August 11, 2006

Why I hope the NSA/Al Qaida doesn't read my blog

liquidsonaplanethumb.jpg I'm flying again on Monday, so naturally I've been busy parsing the latest carry-on restrictions. My favorite part is that there will be a second search when boarding the plane to make sure that passengers don't bring on any beverages they may have purchased inside the terminal.

Now, I understand the logic — if not the efficacy — of banning outside liquids, but ones that you actually purchase at the airport itself? If somebody is selling liquid explosives at the airport newsstand, I would think the thing to do would be to make them stop, not to let people buy them as long as they don't get on the plane. [Update: Me and my big mouth.] Or is the point that it's OK to have a deadly liquid explosive in the terminal itself, where it can do absolutely no harm? If they trust me with a bottle of water in a crowd at the gate, why do they suddenly not trust me in that same crowd on the airplane?

Of course, this points to a blindspot not only of the TSA, but of the terrorists. Hello? What is your obsession with getting onto a plane, which requires all that sneaking past security stuff? Take a look at these photos of people packed together trying to check in. Half of them are probably busy dumping out the liquids they packed accidentally. No one would notice if you mixed your little cocktail right there with them and took out the whole concourse without having to go through security or anything. I mean, come on!

Related: "That liquid may be volatile. Let me pour it into this bucket with all this other potentially volatile liquid."

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I know what you mean. I'm constantly in situations where I'm thinking, "This place would make such an effective and simple target. Why go to all that trouble?" In fact, there's one very popular location that I think would make a perfect terrorist target (extremely easy to hit, high casualty rates, would create mass hysteria, and have a huge economic impact) but I won't reveal it here, because I'm sure the bad guys are trolling blog comments looking for ideas.

Huckapoo's dressing room?

Are you saying they should CLOSE the Napalm Julius in DFW? Because them's fightin' words.

(Coincidental bot-check note: "Liquidate comment spam by typing the first letter of this sentence.")

Good job ... now our pop stars are at risk.

I made a Shakes on a Plane poster the other day.

What would happen if, instead of banning an entire state of matter from planes, they tried (gasp) profiling? I'm throwing this out strictly as a thought experiment, of course, because I'm assuming that these "attackers" are from a broad strata of society.

Omigod, you're right! They're all men aged 17-35. That lets me off the hook by two years, so it's fine with me if they want to frisk everyone who fits that profile -- and I'm sure the suspects will understand that it's necessary to Keep Us Safe.

But wait, you don't think they'd make a mistake and start shaking down 37 year olds too? What if they can't tell the difference between me and the genuinely supsicious 35 year olds?

"They're all men aged 17-35."

Tee hee.

I think Jim meant to say that they're all Capricorns.

Fucking Capricorns.

I see we saw the connection between the upcoming SLJ film and the incident but from somewhat different angles. What I posted was ruminating on why the marketing for the movie didn't jump all over how snakes weren't banned because of the foiled plot. (Sure, they probably were already, but we're talking publicity here.) Poor taste? Of course. Like the probable audience of the movie would be offended.

Were we pretending we lived in an age of good taste?

[And I concur that if the terrorists weren't so focused on planes they could really mess with us.]

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