Posted by: distributorcap | December 27, 2009

Your Mother Always Told You…

to wear clean underwear because you just never know when you might be in an accident. Well add to that when you are have to fly.

According to investigators, the bomb on Northwest flight 253, which was en route from Amsterdam to Detroit when suspect Umar farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly detonated it, contained more than 80 grams of PETN. The material was allegedly sewn into Abdulmutallab’s underwear, and was not detected by airport security.

Ever since Richard Reid “the shoe-bomber” was thwarted in the famous trans-Atlantic incident in 2001, people have had to take off their shoes when going through airport security. If taking off our shoes has become part of the screening routine, I would venture that taking off the boxers, briefs, panties and skivvies will become part of the protocol thanks to the underwear-bomber.

Or maybe we should all just fly commando?

I am not minimizing the severity of this incident. Airport security needs to be taken very seriously and be as thorough as possible. But let’s be real – it is just not possible to prevent every possible act of airline, bus, subway, or building terrorism. I am not advocating an end to security or loosening of procedures. What I am advocating (or rather wishing for) is that the media would stop making every single incident the next installment of Chiller Theatre. The drive for ratings (because nothing gets those Nielsen meters registering like terrorism, the potential for a terrorist attack or Tiger Woods) so trumps any rational plea for calm and intelligent discussion on security.

So with the media shifting into their “terror frenzy” (this one will surely last more than one news cycle day) and Pavlov’s dogs the perfectly trained American public ready to go into their “bunker mentality” (it is amazing that while the learning curve for academic subjects in this country is probably at an all time low, the Republican-led education of living in fear is working like a charm), expect the following:

  1. The Republicans calling Obama weak on terrorism and blaming him for the “near-miss”
  2. The TSA “tightening security”
  3. The call for new machinery at airport checkpoints
  4. Calls for the TSA to ban flights from other countries until they fix their security leaks (because ours are so good).

#1 has already happened – Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Asshole) has already started the politicizing of the incident. I am surprised it took several hours (as opposed to several minutes), but I guess the Republicans were still busy with the National War on Christmas to focus on the Global War on Terrorism. (Too many wars, too little time).

#2 has already happened as well. The TSA has instituted the “looks like we are doing something” campaign by not allowing people to get out of their seats for the last hour of the flight (which, correct me if I am wrong, is a pretty ridiculous rule since you can light your ass on fire 70 minutes before the plane lands as well), but not allowing anything on your lap for the last hour and by asking people to show up 4 days before their flight leaves.

I hope the TSA is supplying the airlines with a lot of paper cups and bedpans for those who have to go to the bathroom in the last hour.

#3 will never happen because the TSA will tell you they don’t have enough money. (Since the money to develop and buy machinery that can detect plastic bombs is probably all tied up in Afghanistan fighting the 100 terrorists who are hidden in Pakistan instead of improving security at airports, seaports etc.)

#4 – watch the Teabaggers and far right start demanding it. If I was the rest of the world I would glad accommodate.

In two weeks, everything will go back to just like it was on December 24th. But for two weeks, all air travelers will have endure endless lines and some ridiculous rules (like no getting up the last hour) so the TSA can appear like they are on the ball. After the required amount of time for the ADD Americans to get their fear fix, the sense of complacency will settle back and we can all go on until the next incident (when this starts all over again).

You got to love this roller coaster. Instead of getting to the root of the problem or spending the time and money to really improve security, the US continues to trot out band-aids and window dressing as real security (which to me is exactly what Afghanistan is – only that war is a much more expensive security band-aid in terms of human lives and money). Sad thing is – most Americans buy the hype and think the window-dressing works when no other incidents happen.

If this country’s morbid fear of fear wasn’t so pathetic, it would actually be funny. If we spent as much time and money on real security measures and education as we did on living in fear, we might actually be able to lower or even prevent incidents like the underwear bomber. As a side effect of better education and less antagonistic rhetoric – maybe, just maybe – the world would stop hating us so much and not want to perpetrate acts of violence against American targets so often.

But what do I know? I guess I am just a tree-hugging liberal who doesn’t understand it is a nasty world out there and everyone is after us.



  1. Damn. Fear is almost as powerful as money.

  2. Lisa nailed it, very powerful thing fear is.

  3. This will last until the airlines start loosing money because people have said "the hell with it I'm taking the train or driving myself".

  4. I have a titanium knee, so I ALWAYS set off the alarm & get sent to area B for further inspection & a pat down. I tell them as I approach the initial scanner, I have a titanium knee & I will set off the alarm. No need to see if I have keys or a belt buckle…. let's move it along. There in area B, I wait for another guard with a hand held metal detector to require me to assume the DaVinci pose… arms up & out, legs spread apart… as they pat me down & scan me. Meanwhile, my carry on & purse scoot along the conveyer belt for anyone to grab, intentionally or in error, as the rest of the line progresses through. I am always tempted to say "Goooood Morning America!" as I am being frisked & scanned. It is the ritual these days, and seasoned travelers wear easy slip on/off shoes to hasten the check in. What scared me one time was when I went through a scanner & did NOT set off the alarm. I KNOW I have metal in me….. the scanner is not working or set properly. (That was on a ship, not an airline scanner). The airlines still transport unchecked cargo, which is a huge risk.

  5. It gets better than that. …there are several indications that orders have been issued to cease the use of electronics during international flights. Yes, that means no laptops, no iPods, no Kindles, no CD players, no portable DVD players, no Nintendo DSes — nothing that requires any sort of power on these flights. If this is true, it’s absolutely awful news.Obviously, this is all in reaction to the Nigerian man who attempted to bring down a plane coming into the U.S. And the TSA is going to do whatever it thinks is necessary to prevent further attacks of a similar nature. But the simple fact is that if the TSA was really this seriously worried about electronic devices, they could have banned them anytime since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Instead, they’re doing it more than 8 years later after a man apparently lit some sort of mixture of powder and liquid in his lap. How that relates to electronics, I’m not sure. This just reeks of a “well, we have to do something” move. are going to make flying so unpleasant that people just give up. And the terrorists have won.

  6. toujoursdan;"They are going to make flying so unpleasant that people just give up. And the terrorists have won."I never like flying much anyway and I hate airports.I would rather fore-go a trip than go through the hassle of being frisked and humiliated by some Gestapo wannabe.Four wheels or a boat will get me to most places that an airplane can, the view is nicer and often as not doesn't take that much longer. 🙂

  7. Prepare to get down to your skivvies at the security line. They better be clean!

  8. Ichabod:I was in Montréal visiting my dad this weekend. We called Air Canada after watching the news late yesterday to find out if/how I was going to get back to New York City. They couldn't give me any answers. The French news channel said U.S. customs preclearance @ Trudeau Airport was closed for several hours and then was so backed up that many U.S. bound flights were being cancelled because people couldn't get through it. There were lines snaking out the airport. Air Canada blamed the Americans and wasn't rebooking flights at the airport. They were just handing people a phone number to call and you were on your own.I got nervous and gave up and took the bus home early last night. It cost $84. I arrived early to get a seat as the bus was oversold. Left Montreal at 10pm and got back into New York Port Authority at 7am this morning. Customs at the U.S. border at Champlain felt tense but wasn't too backed up. It only took about an hour to get through.I'd rather do the flight, but this wasn't that bad. I may switch to the bus instead.

  9. As I asked on my blog: what good is a terrorist watch list if it isn’t enforced?Various media reports (ITN, BBC, ABC, NBC and CBS) claim Homeland Security maintained a file on Mutallab.So, why did the State Department issue Mutallab a U.S. Visa to enter the country in 2008?Are we that desperate to collect the $131.00 Visa fee? This episode doesn’t make me have a sense of confidence in the security agencies who ostensibly exist to keep me safe from harm from I fly.Napolitano (Homeland Security) and Clinton (State) need to get serious and connect the dots. If they're not up to the job, they should step down.

  10. If we're gonna make nitwit, sexist remarks… If Napolitano and Clinton want to crack down on terrorist wannabes, maybe they should stop all men from flying on airplanes.Makes about as much sense, ya fuckin' woman hater.

  11. Hi Karen;Banning men from flights may be a good idea. It would prevent pilots from overshooting their destinations while playing with their laptops 🙂

  12. I always go Commando, saves time.Idiots at Home land Security, SPIT!, are going to have some serious competition from AmTrack here shortly.They are a fucking joke.Hire the fucking Isreali's and be done with it..

  13. Oh, BTW, that comment is from pure observation.When was the last time anyone heard of a terrorist event coming out of Israel?I'm just sayin', they don't fuck around.The idiots we have are a God Damn joke.

  14. just think how much better security would be if all the money wasted in iraq and afghanistan was used instead for scanners and even for dogs trained to find explosives. p.s. you should always wear clean underwear, because you never know when it will be your turn to have an affair with tiger woods.

  15. D' Cap,As usual you have a point and state it rationally. I am not sure the same can be said about your commenters.Yes, the whores in the press will make a three day deal out of this, depending on how the rethugs react now that they had a day or so to get some sleep.Please folks, The Secretaries of neither State or HSA are at fault here, the guy was screened in another country. Let's try to stay rational while we accuse the right, the HSA and the press of not being that way.If anyone screwed up in this case it was the Embassy for not taking his father seriously. You can't throw a blanket on this stuff. Everyone of these things has been different.

  16. Karen has her usual diarrhea mouth.I guess this is what happens when you don't have a brain to engage and make even the tiniest of contributions to a thread.Just screech and pound on your keyboard. How pathetic.

  17. Why not?It's what I do, something about that First Amendment thing…The last time I got online, I failed to see an IQ test as a requisite for speaking my piece.Maybe I missed something but here I am.

  18. What left wing lunacy you're all spewing!The course is clear. We must invade Nigeria and Yemen to kill everybody who hates America. The only way is to fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here. Bush and Cheney told us. Obama seems to agree as well.We must do EVERYTHING EXCEPT: pull our military out of Islamic countries, repeal the Patriot Act, and refuse unconditional support of the Israeli government.Otherwise the terrorists have won.See, it's so simple even a liberal can understand a war of necessity.

  19. //But what do I know? I guess I am just a tree-hugging liberal who doesn't understand it is a nasty world out there and everyone is after us.//Boy&Howdy… do I dig that! I just want 'some' of the trees to hug me back 'some' of the time.

  20. The thought of seeing my fellow citizens in their underwear makes me reach for the garbage pail that I keep handy for when I get out of the shower each morning.

  21. Hey Fran and D-Cap, looks like the woman hater is giving me my turn! Aging queens get so bitter! :DBut back on topic, if George Bush had spent the money on retrofitting all American airports to the standards of the Tel Aviv airport instead of squandering it on tax breaks for his rich buddies and waging a vanity war, things would be a lot safer for travelers.

  22. Great minds, DC. I led with a similar post today. How about nude flights? 😉

  23. If you're flying out of Israel, El Al offers a service (costs extra) where they'll come to your house the night before your flight, inspect and pack your things for you, issue you your boarding pass, and then take your luggage with them when they leave, so all you have to do when you get there is walk yourself through security. I'd love such a thing if it were available here, even if it cost a fair bit extra. Not having to haul a suitcase to and through airports is worth a lot to me. Besides, I hear from friends that El Al agents are so good at folding and compressing things, theey can pack four times as much stuff in a suitcase as a normal mortal. Yoffi, eh?

  24. I don't know about this, guys.Sounds like a bunch of scared ninnies here – exactly what the "doctors" ordered.Did you hear that the little guy was escorted onto the aircraft without his passport by a well-dressed mystery man?No?Gotta keep up.The al-CIA-da is waaayyy ahead of you.And it's not to dissuade you from airplane travel.They don't give a frick about airplane safety you know.SObviously, this is all in reaction to the Nigerian man who attempted to bring down a plane coming into the U.S. And the TSA is going to do whatever it thinks is necessary to prevent further attacks of a similar nature. But the simple fact is that if the TSA was really this seriously worried about electronic devices, they could have banned them anytime since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Instead, they’re doing it more than 8 years later after a man apparently lit some sort of mixture of powder and liquid in his lap. How that relates to electronics, I’m not sure. This just reeks of a “well, we have to do something” move.

  25. DCap, you have nailed it. All the same things I've been thinking but you said it best.We are so reactive (shoe bomber? Then take off your shoes! Guy tries to blow up plane during last hour of flight? Then no one can get up or do anything in last hour of flight!). Duh. Of course they could do something 70 minutes before the flight ended, or 5 minutes after it took off for that matter. Where is the logic here?It's all impossible, there isn't a way to really safeguard anything, and the few things they could do that might actually help (e.g. screen all checked luggage) they don't do.

  26. is there any person who feels safer because you cant get up in the last hour, because you cant use your iPod, because you can only take 3 oz of shampoo..what friggin planet do we live on – you cannot stop every act of terrorism – you can be secure, minimize and do what you can – but you cannot stop it. what stops someone from seeing bombs in their underwear and walking on the NYC subway? on a cruise ship? on Amtrak? – why are planes so much more appealing to the fracking media than subway cars – thousands of people die every year in car accidents, in hospitals from staph infections, from the flu, from GUNSHOTS – but we dont stop the sale of guns, we dont close hospitals, we dont ban cars.god forbid we restrict guns because the NRA would go apeshitwhat about the billion$ spent fighting useless wars that could be spent fighting the infiltration of weapons and bombs.this entire country needs intense psychiatric help. more and more we are a detached and delusional society that really cannot grasp any sense of reality except the reality Bill OReilly and CNN and Joe Lieberman and Tiger Woods tells us to grasp. if it wasnt so pathetic it would be comical. we are $11 trillion in debt – being financially propped up by China and Japan and Russia and India and we still insist we are the greatest thing since sliced bread. we still refuse to tighten the pocketbook.the intense over reaction to the underwear bomber is a sympton of how incredibly deranged we really are. where is the outrage to the gun violence or starving children or people who cant get decent health care?ps – i hate loathe, abhor, disdain, detest Joe Lieberman – he is an embarrassment to Jews and people everywhere. Now the Schmoe from Connecticut wants to attack Yemen. why dont we just blow up the entire world – quicker and cheaper

  27. Happy holiday, DC, and hope you have a great new year (c:

  28. Flying is bad, really bad, for the environment folks so stop fucking flying and let the airlines decide how to woo you back by being nicer to you. Right now it looks to me as if each and every passenger is considered a criminal and treated even worse. And you PAY to be treated that way.

  29. We don't have any control over who boards a plane in Nigeria or anywhere else outside the U.S. But, and this is important, the Republicans will use it to punish Americans who fly until we stop flying. Then all hell breaks loose and they blame the Democrats. Same shit, different day.

  30. me and my wife have been researching 2012 for about 2 years now and have allready started planning they say by 2010 you will see it in the sky and i think thats about the time we will have everything ready we are looking to start a survival group or if anyone else has one that we can join let me know ill check back later thanks[url=]earth 2012 [/url] – some truth about 2012

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