The New Normal, Alas

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This sort of story makes one pine for the days when plane and train delays were explained simply by weather and copious mechanical problems. Via Drudge:

Threats Prompt Searches of U.S. Planes and Trains

DETROIT (Reuters)—Bomb threats against three U.S. passenger jets and two Amtrak trains triggered extensive security checks on Tuesday but no explosives were found, authorities said.

Security officials, aided in some cases by sniffer dogs, took hours to sweep through the planes operated by Northwest Airlines . But the searches, of passengers and luggage as well as the airliners themselves, ended without incident….

The aircraft included one that arrived at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport on a flight from Miami, according to Clark and a spokeswoman for Northwest.

The second and third flights, from Memphis to Miami and Los Angeles to Detroit, were grounded before takeoff and screened by federal officials and airline staff. Both eventually departed for their respective destinations, Northwest said….

There were also bomb threats against two Amtrak trains traveling between New York and Miami.

A spokesman for the railroad said more than 140 passengers were taken off the northbound Palmetto at the Selma-Smithfield station in North Carolina and the train was searched. Service resumed after a delay of nearly 2 1/2 hours.

At roughly the same time, 176 passengers were evacuated from the Silver Meteor in Philadelphia. Service resumed after a 45-minute delay….

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  1. At least these were real threats. Not like the other day when they cancelled a flight because a psychic predicted an attack, and an official said, “Well, these days you can’t be too careful.”

  2. One cannot help but wonder when, if ever, the “boy who cried wolf” factor will kick in. I mean, it seems to me that the trrrrrrists don’t even need to actually orchestrate attacks anymore. 9/11 was the primer. Now, they can screw up our lives right nice by simply making anonymous threats against, say, the entire American Airlines fleet. If it takes several hours to clear a single plane for takeoff after one of these threats, I can imagine a conglomeration of trrrrrists manning a phone bank somewhere, calling in mountains of bogus threats, and laughing heartily as our country grinds to a halt.

    It’s kind of like the Post Office anthrax scares. Someone puts some baby powder in an envelope and pops it in the mail, and BAM, an entire postal district and/or congressional office is shut down for 2 or 3 days.

    No amount of fascist PATRIOT ACT-esque legislation can save us from the greatest fear of all: fear. This is what “terror” is all about: instilling terror in the populace. If all they did was attack, then, I guess this stuff would be called “attacks”. But the point of “terrorism” is to terrorize people. And if you can hold up a few hundred people at the airport with a single phone call, or shut down a congressional office for a few days with an envelope full of talc, then, well, that’s “terror”, folks.

  3. Fishfry-
    Damn, you beat me to it. I wanted to mention the psychic story myself. But what’s next–searching for Osama by inspecting chicken entrails?

  4. Fishfry,
    You beat me to it. I wonder if she had her psychic license revoked for that one?

    This reminds me of the time around Columbine. Some kids at my brother’s high school called in a bomb threat so that classs would get canceled … because they wanted an extra day to study for a test. Granted, it is in SoCal, so praying for snow isn’t an option.

  5. THIS is going to be the real cost of terrorism — not the cost of replacing buildings nor even the cost of human lives lost, but the cost of lost productivity and lost freedom due to preventative measures.

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