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US Expands Airport Biometric Data Collection 231

athloi sends word of an expansion of the US-VISIT program that now requires two fingerprints from foreign visitors arriving at scores of airports. Beginning later this year the US will be testing a system that collects 10 digital fingerprints, at 10 major points of entry. A US Homeland Security director assured EU officials that the program would operate under strict privacy rules. But he noted that the FBI and CIA will have access to the biometric data, which over time may expand beyond fingerprints.
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US Expands Airport Biometric Data Collection

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  • by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @04:52PM (#19655073)
    Beginning later this year the US will be testing a system that collects 10 digital fingerprints, at 10 major points of entry.

    That sounds painful... Eeek.

    • I know... I can figure out 7 of them pretty quickly, but the other 3???????
      • If I remember correctly from the original Matrix movie,
        the belly button is an option.

        But in that case I guess the 'subject' lost another point of entry.

      • Let's try:

        1. Los Angeles
        2. San Francisco
        3. Chicago
        4. New York
        5. Atlanta
        6. Dallas / Fort Worth
        7. Houston
        8. Phoenix
        9. Newark
        10. St Louis

        (in no particular order) ... Comments?

  • Me, I think I'll just show them my middle finger(print). Twice, if they want, or as many times as they like, as a matter of fact :D
  • If I lived abroad, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cromar ( 1103585 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @04:54PM (#19655111)
    I would seriously consider never coming to the USA again. It's not that I have a huge concern with collecting information about non-citizen civilians, but that I would not trust DHS in any way, especially when it comes to technology. But hey, at least the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Oversight game them a security grade of "D" this year [com.com]. That's better than an "F" anyway :(

    ~cromar
    • by VJ42 ( 860241 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:04PM (#19655255)

      I would seriously consider never coming to the USA again.
      I don't live in the USA, and have already come to the conclusion that I'm not going to visit*. My tourist ££s will go to France, Italy, Spain, Thailand etc. instead. The USA needs tourism; tourists don't need the USA, there's a big wide world that's not the USA still to visit. So, to the US govermet I say this: "it's your loss".

      *I've been before, but before all this "security" and I would dearly love to visit again.
      • I'd beg to differ (Score:5, Informative)

        by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:19PM (#19655441) Journal
        US's tourism accounts for 0.9% [unece.org] of GDP... that's nothing compared to china (5.4% [people.com.cn]), New Zealand (10% [tourism.govt.nz]), Italy (12% [tiscover.com]), even Canada (2.5% [wto.org]) ... get the point? It is insignificant to the US, but critical to many other areas of the world ...
        • I get your point, but that still amounts to about $118 billion, which is hardly a drop in the bucket, its relative value to GDP notwithstanding.
        • by DavidpFitz ( 136265 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @06:13PM (#19656103) Homepage Journal

          US's tourism accounts for 0.9% of GDP... that's nothing compared to china (5.4%), New Zealand (10%), Italy (12%), even Canada (2.5%) ... get the point? It is insignificant to the US, but critical to many other areas of the world ...

          I get the point, alright. It seems the rest of the world are more interested in visiting places other than the USA!

          Oh, and PS. It's not insignificant. ~1% of direct GDP accounts for a hell of a lot of indirect employment. Many, many people in your country would be up the creek without the proverbial paddle, claiming jobless assistance and generally severely weakening your economy in a quite short time.

          • Since the fingerprinting began, none of my family has visited the USA. We probably never will again. Which is a shame, since we used to come to Orlando and to ski in Denver - and we probably spent $50+k in Europe that would have gone to the USA over the last 5 years. As far as I'm concerned, I'll come back to the USA when they prove (a)that they actually want to welcome us as guests, and (b)when the USA starts to believe in its own principles again. For now, the US have a *lot* to answer for, and unfortunat
        • And then there will be a mysterious drop in the foreign students/researchers numbers willing to go free fingering procedures/harassment and a slight panic attack when graduate programs dry up from this absolutely necessary foreign brain power, but at that point it will be a bit too late to reverse the tide and reexamine the procedures. The panic attack will eventually subside simultaneously washing away the basic notion that people want to come to the US because "well, naturally, we are the greatest nation
      • With the dollar in free fall against other currencies the US is a great deal.
        Isn't that worth a wild ride on the DHS probulator?

      • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred.fredshome@org> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @07:13PM (#19656745) Homepage

        I don't live in the USA, and have already come to the conclusion that I'm not going to visit*. My tourist ££s will go to France, Italy, Spain, Thailand etc. instead. The USA needs tourism; tourists don't need the USA, there's a big wide world that's not the USA still to visit. So, to the US government I say this: "it's your loss".
        As far as I can tell, more or less 3 out of 4 of my fellow Europeans feel that way. I went to the US before, found that it had some gorgeous scenery, lots of nice people (and quite a few weird ones, but I guess that's part of the charm of the country, sortof), but no longer. Especially while carrying a French passport, I'm not going to subject myself to the antics of room temperature IQ security goons (and that's in Celsius, thank you very much).

        I even avoid long flights that have a connection there, simply because a lot of euro travellers I know have been hassled by the security drones to the point of missing their flight.

        I'll probably reconsider in a few years when this lunacy is behind us, but for now, South America, the rest of Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa offer lots of travel opportunities for me (except that for some reason I still regularly have to point out that I'm not from the US in a lot of places before people get friendly, comes with English still being the world's ligua franca).

        Quite sad really.
      • by BlackSmithNZ ( 1064822 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:48PM (#19657471)
        I have come to the same sort of conclusion.

        I have never been fingerprinted before in my life; and the only thing I associate with fingerprinting is somebody being arrested in a police station.

        If I have to travel to the US for business; I can live with it - I hopefully won't get sent off to somewhere 3rd world for a few years for holding an anti-bush political stance (at least not yet).

        But if I am choosing a destination to travel to for a holiday, or even as a stop over on the way to Europe from NZ (i.e. not even entering the US), I don't want my kids marched off a plane, fingerprinted and photographed by some foreign power for stupid paranoid reasons. Would a US citizen want their kids treated like that by say Russian government agents if they were travelling to Asia?

        Question is, while my 6 yr old daughter could be a terrorist threat or a drug dealer, so could any random American citizen. So how long before Bush admin starts thinking that taking 10 fingerprints and DNA samples from all American citizens is a good idea? My guess is that little project is already well under way.

        So its probably no big deal to the US - I am just one individual not passing though the US lightly, but don't be surprised that in the future people like my kids have increasing apathy and even dislike of the US. When I was a young kid, I and my school friends all wanted to go to the US and Disneyland; as a sign of the times, my kids are now more keen to go to Paris.

    • Oh, trust me: I have, and I won't.

      I mean, I'm all for travelling and seeing the world, but with all the changes we've read about the last couple of years, it's just not worth it. Or to put it rather more plainly: Fuck'em, I'm not that interested in seeing the Land of Opportunity anyway.

      Hm.
    • by frisket ( 149522 )
      They've been doing this for at least a year at Dublin and Shannon (where you do US Immigration before you leave Ireland).
  • Beyond fingerprint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:02PM (#19655217)
    quote : "which over time may expand beyond fingerprints." What do they want in addition ? A retina scan ? a DNA sample ? WHAT FOR ?!?!? And why in the ninth hell, WE (the rest of the world) are not forcing the US to eat their own fudge at our frontier ? I find Brasil example to be a good one.
    • 2010 press release (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:09PM (#19655317)
      Foreign nationals will be required to fit a GPS tracking collar to their necks at points of entry...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Another example is Russia. When the US introduced the form DS-157 [state.gov] form for visa applications few years ago, Russia created their own form [ruscon.org] for the USA citizens only that mirrors DS-157. So now Americans who want to visit Russia have to answers lots of questions like their last employments including addresses and supervisors names, military ranks, occupation and dates of service, all professional, charity and civil organizations they have ever been associated with, and so on.
  • As a Canadian... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zalgon 26 McGee ( 101431 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:03PM (#19655225)
    It's nice to be overlooked at times like this.

    Since US Customs agents are in most major Canadian airports, we're pre-screened and don't come through "international" arrival gates... so anyone boarding in Canada won't get checked.

