Thursday, August 10, 2006

Life Imitates.... whatever

People who talk to me for any length of time (brave, but sad, people) have probably heard my 'solution' to the problem of insane security checks at airports. Walking through the slow 'parade of the shoeless' in an airport is enough to make you start thinking about alternatives. My solution, for the last few years has been this: If the government wants to be serious about stopping people from bringing weapons, explosives, and other things that could possibly, maybe, might be able to used as some sort of weapon or device that could threaten others, then the only real solution (that I see) is rather drastic --

1) No more carry-on luggage. Sorry. Too bad. No laptop, no cell phone, no purse, no wallet, no overnight bag, no makeup, no diapers for babies, no food, nothing. Just you, nothing with you.

2) Virtually no clothing. It would probably be enough to make people strip to their underwear, but that would lead to all sorts of new issues, so... I think the solution there is to require everyone to strip and change into a hospital-type dressing gown (like a paper gown). No pockets, no useable material for anything other than coverage.

3) X-Ray all passengers at the gate to ensure nothing has been 'kiestered', or smuggled in any other body cavity.

Harsh? You betcha.
Silly? Yeah.
Effective? Definitely!

Yes, I understand that I am being ridiculous, but, so are the current security measures in place. Take off your shoes, turn on your phone, turn on your computer, empty your pockets, etc. There are thousands of ways (I'm sure) to get something on a plane if you really want to. The only way to stop that is to stop everything.

This morning, the UK instituted MOST of #1 on my list. It's a start.

The point of terrorism is to scare the hell out of people. It does a pretty good job, especially when you start with something most people are already afraid of -- flying. Rather than trying to promote the illusion of safety, which the TSA (here in the U.S.) is now, we could actually, you know, be safer.

'But', you say, 'if we do this, then the terrorists will have won!' I've got news for you: they already have. You don't notice a few changes since 9/11/01? Things aren't a little more difficult to deal with? Airlines, banks, identification cards, etc., etc.? We are a nation (many nations, actually, not just the U.S.) living in fear.

Terrorism, as it is currently defined (which, as near as I can figure, means just about anything that harms, or tries to harm or scare, anyone or anything) has existed forever. That's just how people operate. People get ahead by intimidation, fear, and inducing cowardice and/or foolhardiness. An animal backed into a corner will come out attacking, but that's not always the best plan. Yes, we can be vigilant, but we really need to go on with our lives as well. That, or we can just sit in the house all day. (And, no, you won't be able to sit inside and play the ponies all day, because, first of all, the internet tubes will be shut down so you don't send any threatening messages, and secondly, your bank account will be locked for electronic transactions so you don't fund any terrorists. Sorry about that.)

No comments: