Monday, January 04, 2010

Odds and Ends

I’d been hoping to do some posts last week. What with it being the end of the year and the decade. But I came back from Missouri with a cold that then developed into sinus. I came home from work, ate dinner and then collapsed. Not much blogging involved. I’d hope to do some this weekend but again I was pretty widped out and not much in the mood to write anything. I did get to a GW game. I’ll post some pictures of that shortly.

The Christmas plane incident

The Republicans wasted no time in making this an issue. Didn’t even wait to find out what the facts were. This shows Obama and the Democrats are soft on terrorism. I hate to say this but this would have happened if John McCain had been president. This is a problem with the bureaucrats in the government. Not with people at the top. Although I will say Napolitano remark about how the system worked were well just wrong.

Another thing about this incident was the way the media coverage. The leading thread to many of their stores was how concerned holiday travelers were over this. I flew back to DC a couple of days after this. I have to say that this was not forefront in my mind. What was was if I was going to get home the same day. Would my flights be delayed? Not that there would be a terrorist on the plane.

The other consequence of this even is the move to full body scanners being put in all airports. Actually more like there being planned on being put at all airports. There's a report today in the Post about how the TSA is trying to reassure people about privacy concerns:

Last week, the TSA launched a public relations offensive to convince passengers that its latest checkpoint innovation will make airports more secure. "It's a promising technology," spokeswoman Kristen Lee said. "It's designed to detect anomalies."
The article goes on to say:

And, experts say, explosives can go undetected even in a full-body screening if potential terrorists conceal them in body cavities.

"It's definitely not a silver bullet," Carafano said. "There's a way to beat it. It's called a 'booty bomb,' where you actually insert the explosive inside the human being and then you detonate the explosive with a cellphone."

So is the next step we have to have an x-ray to get on the plane of perhaps some sort of full body cavity search.

There are a couple of things that need to be addressed here and I think they have to a certain extent. The TSA agent viewing the scan does not see the passenger in the scanner. The TSA agent is in another room. Once the passenger is cleared, the image is erased. Also it sounds like images cannot be saved. There need to be rules set up for any potential abuse. Like if someone some how does save an image.

The bottom line for me is will this really make us safer. I think it will. But I have one more general concern, are we relying too much on technology to keep us safe. I fear we may get to the point where we feel technology can solve our problems and forget the human factor involved.

On a Lighter Note

I saw an add for Maaco talking about a president's sale. President's Day isn't for six weeks.

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