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(Popular Mechanics)   The U.S. has spent billions on security, and millions of people suffer delays and humiliation at TSA checkpoints, yet our skies remain less than fully safe. We can do better. Here's how   ( popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, TSA, United States, Homeland Security, plastic explosives, TSA checkpoints, Newark Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport  
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10900 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Nov 2012 at 11:40 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2012-11-09 11:43:07 AM  
6 votes:
Accept that nothing can be made 100% safe, go back to reasonable screening that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment, accept that giving up fundamental liberties to gain an illusion of safety is un-American, and work to educate Americans on basic math and risk assessment? Is that what the article says?
2012-11-09 12:03:40 PM  
2 votes:
Norm Macdonald did a funny stand up bit about how the odds of a terrorist attacking you and killing you are tiny in comparison to the odds of your own heart attacking you and killing you, yet the amount of money the US government spends on medical research for heart attacks is tiny compared to the amount of money spent on the war on terror.
2012-11-09 11:51:59 AM  
2 votes:

ChipNASA: Be Israel.

I'm not sure that reducing our number of international airports by 99.8% and vastly increasing the number of TSA "behavior detection officers" is really feasible.

If anything, the best approach would be to make every day "bat day" on each flight. Just like ballparks that occasionally give away free bats. Each person gets a big wooden bat before they board the airplane. Now, I know what you're going to say, maybe a terrorist gets a bat, and now he can use that to take over the airplane and beat his way into the cockpit. Ah, but here's the clever bit. You see, everyone else has got a bat. Abdul binUlulating is going to smack one, maybe two folks tops before he gets beat into the consistency of a thin gruel by the rest of the passengers. At the other end of the flight, everyone gives up their bats, they're cleaned and used for the next flight, just like blankets. First class passengers can get shiny aluminum ones with the airline's livery stamped on them.
2012-11-09 01:33:03 PM  
1 vote:
"A recent Gallup Poll showed that although slightly more than half of Americans approve of the agency's handling of security screening"

I'd be curious to see the breakdown of the percentage of those people who approve of the TSA that actually fly more than once a year.
2012-11-09 12:28:23 PM  
1 vote:

Anastacya: I had my cat with me as a carry-on (I rescued him from my ex - long story and I am sure that no one here really cares)

Post the story in a Caturday thread along with a pic of the cat. You might be surprised how many people care.
2012-11-09 12:23:15 PM  
1 vote:

please: Thank you Republicans for this giant, ineffective agency.

Haven't seen it change much over the last four years. Who owns it now?
2012-11-09 12:20:54 PM  
1 vote:
An unidentified woman set off a machine designed to detect minute traces of dangerous substances such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a component of plastic explosives. Was it a false positive? Or was the incident something more sinister-a test run, perhaps, for a future suicide bomber?

Fun fact: PETN is also used as a prescription medicine. It's a vasodilator, similar to nitroglycerine (which is also an explosive). So it's entirely possible that she had traces of PETN on her hands, for reasons that are totally legitimate.
2012-11-09 12:10:18 PM  
1 vote:
What if instead of all those hundreds of millions of dollars TSA spent on minimum-wage staff and body scanners, and instead invested it in cockpit door locks and properly trained sky marshals?

Oh wait, then we wouldn't have enough security theater.
2012-11-09 12:07:21 PM  
1 vote:
Here's how.

Let Saudia Arabia know they will be nuked into oblivion the next plane that gets farked with. Let them know a crazy man with his itchy finger is aching to do it. Maybe Pat Robertson jacked up on Draino and bath salts.

Game over.
2012-11-09 12:05:08 PM  
1 vote:

The TSA represents all that is wrong in the world. Seriously.

I dunno if you this is common knowledge on Fark but the boarding passes you can print online from your home computer? Yeah - they have a barcode that stores unencrypted data. Anyone with a barcode reader and a printer can change it. And guess what? That whole 'No-fly' list? It's just a bit on the end. Want to change it? It'll take 10 minutes and cheap, readily available equipment.

This is the level of security you can get with EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS.

So, if it costs 8 billion to get no real security benefit - how much more would you have to spend to get a benefit? A whole hell of a lot more, that's for sure. But I'm sure the TSA execs earning an average of 103k per year (plus benefits out the yin-yang) see that as an opportunity for increased funding, not an absolute failure.

Crap like that what you'd expect from a student doing a project for his first IT security class. And he'd end up losing points for it.
2012-11-09 11:59:32 AM  
1 vote:
Prank Call of Cthulhu: Accept that nothing can be made 100% safe, go back to reasonable screening that doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment, accept that giving up fundamental liberties to gain an illusion of safety is un-American, and work to educate Americans on basic math and risk assessment?

This. OR just ban civilian aircraft. But this pathetic middle ground is merely anti-American.

The entire methodology of terrorism is to make the enemy overreact. Everything we've done as official policy since 9/11 has been pure chumpery. Our leaders are essentially in alliance with the terrorists, for their own gain. And every citizen that goes along with it is effectively working with the terrorists.

The only way to win against terrorism is to refuse to be terrified. Everything else is, at best, a draw.
2012-11-09 11:58:12 AM  
1 vote:
"Prior to 9/11, airlines were responsible for security in civil aviation and relied on private contractors who often used minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage. The TSA took control of all airport checkpoints in late 2002, who use minimum wage, minimally trained employees to screen passengers and carry-on luggage."
2012-11-09 11:55:52 AM  
1 vote:
FTFA: A better idea: The TSA should come up with a true vetting system modeled on the Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry program, which allows citizens and permanent residents who clear background checks and pay a $100 fee, good for five years, to bypass immigration and customs lines. Members must also have an in-person interview and get fingerprinted. The TSA program would be voluntary, which would placate some privacy watchdogs. And, unlike PreCheck, which has been criticized for inconsistency, this system would be a more predictable way to move proved, low-risk travelers through security.

One of my clients travels to Europe twice a month and is a participant of the Global Entry program, I travel to Europe twice a year with him and I have to say if I were a regular international traveler I would be a participant, he is through customs and on his way home before I even see an agent. Why can't the TSA use the system for frequent travelers?
2012-11-09 11:50:59 AM  
1 vote:
Well, do you want to be safe or just fairly safe?

Go read the TSA blog and see what isn't getting through.

If you want total safety in commercial air travel there would be a locker room portion where everyone has to strip, shower, x-ray, and wear disposable garmits and no carry ons. I know this is a step away from Bacon & a Kiss Air, but it's one variety of extreme security.

Actually, the strip-shower-scan routine would also make for good security if you were dealing with secret info.
2012-11-09 11:44:50 AM  
1 vote:
How to fix get rid of the TSA
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