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  1.    #1  
    Here is a story I found on the web that relates to racial profiling.

    http://www.womenswallstreet.com/WWS/...&articleid=711

    The story is quite long but well worth the read. And scary!

    Kinda seems like we could be shooting ourselves in the foot in the interest of not hurting someone's feelings.

    What do you think??
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  2. #2  
    Interesting story...

    I think the racial profiling is a wrong thing.. what they should do is thread profiling..
    Which they kind of do.. Everytime I wear my hiking boots while flying (saves space in my suitcase if I wear them) I get pulled out of line and get searched... And I look anything from middle eastern..
    Its a pain, but I guess it is worth it...
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  3.    #3  
    Considering that all the terrorists we've dealt with lately have been middle-eastern, I dont think racial profiling is a bad idea.

    When we had reported terrorists that are and old white couple in their eighties, then we can 'randomly' search old people. Same for everyone else.

    If there was a wide range of nationalities involved in modern day terrorism then targeting middle-easterners would be sensless. However since the comprise the known terrorists at this point I say search em all.

    And yes I say the same thing if all the known terrorists were brown haired white men in their 30's like me.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Considering that all the terrorists we've dealt with lately have been middle-eastern, I dont think racial profiling is a bad idea.

    When we had reported terrorists that are and old white couple in their eighties, then we can 'randomly' search old people. Same for everyone else.

    If there was a wide range of nationalities involved in modern day terrorism then targeting middle-easterners would be sensless. However since the comprise the known terrorists at this point I say search em all.

    And yes I say the same thing if all the known terrorists were brown haired white men in their 30's like me.
    There actually is a wide range of nationalies involved..
    Some (suspected) terrorists who got arrested held, british, french, australian passports and probably some americans too..
    But the mayority is indeed from the middle east since that is the base of Muslim terrorism.

    However, we must not solely focus on that group.. for a couple of reasons:
    -a smart terrorist leader will start recruiting western looking people to get around the screening..
    -other terrorist groups may take advantage of the void..

    So yes, consider middle eastern men to be a higher risk, but use that as only 1 factor..
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  5. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    There actually is a wide range of nationalies involved..
    Some (suspected) terrorists who got arrested held, british, french, australian passports and probably some americans too..
    But the mayority is indeed from the middle east since that is the base of Muslim terrorism.

    However, we must not solely focus on that group.. for a couple of reasons:
    -a smart terrorist leader will start recruiting western looking people to get around the screening..
    -other terrorist groups may take advantage of the void..

    So yes, consider middle eastern men to be a higher risk, but use that as only 1 factor..
    I totally agree with this, but I think it will be a long time before the terrorist groups start recruiting 80-yr old women with walkers, so we should definitely stop wasting our time searching them.

    Terrorist groups would have a hard time "recruiting" anyone who hadn't been raised in a fundamentalist Muslim country, brainwashed from birth to hate capitalism. Remember, most of these missions involve the terrorists themselves dying, which means they have to believe in the doctrine. It's not a question of simply hiring mercenaries to carry out your missions.

    Still, I could easily be a terrorist with my own agenda, so I don't think we should completely overlook anyone who is not middle eastern.

    I think Woof is right when he suggests that we really can't afford to worry about hurting people's feelings anymore. I know for a fact that I get pulled out of line to be searched more often when I'm by myself than when my girlfriend is standing next to me—and it never bothers me a bit. Men on terrorist missions don't usually bring female companionship along. They would make it difficult to score with the 72 virgins.

    But it does bother me when people who aren't even capable of lifting their carry-on bag are pulled aside, in an attempt to make everyone feel that they're not "profiling." That makes us all less safe, because it wastes precious time for an already overworked force of security officials.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  6.    #6  
    Nicely put Joe.

    You did a nice job of echoing my point that we should not bother with folks who are obviously not terrorists and focus more on those who could be, regardless of race. We should also start with those who have a history of the activity we are trying to prevent.

    And face it folks, 14 middle-eastern men traveling together in the heart of the USA is odd no matter how you slice it. Why? Because it's not a common thing here. Just like 14 white americans would look funny on a plane from Syria to Iran. And if we'd blown up planes over there do you think they would let us travel together without scrutiny?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  7. KKenna's Avatar
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    #7  
    What you guys are completely missing is that the ACLU has totally tied the hands of the FBI and homeland security in the name of political correctness. They aren't allowed to detain more than two of any ethnic background (or it's considered racial profiling). If you wear a prosthetic leg, they aren't allowed to ask you to remove your shoe (It would violate your civil rights). The problem is that the wave of PC that has been growing for years in this country practically invites the terrorists to stop in and kill as many of as as they want to. I'm not saying that racial profiling is the only answer, but what the hell is wrong for pulling someone out of line at the airport because they look like a terrorist ? I don't think me and my nail clippers are the problem. Why is it that I get stopped, and my belongings get confiscated, but these freaks can waltz right on and practice blowing up the planes.

    Here's the follow up story:

    http://www.womenswallstreet.com/WWS/...&articleid=714
  8.    #8  
    KKenna, who exactly is missing your point? You just agreed with the bulk of the posts here.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  9. #9  
    I agree with you Woof (note the date: July 20, 2004) that regarding "Political Correctness" there can be too much of a good thing. Is it actually true that obese people are sometimes called "vertically challenged" in the US, or is this one of the jokes about political correctness in the US?

    I also found it strange that (as mentioned in the follow-up story) "many emails have come in calling [the author] a racist for referring to 14 men with Syrian passports as Middle Eastern men". What could possibly be wrong with calling men from the Middle East Middle Eastern men?

    On the other hand, it also seems quite unlikely that the 14 Syrians were allowed on board accompanied by Sky Marshalls only because of political correctness. Maybe the authorities did know more and didn't want to let the others know how much they knew (e.g. that it was "only" a test). I don't think in a real situation it would be plain obvious for everybody to see that a group of 14 Middle Eastern men has boarded a plane and acts highly suspiciously.
  10. #10  
    Actually, I am not quite convinced yet the original story is really true. Sounds a bit strange, doesn't it? Is there an independent source confirming it? I have to run, no time for inquiry...
  11. #11  
    I first read this elsewhere (oddly enough, here (rec.gambling.poker newsgroup).

    I thought it was interesting until I read this: "I continued my research by reading an article entitled Arab Hijackers Now Eligible For Pre-Boarding from Ann Coulter". I'm sure I'll take a lot crap for saying this, but nothing Ann Coulter writes can be considered an "article". I agree, we do take political correctness too far in this country sometimes, but that article she is referring to (http://anncoulter.org/columns/2004/042804p.htm, yes I've read it, not just assumed I wouldn't agree with it so ignored it) is nothing more than a racist rant about how she wants to be on planes with fewer Arabs, wrapped in a "national security" argument.
    Last edited by metsfan; 07/20/2004 at 01:58 PM.
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  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Considering that all the terrorists we've dealt with lately have been middle-eastern, I dont think racial profiling is a bad idea.

    When we had reported terrorists that are and old white couple in their eighties, then we can 'randomly' search old people. Same for everyone else.

    If there was a wide range of nationalities involved in modern day terrorism then targeting middle-easterners would be sensless. However since the comprise the known terrorists at this point I say search em all.

    And yes I say the same thing if all the known terrorists were brown haired white men in their 30's like me.
    All the terrorists that the mainstream media has talked about anyway. What about this guy? I wonder why that hasn't been all over the news (or at least wasn't all over the news when it happened.)
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  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    I rested my head on this one. Under the assumption that the story hence-forward is true, I can see the U.S. government finding appropriate ways to make some changes to the current "racial profiling" rules. This whole issue of terrorism (9/11 especially) is a relatively new thing in America (certainly to this degree). But may I remind you that Timothy McVay did not fit the "Middle Eastern" description.
    Nor did Tim McVeigh use an airplane. If he had then no one would be allowed on an airplane with a thousand pounds of fertilizer.

    Seriously though, since the Muslim terrorists are forever saying they want to kill us and will use airplanes as missiles I think we should heavily restrict air travel unless they have been checked out. And if that hurts their feelings so what. If it's my life or your feelings I am gonna choose my life every time. Screw your feelings.

    If someone thinks that is racism, fine. I'll be a racist and fly safely over the alternative any day.

    As far as the ACLU and their crap goes, I refuse to comment as I might say something offensive. That organization is not american or about anyones liberty unless it fit's their agenda.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I agree with you Woof (note the date: July 20, 2004) that regarding "Political Correctness" there can be too much of a good thing. Is it actually true that obese people are sometimes called "vertically challenged" in the US, or is this one of the jokes about political correctness in the US?
    Vertically challenged means you are short. I've heard spatially challenged for fat, but I call a spade a spade and just say fat.

    Political Correctness is a poison on society. If I call you fat because your fat whats wrong with that? You didn't know you were fat? You dont own a mirror? Your sensitve about being fat? Fine, lose some weight. Until then, your fat. I for one can be polite without having to glaze over my conversation because you maybe too weak to accept your own condition whatever it might be. But I am not going to come up with new and pain free names to make you feel good. Bah!

    Besides what ***** is hurt less by vertically challenged than short. You know they mean the same thing. How does it hurt less?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    You use humor, Woof
    This whole subject has immense emotions attached to it. I want to be proud of the U.S. for being fair with people and keeping their dignity and hopes intact. Yet I do understand issues of security and safety. Balancing-acts are tough for any democracy to follow especially under terror threats. Time will tell how well this country does its balancing act and remain free of blemishes or stains under pressure.
    Your right it is a balancing act. However I dont think our security should compromised at the expense of, as you put it, being fair with people and keeping their dignity and hopes intact.

