Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Coming to Japan

Under the stern gaze of passport officials and the even sterner gaze of television cameras, the two British citizens, fresh off a morning flight from London on Tuesday, passed through customs at Kennedy International Airport separately and came to separate conclusions.

Under a new Homeland Security system at Kennedy Airport, most foreign visitors must submit to a biometric scan of all 10 fingerprints.

Both pressed one thumb, then the other fingers on the glowing screen of a small white box. Then the process was repeated for the other hand...

For security. One guy didn't just meekly swallow that line for some reason:

“Pretty soon it’ll be a full naked body scan, with my irises and my DNA profile. It makes the honest visitor to America, of which 99.9999 percent coming through here are, feel unwelcome so you guys can catch the 0.0001 percent of people who are a problem.”

What's he mean by "feel" unwelcome?

The new system, whose image-capture units each cost as much as $3,000, will eventually cost more than $280 million, paid for by the federal government, rather than the airlines.

Huh? Where does the federal government get money? Oh, that's right. It borrows from foreigners. I almost said from taxpayers, but that's on down the line. Article is free here at the New York Times for now.

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