PDA

View Full Version : Unafraid Airlines



tofu
2010-Jan-06, 01:13 PM
Why can't there be a separate airline, and a whole separate screening process for people who are NOT worried about their safety when they fly?

The thing is, every time a "terrorist" (really just some bumbling idiot) does something crazy on an airplane, the US TSA "cracks down" on something or other. There was an attempt (but it didn't work) using some liquid. Now we can't have liquids on airplanes. There was an attempt (but it didn't work) using shoes. Now we have to take off our shoes. On Dec. 25th there was an attempt (but it didn't work) using some powder. Now they're saying this is the proof that we need full-body scanners, and we the people are just going to have to accept that TSA agents get to see us and our children fully nude.

I haven't ever heard anyone in the government say, "it's really unlikely that a bottle of gatoraide is going to blow up a plane, plus the imposition of taking away tiny bottles of liquids is too high, so we have decided the rational thing to do is to NOT make any new rules in the wake of this failed attempt." They never say that. They always respond with more rules. I find myself wondering just how far they're willing to go. What if a terrorist used a feminine hygiene product? Would that be the limit to the new rule reactionary responses? Or would they start screening for tampons?

So my question is, why can't we have a separate airline for people who aren't worried - people who accept the risks? I'll carry my own luggage out on the tarmac. I'll forgo the convenience of ever being allowed inside the terminal. I'll never mix with the safe people. And I'll understand (and sign a waiver to the effect) that the risk that I'll die is a bit higher.

This would be for domestic flights only. And no attempt would be made to negotiate with someone who hijacked one of these flights. We'd just shoot the hijacked aircraft down, or better yet, have remote controlled explosives in every plane. That way, you couldn't use these aircraft for a 9/11 style attack.

I would be totally OK with all of those risks. Why am I not allowed to make that choice? Why do I have to suffer the imposition of the TSA because of the irrational hysteria of the few who demand the impossible standard of complete safety?

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 01:39 PM
Why do I have to suffer the imposition of the TSA because of the irrational hysteria of the few who demand the impossible standard of complete safety?

Because, unfortuantely in order to partake in a service, one must also agree to the service providers terms. If enough people decided the terms aren't worth the service, then they'd have to change it. I don't see that happening.

Besides, what's the first thing you think would be said if, say next week, some idiotic terrorist (sorry, a ll terrorists are idiotic) blows up his underwear, but is sucessful this time? "WHY DIDN'T YOU DO MORE TO STOP THIS?!?!?!"

People want it both ways. They want 100 percent saftey, but with 0 percent inconveniance. It's one of those "screen the terrorists, not the innocent passenger!" things ... of course, if they tried to just screen people from 'terrorist areas' or nationalities, then they're profiling and that's racist. They should just automatically know who's a terrorist, I guess.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 01:42 PM
(sorry, a ll terrorists are idiotic)

Immoral, yes. Necessarily stupid or idiotic, no.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-06, 01:43 PM
Besides, what's the first thing you think would be said if, say next week, some idiotic terrorist (sorry, a ll terrorists are idiotic) blows up his underwear, but is sucessful this time? "WHY DIDN'T YOU DO MORE TO STOP THIS?!?!?!"
Actually my first though was "Boy that must have been chafing, blowing up would have been a relief".

Chuck
2010-Jan-06, 01:51 PM
The TSA wants to make new rules to enforce so their budget will be increased. It doesn't matter whether or not they do any good. A bigger budget, more people, and more authority means more power and prestige for its leadership.

I don't know that offering insecure flights would work. The risk of attack would be greater if most other flights still had high security. If one such flight were attacked then people would be afraid to use them.

MAPNUT
2010-Jan-06, 01:51 PM
It seems the flaw in Tofu's concept is that if such an airline existed, terrorists would never target any other. So the risk on that airline would be many times the risk on other airlines. In fact I think it would increase the overall risk: "Oh boy, we can get that one!"

Good of you to volunteer though, since it would make all the other airlines safer.

Hmmm, simultaneous agreement.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 01:59 PM
My only concern is that this can cause harm to people outside of the airplane. 9/11 wasn't confined to the interior, after all.

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 02:16 PM
My only concern is that this can cause harm to people outside of the airplane. 9/11 wasn't confined to the interior, after all.
Exactly my thought. Even if the plane just had an explosion in mid-air and crashed into the ground, there are people on the ground who could be hurt.

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 02:18 PM
The TSA wants to make new rules to enforce so their budget will be increased. It doesn't matter whether or not they do any good. A bigger budget, more people, and more authority means more power and prestige for its leadership.

Posts like that seem to be getting a little too close to politics. Let's try to keep this thread away from that. Thanks everyone.

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 02:22 PM
Now, I agree that sometimes the steps that are taken can seem to be an attempt to remove all possibility of any kind of weapons, which is something schools did when I was a student. No sharp scissors! ... okay, but what good are blunt scissors? And if I wanted to stab someone, wouldn't this pencil work? "Sorry teacher, I didn't take the test because both my pencil and pen are pointy, and I didn't want to bring a weapon to class."

Anyway, I think we'd be a lot better off realizing that there's no way to prevent every possible act of violence. If someone really wants to kill other people, then it'll probably happen. They'll at least try. I'm not saying we should just accept this and take no steps for safety, but there certainly is a limit.

Oh well. I have more to say, but it gets political. I guess I'll go make coffee instead.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-06, 02:24 PM
Exactly my thought. Even if the plane just had an explosion in mid-air and crashed into the ground, there are people on the ground who could be hurt.


Yeah, just ask the people of Lockerbie, Scotland. They have first hand experience in the matter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103).

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 02:30 PM
Anyway, I think we'd be a lot better off realizing that there's no way to prevent every possible act of violence. If someone really wants to kill other people, then it'll probably happen. They'll at least try. I'm not saying we should just accept this and take no steps for safety, but there certainly is a limit.

I think you are exactly right (including the bit about reasonable steps, but that's the slippery slope). But people, for the most part, don't want to hear this; they want absolutes. :neutral:

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 03:24 PM
Because, unfortuantely in order to partake in a service, one must also agree to the service providers terms.

This is completely nonsensical. I specifically said, why can't there be another airline - that is, another service provider, and I could have a choice between the "safe" one and the higher risk one. Your response would be appropriate if I had said, "why don't the airlines do it my way" but that isn't what I said.

If Walmart was the only store in town and I asked, "why can't we have another store that does things differently than Walmart?" your response would be, "because unfortunately, in order to partake in Walmart's service, one must also agree to Walmart's terms."

That completely misses the point.


It seems the flaw in Tofu's concept is that if such an airline existed, terrorists would never target any other. So the risk on that airline would be many times the risk on other airlines.

How is that a flaw? Given that the concept is, this is an airline that only people aware of the risks and willing to accept the risks fly, how is the fact that the risk is higher a flaw??


My only concern is that this can cause harm to people outside of the airplane. 9/11 wasn't confined to the interior, after all.

I addressed that in my post. You may disagree that what I suggested would prevent a 9/11-style attack, but it looks like you didn't even see me address it.

My suggestion (whether it's possible or reasonable or not) is an airline where passengers accept higher risk to themselves in exchange for convenience, and where danger to outsiders is somehow magically prevented.

