Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Terrorist Toddlers?/Reclaiming America/Rita Poem

(P1) Philosophical

Potential Terrorist?

How could I look at this picture of one-and-a-half year old Rhett Ricardo being patted down at a Tampa Bay game without wondering if our nation has gone totally crazy? Please recall when I posted a discussion about a Charles Krauthammer column in which he dared to suggest eliminating at least some groups from pat downs and intensive searches. I received quite a few negative replies because the immediate inference is always one of "racial profiling." Actually, what we were recommending back then was NOT actually concentrating on any one racial or ethnic group, but rather eliminating groups which, in all probability would never be terrorists, eg. the now stereotypical 85-year-old women in pink jumpsuits. What of the absolute ludicrousness of the photo above that simply makes reason stare? For starters, how about eliminating the following groups from extra searches:

1. Women over age 55.
2. Men over age 60.
3. Children under age 12.

Ok, we won't even get into race at all this way. We won't need to worry about special preferences for Scandinavians.

The argument remains that a 70-year-old man might conceivably be carrying a bomb. But that would be like saying that a pregnant woman on a plane is conceivably carrying quintuplets. Let's get real here. Save time, save money, save embarrassment, and...above all...concentrate on more probable or at least possible terrorists. I fail to see how such a program would infringe upon minority rights. I'm all for minority rights.

(P2) Political

Reader Poll (Please Participate)

How About Some Ideas to Reclaim Our Nation, It's Ideals, It's Respect

Please Post Your Comments Here and/or Read the Comments of Others. You can sign in as "blogger" or "other" but add your name to your text. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net. We need your feedback.

(P3) Poetical

Andrei Codrescu was born in Romania in 1946. He is a poet, novelist, essayist and publisher. Codrescu became an American citizen in 1981 and has lived in New Orleans for the last 20 years. The following poem is moving.

Each day has its own pictures:
bumper to bumper traffic two states long
a frenzied mob in a domed prison
rising water
the hungry pushing carts out of looted stores
rooftops in a lake as vast as the eye can see
dead city silent city
the survivors the tribes
stadiums filled with refugees
helicopters over a dead unlit city
a ragged parade of decadents spitting defiance
television cameras as numerous as marchers
a can of tuna and a strand of beads
take that you former shithead king
dead pets rotting away behind locked doors
the smell of putrefaction visible
muck darkness heat an eviscerated pigeon
two dogs shot by a hired executioner
a sea of horrible stories rising like swamp fever
from the foul mouths of dear ones from exile
We are all working in this pit of sorrow to
unfreeze time.


Michael Matthews said...

Hi Ed, I went to post my note on your blog and got all
goofed up...anway, here it is for the time being...

I think we should be more concerned about all that nuclear stuff in the former soviet republics than
frisking tiny tots at football game...most of those
guys over there are, like, recycled Communist Dictators...despots and more likely to, like, sell
nuclear stuff just for a buck...You know dictators, by definition, are a bit sociopathic...The Bush
administration has, oddly, just sort of forgotten about this little problem, while focusing on the
situation in Iraq where, because of our efforts at democratization, we likely will end up with an Iranian
Shiite government run by a bunch of
Ayatollahs..."Bring back Saddam" will be a bumper
strip I could see popping all over Houston, at least
at Enron...you know, Gary Trudeau ripped the
Cheney-Haliburton folks yesterday with his reference
to wondering why they were scampering, suddenly, out
of Iraq...Seems like New Orleans offers better chances
for quick rebuilding bucks, like in the
billions...gee, I wonder if we could come up with some
kind of national health care policy instead...Oh, and,
generally, I like Romanian poets, since I've been
there...later, mm

Duncan Lee said...

Hi Eddie,
How to reclaim the nation...I don't know about reclaiming, or what to reclaim, but gaining, or regaining, respect may take longer than the time it took to lose it. Anyway, to win respect we must first respect ourselves. Self respect is first learned at home, then in school and finally, in occupation.
What can we do as a nation to start teaching self respect and self reliance at home? Stop rewarding self dis-respect and reliance on others. Stop making the welfare system a career path.
In school? Start teaching the basic courses again and emphasize self reliance. Teach real history, not edited courses that alter the facts.
In government? Make public service an honor, not a lucrative career. Find some real leaders and convince them to get elected and change things.
If liberals really want to change things (a lot of conservatives do to) they must get involved in the system and work the system to change it. Marching, demonstrating and waving posters gets on the news but doesn't change much, if anything. The anti-Nam demonstrators take pride in saying they helped end the war (not according to Ho Chi Min), but where are we today? It's happened all over again, and the generation that marched in the '60's and '70's is the one that is supposed to be running things today.
By the way, you want to run Oprah for Pres. I vote for Geena Davis as long as she plays her Commander in Chief character. But that's all fiction. Seriously, I think it will be a couple of more generations before a female is elected president.
Oh, yeah, one more thing on regaining respect....Nationalize the oil industry. Think about it.

Edward Coletti said...

Lots of things to ponder here, Duncan. Most of all, I totally agree with your recommendation to nationalize the oil industry. For years I've believed that no one has the right to profit off our limited natural resources. I believe that they belong to the people and should be managed by the people's representatives. Of course that means electing better representatives. I feel the same way about Electricity. I strongly feel that way about Healthcare. On the other hand, the Postal Service is a joke and probably should be de-nationalized in favor of Fed Ex, UPS, etc.

Duncan Lee said...

Dear Ed,
As you know, I lived in the UK for more than 10 years and experienced nationalized health care. Fortunately, I didn't need the health service much, but when I did I found it to be pretty good. That is, visiting a general practioner, getting a prescription, follow up visit, etc. Visiting friends in hospital, however, was another story. Entering London's premiere hospital was like entering a Charles Dickens'story. Funding for facilities was sorely lacking. In short, the doctors were good, the system wasn't. However, everyone living in the UK was assured pretty good, timely medical care. There were stories of long waits for some types of surgery, etc, but generally the nationalized health care system worked pretty well. There are also excellent private health insurance plans available there for those who can afford them.
As for electrcity, I don't know. I have strong reservations about nationalizing/socializing everything. History shows that most of these systems don't work well over the long term. But, that may be a symptom of poor governing. So where we come out again is electing competent legislators.
As for the postal service, it actually can work like FedEx, UPS, and does offer similar services now. What it doesn't have is marketing. And, of course, flexible hours.
By the way, I digress, can someone please tell Nancy Pelosi to chill out when she gives an interview. She sounds like a pre-recorded rhetoric speech on speed. She is the most powerful female Democrat in the House and she sounds like a frantic, hand-wringing stress victim.