Discussion:
Way Off Topic Full Body Scans at Airports to improve air transport security
(too old to reply)
Pat
2009-12-30 20:42:17 UTC
Permalink
Good idea or bad idea?
richergar@hotnail.com
2009-12-30 21:08:20 UTC
Permalink
The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.

We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.

We are at war, and it is a war on terrorism, even if the Department of
Homeland Security hasn't figured that out yet. I do understand the
President hasn't told them.

The system is not working.

I expect to see worse things coming down the pike, that neither of us
like, such as behavioral checklists, and all kinds of frightening
things for use by any authority, which will be used indiscriminately
against all people, under the myth that you can't isolate those more
likely to be at war.

We need to admit to ourselves that we are targeting people who are at
war with our basic way of life (putting aside the kinds of differences
that you and I have, which in the scheme of things are not as great as
they always appear), and heighten security as to those people and
those beliefs.
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
Pat
2009-12-30 21:25:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.
We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.
======================

My friend, had I shown you (or the sharpest-eyed airport screener in
the country) a photograph of the young man who carried the explosives
on the Amsterdam to Detroit plane, would you have pegged him for a
radical Muslim?

He doesn't look too unlike my grandson.

Pat
richergar@hotnail.com
2009-12-30 21:45:14 UTC
Permalink
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>


It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic. You were interested in justifying a kind of
negativism and hosility on your part to society. I don't mean this
with any anger towards you, in the least, but I was interested in the
topic as a general matter, and you are interested in getting even with
society for what you think are wrongs that need to be righted, in the
order and importance that you think they should be righted.

I may be angry at what society does to gay men and lesbians (not much
to me, I'm in a remarkably lucky position), but ultimately I'm not
angry at it. I simply insist that we, gay men and lesbians, be
included in it - which neither your President nor most of the black
community, nor virtually any part of the established Islam community -
does.

I don't want to get even with society. I think, ultimately, my friend,
you do, even though it doesn't work.



Have a great New Year.


Richard
wrote:> The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.
We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.
======================
My friend, had I shown you (or the sharpest-eyed airport screener in
the country) a photograph of the young man  who carried the explosives
on the Amsterdam to Detroit plane, would you have pegged him for a
radical Muslim?
He doesn't look too unlike my grandson.
Pat
Gogarty
2009-12-30 21:49:45 UTC
Permalink
What in the world...?

The price of freedom is a few blown up airliners.
EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
2009-12-31 19:32:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gogarty
What in the world...?
The price of freedom is a few blown up airliners.
On the other hand, if we "fight terrorism" by destroying our freedom
ourselves, we accomplish their aims for them! In the words of Viktor
Frankl (a psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz), "Liberty is indivisible".
Ken Meltzer
2009-12-31 19:59:26 UTC
Permalink
On Dec 31, 2:32 pm, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
Post by EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
Post by Gogarty
What in the world...?
The price of freedom is a few blown up airliners.
On the other hand, if we "fight terrorism" by destroying our freedom
ourselves, we accomplish their aims for them!  In the words of Viktor
Frankl (a psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz), "Liberty is indivisible".
To make an operatic connection, I first read "Man's Search for
Meaning" on the recommendation of Jon Vickers! He gave a seminar the
day after performing "Winterreise" in suburban Washington, DC.
Vickers mentioned that one of the books that had a great influence on
his life was Frankl's. I rushed to get the book, and was glad I did.
Best,
Ken
premiereopera@aol.com
2009-12-30 22:01:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>
It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic. You were interested in justifying a kind of
negativism and hosility on your part to society. I don't mean this
with any anger towards you, in the least, but I was interested in the
topic as a general matter, and you are interested in getting even with
society for what you think are wrongs that need to be righted, in the
order and importance that you think they should be righted.
 I may be angry at what society does to gay men and lesbians (not much
to me, I'm in a remarkably lucky position), but ultimately I'm not
angry at it.  I simply insist that we, gay men and lesbians,  be
included in it - which neither your President nor most of the black
community, nor virtually any part of the established Islam community -
does.
I don't want to get even with society. I think, ultimately, my friend,
you do, even though it doesn't work.
Have a great New Year.
Richard
wrote:> The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.
We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.
======================
My friend, had I shown you (or the sharpest-eyed airport screener in
the country) a photograph of the young man  who carried the explosives
on the Amsterdam to Detroit plane, would you have pegged him for a
radical Muslim?
He doesn't look too unlike my grandson.
Pat- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
OY
F R
2009-12-31 00:33:44 UTC
Permalink
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>
It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic. You were interested in justifying a kind of
negativism and hosility on your part to society. I don't mean this with
any anger towards you, in the least, but I was interested in the topic
as a general matter, and you are interested in getting even with society
for what you think are wrongs that need to be righted, in the order and
importance that you think they should be righted.
=A0=A0I may be angry at what society does to gay men and lesbians (not
much to me, I'm in a remarkably lucky position), but ultimately I'm not
angry at it. I simply insist that we, gay men and lesbians, be included
in it - which neither your President nor most of the black community,
nor virtually any part of the established Islam community - does.
I don't want to get even with society. I think, ultimately, my friend,
you do, even though it doesn't work.
Have a great New Year.

-------------------
The assumptivness of this post re Pat's motivation is mind boggling.

As I read Pat's original post it was obvious he was looking for other's
opinions. His follow-up post merely pointed out (correctly IMO) that not
all terrorists look the same.

To answer your question Pat, I am for it. Already our bodies go through
a metal detector, but that is not a secure enough safety net. Our
luggage can be and is searched. Suspicious looking people are studied,
but all the above is still surely an imperfect system.

A full body scan is one more tool to make our airlines more secure, and
if the ACLU wants to whine about it, so be it.
Frank
Pat
2009-12-31 02:28:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>
It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic
This is crazy. If I wasn't somewhat interested in the subject (the
scanning machines) why in the world would I have made the original
post?

You were the one who dragged in the notion of profiling, which was
not even on my mind.

But now that you have done so ,,, ;-)

You seem to be saying that we should only be searching/ scrutinizing
Islamic people, or those who look like they might be Islamic, so as
not to interfere with the privacy rights of non-Islamic people. I
would have some issues with that even if it could be made to work, but
that an intelligent person could seriously suggest that Islamic people
can be identified by some set of physical characteristics is a notion
of such spectacular incomprehension, that I must respond.

There are, it is estimated, roughly
1 million Muslims in Argentina
9 million Muslim Azerbaijan
145 million Muslims in Bangladesh,
2 million Muslims in Benin
1.5 million Muslims in Bosnia
1 million Muslims in Bulgaria
9 million Muslims in Burkina Faso
6 million Muslims in Chad
21 million Muslims in China
28 million Muslims in Ethiopia
4 million Muslims in France
160 million Muslims in India
200 million Muslims in Indonesia
9 million Muslims in Kazakhstan
16 million Muslims in Malaysia
78 million Muslims in Nigeria
175 million Muslims in Pakistan
5 million Muslims in the Philippines
16 million Muslims in Russia
4 million Muslims in Thailand

Not to mention the tens of millions of Semitic Muslims in the Near
East and Middle East who bear some physical resemblance to Jewish
Israelis, Lebanese Christians, and lots of Levantine believers in the
Orthodox faith

and I only mentioned about fifteen of the well over one hundred
countries with more than nominal Muslim populations. Altogether, it
is estimated, there are about 1.5 billion Muslims scattered around the
world.

