Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Irrational Conquers the Emotional

Department of Homeland Security has emerged victorious over an Appleton-area woman, who was convicted of emotionally grabbing a DHS "security" type while the "security" type was feeling up the convict's underwire brassiere and the contents thereof.

Welcome to the Land of Oz--your airport--or, in Milwaukee County, your Courthouse.

The Department of Homeland Security's policy of manufacturing "security threats" from possession of cigarette lighters, nail-files, and 2" penknives (not to mention underwire brassieres), while ludicrous on its face, is now moving to the Bizarre.

Young Middle-Eastern men who pay cash for one-way airline tickets comprise 100% of the terrorists who struck the WTC. Yet DHS (and the Milwaukee County Sheriff) choose to inspect, closely, native-born American citizens who are age-gifted. Far TOO closely, in the Appleton case.

At some point in time, the Washington Wizzoids-in-charge may recognize that irrational regulations will provoke emotional (and perhaps irrational) responses.

But that eventuality supposes that the Washington Wizzoids (and their local yokel counterparts) will actually come across (and purchase) Common Sense. And THAT supposes that the Wiz-Wonks would actually RECOGNIZE Common Sense when they see it.

I'm not holding my breath.


Anonymous said...

While I agree that airport security in the wake of 9/11 has issues, screening people who are known to be threats or screening just for certain items typically used as weapons doesn't make sense. Prior to 9/11, did it occur to you that boxcutters would be used as weapons to hijack an airplane?

9/11 demonstrated one thing -- terrorists will figure out where the holes are an exploit them -- so if we are only screening males of a certain age and race, you can believe that terrorists will exploit that hole.

Dad29 said...

You presume that AlQuaeda will be able to recruit individuals who are NOT Muslim extremists to commit suicide for Allah. Really?

2) Anything I WANT to make into a weapon will be a weapon. That's why pilots should be able to carry weapons (still being blockaded by the Homeland Security, ah, blockheads) and, for that matter, so should stewards and basic normal CCW licensed individuals.

See if those bastards can get past 10-15 patriotic and armed Americans...heh.

Anonymous said...

And you presume that Al Qaeda is the only threat to airline security. What about the Timothy McVeighs of the world? Ted Kozinski, etc. etc.???

Dad29 said...

If you would propose to eliminate ALL risks, regardless of method, you are proposing the impossible, so I will assume that this is not your proposition.

Risk, by definition, is a function of probability, and the mathematics are clear: young Muslim males are far and away the highest risks.

Industrial quality-control methods are analogous. A good QC program includes two principal elements: an overall systemic approach to elimination of significant risk (in our example, screening high-probability people) AND a piece-by-piece visual or instrument-assisted "in-line" inspection, performed by factory-workers. The modern factory has very few "inspectors" as you know.

The second part (operator-inspection) requires pro-activity from the workers.

This 'pro-activity' is analogous to the second part of my proposal: arming airline personnel and allowing licensed CCW holders to carry their weapons on board.

The combination of practices will reduce risk to its lowest-possible numbers--but will never eliminate risk altogether.

So the prescription, once again, is Common Sense.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.