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August 10, 2006

The Saddest Thing About All Of This

Isn't the loss of our carry on luggage, or our precious "civil liberties", or the fact that, for some short period of time we will actually pay attention to the fact that there are a bunch of deranged nut jobs out there trying to blow us all to Kingdom Come.

It's how little it takes to turn us against each other, to cause the oh-so-civilized West to go picknicking on each other:

More moonbattery from an American ex-pat in Britain. (Hat tip- reader Susan). The title of the post is "A Sad Day for Liberty." Un-freaking-believable. A jihadi plot to down some 10-20 airplaines and kill thousands of people is foiled and this woman is whining because she won't be able to take a book on a plane and because Arabs are being profiled.

Because though I don't agree with everything Helen has to say, I too mourn the loss of liberty.

I, too, have to roll my eyes a bit at the sudden hypervigilance that I know all too well won't last. And as little as I like it, I have to admit that Helen asks some very good questions. Questions that we might not like the answers to.

What I always thought was worth saving about America is that it was a place where questions were accepted, even welcomed. But maybe that makes me a moonbat too.

My son is a police officer and my husband is a career Marine. Both have chosen to devote their lives to protecting others. And I'll continue to support my country and my government. But we don't have to chew each other up to do that. This nation is strong enough to handle principled questions from loyal Americans. And when I read Helen's post, I saw nothing that distressed me, that makes me think she's disloyal, nothing that would make me call her a moonbat. I saw only someone I would be proud to call neighbor, whether or not I agree with everything she has to say.

I think maybe we need to check the rhetoric.

Posted by Cassandra at August 10, 2006 04:10 PM



BRAVO! Very well said.

Mother Teresa on toast. I'd like someone (Michelle?) to tell me when everyone on the right started thinking with one brain. We (Republicans/Conservatives) aren't supposed to ask questions or have differing opinions any longer? I guess my daily dose of Kool Aid wasn't strong enough because I agree more with Helen than Michelle. Does that mean I'm a moonbat? Pfffft.

Posted by: Janette at August 10, 2006 04:42 PM

I have a tendency to be snarky, but it just seems the general level of civility in the blogosphere is really declining lately.

People are going to disagree. That is a given. But I think perhaps we can do so respectfully. I am just sure I am triumphantly, majestically, un-fricking-believably right most of the time, but hey - we can all listen to the other side. Sometimes they make good points too.

The alternative is that life - and discourse -gets pretty damned incestuous.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 04:47 PM

I'm sorry. There ain't much in Helen's post that I agree with.

She complains about the previous lack of security but when someone actually tries to do something about it she gets mad at the "loss of liberty".

Every measure of security costs some liberty. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Masked Menace at August 10, 2006 04:55 PM

I read the post this morning and thought much the same thing. I really couldn't find raving moonbat anywhere in there.
The only thing I'd disagree with, and this could have been snark on her part, was the bit about hoping Tony Blair had to ride on a plane with a transparent bag in his lap.
I mean..c'mon. That's silly but hardly anything I'd get worked up about.

I notice that she's turned off comments and knows that Michelle Malkin linked to her this morning.
Hate email and comments over that post?
I wonder if anyone actually read the damned thing?

I used to like Michelle's writing but these days, I'm shaking my head more than nodding in agreement.

I am more upset about Jikadi Kevin crying right now 'cause I'm, you know, sensitive like that.

Posted by: Carrie at August 10, 2006 04:57 PM

I guess more to the point, the moonbat insult from Malkin isn't called for. Helen is just wrapped up in her emotions right now. She doesn't want to "feel" like a suspect, but some of us don't want to be, you know, actually, well, DEAD.

Malkin has made the same mistake. Getting wrapped up in her feelings, over someone elses.

Posted by: Masked Menace at August 10, 2006 04:59 PM

Actually, MM, I think Helen's point is that if the security measures before weren't cutting it, how is it that these other things (which are RIDICULOUS, IMO) are going to make it any better? With all that we are doing, why is it that it doesn't seem to work? Where does it stop? Are we going to be naked on planes soon?

