Step This Way, Mohammed

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Ah, the wonders a government can do when it doesn't have to answer to a Constitution. In the UK, law enforcement is weighing a new screening system that would prioritize checking young Muslims over randomly checking all airline passengers.

The passenger-profiling technique involves selecting people who are behaving suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, have a certain ethnic or religious background.

The system would be much more sophisticated than simply picking out young men of Asian appearance. But it would cause outrage in the Muslim community because its members would be far more likely to be selected for extra checks.

The British—amazingly, still a target of ungrateful terrorists who don't want to thank them for liberating Iraq—are on the cutting edge of new anti-terror human tracking. Sooner or later they're going to introduce national ID cards. The Pet Shop Boys have already predicted it in song.

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  1. We should be screening the Muslims more. If you look at the terrorists who ran 9/11, and now the failed London plane bombings, they were ALL muslims.

    Sure, randomly check all passengers, but target the ones that historically have shown a perpencity to commit the crimes.

  2. Tom, buckle up.

  3. Actually, we should be checking all men between the ages of 16 and 40, since these are you likeliest group of violent criminals and terrorists.

    How old was Tim McVeigh when he blew up the Murrow building?

  4. prioritize checking young Muslims over randomly checking all airline passengers.

    It’s more efficient and less intrusive.

    The trouble with efficiency schemes is that they’re easily defeated, but the initial bang for the buck is good. Then go back to screening grandmothers later, is the best strategy.

    Better, use dogs trained to work at liberty mingling with the passengers. Dog saturation of airports.

    They already have xray vision.

  5. How old was Tim McVeigh when he blew up the Murrow building?

    Wouldn’t you say that McVeigh was more of a lone nutcase, as opposed to a political terrorist?

    It’s a tough one. Case of Realpolitik that fair minded liberals don’t like the smell of.

    The UK chief police commissioner got in trouble directly after 7th July as, when asked about searching potential terrorists and unfair attention on muslims said ‘put it this way, we’re not going to be searching old grannies’.

    Man, does anyone else get sad thinking that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives listening to people arguing about Islam? BBBOOOORRRIIINNNGGGG.

    I never thought it would come to this, but now, I only have the stomach to read the sports pages in the newspaper.

  6. Tom,

    Don’t you understand there was Tim McVey and he was a Christian (actually he was an athiest who turned against he U.S. after he saw people being bombed in the first Gulf War but he was a white guy so he must have been a Christian some time) and Eric Rudolph, therefore we must strip search your grandmother while we waive through the former Taliban on his way to give a lecture at Yale to show how sensitive we are.

    Of course they are going to target Muslims. What the hell choice do they have? The U.K. has a huge radicalized Muslim minority. They have already been hit once and had it not been for them getting lucky this time, they would have been hit again and a lot harder.

    “The British – amazingly, still a target of ungrateful terrorists who don’t want to thank them for liberating Iraq – are on the cutting edge of new anti-terror human tracking.”

    What is that supposed to mean? Has Michael Moore taken over Reason? Is it the Reason position now that the Pakistanis who were trying to blow up airplanes in the U.K. were doing so because of the invasion of Iraq?

  7. Drink one drink. 🙂

  8. When they say “search Muslims,” I take it they mean “search people who look stereotypically Muslim”? This might work until the terrorists figure out they have a better chance of success with bombers who aren’t of Arab descent. I seem to recall reading that at least one of the people arrested in Britain was a fairly recent convert to the religion. I wonder what he looked like?

  9. My first reaction to the suggestion of profiling predominantly Muslim passengers was, “Duh, of course we should do that.” But the more I thought about it, the more I was impressed to see Americans of all stripes turning in shampoos, hair gels, etc. without hesitation. It showed a great respect for the law and for equality that would be hard to find in many countries in this world. In short, that’s why so many people want to come live, work and be part of America, simply because when they see Joe and Jane America handing in shampoo right after a handful of crazy muslims tried to blow a bunch of people up it sends a powerful message. Okay, I’m probably not making any sense here and just rambling. Where’d I put my coffee…

  10. This might work until the terrorists figure out they have a better chance of success with bombers who aren’t of Arab descent.

