Monday, February 28, 2005

Security: How Politicians Play Us

Ken Obenski of San Diego, in a Letter to the Editor published in LP News (Feb. ’02), that is too good not to share – especially the Mencken quote.

The great American cynic H.L. Mencken once said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the public alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by threatening it with an endless series of boogiemen, all of them imaginary.”

Osama bin Laden gave our politicians the ultimate boogeyman: terrorist. Terrorists are behind every tree – until you actually look there – and then they are somewhere else.

Potemkin, the Russian general who build fake villages to impress Czarina Catherine the Great, gave all politicians the ultimate tactic. To use the public’s money to put on a great show of accomplishment is far more politically useful than actually accomplishing something. After all, a problem, actually solved, has lots its boogieman potential.

Government has the perfect answer to terrorists – Potemkin-like security:

* Conspicuous TSA airport inspectors impede our travel but miss two-thirds of the contraband when tested.
* Conspicuous immigration service suspected several of the 9/11 hi-jackers but let them into the country anyway.

Ken, take it from someone who just recently passed through your local airport... you deserve a big Babka Blog “Amen.”

Jim Babka, I recently listened to your "Why Conservative Christians ...". I voted for Bush because of his stated position on same-sex marriage. Nothing seems to be happening on gay marriage prohibition so I feel betrayed. I am a Libertarian; can one be Christian and also Libertarian. The Libertarian Party seems to be trying to ignore the gay-marriage problem. R.O.P. deadeyed2@juno.com
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