Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick four

  • Obligatory post about the Boston Marathon bombing. My guess is it was a random attack, not the terrorism supposedly threatening the country like 9/11 (solution: don’t station our soldiers in their country, which angered the mostly Saudi hijackers, and stop propping up Israel). LRC of course notes that despite all the the national-security theatre taking our rights away, being groped at airports, etc., it happened. May they rest in peace or speedy recovery.
  • The show. Took me two episodes to recognize Don’s appealing new mistress: she’s played by the cute, pretty Linda Cardellini. Sylvia seems to represent Bad Catholics (while Peggy’s lapsed). I’m assuming the show’s producer and writers are 2013 pro-death so they’re looking down on her in the miscarriage/abortion talk scene (Megan tempted to kill her baby and Sylvia nicely telling her that’s wrong; this is largely a soap opera). I think many of the Roman martyrs were like Sylvia. Not goody-two-shoes (hey, it’s the Don; the girl’s only human) but at heart she believes and likely would die for the faith. (Waugh wrote about that in Brideshead Revisited: he has Cordelia explain to Charles and us that Bridey’s good but Sebastian’s holy.) Style watch: insecure Harry’s (the Hollywood wannabe in TV advertising) trendy; Don and Roger aren’t.
  • Game on ‘The Simpsons’. That show seems to be getting worse and more SWPL pretentious but interesting to see the lefty writers acknowledge the truth Roissy teaches (Milhouse learns game from watching Brando) and that people are reading up on it. Just enough game makes everybody happier.
  • Tax advice for next year. If your finances are complicated by more than one job and you were or are an independent contractor for several, find a friendly accountant in your town to sort it out like I did. It’s worth it.


  1. "LRC of course notes that despite all the the national-security theatre taking our rights away, being groped at airports, etc., it happened."

    Most regular riders I know of the MBTA subway system laugh at the random searches they do at the gates of various stations, though it no doubt impresses tourists. The searches are done at random stations, very infrequently, and last only a few hours, during which they search the bags of random passengers trying to get into the subway. Anyone with half a brain (admittedly, not a category that includes all terrorists) who was bent on mayhem would know to just keep walking and come back later, or hop on at a different station further down the line. One person I know refers to it as "Security Theater".

    I'm all in favor of necessary and effective security measures that actually deter significant threats, but most of what passes for "security" in this country is just that- "Security Theater", mean to impress people who think "Well, if it inconveniences me, I must be safer". Most people, even in big cities with high-profile targets, are more likely to die from car accidents or gas leaks than from terrorism. Countries like Israel, which deal with real terrorist threats on a daily basis, don't even waste their time with idiotic and overpriced contraptions like body scanners, to take but one example. The news media relentless hype this crap, which makes it hard for a panicked public to do any kind of rational cost/benefit analysis on new security measures.

    (Incidentally, I have a crazy conspiracy theory that the real goal of the TSA is not stopping terrorism, but indirectly helping law enforcement by making life harder for drug smugglers and customs violators; terrorism is just a convenient excuse to make the public accept the nuisance, since most people are willing to have their baggage scanned to save their lives, but not to stop a few pounds of marijuana from getting into the country).

  2. TSA--not all that crazy a conspiracy theory! I also opine that Homeland Security is a self-perpetuating organization and TSA supposedly gives us the comfortable illusion of security & safety. Random searches are a politically correct joke that protects no one IMHO. IIRC, the mafia was at one time a legitimate protectionist organization but managed to self-perpetuate itself into a criminal enterprise. Now what about Homeland Security and the TSA?

  3. Anonymous7:31 am

    I don't think the help is "indirect" at all! I'd wager that they've confiscated more dime bags than bombs!


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