peterbirks: (Default)
It was depressing, but not really surprising, to see that all the bins had been removed from the train that I caught to work this morning. Since it's impossible to tell who runs what on the railways any more, it isn't feasible to ask anyone what their justification is for this moronic act, although I have no doubt that a mass of meaningless guff can be put out about "making customers feel safer". In fact it's a matter of "making customers' life less convenient and covering our own arses". Every facet of our life that we permit acts of terror to change, no matter how small, is a victory for terorism and a defeat for us. A pathetic bureaucrat probably made this decision to remove the bins without undertaking any rational thought whatsoever apart from "what if a bomb went off in a bin? Wow, then I might be in a bit of trouble". And so, bit by frightening bit, we lose.

I see that the US Department of Homeland Security is now under a new boss. It would be nice to think that my three-year tirade against that organisation, which was run with all the skill of a giraffes' limbo contest, had something to do with the change of tack, but I somehow doubt it. I particularly like the new concept of "trusted traveller" which, with luck, might end the farcical check after check after check that we currently have to go through when visiting the country. Perhaps frequent visitors to the US, who haven't blown the entire place up just yet, might even get their own immigration lane one day (kind of a "six visits or more" lane). But, well, that would be far too sensible, wouldn't it?
peterbirks: (Default)
The Salt Lake Tribune wrote in a leader (editorial comment) on Friday that "It is tempting to declare, in the spirit that the rest of the world showed us after 9/11, that we are all Londoners now. But that would be presumptuous of us. London will stand through this outrage, as it has stood through worse. And its courage will stiffen the upper lip of the civilized world.

It would indeed have been presumptuous. Look at this morning's news from the Press Association:

"Thousands of American servicemen and women based in Britain have been banned from entering London in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Members of the US Air Force stationed at two RAF bases in Suffolk were instructed not to go within the M25 until further notice. Matt Tulis, a spokesman at RAF Mildenhall, said the directive was issued to 10,000 personnel in the aftermath of the bombings and was considered the most effective measure to protect their troops."

So much for the "We are not afraid" banners. Pathetic.

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