Fearmongering & Friends

Speaking this morning on Fox News, barking mad “conservative” radio talk-show host Mike Gallagher proposed that “every known Muslim” in the world (approximately 1.8 billion people) be subjected to an intensified level scrutiny prior to boarding an aircraft using a degrading procedure similar to that employed by the Israeli airline El Al when dealing with Palestinian travellers/suspected terrorists.

This immediately followed a snarky interrogation of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano on the same program in which she was blamed for the failure of the flight risk assessment system established under the Bush administration because she hadn’t completely re-engineered it since taking office, before being sideswiped by Brian Kilmeade with an irrelevant line of questioning about the repatriation of certain Gitmo detainees to Yemen.

About these ads

32 Comments

Filed under Media Bias

32 responses to “Fearmongering & Friends

  1. Ti-Guy

    How can you watch this stuff without dying a little each time inside?

    I couldn’t get past Mike Gallagher saying “Watching the Homeland Security Secretary should have been chilling to every American. It was a disgraceful response…” And that was after persisting beyond Brian Kilmeade’s douchebag face and K.T. McFarland’s implausible hair.

    Al Qaeda’s next move will be a walk in the park. They don’t have to do much of anything to bring that nation to a standstill. At this point, a cock-eyed look from anyone swarthy will be enough.

  2. Bill

    Why do you watch this shit?

  3. The ’round-them-all-up’ mentality has been associated with some of the greatest tragedies in human history, yet some of us never learn.

    We ought to round up all those Fox News contributors! No, wait a minute…

  4. Bill

    It’s funny to hear the rethuglicans lay this at Obama’s feet while 9/11 happened under Bush’s watch.

    Did he ever get to finish “My Pet Goat”?

  5. Ti-Guy

    Meanwhile, our own quislings are writing crap like this.

    Sure, great idea. Let’s align our border security policies with those of a bankrupt nation of timorous ignoramuses, hysterical psychotics and fear-mongering demagogues (who, as one obnoxious American is quoted here, believes being Canadian is just us being ‘difficult’).

    Frankly, we’d be better off getting the British to control our foreign policy and our borders again. Less chance of intruders being tortured in secret prisons, I should imagine.

    I’m disturbed by the lack of attention among decent Americans to this move among its elite institutions to weaken our territorial sovereignty. Maybe we should start acting like Mexicans and get them freaked out enough to build a wall. That would suit me just fine.

    More constructively, maybe someone should take Janet Napolitano on a tour of our ocean frontiers and point out to her just how the climate, the geography and the sheer distance and isolation make those borders far less porous than she and her countrymen believe. It’s much easier for teh terrahrists to swim ashore in Florida and blow something up than it is landing in Cap-de-la-Nouvelle-France.

  6. Jay

    Interesting.

    My former apartment building is owned by El Al and has a revolving door of non -english speakers continuously flowing through managerial positions. They are usually around for 6 months to a year and a new staff is imported.

  7. Frankly, we’d be better off getting the British to control our foreign policy and our borders again.

    Now we’re talking! ;)

    I’m disturbed by the lack of attention among decent Americans to this move among its elite institutions to weaken our territorial sovereignty…

    …as if they could give a shit. These days, the metric for being a decent American is roughly what it was for being a decent German during the waning years of the Weimar Republic–simply the disinclination to join the screaming-banshee masses baying for blood. The decent ones are just passive when confronted by idiocy and injustice; they’re not actively working for good, something they know would guarantee them a spot on a no-fly list and an IRS audit.

  8. Ti-Guy

    The decent ones are just passive when confronted by idiocy and injustice; they’re not actively working for good, something they know would guarantee them a spot on a no-fly list and an IRS audit.

    The consequences don’t even have to rise to that level of direness, it appears to me. Simply being ignored, mocked, accused of being earnest, elitist or the fear of losing one’s status in one’s clique is probably enough.

    Bah. I’m being too cynical. But these never-ending terrahrist extravaganzas just brings that out in me.

  9. Bill — Why do you watch this shit?

    That’s a good question. Aside from being a perverse glutton for punishment, I’ve always felt it somewhat important to understand the rationale behind the utterly crazed notions that seem to drive American (and by extension, our own) domestic security and foreign policy decisions.

  10. I’m with red, I wonder what they’re thinking. But unfortunately, no matter how much I read, watch or listen I still don’t get it.

