COVID and the Shoe Bomber

 

In December of 2001, terrorist Richard Reid tried to blow up a plane by placing explosives in his shoes. During the flight he attempted to ignite the bomb with a match, but other passengers blew out his matches, and he was eventually subdued.

The shoe bomb didn’t work very well, but just months after 9/11, it showed us another possible way terrorists could strike. In reaction to this potential threat, people were asked to take off there shoes and have them run through the x-ray machines at the airport. The hope was that a security agent scanning hundreds of bags and thousands of shoes every hour would be able to to pick out the one shoe with plastic explosives in the heel.

Yesterday l flew to Florida and had to take off my shoes to go through security. Twenty years later and shoe bombing is still threat? Is there intelligence stating that terrorists are working on shoe bombs? No, the shoe bomb wasn’t a great idea and it is unlikely that this is a top threat to air travelers. Though not probable, it is still possible that someone could become the next shoe bomber, so we still check shoes (but not if you’re old).

Which brings us to COVID.  With vaccines and natural immunity, the virus is already less of a threat than it once was, but the threat will never be zero. There will always be the chance that someone somewhere could contract the disease. So, 20 years from now, do you think that there will still be mask mandates on planes an other places? I want to say, “No,” but I have seen how the government works. What say you, Ricochet? Will people keep this up indefinitely?

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  1. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    You’ve just given me the lead-in for my next blog post. Thanks ever so much!

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    I’ve wondered about this quite a bit.  

    So, at some point, a politician says, “Ok, everybody – you can take your masks off!”  Then someone dies of COVID next week.  Perhaps, Lord help us, a black woman.  And then there are marches in the streets accusing the politician of murder for weeks.

    At this point, American society has been broken down into two groups:  mask wearers and vicious hate-filled sociopath Republicans.  There is no in-between.  And it doesn’t matter how we got here.  Because here we are.

    So no, I don’t see how we get out of this. 

    As I often say, I really hope I’m wrong about this.

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    At this point, American society has been broken down into two groups:  mask wearers and vicious hate-filled sociopath Republicans.  There is no in-between.  And it doesn’t matter how we got here.  Because here we are.

    You are so right. I was going to post this on another thread yesterday, but it was so depressing that I decided not to. But I guess it is more important for people to know how bad it is. These are quotes from a recent Boston Globe newsletter that I subscribe to. The newsletter writer introduces these quotes by saying, “I must say, you are completely fed up with the willfully unvaccinated. Your anger is evident in your e-mails. Here are your comments. (Since some of you didn’t want your name used, I haven’t used any.)” She does not counter any of it, does question any of the commenters’ assumptions, and she lets the hatred sit there as a way of stoking it:

    “I have said for years that stupidity is the inability to learn, while ignorance is the conscious choice not to. The willfully unvaccinated are ignorant.”

    “Perhaps the only good thing about them is that some of them have removed, or will remove, themselves from the gene pool. Darwin strikes again!”

    “As a senior fully vaccinated, I, like Howard Stern, am sick to death of having to remain inside and cautious so they can run around acting as if there is no COVID and, heaven forbid, mask wearing. Disgustingly pathetic. They get their life; when do we get ours? Shame them all.”

    “I am angry and frustrated with willingly unvaccinated individuals and propose the following: Invite them to some interesting event. Then lock the doors and have them first watch a video of someone gasping for breath and then being intubated; up close and personal. Maybe interview a grieving family member. This would be supervised by people (such as the trusty National Guard) in N-95s standing 10 feet away. Then put on the event only for those who choose to get vaccinated first. If people decline the vaccination, they don’t get to attend the event. I am historically a pacifist, but I am close to the end of my last nerve.”

    [continued in next comment]

     

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    [continued]

    My sacro-cranial chiropractor is an amazing and kind healer who cured my sciatica a few years ago. However, today she revealed that she is not vaccinated, and it is on purpose. I was flummoxed! She is pretty convinced that her supplement regimen and excellent immune system are going to help her avoid COVID. (She ‘never’ gets the flu!) Fortunately, we are in California, so her odds are better than if she lived in, say, Alabama or Mississippi. But I am just shocked, confused, and frankly, a little freaked out.

