Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Or Are U Just Happy To See Me?

For the past few weeks I have succumbed to Bloggers Block, a terrible affliction which strikes down the amateur blogger, leaving one unable to write anything mildly perky  or witty.  Everything I write seems heavy and crap to me, devoid of a flow or good intro, and increasingly permeated by repeated use of “and.”
And all I can think about is my Trojan cigarettes (I have kind off given up).  What will become of me without my inflammable writing prop? Happier and healthier I am sure. But I have never been a long-term person. I don't have that kind of patience.

Anyway, while everyone was busy stuffing their cake holes this Xmas, our government has given the go ahead for full body TCA Scanners to be installed at airports.  

The Dark Age of Flying vs The Golden Age: Where do u stand? 

The Shoe, His Belt, Her Laptop, Their Liquid

So first we had to take our shoes off because some moron tried to set his slippers on fire.  If you look at pictures of this man, you can see that he had a wide eyed craziness about him that even millions of Trinidadian dollars could not buy. He was clearly deranged. No one cares  or knows  his name, as he goes by the term "the shoe bomber."

Then, liquids on planes became the devil of custom officials everywhere, and we are now limited to only bringing in 100ml with us in case some dumbass wants to join the mile high chemistry club again. Not sure how this has contributed to keeping us safer – but hey, I am only a citizen, I go along with it, and if there is a market for copy-cat air crimes, then it is their duty to protect us from these loony bin trips. 

The Crotch Bomber
And now, because some Nigerian nutter wanted to blow up a plane on Xmas Day (WTF?) by placing explosives in his underwear (clearly the actions of a man who has nothing to lose), Gordon Brown has sanctioned for full body scanners to be brought into all airports in a matter of weeks. What next, anal probes for all over 18 year olds because some madman tried to light a firework out of his arse at check in. According to reports, none of the techniques coming into use can detect explosives inserted way, way, up a rectum. So surely this issue will be the next thing they will want to get their mitts on, now that they can strip search us via invasive 3D X-ray scans.

How long more are we going to be at the mercy of whatever a loon thinks up next?  Can't we all just go back to this space in time, when hostesses dressed up like this and  the only thing people were thinking of blowing off was the champagne cork  or Donald Draper sitting in aisle 3?

Anyway back to the scanners, in the US, passengers selected for a full-body scan can decline, but if they do, they must submit to full-body pat-downs by a TSA officer and many raised eyebrows. Denying anything to a custom official is the worst thing you can do, as these people have more power than a president when you are crossing borders. The technology was introduced a couple of years ago, but US airports have been slow to install the machines, partly because of privacy concerns raised by some members of Congress and civil liberties groups.

Is that  a gun in your pants, sir?
Back to our Nigerian Nutter who clearly had a massive chip in his pants - the wanker tried to detonate explosives from the comfort of his own crotch. If the other nut is known as "the shoe bomber" is this punk  "the crotch bomber" then? probably not.

Dutch security officials are now saying  that full-body scanners could have detected the explosives in his underwear when boarding a Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam. But although the  city's Schiphol Airport operates more than a dozen such scanners, none was used to check the Nigerian.  I suspect that Nigerians will now feature heavily in their racial profiling at security. In fact, I pity all Nigerians travelling at the moment, because they will all be put through hell because of this man's actions.

Where the US goes, Blighty is always eager to follow, and Brown has reiterated the need for these devices to make a permanent appearance in  airports. The French and Swiss have no plans to do so, and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he had nothing against body scanners in principle but they could only be deployed after efficiency, health and privacy guarantees were met.

Now that is what I call keeping us safe. 

I love what Plane Talking had to say: 
Given that authorities are often quoted as saying that the chances of being killed by a terrorist attack on a plane are around one in ten million or arguably ten times less likely than choking to death from an allergic reaction to a peanut contaminated in-flight snack, ANY increased risk of death from cancer from such scans implies that the costs as well as risks of these additional measures are logically insupportable.

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