Airport Nazis Revisited

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 25 Feb 2005 13:00:00 GMT
# Jerry Pournelle - Reflections on President's Day and the TSA - Apparently, Mr. Pournelle was hassled by the airport nazis on his trip home from Salt Lake City, but somebody convinced him to remove his tale of woe. He wrote an essay about it here, however. A good one. As I've said before, I'd love to see a hundred teams of ten armed rifleman enter each of the hundred biggest airports in the country at a predetermined time and shoot every TSA agent they can find, and all the sheriffs helping them out. But I'm not willing to be part of it until my daughter leaves the house. Come to my house, though... I'm supposed to fly to Vegas for a conference for work in September, Wonder if I'll be on the no-fly list by then? [pournelle]
Is there a rational person in these United States who believes the TSA procedures cannot be circumvented? But one woman who said, "If I had hidden a bomb you would not find it," was shown they would have: they blew up her luggage. This AFTER the flight was completed, to the cost of delaying everyone on an airplane that had safely landed. Can anyone doubt what the real purpose of that stunt was? Is there anyone who supposes that all of us are safer as a result? Yet I have readers who said, "Well, yes, but she got what she deserved." A truthful remark deserves that treatment. But we were born free.

Tons of heroin are smuggled into the United States each year, much of it on commercial airline flights. Does anyone doubt that the same techniques could be used to introduce explosives onto the airplanes? Or that al Qaeda is insufficiently endowed with intelligence as to be able to find out how drugs and other substances are smuggled? Is there anyone past first year chemistry unaware of how to construct impermeable barriers to the effluvium of explosives (as well as of alkaloids)? I leave out the specifics as I left out the specifics of making war gasses in Lucifer's Hammer since I suppose there may be one person intelligent enough to read this but unable to discover how such things are done; but for each of those there are surely many who know exactly what I am talking about. Yet to say so will get your luggage blown up.

The fact of the matter is that there is no way to thwart someone intelligent and determined to destroy an airplane in flight if he does not care if he is killed in the process. Think upon smuggling by mules, emetics, and airplane restrooms.

# That's it for today. Once again I've spent my blogging time playing with Gentoo Linux. I installed KOffice and JBoss, recompiled Firefox with Java support, and discovered that it still has a bug that prevents applets from getting any keyboard input, so JMaze doesn't work there (you can watch, but you can't move). JMaze does work, however, in Konquerer, KDE's native browser. I did not, yet, install OpenOffice. It's over 200 megs. Java compiles pretty quickly, though, so I'll probably get it soon. Boy, does Gentoo make installing new software easy!

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