    “How can one of the best people I know make this choice? And what am I going to do about it?

    “For now I have not canceled my appointments, because I’m vaccinated and feel relatively safe (for myself). I’m not sure I can stay calm if we have a conversation about it again, and I’m not sure I can NOT have a conversation about it again, either! This is not just about one’s self. I believe it is our responsibility to do this for the greater good (our community). I always thought she was much smarter than I probably am, and I am just so disappointed.”

    “I came home to the sound of wailing and crying from my 41-year-old daughter. She just heard her best friend in SF died of the virus that day. They both gave birth to their two children four years ago, shared everything and with great care and friendship. She was ill for five days and died that morning when her husband came home to check on her. No vaccination and two children, a 4- and 10-year-old, and a loving husband. God help us.”

    “I’m not angry, I’m furious! Furious at the refuseniks for whom, let’s face it, there’s no downside of NOT being vaccinated until they get sick. After which all hell breaks loose because they need an ICU bed, ventilator etc.

    “And then, of course, they wake up and want the vaccine.

    “Meanwhile, they’ve caused goodness knows how many people to be infected and get sick, including small children. Their ignorance and selfishness knows no bounds. It’s a dumbdemic.
    The problem is that in their minds, they don’t have to get vaccinated because they can get by just fine without it.

    “I think we need to take some measures to force them to rethink:
    1. Insurance companies need to raise premiums on those who choose to be unvaccinated.
    2. Hospitals need to prioritize the care for vaccinated patients.
    3. Unvaccinated people cannot enter public buildings, sports stadiums, public transit, or airports.
    4. Like in R.I., if you don’t comply with your employer’s demand to get vaccinated and lose your job, no unemployment payments for you.
    5. Religious exemption? That’s fine, as long as your church picks up the cost of treatment.

    “Let’s see how that works. Cuz oh boy, miss the football game?”

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    [continued from preceding comment and the end of the quotes from the newsletter]

    “Angry at the willingly unvaccinated? Damn straight I am. We have 3 granddaughters ages 2, 4, and 8 who are put at risk by these imbeciles. Our 16-year-old grandson got vaccinated as soon as he became eligible, as did everyone in our immediate family. Still, way too many out there who are a danger to everyone.”

    “Anyone who refuses to be fully vaccinated has no commonsense. Obviously, some people must think they are immortal. With all the horrific stories about unvaccinated people infecting others and people needlessly dying, they must think it won’t happen to them. I truly do not understand them and their lack of logic. Since I am the exact polar opposite of them, I can’t wait to get my booster shot this fall!”

    “When the unvaccinated get COVID, no medical care will be provided, NONE. No docs or hospitals will treat them. They will receive no medical benefits of any type. If they are allowed to return to work, they will get tested every morning before entering the workplace, AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. If they test positive, their pay will be immediately suspended and they will not be eligible for any company, state, or federal benefits; no sick time, no short-term (or long-term) disability, no unemployment, no food stamps, etc. If it can be proven that the person did not quarantine, they can be fined and put under house arrest for a period of time. If they infect someone else, they will be held financially responsible for the sick person’s expenses.

    “Until we play hardball, we will never contain this virus. It’s time to stop being polite, and kick some ass.”

    “Everyone has the right to remain unvaccinated if they choose. I reserve the right to request they be exiled to an isolated island so the only people they can infect and kill are themselves and people who think like them.”

    “I am angry and confused about the willfully unvaccinated. There appears to be many reasons, besides ignorance and stupidity. So many people today (esp. the young) have a strong sense of entitlement. There is also a lot of selfishness! A letter to the editor appeared in today’s Albany NY Times Union about the ‘Selfish Generation.’ In brief, it states that so many lost their lives in WWII, but were very willing to sacrifice. The country was willing to deal with short rations and supplies for the war effort. And so many firefighters willingly sacrificed their lives on 9/11 trying to save others. But today, so many are selfish, thinking only of themselves. I couldn’t agree more!”

    • #5
  6. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    MarciN (View Comment):
    These are quotes from a recent Boston Globe newsletter that I subscribe to.

