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Who is Behind the Santorum Surge?

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Sometimes I feel like an article I’m writing is based on an idea so obvious that I’ll just be wasting my time telling people something they already know. This is one of those times, but based on the palpitating hearts and trembling knees of a lot of Republicans, I’ve hit on a simple fact that they ought to see, but are somehow blind to.

There is no “Santorum surge” and he’s not a frontrunner in the Republican primary. His success as a candidate is an utter fiction manufactured by the media for the most obvious reason, because they do not believe that he can possibly win the general election.

Santorum is not on the front page of all the major Sunday papers by accident and it’s not because he’s doing well in Michigan or won some straw poll votes a week ago. If you’re inclined to like him you should be listening to your paranoia, not your optimism. The media really is in the tank for Obama and they really are lying to you. They are doing everything they can to convince Republican voters to climb on the Santorum bandwagon because they are 100% convinced that in a general election he will do just what he did when he ran for reelection to the Senate from Pennsylvania – set a new record for the margin by which he is defeated.

They are also perfectly willing to lie to you to convince you that Santorum is a serious contender and the best alternative to Romney. As evidence I offer you the front page of today’s Washington post (see photo) which has a highlighted text caption which reads “1,144 Delegates Needed for GOP Nomination…Rick Santorum has 72 Delegates So Far.” This statement from the front page of one of the nation’s leading papers is completely untrue. Only one of the states Santorum has won has assigned any delegates. The three states he won recently were just beauty contests with no delegates attached. In fact, his total real delegate count is 4. If you cont soft delegates who might be assigned to him it’s still only 43. That puts him in a distant last place in the primary behind Ron Paul, certainly not in a position to challenge Romney’s real delegate count of 90. Santorum also has limited money and very little in the way of a grassroots organization so unlike Paul who has a well organized ground campaign, he is likely to do far worse in delegate selection than his poll numbers would suggest.

Realistically Santorum should probably be considering dropping out, especially when the artificial momentum generated by media hype runs into the brick wall of reality in next week’s Arizona and Michigan primaries. Yes, the latest nationwide poll has Santorum slightly ahead of Romney, but that is just a general poll and so far they have proven to be volatile and totally unreliable, and that lead is largely the creation of media hype and irrational enthusiasm.

Republicans need to take a minute to crunch the numbers and use better math than the Washington Post is using. Less than 30% of voters now identify themselves as Republicans. Independents now make up the largest block of voters. Running against Obama, even if he got most of the Republican votes, someone with Santorum’s extreme moralistic agenda and bizarre personal beliefs will draw no Democrat votes and very few independents. A 20% or greater loss to Obama is not at all unlikely. In fact, presidential matchup polls show him losing to Obama by a larger margin than any other candidate.

So Republicans. Ask yourself this simple question. Is the media on your side? If they are trying so hard to promote Santorum as a viable candidate and are willing to lie to do it, shouldn’t that be a strong warning that he’s probably not the right guy to bean Obama?

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Timothy Egan’s piece in the NY Times, The Electoral Wasteland, further fleshes out your observation, Dave. The Republican Party has no frontrunners. It has Romney and someone else.

    Santorum’s comments about Obama’s religion on Sunday may appeal to the least common denominator of the GOP, the Tea Party, but the comments underlying racists tone should knock him out of the someone else position. Never lose sight of the fact that news has got to sell. If it doesn’t, it is not fit to print on the front page.

    Tommy

  • zingzing

    santorum gets as much shit from the media as he does hype. but all press is good press. and it’s true that the media does love his poll numbers and hype-producing pageant wins. can you imagine what a media bonanza a santorum-obama race would be? far more interesting than a romney-obama race… it’d be a trainwreck and a trouncing at the same time. the greatest comedy ever told.

  • Steve Bremner

    It’s a conspiracy I tells ya! Damn librul media.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I think this article is about as demonstrative of the problem with the Right as I’ve ever seen.

    If you’re inclined to like [Santorum] you should be listening to your paranoia, not your optimism. The media really is in the tank for Obama and they really are lying to you.

    What Dave is saying here is that if the media say something the Right doesn’t like, then it’s obvious that the media are lying. More examples:

    – If the media report that the vast majority of scientists (and almost all climatologists) accept AGW as being real and a clear and present danger, that’s obviously part of the vast left-wing conspiracy.

    – If the media report that the economy is doing better than it was, that unemployment is going down, that GM is doing quite nicely thank you very much, that’s obviously part of the vast left-wing conspiracy.

    – If the media report that nearly two-thirds of Americans (and a majority of Republicans) support raising taxes on millionaires, that’s obviously part of the vast left-wing conspiracy.

    Yep! The media are just lying! Dave KNOWS that they are lying because they’re saying things that doesn’t fit in with his world view…which is why he advises his comrades in the GOP to listen to their paranoia. Don’t listen to what the media say – because they’re lying – just listen to your paranoia! Which reminds me of the NRA’s Executive Vice President’s claim concerning Obama’s decision to not pursue gun control legislation: “It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country.” Yep! Not pushing gun control legislation is part of a “massive conspiracy” to push gun control legislation!

    And so it goes with Dave and the vast left-wing conspiracy by the media.

    What Dave is not getting is that Santorum is the anti-Romney flavor of the month (ugh!) for Republicans. I guess Dave didn’t pick up on this particular pattern after Bachmann and Perry and Cain and Gingrich. As far as the media are concerned, Santorum’s not much different from Kim Kardashian or Charlie Sheen (or Sarah Palin). Santorum got some attention by unexpectedly winning three states (where the media were NOT exactly pushing Santorum’s name), and so he’s simply the anti-Romney flavor of the month…except to those who are Absolutely Sure this is all part of an epic-scale left-wing conspiracy.

    No, in Dave’s world it’s not the Republicans who are fooling themselves – it’s the eeeeeeeevil media who all got together in a Secret Witches Coven of Media Moguls (that was somehow kept TOTALLY SECRET from the phone-tappers and e-mail hackers at News Corp) where they decided how they would indoctrinate the American people!

    What Dave doesn’t grok is that single most important factor Republican primary voters are looking for is NOT someone who will grow our economy, NOT someone who will protect our nation, NOT someone who will protect “family values”. What those GOP voters are looking for more than anything else is “can this guy beat Obama?”

    And that’s what’s really sad.

  • Dave

    Glenn. Read the damned article before spouting off. That the media is lying is not the conclusion of the article, but rather it’s genesis. I caught the WaPo lying and the article is an explanation of why they are lying. The lying part is just indisputable fact and of less interest than the reasons for it.

  • Bob from Texas

    Dave,
    I have a slightly different take than yours. The folks behind the rise of Santorum are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and their loyal foot soldiers who host their own drive-time conservative talk show programs in major and mid-level media markets throughout the country. They openly promote and basically give free campaign air time for Santorum (they are the campaigners) and bash Romney and his supporters as RINOs, moderates, and, at times, liberals daily. Santorum is basically the last man standing for them since it is clear that Newt has too much baggage to be the nominee. Mainly, they hate Romney and want anybody but Romney to be the nominee. They harp on Romney being the establishment’s candidate. My question: who is the establishment? My response: the Conservative Media Establishment (see names previously mentioned) is the establishment in the 2012 GOP. They rule as they flex their influential muscles by energizing the far-right and religious right vote for Santorum.

  • Igor

    The media lying? What a scandal!

    But isn’t the media just for sale? Don’t they just do whatever is most remunerative? Isn’t that the consequence of a mercantile press?

    It’s just the free market at work, isn’t it?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Glenn. Read the damned article before spouting off. That the media is lying is not the conclusion of the article, but rather it’s genesis.

    And that’s my point! You’re starting with a wildly inaccurate assumption, one that has bounced back and forth across the conservative echo chamber that it is now considered gospel that if the media says something conservatives don’t like, it must be part of the oh-so-left-wing media’s concerted campaign to turn America into France. Dave, you can NEVER reliably arrive at a logical conclusion if your initial premise is so incredibly faulty.

    I caught the WaPo lying and the article is an explanation of why they are lying. The lying part is just indisputable fact and of less interest than the reasons for it.

    Let me pretend for a moment that they did, that the Washington Post knowingly and willfully lied. Tell you what, Dave – for every ONE lie you show me by the WaPo (and add in MSNBC to boot!) and I’ll show you TWENTY by Fox News. Care to take me up on that? I didn’t think so. I know you don’t care for Fox…but whether you like it or not, they ARE the mouthpiece of the GOP (or is it vice versa?).

    What you are doing is poisoning the well. You took a story by the WaPo that you had issues with and used it to blame the media as a whole. You should know better than that.

  • Zingzing

    Glenn, think you may be barking up the wrong tree. WaPo isn’t the most liberal of media outlets, so I don’t know that Dave is blaming the liberal media so much as media in general. They’re playing it for the controversy, for the ratings and sales. Smooth sailing for Romney til the convention won’t sell papers, and with newt sinking himself, they’ve got no real alternative but this shit stained bigot.

    It’s true what Dave says about the WaPo article attributing undecided delegates to that frothy fuck. He doesn’t have those delegates locked up. The worst Dave is doing here is being naive about the media and popular conception and politics. But he’s only really berating republicans for being idiots and only reading headlines. If they’d look a little deeper they’d know that “google problem” hasn’t won shit and is pretty despicable.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    You and I both know that WaPo isn’t that liberal…but try to get a conservative or a libertarian to say that! And while it may be true that Dave seems to be blaming all the media rather than just the liberal media, it is painfully obvious that he is assigning the WaPo’s story “as evidence” (see paragraph 4) of the sins of the whole. That’s a clear instance of “poisoning the well”.

