I have to admit, it's almost unfair to pick on Proud to be Canadian's Joel Johannesen because, well, he's an idiot. And not just a run-of-the-mill, Blogging Tory idiot, oh no -- Joel pretty much sets the bar for right-wing dumbassitude, as you can read in one of his latest posts, which you really should read in its entirety but I will graciously give you the Joel shorter form: "Horrifically inconveniencing the flying Canadian public might be a high price to pay, but I'm willing to let others pay it."
Where to even begin with Joel's stupidity?
First, Joel doesn't seem even the slightest bit put out by the fact that the no-fly list will be secret and that you won't know if you're on it until you arrive at the airport to check in. So what could possibly go wrong? Oh, let me free associate here, please.
You've been working overtime for months, and you're finally getting the time to take the family on that dream vacation you've been talking about. The (non-refundable) plane tickets have been purchased, the (non-refundable) cruise cabins have been reserved, the hotel rooms have been booked, everyone's shifted their schedules around to get this time off. The whole family grabs a limo to the airport, you pay the driver, get all your stuff inside, the excitement is building and suddenly ... oh, I'm sorry, you're on the no-fly list.
There must be some mistake, you're no terrorist, you're a middle manager at a software company, what the hell's going on here? Sadly, though, your name is sufficiently similar to someone else's who is a person of some interest so, well, you're just plain shit out of luck. The good news is that, after several hours and several phone calls, things are cleared up. But, by then, the plane is gone, and the cruise is out of reach. Quite simply, you're fucked, but look on the bright side -- it's been cleared up and you never have to worry about that kind of bad craziness again, right? Right?
Canada's long-discussed plans to implement a no-fly list will finally take flight early next year, meaning passengers pegged as a possible terrorist will be left on the ground.
But the RCMP's botched handling of Maher Arar — and horror stories surrounding the U.S. no-fly list — are already raising the spectre of a mistaken identity leaving innocent travellers stranded at the gate.
"It's a list you do not want to be on," said NDP MP Pat Martin, who has spent the better part of two years trying to get his name off the American list.
During that time, he had to endure the prospect of delays, questions and suspicious glances every time he went to the airport, even to board domestic flights.
"It has been a real hassle," said Martin (Winnipeg Centre). "You are literally detained while they decide whether they will give you a boarding pass. It's a hell of a stigma," said Martin, who has seen his travel woes resolved only in the past month.
Exactly -- this is a list that, once you're on, it's damned near impossible to get off of, which means that your life will almost certainly never be the same. Once you're on, you can expect to get the same hassle every single time you try to fly. And the worst part? Well, that would be the part that Joel finds so hilarious -- that you can never call ahead to find out if you're still on the list or not. Every flight is now a gamble and, if you have to travel regularly -- say for business -- well, your life just went to shit. But don't expect any sympathy from Joel -- we're at war against the evil, brown people who want to take away our freedoms, for which the only solution is, of course, to strip ourselves of those freedoms before they do. That'll show 'em, right, Joel? But wait, we're not done here.
Joel seems to think that this approach is just the thing to protect ourselves from the bad people, which allows us all to conclude that Joel is too fucking stupid for words.
Imagine, if you will, that I am a terrorist checking in, and I'm told I'm on the no-fly list. Ohmigod, I'm busted! Well, actually, no, I'm not. As I understand it, if you're blocked from getting on a plane, you have the complete freedom to say, "Fuck it," turn around and walk away, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. But that's not all.
Joel, in his infinite dumbfuckitude, thinks that the secrecy of the list is its biggest asset. What a maroon. See, if I was a terrorist planning to take a bomb on a plane, I wouldn't take a chance and wait until the day of the big event to try to fly. Oh, no ... what I'd do is, a week or so before, I'd try to take a quick trip from Toronto to, say, Ottawa, which would tell me everything I need to know about my status. Problem solved. See how easy that was, Joel, you doofus?
In short, the current implementation of the list pretty much guarantees to generate maximum inconvenience for the flying public, while slowing down the evildoers almost not at all. But that's cool with Joel because he just knows what the consequences would be:
"... hundreds or thousands of innocent humans saved from terrorists’ savagery ..."
Which you could almost believe except for one small detail that Joel has overlooked -- the terrorists are nowhere near as stupid as Joel, so I'm guessing they've figured all of this out already.
Sometimes, I think bad people read Joel Johannesen solely for the entertainment value. It just makes them feel smarter.