Why I Love Jonah Goldberg: Part Eleventy

Besides the whole cuddly, conservative-with-a-heart, intellectual thing?

“Dune” references.

The backdrop for my favorite science-fiction novels, Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, is something called the Butlerian Jihad. Some 10,000 years before the main events of the story take place, humanity rebelled against “thinking machines” — intelligent computers — controlling people’s lives. The revolution was sparked because a computer decided to kill, without the consent of any human authority, the baby of a woman named Jehanne Butler.

I bring this up because I’m wondering why we can’t have a Weberian Jihad.

Its namesake would be Jean Weber, a 105-pound, 95-year-old Florida woman whose daughter claims was forced by airport security to remove her adult diaper in compliance with a body search. Weber is dying of leukemia. She did not have another clean diaper for her trip…


…And that’s what brought to mind “Dune’s” Butlerian Jihad. The holy war against machines was also a war against a mind-set. “The target of the jihad was a machine-attitude as much as the machines,” a character explains. “Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments.” In the aftermath, a new commandment was promulgated: “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.”

It seems the first commandment of the TSA is that every mind must be trained in the likeness of a machine. “Garbage in, garbage out,” is how computer programmers explain the way bad outputs are determined by bad inputs. Likewise, if TSA workers are programmed not to use common sense or discretion — surprise! — TSA workers won’t use common sense or discretion.

Why not? One reason is we’ve institutionalized an irrational phobia against anything smacking of racial or religious profiling. Once you’ve decided that disproportionate scrutiny of certain groups is verboten, you’ll have to hassle everyone equally.

Thus we’re told that a 95-year-old woman’s diaper is just as likely to be the front line in the war on terror as a 22-year-old Pakistani’s backpack.

We would have Wormsign the likes of which even God has never seen!!

But Jonah’s going to jail because he used “jihad” and “TSA” in a paragraph together, so I have to go bake some cookies with a file in them. BRB.

3 Responses to “Why I Love Jonah Goldberg: Part Eleventy”

  1. Skyler says:

    If we strip searched a 95 year old woman, heck, if we strip searched any woman, double heck, if we routinely strip searched men in Iraq or Afghanistan, we’d have riots out here.

    We are no longer a free people. The 4th Amendment protects us from searches unless they want to feel your genitals?

    Where are the American people that believed in freedom? What is left of them? Have we been so domesticated that we allow perverted little thugs who can’t get good jobs to feel up women and children and 95 year old ladies?

    One hundred years ago any government agent trying such a thing would have been shot dead on the spot by someone with a proper sense of honor, and that’s why it never happened.

    Now, the government no longer fears the people. We are now officially cows.

  2. aelfheld says:

    Dune is a wonderful novel – rich, detailed, a Greek tragedy on a galactic stage. Herbert’s pièce de résistance.

    Unfortunately neither he nor his untalented son would stop mucking about with something that approached perfection.

    The sequels are were . . . how to put this nicely . . . crap on a stick. Each successive sequel was at least twice as bad as the preceding one. That a collapsar has yet to form is a bafflement and conundrum to astrophysicists.

  3. aelfheld says:

    Sorry. The above is a tad off-topic.

    As for taking out TSA agents and their supervisors, I have a couple of questions. Will we need licences? Is there a particular season? Is there a bag limit? Enquiring minds want to know.

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