"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Today in Stupid

I know, there's almost too much to choose from, but this story stuck out a little bit:

The lawsuit says many are either placed on what's called a Selectee List, which subjects them to extra scrutiny, or the more stringent No-Fly List, which prevents the traveler from flying.

One of the plaintiffs is a 4-year-old baby from California, listed in the lawsuit as "Baby Doe."

"He was 7 months old when his boarding pass was first stamped with the 'SSSS' designation, indicating that he had been designated as a 'known or suspected terrorist,'" said the lawsuit. "While passing through airport security, he was subjected to extensive searches, pat-downs and chemical testing."

"Every item in his mother's baby bag was searched, including every one of his diapers."

Remember that your basic TSA agent is not known for actually thinking -- remember the five-year-old handicapped boy who was forced to crawl through the security station without his crutches?

As for the list itself, it's become nothing more than a sick joke, as might have been expected, seeing as how it was first instituted by John Ashcroft when he was Dubyah's AG. According to the article, there are now over 1.5 million people on the list. I doubt there are 1.5 million terrorists in the whole world, but rationality is no longer part of our security establishment's repertoire.

OK -- the stories behind the lawsuit are bad enough, but the rationale -- well, I don't know whether to laugh or scream and throw things:

The FBI says on its website that "the TSC (Terrorist Screening Center) regularly conducts comprehensive and case-specific quality assurance reviews of its data to ensure the U.S. government’s substantive criteria for watch-listing are met and to ensure the records maintained in the Terrorist Screening Database are current, accurate, and thorough. The TSC also participates in redress procedures established by agencies that perform terrorist screening."

Can you say "bullshit"? I wonder how many of that 1.5 million are on the list because someone doing data entry can't spell?

Via RawStory.

And a foonote: more on our culture of paranoia.

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