"Papers please" - we've lost the war - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 6:45 am Thread Starter
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"Papers please" - we've lost the war

I know first-hand from many business travels that we're all just a number to the people charged with mitigating another 9/11, and that security could be nothing but institutionalized for the masses. It never bothered me until yesterday. Here's what happened as we transported our family from ABQ to PHX for a fun weekend with carry-on baggage only because we were late for our plane:
As I held my baby son (1) in my right arm and my daughter (7) clung to my left arm out of shininess, a TSA officer opened my daughter's suitcase that she proudly packed. The gentleman found a 6 ounce can of SPF 50 sunscreen (she has a favorite that I could not convince her to leave behind) that was down to the last 2 ounces. The TSA officer picked it up to show me it wasn't allowed because it was a 6 ounce can. My daughter tugged on my arm in horror that the man was taking her sunscreen away. My parental nature kicked in and I asked for the can. Surprisingly, the TSA officer handed it to me, giving me hope that I could reason with him.

I shook the can and suggested maybe he could let her have it because it was clearly under the 3 ounce minimum in content. He said I need to get the supervisor. A burley guy, about my size and ten years younger than me, came over. He did not take note of my baby or daughter (and all the family stuff) to assess the security risk. Instead, he said "No, the can is too big." I shook the can and said, "It only has 2 ounces and look it's sunscreen" as I squirted some on my hand and offered him a whiff. The TSA supervisor puffed out his chest and grabbed the can from me and said "No!"

By then my daughter's eyes were really big, and my wife, Debi, could see something in my eyes as she took Jessica by the hand - I was going to (foolishly) give this TSA security supervisor a piece of my mind. If it wasn't for the one year old baby in my arms (realizing this on hind-sight), I might have been thrown in jail for what happened next: I moved closer to the TSA supervisor, getting in the face, and said, "Come on, use some fu#@*#g discretion." "You're fighting the wrong enemy when you take a baby's can of sunscreen away!" Note: I had falsely implied it was for the baby for effect. BTW, I was so mad the F word just slipped out - I don't clearly recollect saying it, but my wife assured me afterward that I did. Of course, I was red-faced and loud. Just as I confronted the TSA supervisor for fighting the wrong enemy, I thought "you idiot - this guy is looking for someone to make his day - he now gets to play SUPER-COP."

Sure enough, three TSA officers went through every bag and took everything they could justify. Things that normally pass through when I travel on business--gone! They took pleasure in confiscating my smashed-down toothpaste (2-3 ounces left over from a big tube). At that point, I no longer cared. While the TSA farce thought they were punishing me with their "fu#@*#g discretion," I just smiled (to keep my ass out of jail) and said "go ahead, toss it."

While the TSA officers finished their business (wife and daughter looking totally violated, son grinning like an idiot with his dad), I went over to the security supervisor. We were both calmed down, so he decided to share an anecdotal story about a bad guy with presumably dangerous contents in a Gatorade bottle that the bad guy offered to drink - this was the same situation as me showing him that the suncreen was real - in his mind. (BTW, I should have asked him if the bad buy looked like one, even though it really doesn't matter because profiling doesn't work according to TSA experts -- that's why 90 old people with walkers get scrutinized).

Aside from learning from my mistake, that the cops always win at the scene because they have the guns, I'd like share the really sad part:
We've lost the war (at least the psychological part). The freedom to move about without fear that a government agent won't harass you is over. I feel profoundly sad that my children live in a world where Nazi-like intimidation will be used at checkpoints. I believe that what happened to me today marks my own realization that we're on a slippery slope where American's will be treated increasingly worse by their own government's agents. Sadly, I can't think of a way to undo it. I'm not angry towards anyone but myself about today's episode, nor am I disgruntled citizen. I'm reminded again, that we are in a war and from a personal freedom perspective, we've already lost. I've heard it before and thought about before, but yesterday I learned it.

Oh, the only way I can think of not feeling down-trodden is to comply with the rules, do what I'm told, and choose not to fear. That is, "Numb yourself John."

Regards,
John
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post #2 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 7:21 am
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John,
Glad you made it through t. I have a friend at work who went through the airport with 2 children. His youngest brought some kind of electronic toy which had batteries in it and had a wire coming out of it, I think to connect to another toy. When TSA ex-rayed the suitcase, they almost shut down the terminal, thinking that it was a bomb. At first they would not let the father try to explain what was in the suitcase as he already was through the security checkpoint. Finally TSA cooled down and allowed the father to explain what was inside.
The days of moving freely in this country are gone!

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post #3 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 8:21 am
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You are correct, we have lost our freedom to a bunch of pagans. Our so called TSA (commies) can make your life a living hell while at the airport.

I had the pleasure of telling one of them at the airport recently that the rules suck. Luckily my comment didn't get me in trouble!

I'm an American, I love this country, and would not hesitate in pulling the trigger to defend the good ole' USA.

So John, sorry you had one of our fellow Americans act like a $%#*%!

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post #4 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 8:34 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkpr1998
I had the pleasure of telling one of them at the airport recently that the rules suck. Luckily my comment didn't get me in trouble!
And why should that comment get you in trouble? Is freedom of speech a banned item at airports?



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post #5 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 8:50 am
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I've been trying to answer this for near an hour, but can't do it without sounding like a jackass so here it goes....

The rules for carry-ons have been in place for months now. They're there for you, your daughter, shifty looking young men of middle eastern descent, and yes, 90 year-olds with walkers. What is the root cause of your anger, that they wouldn't bend (break) the rules for you? We can argue the merits of the rules all day, but that discussion is irrelevant when you're waiting for the guy in front of you to clear so you can proceed. Isn't it?

I am sorry you had a bad day, but it does seem you raised your hand for this one.

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post #6 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 8:59 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoog62
I've been trying to answer this for near an hour, but can't do it without sounding like a jackass so here it goes....

The rules for carry-ons have been in place for months now. They're there for you, your daughter, shifty looking young men of middle eastern descent, and yes, 90 year-olds with walkers. What is the root cause of your anger, that they wouldn't bend (break) the rules for you? We can argue the merits of the rules all day, but that discussion is irrelevant when you're waiting for the guy in front of you to clear so you can proceed. Isn't it?

I am sorry you had a bad day, but it does seem you raised your hand for this one.
Dave,

I'm with you on this one. To me, this story is more indicitive of todays society's false sense of "entitlement" than of an infringement of freedom or having to follow silly rules.


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post #7 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 9:20 am
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070224...sLbNTRZv934T0D

It seems the good thing is...you can buy most of this "deadly" stuff back, on eBay of all places. (Hope the link works)

On the other hand, jgburns is right. The bad guys have won in more ways than one.
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post #8 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 9:58 am
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Ben Franklin (the guy who flew a kite in a thunderstorm) stated that folks who give up some of their freedom for a little security will soon find they are left with neither.

