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Chickens and guinea pigs menace civil liberties

Or was that the EU?

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Letters We'll start with the paranoid and then roll out the black helicopters. How does that sound?

First, the EU opened a consultation on whether or not surveillance technology is intruding on our lives, or infringing our civil liberties. The balance of your responses can be summed up with this letter:

'The EC, however, said its surveillance consultation would consider civil liberties. Surveillance and "detection technologies" were "inherently intrusive", said the EC statement.

"Their use needs to be carefully analysed, in order to establish limitations to their intrusiveness where necessary," it added.'

I believe what they mean by that is that the EC's surveillance consultation would consider civil liberties to be a bloody nusiance which should not be allowed to stand in the way of massive profits by the surveillance companies, and the "necessary limitations" should be summarised as "no surveillance of government ministers nor industry moguls."

Machievelli was an optimist and a philanthrope. His failure to ascribe to malice what could be adequately explained by incompetence is what has stood between Mankind and the wholesale slaughter of malicious, greedy, corrupt and self-serving politicians (which, IMHO, would be a wonderful thing).

The only people fit for public office are those who whole-heartedly hate the concept of holding public office.

Morely

Indeed. And for those who think we are belittling Morely's remarks by calling him paranoid. For shame. Everybody knows that being paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you.


That's enough paranoia, let's open the hangar doors. My goodness but there are a lot of you with nothing better to do than idly plot the downfall of society. Or possibly the idea of gel-filled bras was just too inspiring. Either way, you'll have to settle in. We couldn't resist these:

I just read your article about how terrorists could take down airliners using gel-filled bras, and it's encouraged me to come forward with a couple of ideas of my own.

Initially, after reading in the newspapers about the potential threat of combining two liquids, and after having seen Die Hard 3, I think it was, I realised a perfectly straightforward method of carrying out such a mission.

In one's average stomach, one has a substantial amount of hydrochloric acid. All you need to do is swallow two sealed plastic bags, each containing the magical juice, check in, board the plane, and wait for the hydrochloric acid to eat through the bags. You could even set up a form of timer system, by analysing how long it would take for the acid to burn through the plastic, and changing the thickness of the plastic, so you've got plenty of time for the bags to dissolve. You don't want to be exploding as you're boarding, because obviously, this would be frightfully embarassing. However, there's a good chance that this binary liquid chemical bomb idea is just a scary myth, and you'd need to carefully combine the chemicals in order to make a decent explosion, so....

Why not just swallow a couple of condoms, containing everything you need? Again, if you time it right, you'll be able to poop/spew them out in the plane's bathroom, and there's no chance in hell you'll be detected. Sniffer dogs won't smell the chemicals, so short of forcing every passenger to have a colonic, regardless of the other precautions they take, airlines are leaving passengers wide open to this rather blatant security hole.

Also, I was thinking, 'how would one go about assassinating the President?' and I thought about how, when I was last in the US, I was walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, I think it was, and suddenly, within the space of about three minutes, the entire road had been emptied. It turned out W was en route from the White House to congress. Two black tinted limos drive past, in order to confuse any potential terrorists, into not knowing which car the President was in.

So if you take some ricin or other explosive, stick it in a coke can, and attach a remote detonator, maybe make four of these, and get four of your people to place them in the road as they see it being cleared, all you have to do is wait for the entourage to drive past, and boom, you can take out both cars. Unless of course, the President's men are willing to pick up garbage from every road the President drives down.

Same goes for the white lines on the roads. Make a white-coloured touch-explosive, attach some discreet pouring mechanism to the underside of your car, and suddenly, Pennsylvania Avenue becomes a gauntlet of potential death for the President.

Could you possibly not publish my name or email address? I'm obviously never going to do any of this shit, but the powers that be don't know that. If you use any of this, and give any credit, could you give it to 'Tri'? Thanks.

Tri


So, the US's Transport Security Administration list permits people to carry "Liquid prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket".

I can't see any way the terrorists could exploit that one. Not with the massive level of security Pharmacists employ in making sure their labels can't be forged. It's not like a terrorist could pick up any old bottle and simply print their own label with whatever name they liked, could they.

Let's hope the US TSA aren't the only people looking out for us.

Doug


What? Nothing about breast implants? Can one imagine the destructive capacity of a Boeing full of Hollywood stars?

Bert


Having travelled by airplane only once since 911 I came to the astonishing realizaition (fueled by a few beers & ramblings with my paranoid brothers) that the best way for a terrorist to take out a LOT of people & infrastructure is NO LONGER with a plane, but in that 5000 person snaking-all-over-the-place security line in the AIRPORT itself!

Think about it-- no one checks for explosives BEFORE this point, no need to learn to fly, and once in the middle of the line, you could take out people & building at the same time.

Now i CATAGORICALLY deny I would ever DO such a thing, or even contemplate it. (Especially from here in Alaska)

There you have it, and I cannot believe I am the ONLY person to have thought of this...

John


"Jihadists could pack a standard tube with enough ricin to kill around four million guinea pigs....equivalent of a six-foot-deep layer of dead guinea pigs covering an area the size of three football pitches. It's a chilling thought."

That's preposterous, according to my rough calculations.

Even assuming the guinea pigs are on the large size (1kg for males) and of the same density as humans (1167 kg/m3), 4 million pigs would take up a volume of only about 3400m3.

Assuming average international soccer pitch dimensions of 105mx70m, that's 22000m2 for 3 pitches.

So the guinea pigs would only form a layer about 15cm deep over this area, assuming perfect packing. To achieve a layer six feet deep, they would have to be performing some kind of "rigor mortis-enhanced guinea pig matrix of death".

Besides, guinea pigs don't play football.

John


Regarding liquids not permitted on planes: I wish to alert your readers to the possibility of being "set up" by prankster family members when visiting the western Canadian provinces. Should one of your family members "helpfully" pack a bottle of 'Northern Comfort' - maple syrup packaged in a humorous 'Southern Comfort' parody bottle - in your carry on luggage without telling you, you will be stopped and harrangued by any x-ray machine armed Canadian who checks the bags for two important reasons.

1) No-one east of Alberta "gets" the "joke"

2) The maple syrup used to perpetrate this prank is opaque to X-rays.

On the other hand, if one were wishing to conceal the details of one's checked baggage from unwarranted X-ray eyeballing, I can't think of a better way then slathering two or three thick coats of this syrup on the inside of your luggage before packing.

Steve

And breathe out. Turn the page for more of your pearls of wisdom.

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