Monday, June 4, 2012

Don't Learn This Stuff and America Will Be Stronger

Mr. Atrios often points out that trains don't seem to have TSA issues, but across borders they do.
MONTREAL (CUP) — On May 1, 2010, Pascal Abidor was riding an Amtrak train from Montreal to New York. His parents live in Brooklyn, and he was on his way to visit them. The school year at McGill had just ended, and he felt relieved and calm as the train rolled south towards America.

At about 11 a.m., the train arrived at the U.S. border and made a routine stop. A team of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers boarded the train and advanced through each car, questioning passengers. Pascal had made this trip countless times before, so when a customs officer approached him, he didn’t give it a second thought.

But Pascal had never met Officer Tulip.

After looking over Pascal’s U.S. passport and customs declaration, Officer Tulip asked two simple questions: Where do you live, and why?

Pascal answered that he lived in Canada. He lived in Canada because that’s where he was pursuing a PhD in Islamic Studies.
The rest is the standard story, but at least he didn't end up tortured in prison.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Hope and Change and Freedom™, Mr. McGravitas.

Resistance is futile.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Officer Sweet and Officer Tulip?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

if you're not suspiciously brown or aggressively muslim, or heinously liberal, you have nothing to worry about thunder.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

or heinously liberal

Workin' on it.

Same as it ever was...

(Muslin is the new commie, of course.)

mikey said...

I'm not much of a world traveler, but I've always been interested in fooling around with methods for securing and sanitizing my computers. Encryption in the form of PGP and TrueCrypt are fun to play with, but it's also fun to think about more comprehensive solutions. I LOVE the little MicroSD cards - sixteen gigs on a tiny bit of plastic the size of your fingernail. And, of course, cloud storage solutions now.

My thought originally was to keep a 'clean' hard drive with nothing on it but OS and applications, and swap it in for trips only. Now, I think if I was going to travel, I'd take a ChromeBook. They're cheap, if they got lost or taken it's not the end of the world, and there's no real local storage at all. Just make sure you wipe the browser history and you're good to go.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Just make sure you wipe the browser history and you're good to go.

The NSA and the Department of Homeland Security know who you are, what you think, and where you've been, mikey.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

...and they would like you to put your trousers back on. Also.

fish said...

At last a sentiment I share with the NSA.

mikey said...

I know, right?

A few years ago I came across a site that guided you through the process of requesting your FBI investigative records through the FOIA. It included letter templates, addresses, process, everything.

I got back a pretty good pile of heavily redacted 8½ x 11 pages that seemed to indicate they thought of me as a potentially violent gangster and, disappointingly, had no idea of or interest in my politics.

It came with a cover letter requesting I put on my trousers...

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

I don't travel much, but I do make teh occasional border crossing. Maybe teh sekrit is to take the horseshoes out of your ass before going to teh airport because I have never had any problems. My worst experience was when I couldn't take teh bottle of water I bought at teh airport onto teh plane. I suppose being one of teh "good" minorities helps.

Or maybe teh security folks don't want me saying anything to their moms when I see them next.