Keep It Up, It’s Working – TSA Admits They’re Wrong

Okay, so maybe not yet, but I wanted to get your attention.  This is a call to arms. Or letters as it were…

So here goes…

Tomorrow afternoon, I’ve got a planned flight back east to visit my family for the Thanksgiving Holiday – as a lot of people do. And over the last few days, I’ve been reading articles & blogs, seeing video, and reading tweets about the horrors of the new security regulations at airports around the country. I’m appalled at the Transportation Security Administration and their lack of accountability for some of the more heinous infractions.

In one day I’ve seen articles about the partial strip search of a 7-year-old boy, a woman who was made to remove her prosthetic breasts in full view of everyone in the terminal, a man with a prosthetic leg was made to drop his pants in the terminal (rather than just lifting his pant leg up) and a passenger who uses a urostomy bag was left covered in his own urine due to a TSA agent’s overzealous application of the “rules.”  I read an article this morning that they were even going to go so far as to try to have passengers who opt out of the full body scans arrested and fined up to $10,000 in some areas (YEAH, THAT’S YOU MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT).

People over the last few days are getting more and more pissed off, myself included and because I’m headed to the airport in a little over 12 hours, I’m wondering what I will do. What I want to do is tell TSA to fuck off and that they are in severe need of a rethinking of their entire policy and practices. However, the promise of seeing my family and my new nephew may make me think differently.

As adamant as they have been to this point, I found an article this evening that makes me think that all our collective screaming about this is working.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/40301974#40301974

They’ve finally gotten the message – or at least they’re starting to.  And the new Transportation Committee Chairman seems to want to fix the problem. Hilary Clinton’s chiming in on the subject didn’t hurt.

I don’t want security to be compromised by a ton of people “Opting Out” on Wednesday. But I do want people to get the message across.

So here is my suggestion.

WRITE LETTERS. TWEET. BLOG.

If you have a bad experience or even a slightly uncomfortable experience at the security lines this holiday season, no matter how small the incident may seem, it counts. SO TELL EVERYONE YOU CAN THINK OF. Send letters to TSA, to your local news network, to the airports, to your Congress-people and Senators. But be LOUD about it. Let TSA know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the system is flawed and that they’ve gone too far. Making amputees remove their prosthetics is not acceptable. Especially when the “private” area they offer is a small partitioned area that is in plain sight of everyone and is made of clear plexiglass. The last time I checked, being in full plain view of everyone is not the definition of private.

And read this: http://www.thestar.com/iphone/news/world/article/744199—israelification-high-security-little-bother

Then send them a copy.

I’ve been to Israel. Many times. I have never experienced a more pleasant experience in an airport. They have the best security protocols on the planet in a country that is also one of the biggest targets on the planet. Why aren’t we doing it like them? Take a page from the experts.

And for the love of whatever God you worship, someone please explain to the TSA agents themselves that just because they are given a badge and an ugly blue uniform, it does NOT EVER give them the right to treat passengers like cattle.  TSA agents complain that they’re being persecuted for following the rules, but by the same standard, we as passengers are more likely to be pleasant to them if they would stop treating every passenger like a criminal.  You want our respect, be respectful. And use common sense. Was it really necessary to make that 7-year-old boy take off his shirt and grope his pants? If a passenger tries to tell you that they have a medical issue that needs special attention, listen to them.  And if you do require a passenger to remove a prosthetic limb, don’t make them drop their pants in public.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels.

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I’d Like To Choose the Bionic Option Please

Short version of a long story – 3 and a half years ago, I was in a car accident. Lax medical attention didn’t notice that during the accident, my leg got jammed and the result is that for the last 3 and a half years, I’ve been off-balance. Literally. My right leg now pronates where it didn’t used to. I am an avid bicyclist. I ride just about every day. My minimum ride is about 6 to 7 miles. About a year ago I started having knee pain related to my bicycling. After a bit of digging about to find the right doctor, I was finally diagnosed with a proper actual “This is the reason” sort of diagnosis. I was finally happy that I could continue to bike while having the treatments and that the physical therapy prescribed to try to realign my leg and rebuild muscles that I was unconsciously neglecting was starting to work.

Enter the second phase of treatment: Hyaluronan injections to try to repair the damaged cartilage and pad the wearing area to prevent further degradation – which theoretically will mean NO MORE PAIN.

However they don’t warn you ahead of time. The injections HURT. A LOT. Large needle stuck UNDER your knee cap and wiggled around to try to get the hyaluronan into the cracks and fissures of the cartilage. It feels weird. Like there’s something in there that shouldn’t be (and truly there is). Now, hours later, my knee is swollen, the puncture has moments of sharp shooting pain and the entire thing just feels awful. I can walk, but I’m limpy.

I know that this is a work in progress and in the long run it’ll be better. I know that my doctor knows what he’s doing and that the physical therapy was working before and that this should only make it better. But right now, I’d like to just say this:

Firstly, when you’re in an accident, don’t settle so quickly and be sure to get a THOROUGH check before agreeing to that settlement. You never know what issue may rear its ugly head later.

And secondly, is it too late to just get the bionic knee parts and be done with it?

When Will They GO AWAY?

Yesterday in driving home from lunch with a friend, I caught site of something that made me want to vom my lunch just a bit. A billboard along La Cienaga Boulevard advertising the following story for that night’s “ET” show:

“Heidi and Spencer Renew Vows”

I must ask the people at ET this one question – DOES ANYONE CARE? I mean really. Over the last year or so, the entity called “Spidey” have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are nothing more than fame seeking morons with delusions of intelligence and over inflated senses of their own importance.  And though their stars have since faded to a flicker (thankfully), now you’re trying to bring them back?

Please, dear Entertainment Television, let’s leave Moron Barbie and her equally vapid Ken Doll with the creepy flesh coloured beard out where they belong – behind us with the rest of last year’s trash.

Bridalplasty

On the topics of bad unnecessary television that should get the creators shot:

Recently I saw an advertisement for a new reality show called “Bridalplasty.” The sad thing is this isn’t a joke. Brides-to-be compete for a chance to get major reconstructive surgery before their wedding day. The thought of how sick and demented this is makes me want to vomit. Also, the fact that they found 12 women whose self-esteem was so low that they would agree to this thinking that it would make everything better.

The producers at E! who are responsible for this should be lined up in front of a firing squad. Then again, what was I to expect from the people who gave us the insta-celebrity of the Kardashians and whose major goal in life seems to be to discuss Lindsay Lohan’s fall from grace at every opportunity.

I hate television. (Why do I watch so much of it then?)

A New Low For TV

I just saw an advertisement for a television show called Sarah Palin’s Alaska. This PR campaign, I mean, the “reality” show intended to show us that Sarah Palin is “just like us.” Remember what your mother used to tell you about bullies? Just ignore them and they’ll go away. I’d like to see that theory applied to Palin and her entire procreating bible-thumping clan.

Or maybe during the first episode she’ll get eaten by a bear. That’d be okay too.