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TSA pat downs and a Royal Wedding

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TSA is doing its job. Scanners, pat downs a necessary inconvenience

As the media jumps all over the  proposed Wednesday boycott at TSA screening sights on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and one of the busiest travel days of the year, it is somewhat reassuring to note that fully 64 percent of those surveyed in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll accept that such measures are needed. We’ve just been lucky, so far.

Hey, I’m from Detroit. We were the target of last year’s planned Christmas attack by the so-called underpants bomber. Only his incompetence and the fast actions of passengers in subduing him and putting out the fire that would have triggered an explosion saved the plane and its passengers.

Only one of these increasingly innovative suicide bombers needs to make it past security for a whole lot of folks to end up murdered. If that means a little inconvenience to me heading to my flight, so be it. I will willingly be screened or patted down.

Then there were those recent printers being shipped cargo with their explosive printer cartridges. Thank goodness for Saudi intelligence which uncovered the Yemeni based plot. Now FedEx, UPS and other carriers simply are not accepting packages from Yemen.  Good start, but will the terrorists not simply shift their mailing addresses to Oman or Saudi Arabia, two countries bordering Yemen?

The fact is, we are spoiled and have little tolerance for any procedure that may inconvenience us as we scurry off to a flight, either business or pleasure.

TSA should be just one of  multiple layers of methods that the U.S Government, airports and the airlines themselves employ to keep passengers and crews safe.

Profiling is a good idea, though the civil libertarians certainly voiced, loudly, their opposition to it after 9/11 when the first round of enhanced security measures arrived. Trained security personnel way above the level of TSA should be routinely asking question of travelers and carefully considering their answers.

The banal process of checking a photo ID with a ticket and asking is you’ve packed your own bags and had them under your control is hardly effective. And now, because it’s more convenient for us and the airlines, we now check-in before going to the airport and even pay for our checked bags in advance, as well. Some airlines charge additional fees if you do it at the airport.

Anyone who has been to college knows there are one or more enterprising students willing to sell you a fake ID to get you into the bar. Ask any under 21-year-old college student to tell you how it’s done.

And this is security?

Having trained bomb sniffing dogs in airports is another step that should be taken. Every piece of luggage should be screened, and heresy though it may be, all carry-ons except for purses, diaper bags, small day packs and briefcases should be banned and checked as luggage that is thoroughly screened. Anything carried on should be hand searched.

We grumble when the security lines are long, when our shoes, belts and pocket change must be removed. Silly us.  There is not one widow or widower or person who lost a son or daughter or child or sister or brother or mother or father or friend on the four flights on 9-11 who would not have chosen tougher more rigorous more lengthy security if it would have stopped the suicide bombers with their box cutters .

The U.S. Government and every airline should start take notes on El Al, the Israeli airlines security measures. Israel has been in the cross hairs since its founding. Check out the nine-year old article from Israel Insider posted just days after 9-11. Ideas there are worth following.

Flying in our out of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities? Plan on spending the better part of a day going through security.

Wills and Kate–Good show!!

What’s with the orgy of coverage with the announcement of Prince Williams engagement to his longtime girlfriend and housemate, Kate Middleton? You’d think we didn’t fight a war almost 250 years ago to get the royalty out of our business. Yet, news of the royal nuptials dominated news coverage and headlines. ABC< NBC, CBS all were positively giddy in their coverage. Nightline, Dateline, 20-20, it’s like we could not get enough information when very little of it actually was announced. It’s certainly a good thing those two went to a friend’s wedding together rather than arriving separately, what would the networks have done for footage otherwise. And really, trekking off to the primitive cabin where Wills popped the question. Come on.

George Washington had the wisdom to decline the title of king after the Revolutionary War. He did us a favor. So why does this melting pot of a country has such royal fever? Could it be, in part, that with all the bad news we’ve been experiencing, the economy, the unemployment, the TSA pat downs that this little bit of happy news made us all feel better.

I am sure some psychologist have it all figured out. But, for me, it’s simply cheers to the happy couple. We could use some good news.

 

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Written by jrnjbb

November 22, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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