And since when are we not supposed to ask the tough questions?

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 10, 2006 05:00 PM


I knew this post wasn't a good idea, but I'm not backing down.

It's not that I necessarily agree with her.

I agree with her right to say it.

And I think she's absolutely right in asking why the sudden vigilance - you know darned well this won't last.

And I don't like to see name calling, I guess. If you read her post, her points were far more nuanced and she did make some good points. There is absolutely no way some of the things they are doing can be sustained, long term. No way.

And if that is true, it begs two questions:

1. Were the measures already in place too lax?

2. Are the new measures an overreaction?

Both excellent questions. Judging from what happened in the wake of 9/11, I think the answers to both those questions are probably pretty apparent.

They don't need to be answered right away. And we don't need to be hysterical about it. But her post was hardly hysterical. She just was saddened, as anyone would be, and asked some questions.

Ironically, Michelle has been pushing for tighter controls, and that is one of the things Helen mentioned in her post - why wasn't it harder to get this stuff on a plane BEFORE?

Hardly a moonbat sort of question.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 05:04 PM

Caltechgirl summed up what was the actual point of Helen's post.

I know. I wrote it.

The comments did get turned off. I got not only hatemail, but a death threat as well. I just didn't need it. I too echo the earlier sentiment-did anyone READ the damn post before just labelling me "a moonbat"?

Posted by: Helen at August 10, 2006 05:04 PM

She doesn't want to "feel" like a suspect, but some of us don't want to be, you know, actually, well, DEAD

Heh. That was kind of my reaction. I know you well enough, Menace, to know you weren't bashing Helen.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 05:06 PM

Part of the "really tough questions" I suspect is that there probably isn't anything we're willing to accept that will make us truly safe.

That is the answer no one wants to hear.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 05:07 PM

I am sorry for that, Helen.

That was what made me write this post. I don't understand what motivates people to do things like that.

It is really kind of pitiful when people can't even express an opinion without drawing all kinds of hateful nonsense.

I will admit that I only scanned your post b/c I'm in the middle of my work day. But I didn't see anything even vaguely moonbatty about it and my husband used to be in anti-terrorism.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 05:11 PM

I bookmarked your blog this morning after reading a bit from it today, the Liberty post included.
I thought you sounded interesting and intelligent.

Plus, you live in England AND your boyfriend has a British accent..:)
I'd like to move there with my husband and force him to speak with that accent...

Posted by: Carrie at August 10, 2006 05:13 PM

I'm not saying she shouldn't be asking the questions. And I'm not saying they shouldn't be answered honestly and sincerly.

I'm just saying, you want to know why they aren't already sufficient? Because most people won't like having to submit to what it would take to make it sufficient.

If she had said something along the lines of "Nothing is going to make any real difference and the I'll take the risk", I could sympathize with that statement.

But, you can't say you want security that works and then complain about the loss of liberty.

She's not a moonbat, she's just wrong.

Posted by: Masked Menace at August 10, 2006 05:13 PM

I've lived in two countries where the term "police state" wouldn't be an exaggeration.
Turkey, right after the 1980 military coup and Egypt in 2001. Sure, they're, for the most part, secure but the cost is high and as Americans, we would hate it.
Absolutely hate it.

Posted by: Carrie at August 10, 2006 05:18 PM

I thought Helen's post was reasonably written and without moonbattery, and I agree that it is sad that times are what they are and those kinds of questions need to be asked.

I think the where the post raises my hackles is the specter of the question in hindsight of 'Why isn't this done better?'. Or the idea that someone *else* hasn't done their homework to make the system a better system and the expectation that someone else fix it.

But in truth, I'm not sure Helen really asks that question and I may be reading too much into things. So, in the end, I read it as a sad note about the way things seem to need to be.

Posted by: Kevin L at August 10, 2006 06:03 PM

Helen, death threats and cries of moonbattery are clearly unacceptable in response to your post. However, I think there are two very self-contradictory desires you express in it. You say:

This is my biggest issue. It's as a security expert said this morning-it's not that hard to smuggle things onto airplanes. To which I want to shout: Why not? What is being done wrong that makes it not hard?

When you follow that up with complaints about the security procedures being too unpleasant and liberty-stealing, you contradict yourself. The only way to stop people from smuggling stuff onto planes is to rigorously search the stuff the passengers bring on. And that means all passengers, not just Muslim-looking ones (which naturally you would disapprove of), both because not all Islamic extremists look Muslim and because terrorists, like drug smugglers, could easily dupe an innocent Westerner into carrying a bomb or other contraband on board.

If you want to make the point that we can't have perfect security, and the security will inevitably be too lax to really protect us, therefore we might as well prefer convenience over security, that would be a legitimate point; I might even agree with you.

As for your criticism of the Israeli security measures, I suspect you would feel a bit different if you lived in a very small country where terrorists worked very hard to kill innocent civilians by strapping bombs on themselves and blowing you up along with them at restaurants and bus stops and cafes.

We would all like to be both secure and unbothered by security restrictions. Sadly for the world, that is not yet possible.

P.S. I think the emotional response of Malkin and others was generated mostly by the title of your post and your appearing to blame the government, rather than the terrorists, for the loss of liberty.

Posted by: PatHMV at August 10, 2006 06:07 PM

It's funny.

My husband is one of those guys who always ends up working out the mundane details of crap like this, and the first thing you learn is that it is NEVER simple.

Things happen for a reason. Even stupid things. He is a brilliant administrator, but people always criticize when they haven't had to wade into the shitty little details of why things turned out the way they did.

Very often, things weren't run right. But sometimes, the guy running things did everything right and still it sucked. Because there was no right answer.

Anti-terrorism is one of those scenarios.

We are not willing to live with the measures that stand a chance of keeping us safe. Nor should we be in a free society.

And so, we must live with uncertainty. With feast-or-famine measures. With strip searches of Granny the day after you foil that huge terror plot (talk about closing the barn door after the cow escapes!) which I admit is just unbearably dumb, and letting everyone pass the next.

That's life. We never seem to learn.

And it's not really unreasonable to mourn the loss of our liberty. We just need to learn not to blame the wrong people. And I'm not sure Helen was doing that in her post if you read it carefully.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 10, 2006 06:11 PM

I view terrorists the same way that the game warden at Jurassic Park viewed velociraptors.

They'll adapt. They'll test the wire and find the weakness. They'll lose a few of their own but they'll wait until we relax, until our defenses are down, until we become complacent and then they'll hit. Hard.

I don't have a good answer as to how to stop them except to do what we're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fight them there and not here.

What to do here? I don't know. Expect the gov't to come up with realistic approaches to dealing with terrorists? I have no problem with "racial profiling". Use it. It's okay to use words like "Islamic fascists". It really is. It's accurate.
Be honest about what we're dealing with and who we're dealing with. I don't mind extra time in line and I don't mind putting my skin lotion in my checked baggage. I don't mind people seeing that I buy kotex and not always brand.

What I do mind is putting a politically correct spin on a real threat just so some people don't get offended.
I mind that.

The terrorists will find ways around that too but for now, let's deal with what we have. And tomorrow, we'll deal with what tomorrow holds.
Allow our intel agencies to do their job.
Pursue and prosecute the leakers. They are lawbreakers and they could be putting us all at risk.
Make it hard, not easy for terrorists to know what we're doing to thwart them.

And, for the love of God, stop trying to reason with them. There's.no.reasoning.with.them.
There's no "if we'd only included the UN"...if we'd only found a multilateral way of dealing with them...if only we'd elected Jacques Francois Kerry instead of George Bush...

I'm sorry. The rant really is not for folks here but just a way to vent a little.
I just don't understand the willingness to be a dhimmi.