    Great job, security folks...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      When was the last time you flew from Canada to the US? When I did a couple of weeks ago from Montreal, I got fingerprinted by the DHS before boarding the plane -- US Customs being in the Canadian airport side doesn't mean they don't use the same customs procedure as the regular border checkpoints.
  • by janrinok ( 846318 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:06PM (#19655283)
    I'm sure that there are few on this thread that believe that this will help defeat terrorism. And I don't suppose it will improve the tourist trade very much either. I'm glad that America is the home of the brave; I cannot imagine what they might do if they were frightened...
  • by SuperCharlie ( 1068072 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:10PM (#19655323)
    Since the terrorists wont be stupid enough to be fingerprinted, once we have everyone's fingerprints, those that are left MUST be the enemy! Brilliant!
  • Hidden Costs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RManning ( 544016 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:12PM (#19655361) Homepage

    I work for a very large multi-national company. Not long ago I sat through a talk that was given by the head of our European operations. He said that US airport security is getting so bad that people outside the US are avoiding coming here at all costs! Apparently, we're losing some serious business and tourism money, just because of our bone-headed "security" rules.

    Ten fingerprints? I know I wouldn't travel anywhere where one was required!

    Anyway, it's just something to think about.

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:23PM (#19655495)
      while we're busy trying to keep out the tourists and business people, we're also trying to pass laws which allow those who entered illegally to stay!
    • Re:Hidden Costs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kebes ( 861706 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:45PM (#19655767) Journal
      Indeed. Businesses will lose out because international partners won't be as interested (or able) to fly to the States for face-to-face meetings.

      In my field, research science, the effects of the strict US rules are very apparent. Foreign scientists are having a harder and harder time coming to the US to study, collaborate, or even go to a conference. Scientists are being denied visas or putting on long waiting lists (so that they miss the conference!). The end result is a decrease in the amount of scientific collaborations between US groups and those outside the US, and more emphasis being put on non-US conferences (in Europe, Canada, Japan, etc.).

      This is having a real (though difficult to measure) impact on US science. In a subtle way, there is a decrease in the flow of "advanced technical knowledge" into the US, which is to the detriment of US labs. Through these border policies, the US is isolating itself. Since ultimately science and technology are big drivers of the US economy, I see this as a very poor choice on the part of the US administration.
      • Re:Hidden Costs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @06:34PM (#19656339)

        <Obligatory trollish note> Given that a scarily high proportion of people in the US seem to think Intelligent Design is science, and three presidential candidates said on the record that they do not believe in evolution, I doubt these people have even noticed the decline in scientific advance, never mind questioned why it might be happening. </Obligatory trollish note>

    • by cliffski ( 65094 )
      The US is certainly losing my tourist money since they went all heavy on security. When people are on holiday, they really resent being fingerprinted, it seriously damages the mood. Since I stopped visiting the US, I've spent holidays in Canada, the Caribbean, south America and Scotland. And some of that money really should have gone to the US. I like your country, I got married there, I consider Las Vegas one of the best places I've ever visited, and my wife adores Yosemite. I just don't want to be treated
      • Apparently they are listening. But seems like the tourist problem is not just about finger printing though. From the article http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1106/112006j1.htm [govexec.com]

        several airlines have approached the Homeland Security Department, the State Department and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about providing "hospitality training" for federal security workers, Freeman said.

        Also:

        A 17 percent decrease in overseas visitors to the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, is partially a result of "rude and arrogant

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:12PM (#19655363)
    "A US Homeland Security director assured EU officials that the program would operate under strict privacy rules. But he noted that the FBI and CIA will have access to the biometric data, which over time may expand beyond fingerprints."

    As past [theregister.co.uk] events have shown [washingtonpost.com], the innocent have plenty to fear from this, even if they have nothing to hide.

    False positives could really ruin your day.

    On the other hand, if it were to happen, once a false positive ordeal is over, I suppose it could be [cbsnews.com] rather lucrative [washingtonpost.com], given the precident that has been set [cnn.com].

    And this guy was a U.S. citizen. Imagine the result if you were a citizen of another country and subject to the same sort of mistake.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      On the other hand, if it were to happen, once a false positive ordeal is over, I suppose it could be rather lucrative, given the precident that has been set.

      And this guy was a U.S. citizen. Imagine the result if you were a citizen of another country and subject to the same sort of mistake.
      Had he been a citizen of another country, he'd still be in a cell somewhere.
  • by asphaltjesus ( 978804 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:17PM (#19655411)
    A PHB probably said "Three fingers? Why only three fingers? Ten. Ten is better, it's more than three after all."

    The system might be able to save 10 prints, but you only need 1 or 2 at most.

