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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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outpatient



Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Posts: 475
Location: haggis and scotch eggs
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invasion of privacy seems like the flimsiest argument to fight this from. I mean, I don't know many people who are into x-ray porn.

edit - I take that back. the images from the backscatter machines are a bit more graphic than I assumed they'd be


Last edited by outpatient on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:02 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
Has a terrorist ever been known to board a plane with their child?




It's not outside of the scope of possibility.

And I realize how glenn beckish it is to post that, but, you asked...
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:03 pm
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zeem



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
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Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:33 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Let me guess...that was written, performed and filmed prior to 2001.
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:36 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
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The worst thing about this thread is Raoul's insinuation that if we had body-groping and nude scanners before 2001, we wouldn't be in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.


1. Bad things have happened on airplanes before.
2. Some security measures may prevent some bad things.

Therefore:
Any theoretical "security measure" is permissible at airports.

That is seriously the argument you are making. Like, you think the efficacy and the invasion of privacy (you know, the two relevant factors) are unimportant. We're all whiners because we would prefer not to cede any choice over what happens to as at airports. Oh, and we also want more wars.


How can you take so many really cogent points and construct them into such a shitty, authority-forgiving argument?
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:46 pm
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zeem



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
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Sage Francis wrote:
Let me guess...that was written, performed and filmed prior to 2001.


Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:48 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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TurnpikeGates wrote:


1. Bad things have happened on airplanes before.
2. Some security measures may prevent some bad things.

Therefore:
Any theoretical "security measure" is permissible at airports.

That is seriously the argument you are making.


Not really.

1. Bad things happening to airplanes have been highly rewarding to certain interest groups.
2. Some security measures reduce the relative rewards of those bad things compared to the cost.

Therefore:
Some reasonable, logically effective, "security measures" are permissible at airports.
Further practical evidence of their effectiveness needs to be offered and refuted before significant changes should be made to something that's considered reasonable to 80% of the population.
Unless you think 80% of the population are dummies and need your expert guidance as to what they can and cannot abide.

Maybe they are dummies! I can see some truth in that. Tell me how consensus is inevitably manufactured.
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:01 pm
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Asterax



Joined: 21 Nov 2002
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Sorry, I did not want to read all of this thread (I read a fair portion), but I thought I would offer this great write up by Jeffery Goldberg in the Atlantic. Goldberg takes the big picture approach, much like I do, towards airport security.

Here is the most relevant part of his article (in my opinion):


Quote:

I draw three lessons from this week's experience: The pat-down, while more effective than previous pat-downs, will not stop dedicated and clever terrorists from smuggling on board small weapons or explosives. When I served as a military policeman in an Israeli army prison, many of the prisoners "bangled" contraband up their asses. I know this not because I checked, but because eventually they told me this when I asked.

The second lesson is that the effectiveness of pat-downs does not matter very much, because the obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech ball check.

The third lesson remains constant: By the time terrorist plotters make it to the airport, it is, generally speaking, too late to stop them. Plots must be broken up long before the plotters reach the target. If they are smart enough to make it to the airport without arrest, it is almost axiomatically true that they will be smart enough to figure out a way to bring weapons aboard a plane.


http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/for-the-first-time-the-tsa-meets-resistance/65390/
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:07 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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I've always thought that the best airport security can hope to be is a coarse filter and deterrent for the majority of numbskulls who may get the idea to fuck around on the airplizzle, but would be an order of magnitude less effective on people with the intellectual and material resources to sustain a insurgent cell in the US for long enough to make a credible attempt at hijacking or bombing.

Once you hit that minority of the minority, most bets are off. But let's face it - in order to be a religious or political zealot you have to be pretty fucking weird. And it's not easy for a weird person to go undetected for long enough to put something together.

The most effective work is done before creeper gets to an airport, but that's also the scariest place for our own government creepers to be operating. Don't you think?
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:18 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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Raoul DeGroot wrote:
TurnpikeGates wrote:


1. Bad things have happened on airplanes before.
2. Some security measures may prevent some bad things.

Therefore:
Any theoretical "security measure" is permissible at airports.

