Lessons Learned On A Weekend Trip

November 23, 2010

Over the weekend, I had occasion to fly round trip from Atlanta to Wichita, Kansas on business. Here are some of the random things I observed on the trip.

First – Despite the existence of DumpDC.com and my writings, I flew on a commercial aircraft. So, I know my name is not currently on the No-Fly List maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. Yippee!

Next – Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta is the world’s busiest airport. They have perfected the movement of people and airplanes. Even flying on a Friday outbound from Atlanta, the security screening procedures moved very quickly. In the few minutes I was in the checkpoint area, I did not see anyone forced to walk through the radiation scanning machines. The security checkpoint procedures, while an annoyance, only added about five minutes to my walk from the front door to the trains that spirit passengers to their concourse.

But if you think that the TSA is doing passenger screening in America for national security reasons, you are crazy. This entire Homeland Security/TSA effort is about controlling the American populace and showing them who is boss. Common sense has been abandoned in favor of political correctness. Passenger “profiling”…is verboten. Yet Israelis do profiling at their airports, and they have not had an incident since 1968.

Here is an excerpt from an article at Renful Premier Technologies, a London-based company specializing in airport security training.

• If the operator is unsure about the contents of a bag, pausing the machine to apply image enhancement and/or selecting to hold it, adds seconds or minutes to processing just one passenger out of many hundreds queuing to be checked in. And what if a passenger, intent on martyrdom, is carrying half the weapon on their body? Surely, the only method currently available to prevent that passenger from boarding would be to apply profiling. When Israeli screeners use Profiling to flag a passenger for further scrutiny, a ‘smart call’ is made. This is a well established and consistently applied procedure. A judgment is made on a passenger, based on a variety of factors including: intelligence that may already be known, the passengers body language, ticket details, answers to initial brief questions and other signs which make that passenger stand out. Do the ‘other factors’ include their race, gender, age and ethnic appearance? Yes. Are these screeners trained to apply judgments that are politically sensitive? Absolutely. From the results can one claim this method is necessary? Definitely. Profiling can be used to tighten security for the greater volume of passengers whilst not drastically increasing the cost to airlines and airports. This can only be achieved by focusing resources where they will be of most use; on the select few passengers that may pose a risk.

While I was in the checkpoint area at the Wichita airport Sunday morning prior to my flight back to Atlanta, the TSA personnel detained a frail, 90-year-old woman in a wheelchair. They moved her to a curtained area in the corridor where they performed a full body search of the woman and her wheelchair. How did I know her age? She was traveling with her daughter, who told me her age while she waited for her mother outside the curtains.

As I said previously, common sense has been abandoned entirely. When TSA employees accost wheelchair-bound old women and young children, it’s not really about passenger safety. They cannot truly believe that people like these described constitute a potential threat to the aircraft in which they will be flying. This is entirely about the appearance of concern, and the absolute intention to control the American populace.

Next – When I was in the Wichita airport Sunday, preparing to fly home, I picked up a copy of Popular Mechanics. The front page headline story for the December 2010 issue is “China’s Secret War Plan.”

I guess China’s “secret” is not a secret anymore, is it? Leave it to Popular Mechanics to disclose Beijing’s intentions. Who would know better than PM Magazine?

This article is a fanciful scenario set in 2015, and involves China moving to retake Taiwan. The author, Eric Sofge, is certainly a pro-US writer. He writes that the invasion of Taiwan would begin with a missile barrage from the Chinese mainland onto the island of Taiwan. Then, China would rain missiles down on the US Kadena airbase at Okinawa from mainland locations and from Kilo-class Chinese subs. Then, the USA would respond by dispatching the Carrier Group led by the USS Nimitz to intervene. Then, China would attempt to sink the carrier with antiship ballistic missiles. And, in the end, China would win.

What the author does not discuss is how utterly unnecessary this war game is. China owns Washington. China is the number one holder of American Treasury securities on the planet. In the Oriental tradition, they allow Washington to bluff and bluster in a lame attempt to save face. But both Beijing and Washington know who is in charge, and it’s Beijing that holds all the advantages.

When…not if…China decides to repatriate Taiwan, it only need announce it in a press release. If Washington threatened any military response to honor its treaty obligations to Taiwan, China could dump a small percentage of its Treasury bonds on the worldwide bond market. This one move might not collapse the world bond market, but it would collapse Washington. China would likely tell Washington that any further military response would result in further sell-offs of Treasury debt. At some point, the world bond market would cease buying any US Treasuries for any price, and the game would be over. The entire world bond market would collapse, and soon thereafter, the US Dollar would be rejected worldwide as the world reserve currency.

Washington would have to notify the Taipei government that America would not be coming to their aid.

From this writer’s perspective, there is no real need for China to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan in the foreseeable future. Taiwan is self-sufficient and prosperous. And why would China want to initiate a military confrontation with America over Taiwan at this point? Leaving well-enough alone is the best strategy for Taiwan until after the collapse of the American dollar and the collapse of the American government. And that will likely happen before 2015.

The old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times” has never been as true as in our present time. Dear readers, don’t be chumps. Get out into the world and move around. Learn first-hand what is going on around you. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.