I get profiled every time I snap a railfan picture, yet they hand an entrance visa to a terrorist...

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I get profiled every time I snap a railfan picture, yet they hand an entrance visa to a terrorist...

  • I was thinking about the times I have been questioned for legally taking photos from public property under the guise of "Homeland Security" and reading about this weekend's incident and security failures....And yet getting prepared for even more harrassment in the future.

     Interesting Wall Street Journal post on the latest rules: http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2009/12/28/tsa-measures-after-pants-bomber-defy-logic/

    My train videos - http://www.youtube.com/user/karldotcom

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  • Everything referencing "security" is now reactivly based, Proactive seems to have slipped out of the vena cular. Why spend money to plan when you an wait for an event to occur and then get ton's of money thrown at the resolution. It is easier to have a problem area identified for you than to spend money in a scattershot effort to solve potential issues.Blindfold  PoliticiansConfused, Ya gotta love 'em.WhistlingMy 2 cents

    Sam

     

     


     

  • Too many of the reactive measures are "feel good" bandaids - they do little to actually reduce a threat, but they make people feel like they're doing something.

    Nonetheless, it does little for one's confidence when a threat gets past the established lines of defense.

    As railfans the best thing we can do if confronted is to keep our cool.  Try to discuss the situation rationally, and if the challenging party isn't buying it, move on.  They'll soon be home feeling good about themselves, and we'll be back trackside, catching another great shot.

    LarryWhistling
    Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
    Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
    My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
    Come ride the rails with me!
    There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • As we sink ever deeper in the quicksand of paranoia you can count on the government tightening their grip on society in general.  You can also count on the majority of people going along with it and buying into the illusion of safety being more important than freedom.

    Dave

    Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Thanks for that WSJ link.  Now just wait until longtime Trains columnist Don Phillips - who shares similar skepticism about illusory security measures - gets hold of this.  Too bad he doesn't still work for the Washington Post - TSA would get the skewering it so richly deserves.

    As I posted on here some months ago, at around 10:00 PM on Monday evening, June 1, 2009, there was an unattended luxury car parked in the 'Drop-Off/ Pick-Up' zone under Terminal A at Philadelphia International Airport for at least 10 - 15 minutes.  Aside from the major traffic hassles it caused by blocking one of the lanes, there was no Philly cop or any airport security in sight at any time - and we can all imagine the potential security failure implications.  I reported the transgression to TSA and the Phila. Airport security by e-mail the next day.  To date - almost 7 months later - absolutely no reply or acknowledgment of my message whatsoever from anyone.  So I hope no Nigerian terrorist is reading this . . . Sigh

    - Paul North.

    "This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • So will the new security measures for air travel mean they will soon be taking the shackles out of the box cars and installing them in air planes? 

    Jeff

  • ....With all the information gathering mechanisms in place {computer data}, for air travel security around the world, one would think {if strickly adhered to}, that would go a long way in identifying the suspects when they appear for actually getting on an airline to travel.

    What seems to be the reality from time to time we see these incidents happening.....we {the world security forces}, do not act, and take advantage of available information.  This recent incident is another example of just that.  So many red flags in place, but not enough actual action to stop such person from entering that aircraft.

    P C should not be an item that prevents such actions either......If security happens to make a stop and they are wrong....It sure must be less of a problem to undo than to possibly have a jumbo jet fall out of the sky with hundreds of lives lost....!

    I realize the fact each security process involved must include humans, and we all know after a given time of "no problems" and the system is running without any deviations from "normal".....humans, tend to be lax.  That certainly is a factor, but I'm sure there are smart persons that have a level of knowledge that could construct accountable methods to minimize that too.....

    Quentin

  • I would rather drive a thousand miles than fly anywhere. It used to be that flying was convenient and fast...now it is neither. 

