Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Wisdom of Bumper Stickers

In her column today Maureen Dowd fairly asks if we can't catch a Nigerian whose own father contacted the CIA with concerns about his increasingly bat-shit crazy son then who can we catch? I suspect we're doing a better job catching crazies than this incident might suggest but the huff and puff about whether or not the system worked or failed in this case misses the larger point I think we're losing.

The government's job is to protect the security of the nation, that's not the same thing as being responsible for ensuring that no harm befall each of us individually. The bad guys are going to get some of us, guaranteed. Things that are feasibly preventable will happen and lots of people who shouldn't will die and suffer. This is not a defense of shoddy security or poor forethought, its just reality. Its why no one needs to have the "Shit Happens" bumper sticker explained to them.

The responsibility for our safety lies with us and when people like Jasper Schuringa stop taking primary responsibility for their own well being and expect government to do all the heavy lifting of survival then we're screwed well beyond the point that any terrorist threat can muster.

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