May 18, 2012

A Romney Platform

Jehu at Chariot of Reaction writes:
Providing adult supervision to government is probably the most winning narrative [Romney] can convincingly put forward---other than the default narrative that I suck a reasonable amount less than does Obama, and the press will actually criticize me when I do evil things, and the permanent bureaucracy will resist my crazier schemes more so than it would resist Obama.  That narrative has the advantage of being God's honest truth, but it's unlikely to actually inspire many people. 
Actually aggressively attacking things that people actually hate probably would.  The list of things that the population hates is pretty damned long, but the TSA [i.e., airport security] has bipartisan hatred and even substantial hatred among self-styled cultural elites.  Hang a TSA uniform on Obama and beat him like a pinata.

"Frequent fliers" -- the people who make the 7am flight to DFW a few times a month or more -- pretty much keep the country running. (I say this as somebody who flies as infrequently as possible.) They wouldn't be a bad class to cultivate.

"Providing adult supervision to government" -- I like that slogan, even if nobody else does.

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually aggressively attacking things that people actually hate probably would. The list of things that the population hates is pretty damned long, but the TSA [i.e., airport security] has bipartisan hatred and even substantial hatred among self-styled cultural elites. Hang a TSA uniform on Obama and beat him like a pinata.

Slashdot featured Rand Paul on this issue recently, and got more than 1000 posts on the thread.

I have long thought that Rand would be an outstanding choice as VEEP who would both energize the base and help keep his father's libertarian followers in the fold.

Plus he could counter any possible charges of anti-Presbyterianism by pointing out that his namesake, Ayn MacRand, was, in fact, Scots-Irish.

Anonymous said...

Romney is boring..

Anonymous said...

Or how about he keeps it simple and goes after THE UNRELENTING IMMIGRATION into our country?

I know little about the TSA, and even less about the people who take the 7 am to DFW, but I do know damn that sure a lot of people are concerned about stagnant wages and scarcity of jobs, both of which are attributable to the millions of new workers that are being dumped into our labor market every year. And a lot of people are also deeply uneasy, in a way they perhaps have not fully articulated even to themselves, about the rapidly changing cultural and demographic landscape of a place in which they are supposed to feel secure and at home.

Romney could sweep to office by making an issue out of immigration--legal and illegal. It should be a no brainer.

DYork said...

"Providing adult supervision to government" -- I like that slogan, even if nobody else does.

Great. So give the Prestige Press the perfect opportunity to say Romney is calling Obama a "boy".

They''ll say -

"Romney continues to use racist dog whistle language by playing on the belief that blacks are childish and irresponsible. That what America needs is men, WHITE heterosexual Christian men, to run things properly and keep the blacks in line, the women in their place, the gays in the closet and foreigners on the other side of the border."

"Thanks for wanting to turn back the clock to the 1950s Mittens but no thanks".

That's the MSM/Democrat response.

Matthew said...

Reforming the TSA would be a good and worthy cause, but it's a distraction, a side-issue, and no thinking person would recognize it as anything but. The few people whose votes might be moved by bashing the TSA are the same kind whose vote would be moved by a flag burning amendment, or who think that government-paid birth control is the Most Importantt Issue In The World. Not the kind of people who keep the country running.

Further, despite hatred for the TSA, everyone recognizes the need for airport security. The things necessary to really reform the TSA would involve policies like, oh, racial profiling. Not the kind of policy a weenie like Romney is apt to advocate, before or after an election.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the Sailer Strategy.

Or maybe it is consistent: one thing the population really hates is being replaced.

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

To the extent TSA loathers aren't already Romney voters, the campaign could start by studying Rep. Marsha Blackburn's op-ed last winter (re: job ads on pizza boxes). TSA in theory has its libertoid opponents but in practice is like a joint initiative of USPS and Amtrak, or the worst Virginia DMV office writ large.

Aaron B. said...

This brings up the old question: why are we (right-wingers, conservatives, Republicans, whatever) so incredibly bad at politics? Had a Republican given us the TSA, Democrats would be all over it. Their candidates would make it a major talking point, and all their media organs -- news, entertainment, talk -- would be hammering away in support, and it wouldn't require a single planning meeting. It'd just happen, because they're good at spotting their enemies' weaknesses and attacking them.

But when it's the other way around, we need some blogger to point out such an obvious weakness, and try to convince the candidates to discuss it, after an obligatory soul-searching session about whether it crosses any lines. By the time we get past the meta-discussion about whether to attack the weakness (if we ever do), we've sucked much of the energy from it already.

Petunia said...

Well speaking as a fairly freq flyer, it's an interesting idea and the resentment against TSA is there, but I am not sure... So is the suggestion that Romney ought to propose some easing of particular TSA inspection procedures? Of course if he does that CNN NYT etc will immediately trot out "experts" to say that will be catastrophically stupid, and that White House spokesboy will come out and astonishment and concern that Romney would make such a reckless suggestion that would imperil frequent flyers, yadayada.

I am not sure I see what the opportunities are here but if someone has a concrete idea, I would like to hear exactly how it would work...

Shouting Thomas said...

Yes, a small improvement is something to hope for. Romeny is a small improvement. He is, most likely, an adult. After all, he's the patriarch of a large family.

DCThrowback said...

Rand may want to challenge Romney in a primary in '16 if Romney continues the Bush/Obama "deficit spending/national security state paranoia" style of governance that is currently on display. Remember, Rand successfully defeated the Kentucky GOP's establishment candidate (Trey Greyson) soundly in 2010. He'd be the perfect candidate to unite the Tea Party movement and Ron Paul style-libertarians in 2016.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Rand = Randall.
In no way named after Ayn. ( Other than in the chronological sense...in which we all were.)

Joe Schmoe said...

It's true that frequent flyers keep the country running, but their complaints about the TSA are pretty juvenile, IMO.

Airport security is not appreciably worse than it was before 9/11:

1. Before 9/11, you had to wait in long lines.

2. Before 9/11, you had to go through the metal detector.

3. Before 9/111, you had to deal with lazy, officious security personnel.

4. Before 9/11, your family could not accompany you to the gate to wish you farewell or greet you upon your return (at most airports - this was possible at some of the smaller airports);

5. Before 9/11, you were still asked whether you packed your own bag at check-in.

So what has changed exactly, since the advent of the TSA? Next to nothing.