    Hhhmm – I dunno. Chakri Chakribarti, the director of liberty, this human rights organisation (she is a major pain in the ass) was arguing exactly the same thing on BBC. Basically, that if we search solely muslims, then the powers that be in Islam are going to work out our tactics and come up with a new breed of suicide bombers who all look like moustachioed American sports fisherman in Hawaiin shirts.

    It’s a slightly childish point she was making. I reckon that, ethics aside, if you searched muslim looking persons and also young men, between the ages of 18 and 35 then youd get 95-99% of potential bombers*.

    * This is a guess.

  11. how do you tell who is a non-arab muslim. there are a number of african, chinese and indian muslims, not to mention all those who get converted in prisons.

  12. For the record, whatever else he may “look” like, would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid doesn’t “look” Muslim.

  13. Jennifer,
    I could swear you posted something just like many months ago when this topic surfaced. No? Some more crazy Muslims haven’t caused you to change your opinion on the matter?

  14. Look who’s opposing the national ID:

    Conservatives and Lib Dems in the House of Lords say they will continue to oppose identity card plans despite MPs rejecting their earlier objections.

    That’s right – the House of Lords, the unelected body (that is, doesn’t have to prostitute itself to the voters every couple of years) which we don’t have an equivalent to in the US. This, over the heads of the House of Commons, an elected body supposedly representing the interests of the people.

    Tell me again – what’s so wonderful about democracy?

  15. 1) All we have to do is search young men who look like they’re from North Africa, East Africa (Somalia), the Middle East, Persia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

    Even if you only go by the stereotypes associated with those regions, that doesn’t really narrow it down.

    2) To go beyond the stereotypes: On grylliade, Mo (our poster of Egyptian descent) described the range of skin tones, hair colors, facial features, and eye colors just in his family. So you can see how difficult it might be to get a meaningful physical profile.

    You want to talk about behavioral profiling? OK, I’ll hear you out. But profiling by appearance. It’s ludicrously ineffective because it’s based on faulty assumptions. Garbage in, garbage out.

    3) If criminals can talk senile old folks into handing over their life savings, how hard will it be for terrorists to beat the profiles by tricking a senile elderly woman into hiding something in her purse. (Presumably they’d befriend her in advance, not just pick some old woman at the airport.)

    I’m not a fan of indiscriminate measures, but I’m not a fan of targeted measures based on bad assumptions either. Aiming at the wrong target is just as stupid as aiming at everybody.

    Fight smarter, not just harder.

  16. “For the record, whatever else he may ‘look’ like, would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid doesn’t ‘look’ Muslim.”

    For that matter, if Zacarias Moussouai had an ID card that said his name was “Tyrone Washington”, would anyone think twice? Indeed, IIRC, approximately half of Arab-Americans are Christians, while approximately half of American Muslims are black.

  17. Some more crazy Muslims haven’t caused you to change your opinion on the matter?

    If religion were like gender or ethnicity–something where you can look at the average person and immediately tell which group they belong to (“Here is a European woman, and there’s a Japanese man”)–I might support this. But what does a Muslim “look” like? Okay, if an Arab guy tries to board a plane wearing the traditional disdasha and robes, I could see singling him out for special atttention. But what about a man wearing Western clothes who happens to have a dark–but not black–skin tone? We’ve seen stories about people here in America being rude to Sikhs from India, because they “looked Muslim”; i.e., like non-black non-Asian non-European Caucasians.

    Would John Walker Lindh have been singled out in an airport under this program? What about Jacob Sullum? He wears a full beard, I believe, which could indicate an Islamic religious aversion to clean-shaven faces. Granted, Sullum’s not an Arab, but that is no guarantee of his non-Islamicness.

