August 20, 2006

Airline passengers "mutiny."

But do they deserve to be called racist? There were factors beyond the Middle Eastern appearance of the men who spooked them, but they are factors -- like scruffiness -- that we ignore all the time. I think that people may be turning down their internal censor and taking action where before they would simply calm themselves.

84 comments:

Seven Machos said...

This is normal human behavior. I think people are reacting pretty reasonably to what is going on in the world.

Also, what is the terrorist fetish with planes? I find the psycholoygy of it very odd. Couldn't somebody just as easily martyr themselves in a crowded Manhattan bar?

Jim said...

It is important to use situations like this to nip racism and other stereotyping in the bud.

I think it would be a good idea for freedom fighters the world over to begin looking scruffy and speaking what appears to be Arabic with each other.

I hope the two guys get a big damage award, so that in the future the majority will begin to feel the pain of disadvantaged minorities. That's the point of a lot of terrorism, in fact, and TWAT will be soon be making terrorists and asymmetric warriors of all of us minorities.

Seven Machos said...

Jim: you are a loon. Who are the passengers going to sue? The passengers?

Terrorists don't want civil rights. They want to impose Sharia law and dominate the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/
magazine/20wwln_essay.html?_r=1&oref=login

Jim said...

Seven Machos,

You seem to have concluded that the two guys were terrorists. Your attitude is exactly the problem, and those of us out here who daily suffer the same sorts of discrimination and abuse for no reason, whether muslims or not, are being driven by TWAT to asymmetrical warfare, exactly because there are few people to sue.

Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther, MLK and Thomas Paine figured that out, and they weren't muslims. Why can't you?

knoxgirl said...

This is a tired point, but if more people who look "Arabic" were out there denouncing terrorism, people would be much less apt to react that way.

After the plot that just got discovered, you'd be comatose not to be a little concerned about these guys, with their bulky coats, on your plane.

Jim said...

What if these Arabic-looking guys with the bulky coats had been a white "pregnant" woman carrying a very big swaddled "baby?"

If the freedom fighters do ever take to using exploding babies, we can at least look forward to quieter air travel.

Mark said...

Actually, knoxgirl, I'd say if fewer people who looked arabic were out there blowing people up these things wouldn't' happen. I don't think it would make much difference if moderate Islamic groups periodically issued condemnations of terrorism. They do that now. The problem is that almost all the terrorism in the world is committed by Middle Easterners/muslims. Thus it makes perfect sense to "profile" such people as possible terrorists - especially on airplanes. This is not "discrimination and abuse for no reason". This is a perfectly sensible state of high alertness to a threat that only a few days ago was again proven well-founded.

I find it a very heartening sign that when Westerners are pushed hard enough, even liberal Europeans will act in the interest of self-preservation. As Laurence Auster points out, for once they aren't acting like Eloi.

Bissage said...

I'm curious to know the real reason the two men were deplaned. (Here comes that little black duck again with his conspiracy theories.)

Was it really for further security screening or was it to placate the dissenters/customers who would otherwise be on that particular plane? Surely the two men were thoroughly screened from the start. And, after all, the two men simply took a different flight.

My point is this: Couldn't the captain have declared to the dissenters (I venture most of the passengers were were willing to fly with the two men on board)that the flight is leaving, and you all can get on it, or you can forfeit your money.

Guess not.

David said...

Racial profiling is a form of assymetrical warfare that is long overdue.

The rules are simple. If you are Muslim in appearance expect extra scrutiny. Intimidating the rest of us with taunts of racist is the typical response radical Islamists expect to aid them in their nefarious endeavors.

Common sense dictates that arguably 99% of hijackers are Muslim males in a certain age group. Conforming to ridiculous politically correct notions of right to privacy in a time of war is suicidal.

Like neighborhood watchgroups, airline passengers need to be responsible for their own safety to the extent of the law. Situational awareness is key. I always tell the stewardess/steward that if they need any help, for any reason, to not hesitate to ask me for assistance.

knoxgirl said...

If the freedom fighters do ever take to using exploding babies

Well, Jim, when that happens, I suppose people will start eying babies suspiciously too. What a great day that will be!

mango said...

I'm not sure I would get off a plane for it, but I know that I will definitely switch subway cars or trains if someone triggers my internal "dangerous" meter. My feeling is that it's minimally inconvenient to move, and it would be maximally inconvenient not to and be damaged in some way, so I move. It doesn't happen that often, but I don't feel bad for it at all. I'm not paranoid (I don't move very often) but I am willing to listen to my instincts when they tell me someone is dangerous.

(And before you jump down my throat for being racist, at least half of the times I've relocated have involved white guys. If I refused to ride with people of middle eastern descent, I'd never get anywhere, as I live in a neighborhood that's at least 40% what the Brit's would call Asian.)

David said...

One other thing. These two may have been pinging the system to see how thorough the boarding process was for Ryanair. In any case, the way it was handled will give the terrorists pause to reflect.

The Drill SGT said...

Jim is just trolling along. He used the same OTT remark last week on Volokh.com discussing bringing milk on planes:

(link)jimbino (mail)13 Aug 06 :
If only the terrorists had hatched a plan using exploding babies instead of liquids! Think of the peace and quiet that might take your mind off the missing iPods, novels and water bottles!

Freder Frederson said...

Of course they deserve to be called racist. These two passengers received extra screening for no other reason than some typically xenophobic, racist Brits thought they looked and "acted" like terrorists (they looked at their watches a lot--and I always do when I'm at the airport). If people didn't want to fly with them, fine. They should have been allowed to get off the plane and take a later flight on which there seats available. Two innocent people shouldn't be inconvenienced because of a bunch of ignorant, racist, paranoid Brits.

My parents are British, my mother is half-Indian (her father was from Bombay and maiden name was Mahomed). She endured constant discrimination as she grew up in England.

I think the far right anti-government activists, white supremacists and fundamentalist anti-abortion activists in this country are a much greater threat of terrorism than islamists (after all they are responsible for the second greatest act of terrorsim in this country, more total recent acts of terrorism, and historically more deaths by terror than all Islamic terrorists in this country). Does that mean I have the right to force every redneck I see off the planes I am flying on?

Mark said...

Jim, when white women feigning pregnancy begin suicide bombing and terrorizing, we'll start profiling them. Until then, it makes sense to profile middle easterners, especially young men without women or children along.

The Krishnans said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Krishnans said...