    A couple of FYI's.
    1. It's unlikely they'll store fingerprints. They typically store some kind of proprietary hash value of the fingerprint.
    2. It's unlikely they'll make the authentication available to other agencies.
    3. Interoperability with other countries is desired, but not likely as each system vendor makes certain that won't actually occur.
    4. I will be very interested to find out if they actually get to a point where there are fingerprint readers in airports more than a couple of airports. The scale of the operation overwhelms current technology pretty quickly.

    The time to be worried was long, long ago as most of your data has been collected by private agencies and sold to the government for decades now.
    • by lawpoop ( 604919 )

      1. It's unlikely they'll store fingerprints. They typically store some kind of proprietary hash value of the fingerprint.

      Don't you have to have identical scans of fingerprints, and I mean identical down to each and every pixel, to have a match of two different hashes of the same fingerprint? Unless you are somehow hashing properties of the fingerprint image itself, such as the relative position of loops and whorls, rather than a hash of the binary data of the image.

      Isn't matching fingerprints a hard AI problem? In order to match finger prints with a program, you would have to have the full image, I would thing. And even t

      • by jimicus ( 737525 )
        Isn't matching fingerprints a hard AI problem

        Yes. That's why machines tend to have very poor accuracy rates, and the end result always has to be checked by an expert.

        That's easy to do when you're dealing with a clear-cut, small crime scene, you've narrowed the perpetrator down to a few dozen suspects and they're likely to be still alive. None of those apply to a major terrorist attack.
  • ... just like it was going to the good ol' German Democratic Republic. Nothing like getting some special attention from a "security" agency when entering the country.


    If it wasn't for my in-laws, I'd be spending my vacations in more welcoming places, but I just have no choice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      Nothing like getting some special attention from a "security" agency when entering the country.

      Thats ok. The US dollar is sinking, the US economy is stagnating, the US government thinks it can talk tough and fight wars on concepts with no consequences. Wait. The reckoning is coming soon. All the money is leaving the US, since the real growth is happening in Russia, India and Asia.

      But look on the bright side - when the US is no longer a world leader, I guess no one
  • Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
    Oh wait, no fingers!?! GTF outta here..
    No really, get out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @05:34PM (#19655639)
    "Chertoff's plan to convert U.S. Visit to the [10 finger] standard comes after months of criticism from Congress, federal agencies and the media about incompatibilities between U.S. Visit's two fingerprints and the FBI's IAFIS criminal database, which uses 10 prints."

    http://www.washingtontechnology.com/print/20_15/26 672-1.html [washingtontechnology.com]
  • by gsn ( 989808 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @06:15PM (#19656121)
    I'm a student from India. I've been studying physics here, first as an undergrad and now as PhD student. I've also had the privilege of traveling to a fair number of countries (with the family or for research) in my relatively short life. Let me share my fun experiences with the US-VISIT program.

    You land at one of the big international airports, for me O'Hare or Logan (both of which will be on this extended program). You have your passport with visa, an I-20 from your school and a filled out I-94 card ready. There are several queues, usually about 3-4 dedicated to American citizens, and a comparable number for foreigners. There is typically a lot more of the latter than the former so the queues meant for American citizens are typically empty, while the remaining queues are long and winding. I've seen a few elderly people faint during the wait in the queue before. There isn't any place to sit, and no way to get water. They've already been on long flights - the one from Madras, India where I am from usually takes ~20+ hrs with layovers.

    You wait inching forward, and eventually you get to the yellow line - make sure you stand behind the yellow line (if you have a toe over you will likely get screamed at) until the Immigration official deigns to examine your papers. Not you mind - they never look at you - only your papers.

    They always ask you what your name and the purpose of your visit is (never mind its on all three documents you've given them). Eventually they ask for your fingerprint. Left index finger. Scanner doesn't register that right. Do it again. Right index finger. Now pose for your mugshot. Now its going to be all ten fingers. I'm waiting for the DNA sample requests. As an added bonus they can ask you to boot your laptop up to take a look at it (the poor dears look so very confused by a slackware based distro with fluxbox)

    I can tell you what US-VISIT v2.0 won't do. It won't make you safer or stop threats to the US of A from crossing your border. It hasn't so far. If it had we'd have heard about it. Going from two fingerprints to ten won't do shit either. Where the evil terrorists somehow able to defeat a hash from just two fingerprints? Can you somehow identify me to a higher confidence level now that you have all ten fingerprints instead of two? Making it ten fingers still isn't going to help unless there is some database with a bunch of terrorists with the fingerprints on file to check against. With two you can prevent people coming in under a different name. Funny how many of the 9/11 terrorists had to do that...

