Queueing for Terror

by Kieran Healy on August 10, 2006

Well, I picked a good day to be taking an international flight. At least I’m not in the UK. Next time I travel, I’ll be sure to check to see whether “John has identified any empirical regularities”:https://crookedtimber.org/2006/08/09/two-point-scales/ about my mode of transport and act accordingly. This is why economics is the queen of the social sciences.

Here in Tucson’s airport, people are pretty good-humored about it all. The TSA staff aren’t making any exceptions, though: while in line waiting to be screened, I saw an octogenarian in a wheelchair have her bottle of Chanel tossed in the bin.

I’m off to Montreal for the “American Sociological Association Meetings”:http://www.asanet.org, which naturally are being held in Canada this year, as part of an ongoing arrangement whereby the Canadian Sociological Society will meet next year in Australia, and the American Economics Association will have their meetings run by the Indian Society of Chemical Engineers. Be on the lookout for amusing articles in the newspaper picking out papers with embarrassing titles.

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Crooked Timber » » More on air travel to Canada
08.10.06 at 11:07 pm



Ajax 08.10.06 at 9:23 am

Well the various Australian Councils of Federal and State Government Ministers (one for each policy domain) have sometimes held their meetings in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea!


Non Sequitur Boy 08.10.06 at 10:05 am

Most of the teams in Canada’s National Hockey League are American!


C. L. Ball 08.10.06 at 10:06 am

NPR and NYT reports indicate that Newark Airport (where 11 Sep. Flight 93 originated) was completely hamfisted about security this morning. The AM radio channel that is supposed to advise people of security measures had the normal recording, and the lines were supposedly sprawling everywhere. It is astounding that almost five years after the WTC/Pentagon attacks, the air transport industry is still so inept at handling security.


akumasmith 08.10.06 at 10:34 am

Isn’t Canada in America?


Sebastian Holsclaw 08.10.06 at 10:50 am

Thank God I’m balding. No need for hair products.


Evan McElravy 08.10.06 at 11:54 am

The American Philological Association had their annual meeting in Montreal this year as well. Must be some weird marketing thing. Of course, the APA holds their meetings in January, so it is hard to see how this could be the case. But the city is lovely in August.


john m. 08.10.06 at 1:51 pm

Got caught in it at Birmingham, but it was strangely efficient compared to reports from Heathrow. No hand luggage was brilliant when it came to boarding as we were spared the idiots who have decided to carry on their entire worldly belongings as they are clearly far too busily important to wait for 20 mins for their luggage.


yabonn 08.10.06 at 3:35 pm

an octogenarian in a wheelchair have her bottle of Chanel tossed in the bin

Who takes care of the bins?


Bob B 08.10.06 at 4:03 pm

Kieran – As an alternative to buffing up on economics, may I venture to suggest trawling the New Statesman as an alternative source of insights and omens?

“At a Downing Street reception not long ago, a guest had the temerity to ask Tony Blair: ‘How do you sleep at night, knowing that you’ve been responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis?’ The Prime Minister is said to have retorted: ‘I think you’ll find it’s closer to 50,000.'”


That’s all right then?


Ross Smith 08.10.06 at 5:23 pm

What will you bet the next step after banning carry-ons will be charging a hefty premium for in-flight entertainment?

(“A book? Why yes, sir, of course we’ll be happy to rent you a book. Here, you can choose from this list of Homeland Security approved titles…”)


luci 08.10.06 at 5:56 pm

Lieberman says the revelation of this bomb plot proves he was right, about something…

“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England

“I’m worried that too many people […] don’t appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us — more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists”

“these terrorists […] want to kill any and all of us.”


nick s 08.10.06 at 6:38 pm

Lots of photos of TSA types getting people to pour their potentially-explosive liquids into large bins. Which is in keeping with past TSA cluefulness. It’s only a matter of time before some wag chucks a packet of Mentos into a receptacle filled up with fizzy pop.


bad Jim 08.11.06 at 4:10 am

Bruce Schneier’s comment thread was also full of Mentos quips, as well as a few more practical suggestions. Guncotton underwear doesn’t sound all that comfortable, though.

The lady who cut my hair today treasured the plight of a guy who had to abandon hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics. How sexist is it for a hairdresser to enjoy a bit of schadenfreude at a metrosexual yuppie’s expense?


Patrick 08.11.06 at 5:03 pm

Not only are Canada and Mexico parts of North America, when a team in basketball, football, or baseball wins the U.S. (occasionally U.S. & Canada) championship, it’s crowned World Champion.

It’s not why they hate us, but it is why we irritate the shit out of them.

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