Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sigh.

Waterboarding. Wiretapping. Rectal probes at the airport.

In my brief lifetime, the popular icon of the American law enforcement officer has gone from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Special Agent Jack Bauer.

Where the f___ did we go wrong?

32 comments:

Marko said...

The threat! The threat!

Never before have we faced an enemy so dangerous, you know. Never before have we been up against a small-ish gang of neolithic goatherders in the grasp of religious insanity, who may or may not be able to get their hands on a nuke someday, and maybe smuggle it into the country, where they may be able to BLOW UP A CITY!!!

Why aren't you cowering in fear and signing a blank check on your civil liberties like the rest of your fellow citizens?

BryanP said...

Every time I fly I'm grateful that Richard Reid wasn't known as the Underwear Bomber ...

Dr. StrangeGun said...

"Where the f___ did we go wrong?"

Nevermind that! Tell me where the bomb is!

Gregg said...

We saved the French... twice.

Timmeeee said...

It might have something to do with the scumbags you keep electing!

Paul Simer said...

A couple of corrections:

"Why aren't you cowering in fear and signing a blank check on your civil liberties like the rest of your fellow citizens?"

You mean "subjects", right?

"Nevermind that! Tell me where the bomb is!"

You mean:

"WE'RE OUT OF TIME! *thwack, thwack* TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS! *smack, rrrrip, gurgle*"

TBeck said...

Are we sure we're not confusing waterboarding with a shower?

It rubs the soap on to its skin, or it gets the hose again.

Not too far from where I live a teenager drilled into an ammonia pipe for reasons known only to himself. The resultant cloud of gaseous ammonia shut down a good chunk of the town and a major highway for almost two days.

Now I'm waiting for the calls to eliminate chemical pipelines because they are TOO DANGEROUS. If successful, this will of course shift the traffic to large trucks and trains. Yeah, I feel safer already.

When my inlaws flew to visit one of their children, they brought along a tea-strainer. It looks like a pair of scissors, but it has two flat planes instead of blades. Watching the TSA examine the thing was like watching monkeys doing trig. You can tell they are thinking really hard but nothing is coming up. Maybe the monolith will help...

Meanwhile, we leave hundreds of miles of borders undefended and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

Marko,

You're right! Those "neolithic goatherders" could never pull off an attack that would kill thousands of Americans, and they certainly don't have any ties to officials in nuclear armed countries who have a similar "grasp of religious insantity". Bah! Or perhaps that should be, "baaaaaaa!" Must be nice having every moring be September Tenth...

Cybrludite said...

That last was me. Blogger was not taking my password for some reason.

OA said...

"Where the f___ did we go wrong?"

Tyranny of the petticoat. Feeling safe is more important than being free. Now go layer your cat in bubble wrap and put locks on all your guns. It's for that self-fellatiating goat that may or may not be muslim...or the children...or us all...

"Must be nice having every moring be September Tenth..."

It's far nicer to be hell and gone away from cities.

Marko said...

cyberludite,

you want to piss away your civil rights for the promise of safety from teh evil muzlimz, that's your business. Problem is, you'll piss mine away as well.

Funny how three thousand dead means that we have to flush the Constitution down the drain ("it's not a suicide pact!"), but forty thousand traffic deaths every year are shrugged off as the price of freedom. Ban cars, and you'll save ten times more lives per year than died on 9/11 in one attack.

Anonymous said...

anbijhthe people don't want war... That is understood. But... it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. — Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials, 1946 from Nuremberg Diary, by G. M. Gilbert

Roberta X said...

Godwin's Law bedarned, he's right.

Sean_Galt said...

I myself cannot possibly figure out where we went wrong. after all, I was crazy for supporting Buchanan a few years back, and apparently now get lumped in with moonbats because I REALLY want leadership in this country to follow the Constitution...
*SIGH* is right.

TBeck said...

"All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

The flip side to that is "Peace in our time" where the people are unwilling to admit that the bad man next door really does want to kill them and is working hard towards accomplishing that very result.

Is a person less than patriotic because they don't want to go to war without first being attacked? No, not really.

Is a person unpatriotic for actively impeding full prosecution of said war and offering aid and comfort to the enemy? You betcha.

Too many politicians today are hiding behind the mantle of the loyal opposition in order to acively undermine the ability of this country to end the damn war successfully and bring the troops home.

What does it say when a party seeks defeat in battle to further its own agenda?

The Earth Bound Misfit said...

tbeck:

What does it say when a party actively tries to suborn the Constitution and bring us closer to becoming a fascist state only for the sake of furthering its own agenda?

GeorgeH said...

Sheriff Andy Taylor?

I'd settle for Sgt. Joe Friday, the man who served warrants in a cheap business suit, and did it politely.

I'm damned tired of being a 'potential perp'.

Cybrludite said...

Marko,

you want to piss away your civil rights for the promise of safety from teh evil muzlimz, that's your business. Problem is, you'll piss mine away as well.

The obvious counter-point is that it's easy to say such things when you live in Erehwon, Tn. I happen to live in a major port city. If my side of the debate is wrong, then the Feds needlessly get a sneak peek at the Kirk/Spock fan-fic you & Tam are working on as a quirk of the intertubes routes the email through a server in Belgium. If your side is wrong, me & everyone I care about are dead. Slight difference in what the stakes are for each of us, non? It may be a comfort to you that no principals were tarnished while you watch the mushroom cloud or Beslan-type stand-off on CNN. For me seeing the cloud in person or knowing it's my niece's school, not so much.

