The recent attempt to blow up a US airplane as it was about to land in Detroit may not seem to have much connection to healthcare reform, but on reflection the relationship is proximate and interesting.  The would be underwear bomber was known to the federal bureaucrats charged with protecting us from what is now a decades long concerted effort at destabilizing the US by Muslim extremists.

This is the unifying strand (it’s more like a chain) that connects most of these attacks either thwarted or successful. The government knows that certain people are a threat but can’t bring itself to take preventative action. It knew about the 9/11 terrorists, it knew about Nidal Malik Hasan, it knew about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and yet it did nothing. Abdulmutallab was on a terror suspect list that contained 500,000 names. Janet Napolitano the feckless Homeland Secretary who can’t tell whether our anti-terrorist system works or not seems intimidated by a list with half a million names. I’m sure the government has trouble with this long a list. But look at what Google can do with a far greater one. I searched Google for Shakespeare and got this:

Googles's Shakespeare search

More than 50 million hits in 0.13 of a second. I’m sure Google would be glad to keep track of all the government’s lists for far less money than the government spends to not be able to track potential bad guys. But the bureaucrats would rather die (or more accurately we die) than relinquish any part of the budget or control. They can’t keep track of anything while Google can scan the entire internet in less than a second.

The new security methods immediately put in place after the failed attack punish the victim rather than go after the villains. It swill soon be so onerous to fly, if it isn’t already, that the fragile airline industry will collapse. The proper solution is so dazzlingly obvious that the government’s failure to adopt it can only mean they’re blind; it’s to vigorously scrutinize those passenger who are virtually the sole candidates for terrorism They are young Muslim males (Muslim females will have to checked as well). Patting down 80 year old grandmothers from Iowa City and putting retired professors of medicine from Lubbock through a whole body scanner is more than a waste to time and treasure it’s a lethal expression of political correctness. Liberty for the terrorists seems more important than that of their potential victims.

We are so weakened by moral idiocy that 14 people are dead in Fort Hood because of a depolarized moral compass. When an assault victim tells the police that his assailant was a 30 year old white man the cops don’t line up 60 year old black women. But when it comes to airline screening we do.

Consider the recent flap about battlefield pregnancies. When a regional commander in Afghanistan ordered that women soldiers who get pregnant in a war zone and their impregninators be disciplined the resulting outcry from women senators and NOW caused the general to be overruled by his superior. He likely will never be again promoted because of the incident. Getting pregnant on the battlefield (no smirk intended) is not a good thing. We have an all volunteer army. There is such a thing as military discipline. The army runs by a set of rules different from civilian society. The general was right and the overturning of his order weakens the military and our national security.

The barbarians are always at the gates and they always will be. Our seriousness at keeping them out is doubtful. If they get in all our precious rights which are invoked as an excuse for not preventing their entry will be swept away.

What’s all this got to do with healthcare? The same bureaucracy that is making a mess of “homeland security” will be even more in charge of medicine than it already is. How can anyone  think that a 2400 page bill, the contents of which are fully known to no one will extend care and reduce costs? The suspension of disbelief required would make Samuel Taylor Coleridge take even more opium.

If the government can’t manage something as vital as keeping our airplanes from being blown out of the sky how are they going to respond to the same grandmother from Iowa City’s request for a lumbar MRI because of chronic low back pain? Perhaps they’ll send her to the airport for a total body scan which doubtless will be easier to get than the MRI.

The healthcare reform (as in reform school) bill that congress seems determined to pass even if they pay with their professional lives will create scores (likely more than 100) of new bureaucracies and mandates. These will not reform, will not energize, will not make more efficient a system that badly need real reform. Costs will continue to rocket out of control and medical care will degrade. The deficit will reach Alpha Centauri and the bureaucrats will soon outnumber the patients. Our response to terrorism and to increased government control of our lives reflects a serious weakness of national will. The barbarians are still at the gates.

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