolutely right to protect his passengers. The Arab club and Bush are wrong to question him.
Caution is right. Profiling is smart. Security is everything right now. If anybody should understand that, a frigging Secret Service agent should; he should have been the first to back off. Because he clearly does not understand that, the agent should be fired or given a job where he doesn’t carry a damned gun or a badge.
And the pilot should be a star on Fox News shows! Calling O’Reilly!
Let’s not be stupid, America. Let’s be safe.
: This keeps getting juicier. The organization that immediately started crying racial profiling on behalf of the agent is CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — is, according to this piece on the Middle East Forum, a front for fundamentalist Islamic organizations, including the recently raided Holy Land Foundation. This piece, by Khalid Dur·n, says that CAIR attacked him because he wrote a book about Islam for Jews, an attack that he says led to a Jordanian pol calling on Muslims to kill him. [via Metafilter]
Is all this true? I have no idea. But I at least hope that the agent involved in all this has been pulled off duty until his behavior and his association with this group can be fully investigated. This is not just a man with a gun on a plane. This is a man with a gun near the President. We should not let political correctness and polite embarrassment stop us from making sure that questionable people cannot get near the President or a plane. Let’s not be stupid.
I am the antisnob
: I hate to be a classless uncultured clod, really, I do. But I can’t keep from rolling my eyes as I watch TV (which can give you a mean headache) thanks to a WNET public TV special billed as In Our City: New Yorkers Remember September 11th.. But it’s not real New Yorkers. It’s poets and writers reciting poetry and writing. It has no immediacy, no grit, no soul. It’s all effete, so very PBS.
The sins of the son are visited upon the father
: Richard “Maxwell Stupid” Reid’s Dad gives a poignant interview to the Mirror blaming himself for what his son did. (More on parents of terrorists, below.)
As if freedom of religion, freedom of property, freedom of artistic expression, astonishing technological innovation, gender equality and democracy are somehow subjectively defined in this context. In this country, women can not only drive, but be National Security Advisor. I mean, the United States put a robot on a Martian moon, and Saudi Arabia chopped off the heads of three guys last week for being gay. I think we have the slight edge in the cultural development department, but thatís just me.
And he delivers the best and briefest statement I have yet seen on what’s wrong with politically correct thinking:
In order to respect all viewpoints, no actual viewpoints may be professed, let alone examined.
The new Sullivan
: Note the redesigned Andrew Sullivan. Much improved: no scrolling window; we can now link directly to his best bon mots; he even appears to have advertising from Amex and Dell. Capitalism, a concept.
: Glenn Reynolds has the perfect reply to those calling for a draft or mandatory community service: “Let’s draft middle-aged newspaper editorialists (the chief enthusiasts for such plans) and have them spend a couple of years emptying bedpans, teaching in inner-city schools, etc. Being older and better-educated, they should have more skills. And they seem almost universally in favor of national service schemes, so they shouldn’t complain. Right?” Right. But for the grace of fate and a high number in the only lottery I’ve every played, I’d be Canadian or an ex-con now. A draft for a draft’s sake is a bad idea, wasteful of youth and talent. If there had been a draft in the last decade, we wouldn’t have had all the young people we had founding new dot.companies. Oh, on second thought….
: Ken Layne is back.
: The other night, I was trying to savor the last hours of my holiday, purposely wasting them in front of the TV, when I happened to click onto a Fox News special about the first hours of the attack on Sept. 11, replaying the event using video and reporting from local stations. I didn’t want to watch but I had to, for I had never seen it because I was at the World Trade Center. (I hesitate to keep saying that since it comes to sound like a boast but I feel the need to explain myself to all the fine new readers sent this way by Instapundit).
What struck me first was the smoke. Of course, I remember the smoke; we see it in picture after picture. But seeing it on video, I remembered watching from the ground, awestruck by the huge, horrendous, deep black billows, cut only by the occassional orange flame and by all the paper floating down. I remembered how we all just stood there, mouths open, hearts racing, staring. It couldn’t get worse, we thought.
I was struck, too, by the necessary guessing going on; these TV people were still speculating that this could have been caused by a pilot who lost his way; they were still hesitant to say “terror” or “attack.”
But I was struck most by the distance. The TV images came from the top of some building far away. On TV, you couldn’t see what we saw, the images of people. On TV, you saw two huge buildings. On TV, the horror was huge. There, it was human.
I think this helps me understand just a bit more why people feel the need to go there, to get closer, for TV put this all at a distance.
Parents in hell
: I think we all end up with some sympathy for the parents of the bad guys and bozos from our neighborhoods who went over to the wrong side of this war: the parents of John “The Rat Traitor Superdoofus” Walker and Richard “Maxwell Stupid” Reid. Yes, we all wonder for a moment whether there’s anything these parents did to turn their kids into what they became but then we can all point to the good parents of bad kids. If only we knew whose fault they are.
The Guardian examines the lives of these parents, looking to Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral for guidance.
Meanwhile, the Times of London looks at the Tartan Taliban terrorist, the Scot just arrested at the border of war.
And in Washington, we have the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui defending her son.
Now, at the same time, let’s look at the fires in Australia. Tonight on NPR and at News.com.au, they report that two-thirds of the suspects arrested for arson are juveniles, one of them 9 years old. (Details via Tim Blair.)
Is a generation going bad? No, of course not. In every generation, some go bad. And it is hell to be their parents.
Note, too, that Walker Marin high school is complaining about the bad publicty it has had.
The upright and locked position
Since I got what I asked for and I’m now being associated with the need to fly naked as the only means to assure safe travel (whether or not it was my idea), I feel a duty to flesh out the concept with a few rules for the airline’s operation:
1. No leather seats
2. No hot coffee.
3. No hot soup.
4. Good air circulation.
5. No cameras.
6. New, softer seatbelts.
7. New, no-pinch seatbelt buckles.
8. No traveling with your boss.
9. Laptops encouraged.
10. No sexy movies.