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New Internal Cavity X-ray Technology for Airports 308

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-guts-finish-last dept.
Thanks to a new type of X-ray scanner unveiled in Australia, annoyed TSA agents won't have to send you to a hospital for a body cavity scan, they can do it in-house. Officials say that more than 4,600 man-hours were wasted last year in hospitals waiting for scans. From the article: "Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said the scanners would also help innocent travelers. 'The option of an internal body scan will more quickly exonerate the innocent and ensure a minimum of delay for legitimate travelers,' Mr O'Connor said."

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New Internal Cavity X-ray Technology for Airports

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  • Uh (Score:5, Funny)

    by jimmerz28 (1928616) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:55PM (#35302266)
    If the TSA employed more attractive people they wouldn't have to send us away to hospitals for body cavity reports.
    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Sorry, no matter how attractive, I still wont let anyone near my cavities.

      On the good side, though, this device may allow Airports to capitalize in alternative revenue forms. Now you will be able to opt in, for an additional fee, for a non intrusive colon cancer diagnostic!!!

    • by Kosi (589267)

      But if they put Jessica Alba lookalikes there, I'd be much more inclined to search her cavities than having it the other way.

      So, the only way to go for me is a strict "no-cavity-search" policy. Fingers and more than a normal level of X-rays enter my ass only for medical or sexual reasons (figure out for yourself which of the two can't be used for sex).

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        Fingers and more than a normal level of X-rays enter my ass only for medical or sexual reasons (figure out for yourself which of the two can't be used for sex).

        I'm fairly sure enough exposure to X-rays can make you sterile so I can see where they would have their uses for sex.

  • by Itesh (1901146) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:55PM (#35302268)
    Innocent until proven guilty not prove that you are innocent?
    • by toastar (573882) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:04PM (#35302440)

      Innocent until proven guilty not prove that you are innocent?

      Not in Australia, The whole place is a prison for god's sake.

    • Not anymore (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:11PM (#35302546)

      Police checkpoints, wire tapping, spying on civilians from multiple directions, "emergency" powers designed to circumvent the concept (which of course are never repealed)... the guarantee of innocent until proven guilty has been eliminated in all but lip service. It's really no surprise; every government must do this at some point or their business stops expanding (in both power and revenue).

      The cold hard truth is that big government NEEDS a society full of "criminals", and if nature doesn't supply it, they will fabricate it through the coercive power of government.

      • by icebike (68054)

        Take a lesson from Egypt.

        • Re:Not anymore (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:35PM (#35302880)

          Not applicable. We have the illusion of choice and democracy in America to placate the masses. But we really only get to choose between fascist authoritarian kleptocrat douche bag pandering to divisive inflammatory topic A and fascist authoritarian kleptocrat turd sandwich pandering to divisive and inflammatory topic B.

          • by morcego (260031)

            Bread and circus ....
            And, on a Orwellian mentality, we could also add: external enemy.

            That is all the government needs and, from what you can see, they are playing it by the book.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      That's the courts, not TSA.

      On a somewhat related note, I have a pet peeve. I have a CI (counter intelligence) polygraph as part of my clearance, and part of the questions focus on links to terrorism. I passed, so the federal government is sufficiently convinced that I am not a terrorist to give me access to sensitive information. So why does another branch of the federal government still check me for weapons when I get on a plane? Why can't I show my standard IC badge and go through security?
      • by theghost (156240)

        They can't even find guns [techdirt.com] with scanners and full-body gropers and you expect them to be able to know the difference between a real document and a forgery?

        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          The badge has an RFID, and I can use it to badge into DIA, CIA, NSA, etc. TSA can't figure out how to install a standard RFID scanner?
          • There is so much outcry that the TSA "security theater" is ineffective and many people realize it is just there to make you feel safe. The goons are mostly unskilled and mostly untrained (2 weeks training, you get to grope), and have less security clearance than you do - yet they can make your life miserable and cause you no end of grief if you don't play Janet's game by her rules.

