Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

26 April 2012

Airport Security Theatre

As if we needed even more proof of the insanity that has become airport security, we get another news report of the TSA roughing up…get ready…a four year-old girl suspected terrorist. Here’s the story:


Basically, what happened was that a young girl who had already gone through the security gauntlet at the airport in Wichita, Kansas ran back to her mother who was being sent through the security scanner twice. The TSA couldn’t have that, oh no! Hilarity ensued as you can imagine. For their part, the TSA maintains that it acted appropriately.  Suuuuuuuuuure they did. 

I don’t subscribe to Vanity Fair Magazine although I probably should. They often have interesting, in-depth articles on a variety of subjects. I guess it’s the title that puts me off. Anyway, VF recently published an article on my favorite “hot-button” issue: Airport security and the TSA. I beg you to read it, as I’m sure you’ll find it as enlightening as I did.


The article, by one Charles C. Mann is fascinating…to me…because he points out that what the TSA is doing is mostly useless. That’s right, useless. In fact, Mann coined a term for it: Security Theatre – activities designed to make the traveling public think that the government was on the job and looking out for our collective safety! Yeah.

In his article Mann describes how he went to Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. to interview a fellow critic of the TSA, an author named Bruce Schneier. Mann was able to get through security by producing a forged boarding pass that he made up on his computer, and he was able to meet up with Schneier as he got off the plane at the gate. …And you thought that you couldn’t get through security to see your family off. Hah! It’s so easy a child could do it.

It’s all a big waste of money…a waste of OUR money, because we Americans fund the TSA with our tax dollars. We’re spending billions and billions to stop something that’s never going to happen again. The terrorists know that airline passengers will never again be cowed into submission while their aircraft is directed into something like the World Trade Center. Pilots are never again going to open the cockpit door, period. As the kids say: Not. Gonna. Happen.

From the article: “You spend billions of dollars on the airports and force the terrorists to spend an extra $30 on gas to drive to a hotel or casino and attack it,” Schneier says. “Congratulations!”

One other thing I got from the article was a new word I’d never heard before: Panopticon, which is defined as, “A circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed.” It pays to keep reading, eh? Great article. I hope you enjoy it.

Me? I will continue my little one-man boycott of airline travel for as long as the TSA is in existence.


Mike Morris said...

Well I'm sure the terrorist will either come in through the cargo handlers or just pay off the TSA agents (like the coke runners) if they want to use an airliner again. I think what we trade in privacy for "security" isn't warranted and ineffectual.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Mike, I agree with you 100%.