So much news for this, the end of a most interesting year. Sean Goldman is back with his dad. For whatever the reason, I was terribly disturbed by the whole story. (Some would say I’m terribly disturbed without the help of a story, but that’s not the point). For divorced or separated parents, who do or did not, have full time access to their kids, this whole episode was too much of a reminder of the pain of that absence. Not that all parents who live without their kids are totally denied a relationship (like with Sean – who at this point can barely speak English), but it’s just never easy to explain all the why’s – especially at holiday time.
Today the news was not stop terrorist attack on a Northwest flight from Holland to Detroit. As it turns out the terrorists father called the American Embassy to report that his son was probably a terrorist and at the very least should not be allowed to fly to the United States. He might also have mentioned that the kid had trained in Yemen with Muslim terrorists. Whoever took the phone call either chose to ignore the warning or didn’t take it seriously. What an Idiot, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. There are so many unanswered questions about the whole incident that no matter how many questions are answered, just like a game of ‘Whack a Mole,’ more just keep popping up.
The only good news about this whole story is that the guy attached the explosives and faulty detonator to his groin. If that isn’t poetic justice. He’ll live, but without the balls he thought he had when he determined he would blow up a plane with over 250 people.
That is not the best part of the news. Today, an incredibly stupid businessman, flying on the same flight – same flight number, same route- was taken ill in the air and locked himself in the bathroom. Why the guy didn’t tell them that he was sick, or why the crew didn’t break into the bathroom, are still unanswered questions. But neither happened and so the plane was taken to a secluded part of the airport where they discovered that the guy was sick and there was no need to have taken any of these precautions.
And speaking of incredibly stupid, The Department of Homeland Security has issued new and even more ridiculous rules for flying. For example, passengers can only carry one bag, they won’t be able to get out of their seats for the last hour of the flight and they will not be allowed to have anything on their laps for that hour. I’d like someone to explain to me how any of those rules will help to deter a terrorist. Especially since they are all a reaction to the terrorist whose father called to say don’t let him on an American airliner and some Homeland Security person screwed it up.
Everyone who has ever been involved in security (ah my hidden past), knows that making rules in reaction to a single incident is not going to prevent a different incident from occurring. No one involved in airport security is thinking about what works and what doesn’t work. How many people do you know, terrorist or otherwise who would strap an incendiary device to their “pupik” (it’s Yiddish but you get the picture). Why in the world would you forbid people to have something on their lap for an hour (unless there’s a delay and it’s more), because some idiot had explosives in his lap.
What the rules do is make the flight attendants into security officers – as if they didn’t have enough to do. The constant rewriting of rules is an inconvenience for everyone flying , that will not have an impact on any security. Business travelers who work on the plane, photographers who have cameras they don’t want stolen, and parents who are traveling with children, would like to fly, but Homeland Security, which needs a good dose of my mother’s common sense, is making it increasingly difficult, If there is an alternative to flying, people will eventually opt for that. And then what happens to the airline business? What a shame that the very people who are supposed to keep us safe, have become the enemy at the airport. How can we have any respect for a system that body searches old ladies, but ignores the warning of a parent who knows his kid is a real danger to the public. As my mother would say, “smart, smart, stupid.” We’re just sayin’…. Iris