Security theater in the news

Via Bruce Schneier and Tyler Durden:

An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

In addition, the review determined that despite spending $540 million for checked baggage screening equipment and another $11 million for training since a previous review in 2009, the TSA failed to make any noticeable improvements in that time.

That money is a total waste. It’s nothing but security theater. Let the airlines handle their own security, or lack thereof, any way they want instead of the government continuing to infringe our rights and waste our money.

Interesting first day at work

I no longer work in downtown Seattle near Mugme Street. Today was my first day on the job on the Eastside of Lake Washington.

One of the most interesting things was that at various times during the day my boss would introduce me to someone. This included people as high as the “Senior Director” and maybe a V.P. Nearly everyone said something to the effect of, “You’re the guy that likes to blow stuff up!” The director and her husband are probably going to participate in signed up for Boomershoot this year.

Oh. Word got around ahead of me.

Just as interesting are the people I’m working with.

My boss was former military and law enforcement and during the interview a few weeks ago mentioned something about explosives. Taking a chance I said, “I have a license to make high explosives.” I presume this is how word got around ahead of me. Although Bruce (see also here) could have contributed to this some too, since he works at the same place. This sidetracked the interview quite a bit and he told stories about he and some of his cop buddies doing some things with explosives that were more “interesting” (but harmless) than one would normally admit too.

While showing me around today my boss also told me a first hand story of what Black Talon ammo (in 9mm) did to human targets. Because of the over penetration his police department went to Federal Hydra-Shok’s after that.

One of the guys I’ll be working closely with and whose desk is closest to mine is a former special forces guy. He and my boss were telling me stories from survival school when they were in the military.

I’m working on security stuff with some very interesting people. Security Theater is not tolerated in our environment. This should be fun.

Armed admins

Interesting news blurb today. Toppenish is a city/school district in central Washington state, about 20 miles south of Yakima. It’s a poor, gang- and crime-ridden part of the state, with lots of native Americans and Spanish speakers. It’s the sort of place that if I stop in to gas up, I’m likely the only white guy in the joint. They have decided to allow 11 administrators to exercise their 2nd Amendment (and article 24 of the WA St constitution) rights to carry arms at school. Be nice if they allowed teachers to be armed, but hey, baby steps, one at a time.

Be interesting to see how it all goes.

Law for thee, not for me

I’m sure we are all shocked when a gun-control activist is caught with a gun. Oh, the horror, how could it happen? But when he’s caught carrying in an elementary school? That’s just another day in Buffalo, NY. He committed what was a simple misdemeanor, that was turned into a felony by a law he helped pass. The SWAT was a total over-reaction, but I hope they make him rot in jail for a LOOOOONG time. Not because I think what he did was wrong, but because it’s a law he supported and help pass to punish people exercising an enumerated right.

Schadenfreude at it’s most ironic.

More guns = less crime, part 22

From Reason comes a report of a study about An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates. Their conclusion, unexpectedly of course, is that assault weapon bans don’t do squat, and limiting the legal ownership and carry of guns for self defense (or, presumably, other purposes) increases crime rates. I’m sure we are all shocked that enforcing and encouraging defensive passivity and defenselessness encourages criminals, but there you have it.

Second Amendment Foundation kicks additional butt

In the grand scheme of things it’s a small win, but we’ll take what we can get;


BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation has accepted a $38,000 settlement from the City of Seattle for the city’s failure to release public records about the city’s gun buyback in January.

As part of the agreement, the city has acknowledged that it did not promptly or properly provide all of the documents sought by SAF under the Public Records Act. SAF was represented by Bellevue attorney Miko Tempski.

“It is a shame that this had to drag out so long,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but the important thing is that the city, and outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn’s office has been held accountable for sloppy handling of our request. One would have thought the city had learned something earlier this year when the police department had to pay the Seattle Times $20,000, for also not providing requested documents.

“Maybe the citizens of Seattle can consider this a Christmas gift from the departing mayor,” he remarked. “This would not have been necessary had McGinn’s office done its job.”

SAF had pursued e-mails and other documents related to the January buyback, which was conducted in a parking lot underneath I-5 in downtown Seattle. The operation was something of an embarrassment that even Washington Ceasefire President Ralph Fascitelli had advised against, the recovered e-mails revealed.

