Airport Security: Anyone standing in an endless security line at the airport can at least take comfort in the fact that it´s keeping air travel safe. Right? Wrong. It turns out that the government-run TSA repeatedly fails to do its job properly. ABC News learned this week that undercover agents from Homeland Security were able to sneak weapons and other banned objects through TSA checkpoints most of the times they tried. The findings are classified, but when ABC asked its source whether the failure rate was 80%, the source said "you are in the ballpark." The news prompted Rep. Mike Rogers to
I design and teach hand embroidery for a living and one of the tools I use is a five inch long very sharply pointed steel “awl” called a “laying tool”. It could easily be a very nasty weapon. Returning home from a business trip to Dallas in July I discovered the laying tool in the bottom of my carry-on tote bag. I had forgotten to move it in my checked luggage after class. TSA missed it.
However, returning from a recent trip to Kansas City they did pull me out of line to dig through my tote because of a very suspicious and dangerous loaf of pumpkin bread. Idiots.
They´re Too Big To Fail now and if and when a terrorist event occurs the TSA will say, in effect, ´tough luck all our procedures were followed.´
The cost and longevity of this ever-expanding charade featuring make-work jobs is staggering. If a man walked into the queue wearing a dynamite vest they wouldn´t have the first clue as to what to do apart from calling the police thus obviating their entire reason for existing.
It´s an interesting political microcosm as TSAers who rarely travel for business or pleasure spend every day harassing those who do.
I have said for years and years that we should hire retired Military Vets. Yes, I know that it would eliminate jobs for all the inner city blacks, but they have proven to be less than desirable employees! That said, Hire those Vets who know how to show up for work, do their jobs because if they don´t they will get fired! No Unions! Vets want to work and they WILL find the weapons in Carry-on bags! They know how to be Polite and Professional. That would be a welcome change!
Government bureaucracies are always fairly incompetent. This is a historical fact, true in all societies, all times, all governments. Likely private firms could do better, as has been the case in every other field of endeavor, from hauling garbage to building highways.
The entire TSA has been largely kabuki theater since day one. People cannot do this job effectively. Staring at a nearly incomprehensible jumble of stuff in a carry on bag on an X-ray screen and trying to pick out something that might be a weapon. I am convinced that after 5 or 10 minutes they mentally tune out and are entirely ineffective. Much of the gadgetry is ineffective, has big blind spots, requires skilled operators, and TSA is not that.
An Israeli airport security agent was interviewed in the spring of 2002 (IIRC) on TV. The question was "What do you think of the American airport security system?" His anwer was classic.
"America doesn´t have an airport security system, it has a system for pissing off passengers." Yep, he nailed it.
He went on to discuss Israeli methods, entirely different concepts. They ask a few simple questions, and study the person, the answers, and single out "gut feel" folks for detailed searching and more questions. Of course, the people who do this are not the same kind of folks that TSA has.
And in the USA, being "fair" is way, way more important than stopping terrorism. So, we give that 80 yr old granny in a wheelchair or a six year old kid the same effort as the 23 year old swarthy middle eastern guy with a heavy accent and an angry demeanor. Gotta be fair.
Last time I got on a plane there were 3 or four smart looking people in the check-in waiting area. When we were called to board, we walked by two stewards/stewardesses and the captain,all were competent and alert. There´s our security.
Decades ago, in the fifties, sixties and into the seventies, a good family friend was a pilot for a major US airline. He laughed when he heard about the first "hijack to Cuba" event.
He had always carried a small .38 revolver in his flight bag, and was a good shot, too. Naval aviator just after WW2, not going to take any garbage from some lowlife. It was HIS aircraft, while he was the pilot and he would defend it and himself.
Today, they make it very nearly impossible for a pilot to be armed, intentionally. One training site, extremely remote, very difficult and time consuming to travel there, and ridiculous rules if you do manage to fight your way through their intentional barriers.
North Korea: President Trump says he´ll put Kim Jong Un´s hermit kingdom on the U.S.´ list of state sponsors of terrorism on Tuesday. The move, Trump said, "should have happened years ago." He couldn´t be more right. The move sends North Korea´s "murderous regime," as Trump calls it, an unambiguous signal: The U.S.´ tolerance of its escalating acts of aggression against its neighbors and the U.S. is at an end. The diplomatic game of patty-cake is over. The listing of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism isn´t a toothless act: It automatically triggers a host of sanctions, including "restrictions on
Scandal: Just as the FBI and Justice Department is telling Congress that they haven´t been able to verify anything of importance in the Trump/Russia collusion dossier, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has decided to cast a much wider net in his fishing expedition. Is this a coincidence? Or is it a sign that Mueller also realizes there´s no there there? Shortly after it came to light that the Clinton campaign and the DNC had secretly paid Fusion GPS to assemble the so-called Steele Dossier, which Fusion then tried to fob off on reporters before the election, the press dismissed this bombshell
Tax Reform: With an important political and economic victory on tax cuts tantalizingly close at hands, what is a Republican senator to do? If you´re Sen. Ron Johnson, you try to sabotage the effort for absolutely no good reason. In a statement released Wednesday, the Wisconsin senator complained that the bill wasn´t fair to small businesses that file taxes using the individual tax form — called pass-through businesses. "These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide
Regulation: Like so many bureaucracies, the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, began with the very best of intentions. But it has failed to do its job. Following the resignation of CFPB chief Richard Cordray, it´s a good time to consider shutting down the agency altogether. CFPB is often mischaracterized as a "consumer watchdog" in the mainstream media. Consumer attack dog is more like it. Set up to protect consumers from predatory lenders and rogue banks, the CFPB has in fact led to less credit for financially troubled Americans, and is arguably not even legal.
GQ magazine named former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its 2017 "Citizen of the Year." In doing so, GQ overlooked NFL Houston Texans´ J.J. Watt, who raised some $37 million for hurricane relief. Many of Kaepernick´s supporters liken his protest to that of boxer Muhammad Ali, who refused to be inducted into the military. The comparison is not well-taken. For whatever reason, Kaepernick chose not to give the magazine an interview, passing up an opportunity to clearly explain the purpose of his protest. At first, Kaepernick insisted his protest was about the alleged epidemic of police brutality against blacks. Shortly after he
Failed Economies: As Zimbabwe locked down following a military coup this week, Venezuela defaulted on its debt. On the surface, these events in these two countries — one African, the other South American — seem to have little in common. But, in fact, they share two very big things: Both are socialist, and both are failed states. Indeed, both nations are near collapse, suffering from hyperinflation, economic contraction and widespread hunger. What´s most alarming about this is that both countries have been, in the recent past, highly successful as capitalist economies. Today they are basket cases, Marxist-inspired dictatorships that were systematically
Health Care: Will Republicans even be able to repeal the most egregious failure in ObamaCare? We´re about to find out as the tax cut bill, which in the Senate will include repeal of ObamaCare´s individual mandate tax, moves forward. According to the Congressional Budget Office, eliminating the individual mandate will save more than $300 billion over the next decade, which is money Republicans can use to "pay for" other tax cuts. Critics argue this is just another attempt by the GOP to "gut" ObamaCare, which might be true if the mandate worked at all. The much-hated individual mandate was supposed to be
Clinton Scandals: A New York Times headline says it all: "Justice Dept. to Weigh Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation." Yes, the pressure is growing to fully investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton for their many questionable activities tied to their charitable foundation and to Fusion GPS, the creator of the largely bogus Trump dossier. Given the mountains of evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing, it´s about time. On Oct. 24 the Washington Post, of all publications, reported that the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS to dig up all the dirt it could find on
Environment: This week, thousands of scientists issued a bleak and terrifying "second notice" to mankind about how we will destroy the planet unless we take "urgent" action. If this warning is as reliable as the first notice these scientists issued in 1992, we have nothing to worry about. In an article published in the journal Bioscience, 15,364 scientists warned that we are "jeopardizing our future" and that "immediate action" is needed to "safeguard our imperiled biosphere." "Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out," the scientists say. The article
Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., recently introduced a bill that would effectively repeal Obamacare´s individual mandate, which fines people for going without health insurance. Their effort has its share of fans. President Trump has called on Congress to include repeal of the mandate in whatever tax reform bill emerges. Fiscal conservatives tend to favor the move, too — the Congressional Budget Office announced November 8 that repealing the mandate would save the federal government $338 billion over the next decade. Unfortunately, the Senate didn´t include repeal of the mandate in the tax reform package it unveiled November
Budgets: After eight years of silence during President Obama eight years in office, which saw deficits average $910 billion a year and the national debt explode by $9.3 trillion, Democrats are suddenly fretting about deficits. If only their concern were genuine and not a cynical attempt to derail much-needed tax reform. The Republican plan is a "deficit-busting tax cut to benefit the wealthiest Republicans," says Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warns that it would "take us so deeply into debt … it will necessitate a trillion dollars being cut out of Medicaid." Various other Democrats
As the House and Senate work their way through the tax cut and reform effort, let me make one thing clear: Both plans are pro-growth, with the economic power coming from the business side. And where it comes from the personal side, there will be very little growth. That was always been the bet. During the spring and summer of 2016, economist Steve Moore and I, working with Trump campaign officials Steven Mnuchin and Stephen Miller, saw major tax reductions for large and small businesses as the centerpiece of the candidate´s tax policy. Whatever Congress came up with on the personal
Doug Jones, the Democrat running for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat, says he loves to hunt but the Second Amendment has “limitations.” He believes that every right enumerated in the Bill of Rights is limited, and the Second Amendment is no exception.According to the Alabama Political Reporter, Jones described himself as “a Second Amendment guy,” but stressed that some gun control is necessary. He said, “We’ve got limitations on all constitutional amendments in one form or another.” This position is contrary to the clear language of the amendment, which states that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be
Malia Obama appears to be settling in just fine at Harvard. On Saturday, former President Obama´s eldest daughter was caught making out with a handsome fellow Crimson fan at the annual Harvard-Yale game. Yale hosted this year´s face off, which saw Harvard students decamping down to New Haven to tailgate at their rival´s campus before the game. The 19-year-old former first daughter, who took a gap year before starting at Harvard this fall, was seen locking lips with a mystery man at the festivities outside of the Yale Bowl. Video shows the moment Malia reached up and put her arms
Imagine: even the New York Times’ Ross Douthat now thinks that Bill Clinton should have stepped down over the Monica Lewinsky affair. Douthat’s mea culpa op-ed in this past weekend’s paper, in which he confesses that he and others may have been wrong to dismiss Bill Clinton’s indefensible behavior, will serve as the official political obituary for Clinton, Inc. Hillary Clinton is done, finished, kaput. Dogged by scandals old and new, out of step politically, her excess baggage has morphed into an entire baggage train, dragging her towards political oblivion. While it is refreshing to consider the landscape unadorned by Clintons,
ALBANY — Fox News host and TV judge Jeanine Pirro is heading to court herself after being ticketed for excessive speeding Sunday in upstate New York. State Police say Pirro was clocked driving 119 mph in a 65 mph zone when she was stopped by a trooper at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Town of Nichols in Tioga County. A police source said she was driving a Cadillac. In a statement released by Fox News, Pirro said she was racing to see her sick mother in Elmira. “I had been driving for hours to visit my ailing 89-year-old
A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Trump’s executive order to cut funding from so called “sanctuary cities.” Trump’s order would have removed some federal funds from cities that limit their cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the Trump administration’s argument that the measure only applies to a relatively small pool of money. Orrick also said that Trump cannot set fresh conditions on spending that Congress has previously approved. Monday’s ruling came in lawsuits brought by two California counties, Santa Clara and San Francisco.
Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83. Manson, whose name to this day is synonymous with unspeakable violence and madness, died of natural causes at Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement. TMZ was first to report on the killer´s death. The celebrity-news site reported that Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon, said she received a call
Over the last few days, I’ve had a number of conversations with both right- and left-leaning friends about the political futures of Al Franken and Roy Moore. Without equating the severity of the alleged offenses (Moore’s are obviously worse), I’ve been struck by the extent to which people across the political spectrum will tolerate misconduct in politicians that they’d never, ever tolerate in their own workplaces. In most functioning corporations, if there’s pictorial evidence that a senior executive groped a woman, then that executive is forced to resign. If there are known, credible allegations that an applicant for a senior
Dozens of teachers have quit their jobs in Pennsylvania´s capital city amid a wave of violence from students as early as the first grade, it has emerged. The Harrisburg Education Association (HEA) said that at least 45 teachers resigned between July and October, and more have followed since. Those who remain are now demanding more help from administrators. ´I have been kicked, punched, hit, scratched. I´ve had a student physically restraining me in front of my other students,´ first-grade teacher Amanda Shaeffer told board members, according to Penn Live. She added that ´many of the personal things that I have
Rep. John Conyers, newly facing sexual misconduct charges from former aides, was praised by fellow Rep. Maxine Waters just last month as a champion of women. During an address to organizers of the national Women’s March in which she lashed out at “rape culture” and President Trump, she singled out the Michigan lawmaker for special attention. (Snip) “He is quiet, he is confident, he is powerful, but he has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause.” C-SPAN captured her comments and those of others who spoke at the event. In her address she
A second federal judge has halted the Trump administration’s proposed transgender military ban, finding that active-duty service members are “already suffering harmful consequences” because of the president’s policy. The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis in a Maryland case comes just weeks after another judge in Washington blocked the administration’s proposal that would have stopped military recruitment of transgender men and women and possibly forced the dismissal of current service members, starting in March. The preliminary injunction issued by the judge in Baltimore on Tuesday goes further than the
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing
If it is possible for a man, as he´s being hauled in front of a judge for his arraignment, to somehow still project an air of haughty superiority, well, that man would look like Rene Boucher did as he appeared in court just over a week ago. A retired anesthesiologist, Boucher—who stands accused of a bizarre beating earlier this month that left his neighbor, the Kentucky senator Rand Paul, with six broken ribs—strode into the jammed courtroom wearing a well-pressed blue suit. His back was ramrod straight, his head was held high, his nose not quite in the air. Seven other