Ever think about the term ‘terrorist’? Its an interesting noun. Basically, someone who evokes terror. As I have said before, everything that I rage against in our society can basically be boiled down to having motivations rooted in fear or consumption. The terrorists win when people are scared enough to let government waste time and make knee-jerk decisions for threats that only make things (in this case air travel) that much more a pain, expensive, and infringing upon our freedoms.
Ann Applebaum wrote a good opinion piece in the Washington Post about this topic.
All of it is good, but her last paragraph is fantastic:
“Imagine if the TSA’s vast budget were dedicated to the creation of a cutting-edge computer network that could have made security officers in Amsterdam instantly aware of the warning from the Detroit bombing suspect’s father. Imagine that, instead of relying on full-body X-ray scanners or long-haul flight-blanket deprivation, we had highly paid and trained consular officers in places such as Nigeria. Even then security would not be perfect (and I’m not sure that airborne terrorism is even the worst thing we have to worry about). But it would make sense to have a smaller, less expensive and less wasteful system. It would make sense to have a system based on real risks and priorities, instead of the stories featured on cable news. It would make sense to fight the next battle, for once, instead of the last one. “Sense,” though, is not the criterion by which public money is spent in this country — and hasn’t been for a long time.”
Amen sister, Amen. Our general, unthinking response to this stuff is terribly inadequate and reactive. It won’t solve the next problem while wasting our money at the same time. Al Qaeda all the other terror groups are smart enough to know our weaknesses, even when they shouldn’t be there.
When I go to the airport and see my tax dollars standing around by the legions playing grab ass in their ill-fitting, bright blue shirts, I get pissed. Shoveling more money to these guys (which represent all that is wrong about government and bureaucracy) isn’t going to make us safer.
And my friends wonder why I have high blood-pressure….