The US federal government has bought about 200 of the “strip search” backscatter x-ray machines that invade personal privacy and are actually ineffective at preventing so-called “underwear bombs.” (Oh, and for those keeping track, the TSA has spent about $20,000 per machine for these invasions of privacy.) And if you choose to opt-out of the virtual strip search due to privacy or radiation concerns, prepare yourself for a groping “advanced pat-down” that is more like a sexual assault that — if done by a co-worker, or anyone else for that matter — would result in a sexual assault charge.
So let’s think about this: $4,000,000 of taxpayer dollars (actually, of Chinese dollars that the US taxpayers will have to pay back, with interest) for a privacy-invading technology that doesn’t work. Is this a government operation or what?
So here’s an idea: replace the invasion-of-personal-privacy scanners with a low-tech solution that actually works: bomb-sniffing dogs.
- Trained bomb-sniffing dogs are less than half the cost of the strip-search x-ray machines
- Dogs can detect both drugs and bombs
- The US military in Iraq and Afghanistan use dogs effectively at security checkpoints
- The dogs are mobile: they can work the line of people waiting to go through metal detectors or be deployed to the boarding gate areas, ticketing areas, etc.
- Dogs don’t get bored, their eyes don’t get tired, nor will they snap photos of naked images with their cell phones
And one bonus reason: Devout Muslims believe dogs are unclean, and if you get dog saliva on you, you are therefore unclean. (Are we profiling? You bet we are. We have yet to hear of a Hasidic Jew trying to blow up an airplane. We have yet to hear of anyone from any other religion trying to do that, either.)
While some airports already use the dogs, there’s not enough of them in our opinion. We say: get the biggest dogs available that slobber the most, train them to sniff out explosives, and deploy 20-30 to each airport. Every passenger should be sniff-screened at least 3 times prior to boarding. And to prevent false-positives, if a positive result is found, have the other dogs on duty check the situation out before locking down the airport.
Despite the fact that this is a much better solution to the problem of airline security, we realize it will probably never happen because it makes too much Common Sense.
Back during the Cold War, there was lots of talk of “Mutually Assured Destruction”: if you launch your nukes, we’ll launch our nukes, and we all die. It’s ironic then, that there’s lots of talk about the so-called “nuclear option” in Congress with regards to how Obama and the Democrats want to force the healthcare bill down our throats. We would like to remind Obama and Congress that “We the People” possess our own nuclear option: secession.
The United States is a Republic. We are a union of states. Without opening the can-o-worms that is the Civil War, (a.k.a. “the War of Northern Aggression”, “the War Between States”, etc), the States do indeed have the right to secede from the Union.
So let’s imagine this: All 50 States agree that on the same date, every State formally secedes from the United States of America. (more…)
In the wake of the failed Christmas day Fruit of Kaboom bombing attempt, our response has been predictable. Add more air marshals. Full-body x-ray scanners that allow operators to see you naked, and don’t work against all explosives anyway. Policies and procedures — like forbidding you from having anything, including a magazine, in your lap 1 hour from landing — that are overly restrictive and totally worthless, since we have no control over the airports in other countries.
It’s more 9/10 thinking in a post-9/11 world: treat everyone like criminals and hope that the bad guys don’t figure out a way around new rules and regulations. Thanks to the current administration, we’re back to playing prevent defense, and as any football fan will tell you, prevent defense doesn’t do anything but prevent you from winning. We need to go back on offense when it comes to finding and killing terrorists abroad. But we’ll leave the Global War on Terror discussion for another time.
If we were serious about airline security, we’d take the following 3-step procedure: (more…)