We Have Met the Terrorists and They is Us

YOU CAN'T CATCH 'EM ALL - How come Amazon can track millions of books, but Obama can't track one loon? Because Amazon doesn't have to track millions of books whizzing around the warehouse at random.

YOU CAN'T CATCH 'EM ALL - How come Amazon can track millions of books, but Obama can't track one loon? Because Amazon doesn't have to track millions of books whizzing around the warehouse at random.

Update The Odds of a Terrorist Attack: 1-in-16,553,385 Departures. In other words, it ain’t very damn likely.

I recently read a commenter who accused the Obamoids of ineptitude by asking why Amazon can track millions of books while Obama can’t track a batshite crazy Jihadist who got caught in-flammable delicto. Fair enough question, though the book metaphor sucks.

Amazon rocks inventory control because they record all books in, check all books out, and the books aren’t silently running tither and yon around the warehouse while they do it.

Even the best intelligence can’t ferret out every lunatic Larry and when it does, the sheer volume of intelligence puts Amazon’s task at the sub-nanobyte level of complexity. Ultimately, it still takes humans to evaluate intelligence and make decisions on where it goes on the to-do list. We have finite manpower, but limitless information. This information overload is partly why the Patriot Act makes the problem worse, not better. Rather than collecting even more, we should be collecting less and concentrating on the most meaningful tidbits.

Swiss Cheese Terror Defense
That’s not to say the status quo is OK nor that the administration and Congress have done a sterling job. However, there are legitimate reasons why our terror defense is as holey as Swiss cheese, some of which have little to do with politics.

Our War of Error president got his weenie stuck in the roller immediately after 9/11 when he and The Black Widow of State™ got briefings on a Qaeda plot the month before it took place. It would’ve been great had they acted on it, but given that the briefing wasn’t particularly detailed or as important as other events on the agenda, it’s understandable. Just because you’re an oafish goober doesn’t mean your mistakes aren’t explainable.

It would’ve been nice if he’d taken responsibility for it happening on his watch, but accountability never was one of his strong suits. But that whole “bring it on” thing really was monumentally stupid.

obama-vs-osamaTo their credit, Obama and Janet Napolitano first admitted to a “systemic breakdown”, but then backtracked to “the system worked“. It’s too early to say if their responses are good or bad in hindsight. But, tying air traffic in knots with contradictory procedural changes doesn’t bode well. Furthermore, explaining afterward that the confusion was all part of the plan looks Bushonian at first blush.

Both administrations were saddled with the monstrous Department of Homeland Insecurity. One of the few Bush decisions I ever agreed with was his initial reluctance to shove half the federal government into a single department while assuming it would work better. Remember, the difficulty of any enterprise is exponential to the number of people involved in it and DHS is the perfect example.

Reacting to a Bozo with his Pants on Fire
Bringing up the rear, as always, is Congress. Joe “Party of One” Lieberman was the brain trust behind the DHS debacle then. Now, his reaction to a bozo with his pants on fire is to attack Yemen! Bush Republicans resisted, and still resist, any attempt to investigate their own party’s possible ineptitudes so they can be corrected while Dems put a gazillion hearings on the agenda and then kowtowed to every ignored subpoena and request for information. Word to the wise, if you aren’t going to use your gavel, don’t cock your elbow

Creating a useful terrorist response doesn’t have a chance in hell, see Republican claims that the latest incident was either caused by unions or because there is no permanent TSA honcho while Jim DeWitless holds up the nomination and responds to Democrats fast tracking it by saying they’re in too much of a rush.

Huh?!

The Dems are no better. It’s not like they stood up to the Chump-in-Chief when he was mucking things up and why are they waiting until now to figure out that 5 months is too long to wait for an essential bureaucrat?

Get on the stick you dicks. And speaking of dicks, The Big Dick™ is still, well, dickish.

To paraphrase the politically astute opossum Pogo, “We have met the terrorists, and they is us.”

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Conspiracy Theories Are the New Cottage Industry

SHH, MUM'S THE WOID - From a tiny ACORN a million conspiracies will grow.

SHH, MUM'S THE WOID - From a tiny ACORN a million conspiracies will grow.

Ahh, memories. It’s the time of year when every media outlet on planet Earth has a look back over the last year, or in this year’s case, the last decade. My vote for the best is HuffPo‘s 12 Weirdest Right-Wing Conspiracies of 2009 – although their Sex Tapes of the Past Decade was right up there too. I’m a sucker for a dirty Kim Kardashian tape.