Or words to that effect.

I refuse to fly anymore because I will not be herded around like sheep. Furthermore, don't allow folks, who get paid from my taxes, treat or talk to me in a less than a respectful proffessional manner. I don't get confrontational with them, most of the time, but they have a boss or supervisor who will most definitley be hearing from me. If its a slow news day, can sometimes get things really stirred with a call to the TV news folks.

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post #9 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:16 am
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I think to certain extent, the bad guys have accomplished some of what they wanted. We have lost some of our freedom, but we still have more than other countries.

They really, really sad part about the airport screenings nowadays is that they have to do what they are doing because the idiots that want to harm us have absolutely no regard for life - theirs, their kids, and most definitely ours. And until we can make those so-called religious zealots understand that life is a precious commodity, it'll never change. Taking innocent lives in the name of religion has never made a bit a sense to me.


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post #10 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:25 am
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Angry Grow up

It appears that this whole incident would have been avoided if you would have not let a 7 year old tell you what to take along on this trip. At home you knew the rules and yet you allowed your 7 year old to dictate what she wanted to take. You wanted to blame the inspectors for your mistake in allowing your 7 year old to bring along a item that you knew was not going to pass through security. I have no sympathy for you and I would have been very upset if I were the person behind you in line while you tried to get the TSA to break their ruled because you allowed your 7 year old to bring a item that you knew was not allowable.
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post #11 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:34 am
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When I travel with just carry on luggage I only pack trial size shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste, etc... I started this a long time ago just to pack light, and now this allows me to go through security without too much trouble.

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post #12 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:35 am
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Quote:
Posted By Grif:

And why should that comment get you in trouble? Is freedom of speech a banned item at airports?
Yes, Your freedom of speech has been taken away. ESPECIALLY at the airport.

Just say something out loud like, "My farts are like bombs today " and watch what happens to you...( can you say "cavity search" ) ?

This is why I just don't fly anymore. If I can't drive there, I probably just don't really need to go. Not that I would care to take anything untoward on the plane, but the terrorists have taken our freedom away..Via our government and it's incorrect reaction to the problem. It's was just an excuse anyway to do what they've wanted to do for years..

The terrorists have far more freedom in their countries than we will ever have in our own again...

Next time you're driving around town.. Take a look at all the security cameras and tag scanners on poles around the city.. Your every move is being scanned, tracked and recorded. Have a cell phone?, That's being tracked too. But it's for your own good. That way when you are about to commit a crime the thought police will be there in advance to take you to jail...

I for one am glad I'm getting too old to be much of a threat, cause if I was a young man I might have to try to do something about taking back my freedom..

Mark my words, There will be a revolt someday..Hopefully I won't still be here and feel obligated to participate...











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post #13 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 1:17 pm
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All of the boo-hooing about lost freedoms is getting out of hand. If you think YOU have lost your freedom to move about this country without having security checks and the like, try going to Europe. They have had very tight security in their airports for decades and it was predicted quite some time ago that it was only a matter of time until the same thing was going to be needed here in the U.S. We had been spared from attacks on our own soil for a long time and, sadly, we were long overdue. The fact that someone has a small child and or baby with them shouldn't sway the security people to be lax. If anything someone like that trying to get them to bend/break the rules should be looked at harder because that is exactly the kind of tactic the terrorists would/will use, knowing that somewhere out there is a sap that will fall for it. They don't care about their lives or their children's. They are zealots, and if they can kill the infediles by blowing themselves up, then it is worth it.
I agree with the above poster, that too many people think that because they are Americans that they are entitled to more and the rules don't apply to them. I've seen more and more of this since 9/11 than ever before. I guess things like that just bring out the worst in people.
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post #14 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Morley
If you think YOU have lost your freedom to move about this country without having security checks and the like, try going to Europe. They have had very tight security in their airports for decades and it was predicted quite some time ago that it was only a matter of time until the same thing was going to be needed here in the U.S.
I have been to Europe . . . .quite a few times in the last twenty years. (And I lived in Germany for four years.) I donít notice that their security is any tighter than ours. Occasionally you might see a Polizei carrying a submachine gun in the airport but that has actually declined since the 80ís. One difference that you do see in Europe is that they profile. As a middle aged Caucasian I pretty much coast through security checks. Middle eastern men in their thirties are not so lucky.

And since the European Union was formed borders are practically non-existent. (I had to show a passport going from the Czech Republic into Germany but I think that was because the border guard was bored.) So traveling around Europe is actually easier than it was a few years ago.
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post #15 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 1:54 pm
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I feel sorry for those people that think that bowing to arbitrary rules somehow improves our security. I for one can find no rhyme or reason to the inconsistent security rules found in the US and Europe. Ex: Small size bottles of liquid are OK if they are in a 1 quart plastic bag but not OK if they are in a 1 gallon bag? You have to take off your shoes in Austin and run them through the X-ray machine but you can leave them on in Richmond as you pass through the metal detector.

The hightened security procedures in Europe haven't done anything to improve safety-there are more terrorist incidents in Europe than the US. The Israeli's have been the most successful at preventing incidents on airlines and they rely heavily on profiling, something we are trying to avoid. I am unaware of any terrorist activity involving children-there may have been but not to my knowledge.

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post #16 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 2:44 pm
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During my time travling around Europe (it was in the 80's) the security was very tight. In Frankfurt airport alone I counted 6 Polizei in long leather trench coats carrying Uzi's, and I am quite sure there were more that I didn't see.
In Spain there were the ever present Guardia Civil, you didn't screw with them.
And the security in Europe DID help curb terrorism. Comparing Europe to America in those regards is apples to oranges. In Europe it was easier for them because of all of the borders (ways in and out of countries). There were also countries that were "havens" for terrorists. Now the US had no such "havens", no close borders to slip across and the country was too large to establish a network. So they struck at us abroad.

Oh, and you can thank your bleeding heart lawmakers for the "no profiling" policy in force today. And if we start profiling, there would be an outcry from more bleeding hearts that the practice is "unfair" and singles out people. There is going to be a chioce to be made. Either live with all of your freedoms and in fear of attacks or give up some of them to be more secure. You can't have both.
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post #17 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 2:48 pm Thread Starter
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I took a chance to post my mistake. One can infer that I was looking for sympathy, or they could see I was trying to make a point.

This is my point of view: One day, I suspect almost everyone (probably not politicians or the rich) wanting to go to the shopping mall, bus station, train station, Starbucks (yum), or any public place, will have to go through several security check-points. "Papers," hopefully "please."

What some of you fail to miss is that checkpoints only serve to move the target of a Terrorist bombing back. In the case of the airlines, I'm glad. After all, we don't want another 9/11.

Is it possible a terrorist would do a suicide bomb at a backed-up airport security line? Of course it is. So what is going to be the reaction given the course we're on? Hmmm, we can have a security checkpoint before the security checkpoint. Uh wait, maybe we can check people every time they leave their front door.

Since this reply will probably draw some more fire from self proclaimed security hawks among us, I cite a snippet from the original post lest anyone think this is a "boo-hoo:"
"I believe that what happened to me today marks my own realization that we're on a slippery slope where American's will be treated increasingly worse by their own government's agents. Sadly, I can't think of a way to undo it. I'm not angry towards anyone but myself about today's episode, nor am I disgruntled citizen.

What I meant about "undoing it," but failed to say, is that I don't have a better idea for securing our public places. However, it's nonsense that we're becoming more secure. People that believe that are only fooling themselves.

Regarding my mistake of over-reacting, and even setting myself up when I let my daughter pack the can. Well, that's why I called my actions a mistake. It was a mistake and I'm not looking for anyone's sympathy - I felt terrible about my actions within five minutes of the conclusion to the episode. Maybe this will satisfy those who feel superior: I made a mistake (AKA lapse in judgment, stupid, selfish, careless, unthoughtful towards others, bone-headed, pig-headed, asinine, foolish.). Maybe the "root cause" of my anger was exhaustion (I'll spare you the details, but if you have kids and took part in their rearing, you can imagine how my morning escilated to bad behavior. If not, too bad.)

If anyone wants to continue to focus on my mistake, and not discuss the big picture, I have only one more thing to say:
Maybe your personal realization (not casual observation) that we're headed down a slippery slope will come from a big fat finger, connect to a guy named Buba, dawning a rubber glove at your front door. And, if he's not feeling sadistic at the time, he might not forget the KY jelly.

Regards,
John
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post #18 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 2:53 pm Thread Starter
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Good thing we've secured our boarders.
I don't think we have many choices - we'll be giving up our freedoms. Is anyone smart enough to figure out another way?
Regarding profiling, I agree. Where's the FBI profilers when you need them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
During my time travling around Europe (it was in the 80's) the security was very tight. In Frankfurt airport alone I counted 6 Polizei in long leather trench coats carrying Uzi's, and I am quite sure there were more that I didn't see.
In Spain there were the ever present Guardia Civil, you didn't screw with them.
And the security in Europe DID help curb terrorism. Comparing Europe to America in those regards is apples to oranges. In Europe it was easier for them because of all of the borders (ways in and out of countries). There were also countries that were "havens" for terrorists. Now the US had no such "havens", no close borders to slip across and the country was too large to establish a network. So they struck at us abroad.

Oh, and you can thank your bleeding heart lawmakers for the "no profiling" policy in force today. And if we start profiling, there would be an outcry from more bleeding hearts that the practice is "unfair" and singles out people. There is going to be a chioce to be made. Either live with all of your freedoms and in fear of attacks or give up some of them to be more secure. You can't have both.

Regards,
John
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post #19 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 2:56 pm Thread Starter
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+1
Since we're going to employ security checkpoints with increasing numbers, let's hope there is consistency in the rules and quality in the enforcement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by astuber
I feel sorry for those people that think that bowing to arbitrary rules somehow improves our security. I for one can find no rhyme or reason to the inconsistent security rules found in the US and Europe. Ex: Small size bottles of liquid are OK if they are in a 1 quart plastic bag but not OK if they are in a 1 gallon bag? You have to take off your shoes in Austin and run them through the X-ray machine but you can leave them on in Richmond as you pass through the metal detector.

The hightened security procedures in Europe haven't done anything to improve safety-there are more terrorist incidents in Europe than the US. The Israeli's have been the most successful at preventing incidents on airlines and they rely heavily on profiling, something we are trying to avoid. I am unaware of any terrorist activity involving children-there may have been but not to my knowledge.

Regards,
John
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post #20 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 3:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Dave,

I'm with you on this one. To me, this story is more indicitive of todays society's false sense of "entitlement" than of an infringement of freedom or having to follow silly rules.
There have been a few similar posts to this and my assumption is that all those who did so don't hold any sense of entitlement or consider it an infringement on their freedom when having to follow silly rules like posted speed limits when their BMW wants to run in the twisties. Sometimes things become relative.
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post #21 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jgburns
I took a chance to post my mistake.
I Ė for one Ė agreed with your post! Yes, I know that rules have been in place for months. I donít object to rules IF they apply to everyone. But IMHO the rules are arbitrary enforced and inconsistently enforced. They catch the sunscreen but they miss weapons.

For example, I have a friend (a BMW motorcycle rider) who flew to South America a few months ago. He breezed through security at both the Charlotte and Miami airports. (He had a stopover in Miami.) When he got to his hotel in Brazil he dumped his briefcase out on his bed. To his surprise there was a twelve-inch cake knife that he had taken to an office birthday party a few weeks earlier! No one caught it!! Now I know that you probably arenít going to hijack an airplane with a cake knife . . . but it is a knife!

The bad guys have already won because we canít move freely around our own country. Today we get searched in airports. It wonít be long before we are searched at the entrance to a Mall.
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post #22 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 4:45 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
During my time travling around Europe (it was in the 80's) the security was very tight. In Frankfurt airport alone I counted 6 Polizei in long leather trench coats carrying Uzi's, and I am quite sure there were more that I didn't see.
Morley, you are absolutely right!

In the 80ís, in Germany, there was the Red Army Faction (RAF, Rote Armee Faktion, or Baader-Meinhof Gang) and the Action Directe (AD). The RAF bombed the Officerís Club at Hanau, Germany in 1983 Ė two buildings away from my quarters. They planted a bomb at the Post Exchange in Frankfurt. In 1985 the RAF and the AD together set off a bomb at the Frankfurt Airport that killed two people.

The Germans responded by sending the German Police (Polizei) out in force. It was not unusual to see Polizei in the airport, many with submachine guns. The security at airports was tight . . . but the ďaverage personĒ was not inconvenienced. You didnít have to take off your shoes and walk through an airport scanner. You didnít have to have your bags examined. The Polizei were there to look for the ďbad guysĒ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
Oh, and you can thank your bleeding heart lawmakers for the "no profiling" policy in force today. And if we start profiling, there would be an outcry from more bleeding hearts that the practice is "unfair" and singles out people. There is going to be a chioce to be made. Either live with all of your freedoms and in fear of attacks or give up some of them to be more secure. You can't have both.
In the United States we are afraid to identify a possible bad guy because that would be politically incorrect. So screeners concentrate on people who wonít fight back . . . you and me . . . and children with sunscreen lotion.
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post #23 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jgburns
Good thing we've secured our boarders.
I don't think we have many choices - we'll be giving up our freedoms. Is anyone smart enough to figure out another way?
Regarding profiling, I agree. Where's the FBI profilers when you need them?
There are several ideas on securing our borders but you know what is being said about the fences, more and tougher patrols.... I'm afraid that it is going to take an attack (big one) from terrorists that came across our southern border before everyone takes that gaping hole seriously. Security in this country has always been reactive instead of proactive and that will be our downfall.
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post #24 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 5:39 pm
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My dear friend sums it all up.....
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post #25 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 6:28 pm
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Big picture stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
This is my point of view: One day, I suspect almost everyone (probably not politicians or the rich) wanting to go to the shopping mall, bus station, train station, Starbucks (yum), or any public place, will have to go through several security check-points. "Papers," hopefully "please."

