J and D's Corner

From the Letters Archive

I felt the large scale blow-back from the TSA's "you can electronically undress or get groped" option is at least a healthy demonstration that there are actually limits to what at least some members of the public are willing to accept in the name of security.

Probably it will eventually come to naught, as I do note on various blogs that there are still a huge percentage of people who indicate they are willing to endure anything whatsoever as long as they think it is making them "safe".


To:  AV Press

Date: 11/17/2010

Re:  Airline Security

AV Press recently ran an editorial on the TSA “choose view or feel” security measures that have generated so much blow-back from the public.  I can’t help but comment that if you think it’s bad now, just wait until the first terrorist explodes a bomb he or she had concealed in a body cavity.  And I’m not joking, such devices have already been encountered, just not yet within an airline passenger..

The sad fact is that it is all primarily eye-wash, very aptly termed "Security Theater", administered by a marvelous new government empire that answers to no one and can be expanded ad infinitum simply by invoking the god of “security”. The public accepts all this blindly because it has been conditioned to expect, and demand, that government can and should protect us from every possible bad thing that could happen.  I doubt this can be changed, but there is a better way to go about it. 

It has been pointed out over and over that the Israeli approach to airline security is the best in the world because it emphasizes behavior rather than things. The Israeli security folk are trained to zero in on the people most likely to need additional scrutiny and do so with great efficiency.  We, on the other hand, cannot "profile", so the proverbial 12th generation 70 year old American grandmother, or your plane’s pilot, gets exactly the same "things-based" examination as the 22 year old Middle-Eastern male with the twitchy demeanor.  To discriminate, which in this type of situation means “to use good judgment” or to be “discerning, judicious”, has been stupidly turned into a bad thing by people who apparently are totally void of any sense of judgment whatsoever.