I had starting writing a post about the absolutely ludicrous new airline security regulations in the aftermath of yesterday's foiled hijacking plot in London. But then I read Seraphic Secret, where a post from Karen (Robert's better half, as everyone knows) perfectly expressed my point of view regarding this latest "punish the victims" approach to security. These tactics can't help but remind one of the Wise Men of Chelm, or perhaps the "Duffers", a silly Dwarvish clan from one of the Narnia books who, for example, when the cat got into the dairy, spent all day moving the milk out instead of trying to catch the cat.
I will add two additional points, one serious, one irresistible :-). First, for all those who feel that singling out Islamic men for extra security checks constitutes "racial profiling". While not quite Chelmite in proportions, this is a logical error not unlike the one we all learn in Junior High math:
All grocers are humanIn other words, classic racial profiling is, for example, traffic cops only pulling over speeding cars driven by a given minority, based on an assumption that those minorities speed more often than average. Even if this assumption were true, profiling is racist in this case because the police would be deliberately ignoring non-minorities who are speeding, and unfairly focusing on minority speeders, just because of a possible statistical tilt in favor of the latter.
I am human
Therefore I am a grocer
However, in the case of terrorist attempted hijackings, 100% of hijackers are members of Islamist groups, and 100% of the members of those Islamist groups are Islamic. This is a fact, not a vague statistical assumption or an unfounded prejudice. Their membership in Islamist groups is friggen why they're hijacking! To conduct utterly random checks of every air traveler, with sublime disregard for this reality, is a waste of time and effort and does little to make air travel safer. In short, it is - as Spock would put it - highly illogical.
My final word. Shortly after the Shoe Bomber incident, I heard a comedian (I'd like to credit the original source, but I can't find it) who said it best:
So, this one nut hides a bomb in his shoes, and from then on every single air traveler has to take his shoes off before going through security. Darn! Why couldn't it have been a bra bomber??