Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Middle east extremists and Asian carp - What to do?
There seems to be some interesting parallels in the Asian carps attempts to get into the Great Lakes via the Chicago River to wreak havoc and Muslim extremists attempts to get into the US to wreak havoc. We brought the carp here to fight the threat of weed choked lakes, never for a minute thinking what would happen when they got loose. We gave the forerunners of the Taliban training and weapons, including Stinger missiles to fight the threat of the Soviet Union, never for a minute thinking what would happen when they got loose. Unfortunately, both are loose and I fear our attempts to stop both types of vermin will be futile, since in both cases the 'cat' is well out of the bag.
My guess is that the carp are right now patiently waiting to see how the US Supreme Court rules on January 8 about closing the Chicago Canal that connects Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River system. Likewise, the terrorists are patiently waiting to see what equally effective underwear based detection scheme is being implemented to stop them. Carp of course, don't wear underwear or shoes, or carry dangerous half inch pocket knives to open aggravating packages or clean the dirt from beneath their fingernails. They will simply stow away in some guys bait bucket water or some cheap ass fisherman will seine some 'free minnows' from a river and dump the unused ones in Lake Michigan. I fear that sooner or later the terrorists will also get through the patchwork hodgepodge of 'security measures' and succeed in their brutal mission. The masthead of this blog sums it up in a nutshell - "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement".
I have to fly for work 2 or 3 times in January and I am already dreading it. Rather than producing and utilizing the explosive detection systems that are available and operational, our government has decided that I need to sit quietly in my seat, carry on luggage including magazines and Ipods stowed, and that I can't go take a piss for the last hour of the flight. If I was a prostate sufferer and my Flomax was in my stowed luggage, not being able to hit the john for an hour would be a bad experience for everyone around me on a number of levels. I think pregnant women would have the same reaction. I know first hand that explosive screening works. I'm not a guy that has sets of luggage for all occasions. My Duluth pack shell bag is a lovely little canvas and leather shoulder bag, was used for trap shooting, hunting, and as a carry on. That was until the explosive swab guys yanked me out of line at O'Hare after detecting powder residue. Since it was used to hold recently fired shotgun shells, I told them, it sure as hell should have some powder residue. They questioned why I would use such a bag and I told them that I had no idea they would be testing for that sort of thing since none of the airline security information ever mentioned that angle.
Like the French military from about 1870 on, our security apparatus seems to be looking backwards to prevent the threat that just occurred rather than forward to prevent the one that is about to occur. The Germans invade France in WWI, the French build the Maginot Line at huge expense and the Germans go right around it in WWII. Richard Reid tries to ignite his shoes and millions of us are taking our shoes off to get on the plane. Then the nut jobs come up with gel based explosives and they make us all use 3 oz containers stored in a zip lock bag. Now the exploding underwear. I guess I can see some advantages to us all taking off our underwear in the security line and putting it in the gray plastic tub but I'm sure our prudish social mores will prevent that from being implemented.
Get some sophisticated explosive screening and detection equipment in place (we apparently already have it), put up a weir and close the Chicago canal to the carp, and let me read a magazine, listen to some tunes, and take a piss on the airplane during the last hour of flight. Knee jerk and ineffective methods, designed to make the public think the government is doing something, are not the way to go. Both carp and terrorists need to be thwarted, contained, and with any luck eradicated. If we use our technology in combination with a well thought out plan and citizen involvement (in addition to burnt testicles ol' Umar took a bit of an ass kicking from his fellow passengers and I like that) I think we will be much better off. I just hope something gets in place before a disaster, on either the carp or terrorist front, occurs.