Not the TSA for once, just general moron America

Because the level of ignorance and stupidity in this country can never be overestimated, we have the latest incidence of one of America’s fine upstanding citizens displaying her intellectual acumen for all to see. And supposed airline professionals going along with her. True, this didn’t involve the TSA, but we can easily see how the stupidity and paranoia exhibited by that organization — and constantly hyped by our “security” overlords — has spread to the population at large.

From The Guardian:

Professor: flight was delayed because my equation raised terror fears
American Airlines says woman expressed suspicion about University of Pennsylvania economics professor, who was solving a differential equation

Menzio, who is Italian and has curly, dark hair, told the Associated Press he initially “thought they were trying to get clues about her illness.”

“Instead, they tell me that the woman was concerned that I was a terrorist because I was writing strange things on a pad of paper.”

He told the Washington Post that he was “treated respectfully throughout” the process but remains perturbed by a system that “relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless”.

Completely clueless? Well, that’s half the American population right there.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

  • Joey Bach

    Hmmmm …. I will post something even more controversial than filing a lawsuit………

    Were there any consequences for the passengers who were delayed from reaching their destination? This simple concept is one of the failures of the media. It is one thing to just say blah blah blah flight delayed, but not to follow it up with asking about the consequences is poor journalism.

    Were connecting flights missed? Did some passenger(s) miss a train? Did some passenger(s) miss a bus? For those passengers, the delay had consequence. Now, the strange world we live in can have a positive for being delayed. The delay may have prevented someone from getting on a connecting flight/bus/train that was involved in an accident — this would be a positive but a rare occurrence.

    I do not expect an immediate answer for this question but I do expect it to be answered. Even if the answer is either partially provided everyday (like updates for a forest fire) or other time period (every 2 days/3days/week).

    The above question is very valid for those TSA-imposed delays were people miss flights.

    • “Were there any consequences for the passengers who were delayed from reaching their destination?”

      I’m sure there were. Logic dictates that there were. But what are they supposed to do? Your faith in the legal system is touching.

      And it’s impossible for the news media to get a passenger manifest from the flight and then call those people to follow up. Impossible.

      • Joey Bach

        Why need a passenger manifest?

        Two thoughts — (a) Just the data and (b) Have media ask for passengers to come forward.

        Just the data: X # passengers on flight: Y flight(s) missed, Z train(s) missed, Z1 bus(es) missed, $P extra dollars spent on parking for those waiting to pickup the passengers, $P1 extra dollars spent on parking for those on the flight.

        The parking $ is something the airline will not be able to provide. The trains and buses info may not be available to the airline.

        Asking passengers: requires verification, would airline need permission to pass off confirmation info from the actual passengers.

        • Dolt

          While in theory you make some good points, the problem is you are failing to understand the mindset of the average american. This is a group of people who easily pay more money to all kinds of companies who have wronged them, offered poor service, sold broken or incorrect items to them, who ALL just accept the monetary loss rather than having to spend energy to make it right. If it is not as easy as returning something to walmart, it won’t happen. You want someone to come forward with all their receipts for parking, trains, airfare, etc? Not one person will go to those lengths to get maybe a $100 refund.

  • Joey Bach

    After reading some interesting comments on the Guardian article — thanks for the link Lisa. I have determined that all the passengers on the plane need to SUE.

    This seems to be ripe for a wide list of defendants.

    For starters, the education system where the woman went to school (elementary, high school, college and university) all need to be added to the list. The holding of the plane should be considered to be a constitutional violation after the woman was taken off the flight being ill.

    The interesting thing is that the professor taken off was allowed to get back on the flight — is that normal protocol for investigating terrorism. They should have checked the manifest. The googled his name and quickly determined without even talking to him that he was not a terrorist in the normal sense. Maybe his students have other thoughts (hehehehehe).

    The big question is to inquire would be did the flight delay cause any passengers to miss any connecting flights?

    • Again, see my response above.

    • Dolt

      The woman herself has an affirmative defense in this situation. The DHS themselves has issued orders to her – and all citizens – to “see something, say something”. How can you expect her to NOT act on such a government order? Her education history apparently worked – she obeyed authority without questioning any aspect of it.

  • TestJeff Pierce

    MORE BACKGROUND: I heard on the local Philadelphia radio today that the woman first complained about being ill, but she wasn’t allowed off the plane, so she then pointed out the terrorist. And, she was let off the plane and never got back on.

  • Dolt

    She saw something. She said something. A fine Government Obedience Training graduate.

    Remember, Homeland Security’s motto does not include anything about using reason, common sense or facts.

  • Susan Richart

    She should have been forced to walk to Syracuse and barred from ever flying again.

    • Dolt

      She was only following orders like a perfectly good trained, scared, pathetic citizen.

      • Susan Richart

        I am waiting for the day when a terrorist cell uses “see something, say something” to create chaos in order to facilitate their evil deed.

        • Dolt

          Honestly, their work is already done. A smart terror cell would simply sit back and claim responsibility for every lone-wolf nut and natural disaster or accident. They have already perfectly laid the groundwork with the citizens and US Government playing right into their plans and continuing the work for them.

          In other words, the “See Something, Say Something” already IS facilitating the evil deeds of the terrorists.

          • I think that perhaps actual terrorists wouldn’t want to be associated with these nutcases.

  • Daisiemae

    He was “treated respectfully throughout?”

    Uh….no. Being taken off a plane by government officials over nothing is NOT being treated respectfully.

    Furthermore, holding up an entire plane full of people over nothing is not respectful either.

    • Bingo!

      From the Post article:

      Menzio showed the authorities his calculations and was allowed to return to his seat, he told me by email. He said the pilot seemed embarrassed.

      Soon after, the flight finally took off, more than two hours after its scheduled departure time for what would be just a 41-minute trip in the air, according to flight-tracking data.

      The woman never reboarded to the flight.

      • Daisiemae


  • Jack Stinglash

    As a regular Grauniad reader, I also saw this story. Sad. But I’m afraid you Yanks haven’t cornered the market on stupidity. We’re behaving the same way here in the UK. The world has gone mad. And millions of people, apparently, are only too happy to go along with the madness.

    • TestJeff Pierce

      Jack: Osama Bin Laden defeated the US in 2001, and it was replaced by the new country of Homeland.

      The UK actually has much less individual protections for its citizens, but Homeland has forced the hand of the UK. Both our spy agencies are very friendly spying on their own citizens as you know, and the new laws being proposed by your government may help the UK achieve even more restriction of rights then anyone thought possible in a democracy (such as yours is, or ours for that matter).

      London actually has a couple of more real terrorists than the US, from the subway bombings to Richard Reid (the so-called “shoe bomber”) to more ISIS fighters than we have sent.

      Yeah, we wish you luck…….

  • Wilma_Betty

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

    • Hope you’re also reading the comments. Brits leave the best comments. Here’s just one:


      it seems she did an equation of her own.

      Probability P, this guys was a terrorist:

      P(race, behaviour)=Dark skin * Strange characters

      But she forgot to divide by her ignorance, and that’s a very big number. Americans post some of the biggest numbers in the world in that category. The idiots are truly running the show.