Junior TSA: A New Low!

If it’s not enough that the TSA is molesting children on a daily basis as parents (usually) stand by idle, accepting the fact that their child might be a terrorist and as such accept the process in place that allegedly makes air travel safer. While I can’t confirm when the program started the TSA is now indoctrinating children with yellow stickers a as “Junior TSA Agent.” As of late 2010, stickers were still being made to younger (ages 4-7?) travelers while waiting to show your papers and go through security. I have found references going back to these stickers being available since 2006. Airports such as DEN, SFO and LAX been confirmed locations of these sticker sightings.

 

Better Behave!

Here we go again with the TSA, the “next level” of security for air travelers as Pistole gets ready to roll out the “behavior detection techniques at airport checkpoints.” This has been reported previously by news outlets and here on The 6th Floor. “I’m very much interested in expanding the behavior detection program, upgrading it if you will, in a way that allows us to….have more interaction with a passengers just from a discussion which may be able to expedite the physical screening aspects,” Pistole said.

More interaction with a passenger? Last thing I want when I am traveling is more interaction with the “make-work” program who protect our nation’s airports. Sorry more interaction does not equate to better security. Why does the TSA believe they can implement a “Israeli model” to the degree they do abroad? It won’t be as effective because the U.S. won’t “involve a degree of religious and racial profiling that would draw controversy.”

There’s a lot—under that Israeli model—a lot that is done that is obviously very effective,” he said. However, critics have said the Israeli program is too time consuming to use consistently at U.S. airports and may involve a degree of religious and racial profiling that would draw controversy in the U.S (source).

Unfortunately one of the major differences between the potential U.S. implementation and the Israeli model are those individuals who implement the program. The Israeli National Police (INP). “At least since the early 1970s, it has been given significant homeland security responsibilities. Moreover, though terrorist activities have varied over the last three decades in Israel, it has remained a core national concern throughout this period. In turn, the Israel National Police is considered highly efficient and professional in its
approach to homeland security responsibilities” (source).

NOTE on source: If you are interested, I highly suggest reading The Israeli Model for Policing Terrorism: Goals, Strategies, and Open Questions by David Weisburd,
Tal Jonathan and Simon Perry
.

Unfortunately the TSA is not a “police” force. They could double for mall security, but outside of manning a checkpoint and playing touchy, feely with your private parts while violating your Fourth Amendment rights, I can’t see the U.S. implementation of the Israeli model being effective. At least as Pistole has envisioned.

From a 2005 AW&ST article, “Israeli-style observation and questioning tactics–widely regarded as the most thorough, but verbally intrusive, screening processes in the airline business–are slowly gaining momentum” called Behavior Pattern Recognition (BPR). This from 2005! Unfortunately much like the Poltico comment, “selective use of Israeli security profiling methods could strengthen airport infrastructure security and make technology-based screening more robust. Opponents, however, fear the practice could mean unnecessary hassles for certain populations.

Offer Einav, president of Virginia-based Ganden Security Services Solutions (GS-3) and a former director of security for El Al Israel Airlines, says 85% of passengers are no threat to a flight; it’s the other 15% that will warrant a closer look” (source). At Tel-Aviv-Ben Guion Airport “90% of interviews take less than a minute, while 1-2% end up with the “57-min. treatment.

It didn’t take long for The American Civil Liberties Union to become involved. In 2004 a state trooper stopped an ACLU officer at Boston Logan International Airport and asked for identification. Needless to say the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the “constitutionality of BPR as it was potentially infringing on passenger privacy. “Airport officials retorted that the program was designed specifically to protect constitutional and civil rights.

I don’t see the TSA behavioral program being successful. It will introduce another layer and open the door to further scrutiny. Still for true change it will take another terrorist attack in the U.S. for the government to really wake up and take notice.

Sorry TSA

In a follow up to the piece I posted titled, Above the Law there is a news story out Denver regarding Yukari Mihamae, 61, who is being hailed as a “hero” after groping a TSO last week in Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix. It’s probably a case of the MSM sensationalizing the incident in labeling her a “hero” I don’t agree with her actions, but I don’t disagree in her reaction to one of the pervasive and intrusive pat-downs the TSA calls routine and “professional.”

I believe the TSA is wrong in calling it a “sexual abuse” case, when they engage in abusive type pat-downs on a daily basis. Unfortunately some sheeple in this country beleive it’s okay for the department to go to whatever procedures it needs to “in the same of security.” One comment from this story, “I don’t think you should be able to put your hands on anybody, especially somebody who is trying to perform security,” Mike Garcia, of Brighton, said.

In a follow up to this story the TSA the charges have been dropped as “county prosecutors concluded the facts of the case don’t rise to the level of a felony.” Sorry TSA better luck next time when you are touched inappropriately. “The TSA agent also didn’t meet the qualifications of a law enforcement officer, which would have triggered a charge of assaulting a police officer.”

Of course the TSA reiterated that it won’t tolerate assaults on its employees, but will continue to violate your Fourth Amendment rights in the name of aviation security.

