...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 10, 2006

Nothing To See Here, Move Along...

From the Houston Chronicle:

[A] man with a Middle Eastern name and a ticket for a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta shook his head when screeners asked if he had a laptop computer in his baggage, but an X-ray machine operator detected a laptop.

A search of the man's baggage revealed a clock with a 9-volt battery taped to it and a copy of the Quran, the report said. A screener examined the man's shoes and determined that the "entire soles of both shoes were gutted out."

No explosive material was detected, the report states. A police officer was summoned and questioned the man, examined his identification, shoes and the clock, then cleared him for travel, according to the report.

A TSA screener disagreed with the officer, saying "the shoes had been tampered with and there were all the components of (a bomb) except the explosive itself," the report says.

The officer retorted, "I thought y'all were trained in this stuff," TSA officials reported.

The report says the TSA screener notified Delta Airlines and talked again with the officer, who said he had been unable to check the passenger's criminal background because of computer problems.

So what did they do? They let the guy on the fucking plane!

Now of course, since the plane didn't blow up we can assume one of three things: a) that it was a test run; b) that the plan involved hiding the explosive somewhere else on the plane, or with an accomplice who aborted the mission; or c) that this poor innocent man with the middle eastern name was unfairly hassled while scores of evil grannies were allowed to board the plane unmolested.

I tend to think that it was just a test of our defenses, since a clock and battery do not seem to be necessary components of a shoe bomb. In any case, I hope someone is raising holy hell over this incident.

Posted by annika, Jul. 10, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


This country, led by the left and PC zealots, is well on its way to being lulled back into the a "9/10" mindset. Until another plane or building is blown up, we will continue to have people more worried about offending Muslims than stopping terrorists.

Yeah, somebody (or possibly many) better lose their job(s) and America better start waking up.

Posted by: blu on Jul. 10, 2006

Yes Blu,

Why not hang them? Airports have lots of exposed beams and rope is no problem in Houston once you scrape the cow shit off of it. And you must, because cow shit is giving off methane and that coupled with a hollowed out shoe, match book and duct tape are the makings of a bomb. Send that cowpoke to Cuba!

I think anytime a laptop, sneakers with holes in them and a travel alarm clock with a spare battery taped to it are in the same room together, or even in two different airports at the same time, the occupants of both airports should be sent to Gitmo as enemy combatants and put in a dark room for eternity.

Now that, Blu, would keep us safe and prevent us from the hedious 9-10 mentality where NO ONE had or could have imagined a plane flying into a building. Or where "determined to attack" mean't let's go on vacation.

Posted by: stawman on Jul. 10, 2006

Hanging seems extreme, Straw.

I just say keep the fucker off the plane and asked him about his hollowed out shoes and alarm clock/laptop. Heck, you might even run a little background check since he felt the need to lie. I guess that might trample on his civil rights, however.

And, what's up with your too often bigoted caricatures regarding anything southern? It weakens your already weak agruments.

Posted by: blu on Jul. 10, 2006

Oh, Blu,

I love the south. The home of Nucular Fishing one of my favorite pastimes.

You are, however, correct. He should have run a basic background check. I, you will be surprised to hear, believe in the power of profiling in certain circumstances. I don't think it necessary to strip search every semitic looking person but I do think that it is a waste of time to search my parents when they travel or a charter of 16-18 year old girls going to St. Bart's for spring break.

Posted by: Strawman on Jul. 10, 2006

Your mangling of "nuclear fission" was cute, 'Nam Warts.

Posted by: reagan80 on Jul. 10, 2006

I'd almost vote for option d) - just a crazy guy incapable of doing anything - but he wasn't quite crazy enough. He wasn't carrying a Playboy magazine, which he would use to select the appearance of his 72 virgins.

I happen to be of the belief that mankind is fundamentally incompetent. Richard Reid comes to mind, as do the Watergate Plumbers. There are probably clowns like this one who want to do something bad, but forget minor little details like explosives.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor on Jul. 10, 2006


I can't take credit. It was Lenny Bruce over 50 years ago commenting in a routine of his how SOutherners could be talking high energy physics and they would still sound dumb.

Posted by: strawman on Jul. 10, 2006

Shouldn't we take a positive spin on this? I mean, we caught someone who appeared to possibly have a bomb. He didn't, so there's no reason to detain him, period. What this means, though, is that maybe TSA will keep doing a good job and in the future catch people who *actually* pose a threat, whether or not they are grannies, middle easterners, southerners, or midgets?

If he's not a threat, why detain him? Others in the future might be threats, and if so, we can hope they would be detained. But he didn't do anything illegal. If I wear a Freddy Krueger mask (all plastic, of course) onto the plane, I might scare people (little kids anyway) -- but I haven't done anything illegal. I cannot get behind detaining people because they scare us.

