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’tFly.com 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.)
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.