Arman's stuff
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TSA

(Wed Dec 1 08:15:57 2010)

Would you go through a naked scanner if you knew they never catch terrorists?

Everyone, of course, has heard about all the crazy things the TSA has decided to do to keep its passengers safe. It's a foregone conclusion that they are completely wrong, of course, but nonetheless, they try. They've upped security at the security checkpoint so much that all those political comics a few years ago are starting to look like a step down.

I want to know what they are thinking. And I'm wondering in a rhetorical sort of way - I really do want to know. Do they actually believe that making people uncomfortable and feeling up kids is going to stop terrorists? I mean, if that were the case, why not just send Michael Jackson look-alikes into Afghanistan? Assuming their logic is true, the baddies would dry up immediately.

I realize that statistics are generally not thought well of, but they do have their uses; for instance, flying is statistically safer than driving. In fact, if every terrorist attack in the past ten years managed to actually work, flying would still be safer than driving. Which bring me to my next point - flying is not made safer by the new security measures. Why would anyone think that looking at naked people would make their carry-ons safer? I've read many stories about people who managed to carry steak knives, razor blades, pocket knives, and even a *gun* onto an aircraft. I, personally, have smuggled (in plain sight) a two inch blade onto every flight I've been on, and have never been fingered for it.

Here's the real kicker, though - I've also managed to board a plane using nothing but an expired drivers license. That sort of thing is never a good sign. What if I was not who I said I was? We already know how easy it is to get a credit card in absolutely anyone's name; just send in the form, then use it to buy a plane ticket, show your fake license, and you're on a flight. Want to make it more illegal and explosive? Before the flight, have a buddy package a huge chunk of C4 inside a bulky laptop. The battery is the best place to store it, and the hard drive after that. The laptop doesn't have to work; hollow it out and stuff it full, if you want. It'll make it past the x-ray. Set the laptop under your seat (or better still, under someone else), then feign illness or fright; leave it on a timer, and (quite literally), boom, there you have it, insta-giblets.

I can scientifically prove that re-painting the planes has the same effect as these new security measures.
Hypothesis: Painting a plane makes it just as safe as a combination of enhanced pat-downs and naked scanners.
1) Painting a plane has never stopped a terrorist.
2) Enhanced pat-downs and naked scanners have never stopped a terrorist.
Tada! Proved!
Ok, so yes, my method was a bi simplified. I could have done a big, expensive study on plane color, using information from all over the world, but it would have had the same result. I don't know what studies they used to determine that these machines would work - and believe me, they spent a lot of money on studies - but they must not have studied the same thing. If a study proved that 75% of burglars entered through an unlocked kitchen window, the reaction to lock that window would probably be a good one. If, then, a different study showed that burglaries dropped by only 2%, the next step is NOT to add bulletproof glass to the kitchen window! Chances are, the burglars saw that the kitchen window was locked, so they picked a bedroom window that wasn't locked instead. Most people, at this point, would have locked all the doors and windows to keep the bad guys out.

When it comes down to it, this is a knee-jerk reaction. It doesn't help anyone. At this point, I'm shocked that there have not been more cases of people suing the TSA; people with medical problems, children, rape victims, all have been traumatized, but I haven't heard of the expensive court cases - yet.

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This blag is tagged: Flying, Tsa, All