(source – AZ Central)

Are You Ready?

With the lockout now over, it’s a frenzied week of free agent signing and players moving to new teams as the NFL, while getting a very late start are opening training camps. many players are reporting to camp, as intended but there are always a few names, under contract who seem to buck the system. This is nothing new at all. Being “professional” and playing out a contact is not necessarily what some players do.

Take Titans running back, Chris Johnson who is scheduled to make $800,000 this year. He is now holding out and wanting a new contract. Now in his case I’ll agree his stats the past few years should be enough to secure a long term deal with Tennessee, but will management cave and restructure that deal this year or not?

The other notable who wants to play games is Philly wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. As the Eagles opening training camp today, Jackson was a no show. This rumor came from signal caller and now starter, Mike Vick, “DeSean just has some things to think about and some decisions to make that only himself can make.” DeSean lead the NFL in yards per reception last year, but his overall stats were not all that impressive (47-1056-6 TD).

This free agent frenzy seems to be dominated by the quaterback. The first name to secure a starting job in new colors was that of Tavaris Jackson, now in Seattle with Pete Carroll. Jackson probably got a bad deal in Minnesota when Favre signed a few years back and then Joe Webb got the starts late last season. So a new venue for Jackson could improve his situation.

More importantly his signing has set the tone, so to speak of what’s to come. Kevin Kolb, current Eagles back up QB doesn’t seem to be as hot a commodity as he once was. Arizona is still trying to work a trade to secure his services, but at what cost to the defense? I don’t believe Kolb is worthy of a starting job right now, especially with a short pre-season in new colors. This could be a huge task to achieve. I do believe the Cardinals need a QB as Hall and Skelton are not ready to call the signals.

Gone from Seattle is Matt Hasselbeck, the other QB signed yesterday with the Titans replacing Kerry Collins (retired) and Vince Young, who is one his way out as well. They did draft Jake Locker, but as a rookie is not ready as well. Tutelage under a veteran such as Hass would be a great thing for Jake who looks to be the future signal caller in town.

Other rumors have Donovan McNabb heading to Minnesota to take over the starting job, which would be great for the team, as they are still looking to secure the services of Sydney Rice. I believe if Rice signs, the McNabb deal will be finalized as well. This would also give ADP a legitimate QB, which could equate to another big year for Peterson.

Kyle Orton’s being run out of Denver in favor of Tim Tebow. I don’t believe Tebow is ready for “prime time” even after finishing last year as the starter. Orton is looking towards Florida and the Dolphins, but is asking for $6 million a year and a long term deal. It will be interesting to see if he gets that sort of deal done.

Today should be a bigger signing day as there are many unanswered questions and many potential deals to be made. The salary cap is the sticking point for many teams, we will see who ends up making the best moves (on paper at least) by the end of the day. Football is here, first preseason games take place August 11. In the words of Hank, “Are you ready for some football?”

CANCELED!

I was caught completely off guard on last Thursday when I attempted to go to The 6th Floor and noticed it was a parked domain. Fearing my account had been hacked or taken off line for whatever reason I contacted my host, ipower. In the past 5 years I have had nothing but props for my hosting company. Unfortunately the information and lack of support I received the last 5 days has been quite disappointing.

It seems on March 16 they received a noticed that hosting should not be renewed and the web site was being canceled. Their files show that I made this request. They claim they have documentation to back this up. At any rate I had not changed my default yearly renewal since I had been hosted, so that leads to the question, why was I canceled?

I still don’t know, guess I have to go with their answer, while I don’t believe what they say getting my site back online, as I had it before it was canceled has been challenging, to say the least. Aside from having to sign up with ipower again, after being hosted for 5 years. I lost everything. For inquiring minds, no I had nothing backed up that was the responsibility of ipower since I was paying them to do that as well.

I have been in numerous online support chat sessions with sales and tech support. Neither have been all that helpful. I guess that could be the result of outsourcing, who knows and I can only speculate. After repeated conversations, another yearly hosting fee and $30 set up fee, which they would not wave I have my site back online.

Today was a reach bitch to say the least. I will be the first to admit, I know nothing about SQL. Yet ipower wanted $75 (I was quoted $50 by sales) to set everything back up, including my SQL databases. After some nasty responses back to them, telling them I wanted my site returned to the status it was prior to them deleting it and I refuse to pay any additional fees, some tech support individual converted and imported the main database. Yet some 24 other databases remain. To be honest I might just let it go at this point.

I was not done though. I sent a scathing e-mail to a ‘Contact Us’ link explaining everything that transpired. While I don’t expect an answer or any apology I don’t believe I will be recommending ipower to friends who want to get a web site online. Everything was all find and dandy when they were getting my money, but when I really needed help, they more less said sorry, nothing we can do.

Sorry ipower, while I might continue hosting for 12 months, you have lost me as a real supporter to your company. It’s really sad to see companies shitting on their clients when they need them most. I did learn a few lessons, one of which I already knew. Even though I pay ipower to back up my site, I will have to start the task on a weekly basis, for fear they will silence my word or cancel my site.