So lets see...Here is a scenario for thought. As someone who looks muslim - I am an Indian of Hindu ancestry - i have already been subjected to extra scrutiny by the TSA (i have no problem with that) and am waiting at my gate discussing the Bombay bombings with a colleague (who also happens to be Indian) and we are talking to each other in Hindi and the word bomb is part of our conversation. Mr and Mrs. Ignorant overhear us and freak out and refuse to fly with us thinking we are talking "Arabic", look "muslim" and are security threat. All perfectly rational (but slightly silly - given that TSA has given us the once's over). While certainly not racist, it smacks of paranoia. Its fine to be vigilant but the Malaga situation, at least to me, seemed to be an overreaction. But the one silver lining i see in this - flying while looking South Asian becomes more pleasurable because of empty planes.

John Jenkins said...

It is important to use situations like this to nip racism and other stereotyping in the bud.

It's simple, Jim, and others have pointed it out. Terrorist attacks on western airliners are disproportionately carried out by middle-eastern Muslim males. That's data you can't get around. However, in an effort to be PC, to avoid offending, or whatever, western governments ignore this important bit of data. It is therefore not surprising that people won't ignore it because they do not trust the government to do the job.

I think it would be a good idea for freedom fighters the world over to begin looking scruffy and speaking what appears to be Arabic with each other.

To be a freedom fighter, one would have to be fighting for freedom. Just because your country is adopting a culture you dislike from another country, doesn't mean there's an attack on your freedom. Moreover, it's ludicrous to assume any Islamic terrorist group is fighting for freedom. see, e.g. Taliban era Afghanistan, Saudia Arabie and Iran; bastions of freedom, all. Fortunately, the vast majority of terrorists alreadly look scruffy and speak Arabic among one another, so we have a wonderful happenstance that makes some small part of your warped vision of reality true!

I hope the two guys get a big damage award, so that in the future the majority will begin to feel the pain of disadvantaged minorities. That's the point of a lot of terrorism, in fact, and TWAT will be soon be making terrorists and asymmetric warriors of all of us minorities.

Um, no. First, given the fact that many terrorists come from the privilieged classes of their home countries, see Saudi Arabia again, the whole disadvantaged minority thing is a load of garbage. Second, it's good to know that you identify with your revolutionary brothers and sisters but we know you don't have the balls to do anything, so spare us that bullshit. The *point* of terrorism is control. Don't kid yourself with anything else.

You seem to have concluded that the two guys were terrorists. Your attitude is exactly the problem, and those of us out here who daily suffer the same sorts of discrimination and abuse for no reason, whether muslims or not, are being driven by TWAT to asymmetrical warfare, exactly because there are few people to sue.

Wha? See my first response. By the way, the logic "you have discriminated against me therefore you must die" is a little faulty and you might want to rethink it, or rather, try thinking through it.


Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther, MLK and Thomas Paine figured that out, and they weren't muslims. Why can't you?

Presumably you're not this big an idiot, but you might be. Leaving Jesus, Thomas Paine and Martin Luther out (they seem to be misplaced all thigns considered), you will note that Ghandi and King both realized that their oppressors had a conscience to which Ghandi and King could appeal.

Ghandi and King were able to say, "look, you say you stand for these things, but your actions don't conform to those beliefs. You have to conform or change your beliefs." They used non-violent means and achieved their goals because of that. This doesn'ty always work, see Tienamen Square, but it can when your opponent has a conscience to which you can appeal. Muslim terrorists haven't tried that because (1) in the west, they have freedom and (2) at home, it wouldn't work. There were terrorist attacks throughoug the 20th century before the war on terror, so you can't even get a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy out of your argument

What if these Arabic-looking guys with the bulky coats had been a white "pregnant" woman carrying a very big swaddled "baby?"

If the freedom fighters do ever take to using exploding babies, we can at least look forward to quieter air travel.


Maybe you have spent a lot of time in Muslim cultures. It's pretty rare, in the west, for a woman to have an infant, quickly get pregnant again, and start flying. I guess when women are covered baby factories, that might make sense.

As to freedom fighters, see above. As to the rest, then you modify tactics.

You seem to have a bizzarre vision where asymmetric warfare is some kidn of heroic fight against "the man." The problem with that is twofold. First, Muslim terrorists kill muslims of other sects all the time just because of sectarian differences and second, how do you explain blowing things up in places like India? I guess those Hindus are a mighty oppressive majority as well. Oh wait, they were targeted for religious differences. Say, you don't think this could be motivated by a belief in the primacy and necessary ascendance of Islam, do you? Nah, couldn't be.

Seven Machos said...

What is the civils rights violation here? Airplane law is quite different than walking-down-the-street law.

Trolls with law degrees: help me out here.

ChrisO said...

Boy, talk about misdirection. Continually repeating that most terrorist acts are carried out by muslims completely ignores the facts of the story. If you're concerned about muslims on planes, then support profiling and extra scrutiny. But nothing says these guys weren't scrutinized. The fact is that all muslims don't lose their rights because some muslims are terrorists. The essential facts are that these guys were denied their right to fly because other passengers decided they shouldn't be allowed on the plane. So trained security people can clear them, but hysterical passengers get to make the call. How can you people possibly defend this? Hysteria is not an excuse for humiliating people. Remember, we're not talking about these guys receiving extra scrutiny. I'm willing to bet that they were as heavily scrutinized as anyone on that plane. But speaking in a language that "sounded like" Arabic? Checking their watches? Portraying their hysteria as some kind of internal "danger meter" is ridiculous. The fact that you feel endangered because of your own ingorance and hysteria doesn't mean that everyone has to listen to you.

Seven Machos said...

Chris O. -- What rights did the passengers lose? Where was the State action?

I think you are the one misdirecting.

tjl said...

Speaking of trolls, once "Jim" bestowed the term "freedom fighters" on terrorists he proved that any attempts at engaging with him rationally would be useless.

His attempts to call on the legacy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King are particularly grotesque in this context. Gandhi and King stood for the principle that social justice could and should be achieved peacefully through an appeal to the power of conscience. If the Arabs had applied Gandhi's lesson, a Palestinian state would have been born 20 years ago and the Middle East would now be peaceful and prosperous.

Theo Boehm said...

I'm wondering why simply being scruffy passengers should set off alarm bells. If they were sufficiently scruffy, we might not want to sit next to them for hygenic reasons. But these two just went through supposedly strict security, weren't acting strangely other than speaking a foreigh language, and so presumably should have posed no threat.

Weren't the 9/11 highjackers fairly neatly-dressed and middle-class looking?

I may be wrong, but Richard Reid is the only actual terrorist I can think of with a wierd appearance.

Wouldn't it be just as easy to hide explosive ingredients under a sports jacket as the strange garb these two had on?

What about a terror attack where a couple of unshaven wild-eyed types from Central Casting attract all the attention, while the actual culprits are those smartly-dressed businessmen in row 17?

