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Facts and Rants

by VM Brasseur on August 10th, 2006

Here’s a rarity: an almost political posting from yours truly…

At least 21 people have been arrested by Scotland Yard for being part of a plot to blow up flight(s) to the U.S.A. As a precautionary measure, the ever-vigilant Department of Homeland Security has decided to ban all liquid and/or gel type products from airplane carry-on luggage.

These are the facts. And now here comes the rant portion.

First of all, I gotta get this out of my system…

WTF?!?

OK, that’s done. Now, to continue in a less profane manner, I’d like to go on record as questioning the necessity of this new prohibition. They say that it’s been done for our own good to help reduce the chances of blowing up. If that’s the case, and if this is actually going to accomplish that goal, then why did it just start now? Hasn’t my toothpaste been a frightful security risk all along? And my coffee? And my contact solution? If this is a threat now then it’s always been a threat. And if it’s always been a threat then perhaps they should have prohibited these things before. But they didn’t, and I believe shouldn’t now, because these items pose no real threat to anyone within this context. It’s just the DHS scrambling to show that they’re “right on top of things” as they fire up the smoke machines and position the mirrors in an attempt to make the American public feel safe.

To stray momentarily back into the realm of profanity, this is complete bullshit. No one is made any safer by these new rules any more than anyone’s life was saved by making people leave their toenail clippers and pointy scissors at home. The sickos who want to blow up airplanes are going to find a way to do it no matter how many substances and objects are prohibited from carry-on luggage. They’re psychotic and determined, which is a scary combination because it means that if they really want to kill people there’s not a lot that can be done to stop them. Do you know what’s being accomplished by prohibiting substances like this? You’re going to make the guys in the black hats even more crafty. As previously stated, you can’t really stop them. All you can do is slow them down as they shift gears and find new ways to meet their sick goals. It’s incredibly unfortunate, but as long as there are sick and murderous people in this world there are going to be people dying because of them. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. I certainly don’t intend to live in fear of the world because of it. I mean, it’s not like this is a new thing.

This situation has naturally been a topic of discussion around the office today. What scares me even more than the incredibly mind-blowingly slim chance of being on a hijacked/bombed airplane is hearing my coworkers say, “Well, [losing my freedoms] is better than being blown up.” Ah, you’re so very right. It’s a shame that all of those thousands of men and women who fought and got blown up in all of our wars didn’t follow the same logic. Because, you know, then we’d…um…probably not have those freedoms which you’re so ready to sell for the price of a tissue thin facade of a false sense of security.

Keep in mind that these words are being written by someone who is going to be flying soon. Very soon. Am I concerned in the very least about the chance that I’m going to be blown up? Uh, no. No I’m not. I’m more concerned about how I’m going to manage to get through the day of my flight if I can’t take my coffee for my 7:20am departure and can’t take out my contacts on the plane to try and get some rest during the five hours I’m in the air. I’m more concerned about the fact that I’ll have to get to the airport three hours early so I’ll have to leave home around 4am. I have a much better chance of falling asleep at the wheel or getting hit by a drunk driver at that hour than I do of being on a plane that’s going to be blown up. Ever. In my life.

So no, this pathetic show of activity by the DHS does not make anyone safer. It strengthens our enemies, it further erodes the freedoms of our citizens and it forces me to drink seriously shitty coffee on the airplane. Ain’t nuthin’ good there, folks.

And now I’ll return you to your regularly scheduled apolitical posts.

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4 Comments
  1. suomynona permalink

    Well it is the Bush adminstration, they’ll do anything to keep your fear level ratcheted up as it’s the only way the win elections.

  2. I wait excitedly for when the CIA/FBI/TLA foils the “pants bomb” plot, and passengers are forced to leave their pants at home. Finally, epantsipation!

  3. “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood.

    But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

    Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

    It works the same in any country.”

    Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trials, April 18, 1946

  4. I actually am less upset about the most recent security changes than I was about the toenail clippers and taking off shoes. At least this time, the precautions come BEFORE something happens on a flight rather than after the fact. It’s slightly less wacko then what we’ve dealt with up to now, I think.
    I’m headed out on a long flight next week too, but I read on the PHL airport website that security lines are back to normal. So yay for that. It is quite a bummer about the contacts thing, though. I hate wearing my glasses all day! (Just trying to lighten things up a bit.)

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