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Old 11-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #421
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when we all have giant tumors shaped like the apple logo on the side of our heads, then we'll know.
Unfortunately, mine will be on my crotch from my MacBook.


Maybe the airport scanners can spot it early so I can get help?
Does the TSA share data with our new government Death Panels?
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:00 AM   #422
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Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 30
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Is there a friendlier, tail-wagging alternative to explicit body screens and "enhanced" pat downs of the flying public?

So far, being nosed by an explosive-sniffing dog is not an option for travelers at airports, who for security reasons are now being screened via the high-tech scanners or intrusive pat downs. But some passengers and security experts say it's high time to send dogs sniffing up and down airport lines, perhaps reducing the need for methods that are more invasive of personal privacy.

For decades, canine explosive-detection teams have been used to screen air cargo on passenger flights. The US military uses dogs in Afghanistan and Iraq. In June, the European Union for the first time approved use of explosive-sniffing dogs to screen airline passengers. Bomb-sniffing hounds already pad aisles on Amtrak and many US commuter-rail trains. "Dogs would be a wonderful solution," says Jeffrey Price, co-author of a textbook on aviation security and chief of Leading Edge Strategies, a security consulting firm in Denver. "They're much friendlier than some of the current processes--and yet, if you're hiding something, the last thing you want to see is a dog."

Bomb-sniffing dogs could improve passenger screening and explosives detection, while reducing concerns about privacy and radiation exposure, some US security experts say. And Congress, after the 9/11 attacks, mandated increased use of explosive-detection dogs. By 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had deployed 370 certified canine explosive-detection teams to 69 airports and 56 teams to 14 mass transit systems, the Government Accountability Office reported. That year, TSA's aviation canine explosive detection teams received $36.3 million in funding. Today, more dogs than ever are sniffing for explosives in the US transport system, though TSA will not say how many teams now scan air cargo, specifically. "More than 750 TSA-certified explosive detection canine teams are deployed to mass transit systems, airports and cargo facilities," says Greg Soule, a TSA spokesman, in an e-mailed response to questions. "These teams are a highly effective, mobile layer of security to detect explosive materials in various transportation environments."

But TSA has not approved use of dogs for routine passenger screening in airports. Why? Concerns about costs and passenger resistance (whether possible allergic reactions or fear of being bitten) top the list. Training a single dog and the dog's handler can take 10 weeks or more, not including regular recertification. Moreover, real explosives must be used to train dogs, which can be both inconvenient and potentially hazardous. One big concern, Mr. Price notes, is that explosive-sniffing dogs are effective for only one or two 30-minute sessions a day. They may become ineffective after that, mostly because they get bored, he says. Their record is not perfect, either. Earlier this month, bomb-sniffing dogs in England initially failed to detect bomb material hidden in printer cartridges shipped from Yemen. Three bomb-sniffing dogs assigned to inspect cargo at Philadelphia International Airport earlier this year were reported to fail recertification tests. "Explosive-detecting dogs are held to a higher standard of performance than other types of dogs, like narcotics-detecting dogs," Price says. "If a dog misses drugs getting on a flight, that's not a huge problem. If a dog misses some explosives, that's a major issue."

Even so, dogs' noses are as sensitive as any mechanical explosive detector now deployed and can detect trace amounts of scores of explosive vapors. Unlike machines, a dog can track a suspicious scent to the source. They also work cheap--for a little kibble and the praise of their handlers. Bomb-sniffing dogs are not necessarily breeds that present a fearsome posture to travelers, but include beagles, Labrador retrievers, and familiar guard dogs such as the Belgian Malinois.

The number of dogs required to sniff at least 2 million domestic airline passengers a day would be large, acknowledge Price and others. There would need to be a huge force of such dogs, not to mention kennel space near airports. TSA cannot rely solely on dogs from its Canine Breeding and Development Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, canine explosives experts say. Many dogs are purchased from private breeders. Even so, only a handful of canine teams are available per mass transit system, and they are spread thinly just for sniffing cargo, some experts say.

It's not known which method would be cheaper: scanning machines or trained dogs. TSA has conducted some passenger-screening tests using dogs, but it has not done any comprehensive pilot study to see how dogs compare overall with body scanners on costs and detection rates. Machines can cost $150,000 or more. "I'm not saying we should rely solely on dogs, but there's no question they can provide great deterrence in passenger screening," says John Pearce, associate director of the Canine Training Center's Animal Health Performance Program at Auburn University in Alabama. "How do you calibrate a dog's nose? A terrorist can calculate a lot of things about mechanical detectors, but concocting a plot that deals with a dog's nose gets complicated for them."