If it's not physically possible with current technology, we can still discuss whether or not it's a good idea.

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 03:37 PM
This is completely nonsensical.

It would be, if it weren't that all airlines are governed by the same body and thus have to conform to the same rules. In this case, "service provider" is the air transportation industry, rather than Delta or Southwest or whatever companies survived.

I mean, you can charter a private flight and that'll get you around much of the to-do associated with large commercial flights. So, in that sense, your theoretical company already exists. You just pay a lot more for it.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-06, 04:08 PM
I would guess that the only passengers you would get would be bombers.
Who would crew such an aircraft? I certainly wouldn't work for them.

MAPNUT
2010-Jan-06, 04:11 PM
How is that a flaw? Given that the concept is, this is an airline that only people aware of the risks and willing to accept the risks fly, how is the fact that the risk is higher a flaw??


I thought it was pretty obvious that terrorists would target a low-security airline, to the extent that the risk would be MANY times higher than other airlines. In fact the overall risk of a plane bombing would increase because they would be encouraged that there was now an insecure airline they could get on board. There can't be many passengers willing to take that risk. Then of course, after just one successful attack, there won't be any.

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 04:13 PM
I would guess that the only passengers you would get would be bombers.
Who would crew such an aircraft? I certainly wouldn't work for them.

Other terrorists, of course! Can you imagine the arguments that would ensue? "In the name of The Brotherhood!" "No! In the name of the Anarchrastic Fists!" "No!! Rocky Mountain Militia Men!"

"Whatever! I'm blowing us up!"
"No you're not, *I* AM!"
"Shut up both of you! I'm ransoming the passengers!"
"Not before I fly us into the Superdome!"
"Shut up Zed or I'll kill you!"
"Whatever, I'm killing all of us!"
"I don't get any ransome for an exploded plane!"

etc. etc. etc.

Sorry. I'm visiting imagination land again. I'll be good.

Glom
2010-Jan-06, 04:17 PM
Don't give Michael O'Leary any ideas!

IsaacKuo
2010-Jan-06, 04:18 PM
My suggestion (whether it's possible or reasonable or not) is an airline where passengers accept higher risk to themselves in exchange for convenience, and where danger to outsiders is somehow magically prevented.
You didn't specify "magical" prevention, you suggested this:

We'd just shoot the hijacked aircraft down, or better yet, have remote controlled explosives in every plane.
Which is a non-magical solution which might prevent a 9/11 style attack, but would certainly not magically prevent danger to outsiders--gravity working in the direction it does.

A better solution that might actually make sense would be remote control capability. Unlike remote control explosives, this would not add significant dead weight to the aircraft, and it could actually reduce the danger to outsiders. But of course, this capability won't magically make a bombed aircraft able to keep flying. It still would have no effect on the sort of bomb attacks terrorists have favored in recent times.

The favored terrorist attack is to disable the plane in such a way that it comes crashing down--preferably somewhere that the media can get lots of shocking pictures of the wreckage. Neither your suggestion nor my suggestion of remote control capability would prevent this sort of attack from endangering outsiders.

The way to prevent this sort of attack from endangering outsiders would be to prevent the bomb from getting on the plane in the first place...which means screeners and security and all that stuff which you were hoping to avoid in the first place.

If it's not physically possible with current technology, we can still discuss whether or not it's a good idea.
I don't see how it could be possible with any technology.

The only solution which comes to my mind would be perhaps restricting this airline to oceanic flights, flying to/from offshore floating island runways. This would be expensive.

Glom
2010-Jan-06, 04:28 PM
The only solution which comes to my mind would be perhaps restricting this airline to oceanic flights, flying to/from offshore floating island runways. This would be expensive.

Like BoJo International.

korjik
2010-Jan-06, 04:42 PM
Yeah, airport security is annoying and, like most static defences, probably pretty ineffectual. The thing that gets me is all the people complaining about an hour or two inconvienence to use a travel mode which is days faster than the alternatives. What next? Get to ride on Air Force One and complain that the in flight movie was second rate?

Guess what, terrorists are targeting airliners. Get used to it or drive.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 05:05 PM
Guess what, terrorists are targeting airliners. Get used to it or drive.

Not saying I outright disagree with you, but are they really targeting airliners more than anything else? They were targeting subways too (which don't have as high of security requirements).

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 05:26 PM
Not saying I outright disagree with you, but are they really targeting airliners more than anything else? They were targeting subways too (which don't have as high of security requirements).
Just remembering off the top of my head, there were the train bombings in Spain, the bus and tube bombings in London, nightclub bombing in Southeast Asia (sorry, can't remember where, lots of Australian tourists killed), various embassies around the world, lots of different things in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the attacks in Mumbai, etc., etc.

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 05:38 PM
Which is a non-magical solution which might prevent a 9/11 style attack, but would certainly not magically prevent danger to outsiders--gravity working in the direction it does.

Prove it. Show examples of people who have been injured by exploding aircraft.

And before someone once again fails to carefully read my post, note that I did not say crashing aircraft. I'm aware that an airplane flown into the ground carries a lot of energy. I'm talking about an aircraft that breaks up at altitude. For example, space shuttle Columbia. Guess what IsaacKuo, the individual parts quickly slow down, terminal velocity working the way it does.

So, back up your assertion by providing some estimate of the probability that a person on the ground would be injured. I claim that the chance is less than that of being hit by lightning.


Yeah, airport security is annoying and, like most static defences, probably pretty ineffectual. The thing that gets me is all the people complaining about an hour or two inconvienence

I am NOT complaining about inconvenience. I am complaining about ineffective, intrusive, irrational reactionary responses under the guise of security. I am pointing out the fact that these security responses have reduced the risk of an attack by exactly zero percent. Then I'm suggesting that maybe we could do without them.


Guess what, terrorists are targeting airliners. Get used to it or drive.

Get used to it? In that context, "it" appears to mean, "any irrational imposition the state sees fit to impose." So, terrorists target airliners; get used to the crazy things the state does in the name of protecting you from that. Do you apply this logic to other areas? Murderers target tourists; get used to it*

*where it means having to wear an ankle bracelet when you go on vacation.

Seriously. Tell me what the limit is. In my first post, I made what I felt was a completely hyperbolic example: terrorists fashion a bomb in the form of a feminine hygiene product - the TSA responds by saying, "women are not allowed to wear tampons, and we will be screening for this!" Is that over the line for you? Please explain to me how you know that's over the line? And please tell me what response you would give to someone who would support such a policy from the TSA if that person said to you, "terrorist target airlines; get used to gynecological exams"

Honestly, I really thought that was a hyperbolic example, but what I'm hearing from people here is that more security is always okay.

Halcyon Dayz
2010-Jan-06, 05:48 PM
Prove it. Show examples of people who have been injured by exploding aircraft.
Lockerbie (Pan Am Flight 103) was already mentioned above.
11 townspeople killed.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 05:52 PM
That doesn't count! It doesn't include a probability! (In before Tofu does it)

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 06:18 PM
Lockerbie (Pan Am Flight 103) was already mentioned above.
11 townspeople killed.

oh ok well I hadn't heard that. I haven't heard of any deaths from the shuttle breakup or from the debris that fell when the planes hit on 9/11

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 06:21 PM
or from the debris that fell when the planes hit on 9/11

Uhmmmmm, that would be hard to measure, considering the other kinds of debris that were coming down? It's not like there was much of a scene to study for long.

