How to Shorten Your TSA Rub Down

 Constitution, Crime, Featured, Politics, Society, Technology  Comments Off on How to Shorten Your TSA Rub Down
Nov 202010
 

The man making money off machines which are supposed to keep you safe.

Finally people seem to be waking to the craziness of the TSA’s “security theater” at the airport gates, just not before Micheal Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security, got to sock away a nice retirement package from selling us taxpayers the bogus x-ray machines.

As a frequent flyer, I’ve given some thought to this whole security issue. Let’s take a brief walk back into time. Airplane hijackings used to be almost common. It seemed easy to sneak a gun/s or explosive device on a plane. Passengers knew their best way to survive was to sit quietly, endure a day or two in Cuba and try to avoid attracting attention to oneself. We implemented some common sense security to detect and eliminate the ability to easily get guns and bombs on-board planes in the passenger compartment. Then 9/11 happened, and things on the plane itself changed a lot. Passengers were no longer going to sit quietly, and cockpit doors were finally hardened and locked for the flight. This will pretty much end another 9/11 style attack.

But notice I didn’t bring up anything about the changes that have resulted at the security gates as having an impact on eliminating 9/11 style attacks. Frankly, that really changes nothing. We had the shoe-bomber, so now we take off our shoes, then we had the claim of the chemistry set bomb, so now we have the ridiculous 3 oz and a baggy requirement. I would note here that most experts say it would be near impossible to get the right chemicals in the right quantities mixed in the right way to take down a plane while on the plane. Yet still we suffer on. Then along came the underwear bomber, so now we’re basically asked to strip for our porno scan x-ray.

Now how many of you believe the terrorists are going to try another shoe bomb or underwear bomb on a plane? Of course not, they’ll find something else. Most recently they did the toner cartridge trick, and made some progress. But here’s what interests me, it was right after that TSA implemented stricter rub-down procedures, but they still are checking only about 20% of cargo. No changes there. What kind of clown car do they ride to work in? They just keep reacting, always a day behind the newest threat, and put no emphasis on where the real threats arise, or how to get ahead.

Oh, but don’t forget, the TSA gate agents recently got “real badges.” The claim for this expenditure of our tax dollars was so they would enjoy more respect. Well, I’ve got a clue for the TSA managers. The best way to get to respect is to extend respect. I was on my way to D.C. Monday morning and had just stepped up to the security person in the main terminal to show my ID and boarding pass. Some plain clothes TSA Agent literally elbowed himself in front of me flashing his credentials to the security person. We rode out to the concourse on the same tram, and when he got there, all he did was stand around looking. So there was clearly no emergency. Think I have a lot of respect for him, and it unfortunately further lowers my respect for the other agents of that group. So really guys, get a clue. Try extending a little courtesy and respect, and you might get some back. Having a tin badge ain’t gonna cut it.

All that said, what’s this about my new found way to get more quickly through a TSA Rub Down? Coming into the security gates at Dulles, I see Chertoff has lots of his x-ray machines sold to them, so everyone was expected to go through them. I said, “No, sorry, not going through an x-ray machine. You can do the pat down.” So of course the guy gets on his radio and says he has a “non-compliant.” They send an older big guy over, the supervisor, obviously for some kind of intimidation factor. I waited until he got there and explained I was not “non-compliant,” that it was my understanding everyone had a choice of getting an x-ray by an uncertified x-ray technician, or get a pat down, and that I had clearly said they could do a pat down.

Well, the supervisor leads me over to pickup my stuff, and has some younger guy come out to do the rub down. The supervisor stands by scowling with arms crossed, again clearly going for the intimidation factor. The agent goes through  his little spiel about how he’s going to be touching me, and then starts the rub-down, at each point telling me what he’s going to touch next. Finally, very matter of factly, I just said, “Dude, just do whatever it is you have to do. As a gay man, I have no problem having another guy feel me up.”

The pale creamy complexion of the old guy went from bright red to nearly purple in seconds. I thought he was going to have a stroke right there, and amazingly, I got a very quick pat down, and was sent on my way.

Mukasey Says They Knew About 9-11 Call

 General  Comments Off on Mukasey Says They Knew About 9-11 Call
Apr 012008
 

Speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last week, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said one of the dumbest things ever to come out of this scandal ridden Administration. He was making a speech trying to stir up support for the FISA bill with telecom immunity, where he basically claimed that U.S. Intelligence apparently knew a call came from Afghanistan safe-house to a phone in the U.S.

