The terrorist from Nigeria won
by Pravin, Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 05:17:32 AM EST
I was amused by some idiot CNN reporter wondering how we can be truly 100% safe. I have news for these fearmongerers. No one is 100% safe. We can only implement prudent measures and hope for the best. We have a higher chance of getting hurt in a routine traffic accident. Yet no one suggests overreacting by reducing speed limits to dented bumper only speeds.
I have been complaining about the ridiculous TSA procedures for years now. I don't mind common sense screening. But the set of screening items has become incredibly bloated. So how did that stupid 3 oz liquid rule limitation work out? If you keep overburdening semi competent TSA employees with way too many rules, you risk them missing out on obvious screening of, hmm, let's say, EXPLOSIVE DEVICES. Oh, throw that 10oz contact lens solution out. I FEEL SO SAFE. But you know what, we might occasionally miss out on a bomb or a pair of knives(which one of my colleagues accidentally brought on board in her carry on recently). Yeah, that makes sense. Let's go back to common sense security. Seriosuly, what is going to prevent 5 terrorists from combining their five 3oz volumes of liquids into one "GIANT" 15oz liquid container once they go past security? Or just by repeated attempts, terrorists can keep trying to get that one incompetent TSA agent who will overlook something obvious.
If an isolated terrorist incident does occur, a repeat of 9-11 wont happen because the other passengers will take out this guy. I know, if a terrorist is unlucky to sit next to me, and he tries something, I am taking him out. If enough of these terrorist incidents end with passengers rendering them useless, terrorists will have to look at other ways of spreading terror like maybe shooting people in a city square with readilty available semi automatic guns.
I travel frequently on business and I am sick of having to travel with idiot leisure travelers who represent cowardice with their "oh I will put up with anything in the name of security." I have already stopped taking flights for trips I can drive in less than 7 hours. If airlines keep losing money, blame this idiocy.
Hey, no need to add restrictions like forcing people not to use their laptops in the final hour of flights as reported today.That is such an idiotic overreaction. Should we all travel at 20mph on highways to save the many deaths that take place during holiday travel? Do we close down bars entirely to avoid any possibiity of DUIs? Should bars have screeners for every single customer , and not just the obvious superdrunk guy, in parking lots to prevent people from leaving drunk?Here is another link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-feldman/lax-among-airports-hit-by_b_404579.html
And then, there is my favorite new and maybe dumbest security measure just implemented on international flights: Passengers must remain in their seats with nothing on their laps for the entire final one hour of their flight. It is not clear at this point whether domestic flights will soon be subject to the same nonsense. And, nonsense it is! The notion appears to be that since the Nigerian passenger involved in the Christmas Day incident opted to ignite his explosive device as the jet was landing in Detroit--and thus over a populated, urban area--this would be the best time to keep passengers from moving about. (He apparently had gotten up first to go to the bathroom where, presumably, he readied his contraption for ignition.) Give me a break! On international flights into LAX, it is the last hour when many passengers need to get their things together, make one last run for the bathroom, or, if traveling with an infant, use the time for one, last diaper change. Making them sit glued to their seats is not only unworkable, but potentially cruel.
Guess what. The terrorist from Nigeria has already won even if he failed to take a single life. He has instilled fear among the dumb media talking heads and the stupid people who listen to them. That is good enough for the islamic fanatics.Update [2009-12-28 10:29:12 by Pravin]:Thanks to Jerome's link, I saw this amusing rant on the TSA's idiocy. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/tsa_making_flying_more_miserable/#comment-1282417
This is mind-numbingly stupid. As Radley Balko notes, these measures wouldnt even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend. The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device. And the passenger who confronted him got out of his seat to do it. Were simply going to make people miserable for no apparent reason. There have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft. All of them clownishly inept and easily thwarted by the passengers. How many tens of thousands of flights have been incident free? And, yet, were going to make hundreds of thousands of people endure transcontinental flights without reading materials or the ability to use the restroom? At least for domestic flights, we have the ability as consumers to tell TSA to stick it and just drive. More of us are making that choice all the time. But theres no real alternative to flight for overseas travel. Steve Bainbridge wonders, Has TSA ever considered the possibility that maybe the terrorists arent really interested in blowing up a plane. Maybe the terrorists figure they win everytime we in the West spend millions of man-hours being hassled, inconvenienced, and generally put upon by a myriad of stupid security measures.
Update [2009-12-30 16:56:1 by Pravin]:I have good news, at least for Newark based travelers. I traveled domestically from Newark this morning. I am happy to say that common sense prevailed in the airport. I will tip my hat to the Newark branch of TSA for not changing a single thing today. They still got that silly liquid rule they had in the past, but it wasn't made more expansive(I hear reports of some airports, especially internationally, using TSA as an excuse, to get passengers to throw out even 3oz bottles). The security line moved at the usual pace. I went to the airport at 5 for a 6:20am flight and still made it with plenty of time. The TSA personnel at the airport were pleasant. Someone brought a Nintendo Wii brand new and she wasn't forced to open up the entire box. So common sense prevailed. My mother had her medication in her carryon and she didn't even have to put them in those silly transparent bags. The flight left on time and reached my destination 20 min early. The only bad thing I noticed is some passengers for later flights came way too early and it increased the checkin lines multifold. Luckily I checked in online with my bag and so some counter lady let people like us skip the line to check in our bag as it only took a few seconds. The inflight experience was identical to preChristmas days. I used my coat as a blanket because it was cold. I saw someone use a laptop.