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Lexie's Journal
No woodchippers. I have enough to worry about with driving. 
01-Dec-2007 23:24
shiver, cold weather
Apparently we still can't bring water or oh-so-dangerous shampoo onto the plane, but people can bring lighters again.

Yes, let me repeat: lighters yes, 4 ounces of water, shampoo, or peanut butter, no.

If only there were a Wonko the Sane to build the world an asylum.

I'll be in Fargo for the next four days (for work). See that you don't miss me too much. Apparently I do often blog about every four days, so maybe I'll tell you about Fargo while I'm there -- if you're lucky and I don't get frostbite. No, really -- people actually do get frostbite up there. They have temperatures in the negative degrees Fahrenheit. Those aren't real temperatures...right?
02-Dec-2007 08:28 (UTC)

Apparently, lighters are by far the most commonly surrendered item at airports. Why ban them if they are not a threat?

It is true that many non-threatening things are banned, but this is hardly a good justification to ban additional non-threatening things :-)
02-Dec-2007 17:16 (UTC)
Excuse me. Did I say we should ban lighters, or did you just assume that's what I said?

In fact, I think very little should be banned other than outright weapons (large knives, guns, etc).

However, if in the TSA's world lighters are less threatening than 4 ounces of peanut butter, their world bears no resemblance to reality. If one of those two things should be banned, it should clearly be lighters.
03-Dec-2007 13:13 (UTC)
Presumably the point is not that they think peanut butter is more dangerous than a lighter, but that it's easier to disguise explosives as peanut butter than as a lighter. I doubt it makes much difference, really.
03-Dec-2007 15:48 (UTC)
There's a great deal of skepticism that the liqid explosive plot could ever have been carried out, either by the particular plotters or by anyone, because of the chemistry issues. And at the time they arrested the plotters, they didn't even have plane tickets or passports, and the British government had been following them for months. It was intelligence, not screening, that caught these guys.

The danger from peanut butter, etc. is pretty much nil and they know it. The rules are BS and the rule change was conducted in an inflammatory and reactionary way, rather than an entirely possible calm assessment of what measures might really help.

And the TSA, at least, routinely misses actual solid bomb components brought through checkpoints by testers. The TSA even issued a memo telling TSA agents to watch specifically for the testers -- instead of talking about identifying bomb components or actual terrorists. The whole thing is complete theater.
03-Dec-2007 16:23 (UTC)
Yes; I agree with you on all these points. What I meant was, people who argue in favour of the restrictions do so on the basis of possibility of concealment/disguise of explosives rather than misuse of the items themselves. All rather silly, and, as you say, security theatre.
04-Dec-2007 02:44 (UTC)
Actually, it's useful to know that argument, since I wasn't aware it was being used. It's a bit moot since the TSA can't recognize actual bomb components anyway...
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