That is seriously the argument you are making.


Not really.

1. Bad things happening to airplanes have been highly rewarding to certain interest groups.
2. Some security measures reduce the relative rewards of those bad things compared to the cost.

Therefore:
Some reasonable, logically effective, "security measures" are permissible at airports.
Further practical evidence of their effectiveness needs to be offered and refuted before significant changes should be made to something that's considered reasonable to 80% of the population.
Unless you think 80% of the population are dummies and need your expert guidance as to what they can and cannot abide.

Maybe they are dummies! I can see some truth in that. Tell me how consensus is inevitably manufactured.


Naw, you've got me wrong. And maybe I've got you wrong.

This is a security policy that has come into existence in VERY recent time. Maybe I missed it, but where is the poll saying that 80% of the population are cool with the nude scanner? I'm pretty comfortable with the idea that sometimes I'm right on something that the majority of Americans are wrong on. But in this case, I don't feel like I'm in the minority.

Honestly, I think I'm missing something.

You've thrown a million little arguments out there, and I don't get how they all come together. Is this supposed to be the availability heuristics in use by the terrorists in being deterred by airport security? Or the heuristics being used by the public in going from fear of a terrorist attack to support for stupid wars?

And where does the idea that the nude scanners are "logically effective" come from. Because that precedes the evidence--of which we have none--that they are effective. You're making the contra argument that we shouldn't be in an uproar because we have no evidence that they are innefective. But we're working from the same basis of "logical effectiveness" and coming to a different conclusion. That logically, the backscatter and the pat-down are both basically ineffective.

Then, you sort of concede that that's true, and even concede (I think) that there's basically nothing that can be done at the airport level that will prevent a smart and determined terrorist (are you conceding that? maybe I'm misreading).

So, your argument SEEMS to be that either:

1.) Whatever, stop whining, they're gonna do what they're gonna do, it's not that bad if someone sees your naked body.

OR

2) Security theater in and of itself has a purpose, and is somehow effective.


BUT

If you're admitting that we can't really stop terrorism at the level of the attack, how is the security theater itself stopping the massacre of foreign populations down the line?

I honestly don't get it. Is it that security theater makes Americans feel more safe, so we're less inclined to buy into jingoistic war drums?

The cost vs. rewards thing is what I'm getting at. Are you saying that because we have security theater in place, it becomes more costly to pull off a terrorist attack, and a successful one is less likely to lead to fear in the first-world population and the resultant support for foreign military misadventures? Is that your basic argument?
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:22 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
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Raoul DeGroot wrote:
I've always thought that the best airport security can hope to be is a coarse filter and deterrent for the majority of numbskulls who may get the idea to fuck around on the airplizzle, but would be an order of magnitude less effective on people with the intellectual and material resources to sustain a insurgent cell in the US for long enough to make a credible attempt at hijacking or bombing.

Once you hit that minority of the minority, most bets are off. But let's face it - in order to be a religious or political zealot you have to be pretty fucking weird. And it's not easy for a weird person to go undetected for long enough to put something together.

The most effective work is done before creeper gets to an airport, but that's also the scariest place for our own government creepers to be operating. Don't you think?


Ok, so my last long post was before I read this.

This is the other part of your argument that I don't get. Are you saying that we have a choice between spooks in our neighborhoods or TSA porn-scanners at the airport? And given that choice, you'll take the TSA hassle?

Because, given your premise, I'm with you on the conclusion. But the premise is bullshit.
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:23 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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Location: Bay Area
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Oh, and I think the various levels of comfort people have with being seen naked and/or having their genitals touched by strangers is muddying the water here.

