The New Terrapin Gazette
Number 204 2 May, 2011
Imagination is our guiding genie or our deceiving demon.
First Things First
You can do no better.
Thoughts On Air Travel, The TSA, And Security
A New Terrapin subscriber offers his view of the system and what it should be:
As a person who flies a lot, albeit mostly in Europe and maybe once a year in North America, my perception is that TSA (and the whole US air transport industry) treat every (!) air traveler as a potential terrorist. After going through the standard security scanners, I have gone through very thorough secondary security examinations in Israel, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece (usually double checks of my carry-on luggage and a pat-downs if something beeps), but never have I felt that that I was molested.
Let me tell you a story: several years ago, after I went to visit (family), I was checking in at a (West Coast USA) airport to return to (a predominantly Muslim country). The woman at the US Airways check-in counter greeted me very friendly and upon seeing my itinerary, said, “Wow, are you going on vacation to (the destination)?” When I replied, “No, I live and work there,” it was as if I had said, “No, I am going to visit my brother Osama Bin-Laden.” Her demeanor immediately changed and when she issued my boarding pass I noticed “SSSS” printed in bold letters. I knew that this meant “check this guy out, he is probably a terrorist.” After I handed the boarding pass to the guy at the scanner, and before I even picked up my bag from the X-ray machine, he directed me to a table where I was submitted to another pat-down — plus they took EVERYTHING out of my bag, rubbed the white cloth on it and took it over to their chromatograph machine to check for traces of explosive chemicals. This has happened to me several times, but it seems that the smaller the airport, the more likely it is that it will happen. It’s as if the TSA people in these smaller cities have been brainwashed into believing that AQ prefers to hit them.
Last year, when I was departing (a Canadian airport) going to (the USA), upon reaching the US Immigration counter, I placed my US passport in front of the window, whereupon the woman immediately asked me, “What is your citizenship?” I responded “USA,” and then she asked, “What is the purpose of your trip to the US?” For a split-second I was tempted to respond, “Does a US citizen need to have a reason to go visit his family in his home state?” but then I decided not to risk it and answered only, “A family visit.”
So, it makes me wonder whether the TSA and US Immigration have given up on profiling and now they ask EVERYONE tricky questions. Do they really believe that every US-born, Caucasian male in his mid-50s with an Anglo-Saxon name, who is traveling internationally alone, or (God forbid!) going to a non-Christian country is a potential terrorist?
What about planes coming from outside the USA? These passengers are not (yet) subject to TSA security checks, except for the extra questions that “rent-a-cop” types sometimes ask you before checking in and/or going to the gate. Those passengers go through the same security checks in Frankfurt, Istanbul, Madrid or wherever that people go through when flying domestically or on an inner-European route. Obviously, the US authorities have sufficient trust in the security measures in those countries, otherwise they would not let those aircraft enter US airspace.
The TSA is going to step on its own crank one too many times and then these overly invasive programs will be rolled back.
I believe the TSA should go back to profiling and treat the remaining 99% of the flying public with respect.
Yes, The Eagle Wing Palace Has A TV
So bin Laden is dead. Well, tears of joy were shed in the New Terrapin’s office. Note these points, which deserve to be explored further: Pakistani duplicity/collaboration with AQ; the crucial importance of Guantanamo inmates as sources; the fact that this special forces mission just may be one of the most perfectly-executed assaults in history; and how the US government managed to keep it secret. It’s an amazing story, truly astounding. And yes, Obama deserves credit for having the courage to take a huge risk. Good for him, good for the USA.
One has to wonder, on reading this: did anyone know what these people were up to, when they explored the possibility of cutting the cables of the Brooklyn bridge? Just asking….
Holder. This guy is a danger to the Republic in more ways than one. (Update here.) He has to go. If he does not, people like this will score heavily in their struggle to bring Western Civilization down.
Quoth a weblogger: “The reason why there are no more arbiters of truth is that the old ones were liars. Until you can get past that problem, you’ll have to deal with conspiracy theories. And really, after Dan Rather, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Internet innuendo.” Zing!
Peggy Noonan whines about the USA’s imperfections and pleads for a pause to allow the nation to repair itself. Her objections to nation-building overseas deserve discussion, though this newsletter cannot endorse her conclusions. If the principle summarized as, “Judge not, lest ye be judged” were taken to mean that one should fear being judged by others and therefore refuse to prosecute criminals, all crimes would go unpunished. Judge the USA, of course, and certainly the nation can work to improve itself. Remember too that Utopia will never arrive, and that the goofy aspects of multiculturalism are just that — goofy. Those twin truths are the rational response to Noonan’s cultural fatigue and consequent primitive isolationism. Now read what she has to say. A tip of the hat to GB for the link to this provocative commentary.
Do you Californians know what’s going on regarding the legitimacy of your land ownership?
Some in the news media, having carefully cultivated a reputation as Obamoid lapdogs, are now saying that the rules for walking on the leash are hypocritical. That’s rich. Consider what Team Obama has recently attempted or accomplished: first, the bunglers tried to hide an embarrassing event; then, they defrocked the heretic who made said event known to the public; finally, they tried to hide the fact that the heretic had been excommunicated. Each attempt flopped or backfired humiliatingly. The comedy reveals the Obamites as trendily fascistic. — How, you might well ask, could this occur? Simply and inevitably! You see here two groups (the news media in general and Team Obama in particular) that are both deeply in love with censorship, and suddenly a solitary individual shows signs of having and using a tiny bit of initiative and imagination. (That just a single reporter in the crowd of journalists acted professionally is not to be ignored, Pilgrims.) Well, that uppity individualism can’t be tolerated, so insanity pushed common sense aside, turning a faux pas into a major blunder. What was it the Rev. Mr. Spooner said about not stowing thrones in grass houses?
Are mobile phones safe?
“There are bad people in every culture” won’t cover this. They are not at all like Westerners, and their way of life is neither evolved nor decent. In fact it’s not proper to call their value systems human, let alone humane. Multiculturalism denies the simple facts. One of those facts is that if you refuse to judge a man by his values, you can not evaluate or even describe him accurately. The same holds for his culture. One cannot justify the existence of a culture by simply pointing out that it exists.
The numbers tell the tale: these are the consequences of enriching Jamie Gorelick, Franklin Raines, and their ilk; these are the consequences of permitting Barney Frank and Maxine Waters and their ilk into the House of Representatives. The ruling elite has struck, and the Let-them-have-welfare-benefits attitude of this haughty superclass are spittle on the face of the USA’s value system.
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Immanuel Kant.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Arch Linux, Emacs, Screen, and Chromium.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee