We'll Bust Up Al Qaeda Just Like We Busted Up AT&T

According to Skip Oliva, when our lawmakers reauthorized the Patriot Act they slipped in a measure giving wiretap powers to antitrust investigators. So if Osama tries to monopolize the market for terrorist attacks, thank a congressman for giving our brave boys at the DOJ all the tools they need to stop him.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    My shock and outrage meter was broken about two years ago. Now, when I see these things, I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, that's not unexpected."

  • ||

    Competition in the field of terrorism will result in more efficient, affordable and better-quality terrorist attacks for all.

  • Viking Moose||

    sigh.

    Marcvs: sadly, that's probably been the grand plan all along. (hey - if apologists claim that there has been master strokes of realpolitik coming from the bozos in washington, i can claim that).

    warren. set up the IV. it's gonna be a long day of drinking.

    "Competition in the field of terrorism will result in more efficient, affordable and better-quality terrorist attacks for all."

    "because there are a coupla japanese gangs out there that can do it faster and cheaper!"
    (can always throw out a Johnny Dangerously quote)

  • ||

    Big Terror has stifled competition and is, frankly, destroying the mom-and-pop terrorism that has made this country great.

  • ||

    Visiting Hit and Run is getting more depressing by the day. I keep hoping all this crap the government is doing is just a short term cycle and that maybe things will change. A decade ago I thought only Democrats would do this, boy was I stupid.

  • ||

    There's more to it than that, PL. Corporate terrorism may be cheaper and more efficient than mom-and-pop terrorism, but where's the personal touch? With small-business terrorism, that nerve-gas bomb may cost you an extra dollar or two, but the people who die as a result are actual people, not just impersonal statistics and numbers on a third-quarter balance sheet.

    And when I pick up the phone and hear a bomb threat, I like to hear an actual person threatening me, not one of those recorded voice-mail monstrosities. Those fucking corporations don't even know how to pronounce my last name, for God's sake.

  • ||

    This will prevent terrorists from teaming up and engaging in predatory pricing or price gouging.

  • ||

    "Please hold for an important threat against your life, property, or community."
    *
    *
    *
    "At Big Terror, your business is very important to us. Please continue to hold."

    I understand that Big Terror has outsourced most of its operations to the Middle East. American jobs are on the line!

  • ||

    So if I get kidnapped in Iraq by Monotheism and Jihad, and I'm unsatisfied with my service, I'll be able to switch to Hizbollah?

    Sweet.

  • Timothy||

    It used to be that you could wander down to the local terror mart and pick up some sarin and kalashnikovs...now all we have is Wal-Queda, it just isn't the same. And the other customers smell weird. Hard to beat the prices, though!

  • ||

    This is ridiculous even to me.

  • ||

    Recording of a Big Terror complaint call:

    Big Terror Representative: "Thank you for calling Big Terror. May I have your seventy digit account number, please?"
    Caller: "[redacted]. Allah, it took long enough to get a real person. I have a problem. Your people blew up a bus in my neighborhood."
    Big Terror Representative: "Yes, just one of the many services that Big Terror provides. What seems to be the problem?"
    Caller: "Well, we're all Muslims around here. I think you meant to blow up the Jews down the street at [redacted]."
    Big Terror Representative: "You need to speak to someone in our Marketing department. Please hold while I transfer your call. Thank you for using Big Terror!"

    Click. Dial tone.

  • ||

    Does the provision change the way the cases are prosecuted, or only the allowable surveillance methods? Are anti-trust case now anti-terror cases? If they are, then maybe this is just an early step in making every offense qualify as terrorism.

  • ||

    Damn, the Feds will be on to my master plan in no time with this new authority!

  • ||

    "So if I get kidnapped in Iraq by Monotheism and Jihad, and I'm unsatisfied with my service, I'll be able to switch to Hizbollah?"

    Well, technically you can change kidnappers if you're unsatisfied, but there are penalties for switching -- the original kidnappers charge an arm and a leg.

  • ||

    At least Wal-Qaeda has corpses in stock. I ordered 3,000 dead in New York and they delivered. I ordered just 9 dead in North Carolina from a local independent terrorist and he didn't have any; OK he did go out of his way to offer 9 injured instead but I really had my heart set on 9 dead.

