Friday, August 11, 2006

Now terrorist PLANS make us afraid.

BoingBoing has a nice summary of all the rigamarole travellers had to go through yesterday because the UK authorities foiled a terrorist plan.

The point of terrorism is to make us afraid. The UK response to a foiled plot is to create an unspecified period during which fliers are arbitrarily deprived of iPods, novels and dignity.
From Hello World:
I’m sure they didn’t catch these guys in Britain because one of them was trying to sneak baby formula onto a plane–they caught him through the standard channels of surveillance and investigation that are both more effective and less obtrusive than these constant checkpoints and useless regulations.
The point being that there ARE effective ways to combat terrorism, and they have nothing to do with stealing drink bottles from small children on planes. Don't you think that successfully stopping a terrorist plot might result in less restrictions on flying rather than more? Welcome to Bizarro World.


Kindralas said...

The fact is that the populace demands action. Foiling a terrorist plot is nice and all, but just constantly saying "we're doing something, I swear" doesn't really work.

As I remember reading, the restrictions were put in place because they didn't actually stop the plot, just nabbed most of the guys who were involved, they don't know if there's other people involved, hence the restrictions.

Shocho said...

Some woman tried to bring a banana on a plane and they made her peel it. I mean, really.

TheGirard said...

We had a traveler coming in from Ohare that said the amount of stuff that they were making people throw away was enormous. They had those big black trash buckets filled to the brim. They made her throw away her $50 liquid foundation.

Kathy said...

There is now officially nowhere I need to go badly enough that it requires me to board an airplane.

I'd rather drive across the country in the minivan with the baby and all the difficulties introduced because of her needs over the course of a day than put up with the bullshit required to get on a plane.

As for destinations impossible to reach without a boat or a plane, well, I'd like to see some of those places, but I can live without it. There's always Google maps if I want to see the pyramids of Giza or the Eiffel Tower.

Add up all the probabilities of something happening to you on a plane—terrorism, mechanical problem, pilot error—and they still don't equal the probability that you will be injured or killed in a car crash during your trip from your home to the airport.

Guess what? Leaving your house introduces a certain level of danger. Heck, a plane could crash into my house right now. In my old neighborhood near the air base, they actually rated the probability that a jet would crash into your house and based insurance rates off of it. I'd rather be able to bring my oh-so-damn-dangerous baby formula and bananas and foundation and bottles of water on the plane without being harassed (not to mention avoid having to take off my shoes to put them in the x-ray machine, fold up the B's stroller to go through the x-ray machine while I try to hold her and my shoes and my laptop and all that BS) than buy a little temporary safety with the exchange of my liberty.

Yeah, I stole that last bit, paraphrasing a guy who apparently would never make it in politics these days. Oh, Benny Franklin, where is your like today?

Shocho said...

The cynical part of me says they want us too terrified to fly, so we drive overpriced SUVs and pay inflated gas prices. What is is that Halliburton sells again?

Kathy said...

If they were trying to sell auto fuel instead of plane tickets, they've succeeded. Half of us are too scared to fly, half of us are too annoyed to fly.