published Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Airport Security

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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woody said...

Can I get an "Amen" here??

I could (would) go on, but what's the use. As soon as one (or more) more terrorist(?) manages to get aboard another flight, with whatever concoction he or she comes up with, it will only get worse.

Instead of training all of their resources upon the problem at hand, authorities seem bent upon usurping more and more of our "inalienable rights."

And so, the terrorists win again. "They" have "U.S." searching each other, while they board whatever and whenever they wish.

Oops!! I went on....

Happy New Year, Woody

December 30, 2009 at 6:12 a.m.
rolando said...

I thank God every day that I no longer have to fly. I flew for 40 years, averaging once a month round-trip and only had one "what was that?" No sudden moves, nothing. The exception was a balls to the wall lift, turn, and away on our final approach. The Captain said a prior arrival had not yet quite cleared the runway and he was conservatively going around.

I love conservatives; especially when my pilot is one of them.

No terrorists, no shoe removals, no strip searches, etc. Wunderbar.

December 30, 2009 at 7:58 a.m.
whoknows said...

That was hilarious Rolando! Thanks!
I love to fly. I've been on many flights to many different countries and several domestic flights and have never had a "bad" experience. Two "not so pleasant" or "annoying" experiences where they boarded us and kept us sitting for an hour due to "engine trouble" and once being earmarked to be searched at every possible checkpoint is the worst of it. Some turbulence, even bad turbulence, just makes it that much more exciting! I was even in the air on 9/11. I landed in Budapest shortly after the planes struck the towers. Let me tell you, airport security at the beginning of that trip and at the end of that trip were two completely different things... but again, I didn't mind. Is our airport security the best? No. But they do a moderately good job. However, not being one to see all the behind the scenes stuff, I have no idea how to better it. Scotty left a comment on yesterday's cartoon talking about the ingenuity of the people trying to cause the terror... exploding underwear is pretty creative. Though that is the last place I would EVER want an explosive device! There will be more creative attempts to get explosives on board... and we'll never be able to stop all of them. Sorry, I didn’t really have anything active to say, I’m just rambling today cause I wasn’t ready to get to work… sigh. No I am about to be behind. Have a wonderful New Year’s celebration everyone, and stay safe! If the person next to you looks like they have explosives in their underpants, find another seat!

December 30, 2009 at 8:39 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

A reactive policy can not and will not defend against an asymmetric proactive enemy. An enemy who is constantly updating and refining their tactics while we complain about a 45 minute lunch break. They train and plan day and night with no unions and no overtime. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is not the governments job to stop a would be terrorist (criminal) it's ours. It's nice to always have someone to blame, so you never have to take responsibility for your own actions or inactions. There were a countless people who could have stopped Timothy McVee, Richard Reid and Nidal Hasan before they got as far as they did. But I guess it's easier to call Bush incompetent and Obama weak. My suggestion is that every once in a while we look up from our Blackberry and ask "Does this look right?"

December 30, 2009 at 8:43 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

SeaSmokie writes: “I have said it before and I will say it again, it is not the governments job to stop a would be terrorist (criminal) it's ours.”

SeaSmokie, I mostly agree with what you are saying. I think it a good thing that we as a government have stepped up security. However, I too think we as individuals should be constant vigils in regards to our own security. I am very proud of the passengers that thwarted the attacks, as I was the ones on 9/11. I would hope to act the same in that situation. Or I would hope to be able to see odd behavior and report it even before it gets to that point.

YES, Lets be proactive. Preventing a fire is easier than putting them out. Plus the cost from the damage is much more than the prevention. We need to get our heads out of our derrières and take care of ourselves.

December 30, 2009 at 10:10 a.m.
Wayfarer said...

What can be said has been already said.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1775

Regards from Spain,

-- Wayfarer

December 30, 2009 at 12:36 p.m.
nucanuck said...

nurse cogently observes "Preventing a fire is easier than putting them out."