Judging from appearances may or may not be racist. That category has been overused anyway to the point of meaninglessness. But making judgements based on appearance alone can be very stupid.

Will our frightened overreaction be the next tool of our enemies?

PatCA said...

"Also, what is the terrorist fetish with planes?"

Because the act is a gesture, not an act with a political aim, like a hunger strike or a military coup. It is theater for the intended masses, horrible and thrilling, and also places the terrorist at the center of his own ecstatic drama. At the point of total submission to his version of Islam, that's all he's got left.

stephenb said...

Freder Frederson said: Of course they deserve to be called racist. These two passengers received extra screening for no other reason than some typically xenophobic, racist Brits thought they looked and "acted" like terrorists...

I wouldn't call them xenophobic...maybe 'getting-blown-up-on-an-airplane-by-people
-who-remarkably-resemble-people
-who-have-done-this-before-phobic," but certainly not xenophobic...certainly not.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Above all, I wouldn't call them "typically xenophobic, racist Brits". Unless of course I was in a situation where it would be to my advantage to look like an idiot.

Townleybomb said...

I wouldn't call them xenophobic...maybe 'getting-blown-up-on-an-airplane-by-people
-who-remarkably-resemble-people
-who-have-done-this-before-phobic," but certainly not xenophobic...certainly not.


Cowards, in other words.

Reading this article, I wondered if any of the people involved in this notorious incident a few years back.

altoids1306 said...

I think Instapundit has it about right: when governments don't take reasonable precautions, individuals begin to institute their more crude, clumsier versions.

Thankfully, the majority of humanity has not been seduced by this multicultural-tolerance-at-all -costs. While it is OBVIOUSLY true that not all Muslims are terrorists, why is it so hard for any public figure to admit that the overwhelming majority of terrorists are Muslims?

People aren't stupid. Even if governments want to commit suicide, their citizens do not.

Jim said...

They're probably the same ones who've been complaining about all the niggards, too.

dick said...

Let's take a different tack here.

Assume the passengers were right but did not complain and the plane took off. Once in the air the scruffy passengers set off their bomb and blew the plane up.

Care to bet on the comments from Jim and Freder? The government should have caught them. This is the fault of our politicians. There was a definite reason to check them more fully. Why didn't the airlines stop them boarding if there was question from the passengers? We should have known that passengers who wore bulky jackets and were scruffy Muslims were like terrorists and not let them board. It is all the fault of the government and its policies. After the London bombing last year and the failed London plot this year they should have been extra-careful of people like these who fit the profile.

You can almost write their script. The people, bless their ignorant hides, spoke in this case and maybe have been wrong. But if they had been right, you can bank on the comments from our LLL betters, of course speaking from the sidelines.

ChrisO said...

seven machos:

You're acting under the assumption that every mention of rights has to involve state action. If I buy a ticket to a show, then as far as I'm concerned I have a right to attend that show. The ticket taker grabbing my ticket and handing it to his brother is wrong, whether I get reimbursed or not. Is all civil discourse now going to consist only of what falls strictly within the letter of the law?

Whether rights were technically violated or not was not the essence of my comment, which I suspect you know. Trying to turn the focus to state action is just more misdirection. How about talking about what's right? The link to the story about the doctor who was labeled a pedophile was interesting. If the story had been posted on this board, I suspect all of the comments would have addressed how bad pedophilia is, rather than the issue at hand. So I'll repeat. If the two ment went through security screening, what relevance does it have that most terrorists are muslim? They were still treated horribly, and the ignorant prejudices of the passengers were given precedence over their rights as human beings. These guys weren't just subjected to extra scrutiny. They were removed from the plane. Maybe taking that particular flight was crucial to them, for business or personal reasons. Have you ever taken a trip where it would really screw you up to be told that you suddenly have to wait an extra day to get to your destination? And how annoyed would you be if you found that the reason you were being delayed was because the passengers voted you off the plane? But the attitude here seems to be that they should only be upset with all of those muslim terrorists who are giving them such a bad name, instead of the hysterics who interfered with their travel.

Stephen B. said...

townleybomb said: Cowards, in other words.

No, not cowards either...just people who have a well-founded fear of a terrorist plot of the type foiled only days before this incident.

So maybe they were fearful...but they certainly weren't cowards.

I mean, come on...the article says that "despite the heat, the pair were wearing leather jackets and thick jumpers..." Forget the part about the watches. I find that I often, maybe too often, check my watch at the airport. But they were wearing leather jackets in hot weather.

I don't think they'd have received the same reception had they not been so oddly dressed. For example: Say you're an African American in 1915. You're walking down the street at night and you meet a couple white men. Are you afraid? Okay, now attire those white men in white hoods and cloaks. Now are you afraid?

The individuals on this plane weren't ostracized on the basis of their race alone, but instead on their race and other factors that seemed to point, however irrationally you might think, to certain possibilities.

Stephen said...

How many Stephen's post on this site?

My fellow brothers- It's time we distinguish between each other.

Susan said...

I think the far right anti-government activists, white supremacists and fundamentalist anti-abortion activists in this country are a much greater threat
of terrorism than islamists.... Does that mean I have the right to force every redneck I see off the planes I am flying on?


Have anti-abortionists taken up bombing planes? I thought they pretty much stuck with bombing clinics and doctors. Which is why I imagine that abortion doctors and clinic workers get nervous when they see strange men of any ethnicity hanging around their houses or clinics for no apparent reason. I'm sure they do a little profiling all the time: unknown women and children hanging around - probably OK; unknown men hanging around - better keep our guard up. At least I don't recall any women bombing clinics. Protesting, of course, but no actual bombing. But then I could be uninformed.

Stephen B. said...

I've changed my display name from Stephen to Stephen B.

Sorry, didn't know there were more than one of me around here.

Johnny Nucleo said...

If I were an Islamofascist bent on the destruction of civilization I would send out a memo urging the recruitment of white female operatives. Why don't they do that? There are white Muslims. (Didn't they see "Malcolm X"?)

But what is the reward for female martyrs? No seventy virgins for them. Perhaps the Koran could be updated. What is paradise for a woman? Lots of shoes?

downtownlad said...

Of course it's racist. If you don't want to fly with Muslims, or people who look like they could possibly Muslim, then don't fly. At least 30% of the world's population falls into that category (looks like a Muslim), yet how many of them are blowing up planes?

I have a friend in London who is Pakistani, and he says that when he gets on the subway, he will see people leave the car he is in and then enter another car. Which is fine. As long as they don't tell my friend to get off the subway, because he looks "suspicious".

I also have Indian friends in London (Buddhist) and they say that they face anti-Muslim discrimination all the time, as people assume they are Muslim.

