The beginning is here!

December 31, 2009

Ok, here’s what should happen in a “perfect” world. In order to fly domestically in the U.S., you are required to submit to a background check, not unlike what the military performs on personnel who are seeking a Secret clearance. This might cost, oh, let’s say $500.00, and would be good for 10 years. Maybe there could be a minimum age, 14 for example. So, yes parents would have to pay for their teenage children too. But think about it, most people who fly are financially fit enough to afford to fly in the first place, so swinging another 5 Benjamins per person should be reasonable. And if you can’t afford it, tough. Amtrak or Greyhound will be happy to accomodate you. And think about it, this would create hundreds of jobs, those doing the background checks. Now flying internationally, I don’t have the solution for that yet. For now, you’re on your own there. Convincing some country like Nigeria that they need to require background checks for their citizens would probably be a futile cause. However, any Nigerian citizen that wanted to fly domestically in the U.S. would have to recieve a background check to board a U.S. owned aircraft in the U.S. Now, how about a British Airways aircraft at JFK? I don’t know. Who has the jurisdiction? This would be a job for the lawyers. And how would a U.S. agency do a background check on a Nigerian cititzen? This agency would have to have access to the FBI and CIA’s intelligence banks, and work in concert with these agencies. Yes, initially, as everyone scrambled to get this background check, it would be overwhelming. The gov’t would have to set up a tiered plan to institute this. For instance, if your SSN eneded in 1, you’ll need the check by Aug 1, 2010 to fly. If your SSN ends in 2, you’ll need the check by Jan 1, 2011, etc.. Te agency would give priority to all the applicants whose SSN ended in 1, and ensure they’re completed by the deadline. If they finish early, they could begin working on the 2’s. The agency would need to ensure they allow a realistic time frame to complete these checks. I would imagine that after the program was up and running, and the bugs were worked out, they could complete a check in a matter of hours. If may entail running a name through data bases, police records, maybe even some sort of phone interview with a character reference. Once the background check was complete, the individual would recieve a gov’t issued “pass” that must be presented to security at the airport to board the aircraft. Passing through the metal detector and all the usual screening would still be in place. Now, what would this do to the airlines? Probably devestate some. There would likely be mergers, buyouts, and some would just go away. Ridership would drop no doubt. There would be job losses, no doubt. Maybe the background check would only have to cost $200. I just threw out a completely arbitrary number of $500. The cheaper it was, the less of an impact it would have on the airlines. The bottom line is, at least on domestic flights, you could reasonable assured that there were no radical muslims on board. I know I would feel much more comfortable on board an aircraft that was filled with only people that had been vetted. Bleeding Hearts will whine that this will disenfranchise many because of the cost. Again, if they can’t afford this, they likely can’t afford to fly. Plus, flying is a privledge, not a right. We don’t scream that every poor person is entitled to a 56″ HD TV in their living room, so why are they entitled to fly? Just another motivator to better yourself and get out of poverty I suppose. So, that’s my initial blog post. Cleared to land.

Hello world!

December 31, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!