Another airplane insecurity report

They just don’t and won’t stop.  Here’s another one:

For at least 25 years, the Federal Aviation Administration failed one test after another when it came to airport security. Undercover agents walked through airport checkpoints toting machine guns on their backs and bombs stashed in their carry-on luggage. Agents easily breached security precautions, breezing past locked doors to enter empty planes, mingling behind the scenes with ground crews.

“The facts remain the facts,” says Steve Elson, a former undercover FAA security officer who tried to warn the agency it was on the edge of disaster. “It is still child’s play to knock down 50 airplanes in a few hours’ span with near 100 percent chance of success, and probably quite easy to fly a plane into the White House or Congress.”

I contend it’s simply not possible to make airplanes any safer with the current approach.  We need to completely rethink the problem from a clean slate, do some simulations, and reimplement our security based on solid science rather than pandering to the mental disorders and power cravings of a few people.

Anti-Gun section of Join Together Online shuts down

I’d been noticing for some time that Join Together seemed to be less and less on top of things compared to just a couple years ago.  About November or December I was thinking of doing a comparison of the number of new postings per day compared to previous months and years.  I never got around to it.  Then in May sometime I saw they were shutting down.  May was a very busy time for me and I never got around to posting about it.  I went to visit today for the first time in a long time and found this:


This site was last updated May 27, 2005. Although Join Together’s gun violence project has ended, we encourage those interested in the issue to visit the action center and national directory to locate national, state and local organizations working on this important issue. Former subscribers to Join Together’s email news service on gun violence prevention may be interested in similar services from the Freedom States Alliance.

In a way I’m going to miss them.  They were a good source of “barking moonbat” quotes and you could also get a feel for the next direction the anti-gun crowd was headed.  But on the other hand it’s “another one bites the dust”–which is a very good thing and I’m pleased. 

I’ve blogged about so called “The Freedom States Alliance” before.  Although it’s a little hard to tell my impression is there are only a couple people (perhaps just one) actively running it.  And it’s just not the same as JTO.  JTO was actually pretty professional about everything.  Their opinion pieces were a bit (okay–more than a bit) loopy, and they were very selective in their reporting of facts but I could basically respect them.  The so called “Freedom State Alliance” group of websites gives me the impression of someone several Fruit Loops short of a full bowl.  Someone right on the edge of howling at the moon.  Someone screaming right alongside that Dean guy.  [shrug]  Web sites are cheap and they don’t test for sanity, nor should they, when someone registers a domain.  And if the anti-freedom crowd wants to represented by lunatics then I sure don’t want to discourage them.  Go for it Gun Guys!

Termination report delayed

I was going to release my report on the investigation which lead to my recent termination at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) but a friend suggested it might be to my advantage to wait.  They had some very good points so I am holding off for a while.  Also the report isn’t really complete without my personnel file.  I have requested that and will include it before I release the report.  All of you who have the URL to the current report please continue to keep it private, hold off on the letters to your congress critters, the press releases, etc.  The end result will be better for everyone if things are done correctly.  That will take some more time.  How much time is an interesting question…

It turns out although it’s been two weeks since I was terminated they still haven’t sent my personal belongings from my old office.  One has to wonder what the reason for that is.  Is it because it just isn’t very high on their list of priorities?  They are very short on office space so it’s not like they don’t have at least some motivation to clear it out.  One amusing possibility which crossed my mind is that they fear it is booby-trapped (it’s not–or at least not that I know of).  The only thing I really want out of there right away is my Boomershoot hat and even that isn’t that big of a deal.

Another thing I requested in my letter to PNNL was a copy of the policy and procedures manual.  Someone recently paraphrased Ayn Rand’s famous quote and told me they viewed PNNL’s policies in the same light–something to be enforced as desired to crack down on people they wanted to get rid of.  I don’t remember it being quite that bad although I remember discussing things with others that just didn’t make sense, things that you couldn’t really avoid doing if you wanted to do your job in an effective manner.  I’ll have to wait and see if they will even send it to me.  It is my understanding they are required to send me my personnel file but I’m not so sure about the policies and procedures manual.  And in any case there may not be any requirement on how long they wait before they send anything to me.  If my personal belongings are any indication it could be weeks.

Quote of the day–Ayn Rand

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Ayn Rand
From the book Atlas Shrugged