Do you really think that ,most Indonesian Muslims resemble Bosnian
Muslims? Or that most Philippine Muslims resemble Indian Muslims? Or
Chinese Muslims? Or the Muslims of Nigeria, Chad or Mozambique?
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I expect to see worse things coming down the pike, that neither of us
like, such as behavioral checklists,

In fact that is precisely how El Al screens its passengers -- not by
ethnic appearance, but by how people act under questioning, how
couples respond to questions asked of them separately, and so on.
They're not looking for Muslims -- they're looking for people who are
nervous, whose responses seem artificial, whose companions answer
questions differently than they do. El Al has had excellent success
with such tactics, but of course they operate on a much smaller scale
than is necessary for air security in the US. Their measures are
costly, time-consuming, and intrusive -- - and require a small army of
very well trained security personnel, but they do seem to work, and
the Israelis seem to think that it's worth it.

Be that as it may, my original question was about the scanning
machines and how people feel about them. The ACLU has taken a strong
stance against them, and I suspect that many people who have no great
love for the ACLU share their opinion on this issue. I'm really not
sure how I feel -- on the one hand, it would seem to be an excellent,
albeit expensive, security enhancement. On the other hand, I would
think that any number of 'minorities,' for lack of a better word --
some fundamentalists of various faiths, some women, some civil
libertarians, and some just plain shy people, would be greatly
offended by such screening. In western society we already have
arguments aplenty over whether Muslim women can or cannot wear their
veils etc. under certain circumstances. These scanners would
constitute a Brave New World as regards intrusions into personal
privacy.

Pat
richergar@hotnail.com
2009-12-31 21:28:03 UTC
Permalink
My point was that to raise an issue of your family, which you do in a
very selective way, isn't part of a discussion, and isn't really
relevant. If your grandson was named Khalil and was in his 20s and
Muslim and was traveling as this guy traveled, I would say screening
at a very high level was exactly the point. I've never raised the
issue of your family and gays, and I think it was special pleading on
your part (terrorists look like people in my family, therefore <g>)
that was the basis of my response. It is really the same thing you did
before when you brought up your kids and 'driving while black." I
have tired, at least, never to bring up people's personal lives of
their families here ,and I just don't think it's really fair to do so
on either side of an argument (including supporting it)

Moving on, as the young people say, there was a fascinating
discussion, if you saw it, on the News Hour last night. They
interviewed Richad Ben Veniste, who came across as a complete
Washington insider blowhard, ex Governor Thompson of Illinois (who
would have seemed, probably, like a blowhard to you <g>), and a woman
whose name I don't remember who actually knew what she was talking
about. The gist of her comments - she was the one person who actually
was aware there was a process involved, and not a series of boogey men
- was that there were a million ways for even sophisticated inquiries
to go wrong, and even had the father's report of his son's behavior
(which is surely remarkable that he did so) been followed up, there
could have been twenty other misses along the way. The big issue seems
to be sharing of information, although that is more complex than
people who want to solve the problem make out, I think.

I basically don't think body scanners are a good solution. Today they
don't store pictures, but there's nothing that will not stop that
being the next step. As I say, my concern is that we are one step from
a National Identity card - 'papers' - and that is a very disturbing
notion. We would sooner harness everyone to the same oppressive and
incrementally intrusive controls, rather than identify people who are
hostile to this country. Who could imagine, a decade ago, the level of
security and surveillance we have now? There is no end of it in sight,
and yet you can't really outsmart terrorists. Behavioral profiling is
also meaningless unless it's connected to various markers of ethnicity
or religious belief of something else. I don't think you believe any
more than I do that police who profile based on behavioral
characteristics really do so, do you? The behavioral characteristics
are the fig leaf (or more) for the surveillance (you and I differ in
that I think that adding other factors to surveillance is legitimate).
We are at war, or rather 'they' are at war with us. We, at least the
'we' in the White House, haven't quite decided if we are going to be
at war with them.

What surprises me more than anything in this whole business over the
past week has been the public reaction. I never thought that the
public would react the way it has vis a vis the Administration. I
actually thought it would be a non-event, by a guy who is obviously
more a lunatic than anything, even if he was set up. I am not even
sure that this event hasn't been blown up out of some proportion, to
be honest. I suspect that that moron Napolitano's comments were a big
part of the problem - she must have been a school mate of Nancy Pelosi
- and I think what this has triggered is a public perception, which
was not so much on the surface, that this is a President and an
Administration (and a Party) who don't take American security
seriously. In a way, while I would not have made so much of it, it has
now set another terrible trap for Obama, whether that's fair or not.
He has been seen napping at the wheel on this (and all his trying to
find out where to put the blame isn't going to work - the buck stops
with him,and his shifting all around and saying he's going to find out
who did it makes him look impotent), and the public, I think, now is
primed to believe that his Administration is lax on this point. The
next time this happens, and of course there will have to be a next
time, if there's any doubt at all about what was done, it will be
catastrophic for the Administration politically.

Have a good New Year, and enjoy 2010. There are only three years
left.

