Thursday, March 11, 2004


Even though it's probably the ETA and not Al Quaeda, those people are still just as dead.

I've been worried for quite some time that terrorists would figure out how easy it is to hit soft targets in the West, and mass transit is actually more secure than many other places. Shopping malls, movie theaters, high school basketball games, office buildings, and crowded restaurants would all be good places to kill hundreds of people with one well-placed bomb.

Robert Kaplan has written about the way people react to ever-present danger in places like Lebanon and Israel. They basically have two choices:

1) Bunker down, keep out of public, and essentially close off most of life to avoid danger

2) Go on as if they weren't in any danger, even in the face of constant evidence to the contrary

Oddly, it's the people in #1 who end up the worse off, because every single one of them suffers the effects of terrorism. Every single one of them lives a shrinking, constricted life of limited opportunities, and making our day-to-day lives intolerable is one of the chief goals of terrorism.

Some of the people in #2 will end up being vicitms of terrorism, random street crime, or whatever else we worry about as we sit behind locked doors. Most victims will actually come from that group, as they're the ones in harm's way most often. But the vast majority of people who carry on with their lives won't become victims. That's what we need to keep in mind.

We can either take a small, calculated risk of becoming a victim; or we can guarantee that our lives are harmed. It's up to us.

Dear CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al

Please, please stop replaying the video of the hockey player from the Canucks getting his neck broken. It's not as disturbing as your constant replays of the jet hittng the WTC on Sept 11th, but it's still really freaking me out.

On a side note, I'm glad my kid didn't want to play collision sports by the time he was old enough for me to let him (skateboarding and soccer are dangerous enough).

Thank you

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Just as I thought

Reader Sheila was nice enough to provide a link to a study ranking each Senator on a liberal/conservative scale based on their rollcall votes.

I guess saying Kerry has the 22nd most liberal voting record in the Senate just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Was suprised to see Kerry tied with Lieberman and ranked as slightly more conservative than Edwards or Clinton.

Robert Byrd has the distinction of the most liberal voting record in the Senate, and also happens to have the single safest seat in the Senate (even as a Red State Democrat). To have a chance of losing an election in WV, Byrd would have to get caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy, and even then it would be too close to call.

I was also surprised to see Lincoln Chafee ranked as more conservative than every Democrat but Zell Miller, and McCain as the 4th most conservative Republican. Makes sense, though. McCain tries to push his Party a bit towards the center verbally, but pretty much toes the line in voting.