1. Don’t talk to me about security. I just flew home yesterday, and had the delightful experience of having my ENTIRE bag and later my ENTIRE backpack emptied out piece by piece and swabbed and searched (and yes, they do a crappy job of repacking things afterwards). No, I don’t think it had anything to do with my politics; more likely with the assortment of cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, tripods, monopods, cables, and assorted electronics that was embedded within, not to mention a bunch of food items (Craisins Trail Mix – yum!) which I think also triggered an alarm. But no, I also don’t think this had the slightest thing to do with actual security, either, just the appearance of security for the unthinking and easily frightened.

    But BOY was it ANNOYING!!!!

  2. Yikes.

    I had the opposite experience. My heavily-packed gear bag was under the scanner once and the guy waved another TSA agent over and pointed at the screen and made a gesture like, can you believe how much stuff is in that.

    I figured there would be a search, but no, it cleared.

    What was it swabbed with and why?

  3. May I offer the following observations, based on my own experience of airport security in the U.S. and elsewhere:

    National Insecurity, Part One
    National Insecurity, Part Two
    National Insecurity, Part Three

    My conclusion: The U.S. gopvernment is much less interested in making us secure than in making us FEEL secure.

  4. Any serious attack on an airport in the future will probably be done in the time-honored method of influencing, bribing, or threatening the security forces surrounding it, thus gaining entry.

  5. you can take a drink you bought after the checkpoint onto a plane because those items have been screened before they’r eput on the shelves.

  6. But Coke and Mentos causes an explosive reaction that, while probably not dangerous, could certainly be disruptive.

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