            Recall the youtube video by a pilot who was outraged that flight crews had to go through the grope machine, yet any ground crew
      • by morcego (260031)

        Because the TSA people don't have enough clearance to verify yours is real ?
        Kinda funny, people with less clearance than you questioning you on that ....

        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          The guard at the desk at work doesn't have my clearance either, but he can see when my RFID badge activates the reader and lets me in or if it fails and beeps annoyingly. There are hundreds of thousands of cleared individuals like me, let alone how many off-duty and retired police officers, active duty and retired military, and other trusted individuals who should not be searched and probed every time they fly like it's the first the government has scrutinized them.
          • by Plekto (1018050)

            In fact, you'd probably WANT some of these people on the flights in case something actually happened. Making it so hard that they would rather drive there instead is not necessarily the brightest option.

            And, if they can put you on a no-fly list, they can certainly check for things like this. People like Senators, military officials, and so on and so on should simply be exempt. How about a "express/no body cavity search check list"(with proper RFID backed badge/etc, of course)

            • by matrim99 (123693) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @03:38PM (#35303768) Homepage
              To be honest, I *WANT* senators and elected officials to have to go through all of the security procedures that us regular folks have to endure.
              Eating their own dog food, and all that.
              • by Plekto (1018050)

                Well, yes, there's that angle to consider as well...

                Perhaps if they also get the same security clearances? Oh, wait - that might be a GREAT idea. I can just imagine what a top level security clearance background check on a typical official would bring up. If they can deal with that, they deserve to be given a break.

          • by baegucb (18706)

            Wasn't the Fort Hood shooter an active military officer? Moot point for me, I stopped flying 10 years ago since I didn't enjoy it anymore.

            • by oodaloop (1229816)
              True, and the indicators that he was violent and had connections to terrorists should have been heeded. Perhaps an additional layer of security like a metal detector or full body scanner would keep him off a plane, perhaps not. The active duty military member or retired police officer that is a physical threat to others, let alone a bona fide al qaeda terrorist, is rather rare. Personally, I'm a big fan of letting everyone on board with knives, brass knuckles, expandable police batons and other melee wea
            • Flying is a lot nicer than it was 10 years ago. These days everyone gets a touch screen LCD monitor from which they can choose a variety of on demand in flight entertainment. Also, planes have power outlets at every seat so you can plug in your laptop if need be. The days of everyone watching the same in flight movie on a single screen is over.
      • by droopus (33472) *

        Isn't CI "Confidential Informant" to the feds?

        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          It's also Carbon Iodine, or Chlorine depending on the font, to chemists. Strong law of large numbers and all that. I'm sure it has many meanings.
        • by sconeu (64226)

          Feeding the troll...

          CI in this case is "Compartmentalized Information".

      • by skids (119237)

        Well, doing so would create a situation where "loyal citizens" get preferential treatment versus anyone who has not been so assessed. Not that that is a good enough reason in and of itself, but I'm sure you can see the potential for dangerous precedent there.

        Seriously, though -- I'm conjecturing here but it would seem to me that such an ID card would only be used in low traffic environments, where there is time and attention to spare such that nobody would reasonably expect to be able to steal your badge a

        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          The standard badge, in use in many intelligence agencies, has an RFID. I wave it in front of a door, and it opens. People wear them all over the place. That Clear company that lost the laptop (reported here a few times) tried to basically do the same thing: make a separate line for people who were cleared so TSA can process them faster. Good idea, but Clear obviously mishandled it. There are standards for various IDs. Why can't they implement one and save themselves time and money searching all those p
          • Because you are talking about instituting a national ID and that never seems to go over very well with anybody.
            • by oodaloop (1229816)
              There's already a national ID for military with barcodes on the back and standard scanners everywhere. Most military bases have hand-held ones and scan your military ID card (CAC: Common Access Card) when you come on base. There is also a standard Intelligence Community badge with RFID. Not every citizen needs or warrants one of these, but those who have them should be able to use them.
  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:59PM (#35302320)

    From the article: "Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said the scanners would also help innocent travelers. 'The option of an internal body scan will more quickly exonerate the innocent and ensure a minimum of delay for legitimate travelers,' Mr O'Connor said."

