Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Duff beer for me. Duff beer for you. I'll have a Duff. You have one too.

posted by Rachel 2/19/2005
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Do you feel
safe yet? Aside from the astonishingly obvious impossibility of preventing another terror attack on the air travel industry, all these magical new procedures and technologies are administered by people. People are not perfect. Again, we have to get lucky everytime everyday forever to prevent another successful attack. They only need to get lucky once.

Once you start with these hassles violations and intrusions it just never ends. There's always going to be a 'new loophole.' Arguments about biometric IDs are just as stupid. When bored teenagers are able to read FBI email I have no faith in any biometric database to save us from well-educated, well-funded, highly-motivated foes. Not to mention the fact that it will always be possible to recruit people with no record. ...Unless of course we really want to live in 1984 and be monitored every minute of every day of our lives. We're not gaining any security but we are losing real liberties that we may never get back. Chasing the illusion of security is a terribly dangerous endeavor for our society. As a wise man said:
"The real fear comes from the undisputed fact that no defense and no preventive measures can succeed against a determined suicide murderer. This has not yet penetrated the thinking of the Western World. The U.S. and Europe are constantly improving their defense against the last murder, not the next one. We may arrange for the best airport security in the world. But if you want to murder by suicide, you do not have to board a plane in order to explode yourself and kill many people. Who could stop a suicide murder in the midst of the crowded line waiting to be checked by the airport metal detector? How about the lines to the check-in counters in a busy travel period? Put a metal detector in front of every train station in Spain and the terrorists will get the buses. Protect the buses and they will explode in movie theaters, concert halls, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and hospitals. Put guards in front of every concert hall and there will always be a line of people to be checked by the guards and this line will be the target, not to speak of killing the guards themselves. You can somewhat reduce your vulnerability by preventive and defensive measures and by strict border controls but not eliminate it and definitely not win the war in a defensive way."
Check out the recent history of Israel if you think a determined technologically advanced society willing to suffer intrusions that would violate our constitution can effectively prevent terror attacks. We've gotten luckier than I could have dreamed in October 2001. I attribute that fact to a variety of factors, none of which involve the TSA. I still think we'll be attacked again but I'm beginning to be cautiously optimistic that we can escape the kind of catastrophic strike that might lead to bad bad places for us and them.

posted by Rachel 2/19/2005
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