MAPNUT
2010-Jan-06, 06:32 PM
I am NOT complaining about inconvenience. I am complaining about ineffective, intrusive, irrational reactionary responses under the guise of security. I am pointing out the fact that these security responses have reduced the risk of an attack by exactly zero percent.

This is absurd. How many people have been killed by plane bombers since 9/11/01? I think it's zero (since we don't know what brought down the Air France flight). Even Richard Reid the shoe bomber was thwarted because of heightened wariness. As noted by Swift, many people have been murdered in less secure environments, and less "paranoid" countries. You fly your low-security airline. I'll continue taking my shoes off, cursing Richard Reid every time, not the people making me take my shoes off.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 06:33 PM
I am pointing out the fact that these security responses have reduced the risk of an attack by exactly zero percent.

Is there any way you can demonstrate your figure here, or is it just something that you think is right, and not based on any empirical evidence at all?

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 06:48 PM
This is absurd. How many people have been killed by plane bombers since 9/11/01?

because of heightened security?


Even Richard Reid the shoe bomber was thwarted because of heightened wariness.

Richard Reid was thwarted because the TSA confiscates toenail clippers and bottles of liquid less than one ounce? That's amazing. I thought he was thwarted by fellow passengers who would also be on the flights that I propose.

So basically, you just made an argument for my side. You just gave an example where the TSA increased our security by zero percent. Thanks.

SeanF
2010-Jan-06, 07:17 PM
The shoe bomber and the underwear bomber were both "thwarted," as it were, because they used inefficient explosives. I wouldn't count on other passengers having the time to stop a suicide bomber as a good security system.

How about simply having an airline that is in charge of their own security, but has carte blanche to arbitrarily deny boarding based on whatever criteria they think is prudent?

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 07:29 PM
Originally Posted by MAPNUT
This is absurd. How many people have been killed by plane bombers since 9/11/01?because of heightened security?

I think that highlights a fundamental problem with this discussion: a lack of data. For all we know, the various security services (TSA, FBI, other US, other countries, etc.) have thwarted dozens and dozens of attempts over the last 8+ years. Maybe they have not thwarted a single one. There is just no publicly available data, for what I think are obvious reasons - revealing that kind of stuff would hinder their efforts. So, all we know of are the failures that become publicly known. We don't know if those failure represent 1% of the cases, or 100%.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-06, 07:35 PM
I seem to be on Tofu's ignore list. Hmm.

Well, oh well. One less discussion I have to follow. :)

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 07:37 PM
Anecdotal evidence with no way to back it up or prove our instructor wasn't lying, but we were told that there had been at least two more attempts on buildings in NYC since the 9/11 attacks, but that had been "averted". From the sounds of it, at least one was a "there's the van with the explosions, grab him before he pushes the button" deal.

They tend to not advertise those, sometimes, for whatever reason (avoid panics, keep the source of their information quiet, whatever).

Again, could have been a total hogwash story from the instructor, so take it for what it's worth. I can say for certainty that there's constant APB's that go out through even local law enforcement agencies here in cowtown Ohio for known terrorists. Again, it's not like this stuff is usually publicized. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

Of course that leaves the potential for "Oh, we're doing stuff. Trust us! Now give us more money so we can keep doing stuff!" It's hard to tell sometimes. All I know is no one has yet car bombed my office or house, so I'm happy.

I do find the lack of other successful attacks in the wake of 9/11 suspicious, in that I don't know how likely it is that "they" (whomever they may be) decided that the one was good enough. To be honest, no matter how out of hand security gets, how hard would it really be to bomb a Starbucks or subway car, like what happens in other countries? I'd have to believe that someone somewhere is doing a good job at fighting this kind of attack. But again, who can tell for sure?

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 07:49 PM
The shoe bomber and the underwear bomber were both "thwarted," as it were, because they used inefficient explosives. I wouldn't count on other passengers having the time to stop a suicide bomber as a good security system.

How about simply having an airline that is in charge of their own security, but has carte blanche to arbitrarily deny boarding based on whatever criteria they think is prudent?

OK, so let's imagine that both attacks were successful. Does that mean that TSA's reactionary policies are working?? Are successful attacks evidence that we should stick with TSA?

Wouldn't a better argument be to point to the great piles of explosives that TSA has caught on its way to an airplane? Wouldn't it be better to point to all the people who are in jail today because the TSA captured them?

If you can't point to those things, then doesn't it make sense to question the need to the TSA?

BigDon
2010-Jan-06, 07:50 PM
How come I seem to be the only one to remember this?

You destroy an economy by interferring with travel! Remember air travel prior to 9/11? Remember the economy? I do!

The 9/11 attacks can not work twice! They didn't overwhelm any aircraft, not one! All aircraft initailly surrended to the attackers, assuming a hostage situation. Nobodies going to do that again. Heck, even Al Queda hasn't tried it again.

The TSA is actually sliding themselves into the position of Enemies, Domestic. Unitentional and through ignorance and about half you guys here swore an oath at one time not to let that happen unchallenged.

The airlines didn't do their best work by bringing families together for holidays twice a year. They did their best work by giving businessmen "hand's on" capability all across the country. All year long.

Then unrelated groups whine at business executives for using private jets. Oddly enough mainly by people ill equiped to survive in countries without our infrastructure.

IsaacKuo
2010-Jan-06, 07:54 PM
I do find the lack of other successful attacks in the wake of 9/11 suspicious, in that I don't know how likely it is that "they" (whomever they may be) decided that the one was good enough. To be honest, no matter how out of hand security gets, how hard would it really be to bomb a Starbucks or subway car, like what happens in other countries?
It depends on your definition of "successful attack". Before 9/11, Al Qaeda had a pattern of only doing one (successful) major attack every few years, and showing no particular favorite country in which to perform this attack. Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has continued this pattern, such as it is.

I'd have to believe that someone somewhere is doing a good job at fighting this kind of attack. But again, who can tell for sure?
It make me wonder how hard Al Qaeda is really trying, or more precisely--just what is it that Al Qaeda is actually trying to do.

It simply isn't that hard to do a terrorist style attack here in the U.S., thanks to the really easy availability of suitable guns. But the DC sniper, Ft Hood, Va Tech, etc...none of these seem to be affiliated with Al Qaeda or any other larger terrorist organizations.

BigDon
2010-Jan-06, 07:56 PM
Isaac, the stated goal of the Al Queda is the United States under sharia law.

BigDon
2010-Jan-06, 07:57 PM
Good luck with that, Al.

IsaacKuo
2010-Jan-06, 07:59 PM
Wouldn't a better argument be to point to the great piles of explosives that TSA has caught on its way to an airplane?
You can't point to the great piles of explosives that terrorists didn't even bother trying to smuggle onto airplanes because they were busy figuring out how to put together new explosives that would make it past security.

Like, what's the point of bulletproofing bank security vans? If you can't point to the dents from all the bullets bouncing off, what use is it?

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 08:00 PM
It depends on your definition of "successful attack". Before 9/11, Al Qaeda had a pattern of only doing one (successful) major attack every few years, and showing no particular favorite country in which to perform this attack. Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has continued this pattern, such as it is.

That's a good point. I also worry that all these TSA Security and Anti-terror talks are going to actually inspire more non-terrorist group attacks (i.e., people acting alone, like Ft Hood or, from what I understand, "The Man in the Exploding Briefs" . . . which seems like an interesting title for a movie, but may already exist in more . . . mature markets).

BigDon
2010-Jan-06, 08:01 PM
You can't point to the great piles of explosives that terrorists didn't even bother trying to smuggle onto airplanes because they were busy figuring out how to put together new explosives that would make it past security.

Like, what's the point of bulletproofing bank security vans? If you can't point to the dents from all the bullets bouncing off, what use is it?

Uhhh, you can point to dents from bullets in bank trucks.

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 08:05 PM
Uhhh, you can point to dents from bullets in bank trucks.
Agreed. Of course, many times the dents are from people who just think it's cool to shoot at the truck to see if it's really bullet proof, rather than an actual robbery/hijacking attempt. But those happen too.

SeanF
2010-Jan-06, 08:12 PM
OK, so let's imagine that both attacks were successful. Does that mean that TSA's reactionary policies are working?? Are successful attacks evidence that we should stick with TSA?
Don't believe I said that. :)


Wouldn't a better argument be to point to the great piles of explosives that TSA has caught on its way to an airplane? Wouldn't it be better to point to all the people who are in jail today because the TSA captured them?

If you can't point to those things, then doesn't it make sense to question the need to the TSA?
I'll just quote IsaacKuo here:


You can't point to the great piles of explosives that terrorists didn't even bother trying to smuggle onto airplanes because they were busy figuring out how to put together new explosives that would make it past security.

Like, what's the point of bulletproofing bank security vans? If you can't point to the dents from all the bullets bouncing off, what use is it?
The best security doesn't stop attempts from succeeding, it stops them from being attempted. Which is, unfortunately, exceedingly difficult to measure.

BigDon, I think you missed Isaac's point. :)

tofu
2010-Jan-06, 08:42 PM
Like, what's the point of bulletproofing bank security vans? If you can't point to the dents from all the bullets bouncing off, what use is it?

Point taken. I guess I would just like to see some sort of reasonable standard applied. Instead what I see is knee-jerk reactions. To keep the armored car example, imagine that someone throws a rock at an armored car, so the next day police start searching people standing along side the road where armored cars will travel. So the next day someone makes a voodoo doll of an armored car. So the government outlaws all dolls - all of them.

The point is, these attacks didn't work. But the government reacts to them as if it's Armageddon. Why does the TSA confiscate nail clippers and pocket knives? These are the voodoo dolls of airline travel. A 9/11-style attack with box cutters cannot work again. So why is the rule still there?

And as I keep asking, where does it stop? How many people would die if we simply got rid of the TSA? You're probably thinking of adding up all the people that will die when planes blow up, but wait - if the terrorists want to kill people, why not just blow themselves up in the security screening line in the airport? Or in any other crowded place?

So if you're a terrorist and you have a bomb and a willing bomber, you can kill a lot of people just by going to a crowded place. But you (probably) can't get the bomb on a plane. But if you could get the bomb on a plane, then you could also kill a lot of people. So what exactly is the difference, and what problem is the TSA really solving?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-06, 08:50 PM
The TSA are trying to prevent the destruction of plane travel because people are too afraid of terrorist attacks to fly, unfortunately they're doing it by destroying plane travel because people are getting too harassed to fly.

The Backroad Astronomer
2010-Jan-06, 08:51 PM
It is not just plane travel that got disrupted. Here where I live is actually on the border between Canada and the States. For years nobody needed a passport to enter the States and now we do. This might not seem like a big deal, but people here have families on bith sides and do business on both sides. Plus most people living here do not make much so cost of 80 dollars to get a passport can be a major pain.

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 09:20 PM
Folks,

I'm going to go and stick my big moderator nose in here.

I ask everyone to try to be on their best follow-BAUT-rules behavior. This is a very borderline topic for this forum, because of politics and because of emotional content. There have been several posts that have been right on the edge. Some of the comments are also getting pretty close to personal attacks. We've already closed one thread one this topic, we will close this one too, and issues infractions, as necessary.

Thank you for your help on this.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-06, 09:53 PM
So if you're a terrorist and you have a bomb and a willing bomber, you can kill a lot of people just by going to a crowded place. But you (probably) can't get the bomb on a plane. But if you could get the bomb on a plane, then you could also kill a lot of people. So what exactly is the difference, and what problem is the TSA really solving?

The bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 was only a few ounces of explosives hidden in checked luggage. It killed 270 people (11 of them on the ground), far more than those same explosives would've killed in a crowded area.

The planes hijacked on 9/11 killed not only the people on board but close to 3000 on the ground. An airliner full of fuel is a potent weapon even if it isn't deliberately flown into a building. Detonated over a crowded area, it could kill many, many people.

Plane crashes are quite rare and are therefore newsworthy. Bringing down an airliner is a major achievement for terrorists which is why they sometimes claim credit for a crash that had nothing to do with terrorism as I remember happened following the Air Lauda 004 crash back in 1991.

swampyankee
2010-Jan-06, 09:57 PM
Why can't there be a separate airline, and a whole separate screening process for people who are NOT worried about their safety when they fly?

The thing is, every time a "terrorist" (really just some bumbling idiot) does something crazy on an airplane, the US TSA "cracks down" on something or other. There was an attempt (but it didn't work) using some liquid. Now we can't have liquids on airplanes. There was an attempt (but it didn't work) using shoes. Now we have to take off our shoes. On Dec. 25th there was an attempt (but it didn't work) using some powder. Now they're saying this is the proof that we need full-body scanners, and we the people are just going to have to accept that TSA agents get to see us and our children fully nude.

I haven't ever heard anyone in the government say, "it's really unlikely that a bottle of gatoraide is going to blow up a plane, plus the imposition of taking away tiny bottles of liquids is too high, so we have decided the rational thing to do is to NOT make any new rules in the wake of this failed attempt." They never say that. They always respond with more rules. I find myself wondering just how far they're willing to go. What if a terrorist used a feminine hygiene product? Would that be the limit to the new rule reactionary responses? Or would they start screening for tampons?

So my question is, why can't we have a separate airline for people who aren't worried - people who accept the risks? I'll carry my own luggage out on the tarmac. I'll forgo the convenience of ever being allowed inside the terminal. I'll never mix with the safe people. And I'll understand (and sign a waiver to the effect) that the risk that I'll die is a bit higher.

This would be for domestic flights only. And no attempt would be made to negotiate with someone who hijacked one of these flights. We'd just shoot the hijacked aircraft down, or better yet, have remote controlled explosives in every plane. That way, you couldn't use these aircraft for a 9/11 style attack.

I would be totally OK with all of those risks. Why am I not allowed to make that choice? Why do I have to suffer the imposition of the TSA because of the irrational hysteria of the few who demand the impossible standard of complete safety?

