We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.
Now, let me make that clear. Their thousands of employees are not making one arrest per year each. They are averaging slightly over four arrests each year by the entire agency. In other words, we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest. Let me repeat that: we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest.
Professor Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania wrote last year about the money feeding frenzy of the war on terror. And he wrote this: “Nearly 7 years after September 11, 2001,” he wrote this last year, “what accounts for the vast discrepancy between the terrorist threat facing America and the scale of our response? Why, absent any evidence of a serious terror threat, is a war to on terror so enormous, so all-encompassing, and still expanding? The fundamental answer is that al Qaeda’s most important accomplishment was not to hijack our planes but to hijack our political system.”
“For a multitude of politicians, interest groups and professional associations, corporations, media organizations, universities, local and State governments and Federal agency officials, the war on terror is now a major profit center, a funding bonanza, and a set of slogans and sound bites to be inserted into budget, grant, and contract proposals.”
And finally, Professor Lustick wrote: “For the country as a whole, however, it has become maelstrom of waste.” And there is no agency for which those words are more applicable than the Federal Air Marshal Service.
Now, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon — the most powerful broadband providers — are trying to fundamentally change the way the Internet works. They’re seeking to make even bigger profits by acting as gatekeepers over what you can see and do online.
The question has caused me and countless others many a sleepless night (OK, many a fruitless hour) for the better part of three years: Why in the name of Steve Jobs does every picture of every iPhone in every Apple ad show the time as 9:42.
Manning walked over to Forstall and asked the question that’s been bugging (some of) us for years. Here is Forstall’s reply:
“We design the (product launch) keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. When the big image of the product appears on screen, we want the time shown to be close to the actual time on the audience’s watches. But we know we won’t hit 40 minutes exactly.”
“So you add a couple of minutes?”
“Yeah! And for the iPhone, we made it 42 minutes. It turned out we were pretty accurate with that estimate, so for the iPad, we made it 41 minutes. And there you are – the secret of the magic time.”
If you have marveled, as many have, about Sarah Palin’s distinctive speech patterns, John McWhorter has an explanation: She speaks like a child.
Please, please, good people, before you rush to Plymouth Road with your pitchforks and torches, this is not a Palin-bashing exercise. Dr. McWhorter is a linguist, and he presents at The New Republic a linguistic analysis of Ms. Palin’s speech patterns, along with an explanation of its appeal to the public.
In 2003 the International Monetary Fund published yet another internal review with an impressively dull title “The IMF and Argentina, 1991-2001”. But hidden in that text is explosive language and great clarity of thought – in essence, the IMF staff belatedly recognized that their decision to repeatedly bailout Argentina from the mid-1990s through 2002 was wrong:
“The IMF should refrain from entering or maintaining a program relationship with a member country when there is no immediate balance of payments need and there are serious political obstacles to needed policy adjustment or structural reform” (p.7, recommendation 4).
If Mr. Trichet (head of the European Central Bank), Ms. Merkel (German Chancellor), and Mr. Sarkozy (French President) have not reviewed this document yet, they should skim it immediately. Because one day soon Greece will be calling on the IMF for a loan, and it seems mostly likely that the mistakes made in Argentina will be repeated.