    In order for Dave to be right in blaming all the media, then News Corp would have to be in on it. And the Washington Times. And the New York Post. And these would have to be in bed with the NY Times, the LA Times, and the Seattle Times.

    No, I don’t think so. What exposes Dave’s error is his exhortation to his fellow Republicans that they should trust their paranoia. Anyone with a real understanding of history would know just how dangerous a statement that is.

  • Zingzing

    All those media outlets may not be in bed, but they certainly share a motive (monetary, not political). And yes, dave’s article would be better served by showing how right wingers are being led astray by media they actually pay attention to (in addition to the post).

  • Zingzing

    Besides, the entire republican primary has Romney and a flavor of the month. The flavor residing in republican mouths this month is… Santorum. How European of them.

  • Clavos

    Isn’t that the consequence of a mercantile press?

    Damn right! And damn that “mercantile press!” They should be run out of business and the government should run the press; we could have one or two newspapers and a like number of TV news sources. We could call them Pravda, or Granma maybe something like The Voice of The People, or News for The Masses.

    Those mercantile bastards are whores.

    Hang ‘em.

  • Igor

    A mercantile press has mercantile values. They’ll trumpet whatever helps their individual mercantile aims, or lacking a clear direction for personal interest, mercantile interests in general.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    That list would include the BBC, too. Just because a news organization has government sanction doesn’t mean it’s a government organ.

    And there was a time that it was against the law for a media corporation to influence its news section – the news organization was required to give the news without regard to how the news might affect the network’s advertisers. That period ended with Reagan.

  • Clavos

    And there was a time that it was against the law for a media corporation to influence its news section…

    Not so, Glenn. There’s never been such a law. Many broadcasters had self-imposed rules, but no law.

    And the Beeb is a poor example when discussing the possibility of an American government-owned outlet; at this time, and for many years, the US government has been on an orgy of power seizing and intrusion into the private lives of citizens; putting a broadcaster under the control of Washington would ensure bias couched in terms favorable to the government, not the people.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Just because a news organization has government sanction doesn’t mean it’s a government organ.

    Glenn, that is government organ grinding. The BBC is not a government sanction. It is the government. The US government sanctions Armed Forces Radio Television Service, which is my area of my expertise. US law prevents government media in country.

    Clavos, the idea of putting a broadcaster under the control of Washington has a lovely absurdity to it. Neither Fox nor MSNBC would tolerate it. This is an amazingly moot discussion.

    Tommy

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    The BBC is not a government sanction. It is the government.

    Not really the way it works, Tommy. The BBC operates under a statutory charter to provide nationwide broadcasting services. It is not an organ of government: in fact, it is legally mandated to be politically impartial.

    This, however, does not mean that BBC journalism is vanilla-flavoured. BBC news services are known for their hard-hitting political interviews and investigative reporting. That ministers of successive governments continue to be surprised and affronted when the BBC takes them severely to task is one of the biggest ironies of British politics.

  • jamminsue

    Um, can we re-focus on why Santorum gets so much attention? One reason is because he actually believes, and has consisitently said the stuff he preaches. Set that against any other candidate, and watch the wobble. I think that is why. Even Chris Hayes says that about him. People are so hungry for someone who is “real” that they are willing to ignore content. Who cares who is hyping him? He is not viable, he won’t get the nomination. All you moderate Republicans, quit wringing your hands, and start shouting and get your party back!

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Doc, the distinction I responded to was the idea of government media. Such a thing exists.

    The very blogosphere challenges that. BBC is no more government controlled than CBS, NBC, or ABC.

    Noted.

    Tommy

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    That’s just it – among the American Right, it’s unimaginable, simply inconceivable that if someone works for the government in any capacity, that he or she is anything but a mindless bot following the every whim of The Great Suit in the Sky.

    They’ve been fed this in the Right’s echo chamber for so long that they cannot imagine that their corporate world is more corrupt than the government, that yes, those oh-so-terrible government functionaries really do try their level best to do what’s right. They raise Cain about the ease with which politicians are bought…but refuse to either hold accountable the corporations who buy the politicians or even to support legislation to restrict the corporations’ ability to buy politicians! Such vast hypocrisy!

    And the worst irony of all is that many of those on the Right who rail against the government are working for the government in full-time, salaried positions!

  • Cannonshop

    Santorum’s not viable in the National, and didn’t I tell everyone six months ago that Gingrich was a “Joke Candidate” doing it with no intention of winning?

    Dave, the Media’s not driving Santorum’s rise-as much fun as that conspiracy theory might be, it’s a lot more to do with who AIN’T showing up for those primaries and caucuses-the party is split-er, rather, splintered, and most of the disgruntled just aren’t coming to the meetings right now. (the Camp-church bible thumpers are, but they ALWAYS show up!)

    and here’s why:

    The Party has shown over the last sixteen years exactly ZERO intention toward actually conforming to its platform. Particularly obvious is the “Economics” side of said platform, and the naked Crony-payolas of the Late Bush years, the extension of “Security theatre” (sure to make Libertarian branch republicans wince), and while they may not have raised taxes (much) they certainly helped screw everyone by rampaging with the chequebook, not holding defense contractors to account for their contracts (JSF, other projects), and prostituting our soldiers into foreign wars for Europe’s oil whilst doing little or nothing to repair or expand our OWN infrastructure (and jobs) here at home…

    and the party’s done worse than that-they’ve walked away from the Teddy Roosevelt Republicans too-allowing much the same rampant Trust formations that we saw in Clinton years (that being the orgy of merger-and-buyouts), Bailouts, “too big to fail” policies…basically the Party Brass and their trained monkeys in D.C. have betrayed the:

    1. Fiscal Conservatives
    2. Trade Conservatives
    3. Libertarian Conservatives
    4. Constitutionalist Conservatives.

    The only branch of the family that’s actually got ANY real love left, is the branch Santorum’s a shitstained representative of-the Religious-right-wing-nutter conservatives and the Nanny Staters on the Right.

    (Yes, Glenn, there ARE nanny-staters on the right, and they’re just about equally obnoxious as the socialist nanny-staters in YOUR party.)

    Sadly, Romney looks to people like ME to be a retread of George Bush Sr. in terms of policy and performance-another corporatist right-aisle version nanny-stater who’ll bail out the next AIG at crushing cost, but won’t bring BLM, BIA, FBI, CIA, DEA, DHS, or the Dept. of Education to heel. (Speaking of the Dept. of Education, why DO they need their own SWAT teams??)

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Speaking of the Dept. of Education, why DO they need their own SWAT teams??

    Because everybody in this country from the Hot Seat down fancies themselves as Dirty Harry (who for some reason, though himself dirty, is the one to Clean Up This Town).

    …Wouldn’t it be funny if some constitutional historian discovered that the 2nd amendment had become muddled at some point in the drafting process, that one of the Founding Fathers had been exceptionally fond of big game (in particular grizzlies and wildebeest), and that what the 2nd was actually meant to confer was the right to keep bears and gnus?

  • Igor

    21-Glenn makes an excellent point: “They’ve been fed this in the Right’s echo chamber for so long that they cannot imagine that their corporate world is more corrupt than the government,…”

    Indeed, I can attest that the corporate world is infested with corruption, treachery, dishonesty and cowardice, especially at the highest level, and across the spectrum of companies.

    I’ve been working since I was 12 years old, earning my own way. A real Horatio Alger story. Saved up $1700 (enough to buy a new car in those days) to go to University and worked through school as a freelance Layout Draftsman. I worked as an employee and as a consultant for many years to major US corporations, GM, IBM,GE, etc.,and aided or started several startups in the 80s and 90s.

    I’ve never drawn a government paycheck in my life.

    ALL commercial companies are loaded to the gunwales with treachery, dishonesty and betrayal. Everybody from the top down is aware of it and knows that you’ve got to be a player to survive and prosper. Every form of perfidy is permitted.

    No one can be trusted. The naive who don’t cover their power bases will lose them. The naive are those who believe that somehow merit will triumph. That the forces of market competition will triumph. It is that naivete that lead Alan Greenspan and Milton Freidman to state that in a Free Market system fraud was impossible, a notion that the events of the last few years have offered rich evidence to refute.

    The vagrant notions of Free Market theorists are fantasies, mere smoke that is blown away by the slightest breeze of conflict.

  • Clavos

    And you lost out, didn’t you,Igor?

    Ya got screwed (but not kissed) and so you hate all businesses and business people.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A misanthrope, if I may venture.

    BTW, Clav, I don’t think you’ve even been one, in spite of all your protestations,

  • zingzing

    i’ve only been close enough to the top to see what goes on at the executive level of one company, but it was pretty fucked up. at the founder’s previous company (he was ceo), stocks had been grossly inflated and it became a posterchild for the reasons behind the dot com bubble. at the company i worked for, there was some incredibly shady marketing practices and trojan horse add ons that opened up customers’ personal financial info to company scrutiny. (this beyond the fact that it was a public records company, a shady enough line of business… they would also sell your private records behind your back.) it actually got pretty messed up, and when my sorta boss spoke up about the shit the company was up to, but only in private, she was fired. the marketing director was cowed into stuff she knew to be false, misleading and dangerous, so she eventually quit and was made to sign what she described as an “incredibly draconian” confidentiality agreement. i was kinda left out in the cold by those two departures and had quite a few meetings with executives where veiled threats were covered up with smiles. the atmosphere around there got so poisoness that i had to get out. i did so nice and quiet so as not to anger anyone.

