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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Commentary from Kent Ballard

The terrorists have won. We're now a police state when it comes to air travel. I'm far more scared of some fat and otherwise-unemployable former warehouse stocker who now wields a federal badge than I am of ANY terrorist. I'm more frightened of any of the alphabet-soup federal agencies of the United States, my own countrymen, than anyone I might bump into in my travels from the Middle East.

The Israelis laugh at us. They have no scanners, no pat-downs in their airports. I saw their chief of airport security when they started installing those backscatter machines in airports. Some American newsman asked him about them and about airport and jetliner security in general.

The man actually *sneered* when talking about the many millions of dollars they would cost the taxpayers and flying public. And he said they were absolutely useless as Israeli security services had already figured a way around them, a way to smuggle deadly things aboard jetliners even after going through them. The newsman asked him how THEY handled security. Strictly by profiling, he said. You look at them. You look at their body language. You observe how they are dressed. You watch their expressions. You check their tickets to see where they've come from and where they are going. You rarely even speak to anyone, just look at their paperwork and watch them. He said all of this as if he were talking to a small child, slowly, like he was trying to explain the very obvious to a moron.

The U.S. and the technological empires that run us fell back on technology. The Israelis focus on people. I think at one point the Israeli security chief even called us "fools."

After that interview, the newsman went on to say that Israel secretly offered the Bush White House to take and train our airport security people. They were willing to send experts to the U.S. and train them extensively, just like they'd been trained at home.

They were turned down.

You could not drag me through one of those airport security areas with a team of wild horses. I'd fight anyone trying to degrade me to that extent the same as I would fight them if they were trying to rape me.

I'd like to go to Mars for the weekend sometime, but that isn't possible. Someday I might want, very badly, to go to Los Angeles or New York in a day. Currently, that too is impossible for me. If everyone was like me--or that gentleman who refused to be groped--the airlines would shut down as soon as the airborne planes landed. And THEN we'd see positive changes made.

But once a federal agency--or several--have been created, try eliminating it. Go ahead. Try it.


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