Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bachmann Calls a Spade a Spade

While some in Congress hope to use the lame duck session to spread a little more pork on the Pigford II scam settlement, Michelle Bachmann isn't having any:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Millions of 'Closeted' Atheists in America?

Atheist activist David Silverman appeared on Fox News to insist to delectable newsbabe Megyn Kelly that there are "fifty million" atheists in the US, most of them "closeted." Silverman further claimed "millions" in the NYC area alone. That's why his organization put up this billboard:

Put aside the fact that Silverman, supposedly defending reason and logic, doesn't seem to realize that his sterile faith tradition recognizes no meaning or purpose in the universe, thus, his efforts are simply a symptom of his personal surrender of reason and logic to his own emotional turmoil.

What really beclowns Silverman is his insistence that the traditional greeting "Merry Christmas" is inappropriate and should be replaced with "Happy Holidays."

The word "holiday" comes from Old English "halig daeg," meaning "holy day." Now there's an atheistic greeting if I ever heard one.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Congress Moves Decisively During Busy Lame Duck Session to Honor Hobos

Dust off your bindles and get ready for some cutting edge melancholy harmonica sucking when your busy, busy Congress pushes aside major tax legislation (it's not even on the schedule) in order to address the vital National Homeless Persons Memorial Day issue.

Yeah, I know hobos aren't synonomous with homeless people, but I'm still fighting off the tryptophan and I didn't want to get into a discussion about the differences between hobos, tramps, bums, and the Democratic base.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Al Qaeda Promises Fairplay on Future Terror Attacks

Al Qaeda spokesman Abu Graih al Roustah has released the following message:

In the name of Allah (swt), the most merciful, the most compassionate, who will help us to drink the blood of all infidels even unto their tiniest babies, who provides us with delightfully compliant and sexy goats...

We at al Qaeda have been distressed by the recent upheavals within the Great Satan's airport security system. Sure, we like the occasional spectacular like 9/11, but we are not monsters. We never intended to cause hardship to America's hardworking business traveler class.

In the spirit of brotherhood, and so that perhaps you will recognize the worthiness of becoming one with the Ummah, we hereby proclaim that it is only fitting that al Qaeda martyrs recognize certain basic principles of fairplay in our undending war against you sons of pigs and apes.

Therefore, we declare it is now haram for any martyr of Allah to place explosives or weapons in his genital area (we got some bad press from that underwear pinhead and the anus bomber in Saudi). Our lions of Islam will take care to place their contraband items only in areas that the average American would feel comfortable having searched.

Additionally, we feel certain other tactics would be unsporting and hereby foreswear:

* Sending any of the Ummah under the age of fifteen or over the age of sixty-five on martyr missions
* Using stolen religious garb of People of the Book to disguise our warriors
* Renting or stealing the uniforms of pilots or flight attendants
* Assigning any of our Chechen brothers or caucasian Islamic converts to destroy the works of the Great Satan
* Planting explosives in the carry-on bags of unwary travellers
* Concealing explosives in wheelchairs or prosthetic devices

Seriously, we realize that this kind of crap is just terribly, terribly unfair and you can feel free to adjust your security procedures accordingly.

We do thank that portion of the flying infidels who have worked so hard to undermine their own brethren at the checkpoints and, Insh'Allah, we shall succeed again as spectacularly as we did nine years ago. But we'll be sporting about it.

We hope that this helps American air travellers to enjoy a better flying experience and avoid the tedious delays that have so bedeviled them in recent years. After all, we are not heartless beasts.

May Allah claim your vile souls and cast you into the pit of eternal torment.

Breaking: Norks Shell South Korea, Killing One

From Fox News:
BREAKING NEWS -- North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto a populated South Korean island near their disputed western border Tuesday, prompting South Korea to return fire and scramble fighter jets, military officials said. At least one South Korean marine reportedly was killed.
Korean "police action" redux?

America needs you, Harry Truman.

Monday, November 22, 2010

From the 'No sh*t, Sherlock' files: Gore Admits Politicizing Ethanol

From Fox News comes word that former Veep and inventor of the Internet Al Gore only supported subsidies for ethanol production to pander to farmers:
"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Reuters quoted Gore saying of the U.S. policy that is about to come up for congressional review. "First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."
I am shocked, shocked I tell you that a stand-up straight shooting ecological messiah like Gore would admit to being somewhat less than truthful.

