The _Washington Monthly_ has a puff piece this month about government websites for children. For reasons that date back to a Clinton Administration memo setting guidelines for web content, most Federal agencies have a special “For Kids” section of their sites. What really caught my eye in the article, though, was Rex, a disturbingly hunky mountain lion (aren’t even big cats rather lithe creatures?) who apparently enjoys cartography and speaks on behalf of (naturally) “Homeland Security’s Ready.gov”:http://www.ready.gov/kids/family/dad.html .
Sadly, though, even Rex probably has to put up with the ridiculous farce of the TSA. From the acidly correct “Boyd Group”:http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm airline consultancy:
The negligent people running the TSA have ignored the threat of liquid explosive detection for years. Right after 9/11, technologies were discussed that could ascertain if that bottle in the Samsonite was mouthwash, nitro, or a bottle of cheap hooch. But the TSA ignored them, because the TSA is a political bureaucracy run by incompetents who have had no anticipatory plan to counter anything.
Prime Example: Richard Reid sticks explosives in his shoe. The TSA reacts by requiring shoes to be put through a metal detector. A metal detector that can’t detect explosives. So, now we’re all going to be sitting on airplanes, with no chapstick, no make-up, no lip gloss, and no mascara. Unless the terrorist is a part-time hooker, this won’t do anything except make the coach cabin even less attractive…
The TSA’s idea of security is “target removal” – not counter-measures to protect our way of life. The idea is that if something can conceivably be used as a terrorist device, or if something might be a target, the philosophy is to simply remove it. It’s like circling the wagons tighter and tighter to make a smaller target. Not defending territory, but ceding it to terrorism.
Remember, too, that Kip Hawley, Michael Chertoff and the rest of these security cub scouts have no plan, no goals, no ideas about what to do next. So jumping into that intellectual vacuum we have the congressional likes of Reps Markey, Wyden, and Israel, et al., all of whom have their own crackpot, short-term, and generally inept ideas of how security should look… [W]hat we see today are not security measures. They are the actions of government officials who are totally clueless and essentially are having their strings pulled by events…
Instead of making us safer by crafting anticipative [sic] counter-measures to terrorism, and instead of developing programs that protect and defend our way of life, Chertoff, Hawley, and – deal with it – the entire Bush Administration have no plan except to have us run faster and faster away whenever there’s a threat.