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Remember, "Bong Dude" was British. . .

Not the Bong Dude who I remember from a forum where I posted comments and a story outline once, but Richard Reid. Remember him? He was the wannabe airline terrorist with explosives in his shoe. Here at SterlingManor, he got that nickname because there was no published picture of him where he didn't look stoned. Also, you'd have to be pretty stoned to even try to get away with an attack involving an airplane.

But why bring up the fact that he was British? Simple, when you start profiling, criminals learn to recruit the unprofiled. If you start profiling the Arab-looking men, then the terrorist organizations start recruiting lighter-skinned women. And while that's happening, you begin to piss off the Arab-looking men, innocent in all, except the mind of public opinion. That will hurt us more in the long run.

Continuing on, shortly after the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, a stupid little meme formed. "If [insert course of action here], then the terrorists win." I think we're about to enter where that saying actually isn't pablum. New York City and Atlanta has started random bag checks on subways, and our Washington Metro is considering the same. That's going to work as well as random police stops have worked to catch HOV violators in this region, or random ticket checks on the Baltimore Light Rail. Hell, London is cameraed up and down, and they still managed to get hit twice in its transportation system in the span of two weeks. Now, back to random checks, unless you plan on posting guards at every stop, well, you'll have the same success as the Virginia State Police has with HOV violators (see earlier link). But then again, let's place every cop we have at every subway stop. Let's break the system in the same way we wrecked airline travel. Then we can marvel in the horror when they hit us using another method. Bolt the doors, and they'll break in through the windows.

That said, if you want more reading on profiling, why it's bad if you're working on nothing more than his skin is too dark it's bad, but it's better if it's based on the fact he's acting weird, here's a longish piece by Bruce Schneier.

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