ever-escalating levels of governmental clumsiness and general harm (was: Re: [thechat] US criticised over Muslim checks)

Joe Crawford joe at artlung.com
Wed Oct 2 12:21:00 CDT 2002

Hugh Blair wrote:
> 3 - "On 16 September, Dr Mahathir's deputy Ahmad
> Abdullah Badawi was asked to remove his belt and
> shoes at Los Angeles airport before being allowed
> to fly on to New York."
> Well, big deal. Suck it up and get over it. I've
> had that happen to me more than once since 9/11.
> If he's offended by that treatment, then just don't
> come here. Simple. Sheesh.

Suck it up?

Suck it up?

No. Way.

That humiliation buys us what, exactly, in additional security?

Where are the cockpit doors which would be expensive but would have
actually PREVENTED a 9.11? Oh, right, too expensive. Instead we get...

"If you've been in airports recently, I believe you are seeing a pretty
apt, early version of Terrorspace. At any random moment, you can have
your possessions rifled through by strangers. Your shoes are scanned,
and various small but vital objects in your pockets can be confiscated
by semi-educated security geeks. They're either pathetically
under-trained for the job (in which case you certainly feel no safer),
or else they are intelligent and capable people (in which case you pity
them and wish they had some other job, for the sake of general human
happiness and the GNP). Rather than making us any safer, Terrorspace
airports serve as political indoctrination centers that humiliate our
voting population on a broad scale. They are meant to inure us to
ever-escalating levels of governmental clumsiness and general harm."

-- Bruce Sterling <from

And this, from a fellow geek:

"How to Think About Security

If security has a silly season, we're in it. After September 11, every
two-bit peddler of security technology crawled out of the woodwork with
new claims about how his product can make us all safe again. Every
misguided and defeated government security initiative was dragged out of
the closet, dusted off, and presented as the savior of our way of life.
More and more, the general public is being asked to make security
decisions, weigh security tradeoffs, and accept more intrusive security."
"1) What problem does it solve?
2) How well does it solve the problem?
3) What new problems does it add?
4) What are the economic and social costs?
5) Given the above, is it worth the costs?"

I'll suck up what I have to to provide security.

But I'm not sucking up just anything goddammit.

Joe Crawford, web journeyman.  San Diego Calif. USA http://artlung.com/
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