People who wanted a little bit of security in lieu of liberty.
Gov. Regulation Run Amok: 6,125 New Regs. in 90 Days
It’s Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website.
In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day.
Makes me think of the old Guns & Roses song Signs.
We’re no longer free. Very sad.
TSA PreCheck System Flawed – No One Surprised
“Using a website I decoded my boarding pass for my upcoming trip.
“It’s all there PNR [passenger name record], seat assignment, flight number, name, etc. But what is interesting is the bolded three on the end. This is the TSA PreCheck information. The number means the number of beeps. 1 beep no PreCheck, 3 beeps yes PreCheck.”
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not respond to a BBC request for a statement, but has previously said: “TSA does not comment on specifics of the screening process, which contain measures both seen and unseen. In addition, TSA incorporates random and unpredictable security measures throughout the travelling process.”
via BBC News.
As usual the MSM is silent on the farce that is the TSA.
It’s amazing what a complete and udder failure the TSA has become. From the millimeter machines that pounded you with radiation and made pictures of your naughty bits to the number of TSA employees who have been busted for everything from child porn to stealing laptops it seems that TSA is the symbol for irresponsible government run amok.
Perhaps the greater failure is that the Obama admin has done nothing to correct the issue.
TSA provides nothing but the illusion of security by harassing and abusing law abiding citizens. It’s a national embarrassment.
Airlines Fees vs. Fares: Impacting Taxes
The liberal Washington Post complains:
There’s a 7.5 percent federal tax on every airline ticket. The money goes into a fund that pays for the air transportation system: airports, capital improvements and the operation of the Federal Aviation Administration. …
When the airlines kept ticket prices down by shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees, they also saved almost $964 million in federal taxes they would have owed if they had hiked ticket prices by that amount.
via The Washington Post.
First let’s take a look at the real story when it comes to airline taxes:
– September 11 Security Fee: A September 11 Security Fee of $2.50 USD applies per flight segment (maximum charge per trip — $5.00 USD one-way, $10.00 USD round-trip). A flight segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing.
– Passenger Facility Charges: Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) of up to $18.00 USD may apply, depending upon the itinerary chosen.
– Federal Excise Tax: A 7.5% domestic tax is applied to the airline base fare. The tax may be pro-rated for flights to/from the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Alaska and Hawaii, and some international destinations. A Travel Facilities Tax of $8.40 USD per direction also applies to flights to/from Alaska and Hawaii and the 48 contiguous U.S. states or between Alaska and Hawaii.
– Federal Domestic Flight Segment Fee: A federal domestic flight segment fee of $3.80 USD applies per flight segment. A flight segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing.
Looks like the G is getting more than it’s fair share of the airline travelers’ dollar. The money collected — and wasted — by the TSA and FAA is staggering. It’s no wonder that back in March the Orlando Sanford Intl. Airport was choosing to opt-out of using the TSA for security screenings. Regardless of how they spend it, the government is taking plenty of money from the airline traveler.
Also, let’s take a look at the wording of the story. The newspaper writes, “When the airlines kept ticket prices down by shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees, they also saved almost $964 million in federal taxes….” Wrong! The airlines didn’t save anything; the consumer saved. This sentence should be written, “By shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees airline passengers saved nearly $1 billion in taxes that the federal government would have otherwise imposed.
The headline of this story should be, “Shifting fares to fees permitted $1 billion in extra air travel last year.” Air traveler the big winner.
Further, the baggage fees were NOT paid by everyone. If you travel light and didn’t check a bag you paid nothing. If you needed to check a bag, then you paid for the service you received.
The whole situation seems very fair to me. That the government is out the money is just icing on the cake.
21 Unanswered Questions
#3 Why does the Department of Homeland Security need Predator-B drones to patrol the border between the United States and Canada?
#4 Why is a militarized “Red Zone” being set up in Chicago three weeks prior to the upcoming NATO summit on May 20th and 21st?
#5 Why is the Milwaukee Red Cross being told to prepare for an evacuation of Chicago?
Some of these are quite serious (#’s 7, 12, 19.) Some are easily explained. Visit the link and decide for yourself.
