This means, of course, that the Bush administration ought to preempt fate and suspend the visa-waiver program established in 1986 for Western Europeans. It is true that consular officers were a poor frontline defense before 9/11 against Muslim extremists trying to enter the United States. But the United States would be safer with some screening mechanism, however imperfect, before Europeans arrive at our borders. The transatlantic crowd in Washington--the bedrock of America's foreign-policy establishment--might rise in high dudgeon at the damage this could do to U.S.-European relations. The State Department's European and consular-affairs bureaus might add that they no longer have the staff to handle the enormous number of applicants. Ignore them. American-European relations were just fine when we required all Europeans to obtain visas before crossing our borders. Consular officers are among the most overworked personnel in the U.S. government. So draft poorly utilized personnel from the Department of Homeland Security until the consular corps at the State Department can grow sufficiently. Issuing visas to Europeans would be an annoying inconvenience for all; it would not, however, be an insult. Given the damage one small cell of suicidally inclined radical Muslim Europeans could do in the New York City or Washington metro or on Amtrak's wide-open trains, it's not too much to ask.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
And then there's the problem of saying that an effort isn't worthwhile if murderers oppose it. Nobody ever says it's not worth prosecuting the mob after mobsters murder policemen or judges in an attempt to intimidate them. And yet, even Blair is buying into the argument that if it were true that the London bombings were the result of the Iraq invasion, then the Iraq invasion would have been wrong. By this logic, it was wrong to declare war on Hitler because of the Blitz.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Of the attacks, Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Ian Blair said, "These are criminal acts and we are in pursuit of a set of criminals." WRONG! The acts are acts of terrorism, and the Yard is in pursuit of a set of terrorists. There is a fundamental difference between a criminal and a terrorist, and Sir Ian knows what it is.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
FOX News has an article entitled, "Coping With Psychological Effects of Terror." Here's an excerpt:
"The use of terrorism as a tactic is predicated upon inducing a climate of fear that is incommensurate with the actual threat," says Middle Eastern historian Richard Bulliet of Columbia University.
Ergo, the logical thing to do is to realize what level of fear would be appropriate and not allow one's fear to escalate above that level. Thus, terrorism is defeated. Q. E. D.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
It wouldn't matter if all nine Justices of the Supreme Court were women, if these were the nine best people available. But to decide in advance that you were going to appoint a woman and then look only among women for a nominee was a dangerous gamble with a court that has become dangerous enough otherwise.
This photograph is of the coffee table in the living room of my Mother's house. I had just mowed her back yard, my clothes were soaking wet with sweat, and I had emptied my pockets, prior to changing into some dry clothes. Well, not everything on the table was from my pockets, e. g., the battery-powered electric shaver, the paperback book (about which I will have more to say in a later post), the glass bowl, and the cardboard box.
Some of the things that did come out of my pockets (from bottom-center, clockwise): my wallet, some cash (coins and bills), my cellular telephone, keys, more coins, a red comb, a ballpoint pen, my checkbook, a yellow pencil, my belt, my glasses, and a fingernail clipper.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Sunday, July 03, 2005
FARK entry links to this article:
Toyota building new plant in Canada despite massive subsidy offers from American states. Reason: southern Americans too dumb and illiterate to train; need directions in pictorial form.
He [Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association] said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.
FOX News is carrying an Associated Press story, on the Internet, which deals with how easy it is to smuggle people into the United States.
A restaurateur in this border city [Tijuana, Mexico] ran another business smuggling Lebanese compatriots into the United States, some with connections to Hezbollah. A Sept. 11 commission staff report called him the only "human smuggler with suspected links to terrorists" convicted in the United States. But he is not unique, according to an Associated Press investigation based on government and court records and scores of interviews.