Posted at 10:27 AM on December 27, 2009
by Bob Collins
Twitter is providing the best glimpse of any media on how "increased security" is affecting air travelers in the wake of Friday's attack on a Northwest Airlines jet.
The Web site Mediaite has culled some of the Twitter reports. For example, you can -- apparently -- do Sudoku on the last hour of an international flight, but laptops are outlawed.
One commenter has an interesting analysis:
The way to security is not to try to combat specific tactics -- terrorists and criminals can always dream up new tactics and new approaches, and if they hit on one that our "security" personnel haven't thought of yet, they win. (If we focus too much on, say, airport security, then the terrorists will change tactics. What would a truck bomb at Disneyworld or at a Midwestern shopping mall do to make Americans feel threatened?) What we need to be doing is pouring less money and resources into defeating movie-plot threats, and more into intelligence, disruption, and interdiction of terrorist plots before they reach operational stages. NYPD, with its large Intelligence Division, is on the right track here.
Posted at 3:41 PM on December 27, 2009
by Bob Collins
Mobile phones are -- again -- the only way news of renewed violence is getting out of Iran. At least four people were killed, including the nephew of the man who claims to be the true victor of elections in Iran earlier this year.
Former Sen. Mark Dayton revealed in a Sunday column that he's suffered from alcoholism and depression. It's now an issue in his quest to become governor. In politics, there's often a price to be paid for honesty.
On Sunday afternoon, a Star Tribune reporter asked Dayton for more details of his admission, but Dayton reportedly said such details are "private."
Few afflictions can kill a candidacy faster than mental illness. In many ways, it's still 1972, when Missouri Sen. Tom Eagleton was whisked off the ticket with George McGovern after he acknowledged he suffered from depression and had undergone shock therapy.
John Hottinger, the former president of the Senate, confided after he left office that he suffered from clinical depression. He now speaks occasionally on the topic, "Mental Illness is a Disease Not a Character Defect."
Lawton Chiles retired from the Senate, and then announced he was suffering from depression. Patrick Kennedy was treated in Rochester for depression.
In 2002, an advocacy group called the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance released a poll that showed that 24 percent of all Americans would not vote for a political candidate with a mood disorder, according to the Washington Post. An equal percentage said they "might not vote" for such a candidate.
The Star Tribune's following up on Dayton's acknowledgment, however, now raises another question in the governor's race. Should all current candidates now be asked if they're being treated for any illness or have ever been diagnosed for it?
If people believe that it's none of our business, then Dayton's mistake -- politically speaking -- was in being honest.(9 Comments)