  18. I just did a quick check. There are over 15 million Christians Living in Pakistan and – I’m going out on a limb here – I’ll bet that they pretty much all look like they’re Pakistani. Which means that they look Arab which means that, judging by some comments in this thread, they look Islamic. Profiling like this is un-American and even more un-Liberatarian. Pulling aside a group of Arab-looking passengers at the airport only serves to make the rest of us feel as though something is being done but it isn’t really a logical way to catch people who harbor ill-will in their hearts. Lumping all Muslims in with those who are poor, uneducated, abused and choose to lash out is like grouping all Christians in with the KKK. All green cars have wheels but not all things with wheels are green cars.

    Many security measures are enacted to make the rest of us feel as if something is being done. Consider the lighter ban and taking our shoes off to be x-rayed. The reason that we do this is because some idiot tried to light plastic explosives that he’d managed to hide in his shoes. So, of course, the locical responses are (1) run all shoes through an x-ray machine that isn’t capable of detecting the presence of plastics, and (2) forbid lighters but allow up to 4 packs of matches per person. Neither of these measures make us safe from shoe bombs but they give the impression that at least the government is trying to do something.

  19. “For the record, whatever else he may ‘look’ like, would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid doesn’t ‘look’ Muslim.”

    God’s Honest Truth – I lived opposite Richard Reid in North Acton, London about four years ago. He was an OK guy – I used to wave at him in the mornings and he’d wave back.

    And then he tried to blow his shoes up on a plane. What a dumbass.

    He did look kind of shady. A cross between a heroin addict and a car thief. Actaully, the two aren’t mutually exclusive…

  20. This is easy.

    Just have a female TSA employee attempt to smear passengers with menstrual blood. If the passenger freaks out – shoot them.

    Fight smarter people, not just harder.

  21. Lumping all Muslims in with those who are poor, uneducated, abused and choose to lash out is like grouping all Christians in with the KKK

    If we’re honest, that’s what a lot of people on this website do.

  22. Oh great… So first they take away my shaving cream and after shave, forcing me to grow a beard. And now they’re gonna punish me for that by targeting people with beards…

  23. This debate can only really be settled by some actual data from a country which does profile in this way.

  24. Mark VIII: “He was an OK guy – I used to wave at him in the mornings and he’d wave back.”

    Hitler and Saddam waved all the time.

    But what was cooking in the gray matter?

  25. Hitler and Saddam waved all the time.

    Good point. I need to reconsider my logic.

    Honestly, if someone waves then they’re allright by me. I’d make a crap judge.

  26. Y’all have this all wrong. If you oppress everyone, then security becomes much easier. Make people fly naked, while having to go through the automated scan and anal probe machine. And, as I’ve suggested before, forcibly render them unconscious for the duration of the flight. Easy! There’s no need to bicker about who looks dangerous or over who killed whom.

    Remove random-like terror and replace it with systematic government terror, I always say.

  27. Make people fly naked

    Awesome suggestion. I read in some weekend newspaper article that ‘on average’ an adult male pops at least fourteen boners in a long haul flight.

    That many dudes, that many ladies, everyone naked and numerous erections…..add doritos, guacamole and peach schnapps…looks like you’d be dealing with a party.

  28. There’s no need to bicker about who looks dangerous or over who killed whom.

    And no singing!

  29. What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?

  30. There was a case back in the mid-80s in which a terrorist planted a bomb in the luggage of his pregnant, lily-white Irish girlfriend…

  31. thoreau, I’m tempted to launch into song, but I don’t want to get thrown out a window 🙂 One benefit of nude flying (if the nudity happens before the bonk, bonk on the head) is that you will get to see large tracts of land up close.

    Mark VIII, again our nations have found unity of spirit. Along with your brilliant idea of skipping the unconsciousness and making each flight into a party–or an “orgy”, if you will–I’ll bring Yankee business acumen to play and save the airlines to boot. We’ll film the resulting shenanigans and sell it on DVD–Travellers Gone Wild!. Or something like that. I spelled “travelers” in the British manner in your honor 🙂 Porn and air travel. . .together again.

  32. I was just going to mention that, Peachy. Lucky for El Al and its passengers that Israeli security knew better than to focus exclusively on people who look Muslim. Whatever that means.

