Posted by: bkivey | 2 May 2011

America’s Most Wanted

I found out about Osama bin Laden’s death Sunday night when I turned the radio on to listen to a  program. Rather than the expected programming I heard a couple of people talking excitedly about something, although I had to listen for nearly a minute before I understood what they were excited about. As soon as I realized what had happened I did what everyone else did and went to the Internet for the news.

I can’t say that I really feel anything by the news. It’s nice to see that the country displayed the necessary perseverance to do the job, and bin Laden’s treatment with extreme prejudice will probably make others who might be contemplating nefarious deeds think twice. But the moment was ten years coming, and as the progressives like to say: “Justice delayed is justice denied.” I fully expect some bleeding-heart types to come out with their pro forma protests against “the cycle of violence” and recite their fatuous claims that “violence doesn’t solve poblems.” I also expect there to be some denouncement of the spontaneous celebrations that took place, although I have some sympathy with them on that one.

This wasn’t a where-were-you-when event. This doesn’t terminate our military  involvement in SW Asia. And although bin Laden may be dead, his legacy lives on in the PATRIOT Act, the Transportation Security Administration, and any amount of institutionalized fear-based reactionary idiocy.

Open Mouth, Closed Brain.

I’ve never had someone stick a microphone in my face, but I swear if it happens I’m just going to say “No comment.”, even if I’m sole witness to the Second Coming. This thought was prompted by a couple of observations that seem to indicate that people go stupid when interviewed by a reporter.

The first incident was a news story on a journalism student who had her Tuscaloosa apartment demolished by a tornado. She’d been attending class at the University of Alabama when the storms hit, and when she got home she found that her apartment building had been flattened. Like so many others, she’d lost everything. Her father’s take on the situation was that the experience would make her a better journalist, because she’d experienced a disaster first-hand. 

The comment is blindingly inane, not only for the context in which it was uttered, but by the incoherence of the ‘logic’ behind it. Are we to assume, then, that soldiers would be better at their jobs if they were shot during basic training? Would lawyers be more effective if they were jailed for a period of time as part of their legal education? The disturbing part is, he probably really believes what he said.

The second observation on microphone-induced stupidity occurred when I was listening to a guy talking about bin Laden’s death and comparing the operation to both the Manhattan Project and the Apollo program. I should hope that he will cringe every time he hears that tape.


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