Tam said...

You live in a port city? Wow.

One of the larger 'burbs of Knoxville is a little hamlet called "Oak Ridge".

Google/Wiki up what happens there and get back to me.

I grew up in the outskirts of ATL, right on one of the biggest ground zeros in the SE. It didn't give me the urge to shoot my own principles out from under me.

If I'm willing to give up my freedom to keep me and mine alive, why not just staplegun a bedsheet to a pool cue and wave it at Achmed now and save all the fuss?

Anonymous said...

All of this reminds of a quote that is credited to three different writers, but the one I like best goes as follows:

"Why stand we here idle? What is that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of the chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what the course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." -- Patrick Henry

My sentiments exactly.
All The Best,
Frank W. James

Cybrludite said...

I'm well aware of what they do at Oak Ridge. Being that we're more worried about Marko's "neolithic goatherders" than Soviet ICBMs, I'm unimpressed with that "We're a bigger target than you are. Neener, neener." schtick. What got my Irish up on this subject is his going on about The Threat!(tm) as if it were some made up election year ploy. I'd be more moved by an agrument about these measures being ineffective. The absurdity of picking folks at random to be probulated, instead of focusing on the folks who match the demographics of those trying to kill us, for example, is a program that should go. Given that the escalating series of attacks inside the US by Al Queda pretty much stopped after 9/11 and our responses both on the military & legal front tells me that these measures are working.

Al Queda & their buddies are waging war against us. If it were back in the day & the Soviets were pushing tank columns down the Pacific coast towards Califonia, would you be requiring a wiretap warrant to intercept their radio traffic? Going back to the strictly law enforcement model of counter terrorism which we were using in the 1990s would be no different.

Tam said...

"I'm unimpressed with that "We're a bigger target than you are. Neener, neener." schtick."

Hey, you started it.

But on topic, Effectiveness of a measure != Constitutionality of a measure.

Cybrludite said...

But on topic, Effectiveness of a measure != Constitutionality of a measure.

That particular horse left the barn back when Lincoln was president. However, Effectiveness does = a greatly reduced chance that I have to see my home town destroyed (again). I'm not signing a "blank check" and I'm all for stringing anyone who abuses such powers up by their yarbles. I just don't see why me & mine have to be at increased risk of horrible screaming death so that you can imagine we have a constitutional state of affairs that hasn't existed in living memory.

OA said...

"Al Queda & their buddies are waging war against us."

So's the UN. And China, or at least their products. And lots of mean little viruses and their bacteria buddies. And the bourbon I drink and fatty foods I eat. And soccer moms in SUVs. Increasing animal attacks, too. And, sweet Jesus, it must be said, we start the slow process of dying as soon as we're born. But damn it, those aren't good enough reasons to be a nanny-statist coward.

Risk is everywhere, and "more government" has never been the solution to mitigate it.

bumper sticker philosopher said...

We don't have Jack Bauer as a representative of American law enforcement now.

We have Barney Fife. Except he has more than one bullet to polish now.

He dresses in black tactical swat gear carries an MP-5 making us all take our shoes off at the airport to nip terrorism in the bud.

Anonymous said...

Blame me. I voted for Bush.

(The first time around, anyway...)

Dave said...

Cybrludite:
Given that the escalating series of attacks inside the US by Al Queda pretty much stopped after 9/11 and our responses both on the military & legal front tells me that these measures are working.
You know why elephants paint their toenails red? So they can hide in the strawberry bushes.

Given that we've never seen an elephant in the strawberry bushes, these measures must be working.

Rob said...

Cyberludite says: "I just don't see why me & mine have to be at increased risk of horrible screaming death..."

You choose to live in a high-risk area. None of us chose that for you. Why should we surrender our liberty so that you can feel an illusory sense of safety while you engage in high risk behavior?

Life is full of trade-offs. If you're worried about terrorists, you're free leave your "port city" for a low risk backwater.

Tam said...

"That particular horse left the barn back when Lincoln was president."

A f$cking lot of horses left the barn when Lenin... er, Lincoln was president.

Precedent != Right.

Zendo Deb said...

This started before 9/11. And the image started to change before Jack Bauer or "The Shield" came along.

Was Dirty Harry Callahan the model for Jack Bauer? (In one of the movies - the first? - he tortured the guy to find out where the kid was buried.)

Even on "Law and Order" the cops lie to overcome little issues of reasonable cause, and we are supposed to applaud them, because they are really only interested in catching the bad guys (and trampling over the constitution is just the cost of doing business).

And the militarization of the police started long before 9/11. People thought "SWAT" was neat show in the 70s. Now grandmothers in Georgia are gunned down by SWAT and we are surprised.

The War on (Some) Drugs, and its "anything goes to stop the bad guy" ideal is a place to look for starters.

Zendo Deb said...

As to the crap at the airports, that is just to convince the sheep in the public that something is being done to make them safe.

comatus said...

oa, You are wrong, and I agree with you. That's an awful place to stand.

Bourbon and fat are good for you in the proper ratio. Somewhere in the Great Beyond we'll get to discuss how that works out.

Boy am I glad I didn't have to be the first to bring Barney into it.