Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adrift, we are adrift in languid, lapping wavelets of stupid

Good news! The "goodbye kiss" terrorist has been apprehended! No federal agents were kissed in the tense showdown preceding his arrest.

Bad news! Nobody can find any really heinous crime that he committed.
According to a statement from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mr. Jiang would be charged with defiant trespass. He was issued with a summons and told to appear in Newark Municipal Court.

It is a “petty disorderly persons offense,” said Paul M. Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County district attorney’s office, explaining that such an offense did not qualify to be prosecuted in federal court and only carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Good news! Given the enormous disruption that TSA's absurd over-reaction to Mr Jiang's innocent action caused, our brave and concerned masters have determined that he must be punished! Punished, I say!
In an interview on Saturday, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, of New Jersey, said he was hoping that the United States attorney’s office would consider bringing federal charges because the penalty Mr. Jiang is facing, “is hardly noteworthy and would not discourage people who want to break through the perimeter.”

The senator said the trouble the security breach caused far outweighed the punishment: 1,600 people stuck in the airport for six hours; flights delayed and an “incalculable” loss of money. And then for five days after the incident, New Jersey law enforcement officials searched exhaustively for the man caught on a grainy surveillance video, one which Sen. Lautenberg had released on Thursday.
Bad news! In a truly shocking development, logic and proportionality have left the building and nobody of any consequence has noticed their absence.

Actually, you insufferable moron er, Senator Lautenberg, sir, thirty days in the slam for ducking a cattle-chute barrier to kiss your girlfriend seems kind of excessive, and would certainly at least give me pause - but then I've never been that romantic. Granted that, if Jiang had been a crazed jihadi with a Semtex waistcoat, the penalty might not have been much of a deterrent - but then neither would the prospect of becoming a rapidly-expanding pink mist, so maybe your [redacted] guard should have stayed at his [redacted] post, no? Well, no of course not! We must concentrate on keeping the herd in line, so since there's no law on any books to punish this unruly fellow to the extent you think appropriate, let's just make something up. Is it because there are no lampposts in Mordor-by-the-Potomac that this guy still has a key to the Senatorial washroom?

And speaking of disproportionate penalties, what has become of the one person here who actually committed an offense that could have resulted in harm?
Mr. Jiang was able to step past security last Sunday when a guard, identified by a law enforcement official as Ruben Hernandez, left his post. The guard has been on administrative leave since Tuesday, and he faces disciplinary action...
So they gave him a paid vacation. Well, that's all right then.

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