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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jane Austen's the Real Threat

The U. S. government is worried about James Fenimore Cooper. Not so much the dead novelist, but the Los Angeles banking executive who shares his name. Cooper is on the airline security "selectee list," which requires him to undergo additional screening every time he boards an airplane.

The government, citing security concerns, won't divulge how the list is compiled. So passengers who end up on it can only guess why they have been selected — unless one of the criteria is sharing the name of a 19th century American author.

Cooper, who has not researched his family history far enough back to know whether he is related to the author of "The Last of the Mohicans," has largely learned how to deal with the inconveniences of being on the selectee list. [Link]
Perhaps the feds came to their decision after reading Mark Twain's essay detailing "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses."

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