Posted by: Carrie at August 10, 2006 06:18 PM

I don't think there are too many here that would disagree with you, Carrie. And I like your comparison of Terrorists with Velociraptors... because sometimes that's what they seem to be. A strange, unrelenting, alien-ish, predator.

Perhaps folks were like me when I was a kid... I always wanted a velociraptor as a pet, not knowing how dangerous they really were. Or maybe, its a little stranger in that they want to be the few that the velociraptor considers a friend and be given special status amongst the velociraptor clan and live in harmony with their vicious protectors. Not knowing that their special status as 'meat' isn't really so special.

Posted by: Kevin L at August 10, 2006 06:36 PM

How about working up a case of Righteous Indignation over the Islamist Flockheads causing this mess?If a group of 20+ Methodists plotted a similar scheme--the response would be deafening.Till then, shut up and deal with it.And btw, thank CAIR and its ilk for their furor over "profiling"...
And Helen gets her say, however wishy-washy it sounds.

Posted by: WildBlueYonder at August 10, 2006 07:12 PM

"They that can give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

I suppose we can all argue over what are "essential liberties", but Helen's protest leaves me wondering if she has any idea of what real sacrifice would look like. Are some not confusing inconvenience with loss of liberty? The Blitz and the Battle of Britain were sacrifices and involved the temporary loss of liberties. The Israeli's security is for a purpose and it is effective. There is lots of room to debate effective measures.

Masked Menace expresses my take on this very well.

Princess Leia, if you are not going to be snarky, I'm going to go sulk. Expect another visit from Jane Hamster.

Helen, the hate mail is over the top. The death threat is criminal. No, you are not a bad human being, but you are posting your ideas on a blog in the public domain, where you will receive responses varying with politics, or the phase of the moon [it's full! AAAAARROOOOOOH! -ed.]. If the worst thing anyone ever called me was "moonbat", I would be rolling on the floor in convulsions of laughter.

Posted by: Mark at August 10, 2006 07:36 PM

I share Cass's distaste for hyper-vigilance immediately after an event, this usually leads to politicians posturing and passing laws that one is led to believe might have prevented such an event(if someone is shot, pass a gun law). Curious thing here is, the event was prevented.

But dear peoples, if you are in a position of authority over airline security, and you learn that terrorist are working on bombs that are liquid in form, and can be disguised as a red gel in the bottom of a gatorade bottle full of red liquid that the carrier can drink from if he needs to be convincing,.....don't you have to do something?

Wouldn't you be negligent if you didn't?

Posted by: Pile On® at August 10, 2006 09:19 PM

And Cass darlin' that comment is not directed at you, I get the point of the post and concur.

Posted by: Pile On® at August 10, 2006 09:21 PM

Well, I've read her whole post (finally) and it sounds like person who is just tired of being in the crosshairs. I'm tired of being in the crosshairs. I want to kill these bastards in large numbers before they kill me, and return to a more normal sort of life. But her post also sounds a little PollyAnna-ish. Serious times demand serious thought processes.

We got a hint that something was up when we were clearing security in Osaka on the 8th - they asked us if we were carrying bottled water. MathMan said "no", because he had given his last bottle to MathLad, but unbeknownst to him MathLad had put it back in his carryon. So, the xray showed the bottle, they pulled it out and tested it with something that showed its specific gravity. Then this morning, it all made sense. They already had wind of the plot, in Japan. I felt that their security was on heightened status when we arrived on the 2nd, but never having been to Japan before last week, that might be normal.

Way back in the 80's when I went to Beirut, there was a thorough physical frisking for everyone, with optional body cavity searches in a little room to the side. I was always patted down in Munich, and patted and wanded in a private room in Bahrain.

The largest frustration for me about the entire situation is that with the recent arrests, is that with every revelation, the balance of Scandianvian-appearing terrorists, or elderly wheelchair-bound Grandma terrorists, or woman-traveling-with-three-small-children terrorists, to male Middle Eastern-appearing terrorists tips even more alarmingly in the direction of the Middle Eastern variety. When will we become serious about saving Western civilization, and start profiling? Underperformin' Norman is no longer there, perhaps someone who was not psychologically damaged as a youth could see fit to be grown-up and do what is required to keep us safe.