    It's my fault really, the local independents are best suited for custom jobs, 1 or 2 dead. If I want volume nationally, I'll stick with Wal-Qaeda. An order like 9 is somewhere in between, best to go to a mid-level terrorist shop for that, like SWAT. Don't get me wrong, SWAT's good for the 1-or-2 dead jobs too, but their prices are way out of line even though they are open late.

  • ||

    Shouldn't it be al Qaeda Mart? With blue gas specials?

  • ||

    I am laughing to keep from crying. And anyway, doesn't the President have the inherent Constitutional authority to assassinate anti-trust violators even without this provision of the Patriot Act? A trust-buster with a bunker-buster, bitches!

    Honestly, nothing fucking surprises me anymore. I used to think the tin-foil hat crazies who thought the CIA and/or the Israelis were behind 9/11 were just UFO enthusiasts looking for a new hobby, but 4 years later I don't think I would fall off my chair to read a NY Times story about how that was exactly what happened (and that the Times had been sitting on the story since 9/9/01 because it was sensitive national security info). And then we'd hear on Fox News about how FDR let Pearl Harbor get bombed on purpose, and you know, EVERY president has done it, and would you rather have had Gore, who would not have had the balls to blow up portions of American cities to keep Americans safe? And anyway, it was all done while the Prez had his commander-in-chief hat on, so there ain't crap anyone can do about it, and by the way, San Francisco, you're next.

    Depressing.

  • ||

    this thread is very funny

  • ||

    To put it Milton Friedmanesque:
    Big Terror monopolies are a myth. Even if a terror monopoly could exist in a market of unrestrained violence, and that terror monopoly tried to ram planes into buildings and detonate dirty bombs without regard to body count, a more efficient group of Islamo-pigs would necessarily arise to murder with greater efficiency.

  • ||

    But Jamie, Big Terror is big enough to demand wholesale or even below-wholesale costs for its killing machines. How can smaller terrorists who have to pay retail be expected to compete on a level playing field?

  • ||

    Jen,

    Service after the sale!

    That's the problem with Wal-Qaeda: too much employee turnover.

  • ||

    Jennifer:
    First, you're forgetting the consumer-end of the Big Terror equation. We get more body count per our buck with massive explosions delivered by Big Terror than mom-and-pop-and-brainwashed-Islamic-child operations can possibly produce. We call that "terrorism of scale." Sure, Big Terror can get planes and explosive belts at wholesale or even below. But they pass that death on to you and me.
    Secondly, smaller terrorist groups like the-corner-Islamic-bookstore-which-is-actually-a-Hamas terrorist-hideout can always specialize, offering unique and specialty deaths like syringe gasoline injections and the like.

  • ||

    But Big Terror is too impersonal, Jamie. Admit it: you're sick and tired of bomb threats addressed to "Jamiss Killing," same way I'm sick of outsourced terrorists threatening to kill "Mister Janny Fur."

    And while the consumer may be able to get more bang for the buck, you're forgetting that Big Terror also drives down wages. It used to be a good hitman could command a six-figure salary for that one hit; now you've got people being killed for a goddamned pair of Nike sneakers. This race to the bottom is not good for terrorism, and it's not good for America.

  • ||

    Jen, we're talking about a commodity item. But perhaps the smaller suppliers could segment the market with Fair Trade Terrorism.

  • ||

    Jennifer:
    Do we really have to go back to Terror-nomics 101 here?
    You're pretending the going wages for a hit or blowing up a bus full of schoolchildren exists in a vacuum. Terrorist wages, like all capital (including rocket launchers, oil-for-food money) are determined by market forces. Sure, you can enact minimum death wages, but that's only going to squeeze the teen jihadists and limited-skilled terrorists out of a job.
    Besides, the wages of Big Terror are not far below the average. A recenty study by the Rand Corp. found that Damascus' Super Wal-Topples-and-Smashes-an-Adulterer's-Head-Apart wages were only 40 cents below the local Beheadings-R-Us and Acid Bath & Beauty.
    As for the alleged "impersonal" quality of Big Terror, I can only say that I don't really care if CEO Waheeb Khamil knows my name. The savings provided by his huge corpse-oration increases my dying power.

  • R C Dean||

    Note perfect, gang. You have managed to convert the Daily Depressing Link into the Friday Fun Link.