So what is going to be the reaction given the course we're on? Hmmm, we can have a security checkpoint before the security checkpoint. Uh wait, maybe we can check people every time they leave their front door.

"I believe that what happened to me today marks my own realization that we're on a slippery slope where American's will be treated increasingly worse by their own government's agents.
Personally, I think you're overreacting again. I hope (and honestly believe) you're wrong and the inevidable changes to come won't reach those extremes. But...your point of view is absolutely worth at least as much as mine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
What I meant about "undoing it," but failed to say, is that I don't have a better idea for securing our public places.
Niether do I. That was a short discussion wasn't it? At least they're trying to do something, even if it is politically driven knee jerking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
However, it's nonsense that we're becoming more secure. People that believe that are only fooling themselves.
I agree 100%.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
Maybe this will satisfy those who feel superior: I made a mistake (AKA lapse in judgment, stupid, selfish, careless, unthoughtful towards others, bone-headed, pig-headed, asinine, foolish.). Maybe the "root cause" of my anger was exhaustion (I'll spare you the details, but if you have kids and took part in their rearing, you can imagine how my morning escilated to bad behavior. If not, too bad.)
Nobody is superior here, just different. But... Let's just say I was very involved in my son's rearing and at age 7 he definitely knew what the word "no" meant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
If anyone wants to continue to focus on my mistake, and not discuss the big picture, I have only one more thing to say:
Maybe your personal realization (not casual observation) that we're headed down a slippery slope will come from a big fat finger, connect to a guy named Buba, dawning a rubber glove at your front door. And, if he's not feeling sadistic at the time, he might not forget the KY jelly.
I am much more afraid of Bubba's wife than I am of Bubba....

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post #26 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 6:30 pm
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My 2 pence worth

I personally dont see how you can be truly proactive when trying to stop terrorism.

I do agree that we should be more proactive, but if politicians have to take any sort of stick because we have security arrangements which are in place which are not due to specific intel, but because of forethought, they would just cave and use all resources for high profile intel based reactive security arrangements, Just as we have had lately with the issue that started this discussion off.

So... we now have loads of restrictions on air flights (on both sides of the pond) but no restrictions on our cross channel ferries. I grew up in a country on the receiving end of terrorism and I can tell you that no matter how quick you react to intel, the enemy will always find ways to terrorise. Big shiny shopping malls are good targets (bombed in Manchester), pubs and restaurants (bombed in Birmingham), where there's loads of TV cameras (bombed - BBC Television Centre in London), where you like to go on holiday (bombed - various parts of the spanish holiday coast). I am sure if I think hard enough I could go on all day with the examples but if you look at the hundreds of thousand spectators at our football matches every week (all with TV cameras) and the huge US sports stadiums (all again with TV cameras) with minimal security, it is truly frightening.

I know that the global implications of restricted air travel are huge, but imagine putting the same restrictions on all mass spectated sport in the US and Europe, or putting the same restrictions on all shopping malls, what effect would that have on the economy?

I dont think we can deal this on one or two fronts (security and the war on terrorism). There must be more holistic approach to it, looking additionally at the causes (including both sides of the argument), any possible political solution and finding some way of creating dialogue.

The way we are dealing with the current terror threat is never going to work as its so cheap to convert more terrorists in poverty ridden uneducated asian countries or brainwash disenfranchised western asian communities.


My friend's son is in Iraq at the moment doing the sort of thing like rescuing stupid misguided anti war protestors. So obviously he does a lot of high risk stuff. He was telling me recently that when they travel from one part of Iraq to another in the convoys, its like the duck shoot in the fair with the amount of times they get shot at. But he also said that alot of the time he gets pinged (as he calls getting shot at), its by kids with guns who have no idea why they're doing it and mainly because its fun. Its very hard to fight that conventionally.

I suppose that it was more like my 2 pounds worth.


Graham
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post #27 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 9:01 pm
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You are correct, we have lost our freedom to a bunch of pagans.
Pagans? Like that's a bad thing

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post #28 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 9:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfspencer

The RAF bombed the Officerís Club at Hanau, Germany in 1983 Ė two buildings away from my quarters. .
Do you mean the "O" club at Hahn? That's where I was stationed. It sounds bad to someone not familiar with Hahn, but when you realize that the "O" club wasn't actually "on base" it is easy to see how it happened.
The bad bombing was the one outside of HQ at Ramstein.
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post #29 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 9:42 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt417
I personally dont see how you can be truly proactive when trying to stop terrorism.
I can't speak for the U.K. but in the U.S. we were so lax that it is a real wonder no one thought to hit us a lot earlier. The hijackers were here on "student" visas which were expired, and so were here illegally, If the state dept. were to have actually kept track of people's visa exp. dates and done something about it (ie; find them and deport them), then perhaps they would have made it harder for them to carry out the attacks.
Tightened security isn't going to eliminate terrorist attacks, but if you make it difficult enough you may actually be able to limit how much damage they can do. If they are determined to attack us, then they will, but we need to make it as difficult as possible to do so. If we do nothing at all then we are just inviting them to perform more acts of terror on us.
Another "proactive" solution is to get tighter controls on our borders, especially our southern border. It is way too easy to just walk into the U.S. from there.
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post #30 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:13 pm
 
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"Oh, and you can thank your bleeding heart lawmakers for the "no profiling" policy in force today."

As a retired LEO I can assure you that profiling works, and is being used effectively every day in both our countries. But ----- During the past several years I have noticed what I consider an alarming trend. A very large number of the people who are screening me at the airports are of the same nationality as the people who threw us into a heightened state of security in the first place. What the H-- is THAT. I would suggest that political correctness et al is going to cost us.
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post #31 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:56 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoog62
Big picture stuff...

I am much more afraid of Bubba's wife than I am of Bubba....
You better be, she's running for president

Regards,
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post #32 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:01 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughtful 2 pounds worth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt417
I personally dont see how you can be truly proactive when trying to stop terrorism.

I do agree that we should be more proactive, but if politicians have to take any sort of stick because we have security arrangements which are in place which are not due to specific intel, but because of forethought, they would just cave and use all resources for high profile intel based reactive security arrangements, Just as we have had lately with the issue that started this discussion off.

