Critical Thinking

An Oregon man who traveled to England by boat because of his apparent placement on the no-fly list was detained Monday upon his arrival in Great Britain, according to his family and lawyer.

Michael Migliore, a 23-year-old Muslim convert and dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, had been trying unsuccessfully for months to fly to Italy to live with his mother.

So starts the story from Huffington Post, Fox News and other media outlets.

Migliore says he was told earlier this year that he is on the no-fly list, though U.S. officials refuse to confirm it publicly. He believes he is on the list because he refused to be interviewed without a lawyer by FBI agents after an acquaintance was charged last year in a plot to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon.

He ended up traveling by Amtrak from Portland to New York, where he took a trans-Atlantic cruise that arrived in England on Monday. The trip took more than a week.

Upon arrival, though, he was apparently detained by British authorities.

We then hear the thoughts of Migilore’s mother before his lawyer, Gadeir Abbas – Council on American-Islamic Relations, chimes in.

“We don’t know where he is,” Abbas said in a phone interview. Because of his placement on the list, Migliore “was forced to travel like he was living in the 19th century. What was waiting for him on the other side of the Atlantic was more oppression.”

Hang on a moment. I’ve lost interest (for now) in Migilore’s plight. What turgid twist of happenings are we sold by Mr. Abbas? “19th Century Travel?” I checked the arrivals into England from New York today (12th September) and the one Cruise Liner arriving into England (Southampton) from New York (departure info here) is the Queen Mary II.

The current Cunard flagship, Queen Mary II – QM2 – is quite possibly the most luxurious form of travel, ever. The newest, largest ship of the Cunard fleet, the list of indulgences on offer beggars belief.

But then Mr. Abbas is not concerned for his client’s travel arrangements. No, he has a case to win and a sympathy vote from the public to obtain.

What in the end could be a very stupid line that damages rather than helps his client’s cause turns out to be a nice little reminder about that importance about the employment of critical thinking skills when reading, well, anything.