    I wonder how many of those commenters believe in God or attend church occasionally?  What’s the old line, if you don’t believe in something you’ll fall for anything.  This is a new religion.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think a divorce is on the near horizon. It could be peaceful. It might look just like Brexit. “We will all work together in declared wars, as long as we agree that the war is justified. Otherwise, we keep our money at home.” 

    • #7
  8. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think a divorce is on the near horizon. It could be peaceful. It might look just like Brexit. “We will all work together in declared wars, as long as we agree that the war is justified. Otherwise, we keep our money at home.”

    Wow, @MarciN, you’re on a roll.

    • #8
  9. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Vance Richards: Will people keep this up indefinitely?

    I think some will.  Eventually the Powers-That-Be will want to flip the narrative to Global Warming.  Is it easier to manipulate people through their use of energy than making personal mandates (if you are reading this, you are using regulated energy).  When the time is right, patented therapeutics will be approved and testing thresholds will be lowered and the Covid fear machine will be turned off.  But some will wear masks forever. 

    • #9
  10. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Yes. People will keep this up indefinitely. Government will hardly need to require it, although government probably will.

    • #10
  11. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    I no longer have my 1918 mask.   I had older relatives who lived through the 1918 pandemic and had the privilege of listening to many stories of their youth and never heard the 1918 events mentioned.  

    The alternative version was written in 1969.
    In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
    Everything you think, do and say
    Is in the pill you took today

     

    • #11
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    During Rosh Hashanah a reporter in Australia posted this on Twitter:

    It is amazing to me that any nation can spiral from fighting for freedom to yelling, “Hey, Fritz, there are dancing Jews in the alley!” in just three to four generations. Afterwards the Jewish Community Council of Victoria issued a press release condemning their fellow Jews and urged everyone “follow the rules.” (Just get on the train, people, and all will be well…)

    This same reporter who ratted out the Jews then complained that media were herded to the other side of the building when the cops showed up. You must not see what’s being done in your name.

    The comments on Twitter were predictable. Most of them called the celebrants “selfish.” They have convinced the populace that individualism and freedom are evil because it goes against “the collective good.” 

     

    • #12
  13. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    I think it depends on whether or not there is an airline CEO with guts enough to stand up for private enterprise. Imagine if Southwest Airlines (for example) said they were going mask free and challenged the FAA to ground all of their flights by force. I suspect there would be a lot of seemingly powerful people who would blink when confronted with forceful opposition from a major industry player and the cities and support personnel who serves it.  

    Of course, courage is at a premium these days. 

    • #13
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    EJHill (View Comment):

    During Rosh Hashanah a reporter in Australia posted this on Twitter:

    It is amazing to me that any nation can spiral from fighting for freedom to yelling, “Hey, Fritz, there are dancing Jews in the alley!” in just three to four generations. Afterwards the Jewish Community Council of Victoria issued a press release condemning their fellow Jews and urged everyone “follow the rules.” (Just get on the train, people, and all will be well…)

    This same reporter who ratted out the Jews then complained that media were herded to the other side of the building when the cops showed up. You must not see what’s being done in your name.

    The comments on Twitter were predictable. Most of them called the celebrants “selfish.” They have convinced the populace that individualism and freedom are evil because it goes against “the collective good.”

     

    Holy crap.

    You should expand this into a post.

     

    EJHill (View Comment):
    It is amazing to me that any nation can spiral from fighting for freedom to yelling, “Hey, Fritz, there are dancing Jews in the alley!” in just three to four generations.

    Brilliant sentence.

     

    EJHill (View Comment):
    They have convinced the populace that individualism and freedom are evil because it goes against “the collective good.” 

    Another brilliant sentence.

    • #14
  15. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I won’t fly.

    • #15
  16. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    John H. (View Comment):

    Yes. People will keep this up indefinitely. Government will hardly need to require it, although government probably will.

    I can ignore people, and will.

    • #16
  17. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I won’t fly.

    I hadn’t flown in years, but I had to help out my mother. Flying was fun when I was younger but now. . .

    • #17
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I won’t fly.

    I hadn’t flown in years, but I had to help out my mother. Flying was fun when I was younger but now. . .

    It always felt like a bus ride to me.

    • #18
  19. RPD Member
    RPD
    @RPD

    https://youtu.be/kCj-Rnd5SsA?t=47Regarding still inspecting shoes

    • #19
  20. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Where do the people who are vaccinated, get the idea that THEY are the ones who have to hide from the UN-vaccinated?

    Talk about ignorant/stupid…

    • #20
  21. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Where do the people who are vaccinated, get the idea that THEY are the ones who have to hide from the UN-vaccinated?

    Talk about ignorant/stupid…

    Exactly. Why the vaccination if you think it makes a difference?

    • #21
  22. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I think government officials will want to keep in place all the restrictions, for fear of the reason noted in comment #2 by Dr. Bastiat. But, I think it likely they will be forced to relax some of the restrictions (mostly mask mandates) when enough of the public that refuses to comply or at least gets very noisy about removing the restrictions. I am hoping that there is the requisite critical mass of people who do so, and am encouraged that some have been emerging. I therefore remain hopeful that as it becomes harder to maintain the fear porn, more will join. 

    And I think the government is so screwing up the “messaging” on vaccine mandates that, although vaccine mandates currently have wide support, the government has alienated enough people that there will be enough resistance that vaccine mandates and “show your papers” rules are not likely to last. 

    • #22
  23. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    As to airline travel in particular, we are next week driving from our home in north Texas to a wedding in Virginia, rather than flying. The mask mandate and other Covid related restrictions added on top of the anti-terrorist indignities has caused us to up our threshold for flying vs. driving from the previous threshold of a 10 hour drive time to a threshold of a two day drive time. (In this case, also the fear of not being able to get a rental car, and to a lesser extent, the fear that the airlines won’t in the end be able to get us there because they are cancelling so many flights.) But, the overwhelming factor in the drive vs. fly decision is the discomfort of the flying experience. Not that many years ago I did look forward to flying places. No longer. 

    • #23
  24. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I think the airline mask mandate will end sometime next year or early 2023 at the latest.  There are too many incidents and repressed resentment over it.

    Flight attendants are constantly having to police it.  Obviously there is a small but controlling subset that love that sort of thing, but most of them are probably tired of it.  Not to mention they have to wear those masks too.  At some point, their union is going to flip and start advocating against the masks (I think their union is presently advocating for them).

    I’m in an area where the Delta variant is whipping through resulting in high hospitalization rates.  There is no mask mandate here like there is in California.  What’s telling about all this when I go into stores here, I’m seeing maybe 20% masked people inside, and generally all the employees masked.

    In 2020 at the height of of the scare but before mandates were put in place, I could go into a department store and see 50%-60% compliance.

    I’m sure that aviation will be the last to let go of this, but the fact that the population is ignoring hospital administrators, minus local mask mandates, is telling.

    Remember, taking off your shoes at TSA only lasts a few minutes.  Wearing a mask for hours is a major inconvenience.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    (In this case, also the fear of not being able to get a rental car, and to a lesser extent, the fear that the airlines won’t in the end be able to get us there because they are cancelling so many flights.)

    A bigger problem would seem to be flying there, and not being able to get BACK because of cancellations etc.

    • #25
  26. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    BTW, in Minneapolis you do not need to remove your shoes- you walk about 30 feet  and an explosives-detecting dog runs a full circle around you and sniffs you from the knees down.

    True.  And, actually better than removing shoes, but the process looks sort of ridiculous.

    • #26
  27. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    In April 2020 I told people exactly what Dr. Bastiat said above, that we will be wearing masks forever because no one wants to be blamed for the first death that occurs after we take them off. 

     

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    In April 2020 I told people exactly what Dr. Bastiat said above, that we will be wearing masks forever because no one wants to be blamed for the first death that occurs after we take them off.

     

    Lots of people are already going mask-less, how to decide which one to blame for which death?

    • #28
  29. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    John H. (View Comment):

    Yes. People will keep this up indefinitely. Government will hardly need to require it, although government probably will.

    I did notice more than a few people on the plane with masks under their masks. No one was forcing them to do that. And if that makes them feel safer then that’s OK but don’t force everyone else to do the same.

    • #29
  30. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    And now that I am waiting at the gate for my return flight, they just told us there’s an hour delay. Another hour of mask wearing. Perhaps I can find a reason to take off my mask at the airport bar.

    • #30