May 19, 2011
Remember John Tyner? He was the young man whose smartphone captured an "enhanced" pat-down at the San Diego Airport — a search immortalized when he warned, "Don't touch my junk. " This simple quote captured how many of us felt about the government getting too much into our business. After this episode, I never imagined publicly using the Department of Homeland Security as an example of government common sense. Unfortunately, recent actions by the Talbot Public County Schools — the suspension of two lacrosse players (and arrest of one of them)
February 4, 2011
Edwin F. Hale Sr. Hale, chairman and chief executive officer of First Mariner Bancorp, was detained at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Friday morning for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage. Hale, who also owns the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team, said he was traveling to Milwaukee for a game, but was stopped at a security checkpoint in the Southwest Airlines terminal. He said he had intended to leave behind the .38 caliber revolver that he regularly carries in his briefcase.
November 29, 2010
We could debate the airport screening issue indefinitely because what constitutes a reasonable search is subjective. I personally would prefer to set aside some modesty concerns and face some inconvenience in order to reduce the risk of harm. For those who think screening is unnecessary or ineffective, let's give them a hypothetical option (impractical to implement but merely to illustrate a point). Let's give passengers the choice to bypass the screenings on the condition that all of those who elected to do so would have to ride together in a separate aircraft.
November 23, 2010
I have a pretty good method for preventing bad people from getting on planes that doesn't require full body scans nor intrusive pat downs. Follow a variant of the Israeli model and interview each passenger. Make each one show their passport and check it against the national passport data base. If the face, the passport photo and the photo on the national database all are similar, and you haven't visited Yemen or Pakistan etc. lately, then you get on the plane. If you don't have a U.S. passport then you get to go through the more intrusive stuff.
November 22, 2010
The battle-cry of the outraged has turned from "Don't tread on me" to "Don't touch my junk. " Clearly, this is a good time to be in the anger management business, but not necessarily to be an employee of the Transportation Security Administration. Surely by now most everyone has seen the latest online video to go viral (surpassing even that middle school football trick play) featuring an annoyed San Diego airline passenger refusing a pat-down from a TSA worker. John Tyner, the Internet celebrity du jour, is now being hailed in some circles as the everyman victim of overzealous and insensitive government employees.
November 18, 2010
In response to the recent articles in your newspaper regarding the security measures being applied at the nation's airports under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, it is obvious that after the attacks of 9/11, security measures needed to be taken to protect travelers and our homeland. The Constitution specifically charges the federal government to protect U.S. citizens from any and all foreign and domestic enemies. However, in my opinion, it is ironic that the extreme measures being taken at the airports — including the groping of private body parts, and nude body scans which emit potentially harmful radioactivity — are in stark contrast to the government's laxity in preventing illegal aliens from sneaking across the southern border.