Archive for January, 2010

The TSA, Jeopardy and Racism

Well this just came across CNN today. Apparently managers of a Federal Air Marshall’s office in Florida decided to invent a game that ridiculed Minorities, Gays and Women. Here is the Article from CNN:

(CNN) — The Transportation Security Administration has launched an internal investigation into an air marshal field office in Florida where supervisors are alleged to have used a crew assignment board to ridicule and keep score on women, gays and minorities, sources told CNN.

The board, resembling the TV game show “Jeopardy,” includes categories such as “pickle smokers,” “our gang” and “creatures,” which sources said were names used by managers for gay men, African-Americans and lesbians.

A photograph of the board was sent to CNN. The Transportation Security Administration confirmed the investigation in a written statement but did not elaborate on when the board was in use, where it was displayed or how it was used.

“Following a referral from DHS Office of the Inspector General, TSA’s Office of Inspection is conducting an ongoing investigation at the Orlando Field office,” the statement said.

“The Transportation Security Administration is dedicated to ensuring all employees are treated in a fair and lawful manner,” it said. “Accordingly, TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. The Federal Air Marshal Service will continue to provide its full cooperation and support to the investigation.”

TSA’s Office of Inspection will present its findings to TSA’s acting administrator for appropriate action, the agency said.

The Tsa which operates the Air Marshall Service has had a long history of Discrimination bases on court filings and my own personal experience. With that said, I’m really not surprised as I have seen similar incidents at CVG.  They have the same management. What I do find surprising is that the Public continues to put up with this kind of treatment. These are the people who are supposed to keep us safe. Instead we end up with this. It says in the article, there will be in investigation. I’ll believe it when I see it.

This is just another example of why the TSA should be dismantled.

January 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm 11 comments

TSA Full Body Image Scanners a waste of the Tax Payers Dime.

Since the successful attempt to get explosives on board an airline during Christmas, the Government has pushed to get Whole Body Image Scanners to all U.S. Airports. For those who do not know what these are, these are machines that basically x-ray an entire persons body to display weapons a person is concealing beneath their clothing. Some of you are probably thinking, it’s about time or what is the big deal.

Well the big deal is that ever since the Scanners introduction many people feel they violate a persons privacy. Some believe a Screener may export Scanner images to a hand-held device and spread them across the Internet. That in itself no matter what TSA says is very likely to happen, based on my experience with new screeners (They are to the point were they will hire anyone with a pulse). There is also the concern about the long-term effects of radiation on both Passenger and Screeners (That is a whole other topic in itself).

In case some are wondering what the screeners sees, here are pictures provided by the TSA:

You can see why someone may have a concern about their privacy. I do believe there is a simple fix for this problem. I think that instead of the screener seeing a person’s body, they should only see the offending weapons. They could then super impose the images of the items over a silhouette of a person to determine the location. I know this can be accomplished  as other x-ray technology already uses this method.

These problems are very small in comparison to what you should really be worried about and why these machines are a waste of our money. What the TSA will not tell you and has only been slightly reported on is the fact these machines can not detect items or more importantly explosives that may be hidden in a body cavity. Drug smugglers have used this method for years and Al Qaeda has used this method in the past. (See Video below)

With the cost of $160,000 each I consider this a waste of money for technology that does very little to keep Americans safe. This money could be better spent by using it to develop a professional screening force with professional training. Why this technology is being pushed by the current Administration is beyond me. What I do know is this system will not hinder a would be Terrorist from carrying out their plot.

Thanks For Your Time

Sean

January 29, 2010 at 11:00 am 1 comment

TSA Management, Power Abusing Morons and an Aid to Terror

Today I would like to discuss the type of Security Management that is in charge of the TSA at your airport. At every airport you have a hierarchy of management, the first is the FSD (Federal Security Director) the second is the AFSD (Assistant Security Director) and third are the Screening/Security Managers. Together they make up a group of idiots whom will one day destroy aviation. My experiences with them from my time at CVG (Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky Airport) have been nothing more than seven years of mind numbing futility.

I’ll start with the FSD. This person is nothing more than a Politician who has absolutely know clue about what is going on at their airport. They feel they have the power to ignore TSA policy and create what is known as “Local Policy” . A perfect example is of the time he decided that along with laptops, he wanted passenger to remove all electronic items from their bags and placed into a bin for screening. This was implemented on a Monday morning. It brought screening to a stand still and was a nightmare for everyone. We the screening force were told  this policy came down from Washington. Most of us knew better so we sent emails to H.Q. to see if this was true. It was in fact a lie and within a week the special screening of electronics mysteriously stopped.   The FSD see’s the airport and everyone in it as his personal Kingdom.

The next group are the AFSD’s. There are normally a couple different people in the airport who hold this title. Each directs different parts of the screening force but like the FSD also have no clue about what is going on. We have had some whom  been granted the position as a means to fill their requirements for retirement. These are people who could care less about your security and if screening is carried out correctly. Basically their job is to stand around wearing suits and intimidate screeners.

The last group is the real cream of the crap. They are the Screening Managers. There are only a couple of managers I have worked for that truly are looking out for your safety and to improve screening. The others are there to make your life a living hell. They typically have zero management skills and are placed in the position because of favoritism. CVG has been through many screening managers over the years and it is not because they were promoted. It is because of abuse of power. We have had managers who have had relations ships with screeners (a violation of policy) Managers who have lied about overtime on government time sheets, Managers who will completely disregard the SOP and TSA Policy because they believe they are right and the list goes on. These are the people who you as passengers will meet if there is a problem or concern.

You may ask yourself, how can some like this get into a Management position. Well like all other promotions with in the TSA they promoted based on who you know, not what you know. I have seen people with 20 years of management experience passed over for someone with no experience what so ever. There has been several instances where a person whom can not pass yearly re certification test will be promoted over someone who has passed it. These are people who are making decisions about potentially dangerous circumstances that could affect you flight. These are the people who have a large part in what the TSA is today.

Sean

January 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm 7 comments

Bin Laden Release a new Audio Tape

Just a quick post today. Apparently Bin Laden or someone posing as Bin Laden has released a new Audio tape. Here is the basic message:

“The message I want to convey to you through the plane of the hero Omar Farouk [Abdulmutallab], reaffirms a previous message that the heroes of 9/11 conveyed to you,” Bin Laden said.

“America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. It is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly.

“America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. It is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly.

“Therefore, with God’s will, our attacks on you will continue as long as you continue to support Israel,” bin Laden said.

“If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn’t have carried them to you by planes.”

Now is it really him, and is he dead or alive. No one knows for sure but that is really besides the point. His image alone will always invoke fear and will be an icon of Terror for America.

January 24, 2010 at 9:33 am 3 comments

A Old But Great Video NWS

This is an old video, but if you have some free time it is worth watching. It will give ya a good laugh.

January 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Flashlights, Sex Toys and The TSA

Here is a funny anecdote that happened at the CVG Checkpoint. It was a busy Monday morning and like many, the security line was going up the escalator and down the street. People both screeners and passenger were grumpy and in a hurry. It happened on lane 5 when the x-ray operator called for a “bag check”. She told the bag checker there was an item which she could not make out. So as normal the screener ask the passenger if this was her bag. It was a women in her thirties, her face turned bright red. The screener gave his normal speech about not touching the bag and if she had anything sharp or pointy which may cut him. She said no and the search began. The screener open the bag which was really cluttered and pulled out the offending item, a sex toy of unspeakable complexity. This thing had more functions and buttons than your T.V. Remote. Here is where it gets funny. The poor screener thought it was a flashlight and asked the passenger how to turn it on. Everyone in line were smiling and chuckling and then it happened. He switched the device on and it started going nuts. He dropped it on the table and there it was spinning vibrating and lighting up. Everyone in line broke out in laughter. The woman looked like she wanted to run for it but couldn’t. The screener finally realized what it was and turned it off. He then apologized, repacked her bag and sent her on her way. But the damage had already been done and will always be one of the funniest things to have happened at the checkpoint. So the lesson learned here is the next time you want to bring “Captain Winky” on vacation, pack it in you checked luggage.

January 22, 2010 at 10:54 am 3 comments

The 3-1-1 (3.4oz) Rule and How it Can Get you Killed.

This rule has bothered me since the beginning.  As everyone knows the TSA instituted this rule in response to the UK Liquid Bombing plot a few years back. It states that a passenger can only carry liquid of 3.4 ounces or less and must fit comfortably in a quart size baggie (Freedom Bags). The reason for this is because it is believed this amount of liquid will not bring down an aircraft.

Now here’s the part that always bothered me and I don’t know why this has not been brought up in the past. The people who are carrying out Terrorist Acts are not stupid, not by a long shot. They have ranged from Students to Doctors both Male and Female. Now anyone with half a brain except, TSA management can figure this out. If I the Terrorists can only bring one baggie of liquid then I will simply bring a couple of friends with me. They as well, are allowed to bring a baggie of liquids through the checkpoint. After terrorist get through they can simply hand the bags to the person who is going to carry out the plot.The Terrorist would only have to sneak the explosive materials past the checkpoint because the other components needed for detonation can be purchased in the sterile area. That person can either mix the liquids and assemble the components before he gets on the plane or in the bathroom after he boards. After he is on board and the plane is in flight he last action would be to praise Allah and push the button. It really is just as simple as that.

So you may say “The TSA checks all liquids”. That is far from the truth. Next time your at a checkpoint look around. Most liquids are in a baggie but they are normally bursting at the seems. Think about how many time a screener has actually tested your liquids. I’m going to guess never. As long as they are out of your bag chances are it will go untested. There is no better way to hide something than by putting it in plain sight. I have seen this happen at the checkpoint time and time again. This is another concern I brought up to management and received no answer. This is nothing more than just a show and not real security. Unfortunately Americans will have to continue to endure this episode of “Security Theater” until the bad guys strike again.

I myself am ready for “Security Theaters”  second act.

January 22, 2010 at 10:08 am 7 comments

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