Airline Security Myths Exposed

Dec 30th, 2007, 05:12 AM
  #1  
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Airline Security Myths Exposed

An interesting op ed piece in the NY Times regarding airport security which is must reading for everybody:

http://jetlagged.blogs.nytimes.com/2.../#comment-3955

The interesting thing, unlike most blogs not a single respondent disagrees......but we'll continue to allow the paranoids in Washington and London continue to impose more and more restrictions and have people buy into them because after all, we are fighting the "war on terror" whatever that means.
xyz123 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Thank you xyz, for a great op ed! The first commenter of that editorial said it best, "Finally, someone who gets it..."
CubFanAlways is offline  
Dec 30th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Jed
 
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As long as we screen things instead of people, we will be aggrevated by such nonsense. Politically correct screening is an mind-boggling outrage.
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Dec 30th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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So true. So unlikely to change anything. I saw yet another instance of just how stupid these measures are at Gatwick last month - despite the security to get air-side, there was another set of searches at the gate - pat-down of passenger, remove shoes, examine everything in the carry-on. But the two screeners, one male and one female, were simply pulling the next same-sex passenger when they finished with the current one. All it would take to defeat that is one person with a cell-phone to let a co-conspirator know when the checker was busy!
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Dec 30th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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..I bet the flight was going to the USA...another of the inane security regs is the requirement of random checks at the gate for USA bound flights...AA has it on all flights to the USA at LHR...what a crock...bad enough having gone through the whole thing at security...then another queue to take off your shoes.....then these random checks at the gate only for USA bound flights at the insistance of the US government.

Garbage of course but you'll get those who swear it's fine...after all there is a "war on terror."
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Dec 30th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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xyz - right - American's direct LGW-RDU flight. Which, regrettably, will be LHR-RDU next time I take it.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 01:15 AM
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Terrorists don't frighten me nearly so much as the complacency with which Americans (and others) are surrendering their civil liberties in exchange for assurances of security against an enemy that simply isn't there. The loss of civil liberties will remain long after the real terrorists (and their imaginary fellows) are gone. Unfortunately, democracies in general tend to self-destruct in this way, as people forget how hard it is to win and retain freedom and give it up willingly for a tiny illusion of unnecessary security. Americans today are cowards compared to their ancestors.

The current hysteria and paranoia also reminds me eerily of McCarthyism in its heyday. Not only are absurd "precautions" being taken against imaginary bogeymen, but people are afraid to speak out against them because they might become targets of the authorities themselves. In the previous case, discrediting McCarthy largely alleviated the paranoia, but in this case, a large segment of the government is part of the conspiracy, so bringing people back to their senses and restoring the spines they've lost is much more difficult.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Jed
 
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<enemy that simply isn't there>

That's what some Middle East experts said before 9/11.

<surrendering their civil liberties>

Please tell us one civil liberty that YOU have surrendered.

<a large segment of the government is part of the conspiracy>

What is the conspiracy? What is the 'government' going to do with your civil liberties? Put them in their bank accounts? Is Bush or the Republicans planning to seize the govt and rule forever?
Jed is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's gone. The founders of the United States understood this, but after 200+ years, most people have forgotten it, or they've never learned it.
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Jan 2nd, 2008, 07:42 AM
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Jed
 
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Any answers to my questions?
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Jan 2nd, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Every day we are losing our liberties. It may not seem like a big deal to most since the lost is very minimal but it's happening and sooner or later effects more and more law abiding citizens.

Our constitution guarantees our right to be innocent until proven guilty by the government.

Let's see how that has changed over the years thanks to drug and terror wars.

If you get caught with more than $10K in cash the government may and does take it away. If you are driving a car at the same time that will also be taken away. It's up to you to prove that the money/car/house is legitimately yours. The government does not have to do anything. (guilty until proven innocent)

You may/may not be allowed to air travel freely based on some "secret" government list. (guilty until proven innocent).

Taken away, without charges because you are suspected terrorist and kept indefinitely under the Homeland Security Act. (guilty until proven innocent).

Some have argued, that civil liberties are imperiled by the Homeland Security Act. Those liberties include constitutional rights such as the rights to freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy; the rights to counsel and due process; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures

I can go on.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Jed
 
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Let's say a serious crime or murder occcurs. A person is charged with the crime, and imprisoned. Should he be kept in custody until the trial, even though he has not been found guilty? Should an indicted person be left free, since he is innocent until proven guilty?

Should there be a "no fly" list at all?

If a person is caught with explosives in the trunk of his car and with plans for the LA airport, should he be detained, or let free, since he is innocent until proven guilty?

Is the US under threat from "an enemy" or not? Are there people who want to harm America?

Should any civil rights be restricted to protect civilians?
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Jan 2nd, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Charged with serious crime and the judge sets a bail or no bail is different from the government holding you, taking away your property without any court/legal protection.

If you remember from your civic class the US has 3 branches of government. The Founding Fathers, the framers of the Constitution, wanted to form a government that did not allow one person to have too much authority or control. While under the rule of the British king they learned that this could be a bad system. Yet government under the Articles of Confederation taught them that there was a need for a strong centralized government.

With this in mind the framers wrote the Constitution to provide for a separation of powers, or three separate branches of government. Each has its own responsibilities and at the same time they work together to make the country run smoothly and to assure that the rights of citizens are not ignored or disallowed. This is done through checks and balances. A branch may use its powers to check the powers of the other two in order to maintain a balance of power among the three branches of government.

or as Ben Franklin once said:

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Look that up.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Actually, the correct quote (up in the air as to whether it was Franklin, though he is the leading contender) is as follows:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

I think the Essential versus Little distinction is important, don't you? And the question is whether Franklin would consider carrying on unlimited amounts of liquids onto an airplane or keeping one's shoes on when clearing security, an "essential" liberty.

Not taking sides in the overall debate about the war on terror, but remember the article was about the more mundane annoyances of the travel restrictions and rules. No mention of the no fly list. No complaints about rendition. No concern over waterboarding. That many have legitimate questions about these issues wasn't mentioned in the article, apparently not concerning the author that much.

In truth, the author seems to be whining about the fact that he (remember is a commercial airline pilot) has to go through security screening. The repetitive rantings against the liquids ban and having to take off one's shoes seem ancillary to me.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 10:54 AM
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I was merely answering Jed's questions...

He was the one that raised certain questions, not the OP or the article author.

However you want to quote BF is fine with me. As you said, there is some controversy as to the origin of the quote so how are we to know the exact words used. The meaning is the same. Let's not get into semantics.
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Jan 2nd, 2008, 11:09 AM
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AA relax. You said "look that up". It seems Travelgourmet did.
Pulley is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Ummm... We know the exact quote because it is used on the title page of "An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania". That the authorship of all the items in the book is up for debate does not mean that the quote is up for debate.

And I bring it up not for semantics, but because I think the usage of Essential Liberty is an important distinction and likely an intentional one.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Actually, the term is not "innocent until proven guilty". It is "PRESUMED innocent until proven guilty".
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