    You mention democracy. In a democracy or a republic which we have, the good of the many outweigh the good of the few. If we save the dignity of 14 middle-easterners by not searching them and they crash a plane and kill thousands, where was the good? The right of the thousands to go about their lives free from fear that a few people will purposely kill them outweighs the rights of those 14 to get on a plane without scrutiny.

    It is exactly the same as the existing rules for air travel. Individuals are not allowed to bring on board anything that might endanger the group of passengers as a whole. Race or country of origin is not an issue with that rule. Why all of a sudden has that changed? If it hurts your feeling to be searched before travel on an airliner in a country that has experienced what we have, THEN DONT TRAVEL HERE!!!!

    Your last statement is beyond me. If our citizens and our property and way of life is safe and intact, how are we blemished or stained? Because we protected ourselves? BAH!
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  16. #16  
    So far nobody seems to care too much whether the story holds water or not. I am only on my Treo until tomorrow, but if I had to guess right know, I would say it is false. Any indepentend source that confirms it is welcome
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  17. #17  
    If they don't know, no one does.
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  18. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #18  
    I think whether or not the article is bogus, the discussion is valid. Airport security is still a major issue in this country; I don't feel any more safe than I used to, and I never felt safe back then. At least not because of the security force at the airport.

    The only thing that keeps me flying is statistics. The likelyhood of being on a terrorist-hijacked flight is still probably a lot smaller than the likelyhood of dying in a car accident on my way home from work tonight. Considering the number of flights and the number of people who have actually died on any airplane-related incident, let alone a terror-related one, plain old bad driving by a fellow, non-terrorist citizen of any race is far more likely to kill you than 14 middle eastern men boarding a commercial flight.

    That being said, if we can do a better job of securing our air travel, than I say do it, at any reasonable cost. And that may mean hurting the occasional feelings of some people. So be it. One death in a hijacked plane is one death too many.

    Now if only we could make it harder to get a license to drive in this country...
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by metsfan
    If they don't know, no one does.
    I agree that the discussion in valid, even if the story was bogus.

    Thanks for the link, metsfan. From that site, there was another link to this page: Casing Northwest #327 - threat or hoax? According to that quite convincing article, we can safely assume according to a Federal Air Marshall representative that "there were 14 Arab men traveling with Syrian passports. Their actions did alert the aircrew enough to contact LAX to have federal officers waiting for the plane. The Arabs, a band en route to a gig in LA, were detained, questioned and released"

    The rest of the scary details seem to be more the product of the predisposition of the writer than truely suspicious behaviour. As Donald Sensing noted concerning the McDonald's bag, a corner stone in Annie Jacobsen story, a bag that terrified her because it was almost full when one of the Syrians took it the lavatory and almost empty when it came back, later it disappeared completely: "Hmm... The bag was full, then it was "almost empty," then it was gone. Sounds like what happens to my McDonalds bag when I finish eating."

    Another example I found that shows how she uses a "terrorist threat filter" in order to explain what is going on around her: "I looked around to see if any other passengers were watching. I immediately spotted a distraught couple seated two rows back. The woman was crying into the man's shoulder. He was holding her hand. I heard him say to her, "You've got to calm down." " -
    When you read the story, it seems clear that the woman was crying out of fear from a looming terrorist attack on the airplane - however, as Annie Jacobsen later confirmed, she did not talk to any other passenger after the flight, so how can she know why that women was crying? Maybe her aunt died or her dog was ran over by a car?


    As Donald Sensing puts it:
    "Like most Americans, Annie Jacobsen has a certain template of post-9/11 airline travel that Arab men, especially multiples, are a potential threat aboard an airliner. This is not an unreasonable template, given that it wasn't kilt-wearing Scotsmen who committed 9/11's grim deeds. I have that template, too.

    But unconsciously this template affects how she interpreted the events aboard the airliner. (...)

    "I don't think Annie's article is a hoax. But by no means is it an unbiased, dispassionate, objective account of the flight. Annie was convinced from before takeoff until after landing that her life was in potential peril, and this template filtered every event. (...)

    "So what did happen on Flight 327? Probably nothing more than what Dave Adams of FAMS confirmed explicitly or implicitly to Malkin: there were 14 Arab men traveling with Syrian passports. Their actions did alert the aircrew enough to contact LAX to have federal officers waiting for the plane. The Arabs, a band en route to a gig in LA, were detained, questioned and released. That's the entire story."

    So yes, there can be too much of political correctness. But let's not freak out every time a Middle Eastern man throws the remains of his McDonald's meal into the trashbin of an airplane lavatory.
    Last edited by clulup; 07/21/2004 at 07:28 AM.
  20. #20  
    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security -- Benjamin Franklin.

    We are innocent until proven guilty. Racial profiling in any way assumes guilt. In the most benign sense, it's a police officer calling for backup when the person they pulled over looks like they have a dark tan. In the most malicious sense, it's the shooting of an Indian Gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona on 9/14 because he looked Muslim.

    I understand the concern for security, but at what cost? We can always use Denis Leary's suggestion; fly naked.

    c
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