All best
Richard
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>
It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic
This is crazy.  If I wasn't somewhat interested in the subject (the
scanning machines) why in the world would I have made the original
post?
You were the one who dragged in the notion of profiling,  which was
not even on my mind.
But now that you have done so ,,,  ;-)
You seem to be saying that we should only be searching/ scrutinizing
Islamic people, or those who look like they might be Islamic, so as
not to interfere with the privacy rights of non-Islamic people.  I
would have some issues with that even if it could be made to work, but
that an intelligent person could seriously suggest that Islamic people
can be identified by some set of physical characteristics is a notion
of such spectacular incomprehension, that I must respond.
There are, it is estimated, roughly
    1 million Muslims in Argentina
    9 million Muslim Azerbaijan
145 million Muslims in Bangladesh,
   2 million Muslims in Benin
 1.5 million Muslims in Bosnia
  1  million Muslims in Bulgaria
 9  million Muslims in Burkina Faso
  6 million  Muslims in Chad
21 million  Muslims in China
28 million Muslims in Ethiopia
  4 million Muslims in  France
160 million Muslims in India
200 million Muslims in Indonesia
  9 million  Muslims in Kazakhstan
16 million  Muslims in Malaysia
78 million  Muslims in Nigeria
175 million Muslims in Pakistan
  5 million Muslims in the Philippines
 16 million Muslims in Russia
  4 million Muslims in Thailand
Not to mention the tens of millions of Semitic Muslims in the Near
East and Middle East who bear some physical resemblance to Jewish
Israelis, Lebanese Christians, and lots of Levantine believers in the
Orthodox faith
and I only mentioned about fifteen of the well over one hundred
countries with more than nominal Muslim populations.  Altogether, it
is estimated, there are about 1.5 billion Muslims scattered around the
world.
Do you really think that ,most Indonesian Muslims resemble Bosnian
Muslims?  Or that most Philippine Muslims resemble Indian Muslims? Or
Chinese Muslims?  Or the Muslims of Nigeria, Chad or Mozambique?
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I expect to see worse things coming down the pike, that neither of us
like, such as behavioral checklists,
In fact that is precisely how El Al screens its passengers -- not by
ethnic appearance, but by how people act under questioning, how
couples respond to questions asked of them separately, and so on.
They're not looking for Muslims -- they're looking for people who are
nervous, whose responses seem artificial, whose companions answer
questions differently than they do.  El Al   has had excellent success
with such tactics, but of course they operate on a much smaller scale
than is necessary for air security in the US.  Their measures are
costly, time-consuming, and intrusive -- - and require a small army of
very well trained security personnel,  but they do seem to work, and
the Israelis seem to think that it's worth it.
Be that as it may, my original question was about the scanning
machines and how people feel about them.  The ACLU has taken a strong
stance against them, and I suspect that many people who have no great
love for the ACLU share their opinion on this issue.  I'm really not
sure how I feel -- on the one hand, it would seem to be an excellent,
albeit expensive, security enhancement.  On the other hand, I would
think that any number of 'minorities,' for lack of a better word --
some fundamentalists of various faiths, some women, some civil
libertarians, and some just plain shy people, would be greatly
offended by such screening.  In western society we already have
arguments aplenty over whether Muslim women can or cannot wear their
veils etc. under certain circumstances.   These scanners would
constitute a Brave New World as regards intrusions into personal
privacy.
Pat
premiereopera@aol.com
2009-12-31 22:53:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
My point was that to raise an issue of your family, which you do in a
very selective way, isn't part of a discussion, and isn't really
relevant. If your grandson was named Khalil and was in his 20s and
Muslim and was traveling as this guy traveled, I would say screening
at a very high level was exactly the point. I've never raised the
issue of your family and gays, and I think it was special pleading on
your part (terrorists look like people in my family, therefore <g>)
that was the basis of my response. It is really the same thing you did
before when you brought up your kids and 'driving while black."  I
have tired, at least, never to bring up people's personal lives of
their families here ,and I just don't think it's really fair to do so
on either side of an argument (including supporting it)
Moving on, as the young people say, there was a fascinating
discussion, if you saw it, on the News Hour last night. They
interviewed Richad Ben Veniste, who came across as a complete
Washington insider blowhard, ex Governor Thompson of Illinois (who
would have seemed, probably, like a blowhard to you <g>), and a woman
whose name I don't remember who actually knew what she was talking
about. The gist of her comments - she was the one person who actually
was aware there was a process involved, and not a series of boogey men
-  was that there were a million ways for even sophisticated inquiries
to go wrong, and even had the father's report of his son's behavior
(which is surely remarkable that he did so) been followed up, there
could have been twenty other misses along the way. The big issue seems
to be sharing of information, although that is more complex than
people who want to solve the problem make out, I think.
I basically don't think body scanners are a good solution. Today they
don't store pictures, but there's nothing that will not stop that
being the next step. As I say, my concern is that we are one step from
a National Identity card  - 'papers' - and that is a very disturbing
notion. We would sooner harness everyone to the same oppressive and
incrementally intrusive controls, rather than identify people who are
hostile to this country. Who could imagine, a decade ago, the level of
security and surveillance we have now? There is no end of it in sight,
and yet you can't really outsmart terrorists. Behavioral profiling is
also meaningless unless it's connected to various markers of ethnicity
or religious belief of something else. I don't think you believe any
more than I do that police who profile based on behavioral
characteristics really do so, do you? The behavioral characteristics
are the fig leaf (or more) for the surveillance (you and I differ in
that I think that adding other factors to surveillance is legitimate).
We are at war, or rather 'they' are at war with us. We, at least the
'we' in the White House, haven't quite decided if we are going to be
at war with them.
What surprises me more than anything in this whole business over the
past week has been the public reaction. I never thought that the
public would react the way it has vis a vis the Administration. I
actually thought it would be a non-event, by a guy who is obviously
more a lunatic than anything, even if he was set up. I am not even
sure that this event hasn't been blown up out of some proportion, to
be honest. I suspect that that moron Napolitano's comments were a big
part of the problem - she must have been a school mate of Nancy Pelosi
- and I think what this has triggered is a public perception, which
was not so much on the surface, that this is a President and an
Administration (and a Party) who don't take American security
seriously. In a way, while I would not have made so much of it, it has
now set another terrible trap for Obama, whether that's fair or not.
He has been seen napping at the wheel on this (and all his trying to
find out where to put the blame isn't going to work - the buck stops
with him,and his shifting all around and saying he's going to find out
who did it makes him look impotent), and the public, I think, now is
primed to believe that his Administration is lax on this point. The
next time this happens, and of course there will have to be a next
time, if there's any doubt at all about what was done, it will be
catastrophic for the Administration politically.
Have a good New Year, and enjoy 2010. There are only three years
left.
All best
Richard
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Well, Pat, the apple doesn't fall.....<g>
It's obvious that I can't have this discussion with you. You weren't
interested in the topic
This is crazy.  If I wasn't somewhat interested in the subject (the
scanning machines) why in the world would I have made the original
post?
You were the one who dragged in the notion of profiling,  which was
not even on my mind.
But now that you have done so ,,,  ;-)
You seem to be saying that we should only be searching/ scrutinizing
Islamic people, or those who look like they might be Islamic, so as
not to interfere with the privacy rights of non-Islamic people.  I
would have some issues with that even if it could be made to work, but
that an intelligent person could seriously suggest that Islamic people
can be identified by some set of physical characteristics is a notion
of such spectacular incomprehension, that I must respond.
There are, it is estimated, roughly
    1 million Muslims in Argentina
    9 million Muslim Azerbaijan
145 million Muslims in Bangladesh,
   2 million Muslims in Benin
 1.5 million Muslims in Bosnia
  1  million Muslims in Bulgaria
 9  million Muslims in Burkina Faso
  6 million  Muslims in Chad
21 million  Muslims in China
28 million Muslims in Ethiopia
  4 million Muslims in  France
160 million Muslims in India
200 million Muslims in Indonesia
  9 million  Muslims in Kazakhstan
16 million  Muslims in Malaysia
78 million  Muslims in Nigeria
175 million Muslims in Pakistan
  5 million Muslims in the Philippines
 16 million Muslims in Russia
  4 million Muslims in Thailand
Not to mention the tens of millions of Semitic Muslims in the Near
East and Middle East who bear some physical resemblance to Jewish
Israelis, Lebanese Christians, and lots of Levantine believers in the
Orthodox faith
and I only mentioned about fifteen of the well over one hundred
countries with more than nominal Muslim populations.  Altogether, it
is estimated, there are about 1.5 billion Muslims scattered around the
world.
Do you really think that ,most Indonesian Muslims resemble Bosnian
Muslims?  Or that most Philippine Muslims resemble Indian Muslims? Or
Chinese Muslims?  Or the Muslims of Nigeria, Chad or Mozambique?
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I expect to see worse things coming down the pike, that neither of us
like, such as behavioral checklists,
In fact that is precisely how El Al screens its passengers -- not by
ethnic appearance, but by how people act under questioning, how
couples respond to questions asked of them separately, and so on.
They're not looking for Muslims -- they're looking for people who are
nervous, whose responses seem artificial, whose companions answer
questions differently than they do.  El Al   has had excellent success
with such tactics, but of course they operate on a much smaller scale
than is necessary for air security in the US.  Their measures are
costly, time-consuming, and intrusive -- - and require a small army of
very well trained security personnel,  but they do seem to work, and
the Israelis seem to think that it's worth it.
Be that as it may, my original question was about the scanning
machines and how people feel about them.  The ACLU has taken a strong
stance against them, and I suspect that many people who have no great
love for the ACLU share their opinion on this issue.  I'm really not
sure how I feel -- on the one hand, it would seem to be an excellent,
albeit expensive, security enhancement.  On the other hand, I would
think that any number of 'minorities,' for lack of a better word --
some fundamentalists of various faiths, some women, some civil
libertarians, and some just plain shy people, would be greatly
offended by such screening.  In western society we already have
arguments aplenty over whether Muslim women can or cannot wear their
veils etc. under certain circumstances.   These scanners would
constitute a Brave New World as regards intrusions into personal
privacy.
Pat- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
We certainly could have done without this one sided political post on
New Years Eve. Last night's post was horrific and totally insulting to
at least some listers. Most are afraid to say so. Who can blame them?

