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Author Topic: is it just me...
Alephcat
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 02:42      Profile for Alephcat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
or do the united states customs like making their job hard for themselves. Firstly this was posted on slashdot today. Secondly my grrlfriend's uncle was very nearly deported because he had Lyibian stamps in his passport, he also holds a class B visa as he owns property out there and goes in and out all the time. Finaly one of my friends was traveling from Paris to Mexico via the usa, he holds a Swiss passport with his 6 & 9 year old daughters on it, when he got to the usa they made him go throught customs as if he was entering the country they then refused entry to his daughters as they did not have their own passports (even though they were on his valid passport) so they deported them and would not let either him or his wife go with them

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"You have the right to search in silence. If you give up the right to search in silence, anything you say can and will be modded down in a court of public opinion."

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 04:00      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Alephcat ________Since Sept. 11,2001. Many in power believe that no one has any rights, from small police agencies to large State police departments it seems as if every one is guilty until proven innocent.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 04:22      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, I was 'questioned' for about 2 hours at San Francisco when the customs officer refused to believe that I had flown from Germany to spend a few days holiday 'sightseeing'. he just kept going on that it was a long way to fly for such a short visit (so obviously I had alterior motives).
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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 05:13      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've never been on a plane.

But I used to go to the airport all the time to pick up my sister. It was nice walking around all the shops and sitting down for a drink. It was like a little mall there. But now I can't enter that part or the airport. It was nice meeting her at the gate when she got off the plane.

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There's nothing wrong with me, This is how I'm supposed to be.

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Swiss Mercenary

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Icon 8 posted January 20, 2005 06:27      Profile for Swiss Mercenary     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All this is one of the resons that for the moment I am not going anywhere near the US, apart from the severe lack of funds.

The last time I came across I had to purchase a new Swiss passport because my old one would not go through the card reader. Now I am looking at having to buy yet another Swiss and UK passport as neither of them have my biometric information in.
I refuse to be treated like a criminal, having to be fingerprinted and have my photo taken just to enter the US. To avoid this on my current passports I would have to get a visa.
My brother and sister-in-law both work for the US state department and when they had their background checks done, I know that I was checked out as a security risk and was given a clean bill of health.

The current state of paranoia in the US must have a few people chuckling into their beards.

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Evil AI at work.
I am Swiss of Borg. Holes are irrelevant, cheese will be assimilated!

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 07:17      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Swiss Mercenary:
The current state of paranoia in the US must have a few people chuckling into their beards.

Sad, but true, the threats tend to keep the *vigilance* described at a fever pitch, which is enjoyable neither for the travelers nor the resident citizens of this country. However, relaxing such precautions for the comfort of travelers would be irresponsible at best.

The world has seen time and time again, (even if some choose to ignore), the fact that certain people are entirely willing to carry out their violent threats in secretive, plotting ways. (Admittedly this is much the way some governments do things and which certainly *not* any kinder nor better. I am not meaning to defend massive aggression here.)

(As an aside, there was this Jewish prophet fellow a couple of thousand years ago who told quite specifically that this would be how the world would behave, and in good detail too. He got *His* ass nailed to a cross for his trouble. (Any Romans here needing to be chastized for their ancient forebears' mistakes?) But His words and life make for very enlightening reading anyway.

So it does seem to me, at least, that until the citizens of this planet can learn to get along, play nicely together, and settle their disagreements peacefully, then such *protective measures* as you and others have described, SM, are prudent and necessary, even if inconvenient. And of course, some to the workers will be overzealous at times. I cannot imagine having that job at that pay. Yuk!

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 12:15      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Never has that been more apparent than it is in these days.

That said, the TSA (aka "Mineta's Morons") has been taking itself way too seriously, there have been abuses of their power that I'm sure you all know about, and they are constrained from taking actions that actually have a chance of stopping a future terrorist incident (i.e. checking out all young male Arab Muslim passengers in the most thorough manner imaginable) by rampant political correctness. I'm not convinced that establishing a new Federal bureaucracy to handle airport security was the right thing; remember, the first mission of any bureaucracy is to hire and pay bureaucrats, no matter what its ostensible purpose is.

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See more From The Erbo Files: www.erbosoft.com/blog/

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 12:34      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
they are constrained from taking actions that actually have a chance of stopping a future terrorist incident (i.e. checking out all young male Arab Muslim passengers in the most thorough manner imaginable) by rampant political correctness.