Justify it all you want - it's still wrong and it's obviously racist.

If a passenger looks suspicious, then search him. But if he passes security clearance - it's absurd to kick them off the plane.

MrBuddwing said...

Dick said:

"Let's take a different tack here.

"Assume the passengers were right but did not complain and the plane took off. Once in the air the scruffy passengers set off their bomb and blew the plane up ..."

Me:

If, if, if. Assume that innocent Brazilian electrician who was shot to death by police on the London subway wasn't innocent, wasn't Brazilian, wasn't an electrician, but was some fanatic who really was carrying a bomb - why, shooting him in the head like that would become perfectly justified, wouldn't it?

ChrisO said...

Susan

Your abortion clinic example left out a few parts. After the doctors and nurses said "keep yopur guard up," the police came along and interrogated the men, finding that they were not suspicious and were waiting for a bus. Should the doctor and nurses say "Make them move anyway, we don't like the way they look"?

Seven Machos said...

Left-liberals, listen up: Please make this grave issue the centerpiece of your 2006 election campaigns. There is a silent majority out there waiting for you to speak up about the rights of people who look like they might be terrorists not to be slightly inconvenienced in their travel or looked at funny. (Because when you look at an Pakistani person funny, this is apparently a massive rights violation according to some nutty clowns in this thread.) You must get this message out to the world. Don't wait! Act now!

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Age of Civil Rights appears to be eroding before our very eyes, in large part because goofy left-liberals are against reasonable searches and seizures of potential terrorists. Hence, reasonable searches and seizures are less likely. Hence, major terrorist attacks are more likely. Vastly unreasonable and unwarranted and incredibly popular searches and seizures will surely follow.

If you think people are acting unreasonably now, you ain't seen nothin'. Nothin' at all. Idiots.

Theo Boehm said...

It looks to me as if some people want to start “White Middle-Class Airways.” That’s fine. Raise the capital, lease the planes, hire the staff, and see if you can get regulatory approval anywhere in the world. Can’t, eh? Well, it looks like we’re stuck with public airlines.

Governments and the airline industry are ultimately responsible for security. If you think they’re doing a bad job, the answer is simple: Stay off public airlines. Take ground transport, water transport, charter an airplane, stay home, walk, or meet your friends or clients on the Astral Plane (which is NOT an aircraft, BTW). And, yes, you can even walk off an airplane if you wish. But please don’t expect the airline to put off passengers, who have otherwise been through security screening, just because you frighten easily.

If you are going to use a public airline you should be prepared to deal with the public, who are increasingly “international” in makeup, even in places as remote as the middle of North America.

It seems our British holiday-makers were upset to find foreigners in Spain. A couple of them looked dodgey and spoke an “Arabic-sounding” language. What kind of security would satisfy these tourists? “Hullo, we’re from the Ministry of Funny Talks, and we understand you’ve been speakin’ a foreign language on this ‘ere very aircraft. Would you mind comin’ with us to ‘elp clear up this serious matter?”

Give me a break. Governments since 9/11 have been preoccupied with airline security. The results have not been perfect, but how many terror attacks using aircraft have there been since? There is much done behind the scenes for security reasons that our amateur Hercule Poirots can’t begin to fathom. But if you feel “uncomfortable,” well then, that’s good enough reason to chuck the wogs out, isn’t it?

The Drill SGT said...


Johnny Nucleo said...
If I were an Islamofascist bent on the destruction of civilization I would send out a memo urging the recruitment of white female operatives. Why don't they do that? There are white Muslims.



I agree Johnny. Profiling of obvious bomber types encourages terrorists to recruit white females. However, war is a game of resources.

1. Profiling focuses resources on high probability suspects.

2. The counter pressure encourages terrorists to recruit folks who don't match the profile. However, those recruitment efforts by the terrorists result in:

a. increased costs when you have to recruit beyond your local mosque.

b. increased probability that the white female recruit will rat you out

c. lower costs of inserting FBI informants into your operation.

Freder Frederson said...

Above all, I wouldn't call them "typically xenophobic, racist Brits".

Hey, didn't you see, I am British by birth. My parents and my brothers live there. I have spent a lot of time around Brits. How many do you know? When I say they are typically xenophopic and racist I know what I am talking about. I'm sorry if I am stereotyping the poor British people, but it is true. You may think they are witty and urbane from watching BBC America, but the truth is a lot uglier. And its not even just a race thing, they hate practically everyone, including the French, and especially the Germans. Truth be told, they don't even like Americans that much.

Johnny Nucleo said...

So everybody hates everybody. That's life. (I myself hate Canadians, Transylvanians, and people from the tiny Republic of Togo.) But I tend not to blow up airplanes.

ChrisO said...

seven machos

Nice job with the name calling, a-hole. Very convincing. How about the next time you fly, the airline tells you that you're actually not going to get to your destination, despite your family being there to pick you up, or the wedding you have to attend, or the important business deal you need to close. Why? Because Chester in 3C doesn't like the way you look. And when you protest that you were thoroughly screened and searched, you can get a lecture on terrorism, and the dangers it presents to us all. Let's see if you minimize that to being looked at funny. I'm tired of being lectured by all of these hard eyed realists, who are the only ones who realy recognize the dangers we face. In reality, what you're trying to say is that you're scared shitless, and you want us to be, too. Don't expect me to act like a frightened child every time you piss your pants.

Synova said...

People don't always know what it is they recognize as suspicious. That's one reason that I think that in some situations a "feeling" should be reasonable cause for a search.

I also agree that profiling for airport searches should be used.

That said, this story just *feels* like the plane was occupied by the Dursleys.

Theo Boehm said...

British attitude about foreign travel:

"I've been abroad, and it's a terrible place."

Shanna said...

"Of course it's racist."

The people who got off the plane were suspicious for a variety of reasons. They thought they were dressed oddly for the weather and were acting suspicious. Now, maybe they were wrong. But I see nothing wrong with getting off a plane if you are afraid. Sometimes your subconscious picks up on things that your conscious does not. Read The Gift of Fear.

People have been hurt when they have ignored their internal warning system.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Craig Ranapia said...

Shanna:

Yes, these people are bloody racists - and, more seriously, their behaviour was not only disruptive but potentially dangerous to themselves and others.

If Monarch Airlines had any balls, they would have asked the Spanish police to remove and prosecute all 150 of them for breaching civil aviation regulations.

I'm not white, speak multiple languages and am not exactly a GQ coverboy at the best of times. I'm happy to submit to legitimate authorities operating under the rule of law, not vigilante passengers and craven airlines more interested in their profits than the rule of law and plain common decency.

