January 5, 2010

"If I were going to make up an alias, I wouldn't pick Rosenberg. I'd pick Jolie or Pitt."

"Do terrorists wear Manolo Blahniks? I can tell you Donna Karan does not make anything that hides a bomb.... I tried the tears; they didn't work. I tried reasoning. I couldn't bribe because I didn't have any money..."

Does Joan Rivers look like a terrorist? Well, she does look suspicious.

65 comments:

BT said...

Maybe with all of the plastic surgery they were worried that her face would explode?

Pogo said...

Brilliant sleuthing by the Costa Rican authorities.

Clearly, targeting elderly white women, especially Jewish Americans, is a high-yield tactic to ferret out terrorists.

Just ignore the imams from Yemen with bulging BVDs, at least until they yell Allahu Akbar and the plane goes kablooey.

It's all a police matter anyway. Shouldn't they have waited until she ignited her granny panties?

We are in the best of hands.

Ron said...

The Botox Bomber!

vet66 said...

Al Qaeda is embracing technology for future IED's as TSA and DHS struggle to stay relevant in a politically correct world. I fully expect that someone will finally design an IED the size of a suppository or a Tampon that will render useless current scanning equipment.

We went through this during the cocaine age of the 80's where mules were running drugs in plastic bags inserted here and there or actually ingested for natural voiding.

Time to ask the Israelis for assistance. Everything else is just window dressing on a wing and a prayer. "Paging Dr. Ben Wah"!

Pogo said...

Orwell once said, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

Seems to me the authorities try twice as hard not to see what's right in front of their noses.

The TSA needs to rough up a few high schoolers from band camp to even out how they missed the pantybomber.

peter hoh said...

I, for one, will sleep better knowing that Joan Rivers can't get through security.

Martin O. said...

Maybe it is that obviously fake hair. In which case: watch out Althouse!!

bearbee said...

Scary looking.

PLO-Black September recruited blued-blonde's to help carry out its terrorist campaigns.

EDH said...

It's hard to tell if that quote of Rivers is her just speaking or her comedy bit.

All you need do is apply the plaintive, staccato delivery and it's her nightclub act.

wv-"hipitab" = ask your doctor about hipitab, when the only thing "hip" in your life is your last replacement surgery

Arturius said...

PLO-Black September recruited blued-blonde's to help carry out its terrorist campaigns.

Yet remarkably, today there are few, if any, blued-blonde's self detonating among Israeli civilians or flying planes into buildings.

Nichevo said...

One wonders how deep that talent pool is. I mean how many blue-eyed blondes are willing to commit martyrdom, and for this cause.

Meanwhile, blue, brown or hazel, my Voight-Kampff 2010 Plan will suss 'em out. I wonder how much the machines would cost...what if you integrate current scanning gear or is it better to keep them separate? Ideally you could carry this gear in a briefcase, though as mentioned before I envision booths for privacy.

Cedarford said...

I guess we can joke about it on one level, but on another, the whole situation itself is a big, sad joke. The immense waste of time and resources to process all people as if they are the same potential threat. And the fixation on looking for bad "objects" vs. bad people.

River's sins?

1. Being caught with a "offending passport." 76-year old non-Muslim grandma with an alias.
2. Being a B-Lister flying with the common proletariate, commercial. Had she been a bit richer with her own private jet, or been a guest of any US Federal government employee flying on a US Gov't jet from DC to Costa Rica and back...I doubt she would have been hassled.

Pogo - This has nothing to do with Costa Rican authorities, really. The "Security Theater" is what the US Government is asking foreign countries to do on any flight going to the USA. Even from Islamoid-free nations like Japan or Costa Rica.
And had Rivers been going on to Mexico, or Canada, or the Bahamas, or China instead of America - she would have gotten on a jet, no problem.

Vet66 - Eventually, AQ will have internally packed suicide bombers..or Hamas will be credited with the innovation. And we will be back to a familiar situation..there have been offensive weapons since the dawn of time that there is no pure sit-back defense against. The arrow of a hostile tribe back in 4,000 BC, the complete Roman seige, the canon ball against a walled city in 1400, the 10-mile artillery shell in 1870, the nuclear missile.

The only recourse is to abandon defense and go after the enemy or have a credible threat you can do worse (we got canons, nuke missiles, too!) - with scant regard for "precious enemy civil liberties." Or even civilians, if the enemy freely targets your own non-combatants.