  33. We’ll film the resulting shenanigans and sell it on DVD–Travellers Gone Wild!

    I like it PL. Also, what about ‘Sex Snakes on a Plane’. That way, we’d plug into current internet fever for Samuel L Jackson’s latest AND give a rough approximation of the size of my privates.

  34. And just imagine the surprise–and chagrin–of bin Laden when he sees his trained suicide death squads partying like it’s 1099 on DVD! The humiliation would overwhelm al Qaeda quicker than a well-placed bomb at an undisclosed location in Pakistan.

  35. How exactly would a national ID in the UK stop Islamists from the UK who decide to blow their fellow citizens up. These people want people to know who they are and why they are doing it.

  36. And just imagine the surprise–and chagrin–of bin Laden when he sees his trained suicide death squads partying like it’s 1099 on DVD! The humiliation would overwhelm al Qaeda quicker than a well-placed bomb at an undisclosed location in Pakistan.

  37. One need only look to the Palestinian intefada(sp?) for examples of terrorists outsmarting profilers. They have used women as suicide bombers, and dressed their bombers as orthodox jews to name two examples.

  38. One need only look to the Palestinian intefada(sp?) for examples of terrorists outsmarting profilers. They have used women as suicide bombers, and dressed their bombers as orthodox jews to name two examples.

  39. One need only look to the Palestinian intefada(sp?) for examples of terrorists outsmarting profilers. They have used women as suicide bombers, and dressed their bombers as orthodox jews to name two examples.

  40. Device May Spot Travelers With ‘Hostile Intent’: TSA officials are testing an Israeli-designed security system that aims to detect passengers who have “hostile intent,” reflecting a broader push for new ways to combat terrorists using technology.

  41. One benefit of nude flying (if the nudity happens before the bonk, bonk on the head) is that you will get to see large tracts of land up close.

    That could be a blessing and a curse, not all tracts of land should be surveyed. Although I have to say, if I knew I had to fly naked, I would be much more strict with my diet. Maybe nude flying can end the obesity “epidemic”, too!

  42. I tell you what IS scary.

    A poll on the front of The Guardian newspaper today claimed that 30% of young adults believe in creationsim in the UK.

    Holy crap. We’re going to end up with Fuedalism by the end of the decade.

  43. “Lumping all Muslims in with those who are poor, uneducated, abused and choose to lash out”

    Assuming that the terrorists are poor and uneducated would be the first mistake in creating an accurate profile.

  44. How exactly would a national ID in the UK stop Islamists from the UK who decide to blow their fellow citizens up.

    The same way Columbine never would have happened if Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had been required to carry school-issued student photo IDs.

  45. How exactly would a national ID in the UK stop Islamists from the UK who decide to blow their fellow citizens up.

    The same way Columbine never would have happened if Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had been required to carry school-issued student photo IDs.

  46. Maybe nude flying can end the obesity “epidemic”, too!

    Indeed. Since world peace will clearly follow the implementation of a strict regimen of nude flying, I can finally get that share of a Nobel Peace Prize that I’ve been coveting for so long.

  47. Its a question of how to best apply scarce resources. Take a look at pictures of the people actually involved in various bombing/terror attacks in the West. Tell me there isn’t a certain broad demographic similarity.

    Then tell me why, when we are screening, we shouldn’t focus our scarce resources on people who share that broad demographic pattern, and quit wasting resources on people who we know present no risk (yeah, I’m looking at you, grandma).

    Sure, they may eventually come up with workarounds, but that doesn’t negate the point that focussing our attention on young men of Middle Eastern appearance will put the vast majority of the terror operatives under the microscope, and that is a good thing even if they have a few who aren’t put under the microscope. I don’t think AQ has an unlimited supply of blonde women to go along with their apparently unlimited supply of hostile young ME men.

    Lucky for El Al and its passengers that Israeli security knew better than to focus exclusively on people who look Muslim.

    And Jennifer wins the straw man award for the day, because nobody is talking about focussing exclusively on people who look Muslim.

  48. Let’s not forget riding nude on trains and buses,
    or attending football matches, walking the mall, or anywhere a crowd gathers. Did the BritRail system ban liquids on trains – such as the Chunnel? Can you image a few ticked French Muslims boarding the train in Paris, assembling their liquid bombs, and detonating them while in the tunnel?
    The future is we all huddle in our homes and immediate neighborhoods while keeping a wary eye
    on all strangers.

  49. Main Man:

    I’m not assuming anything – that’s entirely the point. There is no reliable way to tell what’s in one’s mind and heart just by looking that person’s skin and clothing.

    I’m trying to support the “Just Say No to Profiling” movement because it doesn’t work.

  50. Let’s not forget riding nude on trains and buses,
    or attending football matches, walking the mall, or anywhere a crowd gathers.

    How will they know the jug of disinfectant that I’ll have to carry isn’t an explosive?

  51. or anywhere a crowd gathers

    Like government-imposed security lines, for example.

  52. Wouldn’t it just be easier to ban carry-ons of ALL types? That includes your annoying cell phones you fuckers. Just check your fucking bags. Stop annoying everyone by holding up an entire line of people attempting to board because you’re trying to stuff a “carry-on” with three weeks of clothes into the overhead.

    The only thing people should be allowed to bring on board is medication. The airlines can stock baby food, formula, book and magazines. And they can put an in flight movie on every flight. The savings in security measures at the checkpoint alone would more than cover the new inventory on board. Get on the plane, sit down, shut the fuck up and watch the movie.

  53. Thomas Paine’s Goiter,

    To clarify, you hyperthyroidial hero of liberty, nude passengers will not be permitted any carry-ons whatsoever. They will, however, be allowed to carry on.

  54. Pi Guy,

    I am not accusing you of supporting the profiling.

    Sorry if it came across that way.

    I was just pointing out that many of the assumptions people make about the “broad demographic” of terrorists are not only difficult to screen for, but are based on false assumptions.

  55. Pi Guy,

    I am not accusing you of supporting the profiling.

    Sorry if it came across that way.

    I was just pointing out that many of the assumptions people make about the “broad demographic” of terrorists are not only difficult to screen for, but are based on false assumptions.

  56. Pi Guy,
    I am not assuming anything about what’s in your heart or mind.

    I just wanted to highlight the difficulty involved in defining the “broad demographic” that fits the potential bomber.

    attempt 2 at a post.
    Wonder where attempt 1 went.

  57. To clarify, you hyperthyroidial hero of liberty, nude passengers will not be permitted any carry-ons whatsoever. They will, however, be allowed to carry on.

    Indeed, they will.

  58. Double post,
    Drink.

  59. Pig Mannix,

    Indeed, Branson truly is a visionary. I bet Virgin Galactic will soon have double beds, too.

    Wow, do you think that this is what brings about the Federation, warp speed, replicators, and transporters? Nude travel? Who knew?

  60. PL:

    While the idea sounds good in theory, the last flight I was on had 6 elderly men, a couple that went 6 bills combined, a lady that should have been prevented by law from wearing those stretch pants, and at least two people that smelled of wretched body odor.

    I refuse to board that plane if they’re all naked.

  61. TPG,

    It’s okay. They’re just going to change the meaning of the various classes:

    • First Class – Okay, that’s self evident
    • Business Class – That’s where there’s lots of monkey “business”, because everyone looks pretty danged good
    • Coach – That’s where the less attractive people go
    • Cargo Bay – That’s where the People Who Must Not Be Seen Naked go

    Simple! And it brings a whole new meaning to the Trusted Traveler program.

  62. I’m okay with that, but who is in charge of screening.

    Does this plan go along with Censor?

  63. Wouldn’t it just be easier to ban carry-ons of ALL types? That includes your annoying cell phones you fuckers. Just check your fucking bags. Stop annoying everyone by holding up an entire line of people attempting to board because you’re trying to stuff a “carry-on” with three weeks of clothes into the overhead.

    As a friend of mine says, there are two types of baggage — carry on and lost.

    Current reports are that the added security in London has resulted in 10,000 lost bags since last Thursday.

