Friday, August 20, 2004

In the news

It's official: you can't be a good Catholic if you have celiac disease. At least in the opinion of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. At least you cannot receive Holy Communion. The Communion wafer does not really become body of Christ if it does not contain wheat.

While MA Senator Kerry is trying to run for White House, MA Senator Kennedy is trying to board planes, with moderate success. Apparently he looks like a terrorist, has a red nose, and has a name similar to a notorious terrorist Edward-Mohammed Al-Kennedy.

Well, CAPPS (the passenger surveillance system) screens, among other things, for one-way tickets, tickets bought at the last minute and tickets bought for cash, therefore fairly often it selects our fearless leaders flying between Washington, D.C., and their home state. What attracted my attention though:

The article says:

"Kennedy said he was stopped at airports in Washington, D.C., and Boston three times in March. Airline agents told him he would not be sold a ticket because his name was on a list.

When he asked the agent why, he was told, "We can't tell you."

Each time, a supervisor recognized Kennedy and got him on the flight. But after the third incident, Kennedy's staff called the Transportation Security Administration and asked to clear up the confusion."

Apparently CAPPS marks at least some people as not being allowed to fly at all. Is that really necessary? Yes, suspicious people should be searched and questioned more thoroughly than others, but once you have searched them and found that they are not carrying a bomb in their suitcase, a pistol in their purse and a knife in their asshole, shouldn't they be allowed to fly wherever they want like the rest of us? I mean, even Osama Bin Laden himself could not really hijack a plane with a toothbrush and underwear. "Fly that plane into the Sears tower now or else I make you smell my undies!" I don't think anyone'd obey him, not even if he uses the underwear that he used for 5 years in Afghanistan without ever taking it off, even in the toilet. (Well, these could be confiscated as a chemical weapons anyway.)

Richard Reid disapproves of the prison conditions. "Officials at the ''Supermax'' prison won't let him call his aunts and uncles and are blocking him from certain prison jobs, classes and religious materials, he says. " Also, the shoes are unsufficiently warm for his taste.

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