Massive security comes at a burdensome cost and inconvenience without addressing the reasons the security has become necessary. If the perpetrators of these heinous acts were sociopaths or otherwise deranged,security might be our only option,but,for the most part,the perpetrators have been intelligent,educated,rational people that have somehow concluded that they must join the effort to stop western intrusion,along with percieved humiliation and denigration of their culture/religion. Intentional or unintentional,real or unreal,a large segment of Islam believes this to be true,and a small part of Islam is acting out on it.

To the degree perception is reality,we have a problem that we could begin to address through education and sensitivity to other cultures. Would it help? Is it worth trying? Mabe not,but ever more intrusive security is growing government in an ugly unproductive way.

December 30, 2009 at 12:46 p.m.

Nuc: "intelligent,educated,rational people that have somehow concluded that they must join the effort to stop western intrusion,along with perceived humiliation and denigration of their culture/religion"

Intelligent: placing bombs and bomb material in your gaunchies or shoes. Strapping bombs to teenagers and women.

Educated: in caves and madrassahs, where little children are indoctrinated to hate and kill the Infidels. Children who lose their innocence, their hope and their childhood.

Rational: believing that all Infidels are dogs, especially Jews and Christians, and the West is Satan. Therefore all of the above must be blown up and/or their heads cut off.

Perceived humiliation..western intrusion..denigration of their culture/religion: 22+ civil wars (happening now) and murder/torture of innocent villagers worldwide. Instigated by Evil America? Non Monsieur, acting solely according to their own lusts and greed for domination and power-according to the orders and historical actions of their prophet Mohammed, our 'friends' Islamic Terrorists.

Addressing sensitivity to other cultures: already been there, including in many state's teaching materials. The indoctrination of 1st grade-college age children in America, that Islam is "peace', brotherly love and happy, happy unity of one and all. CAIR and other Islamic groups are busily ensuring that we all keep in lockstep with the above ideals, the media and our Gov't is fine with it too.

Next: Suggest sending the Culturally Sensitive teaching materials along with CAIR and the Islamic Council of America, their radical mullahs and followers BACK to their home countries to share our wonderful thought-control materials with their leaders and terrorists. My guess is they'll send us back their thanks. No, not a white hanky boys. A Nuke for Nuc.

December 30, 2009 at 2:18 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

NN, I think you misunderstand me. I am not for more government interference, but I am for more security from the airlines, even if it cost the travelers more money. I am also, like SeaSmokie, for taking responsibility for our own security as well.

And it also sounds like you are saying that the cost of security is too high to save American lives, or did I misunderstand you?

Plus I have no interest in tiptoeing thru the tulips with Al Queada (sp?) to find out what they are so upset about. They are as useless as screen doors on a submarine. They just need to be taken out. ( i think i said more than i meant to but that is my opinion )

December 30, 2009 at 2:28 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

Amen Canary!!!

December 30, 2009 at 2:37 p.m.
rolando said...

You have dealt with these "educated, intelligent, rational" animals before, haven't you, Canary? You describe them to a T.

What we need to do is throw out the PC crap about not profiling. This BS about "Why pick on me just because I am a bearded male Semite between 18 and 30" or the absolutely stupid idea that we must be "fair" to these killers of our wives and children disgusts me. FAIR, for God's sake?? They are murdering us! I don't want to understand them, I want them dead.

Profiling WORKS!

Folks, we need to take the bull by the horns here and stop taking grannie's knitting needles, stop sending the baby through the X-Ray machine, stop picking out Joe Football or Janey Cheerleader for the next strip-search while letting pass without a glance the bearded, swarthy young guy wearing a headrag and what we called 7-day sh**ters for pants along with sandals. The latter is the real him!

Next, we must get serious and involved with policing ourselves and the person next to us; this has been said over and over in many different ways on this forum. If the guy next to you looks and acts like a dyed-in-the-wool nutcase, he probably is. Ask any cop. If you are infirm or incapable of controlling him if necessary, TELL someone, preferably a Joe [Refrigerator] Jones type. Then trade places with him.