So... we now have loads of restrictions on air flights (on both sides of the pond) but no restrictions on our cross channel ferries. I grew up in a country on the receiving end of terrorism and I can tell you that no matter how quick you react to intel, the enemy will always find ways to terrorise. Big shiny shopping malls are good targets (bombed in Manchester), pubs and restaurants (bombed in Birmingham), where there's loads of TV cameras (bombed - BBC Television Centre in London), where you like to go on holiday (bombed - various parts of the spanish holiday coast). I am sure if I think hard enough I could go on all day with the examples but if you look at the hundreds of thousand spectators at our football matches every week (all with TV cameras) and the huge US sports stadiums (all again with TV cameras) with minimal security, it is truly frightening.

I know that the global implications of restricted air travel are huge, but imagine putting the same restrictions on all mass spectated sport in the US and Europe, or putting the same restrictions on all shopping malls, what effect would that have on the economy?

I dont think we can deal this on one or two fronts (security and the war on terrorism). There must be more holistic approach to it, looking additionally at the causes (including both sides of the argument), any possible political solution and finding some way of creating dialogue.

The way we are dealing with the current terror threat is never going to work as its so cheap to convert more terrorists in poverty ridden uneducated asian countries or brainwash disenfranchised western asian communities.


My friend's son is in Iraq at the moment doing the sort of thing like rescuing stupid misguided anti war protestors. So obviously he does a lot of high risk stuff. He was telling me recently that when they travel from one part of Iraq to another in the convoys, its like the duck shoot in the fair with the amount of times they get shot at. But he also said that alot of the time he gets pinged (as he calls getting shot at), its by kids with guns who have no idea why they're doing it and mainly because its fun. Its very hard to fight that conventionally.

I suppose that it was more like my 2 pounds worth.


Graham

Regards,
John
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post #33 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:15 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
" ----- During the past several years I have noticed what I consider an alarming trend. A very large number of the people who are screening me at the airports are of the same nationality as the people who threw us into a heightened state of security in the first place. What the H-- is THAT. I would suggest that political correctness et al is going to cost us.
Another example of not minding the store:
In the name of political correctness, the US DOE ran off one of their own security awareness speakers because he singled out the practice of hiring nationalized citizens from China. This was right before Wen Ho Lee's activities were exposed.
I don't feel ill-will against any foreign national because they are from somewhere else. However, it makes me feel sick when I look around a see citizens from other countries watching our interests, whether in an airport or at a national laboratory.

Regards,
John
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post #34 of 58 Old Feb 25th, 2007, 11:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
This is why I just don't fly anymore. If I can't drive there, I probably just don't really need to go. Not that I would care to take anything untoward on the plane, but the terrorists have taken our freedom away..Via our government and it's incorrect reaction to the problem. It's was just an excuse anyway to do what they've wanted to do for years..

The terrorists have far more freedom in their countries than we will ever have in our own again...
I hear you on the not flying thang, I'm the same way. And yes, they have more freedom. Freedom to roam a desert and trod camel shit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
Next time you're driving around town.. Take a look at all the security cameras and tag scanners on poles around the city.. Your every move is being scanned, tracked and recorded. Have a cell phone?, That's being tracked too. But it's for your own good. That way when you are about to commit a crime the thought police will be there in advance to take you to jail...
I live in the country. I don't think any steenkeen camera would survive out here. Satellite? A cell phone can be turned off and the battery removed. My thoughts are my most dangerous. Good thang the only thang I can control in my life is twixt my ear's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
I for one am glad I'm getting too old to be much of a threat, cause if I was a young man I might have to try to do something about taking back my freedom..

Mark my words, There will be a revolt someday..Hopefully I won't still be here and feel obligated to participate...
John
Once again, I'm with you. I think our government is out of control. It is no longer for the people, but for special interest's, the rich and the pro politician.



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post #35 of 58 Old Feb 26th, 2007, 12:12 am
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But us citizens gained ground when the supreme court decided I can now engage in sodomy -- woo hoo -- win some, lose some.

Good thing we have activist judges to protect us from our government.

Some of this was sarcasm...
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post #36 of 58 Old Feb 26th, 2007, 7:46 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
Do you mean the "O" club at Hahn? That's where I was stationed. It sounds bad to someone not familiar with Hahn, but when you realize that the "O" club wasn't actually "on base" it is easy to see how it happened.
The bad bombing was the one outside of HQ at Ramstein.
I've been to Hahn but I am talking about Hanau. Hanau is small city east of Frankfurt. (I was in the Army . . . not the Air Force. )The "O" club at Hanau was on Old Argonner Kassern - one of several military bases around the Hanau area. A pipe bomb was shoved through the basement window. It did not do a lot of damage but it was frightening. I vaguely remember the Ramstein bombing.

There were quite a few bombings and protests during the 80's in Germany. There was one major protest at a chemical company not far from our post. The Germans used our parking lot as a staging area. They rolled out of the kasssern to the protest with huge water cannons and when the protest started they blew all the protesters away.

I had friends from "the States" who were afraid to come and visit us but I actually felt safer in Germany than I did when I got back to the United States. The Germans do not coddle criminals and terrorists. If you break a law you get slammed. (In Germany you will not find someone who has been arrested for fifteen times for DWI.)
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post #37 of 58 Old Feb 26th, 2007, 10:53 am
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OK, Not that this thread really needed another opinion.... buuuuttt...
Unfortunately, the United States will be gone in the not too distant future. It may still be called the United States, but what you and I think of as being the U.S. in reality is already gone for the most part. I personally think this is a very bad thing, as we are not (and have not been) exactly the epitome of self-rule. But on the other hand, we've made some huge strides and the effects of our way of life can be seen the world over. But what is happening now is people who have never felt scared of being conquered, or having their freedoms taken away, are making decisions based on some utopian society they believe can exist overnight. There is no control being exercised in regards to the changing demographics of our country, no control being exercised in regards to the exchange of ideas or technology. We are NOT all the same, and we do NOT want all the same things. For example, Islamic thinking and Western thinking differ in one major respect, in Islam the religion IS the law, in Western thinking theoretically law and religion are seperate. (even if you do swear to tell the truth "so help you God" - WHICH God???? but I digress) or for another example, China accounts for 4.6% of our exports but 15% of our imports - yet we are sending all of our middle class jobs there and many of our upper middle class technology jobs to India, Pakistan and China. At this time China has been advancing a huge build-up of forces along the coast with Taiwan... much to the State Dept.'s chagrin... yet we happily go on sending over thousand of companies every year (not jobs - companies) that have the technology to mass produces weapons and other goods.... and that's not even talking about what happens when you give 1/6th the world population the technology that 4.5% has been using to gobble up 25% of the natural resources.......
Long story short, we're not using common sense about the changes we're making. We don't seem to have a vision of where we want the country to go in the long term, other than vague references to it being "good" for us - hollow statements that placate the populace.
If you think having to give up a tube of sunscreen or showing some papers is the end of the changes, you're only fooling yourself.