Mr. Pearce's center specializes in "vapor wake detection," which trains a dog to detect and track an explosive's odor to its source, even in a crowd. A VWD dog, he says, can also sample a plume of air coming off a person or that person's bag as he or she passes a choke point. Diag-nose, based in Britain, shows on its website a picture of airport crowds filing past an explosives-detecting dog--the dog separated from the people by a plastic sheet perforated with holes. The dog sniffs the air passing through the holes and alerts the handler if it detects something. "Dogs are really relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of technology out there," says Pearce, whose canine-training center is talking with TSA about using vapor wake dogs for airport passenger screening. "To those who say dogs can be used for only 20 to 30 minutes before taking an hour break, I would say that dogs can work much longer if they are trained to do it, just like long-distance runners."
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:33 AM   #423
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My understanding is that any and all anomalies determined to be seen or detected by the scanner will get you an automatic pat down. Just like with the regular metal detectors, etc. Anything in/on your clothing or in/on your person.

So voluntarily taking the scan has nothing to do with avoiding pat downs.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #424
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yea, but then we'll get protest's from PETA and people with dog allergies.

no matter what, somebody will figure out something to complain about. it's the american way.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:33 PM   #425
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Here's the other thing about this that confuses me and I think makes this whole issue so much more absurd. I found this news story today online:

Guns on Amtrak Trains - ABC News

Now I know this is in regards to a train and not an airplane, but still...so we have obsessive pat downs and scanners and can't bring liquids and all this other sort of stuff onto an airplane, but carrying guns on trains (or buses) is a-ok? Some people have actually suggested in the past that civilians and/or pilots arm themselves on planes as well. It just strikes me incredibly odd that we freak out and have all this security stuff, extreme or not, done in the name of safety when we fly, but we don't bat an eye when we hear about civilians carrying guns on trains, we don't seem to get as frightened then. Then it's all about our "Constitutional rights" and such.

If we must have security measures for one mode of transportation (or public building or whatever else), shouldn't we have them for all?

Angela
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:56 PM   #426
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I don't think a hi-jacked train would have brought the WTC down.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:59 PM   #427
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No, but a hijacked train would've caused its own type of nasty damage and death to an area full of people. At the train station itself, as the train's passing near residential areas or various buildings of note. The attack wouldn't necessarily be on as grand a scale as 9/11 in terms of numbers and area, but it'd still be just as horrific nonetheless.

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Old 12-01-2010, 10:20 PM   #428
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the amazing irony is that these people who are deathly afraid of passing through the backscatter machine because of radiation are getting on an airplane, where they will be exposed to a hell of a lot more radiation than they will from passing through the machine.
It's so true.

I've eaten 165 millicuries of radiation during my cancer treatment.

Everyone's going to be fine.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #429
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I don't think a hi-jacked train would have brought the WTC down.
No, but you may be missing the bigger picture.

Flying a plane full of fuel into a building was, um, a terrorism "Think Different". It doesn't seem to have been on anyone's radar before it happened, and after it happened it will never likely occur on the scale of 9/11 ever again due to the new precautions.

So we have made air travel as uncomfortable and dehumanizing as possible, and now we move on to, "Oh what if they attack a train, or a Greyhound bus, or what if someone sticks a bomb up their ass and walks around Time Square."

And bam, you wake up in a police state (or England).
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #430
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I don't think a hi-jacked train would have brought the WTC down.
Sure it could have. If terrorists brought a loose nuke on one of the trains that stopped under the WTC complex, Bam, no more WTC. They wouldn't really even have to hijack the train.

Good thing all loose nukes are secured and accounted for so no one has to worry about that scenario.

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:35 AM   #431
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Flying a plane full of fuel into a building was, um, a terrorism "Think Different". It doesn't seem to have been on anyone's radar before it happened,
except for Tom Clancy.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:26 AM   #432
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The guns on Amtrak trains have to be preregistered with Amtrak, unloaded, and locked in a secure locker on the train.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #433
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I know they don't want to profile anyone but it really seems ridiculous to waste so much time and money and put so many people through such trouble when they know damn well from looking at a lot of people they are not a terrorist- take an old person or a family with little kids. So what happens is that everone is inconvenienced because they do not want to offend a very small portion of the flying public.
Just one reason profiling doesn't work:

Man arrested for alleged plot to blow up a military recruitment centre | Mail Online

Here legally and his ID would have said Antonio Martinez, yet many like Butterscotch think they know what a terrorist looks like.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #434
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This man would not want to have been patted down or naked scanned.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:01 PM   #435
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Yeah, well, you wouldn't likely make it through any kind of airport security with an armful of pipe bombs, a backpack filled with nails and explosives, and a kaffiyeh tied over your face.
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