Clash of the Titans: Holy Father vs TSA

Maybe this is widely known, but I hadn't heard until recently that Benedict XVI had joined the ranks of critics of the TSA:

PopeTSA.png

Details here. Now perhaps I can dare hope for an Encyclical about the inanity of the repetitive "current threat level is Orange" robo-broadcasts, or even a Papal Bull addressing the deeper illogic of today's airport-screening exercise in security-theater.

"Your pallium and zucchetto must be off and in the bin. I'm talking to you, sir! All velvet or satin slippers must be on the belt, not in a bin. And this flask -- does it hold more than four ounces of anointing oil? Please step over here..."

[If you're tempted to write, no disrespect meant toward any religious figure mentioned here. I have a different sort of criticism in mind.]

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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