Big Sis: Molestation is Protocol

This comes as no surprise that the DHS, more specifically, Big Sis is backpedaling after the story broken over a week ago after a video was made viral showing a 6-year old girl being patted down molested by the TSA (See my previous story). Today The Daily Caller reports the pat-down was “done professionally according to the protocols.”

By the TSA coming forth in defense of their protocols and procedures of the pat-down of the 6-year old was “done professionally” is admitting they did something wrong. I fail to see how this woman can sleep at night when she heads such a mismanaged department in the DHS.

The TSA will continue with their pat-down procedures, but are working to “streamline the airport screening process.” Top on the list to expedite an air traveler through security, “is expanding trust and traveler programs, programs where people will get biometric cards. They’ve already supplied information. We know they are safe to travel. We can move them through the system. That’s going to be expanded this year. That allows us to remove a number of people I think from the screening process.

So now we give even MORE personal information to the DHS just to process us through the security checkpoint. I tend to believe the majority of fliers are NOT business fliers who are taking to the airports on a weekly basis. A majority are people who use the airlines for “pleasure” (although there is rarely any pleasure left in flying).

I would expect this “trust and traveler program” to reduce the security lines, as mentioned by Big Sis. That is not the problem though. The fact still remains the procedures implemented by the TSA are unacceptable! Especially when a 6-year old is being molested (professionally by the TSA). I disagree with how the protocols are and procedures are implemented. That is what needs to change.

Of course this broad goes on to defend her position and that of the TSA, “So we process almost 2 million passengers a day in U.S. airports. The scope and scale of what we do in aviation is far beyond what any other country does.” And the fact remains the US is no safer today than we were before 9-11. I would much rather go with European style airport security than this dog and pony show that Big Sis oversees.

To date, since 9-11 I cannot recall a checkpoint that foiled a terrorist attack because of a pat-down or otherwise. Nothing the mainstream media has brought to attention because it has not happened. Numerous attempts have been foiled because of intelligence gathering that were deemed “credible” long before these plans get to the airport.


Lost Art of Communication?

Flipping through the May, 2011 issue of QST I come across the ‘Correspondence’ column where hams send in their opinions on a variety of amateur radio subjects. One in particulate caught my eye from Wallace, W7UUO titled, ‘A Lost Art.’ In his opinion over the years he has been licensed the “art” of communicating has been lost. These days instead of gaining pleasure out of communicating, better known as “rag chewing” it seems to be airwaves dominated by signal reports.

I understand and respect his point of view as a long time amateur. Times have changed in 50 years of amateur radio, but the main purpose for radio remains the same…communication. I look at it from another perspective and I believe I have written about this previously. In a world of hustle and bustle, I don’t get the luxury to spend hours a day in the shack meeting other like minded hams over the airwaves.

While my opinion might change as I get older, when my son grows up, moves out, gets married and more importantly, I retire. Right now I am more interested the quantity of contacts, one reason I enjoy contesting. As a relative newcomers to HF, I am excited to work new DXCC entities in nearly every contest I enter.

There have been times in the past I have enjoyed good conversations with other hams. I can recall operating as K6B last year, celebrating the NCCC’s 40th anniversary and Donald, K6ILG contacted me and we talked for about 30 minutes. This while operating a special event station, but nonetheless I took the time to slow things down and have a long rag chew. What made this more unique, Don was only about 2 miles away in my city.

So while a rag chew is not the most important aspect for me, I do enjoy meeting and talking with other amateur operators. For me, it’s all about available time, since I don’t have much being able to put in an hour or two over the course of a contest weekend could end up netting me quite a few QSOs.

Unfortunately, a digital mode like PSK31 (and RTTY in some respect) allows for the heavy use of macros, which potentially kills a worthwhile QSO. Rarely do I ever use macros when working either mode. Even at that I have responded to a CQ call with a personalized response and end up getting a macro reply. Maybe that’s the way some modes are going. Regardless, each operator has their own interest(s) when it comes to amateur radio, for some it’s the rag chew, for others contesting and there is a world of radio in between.

Real or Hoax?

Why are people so quick to dismiss something unknown as a hoax? I ask this coming on the heels of my review of The Fourth Kind yesterday. Prior to watching the movie I did not know the background story or the fact it was all Hollywood born. None of what was witnessed actually took place and the archived video footage and audio clips were made for the movie. Yet, even before facts surfaced and research was done to legitimize the piece, people were already calling, “BS!”

What’s worse many people don’t or can’t back up their opinion with any sort of fact when they attempt to disprove the story. Rarely will an individual have first hand knowledge or even have experienced a similar situation, but before striking out with your opinion, do some research. I know we can’t take everything we read on the Internet as valid or even close to the truth.

Today on Godlike Productions (GLP) comes another alien video shot in real time of a small, extraterrestrial, who quickly spins to look away from the camera. Real or hoax? You can view the video here.

Unfortunately what usually happens on sites like GLP or Above Top Secret a few posters will ridicule those who “wanna believe.” Now the video above has already been debunked as being CGI (Created using Vue 9). But the fact remains it’s still rather impressive to view and make you think twice, was that real or just a hoax?

I tend to take the approach of “it’s real until it’s debunked.” Usually it’s the later of the two that wins out, based on research and comments about a given video or image. When something cannot be validated as a hoax, more questions seem to rise. But that is part of investigation, finding answers. In the words of The X-Files Fox Mulder, “I wanna believe.”