Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 3, 2013
ABC News reported that the National Transportation Administration (TSA) has another boondoggle to add to its list of “accomplishments”. In the past two years the TSA has spent over $100 million of taxpayer money on a program to train dogs for bomb sniffing at airports. The program has failed with the General Accounting Office reporting: “As part of our review, we visited two airports at which [dog] teams have been deployed and observed training exercises in which … teams accurately detected explosives odor (i.e., positive response), failed to detect explosives odor (i.e., miss) and falsely detected explosives odor.”
When confronted by ABC on the failure, TSA in a written statement said: “To that end, the National Canine Program (NCP) will reestablish annual comprehensive assessments. Beginning in March 2013, TSA plans to expand the canine website to improve functionality and reporting capabilities addressing a GAO recommendation.” This is an example of the waste and arrogance that is government. Not only did TSA waste $100 million, we required a separate government watchdog group to reveal the program’s failure. But that will not stop the TSA from wasting even more on the program.
The failed canine program adds to a growing list of TSA waste of the People’s money. A larger example was the expenditure of $2 billion on the full-body scanners in recent years. These machines are already being removed from service and replaced by other machines.
Government waste is not new nor is it limited to the United States. It is, however, become more grotesque in the United States in recent years as the government continues grab increasing powers. In addition, the ability to run nearly unlimited deficits; i.e. print money, has allowed individual wastes to become astronomically large.
President Obama has often repeated the statement that wealthier Americans need to pay their fair share. Absent from his rhetoric is any discussion about government cutting its waste. Any attempt to cut government spending is demonized as inhumane the President and his progressive allies. Why not, it is not their money being wasted. In addition, their power derives from their ability to dole out money to their constituents and special interest groups.
Posted in Government Waste, TSA | Tagged: Bombs, Dogs, Sniffing, TSA, Waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 5, 2011
The New York Times reported yesterday that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) granted its 45,000 airport security officers the right to organize; i.e. join a union. TSA head John Pistole unilaterally made this decision invoking the power granted him by Congress when the TSA was formed.
Given the potential dangers that union activities could bring to airport security, there have been limits placed on the TSA workers, such as not allowing them to strike or to use work slowdown tactics. However, this approach is naive. Does Pistole actually believe that TSA workers won’t slow down the lines or call in sick if their demands are not met?
Pistole’s naivety is only surpassed by oratory double-talk when he says: ““The safety of the traveling public is our top priority, and we will not negotiate on security.” This begs the question as to why he would allow the workers to organize, something that can only degrade security. In his response to this reality, Pistole defends his action with the following excuse: “But morale and employee engagement cannot be separated from achieving superior security.” “Morale and employee engagement” have historically proven not to be an attribute of a unionized workforce. Unions create a management verses worker mentality that always results in combative interaction between the two.
In the private sector, the number of American workers represented by unions has declined from a high in the mid 30% to today being under 9%. This occurred not because unions became unpopular, but because most companies whose workforce was unionized went out of business. Unionized companies became unproductive and uncompetitive, to a large part due to the greed and crowd mentality created by unionism.
In the public seeker, unions continue to exercise greed on behalf of workers since governments can tax, barrow or print money to foot the bill. However, as is currently occurring with states and municipalities that are being overwhelmed by debt caused by pension obligations to unionized workers, this party is nearing its eleventh hour. Some (many?) municipalities will be forced to declare bankruptcy and government workers will be laid off.
Given the history of unions and unionized businesses in the United States, the TSA’s decision allowing employees to organize makes no sense from a financial or Human Resources perspectives. But those are not issues of concern to the TSA. This action is being taken for political reasons. Once workers unionize they are forced to pay dues to the union. Some of these dues are then used to support political causes; i.e. Democrat politicians. Barak Obama, the community organizer, is a consummate politician. Unfortunately his party’s gain comes at the expense of the People.
Posted in TSA, Uncategorized, Unions | Tagged: Democrats, John Pistole, Obama, Organize, Transportation Security Administration, TSA, Unions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 13, 2010
Americans are quite good at self-deprecating humor. The attached video sent in from Fred exemplifies this talent. While a humorous attack on the TSA, it is a sad testament to what the government forces on the People. As President Reagan so aptly sad, “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them”. The only way to curtail this type of governmental intrusion is by curtailing their ability to spend the Peoples’ money. Let’s start by eliminating the government’s ability to borrow money, except in times of war or other national catastrophe.
