Inconceivable! I do not think you know what this word means.

The quote, from the movie The Princess Bride was uttered after several, so called inconceivable events had occurred.  I had similar thoughts this morning when I read in USA today, this quote by Mohammad Umma:

I see the US government allowed the Web to spread this link all over the world without limiting freedom, without banning it…America tells us they are the country of freedom, democracy, and tolerance…

The link he is referring too is a short video that apparently paints the Islamic prophet Mohammed in a vulgar, insulting manner, which, as we all know by now is a no no, at least if you are the least bit Islamic.  I have not seen the video, nor do I really care about the video.  But I need to point out to Mr. Umma that he might want to pick up a copy of a dictionary since he clearly has some misconceptions about what  freedom, democracy, and tolerance mean.  One thing it does not mean is that the government, or anyone else on the Internet, would ban or otherwise impinge on the distribution of any link, video, document, or picture, regardless of who it made fun of, up to and including her own President.  In fact there is a small cottage industry devoted to mocking the President, various religions, and radical groups out to better the world.  To think that the United States would block the distribution of a video mocking Mohammed is in fact counter to all of the foundations of the words democratic and free.

If you put yourself on the public stage, you are going to be subject to ridicule.  If you do not wish this, you have two options: 1) Get off the stage, or 2) Get a better message.  Clearly Mr. Umma, and others of his ilk do not like those options because they have chosen what is behind door number 3: Violence.  And unfortunately for Mr. Umma, and the band of thugs that follow this path, it only puts them forward on the public stage, and subjects them to yet more, well deserved ridicule.  Inconceivable! 

September 11 – A Day to Mourn And A Day to Remember

On this the 11th anniversary of September 11, we should all take a moment to mourn and to remember.

We should mourn the failure of those to follow the protocols and processes put in place for their safety and remember those who lost their lives because of it.

We should mourn the lack of leadership shown by our elected officials and remember those who sacrificed their lives because of it.

We should mourn those who did not learn from history and remember those who have been forced to remember it for us.

We should mourn the loss of our rights and privileges and remember those who took them from us.

We should mourn the loss of our security and remember that  it takes more than money to restore it.

We should mourn those who use fear to drive us and remember that there is nothing to fear, but fear itself, and that we do not have to be afraid.

We should mourn those who continue to spend our money to keep us safe and remember that there are still far too many deaths from traffic accidents, guns, and legal medications in a year than all terrorism deaths in the history of the country.

On this day, America should hang its head and mourn what has been lost, and remember what it has cost.

TSA, not here to protect you

I have illustrated the lapses in the so called increased security at airports lately.  But in case you have been living under a rock or actually think being strip searched, fondled, and irradiated are good for you and mean that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is there to keep you safe and ensure that the bad guys are not going to blow up or hijack your aircraft should think again.

This morning, this article was in our local news.  Drinks Bought Inside Airports Tested (WTOP).  Lest you think that is a typo and should read Drinks Brought Into Airports Tested, no, it is not.  The TSA is testing drinks, purchased inside the secure area for explosives because:

Vendors and employees at airports are not screened every day

As George Carlin would say: “Let me say that again, because it sounds, vaguely important.” Vendors and employees at airports are not screened every day. I can understand that there is a certain level of expectation of, oh, call it goodness in those that run the airport.  FAA air traffic controllers, airport management, and life safety officials (police, fire, rescue) are all subjected to numerous, one would hope, rigorous background checks.  They have access to areas of the airport that the average person would never get to go (like the runways for example).  But to extend this assumption to the vendors, many of whom are not US citizens – at least here in DC, and I am sure in other places – is ludicrous.  Worse, to think that they are more trustworthy than the traveling public, which includes numerous people with higher clearances, and more intense background checks than those who are working at the airport is just absurd.

The TSA’s job is to protect the traveling public.  Their focus, since their creation, has been on improving the perceived weaknesses in air safety. They have failed.  Utterly.  This is only the latest example of their short comings.  How many more are we, their paymasters, going to allow?