C-SPAN. Phone calls. Stupidity. It's like one of life's great certainties; doesn't matter what day of the week, month of the year, or even the topic, C-SPAN gives the tinfoil hat types a place to verbalize their bizarre worldviews. This morning seems worse than usual, though, as I haven't heard anything vaguely sane yet. When I hear stuff like "Obama is shoving health care down our throats without any debate" when we've just lived through almost a full year of Senate hearings, House hearings, townhall meetings with constituents, more Senate and House hearings, floor debates in both the Senate and the House, and the Senate bill actually being read aloud in the Senate chamber, I really do have to wonder just what planet those people are living on.
And then we have the underwear bomber. It's astounding what a nation of absolutely spineless sniveling cowards we've become, perfectly willing to cower in a corner in total fear because one guy with a customized Depends slips through security. Grow up, people. There's no such thing as absolute safety, total security, this side of the grave. Worry about things that have a better chance of killing you in air travel, like substandard maintenance done in Guatemala* or stressed out, underpaid pilots screwing up because airline management isn't willing to pay union wages in this country, instead of the extremely remote possibility a fanatic or two is going to evade current security screening technology. The fanatics are always going to succeed in the end -- everyone is freaking out now over a guy who got on plane in Nigeria and then changed planes in the Netherlands to get here while conveniently forgetting that back in September 2001 the hijackers boarded domestic flights and were armed with boxcutters, not explosives.
In any case, this latest fanatic apparently trained in Yemen, and now it's becoming all Yemen, all the time in the news media discussions. Yemen is apparently a country with major internal security problems, including an on-going civil war, so am I wrong in thinking we're looking at the next place the U.S. is going to be sending troops? We've already got "advisers" and aircraft there, including tactical aircraft being used to bomb Al Qaeda sites in the country, so can the actual war be far behind? And if Al Qaeda is now doing most of its training in Yemen, why are we still in Afghanistan?
[*A number of U.S. air carriers really do outsource their major maintenance to facilities located in Central America instead of doing it in-house or at a U.S. FBO.]