Salamandyr said...

The worst part is, I'm not really sure any of us are actually safer for all the inconvenience we undergo.

To the right, there's a story about the first transgendered presidential appointee. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/01/04/2010-01-04_cmklzcxmxcz.html It's in the Commerce Dept.

bearbee said...

Yet remarkably, today there are few, if any, blued-blonde's self detonating among Israeli civilians or flying planes into buildings.

Used in the late '60's & '70's mainly to breach security carrying messages and/or explosives.

Arturius said...

The worst part is, I'm not really sure any of us are actually safer for all the inconvenience we undergo.

Of course we aren't. All one has to do is look at the facts. I don't think it can be stressed enough when his own father makes a point of contacting US officials warning them that his son is a jihadist and we might want to keep an eye on him yet the warning was most likely circular filed. So instead of actually looking for the usual suspects, we can't read a book or take a leak during the last hour of the flight.

Its not all unlike Major Hasan who evidently felt that our deeply held beliefs of diversity at all costs provided the perfect protection for him to openly espouse his jihadist beliefs to anyone who cared, or didn't care to listen. What was done there? Nothing and the worst part is, the Army Chief of Staff bemoans that that worst outcome of the whole affair would be the 'loss of our diversity'.

It would be humorous if it wasn't so bloody tragic.

Arturius said...

Used in the late '60's & '70's mainly to breach security carrying messages and/or explosives.

Yet remarkably, today (emphasis added) there are few, if any, blued-blonde's self detonating among Israeli civilians or flying planes into buildings.

Cedarford said...

1. British authorities confirmed that they had to exempt under-18 passengers from scans because of child pornography laws. "The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned."

2. American tourist destinations such as Hawaii, Orlando, Las Vegas have already warned that new travel restrictions are having a devestating impact on their local economies.
"We are now not just at the point of our peak American travel, but our Asian market" a spokeman for Hilton International in Honolulu said. "Last year was brutal. Another such year and you will see shuttered resorts and mass employee terminations", he warned.

3. Pakistani authorities discovered a school the Taliban was operating for up to 300 young male children aged 8 to 14 that indoctrinated them to be martyrs and suicide bombers.

former law student said...

I wouldn't pick Rosenberg

Making up the Rosenberg triumvirate of Julius, Ethel, and Joan?

But realize: Jews are Middle Easterners, Semites -- this is the premise behind locating the nation of Israel where it is. The only difference between Jews (not descended from converts) and Palestinians is when and where they worship. Thus I wouldn't be surprised if extra scrutiny aimed at swarthy Middle Eastern types was applied to Jews as well.

Pogo said...

"The only difference between Jews (not descended from converts) and Palestinians is when and where they worship. "

Well, and that tendency for Islamic jihadists to blow shit up.

Other than that, no, no difference at all.

Salamandyr said...

Thus I wouldn't be surprised if extra scrutiny aimed at swarthy Middle Eastern types was applied to Jews as well.

That would be fine. I think we could all accept that. It's this targeting of senior citizen celebrities and blonde 4 year olds that I find so baffling.

ricpic said...

I think it was Jefferson who said, "Giving yentas a hard time every now and then is a good, nay, a necessary thing." Or was it Henny Youngman?

former law student said...

that tendency for Islamic jihadists to blow shit up.

If only we could profile on that. "Are you an Islamic jihadist planning to blow shit up?" No? Welcome Aboard!"

Maguro said...

If only we could profile on that. "Are you an Islamic jihadist planning to blow shit up?" No? Welcome Aboard!"

You could profile the Islamic part.

William said...

I would think that people who are just at the point of killing themselves would have some tics and grimaces that the rest of us do not share. I would profile first by gender, then by age, then by ethnicity, then by behavior. Under none of these criteria would Joan Rivers cross any red lines. However, one cannot completely eliminate the possibility that she was flagged not because of suspicious behavior but because of ball breaking behavior.....As Buddy Hackett observed, if you give the waiter a hard time, you have to expect to eat a certain amount of spit. I can easily picture Joan Rivers treating the guard like a peon, and the peoon getting some of his own back.

Pogo said...

"If only we could profile on that [the tendency for Islamic jihadists to blow shit up]."

Yeah, if only we had clues to go by, like, say, having your dad tell the CIA that sonny is going to blow shit up. Or coming from the We Blow Shit Up jihadi schools, taught by We Blow Shit Up imams. If only we knew what connected them all, though.

former law student said...

Screeners can tell what people look like, but I can't figure out how they can determine what religion a passenger professes.

One idea does present itself: perhaps "Islamoids" could be required to sew yellow emblems to their clothing. Or passports should include religious belief as part of the identifying data.

Pogo said...

Or passports denied to guys whose own fathers out them as jihadis, known attendees at mosques that preach jihad, or coming from certain countries, like Yemen or Somalia or Nigeria.

Yellow stars?
Are you seriously comparing Islamic jihadist terror bombers to Jews killed by Nazis?
That's obscene, fls, even for you.

Jason said...

I know it's difficult, fls, to grasp that not everyone around you is as achingly stupid as you are.

But when you have a traveler who goes by the name of, say, Mohammed Attah, that's usually enough of a clue for those of us with IQs above room temperature to figure out that this guy might be a Muslim.

Synova said...

" British authorities confirmed that they had to exempt under-18 passengers from scans because of child pornography laws. "The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned."

But... but... what about MoDo's eagerly awaited Philip K. Dick future? Dammit, she wants her Total Recall and she wants it now!

And it's not *really* a violation of privacy or the government looking at your naughty bits if they don't save the images to disk. Right? Right?

Maguro said...

Heh, it sure didn't take long for the holocaust metaphors to come out.

Just for the record, profiling doesn't mean you look only at young Muslim males when you process people through airport security. It just means that you focus more of your security resources onto the population that's statistically most likely to commit terrorism. It's sensible resource allocation to pass 76-year old Joan Rosenberg through to the gate and spend a little extra time talking to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

It's a bit like the car insurance business. The insurance company doesn't know that any particular 18-year old male is an unsafe driver, but they know that 18-year old males as a whole are less safe than other demographic groups, so they get charged more for insurance.

Synova said...

"One idea does present itself: perhaps "Islamoids" could be required to sew yellow emblems to their clothing."

Or we could pull our heads out far enough to let security people respond to subtler or even subconscious clues and single out those who are acting "off" in some way, or who are making other passengers nervous, without allowing a group like the Flying Imams or others who seem to be trying to freak people out on purpose, to take them to court and win.

I don't think that *profiling* is particularly useful, but the fear of being accused of profiling is outright dangerous.

Arturius said...

Screeners can tell what people look like, but I can't figure out how they can determine what religion a passenger professes.

Actually its easier than you might think. For example; if your name is say, Sean O'Toole from the County Cork, there is a 88% chance you're Roman Catholic. If your name is Kristos Papadakis from Athens I'll wager you're a Greek Orthodox. If your name is Ibrahim ibn Mohammed Akbar from Pickastan, I'm guessing you're probably Muslim.

Nothing is foolproof of course but it's folly to pretend that we're all a blank canvas.

Synova said...

I recall walking unchallenged through a military gate or two in the Philippines and thinking... they don't know for sure that I'm not with Green Peace.

Actually, speaking of the PI...

When I was there it was a high threat environment and the thing is that even the good guys wore hand-me-down uniforms that didn't always match and carried weapons with athletic tape around the stock. They might be riding in a military vehicle or they might not. They were all ethnically Filipino. So how did a person know if you were looking at local police, Philippine Army, or private security? Was it possible to tell, visually, that any particular person wasn't a member of the local version of people's revolutionary army?

Americans got killed there. Twelve or fifteen individuals while I was there and eventually we were confined to base for safety more often than not.

But what I took away from that is that appearance was the least reliable indicator that something was wrong. The only real thing to go by, and hope you notice in time, is behavior. How are the people acting?

But we prohibit the TSA and others from responding to unquantifiable behavior, to go with their guts, or even to respond to behavior at all. Take the case of Flying Imams or those men more recently who seemed to coordinate a disturbance and abusing stewardesses... it's all, you're picking on me because I'm Muslim, you violate my Rights... because the behavior doesn't *quite* go over some line into being illegal in it's own right. There is not a *law* against publicly and obviously commending your soul to Allah before boarding an aircraft.

So in order not to get taken to court for profiling, we search grandma *again* and make a stink with Joan Rosenburg and have everyone walk through a body scan that allows the measurement of soft tissue appendages.

Or we decide to treat everyone from certain countries as criminals just so that we can not be accused of singling out any person.

Because singling out someone would be *bad*.

former law student said...

Or we could pull our heads out far enough to let security people respond to subtler or even subconscious clues and single out those who are acting "off" in some way


I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the hyperactive Joan Rivers seemed "off" in some way to the screener in Costa Rica.

if your name is say, Sean O'Toole from the County Cork, there is a 88% chance you're Roman Catholic. If your name is Kristos Papadakis from Athens I'll wager you're a Greek Orthodox.


Good examples. Applied previously, broadbrush screening by name (Mohammed) would have suggested that "Sean" was an IRA terrorist, and "Kristos" was a November 17 terrorist, a member of the group that assassinated the CIA station chief in Athens in 1973.

Synova said...

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the hyperactive Joan Rivers seemed "off" in some way to the screener in Costa Rica."

Heh. That's probably true enough. In person she probably looks rather odd. All the plastic surgery likely disrupts some of the normal signals of expression as well.

Arturius said...

Good examples. Applied previously, broadbrush screening by name (Mohammed) would have suggested that "Sean" was an IRA terrorist, and "Kristos" was a November 17 terrorist, a member of the group that assassinated the CIA station chief in Athens in 1973.

Thank you. Except of course the IRA didn't broadbrush their campaigns of terror on an international scale. Sean in the IRA had little interest in self detonating on an international flight. Same goes for Kristof whose terrorist organization accumulated the horrendous body count of around 23 people in 3 decades.

I take it you're not familiar with the concept of risk management.

former law student said...

I take it you're not familiar with the concept of risk management.

Roughly a quarter of the world's population is Muslim, so an effective risk management plan has to be more sophisticated than "Let's just screen the Muslims."

Consider WW II. There were so many German-Americans and Italian-Americans in the US that only the known troublemakers were watched and interned. Same with Japanese-Americans in Hawaii. Only on the West Coast were the generally harmless Japanese-Americans few enough to be rounded up and herded off into camps. To do otherwise would have seriously disrupted normal life, as one-half of America would have had to feed the other half.

Pogo said...

"so an effective risk management plan has to be more sophisticated than "Let's just screen the Muslims.""

But all you can come up with that's acceptable is Screen Everyone Equally.


If only there were people smarter than you doing this, what would they counsel?

Michael said...

You know, the very fact that we're checking to see if elderly Jews are Islamic terrorists makes me think about something:

so we're going to start doing very revealing full body scans, showing the person under the clothes quite clearly.

How long before one group in particular, known for wearing a great deal of fabric to completely hide the feminine form, and for challenging laws which require the imaging of uncovered females, demands a religious exemption from body scanning?

We're going to wind up where the rest of us are going to be naked on a scanner every time we fly... but Muslim women in burqas will have a religious exemption, and be the only ones who don't get scanned.

Hmm, if I were al-Qaeda, what would I do next?

Arturius said...

Roughly a quarter of the world's population is Muslim, so an effective risk management plan has to be more sophisticated than "Let's just screen the Muslims."

I don't disagree, however, I also don't pretend that in the course of the last two decades, the most horrendous acts of international terrorism were not comitted by Muslims.

Consider WW II. There were so many German-Americans and Italian-Americans in the US that only the known troublemakers were watched and interned.

Funny when the Bush administration suggested such activities in combatting Islamic terrorism (wiretapping) he was denounced as a fascist. I suppose we can all be grateful that the 'Greatest Generation' fought WW II since the outcome would probably been quite different if the generations were reversed.

Pogo said...

From Profiling Whole Nations
by Tunku Varadarajan

"Why not station police on board all flights? El Al, which adheres to such a practice, has not had an on-air incident in three decades.

Next, make it more cumbersome for people in countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to get a U.S. visa, and institute an immediate review of all visas issued to males under 40 from the 14 countries. Revoke all those that don't pass a "smell test."

Ask all travelers—irrespective of where they arrive from—if they have visited any of the countries on he list in the last two years. If they have, they must state the purpose of their visit.

Create—increasingly—two classes of traveler, those that get normal checks and those that are subject to intensive checks.

Finally, we have to accept that this isn't a problem that can be solved through ever-increasing security measures. It is ...a problem that requires a robust combination of political and military responses.

Another part of our response should be to counter the spread of radical Islam in the West, particularly in prisons, where proselytizers have access to people who are vulnerable to being "saved."

Cedarford said...

Security for the federal trial of self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused cohorts will run $200 million a year, sources told the Daily News.
The "trials" are expected to run several years.
The NYPD's newly revised projection is almost triple the estimate of $75 million in November by Eric Holder.
(Chuck Schumer, Gerald Nadler, the NYC ACLU, and others in NYC who pushed for civilian trials of the Islamoids have since urged the Federal Gov't to fully pay for it)

============
FLS -
"Roughly a quarter of the world's population is Muslim, so an effective risk management plan has to be more sophisticated than "Let's just screen the Muslims."

No, about a 5th of the global population is Islamic. Most are too poor to travel or moderate, so they are not a risk group for attacking us. You are looking at a threat population of perhaps 70 million Islamoids with a venomous hatred of Infidels who have the means of travel. Of that population of Islamoids, you might have 5 million that are in the right young male Jihadi wannabe set.
That is a small enough target population to focus on and deny Visas for.
"When in doubt, keep the Islamoids out".

=============
FLS - "Consider WW II. There were so many German-Americans and Italian-Americans in the US that only the known troublemakers were watched and interned. Same with Japanese-Americans in Hawaii."

We are not talking hyphenated Americans as the main threat. We are concerned with foreign Islamoids, with the FBI hopefully one day doing a far better job at focusing on enemy Islamoids withing who happen to, by misluck for all the rest of us, to have US citizenship...By the late 30s it was almost impossible for actual Germans or Italians with links to fascism to get a visa to travel to the USA. It was almost impossible for Japs to get in.
I think that was wise, and we should only let foreign Islamoids in who are carefully screened. And completely end Islamoids being allowed to immigrate in or boost their numbers by chain immigration of relatives or by taking mail order Islamoid spouses.

BTW, FLS - My concern about Islamoids privacy and rights ended long ago, long before all Americans stand poised to endure electronic strip searches because of the Islamoid threat to us. Certainly long before the likely soon to happen detonation of an Islamoid suicide bomber with several pounds of high explosives internally hidden to allow them to get through airport security.

Synova said...

So... Michael Yon handcuffed while entering the US because he refused to say how much money he made?

I thought that following financial transactions without a warrant was bad, bad, bad. What has changed?

Did they have a warrant to demand he reveal his financial facts? Or is it okay now for the government to get that info on US citizens without a warrant and okay to look at your nekkid body and it's still not a *privacy* issue or violation because they didn't *record* anything?

Louis said...

"Yet remarkably, today there are few, if any, blued-blonde's self detonating among Israeli civilians or flying planes into buildings.

Used in the late '60's & '70's mainly to breach security carrying messages and/or explosives."

Now you are just picking on Joan cause she's over 50.

Maguro said...

Roughly a quarter of the world's population is Muslim, so an effective risk management plan has to be more sophisticated than "Let's just screen the Muslims."

Yes, but no one has suggested that. "Let's just screen the Muslims" is a strawman of your own making.

An effective risk management plan would consider many different risk factors for each passenger. Age, sex, religion, nationality, unusual travel plans, etc. You could identify high-risk passengers in much the same way that insurance companies identify high-risk drivers.

ken in sc said...

I have posted this elsewhere; I apologize if you have read it before. Think about this scenario. Kidnap a blond Swedish granny and several of her grandkids. Behead one of them right in front of her and let the body flop around spraying blood every where on the floor while the head is blinking for the minute or so it takes the brain to die. Strap a bomb on granny and tell her to get on an airplane or the others get the same treatment. I for one do not want grannies to get a pass through airport security. OTOH, I have little faith in the effectiveness of airport security. I do not fly anymore unless I absolutely have to.

Synova said...

Air travel and travel into and out of the country is voluntary. No one need go on a plane. No one need go in or out of the country. So we need not be allowed on a plane and we need not be allowed in or out of the country without being subject to being viewed nude.

Just as all international financial transactions are voluntary and all telephone conversations over national borders are voluntary. No one need send money or invest over seas. No one need receive a call from Yemen. So no Rights are violated if the government monitors those activities.

Right?

When Bush was president some individuals got put on no-fly lists by accident and there was a stink. Some agitators got put on them on purpose and there was a stink.

When Obama is president and some fellow who should have been put on a no-fly list scorches his shorts, Joan Rivers is stuck in Costa Rica I'm waiting for those who held the Bush administration up as a horror to display ideological consistency.

Synova said...

"Yes, but no one has suggested that. "Let's just screen the Muslims" is a strawman of your own making."

Which non-Muslim country is now on the "lets just screen them all" list?

Cuba.

Someone is, indeed, and officially, screening "them all."

Synova said...

"Joan Rivers is stuck in Costa Rica I'm waiting"

That's strange... I had typed...

... Joan Rivers is stuck in Costa Rica and Michael Yon is in handcuffs. I'm waiting...

Arturius said...

Think about this scenario. Kidnap a blond Swedish granny and several of her grandkids. Behead one of them right in front of her and let the body flop around spraying blood every where on the floor while the head is blinking for the minute or so it takes the brain to die. Strap a bomb on granny and tell her to get on an airplane or the others get the same treatment.

Perhaps a decent scenario for ‘24’ or even a Tom Clancy novel but probably not a practical one in the particular portion of the universe the rest of us are residing in. Also considering the declining replacement rate of Swedes, finding a granny with a grandchild might prove a more difficult task then getting a bomb on the plane.

I am not suggesting that blonde Swedish grannies get a pass at airport security but rather that a specific demographic that has for about the last three decades been responsible for nearly every act of international terrorism, particularly on airlines, be given extra scrutiny. Granted, this may appear demeaning, offensive, dare I say racist, however, statistically speaking, is not unreasonable.

In point of fact, I find it demeaning and offensive that I can’t visit the restroom or read a magazine in the last hour of my flight because a follower of a specific religion thinks he’ll go to heaven by making my wife a widow and children fatherless.

former law student said...

So... Michael Yon handcuffed while entering the US because he refused to say how much money he made?

Was this ICE? Yon probably fit a drug smuggler profile. Generally Customs is suspicious of people who travel without an obvious source of funds.

You have no Fourth Amendment rights at the border.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's a bit like the car insurance business. The insurance company doesn't know that any particular 18-year old male is an unsafe driver, but they know that 18-year old males as a whole are less safe than other demographic groups, so they get charged more for insurance.


Or....You mean, like the health insurance where we know that smokers, heavy drinkers and the obese are more likely to have health issues that cost more so we charge them more for insurance.


Oh....wait.....!! Congress fixed that. Anyone can get insurance at the same rate no matter WHAT the risk and the insurance companies get to eat it.

See. These are the same people who are in charge of our health care AND in charge of our safety from terrorist attacks.

Is it any wonder that everything is totally FUBAR?

We are sooooooo soooooo screwed.

Synova said...

"You have no Fourth Amendment rights at the border."

Really? Not as a citizen? Not with a passport?

Everything I've seen says they had no authority to check any answer he gave with the IRS.

I was being snarky when I said that we had no Right to travel in and out of the country and therefore no Right to assumptions of privacy. This lack of rights to international movement, either of ourselves or our information, *must* include all other information that passes over our borders. No?

I think, No.

AllenS said...

You have no Seventeenth Amendment rights at the border.

Ain't that right, fls.

JAL said...

fls 12:51 only the known troublemakers were watched and interned

So Dad, a reputable Nigerian, talks with the US Embassy, AND the CIA about his son, and we can't be bothered to revoke his visa, move his name to suspicious or even (!) a no fly list.

(Repeat anecdote, yawn.)

Instead they check my 92 year old mother 4'4" walker dependent mother, traveling on a ticket charged on a card she's had for years, and accompanied by a female middle aged American relative who has never been out of the country except to British Vancouver.

As for cutting off the head of a grandchild (ken in sc) and wiring a grandma? A no-go. There is no way the granny could get across the sidewalk into the terminal much less through the check-in and on the plane without totally freaking. We're not all Jody Foster or Sigourney Weaver.

JAL said...
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JAL said...
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JAL said...

Sorry. Trouble with link.

fls Was this ICE? Yon probably fit a drug smuggler profile. Generally Customs is suspicious of people who travel without an obvious source of funds.

