Comments on: Christmas wrap-up and orange alert, 2009 http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:48:48 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-521322 Thu, 31 Dec 2009 18:47:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-521322 Yeah–this should only be a problem on that ol’ Schipol to Metro route! That’s the ticket.

You asked upthread, Indyanna, what would have happened if the shoe bomber were the pants bomber–I guess that’s your answer, now that we have an underpants bomber.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-521318 Thu, 31 Dec 2009 18:41:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-521318 “Bloggers Subpoenaed,” says a little piece buried inside the Times today (12/31): “The [TSA] is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the thwarted bombing of a jet last week…” The body of the piece seems to suggest that the targets are a few who had same-day knowledge of a confidential screening directive, but still… The continuing literalness of the tactical response (they’re now going “full-body” on screening passengers from Amsterdam to Detroit) combined with the scatter-brained freneticism of the bureaucratic response to leakage is pretty weird. Looks like we’re going to have to award the bottom of the sixth inning to the other side.

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By: Fratguy http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-520417 Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:50:38 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-520417 I cannot believe a closet mythbusters fan such as yourself would miss the Coke/Poprocks experiment. BUSTED. Apparently we have nothing to fear from poprocks when flying, assuming of course we are flying in a dead pig’s stomach.

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By: Kathie http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519834 Mon, 28 Dec 2009 22:30:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519834 Back in November 2001 I was flying with my family, and a security agent made a joke with my (then) teenaged son about his big fat sneakers. I laughed, and said, I thought they weren’t supposed to make jokes while passengers were going through security – I had heard that restriction announced at a prior airport. The agent said when they made him stop joking, he would quit. About one month later Richard Reid tried to explode his shoes.

The literalness of the reactive restrictions reminds me of that old folk tale about Lazy Jack, who repeatedly messes up his tasks because he applies his mother’s advice for the previous infraction (see on common version at http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-30.html).

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519796 Mon, 28 Dec 2009 20:49:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519796 I heard they just repealed the “can’t go to the lav during the last hour” ruling. If that ill guy on the followup flight to Detroit yesterday had just barfed in the lap of the passenger next to him, you would have had two infractions in the same row. The way this “sow confusion among your enemies” strategy is unfolding, I think I’d bet on its creators over the side that is left to rely on mere Predator drones…

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By: Matt L http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519757 Mon, 28 Dec 2009 18:14:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519757 Indianna, you are on to something. Not only is the literal mindedness of the TSA puzzling, its clearly wrong headed. To thwart the terrorists, they need to institute “opposite day” on random flights and at random checkpoints.

For example, if the terrorists were smuggling things in their pants, nobody should be allowed to pass through the checkpoint unless they are wearing a dress or skirt (that goes for all genders, including trans). If you do not have a dress, the TSA will provide one making every effort to supply something tasteful and seasonally appropriate. That would stop people from smuggling things in hir pants.

Or, since the terrorists attacked while sitting down in the last hour of the flight, the airlines should not keep people seated. Instead, in the spirit of opposite day, they should institute a game of musical chairs in the last hour of the flight.

All of these measures, and others associated with opposite day, would keep the terrorists guessing and off balance. It would also afford the traveling public some level of amusement and relive us of the tedium of literal-minded security measures.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519398 Sun, 27 Dec 2009 21:15:22 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519398 Ha! Indyanna gets the best line of the day:

“What gets me about it is the literalness of it all on the part of the TSA. A guy tries to explode his shoes, so now we all take off our shoes. What if he had lit his pants?”

Don’t get those explosives geniuses at Al Qaeda any ideas, man! (Kudos to Matt, too, for the expression “security theater.” Right on.)

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519379 Sun, 27 Dec 2009 19:20:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519379 What gets me about it is the literalness of it all on the part of the TSA. A guy tries to explode his shoes, so now we all take off our shoes. What if he had lit his pants? The fellow in Detroit sets something off in his lap, so now they report no items will be allowed on your laps. Balancing something on your shoulder is apparently o.k. If somebody tried something with a portable chess set, there would go the chess sets, but a travel-sized electric train would probably pass muster. So why, then, if the latest perp attempted to take the plane down while sitting in his seat, will no one be allowed to move in the aisles during the last hour of an international flight? I would think they would require everyone to get up and move about the cabin.

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By: perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519341 Sun, 27 Dec 2009 18:10:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519341 Oh, and I agree about the children, Historiann. I know that buying extra tickets may make plane travel prohibitively expensive for some families, but after one trip with a “lap baby” (and a tiny one at that), I said NO MORE. Nobody should have to sit next to a parent + squirming, angry toddler. My little one travels in style, strapped down in his own cowmooflage seat — although an hour with no “personal items” in his hands might be the death of everyone on that plane. (And don’t even get me started on how international carriers CHARGE for the “privilege” of having a lap child – sometimes as much as $300-$400 per child.)

Honestly, I would travel by train almost everywhere even if it cost more than flying if there was anything approximating decent train service in this country. (meaning if I could actually get from Point A to Point B)

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By: Matt L http://www.historiann.com/2009/12/26/christmas-wrap-up-and-orange-alert-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-519262 Sun, 27 Dec 2009 16:58:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8852#comment-519262 I liked the highball glasses! Totally cool.

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