What else might citizen Gore have supported for personal or political gain?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bluto's Big Warm and Fuzzy Feel-Good TSA Post

Of course, the title is a lie because there's nothing warm and fuzzy or feel-good in airport security since 9/11. What there is, is a huge amount of misinformation, disinformation, stupidity, reckless opining, and deliberate lies coming from people who have a moral responsibility to do better.

The procedures used should be and are, open for debate. However, it's irresponsible for commentators to attack uniformed personnel who are performing their duties in accordance with established, required practice. Not only irresponsible, but a form of moral cowardice because the screeners are easier targets than the TSA bureaucrats who actually make the decisions that the screeners are required to follow. Is anyone really stupid enough to think that the uniformed screeners have the authority to mandate Israeli-style screening techniques?

Let's examine the state of US airport security, its recent history, and the formation of the TSA. Maybe that will help disspell some of the rhetoric and bs that's being thrown around.

The Transportation Security Administration was formed in a tearing hurry in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. It was the largest from-the-ground-up governmental organization since World War II. It also set off a bureaucratic turf war between the TSA, FAA, other law enforcement organizations, airlines and local airport authorities that continues to this day. The beginning was really sloppy, which is likely a characteristic of the genesis of any massive bureaucracy.

The TSA was originally under the Department of Transportation, later becoming part of the new Department of Homeland Security.

Tens of thousands of screeners, leads, and supervisors were hired, most of whom had no experience in airport security. Thousands of management staff: Federal Security Directors (FSDs), Assistant FSDs, Screening Managers, and administrative staffers were appointed, and it appears many got their appointments more through the basis of political connections than because of any relevant background.

New uniformed personnel were selected by a combination of online screening, computer-based x-ray aptitude exams, physical agility and search aptitude testing, and personal interviews. The testing was conducted by private contractors, as were the background checks once screeners were hired.

A Mobile Screening Force (MSF) was trained by the FAA out of Oklahoma City. The MSF was tasked with supervising the sixty hours of on-the-job-training (OJT) that each new uniformed TSA employee required in order to be certified in each checkpoint task. The new hires had successfully completed a week of classroom training prior to starting OJT.

Each new screener, lead, and supervisor needed to complete a specified number of hours in each checkpoint duty: x-ray operation, bag search, walk-through metal detector, hand wanding, patdown search, explosive trace detection, and exit security. X-ray operation required a further computer-based test for certification. This meant that no member of the command staff was qualified to perform any of the checkpoint tasks that they oversaw, and this created a hard division between uniformed TSA and management. In the beginning, no experienced, uniformed TSA members had been promoted to management, and uniformed service remains a tough road to that status.

Members of the MSF flew into each airport to be federalized and ran the checkpoints while training the new screeners. The MSF was supported by Strategic Airport Security Rollout (SASR) who preceded them to the airports, setting up airline tickets, accommodations, local transportation to and from the airports, scheduling, etc. MSF members were allowed leave for family emergencies, but no other reason. Like the TSA as a whole, the MSF was run para-military style; MSF orders, copies of which had to be submitted with expense account vouchers read that the MSF was on a "special mission." The MSF used the TSA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) text as their bible. Revisions to the SOP were ongoing and frequent, and copies of the text rare.

It should be noted that deviations from the SOP are not authorized and are grounds for separation from service, i.e., screeners get fired if they don't do as they're directed. Uniformed personnel are required to stay current with current SOP revisions and time and computer terminals are provided for them to do this.

In any case, the most basic MSF commandment was, "resolve every alarm." An "alarm" means anything from someone making the metal detector beep to a suspicious x-ray image or an alarm from explosive trace detection (ETD) equipment.

Let's examine what resolving the alarm means from my own personal experience in how to and how not to resolve an alarm.

How to: I set off every metal detector through which I pass because of my teflon and stainless steel knee replacement. I am then given the opportunity to recheck my clothing for metal and go through the metal detector again. Of course, this does no good, so I'm pulled aside for secondary screening. The screener's wand beeps when it passes near my knee, but he nevertheless wands my entire body. He pats down my knee to make sure nothing is concealed under my clothing. There have been no other beeps from the hand wand. The alarm is resolved.

How not to: entering a security checkpoint at the Old Courthouse in Boston (prior to knee surgery) I set off the metal detector. I told the cop that I thought my boots probably had steel shanks and I should have removed them. The cop agreed, had me sit down, and waved the wand over my boots. They beeped. Then he sent me on my way, having failed to check any other part of my body. I could easily have concealed a weapon under my winter coat. He had not resolved the alarm. He had found one possible explanation for the alarm, but failed to eliminate any other possibilities.

Patdown and wanding techniques were inherited from the FBI, via the FAA. The original SOP patdown procedure included a "groin check," that is, patting the front of the groin area with the back of the hand. It also included a waistband check. The procedure was later modified, barring screeners from coming into contact with the middle of the groin area, though they were still required to search to the top of the thigh. The current "alternate patdown" appears to be a throwback to that original procedure.

In any case, same-sex screening has been the rule since the formation of the TSA. The odds are overwhelming that the screener searching you has zero interest in your "junk," other than as a potential hiding place for prohibited items. And the odds are exactly zero that the screener has the discretion to either just let you proceed without checking or modify the established procedure.

Up 'til now, flight crews have been required to go through the same screening as passengers, while airport employees like baggage handlers, tarmac crews, and janitors have not. I'm not sure why. Perhaps some upper level TSA bureaucrat saw "Catch Me If You Can," or maybe it's because local airports issue the IDs and card keys and flight crews are transients.

I've seen some pilots lose their cool and throw things at x-ray machines (that particular pilot was disciplined by his airline), or stuff their carry-ons with coins so that the x-ray operator is forced to require a search of the bag, allowing the pilot to pitch a little fit. Not the sort of person I'd like flying any plane I was on.

Again, the screener has no discretion. Even though the pilot carry-ons are distinctive and easily recognized on the x-ray, the SOP demands that any opaque area (the x-ray is blocked by the coins) must be subjected to a hand search.

Real threats are not the only concern facing the screeners. They log on each time they operate the x-ray equipment, which periodically generates virtual threat items. Missed virtual threats go on the screener's record and can result in remedial training or termination. The local command staff may, from time to time, try to pass ersatz bombs or other threat items. And there's always the possibility of an FAA Red Team trying to pass through with concealed threat items. One of their techniques is to have one member of the team deliberately get caught with a threat item and make a fuss, creating a diversion for a second member to sneak something more potentially deadly through the checkpoint.

That's why security will slow down or even freeze the checkpoint when a passenger is flying into a snit. The screeners know that the snit may be cover for something else. Of course, this means that the passenger's snit has a negative impact on all the other passengers, but the type of infantile personality who acts out like this doesn't care about other people.

Friday, November 19, 2010

4 in 5 Support Full-Body Scans

According to a CBS poll an overwhelming majority of Americans want TSA to employ the new backscatter x-ray machines:
Eighty-one percent think airports should use these new machines -- including a majority of both men and women, Americans of all age groups, and Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. Fifteen percent said airports should not use them.
If the results of the poll are to be believed, the recent TSA screener-bashing epidemic among some less-informed conservatives is a political non-starter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Trial of Osama bin Laden

Captured in Somalia in June, 2011, alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was tried in New York District Court. Citing the precedents set in the Ahmed Ghailani case, judge Ima Loony-Libtard dismissed the Department of Justice's case and ordered Mr. bin Laden released.

"It's all fruit of the poisoned tree," Loony-Libtard explained in her ruling.

Several prominent civil attorneys have expressed interest in representing the Saudi citizen in actions against the US government.

Asked for comment following his release, Mr. bin Laden said, "I'm going to Disneyland."

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Few on the Right Stuck in September 10 Mode

In radio talkshow host Mark Levin's inbox:
Dear Mark,

As a long-time listener I find myself agreeing with you more often than not, and even where we disagree I can see the logic that led you to your conclusion.

But last week you said some things about Transportation Security Administration airport screeners that I know from direct experience are untrue. I'm talking about the "perverts" and "groping" comments directed at TSA screeners.

As a member of the TSA's Mobile Screener Force in 2002 I trained screeners at several airports across the country. They are easily among the most professional and dedicated people with whom I have had the honor to work. In fact, TSA screeners take the same oath given to America's military officers, and most of them take this oath seriously. I know that I did.