It's true the lines have gotten a little longer. You now have to go through some kind of scanner that takes a black and white nude photograph of you instead of a magnetometer (that is offensive, but Congress gave us those machines, you can't blame it on the working schlubs in the polyester uniform shirts at the TSA).

Similarly, the security screeners may have gotten a little more officious, though I haven't experienced that. And you can't bring your own beverages onto the plane any more; that's annoying.

But let's be honest -- 90% of the annoyances that frequent flyers complain about so vociferously are things that were in place for years and years and years before 9/11 and the advent of the TSA. The experience has not changed that much. Maybe it's gotten 10% more annoying, but it's not like going through airport security was pleasant to begin with.

And of course, something big did change on 9/11 -- hijackers killed several thousand Americans in a horrific terrorist attack. Increased airport security isn't just some stupid government boondoggle; there actually is a good reason for it, for once.

There are lots of things to criticize about the post-9/11 security regime. From the standpoint of budgeting and federalism, there's no reason why TSA screeners should be federal employees. And in my darker moments, I sometimes dream of a solution like "Operation Green" in Nelson DeMille's novel "Wild Fire," which basically consists of nuking the entire middle east. In the novel, one of the proponents of the plan explains that after it is implemented, there won't be any more need for airport security -- boarding a plane will be just like boarding the subway, hence the name, "Operation Green" -- that'll be the TSA threat level after the operation is carried out. And there won't be any "blowback" from nuking the entire Muslim world, either, the rest of the world will be too busy soiling their underwear in fear to say anything. But big-picture strategic decisions are far beyond the purview of the TSA working stiff asks you for your drivers license and boarding pass.

I have always thought that the people who complain about airport security so loudly are infantile Boomers who are petulantly lashing out at "the man" -- because that's what Boomers do. It's stupid and childish. There is also probably an element of sublimated fear; they are worried about dying in a terrorist attack, but they don't have the balls to: (1) admit that they are afraid - that's a like, primal emotion that is not compatible with Jon Stewart-like hip, ironic detachment; and (2) it's a thoughtcrime to lash out at the real target, Muslim terrorists, so instead they pick on some poor working stiff from the TSA.

For all of these reasons, while it might make sense to cater to hatred of the TSA, I think the people who complain about it simply need to grow up and realize that the world is a dark place with enemies who are trying to kill us.

Anonymous said...

New motherhood. Not just rearing a child but creating/manufacturing high-quality goods , I mean kids. More challenging to produce superkid than some disposable good or service. Mommyfacturing. Engeneneering. Smartisans.

Anonymous said...

From passive/supportive motherhood of cook, sew ,and clean to proactive/creative motherhood of teach, reach, and perfect. Motherhood from tradition to profession. From comfort to competition.

pat said...

The only way you can possibly understand how Nixon ever got elected is to realize that he was embraced by the American public on the rebound.

After a decade of "coolness" and "doing your own thing" even the very stiff and creepy Richard Nixon began to look good. In general I think the revulsion of the public today to the excesses of the recent past are probably just as extreme as was the similar revulsion back then with the rioting and street politics.

It's hard to know because this is a feeling issue and my feelers have become rather old feelers now. But it seems similar. The electorate then was tired of it all. They swept the unattractive Nixon in over the candidacy of the personally admirable McGovern.

Romney is a little stiff and not at all cool. I thinks that's a prescription for victory.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

http://chronicle.com/blogs/onhiring/mamas-dont-let-your-babies-grow-up-to-be-teachers/31438

Growing 'diversity' making teaching ore stressful? Not spelled out but I wonder...

Thrasymachus said...

Providing adult supervision to government was the essential role of the Republican Party from the Progressive era until Bush II. Not to run the government their own way, not to overthrow the Democratic Party system, but only to avoid gross excesses in New Deal and machine politics. Not even Reagan wanted to seriously challenge the New Deal. Romney, like Bush I is very much representative of this patrician northeastern Republicanism, and as such it is probably best for him to come out and say it.

neil craig said...

I think Romney's greatest weakness is also his greatesr strength - beong a self made billionaire.

"Who would you choose to invest your pension with - a self made billionaire or an affirmative action gofer for Chicago politicians? - Because thats what you & all of America are."

Anonymous said...

http://www.common-place.org/vol-12/no-03/herman/

Anonymous said...

http://www.common-place.org/vol-12/no-03/herman/

"For good measure, we can add Russell Pearce, former president of the Arizona Senate (until his recent recall) and author of Senate Bill 1070, the anti-immigrant measure that sparked national outrage by making Hispanics targets for racial profiling."

That's because HORDES of illegal Mexicans have been profiling and targeting the US for demographic invasion. And the 'outrage' came from Jewish-dominated liberal elites, not from most Americans ,70% of whom supported the measure.

Anonymous said...

Steve - I assume you caught this in your (and my) local rag?

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-white-babies-20120517-001,0,4942585.photo

John Doe said...

The problem with writing government slogans is that when somebody sufficiently powerful and untrustworthy says them, they take on a whole new meaning. When Steve Sailer says, "providing adult supervision to government," it doesn't sound so bad. If Janet Napolitano says it, all I would hear is "government supervision."

In the same way when Ron Paul talks about freedom, it doesn't sound so threatening. When George Bush says "freedom agenda," it's only a matter of time before bombs start dropping.

In the case of Romney, it will be tough to come up with a good slogan. I don't think anybody is convinced he'll provide much supervision over Wall Street. For Romney, I think another old saying applies, "you can't polish a turd."

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/LFYw483F_eI

http://youtu.be/pJRIFTQwSq4

Judge Judy vs dolts.

Lucius said...

I quite like that slogan too, actually.

I don't know what the Romney foreign policy will be, or how decisively he'll reform the nation's longterm finances, or how many harsh grown-up truths he'll actually dare breathe to the puerile American populace.

But just living to see a return to Bush 41 would be nirvana.

Giving the legal immunities of these Walmart-greeter-reject perverts at the TSA a good hard twist and seeing a few of them serve time would be gravy.

Anonymous said...

'"Providing adult supervision to government" -- I like that slogan, even if nobody else does.'

He should stick with the truth: "I suck less than the other guy.".

Anonymous said...

The problem with cultivating the handful of people who actually keep the country running is just that - there's only a handful of them. What you need for November is millions of votes.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me what the problem is with the TSA? I don't fly that often, but I do fly, and I've never had a problem with the TSA. The security lines and having to take off your shoes and the occasional random search are all mildly annoying, but it's hard to see how that can be avoided if you are going to have security at all. And to the extent that I even notice the TSA employees they are just innocuous drones who have never caused me any particular trouble.

So where does this widespread hatred come from? Can other people's experience really be that different than mine? Or are a lot of people just jerks who can't tolerate even minimal inconvenience?

Jehu said...

I agree, Rand Paul would be an excellent choice. He'd give most of the positives of his father with much much less baggage.
Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I can't get worked up about Romney. He'll cut back on spending a little , and maybe cut taxes for the well to do a little. Otherwise he's no different than Obama.

He'll probably push Amnesty though which Obama can't - and support Wall Street even more than Obama.

Bill said...

"Frequent fliers" -- the people who make the 7am flight to DFW a few times a month or more -- pretty much keep the country running. (I say this as somebody who flies as infrequently as possible.) They wouldn't be a bad class to cultivate.

TSA wanted to use the Registered Traveller program to defuse anger from frequent fliers. It seems to have collapsed, though. Not sure what that says about this political strategy, exactly.

James Kabala said...

"Providing adult supervision to government"

Alas, I seem to remember the days when similar phrases were used to describe Cheney and Powell and Rumsfeld.

Peter A said...

But TSA was a creation of the Bush administration. I don't remember many Republicans, other than Ron Paul, making much of a fuss at the time. Maybe this is why a lot of us don't trust Romney to be any better than the Dems on this type of issue, and probably worse. Remember, Obama was supposed to be the pro-civil liberty candidate. Look how that turned out. I can't see Romney running on the permissive side of Obama on TSA or any civil liberty. The GOP doesn't even pretend to care about civil liberties anymore. Really we have a choice between socialism - the Dems, and national socialism - the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a thread to discuss the chinese usc murders and lawsuit

SFG said...

Rand was short for Randall. It's not too crazy to imagine a libertarian might have named his son after a libertarian author (unless you know, which most people don't, that Paul comes from the paleo (Liberty/goldbug/Western) wing and Ayn the neo (Reason/'Scotch-Irish'/Northeastern) wing of the movement), but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Anonymous said...

No comment:

"Op-Ed: Change the Definition of Citizenship"

"People everywhere should be free to move across borders, as they are in the European Union."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/opinion/citizenship-to-go.html

Anonymous said...

You don't do the TSA issue, because that can blow up in your face or over the East Coast.

Anonymous said...

Except the TSA is a Republican invention and is supported by all Republicans except a certain Representative from Texas who will not be there next year.

I suspect the Rs thought it was going to be a counter weight to the Ds patronage programs, you know the police type uniforms and pension benefits and all. Little did they know that it would come to divide the Rs.

BTW, one problem with the Sailor strategy is the Rs are divided into 2 groups. The aging Tea Partyers who are mostly concerned about increasing their government benefits and the younger 20% that support Ron Paul and want them cut. I don't see Ron Paul supporters voting for MR.

Anonymous said...

Joe Schmoe said...

" It's true that frequent flyers keep the country running, but their complaints about the TSA are pretty juvenile, IMO."


Actually the long term problem is when they start retiring. An increasingly small and foreign born group of high productivity workers will not be able to support the retired teachers, police, sanitation, fire, military, USPS, CIA, FBI, NSA, ... , and now TSA.

Notice the tantrum US Sen Charles Schumer threw when that Brasillian facebook guy decided to ditch his US citizenship. I believe he has to ditch his Brasillian citizen ship also to be come a Singaporean. No complaints from Brasillian pols. Brasil is actually pretty solid financially. Long term it is best for Brasil (and the US) to be on good terms with the worlds geniuses, but you have to sacrifice the long term for the short term when you are running out of money.

The short term problem with the TSA is it is just one more humiliation added to the lives of America's high productivity workers. But you are right it is minor compared to the other humiliations. But maybe the one that convinces the foreign geniuses to leave.

Anonymous said...

"Romney is boring.."


but still sexier than Obama because Romney jumped a little fairy and cut his hair and Obama has never even had dirt under his fingernails.

Anonymous said...

I actually think Obama is afraid to debate Romney.

Obama is like the heckling class clown who makes the school marm look foolish.

Romney is like the class clown's dad who comes in to settle him down.

Romney is smarter and harder working and more knowledgeable.

Way more "gravitas" for those who like that word.

Anonymous said...

"Really we have a choice between socialism - the Dems, and national socialism - the GOP."

close

Really we have a choice between INTERNATIONAL socialism - the Dems, and INTERnational socialism - the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I can't get worked up about Romney. He'll cut back on spending a little , and maybe cut taxes for the well to do a little. Otherwise he's no different than Obama.



Why do people insist on saying patently stupid things? Romney won't prosecute people for murder for shooting black thugs in self defense. Romney won't treat the New Black Panthers and the SPLC like branches of government. Romney won't smuggle guns across the border and lie about it. There are a million and one ways in which Romney would be different from Obama.

Of course you may just be another moby, in which case - carry on.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Rand Paul would be an excellent choice. He'd give most of the positives of his father with much much less baggage.

What "baggage"?

Why would he be better than his father, who is far more popular than him?

Anonymous said...

"Really we have a choice between socialism - the Dems, and national socialism - the GOP."

close

Really we have a choice between INTERNATIONAL socialism - the Dems, and INTERnational socialism - the GOP.


No. The choice is between international socialism - the Dems, and international capitalism - the GOP.

Jehu said...

