Monday, June 02, 2008
Highjacking At T-Shirt Point
First, allow me to suggest that all of this airport security is really a scam to put in place a system by which all prospective travelers must be cleared by government to leave their current location. Additionally, it gives them the information as to just where they're going. The Third Reich did just this sort of thing--in a much lower-tech fashion as befitted the time--in Germany during the period leading up to WWII. Looking at the way the US federal government (and others) is arranging things, it parallels the German model fairly well.
Although, as we all know, the whole of what is sniggeringly called "Homeland Security" is dressed in the trappings of keeping Americans safe from terrorists.
First it was guns. Then it was knives. Then it was anything that could be remotely imagined to be able to break the skin--such as pen knives, nail clippers and--I kid you not--knitting needles. I haven't yet heard whether they confiscate blind folks' canes. Then, they started inspecting shoes. May their hands all develop athletes' foot. They started confiscating bottles of shampoo and tubes of toothpaste. They started feeling up people's genitals and women's breasts. Checking out pregnant women's abdomens.
I remember when the airport people would open the door. They'd check each passenger's ticket and let them walk out to a portable stairway that led to the door, where a stewardess would take a look at your ticket and give directions to your seat. Ah! Those were the days. The only federal sloths at the airport were safely confined to the tower, and were rarely seen.
'Tis true that the airlines, who have a true, rational interest in keeping dangerous individuals from interfering with the plane's flight to its destination, were very lax concerning their responsibilities along those lines. Several highjackings to Cuba should have lit a bulb somewhere, but didn't. I suspect there were federal restrictions as to what could be done, that interfered with the airlines' best interest.
Making a long entry even longer, I have to refer you all to the most moronic (not by far, but still, pretty dumb) event along these lines. It happened at London's Heathrow (where else?) and has cause groans of derision and peals of laughter all round the civilized world. As reported in Thisislondon.co.uk, a young man was refused boarding on an airliner and threatened with arrest for wearing a t-shirt with the image of a Transformer!! A Transformer that has some sort of machine gun for an arm.
Let's pause for a moment to allow ourselves to get up off the floor and recompose.
During a day in which there were at least a two teen-agers killed in knife attacks reported 'pon that same news page, whose murderers (if caught) face no more than a couple of years in stir, Heathrow officials are worried about a bloody (to use local vernacular) t-shirt!
This in a country in which self defense is illegal.
Englishmen! Englishwomen! Run, don't walk off that island, where insanity rules.
V, where are you when we need you?