All Wet

Hey, I love Die Hard 3 as much as the next guy. But — unlike our Homeland Security department — I’m not stupid enough to think it’s an accurate depiction of reality.

Quick recap: Okay, so a bunch of wackos decide they’re gonna mix liquid explosives on board an aircraft to blow it up. They get caught. Everyone clamps down on bringing liquids onto planes, and pats themselves on the back for a job well done.

One small problem: It’s one hell of a lot tougher to mix a multi-component liquid explosive than anyone seems to grasp. Is it possible? Sure. But doing so with components that are stable enough to carry onto the plane in the first place? And don’t require laboratory conditions in which to mix the components?

The danger is effectively negligible.

But wait, Richard Reid nearly blew up a plane with his shoes right? And the guys they arrested in Britain were about to do the whole liquid-mixing thing, right?

Wrong on both counts. Reid’s shoes — even had he not been caught — wouldn’t have exploded. The explosive compound had decomposed. And the infamous liquid bombers pretty much just had an idea. Their ability to actually carry out their plan was effectively nonexistent. Their level of expertise was limited to seeing the aforementioned Die Hard 3 and going, “Man, that’s what we gotta do...”

So were you “protected” in any measurable way by the ban on liquids? Nope.

And it looks like they’re finally getting it, and relaxing the restrictions on liquids. Oh, they can’t completely abandon them — despite having no basis in reality. ’Cause that would be admitting they weren’t completely infallible.

And besides, Die Hard 4 just started shooting. And we don’t want anyone doubting the abilities of John McClane... er, Duh-bya... to save us from those nasty terrorists, now, do we?

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At 11:53 PM, acaben said...

Bill, my friend. You're getting your fundamentalist wackos with the last name of Reed mixed up.

Ralph is our homegrown Bible-thumping-wants-to-know-what-you're-doing-in your-bedroom-insanely-crazy christian-fundamentalist who wants to legislate his beliefs on me. Or, as I call him, an evil doer.

Richard was the crazy terrorist shoe-bomber who has a T-shirt that says "I tried to blow up this plane, but I couldn't even do that right" islamo-terrorist. Or as I call him, and evil doofus.

Of the two, I think Ralph's probably the scarier one. Since both would like nothing more than to use the most undemocratic methods available to force their beliefs on you, I can understand the confusion.

At 9:44 AM, Bill Coughlan said...

Ah, quite correct. Brain fart. In my haste to make sure I spelled his last name correctly (“Reid” versus “Reed”), I botched the first. And here I was just reading about him before I posted.

Not that I have any compunctions about slamming Ralphie boy, but there's certainly enough for me to do so based on his own actions.

I'll fix it as soon as I can get Blogger to f%#^ing work...


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