Sunday, November 28, 2010

The TSA doesn’t give a hoot about security

Jobs I am Glad I Don't Have

So, it appears that the TSA has a choice. Be vigorous in its inspection and be blasted for invasion of privacy, or use less rigorous methods, and face the consequences of missing dangerous materials.

I think you raise the wrong question. I think your question is similar to a CEO saying to Taiichi Ohno:

I care most about quality - providing excellent products to the customer. Either add more inspectors or tell me we have enough inspectors and tell me who we need to replace. The answer Taiichi Ohno would give is to change the way we work to be better, not just add more resources to try and cope with a bad system. More of my thoughts on the topic the TSA doesn't give a hoot about security.

There is another choice - find effective methods to improve quality (better security), reduce waste ($ spent by TSA, people wasting time in line...), respect people. There are many bad things about the current situation at airports they include:

  • poor security measures (not well designed to reduce risks), and

  • far too intrusive

Both should be fixed. As well as reducing waste. And the way to do so is to change the system - not either add to or take away from what is done now.

The front line TSA people are in a horrible situation. This is the classic situation where Dr. Deming would empathize with the employees and blast the senior leadership who have failed their customers and their employees.

Related: Bikinis For Liberty - Freedom Increasingly at Risk - Exposing Bad Behavior

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bikinis For Liberty

The United States Transportation Agency is choosing to take extremely controversial tactics. See the video for details. I am amazed that this hasn't been shut down extremely quickly. Normally such lunacy is not allowed to continue, no matter what fear tactics people try to use to justify their extremely disturbing actions. Such failures to watch the watchmen are often taken when it just seems easier to ignore that bad action because we can hope it won't happen again. This is just a nightmare it seems to me for all those who currently have already failed to stop this behavior. I will be amazed if senior officials are not gone within 1 month for allowing this to last more than 1 day. But I have been amazed before, so...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tip/Wag - TSA, Bert & Dogs<a>
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Reddit, an online community, has a significant number of people that have been galvanized by this attack on liberty and want to take action to bring about change in how our government acts. And the first step is to look at bringing attention to the misdeeds.

A response to this attack on liberty requires a campaign. I ran across an wonderful idea as a comment on We Won't Fly. I wouldn't see this idea as the lead but as supporting campaign. There seem to be some powerfully good ideas that could form the foundation for a campaign, already. The idea is that you have a way to opt out of those 2 degradations (the "naked" scan or being groped) - go to the airport in a spedo or bikini. It seems to me creative ad people could make something good with that.

The idea isn't mine, I saw a comment from Clark:

I wonder, if some brave souls go to the airport in bikini or speedos would they be exempt from both types of searches?

I think it actually is a good option for people to chose. It is sad the government is forcing people to make such a choice, but given the governments options of degradation, this option, it seems to me may well be less degrading for most. And I can't image how they could try and require you to subject yourself to one of those degradations if you did make nearly everything visible.

It also has the advantage of providing some good news footage making visible the lengths people have to go to to avoid the governments heavy handed actions. It would seem to me a whole mass of people could go to the airport dressed like that for flights and it would make a pretty good photo op. Also it is the least confrontational of any of those such ideas (at least that I have seen).

I really am sick of how our country has allowed itself to degrade liberty to such an extent

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me."
Martin Niemoeller

I understand there are risks the government is trying to mitigate. The actions they are taking now are not acceptable. They need to think and find much better solutions. And if they can't come up with them they need to resign and then be replaced with some people that can.

Related: Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment - Librarians Standing Up to the Madness - Failure to Address Systemic SWAT Raid Failures - Preaching False Ideas to Men Known to be Idiots - Shining the light on the actions of those in power

Pointless security - Unions tell pilots to avoid body scanners at airports - Growing anxiety over airport pat-downs and scanners

Monday, November 08, 2010

Curious, Joyful, Happy Kids Grow Up: Unfortunately

I must admit I find the wonder kids have amazingly refreshing. When I was a kid I just took it for granted. Now, unfortunately surrounded by way too many incurious, blasé, dreary adults I realize the kids really have a much better idea how to live than we adults do.