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post #38 of 58 Old Feb 26th, 2007, 12:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
I know first-hand from many business travels that we're all just a number to the people charged with mitigating another 9/11, and that security could be nothing but institutionalized for the masses.
Perhaps, but I prefer to look at it as we "business travellers" are part of the security system and not victims of it. When I see the blind enforcement of the security rules I am encouraged by that. The rules are clear. They make sense when objectively reviewed. Bending them for anyone is intollerable.

anectode: this last trip home I watched as a young woman who asserted she was a flight attendant and had badges showing that tried to get through security. She had carry-on that contained items that were legal for flight attendents, though not for the rest of us. The TSA rule was that she "must" be wearing her uniform or the items could not pass. She knew the rule and pleaded for "a pass" because another flight attendent had gotten one. Nope, she went and changed into her uniform.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
It never bothered me until yesterday. Here's what happened as we transported our family from ABQ to PHX for a fun weekend with carry-on baggage only because we were late for our plane: As I held my baby son (1) in my right arm and my daughter (7) clung to my left arm out of shininess, a TSA officer opened my daughter's suitcase that she proudly packed.
I can imagine your state of mind; anxious about being late for the plane. Knowing you've got to herd a large group through security. Been there, done that and felt the anxiety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
The gentleman found a 6 ounce can of SPF 50 sunscreen (she has a favorite that I could not convince her to leave behind) that was down to the last 2 ounces.
This is where you lost me, John. I suspect this one negotiation between you and your daughter is the linchpin to the whole drama that unfolded at the airport. The rule is clear, you knew it and allowed your 7 year old dictate to you that you were going to violate a well published Federal Regulation. Fortunately the cost was a rise in blood pressure and did not escalate further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
The TSA officer picked it up to show me it wasn't allowed because it was a 6 ounce can. My daughter tugged on my arm in horror that the man was taking her sunscreen away. My parental nature kicked in and I asked for the can. Surprisingly, the TSA officer handed it to me, giving me hope that I could reason with him.

I shook the can and suggested maybe he could let her have it because it was clearly under the 3 ounce minimum in content. He said I need to get the supervisor. A burley guy, about my size and ten years younger than me, came over. He did not take note of my baby or daughter (and all the family stuff) to assess the security risk. Instead, he said "No, the can is too big." I shook the can and said, "It only has 2 ounces and look it's sunscreen" as I squirted some on my hand and offered him a whiff. The TSA supervisor puffed out his chest and grabbed the can from me and said "No!"
You would want him to say "yes"? What if you were the passenger in line behind your neighbors family, would you want him to let it through? What if you were behind an Arab family and they were obviously devout Muslims (Burka, beards, etc.) would you be so comfortable in encouraging the TSA to consider this an okay exception?

If I was bad guy, having appearantly innocent items carried through security for me would be what I'd do if it had a good chance for success. That is why it is critical that the TSA follow the rules as set down by the security analysts and not make up exceptions as they go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
Oh, the only way I can think of not feeling down-trodden is to comply with the rules, do what I'm told, and choose not to fear. That is, "Numb yourself John."
If you don't think that rules should exist, or that they should exist with exceptions, then tell us what they would be. I travel quite a bit and I've thought about what rational airport security would look like. At this point I'm okay with the structure in place. I have also chastised TSA officials for failing to enforce the rules; a United employee had failed to check about 15-20 passengers id's and they went through the checkpoint.

I regret that you had this stress added to your trip, however it would appear that you had the power to avoid that stress and chose not to exercise it.

.

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post #39 of 58 Old Feb 26th, 2007, 11:11 pm
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It appears to me that the only thing consistent is the inconsistency.

Maybe that's TSA's ploy, to keep 'em guessing.

Back in the 80's and early 90's, I racked up about two million airline miles -- I travelled A LOT! Now I fly a half dozen times a year, if that. It's a whole different ball game these days.

I have a ziploc bag that I keep my liquids in, toothpaste, epi-pen, etc., and it is a one gallon size. Probably been using that same bag for almost two years. I had gallon bags in the house, and didn't feel inclined to buy a box of quart-sized bags.

I flew DFW-TUL last week to teach a class. Coming home after the assignment, the TSA guy told me nothing could go since it was in a one gallon bag instead of a one-quart bag. There were four small items in the bag. To illustrate quantity, If the epi-pen was smaller, it could all have fit into a sandwich size bag.

A supervisor noticed the delay and came over. He said they were told to start enforcing the rules verbatim, and then he handed me a quart sized bag. That, to me, was a gesture of kindness and good customer service. Everything fit with plenty of room to spare, and I was OK to go. . . almost. The first agent now said my special toothpaste could not go, as it was labeled as a 5 oz. tube. That it had less than an ounce remaining was of no consequence, TSA man said. Fine. If that's truly the rule, well, then, that's the rule and I can live with that. I'm in the rule business, after all. It seems like a stupid rule just the same.

TSA man said with a $#!+ eating grin that my toothpaste would have to be confiscated. Perhaps he thought he was getting back at me for the supervisor coming over, or maybe he just particularly enjoyed his work. I just smiled at him, told him that I wasn't terribly fond of that particular flavor, and that he could probably use it more than I did anyway. He looked at me, we both laughed, and I walked away and through the checkpoint to my gate, sans toothpaste but withe everything else.

So, I got on the plane with an auto-injector device with a sharp needle and which was filled with a liquid, but I could not take an almost empty tube of toothpaste. Go figure!

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post #40 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 1:46 am Thread Starter
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Maybe you're going to love this

I returned home with my family today. We checked almost everything before going through PHX security. Because my experience two days ago and the discussion in this thread, I kept a watchful eye on everybody nearby as we went through security.

Here are two episodes relevant to this thread:
A young couple ahead of us were each carrying water bottles. They each drank the last few ounces of water in front of the TSA officer checking I.D., and then the guy asked if they could keep the plastic bottle. I heard him say "We'd like to refill them on the other side." The answer was no, presumably because TSA has determined that any plastic containers that previously held water must be a threat to national security. The couple did the smart thing and tossed the empty bottles, and the TSA officer appeared to be enjoying his authority (I kid you not), so I wonder if TSA hires mostly playground bullies.

Five minutes later we were on the other side of the security checkpoint, putting shoes back on our one year old son when a young woman who was behind us pulled a 1 liter bottle of water out of her suitcase. She had not gotten far enough to buy it, so TSA apparently missed that one.

A question for those thinking TSA is doing a good job and the rules make sense (especially Billy O. who is usually a clear thinker):
What would have been the harm in letting the young couple through with their empty bottles? Does TSA believe plastic is a threat? If so, why is any plastic allowed through? We all carry a lot of it.
Regarding the flight attendant having to put her uniform on to get her stuff through security (previous reply post): What's so special about a uniform? I hope it is more challenging to acquire fake badges than a uniform. If a terrorist can acquire a fake badge in advance of a calculated attack, wouldn't you think the blond white girl terrorist would also buy a uniform? ... oops, sorry for finding humor in TSA's stupidity and failure to profile.

