Thursday, August 24, 2006

To be scared or not to be scared

A few days ago, Glenn Reynolds sank deeper into Kook quagmire by acting as an apologist for the passengers of Flight 613 who kicked a couple of Arab-looking, Arab-speaking men off the plane for being Arab-looking and Arab-speaking. Reynolds justified the knee-jerk reaction of the plane passengers by saying "this is the kind of thing that happens when people don't trust the authorities to protect them". Today, bizarrely, he links to an excellent blog post by Bruce Schneier that warns people not to over-react to the threat of terrorism.

But then, just as one is beginning to wonder whether Reynolds has finally broken through the iron curtain that separates the right-wing fearmongers from normal people, he goes ahead and endorses this goofy warning from a paranoid commenter at the blog post he links to, who says :
"What's to stop terriorists now just getting on flights and acting suspiciously on purpose. If no crime was committed (I was just checking my watch, saying my prayers, going to the bathroom etc.) they can cause disruption, create paranoia and terror at will and get off scott free."
So, after initially asking us to be afraid of Arabs flying on our planes, then warning us not to overreact, Reynolds is now saying that we need to seriously consider a fantastic scenario involving plane-hopping peaceful terrorists who fly from country to country in order to engage in indiscriminate watch-gazing, praying and bathroom-visiting on the plane for the sole purpose of getting that plane diverted and causing people's schedules to go haywire. Okay Glenn, quit confusing me now. Should I be a terrified pant-shitter or not? Just give me a straight answer, yes or no.

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