Thursday, August 24, 2006

To be scared or not to be scared

A few days ago, Glenn Reynolds sank deeper into Kook quagmire by acting as an apologist for the passengers of Flight 613 who kicked a couple of Arab-looking, Arab-speaking men off the plane for being Arab-looking and Arab-speaking. Reynolds justified the knee-jerk reaction of the plane passengers by saying "this is the kind of thing that happens when people don't trust the authorities to protect them". Today, bizarrely, he links to an excellent blog post by Bruce Schneier that warns people not to over-react to the threat of terrorism.

But then, just as one is beginning to wonder whether Reynolds has finally broken through the iron curtain that separates the right-wing fearmongers from normal people, he goes ahead and endorses this goofy warning from a paranoid commenter at the blog post he links to, who says :
"What's to stop terriorists now just getting on flights and acting suspiciously on purpose. If no crime was committed (I was just checking my watch, saying my prayers, going to the bathroom etc.) they can cause disruption, create paranoia and terror at will and get off scott free."
So, after initially asking us to be afraid of Arabs flying on our planes, then warning us not to overreact, Reynolds is now saying that we need to seriously consider a fantastic scenario involving plane-hopping peaceful terrorists who fly from country to country in order to engage in indiscriminate watch-gazing, praying and bathroom-visiting on the plane for the sole purpose of getting that plane diverted and causing people's schedules to go haywire. Okay Glenn, quit confusing me now. Should I be a terrified pant-shitter or not? Just give me a straight answer, yes or no.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dear God, you kinda lost me there

Hi God, good morning and thank you very much for replying to my instant message and accepting my chat invite :-). I know you are a very busy person and no doubt have numerous fans who send you chat invites and even more who instant message you even when your messenger status clearly says that you are busy and should not be disturbed. God how I hate such people :-(.

But God, please bear with me because I have something very important to ask you. I have to confess God, in the past two weeks you have lost me. I just don't get it, God, I have lost the ability to decipher your signals, I am totally perplexed. As you might be knowing (since you are all-knowing and stuff), I have been following your blog as well as your podcast for many years now, heck, I even play it on my headphones as I sleep because I feel subliminal indoctrination really works. Plus, I try to keep a look-out for any tell-tale messages you might have left for me when I wasn't looking in the form of natural disasters, humanitarian crises and such. For example, it wasn't that hard for me to realize that you created Hurricane Katrina in order to give me a hint that you were kinda pissed at me because I told you I thought my male neighbour was somewhat good-looking, and since then, I have acted on your wishes and inflicted permanent deformity on his face through the use of sulphuric acid. So as you can see God, my neighbour will not be tempting any more innocent men through his sinful yet delectable buttocks ;o) just kidding, God.

But God, I have to admit, for the past two weeks, your messages have been getting increasingly cryptic. I just can't seem to make out what it is that you are trying to tell me. For example, there was that one instance of this tree suddenly starting to spout water through its trunk. What did it mean, God? Why a tree? Why that particular tree? Did you want me to chop down that tree and turn it into a Bible? I know people are saying it might just be a burst water pipe and that the water probably rose up through its trunk, but have you heard anything funnier or less believable than that theory? What next, water rising up through the air? Evolution? ROTFLMAO.

Sorry God, I had to leave my desk because I was actually rolling on the floor there, you know I wouldn't use ROTFLMAO if I wasn't really doing it, don't you? God? God? Oh there you are. Please scroll back for my apology.

So as I was saying, God, then, a week ago, there was that chocolate bar that you sculpted into a statue of the Virgin Mary. Again, I confess, I didn't get it, dear Lord and Savior. Did you not want me to eat that piece of chocolate? I know sometimes eating chocolate can get me to feel a bit, let's say mildly amorous, but I did not know you felt so strongly about it. Or do you believe that chocolates, like human embryos, are living sentient beings and do not wish to be killed? But as I said, this is all just conjecture on my part.

But God, in my humble opinion, what you did in Mumbai was the most puzzling of all your actions. Why did you turn all that seawater sweet? Was it really to cure all of our illnesses and make us immortal? I got my mother back home in India to send me some of that stuff in a bottle, and I gotta tell you God, it really tastes like shit. If what they say is true and it is just the pollution making it sweet, I guess the water's gonna be getting a lot sweeter in the coming days after the sewage discharge of Mumbaikars quadruples on consuming this stuff. But then, God, maybe your point in decreasing the salinity of the sea was to try and get me to reduce the salt intake in my diet. Was that it? Please God, did you look into my future and see elevated blood pressure? I've got to know.

And finally, what is it with this latest sign where you made all those idols drink milk? I didn't know you were into dairy products, who would've guessed? But I guess you are a simple person, just like me ^o^.

