Related thoughts

What troubles me about Fielding's statement is that all of our system's did not fail. One of them succeeded --- the ability of the citizens of this country to identify a threat and take action as individuals to elminate it. The ability that was demonstrated so dramatically and successfully --- by the passengers on Flight 93, the only hijacked plane where the terrorists failed in their mission to crash into a valuable target.

As I wrote one year after the 9/11 attacks, I don't believe that America began responding effectively to Al Qaeda when we invaded Afghanistan. I believe we began responding effectively the moment that the passengers of Flight 93, fed information via cellphone calls from the ground, recognized what the terrorists on their flight planned to do --- and acted to stop it.

After all the hearings that the commission has had on the failures of our government to prevent 9/11, or even to respond effectively while it was happening, shouldn't there be at least one hearing to discuss what went right on that day? Where is the session devoted to studying the actions of the passengers of Flight 93, and their success at foiling the terrorists they confronted? Is there nothing at all to be learned from their actions, and their sacrifice -- or is the comissison just more interested in finding fault than in actually recognizing success?

Or is it a more basic blindness is the 9/11 commission, and our government in general, incapable of recognizing a defense against terrorism that merely consists of individual Americans willing to fight when it becomes necessary? That a defense that doesn't require a huge appropriation bill and a massive administrative army simply doesn't fit with the Washington mindset?

Democratic Convention: Capacity Problem? What Capacity Problem?

So the Democrats caught quite a bit of heat for "disinviting" some bloggers who had been told they would be credentialed for the convention. The Democrats claimed an oversight about the capacity available; Jeff Jarvis quotes today's New York Times editorial on the subject which suggests about 20 bloggers were turned away.

Well, apparently they found a few more spots, because there are now five slots open and reserved for bloggers --- or anyone else --- who win a fundraising contest:

To celebrate the beginning of the Campaign for a New Majority and the launch of Majority Makers, we are giving away FIVE TRIPS TO THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION IN BOSTON!

That's right, the top five "NetRoots" fundraisers on Majority Makers will receive a Convention package, including:

Round trip transportation to Boston;

Four nights accommodations in Boston;

Convention credentials; and

An invitation to a very special convention event.

I guess we have to conclude that using those five slots to "un-dis-invite" 25% of the bloggers that were jerked around either didn't occur to them, or was deemed not worth the effort.

I received the heads-up on this campaign via a DCCC email titled "Got credentials?", which read:

This program strikes us a perfect fit for the blogosphere, which knows well that George W. Bush couldn’t have carried out his program with a Democratic Congress -- and “President Kerry” won’t be able to enact his agenda without one! The need to net just 11 seats puts this goal within reach this fall, and you’ll be hearing more from us on refining the system after the convention. In the meantime, have at it and good luck.

(Scare quotes around "President Kerry" are from the original text --- and what exactly is it with that, by the way?)

And here's a wacky side question: I thought that credentialed attendees at the conventions had to go through some kind of background / security check. So how can the Democrats be simply handing them out to contest winners?