    With ten fingerprints you can share more with other countries and see who has been visiting nasty places like Afghanistan to go to those evil terrorist training camps except that no other country I've ever visited collected my fingerprints. Ever. Nor have they made me wait in long queues to get in either. Occasionally they've even smiled at me! When we went to Canada for an APS conference in 2003, the border guard never checked my passport or visa (there was another Indian, and a Nigerian in our van along with three Americans) and joked about not bringing too many mini-kegs back with us.

    I can tell you the effect this will have - it will increase the length of those queues. It will annoy more people. People who want to do business here. People who are old and want to just see their family, and have to wait in a line for two damn hours to be welcomed to America by a surly immigration official. Those people will stop coming. If everyone stops coming you will be safer! Its going to cost you and me more money (I get to pay taxes here too) since most of these airports won't be able to handle the load if a large number of international flights get here around the same time and will need larger waiting areas. It will probably create some new jobs for people who want to be surly immigration officials. And its going to get some DHS official a pat on the back and a promotion for actively fighting the terrorists. Lets not kid ourselves - that is what its about.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by XchristX ( 839963 )
      Dude, I don't know when you arrived in the United States or why your experience in particular was this bad, but this is certainly not universally the case unlike the leftie fearmongers would like you to believe.

      I too happen to be a physics student from India studying in Texas. I came in through San Fransisco but a few months after 9/11, when paranoia was supposedly at an all time high. Everybody told me to be wary of being strip-searched, stand in long queues, get "teh eeevil eye from teh nasty-nasty Yanks"
      • Sure they took my fingerprints and shit, but why is that such a big issue unless you're some backwoods militant in Alabama hidin' from "da man" or some gun-toting Talib - Mujahid?

        Right! If you've got nothing to hide, spread 'em, bend over, and take it like a bitch! And I'm sure that ain't in that leftie book of famous last words...

        If only they implemented security measures like this in INDIAN airports (thanks for repealing POTA, moonbats) we wouldn't have to deal with thousands of Lashkar-e-Toiba Fiday

        • Right on! All those tanks and fighter-bombers sure have brought peace and happiness to Kashmir!

          Maybe if they didn't strap bombs to their own babies and hurled them at people, tried to establish Sharia law in the whole region, and ethnically cleanse Kashmir of all non-Muslim minorities this wouldn't have been necessary. It's just like the levant basically. Islamists work to force democracies to withdraw, democracies protect their citizens, leftists blame it all on the democracies... And read about how the Indian Army crushed the Islamist insurgency in Hyderabad in 5 days after independence After tha

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Mex ( 191941 )
        To be fair, I had a much, much worse experience in Spain than in the USA regarding immigration practices.

        The lines on the spanish Barajas airport were just as long, and the police at the airport stopped me twice because I had a beard. Maybe I looked muslim but I'm fucking mexican, I even spoke their language.

        They strip searched me, and made me (and my family who were standing with me) almost miss my flight, after asking dumb questions like "Why do you carry this pouch inside of your shirt?". It was one of t
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      part of the system is to see how agitated people become while doing all this waiting. the idea is that someone who is doing or planning something illegal will become nervous and evasive when they finally get to talk to the agent. the more stressed they are from waiting in line, the more likely they are to betray their true intent.

      not sure that's scientifically sound, but it seems like it would at least make it easier to spot the amateur or newly recruited terrorist.
  • ...to discourage people from traveling to the US and so reducing all that nasty, harmful air travel. Who knows, another few masterstrokes like this and the US might become carbon neutral in our lifetimes!

  • athloi sends word of an expansion of the US-VISIT program that now requires two fingerprints from foreign visitors arriving at scores of airports.

    That's a pretty impressive feat - to arrive at multiple airports at the same time. Generally humans can only arrive in one place at a time. Have the evil terrorists developed some sort of cloning, or is this more of a space-time wormhole type deal? The authorities should probably start looking out for blue police boxes making funny "wooga wooga" sounds.

