Nov
21
2010

#rsrh Interesting thought re TSA.

Glenn Reynolds, on the news that the TSA is probably contributing to more accidents on the road:

“Of course, a few thousand extra highway deaths don’t produce the national trauma of a 9/11, and that’s a reasonable thing to factor in somehow.”

It’s the qualitative difference between ‘tragedy’ and ‘atrocity,’ Glenn.  There is no organized conspiracy to kill American citizens via car crashes, so each death is an separate tragedy, and even in the rare cases where actual malice is involved in the crash it’s an individual malice.  But 9/11 was the result of an organized conspiracy; and a failed one, at that.  They were trying to kill 50,000 people, after all.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
|

22 Comments

  • Nancy says:

    But the “tragedy” seems unnecessary — if the TSA procedures that lead to more people driving do not reduce the likelihood of a successful terrorist attack.

  • willis says:

    “There is no organized conspiracy to kill American citizens via car crashes”

    You may be right. This TSA initiative is probably only to aclimate Americans to submitting to their overlords.

  • Ari Tai says:

    Amen. Pearl Harbor killed far fewer than auto accidents (or polio). This is why we have (should have) a Department of War – and have learned that paying off (the Barbary) pirates is a no solution.

    To insure a free and civil society we require / demand the ability to trust our neighbors, be they next door or in the next seat. Which means we must be willing to sacrifice our lives until this is assured. Self-defense (which insures our ability to live a life free of intimidation and threats of violence) is an inalienable right. Which is why the left fears this discussion – it’s why we go to war rather than trust in bribes or “lawfare.”

  • […] and one of his commenters suggests hiring ex-military to do the work. An analyst notes gravely that avoiding the airlines means more deaths on the highways. TSA agents wail that this isn’t what they signed up for. […]

  • jorgxmckie says:

    I have an idea. Why doesn’t the TSA try something that has been proven for years to work in another country? I’m thinking of the Israeli method. It seems way less intrusive and very effective.

    Of course, that would require the idiots at TSA to develop some spine and a level of understanding of human behavior that none of the management there seems to possess, but perhaps a miracle is possible.

  • jr565 says:

    It’s times like this that the libertarians start sounding like crazy liberals. To Glenn, live with your choices. If the TSA security protocols are too onerous for you and it causes you to drive and said increases in driving means more people die well then accept that consequence and don’t blame the TSA for your alternate choice.
    We all have to weigh security and personal responsibility. I personally have no problem stepping through a scanner if it means that others will also step through that scanner thus diminishing the chances that people will get on board a plane I”m on with a bomb. If that’s too much for Glenn and he instead decides to drive everywhere, dont cry about the long driving times, the increased accidents and the traffic jams. That was your choice. No one’s treading on you, if that means more accidents then that’s simply the cost of doing business.

  • Terrye says:

    I think some people are just going totally off the deep end about all this. They are hysterical. As for whether or not it stops attacks..well it has been some time since I watched passenger jets slam into buildings. I have been through a body scanner, it took a few seconds and then I was on my way. I would rather do that than be interviewed and have a background check done and spend more time and money in the airport.

  • I suppose we are literally dying for a safe flight. Not only will more people than usual die on the highways because they will drive rather than fly, the scanning machines are themselves going to kill some people.

    If all 100 million-per-year American air travelers got scanned (which not all are, yet), there would be about 40 die from cancer as a result of the scanning.

    The problem is that the odds of being killed in a airline terrorist attack are no greater. So these procedures do not reduce the risk, they just shift it elsewhere.

    Add to that the as-yet-unknown number of travelers who will die or suffer injury on the roads, and ISTM that the TSA’s procedures will actually cost more lives than they only-potentially save.

    As others have pointed out, the TSA profiles things, not persons. And now with the near-sexual-assault patdowns, the things they are profiling are, well, you know, our things.

    No wonder there is rebellion. After all, it’s hard to believe you’ve been made safer by being assaulted. Add to that the monarchical, “let them eat cake” dismissal by Queen Napolitano (that we can just travel some other way), and we are reaching a critical mass of Americans who simply won’t take it any more.

  • Terrye says:

    Donald, oh please, using that logic we might as well get rid of the metal detectors too.

    The interesting thing about this sad silly debate is that people like Glenn Reynolds who support legalizing drugs..{because after all people are responsible for the decisions they make}, are suddenly talking about how TSA could be responsible for people dying in car wrecks because those people decided to drive rather than fly.

    That seems like strange logic to me.

  • Terrye says:

    jorg:

    That would not work in America. There are too many cultural and legal problems with using the Israeli system here. Not to mention the fact that almost 2 million people a day go through our airports compared to 10 million a year in Israel. In fact, so far as I know there is no major country using the system Israel uses.

  • Mike says:

    Right on, jr565! And if those people who have to fly for work-related reasons don’t like it, they can choose to quit; there are plenty of other jobs out there they can take, what with Recovery Summer and all. Or they can choose to support their families by living on government handouts, which will always be plentiful and readily available. And if people don’t like trading their liberty, dignity, and Constitutional right to avoid unreasonable searches and the presumption of innocence for the mere illusion of safety, which is all the TSA provides and ever will provide, well, they don’t have to live here; they can choose to move to some other country that has more common sense, less political correctness, and fewer frightened sheep.

    Nobody’s right to anything is being trampled here. As soon as you decide to go anywhere, you’ve abandoned all rights by your choice not to stay locked safely and securely in your home where you belong, and really, what reason do you have to be traveling anyway? That honey-do list back home ain’t gonna do itself while you’re out there gallivanting around for your own personal amusement, which you have absolutely no right nor reason to be doing anyway. It’s all perfectly logical.

    As Doug Ross said last week, it’s a small price to pay to ensure that we will never have to profile certain people whose religion has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism — the name of which we aren’t allowed to mention in this context — no matter how obvious that need may become, no matter how well it’s been demonstrated to work by a certain “shitty little country.” Because the one thing above all that we seem to have no right to do is defend ourselves effectively and proactively, or to expect anything more from our courageous leaders and selflessly dedicated bureaucrats than security theater.

    We need to keep our security focus on people who will never come anywhere near committing an act of terrorism in their entire lives, and off of the people we all know commit somewhere around a hundred percent of the terrorism we seem to have decided we’re willing to bend over backwards to accommodate and live with — with our pants around our ankles, so as to allow easier access for a thorough going-over at Checkpoint Chickie.

    We’ve got Barney Fife running airport security now. And you know how well his plans and schemes always worked out. Hell, it sometimes seems as if we’ve become a nation of Barney Fifes at this point.

    Which, that’s a choice too, y’know. Come back, Andy Taylor! Your country needs you, now more than ever.

  • LilyBart says:

    Oh, Look, here is JR565 on YET ANOTHER website, on his full time mission to convince everyone that the new TSA procedures and awesome and necessary.

    Are your one of the professional posters I’ve read about, or do you work for the TSA?

  • jr565 says:

    Hey lilybart. I guess you’re reading the same websites I do. I’ve only posted on three, but that’s because those are three that I read a lot, and they are all talking about the same things. I tend to link to a lot of stuff off of instapundit.

  • john says:

    I was always told to carry my own bomb onto a flight because the probability of two bombs on an airplane was infinitesimal.

    I think the TSA has come to the same conclusion. If you treat everyone on a flight as a terrorist, then the probability of a terrorist getting on board an airplane approaches infinity.

  • jr565 says:

    Mike wrote:

    Right on, jr565! And if those people who have to fly for work-related reasons don’t like it, they can choose to quit; there are plenty of other jobs out there they can take, what with Recovery Summer and all. Or they can choose to support their families by living on government handouts, which will always be plentiful and readily available.

    You’re going to have to make the determination as to what is more important to you. Your indignity at being forced to walk through a scanner that you don’t like or the problems you’ll face having to come up with the alternative to flying namely taking a bus a car or a train.
    But that’s just the breaks.And we could have been having this same conversation when they started making people take off their shoes. Some libertarians might have thought THAT was going too far, and they’d vow to never again travel on an airline that treats tehm like criminals. Or they could take umbrage that the airlines make them check their baggage through an xray machine. Does the airline think they’re criminals?
    At any point someone could withdraw themselves from flying and vow to never do it again. The airlines do not have to tailor security for you, they tailor it for them. IF you don’t like it you don’t fly. THey can charge you for every carryon bag or they can charge you for two or more. And you can either buy the ticket or not buy the ticket. If its an inconvenience and you’re job is more important you bite the bullet, but if you think the indignity of being charged for two carry on bags is worth the inconvenience of travelling to work by car instead then you do that instead.
    The airlines are not YOUR airlines. You don’t have absolute privacy on an airline. They have a right to set security protocols to travel on their airlines (since they are responsible for the property and will have to pay the costs should one of their airlines explode). You are not being FORCED to fly. Maybe this will mean libertarians will now start supporting those super fast choo choos.
    BY the same token, if enough people decide not to fly or they determine that they don’t need the security protocl they might change their procedures.
    But the don’t owe you the exact way you want to fly because it’s inonvenient for you to do anything else but fly. You could also get a job where you don’t need to fly. The airlines have nothing to do wiith that.

  • Bigfingo says:

    I’m thinkin’ that all this crap with the enhanced pat downs is to force people into the scanner lines. And, just because I am paranoid, I think they intend to get more than just a look with the scanner. I believe that they have plans for the scanner technology of the future that involves much more than a simple body scan.

  • jr565 says:

    Mike wrote
    We need to keep our security focus on people who will never come anywhere near committing an act of terrorism in their entire lives, and off of the people we all know commit somewhere around a hundred percent of the terrorism we seem to have decided we’re willing to bend over backwards to accommodate and live with — with our pants around our ankles, so as to allow easier access for a thorough going-over at Checkpoint Chickie.

    THere isn’t such security that you want unless you think there should be a completey separate security apparatus for muslims and for you. WHich is not going to happen. And it wouldn’t be fair anyway because despite the fact that the majority of terrorists are muslims the majority of muslims are not going to get on a plane and blow it up.
    And there are other terrorists than muslims. THere are chechens for example and people like Tim Mcveigh and there are other security reasons to not allow unrestricted access to planes, like smuggling weapons or drugs through the airlines.
    ANd of course our constitution wont allow us to profile so brazenly that we literally have security only for muslims while you get to walk around on planes wihtout even having to check your bags.

  • jr565 says:

    Terrye wrote:
    “That would not work in America. There are too many cultural and legal problems with using the Israeli system here. Not to mention the fact that almost 2 million people a day go through our airports compared to 10 million a year in Israel. In fact, so far as I know there is no major country using the system Israel uses.”

    Why don’t the libertarians understand that? THey understand that the high speed rails wouldn’t work here because we’re so much larger than europe, but they keep falling back to how we have to be like ISrael and use their security. Do they not realize that Israel has literally ONE airport? It’s not as hard to secure one site as opposed to the thousands of airports and airlines we have here. THink about how many security agents are needed to run el al, and then think about JFK in NYC and how many terminals it has. THats just one airport! Now lets have the same number of security agents at all the airlines around the country. Maybe that could be our economic rebound plan, hiring thousands and thousands of security guards and train them to the level that El Al uses. We coudn’t possibly get the number of trained people to fill those spaces that were needed. And think about how long it takes to go through an airline at Israel. 3 hours additional time. And people are complaining that the scanners are adding an hour to their travel. And think about the number of people travelling just from new york in a given day compared to Israel. How many more interrogations are they going to have to do compared to Israel and how will that impact on travel times.
    It’s just not realistic.

  • jr565 says:

    Donald Lensing wrote:
    “suppose we are literally dying for a safe flight. Not only will more people than usual die on the highways because they will drive rather than fly, the scanning machines are themselves going to kill some people.
    If all 100 million-per-year American air travelers got scanned (which not all are, yet), there would be about 40 die from cancer as a result of the scanning”
    Another false argument. Why? Because if you are worried about the effects of incidental radiation that may cause cancer you wouldn’t fly in the first place. Because every time you fly you expose yourself to the equivalent of an xray or two (Did you ever go to get an xray and ask about the exposure? They’ll often tell you its the equivalent of flying on an airplane). So if you’re really worried about radiation exposure then the mere act of flight would be too much of a danger. And yet, prior to the TSA announcing their new protocols all the libertarians were espousing flight as the way to go, and calling the high speed rails boondoggles. You’d think they would know they were putting their lives in jeapordy all this time.

  • jr565 says:

    Donald Sensing wrote

    “No wonder there is rebellion. After all, it’s hard to believe you’ve been made safer by being assaulted. Add to that the monarchical, “let them eat cake” dismissal by Queen Napolitano (that we can just travel some other way), and we are reaching a critical mass of Americans who simply won’t take it any more.”

    Prior to the TSA rule changes we had pat downs, in case Donald isn’t aware of it. I’ve gone through them and my mother has gone through them. ANd I wouldn’t characterize them as “assault”. And I did think said patdowns made flights safer because of the simple fact that a patdown can find a weapon that not doing a patdown wont find. Which is why if you are the security detail of the president will often give people patdowns before they let people see the president. Which is why cops pat people down to see if they have any weapons before putting them in a squad car. Which is why they make sure a room is clear before calling “All clear”. It just works as a security measure. Certainly not all the time, but better than not bothering to check. To declare anything other than that would be stupid.
    So if I know that I was patted down, but so was everyone else I feel MORE secure than if no one was patted down. I don’t know you, but you don’t know me either. Why should I trust that you are not up to mischief when you get on the same plane as me? Simply because you don’t look like trouble?
    Next, what makes the new pat-downs assautl but the old pat downs not assault. We’re talking degrees of touch imperceptible to most humans. And how are we determining what is assault and what is a professional pat down? couldn’t someone go through a perfectly reasonable pat-down and say that they were assaulted? YOu’d then have to be left with the argument that no one could ever be patted down.
    Is that where you want to go with security? I recognize that YOU personally don’t want to be patted down, but do you really not want a terrorist to be patted down either?

  • Bill McNutt says:

    Submitting to a strip search, albeit a digital one, or to intimate groping is beneath the dignity of a free man, and it needs to STOP.

  • Mike says:

    Ahh, but jr565, the argument isn’t between TSA’s overbearing bureaucracy and no security at all, but between what actually works and what doesn’t. As most of the others who support the TSA’s methods — methods that have yet to catch a single terrorist, not even one, and have meanwhile allowed both terrorists and weapons to pass through security unmolested, in dozens of instances — I’ve seen out there have done, you stretch the argument to the breaking point of absurdity (all Muslims gone over with a fine-toothed comb, while everybody else walks through with no security check at all — REALLY? When have you ever heard anyone suggest that, exactly?). You’re making a fine case for yourself and your squad of straw men there, but it ain’t the same argument I’m engaged in. Not even close.

RSS feed for comments on this post.


Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com