A job for the Queen of Snark

Via Bruce Schneier:



New Contest: Can You Out-Lame the TSA?


Last week, in response to my article about the idiocy of airport security, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, Kip Hawley, essentially conceded the main argument of my article, which was that America’s aviation security system is not designed to catch smart terrorists, but stupid terrorists. Here’s what Hawley wrote last week:


“Clever terrorists can use innovative ways to exploit vulnerabilities. But don’t forget that most bombers are not, in fact, clever. Living bomb-makers are usually clever, but the person agreeing to carry it may not be super smart. Even if “all” we do is stop dumb terrorists, we are reducing risk.”

Not quite believable. And yet he really said it.

And so, a contest: How would the Hawley Principle of Federally-Endorsed Mediocrity apply to other government endeavors?



So, go to it. E-mail your entries to Goldberg.Atlantic@gmail.com.  The Goldblog reader who comes up with the funniest application of the Hawley Principle wins a subscription to the Atlantic.


Here are my entries. They are probably too close to the truth to be funny but still I figure it’s worthwhile to mock politicians in public anytime you get the chance:




  1. Gun “buy-backs”, restrictions on the type of guns, and carrying of guns don’t slow down a violent criminal any. But getting guns out of the hands of small stature women, the elderly, and the infirm will at least prevent those people from being able to go out and commit violent crimes.


  2. Hundreds of millions of meals are prepared each day in the U.S. by unlicensed food preparation people. These people prepare food for small children, the elderly, trusting family members, and unsuspecting friends. Food borne illness and accidental poisoning are exceedingly rare given the vast numbers of meals prepared without inspection by the health officials. Licensing and inspecting the professionals who prepare only a small portion of the total meals won’t stop anyone but a minority of incompetent capitalists but at least it raising the cost of doing business will encourage more people to obtain their meals from those who are unlicensed and less tainted by capitalistic inclinations.

If Tamara enters I will concede–sight unseen.

3 thoughts on “A job for the Queen of Snark

  1. I don’t have an entry. Most of them have already in fact been implemented– gov involvement in energy, transportation, argiculture, medecine, aviation, education, banking, housing, coroprate policy, securities and exchange, labor, welfare, et al, so its no joke, or we might say its a “living joke”.

    But I will submit a new term; ObamACORN.

Comments are closed.