I wonder if this is my fault

I appears there is an interesting new show coming soon to a security theater near you:

First it was shoes, then water bottles and snow globes.

Now dried baby formula, makeup, talcum and other powders have joined the long list of seemingly innocuous household items drawing closer scrutiny from airport screeners as potential security threats.

Federal authorities haven’t banned powders toted by passengers or set limits on the size or amount they are allowed to carry on planes in their hand luggage.

But the Transportation Security Administration is now paying closer attention to common powders and has outfitted O’Hare, Midway and other airports around the country with new kits to test them for explosives. Passengers should be aware that after belongings are X-rayed, TSA officers may test a small sample of any powder in their possession.

I wonder if my post contributed to that. I know it got some attention by “government employees”.

If it was my fault I’m not going to say I am sorry. One of the ways you get people to rethink their security systems is to overload them with false positives. If I could only demonstrate that it were relatively easy to bring down a plane by grinding up you hair into a fine powder and making an improvised explosive device out of it using a couple coins as tools…


8 thoughts on “I wonder if this is my fault

  1. Well, Joe, this past April you and several others looked at me like I was a little weird for driving 3 days each way to attend Boomershoot from Texas, rather than flying.

    This story illustrates as well as anything why. I simply don’t want the hassle of flying.

    Of course, a side benefit that I didn’t anticipate was HOW FREAKIN’ GORGEOUS Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are… the drive wound up being almost (not quite, but close) as good as Boomershoot itself.

    I flatly refuse to fly to Boomershoot, ever – besides the hassle, that drive is too good to miss.

  2. I don’t know if it is your fault…the information you provided is available to others who have the ability to do research in the subject area.

    OTOH, you published it in a place which you know TSA & co. might come looking.

  3. One of the ways you get people to rethink their security systems is to overload them with false positives.

    You mean sensible people. I’m not sure goverment employees fall into that catagory.

  4. Nah, if they had actually read your articles, then they would know they would have to test for everything up to and including wheat flour. That isn’t feasible, and they know it. “Is this your flour, sir?” Really?

  5. Lord T,

    If the false positive rate is 50% in all the major U.S. airports (and a group of less than 100 people could create that situation) the security lines would be completely overwhelmed and air traffic would come to a halt. Once it halted they would have tremendous pressure to get it running again. They would reevaluate or people would reevaluate traveling by air.

  6. Great Joe, next they’ll be confiscating our change, shaving our heads, scrubbing any excess dead skin off of us, removing our fingernails, sedating us, and strapping us to our chairs.

    But hey; if that’s what it takes to get people angry enough to stop flying, and force the government to ease up on the security, I’d call it a win. 🙂

  7. ErnestThing,

    Yup. That is the way I look at it. The TSA just hasn’t made it to the top of my queue yet. There is still lots of work to do with the RKBA.

  8. Of course it’s your fault, Joe. You just don’t kowtow to the TSA. Bad boy.

    You sure it is not a felony to point out f’ing stupid government tricks?

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