Posted by: MathMom at August 10, 2006 11:21 PM

Hmmmm, let's see:

Wishing my son would have his head cut off "with a dull knife" - check

Saying my son raped Iraqi women - check

Yelling that my son is a baby killer and intentionally targeted civilians - check

My Bn fotopage hacked dozens of times and loaded with viruses embedded in photos - check

My Bn fotopage hacked and vile, nasty comments written on tribute pages for young Marines that sacrificed their lives for our country - check

A virus attack originated at Kos that destroyed my hard drive for the audacity of being proud of the job of the Bn - check

A photo of my son taken from the Bn page and photoshopped showing his head cut off with his body holding it in his right hand - check

E-mails by the dozens applauding the snuff videos, with links, of young Marines I knew and loved being killed by "freedom fighters" - check

Aw hell I could go on and on but Helen may get the point. I feel your pain Helen. Death threats? heh! A cake walk. I don't think I've had but about a dozen over the past four years.

Civility is as civility does I reckon.

I didn't pick up that Helen was anywhere close to a moonbat and I know them well. No, I disagreed with her on just about everything but I thought her point of view was well written and her argument stated clearly. Misguided and flat out wrong but well done just the same.

Welcome to the internet Helen. Here's hoping you never have to put up with the Left attacking you if you think what you got was bad!

Posted by: JustADad at August 10, 2006 11:46 PM

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, that I want leakers imprisoned and the people who publish what leakers leak imprisoned with them.

Posted by: MathMom at August 11, 2006 12:01 AM

JustADad, The crap that you have to put up with is reprehensible. Are the attacks legally prosecutable? The death threats?

Posted by: Unkawill at August 11, 2006 12:31 AM

JustADad-I've been blogging for going on 4 years, and this was my first death threat. It did not amuse me, nor did the ones attacking my dog and my right to reproduce. Those were real nice. Mostly? Yeah, I just wish people'd read the bloody post (including the so-called journalist that had a go at it.)

I do agree I come off as contradictory, but that's because I don't have the answers myself. I do not expect others to come up with answers, although that said I am not a security expert, I'm an engineer.

What I perhaps didn't make clear is that the removal of personal liberties is, to me, a knee-jerk reaction. Why is it easy to get things onto planes? What other security hardware, dogs, etc can be used as well/instead? PatHMV had it exactly: "The only way to stop people from smuggling stuff onto planes is to rigorously search the stuff the passengers bring on."

I agree 100%. Let's have more screenings. Want to add another hour of searches? Each item hand-checked? No problem. I'll go with that. What I don't want to do is sit there and balance a plastic bag on my lap. My stepkids are coming here today (hopefully) and will endure a three-hour flight. If they let you scan their bear four times, will that be ok? What if they rip open the side so you can check inside?

I'm mostly assed off because the world's come to this. I'm really not a Pollyanna, but I do travel a lot, and it's just depressing that a plane ticket now sees the business end of a gun more and more.

Posted by: Helen at August 11, 2006 01:23 AM

I saw nothing moonbatty in Helen's post. What I saw was a loss of the way things used to be, and the way they should be. The issues regarding security are valid, but having lived in Germany in the mid to late 80s, they were the norm for the American military community. The stickers on our cars, the diplomatic plates and the type of car we drove screamed "AMERICAN!!!" We learned how to see if our vehicles had been tampered with. We learned to check for suspicious wiring, etc. But WE took those precautions and once we left Europe and landed in New Jersey, I nearly kissed the ground. I never had to do that again, or so I thought. Less than a year later there was the explosion of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

That was in 1988, when we were sleeping. That did not wake us in time to impose the intense security scrutinies we have in place now. We have an enemy that adapts and we have to adapt to protect a vastly unarmed civilian population. And the Brits, while still recovering from having the terrorism that the IRA caused, were not ill eqipped to deal with it, just not ready for a new enemy using the same tactics.

