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Monday musings

Snowed yesterday. And again today. Between snows, it veered around between rain, freezing rain, sleet and whatnot. You folks in Minnesota, Colorado, or even Oklahoma might wonder why that’s news in late November. But this is in the coastal lowlands of the dreary-but-ever-moderate NorthWET. Snow here usually comes in December or later, if at all. And though it may fall heavily at 8:00 a.m., it’s melted by noon. This snow looks set to stay.

The forecasters all said we’re headed into a wet, cold winter thanks to a La Nina pattern.

Global warming, where are you when we need you?


4WD’d it this morning to the vet to take my bully-boy, Robbie, for teeth-cleaning. The roads, with their lumpy, melted-and-refrozen snow, sounded like cornflakes crunching under the tires of my Xterra. Robbie was thrilled by the car ride until he learned where he was going — to the Evil Place of needles and torture.

Last time he was in, Evil Doctor gave him the blue-gloved TSA treatment. When she probed his anal glands he shrieked like a defeated Democrat and clawed so desperately at my arm that I still bear the mark two months later. Today Evil Doctor (who’s actually one of the nicest people around) told me Robbie “screamed like a chihuahua” when she inserted his IV.

Robbie’s one of those low-slung, broad-chested, muscular mutts of obvious bully heritage, with a broad head, jaws that could crack cement, and a swaggering attitude that keeps my girl-dogs in constant submission. He’s quick to growl at strange canines and put them in their place. But OMG! Let Robbie get so much as a scratch, and the drama rises to operatic levels. A foster dog once nipped a patch of fur out of his side (while he was preoccupied beating up one of her friends) and he spent the next two days sitting in a corner, silent, hollow-eyed, and waiting to die.

I write this not just to blather about my dogs (although that, too). But because Robbie’s personality almost makes me sympathize a little with human bullies. He’s the classic “can dish it out but can’t take it” guy. The absolute, stereotypical image of the cowardly bully. Eddie Haskell in a dog suit. And since he’s such an otherwise-innocent soul (and a total creampuff to all human beings, cats, and other animals), I begin to wonder if that’s really just the way bullies are made.

Maybe a cop who thinks it’s okay to kick your face in, but throws a hissy fit at the prospect of having a soap bubble touch his skin is just born that way. Maybe cops’ terror of soap bubbles, old men’s walkers, or the tips of people’s fingers is … just genetic.

You could almost feel sorry for guys like that. Except, of course, that they should never be put in authority over anybody or anything. Robbie. Trolling the streets as a law-enforcer. Now that’s a scary thought. “Touch my kibble and I’ll tase you, bro.”


When the flap over TSA nude-o-scopes and grope-downs started, I honest-to-god thought it was going to be just another libertarian lost cause — barely to be mentioned in the mainstream. Even when the Boycott Flying Facebook page took off, I still thought it was Just Us.

When a couple of pretty-well-known and gutsy activists started WeWon’ and supported National Opt-Out Day, I still figured it was too little, too late, and that it would be another invisible libertarian effort. Who would have dreamed that, a week or so later, the whole grope-a-thon business, including Opt-Out Day, screaming three-year-olds, molested nuns, broken urine bags, and prosthetic-breast probings would be in the national news and the subject of dinner-table conversations among the most non-political of people?

Sure, there is still a lot of not-getting-itness in the mainstream news coverage and a lot of parroting of the straight government line and missing of the real point even in articles that pretend to acknowledge the problem. (That second article would, amusingly, have us believe that the TSA’s problem is just like the one Obama claims to have. The problem isn’t that they’re sexually assaulting folks, you see, or treating every airline customer as a terrorist. It’s that … well, the poor dears just haven’t explained themselves to us well enough. If they could just articulate how good for us it is when they grab our crotches, we’d thank them.)

But there’s some genuine getting-it. And so much more, besides.

There’s even a song. By a Grammy winner, yet. (You can listen for free. But he’d like you to buy a download in a very good cause: since he can’t fly commercial any more, he has to save up to buy a private jet.) (H/T Rocket Scientist)

And the very fact that government spokesthings have felt the need (repeatedly) to defend the policy and/or promise weak, cosmetic reforms … well, doesn’t that just speak volumes?

