Feel Safe Yet?

So, in my perusal of news, I came across an article about the ‘new’ TSA restrictions after Christmas’ thwarted terrorist attack (thwarted, mind you, by the passengers, not by the Amsterdam airport’s security measures — which are supposed to conform to TSA rules), and was struck by just how ridiculous they seemed.

So let’s make fun of them, shall we?  The following quotes come from this article:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091229/ap_on_re_us/us_airline_attack_passenger_confusion

“On one Air Canada flight from Toronto to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, crew members told passengers before departure that they were not allowed to use any electronic devices — even iPods — and would not be able to access their personal belongings during the one-hour flight.”

Apparently, iPods are now terrorist weapons.  I suppose if a highly suggestible individual was listening to ‘Fight the Power’ or a Rage song, they might get a little miffed, but how, exactly, is listening to music a prelude to terrorism?  I get not letting people root around in their carry on, if you’re really worried, but is your playlist freedom-friendly?

“An hour before a US Air flight from Manchester, England, to Philadelphia landed, flight attendants removed passengers’ blankets and told them to keep their “hands visible,” said passenger Walt Swanson of Cumbria, England.”

I remember being at school assemblies when we were all required to keep our hands visible — because there had been a rash of spitballs, and they wanted to make sure we didn’t have straws.  I suppose this is the same thing, but what if I have an itch?  Does that mean I’ll be swarmed by the cops when we land?  And either take the blanket or require visible hands.  Both is just redundant.

“On Continental Flight 1788 from Cancun, Mexico, to Newark, three airport security agents frisked everyone at the gate, including babies, prompting one to scream loudly in protest. On the plane, crew announced that the toilets would be shut down the last hour of the flight and passengers would not be able eat, drink, or use electronic devices.”

Because so many terrorists come from Cancun…must be the tequila.  And okay, yeah, I get it.  Someone might put a bomb on a baby.  But honestly, frisking?  A baby?  Every baby?  And what happens if you have a pregnant woman on the flight?  I dare anyone to deny a woman in her last trimester access to a bathroom.  Okay, okay.  Maybe that one makes sense…you can’t sneak into the bathroom and remove a weapon of whatever sort from …ah…cavities.  But not letting people eat or drink?  Exactly how is denying people food keeping me safe from a terrorist?  Are we thinking that they’ve developed some sort of poison or explosive that is activated by a small bag of dry roasted peanuts?  We all know the booze on flights is overpriced, but is it act-of-terrorism worthy?

“The warning that the bathrooms would be shut down led to lines 10 people deep at each lavatory. A demand by one attendant that no one could read anything either elicited gasps of disbelief and howls of laughter.”

Well, at least they gave some warning, right?  But since when is reading a terrorist activity?  I know I’m terrified of women reading Ladies’ Home Journal, and anyone reading The National Review makes me nervous, but not because they’re terrorists.  Now Stephanie Meyer, on the other hand…well, I say frisk them, but if they want to read that dreck, well, it’s up to them, I guess.

“In-cabin screens normally showing the plane’s location and flight path were switched off on an Air France flight Saturday from San Francisco to Paris. Flight attendants said they were turned off as a security measure.”

This one I get.  It actually makes sense.  Good lord, the TSA making sense?  Someone issue a press release.

“One of the Transportation Security Administration restrictions that most annoyed the airlines was an order to shut off in-flight entertainment systems on international flights. Airlines objected, and on Sunday night, the TSA apparently relented and left it to the discretion of airline crews to decide whether to turn off the systems.”

Apparently, this is because being forced to watch ‘All About Steve’ turns even the most rational folks into drooling radicals.  Personally, I think if the in-flight movie were, say, ‘Twilight’, I might consider rash actions.  Such as knocking myself out.  But wait, if I take Ambien, I might sleepwalk to the bathroom, or tuck my hands under my knee.  Whoops.  Proof that bad movies make good people do bad things?

Do you feel safer yet?  Because I don’t.  I just feel annoyed.  You want to stop airline-related terrorism?  Get chemical sniffers on those security lines.  Whole body x-ray machines.  And oh yeah.  Get someone who actually understands unconventional security issues to figure out what the TSA rules should be.  I know someone, actually.  Janet, let’s talk.

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Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

I love my Crockpot…

So, it’s been cold and rainy and I’ve been feeling like hearty fare. Definitely time to pull out the crockpot. The latest? Chicken Chili Verde.

It was so, good, I thought I’d share!

1 pound cooked chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 poblano chilies, seeded and chopped
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 box chicken broth (you know, the big swanson boxes)
1 T olive oil

1/4 c flour
2 T butter
1/4 t salt (or to taste)

heat oil on high. add garlic, onions, and peppers. let sweat, add spices, stir until fragrant. Throw in the rest of the stuff, turn to low, and let cook for 7 hours. melt butter, mix in flour, and add to crockpot (this thickens it without lumps). Add salt to taste, top with cheese, sour cream, cilantro if desired. Serve with tortillas, or over rice, or with cornbread.

Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 12:32 am  Leave a Comment