Remind me again, how would this have stopped the Oklahoma City bombing?
Or the Unabomber?
Or the Washington sniper?

/me thinks you have a pretty blinkered view of 'terrorism'.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 13:28      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Remind me again, how would this have stopped the Oklahoma City bombing?
Or the Unabomber?
Or the Washington sniper?

All three irrelevant to the TSA's activities, since none of them involved airplanes.

The TSA is looking, first and foremost for suicide hijackers and bombers of airliners, and the primary suspects as those have been, are, and will continue to be for quite some time, male Arab Muslims between 18 and 30 years of age. (Exact nationality is irrelevant, but I do think we need to stop mollycoddling the Saudis sometime in the near future.)

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See more From The Erbo Files: www.erbosoft.com/blog/

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 13:46      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Remind me again, how would this have stopped the Oklahoma City bombing?
Or the Unabomber?
Or the Washington sniper?

All three irrelevant to the TSA's activities, since none of them involved airplanes.

Not irrelevant at all, as they show the assumption that a terrorist will be an arab muslim to be false. In fact, they show that acts of home-grown trerrorism are far more common in the USA than international terrorism.

The TSA is looking, first and foremost for suicide hijackers and bombers of airliners, and the primary suspects as those have been, are, and will continue to be for quite some time, male Arab Muslims between 18 and 30 years of age.

The only attempted hijacking in oz in recent years was a home-grown nutter.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 14:34      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard of some Americans having trouble getting back into the US. Usually because they didn't bring their passport to Canada with them.

What I find odd is how everyone's complaining but no one is reciprocating. Now, the Bolivians might be afraid of pissing us off, which would be why I had no issues there, but the EU has the power to stand up for itself. The last time I went to Europe (July '03) I entered the EU via Copenhagen. The dude didn't even open my passport. He just looked at the cover and waved me by. Now, granted, I'm a young white female so I fit no profiles, but still...

Coming out of Belgium they searched my luggage twice at the airport; once at the x-rays and again halfway down the terminal to my gate. I had a very pleasant conversation with one of the guys about my reading material (DNA by James Watson). Had no trouble at US customs, but, then again, I never do...

The TSA guys at Denver aren't so bad. They let me mail my knife home.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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maswan

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 15:03      Profile for maswan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:

What I find odd is how everyone's complaining but no one is reciprocating. Now, the Bolivians might be afraid of pissing us off, which would be why I had no issues there, but the EU has the power to stand up for itself. The last time I went to Europe (July '03) I entered the EU via Copenhagen. The dude didn't even open my passport. He just looked at the cover and waved me by. Now, granted, I'm a young white female so I fit no profiles, but still...

Well, Brazil did start fingerprinting all US citizens at entry, when the US started fingerprinting their citizens.

Most of the EU seems to be taking the other approach, and try and weclome visitors, within resonable bounds. Beware though that as a foreign citizen, you have to be able to present proper ID that states nationality (usually passport), if you happen to draw the attention of the police.

Within the EU it is quite convenient to travel these days, on my last two trips to the Netherlands, I showed my passport (or any kind of ID) once, and that was to get my GPG key signed by a fellow debian guy, not to any customs official.

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neotatsu
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 15:16      Profile for neotatsu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
The TSA guys at Denver aren't so bad. They let me mail my knife home.

I flew from Washington state to California recently.. They made me throw away a safety pin I had on my shirt sleeve...

What the heck did they think I was gonna do with a safety pin? They also made a fuss about some Christmas gifts I was carying, and so had to unwrap all of them and open them up to see what they were...

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Serenak

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Icon 13 posted January 20, 2005 15:44      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Haven't really been following this thread too closely as it strikes me as a rather "delicate" topic likely to stir up a lot of violent reactions from all and sundry...

However one point does really kind of rise to the surface.

There are always extremists in any political alignment and no matter how many moderates condemn and and revile their actions those who "know they are right" and are prepared to go to "extreme lengths" to support their "cause" *will* continue to wreak havoc among the "normal" population...

To attempt to categorise "terrorists" as Moslem males 18-30 or Irish men 25-35 or gay female sheep that Spungo has "worried" is as useless as looking for castles in the clouds.

Hungerford, Dunblane, Columbine, Washington, Unabomber, the list goes on... apparently random weirdos with their own "grievances" to settle...

Balkans, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Angola, Crips v Bloods, Irish question, Basque separatists, etc... Blood feuds that have origins so lost in history no-one will ever find out what really started it- only the revenge culture remains, again the list never ends.

That is without mentioning the endless religious schisms that rack Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant Christianity, Sunni/Sh'iite Islam, Orthodox/Reformed Judaism (and that is before we get int o how the different religions percieve and interact with each other (i.e. faith to faith)

With regard to historical/religious/political conflicts, no-one has a "real" handle on the "truth" whatever they might think... No one group is "innocent" or "guilty"... (IMHO)

Shit has happened, is happening now, and will happen again (in the name of politics/religion/environmental concern/fill in as applicable...)

Without sounding like a "bleeding heart liberal" (whatever that actually means IRL) these problems will never be solved without a modicum of forgiving, forgetting, understanding and just a huge amount of WTFDWHTKPUWT?.... That's - Why The F**k Do We Have To Keep Putting Up With This? from Joe Public.

Hey! Life stinks, and when on a beach remember the tide's gonna come in sooner or later...

<jpke> POLITICS - Derived from the Greek "poly" meaning many and the Latin "tick" meaning annoying parasitic insect... </joke>

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Alephcat
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 16:06      Profile for Alephcat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by neotatsu:
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
The TSA guys at Denver aren't so bad. They let me mail my knife home.

I flew from Washington state to California recently.. They made me throw away a safety pin I had on my shirt sleeve...

What the heck did they think I was gonna do with a safety pin? They also made a fuss about some Christmas gifts I was carying, and so had to unwrap all of them and open them up to see what they were...

yes it is odd that they will not let pins and nail clippers onto the plane, but they will let you stroll on with a large glass club filled with flammable liquid and the means to set it alight (us rules will let you take 4 books of matches and/or 2 lighters on-board with you)

just as a little aside it is interesting to note that Swiss air (sp?) is the only airline in the world to let you on-board with a Swiss army knife as they discovered that though they could take them off you at the check in you could then walk through and buy them in the duty free section.

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"You have the right to search in silence. If you give up the right to search in silence, anything you say can and will be modded down in a court of public opinion."

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 16:06      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On a lighter note...
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
<jpke> POLITICS - Derived from the Greek "poly" meaning many and the Latin "tick" meaning annoying parasitic insect... </joke>

I first heard that joke when I was 10. My social studies teacher told it to the class, so of course, being the smart-ass that I was, I had to chime in, "but politics comes from the Greek polis which means 'city', not from Latin." My teacher was not amused. [ohwell] I'm not sure that I really knew it was meant to be a joke.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
—Miss Piggy

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 16:58      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes Peebs,

You are correct...

but the joke kinda don't work if you figure in the "truth" if you know what I mean...

[Razz]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 17:10      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Man, I really have no idea why we have that crap going on at an airport when the terrorists are just hiring coyotes.

If someone wants to dso us harm they are going to do us harm. And this new security policy stinks McCarthyism. "Someone told us you were a terrorist now name 5 of your terrorist friends and we will go easy on you."

I love America, but this is getting old.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2005 19:10      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Now, granted, I'm a young white female so I fit no profiles, but still...

Are you sure ?

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 01:17      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bader Meinhoff Gang anyone...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 03:18      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
Bader Meinhoff Gang anyone...

No thanks, I'm trying to give them up.
</goons>

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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greycat

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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 05:43      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Never has that been more apparent than it is in these days.

Blah blah blah. Open propaganda book, insert random quotation. Wave flag.

quote:
they are constrained from taking actions that actually have a chance of stopping a future terrorist incident (i.e. checking out all young male Arab Muslim passengers in the most thorough manner imaginable) by rampant political correctness.
How can you believe all this tripe?

Do you still think September 11th was done without inside help?

Hah.

You probably think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, too. Him and his magic bullet.

We had a chance to fight terrorism back in November 2004. We blew it. Now we're in for "four more years", as certain people liked to chant.

You flag-waving ditto-heads are wilfully blind to the world around you. You're too busy denigrating "the reality-based community" because we don't have our heads up our asses creating a new neocon "reality". Well, guess what? Your new "reality" stinks.

This is not about "political correctness". This is about the fact that YOU, NOT THE MALE ARAB YOUTH, BUT YOU THE WHITE CHRISTIAN MALE REPUBLICAN VOTERS, ARE THE TERRORISTS. Hey, I can understand why you'd want to change "reality" so that you're not the terrorists any more. It must really suck being a terrorist in a world where "terrorist" is a bad word. It must be a lot like being a "communist" back in 1950. So you want to wish it all away, by changing "reality".