Anonymous,
Ron Paul has been demonized by the media for a LONG, LONG time now. His son, far less so. Yes, the things he gets beaten up for are ridiculous, but the narrative that he's like your kooky uncle has stuck for most of the population besides his fervent supporters. If Romney were more of a long-shot than I think he is, Ron Paul would be worth the risk.
As it is, his son is a much better choice. He'll inherit a reasonable fraction of his father's support and is unlikely to actually hurt Romney in the election.

Anonymous said...

Why would he be better than his father, who is far more popular than him?

Rand is smart like his Dad [and presumably pro-life/pro-gun, as well], but his Dad is a stiff on television, whereas Rand is much, much smoother.

Much smoother.

Also handsomer - and there are some "Liquor"/"Paris Airport" guys around here who seem to think that handsomeness is pretty dadgum important.

A Mitt/Rand ticket would actually make for quite a handsome, telegenic, smart, tough duo.

Anonymous said...

It's true that frequent flyers keep the country running, but their complaints about the TSA are pretty juvenile, IMO.

Airport security is not appreciably worse than it was before 9/11:

1. Before 9/11, you had to wait in long lines.

2. Before 9/11, you had to go through the metal detector.

3. Before 9/111, you had to deal with lazy, officious security personnel.

4. Before 9/11, your family could not accompany you to the gate to wish you farewell or greet you upon your return (at most airports - this was possible at some of the smaller airports);

5. Before 9/11, you were still asked whether you packed your own bag at check-in.

So what has changed exactly, since the advent of the TSA? Next to nothing.


The lines are considerably longer.

No security agent ever laid hands on me before 9/11 when I wanted to fly.

You are correct about the question about packing your own bags. That question (along with restrictions on non-flyers in the gate-area and requirements to show IDs) were implements after Flight 800 went down over Long Island Sound.

None of those would have stopped the spark from a short circuit that caused the explosion that destroyed the plane.

The TSA has also branched out from the airports to train stations, bus depots and road blocks.

It's all exceedingly pointless. No one is ever going to hijack a US commercial flight again. The passengers won't let it happen.

Yes we need Xrays and metal detectors to catch the nuts, but any terrorist ready to do some real (and psychological) damage could just blow up a mall on Black Friday with a lot less trouble.

The fact that nothing like that has happened should be a clue as to just how minimal the terrorist threat really is.

Anonymous said...

Isn't a vote for Rommney or Paul or his son a vote for White American race-replacement? What is the point for voting for the three of them? Do any of you fully understand the enormous consequences of the demographic shift? You are fully delusional if you think a Republican policy tweak can prevent total catastrophe. Once the Demographic transformation fully announces itself, the US population will grow exponentially rapid...it will all be gone-all the wonderfull things that make life worth living. How is a race-replacement enthusiast such as Rand Paul going to prevent catastrophe from occuring? Participating in a glorified toothpaste commercial-Rand has brighter teeth than Barack...vote for Rand-is insanity. All of you here are just rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic.

Jim Bowery said...

The big question in civilization is, "Who's your daddy?"

That's why "Adult supervision of Washington" is so funny.

PS: There are no adults in civilization. There are only components that dimly recall what it was to be human and therefore have vague feelings about things like parenthood, childhood, etc.

Anonymous said...

"The ancient christian nations of the Caucasus Georgia (per capita income $3,200) and Armenia (per capita income $3000). Compare that to Mexico's per capita income of over $10,000."

Mexico is next to a country that has continually invested in it for more than a century, and is quite rich in natural resources, Georgia and Armenia have had a somewhat different historical and geographical circumstances.

"The currently wealthy and advanced northwestern europeans were impoverished and uncouth barbarians just a few centuries ago. Did they suddenly acquire high IQ just a few dozen generations ago?"
No, we were wealthy and advanced back then as well. the genes for IQ have been there for probably a while now, though they may not have been as able to express themselves until within the past 1500 years.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101205234308.htm

I will concede that there have been serious cultural changes among northwestern Europeans, such as christianity destroying clannish tribalism for the most part, atleast in western Europe. hbdchick has plenty on the mayoral system, marriage practices, and other factors that have spent the past millenium changing us into who we are today.

Propeller Island said...

The fact that nothing like that has happened should be a clue as to just how minimal the terrorist threat really is.

Something like that happened in Britain and elsewhere. And I am sure you are aware that every few month or so the authorities bust another Muslim network that plans terror in US. It hasn't happen yet not because the threat is small but because we've been lucky.

DYork said...

Anonymous said...

Romney is boring..


Get a boyfriend.

Whiskey said...

The reason terrorist plots keep getting busted, IMHO, is that the government really did build a "Person of Interest" total surveillance and threat detection system.

This is not far-fetched, merely an incremental modification to Echelon, only oriented towards a global terrorist threat. A robust, Google type AI system (Google is trying to build a much simpler version for itself to recognize/categorize video/picture content and serve up ads against them) that looks at the totality of information: electronic bank transactions, flights, surveillance video, phone calls, etc. is something the US is actually good at and has a historic track record.

Infiltrating suspicious networks of Jihadi insiders who have known each other since birth, not so much. You'll notice the Obama Administration has been very, very quiet about Electronic Privacy and other such issues, after Dems in opposition had made a big deal of it during Bush's terms. I mean, it is as if the entire subject matter got sucked into a memory hole.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, Mormons are total weirdos, but in another way, they are the MOST AMERICAN Americans in the sense that they embody the key contradiction at the core of Anglo-Americanism. Anglos were into Protestant Work Ethic and that meant they had to be moderate, thrifty, sober, and etc. Their worth had to be judged by ethics, character, and inner goodness.

But when Anglos came upon the New World, it was like 'woah!!!' You could make so much money, have so much fun, do so much stuff, go hogwild and stuff. And with individual freedom, even a nobody could go digging for gold or raise cattle or whatever and become richer than the King of England.
So, the Anglo character got tested more than ever. It was into sober Protestant Work Ethic and thrift but was faced with an opportunity to be richer than all the noblemen of Europe. It's like a priggish man coming upon a land filled with buxom women.

