Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pat Down Panic

My two cents about the Pat Down Panic currently raging in the country as we enter the busiest travel time of the year:

Having traveled to Israel a few times, I strongly agree with others who say that that is one country that doesn't fool around when it comes to airline security. They go up and down the line and interview every single passenger before they board the plane, trying to weed out those they deem suspicious. And they then take those people into another room for a more intensive interview.

My conclusions about the controversy currently raging about the pat downs and full body scans:
1. We should adopt the Israeli method. It is the only true way to really deter terrorists from getting on our planes.
2. We most likely will never adopt that method because the airlines (and maybe even the passengers themselves?) do not want to reduce the number of flights that are now available and I would assume interviewing every passenger would have to lead to more spacing between flights. Less flights would hit the airlines' profit centers and many of them are already struggling. Also, having less flights is just not as convenient. And let's face it.  We as Americans expect a certain level of convenience in flying. It's supposed to be the fastest way to get from point A to point B!
But the truth is I don't think we can have both the level of security really necessary to deter terrorists and the convenience we are already used to.
And finally,
3. The chances of a terrorist being on your plane are so much slimmer than you meeting your demise as a result of a health issue like heart disease or cancer that I just have to add: isn't this issue being completely overblown? The threat is so incredibly minimal. Our exaggerated fear of terrorism has taken what used to be a rather pleasant way to travel and made it so incredibly stressful that virtually all the fun has been sucked right out of it. And that is a big shame, and, in a way, a victory for the terrorists already.


  1. Perhaps we should realize that we are in this mess because we have tolerated and supported Israel's settlements and cleansing of Palestinians from their home for the pat 50 years, thus making the US target number 1. I would prefer we disengage from the Middle East, support neither Israel or the Palestinians and invest our tax funds in better schools in the US, a no dependence on foreign oil policy and ramp up our technology and businesses to compete with China. Thank you for not calling me anti-semetic.

  2. This subject is virtually impossible to discuss without pissing someone off. But I will say some of what I believe: If you believe we were attacked by Al Queda on 9/11, then that organization has made public statements that its goal is to remove Western troops from places it considers holy, such as Saudi Arabia. It spelled out quite clearly how it intended to do that in its "manifesto" issued shortly after 9/11: By draining the United States financially over a long period of time. Now given what we have seen since 2001 -- two wars, a new Department of Homeland Security that costs hundreds of millions of dollars, etc., etc.. who do you think is winning on that account?
    Now some do not believe Al Queda exists at all. The only reason I would believe that is because other than oil I have never heard one lucid reason for why we invaded Iraq.