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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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I recently returned from a seasonal holiday down south. It was awesome. One of the things I like is being away from the bustle of daily news. That said, it can be disconcerting, sometimes, when things out of the ordinary go on.

Like the attempted bombing of the plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day... I missed that.

I flew out before it happened. Status quo - I'm not exactly a world traveller, but I fly a couple of times a year. I know what to expect. No big deal.

I flew back amid a flurry of tightening security restrictions. I dunno, I just figured Puerto Rico was funny that way. Maybe they like patting down travellers... It wasn't until I got back and settled down in front of my TV that I realized what had happened.

The next day, as I travelled to work (in my car, and while most everyone else was still on holidays) I listened to a guy on the radio in favour of terrorist profiling. It was exceptionally interesting.

His point was mostly thus:
We know what the "average" terrorist profile is. Why do we not have the courage to say it out loud? It's not racist, it's not prejudice, if you are looking at patterns rather than people. We are wasting time and resources looking at everyone, when we know that everyone does not present the same risk. We establish strict security regulations for all, delaying everybody's travel plans.

Incidentally, the guy I heard was Muslim. His point was that he - due to his nationality, religion, age and gender - SHOULD be subject to much closer scrutiny than somebody's white-bread grandmother from Albuquerque. It's highly unlikely she's planning to blow up a plane with her hairspray or take the crew hostage with her knitting needles.

Let me be clear - this guy was not saying that Muslims are bad or evil. After all, he is one. He was not suggesting racial or religious prejudice. He was saying that, after you factor in all the commonalities of convicted or known terrorists, THAT's who you should take a closer look at going through a security checkpoint.

Appropriate security measures, rather than blanket security measures, would speed up EVERYONE, even those law-abiding citizens who happen to fit the terrorist profile.

So how about it?

13 January 2010

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