But whatever it was, God, I just feel like we are not on the same wavelength anymore. It seems like you are trying to tell me things and that I'm not quite getting them. Could you please be somewhat less ambiguous about your commands? If you want me to go kill someone just tell me that in plain language, send me a text message, an email, please don't use symbols such as, say, a goat that shits a turd in the shape of a revolver or something. Seriously God, that stuff is pretty hard to decipher. Plus, it might just be a coincidence, in which case, I would have committed a sin in your eyes, and as everybody knows, you are only okay with crimes that have been explicitly sanctioned by you.

And about all those other things, God, I have a humble suggestion. Just create a Wikipedia entry and add detailed explanations as to your real intent behind performing all those wonderful miracles. And don't worry, no one's gonna edit it. After all, people don't want to go to Hell, do they?

Bye God and thank you for chatting with me. I will let George W. Bush know you said Hello.

XOXOXOX on your feet.

Airline to allow passengers to land and take off

Close on the heels of its critically acclaimed and highly successful new policy of allowing passengers to take airplane security into their own hands by kicking anyone they suspect of being a terrorist off the plane, UK-based Monarch Airlines has announced its newest initiative for enhancing traveller comfort during the journey. This new policy initiative will allow any Monarch airlines passenger concerned about the pilot's ability to take off or land the plane to carry out the task himself.

Towards this end, every passenger seat in the newly ordered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners will come equipped with a joystick and a complete set of controls for flying the plane. In the event of any passenger feeling mentally threatened due to a perceived lack of confidence in the pilot's flying capabilities, the passenger will be able to switch to manual override and take over the plane himself.

Air travellers applauded this new feature. "When I am landing or taking off, I always feel nervous, I keep wondering whether the pilot has extended his flaps, whether the landing gear is down, or if there are any other planes in the way", explained passenger Heath Schofield. "Now instead of relying on the pilot, I can check on all these things myself. The only person I trust to keep myself safe is me."

Blogger Glenn Reynolds agreed with this assessment. "This is the kind of thing that happens when people don't trust the authorities to protect them from incompetent pilots", said Mr Reynolds. "After all, the probability of getting killed in a plane crash due to pilot error is almost 1 in a million. In fact, it is even greater than the probability of your plane getting hijacked by terrorists. Therefore, it makes sense for every passenger to be allowed access to the controls of the plane in order to safeguard their own lives."

Blogger Sister Toldjah had a different angle on the issue. "If you look at most plane crashes, they all occurred with a pilot at the controls. Thus, it is necessary for air travellers to refuse to fly any plane manned by a "pilot". This isn't profiling, it is just common sense."

In its ongoing effort to improve the quality of its service, Monarch Airlines is now considering keeping a handgun under every seat in the plane in order to allow passengers to shoot anyone who begins to display a terrorist-like demeanour after the plane has taken off.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Inane Instapundit link of the day

Glenn Reynolds puts up a post on the British terror plot and says :

"Some people have decided that the war on terror is passe. But although you may not be interested in terrorism, terrorism is still interested in you."

When Glenn Greenwald takes him to task (via) on making such an arbitrary statement without backing it up with evidence, Reynolds amends his post, adding a link to someone who, one would think, would presumably be supplying the evidence needed to back up Reynolds' statement by providing a list of people arranged in alphabetical order who've decided that terror is passe.

On clicking through that link, all we get is this insanely stupid post by Roger Simon, which is nothing but a childish diatribe directed towards Ned Lamont who won the CT democratic primary over Bush choirboy Joe Lieberman. This diatribe is basically a fictional account of how the author imagines Mr Lamont's reaction to the foiling of the terror plot would be. Let me repeat this. The Instapundit, when asked to back up his statement that "some people have decided that terror is passe", links to someone who conjures up a fictional reaction from Ned Lamont which purportedly proves that he thinks terror is passe.

This post is so asinine that words fail me. It fails to make a single point except that whoever voted for Ned Lamont was, in some way, pro-Islamic fascism. No, it does not provide a single shred of evidence to back that claim. Mr Simon says is :

"No one looks dopier today than the collection of self-righteous fuddy-duddies who voted for Ned Lamont in Tuesday's Democratic Primary in Connecticut. In the darkness of his soul Lamont himself must be wondering how to react to the news that another ten jets filled with innocent human beings were about to explode over the Atlantic. Not good for his campaign."

And then he follows up with some Coulterish babble which of course, is devoid of any meaning whatsoever.

But Mr Simon does not specify what, if anything, does Mr Lamont's being anti-Iraq war have to do with the British terror plot. Secondly, it does not prove that Mr Lamont thinks terror is passe. All in all it is one of the saddest, stupidest right-wing posts I've ever read. And I feel bad for Glenn Reynolds that this is the best he could come up with to support his statement. In my opinion, he should have looked some more, maybe even used But he probably just didn't have time. I think we should give him the benefit of doubt because he is a busy person with many friends and family who need to be linked to.

Monday, August 07, 2006