Contrary to what one of your callers said, many screeners are ex-military and ex-cops, former teachers and professors, medical technicians - Americans from many different walks of life who have decided to take on a necessary but thankless job for lousy pay and rotten hours. They deal with people who are at their worst; stressed out from air travel and its inevitable frustrations.

I have never met a screener who enjoys performing patdown searches, though I suppose there may be a few out there. Patdowns are an unpleasant but vitally necessary part of the job. As far as your "busty Swedish flight attendant" speculation, patdowns are conducted by screeners of the same gender* as the passengers being searched. Flight crews have been upset since federalization of US airports because their airlines won't exempt them from screening, as baggage handlers and other airport workers are exempted.

You should know that airport screeners are bound by SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and have no discretion in security procedures, nor should they. Do you really want screeners to be able to decide, "Eh, you look American enough to me, go ahead and get on the plane." While granny is sweet and innocent, do you want to bet your life that she has watched her luggage and carry-ons like a hawk to make sure no one put anything extra in them? Or in the wheelchair that can't go through the metal detector?

Screeners are subject to abuse from passengers who don't understand the screening process, abuse from "suits" who were appointed above them and have, in many cases, no practical experience in airport security. They also earn the privilege of re-qualifying for their jobs semi-annually in a grueling week-long process that offers termination as the only result of failure in any aspect of the testing. Part of this testing is pat down procedure. Screeners who don't force the examiner onto tippy toes while searching the groin area will fail this part of the examination.

The icing on the cake is the approbation of people like you, Mark.

While I am no longer with the TSA because of a permanent disabling injury, subsequent air travel has shown me that the screeners still work to the same standard. They ask themselves..."Would I be comfortable with a member of my family flying on this plane?"

These are hardworking people, wearing the uniform of our country, and they deserve your praise, not your scorn.

Respectfully submitted,

Al Brown

*Actually, the rule is the same gender as the passenger presents him-, her-, itself at the checkpoint. I've witnessed female TSA screeners being required to pat down female impersonators.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Semper Fi!

Today is the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, America's elite sea-soldiers. Congratulations, Devildogs! Here's to 235 more!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Where Did Revolution Muslim Go?


We didn't do it honest, the Brits did...
LONDON — A United States-based extremist Islamic Web site was taken down on Friday after the British authorities complained of a post praising a young woman who stabbed and nearly killed a British lawmaker over his support for the Iraq war.

The post included a list of 383 British lawmakers who voted for the war, with instructions on tracking their movements, and it called for Muslims to “raise the knife of Jihad” against them, according to The Times of London, which reported the post on Friday. It also included a link for buying a kitchen knife, the report said.

The site, RevolutionMuslim.com, is no longer available
Here is a google cache.


UK: Revolution Muslim In The News Again, Apparently Encouraging Others To Stab MP's (Members of Parliament)

Update by Howie: Well Whaddya know, Google removed a terrorist website from blogspot. That must be a first. Revmo, always on the cutting edge.

Nice job Bilal, keep a scrubbin, its a futile effort to hide on your part, but its fun to watch. Better get your orange jumpsuit cleaned and pressed, you're going to need it.

Original Where Did Revolution Muslim Go? post here at the Jawa Report.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Obama Just Doesn't Get It

I just watched the President's press conference, in which he addressed last night's historic mid-term elections that have handed control of the House to Republicans and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Sadly, he just can't wrap his mind around it, and he's using the same old, tired bs that still plays so well with the ignorant rubes* living in America's cities.

Perhaps, he allows, Obamacare needs some "tweaking," like "any other piece of major legislation." Americans just didn't understand that taking over banks and auto companies was not a matter of "policy," but merely a response to an "emergency" (and who was it who said "no crisis should be wasted." Was it someone close to the Prez? I believe that it was). Barack is, perhaps, willing to let the opposition move out of the back of the bus, but not too close to the front. This is all just a communication problem.

Most telling, Obama said that Americans are "frustrated," by which he means "stupid."

Too stupid to recognize the benefits of converting America to a socialist workers' paradise.

Things are going to get really, really interesting in January.

*the people who live in America's suburbs and rural areas have proven so much more sophisticated and capable of recognizing Progressive bullshit that it's time to apply the rube label where it belongs - the naive urban sophists and their parasitical dependents.