We see this contradiction in Mormonism. It is a very moralistic and disciplinary sect, kinda like the Amish in many way. Mormons must not give themselves to vice. However, in allowing for polygamy, it said 'go hump them hos'--albeit through proper rules and rituals.

And Mormonism never had no problem with money making, which is why some very rich folks are Mormons. So, Mormons, in the combination of their of moralism and their ambitionism(or big appetite-ism), reflect the fundamental Anglo-American contradiction in American history: the problem of a people who want to maintain their ethics of sobriety and moderation in face of bountiful opportunities and riches. We saw this Mormon polygamy. THOU SHALL HUMP ALL THEM HO'S BUT YOU GOTTA GET MARRIED FIRST AND BE A MORALLY RESPECTABLE PATRIARCH. Have the cake and eat it too.

NOTA said...

Joe Schmoe:

First, my experience with TSA screening is very different from yours. I fly pretty often, and did before 9/11, and the cost of security in terms of delay and intrusiveness (I've been groped a couple times now) and adding random unpredictable delays (which means if missing your flight will be a big problem, you waste a bunch of extra time in airports) looks very big to me. I know people who have explicitly switched from flying to driving on some trips to avoid the TSA security theater.

Second, every airport I flew through regularly let non-passengers through security before 9/11. It may be that some airports didn't, but I'm pretty sure most did.

Third, as far as has been reported in the media, there have been two attempts to blow up US planes since 9/11--both bombers came from overseas and got past the then-current TSA procedures. The TSA has not, at least as far as has been reported, caught anyone trying to board with a bomb or gun with any indication at all that they had any intent to hijack or destroy the plane. (They have caught huge numbers of people who turned out not to be trying to do anything, but who had something forbidden in their carry on bags.) There is very little indication to me that they actually are adding much security beyond the pre-9/11 level, and it's not really clear ro me how much that added, either.

Fourth, the 9/11 attackers exploited the standard procedures for dealing with hijackers, which is why the attacks had to all happen the same day. Once everyone understood that allowing a hijacker to take over a plane means he crashes it into a building on the ground, about 99% of the danger of another 9/11 style attack evaporated. Once the cockpit doors were reenforced and kept locked, and anything like a hijacking attempt or disturbance reported to ATC who could call the air national guard or air force to shoot a hijacked plane down, we were back to 9/10 in terms of threats--hijacking an airplane and crashing it into something on the ground is probably not ever going to work again. Anyone trying to batter his way into the cockpit is going to be bounced repeatedly off the ceiling by the pilot, and then torn to ragged bloody shreds by the passengers.

Fifth, the no fly list is like something yu'd have heard about in the Soviet Union--you can't find out that yu're on it officially until you try to fly and they say no, you can't find out why you're on it, and there are widely reported cases of people added to it for political reasons. That might be appropriate for a really grave threat, but we did it to ourselves (and a lot more besides) in fear of some crazy guys hiding out in caves.

Sixth, the actual threat from terrorists is tiny. If you're not a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan or something, you should be hugely more concerned with crime and car accidents than with terrorists. Almost any cost associated with preventing terrorism is too high, in much the same way that a national trillion dollar campaign to protect the nation's citizens from poisonous snake bites would cost too much.

Pablo Wovenkupper said...

Romney is as liberal as Mike Dukakis. Therefore he has no deep-seated anger for Obama.

Romney could attack Obama on TSA - and many other issues - but he won't. He strongly disagrees with Obama on only a few issues. There is no ideological divide between them because they both love The State and they are both progressives.

Romney saves all REAL attacks for conservatives - especially anti-Statist types.

Anonymous said...

Joe Schmoe, you are right on the money.

The reason why we frisk and inspect people boarding aircraft is not that they will successfully repeat 9/11, but that they will blow it up in mid-air; and furthermore, this can also be co-ordinated so that it happens on 4 or 5 flights more-or-less simultaneously.

Since a modern 747 or A380 carries several hundred passengers, the death toll could easily amount to thousands, which is of the same order of magnitude as what they achieved on 9/11, and the effect on international travel and commerce...well. I for one wouldn't be travelling half as much as I do, and nor would any other sane person.

The TSA is not perfect, but the anger about being 'groped' or 'standing in line' is seriously mis-placed. It is wrong to misrepresent the risk of terrorism as small in any way. Given half a chance, they'd be at it nonstop.

What it really is time for, however, is to get angry as to why this is all happening in the first place.

Anon.

Mr. Anon said...

"Joe Schmoe said...

So what has changed exactly, since the advent of the TSA? Next to nothing."

What has changed? They can now force you to submit to getting a dose of x-rays or getting a hand stuffed down your pants. They now can - and do - feel you up, or your wife or your seven year old child. They ask intrusive questions about large sums of money you might happen to carry.

And they are probably also spreading a variety of diseases. Those gloves they wear are to protect them - not you. Those gloved hands they just shoved into your bag and used to fondle your things, they just previously shoved into someone elses bag and used to fondle their things (and who knows what things? that shirt just worn by someone who just came down with a case of the shingles, soiled skivvies, used sex-toys, etc.)

How many terrorists has the TSA caught? Zero. 9/11 was a one off - it couldn't be done again. And all the bombers stopped since then were stopped by passengers, not security hacks.

What is the purpose of the TSA? Ostensibly to find bombs being snuck on to airplanes, right? Really? What would they do if they found one? What's to stop a bomber - once he's found out - from just setting it off right there in the terminal. So, is the TSA prepared for that? Do screening stations have bomb-blankets, or any kind of ballistic shielding? No. Are the Blue Shirts trained in handling ordinance? No. They are obviously just there for show, and, of course, for intimitation. They are a beta-test for the police state - their purpose: to cow you, to humiliate you, to make you comply - to get you used to the idea of submitting to government authority, however outrageous and capricious it may be.

People are always saying - hey, if you don't like it, don't fly. Hey, if YOU don't like travelling by air un-molested, like free men in this country used to do - if you're such a wussy that you go in fear of a nitwit who tries to blow up a plane by setting his junk on fire, and need high-school drop-outs who were recruited by Pizza Hut to make you feel safe, then why don't YOU just not fly.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel safe flying, but I do feel safer than I would if there were no screening.

