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Oh, Brother!!

Well, now they've gone too far - the "official" word is:
NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency.
Well, until they stop this silliness, I won't be flying unless absolutely, vitally neccessary.

No liquids, not even stuff you bought after being screened? That's just fucking ridiculous, and senseless! No soap, no hand sanitizer, no contact lense solution, no OTC cough medicine? Great, just perfect for helping to spread a pandemic!! Shit, it's already detrimental to the health of frequent business travellers who take precautions. Contact lense wearers will have to switch to their backup glasses, because airplane air is dry.

All this because because some boobs got caught plotting something in the UK?? Something as cockamamie as a liquid explosives and components to be assembled in the air?
"The terrorists planned to carry the components of the bombs, including liquid explosive ingredients and detonating devices, disguised as beverages, electronic devices or other common objects," (Chertoff) said.
Peter Neumann, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at London's King's College university, said the plan seemed similar to a 1995 plan to blow up 11 planes using nitroglycerine mixed in contact lens solution and a battery powered detonator.
Oh, brother, what a crock! Please, someone get a real chemist involved in this! Your odds of being able to successfully assemble and detonate a 'mix as you blow' explosive is really, really small. Most explosives have at least one really noxious smelling ingredient, and it would be noticed.

They now want us to drink only airline beverages, eat only airline (joke) food? I don't wanna be sick! That crap is made from cheapest, most unhealthy ingredients they can find, or is contaminated. Plus, they insist on pouring your drink, instead of giving you an unopened can. Their diet sodas are often left out in the sun to cook and go bad. Dehydration is already a risk and a contributor to airplane illness, in addition to low oxygen in recycled air, low humidity that puts a strain on the respiratory tract, and pesticide residues from systematic sprayings.

Scripts only enough for the flight, but in original prescription bottles? Where the fuck am I supposed to store the rest, when I buy them in a 3 month supply?

Britain wants people to check laptops, cell phones, backpacks, books and keys as well? Are they nuts? That's the essentials of life in the air, especially on transatlantic flights!

Sorry, guys, but just fuck off! Really. It's bad enough that you're treated like a probable criminal already for just wanting to board an airplane, but this is nuts.

As I have said before, if you truly want to 'secure' all of the passengers, you have them strip, submit to a body cavity search, don diapers and paper jumpsuits, put their airline boarding pass in a pouch around their necks, and strap them into their seats. You then take all of their stuff and put it on a different, cargo only, plane. But no one would accept that.

This crap won't fly either. Really:
1) No one in their right mind is going to check a $2,000 laptop when baggage is only covered to a total of $1,000.
2) If they lose my luggage, and I check my cell phone, I can't even call someone to let them know I've arrived!
3) If they lose my luggage, I'm then without any medication, and for some people that can be life threatening!
4) I always take a change of clothes and a few days' essentials in my carry-on. No backup now? No way!

The only way I could consider flying is if it's:
a) a short flight, or one with several layovers so I can eat and drink,
b) I can ship my valuables and medications ahead of me to a reliable location,
c) I can take sufficient sedatives, vitamins, and nutrtion in advance so that I can survive the flight without getting sick or homicidal,
d) absolutely essential that I get there faster than driving or train.

I'm glad I don't own any airline stock right now. Homeland (in)Security has made it worthless. Thanks George, for saddling us with their stupidity. Clinton and 'Jackboot Janet' Reno were bad enough, but this is just crap.

For business travel this would be a nightmare. The only people that would be happy are the airline concessionaires (phones, food, drink, and sundries), overnight shippers, and baggage thieves.

EDIT: BTW, you are more likely to die from an auto accident than from a terrorist attack - even if you live in Israel. This shit is getting stupider by the minute.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
It is plenty annoying, seeing as I've got to fly to Nashville *and* Phoenix this fall. (I'm tempted to drive back and forth to Nashville.)
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
I notice, from the similarity of our recent posts, we're on the same page on this one. Ground travel, especially in a private automobile, suddenly became MUCH more attractive, even if gas goes to $5 a gallon. Unfortunately, some destinations don't have that as an option. Fortunately, I'm not going to any of those (overseas) destinations in the foreseeable future.

Remember, we all now have to take off our shoes because some wacko decided to try to implement a plot straight out of an Austin Powers movie, with a fuse poking out of his sneakers. (Why do you think they call them "sneakers"?) Could anything be more ridiculous than that? Um, wait, don't answer that...
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
I just made international travel plans. I cannot live without sunscreen, especially not when using up that much PTO. I am so very angry. I've gone this long without checking luggage. Now, in order to continue not checking luggage, I need to buy things like toothpaste and sunscreen at my destination, where they may not even be labeled in a language I can read? How am I supposed to protect my skin? (Overexposure makes me very ill.)

Graaaarrrrgh. Thank you, FSA, for making me more concerned about my health than such a huge tragedy.
Aug. 10th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chemicals sitting in anyone's bathroom at home could be used to make an easily smuggled bomb that would badly damage a passenger jet, and experts have been warning about this danger for years. The difficult part, experts say, is putting together such a bomb without blowing yourself up.

British police said they foiled a plot on Thursday to blow up aircraft flying between Britain and the United States, and U.S. and British authorities banned liquids, including drinks, hair gels and lotions, from carry-on baggage.

"My hunch is that the reason they are prohibiting this stuff is that it does obviously have the potential of being assembled on board so that it doesn't look like a bomb going through the X-ray machine," said Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who helped write a government report on explosives threats to airlines.