    Reading too much liblogs, progressives et. al. is just an echo chamber. But when I wander over to say, the Blogging Tories I find just another echo chamber of another kind. And neither side will ever convince the other.

    In my more cynical moments I wonder if the USA will go the way of the USSR before it. But I eventually come to my senses and realize I wouldn’t wish that upon them.

    I think the long term victors will be the most tolerant and inclusive. Intolerant, exclusive cliques will whither by attrition.

  11. TRN — I stand by the phlegmatic response of the British in the face of “terrorist” attacks by the IRA as a better model of the attitude needed in these troubled times than the bedwetting paranoia and ridiculous (not to mention largely useless) multi-billion dollar security measures now be imposed by American authorities in defense of their “Homeland”…

    There’s a story I particularly like back in the days when the IRA was routinely setting off bombs in the Wimpy chain of hamburger restaurants in England. The recommended solution to this from one wag was “Well fine then… just don’t eat at a Wimpy’s for a few weeks.”

    Why on earth do people not get it that “terrorists” achieve their objectives when they succeed in scaring the bejeebus out of other people and forcing them to surrender their rights for the sake of a false sense of security? Statistically speaking, the actual threat of “terrorism” is minimal in the extreme. You’re far more likely to be struck by lightening or involved in a car accident than being blown to bits by some suicidal religious fanatic.

  12. Ti-Guy

    But unfortunately, no matter how much I read, watch or listen I still don’t get it.

    People are hesitant to believe that this fear-mongering and consequent security theatre is by design but unfortunately, that’s the truth. Just look who it benefits? In fact, from their perspective, it’s perfectly rational.

  13. Bill

    “I’ve always felt it somewhat important to understand the rationale behind the utterly crazed notions that seem to drive American (and by extension, our own) domestic security and foreign policy decisions.”

    No offense but there are far more credible outlets to explore those issues in a serious manner.

    Stay away from Fucks News…not good for you man!

  14. What I found most appalling in that shrieking extravaganza on Fox was outright rejection of the idea that “terrorism” is in essence a criminal activity — as such, it can never be “defeated” entirely or eradicated… it will always be with us in one form or another for various reasons and can be only be guarded against with sensible precautions and more intelligent investigative techniques.

    Instead however, the wingnuts want to classify it as a “war” of some kind that can be waged pointlessly with no end, constantly ramping up ever-increasing “security” measures, always with the phantom goal of some ultimate “victory” or triumphant defeat of it. In my estimation, the whole concept of that approach futile and beyond stupid.

  15. Bill — What would the more “credible outlets” in this regard be… can you provide some examples?

    I’m not questioning the legitimacy of your opinion in terms of Faux News being an “unserious” source, but unfortunately it’s very influential and therefore can’t simply be ignored in favour of more sober and less inflammatory rhetoric.

  16. @Ti-Guy: I totally get why F&F, Beck, Rush, et. al. do it. Ratings. And it’s pretty shallow, too, IMHO.

    I think it’s their consumers that I can’t understand. How can you vilify ‘Big Government’ so forcefully, then believe ‘Big Business’ is blameless for the financial industry catastrophe (or the auto industry, or the newspapers, etc.).

    How can you fight against health care reform if you’re paying for health insurance – do you really believe Big Government would do worse than Big Business, ignoring the government run military health care and Medicare?

    I guess what I don’t get is how people could be that gullible.

  17. Ti-Guy

    it will always be with us in one form or another

    That’s even truer now that ever before, since it’s abundantly evident that even a minor incident such as this can send the World’s Only Superpower into hysterics.

  18. Red: if you label someone a terrorist, they’re exempt from the judicial system and all that liberal biased due process getting in the way of convicting the guilty. It’s much more effective to assume guilt and move straight to punishment. After all, if someone commits terrorism they must be guilty, right? Innocent people don’t commit terrorist acts. I’m not going where those assumptions lead.

    I recognize it’d be pretty difficult to have the same level of rigor on a battlefield as on a domestic city street – two very different scales of conflict. But terrorism doesn’t happen on a battlefield, so it should be treated as a crime; it’s almost always domestic to somebody.

  19. Ti-Guy

    I think it’s their consumers that I can’t understand.

    You must know people like that. People who, when confronted with complex problems, are far more comfortable blaming someone…anyone…for the problem or settling on easy answers to difficult questions rather than educating themselves or doing something substantive about it. That their focus is quite often on Big Government rather than on Big Business is something fairly unique to Americans, despite the fact that it’s entirely irrational. Some of the best things America has done have been through its government.

