Oh, great.

There’s something about a headline like this…

Expert: Beef up airport security

…that makes a person never want to fly again.

Nevertheless, glad all were safe. Way to welcome the holidays, though.

UPDATE: If anyone is interested, the new “How to Cook Everything” appears to be more wonderful than the original. Thanks, family.

Posted at 9:58 am in Current events |

26 responses to “Oh, great.”

  1. coozledad said on December 26, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I’m just happy that Glen Beck has something new to dissolve into a puddle of urine for. I’m also anxious to see the chalkboard diagram that ties it all to Barry O’Hitler.

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  2. James said on December 26, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Now, I know that there are bad, crazy, and otherwise delusional folks out there, and it was probably pretty scary to be on that plane, but I had to laugh when I distilled what happened after coming home and seeing all the “Breaking News” banners on CNN.

    The executive summary? Some goofball set fire to his crotch.

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  3. coozledad said on December 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Does this mean all the guys going through security are going to have their genitals palpated?
    I wonder if the airlines are going to bill it as a handjob.

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  4. Joe Kobiela said on December 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Bad for the airlines.
    Good for the charter business. Every time something like this happens, we see a increase in our trips. Coolzedad, went to Nashville Tenn last night, and then I was going to go to Charlotte N.C. about 2:00 am. Seems you all had alittle fog down that way. Clt was 100ft and 1/8th mile vis, and everywhere east of the mountains was just as bad, so I just took my mechanic back to Dayton. Maybe ya’ll can get a big fan going down there.
    Pilot Joe

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  5. coozledad said on December 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    They were having thunderstorms yesterday toward Charlotte. We just had a drenching rain for most of the day. It’s supposed to be clear for the rest of the week.

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  6. ROgirl said on December 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I get a lot of cookbooks out at the library and “How to Cook Everything” was the only one I wanted to own.

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  7. beb said on December 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Nancy is so right about headlines about new security measures making people rethinking the whole idea of flying. According to an article in the New York Times one of the measures being considered is restricting passengers movements during the last hour of flight and banning them from having anything on their lap. Being strapped into a coffin sized space with nothing to do for an hour violates, I think, one of the Geneva conventions.

    A friend in Texas had snow on Christmas we had rain, with I thought, some thunder. That is why Global Warming is now being called Global Climate Change. The warming disrupts tradition weather patterns so Texas gets blasts of colder weather while Michigan gets an incursion of southern warmth. Personally, since we were traveling a lot before Christmas we’re just happy the rain never turned into ice.

    My daughter has been cackling incessantly over videos of farting preachers. They’re on Youtube. I’m too embarrassed by the concept to provide a link but if you need a lift in low taste, I guess you can’t go wrong looking there.

    You know you might be crazy…. if you throw out your Christmas Tree the back before Christmas because the Senate passed a Health Care bill!

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  8. nancy said on December 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I wouldn’t be that flip, James. I thought that at first, when the report was “firecrackers” and “some guy who immediately announced he was working for al-Q.” That read as schizophrenic-off-his-meds to me, but now they’re saying the suspect was on a watch list and was carrying the infamous liquid incendiary device. He certainly botched the job, but even a small fire on a plane can be deadly. I wouldn’t be laughing if I were on the plane, where the passengers behind him said they could see flames above the level of the seat back.

    Anyway, as the current NYT story points out, the key to a safe landing turned out to be fellow passengers unafraid to act quickly, not the TSA, or whatever the Nigerian or Dutch equivalent of it is. In my worst moments I think humanity is doomed to an “Idiocracy” future, but then your fellow man goes ahead and surprises you.

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  9. mark said on December 26, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    While it is popular in some circles to view these incidents as criminal matters to be handled, in this case, by the Detroit cops, this appears to be prety serious. The goofball in question was a trained engineer possessing, reportedly, a very powerful explosive.

    A large plane destroyed catastrophically while landing at a major US international airport on Christmas morning would, in addition to the loss of life, cause major economic loss and social disruption. As it is, the failed effort is causing delays and diversions on a pretty large scale.

    But who am I to tell somebody else what’s worth laughing about.

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  10. alex said on December 26, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    My new cookbook for X-mas:


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  11. paddyo' said on December 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Say what? “The American public has been adamant that they don’t want body scans” . . . says the “expert”? I don’t believe it . . . The American public hasn’t really been given the option of trying it to any great degree because, well, this technology is expensive (see the rest of that story Nancy linked). No doubt there are many prudes in our Puritanical land who would object to the “X-ray-vision-goggles” effect of such screening, but can we all just grow up?

    I do agree that unless we’re willing to spend bigger bucks on REAL screening, we’re doomed to continued attempts like this to beat the system.

    And if the Bozos (at the airlines, FAA, Congress, et al.) go for nothing-in-your-lap-the-final-30-minutes-of-a-flight, well, the idiots WILL have won. Sheesh.

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  12. paddyo' said on December 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    P.S. — . . . unless we’re willing to go the El-Al route. The Israeli airline’s security procedures seem to work . . .

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  13. Carolyn said on December 26, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Merry Christmas, Nancy,
    I know what you mean about “How to Cook Everything.” I checked it out of the library and have already renewed it once.
    Need to buy it.

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  14. Bruce Fields said on December 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    “I do agree that unless we’re will­ing to spend big­ger bucks on REAL screen­ing, we’re doomed to con­tin­ued attempts like this to beat the system.”

    Given that much money to throw at security, there’s also some question whether the airport checkpoints would be the place to spend it.

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  15. coozledad said on December 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Wow. Mutallab’s dad was head of the first Islamic Bank of Nigeria, heavily involved in the construction of a liquid petroleum processing center that was constructed by Halliburton after Kellog, Brown and Root paid Sani Abacha, Olegun Obassanjo and others 180 million in bribes through a British intermediary. This was while Dick Cheney was CFO. Much of the bribe money is in Swiss bank accounts. From comments in Nigerian newspapers related to the bribery scandal, it would appear Mr. Mutallab’s son’s activities could have been partially funded by our own Dick.



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  16. Julie Robinson said on December 26, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    One story I read suggested no access to carry-on luggage and nothing on your lap, as well as no one out of their seat the last hour of the flight. We’ll be heading to the airport extra early on Monday; it could be a long day.

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  17. beb said on December 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Exactly how long has it been since the last terrorist tried to blow up an airplane? It’s been a while. We will never have complete security on an airplane (or any mass transportation vehicle) but we ought to look at the frequency of occurrence of these events before piling on a lot of painfully inconvenient restrictions.

    An article in The Register at the time that the British terrorists tried to sneak a two-liquid explosive material pointed out that the bomb being descried would take hours to prepare in flight, was unstable long before it was explosive and in general was unlikely to ever succeed as a weapon. As the article pointed out, they would have had better lucky smuggling a few ounces of nitroglycerin on board.

    The full-body imagine machine produces a very detailed image of a person. So detailed that the operator was removed from the on-site location to something remote so they (he) wouldn’t be able to look at them first clothed, then naked. There were plans to have computer process the images first to blur the privates. This simply is an intrusive invasion of privacy. Between locks on the cockpit door and standard metal detector screening people are as safe as they ever will be on a plane.

    And if this guy was on a airline watch list why was he ever allowed to board a plane bound for the US. What’s the point for additional restrictions on passengers when people on a do not fly list are stil allowed to fly?

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Excellent tweet swiped from JonHenke — “The TSA is like an abusive drunk. Anytime something bad happens, they make everybody else suffer for it.”