  • This morning I was thinking that it's time for another article or post about how this incident and the resulting security delays might benefit Amtrak by increasing demand for it services - although many lines are close to capacity now anyway.  Lo and behold, while driving in to work I then hear exactly that in the last seconds of this 'regional news' report from the Philadelphia's National Public Radio station WHYY-FM 90.9 during the NPR Morning Edition program this morning:

    Added airport security could deter business travelers

    Monday, December 28th, 2009
    By: Elizabeth Fiedler

    http://whyy.org/cms/news/regional-news/2009/12/28/added-airport-security-could-deter-business-travelers/26500 

    [snip] "Kevin Mitchell is Chairman of the Radnor-based Business Travel Coalition.

    Mitchell: For a business traveler not knowing if it's going to be 15 minutes or an hour or an hour and a half, really robs a business traveler of his or her productivity. So business travelers are going to look at those 2 1/2, 3 hour, 3 1/2 hour flights and say how much time – total elapsed time – is it going to take me to get there by air? And if it's 4 hours and it takes 4 1/2 hours or 4 hours to do it by car, car is going to win in of many situations.

    Mitchell says Amtrak is going also going to be a big winner." [emphasis added - PDN]

    - Paul North.

    "This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Mischief  Bad idea for a really bad 'Grade B' movie plot:

    The AAR and Class I freight railroad executives realize this incident could lead to a boost in demand and political/ government actions for Amtrak and other passenger services over their lines, which would seriously interfere with their operations and profitability.  To forestall and preclude that, they obtain secret U.S. Government approval for their funding and establishing a covert and 'plausible denial' private army/ task force operation to 'take out' and 'terminate with extreme prejudice' the Al Quaeda terrorists and their bases and training camps, etc., in whatever country they are found, without the formalities and niceties of diplomacy, treaties, due process, trials, etc. - not even a summary court martial.  It goes on and is either a success, or turns into a rogue operation, or [something else - insert the ending you like . . .  Whistling ].

    Ok, got that out of my system now . . . .

    - Paul North.

    "This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • I have not flown since that spooky Orwellian agency took over the airports, and will probably never fly again since it appears that their presence will be eternal.

    I seem to be the exception but I prefer freedom to the illusion of security.

    Dave

    Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • More like 'Keystone Kops', judging from this recent inept non-performance.  Could it disrupt the plot of even a pastrami sandwich Mischief

    Just as long as it leaves leave Amtrak, the commuter rail operations, and the freight railroads pretty much alone from its illusion/ delusion of vaunted 'security measures', please, thank you very much. 

    - Paul North.

    "This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Paul_D_North_Jr

    More like 'Keystone Kops', judging from this recent inept non-performance.  Could it disrupt the plot of even a pastrami sandwich Mischief

    Just as long as it leaves leave Amtrak, the commuter rail operations, and the freight railroads pretty much alone from its illusion/ delusion of vaunted 'security measures', please, thank you very much. 

    - Paul North.

    Boarding inspections in the latest incidents was done in Nigeria and the Netherlands (not that US Inspectors would have done better).  On international flights I always wonder how seriously the foreign inspectors take their duties.  Israel I am sure takes it serious, the rest ?????

    Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Phew, I think i'll just walk...all these security measures might just make the good old fashioned ankle wagon the fastest way to go.

  • BaltACD
      Boarding inspections in the latest incidents was done in Nigeria and the Netherlands (not that US Inspectors would have done better).  On international flights I always wonder how seriously the foreign inspectors take their duties.  Israel I am sure takes it serious, the rest ????? 

    Sure - but that's just the same issue that always arises when the performance of an essential duty is subcontracted or delegated away to someone else or someplace else, regardless of whether it is security inspections or building sub-contractors or even railroad employees in remote locations: How do you - as the person responsible for seeing that it is done correctly, the first time and every time - know that the tasks being done right ?  There's just no room for errors.  The system was created by TSA - over the last 8 years, with the same administration in place for 7 of those years - and this is the best they can do ?  There are not many other options other than to accept those overseas performances, but that just reinforces the 'weak link vulnerability' of the process.

    - Paul North.

    "This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)