I can see those terrorists -- most of whom seem to be more tech savvy than the TSA -- cracking the controls for those remote controlled explosives. Too many more places for social engineering, the crackers most efficient tool, to work. For fairly obvious reasons, death threats are not likely to be very effective in stopping suicide bombers, so I'm not convinced the shooting down bit would be much of a deterrent.

Risk, and the perceptions of risk, are a complex psychological landscape. How many people are afraid to fly but will blithely jaywalk across Michigan Avenue? I suspect that most of the airport screening to prevent terrorism is primarily to catch the little fish (like the rather idiotic Christmas failed bomber), rather than to keep another Lockerbie from occurring. Incidentally, I'm old enough to remember that airport security was initially put in place because of people hijacking aircraft to Cuba. They were qualitatively different from the current crop of hijackers. The passengers and planes were usually returned, although the hijackers would probably get to stay in one of Cuba's prisons for a while. The current crop of "hijackers" are just interested in killing people; I believe they have no rational political view.

Van Rijn
2010-Jan-06, 10:11 PM
I would guess that the only passengers you would get would be bombers.
Who would crew such an aircraft? I certainly wouldn't work for them.

Put them on autopilot? I'm thinking of The Marching Morons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons). Use the cheapest planes possible, let them have "successful" attacks, but keep the planes away from populated areas.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-07, 01:10 AM
Your missing something obvious. Planes are very expensive items of kit. Airlines don't only check for bombs because they want to keep the passengers alive (although that is the prime reason), they also check them to protect their own assets.

Airlines do not actually check you out (apart from making sure you have a visa for your destination, that is just so they wont have to bear the cost of flying you back if it is not valid), for them that would be a great cost, so they pay the airport to do it for them. If a bomb does go off, the airline and the airport responsible is liable for huge legal costs as well as the cost of replacing the aircraft.

If you owned a plane, would you not check out the people who were going to get on it to make sure your precious baby was safe ?

It may be a bit cynical, but sometimes I think the prime reason for security checks is the protection of assets and not passengers. It is almost similar to most Health and Safety laws these days which seem to be in place to protect the company from prosecution, and not to protect the employee.

Incidentally, because the airport check you out and not the airline, it would be totally impractical to run an airline with reduced security independent to other airlines. The US actually do have different security check requirements to the rest of the world. This means that every airport in the world that flies into the US has to screen passengers to US standards, this screening is a separate process in all airports and is very costly for an airport to include. To not screen passengers would be just as costly as extra screening, because again, it would involve a completely separate process than that used in the rest of the airport.

Internal flights could do it, I suppose. Providing the airline was willing to bear the cost of funding an upgrade to every airport they flew to. For a single airline this would be impossible to do however because of the huge costs involved.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-07, 01:51 AM
I think that highlights a fundamental problem with this discussion: a lack of data. For all we know, the various security services (TSA, FBI, other US, other countries, etc.) have thwarted dozens and dozens of attempts over the last 8+ years. Maybe they have not thwarted a single one. There is just no publicly available data, for what I think are obvious reasons - revealing that kind of stuff would hinder their efforts. So, all we know of are the failures that become publicly known. We don't know if those failure represent 1% of the cases, or 100%.

There is however data that is not made public. A security risk that is considered to be a definite threat to both passengers and aircraft is called a level 5 incident. On any given month there are on average 2 to 3 level 5 incidents at Heathrow airport London alone. Not all of these are bombs of course, some are explosives that passengers pack in ignorance but could damage the aircraft if allowed on board, lighter fuel, weapons, bullets, even recently, 2 high powered sniper rifles and live grenades from one passenger who thought it was ok to have these items in his hold luggage on an international flight (some passengers really do think they can simply lie and cheat the system). Not all threats to aircraft are bombs, and even if the airline was prepared to not check for bombs, they would still have to check for these supposedly innocently packed items.

good thread BTW.

KaiYeves
2010-Jan-07, 02:25 AM
from what I understand, "The Man in the Exploding Briefs" . . . which seems like an interesting title for a movie, but may already exist in more . . . mature markets).
So it's not just me who giggles a little at all these reports?

Because, face it, people, "underpants" is a funny word.

"Investigation into underpants bomber continues". I just cannot read that headline with a straight face.

Cougar
2010-Jan-07, 03:41 AM
...why can't we have a separate airline for people who aren't worried...



Yeah, where the passengers are encouraged to carry a concealed weapon to keep the plane safe from terrorist bombers.


I imagine the Wild Westerners would like that. I'm part of the counter-culture, though. Some bored TSA agent sees a glimpse of me and my kids naked? Oh, so what. You never been to Rimini Beach, Italy?

SeanF
2010-Jan-07, 03:01 PM
You never been to Rimini Beach, Italy?
Actually, no.

What is it that causes some people to think, "Since x doesn't bother me, it is totally irrational for it to bother you"?

tofu
2010-Jan-07, 03:34 PM
Some bored TSA agent sees a glimpse of me and my kids naked? Oh, so what.

Or to rephrase, "if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind?"

Eh, it's clear that mine is a minority view. I don't think that constant reaction makes us safer, and it seems so clear and obvious to me. But I accept that you guys disagree.

For the third time I ask, what exactly is the limit to reactionary policies? Is there anything the TSA could do that would make you say, "whoa hold on, now you've gone too far!" Each time I give an example and ask if that's over the line. I don't think anyone has said, "the present TSA policies are fine, but what you suggest would be too intrusive." So I'll try again: what if a terrorist cut open his abdomen and surgically implanted a block of C4? What if this could only be detected by an x-ray? What if the TSA said, "ok from now on everyone get's a full x-ray before they fly." Would that be ok with you?

SeanF
2010-Jan-07, 03:51 PM
For what it's worth, tofu, I do agree with you on general principles. I think it's just your tone and some of the examples you've used that put people off. Smuggling explosives onto a plane is equivalent to throwing rocks at an armored car? Really? :)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-07, 08:37 PM
So I'll try again: what if a terrorist cut open his abdomen and surgically implanted a block of C4? What if this could only be detected by an x-ray? What if the TSA said, "ok from now on everyone get's a full x-ray before they fly." Would that be ok with you?
Airport abdominal x-ray spot checks are common already in countries like Columbia where drug smuggling is pervasive, so that example isn't really extreme except for the "everyone".

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-07, 10:08 PM
If you take 10,000 bags from any airport check-in, you will, on average, get the following.

Level 1 pass bags, automatic decision by an x-ray machine (bags that are totally clean of all explosives, biological element traces, suspicious metals, illegal items). These go straight onto the aircraft. 7,000

3,000 fail level 1 because the machine detects something, these are sent for a Level 2 decision.

Level 2 pass bags (bags where an operator looks at the machines X-Ray image and in 30 seconds can confirm it is fine after all). These go onto the aircraft. 2,500

500 fail level 2 because the operator could not confirm in the time available that the bag was fine. These are sent for a level 3 decision.

Level 3 pass bags (bags where an operator uses a much more powerful X Ray machine and can take as many X rays and as much time as he wants), These go onto the aircraft. 490

10 fail level 3 because the operator can see something suspicious. These are sent for a level 4 decision.

