Archive for November, 2010
1) All pilots and all flight attendants are excluded from pat-downs and scanners?? What’s the friggin’ point, then? Either we all are subject to the rules or we’re going to have an issue. So the rationale is that it’s impossible for a terrorist to be disguised as a flight-attendant? It’s impossible to fake an ID badge?
2) A bomb on a plane is not the only method terrorists have to kill 200 people. But it’s the only one where very excessive scanning is used.
3) We’re not in any more danger of an air-based attack than we were in 2000 or even in 1990. Yes, danger is there – but there is a privacy issue here that appears to have not been properly vetted and a process that was not properly sold to the American citizens.
Can this issue be sold to Americans? I think so. Market it a little better. Mainly…illustrate how much more effective it is. If it’s SO much more effective, buy-in is more likely. Address the concerns about privacy. What if the screener is someone we know? How can we be sure the system isn’t keeping images or that there is no way an individual screener can circumvent the system to keep images (or simply take photos of the screen – cameras can be very small). What is the punishment for anyone who is caught – is it considered as a severe misuse of power that carries mandatory jailtime? While the shock will wear off and it’s likely something that we’ll simply get used to – the name of the TSA has been forever soiled because of the poor (completely absent) method of selling this to Americans. A portion of the issue at hand is that the TSA said “Here’s what you’re going to do as a condition of traveling by air and there is nothing you can do about it!” Well – Americans don’t like being told there’s nothing we can do. It’s a challenge to us. Why the TSA wanted to ‘dare us’ to do something about it is beyond me. Whoever is running that show should be replaced.
Here is a good report on showdowns between citizens and screeners: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40360965/ns/travel-news
More unethical and fiscal irresponsibility representing big-business.
By JUAN A. LOZANO
AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress — was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.
Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.
Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can’t go directly to political campaigns.
From the “can’t change your stripes” department – today’s headlines:
PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP leader reaps $200 million
Senate Republicans’ ban on earmarks was short-lived
One Senate GOP leader reaps $200 million for his state
What earmark ban? GOP leader reaps $200 million
Only three days after GOP senators and senators-elect renounced earmarks, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl [Arizona…of course Arizona], the No. 2 Senate Republican, got himself a whopping $200 million.
Kyl slipped the measure into a larger bill sought by President Barack Obama and passed by the Senate on Friday to settle claims by black farmers and American Indians against the federal government.
Kyl’s office insists the measure is not an earmark, and the House didn’t deem it one when it considered a version earlier this year. But it meets the you-know-it-when-you-see-it test, critics say. [Or the ‘If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…’ test].
Under Senate rules, an earmark is a spending item inserted “primarily at the request of a senator” that goes “to an entity, or (is) targeted to a specific state.” Earmarking allows lawmakers to steer federal spending to pet projects in their states and districts. Earmarks take many forms, including road projects, improvements to home district military bases, sewer projects, economic development projects. A key trait is that they are projects that haven’t been sought by the administration in power.
Are we really still doing this??
NEW YORK (Nov. 12) — Citing a shortage of priests who can perform the rite, the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are holding a conference on how to conduct exorcisms.