The Tory Homeland Security spokesman, Patrick Mercer, had it exactly right:

"This is a victory for terrorists. These people on the flight have been terrorised into behaving irrationally.

"For those unfortunate two men to be victimised because of the colour of their skin is just nonsense."

My partner and I will be traveling to England for a family wedding next year. Perhaps I should stage a mutiny of my own so I don't have to worry about being threatened by pig-igonrant, paranoid white Brits who think everyone who doesn't look and talk like them are mass murderers.

Shanna said...

Craig,

I'm not talking about the airline's choices. I think if they check people out thoroughly and they check out, they should be allowed to board the plane. I am talking about individuals taking responsibility for their own safety!

If someone is afraid or uneasy about a situation, there is nothing wrong with them deciding to take a later flight or informing airport security. A little more of this might have stopped 9/11, had it been listened to.

I understand concerns about people who are anxious just because of skin color; there will always be some people like that. But, just because racism exists, doesn't mean that if you think someone is suspicious you are a racist. They might actually be suspicious. They might actually be terrorists. There has to be some way to deal with this.

As I said, I highly encourage people to read the gift of fear. I remember numerous examples of people who had noticed something wrong prior to 9/11 based on odd behavior. I would feel that the airlines and the government were doing a better job if they relied at least in part on informed intuition. Not "profiling", intuition.

Craig Ranapia said...

Shanna:

I'd suggest you trade in The Gift of Fear for a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink - where he argues there what he calls "rapid cognition" has its uses, but also has very real limitations. I'd also respectfully suggest that Gavin De Becker - who runs a large "protective services consultancy" - is hardly a disinterested advocate of keeping people in a state of permanent paranoid anxiety. He might find fear less of a gift if he was in an airport full of people who get rather anxious around large white American men. Racial paranoia cuts both ways, people.

I've not seen anyone suggest that these 'Asian' men (and for the record, not every British citizen of "Asian appearance" is a Muslim) had circumvented airport security at Malaga, or that the checks are insufficient.

With all due respect, I'd suggest all Britons who feels that anxious about swarthy folks speaking funny languages should choose to holiday somewhere other than Spain. Hell, they might also like to stay away from good chunks of their own country.

ChrisO said...

Shanna

I appreciate your point, and I agree that people should take responsibility for their own safety. If the passengers on the plane had gotten off because they didn't like the looks of the two men, I'm sure they would have been criticized by some, but they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. But the fact is, they insisted that the two men be removed from the plane. Just because you're taking responsibility for your own safety doesn't mean that your instincts or fears are correct, and certainly doesn't give you a right to dictate how other passengers should be treated.

Theo Boehm said...

Yes, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Some tips for would-be Sherlock Holmeses among airline passengers:

You can tell something's afoot when that turbaned and bearded fellow in 19A with the bottles of nitric acid and glycerine on his pull-down tray asks the flight attendant for a bucket of ice water and and an Erlenmeyer flask. Requesting laboratory glassware is a strong hint someone's up to no good. It's almost certain that the TSA stumblebums took away his toothpaste but missed the nitric acid. If he starts saying something like, "Allah akbar" while decanting a thick liquid from the flask, you'll know that events have taken an alarming turn.

Similarly, you should keep an eye on the South Asian gentleman in 44B with several liters of 80% hydrogen peroxide and a kilo of silver dust. It's amazing how the TSA just seems to miss these unusual carry-on items.

Finally, a sure indication that someone on your flight bears scrutiny is when he is clenching a gleaming scimitar tightly between his yellowed teeth. The TSA overlooks gleaming scimitars all the time, so you can't be too careful.

Shanna said...

Chris,

I absolutely appreciate that people's intuition can be wrong. And like I said, I am not speaking to what the airlines should do in this situation.

But do you really believe that just because someone has made it through airport security that is a guarantee that nothing is wrong? I don't trust airport security enough for that. I'm just saying, if I am worried about someone specific, I'm getting off the plane.

And obviously this doesn't happen with every arab/asian man on a plane or we would hear about it alot more often.

HaloJonesFan said...

Let's not forget, here, that a security screener identified several of the 9/11 hijackers, thought that there was "something funny" about them, but decided not to say anything to avoid accusations of racial profiling.

Theo Boehm said...

I'll be serious for a minute:

There's nothing wrong with a screener thinking something is "funny," and taking action. Too bad that 9/11 one didn't. For my part, I don't care WHAT the TSA in this country has to do to keep air travel safe, including all the profiling needed to get the job done. That's one reason we have an accountable Government. If things get too lax or racist in effect, people object, and the Government can be held responsible. That's called a govenment of laws.

My problem is with passengers who want to take matters into their own hands, thinking the emanations from their prejudices and fears equate to useful intuitions.

Let's face it. We're just not that clever. But these Brits wanted to throw a hissy fit until a couple of poor bastards who weren't pudgy Anglo-Saxons were bounced off the airplane.

Give me a break.

Jeremy said...

I keep seeing a lot of comments about how these Brits want to kick off "every one that doesn't look like them" or "every muslim/Arab/Asian." But as was pointed out earlier, it's not really every Asian man, is it? It's these particular Asian men. That seems like a pretty significant difference that keeps getting passed over.

Seven Machos said...

So, Theo, if a "professional" passenger screener has a "funny felling," that's okay. But when a passenger has the same "funy feeling," it's highly wrong.

Yes, just leave it all to the professionals. You know the ones, like Larry Tribe, a Harvard man after all, and the airport screener guy, who probably underwent upwards of eight hours of semi-rigorous training and has a mind full of mush thanks to the numbing boringness of his job.

gbdub said...

To all who say 'it's the government's job to do this so passengers shouldn't take it into their own hands':

The problem is that the TSA isn't any less fallible than passengers, and, more immediately relevant, people don't *trust* them to be any less fallible. It seems the consensus is that the airline screeners care more about avoiding appearance of racial profiling than they do about effectively screening suspicious passengers. Whether this is true or not is somewhat irrelevant- it's the public perception that caused this incident.

I think this is one of those 'everybody's fault' situations, and frankly I'm surprised that it took this long for something like this to happen.

The passengers are at fault for demanding unreasonable precautions when reasonable ones had apparently been taken.

The airline is to blame for giving in to their unreasonable demands.

The government needs to do a better job of allaying passenger fears.

The media overhypes every scare, making Joe Citizen overly paranoid.

Civil rights groups need to realize that not all racial profiling is equally bad.

