Adrian Raeside’s Take on Airport Security

I love it!

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/editorial-cartoons/index.html#

See Thursday January 7.

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Alberta’s Oilsands – The Rest of the Story

I get so frustrated by people who simply jump on the “dirty oil” bandwagon without considering the big picture. They really have no idea of how the loss of that much oil would affect their lives – and that we are simply not prepared for it.

“Closing down Alberta’s oil industry would immediately stop the production of 1.8 million barrels of oil a day. Supply and demand being what it is, oil prices will go up and therefore the cost at the pump will go up, too, increasing the cost of everything else.” (Licia Corbella)

Have we forgotten what happened worldwide, after oil prices skyrocketed 18 months ago? Licia Corbella of the Calgary Herald explains  the ramifications for all Canadians if we shut down Alberta’s oil industry:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/columnists/Playing+fairy+godmother+Quebec/2361609/story.html

2010 – You’re saying TWENTY TEN in your mind, right?

I’m on a concerted campaign to get people saying TWENTY  TEN, not two thousand and ten. It rolls off the tongue so much better and is easier on the ears. The unnecessary extra syllables have bugged me for nine years now. When will it stop?

I sent an email to CTV News and CBC News, which pronounce 2010 both ways:

news@ctv.ca

www.cbc.ca/contact/

I joined the Facebook group Twenty Ten (2010) :

The new year is here… along with a new pronunciation.

This year shall be pronounced twenty ten… not two thousand and ten.

We are going back to last century’s way of doing things, making it easier on the rest of the world, and saving you two syllables every time you say the date.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=391319395262&ref=mf

I’m hoping you’ll consider doing the same things, and share this link with your friends. If you’re familiar with what other network news shows are doing, let’s hear about it!

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 22:47  Leave a Comment  
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“Looking passengers in eye best airport security, Israeli expert says”

By Glen McGregor, Canwest News ServiceJanuary 3, 2010

http://www.canada.com/news/world/Looking+passengers+best+airport+security/2401529/story.html

The Israelis know airport security. They’ve been doing it for much longer than we have in North America. We could certainly learn a few things from them.

If this link is broken or the story has been condensed, let me know and I’ll share the whole thing.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 19:14  Leave a Comment  
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Fed up with the Lunacy of Airport Security

Do I dare to put my name on this?

For years, I’ve been reluctant to speak out against airport security measures because I fear reprisal – being detained or put on some watch-list. I just shake my head at how carried away things have gotten since 9/11.

I never had a problem with basic screening to keep guns off planes. But beyond that, things got ridiculous. Think of it: worldwide, over 13 million passengers are sorely inconvenienced every single day (4.874  billion every year http://www.airports.org/cda/aci_common/display/main/aci_content07_c.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54_666_2__ )

We must pack carry-on liquids in small containers within Ziploc bags, nail clippers have to go in a checked bag or not at all, and we are forced to arrive ever-earlier to get through all the security and screening procedures. It’s costing us big-time…..not just our own wasted time, but in all the extra staffing and equipment and bureaucracy.

If you’ve taken even a few flights since 9/11, you’re beginning to comprehend how ludicrous airport security has become. Big picture: if somebody really wants to be a suicide bomber, it is virtually impossible to stop them. Left too long standing in lines and observing farcical procedures, Joe Passenger long ago arrived at this conclusion. We can conjure up all kinds of simple schemes to get prohibited items past security, should we be so inclined.

Security people are human beings and they make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. A woman with difficulty walking used sharp-tipped ski poles to steady herself on icy sidewalks. The ski poles made it onto the plane with her. I muttered to my husband, “I’m not allowed to bring knitting needles on the plane, and she brings ski poles.”

Said ski poles were again packed into the overhead bins of her second flight – and onto a third flight – before some guy bustled down the aisle and hauled them away, commenting, “I don’t know why they let these on here.”

Those poles got by how many screeners, staff, flight attendants, and passengers?

One security screener checked to make sure the hands on my watch were moving. I left unsaid, the obvious, “Buddy…..don’t you think that if I had the technical know-how to make a bomb and detonation device, that I could probably handle the complexity of mounting a working watch with it?” Surely the same applies to laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

Then there’s the vast variation in the sensitivity of airport metal detectors. I dress to minimize security hassles when flying – no metal belts, buttons, clips, jewellery, etc. I have no pockets and remove my watch and glasses. But yes – my wedding rings and underwire bra are sometimes just too much. Same day, different detector, and I get through with watch and glasses and nary a peep. Then came the bomb-in-the-shoe incident, so I switched to flimsy footwear to avoid removing my shoes for powder checks. Sadly, they often have a metal piece in them.

And now the “naked” scanner appears to be inevitable. Please. Just how far are we willing to allow this to go? It is not going to stop a determined murderer. That guy was hiding 80 grams of powder in his underwear. That’s just half a cup. It could also be carried as “pills” or “candies.” And if those won’t fly, we’re looking at objects in orifices next. Must we then consent to cavity searches?

I won’t even get into how little anthrax would be needed if the bad guys went the bio-terrorist route instead.  “Naked” scanners would be useless. And all those x-rays can’t be good for anyone.

The inconvenience of banning carry-on baggage is enormous. People cannot bring drinks, snacks, books and toys to keep themselves and their children occupied on the plane and at the airport. Those who don’t normally check any luggage are forced to wait for it at their destination.

And this bit about having nothing on your lap for the last hour of the flight, and not being allowed to leave your seat…..come on. People need to go to the washroom. Look at what happened to that poor guy who was arrested for having food poisoning. It’s tough enough to find yourself sick on a plane…..possibly coming out both ends, not enough washrooms, the accusing eyes of strangers. Imagine the utter humiliation of losing control in your seat.

But we allowed this to happen. It all began with a couple of highly publicized incidents of turbulence several years ago. Some people were seriously injured. In our litigious society, the risk reduction ridiculousness has now escalated to the point where the seatbelt light goes on at the slightest hint of a bump in the air. I’m all for stay-in-your-seat-with-the-belt-buckled…..for most of the trip. But when you’ve gotta go, you’ve got to go. Let people go. Yes, there’s some risk of turbulence severe enough to cause injury, but that probability is miniscule. It is simply not reasonable to unnecessarily punish 13 million people every day.

I think it’s time to face facts and remind ourselves that we take far greater risks driving to the airport that flying in the plane.  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/planecrash/risky.html

It’s time to take some personal responsibility for ourselves and not expect a Big Brother government to do everything for us. They can’t. Let’s go back to pre-9/11 airport screening levels. Allow us to return to the good ol’ days of carrying on liquids and gels, nail clippers, cuticle scissors and knitting needles. Let us eat with real knives and forks.

If a couple of bad guys get through with box cutters, a hundred good guys will have their usual pocket knives, cell phones, and historical precedent. We know now that we can submit and die anyway, or act to stop the terrorists.

The traveling public can keep an eye on the woman with the ski poles. The guy fumbling under the blanket on his lap will raise eyebrows for more than one reason. And if anyone tries to light anything on a plane, we’re all over them – ever since smoking was prohibited.

We must be prepared to look out for ourselves and our neighbours.

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So…..am I way off base here? I’m still hearing so many people acquiescing to almost anything for “safety.”

Since I wrote this, it’s been reported that “naked” scanners – at $200,000 each – have been fully implemented in Amsterdam, and many more ordered for U.S. airports.

Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 18:55  Comments (4)  
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