Thursday, May 1, 2008

Off We Goooo, Into The Wild Blue...Uh, Never Mind. You Guys Are On Your Own.

The Washington Times ran a story yesterday informing us that...TaaaaaDaaaaaaaa; the TSA isn't letting Air Marshalls on flights because they're on No-Fly Lists. This is so mind-numbingly idiotic, I just don't have anything to add. I mean, they're protecting us by not letting Air Marshalls fly.

On the one hand, if you missed this story, I'm really glad I was able to bring it to your attention. On the other hand, it makes for a really crappy blog post. There's really not a whole lot I can say to expand on it. Feel free to make stuff up in the comments.

I'll be running around scouting today, so I don't know how much I'll be able chat with you guys today. I'm working on a show for a Cable network that has real NYPD detectives telling stories about cases they've cracked. I have an appointment to look at a place that might work as a Police Precinct. If any of you have a place in your back pocket that might be a good double for the interior of St. Patrick's Cathedral, toss it out there. (I've got one idea, but after that, I've got nothing.)

I mentioned the whole Paula Abdul thing on American Idol thing yesterday. Watch it. After she starts talking about Jason's second song, (yeah, the one he hadn't sung yet), they let her babble on for something like 17 seconds before calling her on it. Two things: One, 17 seconds on television is a looooooooong time. Two, these guys constantly interrupt each other and talk over each other. I'm pretty sure Simon and Randy were just enjoying the bizarre, because they're certainly not shy about upstaging each other. As usual, Ken Levine has a very funny take on the whole thing.

Last, but not least, on Sunday Ben Stein did a little commentary on why the Texas raid on the FLDS compound was wrong. (I can't link directly to the video, but look for "Texas raid was wrong" right near the top of the page.) Now I'll admit, I've had similar thoughts blip their way through my head. I'll admit I've had second thoughts about the concept of grabbing 400 kids because you got a phone call from some unidentified 16 year old. But any time Ben Stein says anything about anything other than economics, I start looking for the flaw in his opinion.

Unfortunately, the secrecy that is always mandated in Child Protective cases means there's a whole lot of info we're not privy to at the moment. This is a tough area. The entire arena of Child Protective Services depends on the integrity, judgment and competence of the officials being above reproach and, well, there are a lot of documented cases where one or more of those things were lacking. I want to believe that the State of Texas has more than this one phone call to go on. They've got all of these kids in custody. If what they say has been happening, has indeed been happening, shouldn't there be at least one really young pregnant girl? To paraphrase Lt. Kaffee from A Few Good Men, Please tell me you have something more, Texas. Please tell me you're not pinning this all on a phone call from a girl you can't find!


Random Michelle K said...

FYI, What I've heard repeatedly is that they have ~20 teens who are pregnant or have already had children.

Jim Wright said...

Michelle, yeah I've heard the same thing, and I suspect that this is a true statement. Additionally, a rather large number of boys seem to have recovered from broken bones, far in excess of average - though that may be symptom of their 1800's life style and not a indicator of abuse. What I think is rather obvious is that there is a pervasive and long standing violation of US Law, Tradition, and Rights. Girls forced into marriage, under age or not, are de facto slaves - whether or not they consent to it. Those men, the husbands, who have sex with underage girls are guilty of statutory rape - again whether or not the girl was willing. Religious freedom does not override the law. While I am uncomfortable with the state stepping in without sufficient justification - in this case I think it has been reasonably demonstrated that these children were in danger due to the actions their parents (who were willing participants in something they absolutely knew was against the laws of the US), their community, and their religion.

If we had known Jim Jones' ultimate intentions prior to the Jonestown Massacre, or the Branch Davidians, - I think we would have been fully justified in going in and removing the children to a safer environment.

I also think that while these children's beliefs and life style should be respected - I think they should be respected only to a certain point, they need to understand exactly what happened and why and why what their parents were doing for the last century is wrong.

As to Paula Abdul, Nathan, I don't know and really couldn't care less. Really.

But the location scouting thing sounds nine kinds of cool.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well of course they don't let the Air Marshals on, they have guns.

Nathan said...


I have it on good authority that TSA confiscated their toenail clippers but missed the guns.