Wednesday, December 30, 2009

He** freezes over

It has finally happened: Maureen Dowd has written a column that I actually sorta almost completely like.

I know, I know. I won't let it happen again.

But for now, here's an example of what I found rather good:

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

We are headed toward the moment when screeners will watch watch-listers sashay through while we have to come to the airport in hospital gowns, flapping open in the back.

Do read the whole thing.


KC said...

All I can say is, "wow"

Anonymous said...

Halloo! That was a funny excerpt. I could just imagine Carl Sandburg's watchmen in a watch factory, and unfastened sashes of the sashaying unintentional mooners. (I think there's the slightest tad of exaggeration) as well as a little unreasonable hindsight argument, but there does raise some questions...

Traveling to Russia via Warsaw on a Polish airline at Easter with a teen-ager, security seemed very tight even in the off-season, with selected 'interrogations', dumping out our pockets time and time again, plus the drill that every other passenger was participating even on the return trip through Amsterdam on to Detroit. Personally, I thought my son and I had been targeted because our fatigued and defensive facial expression as well as unusual choice of hairstyle and rather old-fashioned style of clothing. We didn't have a terrorist bone in our bodies, but definitely cranky joints from attempting to sleep in a sardine can and the glaring sunlight beaming through glass rooftop of the Dutch airport (very painful for tired eyes!)

The kindest inspector, was a woman at Detroit who asked me to empty my knapsack and about food items we'd purchased in Budapest. I explained that I had a small porcelain doll given as a gift from my sister in Moscow, and it had made the trip safely all the way to Michigan, and I certainly hoped that it wouldn't become a casualty then and there. She said she understood and allowed me to take it out myself for her examination.

With my experience in Amsterdam, Chicago, Warsaw, Vienna, Moscow, Amsterdam and Detroit, I wonder if the security in Lagos was lax.