The reason why we get ridiculous stories, like the one below, is because government officials have become so afraid of being accused of discrimination or racism, that, as a defense, they have learned to apply the rules and the law robotically, because, after all, it’s hard to accuse or robot of being prejudiced. If officials, like the TSA, were allowed to use their common sense, I believe we would have less silliness like the article below. But, commonsense would inevitably lead to charges of “profiling”, “discrimination” and “prejudice”, simply because common sense and intelligence inevitably leads people to make distinctions, or, in other words, to discriminate. It’s logical pay a lot more attention to a young swarthy Muslim man with a beard and dressed in an Islamic garb, than it is to worry about a white 75-year-old grandmother. The young Muslim man is probably about 10,000 times more likely to engage in terrorism than the older white grandmother. But, realizing such truths would inevitably lead to accusations of “profiling”. So, making common sense and reasonable distinctions among people is prohibited. The only recourse is to treat everyone exactly the same and act robotically. Who cares if the white grandmother is about as much of a nonexistent terrorist threat as can be, and a young Muslim man with a beard is the perfect profile of a typical terrorists. The overriding concern is to not be seen as being preferential, and so everyone is treated the same, much to our detriment.
All high quality detective, police and intelligence work is based upon noticing patterns, and using profiles (or stereotypes), to identify individuals or groups that need to be watched much more carefully than the rest of the population. It is simply not effective, nor do such agencies have the resources to watch everyone all the time, or to put everyone through a dragnet. Security work that can identify those who are most likely to be problematic, to watch them, and to intervene proactively to defuse such groups when they appear to be doing something dangerous, is the cheapest, most effective, and also, importantly, the least intrusive upon the average citizen. The TSA´s approach of dragging everyone through a police state like process, has not been successful at catching terrorists, but it has been enormously successful at producing great cost to the nation, creating a lot of hassle and aggravation for citizens of this country, and most importantly incompletely trampling upon our civil liberties. All effective efforts at preventing terrorist attacks have come through intelligent intelligence, which profiles high-risk groups and defuses them before they can cause any harm. “Profiling” work is infinitely more effective, cheaper, and doesn’t make most people feel like they’re living in North Korea every time they go through an airport. But, that’s the price we pay for the mindlessness of absolute unquestioning adherence to the religion of political correctness. Even when it is wrong, it cannot be corrected, just like a fundamentalist dogma.