Tuesday, January 12, 2010

HSA Modest Proposal

With the Christmas scare of the undies wanta bomber, the Homeland Security Agency is searching for new strategies to safeguard the flying public. Specifically, they've called for suggestions on how to discern would be terrorists from the endless parade of grandparents with hip or knee replacements, honeymooners and four year old moppets with their parents on a trip to Disneyland.

How do we spot the man made disaster protagonists from the rest of the traveling people? It's not like these guys check in without luggage, pay one way in cash, have odd protruding bulges in the nether regions, or were disclosed to have become radicalized by their father. They haven’t traveled to places that are known to be chopped full of unfriendly types. They're not even Face book friends with Osama Bin Laden. Understanding Janet Napolitano’s quagmire, I am not unsympathetic.

However, I offer the following alternatives to the proposed full naked body scans currently being considered. It is my modest attempt to help tweak the working system so that those put in charge of maintaining our well being as a nation and safety in the air improve their chances of catching the bad guys. It will also hopefully mean I don’t have to hit the gym for six months before considering a trip.

1) Put the no-fly list on a computer database that is accessed each time a person checks in. They have these things called a "search engine." You type in the name and voila, it pulls up any matches. Now I know this is technical stuff, but you can even make partial matches so as to catch names even if someone misspelled something. I figure, if my dry cleaner can find my clothes by just typing in my name when I've forgotten my slip, the HSA can find the guys on that list if someone actually reads the darn thing and if a partial match comes up, maybe you know, do a pat down.

2) Stop worrying about kids with preschool scissors, toe nail clippers or sporks. As an alternative to stripping everyone down on what they can bring, go the opposite direction. Pretend it's Junior Louisville slugger day on every flight. A thug assassin from the Taliban would think twice about trying to overpower a plane full of 240 cranky tired and profoundly annoyed passengers armed with wooden bats.

3) The HSA and CIA and FBI had trouble collaborating, communicating and connecting the dots. May I suggest a few hours of Warcraft between the three agencies. In computer games, there are lots of quests. Because there are lots of quests, the computer keeps a tab of what you've done so you don't have to, but every once in a while, a good gamer stops to take inventory of what they have and what they need and what they're doing. It's as if the Warrior, Thief and Mage in a gaming party forgot to share objects so they could create the massive key necessary to open the treasure chest. As such, each has a useless object that they are just lugging around. A war party this stupid won't survive the game even on the easy level with cheat codes.

Alternatively, they need to go to the nearest pre-school, sit down at the crafts station and learn to connect the dots for crying out loud.

4) Everyone will be required to check all things at the gate. No carry-ons of any kind. All luggage will be sent on a second plane after being gone through by hand. Passengers will not be permitted to move or speak once they take their seats. Trained snarling Dobermans will be unleased on anyone that makes any funny moves towards the lavatory. The absence of shifted bags from the trip should make boarding and deplaning an exceptionally speedy process, though baggage claim may be something of an issue.

5) Incorporate healthcare and homeland security. When you arrive at the airport, you are required to strip down into a paper gown. The screening done for security will double as a virtual physical. Colonoscopies will be performed as needed. Blood pressure tests however will not be done for fear of skewed data.

P.S. If you implement #5, under no circumstances should you consider also going forward with the baseball bats. Good luck HSA. Hope these suggestions are helpful. Call on me anytime, I’ll be at the gym getting ready.


Karen said...

A recipe for true security in the world:
Sow peace.
Advance justice.
Respect cultural differences.
Create economic parity.
Consume less.
Give more.

MightyMom said...

Karen, I have a different recipe for peace.

Use the incredibly well trained and armored military that we already have to actually DEFEAT our enemies...oh yeah,...how about take away the assinine "rules of engagement" while you're at it.

1-3 I can go for but if they do #5 I'll never fly again!! ;-)

Mary said...

LOVE it! Passed it on to my husband who works for one of those alphabet agencies. He chortled while taking notes. You might have something here.

SherryTex said...
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Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!