Government

I fit the profile, scan me, pat me down, I could use a thrill now and then

Busted!

You're going to check where for what?

I am 67 years old, my family tree shows my family in the US since at least 1820, my great, great-grandfather served in the Civil War (on the winning side). I am a veteran and I have never been to any country in the Middle East or Asia. I don’t belong to a religion that glorifies Holy War (there is no such thing as a holy war by the way), at least not in the last seven centuries.

Clearly all of the above justifies the German version of TSA taking away a tube of cosmetics from my wife because it was a few millilitres over the prescribed limit. No matter that both my wife and I could each have had a tube of the same substance within the limit but with a combined excess limit. Hey, that stuff they threw away was expensive (or so my wife tells me).

In the future I will be scanned, exposing all my natural self in the quest for airline security. In the process I will be exposed to radiation (minuscule amounts they say – glad I’m not a frequent flyer) and who knows what else. What’s wrong with this picture, no pun intended.

Hold that plane, hold that plane!!

There is a darn good chance that I and a few hundred million other sane people are not security risks. Is it so hard to tell the difference between me and a twenty something, middle eastern traveler who has been to Pakistan in the last two years and attends a religious place of worship led by some guy who thinks it is still the 8th century and who preaches hate and vengeance? 

Apparently, if you are obsessed with offending someone it is hard to distinguish high risk travelers . No matter that millions of others are delayed, inconvenienced or embarrassed.  Besides, the way they squeeze you into an airline seat these days who has room to bring anything bigger than a piece of paper on board with you. 

Let’s stop worrying about political correctness and get this security thing right.  Napolitano needs to spend less time worrying about the ACLU and more time PROFILING (1). How about full and complete checks when you buy a ticket?  Match my data with my passport, there must be a file somewhere on me, I get enough offers for a credit card each week. Have a separate screening process for last-minute ticket buyers where there is no time for a pre-flight check.  

(1) Profiling: the analysis and classification of somebody based on personal information such as ethnicity, shopping habits, or behavioral patterns, used, e.g. in criminal investigations or product advertising 

Ummm, used in criminal investigations, but it’s taboo if used in investigations to prevent a crime (to put it mildly).  Employers are charging employee who smoke or who are obese more for their health insurance premiums, isn’t that profiling given there is no way to tell if a person who is obese or who smokes will actually incur higher health care costs regardless of the validity of overall statistics.

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