  • Igor

    Not at all. I had the benefit of having seen enough as a young independent to not be fooled by the dreams of corporate drones, and not to openly express skepticism. I remember sitting, as a 23 yr. old, listening to the most fantastic imaginings of future pension benefits by men twice my age who were obviously naive but well indoctrinated into company narrative, even though nothing made any sense. I kept my own counsel, said nothing to my associates, and made my own plans.

    I’d say I won in about half of my endeavors, which included about 6 startups, one of which went really big. I avoided disappointment by never really swallowing the line while appearing to be cooperative.

    Most of what you hear about striving and achievement in business is pure BS. For example, you hear all these stories about people working long hours in the startup business, in Silicon Valley in the 60s, 70s and 80s, but I can tell you that we built all those businesses on 40 hour workweeks. 9 to 5. We were all in promptly at 9AM, took 1 to 1.5 hours for lunch and left at 5PM. NOBODY worked those weird hours you hear about. We would have thought he was nuts and bound to be error-prone. SOMETIMES a guy would put in a lot of extra effort and time to get something ready for a show or meet some other deadline, as necessary.

    I don’t hate business people, but I have a proper skepticism about them. I don’t even hate the ones that cheated me: it’s just business, as they say. I was careless.

    I don’t even hate my old buddy Pete, who I first worked with in the 60s, bailed him out of the drunk tank one weekend, he became a rather famous entrepeneur (and professor at Stanford!). 30 years later I clued him in to a good looking startup I’d done some consulting for, that was desperate for financing. But I didn’t have a good brokerage contract with anyone, depending on, you know, Fair Play and Fellowship, so he joined with the founders and drove me out (although I’d warned him that their credentials were fraudulent). But in about a year they went bankrupt and Pete lost $2million (his first startup loss ever). Too bad. But it’s just business.

    It’s just business, boys and girls. Just business.

    But one thing that always impressed me was how dumb top management is in corporate America. I mean REALLY dumb. Not knowing anything about their own products, or the business, etc. My impression is that people just keep lying and demanding and hope that if THEY believe the lies and fantasies that everyone else will too! Just like the Emperors New Clothes.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    The right to be armed with unbearable puns. (#23)

  • Jeannie Danna

    Blame who? The media? Think not! It’s Citicens United you should be blaming for this dismale lin-up. The aparent lack of electable canadadates is because this isn’t a Republican primary, it’s a billonaire fight to see who can buy America.

    News for all: All the money on earth can’t buy crazy.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    welcome back, jeannie

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    That’s some pretty impressive testimony. I only wish the BC conservatives here would learn from it rather than dismissing it offhand since it goes contrary to dogma.

  • Cannonshop

    #23 Just ’cause some Educrat has a Walter Mitty complex doesn’t mean we need to be financing it with taxpayer dollars-seriously, we have the ATF, the FBI HRT, a variety of local, state, and county SWAT teams in this country, I don’t see the legitimate need for a department with no toe in the violent side of Law Enforcement, to be fielding a SWAT team-much less fielding one BADLY (as has already happened in a “Sorry Wrong House” situation over…a loan default.)

    Shit is SERIOUSLY out of control here, Doc-the money spent on this SHOULD have been going to customer-end programmes or internal performance audits to assure the Dept. is not wasting taxpayer dollars-or to assure that the money is, in fact, going to further actual EDUCATIONS for citizens. Fraud can be prosecuted by the DoJ, and there are a whole bundle of Agencies whose basic reason for existing is law-enforcement, including conducting “raids” and investigations, serving warrants, etc. etc.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    Would you agree that it’s unlikely that the ATF and the FBI are largely clueless when it comes to Wall Street finance? I think you would, for the same reason why you wouldn’t ask a beat cop to conduct OSHA inspections or FAA inspections.

    If a sector needs to be regulated, then the regulation needs to be conducted by people who know what the heck they’re talking about.

  • Igor

    Glenn,

    Most people re-direct their frustrations at other people, because it’s easier than self-examination. But, contrary to what Clavos may think, I’m not mad and bitter at anyone. It’s terrible to let bitterness dominate your life. I think the last professional acquaintance I was angry with was in 1969, and the last personal acquaintance was in 1978.

    I’ve been disappointed in a few people and I’ve found there are some people you just can’t trust, and you’re the fool if you do trust them, because no amount of remonstrance and screaming is going to make up for misplaced trust.

  • Deano

    I suspect that the media ratcheting up of Santorum has less to do with any sneaky “liberal” scheme to ensure an Obama presidency and more to do with $money$. With Santorum, they are following the pattern that the entire system is based on:

    1). Keep the race simple (i.e. two BIG contenders)
    2). Highlight the extremism and conflict (i.e. OMG Mormon! OMG Homophobe!) to attract attention and keep the audience involved
    3). Build up and exaggerate the event (Clash of civilizations! Who can save us from the socialist Obama peril!)
    4). Keep the focus on the personalities and soundbites, not on policies or issues (Damnit we can’t have any thinking going on here, that’ll sink things for sure!)
    5). Film the inevitable flameout (probably Santorum, as the GOP would have to be eight flaming balls of crazy to put him up against Obama)
    6). Move to the next cycle (probably the GOP Convention – OMG who will win the votes?)

    It’s not a conspiracy, its not a liberal plot, it’s just the 21st century media cycle and rating$.

  • Igor

    #27-ZZ: about 20 years ago I consulted for a successful software developer who was the industry leader in their software. (I knew it had a smell, so I demanded a 3 month bonus and a 3 month guarantee to take it on). The Founder had just sold the company to a conglomerate and was tied down by a 5 year standoff on the stock payoff, so he had to sweat it out. But he was now worth $150million on paper, and he knew he needed help, badly. I knew for sure it was stinko when he quickly fired his software director, who was a very good smart guy, and when he subverted me regularly, so I settled back for 3 months of my guarantee, cashed my signon bonus, and started cashing my progress payments rapido.

    This guy had found a remunerative niche in the hospital business and had been making an excellent living for a few years, but the purchasing conglomerate hadn’t done Due Diligence (they should have hired a guy like me, I’d done several DDs for people, and so have a lot of others, but that’s high priced because of the exposure). But he was cheap and crooked. He only had one competent guy left on staff, and I found that he wouldn’t pay for the kind of guys he needed. But I foraged around and found an additional software guy and an admin to deal with his problems. I think ‘John’ had 3million shares at $50 a share of the conglomerate, and quickly after I left the bottom went out. I don’t know where it ended (these stories are so common they’re easily thrown away). But John was so cheap that he wouldn’t fix the virus that had infected his software. He was knowingly shipping software with that old virus that waited a few weeks and then started interjecting false keystrokes occasionally, becoming more frequent as weeks went by until the system ended in a cacophony of random keystrokes! It was pretty funny if you weren’t involved. But John wouldn’t spend the time or money to root it out, let alone hold up his release cycle for all the promises he’d made to customers around the country. And this damn menace was shipped out to hundreds of hospitals. Then, as if to cap his own incompetence he created a ‘website’ which was kind of a new thing to do and John took pride in his hacking skills, but it didn’t take long for some ex-employees to hack his website and discover his entire customer list of 600 leads and customers!

    I have no idea how ‘John’ ended because I went off to new adventures. But I was never mad at him, or even upset, because I had protected myself with $$$Money$$$ and realistic expectations.

    Anyway, from what I’ve seen I have no admiration for bigshots and their pretensions, and incompetent management is the norm, not the exception, in corporate America.

  • Jeannie Danna

    :D Hello El. Not back just hovering.

  • Jeannie Danna

    :D Before I go, allow me to remind all of you here at BC that America is a nation not just a business.

  • Cannonshop

    #34 And where does a SWAT team fit into that, Glenn? IS there a legitimate educational purpose to kicking doors in and going guns-a-blazing (or, more to the milder “What really happened” of storming someones home, waving guns around, demanding someone who wasn’t there-and hadn’t been, for MONTHS prior?)

    It may surprise you, Glenn, to know that the FAA doesn’t maintain a dynamic entry team armed with automatic shotguns to conduct inspections at FOB locations-not even really distant ones, along known transit routes used by drug-dealers.

    This is an agency stepping WAAAAAAYYYYY the hell outside their area of expertise, and developing an asset that bears zero resemblance to that agency’s purported mission and reason for existence.

    It makes as much sense as the FAA maintaining a small fleet of attack subs, the FBI owning/using a Space Shuttle, or HUD dabbling in nuclear weapons design and deployment.

  • Cannonshop

    #36 Deano, response to your point number 5…

    The GOP (at the leadership level) has proven to be both eight shades of nuts, AND corrupt (or maybe that’s just a split by board member or something)-the only “Promises” they’ve made any effort to KEEP in the last sixteen years were to the lunatic fringe homophobes and bible thumpers-which is how (as noted in several articles) the GOP has managed the lowest turnout in years for a primary. (believe it or not, CLINTON in ’96 faced more unified opposition than Obama’s facing).

    I agree with your other points wrt pure tactical/commercial elements of the Press side of things. Dog-bites-man doesn’t sell, it’s mundane. Man-Bites-Dog sells-because it’s strange and interesting. Santorum is definitely Man-bites-dog…

    News is a business, which is why they’re so damn reluctant to print/publish anything but disaster and woe-because those sell copy, whereas good news does not sell copy, nor does reporting what is reasonably expected.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    Did you have to try that hard in order to completely miss my point? I was in essence saying that if a business sector needs regulating, then those who regulate it need to be deeply familiar with that sector, and that one shouldn’t hire inspectors who have little or no real-world experience in that sector.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor #35 –

    I understand what you mean. I’ve had people go after my career on several occasions. Most of the time I was outraged…but I began to get a clue with the last one who did so. I didn’t retaliate or spend my days trying to figure the guy out…and as time went on, he screwed up and cost himself his own career. His clinical narcissism was not compatible with obeying the orders of the officers.

    I mention all this to say that you’re quite right, that it is much better to not allow the b***ards to get you down.

  • Clavos

    Before I go, allow me to remind all of you here at BC that America is a nation…

    Barely. Not much of one anymore.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    That’s the problem with being so cynical, always seeing the bad, the weakness, the fault – doing so is every bit as bad as being pollyannish, wearing rose-colored glasses, and denying the presence of evil in the world.

    Only when you acknowledge and appreciate both the bad and the good will you see clearly. Until then, you simply cannot see things the way they really are. For all the ‘coolness’ and supposed respect that habitual cynicism brings, all it really does is blind you to half the world…and half of humanity.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    or HUD dabbling in nuclear weapons design and deployment.

    Dang! Why didn’t I get some of that action when I worked on HUD programs? That would have been FUN!

  • https://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Barely. Not much of one anymore.

    Life is what you make of it Clavos. I’ve seen great forward movement in this country during my life-time and there’s much more to come.

    :D I’m sure of it.

  • Cannonshop

    #42 Considering that SEC’s “Experts” failed in THEIR mission, and that the FBI has a whole division to pursue white-collar criminals, and as the mission of the Secret Service (aside from protecting POTUS) is mainly focused on the same from a slightly varied angle, yet we had both the S&L crisis in the 1980’s and the banking mess of the last decade (including the use of financial instruments experts INSIDE the industry didn’t fully understand the mechanics of) AND given that we’ve got Educrats with fantasies of being Elliott Ness?

    I WANT my federal employees to work, Glenn, I want them to be able to do their jobs, and I want them to DO their jobs. I want agencies to stop having turf-wars, stop dropping the ball because of jurisdictional arguments (see: 9/11), I want them to do what they’re SUPPOSED to do (which, for a dept. of education, is NOT fielding a SWAT team and trying to pretend they’re a love child between Ness and Chuck Norris.) I want my SEC to regulate the Stock Markets and catch fraudsters, I want my FBI to handle interstate criminals of the violent sort, I want my Federal Marshalls transporting felons over state lines and applying civil law in the “Non State U.S. Territories”, I want the IRS to collect revenue (Yeah, collect revenue-as in the job it was formed to do) etc.

    I’m tired of embarassments like Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc. where agencies start something they shouldn’t have, only to make all of America look bad because of their catastrophic blundering. I’m tired of paying for a war on drugs predicated on the idea that the government can somehow stop people from deliberately hurting themselves-you can limit accidents with rules, but it makes about as much sense as outlawing suicide, and it’s cost BILLIONS for little to no real-world utility (other than creating billionaire criminals south of the border and sumping talent and resources into a kind of perpetual-motion tax consumption machine that fills prisons and generates excuses to further erode individual Liberties).

    Also on the “Hire experts” front, Glenn…

    Experts were saying for DECADES that the best course in a Hijacking was cooperation-that is one of the primary reasons that what AQ did in 2001 worked. The EXPERTS were wrong, and it cost a lot of lives and blood and treasure because their “expert” opinions created an environment that favoured the opportunistic human infections.

    The “Experts” counselled helplessness, so their advice is, frankly, questionable at best-TSA’s methods might have reduced SOME chances of SOME incidents, but fact is, it’s spending a dollar to save a dime-the terrorists got what they’re after, they made people afraid, and made them SO afraid they’ll accept Tyranny to alleviate their fears.

    I’m not sure I can accept that. In fact, I’m damn sure I don’t.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    “Poison the well” much?

    In YOUR view, the government and the experts have almost ALWAYS been wrong. Go back to my #45 and see what’s wrong with being so cynical. There’s nothing wrong with being cynical, so long as one BALANCES one’s cynicism about someone or something with seeing what that someone or something did that was good and RIGHT. For instance, look at your rant against TSA. Sure, TSA costs a few billion – but they’re catching on average two handguns in carry-on baggage every day. And how much did 9/11 cost America?

    In that view, TSA’s one of the most cost-effective government organizations in human history!

    So here’s a project for you. Look at the people who did the things you pointed out that were wrong, and then look up the things they did that were RIGHT. And then get back to me.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    9/11 cost the USA everything it stood for, as it is no longer the land of the free.

    As to the TSA catching 2 handguns a day? Firstly, machines could do that better and cheaper and secondly the presence of guns doesn’t necessarily represent a threat.

    There are far too many security services in the USA, which has become a parody of what it once stood for.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    “Guns don’t necessarily represent a threat”? All it takes is ONE idiot, guy…and FYI, it’s not only guns that the TSA has to check for.

    And the TSA DOES use machines – as much as we don’t like the newest ‘radioactive porn’ machines, those machines – and the bag scanners (which I used to train others how to use) – are crucial to the success of the TSA.

    Every bit as importantly, machines by themselves are quite insufficient to the task…because the TSA agents (and the air marshals on the planes) have to keep their eyeballs peeled for potential threats that machines cannot (yet) detect – eyes shifting nervously, hands fidgeting especially when being searched. Yeah, you’re Absolutely Sure the TSA agents are just mindless drones bent on destroying our civil rights…but if you had the guts to join them, you’d soon discover your error.

    All it would take is ONE hijacking for you and Clavos and Cannonshop to deride the TSA and claim that they’re incompetent, that they don’t do their job…and in the meantime you’re pooh-poohing the fact that they’re finding two guns a day out of fourteen thousand flights. Per day. 24/7/365.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, I’d like to respond to your point but you don’t have one…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, some perspective:

    Most estimates I’ve seen say that there are some 300 million firearms in the United States.

    According to the DOJ, the number of crimes involving firearms in 2006 (the most recent year for which figures are available) was around 400,000.

    That means approximately 1 in every 7500 guns is used to commit a crime.

    If we look at your numbers, the TSA detects, annually, 730 people trying to bring guns into the cabins of commercial passenger aircraft.

    That means that it will take them, on average, over 10 years to catch one criminal passenger with a gun.

    And that’s assuming the crime he/she intends to commit will take place on the airplane.

    It’s also assuming that each gun will only be used to commit one crime.

    And it’s overlooking the fact that the 9/11 hijackers used not guns, but boxcutters. And that none of the attempted aviation-related terrorist attacks since 9/11 have involved guns.

    I don’t know about you, Glenn, but an anti-terrorism measure that screens absolutely everyone but only prevents – being generous – one terrorist attack every 10 years doesn’t seem a very good investment at all to me.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Your statistical comparison is sorta like saying that the chance that the president has of being assassinated with a gun is no more than that of any other citizen being shot to death…but the job of POTUS quite literally has the highest death rate of any job in America (with the exception of our submariners during WWII – their death rate was 22%).

    What you’re not taking into account is that if one wants to commit a high-profile crime, one doesn’t knock off a 7/11. Why do you think bin Laden chose airliners over what his predecessor used in the first attempt to blow up the WTC? Bin Laden wanted as high a profile crime for as little cost as he could get away with, and he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. The higher-profile the target, the more that target needs to be protected. Sorry, but that’s the way it is – the way it always has been.

    It should be noted that there’s a verse in the Qur’an wherein the number 19 is very important, and it’s seen as a prophecy of sorts – that’s why there were 19 hijackers even though a 20th was available. That, and in the grand view of history, the 9/11 attack can in several ways be compared to Thermopylae.

    Anyway, if you’ll check the first sentence of my comment #51, you’ll see that I pointed out that the threat didn’t simply involve guns…and our discussion here isn’t really on guns, is it? No, it’s currently more about the TSA.

    So let me boil it down to one question – given what bin Laden was able to do (even without guns), if you were given the choice and the responsibility for making that choice, would you really have the TSA relax their enforcement efforts? Agreed that there is always room for improvement – of course! – but should we really throw out the baby with the bath water?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, the issue with TSA security is that it’s reactive.

    9/11 happened and now you can’t have sharp objects in your carry-on bag. Richard Read tried to blow up his shoe and now you have to take your shoes off to go through security. There was the plot to blow up transatlantic flights using explosives concealed in water bottles and now you can’t bring liquids onto a flight. After Abdulmutallab’s little stunt a Christmas or two back we got the full body scanners and I’m frankly surprised it isn’t now illegal to wear underwear on a plane: I suspect the only reason that hasn’t happened is that it’s political (ahem) dynamite.

    You screen for 19 things, Glenn, and your determined terrorist will find a 20th. Where does it stop?

  • Clavos

    9/11 cost the USA everything it stood for, as it is no longer the land of the free. (emphasis added)

    QTF

    And I reiterate my assertion in #44.

    As for “forward movement,” the creation of the nanny state, the Patriot Act, the creation of the Department of Education and the resulting slump in the quality of US K-12 education — these are all decidedly backward movements and only a sampling of such at that.

  • Clavos

    Add to my #56 above, to keep it topical:

    The whole TSA Shuck and Jive.

    Two guns a day, indeed.

  • Clavos

    Doc, you’re dead on in #55.

    Where indeed…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    I hate to say it, but it doesn’t stop. It’s just like the old firepower/armor debate. One uses arrows, the other develops armor. One develops guns, the other develops tanks. One develops anti-tank rockets, the other develops Chobham armor.

    It doesn’t stop. One can try to leapfrog the other, but they still have to protect against earlier threats. That’s just the way it is.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Yes, Doc’s right that the TSA’s being reactive…but they’re not only being reactive.

    It’s really easy to sit back in your easy chair and play Monday-morning QB and say how crappy this particular organization is…but you’re also assuming that they’re only doing what you see them doing. You’re assuming that they’re doing little or nothing more. You’re making the mistake of thinking that because they’re government functionaries, they’re plodding, unimaginative bureaucrats who are only waiting for the moment when they’re off work.