Earlier the city had supplied some of the requested documents, but a story in the Seattle revealed there were other materials that had not been provided to SAF by Mayor McGinn’s office.

“It seems hard to conceive,” Tempski said, “how you could accidentally overlook hundreds of documents and how that could be unintentional.”

“The settlement,” said Gottlieb, “will help SAF continue its legal work. Hopefully, we will see better performance from a new city administration in January.”

Bureaucrats care very little when they’re playing with other people’s money, but eventually they get booted out of office for their douchebaggery.

What the Seattle government critters were trying to hide through their obfuscation of course is that gun “buy-backs” (as if they were ever their guns in the first place) are nothing but a cheap, stupid sham. They knew they’d be called on it, so they were willing to take their very slim chances in court at the citizens’ expense.

At a minimum, the settlement should come of out their salaries. That is after they’re arrested for using their position in an attempt to chill the exercise of a constitutional right.

How about a printer and ink “buy-back” as a means of “fighting” counterfeiting? Yeah; shockingly stupid. Insane, actually, if anyone were to think it could ever help anything.

If you trust people who do this sort of thing to hold positions of power there is something wrong with you.

Hey; let’s have a Koran “buy-back”, after which we’ll show videos on the evening news of those Korans being shredded for recycling. “Getting these Korans off the streets is another way to help save lives” the announcer would say, as a flock of doves is released. Surely that’ll put a big dent in the jihadist threat, right? Same reasoning. Same anti constitutional behavior. Same insanity.

They have it back asswards of course; crime (both the freelance and the official kind) is the reason we must at all times protect the right to keep and bear ams.

I gave quite a bit (for me) to the SAF this year. How about you?

Perhaps it’s Stockholm Syndrome

This is the equivalent of a rapist using a condom and lubricant:

…this is the future of airport security here in the nifty fifty, but the changes that are taking places in Charlotte and Dallas are certainly something that we can support. Think more comfortable spaces, better signage, and even places specifically intended to use for slipping your shoes back on.

The perpetrators should be prosecuted not encouraged. I suspect Stockholm Syndrome has something to do with it.

Fading fast

Looking at the headlines, it looks like the Navy Yard shooter is fading from the above the fold news with incredible speed, considering the number of bodies he left in his wake. I wonder (rhetorically) if it’s because it doesn’t fit the left’s narrative on guns and race? He’s black, obviously crazy, and used a PC weapon (a pump shotgun, perhaps purchased on “Sheriff” Joe Biden’s recommendation). So, they “see nothing to be learned,” and much egg of their face from the early blather reporting.

Quote of the day—Hognose

Nobody good, decent, moral or competent has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever. The TSA is the primary citizen-facing face of the DHS, and it’s the face of a retard who wants to be a Nazi.

Homeland Security ‘needs’ a $5 Billion Palace Complex
August 12, 2013
[The first sentence is probably a bit of an overstatement but the second sentence is a home run.

And don’t forget that TSA is just A Security Theater.—Joe]

Biometric fail

From here:

Cars of the future may use the driver’s rear end as identity protection, through a system developed at Japan’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology. A report surfaced earlier this month that researchers there developed a system that can recognize a person by the backside when the person takes a seat. The system performs a precise measurement of the person’s posterior, its contours and the way the person applies pressure on the seat. The developers say that in lab tests, the system was able to recognize people with 98 percent accuracy.

That’s not good enough. If you can’t drive your car one time out of 50 when the chances of your car being stolen are only once out of, say, ten years you are going to disable the feature.

Also 98% accuracy number was in lab tests. I have to wonder if those lab tests included people having different things in their pockets. If you normally drive with a wallet in your rear pocket and you hop in your car after a day at the beach with your wallet in a bag thrown into the back seat what are the odds then? Or if you change your carry gun, or move the holster a little to one side or the other. And it is going to have to adapt to weight gain and loss over time.

Biometrics have a lot of problems. It’s really tough to get the accuracy needed for everyday use because characteristics of people change. And the basic concept has two fundamental, closely related, security flaws.

One is that your biometric “key” is not well hidden. You leave a set of fingerprints on the glass at the restaurant, on door knobs, and on the keyboard at the library. And image of your iris can be captured with a telephoto lens while you walk down the sidewalk.

