Sunday, November 21, 2010

SNL Has It Just Right

A few people have responded to my TSA postings with (paraphrasing), “anything to be safe.”

I understand the desire to be "safe." What I don't understand is this: From September 12, 2001 to October 31, 2010 (the last day of the old TSA procedures) here is what the statistics looked like:
  • Deaths due to tornadoes in U.S.:  533
  • Deaths due to being shot while hunting in U.S.: 900 (approximate, but close)
  • Deaths due to terrorism in U.S.: Zero

Keeping in mind that the underwear bomber, liquids plot, shoe bomber, and toner cartridges all originated outside the U.S. The toner cartridges were cargo, of course. Please help me to understand why you believe this ratcheting up of surveillance of passengers on November 1 is justified.

Storm chasing continues, and is growing, in spite of the hazard (i.e., there are companies that take paying customers out to watch storms). I don’t know of any serious person who proposes outlawing hunting because of the hazards.

We do not inspect air cargo and we do not inspect (other than when they are initially hired) the people who load the cargo, baggage and food or the people that service the plane. Al Qaeda has bragged that the whole toner cartridge "plot" cost them $4,600. We are spending billions to respond even though the plot was unsuccessful. It occurs to me that if we stopped overreacting, the plots would stop because they no longer accomplish AQ's terror goal.

This was the security line on the 16th at O'Hare with the new procedures. As many have pointed out and, as I have personally experienced, the new procedures are much slower.

If planes were falling out of the sky or even if there had been a close call, I would understand the impulse to do nude machines and grope searches (even though I would probably still disagree with it). But, none of this is happening. So, I'm sincerely interested in the thoughts of the pro-new procedures advocates as to how this is justified in terms of the billions of dollars in costs and the loss of our privacy and our fourth amendment rights.

Please post your thoughts in the comments. Thank you in advance to anyone who responds. 

1 comment:

  1. As usual, you speak nothing but clear, common-sense truth. And I thank you for the reasonable comments on an unreasonable situation. Blind adherence to any regimen is insanity and that seems to be where some go with the security measures. My biggest concern with TSA regs, aside from icky gloves, is psychological for anyone who has a history of sexual abuse as well as those whose religious principles would be severely violated by either pat-down or nude scan. It seems this is shredding several human and citizen's rights at once.


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