At least three times now, passengers have stopped one hijacking cold, prevented an explosion on another, and kept our White House safe from a third [at the cost of their own lives, God bless them].

December 30, 2009 at 3:07 p.m.
rolando said...

Good, clear post, nurse. No need to apologize for one word of it. The time for clear speaking is here.

December 30, 2009 at 3:10 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

thanks Rolando. I agree with yours as well...

December 30, 2009 at 3:16 p.m.
Walden said...

Obama dared to call Abdulmutallab an "isolated extremist." What treacherous wanton tomfoolery that is! Fire Napolitano now, and Barry, why don't you go along with her. You are a danger to America.

December 30, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.
nucanuck said...


I feel the same anger and frustration as you at every senseless act of violence. Where we differ is in what can be done about it. With all our technology we mostly can't identify our enemy until AFTER he has struck. It's one thing to want to shoot them like dogs,but quite another when we don't know whom to shoot.

In our efforts to root out the enemy and kill them we have killed untold thousands of innocents and called it collateral damage. Every one of those mothers,brothers and sisters killed, caused unimaginable pain for their families just as it does for ours. An ever angrier cycle of violence is a road to nowhere. At some point the cultures have to move past the violence and toward a broader cultural understanding.

The rigidity and anger is not an answer.

December 30, 2009 at 4:43 p.m.
anonymight said...

How about Airport Freedom. Let airlines provide security for their own businesses. Allow them to profile, probe, ponder, pick, point and pluck whoever or whatever they want. There is no civil liberty provision when the government gets out of the security business. If you don't like a particular airline's procedures, walk, swim, bike or skip to your destination. Or better yet, fly on a different airline with different procedures. To think that the government can prevent terrorist actions is ridiculous. 9/11 wasn't Bush's fault and this latest act of war was not Obama's.

Come to think of it, actually, the government can prevent terrorists on planes after all. Make flying so onerous that only those who own private jets will do it. The Unfriendly Skies. Hope. Yes We Can!

December 30, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.
rolando said...

Excellent points, anonymight. That's the way it used to be before we got into the business of internal security and out of the business of border security.

December 30, 2009 at 7:13 p.m.
rolando said...

Point is, nucanuck, we DO know who the bad guys are as a group. ANYONE who belongs to that group is or should be suspect and closely watched. Period. They brought this upon themselves. If you are one of that group, YOU get stripped searched each and every time you get in line for a plane [including body cavities]. YOU get inconvenienced, not those of another nationality/culture/race. YOUR group bombs airplanes and kills women and children at play; the others don't.

You don't like it, walk or fly on your own group's airlines. Better yet, if YOU are an innocent, act like an American and clamp down on YOUR group's maddog killers and clamp down HARD wherever and whenever you find them. Act like an American [without the hyphen] and we will treat you like one. We will even welcome you.

I am sick unto death of namby-pamby treatment of these killers. Under our current [non]leadership, it will only get worse. I would rather see Dear Leader go on an extended a$$-kissing tour overseas and VP whats-his-name take up the reins; at least HE can speak without a teleprompter.

December 30, 2009 at 7:16 p.m.
rolando said...

whoknows -- A bit of humor here...and a scary.

First, the funniest sign I saw at an airport was alongside the runway [near a little shack] on Itazuki MCAS in Japan. It was there for the incoming Marine single-engine jockeys and was in deadly earnest. It said one word, "WHEELS". Story goes someone landed without putting them down. [The shack was for a Japanese with binoculars and a radio...who checked every incoming, just in case.] Or so the story goes.

While riding my bike near the flight line on Yokota AB Japan, I saw a stretch-eight [a DC-8 packed tail to turret with seats -- aka cattlecars] on final; it passed below the roofline of the hangers so it either landed or came close. I heard the roar of its engines and it reappeared at a steep climb. I could see both wings and all four engines; it was banking that hard. I would guess a 30 degree nose-high ROC; rudder must have been kicked all the way. Side slip was bad. It made it OK -- the pilot avoided the aircraft taking off underneath him. The plane was loaded to the gun'ls with families; the decks must have been awash with a bit of everything by the time it landed.

