Safety

This is What the TSA Has In Mind For You

Unfortunate timing, to say the least:

If the new head of the Transportation Security Administration gets his way, all airport screeners will be retrained within 60 days to better detect explosives and spot weapons and more passengers will enroll in the agency's expedited security checkpoint program.

And one day travelers will be able to use fingerprints or some other biometric identifiers instead of paper or electronic boarding passes.

Peter Neffenger, who has been on the job as TSA administrator for four weeks, went before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday and said it was a "huge concern" that the agency's officers failed to identify bombs, weapons and other security threats 96 percent of the time during recent undercover testing.

"It greatly disturbs me to know that we had that failure rate at the checkpoint," he said.

The nature of those failures have been carefully studied, Neffenger told the panel, underscoring an immediate need to "train out those failures."

International traveler Stephen Morrissey has a story to tell:

On leaving the US on 27 July I flew from San Francisco International Airport to London on flight BA 284.

At 2:30 in the afternoon I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up 'scanner', and all was well - no bleeps and nothing unusual.

Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an "airport security officer" who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles. He quickly moved away as an older "airport security officer" approached.

The officer who sexually assaulted me was identified as the General Manager On Duty. Luckily I was accompanied by two members of British Airways Special Services, who were horrified at the sexual attack and suggested that I lodge a complaint. I asked if there would be any point in lodging a complaint since, as with any complaint against a figure in "authority", the complaints are simply collected in order to protect the guilty officer should the matter go further. The British Airways Special Services employees assured me that a complaint was worthwhile, and so I filed the appropriate information.

Here's what the TSA is doing wrong--Morrissey is not a threat to you or anyone else. Leave Morrissey alone and focus on the people who are actually breaking the rules.

It's like we're stuck on stupid or something.

How is This Even Legal?


Damn, life is so inconvenient:
Pam McGonigal, who began using Uber last year to ferry her 14-year-old daughter from dance class in Silver Spring, Md., back home to Chevy Chase when she got stuck at work in the District, said she had never considered a taxi for the job.

“I just have reservations about my pretty little girl going out and hailing a cab,” she said.
But Uber’s competitors question whether that trust is misplaced.
Dave Sutton, spokesman for the Rockville-based Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, noted that officials in Los Angeles and San Francisco have questioned the company’s methods for screening drivers. He said unlike the taxi industry, Uber’s background checks don’t include fingerprinting. Uber officials said the company does not use fingerprinting as part of its background checks, but said they think the process they use is more comprehensive.

“Obviously, everybody loves their kids, but the idea of placing a young person with someone who hasn’t received a criminal background check is terrifying,” Sutton said. “We’re working to make sure that people understand that.”
Oh, yeah--that screening process for cab drivers is embedded in the psyche of the American consumer. Did that cab driver pass his background check, no one has ever asked, ever. Why not just admit you're a shill for the cab companies and Uber made you crap yourself for days at a time?

Some people love their kids more than other people love their kids, and Uber is proof of that? 

No, the proof of that is found in exactly how much of your life you are willing to surrender to the idea that the safe transportation of your children from one place to the other is kinda your own damn responsibility. We are now in an age where it's okay to outsource the schlepping of your offspring to someone who has a car and needs money. No judgment, please. Life is such a pain in the ass for busy people who want to live somewhere nice and do everything all of the time without thinking of the consequences.

They're your kids. You had them. They want to do activity stuff. You're busy. It's easier to put them in a car with a complete stranger and hope like hell everything works out for the best. Yay! No guilt necessary. Don't be a shamer. Be a sharer of space in a car. Get with the program, grampa. 

Jeebus.