The screening, by the way, is somewhat better than you imply; the luggage gets X-Ray'd by machines designed by people who were not necessarily rejected by Pizza Hut, and I have been surprised at the small metal objects they have accurately picked up in my luggage.
Furthermore, the machines are constantly improving, as is the training of the TSA and other corresponding agencies elsewhere.

If you look at the one airline which has been doing this the longest, and with good reason, it is El Al. They screen remorselessly, and in all sorts of ways both overt and covert. They do a better and more thorough job than the TSA, IMHO, and their passengers, who are usually quick to complain about their human rights in other respects, are not calling for them to stop. I wonder why not?

The airlines remain a major area of vulnerability. Blowing people up in mid-air will have a more profound psychological effect, on the whole of the West, than detonating a bomb in the terminal, or machine gunning people on the ground. Of course these are possible, and have been done; but they are not the preferred terror tactic.

If you don't want to be groped, don't fly, or opt for an X-Ray, or whatever. The truth is, we are in a war with an entirely ruthless group of people who will mercilessly kill civilians, and who frankly are in the West with the express intent of taking over. Why make it easier for them through passivity?

The anger needs to be directed at those amongst our own people who have allowed this situation to materialize. In the mean time, while this plays out to its inevitable conclusion, we need more and better screening not less.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Romney is boring.."

In the immortal words of Andrew Breitbart, "So?"

So, what's being "boring" got to do with being an effective President? Nothing, that's what.

I've never seen anything exciting about B. Obama. Oh, that he was black was exciting to many, but he himself, exciting?

Heck, no. He drones and drones and drones and blathers.

Boring works for me as long as the guy can work with people, and that includes work with people from the other side (that is absolutely essential, something Obama, inexperienced as he is, doesn't know anything about and whose personality, it appears, is unsuited to achieving.)

Think about it. The only people it appears Obama can stand to actually work with are a couple or three people from Chicago, one of whom is Jarrett, the other Axelrod, and I guess you could add David Plouffe, but I'm not sure BO actually works with him.

My assessment is that Barry doesn't much like people. He's a loner. The last two loners who occupied the Oval had trouble--Nixon and Carter.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to be groped, don't fly, or opt for an X-Ray, or whatever.

TSA now deploys so-called Visible Intermodal Protection and Response (VIPR) teams to search and molest people enter or leaving train stations, at bus depots, at highway checkpoints, entering subways, and, most recently, on random buses (and at random bus stops) in Houston. TSA sparked an outcry in Houston when it started interrogating and conducting bag searches of people on or waiting for the bus, demanding to know where they are going and why. In the weeks the followed, TSA repeatedly changed its story as to the bag searches and why approximately fourteen people were arrested.

TSA and VIPR are not about "security," but rather about expanding federal authority and the War on Drugs while teaching the American people to submit to government authority. One wonders how long it will be until TSA Blue Shirts are conducting warrantless searches everywhere.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/ejM3odcn3Tk

Aaron B. said...

Yeah, that they're doing searches at bus stations kinda exposes what they're really all about. There's no terrorist threat there, or any hope of countering one if there were. Extending TSA in that way can only serve two purposes: give more jobs to the kind of people TSA employs, and/or train Americans to expect less freedom of movement. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume their primary goal is the former, but the latter is still a result.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I don't feel safe flying, but I do feel safer than I would if there were no screening."

Maybe you would feel safer if everyone else on the plane were sedated. Maybe you would feel safer if we were all gagged and hog-tied before takeoff. Maybe you would feel safer if your mommy flew with you and held your hand. I don't give a damn what makes YOU feel safer.

"The screening, by the way, is somewhat better than you imply; the luggage gets X-Ray'd..."

I have no objection to luggage being x-rayed. I object to people getting x-rayed, nitwit.

"Furthermore, the machines are constantly improving, as is the training of the TSA and other corresponding agencies elsewhere."

Yeah, just listen to the "authorities". They have been trained. After the north tower of the WTC was struck, it was "trained authorities" who told people leaving the south tower that everything was "under control" and they should just go back inside. You're an idiot if you trust government flunkies.

"If you look at the one airline which has been doing this the longest, and with good reason, it is El Al."

El Al doesn't randomly grope people.

"If you don't want to be groped, don't fly, or opt for an X-Ray, or whatever."

As I said, you craven idiot, if you are such a coward that you are terrified of a remote threat, and if you don't value the traditional liberties that are sacred to this nation, then YOU should not fly.

Anonymous said...

The intrusive state is an inevitable consequence of mass immigration and multiculturalism.

The UK, for instance, is riddled with surveillance cameras; this is only the most obvious manifestation of what is a truly disturbing spectrum of policing and thought control methods. Although the purpose is ostensibly crime prevention, the British State in fact indulges not only in the indoctrination of the young, not only in the monitoring of speech, personal behavior and political activity, but in the systematic punishment and vilification of anyone who doesn't toe the multicultural Party Line.

As for airport and mass transit security, there is a dilemma; while I can see the argument that this 'softens up' the population for a more widespread invasion of their privacy, the opportunities for terror-inspired mass murder are ample, and terrorists will definitely succeed if the state relaxes its vigilance. This has already happened once and cannot be allowed to happen again.

The real problem is the idiocy and treason of the MultiKult/immigration lobby, throughout the West, and its pimps and catamites in the media and academe.

The result is not only the destruction of our security and peace of mind, but of our liberties and identity as well.

Anon.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

the opportunities for terror-inspired mass murder are ample,..."

And in many ways, the TSA have opened up new such opportunities.

Airport security is really of no concern to the "authorities", other than at the important airports (you know, the ones that the important people frequently use) in New York and DC. I flew through SeaTac a few years ago - it seemed as though just about every concessionaire in the airport was Somali. Somalia! A nation full of muslim fanatics and pirates, with whom we fought a small, nasty little war just twenty years ago - and we draw on those people to work in the secure areas of a major airport.

Anonymous said...

"..a remote threat..."

