Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Tis the Season....

....for air travel. In a couple of weeks I'll be in Logan Airport, trying to decide whether I want to go through a scanner that might (if I fly often enough) contribute to my chances of getting cancer, or getting manhandled by a TSA staffer.

Frankly, I feel safe from being a victim of a terrorist attack, but not because of the invasive and annoying procedures we're subjected to by the Terribly Stupid Administration. I feel safe because of simple probabilities. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 527,483 domestic commercial passenger flights took off in September 2001. Divide by 30. Roughly 17,583 domestic passenger flights took off each day in the month of 9-11. So if even if I had boarded a plane on the very day, my odds would have been 3 out of 17,583 (more or less) of being on one of the hijacked planes.

This is all theater. 9-11 was perfectly preventable with the security measures already in place. Hell, if someone had just investigated Mohammed Atta when he told his flight instructor he was interested in learning to fly a plane but not in how to take off or land one, September 11 might have been just an ordinary day. Furthermore if Wikileaks had been around in 2001, that much-maligned organization might have helped prevent the attacks.

Meanwhile, our safety is in the hands of people who think breast milk could be a terrorist weapon.

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