TSA Chronicles, Cream Cheese Edition

Alan Pisarski, a transportation scholar featured in our podcast about the disappearance of hitchhiking, writes in to say:

My niece was back home in Milwaukee visiting family and stocked up on bagels, lox, and cream cheese to take home to Kentucky (forget for our purposes the madness of thinking that Milwaukee has a clue about bagels etc. – she is right – at least they have heard of them in contrast to KY). Anyways, the wonderful folk at TSA said she could take the bagels on board and the lox, but the cream cheese was out! But being proud civil servants – an oxymoron if ever there was one -- they agreed that it would be okay, and she could bring it on board, if the cream cheese was spread on the bagels. Please write this down for future reference.

How Many Twittering Politicians Does It Take to Threaten National Security?

Just one, as we learned a few weeks ago in Congressional Quarterly, which reported that Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, regularly Twittered details of his congressional delegation’s visit to Iraq, details that were supposed to be kept secret. With Twittering politicians on the rise, should we be […]

Did Anti-Terror Enforcement Help Fuel the Financial Meltdown?

The Times (of London) recently reported that “The F.B.I. has been forced to transfer agents from its counter-terrorism divisions to work on Bernard Madoff‘s alleged $50 billion fraud scheme.” This might lead you to ask an obvious counter-question: Has the anti-terror enforcement since 9/11 in the U.S. helped fuel the financial meltdown? That is, has […]

Is Aviation Security Cost-Effective?

Since 9/11, the U.S. has spent $6 billion a year on aviation security to prevent a similar attack. The two most direct efforts to prevent airliner hijackings have been the hardening of cockpit doors and increased presence of air marshals on flights. These measures alone have cost the government and airlines $1 billion a year. […]

Here’s Why You Haven’t Been Reading Any Prisoners’ Tales From the Colorado ‘Supermax’ Prison

The U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado, widely known as the “Supermax” prison, houses many of the nation’s most notorious and violent criminals. But you probably haven’t read any interviews with any of those prisoners — including Sammy Gravano, John Walker Lindh, and Ramzi Yousef — in the last several years. Why not? According […]

Terrorism, Part III

Levitt on terrorism: The third and final (maybe) chapter

For $25 Million, No Way, But for $50 Million I’ll Think About It

At least for me, there are not too many questions that would lead me to respond, “For $25 million, no way, but for $50 million I’ll think about it.” Twenty-five million dollars is so much money that it’s hard to think about what you would do with it. It sure would be nice to have […]