no longer posting at this blog

I do not have time to continue this blog.  I was about to delete it but if I do it will wipe out the URL forever.  If anyone is interested in taking this blog over – adopting this URL name, please contact me at november41869 at yahoo dot com and I’ll give you instructions on how I can transfer this blog to your WordPress ID.

thanks

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Some airports may fire TSA

As reported by Harriet Baskas, some airports may revert to private security guards to secure airports.  When the TSA was established, airports were allowed to opt out of TSA control of security.  Five airports opted out of the TSA system including San Francisco, Kansas City, Rochester International, Jackson Hole and Tupelo Regional.  Baskas reports that Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Charlotte N.C. are considering dumping the TSA in favor of private security guards.

Some airport managers are fed up with the TSA and are looking for change, “The TSA has grown too big and we’re unhappy with the way it’s doing things,” said Larry Dale, president of Orlando Sanford International Airport. “My board is sold on the fact that the free enterprise system works well and that we should go with a private company we can hold directly accountable for security and customer satisfaction.”

Public outcry has fueled the controversy that has spread to lawmakers.  Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), recently named chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has encouraged the nation’s 200 biggest airports to opt out, calling TSA a “bloated, poorly focused and top-heavy bureaucracy.”

But even if airports opt out of TSA control of security, the TSA still sets standards for searches.  The virtual strip search scanner machines and genital touching groping would still be required of the private contractor.  However, the attitudes of security agents may be better if they work for a company that has a vested interest in keeping the public happy during searches.  Much of the criticism of the TSA has been following the actions of rude TSA officers.

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TSA to answer to Congress

Finally!  Some common sense!  After a Sacramento pilot embarrassed the TSA by showing holes in its security plan, Representative Chaffetz (R-Utah) has called the TSA to answer questions regarding security saying, “We’re spending millions of dollars on technology, but we’re not doing the basics.”  Chaffetz, who will chair the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations also said, “We’ve got to be doing the basics to secure the airlines.”

It is most likely that he is only saying this because of the massive publicity that was generated when a Sacramento pilot, now identified as Chris Liu released embarrassing videos that he recorded on his cellular phone camera.  He shows how pilots and aircrews are screened but maintenance workers and baggage handlers merely swipe a card to gain access to aircraft.

Any terrorist with a gun could knock our or kill a baggage handler, take his card and put a bomb on an airplane.  That Liu pointed out this obvious hole in security, he was punished by the Federal Government with the revocation of his deputization, his firearms permit and they even confiscated his gun!

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Pilot punished for exposing TSA

You may have already heard about this story as it has been all over the news for the last few days.  What I find most important about this story is not that the pilot exposed the weaknesses in the TSA and FAA’s security – a 9-year-old with average intelligence could have figured all of that out.  What is most disturbing about this case is how the TSA and Federal Government have handled the issue.

I like the CEO’s take on the TSA in this video, “You have to do what we tell you,” and “we know better than you.”

Rather than take the embarrassment and fix the problem, the Federal Government instead retaliated against the pilot by stripping him of his right to carry a firearm as a Pilot Marshal and then relieved him of his state issued weapon permit.  That the Federal Government would act in such a capricious manner should be upsetting to us all.  Is this Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany where dissent is not tolerated?  When you speak out about injustice, unfairness or Government waste, abuse or negligence, you should not fear retaliation from your government.

I am quite surprised that more political leaders have not called for an investigation into this matter.

The latest reports indicate that Federal Agents have raided the home of the Sacramento pilot.  I cannot believe that in this day police can raid your house because you spoke out about government ineptness.  But then again, in a 2 to 1 margin, most of you believe that x-ray virtual strip searches are warranted even though it has been proven that the machines don’t work.  Year by year we are being conditioned to accept any manner of civil violation so long as it is in the name of “security.”  It’s a bunch of hogwash: security and civil rights violations are not synonymous.

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rape victim arrested by TSA

According to TSA guidlines any passenger who fails a metal detector test will be sent through the back-scatter x-ray machine.  This is the virtual strip search machine that can look right through your clothes and see your genitalia.  If you opt out of the x-ray strip search you will be subjected to a very thorough “pat-down” search that can includes the touching of women’s breats, men and women’s buttocks and genitalia.  TSA officers can even reach inside your underwear and touch your most private of parts.