Level 4 pass bags (bags that are opened and the item is checked and found to be fine) These go onto the aircraft. 9

1 bag fails level 4 because the item is a threat to both aircraft and passengers. This bag becomes a level 5 bag.

At level 5, the passenger that owns this bag is removed from the aircraft and taken into police custody for questioning.

As I said above, the vast majority of dangerous items are not bombs but items packed in ignorance, they are however a definite threat to both aircraft and passengers. We have 2 to 3 Level 5 incidents at Heathrow London every single month.

Without airport screening, even if no one intended to carry a bomb on an aircraft, or indeed did so, you would still have a dramatic increase in crashes caused by these items.

So in essence, the screening is mainly protecting the rest of us from idiots who do not read or adhere to the advice on proscribed articles and not necessarily from bombers. Catching a determined bomber every time is always going to be hard, every now and again, one is always going to get through eventually, no matter what you do.

Swift
2010-Jan-07, 10:19 PM
If you take 10,000 bags from any airport check-in, you will, on average, get the following.

Just out of curiousity, your numbers sound reasonable, but do have a reference for where you got them from ?

Cougar
2010-Jan-07, 10:48 PM
What is it that causes some people to think, "Since x doesn't bother me, it is totally irrational for it to bother you"?

Because some people have been to Rimini Beach. :) Beach-goers often go au natural at Rimini, but after a short, initial, uh, curiosity, such sights become rather mundane, not what one would expect. I am extrapolating that TSA agents working the full-body scanner are going to be doing their jobs looking for dangerous things, and not be that impressed with the thousands of bodily forms passing through every day.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-07, 11:19 PM
Just out of curiousity, your numbers sound reasonable, but do have a reference for where you got them from ?

It is part of my job, these numbers are about right for three major UK airports. I have no doubt they would be the same for other major airports anywhere in the world. You would not believe what some people think they can take on a plane. I have actually been stood behind someone at passenger security (as a passenger myself) who was prevented from boarding the plane because he had a high powered pistol and ammunition in his luggage, he was actually arguing with security thinking he had every right to take it on the aircraft. With idiots like that about I am glad we at least have some screening. What I see as part of my job is even worse sometimes.

Cougar
2010-Jan-07, 11:24 PM
Some bored TSA agent sees a glimpse of me and my kids naked? Oh, so what.

Or to rephrase, "if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind?"

No, that reminds me too much of a traffic stop where the officer asks if he/she can search your car. My answer is "No" even if I have nothing to hide. I am not easily disposed to relinquish my constitutionally protected Fourth Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution ) right. As I say below, in the case of air travel, I think the intrusion passes the reasonableness test.


Eh, it's clear that mine is a minority view. I don't think that constant reaction makes us safer, and it seems so clear and obvious to me. But I accept that you guys disagree.

It just seems reasonable, in view of the history, that the airlines and the TSA should do what they can to keep passengers (and planes) safe.


For the third time I ask, what exactly is the limit to reactionary policies?

The limit is probably when the policy starts to seriously affect business, when enough people say, "Forget it! That policy is way too intrusive. I'll take a ship (but not along the Ethiopian coast)."

SeanF
2010-Jan-08, 12:13 PM
Because some people have been to Rimini Beach. :) Beach-goers often go au natural at Rimini, but after a short, initial, uh, curiosity, such sights become rather mundane, not what one would expect. I am extrapolating that TSA agents working the full-body scanner are going to be doing their jobs looking for dangerous things, and not be that impressed with the thousands of bodily forms passing through every day.
Which answers neither my question nor my point. :)

Cougar
2010-Jan-08, 02:50 PM
Which answers neither my question nor my point. :)

Oh! I thought yours was a rhetorical question. I was just giving a rhetorical answer. :)

rommel543
2010-Jan-08, 05:45 PM
I was watching a Discovery channel story about a airport detection system that blew air over the person and could detect nano-sized particles of explosives. They even tested it against someone who had come in contact with explosives the day before, showered before the testing, and it still found the traces on him. They also indicated that the system could detect thousands of different substances at the same time, including drugs, GSR, etc.

Cougar
2010-Jan-08, 06:01 PM
I was watching a Discovery channel story about a airport detection system that blew air over the person and could detect nano-sized particles of explosives.

We have that at our local airport. It's called the puffer. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puffer_Machine) Very non-invasive.

Swift
2010-Jan-08, 06:03 PM
We have that at our local airport. It's called the puffer. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puffer_Machine) Very non-invasive.
I've been through it also. It was almost kind of fun.

rommel543
2010-Jan-08, 07:20 PM
The comment on the show was that it would eliminate the need for the full body scanner.

Also wouldn't one of the full body scanners cause issues with pace makers and other bio-electric devices.

Swift
2010-Jan-08, 08:13 PM
Also wouldn't one of the full body scanners cause issues with pace makers and other bio-electric devices.
I don't how ones based on x-rays would cause an issue for devices (they would give a low dose of x-rays). I believe there are some designs based on thermal imaging, and again, I don't see how they would be a problem.

If there are any scanners based on MRI type scanners, or radio-frequency... yes, they could be a problem, though I don't know of any security scanners based on those. And I understand people are developing Terahertz radiation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terahertz_radiation) based scanners - they might have some issues similar to the radio-frequency devices, but I'm not sure.

Fazor
2010-Jan-08, 09:29 PM
Is disrupting say, a pacemaker, really an issue anyway? I mean, a dead passenger is very little threat to the flight . . . :)

rommel543
2010-Jan-08, 10:02 PM
Is disrupting say, a pacemaker, really an issue anyway? I mean, a dead passenger is very little threat to the flight . . . :)

Yes..it causes delays at boarding...

closetgeek
2010-Jan-14, 02:32 AM
Because some people have been to Rimini Beach. :) Beach-goers often go au natural at Rimini, but after a short, initial, uh, curiosity, such sights become rather mundane, not what one would expect. I am extrapolating that TSA agents working the full-body scanner are going to be doing their jobs looking for dangerous things, and not be that impressed with the thousands of bodily forms passing through every day.

I have heard from one person that it was basically a silhouette and not a full on nudie shot. I hear from another that it is detailed. Does anyone actually know?

Swift
2010-Jan-14, 02:45 AM
I have heard from one person that it was basically a silhouette and not a full on nudie shot. I hear from another that it is detailed. Does anyone actually know?
If you look at this thread from flyertalk.com (some sort of aviation forum) (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/778529-no-information-consent-given-when-getting-full-body-scan-t4-5.html) they have sample images from two different scanner technologies: "millimeter wave" and backscatter x-rays. So the exact image you get will depend upon the technology.

closetgeek
2010-Jan-14, 02:37 PM
Thanks Swift. That borderlines on too much exposure, IMHO. I will probably opt not to fly in the future.

korjik
2010-Jan-14, 06:14 PM
I do like how some people are more afraid that some unknown person may see a blobby green detail-less image of their body than getting splattered all over the countryside after their plane is destroyed.

I more have to fight the urge to tape messages under my shirt for the scanner operators to see. Then again, I have been fighting that urge with respect to my carry on for years...