  20. TRN — Not to mention the schizoid thinking when it comes to the military and “big government” as explained in a previous post. Yes, the contradictions are pretty thick on the ground in this debate. I mean really, defending monopolistic insurance companies that routinely make life hell for doctors and patients alike by intervening in the health care process simply to protect their profit margins from being eroded by all those pesky and hideously expensive sick people. What a joke.

  21. Ti-Guy — …even a minor incident such as this can send the World’s Only Superpower into hysterics.

    No kidding. It’s completely insane. Rather than focusing on the failures of the elaborate screening system that’s been constructed post 9/11, why not devote more attention to the heroics of Jasper Schuringa, the passenger who subdued the mad bomber…? If everyone just “manned up” like that, there would be no need for all of this evidently useless security infrastructure.

  22. Ti-Guy

    why not devote more attention to the heroics of Jasper Schuringa, the passenger who subdued the mad bomber

    Amen to that. But he’s not an American. He’s Dutch.

  23. But what action to take? Ti-Guy, RT and I are agreeing in another echo chamber. And we’d have no luck convincing conservatives of this.

    Waiting until the US deteriorates (eats itself?) doesn’t seem like a compassionate response to me, though I can’t think of any way to save them from themselves. As a Canadian, I want to carefully back away from their insanity, if I can.

  24. Ti-Guy

    Waiting until the US deteriorates (eats itself?) doesn’t seem like a compassionate response to me, though I can’t think of any way to save them from themselves.

    Although I understand the dire consequences, that really isn’t our concern. Our focus should be on our own issues. We just simply can’t do anything.

  25. TRN — Just because the three of us happen to agree on something doesn’t automatically make this an echo-chamber. Go one thread up to witness evidence of the sometimes fractious nature of this place.

    What to do? Tough question. As individuals, we can simply refuse to be provoked into a fearful attitude and insist that our elected representatives stop over-reacting to every little threat to our “security”… But of course it’s not as easy as that because there are economic considerations at play that unfortunately originate in America and spread out across the world — not just at our own border (or the wider “perimeter” imagined by some), but extend far and away to air traffic and marine ports everywhere — that now demand compliance with all manner of impractical security measures. So in that regard, there’s probably nothing that can be done; at least not by bit players like us that will get dragged into the American’s Orwellian matrix of defensive posturing.

  26. Maybe I’ll make a list of what I can do (much easier than actually doing what’s on the list, LOL).

    1. Don’t give in to nonsensical arguments.
    2. Act as an example as best I can.
    3. Don’t act in a way that supports strawman stereotypes.
    4. Put my money where my mouth is.
    5. Recognize and promote positive models (h/t Red)
    6. Learn what NOT to do to avoid mistakes.
    7. Be as honest to myself as I would to others.
    8. Refuse to settle for the status quo.
    9. Have patience (tough one for me).

    There’s no way I’m taking those on as New Year’s resolutions, LOL. Well, maybe I should, if it makes me feel better.

  27. Ti-Guy

    I’ll add no. 10: Never make New Year’s resolutions. Think of them as aspirational goals.

  28. TNR — That would be a pretty good set of resolutions, if you were actually to take them up as such. But I’d have to concur with Ti-Guy in terms of regarding them merely as “aspirational goals”… Much more practical latitude when classed that way — e.g., sometimes the status quo is reasonably acceptable.

  29. I wonder what such a list would look like over at the Blogging Tories?

  30. Ti-Guy

    I wonder what such a list would look like over at the Blogging Tories?

    Damned if I know. Maybe something like this?

  31. Guzzeuntite

    “… even a minor incident …”

    It’s only a “minor” incident because it failed.

    Nonetheless, it does prove the underlying premise of this post: There is clearly nothing to fear from Muslims of any sort. We should all carry on as if nothing is happening and nobody is doing it.

  32. Guzzeuntite

    Re: This “minor incident.”

    Since when is it a “minor incident” to attempt to bring down a plane of innocent holiday travelers on Christmas, but it a major fucking deal to subject a known mass-killer to water-boarding to find out more about his plans for additional mass-killings or to suggest that the feckless government actually, you know, not allow those with suspected terrorist ties to fly in a plane without first having them subject to a full body cavity search by tough-guy French Canadians from northern Ontario?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s