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As many of you may already know a terrorist plot carried out over Christmas Day in which a Nigerian National tried to blow up himself by use of explosives in his underwear.

Over the last week or so there have been two thoughts on the matter that have come up in various forum.  One is supported by Glenn Beck on his radio program as he has talked about an experience with the Israeli airlines where he was questioned for three hours to ensure he was not a threat, and then was given steak knives to eat with on the place.  The other is supported by President Obama, and also endorsed by the Kim Kommando Show.  I am not aware of her precise political positions on this, so this is not what this is about, but she was informing the public on the general good that new technologies could do.  The Presidents focus is in the technical area, adding detection equipment that can handily detect new threats.

Now while I do support this action by the President, we need to make sure that it is not overly complicated and easy of use, that human element, but what we need is to focus on encouraging common sense, and training people aware of potential threats.  The Human element, which Glenn Beck extolled on his popular radio program.

If for no other reason to stop-gap the systems in the event of failure.  Flying is not a right.  We need proper and tight security protocols that are easy to understand, and easy to use.  And we need to encourage common sense, to go with your gut if you think something is out-of-place.  If you are wrong people will go on your merry way, if you are right then you have just saved the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people.

But this whole situation, I believe, highlights something of great important to our country at this time.  It highlights a piece of governmental, big government, ideology.  That you cannot trust people, and their guts, and their motives, and we have to have ever increasing…in this case technology…but an ever increasingly complicated array of ideological ‘things’ that mean to take the choice away from the person.  If you are wrong, no harm done, it is better inconvenience someone for three hours, then  to lose American lives.  Especially taking into the fact that this is not a right.

I will be highlighting this ideology and philosophy for most of the month, so this sort of serves as a prequel.

But in the end it all boils down with the sectors of our life are trusting to increasingly complex devices, and things, to make society work, where at the best the human element is minimized.  And in many cases even scorned.

And instead of doing this, we should try making things less and less complicated, to have a true trickle down effect where we are not trusting things, or higher-ups, but we are putting faith on the ‘ground troops’ to make decisions and keep us safe.  To follow our instincts, and to not give into pressure.

I will again be highlighting this as I go on in the year.



  1. Yeah, totally right man…

    I’m super-pissed that there were as many warning signs as there were and this dude still managed to get on the plane… complete bullshit.

    Gov’t solution? No electronic devices an hour after takeoff or an hour before landing… wonderful.

  2. I enjoyed this one Fols because it directly relates to what it going on in the news right now. Too many things broke down….too many things fell through the cracks. But again….just like 911 we will tighten up for a time and all will be ok for a few years and then BAM we will get hit again…because they will learn the loop holes and weak spots….so like you are saying more….bigger….better technology is not always the answer. You have to get smart…train people….help them to know what to look for…it takes an experienced eye and good hunch. When I worked for GE Capital and I spent a year as a supervisor reviewing credit card applications and we would get so many Nigerian fraud rings trying to put through fraud apps. NOw our system would flag most of them….and queue them….then as a supervisor you had to review it to determine if it was legitimately fraud or not. Then it was up to you to override and approve or let it reject. Now you can’t run a business by letting everything that queues reject…you have to ovveride and approve the ones you know are good…..because so many times good apps get queued for various reasons. So with these apps….You only had the app info and the credit bureau to go by and these fraud people were good….the Nigerians trained them for years to know how to write up the apps and what info to use…and we caught most of them. But it due to keen instincts and a good eye…to see their scheme and their blue print…they all had a similiar look to them…but that took a gut feeling….a sense. And we would train people in it but it did come down to certain individuals were just better at catching it than others. So it is most definately the human element! Phew….sorry that was long!! 😮

  3. I’m a big believer in hunches and acting on one’s instincts. In almost every case where I didn’t follow my instincts, I’ve been burned–very badly too.

    I believe that those who want to boil things down to more technology and regulations while all the while taking the human element out of an enforcement situation are going to do the public a serious disservice.

    I’m going to throw an idea out that will piss off a LOT of people but I think it’s something to think about: The key to effective enforcement is to narrow the field of suspects. Therefore, I submit that we can rule out blonde-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavians from the field of suspects and concentrate our efforts on the groups of people in the world who fit the current profile of a terrorist.

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