Fork over your forks

Surreal from Politico:

Forkless Friday at Obama event

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –Does a fork or dinner knife pose an unacceptable danger to President Barack Obama?

One wouldn’t think so, given the hundreds of lunches and dinners he’s attended ranging from state dinners to political fundraisers to run-of-the-mill stops on the rubber-chicken circuit.

However, at one such lunch Friday afternoon, guests heard an unusual announcement that they needed to hand over their silverware for security reasons.

“It’s very important that you use your utensils as soon as possible,” National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials board member Raquel Regalado told about 1000 delegates at the group’s annual conference.

Regalado hurried the diners to finish up their salads and pre-cut chicken breasts, saying that the Secret Service required that there be no knives at the tables and that the forks be rounded up before Obama entered the room.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    I HAVE heard that Obama is very tasty. Or perhaps it was tasteless.

  2. cresci says:

    They probably heard that “latinos armed with a knife” are more dangerous than an american armed with a firearm…

  3. contrarian says:

    This is pretty standard, isn’t it?
    If the prez goes into a restaurant to schmooze, the Secret Service comes in before to collect the silverware.
    Pretty sure this is standard practice.

    @ 1:40: “they took away all of our silverware, our forks and knives…”

  4. wmeyer says:

    I pray for all members of the Secret Service. They take pride in protecting the president, whoever he may be. And they try very hard not to be involved in politics. But they are almost certainly conservative men–the one agent I know is–and they must find their task very trying in these times.

  5. jflare says:

    Sounds like bureaucracy and risk assessment run amok to me.
    For pre-planned events, which this seems to be, I would think the Secret Service would have a pretty decent idea of the typical sentiments of the average member of the group for whom the President shall be speaking. That’d be a procedure that’s maybe a half-step beyond knowing who the audience IS in the first place.
    They have ample cause to know what the realistic threats might be.
    If they think there’s really THAT much hazard, likely they’d either make particular (mostly unnoticed) arrangements or they’d arrange for someone skilled in hand-to-hand combat to be near the President.

    Even so, someone has worries about a FORK??
    Or a dinner knife?


  6. Supertradmum says:

    Shouldn’t checks on people be done before they enter the dining hall? My goodness, look what we volunteers have to go through to teach Confirmation classes-background checks etc. I cannot imagine that the White House is less organized that the Diocese. Oh, wait, maybe…..

  7. StJude says:

    Interesting we can give the Mexican Cartel guns.. but Latino AMERICANS cant have forks.

  8. Burke says:

    Thinking back to Fr Z’s post about certain visitors to the White House giving portraits of past presidents the finger, maybe they’re afraid someone will give the current president the fork …

  9. NoTambourines says:

    “When sporks are outlawed, only criminals will have sporks.”

  10. Elizabeth M says:

    They must realize what an awful President he is to be this worried about someone harming him with a dinner knife.

  11. APX says:

    I’m not surprised by this considering the fork I forgot I was carrying in my purse one day was confiscated by court security.

  12. Indulgentiam says:

    After granting mariela castro a special visa I’m not real surprised. IMHO he shouldn’t be as worried about the people he’s facing as he is the people behind him. With people like castro, hustler magazines larry flynt, famous race baiter al sharpton and pedophile dan savage behind him he should really watch his back.

  13. tzard says:

    There’s a term for this:

    “Dinner Theater”

    Seriously, this is really called “Security Theater” – it’s not designed around real security threats, it’s meant to put up appearances. You may have seen this at an airport near you. A certain bureaucratic mindset is required – one that hopes one is not blamed if the unthinkable happens. And the source is not the agents themselves, but those higher up.

  14. disco says:

    The pigs didn’t use forks at Animal Farm

  15. acardnal says:

    @APX: I just have to ask, why do you carry a fork in your purse? And don’t say “doesn’t everybody”? :-)

  16. Vincent. says:

    stick a fork in him… ’cause he’s done!


  17. EXCHIEF says:

    I had the honor of providing protection to two Presidents, Reagan and George H.W Bush. In one of Reagan’s visits he hosted a state dinner for the President of Mexico at a large hotel and there were hundreds in attendance. All silverware, including steak knives, were allowed until the entire affair concluded. George H W Bush desired to “get away” while visiting my town and have dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Yes there was a pre-dinner sweep of the restaurant and one upstairs banquet room was set aside for he, Barbara, his Secret Service Detail and one of my officers and I. No restriction on silverware.

    Having said all that both Reagan and HW enjoyed much more popularity at the time than does the little Marxist pretender today.

  18. APX says:

    I stuck it in there so I would have a fork to eat my lunch at school. I was just running to the courthouse to pay a speeding ticket. I didn’t even know they had court security and checked bags. I’m from a province that doesn’t do court security.

  19. HeatherPA says:

    For a moment I thought this was going to be a post about Obama requesting brides to register at his website for their wedding- donations to him in lieu of gifts. This would be a great title for that outrageous nonsense.

  20. SKAY says:

    “With people like castro, hustler magazines larry flynt, famous race baiter al sharpton and pedophile dan savage behind him he should really watch his back.”

    Exactly — and that is just a short list of unsavory characters that surround him and his administration.

  21. Theodore says:

    “A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful and those that were faithful remain so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans. . . . But when you disarm them, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you.”. Machiavelli, The Prince

  22. acardnal says:

    @APX: may the fork be with you. :-)

  23. Supertradmum says:

    The more I think about this, the more it seems like a certain person is losing it…paranoia is a consequence of grandiose thinking.

  24. Laura98 says:

    I think Supertradmum might be right… scary thought.

    I dunno – for some reason this reminds me of the one time I had to go to the US Consulate in Germany to get my daughter’s Passport. I gave the Marines my bag to search and he pulls out a large screwdriver I had thrown in there… and looks at me very suspiciously. I look at him… look at my baby (2-3 months old) and simply said I have no idea why it was there… because it obviously belonged in a toolbox – but that since I haven’t slept in 2-3 months… I didn’t know the difference. He must have felt sorry for me because he cracked a smile and just took it away and let me go ahead. (Good thing I wasn’t dealing with TSA!)

  25. Navy Jeff says:

    Wait, they took knives away from the Latinos? RACIST!

    In all seriousness, though, the Global War on Terror has taken things to a new level of ridiculousness. EXCHIEF mentioning Reagan and HW Bush’s security speaks of a different time, and I don’t doubt a McCain administration would have the same controls in place, stupid as they are. I don’t think Obama’s calling the shots and telling them to get the silverware out of the room.

  26. Too bad we can’t have instruments of death taken from the hands of abortionist doctors! Seems that the president isn’t concerned about the unborn since they cannot vote.

  27. irishgirl says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard about ‘forking over your forks’ (and other sharp silverware) when eating in the presence of the president.
    @Hiermonk Gregory: Hear hear to what you said!
    @ APX: Last month I had to go to the local federal building (Social Security office), and I had to put my purse through the x-ray machine in the lobby. They noticed that I had a letter opener inside the purse (I was living at a homeless shelter at the time, so I was pretty much ‘living out of a suitcase’. I needed the letter opener to open any mail that was going to be forwarded to the shelter). I had to take it out, and all the security guys did was put a ‘tag’ on it. I was able to pick it up on the way out-no confiscation.
    On the other hand, when I was in the airport on the way to EWTN in Alabama in 2005, I had a pair of manicure scissors confiscated from my carryon bag on going through security.
    @ Laura98: Whoa, good thing you WERE only dealing with the US Marines in Germany, and not with the TSA! Yikes! At least the leatherneck was understanding!

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