  64. TPG,

    You are wise in the ways of the Force, Grasshopper. Naturally, the Censor will approve all Trusted Travelers who are pre-rated an “8” or better on the TSA scale. Equally naturally, I intend to be the first Chief Censor. Checking out the babes? and ejecting public officials on a whim–could there be a better job?

    ?Men, by definition, lack babeosity and cannot be babes. Though on second thought, I may have to delegate this job. My entirely babelicious-in-her-own-right girlfriend would be sure to object. So much for my perfect world 🙂

  65. How about instead of practicing positive profiling, we practice “negative” profiling, i.e. determining who cannot possibly be a threat. Start with 90-year-old women in wheelchairs. Wave ’em through. Other nonthreatening categories can be added to the “no threat” list.

    Frequent fliers can go through some sort of certification process analogous to obtaining a security clearance and they can be allowed expedited access with proper documentation. Not only will this make it easier for those individuals, but the rest of us would end up in a shorter line.

    That’s more reasonable than our current policy, at least.

  66. PL: I think you should designate a catty 27 year old woman to be the screener. They are HARSH on other women.

  67. AH, HAH! In the interest of open government, we run the screening on television! With judges! And catty, 27-year old female judges are perfect! Since many people travel, it’s a chance for people of reasonable attractiveness and up to get their fifteen minutes. Obviously, certain screenings will be edited out of the broadcast version (though the Web of Perversion probably has a place for naked people of ANY APPEARANCE WHATSOEVER).

    Wow, this is a concept that just keeps on getting better and better.

  68. Frequent fliers can go through some sort of certification process analogous to obtaining a security clearance and they can be allowed expedited access with proper documentation.

    A trial program was implemented. Preliminary indications are that it does not work.

  69. And Jennifer wins the straw man award for the day, because nobody is talking about focussing exclusively on people who look Muslim.

    No, people are talking about focusing on “Muslims.” But nobody can say how exactly one can distinguish between a Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, atheist, Hindu, Pastafarian or member of the church of the sub-genius. But maybe you can answer my question, RC–how exactly will security know who the Muslims are?

  70. Mainstream Man:

    No offense taken. I think, upon re-reading, that we are actually in agreement. I might’ve gotten caught up on details (no – you do NOT want to know what’s in my head).

    I drink to the double post!

  71. Maybe the TSA should focus on clairvoyants, etc.

  72. For the record, whatever else he may “look” like, would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid doesn’t “look” Muslim.

    [Link at news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1731568.stm ]

    Actually, Reid looked eerily like a scruffy, beat-up, wino version of this dude I used to know from my cousin’s neighborhood, who is Italian (guy on the left in this photo.

  73. My dream airline will require all passengers to consume a bacon and cheese porkburger before entering the cabin.

  74. Jennifer:
    Would the Pastafarian be the guy with the spaghetti dreadlocks or am I just stereotyping?

    RC:
    Actually, pretty much everybody is talking about how to identify Muslims. Most, though, including Jennifer, seem to think that it would be not only difficult but in violation of their rights.

  75. Jennifer, one thing about the Israelis is that for them to screen people who looked Arab would mean screening many, many Jewish Israelis. That’s not true here, of course, whatever the merits and implications of performing such screenings may be.

    I’m sure that we do tend to search people who look Arabic, despite the rules and despite anecdotes otherwise, before looking at white granny. Naturally, that means that Hispanics and others with a Mediterranean look get the anal probe more often than the rest of us. I think the earlier suggestion that we screen based on the least likely terrorist candidates is probably the closest thing to what’s really going on.

  76. Jennifer, one thing about the Israelis is that for them to screen people who looked Arab would mean screening many, many Jewish Israelis. That’s not true here, of course, whatever the merits and implications of performing such screenings may be.

    No, we’re talking about screening “Muslims,” but since Muslims don’t go for things like identifying forehead tattoos we must assume that means “people who look Muslims.” In the USA, this could be either white people (like Lindh), black people (like Farrakhan), or dark-skinned white people (like Arabs, though also Hispanics and Persians and Indians because a lot of people can’t tell the difference). Any man with a full beard should be viewed with suspicion, too, regardless of his ethnicity.

