TSA Checkpoint Screeners Concerned About High Cancer Rates

 Gadget, Technology  Comments Off on TSA Checkpoint Screeners Concerned About High Cancer Rates
Jul 122011

Well, I won’t say, “I told you so, but…” The New York Times is reporting on email exchanges between TSA employee representatives and Department of Homeland Security officals about concerns over increased cancer rates.

According to the article, airport screeners in Boston and Atlanta were concerned about growing numbers of co-workers ‘falling victim to various forms of cancer,’ which they suspected might be caused by radiation exposure from the machines. ”

The e-mails and other documents were obtained by the privacy center under the Freedom of Information Act as part of its own lawsuit against use of the scanners. Ginger McCall, the center’s open government counsel, said the documents also showed that the T.S.A. had denied employees’ requests for dosimeters, safety devices that measure radiation exposure. “There is still a need for independent safety testing of these devices and for greater transparency on the part of T.S.A.,” she added.

This comes as no surprise to me. These things are unleashing x-ray radiation in a wide open environment. They claim the does is too low to matter, but I’m not sure that DHS is qualified to make that call, nor am I sure any level is a good idea beyond what might be medically necessary. Field testing back in March showed they were giving off ten times the radiation expected, and TSA steps into the fray to proclaim it was all just a simple math error (by several technicians at different sites mind you).

If I go to the hospital or even the dentist’s office and get an x-ray, it can be performed only by a person with a certification. I’ve yet to find one single TSA goon with a radiological certification of any kind.

And if the dose is so low it doesn’t matter, then why wouldn’t the TSA prove it by allowing TSA people to wear dosimeters for a while, and just clear up this whole matter? I’ll tell you why, they don’t want you to know just how much radiation really is being emitted. I’ve seen leaked images where people waiting in line were showing up in the x-ray, and if it doesn’t go any deeper than the skin, why do people with joint replacements have to carry a card showing a medical x-ray of their joint…according to DHS the TSA machines should not be able to see anything that deep, but it apparently does.

I opt-out. They can have someone come over and feel me up if they want to, but until they start having people who are certified and wearing dosimeters running their x-ray machines, I’m not letting them x-ray me. I’ve found you actually get through the feel-up, rub down, pat down pretty quick. Once the person starts going through their little explanation about what all they will be feeling, rubbing, patting, I just tell him that as a gay man I’m used having other guys feel me up, so he should just go ahead and enjoy himself. They usually wrap it up pretty quick.

TSA Bumper Stickers

 Constitution, Featured, Politics, Travel  Comments Off on TSA Bumper Stickers
Dec 012010

Well, you knew it would be just a matter of time. I think I want one of each. My personal favorite, the one about the Freedom Pat. I can see some Congressman startting to use that to justify TSA.

Can’t See London, Can’t See France, Unless I see your Underpants

If We Did Our Job Any Better, We’d Have to Take You To Dinner First!

Don’t Worry, My Hands are Still Warm from the Last Guy

Wanna Fly? Drop Yours!

It’s Not a Grope. It’s a Freedom Pat.

We are now free to move about your pants.

We Handle More Packages Than UPS.

Weekly Weirdness for July 4th, 2008

 Congress, Crime, General, Places, Politics, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on Weekly Weirdness for July 4th, 2008
Jul 052008

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela Can Now Travel to the U.S. (From the BBC)
I didn’t know this, but apparently our illustrious Department of Homeland Stupidity classes Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. It seems DHS classed everyone ever in the African National Congress (ANC) a terrorist. Fortunately, Congress and the President passed special legislation that will allow him to visit the U.N. Headquarters in New York without a special waiver from the Secretary of State. I’m sure glad we got around to clearing that up.

Pot Grower Puts House on Market
TBO.com is reporting that Evarista Ruiz-Ortiz, 36, of 1741 W. Powhatan had 39 pot plants growing in her house. The article doesn’t say how the police found out, but she’d tapped directly into the overhead line for power, and had the house listed for sale. Maybe not he brightest person on the planet. But then again, times are tough, you gotta get gas money somehow.

Naked Man in Downtown Palmetto
There’s a report from the Sarasota Herald Tribune of a nake man run amok in downtown Palmetto. It appears he disrobed in front of some woman in a store while she was in the restroom (I didn’t quite understand that). The lady ran out and the store manager confronted the guy. Apparently, he calmly walked out of the store to the street, where the spectacle promptly caused a couple of traffice accidents. The most interesting part of the story is that the police drugs and alcohol didn’t appear to be involved.

May 092007

by Michael Hampton of Homeland Stupidity 

The Department of Homeland Security will move forward with plans to implement the REAL ID Act despite widespread opposition from citizens and state legislatures.

But DHS spokesman Russ Knocke said Tuesday that even the states which have already passed laws or resolutions against the act would eventually come around and implement the national identification standards, because the citizens who now oppose it would start demanding it.A recent poll found that most Americans support a national ID, but only if it doesn’t contain biometric data such as fingerprints or retinal scans.

A broad coalition of groups from all across the political spectrum had come together to urge citizens to tell DHS to shove REAL ID, which they did in spades. The department said it had received over 12,000 comments during the 60-day comment period on its draft regulations which ended yesterday, and that the comments were mixed.

Comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday were more negative. The chairman, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, complained that security rules were supposed to be “smart as well as tough,” and predicted that state motor vehicle departments would not be able to cope with the requirements, which include verifying all documents presented by applicants. Even renewals will require birth certificates or other proof of legal residence. And the change will impose billions of dollars in costs on states and localities, Mr. Leahy and others said.

Mr. Leahy, who is a sponsor of a bipartisan bill to repeal the rules before they take effect, asserts that the department cannot even safeguard the personal information of its own employees. (Recently the department acknowledged that it had released the names and Social Security numbers of thousands of employees, including undercover sky marshals.)

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has a clock on its Web page counting down the time until the law’s requirements take effect (368 days as of Tuesday), Washington and Montana have enacted laws pledging not to comply. In Idaho, the Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a budget specifying that expenditures for carrying out the law next year would be zero. Resolutions opposing the new licenses have been passed by one or both houses of the legislature, and in some cases signed by the governor, in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, North Dakota and Utah. – New York Times

States have until next May to begin to comply with the regulations, which of course haven’t been finalized yet, but they can file for an extension through December 31, 2009. Regardless, all driver licenses and ID cards must be compliant by May 10, 2013, according to the draft regulations.

The unmitigated gall of this bureaucrat. Not only does he say that states will come around and implement REAL ID, well, just listen to this guy.

“Understandably it’s going to create some burden in terms of cost for states,” he said. “But it’s righteous. And shame on us if we don’t take the steps now to address known vulnerabilities because the alternative is sitting back and hoping you get lucky.” – Washington Post

Righteous? The Third Reich was righteous, too. Or so said its leader.

DHS has previously said that the new system would not amount to a national ID (it will) and would not be an invasion of people’s privacy, (it will also) assertions that are absurd on their face and insulting to all Americans.

Of course, this isn’t really about terrorism at all, says the Wall Street Journal’s editors: “Real ID was always more about harassing Mexican illegals than stopping Islamic terrorists. . . . For unexplained reasons, immigration restrictionists are convinced that preventing illegal aliens from obtaining drivers licenses will result in fewer illegal aliens, rather than merely more unlicensed and uninsured motorists.”

That figures. “Illegal immigrants” come here to work, and DHS is determined to put them on the welfare rolls instead.

We need a national ID for this?