BTW, a SWA captain told me two days ago that he had to wear his costume, urr I mean uniform, to be exempt from the public carry-on rules (to confirm the previous hearsay). When the SWA captain heard my story, he offered to buy me a drink: How come none of you made that offer? Scotch on the rocks please.

The TSA personnel don't seem to have a lot on the ball, letting big stuff get through and freaking out over empty water bottles. Wait, letting the big stuff through ... maybe that's why TSA management doesn't give discretion to their cops over empty plastic water bottles or 2 ounces of sunscreen in a 6 ounce can. We can all sleep well knowing Barney Fife is on the job.

Regards,
John
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post #41 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 1:49 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by deputy5211

TSA man said with a $#!+ eating grin that my toothpaste would have to be confiscated. Perhaps he thought he was getting back at me for the supervisor coming over, or maybe he just particularly enjoyed his work. I just smiled at him, told him that I wasn't terribly fond of that particular flavor, and that he could probably use it more than I did anyway. He looked at me, we both laughed, and I walked away and through the checkpoint to my gate, sans toothpaste but withe everything else.

So, I got on the plane with an auto-injector device with a sharp needle and which was filled with a liquid, but I could not take an almost empty tube of toothpaste. Go figure!
Random security = random results.

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post #42 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 2:18 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
A) You would want him to say "yes"?
B) What if you were the passenger in line behind your neighbors family, would you want him to let it through?
C) What if you were behind an Arab family and they were obviously devout Muslims (Burka, beards, etc.) would you be so comfortable in encouraging the TSA to consider this an okay exception?
...
D) If you don't think that rules should exist, or that they should exist with exceptions, then tell us what they would be.
.
A) Yes. 2 ounces in a six ounce can. What's the big deal? (read about the young couple's empty water bottle in my previous post this evening) Judgment should be excercised. If it's a boarderline call, error on the side of security.
B) Yes. My neighbors on either side - let them through. One is a Latino family with two kids; the other is a probably 5th+ generation snobby American mut family, and it's easy to tell that from looking at them.
C) NO WAY! PROFILE - THEIR BROTHERS KILLED OVER 3,000 AMERICANS ON 9/11 ALONE, THEY SHOULD PAY. THEY SUBSCRIBE TO A RELIGION THAT DEMANDS UNBELIEVERS "CONVERT, SUBJIGATE, OR DIE." THE LEAST WE COULD DO IS MAKE IT UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR PASSIVE SUPPORT (THEIR COMMUNITY IS NOT RENOUNCING THE KILLING OR THE DOCTRINE BEHIND THE KILLING, SO THEY SHOULD PAY). Oh shit, here comes the politically correct police!
D) RULES SHOULD EXIST, THEY SHOULD MAKE SENSE -- SEE MY WATER BOTTLE EXAMPLE.

Regards,
John
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post #43 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 2:24 am
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I had friends from "the States" who were afraid to come and visit us but I actually felt safer in Germany than I did when I got back to the United States.
I felt the same way about Germany, and all of "western Europe" in fact.
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post #44 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 2:28 am
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THEY SUBSCRIBE TO A RELIGION THAT DEMANDS UNBELIEVERS "CONVERT, SUBJIGATE, OR DIE."
Actually, THEIR particular rabid sect says that ALL infidels must die. They are not looking for converts. In their eyes if you were not born of Islam, you are forever an infidel.
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post #45 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 8:33 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
A question for those thinking TSA is doing a good job and the rules make sense (especially Billy O. who is usually a clear thinker):
What would have been the harm in letting the young couple through with their empty bottles? Does TSA believe plastic is a threat? If so, why is any plastic allowed through? We all carry a lot of it.
Thank you for the "left-handed" compliment, John, and I am glad your return was uneventful.

I don't know the factual answer to your question. Perhaps it was a conservative interpretation of the rules by the TSA personnel. While this may be far-fetched; It could be that if the bad guys can get a larger mixing container on-board they can dump multiple small volumes of chemical into it for assembly of device. Of course it's about equally far-fetched that someone might try to hide an explosive in their shoe to get past security.

I would not argue that TSA personnel are perfect and apply rules properly 100% of the time. But that is not the level they have to operate at to be very effective. All they have to do is be effective at deterring the bad guys from attempting to challenge them and they have succeeded in increasing our safety on that particular mode of transportation.

ADD THAT effectiveness to a variety of other methods being employed, NSA surveillance, bank transaction tracking, foreign soil abduction of the enemy, rendition, etc., and the entire security application puts the enemy on the defensive. So much so that we haven't had an attack in the U.S. in over 5 years. God knows the bad guys would love nothing more than to hit us here, but have not been able to......so far. When the threat changes, the rules will change. Sometimes our guys will tell us the details such as the fluids threat disclosed by the British. Other times it will not be published so as not to tip off the bad guys that we are "listening".

At this point, the demand on us as "air travellers" is pretty minor considering the consequences of a security breakdown in that mode of travel.

.

Bill "Omaha"

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post #46 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 9:23 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoog62
I've been trying to answer this for near an hour, but can't do it without sounding like a jackass so here it goes....

The rules for carry-ons have been in place for months now. They're there for you, your daughter, shifty looking young men of middle eastern descent, and yes, 90 year-olds with walkers. What is the root cause of your anger, that they wouldn't bend (break) the rules for you? We can argue the merits of the rules all day, but that discussion is irrelevant when you're waiting for the guy in front of you to clear so you can proceed. Isn't it?

I am sorry you had a bad day, but it does seem you raised your hand for this one.
Spoken like a man who hasn't experienced this BULLSHIT!

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post #47 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 10:04 am Thread Starter
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Billy, Thanks for your reply. Here's where we disagree:
The couple had to buy another bottled water on the other side, where they were allowed to carry on a new mixing container. Also, a flight attendant would be more than happy to provide one once a passenger is seated. A rationale reason for the denial has not been presented.
Also, just because we haven't been attacked again, it doesn't mean luck is not at work, or organized terrorists are waiting to pull a big attack off. I really hope we never see the day coffee shops are bombed, but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time ... I regret that our luck will run out and no amount of the things you mention will help.

We agree about the publication of the NSA's wire tapping program. The leaker should be hung in the public square.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
Thank you for the "left-handed" compliment, John, and I am glad your return was uneventful.

I don't know the factual answer to your question. Perhaps it was a conservative interpretation of the rules by the TSA personnel. While this may be far-fetched; It could be that if the bad guys can get a larger mixing container on-board they can dump multiple small volumes of chemical into it for assembly of device. Of course it's about equally far-fetched that someone might try to hide an explosive in their shoe to get past security.