 

When a computer malfunction caused the lines at the airport to back up and many missed their flights.  Claire Hirschkind, age 56 was one of the first to the security checkpoint.  She said that she could not go through the backscatter machine becasue she wears a pace maker.  TSA officials told her that she would have to get a “pat down” and she agreed so long as her breasts were not touched.  TSA officers said that they would touch her breasts and when Hirschkind refused to comply she was arrested.  She says that the police pushed her to the ground, handcuffed her and then dragged her across the airport ground while she cried.

This seems to be against TSA policy of banning you from the airport and subjecting you to a civil penalty (a fine).

According to KVUE news, “An ABIA spokesman says it is TSA policy that anyone activating a security alarm has two options.  One is to opt out and not fly, and the other option is to subject themselves to an enhanced pat down.  Hirschkind refused both and was arrested.”

Hirschkind refused the “enhanced” pat-down because she says that she is a rape survivor and it is too traumatic for her.

I can only imagine what our society has come to that we will allow security guards to feel our genitals or else look at us naked even though these same guards can’t catch 90% of guns and bomb parts in the baggage x-ray machine.

Remember, when you give the government power over some part of your life, you’ll never give it back.  We have become so frightened by the spectre of terrorism that we are willing to allow our civil rights be violated.  I’m all for safety but if the technology doesn’t work, why do it?  This TSA madness isn’t about safety, its about government control.

Why do you think that the TSA makes the pat-downs so uncomfortable?  In this way, like cattle, the American people will herd themselves into these x-ray machines and in no time we will find them everywhere.  At what point does our civil liberty end and the government’s power begin?  We are the government; think about that before you give away your freedom.

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the 12 days of Christmas

I saw this online today and, while it is a bit funny, look past the humor and ask yourself how much of it is humor and how much is reality?

Written by Laurence M. Vance:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the government gave to me…
Twelve black ops missions.
Eleven secret prisons.
Ten extraordinary renditions.
Nine CIA agents a torturing.
Eight TSA goons a groping.
Seven regulators a regulating.
Six warrantless searches.
Five government czars.
Four spy cameras.
A $3 trillion budget.
A bill for two foreign wars.
And a September 11th security fee.

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TSA drops the ball again

Government intrusion works like taxes: any time a new tax is added, the government begins spending that money and then will never want to lower taxes or else it will have to cut its budget.  And once you give the government some control over this or that, they don’t want to give it up.  Perhaps this is why I find it alarming that people approve of the TSA naked body scanners in a 2 to 1 ration.  I guess most of you feel safer even though you have to give up some of your personal security.

But what if you found out that you were not gaining any security with these invasive naked body scanners and intrusive searches wherein TSA agents “feel you up?”  The Federal Government’s motivation for using these scanners has more to do with politics and influence than safety and research shows that the scanners are not even effective at stopping bombs.

But what is even worse is that while the TSA is spending so much of its time and energy looking at everyone’s genitalia, there are huge gaps in security.  Recently, a young man climbed a fence and gained access to a parked plane, Ph.D. researches have found the scanners don’t work and now it is revealed that TSA agents miss bombs and guns on 20 out of 22 x-ray screenings

ABC news reports that an Iranian-American business man recently boarded a flight in houston with a loaded Glock handgun.  He forgot to remove it from his bag and the TSA x-ray operators didn’t even see it.  How do you miss a Glock handgun?  It is a full sized weaon that weights over 2 pounds!

Think about that, this means that while they’re staring at your bits and pieces, the bomb in the suitcase is sliding right past the TSA agent at the x-ray machine.

The ABC report also says:

Experts tell ABC News that every year since the September 11 terror attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert “red team tests,” where undercover agents try to see just how much they can get past security checks at major U.S. airports. And while the Department of Homeland Security closely guards the results as classified, those that have leaked in media reports have been shocking.

According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles’s LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago’s O’Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.

Meanwhile, TSA agents are harassing our returning war heroes and elderly war veterans.  Am I the only one who thinks that we spending our energy and attention looking at the wrong things?  Why on earth would you stare at someone’s groin as a bomb passes by in the suitcase?

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