Do you insure your house against fire? Do you insure your life?

Destructive house fires are a remote threat, as is dying in your 40's.

But most people insure themselves and their valuable property. This does not mean they are terrified, just prudent.

One reason that successful terrorism against major airlines has been so rare is the intrusive screening; the other is the activities of the intelligence agencies in infiltrating terror groups and aborting the many plots that are constantly being hatched by fanatics.

If you fly only within the USA, this might not be top of mind; but if you fly internationally, a lot, you start to pay attention.

No-one would dispute that the TSA and its counterparts in other countries are far from perfect. But if you look at the frequency of suicide bombings in the Middle East, and extrapolate, I have little doubt that if we stood down the screeners (the penultimate line of defense) there would be about one incident a week, civil aviation would become curiously unpopular, and modern economies would get much worse.

Anon.

Aaron B. said...

Over 40,000 people die in car accidents every year in the USA. Yet I get in my car every day and drive somewhere. There are continual minor efforts to tweak vehicle safety, but basically, we're pretty satisfied with that level of threat.

If terrorists killed 3000 Americans with planes every year, flying would still be safer than driving. Yet we're willing to accept massive costs and considerable annoyance just to try to reduce that smaller threat.

Just imagine for a second that we hadn't changed anything after 9/11: just stayed with the technology and security systems that were already in place. You would have been able to get on a plane with a box cutters or a bottle of liquid, but the people on the plane would have been much more vigilant, and would no longer allow you to hijack a plane, assuming they'd be released safely in some other country. So with no new security at all, a 9/11 style attack was already impossible. That reduces terrorists to "blow up the plane," but that was already a threat before 9/11, and we didn't wet ourselves about it. And large numbers of people can be blown up right here on the ground. So we put up with the TSA to try to prevent something that isn't new and probably can't be prevented by them anyway. Brilliant.

By the way, I don't think anyone's saying Romney should make the TSA the centerpiece of his campaign. That's not the point. But it's a good idea in politics to attack the other guy's weaknesses. Obama's not going to make Romney's wealth the centerpiece of his campaign, but Democrats will make sure that it's on people's minds. Ditto with any other negative features they can work into the image people have of Romney. Republicans are terrible about doing the same thing: they either shy away and refuse to touch the topic (see McCain on Jeremiah Wright) or they go whole-hog as if it's the only topic (see the GOP on Monica Lewinsky, when there were dozens of reasons to impeach Clinton).

Reagan would have gotten it right: he would have made some joke about Obama and the TSA that would have been memorable, cutting, and yet not actually offensive. Heck, Reagan once told a joke where he equated a pile of manure to the Democratic platform. Nowadays, people (especially Republicans) would have fainting spells, start to distance themselves from him, and analyze the racial component of the remark.

JSM said...

Personally, I'm
overjoyed to know that TSA, the employer of choice for overweight, obnoxious Black women, insults and terrorizes air passengers by groping them, all in service to the end of keeping us all "safe from terrists."

Because, drawing a Venn diagram between sanctimonious, treasonous DWLs and people who fly frequently, the overlap is substantial.

DWLs foisted integration upon the defenseless White middle and working classes. So, let them, as they go about their jetsetting, enjoy some benefits of diversity, too.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that large numbers of people can be blown up or gunned down on the ground, yet for some reason terrorists (at least AQ types) seem obsessed with air travel.

Blowing up a plane in mid-air was indeed possible before 9/11, but the point is that after 9/11, it became much more popular as a terrorist objective. Why? Ask them, I can only conjecture.

My sense is that most folks would rather be in a car-crash, an air terminal bombing or a shooting incident, because the odds of survival are much higher, and because these sorts of occurrence would not put a halt to mass transit in the same way that taking out a couple of airliners simultaneously over the Atlantic would, for instance.

Whatever the reasons, Islamic terrorists are very focused on taking down an airliner, and the obstacles we have placed in their path have obviously been quite effective. There may or may not be better ways to implement screening than with the TSA, but screen we have to. It's a small price.

Anon.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Do you insure your house against fire? Do you insure your life?"

Yes. I don't wrap myself in Kevlar and never leave the house.

"One reason that successful terrorism against major airlines has been so rare is the intrusive screening"

It was rare prior to 9/11 as well, and without the Gestapo practices employed by the TSA.

"The other is the activities of the intelligence agencies in infiltrating terror groups and aborting the many plots that are constantly being hatched by fanatics."

Yeah, intelligence agencies can never tell us what they have done, but - rest assured - it's great. Just great. They are top men. Top. Men. They are government agencies - they are the DMV with a black budget.

"But if you look at the frequency of suicide bombings in the Middle East, and extrapolate, I have little doubt that if we stood down the screeners (the penultimate line of defense) there would be about one incident a week,..."

If one looks at the frequency of suicide bombings in the middle east, one might conclude that we should not allow middle easterners to come here. I would not however conclude that we should toss out the 5th amendment.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree that large numbers of people can be blown up or gunned down on the ground, yet for some reason terrorists (at least AQ types) seem obsessed with air travel."

Actually, they were obsessed with destroying the World Trade Center which was.....you know....on the ground.

"Blowing up a plane in mid-air was indeed possible before 9/11, but the point is that after 9/11, it became much more popular as a terrorist objective."

No, you are just wrong. There is no evidence that it has gotten more popular.

"Whatever the reasons, Islamic terrorists are very focused on taking down an airliner, and the obstacles we have placed in their path have obviously been quite effective."

Again, you are wrong. The security measure which has helped prevent the bombing of aircraft is x-raying and sniffing the luggage. It would probably be rather difficult to down a plane with the amount of explosives that could be carried surreptitiously on one's person. Placement is also important. As an example: the underwear bomber, had he been able to trigger his bomb, would have blown himself to bits and killed a few people nearby, but he probably wouldn't have brought the plane down. A bomb was detonated in the passenger cabin of an airliner - a Phillipine Airlines flight in 1995; it did not bring down the plane.

"There may or may not be better ways to implement screening than with the TSA, but screen we have to. It's a small price."

