Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 - travel experience changed because of the shampoo terrorists

In 2006 the traveling changed because of the shampoo terrorists. A bunch of Asian origin, Arabic sounding named Brits were caught by the British police while they were supposedly getting ready to explode planes flying from UK to US using explosives hidden in juices, shampoos and moisturizers. Never mind that most of them didn't even have a passport so they could possibly not have got into those planes...

These shampoo terrorists got the experience of flying to a new low. Think of 1960s when you could bring the guns in the planes.. even those who would have been using their guns, would never have done it in the planes. The plane itself didn't give the impression of a cattle carrier - it was the experience of travel, people put on their best clothes for travel as it was a big experience, and they enjoyed it. A lot has changed. A lot was changed already before 9/11, but after that the traveling experience has gone just downhill. Move all your belongings to the x-ray belt (excluding your baby), including your belt, shoes, .. anything you can. They would strip you naked and use the rubber gloves if you would keep flying with that low experience. Most people wouldn't, so just move your belts, shoes, .. everything. Unpack your laptop and electric gadgets, show the camera lenses, unpack the iPods, and the newest addition to the security theater : put all your liquid belongings in a zip bag of a certain size - excluding baby formula which can be of unlimited amounts, and some medicines. They even confiscate your rocks.

A few weeks after this shampoo terrorism caused new additions to this liquid security theater had been going on, you would already find a whole new range of cosmetics in the stores. Shampoos, deodorants, conditioners, moisturizers that were in the new 75-100 ml size range. Same stuff you would get the bottle 5 times bigger for the same price, sometimes even for less. The shampoo companies sure make money out of that theater. Just as the companies making the x-ray machines made money in the 1980s after sponsoring bank robbers and hijackers to get up the need for a lot of new x-ray machines. And the programmers of ATS make out of the need to have some automated system that looks like they are doing something smart.

So the assumptions behind this liquid theater are that 1) terrorists don't hide their liquid bombs in infant formula or milk (since that will not be confiscated, the milk formula must be safe...) 2) anything in amounts less than 100 ml in a can and being max 10 bottles of that same stuff must be safe (since allowed to bring) and 3) liquid or gel like substance in bras are safe. You don't have to move your bras.

Talk about a whole new kind of recruitment strategies for all these terrorists : hire women with infants (or hire women AND get infants), and women wearing bras. White women preferably, with plain Western sounding names, so rather a Mary, Judy, or Hannah than an Ayisha. Who will also pass the ATS screening while they carefully do not ask to get a window seat, don't order any specific meal ever, pay always with their own credit card issued in the same country their passport was issued and they have lived all their life in, have never had a no-show on any flight they have purchased, have never got any one-way tickets or paid their fights in cash, and have a car of expected price range...

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