"all best" indeed. The posts read like "all worst," or the worst post
of the year. Last night's post takes that dubious honor, IMO. And zero
accountability, responsibility, or remorse.

Ed
Pat
2010-01-01 03:32:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
My point was that to raise an issue of your family, which you do in a
very selective way, isn't part of a discussion, and isn't really
relevant.
That's a fair comment. My point, of course, was that everyone is
someone's grandson/granddaughter and son/daughter. I was trying to
personalize the idea that profiling, while superficially addressing
broad populations, au fond impacts the life experiences and self-
images of discrete, individual people each of whom has feelings.

I do mention my family more than most here, I suppose. The reason why
I do that, Richard, is not unlike the same reason that you are, I
think, an 'out' gay man. The more 'out' gay people there are, the
more comfortable everyone in societies around the world will be with
such relationships.

When my wife and I first started seeing each other, we worked for the
same company, and so obviously everyone we worked with knew we were a
couple. Eight or ten years later, though, that company folded its
tent, and we each had to find new jobs. And we did so. In my case,
I found a job with the company I work for now (it will be thirteen
years next month). That company, like most companies, was rather
conservative, and a lot of their employees around the country at that
time, gave me the impression that my wife's identity might raise
eyebrows. With our office being quite a long commute from our house,
I rarely had any social interaction with other employees after 5:00.
In short -- almost nobody there ever had occasion to meet my wife.

For a few years, while I was establishing myself at the new job, I did
not keep pictures of my wife and four step-children on my desk. Two
or three of my close friends at work knew that TFK (The Fair Kathleen)
was black, but 95% of my fellow employees did not.

To make a long story short, to this day, I still regret my hyper-
caution, cowardice, call it what you will, about my family in those
first few years at the new job. At some point several years ago I
resolved that the best way to deal with any latent prejudice was to
face it head on, to show people that I was proud of my wife and kids
(and I am, of course) -- and now I've got pictures of them prominently
displayed on my desk. I still occasionally get some raised eyebrows
upon meeting someone new at my office, but that's OK.

In any event, I have come to the conclusion that it's good for the
world to see and know that two people of different people of different
races, different religions, different backgrounds, can build a good
life together if their heart is in the right place. Kathy and I have
been married twenty-seven years now. She's the best thing that ever
happened to me or ever will happen to me.

That's why I mention her - and our children, and our grandchildren -
quite a bit.


If your grandson was named Khalil and was in his 20s and
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Muslim and was traveling as this guy traveled, I would say screening
at a very high level was exactly the point. I've never raised the
issue of your family and gays, and I think it was special pleading on
your part (terrorists look like people in my family, therefore <g>)
that was the basis of my response. It is really the same thing you did
before when you brought up your kids and 'driving while black."  I
have tired, at least, never to bring up people's personal lives of
their families here ,and I just don't think it's really fair to do so
on either side of an argument (including supporting it)
I basically don't think body scanners are a good solution. Today they
don't store pictures, but there's nothing that will not stop that
being the next step. As I say, my concern is that we are one step from
a National Identity card  - 'papers' - and that is a very disturbing
notion. We would sooner harness everyone to the same oppressive and
incrementally intrusive controls, rather than identify people who are
hostile to this country. Who could imagine, a decade ago, the level of
security and surveillance we have now? There is no end of it in sight,
and yet you can't really outsmart terrorists. Behavioral profiling is
also meaningless unless it's connected to various markers of ethnicity
or religious belief of something else. I don't think you believe any
more than I do that police who profile based on behavioral
characteristics really do so, do you?
I don't know first hand, but a few days ago there was a gentleman on
NPR, (I'm sorry but I didn't catch the name) who either was or had
been one of the top airport security people for El Al -- and I'm just
repeating what he stated -- that Israeli airport security personnel
do not rely primarily on physical characteristics, but on
psychological ones -- nervousness, consistency of responses, the
congruence of passengers' responses with those of their fellow
travelers and so on. As I've written elsewhere here there is
tremendous variability of the physical characterists of Muslims, who
make their homes everywhere from Turkey to Thailand, and from Tunisia
to Tanzania -- and many further flung countries to boot. Trying to
identify potential terrorists based on physical characteristics alone
is a fool's errand. If it were possible, any terrorists worth their
salt would surely alter or disguise his physical characteristics


The behavioral characteristics
Post by ***@hotnail.com
are the fig leaf (or more) for the surveillance (you and I differ in
that I think that adding other factors to surveillance is legitimate).
We are at war, or rather 'they' are at war with us. We, at least the
'we' in the White House, haven't quite decided if we are going to be
at war with them.
What surprises me more than anything in this whole business over the
past week has been the public reaction. I never thought that the
public would react the way it has vis a vis the Administration. I
actually thought it would be a non-event, by a guy who is obviously
more a lunatic than anything, even if he was set up. I am not even
sure that this event hasn't been blown up out of some proportion, to
be honest. I suspect that that moron Napolitano's comments were a big
part of the problem -
I agree with you there -- she was embarrassingly out of touch with
reality on the Sunday morning shows.

she must have been a school mate of Nancy Pelosi
Post by ***@hotnail.com
- and I think what this has triggered is a public perception, which
was not so much on the surface, that this is a President and an
Administration (and a Party) who don't take American security
seriously.
I didn't realize the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center
were arms of the Democratic Party, but if you say so, I'm sure you
must be right.

In a way, while I would not have made so much of it, it has
Post by ***@hotnail.com
now set another terrible trap for Obama, whether that's fair or not.
He has been seen napping at the wheel on this (and all his trying to
find out where to put the blame isn't going to work - the buck stops
with him,
Richard, did you make the same observations when the US embassy in
Beirut was bombed in April 1983 ( killing 63) under Reagan's watch?
And then only six months later, when everyone in that country and ours
should have been on super-high alert, the Marine base near Beirut was
bombed, killing 241 marines and injuring 100 others?

Did you tell folks then that Reagan had been napping at the wheel?
Did you tell folks then, that the buck stops with Reagan, and that he
obviously didn't care much about the security of America or
Americans?

Was GWB napping at the wheel when those planes flew into the WTC and
the Pentagon?

I'm not defending the alertness of our current far-flung intelligence
apparatus, I'm just asking you to judge all presidents, the ones you
like, and the ones you don't like, by roughly comparable standards.

Happy New Year to you and those you care about,


Pat
richergar@hotnail.com
2010-01-01 04:28:25 UTC
Permalink
Thank you, Pat and Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours.

Just to clarify, I do NOT think Obama is responsible for this. I think
you think I do, but I don't. My point is that he and his
administration are probably NOT responsible, and that these kinds of
things will keep happening. I would never have made this issue out of
this episode; I don't believe that is what it was. My point is that he
is going to be perceived that way, fairly or not, and that's what I
was saying. I surely think that the Administration at this point is
rethinking closing Gitmo (the TIMES suggests this to), and I bet you
they are really re-thinking the terrorist trials in New York City.
This was NOT their fault, and was probably largely unavoidable,
notwithstanding hindsight - I think the kid is probably psychotic -
but they can't afford, I believe, in the public eye to be seen as
dropping the ball a second time. Not fair, but that is the way I think
it lies.

