Everybody’s got a plan

For the longest time, and with boring predictability, every time conversation went into the need to make detailed plans, I would quote a phrase seen somewhere, and attributed there to von Clausewitz: “No battle plan ever survived the first encounter with the enemy”.

Recently I was asked about the source of the quote, and went looking for it. Picked up “On War”, and since I wanted to read it for a while now, also picked up “Moltke on Art of War”. Didn’t find the quote in “On War”, but here’s what I found in von Moltke’s writings:

“No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.”

So, with belated apologies to von Moltke the Elder, my quoting will have correct attribution now.

Mike Tyson said the same thing in a more concrete and laconic way: “Everybody’s got a game plan until you’re hit in the mouth.”

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Beyond your wildest dreams

Well, the TSA has reacted. And, as expected, instead of measures that really work, we have a show-off comedy act more likely to inconvenience travel to the point where it’s not practical, than to improve security more than by a tiny margin:

  • You can keep the underwear on, but you will be patted down – body, groin, upper legs. I wonder if TSA will accept volunteers to help check in the Swedish bikini team?
  • You can’t get up from your seat last hour of the flight … and for those who really have to go, I suppose since soiling ones trousers doesn’t  present a security risk, it’s not TSA’s problem.
  • Also during the last hour of flight: nothing in your lap – no laptop, book or blanket.  My recommendation on how to spend the hour – say a prayer for safe landing, and no lines in the airport restrooms. For the latter, you will need a miracle.

Note to self: do not try to guess how a government agency will react to a situation, the reality will always be stranger than anything you can come up with.

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Ladies and Gentlemen, take off your underwear please

Ever since one idiot set his shoes on fire, the rest of us have to pass through airport security barefoot.

Many experts, including Bruce Schneier, wrote that this is a knee-jerk measure that does little to nothing to improve security, and is mostly a PR thing to show that the administration “did something”. My first reaction back then was: what are they going to do when the next idiot hides a bomb in his underwear (or deeper)?

Now we have a chance to find out, many thanks to Tam for digging out this piece of news.

Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 6:24 am  Comments (1)