Such mundane items as nail polish remover, disinfectants and hair coloring contain chemicals can be combined to make an explosion and are not detectable by "sniffing" machines, which detect plastic explosives but are not used with all baggage.
Aug. 10th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
I spent 2 years working as an Fed Sec Screener after the TSA went online. The TSA does not make a practice, oft maligned tweezer and scissors policy aside, of purposefully inconveniancing its passengers.
Aug. 10th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)

Explosive Gel Was to Be Concealed in Sports Drink

August 10, 2006 1:56 PM

Richard Esposito Reports:

The suspected terror plotters arrested in Britain had planned to conceal their liquid or gel explosives inside a modified sports beverage drink container and trigger the device with the flash from a disposable camera.

ABC News has learned exclusively that the plotters planned to leave the top of the bottle sealed and filled with the original beverage but add a false bottom, filled with a liquid or gel explosive. The terrorists planned to dye the explosive mixture red to match the sports drink sealed in the top half of the container.

This, they thought, would ensure that they would be able to pass through security -- even if they were asked to unseal and drink the beverage.

The flash in a disposable camera has enough electrical power, they apparently believed, to set off the homemade explosive.

There are any number of homemade or modified commercial liquids that would have made effective explosives, with enough energy to damage or destroy a plane.
Aug. 10th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
Technically, they could use the drug mule method of carrying such a thing - up the rectum.

That said, the explosive would not be enough to bring down the plane. Maybe depressurize it, but not bring it down, unless half the passengers blew their asses up.

It still strikes me as a frigging movie plot, and dubious. False bottoms to cans aren't that easy to make without it being noticed. Nitrocellulose clothing is more feasible.
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
You don't need to do a whole lot of damage to bring a passenger jet down when its at 35,000 feet. A frighteningly low amount of damage will render it a falling chunk of metal.
Aug. 11th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)
Then a fountain pen with metallic sodium in the barrel should suffice. Empty out the oil based ink, and leave the thing to burn after flushing it down the toilet. Use several to be sure. If you make sure the barrel is partially magnesium, I'm sure it would only make it worse.

How's that for a movie plot? Incendiaries could still damage the structural integrity of a jet, causing it to depressurize and break up.

Or you could get several guys to make a diversion while a couple more pried open one of the emergency doors with an improvised crowbar made from a coffee pot, while chanting "Allah Ahkbar!".
Aug. 11th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
You can't stop it.

In this, and every us vs. terrorist situation, the terrorists will Always Win.

Unless they sabotage their own plans by getting caught or doing something equally stupid.

Why? Because they have the upper hand. 100% anonymity until they ruin it for themselves. We don't know who they are. Even if you could safe guard the airlines (unlikely), what about the water supply? What about cars? If I went outside and disabled the breaks of every car on my block, which I probably could do unnoticed, who many people would I kill/injure?

What about our food?

What about our roads? How hard would it be, really, to shut down a segment of freeway?

What about college frat parties? How many aspiring students could you axe in a frat house?

What about telephone poles? Sewers? Aqueducts?

What about just plain old mass murder, emulated serial killer style?

What about sheer Visceral carnage? These guys are willing to die, why not do a crapload of pcp in a grocery store and see how many 6 year old girls you can kill by disembowelment with a quality knife before you blow yourself up? The idea is to terrorize, and killing 6 year olds might not do squat to the economy, but it'd really really screw us up as a nation. Ensure enough hate to keep this war on terror going forever, thereby siphoning considerable wealth and respect for our country away over time.

Can you prevent all this?

You need to make a choice... treat everybody like a potential terrorist, or accept that you cannot stop one fuckhead from killing a whole lot of people if he's cunning enough.

And, trust me, until he tells us who he is, you cannot. You have to hope that he screws up in planning (as these fundy idiots tend to do), or that in execution of the plan, somebody steps forward and stops him. Which may happen in a well armed, intelligent, population with something that resembled actual values... but not often in our's.

Not now that we're mostly a society of afraid cowards.


PS: I'm still driving wherever the hell i need to go. Screw the airlines.
Aug. 11th, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC)
I see a future Mythbusters episode coming out of this. I'd love to know what they were planning to put in the sports drink container--red nitroglycerine? "Um, don't jiggle my drink, man!"
Aug. 10th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
This dumb shit seems like the recycled plot from the first Batman movie.
Aug. 11th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)
Actually, most contact lens wearers don't necessarily need their cleaning solutions, even for a transatlantic flight -- I should know, I just did it. Twice. AND I have abnormally dry eyes too boot. :)

I'd also argue that a laptop and/or cell phone aren't really "essentials" on a flight; it is possible to use these things called "pay phones" while waiting for luggage to be checked, you know. However, I agree that unless the airline can assure me (and PROVE) that my laptop isn't going to be damaged, I'm not about to check it in -- and I'd KILL if someone tried to deprive me of books!

Overall, on the matter of excessive "security measures" at airports/on airlines, WORD. (LAX is a poster place for make-up jobs for the terminally stupid otherwise unemployable, IMO -- it took FOUR separate people to handle our luggage from entering LAX to check-in.

And despite a personal check of my husband's carry-on after the security scan couldn't identify a belt buckle, the guard doing the check still managed to miss the pocket knife he'd accidentally packed into the carry-on.)

Just imagine, we could've killed that guy two rows over ... or the annoyingly cheerful flight attendant ... or the pilot -- with a knife that's too flimsy to cut most apples. Well, hell!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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