July 30, 2005 [LINK]

Vigilance & political correctness

In Friday's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer ridicules the way U.S. officials have "stepped up" security in the wake of the London bomb attacks, making a priority of not offending anyone. He does give the U.S. more credit than Britain for clamping down on the recuitment of jihadists by Muslim fanatics:

Britain's problem, however, is not just an alienated minority but also a suicidal civic openness that permits sheiks and imams to openly preach jihad against Britain. The United States, for all of its openness, does not tolerate this kind of treason.

Nevertheless, us Yanks are far behind the Brits in terms of doing what is necessary for the sake of public security, squeamishly resisting any focus on the most likely terrorists at airports and other security-sensitive locations:

The American response to tightening up after London has been reflexive and idiotic: random bag checks in the New York subways. Random meaning that the people stopped are to be chosen numerically. One in every five or 10 or 20.

This is an obvious absurdity and everyone knows it. It recapitulates the appalling waste of effort and resources we see at airports every day when, for reasons of political correctness, 83-year-old grandmothers from Poughkeepsie are required to remove their shoes in the search for jihadists hungering for paradise.

Indeed. Finally, he counters doubts about the efficacy of profiling likely terrorists on the grounds that, as I mentioned on July 25, Al Qaeda and its ilk would simply recruit from outside the usual male Middle Eastern population:

That will require a huge new wasteful effort on their part.

The possibility that Al Qaeda may be operating on a tight resource budget and therefore may be thwarted via exhaustion is an interesting angle, one that not many people have talked about. Maybe Krauthammer is on to something...

Real health care reform

On the Friday Rush Limbaugh show (guest hosted by Walter Williams), Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) plugged his bill to make health insurance more affordable, mainly by forbidding states from mandating specific coverage. See johnshadegg.house.gov. It's not a complete solution, but it's a big, bold step in the right direction.