    Why should they need to be exonerated? Why should they have to suffer through a high intensity blast of x-ray just to prove that they aren't terrorists?

    Why aren't the terrorists exploiting this hole RIGHT NOW and KILLING MILLIONS and INFLICTING TERROR?

    Maybe it's because the threat is overblown and someone is sucking your cock in exchange for your pushing these useless, unneeded machines. Or maybe you're like Chertoff, destined to profit handsomely by pushing your employer (and other governments) to buy equipment from a company you own.

    • by Ancantus (1926920)

      Why aren't the terrorists exploiting this hole RIGHT NOW and KILLING MILLIONS and INFLICTING TERROR?

      They don't need to when the TSA can do it for them.

    • Why aren't the terrorists exploiting this hole RIGHT NOW and KILLING MILLIONS and INFLICTING TERROR?

      Putting things up your butt is against islam, duh

    • by morcego (260031)

      Hummm, the terrorist ARE inflicting terror. They are just using the government as the tool for it. They don't need to move a finger, except to drop a few well placed news and rumors.

      • by ringm000 (878375)
        The terrorists aren't using the government, the government is using the terrorists.
        • by Inzite (472846)

          The terrorists aren't using the government, the government is using the terrorists.

          Seems like a mutually beneficial relationship to me.

          To draw a parallel with another resilient industry, who's actually using whom? Is the sex-obsessed client exploiting the vulnerable, defenseless prostitute? Or is it really the prostitute who's exploiting the client?

          Either way, it's a comfy scenario for the military-industrial pimp.

      • by dpilot (134227)

        Gadzooks, I wish I had mod points today.

      • I heard from a guy that Al quaeda has infiltrated parliament and put secret brain bugs in their brains to control them. A skull cavity examination will exonerate the legitimate politicians. Just let a doctor perform exploratory surgery on your brain, and you'll be allowed to continue politicking.
  • by Ancantus (1926920) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:59PM (#35302322) Homepage Journal
    Has there been an incident where a terrorist has hidden a bomb in his small intestine? Is it really a viable business strategy to hide drugs within your body in order to get them crossed the border. I cannot believe that there is enough free space in a persons body to hide a profitable amount of drugs.
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      No to the first, yes to the second if you don't care about the mule dieing from a ruptured drug condom in the stomach or prolapse from the use of larger, well wrapped packages in other orifices.

    • by GungaDan (195739)

      There has been at least one attempt at a rectum (business end of the large intestine) bomb. Small intestine would be tough to get to since you'd need to pass through 6' or more of large bowel to get to it from the back end, or the mouth, throat and stomach from the front end.

    • Yes, a terrorist tried to blow up a Saudi prince with explosives hidden in his ass. I remember someone on Slashdot linked to the report with graphic pics of the aftermath. The dumb fucker (the terrorist, not the prince who decided to meet with a "reformed terrorist" in person) was peeled apart like Elmer Fudd's shotgun after Bugs stuck his finger in it.

      • The important thing though is that the man's body absorbed the shock-wave and the explosion caused little or no damage to those around him, so it appears to not even be a viable technique.

        • That's right, nobody else was really hurt.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            Well I'm sure that the bystanders who viewed the explosion probably neede a reasonable amount of therapy time afterwords.

        • A terrorist could get up in the middle of a flight, walk over to a window, take his pants down, stick his ass up on the window, and...
          There you'd be thinking he was only mooning that... thing... on the wing... outside... when he would detonate.

          And just imagine if he was ALREADY sitting next to a window. Cause, that is what they do. They sit next to a window waiting to blow themselves up.
          Those shouldn't be called window seats at all but "terrorist seats".

    • The anus has been used throughout history to smuggle things, this shouldn't be news to anyone who spend a second in the real world. Are you THAT out of touch with reality you never heard of drug mules swallowing rubber balls filled with drugs or the reason in jail they get you to spread them?

      If this is the level of your average tin-hatter it explains a lot. You should really get out some day, talk to another human being. Learn something about the big scary world.

    • A human can eat several pounds, and drug prohibition has made leaf and flower extracts quite precious, so a mule's load can be worth around $200,000. Most of that is profit, so it is indeed a great business. Bombs would probably be surgically implanted rather than swallowed, but Al-Qaeda has already been so successful that it's not really worth it when western countries are already spending all of their resources on imaginary attacks.
  • No Way (Score:5, Informative)

    by headhot (137860) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:59PM (#35302336) Homepage

    I'd rather have a Dr or Nurse oversee my doses of radiation then an undertrained cop school dropout.

    • Thank you! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by denzacar (181829) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:59PM (#35303208) Journal

      TFA mentions how they "understood privacy concerns in relation to internal X-ray use". FUCK THAT!

      It's not a privacy issue. It's a fucking health concern.

      A fucking dentist covers you up in lead before he takes an X-ray of your teeth, and these morons want to let someone with a questionable understanding of buttons do X-rays of your gut?

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:00PM (#35302352)
    i bet these stupid invasive technologies would magically stopped being pushed if the executive salaries at these companies were capped at 10x the lowest paid employee and they had to be non-profits.
    • "Non-profit" doesn't preclude extravagant pay or egotistical motivations. Janitorial services and Production can be contracted out, so the "lowest paid employee" could be an engineer making $100K.

      The real solution is for The People to quit being terrified of boogeymen and start to use their brains. (A guy can dream, can't he?)

    • by Peeteriz (821290)

      Why would any sane company owner agree sell anything at all to TSA if your dream came true? They wouldn't be able to buy even toilet paper.

      The same for any other industry - either the companies would find a way to cheat it, or they would fire all employees, sell all assets and give the money back to creators/investors/owners of the company, as in that case it would be a better choice for the owners to just keep that money in the bank rather than make some goods or services with that.

  • freedom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:02PM (#35302386)

    > He said the new X-rays would be used only if suspects agreed to undergo scans.

    How long will that last for?

    In the UK, airport body scanners were "optional" when introduced - it was obscene how quickly they became mandatory. The word "big fat lie" came to mind.

    More to the point, why are drugs banned? if I want to take drugs and someone wants to sell them to me, what's wrong with that?

    Why do we have a whole bunch of people taking money from us without our consent, deciding what we should or should not do, and then enforcing those rules upon us?

    • Why do we have a whole bunch of people taking money from us without our consent, deciding what we should or should not do, and then enforcing those rules upon us?

      They don't. You're free to move to another country and denounce your original citizenship. There are legitimate reasons to oppose government policies. That is not one of them.

      Or did you mean "Why do I have to pay for a package of government services, as opposed to only the ones that I like?"

      • Renouncing your US citizenship isn't as straightforward or as easy has you make it sound. You usually must first become a citizen of another country before the US will allow you to renounce your citizenship and that can take years or decades. During that time, assuming you find a country that will let you stay while you await citizenship, you're obligated to pay taxes to the US and you new home country. No country likes to give up give up a source of revenue.

        Electing to leave: A reader's guide to expatriati

  • From TFA: "Mr O'Connor said people carrying drugs inside their bodies could die if bags split or leak, so it was important to check as soon as possible." So my rights are being violated because some felon might kill themselves with their stupidity? Makes sense. I'll bend over now.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:02PM (#35302400)
    Now strip naked and get on the probulator.
  • by citking (551907) <jay&citking,net> on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:08PM (#35302500) Homepage

    I bet Ms. Janet Napolitano is wet just hearing about this*.

    I'm disappointed that this article is not from the Onion. Can no one realize that 9/11 was just a fluke and the likelihood of it happening again that way is astronomical (I know this is in Australia but I can almost guarantee that all heightened security is a direct result of 9/11, the British train bomb, and other random events)? Let's get rid of the security theater we have in place now and just live because life is pretty much bad enough as it is without having to invent reasons to make it even more miserable.

