U.S. to Spend Billions More to Alter Security Systems

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 7, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    link

    that last bit's my favorite.
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Cite: Even if the monitoring is less than ideal, officials say, it is still a deterrent.

    "that last bit's my favorite."

    But all that stuff HAS been a deterrent, given what the various spokesmen for such as Al Qaida have said they were going to do to us here in the US during these last almost-four years since 9/11 of 2001.

    Yeah, a lot of money has been wasted. That in no way means ALL of it has been wasted.

    I got a financial-advisor teaser in yesterday's mail. Some outfit called Electronic Sensor Technology has come up with a "sniffer" that can identify explosives, chemical weapons, drugs and other stuff in a matter of seconds. If tied into the HVAC of a large building, it can shut down the system before the Bad Stuff can be circulated throughout the building. Etc., etc. Portable units cost some $55K. It can be used in airports or seaports or at border crossings. All that good stuff.

    No crash program has ever been cost-efficient. Doesn't matter if it's something like the Manhattan Project or landing a man on the moon.

    Where I've been highly negative has been with the TSA, particularly with the gropers-in-training and the view that all air travelers are either helpless sheep insofar as dealing with a would-be hijacker, or that groping granny ladies and girl scouts is as useful as limiting an airline to being suspicious of only two Arabs per flight. And when you have direct quotes from Congresssheeple about not arming a pilot "because he could take over the airplane", or Paneta stating he's against arming a pilot because if he got in a tangle with a terrorist he might lose control of the airplane, you wonder who's minding the store. "Beam me up, Scotty..."

    I really doubt there are any guarantees that a more efficient use of tax money will prevent any further major terrorist events. I'm rather amazed at how well we've done so far.

    Damfino. I've always lived with the notions that life ain't fair; there are no guarantees, and luck beats skill, everytime.

    So far, so good...

    :), 'Rat
     
  3. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #3
    So even though it is common knowledge now that they don't work, it's still a deterrent?

    9/11 did not catch us by surprise, all of the information was there to be seen. The problems lay with those who were supposed to catch that information.

    I wonder who is cashing in on all of this worthless spending.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    In the same way that the missile defense system is a deterrent and castles in the air offer the best views.
     
  5. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #5
    They should print life size cardboard cutouts of secret service agents, dressed in black with dark sunglasses on and put them all over the place at airports.

    Kinda like scarecrows. That would be a deterrent too! ;)
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    :D

    My favorite part.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    So, does anybody have suggestions? Should we stop ALL the efforts of the WOT because of those that are wasteful and inefficacious? And, does anybody suggest some sort of time limit, after which it all sunsets?

    'Rat
     
  8. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    i'd start w/ having a good look at the hart-rudman report and implementing many, if not all, of those suggestions.

    the article atop this thread illustrates the overreaction of 9/11. in this case, it's throw a bunch of money at a problem, even if it's ineffective. i.e. the illusion of safety is better than safety.

    of course, a gross overreaction to 9/11 is the whole iraq adventure. some $300 billion* has been pledged there (with nearly $170 billion spent). imagine if that money, or a portion thereof, had been spent in other ways:

    - port security
    - protecting chemical and nuclear plants in the US
    - beefing up budgets for first responders
    - aid to muslim countries (food, housing, education, et. al.)
    - federal investment in alternative energy
    - federal officer on every flight (w/ additional budget for them to purchase whatever damn shoes they want)
    - increased funding for security for Amtrak and Greyhound
    - encourage more foreign students in US
    - encourage more US students to attend foreign universities
    - restore funding for disarming decommissioned USSR nukes
    - increase funding for CDC

    * that may include the costs in afghanistan, too, which i regard as a wholly separate venture than iraq. that figure comes from an NPR report i heard last week, but i don't remember the details
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    zim, many have called for many of the items on your list--some, even long before 9/11.

    As far as "the article atop this thread illustrates the overreaction of 9/11. in this case, it's throw a bunch of money at a problem, even if it's ineffective. i.e. the illusion of safety is better than safety.":

    Seems to me, in my cynical view, that it's a cultural problem. Sorta like a TV program: Begin with a problem. Find good-hearted people and an expert or two. Add money and stir, et voila! An hour or two later, we have a clear-cut, happy ending.

    That's part of why I used the TSA as an example of illusion--or, if one prefers, "perception"--over reality.

    'Rat
     
  10. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    yep. i remember how freaked out we all were, and how everyone wanted something done soon. feeling safer seemed to take precedence over being safer.

    but how do we overcome that? leadership. i've yet to see any from bush; all i see is pandering.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    Which is why it was all the more surprising to see you defending waste when it's tied to actions taken by conservatives, and completely trashing it when it's aimed at our kids and their education, or welfare, or the highway system.

