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This can only end badly

It was announced yesterday that TSA employees are going to be allowed to Unionize

The question of whether unions can negotiate on behalf of airport security workers has been a repeated topic of partisan debate on Capitol Hill, at times threatening to hold up major pieces of legislation or even the Senate confirmation of the agency’s director.

So now the agency which disparages, disgraces, and abuses the law abiding American public as a bunch of children to be abused will now be allowed to collectively barging by disrupting air travel through out the United States.  They have created a monopoly by denying any new alternative private airport screening operations.  Now with a monopoly over the entire system, they can proceed to shut down commercial air-travel for the entire country.  This isn’t like a pilot strike where you can seek a ticket from an alternative airline, if the check point is shut down no one is moving anywhere.  I foresee when the first strike occurs, numerous lawsuits occurring because of the self imposed monopoly. 

Unions are a skid mark in the underwear of our country, they have long outlived their purpose, and have proceeded to create inflated wages for those who do not really deserve it.   People should be paid on the quality and amount of work they do, not because they have enough people working with them and can cause lost revenue for the company.  Anyone who goes on strike has abandoned their job, and a replacement can be hired immediately, there should be nothing outlawing this, however some states have.  In this economy there are many who could take that position, and economics then state your pay isn’t worth as much.  The supply of people capable of doing your job currently out weighs demand.  If you want a raise, earn it, do something unexpected, volunteer for a risky project, find a way to save the company money.  Doing it by extortion should result in your immediate termination. 

The union at this point is supposed to focus on working conditions.  If you don’t like the working conditions find another job.  Strikes will probably occur because they don’t like passengers talking back and would like laws past outlawing it.  Shutting down all the travel across the country is a quick way to achieve your objective is it not?  People stranded will be yelling to give them their demands.  Currently passengers are subjected to court for saying no, and they win; that will probably change. 

Who was the moron who though this would be good or beneficial for the American public? 

Necessity is the plea yet again.

I talked the other day about the idiocy of the “internet kill switch.”  While browsing today I found out how bad their claim of necessity was.  It’s the ultimate in creating “FUD”.

The bill, one aide said, would give the president the power to force “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover Dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack.

At which point I’m going oh, really now.  Here’s why:

Anyone who works around process control and automation knows that the computer networks used are separate and isolated from the internet.  Why would they already be isolated you ask, because the government isn’t as afraid of an attack as much as the business.  Utilities for instance very rarely lease lines or use communication paths they don’t own.  They have shielding cables that also have fiber optics in side.  They run communications at the same time they run the power lines. 

Why is a business more afraid of an attack than the government could be?  Lets say someone causes a protective system to fail to operate, at which point a fault is caused in the power grid.  The result is a transformer exceeding it’s rated voltages, ultimately ending in a failure of the transformer.  A transmission level transformer easily costs millions of dollars and can take 18 months to 2 years for delivery since they are no longer manufactured in the United States.  All that time, that transmission line is out of commission.  If this transformer is tied to a generator, that generator is now no longer able to produce and sell electricity from that generator for 2 years.  Not to mention utilities have to comply with NERC-CIP regarding infrastructure security.

More are also screaming that these claims are “FUD”.  Nevada’s Bureau of Reclamation, responsible for the dam, are extremely pissed as well.

“I’d like to point out that this is not a factual example, because Hoover Dam and important facilities like it are not connected to the internet,” Peter Soeth, a spokesman for the bureau, said in an e-mail. “These types of facilities are protected by multiple layers of security, including physical separation from the internet, that are in place because of multiple security mandates and good business practices.”

So the thought of someone hacking in like Live Free or Die Hard is completely unrealistic.  Seriously, that movie is like any other movie from Hollywood, leave your suspension of disbelief at the door.  Unsurprisingly the morons in Congress do not seem to understand that Hollywood is not Reality.  Of course though the statements from our Congress critters cause people to believe that the loss of their freedom is justified due to this possible catastrophe.  [snark]They are so much smarter and wiser than we are, we must need to surrender our freedoms if they ask us to[/snark].

So please, remember if a politician is asking for something, seriously question the motivations, and most importantly, question any “examples” of dangers they use.  TSA and DHS hasn’t caught any terrorists unless you include the domains they confiscatedThe FBI and the DOD followed political correctness so hard that they allowed Ft. Hood to occur.  So why the name of Zeus’s Butthole would we hand over the power to shut down the internetWe have seen what governments really do with that power.  Anyone who supports this bill is a Tyrant, no doubt, because, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom, It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”   Reject “FUD” for what it is.

Quote of the Day-Michael Roberts(01272011)

To reiterate, people are compelled to comply with the violation of their personhood, and even the degradation of passenger safety, because they are afraid of what will happen if they refuse. And coercion by fear, called by any other name, is nevertheless the very epitome of terrorism. Whereas politicians make promises in exchange for power, the leveraging of fear to control the actions and decisions of others in society is the work of tyrants.” –Michael Roberts

[Michael Roberts is the pilot who refused the whole body scanners and started the public awareness campaign.  I highly suggest reading his speech given at the The Stripping of Freedom conference.

There is no question that the TSA is illegal and should be annihilated out of existence.  Their abuse of law abiding citizens in unforgivable yet many consider it necessary.  I am given no option in this, and people have vacated my rights for me that weren’t their rights to vacate to begin with. I am astonished when I hear someone say that is the cost for wanting to travel.  This is beyond what was done in Soviet Russia, how is this acceptable?  To be willing to vacate your rights out of fear means you weren’t worthy of them to begin with.

As Mr. Roberts says many are still traveling because they have to.  They put up with it out of fear.  Fear that if they refuse to travel they may loose their job, and on the other side fear of jail should they speak out against the screenings, there by still loosing their employment.  I would rather have an airline check luggage for bombs, even this is futile for the most part, and allow anyone with a concealed weapon permit to carry on board an aircraft.  I flew numerous times prior to September 11th with a knife in my pocket.  America did change on September 11th, it changed because of a bunch of intellectual cowards in congress created the DHS and flushed our rights down the drain. –B]

Quote of the Day–The Inconvenience: 01092011

Says Obama, “What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.”

-Well bub, if we lived in a free society you wouldn’t have to worry about this.

[Everyone is dancing in the blood of that most traumatic event, even fearless leader.  The fact of the matter is, calling ourselves a free society because relative to the rest of the world we still are doesn’t make it so.  In a free society, the TSA, ATF, and DHS wouldn’t exist.  I would be free to purchase what ever I want as a law abiding citizen, and discharging a firearm with a suppressor wouldn’t result in Jail time.  Those little problems are just the tip of the ice berg.  -B]

A Security Theater is starting to loose

I just stumbled across this and was ready to start cheering.

“Pilots should NOT submit to AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology) screening,” wrote Capt. Mike Cleary, president of the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, in a letter to members this week. USAPA represents more than 5,000 US Airways pilots.

That little blurb was enough to make me stand up and cheer. The wife and I have long ago said we would never fly commercially again. The systematic destruction of our rights and abuses to our privacy are too much. The only real reason the bastards are really getting away with it is because no one has the balls to refuse to consent. No one wants to end up in a back room and miss their flight. Well the pilots finally figured out when the TSA causes them to miss their own flight, the 100s of travelers are behind them. As the pilots start getting waved through people will start to exercise their rights as well. As it is, I think everyone involved should be nailed with USC18.242.

Can’t get much more Jack-Booted than this

I stumbled across an article today detailing how an 86 year old disabled woman was abused and Tasered by her local police department. Personally I think each of those officers should be castrated and keelhauled. This behavior is completely disgraceful and just goes to further show how out of control government agents are. That TSA story is not the first story I have heard of incidents like that. My father-in-law is a below the knee amputee and has similar stories.

They have absolutely no respect because there is no accountability. They are protected and shielded from their abuses. If someone attempts to protect themselves from the abuse they further use their power to disrupt their life until their objective is achieved. I would like to note, they appear to overstep their bounds when victims are least likely to be able to properly defend themselves.

If they physically abuse someone who was having a possible medical emergency where does it stop?

This should not be happening

Yet it is. The 2010 Census is currently ongoing with workers now going door to door.

There are about 635,000 U.S. Census workers currently going door to door counting Americans who did not return their surveys.

One thing many people did not expect was a lack of screening and fingerprinting for potential Census Workers. One Census Worker managed to get hired using an alias despite being a registered sex offender.

A census official told the Inquirer that a “Jamie Shepard” had been hired in late April after passing the name check, but was fired May 5, as he failed the fingerprint check.

He was hired before a full check was completed.

Another incident involved rape and burglary. This census worker was using his job to stake out potential victims.

One of the victims was a 21 year-old physically handicapped woman.

He got caught and in a very stupid manner.

The attacker left his blue jeans, T-shirt, underwear, boots and wallet with his driver’s license in the woman’s bedroom, authorities said.

The same article tells of a completely different incident, still involving Census Workers in Texas. Three men posing as census workers broke into a home, tied three of the victims up and ambushed the fourth when he got home, killing him in the process.

All of these incidents combined indicate how lost our government is and the amazing number of sheep who believe things like the following will help.

How do I know that census takers aren’t criminals? What was the screening process for job applicants?

The U.S. Census Bureau has made the screening process for employees more rigorous than in any previous census. Each applicant is required to accurately disclose information about any conviction, imprisonment, probation, or parole in the last 10 years. All census takers must undergo both an FBI name check and an FBI fingerprint check. We disqualify any applicant whose screening indicates prior convictions or a pending charge for certain categories of crimes, such as murder, sex offenses, robbery, voter fraud, or other crimes that suggest a threat to safety or the integrity of census data.

Obviously the law, in this case, doesn’t stop criminals. Also, they only disqualify applicants based on their background check, but what do they do for those who lied about their background? This seems to be just more lip service, like the TSA, to make people feel safe.

A final note on dealing with the census in particular (but a good habit when dealing with people claiming to be government officials):

If a census worker comes to the door, be sure to be in Condition Orange during the entire visit. Do not allow them into your home. If they asked to come in, notify the authorities immediately. Also, watch out for anyone else that maybe around helping the worker and presume the worker and anyone else to be a potential threat unless you actually know them. Give them only the constitutionally required information
(i.e. how many live there). Do not provide names, birth dates, races, etc for those in residence.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that no one is out to get you, better alert than dead.

~TMW~

Another Revolution around the Glowing Orb

So we close out another year here at the windy castle on the plateau.  It’s been a big year for the blog.

Last January I switched hosting providers and finished up the rest of the transitions last November.  In June probably the biggest change occurred, I moved from Drupal to WordPress.

Here’s some quick stats though on this year:

I haven’t done a lot of planning for how I want to expand the blog in this next year.   I have a few ideas and I want to grow the video side of the blog as well. 

Some of you have probably noticed I have ads on the blog now.  My goal is to subsidize the cost of the hosting and possibly buy me a lunch from time to time.  I’m trying to make sure that they are where they will generate revenue but also stay out of the way.  Up until last month the blog has been running at a loss for me since I ran it ad free.  There is a nice part of being ad free, but at the same time it’s burning a hole in my pocket and I would rather buy toys and review them or have extra ammo to  train with.

This next year I’ve got a pile of stuff on the plate, including a possible/probable trip to visit a friend.  Neither the wife or I want to deal with the TSA and we need to chat with a travel agent about prices as well for what we’re thinking about doing.

So since it’s New Year’s eve, here’s Auld Lange in probably one of the best versions I’ve heard:

h/t To Caleb on that one.  And you thought I was all rock and violin didn’t you?