But guess what? No matter how many guns you have (and yes, I know you guys have a shitload of them), you can't change "reality" just by shooting everyone else. It's not that simple.

You know how the worst, most offensive, most vitriolic, most foaming-at-the-mouth homophobes are actually closet gays themselves? Surely you've learned that much by now. They get caught in a vicious cycle -- they perceive themselves as "bad" because they're gay, so they have to go on a crusade to rid themselves (and the rest of the world) of the "badness", which just causes more pain, etc.

You terrorists are the same way. You feel guilty because you're terrorists, and you know what you're doing is wrong. But you can't quite come to grips, psychologically, with that fact. So you go on a little crusade to rid the world of terrorists -- all except yourselves, of course.

Look in a mirror sometime. And take off the blindfold first.

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Swiss Mercenary

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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 06:05      Profile for Swiss Mercenary     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alephcat:
quote:
Originally posted by neotatsu:
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
The TSA guys at Denver aren't so bad. They let me mail my knife home.

I flew from Washington state to California recently.. They made me throw away a safety pin I had on my shirt sleeve...

What the heck did they think I was gonna do with a safety pin? They also made a fuss about some Christmas gifts I was carying, and so had to unwrap all of them and open them up to see what they were...

yes it is odd that they will not let pins and nail clippers onto the plane, but they will let you stroll on with a large glass club filled with flammable liquid and the means to set it alight (us rules will let you take 4 books of matches and/or 2 lighters on-board with you)

just as a little aside it is interesting to note that Swiss air (sp?) is the only airline in the world to let you on-board with a Swiss army knife as they discovered that though they could take them off you at the check in you could then walk through and buy them in the duty free section.

It is no longer Swissair, they went bankrupt about 4 years ago. Has been replaced by Swiss, which looks like they are going the same way.

Actually you can longer buy the knives once you have gone through the machines, but you still can before, and so get them taken off you as you go through. I will check again the next time I go through (in 10 days).
There was a time when noone would look twice at a Swiss Army Knife, especially as everyone had one on them. Now I have to check my pockets and carry-on everytime. At least the last time I forgot they allowed me to mail my Leatherman back to myself.
I have seen people have to take the mini keyrings off their chains as they had a knife on them, with a 1cm blade, ooooooo scary.

It really depends on who you get going through customs. Then there are those metal detectors that go off each time because of the metal studs on my jeans.

I wish there was cheap, quick land travel.

--------------------
Evil AI at work.
I am Swiss of Borg. Holes are irrelevant, cheese will be assimilated!

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 08:26      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In my experience, virtually all US airport security is to provide the illusion the the US public that the government is working hard to make air travel safe. They need to do this for economic reasons. Just as terrorists try to bring down planes for econmic warfare. It's a lot easier to kill 400 people with a bomb in a subway, but it's not as splashy and doesn't create as much economic havoc.

That aside, our screening is ineffective because it looks for specific "things" rather than for people who are threats. It would be easy to sneak a huge number of deadly items past them, because they don't fit the weapons profile.

For peace of mind, I would take Israeli style security any day. They let the military run it and have arbitrary rights to stop and question people. They don't blindly pick every Nth person for "extra searching". They size up your behaviour and act accordingly. I'ld like to see our airports filled with retired police detectives, just wandering around and looking at people.

And yes, that would seem to suck from a human rights point of view. And college students travelling from abroad may be especially harrassed, but the large majority of US air travellers would be better served.

Let's give an example. Last week I flew to Kansas with my daughter for a fencing tournement. At the X-ray machine in NY, the scanner asked "Who's backpack is this". She said it was hers and he asked "Do you fence?". She said yes, and we talked about it for a few seconds and waved us on. She had a wire mesh helmet, metallic gloves and vest in the backpack. It probably lit up the xray machine like a christmas tree. But, he did a quick threat profile and realized that this was harmless. In the past, we have spent over 20 minutes explaining what the stuff was and then finally being allowed to carry it because they couldn't find anything sharp.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 21, 2005 08:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's silly here too. Everytime my family flies to Newfoundland for holidays, there is always without fail someone who's catching hell for trying to carry fishing lures on the plane with him. TO NEWFOUNDLAND.

And what's he gonna do, hook the pilot's lip and drag him away?

Posts: 4894 | From: Kitchener, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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