Go to previous post:
Mr. Probity.

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:
Electrolite, sparing you yet another pun on the name “Rice.”

Our Admirable Sponsors

March 27, 2004

You must be physic. Jim Macdonald points us to this CNN story:
A self-described psychic’s tip that a bomb might be on a plane prompted a search with bomb-sniffing dogs that turned up nothing suspicious, but forced the cancellation of the flight.

American Airlines Flight 1304 at Southwest Florida International Airport was canceled Friday because some crew members had exceeded their work hours by the time the search was finished, officials said.

The purported psychic’s call was “unusual,” conceded Doug Perkins, local administrator for the federal Transportation Security Administration director.

“But in these times, we can’t ignore anything. We want to take the appropriate measures,” he said.

Cool! So now that we’re shutting down air travel when a “psychic” phones in, terrorists can screw up our national transportation system from anywhere in the US for the price of a phone call.

“But in these times, we can’t ignore anything.” You know what? Yes we can. [08:25 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on You must be physic.:

Ben ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2004, 08:31 PM:

But just think what al-Qaeda could do for Dion Warwick's credibility if they'd join forces! They'd be an unstoppable machine of late night commerical destruction.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2004, 08:39 PM:

"We're using the very latest advances in palmistry to find hidden terrorists among the thousands of travelers who every day seek to use our nation's air carriers," TSA spokesman Dr. John Dee said this morning. Crystal balls have been shipped to Atlanta, Chicago, and other "hub" cities, and an extensive Cartomancy-based Terrorism Warning System (CTWS) is expected to be in place by August of 2004, depending on the delivery of thousands of decks of Rider-Waite tarot cards.

An earlier Ouiji-board system was canceled after planchettes were found to overheat and stick during prolonged use. A computerized-video Phrenologic Terrorist Profile (PTP) is also in development, with projected deployment in early to mid-2005.

David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2004, 08:46 PM:

“I want to see more fairy stories about the police!”

Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2004, 09:30 PM:

You know what? I prefer Brust and Lindholm's "Gypsy". To the CNN's version, I mean.

Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2004, 11:34 PM:

I'm amazed that terrorists haven't already been doing just that - not pretending to be psychics, but just calling up and reporting bombs on planes, hidden in cities, etc. It's cheap, is highly unlikely to get you arrested or killed, and could cause quite a bit of disruption - even after the 50th threat that turned out to be false, I don't think law enforcement agencies could really afford to ignore the 51st, just in case.

Or maybe terrorists are doing that, and we're not hearing about it, which would imply that psychics are taken more seriously...

Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2004, 12:57 AM:

Even if this tip wasn't from a real psychic, this week's Onion managed to be prophetic -- they had a story in the "News in Brief" section headlined "Psychic Helps Police Waste Valuable Time".

Simon ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2004, 10:24 AM:

Dan Blum, bomb threats that turn out to be fake are hardly unknown, and the fact that we aren't getting more of them from terrorists suggests either that you're right; or that the terrorist organizers have strategic reasons of their own to not do this. Or, maybe, the Bushies are right and they really do have the terrorists on the run. But that wouldn't make much sense, because you don't need much infrastructure to phone in a fake bomb threat.

James D. Macdonald's post reads like a news report from the Buffyverse, which probably says more about the Buffyverse than it does about the news.

Robert ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2004, 06:46 PM:

you must be "physic"? typo, or joke on medicine
that i'm missing somehow? just curious.

Phillip J. Birmingham ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2004, 03:45 AM:

Unfortunately, I think it is correct that you cannot ignore these things. I don't believe in the existence of psychic phenomena, but I do believe in the existence of people who are so deranged that they would see no problem in "helping" prophecy along.

Chuck Divine ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2004, 09:40 AM:

It really is time to rename the DHS to American Security Service. Of course the people who for the renamed agency will be known as Homeland Officers for Law Enforcement. You do the acronym.

Nix ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2004, 10:53 AM:

Two of the top four Google hits for `you must be physic' now point here.

(Of course, I am merely reinforcing this.)

Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2004, 12:23 PM:

I can't understand it. We had Uri Geller and Joyce Jillson... all I can figure is th' damn bombers must have used lucky rabbit's feet.

Oh well. We've done all we can. Let's go on home and let the voodoo boys do their work.

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2004, 07:47 AM:

After two and a quarter centuries, we're still in love with Mrs. Malaprop, bless her.

(Nice to see Philip J. here.)

Phillip J. Birmingham ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2004, 04:35 PM:

Hey, I just came for the good company, which has gotten even better, it would appear.