No, it isn't a small price to pay. It's a small payoff for an unacceptably high price. It is a rank violation of the 5th amendment, for one.

Again, if you are going to wet yourself because you are afraid of all those (mostly non-existent) terrorists out there, then YOU should not fly. Don't expect the rest of us to put up with something we shouldn't tolerate just because you are a nance. Don't expect the rest of us to part with our dignity and with the historic liberties that you obviously do not value. Just stay at home, and sit - safely - in your easy chair with a crash-helmet on.

Silver said...

Whatever the reasons, Islamic terrorists are very focused on taking down an airliner, and the obstacles we have placed in their path have obviously been quite effective.

Homer Simpson: Lisa, I want to buy your rock!

Actually, I agree with you (to a point) but I couldn't resist making this comment.

NOTA said...

Mr Anon:

On the contrary, they are the DMV with drone-fired missiles and torture chambers and death squads.

NOTA said...

JSM:

Nothing eases the pain of a boot on your neck quite like the thought that somewhere, someone you dislike has *two* boots on his neck.

Mr. Anon said...

"NOTA said...

Mr Anon:

On the contrary, they are the DMV with drone-fired missiles and torture chambers and death squads.

Touche. Kind of like in "Brazil" - ruthless and inept.

JSM said...

"NOTA said...
JSM:

Nothing eases the pain of a boot on your neck quite like the thought that somewhere, someone you dislike has *two* boots on his neck."

This is true.

Schadenfreude, 'tis a thing of beauty.

Anonymous said...

"world trade center..on the ground.."

They tried before to take it out from a ground-based bomb and failed. Taking it out from the air worked just fine and dandy for them, however.

The UK attempt, to take out several airliners over the ocean simultaneously, was not aimed at anything on the ground. I would have thought this was obvious, but perhaps it isn't.


"..there is no evidence.."

I'm glad you know everything. We can all relax now and stop wetting ourselves.


"..probably rather difficult to down an aircraft with the amount of explosives.."

I particularly enjoyed the "probably". Do you write advertising copy for the airlines?
And do you think it would not eventually occur to AQ to put more than one passenger on board with explosives? Thank heavens they're all so dumb!


"..killed a few people nearby."

Gee whiz, would they get a refund on the ticket?



"..(mostly) non-existent terrorists.."

This comment cannot be satirized.

Suggest you travel a bit in the Middle East, South Asia and the widening nonwhite parts of Europe, and just feel the love...

Anon.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

The UK attempt, to take out several airliners over the ocean simultaneously, was not aimed at anything on the ground. I would have thought this was obvious, but perhaps it isn't."

And the Bojinka plot never came to anything - perhaps because the trial run didn't work.

"I'm glad you know everything. We can all relax now and stop wetting ourselves."

So what is the evidence for your baseless assertion?

"And do you think it would not eventually occur to AQ to put more than one passenger on board with explosives? Thank heavens they're all so dumb?"

Yeah, and five arab guys handing stuff to each other wouldn't arouse any suspicion among the passengers, whom you seem to think are dumb.

""..(mostly) non-existent terrorists..""

"This comment cannot be satirized."

No, because it's true. Where are all the terrorists in this country?

"Suggest you travel a bit in the Middle East, South Asia and the widening nonwhite parts of Europe, and just feel the love..."

Suggest you f**k-off there forever, and let us Americans live our lives in freedom as we are want to, you contemptible bed-wetting, yellow-livered coward.

ben tillman said...

Plus he could counter any possible charges of anti-Presbyterianism by pointing out that his namesake, Ayn MacRand, was, in fact, Scots-Irish.

Rand is short for Randal, and his parents called him Randy. His wife took to calling him Rand for some reason.

It's a hell of a coincidence, but he's not named for Alyssa Rosenberg.

ben tillman said...

Plus he could counter any possible charges of anti-Presbyterianism by pointing out that his namesake, Ayn MacRand, was, in fact, Scots-Irish.

Rand is short for Randal, and his parents called him Randy. His wife took to calling him Rand for some reason.

It's a hell of a coincidence, but he's not named for Alyssa Rosenberg.

ben tillman said...

4. Before 9/11, your family could not accompany you to the gate to wish you farewell or greet you upon your return (at most airports - this was possible at some of the smaller airports)....

Like ATL and DFW?

ben tillman said...

So what has changed exactly, since the advent of the TSA? Next to nothing.

You've got to be kidding.

You can't take liquids on the plane. So, the bottle of wine you receive as a Christmas gift has to be shipped in a depressurized chamber where it is likely to explode. You can't even take a tube of toothpaste on the plane. Et cetera.

Not to mention the new see-through body scanners.

ben tillman said...

The only way you can possibly understand how Nixon ever got elected is to realize that he was embraced by the American public on the rebound.

Right. Unlike his successors, Nixon was elected without the MSM's approval. That's why they subsequently hounded him out of office for misdeeds that were utterly trivial when to compared to his and his successors' other misdeeds often involving aggressive war and the killing of huge numbers of people.

ben tillman said...

"...I would agree that large numbers of people can be blown up or gunned down on the ground, yet for some reason terrorists (at least AQ types) seem obsessed with air travel."

Actually, they were obsessed with destroying the World Trade Center which was.....you know....on the ground.


It seems that the architects of the destruction of the WTC had read Gustav LeBon's "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind."

LeBon wrote:

Things must be laid before the crowd as a whole, and their genesis must never be indicated. A hundred petty crimes or petty accidents will not strike the imagination of crowds in the least, whereas a single great crime or a single great accident will profundly impress them…. The epidemic of influenza, which caused the death but a few years ago of five thousand persons in Paris alone, made very little impression on the popular imagination. The reason was that this veritable hecatomb was not embodied in any visible image, but was only learnt from statistical information furnished weekly. An accident which caused the death of only five hundred instead of five thousand persons, but in a single day and in public, as the outcome of an accident appealing strongly to the eye, by the fall, for instance, of the Eiffel Tower, would have produced, on the contrary, an immense impression on the imagination of the crowd.


Perhaps coincidentally, the folks at PNAC hoped for a similar "catlyzing event -- a new Pearl Harbor.".