    OTOH, it’s either full body scans or everyone getting a rather full patdown from TSA. I’ll take the body scan, thank you very much, and will predict the inevitable breathless coverage of the first screeners that figure out how to hack the “delete after use” protocol, download some “hot babes” scan shots, and share them, probably over cell phones, with their buds. . . and cops still check out their friends’ dates and neighbors through NCI database. Life will continue to be difficult; for that, there’s no technological fix.

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  19. mark said on December 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Let’s trudge toward full body scans and manacles and leg irons while on board for everybody because we are too enlightened to give extra scrutiny (or deny a visa) to twenty year-old, muslim, male passengers, on a terorist watch list, flying alone, with no checked bags, on a one-way ticket purchased with cash, from a country with known al-qaeda activity, even when a family member has warned authorities not to allow travel to the US.

    And if we really want to crack down on crime in Detroit, we’d authorize random, warrantless searches in Grosse Pointe.

    This was a serious failure to respond to available information that provides no justification for hassling grandmothers and girl scouts flying from Grand Rapids to Great Neck.

    Well, I guess I’m wrong and everything went according to plan. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/12/27/napolitano_on_failed_terror_attempt_the_system_worked.html
    Failed detonators are what we count on and “the system worked.”

    She should be fired.

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  20. nancy said on December 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I believe in miracles, because I agree with Mark. Nine years after 9/11, flying already a migraine headache, and the answer is more equipment and no bathroom trips for an hour before landing? I think it’s time for El Al.

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  21. coozledad said on December 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Fire Napolitano? How about Lieberman, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee and is shameless enough to come out swinging his withered chickenhawk cock to promote another war.
    If I were a Republican, I’d wait until the next round of Sunday shows feature the Bush Government-in-exile spokestranny Liz Cheney. She’ll provide a more comprehensive set of talking points.

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  22. LAMary said on December 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    How to Cook Everything is what I give people who are moving into their first house. Mark Bittman is a genius. Have you ever seen the article in the NYT about his own personal kitchen? He’s using the same equipment I use for the most part and he has a crappy little apartment stove, not some multi thousand dollar jazzy thing.

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  23. Rana said on December 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    We buy pretty much any book Mark Bittman publishes – his food is always straightforward and tasty.

    I am really rather tired of the “bubble-boy” approach to security in this country. There are reasonable precautions against predictable risks, and then there are paranoid attempts to render an inherently risky activity risk-free. Why not just drug all the passengers and rig them up with catheters for the duration? That’d solve a ton of security problems, wouldn’t it? Who cares about our privacy and medical health, so long as we’re “secure,” right?

    Some days, I wonder how people ever leave their homes to step out into the big, bad, dangerous world. Oh, yeah, right. Most accidents happen in the home.

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  24. basset said on December 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Joe, where do you go in Nashville – BNA, Tune, or Smyrna? Or maybe Cornelia Fort?

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  25. Dexter said on December 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Nance, same things grabbed my attention.
    No bathroom breaks or leaving that seat for the last hour of scheduled time. Sometimes landing are delayed…more time chained to your seat. I am not one of those nervous-jervises who have to get up at meetings and get more coffee or donuts and fidget around, but just knowing the toilets are locked and you are going to be arrested upon landing if you leave your seat , well…I just wrote some friends that my flying days are probably over.
    It had nothing to do with my holiday, but I Googled it, and I was 36.8 miles from Metro, safe in Toledo, but it gave me a creepy chill knowing it happened just up the road from where I was staying. By now I have read many reports and saw a lot of coverage on TV, especially from Peter King, R-NY, and this was indeed no minor operation and he damn nearly brought down that aircraft. Again we have heroes and I applaud them all the way.

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  26. Jessica said on December 28, 2009 at 10:51 am

    The real safety line is the other passengers. We’ve now proven three times that passengers will handle these nutters.

    And if they prohibit reading and other distractions on planes for the final hour, there will be dozens or hundreds of crazed passenger attacks on each other, flight attendants, etc.

    A greater risk, to my mind, than hijackers who will be overpowered by passengers anyway.

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