Oct 20, 2003 | | 0 comments |

This is freakin ridiculous. A student is being held on federal felony charges because...........the TSA aren't doing their job. The student wrote a letter to the feds and the TSA telling them he was going to test their security. He then snuck box cutters and modelling clay on to two Southwest Airlines jets, and hid them in the toilets and seatback pockets. With each item he placed a note telling how it was a test. It took the TSA 5 weeks to find them.
Today he's been charged with carrying concealed weapons on to aircraft and faces 10 years in jail.
Is it just me, or is that freakin' ridiculous? This guy has pretty much proved that despite the highest security spending of any western nation, there's huge holes in the TSA's screening procedures. You'd think they'd be thankful for him making these problems known, that perhaps they'd use this experience to learn from him the techniques he used. You'd think they'd be relieved that this was only a test. Instead, the FAA and TSA have chosen to prosecute the guy and send him to jail. Basically, they've thrown their toys out of the pram. "Well to teach you for showing up that we're not doing our job, rather than improve our systems and screenings, we're going to send you to jail instead. I mean its obvious that the nation's travelling public will be far safer with you in jail than they would be if we chose to learn from this episode and improve our techniques."

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Interesting. Schanze was on the morning show this morning to 'put the record straight'. Seems he refers to his house as 'the compound'. He has trained guard dogs, guns with nightsights and a comprehensive CCTV system so he can see anyone 'who might threaten him' long before they get close enough to do any damage.
The guy is paranoid! He firmly believes the only way to defend himself against all these people out to get him is to live in a fortified house surrounded by guns. This is man who seriously needs to see Bowling For Columbine, because he's bought the government line on 'be afraid of everything' hook, line and sinker.

Meanwhile, I'm in Dallas on a hotel internet connection which works pretty well. What I've discovered though is that it's near impossible to type at any speed on a laptop. These things have a serious design flaw - the damn keyboard is at the back and the keys aren't raised enough or in a standard layout. This Dell thing is an ergonomic nightmare. It's taken me close to 10 minutes to type this much in with all the double keystrokes, missed keys, keys in the wrong place and wrist strain from using a keyboard at the back of the chassis!