    I'd rather die on a hijacked plane than have to undergo full body cavity searches - at least my wife will be richer that way.

    *No need to thank me for that visual.

    • by morcego (260031) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:47PM (#35303044)

      Can no one realize that 9/11 was just a fluke

      It was not a fluke. It was so well planned that it doesn't ever need to happen again. The terrorists did the work once, and then left to the USA (and other) government to continue their work for them. Now, they can just sit back, relax and enjoy their ... hummm ... what do terrorist drink ?

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Well in Canada, I can say that we've had at least 3 to 4 dozen failed terrorist attempts since the Air India bombing. Yet we're able to get along pretty well without the government being hyper-invasive over everything(laws are generally modified to fit the times/issues--aka modifying the wiretap act to include electronic information and so on). Despite all the whining over the terrorism act, it's done it's job without a serious problem to the vast majority of Canucks.

      Really I think it's because the govern

  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:08PM (#35302508)
    "...annoyed TSA agents won't have to send you to a hospital for a body cavity scan", that's the ticket! conflate national health together with airport security. Prostate checks and weapons checks go hand in glove (and upwards where the sun don't shine). Health, safety, and a full pelvic exam, all at one stop. "uhm, no box cutter up here, but you might want to have this polyp removed at gate N17"
  • "The option of an internal body scan will more quickly exonerate the innocent and ensure a minimum of delay for legitimate travellers," Mr O'Connor said.

    news.com.au is the Australian counterpart of The Onion, I hope. Right?

    • by morcego (260031)

      Probably the Australian counterpart of Fox News, if they are buying this "optional" bullshit.

  • Trust the government to find a multi-million dollar replacement option for the 35 cents latex glove.
  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:12PM (#35302578)
    And soon when America imports these machines, the DHS will release a statement claiming that ionizing radiation is "completely harmless". The fun part is that the security officer in the picture is not using any sort of protective gear, so when she's dying of leukemia like so many radiologists have done, she can take comfort in that statement. Not only that, but it raises the following ethical questions: 1) Since when have security personnel been allowed to perform invasive medical procedures and 2) What happens when an obvious medical condition is clearly visible on one of these scans and ignored by unqualified security staff, resulting in a needless and preventable death - if only qualified personnel had seen it? But hey, the Nintendo generation will do whatever you tell them. No one cares anymore.
    • But hey, the Nintendo generation will do whatever you tell them. No one cares anymore.

      You better not be a Gen. X'er if you're gonna start that shit. I can dig up dirt on Baby Boomers too if you wanna play Generational Warfare.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:12PM (#35302584)
    From TFA:

    Specially trained customs officers would be authorized to screen the alleged smugglers.

    We can't count on actual medical personnel to be trained properly with regard to x-ray exposure levels...

    As Technology Surges, Radiation Safeguards Lag [nytimes.com]
    After Stroke Scans, Patients Face Serious Health Risks [nytimes.com]
    A Pinpoint Beam Strays Invisibly, Harming Instead of Healing [nytimes.com]
    Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm [nytimes.com]

  • When someone uses the phrase "exonerate the innocent", it just says that air travelers are presumed to be guilty of terrorist activities and have to prove themselves innocent. Not exactly an American ideal, but American ideals are all too readily sacrificed on the altar of security theater.

  • ...where's the personal touch??

  • I'm just wondering, why does the TSA officer wear rubber gloves. Isn't this supposed to be X-ray?

  • by JumperCable (673155) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:27PM (#35302792)

    In the US, they used to take X-rays of people's feet at shoe stores until they figured out that all of those unnecessary x-rays were a bad idea.

    http://www.museumofquackery.com/devices/shoexray.htm [museumofquackery.com]

    So what makes Australia think that subjecting innocent people to X-rays that have no medical basis is a good idea? What happens to the poor schmucks to get picked frequently for these types of searches?

