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Refusing to Fly Because of the TSA

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Posts

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

    The terrorists we have always seem disappointingly unimaginative, scientifically illiterate and irrational to me.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    Shivahn wrote: »
    I'm not sure how good a defense "cost reasons" are. I mean, since the TSA apparently has a lot of money to blow on fancy new scanners of questionable utility, it seems like they should have been able to afford stuff that is actually shown to work? Maybe the costs are drastically different, but I feel kind of weird excusing a lack of useful implementation based on that when there is what I perceive as gratuitous waste going on.

    Cost reasons are always a concern. They tend to be one of the deciding factors in any security project. In this case you're talking about operator costs and training costs. The TSA has a massive problem of a 25% turnover rate among screeners. They had a 25% turnover rate during a shitty economy where people were struggling to get jobs. As the economy gets better that number is going to get worse. But the reason that the turnover rate matters is that most of the methods being proposed for improving screening is either more guards, or better trained guards. To get either, you're talking about a very expensive improvement. The TSA operates the bulk of their screeners as part-time. This is mostly to save money on benefits. Getting more screeners and retaining them means personnel costs go up from both a per hour basis as well as a benefit basis. Training costs will go up slightly but if they can get that turnover rate to a sane level, then you won't see it spike nearly as bad, but it's going up too.

    A scanner is mostly a fixed cost. You're gonna have some annual maintenance contracts with them but the bulk of the cost is a capital cost. Which staffing isn't. Staffing is seen as a long term budgetary cost. That doesn't mean it may not be the best way to spend the money, but the perception of the money spent is different. If you take the total amount of money spent on the scanners so far, and just hired screeners you're looking at about four screeners for each airport for 1 year. The life span of the scanners should be five years. And those are trained to current TSA levels. Which are a joke.

    Fun fact: that super-high turnover rate makes it laughably easy to get a sleeper agent in as a scanner.

    It only takes one!

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

    The terrorists we have always seem disappointingly unimaginative, scientifically illiterate and irrational to me.

    Look at something like this. 200 deaths, and it wasn't even intentional. Hijacking a plane seems like it would be an utter waste of time compared to other targets out there, when reasonable on-plane safeguards would mean that you kill all the people on the plane at absolute best.

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    V1m wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

    The terrorists we have always seem disappointingly unimaginative, scientifically illiterate and irrational to me.

    Sounds like the blessing of stupid enemies.
    Thing is, killing seems to be easier than staying alive.

    PLA on
  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    It's unwise to assume terrorists are unimaginative. They surely span the gamut of human intelligence. Don't forget when it comes to attacks, though, that they generally want to make a statement at the same time. Fires are good, but not nearly as good as explosions in random places.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    jothki wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

    The terrorists we have always seem disappointingly unimaginative, scientifically illiterate and irrational to me.

    Look at something like this. 200 deaths, and it wasn't even intentional. Hijacking a plane seems like it would be an utter waste of time compared to other targets out there, when reasonable on-plane safeguards would mean that you kill all the people on the plane at absolute best.
    If I remember correctly, the currently suggested target is the security lines the day before Thanksgiving (or something similar). They're unguarded and high density, so you get a lot of casualties with relatively low chance of failure. Black Friday lines are probably another good one.

    The big reason we don't see high body counts from terrorism in the US is because there just aren't that many people that want to do it.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    r4dr3z wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    They don't need explosives. Drive to Wal-Mart, buy a rifle and some ammo. Done.

    That was another Tom Clancy book.

    It was also something that happened in real life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

    I always forget that seemed to have maybe vaguely terrorist motive. Rather than just crazy serial killer.

    But definitely a good demonstration of how effective it could be.

    I'm honestly flabbergasted at how easy it would be to just randomly murder a bunch of people if you did it right.

    Sometimes I think a big part of what keeps us safe is anyone coherent enough to pull off an attack or campaign of attacks or the like and get away with it is not crazy enough to actually do it.

    The terrorists we have always seem disappointingly unimaginative, scientifically illiterate and irrational to me.

    They tend to be operating with limited budgets and next to no logistical support. 9/11 was incredibly imaginative. The idea of using a hijacked aircraft was a weapon was an incredibly new one.
    V1m wrote: »
    Fun fact: that super-high turnover rate makes it laughably easy to get a sleeper agent in as a scanner.

    It only takes one!

    Three and a supervisor. There are easier ways to get explosives into an airport.

    zagdrob
  • Samir Duran DuranSamir Duran Duran Registered User regular
    Man, if they removed the body scanners and let you keep your shoes on and I then got blown up on a plane with an shoebomb Mk2.

    Well then sucks to be me I guess.

    Because seriously I drive my car on the highway all the time and going through all the security theater because of some shit that ain't gonna happen is mad dumb. I mean take a chance and all that.

    This isn't in rebuttal to anything anyone has said it's just how I feel about this whole thing (it's hella dumb) and I thought I would stick it on this message board page because it's a free internet or whatever.

    Ani121OD.pngSpr_3e_121.gifAni121OD.png
  • r4dr3zr4dr3z Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    The one claim I have to disagree with is that we are forever safe from hijackings because after 9/11 the passengers are going to stop them instead of sit and wait. I wouldn't bet my life on that claim, considering that multiple terrorists on a single flight - underbooked or not - could 'easily' control the choke point at the front of a plane long enough to get access to the cabin, even if the passengers are trying to fight back. If that's the case, the odds are much better if they are unarmed.

    Maybe this would stop the terrorists from using the airplane as a weapon:

    f-16c-19990601-f-0073c-005.jpg

    I'm pretty sure anytime from now on a passenger plane is hijacked the Air National Guard is going to scramble some F-16s and shoot that thing out of the sky. So a terrorist would have to:

    1) Sneak a bomb or other device to cut through the door onto the plane
    2) Have enough people equipped with some type of weapon to subdue the other passengers
    3) Fly the plane into a target before an F-16 can shoot them down

  • Clown ShoesClown Shoes Give me hay or give me death. Registered User regular
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    They tend to be operating with limited budgets and next to no logistical support. 9/11 was incredibly imaginative. The idea of using a hijacked aircraft was a weapon was an incredibly new one.

    I think Tom Clancy actually used it some time before 9/11, but I remember reading somewhere that he'd toyed with the idea of having multiple planes hijacked at once and decided against it because it was too fanciful.

  • Karrde1842Karrde1842 Registered User regular
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    They tend to be operating with limited budgets and next to no logistical support. 9/11 was incredibly imaginative. The idea of using a hijacked aircraft was a weapon was an incredibly new one.

    I think Tom Clancy actually used it some time before 9/11, but I remember reading somewhere that he'd toyed with the idea of having multiple planes hijacked at once and decided against it because it was too fanciful.

    They interviewed him either the day of or soon after on CNN I think talking about it. It's actually a pretty good book (if you like Tom Clancy type stuff).

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