And, something I haven't heard brought up much, people should know better than to act 'suspicious' in airports! I know that if I don't want to get hassled, I should be polite, have my passport out, not leave bags laying around, etc. I wouldn't drive a beater van in circles around a daycare center handing out free candy either. The fact that looking Arabic is part of what constitutes 'suspicious' these days is an unfortunate reality, but a reasonable one in that most of today's dangerous terrorists are in fact Muslims of Arabic descent. I do think it would help if more Muslim groups openly condemned terrorism- I hear a lot of the 'not all Muslims are terrorists you racist jerk' line but not much of 'but way too many Muslims are, we think that's a sick twisting of our religion, and we'll do everything we can to stop it'.

After seeing videos of the London bombers, young Muslim men in inappropriately heavy attire looking 'shifty' and similar images of suicide bombers in Israel and other places, can it really be called 'racism' to be suspicious of people looking and acting in a very similar way? Certainly not 'racism' in the same vein as white power KKK types.

All that said, I think a more appropriate response would have been to treat this as a legitimate concern (to do anything less would simply reinforce the passengers' notion that the authorities can't be trusted to take care of them), and then remove everyone from the plane for a thorough rescreening. Anyone who still didn't want to fly with these guys should then have been politely asked to get the heck off the plane so everyone else could get on with their lives.

class-factotum said...

If middle-class, Catholic, white, 42-year-old women of German, Norwegian, Slovak and Flemish ancestry started blowing up planes for some cause, I'd be so angry at being lumped in with the demographic that I would insist on being searched every time I got onto a plane and I'd wear a T-shirt that said, "I'm not one of THEM and I think their cause is STUPID!"

Editor Theorist said...

Don't you just hate reading self-righteous people throwing around accusations of racism?

Especially when they are imputing racism to whole other races of people, such as the British - which itself is an example of... um, racism.

Ironic, or what?

Craig Ranapia said...

Editor Theorist:

What I find very far from amusing is self-appointed vigilantes and their enablers. Sorry, but let's all cash a reality check and just admit that what happened here was flat out, unapoligetic racism - FFS, what triggered the suspicion here? Oh, they were of 'Asian appearance' (which is?) and 'speaking a language that appeared to be Arabic' (and do you speak Arabic, sir? No?) while 'oddly dressed' (and who the frack died and made you the fashion police commissioner?). As I said above, I'd really like to pick some of the commentators here up and drop them in a part of the work where being a white, English-speaking American triggers some pretty unpleasant 'instincts'.

I don't actually know what offends me more about much of this thread - the utter political and cultural insularity on display, or that none of you folks seem to get that every Islamofascist out there has been handed another propaganda victory on a silver plate, with precisely zero gain in airport security. Who needs terrorists when we're perfectly happy to terrorise law-abiding citizens going about their legitimate business without any help.

Seven Machos said...

Yes, Craig. You are so astute. Without people's irrational fears of terrorist attacks, the Muslim radicals could have no propaganda victories and, hence, probably there would be no terror attacks.

That's the logic in a nutshell, is it not?

Also, who has been terrorized when people refuse to fly with other people they suspect to be terrorists? I can't wait to see Craig's Anti-Racist Act:

"IV.4.a.iii. Anyone who refuses a passenger seat for themselves in fear of terrorism shall be guilty of racist acts and punishable under Section V of this Act."

That about right?

Jeremy said...

Maybe it's a little unfair, but Craig's implied claim that he's equally concerned about the possible racist elements involved AND the terrorist propoganda victory sounds more than a little hollow.

Craig Ranapia said...

Seven:

*sigh* Absolutely wrong, but I've done the straw man two step with you before. I know it might be very hard for you to understand, but not all the seven billion odd people on this planet are like you. What I've seen are two British citizens being harassed by self-appointed vigilantes while going about their legitimate and lawful business, in full conformity to every regulation and passing every security check in an airport I understand is superbly well run. But I guess that doesn't matter to you because - let's get real - they're the wrong colour. And no matter how disingenuously you try to spin it, do you think anyone would have given a damn if they were a pair of scruffy white backpackers in jumpers speaking any other language than English?

Much as I hate to say this, the attitudes around here really live down to the stereotypes of British and American tourists abroad - arrogant, insular fools who view the rest of the planet as a giant Disneyland created for their comfort and convenience. And prone to temper tantrums when the natives don't jump to fast enough.

Oh, and I really loved this weapon of mass distraction from you: Also, who has been terrorized when people refuse to fly with other people they suspect to be terrorists? Um, so remind me who was removed from the plane, interrogated and forced to take a later flight?

Craig Ranapia said...

Jeremy:

Excuse me? Perhaps I'm being a little unfair, but if you're implying that I'm a supporter of terrorism or Islamofascism in general you'd be wise to step off that one. But ice to hear another iteration of the logic that we've got to destroy the rule of law to save it.

Jeremy said...

Craig,
No, not at all. I did not say that you supported terrorism. I did not imply that you do.

What I did say is that your concern appears chiefly to be for the civil rights issues at hand. That's been the bulk of your commentary. That is certainly a reasonable position to take.

In your comment at 4:38, you wrote that you were equally concerned about the way that the terrorists could use this as a propoganda victory.

That claim of equal weight is what I questioned based on your previous comments.

HaloJonesFan said...

Garrick:
"Anyone who still didn't want to fly with these guys should then have been politely asked to get the heck off the plane so everyone else could get on with their lives."

Indeed, that's exactly what happened!

Craig:
"...do you think anyone would have given a damn if they were a pair of scruffy white backpackers in jumpers speaking any other language than English?"

No! And that's the whole fucking point! That there is a racial profile involved here, and that the government refuses to act on that profile.

"What I've seen are two British citizens being harassed by self-appointed vigilantes..."

My, that's an expansive definition of harassment. Shit, by this definition I'm harassed by women every day--every time I ask them to ride in my car, they say no!

Seven Machos said...

Craig -- I just "retired" as a U.S. diplomat. Ugly American abroad I was not. You are really the one who is being insular here because you refuse to address new realities with common sense and good policy. The results can only be horrid -- either failure by the State to prevent terror or failure by the State to prevent vigilante killngs, or an awful, terrible war that will make the few thousand who have died as a result of U.S. action in Iraq look quite harmless.

ChrisO said...

garrick williams:

People should know to avoid acting suspicious in airports? So which of these guys actions should they have avoided? Looking at their watches? Dressing in a way that others find innapropriate? Or speaking in their native tongue?

Everyone who keeps supporting the passengers for suspecting these guys is missing the point. They can suspect them all they want. They can even give them a dirty look as they choose to deplane. What they can't do is insist that the guys be removed from the plane.

And for those who say that a passenger's feelings about another passenger should be given just as much weight as a screener's, I think you're getting so bogged down in circular logic that you're losing sight of the reality of the situation. Passengers and screeners aren't on equal footing. I think screeners have a few more tools at their disposal, like, you know, the ability to thoroughly search a passenger's luggage and person, access to a database of suspect individuals, things like that. You people have flown before, right? Screeners don't just operate on their "feelings." But since the screening process isn't perfect, let's just denigrate the people trying to do the job, and declare their efforts worthless.

If you really feel the passengers are just as adept as the screeners at spotting terrorists, then I assume you'll all support doing away with airport screening altogether. I mean, we have millions of passengers to do that job. Think of the money we'll save.

I've got to go now. I'm really opposed to drunk driving. Drunk drivers kill way more people than airline hijackers do. So I'm going to go to the local bar and slash the tires of every car parked outside. Because I have a "feeling" that a lot of those cars are going to be driven by drunk drivers, and I know the police can't catch them all. And if anyone tries to stop me, I'll lecture them on how I appreciate the dangers of drunk driving, and they don't.

Mob rule. Ain't it great?

Seven Machos said...

The difference, Chris O., that you'll be committing a crime when you go and slash the tires. The people in the airport committed no crime.

Do try to bear in mind that an analogy, in order to function correctly, must compare things that are roughly comparable. It is particularly helpful to remember this rule lest you yourself end up looking rather foolish when you pound away with lusty invective, just sure that you have made your "opponent" look foolish.

As for the crux -- I'll call it -- of your argument -- is it really true that the thing that bothers lefties like you the most is the sight of people at the street level establishing order and preventing crime, and democratically -- and completely without violence -- determining what will occur? Is the little elitist fascist dictator in you really that central to your identity?

Sorry people were able to speak their minds, Chris O. Sorry, man. I know it'd be a lot better if you could just be in charge. I know you know best.

Craig Ranapia said...

Seven Machos:

Well, I certainly hope the State Department doesn't run the U.S. diplomatic service on the basis on a critical mass of feminine intuition and paranoid hysterics - which appears to be your model for securing transport infrastructure. Perhaps I'm showing my age, but I also remember when American diplomats were advocates for tiresome things like due process, the rule of law and bowing to hysterical mobs. I thought conservatives used to believe in things like that too - or are they only courtesies to be extended to white, Christian English speaking Americans who meet a dress code?

Shanna said...

Ah Craig, now you've got to go denigrating "female intuition". I know your not a fan of Gavin Becker, although I don't know if you've actually read the book.

The whole point is that people dismiss things as "just female intuition" or whatever, and really it's much more. If you just read the case studies, it's very interesting. Things you pick up on without realizing it that are just odd. There was one where the woman had been raped and then she was all of a sudden terrified (although she couldn't figure out why) and then she snuck out of the apartment while the guy was still there and banged on the neighbors door. She only realized later that the reason she was so terrified is because she heard the window shut, which meant he was going to kill her.

But men can rant about "female intuition" all they want, but when it's protecting your own life you better listen to it. These passengers may have been wrong, but it seems as though you are going to act as if anyone who is suspicious of a person of asian/arab persuasion is a racist unless they don't have some concrete reason that you accept as good enough. Well, they may not have a concrete reason and they might still be right. Sadly, race is a factor in this particular type of terrorism and has been for 20 years. If we were looking for IRA folks, we would be suspicious of an entirely different sort of person but we're not. Race can't be the only factor, but it is one, taken with a number of other things. Believe me, I have lebanese friends and family and they probably occasionally get looked at askance and I hate it, knowing they are the nicest people in the world. But until it's the IRA or the Russians doing the terrorism, that's not going to change.

ChrisO said...

seven machos:

Exactly what crime did those passengers prevent? I guess I missed the part of the story where the men in question turned out to be terrorists. And I didn't realize that the "fascist dictator" in me (you just can't stop the name calling, can you) was rearing its ugly head by asking that law enforcement officials be allowed to do their jobs. Because remember, we're not talking about the right of people to get involved, or to protect themselves. We're talking about a a group with nothing more than a "feeling" being allowed to overrule law enforcement. And if that's not mob rule, I don't know what is. These passengers' "feelings" and "intuition" keep getting brought up, as if they were just a product of their survival instinct. Why can't anyone acknowledge that a lot of those "feelings" came from prejudice and ignorance, and not from some primal survival instinct? The most damning thing I've heard so far about these guys is that they were dressed in bulky clothes. Everytime there's a case of mob hysteria, are we going to chalk it up to intuition?

And by the way, my analogy was roughly comparable. If I had used a legal method for preventing people from driving, would it have really changed the essence of what I was saying? You're the one looking foolish by continually avoiding the facts of the matter. Those people were free to deplane if their "intuition" was bothering them. But that's not what they did. They insisted that their feelings should determine who could fly on that plane. And that's wrong.

A lot of people will cross the street when they see a black man approaching, while a white man who looks even more seedy than the black man won't bother them at all. Do you really chalk that up to "intuition"?

Seven Machos said...

Chris -- What's the crime? Citation please.

Slashing tires is criminal destruction of property.

HaloJonesFan said...

Chris O:

"And by the way, my analogy was roughly comparable."

BUAHAAHAHAHAHA...oh wait, Christ, you were serious?

For your analogy to be remotely comparable, the airline passengers would have had to, I dunno, not let the other passengers board, sort of thing. Instead, they got off the plane. I suppose you can chalk it up to disgusting racism if you really must, but I can't really see how the two passengers in question were inconvenienced in any way whatsoever.

Hey, while we're inventing hypotheticals, let's invent another one. An airplane has mostly non-Christian passengers. Two Christans board the aircraft. All of the other passengers leave, because they don't want to fly on an aircraft with Christians. Would you be as upset about this hypothetical incident as you are about the actual incident?

Shanna said...

"All of the other passengers leave, because they don't want to fly on an aircraft with Christians. Would you be as upset about this hypothetical incident as you are about the actual incident?"

If I were one of the Christians on the plane I would say "Sweet! More room for me!"

gbdub said...

HaloJonesFan:

In this case, the suspicious men were removed - it doesn't really say what happened to the passengers who got off the plane voluntarily. I'm presuming they got back on, but could be wrong. Doesn't really seem fair that the Arab guys weren't let back on after being cleared.

Chris O.

I think you warped my argument just a tad, in a couple ways. First, yes, you should not act suspicious in an airport. And wearing bulky clothes when it's hot out has long been on the list of 'things to watch out for'. Unfortunately, being Arab is going to add to that, but that's just going to be true as long as young Arab men wearing bulky clothing when it's hot out blow themselves up in crowded places at a much higher rate than other segments of the population.

But you conveniently ignored the part of my argument where I blamed everybody else for this incident as well.

I think the event was a confluence of factors, that, while irrational and unfortunate, was probably inevitable. A combination of hype, mistrust in the government, and a couple of apparently innocent men who unfortunately bore a strong resemblance to the average suicide bomber all contributed to this incident. Considering the number of planes that fly and the number of Arabs who fly on planes, it's ridiculous to argue that this was purely a case of 'racism'. Now neither you nor I was there, but people are not entirely irrational, and based on the number of people who decided to get off the plane (a pretty major act considering the implications), I think these guys were doing more to arouse suspicion than simply 'flying while Arab'. I suppose it's possible that a couple of stand-up guys just got caught up on the 10:30 to the annual Paranoid Racist Brit Convention, but that seems unlikely. (Note that I'm not suggesting they actually committed any crimes, only that they were likely doing *something* other than just being Arab that would reasonably arouse suspicion.)

Now I won't argue that there wasn't a racial component to the passengers suspicions. But it's hard to condemn this as explicitly 'racist' when, empirically and statistically, it is rational to presume that a young Arab man wearing bulky clothing on a mode of public transport is more likely to be a terrorist than the nun in 4E. (Of course the probability is almost statistically insignificant in either case, but humans have been hardwired for eons to avoid dangers (weighing nasty things like getting blown up more heavily than more likely scenarios like dying from lung cancer), and the statistical part of our risk assessing ability can't quite drown out the 'run away!' response)

As for treating passengers on par with screeners, again you miss my point. I do not argue that passengers should have the power to search luggage, carry weapons in airports, pat down suspicious looking characters, or decide who can get on an airplane. However, for passengers to trust screeners with their lives, the screeners must take passenger suspicions seriously, just as schools take even very vague bomb threats very seriously. Also, the public clearly doesn't trust that the screeners can put good police work(check those who match the criminal profile (including more than race, before you jump on me)) ahead of being PC. Until that trust is built, you'll see more incidents like this.

Many have asked, 'were these guys actually terrorists?' and when the response was negative, assumed that everyone else on the plane was just a bunch of racist jerks. But another relevant question is, 'did anyone on, say, the Madrid trains or London subways feel the same way, but *not* act out of fear of appearing racist?'.

Seven Machos said...

http://www.tcsdaily.com/
article.aspx?id=082206E

Craig Ranapia said...

HaloJones Fan:
...but I can't really see how the two passengers in question were inconvenienced in any way whatsoever.

I reply:
Yeah, they were removed from the plane by airport security (which was delayed by three hours while their luggage was deplaned), interrogated and forced to spend another day somewhere they didn't want to be. I guess 'Asian appearing' people in your neck of the woods don't have jobs, families, or any other obligations. I also very much doubt they got fast-tracked through security at Malaga the next day.

But I guess where the paranoia of white folks is concerned, no inconvenience or humiliation is too great for the incorrectly pigmented.

garrick williams wrote:
Unfortunately, being Arab is going to add to that, but that's just going to be true as long as young Arab men wearing bulky clothing when it's hot out blow themselves up in crowded places at a much higher rate than other segments of the population.

'Empirically', British folks should be more worried about being blown up by Irishmen. Or while you're in Spain, more people have been blown up by Basque separatists than 'young Arab men'. I also come from a country where two agents of the DGSE, perpetrated an act of state-sponsored terrorism (Google 'Rainbow Warrior bombing'), perhaps I'm justified in refusing to fly with people suspiciously speaking French and looking at their watches. Statistically, the perpetrators of violent crimes against women and 'incidents' on airplanes are overwhelmingly male - perhaps we should also start banning people with penises from flying at all?

Which is a nice segue to...

Shanna wrote:
But men can rant about "female intuition" all they want, but when it's protecting your own life you better listen to it. These passengers may have been wrong, but it seems as though you are going to act as if anyone who is suspicious of a person of asian/arab persuasion is a racist unless they don't have some concrete reason that you accept as good enough.

Well, Shanna, I do actually like living under the rule of law rather than a mobocracy; a legal system that operates on evidence and due process rather than 'feelings' and 'intuitions'; oh, unlike some people around here, where we respect lawful & legitimate authority and discourage vigilantes. It's what actually distinguishes us from Islamofascist theocracies - where, incidentally, you'd find yourself on a whole other set of 'intuitions' as a western woman.

ChrisO said...

HaloJonesFan

First of all, the whole "buahaha" thing is little bit over, don't you think? Next you'll be doing *sigh*, or *crickets*. And second, your statement that the men in question weren't inconvenienced in any way can only mean that you were so quick to post your oh so clever retort that you didn't even bother to read the article in question. I hope you feel appropriately idiotic.

And yes, my analogy was appropriate. OK, how about if, instead of slashing the tires, I call the police with all of the license plates from the cars parked outisde the bar, and tell them I suspect the drivers of being intoxicated? I haven't broken any laws, and the police get to be distracted pulling over a bunch of drivers, many of whom have done nothing illegal.

Is that so different that it completely changes my analogy? Don't bother trying to think of an answer; the answer is no, it isn't that different. Now instead of trying to nitpick pieces of my argument that aren't even relevant, perhaps you could speak to the issue at hand. Well, not you, HaloJonesFan, since you don't even know the basics of the story.

Seven Machos said...

What on earth could possibly be illegal or a violation of civil rights about if you "call the police with all of the license plates from the cars parked outside the bar, and tell them" you "suspect the drivers of being intoxicated"? I mean, other than the fact that you don't like it, what's wrong with it? Again: citations please.

Now your analogy has completely broken down, Chris O, and you are grasping at straws. Now you are merely Carrie Nation without the charm.

You been got the best of, Chris O. Time to retreat and fight another day.

ChrisO said...

seven machos

If you bothered to follow my argument, you would see that apparently you have been gotten the best of, but you aren't even aware of it. You are the one who is arguing this in strictly legal terms. Are you saying that any behavior that is strictly legal is acceptable? That the only opinion we can have on someone's actions is whether they have broken the law? You must be a peach to be around. My point, if you bothered to absorb it before racing to post your reply, was that calling the police with the license plate numbers would create hardship for all of those drivers, regardless of whether they had been drinking at all, not to mention using the resources of the police department. You know, kind of like the plane incident created hardhsip for the Arab passengers, not mention using the resources of airport security. Get it? It's an analogy. Please show me where I argued anything about the legality of the situation. You are the one who keeps asking for cites and trying to frame it as a legal quesation, either because you are unable to marshal any other argument, or because you have a pitiful lack of awareness of what passes for acceptable human interaction. The questions raised by the original post, and argued by others here, are whether it was racism, and whether the passengers overreacted. Perhaps you could stay on topic and not keep trying to fit the discussion into your little box.