In an effort to protect New Year’s Eve revelers, New York City has equipped their security forces with radiological detectors loaned by the U.S. Customs Service.

The radiological detectors are small hand-held objects that will find gamma ray and X-ray radiation to foil any nuclear detonation planned by any of the 1 million visitors expected to show up on that night. Kind of like a Star Trek tricorder but a little more primitive. To protect revelers from run-of-the-mill biological or chemical weaponry, stationery detectors will be placed throughout the area.

As a high tech society, virtually every anti-terrorism proposal made since September 11th has been from the realm of high tech. Nobody seems to remember that the people that use terrorism as a political tool are a low-tech kind of people.

Think box cutters. Think sarin gas. Think rat poison. Think of every possible dangerous action that technology cannot solve. That is what the terrorists will use.

Never mind the logistical problems of what to do about a nuclear weapon when you find someone with their finger on a bright red button. Never mind that the United States made a massive push towards practical biochem detectors shortly before the Persian Gulf war in 1991 with complete and utter failure as results. Never mind that massive chaos will ensue if people start dropping from sarin gas regardless of its detection status.

The politicians know that their actions are worthless. They also know that you probably don’t know that their actions are worthless and it makes good politics to say stuff like “We have radiological and biochem detectors.”

It’s good for the economy if nothing else.

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