Before 9/11, Mr. Mukasey said, “We knew that there had been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went. We’ve got” – here the Attorney General paused with emotion – “we’ve got 3,000 people who went to work that day, and didn’t come home, to show for that.”

Keith Olberman called him out on the statement:

The government knew about some phone call from a safe house in Afghanistan into the US about 9/11, before 9/11, and even though it had the same FISA courts and the same right to act against international targets in 2001 as it does now, you didn’t do anything about it? Well, this would seem to leave only two options. Either the Attorney General just admitted that the government for which he works is guilty of malfeasant complicity in the 9/11 attacks or he’s lying. I’m betting on lying. If not, somebody in Congress better put that man under oath right quick.

You could send him to Gitmo, I suppose.

How about a little Congressional oversight here.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

Sep 112007
 

I suppose no blogger can let 9/11 pass without a post reflecting on what it all means. Unfortunately, the Bu$hCo Administration has done everything they can to tie the events of this day to Iraq. They have gone so far as to ensure that the Petraeus report is delivered to Congress so as to coincide with the observance of this anniversary.

The attacks of 9/11 were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, and ever since, Bu$h has been using the mantra to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and ensure continued support of his war. He and Dick have incessantly linked the words “al-Qaida” and “Iraq.” In a  recent speech about Iraq, Bush mentioned al-Qaida 95 times. No matter that the insurgents in Iraq are not the same group that attacked the U.S.

We all knew what Petraeus was going to say before he said it. He was going to spend most of his time talking about how great things are in Anbar…again, never mind things were getting better there long before the “surge” started. We need also to remember that progress has been made there only by striking another “deal with the devil,” Saddam’s Fedayeen. Bush arrogantly attempts to play the alpha dog Commander and Chief with his, “we’re kicking ass,” comment.

 Everyone in America who gets any outside input beyond Faux News knows the real situation on the ground in Iraq. Read some of the blogs of the soldiers that are there. So just forget the absurd debate about progress. The questions to be asked are much more basic–Why can’t we bring ourselves to end the debacle, and why did we invade Iraq in the first place?

Congress cannot bring themselves to end the Iraq war because they haven’t yet grown the backbone to question the basic assumptions on which Bu$h’s “War On Terror” is based. To this Administration, 9/11 justifies everything and ends all arguments. As Gary Kamiya wrote at Salon.com:

Bush’s reaction to 9/11 was to declare a “war on terror,” of which the Iraq adventure was said to be the “front line.” The American establishment signed off on this war because of 9/11. To oppose Bush’s “war on terror” was to risk another terror attack and dishonor our dead. The establishment has now turned against the Iraq front, but it has not questioned the “war on terror” itself, or the assumptions on which it is based.

We chose this go-it-alone vigilantism over reason and justice. We responded from our biological instincts –“fight or flight” – we were hit, so we had to hit back. We responded like a drunk in a bar fight, and combined with our preconceived notions about the Arab/Muslim world, we ran up against our prejudices. The problem is we allowed Bu$hCo to convince us that instead of taking vengeance on the people that attacked us, we should attack the guy standing on the corner watching. It’s a male thing. On the school yard its called “bullying,” and for conservatives it appears to be a necessary reaction. Hence their bully-ish name calling of war critics as “wimps, girly-men and appeasers.”          Continue reading »

Can't Have Controversial Topics Discussed at College

 Culture, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Can't Have Controversial Topics Discussed at College
Aug 182006
 

It appears that a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in under fire for his beliefs that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. Government.

According to a report at the Christian Science Monitor:

According to Kevin Barrett, the US government planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center imploded due to explosives set up ahead of time in the buildings, Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone’s plane crash was no accident, and Osama bin Laden has probably been dead since 2001.

Wisconsin State Legislator Steve Nass has his panties all in a wad. I mean little Johnnie can’t be exposed to any ideas other than those put forward by Dick Cheney. I mean we all know he’s never told a lie.

“I have no problem with discussion on unpopular ideas in the classroom, but substantiate what you’re talking about,” Representative Nass says. “This isn’t academic freedom. This person can’t substantiate his views.”

So scared little intellectually challenged Stevie is threatening to cut off funding unless the University fires the guy. What a bunch of crap. Steve, in?case you hadn’t noticed, 42% of Americans don’t believe we’ve been told the truth about what happened that day.?At least the University is sticking by Mr. Barrett. Let’s hope they don’t cave to the pressure. The last thing we need are state legislator’s mandating college course content. Now that’ll doom this country for sure.

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