Posted in TSA | Tagged: Governmental Intervention, TSA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 9, 2010
Posted in TSA | Tagged: Mistletoe, TSA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 25, 2010
Today we are pleased to share a guest posting on the timely subject of the TSA and their groping of airline passengers, young and old. The broader subject shows the incompetence of government. The 9/11 attacks led to the creation of the TSA that now has over 60,000 employees. Before 9/11 we knew who the enemy was. Since 9/11 the enemy has remained unchanged. This reality demands profiling. However, in the name of political correctness, we will instead allow the government to take the rights of all air travelers. Madness indeed and it is recognized be the entire world. Enjoy the Japanese view of our TSA system in the video below.
Andrew Hall is a blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on Accredited Online Colleges for Guide to Online Schools.
The Transportation Security Administration, since its creation in 2001, has dealt not in sound policy, but instead via reaction. With the successful 9/11 terrorist attack, the TSA was created. When someone tried to put a bomb in their shoes, the TSA began screening shoes. When a terror plot revolved around liquid explosives, all liquids are suddenly scrutinized (unless you decide to say that they’re medication, in which case no one bothers to look at them and regardless of size, you’re good to go), and when a plot involves devices that resemble printer cartridges, it’s suddenly unacceptable to bring printer cartridges on planes. TSA policy is designed to stop copycats; it does little else.
Janet Napolitano’s recently published op-ed piece defending TSA policies doesn’t touch at this, the core problem behind the Transportation Security Administration. Instead she merely addresses complaints that have arisen since airports began to adopt Advanced Imaging Technology and they implemented aggressive pat-down screenings of passengers, leading many to express distress at their treatment at the hands of screeners and concern over the AIT machines. The AIT machines capture images of skin underneath clothing in a manner that are nearly as invasive as a strip search.
Napolitano uses her publishing space to talk about how AIT has found “weapons and other dangerous and prohibited items” and has been determined to be safe, but mentions no specific instances or plots foiled to support her argument. She adds that the AIT images, by design, can’t be used half as lewdly as their detractors say they can be; she explains that the images are viewed in a “walled-off location” and that the system never saves or exports images in any capacity.
While Napolitano’s comments may appear sound, and the piece explains to some degree the reasoning behind TSA pat-down procedures, it in no way addresses the complaints of discomfort and sexual harassment. She simply restates that screenings are “conducted by same-gender officers” and that “all passengers have the right to request private screening and have a traveling companion present,” but this is merely a reiteration of the policies that have prompted people to feel so uncomfortable traveling in the first place.
Napolitano’s piece, in essence, says very little that’s new and doesn’t do anything to address the claims the TSA will likely be face in litigation.
Posted in Political Correctness, TSA | Tagged: 9/11, Political Correctness, Profiling, Terrorism, TSA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 17, 2010
The news is currently filled with the controversies relating to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and its airport security measures. Concerns focus around new technology that allows the airport scanners to see passengers in a near nude state as they pass through scanners. Another issue is the invasive pat-down procedures used by TSA employees as passengers pass through screening.
For those of us that have a more Libertarian view of what the powers of the federal government should be, the TSA’s procedures are at best questionable. Any who has traveled and watched an 80 some year old women frisked as she goes through screening knows that the system is inefficient. The profiles of terrorists are well-defined and to ignore this reality in the name of political correctness is an outrage. The British successfully dealt with Irish terrorists for years in airports without resorting to the overly intrusive actions implemented by TSA.
In addition, TSA has grown from an organization that didn’t exist pre 9/11 to today employing over 60,000. They have become another bloated government bureaucracy with too much power.
A recent announcement by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) shows the ludicrous side of our politicized security apparatus. CAIR has recommended that Muslim women in hijabs refuse full body pat downs at airports. When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked if she will you insist that they do go through full body pat downs before boarding planes, Napolitano dodged the question.
Perhaps the real question goes beyond the political correctness and waste of TSA. While TSA has incrementally become more intrusive at airports, the issue has been ongoing for years. Why the all the fuss at this time? Blog reader Jim Mahoney believes it may be the government’s attempt to shift focus from the most pressing problems of the country, as stated below. Given the significant of these other challenges, Jim’s skepticism is well-placed.
Does it seem to you that all of this fuss about airport scanners and pat down procedures appears to have conveniently been purposely done to divert our attention from other more pressing things like our sinking economy, the explosion in commodity prices and our debased currency?
Just the way my mind is working these days.
Posted in TSA | Tagged: Airports, CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, Transportation Security Administration, TSA | Leave a Comment »