The other flaw is that in any secure system you must have a way of repudiating a set of credentials if they have been compromised. How do you repudiate an image of your iris or your fingerprints? At most you only have two eyes and ten fingerprints. And there are lots of gummy bears.

Biometric researchers attempt to block access to these flaws by performing “liveness” tests. The guys in the black hats are keeping up and my guess is, except for some very expensive solutions, they always will.

Hat tip; theBlaze

Happy Independence Day.

He probably complied too much, and should have stood his ground on the “Am I being detained” part. I don’t know what I will do when my time comes, but I have been through a similar incident before and it left a bad taste in my mouth. In that case I was in fact in violation, by having studded tires after the deadline for removing them. If I were totally innocent, who knows what would happen? I’ve seen the dog trick before too. It’s bullshit. I do know for sure that I will be asking the criminal posing as a cop to get out a pad and pencil and jot down “18 USC 241” and “18 USC 242” and informing him that he is putting himself at risk for prosecution.

A dashcam would be a good investment about now, to document the crimes committed by corrupt police, if for no other reason than posterity, so future generations can see how and when our republic fell into the shithole.

What gets prosecuted

Next time someone says they are OK with the NSA spying because they are “keeping us safe” and “if you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear” or some such fantasy, here’s something to consider. According to this, the most commonly crime prosecuted in the former East Germany in the five years before the unification was failure to report a crime you knew about. When the state knows everything, then NOT being a rat becomes more dangerous than being a criminal giving the police a cut of the action for protection, because you have no leverage. That thought should terrify folks when they realize what it really means.

(BTW – I think the Judge likely believes what he says when he reports that, but I do not have an independent verification of his reported fact- anyone know for sure the stats on that? Even if it’s not the number one “crime,” if it’s anywhere in the top hundred it is bad.)

(Later Edit: How big a step is it from “see something, say something” to “see something, you are required to say something” with some sort of nebulous protections that may, or may not, protect you if you do say something?)

Another joke comes to life

Today’s sarcastic jokes are often tomorrow’s real life. And here we are once again. No doubt, many gun owners said after the event at the Boston Marathon, or thought to themselves sarcastically; “I guess we’ll have to ban pressure cookers then. That’ll stop future bombings.” Well, it turns out that a company halted sales of pressure cookers after the Boston bombing.

Sure; it’s not an actual ban imposed by out-of-control law makers. They halted sales of pressure cookers voluntarily for a while “out of respect”. You may think; “What’s the big deal, Lyle? Jeeze.” and to that I say that this is quite insane, and that this sort of insanity is rampant. It is promoted.

It’s a cooking implement, for Pete’s sake! Put out some flowers if you want to show respect, or, you know, actually reach out and offer help to the victims and their families? Ever thought of that? Hmm?

What if someone used a pair of crutches to commit a crime? You going to halt the sale of crutches “out of respect”? Idiots. Hmm…you know it would be entirely possible to make a bomb using a fire extinguisher as the containment vessel. Let’s ban those then. Same goes for guns – we restrict the tools of self protection in response to crime. What a bunch of blithering idiots we’re becoming.

This is yet another in a very long line of cases of punishing the innocent for the actions of the guilty. They punished the whole city of Boston too, with that lock-down. I’m disgusted that there wasn’t a city-wide defiance of that order. Such cowards as we are, such zombies, maybe we deserve to be slaves.

Biden may be onto something

Biden may actually be giving good advice to his audience. Double barrel shotguns are simpler than an AR-15. So simple that given enough time and an instruction video even anti-gun Democrats could probably fire off a shot or two.

His advice is entirely consistent with Security Theater advocated by most government types. He is suggesting people “Do Something” and they will feel better even if it accomplishes nothing that helps your situation.

Or instead of being onto something he could just be on something. Was he in Colorado testing out the local herbs when he shared his stupid thoughts with us?

Security theater exemplified in cartoons

Via email from Kevin:




As I said in email to Kevin, “What isn’t said is that you can do the same thing to a room, building or airplane.” I know people who have taken down a house with a few cups of flour.

And how do you think it would work out if TSA were to test for flour, powdered sugar, and non-dairy creamer? Those powdered donuts you had for a quick snack before running to the security line would get you the full blue glove treatment. And as long as they don’t do those tests testing for conventional explosives and searching for knives, guns, and throwing away your shampoo is nothing but security theater.