Like the aliens from the movie franchise, these sick fucks use a massive technological advantage to engage in some deranged sport shooting:
Is this the way al Qaeda’s decade or so of terror pre-eminence ends? The details are still coming out but from what I’ve seen so far, the latest attempt to attack an American jetliner was done by a wealthy scion of a Nigerian banker who had explosive underwear that he was unable to detonate.
Now it is impossible (and stupid) to say that terrorism is over, but this sort of pathetic, bumbling attempt on a single jet in the US is a far cry from the massive synchronized assaults that were the trademark of al Qaeda’s perverse spectacles. Part of what makes a terror group successful is the perception of it as fearsome and daring – the sort of appeal that villains like Jesse James have accrued at other times. The pampered son of a banker setting his pants on firing and failing at it is not fearsome and daring, it’s lame. Recruiting disaffected young men in the wake of the 9/11 spectacle was surely easy for al Qaeda, doing so in the wake of this latest clusterfuck is surely a different matter.
I am confident that al Qaeda will continue to attempt to launch attacks and I think it even reasonable to expect some of them to succeed, but I also think this latest incident is indicative of their current capabilities. This will snowball, no one wants to join a group that is a shell of its former self.
I should also like to note that this plot could have been foiled with some good police work and some information, the father of this young man reported his suspicions – no waterboarding was necessary. I eagerly await Cheney calling to invade Nigeria though, perhaps he’s awaiting his large payments from that nice Nigerian general who he met through his email.
The Professor Gates incident reminds me of this bit from Chappelle’s stand-up:
We all knew this was coming, didn’t we? All I will say is: How provincial do you have to be to attack your opponent for having worked abroad? In the nation that is our largest trading partner no less! While Iggy was there he made significant connections in the corridors of government and academia while Harper was at home, a self-hating Canadian calling us “a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term.”
Iggy is certainly not above criticism, but if this is the Cons preferred angle (and it probably is since when Iggy errs, he errs in the direction of Conservative ideology) they look like a bunch of parochial twits who can’t see beyond there own crude nativism.
(H/T Matthew Yglesias) Damon Linker has a post up about Charles Murray’s definition of happiness:
“But that’s not all. Because genuine happiness, for Murray, requires spending one’s life striving to overcome an endless series of challenges and obstacles, the lavish European safety net ensures that individual Europeans will never experience spiritual contentment or satisfaction. The assumption seems to be that a life of leisure — or at least a life with open access to health care, quality child care, generous unemployment insurance, and 4 – 6 weeks of guaranteed vacation time a year — will be an unhappy one. (It doesn’t sound half-bad to me, but I’m a Euro-loving liberal.)
Luckily, though, there is the American alternative (at least until Barack Obama gets through with us). Unlike coddled Europeans, Americans face the constant possibility of personal economic catastrophe. They work their lives away just to make ends meet, never knowing if they’ll be rewarded for their efforts by being fired by their employer or impoverished by medical bills after a life-threatening illness. And that constant insecurity is what opens up the possibility of genuine happiness for them, because if they manage to survive, let alone thrive, they’ll know that they did it on their own, without the help of the state, through heroic acts of self-reliance. This ideology — equal parts Christian masochism, Emersonian individualism, and Nietzschean striving — forms the core of American exceptionalism, according to Murray.”
Now obviously both Yglesias and Linker are Americans and both have deep disagreements with Murray. It’s impossible for anyone to say that the US all one way or another. US contains both San Francisco and Colorado Springs to use a geographic explanation. Yet Murray’s idea of how to be happy is implemented in many aspects of US government policy. Very expensive post-secondary education and a lack of universal healthcare seem to be a pair of obvious examples. Murray is praising this state of affairs probably in light of conservative fears that Barack Obama is on the cusp of changing all that.
As for me, I am more fearful of those that would have Canada more closely conform to Murray’s vision of a happy society. I would say I would be far less happy if I had an ongoing fear that I’d lose my medical insurance if I lost my job. There would be much more stress anyway, that’s for sure. Canada’s social safety net, much as it has been wilfully frayed in the past couple of decades by right-wingers, still gives me some comfort that I can get the help I need if I fall on hard times. The fact that the United States lacks these things makes it unlikely that I would ever give up my Canadian citizenship to become an American.
A final note: Now there is a reason I titled this post “Why I am not an American” and that is because this is, really, a choice of my own. I have no idea how to impose happiness on everyone. I would rather everyone have as much leeway as possible in deciding this. In other words, if Murray’s vision is what makes a great majority Americans happy, I have no desire to impede their happiness. I’m just saying, it’s not my choice.
How often is this the case? The Fox News twits who mocked Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are now apologising, but at the same time they are pleading context. What context is needed for your remarks Greg Gutfeld? I would love to know.
Looks like McDonald’s bloodsucking insurers don’t want to cover an employee who stood up to a women who was being assaulted:
Kicking ass for working people while interviewed on Fox News, it’s Lansing mayor Virg Bernero:
Ignatieff is now seen as a better leader than Harper vis-a-vis our US relationship. I know that there’s some serious things that I question about Iggy, and I know that many Canadian progressives just flat out don’t like the guy at all, but from a tactical standpoint he may be the one to oust Harper – and that can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned.
I’m tired this morning on account of watching the Super Bowl last night – unlike so many other Bowls this one was really an exciting football game.
Posted in USA
Tagged Super Bowl