I would take issue too that while her post decries the loss of liberty and the ability to move freely about, she does not address the reason for it.
No doubt she disagrees with the war in Iraq. That is her privelege. But to not address the hate and the determination of one group to impose its views and beliefs through bloodshed on another is to give them the credibility and appeasement they want.

While I would politely disagree, she has imposed her right to not hear hate from others who disagree with her. Would that we could dsiable the jihadis as easily.

Posted by: Cricket at August 11, 2006 08:33 AM

Yeah unk, there are legal repercussions but you have to catch the boogers first. There is just not a big push to chase and catch hackers when they are simply attacking something that means nothing for the most part. The site I had set up did install all kinds of firewalls and go after quite a few at that time. Total security update and I haven't had a problem, other than deleting lovely comments, since then. Lost them in a fog of phony IPs and multiple floating something or others. Same for anti-virus providers although they did track back to various IPs used on the Kos site. Not too much effort put into it. Upshot is I learned a lot about multiple firewalls and computer protection. Not to mention proxy e-mail addresses and only responding to those I know. The evolution of the internet? ;-)

Reproductive rights? He-he! My wife, TLB (The Lovely Bride), was accused of having Nazi tattoos on certain areas of her body and reproducing a race of goosesteppers. It all slows down after awhile though. About the worst one I've had lately was an e-mail lauding how the Marines involved in the Haditha incident will show once and for all how deranged and evil the Corps is. Pretty mild nowadays. But then I'm not nearly as active as I used to be on the internet either.

Believe it or not Helen I actually long for the past as well. Problem is I know our enemies. A lot of what is done in the name of security is based on political correctness as well. Our refusal to profile instead doing some really stupid stuff like remove cigarette lighters and finger nail clippers. Think of it as growing pains. We'll never be able to guarantee total safety until our enemies are defeated and dust to dust. Period. This is what we have become when we allow political correctness to guide policy. Oh well, we are Chicken Little and we all know how "perfect" political correctness is.

Our enemies are sophisticated and most are well educated. You are getting a small taste of what our men and women on the ground face daily. A constant change of tactics and battle space. Things are constantly evolving and you see that in their attempts at suicde attacks on civilian populace. Hopefully those that do not understand the war will glean something from all of this. Just because you want it to go away doesn't mean diddly squat. We are not the ones that declared war but now that war has been forced upon us it will take the general population to understand just what it is we are fighting. Our peple have not had to sacrifice anything. Being inconvenienced creates a hue and cry. Sometimes I just have to shake my head in wonder at just how ignorant we've become. Our survival genes seem to have been misplaced! This is something that will not go away from any form of "dialogue", "diplomacy", or "appeasement". It is a fight to the death. Literally. Sooner folks understand that the sooner we can get on with the function. Having to carry a clear bag on your lap is just not that big of deal in the long run. Consider yourself fortunate and think about the alternative; what if they get through our military? Changes your perspective a wee bit eh?

Here's hoping civility will return to the internets and a true dialogue can be opened to voice opposing views. At least until the UN gets control of all things internets and then we'll have our civility salvation! :-o

Posted by: JustADad at August 11, 2006 09:53 AM


Michelle Malkin receives hate mail and internet attacks that are unbelievable. Maybe she didn't read your post. Were I you, and had I a blog, I would email Malkin my concerns and call her on them.

If she does not respond honestly, I will be surprised. I like Michelle - we all manage at one time or another to insert foot in mouth. Malkin had a post up recently telling her attackers to do their damnedest against her, but to leave her family alone. She's gutsy and smart, and I will be surprised if she doesn't give you a fair shake and if she doesn't condemn the blog lynching some of her readers gave you. In fact, I would be very disappointed in her.

MathMom & JustADad, great posts.