    • Well to be fair, the reason why the dosage of that old shoe x-ray machine was so high was because it had to illuminate a phosphor screen to be immediately visible, like a CRT monitor. With modern digital x-ray film, such a machine could be used regularly with no consequential dose, like a dental x-ray but only to your feet (which are less susceptible to radiation damage than your head or chest). That being said, I'm still patently against these intrusive airport x-ray scans for a multitude of reasons. :p

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      As someone who hasn't successfully made it though a security checkpoint in the last 5 years without "random" additional screening (usually the explosives test) this scares me. I'd rather take the glove thanks.
  • If it didn't involve a trip to the hospital you can bet it will be employed much more often. In the past I'm sure there were times the suspicion wasn't great enough for the hassle of transporting to the hospital. Now that it's easier the # of scans will go way up.

    Would the people operating be trained medical professionals?

    TFA mentions destruction of the results. Heck, if I just had my lifetime limit of full body scans reduced by 1 I'd demand a copy. Why should I have to endure, and pay for, another one

  • "Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said the scanners would also help innocent travelers"

    We all know that after 9/11, there's no such thing as innocent travelers.
    The terrorists won, common sense and freedom were lost.

  • WTF is going on - really?

    "Drug couriers captured by Australian authorities at airports last year were carrying a total of 27kg of drugs."

    Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor, you sir are an ASSHOLE.
    • Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor

      Wow the Aussies really do have something over the US. Are these home affairs an opt-in type of deal, or does your federal taxes pay for it. Lastly, can you deliver to the US?

  • I already don't fly because of the TSA. I will not condone their behavior by complying like a sheep. They are a profoundly un-American entity, and must be de-funded and dismantled with prejudice immediately. Anyone who has chosen to work for them has self-selected for a one-way ticket to North Korea where they can enjoy the totalitarian paradise they're so strenuously trying to impose on the rest of us. They are not Americans who choose to do this; they are not my countrymen.

    TSA delenda est.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      If you don't fly because you don't like being groped by a night-watchman school dropout, then the terrorists have won!
  • That's not new. That's a standard AS&E Z-backscatter scanner. [as-e.com] The first one was installed in the US at Sky Harbor Airport, Pheonix, AZ in 2007. As of 2010, there are about 68 US airport installations.

    They're very expensive, bulky machines. AS&E just got a phase II R&D contract from Homeland Security to develop a smaller, more portable unit. That's hard, though. The technology requires that the detector be 90 degrees from the emitter, with respect to the target, so it sees the backscatter. Tha

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @02:51PM (#35303090)
    Can those who enjoy a good fisting still request to be probed the old fashioned way???
  • Is this talking about the TSA in the US? Or is there a TSA in the AU?
  • Alien larva living in my abdomen?
    Kree, Joffa!

    Seriously, just don't fly!

  • Here lies the presumption of innocence. 1793 - 2011. R.I.P.
  • You know, if a terrorist wanted to do damage, instead of getting on a plane, they could blow shit up ON THE GROUND! Like, say, in an airport full of people stuck waiting 5 hours to get on a fucking plane. There are more people in a public airport than in any single plane. Malls are even worse. Frankly, if someone wanted to "send a message" to the U.S., just do it on Black Friday amid the roving flash mobs of consumer whores.

    The world saw more plane hijackings in the 80's than in the 2000's. I'm way mor

  • Cavity - Internal - Airport...

    A three word combination that will make any bloke nervous...

    But I suppose some people would welcome this new technology:
    "In September 2000, a NZ radio DJ was convicted and fined $1100 after impersonating a detective from Interpol. He called Los Angeles police and claimed his three co-workers were trying to enter the United States with kiwi eggs hidden in their "rear cavities". The trio were subsequently held for two hours at LA Airport, questioned and searched."

    His colleagues d

  • Go to the airport. You'll get an X-ray, a breast exam, and if you mention Al Qu'eda you get a free colonoscopy!

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan

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