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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11326/another-government-failure/

Another Government Failure

December 26, 2009 by

Despite the billions spent since 2001 on intelligence and counterterrorism programs, sophisticated airport scanners and elaborate watch lists, it was something simpler that averted disaster on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit: alert and courageous passengers and crew members.

That’s not my spin or my writing. That’s the lead of the NYT piece on the attempted airplane bomb. Oh, and this: the government prevents the crime after the fact.


Seattle December 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

That’s surprising. Usually when the State fails, the NYT just pretends it never happened.

Les December 27, 2009 at 12:11 am

And the apparent vain attempt of the father of the suspect trying to warn US officials about his son:


Don’t you feel so much safer now?

newson December 27, 2009 at 12:11 am

i hear another click of higgs’ ratchet.

newson December 27, 2009 at 12:15 am

for the fliers: “up in the air”
non-fliers:”united 93″

Steve R. December 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm

It’s a bit simplistic to label this as another government failure. It really a societal failure. We have an unrealistic expectation of the government’s ability to protect us. We castrate the government’s ability to protect us through political correctness. Finally, citizens are admonished, if not actually arrested, for taking immediate action to stop a crime in progress.

Unfortunately, every time one of these terrorists events occur we end up with ever more repressive laws. These repressive laws give us the appearance of protection but do little to curtail terrorism. We are well into a 1984 Orwellian society.

Hard Rain December 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

There is no defense against a determined lunatic.

Fallon December 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Steve R.,

You really believe the government is out to protect “us” and that political correctness is the primary obstacle to reaching this noble goal?

For starters, what is politically correct about the executive branch being able to declare any poor slob an “enemy combatant” and deny them access to Bill of Rights’ protections?

Ah, but you probably see due process, habeus corpus etc to be politically correct.

What is PC about predator drone assassinations?

Ah, but you probably are thinking that any complaint against this murderous use of force is politically correct.

The list is very long indeed…

Yet, I am under the impression that the heavy neo-conservative strain so alive and well in D.C. makes a living off of its anti-political correctness.

Just because political correctness is a phony device, and I agree with you there, does not mean the answer lies in the nutso ideology of David ‘bomb them now, those Quranic fascists out to destroy freedom’ Horowitz or his more refined ilk.

At first, I want to merely say that both ideologies need to be thrown out.

But when I realize that Obama has okayed and expanded on almost everything Bush II put in place maybe it is now time to see this aggressive foreign policy- tied as it is with barring recognition of ‘blow back’ or proper hearing of the true costs of war, that of blood, property, rights, morality and prosperity- for what it is: the New Political Correctness.

Walt D. December 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm

“i hear another click of higgs’ ratchet.”
What is worse we have what I will call the “Higgs-Newton Law of Inertia” – once government policy is headed in the wrong direction, it will continue in the wrong direction,regardless of whether it is acted upon by an external force.

ehmoran December 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Walt D.

(been a while).

Check out the new world currency….

Here we go!

Steve R. December 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm

@ Fallon: First, as Hard Rain points out “There is no defense against a determined lunatic.”

Second, we are the ones being attacked, so one can construe that certain offensive tactics, such as the use of drones to be legitimate. However, with history nothing is ever clear – who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed changes over time. People have long memories. War is a dirty business.

PS: I don’t agree with the current Afgan strategy, there is nothing to be gained and you do not win a war against terrorism by holding (occupying) territory. Additionally, the US is making an even bigger mistake by re-characterizing our presence there as an anti-drug effort.

Gil December 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Gold and silver coins as world currency? Isn’t about time?

Walt D. December 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm

The Homeland Security has imposed new measures – one carry on bag; no getting up to use the lavatory in the last hour of the flight. I suppose we’re lucky they did not react as they did after the shoe bomber – only Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan would be allowed on the plane!

Walt D. December 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Interesting. However, I seem to recall (from Robert Blumen?) that there are only about 6 billion ounces on gold in circulation. That is about $6 trillion dollars. at current prices. We are currently running a $6 trillion deficit. There isn’t enough gold in existence to back US spending. I’m sure Robert can straighten us out on this one?

Seattle December 28, 2009 at 3:15 am

Don’t worry Walt, the gold coins are just to back initial confidence in the system. It’ll be slowly converted to a full fiat system within 20 years.

Shay December 28, 2009 at 4:05 am

Walt, why would they need $6 trillion in currency to pay off a debt of the same size? Of course, if there were a gold standard, then people would be more likely to hold on to cash, since it wouldn’t lose its value over time, so you’d probably need even more.

Seattle, indeed. This seems to be a problem with any good system people set up; over time it’ll become corrupt, and the people won’t be around to keep it going properly.

Walt D. December 28, 2009 at 11:05 am

Jeffrey Tucker, you’ve got this wrong
There was no failure – the system worked
…Before it didn’t work!

PS It’s a good job the detonator didn’t work.

Vanmind December 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Not for one second to I buy into the story of this “attack.”

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