Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's about friggin' time...

I've been praying for years for something like this to happen. Enough of the little I-wanna-be-important weenies who only speak "on condition of anonymity because my telling you this shit is completely illegal and goes directly against my agreement with, and the good of, my employer and the public, and I don't have the balls to give up my job over a principle."

TSA subpoenas bloggers, demands sources

updated 8:49 p.m. CT, Wed., Dec . 30, 2009

WASHINGTON - As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S.-bound plane and try to blow it up on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.

TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public. (Elliott is a regular contributor to

Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.

‘Showed up in my box’
"It literally showed up in my box," Frischling told The Associated Press. "I do not know who it came from." He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect.

In a Dec. 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them. Elliott did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. 

The TSA declined to say how many people were subpoenaed.

The directive was dated Dec. 25 and was issued after a 23-year-old Nigerian man was charged with attempting to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam. The bomb, which allegedly was hidden in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear, malfunctioned and no one was killed. Authorities said the device included a syringe and a condom-like bag filled with powder that the FBI determined to be PETN, a common explosive.

Near-miss attack
The near-miss attack has prompted President Barack Obama to order a review of what intelligence information the government had about Abdulmutallab and why it wasn't shared with the appropriate agencies. He also ordered a review of U.S. aviation security. The government has spent billions of dollars and undergone massive reorganizations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

The TSA directive outlined new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the airliner incident. It included many procedures that would be apparent to the traveling public, such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline.

It also listed people who would be exempted from these screening procedures such as heads of state and their families.

This is the second time in a month that the TSA has found some of its sensitive airline security documents on the Internet.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm still waiting...

...for a congressman to say that he's willing to forgo congressional health care and sign up for the new bill.

MySpace Tracker

Monday, December 28, 2009

Airport security

What would have stopped the Nigerian Undiebomber is a whole body imager. But if we were proactive and used them, everyone would cry about invasion of privacy. But when we're reactive, and institute policies based on incidents, people cry about us not being proactive. Ya just can't win.

Guess it ain't Camelot after all...

The president doesn't smile quite so much any more. Looks like the pressure's getting to him.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear Senators Snowe and Collins:

I have a simple question. How can you call this legislation "health care reform", when it addresses not a single issue regarding why health care is so expensive? Regardless of how many government middlemen you insert in the process (those paragons of fiscal efficiency), and how many different hands you shift the money between, it's still going to cost thousands per day to stay in a hospital, an MRI is still going to cost $8000, drugs are still going to cost much more here than they do in Canada and elsewhere, and malpractice insurance is still going to be expensive enough to make doctors think twice about continuing in practice. So where is the reform? And where is tort reform?

Using insurance to pay for medical care was a bad idea when it was invented, and still is. The principle behind insurance is to spread a small risk among many insured. One of the first insurance policies in this country was written by a group of farmers who got together to insure each other's barns against fire, on the premise that maybe one or two barns might burn, but not so many that the rest couldn't pay for it. But when it comes to health care, EVERYONE'S barn burns down eventually. Everyone has a 100% of eventually needing more medical care than a lifetime of premiums can pay for. The only choice health insurance companies have to stay in business is to get rid of high risk people. It has always been that way, and will always be that way, until medical costs are low enough that a person's premiums have some chance of covering the costs. It is simple mathematics.

Therefore, as my representatives in the Senate, I direct you to vote against this legislation. Thank you for your time.