FedEx and Silly Security

“I sympathize with people who aren’t making very much and are probably forced to comply with arcane corporate rules and who have to deal with weirdoes coming in with cans labeled “Rocket Fuel.” I really do. But… c’mon.”

This just blows my mind – a story of how FedEx wouldn’t ship some (empty) containers simply because they were labeled (humorously) as “rocket fuel” or “N2” (Nitrogen). From the post:

I sympathize with people who aren’t making very much and are probably forced to comply with arcane corporate rules and who have to deal with weirdoes coming in with cans labeled “Rocket Fuel.” I really do. But… c’mon. How much effort is involved in *not* being part of the common-sense-negating, spirit-crushing, Bush-era fear-slash-stupidity machine? The terrorists win again.

Indeed.

Airport Security and Snow Globes

Having recently traveled through airport security a few times (and taken off my shoes, and had my bag inspected, and had my body patted down by a stranger), I can definitely appreciate this article.

Having recently traveled through airport security a few times (and taken off my shoes, and had my bag inspected, and had my body patted down by a stranger), I can definitely appreciate this article.

Some quotes:

To paraphrase a classic line from Lily Tomlin, I worry that the person who thought up the rules for carrying liquids and gels on airplanes last year is busy thinking up something new this year.

The thought arises partly because of a scene just after Christmas at an airport security checkpoint, where a half-dozen festive snow globes — like the ones with Frosty the Snowman in a liquid-filled glass globe that simulates snowfall when you shake it — were lined up on a counter.

Wasn’t that nice! The Transportation Security Administration had decorated the checkpoint! But as it turned out, Frosty and his co-conspirators had actually been busted — confiscated from passengers’ carry-on bags pursuant to the following notification by the security administration:

“Snow globes, regardless of size of amount of liquid inside, even with documentation, are prohibited in your carry-on.”

It just gets weirder, too:

Inherent in the obsession on liquids and gels, Mr. Schneier said, “is the notion that we can stop the bad guys by focusing on tactics, which is moronic. I pick a defense, you see my defense, and then you, the bad guy, decide what to do. That’s a game we can’t win.”

He added, “Screeners are so busy looking for liquids that they’ve missed decoy bombs in tests. We’ve defined success so weirdly. When T.S.A. takes away some frozen tomato sauce from grandmom because it might become a liquid, they think of it as a success. But that’s a failure. It’s a false alarm.”

After getting through airport security on one leg of my trip, I found the entire gate lounge for my 747 flight with United sectioned off, and this is where I had to be patted down. I couldn’t understand it – we couldn’t even take water on the plane that we had bought from a store in the airport after the security checkpoint. Needless to say, I was quite thirsty on that (13 hour long) flight.

Of course, when I traveled on Qantas during my trip, I had no additional security to worry about – and Qantas, unlike United or American Airlines, had those neat up-to-date video screens at each seat, complete with on-demand video (including Top Gear) and video games – all for free. Now that’s service!
Still, there’s humor to be seen in it all. Quoting Mr. Schneier again:

“It’s a good thing the shoe bomber wasn’t an underwear bomber.”

Heh. No kidding.

REAL ID Harder Than Legislators Thought

What a surprise – people are finding out that this whole “REAL ID” thing is a big waste of money. I’ve heard of “throwing money at the problem,” but this is just ridiculous.

What a surprise – people are finding out that this whole “REAL ID” thing is a big waste of money. I’ve heard of “throwing money at the problem,” but this is just ridiculous.

Read more about it at Bruce Shneier’s site: Schneier on Security: REAL ID Harder Than Legislators Thought

Goodbye, America

Goodbye, America – Hello, REAL ID. Welcome to a world where you have to PROVE your citizenship… again… and again… and again.

It’s almost 10pm and I’m up at the computer, in the dark, because I’m too angry to sleep. I mean, I’m really angry here. Are my words falling on deaf ears? Are the people of this country just going to roll over and accept this transgression? Accept the continued loss of liberties – liberties that we used to pride ourselves on?

What really gets me is that in 3 years, when the REAL ID act goes into effect, I’m going to have to go down to the DMV and prove that I’m a US citizen. I’m going to have to take my birth certificate, and probably my passport, and prove to some little dipshit behind a counter that I am in fact a citizen of the United State of America – because their not going to believe me otherwise. It’s not enough that I was born here and have lived here all my life. And if I can’t prove that I’m a citizen, or if I choose not to sign up for this ridiculous ID – well, then I can just kiss my life goodbye. Want to get on a plane? NOPE! How about a train? NOPE! Can’t even drive anywhere, because my “REAL ID” is also my driver’s license. SORRY! How about opening a new bank account? NOT A CHANCE! And before you know it, it’ll be the same story with just about everything – utilities, cell phones, buying a car, getting a credit card, you name it – they’ll ask for your “REAL ID.” And woe be to you if you don’t agree with it.

I mean, okay, so you say we gotta fight terrorists? Okay. We gotta go to war with a dictatorship? Fair enough. We need to tightly regulate immigration into the country? Sounds fine. But this is NONE OF THE ABOVE… this is regulating normal, law-abiding, non-terrorist AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

We might as well make that the fucking motto of this country, because that’s where we’re headed – and we’re headed there fast. If you’re under 50 and you’re reading this, it’s going to happen in your lifetime. “REAL ID” my ass! This has got to stop! We’ve got to stop giving up liberties because of fear! This has to stop!

If you have kids, or are planning on having kids, think of the world they are going to grow up in. They are never going to know what ‘freedom’ really is. All they are going to know is that they can be stopped at any time and asked to show their “id,” and if they don’t have it, they can be put in jail or exported from the country – because if you don’t have an ID, you must not be a citizen – now that’s logic! Think back, people – think back to your youth. It wasn’t always like this, and it doesn’t have to be like this in the future! Stop electing the same fuckwads to congress & the house again and again! Use the power of your vote, and your voice, to put a stop to this madness! Do you really want this country to become a police state? Have the terrorist really won? Have they scared us so much that we’re willing to give up every ideal that we hold dear – the same ideals that we used to boast about when we said that their (the terrorists’) countries were dictatorships?

And what really burns me, what really gets my blood pumping, is the fact that this bill passed the senate UNANIMOUSLY. 100 for, none against – not even an abstention! Like sheep lining up for the slaughter, every fucking senator voted for this abhorrent legislation. Not ONE of them deserves to be called a senator, and they sure as hell don’t deserve to be re-elected.

Senate elections will be coming up soon, when YOU can vote your senator out of congress – along with your representatives, too. I don’t care who else gets in there, but if it can be someone new, someone with some fucking BACKBONE, someone who is willing to stand up for what they believe in, instead of just following the party line, doing what’s “safe” for their political career, then it’ll be infinitely better than who’s in congress now. When I vote, I don’t care who else is on the ballot – they’ll get my vote if they’re neither democrat nor republican. I don’t even care if they are a fucking anarchist – I’ll vote for them. At least I know an anarchist would never pass something like “REAL ID.”

Dear God, I hope I wake up one day and find out this was all some bad dream. Please, please, please – people, wake up, stop being sheep, and DO SOMETHING!

Schneier on Security: REAL ID

Yet more depressing news about this ill-conceived idea of a “national id.” It makes me so mad! Ugh, just read this article – Bruce makes all the points that I would’ve made myself, if I wasn’t seething mad.

Schneier on Security: REAL ID

Yet more depressing news about this ill-conceived idea of a “national id.” It makes me so mad! Ugh, just read this article – Bruce makes all the points that I would’ve made myself, if I wasn’t seething mad.