Thursday, December 08, 2005

Trigger happy or acceptable loss?

I don't know what to make of this "Passengers describe wife's desperation" headliner.

Looking at it one way, it was trigger happy federal agents gunning down a mentally ill man first, and asking questions later. The guy clearly wasn't acting like a terrorist. Terrorists usually don't have wives running around after them shouting that they are mentally ill. And usually terrorists don't announce that they have a bomb and then not make any demands. There's the madness of suicide bombers, and then there's stark raving insanity of mental patients. I think the difference is clear. Maybe the feds are wearing bigot-colored glasses, through which Hispanics and Arabs are the same shade of "brown"? Would they have shot him if he was white? I strongly suspect not.

On the other hand, the shooting wasn't completely unjustified. The feds had to make a split second decision - delaying to consider the situation could have resulted in dozens of deaths. That is, if he was really a terrorist, which he wasn't.

Let me ask this - since September 11th, I know of two innocent people shot by police who mistook them for terrorists. How many actual terrorists have been shot by police? As far as I know, none. It may be gruesome, but someone is going to have to decide what ratio of civilian casualties we're willing to accept.

So far, the 2/0 ratio doesn't bode well, although i admit it's too early to tell. But I don't think the war on terror is a license to kill anyone who doesn't act the way society expects.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh, you've browsed the web before, BUT

Have you ever browsed at ONE MILLION PUNS PER SQUARE INCH??

Even with the simplest of comic devices, the Onion is at the cutting edge once again.

Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan