TSA's Failure Based On The Myth Of Perfect Security

from the it's-not-happening dept

As the complaints against the TSA ratchet up, various people are finally starting to point out why the whole concept of security theater is a farce. The entire setup is based on the idea that you can have "perfect security." But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever. As James Fallows notes it doesn't make much sense to "spend limitlessly toward the impossible end of reducing the risk to zero." As he notes:
Every society accepts some risks as part of its overall social contract. People die when they drive cars, they die when they drink, they die from crime, they die when planes go down, they die on bikes. The only way to eliminate the risks would be to eliminate the activities -- no driving, no drinking, no weapons of any kind, no planes or bikes. While risk/reward tradeoffs vary between, say, Sweden and China, no nation accepts the total social controls that would be necessary to eliminate risk altogether.

Yet when it comes to dealing with terrorism, politicians know that they will not be judged on the basis of an "acceptable level of risk." They know that they can't even use that term when discussing the issue. ("Senator Flaccid thinks it's 'acceptable' for terrorists to blow up planes. On Election Day, show him that politicians who give in to terror are 'unacceptable' to us.") And they know for certain that if -- when -- a plane blows up with Americans aboard, then cable news, their political opponents, Congressional investigators, and everyone else will hunt down any person who ever said that any security measure should be relaxed.

This is the political tragedy of "security theater."
Along those lines, the Unqualified Offerings blog (via Julian Sanchez) does a nice job explaining how the incentives line up to create this ridiculous situation. Basically, he notes that a terrorist attack on an airplane will happen. Some day. No matter what we do to try to prevent it. But once that happens, the response is going to be obvious: those who pushed hard for more ridiculous security theater that wasn't implemented will keep their jobs and retain power. Those who pushed for more reasonable solutions will be vilified.
100% success is usually impossible in the real world. Given that eventually, one way or another, a terrorist will almost certainly take down a plane, the only question that management has to ask itself is what position they want to be in when that happens. And that answer is simple: Safe in their jobs, and poised to inherit a bigger budget.
And that's why we get security theater.

The goal isn't so much actual safety. After all, as Jim Harper notes, if you look at the actual "risk" of a terrorist attack on an airplane today, it's pretty close to zero. But the whole process is built around trying to bring it all the way to zero, which is an impossibility, but leads to ridiculous extremes. And, he notes, this is exactly how the terrorists planned it:
This is apostasy in Washington -- where the political imperative is zero risk. But risk is a reality of life. We take risks when we drive, when we walk across a street and when we go to the fridge for that two-day-old slice of pizza.

This illusory quest for zero risk helps terrorism achieve its goals. As news of "Operation Hemorrhage" -- smaller, low-cost attacks aimed to disrupt commerce and stoke fears -- demonstrates clearly, terrorism works by inducing target states to overreact. That's the only mode terrorists have for affecting major powers like the United States.

We've been nothing if not a patsy to their strategy. The element of surprise, central to terrorism, forces us to defend everything against every mode of attack -- a logic that naturally bleeds us.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    darryl, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    TSA's Failure Based On The Myth Of Perfect Security

    No Mike, they do not work on the basis of trying to achieve perfect security, they work on the basis that NO SECURITY CAN EVER BE PERFECT.

    They know they cannot find everything, and KNOW that the 'enemy' will try different things, they know there will be new developments that will get around their present systems.

    No Mike, they dont work on 'perfect security' as a goal, they work on trying to keep up with, and ahead of the enemy, they do find things, and they also find things that they should of found earlier, its a dynamic thing, there is no "we now can do all this, therefore we have perfect security".

    NO. Mike once again, you're entire premise is wrong.

    So what are you saying, if SOME things can possibly get through the system, we might as well scrap the system alltogether, and let everything through.. Good one Mike !!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Ask yourselves this, why 9/11 didn't happen in Israel?
    Terrorist try all the time but they don't get much out of Israel so they go after softer targets like the U.S. that gives them everything they want "Fear".

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    I gather that the following site is a sort of strange conspiracy think tank one but I somehow got sent there via convoluted means looking at latest TSA fiasco.

    And well.. It sort of has a scary point and I guess only time will tell

    Infowars: TSA needs false flag security incident to convince Americans to accept obscene pat-downs [and the links on every second word on that page are annoying in the extreme!]

    Especially after the latest announcement by Glenn Beck talking to Luke Tait (the kid who shot the video of young boy with shirt off) is true... that the Boy has Autism

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:17pm

    Re: No, darryl as usual you are wrong from the start..

    ... they do find things ...

    What have they ever found?

     

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    ted leski, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Not a Myth

    You guys are ridiculous trying to make something out of nothing in order to fuel more threats. Whats the big deal with being scanned or patted down at an airport before you fly?

    Nothing.

    Are you the same people who would trip over your own feet and sue a retail outlet by trumping it up just to stick it to "The Man"?

    Get over it. and Move on.

    However I know people like this and my Gramps is one of them who makes a business out of false claims and trumped charges. The ridiculous thing is he makes his lies sound so plausible and legal.

     

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    Luke Smith (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:36pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    So what are you saying, if SOME things can possibly get through the system, we might as well scrap the system alltogether, and let everything through.. Good one Mike !!!

    No, what he is saying is that there are much more clear and present risks in our lives that we, if we were to be a bit more clinical, should focus our money, effort and fear on.

    We should spend money (inconvenience and privacy violation should have value, too) in proportion to the *actual* risk.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Not a Myth

    You guys are ridiculous trying to make something out of nothing in order to fuel more threats. Whats the big deal with being scanned or patted down at an airport before you fly?

    Cool. I agree. What's the big deal with keeping your personal details private. Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    Nothing.


    Nothing.

    So, come on, if you wish to post again, those are the new requirements. Obviously no big deal. We only do it to make sure that you are who you say you are for security purposes.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    a system that is not effective is just as good as not existing.

    so yeah, mike is correct, and your statement confirms it.

     

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    Philip (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Not a Myth

    There's a certain level of security people will accept before they feel Big Brother is poking too much in their business. Look at nude pictures of you, having somebody feeling up your privates are clearly over the line of acceptability.

    People just want to get on a plane and get to their next destination. It's no different than getting on a bus, train, or in a taxi.

     

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    Michial Thompson, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    WOW

    Little Mikee;

    We finally agree on something :) I have to admit that now I have an explanation as to why it's been so cold here in Texas, Hell has finally frozen :)

    Mike, here's a suggestion though, since the nutcases that are all for this new security crap has started trolling the comments, how about we simply find a reputable source of statistics on who is actually backing these security practices. And not just the scan/pat down, but rather the entire process of the TSA...

    My guess is that the loudest supporters of these security practices RARELY fly, or are exempt from the security lines. I have said this since 9-11 and I will keep saying it.

    But if you do an article like this, drop your own nutcase sounding rhetoric about it being all about big business making money, and do some real research. Not just the money but the social groups that are supporting it...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    What about the inevitable "vagina bomber"? Once a plane gets blown up by a woman carrying a baby-shaped bomb in her uterus, will you be in support of banning pregnant women from planes, or offering them free abortions?

     

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    jrad, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:49pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    I disagree. "Perfect security" would prevent those eventual terrorists. However, security is never perfect. Adam Savage of Mythbusters recently got onto a plane with two twelve in razor blades in his pocket after a full body scan. What Mike is getting at is excessive security-you know, pat downs of three year old children and the like. Luggage check is okay. Metal detectors have spotted various devices. But the full body scan is not only invasive, its ineffective.
    You are a prime example of someone who would be compelled by the 'security theater.' No amount of security is going to stop terrorists. What if terrorists just start bombing terminals? Or other buildings? Should we put ridiculous security measures everywhere?

    Benjamin Franklin said, "Those that will give up liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." We accept certain risks for our actions. If you are afraid that 1 in 10 planes will have a terrorist, then you shouldn't fly. But those of us who care about freedom, privacy, and too much government control will go on with our lives with the knowledge of the risks we take.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Not a Myth

    While we're at it, why don't we start using these new TSA procedures in schools? I'm sure it would cut down on all the shootings, stabbings etc etc. No parent would think that having their kid groped or having their naked self taken a picture of would do any harm. After all, it's all for security, right? Right?

     

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    Old Fool (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:47am

    Terrorists have already won.

    The whole point of terrorism is to instil fear, Bin Laden didn't expect America to surrender or give in to his demands. Every time someone is searched its score one to terrorism.
    I can see him now, sitting next to a swimming poll saying "Come on guys, pay up, the bet was I could get Americans to look up each others Assholes - and I did!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:26am

    Re: Not a Myth

    Radiotation

     

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    Pete Austin, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:27am

    Better hope that North Korea doesn't sell nukes

    "A new Bloomberg report reveals that more than nine years after 9/11, less than one percent of the 14.5 million cargo boxes reaching U.S. shores are scanned for nuclear material, according to the federal government."
    http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-chicago/less-than-1-percent-of-cargo-scan ned-for-bombs

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 3:41am

    Re: Not a Myth

    And what it is wrong with the courage to say "I will not be intimidated by death threats"

    What happened to "You could kill me but will never take my resolve or dignity"

    Those measures take away the dignity of anyone except those that are exempt from it.

    Do you like people running their fingers on your but crack? touching your junk?

    If I did that in public to anyone I would be in jail labeled as a sex offender but now that it is the government that is somehow ok?

    You may not value your rights or be to scared I'm not.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 3:52am

    The myopic focus on airplanes...

    ...(and as Big Sis has threatened, trains, and other means of transportation) is incredibly, off-the-scale stupid.

    Some of the things that terrorists have demonstrated are superior intelligence, strategic insight, and ingenuity -- all qualities that are lacking in the TSA et.al. because (a) they hire people with inferior minds and (b) they enforce regimented thinking, hobbling those inferior minds further. The end result is an agency whose aggregate intellectual ability is constrained by the least among them. They are absolutely no match for any terrorist worth the label.

    Which is why, when the next attack comes, it will be unexpected. It will either completely evade all this expensive and offensive security theater, or it will exploit it. (As many have pointed out, building a passenger-choked security checkpoint is equivalent to building a target.) It will likely be massive, and absent some plain old blind dumb luck, it will probably be successful. We could spend 10X, 100X as much defending against it and we would still be (nearly) guaranteed to fail.

    That's the reality that a lot of lesser individuals just can't accept: they want a risk-free world and foolishly believe that if they spend enough, endure enough, give up enough, they can get it. Without realizing it, they have become the terrorists' allies and patsies: they now embody the very fear that was the goal of past attacks. They are providing terrorists with continuing ROI -- no doubt much to the satisfaction and amusement of our adversaries, who have gotten far more out of their inconsequential attacks than even they could have hoped for.

    (Yes, inconsequential. Over the past decade, 270 Americans/year have died as a result of terrorists attacks, most of them on 9/11/2001. 70,000 Americans a year have died due to diseases contracted during (unrelated) hospital stays. Nearly half a million a year have died due to diseases, principally heart disease, linked directly to tobacco consumption. And so on. In the big picture, deaths due to terrorism are completely negligible.)

     

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    Enricosuarve, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:10am

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    I'm with you apart from the "metal detectors have spotted various devices".

    When?

    Seriously this is not intended as a put down, but one of my favourite questions to people is "when was the last time this theatre actually caught anyone?" I would be genuinely interested if anyone has any examples since the 80s of a metal detector catching a terrorist at an airport.

     

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    Enricosuarve, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:11am

    Re:

    9/11 also didn't happen in Sweden - am I also allowed to ask myself the question as why not?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:14am

    Security is not just being protected from death

    Security is not just being protected from being killed or maimed by the effects of a bomb.

    Security is also being protected against being offensively touched in your private parts.

    Security is also being protected against unnecessary exposure to cancer-causing radiation.

    The TSA is making travelers less secure. And people are starting to notice.

     

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    Enricosuarve, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Not a Myth

    Radiotation? whats that? The scientific explanation of disco?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Bad example.

    A metal detector should never catch a terrorist (or any other criminal for that matter), simply because everyone knows what metal detectors detect (metal) and how to avoid setting it off (do not carry metal with you when going through one).

    A metal detector, instead, prevents terrorists (and other criminals) from being able to easily bring guns on airplanes. Not because it catches them with a gun, but because they will not bring a gun in the first place, knowing they would get caught if they tried.

    This also means that it will stop most terrorist plans which require bringing guns to a plane. And if the terrorist does not have any idea for an alternative plan, it can completely avoid a terrorist act. But no one will ever know, since they did not get caught.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    This also means that it stop most terrorist plans which require bringing guns to a plane.

    And of course we all saw how that was a significant impediment on 9/11/2001. Yes, the inability of terrorists to take guns onto a plane completely thwarted the attacks and they were unable to...oh...wait a minute...

    (Let me also point out that the metal detectors don't stop guns from being brought to a security checkpoint. Of course thanks to the TSA we know that terrorists only want to kill people when they're airborne and won't harm them when they're on the ground.)

     

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    Mr. Oizo, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:42am

    Remarkable

    Remarkably one sided type of comments this time. I think TSA took notice of your blog :-)

     

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    Johnny, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    Balance lost

    Terrorism didn't stop me from flying, but I am sure as hell not flying in or via the USA with the risk of being sexually harassed by the TSA.

    The TSA succeeded where terrorism failed.

     

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    redcrym, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    Nothing is perfect, TSA's extreme security will not even make things perfect. Things will happen if it's destined to happen. Though i do agree that their motive is to protect but it's over the line.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    That is the response the politician gives.

    When the accident does happen, you point out that you moved money from the lower risk to the higher risk. You then bring out a chart that shows how many died in planes and in cars and explain in graphic terms that the opponent preferred to let 100,000 die for the sake of 10,000 (or whatever the math yields) -- ie, preferred to let 90,000 extra people die!

     

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    Enricosuarve, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Good point - since terrorists never innovate and ceramic guns and knives were never invented.

    Seriously I see your point but all it does is hinder the stupid terrorists, and given how dumb the shoe bomber and underpants bombers were and that they got through you have to wonder just how stupid they have to be.

    Meanwhile the rest of us are being forced to hand over nail clippers in case we decide to hold the cabin crew’s toe nails to ransom.

    So yeah - pure theatre, I live near an airport and know from experience that the only bits with any real security are those which the travelling public come into contact with, the rest not so. Ask any soldier for example exactly how many troops you need to keep a 5mile+ perimeter fence secure and I bet the answer is a lot more than the tiny amount of cops at an airport - ask him if he'd trust a single chain link fence and I bet he'd have some opinions too...

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Not a Myth

    I've thought a few times that perhaps the fear with planes is that 9/11 was aimed at the nation's leadership and that still has them rattled to that point that any existing defenses they view as not good enough and that more needs to be done. [Note that these leaders skip the hassles they ask others to go through.]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    What about the inevitable "vagina bomber"?
    Well thank you for that image that I'm now probably going to have to have sugically removed from my brain.

    Personally I'd be more concerned about the guy that simply bribes the guys running the security for a paltry salary to let him through while coming up with some plausible reason why to allay their suspicions that have already been supressed by the application of cash.

    Or if you really must have a dramatic image for it, then how about the long-term terrorist who gets to congress (it is your congress that are pretty much exempt from security, right?), or the guy who becomes the congressman's aid and replaces his undies with explosive ones. "CONGRESSMAN BLOWS UP PLANE - LINKS TO AL QUAEDA" sounds like a good headline for terror don't you think?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    with faked evidence and lies doesn't hesitate to stage "terrorism". Trillions and global empire are at stake. Does anyone think that our leaders are so principled they'd hesitate to kill a few citizens to bring about conditions that raise them to virtual dictator?

    Learn the lessons of Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin incident that started the Vietnam war (officiallly, US was actually there prior) is now admitted to be a faked pretext, as was known to Johnson and McNamara at the time.

    Nope, The Rich and Powerful stick at nothing, and *most* of alleged terrorism in the world is started by or carried out by US/UK/Israeli intelligence agencies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re:

    9/11 also didn't happen in Sweden - am I also allowed to ask myself the question as why not?
    Ummmm because the only place Sweden has tried to invade was England a thousand years ago and the only things they try and push out to the world are vodka and pr0n? Just a guess.......

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    Nope, The Rich and Powerful stick at nothing, and *most* of alleged terrorism in the world is started by or carried out by US/UK/Israeli intelligence agencies.
    A nice film plot, but [citation needed]

     

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    Red, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Let them eat their own dogfood

    It should be mandatory for all TSA management to be subjected to the complete TSA procedure at least once a week. Or maybe it should be applied to members of Congress. Just to show people that there is nothing wrong with some groping and cavity searches.

     

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    Enricosuarve, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That was kind of my point - that maybe the solution to the problem is not more security but to stop being bastards to the rest of the world?

    Incidentally when was the last time you saw any Swedish porn? That's become an American thing too, one more thing to be proud of.

    To the original question in the thread and with my sarcasm filter turned off I think part of the reason it didn't happen in Israel is two fold

    1. There are so many terrorist strikes on both sides in Israel it would have less impact.
    2. Whilst America isn't exactly the world’s nice guy a lot more people empathize with America than Israel so again more shock value.

    And that’s without even mentioning the conspiracy theories that Israel funded 9/11 ;0)

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a Myth

    It was the first word they came up with when they invented the "scan" button on tuners. Thankfully, they changed it to scan.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    "911 Mysteries"
    "How Money Works"
    "Zeitgeist"

    Available on YouTube or your friendly bittorrent "site."

     

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  39.  
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    Christopher (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Finally, someone gets it....

    This 'security theater' that the TSA is doing is all about putting money into the pockets of various corporations, WITHOUT having any real effect on the 'safety' of people on planes.

    Now, somethings are okay and add security: metal detectors without having to take your shoes off.... that actually prevents people from bringing planes or cartridges on board.

    This other stuff? Not so much, it just adds a BIG inconvenience to flyers AND no real security benefit.
    In fact, it just encourages suicide bombers to BOMB THE AIRPORT TERMINAL!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    TSA isn't doing enough to keep us safe. Full cavity searches for everyone.

     

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    dev, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    a system is that is not effective is actually worse than not existing.

    It promotes a false sense of security, prevents better methods, and is expensive. On a positive note, at least it keeps the bureaucracy busy

     

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    dev, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    what about the guy that just opens the emergency exit while in flight

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    And confiscate copyrighted material if you don't have a receipt(proving you have a license for it) on your person, just like having to show your driving license. After all, pirating supports terrorism./s

     

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    The Great Gak, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    9/11 didn't happen in Israel because it wouldn't have produced the desired outcome. Bin Laden said many, many times before and after that his goal was to bankrupt the U.S. by provoking it into an overreaction.

     

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    Jonty, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 9:37am

    A Solution perhaps?

    I'll start by saying i'm opposed to the d*ck measuring device and the seletive enhanced fondling procedures which have been put in place for 'our own protection'.

    Would it not be a sensible compromise to have trained police sniffer dogs to locate any explosive materials anyone was possibly carrying. They could then walk through the usual equipment that detects keys and coins before getting onto the flight???

    I'm sure people would rather have a trained police dog have a quick sniff as you walked past security than having some reprobate peadophile tickle your testicles!

     

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    hmm, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    well

    ter·ror·ism  [ter-uh-riz-uhm]
    1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
    2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
    3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

    For 1 and 2 see US Government and TSA handbooks
    For 3 see the TSA's response to a 'pat-down' refusal.

    Almost looks like the terrorists won doesn't it? Since so many americans now live in a state of...oh whats the word?...ah yes...TERROR!!!!

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    I'd still like to see a list of all the terrorists that the scanners and overly-friendly groping have weeded out.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    B, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    "Zeitgeist"

    When people generally ask for sources, they ask for actual evidence. Not fantastical works of fiction.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Ceramic or glass knives, maybe, but ceramic guns are all but non-existent. When the plastic Glocks first came out, there was an attempt at moral panic, but the guns themselves were not all-plastic; they had many metal components - a metal barrel, for example, which would NOT make it through a working metal detector.

    A ceramic gun would be less reliable, more fragile, and very expensive to manufacture. Also, even if one did exist, what would it shoot? Ammunition is made of metal because:

    A) The shell is designed to contain an explosion and be regular in shape to an extent that it doesn't damage the workings of the gun and can be easily removed or ejected.

    B) The bullet is designed to survive the propellant explosion with minimal change in topology so that it flies straight, and can be somewhat malleable on impact so as to 'expand' when it hits solids like bone inside a target.

    In other words, even if someone went through the trouble and expense to create a ceramic gun and ceramic ammunition, it wouldn't be nearly as effective as a standard 9mm cop gun.

    Given how little attention seems to be given to a TSO candidate's prior history, I feel it would be much easier and more effective to simply infiltrate a couple of low-level TSA posts, send someone through with a gun, somehow match the terrorist with the gun to the terrorist TSO, and overlook the weapon during one of the TSA's sensual massages. Still a long shot, but then you have an effective weapon on board an aircraft.

    To any terrorists reading this: please don't try this.

     

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  50.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    People take lessons from the Bible everyday.

     

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  51.  
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    peanut, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    hahahaha. I love when folks don't know the difference between

    'your' and 'you're'

     

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  52.  
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    The Invisible Hand (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Not a Myth

    "Whats the big deal with being scanned or patted down at an airport before you fly?"

    What's the big deal with spitting on the graves of the people that fought and died so that you can post this garbage on the internet?

    If you answer is "nothing", congratulations, you are a fascist.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    So a little gun that shoots little arrows is out of the question?

    Besides the integrity of a projectile in enclosed spaces is not that important, can you imagine what would happen if your eyelids got pierced by little shards of plastic?

    Or

    One could manufacture a six barrel gun with metal pens, that could be carried on-board by a number of people who then assemble a working gun, did the TSA banished pens?

    http://whatismatt.com/girl-in-thailand-killed-with-pen-gun/

    Also projectiles can be propelled by a crossbow.

    80 Lbs Cobra Self-cocking Crossbow Pistol Cross Bow 15 Arrow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNiY_XwBLn4

    I know what you are thinking, it is made out of metal, well the chinese used to do those out of wood.
    Chinese crossbow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo13R_fSvnI

    I can see those things sneaking pass customs as baggage that you disassemble in mid flight and assemble the weapon once inside, will the TSA outlaw suitcases? and pens the arrows would be pens.

    Those are not the only type of weapons one can construct from things though, as prisoners can attest by being shanked a thousand times a year in prisons around the country.

    Which leads me to, what is in a plane one can use to manufacture a weapon? Are there tubes? hard surfaces that can be used.

    I think it is better to have security on-board than invasive checks.

    How much cyanide can one cram up his ass?

     

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  54.  
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    petegrif (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    I totally agree with this article. But I feel it can be taken quite a bit further.

    "But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever."

    If you want perfect security you can't travel by train, or bus, bike or car. You can't go into a building or go need industrial plant of any kind. The focus on planes is ridiculous. How about chemical plants? There are so many soft targets which if attacked could do catastrophic damage. The whole thing is a charade and is aptly named security theater.

     

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  55.  
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    petegrif (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Re: The myopic focus on airplanes...

    totally agree
    the cost of creating this illusion of security is gigantic
    imagine how many lives we could have saved or improved if we had spent it on health care.

     

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  56.  
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    petegrif (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    He is not wrong. He is absolutely right. The primary concern of the authorities is to create public fear and then be seen to make heroic attempts to assuage those fears. It is so easy for the enemy to attack us it is ridiculous. All they have to do is switch their attention from planes.

     

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  57.  
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    petegrif (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Absolutely correct. All we need is for a team to carry explosives in rectally and we will all be bending over.
    You can't stop a smart determined terrorist. And we make matters worse by our politically correct aversion to profiling. Israelis don't make this mistake.

     

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  58.  
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    petegrif (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    a ceramic knife is practically undetectable, can easily be disguised as something harmless and is a deadly weapon.

     

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  59.  
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    Doug, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Why should anyone bother to consider your point when you type out "should of" when the spelling (and saying) is "should've"?

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    > Ceramic or glass knives, maybe, but...

    There are many ways of getting edged weapons onto flights. While a hijacking weapon's primary purpose is fear, lots of possibilities exist for bringing on or creating onboard a very dangerous weapon. I was just pointing out that ceramic guns aren't a major threat.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    The new world order cometh.

     

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  62.  
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    darryl, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 9:46pm

    Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    You might want to look at the US prison system, where there is a still base of people who are capable of making very deadly weapons from PAPER..

    Yes, they make knives, spearks, shanks, sharp blads, battons, and so on,, all out of paper.

    Is paper still available on an airplane ?

    And ofcourse, as has been stated, these new scanner only penertrate a few MM into your body.

    So the next thing ofcourse, is the known ability to conceil bombs in body cavities.

    That would not be detected with the present system, so again there is no thing as 'perfect security' there is only adequate security, or insufficient security..

    And mike is proposing that if we cannot achieve 100% security, we might as well not even try at all.

    The fact is they are finding people, all the time, and they are finding people trying different methods to fool the system.

    SO NO, again, they are not working on perfect security, they are working on 'useful' security, or security that will do at least some good.

    But im not sure what Mikes alternative is, 'do nothing' seem's like he's strongest suggestion.

    ___________

    @Mike
    Cool. I agree. What's the big deal with keeping your personal details private. Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    Nothing.


    Nothing.

    So, come on, if you wish to post again, those are the new requirements. Obviously no big deal. We only do it to make sure that you are who you say you are for security purposes.


    MIKE MIKE MIKE ---

    Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?


    What about Google maps if you choose to have your house blurred you do not get the right to say "Mike, you are an idiot".

    I See now..

    So if you say something that Mike does not agree with expect to be personally attacked by Mike, as its much easier to actually address the questions that are asked.

    Yes, Mike it is easer to attack than to think, and answer correctly a fair question..

    But you never answer those questions, NEVER, you just pump out more smoke and mirrors..

    No wonder your reputation sucks..

     

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  63.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 2:23am

    Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    No wonder your reputation sucks..

    That's rich coming from a total asshat like you. I'm gonna mark you as funny.

     

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  64.  
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    Enricosuarve, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Nicely nit picked but it's OK I wasn't especially worried about it and I stand corrected on ceramic guns, although my point about only stopping stupid terrorists still stands.

    In general the threat of terrorism scares me less than the morons who frequently police it.

     

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  65.  
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    Enricosuarve, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    Ooo ooo I'm telling - god is gonna be so PISSED!

    I hear in new editions there's going to be an extra chapter on Sodom and Gomorrah: "and lo the Lord our God did throw down the buildings and money lenders palaces and they did fall at near free fall speeds, for this is normal and nothing to suspect. And God did smite the buildings of their armies and his projectiles did utterly disappear despite being of enormous size, for again this is the way stuff works when you're God".

    Armed with this the religious right will finally have an explanation for events on 9/11 - divine intervention against the laws of physics.

     

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  66.  
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    NullOp, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:58am

    Security

    You can never have perfect security as the bad guys are always willing to do whatever it takes. Eventually even Ft. Knox can be taken.

     

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  67.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    "Armed with this the religious right will finally have an explanation for events on 9/11 - divine intervention against the laws of physics."

    LOL
    Good one!
    Maybe there is a God after all.

     

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  68.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    If you mark it as "report," it will eventually be hidden and others won't waste their time trying to decipher it.

     

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  69.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: Terrorists have already won.

    I agree with this. Terrorists don't live to conquer, they live to instill fear. We have imprisoned ourselves with fear.

     

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  70.  
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    Ed, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Come one now on one hand the US came out all guns blazing and declared war, and on the other they expect to have zero casualties in that war. Oh this month this many soldiers died in the conflict, oh the terrorists were planning to blow up this and blow up that, how atrocious. The US kills civilians, though those casualties are low as compared to if the US made no effort to mitigate them, but still civilians are dying at the hands of the US attacks, and they are claimed as collateral damage and the world thinks just an apology by the US is enough to compensate a father, mother, brother/family for their loss. When you declare a war on someone you sure as hell can expect them to try and hit you back in whatever means necessary. And, in this war the best strategy they can use is fear. They are fighting the same battle they had fought against U.S.S.R on the same battlefield. They think a long drawn out battle will fatigue US, and on the same hand they are hemorrhaging the economy by instilling fear in the hearts of the public so more and more resources and money is wasted on security.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Terrorists have already won.

    Terrorists don't live to conquer, they live to instill fear
    What astounds me is the number of times this seems to require pointing out - I mean it's right there in the name isn't it? Once one gets ones head round that fact the logic chain to how badly we are losing the "war" by our own actions becomes obvious doesn't it? "I have this fire here I need to put out... I know, what I need is... more fire! Yeah, that'll do the job".

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    I fly every week

    I fly every week and go through security twice a week for a round trip. TSA has body scanned me once and they found my watch. They have never groped me - or even touched me.

    I am not saying this never happens. Just not to me and I have not see it either. There is a big difference between the facts and the hype we use for arguments.

     

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  73.  
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    ts, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    From now on, I will be taking viagra before entering an airport. Is that a weapon in your pants? Well... that's what she said.

     

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  74.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Re:

    "Is that a weapon in your pants?"
    No. It is a cavity probe!

     

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  75.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    TSA bashing

    Talk about stupid comments!

    Talk to any police department - pat downs to prevent harm are essential to them. Talk to anyone about customs inspections - they work.
    So, we are to believe that somehow, for some "magical" reason, what works for the police and customs doesn't work for TSA?

    Einstein was right, "the only things that are infinite are the universe and human stupidity - and I am not sure about the universe".

    To me, this is simply picking on someone because they don't fight back. Having "been there", I find that objectionable.

     

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  76.  
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    misterdoug (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    What does "Acceptable Casualties" mean?

    The whole War On Terror was never about protecting American lives. The casualties from letting drunken idiots drive around equates to a 9/11 every couple months since about 1960. That casualty rate has been acceptable for decades, so it's pretty hard to justify going full retard because of an occasional non-drunk-related 9/11. Homeland Security's whole purpose is to terrorize the public, to convince us that our only hope for survival is to keep a certain group of people in charge and give them a free hand politically. In that light the TSA doesn't have to actually protect anyone from anything; it just has to make enough people think that's what it's doing.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    "Talk to any police department - pat downs to prevent harm are essential to them. Talk to anyone about customs inspections - they work.
    So, we are to believe that somehow, for some "magical" reason, what works for the police and customs doesn't work for TSA?"

    Really because I don't remember they ever touching your junk unless accidental to pat down someone, nor customs.
    Policemen in the U.S. are rude and violent but I didn't ever see them being so thorough unless they wanted to molest someone.

    "To me, this is simply picking on someone because they don't fight back. Having "been there", I find that objectionable."

    Not really the TSA is doing everything it can to talk back including lying, deception and more lying.

    But I agree there are stupid comments like the ones defending these assault on the population.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: TSA bashing

    Talk to any police department - pat downs to prevent harm are essential to them.
    Hmmm so when was the last time you were "patted down" for going into a police station to ask directions?

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    "Is that a weapon in your pants?"
    *strikes best "Lord Flashheart" pose, roars:*
    NO! It's the control for my double-thick ANAL INTRUDER and it's turned up to ELEVEN! WOOF!

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: TSA bashing -- Seeing things for what they are

    >> Talk to any police department - pat downs to prevent harm are essential to them.

    As someone in law enforcement, I can tell you that the only reason for a pat-down is to be taken into Government custody.

    If the people don't understand that they are being taken into Government custody during their flight, the TSA should not sugar coat it and come clean to the flying public that they are indeed entering into Government Custody at the will of the people while flying. This will help to eliminate confusion around this public-private partnership surrounding the business of airtravel.

    If the security industry continues to expand into perpetuity, it will need to continue to make a profit and not unwind this business. Therefore, it's not unreasonable to see other elements of security theater being implemented to advance the industry and make people feel safe by selling more, and similar products in other business areas.

    In the near term, expect to see them put in place in schools and other places where metal detectors are currently commonplace.

     

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  81.  
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    B, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    Lessons and evidence are two different boats.

    "The Tortoise and the Hare" teaches us some nice lessons about pacing ourselves, but I would never use that fable as evidence when I need to know whether or not a hare is actually faster than a tortoise.

    I don't think you quite picked up on the point of Zeitgeist, did you?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    The purpose of security theatre is obvious. It's cheaper to be seen to do something, rather than actually doing something.

    It that respect all this fuss over scans and pat-downs is very effective really. Everyone sees the TSA and their political masters doing something. As long as sufficient voters are convinced that they are being kept secure, then the system will remain unchanged.

    After all, you don't need to fool all the people, all the time.

     

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  83.  
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    Dave Frandin (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    Frankly, I'm VERY surprised that the current inhabitant of the Whitehouse didn't get his stooges in DHS to stage one of these "false flag" incidents, giving him the opportunity to declare martial law, shut down all media besides "Pravda" (the MSM), "postpone" the election. I'm betting his advisers are saying "I told you so...".....

     

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  84.  
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    SLK8ne, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Let them eat their own dogfood

    Good point, but, a better solution would be for their families to have to go through it once a week. Without their approval or presence.

    I think the wives would put an end to this nonsense rather quickly.

     

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  85.  
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    SLK8ne, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Let them eat their own dogfood

    Good point, but, a better solution would be for their families to have to go through it once a week. Without their approval or presence.

    I think the wives would put an end to this nonsense rather quickly.

     

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  86.  
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    cc (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." --Helen Keller

     

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  87.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    If you don't like that example, pick one of the other two.

    Why don't you explain zeitgeist to me so I don't have to download it. You can skip the George Carlin part, I have seen that.
    NSFW Language.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtK_YsVInw8

     

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  88.  
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    DS, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    Re:

    Yes, Infowars is one of the leading websites for tin foil hat wearers.

    There's enough people that hate us for any number of reasons (which most are that we don't believe in the same thing that they do, or that we don't live our lives they way they think we should) without the US having to make one up.

     

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  89.  
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    DS, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: A military-industrial gov't that started the Iraq war with lies,

    Ah, it's on YouTube, so it must be right.

     

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  90.  
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    DS, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    And you better have a paper trail for all the money and checks that you have on you.

     

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  91.  
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    Haapi, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: No, darryl as usual you are wrong from the start..

    My cousin once bought 35 lbs of scissors from the TSA. They found those. Including children's scissors. Gah.

     

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  92.  
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    Pitabred, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Wouldn't it be nice if voters voted based on facts instead of rhetoric or party lines?

     

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  93.  
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    Pitabred (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Your point? It still won't bring down a plane. NO edged weapon will bring down a plane. We started locking and reinforcing cockpit doors. That was the ONLY response needed to 9/11. It's done. Why are we doing anything else?

     

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  94.  
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    Pitabred (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Finally, someone gets it....

    And the fact that it happens so often is proof that we have so many terrorists.

    Wait, no... it's proof that it really is a FUCKTON of money being spent to prevent pretty much nothing.

     

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  95.  
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    JAck, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 9:59pm

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    You have completely misread this article. The author is not saying that he or the gov't thinks that perfect security is possible. You guys agree on that.

    According to the article, the theater is maintained because the gov't knows that an attack is inevitable. The author is saying that the illusion of perfect security is maintained for political capital. They work knowing there will be breeches and attacks. The author is simply highlighting that the security theater is a political necessity. We watch the theater from the airport, and think, "they are doing the best that they can to keep us safe." Politicians know that if they appear to be weak on terror, they could be be voted out when the inevitable attack occurs.

    I missed the part about scrapping the system because some things can get through. Where is this in the article?

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    The Israelis do not use racial profiling.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    In the case you cite, the terrorists didn't rely on guns. They relied on the fact that the cockpits were rarely, if ever, locked. If they had been locked, then they wouldn't have been able to so easily carry out their plans.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:39pm

    Re:

    Nice bit of nonsense, of course. War was declared after what? Oh, right, terrorist attacks. Not prior to them. Killing thousands of our civilians, completely in contempt of their own holy texts, is somehow all right compared to the accidental deaths of civilians in a war zone. See how I can minimize losses, as well?

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:41pm

    Re: I fly every week

    The pat downs are if you refuse the body scans. We refuse the body scans because of the radiation hazards and because they have lied about how much it shows. Congratulations, you have no sense of your own dignity. Glad that works for you, but for me I don't get a choice. I'd have to be patted down, and I would refuse that as far too invasive.

     

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  100.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 12:23am

    Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    And mike is proposing that if we cannot achieve 100% security, we might as well not even try at all.


    I proposed no such thing.

    The fact is they are finding people, all the time, and they are finding people trying different methods to fool the system.

    If that is a "fact," then there should be some evidence to support that. There is not.

    But you never answer those questions, NEVER, you just pump out more smoke and mirrors..


    Darryl, I spend all too much time answering your questions nearly everyday, and pointing out the blatantly factually incorrect statements you make -- and yet you never seem to respond when I do. I'm perfectly happy to answer questions people ask when they ask them seriously.

    No wonder your reputation sucks..


    Heh. All in the eye of the beholder, and my reputation does quite well among those who matter.

     

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  101.  
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    Rich Kulawiec, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    NO edged weapon will bring down a plane.

    I wouldn't be so sure of that. There's still the question of whether the pilots have been trained sufficiently and whether they'll follow that training in practice. I can think of a number of clever and horrific approaches that might work -- enough to give reason for concern.

     

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  102.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Not a Myth

    "People just want to get on a plane and get to their next destination. It's no different than getting on a bus, train, or in a taxi."
    That's what she said.

    "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said this week that her department is considering beefing up security on trains, ships and mass transit amid a public backlash over the body scanners and "enhanced" pat-downs at airports across the country."
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/25/body-scanners-headed-trains-ships-mass-transit /

     

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  103.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Let them eat their own dogfood

    I'm not into remixes, but this is pretty good:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/11/26/obama-says-dont-touc.html

     

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  104.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    It's a failure more from the viewpoint of 'freedom' - rather than security. One can never truly be 'secure' unless they are truly free.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    True, however following 9-11, Americans overwhelmingly wanted the Government to step in and manage the airtravel business and it seems that the airlines have been planning for this for some time.

    If you do some research, you'll find that most commercial airlines are little more than a brand and a shell company with little to no capital assets. Most aircraft are leased from companies such as GE Capital, Goldman Sachs or Warren Buffet's airplane leasing company. Mechanics and baggage handlers threatened to unionize years ago and contracting workers were slowly cycled in. Then, many airlines went through bankruptcy to restructure and prevent from paying out retirement benefits to vested employees. Indeed, the industry's constant focus on profit meant some parts of the business were neglected including security. This leads us to today where as a customer of an industry's product/service you are effectively put into the industry's outsourced arm of government custody while acquiring the said service.

    The idea of outsourcing security to the Government is a relatively new concept which Americans asked for after 9-11. The thing that you need to remember is that the American people only asked for this in Airtravel, and no other industry. This needs to be on the forefront of citizens minds. Any other application of security technology should be seen as over-reaching and against the original intent of Patriot/Patriot2 and other related legislation.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Reichstag Fire decree

    May people wonder what exactly is a "Patriot act" Well, glad you asked. A patriot act is a portion of a movie or a play (an act), which gives the people of USA a chance to be proud of their great and democratic country.

    The premise of a well formed patriot act is simple: Terrorists hate our freedoms and by having the Government pre-emptively take away the freedoms right now, there is less left for the terrorists to take later. Overall, this remains a good thing.

    For more info, check out this link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_Fire_Decree

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    you are absolutely right - as is mike
    there is no way to keep weapons off flights
    this whole thing is a farce

     

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  108.  
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    hmm, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    there's one way

    I say we dose everyone on the plane (except the pilot obviously) with enough LSD to scare an elephant.

    1. no possibility of hijack
    2. stewardess can go through your wallet and help you "buy" things from the inflight scam..erm i mean magazine.
    3. doesn't matter where the hell the plane lands, or indeed if during the flight you get rectally probed for 4hours by a 500pound gorilla named bob.

     

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  109.  
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    Abica (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

    Let not forget...

    Body scanning may not be making us all more secure, but it is putting people in some very disturbing and humiliating situations: http://kevinpeterson.tumblr.com/post/1707550774/good-old-colorado-im-so-proud-to-live-here

    I especially like the comment to CNN.

     

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  110.  
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    PandaMarketer (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 11:13pm

    Fire with Fire

    Just to be a pain, sometimes putting out a fire with fire works. (runaway brush/forest fires) *ahem* ;)

     

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  111.  
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    Abica (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Let not forget...

    Ugh, ignore my original reply. It turns out the article is originally sourced to the daily squid, and I've been had! I guess if nothing else It's becoming harder and harder to trust information you get in a twitter feed.

     

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  112.  
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    darryl, Nov 28th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    And mike is proposing that if we cannot achieve 100% security, we might as well not even try at all.


    I proposed no such thing.



    The entire setup is based on the idea that you can have "perfect security." But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever.

    Mike it looks like that is exactly what you proposed in that statement.

    READ what you said.

    I said there is an expectation of perfect security, and as that cannot be achieved your alternative is not "NOT FLY at all ever".

    Which is the same as saying if you cannot have 100% security you might not have anything at all (ie not fly).. (or try at all)..


    SO Mike please explain, how you can make the statement that you did not propose that at all, but it is clear you did.

    IN your OWN FREAKING WORDS.

    Maybe im the only person who reads what you write, including you mike !


    once, thing your really good at standing by your statements :)


    Heh. All in the eye of the beholder, and my reputation does quite well among those who matter.


    Also not true, because your reputation does not do quite so well for me !!!..

    clearly, your reputation does not stand you very well amoung those that matter in patent and copyright reform.

    and certainly not in academics or economics, or social or business reputation.

    But I really dont care about how well you are self agrandising. Just what you say, and what you intend with what you say, and the real underlying truth and facts that deny or support your arguments.

    You're reputation is only as good as you show it to be, and you do not display qualities that I would count as a positive reputation.. Im sure you have a reputation for something, I know what that is, but its not a good rep...

     

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  113.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 28th, 2010 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    Mike it looks like that is exactly what you proposed in that statement.


    Reading comprehension is not your strong suit. I did not say that the TSA shouldn't even try. I said the only way to achieve perfect security is not to allow anyone to fly.

    My point is not that the TSA shouldn't try or that people shouldn't fly. It was just pointing out the natural end result of aiming for perfect security. I think anyone can read that and understand that (excepting you, obviously).

    Also not true, because your reputation does not do quite so well for me !!!..


    Given your history on the site, I'm happy about that.

     

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  114.  
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    Vince, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    I think it's reaching a bit to say Mike is suggesting we scrap the whole system. The observation seems to be more that we have gone past the point of reasonable precaution and are now hemorrhaging money and public goodwill in our efforts to go beyond that point.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:21am

    To make it fair the TSA will deploy porno-scans and groping in all travel points like bus, train, boats and so on, because of course the air companies don't want to be singled out and go bankrupt since they are already operating at the limit apparently.

    Maybe next people will have checkpoints and everybody in car needs to be groped.

     

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  116.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:49am

    Re: Fire with Fire

    Just to be a pain, sometimes putting out a fire with fire works. (runaway brush/forest fires) *ahem* ;)
    I knew some pedant would point that out.... You can't let a simple analogy lie can you? :-) Well since you put me in the rather silly position of defending my analogy I'll give it a shot:
    It's pretty much the most dangerous and potentially unpredictable method of putting out a fire and as far as I'm aware is only used in large areas where there's a wide margin for error or where there's no other possible choice.
    That and you get an expert to do it who's worked in the field most of his life rather than the kid from down the road who saw a documentary about backfires once and happens to have a big box of matches.

    That and if you're going to fight terror with more terror you'd think the extra would be directed at the source of the original rather than it's target wouldn't you?

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    How much are you willing to give up to feel a little safer?

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    That's right...THEY DISTRUST EVERYONE. :)

     

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  119.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Fire with Fire

    Even cooler than that though, is using high explosives to put out fires. Oil field firefighters and the Mythbusters do it.

     

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  120.  
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    darryl, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Next time you post here, you need to post your full name, address, social security number and last three pay stub details. What's the big deal?

    NO mike that is exactly what you did say.

    I will post it again. so you can read it and tell us how you did not say what you said ?

    The entire setup is based on the idea that you can have "perfect security." But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever.

    I know about reading comprehension, but it appears your writing comprehension leave alot to be desired.

    For one the way you write, give you some form of escape route.

    That means you write in vague enough terms that you can interpret your statement in many ways. With the main way to indicate your bias's.

    The entire setup is based on the idea that you can have "perfect security." But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever.

    1) "The entire setup is basedon the idea that you can have 'perfect security'."

    No Mike for a start that is not true, it is on adequate and effective security. (first false statement).
    Perfect security can be achieved, but it is not the goal of the TSA to achieve perfection. It is no ones goals or "idea's" that their system has to be perfect.

    How do you guage, measure or determine perfection ? No group, company, government body, military force work on the basis of "perfection".

    The entire setup is based on the idea that you can have "perfect security." But, if you wanted perfect security, the only way to do that is to not let anyone fly, ever.

    What you are also saying, is that perfection is not possible, you say "if you wanted perfect security, the ONLY WAY IS NOT TO FLY".

    So how come you can state that the ONLY way to achieve what you think the TSA is trying to achieve is not to fly.

    Which is another way of saying, its impossible (according to mike) to achieve perfect security.. THEREFORE to achieve the goal of perfection your only option is not to fly..

    Which is say, in your special way, that they might not even bother trying because even if they do try, there is no way for them to succeed, therefore the only alternative is not not even try (ie, not fly at all, ever).

    There is no natural end result of trying to acheive perfection, perfection does not have an end, (for one).

    BTW: I wonder if you can point us to a source where it is stated tha the TSA is set up entirely based on the ideal of perfect security..

    Or is that just something you made up ??

    In fact show me ANY group that has a goal of achieving perfect ANYTHING ??

    IF you cannot provide that information can I assume you just made it up ?

    Therefore you make up a random statement, and base your entire rant upon that incorrect assumption..

    Sleep well at night ?

    I guess, you are betting that there is enough gullable people who will think you are talking from real information and from a real source.. and not just a product of your imagination.

    P.S.
    I just LOVE the DCMA takedown web page that advertises here on techdirt, helping to create those takedowns you hate so much.

    But I note as much as you hate DCMA and their takedown system, you are very happy to take some CASH for the advertising their services.

    Do you have a deal with them ? You get people to post inflamatory stuff, and DCMA takedown.com throws you are few buck if they get the job.

    Then you can complain about those nasty DCMA guys here ?

    Double standards, are a bitch.. but money talks right :)

    (im with you mike, we know how it really is ).. gotta get that cash..

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    Red, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: No, Mike as usual you are wrong from the start..

    Where in the article is it even SUGGESTED that we scarp ALL safety procedures? That's NOT what the author is saying.

    They are saying, quite plainly, that what we have in place is not only an over-reaction (and besides which, is in violation of our Constitutional rights to not be subjected to a bodily search without probable cause), it has been proven tro be largely ineffective.

    Whyy keep somethign that doesn't really work?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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