PetersCreek
2010-Jan-14, 06:25 PM
Hmmmm...that suggests a new fad: radio-opaque tatoos/body art.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-14, 07:11 PM
I always find a gun shaped piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminium foil livens up your friends holiday experience when slipped into his carry on. :)

korjik
2010-Jan-15, 05:35 PM
I always find a gun shaped piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminium foil livens up your friends holiday experience when slipped into his carry on. :)

That is just evil.

Of course, I have always wanted to put a couple books in a napsack, then stick a phone on top, then have couple wires going from the phone into the books. I figure that should look at least, interesting.

Argos
2010-Jan-15, 05:40 PM
You meanies. :)

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-15, 08:42 PM
That is just evil.

Of course, I have always wanted to put a couple books in a napsack, then stick a phone on top, then have couple wires going from the phone into the books. I figure that should look at least, interesting.

There was one poor guy at Heathrow a few years back whose bag went the whole hog with security up to the point of him being removed from the plane and standing there with armed police while they opened the bag in front of him. Everyone in the room apart from the passenger was sure he was going to be arrested.

When his hold bag went through X-ray the image without doubt had an image of a gun, even the more powerful machine confirmed this, once the bag got to level 4 status the police were called to open it up.

When it was opened there was absolutely nothing of concern in it. What had happened is that by sheer chance, a variety of everyday items had become aligned so they looked like a gun (pen, jewellery box etc.). Even in views from other angles the items looked like a gun. The images were so unusual, security kept them and now use them as training material.

If you really want to play a prank, just give your mate some marzipan as a present. In an airport X-Ray, marzipan is indistinguishable from C4. It actually sets off the bomb warning alarm on the scanner. We have really big problems at Heathrow with pensioners flying with this stuff when they visit relatives.

korjik
2010-Jan-15, 10:15 PM
Cool. kilo blocks of marzipan then.

:evil:

:)

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-15, 10:33 PM
A kilo block of marzipan will do it for sure.

:eek:

captain swoop
2010-Jan-15, 11:43 PM
Big bags of talcum powder are good as well.

rommel543
2010-Jan-18, 10:07 PM
Note to bring on trip...

1 kilo marzipan
1 bag of talcum powder, tightly wrapped in plastic
1 bag oregano in ziplock baggie
Various metal object placed into shape of hand gun
Cellphone with charge cable plugged in (store in with marzipan)

Swift
2010-Jan-18, 10:44 PM
Note to bring on trip...

1 kilo marzipan
1 bag of talcum powder, tightly wrapped in plastic
1 bag oregano in ziplock baggie
Various metal object placed into shape of hand gun
Cellphone with charge cable plugged in (store in with marzipan)
How about a bunch of road flares put together in a bundle with a big, mechanical alarm clock attached to it?

Oh heck, just walk through the airport with one of these (http://www.h4x3d.com/feat/themes/bomb.jpg) under your arm.

korjik
2010-Jan-19, 12:44 AM
How about a bunch of road flares put together in a bundle with a big, mechanical alarm clock attached to it?

Oh heck, just walk through the airport with one of these (http://www.h4x3d.com/feat/themes/bomb.jpg) under your arm.

I think the road flares are prolly not allowed since they burn. I do like the candle tho

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-19, 01:08 AM
Note to bring on trip...

1 kilo marzipan
1 bag of talcum powder, tightly wrapped in plastic
1 bag oregano in ziplock baggie
Various metal object placed into shape of hand gun
Cellphone with charge cable plugged in (store in with marzipan)

Oh this made me laugh, honest. I would like to see someone try this and be in the screening room when the bag comes through. The screener guys get really excited when they do see something to be concerned about, this would send them into a feeding frenzy.

The flashing "Bomb Warning" icon on the screening machine display is almost exactly the same as the picture swift posted.

Of course you would miss your flight, they would probably realise you were taking the mickey and arrest you anyway.

korjik
2010-Jan-19, 04:31 AM
Oh this made me laugh, honest. I would like to see someone try this and be in the screening room when the bag comes through. The screener guys get really excited when they do see something to be concerned about, this would send them into a feeding frenzy.

The flashing "Bomb Warning" icon on the screening machine display is almost exactly the same as the picture swift posted.

Of course you would miss your flight, they would probably realise you were taking the mickey and arrest you anyway.

It would almost be worth it. Expensive, but worth it.

At least here in the 'states I doubt they could make the charges stick, but I imagine that you would get stuck on one of the watch lists.

I would still like to put 'Have a nice day' in aluminum foil under my shirt if I were going through one of those scanners tho.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-19, 06:09 PM
Why not a product logo? get yourself sponsored?

rommel543
2010-Jan-19, 08:48 PM
Why not a product logo? get yourself sponsored?

If it wouldn't cause blood poisoning, a tattoo with a high amount of metal in it.

korjik
2010-Jan-19, 09:39 PM
Why not a product logo? get yourself sponsored?

Too small a target audience. Unless they start having competing detectors.

'With AirCo Brand Sensors, You Could Read The Punchline Of This Joke!'

:)

mike alexander
2010-Jan-19, 10:39 PM
"If you can read this, I'm in custody."

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-19, 11:52 PM
There is this T Shirt that will actually get you arrested in the UK if you wear it at an airport.

http://www.lushtshirts.co.uk/images/products/bomb_squad.jpg

Inside test bags they use thin lead numbers stuck onto the fabric on the inside so they can be identified by the screener. You could always make a sentence out of thin lead as a message to the screener, this is fine and would not be a problem. Lead is only used for hiding other items so the worst that can happen is your bag may need to be scanned from another angle, but it would not need to be opened and would go on the plane.

What message would you want the screener to see ?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-20, 12:21 AM
"Keep up the good work"?

mike alexander
2010-Jan-20, 01:45 AM
"The guy behind me was making bomb jokes"

Swift
2010-Jan-20, 02:51 AM
There is this T Shirt that will actually get you arrested in the UK if you wear it at an airport.

http://www.lushtshirts.co.uk/images/products/bomb_squad.jpg

Reminds me of a cartoon I saw years ago, entitled "Bad Signs". The bomb squad guy is walking into the building as the bomb sniffing dog is running out at high speed and the guy turns as the dog runs pass and says "Sniffy?".

OK, it doesn't translate well into text....

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-20, 11:38 AM
There is this T Shirt that will actually get you arrested in the UK if you wear it at an airport.

http://www.lushtshirts.co.uk/images/products/bomb_squad.jpg
Made me think of this one: http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20091101.html
"An Ordnance Technician at a dead run outranks everyone."

NEOWatcher
2010-Jan-20, 01:54 PM
There is this T Shirt that will actually get you arrested in the UK if you wear it at an airport.
http://www.lushtshirts.co.uk/images/products/bomb_squad.jpg

That's an offshoot of a T-shirt used in "Sum of All Fears (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164184/)" (and probably earlier)

mahesh
2010-Jan-20, 02:42 PM
oh ok well I hadn't heard that. I haven't heard of any deaths from the shuttle breakup or from the debris that fell when the planes hit on 9/11
tofu ? you haven't heard (or hadn't, until jan 06 2010?) of Pan Am 103 and Lockerbie??

