Wow. The day after Christmas and suddenly things are just running amok everywhere. Since I'm still fortified by my holiday egg nog (which, if you cannot read a newspaper through the glass of nog, it's not strong enough), I'll just briefly touch on a few of these rather than throwing a full blown tirade over each one. (For now. There's always tomorrow.)
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First up, we have some jackass on Northwest Flight 253 who allegedly (translation: he did it) tried to blow up the plane by attempting to ignite explosives which he had brought onto the plane. Flight 253 was destined for Detroit, having originated in Nigeria, and had 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. While this could have been absolutely disastrous had the man succeeded, what struck me as even more amazing was that there were 278 people in Nigeria that wanted to go to Detroit! How does that work, exactly?
According to the account by the huffy folks over at the Huffington Post, the plan was thwarted when "...travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him." Afterwards "...the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned." (That is known around here as "Friday night".)
Really, all of the circumstances of the whole ordeal are pretty murky, so it's hard to say if this guy was working for ol' Weird Beard over there in Sand Land (Translation: Osama bin Laden in Pakistan) or if he was just a plain ol' lone nutjob. But in the wake of this, you can expect "heightened security" at airports. Just what exactly that means, no one really knows. I'm going to have to guess because they really don't do anything. How were they going to prevent this? They like to tell us (in a ineffective reassuring fashion) that all passengers pass through metal detectors. Yeah, that's not going to help much with the bomb-y folks carry chemicals, now is it? Nope. Not going to help a bit.
And if there isn't better security in these foreign lands, that's not going to help much either. According to the article cited above, in Nigeria "Uniformed federal police officers often focus their time on keeping hagglers and taxi drivers out." Hagglers? Like street vendors? Like hot dog cart dudes? THOSE are the folks that the federal police officers in Nigeria are concerned about?! Tell you what folks? What say you let me fend off the guy trying to get me to buy a poncho or a shawl and you have the federal police officers try and keep nutjobs with bombs off of the planes, all right? All right.
Speaking of nutjobs, some woman managed to jump on or at (it's really not overly clear to me) the Pope just before he was getting ready to do his Christmas Day shout out to his peeps. According to those across the pond at The Daily Mail "Susanna Maiolo, 25, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems" jumped over a rail as the Pope walked down the aisle. The thing that amazes me is that she tried the same thing last year. (By the way, I really appreciate the Daily Mail folks characterizing her as one with "psychiatric problems". I find that refreshing. Here in the States, that would have read "with an alleged history of possible mental health issues". That's because our media coddles. The media also sucks. Sucks and coddles. Hmm. That's really not a bad name for a band, you know. Whoops. Sorry. I digress. Anyway....)
The Pope wasn't hurt but French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray fell down and broke either his femur or his hip. I've read accounts of both (because the media sucks, that is correct).
Since this woman pulled the same stunt last year, she was known to folks at the Vatican. People really stand up and take note when you jump out at the Pope. And a senior source at the Vatican (aren't they all seniors over there? From what I can tell, the average age is about 92.) said 'The fact this woman is known and was still able to get through security is very, very serious." Has anyone checked to see if she's had recent contact with the Salahis? Just wondering.
The article also mentioned that "All the people who were inside St Peter's had invitations and so would have had to be checked and give their names." Again, Salahis? Anyone? Anyone? But then I saw the photos of the crowd at St. Peter's. You know. That crowd with "invitations"? Behold!
Yeah, right. How do you send out invitations to that many people? How do you verify and/or check that many people and their invitations? I don't think that you can. I'm guessing that you don't. Oh, it's a good line to spew out in cases like this, but I just don't think it's possible. (No offense to the Pope, the Vatican, and/or God.) Then again, I also saw the photo below and have concluded that perhaps in the future, maybe the Vatican doesn't want to employ the court jester as a guard. Behold!
But the statement that indicated that this sort of thing is likely to happen again was when that senior Vatican source said, "This woman was able to get through these checks as well as the airport style metal detectors." Um, sir? Pope co-worker man? Yeah, see, when you're attacking someone, you don't need any metal. I can be metal free and jump on anyone who walks by me. A metal detector isn't going to change that. I appreciate the effort, but that was really weak.
And finally, we learn from the Washington Post that while President Barry and the family went to Hawaii for the holidays, Bo the dog did not accompany them on their vacation. The reason being is that, "Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii's quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies." Now, while I understand all of that, they sure do take it rather seriously. (I know that there are rabid animals on the mainland, but are they problematic? Sure, we'd like there to not be rabid animals, but is it such a big deal that is why Hawaii has these seemingly overly stringent rules on animals coming over for a little fun in the sun?)
Basically, if your animal is under 10 months old, there's no way that the animal can be brought to the islands and released to you (as animals usually are) without being quarantined for 120 days. That's right. Animals coming into Hawaii, if they haven't met a boatload of requirements, must be quarantined for 120 days. Wow. Now, while I can understand why the islanders would want to keep the islands "rabies free" how many people are really taking their potentially rabid dog to Hawaii with them? I'm guessing not many. I'm guessing not many at all. And 120 days seems rather excessive. Then again, those folks live in Hawaii. I can't imagine that they're in much of a rush to do anything really.