All best, see you next year
Richard
Post by ***@hotnail.com
My point was that to raise an issue of your family, which you do in a
very selective way, isn't part of a discussion, and isn't really
relevant.
That's a fair comment.   My point, of course, was that everyone is
someone's grandson/granddaughter and son/daughter.  I was trying to
personalize the idea that profiling, while superficially addressing
broad populations, au fond impacts the life experiences and self-
images of discrete, individual people each of whom has feelings.
I do mention my family more than most here, I suppose.  The reason why
I do that, Richard, is not unlike the same reason that you are, I
think, an 'out' gay man.  The more 'out' gay people there are, the
more comfortable everyone in societies around the world will be with
such relationships.
When my wife and I first started seeing each other, we worked for the
same company, and so obviously everyone we worked with knew we were a
couple.  Eight or ten years later, though, that company folded its
tent, and we each had to find new jobs.  And we did so.   In my case,
I found a job with the company I work for now (it will be thirteen
years next month). That company, like most companies, was rather
conservative, and a lot of their employees around the country at that
time, gave me the impression that my wife's identity might raise
eyebrows.  With our office being quite a long commute from our house,
I rarely had any social interaction with other employees after 5:00.
In short -- almost nobody there ever had occasion to meet my wife.
For a few years, while I was establishing myself at the new job, I did
not keep pictures of my wife and four step-children on my desk.  Two
or three of my close friends at work knew that TFK (The Fair Kathleen)
was black, but 95% of my fellow employees did not.
To make a long story short, to this day, I still regret my hyper-
caution, cowardice, call it what you will, about my family in those
first few years at the new job.  At some point several years ago I
resolved that the best way to deal with any latent prejudice was to
face it head on, to show people that I was proud of my wife and kids
(and I am, of course) -- and now I've got pictures of them prominently
displayed on my desk.  I still  occasionally get some raised eyebrows
upon meeting someone new at my office, but that's OK.
In any event, I have come to the conclusion that it's good for the
world to see and know that two people of different people of different
races, different religions, different backgrounds, can build a good
life together if their heart is in the right place.  Kathy and I have
been married twenty-seven years now.  She's the best thing that ever
happened to me or ever will happen to me.
That's why I mention her - and our children, and our grandchildren -
quite a bit.
If your grandson was named Khalil and was in his 20s and
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Muslim and was traveling as this guy traveled, I would say screening
at a very high level was exactly the point. I've never raised the
issue of your family and gays, and I think it was special pleading on
your part (terrorists look like people in my family, therefore <g>)
that was the basis of my response. It is really the same thing you did
before when you brought up your kids and 'driving while black."  I
have tired, at least, never to bring up people's personal lives of
their families here ,and I just don't think it's really fair to do so
on either side of an argument (including supporting it)
I basically don't think body scanners are a good solution. Today they
don't store pictures, but there's nothing that will not stop that
being the next step. As I say, my concern is that we are one step from
a National Identity card  - 'papers' - and that is a very disturbing
notion. We would sooner harness everyone to the same oppressive and
incrementally intrusive controls, rather than identify people who are
hostile to this country. Who could imagine, a decade ago, the level of
security and surveillance we have now? There is no end of it in sight,
and yet you can't really outsmart terrorists. Behavioral profiling is
also meaningless unless it's connected to various markers of ethnicity
or religious belief of something else. I don't think you believe any
more than I do that police who profile based on behavioral
characteristics really do so, do you?
I don't know first hand, but a few days ago there was a gentleman on
NPR, (I'm sorry but I didn't catch the name) who either was or had
been one of the top airport security people for El Al -- and I'm just
repeating what he stated -- that Israeli airport security personnel
do not rely primarily on physical characteristics, but on
psychological ones -- nervousness, consistency of responses, the
congruence of passengers' responses with those of their fellow
travelers and so on.  As I've written elsewhere here there is
tremendous variability of the physical characterists of Muslims, who
make their homes everywhere from Turkey to Thailand, and from Tunisia
to Tanzania -- and many further flung countries to boot.  Trying to
identify potential terrorists based on physical characteristics alone
is a fool's errand.  If it were possible, any terrorists worth their
salt would surely alter or disguise his physical characteristics
The behavioral characteristics
Post by ***@hotnail.com
are the fig leaf (or more) for the surveillance (you and I differ in
that I think that adding other factors to surveillance is legitimate).
We are at war, or rather 'they' are at war with us. We, at least the
'we' in the White House, haven't quite decided if we are going to be
at war with them.
What surprises me more than anything in this whole business over the
past week has been the public reaction. I never thought that the
public would react the way it has vis a vis the Administration. I
actually thought it would be a non-event, by a guy who is obviously
more a lunatic than anything, even if he was set up. I am not even
sure that this event hasn't been blown up out of some proportion, to
be honest. I suspect that that moron Napolitano's comments were a big
part of the problem -
I agree with you there -- she was embarrassingly out of touch with
reality on the Sunday morning shows.
 she must have been a school mate of Nancy Pelosi
Post by ***@hotnail.com
- and I think what this has triggered is a public perception, which
was not so much on the surface, that this is a President and an
Administration (and a Party) who don't take American security
seriously.
I didn't realize the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center
were arms of the Democratic Party, but if you say so, I'm sure you
must be right.
In a way, while I would not have made so much of it, it has
Post by ***@hotnail.com
now set another terrible trap for Obama, whether that's fair or not.
He has been seen napping at the wheel on this (and all his trying to
find out where to put the blame isn't going to work - the buck stops
with him,
Richard, did you make the same observations when the US embassy in
Beirut was bombed in April 1983 ( killing 63) under Reagan's watch?
And then only six months later, when everyone in that country and ours
should have been on super-high alert, the Marine base near Beirut was
bombed, killing 241 marines and injuring 100 others?
Did you tell folks then that Reagan had been napping at the wheel?
Did you tell folks then, that the buck stops with Reagan, and that he
obviously didn't care much about the security of America or
Americans?
Was GWB napping at the wheel when those planes flew into the WTC and
the Pentagon?
I'm not defending the alertness of our current far-flung intelligence
apparatus, I'm just asking you to judge all presidents, the ones you
like, and the ones you don't like, by roughly comparable standards.
Happy New Year to you and those you care about,
Pat- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
MK Dunlop
2010-01-01 07:59:30 UTC
Permalink
Pat, amidst a serious, spirited and fascinating discourse, the lovely
description of your wife "The Fair Kathleen" gave me a jolt. I am of
Scots-Irish ancestry and visited Ireland 15 years ago to see relatives
in Dublin and Belfast. During this time I became involved with a
handsome Dubliner, The lad was a bit of a charming rogue, but I won't go
into details.

He never called me Mary Kate, but always, always greeted me with "Ah,
The Fair Kathleen" or "The Fair Lady Kathleen in her tower." Apparently
the latter is the first line of a somewhat moribund poem by Dora
Sigerson Shorter.

Wonderful time in my life, and I thank-you for opening the time capsule.

Health and happiness to all in 2010.
TrailingEdgeTechnologies
2010-01-01 23:11:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by MK Dunlop
Pat, amidst a serious, spirited and fascinating discourse, the lovely
description of your wife "The Fair Kathleen" gave me a jolt. I am of
Scots-Irish ancestry and visited Ireland 15 years ago to see relatives
in Dublin and Belfast. During this time I became involved with a
handsome Dubliner, The lad was a bit of a charming rogue, but I won't go
into details.
He never called me Mary Kate, but always, always greeted me with "Ah,
The Fair Kathleen" or "The Fair Lady Kathleen in her tower." Apparently
the latter is the first line of a somewhat moribund poem by Dora
Sigerson Shorter.
Wonderful time in my life, and I thank-you for opening the time capsule.
Health and happiness to all in 2010.
Watch out, for your rouge was making reference also to Cathleen ni
Houlihan,
who in tower or not, was a spirit of Ireland who maybe should be
missed. For an
exposition of this, see Patrick J. Keane, <Terrible Beauty: Yeats,
Joyce, Ireland,
and the Myth of the Devouring Female>, Columbia, University of
Missouri Press, 1988.

Bruce B. Reynolds, Trailing Edge Technologies
Ken Meltzer
2010-01-01 14:26:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
My point was that to raise an issue of your family, which you do in a
very selective way, isn't part of a discussion, and isn't really
relevant.
That's a fair comment.   My point, of course, was that everyone is
someone's grandson/granddaughter and son/daughter.  I was trying to
personalize the idea that profiling, while superficially addressing
broad populations, au fond impacts the life experiences and self-
images of discrete, individual people each of whom has feelings.
I do mention my family more than most here, I suppose.  The reason why
I do that, Richard, is not unlike the same reason that you are, I
think, an 'out' gay man.  The more 'out' gay people there are, the
more comfortable everyone in societies around the world will be with
such relationships.
When my wife and I first started seeing each other, we worked for the
same company, and so obviously everyone we worked with knew we were a
couple.  Eight or ten years later, though, that company folded its
tent, and we each had to find new jobs.  And we did so.   In my case,
I found a job with the company I work for now (it will be thirteen
years next month). That company, like most companies, was rather
conservative, and a lot of their employees around the country at that
time, gave me the impression that my wife's identity might raise
eyebrows.  With our office being quite a long commute from our house,
I rarely had any social interaction with other employees after 5:00.
In short -- almost nobody there ever had occasion to meet my wife.
For a few years, while I was establishing myself at the new job, I did
not keep pictures of my wife and four step-children on my desk.  Two
or three of my close friends at work knew that TFK (The Fair Kathleen)
was black, but 95% of my fellow employees did not.
To make a long story short, to this day, I still regret my hyper-
caution, cowardice, call it what you will, about my family in those
first few years at the new job.  At some point several years ago I
resolved that the best way to deal with any latent prejudice was to
face it head on, to show people that I was proud of my wife and kids
(and I am, of course) -- and now I've got pictures of them prominently
displayed on my desk.  I still  occasionally get some raised eyebrows
upon meeting someone new at my office, but that's OK.
In any event, I have come to the conclusion that it's good for the
world to see and know that two people of different people of different
races, different religions, different backgrounds, can build a good
life together if their heart is in the right place.  Kathy and I have
been married twenty-seven years now.  She's the best thing that ever
happened to me or ever will happen to me.
That's why I mention her - and our children, and our grandchildren -
quite a bit.
If your grandson was named Khalil and was in his 20s and
Post by ***@hotnail.com
Muslim and was traveling as this guy traveled, I would say screening
at a very high level was exactly the point. I've never raised the
issue of your family and gays, and I think it was special pleading on
your part (terrorists look like people in my family, therefore <g>)
that was the basis of my response. It is really the same thing you did
before when you brought up your kids and 'driving while black."  I
have tired, at least, never to bring up people's personal lives of
their families here ,and I just don't think it's really fair to do so
on either side of an argument (including supporting it)
I basically don't think body scanners are a good solution. Today they
don't store pictures, but there's nothing that will not stop that
being the next step. As I say, my concern is that we are one step from
a National Identity card  - 'papers' - and that is a very disturbing
notion. We would sooner harness everyone to the same oppressive and
incrementally intrusive controls, rather than identify people who are
hostile to this country. Who could imagine, a decade ago, the level of
security and surveillance we have now? There is no end of it in sight,
and yet you can't really outsmart terrorists. Behavioral profiling is
also meaningless unless it's connected to various markers of ethnicity
or religious belief of something else. I don't think you believe any
more than I do that police who profile based on behavioral
characteristics really do so, do you?
I don't know first hand, but a few days ago there was a gentleman on
NPR, (I'm sorry but I didn't catch the name) who either was or had
been one of the top airport security people for El Al -- and I'm just
repeating what he stated -- that Israeli airport security personnel
do not rely primarily on physical characteristics, but on
psychological ones -- nervousness, consistency of responses, the
congruence of passengers' responses with those of their fellow
travelers and so on.  As I've written elsewhere here there is
tremendous variability of the physical characterists of Muslims, who
make their homes everywhere from Turkey to Thailand, and from Tunisia
to Tanzania -- and many further flung countries to boot.  Trying to
identify potential terrorists based on physical characteristics alone
is a fool's errand.  If it were possible, any terrorists worth their
salt would surely alter or disguise his physical characteristics
The behavioral characteristics
Post by ***@hotnail.com
are the fig leaf (or more) for the surveillance (you and I differ in
that I think that adding other factors to surveillance is legitimate).
We are at war, or rather 'they' are at war with us. We, at least the
'we' in the White House, haven't quite decided if we are going to be
at war with them.
What surprises me more than anything in this whole business over the
past week has been the public reaction. I never thought that the
public would react the way it has vis a vis the Administration. I
actually thought it would be a non-event, by a guy who is obviously
more a lunatic than anything, even if he was set up. I am not even
sure that this event hasn't been blown up out of some proportion, to
be honest. I suspect that that moron Napolitano's comments were a big
part of the problem -
I agree with you there -- she was embarrassingly out of touch with
reality on the Sunday morning shows.
 she must have been a school mate of Nancy Pelosi
Post by ***@hotnail.com
- and I think what this has triggered is a public perception, which
was not so much on the surface, that this is a President and an
Administration (and a Party) who don't take American security
seriously.
I didn't realize the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center
were arms of the Democratic Party, but if you say so, I'm sure you
must be right.
In a way, while I would not have made so much of it, it has
Post by ***@hotnail.com
now set another terrible trap for Obama, whether that's fair or not.
He has been seen napping at the wheel on this (and all his trying to
find out where to put the blame isn't going to work - the buck stops
with him,
Richard, did you make the same observations when the US embassy in
Beirut was bombed in April 1983 ( killing 63) under Reagan's watch?
And then only six months later, when everyone in that country and ours
should have been on super-high alert, the Marine base near Beirut was
bombed, killing 241 marines and injuring 100 others?
Did you tell folks then that Reagan had been napping at the wheel?
Did you tell folks then, that the buck stops with Reagan, and that he
obviously didn't care much about the security of America or
Americans?
Was GWB napping at the wheel when those planes flew into the WTC and
the Pentagon?
I'm not defending the alertness of our current far-flung intelligence
apparatus, I'm just asking you to judge all presidents, the ones you
like, and the ones you don't like, by roughly comparable standards.
Happy New Year to you and those you care about,
Pat
Some months after September 11, I played golf in San Francisco with
British Airways pilot. At some point, the conversation naturally
turned to the disaster, and he commented: "You never eradicate
terrorism. You do the best you can to minimize its impact and
importance."
I certainly don't always agree with David Brooks. But I think his
column today expresses things far better than I can:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/opinion/01brooks.html?hp
Here's hoping for peaceful 2010.
Best,
Ken
EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
2009-12-31 19:25:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pat
Post by ***@hotnail.com
The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.
We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.
======================
My friend, had I shown you (or the sharpest-eyed airport screener in
the country) a photograph of the young man who carried the explosives
on the Amsterdam to Detroit plane, would you have pegged him for a
radical Muslim?
He doesn't look too unlike my grandson.
Pat
Good point! And you're right, his photos look like any law-abiding
young man. Next step will be for terrorists to start using inoffensive
grandmotherly types requiring wheelchair assistance to the departure
gate. Like me, for instance - they may pull me aside for a pat-down,
but it's clear that's only a formality, they certainly don't expect to
find anything. (But, although a pacifist, my politics are certainly far
more liberal than many of my generation - it's certainly conceivable
that my generation might also include a few radical militants.)
richergar@hotnail.com
2009-12-31 21:05:22 UTC
Permalink
I have often suspected, Evelyn, that you could indeed be more fearsome
than a terrorist. If you will note, I have never let a cross word
about a certain Belgian ever escape my lips!!!


All best to you for the New Year.



Richard


On Dec 31, 2:25 pm, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
Post by Pat
Post by ***@hotnail.com
The myth is that everyone has to be subject to these incursions, which
I think are disturbing, because we have a group of people - radical
Muslims - who are at war with the country, and with the entire concept
of democracy.
We are destroying the whole fabric of a free society (in which we both
believe) by subjecting everyone to the same restrictions and the same
level of scrutiny.
======================
My friend, had I shown you (or the sharpest-eyed airport screener in
the country) a photograph of the young man  who carried the explosives
on the Amsterdam to Detroit plane, would you have pegged him for a
radical Muslim?
He doesn't look too unlike my grandson.
Pat
Good point!  And you're right, his photos look like any law-abiding
young man.  Next step will be for terrorists to start using inoffensive
grandmotherly types requiring wheelchair assistance to the departure
gate.  Like me, for instance - they may pull me aside for a pat-down,
but it's clear that's only a formality, they certainly don't expect to
find anything.  (But, although a pacifist, my politics are certainly far
more liberal than many of my generation - it's certainly conceivable
that my generation might also include a few radical militants.)- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
2010-01-01 20:55:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@hotnail.com
I have often suspected, Evelyn, that you could indeed be more fearsome
than a terrorist. If you will note, I have never let a cross word
about a certain Belgian ever escape my lips!!!
LOL! (But you only need fear my tongue - any abuse from me is verbal,
not physical.) I believe in voicing my opinions, whether popular or
not! ....As the administrators at my retirement residence have reason
to know, from my participation in the monthly "town hall" meetings.
However they may procrastinate with problems voiced by other residents,
somehow my complaints always get prompt attention. (Probably because
they know I'll keep agitating - including e-mails to the office of the
company that owns the place - until the thing is resolved.)
Post by ***@hotnail.com
All best to you for the New Year.
Likewise.
General Schvantzkoph
2009-12-30 22:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
If they work fine. I gather they use millimeter radiation which should be
safe, I wouldn't want to be exposed to X-rays every time I flew unless
the dose was less than the cosmic ray dose that you receive when you are
at 35000ft, but millimeter wave radiation shouldn't pose a health threat.
I don't care about modesty concerns, I do care about convenience. I hate
wasting time on things that can't possibly help like taking our shoes off
or limiting the size of our toothpaste tubes. If something is genuinely
effective I have no objections to it even if it is inconvenient, but
wasting time on measures that any third grader could circumvent is silly.

I just wish these decisions weren't being made by morons. We've
collectively wasted billions of hours taking off our shoes since the shoe
bomber smuggled PETN in his shoes. The crotch bomber smuggled the same
stuff in his underwear, if they start making us take our pants off the
next step is to smuggle it up their ass. If a they decide to give us all
a rectal exam the next step would be to swallow a timebomb. While we've
been taking our shoes off and limiting the size of our toothpaste
containers how come there aren't any bomb sniffing dogs sitting next to
the scanners? Dogs are cheap, effective and unpredictable (the later is
really important, it's a lot easier to figure out how to defeat a machine
which behave consistently from unit to unit then to figure out how to
defeat a dog which are highly variable).
premiereopera@aol.com
2009-12-30 22:28:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by General Schvantzkoph
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
If they work fine. I gather they use millimeter radiation which should be
safe, I wouldn't want to be exposed to X-rays every time I flew unless
the dose was less than the cosmic ray dose that you receive when you are
at 35000ft, but millimeter wave radiation shouldn't pose a health threat.
I don't care about modesty concerns, I do care about convenience. I hate
wasting time on things that can't possibly help like taking our shoes off
or limiting the size of our toothpaste tubes. If something is genuinely
effective I have no objections to it even if it is inconvenient, but
wasting time on measures that any third grader could circumvent is silly.
I just wish these decisions weren't being made by morons. We've
collectively wasted billions of hours taking off our shoes since the shoe
bomber smuggled PETN in his shoes. The crotch bomber smuggled the same
stuff in his underwear, if they start making us take our pants off the
next step is to smuggle it up their ass. If a they decide to give us all
a rectal exam the next step would be to swallow a timebomb. While we've
been taking our shoes off and limiting the size of our toothpaste
containers how come there aren't any bomb sniffing dogs sitting next to
the scanners? Dogs are cheap, effective and unpredictable (the later is
really important, it's a lot easier to figure out how to defeat a machine
which behave consistently from unit to unit then to figure out how to
defeat a dog which are highly variable).
Better not to fly at all.

Ed
REG
2009-12-30 23:48:46 UTC
Permalink
It is clear now, from the news tonight, that it was America and this
administration that pressured the Dutch NOT to use body scanners. This
on the news tonight.

In addition, passengers in this country will be given the choice of a
body scan or a pat down...DUH

Dogs are ok, but remember they tire easily - they don't work 8 hour
days; they are kind of like civil servants in that respect.

There are two solutions. The first is to put people in categories, and
people who are in certain behavioral or other categories - young
Muslims of either sex (unfortunately) and others, even if they happen
to look like one of Pat's relatives - have to be given very high
scrutiny and perhaps more.

The alternative, which you can see coming down the road, is a
national ID system, which I think will be the thick edge of a very
bad wedge, on the theory that it is much better to make everyone
suffer in such a system, rather than retain the freedom of the vast
majority. A national ID system will not be foolproof, but it is far
past the mere beginnning of the end of freedom.

Terrorists look, not to kill a handful of people, but to terrorize and
immobilize a society as a whole. That's the goal. We need to fight
that imprisonment by terrorism by identify risk groups and giving them
far higher scrutiny. It's not attractive or good in an abstract sense,
but the alternative is even worse imho.
Post by General Schvantzkoph
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
If they work fine. I gather they use millimeter radiation which should be
safe, I wouldn't want to be exposed to X-rays every time I flew unless
the dose was less than the cosmic ray dose that you receive when you are
at 35000ft, but millimeter wave radiation shouldn't pose a health threat.
I don't care about modesty concerns, I do care about convenience. I hate
wasting time on things that can't possibly help like taking our shoes off
or limiting the size of our toothpaste tubes. If something is genuinely
effective I have no objections to it even if it is inconvenient, but
wasting time on measures that any third grader could circumvent is silly.
I just wish these decisions weren't being made by morons. We've
collectively wasted billions of hours taking off our shoes since the shoe
bomber smuggled PETN in his shoes. The crotch bomber smuggled the same
stuff in his underwear, if they start making us take our pants off the
next step is to smuggle it up their ass. If a they decide to give us all
a rectal exam the next step would be to swallow a timebomb. While we've
been taking our shoes off and limiting the size of our toothpaste
containers how come there aren't any bomb sniffing dogs sitting next to
the scanners? Dogs are cheap, effective and unpredictable (the later is
really important, it's a lot easier to figure out how to defeat a machine
which behave consistently from unit to unit then to figure out how to
defeat a dog which are highly variable).
Gogarty
2009-12-31 17:47:33 UTC
Permalink
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.

How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.

Richard Reid did not look like a muslim. Nor did Timothy McVey. For that
matter, neither did this crotch bomber. And Kosovar muslims not only don't
look like muslims, they are in general a whole lot better looking physically
than their neighbors.

How in the world do they presuade these young men (and women) to do such
dreadful things? "Don't worry, you won't feel a thing and there will be 72
virgins waiting for you" (sort of useless when the bomb is in youre crotch).
Do the women get 72 studs?

