: The best pictures of the memorial lights I’ve seen are from the Star-Ledger in my very own NJ.com.
Nuke the INS
: The INS issues a student visa to go to flight school Mohamed Atta NOW! We have idiots guarding the airports. We have idiots guarding the borders. I’m feeling blue (not yellow).
With hot sauce
: I like how Thomas Nephew says he won’t quite fit into Nick Denton’s liberal blog definition: Thomas takes “a kind of ‘dim sum’ approach to politics and issues: a little of this, a little of that.” In a half-hour, I’ll be hungry for more of Thomas’ opinions.
And now the news (cue laughtrack)
: Ken Layne has a good FoxNews column on the standing of Letterman v. Koppel in the hearts and spleens of media critics. He’s saying that network news people are basically gasbags and he’s right. News is a commodity; it doesn’t much matter who reads it to you. But there is only one Dave. Just as there is only one Howard. (There are plenty of Jays.)
: Yellow is the color of the day. We are on yellow alert on the new Tom Ridge color-coded geranimal homeland security scale. Yellow is the middle of five steps on the scale: “Elevated — significant risk of terrorist attacks.”
They could have picked a better color than yellow, don’t you think? We’re yellow? Bad connotations, you know. I can’t imagine Donald Rumsfeld saying, “We’re yeller.” It wouldn’t come out of his lips. Only Tom Ridge’s.
Fox News’s Homeland Security correspondent says we soon could see the daily terrorism alert forecast next to the weather in the paper. I can’t wait until Katie tosses to Al on Today and he says, “It’s a yellow day in the East. But in the West, it’s rainy and Red. Better wear your flak jackets under your raincoats, folks.”
I make fun. It’s actually good that there is a more specific scale. I’m all in favor of that. But it’s done in the usual Ridge way. Note that nothing on his own web site tells us what alert we’re under. Note, too, his ever-so-reassuring quotes as he announces this with that half-grin that used to infect his boss:
“We should not expect a VT Day — Victory over Terrorism Day — anytime soon.” Thanks Tom. I feel better now.
You can run but you can’t hide
: Via Metafilter comes a hilarious bit of semantic cha-cha from Bob Jones University in with the Rev. Bob suggests that he and other fundamentalists like him shouldn’t call themselves fundamentalists anymore because the “term now carries overtones of radicalism and terrorism. ‘Fundamentalist’ evokes fear, suspicion, and other repulsive connotations in its current usage.” Call yourselves what you like, you’re still fundamenalists and here’s what I said about you — from a pulpit, even:
Now, more clearly than ever, I have come to see the dangers of fanatic fundamentalism of any stripe. By this, I mean those who are so completely sure of their beliefs, so immovable in their certainty, so devoted to the utter superiority of their creed, so fierce in their opposition to any competing belief that they would do anything to further their cause: They would imprison and persecute nonbelievers; they would kill their opponents; they would commit these terrible evils in the name of GodÖ they would let their hate take flight and flame and murder 3,000 innocent people in a day.
The Times of London reports that “religious groups accounted for half of the world’s 60 terrorist groups listed in the late 1990s.” Fanatic religious fundamentalists frighten me to death.
You may not be arming yourselves with nukes or jets, Bob, but I still fear people who think they are right and everyone else is wrong. Call that what you want, but in my book, it’s fundamentalism.
The day after the day after
: The war still matters and will matter for years. The memories still matter and will forever. But it’s also time to start moving on and so I added a meaningless word to the meaningless tagline above — the tagline of a generation (the one after mine): whatever — just to cover whatever else I want to talk about here. But that won’t include steel tariffs. Sorry Nick.
: I add thanks to Matt Welch for his too, too kind words today. And by the way, I note that Ken Layne now sends about as much traffic as Professor Instant (the former linked to me before the latter yesterday). Coming up in the world.