Re: TERRORISM: looking for solutions

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 20:44:36 MDT

Joe Dees wrote:
> >Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 21:26:39 -0700
> > Adrian Tymes <> Re: TERRORISM: looking for solutions extropians@extropy.orgReply-To:

> >H/W/G: some of the most effective martial artists I know are short,
> >light females. The difference? Combat training - which is what I'm
> >suggesting be supplied. (And attitude, granted, but the training can
> >teach them to control attitude as necessary.)
> >
> And you think that terrorists are not trained in martial arts in
> their camps? Muslims have embraced the martial arts no less than we
> have, and soliers are taught them the world over.

Professional soldiers, yes. But the more skills you pump into someone,
the more they are worth - to themselves and others - and the more they
have to lose by dying. Therefore, their abilities will likely not be
as highly developed as a professional guard who not only wishes to
live and save the lives of the many innocents nearby, but knows there
will likely be some earthly reward (maybe a raise, maybe a promotion,
maybe just job security) for victory.

> >BTW, the reason I suggest this instead of a specific Sky Marshal: the
> >stewards will normally be out and about, justifying their employment
> >and not dozing off, if terrorists attack.
> >
> (S)he just has to sit in the front row next to the cockpit access and
> be firable if observed snoozing, with a mirror cemented in the front
> bulkhead for rear visual access.

Take it from an unfortunately experienced one: there are plenty of ways
to slack off without being detected but which do reduce one's awareness
of what is going on, if one's official orders boil down to "sit there
and do nothing productive" most of the time (and are meant as such,
instead of "well, that's what we have to *officially* say, but...").
Sky Marshals would be vulnerable to temptation to such activities,
especially addictive ones, which would degrade their effectiveness.

> >Plus, arming the stewards
> >gaurantees you'll have more than one security officer; single-purpose
> >Sky Marshals would likely be reduced to just 1 for budget reasons (not to mention, wasting space on the 99+% of flights where they are not
> >needed).
> Considering the additionla training and requirements this would
> impose upon them, and the concommitant funds required to compensate
> them fairly, a couple of sky marshalls per plane would not be much
> more expensive, and perhaps cheaper.

Ah, and there's the concern. Whatever system is put into place *will*
be optimized for cost-effectiveness. If an entire person is completely
unuseful in the vast majority of flights, efforts will be made to
remove that person, or at least minimize the person's impact on the
profitability of the rest of the flight, without much regard for
effectiveness in the few cases where that person is needed. If, on
the other hand, security is an extra function of people who are useful
for other things, and can be added on such that even when this
particular function is cost-minimized (another reason for concealed
weapons: stewards which don't look like security officers can still be
customer-friendly, thus minimizing impact on the profit-enhancing
service aspect) it retains its effectiveness...

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