Nailclippers! don't forget nailclippers... we must maintain the safety and integrity of the
waitress'... stewardess'... flight-attendant's fingernails while they're working to keep us safe from The TERRORISTS!
As long as they don't have a metal file, they should not be confiscating your nail clippers.
We traveled earlier this week and my 5 yr olds backpack was sent into secondary inspection to get swabbed down. Those crayons are a huge threat! Yet when we moved to Philly earlier this summer, there was some dude cleaning out his fingernails with a switchblade on the plane. A SWITCHBLADE.
Sorry this is off target, but how is little Clark Kent? I don't use Facebook, so can't get updates.
he's doing better, was on FOX news, a bunch of bikers from NYC drove down to visit him and apparently it's gotten so crazy with people stopping by to give him stuff that they've posted asking that people stop dropping by because they can't handle the visitors. He has lots of adoption applications, but there are many many many other kitties that City Kitties is fostering that don't have people yet, some who were in just as bad shape as Clark when they came in.
It sounds like we will eventually be safe from air travel at all as they discourage more and more air travelers.
Agreed. We should model our security on the Israeli system, which is great. They xray your bags you go through a metal detector for weapons, but the real security part is really when they ask you a series of questions and look you in the eye as you are going through security, and they gauge whether you might be a terrorist or not based on your response,and if you look like you're unhinged or crazy or on edge they will take you aside for further searches/questioning. The questions that everyone gets are things like "where are you coming from and where are you going" "why are you traveling today" "did anyone help you pack your bags" "are you carrying a package for someone else" "have your bags been out of your sight since you got to the airport." Etc.
In fact IIRC Italy's security is pretty much like that too- mostly questions and a conversation face to face with someone, plus x rays/metal detector. No virtual strip down, no taking off your shoes/jacket/belt/sweaters to get through, no confiscating stupid things like lighters and nail clippers and shampoo.
Instead we have people protecting us from having nice hair when we travel and have basically no human contact at all when going through security, other than the people who initial your tickets and don't look at you at all..and this is supposed to keep us "safer?"
why do we even have to get rid of shampoo again? Or can't bring regular size toothpaste? Is it to boost up the travel size shampoo/toothpaste industry?
"why do we even have to get rid of shampoo again? Or can't bring regular size toothpaste? Is it to boost up the travel size shampoo/toothpaste industry?"
Well, the theory is that instead of shampoo being in the container, someone could put some sort of flammable/explosive substance in there. But I agree that the Israeli security idea is much better.
Why, that would because of a failed liquid explosive plot that a) never got around to transpiring, because it b) was caught by traditional detective methods.
Yes, but the Israeli system requires actual training and actual funding, unlike the security theatre nonsense, so for heaven's sake, we can't do *that*.
really, we just need to get together and work things out in a caring and gentle manner, if that is even possible for hungry humans to imagine..
Yes, but that has its own problems, too. A traveller who's frazzled for ANY reason at all - being late, travelling today because they're racing to their dying mother's bedside, travelling with two fractious kids who are 2 years and 0.5 years old respectively - becomes a target. And to be PERFECTLY honest about it, questions like "where are you coming from and where are you going" and "why are you travelling today" make me want to snarl a reply (other than "it's REALLY none of your business") along the lines of something snarkily philosophical and existential to the first question ("I came from the darkness and then I was enlightened and hopefully I am going to heaven one day") and something literal and practical to the second ("why am I travelling today? Because I couldn't get a flight yesterday and tomorrow is going to be too late for me to do the thing that I am travelling in order to accomplish")
You won't get rid of any more "terrorists" by the "papers please" approach than you ever did by confiscating nail clippers. Yes, a certain amount of security is important - but determined attackers can make weapons of almost anything (and there's plenty of anything on any airplane) and TRAINED determined attackers are perfectly capable fo lying believably when it comes to those invasive questions that innocent people then have to stump up to. ANd what have we achieved? Nothing at all.
I won't be flying again if I don't absolutely have to. The world just got a whole heap smaller. And no, I don't blame the TERRORISTS for that.
No, I imagine you probably wouldn't actually antagonize the security officers like that. Just like you don't joke around about bombs when you do have to go through airports these days. Sure, security can be obnoxious, but when it comes right down to it you're not going to inconvenience everyone behind you in line just because you have a bone to pick with how things are done. The social pressures are just too great.
And you may be confusing polygraph tests (in which any sort of agitation shows up as a lie) with real behavioral screening. People travel for all sorts of reasons, some everyday, some desperate, and some malicious. The Israeli system isn't looking for "everyday" vs. "everything else", they're looking for "everything else" vs. "malicious".
And is it perfect? No, of course not. No system is perfect. But they are REALLY GOOD at it. Think about it this way: when it comes to human vs. machine (for example, terrorists vs. metal detectors, or full-body scanners, or polygraph machines, or whatever), with enough preparation and training, the human can beat the machine every time, because the machine acts and responds the same way every time. But human vs. human? It depends on the training, experience, and talent. There is no one so good at spotting lies that they can tell exactly what anyone else is thinking, but just the same there is no one so good at lying that they can fool everyone.
My guess is that there are two main reasons the US hasn't adopted a similar system: (a) we as a culture have a love affair with technology and can't imagine there's any problem it can't solve, and (b) Israel has a lot less air commerce. To do it right in the US would require so vastly much more funding than even the ineffective and expensive systems we have in place now, and doing it wrong would have the same effect as we have today: travelers having their privacy violated for no tangible security benefit.
I think that the only effective, tenable solution for the US would be to get better intelligence on terrorist threats, to stop them before they even get to the airport. Or to the train station. Or subway. And, while I'm sure the various intelligence branches are working on that very problem, we've put so much money and effort into the fiction of "we can stop them at the airport" that I don't think we're ever likely to see a slackening of airport security measures.
... so the next step is full body cavity searches and polygraph tests for every passenger before boarding an aircraft?...
Shoot me now.
That's the direction I'd say it's going, yeah. I did see an article at one point about a machine that does non-invasive body cavity scans that they use on prisoners to detect contraband. Gee, isn't that a fun thought.
I'm with you on this one - Israel is doing it as right as it can be. A friend travels all over that area constantly, and he feels that we need to adopt their system Profiling? You bet. Working? Yes.
The 6-oz bottles? The 3-oz limit is defined by the fact that that plot in England that was thwarted exposed the plan. Pre-made concoctions including Hydrogen Peroxide and Tang, among other things, that were injected into "sealed" drink bottles that had been drained through a drilled hole, refilled with a syringe, and resealed. Any amount of that mixture exceeding 3 ounces can be induced to explode causing enough of a cabin pressure change to bring the flight down. For the record, elsewhere, Tang can be purchased in many flavors meaning many colors.
Inconvenient for most of us? Yes, but given the fact they will never stop trying, I'll cope.
Edited at 2011-11-29 10:54 am (UTC)
Oh, and note that the container can be almost empty, but if it's marked as originally containing over 3oz (or 100ml, technically), that's also a no-no. (I lost a "6oz" tube of toothpaste containing maybe 1oz that way.
Also note: If that stuff is so dangerous it can't be taken on a plane, why it is all dumped in a standard trashcan right next to the security line? Either it's very dangerous, or it isn't.
but kyle, the ex dhs head, chertoff, is getting rich off myopic meaningless solutions. isnt that really what is important?
Such are the wages of fear! People allowed and voted this in! *shrugs* I mean see the relocation camps for Japanese Americans during WWII. It's amazing what a government will get away with under the guise of "Protection of the people and it's sovereign soil!" *chuckles*
All in pursuit of something impossible to fulfill - 100% safety.
Freedom doesn't equal guaranteed safety. This is going more and more the route of totalitarianism. Eventually, even that hypothetical frog would realize the pot of water that's been getting turned up higher and higher is boiling...
I want to post "*this*" under virtually everyone above's post. Consider this as that.
One of the biggest problems is now that the security theater is in place, I suspect that no politician dare removes it. (Which is a shame and why we need to work on stopping these things before they ever start.) I say this because when the next incident happens, it *will* be blamed on the removal of any procedures, even if those procedures would have done nothing to stop the incident from actually happening. And the folks that removed those procedures will be blamed as well. This is my cynical outlook. I hope I'm wrong and we can scale back our environment of fear.
2011-11-28 09:53 pm (UTC)
You said it.. even if there are politicians reasonable enough to see that the cost:benefit ratio of the DHS and TSA is nowhere near what it should be, nobody wants to be the guy who pushed for it to be disbanded once the next terrorist attack happens--and it will happen, sooner or later, despite DHS/TSA.
What bugs me is the money involved. In the past 10 years, 5.6 MILLION Americans died of cancer, around 3,000 died from terrorists (mostly on 9/11). Yet the amount of money spent by the federal gov't on cancer research is absolutely minuscule compared to DHS and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We've spent more on the TSA in 10 years than we've spent on NASA in its entire history. Where's the value? It drives me crazy. Maybe if we invested in science and education and actually working to advance humanity as a whole, we'd not be so much a target of hatred that needs such a huge military and defense infrastructure, you know?
I joke(?) that I may never see my parents again because my dad and I are so disgusted by every aspect of flying these days we go out of our way to avoid it.