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This Was Not a Terror Hoax, and They Were Not Fake Bombs

I am doing it as hard as I canTerror Scare! If you don't have a television or a radio, you might have missed it: Mysterious, technological devices hidden across a densely-populated American city. The city of Boston, thrown into chaos, bridge, highways and train stops shut down. After a city-wide search and investigation, officials eventually determined that the whole thing was a terror hoax. The two perpetrators were quickly arrested and held on $100,000 bond. Although thankfully no lives were lost, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino promised to make them pay dearly for plunging the city into a panic. The events happened, but the description above is not true. You wouldn't know it from most news coverage, but this was not a terror hoax, and these were not fake bombs planted through the city. Boston was not targeted, any more than New York, Philadelphia, and a number of other cities were. The "devices" had been around for weeks without causing any panic, threatening anyone's safety, or making it on the news. The "devices" were not even "devices," at least not in the ominous tone of a newscaster. They were advertisements. With colorful lights on them. Lights that formed the outline of an Atari-style video game character giving you the finger. They were ads for Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The Atari guy flipping the bird is one of the Mooninites, either Ignignokt or Err. Now I know that a lot of people are saying, "we have to take terrorism seriously." The two guys who put up the signs face charges of "placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct." Guess what? The overblown reaction and subsequent whining and finger-pointing is the opposite of taking terrorism seriously. Taking terrorism seriously would entail:
  1. Not panicking.
  2. Actually investigating things. Oh, and knowing things.
  3. Addressing real threats and security holes instead of imagined ones.
Question 1: How could Boston officials possibly have known what these cryptic figures were supposed to be? Well, according to Time Magazine, ATHF and the rest of the Adult Swim line up have gotten better ratings than Jay Leno and David Letterman for men under the age of 35. Granted the Tonight Show has been on a little longer, but what would the reaction and news coverage look like if this stunt was pulled by NBC? Does this mean the City of Boston (along with the TV stations and news networks covering the breaking story) have no male employees under the age of 35? Question 2: How could they have possibly tell the difference between a terrorist plot and a guerrilla marketing plot? They could try Google, or YouTube. Do terrorists film their preparations, put them to a techno beat, then post the video to the most popular video site in America? [youtube]cWMZ36K_gyg[/youtube] Now this whole thing might have been a big lame joke, except that some Bostonians and many Americans are so scared brainless about terrorism that they are probably going to try to put Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens in jail and sue the pants of Ted Turner. This part is very serious: do we really want to make anything that anyone thinks might be a bomb equal to an actual bomb in the eyes of the law? Do we want to make two guys who were mistaken for terrorists equivalent to actual terrorists? Did you know that people carry around complex technological devices that could possibly, maybe, in some scenarios, be packed with ounces of explosives? Gasp. Confiscate all the iPods! If you leave your backpack unattended at the airport, don't be surprised if they blow it. But if there's no threat, and no intent to create a hoax, you shouldn't expect to spend a night in jail either. Adult Swim has issued a half-hearted lawyerly apology (see below), but I don't think they should have apologized at all. [youtube]AVLJbRH8A7w[/youtube] Finally, I think it's important to educate the public about what the threat looks like: [youtube]T5rM39AhHDE[/youtube]

On terrorism and pregnant women

While watching a special the other night on the up-coming five year anniversary of 9/11 I found myself overwhelmed with all that our government has achieved in preventing another terrorist attack in this country. However, one comment in particular resonated with me. It was pointed out that in order for us Americans to ever be completely safe our government has to be completely on top of terrorism 100% of the time, while the terrorists only have to get it right once. For instance, that one guy with the bomb in his shoe; it's a relief to me to know that no one will ever be able to sneak other bomb onboard an airplane for as long as the literally millions of Americans that fly on airplanes every year are required by federal mandates (passed merely years after his attempt) to traipse about barefoot in airports. Err .. I meant, for as long as the literally millions of Americans that fly on airplanes every year are required to traipse about barefoot with liquid-free carry-ons. Unless of course that those liquids are neither medication nor baby food; because no one would ever feed a bomb to their baby. Or would they ... ? Now, as any freedom-loving, baby-kissing, loved-one-lost-in-the-War-on-Terror-consoling politician will tell you, these terrorist are evil, evil people who have no regard for human life and will stop at nothing to send the U.S. into a fear-stricken panic. And as I traipsed barefoot and liquid-free down this terrorist-free train of thought, it occurred to me, as if in a vision from Osama himself, the next plight of those infamous terrorist: plant a bomb inside a pregnant woman. This is a plan whose shear evil lack of regard for all human life is matched only by it's simplicity and ease of execution. Think about it: no one would ever suspect an expecting mommy to harbor such vileness and cruelty towards anyone. I mean, they can't even see their own toes! As an added bonus, it's not like the airport security is going to think to go rooting around in the whoo-ha's of every bun-toting-oven that waddles barefoot through their check-points. Plus, it's not like the terrorists will care that somebody's soon-to-be-mother gets blown to smithereens; after all, according to the popular media, as far as terrorists are concerned, women are only one step above cattle anyway. And thus, I believe it to be imperative to our national safety that we no longer allow pregnant women on airlines, trains, buses or in any other highly populated public venues, such as stadiums, concerts, and, most importantly, hospitals. If you disagree with me, you are an enemy of freedom and you are personally spitting on the graves of the thousands of men and women that have died fighting for this country.