And I sort of get that, were I bit farther in my interpersonal development and general coolness, I would care less about that sort of thing. But the exact social configuration that is telling me the human body is private and gross is the one that wants me to drop trou for Mr. TSA. So I'm not going to accept the blame for that feeling.
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:28 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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My availability heuristics mention was in reference to how drastic a threat to civil liberties we consider the change in screening and before that about how serious a threat the American public considers a terrorist attack. I contend it's not a serious threat to American safety much at all, but because of the US public's perception of it, it does become a serious threat to the rest of the world's safety. The drasticness of the American response compensating for the relative rarity of the event.

I'm not admitting that security is totally useless. I'm saying it's part of a mult-tiered set of safety measures (as I said, mostly for everyone else than for us. From my skewed perspective). The sum total making the cost of terrorism significantly higher.

Security theater fends of the more numerous, dumber first layer of the would-be bomb carrying minority.

I actually believe security practices effectively fend off the dumber layer AND less effectively, but still slightly more than marginally affect the smarter layer.
I base my assumptions on my assesment of the mechanics of screening more than the practical history because the actual history of effectiveness or failure of transportation security in the US is way too small and way too obscured of a sample to be studied with any accuracy. Unless you maybe look at Israel or Colombia for some analogs.

Lacking much real world data, laboratory studies need to be undertaken as to the percent efficiency of the available options. That should happen before an option is even considered, but unfortunately we don't have much precedent for that level of public oversight. Wish we did.

That's up to you guys though, because I couldnt care less about someone looking at my virtual junk or patting around down there for a second. And I'm relatively convinced that the current security measures are better than we had ten or two years ago. For whatever that's worth.

To the second post- the premise isn't bullshit until the hierarchies in this country get altered. There's currently a perceived (and maybe somewhat real) need for security. There are only a few methods currently politically and economically acceptable to achieving that. The feeling of insecurity in the US directly influences how much invasion into our civil liberties we'll tolerate. I think in the continuum, airport screening reduces the FBI dirty tricks rather than promoting them. Though I see how an entrenched atmosphere of suspicion and hyper security can slowly lead to the FBI shit. It's just an opinion.


Also check out if there's any info on approval of the new systems, beyond what I consider to be a vocal minority. To borrow a term.

Here- just a CBS poll, but..

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20022876-503544.html


Off the TSA website:

TSA Week at a Glance: 11/08/10 through 11/14/10

6 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints
11 firearms found at checkpoints
6 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents

Believe it? Or 1984 style theatre of fear? I'm open to either possibility...

Does it even matter since it's most likely just rednecks who want to carry their gun with them everywhere? Or somebody trying to smuggle their medical marijuana through. Or like, an illegal alien trying to fly somewhere. I don't know...






Oh and in regard to this-
TurnpikeGates wrote:
Are you saying that because we have security theater in place, it becomes more costly to pull off a terrorist attack, and a successful one is less likely to lead to fear in the first-world population and the resultant support for foreign military misadventures? Is that your basic argument?


Yes, just add actual 'moderately effective, relatively non-invasive security practices' to 'security theater' and that's what I'm saying.
Oh, and take out the part about a successful attack being less likely to spark more misadventures. A successful one would have the same effect. But the cost and risk of mounting them becomes more of a deterrent. -Beyond considering the possibility that screeners might actually catch them.
Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:42 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Location: Son Quest
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So I thought it over for a while today and I decided I take a little back.

I'm not really bothered by the process, which makes it hard for me to grasp the whinier side of the argument, but looking longterm and thinking of the little insults to the 'soul', as it were - I agree it's too slippery a slope and people become too easily accustomed to security culture. It changes people's innards. Too risky for me.

Looking at Gulliani NY, Israel, Colombia, India for analogs, you see there are sometimes real improvements to quality of life that come along with a level of security theater/deterrence. But I don't really like any of those places much at all. Those aren't very good models to follow word for word.

I don't even like seeing cops walking around LA with those big shotguns. Put that thing away! It's like someone exposing himself.
Making people spread eagle and put their hands up is damaging. Even if most Americans are spoiled brats...
Dialing back is a good idea.
Post Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:52 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
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Did somebody say conspiracy?

Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:54 am
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