  • ||

    This may be a double or even quintuple posting because--big surprise--the server's messed up again.

    Besides, the wages of Big Terror are not far below the average. A recenty study by the Rand Corp. found that Damascus' Super Wal-Topples-and-Smashes-an-Adulterer's-Head-Apart wages were only 40 cents below the local Beheadings-R-Us and Acid Bath & Beauty.

    Yeah, yeah, I hear all this about greater terrorist buying power, yet the Cato Institute and Rand Corporation overlook the fact that it used to be, your average terrorist could support his four wives and put his 97 children through a good madrassa on just his salary; now five-income families who are just one killing away from homelessness are the norm.

    Revoke my libertarian card if you wish (all I use it for is picking food out of my teeth anyway), but I believe terrorism should be about more than just maximizing kill ratios: the terrorists themselves matter, too.

  • ||

    Jamie,

    I think you're wrong there. The union basically controls all wages throughout the industry and each supplier falls in line. I'm unaware of any operation paying other than 72 virgins. Perhaps there's differences in fringe benefits such as martyrdom and tuition reimbursement. Check with the AFL-CIO (Arab Foreign Legion - Central Islamofascist Organization).

  • ||

    Actually, Mister Jenny Fur has an account with the Janjaweed. A bit more expensive in terms of manpower, but you get genocide instead of just terrorism.

    Of course, it's not real accredited genocide, so no Western government will acknowledge it, but hey.

  • ||

    Jennifer:
    Ask yourself why a hard-working terrorist *needs* to kill 437 innocent bystanders just to bring home enough to feed his goats and harem. Unions have driven up the price of donkeys, piano wire, radio-controlled detonators, and thanks to labor laws, your typical dead Hamas agent only gets five hours of virginal sex per session these days. Don't even get me started on regulations. The Terrorist Regulatory Commission has rules on everything from the placement of plastic explosives on charter buses to the length of a scabbard to the ph of hydrochloric acid. How much can a man take before he completely snaps and joins civilized society?

  • ||

    Unions have driven up the price of donkeys, piano wire, radio-controlled detonators, and thanks to labor laws, your typical dead Hamas agent only gets five hours of virginal sex per session these days

    Yes, yes, blame the unions, not the CEOs who drive their terrorist organizations into the ground (rather than into a skyscraper, like they're supposed to) and then walk away with 9,000-virgin "golden parachutes" as a reward for their efforts.

  • ||

    If people like Jamie had their way, they'd turn back the clock to the 1960s, when bombmakers were accidently blowing up their apartments left and right, thugs without a single day in a training camp would take over a jetliner with no clue what to do next, and enthusiastic martyrs would stand around frantically pushing a button that isn't even connected to the explosives.

    If you really want bang for the buck, go with an experiences, bonded union terrorist.

  • ||

    joe: So if I get kidnapped in Iraq by Monotheism and Jihad, and I'm unsatisfied with my service, I'll be able to switch to Hizbollah?

    SR: Well, technically you can change kidnappers if you're unsatisfied, but there are penalties for switching -- the original kidnappers charge an arm and a leg.

    [laughter][applause]

    I love the way a H&R thread can lead to this kind of impromptu exchange.

    Either of the above could stand alone as a joke, but together, priceless, like a vaudville act.

    Jamie Kelly & Jennifer - good stuff too. :~o

  • Jesse Walker||

    Yep. This is the sort of thread that justifies the whole "enable comments" thing.

  • ||

    Hear, hear.

    My only regret is that I didn't get to this thread until it was all over.

    Bravo.

  • ||

    I have a question. What happens when Big Terror employees go on strike?

  • ||

    What happens when Big Terror employees go on strike?

    "Lack of Terror Strikes Caused by Terror Strike, Experts Say"

  • ||

    This thread is almost as good as the time we discussed torture in Guantanamo by imitating "Office Space."

  • ||

    "And then we'd hear on Fox News about how FDR let Pearl Harbor get bombed on purpose, and you know, EVERY president has done it"

    Nixon, they'd say, ordered the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and trained her to shoot. Squeaky Fromme was in fact working on orders from Ford himself. Carter and Reagan collaborated on setting up the hostage crisis.

  • ||

    I'm so sad I missed this one. :)

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement