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Monday, August 28, 2006

Letter to TSA Regarding Banned Liquids

Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley
Transportation Security Administration

Dear Secretary Hawley,

I am writing concerning the banning of liquids and gels at all security checkpoints and aboard flights.

I am proposing an adjustment to the ban that would not compromise security. Continue to ban liquids at the checkpoints but allow beverages purchased in the boarding area aboard flights.

This would:

1. Continue to secure airplanes from potentially hazardous liquids.

2. Allow sales of beverages to continue from airport businesses.

3. Allow passengers the convenience of carrying beverages onto aircraft.

It is difficult to go many hours aboard an airplane with no other beverage than a small plastic cup, filled with ice, covered in a couple tablespoons of ginger ale. I get dehydrated easily and need to have at least a liter of water to consume aboard a 5 hour flight.

By allowing beverages purchased in the airport boarding area onto aircraft, the TSA can ensure the security of the contents of those containers without forcing passengers to go without adequate hydration.

Thank you for your time.
Yours Truly,


cc: Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary


Peo: What's wrong with my letter?

Reo: It's a good letter, clear and concise.

Peo: Why won't you sign it?

Reo: Because, the whole thing is a typical over-reaction by the government.

Peo: But this was a real threat...

Reo: Suppose it was. This just goes to show that the terrorists have won. Look, they cough, we jump.

Peo: And that's how it should be. We have to win every time.

Reo: Yes but banning all liquids? Come on... Dangerous substances can be in powder, solid, liquid, any form. Should we ban all carry-ons? How about just banning air travel? We are screening passengers, have air marshals, have no-fly lists, we don't need to ban every bottle of Evian. It's overkill. You just watch, the next scheme will involve Ipods. Then ALL electronic devices will be banned, including cell phones which the airlines have always wanted to keep off their planes. Flying is dangerous but a helluva lot safer than driving.

Peo: An effective way of staying one step ahead of the terrorists is to engage in activities that will act as a deterrant. By acting once we get information, we are showing the would-be killers that we can move quickly to prevent any scheme they can come up with. This will help keep their attempts smaller as they get more and more afraid of being caught. Smaller operations mean fewer deaths.

Reo: And scaring people? What good does that do?

Peo: Keeps them vigilant.

Reo: No, it keeps the government in power, not the people. If you look back at history, every time a government wants to grab more power, it uses fear. Keep the people scared so they will do what you say. Bush said last weekend that the new rules were for our own protection. When the government tells me this, THAT'S what scares me.

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