Keep in mind as you as you review this list that:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Benjamin Franklin
A government big enough to give you everything you want
is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
– Gerald Ford, Joint Statement to Congress, August 12, 1974.
DHS/TSA & 450 Million Hollow Point Bullets
1 + 1 = Concern.
Start with this:
The DHS has signed off on an “indefinite delivery” from defense contractors ATK that will include, for some reason, nearly 500 million high-power ammunition for .40 caliber firearms. The department has yet to discuss why they are ordering such a massive bevy of bullets for an agency that has limited need domestically for doing harm, but they say they expect to continue receiving shipments from the manufacturer for the next five years, during which they plan to blow through enough ammunition to execute more people than there are in the entire United States. …
While ammunition itself seems not too unreasonable of a request by a major federal entity that emphasizes domestic durability and safeguarding the country from coast to coast, the choice — and quantity — of its hollow pointorder raises a lot of questions about future plans for the DHS. ATK says they won their contract with the US government by being able to provide them with 450 million HST bullets, which it describes as “the next generation in high performance duty ammunition.”What does that mean, exactly? On their website, the contractor claims that the ammunition is specifically designed so that it can pass through a variety of obstructions and offers “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”
Now, DHS is the “Department” a/k/a a cabinet level position within the government. Under DHS is a whole slew of sub-department(s), administration(s) and bureau(s). One such administration is the TSA. We deal with these chuckle-heads each time we fly. These are people generally unemployable in the private sector who are given the job of making sure that airline travel in this country is safe.
It’s common to find out that a TSA agent has been arrested for possession of child porn, running a prostitution ring, assaulting a pilot, stealing money from passengers, selling property stolen from luggage, and stealing iPads. And that’s just in 2012. Going back further it only gets worse.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone when:
Four current and former Transportation Security Administration screeners have been arrested and face charges of taking bribes and looking the other way while suitcases filled with cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana passed through X-ray machines at Los Angeles International Airport, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
The TSA screeners, who were arrested Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, allegedly received up to $2,400 in cash bribes in exchange for allowing large drug shipments to pass through checkpoints in what the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles called a “significant breakdown” of security.
In addition to the two current and two former screeners, prosecutors also indicted two alleged drug couriers and a third who allegedly tried to smuggle 11 pounds of cocaine but was nabbed when he went through the wrong security checkpoint.
via DSL News.
So when these people start buying 1.5 bullets for every man, woman, and child in the country I start to get concerned. Just who exactly are they planning on shooting at? And if that’s number is small, then why do they need so many rounds?
TSA Nude Body Scanners Don’t Work
Controversial nude body scanners used at U.S. airports have come under fire again – after a blogger claimed he could easily smuggle explosives through them onto a plane.
Engineer Jonathan Corbett has published a video where he shows how he took a small metal case through two of the TSA’s $1billion fleet in a special side pocket stitched into his shirt.
This is because, he suggests, the scanners blend metallic areas into the dark background – so if an object is not directly placed on the body, it will not show up on the scan.
The metallic box, he claims, would have set off an alarm had he passed through the old detecting system.
His revelation comes just weeks after Europe banned the ‘airport strip-searches’ over fears the X-ray technology could cause cancer.
via Daily Mail (UK).
A fascinating article about how the TSA is basically only creating the illusion of security.
[Corbett] added: ‘Now, I’m sure the TSA will accuse me of aiding the terrorists by releasing this video, but it’s beyond belief that the terrorists haven’t already figured this out and are already plotting to use this against us.
‘It’s also beyond belief that the TSA did not already know everything I just told you, and arrogantly decided to disregard our safety. The nude body scanner program is nothing but a giant fraud.’
There are only two options:
- Either the TSA was already aware of this serious flaw in these machines; in which case they have been snapping naked images of U.S. travelers needlessly and possibly giving them cancer without providing any increase in security, or
- the TSA was un-aware of this serious security flaw in these machines; in which case they are all bumbling idiots and this is just another example of government intrusion into our private lives run amuck.
This calls for a congressional investigation.