Have some fun. Have some fun with a cardboard box and a stick. Or a plastic dinosaur and a small firetruck. Or just reading a book, for the 56th time this year, about how some cat goes to the store.

photo of 2 smiling children

Meanwhile I think an alien could appear on the subway and most of my fellow passengers would only be concerned if it was taking up too much space or blocked their exit, and if not, maybe not even notice it.

Hey, maybe this is why my parents always asked me "what did you do today?"
Me: [Jeez stop hounding me, Dad] "Nothing"
Actually what I did: played in a puddle; landed on the moon with Rachel and Dan and brought some moon rocks back to play with; learned that we named the people in North America, Indians, when Christopher Columbus came because we were completely wrong about who they actually were and somehow never got around to fixing that error (another strike against you crazy adults); and decided that really chocolate ice cream is better than spinach and adults don't have any idea what they are talking about.]

Me: [Why the heck do I want to talk about that stuff, you are an adult you must have done much cooler stuff. You get to do whatever you want, you are not trapped all day being ordered around by big adults who can make you do whatever they want :-(]. "Yuck, spinach" :-( [I can't wait until I get to just eat chocolate ice cream and no spinach]

Well maybe I now finally figured out why adults want to know what kids did every day - they might get some vicarious joy (having nearly forgotten how to find a falling leaf, or cool green shoe joyful). Now why people want to know what their spouse did, I still don't understand that :-)

Just watching the faces of adults and kids is amazing. Adults, by and large show no joy. A kid's face will show more joy when they see their Mom for the 8th time today than an adult will in the entire month. I just have to believe that is not a good sign.

As a kid I didn't think adults had much of a clue or very good reasons for why things had to be certain ways. Of course, as a kid, I was "unreasonable" and had to "wait to grow up" and then I would understand. I have to say I think my kid self had most of it right.

I didn't get how trapped we become as adults into day to day lives that we don't mean to chose - I did get that wrong. But I am not sure I was wrong that we shouldn't do that. But it is harder than I thought to avoid it (especially since I didn't think it was even a risk that an adult would be stuck doing stuff about as fun as being stuck in a chair and being lectured to with a bunch of other people all day long about stuff you often couldn't care about at all).

What is exciting to me now? Refinancing my mortgage at 3.75%. Now that is great. But, I think most 7 year olds have much better things they are excited about.

Photo of my nephews by my brother.

Related: The freedom to act before you have been trained to follow convention, at all costs - Sarah, aged 3, Learns About Soap - Letting Children Learn – Hole in the Wall Computers - Amy's Halloween Costume

photo of a child as a blur - sliding down a pole

Photo of my nephew at the Staten Island Children's Museum. We need to get back to that time when we spend through life in a blur of wonder and excitement.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Oregon, TCU, Boise State, Auburn...

Oregon, TCU and Boise State are all great college football teams. If Auburn wins their next 2 games they will be up there with those 3.

I hope we get TCU or Boise State in the championship game and the other versus Auburn, Oregon, LSU, Stanford or Alabama. Boise State v Oregon and TCU v. Auburn would be great. I think Boise State and TCU would beat most other teams badly - and probably would beat some of those teams above badly. On a good day one of the Big Ten schools might be able to be competitive but I think they would most likely be destroyed. I think even with a loss either TCU or Boise State are no worse than 5th. I am a long time Badger fan, we good this year but good about 15th, not good 7th...

Even though I think TCU and Boise State could be the best 2 teams I hope we don't get that as the title game. I really would rather see those 2 teams play and beat the best of the rest of the teams. Or fail to do so. Oregon might have a chance to beat them. Though I would favor TCU and Boise State against whatever team they play.

My ranking
1 - Oregon, TCU, Boise State
4 - Auburn
5 - LSU
6 - Stanford
7 - Wisconsin
8 - Michigan State
9 - Nebraska
10 - Iowa
11 - Arkansas
12 - Alabama
13 - Ohio State

I feel the teams from about 7 - 18 are very closely matched. The SEC is packed with very good teams. Unlike past years where schools that weren't that good were threatening to sneak by without deserving it. I think Boise State and TCU are clearly among the best few teams in the country.