Sunday, May 25, 2008

Global War on Terrier

In an article aptly titled "Terror Law's War on Dog Poo,"The Age reports:

An English local council has come under fire for using a surveillance law designed to combat organised criminals and terrorists to catch dog owners whose pets foul the grass.

Brian Binley, Conservative MP for the Northampton South constituency in central England, condemned his borough council for employing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which is intended for use "in the interests of national security", to track down dog owners who do not clean up after their pets. He said "some semblance of sanity" needed to be restored."

After hearing about the Northampton case, Mr Binley said he would lobby the council to stop the law being used inappropriately.

"I am perfectly happy to give police powers in order to fight terrorism and very serious crime, but when it gets to this level you really have to question it."

In April, Poole borough council, also on the English south coast, came under fire for using the act's powers to tail a family round the clock in order to check whether they had lied about their address to win a place for their child at a school. They had not.


J. said...

I don't understand what's wrong with Binley. It's all for the Greater Good.

(See Hot Fuzz...)

Cleitus the Black said...

Well done, coppers!

Finally, the Crown has taken the lead in reversing the tides in the epidemic of filth that has long been spreading through Britain's streets, courtesy of man's allegedly best friend.

Frankly, the man who's best friend is an animal of any sort is a dodgy fellow, anti-social and quite possibly homicidal.

Further, nefarious Mr. Binley, whose surname lacks only a "d" to make him a prime candidate for foppish matrimony in a Victorian romance, ought certainly be clapped in irons and hauled off to Newgate for having the audacity to question the machinations of the Law.

But I must say, for our streets to be truly safe, the traps really ought to take another step, and use their surveillance to weed out those fecal-fondlers who DO pick up after their odious pets with their bare hands covered only in a thin sheet of plastic. Anyone who takes pleasure in wrapping their digits around a warm, squishy lump of excrement is surely a pervert and a menace to society.

Transportation is surely the best way to deal with such miscreants.

Jeff said...

This post is reminiscent of the knot I've seen many critics of the Bush administration tie themselves in over the past few weeks.

First, it was: the war on terror has been an unmitigated disaster, strengthened our enemies, and made Americans less safe. Then came the recent wave of polling showing terrorism was declining, accompanied by a firmer understanding of our misinterpretation of previous rounds of polling -- namely that they all counted Iraq and Afghanistan and that, short of those two war-zones, terrorism has been on the decline for years.

Apparently hoping nobody would notice the U-Turn, the new line quickly became "See, the Bush administration has been fear-mongering all along; terrorism is a waning and manageable threat."

But a problem arose. How to reconcile this new data -- which seems to fit nicely into our broader political narrative -- with our earlier, non-negotiable, and undiminished insistence on Bush's failure in the war?

Answer: Run interference. Deflect attention away from the primary line of logic by drawing connections where, analytically, none exist; such as conflating effectiveness with cost-effectiveness -- two terms that could not be more fundamentally distinct. That way, our colleagues, aided (or blinded) by the new hear-only-what-you-want-to-hear political culture, have just enough ammo to dismiss the relevant counterpoint and reconcile this faulty line of logic nicely with their worldview.

"Terrorism has declined globally and not one citizen has been harmed on US soil since 9/11 [over the same period 100,000 US citizens have been murdered... by US citizens], but Bush's war on terror is still a failure because he's spent money inefficiently."


Cleitus the Black said...

Good Sir, your grasp of logic is nothing short of underwhelming.

Terrorism is declining, we are fighting "war on terror", hence, the "war on terror" is responsible for the decrease in terrorism.


One merely has to observe that terrorism has reached epic peaks in the history of mankind in exactly those 2 places where we have carried the war to it.

Of course terrorism is on the decline if you conveniently ignore the two countries where the majority of it is presently occuring.

If you factor out Russia and Germany, Jewish life expectancy around the world was in fact rising during World War II...

Pre-war Iraq and Afghanistan were not troubled by daily, deadly bombings until we arrived; and your observation that no Americans have died on their own soil turns a blind eye to the fact that thousands have died on foreign soil.

I applaud your initiative in writing, however, I rather think that you sell yourself short by confining your literary contributions to this humble electronic dialogue; the stunning combination of literary and logical talents displayed here would make you eminently qualified as an analyst or speechwriter for the current Reich, err, Administration.

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