Pile On, you are right, both about the responsibility of the security agencies to protect us and about the general incompetence of political snapshot decisions. Hopefully our security measures will be refined from the shotgun approach just implemented. To be effective security must be at least as agile as those attempting to defeat it. In the final analysis, to stop terrorist attacks we have to be successful everytime, while the terrorist just has to get lucky once. Do the math.

On the subject of liquid explosives, Strategy page has an article http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20060811.aspx
that pooh, poohs liquid explosives. I think the article is a crock, but then I am hardly an explosives expert. Certainly there are more suitable explosives, but few that are as easily concealed, particularly when cooked from components smuggled onto a plane.

Islamofascists have been making "dry" runs to test out exactly the scenario just exposed in the recent terrorist takedown. Six months ago, or so, Tom Sullivan on KFBK interviewed some folks who were on a plane which about 8 mideastern types boarded. This in itself freaked people out. Then the various characters began shuttling in and out of the bathrooms with various items and lining up outside them. They tossed the other passengers dirty looks and generally scared the hell out of them. It was reported to the flight crew (who are not blind) who noted they were watching. Later it was reported to the FBI who said they were aware of it. This type of attack has been on the radar for quite a while.

The security folks did a great job. Let's watch the fall out before anyone starts throwing rocks at them.

Posted by: Mark at August 11, 2006 03:47 PM

I think Michelle would give Helen a fair hearing on it. Maybe Helen, you could put the comments back up? If there is one thing I can't stand from either left wingers, anti war people or pro Bush people, it is spewing hatred and death threats all over the place. In the words of Hotlips Houlihan, they ruin it for everyone when they don't play nice.

I am glad you are living your dream. England is a beautiful country.

Posted by: Cricket at August 11, 2006 05:01 PM

I haven't flown in recent years. I understand the need to keep the planes safe, and I understand that any security measure devised, probably has some weakness.

If you don't like the security requirements, don't fly. Oh, you are required to for your job? Get a new job.

I don't know if Helen can get a refund on her planned trip or not. But I am willing to bet that by November, she will be able to take a book with her on her flight.

I do agree with her on one thing, I would go insane on a flight without something to read, or music/cds of my own choosing or something. It didn't sound like she is travelling alone, so she will just have to make conversation with her husband. I travel alone. Looks like I will be driving north again this year.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at August 11, 2006 05:10 PM

Thanks to your post, Cassandra, I’m ending my several happy months of lurking...but I had to let you know how grateful I am for your thoughtful response to Helen's piece. More than a few people out in the blogosphere would do well to remember that more flies are caught with honey than vinegar. This fly certainly appreciates the difference!

I think it is possible to mourn the losses to our liberty (no matter for how short a duration) without crossing into moonbat territory. Heavens knows that I, too, feel that way on occasion. Sometimes it's hard not to when there is little to nothing you can physically do about a situation. Since this is the first war I’m old enough to remember, I wonder if this just part of fighting the war on the home front? Hearts and minds aren’t won and lost only on the frontlines.

That being said... Never give up, never surrender!

Posted by: ann at August 11, 2006 11:39 PM

I don't know why we even let muslims fly on our planes- hell, why are we even letting them into the US?

Posted by: Barry at August 13, 2006 03:36 PM

Where the hell did that come from?


Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at August 13, 2006 05:39 PM

Let's be fair to Helen and agree (as most have) that her post did not display what most people normally call "moonbattery". At the same time, there was much in her post that indicates a decided affinity for those who do deserve that snarky epithet.

Securing airlines against terror threats is not easy and it won't get any easier and if you want to fly safely, you had better get used to boarding under the conditions that you revile, Helen: the conditions at Israeli airports. Like it or not-and I assume you don't because you don't care for the actions of the Israelis in Lebanon-the Israelis have dealt with this problem for longer than anyone else and have learned a few things.

Finally, it is good police work to profile. If you're expecting a young, male muslim to try a terror attack, it would certainly make sense to pay extra attention to young, male muslims, now wouldn't it? We are expecting a young, male muslim to try these things aren't we?

Posted by: Beerme at August 13, 2006 06:38 PM

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