    Great. That’s what–95 percent of our population?

    The next Muslim terrorists will probably be captured wearing T-shirts saying “Jesus is Lord,” just to throw the cops off the scent.

  77. DNA tests? If you’re a Semite, you get searched? Yeah, that means that Jewish folk get screwed, but no system is perfect. Well, except for the Nude Travel system.

  78. Well, except for the Nude Travel system.

    Sorry PL but I have to question the perfection of a system that requires me to sit in another’s ass sweat.

  79. Wouldn’t it just be easier to ban carry-ons of ALL types? That includes your annoying cell phones you fuckers. Just check your fucking bags. Stop annoying everyone by holding up an entire line of people attempting to board because you’re trying to stuff a “carry-on” with three weeks of clothes into the overhead.

    The only thing people should be allowed to bring on board is medication. The airlines can stock baby food, formula, book and magazines.

    I agree about the stuffing of 3 weeks of clothes that could be easily checked, but people carrying fragile and valuable items should be allowed. I’m a musician, and most every time I fly I’m also transporting a one of a kind, fragile, 125 year old work of art that is worth $30,000, which I need to make a living. It *will*, 100% guaranteed, get damaged in regular luggage. Other situations might involve anything from art to scientific instruments to souvenirs, in addition to the more often discussed laptops.

    This is why I’m scared shitless that the idea of banning carry ons is even coming up for discussion.

  80. but no system is perfect. Well, except for the Nude Travel system.

    No it won’t. I’ve already said (and posted elsewhere) that if I were an evil terrorist mastermind I’d find some flat-chested female suicide bomber and deck her out with double-D-cup plastic-explosive breast implants.

    Heh heh heh. Good luck flying out of LA airports after Homeland Security gets wind of that plot. Especially us women with bad-grade bra sizes. “C-minus, are we? Well well well, I’ll have to give these an inspection.”

  81. Sorry PL but I have to question the perfection of a system that requires me to sit in another’s ass sweat.

    A quibble. Such things can and have been dealt with in the past. We can steam clean it for you wholesale. Or you can buy a security-cleared, vibrating seat cushion at the airport for your own personal use. Besides, if you read Mark VIII’s earlier posting, “sitting” will be the least of your contamination worries.

  82. Indeed, Jennifer, you do have the workings of a terrorist mastermind. Everyone knows that flat-chested women are bitter, too. A true conundrum, that one. We’ll have to figure this out. Can excessive fondling detect explosives? Anyone?

    You know, now that I think about it, our planes should be safe from the exploding boobs. However, we may lose a large number of TSA employees. Oh, well, they’re easy to replace.

  83. Indeed, Jennifer, you do have the workings of a terrorist mastermind

    Damn right. And I haven’t even mentioned my plan to have “suicide mules” swallow condoms filled with liquid explosives just before they board the plane.

    Oh, and be very suspicious of any member of the Hair Club For Men. I won’t tell you why; just trust me.

  84. I think we’ve found the new tagline for your blog: “I have the workings of a terrorist mastermind.”

  85. “Get on the plane, sit down, shut the fuck up and watch the movie.”

    For 14 hours on a flight to the Far East? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment, considering the array of movies usually available. Carry on should just be a book,meds, and an MP3 player. Or at least just a book and meds. The airlines can supply extra blankets, pillows, etc. and hopefully now large water bottles. I also get so dehydrated on long flights.

    Low carry-on could really be an advantage. It’s so annoying always having to wait on those people who have smuggled half of their life onto the plane.

  86. PL, I’ve been having enough damned blog problems what with the viruses that tried to invade my computer after I read the blog of the president of Iran. I shudder to think what would happen were I confined to Gitmo and something horrible like AOL dial-up.

    But I still think I might make up a list of ways terrorists can blow stuff up, because I don’t fly these days so the mass banninations that ensue will be lots of fun to watch.

  87. I love and am used to keeping a distance with those changed things.Only in this way can I know what will not be abandoned by time. For example, when you love someone, changes are all around. Then I step backward and watching it silently, then I see the true feelings.

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