Could it be? Could it really be that American travelers have finally reached their line in the sand? Is it possible this could force real change — finally — in U.S. “security” policy?

Oh okay. That’s just too optimistic, I know. And for now, the usual remains the usual (H/T AlanR). But this whole thing has been amazing to watch.


  1. Terry
    Terry November 22, 2010 3:07 pm

    I, honestly think that I would rather have a strip-search as opposed to someone touching me. ( barriers)

  2. Winston
    Winston November 22, 2010 3:23 pm

    OMG, that soap bubble video…I feel like I should be angry or something but I laughed till my sides hurt….funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. The best part though was the look on the female officers face once he got all riled up…worth 1000 words for sure…

    I have dogs like that too…One that’ll tear into a dog many times his size without any reluctance but runs in fear if you drop something on the floor (even food!)…. One who lives to please people but won’t have hardly anything to do with other dogs other than trying to take power…funny creatures, dogs…

  3. Matt
    Matt November 22, 2010 3:55 pm

    Look on the upside. When Napolitano wants to flex her muscles she just increases intrusive searches at airports. When Janet Reno wanted to flex her muscles she killed innocent women and children in Texas.

  4. bumperwack
    bumperwack November 22, 2010 4:13 pm

    tell you what… I’ll sleep better at night knowing Torontos finest are on the job… I mean, the overwhelming menace just dripping off that dangerous girl…

  5. Ellendra
    Ellendra November 22, 2010 9:28 pm

    I think people might be reaching their breaking point. Someone has been heating the water too fast. I would not be surprised to see full-blown riots in the airports this season.

    PS: I think I figured out how to stitch a message into a T-shirt with metallic in such a way that it won’t show on the outside or itch on the inside. Now I just need to test whether the message shows on the scanner. Unfortunately I’m in a bit of a time crunch at work, so full-scale production might have to wait until closer to Christmas.

  6. Ellendra
    Ellendra November 22, 2010 9:29 pm

    That was supposed to say “with metallic thread”, sorry it lost a word!

  7. Claire
    Claire November 23, 2010 8:16 am

    Jim B. — I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for this production of Atlas. It’s a no-budget job slammed together in a hurry to avoid having the film rights lapse.

    As to Galt … this film never even plans to show his face (according to that interview with the director, just after the 4:50 mark). (Which is probably a good thing, as the director — who’s going to play the role — bears no resemblance to the physical type Rand described for Galt.) Alas for all that talk of Brad Pitt as Galt and Angelina Jolie as Dagny …

    Sigh. It would be a miracle, and a delight, if the Atlas production avoids being totally bad.

  8. Jim B.
    Jim B. November 23, 2010 10:45 am

    I see it as just the latest in a long line of rumors, plans, and whathaveyous.

    These things do have ways of falling to the waysides. Just look at the Red Dawn remake, they used to go ahead with the pre-production, but because the studios got taken over by another one, no one knows what’s going on with it. So that’s up in hiatus.

  9. Claire
    Claire November 23, 2010 1:11 pm

    Good link, Matt. I really admire Roberts.

  10. Chris
    Chris November 23, 2010 3:23 pm

    I find it coincidental that all this hullabaloo with the TSA is rising to a fevered pitch right when the lame duck session of Congress is going on.

    Haven’t heard much above a whimper on that front in the MSM.

  11. Pat
    Pat November 25, 2010 12:53 am

    I’m not so sure about Atlas Shrugged — it might be better than it sounds. The interviews indicate they want to get the philosophy right.

    And if it’s designed to cover only the first third of the book, then John Galt probably shouldn’t be in it. I’m sure there’s no one in existence who could do him justice anyway — no actor could possibly satisfy everyone’s ideal image of Galt.

    (I never cared for Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, either, in The Fountainhead, or Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon. In fact even Kent Smith as Peter Keating was wrong — Smith projects stronger than Peter Keating ever was. I was always disappointed in the movie because of the casting.)

    I suspect Rand’s books should have been left alone, although I understand that We The Living is an excellent movie (Italian film). I haven’t seen it yet; it’s one of my future buys.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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