So I choose to look at the positive side of this -- they caught someone who might have been a bad guy, and did the right thing by letting him go. Now they'll be even more vigilant to catch actual bad guys. Seems like something both libs and cons can get behind, no?

Posted by: The Law Fairy on Jul. 10, 2006

You said 'fuck'! Don't worry, I won't tell.

Posted by: Kevin on Jul. 10, 2006

well just for FYI the local radio and TV stations here in Houston are raising holy hell over this one.
But thats what you get in any job like that, a bunch of mindless "by the book" drones and farking bureaucrats.
BTW thats just the kind of people who strawdog wants running our Medical industry, and everything else really. As for Southerners sounding stupid, Uhh no not to us, Its the yankees with that nasal twing who sound stupid.

Posted by: kyle8 on Jul. 11, 2006

Ah Lenny, that epitome of wisdom.

Posted by: Stew on Jul. 11, 2006


"industry is the key word. I want medical care delivered without a profit motive. Medicare seems to be able to administer itself for less than 10 cents on the dollar and all the hospitals are getting paid, while the CEO of The Equitable flies each morning by helo to Hartford from Manhattan and gets 8 mill a year. WHo's getting taken care of and who's not. All that needs to be done id for the federal medical program that takes care of ALL federal employees and is not administerd by a private company, offered to ALL americans for a price that will keep the program solvent. Betcha, it cost less than your HMO, dosen't restrict you to plan doctors, provides wider coverage with fewer restrictions and pays doctors better rates than the current programs. Oh, it also won't make a lot of suits rich.

Posted by: Strawman on Jul. 11, 2006


That's called socialized medicine and it's a miserable failure everywhere it's tried. The quality of care is horrible and the system is inefficient. Talk to somebody from England or Canada about getting even basic surgery.

Why do you people always bring up the Medicare example? Because admin fees are low that means it is a good program? That's your main criteria for declaring success? The program is infamous for fraud and waste as is Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in my state.) And, on a philosophical level, somebody explain to me why I should have to pay for the health care of rich old people or, for that matter, lazy poor people? There is no fucking "right" to healthcare. BTW, should I be responsible for feeding them too? How about clothes? Hey Straw, should the government buy everybody a car too? After all, it is nearly impossible to exist in a modern society without a car. And you need to be able to communicate: So how about free mobile phones for everybody? Is anybody responsible for themselves, Straw?

Posted by: blu on Jul. 11, 2006


Dopey, dopier, and stupid. I did not mention socialized medicine and your wish to construe single pay as socialized is just the red in your eyes blinding you. All delivery institutions remain the same as do private doctors and your option to opt out of the system so you can prove to yourself you are a self reliant man if you need that sort of thing.

Everybody pays and I will have a means test for social security as well as for the Fed MED Plan, no problem. Don't worry dear boy, you will never have to support someone with more money than you(like you don't do it now!) Yes there is currently fraud as there is with ALL large systems private or federal. Not an issue, just part of the cost of doing business.

This plan is insurance not care delivery. If a premium is charged where do you get off calling it socialized and where do i ever say there is a right to medical care? My business does not provide it and I think the American demand that it SHOULD be provided at work is infantalizing crap. I am however deeply concerned that there are not affordable alternatives for the worker who has 2 young children and one household income. DO the math BLu. I a guy earns 40-50 grand a year- housing in 1500 a month plus food, transportation and sundries how can a family of 4 also afford 1200-1500 a month for a family health plan? Impossible If this country is to consider itself a humane place to live it must not have 40 million people who cannot afford medical insurance and therefore become part of a forced socialized medical system which cannot deliver decent care. It will be cheaper if the feds provide affordable insurance rather than the free medical care it doles out to EVERYONE who is in poverty or claims to be. How many millions of people as they reach their 50-60's divest themselves of all assets so as to be eligible for medicaid and not have their life savings devoured by one hospital stay? A relative of mine in their 70's without insurance has had three major hospitalizations in the last 3 years. Total cost about 400,000.00 dollars. All paid for but about 5% by the feds and state. If they had an affordable policy and 40 million others did and the hospitals charged the real cost to deliver this care, not the inflated amounts that take into consideration all that they are not reimbursed for by the indidgent and the low medicaid rates, this whole mess might be cleared up and far better care delivered.

Ever been to an emeregency room at an inner city hospital Blu? It is the primary care facility for the poor who sit there by the hundreds, hour's on end with their feverish children, sprained backs, congested lungs from bacteria infections, infected ingrown toenails, etc. Isn't is far more cost effective for thse people to see private family practitioners in clinics and private offices with an insurance plan?