Did you know who Michael Yon Online is fls? (Assuming you have educated yourself by now.)

Moment of Truth

He is a photojournalist and future Pulitzer winner (should have been but his iconic photo -- worthy of being stolen by Michael Moore -- was not politically correct in 2005.)

As an American with a valid passport he could be clipping coupons or someone's gigalo and how much he makes is no damn business of immigration.

JAL said...

I believe it was the ticket person (Contintental) not the security people who had trouble with Ms. Rivers' passport.

Maybe if she was flying just under Joan Rosenberg they would have recognized her and disputed her passport on that basis (!)

MC said...

Management of airport security is moronically incompetent. They can't fucking figure out they need to search a guy on a terrorism watch list, but they'll make up for it by endlessly harassing the rest of us. Yeah, we are so much safer now you're cracking down on elderly women, that sure makes up for missing suspected extremists. Morons.

Trish said...
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Trish said...

Blogger Michael said...

" You know, the very fact that we're checking to see if elderly Jews are Islamic terrorists makes me think about something:

so we're going to start doing very revealing full body scans, showing the person under the clothes quite clearly.

How long before one group in particular, known for wearing a great deal of fabric to completely hide the feminine form, and for challenging laws which require the imaging of uncovered females, demands a religious exemption from body scanning?

We're going to wind up where the rest of us are going to be naked on a scanner every time we fly... but Muslim women in burqas will have a religious exemption, and be the only ones who don't get scanned.

Hmm, if I were al-Qaeda, what would I do next? "


I think between the earlier comment concerning terrorists recruiting children and Michael's observation here; concerning religious exemption, a very serious issue is not being addressed by the authorities in charge of security.
I'd like to believe that this is because secretive, strategic planning is underway and to avoid disclosing our new&improved protective measures, this isn't being openly discussed.

But I'm not that naive.

I won't win any favors by saying this, but I do see air travel as a privilege, so while I'm not keen on all the measures we have to endure to get from point-A-to-point-B, there are other ways to get around. Not as luxurious, no where near as timely, but OTHER.
What has me greatly concerned (actually) is when those more common or obscure, alternate methods become as risky and troublesome.

JAL said...

Above "...how much he makes is no damn business of immigration."

Turns out it's worse. It was TSA. (!)

BJM said...

In '86 I was briefly detained by Politzia di Stato while checking in for a commuter flight at Malpensa because my maiden name and my mother's name on the emergency contact page in my passport didn't match.

However they didn't ask why this was for a half hour. Once asked, I explained that she was divorced and remarried, they confirmed my identity with my employer and waved me through.

Any sort of odd behavior or inconsistencies in your ID or travel docs would trigger profiling, especially after the El Al massacre at Leonardo. The spelling of my Dutch maiden name could also be Jewish and I was often segregated to a special line on that alone.

After screening passengers were assigned seats in an open holding area separated by four empty seats. No food, beverages or restrooms. Once you took your seat you were not allowed to leave it or communicate with other passengers until your name was called to board. Paramilitary teams with dogs patrolled the rows carefully watching passengers.

Departing aircraft were parked on remote aprons and passengers bussed in groups of twenty to board. We were not allowed to remove stowed carry-ons from overhead bins or use the lav.

Most of us have no idea what it is like to live in an armed camp, we take our freedom to move around unmolested/unobserved by government very much for granted.

Everyone was "profiled" constantly, every where you went in the UK and Europe during the 70's and 80's. It became the "norm". As were the armed half tracks parked randomly at intersections.

After the Moro and Getty abductions sensible politicians, celebrities, biz execs and foreign nationals working in Italy kept body guards and abduction insurance. My employer sent an armored car to transport a group of us to and from our heavily guarded company apartment compound.

btw-I was always amazed by the patience Italians displayed (they are infamously impatient and queue-challenged) which leads me to the point of my comment.

We are all in this together. If you're an American then suck it up and take one for the good of the team, if you're a foreign national then STFU or go elsewhere.

All the carping and political quibbling only makes it easier for those who seek to maim and kill or create chaos in our system.

Explosives don't give a rats ass if you're a leftie or a winger, we all bleed the same red.

/rant

Gary Rosen said...

Haven't seen C-fudd for a while. Guess he finally went bail on that morals charge.