    I can only imagine the tongue-lashing I would have gotten if I'd suggested that yeah a lot of money has been wasted on Boston's Big Dig, but that's OK because not ALL of it was wasted.

    Plus, it's a very statist thing for an avowed non-statist to say.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    mac, I fail to see how pointing out that crash programs will always have some waste in them is in any way defending waste.

    Xtremhkr said, "So even though it is common knowledge now that they don't work, it's still a deterrent?"

    Well, first off, it's not common knowledge that "they" don't work. (The way it reads, "they" means "all".) We know some stuff doesn't work; some stuff does. Again, it's the crash-program deal. First try everything anybody thinks will work, and then drop that which does not. Sure, it's not the efficient way to do things, but it's the fastest known way to get something done. The great hope is that this "dropping" part of the decision making as to efficaciousness is correct.

    I have no clue that Dubya's group is the best leadership against terrorism, but I don't see any way that a Kerry group could or would do any better. I note that Paneta and Magaw are holdovers from the Clinton years (and even before?) and are two of the weaseliest creatures I've seen in high position in a long, long time.

    Heck, look at laws from the 1990s we have to work around: The CIA can get information about a bomb plot, but it can't tell the FBI if the knowledge wasn't gained in kosher fashion that would be admissible in court. If the CIA itself can't stop the plot and the bomb goes off in beautiful downtown BugTussle, Oklahoma, then folks holler about how dumb everybody is--but it's against the law for the CIA to operate within the US of A. We're really good at doing Catch-22s to ourselves...

    Bitching about the Patriot Act and all that would be repetitive, so I won't.

    I don't like this wondrous idea about needing a passport to merely cross the Rio Grande to spend a couple of hours in Ojinaga, either. They've already screwed up the Class B Customs crossings, to the detriment of the early-warning system against strangers that we once had in this part of Texas. Used to be, if there were Bad Guys trying to cross at the little local villages, the word got over here to our law enforcement before the bad guys did. Border closed. No more information flow. Now, the only guys living in those little villages are the drug smugglers and those who pay coyotes to get them across...

    'Rat
     
  13. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #13
    Sounds like how things work around here in the drug game. It's too cumbersome to grow weed in any real quantity because land is at a premium and the risk is high so the trade system often works like this:

    At pacific ports (or more often offshore in international waters) American guns are traded for (say) Afghan opium or heroin.

    Much of the opiates are then traded for stimulants like cocaine or Methamphetamine.

    The stimulants and opiates are then traded for weed in Canada and finally the weed, surplus of Opiates and surplus of stimulants are sold in places like Santa Cruz.

    Alternately Meth is cooked and traded directly for guns and weed which then yield opiates and cash respectively.

    All of these trades have inherent proffit for both sides.

    As you can guess there are endless variations. Nothing stimulates a smuggling economy better than agressive isolationism and a(n) (un)healthy dose of militarism.

    Do you think p2p is new?
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    mischief, remember when all those PhDs in Botany were developing Good Stuff up at Bolinas? Umm, umm, good!

    I'll never forget running north on I-5 from Redding and came upon the town of "Weed". "Hmmm," sez me, "There's a message there, somewhere."

    Is the Mendocino National Forest still a grower's paradise?

    :), 'Rat
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Had a buddy who grew up in Shasta who played football against the team from Weed. Their HS cheer? GOOOOOOOOOOOO WEED! Smoke 'em! :D
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Dunno 'bout nowadays, but back in the heyday of the Hashbury, a buddy of mine commented that two laps around Golden Gate Park and a jogger would be at least half-stoned from Secondary.

    Ran into a guy a couple of days ago who hung out at Harry's Question Mark bar in the HB, as well as the No Name in Sausalito--and Gatsby's and the Two Turtles and Smitty's.

    I sorta miss those days, but any effort to repeat the "doings" would probably lead to my early demise. :D Sure was fun, though.

    'Rat
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    Well it certainly ain't like that anymore. The Castro is the freak district these days... Hashbury is mostly nostalgic now. A few of the old places are still there but that's it.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Back to Security Stuff: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44200

    Some Russian guy in NYC had some folks in Taiwan make up some fake ID badges of various law enforcement agencies:

    "Federal officials arrested a New York man yesterday and charged him with possessing and selling more than 1,300 counterfeit badges representing 35 law enforcement agencies.

    The counterfeits are "very, very good," Special Agent in Charge Martin Ficke of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency told CNN, adding that nine out of 10 of the badges would "pass scrutiny."

    What's not said is whether or not this was the first such effort. Feel all better, now?

    'Rat
     

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