Not the TSA for once, just general moron America

Because the level of ignorance and stupidity in this country can never be overestimated, we have the latest incidence of one of America’s fine upstanding citizens displaying her intellectual acumen for all to see. And supposed airline professionals going along with her. True, this didn’t involve the TSA, but we can easily see how the stupidity and paranoia exhibited by that organization — and constantly hyped by our “security” overlords — has spread to the population at large.

From The Guardian:

Professor: flight was delayed because my equation raised terror fears
American Airlines says woman expressed suspicion about University of Pennsylvania economics professor, who was solving a differential equation

Menzio, who is Italian and has curly, dark hair, told the Associated Press he initially “thought they were trying to get clues about her illness.”

“Instead, they tell me that the woman was concerned that I was a terrorist because I was writing strange things on a pad of paper.”

He told the Washington Post that he was “treated respectfully throughout” the process but remains perturbed by a system that “relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless”.

Completely clueless? Well, that’s half the American population right there.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

Some (solicited!) technology and engineering advice for the TSA

I was pleased recently to receive an email from Russell Wooten, the IT Strategy Branch Chief of the TSA. His email reached me through my membership in the Maryland chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). For the uninitiated, operations research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical techniques to help make better decisions. Mr. Wooten was soliciting input on these questions: Continue reading “Some (solicited!) technology and engineering advice for the TSA”

TSA’s procedures don’t make anyone safer

In response to a pro-TSA editorial in the Asbury Park Press, I maintain that not only does the TSA fail in its mission of protecting passengers, but that it actually harms our security by its actions. That the TSA fails in its stated goal of keeping prohibited items off airplanes is amply demonstrated by its 70% failure rate in testing, and the continuing presence of loaded handguns and box cutters on flights.

And how does TSA make us less safe?  Let me count the ways: Continue reading “TSA’s procedures don’t make anyone safer”