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Airport Security: Ur Doin it Rong

If you want to get contraband past TSA, you’re better off with a with a pocket knife than Peter Pan:

When Jessica Fletcher was flying home to New York from Las Vegas, she went through the usual security rigamarol just like everyone else. She knew all the usual rules and regulations, but still found herself surprised when they confiscated something she thought of as being fairly innocuous: a jar of peanut butter.

“I’m a poor, young New Yorker, and it’s cheaper in Vegas,” she explains. “But seriously, what am I going to do with peanut butter? Sneak up behind the pilot and shove it in his face, causing him to veer off course and send us hurtling toward earth?”

But what Fletcher finds most confusing about the scenario is what she mistakenly got away with on several flights to Dallas, Texas and Brussels, Belgium — carrying a combination wine opener/pocket knife through security in her carry-on bag. It wasn’t until her third trip between her home and Dallas that security finally confiscated it.

Strangely enough, I can see a modicum of sense: after all, with reinforced cockpit doors and nervous passengers ready to tackle terrorists, a knife could do a lot less damage than a jar of C4 disguised as food. But you’d think TSA could’ve, y’know, brought one of the bomb dogs over, or stuck a fork in the jar to determine that, yes, this is stuff that will only explode if Mythbusters gets their hands on it.

The two goobers this article interviews for suggestions on improving security don’t help the situation. One swears by profiling, which may be kosher in Israel but is a civil liberties nightmare here. The other is a babbling freak who thinks terrorists will somehow employ 90 year-old wheelchair-bound grandmothers if we stop searching them.

I hope President-Elect Obama puts a sane person in charge of developing new ways to keep us safe. This Keystone Kops routine is getting ridiculous.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh boy, this one has become a real sore spot for me.From what I understand, the whole “liquid bomb” plot was a dud — the chemicals they were going to use couldn’t have exploded. (Probably there aren’t any such chemicals, as I have yet to read any articles speculating about what chemicals the terrorist-wannabes might have used successfully.) Yet it is still used as justification for national policy. How very Bush.Security experts have stated repeatedly that the whole clamp-down on airport security is bogus — “security theatre” — and doesn’t make things any safer. One expert even outlined a way for a known terrorist on the no-fly list to get on board a plane.(Links available if anyone wants ‘em; I’ll just have to dig for a bit. Well, okay, here‘s one.)Personally, I’m sick of it. I’d rather be slightly terrorized by the faint possibility of me or one of my friends being on a plane that is hijacked than being reliably and dependably terrorized and restricted by the TSA. I want to be able to walk with my friends out to the gate, and wait with them until it’s time to board. I want to be able to meet them as they come off the plane. I want to be able to keep soft-drink cans in my carry-on. Hijacking tech has not advanced that much since these things were allowed, and countermeasures have advanced considerably; we should be safer now, 9/11 or no. (Don’t even get me started on the bogosity of the “post-9/11 world”.)And more friendly eyes at the gate should be better able to spot suspicious characters, no?I’ll take my freedom, thanks, and you can have your pseudo-safety back; it’s unopened. (And many airline pilots agree with me.)(The verification word for this round is “idiumb”… somehow appropriate.)

  2. says

    I can’t believe they confiscated the old lady from Murder She Wrote’s peanut butter! My heart goes out to Jessica Fletcher….do wut now? Oh hail…wrong person…