Whatever you want to call the plans of Canada, England, France, and many others, they do not force people into poverty before they offer them care.

Posted by: Strawman on Jul. 11, 2006

Yes, I wish to consture single pay as socialized medicine. I suspect most Americans feel the same way. It is one of the reasons that this stupid idea is always rejected by Americans.

Do you really believe the level of fraud in medicare and medicaid are equal to that found privately? Nice try, Straw. But I call BS. The difference between you and me (besides the fact that I'm younger and smarter - just kidding) is that I've actually worked in and around government my entire adult career. And I've been involved at the local, state, and federal levels. Hell, I've even been a Medicaid analyst when I was young and stupid enough to work for a county. The amount of fraud in these areas is staggering and occurs at all levels.

And about this 40 million uninsured crap number - it is meaningless. Most of these people are young and single and choose not to purchase insurance. It is (as it should be) a choice. You and yours make it sound like there are 40 million people out there crying their eyes out because they have no insurance. It is not true. It is another silly left-wing lie to try and get more power and tax money into the hands of government. The more people you folks have on the dole the more power you have.

How can you be so distrustful of the government and still want it to control billions and billions of healthcare dollars?

Posted by: blu on Jul. 11, 2006


I hear what you say. Though I am a woodworker I did spend 5 years working in the NYS Dept of Mental Hygiene and have some insight that is not filterd through saw dust into health care matters.

The negatives are not really a big concern of mine since the negatives of the whole system of delivery and afordability of health care drawf the problems of fraud. This is typically a RW paradigm: don't look at the deeper and more profound flaws in a system but rather focus on the bad dealings of a few. THis same cry was always heard around the welfare system. WOmen have extra babies to increase their benefits, women don't care to focus on bith control because the worst thing that can happen is a new kid and more money, women aren't looking for jobs because welfare is giiving them such a grand life. Talk about bullshit.

Blu, have you ever lived in a large city in the North?

The fraud and waste are in each realm different.

In the world of medicaid you have things like hospitals bliing for services they did not deliver, clinics making up patient records and billing and individuals doing the same things but on for smaller amounts. Remember the hospitals that commit the fraud are often private for profit corporations bilking the government. What is the percentage of fraudulant v. appropiate payouts? I really don't know do you?

In the system of insured health care as it now exits the 'fraud" take the form of profit. Every dollar that is removed from the system to pay sharholders dividends, multimillion dollar salalries and high operating costs is money that could otherwise be delivering care. I think Blu, if you totaled the fraud you experienced in medicaid and treated it as an administrative cost you would still be below the percentage that the private sector spends per dollar paid to providers.

I know a woman who delivered psychiatric services for a clinic that had a contract with a union to deliver mental health services. She had to quit because in every case meeting it was clear that limiting the number of sessions to be delivered to a client was a goal regardless of the medical need of the patient. The clinc contracted to provide a fixed number of sessions for a year to the union's health plan and every session under that number was additional profit and every one over was considered a loss. Blu, this is fundamentally wrong and it it the mentality that permeates all of the health plans in America.

WOuld you address the other issue I mentioned of impovershment before medicaid kicks in and the problems with the socialized medicine they now receive? I agree that there are many in the uninsured catagory that may be choosing not to sign up but i doubt the number is significant.

Posted by: strawman on Jul. 12, 2006

Medicaid, in nearly all cases, is based on "deprivation," Straw. So, the idea of having to get rid of nearly all your wealth prior to services is rare - in fact in California it doesn't happen anymore.

And your paragraph on welfare is, frankly, a joke. It is another example of you having no clue about which you speak. Welfare pre-1996 was one of this country's most miserable policy failures. As demonstrated in numerous studies and by intellectuals as diverse as Murray and Moynihan, welfare was a disaster especially for American Blacks. The policy changes implemented in 1996 by the Republicans (and, of course, by "stick my finger in the wind and see which way it is blowing" Clinton) changed the old policy and is actually a huge success story. There were two fundamental changes: time limits and work. (You see, Straw, conservatives understand human nature, which is to take free stuff as long as somebody is willing to give it to you - especially if nothing is asked of you in return.) It takes too long to explain the policy at a lower level. You clearly, though, don't understand very well the mindset of the average welfare recipient. These people are, generally, lazy and unmotivated - and often times (pre 1996) were part of a generational legacy of welfare. It was indeed a lifestyle. And don't forget, though they did not receive much, they were/are provided free medical care, free food, and cash. No bad for doing absolutely fucking nothing.

Anyway, Straw, you can't BS me on these types of issues.

Posted by: blu on Jul. 12, 2006