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Subject: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Red Ant on 12/25/09 at 11:55 pm

They are moving up in the world: instead of sending scam emails, they are now sending bombs:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_airliner_disturbance

Alas, the bomb failed, and the man was quickly subdued. Kudos to the passengers of the plane.

Ant


Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: danootaandme on 12/26/09 at 8:03 am

It has been reported that he was on the watch list, but made it on the plane anyway.  What's that all about.  Ted Kennedy was detained when the list was first compiled.  What does that tell you about "Homeland Security"

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: JamieMcBain on 12/26/09 at 2:07 pm


It has been reported that he was on the watch list, but made it on the plane anyway.  What's that all about.  Ted Kennedy was detained when the list was first compiled.  What does that tell you about "Homeland Security"


That it's a joke?

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/28/09 at 10:48 pm


That it's a joke?


The terrorists are the joke.

The punchline is that under the new HomeSec regulations, the alert civilian who saved the day by getting out of his seat to kick some terrorist ass... would have been ordered back into his seat, because he was breaking the new post-crotchbomber security rules involving all passengers remaining seated during the last hour of international flights inbound to UniStat.

As I said a couple of days ago - the WTC is still a hole in the ground.  We're still taking our shoes off.  We're still worrying about toothpaste and bottles of wine.  Now we're remaining seated for the last hour of the flight with no washroom access, and with the plane's passenger-facing GPS displays turned off for the duration of the flight, and with the pilot not permitted to call out landmarks.  ("Those of you on the left side, please pay no attention to the big glowing lights that may or may not be the casinos of Las Vegas strip, or I'd get in trouble for telling you about it...") 

Next year, some equally-moronic terrorist will be beaten to a pulp for trying to light a bomb in his ass, and he'll do it sixty-one minutes before landing.  We'll be ordered to submit to cavity searches, and the windows will be sealed shut for the duration of the flight. 

http://6.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kvb3wpq5Mh1qabhalo1_400.jpg

As bad as the joke is (at least that image is still a parody... I think :), the joke's on us.  Inept as they were, the terrorists won.

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Red Ant on 12/29/09 at 12:32 am

Foo, I'm not sure whether to smite or karma you. The pic is a definite win, but the terrorist failed. Horribly. He wasn't the only one, passing through not one but two airports with the failbomb. He shouldn't have even made it onboard the plane bound for the US, but the fact that he did despite the lack of security (Paterland Insecurity, as it were) and wound up burning his crotch instead of blowing up a plane is just swell. That the passengers didn't puss out and instead confronted him is freakin' awesome.

If the passengers violated that regulation you mentioned, then good. It's about time people here took more responsibility for their actions and surroundings. I wish they would have had the ability to throw his burned-up ass out of the plane, sans parachute, over Detroit at 35k feet: that would send a better message to the terrorists* than the feds holding this guy in an unnamed location for an indefinite amount of time does. Splatter>martyr.

*This guy could be a lone nutjob, unsatisfied with the fact that he hasn't made any money from the mass 419 scam emails he's been sending out for years.

http://content.ytmnd.com/content/5/7/d/57d21f00547f50101d115e25e8121c4f.jpg
but you still fail.

The terrorists didn't win, US Pwnland Security and foreign policy failed. Once again. When the terrorists can't even win by default, then we win (sort of).

Besides, the first time I get cavity searched to board a plane, the next time I'm going to eat a load of brocolli, eggs, hot sauce, beer and exlax and projectile diarhhea all over who ever is sticking their finger where it doesn't belong.

Ant

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: LyricBoy on 12/29/09 at 8:11 am



It's about time people here took more responsibility for their actions and surroundings. I wish they would have had the ability to throw his burned-up ass out of the plane, sans parachute, over Detroit at 35k feet: that would send a better message to the terrorists* than the feds holding this guy in an unnamed location for an indefinite amount of time does. Splatter>martyr.
Ant


If I woulda had this mofo in a sleeper hold on that plane, I woulda knocked him out and not let go until the Detroit Medical Examiner showed up.

Too bad for the perp, his dream of going out in the glow of "making Jihad" was not fulfilled.

Another chapter in the latest of what will come to be known as the "Reverse Crusade"...

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: JamieMcBain on 12/29/09 at 11:11 am


The terrorists are the joke.

The punchline is that under the new HomeSec regulations, the alert civilian who saved the day by getting out of his seat to kick some terrorist ass... would have been ordered back into his seat, because he was breaking the new post-crotchbomber security rules involving all passengers remaining seated during the last hour of international flights inbound to UniStat.

As I said a couple of days ago - the WTC is still a hole in the ground.  We're still taking our shoes off.  We're still worrying about toothpaste and bottles of wine.  Now we're remaining seated for the last hour of the flight with no washroom access, and with the plane's passenger-facing GPS displays turned off for the duration of the flight, and with the pilot not permitted to call out landmarks.  ("Those of you on the left side, please pay no attention to the big glowing lights that may or may not be the casinos of Las Vegas strip, or I'd get in trouble for telling you about it...") 

Next year, some equally-moronic terrorist will be beaten to a pulp for trying to light a bomb in his ass, and he'll do it sixty-one minutes before landing.  We'll be ordered to submit to cavity searches, and the windows will be sealed shut for the duration of the flight. 

http://6.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kvb3wpq5Mh1qabhalo1_400.jpg

As bad as the joke is (at least that image is still a parody... I think :), the joke's on us.  Inept as they were, the terrorists won.


Unfortuntly, you might be right.

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/31/09 at 1:08 am


Foo, I'm not sure whether to smite or karma you.


...why not both?  I'm fair game! :)


The terrorists didn't win, US Pwnland Security and foreign policy failed. Once again. When the terrorists can't even win by default, then we win (sort of).


If the terrorist's goal is to change the civilian's way of life, I'd argue that they have.  They couldn't have done that without a lot of help from our governments, but they did.  Speaking for myself, when I have to fly, I'm a lot more scared of the TSA goons stealing my stuff than I am of the terrorists blowing me up.

I'll leave the jury open on foreign policy, but as much as it pains me to do so, Thousands Standing Around really weren't at fault here.  The guy boarded the plane in Amsterdam.  If he'd boarded in the States, TSA might have let him through (depending on whether he was wanded or sniffed), but we'll never know.  The fact is, this one's not TSA's fault, because they don't exist in Amsterdam, which was where the Crotchbomber boarded the plane.

The disturbing part of the story is that it revealed the same systemic failure that led to the folks in the 9/11 attack being able to get onto a plane: different parts of the intelligence bureaucracy securing their sources by compartmentalizing information to the degree that the front-line people (in Amsterdam) who might have actually been able to prevent the Crotchbomber from getting onto the plane in the first place... had no idea he was a threat.

So we go back to an alert passenger to save the day.  Again.  And the government agencies, whose funding depends on making idiots feel safe, rather than actually keeping the idiots safe, will come up with a series of arbitrary rules that would prevent an exact repeat of this plot... but not a damn thing to prevent the next plot.  Again.

The reactive cover-your-ass mode of security is always a Catch-22.  The horse leaves the barn wearing horseshoes?  Everyone has to take their horseshoes off, and we'll pretend that doing so is equivalent to locking the barn door.  The horse llights its balls on fire on its way out of the barn, and everyone's genitals get covered in fire-retardant foam before we bed down for the night.  That might be fun, but it doesn't solve the underlying problem.

Bruce Schneier has forgotten more about security than I'll ever know in my life.  I'll let him say it better than I could.

The only winner here is the company that makes the Rapiscan body scanners.  It's not publicly known (and I'm damned if I'm gonna put myself on a watch list by researching it) whether or not the Rapiscan can detect an ass-implanted device.  My suspicion based on my layman's understanding of RF, is that it won't.  But Rapiscan'll make a few bucks between now and the (~1-3 year timeframe before someone actually does it) assbomber's failure. (The assbomber will fail because the human body's basically a big shock absorber made of meat, but don't tell him that, because I want to laugh at him posthumously.)

It's a good thing I'm OK with the idea of a cross-country "Cannonball Run" road trip, because when the assbomber makes the go*h,youknowwhoimean*se guy green with envy, that'll be the end of commercial air travel for me.  Not because I'm skeered of the evul terrists, but because I'm scared of TSA's irrational fixation with security theater over actual security.

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: karen on 01/07/10 at 11:33 am

As I understand it he has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  Is this a try-on so that he will more likely be convicted on one of the lesser counts?

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Foo Bar on 01/09/10 at 12:52 am


As I understand it he has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  Is this a try-on so that he will more likely be convicted on one of the lesser counts?


Probably not.  The post-9/11 antiterrorist laws were written incredibly broadly so that charges could apply to almost anybody.

As abusable as the post-9/11 laws are, using them in this case is actually very reasonable.  The Crotchbomber's goal was allegedly to bring down an airliner over a populated area.  That latter bit is what makes it from "an attempt to do something bad to a plane and its passengers" and "an attempt to use the plane itself as a weapon." 

My beef with the overly-broad drafting of these sorts of laws (both terror-related and drug-related) is they're very easy for the authorities to abuse, which means you don't have to be guilty of anything to get hit.

That makes for a nasty side effect in early science education, rendering chemistry sets both inert and extinct, and coming very close to doing the same to model rocketry and radio-controlled model aircraft.  (That last one's a particular irony -- the UAV has revolutionized how war is fought, and it was independently invented several times by defense-contractor and servicemen-type geeks who started by sticking a camera, a GPS module, and eventually a microcontroller and some servos onto model airplanes.  Exactly the sort of hobbyist experimentation being discouraged by overly-broad and paranoid laws!)

I remember my chemistry set -- I was born long after the times when you could get metallic sodium, just to watch it catch fire when tossed into water, but you could still do some interesting things, especially if you had a teacher who was willing to supply a small quantity of the occasional reagent in exchange for a look at the planned experiment and a verbal report next Monday.  I'm grateful for the statute of limitations, because damn near every chemist born before 1980 would probably be guilty of something.  I never went into chemistry past early college, but I'd still have trouble living in Texas, because I own an Erlenmeyer flask from my school days -- and since I owned it before the law demanded that I register it, I'd have no way to prove, under Texas law, that I came by it lawfully.

An elegant rant: When chemistry is outlawed, only outlaws will perform chemistry.

A more serious article: Don't Try This At Home.

I'm not the only one who's annoyed at the loss of The Chemistry Set Generation.  11 Nobel Laureates got their start the same way.

Obligatory Retro Content:  Kids of a certain age will remember the Golden Books.  In the 1960s, there was one for Chemistry, and it's a fantastic example of kids' textbooks during the Sputnik generation.  The Russians launched Sputnik in 1959, and America was gripped in a hysteria that it had to educate a generation of engineers to compete with the Soviets in technology.  The book (out of copyright, back before copyright was perpetual, so it fell into the public domain and a PDF is available at the link) starts with an introduction to the uses and history of chemistry, covers basic lab safety, and the experiments range from the simple demonstration of how a candle flame works, to the (pretty unsafe even by 60s standards, that's one I would have second thoughts about doing even as an adult!) synthesis of chlorine gas, (safe and easy) doing your own copper-plating, (it's almost implied that the reader should be able to figure out how to make silver bromde by this point, just don't tell Mom why some of the good silverware's missing, hey you did her a favor by removing the tarnish off it in one of the other experiments) making your own photographic film, to the synthesis of ethanol (!) from the fermentation of sugar (!!) and its distillation (!!!), to the educational transformation of fat and lye into soap, and the (fascinating) synthesis of rayon and an explanation of the chemistry behind plastics.  Coolest thing is that some of the things made in the early experiments could be used in subsequent ones.  A kid could go from zero knowledge about the subject to materials within 30 years of the state of the art, all in one book.

If you do nothing else, skip straight to the end of the book and look at the captions by the kids: "Chemistry as a hobby will give you many hours of enjoyment" / "Chemistry as a science trains your reasoning and observation", and the two kids, grown up, working in a real lab: "Chemistry as a life-work enables you to contribute to the welfare of mankind."  Contrast to the modern attitude of "All chemicals are toxins!" and "the only people who would own glassware or pH paper are druggies or terrists!" and you'll see why I spent so long on this rant. 

But back on topic, the Crotchbomber's the sort of critter that these laws were designed to catch, and it's good that he's getting hit with everything they can throw at him.  Unfortunately, history shows that if you make a law that can be abused, it will be abused.

Subject: Re: From Nigeria With Fail

Written By: Marian on 01/16/10 at 1:53 pm


As I understand it he has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  Is this a try-on so that he will more likely be convicted on one of the lesser counts?
There was probably a mass destruction of his sperm. :o

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