Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   16 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

I Declare Myself a No-Fly Zone

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 4   Well Said 4   Supported 3  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 1/4/10

Become a Fan
  (68 fans)
- Advertisement -

Crowded Airport

I've had it. I'm done flying until both the Government and the Airlines regain their sanity. This is no idle threat. I flew twice last year to Europe and once the year before to India too, and although it was a hassle, stupid and inconvenient, at least it was still sane. But now, all reason has broken down.

According to the Huffington Post today, there was a Newark Airport Lock Down when a "man walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of a terminal at one of the nation's busiest airports on Sunday night." It was six hours before air safety officials could find him again and passengers were allowed to begin boarding again. How long do you think it was until they caught up to their backlog during this busy holiday season?

While airports become paralyzed because of the stupidity of airline personnel, Government agencies can't coordinate the most flashing of red signals in the case of the underwear bomber, and government senior counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says there's no "Single piece of intelligence" that could have told them Farouk Abdulmutallab was a terrorist because we are still, 8 years after 9/11, unable to coordinate clues among agencies. Well, excuse me, but wasn't that why we consolidated Security agencies under Homeland Security in the first place? Wasn't the idea to take the "'little snippets' from intelligence channels" and bring "it all together"? As a former I.T. Manager, I believe it is not so hard to set up a secure database where these facts can be consolidated until a Red Flag, or, if that's too subtle, a flashing red light on top of a monitor, goes off, alerting someone authorized to see the totality of the information on someone - you know, like someone in Homeland Security - that, yes, we have a problem here. Not everyone who inputs data on someone should be able to see everything about that person. I used to design databases like that all the time for Human Resources at my old employer. But the people with top clearance do get to see, and evaluate everything, and a smart system should give them an hourly update of who's a potential threat. When I was running my servers, we'd get an hourly upgrade for new viruses. Why is it so hard to upgrade a solid database for these human viruses?

It is possible to get it right and have a safe airline. El-Al Airlines in Israel does it consistently. They are regarded as probably the safest airline in the world. Do they have some high tech scanner that looks up your orifices and sniffs you for suspicious odors? No, they ask questions of every passenger, In short, "The Israelis understand that it is the people who are threats, not the objects that they are carrying." If we did that here, we'd save a bundle on screening technology that invades our privacy and doesn't work, though we might have to pay our screeners more than $10/hour. God forbid we pay someone a decent wage in this country when we can spend millions on finicky machines that examine our private parts instead.

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are stressed to the breaking point - it is just a matter of time before there's a riot or some innocent just drops dead of a heart attack. CNN shows a witness who said a woman with two small children and a heart condition was made to disembark, only to be rescreened by airline security again. If they really don't believe they got it right the first time, there are some serious systemic issues, aren't there? At the same time, the ones with defective hearts are the personnel who blindly and stupidly treat the passengers as an inconvenience and botheration.

Grandmothers are hassled and made to stand for hours in security lines, then go shoeless and without liquids, while half-dazed (on painkillers?), passportless terrorists known to US Intelligence for four months and tattled on by their own well-established fathers are led by mysterious well-dressed men past checkpoints so they can stumble their way into half-assed efforts to set their crotches on fire. Only passengers acting more competently than the stern yet dumb airline personnel who are supposed to be looking out for them are able to stop such threats. And what is their reward? To be made to feel like criminals and sheep in our decrepit and deteriorating air non-travel system. Enough! I'm as Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore!

As I write this, my wife is returning from India. I don't know what she'll encounter, but in some ways, I hope it will be a hassle, since she wanted me to go with her next time to see her family back home. I hope she understands that for now, I'm done with flying.

Trains and Automobiles, that's all for me until this country learns how to fly and how to enforce REAL security again. The system is broken and the people running the system are too stupid or dishonest to admit it.

- Advertisement -


Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Tell Airlines & Government to adopt Sane screening policies!

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Google Content Matches:
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama Explains the FEMA Camps

Was Malaysian Flight MH370 Landed Safely in Afghanistan?

Let the Sun Shine on a State Bank in Florida

Batman, The Dark Knight Rises...and Occupy Wall Street Falls

The Least Productive People in the World

The continuing plight of Malaysian Flight MH370 - 2 month update


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
11 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Scott, I think you have to consider the possibilit... by Josh Mitteldorf on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 7:01:34 AM
You've got to turn that one into a T-shirt.The las... by Dick Thomson on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 7:50:33 AM
So, if we're in such close consultation, why aren'... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 8:40:55 AM
1) Israeli government policy is different from Isr... by Dick Thomson on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 9:53:37 AM
Last time I heard, there were half a million peopl... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:26:35 PM
OK, so when the 9/11 alleged terrorists not only s... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 10:10:52 AM
!. No One is saying the FBI/CIA etc.'s negligence ... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:43:44 PM
I never think it's appropriate to compare Israel's... by Linda Milazzo on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 11:07:43 AM
Yeah, someone said that on the original NY Times a... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:52:17 PM
The "incompetence" meme is well past believable.Th... by wagelaborer on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 1:30:36 PM
reading somewhere (?) that a good software company... by sommers on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:43:11 PM
HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!! What a unbelievably ignorant ... by Bryan Emmel on Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010 at 3:19:10 AM
security is not effective. All it does is give tre... by Archie on Monday, Jan 4, 2010 at 11:46:09 PM
Yes, you can declare the airspace above your home ... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010 at 4:09:21 AM
Yea, it's time to rediscover the charm of trains a... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010 at 2:03:28 PM
The Republican party of NO has hamstrung Obama fro... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010 at 2:56:09 PM