>Are We Safer Yet?

>I’m traveling this week. One thing I have always thought is a gigantic scam is the whole airport security thing. The rigamarole where you take off your shoes and dump your liquids strikes me as the kind of useless exercise designed to make travelers think something is being done for their safety while still reminding them to “be very afraid” because we have to go through this huge inconvenience.

It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that “terriss wanna kill us!!” because the two major procedures affecting passengers are the ones related to specific terror plots: Richard Reed and the shoe bomb, and those crazies with the liquids.

I’m not so sure either plot would have succeeded anyway, but I’m glad we’re still protecting ourselves from the “Get Smart” crew. Let’s hope no one invents the exploding pen, or we’ll all have to dump our writing implements before boarding.

This is what happens after six years of endless fearmongering: A woman flying from San Diego to Chicago Tuesday night demanded to be let off a plane because fellow passengers were speaking Arabic:

The woman first complained to the flight crew that four to seven men were possibly speaking Arabic in the boarding area. The woman added that they “had odd behavior.” The crew decided to return to the boarding area because the woman indicated she wanted off the plane.

As a result of this woman’s panic, the entire flight was cancelled and 126 people weren’t able to get where they needed to go.

Now it turns out the men were Iraqis helping America in our GWOT. They were in San Diego to train U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton.

But this is the result of endless fearmongering and four years of war. We’re all wound a tad too tight these days, I think. I guess this woman in San Diego didn’t feel safer after taking off her shoes at airport security and our troop surge in Iraq, our Guantanamo Bay, our warrantless wiretaps. No one feels safer, apparently. They don’t want us to.

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