Here's the link to the transcript: PI, Jan 2, 2002
The big debate in this episode is over the decision to not require high school diplomas for airport baggage screeners. Everyone on the show with the exception of Dennis Prager thinks this is a horrible travesty.
Sample High Level Analysis:
Bill Maher: I saw old people on the news interviewed about this, and they were pretty much saying the same thing which is, "I don't like this that they don't have to have a high school diploma. I think it's awful."
Well, it's tough to argue with old people, but I have a question: Just what is there about being a baggage screener that requires a high school diploma? If people without diplomas aren't qualified to look at a scanner and recognize basic shapes from a list, just what are they qualified for? Let's be honest here: Baggage screening is a tedious, boring, repetitive, dull...zzzz Sorry. I nodded off there. Anyway, the point is that this is one job where education simply doesn't matter. You could put Cornell West himself in front of an X-ray machine, and within two days he'd be trying to make rap music by scanning a record album back and forth through the machine.
What you want in your baggage screeners is dogged determination, and persistence in being thorough despite the fact that the last time he saw a terrorist was back in the Johnson Administration. You want someone who just keeps plodding away, doing their job, day in and day out, while people get annoyed at them, in spite of the fact that the odds are that they personally will never thwart anything more than a conspiracy to smuggle a Cuban cigar home for Dad on Father's Day.
Best Joke on the show (Hey, Bill's still funny):
Well, the world's big hot spot has shifted here in the new year to the border between India and Pakistan, where they are currently trading mortar fire.
It could get a lot worse.
In fact, the conflict has already spilled over here to our shores between India and Pakistan. Yesterday, a cab driver rammed his car into a 7-Eleven.