15 July, 2005


After London, many smart liberals are ranting about how this disproves the "flypaper theory." You know, the idea expressed by the President of the USA when he approvingly quoted, "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

Sorry folks, but the flypaper theory is a success. While the liberals complain about its supposed failings, that just shows what they know about flypaper.

Flypaper is a sticky amber-colored film often seen hanging in a barn. It smells sweet to the manure flies; they fly at it for a treat and get stuck.

There are different ways to reduce the flies on a farm. At some groovy hippy farms, they let the cattle wander around in the fields, dropping cow pies here and there. Cow pies would normally provide a fertile ground for fly reproduction, so farmers bring in a mobile chicken coop. The birds scratch through the cow pies, breaking them up into fertilizer and scavenging the fly larvae -- better known as grubs -- as nutritious snacks.

This can, according to farmers I've talked to as I root through their meadows, pretty much eliminate flies. When chickens chew up grubs, they are, as the MBAs say, incented to them all. If you don't let the manure pile up, the chickens, which in this analogy is the decentralized force of a healthy social system, can keep farms free of flies.

Then there's flypaper. Anyone knows who has actually lived on a farm (sorry President Bush, but your "ranch" doesn't count) knows that no matter how much flypaper you hang up in a barn, there are always flies rising from the manure pile, and some escape. That's because flypaper catches flies after they're born.

Farms that use flypaper to fight off the pests rising from ever deeper and more fetid manure (I'm thinking of my childhood home here) are doomed to flies not just in the barn but in the pond, on the porch, and once in a while, in the house.

The flypaper theory is exactly right. Iraq is a manure pile. Our brave soldiers, sent as decoys, are flypaper. And London, on the morning of 7/7, demonstrated how well flypaper works.

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