    But if you actually took time to work with them, I’d think you’d find – as in almost any human industry (public or private) where lots of lives are on the line every day – that they do take their job seriously. Sure, some won’t. Some will screw up. Some will be really stupid. And some will be plodding, unimaginative functionaries watching the clock. But the great majority of them will be good people trying their utmost to do a good job, because they don’t want the deaths of hundreds of people on their conscience.

    And Clavos – I’m sure you know this already. Again, cynicism without optimism is every bit as blind as optimism without cynicism.

  • Cannonshop

    #59 and if nobody says “ENOUGH”, Glenn, eventually you get to a point where “Citizen”=”Prisoner” and guess what? the Criminals are still free.

    The sheer man-hours in TSA’s 2 guns/year makes those the most expensive firearms in history.

    Honestly, you might be in favour of a life without freedom, or where your “Freedom” is tightly defined by your Federal masters, but frankly, the advice of Ben Franklin comes to mind regarding freedom and safety and what you get when you sacrifice freedom FOR “safety”-that is, the ILLUSION of Safety, of Security.

    I’m not as keen as you seem to be to let some rag-ass renegades turn me into a prisoner. The most “Secure” prisons have the locks on the INSIDE of the doors, Glenn-the prisoners lock THEMSELVES up.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    The sheer man-hours in TSA’s 2 guns/year makes those the most expensive firearms in history.

    You DO realize, of course, that the cost of even ONE 9/11 attack – just the direct loss of business to airlines (and the downstream costs of that loss of business) – is many times greater than the $6.3 billion annual TSA budget…and that’s not even counting the occasional follow-on invasion like we did in Afghanistan and Iraq. IIRC, the cost estimates to our economy by 9/11 in the first year alone (not counting our invasion) was $100 billion. How many years would that fund the TSA? Hm?

    But you’d rather see the TSA go away – which is the typical Republican attitude towards the government: throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    All it takes is ONE extremist idiot to take over the aircraft, and voila, we might well have another 9/11 on our hands…which attack could cost us at least 15 years’ worth of the TSA, just like the last one did (not counting the invasion).

  • Cannonshop

    #62 Glenn, the extremists took the aircraft OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE because the corporate and governmental ‘experts’ told flight crew to…cooperate, and they did it with BOX KNIVES, Glenn. BOX KNIVES.

    Not guns, not assault weapons or big machetes or swords, BOX KNIVES.

    Not Bruce Lee with a box-knife, either-these were schmucks, but the “Security Culture” made them the only schmucks willing to fight-do you GET that??

    All TSA does, is match the prior performance (modified by SOME improved tech) of the private sector security guards who did the job before-minus the petty thievery (and institutionalized harassment) air travellers can now enjoy from their new “security blanket”.

    Terrorism is about creating terror, Glenn-driving a population willy-nilly into accepting tyranny is one of the primary measures to see if it’s working.

    Make things bad enough, and you don’t need an army to topple a nation-the system will become so stifling that it will collapse ON ITS OWN.

    Read up on Lenin’s methods and Trotsky’s advice, Glenn, look into Mao’s Little Red book sometime-these are the people the Islamic Radicals studied when they were attending western universities, read some Alinsky while you’re at it. We’re goober-falling right into the trap they’ve laid in front of us, and “Security conscious” folks like you are leading the dance in.

  • Cannonshop

    Glenn, you seem to be operating under the assumption that the Terrorists are those hill-fighting goons in Afghanistan.

    They’re not.

    most of them are highly educated men, many have degrees from good universities-remember that the 9/11 hijackers were here on what, class?

    Student Visas. Their leaders are highly educated men, these are not stupid people you can ‘scare’ into compliance with cavity-searches and scanning machines. This is not a war just of blood and bullets, explosives and aircraft, Glenn, it’s a war of the MIND, Terrorism is a MIND GAME, the more you fear them, the more power they have over you, and the objective is such a simple one…

    Break your enemy by breaking his ability to function-not just mere material functions like power generation or trade, but FUNCTION. Make your target so ‘security conscious’ that he can’t govern, fears to leave the house, etc.

    When you, as an AMERICAN give your freedom up, give up your dignity, the Terrorist wins another victory-because he has made you weaker, less capable of dealing with his NEXT attack, less capable of overcoming adversity.

    It’s about FEAR, Glenn, and they’ve made a lot of people VERY afraid…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    There’s a BIG difference between fear…and caution. I KNOW they used box knives – and if you’ll check back in my comment #51, I pointed out that guns weren’t the only threat. Thankfully, with the awareness we have now – for which we (and the regular people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and (to a much lesser extent, Pakistan) paid dearly – box cutters won’t cut it anymore. Anytime someone has something that even looks like a threat threat, they’ve got every red-blooded male on that plane suddenly on top of him beating him down.

    And the terrorists know this, too. They know that simple little crap won’t work anymore.

    9/11 did occur with mostly educated individuals. The shoe-bomber and the underwear-bomber weren’t so educated. Problem is, we have to guard against BOTH. AND we still have to watch for those lousy little frickin’ boxcutters on the off chance that some idiot will take a stewardess hostage and force the plane to land somewhere else. He wouldn’t be able to take over the plane, but he could make things a real pain in the but for a lot of people, and cost the airlines beaucoup bucks.

    In other words, Cannonshop, it’s NOT fear. It’s CAUTION. If you want fearmongering, all you need do is turn on Fox News and hear how Obama’s got a deep-seated hatred of white people, how liberals are destroying the sanctity of marriage (just ask Newt), how if Obama’s elected, Iran WILL use their nukes (Romney just said that yesterday).

    THAT, Cannonshop, is fear-mongering. The TSA, on the other hand, would be at the height of irresponsibility if it did not at least try to protect against threats that have ALREADY OCCURRED!

    You cannot be so naive about security that you can’t grasp that ANY organization tasked with protecting the lives of others must do two things: secondly, try to prepare against unknown or unforeseen threats, but FIRSTLY, to prepare against KNOWN threats.

    Firearms, Cannonshop, are a KNOWN threat. So are boxcutters and C-4 and liquid explosives. And having thorough inspections for them is NOT fear – it is CAUTION and it is RESPONSIBILITY and it is DUTY.

    And the day when – WHEN – somebody finally sneaks a gun through security and gets it on a plane and bad things happen, YOU are going to be among the first on BC to say, “See? Those lazy good-for-nothing TSA bums let that one through! They’re worthless!”

    If they do their job, you despise them. If they don’t do their job, you despise them. Give me a break, Cannonshop!

    So what’s your grand solution? How are we supposed to ensure the safety not only of the plane and passengers, but also the financial well-being of the industry as a whole that takes a big hit whenever a plane goes down? What’s your solution? I really want to hear it!

    P.S. If I wanted to fear-monger, I’d say I’m not worried at all about guns and boxcutters anymore, thanks to the TSA, and not worried that much about liquid binary explosives (that TSA knows about and would probably not detect). What I am more worried about is (1) idiots with a SAM left over from our illegal and unnecessary wars, and (2) the idiots in charge of the airlines who are too cheap to put countermeasures on their planes even though they know damn well that the first time a plane is shot down, the industry will lose FAR more money than it would have cost to put countermeasures on board every single one of their aircraft!

  • Clavos

    Good points all, Glenn.

    Our response to 9/11 should have been totally proactive instead of the weaselly hunkering down we actually fell into.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Setting aside the fact that Glenn’s view is excessively fearful and cautious, despite how much he tries to posture as reasonable, Clavos, so you consider two wars, numerous other “police” campaigns and actions, the arrest or death of most senior Al Qaeda personnel, the passing of several new state security bills and the formation of several new state security bodies is hunkering down?

    What would you call being proactive then?

  • zingzing

    “nuke em from orbit! blooooood! kill em all!” if clavos says anything different…

    anyway, the tsa is annoying. it’s a complete hassle. but gimme a break on the more ridiculous rhetoric around here. i wish they could do their job without being so invasive, and they probably can, but if one person dies because of lax security, then you can tell them about how lucky they were to have their freedom when you meet up with them again.

    but for god’s sake, if we can’t bring water in, have reasonably priced water available on the other side of security. dammit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @69

    I, too, am rather surprised by Clavos’s response. Must have been overwhelmed, methinks, by the aura of reasonableness.

    I didn’t think you were such a hawk, Clav. What changed?

  • Clavos

    Oops!!! #66 was addressed to Cannonshop, not Glenn.

    Me culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    Agnus Dei…

  • Cannonshop

    #70: ERm….”Forgiven!!”. (that’s how it works, right?)

    Honestly, I think the “Proactive” course would’ve been to require, then fund, training for aircrew and stewards, including the issuing of stun guns, handcuffs, and tasers. (bullets in an aircraft get messy quick).

    Glenn’s 2 handguns/year is a telling stat-it means nobody but the really dumb/forgetful are trying to carry onto the plane, not that the apparatus is working as designed. Most of the “Terrorists” caught ON the plane (shoe bomber boy, Underpants bomber boy) weren’t even caught inside the U.S.-they boarded overseas, and had they finished their missions, wouldn’t have landed here (except as metallic confetti).

  • zingzing

    the word you’re looking for is “day,” cannonshop, not “year.” (and actually, as of 2010 it was four per day, many of them loaded.) the first time you said “year” instead of day, it looked like simple mistake. but now… are you really basing your pov on such a faulty statistic?

    and maybe terrorists know it’s pretty hard to get on a flight in the us with that kind of shit on you. who knows. security has gone up to the point that it’s unimaginable that terrorists could pull of 9/11 again. but i guess that would be unimaginative. and it doesn’t pay to underestimate a terrorist.