I would not argue that TSA personnel are perfect and apply rules properly 100% of the time. But that is not the level they have to operate at to be very effective. All they have to do is be effective at deterring the bad guys from attempting to challenge them and they have succeeded in increasing our safety on that particular mode of transportation.

ADD THAT effectiveness to a variety of other methods being employed, NSA surveillance, bank transaction tracking, foreign soil abduction of the enemy, rendition, etc., and the entire security application puts the enemy on the defensive. So much so that we haven't had an attack in the U.S. in over 5 years. God knows the bad guys would love nothing more than to hit us here, but have not been able to......so far. When the threat changes, the rules will change. Sometimes our guys will tell us the details such as the fluids threat disclosed by the British. Other times it will not be published so as not to tip off the bad guys that we are "listening".

At this point, the demand on us as "air travellers" is pretty minor considering the consequences of a security breakdown in that mode of travel.

.

Regards,
John
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Last edited by jgburns; Feb 27th, 2007 at 10:20 am.
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post #48 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 10:27 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
A) Yes. 2 ounces in a six ounce can. What's the big deal? (read about the young couple's empty water bottle in my previous post this evening) Judgment should be excercised. If it's a boarderline call, error on the side of security.
B) Yes. My neighbors on either side - let them through. One is a Latino family with two kids; the other is a probably 5th+ generation snobby American mut family, and it's easy to tell that from looking at them.
C) NO WAY! PROFILE - THEIR BROTHERS KILLED OVER 3,000 AMERICANS ON 9/11 ALONE, THEY SHOULD PAY. THEY SUBSCRIBE TO A RELIGION THAT DEMANDS UNBELIEVERS "CONVERT, SUBJIGATE, OR DIE." THE LEAST WE COULD DO IS MAKE IT UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR PASSIVE SUPPORT (THEIR COMMUNITY IS NOT RENOUNCING THE KILLING OR THE DOCTRINE BEHIND THE KILLING, SO THEY SHOULD PAY). Oh shit, here comes the politically correct police!
D) RULES SHOULD EXIST, THEY SHOULD MAKE SENSE -- SEE MY WATER BOTTLE EXAMPLE.
John, you have fallen into my trap

In order to prove my point about the TSA's application of the rules only one generally applied failing, not in over application, but in under application, of security measures need to occur in order for there to be a breach than can be exploited. Some area of lax application of the rules that can be recognized by the bad guys so as to focus on it.

For "C" you discuss profiling, I'm all for profiling, HOWEVER the bad guys know what we, the general public, would term "the profile" of the enemy and go to great lengths to avoid fitting the profile.
- Remember Muhammad Atta; shaved his beard, western clothes, drank liquor, went to strip clubs all in order to throw off those that might be looking for "the profile" of the enemy.
- Remember John Walker Lynd, aka "the American Taliban". An American that converted to Islam and got progressively more radicalized.
-Currently in Britain their are several Anglo clerics that are very radical in their dialogue addressing more and more Anglo teens and young men with their hatred.
-Bear in mind that there is a historical precedent for women, Anglo women, to be used as tools by their lover's that are our enemies.

Again, the security wall cannot and should not be opened and closed by first level security personnel. To allow them to do so would be a huge mistake. Their job, mission and duty is and must be to apply the rules laid down by those higher up. The higher-up's job it is to analyze the threats and determine the best course of action and have it executed by the front line personnel.


Note: To all that may be travelling Internationally, including Mexico and Canada. Passports are required for all air travellers, includes children, as of January '06. In January '08 the requirement will be extended to International Land and Sea travellers as well. See this LINK.

.

Bill "Omaha"

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post #49 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 11:50 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
....The couple had to buy another bottled water on the other side, where they were allowed to carry on a new mixing container. Also, a flight attendant would be more than happy to provide one once a passenger is seated. A rationale reason for the denial has not been presented.
Ah....a test

Hmmm. I'm a bad guy and I want to blow up a plane. I figure out that I can get twenty guys with the right chemicals in three ounce containers through security and get them routed through a major hub. In order to mix the chemicals into a large enough volume I need a larger container that will not react with them. Glass would be great, but very obvious at security and availablity is restricted in the security zone; when you buy duty free liqour (glass bottles) they forward it to your destination without you carrying it. Through some research I have discovered that there is one particular type of plastic that will not react prematurely with the caustic chemicals needed, though it is not a type used for water, it is common for non-consumable liquids. How do I get it through secuity?...have all twenty of the co-conspirators, maybe their sister, or girl friend, carry that container with water in it, sipping away to demonstrate the benign nature of the bottle. One of them is sure to find a TSA agent willing to accept a flirtatious wink from a pretty girl and give in to her plea to keep her favorite "water" bottle.

The fact is that I really don't know. I don't have to know. I pay taxes to fund analysts whose job it is to anticipate and safeguard. It's a tough job with an extremely high cost of failure.

Perhaps the TSA guy is flat wrong in his/her application of the current rule. The bottom line is that these rules, even the misapplied ones, cause me no significant impediments or discomfort in order to travel by air (we're not talking body cavity searches here). Tossing a bottle, taking off my shoes, my jacket, my belt, my watch, removing my loose change is not a big deal. I leave it to those whose duty it is to provide security to do their job.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
Also, just because we haven't been attacked again, it doesn't mean luck is not at work, or organized terrorists are waiting to pull a big attack off. I really hope we never see the day coffee shops are bombed, but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time ... I regret that our luck will run out and no amount of the things you mention will help.
I agree that luck plays a role, but what is luck? To me it is preparedness meeting with opportunity. A prepared border LEO that met with "millenium bomber" perhaps. We don't know what effect our preparations have had on affecting the opportunities to do us harm...it is impossible to prove the negative.

Regarding coffee shops; I have believed for long time that we are vulnerable in our every day lives. We have two things working for us in that regard. The enemy does not value "a life" the way we do. They are in it for "the headline". Second, you, me, all of us are a lot more alert to things that don't seem right.

An anectdote regarding luck: There is fairly solid evidence that Al Queda had a plan to use chemical weapons in the NY subway few years back. That the plan had gone undetected through a dry-run, the weapon designed and tested. Still undetected when all that was needed was the "go" signal from the Al Queda leadership. Al Queda's number two, al Zawahiri, cancelled the plan. The reason for the abort was not widely publicised by our government. Evidence suggests that, in essence, Al Queda had not expected the response after 9/11 to be as violent as it was and determined that it did not want to provoke the U.S. into expanding the assault. Perhaps they are scaling back their objectives to let the U.S. relax its pursuit so it can reach lesser objectives in other places around the globe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
We agree about the publication of the NSA's wire tapping program. The leaker should be hung in the public square.
Common ground is a good thing

.

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Last edited by BillyOmaha; Feb 27th, 2007 at 12:27 pm. Reason: typo
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post #50 of 58 Old Feb 27th, 2007, 1:14 pm
 
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Thank you Mr. Bush, Can I have another?
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