Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Terrorist Toddlers?/Reclaiming America/Rita Poem
How could I look at this picture of one-and-a-half year old Rhett Ricardo being patted down at a Tampa Bay game without wondering if our nation has gone totally crazy? Please recall when I posted a discussion about a Charles Krauthammer column in which he dared to suggest eliminating at least some groups from pat downs and intensive searches. I received quite a few negative replies because the immediate inference is always one of "racial profiling." Actually, what we were recommending back then was NOT actually concentrating on any one racial or ethnic group, but rather eliminating groups which, in all probability would never be terrorists, eg. the now stereotypical 85-year-old women in pink jumpsuits. What of the absolute ludicrousness of the photo above that simply makes reason stare? For starters, how about eliminating the following groups from extra searches:
1. Women over age 55.
2. Men over age 60.
3. Children under age 12.
Ok, we won't even get into race at all this way. We won't need to worry about special preferences for Scandinavians.
The argument remains that a 70-year-old man might conceivably be carrying a bomb. But that would be like saying that a pregnant woman on a plane is conceivably carrying quintuplets. Let's get real here. Save time, save money, save embarrassment, and...above all...concentrate on more probable or at least possible terrorists. I fail to see how such a program would infringe upon minority rights. I'm all for minority rights.
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Andrei Codrescu was born in Romania in 1946. He is a poet, novelist, essayist and publisher. Codrescu became an American citizen in 1981 and has lived in New Orleans for the last 20 years. The following poem is moving.
Each day has its own pictures:
bumper to bumper traffic two states long
a frenzied mob in a domed prison
the hungry pushing carts out of looted stores
rooftops in a lake as vast as the eye can see
dead city silent city
the survivors the tribes
stadiums filled with refugees
helicopters over a dead unlit city
a ragged parade of decadents spitting defiance
television cameras as numerous as marchers
a can of tuna and a strand of beads
take that you former shithead king
dead pets rotting away behind locked doors
the smell of putrefaction visible
muck darkness heat an eviscerated pigeon
two dogs shot by a hired executioner
a sea of horrible stories rising like swamp fever
from the foul mouths of dear ones from exile
11th DAY OF HELL!
We are all working in this pit of sorrow to