My comments on airplane security get wider attention

I can demonstrate airport security is a huge waste of money and have long advocated we spend that money on something worthwhile.  Last month I had another opportunity to demonstrate the inability of TSA to provide security and wrote Bruce Schneier an email in response to his posting about the ban on lighters on planes.  He asked me for permission to use my letter and then published in his monthly letter (do a search for ‘Huffman’ to find my email).

Here is what I said, in case you don’t want to go searching in his web page:

From: Joseph K Huffman
Subject: Lighters Banned on Airplanes

One of my hobbies is explosives. I have a ATFE license to manufacture high explosives. I do so recreationally on a fairly regular basis.

I made the explosives for a recent event wearing gloves. Then had to rework some things later and did that without gloves. A few minutes later I handled a rifle case without cleaning up. On April 13th, three days later, that same rifle case went through airport security at Pasco Washington. I watched a TSA agent wipe down the handle and interior of the case and test them for explosives. Everything passed. The rifle case went with me to Albuquerque, New Mexico. On April 16th, that same rifle case made the return trip and again went through a TSA screening without questions. I have numerous stories of this nature. This is only the most recent.

As near as I can determine, airport “security”, from one end to the other, only exists to make people feel better. It does not represent a deterrent to even a moderately skilled adversary. We are wasting something like $1.8 billion per year on this activity to make some people feel better.

Palestinian Authority Sermon

From Jihad Watch; a Palestinian Authority Sermon:

We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world – except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relived of the Jews – even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew.

I love the observation Jihad Watch makes:

 Humm, rule the world and kill the Jews…that was tried once before as I recall..

Newsweek irresponsibility demonstrates why media needs a cooling off period

From the Second Amendment Foundation:



BELLEVUE, WA – More than 115 dead or injured, and now a lame “apology” from Newsweek; maybe it is time for the press to accept waiting periods before exercising i ts First Amendment rights in the same way the press has backed waiting periods on law-abiding Americans before exercising their Second Amendment rights.

That’s the observation from the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) now that Newsweek has acknowledged its report about the desecration of the Koran by soldiers at Guantanamo Bay was bogus.

“I wonder if Newsweek, or its owner, the Washington Post, would submit all of their stories for FBI clearance before they publish,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “This irresponsible exercise of the First Amendment freedom of the press has killed and injured more people than Charles Whitman or the Beltway Snipers.

“How many times,” Gottlieb wondered, “have Newsweek and The Washington Post advocated waiting periods for law-abiding citizens, who have hurt nobody, before they can buy a firearm? A waiting period amounts to prior restraint by the government. How loud would reporters scream if they faced prior restraint be fore printing their version of the news? Their double standard is hypocritical.

“The Second Amendment is the only civil right in this country that Americans can’t exercise unless they get government permission,” he noted. “A Newsweek story just killed or injured more than 115 people, but they don’t have to face government scrutiny before turning on the press.

“Newsweek reporters and editors should be subject to the same kind of ‘cooling-off’ period they advocate for gun buyers,” Gottlieb observed. “In their heated rush to print a sensational story to discredit American soldiers and the Bush Administration, they started a chain reaction that ended in worldwide acts of violence.

“The blood is on Newsweek’s hands,” Gottlieb stated. “Their report killed and injured scores of people, yet it is the American gun owner who must endure waiting periods because of an irrational fear that they might commit a crime. Crimes were committed because of Newsweek’s story. People have died.”

The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers & an amicus brief & fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Government health care

One of the bigger threats to the individual, ranking right up there with “gun control”, is a government monopoly on health care.  In addition to failing my Jews in the Attic Test we get situations like this:

Leslie Burke had asked the court to rule that he, not a doctor, is best placed to decide whether his life should be prolonged by medical intervention.

He is now in his forties and has known since he was a teenager that he has a progressive condition which is very likely to mean that he will need artificial feeding and hydration – known as ANH.

What worried Mr Burke was the possibility that doctors could make a decision to withdraw ANH on the assumption that his quality of life as a disabled person was too low to merit prolonging it.

The government allocates a budget for “health services” and ends up making decisions on “greatest good for the greatest number”.  The individual doesn’t get that much of a say in things–unless they have the right connections.  It doesn’t matter if you, or your relatives and friends, are willing to spend some large sum of money (had the government not taken it from you) on your health care.  The government is able to decide that temporarily saving the lives of 20 drug addicts is more important that saving your highly productive life and they use the money they took from you by force to do it.  In addition since “someone else” is paying for it or “it’s free” people don’t have the incentive to take care of themselves.  It’s just a really, really bad idea.  Don’t let it happen here.


Hypocrites, bigots, and idiots annoy me.  I had one New York City lawyer tell me how he was all concerned about the rights of the people and we needed rules and regulations as we implemented Universal Biometric Identification Cards.  Apparently he believed the government regulations would protect us from the government. This same guy claimed that if someone were to shoot someone else it was up to the shooter, and rightly so, to justify his actions to the government.  This LAWYER apparently believed “innocent until proven guilty” didn’t apply if a firearm was involved.

The newspapers are filled with similar stuff but it generally goes away after a while.  I presume the reporters and editors get corrected and they drop it.  The following meme has been persisting far longer than normal and it’s beginning to annoy me.

Gun control is virtually non-existent. A Government Accountability Office study recently found that 35 out of 44 applicants to buy guns were able to do so despite appearing on a government terrorist watch list.

If someone is on the “Terrorist watch list” they are suspected of having an association with terrorist organizations.  They haven’t done anything wrong that we know of.  They may be deserving of being closely watched, but they are innocent until proven guilty.  The press usually has this right in regards to flying on an airplane but for some reason they get brain freeze on a constitutionally guaranteed right.

Quote of the day–Samuel Adams

If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Samuel Adams