One month later we made a night raid on the tower and ended up busting 22 air traffic controllers for pot. They had an unintended "garden" growing below. Chief Master Sergeants -- very unhappy ones -- were working night shifts for weeks until drug-free troops were brought in.

December 30, 2009 at 7:39 p.m.

Anonymight: I appreciate what you said about free enterprise at the airports. The only problem I have with that is our Constitution's mandate to secure and protect America's citizens and secure our borders against foreign threats. Shouldn't that include our airspace and eventually one day, our tourist 'ships' in outer space? I doubt very much the airlines who are already hurting and who need to make a buck, are going to pick and probe every suspicious-looking passenger. And don't forget Terrorists can commandier buses, trains, ships and if they choose, Johnny's skateboard. Many people travel because they have to, so should we let them become sitting ducks? I say no way.

I say we need real Leaders in Washington, in the CIA, FBI and in our local police forces, as well as Airport security. Some countries have soldiers in their airports who are actually allowed to do their job. Everywhere I've lived and travelled to; the safest, securest environments were those whose Gov't and people allowed the police, army, Intelligence, etc. to do their job. No pandering to niceties, no political correctness so as not to offend anyone, the profiling of suspect individuals, whatever it takes to keep the public safe. Did we see that kind of policing and commonsense at Fort Hood? I think not. Thirteen innocent soldiers are dead because their Gov't and their namby-pamby superiors did nothing. Citizens and soldiers there did their job, to no avail. It DOES make a difference who our leaders are and that they follow the rule of law.

Rolando, Nurse, this is why I am so adamant. There is no frustration here, but righteous anger whenever evil rears its ugly head....."Be wise as serpents, innocent as bold in your faith, speak the truth always...put on your armour discernment"

***Estimate: there are approximately one Billion people worldwide who are of the Islamic faith (growing faster than any other religion). Estimated 'tiny minority' of radical Islamicists or Jihadists is one-tenth of that population. That's a conservative estimate of 100 million people. I'd say if the mullahs worldwide called in the faithful to fight the infidels, that tiny minority of 100 million would be alot more.

December 30, 2009 at 8:13 p.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Rolando wrote - "ANYONE who belongs to that group is or should be suspect and closely watched"

Shipmate that's not either logical nor effective. Timothy McVeigh was a registered Republican and a member of the NRA, Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber) was a Harvard grad and a University of Michigan alum., Robert Chambliss (Dynamite Bob) was a member of the KKK, Eric Rudolph was an Army Vet and Christian, do you suggest we profile every white male between the ages of 25-50? Because if you take out 9-11, most of the the homeland terror attacks have been perpetrated by white males. I understand your argument, but we are looking for solutions to our problems not quick fixes and scapegoats.

December 30, 2009 at 8:21 p.m.
anonymight said...

I don't know if everyone in that group should be suspect Roloando: grandmothers, infants, etc. But none of the people SeaSmokie mentioned brought down an airliner. I mean if we are talking about airline security I don't see how Tim McViegh or the Unabomber is germane.

If you want to widen the discussion to domestic terrorists then SeaSmokie is right. Somehow, though, I just don't feel as threatened or terrified by White Supremacists or Christian Fundamentalists. Our culture frowns on that nonsense. It is not widespread. But the countries in the Middle East traffic in it.

December 30, 2009 at 9:23 p.m.
whoknows said...

Rolando: I couldn't imagine being on that DC-8. Good thing that pilot could do his job well! That's just ridiculous to have a problem that widespread with the Air traffic controllers...

December 31, 2009 at 8:09 a.m.
rolando said...

Grannies/kiddies don't meet the profile, anonymight, nor do females. They are not the ones blowing up planes...

Profiles do not cover all contingencies but they sure do cut down the violence.

December 31, 2009 at 8:33 a.m.
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