I am reminded of photos from the Nazi death camps: hordes of naked people
being forced into "delousing" facilities.

On land, one can still get from point A to point B without flying though it
may take awhile. God knows, flying is becoming ever more sheer torture even
without the threats as the airlines try to cram more people into smaller
spaces. Are there any ships going from Point A to Point B anymore, other
than all those cruise ships meandering aimlessly around the oceans?

AMDG
Pat
2009-12-31 19:18:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
About 20,000 according to one -2009 Demographic study - which is about
twenty times as many people as there are in the IRA.

I'm sure that most of the Irish Muslims are not as pale as the average
native-born Irishman, but certainly not all of them.

The gas station I go to most often seems to be owned by a middle
eastern family because 80% of the time the clerks look vaguely middle-
eastern. The two young men I see most often (one maybe twenty, the
other maybe thirty) are the politest, friendliest young men you could
imagine, at least to me. As grumpy and contentious as I may appear to
be here, I really make an effort to smile and be pleasant with
strangers. It doesn't cost anything to be nice to a waitress, a
janitor, or the bagger at the grocery store, after all.

The twenty-ish fellow at the gas station takes the early morning
shift, when the station isn't very busy and one early morning I
noticed that he was reading a book. Being interested in books, I
asked him what he was reading. He smiled, blushed a bit and said
'religious writings," which I suspect meant the Koran, but perhaps
not. At other times there is a young woman behind the counter, who
always wears a sort of scarf over her head, which makes her appear to
be a devout Muslim, too. But she is as fair-skinned as I am (I'm of
Scots-Irish descent) -- and speaks unbroken English. I imagine she
might be the American wife of one of the two young men. Based on her
dress and manner, she appears to be a devout Muslim -- but in terms
of complexion, hair, and so on she could pass for a relative of mine.

It would be nice if all the potential terrorists in the world would
present themselves at airport security counters wearing Arabic garb,
with the Koran in one hand and a freshly opened empty plastic package
emblazoned "Box Cutter" in the other, but I suspect that it's not
quite that easy.

It's probably wouldn't hurt to do some negative profiling -- excluding
fair-complected women and children under 12 and over 75, for example,
from intrusive searches. But if one felt that he could protect
himself from radical Muslims by only searching folks who look "Arabic"
one would be be excluding more than 90% of the Muslims in the world --
most of whom come from areas (Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan,
France, Britain, China, the central Asian former Soviet Union
Republics, southern and central Africa, India) where there has been a
fair amount of Muslim terrorist activity over the years.

Regards,

Pat


Pat
BuckMulligan
2010-01-01 14:18:50 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Pat
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
About 20,000 according to one -2009 Demographic study - which is about
twenty times as many people as there are in the IRA.
My father was in the IRA -- in 1922.
Pat
2010-01-01 14:37:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by BuckMulligan
In article
Post by Pat
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
About 20,000 according to one -2009 Demographic study - which is about
twenty times as many people as there are in the IRA.
My father was in the IRA -- in 1922.
=============
In 1922, the year of Michael Collins' death, the IRA was fighting,
IMO, for a noble cause.

One of the most heartening of all the events that have taken place in
the world in the last dozen or so years, is the reduction of violence
in Northern Ireland. If 500-year-old religious hatreds can be put to
rest there, why not everywhere?

Pat
Gogarty
2010-01-03 16:55:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pat
Post by BuckMulligan
In article
Post by Pat
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
About 20,000 according to one -2009 Demographic study - which is about
twenty times as many people as there are in the IRA.
My father was in the IRA -- in 1922.
=============
In 1922, the year of Michael Collins' death, the IRA was fighting,
IMO, for a noble cause.
One of the most heartening of all the events that have taken place in
the world in the last dozen or so years, is the reduction of violence
in Northern Ireland. If 500-year-old religious hatreds can be put to
rest there, why not everywhere?
Pat
It's all way too complex to explore here. Thank you Oliver Cromwell. But one
thing that amazed me was the relative complacity of the people in the face of
constant bombings.

Yes, it was a noble cause. But DeValera figured three fourths of a loaf was
better than none. I think the matter should have been settled back then.

Didja ever notice that the British solution to everything was and is
partition? Lets the Brits get out undamaged but leaves an awful mess behind
for the locals to sort out at great cost.
clem
2010-01-03 17:29:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pat
Post by BuckMulligan
In article
Post by Pat
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
About 20,000 according to one -2009 Demographic study - which is about
twenty times as many people as there are in the IRA.
My father was in the IRA -- in 1922.
=============
In 1922, the year of Michael Collins' death, the IRA was fighting,
IMO, for a noble cause.
One of the most heartening of all the events that have taken place in
the world in the last dozen or so years, is the reduction of violence
in Northern Ireland.  If  500-year-old religious hatreds can be put to
rest there, why not everywhere?
Pat
The "nobility" of the IRA cause, once the Free State had been
established is still debated in modern Ireland. Certainly a moral
case for partition can be made. (the actual partition was unfairly
drawn, but it seems to me that a partition of some kind was
necessary) Some accounts say that more Irishmen were killed in the
civil war of 1922 to 1923 than were killed in the battles against the
British from 1916 through the peace treaty of 1921.

But I strongly agree with Pat about the reduction, in fact, the near
elimination of violence in Northern Ireland. The Daily News a few
years ago ended an editorial lauding the peacemakers in Ireland with
the words "And the world did gaze in deep amaze..." I was really
tickled that I knew where those words came from.

Paul

EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
2009-12-31 19:35:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gogarty
Maybe they should hire Scarpia for the job.
How many muslims in Ireland, I wonder.
Richard Reid did not look like a muslim. Nor did Timothy McVey. For that
matter, neither did this crotch bomber. And Kosovar muslims not only don't
look like muslims, they are in general a whole lot better looking physically
than their neighbors.
How in the world do they presuade these young men (and women) to do such
dreadful things? "Don't worry, you won't feel a thing and there will be 72
virgins waiting for you" (sort of useless when the bomb is in youre crotch).
Do the women get 72 studs?
I am reminded of photos from the Nazi death camps: hordes of naked people
being forced into "delousing" facilities.
On land, one can still get from point A to point B without flying though it
may take awhile. God knows, flying is becoming ever more sheer torture even
without the threats as the airlines try to cram more people into smaller
spaces. Are there any ships going from Point A to Point B anymore, other
than all those cruise ships meandering aimlessly around the oceans?
AMDG
Do cargo ships still take passengers?
EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)
2009-12-31 19:12:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
Whatever. I think the problem lies far more with the incompetence of
the TSA personnel than the screening methods. Most European airports
have far more efficient security than ours, but present far less
inconvenience to the ordinary traveler than those in the U.S. (And
Israel, with a far longer history of combating a genuine "terrorist
threat" seems to manage just fine without the law-abiding tourist even
noticing their security measures.)
Ken Meltzer
2009-12-31 20:07:11 UTC
Permalink
On Dec 31, 2:12 pm, "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)"
Post by Pat
Good idea or bad idea?
Whatever.  I think the problem lies far more with the incompetence of
the TSA personnel than the screening methods. Most European airports
have far more efficient security than ours, but present far less
inconvenience to the ordinary traveler than those in the U.S.  (And
Israel, with a far longer history of combating a genuine "terrorist
threat" seems to manage just fine without the law-abiding tourist even
noticing their security measures.)
Evelyn:
Have you ever been interrogated by one of Israel's airport security
experts? Believe me, it makes a profound impression!
Best,
Ken
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