  • What if... (Score:2, Funny)

    by CrazyKen ( 1109907 )
    I only had 9 fingers? Would I be able to come to the US??
  • Is it required? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @07:20PM (#19656815) Journal
    I've seen some interesting requirements from various systems in my time, sometimes they're a bit hard-wired too. What happens if the person in question only has 9 fingers (accidents do happens, and finger-severing ones tend to be not that uncommon). Are they blocked out when the system absolutely requires ten fingers, or do they have to acquiesce to some other form of identification/searches/etc?
    • Or what about people with more than ten fingers? Yes, it does happen (something genetic) - when I was at school there was a kid with 6 digits on both one hand and one foot, and I've heard of other cases occasionally. (I suppose they'd probably be tagged as "aliens" and be shipped down to Area 51 with no further ado).
    • by lawpoop ( 604919 )
      Honestly, I think they have you scan your nub.
  • and the Mafia will continue to provide airport services around the country.
  • by zoftie ( 195518 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @08:58PM (#19657563) Homepage
    American government have much to worry about, since its total trade deficit and very weak currency, that is artificially propped up. Seeing this from perspective of economy, it may well be that government is preparing for a big one. Once the economy collapses and all the crooks of the white house and other hight governmental circles are exposed, with economy dead - people will take revenge.

    Oil will get only more expensive, with weak currency, US might not afford the oil anymore.
    Just a thought, It may well be all false.
  • I apologize in advance for the subsequent stream of obscenities, but I'm a lifelong Republican who feels eminently betrayed by his own party and the leaders of the conservative movement.

    To start : Open the borders and make airports cool again. Tear down all the scanners and let people walk through the gates to see planes take off. Quit worrying that someone might blow up this or that and start focusing on making money. There are no terrorists hiding under your goddamn bed, so you can quit shitting in it every time you see the lights flicker. If you need big daddy government to make yourself feel safe, then you have no business calling yourself a Republican. Every Republican should stand up and demand that these pussies that co-opt our party be held to account. Conservatism is supposed to mean taking things in perspective, even in supposedly dire circumstances, with a confidence to handle your own affairs. There has been absolutely no perspective in this war, just overreaching knee jerk reactions like a woman burning down her house to get a mouse. Tell Anne Coulter that if she has to have this war on terror to feel safe, she ought to get back in the fucking kitchen and start making dinner like a good Republican dike is supposed to do.

    The leaders of this conservative movement have completely failed, and I'm almost disgusted with myself that I even used to listen to the likes of Rush. "Oh, the terrorists are going to get us." Dude, I bench almost 300lbs. Bring that old f--- Bin Laden on, and I'll punch him in his fucked up kidney and that will be the end of him. Swagger, that's how you fight these people. Arrogant faith in freedom and delighting in our consumer lifestyle. This introspective, fearful war on terror is the most profoundly un-American response to any crisis that I have seen in my lifetime. Americans are not supposed to be afraid of anything, and here we are crying like a bunch of pansies because of some dude with a beard. Death! We all have to go. Get over it. If you believed in God as much as you said you do, you would not be afraid to die for freedom yourself, by the way, like you ask our soldiers to do.

    I thought we already proved with the Cold War that backwards ideologies bring themselves down and that all we need to do is focus on making money to win. All of this crap that we hear about terrorists plotting this or that is the same shit we heard before about Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and more... (fill in the blank) secret agents are plotting to destroy the USA. Get off the Oxy, quit dreaming up conspiracies, and walk down the street confident that you can kick some terrorist ass or die trying if it comes down to it. I'd rather worry about the occasional arab that might look suspicious than every camera that surely is. I'm not afraid of no islamist, and neither should you be.
  • I was browsing through some frequent flyer forums to get the lowdown on the latest regulations regarding the carriage of dihydrogen monoxide [dhmo.org] on planes when I came across a link to this beautiful nugget:

    "Transportation Security Operations Center Re-Named Freedom Center"

    On June 21, TSA's primary operational hub was re-named the Freedom Center, symbolizing the agency's commitment to protecting the nation's transportation systems against terrorist threats...

    • (erk, push submit instead of preview)

      The TSA being the Transportation Security Administration, the people in charge of your airport security. The quote is from here [tsa.gov].

      So I guess that'll be Freedom Fingerprints they'll be collecting then.../p

  • No references to Gattaca. Remember the scene that showed every single person who worked had to stick their thumb on and automatic pricking machine so it could verify their dna and identity?

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

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