If you’re wondering why the seizure of my kids’ chocolate eggs is in the same book as one on war and terrorism and all the big-boy stuff, the answer is it’s part of the same story. To function, institutions have to be able to prioritize – even big, bloated, money-no-object SWAT-teams-for-every-penpusher institutions like the US Government. You can’t crack down on Kinder eggs, bagpipes and Ebola: At a certain point, you have to choose. My line with the Homeland Security guys is a simple one: every 20 minutes you spend on me, or my kids’ chocolate eggs, or Cameron Webster’s bagpipe is 20 minutes you’re not spending with the guy with Ebola, or Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The price of bagpipe scrutiny is a big hole blown in the lives of American families attending the Boston Marathon, or a bunch of schoolkids in Dallas having to be quarantined for a vicious, lethal disease.
But, of course, giving additional attention to West African visitors would be racist. Not like terrorizing Scotsmen over their bagpipes.