Surprisingly, Team Arianna could constrain themselves to only 12 conspiracies for the entire decade! That’s great restraint when facing a tsunami of crackpots like we’ve seen lately.

It seems conspiracy theories have become a cottage industry for the new millennium. People like Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, and Orly Taitz are making entire careers of trying to out-loon one another.

The Lean, Mean, Rumor-Mongering Queen
My personal favorite is Bachmann who’s a lean, mean, rumor-mongering queen. She out-looned Glenn Beck at least once by declaring the census may be a tool to send you straight to a WWII style internment camp. Even Glenn blanched.

She’s no amateur rumor queen though. As far back as 1993 Michele was conjuring up pro-quality addle-brained fictions, like trying to ban the Disney film Aladdin because it promoted witchcraft and paganism. At a school board meeting about her demands, it seems Michele got a little testy, asking the other school board members, “Are you going to question my integrity?” shortly before resigning.

No Michele, they were questioning your sanity. We all believe your integrity is intact because no one could make up such far-fetched shite without truly believing it.

The Million Man Muttonheads

Possibly the biggest conspiracy theory of the year came from birther Orly Taitz and the Million Man Muttonheads of the lunatic fringe. Ignoring the voluminous evidence supporting Obama’s legal birthplace, they just just keep a’comin’ with howls of “Give us the birth certificate!”. He did you morons, dozens of times over.

These Energizer Bunnies from the likes of the Westboro Baptist Church and Insane Asylum even introduced side-plots like Obama’s “indoctrination” speech to kids and his alleged card-carrying membership in the Jihadist Muslim Country Club.

And what bag of conspiracy nuts would be complete without Sarah Palin? Take it from her, Obama is going to personally off her dear old grandma and turn us all into Commies. If that wasn’t enough, those crafty Democrats (oopsie, Bushies) were going to abolish Christianity by removing the “In God We Trust” claptrap from the edge of redesigned coins. However, fellow nutcases Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann saw a quite different monetary plot.

Yep, 2009 – indeed the entire decade – were banner years for wing-nuttery. Every imbecile with a stray thought crossing their synapses got their 15 minutes of fame and more. The whole thing would’ve been comical had it not been for the fact the stories were true. They say there’s a fine line between genius and madness.

And clearly, these people crossed that line.

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The GOP: Big Tent or Big Top?

BRING IN THE CLOWNS - Republicans aren't the Party of the Big Tent, they're the party of the Big Top, Unable to address real problems with an answer other than no and constantly dragging out non-issues to deflect the glare.

BRING IN THE CLOWNS - Republicans aren't the Party of the Big Tent, they're the party of the Big Top, unable to address real problems with an answer other than no and constantly dragging out non-issues to deflect the glare.

Bring in the clowns!

Sometimes the Party of the Big Tent™ reminds me of that classic circus act where a plethora of clowns rides in on impossibly small fire engine and slapstick their way to guffaws.

It’s not as if the Democrats don’t have their fair share of boobs and charlatans, but it seems to be a mostly Republican trait to elevate non-issues to the level of insane fetishes.

The list is long: flag burning amendments, consorting with terrorists in Obama’s living room, blabber mouth ministers, and the apparent inability to read birth certificates. However, they really shine on their puffed-up “homosexual agenda”.

Many of the rabid base are as skittish as Don Knotts with a snoot full of coke about gays in the military, wedding chapels, or their own ranks.

For example, Andy Martin, an Illinois GOP Senate hopeful, is repeating a “solid rumor” that his opponent, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), is – OMFG! – “a homosexual.”

I’d wager Martin could care less who Kirk beds in the privacy of his own home. But when it comes to politicking, he’s a smart knife-fighter who can smell blood all the way from Chicago to Springfield.

Take his explanation for outing (or not outing) Kirk. “The issue is not homosexuality, the question is hypocrisy,” Martin said. “People are entitled to their privacy, they are not entitled to live public lives in the closet.”

Humina, humina, whaaa? “People are entitled to their privacy,” but not entitled to remain publicly closeted? Aren’t you depriving them of their privacy by outing them?

But more importantly, what in business is it of yours or anyone else”s if he’s a flamboyant Cher look alike or a man minding his own business and being set upon by members of his own party?

To their credit, the Illinois Republican Party did disavow his statement, but I’m sure the bigoted faithful won’t pay much attention and the party probably won’t complain when he wins the nomination. Such is the way of American politics – Karl Rove style.

Big Tent? Nah, more like Big Top.

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