Daily Archives: November 19, 2010

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others

Scots gangsters are using “waterboarding” terror tactics to torture rivals.

Hardened crooks have copied the CIA-style interrogation technique where water is poured on to a cloth covering the victim’s mouth and nose to simulate drowning.

Why in the world would criminals used ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’?  I thought they were the equivalent of frat pranks or just a little good natured ‘roughing up’.  Yep…there’s nothing like being the example for the rest of the world.

You may not weep at the thought of drug dealers behaving in this fashion; you might however be disappointed that they’re taking their cue from the government of the United States of America.

The story brought this quote to mind….

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

h/t Andrew Sullivan


Finnish Fridays

Ever hear of the Aviation Museum of Central Finland?  Sounds like a bore, right?  Well, it also serves as the Finnish Air Force museum and they’ve got some pretty cool panorama displays of their collection.

Those long, dark winters encourage the Finns to invent some pretty strange hobbies.  Take wife carrying, for example.  Not willing to let the men folk monopolize the reputation for being tough, there’s also husband carrying.

And now, for something completely different.  Wolverines to the smooth sound of new age guitar playing.

Just to round out the trifecta of TSA posts today

h/t Andrew Sullivan

Safety First!

I’m flying soon and so likely have an opportunity to get my government mandated grope.  I had one done about a couple of months ago but that was before the rule instituting the mandatory ‘happy endings‘.

As an aside, I think given there are some important policy implications about these security procedures that we have missed.  Allow me to submit the following propositions:

  1. airport security and the defense of our homeland is at least as important as what we’re doing on the battlefield.
  2. certain (ahem) government officials have made strong declarative statements about the danger of having gays in the military (erodes effectiveness, too much flirting in foxholes, etc.)
  3. the lack of a ban on homosexuals in the TSA allows terrorists to exploit that weakness by recruiting hot guys (or girls) to distract and befuddle gay TSA agents and allowing the terrorists to smuggle weapons and explosives on planes (you see teh gayz will be so anxious to inspect the junk they won’t notice the shoulder holsters and such)
  4. OMG!  We’re all gonna die!

Yeah…think I’m joking (not by much)?

…Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is calling for the Transportation Security Administration to institute some “common-sense, healthy ‘discrimination'” by banning “self-acknowledged homosexuals” from doing security screenings, “so as to avoid [passengers] being put in sexually compromising situations.”

Jeez…So we’re not only supposed to be freaked out about terrorists who want to kill us but now we’ve got to be paranoid that someone is actually going to get a cheap thrill out of feeling us up.  The levels of self reinforcing paranoia boggle the mind…

Jeff Goldberg was on the Colbert Report the other night raising the possibility (jokingly) of homosexual passengers requesting physical pat downs from people of the opposite gender and the inevitable skyrocketing of men who claim to be homosexuals when a hot TSA screener is working the station (That sounds a bit too much like a euphemism for this family friendly blog, buster! eds.) I guess you could stymie that by telling people you were entering their sexual orientation into a massive government database so as to avoid this problem in the future but I suspect other complications may arise.

And finally, a bit of Canadian humor.

h/t Fallows

Worst blogging job…ever

Being the TSA blog lackey. Even if you can get past the whole ‘Now, really, if we don’t grope you, the terrorists win!’ argument you just know you won’t be getting much in the way of sympathy or breaks from your commenters.

Still, the TSA bloggers seem to be making the best of tough situation.  I’m not a regular reader but they’re doing their best to convince readers (or try to anyway) that not only are existing security procedures effective but that they’re also totally reasonable.  Of course, you’re going to have a mighty tough row to hoe if you’ve got to write statements like this:

And finally, the $10,000.00 question of the day… Will you receive a $10,000.00 fine if you opt out of screening all together and leave the checkpoint? While TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000.00 for cases such as this, each case is determined on the individual circumstances of the situation.

I don’t agree with them but I’ve got to give them props for doing the best they can with a crappy situation.

Check out the comments…ouch!