  • zingzing

    “Glenn’s 2 handguns/year is a telling stat-it means nobody but the really dumb/forgetful are trying to carry onto the plane…”

    assuming you meant “day,” how did you get from point a (the “telling stat,”) to point b (what “it means”)? i see nothing in that that should automatically lead one to that conclusion.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: even you agree that guns are a bad idea on a plane. and the tsa stopped 1,238 from being brought on in carrier on bags in 2010 (reuters report).

    does this information change anything for you? the tsa does sometimes overstep reasonable boundaries. but… damn, man, come on.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I think both Glenn and Cannon have good points. Glenn is right that it is worth spending money to protect one’s assets. The question is, when does it become excessive, and as far as air travel is concerned I see no limit being designated to the increasingly draconian measures being put in place.

    If being proactive means strip-searching Granny, then I’ll pass, thanks.

    Airplanes are favorite targets for terrorists because of the spectacularness, but they’re by no means the only targets. And the security measures have had so much money thrown at them because it’s easy to score a high success rate when you’re screening people as they shuffle into a small metal tube which is then sealed at point A and not unsealed again until it reaches point B.

    Contrast that with other forms of public transport. Billions of people around the world use trains and buses every day… and typically undergo NO security screening (except perhaps for walking past a few CCTV cameras). Yet these forms of transit are also top terrorist targets, as witness the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, the frequent suicide bus attacks in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities, the bombing of the Moscow-St Petersburg express, attacks on trains in India etc.

    The number of rail passengers who reach their destinations safely and without incident far exceeds those who experience terrorist attacks, even though the vast majority of them board their trains without hindrance or molestation. There’s no reason to think the same wouldn’t be true even if airports used no security screening whatsoever.

    As I said, airports are singled out for screening because it’s easy, and the high visibility and success rate are really just the feel-good factor.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    zing brings up a point I didn’t notice – were you indeed thinking I said 2 handguns per YEAR? If you’ll look at my comment #49, I said two handguns per DAY. In your comment #61, you started saying two handguns per YEAR.

    Per DAY, Cannonshop. Per DAY. That’s 365.25 times more frequent than you thought it was.

    Care to rethink your claims about the TSA? Nah, you wouldn’t do that.

    (zing – thanks)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos #66 –

    For a moment there, I thought you’d had some kind of brain aneurysm….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    You’re absolutely right there’s things they can do better. I don’t like them searching granny or kids or somebody who isn’t obviously a threat.

    What’s probably happening when they do so is that it’s a common practice – at least in the military – to decide to search, say, the thirty-fifth in the line. Sometimes there was a specific number, and whenever anyone came back off liberty, they’d have to roll the dice and if their number came up, they’d get patted down.

    That is NOT to say that such a practice is either proper or effective when it comes to the duties of the TSA.

    So what’s the TSA doing to try to be proactive? Something that I think the BC conservatives would love – they’re trying the Israeli Airline Security model. Yes, it’s only a trial run – but there’s one certain thing about the Israeli model that we cannot do: from what I understand, an important part of their model is to change aircraft departure and arrival times without warning, without pattern – this would not work in America.

    The program also has its weaknesses since it does rely on cultural profiling. We can all see on one level how that might help…but on another level how it can lead to places where we don’t want to go.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    zing, I think there are a couple of reasons why the TSA are finding more guns in passengers’ carry-on bags, both of which probably have some substance to them.

    The first is that they’re getting better at it. My personal experience of the TSA is that, whether you like them being there or not, they have become much more professional over the last couple of years, both in their methods and their courtesy.

    The second is that people who are in the habit of having guns on them anyway are becoming more blase about traveling with them. I’m getting the same way about my luggage: things I would have worried about having in my carry-on back in 2001-2002… not so much any more. I’ve forgotten on numerous occasions to take out my little travel-size bottles of toiletries and put them in a ziplock. Never had any problems though.

    Terrorism becoming more popular as a hobby is probably NOT a third reason.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, and Cannonshop –

    Honestly, I think the “Proactive” course would’ve been to require, then fund, training for aircrew and stewards, including the issuing of stun guns, handcuffs, and tasers. (bullets in an aircraft get messy quick).

    While you’re mulling over the fact that it’s two handguns per DAY instead of two handguns per YEAR, consider this – the TSA already has armed air marshals on most major flights (they might be armed with tasers, but IIRC it’s low-velocity rounds – you’ll have to look it up). The stewards/stewardesses ARE trained what to look for – of course they are! The pilots are allowed to carry guns (if certified to do so), and some are trying to get authority to carry guns outside the cockpit. The door to the pilot’s cabin is required by law to be reinforced, and no more kids visiting the cockpit is allowed…

    …c’mon, Cannonshop! They’re already doing pretty much ALL of what you suggested, and then some! You work for BOEING, guy – and you don’t know all this????

    But which is better – to gamble that the air marshal MIGHT be able to down a gunman or a bomber before he does something bad? Or to make sure the weapon or the bomb doesn’t get on the plane in the FIRST place?

    Two guns per DAY, Cannonshop – and in 2010, it was FOUR guns per day. In one week agents found 14 loaded and five unloaded handguns in carry-on luggage!

    Okay, guy – your turn.

  • Zingzing

    Doc–getting blasé about shampoo is one thing… Getting blasé about a gun is another. Your shampoo could discharge a full-bodied luxurious shine upon your undies. A gun could discharge a mother fucking BULLET on a mother fucking AIRPLANE (caps for Samuel L. Jackson effect). (that said, I’ve forgotten a pocket knife in there once. Got three flights into my two-there and two-back itinerary before they made me toss it, but that was several years ago now.)

    As I’ve said before, I wish the TSA could do what they do less invasively, and I think they can, but they have to their job. Given the results and their work load, they’ve done a pretty good job, if that job is to keep passengers leaving American airports safe. Now if only they could offer peace of mind… There is a “what price will you pay for freedom” question, but an hour of crap now and again doesn’t qualify in my book.

    As to your point about subways/mass transport/etc, that’s an everyday or maybe twice or thrice a day trip for people. Loads of security there would be much more invasive. But the devastation a well-placed bomb at union square or grand central could cause… Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would bother with airports when you’ve got targets like that. I guess it would be quite difficult given the level of surveillance and police, but 9/11 was no simple plan either, and it’s been pulled off to some degree in other places.

  • Clavos

    One point about the El Al Israeli security system: El Al is indisputably the world’s most secure airline; the last terrorist attempt occurred nearly ten years ago and was foiled. They did have a shootout between their security forces and would be hijackers on the ground at Los Angeles’ LAX airport a few years ago. Again, El Al security won.

  • Zingzing

    and so, clavos, when was the last successful hijacking/terrorist attempt from a us-based airport?

  • Clavos

    As you well know, there hasn’t been one since 9/11, but that doesn’t contradict the fact that El Al is still the most secure airline in the world, despite the fact that they operate from a base in the most dangerous part of the world.

    And, come to think of it, no one has ever flown airplanes into their buildings.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So how about you, Clavos – do you think that two guns per day (or even four guns per day) is reason enough for the TSA to be paranoid?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Can’t speak for Clavos, but I don’t.

    Two million passengers fly every day in the US. One gun per million, when the odds of that one person having malicious intent are extremely slim anyway? Not going to lose any sleep over it.

    Not unless you can convince me that two carjackings per 10,000 people per year means I should be paranoid about driving.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc, I refer you back to my comment #54 where I said:

    Your statistical comparison is sorta like saying that the chance that the president has of being assassinated with a gun is no more than that of any other citizen being shot to death…but the job of POTUS quite literally has the highest death rate of any job in America (with the exception of our submariners during WWII – their death rate was 22%).

    The higher the profile target, the greater the security measures must be to protect that target. If you want to call it paranoia, fine – but to compare it to carjacking doesn’t work, because cars are not a high-profile target of bad guys unless inside the car is someone Famous.

    And lets’ not stop there – you said “one gun per million”. But that’s not the right statistical comparison since we’re dealing with aircraft containing lots of people. Let’s say the average number of passengers is 100 per flight. That means that there’s one gun for every 10,000 flights. Per day. And there’s 14,000 flights per day.

    But wait – there’s more! When was the last time a Bad Guy tried to hijack a puddle-jumper or propeller-driven commuter plane? It’s been a looong time. So between one-third and one-half of the total number of flights can be tossed out of the sample, right? Right. That cuts down the comparison to one gun to as few as 5,000 flights. But maybe this is going too far since we still don’t know how many of those guns were found before boarding puddle-jumpers and prop-driven commuter flights.

    In any case, it’s still one gun per 7,000 flights, 365.25 days a year. Hm, let’s see, carry the two, round off to the nearest ideologue…

    …and we all know what happens if even one gets through. Even. One.

    Is it really paranoia? Or is it simple caution? Ask El Al Airlines.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Doc –

    You said two carjackings per 10,000 people per YEAR…but we’re discussing two guns per 14,000 flights per DAY. Apples to apples, please.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Um – Glenn…

    If you toss out short-haul flights because they’re not an appealing target to hijackers, then you also have to toss out the discovered guns that would have been carried on board those flights. So you’re not shortening your odds at all.

    And it’s not really apples to oranges, because in both cases we’re talking about odds so long that for all practical purposes they’re the same.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    …and we all know what happens if even one gets through. Even. One.

    There are numerous reasons why an airplane passenger might be carrying a gun, and very few of them have anything to do with crime.

    In most cases, I suspect that the passenger either was ignorant of the rules (most people fly only rarely) or simply forgot that the gun was in their carry-on.

    Which lengthens the odds of any given gun being used for a terrorist attack (or any other kind of criminal act, although I suppose you could argue that using a gun on a plane is terrorism by default).

    Now – would you buy insurance against being struck by lightning? Of course not. Your odds against it are around 1 in 500,000. And your odds against being a victim of a terrorist attack on a plane? 1 in 10.4 million.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    If you toss out short-haul flights because they’re not an appealing target to hijackers, then you also have to toss out the discovered guns that would have been carried on board those flights. So you’re not shortening your odds at all.

    I already did identify that flaw and addressed it in #87 – check the end of the largest paragraph. But in any case, you were looking at one carjacking per 10,000 people per YEAR, whereas I was pointing out 2 guns per 7,000 flights per DAY. That comes out to about a 5% chance per year…but we’re not talking about a danger to only one person, but to a whole airplane full of people, and to the industry as a whole (and the follow-on damage to the rest of the economy after the airlines take the initial hit).

    But there’s yet another factor no one here has considered – presence. What do you think, Doc, would happen if the TSA publicly noted that it was going to tone down its inspections? Would people be less likely to bring guns? Or more likely? The latter, of course.

    Why? Any cop and anyone in the security industry will tell you one of the most important factors in keeping the crime rate down is presence. If the cops are visible, the crime rate stays lower and it’s generally the stupid crooks who try to do something – the smarter ones go elsewhere.

    And so it goes with the TSA – sure, the presence of a uniformed cop on each plane might help…but only with someone who’s already brought a gun on board, and would help not at all with explosives. However, if there’s a robust TSA presence at the entry point, even the idiots tend to think twice – they can see the enforcement right in front of them.

    So if you cut down on the robust TSA inspection process, you cut down on the presence, and you WILL get more bad guys bringing bad stuff on board.

    Doc, I’ve got a healthy respect for what’s in your braincase, but I think even you would have to agree with me on this one.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, like me, clearly doesn’t agree with you Glenn, so please stop being like a doorstepping Jehovah’s Witness and simply accept that some people have different views to yours.

    Doc, unlike me, you have admirable and seemingly endless reserves of patience; if I had a hat I’d doff it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Kinda like saying, agree with me or else, ain’t that so, Glenn?

    I have no idea whether there’s such a thing as the fallacy by “blackmail,” but if there is, that would be it.

    Since you said you didn’t mind “constructive criticism,” got a question for you: how does your last paragraph add to the strength of your argument (unless you meant it as an exclamation point)?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Are you referring to the one where I complimented Doc on his brains? That was meant to be taken as face value, because I think he’s probably the most skilled of any of us at presenting an argument. Even when he doesn’t have as strong a bank of facts to back him up, he’s able to present his arguments very effectively and in a manner that usually precludes others from attacking his character.

    And yes, that’s my jealousy talking…because his diplomatic yet still-effective argumentation is of a level of skill I’ll never achieve.

    But as to whether it’s “fallacy by blackmail”, no, that would be an insult…and if it seems that way, then it’s due solely to my shortcomings as a writer.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And for Roger and Chris –

    Do either of you really think my point on security presence is wrong? Do either of you really think that if the TSA were to diminish the visibly robust level of inspection they now have, do either of you really think the number of attempts to bring weapons on board would not grow, given the importance of presence in any ongoing security situation from the cop on the beat to the guards standing outside any important installation.

    If so, then I invite both of you to bring your arguments.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, when people say they think you are wrong, that is what they really think, so why are you asking if we think you are wrong?

    Your argument is absurd because it is always possible to reduce crime by increased security. We could reduce it to zero if everybody was controlled and regulated in every minute of their lives.

    That really isn’t the issue. The issue is that the costs in terms of reduced freedom and increased state control and expense don’t add up.

    As Doc D has already shown, the TSA isn’t about risk management at all.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Dodging the question, are we? So what level of “guns being brought to the airport” are you comfortable with? We’ve got it down to two guns per day…but y’all really don’t like all the security – I guess you feel threatened by it (but not so much by the guns).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For all –

    So, how many more guns (and other weapons including bombs) per day are all of you comfortable with on our nation’s airlines? Yeah, that’s a silly way to put it…

    …but let me put it a different way. Air travel is not a RIGHT. It’s your CHOICE to go on the airline – and if you’re too uncomfortable with the level of security that’s enabling 14,000 flights per day to get hundreds of thousands of people from point A to point B safely and securely.

    Is it perfect? Of course not – and it never will be. If there’s not enough security, not only do a lot of people die unnecessarily, but the industry suffers and the economy takes a hit. BUT if there’s enough security to minimize the risk of bad people doing stupid things, what happens? IMO, all I see is a bunch of whining here. “They’re wasting a few of my dollars and taking away my freedom!” Ha! Freedom? Air travel is NOT a right, people. Remember that!

    All that’s happening is that you’re being required to go to a few more minutes’ trouble in the inspection process, an x-ray that’s a bit more revealing than most of us would like, and a few more dollars spent to pay for all this…

    …but in return you get a significantly level of security – not only for yourselves, but for every single man, woman, and child in the air.

    Sure, we’re all looking for that “Goldilocks” level, that happy medium of security versus personal freedom…but there are some things where security IS paramount over personal freedom – and air travel is one of them. If you don’t like it, that’s YOUR problem, not mine – because I have zero problem with waiting a few more minutes in line, having the x-ray, and paying a few more dollars. It gives me a measure of peace of mind about the security of the plane…so now all I have to worry about is the mechanical worthiness of the aircraft and the skill of the crew – and I do. I really don’t like to fly – but I do.

    Each and every one of you who are carrying on about how offensive the safety measures are…every one of you need a wake-up call to the real world. If those few more minutes, the x-ray, and the few more dollars are SO precious to you, then you’re SPOILED with what you think is freedom.

    I’m done with ye on this subject – y’all can have the last word.

  • Zingzing

    Doc, how many people do you reckon really don’t know you can’t carry a gun on a plane? You have a low opinion of humanity…

    Most of the people bringing guns on a plane are stupid, I suppose. But it’s possible that someone might not be.

  • Zingzing

    So, clavos, if el al air is the most secure in the world, despite flying just a fraction of the flights that the us flies every day, you’ve got to admit that, for such a big target, us airspace has been pretty safe over the last decade.

    I’m not really challenging you on el al’s safety record… Just asking why you jizz all over them and then shit all over the TSA for doing the same thing on a much larger scale. Another double standard out of you…

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    I’m not dodging anything, Glenn, not even your increasingly ridiculous argument and its phony premises.

    I don’t feel threatened by the presence of guns in passengers luggage although I do feel threatened by people like you that make up utterly pointless and stupid debating points.

    Now you are arguing that air travel is not a right – and nobody is claiming that it is. Setting aside that I am not in the USA, haven’t been there this century and won’t go there on principle whilst it is acting more like the Soviet Union than the US of A, I was completely happy with the level of airport security that existed pre 9/11 and don’t feel safer with the security levels as they are. Anyone that does has bought into the climate of fear and control that is so out of control in the West generally.

    As to the real world, it makes me laugh out loud that a man who believes in magic and miracles is so fucking arrogant as to give lectures on it.

    In that actual real world, if the USA had bit the bullet any time in the last 40 years and resolved the Palestinian issue, which would mean getting to grips with Israel, most of the global tensions and violence since then would never have happened.

    We are all to blame for this ongoing situation and these troubles will never go away until that festering sore is lanced and the poison washed away.

    zingzing – Two points – firstly, US airspace was pretty safe before 9/11 so there is no reason to assume that the TSA is making a difference and secondly, from what I know of what the TSA is doing it is NOT doing the same as the Israelis at all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But zing is just backpedaling as usual, he gives you a bit and then takes it back, always straddling the fence. It’s his way of coming across as “objective,” or “the brightest light on BC,” as Dreadful (in one of his less fortunate moments) had put it. Either way, it doesn’t speak well for BC, does it? I suspect it, however, that in zing’s case it’s more a matter of an impulse than inebriated brain cells, succumbing to the herd instinct, a liberal defending a liberal, that kind of stupid thing. Otherwise, our zingo is just as hopeless.

    As to the good Contrarian, he’d surely make a good German, taking his marching orders from Herr Fuhrer, whenever “national security” was at stake.

    And that’s the “liberal mindset” I’m been harping about, as typified by our Glenn here. In his mind, our government can do no wrong. And whenever faced with criticisms, the Contrarian’s blanket response: “no one is perfect.

    I don’t know ’bout ye all, but to this writer the Contrarian and their ilk do represent an impediment to true democracy, if only because they supports fascism.

    Come to think of it, the entire nom de plume is the biggest joke of all. “Contrarian” with respect to whom? An utter conformist is much more like it.

    Hitler would have loved you, Glenn.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … support …

  • zingzing

    “zingzing – Two points – firstly, US airspace was pretty safe before 9/11 so there is no reason to assume that the TSA is making a difference and secondly, from what I know of what the TSA is doing it is NOT doing the same as the Israelis at all.”

    it’s true, chris… you can’t prove a negative. and i didn’t say that the tsa was doing the same thing as the israelis… or at least i didn’t mean they were using the same techniques. they’re doing a similar job with similar goals is all i meant.

  • zingzing

    roger, can you spend a day without attacking people? just once having a conversation without insulting the person you’re talking with? it’s incredibly tiresome.

    if things haveshades of grey that seems to be a bad thing in your book. why? no room for nuance in there? all black and white?

    i like the tsa’s results (and even if, as chris would have it, there aren’t any results, the reality is still the same), i just don’t particularly care for how they are getting those results. if that’s wrong of me in your book… i really don’t care.

    you angry man.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So now it’s a personal attack, huh? pointing to the man how ridiculous his arguments end up being?

