Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy In this issue: 1. Corrections 2. Items
3. Groping 4. Browner 5. GOTV 6. Corpses
1. Corrections. Two corrections this week. In the first, I misidentified Marco Rubio (R, FL) who won the open Florida US Senate seat two weeks ago as Dino Rossi (R, WA) who lost to Patty Murray (D, WA) in a close race. The second correction concerns newly elected Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel (R). At the time of our last conversation, she had not received an invitation to the senate majority coalition. A couple hours after that call, she got a call offering a committee chairmanship. She turned down that offer, as democrats hold an absolute voting majority in the coalition and she did not want to be beholden to democrats upon her entry into the state senate.
2. Items. Interesting Items started out as an e-mail list 14 years ago on the old Town Hall CompuServe site. Over the years, I have added a web presence. But the web presence has always been static, allowing no reader input outside of an e-mail response. The time has come to update that web site, and I am in the process of creating a blog-format site that will allow reader comments directly to the weekly on the site. Hope to have it up and operating by the end of the month. Will notify all subscribers via e-mail once it is online. There will be growing pains as we find out what works and what does not. Your assistance in sorting all this out will be most appreciated. While the update will not bring my web presence completely up to state of the art (no Twitter, for example), it should be a substantial improvement over what we have today. I will maintain the current web site as an archive of past issues. Please let me know what you think.
3. Groping. The latest out of the vermin that are currently in charge of the TSA are the full body scan backscatter radiation x-ray machines. These came about in response to the Undie-Bomber’s attempt to blow up his crotch last Christmas. Of course, he was a suspected terrorist and on the no-fly list. Yet he manages to get himself on an international flight with a one way ticket and little to no luggage. Response out of Janet Napolitano’s TSA is either the new full body scanner machines – which show all the private areas in full detail to the screener or a full body patdown including groping of the “family jewels” – all same sex, of course, perhaps based on Napolitano’s questionable sexuality. Much better to request an opposite sex patdown. Most of this blew up last weekend with a man trying to fly out of San Diego refusing the new screening machine and then refusing the groping. He recorded the entire incident on his cell phone, including the threat of civil lawsuit by the TSA and posted it online. The airline pilots and flight crews are also refusing the new screening techniques, partly based on the fact that they are all security screened in the first place and some non-zero percentage of them now carry firearms, and the fact that they ought not to be exposed to yet some more ionizing radiation on a daily basis. There are photos of a TSA gonzo groping a screaming and very upset 3-year old little girl. Michael Savage had a story of a youngster in braces that the screeners went after, removing the braces, and not allowing the parents to touch the youngster while they did so. The kid, of course fell down while the screeners watched and did not assist. Drudge ran a photo of a female in Muslim garb groping a nun in full habit. Welcome to the Brave New World of the TSA, where privacy means nothing. Napolitano responded to critics over the weekend by defending both the new procedures and the new machines, inviting the traveling public not to travel if they have a problem with the new procedures. She also said she would consider an opt out option for those with religious objections – read Muslims – to the new procedures. Great. We now have a new security procedure that allows Muslims to opt out on religious grounds a new screening procedure intended to stop Muslims who want to blow us up. There is a national opt-out day scheduled for Nov. 24. There is only one way to stop this madness, and that way is to require every single elected official, bureaucrat and muckety muck to go first thru the naked image machine and the “enhanced” patdown before any citizen goes through. Kind of makes you wonder what the TSA will do when the first Muslim terrorist with explosives in their rectal cavity successfully blows a hole in an aircraft inflight. Cavity searches in our future? Perhaps. This must stop immediately. It is time to shut down the TSA and return the responsibility for passenger screening back to the airlines where it belongs.
4. Browner. The Interior Department Inspector General released a report last week describing how the WH modified draft versions of the offshore drilling ban so it would appear that the panel of experts had recommended the ban. WH Energy Czar Carol Browner’s fingerprints are all over the rewrite. While head of Clinton’s EPA, Browner was particularly adept in doctoring evidence (secondhand smoke as a carcinogen), hiding evidence, deleting e-mails and shredding paperwork. She famously told her people that if they did not produce any paperwork on their deliberations, there would be no paperwork available for congress to subpoena. Browner and her staff are at the center of the effort to mislead the general public about why oil exploration was banned offshore the entire US. The ban has been tossed twice by a federal judge based on lack of adherence to normal process changes and lack of justification in making the decision to ban drilling and exploration. Unfortunately, this has not stopped Salazar’s Interior from slow-rolling permits for all offshore work since May, effectively shutting down exploration completely. If I were the new Republican majority in the House, I would defund all WH energy positions instantly. I would also consider completely defunding the EPA and the former Minerals Management Service (whatever it is called today) and returning those functions to the many states. But that’s just me. Malkin, Thurs.
5. GOTV. MS Governor Haley Barbour who also heads up the Republican Governor’s Association publicly criticized the RNC get out the vote (GOTV) efforts in the 72 hours leading up to the election. Barbour called the effort sub-par. In contrast, it appears that the democrats’ last minute efforts in rousing their base with visits from Obama, Biden and Clinton did manage to turn out enough of their inner city base to keep a disastrous election cycle from turning into a catastrophe. Barbour’s criticism, which according to Red State on Nov 9, carries some weight in the national party, likely signals the start of a what should be a bruising fight to replace Michael Steele as RNC Chairman.
6. Corpses. The democrat congress last year passed yet another anti-smoking statue. This one requires the FDA to issue regulations that order cigarette manufacturers to put more graphic anti smoking warnings on the sides of packages of cigarettes. There are a number of proposed photos of corpses that Allahpundit in Hot Air Thursday described as looking like they come from the movie Dawn of the Dead (zombies). A sufficiently enterprising cigarette manufacturer ought to wrap themselves in the new requirements and produce a Zombie brand of cigarettes, and market them exclusively to young smokers – something that would make the tobacco Nazis wild. Note that this is a product that has always been known as unhealthy. It is a product that was referred to in the early part of the 20th Century as “coffin nails.” I you want to ban it; ban it. But the politicians never will, as tobacco is one of the great cash cows for taxation. But they feel free to torture both smokers and manufacturers with an endless array of rules, regulations, disgusting photos, and anything else they believe will be done for our own good. CS Lewis observed in God in the Dock (1948) that:
“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
More later — AG
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.
Note: Interesting Items can be found also at the following locations: MatSu Valley News and the home page. Rod Martin’s The Vanguard site is also a long-time supporter of this column. Alex Gimarc is a long-time member of the previous Town Hall Conservative group.