If You Can't Criticize 'em, Lobby 'em!


After experiencing the apparently lonely "cultural revelation" that the Department of Homeland Security is doing a bang-up job ("sure they don't do everything right, but they work their asses off and take all kinds of shit from the press and the pundits and just keep their heads down and do the job they said they would do"), former media critic Steven Brill is launching "a company with key players in the homeland security industry that will offer a private, voluntary, biometrically secure identification card providing access to a fast line at entrances to airports, office buildings, train terminals, arenas, and other security bottlenecks across the United States." Like much of what the journalist/entrepreneur proposes, it certainly sounds interesting. (Link via Romenesko)

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  1. It would be a lot easier just to take the checkpoints down.

  2. Arm the pilots or just forget it.

  3. “Voluntary” for how long?

    And is this ID card going to be tattooed on the right hand or the forehead?

  4. The only security procedure change necessary to prevent airline hijackings was implemented on 9/11.

    Prior to that time the Official Airline Hijacking Management Procedure was “If they want the airplane, give them the airplane. Otherwise someone might get hurt.” After the passengers on the fourth plane learned that the other three had been used to destroy the Towers and damage the Pentagon they changed the procedure. At that point they were too late to prevent the hijackers from destroying them and the aircraft, but they saved whatever target was designated.

    Since 9/11, whether the government acknowledges it or not, the Practical Airline Hijacking Management Procedure is “If someone stands up and says he’s taking over your plane, the closest healthy passenger should throw a blanket over him so the rest of the nearby passengers can stomp him into the carpet. Then ask the aircrew to notify the pilot so he can land and let law enforcement clean up the mess.”

    So far it’s working 100%, which is a lot better than all the ground security nonsense is doing. I love the part where they say “Make sure you watch your carry-on so no one puts anything in it” then make you leave checked baggage unlocked.

  5. Why not mount a zapper in a cradle next to every in flight phone on the back of every seat. Make misuse a very nasty offense and include a quick training – right after the seat belt demo the stews always go through. Any would-be terrorist would arrive on the ground as a cinder, heh, with 80 odd burn marks on his butt.
    I realize it goes against the established “Sheep” mode we’re all supposed to fly in, but it’s perfectly in line with the notion that have a basic right of self defense. Just have to break through that public school docility training.

  6. Isn’t it a safe presumption that all of the 9/11 hijackers had to show ID to get on their planes? Did that save anybody? How will a form of ID that allows people to get through security lines faster make us safer? Somehow the ID — which does nothing more than provide a name to a face — will make security more efficient (the same job in a shorter amount of time). But since 9/11 I’ve been through three plane flights with a pocket knife (I had left it in my jacket some time ago and discovered it shortly after alighting my most recent flight). And a fancy ID is going to improve something about this process…in what way, exactly? Now I can get a biometrically secure (or whatever) ID and get through the security line with my pocket knife faster. Yay.

  7. I think all of this excessive paranoia about IDs and scanning passengers for luggage has it all wrong. The TSA should be encouraging as many passengers as possible to bring weapons on board. The passenger in seat 13b with the shotgun and the four guys in first class with 9mm’s ought to deter any fanatical Islamist nutjob with box cutter.

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