Just to make it more interesting, please note that in my made-up scenario the man with the beard is Amish and entirely innocent. Further, the little old nun is the terrorist (not that there’s an order of exploding nuns). No, nuns are good, but terrorists are bad, and if only men in beards are searched, the bad guys will send fake nuns.
That in a nutshell is what is wrong with profiling at airports and by the IRS both. It goes to show that theories that are too cliched and need more thought (beer helps). Bill, of course, bought none of this. Because he’s my friend, now I will have to read one of the suggested books as a penance.
Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.