    Angry? You must be kidding me! The moment I get angry with Glenn’s thinking, I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve had it and am going to hang it up.

    But since you at it, zing-o-zing, why don’t you include Mr. Rose as well in your phony, see-through protestations. That’d make me feel not such a lone ranger.

    As for shades of grey, zing, everything’s grey to you. There’s another way for it — no backbone.

    And in response to your defense for “a little bit of nuance,” I’ve got Kenny Rogers back at ye:

    “Know when to hold ‘em. know when to fold ‘em!”

    It’s judgment that you’re always short on, zing, not logic. They’re not the same, you know!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    ” …, i just don’t particularly care for how they are getting those results.”

    That’s precisely what I mean! A weasel-like statement. You never “just particularly care for (one thing or other).”

    Is this really nuance in your book? I call it backpedaling.

  • zingzing

    roger, you didn’t counter anyone’s arguments, you just cowed them and brought up hitler. congratulations on your accomplishment.

    and do you really think “everything” is grey to me? or do you think that’s just you making “judgments” you can’t possibly back up? give it a little bit of thought, rather than just rushing in with your dick out, waving it around and screaming bullshit at people. “everything” is grey to me, eh? don’t be stupid. whatever bit of you that thought that was a good idea should be put to sleep.

    “why don’t you include Mr. Rose…”

    because he’s actually discussing things rather than merely insulting people. i know you’re capable of the same.

  • zingzing

    “Is this really nuance in your book? I call it backpedaling.”

    i like chemo’s results when it destroys cancer. i don’t like how chemo goes about getting those results.

    oh my god, i’m such a weasel!

    for fuck’s sake, roger. you’re either playing mr. macho “i have strong feelings about everything!” or you’re playing dumb.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    But in any case, you were looking at one carjacking per 10,000 people per YEAR, whereas I was pointing out 2 guns per 7,000 flights per DAY.

    Exactly. I’m talking about actual criminal acts, whereas you are talking about the potential for them represented by the presence of a firearm.

    This being the United States with its 300 million-odd guns, I probably walk or drive past dozens of people every day who are packing heat. Yet in my 10 1/2 years living here, there are only three places I’ve seen guns in the open: at firing ranges, on the belts of law enforcement officers, and on farms.

    As I keep saying, the mere fact that someone has a gun in their carry-on bag does not mean that they intend to use it to hijack the plane. It’s overwhelmingly likely that they don’t.

    That comes out to about a 5% chance per year…but we’re not talking about a danger to only one person, but to a whole airplane full of people, and to the industry as a whole (and the follow-on damage to the rest of the economy after the airlines take the initial hit).

    Glenn, that has more to do with the climate of fear that exists rather than any actual risk. Air travel already gives enough people the willies without introducing the threat of terrorism.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    zing: Doc, how many people do you reckon really don’t know you can’t carry a gun on a plane? You have a low opinion of humanity…

    [raises one eyebrow]

  • zingzing

    hrm. how many people do you figure are ignorant of the law concerning bringing a gun on a plane? it’s rather obvious, i think… you don’t bring a gun on an airplane, you don’t smoke in a hospital, you don’t pee on an altar, you don’t walk barefoot through a garbage dump, etc.

    obviously, there are those people that are just that dumb. but i have a hard time believing that there isn’t someone out there who tried to bring a gun on a plane knowing full well that it was illegal.

    “Yet in my 10 1/2 years living here, there are only three places I’ve seen guns in the open…”

    consider yourself lucky then… i’ve seen many guns, even had one pointed at me, and i’ve heard many shootings, and i’ve witnessed a shooting during which i watched a person die and another person nearly bleed to death on the sidewalk.

  • Cannonshop

    #102 Godwin’s Law, Roger, calm down and cool off a bit, please-calling people Nazis is pretty much an open admission of having lost the debate by going emotional in a really reckless way.

    i.e. it cuts into your credibility.

    Glenn: Estimated by FBI/ATF/official sources, there are 300,000,000 LEGAL firearms in the United States (that is, the CONTINENTAL U.S.) At any given time of day, there are around 2,000,000 people on aircraft Per the FAA.

    EVERY DAY.

    So…figure 730 firearms are “Detected” each year by the TSA (based on your 2 guns/day argument).

    Now, figure in the percentage of “Shall Issue” concealed carry permits, and let’s deduct ALL of them from the two million air travellers AND the rest of all legally owned firearms per FBI/ATF/Official numbers (I don’t have it handy, mind), then remove all law enforcement personnel from the pool.

    Including Lawyers and Judges.

    ’cause let’s assume a cop NEVER forgets to disarm himself at the airport, of course.

    Now, out of what’s left-that is, civilians whom don’t have a Permit to carry concealed, and aren’t police. We’ll use THAT as your percentage to deduct your 730 some-odd firearms detected at TSA checkpoints, out of the entire remaining population of air-travellers in the United States (whom we assume are scanned and groped and fingered universally-no random checks here).

    Now, figure your man-hours to detect EACH firearm, and run your comparisons…

    Yeah, even at 2/day, those are some DAMN spendy firearms-maybe not as expensive as the 16/50 rifles off the USS Missouri (taken individually) but still, damn spendy.

    But all that doesn’t matter a gnat’s ass in a supernova, Glenn, because the real issue is the elephant in the room whose presence you ignore…

    At what point, are you safe, Glenn? How much MORE ‘Security’ do you NEED?? I posit, Mr.Contrarian, that you can’t honestly answer that question, because if you answered it honestly, there would be a definite choice you need to make.

    ’cause as long as “Your guy” is in the White House, I think your answer is basically unending. There IS no limit, just so long as you’re allowed to only see it in the theoretical, and esp. if you can find a way to get someone else to pay for it.

    It’s all about the FEAR, Glenn-you’re eaten up with it, you can’t see a limit, because you’re scared.

  • Cannonshop

    Now, you want something to scare the hell out of you?

    You don’t need a bomb to drop an airliner, or a gun, or a package of nerve gas. all you need to take an airliner down, is a roll of duct tape and a set of the right coveralls, with a general knowledge (available in public sources NOT published by the FAA) of your target aircraft.

    back in the nineties, this happened by accident-a second-owner paintshop resprayed a 757 to fly for a south american carrier. That shop forgot to take the masking tape off some ports on the skin-the plane went down in the Pacific, and it took NTSB investigators WEEKS to figure out what happened.

    If you want to…say, put a bomb on a plane, that’s not too tough either-go through the fences (that is, people who sell stolen goods) to get an arm on the baggage handlers at most major airports. OR get some of your terrorist friends in good with a drug-and-people smuggling ring south of the border. TSA doesn’t check anything once it’s on the Tarmac, Glenn, and they don’t work with airport security to crack down on either petty theives working the baggage handling, OR smuggling rings working out of the major entry points into and out of the U.S.

    But the really fun ideas come from where Government emphasis is-because successful terrorists like to hit you where you aren’t anticipating. All your careful planning won’t do you a rat’s ass of good if the next angle of attack is a gasoline truck with a catalyst in downtown traffic at rush hour, or a B&N train load of anhydrous ammonia and 99% pure chlorine having an “accident” in a metropolitan area at midnight while everyone’s home from work.

    Or…say, explosives loaded into a scheduled oil-tanker docking in SFO, NY, etc. etc., or a natural-gas tanker with the wrong crewmen.

    There’s more ways than you can afford to “Defend” against, Glenn-esp. with in-person tactics like TSA. Each incident will create some new “emphasis”, each one is designed to CREATE that emphasis, to paralyze or cripple some other part, to create fear, and to “Keep up the Skeer”.

    Frightened people don’t make rational decisions, Glenn. Eventually a successful campaign of terror creates an adaptation to accepting tyranny, after that, it’s very easy to change the BRAND of Tyranny, because the target population has already accepted it as “necessary”, even “Good”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t be stretching things, Cannon. It was all couched in the conditional. We’re not there yet, but given time … yes, our Contrarian would make a “good German.”

    As to your off-the-cuff comment about “loosing the debate,” wrong again!

    There is no debate with the Contrarian; and if you don’t realize that, you’re not firing on all four. So no, I don’t buy your rationale that engaging the Contrarian in lengthy dialogues serves any purpose at all — such as “doing it on behalf of other minds,” which is why you suggested,. If you want to engage other minds, write an article, for chrissake.

    Lastly, I wasn’t debating with the Contrarian: mine was only a drive-by comment. So now, you’re also misreading.

    Guilty on all three counts, Cannon. Not a good day for you, I’d say.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … which is what you suggested …

  • Igor

    #113-Cannon: so when did we get a chance to vote on “Godwins law”? Who says it has any validity at all? Does it apply to rightists as well as leftist arguments? Does Godwin imply that Hitler and Nazis were, somehow, non-partisan or bi-partisan, and not the far right monsters that they, in fact, were?

    Is “Godwins Law” just a quasi-subtle way to attempt to allocate responsibility for Hitler and Nazis to the left rather than the right where it belongs?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I happen to think that for most users (of the phrase) it’s just one of those hip expressions they throw around to show their sophistication (just like the term “meme” or citing Aristotelian logical fallacies), in lieu of combating the argument head on.

    And the intent is to shoot down your opponent

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In short, a shortcut to thinking.

  • troll

    …to me Goodwin’s law would make sense only in some alternate reality in which fascism had in fact been defeated

  • t

    Godwin’s la

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @120

    Most folks aren’t ready for this kind of twist.