Are you serious? Pardon me for asking...how old / young are you?
Have you heard that there was a very popular airline, called Pan Am?

mahesh
2010-Jan-20, 03:25 PM
...
So if you're a terrorist and you have a bomb and a willing bomber, you can kill a lot of people just by going to a crowded place. But you (probably) can't get the bomb on a plane. But if you could get the bomb on a plane, then you could also kill a lot of people. So what exactly is the difference, and what problem is the TSA really solving?
Sooo, so, you have security check, to enter a building. Any building. You can't just walk in anywhere, library, cinema, theatre, museum, school, your baby(ies)'s swimming class etc etc etc...can't go into a restaurant without getting your bags (not your pants...yet) checked...can't go anywhere, without encountering some kind of security check...except your home.

We're in London...so where have you been, all this time?

What goes on around where you reside? I'm just curious.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-20, 05:54 PM
I have never had a security check going into a library, cinema, theatre, museum, school or restaurant. Where do you live in London?

Argos
2010-Jan-20, 06:01 PM
Mahesh, I visited London recently and never felt the security paranoia. I strolled around as free as a bird.

rommel543
2010-Jan-20, 06:44 PM
What message would you want the screener to see ?

"Kilroy was here"

"We are watching you"

"Caution: Do not expose to high levels of radiation"

mike alexander
2010-Jan-20, 06:59 PM
"Really, it's just marzipan"

korjik
2010-Jan-20, 08:05 PM
There is this T Shirt that will actually get you arrested in the UK if you wear it at an airport.

http://www.lushtshirts.co.uk/images/products/bomb_squad.jpg

Inside test bags they use thin lead numbers stuck onto the fabric on the inside so they can be identified by the screener. You could always make a sentence out of thin lead as a message to the screener, this is fine and would not be a problem. Lead is only used for hiding other items so the worst that can happen is your bag may need to be scanned from another angle, but it would not need to be opened and would go on the plane.

What message would you want the screener to see ?

Would aluminum foil give enough contrast to see? Investing in lead foil seems like a little too much work for a cheap joke.

mike alexander
2010-Jan-20, 08:11 PM
Use soldering wire and write in script.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-20, 08:50 PM
Would aluminum foil give enough contrast to see? Investing in lead foil seems like a little too much work for a cheap joke.

No, there would not be enough contrast, it's simply too thin. I was not saying put the message in your hand luggage, but in your hold luggage. In your hand luggage you are in close proximity to the security screener, in your hold luggage it would be simply too much trouble to reprimand you.

Swift
2010-Jan-20, 09:05 PM
Why not a product logo? get yourself sponsored?

Thirsty after a long day of security work?

Then visit the Runway Pub, only 2 miles from the airport.

Convenient parking and drink specials every night!

Fazor
2010-Jan-20, 09:21 PM
Thirsty after a long day of security work?
Then visit the Runway Pub, only 2 miles from the airport.
Convenient parking and drink specials every night!*

Just make sure you don't mention your half-priced Jäger-bombs.

*Kindly edited by the People's Opposition of Font Size and Color Abuse Association, LLC.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-20, 09:29 PM
This reminds me of a Dom Joly prank. On a beach used by Beachcombers with metal detectors they buried a thick 3 foot high metal plate that spelled a rude word with an exclamation mark after it, (anagram "watt"). Then they filmed. Sure enough, after some time, one of the beachcombers found the plate and dug it up. He was not impressed when he read what the plate said. Hilarious.

SkepticJ
2010-Jan-21, 12:21 AM
Use soldering wire and write in script.


Nah. They'll just say you could use it to choke someone. When you say you could use your hands for that, they'll refuse to let you board until they're amputated.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-21, 01:32 AM
Use soldering wire and write in script.

Yes, that may work. has to be fairly thick though. The screener is accustomed to spotting the wires in brassieres, they are thin and steel. Solder has a high enough lead content that text should be clearly visible. Next time I am at Heathrow I will try it myself in a test bag and let you know.

The possibilities are endless, in the new body scanners you could have "insert brain here" or "Robbie MKIII Prototype".

SeanF
2010-Jan-21, 02:59 PM
The possibilities are endless, in the new body scanners you could have "insert brain here" or "Robbie MKIII Prototype".
Now, now...didn't you earlier say you should only do this with checked luggage, and not carry-on? :whistle:

korjik
2010-Jan-21, 05:44 PM
Now, now...didn't you earlier say you should only do this with checked luggage, and not carry-on? :whistle:

I think he meant having it in the hold luggage wouldnt get you in trouble, not that it wouldnt work.

SeanF
2010-Jan-21, 05:50 PM
I think he meant having it in the hold luggage wouldnt get you in trouble, not that it wouldnt work.
I realize that. But now he's suggesting the body scanner, which would be just like carry-on luggage in terms of getting you in trouble. :)

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-21, 08:09 PM
I realize that. But now he's suggesting the body scanner, which would be just like carry-on luggage in terms of getting you in trouble. :)

Just fantasising. I wouldn't do anything with the scanner or your carry on luggage, why ?

Because those security that work those desks have been there all day, irritated by passengers that do not listen to them or simply argue. They are royally peeved off, always. All they want is one small excuse to get their own back and BAM !!

On the other hand the screeners who work in the baggage hall, have not seen a passenger all day, they are relaxed and happy. They are far more likely to see the funny side of anything you do.

There are several things you could do to have a laugh at the security check in though without fear of getting into trouble. When you are being frisked, make out you're really enjoying it by going Mmmmm, Ahhhh, Ohhh thats nice. It's amazing how fast they stop.

Another one that will go down well with the new body scanners is make sure you take a viagra about thirty minutes before you go through.

:)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-22, 01:48 AM
One thing you may know RAF, those plastic wrapping machines for checked luggage in airports, they're basically just a scam, right?

If the screeners in the baggage hall see something suspicious on the scan that needs visual inspection they'll just cut through that wrap regardless, right?

SeanF
2010-Jan-22, 08:30 PM
As a slightly related note, while you should certainly never joke around with TSA, you might need to be prepared to have them joke around with you (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20100121_Daniel_Rubin__It_was_no_joke_at_security_ gate.html). :doh:

Swift
2010-Jan-22, 10:49 PM
As a slightly related note, while you should certainly never joke around with TSA, you might need to be prepared to have them joke around with you (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20100121_Daniel_Rubin__It_was_no_joke_at_security_ gate.html). :doh:
Idiot (the TSA employee). But it has a "happy" ending. From the link:

"The TSA views this employee's behavior to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional," she wrote. "We can assure travelers this employee has been disciplined by TSA management at Philadelphia International Airport, and he has expressed remorse for his actions."

Update: Ann Davis, the TSA spokeswoman, said this afternoon that the worker is no longer employed by the agency as of today. She said privacy laws prevented her from saying if he was fired or left on his own.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Jan-22, 11:49 PM
One thing you may know RAF, those plastic wrapping machines for checked luggage in airports, they're basically just a scam, right?

If the screeners in the baggage hall see something suspicious on the scan that needs visual inspection they'll just cut through that wrap regardless, right?

Oh yes. Right on both points. Once a bag gets to level 4 it is opened, always. Sometimes the bag is too large to fit through the screener, in that case the only option is to open it. If the bag is locked then they will find the passenger, if it is not, then they will just open it right away, but it will get opened.