Monday, January 11, 2010

Connecting the Dots

Government bureaucrats are incapable of doing anything right. That's why it's so shocking that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab wasn't prevented from boarding a plane in Amsterdam, as he would've been if the Obama administration were competent, which just goes to show that government-run healthcare can't possibly work, the VA and Medicare notwithstanding, especially since the USPS sometimes misdelivers packages during the Christmas rush.

That, more or less, is the considered opinion of Star Parker. If you want to understand it, all you have to do is "connect the dots."

First, think about this: How can a government that didn't adequately inspect Abdulmutallab's underwear hope to offer adequate healthcare?

Despite extensive information on the would-be terrorist, each piece of which was incriminating on its own, the man evaded a vast government bureaucracy and almost blew up a plane filled with Americans.

Yet, Democrats, with the health care bill they are now piecing together behind closed doors, will bring all American lives and health care under the purview and control of government bureaucracy.

Talk about an inability to connect the dots.
Unfortunately, that's just how bureaucracy is. Unless we're talking about corporate bureaucracy, in which case we need to remember that nobody's perfect. Just as white conservative men who go on shooting sprees tell us nothing about white conservative culture, corporate bureaucrats who make fatal errors while toying imperiously with people's lives tell us nothing about corporate bureaucracy.

The plain fact is that government is hopelessly unreliable and untrustworthy, except when it comes to administering the death penalty, bombing foreign capitals, and regulating our sex lives. To deny this is to be an idealist of the worst sort.

Obama himself admits that the horrific act of violence Abdulmutallab (would've) committed (if he'd been able to) is "not the fault of a single individual or organization, but rather a systematic failure across organizations and agencies." Like the existential threat of taxation, this underscores the need for spontaneous collective action:
What saved the lives of innocent Americans were private citizens, using their own brains and initiative that acted to bring this terrorist down.
Think of the money and lives we'd save if we let airlines rent guns and Tasers to American air travelers, instead of relying on Interpol to protect them! And besides, who's gonna be better at screening airline passengers: a vast, dithering bureaucracy that's been corrupted by quotas and diversity training, or a spontaneously organized group of concerned citizens with an inbred skepticism of names like "Abdulmutallab"? I say we give obviously non-Islamic passengers access to metal detectors, specula, and bulletnosed flashlights, and let rational self-interest and the Wisdom of Crowds work their magic.

Parker goes on to report that during this past holiday season, a package she mailed went astray. Imagine that the USPS is the Obama administration, and the package is the physical well-being of your dimpled, golden-haired children, and you can see just how dangerous this error would be, if it actually were. And consider this: If you can't trust the government to deliver an autographed copy of Liberal Fascism to a centrist relative in Houston, how can you trust it with the health of your sigmoid colon? Connect the dots, people!

FedEx, by contrast, is a private company and never loses or misdelivers anything. Star Parker knows someone who heard this from his dentist, so that settles that.

None of which should be taken to imply that government is completely useless:
National security is a job of government.
We can only pray that these freedom-hating bean-counters will restrict their blinkered, incompetent, inefficient efforts to this fundamental task, before someone gets killed.

(Illustration via The Fed. Thanks to Abie for the reminder.)


Liri said...

{Shakes head sadly}

Phila, Phila, you are usually above spending your time shooting the sad, slow-moving, and equally slow-witted fish in the Townhall barrel (as well as those in other such wingnutty containers).

{Peers suspiciously}

You're desperately trying to avoid some unpleasant task(s) IRL, aren't you?


Phila said...

Phila, Phila, you are usually above spending your time shooting the sad, slow-moving, and equally slow-witted fish in the Townhall barrel

It's true that I don't spend a lot of time over there, normally. But I really liked the part about Parker's friend's dentist.

I concede that none of this really needed to be written, especially at such length. But gotta love the part about the dentist!

You're desperately trying to avoid some unpleasant task(s) IRL, aren't you?

Always! But on the other hand, blogging itself is often an unpleasant task, so you could also say that I'm desperately trying to get it over with ASAP, by overreacting to the first third-string glibertarian chatterbox who crosses my path.

In other words, there's a tiny bit more to my surliness and procrastination and lack of effort than meets the eye.

John Byrnes said...

We don’t need profiling to identify Individuals like the Christmas-Day Bomber!

Virtually all media outlets are discussing whether we should be profiling all Arab Muslims; I will in the one-page explain why we don’t need profiling. Over 15 years ago, we at the Center for Aggression Management developed an easily-applied, measurable and culturally-neutral body language and behavior indicators exhibited by people who intend to perpetrate a terrorist act. This unique methodology utilizes proven research from the fields of psychology, medicine and law enforcement which, when joined together, identify clear, easily-used physiologically-based characteristics of individuals who are about to engage in terrorist activities in time to prevent their Moment of Commitment.

The Problem
Since the foiled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national on Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit, the President has repeatedly stated that there has been a systemic failure as he reiterates his commitment to fill this gap in our security. This incident, like the Fort Hood shooting, exemplifies why our government must apply every valid preventative approach to identify a potential terrorist.

The myriad methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based approaches, “profiling” or “deception detection” - all continue to fail us. Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israeli methods of interrogation will not work in the United States.

All media outlets are discussing the need for profiling of Muslim Arabs, but profiling does not work for the following three reasons:

1. In practice, ethnic profiling tells us that within a certain group of people there is a higher probability for a terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is!

2. Ethnic profiling is contrary to the value our society places on diversity and freedom from discrimination based on racial, ethnic, religious, age and/or gender based criteria. If we use profiling it will diminish our position among the majority of affected citizens who support us as a beacon of freedom and liberty.

3. By narrowing our field of vision, profiling can lead to the consequence of letting terrorists go undetected, because the terrorist may not be part of any known “profile worthy” group – e.g., the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh

The Solution
Our unique methodology for screening passengers can easily discern (independently of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, and gender) the defining characteristics of human beings who are about to engage in terrorist acts.

The question is when will our government use true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists? Only when observers focus specifically on “aggressive behavior” do the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” clearly stand out, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters. This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

As our Government analyzes what went wrong regarding Abdulmatallab’s entrance into the United States, you can be assured that Al Qaeda is also analyzing how their plans went wrong. Who do you think will figure it out first . . . ?

Visit our blog at where we discuss the shooting at Fort Hood and the attempted terrorist act on Flight 253.

Phila said...

This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

Sounds good, but I've got an even better system. I can't go into the specifics for obvious reasons, but I can say that it involves magic ponies.

Abie said...

Nice illustration... Where did you find it ?

Phila said...

Nice illustration... Where did you find it ?

Oops, forgot the credit!

I'll add it to the post right now.