Home / General / A Number of Gas Grills in Thailand Have Exploded. Thus, We Have Decided to Ban the Importation of Canadian Grilling Utensils.

A Number of Gas Grills in Thailand Have Exploded. Thus, We Have Decided to Ban the Importation of Canadian Grilling Utensils.

By Mail2arunjith CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36745460

If you haven’t heard yet, the Department of Homeland Security has ordered carriers to force customers to check a number of electronic devices on flights originating from a number of airports in majority-Muslim countries.

Passengers on foreign airlines headed to the United States from 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries have been barred from carrying electronic devices larger than a cellphone under a new flight restriction enacted on Tuesday by the Trump administration.

Officials called the directive an attempt to address gaps in foreign airport security, and said it was not based on any specific or credible threat of an imminent attack.

The Department of Homeland Security said the restricted items included laptop computers, tablets, cameras, travel printers and games bigger than a phone. The restrictions would not apply to aircraft crews, officials said in a briefing to reporters on Monday night that outlined the terms of the ban.

The official explanation for this policy, as a number of commentators have noted, makes little sense.

The policy seems poorly calibrated, None of the proposed causes of the destruction of Metrojet Flight 9268 would either have been stopped or necessity the ban. The Somalian incident may have been caused by a laptop bomb, but why this necessitates targeting the specific airports affected by the ban remains unclear. The Brussels attack involved suicide bombers and took place outside departure security checkpoints.

This lack of compelling logic observers to speculate about more nefarious motives. Is this an attempt to undermine competitors to US airlines?

Is it a ham-handed security effort by an administration of dubious policy competence?

Other possibilities include animus toward Muslims—or, more broadly, people who aren’t white. That is, an attempt to simply make life more difficult for students, business travelers, and others—and perhaps deter travel to the United States. This is consistent with reports of aggressive visa denials to people traveling to the United States.

This tracks with the arbitrariness of the Muslim travel ban. Indeed, these kinds of policies might be a means of forwarding the same goals—the equivalent of “self-deportation” as an approach to undocumented immigration. Another benefit of continuing to push policies with threadbare logic and justification? It forces GOP officials and conservative media to defend them. In doing so, it makes them  complicit in an increasing number of irrational administration actions.

And that’s the basic problem. Trump, his handlers, and their minions lie—and bullshit—with such reckless abandon that it’s simply impossible to trust them about anything. This is becoming a major national security threat, not simply because of the substance of these lies, but also the Executive Branch needs basic credibility with foreign leaders—and populations—in order to effectively in protect American interests.

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