[thechat] US criticised over Muslim checks

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Oct 4 14:13:01 CDT 2002

On Thu, 3 Oct 2002, Ken Kogler wrote:

> > > That still didn't keep China from holding me up at the
> > > border. Until you are seen in person, some flags don't
> > > get triggered.
> > Did they asked you take off your shoes, did they took
> > your fingerprints or did they kept your photograph?
> I've gone through airport security 10 times (5 round-trip flights) since
> 9/11, and only ONCE did I NOT have to take off my belt & shoes. I'm a
> non-descript looking young white American male from the suburbs, too...
> It's not racial profiling. It happens to everyone.

In which case, all well and good, and *much* better than the 'I can stroll
in and out of air-side without anyone questioning me' previous situation.
ISTR even major airports like JFK were a lot laxer pre-9/11 than I'd
expect from an average UK airport.

> I take offense at none of this -- it's a pain in the ass, sure, and it's
> even assumed-guilty-until-proven-innocent, but it keeps me alive.

As long as the number of false-positives (where they *really* put you
through the 3rd degree) aren't stupidly high without providing any greater
assurance of security.

> > No offence, it seems that USA government still
> > has some kind of sympathy for Osama, that's why
> > he is still at large.
> No way. The former mayor of New York (Rudy Guiliani, who was mayor on
> 9/11) makes no qualms about the fact that he asked Prez Bush if he could
> be the one to execute Osama if he got brought in alive.
> I can't speak on behalf of the entire government, but I'm reasonably
> certain that no one *I* elected is a big fan of bin Laden...

...these days. However, the 1980s and much of the 90s was a different
story. Even ol' Sadaam was a 'good guy' then.

(oh, semi-related question: How come the same objects are a nuclear
capability when we and our friends have them, yet weapons of mass
destruction when a non-friend has them..?))

Mind you, what's this I read about upcoming detente with North Korea (the
country which is happy about the odd million people dying of starvation as
7 million population is enough to defend the country in a war).

> > > The US has kept its doors wide open to
> > > peoples of all nationalities for centuries.
> > Not for humans, but for man power.
> > This was for America's own interest.
>   "Give me your tired, your poor,
>    your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
>    the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
>    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
>    I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Aye, nice rhetoric which it would be good for America to follow in action
now and again these days. Or am I imagining the guards on the Mexican


"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

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