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Thursday, January 07, 2010

500 million smooth landings last decade

It’s remarkable that a Northwest Airlines flight was subject to a high-profile Christmas attack; eight years to the day, that shoe-bomber Richard Reid bumbled a similar airline assault. Equally noteworthy is the international media scrutiny placed on the uncommon events; while meanwhile few news outlets report on the over 500 million airline flights that took place in the last ten years, without confrontation of any sort.

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The years I worked in the airline industry before 9-11, made it clear that our security system was largely a charade, requiring vast improvements. For one thing, I would have felt more secure back then, knowing our security agents were earning more than six bucks an hour. It’s great that our dedicated screeners now earn something more approaching a living wage; however, I never dreamed we would become compliant to authoritarian rules of such a large ballooning boondoggle agency. Besides being required to obediently kick off our shoes, we’re now sometimes subject to fishing expeditions that have absolutely nothing to do with transportation security; and currently at some airports, innocent flyers are even forced to pass through high-resolution X-Ray scanners that clearly violate child pornography laws!

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Although the TSA has manufactured over 1 million ‘terrorists’ for our state-of fear watch-lists, air travel still remains, a safer mode of transportation then most long highway trips. It’s too bad that while we’re being hyped and barked at by talking heads all along the terrorism watchtower, about these extremely rare violent air-incidences, that we weren’t able to divert some of these funds for some simple down-to-earth safety measures, such as creating more divided highways for Idaho’s terribly dangerous high speed rural roads.

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