security, and other laughing matters
from Ilyka:
Do you know why security in this country is a farce and a joke? Do you know why we could seal the borders tomorrow and people who wanted to get into the U.S. would still be able to? Because some friendly, good-natured, gullible jackass can always be counted on to let them in.

Having some experience as a "Professional Security Officer" (Christ, how those words make me cringe), I can fairly accurately verify that she is exactly right on this.

First, there's the security itself. Most folks working security are...well, they're generally good people. Honest people. But security dosen't pay well and offers zero adavancement, so they generally don't attract the highest quality candidate. The upside is that, given proper training and managment, security isn't a terribly difficult job. Just follow the rules. If the rules are structured so that they make it clear what is and isn't allowed, baseline officers usually do this job pretty well. Much to everyone's annoyance, of course.

The first breakdown is management. If the guards are poorly trained or poorly educated, it isn't their fault, it's whoever is in charge's fault. In the army, the saying is that "A soldier is only as good as their leadership", which isn't true in all situations, but is in an awful lot of them.

The next, and one of the biggest, breakdowns comes from the people who security is suppossed to be protecting.

As an example: I used to work security at a R&D facility for a large tech-industry corporation. Security there was wicked, and generally on the ball. Lots of high-tech, expensive equipment, a very smart staff and capable management. But if an employee wanted to flout these rules, all he needed was one phone call.

Unfortuantly, it happened fairly often; and not just with stupid rules. This was place where you couldn't be hired to mop the bathrooms if you had had a misdemeanor charge ten years ago. But if Mr. Hussein, an employee, wanted Mr. Bin Laden to have free access to the building, then hey, he got it.

Much to the disgust of the security staff, but after all, we just follow rules. Alot of the rules are stupid, but we enforce them anyway. Until an employee wants an unscreened foreign student to have full access to the building; then all those rules don't matter.

That is what Ilyka is talking about. Most Americans, really, still think security rules are stupid and an interferance. They don't want to be hassled coming into an office building, or when getting on an airplane, or coming back from vacation in Mexico, or when trying to get into a supposedly secure apartment complex. And because the general perception is that these rules are stupid and useless (Because hey, what could happen?), they have no problem violating them. Even ranking officials fall victim to it; rather than having someone be inconvinenced, they bend the rules.

There was alot of things about the army I didn't like, but at least there rules were rules. If you don't meet the criteria to come on base, then hey, guess what: fuck off. Dosen't matter who you are or who you call, the security personnel have the absolute perrogative to kick your ass out.

Dosen't work that way in the civilian sector. In everything from immigration to corporate security, people bend and break whatever minimal rules have been set on a daily basis. Maybe someday that will change, but it will take a large-scale and personal (read: one that affects you directly) crisis to make that happen. And, of course, by that time, it's too late anyway.


howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: