TSA Doesn’t Want to Appear Before Congress

The TSA backed out of a congressional hearing regarding the use of their full-body scanners today.

“It is customary for federal government witnesses to appear on government-only panels in order to allow for a thoughtful, direct and frank conversation between the witnesses and the committee members,” said spokeswoman Kristin Lee. “TSA would welcome the opportunity to have the agency officials testify in a forum that does not seat agency officials with opposing litigants.”

In other words, testimony to the government panel, should only consist of government shills, and no one who would present the opposing argument against a government agencies stance should be present.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven and hopefully those on the committee will see this action for exactly what it is. The agency has been willfully negligent, conspired to violate the law, and should be dealt with as the venomous snake they are. Their refusal to show up is nothing more than an excuse and a poor one at that. May congress roll down upon them like a ton of bricks.

Quote of the Day–Cindy Perman (03/15/2011)

Millionaires only have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us. What separates them from us is time management. While the rest of us go home and flop on the couch in front of the TV, the wealthy are reading and doing things that contribute to their success.

[Many people feel entitled to different things, from money to property, to services.  They look at millionaires and say they got rich by stealing from the poor.  While some, such as Madoff certainly did exactly that most make their fortune by working their ass off.

The government runs much the same scheme as Madoff, except they require mandatory investment at the end of a gun.  They then call this scheme “Social Security”.  The government takes the excess income and instead of saving it for when the payouts will be greater than the input, they spend it elsewhere.

Many of us in America are working hard, constantly trying to get ahead.  While we’re busy trying to save money, our government is squandering what it does have and is now taking even more.   If you want more money, look in the mirror, it’s up to you to earn it.  Though with all of those who feel entitled to your money, it’s becoming harder to keep it after you earn it.  -B ]

Well There’s A Problem

There is a serious problem when you let people give themselves raises from the public coffers and the City of Denver has been so kind to demonstrate it for us.

After spirited debate Monday, Denver’s City Council voted 10-3 to tentatively approve a 6.6 percent raise for the next sitting council and every other elected official — an increase to be delayed for half of their four-year terms.

The city is facing a $100 million budget shortfall for the 2012 budget and has a structural budget problem that, if not addressed, could balloon into a $500 million deficit by 2030.

In an economy where most people are struggling to make ends meet, are doing everything they can to save money and cut their personal deficit the city council voted to give themselves a raise from the public coffers increasing the already large deficit.  You do not save money or cut down on debt by spending more.

Many companies have not given their employees raises over the past couple years and even more took a reduction in equal to what they were making.  While the rest of America is tightening it’s belts, these individuals are choosing to spend more money that isn’t their and rack up more debt that they are neither responsible or accountable for.  I hope come election time the 10 that voted yes will have opponents and be voted out of office.  Hopefully their replacements will immediately work to revert the wages back.  Obviously many in the government still don’t seem to understand the concept of spending within your means.

What are our politicians doing?

As the world focuses on Japan, what is happening right under our noses?  Anything newsworthy is being completely overshadowed.  I am not trying to be crass or insensitive, what’s happening in Japan is truly heartbreaking, but some things are being severely exaggerated and creating mass panic. The reality, however, is being buried and only those of us that question everything are finding the truth. 

The mantra, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” is starting to come into play as the politicians attempt to sneak stuff in under the radar.  Just because this is not our crisis does not mean they won’t try to leverage it to their advantage.

TSA Body Scanners Giving 10x Dose

It came out today that some of their full body scanners are putting out 10 times the expected radiation levels.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it would retest every full-body X-ray scanner that emits ionizing radiation — 247 machines at 38 airports — after maintenance records on some of the devices showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected.

As always the agency immediately went into damage control mode claiming that it is still less than what a person receives in background radiation during a normal day.  The fact is this is not surprising at all considering the complete disregard for common safety measures taken when dealing with equipment that use radioactive material.  The spike caused by the malfunctioning equipment would have been immediately seen on the dosimeter worn by employees working around the equipment.  That’s one of the main reason dosimeters are worn by employees.   This is willful negligence on the part of the TSA and DHS.

This coupled with the fact that the DHS also claims the right to:

really illustrates an out of control agency that serves no other purpose than to abuse and kill Americans, albeit slowly by increasing cancer risks.  A Security Theater has done nothing to improve safety, in fact they are now showing that they are doing the complete opposite.  If any private organization had been this negligent OSHA would be all over them until they declared bankruptcy. 

This agency needs to be put down like a rabid dog and it’s behavior and rate of growth reminds me of some other agencies in the early 1990s.  The only difference  is they haven’t shot a woman holding a baby or burned a bunch of people to death.  Instead they are giving people extra unnecessary dose of radiation at the point of the gun, claiming necessity, but in reality it’s pointless.

Live Writer Blacklist Plugin

Joe has been running a Righthaven blacklist utility which has been quite handy.  If you don’t know why Joe would spend his time creating that web utility, or I would create a plugin to do it, see this.

I spent some of last weekend and this weekend making a blacklist utility for Windows Live Writer.  Today I finished up creating the MSI installer and have a preliminary version (0.1.0) to post into the wild.  Currently the blacklist is hardcoded into the plugin, the actual version (1.0.0) is going to support web updates to the blacklist, along with an additional feature of grey listing.

The grey list will make sure that “no follow” tags are attached to any link that has a domain that matches one in the list.

The default state just puts up a message box with the offending anchor text but the post will still succeed.  You can change this by checking the error on post check box in the options.  You can add your own URLs to the user list.

Play with it, tell me if you find any bugs or issues you would like me to change or features you would like me to add.  I’m going to create a projects website tomorrow with support contact information.  For now just use this contact form.

WLW URL Blacklist Plugin.

Update: I fixed the msi download. It’s now in a zip. It appears the mime-type for the msi is wrong. I’ve tried changing the htaccess but it is still broken. I am just going to use the .zips from now on. It cut the file size in half anyway.

Seven Stylish Things….

Well crap cracker sandwiches.

Rauðbjorn so kindly consigned me to tell you things you probably don’t know about me.  The rules of the game are simple. I tell you folks seven things you probably don’t know about me, and then I pick fifteen of you to do the same.

  1. I am named after my dad’s brother-in-law.
  2. I didn’t get my drivers license until just after I turned 19.  My parents said no license until I got my Eagle Scout, I didn’t get that until 1 month before my 18th birthday.  At that point I was so wrapped up with getting into college I didn’t really worry about it and had no real need.  Dating the later to be wife changed that.
  3. I actually met the wife freshman year of high school.  I was constantly wired on Jolt and she thought I was crazy.  She realized I’m not a mean cold hearted son of a bitch or crazy for that matter and became one of those who would beg to differ.
  4. My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was 19.  I often think it lucky that I didn’t end up going to Rice since it kept me closer to home. 
  5. I was afraid of loud noises when I was little.  Now I play with guns and explosives.
  6. I was born prematurely by 6 and a half weeks weighing in at 4lbs 3oz.  My parents both considered me an amazing gift since I shouldn’t even exist.  There were numerous issues the encountered, but my mom got lucky when she got a new doctor.  So at 39, she was able to have me.
  7. I was married in the zoo.  During the vows the monkeys and wolves were yelling and howling.  It was handy because I had my own tiger pit at the reception.

Wedding Photos 168

Update: It seems that Phil want’s a crack.  He’s stylish. 

Woohoo! Go Idaho!

While everyone was watching Wisconsin, Idaho slipped through the cracks and passed their own bill stripping public school teachers of collective bargaining rights

The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state’s 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.

Now, a day later than Idaho, Wisconsin steps aboard much to the dismay of union employees.

The bill’s passage by the state’s Republican-controlled Assembly in a 53-42 vote ended a three-week stalemate that saw the state’s 14 Senate Democrats flee to Illinois in a bid to stymie the measure and tens of thousands of people protest at the Capitol.

The unions are in such a tizzy over all of this that they are requiring a town in Connecticut to pay for coffee and milk that will be free to the union employees.  They even ordered the town to reinstate casual Fridays.

A Connecticut town must provide their union workers free coffee and milk, according to a ruling from the State Board of Labor Relations.

The board also ordered town leaders to reinstate “Dress Down Fridays” for the union clerical and custodial workers.

Will anyone ever learn that nothing comes free (RTWT)?

The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.