Friday, August 11, 2006

Don't Be Afraid of the Ketchup

Let me say this and get it over with: if we have to rely on overworked TSA employees at the airport to protect us from terrorists, then we are in seriously deep doo-doo. We're now expected to not bring on board any liquids or gels, not even little tubes of toothpaste, for fear that they could be combined into an explosive device. Are we next going to be required to travel naked? While some might enjoy an exotic-erotic plane flight, the reality is that there will always be people who can think of ways to get stuff on board. Adding checks for whatever has been tried in the past is not the answer; addressing the root motivations of terrorism is.

While the ideology espoused by fanatical islamists provides a pathway, people don't step on that road because they fundamentally believe it. They tread that path for the same reason people join gangs: they are disenfranchised, feel powerless, have no hope for the future, and are looking for something to belong to. Until we find ways to overcome the main weakness of capitalism -- the tendency to widen the disparity between the haves and the have-nots, and the amorality of corporations -- we will continue to be threatened in this way.

Even if we lost 10 full airliners a year to terrorists, it would still be safer to fly than to drive.

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